I still cannot believe my luck in being reunited with my bike! I have never heard of anyone finding their bike here after it's been stolen, it's some sort of miracle. I would really love to know what happened, if only my beautiful rusty bike could talk. Today I took it for a little ride around the neighbourhood, it was like we were never apart. I will be sure to buy it some flowers, or a new light, or something, just so it knows how much I love it so.
Aside from my bike being stolen and found, life for me so far this summer has been full. on. With the Amsterdam: Made by Hand book release and my current book deadline all happening at the same time, it's been 'nose to the grindstone' all the way. Last week I thought I was going to explode so I went for a jog to see if i could release some of the tension. I lasted about 30 seconds before I started hyperventilating. The next day my shins were crying out in pain. I've never been a jogger but you know it was one of those things where other people make it look so easy and enjoyable. It's like high heel shoes - every few years or so I get seduced by some fabulously leggy woman strolling past me in heels and I think "wow, I really must get my heels out and wear them like this!", to which I do and then after about 25 minutes my lower back screams out in agony.
One thing that has kept me in good stead though while I've been so frantic this past month (beside french boy, of course), is my kitchen garden. It has been wonderfully therapeutic - when I have a tea break I check the plants to see how they're going, give them some water, make sure they are healthy. Some of them have been transplanted into bigger pots on the front deck of the boat - while inside I have basil, thyme, parsley, and rosemary, outside there are strawberries and lavender, and I even managed to grow lemongrass from a dried up piece of stalk I bought at the chinese supermarket! Gardening truly is so great for the soul...
And lilies - my dear friend Zoë planted some beautiful lilies in my garden last summer while we were prepping the boat for a Finnish tv crew who came to visit (I know, I still haven't had a chance to tell you about that!). I thought the lilies would not last through the winter so I was stunned a couple of months ago when I saw them popping up and reaching for the sun! They are truly stunning...
So what else can I catch you up on? As you know Amsterdam: Made by Hand is now well and truly out there in the big wide world. I want to thank everyone who has blogged about it since its launch, and those of you who have told your friends, colleagues, family and local independent bookstores about my work - I really cannot tell you enough how much your support means to me, and how incredible your blog posts and conversations about my work have helped spread the word - you guys are the ones who enable me to keep doing what I love. thank you.
On my to-do list is to make a special blog page for Amsterdam: Made by Hand like I have for Paris: Made by Hand. I will create a list of all the lovely shops that are selling the book around the world so if you've seen the book somewhere, please let me know and I'll include that store in my list. And the same goes for reviews and features in magazines and blogs - if you've seen one let me know so I can be sure to include them on the page.
Also on my to-do list is to update my online portfolio, it's in desperate need of attention. I may have the oldest, most out-of-date portfolio on the planet by now. Oh well, it's impossible to get to everything at once and right now I am devoting all my attention to you know what. Mes amis, I am so incredibly excited about what is transpiring, it is turning into an exquisite book and I am bursting at the seams to share it with you. All in good time.
Well, that's pretty much my catch up post! Hope you are all having a fab summer and for the southern hemispherians, a fab winter. I have another 'catch up' style post coming tomorrow, so stay tuned for that one.