I had trouble getting out of bed this morning. Not because it had been a late night last night (even though it had), or just the thought of having to go into work after 2 glorious days off, but simply because of my acheing and protesting muscles. Ganga's returned from her 2 month sojourn in Sai Baba's ashram and set to work with renewed vigour, and as I had been slacking off while she was gone, not even bothering with the suryanamaskar, all the asana's and esp. trikasana's she had me try yesterday have made my whole body achey and stiff.
But at least she's brought me a lovely poster of Krishna to put up on my bedroom wall. It's not exactly an item I thought was missing from it, but it seems to mean a lot to her, so...
After yoga class, I popped into Waterstone's in the vain hope that they might carry the Sept. issue of SFX with the JM interview and photos, and was surprised to hear someone with a distinct Scottish accent call my name. Turned out to be someone I hadn't seen in ages, who now worked there, and we quickly fell to chatting amiably and catching up on all the gossip; until I remembered that I was supposed to meet Caroline at The Hague Central Station in about an hour. And here I was, smack-bang in the middle of Amsterdam, catching up with Nicky and not really wanting to cut this chance meeting short; so we exchanged phone numbers and then I dashed to the station only to find that I'd missed my train by 2 minutes.
Normally, this wouldn't worry me; but Caroline's one of the few people left in the world who doesn't own a mobile, and she's an unbelievable klutz who always gets lost, and not only in places she's never been before. So when I got to the station about 5 minutes late, I wasn't surprised to find that Caroline was nowhere in sight. I was just debating whether to search the environs or to stay put, when my colleague Ted suddenly materialised in front of me and asked me why I was frowning so unbecomingly?
Teddy? What are you doing here, on a Tuesday?
Meeting with my estate agent...and you?
Waiting for Caroline to show up -- we're going flat-hunting
So we chatted for a few minutes until he had to go, and then Caroline did show up, and said she had a strange request: could she shower at my place first? Erm...yes, of course.
En route to my flat, she told me that the troubles she'd been having with her landlord lately had escalated to the point where he, while she was home visiting her family in Blighty last week, had trashed the entire upstairs of the house she rents off him. Claiming that he's doing the place up in order to attract another, wealthier kind of tenant, he's left her with no bathroom -not to mention no ceilings and walls and a great big pile of rubble obstructing the back door- and no confidence that the house is still structurally safe for habitation.
Luckily, it looks like she may be offered a job in The Hague soon, and as she doesn't fancy the 1 1/2 hours commute to and from Zaandam, and someone she knows knew of a place there that would soon become available, she decided that she'd come down and spend a day with me.
The weather was so fine that after we had our showers and stuffed our faces with bread and cheese, we went for a nice leisurely walk in the forest, after which I showed her round the centre of The Hague and we went for dinner at a little restaurant, sat outside and watched the world go by as the sun went down.
Then when it was time to view the 'apartment', it turned out to be a little room (but with lots of windows) and a shower cabin - no kitchen(ette) or anything...it would probably be alright for a student but as Caroline said, not what you want "at our time of life"...conveniently forgetting the fact that she's some 10 years younger than me. But then, people do tend to do that around me...
As we were in the neighbourhood, we decided to drop in on Carol, who we found in the middle of what she herself so tastefully described as a shitheap, due to the fact that she's going away on holiday tomorrow. She had taken out her entire wardrobe to decide what she would bring, and there were clothes and underwear lying on and hanging from every available surface. She abandoned this pursuit with a shrug and a decision to pack two pairs of jeans and a couple of black tops, and whatever else she might need she would buy onsite - and then we sat down to a bottle or two of wine and a good old moan about the difficulties of living as an ex-pat in The Netherlands - again, both Cs conveniently overlooking the fact that I'm not an ex-pat (and again, for some reason people tend to do that around me, I don't know why).
In the end, we stumbled to the station in the drizzle (rain! we haven't had a drop of it in ages, and all of a sudden, when you least wanted it, there it was), I put Caroline on the train back to Zaandam, and then proceeded on my way home, to my hungry cats and beckoning bed.
The next thing I knew, the alarm went off and I couldn't move a muscle ;-).