woensdag 28 september 2011

Getting ready for autumn

We had some beautiful sunny weather in Holland this weekend. Perfect to do some work in the garden and empty the outdoor kitchen. When autumn storms arrive, I don't want my china and enamelware to be all over the garden.

I was sent two beautiful tea towels by the All tea towels company. They have the most wonderful selection of linen and cotton tea towels. From contemporary designs to vintage prints and more romantic patterns. All high quality. I found it difficult to make a choice. They have so much on offer. When the tea towels arrived by mail on Friday, my middle daughter asked me if she could have the red one with the text 'Keep calm and carry on', to put on her bedroom wall. Guess I will have to get a new one for myself !

Now that the garden is slowly going to sleep, I will be posting less frequently. Probably once a week. This leaves me with more time to finish my crocheted plaid, do some baking and cooking, and finally read those books that have been lying in my bookcase for weeks now. 

Wish you all a happy Wednesday! Enjoy the sun :-)

Madelief x

zaterdag 24 september 2011

Autumn decorations

Today was a lovely autumn day in Holland. It felt good wearing a summer dress and sandals again. I spent a great part of the day outdoors and even found time to make some minor changes around the house. The summer accessories were put upstairs in the loft and replaced by plaids, pillows & candles in colours I find more suitable for autumn and winter. At our local fleamarket I discovered an old blue vase, which I couldn't resist. It looks beautiful on our new dresser and matches perfectly with the blue china and glassware inside.

Tomorrow we will be heading for the garden, to empty our outdoor kitchen and make everything ready before autumn storms arrive.

Hope you will all have a lovely sunny weekend!

Madelief x

woensdag 21 september 2011

A toutes les gloires de la France

When walking on the forecourt towards the entrance of the palace of Versailles, one of the first things you notice are the words 'A toutes les gloires de la France' on one of the buildings. The words were added during the reign of Louis Philippe, who was king of France from 1830 to 1848, and turned the palace into a museum dedicated to the glory of France. The palace itself dates back to the 17th century and was expanded over the years. What began as Louis XIII hunting lodge turned into Louis XIV's palace, as we know it today.

We visited at the height of summer, which really isn't the best period to visit if you want to see all the rooms properly. It was terribly crowded. Especially at the beginning of our tour the only thing we could see was other people's backs. Later on, when smaller rooms turned into big halls, there was much more space to enjoy the splendour of the palace; the painted ceilings, the huge chandeliers, exquisite fabrics, the marble and 'gold' everywhere. There is so much to take in. One day is not enough to see it all. We decided to return one day, in spring or autumn, to take a better look.

In one of my earlier posts, I showed you around parts of the castle that had a connection with  Marie Antoinette. Today some more photo's of the castle, like the famous hall of mirrors, and the amazing gardens.

Happy day!

Madelief x



zondag 18 september 2011

Another rainy day

Today we had another rainy day in Rotterdam. We have had so much of them this summer. Too much really. When I think back of the number of warm and sunny days we spent in our garden, I do not get any further than about ten. Such a shame!

Despite the showers we had today, I wanted to spend some time in the garden. If only to see how the last vegetables are doing, like the courgette, leek, oak leaf lettuce and pattison. I also wanted to pick some flowers to take home with me.

The garden was soaking wet. The smell of wet soil and grass overwhelming. How I love that scent. As I descended down the garden path tiny frogs jumped away through the rain. Looking for a safe place. There are still some Sweet Pea's, Dahlia's and Cosmos in bloom. I also picked some Sedum, which has a beautiful dusty pink colour and looks very pretty in a bouquet. At home I put the flowers in little jars and placed them around the house.They are such a joyous sight!

Now something completely different. Did any of you read the latest book by John Boyne, called The absolutist? It is one of the most beautiful books I read lately. It's about two young men fighting in the Great War, struggling with the complexity of their emotions. It's about love too and friendship. About the atrocities of war and about deciding not to fight any more. 

When you are off to the library or bookshop this week, just take this book with you. It's simply beautiful!

A happy new week to you all

Madelief x