This spring has been marked not by its beauty, or its abundance, but by its cold. I honestly cannot believe how cold it's been in the last weeks. The trees, blossom and wild flowers are all late with a capital L, and some of our trees and hedgerows have been badly damaged by an uncalled for, severe frost. So it's not just me being sensitive.
|Typically Dutch Deventer|
On April the 25th and 26th, I was in Deventer, a beautiful, typically Dutch town to the north east of Amsterdam. I was there for work for two days and stayed at a B&B where I've been before. But boy, was I miserable! It was so cold and wet, I could hardly bear to be outside and even went without an evening meal because it was just too frigid to leave my room. The rest of the week up to April the 30th was also just plain horrible. I felt so sorry for my stepson and his girlfriend who'd come over for their first holiday in years. We had our national Kings day holiday (the Dutch king's birthday) on the 27th accompanied by pouring rain, bitter winds and hail showers.
|My hands were so cold, my phone slipped when taking|
this photo, but I quite like it all skew
Just to explain, the week before I'd been trying to empty my rowing boat of rainwater before it sunk, and in my efforts not to disturb some nesting coots, I lost one of my oars. I was at first resigned to spending some money to replace it, but then I found a nifty pair at a local store for just €3,50. Well of course, I had to test them, didn't I?
|A nifty pair of oars for a bargain price|
So on Thursday, after cleaning down my barge, I set to work to spruce up the little rowing boat. It was a right mess, it really was. Full of the muddy leavings from a winter of storms and the remains of the nest the coots had since abandoned, it took me several hours to scoop everything out and clean up. But eventually, it was done and after some negotiating and bargaining with my other half (who was more inclined to an afternoon snooze), I got him to join me and test drive the new oars - a 'proeftocht' as they call it in Dutch.
|Natty boots and bright oars...how could we go wrong?|
I have to say the oars performed magnificently (dare I say it? oarsomely!). With their bright yellow blades and black handles, they put my poor faded little green boat to shame. Nevertheless, nothing daunted, we tore out of the harbour, assisted ably by the rapid upstream current. The oars sliced through the water, and our neighbours smiled at our speedy passage. Perhaps they guessed what we hadn't yet...
|Lovely barges basking in the breeze|
|Taking a rest before taking on the current on again|
|Ploughing back downstream on the turning tide|
|A good spot for another rest|
Now, we are down in Zeeland again and it's time to commune with nature....
|Our neighbourly ovine friends|
Have a lovely Sunday everyone!