Local Heart, Global Soul

November 20, 2014

Some Who Go Walkies, Also Take The Train…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are finally back in Folkestone,  and although we didn’t originally have a place to stay planned for the night before our channel tunnel crossing back in the summer of 2013, we found the Little Satmar camp-site so easy, friendly and convenient that we rang  two days ahead and asked if they had a spot for us, and when they said they did, booked it immediately.

We had to be up bright and early for the channel train the next day so it was a dawn breakfast and we were just driving out just as the first campers were emerging from tents and caravans and making for the showers.There was a haze around camp as the sun came up so I attempted some arty photographs of some parked up bicycles … and failed. Within the hour we join the queues at the train, where it’s already surprisingly busy and seriously warm, in fact it turns out to be 29 C (84.2 F) and we have blue cloudless skies for the trip back.

From the loading area waiting for the train we have a brilliant view of the chalk outline of the horse on the hill by Folkestone and  the kids giggle at the dog walking and toilet area marked “Walkies”, complete with big bone gateway. Again we are sorted into a queue with the other high vehicles and board the train. The passport control is easy enough, they are asking a lot of questions so it takes longer but they are friendly enough. That said it’s strange to be speaking French again, takes a few minutes to switch. We have somewhere we want to stop off  at on the French side very soon so we need to get our  Continental brains working again…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Out in France…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

November 18, 2014

Can We Have Chips With These?

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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You know I love quirky things: seen on English motorway, a truck carrying one of the strangest cargo’s I’ve ever seen (and it’s headed towards the sea, but maybe that’s just a coincidence). We have a giggle and tease about pulling them over and cheekily asking of we could have chips with these please?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

November 17, 2014

A Tribute To Ambulance, Police And Fire Crews Everywhere…

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To say that Little Mr is fanatical about emergency service vehicles is an understatement. I would be a complete failure  as “Mama with camera”  if I didn’t record at the very least: samples of every emergency service vehicle we find in countries we visit, and said vehicles in very different situation we can find at home.

Flashing lights and sirens add additional ear-drum bursting shouts and squeal of excitement in our car so if I go deaf in later life I will lay the blame squarely at his door and probably ask him to pay for my hearing aids.

Not being able to hear his grumbles at this request would be bonus. There was a programme on Dutch television some years back that highlighted the problem that car drivers often didn’t pull over for ambulances, police and fire engines because they heard the sirens but couldn’t figure out which direction they were coming from.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My solution both then and now is to install a small boy who adores emergency vehicles behind a microphone on the vehicles and let them be the siren instead.

The sound they emit could clear entire neighbourhoods let alone streets and if Little Mr is anything to go by, they also know the different siren sounds needed for police, ambulances and fire engines. Their impressions are fairly accurate and it would be their dream job.

They are so enthusiastic that only problem might be getting them to stop. Ear protection for emergency service crews would be necessary of course but I’m sure that would be a minor hitch. During our  summer of 2013, long haul drive back to Folkstone, he demands requests photographs of different emergency service vehicles that we pass. To me they all looked pretty much alike but he indignantly  said they definitely weren’t and now that I’m sorting out the photographs, he’s completely correct! I owe him a rather belated apology. Therefore a post especially for Little Mr. … and a tribute to the work of  ambulance, fire and police crews everywhere.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

November 16, 2014

Signs Of The Times… Well Sort Of…

It’s probably because United Kingdom place names are so unlike Dutch ones that we giggled so much when we saw these signs along the highway… (Unless it’s just our sense of humour) I hope these signs will tickle your funny bone too… Ducks crossing? beware of Ducks? (Don’t ducks just fly out of the way??) Who Knows?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Do you really  want to write on the back of a letter that you live in “Puddletown”?  (unless you are one of the Ducks from the sign above)!

All of these sounded to us like made up names of  children’s story book place names…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blandford? Nothing spicy goes on there clearly… Piddlehinton (Himself hinted that someone must be taking the Pi$$)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tolpuddle, a tax on weak bladders? That the Martyrs museum is close by may be significant?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The result of more weak bladders… and very recently in Warmwell… the rest? the mind boggles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add Tolpuddle Ball (Himself said it was maybe better not to ask)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Poulner already sounds like it involves poultry… but a place called Crow where they also need to add a sign of a bird?  (and a bird that looks like a parakeet at that?)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s a place called Arundel in New Zealand, where everyone pronouces it “Ar run dul” , then I heard on the BBC the following pronounciation” air ran daal” which made me seriously wonder… who’s right here? (yes, it’s exactly the same spelling).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If somthing’s worth doing, it’s worthing doing right…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… or Sompting like that…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s near the sea… did they miss the “C” off the front of hove???

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More nursery rhymes…  I’d like to say it was near Puddletown, but it wasn’t.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sevenoaks / Seven Oaks… ok that ones is clear, “Orpington” …I have no clue and “Maidstone”,  maybe let’s not go there either…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gravesend, clearly the end of the line …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 15, 2014

Long Haul Back Along The Coast…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

To get from  Bridport  to Folkstone in what was left of the day, we needed to get ourselves off the small lanes and “B” roads and onto motorways.

In our journey of summer 2013, we pass by churches, towns, beautiful buildings and fields. I  see what I assume must be the entrance to a stately home, with Lions on the gates.

The views varied wildly because sometimes everything to the side of us was obscured by motorway barriers, sometimes by trees and hedges but there were still fleeting moments when I could record the scenes speeding past our windows.

Sometimes the traffic flowed freely and we made good time, at other times, whilst changing between motorways we stood still in traffic jams.

Having an on-board lavatory was once again a God-send that the kids and I made good use of during our crawl towards yet another round-a-bout. Eventually we get onto a motorway where the traffic is flowing freely and we can get some serious distance under our belts (or tyres). As the evening draws in, we get closer to the outskirts of Greater London, aircraft from one of the airports nearby make low passes. We are slowly getting closer and closer to our destination…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

November 14, 2014

The Quirky Things Are Back: See How Many I Can Find Along The Way!

Filed under: Devon,Dorset,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know Me, anything quirky gets my attention and the quirkier the better!

Along our journey and despite the misty conditions I still manage to get some photos that make me smile, raise some eyebrows or catch my attention for one reason or another.

I smile at the tractor sign,  a 400 yard tractor dash? rogue tractors? the only space where tractors hide?

I like looking out for beautiful weathervanes, I spot two close to our destination: a ship and a cockerel.

I see a mini mural on the back of a lorry, and a wall of birdhouses on a building (it may have been a pub, I’m not sure)… and speaking of pubs, I started to realise that I had quite a few photographs of public houses!

Luckily that had nothing at all to do with always having a eye out for a drink, and everything to do with the fact that many of these buildings caught me eye because they were beautiful. There are little sign posts on rural roads : I love the little pyramids on their tops. There is also a vetenary practice that has a lovely logo… a paw print. Cats and dogs can’t read but I’m sure they recognised that one!

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 13, 2014

From Devon To Dorset: Nature Dictates That The Views Are Optional…

Filed under: Devon,Dorset,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers will know that I love taking photographs out of the window of our vehicle as we travel. (Obviously I am not in the drivers seat.)

In the summer of 2013 we headed  to England to visit good friends, fund-raise  for the charity we support and see some sights along the way.

Now we are on our way from Devon to Dorset to visit friends and to accept their offer of a home cooked lunch.

We have to do a lot of driving today so it’s an early start which is not a problem, but maybe the weather will be.

It might be summer but this is still England and like anywhere in Northern Europe ( including The Netherlands) it’s well known that tourists do not flock to us for our unlimited sunshine and almost guaranteed picture-postcard clear blue skies.

This day was one of the iffy ones, first there are patches of sunshine peeking through dark clouds, this highlights the road where the trees blend together at the top to form a long green tunnel. Then there are just the dark clouds, and not long afterwards the mist rolls in, getting thicker and thicker and thicker so that even a glimpse of cloud would have been welcome. Traffic naturally enough, follows suit, decreasing speed more and more as visibility slips away and  we proceed almost at walking pace in places. If we are lucky we might spot the red tail lights of the vehicle in front of us, sometimes even that is lost in the grey soup. As we twist and turn over the little hills and shallow valleys, the mist thins, thickens and thins accordingly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the top of one of the hills we were rewarded with a fabulous view… of fog!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Kingsmead Centre to Bridport (Small)

November 12, 2014

An Invitation From Strangers… A Wonderful Surprise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In 2013 Family Kiwidutch hired a camper and headed over the channel to England’s south coast.

We had booked ourselves an eco-camp site at the Kingsmead Centre in Devon, the facilities are basic but the bonus is that there is peace and quiet in abundance and all of the activities are very much connected to nature.

As outlines in my post of yesterday, this is the moment in our trip where I realised that I wasn’t really coping with the pain to my foot injury after all of my additional exercise.

My Dutch physiotherapist had said that if I was doing a lot of strenuous activity then I could take up to eight paracetamol per day, but by now I was getting worried because I was taking eight paracetamol on top of my usual pain relief, every single day and still had serious pain that was difficult to cope with.

I’d slept most of the late afternoon in the camper, whilst Himself, Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter  explored the camp site, ate a fish and chip dinner and made some new friends. Himself had checked several times earlier and found me asleep, but by mid evening I was awake and he had a surprise for me. He had gotten chatting with some other people around the camp site, our children had peeled off with other kids and then we received an invitation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the other families decided that they wanted to experience a long weekend of “glamping” which is literally “glamorous camping” and  this involved renting the Kingsmead site’s most luxurious accommodation: a Yert.

Family Kiwidutch now had an invitation to join this family for a drink and a chat and since Himself had explained that the short distance down the hill was beyond my physical capabilities, and that the narrow track looked too small for our large camper, the invitation came with an offer of transportation there and back in their car.

