So I'm down to the final 90 minutes of today when it comes to meeting my daily commitment to writing a blog post for NaBloPoMo.
It's as close to the wire as I've gone so far but it was one of those days. I began with the best of intentions and was distracted, just after 8.30am, by the delivery of an exquisite birthday parcel from New Zealand. Christine and Peter had sent me a Weetbix tin full of New Zealand chocolate goods. It was full of childhood and memories. And there was a soft toy Tui, loaded with the call of a Tui. I melted.
But today was going to be about writing ... just writing. I wasn't planning to leave the house before 11.30am however the Belgian bloke picked up an emergency dental appointment, for the gaping hole in his tooth, and I promised to deliver his money card to him before 10.30am.
I roared out of the house in time but he phoned me, having realised his credit card could be used... the emergency over. However I was out of the house and wandering. No point in going home just for an hour and so I decided to vist my favourite secondhand bookshop here in the city.
I thoroughly explored their truly superb English selection before settling on one 6.50euro book. Leaving, I met up with Andy at the cash register and voila, we were out for a quick catch-up before I found a city bike and headed off across the city on the school pick-up run. I arrived just in time.
The school is an interesting one and I find myself having conversations with quietly extraordinary people sometimes. That happened today. Then Miss 9 and I wandered home via the bakery that sells the best chocolade eclairs in the city. They know us now. We call by once a week, we chat some.
The final leg of the journey is via a tram and we played the Animal Game all the way to our stop. It's a spelling game that moves between English and Nederlands. If Miss 9 says 'tiger' I have to find an animal beginning with 'r' and if I say 'olifant' she has to find one beginning with t. And so it goes on the long journey home ... we need to google more animals though.
But, oh dear, in searching for how to spell the only X animal I thought I knew, I discovered that it actually begins with an A. Back to the drawing board on 'Axolotl'. That is so not how I was spelling it.
We came home via Puerta del Sol where I called in to buy a red wine but ended up chatting with Frank. And the delightful surprise being the fact that I was gifted a divine red wine from the woman I was so privileged to interview over the weekend ... which reminds me that I must get all of the interviews outstanding up and out next week. The Italy ones too, now that I have them. The story of those Genovainterviews, traveling all over the world, is a story to tell on another day.
Miss 9 and I lunched at 3pm and the day continued on in much the same way. We're onto 'The Silver Chair' in The Chronicles of Narnia. And although we only finished Harry Potter this year, I'm wondering if we can read it again after Narnia ...
I ended the day with a much-loved friend. Mary Lou is that friend who twice flew to New Zealand and traveled with me. Once over to Istanbul and then later, we met twice in Europe. It had been too long since our last conversation and it was grand to catch up.
It's 23.18 as I finish this. Sliding in with 42 minutes to spare ...leaving you with my favourite Mary Lou and Al photograph, taken when visiting them in Ohio. Tomorrow, a whole new set of adventures are set to begin ... news to follow.