Saturday, November 22, 2008

He's here!

Our Sint (=Saint) Nicolaas aka Sinterklaas arrived last Saturday. It's the most wonderful but busiest time of the year! Our Santa always arrives on his steamship, he comes from Spain to celebrate his birthday the 5th of December here. During his stay in the Netherlands he lives in my town. Yes!

Here in the Nieuwstraat is 'het Sinterklaashuis', (click to see the digital Sinterklaas house) the house of Sinterklaas. I went there this week to take some pictures of the inside for you, but there were already about 60 kids quieing up. So I just took pictures of the 'Zwarte Pieten' = the black Peters, helpers of the Saint.

The three Peters are posing at a chimney with presents, which they actually will take with them through the chimney. That's why they are so black. Though their color is controversial nowadays, one of the popular songs explains; Piet is as black as soot. The presents aren't black as they are put in the sack. Nowadays the sack is a present carrier, but when I was young (would anyone believe that I lost my faith in Santa more than 40 years ago? I cannot!) the sack was meant for bad children too. Bad children were put in the bag and would travel back to Spain with Santa to get reeducated. Our parents all had easy jobs during the last weeks of November and the first of December.

This was me back then. I wear my self made necklace, I like that. If you look carefully you see that I have something in my hand, a sweet, as I was actually too little to join the Saints' party at my fathers office, I got a little sweet, probably a chocolate, which I never ate. I saved it for months and months as it was a precious gift given by the Saint. But it could have been one of these too:

These are sugar animals, I don't see them anymore, probably because of too much chemical colors which drive a lot of kids nuts. If I had one of these then it's no wonder I didn't eat it, I didn't have a sweet tooth as a kid at all. It's strange that some things just disappear.

Another page of the old Sinterklaas book I bought a couple of weeks ago. Under the rack you see a bunch of twigs which every Zwarte Piet carried with him in the sixties, but has fallen into disgrace for obvious reasons. Not only we were threatened to be taken to Spain, but for lesser crimes we could be spanked with the rod (we call that bunch of twigs a 'roe').
Every night I was allowed to put my shoe in front of the chimney. I would sing a couple of songs, put some sugar lumps in my shoe for Santa's horse. Of course the old Saint doesn't walk on the roofs anymore. His horse climbs on the roof duhhh! And of course he has his helpers. December the 5th is the climax; we are having an evening full of packages from the Saint then. And not just packages. There are rhymes too, with funny or educational contents. Some people even have their gifts disguised as what we call 'surprises' (pronounced as the french surprises). For example if you always like to craft your present is disguised as a giant glue stick. At my home we celebrate 'Sinterklaas' with packages, no surprises but every package has a rhyme.

And we like a lot of packages!!
So it's quite busy at the moment.
Next Monday we will be having a Sinterklaas diner here with my husbands colleagues, so I'm decorating already. I have a string inflation in my foot :-( it hurts, rest is best the doctor says, but there is no time at this moment, sorry, too busy. That might explain why I haven't answered your email yet, or didn't comment on your blog (yet). Sorry about that!
After December 5th the Sint just disappears. As a child I thought that was so unfriendly. First welcome the man with a lot of people, then take all the presents and then he had to sail out on his own. Why were they no children to wave him goodbye? I just couldn't understand.

Aan de Nederlandse dames hoef ik natuurlijk weinig over Sinterklaas uit te leggen. Maar misschien weten jullie ook niet dat de Sint tijdens zijn verblijf in Nederland in de Nieuwstraat in Dordrecht in het Sinterklaashuis (aanklikken voor digitaal Sinterklaashuis) verblijft. Ik was er heen gegaan om wat foto's te nemen, maar het was al te druk om binnen te komen. Ongelooflijk dat ik 40 jaar geleden mijn geloof verloor, ayyyxxx ik kan het zelf nauwelijks geloven. Op de zwart wit foto was ik nog heel erg gelovig, het snoepgoed dat ik in mijn hand had werd niet opgegeten maar maanden bewaard, of was het een suikerbeest? Die lustte ik niet, nu zie ik ze nooit meer. Ook uitgestorven dieren? Als laatste een foto van Sinterklaas avond het afgelopen jaar. Het eerste jaar dat iedereen ingewijd is in het grote geheim. Wij doen nooit surprises maar wel heeft elk pakje een gedicht. Maandag hebben we hier Sinterklaas diner met de collega's van mijn man, druk, druk, druk dus. En dan heb ik nu net een peesontsteking in mijn voet :-( Dat verklaart wellicht waarom ik nog niet op jouw blog gereageerd heb of waarom ik je mailtje nog niet beantwoord heb.

Verwonderden jullie je er ook altijd zo over dat de Sint met zo'n stille trom vertrok? Waarom konden we de boot niet uitzwaaien en Sint nog eens bedanken, ik begreep er niets van als kind.

Voor iedereen een heel fijn weekend, hopelijk schrijf ik hier snel weer, maar nogmaals het is loeidruk hier, dus het kan even duren,

xoxo LiLi M.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Findings of the week

I was a little overwhelmed by all your enthusiastic comments on my last post. Thank you so much. It almost created a crafting block lol, no just kidding! This week I have been creative, but those are all presents, so no photo's :-(.

