Unpacking the suitcase…Good Morning London

photograph black and white by susan sheldon nolen of london phone box near charring cross

Travelling is always such great fun and  very awkward at times. I just got back from Holland and this trip reminded me again of how easy it is to pack too much clothing, or not have enough shoes. I got caught in a massive down pour in Amsterdam and had to dry out shoes with newspapers! The next day the shoes were still too soggy to walk about! Never mind, it gave me the opportunity to stay indoors and just be.

Holland was so gezellig. I love picking up new expressions!  As I walked across the street, a group of schoolchildren passed me, and their teacher called out Lopen…so I did!  Apparently in Flanders it means to run, and in the Netherlands, walk.

Sometimes foreign expressions say just the right thing when English can carry on a bit too much. In Holland, Gezellig is one such word,  in France there isn’t even a word, but a pffff sounding of the lips that says so much…

Whenever I come back from Holland, I get depressed about the amount of litter we have in our streets. I don’t understand us Britain. Why can’t we put our litter into bins or carry it back home? The Dutch go to McDonalds, drink cola from cans, eat packages of crisps and yet the streets on a whole are spotless. I’ve been told that Germany is the same way. So why are we letting ourselves down so badly?

Mind you, I have to moan about Brussels, what a depressing entry way to a city, the endless graffiti on the trains, the boards, poles,  and then there is the very sad sight of those girls in the windows that you can see from the trains. A man stops in front of a window, walks on, then returns to the window again, and  then disappears inside the door. Even though it’s a fleeting sight as the train rolls in, it’s a heartbreaking way to see such a fabulous city.

I did have a few close calls in the Netherlands, I had to make sure to look left and right and left again for cars. That was one thing. But then I did step out in front of a few bicycles as they rushed past me. Bells tinkled like mad!  So it was crossing the street, checking for cars, and then for bikes, then cars and bikes, before I dared to set off to the other side! But I am glad to say…no one toppled off their bike, or left me sprawled on the ground.

Working bicycle

Working bicycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a marvelous time in Holland and hope to post a few doors I captured there and a few posts about this trip. So for now, Bedankt Holland for making me feel at home for a few weeks! Not to mention a cousin who had to put up with me!

About susan sheldon

I am an explorer. It's taken me awhile to realise this. But I love capturing bits of our wonderful world with my camera, travelling through time and history, always returning to write, or paint what I've discovered. I use my Leica and my iPhone to capture images, and with those images I try to hold on to a feeling, a moment in our busy lives. Sometimes those moments bring me into the past, others into the studio to paint, or back to the old typewriter to try to use words to capture what the camera has done for me already. One of my goals in my blog is to have a space to take a breath away from our frantic world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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