Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sunny summer days in coastal Flanders
We have escaped from Rotterdam for a whole wonderful week. That sounds as if I don't like the city, which isn't true, but bearing in mind every second weekend of the summer, there is some kind of event that closes streets, creates major cacophony and results in heaps of litter that take until the next event to clean up, it's not always the nicest place to be. This weekend, there's been F1 motor racing demos. I quite like this event, but the above complaints still hold, so it's been bliss to come down to Zeeuws Vlaanderen with the prospect of spending the next week here.
Although it is officially the Netherlands, it is really much more Flemish in style and atmosphere here, and is more truly described as coastal Flanders. I like the fact that it feels like a different country and that we have to go through Belgium to get here. There's also a toll gate on the approach road from Antwerp, which in its way, is like going through a border control. It gives me a special sense of belonging to Flanders that we have our own pass card for this toll. Silly, I know, but good too.
Sindy and I went for a run early this morning while the mists were still hanging over the fields. The sun was shining through the haze and it was peacefully lovely. Everywhere I looked the countryside was rich with green and gold, and when I got home, the view from the windows was breathtaking. The sun was burning off the mist, the sky was steely blue and the poplar trees for which this region is so famous, stood tall in their rich green line on the horizon. I realised how lucky I am to have this cottage in this place.
For the rest of the day, I have been enjoying the warm, sunny weather by working on the Hennie H. Koos has gone exploring on his scooter, so it's been a 'me time' day and I've just been doing small jobs as the fancy has taken me. The Hennie H is beginning to look more loved again and the good news is we have found a yard just across the canal that has a crane that can lift it out of the water easily. It's right at the end of the village and is a private place we thought had closed down. We'd both been thinking what a perfect place it would be to put it, so took the plunge to investigate, and are very excited to find that it's not just possible - we will probably be making the arrangements to move it over there this week.
I so hope it can be sorted out soon. The Hennie H was intended to be our fun boat, and that's about the last thing it's been. No doubt I'll keep you all posted on these developments, but for now, enjoy this lovely August....