Thursday, August 06, 2009
Peaceful August in Amsterdam.
Gareth's photos of the Noz Stock Festival 2009.
Tomatoes on our balcony.
Really noticing that it is August and all the building sites in our neighbourhood are on holiday.
Every August all construction workers have the entire month off and they are all on holiday.
When I was new in Amsterdam I found it really odd how the city would become so very quiet, with almost a deserted feel to it.
This was a reality and not just a feeling as people escaped Amsterdam for the hills of Belgium or the beaches of Spain.
Amsterdam belonged to those of us, who stayed in the city during the month of August,
In 1996 I had just returned from England after the Master's Degree in Criminology had finished at Middlesex University.
Most of the Haarlemmerdijk was being renovated; there were over twenty houses they were working on all at once.
It sounded like Phantom of the Opera everyday as more than twenty different radio stations battled it out for supremacy.
In the middle of this I was trying to write my final piece for the course, it was an essay of 20,000 words.
My dissertation was called ''Is there a Feminist Theory of Punishment?''.
At the start I was having a very hard time as suddenly I was on my own without Richie, he was still living in London.
Found it very hard not having my darling there to brainstorm with, really noticed how invaluable Richie had been and how much I missed him.
I did my best to get the essay started and had finally succeeded in getting the introduction written.
The computer I was using was a friend's laptop, one night I saved something or thought I did, sadly something went wrong and I lost about 5,000 words.
In my panic about the loss I got up again at around 2am and started writing the introduction again.
My mistake was to save what I had written under the same name as the piece I had lost.
This meant that when a more computer literate friend came round to restore my loss they could not because I hade saved another piece under the same name.
Made me quite worried, no not quite but extremely worried, never made that mistake again.
Horrible way to learn but very effective.
Luckily for me in 1996 all work stopped on the many building sites in the street from the 1st of August.
Really enjoyed the peace and quiet, as I could work until the early hours and not be woken up at 6.30 am by yodelling workers singing along with twenty different songs.
It was horrible, really difficult to concentrate with this hullabaloo happening everyday from 6.30 am to 4.30 pm everyday.
So August was brilliant. really nice and quiet, until one morning all hell broke loose at once as they all seemed to start back with a vengeance.
It was a big shock to me as I had been so caught up in writing that I had not been noticing that time had gone by so quick.
That first day back after the construction workers holiday was over, was extremely unpleasant a we were all woken up b y twenty or more drills starting up at the same time.
Despite the noise I did manage to write my dissertation successfully and got my degree.’
We have both been enjoying the peace on our street in the morning this week as the construction workers holiday started on Monday.
It has been wonderful to not be woken up at 6.30 by yodelling workers and instead wake up in a more gently way.
Mind you sometimes those spasms can be extremely violent and shock me right out of the most peaceful slumbers.
At least this month I have a chance even if only a slim one of dozing off again as happened this morning.
Lovely drifting off again successfully, really felt the difference today which has been good for me on this very hot day today.
Glad it is hot today as Marianne gets back today from her 17 days in South Africa look forward to hearing all about it next week Tuesday.
Notice today that I am deliberately trying to keep away from spending valuable time speculating about what if’s and instead concentrating on enjoying the hot days.
Not easy as I am so wiped out by the heat.
Intend to take it easy, shall listen to BBC Radio and visit some blogs.
Have a good day.