Thursday, 24 January 2013

'the more it snows, tiddly pom...'

The more it goes... on snowing...
And it does, but not for long, just enough to freshen up the streets with a new white brightness, and rejoice the kiddies who continue to shriek with glee as they snowball the unwary adults passing by.
And it is very beautiful. Leiden serene with its medieval buidlings and quiet courtyards. I walked along the Rapenburg slowly, anxious not to slip, admiring the gracious buildings all white dusted. The air fresh but not unfriendly, and a generally cordial atmosphere. Here's a nice story: walking back to Leiden Central station I feel the need of a WC, and spied the building of Webster's University, so popped inside out of the cold. Young man acting as porter, to whom I address the following: "Excuse me," I smile sweetly, "this is rather an unexpected question, but could I possibly use your toilet?" (I in my most beautiful Oxford English.) Young man all obliging, points the way down the corridor. A clean and commodious WC! Thank you Webster's. Much relieved I continue towards my train.
The next day I speeded towards The Hague, where my son Daniel has just moved from Maastricht (see earlier blogs).

Much snow in this city, still unplundered, bobbing on tree branches, crowning posts and pillars. Went for a walk with my delightful granddaughter Yara, now nearly 20 months, walking sturdily and still full of smiles. See pix. Went out with Daniel and Yara, and did some last-minute shopping before Daniel, Nadia and their daughter fly off to Dubai to visit auntie Judy and cousins.
We cleared up food and dishes and set off to the central station in The Hague. Yara full of interest, not a murmur at this strange interruption of her usual bedtime routine. I saw them off the train at Schiphol, and continued home. Here they are waiting in the cold at the station (dreaming happily of 28 degrees Celsius in Dubai!)

That's three of us on our little stroll through the snowy suburbs of The Hague.
Although I planned some more train expeditions, such as to Dordrecht, and Rotterdam (unqiue show in Boijmans Museum of paintings by Van Eyck and contemporaries) the Dutch Rail sent warning emails about travel disruption of a discouraging nature. So I stayed in Amsterdam, and visited the beautifully-curated exhibition on Troy; which was most appropriate for our present Turkey travels.
And in the evening I made more travel plans and booked tickets for hither and yon. Nearly finished now, taking me as far as early August when I return from the US and rejoin David somewhere in the Med .
Time and place so surrealistic. Sitting here in my room in Amsterdam, dreaming of Avignon, Geneva and Rome and Cappadocia...

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