Women’s International Group Zeeland

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Panto Anyone? December 1, 2006

Filed under: Announcements — wigz @ 6:52 pm

Hi everone,

Don’t know if anyone is intersested in this but I love Panto and wondered if anyone else fancies it?


Just found your announcement through the (Groups&Clubs) discussions on
> Expatica web site.
> Maybe you’ve heard of us (IDEA) – maybe not ? We are also a bunch of
> english speaking expats residing around Dordrecht area
> and since 1991 have given pleasure to fellow expats (as well as Dutch)
> with our plays/musicals and traditional english panto’s
> Our next panto is : Cinderella – to be staged in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht
> between 11th & 14th January (11th&12th are already Sold out)
> The Sunday performance is aimed for families (+children)
> Further details on our drama group can be found via: www.idea-panto.nl or
> call me on: 0168 327940 (Zevenbergen)
> Hope you can forward our existence and forthcoming show to your fellow
> members ?
> Kind regards
> Martin


German Christmas Cookies November 26, 2006

Filed under: Announcements — wigz @ 10:12 am

A big “Thankyou” to Christine Burn who went to a lot of trouble to prepare and organise the Christmas cookie baking afternoon held at her welcoming home.  It really was a great way to kickstart the Christmas festivities not to mention yummy. A special thank you also from our husbands who really do think Christmas came early “Es war gemutlich!”

Carol Anita & Chris X


St Johns Collage Cambridge Choir Visit Vlissingen November 23, 2006

Filed under: Announcements — wigz @ 12:04 pm

The Choir of St Johns Collage Cambridge will be giving a Christmas concert in St Jacobskerk Vilssingen on Tuesday 19th of December.  You can’t get more English than this! for more information visit: www.kerstmetstjohns.nl What a great way to kickstart the Christmas festivities.


WIGZ Website November 13, 2006

Filed under: Announcements — wigz @ 12:39 pm

Miriam is currently working hard on the design of our new website and we are hoping to get it up and running for the new year.  If you have any ideas/suggestions for what you feel should be included on this site please feel free to contact her via the gmail address


Book Swap

Filed under: Announcements — wigz @ 12:11 pm

Holly, a big thank you for making us all feel so welcome in your lovely home,  and for introducing so many new faces to our group. This monthly event is going from strength to strength.  The next bookswap will be held in the evening on Wednesday 6th December at Olive Lokerse’ house Hortensiastra 19 in ‘s-Gravenpolder (details to follow in the December news letter) hope to see you all there!


November Family Funday November 7, 2006

Filed under: Announcements — wigz @ 8:24 am

Thanks to everyone who helped make this our best fun-day to date. The food, once again was fantastic.  Face painting was brilliant and very popular with young and old(er) members, Anita needed to be spoon fed Anastasias wonderful pumpkin soup, so as not to disrupt the conveyor belt of children waiting to be sminkt.  To all the pyromaniacs, thanks for keeping yourselves and the fire under control.  The children’s costumes where just too scary for words.  Of course the next family fun-day coincides with the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaus which we fully intend to celebrate, so remember to pencil Sunday 3rd December in your diaries.


Article form the Independend newspaper. Does anyone know Jenny? November 4, 2006

Filed under: Blogroll — wigz @ 11:05 am

Jenny Colgan: At the Sharp End

‘To become truly Dutch, buy a rain cape, adopt a stoic expression and pedal off eating a cheese sandwich’

Published: 30 October 2006

When we spent a year in the south of France we had no shortage of visitors. Now we’re in the rural Netherlands, however, it’s not quite like that. Despite the charming, picturesque medieval town square we live on and the acres of green countryside all around, the lure of a place where it rains 300 days a year, where it’s still dark at 8.30 in the morning and where the chief cuisine is cheese that tastes of nothing doesn’t amount to much. So, as the only Brits in Middelburg, Zeeland (this is technically Old Zealand, if you’ve ever wondered where the new one sprung from), we’re just going to have to go native.

