It's been odd being at home "sick" for two months .
Though I must admit , when the cold snap "snapped" and the local bread shop's display slowly disappeared from view , I was more than happy to sit by the fire and drink my way through an assortment of Kusmi Russian tea that I'd been given for Christmas .
The whole province hummed with excitement as the ice got thicker and thicker and suddenly there was a real chance of an Elfstedentocht . Our back door froze shut , it was even minus 17 Celsius a couple of mornings and every waterway froze ....
The river round the corner was suddenly covered in skaters chatting on mobiles , cyclists , people walking their dogs , a young couple hurtling past having a blazing row , grandmas and babies in pushchairs , even real skaters , heads down and one arm behind their backs , going like the wind . Leeuwarden was en fête . The chance of the race happening climbed to 80% and then suddenly ...... it started to become less cold . We heard that one of the race's officials , checking the thickness of the ice ( 15 cm is the absolute minimum ) had fallen through somewhere on the 200 kilometer course . Till finally it all vanished and we could even wrench our back door open again . Very sad . It rubbed salt in the wound to see this 1986 copy of the local paper in a local antique shop's window display the other day
But it did mean that I could haul my bike out and , thumbing my nose at this ad. for an electricity company at the bus stop ,
try cycling again , almost two months from the day that I fell off and broke my wrist . It was a bit nerve-racking but I'd built my left arm up again and I rode round the block ( as a safety precaution my chosen route took me past our G.P.'s house ! ) and came , grinning , home . Yesterday I cycled all round town doing some shopping as I went .
So now it's time to go back to work , where , it seems , I'm eagerly awaited by at least a few of the children
if this huge waving flower , delivered by my colleagues this afternoon , is to be believed .