Sunday, 8 February 2009

dear postman

Another week's gone past, and most of the time I didn't even leave the house.

Saturday I went to Danny's birthday party at Mulligans; walking towards town I saw the lights on the 'skinny bridge' were on.

magere brug

Monday and Tuesday at work I was still busy with the Annual Report. One of the authors who was commissioned to write a review chapter has decided he'd rather go skiing in the Jura and told us not to expect his article. We now miss four pages of our first chapter, and they're four of the most significant pages, too! The whole editorial team was running around in circles trying not to panic.

Coming home on Tuesday I walked along the Ringvaart where the ice was melting. This bird looked like it was walking on water.

jesus bird

On Wednesday I just had a short walk along the Amstel; I wasn't feeling too well.

boats on the amstel

Thursday and Friday I was home with an throat infection. I went out only once to get some groceries. At Hartog's they were offering 'recession bread baking lessons'.

recession bread baking lessons

Saturday I was feeling much better. I needed to do some more shopping and thought I'd walk to the AH on Wibautstraat. Here I saw a new graffiti, probably made by somebody who likes cheese.

typical cheesy dutch graffiti

I walked along the Amstel towards the AH when I got the idea that I needed to buy new jeans. The ones I was wearing were getting dirty and the other ones I had at home were all too large!

clouds over the amstel

So I set out for my now favourite shop on top of Nieuwendijk. I crossed the Amstel and walked along Stadhouderskade to Weteringschans.

stadhouderskade is being resurfaced

By the time I got to Reguliersgracht the sun was out in full force.


One aspect of winter time I like is that you can now actually see the houses on the canals; in summer time they're mostly hidden behind the trees.

the house with the stork

I walked through Kalverstraat, which is still a madhouse on Saturdays. The constant start/stop you have to make to avoid bumping into people is not very good for my feet. I prefer a constant speed so I took a left turn into one of the alleys leading to the Nieuwe Zijds Voorburgwal. The Magna Plaza shopping mall (the old Main Post Office) looked great.

magna plaza

At the moment the Palace on the Dam is being worked on. I don't know what it is exactly they're doing, but the back of the building is fenced in. I saw this note on the back door. I can now imagine the Queen coming to the door in housecoat and slippers, curlers in her hair, to pick up the morning paper from the doormat.

"Please deposit the mail and the Telegraaf newspaper in the Palace's mailbox at nr. 147."

The name of this street intrigued me, "Oude Braak". It translates literally to "Old Vomit", but I think it could also mean an old break in the dike, as 'braak' can also mean 'broken'. The houses in the little street were nice looking.

oude braak

Around the corner of Old Vomit is the jeans shop. I told the sales guy I was wearing a 38. He handed me a 36 and told me to try it on. It fitted. That's another inch gone. If I keep this up much longer I'll be wearing children's sizes. If I can do it fast enough I'll be giving CERN a run for their money to see who is the first to produce a black hole.

I escaped the shop with a 36 in the bag, crossed the Rokin and along the back of the Beurs, the old Stock Market building. Having looked at a lot of steampunk websites lately I was fantasizing a new use for this building. It looked like it would be suitable for Her Majesty's Ministry for Time Travel…

Her Majesty's Ministry for Time Travel (beurs van Berlage)

I walked along Warmoesstraat, through the Nes and to the Oudmanhuispoort.


Then along Kloveniersburgwal, across the Amstel and into Mulligans for a cup of coffee.

mulligans on the amstel

Two coffees later my feet were rested enough to start the walk home again. I walked down Nieuwe Herengracht, along the Weesperstraat and Wibautstraat. I stopped off at Hartog's for a loaf of bread, walked down the Oosterparkstraat and then home. I bought my groceries at the AH downstairs. All together this was a 9.4 km walk instead of the quick 'go to AH' trip I set out to do.

nieuwe herengracht / amstel

Today, Sunday, the weather was sun, rain, sun, snow, overcast, rain … I stayed home.