Local Heart, Global Soul

April 11, 2017

If This Is The Posh One, Then Where Did The Squaddies Squat?

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

The strong, cold, gusting wind that greeted us at Fort Kijkduin during the 2016 Easter weekend a gives me a special sympathy for this next subject.

Whilst everybody else scurried hurriedly to the entrance to get out of the wind, Moi, Kiwidutch Plod, was relegated to the rear, slowly making my way with the crutches, taking both rest and photographic stops.

On the other hand though, the biggest advantage of my slowness is that I get to see the most… which is how I managed to add another quirky loo to my photo collection of beautiful, quirky and novel lavatories.

This one has a sign outside: “Officiers Latrine” so clearly historically this was one of the best loos in the Fort.

I find myself wondering that if this was the luxury version offered to the Officers,  then what was made available to the poor lesser ranks must have been pretty grim. Access to the Officers Lavatory was via the inner courtyard, exposed to all weathers, which here in North Holland could be brutal in winter. With no visible ventilation it probably stank too. Toilet facilities in centuries past always seemed to be rather rudimentary, but a soldiers life was already a tough one so adding a freezing seat for the basic necessities of life seems cruel indeed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Den Helder: Fort Kijkduin / The Netherlands

April 5, 2017

A Seat On The “Throne”, These Ones Come In Pairs!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch and friends are having lunch at the “Storm aan Zee” (Storm by the sea) café in Den Helder.

It was the Easter weekend of 2016 and we’ve just left Texel.

The nautical surroundings are wonderful for this location, and we smiled when we saw small sheepskin rugs on some of the seats as we came in.

What made us all giggle though, were several seats by the door that we missed when we first came in because we were too busy being blown in by the wind.

There were customers there earlier and now that one of them has gone, these seats have become more visible: they are actual toilet seats!

No, not functional ones of course! but two toilets mounted on to the wall, with solid tops in place of the usual seats. A small table in between the loos gives a place for drinks and food. It’s brilliantly quirky and it’s great to see people do a double-take when they see them. Yet another excellent addition to my ” Lavatorial, Interesting Loo’s” category of this blog.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bezet” means “occupied”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 1, 2017

The Off-Season Has Definite Advantages…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are getting ready to leave Texel.

Our 2016 Easter trip to the island has been a hit with everyone, the kids enjoyed the activities, adults like me very much enjoyed not doing the activities, and everyone mentioned that they would love to come back again.

For three families and a total of five kids, that’s quite impressive.

I imagine that in summertime the weather is definitely better, or at least less cold than in some parts of our weekend, but on the downside, it’s also probably bursting at the seams with tourists too.

The later is not really our scene so maybe part of the charm of this trip is that we braved the unexpected gusts of wind, sudden showers and freezing nights, and enjoyed the relative quiet that the off-season offers.

For every one of my “clear” photographs I also have many that went straight to the delete bin because windscreen wipers were in the middle of the image, water shaken from roadside trees splattered on the side window, or fuzzy and on angels because wind, camera and crutches are a tricky combination.

We only explored part of the island, Den Burg, the main village I barely touched: our activities were not located there and we simply ran out of time. My last look around finds more “half-barns” and interesting sights like the two unusually shaped ‘bus haltes” (bus stop) shelters in the first photograph. Clearly built to withstand anything the elements can dish out, and completely in line with this islands seeming obsession with strangely shaped roofs. Texel is a charmer, I think it will not be long before we are back.

(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)

March 31, 2017

Oh Buoy …Hauled Out Of The Sea And Onto Dry Land!

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

Unusual things always catch my eye. Sea buoys on land always look impressive because we are not used to seeing them up close. These ones, seen on our 2016 Easter trip to Texel are just quirky enough for a second, third or fourth look. I also want them saved into my “Reference” folder for any future arty projects.

