Say Goodbye

I expect that today was the last day of warm beach weather this year.  Tomorrow will be cloudy, maybe rainy, definitely cooler.  And it’s probably downhill from there.  So right after work today I drove directly to the beach, to Zandvoort.  It’s only about 35 minutes from office parking lot to beach parking lot.

There were lots of cars and people still enjoying the last of the sun.

I walked for almost an hour, north and then south, and by the time I was back to where I started it was getting a little hazy. The sun was heading down like the final curtain on summer’s stage.

Goodbye summer. I’ll miss you.

In Other News

This morning DB and I left the house at 8am to bike to the beach.  It was cool and a little drizzly when we left but the drizzle didn’t last long.

We biked our usual route to Parnassia beach, 10k door to door, through the dunes.  This year, because of the very mild winter, we see so many bunnies in the dunes! We must have seen 16-18 of them, without even trying, which is 10x more than usual.

The plan was to have drinks and croissants at the beach restaurant, then head back home right away.  We had a busy day ahead.  But we got there at 8:40 and they weren’t open yet.  So we went down to the beach and kicked a ball around for a while.  We found the ball on the beach.

It was so quiet! There were only dog people there, and us.  And even then only about a dozen people in total and just as many dogs.  The clouds were dark and impressive.

When we left, our bikes were still the only bikes in the parking area.  I’ve never seen it so quiet, even in the winter!

This afternoon we started getting ready for the big kitchen rebuilding.  We took everything out of the cabinets and put it all in plastic tubs and on the dining table.  Tomorrow we’ll empty the fridge and cover everything in plastic.  Monday morning begins two weeks of camping upstairs.  It’s going to be annoying, but the final result will be so worth it.  I’ll be sure to take in process photos during the 2 weeks.

Good-bye red kitchen! I won’t miss you at all!

Parnassia in May

We were at the beach before the crowds today.  Actually we were surprised at how quiet it was.  I went for a 5k run and DB sat at a table at Parnassia strandtent as he was recovering from a night with friends in Haarlem.  And his long run will be tomorrow.  Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day in the dunes and at the beach.

I did the usual 5k loop and even in that small distance I saw bunnies (too fast to photograph), 3 groups of highland cattle, 2 groups of wild horses, a shetland pony, lots of furry caterpillars, lots of birds and waterfowl.

I’m sure that tomorrow, Sunday, there will be traffic jams getting to the beach and back.  It’s a lovely place to come hang out or walk around or just sit and read or knit and drink coffee.  But come early or come by bike or train.  But definitely come.

Windy Beach Selfie

Windy Beach Selfie

Notice anything different on the blog?  New theme (again)? If that’s all you notice then I’ve done a good job of migrating from WordPress.org to WordPress.com.

Why did I bother?  Several reasons. Blogging became more of an IT chore than an enjoyable self expression exercise. I needed up upgrade myself.  And fight spam. And if I wanted to change the theme I had to worry myself about compatibility and quality of the theme. Not to mention paying for a host and worrying about backups.  All I want to do is make this blogging easy and fun.  If it’s not easy and fun I just won’t find the enthusiasm to continue.  I needed a change.

I looked into tumblr, which looks like a fantastic platform for simple blogging and the networking and social aspects look really interesting.  However, I couldn’t import my 6.5 YEARS worth of blog posts and I didn’t want to lose them or split them into two platforms. That would be stupid. Seems like I’m kind of invested now in WordPress.

So after playing around a bit yesterday with WordPress.com I decided to move everything over here and give this a try.  I exported and then imported all my posts and then I moved my domain name to point to this site and off we go! Easy peasy.

I’ve got this set up so that a copies is also posted at a tumblr blog for underdutchskies and also sends a tweet and Facebook post. I’m everywhere.

Let me know if you see anything strange, or anything you miss or even anything you like!

I’ve also decided that as of next weekend I’ll be posting a weekly Knitting News on Saturdays.  I might not always be specifically about knitting if I’ve been spending time sewing or other crafts, but it will be a craft focused post showing what I’ve been working on during the past week.  There is always crafty news.  I’m always crafting.

So, new year, new energy to carry on with the blog.  I hope you stick around to see how it develops!

(btw, the photo above was taken this morning at the beach (Parnassia). I’m wearing my lovely orange hat which I definitely needed!)

Windy Day at the Beach

Windy Day
Windy Day

As we often do on Sundays, we went to the beach and dunes for a run/walk.  He ran, I walked.  And I took some photos.  It was sunny and cold and very windy.

The wind made interesting relief sculptures out of small stones and shells.

wind sculptures

I haven’t seen any animals here for quite a while.  I don’t know where they are hiding! I see lots of sheep and cattle poop, but not the animals themselves.  I did find a hole in the side of a hill where I think the fox lives.  Maybe I’ll have to do a stakeout and see if he comes out.

trees in dunes
winter lake

Summer So Far

This has been the best summer weather we’ve had since I moved here 10 years ago.  At least in my opinion it’s the best.  Some people are complaining about the heat, but for me it’s wonderful to be able to actually wear summer clothes!  Normally I get my shorts out of the closet about 5 days per year.  Since the first of July we’ve had mostly sun and heat.

I’ve been biking to the beach a lot these days.  It’s helps that I’m unemployed.  OK, it helps to have the time for fun things, but there’s a definite down side (moola).  (And that is all coming to an end… more news later.)

Here are some sights from my trips around, on the bike and on foot, to the beach and back.

This little frog was seen on a street in Bloemendaal, during an early morning walk/run.

A typical sight here – Mom with a couple of kids, on bikes, going as fast as the kid’s little legs will go.

Parnassia, early Thursday morning.  Pretty quiet.  But it’s early still.

Wild horses hanging out in the noonday sun.  Seems like a hot place to be if you ask me.

Parnassia Friday morning 11:00am.  People streaming down to the beach.  The parking lot is sure to be full by now.

The horses and cattle have moved to the “lake”, now a watering hole for animals in the dunes.  Seems like a good place to be in this heat.

My last free days of summer will see more trips into the dunes, that’s for sure.  It’s been too warm for me to do any running.  These trips on the bike are all early in the morning.  We’re all trying to beat the heat.  And will remember these lovely summer days long into the cold dark winter to come.

Beat the Heat

We’ve been having a heat wave! Our weather has certainly gone from one extreme to the other.  Everyone has been heading to the beach this past week or so.  And so have we.  We try to beat the heat and beat the crowds by going early.  For example, this morning we biked to the beach and got there around 9am.  Here’s what it looked like:

DB went for a run.  I sat at the cafe at Parnassia and had coffee and a croissant and did some knitting….

When DB finished his run we went down to the beach and hung out for a while.  We dunked ourselves in the sea.  When we left at 11:30 the same part of the beach looked like this….

And people were pouring down to the beach.  We were salmon swimming against the tide as we walked up the hill to leave.  While biking home we passed this handsome swan family.  I thought I should take their picture.

Tomorrow should be cooler.  I’m planning to do some yarn dyeing so it had better be cooler!  I’m hoping for rain tonight so I don’t have to water the garden tomorrow.  Stay tuned….