birds, insects and dogs


sooo much to share, not just the images above, which as Liz suggested over on Instagram are not so much book-destruction as they are a book-make-over.....But which book? After the sudden outpouring of collages the pages are left to rest on workbench as my mind was led astray. 

The weather is both sunny and cool enough to really get going in the garden, hence I'm outdoors most of the time, truly enjoying the physical work there, whilst observing the many seedlings that are slowly but surely growing into flowers in the almost completely dug up back garden. The mature front garden already attracts countless insects and birds, f.e. Black bird, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Songthrush, Sparrow, Wood pigeon, Turtle dove, Wren and Robin. In the crepuscule 'our' housebats swoop all over. 

The pages kept lurking at the back of my mind: what on earth was I going to do with them? Today as the husband and I were walking the dogs* it hit me: these pages could be/are the illustrations to The Dwelling stories, the recurring blue bird is of course a young OBK! Finally things are falling into place, as if all along I had a plan in mind.

The book pages btw are from French novels from my grandparents' home on my dad's side. They were proper francophiles. They visited Paris numerous times and frequented all the cafés where the chansonniers sang and got to know several of the artists, or so we were told. Back home in The Hague they founded* the Vrienden van het Franse Chanson club, whose members would gather in their house to listen to the latest records. Over time they managed to build a huge French Chanson record collection. The entire collection moved to our parents' house in the late eighties where it stood gathering dust in a guest bedroom. Fortunately a few years ago our parents were able to donate almost all records plus the specially-designed-piece of furniture it sat in to the son of friends of theirs who happened to be an ardent chanson lover too. One thing we did not have to deal with when clearing out the big house in 2021. The couple of records my dad kept for himself ended up with me (I spent a year in Paris when I was 18 so it made sense for me to have them). I recently had my record player restored so I now listen to vinyl once again, which is a lot of fun. Hmmmm, I have wandered off from what I thought I was going to post about..... I hadn't even planned to write a lot as this post is already full to the brim with images.

An actual plan coming to fruition is the aforementioned backgarden, I had dreams of it turning into a flower meadow, so it would attract even more insects and wildlife. Lo and behold this morning as I went to inspect the flowers (which ones could I tick off on my long list in my gardening notebook?)  I was treated to these beauties 

Dragonfly, Damselfly and grasshopper
there were other insects but they flew off too fast for me to capture them on camera.
I think one was a Six-spot Burnet...

Finally, a glimpse of what is to come, or rather who is going to join our pack very very soon, a Springer Spaniel called Digger (yes I know, let's hope he does not live up to his name, in the garden at least) TaDa, that's him on the left with his paws stretching up, he has a black spot on top of his head between his black ears, and several spots along his back which you can't see here, cute right;-) 

Le Plateau
I stand corrected! my cousin N. sent me a very friendly email with this link, all in Dutch, the long and the short of it is: my grandparents did not found the magazine nor the club; but impressario Jo van Doveren, cabaretperformer Alex de Haas (aka Alexander Nederveen) and accountant Ben Levi did.
What my cousin and the grandparents díd do was listen to the records and on occasion would write the lyrics down, type them on granddad's heavy typewriter, make 5 copies and mail them with official clubstamp on the envelope to fans who had requested them! 
Thank you N!

*walking is a sure way of solving whatever conundrum one is trying to get to the bottom of, which is why a dog in one's life is such a Big Help


deemallon said…
Oh Digger how sweet!

I really can’t say just how much I love your collages. They are so whimsical and utterly original. Love that the story of OBK forms behind that will pull them together.
Liz A said…
what a dear little creature Digger looks to be ... my parents got a Welsh springer puppy named Tarf when I was 4 or 5 years old ... he was totally neurotic, but we loved him all the same ... even when he insisted on running full tilt to the front door, barking like mad whenever the mail came through the brass slot, sliding on the bare wood floor and slamming into the wall every single time ... so I just looked up what "tarf" means in Welsh and had to laugh when I discovered it means "disturbance" ... thank you for bringing a memory and a smile to my morning
Saskia said…
he IS cute isn't he
and thank you Dee!
Saskia said…
what's in a name;-)
and what a lovely snippet from your childhood Liz, thank you for sharing

p.s. I was, for a brief moment, transported back to mine the other day when a friend served her home-made elderflower cordial: our mother used to serve it as well, it is the quintessential Danish Summer lemonade....
Nancy said…
Saskia~ Wow - what a full and delightful post this is. Your collages, your critters are so joyful. I love how the story came to you...that these are The Dwelling stories! How perfect :) I was just reading an old post of mine about when Dutch Boy, DOG, Big Baby, The Twins and so many others were making the journey out your way. So much fun!
Your grandparents & friends sound like an interesting and fun group. Once, in the mid-2000's I bought a CD, by the cover photo and curiosity alone. She was so beautiful and it was in French. I had no idea who she was when I bought it, nor did I understand the language...but it was so lovely. I listened to it all the time on my commute to Santa Barbara 🙂 I had a French family in my class at the time, so I asked the mom if she would listen to it and tell me what the songs were about. She did and she said they were mostly love songs. ❤️ Maybe I'll put this one back in my car next week.

I looks like the back garden is coming right along, filling up with all kinds of life and beauty.

And sweet Digger! This photo makes me want to sit with puppies! My godmother had a Springer Spaniel.

I love all of these connections between us 🙂
PS Great story Liz! My mother had a Boston Terrier as a 5 year old. "Spike" used to get so excited when her father came home that he'd pee on her daddy's feet...every time! Oy.
Saskia said…
hahahaha, another great dog story, maybe we should start exchanging those;-)
I'll soon be posting more Digger photo's......

I copied the link and discovered it was Carla Bruni you were talking about, former premiere Dame seeing is she is Sarkozy's wife, himself former President of France. She is a couple of years younger than me and was unknown to my grandparents, as far as I know!
wishing you lots of listening enjoyment on your commute Nancy
Mo Crow said…
(((Saskia))) love these collages as illustrations for the Dwelling stories, look forward to seeing the book!
Saskia said…
as do I Mo;-)



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