Local Heart, Global Soul

November 3, 2017

Everyone Has Their Own Droolworthy Moment…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 2017 saw Family Kiwidutch make a visit to Scheveningen, more specifically to the pier.

There is the possibility to take either an inside walkway, or an open air top one, but since the weather was changeable and there were steps to the top level we opted for the lower, inside level.

We haven’t been here for ages and it was nice to see food stalls and food trucks along the pier’s length as well as shops, souvenir stalls etc.

The view out of the window is always amazing, despite the summer time crowds.

My only complaint: they leave a little too little space for wheelchairs (or push-chairs if you have small children) to get past some of the shops, adverts and stalls.

I suppose you have to expect this during the busiest months of the year, and we managed some stops too because Kiwi Daughter adores coconut. I don’t mind the stuff mixed with other things but having it as the predominant flavour is my idea of hell. Both she and Himself however, give a very big thumbs up to the “Madame Cocos” stall. Little Mr had his eye on many a knick-knack, none of which were quality or healthy. In return for not wasting money here, he was instead promised a Lego treat on another day; something he was quick to remind Himself of when he then dragged his father off to the shops the next day. My drool moment was something not for sale: a seriously long table at the entrance of the pier that I wished could be made available at my place for Christmas dinner at our place. Of course the grand structure of the Kurhaus is always droolworthy too, no matter the season.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 2, 2017

The First Part Of Their Wish Was Practical…

For someone who lives in a city so close to the sea, it’s a shame that I am not such a huge fan of it. Given the choice I would take a mountain holiday over a seaside one any day, doubly so in the time after my accident. Yes, wheelchairs and crutches are not compatible with mountains either and I do miss hiking, but sand is the most inconvenient medium for my new modes of transport bar none so I avoid it like the plague. We spent most of this summer at home, so when my kids united in a wish for a family day out at the beach, secretly my heart sank. They were practical with their wish however and the first part of our afternoon out was simple; drive to Scheveningen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

p.s. Long term readers may remember that I have posted photographs of this lighthouse before (March 2015;  Shining A Light On Buildings Bare…  ), however, back then the paintwork was old and it has been recently been repainted giving it a far more dramatic effect.

October 1, 2017

Taking Your Housekeeping To The Beach…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Quirky Sights,Sheveningen,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are plenty of beaches cafe’s open during the summer but due to lack of parking in close proximity most of them are off limits for me.

Both crutches and wheelchairs are not in any way friends with sand, so luckily the Gemeente (city council) puts in permanent concrete paths.

Most of the time it is far too much work so I do not join Himself, other parents and a large group of kids at the beach, but on one occasion I did and captured these machines in action.

Several large earth movers are keeping a large drum filled with sand, the drum rotates and screens out unwanted debris, the now cleaned sand is then spit onto a pile where it will later be smoothed out.

It’s an excellent idea, the beach along the Dutch coast is crowded during the summer and even with a dog ban in place there are plenty of other dangerous, messy or wasteful debris to be disposed of in the sand.It’s great that the council go to the trouble, but I suppose they have a duty of care to upkeep the coast line in their area. The wheelchair was never going to allow me to get closer but so the zoom lens will have to do.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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 14, 2016

I Am Not Quite Sure What To Make Of This One…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Sheveningen,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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In this photographic post I discover another sculpture around The Hague, well,  Scheveningen to be exact. Seen from the car as we stood in traffic, this “interesting” piece that depicts… hmmm I’m not quite sure. A stylised  daffodil maybe? There are plenty of those in the lawn around it in the spring time. Truly, I am not quite sure what to make of this one…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 2, 2016

It Might Hurt This Poor Man To Sit Down…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Sheveningen,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Regular readers will know that I have many collections of photographs on my blog Most of them are art works of some sort, statues, sculptures and the like but there are also street man hole covers, bicycles,various pieces of architectural detail and quirky stuff such as letter boxes, loos and strange wheeled vehicles. This post is rather tame when it comes to quirkyiness: it’s a statue of a man looking towards the harbour area. Located in the Scheveningen district that connects The Hague with the sea, it’s one of many “blink-and-you-miss-it” pieces that needs to be glimpsed on the pavement between parked cars.

It has not however escaped my eagle eye, and is now another checked off item on my long list of sculptural pieces in The Hague and surrounding areas.  No, I have no idea why the poor man appears to morph uncomfortably out of the post that supports him. He doesn’t exactly look comfortable does he? It kind of looks painful. But here he is… standing guard? waiting? My first feeling looking at is that I’d like to give the poor man a chair. Who knows what the artist was thinking…. I’m not entirely certain I want to know.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

November 28, 2016

Little Mr. Was On The Right Track After All…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whenever our kids went to the beach this summer they would arrive home with stories for me at home about how their day had been.

On several occasions, when having been down by the harbour, Little Mr would start to describe several vehicles, and to say that he gave me rather strange visions about what he had seen was an understatement.

The vehicle he described had “wheels but not wheels, …like a tank, a truck tray that tips backwards, but with big sides, like a skip, and a sitting place for the driver, but not like a truck, … like a crane.”

My head tried had to compute what he meant, … and failed.

