Local Heart, Global Soul

October 27, 2017

Having The Patience To Decorate Cakes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Winter is never my favourite season because I am somewhat allergic to short days, long dark nights and cold temperatures.

If Himself and I were to believe in incarnation then I’d hazard a guess that in a previous life I had been a tomato.

Himself was probably a chili pepper, and we are well suited to one another because we would both choose a tropical getaway over a skiing holiday in a nanosecond.

My current situation does not lend itself to getting out and about much, so to kick me out of the house and have some fun my best friend organised for us both to attend a cake decorating workshop in the Hague early in the year.

I have the patience to decorate cakes, providing there are no serious time constraints, and there are not kids underfoot, since I have “Been there, Done that” and can sincerely say that it was not in any way a success, at least on a practical level.

It’s beyond frustrating to see one of your offspring squeezing the last of the icing out of the bags into a puddle on your dining room table just to see how the colours mix.

Of course those exact bags were the ones you had set aside to finish the other half of the big cake you were working on, everything had started well but now you have run out steam,  exhausted, and to add insult to injury the kids have  disappeared leaving you with a kitchen and dining room table that look like a bomb went off in a food coloring factory.

The extension was in the table so that everyone had enough place to work in, now icing is solidifying in the crack between the table sections, the food colouring trail leads as far as the door handle and goodness knows how much further beyond, there are splatters of icing on the floor and you are so tired that you feel like sleeping face down in your incomplete cake.

In the kitchen looks like you used every dish you own (probably did) and the sink is filed to overflowing (my pet hate) so it feels like a day’s work to get it empty let alone start the washing up.

In contrast, in years gone by I could wait until the kids had surrendered to their early bedtime,  then start in peace, all the bits and pieces I needed set out neatly on the dining room table. Then the kids grew big enough to “Help” and chaos ensued. To make matters more complicated, if my offspring were not stuffing their mouths with cake or biscuits (cookies), they were singing the praises of the experience: “This has been great fun‘, “Can we do this again next weekend?”,Mama, I love you, You are the best!”, although to be fair, this bit generally takes place after the wreckage in my kitchen and the carnage on the dining room table has been eradicated by the parents. They know how to choose their moments, my kids. Of course you have to remember too the most frustrating thing of all: I said I had the patience to decorate cakes, .. I didn’t  say I was any good at it.

(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)

September 27, 2017

When The Person Picking Out a Double Bed Is The One You’d Least Expect…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our biggest household task this last summer school has been a long awaited and vastly overdue update of Little Mr’s bedroom. His room was last renovated some eleven years ago when it was still our bedroom since both kids were still sharing a room back then.

When we bought the apartment below us fourteen years ago it got priority as we had an older foster kid with us and his room was down there. Himself’s new office went down there too as he started his business from home, the smallest bedroom became a guest room and the tiny room by the front door (formerly a very cramped bedroom in the previous owners time) became a box room with eventually space for stuff like a freezer.

As the years progressed the foster kid left, friends came to stay temporarily whilst starting a new life in the Netherlands and after getting jobs and finding a house they left our place ten months later to live very locally, more today as family than as friends.

Always interested in meeting new people we have billeted various other people for short stays ranging from a few days to three months (I even drove to Schipol airport and rescued a few random people when the Icelandic volcano grounded all flights over a large part of Europe) and hosted visiting friends and family from around the world.

Our upstairs hall ways, stairs and living rooms got priority after that, and somehow Kiwi Daughters room managed to sneak in two makeover’s, mostly because she opened her mouth and complained more often.

This summer it has been the turn of Little Mr,  and it’s been a summer long project because Himself is doing 98% of the renovation work in between pauses in his normal work. My contribution has been sitting sorting out Lego, of which there has been an almost frightening amount.

I average anywhere between half and hour and an hour and a half  per day, and on quite a few days I sat and fixed all the sorting mistakes I made the day previously due to complete concentration malfunction.

I am still finding multiple piles of the same part because I would forget I’d already made a previous pile and Little Mr spent more than one day on the floor after I knocked over plastic containers of tiny bits and then could then not get onto the floor to retrieve them.

After not having a living room table since the end of July, I am now making ever increasingly loud noises towards Little Mr that he better help me clear the last of it, not an easy thing because as he discovered more and more sorted containers his “need” (his word not mine) to build outweighed his need to help finish sorting.  His building then in turn meant that I had more to sort and thus we are fast in danger of forming a never ending circle and me never seeing my dining room table ever again. I’ve told him that I want to build too so my sorting days (well, ok, hours) are severely numbered. New curtains have been ordered for his renovated room and the biggest change was a new bed,  a double no less!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Yes, it did seem strange having our twelve year old son pick out his own double bed but we didn’t want to repeat the mistake we made with Kiwi Daughter.

