Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday activities

My blog titles are not very exciting - sorry about that.  So what happened on Sunday -  first of all we did laundry.  Now that doesn't seem highly exciting, but without a dryer one must be very strategic to get things outdoors just as soon as it seems warm and perhaps sunny.  If I lived here I would have to have a long clothesline or one of those four-sided things my mom used to use.  We headed into den Haag (the Hague) and enjoyed lunch inside the Passage - one of my favorite.  It feels so "refined" to sit in there and have our lunch and watch the "world" go by.  I love it.

We then headed to the Museum de Gevangenpoort (the Prison Gate Museum) so that we could have the English tour.  This is one of the original gates into the city of the Hague.
It is located directly across the street from the Binnenhof - the seat of government and a little lake,
It was in here that people suspected of a crime were incarcerated until proven innocent (guilt was presumed).  It housed the poor, with 20-25 men per cell, without light or heat or any sort of beds.  Only straw on the floor and a hole for bathroom necessities (which fed directly into the little lake mentioned above, the source of drinking water).  Also held here were wealthy, important men.  They would pay for their own incarceration - reputedly at today's costs, 2 weeks would cost E20,000.  They, however, had a table and chair and a bed.  They had a fireplace and could buy wood or coal from the jailers.  Only a few women were kept at this prison.  The museum doesn't really allow photos (so there are only a couple of quickly taken ones) but it was notorious for the barberous torture that was carried out here.

Immediately next door is the art collection of Willem V (Gallerij Prins Willem V) who in 1774 "brought together the most important paintings in his collection in a purpose-built gallery".  Apparently it was considered the duty of the rich noblemen to make collections of things.  Willem was unique in that he opened his collection for others in the community to see.  Of course, no photos, but it was intersting to see about 150 paintings.  I was fascinated by one in particular as I couldn't even see any brush strokes.  I certainly didn't touch it, but apparently got too close to it and it set off an alarm.  Oooops!  A security man quickly asked me to back up.

Several of the museums we have visited have security people - more present than in the past - but we also noted that they have virtually nothing to do.  It would be a mighty boring job.  At one museum, Mesdag Huis, they were anxious to chat about all sorts of things - guess it breaks up the day.  We are learning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

sunday morning

Caro has some nice photos of our little home.  Check out her blog,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday update

Yesterday (Friday) our buddies left town, headed back to Great Britain, by way of Calais and the Chunnel.  Some of our day was spent doing laundry - without an adjustment the normal washing runs for about 2 hours!  No kidding!  We don't have a clothes dryer in this house, so we are dependent on the sun shining onto our clothes rack.  It did!  While all of that was 'doing', I worked on sewing 40 or 50 blocks that Caro had left for me.  [she had arranged for me to use her second machine].

  A quiet evening of sewing and watching (again) "Julie and Julia".  Quite fun.

We awoke to rain, but Caro wanted to visit a newly opened quiltshop in a little town about 8 km from Delft, De Quilthoeve. (the Quilt Farm).  I must say that the buyer for this shop does a really marvelous job of selecting fabrics which all work with each other - lots of Civil War and reproduction fabrics.  In addition they have extra fun bits and pieces.  As is typical of Dutch quilt shops, there is always coffee and tea available,

Caro took her antique quilt top, looking for the perfect binding fabric,
and of course we found it!  I found a very sweet stitchery surrounded by quilting, so I did buy the kit. 
"Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest is surely home and home sweet home for there the heart can rest".  Lots of kits there also, from our friend Simone - go take a look at her lovely things.

In the afternoon, it was still raining, but as none of us melts, we headed out to visit the Saturday market,

It's Holland - everyone has fresh flowers at home.  Also checked out the Gipsy Festival in the Markt,

To my Dutch readers, thanks for your nice comments.  You have a fascinating country with many wonderful things to see.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday afternoon tourists

This afternoon we took advantage of some decent weather and made some tourist wanderings.  First we visited the Convent that had housed William of Orange (William the Silent) until he was shot.  Here is a statue of Sister Gertrude.  We then entered the Olde Kerk (Old Church), which only has occasional church services now, but a very lovely building,

An intresting portable organ
 Buried in this church is Anthony van Leeuwenhoek - the inventor of the microscope.  Also Johannes Vermeer is purpored to be buried here.  There is a story that says that only the wealthy could be buried inside the church - the poor were relegated to the fields outside.  So when a wealthy person died, they were put into the floor of the church and covered with a large flat piece of stone - and thereby came the expression "the stinking rich".
 We returned to the basement of the convent for lunch - watch out for those incredible low ceilings

Then it was over to the New Church

This is the burial place for William of Orange - the Father of the Netherlands.  All the members of the Dutch royal families are buried in an underground crypt.   

Thursday is Market Day

European markets are just so much fun.  In Delft, Thursday and Saturday are market days.  So shortly after breakfast we headed to the Grote Markt (central market square) in between the Nieuw Kerk (new church) and City Hall.
Lovely things to see

And things to eat

And some even "enjoy" raw herring (can you imagine?)
A horse drawn caliope wanders through the market

Friends come for a visit

On Tuesday afternoon our friends arrived from home, as well as other friends from Britain.  What fun.

Such fun to share this very charming town with them.  We have walked our little legs off and seen things and today is more of the same. 

Di and Maggie and Diane and Elaine all climbed the church tower (all 376 steps) for a wonderful view of the town

Can you see our little house with the long garden out back?

Today we are headed to the Market in the main square and to visit the old and new churches - a bit of touristy things.  Photos to follow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday with some sunshine

O Happy Day!!!! We awoke to sunshine, so there are quite a few photos taking advantage of that.

In the back garden of our home, there is a small well.  The home's owners told us that they don't know its age or depth, but do know that it has shown up on maps for as far back as he can find.  Hmmmmm.

Today's adventure was a visit to the Botanic Garden of the Technical University of Delft.  We walked by way of the East entrance to the city (Oosrpoort) [Elaine's photos - thanks E]

"Early in the 20th century the development of Applied Botany (mostly biochemistry) began.  As the Polytechnic College (currently Delft TU) needed plants for education and research....Prof. G. van Iterson Jr established the "Gardens for the Culture of Technical Crops" in 1917."  And so, the garden,
And an assortment items seen

 I've seen these somewhere before, but  cannot remember where (blue pinecones)

From inside the greenhouse,
[baby quail live in the greenhouse]

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Welcome to the Hood

It finally quit raining after supper, so we took advantage of that and made a quick wander around the neighborhood.  Just so you know where we are,

We're the double black doors on the right and the 2 windows.  And then we go back two more rooms.  Very comfortable.  There is a canal right out in front - those cars you see are within 1 ft. of the edge of the canal - watch that first step. 
I adore the tiny streets, several too small for cars, with bikes parked in front of the houses amidst the tiniest patches of green & flowers.

Sometimes it is hard to know where a path leads - here it is leading to a tiny children's playground

Earlier this evening, we attended the service at the Nieuw (New) Church.  You must appreciate that 'new' and 'old' are highly relative.  This church dates from the 1300's (new) as opposed to the Olde (old) church which dates from 1100.  The entire service was in Dutch.  However, when we identified ourselves as American, we were give English bibles and headphones. [we had heard that some part of the service would be in English]  A young woman translated the whole service for us.  Oh such interesting experiences.