Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Front Doors , Various .


While Smitonius was photographing cats , I was admiring front doors .
To start in style ....is there any other way ?....here's the Dutch design team Viktor and Rolf 's front door on one of the grander streets in the center
Then there are hard to find front doors :

Old front doors , with or without falcons :

Business front doors :
and , yes , that is an electric whisk you can see .Isn't it wonderful !

Grand doors or less grand ones :
just as long as there are stairs up to them .

And sometimes it's not so much the door you're looking at , but the hotel palm repair team hard at work , duster to hand .

And for the real enthusiast there's Do-It-Yourself doors . I want these .......and the 1900's flat to go with them , in Amsterdam would be nice .

Friday, 24 April 2009

Dutch cats posing


Perhaps because it was so sunny, but it looked like all the windows in all the houses - and even shops - had a resident cat. Some where merely ornamental, of course,

But others appeared to be quite happy to sleep among the shop's stock... perhaps the cat needed to sleep it off. Can you spot the cat in this window?

Some shop cats had slightly more artistic surroundings, like this one:

This domestic cat thinks it is in a magazine photo shoot - but then, wouldn't you if you lived in such an elegant interior?

This one appears to be tapping on the window to get my attention:

Having caught my attention, the cat duly struck up a pose:

I think I will have to upload these, and more, on the following flickr group: 'cats in windows' - there must be a flickr group for just about anything!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Buttons , buttons , buttons .

Sonata :

Don't panic ! Dutch cats will be making an appearance very soon , but meanwhile .....My new hobby seems to be photographing buttons . They're amazingly photogenic, stay still without coaxing or bribery and are easily found around the house even when one's not in the grip of button fever

That's why I've started to put photos of them on the Flickr group Granny's Button Stash .....it's just another way to show off really !
Sometimes it's about the pattern

Sometimes it's just about the colour

But to close , here's another couple of photos from Amsterdam . Our lunch on Monday before we all went our separate ways . It was in a little cafe in the center of town . A tiny old house with a really tiny back yard , full of tables and flowers

The open sandwich on the right was specially made for us to be as fat free as possible .....and it succeeded to a fault ! But , like every lunch we had that weekend , we enjoyed it all

Monday, 20 April 2009

Horribly Spoilt !


I've had a very good week ! Accessories Of Old ( I should make a link , but I still have varied success rates with link-making , so , if you look at our sidebar , you'll see her among our Favourites ) had a giveaway a couple of weeks ago and , though I didn't win , I received these lovely buttons as a consolation prize . It worked ! I was delighted and felt consoled immediately I opened the envelope

I've posted separate , so rather clearer , photos of these and a few other button finds on Flickr in Granny's Button Stash , which I'm a fairly new member of .

At a Collectors Fair this weekend a friend and I , bitten by the button - and assorted haberdashery - bug , admired lots of lovely stalls . I must have looked especially deserving because I was given 2 freebies .

The little embroidery probably comes from a First Communion Missal . This was the last one the Belgian stallholder had left and , as I was admiring its delicate colours , she gave it to me . And then , at another stall , where I bought 4 little pieces of old lace , I was given this tiny card of buttons . The graphics are stunning ! Friend , a generous woman , didn't seem to hold it against me !

Meanwhile , the sun is still shining and "For This Week Only "* the bushes along our street are full of these stinky , but beautiful , flowers .
* Rain ruins them .

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Easter In Amsterdam 2009


The sun shone , no one shrieked , not even me .... and we all laughed a lot . We walked and walked , saw lots of different corners of Amsterdam and Haarlem

(my new toy , Picasa 3 , in evidence again )

We ate well , sat in cafes and did a lot of window-shopping , from Kitsch

to Glamour

and had a marvellous time !!


We camped at Zeeburg, which is about 15 minutes away from the centre of Amsterdam - and I think we were the smallest campervan there!

As we walked around, we admired window displays both old and new: not only are there some beautiful antique and vintage shops, there are some crafty handmade delights to be found as well - look at these cute felt houses!

Also admired many ceramic tiles in Amsterdam doorways and inside Haarlem's Catholic Basilica:

Of course, Amsterdam does not look like Amsterdam without canals (and cafes on canals)

or tulips, now does it?

In my next posts, I will show you my collection of snapshots of Dutch cats - it was so sunny they had all come out to sunbathe next to their owners' very smartly decorated windowsills... I don't know who has more impecable taste, the Dutch cat or its human!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Early Easter Greetings


A Happy Easter to those who celebrate Easter as a holiday and a happy long weekend to those of you who don't .
I'm off to Amsterdam on Thursday to stay with youngest daughter in her student flat on the Prinsengracht , just three steps away from The Ann Frank House . Smitonius and partner should be arriving about the same time in their camper van , which they'll be staying in in a campsite nearby-ish .We're all going to spend the weekend as tourists . Fun !! We plan to sit on cafe terraces , eating lots of good food , which someone else will have lovingly prepared
Museums will be visited .....but not the Van Gogh because the queues are a little long at holiday weekends . The Amsterdam Historic Museum , on the other hand , is never too busy and , in the courtyard at the moment , there's a free exhibition called My Chidhood Home where 45 Amsterdammers from 12 different countries show how they remember their youth

Endless window-shopping will be done , more cafes will be visited , vintage clothes , old books , antiques and buttons will probably be admired and quite possibly another couple of cafes will be inspected .
This is actually in Antwerp , but you get the idea .
Mind you , as we're not a hen party , we won't be wearing tiaras , pink tee-shirts and a silly grin ....well , maybe the silly grin . And I , for one , am not planning to run round shrieking ....but who knows ?
We'll take loads of photos and later show a select few ....or more ....to you later.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Campervaning in Devon


It is the start of the camper van season, not only did the clocks go forward last weekend but we ventured out in our Suzuki Supercarry Danbury campervan 'Blueberry'. Here she is from a distance:

We went to Devon to visit the MIL (mother in law) so spent one night in the van on the way down and one on the way up to London... enough really, as the first night it was freezing! I considered going to sleep in my woolly hat! We visited Yearlstone Vineyards in Bickleigh and, of course, had to sample some of their fantastic English wine (try their No. 1):

The view from the terrace is beautiful, particularly with a glass of rose wine in hand:

We also managed our first foraging of the season: wild garlic:

For those of you who have watched this year's Masterchef, Matt Follas has called his foodie blog Wild Garlic... if only I had the recipe to do his wild garlic puree! But will have to make do with making wild garlic soup (without the cream, as it doesn't need it!) as well as tomato and wild garlic pasta sauce - for this we just:

1 small onion
rapeseed oil
can of tomatoes
generous squeeze tomato puree
wild garlic leaves - chopped

Chop onion and fry gently in rapeseed oil. Add the chopped wild garlic after onion has softened. Continue to cook until wilted and a bright dark green. Add splash of wine and cook it off. Add tomatoes, and bring to boil then simmer. After ten minutes add tomato puree, and cook until sauce is nicely thick.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Seen around

Sonata :

This used to be parked round the corner till quite recently ....I loved it! But there are still a couple of nice vans I see when I cycle to work every morning .
This belongs to a local Chinese restaurant that organises cookery demonstrations on the first Saturday morning of every month .And every morning I think I must go to the next one ....
And then there's Cees Flowershop's van
which always makes me laugh . And there's the neighbour who cycles about with her grey parrot perched on the handlebars with every sign of enjoying himself . But unfortunately , I don't have a photo of them .