Local Heart, Global Soul

July 4, 2016

Excited Squeals Of Recognition…

Filed under: LUXEMBOURG,PHOTOGRAPHY,VIANDEN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer I got permission to travel from my employer (because I am now on medical leave from work) and wanting a literal change of scene, and desiring a few new culinary experiences, we booked the Landal Wirfttal holiday park in Germany.

The weather however was not exceptionally co-operative and the downpours in Germany drove us a short distance away into Luxemburg since even a little way south the weather was substantially better.

When starting out Himself had said that it would be a good idea to drive south and see where the road took us, but after crossing the Luxemburg border and thinking that I recognised a few landmarks around us I suddenly had a sense of déjà vous, and  a sneaky suspicion where we were going.

I grinned at Himself and he grinned back, realising now that I knew where we were headed. Little Mr had a little neighbourhood friend come on this holiday as well, she is not as well travelled as our children so when we suddenly rounded a corner and a large castle on hill was revealed, one kid looked puzzled whilst the other two let out excited squeals of recognition: We were back in Vianden.
We first spied this castle when on tour with our Singaporean friend Velveteen back in 2012 and were lucky enough to have hit upon a medieval re-enactment weekend and a very special chance experience indeed. Links to those posts are at the bottom of this post. In the meantime our kids are excitedly filling in the details of their previous trip to our guest, and Himself and I see from this just how deep an impression travel makes on children and how many memories come flooding back once the right visual clues are given.

(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)

Previous Vianden Posts, Velveteen trip:
Inside The Castle Walls…
When You Live A Long Way Up, Some Things Are A Long Way Down…
There’s Nothing Like Dressing Up For the Occasion…
Eyeing Up The Beautiful Brews…
Dancing The Night Away: Medieval Style…
The Magic Of A Most Bewitching Bird…
The Second Market Is Quite Literally Buzzing…
Taking the Scenic Route Through A Very Scenic Town…
Hotel Belle-Vue: With Beautiful Views Indeed…
Fine Dining Well Suited For The Ravenous…
The Magic Of A Castle In the MoonLight (Well, Floodlights At Least)
A Delicious Breakfast, But Two Of Us Had Pizza And Bread Making On The Brain…
Decorations In Wood, Turrets, Towers, … And A Cable Car!
A Massive Surprise On A Hill At Vianden…

March 9, 2016

Heading Into Rotterdam, The Tower Excites The Troops…

The next morning after our first night at “De Vremde Vogel” we and our friends decide to have a day out in Rotterdam. We make our way into the city and the kids catch sight of the Euro Mast. It generates excitement in the back seat as we get closer and we see a mixture of building styles as your journey progresses…

(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)

(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)

May 18, 2015

Ely To Cité Europe In Record Time, Then Onwards To Home…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch travelled to England in 2013 for a family wedding.

It was a long weekend in May and apart from a disastrous cloudburst just the the bride and groom left the church, we have for the most part had beautiful weather.

The rest of the family, taking the ferry from Harrich to the Hoek van Holland have a short car ride and then a long crossing on the boat.

We, having opted for the channel tunnel have a lot of driving but a crossing that only takes thirty five minutes as opposed to the eight hours plus on the boat.

The children have asked about a possible breakfast at the Little Chef that’s almost next door to the hotel and we figure that if we are there when the doors open in the morning then we can have a quick breakfast and get onto the road in time to get to our channel crossing appointment.

As it was, traffic was lighter than we expected and we got to Folkstone over an hour earlier than we expected. We made our way to the channel tunnel and instead of having to wait, were told that there was space if we wanted to catch an earlier train.

We did, and on the French side we had time to pop in to the Cité Europe shopping centre close the channel tunnel entrance on the Calais  side of the channel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the French side it’s also clear to see the measures that have had to have been made to stop illegal immigrants from attempting to stow away on or underneath trucks, trains and other vehicles about to make the crossing to the United Kingdom.

Exceedingly tall fences surround the Cité shopping mall and for kilometres around the train areas.

