Jun 5, 2011

Voyage autour de mon Jardin.

 I visited the local Dutch Shop to get some croquettes and chocolate sprinkles and "proper" mayonaise for the Saturday night chips.
They have a lending library of dutch books donated by the local Dutch emigres. Also a table of free books and magazines which they decided not to put into the little library.
I found "School-idyllen" by Top Naeff. The titel reminded me that I had read somewhere that it is supposed to be a girl's classic. So I took it home, and read it in 1 night. It's about a bunch of 16 year old school girls, and the mischief they get up to . Surprisingly it was not a book full of religious moralizing, considering it was first published in 1900. It described their feelings quite well. But boy, it got sad !
The main character dies, slowly over a period of time. I bawled my eyes out!
 I imagine that it was from "consumption" or pulmonary tuberculosis, but there wasn't much medical intervention, or even hospital involved. I guess they just didn't have a cure in those days.
I thought the cover of the book, although well handled over the years and coming loose from the pages, was rather lovely with its gilded flowers and letters. It doesn't tell me the publishing date, but I imagine it is 1 of the earlier prints.
It was funny reading the old spelling of Dutch. Let me explain that to English speakers; the dutch language get's an overhaul from time to time, whereby they simplify spelling, or "dutcher-ize" foreign words that have gotten stuck in the general language. For example the word for presents was a french word cadeaux. This was changed too kados.
 This way the language remains purely phonetic.
I imagine that it is so much simpler to teach spelling at primary school too!
I wish they would do this to English!!!  Instead we have to keep teaching the 6 year olds that the ugh in thought is silent and so is the k in know. They look so puzzled, and they are right; why have those letters when you don't even say them.

 Some oranges and tangelos from our garden.
 And in the spirit of those girls in the year 1900, who had to speak  French at their upper class school, I will now take you on a "voyage atour de mon jardin".

This is what you can see from our house at street level, just the garage and a little side path. The garage is big enough for 2 cars and a little workshop area. Internal stairs take you to a lower floor.

Now we have walked down the little path and we can see the dining-room windows . The kitchen door/front door is straight ahead.
We have walked 3 steps down the stairs on the side of the house and went into the little grassy area to look back at the house. The bottom left window is the master bed-room , underneath the garage. That long tower-like structure houses the stairs to the garage, and it has a storage area underneath.
Underneath the walkway to the front-door is an opening where we stack some of our firewood.

Now we look further to the right. That middle window is the entrance portal, it's out of the weather so you can put your shoes there.  The window top-right is the kitchen, and bottom-right is one of the lower bedrooms.
We have walked even further down the steps with the cat following us.
The kitchen is at the top 2 corner windows. The top-right window is the bathroom. The bottom-right window is the 2nd bedroom, or my storage room. The green door at the very bottom of the house is the laundry.
 In my opinion a very stupid place for a laundry, it means that I have to walk up and down those outside stairs to do a load of washing or drying if it is wet weather. It is a cramped little afterthought of a room, with an ill-fitting wall of plywood separating it from the hillside under the house. Damp!
And in the case of heavy rain like we had a while ago, the excess water runs under our house , under the door of a laundry cupboard through a little channel in the concrete, then underneath that green door into a drain. I got a fright when I saw a small river flowing from underneath the door; I thought our laundry had flooded. But no, it seemed that the makers of the house had formed that little channel just for those occasions, way back in the 40's.
But I am sure we will shift the laundry area to somewhere else in the house, eventually.
Husband is already using it as a brewery as well.
This is the second bit of flat garden space, looking from the laundry door.
I think it should be perfect for a vegie-garden. It has already got citrus trees and a passion-fruit vine.

Oranges, still ripening up.
Looking back up towards the decking coming off the livingroom. Underneath that it has 1 more small bedroom and 2nd toilet and 2nd shower, which we don't use.

Down here is the oak tree , and space for our youngest daughter's car. It is her first car and gets taken out for lessons with Dad on the weekends! Also room for a big pile of firewood. Yes that all had to be shifted!..

Down past the oak tree is still more property. It is quite sloping and is overgrown and not developed. My Gardener-love is thinking of planting it up with native bushes and trees. It should take care of itself then, and the birds will love it.
Here we have walked past the little blue car, past the neighbours' property onto a shared driveway, we came to a s-bend and backtracked further down. We are now looking upward to the big oaktree. The land between the tree on the left and the oaktree in the top is ours, and that's that wild bit.
Here we conclude our "voyage autour de mon jardin"!
I hope you enjoyed it.
For fun to see if we could score anything for our house, we visited the big Lions' garage sale last Saturday morning.
I got a round tablecloth and a sweet  roll of vintage wallpaper, also a handwritten book (very mysterious) and the Man found a c.d. holder and a hand drill in non-rusty condition.
Then off we went for a coffee and cake at our favourite cafe.