Posts Tagged With: Summer

Storms are coming (Or: Finally! Rain!)

The thermometer reads 30.5C or 87F. I know it’s probably not the actual temperature, but it does make me pretty glad that rain will finally be coming tonight after an 8 day heat wave. Lots of records were broken in the Netherlands this week. The seven day average temperature for the country was 33.1C, with the previous record of 32C back in 1976 (about 91F).

Another record broken: the Netherlands had 8 straight days of temperatures above 35C (95F) somewhere in the country. De Bilt, a small town in the centre of the Netherlands saw temperatures above 30C for 8 days in a row. That is significant because De Bilt is the official site for average temperatures for the country (and also home to KNMI, the Dutch metrological service).

Of course, it will probably take a while before the apartment cools down, but hopefully not too long. I’m crossing my finger a lot while saying that!

And for some news regarding the corona crisis:

Stay cool, everyone… ☀️

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Landscaping around the Grote Kerk (Or: A bit of nature in the city centre)

Today’s photo is of the landscaping round the Grote Kerk, taken sometime last week. In this weather I’d be surprised if half of it wasn’t drying out.

Due to weather, water companies in the Netherlands warned there could be water shortages (article from nltimes.nl). The issues are due to the warm weather and the fact that a lot of people are staying in the Netherlands for vacation this year.

What else does excessive heat bring? People who want to go to the beach. However yesterday and today the sea was rated as ‘extremely dangerous’ with rip tides reported (nltimes.nl). And that is sadly true: four swimmers lost their lives yesterday.

Oh, and the beach in Scheveningen has never been busier (article from omroepwest.nl), with roads in that direction shut down by lunchtime yesterday for a while. The heatwave is here to stay for a bit longer, so buckle up. It’ll only get warmer! ☀️

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Today’s special guest star (Or: The sun)

As you know the Netherlands is experiencing a bit of a heat wave this week. This is the first one of the year (the other two times it was warm it only lasted a day or two).

Here’s a look at all of the sunscreen and similar products by Etos, which is a drug store like Walgreens or Rite Aid in America. No food products or prescriptions, though.

That is a lot of sunscreen! But a lot of people are heading to the beach this week (nltimes.nl), so it is needed.

Marco made some lovely sour lemonade yesterday. Lots of lemon slices, lemon juice and water. Yum yum yum. Not to be confused with the Dutch “limonade” which is water with concentrated syrup. I actually had no idea until I read a post from another Dutch blog, Invading Holland, where the writer accidentally orders a limonade. And while I’m here, I’ll also link to his post from yesterday entitled What would it take to melt hagelslag? Hagelslag being the Dutch chocolate sprinkles that are usually put onto buttered bread.

Now I want some chocolate…

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Walk to the right, keep your distance, … (Or: Grote Markt)

Today’s photo is of the directional signs placed on the Grote Markt, one of The Hague’s busy shopping streets.

The city is trying their best but I don’t think the signs are always that clear. Part of the problem is that the Grote Markt isn’t split evenly – one of the sides is about as twice as wide as the other. Does that mean the wider side has traffic in two directions but the narrow sign is only in one direction? There are also stickers in the ground that seem imply that the wider side is all one direction, just like the narrow side, but good luck with people following that (I’m also guilty of being on the “wrong” side sometimes).

Good weather is coming: 30C (85F) to 35C (95F).

Crazy! But who knows if it will stay like that.

Today’s random story, with one very adorable cat: Cat that went missing on Scottish holiday found 12 years later (theguardian.com).

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A different view of the skyline (Or: Centraal Park)

You learn something new every day. Marco and I took a short walk before dinner and I took a few photos of The Hague’s skyline, not far from Centraal Station. I’m a fan of Malieveld, but apparently the small park on the other side of the street is called “Centraal Park”. At least, that’s what Google Maps calls it.

Here’s a look at The Hague’s skyline from this angle.

The weather is good, as predicted. There is a lot of sun. Of course, that means: Traffic jams and road closures as the heat drives Dutch to the sea (dutchnews.nl).

The Dutch city of Arnhem also made the news with their plan to tackle global warming: Dutch city redraws its layout to prepare for global heating effects (from theguardian.com). The city plans to replace 10% of they asphalt with grass. I can get behind that – cities can use a bit more green these days.

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Gray clouds above, flowers below (Or: Buitenhof scenes)

Earlier this week Marco took this photo of the Buitenhof for me. What do you think?

Of course you probably notice the flowers first, but the clouds above do deserve a glance as well. A touch of gray.

There was a press conference earlier this evening. The main topic was whether or not there be a country-wide requirement to wear a face mask at all times when outside. At the moment you are only required to wear a face mask when using public transportation.

The government announced that there will no national requirement to wear one, although regions will have more power to take action locally (article from nltimes.nl). The government also looked into whether or not the quarantine policy for holiday travellers should be strengthened if they were returning from an area with a high number of coronavirus cases.

And another article, this one from Omroep West: Terrassen mogen uur langer open tijdens warme Haagse nachten. It’s an article about how terraces can stay open longer during the summer if the temperature is over 25C/77F Thursday through Sunday. The city government will look at the upcoming weekend’s temperature every Thursday and announce if terraces can be open longer that weekend. ☀️

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The start of the weekend (Or: Good weather awaits)

After a long working day, both Marco and I are ready for the weekend! The weather looks like it will be cooperating as well, with highs around 25C (77F) tomorrow. I definitely have not been getting outside enough this week so I am looking forward to a nice, long walk. I’m not sure where yet, but anywhere I can stretch my legs and socially distance myself sounds good to me.

