The first convincing signs of spring are visible here in the Netherlands; the midday temperature was nineteen degrees today, the air is heavy with the scent of flowering bulbs and the roads are blocked with tourists who've gambled on catching the tulip fields in their full glory. The first tourists are, as every year, just too early. For most people it's a great time of year here, full of colour and promise. For sufferers of hay-fever, however, it can be a sweet-smelling hell. The hyacinth bloom in particular bringing an exquisite discomfort inflaming the airways in a way only exceded by the tree pollon climax which follows hard on its heels. For the tourists, there are at least, a few fields of daffodils to provide some small consolation for the lack of tulips.
After the birth of Benjamin thoughts are with family rather than mountains. Nevertheless spring is a time to savour the outdoors. Emily needs plenty of entertainment in order to keep her from under mummy's feet and from poking her baby brother in the eye. There's nothing she likes better than riding up-front on the bike and wandering around the dunes with daddy. On our last afternoon out we were treated to a sunny 19 degrees. Perfect weather to cycle through the bulb fields to the Amsterdamse Waterleiding and to go for a walk. It's great letting her make the calls and following her around. She looks so small in the landscape it must still be a great adventure to her. On this day she found some rabbit holes, discovered her shaddow, had a picnic and had her first encouter with fallow dear which added immesurably to the excitment. Thristy work! For my part, the weather and Emilys improving mobility make for good opportunity to get some time on the bike (bike fit isn't hill fit but it's better than desk fit), stretch the legs and, most importantly get some daddy-time in in the outdoors; the place where I'm least stressed and at my best.