Today is fathersday in Spain. Alex (with a little help from his mother) got me this beautiful picture! Naturally I was very happy with this very nice gift. The photo was taken on the Canteras beach where Alex was just checking out the local scenery.Vaderdag 2013!

Color again

Vrede van Utrecht five euro in color!There is another 5 euro coin available and this time they minted another small batch of colored coins. The number of colored coins is 1000 and this is a little bit more then the previous set with the colored tulips, which counted 750 sets. Again the entire batch sold out within a day.

The colored set of the Utrecht five euro coin exists out of 6 silver coins where each has a little colored detail. For each country/area that signed the treaty of the Peace in Utrecht there is a colored coins present in the set. For each country the coloring that is used is based on the countries flag or arms from 1713. The countries that participated were France, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Savoy.

Even though these coins are not legal tender this remains a mystery when you review the website of the royal Dutch mint. Clearly they want to sell the colored coins quickly without any hassle. They announced (*) the coins on their website with the specifications stating “Nominal value: 6 x 5 euro”. In the news item announcing the new coins the colored set is mentioned right alongside the rest of the coins. A bit strange because the colored coins are legally viewed worthless and should not be considered legal currency.

The (official) colored coins sold by the royal Dutch mint until now:

Year Coin Quantity Introduction price
2013 Vrede van Utrecht color set 1000 sets
6 silver coins per set
Nominal value 5 euros per coin
€ 275,00
2012 Lucky 10 cents 15.000 coins
Nominal value 10 cents
€ 4,95
2012 Tulpen vijfje color set 750 sets
4 silver coins per set
Nominal value 5 euros per coin
€ 200,00

(*) Sadly the royal Dutch mint does not preserve the content of their website. As soon as a product is no longer available in their shop all the details related to the product disappear.

Back to Leiden

The situation in Spain is very difficult at the moment. There is a very high unemployment rate and if your lucky, and have a job, there is a lot of uncertainty. After years of employment people suddenly get contracts that last only a month. If you are sick at the end of the month you are automatically without a job.

After quite some debate we have made a decision to do whats best and try to create more stability for our family. We wanted the security of two incomes in these strange times of crisis. After months of searching for a job here in Gran Canaria I took a gamble in the Netherlands. This turned out to be a lucky shot and one week after sending my CV and a phone call I got myself a nice contract for half a year. A contract worth more that three times a similar job here in Spain.

Of course it was a very difficult decision. My family will remain (for now) in Las Palmas and we will have to see how we fill in our future together. I’m going back home to Leiden and start there the 1st of April. The positive feeling of returning to my roots, my family and my friends is however overshadowed by the nearing goodbye of Alex and Ana. Even though I know the goodbye is only for a while and there are lots of ways to keep in touch, it is still painful to think I will not be there for Alex in the middle of the night when he wants his milk.

It is a big change for us, but we are confident it is the best thing we can do for our future. I’m heading back to Leiden (first to Noordwijkerhout) and then we will see where the future leads us. See you very soon!

Climbing stairs

Last week Alex had another checkup where he also got a few more vaccinations injected into his little leg. During the checkup they asked us if Alex knew how to climb a stairs. We did not really try this with Alex but there had been a few times that Alex liked to go up and down some stairs with a helping hand. We said that stairs for Alex were no problem, and a few days later Alex showed us that he really did master the art of climbing!