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!

That Time of Year

It’s that time of year when people are getting ready for the holidays, buying presents, decorating the house, preparing for guests.  Us? Not so much.  At least not yet.  Our holiday cheer is taking a beating.

If you’ve been following along with the story, first we were moving to London, then we weren’t, then DB would be unemployed here in NL since he quit his job to move to London, and now, dear readers, I’m going to be unemployed as well.  You know I never write about work in the blog, since it’s a damned small country here and it’s not a good idea to piss people off in a public forum (at least not yet; let’s wait and see how the end of this story really plays out).  But I will say that my lawyer is talking to their lawyer and hopefully we will all come out of this better off than we were two months ago.  Sigh.

Now, what do you do when your entire household will soon be without a job?  Go shopping of course!

We’d been wanting to buy some new kitchen pots for quite a while and with all the holiday sales going on, we decided now was the time.  We found these in a small lovely kitchen shop in Haarlem, regularly 380 euros on sale for 149 euros.  You can’t beat that.  They are stainless steel, built to last, safe to use everywhere, even the oven (except for the lids).

So, that’s our Christmas shopping out of the way!  Ha!

I also got a new iPhone 4S.  I’d been wanting get one since they were launched, but was waiting for…. well I don’t know what for.  A better price I guess.  I really wanted to get onto Vodafone’s network since they, and KPN, have the best network in the country.  T-Mobile is bloody slow and unreliable.  Telfort has a good phone network (they use KPN’s network), but their data traffic is the slowest of the lot.  Believe me, I’ve tried them all.  I was just very undecided if the quality of Vodafone was worth the premium price to me.

I built a business case spreadsheet.  I compared the price of ordering an unlocked phone from the US and having my mom send it to me.  I compared the 2 year cost of ownership in every configuration and carrier I could think of.  Until recently, getting a new 2 year contract with T-Mobile was the cheapest deal.  But then as of 2 days ago Vodafone dropped the price of the phone and is offering 4 months at half price for the service.  I plugged those new numbers into my spreadsheet and voila, Vodafone and T-Mobile were the same price over the 2 years!   Off I went to the Vodafone shop in Haarlem and came home with a lovely new white 16GB iPhone 4S.  Yea!

That’s the end of my toy shopping for the year.  I don’t need anything else.  I have to start being really conservative with money – from now on.  No clothes until I have a new job and need work clothes.  No shoes.  No tech toys.  No software.  No yarn – I have a house full!  No fancy dinners out – ok, maybe now and then dinner at an “eet cafe”.  We are so lucky to have all the great things that we have, and now is the time to appreciate what we have and realize that we don’t need a damned thing more.  Except jobs.