I went to a garden center, one long tram ride to a rather dilapidated part of Amsterdam, a short walk past some people who looked a bit like they might have encountered substance problems recently and I was glad it was just a few minutes past 3 p.m.  I was also happy when lugging two bags of low lying shrub like plants, walking along an empty path next to a small canal, that it was 4 pm and not 10 pm.


Waiting at the tram stop – one stop away from the terminus to head back into town, I looked around at the nearby shops, those low ceiling-ed buildings from the 1960’s, with flat front horizons. I thought:  I should come out here one time on an expedition to Daily Style which seems to be an old fashioned kind of Woolworths type store that sells cheap leggings, tiaras and baking soda. Examining the fronts of the cafés nearby, they looked exotic and clean, and like they would serve a good rice based lunch. Plus TJ Maxx is out there and I need a new yoga mat. Definitely – time to schedule a relaxed outing to Osdorp.  Because at this moment I can’t holiday outside Amsterdam and at that moment neither was I on a relaxed outing to the garden center.


It occurred to me that I needed to visit a garden center during the heat wave that we all experienced in Amsterdam in July. Trying to give extra water a large pot in a corner of my balcony, I decided to step onto the box containing a 70 cm squared patch of lawn. Only to realize that there were quite a few potholes in it, potholes that my dog has discovered and the reason why she no longer wants to hang out on her grass box, but prefers the low-lying plant based patch roof tile that I found and bought for her to use as her doggie toilet.  After the heat wave, my dog, nearly 17, decided that she needed to stay home, that she was retiring from accompanying me everywhere, because for the last two years she’s been strapped to my back in a backpack built for dogs.  It may have been the combination of the heat, the heat rash, the mild stroke and the doggie flu that made her take her decision. She’s rallied but wants to stay home now which meant that I needed to ensure more balcony options for her. So I told my colleague at the office I was going on an errand, and boarded the number 17. I went to the garden center before it closed and bought low-lying shrubbery.