Local Heart, Global Soul

February 21, 2019

Swans Riding On Ducks?

It might be my imagination running riot but when I photograph ducks I also see swans. They are tiny and sit on their tails. Tell me that you see them too?… The first ones may be hiding…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

see?..

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 16, 2014

Sheltering In Doorways From Cloudbursts And Finding A Rubber Duck…

Filed under: ART,GERMANY,Monschau,PHOTOGRAPHY,Statues / Sculpture — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As regular readers will know, I’m documenting our 2012 travels through (snippets) of Europe with our visiting friend “Velvetine” from Singapore.

Here, in my last post from the town of Monschau, Germany, we are slowing walking back towards where the car is parked.We are about half way there when suddenly the heavens open and we are deluged with rain.

Tourists and locals scatter alike and we are forced to sprint  up the street and across another large square.

I say “sprint”, but in truth the able-bodied  amongst us fended for themselves and raced ahead, and I got to go as fast as crutches would allow at the rear, arriving in the shop doorway they were sheltering in looking like a drowned rat. The doorway was crowded with other tourists taking shelter, but we all squeezed in until the worst of it passed and soon the squall had gone and the sun shone again.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The forced wait had a silver lining though, just as the sun came out we were treated to the sight of an approaching horse-drawn carriage and a bride on her way to be married.  We waved and watched with many others emerging back onto the street after the cloudburst, and then continued up the streets to a shop that Himself and the kids had spotted earlier and that had “stuff  you just have to come and see!”

The shop in question sold souvineers and knick-knacks, but the all important thing the kids wanted to drag me inside for was the impressive display of toy rubber ducks.

I got a photo of  one I might call the “local heart, global soul” ducky, but after much debate the one we bought in the end was a “bicycle duck” that had cycling goggles and was a gift for the young son of good friend’s “The Travelling Two” of the blog of the same name: http://travellingtwo.com/” . The walk back to the car ended up being a bit further than I anticipated, (up the hill near the back of the castle)  so Himself  sprinted the last bit to the car and brought it  back to where I’d gotten up to. Whilst “Velvetine”and I waited for him to arrive we found one final statue to photograph on the roof of some sort of garage or industrial building. A man plays what might be a cello or a bass whilst a lady dances. Now it’s time to head out of town and find somewhere less insanely touristic to spend the night…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 16, 2013

A Relaxed Lunch At Vervins, Moves Faster Than Snails Pace…

Filed under: Cafe and Restaurant Reviews,FOOD — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

This page of my last summer’s diary finds us arriving in the small French town of  Vervins at noon. We stop at a small restaurant  opposite the Hôtel de Ville / Marie (Town Hall)  in the main square for lunch.

(Stupidly I forgot the name of the restaurant and they didn’t have  a business card to photograph, which I usually use as a reminder of the name and address details) but I do have photographs of the outside of it , which identifies it at least…

Velveteen spies escargots (snails)  on the menu… served in one of the most popular ways in France: with lashings of garlic and butter followed by a steak.  I opt for Confit de canard (duck confit) and Himself for a pizza with mushrooms.

The kids had pizza too, one with salami that came to the table in a decorative box,  and in the end I ended up with photos of the box and not of their pizza. They ended their lunch with ice-cream sundaes, and Himself headed straight for what is probably one of his all time favourite desserts: Mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse). For Lulu, one of my regular readers, I made certain that I took photographs of the set tables… I found the way they arranged the glassware especially ingenious, simple and stylish. Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr. were intrigued by the escargot “tools” that came to the table for her meal,  and we all had a quiet giggle about the bright “umbrella” lampshades around the ceiling lights. They certainly made the place memorable!

All in all we had an excellent meal… everyone enjoyed what they had and we even got the leftover kid pizza to take with us  do they could nibble it if they were hungry later.  I always enjoy a French lunch, they know how to do relaxed and refined at the same time, even if the menu is limited the food on offer is usually excellent.  Today was no different and we leave full, happy and ready to reveal our surprise to Velveteen…

(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 © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Velveteen) used with permission

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tables outside the restaurant…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Across the road…

(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)

A floral theme at the Town Hall…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The gallery around the corner also sports beautiful floral decoration…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 28, 2012

I Unleash My Children into the Streets…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Schoonhoven,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following  yesterday’s post, we have arrived in the Dutch city of Schoonhoven but it’s a busy Saturday so after a getting as close as we can to the centre of town Himself drops us off in a small street and goes to park the car a short distance away.

