Week 2 – code red weather

Time is passing fast and week two is already done. Very clearly, moving from London to Amsterdam is not for the weather. Take standard London weather and times the rate of change by two, add wind (lots of it) and you have the Amsterdam standard.

Code red warning

One morning, after successfully fighting the wind on my bicycle, I arrived in the office and felt quite wobbly. I never have blood pressure issues and was wondering what is up. Suddenly my colleague said, is it just me or is the building swaying in the wind? And indeed, it wasn`t my blood pressure the building was swaying markedly in the 100 kph plus winds. 

After a short moment of panic I thought, the building is standing for 20 years, we are fine. The weather turned so bad that the North Sea was pushed inland and all flood defences had to be closed, the first time in decades. 

You would now expect public life to come to a standstill, considering that as a Londoner you are used to public transport failing for leafs, snow, too much sun and all sorts of other reasons. But no, everybody just carried on. 

Last Thursday we had another massive storm which took roofs of buildings and unfortunately three people died due to the storm. This was one of the 10 worst storms since recording started in the Netherlands and lots of trees fell over and as a result on tracks. All public transport had to be cancelled and still, people just got on with it. 

The climate is changing, we are in for a ride

The move to the Netherlands made me think much more about our way of living as a family in regards to the environment. We will be going for an electric car, more public transport, less plastic and so on. The environment is a much more present topic here and rising sea levels will have a major impact on the country which to a large degree is below sea level. But just watching the weather from crazy snow to 13 degrees in January, to two of the worst storms within a week, back to snow, and high degrees from next week – something is clearly wrong. Can somebody please make sure the man in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is starting to understand? 

Other news

Well, schooling for the kids is sorted, I will write another blog post about this as we went full circle on our decision on that. Next week the main priority is to secure a family home as Kory and the boys will arrive in just over 60 days. 

Week 1: Talk to Strangers and see each other naked

Unbelievable, I just had my first full week living in the Netherlands, after 10 years in London. The most important measure for the week, nearly 70 km spent cycling commuting to and back from the office and actually enjoying it, not just trying to survive as in London.

It is okay to talk to strangers

The first thing you realise in the morning is that everybody says good morning. Whether that is somebody coming in the changing room in the gym or people coming into the lift. I just had mastered the skill of not looking at anybody in a totally packed (tube) train and suddenly strangers speak to me. Obviously, I can understand my English friends – what do you do if a stranger hasn`t been officially introduced to you?

eGym – get fit in the cloud

Speaking of the gym, that was a very unusual `welcome back to Europe` experience. All was fine until I entered the shower room. No cubicles!!! Just hoses coming out of the wall. I nearly forgot that Europeans are less worried about being seen naked. Obviously, as everything has an app in Amsterdam so have the gym machines. Everything is computer controlled even how much weight I have to push. eGym is 45 min of being chased around a circuit-training setup of 8 machines by a computer, naturally cloud-based. Perfect for the morning!

All my friends smile about my 70km cycled this week as apparently all is flat and easy. Definitely, there is no Greenwich hill to climb but 80km/h winds!

Moving date is set

So, back to London for the weekend. Kory and the kids have now a moving date! We will all be in Amsterdam from the end of March! After ticking off BSN (burgerservicenummer), mastering the local health insurance system and getting a bank account, I have to sort out schooling next week!