It’s a glorious spring day here, just about warm enough to sit in the sun with a jacket on, with a blue sky that belies any volcanic ash cloud except for a hint of gray at the horizon. This morning I went rowing – to give you some idea I’ve written at least three poems sparked by rowing on this particular Dutch canal in spring. And I saw two lots of ducklings!

Then I spoke to my husband, then I walked north to explore a street I was told had real butchers and an organic supermarket, then realized that the Woensel Markt was at the end of that street. I’d been meaning to check it out. There’s a market in the city centrum right near my flat, but it’s on Tuesdays, a work day for me. The Woensel market is on Saturdays, so I’d been wanting to go. Picture a modern version of the market in the medieval town in every medieval-ish fantasy story. Then triple it; there seemed to be five or ten stalls of each kind of thing and it probably covered nearly an acre, or maybe it just seemed that big. There are stalls for vegetables, flowers (it’s the Netherlands, flowers are not optional), fabric, clothing, and a few of electronics and other odd stuff. Also stalls selling frites (french fries, only they call them Belgian here) or snacks (krokets and sausage rolls) I didn’t buy much there, but I did get a nice chunk of beef at the butcher and I’m looking forward to roast beef tomorrow.

After putting the groceries away, I went back out and found that Esprit does have jeans that fit me (except “cropped” jeans here are full length on me!), and then sat at an outdoor cafe drinking mint tea (which they make here by putting a bunch of fresh mint leaves in a glass and pouring hot water over it) and caprese salad (which doesn’t go well with mint tea but was very tasty) and reading email, until I realized I was being an idiot and sat and watched people walk by.

And now I’m listening to a new (to me) Archie Fisher album and contemplating if I want to make pasta or if popcorn is enough food, after the salad.

I’m missing Ted, and worried that he won’t be able to fly out here on a planned business trip next weekend because of all the air flight backups. But except that his company would have been nice at the cafe and to come home to or with, I can’t really think of a nicer way to spend a day.