Local Heart, Global Soul

March 21, 2015

A Sculpting An Exhibition, Let’s Start At The Beginning…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One advantage of being forced to rest up whilst the rest of the family run frantically playing tag around the “garden” area of the holiday home we have hired for a special extended family long weekend is that I have time to read some of the brochures in the house.

These are informational brochures in a folder, advertising various business and events in the area.

One of the pictures in the brochure is of a sand sculpture, something I really enjoy looking at so I was quick to zoom in and take a closer look.

The “Veluws Zandsculpturenfestijn”  (Veluwe Sand Sculpture Festival) takes place annually in  Garderen, a small village in the Veluwe.

Artists who specialise in sand sculpture  come here from from all of the world to create some truly amazing indoor and outdoor sand sculptures.

Between mid-April and the end of October this place becomes the site of the  Sand Sculpture Garden and every year there is a new theme.

The theme for 2014 was “Experience the Golden Age.” which documents the history of the Netherlands in the seventeenth century. It’s the time of Rembrandt, Michiel de Ruyter and the VOC (Dutch East India Company) all of which were hugely influential in the Netherlands and broad. Every aspect of this is depicted in amazing detail in sand.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although of course the 2014 festival is long over, work is currently in progress because the new exhibition for 2015  opens April 17th 2015 with the theme “From Grandmother’s Time”.

The “Puzzle”section of the exhibition will be a continuing attraction this year as it was last (more about that in a post soonest). 

The Dutch website promises the new  festival will  feature sculptures of Vincent van Gogh, Ot and Sien, the World Wars and liberation, the 1953 flood, important events in sports and politics, changes in technology and much more.”

We figure out that we had time to come and visit the exhibition on the last day of our long weekend, before we come home, if we  leave early enough.

It’s a short detour our of our route home but Our Lady of The Tom Tom leads the way and soon we spot the gates…

… I will tell you in advance that I’m starting with the non-sand sculptures and some other things around the entrance because the festival was about far more than just the sand sculptures.

Veluws Zandsculpturenfestijn
Adresse: oude barnevelderweg 5, Garderen, Niederlande
Telefon:+31 577 461 294

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sand Sculpture Festival 1

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The following wall plaque says: “In this house… We live, , we have pleasure / are happy,  we have arguments, we say sorry, we make mistakes, we speak the truth, we give cuddles / hugs, we have love, we are a family,  this is home

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In another section, paintings fit the Golden Age theme…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://zandsculpturen.nl/ (Dutch and German Language only)

http://nederlandvakantieland.net/gelderland/dagje-uit-op-de-veluwe-het-zandsculpturenfestijn-in-garderen/ (Dutch language only)

August 23, 2012

Foxton Gets it’s Glamour Paint On AGAIN!

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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There’s a small clue in one of the photographs of yesterday’s post as to what we found around the corner as we came out of the Foxton Windmill… even this town full of murals has time to run a Mural Festival! Since the festival had recently ended, many of the ‘exhibition” spaces where mural had hung were now empty,  returned to artists or sold to buyers, but there are enough left over for me to investigate further.

Therefore yet another  arty post!!!  Who would have suspected that this rural stretch of coastal highway would boast such a massive percentage of creative talent!? Enjoy!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 23, 2011

Thai-ing up Old Memories…

Filed under: FOOD,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These are the last of the series of photos I took at the Thai Festival that took place in August 2010.

I’ve never been to Thailand, although it is on my list of ” places to see one day“. In the last two posts especially, I saw things totally new to me and learned about new cuisines but there are some things that pop up as “variations upon a theme” in one culture or another.

The coconuts in one of the previous posts, all carved up ready for easy opening could have been taken in Singapore, or many places throughout Asia and the Pacific regions.

These little deep fried pastries in my first photo here, look exactly like the Samosas  that my Chinese-Malaysian house-mate used to make when I was looking after my parents New Zealand house when they lived overseas.

I know from my other travels that samosas  are often made in triangular form, but my house-mate called her version Samosas too and watching her deftly form the same beautiful scrolled edges speedily on the small fat crescent shapes is stuck with awe in my memory.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

She made it look so easy, but when I tried it, I kept impaling the soft almost sticky dough with my fingers, the filling kept falling out the holes and my attempts at an even half decent crimp around the edge were laughable if you were being polite, and a well deserved  0/10 if you were being honest.

She, of course had the secret weapon of experience: her Grandmother had a restaurant in Malaysia and as a girl received no education because her Father believed that only her brothers needed any.

