Wednesday, 7 December 2016

No Eye Candy

Blogger or Google-thing or whoever now runs the world seems to have decided that I can't upload any more photos here .
So you'll just have to imagine what Groningen looked like last Saturday ... twinkly .
And rather busy . And full of large people carrying huge parcels . And crowded with people cycling past with Christmas trees . Those of us who are neither agrophobic or claustrophobic had a lovely time .
In fact it was so nice , I'm going to Den Haag on Saturday to Christmas shop there .
Not that I'm having much luck actually finding anything suitable . There was in fact a moment last night , when I wondered if it wouldn't just be O.K. to send everybody a Playmobil airplane via Amazon ... 

But now I've bought some lovely gift tags and it would be a shame not to use them

Monday, 14 November 2016

Fleeing From Reality...



                                                




This grumpy teenager ,

born just up the road and destined to become a solicitor like his father , provided the perfect escape last Wednesday morning after the shock of Trump's election win .

The Fries Museum  currently has a large Alma-Tadema exhibition , showing a lot of privately owned treasures . His huge canvases full of rose petals and mosaics ,


draperies and marble , breastplates and togas proved to be just the distraction needed  .


First thing in the morning there was plenty of room to admire his attention to detail


... later on it became busier and I could sink gracefully on a bench and watch excerpts from the many films which should have listed him in the credits as set designer .

A couple of school groups swooped about with their work-sheets , the boys impressed by the swords and the girls by this slice of Roman high life where lolling about was a virtue . Later, they would go into a side-room where they could all dress up in togas and swirl capes and weapons to their hearts content .


We instead , just tottered off and sank into a cafe corner over coffees and  tried to understand what's happening this year ... 

But I'm going to have to go back again to pay proper attention to Alma-Tadema's family portraits . His real talent lay in his portrayal of faces , whether  of a childhood friend


his daughters or this little boy ,


waiting while his mother talked to a friend she'd met in the street .

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Golden Oldies ...



I've just spent the afternoon singing along with the Shadows , Elvis and an Indonesian band .
The band members were all on the elderly side ... the drummer tended to nod off between numbers , which might be why he'd been carefully positioned in the corner  ... but then so was the audience .

We all had a lovely time , ate all the biscuits and danced when the mood took us . Those of us , who remembered how to , hand jived and one totally round woman insisted on being hauled to her feet to demonstrate Hawaian dancing at regular intervals , collapsing back into her wheelchair each time after a couple of seconds , beaming .

No , don't worry , I was a visitor , not having got to care home age which here is usually 80+ , but if every Sunday afternoon were to be like this , it wouldn't be too bad ...the biscuits would have to be better , though . 

And who will we all be singing along to by then ? The Animals ?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Transported ... To The Wrong Film Entirely

Temporarily bike-less and carrying a far too heavy ruck-sack , there I am , wandering down the street , humming the Dr. Who music and wishing I hadn't taken quite so many books out of the library  , since I can only read them one at a time anyway , when something caught my eye .



A new plaque on the corner ... and there I was face to face with an Oscar winner , Richard Hageman , who got it for the music for  "Stagecoach"  .

Altogether carried away by this unexpected  brush with fame on a wet Thursday afternoon  , I swapped my Tardis for a dash through the Badlands .


And only realised when I got home that , actually , I was humming Annie Oakley's " Whip , Crack Away "  instead . Did John Wayne and Doris Day ever share a screen ?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Fourth Dimension ... Or Something



I'd run out of crosswords . ( I have a subscription to the Times puzzle page and tend to print them out in batches , rather than one a day . Henry Ford has nothing on me . I've streamlined the whole process . )   So ; coffee , laptop and printer ... 

Only now I've  got Windows 10 and Windows 10 refused to co-operate with the printer . It seemed that I had to formally introduce them . Well , at least one of us must be socially challenged because it took all morning .

Never mind , in between all the faffing about wailing , I also managed to cook a pot of  pork and beans , clean the kitchen windows and swear a lot . I've now got a big pile of crosswords , enough for weeks , which is just as well because I'm worn out ...


These ads have been going up all over the place  , any suggestion of a connection to a certain Windows programme is pure conjecture .

Thursday, 29 September 2016

It's On The Turn ...



It's on the turn , finally ...

No , not the carton of milk in my fridge , but summer into autumn . A whole month of warmth and blue , blue skies had lulled me into a glow of careless good humour .


Till this morning when a predicted brisk wind became ferocious and , fearing for life and limb , instead of going on the bike I took the bus to Keep Fit . Well no , two there and two back actually ... a total of four bus rides , admittedly short , so that I could use the gym's cycling machine for ten minutes and the treadmill for another ten .
What was that about global warming ?

Apart from that I'm building up layers of fat to see me through the winter ... not round my middle , fortunately , but stacked as pots of chickpeas ( much nicer than tinned ones ) and soup in the freezer , as though I didn't live a three minute bike ride from the supermarket . 
Even YD , not normally a squirrelly person , reports in her turn a freezer full of small mineral water bottles of home-made chicken stock and a future of Venetian risotto .
I might even make some muffins .

Outside the rain's coming down sideways , and inside I've just filled the biggest mug in the house with coffee and picked up my book again .


I've got to find out what happens at the end .

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Back To Work ...

No , I'm not going back to work and I doubt whether anybody would rush to offer me a job these days ;  but I would like a shot , if I could just do it via this place's back-to-work-scheme .


 It was Open Monument day in town last Saturday , dedicated this year to our industrial heritage . Usually only too keen to nose in normally non-public spaces , I couldn't summon up the enthusiasm to admire the  'pancake factory's'   deliveries yard or queue in the sun to have another look at the old jail's smithy .

But as I came round a corner near the supermarket , I almost cycled into this and couldn't resist  .


An old shipyard run these days by enthusiasts to look after old boats and  to provide apprenticeships  .

It's tiny and very run-down but ingeniously cobbled together with whatever was to hand .... one wall consisted of a patchwork of old shed doors . They seemed to specialise in rehousing orphaned windows , too .


 But the boat builders were all overwhelmingly keen to explain every process ,


the tools were impeccably stored , every piece of work glowed as beautifully planed and sanded wood should


and you knew that nothing would ever be wasted . I wandered about wondering if there was a vacancy for a coffee-maker /wood-stroker ... 

The only snag , of course , being that , much as I love all the boats I see every day 


I don't really like the water and am a hopeless sailor . The chances of suddenly getting very wet indeed are just too high .