Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Stavanger Sojourn: part 2

There were some very busy weeks in the Netherlands before flying to Norway.
After David left for Porto (to work on our boat) I began preparing the house for our guest family (friends of Judy's) who will stay here until the renovations on their house are completed.
Among other things I cleared up what had been something of a "spare room" occupied by boxes of books, clothes and general clutter. To my delight I emptied all the boxes (hid some of the contents in the room's cupboard!) and could then have the room decorated.
Here is the result:
The walls were painted a soft green, to pick out one of the greens in the curtains (a William Morris design, which I had made up many years ago, but being Liberty's cotton still unblemished by time...) and the furniture consisted of a Thonet chair and a table which David and I had bought in an auction (long time ago) which I discreetly covered with a paisley-motif tablecloth.
As you notice I am interested in interior design (!) and felt very pleased with this renovated room.
Didn't mention that a large chunk of the wall fell down at first, so it needed re-plastering and then waiting for it to dry. But it was all finished in time for its new occupant: eight-year-old David. His bed was installed and it soon became his own cosy sleeping place.
Meanwhile his sister inhabits the "Isaak Room" above the kitchen, and Mum and Dad have the basement bedroom. I sleep quietly in the attic.
After installing the guests, I spent a weekend in nearby Westzaan, close to the sandy dunes that edge the Dutch coast. We went for some splendid wind-buffeted walks, evading hailstorms and marvelling at the light.
Windy watery countryside, with the sound of whistling reeds and a range of remarkable colours, muted greens and greys, and tawny reeds.
Lots of new building going on round here, witness to the general prosperity of the Netherlands.
And the lines and watery shapes an inspiration for artists: we visited a local gallery holding an art exhibition and I bought an etching by a local artist, reminding me of some of Rembrandt's landscape etchings. 
Too much reflecting glass in this photo; but still fine evidence that Dutch art is alive and flourishing. I've hung this etching on the wall near where I work, close to a work in acrylic by Lucas Kuys showing Tinker's Hole in Scotland, where he sailed with David and me at the end of the last century...
After the duneland, back to Amsterdam, now shining in cold splendour (temperatures below zero) cold wind and clear skies. And shining water.
View of the Amstel

Stavanger Sojourn (a fortnight in Norway)

Lured by the snowy wastes and of course my daughter and family, I am presently spending a couple of weeks in Stavanger, on the southwest coast of Norway. Snow and fir trees...
I have taken some pix, so now an attempt to attach them.
Ah, success... this is the morning flush upon the snow, looking out from my daughter's house.
But now I hear the grandchildren returning from school, so a greeting is called for and dance with Rachel (now aged three and three quarters).