Yesterday was the Canal Parade, with the 80 boats making their way through the Amsterdam canals. We went, of course, to help cohost the meetup since there were upwards of 70 RSVPs. I am always a fan of the t-shirts and slogans. This year, my favorite was slogan from the Ministry of Defense. On their boat, in the white scarf is the Minister of Defense for the Netherlands, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. People on the boat were wearing a t-shirt that said “Onze vrijheid begintย bij die van en andere” which translates to “Our freedom begins by that of another’s” . This struck me as particularly Powerful. I always like slogans that are strong and motivating.ย 

After the parade, we returned home to feed the dogs and to recharge from the people explosion. We had another party to go to, one in the Red Light District. Here’s where I am shamelessly going to kick GG out of the closet… she’s a member of the only LGTBQ Line Dancing club in the Netherlands. The Amsterdam Amigos as they are known, were giving two special street performances and we were going to support them (and join them for dinner afterwards).

Let me be perfectly clear… my banjo playing has absolutely nothing to do with line dancing in any shape or form. People who hear about GG’s hobby assume that this is something she took up because she has a banjo playing American GF. Uh-huh, totally not related.

It was certainly an experience. Really nice people, certainly with a heavy dose of quirky. Once again, I think we were the youngest people to join, much like the volunteers at the European World of Bluegrass ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh, and BTW, Bluegrass is not suitable music for line dancing.

Today is a bit of a chill out day. The weather is mild and I needed some peace and quiet to read the paper cover to cover. We were going to go to the beach but there has been some sort of paraffin spill and it is advised that dog owners avoid the beaches until the problem is resolved.

I have already spent some time today torturing the neighbors with banjo and then banjolele practice ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other news, I’ve been invited to give a guest lecture at the University of Leiden on Technology and Exclusion. When I got the news, I promptly ran around the house uttering “OMG, OMG, OMG, are they nuts?” In other words, I am super excited to do it and was immediately asking myself if I was even remotely qualified to give this kind of talk ๐Ÿ˜‰ As you can tell, the voices in my head are still around!

Oh, and Friday morning, we went to Schiedam to have coffee with the owners of the house that we are deeply interested in. We definitely enjoyed it. However, we didn’t fall for the pressure ๐Ÿ˜‰ But it is good to know that this one is still in play. Next step is to see if they will let us have a complete cellar to attic inspection at our cost. A few weeks ago, that was not an option so perhaps we might get there now…

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