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Twenty-five years on and Paul Simon is back into my life! He is performing tonight (as I write) in Amsterdam. Such a shame I am not there, but lucky for me, I got to the chance to watch the film on TV last night and I can not stop thinking about it… Paul Simon is now 70yrs old and still singing in tune — just like I remember.

Under African Skies, is a new documentary celebrating the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s beloved album, ‘Graceland’. The film is a musical journey, that reunites Paul with the original band members in South Africa. Racial and political problems tensions also plays a major role in the film.

BUT it’s the magic of the music — the collaborative effort between Paul Simon and the South African musicians — that inspired me the most. I felt bewitched by the end of the film, by the exquisite voices of the cappella group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, “Homeless” — That explains why I included the precious photo of the little girl (see above picture) praying/singing. So sooth your soul and see the documentary.

If you are located in Holland, you can watch the full length documentary here
[ Images from left to right.: via here and here ]

I got some additional photos to share with you (from last Saturday) Queen’s Day celebration in Amsterdam….People selling old goods, entertaining the crowd by dancing, singing and cooking while wearing something fun and funky….a mix of images of a real good day out!Above, left photo shows four irresistible boys charging as little as 30 cent euro coins (€0.30) to pay the ladies a compliment! Now that’s original, super cute and very clever of the boys. Of course the ladies loved it!Above photo, are orange paper wishes on the wall from individual people…These last three photos tell the story of Saturdays late afternoon vibe….people, dogs chilling out and watching everyone else walk by…

If you ever wanted to visit Holland, 30th of April, Queen’s Day (or Koninginnedag in Dutch) might be the ideal choice.  Everyone is  smiling and having a good time! Although it is national holiday to commemorate the birthday of the country’s Queen’s (mother’s) birthday. It’s not just to focus on the royal family or a presentation of patriotism. It’s simply a big open event for everyone in Holland to enjoy the day….this year, again i made my way across Amsterdam, and stayed close to the Jordaan district where it was less hectic…. Here are my photos of yesterdays very orange day outI just love the clothing sales, a fun event to  snatch up some good deals. Even the useless things people, kids get rid off that day, makes it all more interesting and worth while walking through the busy streets. Between all the craze you also have  the chance to listen to music and eat deliciously good food all day while the sun is beaming down!Since i have some more photos of yesterday – specially of cute people that i will post them tomorrow…in the mean time you can check out my last years post on Queen’s Day here.

It’s Australia Day today! A nation public holiday, a day tribute to everything that is great about Australia and being Australian. Sure it’s about the day the anniversary of the arrival of the first white settlement in Australia in 1778. But today we can’t ignore the fact that it was also the day that Australia’s Aboriginal community were invaded by the British on that day in 1788. Having said that, it’s a reason to weave together the past and present of a great land and its people. So, it’s officially a day off to have fun, have a party with friends and family, and check out all the live events going on during the day!

A year ago I was back there, celebrating the day under the hot sun…There is so much going on Australia day that i wouldn’t know what to suggest what to do or see! You have to see it for yourself. Though I can guarantee there is something for everyone. Aussies love to have fun, party, hang out the beach, have a BBQ with family and dress up and make an effort to look silly! Hope you like the photos.There’s another reason why I love Australia day and that is due to THE BIG SWIM. A swimming event around the corner where I grew up from (see the photos below) It’s a local event held on the Australian Day weekend. The course runs for about 2.5 km. The swim starts straight out from Palm Beach, parallel to the coastline, around a little head and into the center of Whale Beach. I’ve done it more than 6 times now and  it’s tough since the weather conditions can vary. Though the experience is AMAZING!!! I hope to do it next year! {All photos by me except the last photo, found via the big swim website}

I honestly never heard of St. Martin Day celebrated 11 November, until after living in Holland for a few years. And still then, it’s not that popular for Dutch people. Also my partner is not religious, so he didn’t grow up with the saintly tradition. It’s popular in the north part of Holland and definitely more so in Germany….:The idea is for kids to make a unique hand paper lanterns, get together with all the other kids (and parents) and come knocking on your door and sing to you some St. Martin songs. In return you give them lollies (candy).

Fortunately, this year I was prepared and bought enough sweets to supply because a few years back i got a suprise when i opened the front door and had no clue why children were singing to me!. Anyway, the mum’s around my neighbour organized the night for their kids, which i think is really sweet since not all parents take part…Though the weather that night got everyone talking, it was incredibly WINDY and raining cats and dogs! Luckily that didn’t stop the mum’s on our neighbourhood to go out in that type of wether with their very enthusiastic kiddies…: I think of St. Martin Day, Halloween in Holland without the dress-up costumes. Instead, kids make a unique paper lantern and sing to you, in for hope to recive something sweet, more lollies than they can eat in one go!. Either way, its a fun tradition.

What are you doing tomorrow?

Friday November 5 from 7 PM to midnight is the first “Museum Night in Delft”

Can you imagine….visiting a museum, a gallery late at night…or get to the main event via Tuk-Tuks…or with a canal boat!…It’s expected to be a spectacular cultural adventure…with live  performances throughout the historic centre…I certainly can’t wait. I’ve been to Rotterdam Museum Night a few years back but this is in my home town….What a way to celebrate my birthday!!!… Museum Night Website

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