Local Heart, Global Soul

June 6, 2020

Dressed To Impress…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was “Monumentendag” 2019, a day (actually a weekend) where many churches, Government and historic buildings are (somewhat)open to the public.

I am taking advantage of this to visit the Queen’s/King’s Waiting room at Hollandspoor train station in the Hague.

After taking in the stunningly decorated exterior carved stone entrance that can be seen on the platform, small groups of visitors are ushered in bit by bit for a tour.

We may take photographs without flash, and since the first rooms we see are very dimly lit in order to protect the colour of the items inside it proved interesting to see what photographs turned out and which didn’t.

We enter directly into a large room which has another room off to the right hand side of it, but which is roped off.

There is a light in this alcove room but we had a strict time limit so I was in a hurry and my photographs there didn’t really work out.

Our guide tells us that this room is all about showing off the best artisans in the Netherlands, it’s all about display, an ostentatious preening where attention is sought in every corner of the room.

Visitors would be left in awe of that is effectively an exhibition, a showcase of Dutch talent. The wool was the best wool from the island of Texel for instance. This is a room dressed to impress.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 5, 2020

Peeking Out From The Curtains…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although there are glass and stained glass windows into the Queen’s/King’s waiting room from the platform of Hollandspoor train station in The Hague, sadly not much can be seen inside.

Later during the tour, it was clear why, first there is a covering of sheer curtains and secondly the light inside is very dim indeed, probably to protect the delicate interior inside from degradation from sunlight.

I have a few photographs from the inside to show you a section of the stained glass peeking out from behind the curtains. Although there are glass and stained glass windows into the Queen’s/King’s waiting room from the platform of Hollandspoor train station in The Hague, sadly not much can be seen inside.
Later during the tour, it was clear why, first there is a covering of sheer curtains and secondly the light inside is very dim indeed, probably to protect the delicate interior inside from degradation from sunlight.
I have a few photographs from the inside to show you a section of the stained glass peeking out from behind the curtains.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

June 4, 2020

Beginning My Love Of…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My”Monumentendag” visit has bought me to Hollandspoor train Station in the Hague, and outside the heavily ornate outside entrance of the Queen’s /King’s waiting room.

One of the pieces of ornate stone carving is a very familiar one: a representation of an acanthus leaf. Wikipedia tells us: Acanthus (plant)

Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia.

The genus comprises herbaceous perennial plants, with spiny leaves and flower spikes bearing white or purplish flowers.

Acanthus leaves were the aesthetic basis for capitals in the Corinthian order of architecture; Acanthus (ornament).

The leaves also have many medicinal uses.

Acanthus ilicifolius, whose chemical composition has been heavily researched, is widely used in ethnopharmaceutical applications, including in Indian and Chinese traditional medicine.

Various parts of Acanthus ilicifolius have been used to treat asthma, diabetes, leprosy, hepatitis, snake bites, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The link in the text to “Acanthus (ornament)” leads to a gallery showing a few of the thousands, if not millions of places this emblem has been used around the world, mostly in wood and stone, but also in plaster and other forms.

This has to be one of my favourite decorations, not least because it was an acanthus in stone that began my love of architectural detail.

June 3, 2020

A Station Dressed To Impress…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

At the very top of this grand entrance way, is a triangular section of  stone, filled with detailed stone carved decoration.

The architectural detail here, as with my previous posts, is top quality and it was only later during our tour that I found out why. This may have been the entrance to the “Queens Waiting room”, but in fact the Dutch Monarchy rarely used it.

All of this impressive decoration was in fact made by the best Dutch craftsmen, be it the stone masonry outside or the ornate  detail inside. Who were they doing all of this for then?

Remembering that this was the era pre-flight and that Heads of State travelled by rail and had their own expensive rail carriages, this was in fact the first point of entry to the Hague for visiting King’s, Queen’s and other VIP’s.

This was all made simply to impress these people, and since Dutch Royalty received these dignitaries in their own palaces, it was usually diplomats, and other high up dignitaries in the Royal household who would meet foreign Royals at the Station.

Of course the Dutch Royal Family would also travel by train, but of naturally their trains would be waiting for them, and not the other way around, so time spent here would be negligible.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 2, 2020

Ribbons In Safe Hands…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apologies my readers for  photographs but missing text yesterday, I’m making errors galore due to the absence of Ketaime. I’m also trying to get used to the new WordPress editor, (I hate it, at least at the moment) used to make these posts.

(You already know I’m an idiot with things like this). My blog has been running on “the schedule” (so kinda automatically) as there have been changes at my work, kids school, Himself’s work, extended family stuff and we are shortly (counting the days) to add ripping up floors for plumbing for our new kitchen into the mix.

