Local Heart, Global Soul

October 5, 2017

Around Breda, Mis-navigation Style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Around April of this year Himself and I went for a weekend visit to see friends in Breda.

As usual I took photographs as we made our way to their place, but sadly our route did not take us though the centre of the city which is said to be old and beautiful.

Here is a quick glimpse of the outskirts.

At one point we made a wrong turning and ended up going through a wooded area where there appeared to be  park.

We used a nearby driveway to turn our car around so that we could continue in the right direction and in the meantime I became curious about the people who were gathering there.

I don’t know if it was the fine weather or if there was a special event, but there were a group of young people in the park, around the picnic tables etc and on the side of the road, cars and a lot of bicycles parked up. I’m assuming that it had to have been some sort of event because they didn’t really look like separate family groups since I didn’t see any small children.  A large youth group or church outing? Some sort of nature group? I don’t know. We did catch glimpses of interesting buildings, and the weather is lovely so let’s see where the afternoon leads.

(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)

October 4, 2017

The Road To Breda…

Earlier this year Himself and I went to visit a long term friend of his family in the southern Dutch city of Breda. The route we took  was one that took us around the the port of Rotterdam, and but which joined up with the main motorway south later on. There were many sights of one of the largest ports in the words: chemical plants, gas storage silos, and of course the docks and ships. There was an interesting walkway over the motorway we were on, and transport barges in the big rivers that bring goods far into Germany. The weather was moderate or the time of year, traffic light since it was the weekend and the weather was bright.

(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)

July 28, 2017

Work And Play As Usual…

The road back to The Hague after last years weekend away was a quiet, scenic one. We stopped for some fresh air by one waterway, watching a huge dredger at work and numberous people at play on yachts and boats of various sizes. At one place a new overhead bridge was being built, at another we waited while our road bridge opened to let through boat traffic. We spied a London taxi (of all things) on the back of a trailer, and saw that work and play went on as usual in the Dutch countryside. Life goes on…

(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)

July 24, 2017

A Stock Issue Of Houses And Barns…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Driving through Flevoland,  the Netherland’s newest province, we see some of the newest farmland in the world.

Work started in the 1930’s reclaiming land from the sea, and in the 1940’s and 50’s the polders took shape.

Then as mentioned in yesterday’s post, on 1st January 1986  the joining of the southern and eastern Flevopolders created the new province.

The farms and their out buildings were put in as the farm land took shape, government assistance meant that stock to a set pattern of both houses and barns were laid down, bringing  a distinct conformity of style as we drive the length of the polder.

This gives this area it’s own character, the style might not be modern in the newest sense or old in the centuries old style of much of the country but with the surrounding space and large gardens that these farms enjoy there is no doubting that these must be beautiful places to live.

(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)

July 23, 2017

Dividing Up Some Of The Newest Land On The Planet…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Dutch province of Flevoland was officially born on 1st January 1986, when the southern and eastern Flevopolders were merged into one province.

Almost all of the land belonging to the province was reclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Nearing the end of a weekend away, Himself and I travel homewards via the length of the southern Flevopolder and find many road signs that somehow seem a little strange to me.

Himself explains that when the polders were being drained and farms established on the land, farmers or would-be farmers came from all over the Netherlands to take over the new land.

To make the transition easier it was decided to place all of the farmers from each region together in groups, thus everyone from the province of Zeeland together etc.

The roads were then named accordingly, with references to the places they had left behind or things familiar to their area. Thus the road sign: “Alikruikweg” (references a small edible shellfish, something like the New Zealand pipi), and “Oldebroekerweg” is a reference to a village left behind.

The farms were established in a very distinct pattern, think of four squares in a block as four farms, with the four farms in the corners that meet in the center of the block. So continued the pattern for much of the polder. Whilst visiting the Schokland Museum I found an old aerial photograph that shows the pattern rather well. In one of the farms someone was celebrating their 40th birthday, notification of the fact could not be said to be inconspicuous and raised a laugh. The land is flat and even on the hazy day we had, the camera picked up the top of the roller-coaster and big wheel of Veluwemeer Walibi World fun park in the far distance. The road is straight and mostly deserted so we make our way south at leisure.

