European thing

From camels to windmillsMenuBy

Today as normal for a Wednesday I dropped LPV at daycare, felt like the worst mother on the earth and headed to the gym. Usually all being well with her wee one I meet my friend Em there we workout and then have a quick coffee after.  Not particularly European or British just normal right? Done in every country around the world.

After the gym I go into the changing room to get my bag, I don’t shower at the gym I have a ridiculous phobia about changing room floors and standing in someone else’s hair or soggy bits of toilet roll. Anyhoo I walk into the changing room and there it was, the Dutch “were comfortable with nakedness” way of life just staring at me. If there has been an old man in a silk dressing gown I  could have  been at the playboy mansion. I not a prude, granted I not entirely comfortable with my body but damn girls put them away or you have someones eye out!!!

I’ve been members of gyms in a few countries now, at home some people do strut around the changing rooms projecting “look at me aren’t I fabulous, I live off cigarettes and rocket” these are generally the people you’ll  find at the park in bikini’s as discovered this week. In Dubai I don’t think anyone dare strut around starkers even if it is a ladies changing room but here in Holland its whole new ball game. The gents leave the door open to their changing rooms, which is most embarrassing when you have to chase after your child who decides to run in there and when you arrive at the ladies it’s tits on parade.  My poor eyes can’t take anymore so from now on I’m opening the door with my eyes closed *walks into lockers and knocks self out*.

I think they should bring out a new poster

Nuff  Said innit!!!

  • An expat Wife says:

    LOL oh this cracked me up. We spent a couple of weeks in Switzerland and I was walking around the turkish bath sauna area on my own without my glasses. It was quiet so when two men walked in I noticed. I also noticed that they appeared to be wearing rather skimpy black speedo bathers. When I got up close I realised the the black material I was seeing was actually pubic hair and I had missed the swaying appendage due to my poor eyesight. That was a huge shock for an Aussie who is used to people changing behind closed doors!

  • says:

    With you on the changing room floors thing…. as well as the bare naked cheek of flaunting bits, what’s wrong with a bit of modesty and decorum!!!

  • Sarah says:


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    Sensitivity & Withdrawal

    Sensitivity & Withdrawal

    It’s no secret I’m a wee sensitive soul,  I take things to heart, let people get to me, care what they think and cry a lot!!! It’s even worse now I’m preggo, admittedly I have cried as much with this pregnancy as much as i did with LPV. However the bank set me off the other day, Yes you heard right the bank made me cry!! Bastards. You see pregnancy brain made me lock my pin code on my switch card, now at home Halifax just ask me some security question but here…. here they want photo ID, urine samples……………..Ok maybe slight exaggeration but really who carries their passport around with them. I give them my UAE identity card, it’s expired, we go back to the house and get the farking passport. However were late for the hospital baby check up so we put the bank on the back burner.

    I’m nervous this pregnancy, far more than last time, this appointment was to get results of my “Combo test” for Downs and Edwards Syndrome, since I’ve had the test I’ve been more and more aware of my age, Yes being 11 months past 35, its sooooooooooold!!

    The dutch are not really renowned for their sensitivity or compassion, I find them really hard to deal with so also I’m fired up really to attack anyone who is remotely rude or pushes in front of me in a British polite queue, we check in I sit down, I mention the bank and then it happens………….. Niagara falls in a waiting room full of women who DO NOT cry and are so tough they’ll probably have their babies whilst cycling to do the weekly shop!!

    As it happens my midwife was lovely, had great bedside manner and was thorough, we talked about the result which were good, ended the appointment feeling fairly positive about my experience here. I must had mentally blocked out the conversation about my crazy pills, the Dr in Dubai had put me one these particular ones, he had told me they were safe to take during pregnancy. Here, they want me to change them, not because they’re not safe but because they’re not part of protocol, fair enough I have No problem with it. However the conversation of my baby staying in hospital for 48 hours to be “monitored” for drug withdrawal has upset me beyond belief. I know it’s for the best and precaution but what have I don’t to my poor unborn baby. All because I was weak and couldn’t cope with being a Mammy the first time round. I’m going to be one of those Mammies I despised being civil or nice too when I was NICU nurse one of those mammies watching her baby come down from drugs, admitted I’m not taking methadone/heroin but still . We were nice to them because that was our job, not to judge but I couldn’t help it. Are they going to judge me?? Probably, I’m judging myself……………………………………………..


