This picture is neither super nor pretty but it ended up being rather funny. Yes, after two faithful years, my hand-me-down iPhone 4 bit it on a Dutch cobblestone last weekend. Three days before my new iPhone 6 showed up*. If that isn’t timing, I don’t know what is. Goodbye, first little smartphone. You were a wonderful sidekick.
(Full disclosure – I am too attached to my phones and I like it that way.)
I am stuck inside while some roof repair is being done on my apartment this weekend. But if you are looking for some Sunday distractions, below are some recent favorite links. And be sure to check out #LDNBoggersTea on Twitter and Instagram today – a lovely group is sampling the Christmas Tea at the Conrad St James this afternoon. (Yes, Christmas Tea in September. It is a preview, but still, this is what happens when you don’t have Thanksgiving and jump straight from summer to sleigh bells.) Currently cursing the roof repair gods that I can’t join them!
Fascinating look at US girls names in the last 50 years… watch Jessica rule the 80s!
A contentious green space in Paris
10 lessons I’ve learned in my career by Cup of Jo
Man Repeller interviews Jenna Lyons
The science behind caffeine
The pirouetting Buckingham Palace Guard (just in case you haven’t seen him yet)
Scratch that… this is beautiful: The Voyageur
This post… which has me craving polished Sunday mornings, croissants, Paris and jewellery at the same time
Benedict Cumberbatch can’t say “penguin”
*I’ve never had anything brand new from Apple – so exciting!
When I say “not seeing anything”, I am half lying. What I mean is I never stepped foot in a museum or a tourist site. And that’s because I went to Amsterdam and just walked the canals for three straight days. And it was lovely.
Indian summer in Amsterdam is gorgeous. (Slightly humid and there was a confrontation with a mosquito of gigantic proportions, but otherwise, gorgeous.) Discovering a new city just at the point where the leaves start to change and there’s that tiny shiver in the air once the sun goes down is the best. Arriving in a huff after my first trek out of Luton Airport (verdict: it beats Gatwick but I’m still not used to this take a bus then a train then a shuttle then a plane then a shuttle then a train again then a bus again routine that seems to have crept into my travel itineraries lately), I found our little AirBnB houseboat by the tune of a grand piano being played inside. As I crept down the stairs, I saw boats sailing by out the open windows, most of them with music of their own playing and with picnics spread out – it felt like everyone in town was enjoying the last days of summer.
I dropped my bags and ran outside. And that’s basically how it went for consecutive three days. Up one canal and down another. Glancing down on a side street, deciding it looked worth exploring and then wandering to our little hearts content (and rather to the woe of our little feet.)
Amsterdam surprised me. I naively expected it to be like other Dutch cities I had visited and rather stupidly thought it might look somewhat like Flanders. But Amsterdam has a style all to its own. Not a harmonious style grant you… its hard to reconcile the gorgeous architecture with what you see in certain red tinted windows. Or to pass by mountains of colorful flowers only to catch a whiff out of a coffee shop. Or to realise, yes, that is someone carrying a cello on a bicycle and he’s going so quickly he almost ran me over. But that unexpected, informal, convivial atmosphere is everywhere and it just makes you want to explore more.
So we will just have to visit you again, Amsterdam. Next time, the Rijksmuseum will be my first stop.
I’ve had a lot of conversations this weekend about travel. Maybe that’s because I’m feeling more settled in the UK now and getting those itchy feet to hit the road again. Or maybe its because I’ve seen a lot of great things over the years. Either way, I took a little trip down memory lane today and remembered (again) how lucky I am to be able to travel.
Here are some of my favorite shots (quite a few before I had a proper camera and had a penchant for cutting off the tops of buildings…)
What this series clearly tells me is: I need to go to Asia… Japan, anyone?
A little photo selection from: Sardinia / Portofino / Washington State / Ghent / Northern Italy / St Andrews, Scotland / Madrid / Paris / Cornwall / Kruger National Park / Rome / Howth, Ireland / Valley of Desolation / Strasbourg / Krakow / Longleat, England / Barcelona / Golden Gate Bridge / Portsmouth / Parc Guell / Fort Myers Beach, Floria / San Francisco / Cascade Mountains.