Local Heart, Global Soul

October 20, 2017

A Cheery Sight From Earlier In The Year…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,THE HAGUE / DEN HAAG/ s'GRAVENHAGE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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I have been very busy of late with medical appointments galore, so my sorting of photo albums has slowed considerably. Some photographs I intended to post earlier in the year, like these beautiful daffodils got missed. Coming onto the Sportlaan from visiting friends I had my camera at the ready as this cheerful slight came into view. The bank of colour as these greet us on a cold, early Spring day made me smile and marvel at the wonder of nature. Here a new winter is approaching … a new spring will have to wait until the New Year.

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

(photograph ©Kiwidutch)

October 19, 2017

Cinnamon Ice-Cream!, …Who Knew? (Apparently Everyone Except Me)

Filed under: BREDA,Dutch Cuisine,FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s my last post of this series from Breda. Himself’s mother had a life long friend who had one child.

The two families spent so much time together when the children were young that it was like Himself’s family acquired an extra sibling, and for the girl in the other family, like she gained two proxy brothers and sisters.

The people you spend a lot of time with whilst growing up have a special bond that remains with you all of your  life.

I have of course met the family often during my married life, but this is the first time I have been to the smaller house that the mother down-sized to from her large central city property.

The home is light and airy and the dining room table is close to French doors that open out into the garden.

The mother and daughter potter around in the kitchen preparing a delicious vegetable curry. In fact it was so good that we were all busy tucking in and I forgot to get photographs.Dessert was simple; fresh fruit and ice-cream, and a surprise was in store: ‘Kaneel‘ (cinnamon) flavoured ice-cream! I have never heard of this so asked it was a local specialty, to be greeted with a laugh, it turns out it was ‘local’ in that it came from their local supermarket, and the biggest national chain supermarket at that!  It just goes to show how much time I spend in supermarkets these days. One day I will get around to having an on-line grocery order delivered so that not all of the grocery shopping burden falls on Himself’s shoulders. After dinner we make our way home, a wonderful weekend day out being had by all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 18, 2017

Entirely for My Artistic Pleasure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This next post is entirely for my artistic pleasure.

I love shape, form, texture and pattern, so the shape of vines on a trellis at Himself’s family friends home in Breda captures my imagination.

I also have a “thing” with plants, trees and leaves at the moment and keep intending to draw them, so these also serve as “studies” for my artwork portfolio.

Not having a garden of my own means that I need to ‘stock up’ on photos for my arty archive when ever I get the chance.

It’s not just the garden that has items I can use as inspirational material either, inside a beautiful statuette, a barometer and the pattern on a dish also catch my eye.

I did of course ask permission to take all of these and since there was no identifying information it was no problem. I even found a garden hose interesting (yes, I know there is no accounting for taste!) Regular readers will know that I delight in photographing every day ordinary things and there is no more ordinary thing than a garden hose.

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 17, 2017

My Still Life Folder Grows…

Filed under: ART,attempting Still Life,BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Following yesterday’s post, whilst our Breda hosts are busy preparing dinner I take more photographs, inside and outside. There are spring plants to test my close up skills, and some white flowers outside in a pot that catch my eye. I try different angles and crop out different bits; my Still Life folder grows.

(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)

October 16, 2017

A Photoshoot Around The House…

Filed under: ART,BREDA,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Himself’s family friends in Breda have a lovely garden. It was early spring time when we visited and we were told to relax and make ourselves at home whilst they prepared dinner. I found this lovely little bird house and thought I would try some arty shots…

(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)

October 15, 2017

I Mean, Seriously, Who Doesn’t Love A Turret?

Filed under: Architectural Detail,ART,BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Never one to miss an opportunity to photograph a beautiful building I ask Himself to pull over when we pass by what looks like a little castle surrounded by a moat.

We pull off the road, into a driveway where I can take photographs where the grand building is less obstructed by trees.

There is a Wikipedia page for Bouvigne Castle (in the Dutch language only) so I have translated it here: “Bouvigne Castle is located near the Mastbos south of Breda and has been owned by Waterschap Brabant Delta since 1972.

After it’s 1975-77 restoration the castle was reopened on September 13, 1977 by His Royal Highness Prince Claus. It is not known exactly how old the castle is or what the original building looked like.

