2017 Golden Tenloop Delft

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:



2017 Biesland Food Fest

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.



Dutch Design flower bulb mosaic at Keukenhof: gardeners plant 7 million bulbs

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.


2017 Keukenhof

2016 Avond4daagse De Bras

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 23.32.10So, another Dutch tradition for me to figure out – the Avond4Daagse.

This is the third year for our eldest and second for our youngest to take part.  Children seem to join in from 5 years old, but I did see some younger kids too, and a few parents with prams.  To my very basic understanding, it’s to promote outdoor, healthy exercise.  Over the course of 4 days (the 4 daagse part), in the evening (the avond part), lots of children, their parents and teachers do a 5km walk.   The kids pay 6 euros each and get a small treat each day (like an apple or an ice block) and I think a medal at the end. I think it has grown out of the concept of the Nijmegen 4Daagse, which takes part in mid July each year and started back in 1909.

There are walks that take place all over the country, co-ordinated on this website: http://www.avond4daagse.nl

I have to admit, I am a total cheat – I didn’t walk with my husband and kids yesterday at all (it was way too cold for this Queenslander, with a storm brewing) and today just did a short part of the loop.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll do the whole lot, and I know on the last evening, it’s usually very festive, often with parents or grandparents buying bunches of flowers for the kids to victoriously claim as they finish the last 5km of the 20km total!  My husband and the girls are taking it very seriously though and doing every step. ;)

The girls have a small card that gets stamped each evening:

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We live in an area called De Bras, which lies in a very pretty area between Delft & The Hague, here’s a quick look at this evening’s walk.  It started at 6pm and takes around an hour or so to do the circuit, which changes each evening.

I’m guessing a couple of hundred people took part, organised by the local schools, with each school carrying a banner/flag (you’ll see one in the video if you look closely).   From a distance, it kind of looks like a long line of busy (colourful) ants!

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My daughters are most excited by the fact that their friends and teachers take part.  My husband and I like that it’s a chance to catch up with other local parents.

Have any experiences or wisdom to share about the 4daagse?  Be great to hear it below in a comment…





Have you discovered DutchNews.nl?

One of my favourite websites to keep up to date with Dutch News in English is www.dutchnews.nl.

For 10 years now, Robin Pascoe and her team have provided a steady flow of interesting, professional, relevant news items and articles, covering politics, business, society, sport, education, health and tech & media.  They also cover some International and European news stories.


Screenshot of www.dutchnews.nl – click on the image to visit the current version and get access to plenty of free, relevant news stories about what’s happening in The Netherlands


One of my features I enjoy reading is their “10 questions” which I took part in last year:


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You can read plenty more here: http://www.dutchnews.nl/category/10-questions/

Highly recommend checking out DutchNews.nl! You can also sign up for a daily enewsletter.

If you’re a new visitor, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this way to keep up to date with what’s happening in the Netherlands – in English.

Even if you’ve visited before, there’s always something new to discover.




2016 ANZAC Day in The Hague Invitation

For Australians and New Zealanders in the Netherlands who would like to commemorate ANZAC Day, there is a ceremony being organised by the Australian and New Zealand Embassies.  Details are below, and *please RSVP by 18 April*

I’ve attended several times now and it’s always a moving ceremony.  You may like to read about the 2015 ANZAC Day Ceremony in The Hague and the 2013 ANZAC Day Ceremony in The Hague.


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8.00 AM SHARP, Monday 25 APRIL 2016



The Australian and New Zealand Ambassadors to the Netherlands H.E. Dr Brett Mason and H.E. Ms Janet Lowe invite members of the Australian and New Zealand communities in the Netherlands to commemorate ANZAC Day with them..

Ceremony attendees are invited to

9.15 AM breakfast and to view an exhibition of photographs taken by soldiers in Gallipoli in 1915 at the Australian Residence,

Tobias Asserlaan 6, 2517 KC, The Hague, following the service.

*For security reasons: NO BACKPACKS, please.*

A bus will depart Den Haag Centraal Station at 7.15 AM to transport attendees to the Cemetery and the Australian Residence, and return to Central Station at 10:30 AM (Limited places available for a €1 coin donation)

Please RSVP before 18 April.

For security and catering purposes, please provide your name and advise whether you will also attend the breakfast and whether you wish to reserve a seat on the bus:

rsvpthehague@dfat.gov.au tel: 070-310 8200