Local Heart, Global Soul

August 1, 2019

South Holland, My Adopted Back Yard…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next of the decorated “klompen” (clogs) in the 2017 Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition is about my home province: South Holland.

Since Dutch is my second language, I have an accent, speed of others speaking and regional dialects all over the country often catch me off guard (Himself is the Linguist in the family), I am usually accepted more as an “ex-pat” than “real Dutch”.

That’s ironic because I was born with both Dutch and New Zealand nationality, but being raised in the English language has both drawbacks and benefits. My native tongue has given me a job with many advantages, the possibility to raise completely bilingual and dual nationality children, and the Dutch language the chance to integrate into local life as much as possible.

Wikipedia tells us:”South Holland (Dutch: “Zuid-Holland”) is a province of the Netherlands with a population of just over 3.6 million making it the country’s most populous province.

Situated on the North Sea in the west of the Netherlands, South Holland covers an area of 3,403 km2 (1,314 sq mi), of which 585 km2 (226 sq mi) is water. It borders North Holland to the north, Utrecht and Gelderland to the east, and North Brabant and Zeeland to the south. The provincial capital is The Hague, while its largest city is Rotterdam.

Wikipedia / South Holland / Province / The Netherlands

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 23, 2019

Maranatha, A Floating Roof And Awesome Brickwork…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes whilst I was on full Medical Leave (before I went back to work) Himself would just drop me off  somewhere interesting in the city in my wheelchair, leave me to take photographs of various things in a small radius for a while.

After an hour he would come and pick me up again.

This got me out of the house for a small amount of time, away from the walls of home where I was confined due to surgery, recovery, constant pain and heavy medication.

Of course there was a price to pay afterwards for my little outings and fresh air, even with an attachment on the wheelchair where my leg could be positioned straight and raised out in front of me.

Extra medication is always needed afterwards, which morphine based, works as needed but is not ideal for your body. Sometimes it’s needed for your mental health. On this occasion I did a series of photographs in the little street where the former Tekel Air Travel Bureau was. (see blog post here:  “Pigs Might Not Fly But Apparently Dogs Did… “).

I was surprised and delighted to see a small information board on the street by the entrance, telling me about some of the history of the Church.  As is often the case when an information board is in multiple languages, the information given in the “extra” languages is often shorted to fit the space, whilst the text in the native country language contains extra snippets.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Such is the case here.  Both before and after the English language text are extra pieces of information from the Dutch text.

Translated from Dutch it reads: The Maranatha church is located on part of the former  “Sperrgebiet” (Prohibited / restricted Area) of the Second World War.

The houses that stood there were, after the liberation were found to have been stripped of all wood and other useful materials, so were ripe for demolition.”

Next comes the information written in both Dutch and English:

The wooden roof structure of this church was designed by Swiss engineer Emil Staudacher as a prototype for use in temporary churches to be built in the devastated German cities. 

It arrived in kit form on a train from Zurich and was integrated into a design by Dutch architect  Frits Eschauzier (1889-1957). The temporary churches project was initiated by German architect Otto Bartning. Over forty of the churches still exist in places across Germany.”

Lastly comes the additional translate from Dutch snippet: “They have the same rose window and the same small window in the façade. Due to the continuing row of windows on the side, it looks like the roof is floating.

Bartning positioned the entrance on the side. The ceremonial front door was added at the request of the Hague church councilors.”

I was first drawn to the church because of the quirky brick construction. These fortified walls with buttresses reinforce the outside walls. interestingly these brick “out layers” are uniquely joined to the main building, seemingly by a method as simple as splicing the brickwork of the two together. It gives for a very unconventional bricklaying technique I think, barely a straight line to be seen in some sections. I find this to be some pretty awesome brickwork!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) This is the row of windows along the side wall, I’m not so convinced about the floating window idea…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(Below) Now HERE is some mega awesome brickwork!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 22, 2019

