Monthly Archives: September 2018

Not sure if they are teenagers or seniors…

Today George turns 13. Henry turned 13 last Sunday. I know that for dogs this makes them rather beyond middle aged. I see that there’s a little more grey and white in their fur and it’s a bit easier to sneak into the house without setting off the Small Dog Alarm Service. However, when we go walking on sunny days, the sound of their nails on the sidewalks of Amsterdam is still at a pretty rapid pace. It’s a good sound, I know how fast they are walking just by listening. It struck me in particular today as we were walking to the parking garage for the last time.

For nearly five years, we have been walking to the parking garage to pick up Astrid. When I first moved here, there was a 13 month waiting list for a street parking permit. However, I could shelter Astrid right away by signing up at the convention center’s parking garage. We continued to park there even after I got a street permit. I can’t tell you how many times the boys and I have walked to the garage. Since parking works literally on the monthly basis here, Astrid left the garage for the last time today and now she’s parked right outside the door.

Long overdue (as in I have never done it) GG showed of her Dutchness by washing the front windows of the house by hand. I feel like window washing is a big thing in the Netherlands. They look amazing and the plant bed below them also got a nice makeover. That’s that whole curb appeal thing 😉

It’s been a week of people saying good-bye in surprising ways – including an amazing good-bye party from the people of my favorite terrace (organized in secret with GG) and then another from the meetup.

Then today I suddenly had the panicked thought of what was I going to do with the boys for the next few weeks during the day? Our first project starts tomorrow and we don’t have someone yet who will let the boys out during the day. I came out of the shower, firing 20 questions at GG about what were we going to do with the boys, etc. And that’s when she calmly replied that she had taken the first half of October off because we were moving. Somehow I missed that 😉 And I am also the one who said “Why waste vacation days on a move??”

I am definitely glad she chose not to listen!


Catching up

Saturday morning, coffee number two in process, dogs in their basket, first full day of autumn, making dinner plans for tonight with Marianne, adding to the list of things to do next to me and taking a moment to write.

Yesterday the permit for the moving truck to park came, which suddenly made this move that much more real! It could also have been the pricetag for the permit that shocked me into looking at the calendar and really counting the days!

We’ve put ourselves on a pretty tight schedule. It looks a little bit like this:

  • 1 October, we sign for the house and mortgage and the official transfer happens – keys are in our hands at the end of 17 chapters of signatures.
  • 2 October, the new house gets cleaned from top to bottom.
  • 3 October, GG moves from her house. Dogs move in the evening. Packing at my house.
  • 4 October, I move.
  • 5-7 October, we try to unpack as much as possible so we can welcome our first guest.
  • 8 October, first guest arrives with her amazing special organizational super powers and incredible sense of humour.
  • 9 October, storage arrives – yes, all of the things that came with the ship when I moved here.
  • 10-15 October, paint floors and garden for my old house. Goes on the market on the 15th.

In the midst of this, the company has it’s first project starting on 1 October. For once, I didn’t do anything to plan it this way – like with the idea of being the most effective person ever. It was simply a matter of grabbing chances. It will work out but it will be rather stressful.

Early this morning, I had a dream that we were living in the top floor of a big warehouse that each room was slightly worse than the last. In between the rooms, which were filled with the belongings of previous inhabitants, there were also all kinds of creepy noises. I kept trying to get everything presentable. And then just when I thought there were rats coming out of a wall, there came three cats. They were in descending size from largest to smallest, two tabby cats and one unusual cream colored one. I was relieved because I knew that if there were cats, there were probably no rats. 😉 Then I woke up right about the time I was going to reach out to one of the cats to see if it would accept me. It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that I am clearly having some stress about the move 😉

I’ve got more to write but the list of things to do today is pretty lengthy so I’m going to tackle that for now.

Take a left at ridiculous…

On Monday afternoon, GG and I went to meet the sellers of our new house and talk about what we wanted to keep. They are moving into a mid 70’s bungalow style that is being completely renovated to be super modern and they don’t want to take their furniture from their circa 1850 home with them.

Really, we were only interested in the ceiling fans and the garden furniture because they have very different taste. Lots of enormous leather pieces which is not my thing. Turns out, we actually will have to pay them for the lights. Yes, really. The lights that are in the kitchen, on the ceiling, in the hallway. Yep, all of them, if we want to have any light. In the Netherlands, people take their lights with them when they move.

You can imagine that all I want to do is say “Really? The lights? You are going to spend hours taking them down and the chances are they don’t even match your new home. And if I don’t want to stumble around in the dark in the first days in the new house, I have to buy your exisiting lights?” We’re not talking about Tiffany lamps here either.

To me, this is taking things just a step too far. I had gotten somewhat used to the idea that you also take your closets with you, etc. But LIGHTS?? Needless to say, the party that buys my house will not only get the closets, all appliances, the floor but I will even throw in the lights!

In the end, we also chose not to go for the ceiling fans. They wanted to take them with them and wanted to charge us 250 euro for each one… that’s more than cost of them new. GG had to specifically tell them that they could take the fans, but it was fine to leave the electrical work in the ceiling, before they took that too.

I bet they don’t cover this topic on Househunters International! Now you know, if you are thinking about the Netherlands!

Fighting my way through a bit of the flu, no doubt due to all of the transition stress. Had our first company meeting this week with all of the people who are jumping on my crazy train. It was really great – so much energy, curiousity and weirdness. We’re going to have an amazing time! I picked a good bunch of people.