Local Heart, Global Soul

April 19, 2019

The Cutest, Most Determined Perseverance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I usually try not to post photographs of children but since almost every photo I took of this little girl does not show her face, (and the one that did, I edited), I decided to break my rule.

The other reason for posting this is because I took the photos back in 2017, so this child is no longer in nappies, will have grown a heap and would be rather hard to recognise from just these photos of her back.

I’m guessing her age in these photos to be between two and a half and three years old, and she demonstrates a serious determination, and a perseverance that I am sure will mean that she will grow up to be someone who chases her goals and dreams with a vengeance.

Without interruption, intervention or verbal encouragement that I heard from any adult or other child, she repeatedly attempted to put to the ball into the lowest hole “goal” on this adapted truck. This was part of the entertainment at the 2017 Food Truck festival, where there were quite a few entertainment possibilities, making this also a family friendly festival. I was very impressed with her tenacity, the fact that even though the first goes failed she kept trying. Without having the co-ordination to aim the ball and throw, her efforts were never going to pay off. I was torn between going to help and not interfering,  not seeing who the parents were and expecting that they would probably intervene any moment holding me back. Luckily her father stepped in to help eventually and she scored her ‘goal” with a big celebration afterwards. I was proud of her and her efforts, loving how she determined she was. You Go girl,  you are fabulous!

(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 10, 2019

Bring Your Kids,… and Pets?

Several years ago I attended a weekend Food Truck festival. Himself and I started out early but everything started to fill up fairly quickly. At first I thought this was a small travel pram and assumed a child was inside. Imagine my surprise when the head of this little dog suddenly popped up instead. It was only when I looked more carefully at the “pram” again later that I realised that maybe this hadn’t been something built with children in mind, but was instead a pet carrier. (Not having pet meant this probably wasn’t immediately obvious to me at the time.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 8, 2019

This Thin Strip Of Plastic Goes Digital…

Filed under: LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,ROTTERDAM,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Technology is growing around us at a rate that we can no longer keep up with. Even the most simple things in life have gone digital.

I undergo treatment which requires week long infusion every three months in an effort to combat my severe and constant pain.

That’s currently done in a hospital fairly local to me. Concurrently I have also been going through a selection process in a different hospital, and got accepted for for a much larger medical trial: Neuromodulation.

I’ll expand more on what exactly that is in future posts. Today’s post is about the slim white band that gets slapped around the wrist of every hospital in-patient during the registration process.

It’s your ID so that when you are in an unconscious state snoozing off the anesthetic you can be identified and treated correctly. Usually this thin white strip contains printed data: name, date of birth, patient number and maybe a few other details essential or the hospital system. On this occasion I find something extra: a QR Code. Hospital staff can actually pull up a huge amount of my medical data just by scanning my wrist. I attempted to scan it myself with the QR data App on my phone but got no results.

Just in case it’s readable some other way, I have erased part of the QR square, as well as (obviously) my usual printed identifying information. I’m surprised to see that such a simple piece of “equipment’ has gone digital but thinking about it, it is amazing sensible. After all if you are moving patients around from multiple departments, scanning, x-ray, operating theatres and rooms, then having as much detail available on them at possible can be life-saving if things are going wrong. This information also remains private within the hospital system. Introducing a QR Code to my wrist seems to be one digital advancement that makes perfect sense.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 21, 2019

This Former Church Is Now Jumping…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterdays post, I think I am looking at a way of repurposing a church with an activity that almost can not be better suited to the building.

The former church located at Stadhoudersplantsoen 28,  Den Haag (The Hague) is now houses a trampoline activity centre called:  Planet Jump..

The high walls and roof of the church are ideal for an activity such as trampolining, and the current fashion of laying out many trampoline beds in rows and also on the sides, using the large interior space that is free of columns or internal walls.

Apparently there is an area upstairs for toddlers and very small children, they are separated from the larger children for safety’s sake.

I didn’t attempt the stairs to check out that part personally, ergo, no photographs.

Our kids and their friends like coming here, it’s an excellent school holiday outing and I like that the attendant supervises how many kids are on the trampolines at once and restricts the numbers if there are too many kids wanting to jump at once.

One thing though, the staff could be a little friendlier at times, they are sometimes very abrupt bordering on rude.

