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Prinsjesdag 2015 – The Best Parade of Hats on the Web

This hat and coordinated outfit got best in show by the blog from RTL News. Visit their site (linked to photo) for more.

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Princess Laurentien’s hat’s flair could not compete with the elegance of her dress which left her husband, Prince Constantijn the younger brother of the King, in shadow by comparison. (Photo ©KristinKingAuth – Permissions by Request)

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Royal Footmen (?) and horseman for the Golden Carriage (Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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Maybe the military and ceremonial hats are the same every year, but the best parade of hats should include them. (Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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Carraige Coachman salutes with his whip in a classic tricorn hat with tassels. (Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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A member of the media. (Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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My photo of RTL News’s winning hat. (Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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(Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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(Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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(Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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(Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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The home made children’s hats were great as well. (Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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Some of these shots are blurry or edged in by folks who stood in front of me, but even this allows us to learn something. Hats shot from a distance were typically on those associated with the Senate. House members and their guest entered right beside our  risers. So who do you think had the better hats?

 

(All images except the one noted are © KristinKingAuth – Contact for Permission to Use)

(Photo © KristinKingAuth - Permission to Use by Request Only)

(Photo © KristinKingAuth – Permission to Use by Request Only)

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Posted by on September 15, 2015 in Events, Living in Holland

 

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Unexpected Rings (Holland Expat)

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.33.35 AMWith the diamond capital of the world not far away in Antwerp, our wedding anniversary around the corner, and LOTR always on our minds, you might expect this post to be about jewelry. Not so. Unfortunately.

The unexpected rings in the Netherlands are at the front door and they are numerous. Does the closed gate at the top of the driveway give pause? Nope. How about two big dogs running toward said gate barking their heads off? Nope. I think the only way to bypass this part of the expat experience is to do away with the front door.

In our first few months here it was often helpful folks at the door. For instance, the team that cleaned the windows for the previous tenant dropped by with their card. The neighbors came with a bouquet of flowers to welcome us and have us over for coffee. The police rang to inquire about a break-in on our street, had we heard or seen anything around 11pm the night before.

In the US we might have the occasional unexpected knock from missionaries–haven’t seen them in Holland yet, though I’ll be sure to invite them to my church as usual. So who’s at the door? (Anyone else humming a song now?) Usually charitable solicitation folks for animal rescues, refugees, Doctors without Borders, etc. You name it, they’ve been by my house. Their visits are not only legal but encouraged. Ones with locked piggy banks want a bit of change. No biggie. Ones with paperwork want to sign you up for a monthly gift via direct bank transfer. (Highly discouraged by our boss.) Ones carrying nothing, well…they might have just hit your car.

At Dutch culture class I asked our local instructor if I was expected to answer the door or if I could hidey-hole away and ignore the ringing summons. “Oh no, you should answer.” She said, “Why not? It would be rude not to.”

Huh. Funny how the ringers didn’t think it might be rude to interrupt what I was doing. Oh–there’s the door bell again. Gutter drainage cleaners will be blocking my driveway for the next few hours. Too bad that won’t keep the ringers away.

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 Kristin King is an author, publisher, mother of 4 sons, president of a nonprofit, and American expat living in Holland. She’s got nothing going on that someone should worry about interrupting. Her first book series, Begotten Bloods (BB), is paranormal romance/suspense.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2015 in Living in Holland

 

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Holland Week 2.5 – My Bike Wreck

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.21.23 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.41.43 AMI remember being astounded the first time I saw a 5 deck parking garage exclusively for bikes.

This is Holland.

In our little town the main thoroughfares have bike lanes and I rule the road when I sit astride my borrowed two-wheel vehicle. Cars must yield the right of way and even pedestrians stop before my lane to give way. This is the law.  Where no bike lane exists, I boldly enter traffic between cars on the road expecting everyone (except for the numerous expats who are new to the country) to watch out for me.

I go to market every other day, buying only what will fit in my saddlebags and back-pack. I am watching the more experienced riders, how they signal, where they park, what security is necessary for my ride while I peruse the bakery or search for recognizable items from my list on the grocery shelves.

One feat I have yet to match is the stop-if-you-have-to-but-never-put-more-than-a-toe-down maneuver.  Grab the signal post or nearby pole. Hold onto your buddy. Your chosen conveyance won’t even lean if you put that one toe down on the raised curb (see photo).

Unfortunately I have not mastered the most simple stop.

After storing a mental image from Mappy of how I would go from my house to Den Haag, I noted the time on my chosen cycle route (car, bus, bike or by foot are your choices–a great feature on Mappy) was 42 minutes. Would I beat that time? It’s been years since I spent regular hours on a Huffy. Perhaps more time would be required to make my afternoon appointment that I dressed for in a long skirt, sandals, calf-length spanks, and coordinating top covered with a barn-coat which would stow neatly in my saddle bags upon arrival.

I set out with barely a second glance for the sky which threatened rain by sending sprinkles (not enough to warrant an umbrella in the Netherlands). Twenty minutes later on the two-directional bike lane by the highway I wrecked.

Blame the skirt.

Blame inexperience.

I braked with my right hand (always cognizant of slowing the rear tire before the front–I’d witnessed the other option going horribly wrong before) and with the same hand then reached for the post. I got a good hold in time to realize my forward motion was continuing. It swung me to the right as if I might circle the moon and shoot out the other side. My bike attempted to go forward with my bottom half, and I released the pole in time to topple into the cushion of tall weeds and grasses–no wrenching my right arm back.

You know how it is. The scramble back to your feet. Half shaking, fully embarrassed as a line of car drivers waiting at the red light watches to see if the strange woman would recover or was too seriously injured. Okay, maybe you don’t know how that in particular is, but I think most of us have been there and done that in some capacity.

You can image my relief when my light and theirs turned green and the onlookers out-paced me in seconds. I thought Hopefully no one I know saw me.

Further along through the trees to my right I saw the largest alpaca on the planet and a beautiful crane, some distant cousin of the heron back home, perched in the canal so close I could make out the patterns of his blue-feathered spots against his silky, white suit. No one in the cars even knew he was there.

Majestic.

Beautiful.

God’s creatures great and small encourage me to take the long way home, the slower way, even though the buses are clean, efficient and less prone to embarrass or injure. From a perch on a tall bicycle I know I will see so much more of this land, and I feel a glow inside rain or shine.

Although, maybe next time I’ll stow the skirt and slip it on upon arrival.  

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Kristin King is an author, publisher, adoptive mother, military spouse, dog-lover, follower of Jesus, etc. currently settling into life in The Netherlands. She usually blogs about books and writing.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Living in Holland, Moments

 

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