On a trip to Devon with my friend Naomi, I recently met her brother-in-law, a singer songwriter named Chris Bond (pictured above surfing in Devon). He has a beautiful song called "Our Roots" that I really love. I have been having a bit of a rough time last week - too much stress and anxiety at work, dark winter afternoons, not enough exercise and fresh air, too much alcohol - so one day, when I was home recovering from a cold I couldn't shake, I listened to this song over and over again which soothed me. He has a refrain that says "its no good for our soul" (although it might say its no good for us all!) but I like the first interpretation better.
My good friend Willy got me out of the house this afternoon and took me rowing on the Amstel. The sky was a pewter gray and the leaves that still clung to the trees were a dark gold. It's a beautiful palette and peaceful to be so close to the water. We went by houseboats, called in on a friend of hers painting in his studio, practiced my rowing techniques, and then cycled back home into the city. As we cycled by, we had the uniquely Dutch experience of 20 men in velvet pantaloons and blackface rollerblading past us. Yes, its Sinterklaas time!
So after a healthy afternoon, on a Sunday evening (one of my favorite times of the week), I'm trying to do a few things this evening that are good for the soul.
- Listening to Billie Holiday, Louis Jordan, Chet Baker, Blossom Dearie, Ella Fitzgerald, Van Morrison, Buena Vista Social Club and other music that reminds me of home
- Cooking with organic vegetables - tonight wild mushrooms called "pied de mouton" and freshly made linguini
- Drinking tea while wearing a cardigan and slippers.
- Snuggling with Simon, the fuzzy Siamese, who purrs contentedly on my lap
- Making little snacks of freshly baked Rosemary foccacia and pieces of Elstar apples.
- Reading a good book while curled up on the couch under a blanket.