Friday, 31 July 2015

Art on Friday; Still-Life

Today Still-Life painting In Nothern Europe from 1600-1800

George Flegel-Still-Life with Bread and Confectionary

Jan Davidsz de Heem-Still Life With Fruit 

 Abraham van Beyeren-Still Life (ca 1655)

Willem Kalf-Still life with a porcelain vase

Nicolaes van Verendael-Still Life with Flowers

                   Edwart Collier-Vanitas still life 

Jan Brueghel the Elder-Still Life with Tulips

Balthasar Van der Ast-Still life with insects and shells

© KH

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Treasures of Britain; St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral


When the Great Fire of 1666 swept the City of London, it was the fourth time a church on this site-which had once contained a Roman temple to Diana- had been destroyed. A wooden strucuture, dedicated to St Paul in 604 by St Ethelbert, King of Kent, burned down 70 years later. A second cathedral,built in stone in 675-85, was laid waste by the Vickings in 961. A third burned down in 1087 and the Norman cathedral-larger than the present one-was begun straight away. Stone was brought by sea from the quarries of Caen,and the spire(to be struck by lightning in 1447 and destroyed by fire in 1561)was the tallest yet built. After the Fire, Sir Christopher Wren was commisssioned to rebuild not only St Paul's but another 51 churches throughout the City as well. His design, with a traditional cruciform gothic groundplan and a tall steeple, was finally accepted in 1675 and building began immediately. But the Cathedral that was officially declared finished-after many rows and delays-in 1711 did not bear very much resemblance to those original plans. Gone was the steeple reaching the sky; instead there was the great classical dome, ingeniously constructed so that the imposing outer roof is 60 feet (20 m) taller than the inner ceiling. The lantern tower that crowns the dome is-together with the two fantastic western towers designed as late as 1707-distinctly baroque.

James Thornhill painted the frescoes of the life of St Paul wich adorn the inner dome. These are the best seen from the Whispering Gallery, 100 feet (30 m) high and famed for its acoustics. The Golden Gallery at the top of the dome offers spectacular views but entails a climb of 530 steps. Among the great craftsmen employed by Wren was the master-ironworker Jean Tijou, who made the gates to the north and south chancel aisles plus the balustrade to the elegant geometrical staircase by master-mason William Kempster. Grinling Gibbons, at his most inspired, carved the choir-stalls, bishop's throne and organ case. (the organ istself was played by both Handel and Mendelssohn)

Wren died in 1723 aged 91 and appropriately was one of the first to be buried in the whitewashed crypt. An inscription in Latin above his modest marble slab, composed by his son, reads; 'Reader, if you seek his memorioal, look about you.' Positioned immmediately beneath the dome is Nelsons's impressive black sarcophagus. Wellington's sarcophagus is towards the east of the crypt, while his massive memorial almost fills the north aisle above.

Because I love art and these painters so much I payed more attention to their graves down in the crypt; a lot of them from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. 

© KH

Monday, 27 July 2015

Becoming the real you

Everyone knows it probably or has experienced it; other people always know best how you should be, or should live your life or should behave etc. So have I in my life; people always know better how I should be, what I should say or not, or how I should look. Be careful, what will others think of you? Well, I've finally come to a point in my life that I really don't care anymore what others think of me. If I ever did. I have stopped a long time ago to listen to the negative people who not always have your best interest in mind. Almost never actually. Only you know what is best for you.

The one thing that was bothering me was me being overweight and having low energy all the time. I started eating more healthy but still it didn't help. Until one day I walked into a shop where they sell homeopathic stuff and I just out of the blue (even surprised myself) to the sales-girl if she had something that could help me lose some weight and still being healthy. She recomended green tea pills to help burn fat easily and drink only pure green tea. I started doing that and felt better after a few days. Of course I missed my coffee as I am a lover of the stuff but I saw what it did to my skin alone! I started changing my daily meals, less meat (hardly any) more nuts and mushrooms and beans and rice or quinoa and more green veggies and fruit.
I had a painful, sore spot under my ribs on the left for a long time, and even that is gone now I've noticed, just from eating differently and just watching what you eat! 

Then I came across a book by Tara Stiles 'Make your own rules diet' (in Dutch 'Powerfood, Yoga en Meditatie' ) and what she writes is hitting so close to home! She is saying everything I am saying for so long! Dieting doesn't work (been there done that), you just have to do what feels good for you, listen to yourself more (when did I stop doing that?)and you need to move (you can't sit on your ass all day, which of course I love to do, writing all day after work).
She even encluded recipes which are easy to make and give you all you need. (and make my mouth water)

I even like my green tea better now than when I drink coffee and that's saying something!
I know I still have a (very) long way to go, but I'm glad I'm doing it and thanks to Tara I'm in the mood to get moving again and eating even more healthy.

