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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

6 Reasons this expat blogger is looking forward to autumn

I don’t really like autumn. It is cold. In the Netherlands, it is also humid and rainy, the kind of weather that leaves you shaking with cold no matter how many layers of clothing you’re wearing. I don’t enjoy autumn but at times like this, but I like to remind myself of all the things I can look forward to.

1)      School-time

My daughter is starting school in September, and contrary to my initial fears of sending my 4-year old to school, I am actually getting excited for her. She is excited! She counts the days until school! I believe that while daycare is great for her, it is getting somewhat boring. She is ready to move on. She is ready for a new environment, for new friends and for new things to learn. I am also looking forward to K’s dance school classes because she enjoys them so much, and I was very impressed with the performance she and her group gave last June. For me, dancing school also means having dinner with friends and some great time.

2)      Going back to work

This one is for me. M has just started daycare, so I am considering going back to work. While I love being a SAHM, I took great pleasure in the intercultural communications trainings I gave last year. I never thought that standing in front of an audience can be so thrilling. If you have seen me, you know what I am talking about: I am 1,60cm tall (when I’m wearing a hat), my voice is small and quiet. But when I told that couple in Amsterdam about living in Germany, they listened. And they asked questions and they seemed very satisfied with my performance. Also, as a mom of two girls, I would love to model a family dynamics in which I am not only at home but have my own life. And then, there is the pleasure that comes with making at least some money all for myself.

3)      Festivals and conferences

A lot to look forward to: the Feel at Home in the Hague Fair. Expatica’s I Am Not a Tourist fair in Amsterdam. Meet The Blogger Conference in Amsterdam. The Strandwalfestival in Rijswijk! Especially September is packed with great events and I can’t wait to attend at least some of these!

4)      One-on-one time with my little girl.

So far, our daycare schedule has been great so far. We send the children there in the afternoon so that I can wake up peacefully (stress in the morning doesn’t become me, and leaves me tired and  literally sick the whole day). But the school is in the morning and we didn’t change the daycare schedule. Which means that I will have approximately 2 hours a day all by myself. But it also means that I will have more time with my little girl, because my eldest child’s vibrant personality makes it somewhat difficult to concentrate on my other children. Especially J. as the middle child, could definitely benefit from this, and I always enjoy the sweet company of my girl.

5)      Food

Harvest has been plentiful this year. We had more sour cherries, plums, and red currents than we could imagine. They were delicious, and I was busy making preserves, cakes and or just freezing the fruit for later. We have even more coming: tomatoes, pears and apples and hazelnuts- all of them also delicious and healthy! I love that we have just started M. on solids and he can get fresh baby food from our own garden. I love pumpkin and there is no better time for this yummy veggie-I buy Hokkaido pumpkins- small and very orange, giving soups and pies a wonderful colour. Furthermore, there is delicious Dutch dish, called “snert” or “erwtensoup” and it is basically a rich and delicious pea soup, served only during autumn and winter.

6)      The weather

This may seem like such a contradiction, but please hear me out. First I do not so much enjoy the weather, but I definitely enjoy wearing clothes that come with such weather: cuddly sweaters, long-sleeved tees and warm shawls. They make me feel comfy and safe. I love the feeling of sitting on my couch dressed in warm clothes and read a book and drink a cup of tea or hot chocolate. And while the weather can be tricky at this part of the year, September and sometimes October are warm and sunny. Later, during usually cold and depressing November, if there is just the smallest flicker of sunshine the world becomes a much better place if it’s just for a day.

What are you looking forward to this autumn?

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  1. I am really looking forward to the Autumn too, I love all the colours and I love all the wonderful things you can make with the Autumn leaves, plus itll be Baby Monkeys 1st birthday so we have a big celebration too

    1. Hi Rosalind, thanks for your comment. I love the colours as well (even though I am totally uncrafty). Oh a birthday, how fun! My husband is also celebrating his birthday in autumn- totally forgot to mention that as well!

  2. I never liked the Fall, but it brings a very good things with it: the end of high temperatures. I could never stand 2 to 3 full months of temperatures above 30 degrees. Now that I live in a place where one cannot experience more than a few weeks of it, it's still too much!

    1. The Tuscan, I am so with you on this! I don't like extremes when it comes to weather, I like the weather to be around 23-25 centigrees. Luckily, in the Netherlands, there is little risk of weather being too warm! But yes, this month was definitely too warm and especially when you have little children it's not very healthy either.

  3. I second you on the food - I love thick stews and soups and autumn really brings it all in nicely.

    I also like the "crisp" cool feeling in the mornings that slowly melts away as the sun comes up (providing it doesn't rain all day). =)

    1. Yes, Ace CB, stews are perfect autumn food, love them and can't wait to make them! I think when it comes to the weather, the humid wet rainy weather in the Netherlands makes you appreciate sunshine, and you start nice little things like the feeling you just described.

  4. We are moving into spring so I am looking forward to slightly longer evenings and fewer cold nights.

    I must say though that I am jealous of your food.

    1. Hi Stephen! I love the food in my garden, but the food in the supermarkets.. well that's something many expats complain about (especially if they're French or Italian)- have a post coming on that..Your transition seems more pleasant than mine... also I love the many fruit that you can find in Brasil that are considered rather exotic here...

  5. I don't really like fall, mostly because I dread the Wisconsin winter so much that I can't separate the two. Still, your list makes me think. It makes me realize how excited all my students will be when we start in a couple of weeks. I have lots of 4-year-olds, and it is easy to forget what a big transition it is for them. I also have to second your food observations. I love to bake, and soon I won't have to worry about heating up the house - it will be welcome. There are things to look forward to before the snow. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks you for your comment. If you ask me, I'd definitely prefer a cold, snowy winter to a humid autumn.. but I know what you mean, in the Netherlands, the weather I describe as autumn, can continue into winter, but then it only gets colder- the wet kind of cold, not the nice crispy kind of cold. My daughter is a four year old and she is so excited about school, and can't wait to start. I bet your students will be just as excited! Baking- there is nothing like a warm oven in a cold house, and then it smells of bread and cake and general deliciousness- for winter, it's perfect! The reason I wrote this list because I really needed some things to look forward to... autumn here is so depressing, and then, winter is often much of the same...


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