Jet Lag

That’s it, I am done with travelling for 2014. I am stuck indefinitely at Amsterdam Schiphol airport with my colleagues, half of us with raging temperatures and chesty coughs, facing the prospect of a weekend in bed. It has not been a great December so far (even Him Indoors is properly poorly at home in London), but on the bright side I hope this means my immune system will be back at full strength for the festive season. My waistline has certainly benefitted. The cause of today’s delay is the collapse of the London air traffic control system, which I’d like to say comes as surprise, but it’s what the British expect of our creaky airport infrastructure.

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My normal cure for all blues and maladies is writing about plants – something one can do even when one doesn’t have the energy to raise an eyebrow. It’s a little bit of a struggle, I must say, when one is coughing like a cat trying to dislodge a fur ball. It’s a charming image which I suggest you don’t dwell on.

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I share with you tonight some of the tempting plants that I photographed this week in the garden centres of Holland and Belgium. Glossy mahogany anthuriums vied with silver sprayed echeverias (I would not normally approve, but it is Christmas after all), wavy-petalled cyclamen and curiously corrugated Peperomia carperata ‘Rosso’.

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We should be move adventurous with houseplants in the UK, treating them as the Dutch do, like cut flowers. This is a luxury more easily afforded in The Low Countries, where they are priced so reasonably, but nevertheless houseplants are too often unimaginatively presented in our multiple garden centres.

At this point I’d like to sign off by saying we were boarding, or feeling a lot better, but regrettably we’re not. There’s a 15 Euro food voucher in the offing if only we were hungry. I wish you a very Vrolijk Kerstfeest from gate D26 at Amsterdam Schiphol and hope not to still be here when the big day arrives.

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