Today it is Second Christmas Day in the Netherlands, which is also an official holiday, so even if it weren't Sunday, all life would have still come to a halt. Luckily, it is Sunday, so I won't notice anything of it. That's the fortunate thing about having the holidays on the weekend.
Still, it does give you a little bit of a festive feeling and that isn't half bad. It does put you in a special mood, you can't help yourself, and you do feel as if you've got something to celebrate.
Besides, it's hard not to notice all the Christmas specials on television, although they do get awfully sentimental and people get so carried away by them. I suppose that some of the broadcasting networks feel the need to reassert that we're a Christian nation. It's just an observation I'm making. It's not a judgment. A whole theological and social debate could be held about that. It's not an idea to dismiss so easily.
My sister and I made the town walk yesterday afternoon with the guide and a small group of people. It was cold outside and very slippery in the streets. I had to hold on tightly to my sister so as to not fall down. My boots were absolutely useless, they gave me no grip whatsoever. She prevented me from falling over quite a few times. She was wearing snow boots which worked quite a bit better.
The walk was interesting and we found out all sorts of little details that we had no idea of. We trekked all through downtown and had a break at a cafe halfway through, where I was even allowed to smoke, because they were officially closed to the public and only open to tour groups. I had a delicious cup of coffee there, that warmed my stomach and gave me the energy for the rest of the walk. There was also an opportunity to eat thick slices of raisin bread, filled with almond paste, with real butter on it, but I decided better not to try that.
We visited the two oldest basilicas and the crypt of the oldest bishop, but we found out that it was empty, because all of his bones had been taken out to be used as relics. He was considered that holy. The stone threshold to this crypt had been completely worn down into a hollow over the centuries by pilgrims visiting it.
The terraces of the cafes were open, but they were all heated and on each chair there was a blanket to keep the customers warm. Unfortunately, we didn't sit down there. I would have enjoyed that very much. I'm a real terrace visitor. I do enjoy watching the people come by while sipping a beverage.
My sister and I had taken the car downtown, although none of the streets had been cleaned. I think they're running out of salt. There were tracks in the snow to follow where enough traffic had passed. The car has front wheel drive, so there really was no problem. There was a true winter landscape all around us, though. It really was pretty if you didn't have to walk in it. On that slippery ice downtown.
I had a nice time the rest of the day with the animals and took it easy. I talked to my daughter in the evening and it was good to hear her happy voice. I went to bed on time, tired as I was from my afternoon out, and I fell asleep quickly. Tyke greeted me this morning with much enthusiasm, but that was because he needed to go out, although it's possible that he loves me a little bit too.
I don't have any plans for today. I'll just let it unwind and see where it goes. I have some chores to do, so those will keep me occupied for a while. I'm not worried about being bored. There will be enough to occupy me (I've got that book to read).
The first thing I'm going to do is go back to bed. I have more sleep in me. It will be quite cozy there.
Have a good morning!