Tuesday, 4 February 2020

A brief return to Zeeland

Hello there!

By the time this post is published, we are enjoying a little break to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary.

Yes, you've read that right! I simply cannot get my head around the fact that today it has been 25 years since Jos and I got married. Twenty-Five! How did that happen and, more to the point, how fast did those years whizz by? I'm sure you'll understand this is cause for celebration, but instead of throwing a party, which isn't exactly our thing, we thought we'd treat ourselves to a little holiday!

This post's title is more than just a little misleading, though, as we are not in Zeeland at all. However, it recently dawned on me that I never blogged about our last day in Zeeland back in November, so I thought that now was as good a time as any to remedy that.



That Friday morning we'd woken up to a grey and drizzly day, and without the previous day's sunshine to warm us, it was a wrench to venture outside, let alone pay a return visit to Veere, which was our original plan, as the town's position is quite exposed to the elements.

Now, what to do instead? Sitting in the comfortable Art Deco style chair in our Airbnb, me and my twin were getting our thinking caps on!



Oh, I know, we said, why not visit the charity shop on the outskirts of Middelburg, the one we tried to visit the day before, only to be faced with a Closed sign.

As it was definitely open on a Friday, without further ado we grabbed our coats, got into the car and drove off.

The shop, spaciously laid out and impressively organized, was quite busy, which wasn't surprising really as it's only open a couple of days a week.


On the housewares shelves, we found this cheerful orange canister lurking behind a jumble of nondescript brothers and sisters. It's vintage Brabantia, and as we already have a rectangular cake tin from the same range, picked up for a song at Oxfam a couple of years ago, this was kind of a no-brainer. If I remember correctly, the asking price was just € 1,50.


The clothing department was rather disappointing, but I pounced upon this pair of low heeled black boots, which were mine for € 2. They weren't really an impulse buy either, as I'd been on the lookout for a similar pair for a while.



There was a small jewellery display case, from which I selected these two brooches, which I think were € 1,50 each. I already own a smaller, blue variation of the one on the left.

After having paid at the till, it was almost midday, so we drove back to our cottage to have lunch.



Then we walked into Middelburg to explore the warren of streets behind the town hall, an area we'd neglected to visit so far.

We even discovered a vintage clothing shop (top and bottom right in the above collage) where I swooned over a pastel blue tweed swing coat, which unfortunately was far too big for me.



We wandered through the picturesque streets, meeting a pair of mossy cherubs, the ubiquitous Dutch kissing boy and girl, a strange creature spying on us through a port hole, and a tabby cat meowing pitifully behind the window of an empty shop.



In a quiet courtyard behind the town hall, the Public Observatory can be found, with a telescope standing sentinel in front of it, which people who are tall enough can gaze through by climbing on a plinth. The stone in front of the plinth, crowned by a halo of golden Autumn leaves, is bearing an epitaph to a star.


On and on we walked, through alleyways and across tiny squares, almost but not quite getting lost in the maze, until we emerged on a street across which we spotted a tearoom we recognized from a previous visit. 



Our feet were getting tired by then and as we could definitely murder a cappuccino and a slice of cake, we lost no time in getting inside and out of the cold.

We got talking to a friendly waitress who even offered to take our photo. But oh, my hair! Wearing berets and maintaining a decent coiffure proves to be verging on the impossible.



Tick-tock said the clock, almost 4 pm and the last of the dark day's light was waning already.

The city brewery's curlicued wrought iron sign, the rows of gabled town houses, the gorgeous architectural details from a gentler age: we feasted our eyes before saying goodbye to the town which was our home-base for these past few days.


We passed this inviting looking table, dotted with jars of flickering candles, on a tavern's terrace, but the cold wind had us beaten by then. So, reluctantly, we made our way back past the market square where the Christmas lights did their best to provide some cheer.




Finally, we dragged our feet across the canal bridge, where we lingered for a final look at the windmill and its topsy-turvy reflection. 

So, that was Zeeland, November 2019. We hope to be back soon!

I'm leaving you now with a collage of photos taken 25 years ago today ... I guess that was what you were all waiting for!



Linking to Nancy's Fancy Friday, do go and check her out!



34 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary to you & Jos, Ann! Congratulations on 25 years of marriage! I love the photo of you both at the end :) I love the photo of you & your twin too! ;) That chair is fabulous! Hope you're enjoying your little break! XXX

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  2. Congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary! Hope you are having a lovely getaway! I too love the photos of you on the chair. I love the vintage brabantia, so cheery and colourful, and those boots! They look brand new. Middelburg looks like a really interesting town.

