Good Morning my friends in my lovely Lake Worth,
I hope the morning finds you well and happy!
As promised last week this blog is coming from a very wet Amsterdam. What a great time we are having here, and what a fascinating city this is, full of amazing sights, building, museums, artists, canals (lots of them), cheese, dope and so much more.
But to before we came away on Friday. The week was a blur of loveliness and time spent with friends at the beach hut owned by one of them and a fabulous place to congregate on a sunny day. The children can play and be happy in the sun and we adults can all do the same
punctuated by gossip and tea and the odd glass of wine! Happy Summer. Days…..I have been meaning to get to visit our new library in the centre of Southend, it was opened whilst I was in Lake Worth…it did not disappoint! In the same area as the university, it is a striking building with every modern aspect possible from computers to talking books and interactive sections. There are restaurants and soft comfy chairs dotted all over on all 4 floors and computers galore for use of the public which can be booked beforehand (whilst I was there the U3A had booked some for their History Group. I am not sure if you have U3A, it stands for University of The Third Age and is for seniors…..a group is set up in most towns and there are a myriad of course to enrol on from flower arranging to cooking to History to trips out to sculpture, something for everyone, a great idea that has just taken off in this age of no limits!!!!
I love the mime artists that work all over the place, I usually wait until a child comes along before putting money in and watching them come to life, it is just as much fun watching the wonderment on the face of the children. I sat and watched the guy on the bicycle and he sat on that bike motionless for ages not moving a muscle until I took pity on him and put money in his hat! I have not seen any in Amsterdam, unusual for a city!
And at last, I had my car cleaned inside and out, it absolutely sparkles, I swear it drives better when it is clean, it’s way of thanking me! With the glorious Summer we have had, my sun roof has been down nearly all the time!
And so to Amsterdam….we have a local airport and we set off from there at 7:25 am and were in our hotel room by 10: 30 and they are an hour ahead of us! Not bad going, considering we had to catch a train and find the hotel, all very easy. We queued for 3 hours to get into Anne Frank’s House and it was worth every second. It rained intermittently and eventually staff from the house came out with umbrellas for everyone. The people in the queue (line) were wonderful. No we Ll got on like a house on fire, chatting, laughing, holding places so each other could walk around, it really was the most marvellous experience! The house itself and the exhibition was awesome ….how the family lived in those cramped conditions for so long, hardly daring to make a sound during the day, I do not know! What a legacy she left and how wonderful that her father, the only survivor of the group, could oversee the whole project and ensuring that his daughter’s dream of being an author was realised. All the money goes to charities set up to work for the freedom and human rights if people all over the world. A humbling experience and without doubt one of the best exhibitions I have seen of it’s kind!
Of course, it goes with saying that I was awed by The Van Gogh Exhibition, it was marvellous to see those paintings for real…awesome!
And the Red Light District, oh my goodness, I do not know what to say! Girls parading in windows with little on and seemingly not caring that people are walking past ogling all the time! Amazing sight. And of course the smell of cannabis abounds because it is legal her and smoked everywhere. What we had not realised to start with was that coffee shops are where cannabis is smoked, if you actually want a coffee you have to fined a cafe…we soon discovered that. You can buy cannabis lollipops, you can buy all kinds of seeds, you can buy all the paraphernalia needed……truly amazing! One of the things I love about this city is that everyone rides bikes, I love that, all the big sit up and beg bicycles with sturdy wheels and tyres and all colours, what a spectacle and of course mixed with the trams that trundle through the streets, you take your life in your hands crossing the street.
And it is our last day today and we are going to have fun and walk everywhere and make sure that we do not miss a thing! Excited about coming back to our second home in lake Worth in 3 weeks…..such a lot to cram in before then….. Have a great week, enjoy life and revel in the wonderful freedom that we have!!