Making sure there is a candle flickering in the window is one tradition from home that will be lighting up my festive time in Haarlem this year. It is an Irish tradition, now brought to the Netherlands.
About Carmel McNamara
With her roots in the west coast of Ireland, Carmel McNamara grew up in the UK and moved to the Netherlands in 2010 to work for a Dutch publisher. Almost a decade later, she decided to move cities and – lured by its magic – chose Haarlem as the destination for her new home. With a great interest in culture and music, Carmel loves cycling, nature and enviro/sustainability matters. She also has an inexplicable draw to all things Nordic.
Entries by Carmel McNamara
February has had its fare share of extreme weather scenarios in the Netherlands. Going from country-wide ‘code red’ warnings for snow drifts and blizzards near the beginning of the month to the start of a record-breaking run of mild days just two weeks later. With average annual temperatures on the rise, it might be a […]
During this period of time when we cannot travel, let’s look back and share stories of past trips – ones that have come about so we can make life changes or holidays where we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. First up is my own recollection of a trip that I took with my flatmate to the […]
During the current period of lockdown, people are looking for digital entertainment and so here’s a short round-up of activities for online inspiration and pursuits to pass the time during January. Why not travel around the country – virtually – to discover the delights of illustration, opera, music and illumination?
It’s the festive season and a perfect time to do a good deed for fellow residents in the city, right? How about penning a little message on a Christmas card as a surprise for someone who might not otherwise receive any Christmas mail? It could also be a good chance for you to practice your […]
December is here and the festive season is just around the corner! Things won’t be quite the same as usual – there is no annual Kerstmarkt* this year – though, there are still some festive (and non-festive) events happening, all the while keeping in line with the RIVM guidelines of course.
A new survey aimed at internationals living in the Netherlands about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting their daily lives has been issued by ICAP, the International Community Advisory Panel – which is an initiative put together by four long-standing members of the international community. Read on to discover more and take part in the […]
This month our November events are fully focused on the fantastic occasion of Haarlem celebrating being a city for 775 years!
On 23 November, in the year 1245, Haarlem received city rights from Count Willem II. That means that this month marks exactly 775 years since Haarlem could call itself a city. The festivities that were planned had to be curtailed due to the current circumstances – though, we can still join together to commemorate the […]
Haarlem’s very own children’s mayor, Quinten de Lange, is calling for nominations from the city’s residents to nominate Haarlemmers aged between 4 and 12 years for the chance to be rewarded for acts of kindness or dedication they have shown to the municipality of Haarlem or their neighbours. Three lucky individuals will be selected to […]
According to a recent UNICEF report, Dutch kids come out top in a league table of well-being outcomes across 41 of the world’s richest countries. Though, there is always room for improvement.
The autumn agenda has some seasonal events taking place in October in Haarlem. The calendar is dotted with art, food, performance and perhaps some spooky happenings. Don’t forget to follow the guidance in compliance with RIVM guidance and make your reservations (where required) early.
The Discomfort of Evening, by author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translator Michele Hutchison, was announced as the winner of the 2020 International Booker Prize at the end of August. A number of ‘firsts’ came with this announcement, as this is the first Dutch novel to win, the book is Marieke Lucas’ first novel and the […]
Haarlem’s events agenda is slowly getting busier in certain areas. The calendar for September has food markets and open monuments, along with some morsels of history, healthy options and pop quiz questions. Is there something here that interests you? Don’t forget to follow the guidance in compliance with RIVM guidance and make your reservations (where […]
When the temperatures soar, what a better way to keep cool than going for a swim surrounded by nature? Haarlem has lots of natural swimming spots nearby where you can take a dip. with Which lakes are you permitted to swim in though? We share some tips in this article. You can even go au […]
For anyone staying around Haarlem this August, we picked out a few events and happenings that caught our eye. Don’t forget to follow the guidance and make your reservations (where required) early.
What’s your favourite activity to do when you move to a new city? Mine is to get out and wander around, always opting to take the road less travelled – to not follow the crowds and instead head down the back streets and quirky small lanes to see what I’ll discover. Spotting street art on […]
Zwembad de Houtvaart is a treat for swimmers on many levels, thanks to its architecture, history and the fact you can splash around in the open air, come rain or ’shine!
It was announced on 4 July that there will be 700 solar panels installed on the greenhouses of the Haarlemmer Kweektuin. Harlemmers from eligible postcode areas, who don’t have space for solar panels on their own homes, can apply to join the scheme.
As July rolls in, more restrictions are eased and more events will hopefully start happening. From 1 July, many – but not all – places can now welcome more visitors while everyone needs to remember to keep 1.5 metre distance rule and to make your reservations (where required) early.
According to a recent report released in early June by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the usage of green energy increased by 16% in 2019 relative to the previous year across all renewable sources. However, this only accounted for 8.6% of the total energy consumption (compared to 7.4% in 2018), which falls below the target set at […]
Through the efforts of five friends and a whole lot of helpers, who all happen to be stand-up paddleboarders (SUP), a clean-up mission was undertaken on the canals of Haarlem on Monday 6 June – coinciding with World Oceans Day.
The start of June brings with it new possibilities for physical outings to take place. Museums and some cultural institutions have opened their doors from 1 June, keeping in mind the restrictions that come along with that. Be prepared to keep your distance. With 30 people being the maximum number allowed inside, capacity is drastically […]
The Dutch government announced a step-by-step approach on 19 May to further ease the measures for tackling the coronavirus. Throughout June, some restrictions will start to be relaxed at a local and neighbourhood level first, with the situation being closely monitored. One thing that remains clear: we need to continue to stay 1.5 metres apart […]
Welcome to our new series of informal chats with creative types! Seeking inspiration and a pop of vibrancy? Then, look no further. Today, we chat to writer, translator and all-round documenter Marlou about how she’s coping during lockdown.
More than 300 drones illuminated the sky in a spectacular light show above Rotterdam on the evening of 5 May, the 75th anniversary of Liberation Day. Watch a video of the show below.
People are dealing with our current episode of dormancy in different ways. Some are trying out new activities at home, others just like to watch those people who are being creative and providing the entertainment. Whichever category you fall in to, our summary of activities will offer some online inspiration for pursuits to past the […]
Announced this week, the Dutch government has extended most measures to control the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) until 19 May inclusive. Plans are in place for primary and pre-schools to open in May, with all events cancelled until 1 September. The message remains clear: we need to continue to stay at home as much as possible.
It is officially the day the Netherlands turns orange. Flags fly high and everyone adorns orange items of clothing in preparation to honour the King’s birthday. This year all that will still be possible but without the partying on the streets. Instead, we must stay home and we can celebrate in our own way in […]
Yes, we are staying at home for the foreseeable future. Though, we can still remain in touch with the outside world via various channels and take some digital tours thanks to the latest technology. During April, why not schedule time for some virtual expeditions and online outings?