I'm really starting to spoil Dolores. Out twice in a week*.
Amsterdam host some odd-ball events. The Film Food festival is definitely one. Literally what the title says: a combination of film and food festival. I know. A strange combination. Held at the Wester Gas Fabriek, an old industrial complex that now houses half a dozen venues in its red-brick halls.
Dolores was there on Friday for a foraging workshop. And noticed that Oedipus, one of Amsterdam's newest breweries had a stall. Which got me thinking. Why not drop by on Saturday afternoon?
Will lives just around the corner from the festival site so I asked him along, too. We'd pick him up at 14:00 then head off for beery delight. He needs cheering up. Norwich fan.
The Kimchi festival last year taught Dolores something: bring your own food and drink along to yuppies events. Because they have yuppie prices. And we're - er, not sure what we are. Not yuppies. Way too old and mobiley stationary for that.
She prepared a picnic, well, not hamper, but big plastic bag with everything we'd need: French bread, cheese, duck breast, tomatoes, litre of supermarket house wine.
The morning was rainy. One of those dark days when the rain looks like it'll persistent it down forever. My gut said it would never stop. The weather radar, on the other hand, predicted all clear at 14:00. I gave Will a bell.
"OK if we turn up a bit later? Say three?"
We got ready to leave at two fifteen. Even had the door open. It was persistenting down more heavily than in the morning.
"Let's wait until it's eased off, Ronald."
Seemed a good plan. Except it didn't ease off. We chomped the chutney and headed off into the rain. The 15 bus was being its usual self: unreliable. One turned up exactly half way between two scheduled arrival times. Its seats sagged under soggy sods, including me and Dolores.
We were going via Kinkerstraat. Where there's a butcher that actually sells useful cuts of meat. Including the one I planned roasting on Sunday to make pulled pork. The 17 tram was living up to its number and being two worse than the 15. We waited ages for one. It was after four - and still effing raining - when we got to Will's.
"Why don't we start our picnic here?"
To kill the time until it stopped raining. Not that it looked as if there were any chance of that. Luckily Will had some bottles of La Chouffe.
"I think it's stopped raining." I said when a noticed a passerby without an umbrella.
Miraculously, it had.
"Best get there while the weather's still good."
We picked up a couple of beers at the Oedipus stall and sat down at a picnic table. After giving the seat a good wipe.
They didn't have all the beers advertised. Something about the danger of using an electric tap installation in the rain. So no Panty, a Stout I fancied giving a try. Despite the unsettling name. I settled for a Tripel. OK, but not as nice as Will's Pale Ale. I switched to that after one.
Dolores broke open her wine and we watched waves of yuppies wash up as the weather unworsened. I felt very old, unfashionable and poor. Cheered me up a treat. As did a few more beers.
Gulpener was launching a new beer, Ur Hop. An unfiltered Pils. As we were sitting right next to their bar, it seemed silly not to give it a try. OK, but we went back to the Oedipus PA after one.
It was getting pretty late. We needed to get back for Eurovision.
"Just one more, Ronald."
It was Will's round.
"Good news - the Stout is on."
It was pretty nice. You can see it looked lovely, black with nice creamy head.
A fun, and reasonably cheap, day out. Thank you Amsterdam.
* Her birthday was Wednesday.
Birra verde - *We were in a hotel, pizzeria, bar, tobacconist, pool hall and discotheque complex on the shores of a man-made lake, high in Northern Tuscany's Apuan Alps....
6 hours ago