Typed at the airport…
Back at Schiphol once again. Yesterday was a very long day again, with some meetings that were far more useful than I imagined they would be. I’d imagined that, on this trip, I’d be seeing potential propagator and marketer licensees, which I did, but I also seem to have found a new product source (yay!) and a route to the Japanese market (double yay!).
Hmm. There is an aircraft outside with "DutchBird" written down the side in large letters. Makes me think of Marcia.
Today, we travelled miles and miles to see a nursery, although it was well worth the trip and very good fun. Particularly entertaining was taking a detour due to a road closure, and assisting our Dutch host, Simon, with navigation on roads that none of us had ever travelled before, ignoring his rather vocal onboard satellite navigation system ("turn back now!", but in Dutch) and working against a very tight time limit (although our flight is delayed by 45 minutes).
Last night we went for dinner with our host for the day, Henny, in Noordwijk. Before doing so, we went for a long a leisurely stroll along the beach. There were many other people enjoying a stroll and the view of the setting sun. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beach with so many striped shells. I took some photos, and I’ll post them here as soon as I can.
One thing is for sure – I’ve put on weight during this trip, and I think I’ll have to force myself to get back into the walking regime again. We’ve lived well here, and, coupled with my greasy diet whilst in Cheshire, I reckon I’ve added a fair few pounds that I could do well without.
Once again, my telephone has decided not to work correctly. I need to figure out why it isn’t working. I think it may be to do with having the "active diverts", whatever they are, switched on. This means that it works fine on O2 at home, O2 NL here, but not NL KPN. I need to find out why, and if I can fix it, as I don’t want the same problem on my upcoming trips to Germany and France.
Update: I’ve just forced my phone to use O2 NL instead of of KPN, so it now works. However, in the course of doing so, I seem to have switched off my answerphone service and can’t switch it on unless I know what number the incoming answering service calls should go to. Oh well, I can check the O2 website tomorrow and fix that.
Flight update: now delayed by an hour. This is traumatic, as it is eating into my beer time, which will probably be with Ian tonight now that he is back in the UK. I wonder how he is readjusting to life that doesn’t involve travelling. And, for that matter, getting used to life with his old friends. Times have changed, and things have moved on – it’s not the same place or same group of people as he left a year ago. But he’s a resourceful and adaptable person, so I’m sure that it will not be too much of a challenge.
Oh well, delay here means more Dutch beer. Although I’ve yet to find a Dutch beer that I really like.
What else have I seen over the last few days that was of note? Not a huge amount that would be interest of you, apart from the huge wooden eagle with spread wings in the hotel (all very reminiscent of Nazi Germany more than the Netherlands). There was the fleeting glimpse of Amsterdam from the train window (didn’t reveal much). There’s been Mike’s crash course in Dutch (I just plead ignorance and speak English – yeh, yeh, yeh, I know. So much for supporting less-widely spoken languages).
Last time I was in this airport, they played some Groove Armada and other bits and pieces that I recognised from my CD collection. I’ve just heard another song from my collection – took me a moment to figure it out over the ambient noise – Beverly Craven. Best not to say much more about that, I guess.
And indoor sparrows in the airport? I suppose that is the Dutch equivalent of Tube pigeons?
Right, not much more to say here, so I’m going to sit and read until the plane gets here (don’t think I said that I’d finished Haruki Murakami’s South of the Border, West of the Sun and have now started on alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel – must update that sidebar!) and listen to some mp3s on the laptop.