Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A little home-improvement outside

I live in a flat and outside my frontdoor in the hallway, there is a little corner that is just empty space. I do not use it and never have used it and for years I just ignored it.
But for a couple of months I have been thinking about what I could do to make this hallway look a little bit more inviting.

Last week I went into a charity shop and I found this white table. It is 50cm by 50cm and it was not in perfect condition (it is a little bit damaged on the top), but I thought it would look good in that dark corner.

The table stood like this for a couple of days in the hallway, since I was still thinking how I wanted to dress it up.
Yesterday I had some time and I went shopping in several charity shops and a garden center. I found the framed poster and thought it was perfect. It adds some colour, but it is not over the top. There is a little crack in the glass, but it is hardly visible.

I also found the glass bottles and decided to buy some silk flowers, to make a lovely combination. In the garden centre I also found a little ceramic vase, perfect for covering up the damage on the table :-).
I am very pleased with the result. There is still enough room to get to my frontdoor and, it does not look cluttered. I kept it very simple, but I do not think it needs more. On the contrary, I think it looks fresh and inviting.

And the best part is I did not spend a lot of money! (not unimportant)
In total I spent 18 euro's 50.

Table 3 euro's 50
framed poster 3 euro's 50
glass vases: 2 for 80 eurocent
silk flowers and ceramic vase 10 euro's 70 (those silk flowers are the most expensive things on that table!)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The waters of eternal youth, Donna Leon

As always I was very happy when the new book by Donna Leon was translated into Dutch last month.

In The waters of eternal youth Brunetti is asked by an old friend of his mother in law to look into the accident when her granddaughter almost drowned, fifteen years ago. The young woman suffered brain damage and has the mental capacity of a seven year old and she cannot answer questions about what happened.

Brunetti takes up the case but does not expect to find anything. Only when he wants to interview an eyewitness of the event, the witness gets murdered. And this alerts Brunetti that there must have been more to the accident than he first thought.

The commissario Brunetti series by Donna Leon is one of my favorites. I love the atmosphere of Venice in these books, the way Guido Brunetti ponders life and the future of Venice and the way food plays a role. Are there a few cliches here and there? Yes, there are, but not in such a way it bothers you while you read it. You just know what you get with these books, there are not many surprises.

The mysteries are also not very complitacted, I usually know who the murderer is before 1/3 of the book, but I forgive Donna Leon this with all my heart! I did like the little twist at the end very much, and I did not see that one coming.

The waters of eternal youth is again a good mysterie, with a dose of nostalgia and Venecian atmosphere.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Almere in bloom

The weather has been absolutely great over here in the past week, Spring has definately arrived in The Netherlands. This weekend I did a little tour on my bicycle around Almere and I noticed how many flowers you can already see. So many trees are already in bloom and it is a lovely sight. So it is not Paris, but that does not mean it is not beautiful! Enjoy.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Paris in bloom, Georgianna Lane

Last year I was fortunate enough to be in Paris in May. This year I hope to go to Paris later in the year. But not being in Paris in the Spring is not a problem with this beautiful new book.

Paris in Bloom by photographer and author Georgianna Lane is a joy to read and especially: to look at the photographs.

It is an ode to Paris in Spring, and in my mind at this moment the next best thing to being in Paris yourself.

The book is divided into four sections, Parks and gardens, Floral boutiques, Market flowers and Floral displays. All the photographs are extremely beautiful and do not only show the flowers of Paris, but also the patterns of the typical Parisian things like doors and cast-iron gates, combined with flowers.

I would have loved a section on balconies and window-sills, but perhaps that is an idea for another book (I can only hope).

This book makes you fall in love with Paris even more (and yes, that is possible).

Here are just a few examples of the photographs in this book. I am afraid they are not very good, but I hope they do give you an impression of how stunning this book really is.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Beautiful head

Sculpture made by Portuguese artist Soares dos Reis (1847-1889)

Monday, 3 April 2017

A Florence diary, Diana Athill

In 1947 Diana Athill travelled to Florence in Italy. She was leaving an England behind that was still recovering from the war. Of course there had also been war in Italy, but somehow the sun and the art and the wonders of a foreign country made this all seem a little less bleak.

In those days there was no airplane, but you had to take the boat to France, and then several trains to finally arrive in Florence. Diana Athill travelled with her cousin Pen and together they spend two weeks in this beautiful city.

They made excursions in and around Florence, climbed to San Miniato al Monte and admired the architecture, while they tried to keep to their budget, try out all the different dishes Italy had to offer, and meet some helpful men.

Diana went into the San Lorenzo thinking it would not be much, only to discover the Medici chapel and falling in love with it.

To make sure she would be able to tell her mother all about the trip, she kept a diary and this has recently been discovered. It is a lovely account, especially if you know Florence yourself and recognize the different places she describes. Although I do think if you do not know Florence, you will not find this little book very exciting.
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