Never a truer word spoken when it comes to my existence. Only last week I’d made up my mind to go back to Andalucia for the winter when by chance while visiting Mary Greenwell briefly, she sat me down, strongly advising me to get back to London and get in the saddle. She was right. Now that Myhibi.com is up and running there’s a lot to do and people I want to meet that can’t be achieved on Skype from a tiny village in Spain. Also another thing I hadn’t really considered was the isolation factor over winter too, it won’t be the same as summer and as much as I can do quiet time I’m not interested in quiet and lonely time.
SO… now the (current plan is) Rajasthan in September for Hibiscus production followed by London in the Autumn for looking lively about the place. In the meantime you can mostly find me in Holland for the next 10 days!
First stop on arrival – Nam Kee in China town, Amsterdam to experience the steamed oysters in black bean sauce with my good friend Eljakim. I love Amsterdam and when I mentioned to Eljakim I would be coming over and would love to catch up for dinner, he gallantly offered me his house in Haarlem so another diversion awaits me… Eljakim’s beautiful girlfriend, Irini is the vice president of the Greek community in Holland so I am extra at home here!
Day 1 Amsterdam.. After a long overdue massage at Doctor Feelgood (so very good) I was desperately in need of some muscular relief after dragging my suitcases and boxes everywhere lately – up and down stairs and in out of apartments. Next, the train back to Haarlem after a mini tour of South Amsterdam and a glass of wine or three with the prepossessing Patrick Hollander.
Day 2 Wandering around the pretty old part of Haarlem on a beautiful sunny morning, not entirely engaging in the shopping experience I had promised myself partly due to the very annoying church bells (I had a strong feeling I was playing an extra’s part in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). Apparently the Cathedral has the best organ in Europe too – don’t get me started with the puns. I decided I needed a culture fix and took myself off to the Teylers Museum, the oldest Museum in the Netherlands, very akin in feel to my favourite Sir John Soanes Museum in London. After having enjoyed the rooms of fossils, displays of luminescence, scientific objet and paintings, I was disappointed to see the Library wasn’t open to the public so I presented myself to the front desk again and told them I wanted to see it. Why not? After a few minutes of establishing the fact that I wasn’t an academic with an interest in a particular manuscript just a determined albeit charming woman with a need to check the VIP section I lucked out and was led off by Eric with a big key. How indescribably annoying to find out when I got back home that my camera had been on the wrong setting and I have no pictures to show you of my experience there! I can tell you it was worth the effort. I came away having been uplifted, enlightened and most importantly having posed for a photo on the same podium that Einstein presented his works. Get me! Onwards…