Just back from three weeks in the UK packed with fun and excitement. OK, it started with my mother’s stone setting, but even that provided an opportunity to meet family. Then there was a barmitzvah plus party – all very enjoyable. Then we met and stayed with a few friends of mine from university.

Then I had a week alone to stay with friends and do some interesting things. I saw the houses of parliament and tent city with Gill, and our journey back turned out to be quite an adventure. I saw Swansea Marina with Jane, and Swansea was the only place where I encountered heavy rain. (It always rains when I go to Wales. Either that or it always rains in Wales.) I visited a car pound with Tania, but hasten to add that she also gave me a quick tour of Bristol and took me to a cafe and a restaurant. And I attended another friend’s ballroom dancing class, and even joined in.

What I’ll remember the most are two things I don’t do enough at home. One is walking. D and I both enjoy walking. We always do plenty of it on holiday, but when we’re at home, it’s easy to find excuses: there are other things to do, there’s nowhere to walk to, we need a rest. It’s true we don’t have a river or sea or a large park near us, but we can drive to all of those and should do so more often.

The other thing I need to do more is talking. Talking is a bit of an effort for me, but it’s so satisfying and something I often miss at home. I was going to end by saying that some people are going to have to suffer listening to me, but really my conviction that people don’t want to hear me is one of the reasons why conversations are hard.

I’ll end, instead, with a Stephen King quote that I saw posted at some station:

If you go back and fix the past, make sure you don’t break the future.

That’s it for now. Next time, I might even post some photos.

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Oops, I missed out yesterday. I was too bogged down. In my WIP, that is; the bogs of Scotland are all but forgotten.

***

Three lovely days in Amsterdam. On the first, we visit an art exhibition: From Matisse to Malevich, the Royal Palace and the Historical Museum. All are very interesting, especially the historical museum.

On the second day, we walk 16 km from Castricum to Egmond-on-See. The terrain is flat. Flat! So different from Scotland. On the way, we see a group of children on bikes. “Probably a school trip,” my brother says. “What happens if a child doesn’t know how to ride a bike?” I ask. “All Dutch children know how to ride a bike,” he says.

The walk ends at a beach. I’m interested in the seat cabins people have brought with them.

On the third day, we hire a bike and go for a 35-km ride through the Amsterdam Bos to Waver and along the river Amstel back to Amsterdam. It’s fun and I’m proud of myself – I haven’t ridden a bike for a long time. But, when in Rome….

I hop on another plane back to the familiar south of England. Cheap flights are good, although I don’t enjoy standing for over half an hour to wait for the plane to arrive and unload its passengers, especially as my legs are aching from all that exercise.

…to say that I’m having a wonderful time in the old country and will try to tell you about it without boring you – starting in about two weeks.

Hang in there!