Teaching again!

I did a trial class today at another branch of Achmea in Apeldoorn……..team taught balance with the GFM, and I’m happy to say that they have offered me two permanent classes! It felt so good to be on stage again, and even though I was team teaching I had to know the chorrey extra well, because the other instructor would be teaching in Dutch. So I had to learn the entire release in 4 days.

Normally that would be no problem, but I found it was much harder for me to learn chorrey than it used to be. I think when you’re doing it all the time it just comes easier, but I found myself underestimating how hard it would be. But I got there in the end, and I only made a couple of minor mistakes.

I tried to learn some cues to say in Dutch, but I found it too difficult to learn the chorrey and Dutch at the same time. So I only said a few little things in Dutch and taught the rest in English…….which was ok since all the participants could understand English.

So I guess I did ok, despite not being able to speak Dutch, because after the class they offered me 2 balance classes, and as I get into shape and I’m ready to do more, I should be able to get classes in the other programs aswell.

I’m really happy that they’re giving a non-Dutch speaker a chance and so far I’ve had really great feedback! I feel so good being on stage teaching again ­čÖé

Adelaide vs Apeldoorn

I’ve been wanting to write about this for some time. Living in a foreign country obviously many things are different and it takes quite a bit to get used to some things. But, rather than write about the things I’ve noticed between Australia and The Netherlands, I think it’s more accurate to talk about specifically the differences between Adelaide and Apeldoorn, since Apeldoorn has some things which are not necessarily applicable to the whole of The Netherlands.

The food for instance………mmmmm yum. Not far from where we live there is one of the best Chip stores in The Netherlands, known as Patat here. I know that eating fries in Australia is just never going to be the same for me again after eating Patat met en met uien! Nevermind the frikendel and kroketten. The food in Apeldoorn is just fantastic. The milk is better and the water is far more drinkable than Adelaide. In fact, all dairy, bread and anything cooked in oil is far better. The veggies though? Adelaide tops out on that one actually………much nicer fruit and veg. They don’t use preservatives here which is probably healthier, but the food deteriorates really quickly.

Laws are quite interesting here. Sometimes they are clear, sometimes I just wonder if anybody knows the rules. Then I surmise that they don’t care. When it comes to carparking there is a simple rule that I know of. If it fits, then it’s a carpark, lol. But there are some places that you must not park or you’ll get a hefty fine………and if you’re lucky that may be sign posted. Otherwise after you get a fine you then now know you cannot park there and the general public seem to have learnt this way. Sometimes it’s ok to park there even if it does have a no-parking sign…………and some clearly designated parking spots you cannot park in. I have not yet learnt why.

Driving has kinda similar rules………it’s only illegal if you get caught apparently. Depending on the act, with 18 million people in such a small area the odds can be on your side. Sometimes it’s even acceptable to drive on the bike lane or footpath if that happens to lead to your designation. If cars really must not drive somewhere, then the only real way to prevent it from happening is to build a barrier……….this does seem to work well ­čÖé

Where Adelaide has been having an ongoing drought, the opposite certainly occurs here! I arrived in Spring and it rained nearly every day. During summer…….it rained. It continued to rain in Autumn. In winter it either rains or snows. And when it rains it never just drizzles. I went out once in what I thought was a “light rain” and found myself absolutely saturated! I’ve learnt now not to underestimate the rain here and I always take a rain coat! lol

Those are the first things that come to mind. If I think of the other points that amuse me, I will write about those in a second installment ­čÖé

Dutch course

It’s been about three weeks now since I started my Dutch course, and I have to say it has been a HUGE help. I was very very nervous about starting the course, particularly because they teach ONLY in Dutch. I thought……”how can I learn Dutch if I can’t understand what they’re teaching?”

The first intro day that I did was very difficult for me and I understood very little, but even after the first week of being forced to try and communicate in Dutch (even if it’s just a couple of words and using hand signals) and also having to listen, it has improved my ability to be able to listen and comprehend the language. Up until now my written dutch has been far better than my spoken (or listening), but now even though I know half the stuff we’re learning in the books already (it’s very simple level) the experience of talking and listening in the language has been very valuable!

I can now do simple stuff like ask where you’re born, where you live, what is your telephone number etc. I think once I can get to a stage where I can have some conversation in Dutch I think it will advance very rapidly for me.

Straightened out

After a few appointments my back is much straighter and I’m feeling better than I have in AGES! I hardly get any pain now and I’ve started doing classses again so this is huge.

I did balance over a week ago and I felt fine and had SOOO much more flexibility. It is clear that I’ve obviously needed to see a chiro for a while (haven’t seen one since I left Australia). I took it easy in the balance class just to be careful, but I didn’t really feel like I HAD to do options………but I did some anyway. It was the latest release of balance too and the first time I’ve been able to do this release. But then since then I’ve been sick with a cold………..AGAIN!

Now that I’ve got access to a chiro let’s hope I can keep straight now ­čÖé

Dutch course

Due to my back problems I missed the first day of my Dutch language course, but I attended tonight and I haven’t really missed to much thankfully.

The course is completely and solely in Dutch, although the teacher is very good at explaining things simply and using visuals to help understand. Although I cannot understand all of it, I did find it very helpful in actually practising listening to Dutch and being forced to try and speak it. There were 6 of us, and it turned out only the girl next to me spoke English………which was a huge relief and we kinda buddied up. She has also only been in The Netherlands a short time, only 4 months……..so we’re kinda in the same boat.

