Monday, August 6, 2012

The Elegance of a Hedgehog

Guess what?!?!?! It's raining...raining...raining!

A quote from the above article:
......What would be more realistic would be to say "Holland has had enough rainfall this last weeks to fill every canal in the country twice over (with more rain forecasted on the way)."

We keep hearing from the natives that this isn't normal.......Well, the up side is that all the plants are green, and I haven't had to water our outside plants all summer! We've learned that, even though it is raining, you need to just grab your raincoat and umbrella and go out anyway!

A few more pictures of our hydrangeas...which are flourishing!

Yesterday we went to a Bier Feest downtown Haarlem with our neighbors. We discovered a new beer that we like...from Belgium:


I am reading a book called the Elegance of a Hedgehog. What a wonderful book......I need a place to put some quotes from the book, so I chose to put it in my blog, I hope you don't mind!

A few quotes:

"The first has to do with the sliding doors themselves. From the very first film I saw, Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, I was fascinated by the way the Japanese use space in their lives, and by these doors that slide and move quietly along invisible rails, refusing to offend space. For when we push open a door, we transform a place in a very insidious way. We offend its full extension, and introduce a disruptive and poorly proportioned obstacle. If you think about it carefully, there is nothing uglier than an open door. An open door introduces a break in the room, a sort of provincial interference, destroying the unity of space. In the adjoining room it creates a depression, an absolutely pointless gaping hole adrift in a section of wall that would have preferred to remain whole. In either case a door disrupts continuity, without offering anything in exchange other than freedom of movement, which could easily be ensured by another means. Sliding doors avoid such pitfalls and enhance space. Without affecting the balance of the room, they allow it to be transformed. When a sliding door is open, two areas communicated without offending each other. When it is closed, each regains its integrity. Sharing and reunion can occur without intrusion. Life becomes a quiet stroll-whereas our life, in the homes we have, seems like nothing so much as a long series of intrusions."

"...pity the poor in spirit who knows neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language."

"... has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside, she's covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary-and terribly elegant."


We decided to try to expose the fig tree and the grape vines in the back yard....they have been choked out by the ivy. It's a big job, but we think it'll be worth it!  

While cutting back some of the ivy on the wall separately our yard from the neighbors' yard, we discovered: