We leave early in the morning for Ireland, so one more sleep. We will see Tanja and her beautiful family on Brac in a month, and while I may never see Amsterdam again, we have some very cool memories of here.
Some very special things happened today. Firstly I received a reply email from Sheila. In clearing up Mums place after her passing we found bundles of letters and in amongst them were some from Sheila in Ireland. I enquired around the family but nobody knew who she was, or what the connection was.
The letters had a return address, so I wrote to Sheila and told her Mum had passed away. I asked how she was connected and that we would be in Cork and the dates, saying I’d love to meet. She sounded lovely in the letters and wrote much like Mum. I added my email address in but had no answer after a couple of months, so never expected I would hear from her. I’m guessing you know what’s coming…She replied this morning. My letter had finally got to her. Maree, I know you will be as excited as me right now! We are meeting in Kilarney in a few days time. I’m so excited I’m almost hopping! Come on Kilarney!
Secondly, Tanja took me to Dusanka’s, Slobodan’s Mother. We had cake and I’d like to say here she is solely responsible for the kilos I have added so far. She has delivered cakes and Croatian delicacies a plenty, daily, so we can have a taste of Croatia before we arrive there.
Slobodan said this is very important as it’s like a Visa. You simply can’t enter Croatia and not expect to eat heaps. It’s not possible, so what they have had to do here, is increase our capacity. They clicked their tongues and tsk tsk’d at our strong will, refusing seconds, saying this will never do. In Croatia you must eat. “You will have to try harder” they told us seriously. Tonight after dinner we ate plum filled balls wrapped in a potato based dough that is boiled, tossed in a fried breadcrumbs, rolled in sugar and cinnamon and topped with creme fraiche. OMG is all I’m going to say about that!
Anyway, I digress, I started to tell you about visiting the graveyard with Dusanka. Graveyards in NZ are usually dull, grey boring places. At best, acres of headstones laid out like a vineyard in neatly mown grass and a few cursory trees. They are usually open, cold and windy. By contrast this is a green park like oasis divided into hundreds of little areas and avenues. Headstones are so varied, some traditional, or modern art pieces, frosted glass or ancient rocks cut with names and dates. Each area only has about a dozen graves in view so you feel you are in a special place. It’s quiet and beautiful. We visited Slobodan’s Father’s grave. Thank you Dusanka for sharing that with me. He was very special to both Damen and Lauren and I know they will love to hear about and see the photos on my return.
And the third thing? Holland won against Mexico 2-1. So great celebrations AGAIN!
Zivejli! We toasted to our meeting again soon.