The exhibits continue one after another at Fort Kijkduin. I am taking up the rear of our group, enjoying it all at a leisurely pace. (“Fast” is a setting I no longer have after my accident anyway). There is however something very very different just around the corner… Looks like I am in for an unexpcted surprise…
April 19, 2017
April 18, 2017
“History” appears to suit me. Not only do I adore old things, I also find them aesthetically pleasing and a delight to my artistic eye.
I only wish that my photography skills could do these pieces justice.
Needless to say these are going into my arty archive reference files so that if ever I want to draw these, I can find them back amongst the tens of thousands of photographs that have now accumulated on this blog.
Fort Kijkduin has so many artifacts, amazing historical exhibits that a bit of blog post photography can not nearly do them justice. A visit would be highly recommended.
Even four of the five kids in our group gave this activity a five star rating.The other kid was roughly one year old at the time and gives the same grin and giggles to everything here as he does to playing with shiny crinkly wrapping paper. Put it this way, he didn’t cry and for most of the time he wasn’t asleep. I suppose that counts as a tiny thumbs up from the smallest member of our group. Finding and activity that equally pleases a 1,4,5,11 and 15 year old is a tough task, the Fort does a good job of keeping them happy.
I love these quirkier items: a bottle labeled ” azijn essence” ? (vinegar essence) … ok, what on earth did they do with that? Drink it? Horrors.A green box with a handle on the side to turn… a pump handle perhaps? Two taps are located on the front, one of them very large, the other small. Both have fancy decorative shapes.Might this have been used for water? booze rations for the troops? Who knows.. it’s an interesting item that may well have had a label (obviously I missed it). I love weird stuff like this. Old suitcases, rusty keys, bottles and lamps round out the collection for this post.
April 17, 2017
The history continues in the next rooms of Fort Kijkduin near Den Helder. This time the focus is on militeria: medals, awards and coins. These are just a few examples of the many here. I am also saving these as reference material for my drawing files. I find that many of the patterns in these pieces are tiny works of art in their own right.
April 4, 2017
We have arrived on the side of Den Helder opposite the port.
It was the 2016 Easter weekend and we have just come off the ferry from Texel, where we have spent the weekend with two sets of friends.
Kiwi Daughter is travelling in the other car rented by one set of friends, the other friend and her daughter are travelling with the rest of us in our car.
Because I never eat before a boat trip, I am now feeling more than a little peckish, the others, who did have breakfast, are hungry again since it is lunch time, so although the place we have come to see is literally meters away, the concessions is that a lunch break is in order first.
The eatery for that lunch is “Storm aan Zee” (Storm on the Sea) and there can hardly be a more appropriate name for it on a day like this.
We, and others battle the wind for a cosy place inside and are soon sitting down for toasted sandwiches, fries, hot chocolates, teas and coffees. The place is decked out from top to toe in nautical and Dutch items: the stone Bols genever bottles, ropes, old kettles etc. The food and service were excellent: our party arrived in dribs and drabs but putting Kiwi Daughters food and drinks by our earlier bill was no problem (Dutch cafe’s and restaurants are rarely in the habit of splitting bills: that’s usually for the customers to take care off.
The wood stove looks like just the thing on a colder winter’s day, and there are some quirky seating, like small sheepskin rugs on a few of the seats in place of cushions. It’s not the sheepskin rug seat covers have have us all giggling however…
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 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.
January 27, 2017
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?
December 11, 2016
Just as I did with the other “Parels” (Pearls) artist Mirelle, with Ingrid I am saving the best until last. The level of detail in these paintings is something that no photograph can do justice to. You could say that I am “plumb blown away”.