I got back yesterday from seeing my Papa in the Netherlands, (he turns 85 later this year). My brother Hugo (who lives in London) came for a couple of days too. Papa does not live in Amsterdam. He lives on the other side of the country, very close to the German border in Arnhem (Velp). It’s extremely quaint and picturesque there. Very authentically local (which Amsterdam is not because of all the tourists). I always enjoy visiting this part of the Netherlands, which I have been doing all my life.

The weather was cold right up until my last day. Between -4 and 3 degrees Celsius (24 to 37 Fahrenheit) most of the time. Snowy, frosty and sometimes sunny. Pic #48 is when it was 6 degrees and I was extra happy.

I don’t enjoy packing, but I’m good at it thanks to years of practice and learning from my mistakes. This is what I packed, and my capsule was perfect:


I ABSOLUTELY needed the two coats, and am thrilled I brought them. I did a LOT of walking in the freezing cold each day - and my new ink puffer was SUBLIME. I was not at all cold. The cropped jeans worked very well with the thermals, knee-high socks, high shaft booties, and Winter accessories. The high top Converse with fleecy inners and thick soles are the best casual Winter shoes on the planet. Very comfy, warm and grippy on the ice.

My new chartreuse coat is WARM, layers extremely well, and was another excellent Winter purchase.

I wore casual and smart casual throughout the 8 day trip. When I was sorting out Dad at home, running his errands, and hanging out with him - I was casual. I was dressier when I needed to meet with healthcare professionals and saw family. The outfit formulas were dead right, and I felt great in every outfit.

I saw wonderful Inge, who drove up from Antwerp. She looked Killer Fab in her lilac coat, pink jumper and sage green sneaks. She was a beautiful rainbow of cool mid-tones in the middle of Winter, and casually chic. Very smiley, sweet, charming, empathetic and lovely as always. We always have a super duper time when we see each other, and enjoy every second of it.

Good food is an important part of our lives - hence it’s photographed. We take lots of selfies to send to Greg and Hugo’s family as we go (to make them feel like they're with us), so that’s why you’ll see lots of those here. The pics are self explanatory, and Papa was very grateful that we visited and helped out.

Some extra observations:

  • The Dutch diet is carb heavy. Lots of bread, potatoes, cake, tart, and biscuits. Since walking and cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands for ALL age groups - everyone enjoys their carbs.
  • My favourite Dutch brekkie in # 17 which I had each morning.
  • I saw three people in heels of over 2 inches. No exaggeration. 1 and 1.5 inches are the norm. Boots and sneakers reign supreme.
  • Lots of chic puffer coats, light neutrals, casual dressing, dressy cross-body bags, long coats, BIG scarves and jeans.
  • Dogs are allowed just about everywhere.
  • Absent Athleisure on the street (excluding the airport).

I had a very empty flight on the way there - pic #3 - but a full one on the way back. Airport security on both ends was HECTIC in the extreme. If you are travelling abroad to or from the US, you must leave in plenty of time.

Hope you enjoy the pics - all taken with my iPhone 6 Plus. (Sorry for the typos - jet lag).