I have never had police at my car window

Or: a gloriously overdue August entry to I Never. For the events entailed in this post happened exactly three weeks ago, on the first weekend of August.

Galacon 2014.

Not only did I travel over to Finland to volunteer at Crystal Fair, I also attended Galacon this year. Though I was originally planning to just go as a regular visitor, the Galacon committee was kind enough to offer Hearth’s Warming Con a vendor table. We arranged for some buttons, shirts, posters and bags, as well as some charming traditional milk maid caps.

But sales and promotion were not my only tasks this weekend. I more of less took on the unofficial job of logistics manager for our travel group, which meant arranging people in our five cars in such a way that everyone would make it to their hotel. As such, Stefan, who had arrived the day before at my house, and I arrived at around 9:00 am at Arnhem Central Station, where we had agreed to meet up.

Slowly but steadily, the group of bronies hanging around our cars grew in size, until we counted around 20 people. Unfortunately, one of the cars was delayed, which meant that our travels started later than expected. But in the end, everyone showed up, and after a bit of shuffling people around, we headed out to our first stop: Cologne (or Keulen for our Dutch speakers).

Getting out of Arnhem proved slightly more difficult than anticipated, due to the car in front of me (whose unnamed driver had insisted I drove the wrong way) driving in circles (thanks, unnamed driver). But to be fair, their newer navigation system did allow us to avoid some traffic jams on the highway.

Unfortunately, when approaching Cologne, the same issue from Arnhem re-appeared, and eventually we decided to just follow our own navigation system, which allowed us to correctly reach the McDonalds. We weren’t the only car with problems, it turned out, as another car was even pulled over by the German police.

Anyway, after an hour break (which was actually quite a bit longer than we expected), we set out again towards our second stop: Frankfurt. This trip went a lot smoother, except for our actual arrival at our agreed meetup-point. As it turned out, nobody was able to find it. There were some chaotic texts to and fro, but in the end everyone decided to just continue to our final destinations: our respective hotels in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg.

Of the three sections in our trip, this one went the worst. We were driving on the A6, about 30-60 minutes away from our destination, when we got stuck in a traffic jam. In hindsight, I’m glad that we were moving so slow, because that’s when there was a loud bang and a rattling sound while moving. That’s not good. There was no emergency lane, so we moved over to the right-most lane and stopped the car.

Time to focus. We called the Dutch road services, who told us to call the German emergency number first (since we were still standing on the actual road). But before they told us they dispatched a car, a police wagon already stopped, presumably informed by one of the many passing vehicles.

The officers were very kind and managed to deduce what was causing the noise by simply looking under the car. It was pretty obvious once I saw it: the front part of the exhaust had fallen off and was scraping the asphalt. Not good indeed.

By now we were still blocking a third of the road and slowing the other two thirds, so we had to move. We were instructed to get back into the car. When we were back inside, one of the officers came up to my window (title drop!). It was such a perfect moment that I really had to restrain myself from jokingly asking “what seems to be the problem, officer?” Despite the meager circumstances, that was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.

Anyway, we were directed to an emergency place, after which they left us to wait for the German road services. The road service guy put the exhaust back in place, but told us to find a garage at our destination. And finally, two hours after the whole ordeal started, we were back on the road.

Interestingly, we arrived at our hotel a mere fifteen minutes after the rest, who had driven passed the convention venue in a failed attempt to register their tickets early.

The day wasn’t over though, as the public transport we were hoping to use from hotel to convention would take an hour and a half. The new challenge felt reminiscent of those cabbage/goat/fox puzzles where you have to transport all three across a river. Or in our case, how do we get all passengers to the venue with one car down? Of course, just like a proper puzzle, there were added restrictions, such as three of us needing to be at the venue early to set up our vendor booth, and two of them being drivers.

But we found a solution. And after a long day of travelling, adjusting and planning, late at night, we were finally ready for the next day.

Similar to Crystal Fair, I didn’t follow much of the Galacon program. On Saturday morning, after setting up our stand, I took the car to a nearby garage, where I waited for about an hour to be told that they didn’t have the required part in stock. They did, however, know that it would cost about 350,- euros to purchase it. But that would have to wait until I got back home, as it would not arrive before we left.

During the afternoon, I ran a shift at our stand. Sales were ok. The most important thing was that we managed to become more known among the visitors.

