zondag 31 december 2017

And so this was Christmas..

… in London. Rather than doing a lot of groceries and cooking at home and also instead of buying each other presents, we decided to give ourselves a one big present by celebrating a very British Christmas in London and it did not disappoint, but then London never does, any time of year.

No theatre visits, no shopping, just looking at beautiful Christmas trees and lights, enjoying yummy food and long walks, in short: just taking in that very special, very festive British Christmas cheer!

Let’s start with – to me – the most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen (and it did not even have lights):

This tree was at St. Pancras station and we could not get enough of it. The station itself is a Victorian beauty also, a perfect place for this very large tree. St. Pancras station is known for its famous Harry Potter 9 ¾ platform but (for all of you fans) that is actually located at neighbouring King’s Cross station, just a sign on a wall,

 but if you want to take a picture of yourself with the sign….. then get in line!

We passed.

Back to the Christmas trees, we went criss cross thru town to see some really nice ones:

Harrod’s , with carol singers

near Covent Garden

someone in this pub really likes Christmas trees!

our hotel did not disappoint either.

Of course there were other decorations as well:

the Blue Bird at King’s Road
Peggy Porschen

Covent Garden.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…..

In the evening time we admired the famous London Christmas lights:

Regent Street

Oxford Street

Carnaby Street.

And everywhere really:

 If you ever plan to spend Christmas Day in London you must know that there is no public transportation at all for over 24 hrs, no Underground, no buses, nothing, except for a few very expensive taxi’s. Public transport ends at midnight Christmas Eve and does not start up again until early Boxing Day, the handwritten signs warning you of this come up sometime during Christmas Eve day, this one was at ‘our’ Underground station:

Soooooo, what to do on Christmas Day? Well, I think we had a really British Christmas Day.
Without any public transportation we went for a long walk in the morning through the very quiet streets (hardly any cars either, I think lots of people had left the city or were already at their destination in the city), it was a dark, grey day so it was lovely to see the lights of the Christmas trees and candles in the houses where people were celebrating.

Back in our hotelroom we watched the Queen’s speech.

I had organised for us to go for a traditional Christmas lunch, with crackers, turkey and the trimmings

After which it was time for another walk, I loved seeing all the Christmas wreaths on the front doors, there were so many I made a collage of just a few of them, if you like making your own this may be inspiration for next year 😊

Then time for some Netflixing in our hotelroom followed by yes, our third walk of the day, 

the mews behind our hotel:

then some drinks in the hotelbar and sleep, contented after a lovely Christmas Day.

The next day, Boxing Day, we knew the masses would head for the shops as the big sales would be starting and since our flight back home was not until early evening we did have time for another long walk on this bright and sunny morning, this time through the Holland Park area via Kensington Palace.

Look at the beautiful, large Christmas tree in the gardens of the Palace

There was even some quilty inspiration here…  quilty steps!

These were our last impressions of this wonderful city, our last moments of a very special trip. A big present to ourselves which we spent four wonderful days slowly unwrapping.

Bev Bannard (click) left a remark under one of my Instagram posts of this trip: ‘if your are tired of London you are tired of life’ and I fully agree, we will never tire of London and we cannot wait to go back.

(if you are not on Instagram, here is the link (click) for my account )

As I am writing this on New Year’s Eve, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a healthy, happy and creative 2018!

Enjoy the festivities tonight and for those in The Netherlands: be careful with fireworks, stay safe!


donderdag 7 december 2017

Houston 2017 IV

This, my last blogpost about the recent Houston quilt events is like a patchwork quilt, a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Although the Houston quilt events have been over for a few weeks now, there are still a few things I’d like to share with you.

These quilts (apart from the ones in previous posts) also caught my eye for various reasons:

The town of Houston was as always, just great, I do enjoy that city, the people, the food, the weather

Classical music al fresco 

and a hungry police horse 😊

Time for some food

and a few drinks 

breakfast on a terrace.. in November!

and slippers and painted toenails in November, great!

And this time there was something special: when we were there the Houston Astros won the World Series (baseball) for the first time ever and after the terrible events during hurricane Harvey a party was so welcome and party they did! And yes, orange is also their color.

Then: Houston is not just about the quilts, the exhibitions or the vendor booths, it is also very much about people and together with my travel companion Emma (click) I met some wonderful people. In some cases it was a reunion, in some cases we met for the first time in person.

First, it was just such fun to see Melissa (click) for the first time in her home country when the times we met before was in mine.
Melissa and I met twice before, the first time when she visited my home town The Hague with her husband and daughter (click) in 2014 and the second time when she brought her family over for dinner at our home in 2016 (click).
It was also the first time I saw her at work, in her lovely booth showing her new line of fabrics called Derby Day (click

Then there was…

Edyta (click)

Di  (click)
Karen  (click)

Ronnie from Cindy’s Antique Quilts (click) 

Linda  (click)

Christopher (click), the new kid on the Moda block, presenting his first fabric collection

Regency blueeeeeees!

Kay (click)

From left to right:
Emma (click), Linda  (click), Judy (click), me (no click 😊) and Margaret (click)

And always lovely to see a well known face and sweet lady from back home, Petra (click)

Saving the best for last: my travel companion and dear friend Emma, we had such an interesting week and shared so many laughs, it was superb!

For all those above: it was lovely seeing you again or meeting you for the first time, having a chat, sharing a cuppa, enjoying jokes and laughs, thank you for inspiring us, sharing with us and making us feel welcome 😊

Until we meet again!