Dull, without meatballs

These days of grey, these nights of cold, now we have wind, the remnants of a storm that has battered the coastline from Vlissingen to the Wadden islands. Rotterdam was level with the sea, the sea had got onto the Wadden islands. Meanwhile, we had a strong breeze and a bit of sideways rain. Nothing doing basically. I look at the bushes waving about, shall I nip the top off that or not? Nah, I’ll get wet, sod it. Time is dragging, but then why wish your life away? Even on dull as dishwater days there is something to do albeit with a dismal cloud hanging around ready to break into fine drizzle or abject nothingness at any moment. The village centre is just a featureless melange of people in colourless clothing, going about the business of shopping, biking, parking and walking. Colourful clothes are for colourful weather it seems. When the sun comes out, so do the red trousers, the florescent yellow shirts and orange blouses. Cars are parked as if abandoned, bikers assume cars will give way, which they do. There is a greater assortment of bikes than there are crisps and biscuits in an English supermarket. Some things that don’t feature too prominently in Dutch supermarkets are just those; crisps and biscuits. There is a large array of bread and meat products. Not all the bread is good, some is the soft stuff you can make a ball of. The fresh meat is expensive and yet the bits we like, shoulder of pork and chicken thigh, are cheaper. There is no pork cheek, not that we’ve found yet anyway. There is a slagerij which we might ask one day; what do you with these choice cuts? Pork cheek is the best meat to use for pasta carbonara. This is from a Sicilian chef friend of ours, sadly no longer with us. It’s really sad, he was a nice gentle guy. In better news, a flock of chaffinches flew in yesterday morning. They flew out pretty quickly when they saw me. They bring a whole new sound to the area. Thewy are absolutely my favourite tuin vogel. Moving on a day, yaaay, the sun is out so I planted some shrubs that I’d left lying about since November, hoping they’d survive and they have. I fettled the shed as well. Now the bikes are at the front. Instead of having to move the garden chairs, the fietsdrager, garden pots and grass mower to get to them, there they are, ready to unlock, fire up and ride away. I think it was the sun and calmer weather that made me think I might saddle up and have a bike around. That reminds me, I need a better saddle. My current one is as wide as a pillow, I have to ride like Charlie Chaplin walked. I also repaired the shed door lock. Due to the expansion of the wood caused by the damp weather, the door had expanded and lifted the lock a few millimetres and it was becoming increasingly difficult to lock it. Now I’ve lost a little piece of filling from of my molars. That’s nice, a visit to the dentist. I can’t wait, says he sarcastically. We included it in the zorgverzekering so I might as well get my money’s worth from the insurance albeit it will trigger the own risk and I’ll get billed for it anyway.

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