These are the tulips that I bought for my incredibly lovely housemate while she was writing her final paper. She was stressing out, and we'd just discussed how much we loved tulips, and then at the markets, I decided to do my good deed for the day. As luck would have it, a lovely flower stall had an amazing offer: 20 tulips for just 5 euro. I know, phenomenal! Flowers here are so much cheaper than at home; I imagine that relies on two factors: a) People give flowers here more frequently than at home, and b) It's probably a hell of a lot easier to keep flowers alive when the weather is so cold. Practical, but true. Ever tried to keep flowers from wilting when it's 30 degrees outside, even if you're only outside for 5 minutes while you get them home? More difficult than it sounds. Loose bunches you can hold upside down, but arrangements... sigh.
I'll point out that the lovely housemate also found a great supermarket special with giant pots of herbs (in terracotta! how cute!) for just 2 Euro each. So we now own rosemary, thyme, savoury and sage. The parsley in the corner of the photo is the lovely stuff that I buy from my favourite market lady. I buy two bunches every week! Who'd have ever thought I relied so heavily on parsley? I suppose the giant plants that I had at my old house probably didn't get enough use, but rest assured, next time I grow parsley, I intend to make full use of it! Helloooo, tabbouli.
So, this post is a tribute to the little things that make life so much happier. Herbs and tulips and my quiet Saturday mornings, market trips and hanging out in the kitchen cooking breakfast. When I go home to Australia, I won't miss the weather, but I hope I've gained a new-found appreciation for those occasional rays of sunshine that bring warmth and light to my kitchen... :)