Local Heart, Global Soul

October 7, 2019

I’m Right! … Actually Maybe Not!

Our house has been undergoing a massive renovation this year, so we have taken the chance to do a massive Spring Clean in slow stages around all of the work. It’s been a slow process because we had no idea just how much “stuff”we had accumulated, and  the bewilderment of how many parts of toys were sperad out in so many different areas of the house. (I’m not even sure how some bits got into so totally unrealated boxes in the first place… we have toy goblins who make mischief it seems). Christmas Tree decorations also suffered this fate, so when a little bix of Christmas bits turned up, I recognised a small stained glass orgament that I bought as part of a set in New Zealand.

Kiwi Daughter immediately exclaimed: “Ooooh THAT, I remember that one! I made that so long ago when one time we had to go to one of those School Holiday programe thing that Little Mr and I both hated.” (Himself and I both had to work at the time, so the kids had to an organised childcare programme for the week – tears and drama galore from them both, they HATED it with a vengence, so we did it twice from sheer necessity and then never again).

I tried to tell her that: “No… this angel was one I bought in New Zealand.” She disagreed vermently, this was the one she made. Ok, kid, have it your way. Vindication came about ten minutes later then there was an excited: “Hey! Look at Thi….  …Ohhh”. Silence, Then an explosion of giggles. She had something in her hand that she didn’t want to show me. Eventually when she could mange to talk she showed me what was wrapped in tissue paper in her hand, and said: “uhhh, actually THIS is the one I made in that horrible school holiday programme” Then more laughter. I think that for you, photographs will explain more than words ever could…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I must note though: if there was a fire in the house, it’s Kiwi Daughters ornament I would save in a nano second, the other one, beautiful as it is, would not even get a second glance. One may be professional and expensive, the other is the real treasure and priceless.

October 4, 2019

Also Called “Drop Scones” …

My New Zealand Grandma always said: “You are either a Cook or Baker“. She was beyond doubt a Baker. Her meals were fine in a “meat and three veg” sort of style, but nothing adventurous. She probably did roast lamb dinners when her children were at home but even making the easy roast at home got ditched as “not worth it for just two people” (Grandma!!!… have you never heard of awesome Cottage Pie with leftover roast beef or lamb?). If they wanted a roast dinner then there were enough family style restaurants around with it on the menu and they would “treat ourselves”, as she would put it.

I’m definitely a Cook. This was confirmed rather painfully after visiting our Canadian friends. “F” had made amazing scones. Light, fantastically risen, beautiful, delicious, mouth-watering scones. She said they were mega easy and gave me the recipe. I was so confident that I printed it out on paper and laminated it, as I do for my recipes that see regular use. I should have remembered a certain line about Pride, and falls. I’m good at falls. Regular readers know that only too well.

So… I followed the recipe to the letter. To the last full-stop. I crossed the “t’s and dotted the “i’s”. I measured precisely. The oven was perfectly pre-heated, I adjusted the racks, laid out the scone dough exactly as “F” had instructed. I even set timers. And I surprised myself.

Sadly it wasn’t the good surprise I had been expecting. The first photograph is not a “before” baking photo, it is regrettably the “after”. Delicious tall, light scones? Nope, these are more in the “decorative brick” category. In fact I think that LEGO probably has bricks less tough than this. They didn’t even cook completely though. My beautiful laminated sheet with its “perfect picture” of scones and the recipe, sits in my kitchen drawer (with another non-baking recipe that I DO use on the back.) It’s either taunting or haunting me… or both.

Maybe they shouldn’t be called “Drop Scones” for a reason? I am declaring defeat. This is an indisputable: “Fail“. Needless to say. no-one ever asks me to bake scones for them. People have common sense, like their teeth intact, don’t want their jaws wired, and do not wish to purposefully insult their taste buds. I’m definitely a Cook. Whenever I announce that I intend to Bake something, people should be afraid, …very afraid.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 3, 2019

Rude Information?

