Local Heart, Global Soul

August 4, 2020

Hunting For A Date…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province),LEIDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

This large and beautiful 16th or 17th century building by the Mareburg in Leiden, the Netherlands, must surely have belonged to a wealthy landowner or merchant.

There was great care taken not just in the size of the house but in the design of it too.

For instance  large wall support iron pins go through the bricks and help keep the walls in place, have here been made to look a little like keys.

On the level directly above the ornate stone decoration and figures of the ground floor, these iron wall supports and surrounding stonework make a shape, from left to right: a sort of backward “4”, then a decorative center piece that could be a “4” both backwards or forwards, and finally the  sort of forwards “4” on the right side.

It’s usual for Dutch buildings of this age to have date plaques, or stone carved dates, but this one seems to be missing it’s date.

On occasion the date of the building will have been creatively incorporated into these iron supports which were a necessary feature of all large buildings during these centuries.

I still couldn’t work out if the ironwork has a date incorporated into it or not, if there is, then I can’t find it. I think from closer inspection of some of my other (unused) photographs, that the face that can be seen in the central plaque belongs to a roaring lion.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 3, 2020

A Contextual Mystery…

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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This Leiden house close to the Marebrug has some remarkable decorative elements in it’s facade. Located on Oude Singel next to a restaurant on the corner, this is a beautiful 16th or 17th Century building. At street level of the facade there are four finely detailed faces and plaques between them, so naturally this is definitely worth further investigation!

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Assuming these are the Gentleman and Lady of the house, this pair above the front door are not just flat-ish relief, but in almost full sculptural portrait mode. This was a house with wealth, and a lot of it.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below) The plaque between them reads: “Dit is in den vergvlden” (Old Dutch spelling for :”This is in the golden”) The text continues further on one of the other plaques.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below): To the right of the lady is an ornate plaque with a small face and plenty of scrolls, a sort of cartouche, but unfilled with dates or any other information. 

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below): The next lady is the third figure from left to right, and looks towards the gentleman on the end, they being very obviously the “second” pair to the first. Daughter and husband? Sister? or even Mother? Who knows?

The plaque reads: “ghecroonden … and then two words that even Himself, the family linguist couldn’t make out:  (so we have the old Dutch word for “Crowned” … and then text that reads: (H?)ov . ?? Hov...? (H?)amer (Hamer) but this doesn’t make sense. “hamer” means “Hammer, as in the carpenters tool, but no idea what “Hov”. is. . and the complete sentence would then read “This is in the golden crowned (something) hammer” which isn’t logical. We are stumped.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 2, 2020

Cruising The Canals…

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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From my location on the Mareburg in Leiden I found plenty of people out enjoying the exceptional 2020 Spring weather in their boats. The water is called “Oude Vest” and was originally part of the cities defences. It’s still early in the morning (I’m trying to avoid people due to Covid19 and also because it’s easier to take photographs then as well) I have a couple of hours to buzz around in my wheelchair before Himself comes back to pick me up.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below) I have heard many stories about Americans freaking out about the fact that there are no safety barriers between the car parking spaces and the canal. Let’s just say that parking here gives you extra incentive to be careful, and after a short while it just becomes habit. In general a couple of cars a year go into the drink, (alcohol usually involved).

The Dutch would probably raise an eyebrow if there was a barrier, because barriers take up space, and many canal streets are already often tight skinny one-way streets so every centimetre counts.

Here in Leiden I can see that they are lucky to have a wide street, but in many parts of Delft for instance, the car tyres line up with the first or second brick from the water (passengers having been let out first of course!)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below) A pretty decent bow wave…

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Usually later in the day we would be seeing this boat getting ready for the lunch service. At this time I’m not certain that they will.Cafe’s and restaurants were opened up a week earlier to these photos but to stringent rules. Only outside spaces may be used and  1.5 metres must be maintained between patron’s tables.

