|Arriving on Queen's
was a good day to arrive in a very orange Amsterdam, with
all the celebrations over the royal handover taking place on
Queen's Day, a national holiday of course. Apparently
the traffic was bad, but the Airport - Hotel - Venue route
is 95% motorway, so wasn't noticeably affected.
More teams than ever before all arrived in Amsterdam today,
and after tonight's opening skirmishes of the referees'
meeting, the opening dinner and the managers' meeting,
battle will be joined tomorrow at the always impressive
Frans Otten Stadion's multitudinous courts.
Fram in Amsterdam
Squash is really a fantastic world. Really.
I arrived a bit after Cubs – who by the time I got to the
hotel, had sorted out our press room set up, took pics of
the airport, the venue, the hotel, and was thinking about
rewiring the Hotel IT reception bless him - around 5.30.
straight to the bus stop A9 he told me to go to, and less
than 5m later, a big blue bus with VanDerValt Hotel
parked right in front of me. On I went, joined minutes later
by the Welsh and Irish teams. I knew I was on the right bus
The hotel check-in process was as smooth as it comes. I
didn’t wait for more than 2 minutes – unusual when you have
about 40 people coming all at once to reception – was handed
a room, went to the other reception to give my credit card
for extras, and met Cubs in the reception area.
the “other” reception you may ask? Hotel is lovely, the
loveliest we’ve had in Amsterdam to be honest.
You have the “Old” section, with warm dark wood and comfy
sofas all around, when I have my room – I prefer bathtubs to
showers, sue me – and the “New” side, where most of the
others are, totally modern look, black style rooms with nice
Everybody their own!
quick cupper with Cubs, and off we went to the Official
Dinner. Stunning really. Superb huge room, food was
excellent, really diverse, plenty for everybody, queue
moving fast. Good size tables for the teams, 10 out of 10
for that one as well.
But what struck me the most is how happy I was to see those
players/officials. So many now I know rather well, or very
well, and care for a heck of a lot.
OK, in the whole room, there were maybe two or three people
I wouldn’t spend my Easter Holiday with, you can’t like
everybody, I’m not Mary Poppins. But I just kept smiling,
happy to see this one or or that one, joking with him,
laughing with her, really delighted to see that crowd.
let’s face it. There was one that I particularly was over
the moon to see.
Our Thierry Lincou, back from the States and his semi
retirement to come and support the French team. I hadn’t
seen him since July, as he is now settled in Boston. And
just the “bonheur”, the happiness to be able to catch up and
laugh and joke and reminiscence a few good times we had with
him, well, that made my day / week / month / year.
I’m in a great hotel, surrounded by great athletes, immerged
among good friends. I so love my life right now…
Lots more photos in the