Monday, October 04, 2010

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

It's my turn again at Vision and Verb, where I expand on the subject, of course.
Eat, drink and be merry...for tomorrow we die...or diet?

In the spirit of that celebration, I'm dying to show you what just happened recently.

Remember the Koorfestival (Choir Festival) I told you about in my last post? At one of the venues I just happened to see our town photographer for the paper who is often out-n-about at the same times and places we often are, especially when we're home on a Saturday. He, Dries, also just happens to live here at our Lindeborg senior-living complex, along with his wife. He is one of the writers and photographers of our De Lindeborgpost magazine which comes out at the beginning of every month.

What happened is this: When I saw Dries at the one choir venue, I started snapping away, taking pictures of him. I remembered once eons ago, when Bill and I were married, that one of Bill's uncles died but when they tried to find photos of him, there were none/few. He was the photographer of the family and was never in any of the pictures. So I wondered if the same happens to Dries.

When the choir finished, I ran over to Dries and told him I had more fun taking pictures of him than of the choir. HA! And that evening I sent him the ones I had taken, just for his enjoyment. Here's a collage of a few of them:

Well, you know how one thing leads to another! Dries checked out my blogs from my e-mail signature and before anyone could say Jack Sprat, he wrote me asking if I'd be willing for him to interview me for our October De Lindeborgpost magazine. Since flattery gets almost anyone almost everywhere, YES, OF COURSE! The lucky cherry on top was that Astrid was home (because she had a sinus infection, remember?) and was able to fill in all the gaps of our broken English and Dutch.

After 2+ hours and almost nothing written down on his paper, we all got to know each other better...before he was off to another photo assignment. He wrote nothing down guessed it...he learned everything he needed to know from my 3 blogs: this one, Hart & Soul, and Vision & Verb. Wow. The computer of his brain must have been working overtime. And that's when I realized my whole life's story is there on the internet for the world to see. Gulp!

So, on October 1st last week, our new Lindeborgpost hit our mailslots and look what was there, on four separate pages:

Okay, so it's in Dutch (click to enlarge)!
But you get the idea of it and the honor for me to be included this way. Dries was very kind and even included Astrid in it, writing about how we met, our marriage, etc. He was the one who chose which images to use. My only stipulation was that he would include one of the images I took of him! And he did (as you can see).

Speaking of Eat, Drink and Be Merry...this past Saturday we drove a total of 310 km (193 miles) to and from the Zeeland province in SW Netherlands. I'll post more about that starting next week but for now, two fun things.

Zeeland is known for its mussels. Surely you've heard of "mussels in Brussels?!" Since Zeeland borders Belgium (where Brussels is , of course), our guess is it's the Zeeland mussels you get in most of Belgium. So when Astrid said her wish was to have mussels for lunch, I knew I would make it happen for her (lunch/supper out is always my treat on Saturdays, no matter where we are). Sure enough, in Middelburg, the capital of Zeeland, there on the city-hall square, we found a delightful restaurant that served mussels even better than Astrid was expecting. It's her thing, not mine, but I enjoyed it for her as though I, too, were queen for the day:

My dancing queen with her mussels in Middelburg, capital of Zeeland province.

The other thing (reminiscent of my last post and the pictures of the Middle-Eastern boys), as we were walking off lunch through Middelburg, we passed these guys hanging out their window. I said to Astrid, as I often do, "Now that's a picture!" But just then, they started looking at us and I put my camera down before shooting even one picture. Astrid was shooting, though, and they asked her if they'd now be famous?! That started a conversation between her and them, while I took advantage of the moment...and she got their e-mail address (which she's picking up in the image below). These guys are students at the Roosevelt Academy there in Middelburg and were totally respectful and adorable:

Maybe I have a calling: to shoot young men everywhere we go and see if I can make a photographic case study of them. HA!

Eat, drink and be merry! Why not. Tomorrow we either die...or diet! Not bad, considering the alternative! (Don't forget my Vision and Verb post today. Thanks.)


  1. Congratulations on the article by Dries! It's beautifully laid out, he has some skills. It's cool that he read your blogs so thoroughly and chose his own content and photos. I love that. I wish I could read Dutch. I wonder how much you are able to read and understand?

    Mussels! Astrid and I must have a go when we come. Almost every time Don and I eat at our favorite restaurant 30 minutes away in Chelsea, I ask for bouillabaisse, which has mussels in it, along with a variety of other seafoods. Yum.

    Those young men are so cute, and I think it's brilliant for you to have a new "theme" as you are out scouting for photos of windmills, clocks, water towers, etc.! :)

  2. Quite the charmers, those young boys. I am having fun getting to know my sons college friends (well, highschool seniors, but they are at a college...) Congrats on the article - and most of your photos SHOULD be published! ;)

  3. I could eat those mussels! Oh la la they look so good! Astrid has good taste. What a fun post – what an homage to be celebrated like that by Dries – but your post deserves it. It is always so full of life, great pictures and good explanations. Those young guys out of the windows are fun too. That would not happen here, where there are hardly any sidewalks and it’s difficult to open the windows because of the screens.

  4. Wow, I really enjoy your portrait pictures, Ginnie. They are so natural and full of expressions.

    Zeeland? I had mussels in Bruges, Belgium. But I actually prefer their French fries than mussels. Ha ha... But early this year, I had the best fries in Amsterdam! So I guess the Dutch are better than the Belgian in making French fries?!