She was about eleven when she swapped her smaller light blue room with a pink stripe (her design) for plain white walls and we splashed out on a very fancy and (looking back at it) stupidly expensive raised single bed that had a massive desk underneath.

Eighteen months later our teenage daughter was torturing us with the refrain that bunk beds were for little kids, she hated her room, a cool room would have a bed she could lounge on with friends and so forth.

Worn down we relented and guess that, no one wants to pay even 10% what we paid for that fancy get-up as a second hand item, no matter how pristine or how good quality it was.

Determined not find ourselves having the same heated rows with Little Mr as the teenage years and probably another half meter of height is added to his frame, we headed straight for the big bed, much to the bemusement of the gent in the showroom. So, gone are the pale yellow painted walls, in is the new white, and slowly the bits and bobs are on order to make his room complete. Now all I have to do is one day summon up the courage to remind poor overworked Himself about the state of the paint work in our kitchen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is less than half of Little Mr’s Lego. His extended family nickname: “The Lego Master”… is well deserved.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 25, 2017

The Delight In Busting A Coke Habit…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have always been partial to a drink of coke-cola. In an effort to cut down on sugar I switched from regular cola to the diet variety,  and managed with just a few drinks per week.

Then I had children and during pregnancy the smell of coffee had me turn a wonderful shade of green and since my coffee intake was already very high I took the decision to not return to coffee after my pregnancies.

I drank black tea before I discovered coffee as a teenager, the main reason that coffee took hold was that I didn’t actually love black tea very much. After my accident all alcohol consumption stopped, something I missed, and still do, even though the amount of bottles of wine I drank in a year could be counted on one hand.

It wasn’t even the amount, it was just that I could have a small Pineau des Charantes, port, sambuka, baileys or wine a few times every month or two whenever I fancied one. When that choice was taken away I started drinking more and more cola.

In an effort to be healthier I started to also drink rooibos (literally= red bush) tea, from a native tree of the same name in South Africa that contains no caffeine, no tannin and a large amount of vitamin C.  I drink this tea warm rather than hot and it’s a type of tea that doesn’t get bitter if it stews, a bonus because I love this tea strong.

If rooibos isn’t around then I might drink mint / peppermint tea or chamomile, but black tea and flavoured teas based on black tea are still not, well… my cup of tea. Long term pain brings many changes and moods so it was hardly surprising that my comfort drinking of cola steadily increased even though I was well aware that aspartame is not a healthy ingredient of sugar-free drinks.

Knowing about it and caring about it on many days are two different things.

Finally, last November I decided to kick my cola habit completely and thought that cold turkey would be the best way to do it. I won’t say it was the easiest way to do it but for me at least it was the best.

Headaches and mood swings ensued. Luckily these side effects were fairly short lived and I am pleased to say that except as a rare treat I have not had any coke-cola since then. In fact I am delighted that even “treats” have added up to a grand total of  some 5-6 glasses in the last ten months and I aim to keep it at this level, or less in the future. I have had a few drinks of  bitter lemon during this summer but have forced myself to drink water, not a drink I ever gravitated towards as a drink of choice in the past.

Little Mr was impressed with my decision and cold turkey efforts, but also took the opportunity to play a prank. About a week into my cola detox he came into my bedroom early one morning and announced that he was bringing me some cola. Surprised, I roused myself to find this decorated water bottle, and he disappeared with a fit of giggles. Then, about 30 seconds later he bounded back into the room with a concerned look on his face saying: “Mama, please don’t drink it, it’s not real cola and I used food colouring for the colour and dish detergent so that it would have bubbles“. Clearly he maybe thought that any dark liquid may severely tempt me so early into the cold turkey process even though the “bubbles” were rather different to the ones usually found in carbonated drinks and the label a fraction more generic than even supermarket cola home brands. I loved his genuine concern.

No one would have thought that I could have stuck this out, least of all me, but when you set your heart on making lifestyle changes, if you want it badly enough then anything is possible. Now I just have to watch out when, where and to whom my family boast that I have finally busted my coke habit.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 18, 2017

Our Little Marshmallow Went The Distance…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Earlier this summer (when the weather was half decent, before the August and September rain set in), Kiwi Daughter went on a hiking trip with a group of girl friends.

