Which it's I, for all love, upon the taffrail,
The Maritime Museum (het Scheepvaartmuseum) in Amsterdam was glorious, and one of the few places where I took many photos on our holiday, some of which I'll post later. Otherwise I didn't take so very many, but probably enough. The whole trip was such a wealth and a welter of experience and sensation, (even an Embarrassment of Riches perhaps) in so many ways: Amsterdam was lively and upbeat and friendly and beautiful and full of wonders and Bruges was exquisite and bijoux and beautiful and full of marvels, and everywhere there were all kinds of people to listen and talk to and watch and enjoy, it mostly seemed better simply to ride and soak than to try to capture and record. Tom took more, and I may pick over and pinch some of his later, and I may remember some stories to tell.
Now on our return, the swallows are still with us, and as a result of this, we have these, I've counted four so far, on the fennel and the Mexican orange (which is having a second flowering):
and while the sunflowers are coming to their end - I cut the last decent blooms to put in a bunch to thank the friends who took us to the railway station - the dead heads can stay, so we can still enjoy the goldfinches on them:
Hornets, finding ingress in some numbers into a weak point under the roof where the extension joins the main house. It's late in the year for them but evidently not too late. However, this fact did promote a friendly exchange with the lad next door, part of an unspecified family grouping who moved in unannounced just before we went away. We are rather used to our space and privacy and not having to anticipate arguments about the ill-defined parking space, so we were a bit grumpy about their arrival; I made an approach (in part to establish boundaries about the parking) and offered my name but received a somewhat reserved response and none of their names, and I instantly saw them as unfriendly, potentially troublesome, and this chap in particular as rather ferrety and feral looking. And we were slightly miffed that the house's owners, our former neighbours, hadn't given us any warning that they'd re-let it, which of course they aren't obliged to do but they always have done in the past.
I think we needed to get away and out into the world; too long behind your own walls, minding your own business and guarding your space can make you fearful and defensive, and inclined to see evil everywhere. In the light of shared concerns about the proliferation of frelons, the youngster was sympathetic and helpful, and went and found his i-phone to give me the name and number of his half-brother, who, he said, was in the business of pest control and lived locally. He's not weasle-like or surly, I thought, he's just thin and wan and shy, and very young. I asked his name and he told me it was Steve. That sounds English, I remarked, and he smiled rather sweetly. And their parking habits so far have been neat and considerate. So far so equable.
More to come about the trip.
* Read Desolation Island end to end in the course of the trip. I like to have the appropriate holiday reading matter for the location.