A few days away

In a few days time, I will celebrate the completion of fifty laps of the sun. In order to celebrate the continued successful landing of one foot in front of the other, we’re going on a bit of an adventure for a few days.

A car will arrive outside our house at 5:30am tomorrow morning, and deliver us to a railway station in London. From there we will race across the countryside of the south east of England before vanishing beneath the ground, deep beneath the sea, and eventually surface in France – hurtling through wine country before turning north.

We’re going to the Netherlands – to Amsterdam.

It’s crazy really. We live less than an hour away by air, or a few hours by train – and yet we’ve never visited. We have booked a hotel on the canal in the centre of the city, and will spend the next several days exploring.

We booked some time ago to visit Anne Frank’s house. I have no idea how I’m going to get through it without falling to pieces. We’re also planning on visiting all manner of museums and galleries – among them the Rijksmuseum, and of course the Van Gogh gallery. We’re hoping to eat in cafes at the canal side, walk the streets, and really just slow down – take it all in – relax. A few wheat beers might be involved. And enough chocolate to stop a rhinocerous. Tony’s Chocolonely is based in Amsterdam. So is Amstel.

Of course all of our close friends want me to try a “special cake” while there. While it’s legal for dutch people to buy various recreational drugs in the city, it’s not legal for foreigners – so I very much doubt we’ll dare. A good friend suggested that I might become the best version of myself while stoned. I think she might be looking for entertainment more than anything.

We will of course visit the famous “Red Light” district during our adventure – if only to walk through it at night, and see it with our own eyes. I always have mixed feelings about sex workers. I worry about those that have no choice – those that have been cornered, coerced, or trapped into such a career. I’m also mindful that among them are those that know exactly what they are doing – that are strong, liberal, free spirited and open to the world, it’s people, and all they might experience. I worry that the former is the truth though, and the latter a romantic invention to somehow make the former more acceptable.

We’ll see, I suppose.

It’s the first time in fifteen years we have been anywhere without children. We’re leaving them at home for the first time. We’re wondering how that’s going to go – how they will cope. Time for them to grow up a bit, I suppose. I wonder which will be the first to lock themselves out of the house? Which will not help with chores? Which will fall out with the others? We’ve got a pretty good idea, but we’re keeping our mouths shut.


It’s getting late. Time for bed, and then time to get up at ridiculous o’clock. The bags are packed. The clothers are layed out for the morning. It will all be fine.

No, really. It will all be fine. Probably.

2 replies on “A few days away”

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