Hello summertime! That’s right, after what feels like years of heavy coat and waterproofs, finally we are starting to see the sun cracking through the clouds. IN fact, I am currently writing this on June 2nd (spoiler alert) and it has been 30 degrees today. 30. Degrees. Imagine! A little too hot for my pasty complexion truth be told, but a nice break from endless grey skies. They say the weather has a huge effect on your mood and I do really believe in that; although I am a self-proclaimed Autumn baby (give me a blanket and a hot drink any time), I do love this time of year when suddenly the terraces are full, the flowers are in boom and a certain insouciance descends on Amsterdam.
May started slow, with a loss to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final the main event of the first few days. It ends well (spoiler alert) but watching Liverpool lose 3-0 in a huge competition, whilst on the cusp of crashing out of the Premier League was not a great start to the month. Luckily we watched the game in a pub so I was able to drink my sorrows away and make a wine-fuelled purchase that will be revealed at Christmas (sorry mum, if you’re reading). The rest of the first part of the month was pretty inconspicuous, with a date night with B to watch the Avengers and eat a curry a mini highlight. We watched the film in the beautiful Tuschinski groot zaal, and we even paid a few euros extra to sit in the balcony in the fancy seats with a free drink and snack thrown in. Yes, we’re extra. Yes, we both cried.
The month soon looked up as Liverpool played one of the best games I’ve ever seen in the second leg against Barcelona, qualifying for the Champions Leagues final for the second year in a row. After a bit of a cry (yes that’s 2 cries in 2 paragraphs) and a bit of a celebration, I crashed the next day into a Google workshop at the beautiful Hoxton hotel. I rarely include my professional engagements on this here blog (because, hooray for a degree of anonymity), but I did really enjoy my day with Google as I got to work with some different people, spitball some new ideas and generally see a new way to approach things. Very refreshing.
The middle of the month was pretty much taken up with pub quizzes and dinner dates with friends (shout out to Beer & Barrels in Utrecht for their amazing smoked chicken), hair cuts (finally committed to dying my hair ginger in a few weeks time, help!) and working my ass off at the gym ahead of my upcoming holidays. I wouldn’t say that I am a particular gym bunny, but I do find I feel so much more balanced in my mind when I am able to make time for the gym, and I really want to make taking time for the gym and looking after myself a priority in the second half of 2019.
Also in May we had a visit from B’s parents, who were in town for quite possibly their final visit to Amsterdam (it’s all beginning to feel very real) and to see a couple of exhibitions. Ahead of our exhibitions, we renewed our Museum Cards; I was a little sceptical on getting them renewed as I felt we didn’t really get our full money’s worth out of them, but B and I have made a pact to get the most out of our cards this time around. Over the course of their visit, we attended the Rembrandt exhibition at the Rijksmuseum – very busy, very big, very cool – and the Press Photo exhibition in the Nieuw Kerk. We attended the Press Photo last year and it was one of the most interesting exhibitions we attended all year, so I was definitely keen to go again this year. An extremely sobering experience, witnessing some of the worst events happening around the world in a very no-holds-barred kind of way. I once again came out feeling very sheltered and largely oblivious to events that affect so many people. Must try harder; any recommendations for podcasts on current affairs around the global would be 100% appreciated!
Two final events to mention in May’s round-up: Eurovision and a night at the comedy. Now, I am a Eurovision fan. I love the tackiness, the OTT staging and the general feel-good attitude of the show, and this year was no exception – the Netherlands ultimately emerged victorious which of course means that Eurovision 2020 will be held in the Netherlands. Definitely, 100% going to get me some tickets and I cannot bloody wait. For the comedy, we went to see Irish comedian Dara O’Briain at the famous Carré theatre. We actually saw Dara a few years ago in Amsterdam at the Meervaart theatre and we have never laughed so hard, so we jumped at the chance to see him again in the stunning Carré. I mean, they had chandeliers that retracted at the beginning of the show. Say no more.
Annnnnd that’s about it for May. Oh, and I squeezed in a trip to Rome with one of my best gal pals. So not a bad month in all.