Yesterday I posted a picture of what Marco’s mother bought – two Delft blauw cat figurines. We went to the Gemeente Museum. Both tickets were free because I received a sleutelhanger (key ring) when I signed up for a library card at The Hague’s public library. The key ring is enough to get free admission (through March) for yourself as well as friends and family.
So we decided to make an afternoon of it, and have lunch there as well. Here are some of the pictures I took. (Mostly sculptures and other non-paintings, as you aren’t allowed to take pictures of paintings.)
First, my favorite piece, and also the first thing I laid eyes on:
Its color makes it very noticeable from across the room.
This evening Roger and I made a quick trip to Ikea to look at the furniture items I wish to buy.
It’s mostly storage space but also a new coffee table. The main thing I need to get is a good bed. Which of course was the only thing they didn’t have in the show room…
Now the thing with Ikea is that it’s hard to not leave without something new in your bag. This time was no different. It wasn’t furniture but I did end up with a few pans. My current ones are pretty old and these new ones were dirt cheap. So yeah, bingo!
Now of course we NEVER leave Ikea empty handed. There’s always a few pencils to take home. Roger gives them to his mom who uses them to write on her crossword puzzles. We behaved ourselves this time and got only about ten of them. Much better than when we were there last year with Niki when we had about 25 between the three of us
Here’s Roger, taking the first one of the night.
And here’s the loot at the end.
Soon I’ll go back to order/get the actual furniture. We’ll aim for 20 pencils then.
My fridge is full of lots of little trinkets, including but not limited to Dutch things.
Above you can see a Delft postcard and magnet (the latter having a 3D element in the upper right that comes out a bit, using a spring). This was from the Summer 2011 trip. You also see my parents’ dog, Oreo. She is a papillon (see below). Kind of big boned for a breed that is supposed to be dainty, but we love her…
There’s a Holland magnet above that which Marco gave me a long time ago. Due to its age, it’s starting to bend a little bit.
In the upper right you can see part of a magnet for the New York Rangers goalie, Henrik Lundqvist (Let’s go Rangers!). It’s actually holding up a business card with information regarding my next dental appointment in late November.
And this is only one corner of the fridge! I plan on taking most of these with (if we find a not-so-garish way to display them) – and if they survive being peeled off. Some don’t respond well to being moved anymore.
Speaking of papillons…
Above is a picture of the Westminster dog show banner in the Madison Square Garden. It features the papillon “Kirby” which won in 1999. During the dog show (which happens during the hockey season), the ice rink must be melted down. Otherwise the dogs can sense the ice and spend most of their time trying to dig down to get at it!
Today has been a slightly productive, somewhat lazy day, depending on how you look at it. I did manage to take out the trash and the recycling, do the grocery shopping, take a shower, and clean up the place a little bit. (I’m still ignoring a bit of the dust that I see here and there… sue me!)
It seems like the town has gone full-blown Irish overnight. The grocery store was a sea of people wearing green attempting to buy mass quantities of beer and food for parties tonight, all of it shoved into their overflowing carts. One of the workers in the meat department spent most of her time shoveling packages of beef briskets from her work cart into the freezers for folks to snap up by the armful. And then there was the Irish diddy that kept playing on loop over and over again on the store speakers. (Even some of the workers were muttering about it to each other!)
My random purchase of the day was pork loin chops. I have never cooked those before, so it should be interesting, though I might wait and have them for dinner tomorrow.
Thankfully I never get much due to having to carry it all on the walk home, so I could go into the express lanes. The person in front of me was trying to buy a single can of beer, and it was ringing through as if it were from a 6-pack even though the person got it from a cooler. This reminded me of shopping at Albert Heijn in the Hague. You are allowed to pull an item from its pack (say a 6 pack of beer) and pay for it separately without the cashier batting an eyelash. That is a foreign concept over here!
Today’s picture comes from the Oude Kerk in Delft. Another stained glass window. It amuses me how it is called “Old Church” and yet it looks so vibrant and new, especially compared to the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church). Perhaps it is the white walls and the bright, welcoming atmosphere.
Stained glass window, Oude Kerk
Het is vrijdag. I say that a lot, but I do mean it. Of course there’s a fairly small chance I might have to go in tomorrow as well – but it’s quite unlikely. Here’s hoping my phone doesn’t ring!
I can’t say much about today except that my brain has effectively turned off at this point. About all I have managed to do tonight is get a grocery list set for tomorrow. On the plus side, it’s under 4 weeks until I see Marco and Roger again — they will be visiting me and nearby New York City for about 10 days.
To celebrate the weekend, here’s a random picture of a plaza in Delft:
As is usual for Dutch buildings, they are narrow and wedged in against one another. Reminds me of Amsterdam… with much less people milling around.
Zondagen… Sundays. An apt day to post about churches.
But first, I spent a remarkably short time at the Palisades mall again today — just long enough to pick up my engagement ring, which was successfully resized. I managed to get the same bus both ways, having arrived at 3:45 and getting back outside in time for the 4:10 route back out.
While I was waiting at the bus stop to go back home, I heard a large rapping on the glass divider separating the different benches of the bus shelter. I looked over and it was a young child. He peered at me briefly, grinned, and then hid his face behind the metal framework in the middle. Ah, so it’s peek-a-boo you want. I quickly peered around the left edge. He grinned. I waited a moment and looked around the right edge. He laughed. We continued for a bit longer. Just a quick harmless game that reminds me of my own childhood, way back when.
Back to churches…
Another Delft site that we visited was Nieuwe Kerk, which began construction in 1396. It’s a Protestant church used as a burial site for many of the royal families. There was even a grave site there for a child who was born in May of 1822 and died in October of the same year.
Imagine coming down the stairs from dinner, and seeing a French nobleman at the bottom. Someone who you thought was on your side – but was in reality pointing a pistol at your chest and shooting at close range, killing you.
This was the fate of William the Silent, one of the leaders who revolted against the Spanish in the 16th century. He died after a reward was placed on his head and someone decided to track him down and kill him for it.
Another place that we visited in Delft was Prinsenhof, where William the Silent was assassinated. They turned his place of assassination into a museum, but I’ll leave that post for another day. For now, let’s just look at the beauty that awaits outside.
Statue within the Prinsenhof courtyard
Before I get into the subject of Oude Kerk in Delft, I would just like to take a moment to say that I hate colds. I am in day 7 of mine. I don’t get sick very often (last memorable time was October 2009), but I knew something was up when a student overheard me talking to someone else; he joined the conversation and was able to describe my symptoms down to a T. Ugh. Lots of hot tea for me. Why did I agree to an 11 hour shift tomorrow again?
As you might have realized from my previous posts about Delft, I like Vermeer. I didn’t really know anything about him until I met Marco of course. When I started to fall in love with the Netherlands, I visited my public library and tried to find all the material I could about the country. Even though this is New York, there is not a lot. There is some material I could get from other libraries in the system, I just prefer to have it right at my fingertips without sending for it and waiting a week.