Local Heart, Global Soul

September 29, 2017

One For The Road… Well, Better Advised For After It.

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,THE NETHERLANDS,Zeeland (Province) — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I have an ongoing “thing’ with some friends who we consider more as family than friends and visa versa.

Whenever we travel somewhere new we try and bring something the local cuisine back for the other family.

On a few occasions it isn’t possible but it can be surprising what we manage to pick up, be it home made goodies from road side stalls to guesses made in foreign languages in regional supermarkets.

Himself and my friends hubby are both keen connoisseurs of dark beers: apparently these are called stouts and porters and the darker the colour the happier our menfolk often are.

We have become experts in wrapping bottles so that they don’t break in checked in baggage on long flights and in attempting to guess what interesting looking packages are in supermarkets.

Our food and beverage swaps also extend to new areas of the Netherlands so when spending Easter in Zeeland and finding this beer it gave us a giggle and we immediately decided to bring some back as our food swap souvenir gift.

The reason for the chuckles were because although Zeeland is a very conservative part of the Netherlands, they are is obviously not without a sense of humour.

On the label is a funny photograph of a very traditionally dressed Zeeuwsch lady driving a very untraditional mode of transport: a large motorcycle.

The name of the beer is “Zwarte Lola’ (Black Lola) which refers to the fact that this is a dark beer and again, it sounds more heavy metal than classical music if I was to make an analogy of musical genres with regional stereotypes.

I have never have been a beer drinker, but apparently it wasn’t bad, the taste testers verdict was that whilst it did not rank amongst the very best they have ever tasted, it was far from terrible and had there been more going, it would have been quickly accepted.

I love it when product manufacturers come up with quirky, imaginative label ideas.

This one shows that the locals can poke fun at themselves and stand out from the crowd.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 3, 2017

This Butt Solution Is No Joke…

Filed under: ART,GOUDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Design,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Regular readers will know that I love quirky, innovative things. When visiting Gouda’s ‘Tuin van het Willem Vroesenhuys” (Garden of the Willem Vroesenuys) in order to see the statues of Leeu and Erasmus, I came across this ingenious way of dealing with cigarette butts. Instead of a tall standing sand tray, this sand tray is where smokers usually stub out their cigarettes: at their feet. The tray is below ground level, the butts fall into it through a metal grid. Needless to say I think this is an excellent idea…this butt solution is no joke.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2017

Halt ! Artisan At Work…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The narrow street that almost encircles St Janskerk (St Jans Church) in Gouda has the ‘original’ name of “Achter de Kerk” (Behind the Church).

At one point, this little street widens into a sort of regular street size and it’s name changes into “Willem Vroesenplein”.

It is at this point that several exceedingly old buildings can be found, they lean in the fashion of centuries old subsidence problems but stand strong in spite of this.

The closer of the two has an open door and an interesting display in the front window. Always interested in ‘arty’ things, I of course wheel myself over for a closer look.

There is a man working in the back, a vast array of tools fastened neatly to the rear wall and amazing sculptural works of art everywhere. I request permission to photograph his work, and once given, set about snapping what I can from the doorway.

The man is cordial but even when I admire his work, doesn’t invite me in, so I do not presume that I may.

My eye is caught by round and square towers of all sizes, some of them taller than I am, which are crammed full of architectural details.

A kind of cross between the leaning tower of Pisa, the pyramids, an echo of Escher and the spiral of sea shells, these pieces are full of arches galleries, tall doorways, colonnades and staircases. They are fascinating to look at, but other items also clamber for my attention.

There are the wide eyed, colourful little birds, the squares of equally wide eyed faces (which had a sort of “Grover-esque” quality to them … the artist remembers Sesame Street fondly perhaps?). There is even a larger piece that incorporates both of these ideas, and it’s been broken up so that it could be fitted back together mosaic style into a wall, path or floor.

The front window is made up of little panes, these even extend over the door. The man continued to work on the small conical tower in the back, but just as I finished taking photographs he starts putting tools back into their spaces on the wall and drapes a cover over the work that is in progress. This is to stop the clay from drying out too much. This is very much a “made from scratch” workshop, each piece made under one roof front start to finish. That in itself is getting more and more rare these days. The building is interesting too, even the pattern, texture, colour and style of the old roof slates fascinate me. It’s an old workshop in an even older building, and a little quirky discovery. Interestingly, the Google map screen shot also features the multi-roof pattern in St Jans Church, a brilliant additional touch I thought. I’ve marked on the map roughly where this little workshop can be found.

(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)

March 8, 2017

Make It Quirky And They WILL Notice!

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!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / Eierland Lighthouse / Texel, The Netherlands.

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