Local Heart, Global Soul

February 25, 2017

The History Of Wartime…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,TEXEL,Texel: Air Force And War Museum,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing yesterday’s blog post I am looking at a poster entitled, “Nederland in oorlogstijd”  (the Netherlands in wartime).

The place we are in is the Air Force and War Museum in Texel, one of the Wadden Islands in the north of the Netherlands.

As I described in my previous post, the detail in this poster made me turn back for another look, each of the smaller “pictures” within the frame joined up to make a bigger story that illustrated life in the Netherlands under German occupation.

I love the style of the illustrations, the strength of the images when combined with the poignant words, and how typical of the time the artwork of the poster is now, when looked at from  modern day perspective.

The smaller pictures surround a larger one, a map of the Netherlands that shows invasion and battle movements, bomber plane and the like.

As with yesterday’s post, translated caption text that were included with the smaller pictures are included above each one.

Although not shown in the same order as on the poster, I have posted these in the most logical and natural sequence in light of their accompanying texts.

The story continues:
And when the enemy was seen, people disappeared fast away

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Everything that served the enemy was taken away in the dark

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

How many hours were people counting, here patience was severely tested

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the direst of situations families escaped famine like this

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Beams and board of friend and neighbour were used to make a warming fire

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In response to a fearful sigh, food was thrown out of the sky

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Covered in sun and happiness the liberator was welcomed with enormous happiness

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 24, 2017

Delight To Detail Fanatic And Historian Alike…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes you go past something in a museum, and then something about the item attracts your eye and you go back for a closer look.

Such was the case when Himself and I visited Texel’s Air Force and War Museum.

The item in question was a poster, that according to the title, ” Nederland in oorlogstijd”  (the Netherlands in wartime) and depicts the events in the nation between 1940 and 1945.

The  smaller pictures around the central map are miniature artworks in themselves and taken as a whole, they tell a story about the war.

There are (just) too many photographs for one post, so I will split them into two.

The other half will be posted tomorrow. I have translated the small text of the “story” into English and put them into as logical order as possible (they form a square around the central map and were not numbered.) These are beautiful, and a delight to the detail fanatic and historian alike…
The small pictures…

And where-ever you went the Gestapo was present…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The respect for another persons home was not honoured by the enemies gun

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And brothers who spoke our language were doomed with a star

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The work offered by the enemy was accompanied by whip and bullets

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Many anguished sighs were heard near the barbed wire of  Vught  (Kiwi’s note: Vought was a Dutch concentration camp)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The heart of the nation was angry and sad because of the murder of Rotterdam

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The sacred word and prayer supported moral resistance

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

People gathered with determination the arms for the freedom struggle

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Silent as a quiet rumour, messages were sent through the air

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The press, working away from the enemy always offered the free printed word

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To be continued…

February 23, 2017

Taking Practical Over Pretty… Even If It’s Not So Posh.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next display that caught my eye at the Air Force and War Museum in Texel is also one that I didn’t expect to be present in this kind of museum.

A closer look revealed it’s aviation connection, because in fact this porcelain is a tea set used by KLM in either it’s Business or First Class service.

There are not just porcelain cups, saucers and plates, but also milk jugs, napkin rings,  salt and pepper set, a small tray for other condiments.

Together with KLM engraved glassware, dinner at thirty thousand feet is indeed a far posher affair at the front of the aircraft than it is with the crowded masses and their plastic implements at the back.

Himself and I buy one lottery ticket per month… if we ever win big I am certain that a nice trip to New Zealand in Business Class would be a wonderful treat.

Until then we will go with the famous quote made by Victor Kiam, who was also famous for the catchphrase, “I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company“. The company in question was of course Remmington, and when Kiam took over they were in trouble  so he  told employees that costs would have to be cut to save jobs and keep the company from folding.

Executives who has been used to flying Business were required to change to Economy, an action that Victor Kiam led by example with the famous quote: ” After all, the back end of the plane arrives pretty much the same time as the front“. The plates may be plastic in economy and given the choice I would love to be wined and dined with a service such as this, but when reality sets in I will take practical over pretty any day.

(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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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 22, 2017

KLM Is At “Home” In The Sky, … Bottoms Up!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Leaving the informational movie theatre in Texel’s Air Force and War Museum, Himself and I make our way into a large hall.

