Local Heart, Global Soul

July 27, 2017

When Is A House Not A Home…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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The road home springs up a few surprising sights after our weekend away. This “house” on the road south from Flevoland is one of the things that confirms my love of art.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 26, 2017

The Best Gifts Come Home-Made From Someone’s Kitchen…

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

Travelling through Flevoland on our way home from a weekend-for-two away last year, Himself and I spot a sign by one of the farms.

It advertised a small stall of fresh veggies as well as a few home made products.

Driving up their driveway we see a small shed which is clearly the “shop” and inside on one side, a series of crates for produce and on another, a shelf with sauce, jams, juice and the like.

I’d hoped for a few seasonal fruits the most but they were gone and there were only mostly potatoes and onions left, not what I was after at all.

I therefore turned my attention to the offerings in glass jars.

We ended up taking home one bottle of “sap” (juice) for my Mother in Law and several jars of strawberry jam for ourselves and friends.

I love discovering little places like these, sometimes we get luckier than others, on this occasion it’s a pity we missed out on the fresh fruit but it’s a lottery and maybe the fact it was getting on for later afternoon meant that possibly others had picked the shelves clean before us. Our gifts were well received at home so that was the main thing. The best gifts come home-made from someone’s kitchen, even if it isn’t mine!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 25, 2017

The Wings Of War Fell To Earth…

Filed under: Flevoland,HISTORY,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,WORLD WAR II — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Travelling home along the province of Flevoland from our weekend-for-two away late last summer, Himself and I discover some sort of marker on the side of the road.

A long pole topped with a cut-out of a red aeroplane and a small information board. Needless to say we were curious and stopped to investigate further.

Entitled: “Vliegtuigroute” (Flightpath), the information board reads: “(Pole No. 03)
During the night of 9-10th April 1943  on this spot a Messersmith ME 110 (G9=Cx werknummer 4811) coming from it’s Leeuwarden airport base, crashed.

“De gehele bemanning” (The whole crew),(Kiwi’s note: it’s strange that it is worded like this because there were only two occupants in the plane)

Pilot Lt.  Kostler died. The radio operator survived.

He jumped out of the plane and it was the fourth time in one month that this had happened to him. In a fight with a Lancaster of the 101st squadron the two planes collided. 

What was exceptional about this event was that the RAF  did not  have a flight path over the IJsselmeer so the route for this plane was very unusual. Both aircraft exploded. The Lancaster crashed a few meters further, near Pole No.4.
Info:  http://www.airgunners.nl

Sadly, even with a good look around, Himself and I never found Pole No.4.  so we are unable to bring you the information that would have been on it about the fate of the Lancaster bomber occupants.

We both liked the idea that even in some tiny way spots like this are being marked and remembered so that these moments in history and the lives given on both sides of World War II are remembered.

We have no clue what happened to the unnamed radio operator after this crash, if he survived the war or not. I wish that things like this were better publicised so that history buffs in the general public could follow a trail of these poles as a day out for instance. It could even be made as a walking or cycling trail or  treasure hunt exercise for kids.

After writing this blog post earlier, I decided to do a little bit of extra research. Going to the airgunners website I found that not only did they have a link to the series of poles marking these sites but even better they had a language option link get this page in English. Also just a note of information: “4meiherdenkingdronten.nl” refers to the 4th of May which is is the National Remembrance Day  here in the Netherlands, and Dronten is a town in Flevoland.  Instead of transferring th entirety of the details  from there to here I will just add the link:

4 mei herdenking dronten  /memorial-poles-along-crash-route / language=English

Reading up further on the link for Pole No.4 that gives the information that was put into the poles, I am sad to report that none of the seven man crew of the Lancaster survived the crash.  I also learned that Pole No.4 is located at Alikruikweg 35, Biddinghuizen, whereas Pole No.3. is at Alikruikweg 20, Biddinghuizen. That must surely mean it is at least one farm away, probably why we never found it.

If anyone is interested in any of the additional information on any (or all) of the poles in this series and would like a translation from the Dutch text into English, please just drop me a message in the comments. I would be more than happy to translate it for you. The surrounding countryside is today a place of tranquility and peace, and I hope, of rest.

(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)

July 22, 2017

Doing Our Best To Avoid Wet Feet…

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

When most of your country is below sea level, and the even the canals that receive the water pumped off the land are below the level of the sea, how do you remove the water built up in the canals to make space for more water?

In Flevaland Himself and I see one of the hundreds of installations around the coast that are the solutions to this problem.

Pumping stations large and small are programmed to empty water from the canals into the sea twice a day with every low tide.

This frantic game where water is hurriedly displaced as quickly as possible when the sea recedes is played out morning, noon or night almost every day of the year.

