The weather is still cold and grey, although the rain has held off for most of the day. Small blessings. However, I did notice this colourful window near the Stadhuis this afternoon, featuring Nijntje (AKA Miffy), the little rabbit created by Utrechter Dick Bruna. The weather may not be smile-inducing, but this window display above a children’s book/toy store certainly was.
I’ve got a couple of blog post ideas, but they require a bit of research and I’m not in the mood after the editing I’ve been doing. Maybe this weekend I’ll be feeling more inclined. Instead, today, you get a few follow-up comments on some of the stuff I’ve mentioned recently.
For example, here’s a photo of one of the first Pyke Koche lamps to be renovated in the Domplein. The glass is now clear, instead of the frosted yellow it used to be, and yes, the red and white Utrecht shields are in full colour!
More embarrassingly, when I posted about the missing nave and the trompe l’oeil painting of the nave, I should have looked more closely at my recent photos. I might have noticed that the painting isn’t there anymore.
Talk about taking something for granted! I started going through my old photos to try to figure out when it was removed, but I can only narrow it down to sometime between January and October 2011. Yeah, last year. As I said, embarrassing! I’m hoping someone else can help me out and let me know when it came down, just for curiosity’s sake. I think they should put it back up, though.
Finally, hartelijk gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag, Nijntje! (Happy Birthday, Nijntje/Miffy!) The little rabbit, who was the creation of local artist Dick Bruna, is celebrating her 57th birthday this weekend. She’s become famous around the world since then, and has her own square (Nijntje Pleintje) here in Utrecht. If you’re in town, I’m sure there are festivities at the Dick Bruna Huis across from the Centraal Museum.
Check out the Utrecht Events Calendar for some of the events going on this weekend. I’m about to update it with tips for architectural events, the 200th anniversary of a street, and a human peace sign.
On this day in 1955, Nijntje made her debut. Drawn by Utrecht native, Dick Bruna, she’s gone on to feature in numerous books and cartoons and has become well-known around the world. She’s better known as Miffy to most of the world, since Nijntje is a bit of a puzzle for those not familiar with Dutch. For what it’s worth, Nijntje is a shortened, diminutive form of the word konijn, which means rabbit.
She’s got quite the presence here in Utrecht. She has her own square (Nijntje Pleintje as seen in the above photo). She’s also the symbol used for some of the walk/don’t walk lights here in town. She’s being used on some directional signs here in Utrecht, and of course, she plays a huge part in the Dick Bruna Huis, which is a part of the Utrecht Centraal Museum.
She’s a charming little bunny and a nice thing to have associated with Utrecht. Gefeliciteerd met je verjaardag, Nijntje!
Today, we went to Gamma, a major hardware store, in search of paint for the bedroom. We ended up finding — with the help of someone in the store — a basic white paint and what will hopefully be a nice green paint for the accent wall. It’s surprising just how difficult it can be to buy paint when you don’t know the language. Despite the many many gallons of paint I’ve bought in the past, when you miss a few key words, it becomes incredibly difficult. Luck was with us once again and we had a friendly, helpful, English-speaking store employee helping.
As we stood in line to get our paint mixed up, it turned out that the woman next to us was getting a very similar color. In fact, our color was one of the two to which she had narrowed her choice down, and her color was one that we had considered. Perhaps a sagey green is popular right now.
It has been raining on and off since last night, but when we left the house, we decided against taking the umbrella. Perhaps not the wisest choice. Within moments of leaving Gamma, paint cans in hand, it started to rain. It’s wasn’t a heavy rain, but it was a consistent rain and within minutes, I was drenched. Drowned rat, to be precise. Suddenly what we had referred to yesterday as being not much more than a leisurely walk turned into a long, wet, chafing slog. Still, there was quite a bit of laughter about it all.
On the plus side, I got to see Nijntje Pleintje and walk across one of the canal locks, and I found a record shop I had seen photographed on Flickr, and also saw the house that we almost bought on Breedstraat. Quite a lot of sight-seeing in one relatively short journey.