The evening was of course the gala, which I enjoyed greatly. It’s good to look your best at an event, even though my best is usually a simple, low-effort shirt. Still, it looks good. Anyway, kudos to the Galacon staff. The gala was a blast! Also, I learned how to line-dance.

Sunday was a short day. During the morning, I was again at our booth. It was pretty quiet, what with the gala and party the night before. In the afternoon, I visited M.A. Larson’s panel and Lena and I ran around to get as much signatures on a Hearth’s Warming Con poster, so we could offer it for auction. Unfortunately, the auction was cut short due to time constraints, but that does give us a pretty cool item for our own auction in February.

We didn’t stay for much longer after the convention. I went with some of the Galacon and Bronydays staff, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, we didn’t have long to talk. I decided to try and get as much sleep as possible, as the next day would once again be exhausting.

I got up early on our final day to visit the nearest Peugeot dealer, hoping they might have the broken part in stock (they didn’t). So, the trip back would have to be with a mostly working car. It wasn’t that bad, though, as I had good company during the trip. A Seattle girl was taking a trip to the Netherlands. We had a very good conversation, and I was very impressed by her travels. It has made me want to attempt a solo travel. Maybe next year.

In conclusion, it was a stressful weekend, with lots of things requiring my attention or simply going wrong. But in the end, I had some great moments and it has been an inspiration for the future.

I have never visited Finland

After visiting Bronydays in Paris last year, I got myself interested in the brony convention scene. Besides organizing a convention in the Netherlands, I got a position as a volunteer for Crystal Fair Con in Helsinki, Finland. As a result, a little over a week ago, I found myself on a plane to the land of a thousand lakes for my convention/holiday. Let’s walk through the days.

Careful, it’s a long one. Also, no pictures, because it’s late and I don’t feel like uploading all that. I didn’t take that many pictures anyway, because for the most part, I was busy having tons of fun.

2/7 – I have never been on my own at an airport

This day was something. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt this nervous before.  I couldn’t quite pinpoint what caused it, but I’m fairly sure it was a combination of different factors. For starters, the three nights before this day were cut short for various reasons. On top of that, work for Hearth’s Warming Con has been pretty hectic. And lastly, I was about to go on an awesome adventure a large distance from home, which though exciting, also made me pretty nervous. There were a lot of things I wanted to do before leaving, but in the end, I spent most of the day lying on either my bed or my couch, trying to get some rest.

Finally, at 15:30, it was time to go. And so my journey started, first by bus, then by train and then for the first time in my life, alone by plane.  The trip was fairly uneventful. Both flights were pretty short and I slept through most of the second one. During the transits at the airports, I did some more work (thank you for free wifi!). And about five hours after leaving, I arrived at my destination.

3/7 – I have never gone sightseeing in Helsinki

It wasn’t technically until this day that I set foot in Finland. At 1:45 (local time), the plane landed at Helsinki Airport. I was confronted with my first Finland experience straight away, because even at this hour, the sky was still blue, albeit a darker shade of blue. It wasn’t that big a deal, as it was still dark outside, but it was surely a strange sight to behold.

Travel to my hostel was about as uneventful as the rest of my journey. Following the instructions from their video was easy enough, and before long, I was in bed.

Before we continue, this could be a good time to explain what exactly it was that I would be doing at the convention. My job was being the vendor manager, which meant that I would take care of all the vendors that came to Crystal Fair to sell their wares to the visitors. Together with FushigiOoka, we formed the vendor team, which was a sub-team of the merchandise team, which in turn consisted of Opaque, Ava, Heikki and Pinja. Both the vendor team and the merchandise team were lead by Nani. In the preparations, the merch and vendor teams shared a Skype group, which has lead to many off-topic shenanigans. Needless to say, we knew each other pretty well going into this.

Anyway, after waking up on Thursday, I agreed to meet up with Opaque at Finlandia Hall: the convention site for the weekend. We tried to also meet with Nani, but she was busy, so we went to a nearby terrace to grab a tea and hang out. When we got back to Finlandia, we were told that Nani would be right out. It wasn’t until she told us “See you morgen” that I realized we had just met with Yuukon, another Dutch volunteer, for whom I had even brought a cheese (according to her, Finnish cheese is horrible).

