Local Heart, Global Soul

October 4, 2019

Also Called “Drop Scones” …

My New Zealand Grandma always said: “You are either a Cook or Baker“. She was beyond doubt a Baker. Her meals were fine in a “meat and three veg” sort of style, but nothing adventurous. She probably did roast lamb dinners when her children were at home but even making the easy roast at home got ditched as “not worth it for just two people” (Grandma!!!… have you never heard of awesome Cottage Pie with leftover roast beef or lamb?). If they wanted a roast dinner then there were enough family style restaurants around with it on the menu and they would “treat ourselves”, as she would put it.

I’m definitely a Cook. This was confirmed rather painfully after visiting our Canadian friends. “F” had made amazing scones. Light, fantastically risen, beautiful, delicious, mouth-watering scones. She said they were mega easy and gave me the recipe. I was so confident that I printed it out on paper and laminated it, as I do for my recipes that see regular use. I should have remembered a certain line about Pride, and falls. I’m good at falls. Regular readers know that only too well.

So… I followed the recipe to the letter. To the last full-stop. I crossed the “t’s and dotted the “i’s”. I measured precisely. The oven was perfectly pre-heated, I adjusted the racks, laid out the scone dough exactly as “F” had instructed. I even set timers. And I surprised myself.

Sadly it wasn’t the good surprise I had been expecting. The first photograph is not a “before” baking photo, it is regrettably the “after”. Delicious tall, light scones? Nope, these are more in the “decorative brick” category. In fact I think that LEGO probably has bricks less tough than this. They didn’t even cook completely though. My beautiful laminated sheet with its “perfect picture” of scones and the recipe, sits in my kitchen drawer (with another non-baking recipe that I DO use on the back.) It’s either taunting or haunting me… or both.

Maybe they shouldn’t be called “Drop Scones” for a reason? I am declaring defeat. This is an indisputable: “Fail“. Needless to say. no-one ever asks me to bake scones for them. People have common sense, like their teeth intact, don’t want their jaws wired, and do not wish to purposefully insult their taste buds. I’m definitely a Cook. Whenever I announce that I intend to Bake something, people should be afraid, …very afraid.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 7, 2014

Nice Try Sweetie, But…. Spot The FAIL…

Filed under: Funny,kid stuff,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

I know my husband hates D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) projects, he hates technical things, instruction booklets and assembling anything. (I’m the one who does that in our house). He does however do his best when the kids come to him asking for tools to fix small projects.

Last summer whilst staying at the Sandy Balls Camp site in England’s New Forest, the screw holding on the peddles of Kiwi Daughter’s unicycle came loose. The unicycle is a cheap one because like many children’s whims we weren’t sure how long it would be in vogue, but she stuck with it, learned to ride it well and it gets regular use.  Himself put the peddles back on and went to hand it back, I exploded into a fit of giggles and  got out the camera. “What?” he demanded indignantly, clearly not yet seeing the “fail”…. Can you spot it too?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 28, 2013

Often I Edit People Out of My Photos, This Time I Try Not to… And Fail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our adventures in Rotterdam’s Plaswijkpark continue. Now the rain has eased off and the kids, having explored as much as they could inside are bursting to discover the outside.

There are climbing frames, slides and the like aplenty, and on a warm summers day I can well imagine that this area will be teeming with children, but today the ground is squelching boggy from the rain and the slides are a bit wet and cold.

We walk around to check out the equipment anyway and the kids make bee-lines for things that meet with their approval and zoom past things that don’t.

Usually a merry-go-round is popular but today there was no enticing them to be the sole riders so far. The young man looking after the ride was curious as to why I was taking photographs, so I explained about the blog and he immediately asked to be included in the photo. I asked if he wanted to be on my internet blog and he was most enthusiastic and very friendly, even asking the name of the blog and how to find it, so I snapped a closer shot of him standing in front of the merry-go-round. Usually I take several shots and pick the best when I sort the photos but for some unknown reason this time I only took one and when I put it onto the computer it was horribly out of focus.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I was horrified at this small disaster because this friendly staff member had also approached me again later in the day to ask if I could please remind him of my blog’s name.

I really don’t want him to think I’d forgotten my promise to include his photo on my blog,  so I  enlarged a section of a less close up photo of the merry-go-round  so that you can see his face.  Apologies Sir. I’m making myself a promise that next time we visit here, I will not only take a better photograph of him but also get his first name (if he wishes) to go with it.

