Local Heart, Global Soul

October 18, 2016

Dramatic Grey To Bright White Puffy Cotton-Wool…

Returning home from our summer holiday in the Landal Wirfttal holiday park  in 2015, we say goodbye to the German countryside. From the architecture to the landscape, I love how different it is to The Netherlands. The winner in today’s series of photographs though are the beautiful cloud formations we encountered during the trip home. From lines that mirror some of the plowed fields below on the ground to dramatic dark grey to bright white puffy cotton-wool like balls, they reinforce my belief that no matter how intelligent and powerful people think they have become, we are all mere dots of insignificance compared with the mighty wonder and power of Mother Nature.

(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)

 

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 5, 2016

Flying In A Hit And Miss Affair…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Earlier in our German holiday last year, I attempted to photograph the birds at our accommodation.

First efforts came to naught when I placed the outside picnic table too close to the window of the house, despite a liberal sprinkling of  birdseed and raw peanuts.

Even though the curtains were closed the birds did not dare venture in for the food, so I placed the table a decent distance away and let the birds get used to the daily serving of food.

The birdseed was one especially for wild birds, and by all appearances proved very popular once trust has been established, the birds eating every crumb, especially on days when we were out touring or sightseeing.

I still tried to get photographs but the regular zoom on the camera just couldn’t zoom in as far as I really wanted it to. A few days after they started eating everything on the table, I began the sneaky process of moving the table a few centimeters back towards the window again.

By the middle of the second week I had not only made up the distance from my first days attempt, I had succeeded in getting the table within a meter off the house. The camera was duly set up on the tripod and several attempts were made to take more photographs of the birds.

The first attempt I posted earlier this trip (link at the bottom of this post) but since that series of photographs I had managed to get the table closer to it’s present point.  The next step was to set up the camera on the tripod behind the closed curtains. It’s then that I start to find my next problem: I can zoom in on one particular spot and have that in perfect focus, but I can not weave in and out from one area of the table to another, needing instead for the birds to wander into the area that’s in perfect focus. Attempting to zoom in and out at random, trying to follow the action resulted in moving the curtain too much and scaring the birds away or having the birds nowhere on the table near the place you have newly focused to.

For that reason this series of photographs was a little bit of a hit and miss affair, but I am learning all the time and hopefully in the future I will slowly but surely try and crack the secrets of getting  a good close up wildlife photo.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes You Just Have To Get Lucky…

October 4, 2016

Wooden You Known That Todays Kids Wood Have Found This Interesting?

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer we went on holiday to a place just outside of Stadtkyll, Germany and as we made our way around the district we passed by some local landmarks.

One of these was a large saw mill and timber yard. Located just out of town, opposite the local supermarket where we got our groceries that week,  this place got a comment from our kids every time we passed it.

As city kids it made sense that they were fascinated by it, it’s something that is completely new in their experience so the sight of so many logs in one place, the sight of the tractor /crane thingy that had a large pincers on the end picking up logs from the stack, captivated their imaginations.

It’s one of those times when “something out of a book or off  TV” translated into a real life experience and it reminds me just how far away from the natural state most kids of their generation are with their “stuff”. Sometimes when we passed it by they would ask questions about the milling trade and what the end products could be, sometimes they just looked to see what they could see going on, but each time they gave it attention and I found that fascinating in itself.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

October 3, 2016

Scoring Bonus Food Points With A Little Blue Car…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In my last post from the Restaurant “La Grappa” in Stadtkyll where we stopped for lunch one day whilst on holiday in Germany last summer,  and where our fussy kids found food that they actually liked.
Kiwi Daughter saw me sorting out the photographs for this post last week and the conversation went:  “What are you doing?” (Me) “Sorting photographs for blog posts” (K.D.)

” Where was that?” (Me)” …. ” (K.D.) interrupting before I could answer, meanwhile pushing me into the corner of the sofa so that she could get a closer look at the computer screen.

“Never mind, I remember that place now… Germany holiday last year.. right?” (Me)” ….”  (K.D.) interrupting yet again before I get the chance to speak: “hmmmm I remember that place, I liked that … You know, I fancy that meal again right now, can you make it for me?” (pointing at the schnitzel and chips (fries)photo.

(Me)” Um no,  we don’t have oven chips in the house ” …(seriously kid? we have oven chips in the house maybe twice a year, this answer should not come as any surprise) …”no schnitzel, either, sorry”. ( although we do eat that fairly often.)
Kiwi Daughter sighs dramatically and points to the ice-cream sundae, “Guess we don’t have that either?” (Me) “Nope… you and I are on a healthy eating plan and Papa is under instructions not to buy it, remember? (K.D) “Ugh yeah, heathy eating sucks”.

