Local Heart, Global Soul

October 16, 2016

Your Next Surprise Can Throw You A Curve Ball…

Filed under: GERMANY,LAVITORIAL - Intersting Loo's...,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the journey home from Stadtkyll and the Landal Holiday park in Germany last summer, we stopped at a  petrol station (gas station) for a toilet break.

As usual I am on the lookout for any unusual loos and this one was memorable for one simple reason, the cubical was oval in shape!

I was so busy taking a double take that I forgot to get photographs back towards the door but hopefully my photograph of the area around the hand basin gives you a little bit of an idea of the “curvy-ness” of the walls.

It’s not even a big service station, we weren’t even in a town, it was just one of those tiny non-descript rectangle-like grey places with pumps out the front and not much else.

My mind was bending over how it was even possible to put oval toilets in a tiny square building, or why anyone might want to. My only guess is that they had to accommodate the storage of something that was an unusual shape somewhere in the building and a curved wall solved the problem. Of course it’s also possible that an architect somewhere just wanted to mess with people’s minds. I wonder how many people wander in and out of these conveniences and don’t give the layout of the room another thought. I love discoveries like this though, I’m just annoyed with myself that I forgot to get the name of the German place where this was. It always pays to be on the lookout for somewhere different, your next surprise can turn up in the most unexpected of places.

October 15, 2016

Am I Really Not Able To See The Wood For The Trees?

During our summer holiday in Germany last year, we used the area close to the town of Stadtkyll as our base and traveled around checking out the local area. Since the area is rural it makes sense that the locals heat their homes with wood fires or burners. Therefore it was very normal to see lots of wood piles during our travels and you know me… even the ordinary things can have interesting patterns in them so I started taking photographs of as many of them as I could as we drove past. The wooded countryside was also interesting too of course, and then a possible title for this post popped into my head… a little something about not being able to see the wood for the trees.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Christmas tree farm…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Almost missed this one…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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This one was so long I only managed half of it…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Almost missed this one too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 14, 2016

Eyes Open For The Ordinary…Maybe Someone Else’s Ordinary Rather Than My Own.

Filed under: GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY,Seen from: Planes Trains and Automobiles — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The landscape of Germany is beautiful. The style of architecture, the rolling landscape in the part of the country that borders the Netherlands, all invoke in me a special kind of calm and thoughts of previous trips where fond memories and wonderful experiences have taken place. There is also the thrill of being somewhere new, being far removed from the landmarks around home that you see time and again until you no longer see them. My eyes are open for the new, the unusual, the quirky and the ordinary… but maybe someone else’s ordinary rather than the one I am familiar with.
That’s what puts the magic into travel after all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

October 13, 2016

No One Outgrows A Good Thing…

Filed under: GERMANY,kid stuff,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer,  at the “Im Pfenn” Restaurant in Irrhausen, Germany, we found many good reasons to recommend this place as a place to visit.

Our stop was a short one, just a lunchtime break as we headed back to The Hague after our holiday near Stadkyll but it’s clear that the town caters for longer stopovers as well since the place is  hotel as well.

The car parking area was across the street from the restaurant and negotiating my way on crutches means that I am usually the last one back to the car.The kids bounded ahead, leaping over a small fence at the front of the car and into a park that comprised a  rectangular grass area with a playground at one end of it.

Even before I got close I heard squeals of delight: the kids have discovered that this isn’t just a stock standard swing and slide playground, this one has a mini climbing wall for little ones looking to test out their more adventurous moods, a play fort, an outdoor table tennis table and a generous seating area under the trees so that parents can keep an eye on proceedings from the shade.The kids were not all out in full sunlight though, lots of the play equipment was also located under the trees.

The first squeals originate because the kids discover that what looks at first to be a regular swing, is actually one designed to swing the kid in a standing position (complete with the clue of clear indications of  “feet” impressed into the seat).Kiwi Daughter tests it out and is tall enough that she disappears into the tree above, saving me from having to edit out her face for privacy reasons.I did need to edit Little Mr however, as he tried out the third set of swings, well, rather a yellow disk attached by a central rope that he tried out perfectly well in the sitting position but struggled to balance on standing up.

Himself assisted in getting him into the standing position, sadly lack of upper arm strength and a flexible rope meant that balance was lost shortly after the camera shutter closed.This is a small playground but one where a lot of thought has gone into the equipment provided, and even “big” kids who would usually have long outgrown this kind of thing, had a lot of fun and giggles before heading back to the car. It just goes to show, no one outgrows a good thing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 12, 2016

Feeling Right At Home…

Filed under: ART,GERMANY,LAVITORIAL - Intersting Loo's...,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Stopping for lunch at the “Im Pfenn” Restaurant in the small German town of Irrhausen, I find a new toilet to feature in my series of memorable conveniences.

This one wasn’t outstanding for humorous reasons, it wasn’t strange or quirky, but it had an unusual charm in that it was so far removed from the lavatories usually found in restaurants and cafes.

Why? … because it was not just practical but also personal. It felt more like you had wondered into the owners own home,  there were things like hand cream, tissues, and air freshener. There is also a sign “für alle Notfälle” (For all emergencies) on the bureau, I didn’t think to look inside the drawer but it appears there may have been some emergency feminine supplies available as well if needed.

Most tellingly though, not just a fold down changing table for the smallest customers, but also a small step so that little hands could reach the wash basin and a child’s toilet seat to cover the adult one so that mothers (I can only speak from the point of view of the Ladies loo) didn’t have to add the chore of balancing their toddlers on the edge of the seat to the one of taking them to a public toilet.

Many parents will know that toddlers undergoing the “joys” of toilet training hate hovering above the bowl. being  scared of falling into an adult sized toilet, but also that a child toilet cover is not the first thing you think of taking with you when going out for a meal, so taking the fear and (hopefully) drama out of toddler toileting is a very much appreciated. All of these features, along with a bright and jaunty “Wickle Tisch” sign (changing table) rather literally make you feel like you are right at home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Im Pfenn Restaurant and Hotel / Irrhausen / Germany

October 11, 2016

Irrhausen Hosts Us For A Lunchtime Break…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heading back to the Hague at the end of our last summer’s holiday in Germany, we stopped in the small town of Irrhausen for lunch.

The restaurant that we find in the town is called “Im Pfenn” and it quickly becomes apparent that it is probably a very central part of the local community.

This chalet-style restaurant is large and airy, there is yet another version of the distinctive curvy looking bar at the end of the room, a very clear ‘relative” of the two wooden bars that we have seen earlier in this holiday.

After a late (relaxed and unhurried) start to our trip back and several stops already for fresh air to relieve symptoms of car sickness, we arrive well after the usual lunch time trade so pretty much have the place to ourselves.

We get drinks, fries and nacho chips and enjoy a quiet break to our journey.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Im Pfenn Restaurant and Hotel / Irrhausen / Germany

 

October 10, 2016

I don’t Have The Stomach For That Kind Of Car…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the way home from our holiday in Germany last summer, we needed to take several comfort stops because Kiwi Daughter and I suffer from motion sickness and car journeys are always problematic.

Himself has learned the hard way that it’s better to stop frequently so that we can take a few steps outside and get a breath of fresh air, rather than suffer the consequences of trying to push on “just a few kilometers more” (it never was “just a few kilometers” btw).

I had happened to mention a few minutes earlier that I needed a little break from the road and Himself was on the lookout for a good place to pull over.

All of a sudden we came up to a building and spied a sports car in a driveway, and since Little Mr was now suddenly interested too, we stopped there. This is clearly an expensive machine: it’s bright red and eye catching.  An interesting manhole drain cover catches my eye too, as does the pattern of the fence around the property and the  security ironwork around the windows.  One thing is for sure, I don’t have the stomach for ever trying to go as fast as that sports car can go.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 9, 2016

Perfectly Accommodating Our Desire For Laziness…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer Family Kiwidutch went to the Landal Wirfttal holiday park near Stadkyll in Germany for a family holiday.

In spite of having a cooking hobby and being an avid foodie, I have one and a half picky eaters as children.

By this I mean that Little Mr is still a very picky eater, detesting things with sauce,  mixed items of any sort and even simple flavourings (Well the ones he knows about at least, because I sneak them in whenever I can!).

Kiwi Daughter started out as a picky eater too but in recent years has experimented with more things than I could ever have imagined, so is well on her way to broadening her palette to eventually a more adult form.

She does not for instance like vegetable soup yet but when in the mood for it, enjoys a plate of tomato soup or even Dutch pea soup, and whilst mashed or boiled potatoes are not yet successful, she tried oven roasted potatoes now and again so these are not just baby steps foreword but giant leaps in the right direction.

As I mentioned earlier, we opted to eat out more often than not during our stay and with a restaurant in the grounds of the holiday park, and whilst the food is catered for a middle-of-the-road public, and was neither spectacular nor terrible, it filled a gap and perfectly accommodated our desire for laziness. It will not take more than one guess to pick out Little Mr’s menu choices: more simple offerings are almost impossible to find.  I managed to change the ice-cream and cream offering to ice-cream and warm chocolate sauce… a treat that should not be attempted too often if you are trying to stay healthy but.. well holiday’s and all… a treat like this once or twice this holiday was in order. We are leaving here shortly so here is a final compilation of some of our holiday park restaurant treats.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 8, 2016

When My Reference Library Material Literally Grows…

Filed under: ART,GERMANY,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,STADTKYLL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As a dormant artist I often see shapes, patterns and textures that interest me.

Regular readers will already know about my love of wrought iron, stained glass, tiles, fabric, drain covers, bricks, wood and stone but if that’s not enough (and I assure you it is not) then patterns and forms from nature can be added to the list as well.

These photographs we taken during our summer holiday in Germany last year around our holiday accommodation close to Stadtkyll.

I’m adding them to my portfolio of images that inspire me, but which can also serve as actual reference material for when I want to draw a leaf, tree or berry.

Probably many people take their greenery for granted but not only is it really physically difficult for me to get outside, there is also the not so small technical matter of not actually having a garden, so having inspirational material “at hand” is harder than you might at first think.

The other matter is of course is that seasons change and flowers and leaves come and go. Capturing what is available during the summer becomes a reference if I feel like drawing in the dead of winter, ergo photography is a very handy tool for preserving the patterns and shapes of this part of nature that take my fancy. Lastly, this is yet another chance to exercise my “still life” photography, but that said, anyone who has tried to take photographs in the wind knows that nature can be very very far from still.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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October 7, 2016

Checking Out How The Local Land Lies…

The best thing about travelling somewhere new and being settled in one place for a couple of weeks, is the chance it gives you to take a good look around the local area.

Last summer whilst staying in Germany, Family Kiwidutch did exactly that. Living in the Netherlands gives us views of the mostly stereotypical Dutch scenery: flat land, canals, and dikes, with the gentle hills rising in the south and east of the country in places. As a New Zealander I miss mountains, the area of the Netherlands where I live is very flat so the sight of even gently rolling hills is very welcome. I love the local style of the homes, businesses and farms, the quirky details we see along the way.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Brilliant use of hay bales…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the best centers to a round-a-bout I have ever seen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A Christmas tree farm…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Interesting farm silos…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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