If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


16 APRIL 2017

A Little Lazy

DELFT - We have had a long stretch of sunny days, even to having to water our gardens. The feeling in town is life is normal in Delft. Normal being students at the beer gardens, and clusters of tourists awed by history. On the big market, I overheard an English man remark: "It really is quite beautiful."

That brought me to a pause in my errands a short while later. As I looked about me, I agreed. The center of Delft is a pleasant, easy-on-the-eyes example of history and our times. Having a big technical university in town gives a freshness and energy that is the mark of young people. Add in the whole families that cycle in from the outlying districts on weekends, and a person can just enjoy it all over a coffee outside a cafe.


"Spring is by tradition the time when a responsible person launches Cleaning. Winter's dust, piles of things 'to be sorted' and last year's documents - all need attention. But, it is a sunny day and blooming has begun. After a pill for allergies, I need most to go wandering."

I am watching my partner as she begins her first year of not working a day job. It was as if she had taken off her heavy winter coat and changed into jeans and a t-shirt. We see each other more. She has all the time in the world for her hobbies. I have been told that her horse has moved into a higher category. It is called an M something and is the step before Z. Plainly, one has to be a horse person for that to have any meaning. I like to hear her talk about it: her eyes are bright, and her face reflects the excitement she felt. And she has found a farm that sells its own product.

She worked as an office secretary until this year, picking up after other people. From me, she has borrowed the American expression: No mo. "I don't do that no mo."

The local people weave their way through tourists swarms and convoys of bikes and do notice Delft. They will stop, look up or about, and then go on for groceries, a spare key or anything else that has come to the top of their list. People live here.

Each Spring in Europe is welcomed and enjoyed as fully as possible. It is my view that living way north does that to a person: summer is more valued when it is only a quarter of a year. Even so, I see rowers on the canal in winter; Dutch are hardy.

This year, and the next, will see changes to how Europe has been living for decades. The Union is being shaped to fit how the world has changed. I like having a front row seat, a safe front row seat. No bombs have been set off in Delft yet.

What I hear is that most are looking forward to a Europe out from under the US military umbrella; there is confidence that we will manage. And, to me, a determination to keep trying to get it right: human rights and honest, good government.

Dutch politicians are still working to form a new government. One member recently declared a Daddy Day - he decided to spend that Friday with his small children. No one objected, and discussions were put off till Monday. That is my kind of government.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen