affiliate · Amazon · Blog · Bol.com · Coolblue · Marketing · Social Media

The Affiliate Experience | The Start

Hello readers! An important update on my blog about my motivation for blogging and for the almost four-year anniversary of this blog and much longer in blogging itself…, starting with affiliate marketing! Whut? What is that? Well, hereby my motivation and explanation. A very personal written blog post.

The term ‘affiliate’

Last week I learned about the term ‘affiliate marketing’ and from Sunday until today (Wednesday night) I have been busy with setting it up for my blog and also explaining it immediately in a blog page – which can now be found in the menu named ‘Affiliate’. Because since I know about the term and I recognise it’s use, a lot of bloggers and website owners or other social media users, use it. But it is not often mentioned and seems now and then even a taboo to talk about it. I don’t like that, transparency is very important in blogging – no in life in general already in this digital era – so I just start-off with this blog post with a motivation and explanation of it all. And I keep you updated because this is gonna be a series blog post about my experience of being an affiliate now while blogging and if it works or not.

The boxed expectations of being a blogger

When I started with my blog I had no intention to make a little bit of money with it. I love to write and I love to talk so why not combine it so you don’t have to repeat your stories and things you find interesting over and over again? And when I told my story about blogging to others, most people thought I am making money with it and they have this dream vision of that I’ll be as rich as most popular YouTubers nowadays. No, please! I don’t like to hear that! Nor to hear and discover that they expect you to make money out of blogging.

Blogging does not make your rich nor must not be you big intent of writing. Write out of the love for it! I don’t know where the expectation of every blogger or vlogger making money with their stuff comes from. If I’m lucky to experience this once in my life, I’ll write another story about how did it happen. But for now I don’t assume it will happen.

I blog because I love to talk and I love to write! And when I talk I can talk for a few minutes to an hour and when I write I can write from a few hundred words to thousands of words. But in my blog posts I try to keep it limited to less than <1500 words per blog post. And I love being a (digital) creative. Design a website, design an application, code it and go from simple structures to more complex ones. Create some mini macramé bracelets, draw something and so on… I like a challenge and this feels like a challenge and improvement in efficiency.

Example

(Book)Stores provide more information about their books than I do in my review. I write about the feeling and the experience of reading it and the how’s so and so. Not about a fact like price or quantity or shipment or originated (except from language). Those are variables that can change. Not stated facts. But from now on you can see that extra information in your favourite store through the link. And if you want, purchase it. Easy right? So, enough talk about motivation?

Affiliate

Transparency is very important with blogging so the moment I started with an affiliate program, halfway February 2019, is the moment I started writing this Affiliate page. Most of it I repeat in this blog post because this blog post is the start of a new series of blogs: ‘The Affiliate Experience’ to give insights in what it is and how it works and if it truly works in my case. I review books, films and series and now and then I write about travelling, events or products and tools I stumbled upon. So in short… I write about the feeling of an experience and the tools that are useful for such experiences.

How affiliate marketing works

By writing about my experiences and those tools and products, I already promote them a bit. Why not make it easier for you as a reader to give a link: where you can borrow or subscribe or buy or find more information about the product too?

So how it works is as follows: now and then I provide a link within the text I write.
Such as this: Sophie’s Blog | Home Page.
If this is an affiliate link and is in such a paragraph not immediate clear, I will make it clear in the name.
Such as this: Amazon US | Home Page.
Otherwise I provide below the paragraph or below the whole blog post, a clear list with the links provided for every kind of affiliate program I am part of so you have a lot to choose between!

Example

This means that if you for example live in The Netherlands and are used to order stuff at Bol.com or Coolblue.nl, you can still do that! If I provide a link for those stores, you know – the same or otherwise mentioned – the product can be bought there too. So it is not shop restricted.

The commission

For every product that is bought through the link I provide – without Google interference or a time span of more than 14 days – I get a few % commission. This varies per shop and varies per product. It ranges from 1% – 10% (very rare). Most common is a commission rate between 2% – 6% per product. Every product category and every product has it’s own commission % specified for most affiliate programs. So it is complex for an affiliate. But for you as reader of my blog it is simple! It’s even a win win!

