Local Heart, Global Soul

March 15, 2015

Someone Tweets That They Need A House…

Filed under: ART,Birdhouses,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,Zeeland: Veere — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Landal is a Netherlands wide chain of holiday parks and this particular one, located in the Veluwe, in the east of the country has all of the usual appearances of the franchise.

However each Franchise of course has a character all of it’s own depending on it’s unique location within each of the Dutch provinces.

This particular Landal park sits within one of the many forested areas of the Veluwe park area, so of course bird life is evident all around us.

What’s cool about this Landal is that they have seized the opportunity to capitalise on the nature / national park / forest area idea and the local bird life, and have added birdhouses to many of the trees around their complex.

Not just one birdhouse per tree, although there are plenty of those around the small lanes leading to the houses, but also in a few strategic trees a lot of birdhouses, in fact so many that they need to be seen to be believed.

On one sweep of the tree-lined lane leading to the holiday home we have hired, there is a single birdhouse on every tree.

I think that both functional and quirky, these bird apartment complexes are an excellent idea. Since my mobility was limited then as now,  I only managed to see a very small amount of the Landal park here in the Veluwe so I can only hope that these birdhouses continue around the whole complex, so hundreds of little birds can live amongst the hundreds of houses for human beings here.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 16, 2013

One Last Look Around Before We Hit The Road…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,Traditionally Dutch,Zeeland: Veere — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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It’s my final post from Veere and I have a batch of photographs that I like but didn’t fit into other posts. Some of the photos were taken in early spring, others on our more recent visit  last weekend. Here’s a final photo tour, Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

veere 6t (Small)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 15, 2013

The Details Around Us Deserve To Be Seen…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are almost ready to leave Veere in Zeeland, The Netherlands.

Earlier in the day I took photographs of a beautiful and obviously very old building that stands next to the Stadhuis on Marktstraat (Market Street).

Often in medieval times there would be an important building connected to trade close to the Stadhuis, maybe of the guild of the town’s major industry, maybe a weighing house, or the medieval equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce.

From the size and style of this building I have a  strong suspicion it has more connection to a commercial purpose than a domestic one, but what that commercial purpose may have been isn’t as clear as it often is from stone marker decorations because stone marker in this instance depicts a swan.

I like everything about this building, even the side wall showing the small bricks that were in standard use in medieval times.

There are two window panes present in these windows, on the inner side, an old one of leaded glass, and on the outside a large pane to protect the inner one and provide a rudimentary sort of double glazing. Someone has inserted a wooden panel between the two, painted with the image of a girl in local costume, so that it looks like she’s inside the building looking out.

The closest view of her is from the top of the steps, but the window shutters and lack of handrail make for tricky photography, especially an accident  prone and less mobile  Kiwidutch who’s happy to err well on the side of caution. I hope to find out from our friend who lives in Veere if he knows more about this building and if so, will report back at a later date.

There is also one other very large and  important building in the town, but to be honest it was out of range of my walking ability at the moment so when we return to Veere in the future I will explore that one properly.

I also have to confess that although I took a quick photo of this building the first time we visited, it was so cold in the strong wind that I didn’t linger and never noticed the girl in the window, and even on the fabulously sunny day of the second visit I was amazed at how few people really looked hard at the building or appeared to notice this girl in the window as they walked by.

It’s my personal philosophy that the details around us deserve to be seen,  (which will hardly come as a surprise if you have been reading this blog for any length of time!)  But then again ….maybe I’m a little weird in taking such delight in a heap of bricks.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 14, 2013

The Dutch Stadhuis: Where Marriage and Judgement Sit in Adjoining Rooms…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I didn’t know anything about the history of the “Stadhuis” of Veere  (City Council Building / City Hall) so went to google for some help… I found a Dutch text there and translated the most interesting bits into English for you here:

The Stadhuis of Veere can be found on Marktstraat (Market street) in Veere, Zeeland.

It is built in the gothic style and features in it’s ornamentation statues of the four men and three women of Veere.

The Stadhuis is one of the top one hundred UNESCO monument buildings in The Netherlands. On the ground floor is the “Vierschaar” (this translates literally as “four square”) which was the term used in Dutch for a tribunal, or early court.

Before national laws were introduced each town had a committee of seven men (noted townspeople and sheriffs) who acted as judges and “vierschaar”referred to the four-square dimensions of the benches in use by the sitting judges.

Many historic Stadhuisen had a room set aside for this purpose, which were also distinctive because they were often decorated with scenes from the Judgement of Solomon. Construction of the Stadhuis began in 1474 and was completed in 1477.

It’s undergone two restorations during it’s history the first in 1885 and the second in 1930-1935. Since 1591, the Stadhuis has had a tower with a set of carillon bells.

The melody of the carillon is changed four times a year by changing the drum, a process that used to be a two day process but now takes about five hours with modern tools.

The Stadhuis has a wedding room on the first floor, and today the Vierschaar Museum is also located inside the building where a permanent collection of art and the silver cup of Maximilian of Burgundy are on display. The building also hosts annual exhibitions.

Kiwi’s Note: Many people are surprised to find out that you have to be married by the Gemeente (city council) for your marriage to be legal in the Netherlands. A church ceremony may be done as an additional and optional “extra” but is not the legal ceremony.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For this reason every Stadhuis in The Netherlands has a wedding room where marriages take place and often, especially in an old historic Stadhuis, these rooms are beautifully and ornately decorated.

Due to the narrowness of the streets and the arrangement of building around the Stadhuis in Veere, it was difficult to take photographs that captured the building as a whole.

In the end I came to the conclusion that maybe this was a good thing because by taking photographs of the “pieces” we can better appreciate the detail of this amazing building.

There are a mixture of photos here, a few are from the first trip we made to Veere four months ago and the rest are from last weekend’s second visit.

In case you are wondering about who the “four men and three women” are who are depicted in the statues, I have no idea, and couldn’t any documentation to tell me either (most likely because any information will be on local Zeeland sites). I intend to ask our friend if he knows.. but I do find it interesting that there are seven statues and there were seven judges… a coincidence?  I’ll try and find out.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(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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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadhuis_van_Veere

July 13, 2013

Stones That Stack Up, Flatten Out, Look Up and Lay Down…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I had too many photographs of around the church in Veere for one post and felt that these few deserved their own slot.

We know from one of the previous posts that the gravestones in the church cemetery were ripped up by the French invaders and some were recycled as windowsills.

The plots themselves (or at least some of them) and lay recessed in the grass around a few parts of the church.

There’s an interesting arrangement of large boulders on another (graveless) piece of grass that looks like an infant Stonehenge…

…and just across the grass, a simple but beautiful statue of two stylized figures who’s upward gaze just happens to be in the direction of the church.

Just along from the statue is the smallest entrance gate in the large wall that surrounds the church… the view through it shows a continuation of the former city wall, that now borders a little street. All of this gives a sense of tranquility and peacefulness… I drink in the calm atmosphere and enjoy, and walk on…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 12, 2013

Now Your Job Is To Count Up All The Bricks… (Maybe Not!)

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Because we visited Veere again last weekend I had longer (and better weather) to slowly walk around a bit more.

Whilst out on my walking tour I made a full circle tour of Grote Kerk and got a better idea of the character of  this massive structure.

It’s a mix of styles, obvious damage and renovations, five hundred years worth of different building materials and a weird mix of bits of modern thrown in with the old.

I wondered at the huge grey doors with glass edges that now adorn the main entrance,  the steel and glass entrance at the back and the totally unrelated style of arched door frame on the side.

Some of the windows are at different levels, at the back many of them have been bricked up (in different centuries if the building materials are anything to go by) and  even the main tower sports a variance of different brick shapes and colours.

A man, clearly a local, saw me taking photographs at the back end of the church and told me that three of the slits in the narrow column bit are open (second to last photograph) and two of them house owls: a white owl in one and grey owl in the other.

If you are around here at dusk you can see them coming and going. Most people seem to be by the water or in the main shopping area of town, I pretty much have the entire church area to myself.  Let’s take a look…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 11, 2013

Look How Your Garden Grows! …We Finish Up With A Delicious Mess (Eaton Mess That Is!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last week I posted about the novelty and luxury it is for us to be able to sit in a private garden.

Since we went back to Veere for a second visit last weekend, I am able to update you on how much can change in the space of two months.

The temperatures have risen drastically in the Netherlands in the last week enabling us to swap our winter jackets for light shirts and a sun umbrella,  the flowers around the seating area have burst into bloom.

Due to Himself’s hard work the hedge has had it’s energetic growth chopped back into trimmed neatness, and we can enjoy  drinks and and al fresco lunch in a beautiful setting.