The area they were in was the Ardennes in Belgium, so it wasn’t the flat terrain that they are used to, and they carried their tents, sleeping bags, food and cooking equipment with them, so it was hardly like a day out with a rucksack either.

The distance covered was just over 50 kilometers and the girls worked as a team to help share the load and help one another up hills. There were blisters aplenty amongst them too, Kiwi Daughter getting blisters on her feet in places where we wondered how it was possible.

Only after the hike did we discover that her feet had grown since we bought the walking shoes last Christmas, so she should have been in shoes one size larger.

She was quick to point the finger in our direction for that one, and Yes, we did forget to check, but I did gently remind her that had she done the amount of training asked of her (and the group) before the trip, she would have figured this out in the months before so (a) Himself and I would have been able to buy her new shoes in time for her to break them in and (b) she probably would not have had any issues with blisters at all.

Hindsight is of course a wonderful thing, it seems that most of the girls in the group had been also less than prepared to one degree or another so they suffered and struggled together.

At the end of the first hike Kiwi Daughter phoned us, weary to the bone, sore everywhere, her feet erupting in pain, almost too tired to eat dinner and close to tears. She didn’t know if she could do this, it was too hard, her feet were a mess… the list went on. I am certain that if at that moment Himself had offered to jump in the car, drive to Belgium and pick her up, she would have said goodbye to the rest of her group almost without a backward glance.

No such luck, we listened on the phone as the tears of weariness overcame her and told her that this was as much a test of character as it was of enduring the course. Our words of course meant little that night, and also again when six kilometers into the following days 26 km hike when she sat down at the side of a small road and thought she could not carry on because her feet hurt so much. There was a competitive edge to this event, some dozen or so groups having been given different routes but with the same terminus each day, no one wanted to be the last team in.

Some teams were all boys, some all girls and a few were mixed. Apparently all of the all-girl teams struggled with carrying the equipment, it seemed that being able to pass the weight around to few boys with muscles than they was a half decent advantage. On the flip side I think that it was highly likely that the boys carried a lot more food than the girls, but then again that gets lighter as the day goes on and tents do not.

That day, himself and I listened out for the phone, half expecting a call to tell us that she had dropped out. The phone stayed silent until the evening, when she let us know that she had persevered with the other 20 kilometers after all. Her voice was like a shadow of her usual self, her tiredness could be felt though the phone, her voice trembled and faltered, more tears ensued, and once she had recovered she told us that she wasn’t the only one who had trouble.

The girls all helped one another, taking packs apart and redistributing items several times during the journey, supporting one another physically, emotionally and mentally. They arrived in the campsite in twilight, several hours after the other teams and hardly felt like cooking after getting their tents up.

They managed to finish that day, and the next, despite all of the hurdles that they faced. This is the kind of experience where maybe it’s not the most fun when you are having to do the hard graft, but upon reflection you can look back and realise that in pushing yourself to the limit and not giving in, that you do indeed grow as a person, you find you are stronger than you thought, you can take pride in that fact that you didn’t take the easy option of giving up.

Not only did the girls finish with their team, they lived through something together and came away stronger and better for it.

One ‘bonus” (if it could be called that), about walking in blistered and shredded feet was that when they got sunburnt on the second day Kiwi Daughter said she didn’t feel it. Once home she discovered that she had a set of red, pink and white stripes down her legs regardless of using sunscreen several times. She said her new nick-name of the moment should be “marshmallow” since her legs looked like one.

I didn’t take photographs of her blisters, they were gruesome, but she could laugh about her legs. Kiwi Daughter now looks back on this trip with pride, and quite rightly so because she earned her place at the finish line; literally with blood, sweat and tears. Our little marshmallow went the distance and Himself and I could not be more proud.

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)

January 8, 2017

Back Then This Road Was Open, Today They Are Working On It…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Family Kiwidutch have left Kaikoura behind and are heading towards Blenheim and then Picton, so that we can catch the InterIsland Ferry.

These photographs were of course taken three years ago, but in recent months a series of exceptionally large earthquakes have shaken Kaikoura, most of them having their epicenter in this northeastern area of the South Island.

New Zealand is of course no stranger to earthquakes, but have experienced many more than average since the large quakes that have rocked Christchurch since 2010.

This area is lucky in that it is sparsely populated, a magnitude 7.8 followed by the many aftershocks above 5.0  in a densely populated area anywhere in the world would be certain to cost lives.

