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Published: November 10th 2018
King's Day, the flag is out!
It's been a long, hot, dry summer. An endless summer that started when I got back from my last trip in April. 'But that's spring!' You might cry, and you would be right, but it was already warm like summer in April. The blossoms were in the trees, the air was sweet and fragrant, and the wind was hot, hinting at things to come. The grass was still green and rain wasn't a distant dream yet. Time went by and the blossoms made way for the first shoots of green on the trees, and rain became more sporadic. In the meantime I found a trial and soon was ensconced in a clinic in the north of my country for three weeks. They took us out for daily walks, I got to see a lot of Groningen, which is a beautiful city. We also took a canal tour and got a massage, all paid for by the clinic, or put in other words I was paid to get massages and take canal tours! Life was good, the weather sublime, and I contributed a little bit to the advancement of medicine, or more cynically I helped the 'evil' pharmaceutical industry line their pockets
Spring colours, the grass is still green.
with new drugs nobody is waiting for.
By the time I got out, in June, things were really heating up, and the rain had disappeared altogether from the land, the grass started turning yellow, and I started sprinkling in a vain attempt to keep it from dying completely. Our garden is big, there is no way I would be able to keep it all nice and green with the kind of temperatures we were dealing with. A green tinged yellow was what I going for, what I got was a savannah yellow. Now there are some benefits to dry, hot weather, one is that I didn't have to cut the grass. At all. The other is the pool. I swam and I swam and I swam. And I love swimming. Nights, however, were rather unpleasant affairs. Hot and sticky. We aren't used to balmy nights in this country. Our houses aren't built for warm climes. We don't have airconditioning. This summer changed all that. There was a run on all things cool. For us it meant buying a lot of ventilators. We were lucky, because by July ventilators were out of stock, there was a waiting list, and people
were left sweating in their beds. Not us! And not our guests.
And we had a lot of guests this year. Family from S. Africa, and family from Peru and family from Switzerland. It was busy in our house, all rooms were occupied, all ventilators were blowing at full capacity to keep everybody refreshed. There was swimming and eating and playing croquet, and visiting megalithic graves, and fun parks. Nephews and nieces were growing older and becoming taller, and some had girlfriends who they brought along filling our house with yet more people. It's a good thing we have a big house.
It was nice, but it was also nice to see them all leave. No offense, but as they say in my country, 'fish and friends stay good for three days.' Our fish stayed good for much longer, and as much as I love them, it was also very good to have the house to ourselves again. I'm sure they were equally happy to return to their homes.
In search of some rain and cool weather I ventured over the channel to England, a country normally associated with inclement weather and when I arrived I thought
My mother had cataract surgery, now she has super vision again!
for a brief moment I had succeeded, but it wasn't to last. The rain I encountered lasted less than an hour, after which I had sun, sun, sun. But I had really come for Luna and Ornella, my friends in Brighton. It was Luna's birthday, so I baked a cake. Or at least I tried. It took several attempts, and several hours. I have seen my mum and my sister bake it many times, and they make it look so easy and it takes no time at all. It wasn't easy at all! However, I managed, and Luna was happy with it and that is all that matters. She also got the ultimate Dutch birthday present, soft clog shaped house-shoes! And sheep. Well, she didn't get sheep from me, but she participated in a sheep showing event in the Cotswold. I now know more about sheep than I ever thought was possible.
Back to Holland where it was nearly time for my second trial. Two and a half weeks of pills and bloods and interesting people (my room mate was a farrier! I have never met a farrier, I have never thought of a farrier, I never knew farriers
Swedish flag for my mum's birthday
existed, but now I do, thanks to participating in this trial), and another massage and more walks. There's a final follow up still to come, and then I am off to the tropics again for my next trip.
The rain still hasn't arrived. Or at least not enough to do much good. The grass is slightly greener, only because its autumn and the sun isn't beating down on us anymore. The trees are yellow now, instead of the grass, the weather isn't hot, but it is still warm for the season. People call me crazy because I am tired of all this warm, beautiful weather. I long for typical fall weather, with showers and winds and storms and skies that are dark and threatening, where it's cold outside, but cozy and warm inside. I want my seasons back! It's too late for me, if the weather changes I won't see it, I will be far away, sweating under the tropical sun, in self-imposed exile.
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