Monday, August 22, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

It's my turn at Vision and Verb again today,
talking about those guilty pleasures that are good for our heart and well-being. Enjoy!

In the meantime, we've just come off a fabulous week with Bob and Peggy from Atlanta, our first houseguests here in the Netherlands. We picked them up at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Wednesday morning and dropped them off at their Viking River Boat yesterday in Amsterdam for their 8-day river cruise to Basel. How fun is that! Too bad we couldn't have stayed on board with them.

Instead, I'll now spend a week processing the many images from our delightful time together out-n-about where we live here in Gorinchem. It was special looking at everything through their eyes, as you can imagine.

Change gears now and go back to a week ago Sunday when our summer festival was ending here in the city. We had the chance to see a stained-glass exhibition held inside our Grote Kerk just two blocks down the street from us.

Yes, this church with the tilting tower....

...and full of light during the afternoon hour. I saw it all in a new way.
See how the pulpit banner, stitched, picked up on the stained-glass theme.

All the stained-glass pieces were set up on displays around the inside of the sanctuary.

Our eyes were everywhere,
even on the things that had nothing to do with stained glass.... the offering baskets bags.
They fascinate me because they're not like what I grew up with.

In fact, almost nothing in the church reminds me of what I grew up with!

And yes, it was a free exhibition.

The minute we walked out of the church, a concert was ending on the market square,
featuring Carel Kraayenhof, a famous Dutch bandoneon player (like an accordian).
In 2002 he played at the wedding of the Queen's son, Prince Alexander,
who married a woman from Argentina where the bandoeon is well-known.
He's been famous ever since!

Remember this fella? Yup, our fellow Lindeborger friend, Dries!
He's one of our city's newspaper photographers, always in on the action.

I love it. Small and guilty pleasures are all around us everywhere...and life is too short to miss them! More on that at Vision and Verb today....

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to sister Ruth today.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to wife Astrid on Wednesday!


  1. as always you have proposed detailed photos, congratulations and best wishes to
    sister Ruth and his wife Astrid

  2. Having Bob and Peggy over for a few days was a delight, we took them to some nice places and I think they both enjoyed it.
    The stained glass in the church was wonderful, it was great to see all the wonderful pieces while Carl was playing the bandoneon outside, with his orchestra.
    Wonderful series of pictures, a peek into our lives, what 'normal' people do on a weekend..... :)

  3. Elettra: Thank you for stopping by and commenting so faithfully. And did you know that Astrid is MY wife?! :) I feel very lucky.

    Astrid: Our life together is so rich and full, just like stained glass. We are so lucky. I'll be working on the Bob and Peggy images all week. Happy memories.

  4. so many wonderful stained glass window to look at, where does one begin to look and photograph?

    glad you had lovely time visiting with friends.

    and happy happy birthday astrid. best wishes for a better year.

  5. With my computer problems I am behind again and since I’ll be going on a trip soon I’ll be behind encore reading posts. In addition our fig tree is covered with ripe figs – I have spent the last few days making jam and some are ready for more jam this afternoon! If you like fig jam let me know when you are back and I’ll give you some.

    I really enjoyed your photos of Apeldoorn – so varied. The little flower on the side, near the Sphinx photo, has a perfect shape. You always find so many interesting water towers – I don’t see many around here.

    Your macro lens is very good – the close-up of the snails is stunning. Do you have to change lens on your camera or do you have an extra camera body? I have an extra lens but never use it as I am afraid to make the change. How talented you are – you can “tweak” your template. I would like to make my pictures larger on my blog but am afraid to touch the template – I am totally un-techy or a no-techy, whichever is the right word.

    Your friends’ river cruise sounds exciting – I’d love to go on it. Actually we are going on another cruise in a couple of months – to France – but France “outremer” since it will be Martinique. I bet you enjoyed that stained glass show – when I go to the Atlanta Flea Market I am always tempted to get a vintage stained glass window – but where would I place it? Have too much stuff already – but it is wonderful to look at and take pictures. You have so many opportunities to take wonderful shots in your new country and we are lucky to look at them on your posts.

  6. How much fun!!! Okay I must admit that my brain is 95% stuck on the river boat cruise and Basel but I did manage to get by.. Oh Ginnie you got me thinking!

