‘Idling through the weekend with stray thoughts and observations whilst chilling in Suffolk
* I’ve talked about the huge, inflatable babies that appear outside of houses with a newborn: lately, I’ve seen a few labeled “Sarah” or “Abraham” that are clearly not for the youngest amongst us.
It turns out that the Dutch celebrate their 50th birthdays with special gusto, named after the biblical characters and marked with similar inflatables. There are special cards in stores that mark the milestone, once you know the significance, you see it everywhere.
* Last weekend, I went driving in the “Dutch Alps”, an area of South Limburg known for it’s hills and farmlands. The most Swiss part of it all may have been the many cows rather than the landscape, but it’s a pretty part of the country.
Along one country road, I found a ton of cars and motorcycles parked along the roadside, and long lines stretching out from a nearby farmhouse. It tuned out to be a popular creamery, selling handmade ice cream for about a euro a scoop. Whether for the bargain or the quality, it always pays to stop where the Dutch are queuing up…
* The ukulele, of all things, seems to be making a comeback. A friend pulled one out and strummed credibly over the weekend; it evokes memories of Arthur Godfrey and Tiny Tim, but has a tinkly, happy quality if done right.
One group doing it right is the is the Ukulele Orchestra of the UK, appearing at the Cambridge Music festival last year and widely available on YouTube. Their renditions of “Shaft” and “The Bad, the Bad, and the Ugly” are worth a viewing: I wonder how long before this trend makes it back to the ‘States?