So this week I was supposed to be getting back into my household routines, which went awry during mum’s epic visit! But instead I’ve been out 3 days in a row! Fun, but possibly not what is really needed. Monday Lola & I ended up going to Amstelveen “Boemerang” Kringloopwinkel with C, an older lady from ECG Uithoorn church. She has a car and we ended up having a lovely lunch in Ikea! and bought some european- shaped pillows in there. On Tuesday she took us including both my girls, to the “Ceres” 2nd-hand shop in Uithoorn, At 10am which was the Opening of their “KerstWinkel”, christmas shop. They had been closed on Monday in preparation, and it was absolutely packed! They had set out tonnes of christmassy decorations, loads of fake trees, etc. By 11 all the good stuff was taken though I got an as-new mini tree, £3 and some adorable mini toadstool deccys and R got a sparkling turquoise cardi and a mini xmas tree with lights on. I got 2 matching single duvet sets £3 each too. This is the queue.
Then we went to Ijssalon for a coffee & cake.
Also I didn’t buy any advent calendars this year, it’s not so much of a thing here, particularly as their main celebration is Dec 5th. But Lee got given 2 of these for the boys.
So, onto Pakjesavond. Literally Packages Evening I think, And I mistakenly thought the day itself was 6th Dec but it’s 5th. So I had to rush things a bit!
The night before, kids put out a well-polished shoe for Sint. and find a chocolate letter (their initial) or other treats in it, or a potato if they’ve been bad! And then in the evening of the 5th is a meal with presents & everyone writes rhyming poems about each other and they are read out.
when Lee got into work that morning, he found that Sint had been, and he got a chocolate letter and a mini bluetooth speaker!
So we did the “secret santa” aspect of it with a 5 euro budget. We had Ikea meatballs n fries, and I had these traditional Pepernoten & got the kids a quite fancy decorated chocolate initial each. The boys had also done Sint at school and were a bit sick of sweets before they got home. Also some of my kids found the whole concept of secret santa a bit difficult/ stressful. I think some people find it very difficult to imagine what another person would like. So we received: Lee: 2 glass coffee mugs. Me: a fab & hilarious lamp, pictured below. Lola: colourful pin patches & a kitkat Sint. R: man’s slippers & a poop emoji keyring! Jojo: aftershave. F: sweets & choc.
We did decorate, have a laugh & a nice meal together. Also these pepernoten (above) are delicious, with an aniseed flavour very unusual.
Not content with cutting all the vegetation from our pond area, the gardener blokes are now replacing some of the soil ? or something, in their cute little diggers.
No wonder unemployment is low! There’s a lot of public garden to keep in order!
Jojo was a bit peaky last night & went to bed about 8, very unusual, so I let him sleep in this morning. I had a Dr appointment at 8.20 then went to visit V from my ‘lifegroup’, who lives close by. She has 3 young girls, and we chatted the morning away with baby on our knee and the 2 year old pottering about. She warmed to me quite fast, it was lovely. Then when I got in, I got Jojo and Ruby to come for a cycle to Aalsmeer. It was a bit light grey but at least dry. It was a good couple of hours cycle, we went by the main road but came back through country lanes and a bit I have never been through before at De Kwakel. It’s by the fort and it’s called Het Korte Eind, “The short End” and all the houses have water front & back. Very nice.