On Saturday 29th July 2017, I had the pleasure of experiencing LIMBO, an original Australian circus-caberet that has spent the summer performing at Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago Rozengracht theater.
Created by an Australian production company, but with a multicultural cast, I spoke to the two Aussies that were in the Amsterdam show. Musician, Mick Stuart, has been involved with LIMBO since the very beginning. He told me that the show that evening was his 777th! Eamon McNelis is also a talented and experienced musician, who said he was really enjoying his time in Amsterdam. There are a total of FIFTY instruments played during the show. I’m sadly not musical enough to identify many of them or even to fully appreciate the talent it takes to play them – but I can say that they contribute to an amazing experience!
Taking photos and videos was not allowed during the show, so instead here’s just a photo afterwards of the stage…you’d be amazed at how much goes on in that fairly small circle, and the surreal, superb sounds created by all those instruments you can see in the background.
You can get an impression from their promotional video:
You can also read more about the show in my initial post promoting LIMBO. They have their own website, but as I write, this doesn’t seem to have been updated since their 2015 appearances in Edinburgh and Melbourne. Not all the performers were the same in Amsterdam, but the photos there do give another impression of the show though:
I live in The Hague and to get to the theater in Amsterdam, I needed to travel around 2 hours each way on public transport. It was well worth it. The performance is around an hour and a quarter, and the entire time is packed with non stop high energy and surprises. It’s described as a combination of circus and cabaret and it’s perfect for international audiences as its purely visual. Several other reviews describe it as “sexy” and I’d have to agree – not only are the acrobatic and athletic bodies just perfection, but the whole package of the way the performers exude their confidence and capability is really impressive. I am sure they have worked increadibly hard to get to this point, and each show is no doubt physically demanding. However the atmosphere that they manage to create is one of effortless ease, while the audience is left gasping in admiration and awe. Made me want to up my yoga classes, learn how to strut and swallow fire! However I’ll never match the amazing flexibility, strength and sexiness of this crew. I think there were 8-9 performers – all displayed unique talents, whether musical, acrobatic, dance – and all together, it was just WOW.
Seeing LIMBO in a relatively small venue was a treat too, meaning I was up close to the action. My friend and I had VIP seats, worth booking if you see a show at Boom Chicago as it adds to the experience with a good view (on a raised platform) and table service – we had drinks and dessert.
There are only a few more days left to grab tickets in Amsterdam, Sunday 6 August 2017 is the last show:
It was great to have the chance to chat to the artists after the show in the Boom Chicago bar.
Good news for Australia – another version of this show, Limbo Unhinged, can be seen in Brisbane from 9-30 September:
If you are in Brisbane, get tickets here before it sells out!
They will hopefully continue to travel the world, so go see them if they are ever near you!
On Thursday 25th May 2017, I ran 5km in the Golden Tenloop Delft. This was my first ever running event and a beautiful location to start in the beautiful city of Delft and surrounding countryside. I started vlogging in October 2016 about my personal challenge to go from “couch to 5km” and it was a great feeling to be able to complete the course in a reasonable time.
This event was the 30th edition and is held annually on the Hemelvaartdag public holiday. The 5km circuit followed a pretty route, leaving from the centre of Delft and heading into the Delftse Hout. This is close to where I live, so I was familiar with the area, but have never run it with so many people before! I believe there were about 5000 participants overall, but this includes the children’s 1km and 2.5km, as well as the 5km and 10km.
I registered online some time in advance, which is usually necessary as start numbers sell out. It was only 10 euros to take part in the 5km, which included the t-shirt as well. I picked up my start number at the beautiful Delft city hall before the race.
It was a really festive atmosphere in the Delft city centre, and considering the number of participants and supporters, was busy but still well organised.
Here I am smiling before the start in the Delft Markt. The race started and finished at the Beestemarkt and when I was nearing this at the end, I sped up with my last burst of energy. What I didn’t realise though is that instead of heading straight there, the course took us on a last loop through the Markt. So I needed to find an extra bit of energy to finish! It was a lovely location though to complete my first ever 5km race though.
Here’s a photo my husband took en route, you can just make me out in about the middle of this photo.
I didn’t get to see this bike in the photo below during the race, it was way up front I imagine! The fastest time for my 5km race was just over 15 minutes. Amazing! Took me more than twice that, though I managed my best ever time for 5km in 34.33 minutes. I was pretty proud of this, especially considering I had a stitch from the first 100m (but which I managed to shake about 1.5km in), and the evening before had such a sore ankle I thought I wouldn’t be able to run (but was ok once strapped). It was also a very warm day by Dutch standards at about 22 degrees. I was so thirsty by about 1.5km I could barely swallow, but there was some water at 3.5km. I had to remind myself to not gulp it so I could finish the last 1.5km.
At the end, I had actually thought we may get all get a medal, but that was apparently for kids only! The CPC in The Hague does a medal for all participants, I’ll have to do that next year. But we did get a lovely t-shirt, designed by a talented graphic artist in my neighbourhood: https://www.studiozomereik.nl
It was a really well organised event and I’m glad I took part. The only negative experience for me was something I already struggle with in NL regularly – inhaling 2nd hand smoke. Not only do I simply not like it, I suffer from asthma and am intensely sensitive to it, even from metres away. I find it near impossible to avoid in daily life in the Netherlands anywhere there are crowds and outdoor events – even at children’s theme parks and zoos. There were spectators smoking right near the starting gates and at other locations along the sidelines, it’s never pleasant to have an unexpected lungful of smoke, and certainly not when you’re running a race.