    I LOVE stained glass. Loving the flower and wooden shoes bottle the most. So so cool!

    It's a first day of rain in well over a month. Odd odd day today. NDP leader Jack Layton died from Cancer. A quick death,shocker, sadness for so many reasons (besides feeling so bad for his family, the loss of a man of change to Canada).

  7. PC: Stained glass is a wonderful medium to study, Maria. It was very special to have this so nearby and for free. Thank you.

    Vagabonde: I know you have had computer problems, so you have all my sympathies! Just do what you need to do and we'll all cope well enough. You are always so ready to catch up when you can. I love that you are so well-read! Thank you for all your comments and staying up on me in spite of your busyness.

    We will be back in Atlanta in October. It would be great if we can connect with you...and have you and Astrid meet. That would be sweet.

    ET: I thought of you when I found out they were going to Basel, Jen! I also thought of Sandra! I don't know who Jack Layton is but I'm sure Astrid's brother does. Wow. We'll have to find out more. Such sudden deaths are always a shock to the system.

  8. OH - And I must also tell you! I tried out my large camera only to find out that I have been so satisfied with my point and shoot. Ok - the only instance so far is with wide angles that you cannot get.

    So off I'm going to California without my large camera or lenses.. Scary a bit~!

    Jack was the leader of the NDP party. Read about him this year, a very inspiring man!

  9. Having your very first guests represents a milestone, doesn't it, Ginnie? It was for me, at least, in my first French life years ago.

    I love, love, love the bandoneon. It is the most romantic of instruments and speaks right to my soul. Off to V&V to read you there.

  10. ET: I think I would travel with that point-n-shoot, too, Jen, just because of how much my big camera weighs. Think of it as a plus!

    And Jack. What a loss for Canada!

    Deborah: Thank you. Bob and Peggy were definitely a milestone for us. We're still pinching ourselves. The time came and went so quickly.

    The bandoneon is a new instrument for me. Now I'll pay better attention to it whenever I see it. My mom used to play the accordian whenever she needed a portable piano. The concept amazes me, to be honest. So much music at your fingertips. :)

  11. What a beautiful city and I didn't know churches could be so light filled! :) Loved the bottle with the dutch shoes. And I am off to read V&V. Do you two ever spend a weekend relaxing and reading a book? You wear me out!

  12. Margaret: HA! Actually, we DO relax many weekends at home, going nowhere and making time for the special things we enjoy, like jigsaw puzzles and our myriad DVD movies. We do know how to relax, believe it or not. Sometimes I think the same about you...with all your kids and the activities you're involved in. Your life is surely much more hectic than ours! :) I don't know how you do it but you seem to do it well!

  13. I have dabbled quite a bit in stained glss. I still have all the equipment but haven't done any for a year or more. When I bought my Victorian house 30+ years ago, the original stained glass windows were falling apart so I took some courses and repaired them all... there may be some pics on my blog, look under glass at the bottom of the sidebar. How lovely to have a display right in the church.... so appropriate.
    BTW I hope Bob and Peggy weren't ecpected to ROW that Viking River Boat!

  14. Sham: I do recall that you've done stained-glass work, now that you say it. It's a fabulous skill, let alone art. Good for you. And yes, so glad Bob and Peggy didn't have to row their Viking boat. :)

  15. Hey Ginnie, gorgeous images! I've always loved stained glass and wanted to learn to do it many years ago but I just really don't like broken glass!
    So it was soft leather instead.
    Sending birthday wishes and cheer to Astrid ~ y'all have fun!

  16. WS: I'd say you made a good choice, Susan! I would have done the same. Your leather work is to die for. Astrid will be delighted for your birthday wishes. Thank you.

  17. I think dark chocolate is good for the soul. :) And I really liked the photos of all the stained glass pieces. Beautiful!

  18. Tim: I totally agree with you about the chocolate. And yes, the stained-glass pieces were also good for the soul! Thanks.

  19. OMG, I had completely forgotten about those velvet offering baskets until I saw your photos here. The church we attended had both the long-handled and the double-handled ones with purple velvet. I always thought that purple was an à propos color since it signaled penitence to the Catholics.

