Monday, 18 September 2023

Amsterdam 1996

 I’ve just taken Trendy Carol’s hubby to the hospital. Driving around at 20 mph after we have been bashing along at 45 was a bind and totally impractical. 
“It’s like being in a funeral” Euan noted and I agree….it’s all one big white elephant and the cost alone of changing the street signage will be obscene 
( for those that don’t know the Welsh Government has changed all 30 Mile an hour zones down to 20  miles an hour..a very unpopular move)
I went to the chemist to sort out my repeat prescription before Rome and valeted Bluebell inside and out 
Tomorrow I’m back in college for the day.
Tonight I will light the fire and sort out my college paperwork and files on the floor of the living room
I’ve booked a tour of the coliseum, organised a car from the airport and tried to book two restaurants I have been totally recommended to, for consecutive nights but both told me they didn’t take bookings .
More single prejudice I wonder? Who knows
My discussion about eating along in restaurants have been interesting
My difficulty is that I’m just not used to it, especially at night. 


I am reminded here of a night in Amsterdam many years ago when a ex boyfriend was being a total arse. He handpicked the restaurant we had sat down in which was a swanky and somewhat pretentious affair and as other diners chatted quietly he proceeded to lose his temper of the smallest of things, most of them with no validity whatsoever .
He verbally berated me, until it grew embarrassing for the other diners to hear so red faced I got up slowly and walked out. 
It was the first and last time I had done anything like that before. 
And it was the beginning of the end for that relationship 
That night , I found another restaurant around Lord’s canal and asked for a table for one, which was hidden away in a corner
And I told my waitress I had walked away from my boyfriend’s sharp mouth after a one sided row
She was sweet, Dutch, older with impeccable English 
 “If a man embarrasses you in public” she said “he’s a klootzak” 
She was right, he was a klootzak! 

And finally, it’s officially autumn.
I’ve bought recycled coffee logs for the fire and made a corned beef hash for later whilst listening to old Desert Island Discs featuring costume designer Jenny Beavan and the glorious Sophia Loren


Tonight, the cottage is cosy




 

67 comments:

  1. I just looked up klootzak. It's my new go-to word... although many people here will know what it means...

    I hope the reason for the hospital trip was not serious.

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    1. No just a regular thing
      As for klootzak , I’ve just looked it up as I wasn’t sure how to spell it.I remember the waitress saying it meant a man who was a bit of an arsehole , but the direct translation is something a little nearby

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  2. Have a look at what Hub Nut has said about the changes on YouTube. Very interesting. Its not as bad as people think...and it's for safety not pollution

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    1. I suspect long term it’s just to make driving difficult . In wales we have poor public transport , everyone HAS to drive

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  3. Sadly, I've known a few klootzaks. You were well rid. Xx

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    1. I was indeed, it was another lifetime ago

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  4. Anonymous3:38 pm

    We have 20mph zones and they've been in operation since last year. They started as an experiment and due to less accidents the majority of people have voted in favour of keeping them. It's also surprising what you notice about your surroundings that you don't see when zooming faster.
    About the eating out on your own, you already eat out in cafes on your own, just go with that same mindset.
    I often have to dine alone in the evenings when away due to work, it felt awkward at first then I realised after a first glance from other diners they really didn't give a shit what anybody else was doing.

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    1. The village has had a 20 mile an hour advisory speed limit around the school for years…
      I haven’t had such practice of evening eating out

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  5. I would find it difficult to maintain such a slow speed everywhere. Not that I am a speed freak but it would just seem awkward and I would worry that my concentration may lapse. Probably best for me to walk or bus it!

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    1. I’ve been done for speeding three times

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  6. There's no space in our lives for klootzaks! You were well rid. I hope the hospital trip wasn't for anything serious or urgent. It will be interesting to see how the 20mph goes. I think most people can understand it near schools/care homes/hospitals etc, but not on the majority of roads. I know a few places which don't take bookings, so I do hope it wasn't single prejudice. Anyway, I'm sure there are plenty of places where you'll be welcome. xx

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    1. I’m a Big foody and want to experience no so touristy. Food places if I can

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  7. Now you have me longing for another Amsterdam trip.

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    1. Lol. I never went to the dark rooms lol

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    2. Anonymous8:21 pm

      I bet you did John
      You dirty gay man

      U

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    3. Lol the Ursula troll surfaces
      Yawn

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    4. That was so stupid it was funny. Not laughing with you U, laughing at you U.

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    5. It’s not Ursula linda

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  8. Anonymous4:15 pm

    If the restaurants don't take bookings at all, then fair enough. However, I've recently come across a couple of places in the UK which do take bookings, but only if there are at least two of you. That definitely feels like single prejudice! Pam

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    1. I thought of this pam, especially given the nature of the subjects recently. Am I paranoid ?

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  9. Traveller4:22 pm

    https://galleriaborghese.beniculturali.it/en/

    You need to book.

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    1. I’m intrigued , I cannot open the link have you the name of the restaurant ?

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    2. Opened it !!!! Absolutely x

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    3. Traveller7:08 pm

      Please book - have seen a lot of stuff but that is way up there

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    4. Traveller9:13 pm

      Need photo proof…..you will be amazed at the sculpture

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  10. Maintaining a policy of zero tolerance for being treated poorly is important. Why some individuals think they can cross the line is beyond me. You have no room for people like this....

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    1. I knew better but he was my first true love

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  11. People who act like that ex boyfriend have deep issues which are not ours to deal with.