The date was Good Friday 2016 and we were taking a little break away from the rest of the family, who were off with friends and other kids.

Just inside the entrance to the hall is a very distinctive display cabinet, filled with of all things, Delft’s blue porcelain houses.

Naturally I am curious as to why on earth this is in a museum dedicated to aircraft and war memorabilia, so went to read the information board next to it. From this I learned that these are:

KLM Delft Blue Houses. The houses, numbered 1 to 94, are filled with Bols Dutch gin and are handed out at the end of intercontinental flights to passenger flying Business Class. House “94” is a copy of the “Oudheidkamer” in Den Burg.

This was the first copy and it was donated on 7 October 2013 to the Mayor of Texel, Francine Giskes.

During this ceremony, all of the houses exhibited here were promised by Mrs Hartman on behalf of KLM, to former President of the board of this Museum, Theo Whitte.”

Unfortunately house number “94” is not labelled and nor are any of the others, so it’s difficult to tell which one it is, especially since the shelves are not symmetrically spaced in the lower half of the cabinet.

By just counting from left to right (as logically as possible) house “94” could be the first house on the very bottom row but I am not certain if the houses are even in numerical order, it is possible that since this house is especially designated that it is either the house at the very top or at top right of the display.

Both are too high up to see if there are any labels, and sadly I am not familiar with the historic buildings of Den Burg to recognise it.

These little bottles are beautiful, I would love to own this collection (certainly not for the gin, but for the bottles) and it’s an unexpected place to find them since Delft is more in my back yard than Texel’s. I have no clue if this is a tradition that KLM still follow, if so, there are some very lucky owners of these lovely little bottles around the world.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 7, 2017

Den Helder Is Full Of Marine Vessels Of All Shapes And Sizes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Arriving in the North Holland town of Den Helder, we make our way towards the ferry terminal.

The road we are on follows alongside a canal, the large blue and grey building that stated to come into sight in my last post turns out to be for “scheepsonderhoud“, which translates as “shipping maintainance“.

Judging by the way it is situated on the water it looks like it’s a covered dry dock, where ships can sail in and then the water is pumped out of the dock so that work can take place on the hull of the vessel.

This waterway is an extension of the outer harbour, so we see various boats and ships in all sorts of sizes and shapes, from leisure craft, coast guard and various waterways department, fishing boats to tall full rigged sailing ships. The buildings along the canals also vary in age and styles, I’m most taken with the older, more decorative brick buildings and even there there are glimpses into modern non-traditional fishing-village life: we sight a ferris wheel, the “kermis” (fun fair) is in town.

The buildings clearly house activities associated with fishing, but also water sports, proving that Den Helder is that quirky mix of modern and traditional Dutch town, some traditions remain as they have done for centuries, others have long since moved on.

The traffic increases the closer we get to the harbour on the far side of town, it’s apparent that we are not the only ones to have thought that a long weekend away in Texel for the Easter weekend would be a good idea. It’s no surprise either that Little Mr was very excited to spot naval and coast guard vessels, that said, all four of us let out an exclamation when we rounded a corner a little further on…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 5, 2017

Clearly Shanghai Has Less Of A Taste For The Ornate…

Filed under: ART,China,Manhole covers / Street grates,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Back on the twenty-first of January 2017, I started featuring a series of manhole covers that an Aunt of Himself took whilst visiting China.   In this post we saw just a few of the examples she and her husband found whilst in Beijing.  These next examples are from Shanghai and Xintiandi, and it’s interesting to note the differences between them.  Of Xintiandi there are sadly only two: pity, because these are by far the more decorative of the two, the Shanghai style keeping to very geometric forms. They may not be quite as pretty as the others but the examples they found in Shanghai are all different, and a collection can not only be made  entirely of the most decorative examples. Once again all kudos goes to “Tante I” for capturing these photographs.  I find it very interesting in that they did not find one that strayed significantly from the geometric style: clearly Shanghai has less of a taste for the ornate.
Touring China, …Man Hole Cover Style!

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

Xintiandi…

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © “Tante I”)

January 30, 2017

This Cow Eats Weed Under Glitter Ball Lights… Seriously!

