The apple harvest is in! I picked the apples in our apple tree, and pruned the tree while I was at it. About a bucket and a half of apples. Way more than last year which had a very dry spring. Sour in taste though, because of the relative little sunlight they captured this summer. Applie pies lie in our near future I suspect.


Cycling towards the horizon and home along the Laak river (on the left), which has been first canalised already around 1200. The waterways in our part of town connect to the Laak

Amsterdam Central Station, image Ton Zijlstra, license CC BY NC SA

Last Monday I had a meeting early evening in Amsterdam and took the train. I walked out of the central station right during the ‘golden hour‘ and snapped this image. I probably should have cleaned the phone’s lens beforehand 😀

Somehow I had this picture on my mind the past days at home, thinking about the end of summer. The lady in the red suit with her white earphones attached to a device in the white bag, the yellow and blue of the bike, repeated on the passing train in the background, and the green grass with people hanging out and the clear blue sky. It’s a riot of color. Taken in September 2019 while visiting the Amsterdam photo fair ‘Unseen’.

Paris in the past week was far from empty, but it was quieter. Making for a pleasant visit: the terraces of restaurants and café’s were filled but there always was a table available for us. And enough traffic and passers-by to do some people watching from behind your coffee.

Coffee at Flores bistro, Boulevard Hausmann. Image Ton Zijlstra, license CC BY SA

The metro wasn’t as packed as I remember from previous visits. Metro stations didn’t have crowds at all, regularly allowing me to take pictures devoid of people. The trains we took between Paris and Versailles where we were staying were almost empty even.

Gare d’Invalides. Image Ton Zijlstra, license CC BY SA

All in all a great way to visit the city, busy enough to get a feel for the city, but not so busy you feel rushed along by the people around you, allowing us to set our own pace.

Basically on a whim we decided to head to France last week, to spend the last week of Y’s school holiday. I ordered some books from Shakespeare and Company in Paris last year, to help support them during the lockdown. This week we happily explored the store itself. I hadn’t expected to be able to visit them this quickly, and enjoyed spending some time there.

An upstairs room at Shakespeare and Company, image by Ton Zijlstra, license CC BY SA