Sept Zine 2014

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ZINE #617 Sept 2014

Small classes and personal attention. At the British School of Amsterdam we get to know each and every student. We provide an all-round education that develops the whole person and delivers academic success. From Early Years to Secondary School, we provide top-class British schooling for everyone from expats to locals seeking an international education. With pupils of more than 40 nationalities, the British School of Amsterdam offers a stimulating and inclusive learning environment for students aged 3 to 18. Non-native English speakers are welcome. Our curriculum leads to the respected British A-Level qualification accepted by universities worldwide. In addition to the formal academic subjects, we teach European languages including Spanish, French, German and Dutch, as well as English as a foreign language. Every day is an open day at the British School of Amsterdam. Why not come along and visit us? For more information, see, or contact us at +31 (0) 20 67 97 840 or

“It’s a friendly, caring community”


Federico Age 14 Italian/Dutch

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Call 06 83 94 35 52

to make a booking and claim your exclusive Britsoc discount!


chair/ “chairman” Page 7 britsoc/ “agm” Page 8 article/ “interview” Page 10 article/ “boris for pm?” Page 1 article/ “cricket in nl” Page 16 feature/ “beth’s books” Page 1 arts/ “art in the home” Page 2 arts/ “Rijks green museum” feature/ “texel island discs” story/ “jewish bride” Page 32 article/ “where’s the cream? feature/ “cooking coach” P

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Colophon >





EDITORIAL BOARD Ian Cherington | John Richardson | Benjamin Arthur | Andy Symmonds |

EDITOR IN CHIEF Alison Smith |


ISSUE #617



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chairman’s blog/ Sept 2014

Dear Readers, Welcome back to you all from the summer break. I hope that you are all well rested, fed and tanned! It will be no surprise, of course, to hear that we have not been idle while you have been on your down time. Things are definitely looking up and we have a schedule of activities planned, which should be noted in your diaries and devices. In fact, helping with the organisation of one of these events would be a good way to fill up those rainy days that are already upon us. Send me an email and we will find you something to do. Our AGM is first up. – as you will have seen from the invitation we are on September 4th at 8 p.m, at the Garden Hotel on Dijsselhofplantsoen (next to the Hilton). Please come along and share your thoughts, get the latest updates and review the year with us. All comers get a free drink afterwards, so I am expecting a big turnout! Our ever popular Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night is planned for November 9th at the usual location; Sloterpark Watersport Centre. This year we plan to have Marks and Spencers food, with a Michelin star chef to flip the burgers! A lot still depends on the allocation of our licences from the council to hold this event, but we hope all will be approved very soon. The Christmas Ball is also in planning phase and this year we are reverting to the popular idea of an exclusive dinner with our members. The date for this is December 13th; the location is restaurant Vermeer at the NH Palace hotel – location of last year’s ball. Said Michelin chef, Mr. Paul Naylor was in charge of the kitchen last year, and he has inspired me to put on a smaller event in a more exclusive setting with great food at an exceptional price – just for members and partners and a limited number of our friends! Details of these and other exciting BritSoc specials can be found in this edition and always on our website. Please stay in touch through our various channels and I hope to see you all at one of our events soon.

See you out there.

Ian Cherington Chairman

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NOTICE of the Annual General Meeting

Nominated person (Committee Members standing

NOTICE is hereby given that the Annual General

William Tweddle, Treasurer

Meeting of The British Society of Amsterdam will be held on Thursday, 4th September 2014 at 20.00, at which the following business will be conducted and resolved upon:

1) Opening address by the Chairman, Ian

for election or re-election are not eligible to vote). Ian Cherington, Chairman

(Gillian Brooks, Membership Secretary Kirsten Pyle, Secretary John Richardson, Webmaster


Andy Simmons – Committee member

2) Notice of attendance and submission of written

Anne-Marie Toolen – Committee member


Tracey Taylor- Committee member

3) Adoption of agenda

Ex Officio, Ball Organiser,

4) Approval of the minutes of the Annual General

Ex officio, Bulletin Editor

Meeting held on 12th September 2013 5) Chairman’s Annual Report

6) Treasurer’s report and approval of the accounts


for the year ending 30 June 2014

NOTE: Only Full Members of the Society have the

7) Appointment of the Auditors for next year’s

Members and prospective members may attend


right to vote at this meeting, however Associate

the meeting. A Full Member is allowed to appoint

8) Election of Committee Members

a proxy to attend or vote on his/her behalf. A copy

9) Any Other Business

are available on request from the Secretary.

of the Statutes of the Society, Rules and Bye-laws

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interview of the month/

Schiphol Airport Chaplaincy In the wake of the MH17 tragedy, Zine reporter Benjamin Arthur took himself and his camera off to Schiphol airport to find out a bit more about the work of the always-busy Airport Chaplaincy. He met with Old Catholic pastor Nico Sarot who works full time in the airport. Page 10

Regarding MH17 has God’s healing power been evident these past few weeks? Certainly...we make connections on another level By Benjamin Arthur

So, Nico thank you so much for meeting with the British Society today. All of us – Dutch and expats alike – were absolutely shocked and appalled by the downing of Malaysia Airlines, MH17 on July 17th, which departed from this airport. We thought it might be a good moment to find out what you do and how you, as somebody responsible for pastoral care at the airport, have been responding to this disaster. So can you tell me who you are and what your job is? My name is Nico Sarot and I am 50 years old. I was a teacher for over 20 years and have been a priest for more than 10 years. Two years ago I was asked by the Old Catholic Bishop to become an airport chaplain working on his behalf plus that of the Bishop of Gibraltar who is the Bishop for the Anglican diocese in Europe. I accepted the post in part because I liked the fact that there is cooperation between these two

branches of the church and inter-communion is more important than ever. So your main job now is as the lead chaplain for the airport ministry here at Schiphol airport? We have 3 chaplains here – we have the Roman Catholic, the Protestant and myself who represents Anglicans & Old Catholics. We all work together closely and we lead a volunteer team of 25 people. Can you tell us about the Airport Ministry at Schiphol and what role it plays within the life of the airport? Well, we do 3 things. First, we are here for passengers, mainly for passengers in need. Second, we run and manage the meditation centre: an inter-faith space that people can drop in on if they want to be silent >>

