Sunday, May 5, 2013

Grow your own

Growing up, my paternal grandparents grew their own vegetables. A large part of their garden was their vegetable patch, and us kids were not allowed in without my grandmother there. I remember us getting cabbages, beans and especially bundles and bundles of rhubarb wrapped in newspaper, which would mean my mum would cook rhubarb compote, which I loved.

My parents also had an allotment for a while. I remember me and my sister getting water from a little pump, and picking gooseberries straight from the bush, and carrots straight out of the ground, although my mum would make us wash them first.

Now I don't have a big garden, or even an allotment, but I do have a small balcony and decided to have a go at growing my own veggies there. It's just raddishes, lettuce and carrots, as I haven't got more space, but it's something. Let's just keep my not-so-green thumbs crossed that they'll do alright and I'll be able to have a nice salad this summer!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

So we have a new King

As most of you know, I'm Dutch but living in the UK. I think I have adjusted pretty well, I say 'sorry' when someone bumps into me, I put salt and vinegar on my chips and I know which way to look first when crossing the road. But there are some days when I feel very Dutch...

On 30th April, our Queen Beatrix abdicated. She had been Queen for 33 years and decided that was long enough and it was time for her son to take over. We had not had a King since 1890, so it's all new and exciting. Amsterdam turned orange, our national colour as the Royal Family is 'Van Oranje Nassau', and aside from all the Royal guests and all the protocol and official business, it was party-time!

Thankfully, I could watch it all online, live as it happened, on a special Youtube channel that was 'on air' for 14 hours straight. I got to see Beatrix sign the official document, saw the new King's daughters wave at the crowd, and enjoyed the concert that was being held at Museumplein, right next to Masterpieces by Rembrandt and Van Gogh and so many more Dutch painters.

Of course I had to do an Illustrated Journal-page myself. It's the kind of thing I'll be doing for Summerlong, the online art retreat, too... (You can still sign up and join the fun!)