Friday, July 21, 2006

20,400

As Marilyn (Monroe, not Manson) once sang "We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave" and baby, it is hot in here. My fans are working overtime moving the hot air from one corner of the room to the other but not really sure if that is making things worse or not, and to make matters worse, I have decided to do the Betty Ford thing, so there is not a bubble in the house that can exist outside the bathtub. It's a dark day in Amsterdam.

It's just past 1 in the morning and I just finished my last little blog and as the fires of inspiration seem to be surging through my veins, I decided to just keep on bloggin'. I hope I am not breaking some sort of bloggers code by double blogging. If so, someone just let me know and I will whip myself into complete online submission.

I did search "the inflatable mattress" after I posted my blog and guess what? There were exactly 20,400, and mine was on the top of the list! Not only did I get to see myself, but I was at the top and I made such a nice round number! What are the odds?

Well, I have had a few emails from people asking what my new flat is like. Well, it isn't really that new anymore, as I moved in last September, but I haven't been the best at sending pictures - well, ok, I haven't sent any at all. The fact is, my flat is amazing. My building is over 200 years old, although the exact date is unknown and my floors and ceiling beams are all original. It is in a loft-like layout (read large studio) with pretty much a wall of windows at one end, with a Franch Balcony - that meand I have 2 floor-to-ceiling doors that open in with a raining in front of the window, not a real terrace. But I do get direct sun for the bulk of the day, starting with sunrise, so I often plop my bright red Fatboy (brand of beanbag chair/square/thing) in front of it on the weekends, have my yoghurt with meusli, coffee and read whatever book I happen to fancy that day and other times I browse through all the top news of the world according to Vanity Fair. I have one wall that is the brick exterior of the building next door as it was built first and that has all been painted white. The kitchen is small and has lots of stainless steel, which I loved at first, but it as soon as you look at it, it smudges and after I lived here for 30 minutes, I gave up on it.

My flat is located in the very center of Amsterdam, just on the edge of the Jordaan (or garden). I live about 10 minutes walk through the canals to the Anne Frank house. This time of year is perfect in the city. All the boats are out in the canals and I go out often on the little boat of some friends of mine. It always looks about one drop of water away from being submerged, but it does keep us afloat and we keep it loaded with champagne, cheese, pate, olives and other assorted goodies and we boat aimlessly around the canals. In fact, planning on taking it out tomorrow for a spin along the Amstel and out of the city - Hopefully she will be up for the voyage. The boat belongs to two friends of mine who live on a houseboat and when they were on holiday, I and my friends Garad and Adam took it out... All was going great, we got it started and as we are responsible adults, we took the boat first to the get some petrol so we wouldn't have to get out and push. Once that was done, we called our friend Marco who lived just up the canal from where we were and he came aboard with more drinks. We push away from the edge and then can't get the engine started. We finally got it going and as soon as it went into gear, it stalled. We repeated the process. We repeated the process again. And again. And again. the whole time drifting to the middle of the canal. The canals here are quite narrow, but when you are in a boat with no engine and no paddle, even the narrowest canal can seem like the South Pacific. The sun was beating down on us, Adam was getting sea sick and, I think heatstroke. Things were getting desperate. To make matters worse, the world cup was in full swing and there was not another boat to be seen anywhere. So, always being one to take charge, I decide to have a quick look at the engine. I popped the cover, looked at it - yep, it all seemed to be in perfect working order - and closed the cover. Adam is moaning and we don't even have a flare gun. It becomes very clear to Adam, Garad and I that this is all Marco's fault. The engine worked fine until he came aboard. We thought of throwing him over as a sacrifice to the small craft engine gods when all of a sudden came a boat. Words were exchanged, ropes were thrown and suddenly we were being towed. It was great... Chauferred yachting at it's finest. I cracked open the bottle of Diet Coke I had been saving for just that occasion (I was scared we might have to start rationing food and beverage), kicked back and left the driving to them. Adam was going green and plaid and I just hoped he would point it overboard. The very nice couple towed us back to the houseboat where we docked the boat, Adam bolted for home and I wrote an apology note for killing the motor. Turns out the engine just needed some cleaning and maintenance (I must say that in my professional opinion, it did look a bit oily when I looked at it) and now she is a happy boat bravely navigating the rough waters of Amsterdam.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Marco here, who ofcourse looks at the whole possible Poseidon adventure a little differently. My gut feeling tells me that the boat you guys were on was actually already heading for a nose dive. But by some divine intervention (call 0900-MARCO) luck changed and someone couragious (me) took control and just asked the one boat that was on the water with us to tow us back to shore :-)) We all have our own story of what actually happened that day. Call us liars, call us improvisationalists... call us anything you want. But stay away from the Bubbles...

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