    I'm crazy for the mosaic of the "portiekje" with the tiny sculptures of people standing on glass platforms. Impressive! Is it for sale?

  20. DB: Isn't it funny what images like these bring back to mind, Diana. I love it.

    I don't think any of the glass pieces were for prices accompanied them. I think they were all items from a class. Most interesting. That particular one was a favorite of ours, too. Thanks.

  21. Beautiful series of photos Ginnie! Very detailed and it's we're there with you guys!

  22. Charles: You're a sweetie-pie. Thanks! :)

  23. So funny - here I am, crawling out of my hold post-all the events of the summer, and the first piece my eye falls upon is the tulips. One of my treasured pieces of Mom's needlework is a hanging of art nouveau tulips. I've kept much of her "stash" of yarn, threads and canvas - perhaps I'll enlarge your tulips and stitch a companion piece for hers. I've not done needlepoint for years, but I enjoyed it, and will be trying my hand again.

    "Guilty" pleasures? I'm not so sure about that. Taking pleasure in the world around us need not be guilty - and surely you're one who is able to communicate pleasure-taking more effectively than anyone I know! Can't wait to read your V&V piece!

  24. Cannot believe it's taken me almost the entire week to pause long enough to take in all your wonderful collages! What a brilliant location for a stained glass exhibition... a church! I so enjoyed seeing all the artistry and especially like the two pieces featured in the small double collage... the orange church and the tulips! And the saxophone also caught my eye... A thought occurred to me about those offering bags... might be harder to help oneself to the offerings instead of adding your own (and it DOES happen from time to time, or so I've heard). (my mind just goes these places... who knows why)

    I also like it a lot when you include a collage of the photographers at work... yourself and Astrid as well as your friend Dries! (Battened down here in Bethesda, MD and hoping the hurricane is less than they've warned us about.. will seriously cut into my photo editing time if we lose power... who cares about the food! ;-) )

  25. Dear Ginnie, I love your sister Ruthie! She is one of the deep guiding lights of my life, and a poetic and literary mentor.
    And our birthdays are a day apart :)
    I was swanning around Bruges on mine - and saw a wonderful church too - the Church of our Lady which houses the only Michelangelo to leave Italy in his lifetime. There was a stained glass window there too, and tons of construction :)

    p.s. have never seen a camera as telescopically big as yours!!

  26. SA: I love your idea of a companion-piece stitchery of tulips, Linda, and would be honored for you to use the one here (as would the artist, I'm sure). Thank you. Please let me know if ever you do so.

    What is it about that term "guilty pleasures?!" The ones we come up with are only that much more "delicious" because we think of them as forbidden, perhaps. They're not forbidden, of course, and finally we're learning to give ourselves permission to "just do it." It's harder for some of us, depending on our background conservatism. Harder...and perhaps even that much more delicious!

    Thanks, Linda. You always know how to make my day.

    Victoria: I agree with you about the location of these stained-glass pieces. It seemed the perfect place. That orange church, of course, was of the Grote Kerk itself, where the piece was exhibited.

    I had to laugh about the offering bags and your mind's eye concerning them. Yes, it would be much more obvious to see someone digging in to pilfer! I love it.

    And thanks for liking when I add the photographers at work. I think that's why I keep doing so...ever since your first comment about it awhile back. :)

    Believe me...we're paying attention to Irene these days. My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

    Shaista: It's hard not to love my sister and I feel honored that you have stopped by here. Thank you. Astrid's birthday is the 24th (2 years older than Ruth), so you all could have celebrated together! :)

    I'm familiar with that church in Bruges but did not know about that Michelangelo. All the more reason to go back and visit! Maybe for MY birthday next year.

    That lens is so obnoxious! But it is the perfect everyday lens for my needs, Canon's Red Ring 28-300 mm. I just wish they could make it smaller! They probably will one day and then I'll be faced with another decision. HA!

  27. Not sure how I completely missed your birthday wishes here! But thank you, a couple of weeks late! :-)

    (Lovely Shaista, wow.)

  28. Ruth: Well, in the end you didn't miss it, for which I'm glad, sister! And yes, I'm so glad you got to see what Shaista wrote. Thank you for back-tracking.