I hope that they work on this because it’s the only thing that lets this place down.

Bad customer relations is not a trait that goes well in any enterprise where dealing with the public is essential for the life of your business.   At least on a positive note, this building is well suited to it’s new use… this church is now jumping!

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 20, 2019

Giving Former Churches A New Lease Of Life…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s a sad fact that many Christian churches are closing.

Less people have faith, and a lot of people (like me) who do, do not attend church very often.

For me personally, it is more important to be actively helping people around me than sitting in church listening to sermons.

I rate faith by why you do in life and not how many bible verses I’ve memorised.

It’s very much a personal thing and I do not mean in any way wish to belittle or diminish people who do attend church and listen to sermons.  It’s just that after many years of doing so, I find that it doesn’t work for me.

Himself and I try to be actively helping people around us, they are not family in the usual sense, but in a way are “family” to us.

I won’t go into detail here because these are human beings and not “projects” of any kind. It’s also not something to brag about, the best thing about giving in an unseen manner is the sheer pleasure it gives us, knowing we make a difference in peoples lives no matter how small. We would like it to be more of course but resources of time, money and health are finite.

It’s not always about how much you do, it’s the fact that you “do” something at all. This is my faith worked out in a practical manner and it works for me. I live by the words “To whom much is given, much is required”.

Churches, in the brick and mortar sense, have sadly become less and less wanted in society today. Some get demolished, others get repurposed. This former church in The Hague is one such that has been repurposed: and the high walls, with the ceiling far above, standard features in most churches, have special importance in how this church has been given a new lease of life.  First let’s take a look at the outside… the architectural detail is still beautiful.

(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 17, 2019

Mate, …We Got Your Back.

Filed under: CHRISTCHURCH,LIFE,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A cowardly attack by someone armed with an automatic weapon against innocent, unarmed people on their knees in prayer.
What chance did these peaceful people have?

The perpetrator livestreamed innocent peoples last moments of life as he murdered them, how low can a human being go?

Human being is too good a word, calling him one casts a shadow over all of humanity who find this utterly deplorable. This coward is a monster.

Apparently according to his manifesto the thought that a little out of the way place like New Zealand was immune to this kind of thing, was precisely the reason why Christchurch, New Zealand was *chosen* for this attack.

This coward of a perpetrator wanted that people felt that nowhere in the world was safe.

R.I.P. the poor souls who only wanted to pray peacefully: you didn’t in any way, shape or form deserve this.

My condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims: our tears flow with yours, we feel angry and outraged, disturbed that this awful thing has happened.

We want to show unity, we want to let you know that you do not stand alone in this terrible moment of darkness.

I do not utter the name of the coward who did this: let his name be deleted from the history books, let his name be nothing but a redacted black rectangle on the page.

Let instead the spotlight of these days and history be shone on the victims of this rampage and the good things they were doing in their lives and in this world. Let us grieve for them together, let us show solidarity, let us be the shoulder you can cry on, the one you can talk to, the one with whom we can share prayers.

It’s not:us” and “them

It is:You‘ and “Me‘, and we together are Kiwi’s (Readers may insert the name of your people here.) no matter where we live. Stay strong brothers and sisters. When enough good people stand united, fear and hate will never bring us down. Not when we know that no matter what happens, our mates have our back. We are all in the same boat. Let us always steer towards Peace.

March 10, 2019

The Devil Confirms The Most Evil Of Road Users…

Filed under: ART,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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I’m always on the lookout for quirky things. Coming home from out 2017 Easter break, passing Rotterdam we got stuck in heavy traffic. The car in front of us was a Volkswagen or as I usually say it a “Vee- Dub”. I don’t know what it is, but often (back during my driving days) if there were incidents of people cutting in front of me, racing last moment through exceptionally “stale” or even red lights, not indicating or just generally being an inconsiderate fellow road user, then it would very often be a VW Golf the culprit.

Himself thinks that maybe a certain type of person is drawn to buying this make and model of VW, and he adds Alfa Romeo drivers to his list of inconsiderate drivers too. On the occasion of this sighting, this German VW driver was behaving himself, (not that you can do much in a traffic jam). Apparently confirming our stereotype, around the VW emblem on the car boot, was the figure of a devil. It seems that even the drivers themselves know they are the most evil of road users!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 9, 2019

The Answer My Friend, Is Blowing In The Wind…

Filed under: LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,Windmills — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Netherlands is trying to become completely independent from all imported gas for heating, cooking etc. from approximately 2025-2030.

