Local Heart, Global Soul

March 12, 2017

The Most Unlikely Shoe Collection…

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

This post finds us still at “Ijsboerderij Labora“, a dairy farm in Texel that uses it’s fresh milk to make the most delectable of treats: ice-cream.

The date was Easter 2016 and Family Kiwidutch were enjoying a much needed long weekend break with two other sets of friends and their children.

Our children were reluctant to leave, not just due to the fabulous ice-cream, but also the abundance of a large variety of playground equipment and toys,  and not least, the presence of at least four large trampolines.

The afternoon was getting on, and the crowd of other visitors who had smaller children suddenly disappeared as their kids dinner and bed times approached, so our party soon had all four of the trampolines almost to themselves.

With queues gone, I took photographs of them jumping for the family album, but their passion for jumping outlasted mine in the end and feeling a little bored after another rest, I moved back toward the car, where other things had caught my eye. I’d spotted some lovely clogs on display as I arrived and wanted to get some photos for my ” reference library” album.

After all, it’s always helpful to have a few studies to refer to should the sketching bug arise.  To this end I set to work making various photographs, attempting various angles and zooms so that the most could be made of these lovely “klompen” (clogs). To be fair, not having a tripod with me, especially in the strong wind, didn’t help and for some reason the colours are lighter and more washed out in the end results than they were in real life, but the “bones” are there. Regular readers will know I adore old stuff like this, I hope you like them 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 )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

March 22, 2015

The Biggest Shoe Collection: Or … Just The Biggest Shoes?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post we have made a detour from our route home from our long weekend in a holiday park in the Veluwe.

We have come to visit  the  “Veluws Zandsculpturenfestijn”  (Veluwe Sand Sculpture Festival)  in  Garderen, a small village in the Veluwe, Netherlands.

Near the entrance, before you get into the indoor and outdoor areas that contain the sand sculptures, there are  some other amazing objects that capture my attention.

Dotted amongst all the garden objects there are some massive klompen (clogs) which have been decorated by different artists and together they make up a small exhibition of their own.

To be honest I did at first wonder if my Himself had just kicked off his shoes, because being tall in true Dutch style, he has feet the size of small boats, but then I realised that none of his are in his colour so they must belong to somebody else.

Since these “shoes” were not all in one area and being on crutches forced me to take the most economical route around the items and the crowd I’m positive that I missed getting photographs of them all. That said, I am very very impressed by the level of talent expressed here… I’m not certain if they were part of any sort of competition and if so, who eventually “walked away” with the prize, but they are amazing and it’s a pity that I didn’t get to photograph them all.

(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)

 

 

March 6, 2014

The Very Strange Mixture Of Wonder And Disbelief…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tourist shops are tourist shops: piled high with merchandise that can generally be classified as “the good, the bad and the ugly”…

…or more often ” the ugly, the useless and ugly and the both tasteless, useless and ugly”.

Here in Zaans Schans it’s running pretty much to the rule, there are a few tasteful  things and a ton of tat, but most of all there are shoes: tons and tons of wooden shoes.

I’m not an ornamental type of gal, the porcelain figures of the cute kitsch Dutch boy kissing the cute kitsch Dutch girl are light-years from what I would call a stunning addition to my home.

But each to their own… someone must like them and buy them or things like these wouldn’t be on sale in Dutch tourist shops.

Personally I wouldn’t object to a pair of klompen (clogs / wooden shoes) , but my pair of choice would preferably be old, even antique, very well used, plain in style and have been clearly worn. They would have ( preferably long)  history and character. Imagine my shock therefore when I came around the corner of the corridor in the museum and discovered the tourist shop. “Wall to Wall” clogs is n understatement… it’s wall to wall and floor to ceiling and the entire ceiling covered with clogs. The loft space of the building is visible and even that is a storage space for clogs.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You name a shoe size and they will surely have clogs here to fit, I can seriously say I have never seen so many clogs in one space, and in fact I hazard a guess that some regular Dutch shoe shops have less pairs than this. From a photographic point of view it’s fascinating,  from a personal point of view I’m cringing, it’s like a weird melange of  “Oh Wow!” and “Ew!” at the same time.

At one end of the room it’s possible to see a demonstration of how the clogs are made, as I stand taking photographs a young man comes and carves out a little more on a clog mounted on a lathe nearby. I find the rough, less hewn pairs more fascinating than the shiny, glossy, painted finished pairs.

I also like the decoration on the old metal till better than the little porcelain blue and white windmills.  Sigh, having confessed that must I now relinquish my Dutch nationality? Is this treason? These clogs are fascinating: I wonder on earth buys them all, do they actually try and wear them? ( I wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall when they did because surely these can’t be correctly fitted or comfortable?) …do they hang them on the wall? …do they park pot plants in them? .. or are they shoved in the back of a cupboard or adorn the cistern on the loo?

I have a smile on my face… one of wonder and disbelief, but each to their own I suppose: what scares me in this room obviously makes a lot of other tourists very, very happy indeed. Mind you, upon reflection maybe it’s me that’s the odd one out here, after all I adore old tools and patterns on street drain covers… One thing is for certain: The object that is one man’s nightmare is another’s dream, and wht not? … each to their own.

(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)

March 4, 2014

The Humble, But Hard Working Wooden Shoe…

Filed under: Historical,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,Zaanse Schans — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here in Zaans Schans, located a short distance from Amsterdam an a short distance  past Schipol airport, the museums’ curators have tried to make as much of the historic buildings as they can.

In this particular area they have made a set of 18th Century storage barns and warehouses formerly used for storing grain and dry goods into museum, souvenir and catering buildings and have been laid out to form a central square.

The buildings themselves are wooden because this was the most convenient building material for the soft peaty soil in this area and they were tarred for protection against mildew. Now theta they are protected against the damp they have to stand up to the tourist hordes.

The weather has been fickle and so it’s quiet here today, so although some areas are busy we have other areas almost all to ourselves. In the “klompenmakerij” (wooden shoe / clog workshop) there is also a museum that details the history of  “klompen” (clogs) and shows just how much of an integral part of Dutch life they were. Certainly as “working shoes” they were owned by almost every man, woman and child and there were many companies making them around the Netherlands to keep up with demand. Klompen were also not just confined to The Netherlands in centuries past, as working shoes they were also worn extensively in Belgium, France, Germany and many other European countries.

One thing I did not realise before though were the regional differences in the styles and shapes of the klompen… the large glass display cabinets hold many examples of both local and even some international examples.  The wooden shoe may be humble but it’s got a long and colourful history…

(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)

March 13, 2010

A traditional Dutch Clog …or not.

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As can happen in Bloggy World,  you can have good days and bad, and for the last week I’ve been fighting a head-cold that’s been getting steadily worse.

It’s a total pest for my lung condition and asthma stability and one of the biggest and seemingly unnecessary annoyances of life, but C’est la vie, I will live. Sadly a big spike  in medication  is necessary to keep the health wobble just a wobble and not a crash,  has reduced my concentration skills to zero and my drowsiness levels to about 200 %.

Since yesterday I’ve retreated into bed so before I take more pills, exhaust yet another box of tissues  blowing my nose, roll over  and sleep again,  but here is a photo taken whilst  out on one of my walks of recent weeks.

I spied a traditional Dutch clog nailed to the street wall outside a house.

Clearly the owner  has a sense of humour and has put their own very distinctive twist onto a very Dutch icon that is often displayed in a rather more kitsch manner.

It made me smile  and had me reaching for my camera…

So your new  Dutch word for today is the name given to traditional Dutch wooden shoes: pronounced as “clomp-pen

klomp/klompen” = clog/clogs.

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