The number 11; two little stalks standing side-by-side. One stalk needs the other, or they wouldn’t be 11. After 11 years, I still need my other half.
I don’t follow numerology, but I know in terms of it that 11 is considered a master number, because it is a double digit of one number. In our 11 years of marriage, I think we have mastered a few things ourselves. I am blessed to have married my best friend. A person who knows me inside and out. I have married someone who takes care of me and who makes me happy.
After 11 years, he still makes my heart flutter, he still makes me laugh and he still makes me feel like I’m the only one in the world. I love you Mr. Michie, Happy Anniversary.
It’s been a little while since our last “M&M” date night. But last night we snuggled in to watch: We Bought A Zoo. This is an adorable movie! A great cast, a great soundtrack and animals! Happiness all around. The little girl who plays Rosie Mee (Maggie Elizabeth Jones) is so adorable!
We ate popcorn and made vegetarian calzones, filled with provolone, mozzarella, spinach sautéed in garlic oil and marinated artichokes. It was delicioso!
**No animals were harmed in the making of our date night dinner.
We played in our dollhouse size garden yesterday. Planting a few new things here and there. Mr. Michie chose the most dazzling yellow dahlia that I have ever seen, it is almost neon. We also separated and repotted some aloe. I have a gorgeous aloe plant given to me by a friend of mine, it is from a cutting of a plant that belonged to her grandmother. It’s appears to be very happy on the windowsill and is growing at Jurassic proportions. A very dear work colleague, has traded me some Danish marigold seeds for a cutting of my aloe. So yesterday I set to work repotting some clippings so in a few weeks time, when they take root, I can uphold my half of the bargain.
We have the most beautiful nursery not far from where we live, so we spent a good hour there yesterday, traipsing around, trying to decide on what we were going to pick. I love that smell of wet earth and the explosion of color that exists all around you. I love the feeling of soil on my fingers. Gardening soothes my soul. As we went inside to pay we passed the cactus stand. I fell in love with this guy and so Mr. Michie bought him for me as a treat. He is sitting very proudly on the windowsill now. I love the pop of coral that splashes out at you.
We have extremely varied musical taste in our household. We seem to go through phases. Right now, there is a lot of Jazz being played.
It was on our last trip to Copenhagen that we visited the Museum of Copenhagen, and it wasn’t until I walked into one of their exhibits that I discovered that Dexter Gordon was a long time Copenhagen resident. His song Tivoli, just gets to me.
Tivoli Gardens is one of our treasured places to visit. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s my current book of choice, but I have “itchy feet” as my Nana would say. I’m ready to travel, get a little dust in my shoes and move about another place.
It’s brisk here today and I know it’s cold in Denmark too. So maybe, if I was in Copenhagen, I would bundle up and walk along the river, over one of my beloved bridges, down into the City. Stopping somewhere for a drink, wrapping myself in the thick fleece blankets that are stacked up by the door to ward off the chill.
Maybe I would watch night slowly begin to fall as the glow of candles fill the streets. Maybe I would stop for pizza at the restaurant we like tucked down the alley and grab a bottle of wine from Irma’s and return to our apartment. Maybe we’d sit and eat and laugh and watch the water buses go by and the rainbow of reflections shimmer in their wake.
And maybe we would listen to Dextor Gordon and we would simply be.
I finished reading The Miniaturist, Friday night on the train home. I’m still mulling it over and felt it might help to right my thoughts down…
The Art Historian in me loves that a web was spun around a real miniature house that lives in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It belonged to the story’s heroine, Petronella Oortman, who did indeed marry Johannes Brandt. From this one thread of reality the tale spins it’s own cloth.
There were sections of it, that were so richly written:
The Old Church, Amsterdam: Tuesday, 14th January 1687
The funeral is supposed to be a quiet affair, for the deceased had no friends. But words are water in Amsterdam, they flood your ears and set the rot, and the church’s east corner is crowded. She watches the scene unfold from the safety of the choir stall, as guildsmen and their wives approach the gaping grave like ants toward the honey. Soon, they are joined by VOC clerks and ship’s captains, regentesses, pastry-makers – and him, still wearing that broad-brimmed hat. She tries to pity him. Pity, unlike hate, can be boxed and put away.
The church’s painted roof – the one thing the reformers didn’t pull down – rises above them like the tipped-up hull of a magnificent ship. It is a mirror to the city’s soul; inked on its ancient beams, Christ in judgement holds his sword and lily, a golden cargo breaks the waves, the Virgin rests on a crescent moon. Flipping up the old misericord beside her, her fingers flutter on the proverb of exposed wood. It is a relief of a man shitting a bag of coins, a leer of pain chipped across his face. What’s changed? she thinks.
I can’t deny that I wasn’t drawn into this world. Each sentence was rich and linguistically opulent.
But, I wanted more. The story fell short and I was left feeling as though I had missed something!? Does anyone else feel that way? Everyone else I have spoken to, who has read it, seems to have loved it. Is this an Emperor’s new clothes situation?
When I was done, I thought about it, I re-read the first chapter, I re-read the last chapter. I pieced those together and realised who the deceased was and who the three other women in attendance were. Now, I’ll admit, I’m a happy ending kinda gal. But, I can deal with with an ending where I draw my own conclusions. But, with this, I felt I had no definite threads from which a conclusion could be inferred.
It was almost as if I was reading two different stories. Nella’s newly unfolding life in Amsterdam, as an 18 year old bride to Johannes Brandt and Nella’s mysterious and odd interactions with the Miniaturist. The two stories never seemed to collide.
”There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .“, the book states. Yet, I feel all and nothing was revealed.
I find it difficult to write this – to clearly express my views because I am still a bit dumbfounded – a bit bewildered. I feel like the maid, grasping for clues that are hidden behind keyholes, shrouded by the mist that has risen off the river…
And there it is. I’ve written these words and am still no better off. If you have an answer; if you can shed light where there is darkness, please let me know.
I can’t believe it is only Wednesday! Three late school nights in a row for both of us. Yesterday at school we worked to put up the senior exhibition. It was a one night only exhibit and today we spent the day taking it all down. Sigh.
I’m getting Mr. Michie’s cold. The sunshine is giving me spring fever, although tomorrow it is supposed to pour all day. This morning, a cup of coffee spilled all down my blazer, scarf and grey shirt. So, for the rest of the day I looked like I was wearing dirty clothes. Yep, it must be Wednesday.
Come on Friday, I’ve been waiting for you all week!