It follows the road for quite some distance  before we see open fields again.

Annoyingly we come up against one of the downsides (or upsides, depending on how you look it it) to France: weekend shopping hours have not been embraced so on this long weekend almost all of the shops in this gigantic mall are closed. I was hoping to pick up a cured ham but we are out of luck, we make our way down to find the gates leading into the supermarket are well and truly closed.

We can at least make a toilet stop and after that it’s back on the road and back to The Hague. The kids are tired and after a while squabbling and getting comfortable in the back seats, they fall asleep and a quiet peace reigns in the car as the kilometres glide by.

It’s dusk by the time we turn into our own street and it’s been a long day on the road, but the way has been smooth and the traffic easy, and we are safely home to our own beds.  It’s been a wedding to remember, and a lot of kilometres in a weekend but worth it for a special family occasion.

(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)

Interesting decoration around the restaurants…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

calais way home 1m (Small)

Cité Europe

 

November 21, 2014

Cité Europe… In Europe, But Not Actually A City…

Filed under: Calais — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The previous times we have travelled through the channel tunnel at Calais from England en route to the Netherlands, we have found ourselves for one reason or another, making the return journey on a Sunday.

That has one disappointing down-side: most shops in France (and Belgium too) are shut on Sundays and in some areas you would be hard pressed to find even a bakery open.

That’s annoying if you are a Foodie wanting to stock up on a few of your favourite French supplies on the way home.

Therefore I was delighted to find that our summer of 2013 trip ended with a Friday booking back through the channel tunnel and finally we could stop off at the place I’d been dying to visit: Cité Europe.

Cité Europe is a huge shopping centre just a stone’s throw away from the channel tunnel in Calais. They have clothes and all the regular stops you would find in a large out-of-town shopping centre, but it’s the supermarket I’m interested in with things like tins of Confit de Canard, dried hams and of course wine (for himself because (a) I drink very little wine anyway and because (b) I’ve been completely tee-total since my 2010 accident.

Alcohol and strong pain medications don’t mix but since I drank so rarely before the accident it’s not something that I miss. Himself however, enjoys a glass of red wine so he enjoys a French supermarket as much as I do. Goodies await, we go inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter and I find a funny and ingenious graphic on the wall of the ladies lavatories to indicate what this hook is for…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr would have gladly taken this home with us, if he could have…( even though it’s as big as he is!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Grocery shopping done, we are on our way…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

June 8, 2011

Flying Low into High Excitement…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are driving home from our French lunch when all of a sudden the excitement meter in our kids started to climb off the scale…  squeals and shrieks start being emitted from the back seat.

The cause?

A low flying helicopter skimming the trees only one paddock away…

…from the passenger seat I swing the camera around to take a few shots, lucky shot I think, but as we round the corner the noise escalates in the back as the kids spot it again, because this time its coming directly towards us.

We, talking this small French country road start to play a game of cat and mouse with the helicopter, it swings close to us, then away, it circles and we see it  ten or thirty seconds later again, the kids are now going ballistic in the back, pressed up to their respective side windows waving madly.

I keep shooting photographs of the helicopter whilst Himself and I wonder what on earth the pilot is doing, there is a  some sort of pattern to the  flying but we can’t quite make out what.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

All of a sudden after some kilometers of playing the car-copter game, all of  our kids dreams come true when  the route of the helicopter converges with our stretch of road, the pilot dips extra low alongside us and we can clearly see  him inside laughing and waving back at us,  our kids arms are almost falling off as they wave frantically back, and the shrieks of excitement in the back seat are now deafening.

About twenty seconds later the chopper starts to head to the right  over the rows of vines whilst our road takes us left.

Little Mr. is literally bouncing in his seat with the joy all the rest of the way back to the gîte for having waved to  a pilot  in real helicopter and having him wave back.

Later on in the week we tell another one of our French friends what happened and showed them the photos, they laugh as they recognise the “ERDF” on the side of the chopper and know what’s going on immediately.