Some establishments have decided that they are unable to accommodate enough patrons to make opening up worth-while , so it’s a big mixed bag of who’s opening and who’s closed at the moment.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

August 1, 2020

Rather Solid Legs…

To make my way into the center of Lieden I have to first cross the Marebrug, between the Oude Singel (old crescent) which is often no longer crescent shaped!, and Oude Vest (Old Vest means and old part of a circle surrounding a small inner city, which has replaced the only city wall and old city canal). The bridge is a solid iron one with large solid legs which lifts up to allow taller boat traffic to pass beneath it.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

July 31, 2020

More Cycle Ways…

In towns and cities around the Netherlands, the bicycle is a major mode of transport. Leiden is no different. I have a sort of photographic “collection” of Dutch bikes, and in the shopping area and side streets there are plenty of examples to add to my collection.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

July 30, 2020

Canal Water Action…

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The waterfowl on one of Leiden’s canals caught my attention, I love not just their interaction with their surroundings but also the colour and movement of the water, the ripples they create and the shapes of the waterlilies.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

July 29, 2020

Canal Scenes…

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The Netherlands is known for it’s canals and Leiden is no different. Where I arrived at the nearest canal I even found a boat moored called the “Leiden”. (Although there may be a heap of those I assume)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

July 28, 2020

You Know Where I’m Headed Next!

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

Himself has me set up in the center of Leiden and is off to do some very dusty cleaning in the house.

We are shifting our kitchen from its original tiny galley spot to the back half of our living room, the dining area.

There will be less room for a big table but what we have will do the job.

It’s old and last on the list for replacement, only if the budget doesn’t overrun.

Himself discovered when the floorboards were lifted to get ready for the work that previous tradesmen over the past 90 years have left everything from sawdust, wood shavings, off-cuts and nails to paper rubbish and general litter behind, obviously thinking that if the floorboards covered everything, who would know?

Himself figures that our brilliant tradesman, (J) who works like a man possessed and is a perfectionist would appreciate a clean work space when he arrived to do all of he piping and wiring.

Therefore he wanted to clear out all of the dust, detritus and rubbish.

Of course it had the added bonus that (J) could start work immediately ad we wouldn’t be paying him to do cleaning work. (we are Dutch after all! HaHa!)

I can’t help Himself do this so a photography break was excellent at this moment, especially since I have not been out of the house in weeks.

There is a church on the horizon that I’m fascinated about.

Not only does it have a beautiful dome, it also has sort of flying buttresses, but joined to the building like a skirt. Guess which direction I’m heading in next!?

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

 

July 27, 2020

A Landmark Entrance…

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The journey to Leiden took half the usual time, so we approached the city just after 6.00a.m. because the roads were almost completely empty of traffic. We passed beautiful houses and the windmill close to Leiden’s famous university. My early start was fortuitous, the brilliant morning sunshine was not destined to last the entire day.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

July 26, 2020

A Very Early Drop-Off…

Filed under: LEIDEN,PHOTOGRAPHY,ZUID-HOLLAND /SOUTH HOLLAND (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

Every now and again Himself drops me off somewhere close to home with my wheelchair and I have a few hours to take photographs before he picks me up again.

My time is limited for several reasons. First because after a few hours I’ve reached the limits of what I can do.

The necessity to take strong pain relief that makes me drowsy, and to elevate my leg means that my next stop is my bed for at least four hours.

The second reason is “people”,  in that it gets so busy with people, bike and car traffic that taking photographs of the local architecture becomes difficult.

For this reason I start my trip with a morning drop-off anywhere between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. before the shops open, delivery vans crowd pavements, cyclists ride through the frame as I click the lens and people get out onto the streets and pavements.

During Spring of 2020 there has been an additional motivation to avoid the population “like the plague”, (if you can forgive the expression), because as someone with COPD and severe asthma, I could not afford to bump into Covid19 during my photography adventures.

Fortunately Himself is one of the breed of people who love nothing better then to be awake at the crack of dawn, the 5.00 a.m. start of the day calling him most days, even weekends and holidays.

A “sleep in” for him means getting up at 7.00a.m. Ugh, not normally my style at all. I never understand how he does it. When I think of this as a lifestyle it’s a mixture of  thinking it’s weird and profound admiration.

For Himself, it’s something about the calm, stillness, peacefulness and quiet that makes this deeply attractive: exactly the same reasons I normally choose these hours to try and sleep.

I do have to admit though, once I have been dropped off and am somewhere, possibly a canal, looking at beautiful buildings …soaking them up in the tranquility of the early hour, I find myself agreeing that “on occasion” early rising can be amazing.

On this occasion the drop-off point for this photography adventure of discovery was the outskirts of the city center of the beautiful town of Leiden.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Opps! Apologies are needed. Yet again I made a whole series of posts and forgot to check that the dates in the WordPress Schedule actually matched up to the number of posts I was making. At one point I even thought: “Oh ok, brilliant! these posts really do fill up faster than I thought” and at no point did it register that this might have been because I’d made a mistake. Duh. Sorry about this… Apologies again!

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

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