Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Things Not To Do In A Museum ...

I don't think it's like the Ten Commandments or anything , but there are fairly definite no-nos when visiting a museum . Most would really rather you didn't eat a bag of chips while wandering through their Impressionists , for instance , or spill Pepsi on the mosaics   . Stretching out on the exhibits for a siesta isn't really on , either , though the staff do occasionally nod off on  their chairs in quiet corners ....

 And , though most museums are happy to allow you to take photographs for private use , fairly high on the list of Things To Avoid Doing would have to be being so hell bent on getting the perfect shot that you back straight into a prize exhibit . Especially when it is a rather large vase . Specially designed for the room  .

But on Sunday that's exactly what a visitor to the  Groninger Museum did , so camera-happy was he . The Jaime Hayon vase broke in a hundred pieces , " beyond the help of glue " , according to a spokesman  .

Though my favourite Oops museum story would have to be of the hapless clot who wandered over the Pindakaasvloer  , a sculpture made from roughly 100 liters of peanut butter tipped over the floor and spread artistically  by Wim T. Schippers in the Boijmans museum in Rotterdam . You'd think , given how it sticks to the roof of your mouth when you eat it ,  you'd feel the pull as you lifted your shoe . There'd be a fairly noticable " thwock " , surely ?    .

Thursday, 23 January 2014

It'll Do Wonders For You ...

You know , the minute they smile brightly at you and say , "You never know , you might  really enjoy it " , that you won't .
 Not any of it . Not the exercise bike nor the stomach muscle finder/developer . Not the rowing machine nor balancing on the rubber ball and certainly not the treadmill ." I'll just set it at ten minutes , to start with , shall I ?  "
When you've finally struggled your way back into your street clothes and escaped  , it seems altogether fitting that the first thing you see is this mural on the building across the street .

Saturday, 18 January 2014

And Once Again , This Year's Black Is .....

Well , black really ....

 Darth knew all about making an impression ... and the importance of having just the right accessory .

 Lola Flores , a hugely admired Spanish singer , was anything but monochrome but could , when out to dazzle , wear black to perfection .

And , of course , there was Coco Chanel


 I went to the Gemeente Museum in Den Haag last week and joined all the Chanel groupies going round its Coco exhibition .They were a strangely colour-coordinated crowd , silver haired and  almost religious in black with touches of white  ... lots of them wearing a large silver brooch with the entwined Chanel logo in black ... rather as though they were a display of handbags  .
 But no one was wearing the jewellery , perhaps understandaly since it was only eleven in the morning .

  It was as frustrating as all costume displays in that  you couldn't examine the clothes properly or feel the material  , but I felt suitably overawed by such elegance , rather like a new tweeny at Downton Abbey . I wished I hadn't worn such a very large red scarf . And then I'd had enough .
I caught sight of a splash of colour beyond the door ....

 Perhaps I'm more a sort of Hans van Bentem person .

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Well , Sort Of ... - ish .....

It started off so well , too . All the ingredients lined. up , wholemeal and white , raising agents , buttermilk  , even the paper muffin cases . Wholewheat Apple Muffins , a  Smitten Kitchen recipe , so I couldn't go wrong . Only it was me making it .
 So ....  . Having measured most of the dry ingredients ( a tablespoon of cinnamon ?  I love cinnamon but ... how about a teaspoon of mixed spice instead )  into one bowl and some of the liquid ones into another , I peeled the two large Elstar apples and blenched at their hideously speckled , soggy interiors . Now what ? It was pouring outside , not the weather to pedal off for more .  Frantic re-reading of  muffin recipes . All I had was a couple of rather ripe bananas so I mashed  and added them  . Now the mix would be too mushy  if I added  all the liquid . O.K., only half the oil , then .
 Now it looks boring without chunks of apple . So folded in a handful of chopped up dried apricots ... and some chia seeds, why not ?  .
 Fill one muffin case ... Rats !! I'd forgotten the brown sugar  Oh , for Heaven's sake . Filled the rest of the cases anyway and shoved the lot in the oven .

I told you a Smitten Kitchen's recipe was fool-proof . They were astonishingly nice ... not to mention low in fat and sugar . I'm just going to eat another . Might make it look less gloomy outside

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

No , Of Course I Didn't !

Of course I didn't start 2014 by jumping off the river bank , wearing a red pom-pom hat !
 But I did cheer as about a hundred others did  just that , this morning  while a brass band , teetering in a boat nearby , played "Yellow Submarine". One likes to encourage endeavour  in whatever field .

 ( And no , I didn't push the woman  with the big head and her Cossack friend over the edge either , when they nipped in front of me as the count down began . )  This restraint mayhave been be due , in part , to not yet being fully awake...
 New Year's Eve had been quite strenuous , what with sitting on the sofa , watching Spanish television till midnight and the eating of 12 grapes to ensure good luck for the year to come
 Then rushing outside to see the Leeuwarden sky full of fireworks in all directions  for fifteen minutes , till our ears rang and our teeth chattered . Back inside , change channels , and it was time for Jools Holland , Scottish pipers and Charlie Wilson et al .
My first ear-worm of the year is Oops Upside My Head  ... and the first event in the social calendar till now would seem to be  the Pea Soup World Championships in Groningen in February . It's can only get better ... I hope your 2014 does too !!