Archive

Monthly Archives: March 2013

A long cherished wish came true last weekend. For years I wished to see Dublin some day, but somehow there has always been a reason for not booking that trip. I’m having that wish for such a long time (at least 20 years…), that I don’t even remember what made me wish to see Dublin. Probably it was because I was a massive U2-fan when I was a teenager… ;-).
It took a while….actually it took ages, but I finally booked that trip together with a friend and we went to Dublin last weekend. My things-to-do-before-I-die-list became a little bit shorter, although…I added a new thing to it when I got back home again…I want to go back to Dublin some day, cause it is a great city!!

First of all it was great to have some time off. Away from day-to-day matters, not having to take care of the kids, no need to hurry, just some time to do whatever we want to do.
So Friday morning a week ago we got on the plane that would bring us to Dublin. It was a pretty good flight until the landing started. That landing was pretty scary…Actually…I haven’t experienced such a scary landing before… Sure I was telling myself to stay calm, everything would be alright and the pilot would get that plane safely on the ground, but just before the plane landed I looked at the stewardess…and the fearful look on her face didn’t make me feel more comfortable….
In fact, I was happy that half a minute later the plane was on the ground and we arrived in Dublin safely…

SAMSUNG

It rained when we arrived…Dublin seemed pretty sad seeing us coming… 😉
Rain or not, we were having a whole weekend ahead in this city and rain couldn’t keep us from having a great time anyway. In the bus that brought us from the airport to the city centre I remembered why I love visiting other countries. In this case Ireland, it’s only a one and a half hour flight from Amsterdam and I was stepping into a completely different world than what I’m used to. I’ve never been to the UK or Ireland before so traffic driving left is the first thing to notice. Of course I knew it, but during those few days in Dublin I didn’t get used to it… Every time we had to cross a road I was confused which side to look at… Actually…to me crossing the street felt like a perilous mission. Luckily Dublin helped me on that 😉

SAMSUNG

Within 20 minutes we were at the city centre. Got off the bus and it was a miracle that we didn’t get lost right away since we’re both having a poor sense of direction… We found the hotel pretty soon and checked in. The hotel was located at a perfect place at the north side of Dublin, close to the Custom House.
The next few days went by so fast! We did what probably all tourists do in Dublin, visited famous places in Dublin like Connolly Street, The G.P.O., Trinity College, Grafton Street, St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Halfpenny Bridge and of course went to the Temple Bar area for dinner and to visit some pubs.
Besides that we also went to Killiney, a seaside suburb located 10 km south of Dublin. We walked up Killiney Hill and were rewarded with beautiful, impressive views. It’s so beautiful out there!

SAMSUNG SAM_6100 SAM_5934  SAM_5946 SAMSUNGSAM_5932 SAM_5960.1 SAMSUNG SAM_6080 SAM_6094 SAM_5924 SAMSUNGSAM_6068 SAM_6062 SAM_6052 SAM_6039

This weekend also reminded me of how tall Dutch people actually are 🙂
I’m 5 ft 10 and that’s a normal lenght for a woman in the Netherlands, but for sure it isn’t a normal length for a woman in Ireland. At some point, when we were in a pub, someone even came up to me saying: “You’re so tall! Where are you from?” Told the man that I came from “The land of giants” and that was the end of our little chat 😉 It was kind of awkward to be abroad and immediately recognise the Dutch people only by their length.

One weekend, having loads of fun, experiencing a different world was great!
At the airport waiting for our flight back home my friend said that if we could take home one good thing from every country we visit, we would live in an awesome place.
She asked me what good thing I would take home from Ireland. I had to think about it for a moment, cause while we were there I’ve experienced several good things.

Some things were just strikingly different from The Netherlands. For example the kind and polite approach in every shop, restaurant or other place we went to. I’m feeling embarrassed to say this, but The Dutch can learn a lot from that. A kind and polite approach should be normal, but it’s not normal anymore in the Netherlands. It’s even worse, cause I’m not even surprised anymore to  walk into a store and being helped by someone who’s pretty bored and shows how much he/she doesn’t like her/his job. I haven’t seen bad customer service in Dublin. The approach from people in shops, restaurants etc. was so kind and polite… Sure they could be bored, but didn’t show it.
This is one thing I wanted to bring home.

