The first day is drawing to a close and the first bottle of wine has been opened. I am now in the mood to write!

Since Mary posted earlier, we have really organized ourselves and are pretty much set up as we would want. It’s coming up for 10 o’clock CET and we are under the awning waxing lyrical on numerous topics (none of which involves work!) and trying to come to terms with our new way of life. We drove into the local town this afternoon and shopped at the supermarket (Albert Heijn) which proved well-stocked and reasonably priced, learning several new dutch words as we examined the labels. I managed to avoid getting crushed by a train at the surprisingly open level crossing on the way back to the campsite so I am now quite clear as to the significance of those awfully fancy flashing red lights.

We filled the evening with a walk round the campsite and then the fiddly bit where I had to set up the satellite system. Probably got 7/10 for that because we briefly enjoyed the wonderful Jackie Bird on BBC  Scotland before the signal disappeared and I had a fruitless twenty minutes trying to get it back. I eventually stumbled on Hotbird 19 east and got perfect reception just in time to watch Magdeburg in the Champions League on ZDF Kanal Deutschland. There is a God!!

A brief tea/supper of Gouda on toast (don’t you just love that!) and a quick tidy of the caravan has led to us to stay out here under the awning while we post this comment. I should tell you that the DFDS crossing from Newcastle to Immeuden near Amsterdam was terrific and worth every penny although it wasn’t dear (about £220 for the car, caravan and an inside cabin for the both of us). We can totally recommend this crossing to you all and be assured that only a quarter of the passengers were bald, tattooed, heavy-smoking Geordie drunks! The second quarter were biker Goths the wrong side of 40 and the rest were pensioners in teenage clothes! Quite a sight really. Oh the flesh….. so much…Flesh!!

One last point. Being in the Netherlands is like being surrounded by a multitude of the Swedish Chef from the Muppets going by what we hear. But it’s still a total bummer how brilliantly they all speak our language while we, 2 languages teachers, can’t put a sentence together. And lastly, God, are they blond!!

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