Peeling carrots recently, I came across this little gem. I will leave it to you to decide how to look at it… is this carrot giving me Information? Or representing something more rude? Or a combination of them both…. Rude Information!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 22, 2019

When A Tree Goes Out On A Limb, And Needs To Take The Weight Off…

You know a tree is old when you see thick branches like this one has. I have no idea why this tree has rather literally “branched out” so far, it’s amazing that it’s survived as long as this with the weight of this branch extending so far. So now that this tree has gone “out on a limb” and clearly overreached itself, it’s time to give it a helping hand (or in this case, a steel support). With it’s own little cradle to fit the tree, this steel support saves the tree from toppling over, never mind in strong winds or stormy conditions, even a clear fine day may have been too much for this branch one day. So basically, when a tree goes out on a limb, branches out and over extends itself, we need to help it take the weight off…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 10, 2017

I Await The Day When She Gets Me Back…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes some of the best practical jokes come around completely by accident.

One of these occasions happened when Kiwi Daughter came into Himself’s and my bedroom whilst I was sorting my medication into my various daily doses.

She started out with general conversation, then raised a few questions about the coming week, and as I answered, interrupted me by picking up a pill and asking if she could eat it.

I replied that she had picked up a very strong painkiller and it would be a serious overdose if she did.

She then began picking up some of the other pills, asking questions bout each one. I explain that a few are vitamins, I take them on the recommendation of doctors to mitigate the effects of, for instance the hair loss side effects of several of the prescribed medications.

One pill is to help protect my stomach from all of the other pills, there is calcium with vitamin K against my diminishing bone density, Prednison and other medications for my asthma, a low dose antibiotic (I know, not ideal but my Prednison dose would be more than triple without it), pills against acid reflux, the list goes on. Kiwi Daughter then went to the other corner of the table and pointed to a tiny square white form there, “Can I eat this one Mama?” she asked. I replied: “Well you can if you really wanted to but I really would not advise it“. “Why not?” she asked, a little defiantly. ‘ I looked at her in disbelief, “Because it’s plastic, it’s Lego“. The sudden change in the look on her face was priceless, as was the flat “Oh…” as my reply sunk in.

I started to laugh, she picked up the piece of Lego, turned it over and looked at the underside to see if what I said was true, at the same time she tried to say that she hadn’t been fooled but I kept laughing and she was so unconvincing that she didn’t even attempt to finish her sentence, ending up laughing too.

It has been quite a while since I’ve managed to prank her successfully, even though we currently have a “boo” scare campaign going (we try and catch each other unaware and yell “BOO” to make each other jump, to date I’m winning that one by quite a stretch). I’ve had several different attempts at pranks in the recent years but none have reduced us to tears of laughter as much as this quite unintentional one. I await the day when she gets me back.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 29, 2016

A Giant Money-Box In The Bar?

Filed under: Funny,GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY,STADTKYLL,Stadtkyll: Vulkangarten — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next thing to catch my attention in the “Gastwirtschaft Sünnen” restaurant in Steffln, Germany, are some of the items on the wall.

There appears to be some sort of money box, but unusually with not only separate money slots, but also enough of them in total for a good many of the regular patrons.

I later learn that these are called “Sparschraenke-Sparkassetten” (savings boxes /money boxes with separate slots).

My first guess was that patrons who had their own number in the box could put in a Euro or two at a time and save up for a few steins sometime in the future but once I’d done some research I discovered that it was far bigger than that.

According to the article, it’s not coins that are regularly deposited in these, but notes, and that come years end when the box is opened and the amounts are tallied up, it might well be possible for a patron to have saved several hundred euros, even enough for a holiday!

How cool  is that? I also assumed that these boxes were something of a fairly old fashioned habit but a quick look on the HMF shop website and I see that you can order your own boxes of various sizes with varying amounts of slots even today! I’ve learnt about something completely new and I love the idea… Who knew you could save for your holiday at the pub?

(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)

Keeping Age Old German Savings Custom 
HMF Shop : Sparschraenke-Sparkassetten / Money Box With Multiple Slots.
Gastwirtschaft Sünnen /Steffeln / DE.

July 27, 2016

Sit At A Double Tier Bar, … On Your Bench Seat!