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interview of the month/

and if they want to pray. There is always a volunteer during office hours manning the meditation centre. So people will usually find somebody who’s willing to listen to their story or help them out in some practical way. Third, we take care of people working at the airport. How many passengers go through Schiphol each year? 52 million and I understand that this year they hope to reach 55 million passengers. How many employees? 65,000. A huge parish then. Just tell us what are typical types of assistance you might give passengers or employees? There’s a lot of pastoral care. We often have stranded passengers who sometimes have missed a flight and they need some kind of practical assistance such as making a new booking. So we will go and talk to the airline and explain the situation, which can be a language problem or they might simply be nervous flyers. For employees, recently KLM asked us to hold a remembrance service for one of their unit’s members who died suddenly. And the wider Schiphol family who interact with us; they come to know us and trust us and we are there for them when they need someone to talk to. With the MH17 disaster there are people with big questions who don’t understand what’s happening. So some of them are in mourning. They are in grief. They knew somebody who died. So then we may also have a conversation about Faith. So do you have religious services in the airport’s meditation centre? Yes, every Sunday at 11 o’clock and, as pastors, we rotate. So one week it is Protestant, the next week it is Roman Catholic and then Anglican. And we try to be ecumenical. So everybody is welcome. We do not ask to which church you belong. Everyone is welcome to receive Communion if he or she wants to.

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For the rest of the week, is anybody welcome in the meditation centre? Everybody. Believers. Non-believers. Jews. Muslims. We are very happy if you come. What can people expect when they enter the meditation centre? It’s a large open space with some very beautiful art in the form of glass paintings of the 4 elements. Muslims can find a Qibla so they know which direction Mecca is. Jews can find which direction Jerusalem is. Also there are holy books from the 5 main worldwide religions; Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. In case one of our readers was looking to get involved, can you tell us a little bit more about your volunteer team? We have 25 volunteer staff and they work every month 1 day per month. So a morning or an afternoon or two mornings in a month. So once every two weeks they are half a day at the airport. Typically, volunteers are retired but a few are still in full time work.


The shocking news of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Eastern Ukraine leaving from Schiphol, Amsterdam filtered through the airport around 1700h on July 17th. Tell us a bit about that day and how your team was able to help in the days afterward? Well we had a volunteer team on hand at the time of course. I think within an hour of the news emerging, people were coming back to the airport to try to understand what had happened. In total that day around 300 people – relatives & friends of passengers – came to the airport and there were Chaplaincy volunteers helping out in any way they could and obviously some extreme levels of distress evident in those moments. In the days afterward there were a lot of people who, understandably, were in a state where they could not accept what had happened. There’s a Dutch expression “verlamd van verdriet”. It’s a kind of shock. Some truly tragic stories that I won’t go into because that would be a betrayal of people’s personal grief.

Has God’s healing power been evident these past few weeks?

Certainly, but you must understand that I have met many victims and they are devastated. I have met people from abroad who after four weeks cannot accept that their child is dead because it is just so shockingly sudden. I would say that as pastors, amongst all this sadness we make connections with people on another level. Often people will only want to talk to us because they don’t know who else they can turn to. Other times we can pray with victims’ families. We listen to their questions and carefully attempt to answer their questions about God and faith.

So this is a moment when we can provide a lot of pastoral care for people.

That’s an enormous benefit and comfort to some people.

I think so. I hope so. Because of one’s role as a pastor there is often a special, a spiritual connection with people who can otherwise be perfect strangers.

It takes around €180.000 per year to keep the Chaplaincy running; so where does this money come from? Schiphol are our main sponsors and contribute around half that amount including offices and the meditation centre itself. By the grace of God, church congregations in the Netherlands generously donate the rest.

So if I wanted to support the ministry, how could I do that?

You can either donate money directly to OCAAM or, if people want to become volunteers they can do so even if they don’t belong to a church. That is another wonderful way of supporting us. And we welcome and thank everyone who donates either with their money or their time or both.

If you’d like to support the work of the Schiphol airport chaplaincy, donations may be given directly through the foundation’s bank account and they are taxdeductible for Dutch donors. All donations can be sent to: Stichting Old Catholic and Anglican Airport Ministry A/C number IBAN: NL32RABO0393788342 BIC: RABONL2U Bank: Rabobank, Dam, Amsterdam More information can be found about the work of the Schiphol airport chaplaincy at: Page 13

Boris Johnson for PM?


Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, recently announced that he will be standing in the next UK General election. He aims to be selected for the safe Conservative seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in West London (Con maj; 11,216,) replacing Sir John Randall who is standing down in 2015.

’m sure there will be plenty of excellent candidates, and I hope very much to make my case to the association,” Mayor Johnson told the Evening Standard. In spite of his trademark faux humility, it’s a shoe-in that Johnson will end up being selected. And, once selected, he will surely be elected again to the House of Commons. For his part, PM David Cameron says he is relaxed about Boris; “I have always said I want my star players on the pitch…. [and Johnson would] …potentially be very good for the Government”.

years and those ended in bitter tears for everyone concerned. Wouldn’t a Boris challenge to Osborne be healthy for both of them – sharpening their appeal to the wider electorate for 2020 and honing their policies? Brown, after all, suffered from the perception that he felt somehow entitled to become Prime Minister and steamrollered unchallenged into Downing Street.

With his mayoral term set to run until May 2016 or a year after the general, Johnson will find himself once more in the position of holding two jobs at the same time – he was editor of the Spectator magazine and an MP from 2001 until 2005.

