Local Heart, Global Soul

May 28, 2018

Both Foreign And Familiar…

Filed under: NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,WELLINGTON,WELLINGTON & REGION — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Following on from yesterday’s post, Himself and I are driving back into central Wellington for a dinner appointment with the daughter of one of my oldest friends. I’ve known her literally from the day she was born, and even though we have been continents apart for most of her life, there have been plenty of visits and time spent together over the years. She is a very talented artist and is finishing up her Fine Arts degree in Wellington. On our way to her flat (apartment) we take a look at the center of Wellington city. It’s changed a lot since the first time I visited here as a kid, I feel that with each visit more high-rise buildings have been added. The rain abates for part of the journey and I try to document a city center that is both foreign and familiar.

(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)

March 15, 2014

Not Quite The Tradtional Coffee And Appletaart, But Just As Good…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are numberous cafés and restaurants around the  “old town”of central Delft.

There are a constant stream of tourists who visit the town and congregate in the central square after visiting some of the many local attractions, or locals out shopping who often love to stop for a morning or afternoon cup of good coffee and apple tart, or something traditional like a pannenkoeken (pancakes) for lunch.

Coffee is a Dutch institution:  compared to many countries with anglox-saxen heritages, here in The Netherlands they like their coffee strong and establishments that serve bad coffee rarely procure repeat customers.

Appeltaart (apple cake) may be the most popular Dutch treat to accompany this coffee, but it’s by no means the only cake on offer.

My visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and I have been walking around and taking photographs, it’s slow going for me on crutches but we are not in a rush, but that said there comes a moment when I get desperate to sit down and take a break from standing up. This moment comes just after we have been spying out the delights of the local central market food stalls and since our stomachs are rumbling we indulge in some cake of our own. Mine is a decadent chocolate number, Velvetines is a strawberry mousse sort of confection. Nether of us are coffee drinkers, and anyway it’s a warm day so cold drinks all round.

The café / restaurant we are at is called “the ABC Café Restaurant”, service is good, the cake is delicious and judging by the number of  Dutch locals I hear chatting all around us, the coffee apparently is too.

(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 16, 2012

Woolston Brass, Always Music to My Ears…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The nice thing about retrospective writing is that we now get to have a little bit of Christmas all over again!

People often ask me what have been the hardest adjustments to make coming to live in The Netherlands.

The density of living and lack of space have definiately been one of the hardest things to get used to, and the multitude of cultural differences, but one thing is just small (doesn’t actually annoy me)  just catches me unawares over and over again (and really shouldn’t by now) … and that is the fact that Chistmas is a cold weather seasonal celebration and not a warm one.

I grew up having a down-under Christmas that represents everything Summer, so have instant memories of fresh strawberries, new potatoes, salad in the garden and sitting podding fresh picked peas to go with Christmas lunch or dinner.

…Of BBQ meals and end of year “do’s” held on someone’s back lawn, sunnies and sunscreen on the tables next to people’s glasses, and “bring-a-plate” get togethers talking place on warm balmy nights, and enjoying  afternoon music outdoors in Parks or  on warm evenings  in the Cathedral with Woolston Brass.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Nothing says “Summer”and “Christmas”and “Christchurch” to me more than seeing Woolston Brass Band in action in their various summer concerts, so I was delighted to see them setting up in the Cashel Street Mall and starting to play Christmas carols.

I always knew that this band has been around for ‘decades” but found out from their website that the Woolston Brass has actually been going strong since 1891, and a quick scroll through the central panel on their home page tells you that this is a group of people who have always been totally committed and active in their local community.

How they have managed to keep going during the upheaval that the earthquakes have presented, is nothing short of amazing, but they have been providing musical cheer and support all year as well as winning compititions locally and nationally.

I can’t boast a single jot of muscial talent whatsoever, but I can say that all through my years of living in Christchurch I’ve been one of the crowd who has thorougherly enjoyed all the music that the Woolston Brass has played to me and today is no exception.

I sat happily listening to the Carols until Himself and the kids dragged me away because they said they were starving hungry and wanted to find something to eat.

Thank-you Woolston Brass for keeping up my spirits, enlivening my days and sending me on my way with a smile on my face when-ever I have heard you play…  long may your musical traditions continue.

http://www.woolstonbrass.org/index.html

4sAovIk3eRs

February 15, 2012

Your Ship Comes In, but You Never Dreamed it Would Look Like This…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As you know, I’m taking you on a retro tour of our trip to New Zealand.

“Retro” in this case means retroactive in a very recent sense of the word though, since we were in New Zealand during December 2011-Janurary 2012.

In the last week you’ve seen some rather sad and bare photos of the city centre… they are signs of the times and ones  you can’t deny since the devistation of multipule shallow earthquakes that hit at almost point-blank range has taken it’s physical toll on the city.

That said, they are only part of the bigger picture since there are also resilient people who have resolutely promised that they are here for the long haul and will rebuild, and they were making plans and taking steps almost even before the dust had settled from downed buildings.

The section of Cashel Street that made up the City (pedestrian) Mall had been particularly hard hit, since many of the buildings were of the old established variety, some dating from around 1900.

Since the Feburary earthquake may actaully have been a series of three or four quakes in rapid succession, it’s not surprising that there were fatalities here… it seems that some people inside shops paniced at the start of the quake and when there were a few calm(er) seconds they rushed outside believing that they would be safer in the street outside.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Horrifically the other shocks in the sequence hit nano-seconds later , and they lost their lives stepping out as  falling front wall masonary plummeted onto the footpaths in front of the shops.

If they city wanted to rebuild in this spot they would need to allay the serious safety fears that most people now had about this area.

The City Council set up a “share an idea” website and the ideas poured in by the thousands.

People wanted to feel safe in the city centre, they didn’t want heavy masonry fronts, or buildings of tilt-slab construction.

They wanted a wider “clear zone” pedestrian area in front of shops where they knew  they would be safe and they wanted more of a Eureopean cafe-culture feel to the city centre than had been there before.

Christchurch citizens no longer felt safe in buildings over four stories, “low-rise” is “in’ and “high rise” is severely out of fashion.

Naturally not every business is ready to rebuild yet, the aftershocks continue, many of the plans and insurance and reconstruction issues are long term ones, but nor did they want the entire central city to be red-zoned and under heavy cordon for too long either.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since there was substantial damage in the Cashel Street City Mall between Colombo and Oxford streets, demolition started there with a vengance after the February quakes and by the end of the year they unveilled a radical solution to the problem of needing something tempory until things get sorted out long term and yet tough enough to stand up to ongoing quakes and addressing people’s fears about returning to the central city.

What would provide a solution to all of this?

Answer: Shipping Containers.

So… this is how Kiwidutch ends up taking you on a tour of the world’s first (converted) Shipping Container Mall.

It’s supposed to be tempory but who knows?  Everyone we spoke to loves it, many would love to see it become permanent.

People are flocking to see it,  it’s a low-rise solution that was quick-ish to put in place and the shipping containers are a tough as they come, so people feel safe.

Five days after we were here, the city rocked and rolled to the double whammy 5.8 and 6.0 magnitude quakes in amongst a cluster of some 36 other quakes on December 23rd and this area held up brilliantly.  The humble shipping container has never looked so good…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…The Bank!…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Not a container, but the Ballantynes Department store that’s another Christchurch institution (corner  Cashel and Colombo sts)  and back in business…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Bridge of Remembrance stood up well… (there are cracks though the lions buttocks though… and nooo I don’t mean “that” crack)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s rather strange though, to be parking your car (behind wooden fences on right) where rows of shops once stood…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blog at WordPress.com.