Here in London it’s just another (rather chilly) Monday morning, but in the Netherlands it’s Koningsdag, or King’s Day, and most people will be enjoying the day off, celebrating King Willem-Alexander’s birthday.
In Amsterdam, events take place in all the major squares and parks, while the canals are jam-packed with boats full of people drinking and partying. According to iAmsterdam.com’s list of fun facts about King’s Day, the average Amsterdammer spends 26 Euros on a costume for the day, and sales of the cream cake known as a tompouce go through the roof. (Because what’s not to enjoy about pastry, cream and icing?)
But some people still have to work, and Kees, the hero of The Pride of Amsterdam, is one of those people. He’s working to track down the cyber-criminals who threaten his lion shifter lover Arjan’s latest business venture, and being alone in the office gives him the perfect opportunity to get on with some work, even if it means experiencing King’s Day at a remove…
From the break room, where the tea and coffee-making facilities were kept, he’d been able to hear the sound of merrymakers on the street outside. The King’s Day celebrations were in full swing. Bunting and strings of balloons hung from the balconies of almost every building he’d passed on the way here, and people strolled by, their faces painted with the red, white and blue of the Dutch flag. It seemed like everyone was dressed from head to foot in orange, whether that be T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms, pretty prom dresses or replica football shirts. Kees had even seen one man walking along in an orange ballgown, accessorized with elbow-length opera gloves and a necklace made from carrots. A Chihuahua wearing an orange tutu, a tiny tiara perched on its head, had trotted alongside him on a lead.
Later, there would be bands playing and DJs setting up in the big public squares, but Kees doubted his work would be finished in time for him to catch any of the festivities.
But King’s Day isn’t entirely a waste of time for Kees, because… But that would be telling. Get hold of The Pride of Amsterdam to find out more – wearing orange while reading it is not compulsory!