Another true (US) example

Do you want to try one month free Kindle Unlimited and enjoy the freedom where you can explore over one million titles of books and can explore thousands of titles of audio books? Unlimited reading, unlimited listening and suitable for every (common) device!
Try it out here: Kindle Unlimited
Also available for other countries; it is just another link. See the list below.

A little explanation which companies and why I am an affiliate for those and a list of countries / geography.

Amazon.com

Amazon is the nearly worldwide for most consumer products in the daily life you can think of. No cars though… but a lot of other stuff. Now and then I have to order for example some IT study books at amazon or specific camera lenses. Also Goodreads is part of Amazon and I keep track of my reading habits through Goodreads.

Because it is worldwide and originated in USA, it is easy for my US citizen readers, and all the other country citizens of the list below, to buy their stuff there. A list of the Amazon Affiliate program(s) I’m part of:

Full Amazon product list through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

My personal links per affiliated country:

Amazon is not situated in The Netherlands nor Belgium nor Luxembourg, so… there is an Amazon.nl website but it is distributed from somewhere outside The Netherlands (one of the above mentioned programs). So please order through 

Bol.com

Full Bol.com product list through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

Bol.com is one of the Dutchies biggest consumer small product suppliers. At Bol.com you can e.g. buy little presents, clothes, beverages, animal supplies, toys and of course books! And they have an ebook / reading program with Kobo.

My personal link: Bol.com

Coolblue.nl

Full Coolblue.nl product list through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

Coolblue is the shop where everything is a little bit bigger. And they have real shops to visit and test the products too! No books but stuff like bicycle parts, kitchen, television and so on… Partly a competitor of Bol.com but not completely if you compare the above mentioned! So I wanted that to make sure. 

My personal link: Coolblue.nl

Donner bookstore

Full Donner booklist through my blogs can be found here (in creation).

The Donner bookstore, located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands; is my all time favourite bookstore! I’m visiting this bookstore regularly, came there already since I was little or probably before I was born as well. And throughout my life, I bought most of my books there. For already 25+ years! So because I like this store so much and because it has a special place in my heart… every time when I write a bookreview, I will include a link to the book at this bookstore as well (if available). For my fellow Rotterdam area or travel distance citizens: you know then which books to find there too when I write about it :).

Thank you!

Thank you for taking time to read this long blog post. I hope you learned a bit more about what affiliate marketing is and maybe you recognise it on other sites from now on as well. And if you already knew, I hope you like my approach and like what I’m now trying.

If you have any advice or any questions regarding this blog posts and the shops related, feel free to ask by replying with a comment or Contact Me page.

Loves from Sophie

Blog

Life of an IT student | January 2019

Hi readers,

January has had already it’s time of the year. And what an incredible start!
The month started of course with the New Year and was quite busy. The following couple of days I was working and the last four weeks of the minor Crossmedia Journalism started and the preparation for the exams. Besides studying and working those first two weeks, I also attended the Young Adult book club evening of the Bored to Death book club. We discussed the book ‘Noughts and Crosses’ written by Malorie Blackman. It is a book written in the beginning of this century and therefor we had to imagine a bit more how it would fit back in those days. It was a lovely evening with lots of fun.

The last two weeks of January were crazy busy. There was another literature book club night of the Bored to Death book club, held at the ‘Kaapse Maria’ café. This time we discussed the book ‘Nights at the Circus’ written by Angela Carter.  It was a fun and lovely evening and interesting thoughts about the different story parts in the book. This book club night was my little break in-between all the deadlines and to do’s. In total I had to finish four different projects of different sizes, had to give four different presentations and three exams. All part of my study.

Did not even upload a photo on Instagram, nor had enough time to read more than two books, nor had enough time for all the other ‘living-a-life’ stuff. No, the upmost priorities were these two weeks study and work.

Next month a new part of study challenge is on the way and a couple of nice small events and living life back to normal and starting with a sports and food challenge. So in total it sounds like a lot…but if I manage to do this all, it’s fine.

How did you start your New Year?

And do you have any New Year resolutions?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog

Blogposts structure of 2019

Hi readers,

2019 is already a month on the go and the past month I thought about starting the new year with some new changes / adjustments / improvements . An improved blogstructure!

