O.O.O. Where to begin? The bagels at 7am on 12 Feb in my sister’s London kitchen. This seems as sensible a starting place as any. 312km from Breda, NL, where we currently find ourselves being cared for by the good people, Frans and Evelyn, who we have come to know through www.warmshowers.org (More about that website later…. not as dodgy as you might think!).
But I digress. This blog entry was supposed to called, “I blame Hosni Mubarak….” Francesca, as arch editor-in-chief would not allow for this. Let me explain. No, let me summarise. [a line from the Princess Bride]. The blog was to carry that title because I had hoped to sit leisurely supping a cup of tea in our old front room crafting my first ever blog, but former Mr Pres Mubarak finally considered his days in power numbered and resigned. World events such as this can be distracting. And so it proved. Far from completing an edifying entry to odycycle, I simply ended up watching news reel and reading internet reports.
So we now find ourselves further down the road than anticipated before our first report. We still await our first exhausting rain-soaked day but it is yet to arrive. So far touched only by a cold winter sun and gentle winds (albeit in our faces from The Hook of Holland to Breda. Flat as the proverbial pancake and replete with wonderful cyclepaths that snake across the entire countryside. Civilisation.
The Netherlands: This is the land of my Dad. You don’t get a name like Blom-Cooper from UK ancestry. Blom-Cooper originates from Bloemen Koper (Flower Buyer). And I have seen a few. I am yet to fulfil my true identity and buy any tulips so far but feel right at home nonetheless.
Those buttery bagels feel a long way away…. exchanged for the life-giving stroopwafels that we are munching along the way. Ah the joys of the bottomless stomach that can never get quite enough to satisfy all the calories burned….