Monday, 15 March 2010



I found Amsterdam initially dull, void of colour & miserable. I was disappointed with the streets as they appeared dirty and lacking in architecture. It was only on the second day during one of our many tram trips that I noticed the 5 storey townhouses around the canals. How tall and narrow they were, I began to wonder how long they had been standing there and what they may have looked liked inside when first built. I remember seeing a row of these tall houses and one sad house in the middle that was being supported by huge stilts and with boarded up windows, obviously a victim of subsidence.

I was amazed at the number of cyclists and the way they dumped their bikes outside buildings they were visiting, how on earth did they recognise their bike as there must have been 100’s of the damn things.

The ladies of the night need a mention too, they sat like cats in a window preening themselves, skulking up and down. The guys, well they were just egging each other on as to who would be the first to try or just stood there blatantly gawping.

Now then, those cafes, the only place I know were you can get a macciato and a space cake, both of which I tried, all I can say is fabulous, those simple little cakes should be on prescription from the NHS, bugger anti depressants.

One thing that did annoy me was hearing the cackle of regional english accents, they were everywhere, I nicknamed Amsterdam, europes answer to blackpool without the “kiss me quick” hats.

The Van Gough Museum was fantastic, I didn’t want to leave, these places always have a magnetic pull on me from the artwork right through to the cafe and the museum shop. I also witnessed a woman trying to take a flash photograph on her phone of the sunflowers, fool!. She was apprehended by one of the many guards.

Now Amsterdam is not for the atkins addict, we are talking carb city. There is a cake shop on every corner tempting you with their delights, I did partake in the odd cake or two and felt a little sick after, but, it was worth it!.

Amsterdam is an amazing place and one that slowly grew on me. Will I go back. Yes I will, if only to see it bathed in sunlight. I see myself sat outsife a cafe with a huge macchiato and a space cake watching the water on the canal and people going about their daly business and I must not forget those red neon lights flickering on and off all bloody night!!


After asking both my wife (Donna) and my daughter (Jasmine) to note on paper their recollections of trips we have taken over the years - Jasmine put pen to paper and jotted down her memories of a trip we took to Chicago some 2 years ago. When I asked her to write her memories of the trip we took when she was just 5 years old she explained that she couldn't remember enough to write about it other than it was really hot and there where lots of animals. She decided to make her notes on a more recent trip that was still fairly fresh in her mind.

Below are pictures capturing Jasmine's memories- these will be typed up and logged in this blog soon for ease of reading. This was all noted from her head and as yet I haven't shown her the actual film that we took of our time on that holiday. It will be interesting to get Jasmines reaction after she has watched the film and looked through some of the photographs we took on this trip.

I am hoping to have my wife's memories/highlights of the recent trip we took to Amsterdam, before I get the cine film back from the developers - (Still not arrived back as yet!!!!) Really desperate to get hold of the footage now and see what the results are like.

MEMORY - is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing the memory. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century put memory within the paradigms of cognitive psychology. In recent decades, it has become one of the principal pillars of a branch of science called cognitive neuroscience, an interdisciplinary link between cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

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