When we (my dear M. and me) arrived on Saturday afternoon in Leiden it was raining. We decided to head from the hotel to the city center anyway – getting wet is preferable to sitting in a hotel room. Every time we passed a cafe it stopped raining and we decided to rather walk the city a little more. Shortly after – when there was no cafe in sight – it would start to rain again.
Therefore I was tired from walking the city (or rather limping the city, I still had my foot in bandages that day), and wet and cold to the bones when we decided to have dinner at the restaurant m’n broer. I ordered “Varkenshaasmedaillons met leidse kaassaus”. Since I didn’t know what to expect from most of the dishes on the menu I decided to go for something that sounded local. The cheese sauce was surprisingly good – try it if you get the chance!
What I liked best about the restaurant, though, was not the food but the waiter who was patient enough to cope with our bad Dutch, and thus gave me the pleasure to feel some Dutch vowels roll over my tongue and let Dutch consonants scratch the back of my throat. He didn’t seem to mind my mumbling and insecurity at all. And instead of translating and explaining in English he brought us bitterkoekjes to try when we asked him what the “toetje bitterkoekjestaart” was. – How nice is that?!
Then we delivered, or rather failed to deliver, the Secret Santa gift for Marta – I told you this story already yesterday.
The next day, on a bright sunny Sunday, we finally visited the book art fair. I met some fellow book binders and online friends there, and if you have been reading this blog for a while you know their names: In the photo at the very left you see Dymphie, dwaallicht stands in the middle, and in the front, at the right side of the picture, that’s me.
I liked the fair a lot. Should I still live here next year, I’ll definitely go there again. The location is surpassing. Plus it is less crowded than the fair in Cologne. And while it is almost exclusively a supplier fair in Cologne, they also show pieces of book art namely prints and calligraphy in Leiden. In addition the important sellers are present in both locations. One of the sellers that I met in both places was Antonio Veléz Celemin. I saw some of his papers online before, were looking forward to see them in person in Cologne, fell in love with two of his papers (for 18 and 20 Euro per sheet, and thus more expensive than the end sheets I usually use for my books), and after thinking it over several times I didn’t buy either of them. So I was much delighted to see his papers there again. Again I pondered, and again I decided against buying it. But my heart aches for the paper – maybe next year…