Heeren Castle

We visited Alex and Ayla in Den Bosch and decided we would visit somewhere close by since Alex has a car. Heeren Castle is just outside Den Bosch and although not very old, it’s very pretty with an interesting interior.

Later we had a fantastic dinner at Zahar the Afghani restaurant we’d tried before. So much food and excellent flavours!

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Vierdaagse 2016

Once again the Vierdaagse but this year is special because it is the 100th year.

Denise and Phil visited us for a few days and we had a great time seeing live music at the Valkhof and the new location, the Island, which we can see from our new flat. I spent a few days at the Sanadome enjoying the great weather during the day. We also had a wee party for the fireworks that signal the start of the Vierdaagse. The terrace was great!

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Moving in day!

So, after the packing of the two vans at Hazenkampseweg, we spent the night at Jessica and Iain’s flat since they had already moved in some of their furniture but were still sleeping at their old flat. Perfect since the movers were arriving at 8am and our bed was in a van!

A big concern of ours was would our two leather sofas fit in the lift since they were over 2m long?  As it turned out, they didn’t but next thing I knew, they were being delivered via the neighbour’s flat by construction crane!  Lucky she was working from home that day and that the movers were able to ask the construction site for help.

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Red Shoe Sessions at de Refter

Red Shoe Sessions organise small house concerts around Nijmegen but this time they arranged a whole day of artists in a large multi roomed house.

De Refter is a commune which has been in operation since the 1980s and is housed in an imposing Gothic building in Ubbergen just outside Nijmegen. It was a boarding school run by nuns but now is home to 80 people.

There were 5 concerts in different parts of the building. The first one was in the chapel and was like a ‘gong bath meditation’ except the two guys used different types of sound producing instruments. Most people closed their eyes but I had to peek sometimes to see what they were using! Then we went upstairs to an apartment and on a terrace we listened to Mary Lee & the B-side Brothers, a Brazilian garage punk group. then back outside to climb a tower to hear Lou Shields an American slide guitarist.  The fourth concert was in a library and Roosbeef is a Dutch woman who recited poetry and played piano – I could only half understand!  The last concert was in the basement and it was Benjamin Yellowitz, an nice guy from Birmingham.

On the way back to Nijmegen we passed the location of de Kaaij and saw how flooded it was! The Kaaij festival starts in early July, so we hope the water will recede soon!

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Keys to the flat!

After much waiting, we finally received the keys to our new flat at the Handelskade.  The building is called de Lunet, but the address is Kaapstander and the development is the Handelskade – confusing! We are on the 7th floor and look west to the Oversteek bridge and north to Lent. We have 3 bedrooms so now guests don’t have to sleep in the office.  The flat also has underfloor heating and 2 toilets.  Since it is a ‘shell’, we are responsible for laying the floor, installing lighting and painting the walls.  We’ve decided on laminate and we’re using the same supplier as Jessica and Iain who are moving in to an identical floor plan but on the 2nd floor. All appliances are included in the rental but we have to buy a washer and dryer.  We have lost a garage but now have a ‘kelder’ or lockup room in the basement and a parking space underground.  We’ll just have to fit it all in!

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Beer Festival

A bit chilly for May!  The event has been moved from Koningsplein to the Valkhof because it had outgrown the space.  Met up with Jessica, Ian and Leah.

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Mhairi’s 70th Birthday in Edinburgh

Bill’s cousin Mhairi had organised her party well in advance so that all of the cousins etc could attend.  A room was hired in Fishers Restaurant in Leith Harbour and we first met for drinks in Malmaison. We stayed nearby at the Holiday Inn and the next morning on our way to North Berwick, we visited Heather in Port Seton with the rest of the cousins.

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David Bowie Exhibition in Groningen

The David Bowie Exhibition transferred from the V&A in London to Groningen the most northernly city in the Netherlands.  Since Bowie’s death, ticket sales have gone crazy and the museum added extra hours. We decided to visit and stay overnight in the city.

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A visit to our prospective new flat

Since our landlord wants to sell the flat we are currently renting, I began looking for alternatives last summer.  We had been to see the new development at the Handelskade with a view to buying a flat. However, the floor plan that we liked had sold out and we decided it was a lot of money to spend on something we didn’t ‘love’.  Then I found out that the development would also have 8 floors of flats to rent in the same building.  We applied in October and we were allocated our first choice of floor plan!  The floor plan is one of the biggest (3 bedrooms, 117m) and has a terrace leading from the living room that overlooks the harbour and the Oversteek bridge.  The bedrooms face the Waal River and each room has access to the wrap round terrace.  We’ll get the sun on the main terrace in the late afternoon and see beautiful sunsets over the bridge in the summer – and be able to watch all barges and boats travel up to the Rhine, as well as the trains crossing into Nijmegen.

At this stage we hadn’t actually seen the physical floor plan, only on paper. So, me, Denise, Anita and Ian (who is also renting the same floor plan) went along to the Open House. The place is still a building site but it was exciting to see it all coming to life.  Expected move-in date has now been pushed back to mid-May which is disappointing but means more time to pack!

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Bands we saw in 2015

I decided to document the bands we went to see in 2015 and I’m quite amazed how many we saw!  The larger, well known bands play at the Doornroojse (Sleeping Beauty in English) and up-and-coming bands at their sister venue, The Merleyn,  a more intimate venue.  I’ve  made up a playlist in Spotify:


  • Grauzone Festival @ the Melky Weg, Amsterdam (Neu, The Fall) – Bill only
  • Peru Ubu @ Den Haag (Bill only)
  • Orlando Julius
  • Luke Winslow-King
  • Belle of Louisiana
  • Archive
  • Decemberists
  • Dandy Warhols
  • Robin Trower
  • Nick Mulvey
  • Paul Weller
  • Brebach (in London)
  • Odl
  • Musee Mechanic
  • Monophonics
  • B.R.M.C
  • Remmelt Muusen Femke
  • Sonny and the Sunsets
  • Con Brio
  • Seasick Steve (also at DTRH)
  • Ryley Walker
  • The Lusts
  • Shane Alexander
  • King Crimson @ Tivoli, Utrecht (Bill only)
  • Focus
  • Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra
  • Calexico
  • Sun & the Wolf
  • Felabration (Jungle by Night, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80)
  • Guess Who Festival, Utrecht  (Nick Garry, The Pop Group, Bennie Maupin, Annette Peacock, Follakzoid, Jacko Gardner, Ariel Pink, Gave Su akvol)  –  Bill only
  • Eric Sate concert
  • Music Meeting Festival, Nijmegen
  • Down the Rabbit Hole Festival, Beuningen:- Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Meridian Brothers, Young Fathers, Goat, Alabama Shakes, Seasick Steve
  • 4 Day Marches in Nijmegen:- Mysterons, zZz,, My Baby, Ben Miller Band, Anton Newcombe, Soft Moon, Jozef Van Wissem, Birth of Joy, Acid Baby Jesus
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