Local Heart, Global Soul

August 22, 2017

We Should Not Mangle Our Social History…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes you come across quirky things in the most unexpected places.

In this instance what was once (long, long ago) a common household appliance, sitting far, far from home.

Maybe it was taking it’s day of rest… Why? because it appears to have made a trip to church.

By the look of things it was in genuine need of a rest, and come to think of it, a prayer.

Wheeling myself around St Janskerk (St Johns Church) in Gouda I find myself looking at an old mangle, the piece of equipment what used to squeeze the water out of laundry long before the spin cycle as part of modern washing machines was invented.

It’s resting right up against the wall of the church. This mangle has clearly seen many laundry days of service.

Maybe it had been recently dumped? Who knows? The upper roller has been eaten half away by wood worm and destroyed by too many years of hard work.

The iron bars that keep the tension below the main top bar were corroded, in general this poor machine was in a sorry state of repair.

I however, am a lover of cast iron and find this beautiful. Maybe it’s an art installation? (you never know these days). For me it is indeed an object of beauty.

I didn’t need any attempt to lift it to know that it weighs a ton, it’s not the kind of thing that you just drop off on your way to do some shopping. The tiny wheels on the bottom look like they are barely up to the job, and on the bricked and cobbled streets of the central city?… surely this hasn’t traveled far.

If I had a garden I’d love to see about restoring this to it’s former glory, someone has already put a crate underneath it that obviously had plants in it at one time.

I saw this on my last trip to Gouda and wonder what happened to it.  I shudder to think that a beautiful piece like this may have met it’s maker at a wreckers, I can only hope that it’s prayers at St John’s church were answered and someone showed it some love, gave it the care, attention and restoration it deserved and gave it a new life in a garden or maybe as a shop fitting piece. We should not mangle our social history, but instead give it a spin at new lease of life.

August 13, 2017

The French Are Ousted But Are Saved…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After an extended period of enforced quiet in the house due to his sisters big Exams, Little Mr earned a series of weekend trips to Gouda, resident city of his favourite Lego shop.

Whilst he, accompanied by Himself took part in the long study as to which items in the shop were to relieve him bit by bit of his built up birthday, holiday and Christmas savings money, I availed myself to visits to some of Gouda’s historic sites.

Several of these visits involved a look at Gouda’s “Stadhuis” (Town Hall), and it’s beautiful exterior.

The booklet: “A walk through history” , by the Gouda Gidsen Gilde and for sale (Euro 2:50) at the VVV (Tourist information office) tells me; ” You can see statues of the famous counts and countesses who lived in the Middle Ages in Holland, on the front of the Town Hall.

They were added in the 20th Century. Above the entrance is the motto “Audite et alteram” (listen to the opposing side”,  motto that was meant for the judges in Gouda. the imposing flight of stairs was added in 1603 by Gregorius Cool.

There is one unique detail that you must not miss, on the left hand side of the roof above the stairs you can see the coat of arms of Louis Napoleon (dated 1896). on it are the Dutch lion and the French Eagle. this was must unusual because after the period of occupation by the French, all references to the Bonapartes were rigorously removed, except in Gouda.”

One of the Ladies in the “VVV” Tourist Information office mentioned on an earlier visit that the reason for this was because many of the people of Gouda as a group, protected many of their buildings from desecration and vandalism after the French left whereas other cities let people to vent their anger by vandalizing all traces of their occupiers.

The Wikipedia page on Gouda Stadhuis (Dutch language only so I translated the relevant parts of it here):”The statues in the city’s current facade were only placed in 1960/1961. On the lower row are Karel de Stoute, Philip de Goede, Filips de Schone and Maria of Burgundy.

Above are the scenes of Floris V and Jacoba of Bavaria. Until 1882 there were two statues on the front of the town hall. They were both female figures, one a symbol of  “Wijsheid’ (wisdom) and one “Standvastigheid” (steadfastness), made by the sculptor Jan Gijselingh jr in 1695. 

In 1882 they were removed because their niches were converted back into windows again. The statues were donated to the Gouda museum.” I haven’t been to the Gouda museum yet, so no photographs of these two statues yet but these of the Dutch gentry stand beautifully in their place.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia:  Gouda Stadhuis  (City Hall) / (Dutch language)

August 11, 2017

Simplicity And Detail Together…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Leaving “de Waag” (Weigh house) I start looking at the left hand side of Gouda’s Stadhuis.

