Local Heart, Global Soul

March 16, 2015

With All This Rain No Wonder The Greenery Is On Overdrive…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our  long weekend holiday in the Veluwe, was an extended family trip, made once a year so that Oma (Grandmother) now in her 90’s could enjoy seeing as many of her children, in-laws and grandchildren as possible in one place for an extended time.

Naturally since the Landal holiday park was located within a large area of nature, and the weather on the first day was good, the physically fit members of the family dragged out the bicycles for themselves and a litter of interested children and set out on a long cycling tour of the area.

One of the other adults looked after several other kids who wanted to take part in a forestry and wood chopping course on offer by the park,  and Himself offered to take his mother to see the graves of her parents, since this was close to the area where she spent her childhood years.

Since I can’t participate in either of the other activities, I opt to join Himself and Oma for the car ride excursion.

I’m not sure why after living so long in the Netherlands, I’m still shocked at the speed at which the weather can change. As we headed away from the holiday park and headed towards Emerlo, from a clear blue sky a few grey clouds accumulated on the horizon.

Our destination took us towards them and they seems to grow blacker by the minute as we approached. Murphy’s Law dictated that in the last kilometres the first fat droplets of water descended and grew heavy by the time we arrived.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Luckily this graveyard, situated at the back of the church is full of large trees we could shelter underneath once we exited the car.

As far as graveyards go, this one is really nondescript, statues and any decorative elements being starkly absent, typical of the Dutch Reformed Church.(Calvinistic = no fussiness, no frills, nothing unnecessary).

It’s very compact in size but the plant life was having a field day.

Maybe it was just the time of year, when everything grows meters daily right under your nose, or taking ecological habitat for birds, bees and insects to a radical level, or maybe the Gemeente (city council) had too many budget cuts…

…who knows, but one thing is for sure,  you’d couldn’t complain that there wasn’t enough greenery around.

A pause in the rain allowed us to take a little look around, Oma enjoyed visiting her parents graves and since the place was very small the visit was short. We also saw the house she grew up in (long since out of the family) and then we tried to see other points of interest from her childhood and teenage days but with several neighbourhood roads completely closed because they were being repaved,  and the distance around them being too far for her to walk, that wish out of the three, went unfulfilled.

Still, since Oma now lives several hours drive away from this place and in her 90’s travelling any distance is becoming more and more difficult, each visit she can manage here is special. Also on a personal level, it’s nice to document something that might be valuable to future generations if they wish to dig into their family history and how where this particular generation of the family are buried. (Naturally I have left identifying information off this blog post, but it’s all already available within the family, this this post adds photographs of the location.)

(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)

Oma’s former childhood home…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

September 5, 2012

Mother Nature is in a Thunderous Mood, but For Us the Sun is Shining…

Filed under: Blogging & Writing,LIFE,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next morning is like the day before… dark, gloomy and pelting down torrential rain.

Luckily the company of our friends puts the sunshine into our day and even though we’ve been here almost two days, it’s like the hands of the clock have been in fast forward and the time has flown by.

There has been some family conflict in our friend’s close extended  family and a falling out that looked for a long time like it might become permanent, but after a chance remark by Himself and a chance recollection of one of our friends,  the two of them hatched a plan to use our presence as a possibility to break some ice whilst we were there…  either the opportunity would be welcomed, or not, but it was worth a try.

Amazingly the opportunity was snatched with both hands and the response was far better than we ever could have imagined, as a gift was given to us far in excess of anything we expected. It’s not a gift for our own use but one that we are to pass on at a later date …but the very fact that there was a gift at all (let alone the amazing one  that was given) was a sign that clearly they were open to the first tentative steps of bridge building.

It’s not to say that the way forward will necessarily be easy from now onwards, because there is a lot of hurt that will need much time and ministering to heal, ….but we left with not just tears of leaving loved friends but also ones of relief  and big smiles that a little ray of light has opened up in what was looking like a dark situation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Himself and I were not the instigators, but we were the instruments and  fortunate to be in the right place at the right moment just as the various parties were willing to take a tentative first step.