I bought a lovely calendar of Dutch’s most famous quotes brand: Loesje.
And I bought a agenda from the same series as well. In the calendar I organise my blogposts and make some extra notes about all my ideas. The agenda is just a agenda for the personal life and to have a good overview of all the different appointments in my life this year. Of course stuff like deadlines and presentations for study, days I’ll be working as a student software tester, days to spend with friends and family and free time for some events, blogging, sports, household and selfstudying/preparations for everything thats coming up.

The new structure I thought of kind looks like this:

  • Monday #Book review
  • Tuesday #Top Ten / Interesting Ten
  • Wednesday #Series review
  • Thursday #Travel
  • Friday #Film review
  • Saturday’s #Healthy & Saturday’s #Tech
  • Sunday’s #YouTube

Writing a blog post for every day is quite a big challenge and it takes some big effort to investigate and write down everything I have gathered since the beginning of this blog in March 2015. But I am looking forward to this challenge…

How my life in 2019 (probably) looks like?

  • Studying Computer Science / Software Engineering with a particular interest in Data Engineering.
  • Working a couple of days per week as a Junior Software Tester
  • Writing, creating and redesigning this blog
  • Reading for The Bored to Death bookclub in Rotterdam
  • Working on some smaller (tech) projects
  • Socializing with friends and family
  • Somewhere sports… yeah still have to figure out how exactly. Having a warmth-allergy doesn’t make it easy to start something and go recklessly for it without proper guidance. 
  • Travel bits because I want to keep exploring the world, start small and in a couple of years more far away travels.
  • Blogging… writing and designing and communicating

Meanwhie I am also studying, working on some (tech)projects, reading for The Bored to Death bookclub, working as a Junior Tester and developing myself furthermore in (programming) languages.

I am still so curious and feel challenged by improving my languages the next couple of years. Such as:

  • Dutch (literature e.g.: style, words, sentences)
  • English (more fluent, better descriptions of emotions)
  • German (basic)
  • French (basic)
  • Italian (basic)
  • A Scandinavian language (Norwegian or Swedish)
  • A Celtic language (Scottish Gaelic or Irish)
  • Latin (basic), it is an ancient language but interesting for it’s use in history.
  • Greek (basic) and there is old-Greek new-Greek. I’ve had classes about old-Greek, still interesting with all the history and mythology and stuff.

And of course as an IT student I am also interesting in improving in my programming languages and architecture designs.

And I’ll try to use the new WordPress block editor, which looks at first nice because you can embed a lot of stuff.

So this is the ‘Blogposts structure of 2019’ update.

Have you used the new WordPress block editor already?

And what do you think of it?

And what do you think of my new ‘Blogposts structure of 2019’?

Greetings by Sophie

Events

Happy New Year 2019!

Hello readers,

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

A video of the New Years Eve show I have been watching in Rotterdam. Enjoy watching!

View this post on Instagram

Happy New Year 2019! 🍾🥂📸🎆🎉 It was a marvelous show, for eight full minutes fireworks from the Erasmusbridge programmed on music! 🎶 The first video: A minute halfway with lovely colors Swipe for video 2: The last minute with the end part and lots and lots of fireworks! 🎆 Wish you al the best, healthy, happy and supporting strength for those wishes to come true! 🍾🎉🥂 Loves from Sophie Fireworks by @hetnationalevuurwerk Beautiful music composed and performed by @rdamphil #happynewyear #2019 #Rotterdam #nationalfireworks #TheNetherlands #brightnight #brightcolors #marvelousshow #fireworks #photography #music #fireworksfilm #photographynight #blogger #sophievda #gelukkignieuwjaar #2019hasstarted #rotterdamphilharmonic #nationalevuurwerk

A post shared by Sophie (@sophie.vda) on

 

Best wishes and love for 2019 from Sophie

 

Events

Christmas 2018

Hi readers,

I wish you all a merry Christmas for 2018!

I hope you’ve had lovely days and more to come in this period between Christmas and New Year 2019!

Life of an IT student for October, November and December will be up soon and my wishes for 2019!