Livestock were lost to the quake due to landslides and to that fact that in a few places the ground quickly opened up and then closed again (a terrifying thought but a mercifully quick death). This area is still somewhat isolated because of landslips on State Highway One on the northern side of Kaikoura, the slips to the south having been fewer in size and number and having been cleared in recent weeks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The northern slips are predicted to take at least two months, so all traffic between Wellington and Christchurch is currently having to take the only other road north, the “inland route” , a journey that now takes at least seven hours.

Fortunately back in 2013 we didn’t need to take the Inland route and between three and four hours later were in Picton where the ferry awaited.

The crossing to Wellington was stormy and rough so we kept near the upper decks, I kept far, far away from food and we all got through the crossing intact.

There was a magician on board (for the Christmas school holidays) and he kept a lot of the kids distracted from the rolling of the ship with jokes, magic and balloon animals and shapes, Kiwi Daughter likes monkeys so was delighted that the man was able to fashion a monkey in a tree, Little Mr requested a bike, both kids were satisfied customers.

I’ve been in a far worse crossing in my youth and survived that (the chairs weren’t bolted to the floor in those days and with very roll the unoccupied chairs would start skidding towards the low side. When the opposite roll came they would repeat their movement in the opposite direction, as soon as I got in to Wellington that trip I found out that the ferry sailing in the opposite direction had been cancelled because it was deemed too rough to get through).

Luckily this storm was nothing on that one, but that said it was a very different experience to some of our other near-millpond  crossings. We peered out of the porthole at the InterIslander’s sister ferry going past us near the Wellington Heads… they heading into the worst of Cook Straight weather and us about to shelter from it. Wellington harbour was a welcome sight, even more so for Kiwi Daughter and I, as anyone who has ever suffered from sea sickness can attest to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch) (Salt flats)

(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)

 

 

 

January 5, 2017

Kiwi Daughter Wood Prove Me Wrong…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in mid December 2013 Family Kiwidutch were in New Zealand on holiday.

We spent a few days in Christchurch before heading up to one of our favourite places: Hanmer Springs.

We had no sooner arrived and headed off to the hot pools  when the season’s firewood delivery truck arrived, and in error, the wood dumped partly in the small shed and partly on the lawn in front of it at the back of the property instead of in the garage.

Jason who runs the Hanmer Holiday Homes rentals apologised for the mix-up, the wood should have gone into the garage and just as we were discussing what to do next, Himself and Kiwi Daughter bounded in: they wanted to be the ones to shift it.

Apparently there is nothing like shifting two and a half cord of firewood to burn off the blues of sitting in a plane for a total of twenty-four hours, they thought the exercise would be great fun. I cautioned Kiwi Daughter against the idea that the first fifteen minutes would be great and then she would want to pack things in, but no… apparently she was even keener than Himself to take on the job. She assured me that she would see it though. I told Jason that everything had been worked out, so everyone was pleased.  After long flights I always have more problems with my asthma and my foot was sore, so I headed off to some pain killers, nebulization and a nap, leaving Little Mr comfortably reading comics because he wasn’t keen to join in with the work outside.

Meanwhile Himself and Kiwi Daughter set to work and by the time I woke up they had shifted half of the enormous pile of wood from out of the shed and in front of it and stacked it against the far wall of the double garage.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: Shed in distant back above top left of picnic table.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: Shed in distant back above top left of picnic table.

Even at the half way stage the outside pile of wood reached as high as Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder. She was powering along with no sign or intention of stopping.

I started to take photographs of the work from that point.

Later Kiwi Daughter reluctantly stopped work for dinner, then pushed on, telling us that she aimed to finish everything in one day but it finally got too dark to work or take photographs.

When the light faded we prized her away from the last of it, it was too much to finish safely and yet little enough that it was frustrating.

Kiwi Daughter surprised us by being up bright and early the next day, out at the shed, the steady thud of lumps of wood as they landed in the wheelbarrow being my early morning wake up call.

A little over an hour later Kiwi Daughter and Himself had not only cleared up the wood from the lawn but also cleaned and swept the shed and garage. It was a very impressive feat that earned her a hot meat pie from the local shop, followed by a an extra large helping of gumdrop ice-cream in a cone.
I found out later that day from Himself that Kiwi Daughter’s motivation hadn’t come completely out of the blue. She was twelve-going-on-thirteen years old at this time, and in a strange stroppy pre-teen stage.Therefore like most kids she had been testing parental boundaries, which included months of neglecting household chores.