Then he tried to draw it (and in order to not heart his feelings, I did the Parent Thing: told him it was a beautiful drawing and I got it, but reality was that the drawing was no blue print and I didn’t really get it). Yes, it was a white lie, but the drawing was a blue print in his mind and I should have gotten it, so I played the game. Several weekends went by and we went other places so it was more or less forgotten. Then we returned to the beach by the harbour and saw these on the way home. Indeed, Little Mr. was completely right: his description was on point, even if  I had been too stupid to imagine all the parts together. It’s a truck with tank tracks, and I’m wondering if it has anything at all to do with the harbour,  might this be used in dredging work? I asked Himself to cruise past whilst I took a string of photographs. It’s another unusual vehicle to add to my photographic collection but in all honesty, this one is all for Little Mr.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 12, 2016

Way More Than Fair Weather Friends…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The summer of 2016 was for the most part (ok, discount June more or less entirely) one of excellent weather.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Himself and adults from three or four other families took turns to supervise a bigger group of kids on the street or take them to the beach during  week days.

Weekends they would forsake their bike rides to the beach and join me in a car ride to one of the spots that had a car park close to the beach café we wanted to go to.

Luckily with a seven seater car we manage to pile in extra kids so the kids weren’t short of a friend to take with them.

The Dutch are a cycling nation and nowhere is easier to get to by bike than car, is the beach.

All along the dunes there are hundreds of cycles racks, which at the height of summer can see bikes chained together on one rack up to four deep and every available signpost or fence surrounded by clusters of bicycle hardware.

Our weekend visits to La Cantina on the south side of the harbour were no different, but one of the attractions was that this was one of the quietest spots along the shore, so bike parking was never as bad as I have sometimes seen it in other places during my time here in the Netherlands.

One thing did catch my eye, and that is the sharp rise in the use of “Bakfietsen”  (cargo bikes) in the last decade: one reason their popularity increase is that although they are very expensive to buy, they hold their value incredibly well and you can sell one in good condition, second-hand for near new prices.

This makes them an excellent investment and the Dutch are never ones to pass up a good thing when a deal makes sense.

It’s therefore no surprise that I saw quite a few bakfietsen during our visits to the beach. Two bikes did perplex me for a moment because I only saw strong metal “prongs” (not sharp ones) sticking out in different configurations from several bikes, then the penny dropped: these were also bakfietsen, but ones where the “bak” (Literally translates as “container”) i.e. the kid-carrying compartment, can be taken off the bike and taken with you.

I don’t know the exact brand of this type, but they are soft sided ones similar to the “Gazelle” bakfietsen in my photographs.

Hard sided bakfietsen are of course heavier and are as far as I know, never detachable.  I love how this mode of transport has been embraced, and how the trend is growing. They even come with sturdy rain covers for the winter months, making these fabulous bikes way more than just fair weather friends.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

November 11, 2016

Finding An Accessible Beach Spot…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This summer my kids spent their fair share of time at the beach.

Most of the time they were with  a group that consists of several families and they had several set places to go to that were firm favourites.

Getting to most of these favourite places involved a walk or bike ride through the dunes, so were not possible for me to visit.

We therefore made a loose arrangement that during the week they would go to which location they fancied, but on weekends we would chose somewhere where it was possible for me to join them.

Located on the southern side of the harbour, and with a car-park very close by, La Cantina is a perfect location to take anyone in a wheelchair or who can not walk far.

There was a choice of indoor or outdoor seating, so we chose to sit out of doors but with  large shade umbrella.The kids came and went as other adults accompanied them to the water and on the sand so at some moments I was alone, other moments sitting with other adults between supervision duties. Nearing the end of the day everyone started to get hungry so we ordered dinner: this for 99% of us consisted of pancakes, I had shrimp since I had had a toasted sandwich earlier.

The staff are very friendly and especially patient when after everyone else has ordered a certain kid said ” I think I want a pancake… wait… (looks through entire menu very slowly as our waitress stands waiting)… yes, I’ll have a pancake“. Seriously kid? Our meal arrives and pancakes are scoffed by kids, who then race way for a game on the sand before returning later for ice-blocks. The sun is shining, the day is warm, the kids are busy and happy, the food is great and I’m not doing the washing-up. What’s not to like?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

October 31, 2016

In The Mood To Try Something Different…

Filed under: Cafe and Restaurant Reviews,FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,Sheveningen — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

The Simoni’s restaurant in Scheveningen  specialises in fish and seafood. We tend to go when we have guests, and special occasions.  The seafood platters are generally made to serve at least two people or more, and with me allergic to most of it, Himself can not eat one on his own. Sometimes too he is in the mood to try something completely different, so the friends we went with on this occasion went for mussels and lobster. I ordered garlic prawns, and for the very first time in all the years we have been coming here, we made it as far as the dessert section of the menu.  It’s not the last time we will be here, but each time is a delight, and we can not wait for a good excuse to come again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

October 30, 2016

Shell We Take A Table…

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

During holiday’s and trips broad I’ve sat at many tables. Restaurants often try and make a feature of their tables, from wide chunks of recycled timber to brightly painted furniture. The Simoni’s seafood and fish restaurant in Scheveningen gives customers something to talk about, or at least look at whilst they wait for their meals. These tables are like a shallow drawers filled partly with sand, then have the sea shells added. The ensemble is then topped with thick glass and et voila, these amazing tables are finished! The one down side of these though, is that the overhead lights reflect off them, but I try and zoom in and get some detailed shots of the shells inside.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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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