JOYFUL GRATITUDE #190
Armed with our swimmers and a picnic containing an unreasonable amount of brioche and cake, my friend Eva and I took a long walk through the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen headed to the coast.
We sauntered through the woods and dunes, stopping here and there to lay out our picnic blanket in the shade for a snack and a peaceful chat. It was very calm, finally far away from the sound of traffic, and since it was a Thursday there were few people and many animals, undisturbed by our presence. We even had the pleasure of quietly observing some kingfishers, flying speedily back and forth over the canal giving us glimpses alternatively of their bright blue wings and orange chest, and diving at lightning speed from a branch into the water to catch fish.
The highlight of the day was dipping into the sea when we made it to the beach in the late afternoon sun. After walking for several hours, a swim was exactly what my body craved. It was divine to enter the water, feeling the sand and shells in between my toes, small waves lapping at my calves. When we got deep enough and were ready, we finally surrendered our entire bodies to the cool water. Mine wasn’t what you’d call an active swim, no, it was a glorious release of every muscle into total relaxation, a blissful soak, the joy of floating along with my toes peeping up on the surface, carried by the sea.
We spent Pentecost long weekend at my mum’s place. The garden was lush with all the rain that has been falling, the bushes were bright green, the herbs were growing strong and the many rose bushes were and heavy with dozens of buds soon about to burst open with colour.
It was whirlwind weekend of catching up with family, eating tasty home-baked cakes, visiting my sister’s new appartment, reading with my cousin’s kids and taking a lovely walk in their neighbourhood, a tailored just-for-us guided tour of the Musée d’Orsay and attending Roland Garros for the first time. We did so much that a week later, I’m still processing it all:) So grateful to have had the time to enjoy being in the company of my family and having these fun experiences!
In a country where there it can be tricky to buy organic fruit that hasn’t been flown half-way across the world, there is so much joy in picking our own fruit:) We cycled to Fruittuin van West over the weekend and picked about 10kg of organic apples and pears, and a kilo of red-currants.
Did we overdo it? Maybe just a little… I know we’ll have no trouble finishing them, slowly but surely, and I’m looking forward to our menu for the next weeks: oven-baked apples, red-currants with yoghurt, apple cake and more as inspiration comes to us
We enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the magical streets of Prague. The Laver Cup was great. The two tennis matches we saw were full of suspense, keeping us on the edge of our seats the whole time.
I love the colours of houses with their light yellow, copper green and orange, as well as the beautiful facades and pointy towers.
Armed with the USE-IT map of Prague and many great tips from my friend Eva, we enjoyed exploring different areas of the city. I especially liked spending time in the local cafés trying their amazing selections of delicious cakes and soaking up the atmosphere. Three days was way too short, there are still so many things we didn’t have time to see (and so many cakes we have yet to try), so we’ll have to go back:)
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #15
This may be controversial, but I believe regularly eating delicious cake is part of a healthy diet. According to me, cake is perfect for any occasion and at any time, whether it’s for fueling a creative afternoon in a cosy café, celebrating a birthday or simply for dipping in my morning coffee for breakfast, and it tastes even better when it is shared with family, colleagues or friends.
Cake is also an important way of transmitting family traditions. My grand-dad’s speciality was making Biscuit de Savoie for us (which is a cake despite its confusing name). I miss watching him in his kitchen, patiently folding the beaten egg whites into the batter with a wooden spoon, turning always in the same direction to keep the cake fluffy (and obviously licking the bowl which was the best part!). We still use his recipe to make this amazing cake for every family reunion:)
The pretty cakes in these pictures were made in Ahhh Toots, a stand in the Glass Arcade in Bristol. My friend Eva and I attempted to sample as many of them as we could when we were visiting in 2015. They truly know how to make icing in the UK:)