Thursday, 28 January 2016

Welcome Sun

This was a day to be out! Thank you Sun for warming up the wet winter and bringing your bright light to the Streets and parks of Amsterdam. At the moment many people are having a cold or being ill, staying indoors. This kind of day gives hope of a spring. There seems to be no fun for waiting for the winter anymore in this part of Europe. At the park the purple crocuses are forcing themselves up from the underground world. I know today was just a little teaser, because the weekend will be rainy again.

I like to have a little adventure every now and then. This means I will just take a bus or a tram and look if there are some new spots to explore in the "Nature parts' or "Urban parts" of the City. When it get's warmer with less risk of "waterfalls", the bike will be more handy. From the tram it is easy to look at the beautiful houses or some interesting spots to check out. Today I wanted to be a tourist in my home town and took the first bus that came. It went deep to West and I stepped out near the Erasmuspark in "Bos en lommer", a part of town with a multicultural feeling. I like to get a good picture of a place where I live. I want to find something interesting in places that you would not first think they exist. I want to make sometimes a trip in everyday life, enjoy the journey and keep my eyes open for surprises. 

The layout of the park.

Every park in Amsterdam has at least one playground for the kids and there is usually a place where to play football. There are plenty of benches to sit on or in the summer time you can just have a picnic on the huge grass fields. In the winter everything looks so open and the park is directly connected to the outside life. I am looking for the green season when the view will be totally different and you don't see the houses and streets so clearly anymore. Then every park will be like a green oasis. 

The coolest found in "Bos en lommer" was the multifunctional cultural Centre called "Podium mozaiek" with a nice program of music, theatre, dance, art, photos and more. At the ground floor you can eat or just have a coffee in a cosy restaurant/cafe. The house itself is a beautiful, white contrast compared to surrounding, brown apartment houses and a busy street on front of it. Every weekend between 10 and 15 the traditional turkish breakfast will be served. I will have to try this out one weekend. That is what I love in Amsterdam. There is culture everywhere and you can find some contrasts to spice up your life. 

Inviting in the late afternoon...

Inviting in every ancle and also in black&white.
At the moment there are photo-portraits of "immigrants who found their way to live in the Netherlands"to see in the Cafe. Nice photos by Negin Zendegani. The exhibition is called " Geluk Zoeker" ( trying to find luck).

Super day! I recommend also to check out not so well known corners of this town. After seeing the canals and the touristic high lights, it is refreshing to see something with other character.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Soft Sunday

I had the best and sweetest company on sunday. I was walking at the park with my daughter and I let her take some photos out there. It was a good motivator, because she was complaining that she did not want to walk  anymore. I saw from her face, that she was really enjoying taking the photos and hearing the sound of the Camera everytime she pushed the button. I was patiently waiting for her...she stopped every two meters to take a photo. She was fascinated about the small details on our way and in the end said, that she wants her own Camera! 

She made a photo of her shoes
...and she memorised the bench

She went to bushes to have a closer look at the plants.
The weather was soft and quiet today. There was no breeze of wind in a misty landscape. It felt almost like being in a turkish Sauna without the heat. It was moist, but not rainy. The air felt like a finest beauty treatment on my skin, like a body lotion. The dutch winter can be mild and mysterious.(When it is not raining all the time). It looks like a very thin, soft material covering the view and giving some protection. The hard winter is somewhere else. I read about the snow, freezing cold and storms from the news every day. 

It was a good, slow and spontaneous sunday. I spent some special time with a special person and we had many good moments. It is funny when you think it afterwards, it is a long list of small things we did today together. I hope she will remember later some of those things. I think we gave a lot of inspiration to each other and I hope we will have many days like this now, in the near future and later in our lives.

The last two photos are from my walk alone. The big advertisement of Cola just above the sport Club. I guess they are making some sort of renovation in the building and this picture is hiding the mess. In the evening light it looked good and I love the colours and how the whole absurd beauty made a beautiful reflections on the surface of the canal. Soft end for a soft Sunday.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Frozen wake up!

This week has been colder than usual and I like it for a change. There is a thin layer of froze everywhere and it softens the view like a filter. The walking paths at the park are slippery and the air feels nice and fresh. The early morning is a good time to enjoy the peace and reload the batteries for the day. All sounds are clearer in the stillness and in the harmony of a new morning. If the stress of everyday life hits hard, my best recipe and advice is to go out and have a walk. Then the focus of your mind is changing the direction. The circle of the thought is getting bigger and your energy will flow outside and you keep open the way back to the inside too. It is a both way traffic - letting go and letting in.

