Family time!

My Dutch adventure was anything but Dutch this week. On Monday I officially became a fan of sushi. Danielle (my former manager) was in Haarlem for work so Ellie and I went to Sumo, our local sushi restaurant, with her to trial the buffet! It was quite expensive but if you can handle all 6 rounds of food you’d definitely get your money’s worth.

Then the rest of the working week mostly entailed working late in prep for my Friday eve flight to England. I had to be at the airport for 4:30pm and I almost got on the train to Schipol without my boarding pass…not a great start! The flight was smooth otherwise though, I love not having hold luggage you save so much time and effort and KLM is almost on par with BA for flight comforts. Free beer and biscuits = a Soffia friendly flight.

Yesterday I played tennis for the first time since secondary school, and obviously I bossed it! You’re meant to miss the ball and cut yourself on the blunt tennis racket right…? I did over 7,000 steps though so I’m considering it a good workout at the very least.

Then, I FINALLY got to meet the new baby Bowring!! Baby J is very cute – he was quiet, big on food and very cuddly. I’m not a massive fan of kids but this one’s alright.

After almost missing my flight I’m finishing my blog post on the plane. I remembered to check in but gave myself 15 minutes to get to the gate. Not a good idea FYI.

Until next week!



Lots of work and a little bit of play…

This week has consisted of work work, grad work and school work. I can thankfully say my first draft of Strategic Marketing has been handed in and it will be out of my life for at least a couple of weeks now so I can focus on my nemesis – Mastering Metrics.

Mid-week Ellie and I had our second 121; we’ve decided dinner dates are necessary to make sure we try as many of the restaurants around Haarlem and Amsterdam as possible in the 7 months! Toujours, a very posh fish and meat restaurant, was this weeks choice and if we were doing repeat visits I’d definitely go back.

Friday afternoon I took part in a LEGO City game/exercise at work to learn more about the “agile” way of working. It was really interesting to see how the smaller sprints work vs long haul projects and I got to meet some of the IT team which always helps! I’m really feeling handicapped now I don’t have the UK IT team on speed dial…

Friday evening was Rugby World Cup time!! Wooooo!! – I may have little interest in sport but it did mean I could drag Ellie to our local (The Wolfhound) and sit in the underground bunker style TV room with a pint 👍🏼.

Then to finish CIM I did stay in all of Saturday and half of today which sucked. BUT, it was super productive and when I procrastinate I clean so the apartment is super tidy too!

To treat myself I cycled down to the beach which is apparently really close, I wish I’d known last week! I’m hoping the weather stays reasonable, or at least has a couple of surprise weekends when I’m here, to enjoy it a little more.

Now to watch TV, read and be lazy for the rest of my day 😊


Aunty Soff

So I picked up George on Thursday and we started the long weekend with a lazy one in preperation for all of the activities I had planned!!

Friday we got up and cycled to Amsterdam 💪🏼 quite the feat! An hour journey took two because I decided to take us on the scenic route but the weather was amazing so it was definitely a good weekend to visit.

Once in Dam we visited the Anne Frank museum, somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, and it’s actually bigger than I expected! Still too small for 8 people to live in for 2 years though so something you have to see to truly appreciate.

We then wandered about, cycled part way back and took the double decker train back to Haarlem – because effort…

Saturday was all about The Culture Festival in Haarlem. We visited every museum and church as it was all free, the cathedral, the phillaharmonic, cycled some more, went to the same pub three times in one day and I had my first ever fresh giant stroopwaffel 😍. It was beautiful if you were wondering.

After so many activities and way too much beer and football, Sunday was our day of rest. This basically involved pancakes, snacks and quite a few episodes of Pokemon…

A great first weekend in my eyes, and then to top it all off I officially became Aunty Soff yesterday to little (big) baby Joshua 😊. Congrats go out to mummy Lisa and pabbi Robert (it’s an Icelandic thing)!

I’m hoping I can keep up with this blog stuff, I’m enjoying it so far.


Week 1

After a bumpy start having to construct an ikea wardrobe the working week has gotten better every day!  
Ellie (my partner in crime for the adventure to Haarlem) and I accidentally ended up in Amsterdam having gotten the wrong train on Sunday. But we eventually made it to ikea to complete the household furnishings and I can honestly say I will never buy flat packed furniture ever again!!
The flat is beautiful and I’m warming to my sofa bed! (Not everything can be perfect). My commute has gone from a 10minute drive down a busy parkway, to a 20minute walk past a canal and a windmill – just a slight improvement.

There was a desk move first thing Monday which allowed me to get on with CIM and then the full workload kicked in days 2 & 3. We’re battling with work, “school” work/CIM, a grad project and the whole moving countries thing but I think we’re handling it remarkably well!

Customer Experience is really fun so far – I’ve created a business case, a process cycle, started a competitor report, learnt a lot about the Dutch systems and met some lovely people! It’s very different to my planning rotation and it’s still bizarre to not be looking at 20 spreadsheets a day…

After 4 working days I am taking a well deserved rest and spending the weekend exploring with George (he’s the boyfriend). I have a full itinerary planned for us as its his first flight over so will have a less work-filled update for next week!


Goodbye England 🙋🏼

after a week of CIM, packing and saying my goodbyes I am finally at the airport!

This week has been hectic but my possessions are safely stored away – next time I move I am staying there because this is all far too much effort.

Despite having 2x 23kg bag allowances I was still 4kg over – thanks go out to the lovely BA employee who let me rearrange myself to wear the extra weight.

In 2 hours I will be jetting off to finally see my new apartment so fingers crossed it is as nice as Meg says!

Wish me luck 😊🍀


4 days to go!

until I move to Haarlem – so obviously today was the day I got boxes to finally start packing…

I’d forgotten how much effort moving out is and I’d also forgotten how much stuff I hoard. Best finds: my extensive collection of 5ps and an iPhone cable. Most useless finds: a mini USB Christmas tree, an empty bottle of Icelandic vodka and some “relaxing bed spray” that smelled like cleaning chemicals.

My kitchen stuff is half packed and I’ve managed to box up one lot of junk in my room so I’ve considered it a successful night all round.