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 15, 2017

Blink And You Miss It, But A Little Experience Not To Be Missed…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting Gouda’s “Stadhuis” (Town Hall) you should know that the building has a special treat for young children if they are present two minutes after the striking of the hour and half hour of  the “Het klokken en poppenspel” (carillon  / chimes / glockenspiel).

On one of my visits here a man arrived in a hurry with his two children, the half hour chime having alerted him to the fact that if they wanted to see the puppets, they had better be quick.

Luckily they were on time and arrived just as the little red and white doors were opening.

I had arrived eight or nine minutes early, but having taken the wheelchair to get around with, I just sat patiently waiting to capture the action.

Despite visiting Gouda many times I’d never seen these playing before, so was not certain what to expect. There is a Wikipedia page on the Stadhuis but it’s in Dutch, so I translated into English the relevent information here:

The “klokkenspel” (chimes) on the side of the town halls date back to the 1960’s and was donated by a managing director of a Gouda insurance company, therefore not part of the original town hall. T

he Gouda locals refer to then as ‘ the Bouwmeesterrvue” (the chimes of Bouwmeester’).  The leading figure in the carillon is Floris V,  and the puppets depict the ceremony where he grants Gouda its city rights.

Every two minutes after the hour and half hour, the carillon will provide a lovely spectacle, as the puppets begin to move.”

The man with the small children sees me waiting poised with my camera and warns me there is not a lot of action in the puppet show and it will all be over rather quickly.  He hopes it will not be a disappointment.

He is a local who has seen it many times and now his kids (about 2 and 4 years of age) love coming to see the doors open and the little figures move. Eventually the final seconds tick over and the “performance” starts.

The little doors open first, the figures outside turn to greet their VIP guest Floris the 5th, who bows ever so slightly as he hands over the documents that grant the city rights. Then without much ado he retreats back inside, the doors close and the crowd turn to face outwards again. I had the camera on “sport’ mode and the shutter clicked almost continuously as the short show took place. I edited out most of the photographs as there were of course too many for this post but at the same time noticed something interesting: even in miniscule increments at no time did I manage to catch the outside figures making their inward and outward turns.

After the little doors close the two small children clap their hands applauding the show before heading away with their Dad. I am reminded by the Dutch Wiki page that other events here would also delight children. “at Christmas time, the Stadhuis and surrounding Markt buildings are lit only with candle light  on “Kaarsjesavond” (Candles’ evening) a yearly event that delights thousands. After this the Stadhuis is turned into a ‘canvas” for art light projections.  Called “Gouda bij Kunstlicht’ (Gouda by Light) this has grown to include not only the Stadhuis, but other monument buildings in the city, such as the “St. Janskerk” (Church of St. John).’

The little dolls of the klokkenspel carry out their little show every half hour, if you blink you might miss it but for me it was a new experience not to be missed for the world.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The outside groups of figures turn to face the doors as they open… and the middle figures move forwards…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Floris V hands over the documents confirming Gouda’s city status…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the next photograph Floris V gives the smallest of bows …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… before his quick retreat, along with whoever he gave the document to (they probably had stuff to discuss over lunch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

they retreat…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I don’t catch the groups on the left and right turning around between the photo above and the one below…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… or the two middle figures turning either, as they slide back…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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

November 20, 2016

Gouda Wheels In The Air…

Filed under: Architectural Detail,ART,Objet d'art,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The first thought that usually springs to mind when anyone mentions the word “Gouda” is “cheese“.  Of course this Dutch city has more famous things to boast about too, but none can top cheese when it comes to recognition around the globe. Naturally too the “cheese theme” proliferates around the city, after all it’s a tourist town too,  and one of the quirky ways that it’s been incorporated into everyday life is in the street decorations. Colourful rounds in the forms of cheese (the correct term for them is a “wheel” of cheese) are suspended over the streets and give a wonderful extension to the theme that is light hearted and whimsical. Some might even go as far as to say that they are also tasteful… but I assure you the real Gouda wheels are far tastier.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 17, 2016

Heraldic Detail That’s Right Up My Street…

During the summer, Himself, Little Mr and I enjoyed a Sunday trip to Gouda. During our visit I came across a beautiful door that had a detailed and colorful coat of arms above it. The decoration is superb, the detail… literally right up my street. Naturally I got out my camera and got a few photographs.

(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)

 

 

November 14, 2016

Appreciation Is As Unique As Each And Every One Of us…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I am slowly making a collection of statues and artworks around the Hague.

Ideally I’d make my collection extend all of all Netherlands or even Europe (hey, why not go large and say the whole world!) but time, funds and mobility are never all in the right quantities at the right time, nor could you possibly cover absolutely everything in one lifetime anyway.

In the mean time I photograph what I come across and slowly my small album grows.

This statue is located more or less on the corner of the Sportlaan and Ieplaan, on an area of deep grassy lawn that separates the several blocks of tower flats from the busy Sportlaan.

