It’s not unusual…

to be loved by anyone… Ah, Tom Jones. How can you resist? You know you want to sing along. Go ahead, I won’t tell! After all, last night I was in the Ziggo Dome singing along with a crowd somewhere around 15,000. Yep, that’s a whole lot of swinging “What’s New, Pussycat?” fans. Tonight Miley Cyrus is playing there which I am relieved to be missing.

I had a pretty good seat on the floor, 22 rows back. Right next to me were two ladies of a certain age. They were carrying with them brand new hot pink underpants for throwing at the stage. I didn’t bring that, I just brought Mom’s little ash container. I think the song that impacted me the most was his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song”. Mom and I both being Leonard Cohen fans as well. It was such a great show. He has an amazing voice. And he’s just turned 74 which means he is really a contemporary of my mom’s. And he is so soulful. Hearing so many blues and roots songs, American music if you will, was great. I boogied in my allotted standing space in front of my chair, with Mom.

I was so hyper after the show, I completely cycled around the direction of Amsterdam I needed to go. I went all the way northeast to come back southwest. Ironically, just as I was about to give in and check for directions, I recognized the neighborhood I was in. It was one I got lost in when I was looking for Frankendael Park by feel a couple of months ago. So getting lost has it’s uses!

Friday night, I went to dinner with Eliza and her friend Richard. We went to a tiny little Dutch restaurant hidden between the busy streets and stayed on the terrace until closing time. Eliza lives over in the very historic part of Amsterdam and going to see her side of town is nice because it is really beautiful and charming – if crowded full of tourists, especially now. She also has found little out of the way places as requirement because she lives so in the hustle.

Today we went to Beatrix Park and sat in the sun, drinking Hungarian champagne and eating fruit while watching the antics of pirate themed birthday party. The kids were all dressed up as pirates but so were some of the adults. I am still actively practicing relaxing and being in the moment. Which means on the weekend, I don’t answer my work email and I don’t count the hours that I left before I have to go to work. I just practice being. I might be making some progress with this.

If you are wondering what the square picture is of, let me share. This is the raw, vegan chocolate mousse with peanut butter frosting and pretzel crust cake that Aster made me in exchange for the two packs of Daiya vegan cheese that I had in my freezer. She met me at the Utrecht train station on Thursday and I very carefully got it home. The crack is from the bouncing of being in the basket on the front of the bike. Let me just tell you, it is delicious. And I have way more than I can eat. I think I am going to end up needing to take it into work and giving it to the IT guys again. Image

The boys are snoring right next to me since they have full stomachs.

I fell for another one of those special emails from the Dutch Rail. This time it was 19 euros to Lille each way. So off I go at the end of August for the day. For 19 euros on the high speed trains, how could I possibly not go? I have discovered that I am particularly susceptible to their emails. I fall for them every time.

I was reading the Saturday paper today. It is more like a Sunday paper in terms that it has a travel section, etc. There were articles on Naples and this amazing bike track along the Belgian-German border that goes over the old train lines that used to haul coal. Given that I do 30 kilometers roundtrip to Schiphol, soon I should be able to get up to 50 km a day. And I realized I could go to Naples for a weekend. Why the hell not?

Astrid has her new paint for the roof. This week she gets the last of the mechanical stuff and then we will be reunited. We kind of have to be since the restorer goes on vacation after this week and he’s gone for a month. I still have four weeks of vacation to use this year.

Time to wash the sunscreen off my face and practice my banjo.

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