Local Heart, Global Soul

February 28, 2019

An Interesting Monument…

Before leaving Zierikzee in the Dutch province of Zeeland, I find another “Monument” or, as it known in English, a Historic building, or building of special historical significance. This one carries some sort of plaque that explains it’s history but sadly it’s one of those phone codes which gets me stumped. Never mind, the building is clearly old, still beautiful and interesting.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 27, 2019

The Mussel Power Of Water Farming…

The evidence of mussel farming all around the Dutch province of Zeeland is hard to miss. Himself says they taste excellent, but with a sea-food and never having tasted them before, I will have to take his word for it. These “farms of the sea” are dotted everywhere and the mussel industry is not just a huge local and national industry but also export one. I guess they are not famous for no reason.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 25, 2019

The Longest… Zeeland Bridge…

Looking out from the Zierikzee harbour we can see a very long bridge in the distance. It’s the “Zeelandbrug” (The Zeeland bridge) is the longest bridge in the Netherlands.

Wikipedia tells us: “It connects the islands of Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord Beveland in the Dutch province of Zeeland. Built between 1963 and 1965. At the time of completion, it was the longest bridge in Europe. It has a total length of 5,022 metres, and consists of 48 spans of 95 metres, 2 spans of 72.5 metres and a movable bridge with a width of 40 metres. The province of Zeeland borrowed the money for the construction of the bridge. The loan was repaid by levying tolls for the first 24 years.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 Wikipedia / Zeeland Bridge / Zeeland /The Netherlands

February 18, 2019

Black, White And Deep Indigo…

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just before our Easter break visit to Zeeland in 2017, I finally bought the telephoto camera lens I had been pining after for several years.

It’s a “Sigma” brand, still a very expensive purchase at Euro 1.250,- but still considerably cheaper than if I had opted for a Canon lens to match my Canon camera.

Now I look like a “real” photographer, but since it’s fairly heavy, I don’t carry it around attached to the camera but in it’s case, safely in my backpack or in the zipped up basket below the wheelchair.

Then I can attach it when I want. Eager to try it out and always interested in photographing birds at close range, I rigged it up on the living room table for an experiment.

Our accommodation had heavy curtains so I used clothes pegs to close the curtains completely, leaving only a “peep” hole for the camera lens.

Out on the lawn and on the garden table I have been scattering bird seed since we arrived some days earlier so that the birds would get used to there being food here.

Then I got up very early and scattered more birdseed on the table and grass whilst it was still almost dark.

The sun came up within half an hour or so and in between trying to stop Himself noisily clattering his breakfast plates, cutlery and seemingly everything else he touched, I attempted to photograph birds.

Finally Himself disappeared back to bed  with coffee to read his book in comfort, not just because I requested less noise but also since I had rather inconveniently plunged the living-room into gloom by closing all the curtains.

After a small interval of silence the birds arrived. This is a bird that I first thought was a magpie, but close up it’s clear it’s not. At first glance I also thought this birds colours consisted of only black and white, but closer inspection reveals a deep  indigo blue/purple patch of feathers that he kind of wears like a little cape further down it’s back and towards his tail feathers. It strikes a formal note: looks a bit like a suit worn to a gala. He may be a She of course. I don’t know. This is a lovely little bird, full of character, looking directly at the camera often, even though I am well hidden and can only see outside via the camera lens.  He looks like the Orca of the bird world. Lovely suit… dressed to kill? Only worms are in danger I think. He takes whatever seeds he can get but has a distinct preference for the raw peanuts. These are Arty shots… I may have a go at drawing one of the birds I photograph here one of these days, Into the Reference files these go, a safe spot to stash my stash.

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bird, Black, White, Indigo

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 17, 2019

How To Train Your Tree…

All around Zierikzee and in a few streets of the surrounding villages, we spy some very strange looking trees. We visited the area during our 2017 Easter break, so it was only just the end of winter and the beginning of spring. These trees have been “trained” to be more or less “flat” so that they can be added to streets where there is not a lot of room. but greenery is wanted. In spring the leaves will come, new branches will form and these strange, stumpy looking threes will be bursts of green. The fact that they line up also gives protection against the sun in the height of summer, their shade not only being most welcome but the introduction of nature into the city, helping to break up the concrete, cobbles and bricks of the urban environment.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


Some trees were not stunted, just appealed to my artistic whims.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 16, 2019

For Drawing Cobbles And Tiles…

Ok, a weird “Arty” post just for myself.  It’s all very well wanting to draw an object if you are in the drawing mood, but what do you do with the background? How do you fill in details of the ground, of cobbles and bricked pavements? Ditto for things like roof lines, how do you draw the tiles that cover them if you can not see them up close and understand how they fit together? the light and shade? texture? colour? and everything else you need to literally fill in the gaps? For me the answer is to make a post that delights me and probably has you all scratching your heads. This is a handy place for my “reference files.” If you are arty it might be something you do too? Don’t worry: “normal service” will be resumed tomorrow.

(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)

February 15, 2019

Flowers Wrought In Iron…

There are some delightful wrought iron decorative gates, rails and even an enclosure to safeguard a large tree that divides a road in Zierikzee. Some have gold painted “flowers” as well. I love the extra effort put into beautiful works like these… it’s very much appreciated by this art lover at least. As usual I also find quirky things, like this little tap on the side of one of the houses. Put in to make it easier to water the plants ?(there were none close by). More likely if I know my Dutch family history, it was there to aid the ritual cleaning of windows, doors and steps by Dutch housewives. Doorknobs and brass letterbox surrounds were polished until gleaming and it was a matter of pride and validation of a being a goog housewife to have everything on the inside and outside of your home spotless. The outside cleaning was at least , a once weekly event that entire streets and cities took part in, in days gone by.

(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)

February 14, 2019

Finding An Art Deco Design…

Zierikzee has building of all ages, here’s one in the Art Deco style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 12, 2019

A Walk Down Century Lane…

The building that I looked out on whilst I visited Zierikzee’s Stadhuis (City Council /Town Hall) are as old as the Stadhuis too. Together they stand as a testament to beautiful architecture of centuries past and retain many of the original features. Once back outside I photographed the façades, with the brickwork patterns, shutters, and stepped gables. Less a “walk down memory lane” and more a “walk down century lane”.

(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)

February 11, 2019

Clasped, Chained, Engraved, Micro-Mosaic, …Silver Bibles!

The exquisite detail and workmanship in the tiny bibles on display during my Easter break visit to Zierikzee back in 2017 was amazing.  Some were encrusted with semi-precious stones, leather and silver combined to make intricate patterns even on some of the smallest of it’s parts. Even the clasp to keep the bible closed and thus the pages protected, were engraved or decorated. It’s possible that bibles such as these might be one of the most expensive items in the family home. All of the bibles were standing on glass shelves and for obvious security reasons enclosed in a glass cabinet, so getting photographs with as little reflection as possible was quite a task.

One of the bibles had micro-mosaic figures in each corner of the front cover, quite a few have monogrammed initials worked into the designs or Family names etched into the silver on clasps or within the silver work. Another has an indented flower pattern in the closed pages and a wrist chain, presumably so that this precious object didn’t get accidently dropped into the mud if your horse jolted unexpectedly whilst you were getting into your carriage.

(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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