Even a walk in a rough City landscape gives inspiration and strength to me. A curious mind finds fascinating details on a street level. Life is everywhere and we as people leave our marks and monuments behind us. The different layers of history are present now and some of those dimensions of time will be gone one day. Staying still as a  memory in our minds or  documented in pictures, videos or stories or as pieces of art. 

Somewhere under the rainbow or somewhere under the everyday sky. Maybe the worst way of spending a day for me would be just sitting on front of the computer screen at one spot the whole day. But that is the way many people are spending their days, hardly changing the position, modern working. The technology makes it possible to see the world on the computer screen and being mentally active, but at the same time we should use the whole capacity of the human mind and the body we have. 

I believe that is important every day to give yourself a long moment to collect the information from the different parts of your muscles,  using all your senses and using the skills that we are born with and the skills we learned as a child. Then we can be happy, creative and  a little bit more understanding and accepting the diversity of life. 
Also a moment just being alone and being aware of your needs, ambitions and the whole you. We have to be precent in our lives, in the line of millions of short moments. Being aware of everything in every second would be very tiring, but just remembering the importance of a peaceful break and being a little bit selective for your own sake. 

The pastel shades at the park gave me a peaceful mind today. It was good to feel the fingers getting cold and decide to walk faster to get warmer again. 

 The ice on the water is melting slowly. The frozen details will be different tomorrow if it's going to be another cold night. A good start for a day has a long effect. Feeling good today!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Collection of Contrasts

I love colours and want to get inspired of all the different shades and juicy mixtures of the Natural palette. At the same time I know that there is much more behind the first colourful impression of the moment. The same spot and the view changes fluently during the day and during the seasons. Sometimes the change happens dramatically in one moment. The colours, the shadows and the structure including all the movement, are never exactly the same. Sometimes it is nice to play with the reality. I want to see things also in black and white. Then you notice the interaction of the light, the lines and even the composition of the picture better. Sometimes it is good to be aware why you are attracted to some certain themes and why you wanted to memorise a moment with your camera. With our intuition we react faster, and the analytical mind is often following. Even the most analytical person can be surprised of the hidden intuition of his/her actions.

If you would see just the black and white versions of these photos, it would be not so clear to guess the real colours of these moments.  The flower looks white and the landscape photo under could be taken in a frozen winter day.

A peaceful summer blue against the stormy looking landscape.

This seems to be a fine day to drive a bike by the dunes.

But suddenly the lines at the sky are telling me that it might be hard to cycle against the strong wind. Who knows. The pictures are giving  the impression of the moment, but who took them and maybe manipulated the images a little bit, knows the story behind.

By photos you tell the story of the moment. My story, feeling, memory or explanation will differ from yours..even if we would have been at the same spot at the same time. The good thing is, there is  necessarily no need to talk about it. It is good to keep some things secret and just enjoy the life, share the moments and continue to make our own story. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Rain and Sun in Sarphatipark

A very basic dutch weather again: raining, sunny, raining, wind, sunny, a calm moment, stormy, strong rain. It is better to be prepared almost for anything but unfortunately not for the snow. I had my big, black umbrella today and I wear a rain jacket almost every day. This weather doesn't stop me having my walks and enjoying being outside.

I went to sport this morning and decided to have some fresh air after that. This time I was walking in the Pijp, near the eastern part of the central canal ring. I was looking forward to have a  walk in a small park nearby. Sarphatipark is a nice mini, green area surrounded by streets and houses. You don't really get any big contrast feeling to the city life, because you see the cars and you hear the traffic. In the summertime it is more protected, because the green finally covers the view to streets beside the park. Then it is a good place to have a picnic after buying some fresh food from the Albert Cuyp market, a long market street just around the corner. The Pijp is full of houses, traffic and narrow streets. This part of town really needs this park to get a little bit of a feeling of open sky & space. 

For me this is a hard part of the year. I am still used to some bigger changes and contrasts after all these years aboard. It is like a biological clock that is inside me. I come from the North and grew up with snow, ice, dark and big contrasts with the light: dark snowy winters and light summers. This greyness is hard to handle. The best part will be coming though: the spring will come here earlier and then it is like magic. I am lucky I had so many cold and snowy winters already in my life that I can somehow handle this just by remembering how great element the big, white, quiet and sparkling winter really is. I have the real winter in my heart.

Back to reality: I see some green grass. 

I see so many birds having a break at the park. Dogs, school children, joggers and finally even the sun. I notice, that I forgot my umbrella to the bakery on my way. I have to go back to busy streets and leave the park. 

Now it is raining again. I don't want to sound like a meteorologist or be complaining about this. I can see the beauty in a rain drop.

And I definitely remember the beauty of the clear winter days.