As Yuukon had said, Nani was there shortly after. After getting some Subway, she gave us and one of the vendors who had arrived early a tour of the venue. After that we went to see a bit of Helsinki, including the Helsinki Cathedral. We didn’t get to see too much, though, as we had to go back to Finlandia for our briefing, where we met with Heikki, Ooka and Pinja.

The briefing took longer than expected, so after rounding up that and grabbing something to eat, we went back to our respective hostels and hotels. I chatted a bit with Moontune, who had arrived at the hostel as well, but went to bed early. The following day would be a long one.

4/7 – I have never worked at a convention

The first day of Crystal Fair for me started at 6:00. After getting up, taking a shower and all that jazz, I walked to the venue, where I finally met the last member of the merch team: Ava.

Setting up the vendors went as smooth as we could hope for. When the doors opened at 10:00, we were ready to receive the crowds. After that, Ooka and me were tasked with being available in case anything is needed, which wasn’t all that often. So whichever one of us was on duty, mostly just walked around the two vendor halls, talking a bit with the vendors. I met a guy called Adrian during these rounds. Adrian worked security and had about as much to do as we did.

It turned out Adrian and I had a few things in common. He plays Dota as well, and turned out to live very close to Nani and Pinja, who I would be visiting on Monday. So throughout the convention, we mostly walked and talked.

The first day of the convention went well, without much of a problem. After clean-up, most of the merch team went out for a Chinese buffet. It was tasty, but I was pretty tired, so I didn’t eat all that much.

During dinner though, we got a message that the guests of honor would be somewhere in the city. Unfortunately, we weren’t told where they would be. After waiting for quite some time (and an adventure to get a single pizza), we decided to head off for the night. It wasn’t until I got on the wifi at my hostel that I received a message about where I could go, but by that time, I was already a half-hour walk away from the city center, so I decided to get some sleep for the next day.

5/7 – I have never seen Daniel Ingram perform live

For the vendor team, the second day of the convention was even easier than the first. Most of the vendors had opted to leave their wares at the venue overnight, so there was no need to carry more things inside. We had improved our break schedule, as only one of us was needed at any one time.

After cleaning up at Finlandia after the second con day, Ava’s boyfriend was kind enough to drive the merch and vendor teams to Nosturi, where the evening party would be held.

At Nosturi, I didn’t have any tasks, so I decided to check out the party. I was really happy to hear EileMonty perform live again. Her cover of The Moon Rises in particular was extremely beautiful. As it turns out, the Crystal Fair committee also managed to get Anneli Heed and Daniel Ingram to play one song live.

After those performances, I stayed for a bit of the RainbowCrash88 set, but decided to hang around the merchandise table downstairs after that. I was waiting for a SimGretina set, but it turned out that he wouldn’t be performing that night. That was a bit of a bummer, but I also understand.

I didn’t stay for too long after finding that out. Walking back to the hostel took about an hour, after which I just went straight to bed.

6/7 – I have never placed a bet on an auction

Fourth day in Finland, last day of the convention. As the previous two days had been, this day was again nice and quiet. It wasn’t until the ending ceremony that we picked up speed while trying to escort all the vendors out of the building. In the end, though, this went extremely smoothly and almost everything was cleared within an hour.

After that, we went outside for our final debriefing and a group picture. And that concluded Crystal Fair 2014. It was a good convention and I had a lot of fun, even though I didn’t follow much of the program. The important thing is that I made some new friends, both during preparation and the actual convention itself. Also, I learned some things about the organization of conventions that will no doubt be of use for Hearth’s Warming Con.

After a last dinner with the full merch and vendor teams, we started heading our separate ways. In the end, only Heikki, Opaque, Nani and I were still around and up for doing something (even though Nani was tuckered). After tossing some ideas around, we decided we would visit the casino, but before we even got there, Insomnia, the convention chairman, notified us that he would be around for a final drink.

We met up with him and a few of the other committee guys and chatted a bit, but after last call (which came surprisingly early), all of us went to our hostels and hotels. Crystal Fair 2014: over.

Oh, and maybe I should explain the auction bet. For the charity auction at the convention, there was an handmade plushie of Aurora, the convention mascot. Merch and vendor teams decided to place an internal bet for fun, where the winner would get ice cream from the loser. I overestimated the amount it would get by… a lot, but still not by enough to be the worst guesser.

