Thursday, 31 December 2015

Oud en Nieuw - Old and New

I wish you a Happy New Year! I did not have any time to write lately, but tomorrow the first empty paper of the year 2016 will be waiting for us. There will be time to write again and see everything in a new light. Days will be getting longer and brighter. The outdoor living will be blooming again sooner as we think. This is a funny winter, I already see some little flowers at the park...the winter really never seems to come. I would like to see some snow, but for that I would have to travel back to North Europe to my hoods or to the Alps.

Our dinner has been in the oven for hours and I can hear the fireworks at the park already. It is hardly 5pm and it sounds like midnight. Our quests for this evening are here. Time to have some fun and say goodbye to this year. 

Once more Happy and Healthy new year 2016!

Starting the eve with little salty snacks and some wine...and as usual playing games with our friends.

Toast for this year and thank you for reading my blog! 

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Walk with me

I love the dutch countryside and the green fields with the open view. On the second Christmas day I went for a walk in East Holland, in the province of Overijssel. It is a nice contrast to spent some time in a peaceful village compared to busy Amsterdam. I enjoy it a lot every time. It did not feel like winter. The grass was so green and the weather so mild. This time I let the pictures tell the story. I had a quiet walk and I just concentrated watching around, breathing, listening, moving and taking photos. The best way to relax after all the holiday action. So, let's walk.

Green holiday greetings, Erja

Monday, 21 December 2015

Ice & Fire + some seasonal thoughts

This candle collage was burning yesterday on our living room table when I started to write this post. The movement of the flames, the smell of the rosemary candle and the warmth of the colours: like a fireplace on a plate. We had a nice weekend:

We went skating on saturday with our friends at the museum square. It was a nostalgic feeling when trying to skate again after a long time. Like trying to learn to walk again. Finding the balance on the ice, which was extremely slippery and wet in this warm weather.  

Drinking a "glühwein" (hot spiced wine) and eating a bread with currysausage. Watching the crowded arena of skaters under the sparkling lights. This could be any year, maybe even 50 years before. The joy of the movement and a smile on a face, everyone at the same moment and sharing the experience.

A magical moment under the lights. Protected from the black and too much reality. Seeing all the children skating, falling and continuing the fun until it has to stop. Too late, time to go home.

Still wanting to believe in Santa Claus. Only four days until the christmas eve. Traditions: baking spiced cookies, decorating the christmas tree, cleaning the house a bit, listening the favourite songs and some memories from the childhood popping in my mind again.

Did we buy a christmas tree or not?? We did, on sunday from the local flower shop, transported home with the longboard. The creative idea of my son. All this for the children and also for the child who still lives inside me and hopefully in every adult person. Hoping the best for us and for the others!

Dreaming of the tree!

The dream came true!
I decorated the tree with my children. We used almost all the old deco's we had. But the good thing still doesn't look too crowded. I don't like it when there is too much glitter...then you don't see the tree anymore. Maybe not so eco to buy a tree, but this  tradition is too strong and we love the smell of the tree in our house. 

A wooden star made by my son.

The final countdown for the peaceful christmas, time to think and relax. I will take part in "the intuitive writing challenge" during the holiday. There will be some tasks and questions I have to try to answer. Every day I have to think a little bit my own life and  what happened during the year and what are my dreams. Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Black ink - reflections on the water

If the trees could write, what would be the story? 

I was walking by the water and went to the edge of the canal. I saw something that reminded me of ink, like a leakage of black fluid or something oily on the surface of the water. This reflection came from the leafless, curvy trees beside the canal. This spot is normally so covered with green bushes and trees, that I would maybe leave this place alone in the summertime. Now it is easy to reach some normally hidden corners of the park and get a new perspective, more open and dramatic. This view was so strong & still, but the movement of the water created the illusion of an extra dimension. It almost looked like a gate to another a poem, painting or a story made by the trees. 

I really like the patterns of these pictures. These would look good also printed on a fabric. The Nature can always surprise and give some ideas and thoughts that you would not get otherwise. We should let the nature give the influence and the healthy effect on our lives. And on the other side: we have to take care of the Nature.

Maybe and hopefully the papers and agreements made in the Paris conference on climate change 2015 are going to lead some worldwide results as soon as possible. Also the individual level is important: our own micro environment including the people around us. What kind of effect or attitude we have. Is there hope and some positive energy to keep on going and really change something to reach the goal and stop the climate change. 

A new houseboat transported at Sloterkade.

After my walk I saw this new home transported by the Sloterkade. I saw steps going under the water level inside the house. Sleeping under the waterline maybe and enjoying the reflections next day from your living room window. Just to show you one way of living in a city. I don't know if I would like it as a permanent home. The water is unfortunately not very clean in the canals.

Lisää kuvateksti

To lighten the day, a picture with the power of growth and some visual vitamin for the mind!!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lights on/off Amsterdam!

There is at the moment some light art to see by the canals of Amsterdam. The annual light festival is there to be admired. I passed the Herengracht-canal earlier this week by walking and did a very quick visit today just when it started to get darker. Luckily the festival lasts from 28th of November until 17th of January and I have time to see the whole show and also when it is really dark. I just saw a small part of it. The festival has an official boat and a walking route, but of course you can just walk around and enjoy the lights the way you want. The christmas decorations and other lights are also everywhere to be seen, but it is nice that the lighs of the festival are beside the water, giving nice reflections when interacting with the movements of water.

Even if it is so nice to have lights everywhere when it's dark, it is also important to think how much light do we need after all. It is good to check your own habits every now and then. The lights in the house doesn't have to be on everywhere, just where you or the other people are doing something. Small things and changes can be ecological and save some money too. The more you start to pay attention to these things, the more you find some small everyday habits that can be updated to be more environment friendly choices. Too much is too much!

These I have to see in the dark later.

All these lights are switched on in the late afternoon that there is something inspiring to see when making a canal cruise in the dark evenings or walking in town. Not forgetting the commercial effect. Maybe this gives also an extra motivation for some people to have a walk outside by the canals instead of watching tv at home. Lights give some hope of the spring and this visual impulse reminds us to keep on going and being creative also in the winter. Light gives a feeling of safety when walking on the streets and in a traffic or when cycling out there, remember your lights. We need to see each other!

Daylight version..... and the afternoon version.

 Lights off and lights on.

In the end... lights on at home.

I like christmas time and to decorate my house a little bit, but I am not a big fan of buying some new stuff for decoration every year and I don't have my deco-lights on all day long. Instead of that, I am happy to make some simple paper decorations & try to find a way to use my old items in a new way every year. Soft lightning and candles make a warm atmosphere at home.

My daughter had learned to make this sort of paper decoration at school this week. She showed me how to do these. It is nice how the kids get bigger and I can learn new things from them. Maybe this deco wall needs still a little bit more colour, maybe something green from the flower shop or from the park. But I like also this simple version. 

The End - Lights off