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    1. Thank you Linda! Middelburg is indeed a wonderful town to visit, which is why we keep revisiting it. And why not, as it's just about an hour from where we live! xxx

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  3. congratulations! champagne! cakes! fireworks!!!
    wow. 25! just wonderful.
    very sweet photos from your wedding day - love that haircut on you - and you know what? had once exactly the same in the early 90s :-D
    fabulous boots - 2€?! - crazy.
    have fun at your little getaway <3 xxxxx

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    1. Thank you Beate! Seeing that photo makes me miss that haircut. Not surprised you had the same. Please do show us a photo! xxx

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    2. i fear there is no photo evidence - i have very few pics from the 90s and lost the better half of it over the years...... xxx

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  4. Happy Anniversary, I said it on IG so I'm repeating myself here!
    The photos of your wedding day are lovely, you really reminded me of Tracey Thorn in them. I love Everything but the Girl.
    Have a wonderful anniversary break xxx

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    1. Ooh, what a lovely thing to say, Sally. But I was often told the same back in the day. I'd completely forgotten. I love Everything but the Girl too. Time to put on their first album again! xxx

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  5. Oh happy anniversary! What a great milestone to reach! :) We went on a trip for our 10 year wedding anniversary last year too, it's a fun way to celebrate! You look great in your grey skirt and you picked up some really cute things shopping!

    Hope that your week is going well and you have a nice weekend ahead of you :)

    Away From Blue

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    1. Thank you Mica, and congratulations on your 10th, even if it's a little bit late :-) xxx

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  6. Happy 25th anniversary to you two!!! Enjoy your getaway (the best way to celebrate if you ask me). That's quite a big anniversary, the silver wedding as we call it here. I remember when my parents celebrated it and I'm sure time will fly until I celebrate it myself. So great to read more about Zeeland. I spot one adorable kitty. I will come back tomorrow for a closer look, I'm all beat up tonight and can't focus on the details. I do like those boots, though. Such a great charity find. The throwback wedding photo was fun to see. You looked stunning as a redhead.

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    1. Thank you Ivana! I'm glad you agree our getaway was the perfect way to celebrate. We will be returning to Zeeland in Spring! xxx

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  7. Yey, how exciting to reach 25 years! Congratulations to you both. You both looked gorgeous in your wedding photos. And you wore white/ivory!! Well tickle me till Tuesday, I would never have guessed. I thought you'd have worn something very colourful.

    Anyway, a spot of travel is the perfect way to celebrate, I agree. More of your adventures in Zeeland was a lovely read. How amazing is the architecture of the buildings. And that telescope! And the cute little pusscat! Where's the snow? I was under the impression that it snows there a lot in winter.

    Good to see that you guys did exactly what I usually do on holiday - check out the local charity shops. Great finds too, those boots and especially the cannister. Love orange kitchenalia.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thank you Suzy! I wasn't all that into colour back then. Well, not as much as now. I'd be wearing something completely different now. Oh, and it doesn't snow all that much in Belgium or Holland. We haven't seen any snow so far, but that's not really unusual. xxx

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  8. Oooo I love all your finds especially your boots and round brooch!

    I am GAWKING at that window filled with the Mary statues. My mum and I would have a field day in there oohing and aahing over everything.

    The tea shop is so adorable.

    Happy happy anniversary to you and Jos. X

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    1. Thank you Jess! The window of that shop was just the tip of the iceberg, really. There was much, much more inside. You and your Mum would probably spend hours in there :-) xxx

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  9. You look adorable sitting in the art-decó style chair! and love your tweed skirt particularly!
    Lovely purchases too, those brooches and the cute orange canisters, and also lovely sight of Middleburg's window shops and delightful architectural details.
    And so absolutely amazing to have a look at those pictures of your wedding day. Love your hairstyle then, really cool!.
    besos

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    1. Thank you so much Monica! I loved that chair and wish I could have taken it home ;-) And I sometimes miss that hairstyle, too! xxx

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  10. You’ve had such a lovely anniversary celebration. Its the best thing ever to have someone special in your life, I know as I have someone too and I feel blessed every day. I hope you have many more happy years together.
    Lots of love from us two xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynn & Philip, and I really couldn't agree more! xxx

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  11. Happy Anniversary!
    How wonderful to see your wedding photos.

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  12. Congratulation Ann and Jos! How wonderful you decide to celebate in Zeeland. Zeeland is so lovely. I am in love with your wedding picture 25 years ago.
    Lots of love and many greetings from Thailand, Tina

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    1. Thank you Tina, although we were in Bruges, not in Zeeland. This was a catch-up of our final day in Zeeland back in November. But we do love Zeeland, and will be returning in Spring! xxx

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  13. Oh my goodness how young you both look! Congratulations on your silver wedding anniversary!

    Your last day in Zeeland seems a good one. I loved your boots and the brooches - well done!

    Hope you're enjoying Bruges...
    xxxx

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    1. Thank you Vronni! Well, it was 25 years ago ;-) Bruges was wonderful, and the quietest I've ever seen it. xxx

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  14. Happy Anniversary! Indeed how time flies right! We celebrated a few weeks ago our 28 years of being together,we are not married.

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  15. Such an engaging, fantastic post, dear Ann. Once again - to no one's surprise, I'm sure - I'm enthralled by your gorgeous brooches. The painted scene one in particular set my heart aflutter.

    May you and your honey enjoy countless more joy filled anniversaries to come!

    ♥ Autumn

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  16. Happy anniversary!

    I hope that poor cat broke free of the shop eventually... He's pulling quite an owlish face in that photo.

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