Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tick Tock

Tick tock, the old Mora clock ticks away the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries.
She was made a long time ago, round 1850, tick tock, in the Swedish province of Dalarna. Bad weather and poor soil forced the farmers in the Mora (town) area to look for other ways to supplement their income. The villagers of this area turned around 1750, tick tock, to traditional home crafts, building of wall clocks and tall case clocks. Each family specialized in a certain part: some made the brass clockworks, some painted the faces, while others built or painted the tall case clocks. Just like an assembly line, the workers became very skilled and did excellent work.

Tick tock
At the height of production more than 90 families were engaged in the trade, and Mora functioned as one large clock factory. More than 1000 clocks, named for their place of origin, were produced each year and were sold throughout Scandinavia. Within 80 years, tick tock, competition from Europe and America brought an end to this communal enterprise, but the curvilinear shape of the classic Mora clock is still sought after today.

Tick tock
In 1993, tick tock, I went to Denmark for the first time where I encountered my very first Mora clock and fell head over heels in love with her. This type (pic above) of Mora clock is referred to as she/her as her shape is very reminiscent of the female form. There are also male Mora clocks that look like the well known grandfather clocks. I searched high and low for a Mora clock of my own but unfortunately in my country no Mora clock was to be had for love nor money.

Tick tock
Then, earlier this year, tick tock, I discovered on the Internet that a Dutch couple, Sune and Pien, had recently immigrated to Sweden and started up a business of selling antique Swedish furniture via their website. And guess what I found? That's right, my long awaited Mora clock. She was made, amongst others, by A Linder from Sil in Sweden, around 1850. Tick tock Her white coat she got fairly recently, her original garb a deep blue.

Long ago, tick tock, this Mora clock must have graced the hall of a Swedish farm or two. Once upon a time, tick tock, they were considered status symbols. And now, tick tock, from the Swedish province of Dalarna, she has been transported to the Dutch province of North Brabant, where she proudly stands in the hallway of a 1960's bungalow. Tick tock
When I can't sleep I listen to my Mora tick tocking the seconds away, this steady metronome of life sounds very reassuring somehow. Her chimes sound as a silver bell, marking each passing, fleeting hour. Tick tock

The New Year, tick tock, is almost upon us and many of us are full of New Year's resolutions. But gentle reader are you sure you want to go that route, are New Year's resolutions really worth the breath they are spoken with?
Wouldn't you be better of with the heartfelt wish from yours truly: may you be able to make every second of your life count in the New Year. Do not ask for whom the Mora clock ticks, it ticks for thee. Tick tock
Happy tick New Year tock!

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mainly Basking

is what we're doing this Christmas. We are frightfully comfy and toasty in front of a roaring fire. And we are loving it. A lot.

Outside it may be cold,
bitterly cold, but Tara doesn't mind one bit. She loves snow and she is not the only Kooiker doggie that loves it.
After the first snowfall about a week ago, Tara and I went for a nice long walk with Tara's breeder Margo and 4 of her doggywogs. It was great fun, the sun was out and had melted the snow away in places but it kept us nice and warm.
Dogs love playing in the snow and they were not the only ones.
But after that long walk and all that playing Tara was pretty tired and soon she was asleep on the footstool, close up and personal with her feline friend Vita.
While Tara and Vita slept, I put on the Christmas decorations outside,
and in.
Then it started to snow again, this time rather a lot.
The garden looked great in her pretty, sparkling white dress.
And it kept on snowing, day after day. Some of it melted away during the day, but every night a new layer was added. Was it finally going to happen, would we have a White Christmas this year?
With our heads filled with dreams of a White Christmas, Tara and I met up with quite a few snowmen like this jolly chap,
and these two grinning geezers. Don't you think that the one on the right bears a striking resemblance to Chris Beardshaw?
While the snow kept falling,
the cats kept basking in front of the fire.
Tara is good at basking too, here she and Vita are both on my lap in front of the fire. Utter Bliss.

The postman rings a lot around Christmas time and we've had quite a few parcels delivered to our door. One of them contained a Christmas stocking stuffed with catnip.
Willow loved the sock very much.
Merlin too, but, and this was a bit unexpected,
so did Tara. Here she tries to steal the sock from Merlin,
Who's a naughty doggie then?
And while the snow kept falling, yours truly was quaffing mulled wine in vast quantities
all the while happily munching delicious Christmas cookies.
And today, while the rains keeps falling (that's right, it started to rain yesterday evening at 10 and it hasn't stopped since so we are having another wet Christmas over here)
we keep basking. How many cats are there in the pic, you think? Yeah, trick question because you are thinking 7 but actually the whole indoor Bliss Team is there. From left to right: Kadootje, on her right Merlin, behind Kadootje is Pippa and next to her Willow. The red and white Maine Coon is Dolly and behind her on the cushion in front of the woodstove are Vita (left) and Surprise but .......
hiding behind Vita is Russian Blue Delia.

From the Bliss Team, Tara and me, a Blissful Christmas to you all. And whether you are up to your ears in snow, rain or sunshine; keep basking!

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wow, unbelievable!

but we have snow. Rather unexpectedly as we very seldom have any.
It's just a very light sprinkling as you can see here; it does not even cover the lawn properly.
But pretty nevertheless,it's turned my garden into a magical winter wonderland.
To enjoy this unexpected pleasure to the max I decided to go for a walk with Tara.
And we were not the only ones out and about: hi, Jeeves!
O look, a pretty little mummy on a sled. It did squeak a bit (the sled not the mummy) coz of lack of snow.
Tara loves snow, even when it's only just a thin sheet. So Tara performed to perfection the snow dance of doggy joy, first on her own and then .......
Hey, who is this?
It's puppy Adam and off they were for a snow dance a deux.
It's amazing what even a little bit of snow can do to the landscape. Gone is the boring brown and grey.
See those pollarded willow trees? They are glowing,
positively burning to lighten up these dull, grey days before Christmas.How invigorating.

It could be gone tomorrow but at least for one whole day this magical winter landscape has wowed me.

copyright 2009 Y.E.W. Heuzen