Thursday, September 09, 2010
The Netherlands - but for how long?
I am officially off the sick list now, and have been back at work for two weeks, much of which has been spent on the train. This is massively preferable to planes, in spite of such minor inconveniences as the Gare du Nord and Rotterdam Railway Station. Gare du Nord is always horrid because of the beggars (they tend to stand at the head of the taxi queue and demand money before you can get into a taxi, and the station management say they can't stop this, you have to hope to get a strong-looking taxi driver who will shoo them away), and Rotterdam is temporarily horrid, as they are rebuilding it, which seems to involve very little space to move around, plus absolutely no escalators or lifts, so nice with a suitcase, especially when they change the platform three minutes before the train is due.

At least once one gets on the Thalys, there is plenty of stitching time, and they bring you rather nice food and drink from time to time. I'm also getting used to the Dutch trains from Rotterdam to Apeldoorn and now know to get in the "Silence" compartment. I am going quite well with the Quaker sampler that is my travelling stitching at present.

Apeldoorn, where the project is based, is a smallish town, I think about 150,000 people, but it has a few tourist sites and is far from dull. There are shops! Normal shops! Including an Ulla Popken shop, where I have already made a contribution to the local economy. The hotel is also fine, with proper pillows and a swimming pool, and it's easy to get around on buses, or even walking, because the town is flat as a pancake. The only problem with this assignment is that work have done something strange with my work permit - again!!!! - and until this is sorted out, I am not allowed to be here full-time.

So tomorrow I am going back to Paris until Sunday, when I come back here for three days. I am going the long way tound this time, via Roermond in the south east of the Netherlands, because there is a shop there called "Naald en Draad" (Needle and Thread), that looks to be worth a visit. In fact, I think there are a few good shops in the Netherlands, and some of them are not too far away for Saturday trips, once I start spending two weeks at a time here. There is nothing in Apeldoorn itself, as far as I can see, but other towns nearby have some interesting shops - Zutphen, for example, which is twenty minutes by train, I think, has a shop that has great wool felt, I met the woman from there at "L'Aiguille en Fete".

The weekend will be a bit busy, because I have a ton of stuff to do at home, plus some essential shopping, and it is also opera at Les Invalides on Saturday night. This before catching a fairly early train here on Sunday, so I can get in at a reasonable time (there's trackworks and delays on Sundays at present) and have a nice swim before dinner.
posted by Ally at 9:55 pm ¤ Permalink ¤