The sun rises over Holland - 8.45 AM on 29 December 2015
A bottle of champagne shared with family in my dad's man cave - nothing like a man cave to guarantee a long and happy marriage.
A shop front in Maastricht - pretty things do make me happy!
A million bike rides through the country side - wearing my Anine Bing boots
Having an alfresco lunch of grey shrimp croquettes in Oisterwijk, Holland (in the prettiest winter sunlight I may have ever seen)
I have been an expat for a very long time - I left Holland as a young Dutch girl to attend university in America and then moved to New York City afterwards. But I only started counting my official expat years from our move to London, when my American husband also became an expat and we became an expatriate family. That was in 1999, and we have since also spent seven years in Hong Kong, therefore qualifying for permanent resident status here.
Christmas for an expat is not just a celebration with a tree and presents and the baby Jesus, but also a reunion with the home country and family that was left behind. My husband has no more parents, so Holland is our family's home - and such a lovely home it is.
We spent lots of time riding bikes, feeling cool gusts of wind slapping our cheeks and ears until they were red and burning, such a lovely and simple pleasure, particularly when followed by a glass of champagne in my dad's super cosy man cave in the garden. We planned our days around sunset rides (4.30 PM) or sunrise rides (8.45 AM) and sucked in as much clean air as possible before returning to the most polluted country on earth.
I am back now and have resolved to be incredibly diligent about blogging this year. I am aiming for a post every weekday with a break on the weekends. While in Holland I read a quote in my horoscope (Scorpio) that has resonated with me: those who anger you have conquered you. I am going to keep that in mind as I start the new year. I am also setting monthly goals - in January I am going to make sure my house clutter is finally sorted out. My deadline is Friday February 5, the day before I leave for our Chinese New Year holiday on an island in the Philippines with three gorgeous Hong Kong friends. If I haven't posted pictures of an Elle Decor-worthy abode by then, you can all shame me senselessly.
I hope your 2016s have started well - a very happy New Year to you all and thank you ever so much for reading.