Was great to have my husband and daughter cheering me along the way. They’d jump on their bike and cycle ahead so I saw them at a few points along the way.
There are a number of running races each year in the Netherlands, including some fun ones like the Bubble Race and Colour Run. Even if you’re far from the fastest, it’s a great experience to challenge yourself, and I think I’ll get my girls involved in the future.
The 2018 Golden Tenloop Delft is on 10 May 2017 and you can sign up here:
Today we attended the 2017 Food Fest held at Hoeve Biesland, on the border between Delft and The Hague.
It was a beautiful, sunny spring day and really nice to meet up with friends and hang out for a couple of hours. Queues were long to get food, and it wasn’t cheap, but was mostly organic and totally delicious. The kids had a lovely time playing and enjoyed meeting the local farm residents (and so did I).
This is the same location I have made a video about before: Weiland Winkel and where we enjoyed the spring Cow Dance. They also have another festival in September each year called the Biesland Dagen.
Though I will always miss Australia, this area I have ended up living is really lovely. We’re only about a 15 minute drive to the very centre of The Hague, and even less into the centre of Delft. Yet, even so close to these cities, we still are surrounded by beautiful countryside. It’s made extra special with lovely festivals like this.
On Thursday, 6 October, gardeners of Keukenhof planted the first bulbs for a spectacular flower mosaic of Dutch Design. Planting the mosaic emphasizes the autumn planting at Keukenhof. The coming months will see approximately seven million bulbs planted in the park.
The Keukenhof theme for 2017 is “Dutch Design”. Dutch design is incorporated in the flower bulb mosaic, one of the highlights of the theme year. In addition, the flower shows in the Oranje Nassau Pavilion are entirely in the style of Dutch Design. Two of the inspirational gardens are also dedicated to the theme.
Dutch Design is characterized by Dutch sobriety combined with innovative solutions. Famous artists and designers such as Mondriaan and Rietveld, have laid the foundations for Dutch design. Even today, Dutch designers are appreciated worldwide for their industry-leading designs in fashion, graphic design, architecture and furniture design. They are the source of inspiration for the theme of the next Keukenhof season.
The flower mosaic depicts a Mondriaan painting combined with designer chairs. The mosaic is planted in two layers, providing a longer flowering period in the spring. The mosaic covers an area of 250m2 and will be planted in two layers with 80.000 tulips, muscari and crocus.
Keukenhof 2017 opens from 23 March until 21 May.
On Saturday 3 September, the 4th annual Embassy Festival showcased the diverse multicultural Embassies and communities represented here in The Hague.
With a program of international music, with cuisine and culture from all around the world, this free festival drew crowds to the picturesque Lange Voorhout.
Organised in close co-operation with the Municipality of The Hague’s Department of International Affairs and the city’s many embassies, the participating embassies in 2016 were: Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Ireland, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Ukraine, Palestinian Mission, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Vietnam, South Africa
TheHagueOnLine editor, Renee Veldman-Tentori, attended with family and friends. “It’s one of my favourite aspects of living in this city – raising my children as global citizens amongst such diverse cultures, showing that we can live in harmony and learn from each other. I’m particularly excited that my home country of Australia is participating this year, and highlighting a 400 year relationship between the place I was born and the place I now live.”
Australian Ambassador, Dr Brett Mason, gave a short speech at the Hotel Des Indes, and shared information about “Aussie October” being celebrated in the Netherlands this year.
Mrs Ingrid van Engelshoven, Deptuty Mayor and Alderman of International Affairs for the City of The Hague also addressed the assembled Ambassadors.
Families were well catered for, with plenty of activities for the children at the various stalls and in a dedicated “kids compound”.
For full information on this annual festival, visit www.embassyfestival.com
More photos in my Google Photos album: 2016 Embassy Festival The Hague
This article also appeared on TheHagueOnLine.
2016 May holidays. We stayed a week with our daughters and niece from 2-6 May. Did a day trip to Den Bosch (nearby). Writing this later and have forgotten most of it, but overall it was a good price and a nice area. Basic cabin, but with all amenities and nice that we had lots of space around us. The girls enjoyed swimming each day and there was an indoor waterslide. Some activities for kids but they didn’t find them very interesting (mostly craft and colouring). We did a last minute special for 4 nights for 299 euros, which came to 405 euros with taxes, cleaning and reservation fee. Good value for 2 adults and 3 children for 4 nights. We brought and cooked our own food mostly. I think we took our own linen, though you can also pay for linen packets. We requested a non smoking cabin as I’m highly allergic to cigarette smoke. I could still smell traces of it so someone probably had smoked in the cabin (or the one next to it) but it wasn’t too bad.
To make the stay even better value, it also came with a free attraction pass for all of us, which included the Safari Park Beekse Bergen. That alone was worth over 100 euros entry. There are also other attractions for which you receive free entry.
I wish I’d written this blog post a little earlier so I could share more information (I’m backdating it), but overall I’d recommend it and would return.
For more information: https://www.dierenbos.nl