Thursday, December 30, 2010

Well, That Was 2010

Photo: Billy Alexander
It's end of the year and so time for a little reflection. I purposefully don't do too much reflection on the year that has just gone as there's not a lot I can do to change anything that hasn't gone quite as I had liked but a little look over the year does help to create a little focus for the next year.

Without a doubt the highlight of 2010 for me on a personal level was the birth of my second son, and the time since his birth has been busy manic chaos and I've not had the time to do as much writing as I would have liked - but I'm not going to beat myself up about it because I know what it more important right now!!

Away from me, this year has seen some big events in the Netherlands. Here's an overview of some of the things to have hit the Dutch headlines this year - in no particular order. There's lots more of course and NOS and RNW have good summaries.

Politics: Extreme right MP Geert Wilders somehow ended up with a major say in political matters in this country. It took almost all of this year to get a minority government formed after the last one collapsed due to disagreement about the future Dutch presence in Afghanistan. After talking to just about anyone who had ever uttered anything political, Mark Rutte managed to scrape a government together. He then went on to be named politician of the year - was this for his perseverance? Determination? Strength in the face of adversity?

Crime: The most notorious criminal of the year (and not for the first time I suspect) has to be Joran van der Sloot. Currently awaiting trial for the murder of a Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores Ramirez, van der Sloot was arrested in May this year. He hit the headlines with his suspected involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

Sport: The sports highlight of 2010 can be no other than the Dutch team reaching the World Cup final in South Africa. An amazing achievement, despite the loss and the after party also hit headlines across the world.

Showbiz: Footballer Wesley Sneijder and Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen are a bit like David Beckham and Posh Spice but then a little less well-known and Yolanthe never belonged to a girl's band (she's an actress/presenter). They did, however, get hitched in Italy in the summer - barely giving Wesley time to recover from the world cup hangover. There was romance, glamour and a dispute over unpaid bills - showbiz in true style. It was all over the press  - whether you wanted to know about it or not.

Volcanoes: The best volcanic action this year was definitely the Icelandic one which no one can pronounce. It stopped air traffic everywhere. In fact, mother nature has done her best this year to ground planes across the world. She even tried to ruin my Sinterklaas celebrations.

What's the highlight of your year been? What has stuck most with you from events in the Netherlands or your home country in 2010?

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