Annexed by Sharon Dogar and other Anne Frank related posts

Today on Boxing Day, I have just finished The Annexed by Sharan Dogar. Starting the book, it was very vivid after visiting Amsterdam, earlier in the year. I could imagine the street and some of the rooms; not so much how the warehouse fitted in as don’t think see that. I liked that Anne was not glorified; it is described how Peter found her irritating. As the book continues they become closer, at this point I became less keen to read as you know it is not going to be a happy ending and there is no suspense. Partly,  I read it intermittently as book was at my parents but also I chose to start other books whilst at my parents. Sitting down to read it on Boxing Day, after a while I ended up reading blog posts about Anne Frank; I realised it was about 20years since read Anne Frank’s diary so could not remember details. Below are highlights of what I read. 

It would be interesting to have read Anne Frank’s diary and Annexed side by side. Annexed reference’s the diary albeit changing sequence of events; it includes some footnotes about alterations. It talks about romantic tension between Anne, Margot and Peter which you can imagine happening with teenagers in intimate, isolated environment but; I can not remember from the diary. In Annexed Peter asks Anne not to write about their closeness; so could it be this was not explicitly written in the diary. Anne rewrote her diary; conscious of recording the experience for public so it is not a private, raw venting diary.

The last part of Annexed is the time in the camp. I do not like all the italics breaking up the writing.

Someone else’s review of Annexed.

A post about alternative view that those in the annex were found by accident rather than betrayed. 
 A review of Anne Frank diary.

Another alternative to Anne Frank’s diary is discussed in this post where women who knew Anne Frank are interviewed.  

My Christmas Tree 2017

Diamonds, herons and swinging.70D30E37-DE9B-4CC0-B6A4-55662BBE4275

It is a fake tree complete with fir cones and red berries.

I have an angel on the top that I bought from accessorise in a January sale years ago. The first year I bought lots of cheap silver baubles. I have since coveted the Matt silver baubles with decoupage and kept the sparkly ones. There are mirror ball effect ones, shiny smooth silver and glitter silver.

I liked to buy baubles on holidays.

Packing away Christmas decorations from around the world …

This year I have clogs on the tree, that I bought earlier in the year.

Wonderwalls: Amsterdam






Amsterdam tips

  • To get into city from airport best to get train to Centraal tram stop then tram lines are right outside station.
  • If it is dry easy to walk round city and it is a great city for wandering. Many attractions are within 20 – 30 minutes from Centraal station. The other cluster is around Rijksmuseum. There is Van Gogh Museum, Diamond museum, Heneiken experience, Hard Rock Cafe within 5 minutes from Rijksmuseum and Albert Cuyp market  within 10min from Rijksmuseum. It takes about an hour or so to walk fromCentraal St to Rijksmuseum and on a dry day,  it is pleasant walking so you do not necessarily need to be constantly hopping and off trams. When I was there March 2016 it cost 2 Euros to travel on trams for the next hour of 7.50 Euros for 24hours both could be bought on the tram. When you get the ticket you need to validate it by putting in machine on tram to get time stsmped on. On the tram displays show what the next stops are.
  • The other option for getting around is hop and hop off tours. I do not see why would need more than 24hours. I did full canal circuit in an afternoon for 2 hours. Then after a hot chocolate break another journey of about 20minutes on boat. Then half boat circuit. Then next day rest of bus circuit with another couple of hours to do more if had, of wanted.
  • For chance to see herons within city, search for fish stall on Albert Cuyp museum. About 6 in evening when fish that were being thrown away was put out there was about 4 herons there.
  • Definitely buy Anne Frank tickets in advance, after 3pm in the afternoon you can buy on the door but I saw queue at 3pm and think you would have been there hours and presumably if really busy you would not get in.
  • For end of days recommend Heineken brewery tour which culminates in drinks on roof terrace. Or drinks in bar T Lookout tower there is a ticket that includes admission to Heineken tour and Lookout tour and canal shuttle between two. There is also Ice bar which, I did not try.

Elephant Parade

Whilst I was in Amsterdam after my fun elephant spotting last year in Sheffield I was delighted to discover the Elephant parade.

On a wet afternoon  when we were sheltering in the Magna shopping centre we came across this elephant on the ground floor.

The mini Elephant Herd
Upstairs there was a whole shop selling elephant parade products, a table to paint elephants or you could even buy elephants to take away to paint.

Elephant parade started in 2006 when Mark Spilks saw an an elephant called Mosa at the time 7months old being fitted for a prosthetic limb in Thailand. Elephant’s in Thailand can lose limbs due to stepping on log mines whilst logging.

In 2007 Rotterdam hosted sculptures of elephants which were then auctioned to raise money for Asian Elephant Foundation.

Subsequent elephants were hosted in Antwerp in 2008, Amsterdam 2009, London 2010 and subsequently Singapore, Hong Kong, Orange County in California, Brazil and many others.

One of the elephant parade, elephants was also on a canal boat in California.

The other elephants seen in Amsterdam shop / gallery.

Top 5 Large Elephants (Children’s Hospital Trail Sheffield 2016

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate 

The best hot chocolate, I found was at Ivy Bros, served in a white mug with bumpy texture on outside and smooth blue inside. Promisingly it was described on the menu as melting hot chocolate. Indeed it was good pure chocolately drink. The cafe itself is quirky with electric objects which they sell and a shark jaw above the counter. They offer an interesting and tempting range of sandwiches and cakes.

It is at Oudezijds Vootmrburgusal 96HE 1012 GH

Many places serve chocomel . It comes in stylish crockery, but is medicore hot chocolate, being mostly milky. It can be enhanced by baileys.

Diamonds, herons and swinging.

Amsterdam Highlights

Sign spotted on the street near Albert Coup market.

Nearby around about the fish stall.  of Albert Coup, herons can be spotted on the street.

As for sex, I visited the red light district museum for an insight into the area.

I managed to try on various diamond rings as part of a tour of the Gassen diamond factory. An exelirating experince to be up close with thousands of euros worth of diamonds.

Also saw some filming, although do not know what of.

I covevered the usual sites of canals, tulips at flower market which was smaller than expected, canal bridges with bikes lent against and the one windmill in Amsterdam. I saw three of the I Amsterdam signs and a sparkly I Amsterdam bench.

Bookcase to where Anne Frank hid

I sampled the cheese in shops and  visted the Heineken experience. In fact the Heineken experince was several experiences in one; a lesson in how to drink Heineken, shooting a rugby goal on virtual screen, practice pouring a pint and culminating with Heineken on their roof top terrace.

Finally the swinging; one of the newest Amsterdam attractions called the lookout. A lift complete with light show takes you to the inside deck which is floor to ceiling glass. There are comfy seats to sit and admire the view, and a bar. Unfortunately although bar sells tea and coffee, it does not sell hot chocolate.

Up a flight of stairs takes you to the sky deck. Then there are swings which are Europes highest.