Bolderkars Have Had A Tragically Rocky Recent History…

I have featured “bolderkars” on my blog before: “So… just what IS a “bolderkar”?… ” but not gotten the chance to photograph them more often. On this occasion there was not just one, but two for capture the attention of my lens. These photographs were taken in 2017 and I’m not sure if the orange on is still in use; there has been a Dutch ban on the use a certain type of bolderkar after a tragic accident in 2018 where a motorised one went out of control onto a railway line and into the path of an oncoming train. The children and adult perished. There is a large legal dispute concerning the cause of the accident, if it was human error on the part of the adult or if they just couldn’t stop the machine because something was faulty. Other brands of bolderkar are still in use and well used they are too. The perfect way  for one adult to transport a half dozen or more children depending on the size of the bolderkar. It’s green,  clean and (usually) perfectly safe. it was later in the afternoon when I took these photographs and the staff had dispatched the last of the children into the arms of their parents and then decided to use one of the cars to take the adults for a spin. After a day of having the responsibility for, entertaining and looking after babies and toddlers I think they have earned their fun!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 19, 2019

Dried Up And Mangled, Soon To Be Swept Away…

My arty adventures require reference material to both inspire and refer to. I take images and see how the composition of everyday life works; the juxtaposition of nature and the man-made environment. Here I am looking at the autumn leaves and their fate in the gutter, having exited the trees with a measure of gracefulness they now lay somewhat dried up and mangled, waiting for the machine that the Gemeente (city council /Town Hall) use to glide next to the pavement a sweep these up with it’s brushes. Leave and trees are a sort of “theme” of mine of late, the beautiful structure of leaves is something I struggle to draw so I need a lot of practice.

(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 18, 2019

Pigs Might Not Fly But Apparently Dogs Did…

Family Kiwidutch see this building often, some good friends live nearby and it’s just a short distance from my physiotherapists practice. The other side of it used to have a large sign similar to the one on the door, for “Tekkel Air” (Tekkel means: Dachshund,  a.k.a. Sausage Dog, Airline) and this was a Travel  Agency.  Recently I think that the building changed owners, all of the signs have been removed and it’s now just another period building amongst many in the area. The pictures of the little dog and the fact that there seemed to be an airline named after a Dachshund also made me smile. I don’t even know if such an airline ever existed… maybe like this building it was wonderful in it’s time but has now been painted out into obscurity.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 11, 2019

Countryside views, Modern And Traditional Together…

The views countryside on our return journey from Zeeland in 2017 were varied in that the weather was a little dull and overcast, it was the end of the day and we wanted to get home. Traffic varied too but the route via the Rotterdam Havens kept us out of the worst of the traffic jams. Little Mr. saw a tanker and wondered why one set of wheels didn’t touch the ground, I saw a bridge that looked like a nature bridge, we all saw the stereotypical sights of the Netherlands: tulips and windmills. These mills are modern and massive, producing electricity from the wind; the central hub deceptively larger than most people realise. In fact I heard from a TV documentary that they are bigger than many Dutch apartments. The little farmhouses and stripes of purple blooms, a wonderful reminder that a modern international industry is still carried out in an old tried and true traditional way, the mix working perfectly.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 8, 2019

Clouds Both Sullen And With A Sunny Disposition…

Our 2017 Easter travels back to the Hague, transversed the Dutch provinces of Zeeland and South Holland. Whilst taking photographs from the front passenger seat, I could not help but notice the differences in the clouds close by. One side was dark, threatening, low and sullen, looking like a storm was brewing and warning that we better get ready for wind and rain. The other side: lighter, fluffy, with the blue sky background and a sunny disposition. The flat landscape gives a larger canvas for the sky, so it’s changing forms are a fascination for more than just the artists who struggle to get clouds to look right in whatever medium they are using. I also especially bad a drawing clouds. Luckily the coastal location of The Hague means a good deal of wind and multiple weather changes, often in one day, or a morning or afternoon, or even an hour. We also see some unusual overpasses, but it’s the clouds that really grab my attention.  More material for my reference files.

(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 7, 2019

The Concrete Maze We Make For Ourselves…

The way back from Bruinisse is filled with a series of tunnels, some even under rivers as we negotiate the maze of waterways, islands, cities and highways. The flyovers make for some interesting architectural detail, part of a cityscape that I don’t think is often photographed. The light made interesting patterns on the concrete, they themselves a modern form of Architectural detail. It might not be to my taste but it does have a style of it’s own within the functionality it needs to maintain. Concrete threads that link our living spaces, our own little rat runs for getting from A to B. Sometimes when I look at all the traffic around me, I think we are like little ants, scurrying through a large maze made just for us… except we made the concrete mazes for ourselves.

