Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Sons of Neptune

Lovely vintage book cover found at a market: Sons of Neptune.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Flower Power

If you grew up in Holland you probably made a school trip to the Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer somewhere along the line, if you're an Expat and never been it's time you went.
This is an amazing chance to see Dutch economy turning over right before your eyes. Turnover and supply for 2007 totaled 1,700 million Euro. The top three cut flower sales went to the Rose at 1,800 million units, followed by the Tulip at 700 million units and then the Spray Chrysanthemum at 500 million units.
The flowers are transported around a huge warehouse on the carts where they go through the auction room below to get snapped up.
The flowers are sold via the Dutch auction system, where rather than bidding going up the clock starts at a certain price and drops until someone stops the clock and buys the flowers.Apart from more flowers than you've ever seen in your life, the most outstanding experience is the scent. It's unbelievable. As soon as you walk into the warehouse it hits you and it's simply divine.Highly recommended. A fabulous way to start the day.Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer, Legmeerdijk 313, Postbus 1000, 1430 BA Aalsmeer.
Best to get there early, between 7.30 and 9am (though it's open until 11am) Monday to Friday. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost: adults €5, children (6-11 years) €3.
Travel information can be found here.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Palace of Versailles

When the Palace was built Versailles was a country village outside Paris. From 1682, when King Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789, the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in Ancien RĂ©gime France. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy that Louis XIV espoused.
It's an amazing place and my little camera just can't really do it justice. And I don't want to ruin it for you so here are some little details of the riches that await you. These marble sculptures were gorgeous and had such exquisite detail. Lace made from marble is incredible.
And the shoes. A lot of great shoes in Versailles. Who knew this Frenchie was really a cowboy at heart?
And I love this guys' pink-heeled shoes. Sexy legs.
Amazing fabric detail in these paintings.
These are a little plainer, but the sliver buckle is still very nice.
The Hall of Mirrors.
Carved wood detailing in gold on the wall panels.
Beautiful rich textiles.
And then we head outside to the HUGE grounds.
At the end of the of this park is the huge man made lake, followed by more grounds...
Immaculate gardens.
And that was Versailles.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Feist on Sesame Street

Today I give you one more reason to love Feist – her guest appearance on Sesame Street. Fantastic.