Some days are really excellent. The sun is bright, and warm, and everything looks shiny and clean. We were staying with our friends in Winterthur (for those less familiar with Swiss geography, this is quite close to Zürich; but really, don’t say to anyone from Winterthur that’s “it’s pretty much Zürich” because they really don’t like it). On the last day of our stay, we explored Winterthur, which was really a great place. There were some specific highlights (an exceptional little gallery, more on which another day) and some psychotic cats, and we really enjoyed walking around and just relaxing. Of course, sometimes relaxing means floating…
Recently a friend mentioned that one of their favourite things about ordering pizza at their local pizza joint was ordering under a false name, something really exotic or crazy, and waiting for it to be called out when their order was up, and having a chuckle to themselves. I like the idea of this, but I like what happened to us tonight even more.
Tonight, after one of those days at work that just feels like it will never end, we decided it was going to be pizza from the place around the corner for us. They have an electronic order board that counts down the minutes until your order is ready (I know, pretty high tech). You can imagine our surprise when our order popped up on the board as “Lady and Sir”. Of course it made me giggle and then I couldn’t believe it when the boy behind the counter called out, in a very embarrassed and furtive kind of way, “Order for…. Lady and Sir?”, as he looked questioningly at us. My giggling fit continued, PJD looked at me (and the pizza boy) like we were crazy, and I came home and took this photo below – proof that our new pizza nobility status continues, well, until we polish off the pizza anyway (isn’t cold pizza for breakfast the best?!)!
It’s nice to end the day laughing; sometimes it really is the little moments of levity that count.
So, there we were, just casually strolling in the Hague upon a spring afternoon, and we happen across an elephant. Just there, yes, an elephant, in the middle of the street. Huh? I hear you say. Well, that’s what I was saying to myself (and to PJD) too. It sure was a little out of place amongst the graceful, leafy, European streets, and the international legal fraternity. But it was there, nonetheless.
It certainly wasn’t any regular, plodding-across-the-plains-of-Africa type of elephant. No, this elephant was altogether different.
He was, as you can see, rather majestic and distinguished, as, I think, elephants tend to be, and was attracting quite a lot of attention. But why was this elephant there, I hear you say? Well, it turns out we just happened to stumble upon the new Hague summer sculpture exhibition, The Rainbow Nation, part of the Hague Summer Festivals.
Sometimes you go to the cupboard and look to make something, and you’re left with an assortment of vegetables and dry food, and no idea what to make. This happens to us every now and again for one reason or another (maybe we went shopping all day, maybe we got caught up watching our latest television infatuation). Whatever the reason, when you’re left with some somewhat random, if delicious, vegetables, and have some couscous and condiments handy, you can still throw together something reasonably healthy and very tasty.
I give you, Couscous with Balsamic Vegetables.
Couscous; a zucchini; a capsicum; spring onions; an onion; some garlic; vegetable stock; balsamic vinegar; oregano; basil.
Then, you do this:
We needed no more encouragement than the WordPress weekly photo challenge theme of “Summer” today, to get us posting this picture that sums up summer pretty well for the both of us. Sand, shells, sparkling clear blue Pacific ocean and just a smattering of perfect cotton candy clouds on the horizon… bliss. In fact, this is one of our absolute favourite photos that we took on our honeymoon earlier this year; I’m sure you can see why! Just looking at us takes us right back there to that moment when we ran into the ocean, so much so I can almost hear the sound of that splash as the water first hits your body as you dive on in…
Photo taken by our trusty Canon Powershot s95 on our well-loved self timer setting, on one of the pristine beaches of the Kingdom of Tonga.
We’ve been at this new blog for a couple of weeks now.
So far we’ve been pretty consistent at getting the posts out. It felt like the time to elaborate on the brief information found on our “About” page. At first we thought that the following would be enough:
Young antipodean couple, origami-ing around Europe.
What more could anyone want to know? Well…
Next to our television lives a small stack of cards featuring inspiring words by various well-known figures and writers. It was something small that my Mum gave me before I left home last time around (thanks Mum!). The cards sit in a nifty wooden holder, and we have taken to shuffling them every few days or so and reading out what the card that we happen to land on says. Some are funny, some are serious, but mostly they seem to have fairly wise words to offer and reflect on, if we are in the mood.
This was what I landed on today:
Although we’ve posted only pasta so far, we really do like to draw on cuisine from all over the world. Hopefully you will start to see that over time. So, the weather has been really warm here – 29 celcius in Leiden today – and so a dinner that is fast, light, and not too hot was necessary. The Indonesian meal Gado Gado totally hits the spot on a day like today (better still eaten in our magnificent garden). CIA’s Mum made this for us about a year ago and we’ve tried to meet her excellent standard.
What you will need:
Mung beans; cabbage; potatoes; eggs (hardboiled); tofu; green beans; satay sauce; kroepoek (or casava chips); rice
And here’s how to construct it:
Trusting that your camera won’t fall off a small ledge of rock can sometimes produce amazing results. There really is more than one way to start the day right.
Photo taken by our trusty Canon Powershot s95, perched precariously by a rockpool. Yes, we are relieved it didn’t fall in.
The height of the tulip season is just coming to an end here in Holland. Tulip time really must be seen to be believed. All of a sudden, as the spring weather starts to get better, tulips of all colours start popping up, along with hyacinths, daffodils and then on the tail end of the season, irises.
One of my favourite things about this time of the year in the Netherlands is the train ride from Leiden to Haarlem, alongside the Bollenstreek, the area of the Netherlands where the majority of the tulips are grown and where you can see the quintessential Dutch flower fields in full bloom. It sure makes for a much more enjoyable trip than usual, seeing the flashes of colour stretching for field upon field whizzing by out the window.I also get a real feeling of, “yes, this is it, I am in Holland”, much like when I stroll past a windmill, or past one of the ubiquitous frites vendors (don’t forget the fritesaus!).
I try to snap pictures of the tulips out the train window, but the speed of the train largely thwarts my efforts (much to my chagrin). The best shot I have been able to get was this one, which if nothing else at least gives a sense of what I am talking about: