Hello October! Oh how I’ve missed you!

Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness …. and a sky full of rain!! I love Autumn, what’s not to love?

Here in the Netherlands, the seasons are the same as the UK. We have an almost identical climate, so there’s no real difference. However, I’m a real lover of the seasons and everything they bring. I embrace change,
I’m used to it living in a different country with a different culture.

Transition is a natural part of life
Nothing really ever stands still or maintains its current state, identity or shape for very long. All of nature cycles through seasons of change and transformation, effortlessly and naturally. As human beings we transition through different states of transformation throughout our lives.

Transition and transformation are a natural part of life and an important component of human evolution.

Allow your senses to be stimulated
According to Wiki, “A season is a division of the year marked by changes in weather, ecology, and amount of daylight.”

These are pretty major factors that bring pretty major influences – all of which I love and embrace!

Who doesn’t love it when the seasons change? It’s a total sensory awakening. A reboot, a refresh, a recharge and a sense of new energies. It brings with it new colours, tastes, smells and sights to enjoy and be thankful for.

Keep on biking!
Here in the Netherlands I try to ride my bike to work for as many days as possible. Yes, there’s also a large amount of stubbornness in that too! The only real stopping point is when it’s icy. You’ll know if you’ve ever hit a patch of black ice on your bike. More of a slipping point, not a stopping point!

As you may have already gathered, I love the fresh air. So an early morning cycle to work in the dark or light, wind or rain, sun and shine – whatever the weather, it’s always welcome. As Ranulph Fiennes rightly quoted, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!” and that’s so true.

Eating seasonal

Since living in the Netherlands I’ve been more aware of the seasonal food offerings. It’s now harvest time for the onions and potatoes, so we’ve been enjoying adding these to our five a day. Keeping our blood healthy and our carbs on point!

The weather dictates the beginning of the Herring season and when the first ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ are available. Raw herring is an acquired taste, but one I’ve learned to enjoy – especially with chopped onions on the side. It’s high in Omega 3, contains various antioxidants and is protein-rich. Great cycling fuel!

My favourite seasonal food is the white asparagus, which tends to grace us with its presence around April/ May time. There’s nothing better than cycling to the farm shop to buy a kilo of the AA class – already peeled and ready to stick in the pan. My favourite recipe is asparagus, boiled potatoes, ham, boiled egg all drizzled with melted butter. Absolutely “LEKKER” as us Dutchies would say!

In southern Holland (south of the river) they call us the clog wearing farmers – growing veg and eating off the land – and I’m alright with that. I’ve embraced my Dutch life and yes I do even own a pair of wooden clogs!

Tulips from Amsterdam
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention the famous spring flower associated with the Netherlands. The Tulip – a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes (thanks google!). If you’ve never visited the Keukenhof, it’s definitely worth a trip. Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Keukenhof Park covers an area of 32 hectares and approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the gardens annually. It’s open from mid-March to mid-July and is a total spring sensation of sights and smells. An absolute must for all you flower lovers out there!

Winter hibernation
Who doesn’t enjoy cozying in on the sofa under a blanket with the cat watching Netflix? Winter is a time to be kind to ourselves, nourish ourselves and plan all the things we’re going to do once the world starts to wake up again! OK, that’s a bit of a romantic notion!

I’ll still be riding my bike to work with the rest of the crazy Dutch people … and of course on New Year’s Day I’ll be jumping into the sea in my bikini …. But that’s all for next month’s blog.

Until then, love from the Flatlands.

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