(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)

June 23, 2017

Leaving The Veluwe Behind…

Leaving Garderen in The Veluwe on a “weekend for two”, Himself and I head lazily towards the province of Flevoland. The distance isn’t far but we are avoiding the motorways as far as possible, enjoying the small roads of the Veluwe before the forests become the open landscapes of the flat farmlands that dominate the rest of the country. As we start to get close, I see what I think might be buoys for the fishing industry. The shapes and sizes are interesting and as traffic starts to build up, we slow down and I get some photographs as we go past.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Nooks and crannies for plants and insects…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First I thought this was the butt of a horse, but it turns out it’s a silverback gorilla (there is a large wildlife park close by). Sadly I didn’t manage to get a front face shot…

(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 3, 2017

Den Helder, A Pretty Town Even On A Dismal Day…

The town of Den Helder is the port town where the ferry connection for the island of Texel is located. The day might be grey and overcast, but the rain is holding off as we make our way to the opposite side of town…

(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 2, 2017

Over The Ramps And Onto Dry Land…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our 2016 Easter long weekend has come to an end, and we head to the other end of the island to take the ferry home.

It rained hard during the night, but we are lucky with the weather: it dries up at daybreak and we load the car and set out with just the odd patch of light drizzle.

The wind however is another thing. Even with a fully loaded car of three adults, two kids and seemingly endless luggage (and Kiwi Daughter travelling with our other friends but her suitcase is with us) the car is still being buffeted on the open and exposed landscape.

Knowing that I’m as bad a sailor as I am a car traveler, I am the only one to elect to exit the car deck and go upstairs.

Buffeting fresh air and photography take my mind off the green feelings, and luckily the trip is a very short one.

In no time at all we are in the quieter waters of Den Helder harbour, I go back to the car and we are over the ramps and onto dry land. Even though it is the morning of Easter Monday, there is still a long line of cars in the opposite lane waiting to board the ferry.  With Texel now beind us, we head on to our next destination…

(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)

The harbour area on Texel is just visible at about “10 o’clock” point on the horizon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 29, 2017

Drugs Have Me Losing My Photographs As Well As My Mind…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During the 2016 Easter weekend, Family Kiwidutch visited Texel, an island in the province of Nord Holland (North Holland).

Usually when I document on this blog, trips that we have made, I naturally start at the beginning and go as chronologically as possible to the end.

On this occasion I misplaced a folder of photographs, an error of concentration, a side effect of the pain medication that I take.

Two days ago I found the photos in a folder about Dutch buildings, so what was going on in my head when I did that, goodness only knows!

I’m slotting this in now with the idea that “better later than never” is a better principle to follow than to leave it out completely.

To be slotted between blog dates of February 10th and February 11th 2017, these photographs offer our first impressions of the island, the glimpse of the airport and Air Force and War Museum that lead us to rewarding and memorable visit later on, the landscape and architecture that define island life.
I’ve mislaid files before: usually I am not so lucky and they do not turn up later, or in some cases, ever. I know that this is a very human error but in the last four years the dosages of powerful pain medications has risen and the “human errors” have risen dramatically in direct relationship with the pain medication rises. I suppose that the summary
is: “Don’t do drugs folks, they mess with your brain” (or in my case, what’s left of it). I’d like nothing better than to come off this medication, if only solutions could be found to fix my foot and do so. In the meantime, here are our first impressions of Texel.

(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 28, 2017

Quality Time As A Family…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Easter weekend of 2016 saw us on the island of Texel, taking a break from extended family responsibilities that had been weighing heavily and from which we needed a little bit of “time out”.

Helping to care for someone nearing the end of their life is a difficult task, there are deeply rewarding moments but also ones of despair. For Himself, seeing his mother loosing the ability to independently run her household herself and later, the loss of dignity when she lost the ability to look after her own personal hygiene, was harder than he ever imagined.

District nurses helped her bathe but slowly even the ability to brush her own teeth was beyond her.

Whilst we never ever begrudged him the daily and sometimes multiple daily visits, it was difficult to stay at home and keep up with family life alone.

The kids also saw their grandmother slowly loosing her grip on life, she was no longer the person they knew a few years back, the board game days were over and they had to come to grips with the fact that she wasn’t going to be with us forever. This long weekend break allowed us to spend some quality time together as a family without chores like laundry and homework. We each found at least one activity we liked, we had fun and smiled again. Texel’s scenery is interesting, barns and houses quirky and we are liking Texel more and more and more…

(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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