Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Postcard 60: Anne Frank's Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Have you begun a 2010 diary?

I struggle to write a regular diary; but I enjoy the discipline of trying to keep one going on a somewhat erratic basis. I wonder what works for you in terms of the actual book or folder that you use - or do you prefer to keep your diary in electronic form, and if so, is this primarily so that you can reach the world or save the trees? I like to use a Folio Society diary (usually for the wrong year!), which has been passed on to me. I love the feel of the paper and the illustrations. The hard cover makes writing easier, particularly if one is on the hoof; and the built in ribbon marker helps to keep my place, since my entry for 12 January 2010 might fall in the slot for 24 June 2003!

One of my most memorable trips abroad was to Amsterdam, with a visit to the Anne Frank House. The canal boat ride was delightful and the sun was shining; yet despite the passing of all these years, a certain sangfroid gripped us as we landed near the Westerkerk with its haunting bells. I took faltering steps towards Prinsengracht 263-265a, that house with a million secrets.

Do you know the evocative poem, Anne Frank Huis by Andrew Motion? You can read it here on the Poetry Archive. The two words that stand out for me are 'whispering' and 'loneliness'.

You may have heard that Miep Gies, the 'guardian angel' of the Frank family, has just died, aged 100. You can read an account of her extraordinarily sacrificial life in The New York Times.

P.S. As I was posting a link to Miep's obituary from my Facebook page, the Word Verification letters that I had to type included the word 'paragon'. Serendipity - for if ever there was a paragon of virtue...

1 comment:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes I did read about the death of the Frank's Guardian Angel, Caroline. There is such sadness in the whole story and yet happiness that the thoughts of a young girl, full of hope for the future, have been preserved for ever.Nice to read your blog again. Keep warm.