Saturday, May 31, 2003

tadpoles & minnows

i don't mind BIG boats. they're not my favourite mode of transportation*, but the mere thought of bobbing around in one of these little ones, with a world of water between me and solid ground, is one that makes me shiver and shake.
*photo friday

Friday, May 30, 2003

shining down like water

a bench, freshly painted, overlooking the locks on the amstel. an artistic soul, with purple paint and not a lot of talent. a spring rainstorm, leaving the dusk radiant and clear. three aspects. one image. a sigh of satisfaction.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

and all that stuff

we all have our dreams*. mine soar behind a superstitious screen of privacy: shared, they won't come true. they may not anyway. but there, stretching heavenward, hidden from all awareness but my own, they distract and soothe and - often - inspire.
*theme thursday.

long ago and far away

i certainly hope so.

lalaland: dutch comfort food!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

a question of priorities

she cursed silently. the lock wasn't cooperating.
there was no way she'd ever be in time to pick up her children from school.
the policemen, strolling by, saw her fumbling, and approached.
yes. of course it was her bike. no. the combination wasn't working. she'd even written it down, anticipating this exact disaster. no. she had no proof of ownership.
look at it, she implored. why would i choose this old two-wheeler to steal?
the youngest of the two smirked.
there was no accounting. that was their experience.
simultaneously, just down the street, unseen and unheard, a back window shattered, and an elderly lady's savings disappeared into an alleyway.
some things can't be prevented.
that was their experience too.


we've had two whole days of sun.
does that mean we can finally fold away the blacks and the greys, and wriggle ourselves into some REAL colour?

Monday, May 26, 2003

les cadenas

philippe is back from holiday, which means that his site - la photo du jour - will once again be enrichened with his one (breathtaking) image a day. for a real treat, click on "d'une année à l'autre": the last four years, jour par jour, seen through the eyes of an artist.
and he loves locks. as do i.

black and blue

yeah. yeah.
yeah. long week. how've you been?
i know. miserable.
ach. yeah. i saw him last week. good grief. he's a mess. and she's not helping matters.
oh! fine.
fine? i'm lying. just squeezed through.
i miss finland.
and what have you been up to? really?
oh NO! you won’t believe this.
i'm wearing one black sock and one BLUE one!!!!
i'm speechless. embarrassment. this is unbelievable.
it's that dark apartment. i need a better lamp.
or it's typical me.
i'm off.
i am SO stupid sometimes.
keep in touch.

Sunday, May 25, 2003


My very special daughter, half a world away, maintains a delightful shared blog with the lovely indra. visiting, i happened upon a description of The Perfect Wedding. it made me smile. if i had it to do again ( i WON'T, but anyway..), i would melt in the same direction: spring, spaghetti straps, ice-blue, vintage mother, so daughter. COULD it be genes?

Friday, May 23, 2003

blind not to see

black-on-white, white-on-black: indistinct, and unequivocal. if i'd been walking a bit more quickly, if someone had passed me on the inside lane, if i had merely sneezed, i could have overlooked* this Very Important Message...
*photo friday

Thursday, May 22, 2003

points taken

suddenly, amidst the graceful gables and the gleaming woodwork, this caught my eye: sharp and inhospitable, but, opportunely, an image for this week's theme thursday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

matters of faith and folly

i've known her for a while: this beautiful and talented young woman with her fine husband and her inspirational frame of mind.
she has always been a person with a creative vision, working diligently to sculpt her dreams into an against-all-odds reality, and one of those realities - a small open-podium café, just across from central station - opened a few weeks ago.
it's been a titan undertaking (as can be seen on their website) but they, and the foundation of young christians responsible for the project, have realised a minor miracle and a welcoming work of art.

left imagining

did i blink, distractedly, and miss a whole season?
it was finally spring, and suddenly it feels like fall.
i'm wearing a scarf again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

by any other name

my friend d., together with r. off on a much-deserved holiday, left me in charge of home and hearth and superior cat, and was worried that he would miss the "moment suprême" of his lovingly nurtured roses. as it turned out, he got back in time to be astounded by their total beauty, but, not knowing that in advance, i took picture upon picture of this carefully-cultivated scarlet abundance.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

bulldozer required

don't block the way, EVER: you get the message, you comprehend. sometimes you are powerless to obey. contrariness prevails. you plough onwards. life is random. a warning, a fine, an averted eye, inestimable treasure: who knows what a stubborn gamble will bring??

Friday, May 16, 2003


the gift: the nuances.
usually, things aren't as black-and-white as they seem. a step backward, or a skip aside, reveals shadows and hues that astonish.
not always.

Monday, May 12, 2003

the key to his heart

he stumbles into the streetcar, and sidles, muttering, into the seat closest to the exit. he cannot sit still.
at every stop, he shudders forward, two, maybe three steps at a time, calling, plaintively: "jessica!"
no-one reacts.
"jessica!" he cries again. he is halfway to the front now.
eyes, hearts and minds are locked firmly into the way things are supposed to be. a nuisance, even a harmless one, is a nuisance. no attention is paid.
there are televisions on the newest trams. tripping, he reaches his vantage-point, and gazes up at the screen, grasping the loop, adoring, very loudly, the buxom game-show hostess.
as the damrak creeps by, and central station unfolds into view, he applauds.
everyone, breathing a sigh of embarrassed relief, allows him to descend first into the morning madness of the square.
jessica, simpering, comforts the losers.

Sunday, May 11, 2003


the 10th of may: mayday.
it came and it went, in a flurry of perfection.
i was in amsterdam, cat-sitting. i was OFF, which happens just one saturday a month. and there was but a random photogenic cloud in the sky.
so i walked miles. i missed as few opportunities as possible. i saw and i seized: to the best of my ability.
and then i entrusted my impressions to stephen, the other-muse, and he made it work. he's good at that.
hour by hour; or rather, minute by minute: they're here.

Monday, May 5, 2003

red plus yellow equals

this is holiday time in holland.
queen's day was last week: orange prevailing, music in the streets: a country-wide party. tens of thousands of people braved the rain and the crowds, participating with abandon.
yesterday was remembrance day: silence everywhere at eight o'clock, two poignant minutes long.
and today is liberation day. freedom is celebrated. just around the corner, in the presence of the queen, crowds along the amstel listen to the sweeping strains of tchaikovsky and orff in the chilly dusk.
ordinary life, flagless but fine, will begin again least until ascension day and pentacost.

west fourth, 1971

the earrings were exquisite: tiny handcrafted crosses, delicate, silver, shimmering. i caressed the rough edges.
"would it be possible to buy just ONE of these?"
"excuse me?"
"only one ear is pierced, y'see. i only need one."
"..i'll take a look. maybe i have some odd earrings in the drawer.."
"oh, but it's these i love. these are so beautiful. i'll just buy the pair then, i don't mind... really!"
the purchase, rung up, was - puzzlingly -a fraction of the price on the tag. protests were waved away with a doting smile.
they were her young son's very first creation, the woman explained. he had made her promise, heart crossed, to sell them only to someone who really appreciated them.
and for no more, heart crossed again, than a single dollar.

Friday, May 2, 2003

pasta arrabbiata

"made your choice?" she sighed. her impatient "YET?" was clearly inferred.
we ruffled slowly through the menu. again.
we were getting good at this: it's an art, dawdling.
her agitation inspired no sympathy at all.
the restaurant was deserted. we like to linger: they clearly detested lingerers.
"in, fed, and out the door in half an hour," the reviews exclaimed.
we were determined to be the exception to the rule.
we were.
but they will not smile, should we step through the door again.