We got told off for speaking in English though, cuz during the actual course we are ONLY allowed to speak Dutch. I can see the sense in that, but luckily during the break we’re allowed to gabber on. The people in my group are all kinda around my level, so that makes it easier to learn in that environment.

One thing I did find, is that the level we were practising was VERY easy, but it’s the theory that is easy for me, not the actual listening and speaking. I have been studying some Dutch via text, so that’s how I know the theory, but I haven’t actually used it much in practise. The environment she teaches us is great, very supportive, even if we make mistakes, and she encourages us to keep trying (“probeer”!). Without that I would find it very difficult, and I apologise to the Dutchies, but they do tend to be a bit critical……..which is why I haven’t practised speaking the language yet! People always say that the Dutch appreciate any attempt foreigners make at attempting to speak the language, but I have to be honest and say that I haven’t experienced that, and that instead I’ve experienced criticism of my mistakes and laughing at my accent. ok ok, I admit I haven’t had MANY experiences, cuz I haven’t attempted to speak the language as much as I should……..but that’s cuz when you’re new to learning a language you tend to be a bit more sensitive (especially when you’re from Australia where we have very little exposure to foreign languages).

Anyway, doing the course tonight has got me thinking more in Dutch. There’s a lot of repetition, which I struggle to keep focused on (my brain tends to wander easily), but repetition is the only way the language can really sink in, so I have to try and stick with it. Because my family is Dutch I’ve always wanted to learn the language, so I really need to try and focus to achieve my lifelong dream!

Eventful day

Well I DID manage to get in with a chiropractor, which was a HUGE relief. I’m still in a lot of pain since the chiro could only partially adjust my spine……and it will take a little time to get back into the right position again.┬áHe seems to think that it has been triggered by stress and being in a strange country, not knowing the language and missing my friends,┬ábeing a new mum and bending over all the time to pick bubs up etc. Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be nerve involvement, so my fears that I was reliving a disc injury┬áit seems I don’t have to worry about! Hopefully I can make a full recovery soon.

On the other hand, we had another little emergency……..my favourite little boy (my son) held on to a pipe (feeding hot water to the radiators, which are in themselves safe) and burnt himself. He’s such a curious boy, crawling and into everything! But I just overlooked that danger and didn’t realise!

I ran to him straight away when I heard him cry, somehow you just know when the cry isn’t right. He was no longer holding the pipe, but I could tell immediately what had happened. I took him straight to the tap and ran his hand under the cold water…….when I could see it was blistering bad I rang Alexander who came home from work to take us to the hospital. It took us a few hours before we got through putting Connor’s hand┬áunder more running water, being seen by paediatrians, nurses putting cream on and bandaging him etc etc. So now he has a little stumpy hand all wrapped up.

I hated hearing him cry…….I just know how painful it was but there was nothing I could do for the pain. Breaks my heart. But tonight when we got home, he’d all settled down and he was back trying to get into everything again……..ocassionally crying when he put too much weight on his stumpy hand, then tentively trying to crawl off on it again. Sigh…….nothing keeps him down, lol.

He has second degree burns, but it should all heal fine.

Back relapse

Things┬áhave┬áare suddenly not so good for my back. Yesterday, while it appeared I did almost nothing at all, a simple little turn while walking away from the table has rendered me almost unable to stand. I can’t stand up straight and I’ve been in agony for 24 hours now.

At first I thought I had triggered another disc problem which I originally had over 10 years ago, but after seeing the doctor today he thinks a chiro should be able to sort things out. The scarey thing is my spine is quite visibly obviously out of line. I’ve only seen spines like this in pictures! Unfortunately I cannot ring a chiro until tomorrow so it’s at least another night in pain…….hopefully I can get in straight away with a chiro!

I hope my back settles down soon so I can get back into the gym once and for all!


New Years Eve

We ended up having a wonderful New Years Eve. The original plan was to have a quiet night at home, since partying isn’t really possible with a baby. But we got messages from a couple of friends asking what we were doing. They weren’t sure what they were doing, so we responded “come round to our place if you want!”. Both of them ended up going with other plans, so we settled with spending the afternoon at Alexander’s brothers and then came home.

At his brother’s place we ate the traditional Oliebollen and for the first time the canals were completely frozen enough to skate on. So we went down to a lake with Alexander’s newphew and niece while they skated on the ice. I walked on a frozen lake for the first time ever. Kinda eerie!

Eventually it got too cold for me and the novelty wore off so we went back inside!

When we came home we had a message from Janne saying that her plans fell through after all and she’d like to come over our house after all. Great! So we were going to have company after all!

Then an hour or so after that we got a message from the other friend that he also had a change of plans and he was coming over after all!

So we had a great night, which ended up with me falling asleep on the floor around 3amish. The boys lit fireworks and us girls kept our distance and watched it. At least we could actually SEE them this year! Last year had the heaviest fog I’ve ever seen in my life………I wrote about it in this blog somewhere, the fog was so heavy we couldn’t even see the fireworks that were only 4 m away!

Janne stayed the night over at our house, and this afternoon we had fun doing a balance class in the lounge together. We did BB35 to the DVD, so Janne had fun trying to do everything on “instructor right”, lol.

So it as a great night, and I think we’ve triggered a great “friendship” between two people ­čśë