Saturday, March 1, 2008


Dear sisters,

Our house in Amsterdam has been sold! After 8 years it is no longer ours.

I am not a sentimental type, but I would just like to throw in a few memories for you:

1. This is the house that we built. Well our friendly architect Penne remodelled it, after months of heated discussion over coffee and cigarettes, and maybe a beer or tequila shot here and there. Talking about light, form and function. What started out as a project to make a few well chosen adjustments ended up as a full blown renovation of 3/4 year, which cost Penne a few of his precious hairs, I am sure. It was during the first Internet bubble and the sky was the limit - on paper. We ended up with a walk through glass shower, a one of a kind aluminium kitchen, an open space with a 7 meter bookcase scaling the wall, an open bridge leading to a tiny -just what you need - "lounge room", furnished with sheepskins and big coloured cushions - no, we did not design with children in mind - a custom designed guest bed with matching cupboard and a yellow wall. We did not touch the grape vine growing across the front of the house, but that was about it.

2. This is the house where, in those still childless days, many after-parties were held, much to our neighbors delight. We have been known to host dinner parties, where, after drinking too many of our own welcome cocktails, we did not serve dinner until midnight.

3. This is the house where we had two children, crawling up the practically vertical stairs as I grew bigger and bigger, wallowing many hours on the blue sofa and using every nook in the house to get through those contractions, hour after hour, while A watched the Godfather downstairs and rang his friends to give them regular updates. So much for closing the curtains, lighting candles and retreating into your own space.

5. This is the house that gave use nightmares about dropping babies down stairs and other openings.

3. This is the house that cluttered up with stuff especially after the children came, losing the lines of the house, just slightly. The piles of paper, the toys, had no place to go.

4. This is the house with a large window from top to bottom, giving us the name 'the window people' in the neighborhood, causing passersby to peer in with their hands cupped against the window or people to ask if we were the Spanish restaurant they were looking for. We bought fresh flowers at the market around the corner every Saturday to put in front of the window, to give people something else to look at.

7. This is the house that stood in the neighborhood (see our house on the right), just a few steps away from the playground, a few more steps away from the Noordermarkt, a leap away from the "lekker lekker mannetje", very close to De Curtis, our favorite Italian, or Toscanini, not much further from the Finch for our weekly brunch, only a bike ride away from work; the neighborhood where the supermarket was our storage cupboard and parking was scarce; the neighborhood we could walk home to after a night on the town -I liked that, but A always preferred the cab -, and last but not least the neighborhood with neighbors you could have a glass of wine with on the steps out front - on rare sunny days.

We will be back.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations sister uno and husband! Although I see you let go of your little housey, which was always a joy to visit, with pain in your hearts, it is good to be in movement.