Friday night

and here I am sitting on the big orange couch. Henry is passed out on the orange armchair and George is curled up on their blankets. It is light here until about 930 pm and a perfectly sunny day. I am so tired after this week that I am happy just to be home. I know there will be many more days of beautiful weather so I am not forcing myself to hunt out a terrace and sit tonight. I have had the feeling all week that I am somehow running a day behind. I had a moment of panic today, convinced it was the 17th and it is not. Rupert’s birthday is tomorrow. So I didn’t miss it. Rupert and Meredith will be coming to visit me in August so we’ll have to celebrate then. My mom was always in the habit of celebrating her birthday on a different day, the 4th of July instead. But I think you know that story already.
 
Speaking of my mom, Rupert called me earlier this week because he had finally gone through his voicemail box. In all of his messages, he found one from my mom that he had never heard. I think that’s a really perfect gift because it was one of her funny ones. And yesterday, on my way back from work meetings in Groningen, I stopped by Marum to spend some time with mom. The tiny church will be open on the 25th of this month so I will go back up there. I am curious to walk around the inside of it, knowing that as a girl my mom might have done the very same thing since they lived there for a while after the war. That would be World War II.
 
An email came today with an offer for 29 euro fares to Paris on the high speed trains this summer. Of course, there are like three tickets per train available, you have to book between 82-90 days out, you can only wear the color chartreuse and other assorted special conditions. But seriously, for 29 euros each way, who wouldn’t want to go to Paris for the day?? The high speed train takes 3 hours and you definitely can’t drive it for that. Filling up Astrid is around 75 euros each time, about $100. Gas is between $10-12 per gallon here. Yes, you read that right, I did not make a typo.
 
I was in the center of Groningen yesterday – coincidentally so was the king but we didn’t carpool. It is very cute. I feel like if I didn’t live in Amsterdam, Groningen might be somewhere I could be interested in. I am going to have to explore it more thoroughly. It has the old canals and canal houses as well but they are quite a bit more affordable than Amsterdam. My favorite clerk at the Eko-Plaza (I supply his daughter with kombucha scobies from Goldfinch Kombucha in Seattle) told me that Groningen also has a swinging music scene and the people are very cool. I am fine with where I am today. I think I play a bit of the same game as my mom did – the “I could live here” game.
 
Henry has decided to grace us with his presence and is now trying to distract me from typing so I can pay proper attention to them. Tomorrow I think I’ll do a bit of deadheading all the pots and cleaning up the terrace. And then I think we will try the boys on the bike again. I have an urge to go to Frankendael Park and it would be nice to do that via the bike. This time, they will be wearing seatbelts!

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