Our friend is a fellow Foodie so produced a delicious home-made salad.

Later in the early evening it was decided that we should eat before the journey home, so we polished off the leftover salad with a new accompaniment of  “veldsla”  and sliced chorizo and some excellent cherry tomatoes that our friend bought locally at a roadside stall.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since I’ve never eaten veldsla anywhere else except The Netherlands, I have to confess I had not idea what it might be called in English. A Google search tells me it’s called “lamb’s lettuce”, so I’ve just added something new to my culinary knowledge.

We indulged in ice cream after lunch (no photos,  rapidly melting ice cream in 27 C heat begs to be eaten not photographed) but after dinner our friend brings out a surprise: He’s made a Mess. (Eaton Mess to be precise).

Eaton Mess is an English recipe whereby pieces of meringue are mixed into freshly whipped cream, and summer berries, in our case, strawberries and since our friend fancied a little experimentation with the recipe: pomegranate seeds. He only added half of  the seeds whole, the rest he made into a juicy pulp and mixed in to give extra flavour to the cream.

It was a perfect dessert for a hot summer’s day and I busted my healthy-eating-low-sugar- diet for a day so that I could enjoy it without guilt. I was however back on the no-sugar wagon the next day.  A little indulgence in a beautiful setting…  and the ironic thought that the garden was no longer a mess, but what we were enjoying at the table certainly was. A very tasty mess indeed!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr. took this photo of his “step” (I think you call it a “scooter” in English)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

Our friend has these little leaded weights that clip onto the tablecloth to stop the wind blowing it off… I liked the mix of form and function.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

Eaton Mess…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 10, 2013

Bigger Obstacles Than I Imagined, But The Effort Is Worth It In The End…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The swim that I promised Little Mr. in yesterday’s post  apparently involves a short walk to a beach and swimming area that passes by the marina / harbour area of Veere.

Little Mr. was happy to stop and look at the various boats in the harbour, and spent most of the time tell me which one(s)  he really thought we should buy, despite me telling him that some of these cost the same as a decent chunk of our house.

I’m fast learning that the downside of saving hard so that you can travel as much as possible,  is that your kids acquire expensive tastes and wish-lists  having seen everything from massive touring vehicles, places to stay with indoor swimming pools and beautiful gardens to luxury boats.

My standard retort now is “Yes, my sweethearts, when  you work hard and become  rich you will be able to afford to buy all of these for your father and mother and we will be delighted to use them well, until then …wishing for all of us is free”. I’ve found some more history about Veere… to keep you interested as we make our way to the beach…

“The small city of Veere (population approx 1500) is located on the Veerse Meer on the island of Walcheren in Zeeland. The name means “ferry” after Wolfert Van Borsselen established one here in 1281. Veere received city rights in 1355. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “Admiraliteit van Veere” (Admiralty of Veere) was set up as a result of the Ordinance on the Admiralty of 8 January 1488 in an attempt to create a central naval administration in the Burgundian Netherlands. To this was subordinated the Vice-Admiralty of Flanders in Dunkirk.

In 1560 under admiral Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn this admiralty was relocated near Ghent and in 1561 the Habsburg naval forces were also moved to Veere.

Veere was the staple port for Scotland between 1541 and 1799. Flemish architects Antonis Keldermans and Evert Spoorwater designed the Grote Kerk, the fortifications, the Cisterne and the town hall. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Veere was a prosperous trading city.

There were about 750 houses inside the city walls then, compared to about 300 now. As a result of the damming of the Veerse Gat inlet in 1961, the fishing fleet of Veere moved to a new home port at Colijnsplaat on Noord-Beveland. Today, the main business of the town is tourism and the area is visited by 4 million tourists annually. The main attractions are the beaches and marinas. The Storm Surge Barrier on the Oosterschelde is the most popular visitor attraction in Zeeland.

One thing our friend didn’t warn us about was the size of the walls of the fortifications… and the steepness of the staircase we needed to negotiate to get past them. I’m supposed to be walking longer distances like this with my crutches, but actually underestimated the distance and completely underestimated the terrain so my walking stick  had to do. In fact I was rather proud that I managed it, ok, It was no fast journey to be certain but like the tortoise in the  fable I plodded along and eventually finished the race.

