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.
March 24, 2017
March 21, 2017
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.
March 19, 2017
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?
March 17, 2017
Last year whilst in Texel for the Easter long weekend, I set up the garden chairs and table close to the window.
The furniture started a decent distance away from the window but every time we were due to go out, I would get Himself to edge it a little closer to the window.
I then spread out a liberal amount of bird seed and by Easter Sunday the table and chairs had moved at least two metres using our stealth method.
My camera resumed it’s hiding place behind the curtains with clothes pegs keeping the gaps to a minimum. Luckily the early morning sun had not yet reached the glass so this helped since the window glass was between my lens and the birds.
On this occasion the visitor was a sea gull, quickly dominating the table and scaring off all of the smaller birds. The lens could not be moved because otherwise the curtains would move: so I had to wait until my quarry passed into the field of view that the camera was set to. To my amazement, this first ever experiment was a success!
Of course there were many images where the gull moved and only a wing tip or the top of his head made it into the image, but a few decent close ups made it into my best yet file of bird photographs.
Suddenly, the daughter of our friend was awake and clambering down the stairs. Despite Himself’s best efforts to urge quietness he was too late and so my shutter caught the moment when the gull startled and swooped downwards before gliding out of sight over the lawn, at first, part of this maneuver almost looking like he was falling off the table. Minutes later the rest of the household emerged for breakfast and with all the noise, movement and the curtains being drawn, the sea gull did not return. I’m still delighted with my efforts… sometimes you have to get lucky!
I learn that birds have tongues!
Using his tongue to pick up the morsel…
It looks like he has his foot stuck but he swooped away in a smooth movement so I think the camera just caught these two nanoseconds…
March 15, 2017
We might have thought that Texel’s houses were a strange shape: almost all roof and not much of the ground floor showing. They however are tame stuff, when it comes to seriously strange architecture on this island, it’s Texel’s barns who are at the top of the heap to gain the first prize. Some of these barns stand next to their all-roof houses, so logic has it that maybe the two were joined some time in the distant past. Others just had us stratching our heads: they look like some one has chopped them in two and made off with the other half!
March 13, 2017
“Ijsboerderij Labora” is a Dutch dairy farm where they use some of the fresh milk to make their own ice-cream. Located on the island of Texel in North Holland, it’s where we spent the 2016 Easter weekend with friends. Following my yesterday’s post I am taking photographs for my “reference library files”, and have gone from “klompen” (clogs), to “wheels” as the topic of interest. In taking photographs from different angles I hope to not just capture composition but also texture, something I achieved in some small part, but had the same problem with the klompen: my colours are noticeably washed out. Still, something is better than nothing and the learning curve continues.
March 12, 2017
This post finds us still at “Ijsboerderij Labora“, a dairy farm in Texel that uses it’s fresh milk to make the most delectable of treats: ice-cream.
The date was Easter 2016 and Family Kiwidutch were enjoying a much needed long weekend break with two other sets of friends and their children.
Our children were reluctant to leave, not just due to the fabulous ice-cream, but also the abundance of a large variety of playground equipment and toys, and not least, the presence of at least four large trampolines.
The afternoon was getting on, and the crowd of other visitors who had smaller children suddenly disappeared as their kids dinner and bed times approached, so our party soon had all four of the trampolines almost to themselves.
With queues gone, I took photographs of them jumping for the family album, but their passion for jumping outlasted mine in the end and feeling a little bored after another rest, I moved back toward the car, where other things had caught my eye. I’d spotted some lovely clogs on display as I arrived and wanted to get some photos for my ” reference library” album.
After all, it’s always helpful to have a few studies to refer to should the sketching bug arise. To this end I set to work making various photographs, attempting various angles and zooms so that the most could be made of these lovely “klompen” (clogs). To be fair, not having a tripod with me, especially in the strong wind, didn’t help and for some reason the colours are lighter and more washed out in the end results than they were in real life, but the “bones” are there. Regular readers will know I adore old stuff like this, I hope you like them too.
March 11, 2017
Finding ourselves visiting “Ijsboerderij Labora“, a Texel dairy farm that makes it’s own ice-cream, guaranteed that our 2016 Easter trip was going to have one, less than conventional pre-main course entrée.
The range of flavours in the long freezer cabinet had everyone deliberating on their perfect combination of flavours.
I didn’t get photographs of our selections simply because the kids disappeared outside with theirs and the adults inside were so busy getting down to ice-cream demolition that slow-poke moi at the end of the queue arrived to find most the evidence already gone.
Needless to say the ice-creams were very good indeed. I also liked that there was an indoor sitting area, not large but a very welcome resting spot after my tour of the play area.
Additionally, a large cupboard with locally made Texel products meant that we could take a few small gifts back for my Mother in law, I choose small pots of lanolin to massage into her hands since her skin was often very dry. I also attempted a few “Still life with tulips” photographs, not the best but ok reference material if I want it for a sketch one day. The wind may be cutting and fierce today but that’s not stopping everyone from giving this outing a very creamy ten out of ten!
March 9, 2017
In my yesterday’s post I talked about loving quirky things.
The seats modeled with legs in the shapes of lighthouses caught not just our attention, but that of many other too, if the sight of cameras and phones coming out to capture images was anything to go by.
That though, was nothing to prepare us for the next quirky sight I saw.
The kids were in the back, busy with their phones, Himself and our other friends had gone over to the second vehicle to discuss where we wanted to eat together, and what we wanted to do next.
Not surprisingly my sudden exclamation of: ” Quick , Look… I have just seen the Easter Bunny!!!”. Heads jerked up with a sort of eye rolling” yeah mam, that’s a lame joke… get a life” look , but both heads turned when they realised that I was pointing to something.
What I had seen was a group of men coming out of the nearby beach restaurant wearing white bunny rabbit onesies and getting into their cars.
Annoyingly I was slow in spotting them so was still pointing them out to the kids with one hand and retrieving the camera with the other when the first cars drove off, Luckily a few had parked further away so I got a few photographs of them battling the wind as they walked past.The kids in the back were now squeezing themselves against the part of the car that offered a better view, laughing and muttering, “what in the world…?” as they tried to tally up how many men were taking part in this festive gig.
Numbers ranged between six and twelve, and a small difference of opinion ensued about double counting and missed sightings so we settled on eight as a tentative end number that pleased everyone. We have no clue as to the occasion for this attire: a birthday? anniversary? retirement?something related to Easter? …I thought maybe a pre-wedding Stag do, since it seemed to be only the men dressed in costume. The ladies accompanying them had hair bands with white rabbit ears on them, it wasn’t clear if they were carrying them as accessories to the men’s costumes or if they were their own.(Of course we never found out, but it’s excellent to see that these Gents dared to get dressed up for their special event, and they bought huge grin to our faces as they did so.
March 8, 2017
Regular readers know all about my love of quirky thing, the little details all around us and things that make you smile. In this instance I was delighted to find that it was not only me who noticed that the legs of the seats by Texel’s Eierland lighthouse have been made in the same form as the lighthouse it stands in front of.
Kiwi Daughter, usually disparaging about my taking photographs of inanimate objects of the architectural detail kind, thought that this detail was really lovely and whipped out her phone to take a photograph herself! I also heard other people mention it as they passed by, so here is a message to architects and designers everywhere: make it quirky and they will notice!