We use another, smaller street to walk to the centre where the surprise for our kids awaits.

But we are easily distracted… here in the little street we are walking in is a house that makes us giggle…

..there are two cats critically eyeing our every move from the top of a cupboard painted in the Dutch flag colours of red, white and blue (but annoyingly, they are harder to photograph due to the reflection of the sunshine in the windows and without getting my reflection in the photograph as well).

I’m not quite sure which one we liked more: the stern cat security guards, the sign in English on the door or the “duckling”  in the letterbox…  but one thing is certain: I like their sense of humour.

(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)

January 25, 2012

Down Town Singapore, … a Duck’s Perspective.

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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It’s almost time for our Duck to get out of the water… I’ve shown you some of the bits I found really interesting, but there is still more to see…  here is a round-up of some of the other sights around down-town Singapore.

A few decades ago these would have been affordable housing, these days you need a seven figure bank balance to afford an apartment here on the river…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bridge photo because I liked the contrast of light and shade, positive and negative space and shapes and lines…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Skyscrapers…  interestingly shaped skyline…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…palm trees to remind me later of the wonderful tropical heat (especially once I’ve returned to a Dutch winter)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… the architect designed this with eight sides so that the all important feng shui  principles work from all angles… (apparently it does).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

yes, these photos were taken a few weeks back… just before Christmas in fact … decorations.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. The High Court…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The old High Court is being renovated and a new High Court (the “flying saucer building” in the background) is under construction…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Beautiful church…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…A quick glimpse of the famous Raffles Hotel… (low rise, red roof).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 19, 2012

Ducking Past Formula One….

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Singapore Formula One Grand Prix motor race has been held in the Marina Bay area annually since 2008.

The Duck Tour guide tells us that Singapore has an ingenious way of supplying an area suitable for the cars (pit stops, team areas etc) as well as catering for numberous V.I.P. Guests and thousands of spectators.

This building on the waterfront was especially designed so that the lower level can be opened up to become the cars pits and team crew areas, and the upper level houses private and corporate box areas … these rooms are hired out for an eye wateringly huge fees but enable the mega rich to have have the best seats available to watch the race.

The Singapore race is Formula One’s first night race, which has multiple advantages.

Since the event takes place on Marina Bay public roads,  there is less traffic disturbance to cordoning these off at night as well as the time advantage meaning  that the race can be broadcast “live” at a convienent time for European TV aduiences.

I’m no Grand Prix fan …for me a car is a car, four wheels, motor and steering wheel are about as technical as I get, and I don’t “feel the need for speed”  but it’s interesting to see how Singapore manages to make space to stage such a massive event when space is such a premium and the race itself is run on public roads.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. and the view from around the other side of the building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and on that note we go wroom wroom towards the next item on the itinary…

January 17, 2012

On Tour with Darla Duck?

Filed under: Kids and Family,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,SINGAPORE,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are looking for a kid friendly activity to do in Singapore.

The Kiwidutch children are still a bit out of sorts due to jet-lag and despite a decent amount sleep and time spent playing at the swimming pool, are exhibiting signs of irratibility and tiredness.

Probably they  haven’t acclimitised to the tropical heat yet either.

I’m keen to get out of the hotel and see some sights but also realise that my crutches present limitations to what we can do… the Singapore Zoo is excellent but we were there some years ago so I know that to enjoy it fully a lot of walking is involved.

There are other activities that are longer or more involved but both the kids and I won’t manage them at the moment.

Then I read a brochure about a Duck Tour…. this is an anphibious car/boat that takes you to see some of the sights of Singapore both on land and from the water. The tour doesn’t take too long, involves next to no walking (apart from boarding the boat) and a shuttle can take us there from our hotel. Sounds like a plan.

We phone the hotel reception desk to arrange it and are on a shuttle into town a little later that afternoon.

It turns out that each “duck” vehicle has a name and ours is called “Darla”.

Our guide is friendly and informative and has a repetoir of corny jokes for the tourists taking the boat trip. The kids giggle and the more relaxed of the adults play along with the silly gags.

We board the “Darla the duck” and head out on the tour which starts on land but soon heads out to the water… a ramp, a splash and we are suddenly floating and puttering along just like a boat.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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