Sunday, 30 August 2015

Catching Up Fast- ish.

It takes a while for things to filter this far north . I mean , we have electric light and vending machines and things , but the first hipster I saw was in London , this summer .
But now there are at least three young men in town with the right kind of beard and cap ,,, and one of them has bicycle clips .
Cold brew coffee hasn't appeared yet but there's a new sandwich shop with 'artisan bread' , which  is a start .
So , naturally, this pair gathered quite a crowd when they started performing a while ago in the square .

 
We all listened politely and and applauded . A tatooed gent joined the line-up . For a moment we thought he was going to sing , too , till we saw that he was just retrieving his dog .
But before we could all move fast enough , the duo had launched into their second number . Roughly translated :

" He lay under the ground  ,
He lay under the ground ,
He lay under the ground ...

And he didn't mind ,
And he didn't mind ,
And he didn't mind ...

A garden on his stomach ,
A garden on his stomach ,
A garden on his stomach ...

And he didn't mind ,
And he didn't mind ,
And he ... "
Whereupon the woman from the neighbouring organic veg. stall leapt to her feet , picked up a tray of strawberries and ran round offering us all one . The tatooed man's tatooed wife took photos of her husband and dog ...


and I left to do my shopping . 

Though I do now wonder if  I'm quite the person to report on current trends , here or anywhere else . I bumped into a charming young girl this week , who looked vaguely familiar ,
"Oh ", she said , " You used to be my juf in playschool ! " . Then followed the usual catch-up conversation about schools and future plans .
"I'm hoping to go to the Police Academy next year " . Dear Heaven , I'm feeling my age !

Sunday, 23 August 2015

My Local Museum Read My Mind

I've just spent a week looking for knitting groups , since my first choice had turned out to include Bible study .
A very nice wool shop just did crochet and sock knitting courses ( "with 4 needles" the owner warned  , having sized me up accurately )  ;  and Leeuwarden's Stitch'n'Bitch seemed to have died  , though there was a brief hope that they'd come back to life in the old jail . This would have offered a spectacular backdrop to k.1 p.1 . but sadly it wasn't true .



Just as melancholy was setting in , the local free paper provided the solution .It turns out that the Fries Museum has an exhibition , Breien ! , opening on October 17th


Reading the article , it will include everything from a wooden C16th sock knitting frame , old fisherman's jumpers , knitted lace pieces to wear with the gold caps worn for centuries as the Fries  national costume , C18th fingerless mittens for the poor and C21st fingerless mittens for the trendy ...

There's going to be a walk-through route where you can handle exhibits . A  completely knitted room by  Isabel Berglund , Victorian beaded reticules , things knitted with human hair by Chrystel Rijkeboer , Starsky and Hutch sweaters ...

BUT , more to the point , there will be a drop-in knitting area with coffee and resident experts to advise on one's knitting disasters works-in-progress . A sort of 6 day a week Stitch'n'Bitch for nearly a year , just round the corner , in fact !



( Meanwhile , Hermione's slippers are taking shape in a rather more sedate shade of red than planned . It's too early to stock scarlet , I was told ... )

P.S. The exhibition poster stubbornly refuses any of my efforts to hoist it upright . Sorry !

Monday, 17 August 2015

Where's It Gone ?

Vanished .
Sun , boats , ice cold beers , vast salads , picnics and freckles ... All gone overnight .


So it's now time to roll up my sleeves for winter .

Making warming one-pan meals again . This , for instance , from Nikko Amandonico's "Una Bella Spaghettata "


is startlingly simple , involving little more than mixing good Italian canned tomatoes with herbs , olives and capers with olive oil ( lots of olive oil ... to feed 6 she recommends using 500 ml . I didn't . ) , stirring this into some barely cooked pasta , tipping it all into an oven dish and baking it in a hot oven for 20 minutes . Eat a large bowlful and and relax .

Enrol in some class or other ... I've found a craft class which includes crochet ( yes , again ... well even I must get the hang of it eventually ) and lunch .

And start at least one ridiculous frivolous project . This winter's is from an ancient P&B booklet of Senior Knitteds for The Rich In Years .


Since I could hardly cycle while wearing a muff and can't knit gloves  , I thought that I'd have a bash at these slippers



or house shoes as they would have been called when the pattern was written . In scarlet , perhaps , for Christmas ? Perhaps I should arm myself with one of these , too ?



I've got the latest Bryant and May who-dunnit on audiobook .... I'll be rather put out now , if Summer returns .

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Summer Colours

Doesn't our weather man look surprised ! As well he might ; summer has taken a while to get going ....

 
Still there has been colour here and there

 
even though it has been more subdued .


 

 
London was very pretty this year .

Monday, 22 June 2015

In An English City Allotment

( with apologies to Percy Grainger ) 

If you stand on tiptoe and squint , you can see John Lewis . The 14 bus rattles past one side and the 34 past the other . Scrawny cats chase magpies who scold back , safely  perched on shed roofs .






 
 You trip over shards of pottery everywhere





 
The bread shop over the road does chunky cheese rolls to eat in the sun or you can pick up a baked potato from the butcher's   ...   or there's a Chinese takeaway a step further .
Bees hover over a banana skin . A little boy brandishes a pink butterfly net .
There's an old swing and a slide the commitee's put up to entertain the growing number of ever younger allotmenteers' children  . 
You flail at nettles and are mesmerised by hoverflies .
Lug water from the standpipe to rescue the pansies .
And take home radishes , beans and glowing , exhausted children .

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Three Kims And Curry Sauce

 
I didn't just venture forth this week . I sallied ! All the way to Assen , about another fifteen minutes on the train . It also has a nice museum and there was an exhibition I didn't want to miss . I have a weakness for propaganda posters ... the more uplifting the better . And there's no doubt about it  , The Kim Utopia was full of pictures of Paradise .

North Korea is officially the Land of Milk and Honey


 

  ... or rather of polished ostrich eggs , noodles and expertly sliced vegetables .  
 


 
Everybody is young and heartbreakingly pretty and brave ... and wearing a uniform .
Everybody laughed  , everyone's hair was lightly tossed , everyone's eyes were raised to an ever more glorious future . Any unpleasantness from The Enemy was faced with resolute nobility .
 It was all perfectly splendid !

I was reluctant to leave but very hungry so wandered up into town and found a cafe that could have been a model for Kim's official artists .
De Brink had comfy sofas and excellent coffee and two kinds of toasted sandwiches ... ham and cheese or "would you prefer one with our own goat's cheese ?" . Of course  . And it was , indeed , delicious . The owner then bustled over to offer more coffee and ask if I'd like some ketchup with my 'tosti' .... or mayonnaise ? ... or curry sauce ? before rushing out to the back to drill a few more holes in the wall .
He seemed to be barista , chef and handyman and partner of the pink haired young woman who ran the adjoining hair salon . He supplied endless coffees for her clients as well . Altogether I felt that Kim would be proud to welcome them onto his team .
A bit of window shopping and then I headed home , determined to go back in September when there's a new exhibition . The Glasgow Boys .

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Hailstones Temporarily Discontinued ...

The sun's shining every now and then and one can venture forth without three layers of wool and a vest !  So I've made the odd sortie , slightly further than the shops  .

 And here are some of the things I've admired:




which just goes to show that one doesn't have to live in the country to see things grow

or even some exotic wildlife