Lovely greetings by Sophie

Blog · Health · Technology

Life of an IT student | September 2018

Hello readers,

Before the astrological summer ends, the time of studying or back to work – or both – has started again. New challenges ahead and a new full 10-month journey of duties in study and the challenges in your life to keep things rolling. Oke maybe I sound a bit cryptographic right now, maybe duties isn’t the best word or at least it is not the only important word in this yearly 10-month life journey. You feel you have a duty because you have goals you want to reach, achieve and want to try. Challenge accepted!

The start of the month

September started for me as usual. The first lessons of the study year of a new challenge part in study. The minor Crossmedia Journalism. What has that to do with you as a software engineering student? 

Desire for Crosstech Communicating

You might think. Well, I love to talk, I love to write, I love to inspire people and I love to explain digital stuff. Digital stuff is a broad term but so are my interests. Explaining software or how to use it more efficient. Explaining social media, the know-how behind it, the effects, the different way of using for different purposes. But also closing the gap between the developer and the other creative with a digital product idea. Or between the developer and the end-user. Closing the gap by being the bridge where it’s needed for more happiness between all the people involved and more efficiency in how you spent the time of your life (of which most is work). How shall I call this then…?

Maybe I just have a desire for crosstech communicating <- I just brought that up, no idea if the term exists and otherwise it exists now. With the goal of making lives piece by piece more efficient, healthy with enough amount of rest and happier and thriving because of the efficiency without losing the main focus on quality. Good quality takes time, good performing takes enough peaceful mind and rest too.

Follow up start of the month

The minor started with a nice introduction of theory and challenging thoughts about (digital) communication nowadays and some good examples of magazines, newspapers and crossmedia concepting brands. Very inspiring! A month in my life is rarely without visiting an inspiring talk about life, business, how to’s or just do something!

#Girlboss talk Ellen Hoog

This month I went to the #Girlboss talk from the hockey legend Ellen Hoog. Such an inspiring woman and so nice to have met her in real life! Her books with recipes about good food and exercises to live a sportive active life are one of my favorites and good-accessible to bake e.g. Healthy waffles and do some core exercises or make some energizing smoothies. And her way of doing business, her mentality of just doing and trying and figuring it out but never quit or step back because of fears. No her mentality lesson – which you also need in topsport – is: challenge accepted = challenge completed and hopefully with a winning mood and result!

Halfway the month I stumbled into a new nice challenge of which I had doubts if I had enough time besides studying to make the full commitment. After a couple of days, a meeting with encouraging and inspiring moments and a bit of luck or coincidence, I accepted the challenge: writing for a magazine!

My mind was jumping my heart was bouncing and I just sat still in the meeting with a look of being flabbergasted! Time for ideas, time for connecting the team to work as a team together and time to seriously face reality too: the printing deadline was already in four weeks! F o u r weeks! A new magazine, no format nor brand nor style nor example of previous editions yet. Just from scratch!

So this process started at the end of September and a few challenges for October were already set in the calendar. In my Life as an IT student | October blog edition will this story continue. For now this is a challenge in progress! And what a unique and amazing one!

Did you encounter a challenge in the month of September?

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Events · Travel

Blog Anniversary 2018!

Happy Blog Anniversary 2018!

Today is the 1st of March 2018 and this means that this month is my blog anniversary month!

Three years ago, back in 2015, I started with this more structural blogging. The history of my blogging experience is written in the blog series named: ‘The Blogging Experience’ that consists of five blog posts, with an explanation about what I am using now and last but not least some tips on blogging.

The list of ‘The Blogging Experience’ series.

The top three blog posts of the past 365 days are:

  1. The 72 Cutest Animals
    Just a series review of a small cute series I watched on Netflix.
  2. Essay | Leprosy in the 12th and 21st century | Conclusion
    This is the last blog post of a series about leprosy. For a course, at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, named ‘History of Health Care’ I wrote this essay as part of a final assignment. The subject, general knowledge and impact of leprosy is underestimated. I have learned a lot about it by writing this essay.
  3. Happy New Year 2018!
    A very recent blog post, just two months old. My New Year’s wishes to you all, accompanied by a compilation video of the fireworks I have seen that night. Just shot with my iPhone 7 and edited with Quick.

