If there is ever a time to visit Amsterdam, its between 10-11am on a Saturday morning, right now.
The streets are empty and cleaner than usual, with way less of the bachelor party goers. But the shops are still open, so it’s possible to get the things done. That is why we managed to stumble upon a few unique things, such as a penny farthing for rent, and a shop full of rubber ducks of all kinds of flavours.
From there we headed to a little town called Woerden for a bit of sightseeing in the old town, before heading to a braai. There is evidence of a town in that area since Roman times, and even now it is alive with residents going about their business.
Deadline day… I got up early to get a head start, and I did get some work done.
But when I got up to get some coffee my computer decided to switch off, and it took a lot of prodding and poking to get it back up and running again.
It wasn’t the end of the day’s troubles either.
At some point the Internet connection stopped working, at another the program we use to talk kicked me out (twice, while I was in a meeting) and once my plate with peanut butter toast fell off the desk, broke in 2, and the toast fell topping side down, of course.
But I met the deadline. A few hours later than I hoped for, but I could go sleep with the knowledge that I managed to do my bit for the week (and then some).
Today is my niece’s birthday. On the one hand I was sad what I couldn’t celebrate with her this year, or with any of my other nieces and nephew, because I’m on this side of the world due to Corona.
On the other hand I could wake up to a picture of her holding her present, and we could send voice notes and video messages back and forth on the family chat. At the risk of repeating myself: Thank God for modern technology.
The reason I’m telling you all this, however is because of how cool that present is. Her parents took note of her interests and got her a super cool kids sewing machine for her birthday. I wish I was there to check it out and maybe help her thread it the first couple of times, because on excited to share my hobby with her.
Maybe she will be the new name on fashion design. Maybe she will revolutionise the way we do things forever. Maybe she’ll develop further interests or maybe she will not, and that’s OK. Perhaps it will be a phase or maybe a life long hobby.
The important thing is to do something that makes you happy and to explore your possibilities.
In this lockdown time, I realised once again how lucky I am to have many interesting hobbies that keep me occupied, especially in the times when I don’t get to see my friends as often as I’d like. Although I’ve been sewing for many years, on and off, I still enjoy the thrill of starting and finishing a new project. I enjoy the challenges of learning new techniques, and I enjoy working with pretty and interesting materials and tools.
There was a press conference last night again, about the state of the COVID-19 infections. There has been a spike in cases in recent days, and in certain areas such as Amsterdam bars and cafés have to close early to curb infections.
Luckily the amount of hospitalised people are less, possibly because the people getting sick now are younger. But that implies that they are out and about with the chance of infecting others.
I keep a keen eye on the news developments. South Africa is opening international borders again, but I’m not yet sure if I’ll be able to go home for Christmas to see my family. I would love to, but I don’t want to place them at risk.
Today we harvested the apples from the tree in Marinus’s garden.
This bucket of apples(and a smaller overflow bucket not pictured here) is like a world of possibilities… Will it become cider? Or Dutch apple pie? Or another apple cake like the one from the Coelocanth Café? Or appelstroop, the thick caramel like substance that I encountered here for the first time?
I was floored by a mysterious illness yesterday. Not the respiratory kind, luckily, as this is the big scare at the moment, but I had the worst stomach cramps imaginable.
I cancelled my training session and my drinks with friends. Instead I tried to recover at home.
What surprised me however, is that although I was thankfully better on Thursday, I was deflated and without energy the whole of the next day. So often we take our health for granted, and don’t realise how everything is finely balanced. Mess up one thing and everything else is out of kilter.
I was also reminded of how often we don’t see the difficulties of others, especially if it’s not obviously visible, like in the case of a broken leg. It would make the world a bit more friendly if we all took that into account every now and then.