Local Heart, Global Soul

January 6, 2013

Our Fears are Extinguished As we Leave a Morning of Fire and Ice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For my last post in Schoonhoven we are being treated to  multiple displays from the Schoonhoven Brandweer (Fire Service) as part of National Open Monumentendag (Open Monument Day).

This is where numerous organisations open their doors for the day so that the public can learn more about what they do.

Little Mr. has discovered that this fire station is hosting all manner of activities and so we’ve stayed here to take a look and it’s turned out to be very interesting and well worth the detour.

There’s a trailer here too where two of the sides  drop down and the fire service can take  it out for demonstrations in the community. In this demonstration involves learning what to expect if you ever should need to use your home fire extinguisher and is an excellent way to do it in a controlled environment.

We first watch a teenage girl have a go and then I ask the fireman if he could please do a demonstration so that I can take photographs for my blog,  something he is more than happy to do. He says that if anyone ever has the opportunity to have a go in a controlled situation like this one, that they should do so because it will given you real confidence and an extra element of calm that can be a life-saver should a fire break out in your home or workplace.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m a bit too tired after all the walking I’ve done on crutches today to attempt this, but directly after these photos were taken Himself had a go and said that the experience was a real  revelation: knowing  afterwards what to expect definitely made him far more confident that he could handle our extinguisher at home without hesitation if ever the need arose.

Lastly there was the decompression diving tank, with the duikteam (diving team) divers inside.

It was difficult to get photographs because reflections in the very thick porthole windows showed the background behind me, but I managed a few interesting shots, even right to the other side of the tank where people were looking in windows on the opposite side.

We manage to see everything on display and are only a little behind schedule in getting back to the car and back to Den Haag (The Hague) for our 2.00 p.m. appointment. The whole family is unanimous  this day out has been a total success, even with the combined themes of Fire and Ice (cream)!

(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)

January 5, 2013

When Fundraising Reaches Scary New Heights…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing from the previous day’s post, we are enjoying the displays and events put on by the Schoonhoven Fire Service as part of  “Open Monumentendag” (Open Monument Day) where various organisations open their doors so that the public can gain an insight to what they do.

One of the things that this local Fire Service also does is to raise funds for various projects and for this  they have an brilliant  idea.

The public can take a ride in the cherry-picker “basket” on the end of the biggest extension ladder and in an ingenious twist the ladder extends from the vertical great height to a horizontal one over the roof of the fire station where a large red bucket (or is it an old oxygen tank?) sits waiting for their donation to be deposited.

Himself and I asked the kids if they wanted a ride in this too and confessed our secret relief to each other afterwards when both children looked horrified at the idea and swiftly declined.

Having no head for heights ourselves we reassured them that not wanting to go on this was absolutely fine with us too and I told Kiwi Daughter afterwards that I found the height that this ladder went to rather scary, so didn’t blame her in the least.

It’s certainly a brilliant idea, and I wish I was brave enough to have enjoyed what must have been some fabulous views from so high up. Maybe if the opportunity ever arises again I should stop being a cowardly lioness and summon some courage to give this a go.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 4, 2013

Pincers to the Rescue: a Coconut Crab Would be Proud…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our family day out in Schoonhoven has taken an unexpected detour as we discover that today is also “Open Monumentendag” (Open Monument Day) when Little Mr. found a local Fire Station giving displays and information.

We arrive just in time to see a crash dummy in a car that’s been in a car  “accident” and a demonstration of how the fire service use their tools and training to cut the car open to extract the “victim”.

It’s amazing to see that sometimes a low tech solution is the best one as a firewoman sticks what looks like a wide roll of heavy duty sellotape onto one of the car windows, after pressing it to the glass she then smashes the glass with a special mallet and hey presto, lifts off all the broken pieces of glass (still in the shape of the window) stuck to the tape for clean, easy and swift disposal.

On the other side of the car a fireman is in the back seat keeping the head and spine of the “victim” stable whilst colleagues use massive hydraulic snipper claws (yes thére’s probably do have an official name for them but I have no clue what it might be) to first remove both the doors from the car body and then chop through the pillars between the front and rear seat section of the car.

There’s a dull thud as the hydraulic claw crunches through the metal… children, definitely not a hands-on toy for you to play with, as it would make rather literal short work of fingers or limbs. The spinal board is levered expertly into the back of the car and I’m surprised to see that once al hands are on deck that getting the “victim” out is a smooth operation that only takes a few minutes.

