Getting ready to go to Rotterdam and thunderstorm

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Was able to reach the "Rail and Sail" people and made a reservation on the 7:20 boat (and an earlier train). They assured me that there IS a train in Hoek van Holland which meets that train and takes one into Rotterdam, among other places. I let Grada, an online friend in Rotterdam, know by phone and my cousin's daughter by text message. Her husband is not feeling at all well today so did not want to talk to me. His breathing is still not too good - probably due to humidity.

I packed up my stuff to send home, topped up mobile and got my hair cut to just below my ears. It feels so much better a bit shorter. Still long enough to put into a ponytail or up but not so long it pulls my hair out in front, which it was beginning to. I had lunch at a delicious Italian place in Woodstock with my cousin. It was starting to rain a bit so we did not do much in the way of sight seeing.

Her friend came over again and we had a lovely time talking about the trip she recently returned from in France. We had a delicious dinner of pork tenderloin with a slice of prociutto and a bay leaf on it (I think) in a Marsala sauce. Absolutely delicious! Made almost effortlessly but clearly with care. The red wine I bought to go with it was a great hit. The friend whose dog she is looking after came along about then and we spent time chatting about travel, theatre and other topics of interest.

Went to bed at a reasonable time and was awakened about 2:45am by the mother of all thunderstorms. It started off about 12 seconds away and moved inexorably towards Oxford. Dogs in the next room whining and scratching, then throwing themselves at the door. Eleven seconds, ten, nine and so on over about the next two hours. By about 4am it was standing right over us flashing and crashing like the dickens. Rain lashing at the windows and no space of time between the flash and the crash. One was so close it set off someone's car or house alarm. No sleep from then on. I could hear someone getting up a couple of times in the night to take care of the dogs. Even by 7am it was still rumbling and grumbling away like an angry beetle. NO one got much sleep.
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