Before a full year has gone by, I really must post photos, however blurred, of the fabulous dinner we had at this excellent Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam for my birthday last February. Our friend Louise is back in the Netherlands for the winter, so I'm overcoming my inertia just in case she does make the trip from Haarlem to sample what is lauded as the finest Indonesian cuisine in the country. Warning: be sure to make an advance booking.
After nine months I don't remember what we ordered, only that everything was delicious. Here's a link to the menu: http://restaurantblauw.nl/menukaart-amsterdam/#6
The next day — Dutch wit provides an opportunity to resurrect our rusty Latin.
For some unknown reason, the editors of the Michelin Green Guide have chosen to overlook this troglodyte church, the high point of our trip (in our 2002 edition anyway). Perhaps villagers in tiny Vals, though, would prefer not to be overrun by rubberneckers like us — even if most tourists would be pleased to drop several euros into the tronc, a clearly-marked donation box, for such a memorable experience. Michael happened by accident upon a reference to this little gem on an Ariège Pyréenées tourism website under a catch-all category for quirky minor attractions. Here's a link to the most detailed account of a visit to L'Eglise de Vals we've found online: http://www.ariege.com/patrimoine/eglisedevals/info.html
At first glance the medieval church merely seems an imposing building for an isolated village, Enter the wooden door at its base, though, and you're led into chambers carved into pebbly conglomerate. Michael and I are left unmoved by the splendor of many cathedrals, but this sort of hard-won simplicity, a testament to faith literally moving a hillside, if not mountains, commands respect.
From the sublime to the quotidian: how the French living in small villages like this still manage to enjoy fine meats and foie gras.
I'm a collector: antique beads, textiles, children's books, and, unfortunately for my family and friends, "fascinating facts." This last category is more commonly referred to as UBIs (useless bits of information) and/or maternal spam.
I'm setting up this blog to organize various petits morceaux I've accumulated over the years, the bright shiny things that have attracted the attention of a magpie mind.