Taking my bag for a spin.

Today me and my bag are going on a trip. We will be visiting a friend who lives near Amsterdam, the capital of our country.

I have a very stylish house, my bag feels much at home:
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So, what’s a stylish lady such as myself taking with her in her bag?

Have a looksee:

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There seems to be a lot of wool in there. And wooden brake discs?

Clever girl, never leave home without it!

So what’s all this? What does a typical city girl carries in her purse?

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from left to right you see: a gift for a friend (two mug tail cat mugs!), a phone in a brazeny lying felt cover, a little hand crocheted bag with necessities (salt, hydro cortisone, progesteron creme, keys, bankcard, chocolate), the power juice thingie for the iPad, reading glasses, a candy bar, two sewing patterns for summer dresses and a piece of knitting with the ball on its wooden spool.

The iPad travels in a separate bag with a cute little catty purse holding small change and my personal travel card. Because I’m going by train!

Second class, quite comfortable:

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I love going by train. It’s a great way to see the country.

I knitted on the train, having my wool spool in full display. People tried not to stare… or where they avoiding the other item on my little table? Dutch people might recognize what else I was bringing my friend….. Bossche Bollen!

A Bossche Bol is a puff pastry as big as two fists, chocolate covered and filled with whipped cream. The real ones come from Jan de Groot:

My friend REEEEEAAAALLLY likes them.

But I’m still in the train, looking out over Holland. Holland is flat:

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The Netherlands are very flat pretty much all over. We are the part of Europe where a two big European rivers run into the sea: the Meuse and the Rhine with all their bigger and little rivers and canals. They furnished the swampy delta lands with the soil they brought with them all the way from Germany, France and the Alps. This makes for very fertile land, being it a bit soggy.

We fixed soggy.

We pumped away all the water, with windmills. We keep the water out with dikes. And we planted all the land with tulips. And grass for cows to graze on.

Because it is all man made land we organized it into straight lines right from the beginning. It is in our nature, to spatially organize and to optimize.

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There is not much nature or frivolity in my land. Pretty much every square centimeter has been planned, designed, optimized.

They say that the Dutch look up into the sky to experience nature. We are used to broad horizons and great cloud formations. On the ground, a height difference from just a meter of few feet will get us all excited.

I love going by train and looking to the horizon and into the sky. Today I saw lots of birds who love this wet flat country: various breeds of geeze, swans, scholekster and a stork trying to land in a tree. The stork was impressing and I made a movement to alert my fellow travelers to the sight. But I refrained. They were under enough pressure as it were, with the knitting and the Bossche Bollen and the iPad photo taking. Better be civilized.

I enjoyed the trip, even if I was a bit of a spectacle. I had my favourite things around me, I had something useful to do (knitting) while I looked out the window and I felt the joy of joining the online community. So many women blog! It is quite special, when you think about it.

Just like there’s a special kind of joy in wearing a nice dress and nice shoes. I cannot explain it unless you’ve tried it. The same pleasure is felt when blogging about the nice things in your life. There are many nice things to be seen in a day and many nice things thought. It is a special pleasure to mark them with a pic or a word and share them on a blog.

Of course, lots of editing goes into showing nice things. Nothing is all good. Nobody is all fine.

Even Holland. Holland particularly! It is not fine. Space and nature are confined more and more. The pictures I showed you can only be made in certain parts of the country. Most parts pretty much look like this:
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Full. No harmony. Noise.

But nothing to get stressed about. Because there’s little you can do.

In a next post I want to share some thoughts about how to cope with foreseeable futures such as loosing all space to breath, as a country. And as a citizen of that country. A citizen then needs that space and that quiet and that harmony.

But not today. Today I focus on the spring in my step with my shoes, dress and bag and in the loud squeel my friend will make when she sees the Bossche Bollen!

PS guess what?

the train officer looked at my bag and said: “Is that an ‘Hester van Eeghen’? It is isn’t it? Those stand out! Beautiful. Enjoy.”

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