Sunday, 25 July 2010
When I flew back home on Sunday night I couldn't believe how much fun I'd manage to pack into three days. It gave me that happy, relaxed feeling you normally get from a week's hols. No matter how sad I will be to leave London, it makes a difference to know I will be moving back to somewhere good.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Minor glitch in the trip was having Edgar Davids, whom I cannot stand, sitting in front of me on the plane, but hee hoo (had it been Clarence Seedorf, I'd have been over the moon). A lot of orange on the plane, a lot of orange at the airport. The train from Schiphol to the Dam was packed and orange and the experience brought tears to my eyes (I am a total sucker for sports madness and a bigger cry baby than Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to sports). I knew I had made the right decision.
Half a day later, friend Mary and I enjoyed a quiet beer in Tapmarin. The same pub where I have watched big matches, with the same people, since '98. The clock on tele was counting down and the excitement grew. By the time the match kicked off, the pub was packed, and the nerves were almost unbearable. And then, nothing. No goals. No win. (No lack of cards.)
Gutted. Truth hit home when I was back at Schiphol, waiting to board, reading the Dutch papers. We lost. Big time. And not in the classiest way too. Godverdomme.
Today was a day of mixed emotions. I got loads of abuse at work, to the extent that the CFO did a karate kick and handed out a yellow card in a meeting. All playful banter, and I would have done the same. But man....painfull. Thank god tho for Dutch public television. When watching the playes interviews during the canal parade and the madness on Museumplein tonight, I realised what great guys they are. And despite some thuggery, they are a team to be proud of. A second place. That's 30 teams that did worse. As opposed to '74 and '78 when only 16 countries participated. What an achievement. I feel proud. Of the team, of the country, of the way the Dutch can be one. If only we could show the same spirit in daily life.
Monday, 5 July 2010
Two years ago, I had only been in London for a few days when I went to Wimbledon. Women's final from Murray Mound. I couldn't believe how British it all was. Yesterday I went again. And after two years here, I still found it incredibly British. And lovely. The picknick areas, the black cab that drove me from the station to the ground (for £ 2.50!), the queuing sytem, the people with centre court tickets dressing up, it was all the same and all so different from say the Rotterdam tournament. No need to get myself a copy of the queing guide this year though, as a mate who works in the changing rooms got me a ground pass (and drinks for that matter). It was sunny, we had champagne and strawberries and I was ready for a smashing final.
A smashing final it wasn't. The most excitement from the crowd could be heard whenever Rafa changed his shirt (nowhere near often enough, I may add). Quicker than a priest could strip a school boy, most of Murray Mound cleared after the last ball. But it is as much about the experience as it is about the tennis. And the experience was wonderful once more. One minus of the whole day: I should have hung around, judging from my mate's Facebrag a few hours after I left: "Having a Haagen Dazs with Rafa". Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Friday, 2 July 2010
That was last night for me. And when walking to the tube station, Tower Bridge just opened, the light was just beautiful and I embraced London once again.