Filed under: ART,LAVITORIAL - Intersting Loo's...,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Due to the large deterioration on my mother in law’s health and rules pertaining to my long term medical leave, Himself and I managed one weekend away together  as the sum total of our “holidays”  in 2016.

There was however one other weekend when Himself and I made a lightning trip to the United Kingdom, sadly the occasion to attend the funeral of a long time friend.

With Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr were quickly farmed out to wonderful friends and family, Himself and I packed our bags into the car and headed south towards the channel tunnel.

We knew that some of places we had to get to would be difficult for me to manage on crutches, so packed the wheelchair in the car for that eventuality.

I try not to use it wherever possible but attempting to lessen the amount of Oxicodon I take also means tackling any distance on crutches is out of the question, it’s a choice: pain killers or wheels and I dislike both.

The weather was warm and soon the water bottles we had packed were empty, necessitating a stop at a service station so that we could use the convinces. It was there that I found yet another loo with a difference.

This disabled toilet also doubled as the “family / parent”  toilet so naturally there was a baby changing table installed, but someone with a sense of humour had also installed a few additional features, all of which made me smile.

First of all, I think that the people behind this have kids of their own, they clearly know about unco-operative babies and toddlers who wiggle and squirm during nappy (diaper) changes, surely it was no co-incidence that the position of a small glitter ball was close to the head end of the changing table.

Even better, the glitter ball revolved and a small lamp directed different coloured lights onto it, making a sort of star pattern on the ceiling.

There is nothing better than an unexpected set of moving coloured lights to keep little eyes transfixed and thoughts away from escaping the nappy change.

Secondly, to keep slightly older kids occupied for a minute or two, there was also a height chart painted on the wall, the “children” represented there were given the thoughtful names: “Loois” and “Looisa“, a touch that hopefully bought a smile to faces of parents jaded by the trauma of travelling on motorways with small children. The biggest smile however was on an adult level only, a large photograph of a Dutch cow covered the back wall, and she was chewing “grass” (of the marijna variety).  Something to add to the tourist misconception that Dutch people must surely be smoking weed constantly when reality is that the tourists partake far more than any Dutch people I know. This may have been just a toilet, but it’s a lovely change from the spartan ones usually on offer, and hopefully it made the families who used it smile as much as I did. I am all for adding an individual touch to these kinds of public spaces.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Pink lights on the ceiling and wall …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then changing to blue lights..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 29, 2017

Touring China, …Man Hole Cover Style!

Filed under: ART,China,Manhole covers / Street grates,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

Who on earth goes around photographing mundane things like ornate ironwork drains and man hole covers?

Regular readers will know that the “normal” everyday objects around us are amongst the things that delight me, the patterns are often well thought out and are small art forms in themselves.

The fact that we give them barely a thought as we rush around our every day lives does not make them any less beautiful, but it is my hope that in drawing attention to their presence, their overlooked  status can be shown  little more appreciation.

Now I have managed to inflict the collecting bug to members of my extended family. One of Himself’s Aunts, not only follows this blog but has also previously contributed photographs of man hole covers that she has taken whilst on holiday.

This time she and her husband were on holiday in China, and suddenly out of the blue I was gifted with a memory stick full of photographs from their China travels. (Yes, in case you were wondering, there were also other albums full of scenery etc too!). I was a tad concerned when I read in her email that on occasion her husband got photographs of man hole covers in the middle of roads.

She didn’t actually mention if there were any cars present at the time, or if he was evading the local rush-hour, or something in between, of course I was extremely quick to reply that on NO account should any chances be taken with their personal safety. Not even the most beautiful photograph is worth risking life and limb for.  Naturally all credit goes to my Aunt and Uncle, since my Aunt is the instigator of these, I will list the credit as ” Tante I ” and give her a huge “Thank You”! There are quite a few of these so instead of dumping them here in one go, I will slot in some in from time to time.

Therefore the first one to kick off this new series are photographs taken in Beijing. I noticed that many of these ones have a similar format, a sort of “template”: they are all different, maybe the differences are to do with age, every new set gets a small revision, maybe there are different styles for different suburbs or districts, possibly it’s a combination of both… or some completely different reason. For what ever reason, there is everything here for the more basic plain ones to more decorative, and being in love with texture, form, pattern and design, I love them all….

