What a change within a couple of days, from double socks, three sweaters, hat, gloves and coat to Tshirt and thin trousers and still being too hot. That’s Europe for you (although I believe the same conditions prevail in Blighty too!)
We’re now in Groningen,
an important university town in the north of The NL, currently the BBQ capital too. Did food shopping at the market this morning, where there were just too many cheese/vegetable/fresh spices/olive stalls for someone like me, recently emerged, blinking into the sophistication of it all. I really need to get my head round Dutch cheese too – at the moment it’s ‘jong, belegen or oud’ and that’s that.
Then a cultural afternoon at The Wall House, designed by NY architect John Quentin (1929-2001)
wondering if I could actually live in a house without curtains and where all the walls are round. I felt that putting anything as normal as furniture or messy as people into it would spoil it.
Yesterday we looked at stunning glassware designed by Dale Chihuly, but drew the line at buying some at six and a half thousand euros a pot. I loved the orange and red ‘flowers’ hanging on a wall, which you viewed either by walking up a staircase alongside, or from the top, or the bottom.
Imagine having something like this in your place of work and going past it every day.
What else has impressed me this week? Well, we watched Hen Harriers hunting in the marshes alongside the water, we motored across the Lauwersmeer (too windy to sail),
made friends with a cat called Poes, who lives in a bar in Leeuwarden and drinks water from his own glass. . This made me think about how little water we need on the boat – we reckon 7 or 8 litres per person for drinking, cooking and washing up – and how having to cart every litre from the water point means we re-use water for our hot water bottles, wash up with the egg boiling water and don’t run the tap while cleaning our teeth. I’ve read that even the soggy UK will have difficulty keeping up the demand for water in the near future. Maybe we need to send people to ‘Boatcamp’ to learn how to make do with less.