The other scenario is one that nobody in the Conservative Party wishes to seriously contemplate. Ed Miliband as Prime Minister. In that case all bets are off. Would Johnson even want the crown in that event? We would need to wait and see whether there are some limits to Johnson’s ambitions.

But neither job – Mayor nor Member of Parliament – are seen as the pinnacle of Boris’s ambition. As a child he would tell anyone who asked that he wanted to be “World King”. Vaulting ambition has characterized Johnson’s career from the start and everyone and her aunt inside Westminster’s media bubble thinks that Johnson will end up gunning for the Premiership. So how would Boris actually go about this? It is generally accepted that should Cameron win the next election he would only serve on as PM for another few years. Perhaps three or four out of his five year term. And among the Cameron inner circle, it is generally anticipated that George Osborne, Cameron’s longstanding consigliere and current Chancellor of the Exchequer, would end up replacing him. But is this “Buggins’s turn” approach to the Premiership really healthy? Britain after all has very recent experience of it from the Blair/ Brown

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By Benjamin Arthur

However much people may like Boris Johnson – and he consistently polls as Britain’s most popular politician - is there any serious prospect that he could end up leading this great country? A typical view from the left is summed up by the Daily Mirror’s Fleet Street Fox column; “The truth is that Boris has a massive chance of being selected, then elected (an MP), and causing a great hoo-hah in the Tory Party. But he has absolutely zero chance of being Prime Minister.” The Left regard Johnson as a not especially loveable – and in certain ways rather dangerous – buffoon. They don’t deny he’s clever, yet they think he’s a fraud who carefully prepares his seemingly off the cuff remarks, is too Eurosceptic, too elitist and quite incapable of credibly representing Britain on the world stage. Before everyone votes in an hypothetical election where Boris leads the Conservative Party to glorious victory, the voters

would first have to imagine that mop of white hair arriving in the White House or the G20 or NATO for a summit in an increasingly edgy, divided world. How would Boris Johnson deal with ISIS? Or Putin? The attack ad practically writes itself and that image will certainly make people think hard and think twice. When he is in a relatively unimportant job like Mayor of London, Johnson can stay in his box. Put him on the national stage and his appeal is likely to wear pretty thin, pretty quickly. Take Scotland for example. Even if the Unionist “NO” campaign carves out a hard fought win in just over 2 weeks and the British stick together there is no single individual in Britain who would be more guaranteed to raise Scottish hackles than Boris Johnson as PM. He is to Scots the very embodiment of the privileged English public school Tory that the Scots seem to despise with so much venom. A Boris Johnson premiership would be almost guaranteed to get the Nats champing for another bite at the referendum cherry within 5 years. And that might just finish off Britain; and not only because the Scots would vote for independence but also because most of us would lose the will to live having to go through another campaign like this again! On the other edge of the political spectrum the Right are mad for Boris. He has passionate cheerleaders across the print media and recent reports suggest that Boris has engaged in a closed-door charm offensive with the Parliamentary Conservative Party. Often via the use of ‘sleeper agents’ inside the Palace of Westminster, (see The Spectator of 9th August). This campaign appears to have sown some important seeds and Boris – rumoured to have made himself unpopular with MPs before he left Parliament to become Mayor in 2008 – would now be welcomed back with open arms or, in George Osborne’s case, gritted teeth. For it is Johnson, above all others, who might thwart

Osborne’s ambitions for 2018/19. What is the source of the passion people have for Boris? Undoubtedly he is a very funny man in a way, one imagines, that Churchill might have been had he lived in a less serious, more televisual age. We love his politically incorrect banter, his sniping at Health & Safety zealots, his mocking of the EU, his bon mots, his wiff waff and, above all, his cultivated, classical, Wildean wit. Harry Mount - author of The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson – speaks of Johnson’s ‘incredible charm’ and the loyalty he attracts from those who work for him; “Charles Moore said a couple of years ago ‘you could always rely on Boris to do one thing; let you down’. And even when he lets you down, you still go on being loyal to him and work harder for him than for other people”. In short, there’s simply nobody else like him on Britain’s barren political stage in 2014. And yet, after all the bluff & the bluster what has Boris actually achieved in his political career. Boris bikes? An over-priced micro success story. Boris buses? An undoubted triumph that has impacted London aesthetically and yet changed almost zero lives. Boris island – the Thames estuary airport project? A fantasy that, according to recent reports, will never get built. Most people would be hard pressed to name a single, non-transport related, policy achievement of his. It is thin gruel indeed. In spite of this, Johnson has many of the right ideas. But surely Britain would lose too much credibility on the world stage by ever electing Boris Johnson as our Prime Minister. Not because, like George W. Bush, he’s stupid. In fact, quite the opposite; Boris is too clever [by half]. But, crucially, he is not serious enough, enough of the time. His general buffoonery is tactically useful to get people to like him but strategically redundant as a way for getting him to where he clearly wants to go. George Osborne will know that better than anyone.

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Cricket in the N 5,500 people enjoy playing cricket in the Netherlands


Rotterdam. Amsterdammers were slow to recognise the joys of the sound of leather

on willow, but there are now several clubs in the area..

At the moment there are approximately 5,500 cricketers in The Netherlands. Nowadays there are cricket players of all ages and from many different backgrounds: from six year olds to veterans in their seventies, from

Australian to Bangladeshi. During the

season most clubs employ an experienced player from one of the leading cricket

countries as player/coach. Many clubs arrange indoor training and there are

some indoor tournaments during winter

for the real enthusiasts. As from the end

he series of sports related articles

as a surprise to many. The fact that

of daylight saving (end of March) most

the slower paced games; cricket.

Netherlands, with approximately 50 active

allow a good build up to the season which

this month launches itself at one of The scheduling was not designed

with this in mind, but the article timing is fortuitous as England have just won

a test series against India 3 – 1, and the VRA (one of the leading cricket clubs in Amsterdam) celebrates it’s 100th anniversary on September 5th.

cricket is relatively popular across the

outdoor facilities are used for practices to

clubs recognised by the Dutch Cricket

runs from May – August.

