Home in Leiden

Croatian, Za vise informacija na hrvatskom jeziku, molimo kontaktirajte Tamaru,

German, Wenn Du weitere Informationen auf Deutsch brauchst, wende Dich bitte an Dorothea,

Danish, For mere information paa Dansk kan De kontakte Heidi.



Czech, Pro více informací v ceském jazyce kontaktujte prosím


French, Pour plus d'informations en français, vous pouvez contacter Claire Caron sur

Polish, Po dodatkowe informacje w jezyku polskim kontakt or

Spanish, Si quieres más información en castellano, no dudes en ponerte en contacto conmigo, Laura

Indian, Please contact Rippy at if you'd like help in Hindi or Punjabi.

Diana Jekina,


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Happy New Year to everyone! For those of you who spent it here, I hope your eardrums are still intact, and for those who were away, welcome home! A new school term and a fresh fall of snow. and probably a lot of New Year's resolutions. Things are a bit hectic for me at the moment as we're caring for my parents in law after my mother-in-law's brain tumour surgery, so I won't be managing to organize much on the HomeinLeiden front - however, here are my (albeit slightly odd) resolutions:

  1. Spend less, share more! Let's face it, everyone is feeling broke. However, we have been making great steps to create ways in which to share and swop skills and goods in order to bypass that boring old commodity, money, and we need to keep up the momentum. Jill's Swishing, the Kids Clothes Swop (soon to be given a revamp by Noeleen), Swap Mamas (in which Natalia has made a group called Leiden Mamas: go to and join in) are all great examples, but I'm sure there are more possibilities! I still have a pending Leiden branch of Freecycle if anyone would like this to be their baby.

    If you want inspiration on this subject, read the wonderful How to Be Free by Tom Hodgkinson (thanks to Marie and Sanjay for introducing me to this!) and/or The Thrift Book by India Knight.

    How to be FreeThe Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less

    I'm hoping to have a HomeinLeiden meeting soon, circumstances permitting. I'll email all those who have evinced an interest in getting involved, but do contact me.
  2. Get the children dancing!

    Frustrated by the expense and kerfuffle of dance classes for children, we are setting up an informal dance group that meets at the Pancrat Buurthuis (Middelstegracht, near Alberthein) on Tuesday afternoons. Basically the idea is that we take turns to lead a session: this just involves bringing a CD or two and getting the children moving to some kind of dancing (which can be anything: of course the more different genres/cultures the better). I'm hopeless at dancing but don't mind having a go: if you actually know what you are doing, The first group will be Tuesday 12 th from 2 until 5. Email me on if you are interested.
  3. Embrace the old-fashioned!

    Not necessarily pretty - but it is durable!

    I don't actually mean hugging my mother (of which, nevertheless, I should probably do more)but rather old fashioned solutions for things. It all fits into thrift and having fun without spending money, of course. Creating stuff is so satisfying: knitting (here I go again, sorry, but do come and join us on a Friday morning at the VKC) is a great one, sewing (particularly with children, as they feel so pleased with themselves; start with cheesecloth and a darning needle with wool), mending (ok, this is an obsession of mine, but if you have something with a hole please mend it instead of getting rid of it: if you don't know how to darn/patch I'll show you, or find tutorials on .) I'm also getting into old-fashioned remedies: my father-in-law has been making a hot compress out of linseed which has seriously helped the family chesty coughs! You buy gebroken lijnzaden in a health food shop, whizz it finely in a food processor, cook it up with a bit of water until very hot, then wrap a thick layer up in an old cloth (I use old cloth nappies). You rub Vaseline on your chest and then lay the compress on your chest at bedtime and sleep with it on there. Evelyn thought it was 'snuggly', after initial fussing about heat. A hot water bottle probably has a similar effect, but hey, it's fun making squidgy mud-pie-like concoctions.


RANDOM NOTE: SCAL laboratory etc. has moved!

In these ill-healthy months, if you have been referred by your huisarts for a blood test, urine test or many scans, you will probably need to go to the SCAL lab. This used to be in Douzastraat, handily off the Rapenburg. As I discovered in heavy snow yesterday, it is now right at the end of Rozenburglaan, off the roundabout near 5 Mei. Miles away, in fact. However, before you schlep all the way there, I have discovered (and the huisartsen mostly don't know this yet), there is also a morning clinic at Haven 18 (next to Haven Apotheek) between 7.30 and 9. Which is at least a lot more central.



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