Which bottle would you choose?

While walking along one of the arty streets in The Hague (Den Haag) my attention was grabbed by a rather interesting window display.

Lots of water bottles were placed randomly throughout the window space, each with a different label.

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Oh which one to drink?

Anyone fancy a swig of ‘sex’? How about some ‘chi’ to calm your inner self?

Which one would you like to try?

REVIEW: Eurovision in Concert 2012

This year, for the fourth time, Amsterdam was the host city for the biggest pre-Eurovision concert. It has become quite an extraordinary event  with more than half of the contestants coming to showcase their entries. There are only a few weeks before the contest goes to Baku in Azerbaijan. The countdown is on…

This year the event was held on Saturday 21st April 2012 in the Melkweg, a popular venue for bands when playing in Amsterdam. The organisation was much better than last year, which had a series of sound problems which created endless issues for the evening. The Melkweg was fantastic and the evening went without a hitch! Perfect!

The hosts for the evening were Cornald Maas and Ruth Jacott, the Dutch performer in the 1993 Eurovision. She strutted her stuff in Millstreet and belted out Vrede coming a very respectable 6th for The Netherlands.

BEST PERFORMANCE: Spain. Pastora blew away the crowd with her live performance of Quédate Conmigo. What a pair of lungs she has on her! I expect (and hope) Spain to do very well this year in Baku.

MOST ENTERTAINING: Ireland. Jedward really know how to entertain a crowd. I really didn’t like them last year in Düsseldorf, but with Waterline as their comeback I love them.

MOST EMBARASSING WARDROBE MALFUNCTION: France. Poor, poor Anggun wore a lovely red dress, which for those on the first 6 rows of audience (me included), got a perfect view up… I rather feel that someone should have advised her against white pants with a red dress… oh la la…

HOTTEST PERFORMER: Moldova. Hello, Pasha! That’s all I have to say on the matter.

MOST CRINGEWORTHY: San Marino. Deranged doesn’t even begin to describe this. San Marino decided to ‘test’ the rules of Eurovision. A song all about ‘Facebook’ although it’s not allowed to be called that now. I think Facebook should sue!

MY FAVOURITE: Slovenia. Eva’s song is my far my favourite for Baku, although on the night it didn’t come across well. Unfortunately, her backing singers weren’t there and they play a vital role in the performance as one sings the gentle aaaah bits.

THE ONES I MISSED: Sweden and Russia. Oh how I would have loved them to be there. Sweden has the song of the year and a great performance (but will it win?) and Russia have the grannies who I adore.

I predict a close one between Sweden and Russia.

Enjoy my photos from the night.

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Dutch Divas: Edsilia and Ruth

Now, time for a little something for the Eurovision fans…..

Okay, if you’re not a “ESC fan” – you’re probably wondering who they are? (If you’re not from Europe then it’ll be even more confusing).

These ladies represented The Netherlands in Eurovision – yes, the good old Eurovision Song Contest. (Not together though. Maybe that’s why they didn’t win). I saw them both live (on separate occasions in 2006 – and they were brilliant live).

Ruth and Edsilia

Ruth Jacott, the elder of the two (The Netherlands’ representative Eurovision 1993) and Edsilia Rombley (The Netherlands’ representative in Eurovision 1998 and Eurovision 2007) have both had successful singing careers in The Netherlands.

Here they are, years later, singing a new song together. It’s quite popular here in The Netherlands and I wish they’d saved it for their 2012 entry – they could do with something like this.

 

A few other bits that I’ve written about Eurovision:

Eurovision – It’s More Than One Night.

Remember Bucks Fizz?

Eurovision Party Time.

No one gives you a manual when you have a baby.

Our neighbours have just had a baby. We’re thrilled for them. I’m a little green with envy – he’s just so cute!

Our Dutch neighbours live upstairs – it’s The Netherlands after all, so everybody pretty much lives upstairs/downstairs in apartments.

I got to thinking about those first days as a parent.

How do people know what to you?

I expect it’s all about learning ‘on the job’. I’d be so nervous.

So………..

I did some random googling (as always) light research and discovered this.

Maybe I’ll email it to my new neighbours – just in case.

A mountain for Holland?

When people think of Holland (or The Netherlands, to use the correct name) they think of tulips, bicycles, clogs and a very flat country. It’s true – The Netherlands is very flat, and mostly below sea-level. But, that might all be about change…

Plans have been made to create a mountain in the country. The man-made mountain is planned to be an amazing 7,000ft (2134m) in height – that’s twice the height of Snowdon, in Wales, and far bigger than 4,409ft (1344m) Scotland’s Ben Nevis.

A mountain for The Netherlands?

The idea came from a Dutch sports journalist called Thijs Zonneveld, who suggested in a tongue-in-cheek article that a man-made mountain should be built to help overcome the lack of decent hills in his homeland.

Surprisingly, the plans which were not entirely serious have been taken seriously by some of the Dutch. The Dutch Ski Association, Dutch Climbing and Mountaineering Association and Royal Dutch Cycling Union have been particularly interested in such a project. They hope that the creation would turn the famously flat country into a winter sport superpower in Europe.

The project would cost billions. Make that approximately 300 billions euros. A cost which would probably increase over time. It could take more than 30 years to complete. However, once complete it could become a city in itself, with houses, shops, arenas and even roads and railways within. 

What do you think? I have no idea where they’d plan on building the thing.

A very clever car park.

I was in for a surprise when I drove to Ikea the other evening. A few modifications had been made to the underground car park at Ikea Delft. Lights and sensors in a car park! Clever parking. I loved it.

It may not sound like much (okay, I know it’s not the most exciting post), but it really was useful. Most times that you visit car parks you drive up and down the rows, especially when it is busy. Finding a car parking spot can take time.

In Ikea there were rows and rows of lights mounted to the ceiling. The lights had a sensor pointing left and right and were placed facing all parking spots. If both the parking spaces were occupied then the light would turn from green to red. Clever!

Parking sensor lights, Ikea Delft.

The moment I drove into the aisle I would see where a space was (right from the other end). I didn’t know that such technology existed. I am hoping to see this system in many more car parks soon.

Everyone needs a nerdy post. This was mine.

If you liked this post, please share it.

You can another post of mine about Ikea here.

When it comes to driving remember the 10 Driving Commandments.

The Hague: Graffiti or Art?

I was walking through the city the other day and came across this. The early evening light looked pretty good and I managed to get these ‘decent’ shots on my iPhone. I like the painted walls. It makes a change from just-anothe- brick-wall.

I love this kind of art……. Some say art, some say graffiti.

What do you think?