Association (KNCB) and more informal

clubs operating on a casual basis, may be an even bigger surprise, as it does tend to be a sport played in Commonwealth

countries and very few other places. The rules may be arcane to some but the

Dutch seem to have warmed to the game.

on the way. One of the most famous

Dutch cricket victories of recent times is earlier this year when the Netherlands

defeated England by 45 runs in the ICC

enthusiastic sportsman from Haarlem,

England being beaten by the Dutch by

in the 19th century by Pim Mulier, an

was not just a flash in the pan as it follows

who introduced cricket as well as other

four wickets in June 2009.

club in Holland is the Koninklijke UD

(Royal UD) which was founded in 1875 in Deventer. The Dutch Cricket Association (KNCB) was founded in 1883. Five clubs

from the 19th century still exist and field

teams: Koninklijke UD in Deventer (1875),

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four World Cups, taking a couple of scalps

World Twenty20 in Chittong. This in itself

track & field to the Dutch. The oldest

cricket clubs in Amsterdam may come

progress and they have now competed in

Cricket was brought to this country

British sports like soccer, hockey and

The fact that the VRA is one of several

The Dutch national side continues to make

Koninklijke HCC (1878) in The Hague,

Rood en Wit (1881) in Haarlem, Hercules (1882) in Utrecht and VOC (1895) in

For Amsterdam based cricket players (or willing beginners looking to learn how

to play the game) there are several clubs to choose from, either in Amsterdam or Amstelveen. The KNCB has a website

that is also in English at and there is a full overview of registered clubs with contact details. The VRA is in

the Amsterdamse Bos and has one of the few grounds on the European mainland with a grass wicket and has become a



By Andy Symmonds

hub of international cricket. VRA hosted the Videocon Cup 2004, a three-Nation tournament between Australia, India

and Pakistan, which attracted tens of

thousands of supporters and the 1999 Cricket World Cup match between

South Africa & Kenya. In July 2006 the

Netherlands played their first ODI at the

VRA ground against Sri Lanka and Sanath Jayasuriya (157) and Dilshan (117) laid

the foundation for a score of 443 runs, a record score for an ODI.

The good news is that cricket, whilst

possibly still a minority sport, is alive

and well in the Netherlands and looks to continue on its growth trajectory.

Whether you want to play or just watch, there are plenty of options available.

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Beth’s Book Review | Sept 2014 By Beth Johnson

I took a variety of books with me on my summer travels – novels, thrillers, scifi, young urban sex, drugs, rock & roll, children’s and young adult whoppers….. and I’m already busy with this fall season’s wonderful literature list. Tip for next month: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North. But first of all, a smashing review by a journalist friend of mine who is a great fan of Bill Bryson!

One Summer: America 1927


he latest book by Bill Bryson is as entertaining, witty and most relevantly informative as any of the twenty-odd books that this American writer has published over the last thirty years. One Summer: America 1927 describes what happened in the year in which the Roaring Twenties culminated: and that was a staggering lot. In 1927, television was invented, Charles Lindbergh flew over the Atlantic ocean, Americans all bought radios, movie actors miraculously began to speak, Babe Ruth made baseball boring by hitting homeruns every day, and the country had a President, Coolidge, who worked no more than 4 hours a day, tops. The great challenge of a history book about one year is to forge the multitude of events, stories and plain facts into a flowing narrative that is not full of awkward twists and turns. Well, Bryson packs twenty different

facts into one chapter without you noticing that he ever changes the subject! But One Summer is not only facts and stories told in a supremely witty way; the book is as much a sociological history of changing morals, the profound influence of mass communication and the frightening rise of antiSemitism - and almost any other conceivable form of bigotry. And the most fascinating thing about this period is that in the late 1920s, Americans experienced that the centre of gravity for the planet was, for the first time, moving away from old Europe to the other side of the Atlantic. Suddenly America dominated, in invention, popular culture, finance and military power. And Bill Bryson describes it all in this wonderfully good read, One Summer. Having never read the wellreceived and supposedly hilarious novel, The Rosie Project, I plunged into my advance copy of its sequel, The Rosie Effect, with some trepidation. Humour is a rather personal notion, I have found. Written by the Australian author, Graeme Simsion, the story revolves around an anti-hero who can be found somewhere on the Asperger’s spectrum. Professor of Genetics, skilled bar tender, physically attractive, Don Tillman should be able to find a wife without trouble. But the lists he makes of the qualities required for the perfect candidate somehow miss their mark. Until Rosie Jarman shows up. The second book

Beth Johnson is the owner of Boekhandel Van Rossum (Beethovenstraat 32 in Amsterdam) which sells a wide range of Dutch and English books. Page 18

takes up with the new couple unexpectedly pregnant and as Don explores what fatherhood will mean for him, he finds himself in serious trouble. Warm, very funny and with a series of wonderful characters, The Rosie Effect is a kick to read!

Ned Beauman


Ned Beauman, born in 1985 and hailed with his first two novels Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident as one of Granta’s Best Young Novelists of 2013, opens his third book, Glow, in a London launderette where a night-long rave is being held. What follows is a bizarre and sometimes overly complex story of a new drug called glow which the main character Raf learns has special psychotropic effects. The somewhat unlikely storyline moves in thriller-mode from the dark side of the drugs scene to the international corporate world and from London to Burma. This is a new genre for me but I tend to agree with the reviewers who see Beauman as a whiz with words but someone who still needs to master the art of novel writing. Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests In her first novel in five years, Sarah Waters (known for Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith) has written a period piece about a mother and daughter of the polite class in post-World War One England who are forced to take in lodgers in order to maintain their lovely home. Waters skilfully portrays the shock to the two women caused by the “invasion” of the trade class into their lives. She also tackles issues of modernization and women’s emancipation after a war in which an entire generation of men was wiped out. Genteel and yet dramatic, the novel balances between eras and between genres as it is half period piece and half detective. Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue

Deep Blue is billed as the first in an epic series of four mermaid books in the Waterfire Saga written by Jennifer Donnelly. Donnelly’s outstanding debut of 2003, The Gathering Light, which treats the murder of Grace Brown in 1906 which was the inspiration for Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, is a favourite of mine. Serafina’s mother, ruler over one of the many Mer kingdoms, is assassinated on the day of her daughter’s betrothal as an ancient prediction of evil threatens the Mer. Serafina sets out to find five other mermaids who, according to prophecy, together can form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and stand up to the conspiracy facing them. Page 19


his painting was given to my husband, Stephen, for a special birthday and it hangs in our hall. For me, the first thing I notice

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HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS By Kathryn and Stephen Huyton are the buildings and architecture in the painting because when Stephen worked in Liverpool prior to coming to Amsterdam, he worked in a beautiful building near the water front just like the ones in the painting. However, the artist calls the painting the Red Umbrella which I always feel is a strange title because for me, the buildings are more prominent than the lady holding the red umbrella! The painting definitely has a little twist to it. Probably with my connection to teaching young children, I also like the child- like quality to the picture. I can certainly visualize people bustling about in Liverpool doing daily jobs before the snow in the night time sky arrives.

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June 21 2014 to October 5 2014


OUTDOOR GALLERY Fourteen monumental sculptures by the American artist Alexander Calder are displayed in the Rijksmuseum’s free accessible ‘outdoor gallery.

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Calder in the Rijksmuseum outdoor gallery By John Richardson

I love a good stumble, don’t you? Especially when it’s not into a person or lamp post, but into a moment of pure magic. My wife and I decided on the spur of the moment to try out the cafe at the Rijksmuseum. Our waitress was superbly well informed about the museum and suggested we took a stroll through the garden of the museum to see the Calder exhibition.

The Rijksmuseum’s green outdoor gallery really is magical. It’s not often I get a chance to walk in a slow, relaxed manner. I was stunned by Calder’s mobiles exhibited there. Which also had the effect of slowing my life down to...well...a hanging mobile balancing its leisurely options in an imperceptible breeze. Maybe it was the perfect sunny sky framing the merest wisps of clouds, but Calder’s elegant, abstract forms moved me deeply.

Secret tea house I wish I had known about the secret tea house in the garden as I would have loved a cuppa in the sun. My tip for you dear reader is to stop the madness of the day and spend 20 minutes sauntering through this verdant garden and experience the uplifting wonder of Calder’s post-war sculptures.

June 21 2014 to October 5 2014.

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Texel Island Discs

We are launching a new feature this month called Texel Island Discs. It is mysteriously similar to a radio show called Desert Island Discs, and the aim is to get people to identify the 10 songs that they would take with them, with the reason why. We felt that our Chairman, Ian Cherington, would be an excellent person to start the process, not least due to his extensive knowledge of music.

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Here are Ian’s choices: 1.

David Bowie: The Gene Genie. One of

my favourite artists who defined a great era

B52’s: Planet Claire. The crazy hair do’s,


oddball lyrics and accesible music. Saw them live with Talking Heads - one of the best gigs

of music and art and this is just a simple pop


song stamped with his weird character.


Yes: Roundabout. Prog rock super group

who I followed avidly for years - this track has

Michael Jackson: Dirty Diana. The guy


really was a genius. Swirling guitar by Slash

and great tension in the song with some

a bit of everything they did.


Ross? We will sadly never know.

not to have seen live. Post punk and very



dubious lyrics in a Quincy mix. Was it Diana

XTC: Ten Feet Tall. The only band I am sorry

Radiohead: Fade out. Totally cool band


T.Rex: Get It On. I was the only one at

rock and real TOTP fodder, but their earlier

with changing styles and unique vocals. This

stuff is great Bolan songwriting. This was the

is one that I sing in the shower and get a sore

transition song- with Elton on piano!


Ian Dury & The Blockheads: What a 5. Waste. A great band with the ultimate front man; tight musicians and great songwriting with humour and a London flavour.


Curved Air: Back Street Luv. Nostalgia of

school who admitted to liking this band. Glam


Steely Dan: Reelin’ in the Years. My all

time favourite, so had to have something of theirs. Superb musicianship on all they did unfortunately often confused with the Doobie Bros or Eagles. No wonder they quit for years.

youth for me; heavy driving beat, electric mix and production (the Police’s drummer) and

Sonja Kristina. Phew!

Are you a member and would like to have a go at putting down your Texel Island Discs? Please contact Page 25

British Language Training Centre


English & Dutch Courses Teaching English (TEFL) Tel. 020 622 3634

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ISA campus, main entrance









Setting the stage. At ISA, we believe that great facilities can set the stage for great learning. ISA is housed in a space specially designed for international education. And inspiration. Our facilities include a four-floor library/media center, a 400-seat theatre, science labs and specialist studios for music, art, and drama. More than 400 computers are joined in a school-wide, online network. Students work with laptops and iPads in the classroom. Two state-of-the-art gyms, discovery oriented playgrounds and adjacent playing fields are large, well equipped and secure. ISA’s campus is not a luxury. It’s where ideas are born.

Exciting and developing young minds Sportlaan 45 - 1185 TB Amstelveen - The Netherlands - Tel. +31 20 347 1111 -

Taste Life!

Kingsalmarkt, the world-famous foodstore! We are known for our wide range of products from countries all over the world. ‘Taste life’ is what we call that. Visit us for your favourite American cornflakes, brownies and soups, British jams and honey, Mexican tortillas, Spanish tapas and ham, Italian coffee and pasta and French cheese. Of course you can pick up the rest of your groceries too.