7/7 – I have never visited Tampere

Even though Crystal Fair may have been over, my time in Finland was not yet up. I had originally planned to stay in Helsinki until Wednesday, but Nani and Pinja invited me to visit them in Tampere. I’m all for adventures, so of course I took them up on their offer.

My bus to Tampere would not leave until 19:45 though, so I had some time to kill. I spent a little time with Moontune before I went to wave Heikki and Nani off with Opaque. When we got back, most of the group of bronies hanging around the train station had left, but there were still a few there, who said they were going to visit a tea shop and the cinema to see Maleficent. Opaque and I decided to join (one of the best movies I’ve seen this year), after which we went our separate ways as well.

After stopping by the hostel to get my belongings, I went to the bus station to meet with Adrian again, who had been so kind as to take care of my bus ticket. The trip itself was fairly uneventful. We had some talks about Dota, education, work and all those kind of things.

Finally, upon reaching Tampere, Adrian guided me to my sleeping place for the next two nights. As Nani was still in Helsinki and Adrian had some family business, Pinja and I just had a calm night playing video games. We didn’t stay up too late though, as she had to work in the morning again.

8/7 – I have never felt this cold

When I woke up, Pinja had already left for work. I contacted Adrian, but he still had some things left to do. As I didn’t have a key to the apartment, that kind of meant I couldn’t really go outside, for risk of being locked outside.

So I played some more video games, until Adrian stopped by at about 3pm. We went to get some food at the supermarket, as my eating schedule had gotten kind of messed up, as it tends to do during holidays. At his place, we were shortly joined by Nani, and later Pinja as well. They all wanted to show me around the city, so we took the scenic route to an Irish bar, where we played some Boss Monster and darts (again, the winner receiving ice cream).

In the evening, we went for the most unforgettable experience of the trip. Nearby Nani’s place, there’s a beach to a lake. We decided to go there, in our swimwear. Thing is, the water was cold. As in, “my feet went numb if I stood in it”-cold. We hung around it for a bit; I sat on a springboard, enjoying one of the most astounding views I’ve ever seen. The lake was absolutely huge, and you could see all sorts of island floating about. With the setting sun behind it, it made for quite a sight.

Anyway, Pinja eventually dared enter the water, after which Adrian and I had no choice but to follow her example. Being in the water was absolutely cold and horrible, but after getting out, I felt refreshed and it did feel like an accomplishment. Totally worth it, not doing it again.

It was getting late by that time, even though the sky didn’t show it (I never did get used to that). Pinja had to get up for work early again, and I had to catch an early bus out of town, so we headed back and called it a night.

9/7 – I have never had a 6-hour flight transit

Four hours after going to sleep, my alarm sounded. I managed to get myself out of bed and into some clothes, said my goodbye to Pinja, and started my journey home. At the bus stop, me and Nani, who had escorted me there, waved each other off as well, which meant that for the rest of the journey, I would be on my own again.

My first stop was the hostel in Helsinki, to pick up my Huize Entree hoodie, which I had apparently forgotten there. Luckily, they found it and kept it safe for me. It’s not an expensive hoodie, but it sure is extremely valuable.

After that: the airport. Again, nothing of particular interest happened, and my departure from Finland occurred without a hiccup.

Flying with Lufthansa, my intermediate stop was in Munich. Unfortunately, during reservation, I hadn’t looked at the transit time, which turned out to be six and a half hours. I actually spent more time there than on planes. Anyway, I did bring my laptop, so I didn’t have to spend the entire time looking at walls or something. I also ate extremely overpriced dinner there, as I couldn’t find a budget food option. Really, the curry sausage was tasty, but I wouldn’t say it was worth the 9 euros I paid for it.

My arrival in the Netherlands went less smooth, though. According to 9292, my plane would land at 22:30. The last train home would leave at 23:07. 37 minutes was plenty of time, but still felt like I had to hurry up. Luckily, the plane arrived 15 minutes early, giving me some breathing time. Unfortunately, the luggage conveyor belt had a technical issue, taking my time advantage away again. Also, my the handle on my bag broke, which means I won’t be using this one anymore after this.

Anyway, I made it to the train well in time. On the train, I listened in on a radio station to see how the Netherlands were doing in the World Cup. From the sound of it, they were playing a decent game, though they didn’t score. And finally, when I arrived in Deventer and walked home, I received the news that we didn’t make it through. I guess you can’t have everything.