Clearly my multi-tasking abilities are slipping.  I will attempt to make as few glaring errors as possible as I learn. Apologies again… here is your missing text:

The columns on each side of the Queen’s Waiting room on the platform of Hollandspoor Station, are for me at least, amazing.

I marvel at the work of the stonemasons, who manage to deeply cut away the stone without chipping off entire chunks of the intricate pattern.

Although I always dreams that I would have loved to have been a stone mason, working on beautiful designs in one of my favourite mediums; stone, reality would have been very different story indeed.

I’d been sweating buckets knowing that one column is the mirror image of the other so any flaws will be obvious and difficult to cover up.

Needless to say these columns were in very safe, skilled hands.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 1, 2020

Angels And Demons…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Where are my brains? I’m mixing things all over the place. My apologies.

My Ketamine pain relief infusion that usually takes place for one week in hospital every three months, was suspended two months ago because of the Coronavirus.

Luckily I had my last infusion in February days before things really went crazy and lock-down went into effect.

This however means that I was due to be back in hospital two weeks ago.

Even though the Ketamine infusions were reinstated in recent days, they are admitting fewer patients into hospital at a time and of course there is now quite a backlog.

Although in theory I should be near the top of the queue, the hospital has not been able to give me a date for my next infusion, citing the possibility of at least a 4-6 week wait. Needless to say the neuromodulation box has been turned up to almost top strength and my Oxinorm/Oxicodon intake has increased significantly. As a result my concentration is all over the shop, I want to sleep a lot and I’m moving twice as slow as normal.

(Luckily, Sort of) due to some work-from-home glitches in my home equipment in the last fortnight, I have been catching up with my in-house training courses and attending a lot of Skype/Webinar meetings. If my work stuff gets sorted before my next infusion arrives, we will have a bridge to cross one bit at a time with the support of my Director as far as what work I could do without making a complete mess. Quite fitting with this set of photographs from the entrance o the Queen’s/Kings’s waiting room: it’s kind of an angels and demons situation. One day at a time.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 31, 2020

Column Bands…

On  “Monumentendag” in 2019,  I am stood on the platform of Hollandspoore Station in the Hague. The pillars either side of the door of the Queens waiting room have majestically carved bands around their tops, which of course means I needed to check it out as closely as possible…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 30, 2020

Fluidity In Stone…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Monumentendag” in The Netherlands is where many churches, Government and historic buildings are open to the public for one or two days of the Monumentendag weekend.

I took the opportunity to visit Hollandspoor Station in The Hague.

This is the other large arch surrounding the main doors of the Queen’s Waiting room, opposite the arch with the crowns that I featured in yesterday’s post.

There is something about foliage and flowing ribbons that I just love in design.

In stone it’s even more amazing because the stonemason must capture the fluidity that it hard to depict in a hard, solid medium as stone.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 29, 2020

Crowning Glory…

Monumentendag” where many churches, Government and historic buildings are open to the public for one or two days of the Monumentendag weekend.

The facade at one end of the platform of Hollandspoor Station in the Hague is a clue as to might lie behind it: This is the Queen’s/King’s Waiting room. The ornamentation is beautiful…  a crowning glory.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 28, 2020

Bags Of Beauty…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Monumentendag” where many churches, Government and historic buildings are open to the public for one or two days of the Monumentendag weekend.

I’m visiting Hollandspoor train station in Den Haag (The Hague.)

The Dutch Wikipedia page:  “Station Den Haag HS”  tells us: “Tramstops and station environment.  Hollandspoor Station is also traditionally a tram hub.

  The HIJSM (“Hollandsche Ijzeren Spoorweg-Maatschappij.”, the company who owns the station) wanted to have a railway connection with the trams and in 1886 a steam tram line was opened: Line 11.

This steam tram had it’s own covered terminus point next to the station. This steam tram and subsequent electric ones had a connection to goods traffic as well. The Station Square in front of the Station has always been had many tram lines. In 2000, a tram tunnel was opened under the train tracks, which now allows many tram lines to access the station directly.

The previous tram tracks in the Parallelwegwere been moved to an overpass next to the railway.  On the Station Plein (Square) the tram platforms have been redesigned in connection with the tram tunnel.

 The district on the city side of the station has recently been derelict and the municipality wants to give the whole district a refresh. The formally unattractive walking route into downtown has already been improved.

 At the former post sorting centre (which had it’s own tracks and loading dock) a sports and shopping centre has been made with climbing walls and diving facilities. This new neighbourhood is connected to the Station Square through a pedestrian and bicycle tunnel under the train tracks with direct access to the train platform via stairs. 

On one section of the platform there is an amazingly ornate entrance, I took a closer look…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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