  5. It's always interesting to read your posts. The mussels look good, although when I ate once mussels in Albania (to be honest,a lot of mussels) I don't feel like eating them ever again

  6. Ruth: I was able to read and understand most of the article by Dries. Astrid, of course, helped me with the rest. You and Astrid can have a total GO at mussels together. She was in heaven...a little kid in the candy store. It was so cute to see. Thank you again for your support and vote of confidence on what I do here, sister. That always means the world to me.

    Margaret: You're such a sweetheart. Thank you! :)

    Vagabonde: Yes, Astrid has good taste and I do not. I'm afraid it's psychological for me with both mussels and oysters. Just not something I want in my mouth...yet. And yes, you are so right. Our windows in Atlanta are almost never open and then only with screens. You know what Europe is like...with the ability to hang out windows at will and never think anything of it!

    LC: What a sweetheart for stopping by here. Thank you. Yes, there are good mussels in Belgium, maybe from Zeeland? But the fries for me would be the treat, not the mussels. The Dutch DO know how to make them, for sure. :)

    Ola: I have tasted one mussel before but never again. I'm with you. I'll let everyone else enjoy them! :)

  7. Congrats on the wonderful article Ginnie! That is so awesome!!! Oh those mussles look so yummy!!! Great shots as always...

    So yesterday I was in Virginia City Nevada and thinking of you every minute. I think you might have been following us or something!!!

    Anyhow - I didn't take all too many shots but hopefully once we are back from vacation, I can include a post from that city.

    It was definitely a flash back into the 1800's...

    You still keep exploring for sure!

    And I hope to get some nice fall photos up soon..

    Come see what I have to say, short and sweet. :)

  8. Congratulations on the article by Dries! It looks like he did an excellent job even though I can't read Dutch. :) And I really like how you create your collages. You are a talented and creative person. :):):)

  9. ET: I'll be visiting your blog at least by tomorrow but wanted to first thank you for stopping by here. That always means a lot to me!

    Tim: Thanks for the congratulations. That was fun for me. The collages, BTW, are thanks to Picnik, which you can access, too, of course. I can only take credit for the images, that's all. :) But thanks anyway!

  10. Dries did indeed a great job with the magazine, it is amazing how well he was prepared and he already knew just from reading your blog.
    I am always having a great time watching you 'hammering' on the laptop and writing your stories down.
    I am proud to be often one of the subjects in the posts.
    The Zeeuwse Mosselen were a delight, as if an angel was pee-ing on my tongue... ;)
    Dank je MLS for the wonderful adventures we have together on these trips.

  11. Astrid: An "angel peeing on your tongue," indeed, Mijn Vrouw. :) So Dutch. I love that you have no question about how much I love your country. I feel like it's been mine forever. Altijd met hartstikke bedankt!

  12. Oh Ginnie, I'm so slow to get to posts these days. But it's not a sign of my disinterest, but just a hard-won discipline that I feel I have to impose on myself for the moment.
    Aaaanyway, this was terrific. Things I liked: the fact that you take pictures of the photographer. That you have a Saturday tradition of treating yourselves to a meal out. That you create connections with people wherever you go. That somebody else was an interested in you as you were in them.

    As for finding your life history on the net, it is a bit sobering, isn't it?? Even though you deliberately put things out there, it's a bit startling to realize that all the bits and pieces can be linkned up and made into a relatively complete story. And somehow, when we write these posts, we think we're writing for that select audience of supporters and would-be friends, when in fact our thoughts and words are available for billions of potential readers, who will never bother to make contact but just peer into our lives, vicariously as it were.

    Oh my. I'm going on and on. Now I have two other posts of yours to go to since I see something new just went up and I still haven't been to V&V. God grant me some time management skills, pleeeeeease.

  13. My goodness, another action-packed post. I love Zeeland and seeing the genius work of the Dutch engineers. It takes more than a finger in a dijk to hold back the sea.

    I love the picture of the stained glass windows of the catholic church with the choir singing.

    How lucky for you that you got to see so many people in the Zeeuwse klederdrachten. They make quite the welcoming committee. It's great to see the younger generation participating in this beautiful ritual.

    A special shout-out for capturing the beauty of the inner court windows with the tiny divided panes. Beautiful lighting.

    But you saved the best for last. What an honor to be featured in such a grand way. Thank you for including the article. I enjoyed Dries' breezy, conversational style of writing. I would have loved to have heard your conversation's "mengelmoes" of Hollands and English.

    I hope you are enjoying Atlanta!

  14. Congratulations on being featured in the news over there... wish I could read Dutch! (I've tried translating another blog written in Dutch using Google translate... really mangles the content for sure!)

    Thanks again for finding the travel blog... I'm having 9 guests for dinner and 2 more showing up late for dessert for Thanksgiving so may be scarce between now and then but will keep checking back because I simply LOVE the stories you tell of your life with Astrid in pictures and words!

  15. Deborah: For one thing, dear lady, I'm always very honored whenever you stop by, especially knowing you have a life! THANK YOU. I'm very humbled by the time you take. I love how you validated what I say and though it all were really special. It is for me, of course, but I thank you for the interest you have taken. THANK YOU.

    DB: I love that you know this country and can celebrate it with me! I especially love that you can read Dutch and so could read what Dries wrote. It was such an honor. THANK YOU for stoppinhg by again.

    Victoria: Sometimes it's not what is said but the idea of it that thrills me, but I know what you mean. Thank you for sharing the joy with me. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you this next week. Please pace yourself and pamper yourself in between tasks! And HAPPY THANKSGIVING!