What a week that first November week, we all have experienced history with the elections of the new President of the United States. Barack if you are reading this; congrats on your election!

I still have to tell you who the winner is of my October giveaway; It's nr. 23 out of 266
it's miss Elly!!
Whow, I'm thrilled myself, because Elly is one of the most friendly and talented bloggers in blogland. Her blog My everyday things is such a fresh and crispy blog. I'm not sure what you have won Elly, you will see that in due time. But I promise that it will be your cup of tea!

Thinking of Elly I decided to join Elly's 'Findings of the week' and to share some other photo's I still wanted to show you.

Every Sunday Elly shares her findings from the antique market or the thrifstore with us. I haven't joined her because I'm afraid that I will have to shop antiques even more than I do now. Yesterday when I discovered a new thriftstore, well actually it was the man who previously sold flowers at the market selling his collections in his warehouse now. And I found these:

A few postcards! As he was a collector himself he didn't sell bargains, but I thought it was worthwhile.
Let's take a closer look: Most of these cards are early 20th century, embossed and dutch, which I like, as I usually find french cards, sometimes with dutch texts stamped on them. These are obvious more luxurious cards than those photo cards.

Hartelijk Gefeliciteerd met de geboorte van uw dochtertje!
Congratulations (hartelijk means from the heart; well meant) with the birth of your little daughter).
Take a look in the pram; how cute

Two celluloid cards:

Both in perfect condition, both with 'heartly' congratulations

Those are embossed cards, the one on top has silk roses and even tarnished glitter.

Congratulations in honour of your Silver anniversary, could well be a wedding anniversary but I'm not sure.

and a few of these 'telegrammes' to congratulate. Those are nice, but more common than the ones I showed you before.

I bought this childrens book, I think it dates from the 1920-30ties. It's all about Sinterklaas (our and the one and only genuine Santa) who will arrive here in the Netherlands next Saturday, so be prepared! Mmm you don't know how? I will update you soon!

Well Elly, do you consider these as finds of the week too? I found them in my own dustbin, after I was away for the weekend. Hubby was decluttering his own stuff and he threw these 3 cute guys from the 80ties away. What do you think? They still make music!

Or this one, found at the garden wall, I like these surprises too!
Talking about post cards, look what the lovely Z. gave my as a birthday present:

A postcard of our street, and our houses, the white 'ensemble' of 7 houses on the left is our block. The text tickles the imagination:
Dordrecht, Januari 11th 1903
Hartelijk gegroet van degene, die u gezien heeft Maandagmiddag om half 4 en tien minuten voor vier. Translation: Kind (we say from the heart; heartly) regards from the person that saw you Monday afternoon at half past 3 and at ten to four.
The address side:

Ooh that handwriting! A man that writes this way should immediately capture her heart, don't you think?
Translation: to: Miss (of course) van Alkemade
{the friend of Miss J. van Namen)
Vrieseweg 10 (which is right around our corner).

Wish they never invented cell phones...

Have a great week!
hugs LiLi M.

Een korte nederlandse vertaling:
Wat een week die eerste week van november. De verkiezingen in de verenigde staten met een uitkomst van historisch belang, geweldig! Felicitaties voor Barack Obama!
Ik moet nog de winnaar van de oktober give away bekend maken; nr. 23 van 266 dat is Elly !

Elly van My every day things is 1 van de aardigste bloggers die ik ken en ze heeft ook nog een hele verfrissende en leuke blog. De prijs is je van harte gegund Elly, al weet ik zelf nog niet wat het gaat worden, ik verzeker je dat het in je straatje zal zijn, nog even geduld dus.
Als je het over Elly hebt moet je natuurlijk al snel denken aan haar 'findings of the week'. Omdat ik dit keer geen foto's kan plaatsen van creatieve uitspattingen (allemaal cadeautjes gemaakt) lijkt het me leuk om ook eens mee te doen. Gisteren ontdekte ik dat de bloemenman van de markt ineens met zijn eigen verzamelingen in zijn pakhuis zat. Naar binnen dus. En ik vond er een stapeltje briefkaarten en een oud Sinterklaas boekje. Ik vind het vooral leuk dat de kaarten Nederlands zijn! En dan vond ik ook nog 3 apen in mijn eigen prullenbak, nadat ik het weekend weggeweest was....Hubbie was zijn eigen spulletjes maar eens gaan opruimen. Wat vinden jullie daar nu van? O ja en ik vond ook nog een bosviooltje in de tuin, schattig niet?
De onderste kaarten, die ik ook in mijn nieuwe November banner gebruikt heb, zijn afkomstig van de lieftallige Z. Het is een ansichtkaart van onze straat. Let vooral ook op de tekst en het handschrift. Om van te kwijlen!
Allemaal nog bedankt voor jullie leuke en enthousiaste reacties op mijn Halloween versieringen. Een fijne week en groetjes van LiLi M.