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

(photograph © "Tante I")

(photograph © “Tante I”)

January 27, 2017

Who Needs Glass and Steel When You Can Have Structures Like These?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that Himself and I have one trait very much in common: we appear to have been born with no sense of direction whatsoever.

Our navigation skills are legendary, in a manner that usually involves laugher and disbelief (and sometimes a few face palms) rather than any echos of awe.

During the summer of 2016 we needed to drop Little Mr off to an event on the German Dutch border and instead of keeping within the Netherlands, we accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up in the German town of  Isselburg-Anholt.

We had been searching for somewhere to have lunch, so after realising our mistake we figured that lunch in Germany would be as good as lunch in the Netherlands, stayed and several side streets later found a restaurant.

After we had eaten we headed back to the car and attempted to leave town. This involved more wrong turns and a messy reverse out of a narrow street that Our Lady of The Tom Tom assured us was a two way street, but that the signs on the lampposts assured us wasn’t. Luckily my instruction of “take the next left” was quickly met with Himself’s “Can’t“, and since the street was little more than an alleyway, and deserted, no danger was involved.

Our biggest issue was that several years ago we swapped our tiny Peugeot 206 for a seven seater vehicle and one thing that longer cars are not good at, is reversing out of narrow European alleyways where the layout is as crooked and pieced together as the dwellings built over the centuries around it.

There was no pavement to speak of, doorsteps were right on the street,  vehicles parked as close to the buildings as they could physically manage and still allow exit of the occupants.  Cars vied for position, their drivers expert in squeezing into the smallest space possible, everyone folding in their wing mirrors on the street side so a single vehicle may inch past. The line of the buildings was not straight, nor therefore was the road.

Himself executed a three point turn, which was actually a six or seven or maybe nine point turn, the sensors at the front at rear of the car peeping alarmingly rapidly as we inched back, then forwards to complete the manoeuver.

A small group of German locals watched our progress from a little distance, glances in our mirrors told us that they were taking an interest but they quickly looked away when I looked directly at them. Our tight U-turn completed, we drive past them and aim for the main street. More “One Way” signs greet us even though Our Lady is telling us otherwise.  Another side street looks like a short-cut to our desired direction, we take it and as it dog-legs around to the right we suddenly find ourselves driving in a circle with no side roads to offer any escape.

When I met the gaze of the group of locals as we passed them a second time, this time they were all grinning, and waved.  They pointed to the place where we first tried to exit and then to the left instead the right that we had taken the first time. With a thumbs up and a grin reply, I signal our Thanks and against the wishes of Our Lady of The Tom Tom we headed in the opposite direction of where she wanted is to go.

After half a kilometer a re-set got us back on track. Because of this we needed to back-track a little and turn around on a larger road. Himself opted instead to turn right into a small lane where there was no traffic and we could turn around more easily. At that moment I spied this rickety old structure, filled with wood, charming, age unknown but full of character.I love buildings like this… rustic in the extreme, it half looked like the wood being stored inside was holding the pla ce up. I snapped off a few photographs of it and a brick building next to it that is definitely older than it first looks for my archive files.  Who needs glass and steel when you can have structures like these?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 26, 2017

But…. We Have To Go Home!

Filed under: ART,GERMANY,Isselburg-Anholt,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Isselburg-Anholt, close to the German / Dutch border has a few beautiful buildings in it’s centre.

After a very enjoyable lunch in one of them, the restaurant “Il Caminetto” (of yesterday’s post) we get in the car to head the two kilometres or so back across the border into the Netherlands and then back home to The Hague.

As usual when were are out and about, I am busy scanning our surroundings and looking for interesting things to photograph.

When Himself and I found ourselves in the German border town of  Isselburg-Anholt during the summer of 2016, my habit was ingrained and naturally this statue caught my eye.

I love how the artist has captured the spontaneity of the moment, the clear relationship between the woman and the box.

If you removed the basket of apples and the hoop, their movement is one that has seen in every busy shopping street in any place of any size at one time or another.

The child resists going where the mother wants, it could be any parent trying to prise their offspring away from the local playground, away from something seen in a shop window, or even a dirty discarded sweet on the footpath that the child is certain would taste good.

It’s a universal moment, but here there is only the spontaneity, no anger or remonstrating from the parent, so far just a look, and who knows, maybe a little word of persuasion to get the child to go to where-ever they are meant to be next.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

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