Today I went for some lap swimming in a real pool close to 50metres that was even outdoor. With NO heating! It was only 23 degrees here today. (Summer my ass) It felt really good to stretch out and swim, even though there were no lanes, it was pretty dirty and included children on floaty tubes.
At the moment, the lack of space isn't really bothering me - our apartment actually has more floor space than the pad by the beach and quite a big bathroom. For those of you who haven't shared a flat with yr ol' Aunty B, by way of explanation, the bathroom is a crucial private space/getaway/thinking zone/sulking area etc, and I come from a long tradition of bathers.
But I can understand the warnings of my Aussie friends with dutch connections who say when bad weather comes you can feel incredibly claustrophobic, and a ride in the park just doesn't help. So although today's pool was open air, I've found another one on the net - other side of the city, 50m and covered in winter. We're talking about 20 minute bike ride down the "bike freeways" as we dub them - the bike lanes tricked out in red asphalt and separated from the traffic usually with their own little curb. So that's something on the list for a winter remedy.
Funnily on the space and crowding theme, after the swim me and miss K headed straight for the sauna, a tiny room with so much steam you could hardly see, and proceeded to sit there sweating in close proximity to a pair of strangers, who had a quite Euro approach to personal space. That is, they don't give you much.
The other fun Amsterdam thing I'm looking forward to is Gay Parade on this Saturday. Like Mardi Gras but on boats. They say there's 70 or 80 boats this year. Looks like you peg out a place by the Prinsengracht (Princes canal - heh heh). There's a map of the route here. Without wanting to announce my address to the whole internet, lets just say there's a place on that line that is only a 2 minutes walk from ours. Will give a report and maybe post photos later..