Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What She Wore -- Cycling in Amsterdam, Commuting back Home . . .

Perhaps it's the marking (I'm invigilating two exams today, and each group of students wants its essays back, graded; then the same for Friday's exam, just ahead). Perhaps it's the weird mental/physical space of the pre-marathon taper, gearing down mileage, activity in general in anticipation of the race on (yikes!) May 4th. Perhaps it's a long weekend of visitors: son-in-law arrived with wee redhead g-daughter on Friday, daughter joined them Saturday evening, he left yesterday, she leaves today - four days of delightful toddler distraction.

Whatever the reason, however, the result is that I'm a wee bit brain-dead, so I'm turning once more to my photograph files, and I'm offering you some . . . Amsterdam! I was inspired to scroll through these digital albums after Donna Tartt's marvellous, marvellous novel The Goldfinch landed its narrator there. (Have you read this book yet? I'm hoping to write a few words about it over on my reading blog, but since I've barely posted there this year, I'm not making any promises! Tartt's is a book I highly recommend, although it's rather harrowing in a number of spots.)
Amsterdam is also on my mind because although it's very different, geographically, from my little island, it nonetheless features two modes of transportation that are part of my daily life: bikes and boats.

And this series of shots below leaped at me from the screen because I recently ordered a denim pencil skirt from The Gap, and I've been grappling with a, erm, mobility problem. Or is that a modesty problem. The skirt is longer than the one shown below, but has less stretch. To mount my bike, I have to hitch it up enough so that my legs can get the bike moving.
I'm not sure I'm anywhere near as elegant at the task as this young woman. . . .
 Luckily, I rarely have an audience to contend with, as she clearly does. . . .
Nor do I have to worry about knocking over any pedestrians. . . .

Nicely done, no?

As for me, I'm thinking I'll wear skinny jeans today, with enough stretch to simplify my life . . . And you? What are you up to? Are your clothes enhancing or challenging your mobility? What constraints are governing what you wear today? And amuse me, would you? Which of you will ride a bike or a boat today?  Will most of you drive a car? take a bus? ride rapid transit? or rely on what my Grandpa used to call "shank's mare" (by which he meant, of course, walking on one's own two feet)?

22 comments:

  1. Driving Significant Husband to his office:).

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  2. I'll be walking the Wee Guy to early morning choir practice at school then during at my keyboard.
    Ah Amsterdam! I loved the cycle style over there. Nothing pretentious - cycling fitted in with everyday life, encompassing all styles and fashions.

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    1. He's dedicated then, sacrificing sleep for music!
      Isn't it a fabulous city -- I love the style overall and the crazy variety of bikes and attachments!

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  3. I walked over to Shakespeare and Co.to pick up a couple books to read en route, wandered back through Village St. Paul. I might take the bus to the theatre tonight.
    I really enjoy the no car lifestyle.

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    1. That's a great walking route! There's a particular cafe I'm thinking of in the Village, where we've sat outside in the sun. . . .

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  4. Great shots! Her skirt has lots of stretch, but being so short, it also doesn't need much :-)). I'm lunching with friends and grocery shopping...by car. xo

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    1. Nice when you can balance errands with some social time. I bet that was a good day.

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  5. I plan to wear my skinny jeans a striped Breton top and a vest with a scarf at the neck. Will need my sunnies today Hooray!
    Plan on walking and doing some local errands....

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    1. I forgot my sunglasses in the morning -- mistake! But then I needed my umbrella in the afternoon -- did the skies open up on you too?

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  6. Also reading The Goldfinch - but haven't got to Amsterdam yet. Just skipped to the corner shop four doors down for the makings of packed lunches for tomorrow. My son is on a first aid course for child carers (gap year job) and I'm meeting a friend in Leadenhall Street Market, London to see Morris dancers because it will be St George's Day. Happy invigilating/marking ...

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    1. Skipping is good! ;-)
      Isn't this fun, exchanging notes across countries, oceans, continents -- fun for me to imagine a friend at "leadenhall Street Market" watching Morris dancers. So different from my day. At least I'm 2/3 through my invigilating now . . .

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  7. Walking today, if I can get myself out of the house. I'm feeling like a slug after a busy weekend.
    I've heard mixed reviews about The Goldfinch, but I'm thinking I'll give it a whirl. Amsterdam - visited there long ago. An elegant bike rider.

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    1. I found The Goldfinch wince-making, squirm-making even in spots, so much tension, but absolutely compelling and so much to think about. Wonderful descriptions of craft, interiors. . .

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  8. Walked - a pleasure on this lovely spring day - to the library in a skirt (not as short as the one pictured), a light cardigan and bare legs. I find that, as I am between sizes again, skirts are easier to manage in the transition.

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    1. Walking is so often a pleasure, isn't it, although our busy lives mean we often deny ourselves. It's true about skirts -- they seem a bit more relaxed than pants when between size.

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  9. Finagled a lift in today and it'll be Shanks's pony home for me. Unless it rains and then I'll go for one of those chauffeur driven, double decker thingies, since you ask. (Really rather appropriately, as today's endeavour is to get to grips with mobilities)

    Wearing jeans and warm jumper here in the postgrad office. Also pressed into service what it pleases me to call my emergency fleece, which lives on my chair for just such a spring day. About to have to resort to emergency fingerless gloves. Thermals and a manly sweater for me tomorrow

    Lovely to see Amsterdam - one of my favourite cities

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    1. Again, imagining a friend on a double-decker bus the same day as I'm cycling to our little boat ferry is a lovely benefit of blogging.
      I have a number of such emergency garments in my office at work also. A mohair wrap, a down vest, not the fingerless gloves yet, but that's a thought . . . Stay warm! ;-)

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  10. Since I live in suburbia, I need to drive for my errands most days. I do try to park far away and walk when I can. We only have one vehicle since my sweetie takes the trolley, (tram, train, streetcar) into town. Today, our spring weather showed its capriciousness again with a 43 degree start which never warmed up much. My only clothing adjustment needs to be in my everyday jeans which are a wee bit too snug right now! Come to think of it, that may be an adjustment for me, not the jeans!

    Am reading The Goldfinch right now. I am loving her writing and descriptions. I feel as if I am living in the book, a true measure of a good read!

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    1. There are a number of errands where we live that require the car as well, and I generally take ours for the fairly short commute to work just because I'm generally packing so many texts, student marking, etc. But we do what we can, right? We're in low teens, Celsius here, so our temps are not much better than yours. . . Curious to see how you'll feel about The Goldfinch as it progresses. I was so absorbed at the beginning, recoiled partway through, although I was captivated throughout. . .

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  11. Hot out of the shower after a kayak along the Tomakin River in Southern NSW, Australia. Wore board shorts and an old tee. Long time enjoyer of your blog, just had to jump in on this! Beautiful Autumn day in the Southern Hemisphere.

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    1. I love it! Thanks so much for chiming in -- we have a couple of kayaks here, and I'm hoping to get out soon -- my husband's paddled to town a few times already this season. Ours is all ocean-paddling, though -- River is quite different, especially in Australia -- sounds so exotic!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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