Local Heart, Global Soul

May 6, 2014

Bold, Beautiful, Full Of Impact: Hopefully Making A Lasting Impression…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our time at the Keukenhof has come to a close.

We have enjoyed sunshine and ducked showers and I was pleased that I remembered to ask Himself to go back and fetch a blanket at the last minute before we left because my Mother in Law, sitting still in the wheelchair was feeling the cold.

She was delighted to have a day out, at ninety-two years of age she often thinks she is too tired or can’t manage an outing, but Himself and I know that if we refuse to accept the minor worries and excuses  she inevitably brings up against going and actually get her out and  about, she feels energised and invigorated afterwards.

In fact a trip like this keeps will be enthusiastically recounted to friends in person or on the telephone for some time afterwards and it gives us a chance to share time together that is more than just cups of tea in her or our living rooms.

I’m not certain why, but whenever Himself (and it is him who does the bulk of the visiting) goes to do her shopping or just spend time with his mother at her place, it’s as if to her these visits don’t really count: they are just taken as part of the usual routine, blending into life like wallpaper. Since the staircases involved make visits more difficult for me, my main contribution is to supply meals for my Mother in Law. On a day when I feel like I can manage, I can sit on the couch and peel veggies,  do a bulk cook in large pots or oven dishes and pack them all up ready for her freezer.

It’s therefore quite nice for her and I to spend time together like this, and since I also don’t get out of the house too often these days I find it really refreshing.The Keukenhof gives us all a special day out, the colours brighten our day and even the passing showers can not put a damper on that. The stripes of colour are bold and beautiful, they create impact and hopefully leaves an as lasting impression on you as they did for me.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 5, 2014

The Human Eye Gets So Much Of A Better View Then The Camera Ever Can…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I tried for some years to keep orchids alive at home, without success.

We had a sunny window-still but the glass was single glass and in winter the outside chill was evident even some way into our living room.

Then nine years ago  Himself an I replaced the single glass windows with double glass and the transformation in the survival rate of our house plants was immediate.

By chance soon afterwards I was given an orchid as part of a leaving gift by work colleagues when I transferred from one area of my workplace  to another and amazingly it’s been happily blooming almost year round ever since.

I’m not known for having particularly green thumbs, if I’m completely honest, it’s down to general ignorance rather than intentional malice towards plants and anything growing at our place does so at it’s own risk (children excluded).

When we visited the Keukenhof recently the friend we took with us had one specific place she wanted to see of all the indoor exhibition areas: The Orchid House.Until now I didn’t even know there was an orchid house here, and upon entering I can say I have never seen so many orchids in one place, or so many varieties.There’s an upstairs viewing area (I didn’t even try to get there on crutches) and displays  to amaze. There’s even a clever box completely  lined with mirrors and filled with white orchids: the mirrors create an infinity effect and it looks like the orchids go on forever.

My photographs don’t even begin to do these beautiful plants justice… outside the skies are dark and threatening rain, my photos seem to have come out dark in sympathy. Yet another reason to come and see the Keukenhof in person, the human eye gets so much of a better view then the camera ever can…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 4, 2014

Competition Time! A Blooming Good Feature…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Who wouldn’t  like having the chance to win something?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an unexpected surprise  gift come though the post?

The floral brightness of the Keukenhof  and the coming of Spring has inspired me to run a competition.

To be in to win all you have to do is to tell me which of my recent posts has been your favourite and why, and in doing so your name will be in the hat as my possible winner.

I will draw a winner on 11th May and one lucky reader will be the recipient of a little goodie bag from Kiwidutch.

The Keukenhof  is full of  features that compliment the floral displays: large statues such as the stylised figure on horseback or the stylised figures , various  artworks some more serious than others.