Only when the seasonal storm surges occur in the North Sea, and the corresponding high water which even at low tide is unusually high,  that the pumping station gates can not be opened. If the gates were opened during a storm surge, then the pressure of the incoming sea would be so much greater than  the canal water trying to exit, that sea water would flood disastrously into the canal system.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course global warming and rising sea levels are of great concern for the Netherlands, but plans are being carried out to attempt to future-proof the countries  coastal barriers.

The largest gap in the countries defences therefore now come in the form of the large rivers like the Maas (Meuse), Waal, and Rijn (Rhine).

Due to centuries of construction, cultivation and industrialisation along their banks, these rivers have been more forcibly contained than ever before.

Danger happens when exceptionally heavy rainfall hits the length of the river, combined with storm surges in the North Sea, so the pumping stations need to be closed and the river water can not exit fast enough.

Some fifteen years ago exactly this scenario happened and dikes, under pressure from high water levels for weeks at a time gave way causing flooding between the rivers.

Today controversial action has been taken, not just increasing and strengthening inland dikes but also designating entire areas of farm land as overflow areas: basically to let the water flood huge tracts of farmland in a controlled manner rather than have a uncontrolled flooding into cities for instance.

Needless to say the Dutch war with the sea is far from over, it’s a battle that rages twice a day returning water to the sea with every low tide.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2017

This Kind Of Quirky Is My Kind Of Thing…


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The saying: “A picture tells a thousand words” is never more true then when converting facts and figures into an image that can be instantly understood.

Telling someone that the land they are  driving their car on was once the former sea bed only takes the imagination so far.

Building a monument in the shape of a little house, adding “smoke” to it’s chimney and then a small ship so that the smoke is also now the waves under the ship is a stroke of genius.

The ship sails at the height of the previous sea level, and the visitor gets an instant visual picture as to how high use to be the water above their heads.

I think it is the perfect way to demonstrate the “before” and “now” situations.

Regular readers will know this this kind of quirky is exactly my kind of thing.  Art, history, information,  an ingenious way to show it all…. perfect!


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 20, 2017

Blowing Hot Air And Electrical Current…

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

Flevaland is a province of two parts, the bit people think of first is the “island” polder section but there is also the section on the “mainland” where Schokland is located.

Crossing the bridge back onto the island section of the province we see many of the modern windmolens (windmills) that generate electricity.

Himself and I are committed to getting our electricity from green sources so have in recent years been attached to a company who operate windmills like these.

For us they are far from an eyesore, in fact I find them beautiful, tranquil and having grown up in New Zealand where nuclear power stations have been effectively outlawed by the will of the people (a move I also supported) I find these so much of a safer idea than nuclear power.

As old nuclear power stations are not being replaced in the Netherlands, more and more of these molens are around, as well as large wind farms out at sea. At one point we also see a large concrete blade, a brilliant choice of artwork for this area!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 19, 2017

The Perimeter Walk…

Filed under: Flevoland,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Leaving the now ex-island of Schokland, Himself points out the small walking and cycling trail that surrounds what was once the perimeter of the island. For the most part the only sign that the island was there is the small area of fractionally raised land and a ring of trees that section off  the surrounding sea bed that has now been turned into farm land. We drive slowly as we drive away so that Himself can point out the route he walked whilst I finished touring the museum site.  It’s been a very enlightening visit, Himself thought he knew a little but found far more than he expected,  I knew nothing so we have learned a lot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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 (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 18, 2017

Excellent Timing For Coffee…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer Himself and I had a weekend away, and after spending time in Garderen we made our way to the ex-island of Schokland.

After visiting the inside museum building we then made a tour of the grounds.

Since I move very slowly and sit and rest a lot, I tell Himself to set off at his own pace and we will meet up together later.

Later he joins me because he had finished his tour of the grounds but I was only a fraction of the way around since I traveled so much slower than he did.

Himself therefore decided to walk around the old perimeter of the island whilst I continued my slow tour of the grounds. After I eventually finished I made my way to the café / restaurant near the museum entrance.

I phoned Himself to see how far away he might be from me and it turned out that he was about half way up the main drive. I ordered his coffee and it was served within a minute of him getting to our table. Excellent timing and he made short work of it soon after. I got a photograph of my hot chocolate in the meantime, and, a few of some photographic leaves that I thought I might draw later.

I did have some better photos of the outside area from earlier but since a few families there had children and I could not get them directly out of the front of the picture, I ended up using the late afternoon ones I took when the  tables were mostly empty instead.  It’s clear that Schokland gets it’s fair share of visitors and is often very busy indeed. Both Himself and I loved it here, but were not sure that our kids would have been as absorbed for the same length of time that we were. That’s what has made this kid-free weekend so special: the chance to do stuff at our own pace instead of that of our kids.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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 (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

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