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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 space has done us both the world of good. 

The weekend was so good. We got to catch up with some of my old
management team while we celebrated one of their engagements. I think Stu and I will always look forward to our sessions with this lot. We definitely were a group that could work hard together, and play even harder together! 

After a cracking night out somewhere down a side street in Drumchapel, we returned to the Granite city for a bit of Gilbert and Sullivan at the Tivoli theatre. The Pirates of Penzance was amazing, and it cracked me up just how much of the songs I could remember from our school production back in the 1990s. 

Throw in a sampling of Tokyo at Six by Nico and we finished up an amazing weekend. 

The journey home was brutal. We were an extra 30 minutes in the air due to high winds, and then had to stay on the plane for nearly 3 hours, and it was too windy to attach the steps to the plane. My EU passport paid dividends at passport control when I got to leave the queue of people from the Aberdeen flight and go to the EU passport line. I was through in 5 minutes. The people in that queue had a waiting time of at least 60 minutes. They hadn't even made it into the packed queue in the passport control hall when I was walking out the door of arrivals. Once I made it back to Nijmegen it was time for my first night out with my team. It was also my first night out to eat and it was great! 

It was so nice to meet everyone out in the real world, and I got a great introduction to Dutch cuisine. It is amazing how when you hear a description of a food, it is easy to turn your nose up at it but in reality the food is delicious. Haggis, you are a prize contender here. In the Netherlands, my haggis is a dish called Carpaccio. It looked delicious. My team also tell me about American Filet, but I have not been convinced of that yet. I fear it might be the Dutch equivalent of Bovril.

The other food related that that has given me great delight was my discovery on St. Patricks Day. There is a cracking Irish pub in Nijmegen called Tierneys. Oh my god, what a pub! I got the special which was beef and Guinness stew and soda bread and I savaged it. It didn't even touch the sides. I can see the mammy dinners here becoming a regular thing! Actually, that might be a plan for tomorrow! 

Food aside, I do want to do a couple of thankfuls in this blog because right now there are a lot of things that I am very thankful for. 

1. I am thankful for my wonderful husband who is my biggest supporter and cheerleader. Not only does he support me in my career he is doing so well in his own career. I am so proud of everything he has achieved this year already, and I look forward to our upcoming celebrations when we see each other in two weeks! 

2. I am thankful for all the people who have reached out and sent a message to see how I am. We are all so busy, I appreciate the calls and messages. I really do. I will be better at replying... 

3. I am so thankful for all of Stuart's friends. We often talk about how on the weekend of our wedding we felt like we were surrounded by a huge bubble of love, and truth be told, that bubble has enlarged and enveloped us again since I moved over here. There is that saying that your friends are the family you choose, and my god did we choose ours well. Though I do now need to time my calls to his game of Civilisation or whatever that game is that half you seem to be playing! 

4. I am thankful for the wonderful opportunity that was offered to me in the Netherlands. I have been taken so well care of, I have been welcomed into the fold with open arms, I love how excited my new team are to meet Stuart when he is here. I also love that he plans to bring them creme eggs after I introduced them to the delicacies. My thirst for adventure has been so satisfied. I also feel challenged daily. I love it. 

5. I am so thankful for the summer of adventures that lie ahead. Paris in May, Andre Rieu in Maastricht at Vrijthof in July. The marching festival (Vierdaagse) in Nijmegen in July, The tattoo in Edinburgh in August,  our honeymoon in September. 2023 is shaping up to be a wonderful year of adventure for myself and Mr. W. 

Bedankt and tots ziens! 
Lu x


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