Her lack of education grated on her and determined to prove herself she spent her life building up a thriving restaurant business from scratch.

When in turn her only child, a son, lavished education and a home on his son but not his daughters, she financed her granddaughters education herself and in return they would help her part-time in the restaurant.

Thus, from a young age my house-mate made hundreds of these samosas each week and could turn out several perfectly filled and crimped creations every minute.

The crabs in a bucket reminded me of the Solomon Islands market stalls,  and the whole fried fish looked the same in a variety of countries off the beaten track that Himself and I have travelled to.

It’s good to celebrate our differences, but even better to remember that we are often more similar than we think, and widening your horizons at any time is always a very satisfying experience.

Let’s take a look at what we are seeing as we leave…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Deep fried Bananas… the process…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and the result…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 22, 2011

Eggceedingly Strange Eggamples…

Filed under: FOOD,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I Eggaggerate not,  (oh groan the pun) finding these on display stopped me in my tracks at the Thai Festival that took place in The Hague in mid-August 2010.

Not only did I stop, but I believe I may also have had my mouth open gaping, as I tried to figure out how (and why) you might want to empty a raw egg from it’s shell, and then stuff it again with a soft filling of some sort, poke it onto skewers and then, cook it on a BBQ grill.

I have questions galore, not least of which is ” if the filling is soft enough to be spooned or piped back into an egg shell, then wouldn’t the bits of egg shell just cave into it when the “egg” is cooked?”

I’m kind of thinking of how I might peel a barbecued egg if the inside was the consistency of mashed potato, and I’m mostly thinking that if left to me there would be a definite gritty taste to my resulting  filling.

If anyone might know the name of this dish or what the filling consists of,  I’d love to hear from you.

At this point of our Thai festival tour, the kids had been given a small amount of money to spend themselves and with this burning a metaphoric  hole in their little pockets. Their interest is not in food but in trinkets, so a detour back to the non-food stalls is now a matter utmost urgency in their little minds.

So after both kids had expressed their opinion on the eggs (a typical kid “ewww!”) I decided it would be best if we  walked hastily on…

(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 21, 2011

The Thai’s and Lows of Culinary Translation…

Filed under: FOOD,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still digging though my archive photos and looking though the file of our trip to the Thai festival that took place the weekend of 15th August 2010.

There are many different foods and souvenirs on offer, and with music playing from the bands and acts on the large stage,  there is a perfect family atmosphere for a beautiful day.

It should be no surprise that the various foods on offer are what interested me most… some things were easily recognisable, other things had me scratching my head in amazement.

One of the things that raised my eyebrows were the large  jugs of coloured liquids filled with a gelatinous like substance. I saw in on more stalls, and it appeared to be a cold drink.

I can’t be too sure because I asked twice but on one stall they spoke only Thai and on the other only fractured German heavily accented with Thai, and even with smiles and some charade style hand signals I didn’t manage to find out what it really was, achieving only polite smiles and responses in Thai in return.  It was clear they didn’t get the question. Oh well.

We have a cold drink available here in The Netherlands, it’s an Aloe Vera drink which is an almost clear liquid . In it are suspended pieces of transparent aloe vera and those pieces are of a very soft, thin, gel-like texture.

I don’t mind it in small quantities but find that the slippery, lumpy texture of the drink a bit off-putting after a while, but Himself  finds it refreshing and drinks it a lot, especially in the summertime.

I am probably completely off the mark, but I’m hazarding a wild guess that what’s in these jugs may be an aloe vera concoction too. One of them is milky and the bits in it are different colours.

My knowledge of Thai cuisine is sadly severely limited so for these recipes I could have my work cut out to find a recipe, especially as I don’t know the Thai names for them. If any reader is able to put names or information to my photos I would be most interested to hear from you.

(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)

We are used to seeing these…  coconuts!…but usually we see them in Singapore!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and these fruit plates looked so good that we bought one. Don’t think however that this is a single serving.. the four of us struggled to finish it ! ( It was good though!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 20, 2011

A Trip to Thailand without taking a Flight…

Filed under: FOOD,The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Still housebound I’ve looked though my photo archive and stumbled upon several folders of  photos I took last year that I’d completely forgotten about.

Just before out trip to Portugal last summer, we visited a Festival in the biggest park in The Hague, Zuiderpark.

It was a Thai festival and various people from the Thai community had travelled here from around the Netherlands and Germany to provide a long weekend of music, food and selling of merchandise.

We decided to take a look and see what was on offer.