But I had to choose and no surprise I chose to bring home the music.
Experiencing the music in Dublin was great! Bands/musicians playing on the streets is something you won’t find in The Netherlands. Only in Amsterdam you will see it. Live music in a pub is not very common as well. When I want to visit a pub with live music, I’ll have to search for it cause I won’t find that around the corner. But instead of seeing the good aspects of music people here tend to complain about music being played on the streets, cause either it’s not the music they would like to hear or it’s too noisy… I really wish the Dutch would be more music minded!  Music brings people together, music makes people happy and music brings so much joy!!

SAMSUNG SAM_6121 SAM_6118 SAM_5963

With that thought I flew back home….taking home new experiences, great memories….and Munchies 🙂 (We don’t have them in the Netherlands and I couldn’t resist buying some Munchies to take home with me.)
Dublin was saying goodbye to us by showing some sunshine, the only sunshine we’ve seen in those few days….maybe Dublin was happy to see us leave? 😉
A few hours later I was back home….back in the world I’m used to, back to the people I love.
I sat down with a glass of wine. Normally I would put on some music, but not this time. Somehow I just needed silence… Silence to think back of a great weekend….

 

A few weeks ago The Folk Remedy started following me on Twitter. And of course a music junk like me just has to check out the music. 😉
The first song I heard was “Such a hold on me”, wich is a free track that you can download here:

 

Listening to this song was enough to get me even more curious and making me want to check out more.

The Folk Remedy is a three-piece Manchester based band formed in 2012. Band members are Matt Whoriskey (vocals/guitar), Maria Bonner (violin/backing vocals) and Rob Ryle (lead guitar). The sound of the band is a fusion of indie, rock, country and folk. Their debut EP “Sirens” (5-track EP) is just released. The songs on that EP already were positively received by the media and resulted in air time on radio stations across the UK, including a live session on BBC Radio Manchester. Once listened to the EP, I wasn’t surprised by the positive feedback the band got from the media. It’s a great EP with a nice variety of songs. Well written songs about love, loss, dreams and life; all having a different sound. An EP that makes you want to hear more!

And there is more! What a surprise to find out that The Folk Remedy not only writes songs in English! Matt Whoriskey also speaks fluent German and wrote some songs in German as well:
http://noisetrade.com/thefolkremedy/ich-denke-an-dich

This is definitely a band to watch out for!
You can download (track 5 is a free track) and listen to the “Sirens” EP on bandcamp:

 

Want to know more about The Folk Remedy? Check out their website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter:
http://www.thefolkremedy.com/#!home/mainPage
https://twitter.com/TheFolkRemedy
https://www.facebook.com/TheFolkRemedy

 

 

 

Recently I bumped into some great Dutch musicians/bands. Music that really needs to be shared! So it’s about time to write about it.

Johan Borger

Johan Borger, a Dutch singer/songwriter, released his second album “Wild Geese Calling” in november 2012. A while ago I listened to this album for the first time and it grabbed me. Beautifully written songs with an american folk sound about the innocence of childhood, growing up, memories, desire and hope.

Links:
www.johanborger.nl
https://twitter.com/JohanBorgerr
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Johan-Borger/108469462552900

Cloudmachine

Cloudmachine is a Dutch band centered around songwriter Ruud Houweling. Some critics consider him as one of Hollands best songwriters. Recently Cloudmachine released the album “A Gentle Sting”. What a great album it is! Guitar pop songs written in a beautiful way. Songs about loss, pain, hope, life.

Links:
www.cloudmachine.nl
https://twitter.com/Cloudmachine
https://www.facebook.com/Cloudmachine

Take time to listen to this great Dutch music!! 🙂
Enjoy!!