Stedelijk time

When in Amsterdam, you have to go to a museum - it's the law. Well, my law anyway. This time we went to the Stedelijk Museum, mainly to see the Studio Drift exhibition (pics 1 to 5), which was mucho fantastico. As Oomoo has gotten older, I've stopped taking him to as many exhibitions as I used to, as he at one point got quite bored with it. To my surprise that seems to have changed, and our tour of the Stedelijk (which by the way is usually quiet, so an excellent alternative to the crowded Van Gogh or Rijksmuseums) was really good fun. Can't wait to take him to the Van Gogh exhibition at Tate Britain when it opens next year!

If you have a moment, watch the films in the Studio Drift link above, and my pictures will make much more sense.


Amsterdam randoms 2018 part 1

Looking out the window at Toki.

Oomoo saying hello to Nero and Nero saying "talk to the tail" to Oomoo.

Some cool trippy tiles. Or maybe they'd melted in the heat ­čśë

The breakfast at Toki is probably one of the best one's I've ever had in my life. I'm drooling as I write this.

N waiting at Rainarai while our friend Z caught up with a bit of work.

Oomoo helping set up at Rainarai Westergasfabriek. He did lots of work there and loved every second of it. Our friend Z let him add up the previous evening's takings, and when we ate there, he took our orders and served us. It might be a bit far for him to go for a weekend job when he's older, but I'm up for making it work, hehe.

Catching up with Z in our Airbnb.

There was no long trip away for us this summer, but we did go over to Amsterdam briefly, bringing our friend M and her sister N with us. I can't ever go there enough, and I would love to spend more time there, as our usual three-night stints for never feel long enough. But I shan't complain! I'm so glad we do get to go regularly, and that it feels like home away from home. More pics to come!


The start of the summer holidays

Right then... Time to crack on with this summer's backlog of pictures! As always, it feels like summer was over in a flash. But what an amazing one it was, if a bit strange. Like most parts of the northern hemisphere it was incredibly hot and dry, and for a very long time too. It didn't rain for over two months, which scorched the grass and made the landscape unfamiliar. We hoped for rain but it wouldn't come (it did eventually, half way through August - phew), something we've never done before, seeing as we live in the UK after all. Apart from three nights away in Amsterdam (pics from that trip to come) we stayed in town, as my friend M came over from the States and stayed with us for a month. Her sister came for a while too, right at the beginning, and when they were in their most jet lagged state I suggested an early evening walk on Hampstead Heath, which these pics are from. Turns out a walk and some fresh air works wonders for jet lag... I have never in my 26 years in London seen the Heath looking like it did then. Usually it's a huge expanse of green, but it had turned beige as a result of the drought. It was actually very beautiful, and it felt like we were walking around in an impressionist painting, as the edges of everything felt blurry. It was one of those perfect walks that will stay with me for a long time and I'm glad I brought my camera, so I can revisit these pictures when winter is here, and summer feels like a life time away.


Still here

Didn't mean to disappear from the blog, but I should know by now that blogging and summer don't really go together for me. In fact today is the first day in a couple of months that I have spent a bit of time getting organised on my computer. I just downloaded pictures that have lived on my digital camera since early June, and there were 1054 pictures on there! Needless to say, there will be a few posts coming this way, but realistically it'll be in a couple of weeks time. And lookie here at this pic! That's a film camera in my hands... My first shot roll of film in years! I've been going back to my film cameras this summer and have really enjoyed it, but had to adjust to how grainy film can be. Duuuuh! Anyway, hope you've had a good summer, and I'll be back with loads of pictures - soonish.


Friday morning commute

We were a bit early on our way to Oomoo's school on Friday morning, so we parked the car further away and walked the last part. It was such a lovely quiet walk, although I immediately regretted not having a camera on me - luckily my phone came to the rescue! You'd never know from these pics that we live in a big metropolitan city, and I'm so grateful to the city planners many moons ago for all the greenery in this part of London, especially when the weather is as amazing as it is now. 


French randomness

A minimalist lunch.
A minimalist abstract in the pool.
Figs growing. 
Cousins looking out the window.
Almost time for dinner.
A thunder storm rolling in over the hazelnut field.
C watching the lightning in the distance.
An origami angel that one of the kind Buddhist monks made for Oomoo. Our return flight got cancelled because of the previous night's thunderstorm, and rather than fight with the other passengers for the next flight home (which incidentally was three days later), we took our chance and decided to head to Bordeaux and get home by train instead.
Bordeaux train station.

We were offered a lift to Bordeaux by some monks who where waiting to pick people up from the flight we had waited for, for 7 1/2 hrs, and when it got re-directed to Bordeaux, the monks offered us and others a lift there. We and my mother-in-law's cousin took their offer. Oomoo ended up in the front with them, and it was heartwarming to hear the conversation they were having on the 90 min drive there. They talked martial arts, and whether Oomoo helped out at home (see, there's a theme here), and how the monks did chocolate and ice cream meditations. The following morning Oomoo said he wanted to become a monk, as they were so helpful and nice, and I had to explain that you don't have to become a monk to be that, and that we should all be more like them just anyway. The return trip, which would have been something that we wouldn't have particularly noticed, became a 24 hr adventure, with us having to think on our feet, go with the flow, and not stress about it. I will forever remember it with fondness.

P.s. Trains rule.


Worker boy

Oomoo really loves going to his Nana's house in France, and one of the main reasons is that he gets to help out with things that need doing on the land or in the house, and that nature is so close, with bugs and weather and all that entails. I'd like to think of myself as a good mum (I mean you'd like to, right?!), but recently it's become obvious that I go on auto-pilot and do too much for him, or don't back off and let him get on with things, at his own pace. Staying with his Nana is a lesson in how much he wants to help, and how much he enjoys doing so - if you just give him the chance. I'm so impressed with how patient they are with him (sadly I'm not the most patient person in the world, and it's something that I'm trying to get better at), and I love the way they chat and come up with fun things to do. My stepfather-in-law gave Oomoo a notebook so he could chart all the bugs (usually dead) or birds he'd see in a day, and then they'd find out more about each animal online in the evenings. But it wasn't all work and research; in the times in between, he'd be reading his Asterix or Lucky Luke comics, have water fights in the pool, or design things on the computer. Since we've been back I've backed off and now let him do more things around the house, and he's taking in it his stride.


Windows and flowers

One morning in the local village; on the way to get bread and croissants, looking at windows.