    Cokey or Pokey we’re all still friends

    I did a lot of research before we moved to Holland, I wanted to be out and about meeting people I joined the Amsterdam mama’s group on Facebook and pretty much went to the opening of an envelope. Unfortunately a lot of the AM’s functions were too far away for me when we moved to Haarlem, Again I research and I came across the English-speaking Haarlem group that I’ve mentions in previous posts. Anyhoo to cut along story short yesterday was the regular meet up of playgroup/Mam’s & tots, we all have to take it in turns hosting each week, buying snacks, providing entertainment if you like.

    Our two hosts today, did a musical theme, the sun was beaming down as the children were running away and left their mammies holding various forms of instruments and singing songs. Having a large group of expats together is fab some conversations, words songs always get lost in translation. Take the Hokey Cokey or for my US friend Pokey, this song will always give away nationalities, if your British/English your knees bent arms stretched , Ra Ra Ra will give you away immediately!!! And we may even get some “you strange breed looks”!!! I Love it thou I love the bits of songs where everyone mumbles as they know it’s going to be different. This type of groups for expats are imperative, to have somewhere to go and meet people  like you, people who have been here and no the score plus also people new like you with the exact same “deer caught in the bakfiets bike light”.

    If you’re an expat living in Haarlem contact the group vis their website if you new to Amsterdam check out , if you’re an expat somewhere else and feeling alone bite the bullet and research groups in your area, if you can’t find one, start one yourself as I can guarantee there is another mammy just like you feeling exactly the same

    These are all my own opinions and I received not payment for my recommendations!! Although I may demand extra cake next week at Mam’s & tots

    Busy with the musical instruments, as you can tell

    Saturday Caption

    Here’s this weeks #satcap

    Think of a comment, post it and the head on to saurus

    Cookie caption

    Cookie caption

    So here we are another Saturday, another caption
    Head on over to for more ricdonkulous captions


    My Sunday photo

    These there people light up my life!!

    Im linking up with s #sunday photo


    If you haven’t heard of Dinovember then you’ve seriously been living under a rock, or maybe even a fossil. You need to read , parents that wanted to stretch their children’s imagination, so they convinced them that their plastic dinosaurs were coming to life and getting upto all sorts of mischief while the children slept.
    It’s pure genius, I’ve decided to join in, LPV has always used his imagination but now he’s at an age where he’s using it in play. Turning the couches into ships because the sharks are coming, believing in Santa. So by taking part I want to feed his imagination more, plus to be honest I’m not sure who’s having the most fun me or him.
    So we’re only on day 2 am I’m getting so excited as to what to plan for day 3, it’s fun for both of us, especially if you’ve had a crapy day it’s putting the laugh back into it.

    Anyway here’s day 1 Dino antics, they were caught being good and practicing the numeracy skills

    Day 2 antics, toilet papering each other, triceratops didn’t want to get his frill and horns wet

    T-Rex brushes his nashers, I hope he doesn’t try and eat triceratops

    Euro 2012

    From camels to windmillsMenuBy

    Well the only positive thing I can say about it is the McDonald’s menu is pretty cool, that’s about it. What are we, one week in?? I am so over it, it’s on my tv EVERYNIGHT. Ok I understand we have to watch Ireland , we have to watch Holland, and we have to keep an Eye on England so a certain house member can cheer for the other side. However is watching  Italy spain, Croatia… Russia necessary ,  his logic for this?? Well we might go there one day!!

    We thought we’d get into the dutch football spirit so we put up bunting, Irish bunting too oh and two inflatable hammers in the window in Ireland colours, they came down immediately on my return from the UK. However it appears we’re the only people in our street who have any spirit what so ever, I am half expecting a strongly worded dutch note through the door, to tell us we’re lowering the tone of the neighborhood. As neither Ireland or Holland are doing particularly well, putting mildly. I though my pain would stop but apparently It will continue until the final.