Mission accomplished, the “victim” is stretchered away for “treatment” and we turn out attention to the “claws” used to extract him…

Humans regularly steal brilliant ideas from nature and Tasmanian King or Coconut Crabs may be two of the biggest crab species in the world, but I dare say they would be very jealous of the pinching power of these man-made claws…

(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)

January 3, 2013

A Monumental Turn Of Events…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are still in Schoonhoven and have sampled the ice-cream and had a look around.

We take a look at the bricante second-hand bric-a-brac market that was advertised in the sign nearby.

We walk back to the car, well at least I’m walking, bringing up the rear as the kids run ahead and  Himself  jogs to keep up with them.

They disappear out of sight but after ten minutes or so Little Mr. runs puffing back and can barely speak he’s so excited.

By sheer co-incidence today when we were in Schoonhoven (the 8th September 2012) happens to be “National Open Monumentendag” in the Netherlands (Open Monuments Day) but it’s not just monuments that are open to the public but all sorts of local, national and international organisations as well.

By sheer chance the parking space that Himself secured earlier is right next to the local fire station and the Schoonhoven Fire Service is talking part in Open Monumentendag too, so there’s a whole display of vehicles and a heap of activities.

This certainly did not escape the attention of our seven year old Emergency Services fanatic who’s arrived back smothering me in hugs and  begging and pleading for me to let him detour there.

We have an appointment back in Den Haag (The Hague) at two, so need to leave at 1 o’clock at the very latest to get there on time, and with our spare hour had intended to stop somewhere for a quick toasted sandwich or pancake on the way back but decide that if we are really quick then we could see the events here and then just grab a sandwich to munch in the car on the way home instead.

Little Mr. almost bounces up the street with joy as he dashes back to tell Himself that Mama didn’t mind having her lunch plans shelved in favour of looking at fire engines. O.K.  what actually what really happened is that he ran back screaming  “Ik mag! ”  (I may!) over and over on the top of his lungs and Himself worked out the rest without any difficulty.

I’ve a good mind to tell the Fire Service that they don’t actually need sirens on their engines and that the “greener” version would be the shrieking joy of seven year old boys who appears to easily outdo the siren in decibels. Behind the Fire Station are a grand assortment of vehicles, and actually it’s an education for me too as I see the huge variety of equipment on board.

I knew that axes and cutting equipment would be standard issue but was surprised to see rakes and brooms there too (for clean up after road accidents or something else?) So much to see … Let’s 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)

January 2, 2013

Schoonhoven Festivities in the Sun…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m back to the topic of our summer visit to Schoonhoven.

After weeks of rain we finally have some fabulous weather and people have turned out  in numbers to enjoy the beautiful weather.

It’s funny because I took some photos of two streets from the car and happened to get a gentleman cycling in these photos… later we saw him again on his bike so completely by accident he appears “where’s Waldo” style in four of my photos, which left us chuckling. I think that he was just popping in and out of places doing his Saturday shopping and we kept running into him as we  wandered around.

The photo of the bricks in the street is there because the “usual” Dutch  pattern is a herringbone one and this one is quirkily different.

The band we saw earlier is busy marching up and down the street bordering this canal near the centre of town and are creating a very festive atmosphere.

Since Dutch parliamentary elections were looming after the summer,  there were also  several political parties busy handing out leaflets  and balloons in their party colours.

Our kids care nothing for politics of course but a free coloured balloon went down very well indeed. We take a short walk around the centre of Schoonhoven,  enjoying the festive spirit, market  stalls and displays. Let’s take a look round.

(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)

December 31, 2012

This Building Gets a Restraining Order…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes you see things that really make you wonder what’s going on   … just off the canal in the centre of  Schoonhoven is a small alleyway path, with a row of typical Dutch buildings next door.

In the case it’s very old typical  Dutch buildings and also typical in a country with an ever constant battle with the water-table, subsidence is a centuries old issue.

Dutch buildings are of course mostly of the “joined-up” variety so your side walls left and right are also that of your neighbours left and right, so naturally like a house of cards, it’s important that any significant shift in the deck doesn’t result in a domino effect.

Ok, I’m mixing domino and card games metaphor ideas a little much, but you get the idea.

Here, at the end of an entire block of shops and houses, it’s evident that there’s been a significant structural problem… but it’s also clear that drastic steps have been taken to remedy the situation too.

The Dutch have become rather good at restraining Mother Nature,and here is a prime example, if rather a dramatic one.

