Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A Bunny-Free Easter

Tempting though the supermarket's buttery-bunnies were , we resisted .

Come Sunday morning , YD and I were far too busy eating our own weight in peanut butter . And not just any old peanut butter ... We'd got up early on Saturday , washed out two empty jam jars ,  taken a train , found   Opgeweckt Noord  and made our own !

 Well , we did do other things as well . Chips with mayonnaise were eaten in the main square . Olives , mezze and treats were  stocked up on in the Souk

A new cafe visited , where a grey-haired chap with a topknot and bright blue beard pondered silently which of his 14 special coffees to make for us ... 40 minutes later a perfectly pleasant cup of something Colombian or maybe Ethiopian brought us out of our trance and we escaped , never to return . ( Welcome though it is , Groningen's Foodie revolution is perhaps running away with itself ... )

Shoes were admired , second hand bookshops visited and who-dunnits purchased .
Four (!)  new specialist bread-shops were admired .
Wooden toys , children's books and tasteful kitchenware approved of ... 

And the next day the decidedly unfortunate-looking , additive free peanut butter was polished off . It's DELICIOUS !  I'll definitely go back for more ...  (Since , however much I liked it  , I'm not tempted to buy a machine for myself  . Cleaning it would be a nightmare . I'll leave that to them )

* When her older sister told YD later that she too had tried Avocado oil  a while ago , YD asked what she'd thought of it  . The reply was ,
 "Oily " .
Opgeweckt Noord

Friday, 18 March 2016

Time To Venture Forth ...

We haven't had any wet snow all week . No hail , either .

The shops are full of rabbit shaped buns , lamb shaped chunks of butter , chicken shaped slices of ham and chocolate-flavoured Advocaat to wash it all down with . Yes , it must be nearly Spring . Time for us all to rediscover the world .

 Sadly , most of us seemed to have missed last week's Street Fishing Leeuwarden bonanza , but never mind ... there's loads more to tempt us out this weekend .

Tomorow , a local care home has a workshop on worm hotels . There's a Freubel craft fair at the shopping center with a Shanty choir and workshops on making jewellery out of Nespresso cups  . Every village within a twenty mile radius has a jumble sale , birdwatching or birdbox making event .

There's an Archeology Day in the Historical Center with local metal detecting finds , talks galore , demonstrations on how to make mediĆ«val pottery and restore old metalwork  . Province-wide , there are klezmer concerts , brass band concerts , rockabilly bands and a nearby church has " Timeless , a tribute evening with ballads in the style of Adele "...

Despite looking like something out of  Monty Python ,

local band The Stammen will be singing covers of the Rolling Stones in a cafe ten miles up the road ... while ten miles in the other direction there's a jazzcrossover concert ( no , I don't know either ) and , on Sunday , Evensong in Easterein's Martinikerk will be sung by The Common Ladies while Bach's Mathaus Passion will be sung everywhere else .

I think I'll be going to the Archeology Day ... though the chance to see the lumberjacks singing  ' Let's Spend The Night together ' is tempting ...

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Phew ! It's Not Just Me ...

I was beginning to think that the world had left me behind ...

 but this cartoon in yesterday's paper has reassured me .The caption reads :

                                                  " This 'phone doesn't understand me ."

I know just what he means .

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A Genteel Blast From The Past

I don't buy many magazines ... well , I don't buy any magazines , really ... out of sheer meaness , I'm afraid . But when I see a vintage one , I leap on it like a duck on a June bug .

A September 1950 Wife and Home I found the other day has provided endless enjoyment this week ..

The Editress' Personal Page had a few lines  on
 "an up to date idea which is now operating might be called a 'help yourself '  laundry.... with efficient washing machines and  'extractors ' which removed surplus moisture " . I haven't seen a laundrette in years ... even student flats can run to a washing machine these days .

There's a pattern for a delightful ( a very popular adjective in 1950s  women's magazines , along with dainty , though not for boys ,obviously  ) knitted suit for a little boy .

Our Babies' Club with photos of readers'  'wee ones' , each one chubbier than the last . I can relate to that ... I was the fattest  'wee one'  in the world at the end of the '40s  ...

An article on beauty routines when you're pregnant ... sorry , " in those days of expectancy  " , including a reminder to drink three large glasses of barley water a day , which apparently will keep you radiantly healthy from your glossy hair to your sensibly shod feet  . And perhaps help you to breathe inside your wasp-waisted maternity dress ...

An article by a Woman Doctor and a problem page with answers from Matron ...
 "chronic cattarh can be cured by instilling a few drops of cod-liver oil in each nostril , twice a day for two weeks " ( maybe not if you've got morning sickness , though ? )

Another on how to furnish the nursery on a budget ... everything from a utility playpen to coconut matting  , not forgetting a Victorian washstand with  shortened legs  ( the writer seems a demon with the hacksaw )  as a nursery table  and gallons of pale green liquid lino paint , all for 10 Pounds . Just in case you ever need to know , I'll pass on her tip about cheap curtains . Apparently if you wash your old black-out curtains they lose their colour and are "much more attractive" ...(  streaky grey ? )

There's a bizarrely dated serial set in India which has sentences like ,
"but then I was running , running as no white person should in the heat , across the compound ",
... I wondered if my great-grandmother ,  her mother or grandmother had ever felt compelled to run across a compound and then remembered that g-grandmother's grandmother , as a Keralan , would presumably have been heat-proof .

But , as always , it's the ads. that fascinate ;
Lixen , " The good-natured laxative ." ( a bad-natured one doesn't bear thinking about )

Mansion Hygienic furniture polish , Dettol and T.C.P. , corn cures and children's cooling powders .

Robin starch ... because  'starched clothes stay clean longer'  AND , more importantly ,  'Nothing does more to make you desirable than that air of untouched , crushable freshness .'

ThreeFlowers face powder to stop the destruction of your self -assurance that a shiny nose can cause .

 Lee & Perrins Worcester sauce to "add subtlety to salad " ( 2 tsps. of it in the dressing  , mind you , might just wilt the lettuce before you get to the table . )  and Handmade Children's felt Bonnets 8/6 post free .

But , for me , the change between then and now was crystallised by this  Weetabix ad . 

Compare it to the boast on their 2016 packets !

Wish I could do a taste-test . Does anyone remember exactly how sweet it used to be ?

Altogether this turned out to be a jolly good 1.50 Euros worth  !