Local Heart, Global Soul

May 1, 2017

Finding Another Brilliant Addition For My “To-Do” List…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Passing by the multitude of concrete garden art sculptures at the Garderen Sand Sculpture festival entrance in 2016, I find myself  looking at a large hut housing a very special exhibition.

The space is used by the “Oude Ambachten & Speelgoed Museum” (Old Crafts & Toy Museum).

I learn from their website (Dutch language only) that it is located in Terschuur, between  Amersvoort and Barneveld, and that they ” have exhibitions of over one hundred and sixty crafts,  several fully equipped workshops, shops and demonstrations of many old professions.

The craft museum is not set behind glass, in fact things are purposefully open for being touched and parents can show children how things used to work.

Because the museum believes these things should be both educational and interesting, they offer free admission to children. In addition there are regular guest  and demonstrations.”

This is exactly the kind of place that would interest me, crafts, history, …perfect!

I can only hope that this little exhibition gives visitors here enough of taste that they follow up with a visit.  Sadly we don’t have time this trip for this particular detour since we already have plans but I will definitely be keeping it on my “to-do” list for when I do in the future. For now I need to keep moving… I have a reservation to keep.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The text in the following sign asks if you are “Curious about our museum?”  and then underneath “Visit us in Terschuur.”

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Oude Ambachten & Speelgoed Museum / Old Crafts & Toy Museum
Rijksweg 87
3784 LV Terschuur
Tel. 0342 – 46 20 60
Fax 0342 – 46 20 27

December 28, 2016

A Place For Smaller Kids To Let Off Steam…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the corner of the Elandstraat and Waldeck Pyrmontkade stands and old 19th Century school, now converted into a kinds of an “arts building” with separate sections consisting of workshops, eateries and children’s workshop activities.

One of the later is a children’s play area, and two friends who have young children with Birthday’s close together, decided to hold a joint birthday party there.

Little Mr was roped in to be a “big kid helper” , Himself as and extra parental pair of hands and me as party photographer.

The venue is excellent because both children’s birthday’s fall in the dead of winter and suitable energy intensive outdoor activities for four year olds are few and far between.

The beautiful hall sports all kinds of dance and play equipment, from large rubber bouncy balls to gymnastic style crash mats and equipment. There is a small room off to one side of the main hall, food was arranged on tables inside, leaving the main hall free for more energetic activities.

Cakes were made for each “Birthday” kid, the rest of the fare consisted of healthy and easy finger food. The kids ran, played to their hearts content, food was demolished and candles on cakes were blown out, a good time was had by all.

For me, several hundred photos later, I have photographs galore of the party VIP’s and their friends, Himself and Little Mr were fabulous helpers. Most importantly is that not only was a good time had by all, but also that yet another young kid-friendly activity /venue was found to advertise here for the residents of The Hague and close surrounding area.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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November 23, 2016

There Is No Age Limit On Fun, … Or Wagers.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we leave the “Playtoday” Lego shop in Gouda I am keen to take a look at some of the detailed models in the shop.

Parked inside large perspex display cabinet these display pieces are safe from prying little fingers but make photography tricky, so a few of my shots have lighting issues.

Little Mr. and I probably spent rather too long excitedly pointing out to one another some of the especially well done details that we saw to one another but there is no age limit to having fun is there?

In general, each of us liked different things but share a love of a “good build” and humorous details.

We agreed that the use of tiny, clear round bricks to represent the breaking of waves around a wind sailor or a jetty was a masterful move,  he loved the balloon “hovering” over the island, I loved the jewel detail in the pirate island treasure chest and we both grinned when we saw a crab on the roof of a beach-front property.

I loved building things a a kid and was disappointed that Kiwi Daughter never looked twice at Lego, so my son’s delight is also my own, I am often to be found being the Chief Lego “sorter outer-er”, combing through heaps to find a piece that he needs to make his next project complete.

It gives us a chance to chat about stuff too, and what he doesn’t know is that I am secretly trying to learn some of the construction tricks of the trade.