ERDF  stands for “Électricité Réseau Distribution France” and these helicopters are  how one of France’s biggest electricity suppliers checks its network of  power lines and electric power pylons for maintainence purposes.

So merci beaucoup ERDF, two of your staff made our kids day a very very memorable one indeed… just with a grin and a wave. Bravo!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 12, 2020

The Tragedy Of A Short Life…

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

This poem is by Hans Lodeizen and translates into English as:

We will treat life seriously

like we deal with a murderer among us.

I don’t like art that dies

in the mouth of a much beloved poet

now that Nijinsky is dead we have

to put flowers in all windows, because

beauty only survives that way

we want a handful of children, wine and

a playground well worn by the sun.

HANS LODEIZEN (1924-1950)

Wikipedia tells us that Hans Lodeizen  ”

Born “Johannes August Frederik Lodeizen” into an influential family, and raised in great privilege as the son of the director of Müller & Company.

He was the author of one book of poems (The Wallpaper Within, 1949) and a quantity of miscellaneous work. Despite his very short life and modest output, his minimalist lyrics, which are generally constituted of short, unrhymed lines without capitals or punctuation, strongly influenced a post-war generation of Dutch poets, including Gerard Reve.

(Reve being, together with Willem Frederik Hermans and Harry Mulisch, considered one of the “Great Three” (De Grote Drie) of Dutch post-war literature.)

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

Lodeizen had what seems to be a troubled and turbulent life, attended Het Haagsche Lyceum, and when he failed the fifth form, ran away.

Gone for two days, he stayed in Amsterdam and Ede, and wrote sonnets. He graduated in 1943 but went in hiding to escape the “Arbeitseinsatz”.

(German conscription of mostly young men of slave or forced labour in munitions factories, the German war industry, repairing bombed railroads and bridges, or work on farms, general manual labour).

Starting in 1946, Lodeizen studied law briefly in Leiden, but took an interest in biology and pursued graduate study at Amherst College in the United States in 1947-1948.

There he befriended the poet James Merrill who, after becoming “smitten” with Lodeizen, would describe him many years later as “clever, good natured, solitary, blond, / all to a disquieting degree”.

Lodeizen lost interest in his graduate biology program and returned to Europe to work (reluctantly) for his father’s firm.

Either gay or bisexual; as a young man he had proposed marriage to a woman, but his poetry speaks of his love and desire for other men.

In 1948 he was arrested for having had sex with another man, but his father’s money and influence likely prevented a trial.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

His father disapproved of his life in many ways: Lodeizen wanted to write poetry, to not study law, didn’t want to enter the family business, but at the same time desperately wanted his father’s approval, while his father refused to accept his sexuality.

This tension is, besides lost romantic love and the ephemeral nature of the world, the most important theme in his poetry.

Lodeizen’s “ben ik nu werkelijk zo slecht” (am I really this bad) cites the disapproving words of his father: “wat jij me al niet in mijn leven / hebt aangedaan kan ik niet vergeten“, (all the things you’ve done to me in my life, I cannot forget them).

After his death, when his remaining poetry was to be published, his father wanted thirteen of his son’s poems scrapped, though the editors did include them.

After his diagnosis with leukemia, he spent his last months sustained by blood transfusions in a Swiss sanatorium. He was 26 when he died.

(photograph copyright © Kiwidutch)

May 26, 2020

A Station Platform…

Looking around Hollandspoor I saw that I would need some backup  research on the historical side of things… So Wikipedia “Den Haag Hollandspoor (HS) Train Station” tells us:

“Hollands Spoor opened on 6 December 1843, after the Amsterdam-Haarlem railway,  the oldest railway in the country, had been extended to The Hague.

This line was further extended to Rotterdam in 1847. At the time, the area was a grassland and belonged to the municipality of Rijswijk. Lacking the people to manage law enforcement around the station, Rijswijk ceded the land to the municipality of The Hague.

The railway station was named Holland Spoor, after the company which operated it, the “Hollandsche Ijzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij.”  The original building, which was designed by Frederik Willem Conrad, was demolished in 1891 to make way for a Neo-Renaissance building designed by Dirk Margadant. 

