Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Post Equinox: Bring on the Warm Breezes, Please?!

Good evening to you, where ever you are.
The chilly, windy, wet weather has inspired me to write a Haiku:

cheerful pink pansies

shivering in the cold breeze
nonexistent sun

This morning I cycled to the hairdresser's, had my hair cut and styled, only to arrive home with it dripping wet and flat against my head. What a brilliant way to waste more than 30 Euros...I might as well have flushed it down the loo.

But, I did buy myself some cheerful pansies and put them on the garden table. And no, the photo shows catkins, which I love as well and they are inside, in fact I am looking at them right now.

Did you watch the equinox yesterday? I missed it. Totally. First I was in a classroom all day and second there was no sun over the Wetlands. Just clouds. Apparently we should all have moved to Norway for the morning.
And it was my last chance as well...I won't live for the next one. Oh well.
The blows that life deals you, eh?

I wish you a wonderful weekend. I hope the sun comes out for you.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Viggo on Spring

Hi there, all you cat lovers and Viggo fans. We hope this cold, foggy night finds you in good spirits!
Just for fun, as is our habit, this is an interview with fat macho cat Viggo.  This time I have asked him his opinion about Spring.

V: What's with the tulips? Where is my portrait?

Q: Sorry, I thought: Spring...tulips...I'll try to find a nice picture of you instead.

V: Too right you will! 

V: Hmpf. Slightly better. Not my best photo, though. 
     Right. Here goes.

I am an Autumn cat. We Autumn-born cats are known for our tenacity, our joie-de-vivre and our panache.
But I must admit I do like Spring. It's nice to be able to go outside without freezing my nonexistent balls off, so to speak. And everything smells fresh and delicious. The fish wake up. And the frogs and toads start hopping around the garden again. I do like a good romp with them. Did you know that they scream when you nibble their legs?

Q: You do not! Tell me that you don't do that, that's cruel!

V: Don't be such a wuss, woman! I only tease them a bit, I don't eat them. You know I prefer my crunchy nibbles.

And then the butterflies wake up, and the bees, and...
What are you doing now?

Q: I've taken some new photos of you, seeing that you weren't satisfied with the other one.

V: Let's have a look then.

V: Jeez, that's not much better, is it? Not what you call an improvement! I'm out of focus!

Q: No, it's called soft-focus.

V: It makes me look fat. It's bad for my image.

Q: Not at all, you look sweet.

V: Enough! I do not want to look 'sweet'! I am the defender of this garden and house, other cats won't take me seriously ever again when they see me as 'sweet'. Remember last Saturday night, hm, do I need to remind you? That rascal from two houses over sneaked in through your bedroom balcony doors, and I jumped him? Showed him, didn't I?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Dutch Quality Music from Jodymoon. Walhalla Concert.

When a band's music has been your constant companion for over two years, and you can dream every movement, every note, every tone and every breath, going to their live concert is tricky to say the least. The chance that it will be a disappointment is definitely there.

So it was with great anticipation that I travelled to Rotterdam, to visit the intimate  theatre Walhalla in the old red light district Katendrecht.
Walhalla was new to me, and I had to look for it. But as my search took me past the Fenix loods, with a new food market, I didn't mind at all. What a nice venue. And they do wonderful fresh organic potato chips.

Walhalla turned out to be tiny. As singer Digna Janssen remarked: she was almost in my lap (she said 'on my lip', which is a Dutch expression meaning the same).
It was sold out, and chilly. But the atmosphere quickly turned to pretty hot, from the enthusiasm of the public.

Jodymoon, with new addition Annelieke Marselje on violin, started with a song from their new album. They played quite a few of the new songs, but many of my old favourites as well.

And... was I disappointed? Not at all! Digna Janssen is very sure of her voice, and has the ability to make it whisper or soar at will. And Johan Smeets, accomplished guitar player that he is, oozed fun and made his solos breathtakingly moving. Add Marie-José Didderen's cello  and the violin for drama and you have a heady mix. 

It's hard to catch the feel of Jodymoon's music into words. Quality pop music comes close, but the word 'pop' is far too shallow in my opinion. This is nowhere and never close to any middle of the road pop music. But not heavy, either.
I heard a man behind me (by the way: there was a very large women content in the audience; could it be that Jodymoon appeals to women more?) remark that he was surprised that it wasn't sombre. Due to the use of a cello he had expected heavy stuff, apparently.

The concert set me alight, and I left Walhalla glowing with delight. And vowing that I would start practicing the guitar again, straight away.

What a pity that Maastricht is 3 hours driving from my hometown!