Thursday, 19 January 2017

Without The Monkey

When I opened the curtains yesterday morning  , it was  -6 Centigrade , the sky was clear and everything was rimed with frost .The big weeping willow on the other side of the river was a spectacular , glistening filigree but Picasa's gone on strike again  and won't show you my photo .

We'll just have to do with this poster instead and ignore the monkey , the large sticks and the ruin . 

Went to this exhibition of silhouettes a couple of weeks ago and loved it . They'd gathered a surprising number of pieces , many from private collections .
Apparently cutting silhouettes was extremely popular from the C17 onwards among Frisian gentlemen with time on their hands ; and elaborate ones like these were just the thing to present to the young lady you hoped to make your wife .
Some were made to commemorate a victory at sea or the death of a loved one , though the one shown on the poster isn't much bigger than a postcard and seems just to celebrate a day out with the lads . Or a stunning hoar frost like yesterday's .

Tuesday, 10 January 2017


Today at lunchtime , as she puttered back down the river past the flat , she was just an old boat with layer upon layer of fading red paint . As lovely to see as all the old boats are , but no showstopper ...
But on Sunday at sunset , for a moment  

Rosy had been transformed .

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Testing, Testing ....

Still wrestling with Blogger , Picasa and my Christmas-impaired concentration levels .
 So, there may or may not be a photo or two with this and there's no real way of knowing what it'll be of .

Sadly it won't be a shot of the young man wrestling to get a neighbour's new sofa upstairs on his own , yesterday . A very comfortable , fulsomely upholstered three-seater sofa . In the lift whose doors as a result couldn't quite close . He , neighbour and I stood looking at it , arm rest only really very slightly protruding .
 If we pulled it out and started again ? Perhaps  it would fit at an angle  ? Diagonally ? On its side ? Perhaps it could be tipped up a bit and she and I could get under it and prop it up ? Whereupon he stopped listening to us ...
Anyway , by the time I'd got back from the mailbox , he was manhandling it into her third floor front door and and she'd made coffee . Lovely biscuits .
Neighbour and I decided that we didn't really want to go into the removals business anyway . And the young man , who turned out to be her nephew , seemed to agree .

Meanwhile Picasa has decided to post this photo of a Groninger Museum's car advertising their latest exhibition ,
I'm particularly taken by where the petrol cap is ....

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Let's Draw A Veil Over 2016

And  make 2017 the year when everyone is nice to one another . Everyone .  All year long .
I'll raise a glass to that . Happy New Year !

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Having A Day Off

Having spent yesterday afternoon writing cards and finding the tree decorations  , I was all Christmas-ed out this morning .

Though our Keep-Fit trainer did spend today's session singing 'The Snowman '  to encourage us to achieve miracles of balance and bendiness , it failed .  Instead we commandeered all the exercise balls and sat in a circle , eating Kopiko coffee toffees and giggling  about clothes we'd worn in the '60s . Except for the Class Swot , of course , who was lying on a yoga mat doing press-ups ... and giggling ( fortunately not with a toffee in her mouth . It's been a while since any of us has done a First Aid course. ) .
We're all going to have to start behaving like grownups tomorrow  . But until then  ... 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

No Eye Candy

Blogger or Google-thing or whoever now runs the world seems to have decided that I can't upload any more photos here .
So you'll just have to imagine what Groningen looked like last Saturday ... twinkly .
And rather busy . And full of large people carrying huge parcels . And crowded with people cycling past with Christmas trees . Those of us who are neither agrophobic or claustrophobic had a lovely time .
In fact it was so nice , I'm going to Den Haag on Saturday to Christmas shop there .
Not that I'm having much luck actually finding anything suitable . There was in fact a moment last night , when I wondered if it wouldn't just be O.K. to send everybody a Playmobil airplane via Amazon ... 

But now I've bought some lovely gift tags and it would be a shame not to use them

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fleeing From Reality...


This grumpy teenager ,

born just up the road and destined to become a solicitor like his father , provided the perfect escape last Wednesday morning after the shock of Trump's election win .

The Fries Museum  currently has a large Alma-Tadema exhibition , showing a lot of privately owned treasures . His huge canvases full of rose petals and mosaics ,

draperies and marble , breastplates and togas proved to be just the distraction needed  .

First thing in the morning there was plenty of room to admire his attention to detail

... later on it became busier and I could sink gracefully on a bench and watch excerpts from the many films which should have listed him in the credits as set designer .

A couple of school groups swooped about with their work-sheets , the boys impressed by the swords and the girls by this slice of Roman high life where lolling about was a virtue . Later, they would go into a side-room where they could all dress up in togas and swirl capes and weapons to their hearts content .

We instead , just tottered off and sank into a cafe corner over coffees and  tried to understand what's happening this year ... 

But I'm going to have to go back again to pay proper attention to Alma-Tadema's family portraits . His real talent lay in his portrayal of faces , whether  of a childhood friend

his daughters or this little boy ,

waiting while his mother talked to a friend she'd met in the street .