Sunday, 26 October 2014

Weekend Supplement Delusions

Workshops are the thing these days . You can try anything crafty ; felt making , jewellery , papier machè , screenprinting , upholstery ....  A few years ago , my great-aunts , then in their mid-eighties , started painting plates for their many relations after a workshop on pottery painting .... before they turned to ragdoll making after another .The trouble is I don't really want to do these things . Nor do I want to want to become an online fashion editor courtesy of a Guardian media course , 99 Pounds , book included ... I haven't got the clothes for it . 
But after reading the Volkskrant weekend supplement yesterday ,  I was entranced by a workshop offered by . In the space of two days you learn enough to build your own wooden skis . Pepperblue , a German company , give weekend courses in Beieren or Innsbruk . It woke all my old Chalet School fantasies .
Actually I've never skied and if I really wanted to , I could buy a pair from Zai in Switzerland or Ronning in Norway ... but I've never fantasised about Norway ....

While I was Googling to find a vintage Chalet School cover with skis on ( YD having taken all hers with her when she moved out ) , I was astonished to find that there's a fanclub . Perhaps I'll just join this instead .

P.S. At Friday lunchtime a student , cycling past back from the college , was singing Queen's I Want To Break Free very , very loudly .  Whatever class he'd had hadn't gone well ...

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Our Madonna With Cherries

There are hundreds of representations of The Madonna With Cherries , all of them beautiful . But today I stood admiring our local version and had to think that it was one of the best I've ever seen .

It used to stand , almost unnoticed , in a corner by the lift in the old hospital ... the one that was run by the nuns ,

and is still remembered with gratitude by generations of ailing Leeuwarders . The town now has a spiffy new hospital with dozens of lifts and every machine known to man and the old Bonnehûs   ( St Bonifatius hospital  ) has been demolished with exec. residences put up on the land instead .
But dotted about the splendid shiny new Medical Center  (I still think Bonnehûs sounds more comforting )   there are little reminders .
This statue is perfect and children , in particular , must have loved it . Symbolically , cherries represent sweetness of character derived from good works and cherries in the hand of The Christ Child suggest the delights of the blessed  .
And over his ears ?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Cindy , Jumbo And The Three Charlies

The couple next door have a dog . Tiny , completely round with a curly coat and silent , Cindy resembles nothing so much as a pom-pom on a lead . She and her owner ; a pleasant mild mannered man as silent as she is , stroll sedately round the park three times a day . A model of urban pet ownership .
But there's a new cat round the corner ... a gigantic ginger tom called , appropriately , Jumbo . He's already terrorised the man downstairs'  three  cats  ( all called Charlie for some reason ) and they've taken to hiding under the hedge and peering out nervously before crossing the road .
As I came home yesterday , neighbour and Cindy , wagging her tail politely in greeting , were off on their constitutional . Imagine my surprise when I heard her suddenly give a miniscule snuffly squeak   . Neighbour pulled her to heel briskly .
"Now , now Cindy . Don't bully the cat ! ".  Jumbo , who could disembowel us all , turned , smirked and swept off  .
The local vet might consider giving self-defence lessons , perhaps .

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Autumn again .

It's that time of year again  . I never seem to have put the right coat on and am usually overheated or rainsoaked .

Still , it definitely isn't this windswept and bleak  , either . This is the cover of a 1947 pamphlet , advertising the Friese Agricultural Fair in September when , by the look of it , you'd have been advised to put on winter woolies and a hat , complete with hatpin . Proof of climate warming , if we still need it  .
But , it prompted me to think about knitting again . Nothing complicated ... until the other cataract is removed , I have no depth perception  , making sewing impossible , knitting interesting and cycling alarming . Well , I say nothing complicated , but led astray by Friend who'd discovered a new
 woolshop , I found myself taking home rainbow wool and circular needles ... which I've never tried before . I'm a great fan of YouTube though , and  always believe that there's the perfect video that will show me exactly How To ....

and there was . Or would have done  had I paid attention  .  It turns out that when Miss Kaufman says ,  "make sure the cast on row isn't twisted " ,
 she means just that . So I've now started again . Properly  . This time it'll look less weird . I love the way it feels  .

Friend had found a new cafè , too , that does delicious steak sandwiches . No photo since we ate them all up the second they hit the table so I'll show you their menu instead ... the bit where they explain their policy . Good food , responsibly sourced and served with a smile , preferably to smiling customers . So we smiled widely .

I saw today that the cafè in our local library has a more take-it-or-leave-it policy , judging by their sign outside ... 'geen' meaning no , in this case .  They do have very nice coffee , though . 

And , finally , a photo my colour therapy lunch today . Remarkably cheering . I even smiled .