I think I'm even more besotted with the tulips in Amsterdam than I was with the orchids in Singapore. On yesterday's visit to the Rijksmuseum I walked along a path that was lined with big tubs of blowsy, healthy, colourful tulips.
Winter this year in northern Europe has been cold and long. People are yearning for Spring and the tulips - blooming much later this year than usual - are Amsterdam's symbol of the season's change.
They're not the most subtle of flowers, but I can appreciate how the mania for them almost ruined the economy of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. I discovered this 1634 painting by Hans Bollongier in the Rijksmuseum with the same tulips that are in the foreground of my first photo in this post.
Some passions endure.