Amsterdam

So, I am starting to get very excited. Very soon we have a little mini-break in Amsterdam, and I am excited about this for a number of reasons. Firstly, seeing our lovely friends of course, secondly there are a couple of bucket list things planned!

Most importantly, and I have the tickets so this is actually happening, the Anne Frank Museum. The Diary of a Young Girl is my favourite book of all time after being forced to read it at school. I enjoyed other things, Jane Austen, Truman Capote to mention a couple. Thomas Hardy & the war poetry of Wilfred Owen were more appreciated than enjoyed, but Anne Frank always stuck. I’ve just started to re-read my tatty copy and I get something new out of it each time. I have the edition that shows an older Anne’s later footnotes on the musings of her 13 year old self which I absolutely love. If you’ve never read it, don’t be put off by the context, Anne is a great writer and her humour is sharp and acerbic. As she addresses her diary, that she affectionately names as “Kitty” it feels very much like she’s talking directly to you.

I always warmed to Anne, I think my 13 year old self and Anne would have giggled our way through class together quite happily.

It’s a warning to history that this must not happen again. When a group of people systematically vilify another as the cause of their economic disparity, then look what can begin. Sadly sounds all too familiar doesn’t it?

I think there’s a strong likelihood that I may have a little blub when I actually see the annexe, so you are warned in advance!

Next, I have always been fascinated by the Romanovs, and the Hermitage Museum has a number of items on loan from it’s Russian counterpart, including drum-roll please – pieces by Carl Faberge. I’m not holding my breath for an Imperial Easter Egg, but just to see something that he made for the court of the Tsars would be beyond fabulous. A replica piece of shiny tat may be purchased for my cabinet of curiosities. – Sorry Craig!

The concept of the divine right to rule is in itself fascinating, and Tsar Nicholas was so very removed from being a god. He was a human man, and as such flawed. So much gilded and distanced from the plight of his people which ultimately led to some spectacularly poor decision making and the downfall of a centuries old dynasty. He was in actual fact a good man, one that shied away from the limelight, a devoted father and husband, but was ultimately slaughtered in a basement room at Ekaterinburg with his wife, children, and even their little dog.

Did Anastasia escape? Personally I think it’s an impossibility under the circumstances and I don’t think I can use the animated feature film as a factual basis for any assumption….(great film though).

So, a lot to get excited about – plus a whole host of other touristy stuff and I’m sure many photos will follow, so apologies in advance for a lot of pictures of food. (Not really sorry).

TTFN xx

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