13/7 – I have never written a blog post this long

Normally, I’d read through this post again to make some small changes, but it’s 1am and I’m kind of done with this, so it’ll have to do.

I will write up a short conclusion though. My holiday to Finland has been one of the best, if not the actual best holiday I’ve ever been on. Finnish people were very nice and we had good weather the entire week. The long days were slightly confusing my bio-rhythm, but that was only a minor thing.

Working for Crystal Fair has been an absolute blast, and if the opportunity presents itself again, I will apply for a volunteer position again next year. I’m not sure if I would go for the same position yet. Vendor team was fun to do, but kind of quiet at times, although I must say that was nice for a change too.

The best part of my trip would have to be visiting Tampere afterwards, though. It’s really a shame I could stay only for a day, and I will definitely try and stay for about a week next year, whether there is another Crystal Fair or not.

That’s it for I Never this month. I realize this entry kind of grew out of bounds, but for an event of this scale, I think it’s worth the write.

Now, good night!

I have never had a beer on a terrace in Deventer

If you live in a city, I think you should know some basic places to go out: restaurants, bars, that kind of thing. So now that I live in Deventer, I made it a point to visit the city center by night. But it turned out it wasn’t just any night.

I chose last Friday to have a beer in the city. As my Dutch readers (and most foreigners too actually) will know, that was the day that the Netherlands played against Spain in the World Cup. We’ll get to that in a moment.

There was more than just the World Cup going on that day. Upon arriving in the city, I was greeted by these sights:




That’s right, the funfair was in town! I knew it was here earlier, but I didn’t know they stuck around this long. I’m not complaining, because it gave me a few opportunities that I would not have thought of before.

For instance, using the Ferris wheel, I got some amazing views of the heart of Deventer from above. It truly is a beautiful place. I even made a short video of it.






I tried to find my own house and the office I work at, but couldn’t see either past the rows of trees, reminding me once again how green this city is.

After the Ferris wheel, I had some time before the match started, so I shot some stuff.


And I shot some other stuff.


I didn’t win anything, but it still makes for great pictures.

Anyway, it was almost time for the game, so I settled down on a terrace nearby for my first Deventer city beer.


And here’s where I watched the game. Yep, that is indeed one of the funfair stands with some of their own TVs.


I didn’t stay for the entirety of the match. I saw the “Flying Dutchman”, as well as our second and third goals. I had made my way to the snack cart and was eating my fresh fries when I saw the fourth goal on the screen at the snack cart.

But the fifth goal was maybe one of the most unique experiences. It had begun getting dark, and I had promised myself I’d ride the Ferris wheel again in the dark. I was just nearing the high point when a loud cheering came from below. People were jumping and shaking chairs over their head. It was quite a thing to see.


But seeing as I had plans for the next day, I decided to call it a night after that. I’m pretty sure the game ended shortly thereafter, because people were going outside to celebrate as I biked home.

Which concludes my evening. I was not looking forward it too much at first, because it’s pretty easy to not go out if there’s nobody you’re letting down by not going. Still, I’m glad that I didn’t let myself down. I had a fun evening and saw some beautiful sights, which make it all worth it.

Have a picture of the moon to end on.


I have never made apple cupcakes

I have a new friend. He is very hot and great in the kitchen. Well, actually, he is currently too heavy to be in my kitchen, but we’re working on that. I am talking about this new buddy of mine:


The plan for this month was pretty simple: bake cupcakes; hand out cupcakes to people. But things tend to not be as simple as they sound.

For instance: this brand new microwave oven with steam function and other mysterious settings turned out to be too heavy to stand in the location my previous microwave stood, which is on top of my fridge. I put it there, but my fridge was complaining with creaky noises that sounded highly disturbing.

There are some other solutions, but none of them seem as useful as replacing my fridge by a smaller one (I don’t use all the space in my fridge anyway) and placing a plank for my oven to stand on.

Despite the oven not being properly installed yet, I decided to still bake the cupcakes I wanted to make. Before we get to that, I just briefly want to mention In Pursuit of the Phoenix, whose recipe for the cupcakes I use in this endeavor.

Alright then, onto the cooking stuff!


The first step was to get myself some apple juice concentrate. After searching for what exactly it was, I found I could make it by boiling some apples.