My physiotherapist  will be delighted at the achievment:  in fact the only unhappy part of the equation was my foot which hurt like crazy  after my walking tour so I retired to a comfortable chair in the shade  with my foot elevated for the rest of the day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s possible to take the longer walkways around the old city walls…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This staircase came as a bit of a shock to me, but the little beach is just on the other side of these low bushes…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Boat traffic of every shape and size enjoying the fabulous weather…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

No small building project…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The little stretch of sand is popular, (and it looks like I’m the only one sitting in the shade of the bushes by the path…) Little Mr. enjoys his swim a lot so the effort to get here was well worth it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veere

July 9, 2013

Veere, In One Little Street A Sweet Surprise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We were back in Zeeland,  in Veere last weekend so that Himself could help out in our friends garden and Little Mr. and I came along for the ride.

Kiwi Daughter however opted to stay back in The Hague with relatives and spend time with a cousin her age.

Little Mr. had a similar offer but declined, mostly because he had his eye on the electric hedge trimmer and wanted to help in the garden too.

In reality he ended up with the safer job of  gathering up the trimmings and using a pair of secateurs to cut them into small enough pieces to add to the “green”(recyclable organic matter) rubbish collection, being nominated  “master of the wheelbarrow” and watering the plants after their trim with the hose …(i.e he played at being a fireman and made rainbows and getting almost  as wet as the plants whilst doing it). Luckily just as it looked like summer was going to be non existent in the Netherlands this year, the weather finally come good, with blue skies and temperatures of 27 C (about time too, we were getting sick of temperatures of 13 C  at the beginning of July) .

Whist Himself gets stuck onto trimming greenery with the trimmer and wants an uninterrupted hour or two to get into the work, I distract Little Mr. with the offer of a walk around town, the prospect of a swim and the possibility of an ice cream after lunch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We set off  on the walking tour and near the back of the church I find a little shop that wasn’t open when Himself and I last visited Veere.

It’s a small local sweet shop and naturally we just had to step inside and check the place out. “Oma’s snoepwinkel” translates as “Grandma’s Sweetshop / Candy Store” and it’s full of old fashioned and local Dutch sweet treats.

Inside is a tiny one room affair, so they have maximised the space available by having on of the street windows open up, so you can buy your treats from the pavement if you wish. Inside the typical Dutch “drop” (salty liquorice) and everything from hard toffees to fudges… Once inside I dare anyone to be able to leave empty handed. We certainly failed.

It was more difficult than I thought to get photographs, the two friendly and helpful young women who staffed the place were certainly happy that I did, but it was the constant stream of customers that posed the biggest obstacle.

I heard from our friend that during summer holidays and weekends (in the season when they are open) you would be hard pushed to find this little establishment without a queue out the door. I got lucky when I took the outside shots, it was still early in the morning and quieter in the street, but even so I think I waited more than 10 minutes to get shots without customers in them.

Little Mr.would have no problem walking down this street again if asked… hmm, I wonder why?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 8, 2013

Going The Extra Mile, …In Veere

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The photographs I took in yesterday’s post on Veere in Zeeland were taken two months ago when I had some annual leave and Himself and I took my mother in law to a reunion just a few kilometres away.

During this visit our friend in Veere mentioned that he was having trouble getting his hedge trimmed because he wasn’t  very good with ladders or tall enough to reach over the width of it with the electric trimmer.

He has large hedge that’s therefore rapidly getting the better of him.

Himself, like many fellow Dutchmen does not lack height, happens to have experience with gardening from a precious career and after fifteen years of a desk job and no garden of our own at home, sometimes misses the physical satisfaction of a day out trimming and tidying,  and generally beating unruly greenery into submission.

It’s therefore not hard to guess that he quickly offered his help and that’s how we found ourselves in Veere again yesterday morning, Himself hedge trimmer in hand and a big grin on his face. The  sky was again blue and sunny, but unlike last trip, the wind was warm, and temperatures closer to 30 C than the 13 or so we had last visit.

Little Mr. and I set out to explore the town, for me it was a change to explore little streets that I was too cold to bother with last time, to find new things in streets I’ve visited last time and for Little Mr. to burn off some of this restless energy out and about and keep his curious and twitchy fingers a long way from an electric hedge trimmer. Since many of you enjoyed yesterdays photographic post taking you through this excellent example of a small Dutch historic town… here’s a special edition hot off the camera chip,  giving you more sights, detail and hopefully the warm glow of a summer that  we were seriously starting to wonder would ever arrive. Enjoy!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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