Usually February is the month that drags, even though it's the shortest, but this year I've hardly noticed my least favourite month. I'm not sure why, but I'm relieved! Maybe it's the fact that for the first winter ever, since becoming a mother, I'm not continually coming down with colds. This has meant that I've been able keep up my regular fitness regime, as well as still run outside in the cold (if this isn't jinxing it, I don't know what is). Yesterday morning I went for my regular 5K run, with super tired legs and asthmatic lungs, but despite that and the drizzling rain it was so invigorating. These pictures are from the last couple of weeks, and looking at them I realise that this winter feels very different for me. Let's hope it lasts all the way through to spring!
About a month ago we went into town on a Friday evening to check out the Lumiere light festival that was on for a few nights in London. This was the second one ever, and we wrapped up warm and walked the city centre looking at some of the very cool installations. I think there were about 50 of them, which were way too many for us to try and see as Oomoo had an early start the following morning. See the first picture? That's my musical light see saw companion! She was there on her own and sat down, and as I couldn't see anyone getting on with her, I jumped on and we had few funny minutes on the see saw together. I love that she still held on to her walking stick and shopping bags! I want to be like her when I'm her age - out and about checking out cool art. Anyway, it was so nice to wander the traffic free streets and see the different scaled works, and how much everyone was enjoying themselves. Fingers crossed there will be a next one!
I've been pretty much hibernating at home all week. It's been really cold, and apart from a couple of freezing cold runs, I've hardly spent any time outdoors. So today I thought I had to rectify that and went into town to see the Wim Wenders polaroid exhibition before it ends this Sunday.
It was ok, there were about 10 good pictures in there, but it was still nice to get out of the house. This pic is quite apt as I'm trying to figure out where we should go on holiday this summer. It might involve a veeeeeery looooooong flight. Fingers crossed.
But I digress. I really like how these were framed. Makes me want to find some of our Polaroids and put them up on the walls. Although we don't actually have that much wall space left anymore.
Toilet selfie time! My hair has gotten crazy long. Can't figure out if I like this length or if I should cut it short again.
I also went to my trusty newsagents on Wardour Street to see if they had any of my regular mags in stock. All that talk of "Print is dead!" doesn't quite make sense when you're in there.
I then walked to Fabrique dreaming about their cinnamon buns all the way there, but then weirdly ordered a cardamom bun instead, and remembered too late that I don't like them as much. Just as I finished it I thought "Wait, it's February... Shouldn't they sell semlor here?". Which they did. Oh well, a reason to head in to town soon I guess.
On the way home I walked past this queue of millennials (and someone's mum) waiting to be let into Palace, a hipper than hip store in Soho. In my day you just simply walked into a shop. Modern life is so weird and silly.
And then finally back home, with a new magazine to read and a hot chocolate to warm me up. We're going out for some pizza in a bit. Can't wait. Hope you have a great weekend!
"What you looking at?'
"Maybe if I ignore you you'll leave me alone."
"In fact, I'm just give myself a wash while I'm here."
"What the hell?! Get your stinky foot out of my face."
"Can't you see I'm doing my best lion impression?"
"That's it, I'm out of here! I was just enjoying a quiet moment, and then you had to start taking pictures and kill the vibe. Sometimes you humans are so annoying."
Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder. Sadly I didn't take many wide shots as there were other visitors there too, not quite matching the interiors - if you know what I mean. I love visiting old houses and seeing the how people decorated centuries ago, and I must say they were a lot braver than we are now. No dark greys (aka modern day magnolia) here! I mean, a mustard ceiling in the kitchen?! Must make a long day prepping and cooking food much more fun. I came away really inspired, and I've looked up other old houses I need to investigate next time I head for the 'Dam. Can't wait.
I've been meaning to go to Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder for years, but it was never a priority on the trips to Amsterdam with the boys. I wasn't convinced that Oomoo would find it interesting enough, and we'd have to speed through it (never fun!). Luckily I get to go on these solo trips to the city every now and again, just so I can get some girly time with my friend, as well as the chance to check out things in the city that an eight year old might find boring. This Catholic church from 1663 is hidden in the attic of an old merchant's house; the Netherlands was/is a Protestant country, but allowed people to practise Catholicism, as long as they didn't do it in public. There were several of these throughout Amsterdam at the time, but this is the only one that has survived. I'm a sucker for old museums like this one, and was impressed by the colours used, although they think that this colour scheme was added in the 19th century. I really recommend a visit, as apart from the church itself you can see how a (very wealthy) merchant would have lived at the time. More pics of the rest of the house itself to come!
Just by chance I happened to time my trip to the 'Dam with the annual photography fair Unseen. Galleries from the world over were showing work by their artists, and some pictures were of course better than others. My favourite picture in the whole thing was the first picture in this post by Evgenia Arbugaeva. Isn't it stunning? I loves it.
And so a question: have you every found yourself in a gallery in tears because a picture or painting touched you in a unexpected way? I've had this happen to me twice in the past couple of years, and it is such a surreal experience. It happened to me at Unseen, in front of the picture of the girl on a horse in pic 6. There is so much love in that picture, and I had to walk away all flustered and come back to it once I had composed myself. The first time I welled up in front of a piece of art was at the National Gallery, in front of this painting by Vilhelm Hammershoi. It was the weirdest thing, everything seemed to go quiet, and it was just me and my feelings. There was something so ordinary but extraordinary about that painting, it felt so intimate, yet the woman in it was facing away from me. It reminded me of how I take pictures, with the people I love and care for facing away or obscured in some way, to protect their privacy. Mr Famapa was in another room at the gallery and I went over to him and explained what had just happened, and he said "Let me go and guess which picture it was!". He looked at all the paintings in the room and chose the Hammershoi. He knows me so well :)
Van Dijk en Ko, that made me wish I had a house to furnish, and unlimited funds for shipping huge wardrobes, display cabinets and kitchen larders over. We spent ages in there, and it was just as eccentric as you might be able to sense from my pictures. I wasn't in blog mode last year, so my picture taking was a bit scatter gun, and now I struggle to try and make sense of them contextually for you guys... Anyway, there were lots of strange displays (see pics 3 and 4), and finding the picture in pic 1 like that made me laugh out loud. It somehow felt very Dutch in there!