Local Heart, Global Soul

July 24, 2020

Wealth, Prosperity And A Building Boom…

There are plenty of old buildings in Delft, many as early as the 16th and 17th Centuries when the Dutch Golden Age saw wealth, prosperity and building projects galore. Here are just a couple of them…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 23, 2020

Two Skinny Legs…

Himself and I were driving through Delft when we came across this building. It gave me the impression that the owners of the larger building wanted more space, and when they didn’t get it from their smaller neighbour, they just extended into the space above them. Too bad if the little guy wanted to add an extra story or three later on, right? I have no idea what the actual thinking was behind this extension, or how this arrangement was worked out… I just also know that I would never quite feel safe standing in the overhanging section, knowing that only had two skinny legs supporting it from the ground below it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 22, 2020

Covering The Bare Areas…

Filed under: ART,DELFT,Mural,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Driving around Delft I spy a series of panels that are covering up a building site. I couldn’t quite work out if they were advertisements or art pieces so gave them the benefit of the doubt and classified them as Murals, mostly because they give decorative cover to an otherwise bare area.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 21, 2020

Is This It?

This next piece of Leiden ‘road art’ is fractionally less modern than the one in yesterday’s post. At first glance I thought it was a basketball or just a ball on a square base. It turns out to be an apple. As far as ’roundabout ‘centerpieces’ go, I have seen some worse, but also a ton better. Come on Gemeentes, (city councils) why not choose artists that bring humour, colour and creativity to the countries city streets? Or am I behind the times, and this is it?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 20, 2020

New Ring Road?

Driving around Leiden recently I had the camera to hand in the passenger seat. Spotted this modern ‘road art’ and grabbed a few shots as we went by. It’s in an area where new neighbourhoods are springing up like weeds, shockingly fast in fact because this used to be green fields not to long ago. Maybe I’m just getting old. I like the fields better.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 19, 2020

Fabulous Hair…

Filed under: ART,DELFT,Mural,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Saw this mural while we were driving through Delft one day… I don’t know this area so I think it must be on the wall of a barber/hairdressers because it says: “Oh Jan, your hair looks so so nice!”

(kiwi’s note: “Jan” in Dutch is more or less the equivalent of “John” in English.)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 22, 2017

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Summers have not been real “summers” or winters been real “winters” for a long time now.

Gone seem to be the days when the long school holidays could be counted on to give us sunshine and allow kids to play outside together for days on end.

My father will often recount the winters of his childhood, thick ice on small canals and ponds and chain-skating adventures on larger ones. Chain skating apparently involved a long line of skaters hand in hand: the trick was to have one or more strong skaters at the head of the chain and one or two smaller skaters on the end.

Water didn’t freeze easily underneath bridges so between bridges there would be solid pieces of ice that tapered off at each end until it became open water under each bridge.

The sport was that the chain of skaters would speed as fast as they could towards the bridge, coming as close as they dared before the strong skaters performed a sudden “U” turn and dug in to speed back in the opposite direction.

The person who was second to last in the chain would often be whipped around and find themselves skating over seriously thin ice that began to sink under their weight, the last person in the chain was by now almost travelling over submerged ice and almost open water, but moving so fast that the water flicked away from under their skates as they flew past the thinnest of ice and back onto the safety of the thick stuff.

Nano seconds counted, strong grips in the chain did too, sometimes it went wrong, calculations or under estimated and the kid on the end ended up in the freezing water. My father told me that if that happened then the kid was fished out (sometimes needing the assistance of passers by to achieve that) but under no circumstances did they go to their own homes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Canals were polluted and rank, kids greatly feared the wrath of their mothers who had to get the stink and mess out of clothes after express instructions not to play this kind of game. That’s not counting the fear of drowning that did not seem to ever occur to kids as a possibility, but I am certain was the stuff of their parents worst nightmares.

If a kid ended up in the drink, they were fished out and hurried to a friends house, and since this was oft a weekend sport, if they were exceptionally lucky the mother of the house was not at home, but the father was.

The attitude was then ” boys will be boys / no one drowned”, with a big grin, water would be boiled so that a hot wash was available before being lent spare clothes from one of your friends.

The friends mother would later wash and dry the damp and smelly laundry and the kid who had taken the icy dip in the canal was left to sneak home in borrowed clothes and hope his mother would not notice. Of course she always did, and it was always the worst kept secret in the neighbourhood.

Borrowed laundered clothes would magically reappear back to whoever they had been borrowed from, stinking ones would be washed and returned to their owners too. It seemed to just be part of growing up, both parents and children ‘played the game” but small punishments would also magically ensue.

Extra household chores, more of a hated veggie on your plate, and never a complaint because everyone knew that everyone knew (well, maybe the kids did not twig to this until later) and it was one of those rites of passage things that was part of many a Dutch child’s childhood.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Snow and big freezes were standard every winter of my father’s time, his two grandchildren who live here now however cannot say the same. Little Mr looked longingly at his sled without a snowdrop in sight, and then one day we woke up to the white stuff.

Himself and I had to go to Delft for a hospital appointment so I took photographs on the way there and back, especially enjoying the small open space between Rijswijk and Delft where there are trees that stood in their white coats in the strange stillness that even the proximity of the cars creeping along the nearby motorway could not break.

There is a peace and stillness that comes with snow, it blankets the noise of every day life and gives a pretty as a postcard look to even the plainest neighbourhood or grayest day. Personally I love snow, but preferably from a distance, either rugged up warm inside or on the postcard whilst I sit somewhere tropical!

Even though I will never miss snow, I do realise that I should miss where it should be, Dutch winters should have some, the seasons should be as they were meant to be and not the product of man-made mis-management on a global scale.

I can only hope that the small spattering of snow that arrived in the 2016/ 2017 winter and stayed barely a few days will not be photographed as some of the last winter snow we see in years. I hope that Little Mr’s sled does not stand forlornly waiting for the seasons to be as once were. Snow, even though it’s no personal favourite of mine, is still a stunning work of nature and it has it’s place. I can but hope that this winter it will let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cycle paths are often as quickly cleared as main roads…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 29, 2016

Out With The Old And In With The New…

Filed under: DELFT,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

The old hospital in Delft is one where I have had quite a few stays and many an appointment. A few months ago Himself and I were in the new hospital that has been built next door when we noticed that the demolition cranes were busy on the old site.  Over time I hope to show you what has become of the  site.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 9, 2016

Excellent Lunch And The Best Seats In The House…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This summer  in the “Knus”,  a cafe / restaurant located in the “Delftse Hout” I found something to add to my “dream house if money were no object” list.

Since Himself and I are both allergic to winter, it stands to reason that this house would be somewhere with a warm climate, and what is nicer on a hot sunny day than relaxed al fresco dining with friends and family?

With skin cancer running in the family,  a general knowledge that excess sunshine is bad for your skin and that slapping on sunscreen regularly is messy and inconvenient, I always opt for the easy option: shade.

The problem with sun umbrellas, no matter how large, is that the movement of the sun means that a couple of changes of position are usually necessary, and seating a large group can be problematic.

On a good hot day like this day we were in Delft,  and with a group of ten, I was delighted to find my dream seating dining area.

It was a large recessed area with a small hedge around it as a wind break, benches, seats and tables around the edges, and large timber supports holding up an overhead canopy.

The toddler and smaller children were also effectively “corralled” by this arrangement which provided a natural play area with this natural boundary.

With all of the tables free when we arrived, we were able to pick the ideal spot with enough sunshine and shade to suit everybody and we didn’t have to worry about chasing reluctant kids with sunscreen for a while.

The cushions on the seats were an added quirky bonus: the kids busy swapping them around as they decided it was most important that the sit on ” an orange, or a slice of watermelon”.

Lunch is both adult and kid friendly: various salads and kid favourites like toasted sandwiches.

Everyone adored the food and every crumb was demolished.

In my ideal dream home scenario however, I would make two small changes to this seating area: first add a ramp instead of steps, and second, add retractable mesh screens so that evening dining does not attract mosquitos and and other unwelcome guests. For the rest I just need to bring a tape measure and confirm my ideal dimensions… oh, and wait for our one lottery ticket per month to come good.

(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)

Knus // Delfts park restaurant

November 8, 2016

One of Delftse Hout’s Best Kept Secrets…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This summer we met up for a Saturday lunch with two sets of friends in Delft.

The location is in “Delftse Hout” a wooded are just outside Delft, and the place is called “Knus”,  a café / restaurant  that is located in the middle of a recreation area.

As well as a large playground for small children, there are things like canoeing on offer so it’s a popular meeting spot for families.

Our three families have kids that range in age from toddler to teenager so it was nice to have something to please everyone.

This Saturday had stunning weather too so to say it was busy here was an understatement.

First we scored a table next to the kids playground but it was a table really meant for two, maybe two at a push and there were ten of us.

Also it was in a spot without shade and even after a five minutes waiting for the others it become uncomfortably warm. Then the first of our friends arrived and let us know that there was also a spot out the back, at the rear of the restaurant. Before we take a seat though I take a look around…

(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)

Restaurant: Knus

 

 

 

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