The past year I have been combining the study work load and the blog feeling to write, a bit better than last year. Especially writing about my holiday in Edinburgh is a part I am really proud of because I am happy I could share through this way my holiday experience and provide you with some recommendations or just the way how I managed it all. And for me personally, writing it all as an overview, was also my guideline when I was telling people about my travel and experiences. I am a student on a student budget and that’s the fun challenge. How to get the best out of it with enjoying the most out of it.

Future

I am looking forward to write even more blog posts about what I am experiencing, visiting, travel to, plan to do and so on… So excited! This month will also be a bit of a recap of the past year. A few blog posts that are drafts will be finished and they will be more in-depth of my big and smaller travels.

“Blogging is a thing I am passionate about.” – Sophie van den Akker, March 1st 2018

Where are you passionate about?

Happy wishes and greetings by Sophie

Blog

January 2018 | Life of an IT Student

Hello readers,

It’s been busy in my life. The usual busyness someone expect nowadays, the study busyness and just life that rolls like a rollercoaster.

The past few months – October, November, December and January – have been a rollercoaster.

During October in study the first exams of the year, a 32 hours a week internship besides studying and also a webshop project – as part of study. Except for studying blogging a bit, watching Netflix, now and then the cinema or just having drinks downtown or on a cultural city trip. Yes a happy and lovely life of family and friendships.

And I finally received at a ceremony my Propedeuse Informatica ‘Information Technology’

November was a month when the rollercoaster really started.

Some exams but the biggest shock was the sudden change of internship. I will not mention the company nor write about what happened / the sudden reason why and the way I found out I had to change from internship and the way the university handled it. No it is just a disappointing changing event that happened in the past which had of course a huge effect accompanied by a big disappointment.

How other companies or people treat you as an internship student; learn about what is good, recognize about what is bad. And the saddest thing is? I am definitely not on my own, it happens a lot among students and some feel ashamed that they suddenly have to change from internship – for no reason. An internship is about learning and getting experience at a real company. Not about making profit because you as an internship student are so cheap – aka probably not on the payroll nor a contract that is of any value legally when a university does not fully support you (could be accidentally though).

I have found a new company for a new internship and I am very grateful for that company that they give me the opportunity to gain experience in coding. And the advice, help, explanations and challenges! That makes me smile at work every day.

At the end of the month I turned 25! Whoohoo alive on this planet already for a quarter of a century! Celebrated it during the month with family and friends. So not a big party, though I love events, my head was not quite in the game of celebrations during these rollercoaster months. Last year I gave a party, maybe next time when I graduate and celebrate my birthday; I have two reasons for it haha :). Not yearly or daily = keeping celebrations special.

December is the month of festivities. ‘Sinterklaas’ and ‘Santa Claus’ both with my lovely family. Lots and lots of delicious food and good wine. And I love cooking, a four course dinner for example for such special days. So December went by quickly. Daily working and/or studying and barely free time except for the Christmas Days and New Year’s Eve.

January started of course with the New Year! Celebrated at a friends place and with family so raise your glass for a smile to the new year cause nonetheless whatever happens during life, as long as you find a reason to smile, start the year with a smile. Start every day with a smile.

Even when life is tough, for example with love. Love is the most difficult subject for every human being – and for some animals as well. They can’t teach you how to live life at school and from then on and how to love your life after school when you are becoming an adolescent or an adult or even an elder. It is a subject that never stops and you will keep on learning. Always a lesson, when you expect it and when you do not expect it. That’s been the last part of my rollercoaster these months. As if the weigh on my shoulders was not enough yet. But anyways, writing for yourself gives you a perspective of your point of view at that moment. So this writing in this quite personal blog post, gave me a perspective. Just noting a few things i love deeply.

I love my dear family, my dear friends. The ones who are close and the ones who are a bit further away but not less in my heart. I love animals, the writing and blogging, the cultural trips I experience. I love my study with all the challenges, the feeling of eagerness to learn and complete those challenges. The broad subjects and possibilities when you dare to think out of the box. Life is so full of chances. Never loose hope. Even when it is a rainy day and you have to wait a full day until you discover a new sunrise or sunset, just think: another 24 hours and you will see that sunrise or sunset tomorrow because the sun has never stopped during the daily circle of life.

