Tippin' the Scales


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My Queensday

When I was younger, much younger, like 25 years ago I would go into town and celebrate with the masses. Then it was still a party that happened between Amsterdammers, nowadays around a million people from the sticks flock to the city and try to take it over.  Also driving through a crowd in a scooter/wheelchair is not my kind of fun, if I want to see belly buttons I’ll go to the beach. So everything you read in the post below I didn’t do.

HRH with a hawk, April 30, 2011.

Instead I watched the Royal Family on tour in Thorn and Weert on TV. Each year HRH selects a province and two villages/cities she’s going to visit on Queens Day. On the day those places show The Family what the people normally do to celebrate her birthday. Also you can get very close to Royalty, shake their hands, give them gifts, get your picture taken with or by a royal, or maybe you’re showing a street game and you hope the princes’ and princesses join in.

BTW, the Royal Family consists of two groups of people. The Royal House which is led by HRH Queen Beatrix also her son Willem Alexander and his wife Màxima and their children belong to the House. They are paid by the government. [of course not the kids they get pocket-money, like coins with Grannies head on it]

The rest of the Royal Family have to find a job to keep a roof over their head.

Back to My Queens Day. I left home around 17.00 / 5pm and picked up Corrie my friend and neighbor, together we looked at the left behind junk of the “free market” which is held in the shopping mall across the streets, the shops are closed except those were you can buy food and drinks. The evening before the city put down huge containers for the left behind junk and those were already full, maybe this year they exceed their 35 tons of picked-up rubbish. We took our time to walk/drive to Het Sluisje, on top of the sluices they build a podium where life music was played. Boy… what a fucking klote noise! Any way we had a couple of beers and went back towards home after an hour or so. So in a way we stayed away from the crowds in the city but joined the crowd in front of the café on the sluice.


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Once a Queen, Allways a Queen

Amsterdam’s Queen’s Day celebration of the masses in the Netherlands has spread into a night event as well. If you’re looking for a wildly exuberant party on April 30th, and are happy to dress in extravagant orange, then Queen’s Day, or “Koninginnedag,” is one of the world’s biggest street parties. There’s a sea of orange, with unique ideas for donning Netherland’s national colour, so pack your most outlandish orange outfit!

Holland’s Queen’s Day was dubbed a celebration way back on August 31st, 1885 with the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. Sixty-four years later after Queen Juliana’s accession into the world of royalty, Queen’s Day is officially celebrated on her birthday: April 30th.

Succeeding her mother, Queen Beatrice continues to call April 30th Queen’s Day in commemoration of her mother. Her official birthday is January 31st. Her heir, Crown prince Willem Alexander has his own one on April 27th but most of us are not worried he’ll change the date.

The celebration of Queen’s Day actually starts around 7 pm the night before and carries right on over to Queen’s Day. Walk the streets of the Nieuwmarkt and Jordaan areas for the perfect party. Two words of advice: pace yourself! You don’t want to miss out on the biggest street party because you had a few too many funky orange drinks the night before the real celebrations begin. As the night turns into day, join in on the fun of the “free market.” Slowly slither through the market crowds to find second-hand artifacts sold by locals anywhere and everywhere. Find the most outrageous bric-a-brac being sold by the locals, and be entertained by talented teenage rappers, street discos, pick-up bands, tantalizing street entertainers, and young and old aspiring opera singers. Hop on a boat and join in the madness of techno music, or check out one of the ten different stages with DJs spinning their tunes.

You will see it ALL on Queen’s Day. If you are more into the organized lifestyle of concerts, then head on over to Museumplein or Dam Square where huge outdoor concerts are held in an oh-so-orderly fashion!

Queen’s Day is a must to add to your list as the crazy orange memories made here will go down in the books for the biggest, wildest street party you will ever attend.


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That Was The Last…

Yesterday you saw the last Eat The Season Recipe. Together they make 52 recipes with Northern European seasonal produce. You still can download all the PDF’s that accompany that series. Starting next week… I  Holland Recipes on Thursday.

So better start looking for online addresses for Dutch food products when you live abroad.


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Update on Sick

I got home 60 minutes ago, it’s now well past 2 in the morning. I’m lucky I could still get a drive home with my scooter otherwise it would have turned out in two-hour drive on the scooter.

When I left at one this afternoon for my appointment at 3 I didn’t know things would be resolved so ‘quickly’. When I explained the symptoms and was ready to be taken into care, my diabetes specialist walked into another room and came back with my own internal diseases specialist. They wrote out two forms, one for an ECG [it’s still ticking] and one for blood-work. I could wait at the department till the results came back. A normal blood glucose level is around 5.5 mmol, mine was when I left home 25.6 mmol. After the blood check it had risen to 35.9 mmol, it would make a person half my size go in a comatose state of mind. Next to that I was way to low on natrium and clinically dehydrated.

Peter [Dr] made after closing time the necessary appointments with the ER where I had to check myself in on short notice. Here they gave me 2 litres of saline ‘juice’ and over the course of the evening 40 units of insulin. They only could let me go if I was below 15 mmol, which never happened while I was in ER. They didn’t want to keep me overnight as well… so a decision had to be made, releasing me untill it dropped lower than the 16.2 it showed, or giving me the benefit of the doubt, which they did. It also gave me some time to book a transporter to bring me and my scooter back home, their phone lines close at 11 and I just phoned them five minutes to the hour. It saved me a two-hour drive home and waiting for a ferry for half-an-hour for the trek of two minutes to the other side.

At home I checked my blood-glucose levels… 13.6 mmol.

Tomorrow morning I can send the results by email to the ones who helped me.

A big thank you! to my blogger friends from near and far for your kind words, here on the site or in a private email.

UPDATE [on an update?!]: Slept like a log with a few waking moments in which I drank some water. When I finally woke up this morning I was laying in a soaked bed. [No, Mark I know your line of thought, we’re very much alike in that, I didn’t spill water from the bottle]. I feel much, much better, and need to eat something next. But before that a shot of insulin to keep me going.


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Eat The Season – Watercress

Watercress Soup

Makes 6 servings

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

Shopping List:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 potato – peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds watercress, large stems removed
  • 1/4 cup whipped heavy cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup watercress leaves for garnish

TO MAKE:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the potato and onion, stirring to coat with the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, cover and heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and the milk, bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in the watercress and simmer, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until watercress is just cooked.
  6. In small batches, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  7. Return the soup to the pot, season to taste, and ladle into individual bowls.
  8. Top each serving with a dollop of crème fraiche, if desired and garnish with watercress leaves.

ENJOY !

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 161
Total Fat: 8.9g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Sodium: 477mg
Total Carbs: 14.8g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7g
Protein: 7.3g

PDF of this recipe: 04-4_Eat_The_Season_Watercress


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Sick

My blood sugar levels are way of the scales. I can hardly move within my home, have to hold on to the walls. Putting in extra insulin makes it only worse. Have to see my specialist tomorrow, maybe she knowns whats going on.

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