Amsterdam 2016

I had a great time in The Netherlands again and managed to revisit much of Amsterdam, Den Haag and Delft. Sadly a chest infection and some bad blisters on my feet put paid to some other planned trips. My consolation was and will be two-fold, First I had to take it easy, for the latter part of my trip, in the many canal-side cafes and bars of Amsterdam. Second,  I will have to revisit the country to see the places I missed out on this time.

Please click on the photo to see some shots of the fantastic places in the glorious sunshine I visited.



Well with remarkable (although entirely unplanned) timing, I’m just off to Amsterdam and Beyond for a week and spotted that I’ve been learning Dutch for a year on Duolingo. Now I should put it in practice. Pity the Dutch ears!


Death List – Guy Hamilton


With the death of Bond film director Guy Hamilton, my last man standing death list is now down to the “final table,” the last ten.

They are:

Carol Channing 94
Clifton James 94
Fats Domino 87
Kirk Douglas 98
Liz Dawn 75
Liz Smith 93
Olivia De Havilland 99
Prince Philip 93
Billy Graham 96
Zsa Zsa Gabor 97

It could be years yet before the last one succumbs.

Death List – Nancy Reagan


I feel 2016 could be the year. Thanks Nancy for the point – go join Ronnie in that great ranch in the sky. Bye.


I’m an undecided, wavering towards staying in. In times like these I ask myself, what would Sir Humphrey advise?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last 500 years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it’s worked so well?

James Hacker: That’s all ancient history, surely.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn’t work. Now that we’re inside we can make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it’s just like old times.

James Hacker: Surely we’re all committed to the European ideal.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Really, Minister. [laughs]

James Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the United Nations, in fact. The more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up. The more futile and impotent it becomes.

James Hacker: What appalling cynicism.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Yes. We call it diplomacy, Minister.

Driehonderd dagen

Ik heb Nederlands voor driehonderd dagen geleerd!


Anne Frank Huis

Ticket bought now for the Anne Frank Huis – only a 15 minute period though, so early to bed on the 9th.



Death List – Frank Kelly



Father Jim Sutton: Why is it always the good ones? You BASTARD! (shakes fist to Heaven) He could’ve been Pope! No no no, he’s dead Ted awww we’ll never see him again!
Father Ted: We’ll see him in the next world.
Father Jim Sutton: Oh yeah, sure!!

I had marked Frank out as the one most likely to win my Death List by being the last man standing, and as the second youngest on that list at 77 I had hoped he would make it. But sadly no. 38 down and 12 remaining.