(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)

December 20, 2016

A Small Snippet Of The Landscape And Character Of The Netherlands…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I may be restricted to home at the moment but Kiwi Daughter has suffered no such constraints.

This summer she went abroad several times this summer, the first time with a school friend and her family to Portugal.

The school friend lives outside of the Hague in Oegstgeest, just outside of Leiden.

Kiwi Daughter needed to be taken to their house in time to join the friend’s family who would then take her to the airport with them, and of course she would also spend the rest of the holiday time, and trip back with them too.

With Little Mr spending the day out with friends of his own, Himself and I made sure that Kiwi Daughter’ packing list had been checked, double and triple checked, then got her and her stuff into the car and set out for our rendezvous and transfer of cars before she then headed separately for the airport. Our eldest may be growing up fast, but this would be her first holiday without us (not counting school trips and weekend stays with cousins).

This was also the first time that she would be spending a week with parents she did not know particularly well, she and her friend get on famously of course, but there were lots of unknowns and uncertainties and a few little worries at the eleventh hour.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I spent the car trip out reassuring her that we would never have agreed to her going if there were any doubts about the family, the house or the location, that the parents assured us that they would take care of her as they did their own daughter and that we were just a phone call away day or night should she feel homesick or feel the need to have a heart to heart with Mama and Papa.

(She did need the phone calls in the end, there were moments when she was hit with unexpected homesickness that none of us had anticipated and then there was “that” incident).

It’s one thing for a kid to spread their wings as they prepare to learn to fly, it’s quite another them stand on the edge of the precipice and look down as they prepare to jump.

In the end the trip was not without incident: a moment of inattention saw her loose her bag to an opportunist thief, but she was unharmed, a massive, if rude Life lesson was learned and she came back with both high and low point “first” experiences.  First flights are not without a rocky landing or two it seems.

Still, many good times were also had and in the aftermath of the trip Himself and I tried to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative.

Telling her off was unnecessary: she lost her own worked for babysitting cash, the phone she worked and saved for, nothing we could have admonished her for could have been worse than the beating up she already gave herself. On the way to drop her off at her friend’s house I took a few photographs of the journey, these views another small snippet of the landscape and character of The Netherlands.

(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)

(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)

November 9, 2015

Stadhoudersplein, Not All Of The Change Occurred Willingly…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s been six years since the Den Haag Gemeentearchief (the Hague City Council Archive) placed large billboards around the city of the Hague to celebrate  their 125th year anniversary.

Himself and I, both interested in local history and the quirkiness of “discovering” these as we traveled around the city, decided to look on the Gemeente website (it has been removed since) to see if we hd seen them all.

We were stunned to find out that there were just over eighty billboards up at the time, so the twenty-three or so we had found were only the tip of the iceberg.

We also discovered from the website that whilst the Gemeente website detailed all of the historic photographs, that none had been taken of the present day views, and this is a gap that Himself and I decided that we could fill. With the list of locations in hand we decided to check as many of the other billboards off the list as possible and eventually we managed all but one of them. The last and most elusive one was a puzzle, we went back twice because we thought we had missed finding the right location but later we found out that it had only been in place a short time and during that time it had been vandalised three times.

The Gemeente took the decision to permanently remove it from the exhibition rather than replace it for the fourth time, so for us it meant it was simply no longer there to be found. However there was also good news: one of the other billboards in the series sustained a little damage around it’s base but otherwise the rest, some eighty-three billboards in total stayed in perfect condition for the several month duration of the exhibition. I’ve been showing off the series of billboards here on my blog ever since and learning a little more about my city in the process.

Today’s billboard was located on the Stadhoudersplein and the caption reads “Stadhoudersplein in aanbouw op een prentbriefkaart van circa 1905. Het linker deel van het Stadhoudersplein is afgebroken in de Tweede Wereldoorlog” which translates as “Stadhoudersplein under construction in a a postcard around  1905. The left portion of the Stadhoudersplein was destroyed in World War II”. Let’s take a look…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.