Local Heart, Global Soul

March 28, 2017

Quality Time As A Family…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Easter weekend of 2016 saw us on the island of Texel, taking a break from extended family responsibilities that had been weighing heavily and from which we needed a little bit of “time out”.

Helping to care for someone nearing the end of their life is a difficult task, there are deeply rewarding moments but also ones of despair. For Himself, seeing his mother loosing the ability to independently run her household herself and later, the loss of dignity when she lost the ability to look after her own personal hygiene, was harder than he ever imagined.

District nurses helped her bathe but slowly even the ability to brush her own teeth was beyond her.

Whilst we never ever begrudged him the daily and sometimes multiple daily visits, it was difficult to stay at home and keep up with family life alone.

The kids also saw their grandmother slowly loosing her grip on life, she was no longer the person they knew a few years back, the board game days were over and they had to come to grips with the fact that she wasn’t going to be with us forever. This long weekend break allowed us to spend some quality time together as a family without chores like laundry and homework. We each found at least one activity we liked, we had fun and smiled again. Texel’s scenery is interesting, barns and houses quirky and we are liking Texel more and more and more…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 27, 2017

A Lot Of Flat Land And Changeable Skies…

Texel may not have any imposing geographical features, there are no mountains, cliffs, hills… just flat land, dunes and then the sea. That means that it’s biggest feature is the sea, the flatness of the land and the sky. Our visit in the 2016 Easter weekend, and our car journeys around the island, meant that we saw a lot of flat land and a lot of changeable sky. The days varied wildly, it was never topically warm of course, but at some moments there was bright sun light and others the sky was so dark, we half expected it to hail.  Naturally I took photographs as we travelled. There may not be many geographical features but that didn’t mean it wasn’t interesting!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Two seagulls were having a fight, on the road, with very little regard for cars until the last minute…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another one of these strange “half barns”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 26, 2017

Being Driven Up The Wall …Or Not?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we leave the “Klimmen Enzo” climbing park on Texel, I take a quick look at the two other features here.

Since we visited during the Easter weekend, only a few of the activities were open: during the summer holidays this place would be bursting at the seams, there would be extra staff and entertainers brought in from outside, and what looks like a small circus tent would be open to the public.

It’s possibly a music venue, I’m not exactly certain, but the other thing that would be popular would be the very tall climbing wall.

Although I am not particularly scared of heights, (and even if I could) inching my way up a wall on my fingernails is not my idea of fun, apparently I am in the minority because as I stood taking photographs I heard plenty of other visitors voice their excitement as soon as they saw it.

My kids were no exception, they would have gone on this in a flash if it had been possible. The De Krim holiday park definitely offers enough activities for the adventurous visitor, and maybe because of this our kids expressed invest in a return visit, something fairly unusual because usually they are “been there, done that, next destination please’  kind of holidaymakers.  Concerts or circus, I liked this cute building, it has a certain charm, Texel is growing on us all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 25, 2017

The “Flying Fox” Is The Highlight Of The Day…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The final section of the “Klimmen Enzo” high line obstacle course, and the highlight for Kiwi Daughter, were the “flying foxes“.

I discovered when I left New Zealand that this term was met with strange stares and puzzled expressions, and subsequently learned that elsewhere in the world these were known as “ziplines“.

Our friend went first so that Kiwi Daughter could see how things were done.

Attached by his safety harness, he sailed rapidly down the line, and when he started to become too small to make out at my shorter focal length I engaged the zoom and was delighted by how much of the action I could get into shot.

Kiwi Daughter likes to rubbish the fact that I carry around my big DSLR rather than just use the camera installed in my phone, but take that mobiles, I doubt you could zoom in this far and get photographs like these!

After being reassured that it was possible to make the distance perfectly unharmed, Kiwi Daughter exhibited an uncharacteristic measure of boldness and along with the obligatory screaming as she whizzed along the wire she added a few theatrical poses, even letting go one hand and waved an outstretched arm.

She got herself into the correct position for “landing” in the net, and once safely stopped, climbed up the net and then the ladder to an even higher level.

From there they attached themselves to the next wire and “ziplined” to the next stage: a large pole standing further out in the field.

Both landing safely on the platform, and having now completed two side of the triangle, the third and final “zip” brought them back to the main tower structure, the axis of the two main parts of the course.

The rush of endorphins and the buzz from the experience was plain to see, Kiwi Daughter was also rightly proud that she overcame her fear of doing the higher parts of the course and her doubts about her ability to finish the course. Her elation after the flying fox sections of the course clearly told us that this was not an experience that will be forgotten quickly, and the confidence she gained was immeasurable too. Of course as parents we were proud of both our kids: they each did their best and went as far as their physical abilities allowed. More importantly I think that our kids realised to some degree that whilst this may primarily be a physical obstacle course, its also a mental one too.