I’m always delighted when countries live up to their stereotypes, coming myself from a place where the men don’t run about the heather in skirts with blue faces singing about lassies. So it’s with great pleasure that I can announce that if, when you think of the Netherlands, a very tall blonde person on a bicycle in the rain in clogs on their way to take legal recreational drugs before glancing at some mind-bogglingly hard-core pornography and putting down their relatives comes to mind, you’d be largely correct. Well, the cycling in the rain part, at least.

The language looked to be a problem before we started reading it. Now we have a secret suspicion that they’ve been cheating all this time. After struggling to translate zeebars on a menu, we got a pitying look from the waiter: “I think the word in English is sea bass?”

And what about this teaser, from the baby’s book about Kikker, the onomatopoeically excellent word for frog: “Kikker en goen oot wandelen.” That’s right, he’s going out wandering. “Kikker en goen een zweemen.” Zweemen, you say? “Onder water alls een vis.” Ah, with a fish. Too easy.

They also have a very nice turn of phrase. For example, I asked our friend Jaab why you never hear a car horn in the street, and he looked at us as if we were een klap van de molen hebben, or crazy. This literally translates as “been hit by a windmill”.

The answer, if you’re interested, is because “surely it makes sense for everyone to obey the rules of the road – you get there faster”. Goddamit! Why didn’t the rest of the world think of that?

In fact, most visitors to Middelburg, and nearby Vlissingen, are actually from Germany. Kindly, nobody reminds us too often that the perfect English they’re speaking is almost certainly their third language. Still, we’re doing our best, dank je vell.

And again, in contrast to France, the cuisine isn’t something the region is exactly famous for. Traditionally, as you find in most chilly, damp northern European countries, including my own, the diet is very heavy on the gut-lining: cheese, cream, meat, chips, sauerkraut, and beer. Whatever type of potatoes you order with your meal, you’ll also get a plate of fried ones popped in as an added bonus. There’s a lot of fish about, but the preferred local method is to deep-fry it in chunks and dip it in mayonnaise.

Personally, I like nice heavy suppers when you’re coming in from yet another cold and rainy day. It’s comfort food. But while surrounded by nations with a similar rainy-day diet – the UK, Germany and Belgium, all of whose citizens have managed to grow outstandingly fat ever since they stopped hand-ploughing stony fields for a living – the Dutch, however, remain tall and lithe. And it doesn’t take long to see why: it’s because of how they get about.

Bicycles have right of way on every public road. Every bypass and motorway has bike tracks built in, and everybody uses them. At 4.30pm (yes, that’s when everyone finishes work here; lovely socialist country), there’s bicycling rush-hour build-up. If we wanted to, we could cycle from here to Calais (then get our bikes nicked at Dover). It’s brilliant.

All the bikes, including ours, are Dutch-built, and it doesn’t look like they’ve changed the design since the 1890s. With hefty, high handlebars, at least one child seat and a basket, they weigh about 12 tons, have a stopping distance longer than a Rotterdam freighter and a turning circle that rarely fails to make you worried about falling into a nearby canal. But they’re great. Completely unexportable because a gradient of more than 1 in 10,000 simply means you stop and fall off.

Dutch bikes nonetheless are the most comfortable form of slow transport, known to man. All you need to become truly Dutch is to buy a rain cape that covers the entire mechanism, adopt a stoic expression and pedal off while eating a large cheese sandwich.

They may be nice and slim, but Dutch people are technically giants. They’re officially the tallest people on earth. Ladies’ shoe sizes start at 38 and clomp on up to 45. Ceilings, train seats and cinemas are all built to take big folks. Life here is inordinately comfortable. The Netherlands is brill, as I said to my new friend Ster. (Praising someone’s country is always a useful way to make new friends, I’ve found.)

“Yes,” she said, “but you know income tax is 59 per cent?”

“Ah, op zo een fiets,” I replied with my new Dutch phrase, meaning, “Ah, now I get it.” Although the literal translation is “Ah, THAT’S the bike you’re on.”

Thanks to Christina Burn and her son for the full version