The piece that we have stopped to photograph is statue and artwork equally, being of the “modern art” variety, which is probably a polite way to say that I have no idea what the artist had in mind as actual “subject” when he / she bought this piece into being.

Maybe it is supposed to echo the buildings behind it, or maybe the trees that surround the perimeter of the grassed area, along the parts that edge the roads. As regular readers will know, I don’t usually rate modern, abstract, minimalist pieces anywhere near the top of my personal preferred choices of dream art work styles, but that doesn’t mean that I should leave them out of my photographic collection.

Art is subjective, and stained glass that makes me drool can (and does, in the case of my husband and children) leave others shaking their heads wondering what on earth I see in it, so my that reckoning, someone, somewhere, some time, will see this piece in real life, or as a photograph on this blog and instead of saying “Okaaaayy” with a quizzical expression on their faces like I did, they will say “Wow!” …and mean it in a good way. If everyone in the whole world liked exactly the same stuff, (With the exception of world peace) or had the same tastes then our planet would be a far less interesting and diverse place. Appreciation after all, is as unique as each and every one of us.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

September 29, 2016

Wonderfully Made And Stunning To Look At…

Filed under: ART,GERMANY,My Reference Library,Objet d'art,Stadtkyll — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

The next thing that I found to captivate my lens in Restaurant “La Grappa” in Stadtkyll, Germany is a beautiful old till / cash register.  I adore old things like this, they are both wonderfully made and stunning to look at, What more does anyone need?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

La Grappa / Stadtkyll / Germany

September 19, 2016

Ladies, Babes And A Man Of The Cloth … What Is Going On Here?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst visiting Trier last summer we came across a fountain that was also a work of art in it’s own right.

It’s as much a statue as it is a fountain.

There is a central figure on top of the main column, clearly meant to be Saint Peter, because there is a large key hanging by his side.

There is then a row of cherubs lining the top tier, then the fountain beneath with the faces of putti spouting the water.

Beneath that there are female figures in various poses,  and small lions that spout the second tier of water out of their mouths.

These lions are  so small and dare I say it,  slightly “un-lion-like” that I first mistook them for dogs, but once I figured out that they had manes, and took a second look I decided that they looked more like lions the more I looked.

There are various small busts and fruit decorations below the lions and also around the base of the fountain and a perfusion of gold leaf highlights means that all of the decoration sparkles in the sunlight.

The fountain itself is larger than you first think, and the main focal points of it stand mostly above head-height, plus there is the added obstacle of the ironwork fence around it so getting photographs is harder than it first looks.

I had an additional camera chip that had many more photographs of the cherubs and all of the details but somehow managed to mislay it, so these are the photographs from the end of another chip that I managed not to loose.

I am sure that many of the aspects of this fountain have been made with a specific meaning behind them, but I could not find any further information, and people were sitting on the seats at various points around the base so it wasn’t possible to see if there was a name or information plaque.

It’s a very unusual juxtaposition of figures, I’m trying to work out how the ladies at the bottom for in with the Saint (?) at the top, and where the cherubs fit into this already busy picture.

Still, this is a very distinctive and beautiful piece of sculpture and it definitely brightened my day to make it’s acquaintance.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia: Trier / Germany

September 17, 2016

More City Spying Uncovers A Multitude Of Gems…

As I mentioned in earlier posts, Trier as Germany’s oldest city is full of amazing architectural detail.
This is a photographic posts detailing some of the gems I spied during our visit…

(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)

(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)

Wikipedia: Trier / Germany

 

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 12, 2016

Presenting A Fraction Of What Was Present…

On thing that is certain when visiting a city that has a long and ancient history: where there are beautiful buildings,  there will be beautiful details. Nothing can be more true when speaking about Trier, Germany’s oldest city. Family Kiwidutch found more around us to look at than we could possibly take in on one visit so I can only present a fraction of what was present. This sneak peak will however give you an idea of what is on offer, so let’s zoom in and enjoy!

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia: Trier / Germany

 

September 8, 2016

Remember To Look Up To Find The Beautiful Things…

Arriving in Trier, Germany last summer, and navigating small streets in order to get as close as possible to the main city centre, I immediately see that many buildings in the city are adorned with religious decorations. Most of these are of statues of Christ on the Cross or of Mary with the infant Jesus. Others show figures in Romanesque form, or ones from scripture. These all attest to a strong Catholic influence on the city, and are beautiful objects, indeed miniature works of art in their own right. One of them was not miniature at all, in fact it was so large that it had to have netting and wire structure around it to avoid it becoming a nesting condominium for many of the local pigeons. Although almost all of the photographs were taken from the car as we moved towards the centre, it was a reminder that beautiful objects are often all around us and we just have to look around, and often up, to find them.

(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)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(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)

Trier / Germany

 

 

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