(Me) ” Haven’t, you forgotten one not so small detail?” (K.D.) “What?” (Me)” We ate a nice dinner an hour ago”…
… (K.D.) “Oh, Yeah… forgot… that picture made me hungry again”.

Kiwi Daughter often thinks that keeping photographs of “restaurants and stuff” is a waste of time, but our conversation proves that nice holiday memories come back in more ways than via the photos of castles, activities and landscapes.

I opted for what is often a favourite of mine: “Schweinshaxe”, a roasted ham hock / pork knuckle, but sadly this one wasn’t the best I’d ever had. Usually this is slow cooked until the meat almost falls off the bone when you touch it, this on needed the meat levered off and I gave up after a while because it was more filling than I’d bargained on for a lunchtime meal.

My bad for choosing something so big for lunch. Little Mr. gets an ice-cream with his menu choice and even his (then) ten year old face lit up when he saw how it was presented. The dish was in the shape of a cheeky little blue car, one that made us all grin. There were sprinkles on top of the ice-cream with the usual wafer decoration but this one came with a tiny packet of Haribo gummy sweets (candy) to be added on top as an additional bonus. If ever points were scored for keeping kids happy, they were given out now. It even more than made up for the tough schweinhaxen.  The people were mega friendly too, so fine, I’m not sweating the small stuff.  I found the little ice-cream car to be incredibly photogenic so rattled off some photos before impatient noises were made that it was time that the serious business of devouring the contents was at hand.

(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)

La Grappa / Stadtkyll / Germany

October 2, 2016

So Many Wonderful Objects In Just One Place…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course there are many details in the Restaurant “La Grappa” in Stadtkyll, Germany that I have not been able to fit into my previous posts.

In this post I have added many of these, they made me smile:

…the cheeky smile on the model waiter holding his tray, the little porcelain chefs holding notes on the tables, another porcelain or papier-mâché chef in whites holding a small blackboard, a bell on a rope hanging from a ceiling pipe.

Then there were the various historic photographs hanging on the walls, comical figures in the displays around the restaurant and pub area, a beautiful bulbous bottle of peach liqueur, or the cut-out section of a barrel that now contains wine bottles.

There were certainly no shortage of  detailed objects to be found in this one place… I love them all!

(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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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

La Grappa / Stadtkyll / Germany

October 1, 2016

When Stocky And Generous …Is a Beautiful Form.

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My next discovery in the Restaurant “La Grappa” in Stadtkyll, Germny became an excellent treat for a friend of ours back in The Hague.

It was a dark local beer that came in a large dark glass stocky bottle… one that contained roughly three litres of beer! (that is approx. 101.4 oz. for our North American friends).

Himself tried this beer by tasting a glass in the restaurant,  his opinion of this dark beer it was that it was that a little watery and not sweet enough for his tastes, but he also knew that one of our beer loving friends back home loves less sweet dark beers, hence this was an ideal gift to bring back for him to try.

The gift was greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

For me, not being a beer drinker at all,  I just enjoyed the generous and unusual form of these beautify stocky bottles.

Of course, being able to add this to my archive Inspiration drawing file is just a bonus feature in my artistic eyes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

La Grappa / Stadtkyll / Germany

 

September 30, 2016

Is It Really Just A Well kept Secret In This Part Of The World?

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When we visited the “Gastwirtschaft Sünnen” restaurant in Steffln earlier in our holiday last summer, I assumed that the unusual bar we saw there was a one-off adaption.

Then we found ourselves visiting the Restaurant “La Grappa” in Stadtkyll  for lunch and it becomes apparent that these sorts of unusual bars are some sort of regional feature, albeit that they make each one to fit the space available.

The “La Grappa” one is smaller than the first one we saw, it features the padded bench seat but then there is only one “island” (or should that be “peninsular?”) sticking out instead of the two in “Gastwirtschaft Sünnen”.

I’ve added the link for the previous bar at the bottom of this post so that you can compare the two, this one is not just smaller but also features a plainer  and more modern look, with a metal band around the side of the bar instead of the wooden rails and brass fittings.

Personally I prefer the other one, but I’m a sucker for brass fittings and the round turned hand rails. It’s certainly an excellent idea to maximise the available space around a bar, at a guess you could almost double the number of patrons using this formation rather than with just a straight short length of bar. Once again this is an idea that I am rather surprised has not caught on in more areas around the globe… is it really just a well kept secret in this region of the world?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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

La Grappa / Stadtkyll / Germany

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