The journey was one of the shortest car journeys I have made in my life, but the track was steep, and the terrain slippery with wet leaves and mud from the recent rain, so I was very appreciative for the offer.

I’d never seen a Yert up close… it’s large circular tent and this couple had saved up to have a special birthday treat for the weekend. We even got a guided tour and photographs were encouraged as we shared their excitement of this special occasion.

It’s available to rent from Spring to Autumn but is taken down for the Winter.

The children had been playing together wonderfully and continued to burn off energy running around close by, the trees and everything around, everything they needed in their imaginative games. We adults sat in chairs outside, enjoying the balmy summer evening and talking about jobs, hobbies and how life differed in England to the Netherlands. Afterwards I was transported back to the camper via their personalised “taxi” service and felt  better for the distraction of some friendly  hospitality. They were fabulous people and it was so unexpected to receive an invite like this from strangers. It’s moments like this that really make a trip special.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 11, 2014

Kingsmead Centre: A Very Different Type Of Camp-site…

Filed under: Accomodation,Devon,ENGLAND,Kingsmead Centre,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the summer of 2013 we tried a very new style of camping for us: Eco-camping.

The Kingsmead Centre on the Somerset / Devon border is the kind of camp site you go to if you want to get away from the crowd,  far, far away from the crowd.

There are no heated swimming pools, disco’s, on-site restaurants, kid’s club, television room or children’s playground.

Actually I take that back: the children’s playground is Mother Nature and consists of grass, trees, and things like fishing, walking and mucking round outdoors.

There are basic amenities: toilet, shower, laundry, as well as recycling facilities and high-speed internet, but for the rest it’s the kind of place you come to if peace and quiet are your thing, far from the madding crowd.

After our rather messy arrival, via what seemed every narrow side lane in the area, we are pleased to have arrived. The owner tells us that there is a pub a very short walk further down the lane, so we walk there to see if we can stake out and easy dinner. Technically it’s not far but I’m more than disappointed to find that the pub is closed tonight and instead of a nice sit down, I have to walk back.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself asks if he should go an fetch he camper and I say “No”, something I deeply regret by the time we get back to the camp site.  There is a public walkway next to the lane, Himself dares the kids to walk alongside us through the trees, but the forest is too creepy for our children to brave, even if Himself and I remain within view.

I think they are right, these trees look downright spooky.

My foot injury is not in good shape after pushing myself to do  so much walking this trip and it’s here at the Kingsmead Centre that it starts to dawn on me that the increased pain I’m experiencing is getting increasingly out of hand.

I’m not actually up to walking anywhere  any more and even though it’s later afternoon, retreat to bed with as many painkillers as I’m allowed, having lost my appetite for dinner.

Himself takes the kids on a ramble around the camp so that I can get a decent nap and hopefully sleep off the worst of the pain. Whilst I sleep, the rest of the family run into the owner of the camp-site  and they chat about using the facilities etc. During the conversation Himself mentions my situation and wonders if there is a shop or takeaway within cycling distance where he and the kids can go to get dinner for themselves without disturbing me. There isn’t, but the owner has a brainwave:  his wife works in one of the towns some distance away and he can ring her and ask if  as she leaves work she could please pop into a fish and chip shop and bring our family some dinner and Himself can pay her on delivery.

It’s a generous and kind solution which we appreciate. During my nap Himself and the kids also make a few new friends and when some hours later Himself comes in to check on me, finds me awake, fills me in on the news about how they managed to get dinner and announces he has another nice surprise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

kingsmead centre 1l (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kingsmead Centre,

  • Clayhidon, Cullompton, Devon, England, EX15 3TR, United Kingdom.

 

November 10, 2014

We’d Get To Where We Want To Go, If Only We Could Find It…

Filed under: ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In the summer of 2013 we held our breath and squeezed our oversized camper through the tiny lanes of southern England and this time we have left Seaview International Camp-ground in Cornwall to make our way to  the county of Somerset and a very very different type of camp site.

It’s a very out of the way place and it’s proved by  the fact that we are struggling to find it. I know that our family is known for being navigationally challenged but this is ridiculous.

We have directions on our booking form but it becomes apparent that they are only valid if you are approaching from the opposite direction, and also we are really confused about which county we are in.

That’s not quite as silly as it sounds because we find out later from the camp site owners that the boundary between Somerset and Devon is about half a kilometre away and  with the winding road Our Lady of The Sat Nav. (and her relations) often have problems knowing where to find the premises. I think that we were close to our record for the number of times we had to stop and ask directions, but eventually found it by literally stumbling upon it by chance. It’s nice to know that we were not getting any closer to braking our Family tradition of getting lost…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Love the little car and caravan on top of the sign…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A pink bathtub “planter” on top of a telephone booth… I get it (actually I don’t…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another solar panel field… Love it!

(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)

Yep… really lost (as usual for our family).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

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