Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My daily commute

Amsterdam Amstel, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Two months to the day after coming to the office for my first interview on 3rd May, which was a lovely warm summer’s day, I have just spent my third day in the office and am now in the train on the way home. It is cool and grey outside and it has been raining on and off throughout the day. I do not have a coat and am hoping it stays dry for the next half hour at least until I get home.

The train journey lasts 52 minutes from Capelle Schollevaar to Amsterdam Amstel, from where it is a 5 minute cycle ride back home, making the whole trip just a bit over the hour. The train goes through the Green Heart of Holland, stopping at Gouda (from the cheese fame), Woerden (where Fred had his first job as a teacher in 1991), Breukelen, Abcoude and into Amsterdam. We pass field after field, of grasses, orchards, farms, dykes, bridges, cows, horses and sheep… and, of course, windmills! In the ditches one sees families of swans with their cygnets, sometimes a flock of rooks, the odd heron waiting patiently and plenty of ducks and geese. Just here in Breukelen where we have stopped we can see the motorway, chock-a-block full of slow moving cars and lorries. Better to take the train. I can even have a snooze, as I did yesterday afternoon and for the first part of this journey, whilst this morning I finally got round to writing a long e-mail to my brother Richard.

At the office end, there is a four minute walk to the office, where I follow a footpath through the trees and every day I see a little wren and a blackbird. Meanwhile, at home, I can report that the eggs have hatched and we have a small family of noisy and hungry blackbirds living on the balcony. Not seen too much magpie activity recently, although I was surprised to see that a young crow had been raised at the back, as we do not have so many crows. For some reason, I like crows, much more than their cousins, the magpies and the jays (despite their wonderful plumage).

The photo here is of a couple of people spotted at the Amstel Station, where my daily train commute begins and ends, taken about a year ago.


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