After paying a small entrance fee to get in, we emerged into a large  grassy area that had stalls on three sides, a stage on the  fourth  and a  large area in the centre where picnic tables had been erected.

Let’s look around… Stalls full of goodies… and wonderful smells coming from nearby…

(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)

some fried rice and this… for lunch… yummmmm!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 23, 2010

Going Potty, being Silly and International Sign Language starts with a smile.

Filed under: PORTUGAL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following up on yesterdays post, where I mislaid and then found a camera chip and wanted to tell you about two more sellers I met in the medieval market in Vila Nova de Cerveira.

Yesterdays post was about a man who faces his impairment head on and works hard despite his disability and he is truly an inspiration to me.

Today’s post was about the genuine friendliness and fun of people despite language barriers.

This gentleman sells pottery items that he has made, I saw his stall and I love pots so went over to have a look. He asked me some questions as he saw my interest and we quickly worked out that my few words of Portuguese and his few words of English were not nearly enough for a conversation.

That didn’t deter us, he clearly wanted to know if I was interested in buying something.  In spite of feeling silly,  I left inhibition behind and with a smile and outstretched arms mimicked an aeoplane  (my arms being the wings) and tried to let him know that we were flying home and that our bags were already full.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

His reaction made it clear that it was a pity, and with a smile he mimicked driving a car, so I got the idea that he meant that next time we should drive to Portugal instead of flying.

Then he noticed that I was smiling as I looked at a chamber pot that had a face on the side of it… he laughingly picked it up and made some more serious arty poses with it as I took photos, then he posed with it upside down on his head.

I left him after a fit of giggles and felt that the world was a better place for having had a good laugh, a good conversation in international sign language and where a little bit of humour and a smile goes a very long way.

It reminds me that meeting the locals is the best bit of travelling abroad, that  being willing to make a gesture to show that you appreciate and admire the goods even if you are not in a practical position to buy, is often appreciated by the seller.

He’s been standing there all day, no doubt many people just averted their eyes and walked on past… a smile was appreciated and we both had a good laugh. This is typical of the down to earth friendliness of the Portuguese, but you know what? Give most people and opportunity to be friendly and in my experience 99.9% of them will.

So… make eye contact, have a laugh, communicate with people, even if you do speak the language, don’t let formality get in the way, smile and go on… dare a little.

These are the true riches of not only travel, but of Life.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 22, 2010

Living your Best Life, an Inspirational Man…

Filed under: PORTUGAL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m being a bit haphazard here and skipping back to an earlier post today… I misplaced a camera chip that featured a two more of the artisans who were working and selling at the medieval market that took place on the weekend of the 27th August in Vila Nova de Cerveira.

Today I found the chip at the bottom of the side pocket of my camera bag (looked before there but missed it the first time)  so I’m taking the time to re-visit these two artisans because both were  friendly and delightful and because they made a real impression on me.

Neither spoke more than three words of English and my ten words of Portuguese didn’t go particularly far but sign language and smiles are international and we made do most excellently with both.

Himself has taken the kids and his excellent Portuguese language talent to the tapas restaurant  restrooms for an urgent kid pit-stop, and they wanting to take the short route back to the car afterwards, this was my opportunity to negotiate the one side street full of market stalls that I had not yet seen, so I nipped off to have a look around and will meet up with them at the car.

Two stalls in particular stood out… and this post is about the broom seller.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was instantly clear this this man  suffered from a substantial learning problem, his words came out  slurred and with great difficulty,  but he had a very willing (and very noticeably toothless) smile and when he wasn’t attempting to engage with potential customers he was sitting  on a stool constructing a new brooms before my eyes.

The process is swift, his hands dexterously show that he has done this before, probably thousands of times and the head of the broom takes shape with a speed and ease that makes it looks easy.

I know enough about handwork to know that when it looks that easy it definitely isn’t… if I were ever silly enough to try this, I’d be all fingers and thumbs and people would br cracking up with laughter.

He made a great impression on me because in spite of a clear and profound communication disability, he had found a skill and was attempting to make the very best of it in spite of it.

If you could only have heard him attempting to speak you would understand how painful it must be to put yourself  “out there”  on full show and in full view the market place and public with this kind of impediment. I’m not one brave enough to stand and speak in public willingly at any time, so this man earned my utmost respect for doing this and you know what, his handcrafted brooms were amazing too.

Bravo to this man for not only learning a skill that hopefully helps him to make a living, but for also having the courage to actually set up a stall and do the selling himself.  He is a wonderful example of someone who’s trying hard to look at all the positives in life and not just dwelling on the negatives.