A  network of massive beams and ironwork bracing have been inserted deep into the fabric of the buildings, counteracting the severe bowing of the building.  This bracing acts like a corset, restraining the excess bulges, like seriously industrial Spanx.

Usually you wouldn’t  see work this intrusive or extensive in a set of “regular” shops or dwellings, so I’m assuming that there is special historical importance in the buildings, or that in fact the “domino effect” is so pronounced that if they didn’t shore up the end of the row then the entire block would have been lost.

It was very hard to photograph due to the narrowness of the alley and the obstacles around me, but if I think I have a hassle closing my 1930’s balcony doors in winter because the house is groaning and sticking with the cold and damp then imagine what hassles these owners must have with cupboards and doors in winter in these houses.

Trying to hang a painting up straight must be a nightmare! This is certainly one set of pins you wouldn’t want to think about pulling out of their holes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 30, 2012

The Myriad of Styles that is the Schoonhoven Stadhuis…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s often a shock for visitors from anglo-saxen countries to find that in the Netherlands a couple are only legally married by a ceremony in the Stadhuis (City Hall /City Council) and not legally married by a church ceremony.

You may of course still have a church service but it’s just an “extra” event that takes place after the official ceremony has taken place in the Stadhuis.

Luckily many Stadhuisen  in the Netherlands are stunning buildings rich in history and the Stadhuis in Schoonhoven is no exception. (we can also tell by the deflated pink and white heart balloons tied onto the statue that there’s been a wedding here recently).

Here is some background information about the Stadhuis at Schoonhoven and they city itself:

Schoonhovens Stadhuis has fifty chiming carillon bells (these are also known as Glockenspiel bells in German), making it one of the biggest sets of carillon bells in the Low countries.

The Stadhuis building was originally designed in the Gothic style and dates back to the 15 century but during renovations in 1776 and 1927 it was changed considerably with the result that much of  it’s original character was destroyed.

There is still a lot of character in the building, an old carved lion, and stone insert face decorations either side of the door that I assume represent “birth” and “death”.

In front of the Stadhuis there is an arched and vaulted area built over the waterway and also a star shaped mosaic in the pavement, possibly denoting an old place of court. Like the Stadhuis itself, today both of these are national monuments.

Schoonhoven (now with 11.000, inhabitants) was founded in the 13th Century on the border of Holland and Utrecht.

The Lords of Schoonhoven were powerful noblemen who reigned from their castles. The 14th century was the cities most affluent century. Schoonhoven is one of the Netherlands fortified cities and was besieged several times.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In 1572 it was occupied by the Geuzen (a Dutch group who faught the Spanish) and in 1575 the Spanish took the city again. Between 1582 to 1601 the walls of the city were reinforced. In 1672 the city was part of the Dutch water-wall defence system against the French and five bastions were constructed around the city.

Between 1573 and 1795 Schoonhoven was the tenth most powerful city in Holland, with many prominent people from city government, including the cities two mayors also involved in the national government.

In the city there were many trades, including brewers and rope makers  and there was a lively trade in hemp. In the 17th century the city boasted a fleet of 30 inland waterway ships, and in the 18th century copper and silversmiths arrived. The Silversmiths become famous nationally, their main product was small jewellery for farmers all over the country at the end of the 19th century a school for gold and silversmiths was established.

Between 1861 and 1921 Schoonhoven boasted a military training school and after the Second World War many soldiers left for Indonesia via Schoonhoven. In 1857 a scheduled steamboat connection was established with Rotterdam, and between 1914 and 1942 there was a train connection with Gouda.

(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)

December 29, 2012

Sometimes You Just Have to Try a New Palette…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have reached our destination for our day out and special treat in Schoonhoven.

The place we were looking for is called “Proef” (which translates into English as “test” or “try”).

Proef” in this instance though is the name of an ice-cream parlour!   Here they make their own ice-cream and you can buy a special card that allows you to test different flavours of  the ice-cream menu. For us, my work gift card covers a five flavour tasting for each family member.

There were squeals of excitement when the kids realised what this treat involved, Little Mr. did a rather good Tigger impression bouncing around with joy and the grins were so big they almost split their faces in half. The Mama and Papa are given to understand that this outing is more than acceptable.

The kids spend an inordinate amount of time deliberating over which five flavours they should each choose between: Vanilla, Chocolate, Pistachio, Orange Mascarpone,  Schoonhoven’s Silver (a local speciality), Cherry, Smurfs (yes,  it was blue ice-cream). The range of flavours isn’t huge but the ice-cream is hand-made and I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

The day is almost the hottest of the summer almost 30 C and most welcome after many days of rain. It’s relaxing to be taking  seat in the cool of the ice-cream parlour and waiting for our orders to arrive.

