Saturday, October 30, 2010
So I am spending the weekend in Apeldoorn, as I should now do every second week.... and it is raining, which my Italian colleagues tell me is normal. I went to Amersfoort today and was rained on, which shortened my exploration of the town somewhat. I did check out the yarn and embroidery store, but did not buy anything, as it was incredibly crowded and I couldn't really get to see what was there. I consoled myself by buying a new Verena sock knitting magazine at the railway station - in Dutch, so it will be interesting to see how I go. Although I am getting quite good at work terminology already, so maybe it will not be so hard to learn knitting terms as well.

I am fairly appalled by some people at work, who have been there for years and do not speak Dutch. But everything we do has an English translation, so I suppose there may not be an incentive for them. Some of the Italians (who have only been there a few months) are going to Dutch lessons, I must find out where, as it would interest me as well.

Apeldoorn is not exactly the most exciting place, although it is quite pretty, with the woods. The shops are not bad for ordinary things, and there's a lot of restaurants. I had rather a good Greek meal on Thursday night. It's funny, I've seen two Israeli restaurants here as well, I must try them, as I love Israeli food.

We moved to another building at work this week, and the main feature of the new one is that I cannot get into it until I have my card, which may take weeks, or even months - every day I have to sit in reception until someone comes to get me, which is a massive waste of time. I did throw a minor fit about this ("well, perhaps I should just go home again"), so they are trying to hurry it up, and there are also about six other people that this is affecting. The reception is a long way from where we work as well, so managers are trekking miles to pick everyone up every day. We also trek miles to get our lunch, but the cantine is better than in the other building.

I am still in this hotel and may be forever, since, despite the vast numbers of empty apartments that I notice in this town, our housing people can only propose to me a very few that are vastly expensive and beyond the budget. No idea why, and they are terribly pushy about it, almost bullying, when they say I should ask for permission to exceed the budget. As I know this will not be forthcoming, I am not impressed and I am about to throw a fit about that one too. I don't mind being in the hotel at present, but it is a bit isolated - there are no hotels in the centre of Apeldoorn - and I have to catch two buses to work and two buses back. At least there is a swimming pool on the roof. I was there this afternoon after returning from Amersfoort.

I am about to get into a nice warm bath full of bath oil and soak for a while, before settling down to a thrilling evening of stitching, knitting and tv! During the night, we will go on to winter time, second time this year I have experienced that.
posted by Ally at 7:33 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Monday, October 25, 2010
Apeldoorn Again
So here I am in the Netherlands again... finally I got the work permit, so yesterday I travelled on the Thalys to Schiphol and from there on the regular train to Apeldoorn. Not actually the regular train that I was supposed to, as the Thalys was late and I missed that! But at least the trains are every half an hour, so I could just catch the next one.

I'm staying at a different hotel this time, and this one is nicer, slightly further from the office, but off the main road, so I can sleep much better, and the bathroom is great - it has a separate walk-in shower, instead of having to climb in and out of the bath to have a shower. The food in the restaurant is also a lot better, it seems, not so much "chips with everything" as in the other hotel. Last night I had a salad with mushrooms and bacon, it was really rather nice.

There is also a swimming pool which I shall investigate after work. I'm going to have to entertain myself here, since all the other people have apartments or don't even live in this town and travel a long way every day - so no-one to have dinner with. I will also be staying the weekend, but I have plans to go to the next town on Saturday, since there seems to be a good shop there which has both knitting and embroidery things. And of course I must visit the Palace of Het Loo, since it is right next door.
posted by Ally at 11:29 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Some New Finishes
Firstly, I have assembled the little needlebook from LHN that I stitched some time ago - here it is, with needles and scissors:
I now have to assemble the matching stitcher's pocket, which I hope to do next weekend - I think I will use this set for my travelling stitching.

And here is the scarf I knitted in New Zealand, I have just sewed in the ends:
It's a very simple pattern, with ridges of garter stitch among the stocking stitch, and it took one ball of Noro Kureyon sock yarn.
And finally, a little bag from a new Louisa Harding booklet:
This only took a week and a bit to knit, then yesterday I assembled it - there is a felt lining in there to give it some body. I like the Louisa Harding bags, each of her books has at least one, and I quite often make them, although I don't use them really, just treat them as decorative objects.
I'm still at home and totally frustrated by it, particularly since the weather has packed up big time. Last Sunday I spent half the afternoon sitting in the garden at Les Invalides knitting, since it was so warm, about 25 degrees. I wouldn't dream of doing this today, as it's possibly 12 degrees and very nippy out there. Tomorrow it is going to be very cold, and I have to go to the office, unfortunately, as I am being harassed by accountants, who want me to send them all sorts of things, including my Australian visa number. I've only told them about fifty times that I don't have one, because I don't need a visa, but that seems to be too hard for them to grasp.
Now I'm off to look for something else to do in the rest of Sunday, preferably from beneath my duvet, which is the warmest place around here!

posted by Ally at 5:55 pm ¤ Permalink ¤ 0 comments
Monday, October 04, 2010
Still At Home
This is the start of my third week of working at home, and it is not something I want to do much longer. I must be totally abnormal, because it seems that all of my colleagues would like nothing better than to work from home for ever - in Tallin, they were complaining that they only worked from home one week out of three, and in the Netherlands they are complaninig even more, because we can only go home two weekends a month and never work from home, except in special cases, as mine is at present.

But I miss sitting in an office and having people around me, it is not at all the same at home - no cantine for lunch, no bus to be a separation between work and home. And my place is small too, so there are no corridors to walk up and down while I am thinking about some problem. It's also hard because there's no-one ot discuss problems with, I have to try and get all information by email, so some people must be thinking I am a terrible pest by now!

I do hope I will hear this week when I can go back to the real world!
posted by Ally at 11:11 am ¤ Permalink ¤ 1 comments