Rembrandtweg 621, 1181 GV Amstelveen-noord, tel. 020 643 37 51 Easily reached by car (free parking) and public transport (5 or 51 tram to Kronenburg) Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 9 am – 6 pm Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm

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BritPhotShot of the Month

The Legend of the Holy Drinker*

700. AF

tails; Nikon D

Technical de


, ISO 1250 @

-35mm, f/3.2 -S Nikkor 17

*With apologies to Joseph Roth

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m 2014

terda Summer, Ams


his photograph feels timeless to me. A friend and I were out shooting late and we’d been trying to capture the atmosphere in this bar on a summer’s night in the Canal district. The trouble is, we were on our tripods and I felt

that was inhibiting me. So I took the camera off the stand and hand held. Immediately I felt more likely to get the shot I was looking for. This guy – the Holy Drinker – was nice but I decided that I wanted to have some motion to create interest both inside & outside the bar. So I set my focus point to the doorway, cranked the ISO to 1250, stopped up to f/3.2 and set the shutter to fire at a really slow 1/10th of a second. The reason for the slow slow shutter speed was simple; to capture the motion blur of the cyclist. Finally I set my Nikon to “continuous” mode so I would have been taking 2/3 images in a half second. That way, what seems like a coincidence – the Holy Drinker supping on his beer with the cyclist being perfectly placed at exactly the right moment suddenly feels like less of a coincidence.

Benjamin Arthur The British Photographer in Amsterdam.

If you are interested in having a street photography lesson or purchasing a framed or mounted fine art print of this photograph for your home, please send me an email to:

Britsoc Photo Lesson #4: Down the Tripod and Hand Hold Page 29

The Jewish Bride A story by Dave Thomas


ust one lingering visitor left; at last Tanya could enter her inner sanctuary. Her eyes met with those of the young bride. Tanya longed to feel like her, held so tenderly by her newly wed husband. “To have and to hold,” she had heard when her friend got married after her second child. Yet it was different for the Jewish bride, her wedding unmarred by any prenuptial engagement. Tanya envied the bride’s sensuality, her voluptuous warmth and how the ornate dress gently draped her feminine frame. The same could not be said of Tanya’s one-size-fits-all uniform.

Secretly though, Tanya was only too glad to wear the standard kit. From behind her facade she dared to look tourists in the eye, even the dashing young men she shied away from on the odd Friday evening when she went with her colleagues for a drink after work. Tanya’s gaze fell upon the bride’s luxuriant red dress with its countless sequins painstakingly woven into the fabric. She tried to imagine herself wearing it. Yet somehow she could not capture the image. “The museum will close in ten minutes. Please make your way to the exit.” Tanya sighed on hearing the announcement: A sigh of relief that a long and monotonous day was winding down to a close but equally a sigh of dismay. In a few minutes she would have to leave her safe haven and re-enter the impertinent rush of the world outside.

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Tanya’s eyes once again engaged with those of the Jewish Bride. So peaceful and satisfied - content. If only ... Yet Tanya’s life had taken a different course. The bride’s locks reminded her of her father gently caressing her hair. Those endless childhood summers spent at their dacha. She had loved building huts in the woods nearby and playing hide-and-seek there with her father. At the end of the summer they would both gorge themselves on blueberries and Tanya had always hoped that this ritual would miraculously delay the day of their return. She could almost feel the blueberry juice dripping from her mouth when suddenly memories of her teenage years insidiously resurfaced. Not a specific event or person but vague feelings, the strongest of which was never being despised but not quite belonging. The Jewish Bride and her husband had each other but what of the world around them, the picture beyond the painting? How had they met? Who were their families? What future awaited them? Via , via Tanya had landed in Amsterdam. Yet her past was not important now. What mattered was where she was heading. There was no lack of opportunities but she hesitated with each potential step irrespective of which direction she took it in. Deep down she acknowledged her potential and charm. Moreover her orthodox upbringing had taught her to use her talents and to be grateful for the gifts that God had bestowed upon her. Yet so far she had failed to break though the cords of her own indecisiveness. “The museum will close in 5 minutes Please make your way to the exit.” Did he really love her? Tanya could not help wondering each time she allowed her eyes to penetrate his face. Was it really “until death us do part” or did she detect a certain forlornness in his gaze? Could an apparently sublime moment really become a lifetime of bliss? Inwardly, Tanya yearned for such an intimate relationship but invariably her body recoiled from the prospect. Would marriage bring her any respite from the prying eyes and all too predictable comments that her Athenian beauty elicited? Her hapless efforts to simply allow these drops of derision to run off her body had so far only served to enhance her predicament. Time to go. Tanya freed her hair and let it fall over her shoulders. Dutifully she performed the last few security checks before briskly walking down to the entrance.

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Where’s the Double Cream in NL?

I received an enquiry from a reader new to the Netherlands who was astonished to find no double cream available in his local supermarket among the rows and rows of other dairy products. Thinking it was otherwise labelled, he asked BritSoc how to source it, so I asked our food expert, Karen Vivers how to explain its absence and what to use instead. She came up with a very useful answer. Over to you Karen…. “I know what you mean about that particular question! Here’s my answer for your reader:-“ It certainly does seem strange for a country that has such a large dairy industry that they appear to miss some of what British people may consider staple products, namely double cream. I have been confronted with this issue many times when trying to re-create some of my favourite recipes from home and here is what I have found out. Basically it comes down to culture. The British have a food culture of using single and double cream, (the English even have their famous clotted cream) but the Dutch, well, they just don’t. They have other dairy products that we Brits wouldn’t necessarily consider to be ‘basics’, and a Dutch expat in the UK may find it difficult to source items such as kwark or buttermilk (karnemelk). So, what can you do? There is an exporter of double and clotted cream from Devon and you will find their products in good speciality stores such as ‘Tromp’ cheese shops and ‘Marqt’ supermarket. You can also ask a specialist cheese shop if they can order these products for you as often they don’t have them as standard in their product line, but may only carry them in winter time or around Christmas time. Note that this double cream brand has, I think, been heat treated and so it is already thick and you cannot whip it up further. It can however, be spooned onto your dessert or cake. If you want to order or look out for what British people would define as double cream, check the packaging for a fat content of 48% (anything from 35% should behave as double cream). If you are not able to source double cream and are stuck with the single cream from the supermarket, the best way to use it is to whip it at the last minute and serve as soon as you can as it will start to get a bit watery if left for any amount of time. It doesn’t really work as a cake filling, as the weight of the cake will squash it, but you can use it as a topping for a trifle or a pavlova for example, or to serve on the side of desserts. I also use it to make chocolate mousse and it works fine. There is another option if you are looking for a creamy texture with some strength and that is the Italian product, mascarpone, which is widely available in the Netherlands, of course it won’t work for everything, but sometimes it can be just what you need. I must add that the recent addition of Marks and Spencers to the High Street has helped hugely with this problem as they stock good quality double, single and clotted cream, but, particularly at the weekends, you’d better go early as it flies off the shelves. If anyone else has a food related question for Karen, drop us an email

