torsdag 31 december 2009

Winter walk with

a blog-friend
— well, not quite, I was thinking of her as I walked along the river. And I was very, very happy that I had the muffler she made for me, as it was -28,2°C ( -18,9°F).
Wishing you all the kind of new year you want!

Reading today

Adolf Gottlieb Friedrich, Reading, 1802
Caspar David Friedrich

onsdag 30 december 2009

Reading today

Serafina, Torquay, 1952
Peter Samuelson

tisdag 29 december 2009

Reading today

The Reading Lesson
Knut Ekvall, 1837-1887

måndag 28 december 2009

Brrrrrrrr, winter

We've got plenty of snow and now the temperature is plummeting again.

Christmas was slow and peaceful — just as we want it. Not very different from any other winter day. I know that a lot of people would find our Christmases very dull. Besides the Christmas tree we don't have any decorations — unless you count all the Christmas cards that fill the walls in the staircase. And no abundance of food — I simply can't see the point of overeating, just because it is Christmas.

Cities are nice to visit, but I'm so happy that I live in the countryside. This is the view that meets me when I step out of our grocery store.

Reading today

The Virgin Reading, 1505-1510
Vittore Carpaccio
c. 1460-1525/1526

söndag 27 december 2009

Reading today

A Woman Reading, 1882
Claude Monet, 1840-1926

lördag 26 december 2009

Reading today

A Young Girl Reading, c.1776
Jean-Honore Fragonard, 1732-1806

fredag 25 december 2009

Reading today

Young Woman Reading
Hermann Jean Joseph Richir

torsdag 24 december 2009

Reading today

An Old Man Reading, 1729
Willem van Mieris, 1662-1747

onsdag 23 december 2009

Reading today

Young Girl Reading
Federigo Zandomeneghi,

tisdag 22 december 2009

Reading today

The Young Cicero Reading, 1464
Vincenzo Foppa, c. 1430 - c. 1515

måndag 21 december 2009

Reading today

A Cavalrist Reading in a 17th
Century Interior, 1871
Lambertus Lingeman

söndag 20 december 2009

Reading today

Miss Helen Lindsay
Charles Edward Perugini

lördag 19 december 2009

It's cold

Yesterday was sunny — and cold, -20°C (-4°F) — the river looked like a painting by the Swedish painter Gustav Fjaestad*.
Today it is not quite as cold, cloudy and back to the gray nuance we are too familiar with by now.

I finally got the car back late Thursday afternoon, so I could go shopping the next morning. It's great to have fresh fruit and vegetables again. Considering that this was how most people lived before freezers and and supermarkets there is no reason to complain though. But I think I'll get one of my favorite poems out, John Greenleaf Whittier's "Snowbound".

*This, which I found on a blog, is all I could find about him in English on the Web:

Gustav Fjaestad (1868-1948), made the frost- covered fields and snow-laden branches of the Swedish winter his hallmark. He too adopted country life, migrating to the densely forested province of Varmland in western Sweden, where he and his wife became the centre of a group of artists and craftsmen. But he was less interested in depicting country activities or wildlife than in exploiting the abstract pictorial qualities of the landscape. In his hands, the countryside in its winter guise became a vehicle for decorative surface patterns of dots and swirling Art Nouveau inspired arabesques. Yet they are never blandly pretty, and occasionally contain a hint of menace. The cold, unknown depths of the mysterious stretch of water contained within snowy river banks in Winter Evening by a River carry a sense of foreboding.

Reading today

Jessica Hayllar

fredag 18 december 2009

Reading today

The Poet Dante

torsdag 17 december 2009

Reading today

Pastor Johann Wilhelm Rautenberg and his Family, 1833
Carl Julius Milde, 1803-1875

onsdag 16 december 2009

Reading today

Woman Reading, 2005
Hilary Rosen

tisdag 15 december 2009

Reading today

Bequeathed, 1866
John Gibson

Mrs Emily Robinson was a daughter of Mr and Mrs Solomon d’Aguilar, early supporters of Gibson. Lady Eastlake records Gibson was friendly with both d’Aguilar daughters. He kept up ‘an occasional correspondence’ with Mrs Lawrence but 'his warmest friendship was contracted with Mrs Robinson who was a lady of great personal charms, and taste for the art. She devoted herself to the cultivation of Gibson’s mind, making him acquainted with standard works in poetry and leading him to a class of reading which greatly contributed to enrich his ideas.’ (Lady Eastlake, 1870, p.36)

