Amsterdam and I have had a fickle (read: so downright disastrous it causes hysterics amongst friends) love affair over the years. Since 2010, each incident occurring on a separate visit, I've:
* been on a train when its electrical wiring exploded and was evacuated underground
* had flights cancelled by wildest snowstorm in 30 years
* stepped off a gutter, sober, not even caffeinated, and broke my foot
* got food poisoning part 1
* got food poisoning part 2
* was wrongly directed at night onto a train out of the city instead of into the city
* been on return flights that were grounded by the Dutch police upon landing for sexual harassment reports with the customers behind me, and on the way home rerouted to Sheffield for the woman beside me who was in physical distress and needed medical help.
This summer though, Holland, and Amtserdam turned up the light and I (cautiously) basked with my whole heart.
I've been home and in hermit mode for the last 10 days, letting the things raised and learned during the Mindfulness Self Compassion course settle. Also, relishing own bed. My lovely fella. My writing desk. My flowers and plants. My kitchen. And...I've gone deep into the dark wood of final copy edits. Latest revelation of a first-time novelist: writing REALLY IS editing: endless, endless, ENDLESS editing. Which I'm very grateful to count as the biggest challenge in my life right now.
Thanks as ever for sharing in these adventures with me. I hope you are able to bask today.
HOLLY RINGLAND grew up barefoot and wild in her mother's tropical garden on the east coast of Australia. Her interest in cultures and stories was sparked by a two-year journey her family took in North America when she was nine years old, living in a camper van and travelling from one national park to another. In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert. Moving to England in 2009, Holly obtained her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. Her essays and short fiction have been published in various anthologies and literary journals. She now lives between the UK and Australia. To any question ever asked of Holly about growing up, writing has always been the answer.