I think my favourite moment of the whole trip was when we decided to stop for a drink on our first night in Amsterdam. We were in the Red Light District and thoroughly sick of the creepy stares we were getting from the packs of men who were also wandering around (apparently thinking anything female that moved had a price tag), so I selected a bar that was quiet and had a handful of older people in it.
Everyone went silent when we walked in, and later I realised we must’ve crashed a private party, but no one kicked us out so we ordered a couple beers and got out of sight.
Safely stowed upstairs amongst the tiny rubber duck fairy lights, we chatted for a while until the party downstairs got into full swing and out came the instruments. Feeling a bit voyeuristic we listened enraptured as this group of friends took turns playing the piano, guitar, maracas and harmonica in a mix of English and Dutch songs. It was beautiful.
The songs got more recognisable as the night went on, including the most gorgeous piano version of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” I’d ever heard. Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” was thrown into the mix as well.
It really made me miss my muso mates, late nights in dodgy hotels with an acoustic guitar, rap dudes, free pizza and bleary smoky mornings after.
Listening to: Biffy Clyro
Watching: Under the Dome
Reading: Night Train to Lisbon
Current man-crush: Robert Carlyle