Photographs, Jewellery, Food and Life by Son Memelink

29 May 2012

Surprise stay at Mario, Neck

Polder with geese+chicks
Cycle path on dyke, IJsselmeer
To my utter surprise, I got treated to an evening (including night) at the famous Italian restaurant/hotel 'Mario' in a tiny village called Neck, just outside of 'Purmerend' (not far North of Amsterdam.) We'd heard many good things about it but had not managed to visit it yet.
It was a cool but dry day and we took the scenic route, which made me fall in love with Holland all over again. A quick stop-over in Volendam, where we bought some smoked eel, and on to Neck.
The first thing that came to mind when we arrived was: "why would an Italian family start a restaurant here, in such a small place?" But they did, and with great succes! As soon as we walked through the door, we were 'enveloped' by typical, hospitable, lovely, Italian' fuss-making'. We were given the Blue Suite, our bags were carried upstairs for us, the open fire had been lit and we were welcome to come downstairs, whenever we wanted, for an aperitivo by the fire. This set the tone for the rest of the evening. Our seven course menus (1 vegetarian) with 'wine-arrangement' were FANTASTIC and the portions were just right. The choice of wines was sublime. In the end we decided to take pictures of the bottles so that we would be able to order some later. The food was of Michelin-star quality but (in my opinion) without its, sometimes over the top, unnecessary complexity. The whole evening was made even more perfect by a lovely Italian gentleman who played acoustic guitar, in the backround. Mario's is more about the restaurant than hotel, but our suite was very comfortable and clean, so no complaints whatsoever.
Marks: 8,5 out of 10 for the restaurant in the evening and 7 for the hotel part.
For information click on: MARIO
Turbot with 'ink'pasta
Duck + Guinea fowl

'Fave' Wine

22 May 2012

Fishing for Birds

I don't know why Pigeons are such messy birds, BUT THEY ARE!  To be able to continue feeding the prrrrrretty Parakeets and avoid 'pigeon-mess' at the same time,  I decided to use some of my bamboo and make this fishing-rod-like construction. It works. Catch of the Day...!

07 May 2012

'Stare-Dare' with Blue Heron, 'The Great'.

On Sundays, on my way to the Vondelpark, I walk past a particular house boat, which seems to have been picked by a Blue Heron as 'his' ideal 'Vista-Base'. As I cross the bridge, I can usually spot him, doing one of his 'living-statue' impressions. A while ago, The Heron and I came to some unspoken agreement....and we both prepare ourselves for what's coming next. I calm myself and whisper the words:...concentrate Son... ...cooooncentrate! On his part there's a definite ruffling of feathers, 'puffing up' and elongating of neck. Our eyes lock and the 'stare-dare-game' has started. Who wil avert his/her eyes first? So far, The Heron's won, every time.
Not, that I'm afraid of know...!
Best when enlarged!

01 May 2012

Queen's Day '12/Amsterdam Canals

How fortunate we were with the weather! Yesterday was the only sunny, dry day in yonks, so we all turned out in droves on Queen's Day.
After our visit to the Vondelpark we had to cycle in a hurry (if that's at all possible on to our next appointment and were almost too late.
We had a fantastic time. It was said, there were fewer people visiting this year and I'm sure they're right, however, at times, it was hard to believe.
Little engine trouble got fixed
Quiet day for military police

dogs came along
better view

Baby with orange hat

Queen's Day '12 Amsterdam/Vondelpark

Above, a game thought up by some children. A painting of our Queen with the words 'This will be hard to swallow, your Majesty...' For 50 ct. one had three chances of throwing a ball into Beatrixs' mouth.

This is my second Queen's Day in Amsterdam. We spent the morning walking through the 'Free Trade-Market Vondelpark" and in the afternoon, we joined our friends on their boat for a CRAZY trip through the canals. It was good to see that most people were wearing something orange (Royal House of Orange) and many had gone through great effort to get noticed in the crowds.
The Dutch are known as 'trades(wo)men'. Tell a Dutchie how good he/she looks in a particular piece of clothing and he/she will not reply by saying: "thank you" instead, you'll hear a somewhat proud: "I 'got' it for only ... Euros". On Queen's Day, you'll find tens of thousands of people selling old or weird stuff, all along the streets of Amsterdam. The life of wheelin' and dealin' is taught to our children from the day they are born and, on, the whole of the Vondelpark is especially reserved for them so they can practice their skills.
The place is packed with children who've all thought of thousands of different ways of convincing or emotionally blackmailing grown ups into parting with their money (this too, is taught by their parents).
How to draw......
Bric a brac for sale.
Tear jerker
Playing Dutch Anthem