Local Heart, Global Soul

April 2, 2017

Over The Ramps And Onto Dry Land…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our 2016 Easter long weekend has come to an end, and we head to the other end of the island to take the ferry home.

It rained hard during the night, but we are lucky with the weather: it dries up at daybreak and we load the car and set out with just the odd patch of light drizzle.

The wind however is another thing. Even with a fully loaded car of three adults, two kids and seemingly endless luggage (and Kiwi Daughter travelling with our other friends but her suitcase is with us) the car is still being buffeted on the open and exposed landscape.

Knowing that I’m as bad a sailor as I am a car traveler, I am the only one to elect to exit the car deck and go upstairs.

Buffeting fresh air and photography take my mind off the green feelings, and luckily the trip is a very short one.

In no time at all we are in the quieter waters of Den Helder harbour, I go back to the car and we are over the ramps and onto dry land. Even though it is the morning of Easter Monday, there is still a long line of cars in the opposite lane waiting to board the ferry.  With Texel now beind us, we head on to our next destination…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The harbour area on Texel is just visible at about “10 o’clock” point on the horizon…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 1, 2017

The Off-Season Has Definite Advantages…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are getting ready to leave Texel.

Our 2016 Easter trip to the island has been a hit with everyone, the kids enjoyed the activities, adults like me very much enjoyed not doing the activities, and everyone mentioned that they would love to come back again.

For three families and a total of five kids, that’s quite impressive.

I imagine that in summertime the weather is definitely better, or at least less cold than in some parts of our weekend, but on the downside, it’s also probably bursting at the seams with tourists too.

The later is not really our scene so maybe part of the charm of this trip is that we braved the unexpected gusts of wind, sudden showers and freezing nights, and enjoyed the relative quiet that the off-season offers.

For every one of my “clear” photographs I also have many that went straight to the delete bin because windscreen wipers were in the middle of the image, water shaken from roadside trees splattered on the side window, or fuzzy and on angels because wind, camera and crutches are a tricky combination.

We only explored part of the island, Den Burg, the main village I barely touched: our activities were not located there and we simply ran out of time. My last look around finds more “half-barns” and interesting sights like the two unusually shaped ‘bus haltes” (bus stop) shelters in the first photograph. Clearly built to withstand anything the elements can dish out, and completely in line with this islands seeming obsession with strangely shaped roofs. Texel is a charmer, I think it will not be long before we are back.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 31, 2017

Oh Buoy …Hauled Out Of The Sea And Onto Dry Land!

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

Unusual things always catch my eye. Sea buoys on land always look impressive because we are not used to seeing them up close. These ones, seen on our 2016 Easter trip to Texel are just quirky enough for a second, third or fourth look. I also want them saved into my “Reference” folder for any future arty projects.

I’m curious too, in their “working” life, did they mark the spot of a wreck? the entrance to the harbour? the presence of a sand bank or shallow water? Did they show the location of farmed mussels? a special diving spot? Who knows. I categorise this as … the beauty of detailed engineering.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 30, 2017

As The Curtains Open, My Window Of Opportunity Closes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back at our Texel De Krim holiday park accommodation during the Easter weekend of 2016, I finally get another bird to come to the bird table.

I’ve been edging it closer and closer to the window several times per day since we arrived , and now think I’ve reached the limit of what the birds will accept without being spooked.

I close the curtains around the camera lens with clothes pegs each evening before I go to bed so that as little movement as possible can be detected from outside, everything as not to scare the birds away.

I know that the kids, especially the extra little one staying with us with her mother, can only be still for so long so my window of opportunity will be short.

Kids are also far louder than they think they are, and with our other friends joining us early, the group noise of three families, will be beyond keeping quiet.

My feathered visitor this time is a pigeon. Arriving at the table before the others dared is a risky move, but a smart one on this occasion, I had one tiny bird make a fleeting appearance but after just a second or so on the table, disappeared and didn’t return. After this pigeon’s visit, the rest of the household emerged, hungry and looking for breakfast, therefore as the curtains were opened , my window of opportunity for further photographs closed. Still, the results are better than I had hoped for… the learning curve continues.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 29, 2017

Drugs Have Me Losing My Photographs As Well As My Mind…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During the 2016 Easter weekend, Family Kiwidutch visited Texel, an island in the province of Nord Holland (North Holland).

Usually when I document on this blog, trips that we have made, I naturally start at the beginning and go as chronologically as possible to the end.

On this occasion I misplaced a folder of photographs, an error of concentration, a side effect of the pain medication that I take.

Two days ago I found the photos in a folder about Dutch buildings, so what was going on in my head when I did that, goodness only knows!

I’m slotting this in now with the idea that “better later than never” is a better principle to follow than to leave it out completely.

To be slotted between blog dates of February 10th and February 11th 2017, these photographs offer our first impressions of the island, the glimpse of the airport and Air Force and War Museum that lead us to rewarding and memorable visit later on, the landscape and architecture that define island life.
I’ve mislaid files before: usually I am not so lucky and they do not turn up later, or in some cases, ever. I know that this is a very human error but in the last four years the dosages of powerful pain medications has risen and the “human errors” have risen dramatically in direct relationship with the pain medication rises. I suppose that the summary
is: “Don’t do drugs folks, they mess with your brain” (or in my case, what’s left of it). I’d like nothing better than to come off this medication, if only solutions could be found to fix my foot and do so. In the meantime, here are our first impressions of Texel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 28, 2017

Quality Time As A Family…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Easter weekend of 2016 saw us on the island of Texel, taking a break from extended family responsibilities that had been weighing heavily and from which we needed a little bit of “time out”.

Helping to care for someone nearing the end of their life is a difficult task, there are deeply rewarding moments but also ones of despair. For Himself, seeing his mother loosing the ability to independently run her household herself and later, the loss of dignity when she lost the ability to look after her own personal hygiene, was harder than he ever imagined.

District nurses helped her bathe but slowly even the ability to brush her own teeth was beyond her.

Whilst we never ever begrudged him the daily and sometimes multiple daily visits, it was difficult to stay at home and keep up with family life alone.

The kids also saw their grandmother slowly loosing her grip on life, she was no longer the person they knew a few years back, the board game days were over and they had to come to grips with the fact that she wasn’t going to be with us forever. This long weekend break allowed us to spend some quality time together as a family without chores like laundry and homework. We each found at least one activity we liked, we had fun and smiled again. Texel’s scenery is interesting, barns and houses quirky and we are liking Texel more and more and more…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 27, 2017

A Lot Of Flat Land And Changeable Skies…

Texel may not have any imposing geographical features, there are no mountains, cliffs, hills… just flat land, dunes and then the sea. That means that it’s biggest feature is the sea, the flatness of the land and the sky. Our visit in the 2016 Easter weekend, and our car journeys around the island, meant that we saw a lot of flat land and a lot of changeable sky. The days varied wildly, it was never topically warm of course, but at some moments there was bright sun light and others the sky was so dark, we half expected it to hail.  Naturally I took photographs as we travelled. There may not be many geographical features but that didn’t mean it wasn’t interesting!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Two seagulls were having a fight, on the road, with very little regard for cars until the last minute…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another one of these strange “half barns”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 26, 2017

Being Driven Up The Wall …Or Not?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Before we leave the “Klimmen Enzo” climbing park on Texel, I take a quick look at the two other features here.

Since we visited during the Easter weekend, only a few of the activities were open: during the summer holidays this place would be bursting at the seams, there would be extra staff and entertainers brought in from outside, and what looks like a small circus tent would be open to the public.

It’s possibly a music venue, I’m not exactly certain, but the other thing that would be popular would be the very tall climbing wall.

Although I am not particularly scared of heights, (and even if I could) inching my way up a wall on my fingernails is not my idea of fun, apparently I am in the minority because as I stood taking photographs I heard plenty of other visitors voice their excitement as soon as they saw it.

My kids were no exception, they would have gone on this in a flash if it had been possible. The De Krim holiday park definitely offers enough activities for the adventurous visitor, and maybe because of this our kids expressed invest in a return visit, something fairly unusual because usually they are “been there, done that, next destination please’  kind of holidaymakers.  Concerts or circus, I liked this cute building, it has a certain charm, Texel is growing on us all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 25, 2017

The “Flying Fox” Is The Highlight Of The Day…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The final section of the “Klimmen Enzo” high line obstacle course, and the highlight for Kiwi Daughter, were the “flying foxes“.

I discovered when I left New Zealand that this term was met with strange stares and puzzled expressions, and subsequently learned that elsewhere in the world these were known as “ziplines“.

Our friend went first so that Kiwi Daughter could see how things were done.

Attached by his safety harness, he sailed rapidly down the line, and when he started to become too small to make out at my shorter focal length I engaged the zoom and was delighted by how much of the action I could get into shot.

Kiwi Daughter likes to rubbish the fact that I carry around my big DSLR rather than just use the camera installed in my phone, but take that mobiles, I doubt you could zoom in this far and get photographs like these!

After being reassured that it was possible to make the distance perfectly unharmed, Kiwi Daughter exhibited an uncharacteristic measure of boldness and along with the obligatory screaming as she whizzed along the wire she added a few theatrical poses, even letting go one hand and waved an outstretched arm.

She got herself into the correct position for “landing” in the net, and once safely stopped, climbed up the net and then the ladder to an even higher level.

From there they attached themselves to the next wire and “ziplined” to the next stage: a large pole standing further out in the field.

Both landing safely on the platform, and having now completed two side of the triangle, the third and final “zip” brought them back to the main tower structure, the axis of the two main parts of the course.

The rush of endorphins and the buzz from the experience was plain to see, Kiwi Daughter was also rightly proud that she overcame her fear of doing the higher parts of the course and her doubts about her ability to finish the course. Her elation after the flying fox sections of the course clearly told us that this was not an experience that will be forgotten quickly, and the confidence she gained was immeasurable too. Of course as parents we were proud of both our kids: they each did their best and went as far as their physical abilities allowed. More importantly I think that our kids realised to some degree that whilst this may primarily be a physical obstacle course, its also a mental one too.

Naturally you have to trust your equipment but you have to calculate how to get around the various obstacles and overcome the fear factor that comes with the highest sections of the course. The zip lines are the icing on the cake: to participate is actually very reasonably priced, …but the experience is priceless.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The same net: side view…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Klimmen Enzo / Climbing park Texel / The Netherlands. (Kiwi’s note: website Dutch language only).

March 24, 2017

Art Being Found In The Strangest Of Places…

Whilst watching participants climbing their way over the high  wire obstacle course of “Klimmen Enzo”, I am struck by the silhouette nature of some of my photographs. Located in de Krim holiday park on the northern end of Texel, it’s certainly a feature of this trip that left a lasting impression on Little Mr and Kiwi Daughter. Both were proud of themselves: that they dared to do it in the first place, that they overcame sections of  the course that they hadn’t thought at first possible, and in Kiwi Daughter’s case that she got up to the top level and completed even the highest and toughest parts of the course. These photographs are more “arty” in style… in this case art being found in the strangest of places.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograp(photograph © Kiwidutch)h © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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