It is known that from 1494 on the De Boeverie estate there was a watered stone house near one large and one smaller farm.

The small farm stood at the intersection of the Duivelsbruglaan and Bouvignelaan but went  up in flames during the siege of Breda by Spinola in 1624.

The large farm had been owned by the Prince of Orange since 1614 and after 1881 by the state. The large farm was destroyed in 1941 by a V-1 bomb but was  rebuilt after the war.

As far as can be determined, the stone house first appeared in publication in an official deed of 1554; the will of former owner Jacob van Brecht. In this testament the castle was described as a stately stone house surrounded by canals.

The home was expanded over time. It began with the stone house, then addition of the first floor of the tower (between 1554 and 1611). In the three years after that, some other renovations took place and the tower was raised with a second floor.

On October 8, 1614, Prince Philip Willem ‘Boeverijen’, along with his brothers Maurits, Frederik Hendrik and Willem II bought the home for 27,000 guilders to use as a hunting lodge.

In total, the castle has been in the possession of eight princes. In 1637 it was headquarters of Frederik Hendrik invaded the city of Breda to end the Spanish rule. Hendrik Carel van Naerssen gave up residence there in 1774 after deterioration of the building due to neglect.  The Nassause Domain Council agreed. Wealthy coffee planter George Ruysch turned up the castle and Frenchified the name to Bouvigne (and named as such in 1802 in a deed of sale).

From 1930 the castle was owned by the government and was rented for a long time to the Catechists of the Eucharist Crusade (Pius X Foundation). In 2007, the castle was regularly in local news in connection with controversial building plans for the castle. Since October 1, 2010, Bouvigne Castle is one of the official wedding venues within the municipality of Breda.” We have to get back to our friends home in Breda where dinner is waiting for us so I zoom in as best I can and capture as much of the detail as possible. With gardens open to the public, round turrets and a fairy tale quality make this building well worth a closer look. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love a turret?

(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)

Wikipedia: Kasteel (Castle) Bouvigne / Breda / The Netherlands. (Dutch language only)

October 14, 2017

Lighting A Candle For A Friend Far Away…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Meersel-Dreef,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our visit to the “Valley of Mercy of Our Lady of Lourdes” at Meersel-Dreef, the northern most village in Belgium continues.

Located less than a kilometer over the Dutch border and just south of Breda, the little huts that house the Stations of the Cross make a semi-circle around the grotto.

We arrive at the grotto from the rear, walking around to the front where a small stream of people come and go.

Some  light candles, some sit on the seats facing the grotto for a quiet moment of peace, prayer and contemplation, others are taking a general look around.

I take photographs for our family album (extras to these, not shown here for privacy reasons) as Himself buys candles and lights them for a Kiribati friend of ours who is a Catholic nun.

Although we are not Catholics ourselves we know that these places are very special to Sister “x”, and she appreciates very much that we remember her like this. We are far from alone in lighting candles, the tray is filling up fast and the other trays of candles a meter or so away are already flickering with the light of many candles. We have a dinner appointment back at the home of our hosts so can not stay here long, but it’s been an interesting place to visit and with so many other people also visiting, they obviously think so too.

(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)

October 13, 2017

Silence Is Golden In The Maria Park…

Filed under: ART,BELGIUM,Meersel-Dreef,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A few days ago I translated an information board in Meersel-Dreef about how the “Valley of Mercy of Our lady of Lourdes” was founded in 1895.

In todays post we are crossing the road from the monastery and entering the Maria park where the valley of mercy and Lourdes grotto are located.

Pilgrims have been coming here for more than a century, and one of the first warm spring days in 2017 saw the park busy with many visitors, so it’s popularity has far from waned.

The main path separates into left and right branches that curve around in a semicircle,  that meet more or less at the grotto in the middle.

Around each of these curved paths are a series of small hut-like brick buildings, each containing statues that pertain to a station of the cross.

The marble statues inside are beautiful, and it’s a perfect place for contemplation.