He was very helpful and friendly, and like all the staff we encountered here today: a credit to the place.  So often in The Netherlands “service with a smile” is a totally foreign concept in shops and businesses, and you are met with everything between indifference and rudeness, but here we were very pleasantly surprised and delighted to find every staff member  friendly, smiling and helpful and even on this cold grey day, this went a long way to making our visit a fun family day out.

Kiwi Daughter and I got separated from the “boys” when they raced off to go on the go-carts. Later we met back up with them and I asked Himself how Little Mr’s driving skills were progressing. “Completely hopeless” he said, to which Little Mr. make grand noises of indignation and protested loudly.

Then Himself explained: Little Mr was constantly causing near miss accidents and traffic jams by totally ignoring every red traffic light on the (very realistic)  road circuit without remorse. When challenged as to why he was clearly running red lights and causing grief to other go-cart users, he replied “I don’t have to stop at these red lights because it’s not a real  road anyway“.

We tied to explain that it’s been make to look as realistic as possible so that you can drive like you would if you were on a real road, and yes, stopping at red traffic lights was part of the  real road rules so he should do it here too.  He wasn’t having bar of  it.  Fake roads had fake traffic lights that shouldn’t  be obeyed as far as he was concerned. Himself therefore removed him before he caused himself or anyone else an injury, which didn’t go down too well at first from Little Mr by all accounts.

There’s  a large swimming pool area being cleaned up for the summer, unfilled now, it’s looks rather sad under leaden skied and intermittent drizzle but I bet on a decently hot day in summer it’s a busy spot indeed. Similarly the peddle-boat swans were also off limits, Spring is late arriving this year and it’s still seriously too cold for boating on the chilly water.

(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)

There’s so much to see and had the weather been nicer a ton more photos to take as there’s a fabulous ornamental garden here too, but it’s drizzing again so Kiwi Daughter and I head once again for shelter from the rain…

February 2, 2013

Sigh, WordPress Turns an Inspired Idea into an Epic FAIL…

Filed under: LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY,This Blogging Lark — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are getting two posts today but only once of them will make sense at first glance:  (this one if you haven’t guessed already… jokers amongst you can  keep the cheap jokes on how much my writing  and photography have improved in the other post LOL).

It will look like I posted an almost empty page alongside this one, but panic not… there is  method in my madness.

WordPress seemingly answered my prayers when they built in a feature that allows WordPress Bloggers to “copy a post” .

For someone like me who routinely has several posts at various stages of the blog brewing process in the works so that I can remember to look up research details that go with photographs from our travels for instance, this was brilliant.

Now I wouldn’t have to manually copy /  paste “(photograph © Kiwidutch)” and “DPChallange” (daily post challenge) into every new post I was setting up. Well that was the theory anyway.

Reality is that I can only “copy a page” of an already published  blog post… Duh!!!?  Who wants to see an almost empty page with a few bits of reoccurring information on it?? Why can’t I “copy a page” of a page still in draft, handy for me and quietly taking place behind the scenes?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is exactly like most monumental  government ideas:  often the idea itself is brilliant, inspired even, but the bureaucracy of putting it into practice omits the few basic steps that contain the magic ingredient and turn it into a white elephant instead.

So close and yet so far… it’s like perfecting the lightest, tastiest and easiest to make cake and then after the recipe is printed in a book, seeing that every one of the raising agents has been omitted. Do the publishers then go and fix it? Why no… they just say it works perfectly and expect every reader of the recipe  to work out the missing ingredients by themselves.

WordPress turned an inspired idea into a FAIL  by simply requiring that the post you wish be copied needs to be already published and not making this feature available to posts in “draft, or in the  “schedule”.

Fine if you want to repeat the “flesh” of a previous post, but what if you only want to repeat the  bare “bones”?

Determined to make it work I duly chose one of my posts and started to edit out all the bits I didn’t need. To be honest it look five  times longer to set up the new post this way than it would have had I started from scratch. It was also ten times more frustrating because I knew that it should be making things easier and faster but was in fact doing the opposite.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I tried with the shortest of my posts I could find but let’s be honest here, I don’t do “short” particularly well in either words or photographs: so although I persevered the results were still that it was faster to make a manual post with laborious copy/pastes that it was to use this should-have-been-brilliant feature.

