• Sorry for the pause, guys. When we last spoke, I was talking about taking a rest. Well, it's gone a little bit beyond that. I've spent the month since we last spoke battling some pretty deep depression. I guess my feeling of a need for rest was the precursor of this. It's nothing serious. I mean, I'm not jumping off a cliff any time soon (there are no cliffs in the Netherlands!). But I have been very quiet and anti-social lately, which you know is not like me. I know why it's happened too. To be brutally honest, everything is over. I've been in flux for nearly five years. First I had to move [...]

    Read more

    Everyone country has its own national character.  If you visit or move to a new place, people will bombard you with these generalizations until you start repeating them too.  Dutch people are straightforward.  They don't beat around the bush.  They say what they mean.  They're frugal with money.  Your credit card isn't going to work most places so carry cash.  And you will more likely get run over by a bicycle than a car. I've been living in the Netherlands for three months now, and there are a few things that have struck me about living here that I have never heard anyone say in any [...]

    Read more

    Last week, we finally picked up our cars. They arrived on the first of January, but they had to be inspected and made legal to drive in Europe. Then you wait a L... O... N... G... time for the government to send you your registration. With my cars came the rest of my art — the big stuff that I didn't ship in the container with the furniture. So my living room looks like a disaster area with art propped up all over the place as I decide where to hang it. So now I finally have all my possessions in one place. And I feel a little like "What next?" Well, obviously I have to [...]

    Read more

    Anyone Can Learn a Language

    This post has been kicking around my head for weeks. But something happened this morning that made me want to post this right. I follow a page called SaySomethingIn by Welsh language guru Aran Jones (also author of the hysterically funny and deeply moving book about recapturing your hereditary language, Some Sex and a Hill which you MUST read). I found Aran's Say Something In Welsh course online when I was preparing for a role as a Welsh woman and one of other characters in the play "tests" my character to see if she can really speak Welsh. The play was written by a Canadian who didn't speak [...]

    Read more

    So I did my three minutes (plus) on stage on Wednesday at The Hub in Eindhoven. You can see my set in a video on my timeline on Facebook. I'll post it to the front page of this site as soon as I'm not cheating someone else's internet. Hope you like it. It went well. It went well mainly because I hung out with the professional comedians before the show and they gave me tips. The microphone was cutting out and they showed me how to hold it so it wouldn't. One of them had the staff readjust the speakers because half of the room wasn't hearing things properly. And most important to me [...]

    Read more

    Wherein I am not a tourist

    Before I begin today's post, I wanted to thank those of you who have commented on previous posts. You have been so supportive and I am grateful. It is so much easier to keep writing when one knows one has an audience. So here we go... Last week was a week of frustration, and I apologise for not posting, but you will soon see why. We moved into our house on 3 January amid worries that our furniture wouldn't make it through Customs in time or the movers wouldn't be able to coordinate with the shipper on such short notice. But all the stuff got to my house at about the same time the [...]

    Read more

    So there I was.  I found out there was an English language comedy night at The Hub in Eindhoven last Wednesday featuring professional comics from the US, UK, and Europe.  The Hub is a kind of gathering spot for expats.  There are a lot of us because of the presence of ASML and the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.  So The Hub provides things like live music jams and Dutch conversation hours and other meetups for people new to the Netherlands and Eindhoven in specific. I wanted to go see some live comedy.  So I got Bob and Dutch Whisperer Annet to go with me.  If [...]

    Read more