Wordless Wednesday: Soggy Balloons

soggy balloons

soggy balloons

soggy balloons

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The Return of Old Friends

Friends
I don’t mean the snow that showed up overnight, although we’re getting to know each other much better this winter. I was up early and restless this morning and decided to go for a walk. I’ve been cooped up indoors working so much that I really needed to get out. Despite the snow that was still falling, I set out with no real destination in mind. I ended up walking down Voorstraat, through Neude, over to the Stadhuis, Winkel van Sinkel, more of the Oudegracht, over to Mariaplaats, along Mariastraat, and then ended up on the western side of the city where the canal that rings the city starts up again. At that point, I decided to simply follow the canal all the way back home to the eastern side of the city. In all, I was gone for around two hours and took 147 photos. I do enjoy a nice, long walk.

As I approached the park near the Sonnenborgh Museum (astronomy and such), I realized today would be a great day to get a photo of my favorite statue, the Spoetnik Kijker! That put a spring in my step! After snapping a few photos, I decided to have a bit of fun and pull Orlando out from his hiding place in my bag. My poor little flamingo goes everywhere with me, but never gets to leave the bag. After a bit of wrangling — it was a cold seat, after all — I got them both in place and snapped this shot. Lovely to see two of my favorites together!

Sneeuw!

sneeuw
I’ve been a busy bee today, but I did manage to get out for a short bit to take some photos of the snow falling in Utrecht. The native Floridian in me can’t resist! The whole country seems to have been covered, at least enough of it to make for the longest traffic jams in history. Glad I was on foot!

sneeuw 15|365

sneeuw

Searching for Holiday Spirit

Stadhuisbrug
The Oudegracht and the Stadhuisbrug shortly after Sinterklaas sailed through.

I’ve been trying to get into the holiday spirit, but even with the couple of days of snow we had this week, I just haven’t felt it. Thinking that if I didn’t get the tree up this weekend, I might not end up putting it up at all, I set to work cleaning the house and getting the tree and decorations down from storage. Much sneezing later, I set to work, with a glass of homemade eggnog and some GenX Christmas songs to try to help set the mood.

The tree is up and it’s nice to revisit the memories behind each ornament and have the glow of the lights add such much needed light as the daylight fades so early now. I’m still not sure I’m in the holiday mood, but I’ve got a Christmas and Advent philharmonic orchestra concert to look forward to next weekend, and probably a visit to the kerstmarkt in town, either at Janskerkhof or Twijnstraat, since they’ll be set up in both locations in the coming weeks. Hopefully, all of that will help get me in the holiday mood. If not, there’s always gluhwein and oliebollen!

Clouds Taste Metallic

Clouds Taste Metallic
First off, thanks to the Flaming Lips for the post/photo title. I noticed this fantastic cloud pattern behind the Domtoren on Friday and couldn’t resist getting a shot. We’ve had clouds today, too, but of the snow variety. We had quite a bit of snow this morning, up until around noon. It didn’t really stick on the streets or sidewalks, though, but Pippo and I had a bit of fun out in it this morning.

I thought I’d mention here that I was asked to participate in the Expats Blog series of interviews and my interview was posted this weekend. You can read my blatherings here.

By the way, this is the same site that is hosting a blog competition. I’m in the running, but I’m thinking I might need a few more positive comments to have a chance, so if you could go here (different page from the interview) and leave a nice comment about my blog, I would be very grateful. If I win, I might celebrate by making a desktop wallpaper you can download, should you be into that kind of thing.

The Muses Are Cold

Cold Inspiration
Still working away, but every once in a while, I run up against good ol’ writer’s block when my own writing muses seem to be as cold and frozen as the muses depicted in this sculpture/fountain that stands in front of the Stadsschouwburg. Tomorrow, though, I get to go get inspired by a couple of friends in Den Haag, and if nothing else, it will be a nice break from writing. Plus, I get to see some other friends here in Utrecht in the evening, so it will be nice to get out and about and be social again.

In the meantime, apologies to those whose blogs I normally read and like/comment upon. I’m so ridiculously far behind and have no idea when I’ll get caught up again. And thanks to those who comment and like my postings here. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply back, but I truly do appreciate you all. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. We may get some more snow Sunday and/or Monday, so my snowy pictures may continue! Fijn weekend!

A Hill Is A Hill

Sledding
The small hill next to the Stadsschouwburg made a decent spot for some of the kids to make a go at sledding. It made me wish for a sled of my own to hitch Pippo to. He’s a snow dog at heart!

I’m always surprised by how many sleds I see as soon as the first snow hits the ground. The ground may be relatively flat here, but there’s just enough of an angle to have fun, it seems. You have to go elsewhere for a ski holiday, but if you want a bit of childish fun, the hills left over from the old city walls seems to do the job.