Filed under: Funny,GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY,STADTKYLL,Stadtkyll: Vulkangarten — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

The next thing to grab our attention in the Gastwirtschaft Sünnen” restaurant in Steffln, Germany, is the unusual bar. This bar has been modified so that it includes a bench seat and additional seating. To say I have never seen anything like it, is an understatement! One thing is for certain, it makes you look do a double take!

(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)

Gastwirtschaft Sünnen /Steffeln / DE.

June 26, 2016

Human Creativity… I’ll Drink To That!

Filed under: Funny,GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY,Seen from: Planes Trains and Automobiles — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

We had one holiday away as a whole family last year, I obtained permission to travel from work (needed because I am on extended Medical Leave) and we headed just over the border into Germany. As I have often mentioned before, it pays to keep your camera handy whilst on the road since you never know what you will see.

Of course, that said nothing could have prepared me for the sight of a large touring bike sporting a trailer in the shape of a beer barrel. Don’t you just love the creative ingenuity of the human race?… may it never cease to amaze us!

(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)

April 29, 2016

The Show Starts A Little Early And We See More Than We Bargained On…

Filed under: Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum,ART,Funny,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We had arrived early on a Sunday morning at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The sun may have been shining but it was bitterly cold and the wind was freezing so standing in the tunnel waiting for the museum doors to open was not a particularly comfortable experience.

I was trying to balance on my crutches to keep my feet off the cold ground when a young woman came up to us.  Neither of my two friends speak Dutch, one, originally from Romania lives here and is learning, but the other, from Greece, is  visitor so we were conversing in English whilst we waited.

The young woman turned out to be a visiting Australian physician, an anaesthesiologist visiting Amsterdam to attend a convention.

She approached us to confirm that she was indeed at the Entrance to the museum and then we got chatting about where we were from since I recognised her accent.

So, four women are standing talking, when all of a sudden the Aussie lady and I, who had our backs to the tunnel wall gasped and began to laugh. The other two took a second to follow our eyes, turned and then joined in the laughter.

A man, I would guess at late twenties or early thirties, dressed in what certainly looked from the front like a fluro-green mankini, covered by a tank-top, and wearing a tight beanie, sped past us on his inline skates.

He was wearing protective wrist, elbow and knee pad but nothing else.

We were all rather startled to see someone so scantily clad skating past the Rijksmuseum, especially considering how sodding freezing it was, we were all really cold and we were well dressed and had coats on.

I managed to lift my camera to snap off a few photographs before he sped off into the distance.

I enlarged one of the photographs to give you an idea… it certainly looks like the rave must have been a good one that Saturday night, things having only wound down just before nine on a Sunday morning!

My Romanian and Greek girlfriends were left with their mouths open… I was left to tell our Australian visitor that in Amsterdam you can expect anything…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum

March 31, 2016

A Wheelchair Bike… What A Brilliant Idea!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Everyone knows that the Dutch have a massive passion for cycling and that the Netherlands has a long tradition of being a cycling nation.

There are cycle paths everywhere and bikes come in all shapes, types and sizes: from the classic models to bakfiets, (cargo bikes), bikes that carry both kids and adults together, trikes for those who need a bit more stability than the classic two-wheeler, recumbents and more.

Recently there are bikes that also come in the electric variety so riders can have some help with peddling when battling a head wind, but even so I constantly seem to be able to find a new sort of bike to surprise me.

My Mother-in-law is 93 years old and recently has had multiple health issues relating to pure old age. After a recent stint in hospital she needed to spend some time in the section of an old people’s home reserved for people too well for hospital but not yet well enough to go back home.

Family have been visiting every day and she will be back in her own home very soon, but reality is that her body and faculties are slowly but surely fading so who knows how long her time at home will last.

In the meantime family are busy making sure that her life is comfortable and that she stays as well and happy as possible. At the home she is presently staying in I found my latest bicycle surprise: a bike that can take a wheelchair for a spin! The bike is of course electric, otherwise the weight of the ensemble would be too difficult to push. It’s a brilliant idea, and what a great way to take someone in a wheelchair for a breath of fresh air.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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