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Britsoc food correspondent Nick Nugent Reporting from the four corners of the Amsterdam kitchen Bar Brouw Page 35

Bar Brouw You may have noticed the explosion of restaurants using barbeque techniques to deliver food which would normally take you hours to do at home. Apart from the subject of this review there are a few more to choose from listed below: Julius Bar and Grill – this restaurant is part of the IQ creative stable (which includes Envy, Supperclub and Mazzo to name a few). They have employed the Big Green Egg® to serve up barbeque style food. I have met one of the sous-chefs from here and he told me that after some initial bad reviews they are getting some really good comments now. I am in general not a fan of IQ Creative’s attempts, but I am yet to try so will reserve judgement. The Green Grill and BBQ – which is a revamp of the upstairs of the Hole in the Wall pub on Leidseplein. I have been up there to have a look as it was my old venue for pub quizzes so I was curious. As the name suggests it also employees the Egg technology. I tasted a Chilli con Carne there which had been made with smoked meat which had been slow cooked for around 4 hours. What I tasted was pretty good and the décor is quite modern and chic. BAR-beque Castell – another one near Leidseplein and probably the longest established barbeque restaurant in Amsterdam and also the highest rated on review sites. There are of course the ubiquitous Argentinian steakhouses which I would not recommend, unless you guys tell me otherwise. Any recommendations can be sent to me at So, moving on to the subject of this month’s review. The appartment which I have just bought needs some renovation and once done I should have a pretty impressive roof terrace which will allow me to have a barbeque. Until that time I am forced to wait for others to

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*** organise something on their terrace, garden or in a local park. All these options mean I cannot control the quality of what food is on offer. I am really looking forward to the day I can have my own barbeque, but until that time there is of course the chance to try these barbeque restaurants.

Bar Brouw, which has two locations, one in

the east and the other on Ten Katestraat, which we chose (famous for the market), sells itself as a smoked meat and artisan beer specialist. We chose to go on a lazy Sunday with a friend and the weather was so good we could eat outside. By the time you are reading this you may only have a couple more weeks of good weather to test this. Ten Katestraat is not the prettiest venue in Amsterdam, although with the renovations happening to the nearby old tram shed “De Hallen” (http://dehallen-amsterdam. nl/) the area may smarten up. Just opposite there is one of my favourite Tapas places, Madrid, too. The food choices are some snacks, consisting of things like a meat platter or peanuts, at lunchtime you can choose to have a sandwich of their smoked meats and for dinner between 18:00-22:00 you choose mains. Since we were three people it meant we got to try nearly all (the meat) that was on offer. We avoided the burger that was on offer as there are plenty of other good burger choices in the city and I wanted to tell you what the rest of their wares tasted like. So our choices were Ribs, Pulled Pork and Brisket to which you can add 2 side dishes in the price. The sides chosen were green salad, baked beans, potato wedges and coleslaw. The Ribs were well cooked, slightly smoked, pretty good but needed the addition of barbeque sauce as there was not much other flavour. The pulled pork was probably the most flavoursome standalone meat item without the addition of barbeque sauce,

but it was quite dry and to eat the whole portion without sauce would have dried my mouth out. It was very soft and flavoursome however. For the brisket I was hoping for a melt in the mouth experience á la Howards mum from The Big Bang Theory. It was relatively soft and had some flavour of smoke, but the texture needed to be better in my opinion. The brisket did not improve with the addition of sauce unfortunately. Sides: Green salad – it’s a green salad. What more can you say? Coleslaw - seems homemade but really needed something more acidic to set off the vegetables. There was the odd raisin in there to set off the flavour but it was quite bland. Beans were quite dry, but it was one of those dishes where you cannot stop eating it. Nice but you don’t quite know why. The bits of bacon made it very interesting. The potato wedges were the star of the show. The seasoning on them was out of this world, having that sort of savoury chicken flavour and spicy due to the salt and pepper concentration. We did go for a another portion to finish off our remaining beers but this batch was not cooked as well still having slightly hard, floury centres compared to the super soft first batch.

thinking about the Empanada de Carne and wondering whether I had made the right choice that evening.

Bar Brouw *** Bar Brouw Oost Beukenplein 17 1092 BA Amsterdam Tel: 020-4651252

Mon-Thu: 16.00 tot 00.00. Fri & Sat: 12.00 tot 02.00 Sun : 12.00 tot 00.00

Bar Brouw West Ten katestraat 16 1053 CE Amsterdam Tel: 020-2238569

Mon-Thu: 12.00 tot 00.00. Fri & Sat: 12.00 tot 01.00. Sun : 12.00 tot 00.00 Online reservations by Seatme

Nick Nugent

Our beer choices were all British: Thornbridge Jaipur IPA a fruity hoppy IPA, too hoppy for me for a supping beer. Thornbridge Kipling also an IPA but less hoppy and more bitter, great for supping but not so good with the food. Thornbridge Twin Peaks - My favourite beer from the tasting, with the right balance for me of hoppiness and bitterness, with some lemon notes. If you are really hankering for barbeque food and unless you want to cook it yourself Bar Brouw offers a good alternative. Mixed with the number and selection of beers on offer it makes for an interesting evening. I would however be looking across at those at Madrid Page 37

Essential Salads!

