zaterdag 26 januari 2013

To go or not to go

When spending our holiday in The Cotswolds last year, we had doubts whether to visit Stratford upon Avon or not. We heard stories about bus loads of tourists brought into town, to pay homage to William Shakespeare. The realisation that we would be part of the crowd, did not really appeal to us. Nevertheless, the fact that our holiday cottage was close to Stratford, made it too good an opportunity to miss.

So it was that at half past seven in the morning, we were among the first visitors at the car park near the river Avon. While the girls enjoyed a guided tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, we had a pleasant walk to Anne Hathaway's cottage in the little hamlet of Shottery

Anne Hathaway's Cottage is a thatched farmhouse with stunning grounds and gardens, where the once young William Shakespeare courted his future wife. The garden is absolutely delightful, with masses of flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs. It looks like the plants are thrown in carelessly, but it all works beautifully. To me this garden is a fine example of a quintessential English cottage garden. We liked the tour of the house. The lady who showed us around and told us about life in Elizabethan times, a joy to listen to.

Our visit to the house and garden inspired us to take up Shakespeare once more. Bad memories of obligatory reading lists, last minute exam stress and horrible dreams of witches, complot's against kings, jealousy and hatred belong to the past. We are into comedies now :-)

Have a lovely weekend,

Madelief x 

Love all, trust a few and do wrong to none (from All's Well That Ends Well)

zaterdag 19 januari 2013

Hooked !

Hooked, that's what I am, completely hooked to crochet :-) The last couple of evenings were spent on the couch, with pastel coloured yarn around me and a crocheting needle in my hand.

I recently bought a book, 100 snowflakes to crochet, which I quite enjoy. Some flakes look more like a doily, but that is probably because I am a relatively new to crochet and don't know the right stitches and patterns yet. I wish my grandmother could see me. She would have loved it!!

Finally my granny square plaid is looking the way I want to :-). I used the slip stitch to crochet the granny squares together, which worked very well. I still have a long way to go, but I can already drape the plaid over a couch or bed. Hurray!

In between work and crochet, I visited several thrift shops in and around Rotterdam. My eldest daughter, who moved out last week, was in need of some furniture and home ware. When you live on a student budget, the thrift store is the place to go. She found some lovely glassware, vases and a sweet little cupboard from the seventies.

Off course my eyes were drawn to a collection of floral teacups :-). They are so very very pretty! The soft winter light shining on the tiny pastel coloured roses, makes them look magical!

Do you have any plans for this weekend? When you live in an around Rotterdam, I can recommend the exhibition 'The road to Van Eyck' in the Boymans van Beuningen. It shows paintings of the low countries in the early Middle Ages. The exhibition is quite unique, because the paintings on display are the only ones that survived from this period. Most of the works have an eclectic theme. I thought I would not like it, but I was wrong. It's amazing to see how the use of colour and the way to paint 'light' evolved. The exhibition is on until the 10th of February.

Tomorrow my youngest daughter and I will be doing some DIY. More about that soon.

Love from a cold and (snow) white Holland!

Madelief x


vrijdag 11 januari 2013

Garden highlights

This must be my favourite post of the year! If only for the pleasure it gave me to browse through twelve months of garden delights. The photo's make me think about the coming gardening season too. What shall I do with the garden? Leave it the way it is? I was happy the way it looked last year. I think my decision to change the vegetable patch into a cutting garden was a good one. All those bouquets I took home with me :-)

My gardening books are out of the cupboard once more. My head full of ideas. How about you?

Thank you for the sweet messages you left on my last post. They helped and made me realise how fortunate I am to have you as my followers. A big kiss to you all!

Have a lovely weekend!

Madelief x