Amsterdam was rainy and stormy while in London the sky was blue, the trees blossomed and people got their T-Shirts out. To celebrate the beautiful weather we ate strawberry and cream out in the garden yesterday lunch time – for the first time this year. Simply vurrukkulluk.
The title is from a famous Dutch novel from the 60’s, ”Life is Delicious” by Remo Campert. The excerpt is from a delightful blog by Meike Ziervogel, Things Syntactical, nicely illustrating the meaning of the phrase.
The phrase is also the slogan of this year’s Nederland Leest campaign, promoting reading and literacy. What better time to go join your local library.
I am a reader and have always been a library patron, but somehow never got my library card here in Maastricht. The city has a beautiful modern stadsbibliotheek just across the river, so I took motivation from the event to go sign up.
In the Netherlands, libraries are membership organizations: library use is free but you pay a yearly fee (36 euro per year) to be able to check out books. A simple form, backed up by a passport or ID, got me my card (in the UK I also had to bring a recent utility bill to show that I lived in the community), but everything is online and electronic immediately after that.
The library features a l;arge selection of books, magazines, CDs and DVDs, with a small English language collection. There’s free wi-fi and lots of meeting rooms and study areas, serving a lot of small businesses and community organizations as well. A museum fills the ground floor, with space for performances and readings, there is a café up a floor and a delightful research room overlooking the river on the top floor.
It’s quiet and sunlit and couldn’t be better for curling up in a corner with a bit of good writing.