Tea and sympathy at my friend's petit chateau near Versailles.
Bonjour les tous! In Paris, I had the great pleasure of spending time with my dear friend Gabrielle in her gorgeous, newly-renovated home. Gabrielle met me at Gare du Nord. But our rendezvous turned out to be a comedy of errors, thanks to the Thalys train's hour-late arrival; my phone's lost network coverage and mad traffic jams in the city. Of course the main purpose of the trip was visiting an ENT to determine the cause of recurring dizzy spells. Initial tests suggest it's an inner-ear problem; further tests are scheduled next week.
Also in Paris, I had lunch in my old neighbourhood, then stood in line for ages during les soldes. En route to Amsterdam, Thalys abruptly decided to end its service at Schiphol. Passengers were sent first to one platform, then another to catch an inner-city train to Amsterdam. I felt sorry for all the confused and angry travelers scrambling with their luggage, with little advice and no assistance from Thalys staff. Upon boarding the inner-city train, most passengers were left standing, trying to balance their luggage all the way to Amsterdam.
Again, we were well past our scheduled arrival at Amsterdam Centraal. Habitual delays seems to be a problem with Thalys. Their Ill-timing is due in part to slow-moving trains through Belgium, with international and local trains sharing a single track. Belgium really needs to get its act (and its government) together. These days, traveling through the country either by rail or by car (every journey interrupted with multiple roadworks and diversions) is rarely pleasant.
Falling into the canal
At home Saturday, I went in the back garden to inspect the hortensia (hydrangea) growth. Suddenly I felt dizzy, lost my balance and fell backwards into the canal! Needless to say, a very long hot shower followed.
Wishing a very Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!