Mon 28 Oct - Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands

An indoor day again... And hardly any photos...

Well, our theory of every second day being nice weather did not work out, because a major storm warning has been in place over all Northern Europe for the last 24 hours. The wind has been so powerful that you could barely walk into it. The Weather Channel shows that it should clear by tonight, which is good news for Hans' flight to the UK tomorrow.

We awoke early - unnecessarily - as we've not yet adapted the extra hour for the end of daylight saving. A few cups of tea followed by our usual breakfast and we were set for the day...not that we had any plans as the wind outside was howling and rattling the windows quite a bit.

Everything was going as per our normal routine, until the drain of the shower in our bathroom refused to drain. And to make matters worse the washing machine load we had going seemed to be emptying into this same blocked drain and flooding back into the bathroom. So lots and lots of mopping to clear out the water, and investigate what might be going wrong, trying the obvious things like cleaning what could and should be cleaned and resetting the pump that controls the flushing of the toilet, but with little difference.

We eventually wrote to our hosts for any tips. Until we solve the problem Di is washing her hair in the kitchen sink and our bathing arrangements may be something similar...try not to think about it...

We finally got to being lazy - we just read books and Di did some cooking (which she loves).

Around noon, the wind seemed to have "calmed down" to a regular 30-40km per hour and we braved the outdoors (or should we say the short walk to our local shopping area). This is how the Weather Channel described the situation.

The forecast for Amsterdam was even more grim. Red flag rather than Amber, even stronger winds.

Well, yes it might only be a regular 40km per hour but the gusts must have been double that. We staggered a bit as we tried to walk forward and stuck close to the shop doorways to avoid flying debris - we saw bits of a shattered shop sign and a strip of roof tar paper on the ground not far from our place.

Hans read online that parts of southern Britain had 160km per hour winds earlier today. Well,that explains it!

We popped into a nearby shop which was supposed to be a department store called Hema, but they had very little for us. Hans did find a pair of €20 jeans that are a good replacement for his tattered torn (but favourite) ones, that would now finally be retired.

The mall was a bit of windswept empty place and anyone who had left their bicycle outside soon found it looking like this...

Across the mall from Hema was a typical "junk" shop aka "Traveller's Friend" and we popped in there and were pleased when we got all of the following for €18.95:

  • 3 pairs socks each
  • 4 new undies for Hans
  • 2 singlets for Hans
  • 1 pair of cheap light slippers for Di (thongs are no longer good enough for autumn/winter footwear indoors)
We did a visit to the Netherlands Poundland equivalent called Kruidvat for more licorice for Hans (you can't have too much here) and some nice Ferraro chocolates for Di. A quick stop for some fresh bread rolls and a dash home again for lunch followed and no more outside for today.

Home made tuna and corn chowder (which Di made earlier) with bread for lunch was followed by more lazing and cooking. Di got into making a Beef Rendang curry, which takes several hours, ready for tomorrow night's dinner.

More lazing and Di did some research on what she could do in Amsterdam tomorrow whilst Hans will be flying to London Southend and back tomorrow, long story.

Pasta for dinner with a glass of wine thrown in.

Anneke, our friends and hosts' friend turned up as she had also received an email about the blocked drainage and we discussed some options. Anneke also turned up a bit later. A man selling Vodaphone services also rang the door, meaning that after having nobody turning up at our doorstep since we arrived last Wednesday, we had 3 door rings in one evening.

Yet more "Big Bang Theory" on TV before we had an early night, and yes, it seemed like the strong winds had finally died out a bit after even moments of thunder this afternoon. Good night.

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