Why? the answer is simple. I looked at a few of the entries in the competition display cabinet and said ” I could do that!” which was met with horrified, wide eyed disapproving stares from Little Mr. “Not cool“… he declared later in the car, “that was sooo embarrassing“.

The problem is that he doesn’t think I am anywhere near being able to enter any competition. Oh yeah?  In fact he believes so strongly that I can’t that he has wagered me Euro 10,– of his pocket money that I win. Yes,  of course he stands to gain the same from me if I can’t.  Entries are once per year, at the beginning of the 2017 summer school holidays. I have to start thinking about a topic and a build that will blow everyone out of the water. Hmmm… Thinking cap would be great… if I had thoughts. I have time. Watch this space.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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November 22, 2016

There’s Profit In Inspiration And Building Dreams…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Playtoday” Lego shop in Gouda is probably one of the places closest to heaven as far as Little Mr is concerned.

They are open one Sunday in the month, which is how we found ourselves there exactly as the doors were opened, and with Little Mr chomping at the bit to give the place a full check over.

The “pick-and-mix” brick wall drew him first, but it wasn’t long before he discovered the room out the back where Lego was laid out on tables for people to build with.

There are also display cabinets containing competition entry models, which prompted much debate between the two of us about which we thought was the best.

I love the models but the Lego figure wall decorations are one of my favourite things there too.

All around us was Lego, Lego and more Lego, and once again I have to give credit to a company that not only makes money from the wishes of kids but also inspires so much creativity and zeal from the product they sell.

I took these photographs in the first fifteen minutes we were inside, after that parents started to arrive, pulled in by their offspring. It just goes to prove that the is a profit to be made in inspiration and in building dreams.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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April 21, 2016

Reversing With Your Head Out The Window: The Rear Window !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing with yesterday’s post, last summer found us taking a ride in a historic tram.

In the last part of the trip we have just passed by the Hobbemaplein where the famous Haagse Markt can be found.

As the largest outdoor market in The Netherlands there has been a decades long tradition of how the look and feel of the market has been.

In the last year this changed with the city council decided that the open stalls should be replaced with covered ones, a move that infuriated stall holders.

The old system was a series of awnings that could be extended to exclude sun or rain, but the paths between and the area under the stalls was usually very wet every time it rained and customers risked standing in the wrong place if a wind gust caught an awning and dumped it’s freezing watery contents on passers-by.

Stall holders got snowed on as well as rained on and all in all it made rainy days at the market a lot less popular with patrons when compared with fine ones. I therefore assumed that restructuring the market so that each stall had a lock up area of it’s own and adding proper roofing to keep out the elements would be a popular move. Alas I was mistaken, apparently the stall holders, some of which run in generations of the same families did not want the atmosphere of the market destroyed, they took pride in the stand-in-all-weathers die hard way that things were done, and there was also some dispute about how the regeneration of the market would affect the prices of the trading licences.

For the customer it definitely seems cleaner and a lot less cold in winter, yes I do agree that the old ” feel” of the market will change, and whilst one side of me says that the old ways had a special charm, the other side of the argument is that no tradition can continue forever without requiring some refreshing of the way it operates from time to time to keep up with the times. Before my accident I loved to go to the market as often as I could, these days it’s Himself who makes semi regular visits.

I get some photographs of the market as the historic tram rounds the corner, but since the Market is only open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and it was a Sunday when we made this trip, everything was closed and the market was deserted. The lack of activity did however give us a chance to see some of the renovation work taking place. We continue past the market and arrive back at Het Haags Openbaar Vervoer Museum (the Hague Public Transport Museum) where the kids are delighted that the tram driver unlocks the back window and a box at the rear of the tram, sticks his head out of the window and proceeds to reverse the tram back into the museum. Other visitors are already waiting the departure of the afternoon tram… let’s look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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March 27, 2016

Animals Who Are Ready To Play…

De Vreemde Vogel (The Strange Bird)  has several other attractions for children too… a small group of chickens, sheep and goats, so when feeding time came the kids were as excited as the animals were…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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De Vreemde Vogel / The Strange Bird

March 23, 2016

Yeah…It Really IS a “Christmas Tree”… Honest!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have left Miniworld in Rotterdam and re-joined the Historic Tram 10 that runs around the centre of the city.

Our tickets allow us to hop-on-hop-off during the day and if our friends had not had such a small child and if I had been able to be more mobile, then an early start on this tram would allow for an entire day’s worth of hop-on-hop-off exploring as well as the beautiful tram ride itself.

That surely must be a brilliant idea for any tourist wanting to make the most of their Rotterdam day trip.

Our party of two families have however done our dash for the day and are content to ride around the city at leisure, listening to the commentary and seeing the sights out of the window.

As we pass by an outdoor market I spy a statue that had been on the News some time earlier because of it’s controversial nature: It’s a Christmas statue where Santa is holding a Christmas tree that is rather phallic in appearance. The controversy was that the statue had been moved from several pervious locations in the city after upset residents made successful petitions to get it removed. The short of it was that no one wanted it in their neighbourhood and I’m not even certain if it will be staying long in this spot either. The other statues I spotted during our tram ride were without controversy and only drew viewing pleasure… depending on if you like modern art at all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Rotterdam’s Historic Tram 10

March 22, 2016

Leaving The Miniworld And Back To The Big One…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In my final post from Miniworld in Rotterdam, I’m still captivated by the models here and the sheer amount of detail involved. The information boards continue, reading:

The Marshall plan was an aid plan that started three years after the Second World War. The plan aimed for the economic reconstruction of countries in Europe which were affected by the war. The first ship will Marshall-goods “De Noordam” arrived at Rotterdam harbour at the end of April 1948.

Aid consisted of money, goods, raw materials and food and meant the difference between life and death for many people.

What many people do not know is that all of the countries who were helped via the Marshall Plan have been paying back the cost of it, with interest, ever since the help was given. In the case of  The Netherlands, final payments were paid back to the United States of America in the early 2000’s.
The Port of Rotterdam is one of the largest shipping ports for liquid chemical products and mineral oils in Europe. These are brought in and out via waterways, road and rail. Complete trains are loaded and unloaded at these terminals and then transported to Germany and other countries around Europe.
Many refineries can be found in the industrial area and port of Rotterdam. The petrochemical industry is the branch of the industry dealing with the processing of petroleum fractions into various chemical products. The branch of chemistry is called petro chemistry. Among others these raw materials are used for polymers (= plastics) and the pharmaceutical industry. A major petrochemical company is Shell.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Because of the ongoing battle against water, the Netherlands became experts in water management. This is use to their advantage and for different purposes. More than 18 percent of the Netherlands consists of water and roughly half of the countries surface is below sea level.

To protect the country and it’s inhabitants the Dutch make use of dikes, sluices, different kinds of pumping stations like the famous windmills and water drainage systems. Steven Hoogendijk built the first steam powered pumping station in 1787, locate at de Blijdorpse polder in Rotterdam.

It was designed by the British Matthew Boulton and James Watt. It was able to pump up to 50,000 litre (13,200 US gal) a minute, which made it powerful enough to pump flooded polders dry and to keep it that way.

More than 500 steam powered pumping stations were put into operation in the 1900’s, when in the 1920’s diesel powered pumping stations became popular and replaced the steam powered ones.
The Oranjesluis is a sluice in ‘s Gravenzande and has a lockkeepers house on top of it called “Het Jahthuis” (The Lodge) This house was built in 1676. At first the sluice was used to supply fresh water to the gardens of the estate of Honselaarsgijk, owned by Willem III.

Soon they discovered the water to be too salty and since 1888, Oranjesluis has been used only as a water outlet. Miniworld reconstructed the lockkeepers house, it can be found in Sluishoek and is identical to the one at the Oranjesluis!

