A Year of Blogging

So, it turns out that this Friday will see Bitterballenbruid.com’s first anniversary. I’ll be in England this weekend (woop woop) so no time to post then. I’ve only lived in the Netherlands for 6 months, so it seems weird that I’ve already been blogging for a year! It’s had its ups and downs! On the plus side, I only started it for myself – to use my time more productively when I was having problems sleeping – so the page views, follows, comments and likes have all been a surprise to me.

On the downside… there are times when I have no idea what to write, other times I have 20 posts in my head and don’t know which one to write first… and other times when I start a post and don’t finish it. (I must have at least 15 drafts sitting here all sad and unwanted.) #Firstworldproblems eh? But turning a year old does make you think about things: Is the blog going where I want it to? Have I found my niche yet? Shall I continue blogging? You see a lot of blogs fizzle out in a year (or less) and I can totally see why.

Who knows. We shall see. You’ve probably noticed I changed the theme, it felt like time for a little refresh. I would also like to blog more about Hilversum (and surrounding areas) because before I moved here I really struggled to find anything online. What else do you wanna see? More lists? More Dutch stuff? More posts about bitterballen? 😉

3 happy things to end…

1. I won the AngloINFO competition!! Thanks to those who voted!! I now get £100 A MONTH FOR A YEAR (!!) to spend at the British Corner Shop. Best prize EVER for an expat!

2. The weather is gorgeous this week! Look where I got to cycle on my lunch break yesterday!  Told you Hilversum is beautiful 🙂


Loosdrechtsebos, Hilversum

3. I have my 6th Dutch lesson tomorrow. It’s been going really well and the teacher even asked me if I wanted to try out the advanced course (I’m currently on the intermediate course.) What a geek! I decided not to though, because (due to my geekiness) I need to know all of the rules and grammar etc first… and the advanced course is only speaking. There’s no coursebook or structure like I have now in the intermediate lessons. If I make a mistake, I at least want to know why!

3.a. Some Dutch friends taught me how difficult English pronunciation is at the weekend. I knew Dutchies had problems with our “th” as that sound doesn’t exist in Dutch… but check out this poem about English spelling and pronunciation: The Chaos by Dutchman Gerard Nolst Trenité. It certainly made me think twice and I’ll definitely complain 50% less about Dutch pronunciation from now on…

Hayley x


  1. Yay congrats on winning the AngloINFO competition! What an amazing prize!!
    I’m totally like you with learning Dutch – must first master all grammar before I really throw myself into speaking … which is really counter-intuitive in a way but I can’t look past it!


      1. I got my B1 from the University of Groningen after a three week intensive course, which I found really helpful. Before then I had miraculously managed to teach myself quite a lot by reading Dutch Harry Potter and watching Disney movies in Dutch 😛 Now I’m at the stage where I understand basically everything (we’ve been to the bank to talk about mortgages and the conversation was entirely in Dutch except for my contributions!) but am too stubborn to practise speaking. BAH!!
        Are you taking/have you taken lessons?


  2. Yes, definitely! It means I HAVE to speak Dutch once a week for an hour and a half… and I HAVE to do my Dutch homework! My learning process has been erratic to say the least… when I lived in England sometimes I was practicing every day and then I wouldn’t speak a word of Dutch for 2 months. So I need motivation and regularity. My understanding is up to about 80-90% now I think. As for speaking… I speak Dutch with people I don’t know… because that’s the simple stuff… and with children of course! What I find really hard is to talk to “established” Dutch friends… I’ve known many of them for about 5 years so our conversation is on a much higher level than the basic: where are you from? what do you do for work? would you like a drink? 😉 and so on… And of course I’ve been speaking to them in English for years so it’s weird to suddenly switch to Dutch! We had some friends over this week and we tried speaking Dutch most of the evening, well… they spoke Dutch and I spoke Dunglish. 😛 Better than nothing I suppose!


  3. I LOVE liquorice. I think it’s the scandinavian in me. One of the main things I miss living in the UK is not having regular access to liquorice school chalk and proper salt liquorice, so I made sure to stock up when I went through Schiphol this weekend!


  4. I tried to read the poem ” the chaos”, but after a minute of reading loud I had to laugh so hard I couldn’t go on reading anymore. Pffff, English really is harder to understand than the Dutch language.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. O and drop versus chocolade, did you ever made a post about that? Who doesn’t like salty drop? We have a droppot at work. Can’t remember a workspace that has not have a droppot. I even have a droppot at home. Drop, hmmmmmm lekker!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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