It teaches us that no matter how hard a situation might seem, that it’s never hopeless and an olive twig is sometimes better than an olive branch as it shows a gentle shy willingness that can be gingerly reciprocated.

If  testing the waters with the twig is successful then it opens the way for more twigs and bigger branches later on and we can only hope that things can be positively built on from now on.

Just as Nature has sunshine and rain, we as human beings  experience emotional, physical and psychological squalls  in life too. Sometimes they are little storms, sometimes they are hurricanes, cyclones or tornados that rip though our lives, cleaning us out and leaving us to start again or to say Thank You God that we emerged bruised but more or less unscathed… life is  a roller coaster and for better or worse we ride it’s ups and downs as best we can.

We leave here therefore as part of these emotional events, and head towards the Inter-Island Ferry with hearts far lighter than the day is turning out to be… Mother Mature might be in a thunderous mood, but like the little bird busy dipping under the waves as it fishes for breakfast in the choppy harbour, our hearts have feasted on a large dish of hope and sunshine this morning.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 24, 2010

Is there something unwittingly missing from your menu?

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I heard the other day on TV that the biggest kid favourite meal at the moment is Spaghetti Bolognese.

If my kids are anything to go by, it might be better said that it’s not their actual favourite meal, but rather just the one that gets thrust under their noses most often at meal times because I know that in spite of their grumbles they will eat it, and Nooooo there is NO possibility in this house of getting  the rubbish that they really want:  chicken nuggets.

I never ever had Spaghetti Bolognese as a kid, or Lasagna, Chili con carne or Pizza.  Ok, Yes I did have Pizza on odd occasion when I was much older,  ….home made efforts with a slightly too thick crust that always was a bit undercooked and  doughy in the middle.  That’s probably why it’s taken me so long to get enthused about Pizza as an adult.

Did my mother have something against Italian cuisine? , well, no, not really, the answer was  plainer and simple than that: she was severely allergic to tomatoes.

Subsequently I grew up only ever expecting to see my tomatoes raw, on the side of salads. I had no clue until I left home that tomato  were something you could cook with, put into sauces and meals with (as opposed  to squirts of the stuff on the side of the newspaper wrapping  of your fish and chips, that you dipped your chips into)

Our family has a history of food allergies and I unhelpfully carry on the tradition by being allergic to mould, fungi and  a few sorts of shellfish.  For me, things like blue cheese, truffles, truffle oil and  mushrooms are strictly off limits  but whilst  I  realise that I can’t eat them myself, I have resolved to prepare them every now and again for Hubby and the kids.

I don’t wish to repeat my childhood experiences  where the rest of the family missed an entire taste possibility simply because  the cook couldn’t eat  it too.

I can clearly understand that  trying to make a Lasagna  without tomatoes is a bit like trying to make hamburgers without the meat…  you can work around some things but in these  type of dishes the omission of tomatoes isn’t really one of them.

My allergies on the other hand are polite and not at all disruptive to the daily cooking routine. The one thing that I have to be extra careful of  are shop-bought veggie soups and packet mixes for sauces or gravy. Even a small amount of ” mushroom powder” is  a no-no.  …as found out  when Hubby tried a new gravy mix on a surprise meal for me years ago…  hmmm  it turned out to be  far more of a surprise than either of us bargained on or wanted.

Since then Yes,  he has cooked surprise meals for me but we have both become expert at reading ingredient labels on packets before we buy them, and at asking in restaurants what’s in the meal so that the surprises stay as nice ones and not the nasty ones.

If you are the cook in the house and you have food allergies, then you too will have to ask yourself if the thing that is restrictive for  you might also be unwittingly restricting the eating habits and experiences of your family… and maybe,  like me you need to make a separate meal every now and again to compensate them for the things you can’t enjoy.

My sister was the lucky one, she managed to be the only one in the family without any food allergy, and my poor  father copped the easiest one to avoid but probably the unluckiest… he’s allergic to strawberries.

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