In 1870, the rival company Nederlandsche Rhijnspoorweg-Maatschappij  opened a second main railway station in The Hague, Den Haag Rhijnspoor, on the newly constructed Gouda-Den Haag railway.  A railway connection between the two stations was constructed a year later.

This railway station was demolished in 1973, to make way for the Den Haag Centraal railway station.  As a result, The Hague has two main railway stations: Centraal Station and Hollands Spoor.

Trains from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and beyond (Brussels) tend to stop at The Hague HS, whereas trains from Utrecht and Eastern and North-Eastern directions (also by Leiden/Amsterdam Airport Schipol /Amsterdam) usually stop at Centraal Station. Several trains in southern direction serve both stations.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 20, 2020

I Love Rust … Who Knew?!

Spotted in a small side street in the centre of the  Hague… this rusty door. I immediately had to stop and take photographs: the patterns, forms, textures and colours intrigue me, make me want to learn to paint faster. I have not too much problem to draw (except that after a break of 25 years I’m rather rusty (an apt phrase in this instance), but at heart so far I have been a printer, In all printing mediums with the exception of silk screen.

I have etched fine lines, used a variety of tools, and turned out printed images on paper. Of course in relation to my printing I have of course also drawn in pencil or in made preparation sketches in ink. I dabbled in Gouache. The leap to water colour and oils was never made, but I’m keen to attempt it but excited and scared in equal measure. I worry about failing, falling out of love with art and not ever getting back into it.

In the meantime I am saving this for my Arty Reference Files, knowing that one day I will paint this, because I love rust!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 8, 2020

Inconspicuous And Beautiful At The Same Time…

I have reached my next destination during my summer 2019 tour of ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ sites.(Open days for National Historic Places sites).

This is a place that I kind of thought went out of existence around the time of the Second World War… but No, apparently they still exist. This is a good old fashioned Gentlemen’s Club. It’s not a Club in the sense of a seedy dive with scantily clad ladies, rather the sort of Club that you could imagine Sherlock Holmes or Winston Churchill in. Wingback or deeply padded chairs, gentlemen in suits, games of Whist  and all that sort of thing. The outside is both inconspicuous and beautiful at the same time…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Sociteit

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 7, 2019

I’m Right! … Actually Maybe Not!

Our house has been undergoing a massive renovation this year, so we have taken the chance to do a massive Spring Clean in slow stages around all of the work. It’s been a slow process because we had no idea just how much “stuff”we had accumulated, and  the bewilderment of how many parts of toys were sperad out in so many different areas of the house. (I’m not even sure how some bits got into so totally unrealated boxes in the first place… we have toy goblins who make mischief it seems). Christmas Tree decorations also suffered this fate, so when a little bix of Christmas bits turned up, I recognised a small stained glass orgament that I bought as part of a set in New Zealand.

Kiwi Daughter immediately exclaimed: “Ooooh THAT, I remember that one! I made that so long ago when one time we had to go to one of those School Holiday programe thing that Little Mr and I both hated.” (Himself and I both had to work at the time, so the kids had to an organised childcare programme for the week – tears and drama galore from them both, they HATED it with a vengence, so we did it twice from sheer necessity and then never again).

I tried to tell her that: “No… this angel was one I bought in New Zealand.” She disagreed vermently, this was the one she made. Ok, kid, have it your way. Vindication came about ten minutes later then there was an excited: “Hey! Look at Thi….  …Ohhh”. Silence, Then an explosion of giggles. She had something in her hand that she didn’t want to show me. Eventually when she could mange to talk she showed me what was wrapped in tissue paper in her hand, and said: “uhhh, actually THIS is the one I made in that horrible school holiday programme” Then more laughter. I think that for you, photographs will explain more than words ever could…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I must note though: if there was a fire in the house, it’s Kiwi Daughters ornament I would save in a nano second, the other one, beautiful as it is, would not even get a second glance. One may be professional and expensive, the other is the real treasure and priceless.

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