Local Heart, Global Soul

May 4, 2019

A Trailer With A… WHAT On Top?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in 2017 I expressed a wish to go see the Sand Sculptures in Garderen again.

Our kids didn’t fancy this, but also declined the suggestion to accompany Himself on a day long hike through the beautiful forested area around Garderen called the “Veluwe”.

Therefore we came up with another plan: himself would drop me off the evening before, I would stay overnight in a hotel literally next door to the Sand Sculpture exhibition but separated by a large belt of trees.

I could rest overnight, attend the exhibition the next day Himself would then pick me up the next afternoon once I’d been seen everything I wanted to see, and bring me home. A limited number of wheelchairs are provided at the Exhibition complex to use so I’d booked one in advance and arrived early so that I didn’t have to take my own.

We set out on a Friday evening and since Himself as usual was behind the wheel I was fee to take photographs out of the window. The most notable sights were a massive new “Kasse” (green house) complex being built, the length of which was enormous and far too long for my camera to capture as we sped past. The quirkiest sight however was a car towing a trailer.. which had another, smaller trailer on top of  the first trailer! That’s something I’ve never seen before. Before we knew it we had turned off the motorway and were on roads surrounded by forests, and arriving in Garderen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 2, 2019

Alas, Feathers Aren’t Flat…

I’ve been laid up of late, with some big limitations in movement (fortunately it’s all good and all temporary). I’ve been doing very little so grabbed my camera and attempted to photograph these feathers. Yes, I am having some depth of field issues again but this seems to be mostly because the feathers are not flat and there is a big difference between the bits that are closest and most furthest away from the camera lens. These are for my artist inspiration files and well, I’ll keep trying…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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 1, 2019

Building Those Little Extras…

The beautiful buildings of the Hague often have even more beautiful details that take a keen eye and a second look to find. I adore the fact that in the first photograph for instance, the builders of old took the trouble to insert colourful tiles directly beneath the turret. This really is ‘extra” to the design because it’s hardly at street level where most pay attention after all. Thank goodness for this kind of aesthetic decoration from the past, during a time when the smallest of details were important contributions to the overall design.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Below: It says “anno 1914″ (another name for ‘year 1914”)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 30, 2019

Beautiful Shapes And Styles…

Himself and I do quite a bit of travelling around the Hague for various medical appointments and visiting friends. I try to keep my camera on hand to photograph some of the beautiful buildings in the city. I love the architectural detail and beautiful shapes and styles.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 28, 2019

How Amazingly The Human Body Functions…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m having a another go taking photographs of flowers, this time, not trying to zoom in quite as far as my previous attempts that were less successful (Baby steps).

I was not just interested in the brightly coloured and really beautiful flowers themselves but also the leaves that came with them, especially the large one that had nine sort of “blades” coming off the central stem.

It was most intriguing and more photogenic than I managed to do it justice.

I’m not botanical enough to know the names of the flower but they too shone; vibrant colours and a ton of detail.

Every time I attempt to photograph things like these it (a) gives me a newfound respect for people who do it brilliantly because it’s harder than it looked and (b) reminds me just how amazingly the human body functions because the difference between what the camera lens captures and the human eye can see, are worlds apart.
This is especially noticeable when it comes to things like the nuances of the shade cast by the leaves on the white background, or the level of detail seen in the leaf veins or flower petals. Reminds me of the bible saying: “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”. These photographs are for my photographic reference files… some arty picture in the future awaits.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 27, 2019

The Contrast Could Not Be Bigger…

The area around the Hague, like many cities around the world is slowly but surely growing. New building work is creeping outwards into areas that used to be farmland between The Hague, Rijswijk and Delft, or in this case, around the harbour and beach area. In the past two years whenever we go to the beach to visit one La Cantina, one of the only beach cafés that I can reach with crutches. On the way back home down the exit road from the beach car park I have been taking photographs of the new buildings that have been going up in the area, a massive complex of beach apartments. In contrast, on the other side of the road are a few of the ‘old’ neighbourhood buildings, the small historical houses that used to house generations of fishing families, and which has a reputation for being a tight-knit group of families thereof. The contrast could not be bigger, cities change and housing does too. Who knows what generations into the future will think is modern and what not? Life is interesting that way.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 26, 2019

The Hague Again…

I often have a camera with me as Himself and I transverse the city of The Hague, travelling to medical appointments or to see friends. There are often interesting buildings to see and enjoy. Let’s 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)

April 24, 2019

Interesting Patterns…

Last year in the autumn I tried to take some photographs of some leaves that had dried out and had interesting patterns in the veins. In all I think I must have taken around thirty photos, but all except these four came out fuzzy. The only one I am really happy with is the last one, the first three have patches in focus and patches out, in the fourth one it’s there too but less apparent. I still don’t know what I am doing wrong but want to practice this kind of thing more often, so hopefully this is my starting point and definitely not my finishing one. Here are my offending leaf mugshots…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 23, 2019

Laughingly Taking The Piss Out Of Your Pit Stop…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As with any large outdoor public gathering, the organisers of the event have to provide suitable restroom facilities.

In the case of the 2017 Food Truck festival in the Hague, the solution was the best I have ever seen.

Unbeknownst to me I had first contact with a member of this group was earlier at one of the food stands.

