Some things just don’t translate. “On the go” is probably one of those things. Louis has a great tshirt that says “Pardon my French” on the front and “Obtenez Perdu” on the back – literally ‘get lost’… but meaningless in french, or more like ‘gain lose’.

I keep getting frustrated at the inconsistencies in french. I’ve been here for nine months; it should make more sense already! For example…

je t’aime means I love you and je t’aime bien means I like you.

j’aime croissants means I like croissants and j’aime bien croissants means I like croissants a lot.


Anyway, thus endeth my rant. French lesson today went very well really, considering how tired I was. I had a big nap just before the lesson and felt half-asleep the entire time. Feeling good now though. Hurrah for lots of sleep and only a moderate amount of coffee. Elena is still sleeping through the night. Win!

It’s been days and days since I posted, for two reasons, either one of which would not keep me from blogging on its own, but with their powers combined they are captain-blog-stopper!

(Apologies if that makes no sense – reference to fantastic 90s children’s tv show – Captain Planet, whose theme is now stuck in my head…

– my gift to you: you can have it stuck in your head too!)

Anyway, my two reasons are:

a) predictably, nanowrimo has begun and my words-per-day have been absorbed into non-blogging writing, and,

b) we went to the Netherlands for the long weekend.

And here are lots of photos, starting on Wednesday with a little halloween silliness.

Hansel & Gretel, of sorts. I’m the witch, of sorts. Louis refused to take off his nikes or let go of the soccer ball, which detracted somewhat from the effect I was going for. Elena’s costume was the best – two dresses my sister once wore, though never together.

 What a feast! I ate most of those carrot sticks. And a lot of pineapple. Yum. (I’m actually not being sarcastic. I had maybe one lolly and it was not as exciting. There’s something wrong with me.)

My contribution: cheese muffins with scary faces. Lame? Sure, maybe, but yum.

And then, next day, we got in the car and drove to Maastricht. And while we drove I wrote the first few pages of my nanowrimo novel.

Once upon a time I got car sick. I have developed adult asthma and eczema, but I grew out of car-sickness. So that’s something.

We stopped at this place on the road north last time: Not a life-changing breakfast, but a pretty damn good children’s play area (ah, how priorities have changed).

We got to Maastricht just in time to catch the boat along the river Maas, just in time to get to the last “grotten” (like grotto) tour at St Petersburg (the tallest hill in the Netherlands). We basically wanted to stay in Maastricht just to visit these caves – 250kms worth of mined limestone tunnels which were used for smuggling and hiding during the war.

It was good weather to head underground…

they found dinosaur bones in these caves (once upon a time) and painted pictures of dinosaurs for the tourists – gotta love an honest guide.

The guide spoke dutch and Luuk translated bits and pieces for me. I mostly looked at the walls, tried to take a few photos, and then tried to placate a grumpy baby.

Elena cheered up after she’d been fed, on the boatride back to the center of the city. Louis wasn’t interested in the delicious hot chocolate we got him (trying to warm his shivering bones), but cuddles with the baby may have had a similar effect.

Okay, so we didn’t just go to Maastricht for the caves; it’s also a very cool, very old city. And the weather cleared up in the evening. Perfect.

We were wiped out from travel and exploring… so we had room service (a first for Luuk – very exciting) and then he crashed. I typed up my 1st of November words. Not enough, but c’est la vie.

More pics from our trip in the next installment… I’m still a bit behind on my nanowrimo word count but I’m not worried. Finished days early the last couple of times and I have a handy-dandy daily writing habit already, which makes the whole venture a bit easier for me than for most others. Some days it’ll be just a few hundred (today-cough) and other days it’ll be finger-achingly-awesome.

But right now, it’s bedtime. Nap, or no nap, I’m pooped!

3 thoughts to “on the go

  • Marie-Rose

    St Petersburg is in Russia. The hill near Maastricht is called Pietersberg. The 2010 Perry Reunion that we and L&J attended was at Slavante, a bit higher up the hill than the entrance to the grotten. We also went on the guided tour.

    • amy

      Thanks! Yes, I suspected my spelling was off – but Luuk didn’t correct me! It is pronounced the same to my ear.

  • Wiedie

    Aah, meat, cheese and pineapple chunks on toothpicks, so European! Great childhood memories there…

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