Local Heart, Global Soul

December 15, 2017

They Seem To Have Their Heads In The Clouds…

Filed under: BELGIUM,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It seems to be my lucky day for new finds, wierd and wonderful sights. Driving through just a few short kilometres of Belgium on our way back to the area around Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog, I come accross one of the strangest things I have ever seen.

I mean a real, mouth open “what the heck is going on here?” kind of moment.

Even looking at the photographs later on I still can’t even begin to answer this question.

This is what I looked up to see on the roof of somebody’s home.

I was keeping an eye out for decorative weather vanes to photograph, but this doesn’t appear to be one at all, then again, what on earth is it?

Does a metorologist live here perhaps?

Do the inhabitants have their heads in the clouds? or walk around on cloud nine? There has to be some sort of story behind this getting made. A joke? A pun? So many questions. I took several photographs as we passed by, hoping to see something that might solve this mystery. I still have no clue at all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 13, 2017

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread? …

Filed under: BELGIUM,FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Still inside the supermarket of yesterday’s post I now see a second thing I have never seen before: a machine where customers can slice their own bread.

A different form of the slicer is less unusual, most Dutch barkeries have them, you select your whole loaf and if you don’t want to slice it yourself at home, then you ask the bakery staff to cut it for you on the machine behind the counter.

What is completely different about these two machines is that customers slice their bread themselves: it even has adjustments where you can choose various thicknesses, you choose which setting you want, slice the loaf and then the bag slips over the metal bar that the bread is standing on and everything slides into the bag in one smooth go.

Perfect! I love this idea, the fact that there are two machines and not one must also mean that these get plenty of use.

It would also save time, no need to stand in a queue waiting to have your bread sliced. I think that the main reason bread is only sliced at point of sale is: some people prefer to cut their loaf at home, others not so this saves having two uncut when maybe one customer wants cut the other not, and the uncut bread stay fresher for longer since less air gets around the bread to dry it out. If a household uses less bread they may prefer to slice it as they need it. It’s a way to save waste too, you stock the bread in a form where it can be sold either way then let the customer choose their preference.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 12, 2017

Supermarket Traffic Lights…

Filed under: BAARLE Hertog/Nassau,BELGIUM,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whenever Himself and I cross borders into a different country, we are agreed on one shopping destination: the local supermarket so that we can avail ourselves of some of that countries culinary delights.

This was therefore on our wish list when we went to Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog earlier in the year.

This should be easy since Baarle-Hertog is Belgian territory inside the Netherlands, they should have a supermarket, right? Wrong.

We looked but saw only Dutch supermarket names, so we asked and were greeted with a laugh and the answer: “A Belgian supermarket in Baarle-Hertog? … it would go out of business rather quickly … the Dutch supermarket prices are far better than the Belgian ones, everyone on the other side of the border comes here to Baarle to do their weekly grocery shopping!

It’s logical of course, and very Flemish! (but then, who doesn’t like a bargain?). Luckily whilst en route to our next destination we found that we had crossed the border by accident (yes, lost again) and passed this supermarket. Knowing that it’s hard to even find a petrol station or a bakery open on a Sunday in Belgium and that shops would be shutting earlier than usual on the Saturday afternoon, we said OK, let’s get in there quick before they start shutting up shop for the day.

This is the first thing that greeted once past the supermarket trolley collection area by the entrance; swing doors that lit up like traffic signals! The reason is simple: this is both the entrance and exit door and this is a good way to direct customers with their trolleys coming in and out. Ingenious!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 6, 2017

A Vending Machine Gets An innovative Use…

Filed under: BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Arriving at our friends house in Breda, we were soon joined by Himself’s sister and her husband. Our family friend gave us time to have a cup of tea before leading the way to somewhere special she wants to take us. It’s a beautiful weekend in April so we have a little bit of trouble finding parking when we get there. It’s not like me to ignore a beautiful building but, spotting something quirky I decide to first check out a little shed next to where we parked. The shed / kiosk houses a dispensing machine and the machine dispenses fresh organic strawberries!
I would have loved to get some but we were all due to eat dinner back at our friends place later and all of the others were gathering a little bit further down the path, waiting for me to catch up.I love the idea that people come up with innovative uses for these kinds of machines, eggs in one location, strawberries in another, perfect!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 1, 2017

Taking Your Housekeeping To The Beach…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are plenty of beaches cafe’s open during the summer but due to lack of parking in close proximity most of them are off limits for me.

