My stats are still showing a very high count of readers in the Ukraine - peace to you!
Don't worry, like Martin Luther King I have chosen Love; Hate would be a too large burden to bear.
Whilst the news is almost unbearable to watch or listen to, and The Netherlands are veering wildly between grief, shock, anger, diplomacy and the knowledge that for almost 17 million of us life simply must and does go on, I am preparing for my wild plan to cycle the length and nearly the breadth of my country.
I have taken a good look at the route last night, and already doubt is stretching its knobbly fingers towards my resolve. Golly, that is quite a stretch! And I am a middle-aged untrained chubby woman with weak knees and muscles that are used to standing in front of a whiteboard or sitting behind a desk grading papers...
Can you see Rotterdam in the middle on the left? 35 Km below that city is my starting point. And I will have to cross my first large river by ferry after 15 km. And do you see that E22 dyke right at the top, stretching from Wieringen towards Friesland over the IJsselmeer? That's the first goal.
I have calculated that it will take me 3 days to reach that dyke, the Afsluitdijk. That is if all goes according to plan.
Those first 3 days I will be travelling across a built-up country of endless towns, called the Randstad. Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden and all assorted villages and towns in between have melded together into one long habited and very busy area. (If you live in Greater London, or Greater Los Angeles, you will know what I mean by this)
My country is tiny compared to that of some of you, obviously. When you are in Australia, or Canada, or the USA, you'll laugh at our distances.
But to me they are very real, and a bit daunting.
And take a look at what I am cycling over....those dark blue, but also the light blue, bits are the areas below sea level. But here I am an experienced wetlander; I know those dykes are pretty reliable, no worries there.
Right. Back to my maps. Have a good day!