Family trip to England with my brother

Last week I spent my days in England with my family. It was very nice to see them all again and hang out with them. During this trip, I documented everything we did. So here are my notes, not played with or edited, just the way I wrote them while I was there. Enjoy.

10-07-2012 / Tuesday

Right at this moment, I am in an airplane. I always said I was too scared to fly, as I’ve seen the movies and documentaries. But this is the moment. I am actually about to fly for the first time and Ihave to say; I am not even that nervous. Well, not yet. We’re still on the ground, not even moving. Danny is nowhere near me. He’s seated a few rows in front of me, as there weren’t two seats next to each other available anymore.

When I got on the plane, it was so hot and humid. Luckily the plane people turned on the air-conditioning. I believe we’re about to take off. The safety procedures are being showed by the airhostess.

Oh dear, we’re moving now. We’re going backwards, what? Oh, it was turning around. We’re waiting to leave now. I have to say, my tummy starts aching.

Here we go.

This is weird. The pressure keeps changing and my ears are popping all the time. It sucks. My head is spinning and my eyes keep rolling around in their sockets. I’m so dizzy and I am feeling a bit sick.
Adam Lambert ft. Queen on my iPod, it makes me calm down a bit, though. 

The flight attendant is selling cigarettes. Why? You’re not even allowed to smoke on the plane. It makes no sense.

The pilot is telling us that we’re flying about four hundred miles an hour! As if it is nothing.

It feels as if I’ve not even been up in the air for fifteen minutes, but they’re already telling us to buckle up as we’re about to land. As if I would unbuckle my seatbelt.

England is beautiful from up high. The fields, the little villages. It’s a bit surreal actually. I’m up so high. Weird, but beautiful.

Landing was awful! It feels like you’re actually crashing onto the ground. A big bang and you’re down, but I’m happy to be down. London, here I come.

-later that day-

My uncle, Pete, is great. He loves art and has a dragon for a pet. Eddy the pet lizard. Or actually, it’s a dinosaur. There’s a crop circle on the wall in his living room. Looks good!

Danny’s got a bed downstairs in the second living room. I got the guestroom. The walls are mint green with framed paintings on them. The room is filled with a double bed, some shelves with books, a commode and a chair. I think the book thing runs in the family. My mom has a lot of books, my dad does too and now my uncle. I’m getting there as I’ve got two crates filled with books.

 July 11th 2012 / Wednesday

Day two in England. I just woke up and I’m already showered. I’m downstairs eating my breakfast, waiting for my brother so I can charge my phone, as he’s got the adapter.

Eddy is awake and it’s staring at me. Oh god, there’s a grasshopper in his tank. Is it even a grasshopper? It’s crawling, not hopping. Oh well.

Me and my brother will be visiting our grandparents today and the sun is shining, although, I know I shouldn’t say that out loud. We all know what happens if I do. Stupid mother nature.

-later today-

The only downside of today was the fact that my shoes are soaked. Told you about the weather and not saying it out loud…

But apart from all the rain, it was a good day. We spent it with our grandparents and Nico, our niece. I got to meet her daughter, Isla, for the first time. She’s so sweet and funny. John’s a cool bloke as well, he’s Isla’s father and Nico’s boyfriend.

A big downpoint of England so far apart from the rain? The toilets. They hate me. I just can’t get them to flush.

12-07-2012 / Thursday

Don’t get me wrong. The bed is great, the pillows are lovely and it’s nice and quiet outside. But there is so much light coming in trough the curtains. It’s 8am now and I am already not able to get back to sleep anymore.
But if I look at it from the Brightside; the sun is shining! It even feels hot from what I can tell from my open window and there’s not even a cloud in the sky. Let’s hope it stays like this.

-later this day-

We went sightseeing in Gravesend, looking for the Pocahontas statue. I knew it was there, I’ve seen it when I was a kid. I took a picture with it so I could put the two together and look at how much I’ve changed.

This day was a total shopping spree. I bought the Hunger Games trilogy and Danny got Michael McIntyre´s autobiography. We continued our shopping tour in Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe. There I bought three cds and my brother got himself two new t-shirts. I also found the onesies I was looking for, but they were 150 pounds, so I’ll just order them online.

Also, we went to the Apple store to get some Wi-Fi and there I met Ed Sheeran’s brother. He wasn’t really his brother, but they sure did look alike. I told him and he said he heard that a lot, but he wasn’t sure if he should take it as a compliment. So I said he should and now my brother thinks I was flirting with him. Can’t you give someone a compliment anymore these days?

The night was simple. We met Pete down at the pub just after six for a few drinks and Danny and I played a game of pool. I totally kicked his but! Well, actually I didn’t, but I did win. He just shot the black ball in the wrong hole. That’s how I mostly win from my friends as well.

Friday 13th

Oh dear, not really a lucky day, I guess?  Well, for most people that is. We didn’t really have anything bad happening to us. We went for lunch with my grandparents and did some more shopping. I bought another book(Pay it forward), sue me. We went for a walk in the park and after that we played a few games of card; banker, put&take and bonk.

At night we went to a pub with Nico, John, Isla and John’s other daughter Niamph. We even got to meet Becky. She’s Nico’s halfsister, but not really our niece, I believe. And at one point she asked me how I met Danny. So I told her he’s my brother, you should’ve seen her face. Priceless. She honestly thought I was his girlfriend!

Saturday July  14th 2012

Today we went to Rochester with Pete, Nico, John and the kids. I really wanted to go there, as it’s the place where Charles Dickens lived, and because there’s an old castle. John, Niamph and I went all the way up and the even saw the evil monster that haunted it!

In Rochester was this beautiful cathedral and down in the crypt Nico and I tried to lift a loose stone from the ground, because we wanted to see what was underneath it. And we did! But it was a really heavy stone, so when we had it up, it slipped out of our hands and you could hear a really big bang. So we just hoped no one had heard it and we just casually finished our round through the cathedral, acting like nothing had happened.

We saw the chalet Charles Dickens had actually lived in and where he has written five of his novels. I don’t know which ones, but I still got myself a little souvenir. I thought, it’s a Charles Dickens town, so I have to get one of his books. So I ended up buying Oliver Twist in England’s biggest second-hand bookshop. A Dickens book from a Dickens town.

July 15th / Sunday

Or should I say Monday, as it is 0:10, right now. It’s weird. Time goes by so unbelievably fast. We’re at the airport right now and our trip to England is as good as over. We’re flying back in just six hours.

We’ve spent our last day with the entire family at the Dartford Festival, so we could say our goodbyes properly. We even ran into our nephew Stephen. We didn’t recognize each other as it’s been so long. I should really visit my English family more often.

Waiting, reading and a bit more waiting. That will be my night.

– – –

The flight back wasn’t actually that bad. I didn’t get sick, my ears didn’t pop and I had a seat next to the window. I took some pictures and I even fell asleep sometimes, as I hadn’t slept the night before. I just didn’t want to sleep, I wanted to enjoy the view from above the clouds. It was beautiful.

I absolutely loved this trip and I honestly think I should visit them more often. I love my family and I love England. It’s my second home.

Much Love,

Sam

Canoeing, a weird bus driver and Simmerdeis

Last weekend was Simmerdeis. It’s a festival in Drachten and one of my favourite bands were playing, so a friend came over for the weekend. As we were checking out the festival on Saturday, we noticed everything was really expensive, so we decided to do some shopping before we’d come back the next day. But, every shop in Drachten is closed on a Sunday. We therefore went to Groningen to get some food.

After we got food and wine, we took the bus back home. And our view at the traffic lights was great. There were people canoeing and there was this lady that fell out of her boat. So she tried to climb back into it, but she just couldn’t. It was really sad to see that none of her friends were helping her, but it was so absolutely funny. Poor woman, I’ll never forget her.

At one point during our journey, a guy came into the bus and showed the bus driver his ticket. He was a foreigner and he obviously didn’t have the right ticket. I guess he had a train ticket, as the lady went like “Does this look like a train to you?” She made a weird move with her arms when she said it and the worst thing was that she said it in Dutch, as it was clear that the guy didn’t speak Dutch.
The bus driver then said to him that he had to buy a ticket for the bus. But he had some sort of pass with him and he tried to check in, but it wasn’t working. Maybe he had the wrong pass or there wasn’t enough money on it, I don’t know. But the lady went on; “Toot toot, not good.” And as the guy tried to check in multiple times, the bus driver kept saying “Toot toot, not good”. So the guy left the bus and mumbled she was weird and the lady behind the wheels started shouting at him.

Why was she acting like that? I mean, obviously he’s not known with this system, but he is trying. So give the guy some credit for that and help him instead of making a fool out of him. Some people…

The festival was great. It started off with a nice sun, us laying on the grass trying to get a tan. But then the clouds came and it got cold. We stayed on the grass and we even fell asleep for a bit.
Around half past six we saw Kensington arriving at the festival and immediately the clouds disappeared and the sun came back. It got hot again and it stayed like that for the rest of the evening, it was like a miracle. The band had brought the sun with them.

We lay on the grass, waiting for the hour to pass by and when time finally got there, we went to the stage and got ourselves a front row spot. Perfect to take some photo’s. (Some as in about three hundred.) It was a good gig, we had fun, the boys were doing their jobs and I got a drumstick which you can stake people with as it’s broken. The drummer signed it, I got a picture with the entire band, my life was made at that moment.

After the mini signing, me and my friend sat down and had a nice talk with the singer/guitar player. We talked about the gig and I asked him if he’d enjoyed it as he wasn’t smiling so much. He admitted that he preferred touring over festivals and I do understand that. When you’re touring, you are sure people are coming just for you and your songs. They know your music and they will sing along. But when you’re playing at a festival, people might not know you and your work. They might not even like you. It is a good thing to play at festivals, because you can show people what you do and you might get new fans, but I guess it might not be as good as a normal gig.

It was a nice talk, we had a laugh and I promised to go see them in Rotterdam this September and maybe even some more places. We’ll just have to see if my wallet can handle that.

Much love,

Sam