I have been back in London for exactly a week, after an arduous journey home. A 14 hour flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, followed by a 7 hour flight from Abu Dhabi to London. I now have to wait another two weeks until our next flight, when me and my fiancée will go on an Italian adventure.
It is good to be back, I feel like I am myself once more. Reading has become enjoyable again. I am currently reading Simon Schama’s book An Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, which was on my reading list for 2016. It has been, so far, a magnificent effort at explaining some many aspects of Dutch culture and history. These have included – an obsession with the Old Testament, the importance of beached whales and a love for tea.
Schama recounts how one man, Cornelis Bontekoe, advocated drinking at least eight to ten cups a day, a man after my own heart. The importance of tea drinking was also put into verse;
‘Tea that helps our head and heart
Tea medicates most every part
Tea rejuvenates the very old
Tea warms the piss of those who’re cold’
Beautiful words, worthy of Wordsworth.