Covered with windows typical of the mid-1400’s, the red and white wooden shutters with their ironwork attachments, make a colourful as well as practical use.

There are also later edition pieces here too. The first is a set of diamond shaped art pieces on near the end of the Staduis close to the scaffold which is called: “Salomonsoordeel” (Solomon’s judgment). Wikipedia put it better than I could:

“1 Kings 3:16–28 Two mothers living in the same house, each the mother of an infant son, came to Solomon. One of the babies had died, and each claimed the remaining boy as her own.

Calling for a sword, Solomon declared his judgment: the baby would be cut in two, each woman to receive half.

One mother did not contest the ruling, declaring that if she could not have the baby then neither of them could, but the other begged Solomon, “Give the baby to her, just don’t kill him!”

The king declared the second woman the true mother, as a mother would even give up her baby if that was necessary to save its life. This judgment became known throughout all of Israel and was considered an example of profound wisdom.’

Also on this side of the Stadhuis is an arched stone doorway with and heavy arched ironwork studded door. At the cornerstone of the stone arch is a little surprise: a stone carving of a whale, complete with water spout!

At the base of the stone door way are carvings that look a bit like sword handles. Close by is a water pipe, unusual too because part of it is in the shape of a face.

A little further on again you can find a large metal ring embedded into the stonework. Probably for the hitching of horses but who knows? Simplicity and detail together make a beautiful façade.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia: Judgement of Solomon / Bible

August 6, 2017

A Huge Weigh Scale Needed For Heavy Duty Lifting…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting Gouda and going inside “de Waag” (Weigh house) I find that it is now a “VVV” (Tourist information office).

Of course the first thing I need to see are the massive weighing scales that have weighed cheese here for decades or even centuries.

Supported by thick ropes and iron chains, and kept in place (so that it doesn’t swing about) by large weights, wheels of cheese sit on it as many have done before them.

I suspect that they are not just for display either, the VVV has a cheese counter so these may be their spare cheeses for when the cheese on the shelf runs out.

There are a multitude of weights of different sizes in the corner,  each with a large ring on the top so that they can be put onto the large hooks located on the four corners of the scale.

Who knows how many hundreds of times these have been used but they have the patina of age.
It is difficult to get close or at the right angle because there are racks of tourist stuff around the weighing scale but I find it a beautiful machine.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia: “Waag” (Weigh House) / Gouda/ The Netherlands / (Dutch text only)

August 4, 2017

Standing Out In Stark Relief…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There were more detail photographs and text from “de Waag” (the Weigh House) in Gouda than I could fit into one post.

This post covers the detail on the front of the building, where we find a very white, ornate relief stone-work panel.

Between the information plaque on the side of the building and a dedicated Wikipedia page (both only available in Dutch) I found out, and translated into English: “‘The sculptures were made by sculptor Bartholomeus Eggers from Amsterdam.

Probably to the design of architect Pieter Post. The depictions clearly show the functions of the building: the weighing of cheese.  People are depicted in a space with columns and arches, weighing cheese and making notes. Curiously, on the right side, an Arabian is also shown behind a second standing person, probably a merchant.

In 2000 the relief was replaced by a copy in the same type of  ‘bianco carrara’ marble in the quality ‘statuario”. The ‘cords” holding up the weighing scale in the relief were made of specially prepared copper tubes, painted white.

At the restoration, initially it was not clear what the person depicted as an Arabian held in his left hand. After source research, it was chosen to give the man a parchment roll.  Initially there was some commotion about the very bright white colour of the new sculpture,  even though it was in the same material as the old one.

Marble is a material that weathers so the old sculpture had turned grey over the years. Additionally,  marble has a characteristic called “saccharification” which means that it becomes brittle and grainy.  When the original was removed from the wall, it turned out to be broken so was removed in pieces.

After restoration the old relief was placed inside so that people can view it. Being located inside also means that further deteriation is prevented.