There is so much to see here that I did not take photographs of, that I would recommend anyone who is in the vicinity of Rotterdam, especially if you are a train, model buff, or have kids, that you visit yourself. My photographs only cover 10% of the exhibition so there is plenty to see!

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ALL of the kids visiting spotted the King and Queen having an unscheduled stop on the motorway when their  “Golden Coach” looses a wheel ! (In reality this coach never goes on the motorway, it takes a different route through the city of The Hague for the opening of Parliament), a black coach and horses does however transverse the highway between The Hague and Delft when one of the highest members of the Royal family passes away… but the motorway is closed off on those occasions). A little poetic licence is ok though…

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Miniworld Rotterdam

March 21, 2016

Some Things Are As Different As Night And Day…

Miniworld in Rotterdam also has an extra attraction up it’s sleeve: and this is that roughly every half hour there is simulated night time. The lights in the complex housing the models dim and visitors get to see a light show that comprises thousands of lights. Some flicker as “traffic” streams by, lights go on and off in different rooms of houses as if the occupants are moving around, various buildings light up as the evening shifts commence, trains race through the “night” though the countryside, and a separate lightshow takes place in a stadium as a crowd of “concertgoers” enjoy the music on the stage. Once again the detail is amazing, there is so much to see and you almost don’t know where to start. After a few minutes of complete darkness the lights slowly come up in a simulated dawn and a new “day” commences with different lights and moving models. In roughly half an hour it will be ” evening” once again and the magic of the twinkling lights will begin all over again…

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Miniworld Rotterdam

March 20, 2016

This Mini Port Shows How The Maxi One Works…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Miniworld in Rotterdam gives a lot of information about the models on show, from the information boards I learn:
The Betuweroute is a 160 km long, double track freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany.

The Betuweroute was opened in 2007, creating a non-stop connection to the European hinterland. Built out of economic necessity after roads and waterways became too crowded, the Betuweroute was also necessary after the expanded building of the Maasvlakte 2 in the Rotterdam port area where a larger volume of bigger cargo ships can offload their cargo.

About 80% of the Betuweroute trains are electric and the objective is to switch them to renewable energy as soon as possible.
In Rotterdam’s Dray Bulk Terminal you can find big harbour cranes with large shell grabs, big enough to fit two vans into easily. These grabs haul tons of coal and iron ore out of ocean going ships, some of which can be over 300 meters long.

The dry bulk is stored in huge piles on site and if necessary these materials can be washed, screened or blended.
To transport dry bulk goods to into the rest of Europe by train or ship, the Europees Massagoed-Overslagbedrijf (also known as EMO) has many different wagonloaders situated on the quay precisely for this purpose.

The deep sea ship loader has a capacity of 6,000 ton per hour, which is six million kilos per hour!
Pumping station Lely was built in 1928-1929 at the Wieringermeerdijk. The building is made of reinforced concrete, and seamlessly reflects the architectural movement of New Objectivity by the cubical forms in white concrete constructions.

Still in use today, the pumping station keeps the Wieringermeer dry and is named after Cornelis Lely, the initiator of the Zuiderzee works. At the border of Hooghburgt there is a second pumping station with duplicate architecture as the Lely.

Wind turbines convert the energy of the wind in a rotating motion which is then used by a generator to generate electricity. They also have an industrial function, controlling pumping stations.

There are two types of wind turbines: the horizontal-axis wind turbine which is used the most because it starts automatically as soon as there is enough wind and the vertical-axis wind turbine which is dependent on the wind direction.

These models give visitors and especially kids a good idea about how the port of Rotterdam works and how goods are transferred from the port to other destinations around Europe. As with all of the models here the level of detail has to be seen in person to be believed… Of course keeping kids interested in the exhibit is helped by the inclusion of more “accidents”, the biggest one in this section is a “fire” in one of the warehouse buildings. Little Mr wasn’t the only one who was clearly besotted by this either, I saw many kids excitedly discussing the details of the fire engine, firemen, the ladders and the entire scene. Little Mr even came over to me to make certain that I got “really good photographs” of this… gotta get your priorities right!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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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