I had told her several times prior to our trip that she was a lazy kid(which she was at the time) but on this occasion she had said to Himself: “I am going to prove to Mama that I am not lazy!”). This “proof” turned out to be temporary mind you.. it didn’t extend to most holiday chores later, her excuse being “but Mama, I’m on holiday!” I have to say that I was seriously impressed with the work she accomplished, it may have been a one-off but it proved that she has the determination to stick to her guns and finish some seriously hard work, even if the going got tough after a while. I was proud of her… She wanted to prove me wrong, and she did!

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: The shed that was in far background of previous photo.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: The shed that was in far background of previous photo.

The remaining half of the woodpile was up to Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The distance between the shed and the house (garage on the other side of the house per second photograph)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Half of the wood stacked inside the garage whilst I slept…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First thing the next morning this was all that was left…

(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)

A shout out to the friendly neighbour who loaned us the wheelbarrow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr’s contribution: play with his “plane”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 19, 2016

We Need Electric Cars To Come In An Assortment Of Larger Sizes…

Electric cars are catching on fast in The Netherlands. In the past year whilst on our way to medical appointments, or to family or friends, I have seen more and more of them, sitting at their distinctive charging stations on the street. I can count quite a few in close vicinity to our home, more in the larger area and many around the city.  Himself and I would jump at the chance of an electric vehicle, if only they made them in a seven seater edition. We not only fill our car to the brim with kids on a regular basis, but also carry around a wheelchair for me to use whenever we have to negotiate distances larger then I can manage on crutches. The wheelchair takes up a ridiculous amount of space, especially if we need to pack in groceries or luggage and a few kids as well.  We need the combination of boot space and seats that our current car gives us. Himself and I both hope that electic cars come out in an assortment of larger sizes as quickly as possible, it would be amazing to have one of our own.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 23, 2016

There Is No Age Limit On Fun, … Or Wagers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we leave the “Playtoday” Lego shop in Gouda I am keen to take a look at some of the detailed models in the shop.

Parked inside large perspex display cabinet these display pieces are safe from prying little fingers but make photography tricky, so a few of my shots have lighting issues.

Little Mr. and I probably spent rather too long excitedly pointing out to one another some of the especially well done details that we saw to one another but there is no age limit to having fun is there?

In general, each of us liked different things but share a love of a “good build” and humorous details.

We agreed that the use of tiny, clear round bricks to represent the breaking of waves around a wind sailor or a jetty was a masterful move,  he loved the balloon “hovering” over the island, I loved the jewel detail in the pirate island treasure chest and we both grinned when we saw a crab on the roof of a beach-front property.

I loved building things a a kid and was disappointed that Kiwi Daughter never looked twice at Lego, so my son’s delight is also my own, I am often to be found being the Chief Lego “sorter outer-er”, combing through heaps to find a piece that he needs to make his next project complete.

It gives us a chance to chat about stuff too, and what he doesn’t know is that I am secretly trying to learn some of the construction tricks of the trade.

Why? the answer is simple. I looked at a few of the entries in the competition display cabinet and said ” I could do that!” which was met with horrified, wide eyed disapproving stares from Little Mr. “Not cool“… he declared later in the car, “that was sooo embarrassing“.

The problem is that he doesn’t think I am anywhere near being able to enter any competition. Oh yeah?  In fact he believes so strongly that I can’t that he has wagered me Euro 10,– of his pocket money that I win. Yes,  of course he stands to gain the same from me if I can’t.  Entries are once per year, at the beginning of the 2017 summer school holidays. I have to start thinking about a topic and a build that will blow everyone out of the water. Hmmm… Thinking cap would be great… if I had thoughts. I have time. Watch this space.

(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)

(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)

November 22, 2016

There’s Profit In Inspiration And Building Dreams…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Playtoday” Lego shop in Gouda is probably one of the places closest to heaven as far as Little Mr is concerned.

They are open one Sunday in the month, which is how we found ourselves there exactly as the doors were opened, and with Little Mr chomping at the bit to give the place a full check over.

The “pick-and-mix” brick wall drew him first, but it wasn’t long before he discovered the room out the back where Lego was laid out on tables for people to build with.

There are also display cabinets containing competition entry models, which prompted much debate between the two of us about which we thought was the best.

I love the models but the Lego figure wall decorations are one of my favourite things there too.

All around us was Lego, Lego and more Lego, and once again I have to give credit to a company that not only makes money from the wishes of kids but also inspires so much creativity and zeal from the product they sell.

I took these photographs in the first fifteen minutes we were inside, after that parents started to arrive, pulled in by their offspring. It just goes to prove that the is a profit to be made in inspiration and in building dreams.

(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)

(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)

 

 

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