To market, to market or Not!! Piglet on the Run in picture perfect Delft.

To market, to market, to market…were the first words that popped into my head, when I witnessed, first hand, a rosy, posy squealing piglet lope along the dimly lit avenue, crashing into chairs, tables and pedestrians on a marathon sprint across town.  I must say, that it’s not everyday that one has the misfortune or should I instead say, fortune (?), of running smack dab into a real live tub of lard on the run. 

Just hanging out in picture perfect Delft

So, here I was on a brisk October eve, envelopped within folds of wool and cashmere, sipping vino on the quaintest of outdoor patios in Delft, when out of the blue, the flash of pink barrelled on by.  Musing that perhaps I had indulged in one too many libations, my eyes bugged in disbelief when, lo and behold, I realized that a determined little piglet was bounding down the path.  Hell-bent on squirming his way out of Tuesday night dinner, lest he inadvertently find himself roasting on a spit, Piglet on the Run had loftier ambitions than hamming it up with a bunch of ravenous carnivores.

A flash of Piglet on the Run

Huffing and puffing quite the un-elegant trudge, on a mission to outrun the butchers and gastronomes, on a desperate relay to dodge the bayonets of chefs gone wild, this lone porker was heading to the hills, to safer refuge where bacon-free menus ruled the day.

Virtually stalling traffic (bicyclers and curious onlookers, actually) in its tracks, this little piggy was causing quite the ruckus; a stray piglet whose instinct for self-preservation had inadvertently led him to wrong-turn onto a bustling bistro lined square.  Fortunate for swine on the run, his mal-odorous sense of direction had unwittingly led him down a path of no return, leaving him sequestered amongst a bevy of revellers and curiosity mongers eager to post a selfie or two of said fugitive on the run.

Piggy on the Run aka Celebrity of the Day

Piglet du Jour hoofed it out of town just as quickly as he had lumbered on in, his fleeting presence allowing me pause for reflection and a hasty re-think of tonight’s dinner.  No longer licking my chops in anticipation of a delectable pork loin feast, as the vision of roast piggy rotating on a spit was too unbearable to stomach, I frantically begged the waiter to cancel my order lickety-split.  Humming and hawing over the gastronomic choices, even coq au vin was eventually nixed, a parade of clucking hens and chicks yet another chiding vision.

With my appetite for fowl now quashed and with pork chops definitely off the menu, I opted for the next best thing – a pizza Margherita, washed down with a couple of carafes of vino tinto.  Hic.

Just another evening in postcard perfect Delft.

Nothing like hanging out with piglet on the loose, boar on the run and hogs gone wild on a casual Tuesday eve in Delft, when all you want to do is indulge in a bit of vino and contemplate life in appreciative wonder of this canal-lined town - but, non, along barrels Piggy, trudging and snorting, who inadvertently becomes the Celebrity of the Day in this week’s blog post.

Stay tuned!!  In 2 weeks...... just 14 days or so, depending upon your respective time zone!!

Next blog will be posted on Wednesday, February 4th.  Stay tuned for more fabulous adventures of cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Pink Sneakers versus the bicycles in Delft

Spinning, spiralling and whizzing, spokes racing towards me, I could only pray that the impending impact be swift, painless and blood-free.  After all, I hadn’t banked on spending the first hour of my long-anticipated overseas vacation bandaged from head to toe in the most unflattering of mummified attire, killing time in a foreign hospital, all because I had foolishly placed my pink-sneaker clad tootsies directly in the path of an oncoming deluge of bicycles.  Yes.  Bicycles.  You know, those oh so dangerous two-wheeled contraptions of the stay out of my way or risk injury type of kind.

Where's my bicycle?

Meandering along the picturesque canal-lined rues of Delft, oohing and awing at the postcard scenery and hell-bent on procuring that million dollar digital snapshot, my thoughts were in the clouds, a zillion miles away from the more pressing issues of potential calamity and peril located just mere inches from my feet.

Ever so diligent about not leaning on the wrought iron railings that separated the banks of the canals from the cobblestone streets, lest I inadvertently topple on over and tumble head-first into the murky aqua below, I made certain to keep clear of the rails and thus avoid the potential embarrassment of floundering like a fish out of water, a crazed woman bawling and screeching hysterically for her rubber dingy and water wings. 

It’s quite the shame then, that so focused was I on not swimming with the sharks (in the canals?) that I had neglected to watch my back and should have paid a tad more attention to the ruckus that was going on behind me.  In my zeal to capture that highly coveted one of a kind image worthy of National Geographic status and one that could possibly garner a potential bidding war from travel magazines worldwide, I inadvertently stepped backwards - directly into the path of a cavalcade of speeding bikes! 

Now, let’s be perfectly clear, as being mowed down by denizens of racing cyclists had not been on my “Top 10 things to see and do while in the Netherlands” agenda, but alas, this was now my reality, a mash and gnash brawl between flesh and spokes, a bloody altercation of the most unpleasant kind.  Caught in a showdown between the King of the Road (aka The Bicycle) and a clued-out flash happy stumbling dingbat of a tourist (who, me??), it was left to the fates to decide on ultimate victory.

As luck would have it, the Lady herself was in quite the upbeat mood, granting this ol’ Auntie a much-needed break, convulsing in fits of laughter as my pink-sneaker clad feet scrambled their way to safety.  Hugging the curb, and with just a few minor scrapes and gashes, I could only thank my lucky stars for my good fortune, vowing never ever again to get in a duel with Le dreaded bike.  After all, there were 14 more days of potential calamity and misadventure lurking in the wings, eager to spring into action and throw a bit of havoc my way.

Crisis averted.  Lesson learned.  Or, should I instead say, lesson learned? 

And, speaking of adventure, where exactly was that “Bicycles for Hire” shop located?

If you can’t beat them, might as well join them.

Come traipse, oops, meant to say, bicycle along the canal-lined paths of picture-postcard Delft, on the lookout for somewhat clueless pedestrians, as I balance precariously on two wheels, camera in one hand and vino tinto in the other, scribbling my way around the world.

Next post – In two weeks!!  Wednesday, January 21st!! 

Stay tuned for more on cuckoo ol’ Auntie Nora’s escapades in northern Europe in the middle of October, in somewhat undesirable weather, caught in a hailstorm or two.