With the smell of dust in my nostrils

Posted on Tue 19 December 2006 in general

The power sander didn't seem to make as much impact on the remaining shreds of wall paper as I expected. However I did get most of the large chunks off. The rest seems to have smoothed down OK. Hopefully the wall paper will stay on tomorrow, I'm not too worried about it being totally smooth seeing as it's going to be painted over.

Amsterdam was a nice break. Even though I have been there more times than I can count (or possibly remember) I still discovered some new things. The best discovery was some of the Belgian Beer bars. I showed people the one I had been to earlier this year with the last trip. The next day Mark discovered the The Cracked Kettle which we spent a chunk of time in discussing beers and how long they can mature for. The owner dissuaded me from buying some more Chimay I have been drinking recently. I now have a beer which will be best enjoyed if I cellar it for 6 months to 2 years. We shall see which end of the time spectrum I manage. After the beer shopping we retired to the bar opposite for some more beer tasting. Mark proved to be knowledgeable as usual as we worked our way through a selection of 8% to 12% beers....

Saturday evening is a little hazy. A bunch of people wandered off to enjoy some of Amsterdam's more traditional entertainment. I'd seen the live shows before so explored some more of the bars with Mark and Helen. When I caught up with them Lee insisted I at least visited the Banana Bar. It was certainly a novel and eye opening experience although much to Lee's annoyance I thought it was a little over rated. I think it's very easy to become blase about free flowing vice of the 'dam that is ceases to be new and interesting. I wasn't however prepared for the sight that greeted me in the early hours of the morning when Lee was banging on my door to borrow a pair of trousers. I guess the surprises just come in different forms ;-)

I took Mark and Helen to one of my favourite Pancake restaurants on Sunday before doing some last minute browsing for Christmas presents. I'm unusually paranoid about making sure I get back to the airport in time which is a little silly considering Amsterdam has probably one of the most efficient and reliable public transport systems in Europe. As it happened I made it to the airport with plenty of time which I killed riding up and down the departures hall on the travalators while everyone else waited patiently in the queue for gate security. Well why not?