This is a before picture where I was still convinced that this would work out well.


Apples in a pan. Still pretty straightforward.


Still apples in a pan, though they don’t look like that anymore. The guide says it should look like mushy fruit pulp. I think I pulled that off.

The cupcakes themselves were supposed to consist of three components: the base cupcake,  filling and frosting.

The filling!

As the recipe suggests, I started with the filling, which is a combination of sugar, eggs and the previously produced apple juice, to be accompanied by butter later on.


Looks pretty professional, huh? I even managed to separate the egg yolk from the white. Still feeling pretty good about myself at this point.


Boiling some more. Smelled like fried eggs. Probably because it involved egg yolk being heated.

When adding the butter, however, I think I made a mistake, because the recipe said to heat until the butter melted and I think I left it on too long after that because I wasn’t sure I did it right. But what do I know, I’m no expert on this kind of thing. So I just continued by putting the mixture into the fridge.

Cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes!

Next part: cupcakes! This is not completely new, but it is the first time working with the base ingredients of milk, eggs, flour and the like.


A spoon of cinnamon. It looked so inviting.


The oven put in its temporary place.


I guess I’ll see you in twenty minutes. There aren’t that many other pictures of this step, because most of this step involved my hands being covered in some form of sticky ingredient.

It was after putting the cupcakes in the oven that I checked on the filling again. It had turned solid like a cookie. A cookie made almost purely of sugar and butter. A cookie that tastes most delicious. But surely not something that would end up in a cupcake. No big deal, I’ll just have cupcakes without filling.


The last step: frosting,  made up mostly of butter and powdered sugar. Again, sticky hands means no pictures. The result was a pan filled with something that even after tossing in an entire can of powdered sugar still tasted like butter. Fine, no frosting either then.

Conclusion and future work


It wasn’t a total failure. I still did end up with twelve more-or-less edible cupcakes. I wouldn’t dare offering one of them to anyone else, but that means more for me, I suppose.

I don’t know how long exactly I’ve been working on this, but I believe this took up the majority of my day. After finally being done, I resorted to playing a game of Just one more with both the cupcakes and episodes of Scrubs while hanging on the couch.

I guess as always, the most important thing is that I learned something from this. This time, it’s that preparation is key. Next time, I’ll convert the units beforehand, so that I’m certain I won’t forget during the baking. I caught myself almost using the wrong amount a few times, but I’m pretty sure it slipped past me at least once. And if I’m sure of what I’m supposed to do, I’ll probably won’t end up with a cookie that should have been cupcake filling.

Which concludes my cupcake baking adventure on this holiday. Did it work? Not really. Was it fun? Yep, though it did take pretty long for not working out. It also left me exhausted. But did I learn something? I believe I did.

And as for future work…



Kingsday 2014

Have you ever heard of the trading game? It’s a game where you start with some small item and you try to trade it with other people for increasingly better items. There are a few success stories, such as the person who manage to get a house after starting with a paperclip.

“We can do that too,” my sister and I thought. At least, we’ll have fun trying and we’ll see where we end up. And what better place to start than the Flea Markets that are so numerous during King’s Day? People are already selling various items. They would probably not mind selling our item instead of one of their own.

So, last Saturday, the two of us headed out to Amsterdam, bringing along a set of IKEA floor protection pads.


It may seem like a strange starting item, but there’s more reason behind it than you’d think (and the people who know us very well will probably have seen these pads before once or twice). We were a little bit afraid it might be slightly tricky to trade away, because, well, they’re not something you pick up that often.

But, luckily, we came across a woman who was kind enough to trade us for a wall tile reading “Love is in the air… Jammer genoeg kan ik niet vliegen” (Too bad I can’t fly).


Easy enough to trade away, don’t you think? Turns out it was, as not much later, we managed to get a tea light holder for it.


Contrary to what we expected, most of the stalls we encountered were just shops that continued to sell their wares outside, with very few private people just selling their useless stuff. Maybe it’s because we didn’t really know where to look, or maybe we just had wrong expectations, but in the end, we didn’t get that far. We were able to trade the tea light holder for a domino set in the end, but that’s where our trading adventure ended on this day.


But it was a good day nevertheless. The weather was nice, there was a lot to be seen and we had fun, which is what matters in the end.

