Something I didn't plan for is that their bank holiday not the same as the UK and they have more bank holidays. I remember Pinkster weekend of course, I went to many a Pink Pop back in the 90's. I've only missed one day to the bank holiday, which is good as this is also my holiday but next week being a four day week does make trying to get anything out of the estate agents that bit harder.
I've not seen any other places that fit the price range - as in just under the thousand euros, I hear rents are going up so that's no surprise. The one place I have looked at being practically perfect is nice of course, but it's always reassuring to look at more places to compare. I don't know at this stage if we'll be given the one in July when it becomes available, that's the other consideration.
I've been going about my holiday with my ears and eyes as open as possible, there's so many differences and similarities between home and the new home, memories, associations and how much things can change but also stay the same.
As I've cycled around the city, the sights, sounds and smells are all coming back to me. What I've always loved about cycling and especially cycling around Utrecht is how you feel so connected to the world. I feel unencumbered but privileged, life is simple but still full of excitement and wonder. The pace is relaxed but never stays still.
I have to hold my focus and keep at least some faith in the idea that this plan could come together, that in de constructing our normal life in one country and creating something the same but better in a new place is somehow possible and that it will be the 'right' thing to do - as much for me as for the boys. One minute my ego is telling me I'm crazy, the next it's an adventure, one worth at least giving it a shot. It may take another decade to settle into any actual pattern where we are able to sustain ourselves and hopefully thrive. It could be quicker, it may not happen at all. We are at the mercy of the economic gods but we also make a lot of our own luck by doing what we can to be in the right place at the right time.
I noticed when I arrived the first time I was back at the junction at the top of the Amstedamsestraatweg - this strange, unfriendly, traffic filled spot that somehow my mind's eye has made the focal point for my moving, I was moved. Why would my mind picture that spot? - each time I imagine Utrecht, it used the image of that awful intersection full of cars and traffic lights, why there? but it doesn't deter my affection for Utrecht or lessen my determination to live there, as if I've picked the worst spot I can imagine, but still I love the place.
I almost cried as I let myself get present to the fact that after nearly a year of visiting that junction in my head each day, I was actually there, waiting for the lights to change, to get across that busy junction before the lights changed again and another procession of cars goes by.