31 december 2014

On this last day..

..of 2014 I chose a photo that we made during our Summer holiday in the U.K., of a (in my opinion) typically British shop window in Hawes, a village in the Wensleydale in Yorkshire.

I wish you a wonderful and memorable 31st of December, wherever you are!

30 december 2014


Even though this Chevrolet pickup has an unattractive rust colour and has some dents here and there, it is a vehicle you don't see every day! I noticed it standing in front of our house a few days ago, with the driver trying all he could for a long while before he went on his way again.
And what do you do when you know less than nothing at all about cars? Yes, stay inside and take a photo..
Note the two 'outdoor' seats in the back!

29 december 2014

Monday mural

This mural in the Walstraat in Deventer pictures an ordinary city street in the 19th or early 20th(?) century. Note the signs advertising for Talamini Icecream, and the one on the right of Charles Dickens.
Talamini Ice is an Italian ice cream brand and is known in Deventer since 1933.

Linking to Monday Mural.

28 december 2014

Winter walk

There was rain and snowfall in the lower half of our country yesterday, but in the north -where we live- it stayed completely dry. This morning we joined the 'Oudjaarswandeling' (lit. 'Old year's hike), a 10 km (6.4 miles) hike held each year on the last Sunday of December, and starting in the village of Exloo. Halfway we passed the skating rink in the woods, that showed just a tiny layer of ice after the frost from last night.

The second half of the walk continued along a beautiful area with heather, called 'Molenveld'. In the distance is the Exloo sheep herd.

27 december 2014

From the archives #46

Madeira (2008)
An example of the characteristic Portuguese tile work on a road sign somewhere on the island of Madeira. Apart from the beautiful art work, I think it was the contrast as well that made me take this photo.

26 december 2014

The Milkmaid

'The Milkmaid' -in Dutch: 'Het Melkmeisje'- is a world famous oil-on-canvas painting by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), a Dutch painter who was specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Throughout the years the painting has been exhibited in several countries in western Europe and the United States, and is nowadays part of the collection of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.

We saw this very special version of The Milkmaid painted on a wooden shoe in Garderen, last Summer.

25 december 2014

Midwinter horn stroll

This is a photo from last year´s ´Midwinter horn stroll´ in the area around the village of Zuidwolde. Midwinter horn blowing is an ancient tradition in the east part of our country, and is practiced during the period from the eve of Advent through Epiphany on January 6. The blowing of the horns was thought to rid the earth of evil spirits, and announce the coming of Christ.

23 december 2014

The lamplighter

This sculpture of a 'lantaarnopsteker' (lamplighter) is found across the entrance of Prison Museum Veenhuizen. Before there was electric light, street lights -mostly candles- were lit manually every evening and put out again at dawn. Another lamplighter duty was to carry a ladder and renew the candles, oil, or gas mantles.
The sculpture was created by H.S. Bosma.

22 december 2014

Ebenezer Scrooge

'A Chrismas Carol', published in 1843, is probably the best-known novel by Charles Dickens. This mural from the Walstraat in Deventer pictures Ebenezer Scrooge on 3 doors, with texts above translated into Dutch.

The texts from left to right /translated into English (by me):

"Who and what are you?" Scrooge asked.
"I am the Ghost of Christmas Past"
"From a past long gone? Scrooge asked, as he watched 
the figure closely."
No. From your past."

I am the Ghost of Christmas Present, the ghost said.
Look at me. And even though the ghosts' eyes were bright and friendly,
Scrooge did not really want to look at him.
But he obeyed with respect.
You have not seen anybody like me before the ghost said.

The ghost stood between the graves and pointed at one.
Scrooge came closer, trembling. His eyes followed the pointing finger 
while his knees gave way, and on the stone of the neglected grave
he read his own name: Ebenezer Scrooge.

Linking to Monday Mural.

21 december 2014


Wondering about the meaning of the 'W' on the fence, we were told that this tree was planted in 1898 when Princess Wilhelmina (the grandmother of our former Queen Beatrix) became Queen of the Netherlands at the age of 18. Since then it is a tradition in our country to plant a tree at important events in the lives of the Dutch Royal Family. The most recent occasion was on 30 April 2013 with the abdication of Queen Beatrix in favour of her eldest son Prince Willem-Alexander.
So this tree is at least 116 years old! I took this photo a few weeks ago in the village of Veenhuizen.

20 december 2014

From the archives #45

Alberta, Canada (2012)
The Athabasca Glacier is located along the 230 km (140 miles) long 'Icefields Parkway', a beautiful scenic route through the Canadian Rocky Mountains that we drove from Banff to Jasper. A snow coach with giant wheels brought us from the Icefield Centre onto the glacier, where we got out to have a look around and take photographs. It's a very tourist-thing to do, but a nice experience!

19 december 2014

Groninger Museum hallway

A view into one of the colourful hallways of the Groninger Museum.

For more reflections around the world go to Weekend Reflections.

18 december 2014

17 december 2014

Chemist's sign

The nostalgic sign of ´Drogisterij De Kruidnagel´ ('The Clove Chemist's') in Deventer.

Linking to signs, signs.

16 december 2014

15 december 2014

Monday mural

A mural on one of the doors inside former prison building 'De Rode Pannen', now part of Prison Museum Veenhuizen. The text says 'multiple person isolation cell'.

Taking part in Monday Mural.

14 december 2014


The inviting entrance of a Bed & Breakfast in the Walstraat, Deventer.

13 december 2014

From the archives #44

Finland (2010)
In the weeks before Christmas, but also in every other month of the year, people from all over the world come to Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland, to meet Santa at his residence there. For us it felt a bit strange to see this during our holiday in August!

This pretty girl called Tiina, according her name tag, was selling Christmas cards and stamps inside the post office of Santa Village. All post will be stamped by hand using the special postmark of the Santa Claus Post Office.

12 december 2014


Another image from Deventer. I was really charmed by that 'dachshund-bench'! :)

11 december 2014

Murano love

Something completely different today, with a photo made a few weeks ago at the Wouter Stips exhibition in the Singermuseum in Laren. This is one of the displayed Murano glass sculptures called 'Murano Love'. Art that appears to reach for you..   And I love it! How about you?

10 december 2014


Let's stay in the Walstraat in Deventer, as the previous days...   this time an antiques shop with a very elegant sign!

For more signs visit Lesley's signs, signs.

9 december 2014

The Pickwick Papers mural

Another Dickens mural from the Walstraat in Deventer. This one is in colour, obviously, and like yesterdays mural it has a text in Dutch translated from English. It is based on The Pickwick Papers, Dickens' first novel that was published in 1836.

The text:
Vooral in de buurt vind je ze nog steeds! Oude herbergen!
Misschien wel een half dozijn..........onregelmatige zonderlinge oude
gebouwen zijn het, met zalen, doorgangen, trappenhuizen en grote zolders.
Geheimzinnig genoeg om inspiratie op te doen voor wel honderd

And my own translation:
You find them mainly around here! Old inns!
Maybe half a dozen of them................crooked odd
buildings they are, with rooms, passage ways, stairwells and large attics.
Spooky enough to find inspiration for over a hundred
ghost stories................................................

8 december 2014

The Little Dorrit mural

I went shopping in Deventer last Saturday and photographed several nice Dickens-murals in the Walstraat. This black and white one pictures a scene that refers to Dickens´ serial novel ´Little Dorrit´, and has a text translated into Dutch.
Little Dorrit was originally published between 1855 and 1857, and is a work of satire on the shortcomings of the government and society of the period.

The text:
"Dit was een gevangenis, mijnheer,
Een strafgevangenis?  ...... Kon iedereen hier naar binnen?
Iedereen kon naar binnen, zei de man nadrukkelijk
Maar niet iedereen kon weer naar buiten! "

and my own translation:
"This was a prison, sir,
A convict prison? ..... Could everyone get in here?
Everyone could get in here, the man emphasized
But not everyone could get out!" 

Linking to Monday Mural.

7 december 2014

I will honor Christmas..

The town of Deventer is well-known for its Dickens festival that is held each year just before Christmas. I found this text on a shop in the Walstraat.

6 december 2014

From the archives #43

Finland (2010)
The first time we crossed the Arctic Circle was in 1995, near the village of Jokkmokk in Sweden on our way to the North Cape. For me it was a special moment that I had looked forward to; I was finally getting to a region that had been on my 'places to see-list' for soooo long.
Since then we crossed that 'magical' latitude many times, but it will always be special in a way. As it was for this group of tourists on that day in August 2010; holding a glass of champagne they were ready to cross the Arctic Circle just north of Rovaniemi, Finland.

5 december 2014

De Rode Pannen prison

During our visit to the National Prison Museum in Veenhuizen we joined a guided tour in cell block building 'De Rode Pannen' ('The Red Tiles'), a convict prison built in 1939-1940. De Rode Pannen has 46 cells, and was used until 2008 for those prisoners who were extremely agressive and hard to handle. With specially trained warders and a special approach it was tried to 're-educate' these men. A stay for about 3 to 4 weeks was usually enough to change their behaviour.
Since 2012 the Prison Museum is allowed to organise tours inside this building. It is however still 'ready for use'.

Taken from the same spot as the first photo, but now looking up to the (partly) glass ceiling, and one of the cell doors on the right.

4 december 2014

Prison Museum Veenhuizen

Last Sunday we visited the National Prison Museum in Veenhuizen. This village in the province of Drenthe was and is known for the prison complexes, of which one is still in use. The other one, named ´complex no. 2´ that you see on the photo, is now the National Prison Museum. From the 19th century the Department of Justice used it as a penal colony, so it was not an ´ordinary´ prison.

Veenhuizen used to be closed off to everyone but the inmates, and the staff and their families who lived in houses provided by the department. Since 1984 the village is freely accessible for all, which in fact doesn´t really seem that long ago..

3 december 2014


This orange bicycle with flowers in Den Burg (Texel) was advertising for a fashion shop, and it was parked in front of a house with a fence and a sign that clearly said: 'GEEN FIETSEN PLAATSEN' ('NO PARKING OF BICYCLES'). I guess the exception proves the rule..

For more signs around the world go to signs, signs.

2 december 2014

Going south

It has been cold with a grey sky for days now and temperatures have dropped till freezing point. It took a while, but with a chilly wind blowing from the East, winter has arrived. This photo was taken about 1,5 weeks ago, it's a view we see a lot at the moment!

1 december 2014

Kissing couple

To celebrate the 70th birthday of The Dutch painter and sculpturor Wouter Stips, the Singer Museum in Laren recently exhibited his most recent work. And I loved it! This bench in one of the rooms circled a wooden sculpture of a kissing couple. Sweet, don't you think?

In another room there was the same 'kissing couple' in colourful Murano glass. This glass is made on the Venetian island of Murano, home to a vast number of factories and a few individual artists' studios.