Recovery on the foot front is annoyingly slow…
…(to be expected they said).
I’m getting frustrated with the limitations of crutches…
…(to be expected they said),
and whilst physiotherapy is producing small but steady results, there is no quick fix in sight and so this is turning out to be a large exercise in patience …
….(also to be expected but grump grump… clearly I’m not always winning this one).
So… I’ve set my sights on sorting out photos that I took last year but hadn’t organised yet… and the result of that will be that you are now all squeezed into my camera case as I take you off for a tour of Amsterdam, Kiwidutch style.
Himself and I don’t get out too much without the kids, as parents well know, life with kids is busy and in a normal month there are the usual rounds of Birthday parties, visits to family, various playdates, scouting, sports, music, swimming, homework, park play, and other events slotted in around it all.
Invariably if a sleepover happens we have other kids at Ours, or have one of our two offspring farmed out at someone else’s but it rarely happens that both are away at the same time.
So when suddenly we found that hey the kids will be out for a whole weekend, we decided to do something we haven’t done in way tooooo long, go to Amsterdam.
We have some specific ideas, (you, curious readers will have to be patient as “all will be revealed” in due course) and so we set out before breakfast from the Hague…
The architecture of Amsterdam is quite distinctive, in general the old buildings are narrower than in the Hague, but one thing is the same: the Dutch don’t waste precious space on staircases, so these are invariably narrow.
Naturally this poses problems when furniture needs to be gotten any further than the ground floor of the building, especially before the invention of the Lift. So the Dutch needed an ingenious solution and built their old buildings with a large beam sticking out of the roof gable. In the Netherlands we call this a “hijsbalk” (cantilever or lifting beam)
Embedded into this large beam is a massive hook, and the process of removal just involved the removal of the window on the floor there the furniture was required, a pulley and heavy rope attached to the hook, and plenty of manpower to hoist the object into the air until it reached the required level, where it was in turn hauled though the vacated window space at the front of the building.
Since it’s very effective and stairways in these building are still as narrow as they were three hundred years ago, this method of shifting large furniture is still in use today, so “houses with hooks” abound. In fact, it’s not unusual to see a few hijsbalk even on new buildings in the old city centre too.
I spy a few on the way to where we are going… Note to self: Do tell some of those buildings to stand up straight!