Knoflook Olijven

Olives with garlic. A  mellow, salty taste, not made bitter by pasteurization and months in a jar. Firm, meaty contrasted with the crunchy picked garlic. Nothing better.


Maastricht began as a Roman bridge over the Maas River. Throughout its history, Maastricht has been fought over by many countries including France, Germany, US, and Spain.  

Another smaller river flows through Maastricht: the Jeker. Just beyond the Jeker’s banks is the old city walls. Now a park runs along the old wall. Below is an image of the park, to the left is a fenced area containing goats, deer, and peacocks. On the right corner, you can see the edge of a bird aviary.


Inside the city, the Jeker breaks into  smaller streams to power mills and flood fortifications. Enemies often tried to tunnel into the city, so the Jeker was diverted to flood these tunnels.  


Leaving the city through old walls, you pass under Helpoort. In olden days, you could feel the fires of tanneries just beyond the arch. Plague victims left the city through Hellsport.


In later years, the city would build a sick house (below), just outside the walls, but until then, the plague victims died on the grass beside the Jeker.


Today, the old city houses high-end fashion stores, chocolatiers, and restaurants. I feel terribly out of place in my wide leg jeans and long trench coat. Here, the ladies wear their slimmed down jeans in boots. Their high heels clicking the cobble stone. The jackets are smaller and tailored at the waist.

Here are some fashions for Spring.


After wandering past the Basilica, we came to the main shopping street, where we were forced to stop at the V&D by whining children. Inside they were putting up the breads and pastries for the evening. We snagged some beautiful chocolate and those WONDERUL meringue – light and airy, yet chewy in the middle.


Here is something for the aspiring writers amongst us. One day, may our books be sold in the church converted into a bookstore.


Nighttime in Netherlands

We are here, but very jet-lagged, so forgive my grammatical errors. After landing in Amsterdam, we drove a Peugeot station wagon across the Netherlands. A station wagon with a sunroof, mind you. In Europe, you can be a parent and stylish!

house in Maastricht

Our house is a lovely brown, brick semi-attached thing with a gravel back garden. All very IKEA and utilitarian, but comfortable. That’s one thing about the Netherlands, it looks so severe and modern, but feels wonderful. Nothing too big or too small, a nice balance.

Of course, there is modern art about the walls, as with every rental we’ve had here. I love the sensibility of art as a “basic” requirement of living.

It is drizzling here and those dense clouds of winter hang overhead, tinting everything gray.  It feels wonderful to my dry skin.

N and the children foraged for food at the Albert Hein while I slept. They brought back lingonberries, the wonderful, creamy yogurt you can only find here, and that fabulous product called “Vive” which is the shot glass equivalent of something like 50% of your daily fruit and vegetables.

The children fell asleep the lulling sound of Dutch Nickelodeon. Hopefully, they will sleep through the night.