And I guess there’s some things we learned from this. Like how we should look into where exactly we should be to trade, or that most people will pack up and leave around four. And that neither of us really knows how to play domino.

All in all,  a good first King’s Day. Onto the next!

I have never slept in my own house



This is an idea that I’ve had since the end of last year. I love doing and experiencing new things, which is why I’m always looking for uncommon and peculiar opportunities. It’s often in the little things, like a new flavor of tea or chips, but I try some other things from time to time. My former housemates will remember my “crazy ideas”, such as attempting to bake an omelette in gravy (didn’t work), or blending “bitterballen” (tasted awful) or putting a banana between a “frikandel” (amazing).

Over the course of last year, I noticed I was not doing new things that often any more, and I wanted to change that. So I’ve been thinking about starting a video series called “I Never”, in which I log something I have never done before. The idea is to create an entry for each month and keep that up for at least a year.

I didn’t start on it in January like I imagined, but now that I have my own house, April seems like a good month to start. And seeing how I already have this blog, I figured I’d start it here. I can always expand to video if I want to.

So without further ado, “I have never slept in my own house”.

Even though I have this house, it’s not really fit to live in. But since we had a work party yesterday (which was awesome by the way), I decided to sleep here. I also had to get some more parts of my outfit, so I figured I’d go shop in Deventer and have dinner at home as well.



Well,  dinner is a big word. Lacking an oven, furnace, fridge, plates, cutlery and cups, I went with a luxurious meal of two petit pains and some salad. Then again, I didn’t have to do the dishes.


And this is my “bed”. It’s not the most comfortable for sleeping, but it did the trick.

So, what was it like? Mostly, very liberating. Just doing whatever I want feels pretty good. I had a lot of freedom already, but this is just that little bit extra that makes me feel like I own the place. Which I do.

Looking forward to my next night.



Hello Deventer!

Where do blogs come from? Some people just grow bored with what they’re doing and decide to kill some time with a new toy. Others may be looking for an outlet for their creative works or to say what’s boggling their mind. And a lot of people are simply looking to keep their friends and family updated on what’s going on.

I suppose Summer All The Time is a bit of all of those. But the main reason for founding this was the big step that I took today. As of today, I am officially renting my own apartment in Deventer. And I figured I’d show people some pictures of what it’s like.

Living room

Here’s the living room. This picture does a somewhat poor job of conveying the size of this room. Seriously, it’s pretty big. Also, it’s blue. I’ll get back to that later. Oh, and note the x2 room size multiplier from the mirrors. I should maybe have taken more pictures of the living room. It is pretty good room after all.


Kitchen. Not the biggest kitchen, really, but big enough to prepare my daily meals.


Bedroom, above the living room. Pretty roomy too, and lots of closet space. Also, I can sleep underneath a roof window and hear the rain while in bed. How much more comfy do you want to get?

Behind the closets

There’s also this area behind the closets where I can keep all kinds of random objects or annoying guests.

“But Lex,” you ask. “Your bedroom is above your living room. How, pray tell, are you going to get there?” With this of course!

Sexy staircase

Booyah! Awesome staircase inside my living room! Yeah, that’s right! I get to go upstairs using this bad boy! Not only does it provide a second story to my already pretty sweet house, it looks pretty sweet itself too. And it sounds exactly like it should: creaky, reminding you how awesome it is.

And if that’s not enough for you:

Emergency Ladder

Escape ladder! Takes you directly from a small room next to my bedroom to the hall and outside if the house is on fire or to the bathroom or living room if you feel like a badass and want to use a ladder.

All done admiring the pictures? Then let me get back to the blueness of the living room and what that means what it will look like in the future.

Suppose you want to have a bar in your living room, because you live there on your own and you have the space and you want to be able to invite guests over while having an awesome bar. Now suppose also you realize that you can put a beach bar  in there because it’s your own home and nobody else has any real authority to tell you not to. And suppose the color of the walls is screaming “you’re on a beach”. Would you design your living room to look like a beach club?

I would. And I will. This room is going to have beach chairs and beach tables. I’m going to put in a beach bar to serve cocktails from. And that’s just the start of it. It’s future talk, yes. The first few months may not even be close to it. But it’s a goal. It’s something to work towards to.

Because in my living room, I want it to be Summer All The Time.

Ramblings and other things