I’m curious too, in their “working” life, did they mark the spot of a wreck? the entrance to the harbour? the presence of a sand bank or shallow water? Did they show the location of farmed mussels? a special diving spot? Who knows. I categorise this as … the beauty of detailed engineering.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 24, 2017

Art Being Found In The Strangest Of Places…

Whilst watching participants climbing their way over the high  wire obstacle course of “Klimmen Enzo”, I am struck by the silhouette nature of some of my photographs. Located in de Krim holiday park on the northern end of Texel, it’s certainly a feature of this trip that left a lasting impression on Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter. Both were proud of themselves: that they dared to do it in the first place, that they overcame sections of  the course that they hadn’t thought at first possible, and in Kiwi Daughter’s case that she got up to the top level and completed even the highest and toughest parts of the course. These photographs are more “arty” in style… in this case art being found in the strangest of places.

(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)

(photograp(photograph © Kiwidutch)h © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 21, 2017

After All, …I Could Just Be Quackers…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers of this blog know that I love to observe the most ordinary of things.

I also have what may be called an “odd” sense of humour, which my family do not always fully appreciate.

Last Easter whilst staying at the De Krim holiday park on the Dutch island of Texel , one such event took place.

Himself needed to check something out at Reception, and not wanting to walk, I waited behind in the car.

All of a sudden I saw a couple of ducks taking a leisurely stroll through the car park.

The car door was already open because the car has been stuffy and I need fresh air in order to ward off feelings of car sickness, so I picked up my camera and started taking photographs.

Every now and again one of the ducks would make a noise, but they continued to walk very purposefully together. My sense of humour immediately imagined that these ducks were an elderly couple, out together for their daily stroll, chatting about one thing or another.  I was smitten by the fact that these two seemed to know exactly where they wanted to go, and the feeling that this probably wasn’t the first time they had done this. Who knows, maybe they were a feathered couple, maybe they do do this every day, and maybe they were having a chat… I have no way of knowing any different. Just look at how they walk and tell me that I’m wrong…  surely not! Maybe too I’m just hopeless romantic who reads too much into everything, or an overly sentimental being who sees sentiment in all. After all… I could just be quackers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 15, 2017

Strange Houses, But Even Stranger Barns…

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

We might have thought that Texel’s houses were a strange shape: almost all roof and not much of the ground floor showing. They however are tame stuff, when it comes to seriously strange architecture on this island, it’s Texel’s barns who are at the top of the heap to gain the first prize. Some of these barns stand next to their all-roof houses, so logic has it that maybe the two were joined some time in the distant past. Others just had us stratching our heads: they look like some one has chopped them in two and made off with the other half!

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

March 9, 2017

We Actually Saw The Easter Bunny… In Multiples!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

In my yesterday’s post I talked about loving quirky things.

The seats modeled with legs in the shapes of lighthouses caught not just our attention, but that of many other too, if the sight of cameras and phones coming out to capture images was anything to go by.

That though, was nothing to prepare us for the next quirky sight I saw.

The kids were in the back, busy with their phones, Himself and our other friends had gone over to the second vehicle to discuss where we wanted to eat together, and what we wanted to do next.

Not surprisingly my sudden exclamation of: ” Quick , Look… I have just seen the Easter Bunny!!!”. Heads jerked up with a sort of  eye rolling” yeah mam, that’s a lame joke… get a life” look , but both heads turned when they realised that I was pointing to something.

What I had seen was a group of men  coming out of the nearby beach restaurant wearing white bunny rabbit onesies and getting into their cars.
Annoyingly I was slow in spotting them so was still pointing them out to the kids  with one hand and retrieving the camera with the other when the first cars drove off, Luckily a few had parked further away so I got a few photographs of them battling the wind as they walked past.The kids in the back were now squeezing themselves against the part of the car that offered a better view, laughing and muttering, “what in the world…?”  as they tried to tally up how many men were taking part in this festive gig.

Numbers ranged between six and twelve, and a small difference of opinion ensued about double counting and missed sightings so we settled on eight as a tentative end number that pleased everyone. We have no clue as to the occasion for this attire: a birthday? anniversary? retirement?something related to Easter? …I thought maybe a  pre-wedding Stag do, since it seemed to be only the men dressed in costume. The ladies accompanying them had hair bands with white rabbit ears on them, it wasn’t clear if they were carrying them as accessories to the men’s costumes or if they were their own.(Of course we never found out, but it’s excellent to see that these Gents dared to get dressed up for their special event, and they bought huge grin to our faces as they did so.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.