Of Valentines Past… Perfectly at Home in Berrrrrlin

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdR3elXoIqI/AAAAAAAAC10/yGRhRwhwejI/s320/412.JPG” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Having recently posted about my “Valentines Affair with LG”, I thought you might appreciate reading about another Valentines gift of years past. WG was away on a business trip that year, freezing in Helsinki, Finland, while I was at home in The Netherlands occupied with Diva Business. He hadn’t bought my Valentines present prior to his trip for he had grand aspirations of buying me a quite unusual present that year. He was searching for a particular item I’d fallen head over heels in love with at a friend’s house.

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Our Dutch friends Ed and Britta have one of the most gorgeously decorated houses in the whole of Holland. If I were to post a picture to give a visual definition of the word “Gezillig”, it would be their dining room with the large table built by Edwin’s father nestled in front of the wall of windows overlooking their sculpted back garden. Across the room sit some wonderful , Flamant-styled chairs pulled close to the roaring fireplace – draped over the back of the chairs are reindeer pelts perfect for snuggling into on a cold Dutch day.
to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 214px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdR4smFuvLI/AAAAAAAAC20/IVr7CE5qLjY/s320/IMG_2558.JPG” border=”0″ />I had fallen for these pelts and spent half the time at their house petting them idly while chatting with a glass of red wine in hand. Knowing that Ed & Britta’s parents had picked these skins up in Finland while there on holiday, WG set out for his 3 day business trip with plans of sourcing me my own reindeer rug.

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[Photo courtesy of to/beckster/helsinki_turkey/1157740140/04-_fur_stall.jpg/tpod.html” target=”_blank”>Travel Pod
“Reindeer are semi-wild, are not extinct and are killed for their meat. The pelt is a by-product.”]
Fortunately for WG (given he did have work to do and his trip wasn’t entirely devoted to searching for my present) he didn’t have to search far. While I like to think of him cross-country skiing through snow and wind in the Arctic in search of my prized pelt, in reality he checked into his hotel, The Scandic Grand Marina, and there in the lobby of the harbor-view hotel sat a store selling mountainous piles of the pelts for which he’d travelled north.

Several days later he hopped on a plane and returned home to Holland. He carried the reindeer pelt onto the plane and as he was climbing into his seat, the man next to him asked, “What do you have there?” to which WG proudly proclaimed – “A Valentines gift for my wife!” showing him the pelt. Over the course of the flight WG, who is reputed to be downright surly when strangers talk to him on planes, chatted with the stranger about life, love and other mysteries. When the flight landed at Schiphol and WG was gathering his briefcase and pelt from the overhead bin, the stranger tapped WG on the shoulder, dug deep into his coat pocket and pulled out a few bite-size chocolate bars. Putting them in WG’s palm, he nodded with wisdom, “Just in case the pelt doesn’t go over so well… and you need a back-up plan!”

to 10px; WIDTH: 177px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 320px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kcTb8DnPVW4/SdR4sVp_2kI/AAAAAAAAC2k/ETD_oi0olpM/s320/070.JPG” border=”0″ />The stranger need not have worried!! I loved my reindeer pelt but actually never found a place to display it as nicely as Ed and Britta displayed theirs. In Holland it lay in front of a small settee in our bedroom – and while we enjoyed the plush feel of fur between our toes when crawling from bed in the morning, it wasn’t an ideal spot for displaying the V-day treasure.

One of the things I love about moving is the opportunity to redecorate my house time and time again – seeing my favorite items displayed in new ways with each new house. As often happens, what doesn’t work well in one house works better in another and with my reindeer pelt, this is the case. Perhaps because of the freezing cold and damp German winters or maybe it’s the traditional German coal burning stove, but finally, years after receiving it as a present, the Reindeer Skin has found a perfect home chez moi in Berrrrrrrrrrrrlin!

Until next time, stay warm & dry!
May these “April Showers Bring May Flowers!”
The Antiques Diva™