Each summer, we spend a few weeks in Europe. We normally go over early in the season, but this year, flights from Nairobi didn’t start up again until the beginning of August. When we arrived in the Netherlands, we couldn’t believe our luck: we were welcomed with temperatures of over 30°C. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such hot weather before. Neither in the Netherlands nor in Kenya.
It makes you wonder whether global warming has indeed become a fact. The Kenyan weather is all mixed up as well. Three years ago, there was a drought. After that, we had a few years of normal rainfall. But at the moment, it’s been raining nearly non-stop for 14 months.
All the lakes in East Africa are full or overflowing. According to the latest news, even the Nile has become too small and is bursting its banks. I guess we’ll just have to live with it.
The aviation industry is perhaps the sector that’s suffered the most. It could take years for them to get back to the old levels. But we’ve all learned that thanks to Skype, Zoom, etc., we can still ‘be’ everywhere.
In all those years, I’ve never been back in the Netherlands for three consecutive weeks before and I’ve got to say, it’s starting to feel like home again. There’s a lot more free time. Isn’t it strange, it seems like we needed the coronavirus to slow down and to find the time to think about why we were always in such a hurry?
I can’t end this column without mentioning Royal FloraHolland. The way we all got through the coronavirus crisis is truly unique. Fewer flowers, but better prices. But guess what happened last week? I was sitting in my gallery seat, when I was introduced to a man and a woman who are preparing the way for nationwide auctioning.
I thought we were done with those kinds of shenanigans! So, I couldn’t resist telling them they had been preceded by a man who’d been working on the New Auctioning for three years, with no results whatsoever. In other words: don’t bother!
Nationwide auctioning across three locations is a completely useless exercise. Concentrating demand and supply means 1 location per product, or product group, per country (the Netherlands). For example: all chrysanthemums in Naaldwijk, all tulips in Rijnsburg or all cut flowers in Aalsmeer.
I think I might have mentioned this before. That’s how we’ve been doing it ourselves for years. A few things are certain: there’s going to be a coronavirus vaccine, we’re all going to travel less and I’d say we’re going to buy more flowers.
Simon van der Burg,
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