Everyday Life: Mrs Pollock & the Dutch Ambassadors Carpet

Het schildpad eeten het boterham.

The more time I spend in the Netherlands, the more I want to learn the language. I am sorry, my Dutch friends, I am trying!

In June I did a mini tour of  Dutch Castles and Country Houses with Visit Holland and DFDS. It was an utterly lovely experience. I learnt so much about the beautiful buildings, ate wonderful meals, saw the most fabulous gardens full of roses, and a dog called Percy tried to put its football in my handbag. Read about it here, you won’t be disappointed!

I’ll be back in The Netherlands again next month for one of the most exciting exhibitions I have ever been lucky enough to curate – STREET / FORM at POW! WOW! Rotterdam, Europe’s leading street art festival. I’ll be spending a couple of weeks in the city and I am really excited about it.

(You can find the STREET / FORM call for entries here, if you’re interested).

I’m also working on an exhibition called HOME, which is a collaboration between Shutter Hub and Gallery at Home in Usk, Wales. (Call for entries, here). We’re raising money for Crisis, Shelter, and Toiletries Amnesty.

Adam and I took part in the annual village yard sale. No one asked for guns this year, but there was an old man with a pro-Trump hat on.

I repotted Mrs Pollock the pelargonium.

I helped judge graduate photography at the Freerange Awards 2019, and Shutter Hub gave prizes to 6 photographers.

I wrote Foodie Finds #19 and #20 for Surf4, ate parma violet flavoured fudge and drank ginger beer.

A lady told me she thought I was very attractive, tall and slim, and about 28 years old. She was also blind. This is not a joke.

I went to the Dutch Ambassador’s residence in London for breakfast (nice carpets). Then I went to Brixton and power chugged hot tea in Van Gogh’s kitchen.

We endured a super hot heatwave day of hell. 38.7°C. The chickens were really sick, we gave them frozen sweetcorn and iced water.

Shutter Hub took an exhibition to Festival Pil’Ours in France. Time to Think includes the work of 145 female photographers from 15 different countries, and a total of 435 images (It runs until 31 August 2019, technically, but the festival organisers have already said they want to extend it).

Jayne and I flew into La Rochelle, picked up a hire car (a Renault Clio with a stoved in door) and took the two hour drive to St Gilles Croix de Vie, stopping for pastries and a packet of mustard and pickle flavoured crisps on the way.

We arrived at our  little seaside chalet. Welcomed by the sea, and a drunk man who wanted Jayne to touch his hair. It did look soft.

Beach front picnic under pink skies. Lapping waves. Sticky sea air.

In the morning we walked to the town, over bridges and through the brocante, for the exhibition launch event. People came from across the region, and beyond – Italy, UK, Ukraine and 14 hours on a bus from Amsterdam. I gave the opening speech, Jayne took photos, I told everyone to eat fish balls. It was fun. There was iced peach tea and a beautiful cat who had a number written in his right ear.

If you want to see lots more photos of the exhibition (and read some lovely words) you can find them all here.


We walked back as the light faded, through the night market, passed the pink neon glow of the fairground. Candy floss, and a massive grey dog that looked like a bear.

A couple of days of sea air and perfect sunsets, interspersed with meetings, project work, and plenty of cheese. Time to think – definitely. 

At home Tutti Biscotti managed to catch two birds in the space of two days. Not bad for a house cat! Kamikaze sparrows were delivering themselves to her through the open windows.

And look! I found my first comb in over two years. #combtheory

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