This relief is the model for a monument to Mrs Robinson, which Gibson made for St. James' Cemetery Chapel, Liverpool at his own expense. The original marble is now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

måndag 14 december 2009


Yesterday was sunny and rather cold, but it didn't last — the cloudy weather is back. But it has been snowing and it isn't as gray as it has been up till now. I just talked with the guy from the garage — remember, my car died the other day — and he said that the roads are very icy now. Might be just as well not to have a car. Our meals are getting a bit humdrum as we have run out of fresh vegetables.
My poor darling begs me to do something about the weather — he finds days with temperatures under 0°C unbearable. After a day inside he gets restless and require that I play with him. Hide and seek is one of his favorite games...

Reading today

The Reader, c. 1860
Alfred Emile Stevens

söndag 13 december 2009

Reading today

Home, 1942
James Fitton

lördag 12 december 2009

Reading today

Woman Reading, c. 1895
Paul Cesar Helleu

fredag 11 december 2009

December days

The river three o'clock today

It's still grayer than gray, and wetter than wet here. The temperature is said to drop, so we might get some clearer days.

Yesterday it was time for my darlings annual trip to the vet, to get his shot and to hear that he is a beautiful cat in good shape. So I managed to fetch the darling in the morning — and kept him inside, in spite of his protests — I had everything under control, until I was to start the car. It didn't start!
Instead I managed to finish my Christmas cards, and wrap a few parcels. The only problem was that without a car I couldn't buy stamps for the cards as planned. And yesterday was the last day to send them...

With the cards ready to send, I'm about through with the preparations for Christmas — I'm not the kind who scrub floors, change curtains, decorate and bake unhealthy stuff just because it is Christmas. This year we have an "adventsgran" (advent fir tree) — a small fir tree with four candles, standing on a table in the room we spend most time. But that's about it.

In our family we only give each other books, which we do ever so often the whole year, so I'm not sure if we can call them Christmas gifts. As my mother can't walk any longer, reading is about all she can do. She just finished Village School by Miss Read — a book Nan recommended. It was great to hear how she chuckled while reading, so now I have ordered more books by the same author. I'm sure crossword puzzles and reading in English, German and Swedish is an excellent exercise for the brain — my only problem is to find enough books. I'm grateful for suggestions for books you think might interest my mother!

Reading today

Portrait of Jean Paul Aube
Paul Gauguin

torsdag 10 december 2009

Reading today

Interior, 1898
Peder Severin Krøyer

onsdag 9 december 2009

Reading today

On the Omnibus, 1880
Maurice Delondre

tisdag 8 december 2009

Scattered thoughts

The walk along the river this morning was, if not stimulating, very peaceful. With nothing happening around me, I gave my thoughts free rein.

I was wondering why getting out in the mornings always bring back memories of getting to school. I've reached the age where I can count many more days going off to other places than school — but all those other mornings never come to my mind.

After this wet summer and fall, and now winter, it's plenty of water in the river, and although I wanted to get a better picture of the river, I stayed on the path. The banks are very wet and slippery, and I had no intention to join the beavers. I could tell that they had been there, but they are shy and stay away when they hear people.

Of course my thoughts went to blogging and people I've "met" in the blogosphere. I find it so fascinating that you can form new friendships, without even leaving your recliner! The only problem with not leaving your house, is that you don't get a whole lot to write about.
I love how we interact, leave comments and cheer each other. Today one of my e-friends, Kirsti from Norway, left a comment with a link she thought would interest me. And it certainly did, check it out, it is the original version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

This autumn — or actually the whole year — has been very uneventful, and writing about grocery shopping and cooking or paying bills and collecting dustballs, is not very exciting.

Reading today

Day Off
Willie Rodger

måndag 7 december 2009

Reading today

A Philosopher, c. 1764
Jean-Honore Fragonard

söndag 6 december 2009

Reading today

La Lecture Au Cafe
Alexandre-Auguste Hannotiau

lördag 5 december 2009

Reading today

An Early Reading of Shakespeare
Solomon Alexander Hart

fredag 4 december 2009

Reading today

Literary Pursuits of a Young Lady
Alexei Alexeivich Harlamoff

torsdag 3 december 2009

Reading today

A Shared Moment, 1868
Cesare dell'Acqua

onsdag 2 december 2009

Reading today

Edward John Poynter

tisdag 1 december 2009

Reading today

St Jerome
Jan Sanders van Hemessen