Sunday, April 13, 2008

Of cabbages and kings

I love that line. Not quite sure why but the idea of talking about random things.. from cabbages to kings rather appeals to me. That being said, the reason for this post is that this weekend has been somewhat random. For a start, I stayed in Rotterdam and I started off buying plants for my barge - you know, the usual assortment of geraniums and spring annuals that give it colour and life. Then I washed everything on the barge down with bleach to get rid of its winter green. In this case, its mould, moss and fungus, which spreads everywhere over the winter months!

Then, with the outside looking brighter, I attacked the accumulated clutter inside and put up two new shelves for books and CD's and finally, made the cupboard doors I have been planning for years to fit under the kitchen sink. Ever since I put the sink into place, I've had a curtain over the cupboard which in the course of time has been washed into faded limpness and which continually sagged in the middle, despite being propped up by a strategically placed screw. I am so chuffed to have these doors now, I cannot tell you, so it marks the end of an era for me and for Sindy. No longer can she go rootling in the rubbish bin for handy take away snacks! Poor baby - life used to be fun.....

cupboard doors in view on the left and new CD shelf proudly in place on the right.
Today, though, we went out of the city to escape the noise and pandemonium caused by the Rotterdam Marathon. Our trip took us north to a small town called Weesp, not far from Amsterdam. We also followed the Vecht river which is lined by mansions of unbelievable wealth and elegance and dived into village gems such as Muiden and Breukelen. What a visual feast it was. Almost too much! Strangely the only photos I took were these very Dutch, very peaceful scenes.

Now it's Sunday evening and the weekend is over. I've finished painting my doors and have done quite a bit of necessary 'opzomering' (cleaning up for summer), so the sense of satisfaction is great. No guilts then about escaping to the south again next weekend again. Have a good week everyone.


  1. Lovely, Val. Every word is true, and the pictures are almost as good as mine (lol).

    Just a comment on the side.
    The counsellor who initiated these cleanup activities happened to be called Opzoomer, a very summer-like word indeed. As the verb for the cleanup activity then, was chosen the word opzoomeren.

  2. I love the cupboard doors! In the old apartment we had doors that fell off constantly, and so there were a few, but gaps all around.
    And poor Sindy-Bin! you've taken her fun away! lol!
    Sorry to have been such s negligent blogger of late... been bogged down and it doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon... sigh. But you are never far from my thoughts!

  3. Have a good week yourself Val. nothing like spring cleaning, sprucing things up. It has been too hot this weekend for that sort of thing for me. A bit of summer splash, but winter to return. Interesting weather pattern. The girls had fun, will post some pics. How is Sindy?


  4. "Opzomering" what a nice word! :)
    It works in Swedish as well! Yes, I'm not kidding. I would like to do some opzomering myself soon but the winter hit back on us the other day and it won't give in for the next two weeks as it seems.

    Great pics! My wife, Ingela, is going to get a brand new Olympus SP570UZ today and I think we, the rest of the family, and our surroundings are to be photographed very thoroughly in the next few days.

  5. Hi Val,
    I see we had parallel weekends across the pond. We (or should I say Rob) has almost finished our new kitchen- pictures will follow in a few weeks when the tiling backsplashes are done. We also cleaned out the closets and sent things to charity or the locker downstairs. It already feels lighter here!

    I love the pictures, and I remember your curtain. The barge looks great although Sindy can't be a Sindy-bin anymore. I can just hear her- s'not fair!


  6. "The time has come
    The walrus said
    To talk of many things
    Of shoes and ships
    And sealing wax..."

    My mum used to quote that to us when she woke us up in the morning!

    Oh, I do so love an unplanned random day or two! Some of my best memories are made of those.
    Your photos are so serene and, I will trust you on this one, so Dutch.

    Vereeinging looks great! I really think I would do well living on a barge. Small spaces appeal to me, and I love simply having to stretch out my arm in order to reach whatever my heart desires. You know...tissues, my glasses, a magasine, supper...
    And, not to mention, going faring!

    Yes, my ski season was a bit dismal...but fear not, next year I promise to return with a vengence!
    Due to a series of unforttunate events - some of which you are aware - I have had to put my nose to the grindstone and find steady work. My other plans have only been set to simmer on the back burner.

    And, as a child, I always did wonder why one would want to wax their ceiling...

  7. ...where i live we wait for winter to doff its white...

  8. Cabbages, kings, cupboards, scrubbed decks, gardening and sightseeing. I came here for a quiet meditative read, but now I just feel exhausted!

    Sorry to have been so quiet - Colin's away (Paris, Birmingham, London, poor love, but it's work), and things have been incredibly busy, to say the least. I am in awe of single parents.

    I love peeping into your wonderful barge. One day I hope to do it in person.

  9. Val, I just took a closer look and the bottom photo looks like an outdoor riding arena.
    Was that an equestrian centre of sorts?

  10. Hi everyone, thanks so much for the random visits! Life seems to be hectic for everyone right now, so I really appreciate the time you've taken to drop by and see my ramblings, let alone read them!

    Stevie, I'm so chuffed with my cupboard doors, you have no idea. Today, I bought some cute little wooden knobs so they now have handles and in fact they are really properly finished now. If there's one thing I hate it's doors left open! Sin now looks a bit perplexed when faced with a couple of impregnable doors...poor baby..

    Grace, I wish we could have a splash of summer here, but although it's bright, it's still very cold!

    Hans, yes I love that word too, but as Koos explains I've got it wrong a bit ;-) Still, I'll keep to it as I think it's really apt!

    Anne Marie, the indredible lightness of being in a world without clutter..;-) I know it well! I still have some to get rid of here, and I've been attacking the Luxor Triangle as well these last few days. i've found some amazing stuff on Koos's ship, not to mention a couple of beautiful waistcoats/vests that he bought in the 70's! I'm keeping those....

    Dale!! You made me laugh so..thank you! "I always did wonder why one would want to wax their ceiling"..Now Koos tells me he always thought that too. I grew up with sealing wax as part of the stuff of which my home was made, so that never once occurred to me...It's just such a wonderful poem. How lovely to have your mother quote it to you.

    And yes, you're right I think. That could well be an equestrian centre there. I didn't really notice it, but there are a lot of horses in that area!

    Margie..have a rest, sit down and relax.Shame! I didn't mean to make you tired...but I so love my woodwork and it gives me such satisfaction to see my little barge looking nice. I would so love it if you could come and see it in person too...please do?

  11. OOh!, the doors look great you handy woman you!..

    The Bargie is looking well cosy and smart..

    Have a fab weekend!..


  12. My mum used to put paraffin on the tops of her preserves to know, preserve them.
    But I never thought of it as sealing wax.


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