Friday, January 30, 2009


Trunk, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

And on the same trip, I tried to capture the finenes of the ice crystals formed by the previous night's frost.. I think this is my favourite.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Ivy, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I gave myself some free time on Wednesday as there was building work going on in the office - where I will get a new south-facing office at the beginning of March - and because I was due to attend a conference call at midnight with some US colleagues. So, I took my bike out and tried to capture some of the colours of winter. I found none more than in the leaves of some ivy in a wood and here are the results.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Introducing Guus - our local stork

Our local stork, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

A famous resident of Park Frankendael.. he arrives every winter and starts to attend to his nest, which was specially constructed for him on top of a chimney stack, above a children's playground.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The ice is back

The ice is back, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Here we see that the ice is back on the lakes and ponds. The nights are not SO cold so there is not that much ice and not enough for skating, but it is still very attractive, especially under a sunny sky.

This is a view of one of the new-ish ponds which they constructed in our neighbouring park, Frankendael. Further, we have the Flevopark and the Oosterpark quite nearby.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A misty morning at the Amstel Station

We had some misty mornings this week, but the sun came through very early. This is the 8.00 train to Utrecht leaving the Amstel station about 5 minutes late. I catch the 8.03 but we usually have to wait until the delayed 8.00 rain has left before ours ciomes. This is fine because I invariably arrive on the platform a minute or two late anyway.

This is a nice big clean intercity train. we now have anarrower double decker train, whose windows are invariably dirty and where it is not possible to put my rucksack on the racks above the seats. It is a boit cramped for two stops before all the bankers get out at Amsterdam Bijlmer.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Egyptian goose

Egyptian goose, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

To celebrate the first songs of the neighbourhood blackbird this evening, we hereby present... an Egyptian goose - well it, too, has feathers. How wonderful to hear the call of the blackbird, we might not be half way through winter, but he tells us that spring is around the corner...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Welcome to Oostpoort, recently invented by our local council

After two days of almost continuous rain, the weather finally got better on Saturday. It was a mild day with some sunshine and no wond. A prefect day to open the windows, tidy up the house and make a start on cleaning the garden of the fallen autumn leaves and everything else which had happened in the winter.

Att te back of the house, we see that the new council offices in what used to be called the Polderweggebied and what is now called Oostpoort are almost finished and that they have built a (very attractive) foot/cycle bridge across the canal. I had to get Fred out to have a look and have his photo taken.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mum!

Richard, Mum and Fred, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Lots of love, Fred and Charles xxxxx

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Antwerp Station

Antwerp Station, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Tuesady sees me going to the office in Rotterdam for a telephone meeting, then taking the train down to Antwerp for a meeting with the management there. Its a beautiful station there! A bit like a cathedral, a bit like a mosque.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday, Harry!

Happy 7th Birthday, Harry!, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

s'Hertogenbosch station

s'Hertogenbosch station, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I had never been to Den Bosch before. It is the capital of North Braboland, in the south of Holland, but only 80 ksm form Amsterdam.

There was a company personnels do at the Efteling, an attractiuon park, nto too far away from Den Bosch - just a 50 minute bus ride through the housing estates. It was cold, darkish and a bit wet. Not the best time of teh year to go, while on the invitation they had hoped for sun and nsow... must be the wrong country...

At least I had some time to take some photos of the station!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Richard!

Richard, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A present from Thalys

A present from Thalys, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

A trip to Antwerp at around this time last year ended up with me being pictured here. Today the Thalys will be taking me to Paris, but I believe all the snow has gone from there. A pity I am missing my friends I and P who are both on the early train out. I leave in the evening.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Snow on the leaves

Snow on the leaves, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

And yet, after such a cold night, we woke up to this: light snow followed by sunshine. So beautiful.

The coldest night of this decade

The decade is only nine years old, and we have really only had warm winters, but this one is colder and tonight, being the coldest night of this winter will be the coldest in Holland this century so far... However, the clouds have already rolled in from the west, to obscure the view of Venus in the southern sky. These clouds will keep the temperature up here in the west.

It ended up being minus 7.8 n Amsterdam and minus 20.8 near Weert in Limburg last night.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I never thought I would get Fred to do this...

We got a bit into the Christmas spirit by dismantling the Christmas tree (and dropping it from the balcony onto the pavement below), pulling crackers, eating mince pies and drinking the last of the Christmas wine... the house looks very empty now. Sad. Still it was a great Christmas!

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Dooi, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

There has been a thaw since last night which has put about three cms of water on top of teh ice. It should rainnand sleet and maybe snow tonight, after which it will freeze again. Should be good to get all teh bubbles and scratches off the ice to make it perfect for skating again. Only thing is that we will be back at work...

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Skating in Park Frankendael

Skating in Park Frankendael, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Having spent a couple of days sneezing and coughing and feeling below the weather since New Year's Eve, I felt a bit better today. Unfortunately the sun did not come out as promised but I still made it over to the local park with my skates to take some self-timed photos of me skating on the thick ice. Fred was still feeling low so stayed behind at home.

We watched the BBC's Line of Beauty on DVD in the evening, having borrowed it from Jon and Pieter. Another story of posh people living in expensive houses, as so often with costume dramas, but entertaining neverthless. On Friday night we skipped of Club Avond and stayed in to watch the Argentinean film Plata Quemada (Burnt Money) which turned out to be based on a true story from the 1960's about some bank robbers whose robbery went wring and had them killing policemen and had them running off to Uruguay. It was also a story of love between the two main characters, beautifully done.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

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