The plates are crockery ones in the shape of artists palettes, there are  five “holes” (indented cups) for the different flavoured ice-cream but in practice they use two of these for the cream and topping that goes with the order and two scoops of ice-cream go into the centre of the palette board.

The place is understandably busy, as per my usual habit I try and take photos as people leave the tables or just before new people arrive. There’s a stream of people (especially families with kids) at the front of the shop getting ice-creams to take away.At the back of the shop is a gift area, these “dual purpose” shops have become quite popular recently I think.

There’s a cellar area under the main shop (very common in Europe) but in this case they have opted to keep the original entrance to the cellar in the middle of the shop , which would have been a rather dangerous idea had they not ingeniously covered it with a very thick plexiglass cover. This allows you to see the “history” of the worn brick steps below the floor whilst still giving the owner access to valuable storage space (Dutch buildings are generally very small, and land is expensive so every centimetre of space counts!)

Outside there is music, and people marching past on the street… there is more going on here today that just ice-cream! But in the meantime, we settle down to eat our artistically arranged and soon to be rapidly melting assortment of ice-cream, Little Mr. managing to seemingly smear more over his face than made it  into his stomach.

It may not look like a lot of ice-cream but three out of the four of us struggled… and then heaped excess ice-cream onto Himself’s plate in an attempt to make him struggle too. I think we almost  succeeded.

(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)

December 28, 2012

I Unleash My Children into the Streets…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following  yesterday’s post, we have arrived in the Dutch city of Schoonhoven but it’s a busy Saturday so after a getting as close as we can to the centre of town Himself drops us off in a small street and goes to park the car a short distance away.

We use another, smaller street to walk to the centre where the surprise for our kids awaits.

But we are easily distracted… here in the little street we are walking in is a house that makes us giggle…

..there are two cats critically eyeing our every move from the top of a cupboard painted in the Dutch flag colours of red, white and blue (but annoyingly, they are harder to photograph due to the reflection of the sunshine in the windows and without getting my reflection in the photograph as well).

I’m not quite sure which one we liked more: the stern cat security guards, the sign in English on the door or the “duckling”  in the letterbox…  but one thing is certain: I like their sense of humour.

(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)

December 27, 2012

It’s a Zilverstad Surprise, But on This Occasion Sadly Not in Silver…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My workplace has a social budget which allows for a small gift for employees and this is how at the end of last year everyone in our unit got a gift card that could be used in various places throughout the Netherlands.

Himself and I looked at the internet site of the company offering the gift cards and there were all sorts of options, such as a balloon ride for one, but not many at first sight that really fit in as a family activity with kids our age.

Then later Himself looked again and found something on the site that he came and told me about with a huge grin on his face.

The result of this discovery is how one in the morning one summer Saturday we found ourselves driving around an hour out of The Hague to the Dutch city of Schoonhoven.

Schoonhoven is a medieval city that’s earned the nickname of “Zilverstad” (Silver City) because for centuries it’s the place where silversmiths worked, but we didn’t think it would be too interesting for our kids to be dragged around silversmith establishments (although to be honest I wouldn’t have minded at all) so sadly silver isn’t why we are here on this occasion.

We haven’t told the kids where they are going or why either and their questions have been halted by the appearance of our Nintendo’s. These electronic games are in our household reserved for aeroplane flights and longer car journey’s only so the novelty value is very large indeed when they are produced.

I actually think that kids being kids and the tangible being far better than the integrable that the excitement of the Nintendo’s even overrode the knowledge of an impending surprise. Yes, I am  being mean making you wait for the surprise too… Let’s start by taking a look at the journey and by taking note of the houses on the right hand side of the next photo…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…just around the next corner we get to see what the land looks like on the back side of the houses (note therefore the difference in height of the canal and the surrounding land).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We drove along a long narrow canal where the “fields” to the right are typical Dutch narrow strips of land with smaller canals in between. The little house-like sheds evenly spaced along the entire length (several kilometres) are most unusual and we first guessed they might be pumping stations, but there’s also some kind of pipe in the ground at appears to connect it all so maybe something to do with methane gas production?

(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)

Little Mr. insisted on the next two… (even Nintendo doesn’t stand a chance when these come along)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blog at WordPress.com.