Showing posts from November, 2011

Sinterklaas And The Second Month Of Samhain

When I was a child in Dublin my best friend was Diana Hesselink. I could get from my back garden to hers, over walls and across next-door's lawn, in two minutes flat. When we were both about thirteen her family moved back to Holland and I was devastated. But later that summer I was invited to Eindhoven to visit her. It was wonderful. My first flight on an aeroplane, my first holiday without my parents, and my first experience of a different country.  And to a kid who'd never been out of Ireland, Holland really was different. Last weekend I was back in Holland, visiting friends who've moved from London to Breda. But this time instead of being struck by differences I was intensely aware of similarities. It started with Sinterklaas. My friends' kids go to local schools and they're integrating brilliantly.I arrived to a kitchen table fast disappearing under the orange crepe paper and papier maché creations that would wrap Sinterklaas surprises for the