Local Heart, Global Soul

October 19, 2017

Cinnamon Ice-Cream!, …Who Knew? (Apparently Everyone Except Me)

Filed under: BREDA,Dutch Cuisine,FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s my last post of this series from Breda. Himself’s mother had a life long friend who had one child.

The two families spent so much time together when the children were young that it was like Himself’s family acquired an extra sibling, and for the girl in the other family, like she gained two proxy brothers and sisters.

The people you spend a lot of time with whilst growing up have a special bond that remains with you all of your  life.

I have of course met the family often during my married life, but this is the first time I have been to the smaller house that the mother down-sized to from her large central city property.

The home is light and airy and the dining room table is close to French doors that open out into the garden.

The mother and daughter potter around in the kitchen preparing a delicious vegetable curry. In fact it was so good that we were all busy tucking in and I forgot to get photographs.Dessert was simple; fresh fruit and ice-cream, and a surprise was in store: ‘Kaneel‘ (cinnamon) flavoured ice-cream! I have never heard of this so asked it was a local specialty, to be greeted with a laugh, it turns out it was ‘local’ in that it came from their local supermarket, and the biggest national chain supermarket at that!  It just goes to show how much time I spend in supermarkets these days. One day I will get around to having an on-line grocery order delivered so that not all of the grocery shopping burden falls on Himself’s shoulders. After dinner we make our way home, a wonderful weekend day out being had by all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 18, 2017

Entirely for My Artistic Pleasure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This next post is entirely for my artistic pleasure.

I love shape, form, texture and pattern, so the shape of vines on a trellis at Himself’s family friends home in Breda captures my imagination.

I also have a “thing” with plants, trees and leaves at the moment and keep intending to draw them, so these also serve as “studies” for my artwork portfolio.

Not having a garden of my own means that I need to ‘stock up’ on photos for my arty archive when ever I get the chance.

It’s not just the garden that has items I can use as inspirational material either, inside a beautiful statuette, a barometer and the pattern on a dish also catch my eye.

I did of course ask permission to take all of these and since there was no identifying information it was no problem. I even found a garden hose interesting (yes, I know there is no accounting for taste!) Regular readers will know that I delight in photographing every day ordinary things and there is no more ordinary thing than a garden hose.

(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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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 17, 2017

My Still Life Folder Grows…

Filed under: ART,attempting Still Life,BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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whit flowers 1f (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, whilst our Breda hosts are busy preparing dinner I take more photographs, inside and outside. There are spring plants to test my close up skills, and some white flowers outside in a pot that catch my eye. I try different angles and crop out different bits; my Still Life folder grows.

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

October 16, 2017

A Photoshoot Around The House…

Filed under: ART,BREDA,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Himself’s family friends in Breda have a lovely garden. It was early spring time when we visited and we were told to relax and make ourselves at home whilst they prepared dinner. I found this lovely little bird house and thought I would try some arty shots…

(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 15, 2017

I Mean, Seriously, Who Doesn’t Love A Turret?

Filed under: Architectural Detail,ART,BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Never one to miss an opportunity to photograph a beautiful building I ask Himself to pull over when we pass by what looks like a little castle surrounded by a moat.

We pull off the road, into a driveway where I can take photographs where the grand building is less obstructed by trees.

There is a Wikipedia page for Bouvigne Castle (in the Dutch language only) so I have translated it here: “Bouvigne Castle is located near the Mastbos south of Breda and has been owned by Waterschap Brabant Delta since 1972.

After it’s 1975-77 restoration the castle was reopened on September 13, 1977 by His Royal Highness Prince Claus. It is not known exactly how old the castle is or what the original building looked like.

It is known that from 1494 on the De Boeverie estate there was a watered stone house near one large and one smaller farm.

The small farm stood at the intersection of the Duivelsbruglaan and Bouvignelaan but went  up in flames during the siege of Breda by Spinola in 1624.

The large farm had been owned by the Prince of Orange since 1614 and after 1881 by the state. The large farm was destroyed in 1941 by a V-1 bomb but was  rebuilt after the war.

As far as can be determined, the stone house first appeared in publication in an official deed of 1554; the will of former owner Jacob van Brecht. In this testament the castle was described as a stately stone house surrounded by canals.

The home was expanded over time. It began with the stone house, then addition of the first floor of the tower (between 1554 and 1611). In the three years after that, some other renovations took place and the tower was raised with a second floor.

On October 8, 1614, Prince Philip Willem ‘Boeverijen’, along with his brothers Maurits, Frederik Hendrik and Willem II bought the home for 27,000 guilders to use as a hunting lodge.

