Tuesday 2 October 2001--The usual pre-trip anxiety is heightened this year, as last year, by concern for my
father's health and state-of-mind. As well, the horrifying events of September 11 have everyone feeling anxious. I am no more
nervous about flying than usual, but uncertainty about the state of the world concerns me. A lot can happen in six weeks.
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Thursday 2 October 2014--I'm leaving Amsterdam this afternoon on the ferry to Newcastle. I check out of the hotel, stashing my luggage at the front desk, and go for a walk through Vondelpark. I saw some of it last year, but today I walk the full length of it, just over a mile. Then I turn eastward, looking for new vistas. The neighborhood I pass through is pleasant, but not very interesting. North now, back toward the old town, where I find the Albert Cuyp street market stretching for some blocks, a lively scene. No hats.
Return to the hotel to pick up my bags, then take the tram to the central station. From there, a bus takes me to the ferry terminal in the industrial docklands north of town. I have a nice cabin to myself, facing forward. Explore the vessel, get a bite to eat, and have a couple of pints. The lively bar has entertainment I want to get away from; the quiet bar is too quiet, and closes early. We are far from land, and there is nothing to see, so I call it a night.
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Sunday 2 October 2005--Returned from Glenelg at about 5:00. Richard and Teresa were kind enough to let me sit at the computer while they went out to dinner, and so it was that I happened to hear my brother's voice on the answering machine, and knew that my father had died.
I will drive to Glasgow or Edinburgh tomorrow and fly home the next day. Ron and Bobby are due to arrive here next Sunday; I don't know whether I will be able to come back to join them. It's not very important, I guess--I'll worry about it later. I just need to go home.