At last, spring is emerging, although we hardly have had time to notice. On Monday, the gardeners will arrive to complete the work we began five months ago - removing trees and weeds and creating a calmer, more zen-like space. Before-and-after pictures coming soon...
My apologies for my absence - both on the blog and in responding to your kind emails and messages. It's a bit hectic here: trying to improve my juggling skills, but repeatedly dropping the ball. Must do better!
If you've wondered about the difference between the often-used generic reference to "Holland" vs. "the Netherlands," this clever video offers clarification (for the record, we live in the province of Noord-Holland, in the country of the Netherlands).
This "cheesy" bicycle is on permanent display on a bridge in Edam, Noord-Holland (its decorations are refreshed each season). On Monday, I was in Edam buying cheese for my daughter Jordana's Easter package (photo taken with my phone's rubbish camera).
"It doesn't look like a hospital, does it?" That was the initial reaction of a Dutch friend, who recently accompanied me to the hospital to see David. He's right: the glass balls suspended from the high, industrial loft-like ceiling are more akin to an art gallery than a hospital, creating a cheerful atmosphere. Photos (taken with the phone's camera) are of the main entrance at AVL, the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.
When we moved to our Dutch canal house two years ago, after walking through the entryway, this antique French cupboard was the first thing you'd see. But the cupboard didn't agree with the house's modern architecture, so more than a year ago - after removing the sunburst windows and drawers for a future project - I replaced it with a George Nelson bench. But that seemed a bit too "art gallery-like" for the space; eventually it was moved elsewhere, in favour of a late 1950s/early '60s Dutch low sideboard.
The white strip below the sideboard is where the painter forgot to replace the wooden baseboard; must remedy that soon! I often switch the photographs and art above the sideboard, but my collection of mid-century graphic pottery (Anton Piesche, Germany) remains - for now!
Quite the contrast from the top photo, isn't it? The current look is more my style. I like simplicity and clean lines, with one focal point providing a bit of punch or drama. I strive for the "less is more" look, but rarely achieve it. Our house is an eclectic combination of antique and modern furniture, art and treasures collected on my travels.
Since leaving Paris, I've sold nearly 250 antique and vintage items (keeping only my favourites) and purchased some modern design classics. The biggest expenditure has been on lights from Denmark, Sweden and Finland - seems the further north you move and the colder the climate, the more light is needed (or maybe it has something to do with age).