With these dates looming fast, a lot of investment is being made in green alternatives.

Wind and solar are the “big two” of course, with heavy investment into R & D for other possibilities like wave technology close behind.

With the coastal areas averaging 360 windy days per year, it’s no surprise why windmills have been such a success throughout Dutch history.

Large modern wind turbines dotted around the landscape, and even bigger wind farms in the North Sea supply more and more of the countries energy, but there are some smaller wind generation alternatives around too.

This variety of small wind turbine looks perfect for a “local” solution, and personally I’d love one of these on our house, the only downside is that I am not sure how much noise these make and if they therefore would be suitable in a residential area.

The noise of just one single unit, might not be a problem, but if they were especially successful and several sets of neighbours wanted one too, then a string of them in each street might have a cumulative noise effect that may well become a contentious neighbourhood problem. The one I sighted here looks like it’s on a commercial property, so less noise concerns there.

We are totally into the idea of generating our own green electricity, Himself and I are going to be insulating our roof in the next months and afterwards, as much area of the roof as possible will be covered with solar panels.

The cost difference these days is amazing: we bought three solar panels around 15 years ago and they set us back around 10, possibly 11.000,– Euro, Now we can get 25 solar panels for 5.000,– Euro ! Both cases are without subsidy, but in the latest set, we hope to fight a bit harder for our share of the tiny subsidy budget that the Gemeente (city council / Town hall) has, even if it gets paid retroactively in the next years. In the meantime our electricity comes via one of the big wind energy companies, so we are trying to do what we can to keep the planet healthy. Hopefully part of the answer to the global warming crisis is blowing in the wind…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 24, 2018

A Most Interesting Piece Of Infrastructure…

Filed under: HISTORY,LIFE,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,West Coast /Westland Province — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another thing that the New Zealand province of the West Coast is famous for is the myriad of stream and rivers on this side of the Main Divide (one of the names for the Southern Alps).

I mentioned a few posts ago that my Grandfather told us that the Coaster’s rule for giving way (especially after a visit to the Pub) was “My turn your turn, my turn…”

…and that needless to say there were probably more than a few near misses.

That is nothing however when compared to the close shaves that must have regularly occurred on some of these bridges: Why?

Because the headlights speeding towards you on the other side of the One Way bridge did not belong to a car, but to a train.

Yes, you figured that out correctly, the West Coast has one-way bridges where not only cars in both directions take turns to share a single lane, they also both share with trains going in both directions!

Phew, I bet that somewhere during the years that made for some scary games of Chicken and some truly hair raising moments! I assume the reason why these exist is just due to economics: you have just a handful of small towns along the entire length of the West Coast, in addition there are a few tiny settlements dotted along the coast but even in total the population is so small that investing in separate road and rail bridges is a massive expense. We come to one such bridge, fortunately sans train, and after waiting our turn cross one of the West Coasts most interesting pieces of infrastructure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 21, 2018

Kiwi Daughter Starts Off In The Kitchen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whilst on the West Coast of New Zealand and staying in the “South of the Barber hostel”  in Greymouth we start cooking up an evening meal in the communal kitchen.

I was feeling tired so Himself told me to get in a nap because Kiwi Daughter really wanted to make a Caesar salad and wanted to help Himself cook.

We only have some very basic ingredients with us, pasta and a can of frankfurters and some cherry tomatoes that we would put separately on the side because Kiwi Daughter is allergic to raw tomatoes.

Cooked tomatoes are no problem, it’s apparently something to so with the tomato skins.

I get to do the dishes (I knew there had to be a catch somewhere!).

Kiwi Daughter remarked that she quite liked the cooking experience so Himself and I quickly responded with praise and told her she was most welcome to do it more often. Sadly that was met with “no thanks, this was enough“. Oh well, we tried. One day she will show a flicker of interest in learning to cook, probably when she leaves home and realizes that it’s something she wished she had taken an interest in at home! That said, her Caesar salad was excellent and she has to start somewhere so we encouraged her as much as possible. The meal filled a gap and after the dishes were done we could finally relax.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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