Naturally you have to trust your equipment but you have to calculate how to get around the various obstacles and overcome the fear factor that comes with the highest sections of the course. The zip lines are the icing on the cake: to participate is actually very reasonably priced, …but the experience is priceless.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The same net: side view…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Klimmen Enzo / Climbing park Texel / The Netherlands. (Kiwi’s note: website Dutch language only).

March 24, 2017

Art Being Found In The Strangest Of Places…

Whilst watching participants climbing their way over the high  wire obstacle course of “Klimmen Enzo”, I am struck by the silhouette nature of some of my photographs. Located in de Krim holiday park on the northern end of Texel, it’s certainly a feature of this trip that left a lasting impression on Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter. Both were proud of themselves: that they dared to do it in the first place, that they overcame sections of  the course that they hadn’t thought at first possible, and in Kiwi Daughter’s case that she got up to the top level and completed even the highest and toughest parts of the course. These photographs are more “arty” in style… in this case art being found in the strangest of places.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograp(photograph © Kiwidutch)h © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 23, 2017

Safety Harnesses On!

(more…)

March 22, 2017

Showing Us The Ropes …Or Should That be Wires?

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

One advantage about going somewhere during the Easter holiday, is that you avoid the larger summer crowds.That is exactly what happened in 2016 when Family Kiwidutch joined two other families for along weekend trip to the island of Texel.The de Krim holiday park offers many recreational activities, one of the most ambitious of which is a huge climbing frame, the type which is navigated with harnesses over a wire framework. I see a man who appears to be a staff member literally “showing us the ropes” (or should that be “wires”?).It is immediately obvious that he is completely at home on the apparatus and knows how to use the harness to the maximum. Starting with a leap from the top tower, let’s see how it’s done!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 21, 2017

After All, …I Could Just Be Quackers…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers of this blog know that I love to observe the most ordinary of things.

I also have what may be called an “odd” sense of humour, which my family do not always fully appreciate.

Last Easter whilst staying at the De Krim holiday park on the Dutch island of Texel , one such event took place.

Himself needed to check something out at Reception, and not wanting to walk, I waited behind in the car.

All of a sudden I saw a couple of ducks taking a leisurely stroll through the car park.

The car door was already open because the car has been stuffy and I need fresh air in order to ward off feelings of car sickness, so I picked up my camera and started taking photographs.

Every now and again one of the ducks would make a noise, but they continued to walk very purposefully together. My sense of humour immediately imagined that these ducks were an elderly couple, out together for their daily stroll, chatting about one thing or another.  I was smitten by the fact that these two seemed to know exactly where they wanted to go, and the feeling that this probably wasn’t the first time they had done this. Who knows, maybe they were a feathered couple, maybe they do do this every day, and maybe they were having a chat… I have no way of knowing any different. Just look at how they walk and tell me that I’m wrong…  surely not! Maybe too I’m just hopeless romantic who reads too much into everything, or an overly sentimental being who sees sentiment in all. After all… I could just be quackers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 20, 2017

Enjoying The Peace, Without The Summer Hordes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

The De Krim Holiday Park is located just outside of Cocksdorp near the northern tip of Texel.

It’s a huge holiday organisation with hundreds of holiday houses for rent, and there also appears to be space for campers, caravans, and possibly tents too.

It appears that each of the houses is privately owned, but hired out to the public when the owner is not looking to occupy the property themselves.

This also accounts for why the houses come in every size and variety of shape,  and if the gardens are anything to go by, some seem to have many more owner visits than others.

A very large on-site restaurant and a multitude of activities, plus the nearby beaches, mean that this is clearly an extremely popular summer holiday destination.

Of course coming here for a pre-summer season long Easter weekend break means that many of the activities are not yet open, but there is so much to do on the island that we find the opposite problem, too many things to see and do and not enough time.   Now at least we have the advantage of a look around without the summertime hordes, and plenty of peace when the others take the kids out and I retreat for daily naps. Both Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr say that they like Texel.. who knows, we might be returning some time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

March 19, 2017

You Can Never Have Too Much Reference Material, Right?


(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Continuing from yesterdays post, Himself and I had the unexpected chance for a dinner out together during our 2016 Easter long weekend on Texel.

Dining at the on site restaurant at De Krim holiday park where our  accommodation is located, the friend staying with us kept the kids fed and occupied after a day full of chocolate easter egg hunting.

As usual I like to check out the local surroundings, and our later arrival at the restaurant meant that it was quickly very quiet.

The temperature dropped significantly after dark and so Himself went  to fetch my scarf and gloves that I had left in the car.

Using crutches means that my hands get terribly cold where there is a cold wind and putting my hands in my pockets isn’t an option.

I spend the waiting time taking more photographs: the restaurant has a nautical theme, so there are several wonderful characterful lamps around, fishing nets, shells,… the bread basket, something that I saw earlier but always seems to draw me back, the tulip on our table… what ever catches my eye. Most of these are for my reference art files… and you can never have too much reference material, right?


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )


(photograph © Kiwidutch )

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