“Stof” is a Dutch word that literally means “stuff” or “dust”. Sterren-stof, literally translates to stars-dust and means stardust. The word for fuel in Dutch is brandstof. Literally, fire stuff. This is precisely the sort of consistency that Dutch lures you into complacency with. The word for fireworks, the one you set off on New Year’s eve here, is not brandwerk but rather vuurwerk. Brandwerk is the word for pyrography.
p.s. Strange coincidence – the wikipedia page for pyrography features the image of a deer much like the one in the picture above. Everything is connected!
Come January, and days in Amsterdam begin to get longer. Nothing drastic – a minute here, a minute there. Barely perceptible. By the time the calendar rolls over to February, it all begins to add up. While walking along Singel late this afternoon, both I and the wife seemed quite surprised at how bright everything looked. It’s 17:45 as I write this, and I can still see a lot of light in the sky.
As far as the weather is concerned, we got a light dusting of snow last week which quickly melted away. It’s been a relatively pleasant 5ºC since then. There is a good chance that the weather will get worse before it gets better, but I am quite sure with so much light to go around, it wouldn’t matter now. The worst aspect of winter is surely over.
For me, winters in Amsterdam are not complete till I’ve spent at least one day wandering in the cold taking pictures of trees by the canals. The sky often does its bit to add to the drama. This one was taken at the intersection of Kaizersgracht and Amstel. Here is something in a similar vein from last year.
A year ago, I “composed” a few short pieces in Garageband by putting together loops that come with it. I didn’t start with something specific in my mind but once I had a piece, I tried to assign it a suitable title and image. I never got around to sharing these pieces on this blog. Well, time to fix that: