I went for a wander and found… a crocodile!

This morning’s sunshine tricked me into pulling on my shoes and coat and heading out for a walk. I was beginning to regret the hat and scarf as I walked through the quiet Sunday streets in bright, warm sunshine.

On my way to the park I came across a heron on a lamppost. In fact, it’s quite a common sight around here. I’ve also seen them on gate posts, railings and rooftops. They always look to me as though they’re guarding something… Continue readingI went for a wander and found… a crocodile!

Spring is here and so am I

2014-03-02 15.05.08It’s felt like a busy few weeks. We had two weekends in a row of visitors – first, my stepmother and brothers and then, some old friends from university. Aside from the fact that it was lovely to spend time with family and friends, I also enjoyed showing off my new city. Acting as a tour guide for our visitors helped to divorce me from the day-to-day realities of being an expat in a foreign country and instead see Amsterdam as a tourist would. It’s hard not to fall in love with the place as you wander along sunlit canals and down narrow alleyways, lined with shops and cafés. Amsterdam certainly has some unique and oddly specific shops – so far we’ve come across a shop that just sells coffee and one kind of cookie (probably the most expensive cookie I’ve ever eaten at €1.95 a pop), a canvas shop that sells nothing but canvas fabric, and – I kid you not – a toothbrush shop. You have to love a city that can support that kind of economy. Continue readingSpring is here and so am I

Long Spring Days

It’s 7:30pm as I write this and, though there is a dusky greyness to the light, it is far from dark. I like this time of year. I like the sudden leap forward that extends the daylight. One of the things I loved about living in St Andrews was the summer months when I could be awake at 4am and see the sunrise. There is something comforting about knowing the nights are shorter. It probably goes back to some in-built evolutionary thing. Night is when the creatures come out, it is a time to be afraid and stay indoors. I know plenty of people who feel quite the opposite, who like the dark and being out at night. For me night is a time to be inside with a warm drink and the glow of electric lights. Continue readingLong Spring Days