Thursday, 13 November 2008

Mom's visit and painting

It seems another 3 weeks have past since my last blog entry. I am not purposely neglecting it, I just haven’t really had the motivation or desire to write much lately. Then again, the past week has been so busy with mom’s visit, I wouldn’t have had time to write if I had wanted to.

Mom stayed in Amsterdam for a full week. I found a quaint boutique hotel that sits across a tiny canal from the side of
Vondelpark. It is nestled amongst old estate houses in a neighbourhood I can only liken to Shaughnessy. In fact the (first) picture to the left is taken from the park, and the houses (and bridge) in the picture are on the same road as the hotel, half a block away. And the second picture was taken from a little bridge that crosses the canal and gives you access to the city. Mom’s hotel was on the other side of the bridge in a building very similar to this one. The location couldn’t have been better.

She arrived on a Tuesday evening and the next day we walked through the park and I took her to Museumplein to see where the Rijks and Van Gogh museums are location. We walked over to the concert hall as every Wednesday they offer a free half hour lunchtime concert of choral music. The building is beautiful and as the group playing was quite small (7-8 pieces) they held it in the small recital room. It was a circular hall with red drapes, columns and mouldings surrounding the room. I quite enjoyed the music and plan to go back in the future. I have the program for the future concerts and would like to see what the large hall looks like. I have been told it’s worth going just to see this room.

That afternoon we boarded a train for the south of Holland. There Nina met us and drove us across the border to her small town. Her parents hosted a dinner for us and it was a chance for the parents to meet. They seemed to get along fine… mostly mom talked and they listened.

Thursday Nina and I took mom to Aachen for the day. We had a tour of the cathedral and did a lot of walking. In the evening Nina and mom went to the Aachen concert hall to see the opera Aida.

On Friday Nina’s dad took mom and I through the German countryside to the picture-perfect town on Monschau. I had been there once before (last Christmas) and thought it was as typical and stereotypical a German town as one gets. We drove back via Belgium as mom had never been. We drove through a few towns and it was typically bland.

Friday evening we returned to Amsterdam. Robert and Cathie were supposed to meet us for the weekend but Robert caught a cold at the last minute and he regrettably didn’t feel well enough to travel.

I think I went to more museums in the 5 days mom was here than I have in the previous 7 months! We certainly covered a lot of ground and she had a wonderful time. It was nice to spend so much time together, which worked out well as work was fairly slow.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with Stefan to talk about more work he wants to add to my ever-growing list of responsibilities. The problem is, my volume of work rarely seems to increase. It seems each time he gives me another responsibility he lays off on the previous ones. It seems a little pointless to me, but I just go along with it. With the pay scheme I am on now, he pays me more the less work I do, so it really is in his best interest to keep me busy.

I have been keeping myself busy regardless. I have been feverishly painting over the past couple of weeks. I need something that is “me” in my room and now I have a few paintings to hang.

Both Marc and Jaana seem fascinated by having an artist in the house. When I paint they sit there and watch quietly. At first this was a little strange for me, I felt quite self conscious. I am used to living alone, therefore painting alone. But I soon got used to it and they seem to go about doing their own things when I paint now.

Maybe that is why I haven’t felt the urge to write, I have been using all my energy painting. Well, you can’t fight it… just have to do what comes and for now, it seems painting is it.