Photographs, Jewellery, Food and Life by Son Memelink

28 April 2013

Royal Wup

I hadn't seen any green parakeets for a long time, but the bright orange 'wuppie' (which I had glued to my balcony, for the coming inauguration of crown prince Willem Alexander) attracted the attention of two of them.
"Off with his head" seems to be their motto (not mine!).

16 April 2013

Saving Dapper Ducky

Having just written about 'ship wrecks' in the Amsterdam canals, I had another experience with one of them today. These, almost completely, but not quite, submerged boats are real death traps for young birds. Sometimes they'll manage to 'tumble' into one and go for a safe swim but then find it hard to get out of again, because of the raised edges along the side.
From my apartment I spotted a mother duck with her little ones, in trouble.  One of them was about to drown.
I ran towards them and met a young, brave Czech girl, who had also realised that the ducklings were in trouble. Time for action: The owner of a restaurant lent us his ladder and a helping hand. The Czech girl called her friend, who came running, passersby stopped and gave 'advice' (amazing how these little fluff balls, soften the heart of the people.)
All of this resulted in 'Czech girl' climbing/dropping down the 'very wonky' ladder and pushing 'the death trap' down just that little bit more, so that the ducklings and their mum could escape.....except for the one, which she managed to, gently, pick up and hand over to me.

My neighbour offered to call the animal ambulance, while I held little 'Ducky', wrapped in a cloth,  close to my heart, under my jumper. When they came to collect 'him', Ducky looked plucky and could hold his head up again.
saying goodbye
Bon Voyage!

09 April 2013

Garbage collector of canals

The Amsterdam canals are beautiful but to keep them that way, they need a lot of maintenance. For instance: the garbage needs to be removed. We're not just talking about paper or plastic, this is about using two, large barges, one with a krane with claw mounted on top, and picking up all the sad 'little' shipwrecks, partly or completely sunk, which can be found all along the canals.
This means that, sometimes, they have to scrape the bottom to look for a boat that has 'disappeared'. Usually the grip comes back up, holding a few, rusty, bicycles.
Here's this morning's evidence.
On the way to pick up
and back again, a few wrecks richer
It's very well organised and documented. Pictures are taken as proof of the state the wreck was in, before they're removed and lists of those boats + location are placed on the internet, weeks in advance.
Here's an AT5 article about it: WRECK-REMOVAL

03 April 2013

Nordic Art at Groninger Museum

Stairs to 'under water' level
Over Easter, we treated ourselves to 'special offer-1st class train tickets' to visit the Nordic Art exhibition at the Groninger Museum. The trip itself was pretty special, since it was still snowing, and we travelled through the nature reserve 'Oostvaarder Plassen' which, in my opinion, closely resembled a barren tundra (never knew we had so many deer).  For click on:OOSTV. PLASSEN.
I'd never been to the museum before, and can highly recommend it. It's a modern and intriguing building, partly below water level, with a high-tech information centre.
The Nordic art was quite impressive and even though there was a mix of old and modern art, they still seemed to have a distinctive style. Many pictures were as much about the frame as the painting and artists used a mix of different techniques. The picture (left) is made with oil paint and gold on, embossed, metal. (Right) oil on wood and enamel on copper frame.

Regrettably, the silver collection (my interest) had been 'put away' for fear of theft! We had to 'make do' with more modern art and the extensive china collection which was beautifully displayed in the round Starck Pavilion with small, 'net curtain-display areas'.
Couldn't resist one more picture of the, beautifully renovated, old railway station, a short walk from the museum.