October 30, 2003


Nina and I enjoyed a great weekend in Rotterdam with Janet and Buki. Buki has been quite ill and our visit did a lot to brighten him up. The weather last Saturday was not the best, but I managed a walk of about 5 miles along the banks of the River Rotter and around the lakes of Hillegersberg when we arrived on Friday afternoon.
Hillegesberg Lakes

Sunday was a little more promising and we visited the market in Rotterdam and indulged in our favourite pastime when there – eating Poffertjes! What are these you may ask? They are small pancakes about 4cm in diameter and you can have a portion of 10, 15 or 20. They are griddled in a type of frying pan with indentations into which the batter is poured. Turning each one is done with a special wooden fork and is obviously a specialist skill. Believe me 10 are sufficient. They are served on a plate absolutely smothered in icing sugar and a large knob of butter. On the side you have a small pot of various syrups or jams to add as you will. Nina always has a raisin liqueur and raisins whilst I cannot resist syrupy ginger. If my readers are ever in Rotterdam, just ask anyone to guide you to “Bongers”. They are world famous and serve the best poffertjes, which, by the way, is pronounced POFERGEES.

Monday was reserved for shopping, a pastime that cannot be resisted by any woman, and Nina is no exception.

Thanks again to J & B for putting up with us, and we cannot wait to return again next year.

Posted by jeff at 04:34 PM | Comments (3)

October 18, 2003

Women at War

Yesterday the weather forecast was that our wonderful spell of good fortune was coming to an end and so Nina and I decided to make the most of it by taking a trip. But, where are we to go? We finally decided on the Imperial War Museum where a special exhibition called “Women at War” opened this week. No comments as to the fact that we think they are at war with us all the time!
WW2 Recruitment Poster

Two Ladies during a Practice Gas Drill - (Southend)

The exhibition is certainly up to the usual high standard of audio visual one has become used to seeing, and covered every aspect of the participation of women from Boudica and Joan of Arc, right through the first and second World Wars to earlier this year in Iraq.

Obviously the period 1939-1945 was of special interest to us as we had lived through it and much of the film and music was very familiar. This picture of a child’s gas mask brought back Nina’s memory of hers during the early years of the war.
Child's Gas Mask

When you breathed in and out the red flap over the nose vibrated and made a "raspberry" noise. When you were seven years old you got to get a “Grown Up” one.

Once again the overriding thoughts that pervade, are that this should “never happen again”.

If you have two or three hours to spare, you could do a lot worse than taking a trip to Lambeth Road. The exhibition is on until April 2004.

My Ration Book - 1943!

Posted by jeff at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)