    I suppose the best part is that I don’t feel guilty sitting at the top of the house blogging and just generally messing around on twitter. I may even get him to do the ironing while he’s watching it!!

    So my antidote to Euro 2012?? EURO Chick flick 2012, every chick flick ever made, the one’s that drive the husbands mental, the ones you know are utter rubbish but you’ll say you like it just to do his head in. These should be played non stop to for two weeks solid, french ones, spanish ones………………………you name it

    C’mon girls lets take back the Telly!!!

    Euro 2012 widow.xx


    At the moment I feel like I’m walking on type rope hold a huge poll with all the aspects of my life balanced at either end, I don’t feel stable and at any minute it’s all going to come tumbling down to the ground. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day and going to get some time before I get my groove back with working, being a Mammy, running a home and all the other 20 million jobs I do at once.

    I’m enjoying it, I really am but this week has been the worst week ever for making it work, Its been Miss C’s birthday so I’ve been planning parties baking, shopping for presents. Ive’ had my folks here so although they never put pressure to on us to do “Stuff” It’s not cheap to come out here and I want to ensure whoever makes the effort to come has a fab time. To top it all off were all ill too, well me and the kids are at least, both Miss C and myself are on antibiotics, it’s one of those situations where if you stop you’ll fall down and won’t get back up. So I’m not stopping.

    It’s an amazing feeling though, going back to work when you’ve been a stay at home Mammy, I feel alive albeit half dead at the moment and mature again… if that makes any sense. I still have to say things like “don’t put your bus in the toilet or don’t put a raisin up your nose” and that’s just to the clients  but I’m also having adult conversations about important things too. Ok a bus down the toilet is very important too but in a different way.

    Initially I was going to give myself a time limit and then if it hadn’t worked out then I’d have to give it up but to be  honest I don’t want to give  myself a limit, I’m going to be patient with myself, It’s all about comfort zones and to be honest I’m way out of mine,  hand me a syringe, a bottle of medicine and a sick child to care for and to make feel special I’m comfortable because I was doing that before I even became a Mammy, hand me a computer and lots of media jargon and it may take a while, I’m just used to my little old blog and that’s it. However with absolutely EVERY thing I do, I do it to the best of my abilities I just hope thats enough.


    Back with a splash

    When we moved back I knew life wouldn’t be exactly the same as before. People move on and some of my friends had moved on literally, the kids were no longer the babies like they were when we left. Most of my buddies are still here and my friendships are comfortable and familiar as they used to be with the added bonuses of new friends too. However some things, places even food trigger off memories that make me feel sad.
    For example, LPV & Miss C started this weekend, as I strongly believe any child living out here should have the ability to swim and hold onto the side until help arrives. Especially for us as our pool is right outside our back gate.

    They started their classes, we were all looking forward to it, LPV had done baby splash so it was nice to see him progress to toddler splash even though he not a toddler it’s up to the age of 4.

    During the excitement of both classes I felt sad, this was an activity I used to do with my buddies and their Bubba’s now we were alone having to talk to strangers. Pulling up to the club felt so familiar yet strangely overwhelming to be a newbie/outsider in an environment that was so comfortable before.
    I got chatting to some lovely Irish ladies so slowly the feeling slipped away, to be honest with LPV in nursery and needing picking up there isn’t an awful lot of time to leisurely coffee’s and lunches after Miss C’s activities, life has change for me too having two children. Plus, being in the early stages of an activity people like to sue you out and see if your friend material 😉 So Im sure these lovely ladies will become friends soon.

    They both had a fantastic time and got stuck in with all the tasks, however when the dunking in the water starts next time I’m sure it will be a different story
    Look at my wee man all those years ago well two years ago, slight exaggeration

    If you like visiting us here at the blog and enjoy what you read, please can’t you take a little time to Nominate us in the travel blog award, thank you so much.x