Old Turf and Music Weekend

This morning we drove to Sloterplas, in West Amsterdam, for our Sunday run.  It’s a 6km loop around a small lake and most of the running route looks like the above – nice trees and park setting.  This is my old running turf.  I just did a search of my blog on “Sloterplas” and am reminded that the first time I ran here was May 11, 2008.  Four years ago almost to the day.  Funny.  In my mind I thought it was actually a year earlier than that.  Time plays tricks on the mind often.

When we lived in Amsterdam and I ran here I would listen to Brenda Dayne.  Today I listened to Science Friday.  It makes the time and the running just fly by (again, a trick of time).  They talked about an extinct giant turtle the size of a Smart car, and why humans are omnivorous, and working towards a commercially available tomato that actually tastes good.  Science Friday is always interesting.

There were a lot of joggers making their way around the lake today.  There were also quite a few Muslim women doing a fast walk, and some even jogging, dressed as they are always dressed, in long dresses or pants and a long coat over the top, plus headscarf of course.  I can’t imagine trying to be sporty wearing so many clothes.  They must be sweating and so very hot in there.  Hats off to them.  That’s sporting dedication for sure.

After my short 6km run I took a few photos with my phone, trying to capture the feeling of so much green and water.  This is the best I can do.  It makes me feel peaceful – always a good thing.

The rest of my Sunday?  I finished sewing a top that I want to take on vacation with me – photos tomorrow.  And watched Pink Pop on tv.  Why pay to go stand with 30,000 other sweaty sun burned people when you can sit on your couch and get a front seat view to (nearly all) the bands?  Here’s a fun one we watched – “Boss Hog”, a band from Berlin who take Top 40 songs and transform them into Texas country-rock, complete with the hats, boots and Texas accents.  They were great fun!  If you live in NL, tune in to channel Cultura 24 to watch it live, or watch it streaming on your computer on the 3voor12 site, or listen to it on national Radio 3 FM.  Plenty of choices for choice music this weekend!

A Walk in the Park

I was in London earlier this week.  I had intended to go for a run in the morning before work in Regent’s Park, which is just a couple of blocks from the office.  Unfortunately I’ve come down with a cold and my lungs didn’t feel up to working hard in the cold air.  Instead I got up and went for an hour long walk in the park before work.

It’s a lovely big park, with everything you can want in a park – wide open spaces for games and dog runs, lots of beautiful old trees, manicured areas of fountains and flowers, ponds and streams, a small zoo and places to buy food and drink.  Wikipedia tells us it is 166 hectares/468 acres in size, which is about 1/3 the size of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, half the size of Central Park in New York, and 4 times bigger than the Vondel Park in Amsterdam, just so you can get some perspective on size.

Early in the morning there are joggers and dog walkers.  I was one of the few people I saw not doing either of those things.  There was no one else taking pictures except me.  At 7:30 in the morning I guess it seemed kind of strange.

The dogs and the trees cheered me up a lot.  (Why did I need cheering up?  That’s another blog post and has to do with my awful work situation at the moment.)  The dogs were so happy, running and playing and meeting new friends.  I wanted to run and play with them!

The trees, ah the trees!  Trees give me peace of mind.  Whether they are in a city park or in the dunes of the Dutch coastline or the High Sierra of California, I love their grandeur and I love their smell.  I must have been an elf in a previous life, living among trees.

When I saw the flower beds, I thought of my mom.  She would have appreciated them.  I imagine they are lovely in Spring and Summer.  They are still lovely even in their Autumn colors.

After my walk in the park I went back to my hotel, collected my belongings, checked out and went to work.  My short time in the park was the best part of my day.  If you are in London, go to the parks.  That’s one thing the English do very very well – Parks.