Buddy on a post

"What you looking at?'

"Maybe if I ignore you you'll leave me alone."

"In fact, I'm just give myself a wash while I'm here."

"What the hell?! Get your stinky foot out of my face."

"Can't you see I'm doing my best lion impression?"

"That's it, I'm out of here! I was just enjoying a quiet moment, and then you had to start taking pictures and kill the vibe. Sometimes you humans are so annoying."


2107 catch up part IX

These are from the rest of the house at Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder. Sadly I didn't take many wide shots as there were other visitors there too, not quite matching the interiors - if you know what I mean. I love visiting old houses and seeing the how people decorated centuries ago, and I must say they were a lot braver than we are now. No dark greys (aka modern day magnolia) here! I mean, a mustard ceiling in the kitchen?! Must make a long day prepping and cooking food much more fun. I came away really inspired, and I've looked up other old houses I need to investigate next time I head for the 'Dam. Can't wait.                


2107 catch up part VIII

I've been meaning to go to Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder for years, but it was never a priority on the trips to Amsterdam with the boys. I wasn't convinced that Oomoo would find it interesting enough, and we'd have to speed through it (never fun!). Luckily I get to go on these solo trips to the city every now and again, just so I can get some girly time with my friend, as well as the chance to check out things in the city that an eight year old might find boring. This Catholic church from 1663 is hidden in the attic of an old merchant's house; the Netherlands was/is a Protestant country, but allowed people to practise Catholicism, as long as they didn't do it in public. There were several of these throughout Amsterdam at the time, but this is the only one that has survived. I'm a sucker for old museums like this one, and was impressed by the colours used, although they think that this colour scheme was added in the 19th century. I really recommend a visit, as apart from the church itself you can see how a (very wealthy) merchant would have lived at the time. More pics of the rest of the house itself to come!


2017 catch up part VII

Just by chance I happened to time my trip to the 'Dam with the annual photography fair Unseen. Galleries from the world over were showing work by their artists, and some pictures were of course better than others. My favourite picture in the whole thing was the first picture in this post by Evgenia Arbugaeva. Isn't it stunning? I loves it. 

And so a question: have you every found yourself in a gallery in tears because a picture or painting touched you in a unexpected way? I've had this happen to me twice in the past couple of years, and it is such a surreal experience. It happened to me at Unseen, in front of the picture of the girl on a horse in pic 6. There is so much love in that picture,  and I had to walk away all flustered and come back to it once I had composed myself. The first time I welled up in front of a piece of art was at the National Gallery, in front of this painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi. It was the weirdest thing, everything seemed to go quiet, and it was just me and my feelings. There was something so ordinary but extraordinary about that painting, it felt so intimate, yet the woman in it was facing away from me. It reminded me of how I take pictures, with the people I love and care for facing away or obscured in some way, to protect their privacy. Mr Famapa was in another room at the gallery and I went over to him and explained what had just happened, and he said "Let me go and guess which picture it was!". He looked at all the paintings in the room and chose the Hammershoi. He knows me so well :)


2017 catch up part VI

On one of the days in Amsterdam we cycled around Noord, the northern part of the city on the other side of the river Ij. It used to be a large industrial area which has been gentrified in the past few years, but it still feels a bit off the beaten track, as it's still mainly an area full of warehouses. There are couple of huge stores there that sell vintage furniture, and these pics are from Van Dijk en Ko, that made me wish I had a house to furnish, and unlimited funds for shipping huge wardrobes, display cabinets and kitchen larders over. We spent ages in there, and it was just as eccentric as you might be able to sense from my pictures. I wasn't in blog mode last year, so my picture taking was a bit scatter gun, and now I struggle to try and make sense of them contextually for you guys... Anyway, there were lots of strange displays (see pics 3 and 4), and finding the picture in pic 1 like that made me laugh out loud. It somehow felt very Dutch in there!


2017 catch up part V

Some Amsterdam randoms (ish) from when I caught the train to my favourite city to hang out with my dear friend Z in September. The weather was perfect.

The first thing I did was cycle down to the Van Gogh museum to take a harder look at his paintings after having read "The Yellow House".

This Camille Pissaro picture in the museum was an example of other artists trying out the Neo-impressionist/Pointilist stipple technique. It really caught my eye - look at those colours!

A case displaying Van Gogh's collection of yarns that he combined to see how colours interacted when put next to each other. Clever.

I then met up with Z and checked out the terrace at the beautiful store Time & Style right before they closed for the day.

On another day I snapped this couple on Prinsengracht, walking past a house that I wouldn't mind getting the keys for. I also liked the guy's David Hasselhoff vibe :)

One of Z's pretty prints in the stairwell outside her flat. I've been nagging her about making more botanical prints and selling them for years. But she's a busy gal.

One of her many jobs is making sure everything runs smoothly at her other half's restaurant Rainarai. There's a steady stream of people taking pictures of these veg every day, so of course I had to take a pic too!


2017 catch up part IV

Let's not forget the glorious lake itself. Until the next time Lake Annecy - bisous!


2017 catch up part III

Just some randoms from our Lake Annecy hols. Because why not?


2017 catch up - part II

We had grand ideas about where to go last summer, but we couldn't really make it work, so in the end we just thought "Why not go back to Lake Annecy as it was so amazing?!". Easy! And it was just as great as in 2016. Our sister-in-law and Oomoo's cousins joined us while we were out there, and we had a great time. In fact, we were so exhausted from our 10 days of hiking, swimming, canyoning, white water rafting and other activities, that it felt like that we needed another holiday just to recover from it. These pics are from our hikes at Le Grand-Bornand, La Clusaz and La Sambuy. There's definitely some magic in them mountains; after a ride up on a ski lift you keep walking higher up, surrounded by forests, more mountains as well as lots of cows and goats, and at the top you're rewarded by a stunning vista. At no point did the kids complain or feel tired (the cooler temperatures help!), and it really felt like we were creating really fond memories. Right then, I need to start playing the lottery again, so we can bag ourselves a nice little cabin there. Fingers crossed.