Both crutches and wheelchairs are not in any way friends with sand, so luckily the Gemeente (city council) puts in permanent concrete paths.

Most of the time it is far too much work so I do not join Himself, other parents and a large group of kids at the beach, but on one occasion I did and captured these machines in action.

Several large earth movers are keeping a large drum filled with sand, the drum rotates and screens out unwanted debris, the now cleaned sand is then spit onto a pile where it will later be smoothed out.

It’s an excellent idea, the beach along the Dutch coast is crowded during the summer and even with a dog ban in place there are plenty of other dangerous, messy or wasteful debris to be disposed of in the sand.It’s great that the council go to the trouble, but I suppose they have a duty of care to upkeep the coast line in their area. The wheelchair was never going to allow me to get closer but so the zoom lens will have to do.

(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)

September 24, 2017

Spotted Around The Hague…

Today’s post is a photographic one: camera on hand, I take photographs on the move, this time these places were spotted around The Hague.

(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)

September 16, 2017

The Small Things Make Me Smile…

Way back in 2012 I featured this as one of my series of electrical substations: Just Humming Along in the City… (or Should That be Buzzing?)  and recently Himself and I  passed it again after having lunch in the Brownie and Downies café and saw it rather congested with bicycles. There had been cars around it too, but for some reason several all left more or less at once, so I snapped up a few photographs before more cars swooped in to take their place. My biggest question was how on earth did someone manage to stack one bike on another like this? I don’t get out so much , so even the small things can make me smile and make my day. This quirky sight certainly did.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 13, 2017

Picking Your Car Out From The Crowd…

Strange looking bicycles are not the only thing to look out for in the Netherlands. On occasion you find some strange looking cars too. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a type of camouflage or if it’s just a random geometric pattern, either way we were not the only ones staring. I do like how the “ducts” on the roof hide an everyday looking top-box though. Maybe this is an art work too and the owner is an artist, one thing is for sure, you won’t have too much trouble picking out your car in the rows of cars in the car parking building.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 12, 2017

“Taking A Walk” … In A Wagon!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In yesterday’s post I featured a “bakfiets” (cargo bike) which is a standard mode of transport around the Netherlands.

Today’s post is another one about transport, but it could not be more different.

We needed bread so Himself dropped me off at a supermarket where I saw a little ball of fluff sitting in a small wagon.

As I moved with my crutches, the ball of fluff moved and turned to check me out.

A small dog, and strangely to me, the wagon  appeared to be built for it.

I’m used to seeing dogs tied up on leads outside supermarkets but sitting in  wagons just inside the doors of one, is new to me.

I also wonder why the wagon is necessary, surely the dog needs to walk?

maybe it is very old and can no longer walk longer distances. It is the first time I’ve seen a dog “taking a walk” … in a wagon!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 28, 2017

So Much To See, Even More To Make You Curious…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gouda has some beautiful public buildings but there are some very interesting and quirky private ones there too.

Looking through the trees at the back of St Jans Church, I see something that catches my eye: a fish.

It’s a fish of the architectural variety not a real fish but why on earth am I seeing it on top of a building?

Later during my visit I wheel myself around to the street it is on (I was separated by a canal from it earlier, so I had to make a small detour to get to this house). There I find it standing on the corner of a canal and accompanied by some unusual architecture.

First there is a curved piece nibbled out of the corner wall. It’s not for a door, there is only a tiny round window here.

Internally this would mean that the building must surely lose quite a lot of space in this corner. Then there is the window on the side, some times  (I think) called a “hanging window”. Above the chipped out alcove corner is the decoration that is topped with the fish ornamentation. The front door  is around the corner on the bigger street, nothing unusual there. On the far side of the front door I find another fish ornament. It makes me wonder what this building’s history is… some link with the sea can I think be safely assumed: sailor? sea captain? fish monger? Who knows. I love discovering buildings like this: so much to see and even more to make you curious.

(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)

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