31 maart 2015

After the storm

Spring seemed far away the past few days as we had lots of rain and a real storm today. I took this picture standing at the end of our garden just before sunset this evening, at about 7.45 pm. Still much wind, but the worst is over.

30 maart 2015

Waanders once more

 Following up on yesterday's post, these are two more views from inside 'Waanders in de Broeren'. Here I am standing on the third floor on one side of the church and looking down to the other side. As you can see the view is very open. The Dutch words 'Willen weten' there on the white part mean 'Want to know'.

And the organ of the Broeren Church "watches over" the people in the bookstore.

29 maart 2015

Waanders bookstore

'Waanders in de Broeren' is a modern bookstore in the 15th century Broeren church in the city centre of Zwolle, offering books, lectures, expositions, and there's a cafe-restaurant as well.

Somehow the modern interior of Waanders with 3 floors on both sides fit very well with the (still present) historical character of the church, with an organ on one side and a stained-glass window to the other. I noticed a lot of people just standing and looking around, taking photos. A remarkable place!

For more info click on their site (only in Dutch) HERE.

28 maart 2015

From the archives #59

Finland (2010)
A picture taken inside our holiday cottage in the Pyhä-Luosto National Park in northern Finland, while setting the table for dinner.

Have a nice weekend!

27 maart 2015


Not a totally rare sight around here but I always find them fascinating to see: storks on their nest. This particular pair near the village of Rolde was facing dark clouds when I took this photo.

Linking to Skywatch Friday.

26 maart 2015


From the city centre of Apeldoorn is this shop facade with beautiful Art Nouveau details. There is a game-shop at the ground floor now, and when I look at the drawings it may have been a bakery or butcher once.

25 maart 2015

Natural Monument

The 'Drouwenerzand' is located between Drouwen and Gasselte in the Dutch province of Drenthe; it is a large and beautiful area with drift-sands, heather fields and forests. In 2009 it was declared a 'Aardkundig Monument' (AM) -which in English would be something like 'natural monument'- and it was given this title because the area gives insight into the history of the earth. The drift-sands that you see in the background of the photo appeared in the course of time due to overgrazing and cutting turf.

The triangular sign gives some interesting facts about the Drouwenerzand, while the lower half shows the outline of the province of Drenthe. We live really not so far from this area, but last Sunday was the first time we actually stood on this spot! So remember it's never too late to explore your own region.. ;)

Linking to signs, signs.

24 maart 2015

The smiling horse

During our hike last Sunday starting in the village of Gasselte we passed the 'Manege Gasselte' (Gasselte Stables). This horse came to greet us and then nearly mistook my husband's fingers for a tasty horse-snack..:)

23 maart 2015

Mix of colours

A picture from the Stationsstraat in Apeldoorn. When I googled to find more information I learned that the building is used as a shelter for addicts and homeless people. Apparently the coloured shutters are placed so that the people who stay there are able to recognize 'their room' from outside on the streets..

22 maart 2015


I have seen on-line photos before of shoes hanging high above a city street over a cable, with tied laces. I made this photo yesterday in one of the shopping streets in Apeldoorn, and then googled for the meaning behind it, but all I read that nobody has a clue.. Can that be? I also read somewhere that it's a form of art called 'shoefiti': graffiti made with shoes..  What do you think?

21 maart 2015

From the archives #58

Sweden (2012)
The village of Ekshärad in the Swedish Värmland county is not only well known for its red wooden 17th century church, but also for the cemetery with its more than 300 graceful and imaginative iron crosses. These crosses were forged locally and have small 'leaves' that sway gently in the wind.

20 maart 2015


Yes, we´re in the weeks before Easter and I see chocolate everywhere..   *sigh*

19 maart 2015

The Human Image

Another exhibition in Museum De Fundatie worth seeing now is 'In Search of Meaning - The Human Image in a Global Perspective', with a variety of human figures from all corners of the world that contain a deeper (and sometimes political) meaning.
This one is named 'Feeling Material V' by Antony Gormley (Great Britain, 1950) and shows a person who becomes part of the flow of energy that we call nature. A bit cryptic if you ask me, but the image is interesting enough and invites the viewer to have his or her own thoughts..

18 maart 2015

Road sign

A creative prohibitory road sign seen in the village of Musselkanaal. It's not an official sign obviously, but apparently it is allowed as it has been there for years.

For more signs found worldwide go to signs, signs.

17 maart 2015

Megarealism by Tjalf Sparnaay (3)

This final post regarding the Tjalf Sparnaay exhibition in Zwolle is a different one, and by that I mean it's a non-food painting. At first sight this oil on canvas named "Rembrandt's self-portrait in plastic" appears to be "just" another reproduction. However Sparnaay made it a unique object when he continued with painting the plastic wrapping paper AND a price-tag of 1.95 euros. It's different and original.
I think it's brilliant!

16 maart 2015

Megarealism by Tjalf Sparnaay (2)

Two more views from the exhibition 'Closer. The megarealism by Tjalf Sparnaay' in museum De Fundatie in Zwolle. Here a painting of a giant hamburger..

..and another one showing a plain cheese sandwich. Sparnaay states: "My paintings are meant to enable the spectator to re-experience reality, to rediscover the essence of an object that has become so ordinary. I want to reduce it to the DNA of the universal structure, in all its beauty. I refer to it as the 'beauty of the everyday'."

A final (and non-food) post about Sparnaay tomorrow. In the meantime, if you like, there is more to read about the painter HERE.