On either side of relief there are the coats of arms of the four mayors of Gouda who, in the year of construction in 1668, fulfilled the mayor’s function. Left the arms of Floris Cant and Gerard Sterre and right the Donatus van Groenendijck and Jacob Bonser.

In 1799 the family coats of arms were taken away by the French occupiers. The reliefs of the coat of arms themselves were saved. During the restoration in the 1950’s   the family coats of arms, commissioned by mayor James, were reinstalled.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia: “Waag” (Weigh House) / Gouda/ The Netherlands / (Dutch text only)

August 3, 2017

Weighing Up The Details…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve been making semi-regular weekend trips to Gouda and one of the places that I visited is called “De Waag” (Weigh house).

This post zooms in on some of the details around the building.

There is a Wikipedia page dedicate to the building but it’s only available in Dutch, so I’m providing an English translation.

The “Waag” in Gouda (also called the cheese weighhouse) is on the Market, facing the back of the Town Hall.

The was designed by Pieter Post in 1668 after Gouda managed to lease the weigh house for 15 years from the Dutch Court of Auditors (i.e. a branch of the then national government).

This meant that the city of Gouda didn’t own the building. This lease agreement was silently renewed after that.

The city of Gouda’s attempts to buy the weighing right failed and the annual payments to the Government only ended in 1806. In May 1670 the balances were suspended in the new building. Pieter Post died one year before the completion of the building. The booklet: “A walk through history”, by the Gouda Gidsen Gilde and for sale (Euro 2:50) at the VVV (Tourist information office)  tells me; ‘ A large weighing scale, a bascule, has hung in this building where at least 5 million pounds (a Dutch pound weighs 500 grams) of mainly cheese was weighed annually.

The amount of tax to be paid was based on the weight of a cheese. After weighing the cheeses were marked so that a trader woud know that it was a legal batch of cheese. The cheese farmers sold their cheeses to dealers who waited in front of the Waag on the market place. A deal was sealed with a definite price and agreed by the farmer and the trader with a handshake

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Wikipedia: Weigh House
Wikipedia: “Waag” (Weigh House) / Gouda/ The Netherlands / (Dutch text only)

July 18, 2017

Excellent Timing For Coffee…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer Himself and I had a weekend away, and after spending time in Garderen we made our way to the ex-island of Schokland.

After visiting the inside museum building we then made a tour of the grounds.

Since I move very slowly and sit and rest a lot, I tell Himself to set off at his own pace and we will meet up together later.

Later he joins me because he had finished his tour of the grounds but I was only a fraction of the way around since I traveled so much slower than he did.

Himself therefore decided to walk around the old perimeter of the island whilst I continued my slow tour of the grounds. After I eventually finished I made my way to the café / restaurant near the museum entrance.

I phoned Himself to see how far away he might be from me and it turned out that he was about half way up the main drive. I ordered his coffee and it was served within a minute of him getting to our table. Excellent timing and he made short work of it soon after. I got a photograph of my hot chocolate in the meantime, and, a few of some photographic leaves that I thought I might draw later.

I did have some better photos of the outside area from earlier but since a few families there had children and I could not get them directly out of the front of the picture, I ended up using the late afternoon ones I took when the  tables were mostly empty instead.  It’s clear that Schokland gets it’s fair share of visitors and is often very busy indeed. Both Himself and I loved it here, but were not sure that our kids would have been as absorbed for the same length of time that we were. That’s what has made this kid-free weekend so special: the chance to do stuff at our own pace instead of that of our kids.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 17, 2017

Zooming In On The Details…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Regular readers will know that every now and again I take a stupid amount of  photographs of a particular item, or series of items. Usually these posts consist of a general set of photographs followed by a post of more detailed ones. This is one such of these posts and these are details of the boat in yesterday’s post. These are for my reference files becuase I hope to one day draw or paint something from this reference material. I hope you like the details as much as I do.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 16, 2017

Not Sailing Away Any Time Soon…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Outside the Schokland museum in Flevaland, I find an old fishing boat. It’s a stunning example of weathered wood, the texture is rough, faded and worn. I took a stack of photographs, maybe I will draw it one day but in the meantime I will enjoy  the colours, patterns, textures and shapes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

April 19, 2017

I Am In For An Unexpected Surprise…

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…

(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 )

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

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