Diary: Ries in the hospital, we bought a house and will leave Amsterdam!

Yes, you just read that right! We will be leaving Amsterdam for our dream home somewhere more south in the Netherlands. But that’s not all that has happened in the past two months. In this blog a personal review of November and December. Because those were some few special and exciting months!

But first: Ries ended up in the hospital …

Yes, it was quite a shock but fortunately, it ended up ok. While Ries was helping to renovate at his brother’s new house, an accident happens. A large part of the wall ends up on top of Ries and the stones hit his head, among other things. The head wound, the amount of blood, and the fact that the injured his head, all result in the ambulance staff bringing him into the hospital for a check-up.

Once there, after several neurological tests and a CT scan (the doctors are initially afraid of a skull fracture), he appears to have been very lucky. Apart from a number of bruises, scratches, stitches and some headaches, he has come off well. The following days, Ries allows himself to be pampered by friends and family who drop by with fruit baskets, flowers and good food. And he is well cared for by his own doctor: Charlotte ;-).

In the meantime, Ries is completely back to normal, except for a small bald spot on his head, where the hairs have yet to grow back. Let’s hope it does ;-)!

Get well soon gifts

November 24

You may have read it in the previous diary blog that when we ended up in a moderate lockdown in the Netherlands at the end of October, this also meant that our civil marriage was cancelled. And indeed, November 24, the day that we were supposed to get married, we were both at work without any celebrations. It’s okay. This civil marriage will come, as long as our marriage in France can continue, we are very happy!

Black Friday and boring adults

In the same week as November 24, it was also Black Friday. Now we normally don’t pay attention to this, but now we scored a big deal online. The enthusiasm we had about this purchase confirmed that we have become boring adults… We bought a Dyson vacuum cleaner (this Dyson V10). Had you told me 10 years ago that I would be willing to spend a lot of money on a vacuum cleaner and be happy with it, I would have laughed at you. Especially because I hate cleaning. Luckily we can vacuum a lot quicker with this thing so that explains it a bit.

In terms of travel, there is not much to in November. We booked a ski holiday for January but the expectations are, with the current measures (announced mid-December) that this will not take place. It’s a pity, but nothing that can be done. Travelling will come again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Furthermore, November was not at so interesting… I really have to dig deep into my memory in search of something of a highlight, but apart from a few nice dinners and walks with friends, it was a quiet month.Wandelen door de duinen in Noord Holland beste wandelroutes van Nederland

The ultimate birthday present: A house!

December, on the other hand, has been busy and exciting from the start! As you could read in the previous diary blog, we started to long for our own place. A house that really belonged to us, preferably with a garden, a little further south in the Netherlands. We had already visited some houses in the Den Bosch area in September, October and November, but every time it was not the one. Either it was too small, the atmosphere was not pleasant, the location was not what we were looking for, or the price was too high.

And then, a few days before my birthday, our dream house comes on the market. From the first photo I see, I know: this is our house, this is where we are going to live! However, we are definitely no the only ones looking for a house in this style and in this price range. And the tight housing market creates a lot of competition and high prices.New House Charlotte Ries

We bought a house in just a few hours!

Fortunately, our real estate agent arranges a viewing and so on December 3th, my birthday, we have 20 minutes to see and walk around in the house. And it’s even more beautiful in real life than in the pictures. The following hours are quite stressful: we quickly drive back to Amsterdam because we both have a busy working day full of online appointments. Between those appointments (and sometimes also during), we consult with our real estate agent who is in full negotiation mode. And then, around 4 pm, she calls with the good news: the house is ours!nieuwe huis Charlotte Ries

We are leaving Amsterdam!

Of course, this all went very quickly… actually we did not realize at all for the first hours that we actually bought a house. In the evening when my parents drop by for a birthday dinner, we are both full of adrenaline. In fact, only three days later, after we have signed the purchase contract, the adrenaline starts to wane. And now, almost three weeks later, we are still very happy. My God! We just bought a house! And what a house!!!

However, this also means goodbye to Amsterdam. We have lived in this lovely city for over seven years with great pleasure and made so many memories. But it feels good, we are ready for something new. Corona certainly helped speed up this process. For almost nine months now, Amsterdam is no longer the Amsterdam it was. In the summer it was too hot and too busy and we had nowhere to go. And now, in the fall and winter, with all restaurants, bars and museums closed, we no longer enjoy the city as before.

What I will miss greatly about living in Amsterdam are our dear friends who live here. Soon no more popping by for a tea or a lunch walk. Anyway, the village we are moving to can be reached within an hour from Amsterdam, so that is manageable. Also there, we have friends living closeby!

In this article, I posted some pictures of our new house. In 2021 I expect to show something about how we are going to furnish/refurbish it etc. Who knows ;-).Nieuwe huis Charlotte Ries 2

A night “get-away” in The Hague.

Incidentally, it is not only my birthday on the day itself that is special. Ries made sure that I had a whole birthday week! With lots of presents, delicious food, a dinner with Susie and Gal and a games afternoon with Thomas, Christine and baby Matthijs.

The next week is a bit different. Both Ries and I are very busy at work. We both work long days and have to arrange a lot in the evening for the mortgage, construction inspection, etc. I am therefore looking forward to the mini vacation that my friend Susie and I organized for our friend Nicole’s 30th birthday. Had there not been a corona, we would have organized a big surprise party. But now we surprised Nicole with a luxurious night away + dinner in The Hague (we stayed at boutique hotel Palowna). It is so nice to have that vacation feeling for a while. We walk through the city, chat until late in the evening and enjoy a super extensive breakfast. All just in time, the following week, unfortunately, we are told that the Netherlands will go into a full lockdown again until January 19.105026303Unknown 2

Ries his birthday & a new lockdown

This new lockdown means for Ries, who is celebrating his birthday on December 16, that we cannot really celebrate it the way it was planned. The intention was to spend a day in a spa, with a nice lunch and massages. But that will not happen now. In the end it will be a nice day, with a pancake breakfast, a lovely walk through the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park and in the evening a relaxed dinner for the two of you. The gift he received from me: a (second-hand) Playstation + the football game FIFA. Perfect for those lockdown days when it also rains a lot.Dutch dunes and hiking trails the Netherlands

In quarantine …

And so we usually spend the rest of the time indoors. With candles lit and Christmas tea in my Christmas mug, I think about the new design of our house (I use the Floorplanner software to make a design), while Ries plays FIFA. The last days have been forced inside, we are in quarantine because I am awaiting the result of a corona test. Let’s hope this is negative, so that we can still drive to Limburg tomorrow to spend Christmas with my parents (at the time of writing it is December 23). Fingers crossed!

I will probably write a new diary blog in 2021. A year that will hopefully be great in all aspects! I don’t feel like writing a review of 2020. Although 2020 has actually turned out to be a very good year for us, it does of course have its edges. So hey: on to a completely different 2021!

I wish you all a warm Christmas and a wonderful but above all healthy 2021!


Christmas three

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  1. by Rickie Peeters on 28 December 2020  19:17 Reply

    Great news Charlotte and Ries, congratulations on the purchase of your new home. I know you will both make it a real gem and we look forward to hopefully visiting sometime in the future, once we get past this pandemic.
    Glad that Ries was not hurt too bad while working at Daan's house.
    Wishing you both a very happy and healthy new year.

    • by Charlotte van de Sande on 30 December 2020  13:34 Reply

      Rickie! Such a sweet message! Whenever you come to the Netherlands, let us know! You are more then welcome to stay at our new house!!! Have a happy and healthy 2021!

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