The Maria Park is a place where the public are requested to be silent during their visit so that proper contemplation, prayer, gathering of thoughts and finding of peace might be obtained. We visited in silence, and even though the the strength of the religious beliefs between the members of our party of six varied considerably, each of us came away with something from having been here.  They say that ‘silence is golden” and if our experience here is anything to go by, sometimes it certainly is.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Eerbied en stilte” (reverence and silence), the sign also requests that dogs be on leads.

(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)

This was an additional shrine, but we didn’t take the wheelchair down this side path.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hoogstraten  / Meersel-Dreef / Mariapark
Wikipedia  / Mersel-Dreef / Belgium (Dutch language only)

October 12, 2017

Refreshment Before The Next Installment…

Filed under: BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself’s long time family friends are showing us around one of their favourite corners of Breda: Meersel-Dreef.

We have been learning about the building and it’s history but now they take us around the back where there is a café.

To my surprise as we round an area of tables at the front, instead of just finding more seating for customers we come across a large area filled with children’s play equipment.

A short distance further along the building we finally find the rest of the outside seating area, far more substantial in size than we first imagined.

Our kids are old enough to be busy with their own social engagements this weekend, but had we visited in their younger years they would have dashed off to play just as most of the children here are doing.

Some of the faces of the children, were a little too recognisable in my photographs, therefore I have done a little careful editing to protect their privacy. We were lucky to find a seat because this place is clearly very popular and were soon enjoying tea (for those driving and for me on strong medication) and beer for the others. Our friends chose raspberry beer, and then refreshed we were ready for the next installment of our visit.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 11, 2017

Cycling From One Post To Another…

Filed under: BELGIUM,Meersel-Dreef,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Think about things typically Dutch and one of the things that immediately springs to mind is the bicycle. Not only do a large percentage of the population use their bikes as transport to work, they also use them for recreation too.

The demand is so great that thousands of official  “fietsroute” (cycle routes)  incorporating scenic, historic, city, village, beaches, nature reserves, castles, waterways, tourist spots, breweries, forests, wildlife and many other points of interest as their themes or focal points.

The duration of the cycle routes can be anything from a few kilometres to entire day trips, with most of the routes interconnecting so that it’s possible to almost navigate your way around the entire country without leaving a cycle path.

Of course the national system of country and city cycle paths is the key element that makes this possible. With more than eighty percent of cycle paths separated from vehicle traffic, the safety of the system is what makes it possible to have a nation that almost literally cycles from the cradle to the grave.

There are multitudes of cycle route books, both private,  government or local government  published, but these days a quick look on the internet and a push on the “print” button is just as an effective way to plan a trip, or indeed download an App and connect the information into your phone or travel GPS system.

Such is the interest in recreation cycling and importance recognised in keeping people fit and healthy that investment has not just been made in the making and upkeep of cycle paths, but many information boards and special markers also line almost every route.

These markers carry a seemingly strange code of numbers and arrows but it’s really simple, once you have your route, or combination of routes, all you have to do is follow the relevant numbers on the route posts.

I have (somewhere on the masses of folders on my computer and backup hard drives) photographs taken of single cycle path route makers, but of course as per Murphy’s Law despite searching I can not find them now that I want them. It’s only natural that cycle routes in the Netherlands and Belgium interconnect and since our visit to Meersel-Dreef is fractionally into Belgium, and we have open borders, the Dutch routes continue on as one. the information board is in only in Dutch and translated into English reads:

The Provence of Antwerp Tourist board selected the most beautiful and safest cycle routes in the province of Antwerp and drew a map of the cycle route network of nearly 3000 km. The routes are interconnected and each intersection of the network has a number. Based on those numbers you decide your route, you decide yourself how long your route will be and for how long you will go. Look on the map before you leave, make a list of intersections you want to go to, measure and add up the distances between the intersections and then you know how long your tour will be.

During the tour you have only to keep track of the numbers, the excellent road signs do the rest. At crossings, side roads and junctions between intersections, are rectangular signs with an arrow indicating the direction, and the number of the intersection you want to go to. The whole network has sign posts marking two directions. Do you fancy a trip along the cycle work network? On the basis of this section of the map you can decide on a route in the area. At the tourist offices you can get detailed maps of the cycle network in the province of Antwerp. You can order online maps via http://www.antwerpsekempen. be ‘

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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