Pre-Birthday Trip to Dutch-land

Just because I’ve moved away from The Netherlands doesn’t mean that you lot have managed to get rid of me yet!

When I heard that Cesair was going to be playing a concert with Irfan, and my having missed the latter on their trip to the UK and thus not having seen them in too long, I simply had to book to go. Heleen was up for it, and it was the Friday before my birthday. What more justification could a girl want? In the end, I made a bit of a weekend of it.

Arriving on the Friday with only a small delay this time, I made my way to Arnhem, where the concert was to take place. After spending a very pleasant afternoon with Rowan, hanging out and exploring the city (they have a giant statue of an aardvark lying on its back, wearing a party hat in this place…what more can I say!), it was time to join Heleen, Dafni and Afroditi at the show.

I think it probably goes without saying that I enjoyed myself quite thoroughly. Listening to Irfan’s music is always a pleasure and listening to that live is an experience with an energy that I do so enjoy. I was rather pleased to get to see them again as it’s quite a rare occurrence, for me at least, and that alone made this show quite special!

This was also, technically the release of Cesair’s new album (although it has been on sale for a bit now) and, as always, their show was wonderful. Their new material, while most certainly fresh and exciting, has a lot of the spirit of their older pieces and thus feels instantly familiar. It’s a good combination. Of course, I suffered a bit with the light flashing in their performance at times but I’ve found that to be the case as of late so it was to be expected. Still feel more than a bit rude looking away!

However, the fun didn’t end with the concert as the day after it was time for Heleen’s famed Halloween party. Seriously, although I had never managed to go thanks to the event clashing with my birthday, I have heard so much about this party over the years of our acquaintance. Happily for me – and probably for all involved – Afroditi, Dafni, and I, having spent the night at Heleen’s, helped prepare. There was a lot of cooking of themed treats which was a lot of fun… and a lot of decorating which was even more fun. I might have got a bit carried away with the fake cobwebs. Especially in the toilet.

The preparation was not to be overshadowed by the evening itself which was spent with some great company, both old acquaintances and new faces. I was quite impressed that some people who had only met me the once managed to work out who I was what with all the makeup and my hair up out of the way!

I am considering making this my everyday style.


Sunday was considerably more relaxed, if still quite social. Lunch was spent with a group from The Life Before. Seriously, I miss these people so much now I’m in the UK and I so wanted to celebrate my birthday with them, in advance. Indeed, that was part of the reason I booked this trip at all. Quite by accident, and because everywhere else was full, we found a little bakery cafe that was quite divine. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the place but their afternoon tea was exceptional and certainly made the afternoon special. After our somewhat late lunch it was time for the group to part ways and, for me, it was back to Arnhem to hang out with Rowan again for the evening. What with my train usage, maybe the glitch that meant my NS subscription hasn’t been cancelled properly was meant to be!

This is the face of a happy tea addict!

Upon completion of my trip I realised that I’d actually been going to The Netherlands monthly, and on the same weekend, since leaving the country but my next trip wasn’t until December. I can’t say I’m not considering impulse booking another trip just to keep up the pattern!


The header photo of this blog post, featuring Cesair was taken by Heleen.


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