I spied a young lady in a sort of washer-woman costume, with curlers in her hair which was also wrapped up with a scarf and a sort of  long apron/over-all kind of caricature of the manner of 1930’s.

I asked if  I could take some photographs of her and she gladly obliged.

Later I noticed a large truck that had doors on the sides, these folded outwards to reveal a small passageway on one side of the truck and a row of toilet cubicles on the other.

It was like a cross between a series of upmarket port-a-loos, and normal toilet block.  Outside by the queue was  table where two ladies sat, and it turns out that the younger one of the two is the engagingly attired lady I had encountered earlier.

Together they were taking turns to organize the queue and keep the lavatories clean. I didn’t end up getting photographs of the large truck because there were too many parents taking young children to the toilet and with all of the comings and goings, I couldn’t satisfactorily edit them out of the shots.

I did however manage to take photograph of their company car.

This delightful vehicle was as ingenious as their attire:  nicknamed the “pleemobiel”  this is a kind of pun referencing the children’s toy brand of “Playmobile” (even the font is similar) but the “plee” part that the have changed is a cute/ funny nickname for pee, or urine.

The phrase “U plassie is ons passie” translates as “Your pee-pee is our passion” and the van is decorated with two ladies (Beb & Toos)decked out in the same attire as the younger and older lady at the table.

Their sense of humour carries on in the price cards on the table: for instance the one for Gents reads: “Beb & Toos (“Bezet” means “engaged/occupied”), Gentlemens Prices (tariffs): Is your “tokus” (slang for penis) shorter than 8cm ? Price: Euro 0.50 cents. (Is your tokus) longer … Price Euro 1.00

I showed Himself this and he laughed and said “Yes of course it’s meant to make men pay more because of pride and that they want people to think they have a big penis, but don’t forget, these men are also Dutch so I bet they will all go for the Euro 0.50 cent option simply because its cheaper an they want to save money“.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think he’s probably right, but hey, can’t fault them for trying!

The other sign was more conventional: you could get a token for a “losse plas’, basically one single use of the toilets for 1/2 of  1 munt, or Euro 0.50 cents.

(The “munt’ = being the special tickets that are the ‘currency” of this event and which needed to be purchased at a separate counter in order to buy food and drinks at all of the food trucks participating at the festival.)

You could also purchase a “plas bandje”  (a wrist band) for 1 Munt or Euro 2.00, entitling one person to unlimited use of the facilities for the whole day.

The last alternative would be to buy for 2  Munt or Euro 4.00 the “Voordeel Plasskart” which turns out to be “10 x piddle/pee-pee/take a leak/ spend a penny etc  for the (whole?) Club”  I’m not certain how this works but somehow you are paying for use of the loos for 10 occasions … just not certain how the “group’ element fits into this arrangement!

I have to admit that I may also be confused because I think this is dialect Dutch: for instance in the Gents sign: the “usual’ spelling of the word ‘kleiner” (smaller) is spelled here as “kleinert” , and the word “groter” (larger) here as “grotert”

Since this event is also an evening event, with bar stalls that only started to open up later in the afternoon / early evening, and music areas that were largely unoccupied during our visit, but clearly being set up, it’s a definite bet that as the family crowd fade away for children’s bedtimes after a day of dinning and playing, the adult party crowd come in to take their place.

Once the booze starts flowing it would be safe to assume that the need to use the privy, and therefore the W.C.’s here could create quite a demand.. maybe these ladies, busy with everyone’s ablutions, can not only provide a needed service to the event but also end up creating a thriving business in the process… so that they end up going home rather flush! … And all of this whilst laughingly taking the piss out of your pit stop!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

General prices…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Prices for Gents…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…And if you have read this far you may have noticed how many “Pee” and “Toilet” puns or nicknames I managed to squeeze into this post!

April 22, 2019

The Making Of A Stroopwafel: A Step By Step Procedure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the best discoveries that visitors to the Netherlands can find is: Stroopwafels!

I know that supermarket ones are novelty enough if you have never tried these before, I mean, a wafer thin biscuit (cookie) with caramel syrup (“stroop”) in the middle, what’s not to like?

Yes, these are good, but in fact you haven’t lived until you have had a freshly made stroopwafel.

I was lucky enough during the 2017 Food Truck festival in the Hague to see one of these stands, and have the owner not mind at all if I took step by step photographs.

Basically the dough is divided up into small balls, and put into a press which cooks both sides.

Then, whilst it is still hot it is removed, sliced horizontally in half, the “stroop” caramel syrup is spread on to one of the sides and before it cools completely the other side is added, sandwiching the stroop in the center.

It’s then served warm-ish to the waiting customer. This particular stall also had mini stroopwafels in red and white paper cones for people to buy as well, and did freshly made waffles as well that he served warm with a slathering of Nutella on the top. Waffles and Nutella are not personally my thing at all but the stroopwafels appeal every now and again if I am in the mood for them (which is less often than most people I know because I find them a tad on the too sweet side). My kids on the other hand are down for stroopwafels any time of the day and these cookies have a habit of disappearing from the panty cupboard with speed if they are on our grocery list. A Dutch national favourite it is without surprise that this booth was busy immediately after I caught him setting up the stand.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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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