Local Heart, Global Soul

April 3, 2013

Double Decker, Yes!…. Bus? …No.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Two nights ago I must have slept in a bit of a strange position because I woke with some serious back-pain of the type I haven’t had since for more than ten years.

(Raising the height of our bed was a requirement of the Dutch maternity visits and when we raised it my back pain disappeared, so we built the bed permanently higher with a solid extended frame and it’s been great… until two nights ago)

Instead of enjoying my annual leave and getting stuck into a long list of things to do (we have a lot of exceptional events going on with family and friends at the moment) I spent most of yesterday moving very slowly or  flat on  the bed with hot water bottles to relieve the pain.

I think I just have pinched a nerve or stretched a muscle or something…  it’s definitely getting better but I’m not quite out of slow motion mode yet.

Unlike my foot, which I know I can’t rush, I’m finding this frustrating as I have so much to do this week.

At least over the long weekend I had been busy sorting though some archive photos and writing posts, so I’m doing to document one of our previous adventures… Several years ago one of my New Zealand cousins visited The Netherlands with his new wife and his two pre-teen sons from a previous marriage.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During their stay we managed to pack in a heap of activities …  luckily  it was mid-May when they visited,  so our kids were also enjoying  their school holidays  and after being picked up from the boat at Hoek Van Holland and spending a great evening eating, drinking and catching up, we all hit the sack for a fresh start the next day.

The following morning found us at Central Station, about to take a train.

The  visitors all excitedly discovered something new already … a “double decker” train!

Just the kind of thing I had forgotten had also startled and fascinated me years ago when I arrived in the Netherlands.

Soon we are speeding out of the city and past the Dutch landscape…

…some of the religious buildings show how Dutch culture has diversified very nicely over the centuries… other things like canals and farmhouses seem to never change.

Our journey won’t take too long… so in the meantime, sit back and enjoy the view…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is the view when another train passes in the opposite direction at more than 100 kms per hour  just as you are clicking the shutter…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 5, 2012

A Very Unusual Sight in the Southern Hemisphere…

Filed under: LIFE,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We were driving down the Main North Road in Christchurch  New Zealand, on our way to the Redwood Sequoia 88 for dinner when all of a sudden we spy a vehicle that makes us do a double take.

In the traffic in front of us is a double decker bus!  You know, the sort that you usually expect to see going around Picadilly Circus or past Buckingham Palace… but not standing at traffic lights about 16.000,- kilometres from home.

We are probably about as far from the United Kingdom as it’s possible to get… so that leaves me wondering how on earth it got here. Maybe it just started out on Route 36  to Paddington and took a wrong turn somewhere?

The nearest “Victoria” I know of to here, is the State of the same name in Australia!  The distance between Christchurch and Melbourne is 2404 kilometres  (1493 miles) and most of that involves a very large expanse of water!

It’s turning down the same street we will be once the traffic lights change,  but since the restaurant and the friends we are meeting  is on this corner we loose sight of it by the time we make it around the intersection.

Actually, once I start thinking about it I seem to have a few very hazy kid memory’s of a double decker bus in Christchurch once before, but that was way back in the 1970’s when the Christchurch hosted the Commonwealth Games.

I remember being at my Grandparents house and getting to watch more TV than ever in my life before  (that alone was memorable) … Kiwi runner John Walker shone in the athletics and a weightlifter from somewhere,  dropped some very large weights off the stage of the James Hay Theatre,  which sent the spectators in the first rows below him scattering for their lives…

Is this the same bus after all these years? I’m double decker impressed if it is!

Little Mr. of course was just as pleased as punch to have seen a double decker bus… squeals of delight ensued.  No …sorry we can’t chase it, No …they probably wouldn’t  let you ride on it and  No… I have no clue where it’s going.

Just another of life’s little mysteries… a double decker down-under.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 24, 2012

Helix Bridge … DNA and Child’s Play…

Filed under: Landmarks,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My next photographic “target” on Singapore’s Duck  Tour sits right next to the ArtScience Museum and Gallery of  the day before yeaterday’s post.

If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time, then you will know how much I appreciate old stuff, especially old stuff made in stone, wood, wrought iron, hand blown or leaded glass.

I love “antique”, I adore “quirky” and I appreciate craftsmanship and detail in many different mediums.
That said, sometimes a little bit of “modern” can catch my eye and turn my head as well. This is one of those times.

This bridge is known as the “Helix Bridge” and so logically enough, it was no surprise to find out from our Duck Tour guide that the design is based on the double helix format of DNA strands.

Wikipedia tells me that:

“Canopies (made of fritted-glass and perforated steel mesh) are incorporated along parts of the inner spiral to provide shade for pedestrians.

The bridge has four viewing platforms sited at strategic locations which provide stunning views of the Singapoe skyline and events taking place within Marina Bay. At night the bridge is illuminated by a series of lights that highlight the double-helix structure.

Pairs of coloured letters “c” and “g” as well as “a” and “t” on the bridge light up at night in red and green to represent cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine, the four bases of DNA. “

I just like the simplicity and cleaness of the structure… it’s pleasing and harmonous in it’s purity of line, and I find the grace of the interwoven curves mesmerising.     …And I knew I liked it even more when I found this little snippet of information on Wikipedia: “the bridge also functions as a gallery where children’s paintings and drawings are exhibited for public viewing.”

So, beautiful indeed, on so many levels.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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