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  12. Anonymous5:10 pm

    I travel solo frequently and have learned dining al fresco makes the whole “dining alone” thing a non issue. Find a restaurant with outdoor seating, pack a dinner picnic or get to go and find a bench, fountain or park to sit in. It’s a delight! You are eating with everyone that passes by. Be sure to nod and greet people.

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  13. Anonymous5:21 pm

    Klootzak, for those who want to add it to their vocabulary rhymes with boat, not boot.
    You will get used to the 20 zones. Here in the Netherlands every town and city has large 30km/h zones, and some have even slower limits in parts. They are safer. It takes a while to get used to it but it's fine after a while. I expect Rome has the same, I know Turin does as do many places in Europe.
    Enjoy Rome.
    B from NL

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    1. Just trying to wrap my lips about making klootzak sound like boat lol

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  14. Book for two, and then tell them your companion couldn't make it -- after you've settled in at the table.

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  15. When you're at the Coliseum, keep an eye peeled for any sightings of its famous feral cats! Sure to be the highlight of the tour!

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  16. That dutch waitress was right, he was a klootzak. My husband's family is dutch and this is one of the few dutch words that I know:)
    Have a wonderful trip John.

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  17. Anonymous6:20 pm

    Before or after the Coliseum be sure to see the Temple of the Vestal Virgins - I love the story!!!

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  18. Anonymous7:04 pm

    I love your sitting room.
    The poster on your over mantle is intriguing and very Art deco , is it original ?

    Keith
    Xx

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  19. Book for two and see what happens. Once seated at the presumably good table, say ,oh I just found out my friend can't make it. But I'll enjoy dinner anyway, thanks. Refuse if they then try to reseat you by the toilet.

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  20. Your other commenters have the bases well covered. The corned beef hash, that was the photo with the eggs in the background? What is your recipe? It's one of my favorites.
    I'm sure you'll enjoy Roma, it's one of my favorite cities. I once drove around the Coliseum in a convertible, felt like a movie actor.

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    1. Corned beef hash

      Layer baked beans in an oven proof dish
      Add cheese then a layer of corned beef crumbled
      Add a layer of mash potato mixed with double cream and cheese
      Season well
      That’s it bake 40 mins

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    2. Can you send me a photo of you in Rome

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  21. Anonymous8:31 pm

    I’m going to repeat what others have said … book for two, sit down, check your phone , look at your watch, then roll your eyes, or looks worried (whichever you’re better at) and say your companion says to start without them…
    Virginia here, whatever Google says to the contrary.
    BTW the cottage looks wonderful.

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    1. You’ve turned me into bette Davies lol

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  22. I owned for 9+ years a very popular fine dining white tablecloth restaurant here in this college town. We often had single walk-ins hoping for a table for one. If I could I would seat them at the next available table for two. One evening an elderly and recently widowed retired professor came in looking for a table. I only had tables for 4 that would be coming opening anytime soon. He said he was willing to wait for a table for 2. I was about to suggest a seat at the bar where we also served food when he said "young man (LOL, I was 50 then) if someone else comes in alone looking for a table please ask them if they wouldn't mind being seated at a table with a lonely old man who would love to share his table". I said that I had never thought of that before which I hadn't. A couple at a table for 2 had an unexpected emergency back at home with the baby sitter and had to take their partially eaten meals home in carry out containers. The waiter assigned to the table for the evening didn't mind that I was seating a single man at the table. Well just as the retired professor was served his salad a regular diner came in looking to be seated at the bar as usual. There was no room to be seated at the bar and he was very disappointed. I remembered what the retired professor said and asked the disappointed regular diner if he would be open to being seated at a table with the retired professor. He jumped at the opportunity and the retired professor's face lit up when I introduced his "companion" for the meal. To my surprise they came in together from time to time and enjoyed meals together. Over the years I used the "share a table" approach to single dining and it worked out well. Happy diners and happy waiters. I personally do not mind eating alone in a restaurant. A place at the bar is fine with me but if I see the "there ain't no fucking way" look on the face of a host I just say that I will try again another evening and turn and leave. Discrimination comes in so many different forms it is hard to keep track these days. When I dine out as a table for one I make sure I leave the waiter a little extra cash tip in the bill presenter but only if he or she earned it.

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    1. That’s a lovely story
      Thank you so much xxx

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  23. You were right to walk out!

    The most recent DID's I listened to was a repeat on Radio 4 Extra, and featured Noel Gallagher; what a total plonker. I felt really sorry for Kirsty Walsh.

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  24. I just searched for "Rome restaurants where comfortable to eat alone" and there were a few possibly useful articles.

    Your cottage looks very cosy indeed! Really does as if autumn is coming now. Corned beef hash is a favourite with me too.

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  25. That klootzak gave you more than sufficient reason to dine alone.

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  26. We are going to have to be so careful not to exceed the new speed limit when we are back in Wales now. Living as we do near a main A road we are used to having 40 and even 50 mph speed limits in England. It will be interesting to see how it goes in Wales, it seems like a good idea in a lot of ways.

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  27. Travelbymitra is an Instagram site that has some very interesting insights about unusual things to see in Rome. I hope you have a wonderful trip 💗 margo

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  28. Diane6:28 pm

    Take a book into the restaurant,and just people watch by the way enjoy your holiday x

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  29. You have watched so many movies. Go in like you own the joint ...attitude...no one there knows you! You will most likely never see them again.
    Go Clarke Gable your as$ off!!!!

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  30. Dining alone is the new "in" thing. You can read about it via the Web.

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  31. The new 20 mph limit seems crazy and impractical. I wonder how long it will be before it gets scrapped again?

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I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes