I do love our local free paper . Every week it opens a vast world of possibilities ... enough village jumble sales , plant sales , Get To Know A Sheep day , concerts and bird watching to tempt us all .
In Bitgummole tomorrow , for instance , there's a Culinary Fair with stalls full of organic honey , sausages and herbs . There's coffee and delicous home made cakes , ices and petit fours , cooking demonstrations , lessons on how to build your own BBQ oven , drinks , tapas and snacks , nibbles and treats galore .
What makes this village's event slightly different is that food technician Folkert Follema will be entertaining us with "An Edible Bible History"and at 4 o'clock there will be a performance by a local women's choir , the Bitchbeat .
Only the thought of the 7 km. bike ride each way is putting me off .
Tulip mania has mutated and rages through Holland again . Wherever you look ... Pinterest , Facebook , newspaper columns , keetsmakelijk.nl , and school notice boards ... updates on everyone's AH seedlings pop out at you . According to YD , her colleagues even keep them on their desks in the office . So I make no apologies for showing you mine again .
I suppose the big difference this time is the fact that no one I've talked to hopes to make their fortunes out of them .
Easter was very low key this year and we paid tribute to the Easter Bunny with Carrot and Ginger soup instead of chocolate . Afterwards , I chaperoned my paprikas as we sunbathed briefly on the balcony and celebrated the end of winter .
On Monday Leeuwarders were spoiled for choice . There was a Friesland Food Festival in the center , but my Scottish blood rose at the thought of paying 10 Euros entrance money so that people could sell me their cheese , especially since there's a perfectly good outlet in the town which currently even gives you a free peppermint when you buy the stinkiest .
Instead I went to the Spring Fabric Fair on Monday and only saw one thing I wanted and even then , there was only a meter left and it wasn't quite the right shade . So I wandered about getting giddy with this summer's prints and colours , wondered fleetingly what I'd make with this
... a toga , perhaps ... and realised it was time to go home when I found myself wondering whether I should buy a couple of meters of these , just in case .
Well , obviously I can't list everything I've neglected to do this week ... we'd be here all night . But , leaving aside my failure to dust the top of the wardrobe or take enough exercise , there have been a couple of omissions that I do regret .
In common with nearly everyone south of Inverness , for instance , I didn't see the eclipse . The cloud cover was complete ... it just got a bit gloomier mid-morning . The ducks , much too busy eyeing each other up to care , ignored the hype and quacked raucously through the whole thing . It's a bit like Grease here , at the moment ...
Meanwhile , it was the Provincial elections on Wednesday and while , as a foreigner , I didn't have a vote , like every resident , foreign or home-grown , I was allowed to vote for those responsible for water management . Considering how important the dykes and land drainage are to Holland , it's astonishing that we're all allowed to have any say in the matter at all . It was a pity though that I had to cast my vote in the old dears' home round the corner and couldn't cast my vote in this rather cool 'vote-boat' . It went round a constituency in the south , whose inhabitants are too scattered to reach the election stations by road.
And what I definitely didn't do this week was go to the local Intratuin garden centre with my kitchen garden-ette . These children did , having taken up its offer of free advice and the chance to repot their burgeoning Moestuin veg. crops
Given that mine , having been planted a little late , are barely visible yet , I felt the comparison might crush my Lamb's Lettuce's self esteem altogether, not to mention mine .
About the only thing I did achieve all week was learn a new way to describe my unKondoed clutter . A young , highly popular interior decorator , interviewed in the paper this weekend , described his collection of robots as 'a cluster' , which does sound quite contained and attractive ... almost gives me a spark of joy .
Perhaps , I could cluster my 'clusters' ...
It's been rather busy , lately . I seem to be running a drop-in centre for ergo therapists , case workers and community nurses at the moment and lovely though they all are , it's left me with a temporary reluctance to drink any more coffee or the mental agility to string more than three words together .
In an attempt to escape any more conversations about Track'n'Trace insoles , I jumped on a train the other day and went to a museum .
The Secret Of Dresden isn't a huge exhibition , more a sort of family collection had one's ancestors done the Grand Tour and brought back a Canaletto and the odd Watteau
I was particularly interested in the boats since , now it's warmer , our river is getting busier again , though not usually with quite such pretty craft .
As usual , The Groninger Museum had mounted it beautifully and there was peace and space to admire the details .
I want a velvet pelisse now , though not fur trimmed
and a fountain like this would be nice ...
It wasn't busy so I sat and relaxed in borrowed comfort for a moment or two .
Afterwards I went into town for lunch and , given that I'm busily reading my way through all the Kate Ellis detective stories I can get my hands on at the moment , it was serendipitious to look up and see this
Oh good , a reason , were one needed , to go back ...
Now it seems possible that Spring might on the way , one of the supermarket chains has a new promotion . For every 15 Euros you spend , you get one of these tiny grow kits
( it's potluck and there are twenty different kinds , so one would have to spend rather a lot to become Capability Brown but how my heart yearns for the aubergine one ... )
It's aimed at children and their mums but everyone , including great-grannies with perms and rainhats , has a glint in their eyes as they queue at the cash tills .
I , too , have invested lavishly , stockpiling rice , potscourers and jam and now have 3 sets AND , having thrown caution to the winds , the instruction booklet for an extra .49 cents .
The scarecrow was free , I had a loo roll middle already and all I need now is a lolly stick to prop him up .
My Own Vegetable Garden should will have chives , some salad leaves and spring onions so far . Perhaps I can even make the Light Spring Onion Soup from the recipe cards from WWW.WITSHOP.CO.UK I got at Christmas .
It does call for three bunches of spring onions though so , just to be sure , I should go shopping again .....
Having , on occasion , got slightly lost in Wolf Hall , thanks to the BBC's take on Tudor indoor lighting and my Catholic upbringing , I thought I'd do a bit of homework for episode 5 .
By this time I've worked out that the man in black with a expression like a disappointed dog was Cromwell ... though not a Cromwell that my history teacher would recognise (she , after all , had been given the name of one of the English Martyrs on becoming a nun) . Quite a few of the people remain a mystery .
Luckily Hilary Mantel is not the only writer to deal with the period , so I decided to go straight to another woman whose books have inspired many a successful costume drama , Jane Austen .
"It would be an affront to my Readers were I to suppose that they were not as well acquainted with the particulars of this king's reign as I am myself . It will then be saving them the task of reading again what they have read before , and myself the trouble of writing what I do not perfectly recollect , by giving a slight sketch of the principal Events which mark his reign ."
In the interests of saving you the task of reading it , I'll give you Miss Austen's opinion on his reign in a sentence ,
"The Crimes and Cruelties of this Prince were too numerous to be mentioned ... " . I have a feeling it's going to end in tears ....
The weeks trickle by . It's February , when every day seems to last thirtysix hours and all desire for hearty soup has waned , everything is brown and I can't imagine ever taking off my polo neck jumpers again ... do they make polo neck nighties ?
Still , there is some consolation in the fact that almost anything at all can cheer one up instantly . As I came home the other day in the drizzle , a shambling , redfaced drunk bellowed a compliment after me , "Woahhh ! Lekkerrrrrrrrrrrr ding !! " and then fell flat in a heap , burbling appreciatively , making me grin all the way home .
I survived a talk about town development in Leeuwarden , while sitting behind a middle-aged man who seemed to subscribe to the theory that baldness could be staved off by vigorous and constant scalp massage .... and was rewarded by a short video about local events in the '50s . The clothes ! The hats !
I had lunch with two dear friends who always amuse and can window shop to perfection .
It snowed and I've got a photo to prove it , though it was shortlived and no one needed these .
Celebrity Bake Off has begun and , last night , Joanna Lumley was at her giraffe-like best .
I seem to be able to do press ups , much to my astonishment ( and no small pride ) .
And best of all , I bought and useda C.D. player cleaning disc and Lorraine Hunt is restored to her full glory this afternoon .
SmitoniusAndSonata is a mother and daughter collective blog.
London based Smitonius (Jessamy) makes one of a kind jewellery using vintage buttons, as well as a combination of beads from all over Europe: from lampwork ones by a range of UK artists to vintage and modern glass beads.
Sonata is a miniature quilt maker based in the North of Holland (Leeuwarden). Geraldine Keyzer is already known to collectors of Hitty dolls and owners of vintage dollhouses. She likes to use vintage as well modern cotton to create a range of quilts from simple One Patch to the more complex Grandmother's Garden.