‘back in the apartment in Maastricht for the week, Christmas Ball out and the Dutch Star lit. Beyond the star, lights are shining along the ‘skade and across the Stone Bridge. There are few signs of Christmas Markets outside of the Vrijthof, but workmen are bringing in huts and decorating trees, so there may yet be celebrations.
The clock is running down towards my visa conversion, so I flew into Amsterdam to meet with the accountants and attorneys who would be documenting my case. Official stamps, company letterheads, original bank statements, current uittreksel: I know the drill. The upside is that I get a little time to walk Amsterdam’s canals, too early for the Festival of Lights, but the still waters and reflected townhouses made for a good stroll.
Central Maastricht is filled with sparkle and colour, despite the rain and freezing temperatures. I’ve been out for zuurvlees and herfst bier with business associates, putting final touches onto plans and partnerships for the coming year. I need cards and gifts from the department stores, Dutch Christmas treats for the folks in the UK and US. I want time in the main square for Gluhweijn while watching the skaters. I wish there was time to go to Aachen or beyond, but it will need to wait for another year.
Mostly, though, its nice to be back among familiar scenes and people, the city’s movement and warmth.