Today is a Saturday and my January ended with more work, more study, more exams, more deadlines. But now it is weekend! Really finally since months a work and study free weekend. Time for some healthy rest. So upcoming days I am back with my blogging schedule: books, series, films, events, authors, technology. Experienced, seen, asked and done a lot the past couple of months so lots and lots to write about. Can’t wait to tell you about all the lovely stories and all the inspirations I experienced.

“There is always light in a dark night.” – Sophie van den Akker – February 2018

Greetings by Sophie

Blog · Culture · Travel

July 2017 | Life of an IT Student

Hello readers!

This evening a recap of my life in the month of July! The month beheld the last weeks of study before the summer break and it beheld the first days of my holiday in Edinburgh.

As I have written in the previous recap of the month of June 2017, the first weeks of July were pretty stressful. The last exams of the year, the last weeks of a semester project of the year and I called it in short: the last chances of whatever-needed-to-be-finished of the year.

This month – except for my holiday – I have not visited a lot of events. Just let go the stress, enjoy the piece and sunshine in the few days between the last days of study of the year and my holiday.

Now and then I walked to the Cruise Terminal area, Hotel New York and the little park at the point of the pier. Watched the Queen Elizabeth cruiseship leaving the city. Twice this month in fact haha. The first time I just made a bunch of photos also because of the beautiful sunset. I was way too early before the ship left so had a drink from Hotel New York at the pier and waited, just enjoyed the quietness and the breeze at the point. The second time this cruiseship was visiting the city for a day and was leaving again, I made a little video. How lovely to see how many people, families, acquaintances or just interested people wave goodbyes to all the persons on board. With a ‘See you soon again!’ accompanied of course.

Halfway the month I received bookmail as well and reviewed it shortly afterwards. The book is written by Max Rippe and this is the third novel in a series but you can read it as a standalone book too. You can read the full review here –> A Deadly Run-Off – Max Rippe. Have you read this book? What do you think of the story?

Only one week left before my study break would finally start and a little less than two weeks left before I went on holiday. Ooh now the study stress was turning into a holiday excitement.

Right before I went on holiday to Edinburgh, I had to visit the zoo again. Walking through the park and discover the wonderful habits of the animals. On this day I posted on Instagram a film of the littlest of the elephants who started to practice his trumpet skills and played with water on a brightful sunny day.

A few days later I went on holiday to Edinburgh, Scotland. About my experience there you can read in my special blog series about this travel:

How has been your month of July?

Greetings by Sophie

Culture · Travel

Edinburgh Tuesday

This blog post is a sequel to the series ‘The Recap of the Day – Edinburgh 2017’.
How my first day – Friday – has been, you can read about it here –> Edinburgh Travel.
How my second day – Saturday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Saturday
How my third day – Sunday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Sunday
How my fourth day – Monday – has been, you can read about it here -> Edinburgh Monday

The morning

On Tuesday morning I woke up early to write for my blog and have a little morning walk. The planning of today: visiting The Royal Yacht Britannia. The ship I have seen in the Netflix series ‘The Crown’. The ship is famous for serving the British Royal Family for decades and has sailed thousands of miles around the world. The morning was not that interesting, just my morning habits before I leave the house.

The afternoon

The afternoon started with the ‘Majestic Bus Tour’ that has a stop at the Ocean Terminal where The Royal Yacht Britannia is docked. The bus tour gave me a nice view of the neighbourhoods next to the harbour. And after I left the bus, I ate my lunch on a bench in front of the Ocean Terminal. I had brought another meal deal with me, a tuna sandwich, a bottle of water and a little bag of apple slices. After lunch I entered the Ocean Terminal which is also a shopping mall. Lovely decorated in a dinosaur theme for kids and it gives some color to the big white venue. On the right part of the site at the second floor, you could enter The Royal Yacht Britannia area. An area that included a big souvenir shop – with really nice stuff for – such as – little presents or stuff for your household. It also included, after entering the entrance by passing a guard and the ticket area, a nice exhibition about the history of the yacht, the royal family and all that they have experienced between 1953 and 1997. Yes, the yacht has served for 44 years! That’s a long time for a royal ship. The exhibition gave you the general knowledge about its history and by entering the ship and visiting all three floors, you had a clear view of how the family and crew lived days, weeks or months on the ship. Incredible. More specifications of course in a special blog post about this royal yacht!

