April 18, 2009


Every year, for as long as I can remember, on my birthday at 10 a.m. my mother would tell me the story of my birth. As births go, mine was rather unremarkable except that I was my mother's first child. The hoped for 'footballer' did not appear, but that was soon forgotten. I was born in the Kamperstraat in Amsterdam, but I always said Kalverstraat. In one street there was a hospital and the other street is one of the liveliest shopping streets in the heart of Mokum (Amsterdam), but what did I know?
When I left home at 21 my mother would call me every birthday
at 10 a.m, and we would both act as if she was telling the story to me for the first time and I, as if I was hearing it for the first time and this is what we still do. It's our little game. Living a continent away makes it a little harder to reach me at 10 a.m. dutch time, so we have changed it to 10 a.m. Mountain Time. It has become quite a precious little ritual to us both. This picture was taken on our veranda of our house in South Africa. I am dressed in a costume from Volendam.

Household maintenance.

So while we are on the subject of color, I have repainted my gate at the side of the house. I had to add some ocotillo branches because over time I had lost a few and I repainted the old ones. Talk about popping color.

Glass, sand and thorns.

Chihuly once again, and this time in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. What an interesting setting for such bright objects and it works beautifully. Chihuly's work is so organic that it becomes part of the garden just like the bright flowers of the cacti. The desert is a wonderful backdrop for color because it makes it pop. Still, after all these years, every morning as I open my curtains, I am amazed at how vivid the colors are around my house, saturated by sunlight and posed against the desert sand and hills. Click the title of this blog to visit the Desert Gardens.


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