Today is Queen's Day. In fact it isn't, it's the day before Queen's Day, but that's on a Sunday, the Day of the Lord, so we are pragmatic, we celebrate the queen's birthday a day earlier - or a day later, whatever costs less. In fact it is not the queen's birthday, but the late queen mother's (Juliana's) birthday. Our current queen (Beatrix) doesn't mind, her real birthday is in January, winter, unfit for public celebration. She is pragmatic too, our queen Beatrix.
A celebration it is. We all have great fun. We express our fun by wearing funny orange things, because our queen is of the House of Orange.
Great fun too, is the fact that once a year we, the people, are free to sell whatever we have failed to throw away. We don't have to pay for that right, so many of us leap at the chance.
We live in a modern country, so we play modern music for the occasion. All day long the air is filled with the steady thump thump thump of modern house music, especially in the Oude Haven, where we live.
We all love our Royal Family, of course. Business people know that, so this billboard, saying "After Eden loves..." was put up especially for the occasion. Orange sells, it would seem.
This year the German football team will win the world cup, because they organise the tournament. Holland will be beaten in the final, in spite of the Dutch supporters wearing funny German soldiers' helmets with slogans like "Aanvalluh!!!" (attack, spelled phonetically, which is great fun). The authorities consider forbidding these helmets, they might evoke unpleasant feelings about the Second World War.
Must rush now, tonight we're seeing Bonnie Raitt, supported by Foy Vance, in Utrecht.
PS We're back from the concert in Utrecht. More orange during the concert: Foy Vance started his performance wearing an orange feather boa... Fortunately it was so itchy that he took it off after a few seconds. Pics of Foy Vance on Vally P's blog.