He might have every reason and excuse to use this profound communication problem to not participate fully in life or work,  but it’s clear that he has no intention of letting his difficulties hold him back, and for this he earns my utmost respect.

Sadly even a very beautiful a broom wasn’t going to fit into our bags for the flight home or I would have seriously been thinking about getting one.

I  wanted to make a blog post about him as soon as I found my “lost” photos of him because he is the sort of person who should be an inspiration to us all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 25, 2010

Onions and Churches… Sigh, Someone had to Do It…

Filed under: PORTUGAL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finally I’m getting to grips with my new camera, I’ve discovered a few of the manual settings even if I haven’t yet mastered the best focal lengths or any of the other technical bits that go with them.

I have one camera chip that has gone missing… I know what photos were on it but can’t find it anywhere and have been going crazy looking for it.

I’m annoyed with myself because I know I had more photos of the local artisans taken in one of the side streets…  and some of some amazing statues.

Unless I can magically find that chip this will be my last piece on the Medieval Market, …  my recent Bread post reminded me that I had taken other foodie photos in the market and also there were so shots of the church and some of the banners that I really liked too.

Therefore this means that this post ended up like the junk drawer in your kitchen,  Yes, You must have one of those, ‘fess up…. the drawer that houses stubs of old birthday candles, pieces of string, elastic bands , the scissors that are so blunt (as my Mother was fond of saying) that  “you could ride bare butt to London on them and not get cut” .

In short … various odds and ends,  their purpose undetermined but  with possibilities of usefulness that it would seem wasteful to throw them away.

So ergo.. Onions and Churches anyone?  Odd mix I know, but someone had to do it and I’m certainly crazy enough.

The big question is …. Will this kind of mix-and-match catch on?

 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and this one, just to confuse you even further.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 24, 2010

Ants… like you’ve NEVER seen them before…

Filed under: PORTUGAL — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think that the artisan at the Medieval weekend of 27th August 2010  in Vila Nova de Cerveira,  who made the biggest impression on Family Kiwidutch was George… 

George makes puppets. not glove puppets or rod puppets but Marionette type of puppets.

And what’s special about  George’s marionettes? Well, they are special because they are all Ants.

George hand-makes all his puppets himself and they are a very colorful array of eccentric looking characters.

What’s more they can produce an amazing  amount of movements… and George is an expert when it comes to demonstrating their possibilities.

We had seen George and his wife the evening before, but photography was impossible as it was seriously dark by the time we discovered his stall.   By “we” I mean Kiwi Daughter and I, since Little Mr was rapidly tiring  and fraying around the edges so preferred to sit  with Himself by the restaurant we had eaten at whilst daughter and I had a quick scout around the remaining stalls.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter loved the Ants. so I said to George that we could come back for a proper look the next day to check them out in daylight, and  when I said mentioned this he probably assumed that such a comment was a way of a passer-by to escape  buying something.

When we turned up next morning  he remembered us and was delighted that we had returned as promised.

We got talking, and from what I gather, George worked in the field of  Entomologist in a former career, and has a fascination for ants. In fact he expressly asked me to mention in my blog that most people would not know that ants make up 20% of the earth’s biomass and are very very important  creatures in the world ecosystems. (and No…I didn’t know that, either)

George also asked me a question: Do ants work or survive? I said that they work… “wrong!” he replied,  “people work, work is done for money, ants survive because that is their simple instinct”   So… I’m learning a lot about ants today, as you are too, I assume.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I personally love low-tech toys that use imagination so I was immediately drawn to the Ants.. and so were my children, they fell in love immediately and yes, I was most happy to buy some to bring home.

Now, even if I do have to blow my own trumpet here, my dexterity skills in maneuvering these is better than that of my children.

But when it came to making a small video to show you, it quickly became clear that operating the puppet and filming it at the same time was never going to be a success, so I roped in the kids …  the results are ok, but I can assure you that you can make these walk and dance with a very smooth movement and it looks wonderful.

I can do it “OK” ( better than the kids, but still just “OK”).

Georges did it brilliantly and if I had any sense I should have made the video with him whilst we were at the stall.

Needless to say that at the time I didn’t have any sense. Now I only have 20/20 hindsight.

There is a trick to winding these up and storing these and Little Mr. hasn’t mastered it yet, resulting in me sitting untangling his puppet a lot, but Kiwi Daughter has it down to a fine art and delights in showing off her skills.

We hope in time to get as skilled at working these as George is… Ah ha.. more practice is needed, and with  each practice I can assure you are many squeals of laughter and delight.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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