In total, the castle has been in the possession of eight princes. In 1637 it was headquarters of Frederik Hendrik invaded the city of Breda to end the Spanish rule. Hendrik Carel van Naerssen gave up residence there in 1774 after deterioration of the building due to neglect.  The Nassause Domain Council agreed. Wealthy coffee planter George Ruysch turned up the castle and Frenchified the name to Bouvigne (and named as such in 1802 in a deed of sale).

From 1930 the castle was owned by the government and was rented for a long time to the Catechists of the Eucharist Crusade (Pius X Foundation). In 2007, the castle was regularly in local news in connection with controversial building plans for the castle. Since October 1, 2010, Bouvigne Castle is one of the official wedding venues within the municipality of Breda.” We have to get back to our friends home in Breda where dinner is waiting for us so I zoom in as best I can and capture as much of the detail as possible. With gardens open to the public, round turrets and a fairy tale quality make this building well worth a closer look. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love a turret?

(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)

Wikipedia: Kasteel (Castle) Bouvigne / Breda / The Netherlands. (Dutch language only)

October 12, 2017

Refreshment Before The Next Installment…

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

Himself’s long time family friends are showing us around one of their favourite corners of Breda: Meersel-Dreef.

We have been learning about the building and it’s history but now they take us around the back where there is a café.

To my surprise as we round an area of tables at the front, instead of just finding more seating for customers we come across a large area filled with children’s play equipment.

A short distance further along the building we finally find the rest of the outside seating area, far more substantial in size than we first imagined.

Our kids are old enough to be busy with their own social engagements this weekend, but had we visited in their younger years they would have dashed off to play just as most of the children here are doing.

Some of the faces of the children, were a little too recognisable in my photographs, therefore I have done a little careful editing to protect their privacy. We were lucky to find a seat because this place is clearly very popular and were soon enjoying tea (for those driving and for me on strong medication) and beer for the others. Our friends chose raspberry beer, and then refreshed we were ready for the next installment of our visit.

(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 9, 2017

Another Accidental Crossing Of A Border…

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

The beautiful building our Breda friends have bought us to see is called: Meersel-Dreef.

There is a large information board (Dutch text only) so translated here:

The name Meersel consists of two parts: “Meer” and “Sele”. “Meer” means “swamp” and Sele means ‘house’ so the meaning of the word is “house near the swamp”.

Little is known about Meersel-Dreef before 1500. It is certain that around 1200 people were already living there.  Perhaps Meersel-Dreef is older than the village of Meerle, because from as early as 1223 there was a chapel there.

Around 1690 Meersel was no more than a few houses around a lonely chapel surrounded by heather and pine trees.

The Dreef was  built after the establishment of a monastery of the Kapucijnen monks on 25 June 1687. “The northern most village.’

Meersel-Dreef  is the northern most village of Belgium. The northern-most tip is near a farm called “De Paal” on the heath end. 

It is marked by a boarder post (as in ancient stone kilometer marker) No. 219. The border between Belgium and the Netherlands lies between border marker No. 217 in Strijbeek and goes a little beyond marker No. 220 in the hamlet of Scheurdekous , a total distance of about 5 kilometres.

The current border was defined on 8 August 1843 via the Maastrict border treaty. This treaty ratified the dividing line between Belgium and the Netherlands. as was decided in 1648 in the treaty of Munster.

The monastery of the Kapucijnen monks.
After the religious wars 1648) the Catholics in the Baronie of Breda struggled to practice their religion. The Calvinists in power prohibited religious services and worship of Mary.

A few influential Catholic families in Breda decided to establish a religious centre / place for prayer, on the soil of the Catholic Spanish Netherlands. Early in 1686 the decision was made to establish a Kapucijnen monastery  in Meersele which would be in aid of the percuted Cathlics within the Baronie of Breda.

Land was bought which was owned by the countess of Hoogstraten; Maria Gabriella de Lalaing.  King Karel  (Carl) of Spain gave official permission on parchment letter to establish a monastery on that land. In the winter of 1687 the plans were made for the future building and shortly afterwards the first four Kapucijnen  monks arrived in Meersele.

The monks were temporarily housed in the “Blauwhoeve’. The monks set to work rapidly and on the 28 September 1688, the church could be consecrated. Around 1728 the church had to be extended because it was so popular. Later on the church and the monastery were extended yet again.”

It’s actually a surprise for me to read that I was in Belgium! Our friend’s Breda house is a ten minute walk away through the woods and even though we came here via the longer road route that goes around the woods, I saw no road signs at all. I later asked Himself if he knew where the boarder was, he said he thought it was about  kilometer away.  The building is beautiful, even if I  accidentally slipped across a border come to see it!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 8, 2017

Strawberry Fields Forever!

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

During our visit to Breda, the next information board that I see is all about “de Aardbeienroute’ (The Strawberry Route).

I translated it, (and a small amount of additional text from “de Aardbeienroute” website) into English, it reads:

The Strawberry Route is fully situated in the territory of the fusion municipality Hoogstraten, combining the historic center of Hoogstraten.

The Hoogstraten Strawberries are considered as the most beautiful and delicious in the country.

With an annual output of over 25 million kilos, Hoogstraten is the undisputed center of strawberry cultivation.

The Strawberry Route illustrates the importance of agriculture and horticulture in this region.

It combines the historic center of Hoogstraaten with the beautiful Mark Valley and the vast countryside of the Belgian-Dutch border region.  You cycle past many greenhouses with strawberries and strawberry fields that clearly show the evolution of strawberry cultivation throughout the years. The route was reworked in 2017 , of course, the great features of the original route were retained, but these were complemented by nice spots around Hoogstraten. The Strawberry Route is available free of charge at Hoogstraten Tourism. Ever picked a portion of crispy strawberries from the machine? This is your chance! Sample these ‘Hoogstraatse Queens’ during or after your trip.”

Of course the machine in question is the automatic dispensing machine that I featured two days ago. It’s a good thing that most Dutch fields are bordered by canals, otherwise I envision cyclists being tempted to stop and nibble the produce of the strawberry fields as they make their rounds of the route. As the Beatles most aptly put it: strawberry fields forever!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 7, 2017

Working Towards Real Growth… Not Just That In Trees.

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

This blog is all about noticing the little things, the details of my daily life and surroundings.

I seem to always notice the things that so many others walk by, possibly because I walk the slowest but more probably because I am a detail fanatic; a trait I carried long before my accident.

I am always interested in small signs, plaques, maps, information boards and the like, and as usual I was bringing up the rear of our group, lingering reading several new “finds” of this ilk.

I will start with the smallest one which was located next to a small tree.

The reason for that quickly became apparent: this commemorated the planting of an “Inclusieboom” (Inclusion Tree).

Translated into English the sign reads: ” Inclusion Tree, Planted in November 2001 by the Catholic Disability Society together with the local community.

The planters of the “inclusion tree” wish to emphasize /reinforce that people with disabilities are also part of the community. The coexistence / working together of people with and without disabilities must grow. This is what this tree symbolizes.”

I am not certain how planting trees helps handicapped and non-handicapped people grow together on a practical level, although I wholeheartedly endorse the sentiment. I’d personally like to see inclusion and awareness done better, with things like mandatory sign language classes and exams in schools, kids having to “live the life” of someone in a wheelchair, sight impaired etc for the bare minimum of a day each so that they can learn just how difficult it is to negotiate modern life.

Not only might they better understand the difficulties but all kids should also learn that there is a human being behind the disability who deserves respect, dignity and understanding. All kids should learn that people who are “different” still have feelings, hurt when they are called names, bullied, or even just constantly stared at. In fact I would go so far as to say that in an ideal world, part of every kids education should be to help out disabled and special needs kids on a regular basis, to get to know these people as individuals with personalities, feelings and dreams just as they have. Maybe then we could raise a more caring society and if that happened, that would be real growth.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi’s note: apologies for only seeing that this post was missing at the very end of the day, my fuddled brain put this into the schedule with the wrong date on it and somehow it completely missed my earlier double-check. On the upside I suppose that means you get to have a double dose the next day!

October 6, 2017

A Vending Machine Gets An innovative Use…

Filed under: BREDA,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Arriving at our friends house in Breda, we were soon joined by Himself’s sister and her husband. Our family friend gave us time to have a cup of tea before leading the way to somewhere special she wants to take us. It’s a beautiful weekend in April so we have a little bit of trouble finding parking when we get there. It’s not like me to ignore a beautiful building but, spotting something quirky I decide to first check out a little shed next to where we parked. The shed / kiosk houses a dispensing machine and the machine dispenses fresh organic strawberries!
I would have loved to get some but we were all due to eat dinner back at our friends place later and all of the others were gathering a little bit further down the path, waiting for me to catch up.I love the idea that people come up with innovative uses for these kinds of machines, eggs in one location, strawberries in another, perfect!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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