Two of the more serious statues are wooden carvings of  the composers Brahms and Chopin, one that is taken less seriously is of a seated bare chested lady where I had to wait for a large batch of Russian men to finish taking photographs of themselves handling her considerable “assets”. The more traditional features of the Keukenhof are things like the large windmill that offers a wide view of the exhibition on one side and of the bulb fields outside the exhibition on the other, or the set of traditional bells in the style still seen outside some Dutch churches. Most of all I like the fountains, and the water features like the ponds and mini rills that reflect the flowers and the sky…nature on display, and beautiful.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Chopin…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Brahms…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

May 3, 2014

The Detail And The Design Of The Flowers In The Field…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Most people arrive at the Keukenhof  with their camera in hand… or as is often the case these days, the camera function on their phones or tablets.

When we visited I used my little point-and-shoot, because my DSLR camera isn’t well at the moment and is being sent back to Cannon to find out what the problem is.

Yes, I was one of the many visitors seen at the Keukenhof,  paused, quietly bent over, trying to keep a steady hand as I lean down and zoom in as much as the little camera will allow.

Not all of the flowers are tulips of course, there are many sorts in many colours, in fact as a relatively challenged gardener I don’t even know the names of most of them.

The tulips on show come in an amazing variety of shapes and colours, there are ones with “frilly”edges, there are plain ones in everything from pastel to strikingly strong colours, there are variegated ones with stripes and varied ones where the bases are one colour and the tops another…

I think that if I were  once again fit and well again and armed with my DSLR camera and a tripod, I could happily spend hours here in the Keukenhof taking photographs. Today I come away with at least a few close-ups to tide me over until the day comes when I can walk around far more easily than now… the colours, the contrasts, the forms, the detail… love 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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

May 2, 2014

The Keukenhof … Time To Go And See Some Exhibitionist Blooms…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself  has year promised his mother a trip this year to the world famous Dutch flower exhibition that is the Keukenhof.

Global warming has been playing havoc with the seasons, because  milder winter temperatures mean the flowers have been blooming  earlier and earlier.

Most Dutch citizens have been to the Keukenhof at least once in their lives but wouldn’t usually go every year.

All of the adults in our extended family have been before of course, But Little Mr. and Kiwi Daughter had yet to make their first trip, and the same for the young daughter of a friend of ours.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you will be aware that I am recovering (or endeavouring to recover) from a fall that left the top two rows of bones close to the ankle in my left foot displaced by about one centimetre.

I’ve already had surgery and pins on the broken metatarsal bones lower down the same foot (damage from the same fall) and the idea had been that once the muscles had recovered, the other bones would be pulled back into place.

Now three and a half years on that hasn’t happened and the latest experiment of recent weeks has been plaster cast number eight in this medical saga  to ascertain if an orthopaedic boot might be an answer to the abnormal amount of pain that my foot is capable of producing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The good news is that the plaster cast reduces the pain by at least a third, the bad news is that I’m still on morphine based pain relief and getting a decent night’s sleep with a cast on, is a challenge I haven’t yet mastered.

At least with the cast on, I was able to walk with the crutches  with far less pain  for a far greater distance than usual, which was a pleasant change after so many years of limited mobility.

Since the plaster cast was due to be removed in a few days, and the additional support it offered would be gone, we seized the opportunity to go to the Keukenhof whilst I was still able to walk for longer, leaving Himself  then free to push his mother around in a wheelchair.

The weather report was iffy with sunshine, clouds and possible rain all predicted but we decided to wrap up warm, packed a picnic lunch of sandwiches, picked up Oma (Grandmother), two friends and set out to see  the flowers.

One thing I insisted on was an early start, not just because I get more and more tired as the day does on, but also because I know from previous visits that the later you start out, the more crowded the Keukenhof becomes, and once the multiple bus tour groups arrive, parts of the Keukenhof  exhibition, both the inside areas and out, can get rather crowded. If you come with the intent of taking some photographs, it can be hard to get a shot that doesn’t have other visitors intruding at every angle. I also think that if you have any choice, then a weekday is better than a weekend and if the weather isn’t quite perfect, then no problem:  wrap up warm and enjoy the quieter spaces that less hardy tourists will have stayed away and left open for you.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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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