I’m totally happy with almost everything else on WordPress, whilst I do still have a wish list of ideas for improvements I appreciate that the site is still a work in progress and that improvements are being made behind the scenes constantly so my little wish list is probably somewhere near the bottom of the “to do” heap.

So Dear Reader, I hope that this at least explains why you get a double post today: one of which is a small rant because I’m rather disappointed that a feature I had such high hopes for has produced a result akin to a cake that promised so much but  completely failed to raise, and a second post which is completely useless to you dear reader ( I humbly apologise) but which, now that it’s published will  hopefully help me to overcome the stupidity of having manually copy / paste the “bones” of my blog posts every time.

And the photographs of cakes and biscuits (cookies) …How are they relevant you ask ? Well, naturally they are there to keep you sweet until tomorrows post.

September 9, 2010

Scared? Who ? … FAIL !!!

Filed under: PORTUGAL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m a frequent aircraft passenger.

Not because aircraft are Greener or more more efficient than other modes of transport, but simply because technology has not yet produced a car or train that can swim over oceans, nor compete in speed over land in any measure or form that is remotely practical for a family of four

I’ve flown in a lot of big Jumbo’s but since I’ve also travelled extensively in developing countries, I’ve also been in small fixed-wing aircraft with four seats and upwards.

Come to that, I’ve also taken the the sky in a hot air balloon, a glider, and helicopters.

I’ve never suffered any fear of flying,  and laugh if you like, I still, with every single flight, check out the laminated card in the seat pocket that details the emergency procedures, look around to see where the Emergency exits are, and listen to the speel that the flight attendants give ( manual or electronic).

You know the one… ” The emergency exits are here, here and here …” and their hands are flapping  like cartoon penguins in the appropriate direction etc. ” …should cabin pressure fall, an oxygen mask will drop down from the overhead compartment in front of you, please secure your own mask before attending to your child…

Blah Blah, I know, but it’s Important Blah Blah and I read somewhere that people who remember to take note of it are statistically more likely to survive a  crash an “incident” should there actually be one.

Since I’d also like to tow out two kids and Himself should anything happen, I take note for them too.

I’m not scared of flying, I just want to be prepared.

It’s like the defensive driving course I once took, you hope you won’t need the jack-knifing skid advice you get but if you need because your car is out of control on ice, then  it hopefully it’s in your brain and you’ll remember what to do next.

We did a self book fly/drive package for Portugal, we fly with a Portuguese airline that’s reliable but lesser known than TAP. I pull out the card….

Clearly whoever was designing this was having a laugh, or mocking those who have a fear of flying…

Let’s take a closer look… Check out the eyes! this is one scared passenger! (or very badly trained flight attendant) …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And then instructions on how to break open the door over the wing… the dude does it no problem…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

But whoa… appaently if you sit on the wing your right leg will break… maybe even both of them…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And then there is the issue of shoes… according to this picture, Gents, pregnant ladies and children didn’t board the plane with any in the first place…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And finally, lets check out that last picture in a little more detail…

You know the drill, for landing and take-off ” please close  your tray table and return your seat to the upright position…” (see, I do know it by heart…)

But the kid… look at the kid…his seat is already forward of the “upright position“…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ok, I’m picking it apart, but seriously, do you think that this card screams calm, steady, reliable, confidence ?… or trust in the machine and the staff that run it?  Would looking at this card inspire those who’s nerves are already in tatters before take-off  to believe that they are in safe and secure hands and that they have nothing to fear.

Or are there some poor souls traumatized for life because  ” if even  the cartoon can’t  hack the life jacket procedure, then what hope is there for me?”  They probably got on the plane young and stagged off grey and aged…and never dared fly again.

The designer of this card sits somewhere else in blissful ignorance of the cardiac arrests and premature balding they may have caused with their “talent”.  I hate to have to be the one to break this to you Ms/Mr Designer.. but this one is a … FAIL!

Me, I put the card back into the seat pocket and enjoyed the flight to Portugal.

August 3, 2010

FAIL !

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

This isn’t my usual style of photo… but when I went to cross the road on the Laan Van Meerdervoort at the Valkenbosplein after photographing the dentist’s building, I got caught out by this…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sigh…at least by the wear pattern I was clearly not alone…

So, Did the City Council FAIL, … or did everyone who tried…      … and FAILED?

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