Here’s a photo from the Holland Spoor train station last week:

It’s definitely a dirty floor, so I decided not to give you an extra large version of this photo. Ha! But as you can tell these stickers are reminders about what to do in the train station (wear a face mask, keep your distance and stick to the right).

In other coronavirus news, the Dutch government has stated that they hope to have the corona app ready for public use by the 1st of September, with August reserved for final testing (article from nltimes.nl). Or if Dutch is more your speed, try this Corona app article over at nos.nl.

For a touch of lighter news today, check out a video of a turtle by the name of Ernie biting a diver at Scheveningen Sea Life (article from omroepwest.nl). The diver’s fine, of course. But the turtle definitely does a stealth attack, first biting his behind before swooping around again to take a bite out of his helm.

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The Hague is baking (Or: Whew!)

The Netherlands is in a minor heatwave that will last for about 3 and a half days. High 80s, low 90s temperatures (Fahrenheit). That does not sound that hot, but for us poor souls without air conditioning (or an office to retreat to) – whew! I am warm. I didn’t have as much trouble yesterday, but today I am definitely feeling it. We have one more day of high temperatures tomorrow before the weather turns on Saturday, including a bit of rain.

Speaking of The Hague, the latest news is…

…a Uniqlo store will be coming to us in the fall. This is where Marks and Spencer used to be (let’s flash back to early 2014 when It opened – oh how I miss you!) Uniqlo is a Japanese fashion store. Wikipedia says there has been a store in Amsterdam since 2018. Who knew.

In other news:

Stay cool everyone! ☀️

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Palace Gardens (Or: The last embrace of summer?)

The Netherlands is enjoying a last minute fling with summer today, with temperatures over 80F. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but here it is! I decided to take a stroll over to the Palace Gardens, which I’ve already blogged about a few times over the years (2012 and 2016).

Palace Gardens / Paleistuin in The Hague

It was lovely to sit in the sun and just read a book. Today I started a book by Neil Gaiman – The ocean at the end of the lane or De oceaan aan het einde van het pad in Dutch, as that was the language I was reading it in. It’s about a man who goes back to where he lived as a child to attend a funeral. While there he gets lost in his memories of his childhood.

One interesting and unexpected thing was that the book begins with a preface which reads “Ik schrijf in mijn eigen taal. Dat is Engels. Ik ben er erg dol op. Het is een goede, soepel taal, waarin ik kan uitdrukken wat ik te zeggen heb. …” Or, translated: “I write in my own language. That is English. I am very fond of it. It’s a good, flexible language where I can express what I need to say.”

I thought that was quite strange, and wondered if that preface was in every version of the book. But no, he goes on to say that his sister-in-law lives in Utrecht (a city in central Netherlands) and he brings his family to the Netherlands as often as he can to visit. He goes on to say that you don’t need an English/American upbringing to read this book, and since it is now translated into Dutch you can read it too (of course the preface was translated as well, since he doesn’t speak Dutch). Kind of cool.

The only small downside to going to a park to read is that sometimes you can get distracted and not be able to focus on the story. Especially when what you are trying to read isn’t in your native language… When I arrived, I chose a nice sunny bench, at the end to give others plenty of room to also sit down (the benches generally fit three adults). I’m at the far left, with no benches to my left. To my right, there are another three benches, all grouped right next to each other.

After a while, a man sat down on the other end of the bench I was at. No problem at all; he was just watching his kid. About five minutes later a woman sits down next to him, so I promptly and politely moved my backpack to the ground so she definitely had enough room. And then they began to talk. Argh.

Oddly enough, I had no problem when the conversations happening were at the next bench (about five feet away), but one foot away was a bit much. Especially since they were tourists speaking English, which meant hearing one language and reading another. I was pondering my options – 1) suck it up and keep reading 2) go find another bench 3) leave. But after a few minutes they all got up and left. Yay.

So I kept reading, having a personal goal of getting to 100 pages. I did that, and was at page 103 when two more people sat down at “my” bench with a few other folks in their group standing around them. And they began to talk loudly. Arghhhh again. This time I gave up – I was past my goal anyway – put my bookmark in place, stood up and left immediately.

I don’t know. Maybe I expect too much. It is a communal park after all. 🙂

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Helping hand on a hot day (Or: French restaurant LaSalle)

The Netherlands has been in the grips of a record-setting heat wave this week, with at least five provinces reaching 40C (104F). Due to the fact that The Hague is so close to the North Sea, we didn’t quite reach those temperatures – for us it was more like 36-37C (96-98F).

However, most people don’t have air conditioning in their homes. Why would you, when temperatures like this only happen a few days of the year? Luckily public buildings and work places tend to be at least climate controlled. On days like this it is beneficial to go into work rather than being at home, where the temperatures inside can easily hit 84-86F.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this table outside of LaSalle, a French restaurant here in The Hague city centre:

Free water (for both you and your pet) at La Salle

The sign says ‘Pak maar!’ or ‘Help yourself!’. They even thoughtfully put out a water bowl for pets, either dogs on a leash or neighborhood cats.

You have to understand that water fountains are almost unheard of in this country, both indoor and outdoor. The city and water company Dunea are trying to increase the amount of free water spots in the country, but that takes time.

To see free water on a record setting day – Thursday it was 40.7C (105F) in Gilze en Rijen (Google Maps) – is a step in the right direction.

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