Dear reader, your regular correspondent is indisposed at this time. She has fallen off her bike, chipped her two front teeth and is feeling very sorry for herself and not in the mood for blogging.
And so, for one post only, her father is going to stand in.
It seems a lot less than three years ago that I asked my youngest daughter which UK universities she had applied to and received the reply “None. I am going to study in the Netherlands.” I had had some intimation of this, having spent a weekend with her in Amsterdam about six months before. But I was probably more nervous than she when she left for the airport on the morning after her middle sister’s wedding.
Reader, I did not at that point understand fully the generosity and warmth of the people of the Netherlands in general and Ruth’s fellow students in particular. The rest of this blog is my thanks to them. I can only cover a fraction of it here so apologies if you read this and feel left out.
Firstly, thanks to Mark who carried Ruth around Utrecht on the back of his bike in freshers week.
Thanks to all the ‘Econ girls’ who introduced Ruth to the Netherlands and spoke English to her so she wouldn’t feel left out.
Thanks, Larissa and her parents who had Ruth to stay and took her to the beach. Larissa taught Ruth to cycle in a ball gown and picked Ruth up the first time Ruth fell off her bike – I don’t think these events were related although they may have been.
Thanks to Chris and Leonore from church for making Ruth a proper English cup of tea and looking after her when she was homesick in her first term.
Thanks to the girls who talked Ruth into entering the Economics football tournament in first year, even though you all lost miserably.
A special thanks to Annemarie and Lambo (her little yellow car) for helping Ruth move her stuff at the end of first year, and then picking up a sofa for Ruth’s flat in the same car the following year. Thank you also for making sure that Ruth has not taken herself too seriously.
Thanks, Laura and Larissa for being so welcoming when Ruth visited you during your exchanges to Copenhagen and Prague.
Thanks to Simon for giving Ruth a job at the Florin and to all her work colleagues for being so welcoming.
Thanks to all the people who have taught Ruth about the beercantus, sinterklaas, kings day, bevrijdingsdag and how to enjoy a beer on a sunny terrace when the weather is freezing cold.
You are all totally amazing and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you.
Oh, and finally thanks to Laura (a different one) who is going to the dentist with her this Friday while she has her teeth repaired! After which normal service will be resumed…