© KH

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Music on Sunday, Italy

On our holiday trip we've arrived in Italy and La Bella Italia has some lovely music; I remember being pregnant of my oldest son when Laura Pausini was in the Dutch charts and wanting to name him Laura if he turned out to be a girl (which he didn't obviously) 
Enjoy the Italian music; 

I really like this, shame they didn't win; 

© KH

Friday, 24 July 2015

Art on Friday; Victorian British landscapes

For no other reason than I just miss the UK; today British Landscape painters/paintings;

James E. Meadows-A Summer's day (1880)

Thomas James Lloyd-Milking time (1884)

 John Atkinson Grimshaw-Geese by a stream (1892)

 Alfred de Bréanski sr-Highland light

George Augustus Williams-Windsor Castle from the Thames

William Holman Hunt-Fairlight Downs,Sunlight on the sea

Hellen Allingham-In a Witley lane

William Scott-A day at the seaside

© KH

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Treasures of Britain; Eilean Donan Castle

People who know me and my love for Scotland also know that my favourite castle is Eilean Donan Castle. I really can't explain why, but from the very first time I visited in 1992 it captured my heart. That whole region did but the castle especially. I don't think it was a furnitured castle at the time but when we came back to it in 2005 with the kids it was.

Eilean Donan Castle is near Dornie and is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland. The islet located between Lochs Long, ALsh and Duich is named after a 6th-century Celtic hermit. The castle, built c1220 by Alexander II to give advance warning of Viking raids, became the stronghold of the Mackenzies in the 14th century. In 1719 these fervent supporters of the Stuarts entrenched themselves in the castle with 300 Spanish soldiers who had come to support the Jacobite cause. Two months later the castle was bombarded by three English frigates. It was nothing but ruins when, in the 1920's, Farquhar Macrae and John Macrae-Gilstrap began tthe task of restoring it to its former glory.

Eilean Donan before 1920

Banquet Hall

 Inside Eilean Donan-Kitchen

The film Highlander was filmed here

Eilean Donan and Loch Duich

No matter from which angle or what sky, you could put every photo of the castle here, they'd all be perfect!

© KH

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Knight in shining armour

Daan wrote a blog last Sunday that made me want to write my own thoughts on the subject.

When I was a young girl I always thought I would grow up and marry a man just like my dad and have kids. There were no ifs or buts about it. Of course now I now my dad had his issues as well as every other man (or woman for that matter) has but as a girl I didn't see them, now that he's gone I'm probably not seeing them either. What's the use anyway, he's not here anymore right?
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, what kind of profession I wanted. Did I need one? I was going to be a mum, that was enough for me! I was a child of the Seventies, mums didn't need to work back then really, so you could not really blame me for thinking like that.

The whole picture in my head as a kid stuck there for quite some time, maybe it never have left. My husband wasn't anything like my dad was. He was very self-centered and to this day I really don't know why he ever married me. I can't imagine he ever loved me, he never acted on it anyway, not after we got kids anyway. He was crazy about his boys but our marriage went downhill.
After we got divorced, I really thought I was done with men and went on to do it all alone. I could do it. It would be hard finacially but I could do it. I know I am a strong woman, hell I have had it hard in my marriage, how bad could it be after the divorce?
But I met my current hub and you don't plan those things but they happen. I love him but he too is not a prince Charming kind of guy to lean on or to depend on. The strong shoulder to lean on has to be my own. The rock you so desperately need, has to be you.

That girl wanting to be a mummy and a loving husband is still inside me, looking for that man like her dad. I keep telling her there's no such thing but she refuses to listen. She still thinks there is. I think she's watched too many Disney films where the princess gets the prince and they live happily ever after. There's no such thing. No matter how many Facebook status you read, it's all a fake. Nobody has that blissful loving family all the time every bloody day! No way!

I believe in Reincarnation and I often say that in my next life I will get a degree, a good job and I will stay alone. I will be that rock, that shoulder, that knight in shining armour to myself without having to worry all the time about a partner or children. No matter how much I love my children and hub in this life.

Do I sound cynical? Perhaps but why teach little girls that they have to wait for that Prince Charming to come along only to be disappointed every single time? Teach little girls to become strong, secure women and their happiness will come with it.

©  KH

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Music on Sunday; Germany

To continue our Musical holiday trip we've now arrived in Germany;

To prove it's not all Wein, Weib und Gesang, (or Modern Talking) here are some German songs for you;

One of my favourites;

I know he wasn't German but Austrian but sang in German;

© KH