15 maart 2015

Megarealism by Tjalf Sparnaay (1)

Yesterday I visited Museum De Fundatie in Zwolle to see the work of Dutch painter Tjalf Sparnaay (1954). He specialised himself in intensifying reality by enlarging everyday objects to mega-proportions. He says: "My intention is to give these items a soul and a renewed presence."
The eggs sunny-side up belong to his best known.

It is said that the way in which Sparnaay works directly refers to the 17th century. He approaches Vermeer in his use of colour and eye for detail and refinement; he builds on the rich Dutch tradition of the still life but does so in an individual and modern manner.
I found his paintings realistic in an absurd way, at first sight they appear to be photographs instead of oil paintings. The colours are truly amazing. In all ways a very interesting exhibition! Another post about Sparnaay tomorrow.

14 maart 2015

From the archives #57

Pompeii, Italy (2009)
It is said that the ruined Roman city of Pompeii once had 35 brothels, that were known by the Roman word 'Lupanar'. With a population of 10,000 people in Pompeii during the first century CE, this seems quite a lot obviously, but then early Pompeian excavators classified any building containing erotic paintings as brothels.
The photo above shows a sign carved out in the pavement, pointing to a brothel.

And to any of you who wonder: "Hey, is that a .. ?"
It is.

Enjoy your weekend!   :)

13 maart 2015

Blue skies

We look back to a week with bright blue skies and lots of sunshine, and it won´t be long now before this magnolia will explode and show its white flowers.

I´m linking to Skywatch Friday.

12 maart 2015


Another beach photo taken at Schiermonnikoog. It's a bit blurred but in this case that just adds a little extra to the image I think. On this spot a thin layer of white sand was zig-zagging in the wind, just above the surface of the beach. It looks like water on the photo but it clearly isn't!

11 maart 2015


Not just a free car-wash, but a place where you can take your car for a shower. How about that?
Seen at the edge of one of the residential areas in Borger. Oh, and the Dutch words 'Geen drinkwater' mean 'No drinking-water'..

Linking to Lesley's signs, signs.

10 maart 2015


No kite-surfers on the water yet, but with a wind force 4/5 this guy was enjoying himself going back and forth on the North Sea beach of Schiermonnikoog last Sunday.

9 maart 2015


Yesterday morning, walking through waving grasses in the bright sun on the island of Schiermonnikoog. In the background you can just see the outline of the Kobbeduin beacon.

8 maart 2015

Man at work

Yesterday morning this man was busy pruning the branches that hung over his land and were likely to give trouble later in the year when it´s time to harvest. Last year it was grain on this field, what will it be this year: potatoes, or sugar beets maybe?

7 maart 2015

From the archives #56

Canada (2012)
Definitely one of the most amazing things we ever witnessed was the salmon jump at Bailey's Chute in Wells Gray Park (B.C.) in September 2012. We had actually parked our car here to take a walk and when we came near the Clearwater River wondered why it was so crowded. Well, we soon found out!

Chinook Salmon travel over 600 km through lakes, up heavy rapids, strongs currents, and against natural predators to their spawning ground, leaving the last bit of effort to spawn, and then to die. If you would like to read more about the Wells Gray Park and the journey of the salmon click HERE.

The only thing missing here was a bear.. fishing and eating.. ;)     Enjoy your weekend!

6 maart 2015

Early Spring?

Even though March has just begun Spring seems within reach. This particular field near Zuidlaren hasn´t been ploughed yet, but around us more and more farmers have already started to get their lands ready..

5 maart 2015

A lady on a bench

The name that was given to this bronze piece of art by Dutch sculptor Guus Hellegers (1937) is "Jaguar". Photo taken in the garden of Museum de Buitenplaats in Eelde.

4 maart 2015

The Habit

´The Habit´ in the old city-centre of York is, as they say a `cute and cosy café-bar with a bit of an olde worlde feel and delightfully ramshackle furniture'. Word is that the building used to be an outlier of the Minster, putting up travelling monks...

We made this photo in the Summer of 2014 in the U.K.

Linking to Lesley's signs, signs.

3 maart 2015

The Forest Spiral model

Following up on yesterday´s post one more example of organic architecture by Hundertwasser. This is a scale model (1:50) of 'The Forest Spiral of Darmstadt', a residential building complex with 105 flats built at the end of the 1990s in Darmstadt, Germany. The U-shaped building has a diagonal roof and each of the about 1,000 windows are unique, no two windows are the same. And another peculiar fact are its 'tree tenants' - trees growing out from the windows...
Even the model was amazing to see, imagine what it like seeing this complex in real!   :)

The photo was taken in Museum De Buitenplaats in Eelde, and the model is part of the exhibition 'The Third Skin'.

2 maart 2015

Hundertwasser tower

Museum De Buitenplaats in Eelde is a rather small museum though worth a visit because of their interesting exhibitions throughout the year. Until April 11 they present an exhibition about organic architecture, which they describe as 'architecture combined with art and nature'. With scale models, drawings, photos and paintings the work of Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000), and the architect agency Alberts & Van Huut (established in 1963) is showed.

One of the first things that caught my eye in the museum was this model (scale 1:50) that looked like a building from a fantasy film, but is in fact a 35 m high observation tower that was designed by Hundertwasser and built on the grounds of a brewery in Bavaria, Germany. On top is a gold-plated observation ball that has a 10 meter diameter... (!) Unfortunately Hundertwasser died in the year 2000 during the tower's planning phase, so he never saw the actual result. 

1 maart 2015


Sun, rain, sun, rain... This is earlier today just outside the village of Exloo at the nature area ´Molenveld´.