20181021 Alex Noord

Alex Sutherland sitting on a bench and looking around

Alex has got a job! He went in for an interview today, and walked out employed. Very proud of him. Then we went for some McDonalds, and bought him some plain black trousers and a new pair of Doc Martens, because he’s going to be spending a lot of time on his feet.

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: disrupted, nasal. Ended up sleeping in the guest room.
  • Walk: around Amsterdam
  • Photography: yes, lots of shots around Amsterdam.
  • Bass: no
  • Snacks: Abi made banana bread. I ate banana bread.

Couple on an escalator

20181020 Selfie

Selfie of Martin Sutherland

Not much time for photos today. It’s been busy. Yesterday evening Alex, Fiona, and I went out to find a Vodafone shop to upgrade our subscriptions, and sort out new phones for them. We got to the Vodafone store in Zaandam, and found out they were closed early because they were moving from one location to another. Then we drove to one of the Vodafone stores in Amsterdam, and our order got messed up and then it was closing time. I went in again firth thing this morning, and apparently our order had confused the system so much that the only thing to do was cancel it and rewind our accounts to a point before we tried anything. Except it takes an overnight run to restore everything, so we can’t try again until tomorrow. Oh well.

Later in the morning we had a Velux window specialist come out for a chat, and to measure up for putting a new window on the sloping roof of our bedroom. Gemeente Oostzaan is organizing a bulk discount order for solar panels for residents, and we might want to get in on that. If we do, we’d want to get any window work done before the panels go up.

I woke up with a ringing sinus headache, and was fighting it throughout the morning. I had a nap in the early afternoon, and felt a bit better afterwards. Early evening Alex, Fiona, and I went to the cinema to see A Simple Favor, which was excellent. None of us had seen any trailers or heard anything about the film, and it was a really refreshing experience to go and see a film of which we did not know what to expect. The description made it sound like a thriller, and when the opening scenes were quite funny, I wasn’t sure how to react. Should I laugh, or should I be waiting for the other shoe to drop, and for it to take a horrible dark turn? The film balances humour and tension very well throughout, and kept me guessing right to the end. Alex was literally sitting on the edge of his seat for parts of it. On the drive back, we agreed that we should do this more often: fine a film we know nothing about, and go see it with completely fresh eyes.

When we got back, I discovered messages from Phil on my phone that I’d missed while I had my phone in do-not-disturb mode in the cinema. I was needed on a mission! I won’t go into details, but I ended up driving through Amsterdam in the dark with a mattress rolled up and stuffed in the back of the car. Mark Pilgrim once said something along the lines of, “a friend will help you move house, but a lifelong friend will help you move a body.” Fortunately, no shovels were required this evening.

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: not great. Woke up at 06:30 with what I though was just a headache, but became clear was a sinusache as it progressed. Got back to sleep, but it was still there when I woke up a couple of hours later. Nap in the afternoon was pleasant, though.
  • Walk: not really, just out for errands and stuff.
  • Bass: no
  • Photography: no
  • Snacks: maltesers at the cinema

20181019 Sunset

Birds flying against a clouds at sunset

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: good. Woke around 06:20, but was able to get back to sleep again quickly.
  • Walk: bits and pieces on a couple of errands
  • Bass: practicing scales
  • Photography: just a couple of snaps while I was out on errands.
  • Snacks: Some chocolate kruidnoten

20181018 Caw

Crow silhouetted against the evening sky

Alex got a callback from a job application today, and he has an interview on Sunday!

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: not great. Woke up several times in the night. On the other hand, because Fiona had a late start today, I was able to drift and doze around 07:00.
  • Walk: 2.5km round-trip to the shops to pick up a package
  • Photography: magpies are very skittish and cautious. If I want to get some good close-up photos, I’m going to have to set up a blind and be really patient.
  • Bass: practicing scales
  • Snacks: chocolate kruidnoten

20181017 ‘SUP??

Black swan looking cheekily at the camera






There’s a family of black swans in a wee canal not too far from here. I cycled along this afternoon to take some pictures. They are tame and thoroughly adorable.

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Retro? Go
  • FIDO? Go
  • Guidance? Go
  • Control? Go
  • TELCOM? Go
  • GNC? Go
  • EECOM? Go
  • Surgeon? Go

Wait, wrong list.

  • Sleep: Too short. By 23:30 my eyes were drifting shut, and I still had 130 pages to go in Harry Quebert, so I finished it this morning rather than last night. That still left me with only 7 hours or so, which isn’t enough.
  • Walk: half-hour round-trip cycle to the swans instead.
  • Photography: excellent. But I really need a bigger memory card, because I filled up my 16GB before I felt like I was done.
  • Bass: no.
  • Snacks: I may have bought myself some chocolate kruidnoten. Maybe not, though. Who can really say.

Cameras, old and new

Two cameras side by side. A Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 bought new in 2005, and aPanasonic Lumix FZ1000, bought second-hand in October 2018

I pulled out my old good camera (Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200, bought in November 2005) so that I could wipe its old memory cards and take it to the second-hand shop. Wow. It feels so tiny compared to the Lumix FZ1000! I’ve got used to the new form factor so quickly. The viewfinder on the Konica Minolta is just as bad as I remember. I’ve got it good now. I’m really enjoying the Lumix.