Karen Vivers

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food glorious/

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food glorious/ K

aren Vivers, originally from Scotland, has lived here in Amsterdam since 1997, and has set up the Cooking Coach to help inspire people to get back into the kitchen. The basis of the cooking lessons are easy, tasty, healthy recipes. Each course starts with a free introduction session, to make sure that you only cook what you like to eat. As well as cooking lessons, Karen offers Culinary Tours in Amsterdam, is a passionate Food Blogger and works freelance as a Culinary Consultant, specialising in small and medium businesses, helping them get started, grow and deal with commercial challenges.

Essential Salads

Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s what they say isn’t it? Well, whatever it is they say, it was true for me recently. My cooking crisis had been threatening for some time, but I just didn’t want to face it. I knew the day would come all too soon when my stove top would give out, but I chose to stick my head in the sand. I think the first signs were about two years ago (I know, that long!) when the digital beeps rang out through the house for no reason. No reason that I could see anyway. Then, about 4 or 5 months ago, my sleek electric built in top notch stove top began to get really touchy. It seemed like nothing I did made it happy. Was my cooking too hot? Too cold? Too slow? Too fast? I just didn’t know anymore. Then it happened. The beeping started one hot summer’s day and it just wouldn’t stop. All I could do to stop the constant squealing was to go to the mains and shut down the whole kitchen. Panic, to say the least. I couldn’t cook, I couldn’t give lessons. I spent a long Sunday evening on the internet looking for a saviour. An electrical genius to get me out of this mess. Eventually, I found him, the man who could hook me up, but, he had a waiting list. A positive sign, I told myself, you can’t expect a good tradesman to be available straight away. The thought of him coming to replace my stove top calmed me to some extent, but what to do in the coming two weeks? Monday morning, straight on the phone to clients, rescheduling complete, I slumped in my chair. What was I going to eat? Luckily, my oven was working. So all was not lost, and, I had worked out that if I switched my stove top off at the mains for 2 hours, then one, small ring would work for 6 minutes. My first thoughts were of course that I could roast meat – great, make plenty and have it with some roast vegetables, then use the leftovers the next day. Ok, then what? The weather was good, so I could eat salads, yup, not bad either, but I wanted more than just roast chicken and some raw salad. I had to pull something out of the recipe recesses of my mind for this one. Then a light bulb moment, I could of course roast vegetables

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for salads too. Not just the run of the mill vegetables, but some others that may be a bit forgotten about, a bit unloved. Armed with cauliflower, leeks, fennel and some other veggies, I headed back into the kitchen.

Roast Cauliflower Salad with Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4 to 6 For the cauliflower 1 x medium cauliflower with the outer leaves removed and broken into roughly equal sized florets (about 750gr / 1.6 lb. of florets.) 3 x garlic cloves chopped finely Juice of half a lemon 1 x tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp salt For the Salad 500gr / 1.1 lb green beans which have been boiled for about 7 minutes 400gr / 14 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered. A handful of flat leaved parsley chopped finely 3 x spring onions (scallions) chopped finely The Dressing 2 x tbsp of extra virgin olive oil Juice of half a lemon Salt and pepper to taste To Finish 40gr / 1.5 oz. toasted flaked almonds


1. Pre-heat your oven to 220°C / 420°F 2. Place the cauliflower florets in a roasting tin. Drizzle over the oil and the lemon juice. Sprinkle over the salt and garlic, mix through and roast in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cauliflower has softened slightly and taken on some colour. 3. Whilst the cauliflower is cooking,place the salad ingredients in a bowl. Add your beans whilst they are hot. The heat helps bring out and blend the rest of the flavours. 4. Add the cauliflower to your dish (also hot if you like). 5. Add the dressing ingredients to your salad and mix through until everything is covered, check for seasoning, sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

food glorious/ Tips and Variations • •

I like to serve the salad with fish, chicken or pork. To toast the almonds, heat a non stick frying pan, scatter them in and on this dry heat let them brown – be careful, they can burn easily.

Tips and Variations •

I like to serve the salad with fish, baked salmon is my favourite. It goes really well with chicken and pork too.

This salad will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. I like to liven it up with a tin of tuna or salmon through any leftovers for a tasty lunch the next day.

Roast Fennel and Leek Salad with Butterbeans Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes Serves: 4 to 6 For the salad 2 x tsp olive oil 2 x fennel bulbs, chopped into thin slices (keep back the green feathery fronds to dress) 3 x medium leeks, cleaned thoroughly and sliced into about 2cm (just under an inch) pieces Salt and pepper 2 x 400gr tins of butterbeans, drained and rinsed 50gr feta cheese

Karen’s COOKING BOOK “Love Food, Live Healthy” now available on Amazon.

The Dressing 2 x tbsp of olive oil Juice of one lemon 1 x tbsp of honey


1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F 2. Place the fennel and the leeks into a roasting tray, drizzle over the oil and add a little salt and pepper, mix through with your hands until everything is covered with the oil. Put your vegetables in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes. About halfway through the cooking time, remove from the oven and mix around so that you get a more even browning on the veggies. The vegetables are ready when some are browned and they have all softened. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. 3. Whilst the vegetables are cooking you can mix up the dressing. 4. Add the beans and the dressing to the roast vegetables, mix through carefully until you get an even looking salad, then check for seasoning.

The Cooking Coach Love Food, Live Healthy

5. Place your salad into a serving bowl, crumble over the feta and sprinkle over the fennel fronds.

6. This salad is best served at room temperature.

Mobile : 06 1424 0009 Email: Page 41

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