Saturday, August 07, 2010

Close Encounter

A lot can happen in a few days.

We (Silverback, Stephen and I) set off from Leeds on Wednesday, drove down to Dover - and, okay, by "drove" I mean that Stephen drove, Silverback navigated and I sat in the back eating sweets - and got the ferry to Dunkirk.

Then we drove - see above for definition of "drove" - to Bruges, and we were there in time for a meal on Wednesday evening.

Bruges is a place of mediaeval beauty and I'll show you some photos in a later post. Serene canals and lovely old buildings beside them - I think I can speak for us all when I say that we absolutely loved it.

Two nights there and then on to Amsterdam. My brother Michael and his wife Deborah and daughters Daisy and Flo live here - - but they're presently on holiday in Devon so have kindly let us have their flat, which is lovely!

It's the top two floors of one of those old, tall Amsterdam houses. We've left the car in a Park and Ride and have walked everywhere so far - - we have done a LOT of walking on this holiday and I've really enjoyed it - there have been so many interesting things and interesting people to look at.

Today was the Gay Pride boat parade in Amsterdam. Again, I will post some photos later on - it was a massive, fun event full of pink balloons and pink feather boas and lots and lots of leather, all to the music of Lady Gaga and Queen, amongst others.

There was dancing in the streets and a tremendous amount of good humour.

However, as I watched it all, I had a strange encounter. With a pickpocket.

I was standing in a mass of people watching the boats. My handbag has two zipped pouches on the outside - and because they're on the outside, I don't keep anything of financial value in them. I had the top of my bag zipped up and my arm across it because - luckily - I had already worked out that these crowds would be Pickpocket Heaven.

This handbag cost thirty pounds which is probably the most I've ever paid for a handbag. I bought it because I just took one look at it and thought it's perfect for all the things I carry about - lots of little compartments.

As I watched the boats firing confetti into the air, I was suddenly aware that something was not right with my handbag. I couldn't work out what.

I turned round and there was a man's hand on it, trying to undo one of the zips on the little pouches.

I know from my - luckily very limited - past experience that I usually react very strongly if I'm the victim of crime - years ago, I once unwisely chased some burglars out of our house, and I was yelling so aggressively that they dropped everything and fled!

What I did this time was to grab the man's hand and forcibly remove it from my bag, and then hurl it away from me as hard as I could, before even I'd fully grasped what was going on.

I didn't even see his face. But then a strange thing happened. He patted me on the shoulder, two quick pats, and then melted away into the crowd. I was sure that the pats meant "Okay, not this time, then."

If he'd got into that pocket he could have got away with a few British stamps and my Bodyline card for swimming in Leeds swimming pools. I think we'd both have been pretty cross about it.


Blogger Silverback said...

All I wanted was a polo mint. No need to have been so rough, woman !

6:15 pm  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Good to know Gay Pride Pickpockets have standards - foil them and they congratulate you with a couple of pats. Well done for being the 'Leeds pickpocket foiling heroine of Amsterdam Gay Pride' - too long for tabloid headline?

6:34 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

Wow! Of all the things Ian shared, that wasn't one of them!

Hehe my word verification is 'elethook'

Elethook twice about trying to get in your bag again!!!

6:48 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Encounters with pickpockets are really not funny. Well done for fending the shite off.

Regarding the Gay Pride boat parade - I assume that as you were watching this on your own, Silverback and Stephen were actually in it! What were they wearing? I'm imagining glittery green lycra jumpsuits with a zip up the middle.

1:18 am  

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