There used to be two schools of thought when it came to Queen’s Day. The first was to embrace the whole crazy thing with gusto – whatever your age. The second was to go into hiding, preferably leaving the country a few days before the supermarkets started selling bright orange cakes and not coming back until everyone’s had recovered from their hangovers.

But a new approach seems to be emerging: some people are going ‘back to basics’. These individuals are oblivious to the calls of ‘spoilsport’ when declining invitations to join the 300,000 bodies pressed onto the Museumplein in Amsterdam to hear (but in no way see) the latest bands.
They ignore the urge to bargain hunt in the flea market which covers the country like a plague and give in wholeheartedly to instincts which tell them they can’t possibly expect anyone to pay money for their own household rubbish.
This new breed of revellers organises its own small scale celebrations on street level. They sit in the sunshine with a glass of wine, chatting to neighbours and passers-by. They don’t feel guilty about their early afternoon alcoholism because it is a once-a-year thing and they would normally be slaving over a hot computer. Who need’s May 1? Queen’s Day is the ultimate workers’ celebration.

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