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Four months in....

  When I found out that I was moving to Nijmegen for a year, I had some wonderful notions of things that I wanted to do in my year. I wanted to blog three times a week, rent a bike and cycle around the countryside, visit different cities whenever I had a day to myself. Well, reader, I failed miserably on all three counts, but I am not even the least bit sad about it.  Initially, when I moved here, I was a little bit worried about leaving my very new husband behind before we had even made it to our first anniversary. I was worried I would be accused of 'abandoning' the man I love with all my heart, accused of being a bad wife and partner. I was afraid that he would resent me choosing a year of adventure even though I knew he was my biggest supporter. I was afraid I would resent myself for leaving him behind even though we decided together it was the right decision. Just before I went, I visited some wonderful friends of mine, and we spoke about a time when they were in different
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Two months in!

Greetings from Nijmegen! The past two months seem to have just flown by. I can hardly believe that it has been this long since I arrived here dragging my two suitcases across the country!  Life in Nijmegen is going really well. I have found the Dutch to be a warm and hospitable nation, with an amazing amazing ability to be blunt and hilarious all at the same time. You definitely know where you stand in the Netherlands! Work has kept me busy, and has been fabulously rewarding. I get to speak with Stuart nearly every evening and I feel like a schoolgirl counting down when I next get to see my husband. 14 in case you are wondering.  We saw each other two weeks ago, and it was the best thing. My excitement and impatience while waiting for my luggage reminded me of how I felt just before I walked down the aisle on our wedding day. I think we have both adapted really well to our current situation, and I actually think that after so much time squished into our flat during lockdowns etc.. the

Carnival is here!

 This week, my blog post is not coming from Nijmegen. It is coming from Knotsenburg! Why? Because it is Carnival!  Carnival is from Sunday to Shrove Tuesday (which my team find hilarious that I refer to as pancake Tuesday. When I mentioned that as a child we only ever ate pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, I was met with very confused faces from this pancake and waffle loving nation). It is like St. Patrick's day on speed. There is a parade which varies in size and effort depending on the part-taking towns and cities. Kids dress up and are high on sweets. Adults dress up and get as pished as newts. Solid celebrating. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I personally loved it.  I had a very unusual scenario today. As I found myself in this weird and wonderful craziness, I discovered something about myself that I hadn't noticed before. We all know that I have no fear of attending things solo. In fact, sometimes I really do enjoy just being by myself. Today, I experienced something

Has it really been a whole week?

I realised when speaking with Stuart earlier that I have already been in the Netherlands for a week! A week! How has that happened so quickly? It is said that time flies when you are having fun, and you know what? I am having an absolutely fabulous time.  I was given the warmest of welcomes on my first day of work and my new team gave me a wonderful welcome gift. It has been so nice taking the last few days to get to know my new co-workers and to learn a few words of Dutch too! Goodbye (doei!) and doorknob (duerknop) being two of my favourites. Nijmegen is a beautiful city. I have barely tapped into it and already I love what I see, smell and hear. One thing I have to say about the Dutch is that they love a sandwich and a pastry. Greggs would hang their heads in shame in comparison to what the average Dutch shop has to offer for lunch.  I had a wee sleep-in this morning, and didn't have time to make my lunch, so I nipped to the little shop next door to my work at lunch time. Obviou

Exploring Nijmegen

Today I decided to go into the centre of Nijmegen to get a feel for the city.  I always love exploring on a Saturday because that is when you get to feel the real hustle and bustle of a place. My gosh was there a hustle and bustle on the streets of Nijmegen today! Saturday must be market day. As I walked the 20 minutes from my apartment to the city centre (remembering that here the safe cross code is right, left, right!), I passed a square filled with fresh fruit and veg stands, bakery trucks, cheese trucks, fish trucks and amazing charcuterie trucks. The backdrop of this market is the river Waal, and a bridge that looks very like the bridge from A Bridge too Far. I will need to investigate whether or not it is the same bridge. I  know the film was shot around here and Arnhem.  As I continued down towards the grote markt I noticed that the pedestrianised shopping street was heaving with stalls too. There were stalls for everything! A pet accessories stall, clothes, curious handbags an

Life of Lu goes Dutch...

 Hello! Remember me? I have been saying for many years now that I wanted to return to the world of blogging and at the suggestion of some of my nearest and dearest, I decided that February 2023 was the time to do it. Why? You may ask, well because I have taken off to the Netherlands for the next 12 months and now have unlimited opportunities for adventures!  Since I stopped blogging a few years ago, my world has changed more than I could ever have imagined.  Not because I stopped writing, but because I fell in love with the most wonderful man, Stuart, and actually became his wife! Let's just ignore the fact that I have abandoned the poor lad within our first year of marriage for a year of adventure in yet another foreign land!  Thankfully, my husband is one of the most loving and supportive people I have ever met, and when this opportunity was presented to me, he was my biggest cheerleader, and my biggest supporter. To be honest, after all the lockdowns of the last few years, and