Halfway the afternoon I stepped into the Majestic Tour again for another part of a city tour and I stepped off at the stop at The Palace of Holyroodhouse. This is the palace H.M.S. The Queen Elizabeth II always visits in the first week of July for the famous Garden Party. This is a special occasion where ~600 important Scots are invited to this festivity. I walked through the palace, the adjacent abbey of which sadly only the ruins are left. But beautiful ruins! You can even see it from different directions. From left gate in front of the palace, from Holyrood Park which is next to and behind The Palace of Holyroodhouse, and of course from the royal gardens itself. A wonderful and vision with a little bit of spirit from history attached to the venue. There was also a little special photographic exhibition of the royal family and one of the grand children of H.M.S. The Queen Elizabeth II that married in 2011. Princes Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall (Philips) married Mike Tindall back in 2011 and they are married here in Edinburgh at Canongate Kirk. At the end of the exhibition it was time for an afternoon cup of tea. The typical English cup of tea. I went to the tea room of The Palace of Holyroodhouse and had a ‘Twinings English Breakfast Tea‘ together with a piece of fruitcake – yes that one they make for the Christmas Cake as well – and a piece of The Palace of Holyroodhouse shortbread. Not that healthy but very local and delicious! At the tea room they sell only local products from all over Scotland.

 The evening

The afternoon came to an end and the tea room was nearly closing. I left the venue and walked on the Royal Mile. Yesterday I visited Edinburgh Castle, located at the other end of the Royal Mile. So today I started at the lowest point of it. Climbing uphill, enjoying the sight of shops and pubs and I get bothered by the little drops of rain. Which quickly turned into a rain shower that lasted for an hour or so. Along my way I passed the Scottish Veterans Residences – they support already for 107 years! Which I highly respect. I was walking wandering around in the Canongate area, walked through a little alley, passed a parking lot and stumbled upon the mural of the backyard of Canongate Kirk. Yes I was at first looking for a shortcut walk to Calton Hill – yes a hill, high, photographic view, just a few paths, have to know how to get there – and I didn’t know nor found a path from my route to the top of Calton Hill. So I turned sort of around and walked back to Canongate. I visited the graveyard at Canongate Kirk and what an impressive view those huge gravestones have. Nearly every important family have/had it’s own ‘tomb’ space on the graveyard.

After the visit to the graveyard I went back to South Bridge where I had been before by bus – Google Map it I would advice because it is an well known bus stop and centrally located. At the corner of the street they have a royal blue cute looking bookshop named ‘Blackwell’s‘. From the inside it is a great bookshop and even see how big it really is when you walk around at the first floor. They have every imaginable category of books and most of them related to study subject as well. And they have, when you step inside and walk to the left area, a complete corner filled with Scottish history, literature, travel, authors, fiction, language, cooking and so on. And yes they sell books for learning the Gaelic language as well. I was amazed by the numerous books they sell. I just discovered – after Google’in – that I maybe can buy ‘The Folk Tales of Scotland: The Well at the World’s End and Other Stories‘ (Hardback) and ship it to The Netherlands – flight kg’s limited and stuff – because the other famous bookshop named ‘Waterstones’ does not sell it online nor ship it. Wow, is it such a limited copy book? I photographed several books I would love to buy and read. But first things first. I have only bought three little study books from publisher O’Reilly about software engineering. My three little kind of dictionaries in those particular languages.

The evening had started and I had nothing special for dinner except the haggis kind of sausage roll. I headed back home, changed my clothes into a bit more casual classy formal and headed back to South Bridge. Because nearby is a famous – you don’t say by looking at the entrance – hidden Jazz bar. Thé Jazz Bar of Edinburgh with free open jam sessions on Tuesday Night. It was lovely! And it is a bar you should visit for at least a drink and listening to live music.

Goodnight folks! Oidhche, mhath.

Greetings by Sophie