Local Heart, Global Soul

December 19, 2018

Don’t Mind Me: Just Watering The Plants…

The beginning of our 2017 Easter holiday found us heading off to Zeeland. Early spring is the time when the flower bulbs are in bloom and that year was no exception. We delight in the colourful fields of various flowers as we go southwards. There are even giant sprayers watering the flowers since it had been quite a bit drier than usual.

(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)

August 19, 2014

Something Botanical, But Definitely Inspirational…

This blog post follows yesterday’s one where in October 2012 we were searching for a beach called Damouchari where part of  the movie “Mama Mia” movie was filmed. As our family habit of getting lost was not in any danger of being broken as we find ourselves on a beach that is not the one we want, because there are two next to each next similarly named places to each other: a Damouchari beach and a Damouchari port and as is our want,  we end up at the wrong one.

I’m trailing the rest of my energetic family but at least I have a better idea where I’m supposed to be, so a slow walk on crutches and frequent stops didn’t bother me at all. One of these rest stops that I make involves stopping to photograph an amazing plant alongside the path, I’m botanically challenged so have no clue what it might be called but it’s beautiful flowers are  fragile, delicate and brilliantly photogenic that I feel compelled to try and do justice to their exquisite design. They were still  better in real life than what I managed to capture here, but  these images are here to inspire me if and when I feel the urge to try and draw something botanical…and even if I never end up making the drawings they are still inspirational…

(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)

May 6, 2014

Bold, Beautiful, Full Of Impact: Hopefully Making A Lasting Impression…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our time at the Keukenhof has come to a close.

We have enjoyed sunshine and ducked showers and I was pleased that I remembered to ask Himself to go back and fetch a blanket at the last minute before we left because my Mother in Law, sitting still in the wheelchair was feeling the cold.

She was delighted to have a day out, at ninety-two years of age she often thinks she is too tired or can’t manage an outing, but Himself and I know that if we refuse to accept the minor worries and excuses  she inevitably brings up against going and actually get her out and  about, she feels energised and invigorated afterwards.

In fact a trip like this keeps will be enthusiastically recounted to friends in person or on the telephone for some time afterwards and it gives us a chance to share time together that is more than just cups of tea in her or our living rooms.

I’m not certain why, but whenever Himself (and it is him who does the bulk of the visiting) goes to do her shopping or just spend time with his mother at her place, it’s as if to her these visits don’t really count: they are just taken as part of the usual routine, blending into life like wallpaper. Since the staircases involved make visits more difficult for me, my main contribution is to supply meals for my Mother in Law. On a day when I feel like I can manage, I can sit on the couch and peel veggies,  do a bulk cook in large pots or oven dishes and pack them all up ready for her freezer.

It’s therefore quite nice for her and I to spend time together like this, and since I also don’t get out of the house too often these days I find it really refreshing.The Keukenhof gives us all a special day out, the colours brighten our day and even the passing showers can not put a damper on that. The stripes of colour are bold and beautiful, they create impact and hopefully leaves an as lasting impression on you as they did for me.

(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)

July 3, 2013

Visiting… And The Delight of Finding a Garden…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have come to the small town of Veere to visit a friend.

It’s our first visit here and upon arrival Himself and I discover that our friends house has a garden, a little luxury that we delight in since we don’t have a garden ourselves.

Even though the wind is more than a little fresh, the sun is shining and we are determined not to waste the opportunity to sit al fresco with our cups of tea.

Of course you can also do that on the terrace of a café somewhere too, but the luxury is being in a private space and relaxed atmosphere of  peace, quiet and calm.

When I lived in New Zealand and had a garden I never appreciated or used it as much as I should. Now, after 20 years with only balconies, a garden is a little piece of paradise that I  appreciate a lot.

There is also the added bonus of there being some flowers out so I can practice my photographic skills (taking good flower photos not so far being one of my biggest successes). The flowers are all late  in blooming this year because it’s  been the coldest spring in decades.

The tea arrives in due course… along with a tasty surprise…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 16, 2011

Making the Most of every single Millimeter…

Space is limited in the Netherlands. The country is (in)famous for having one of the highest populations densities in the world.  This has a knock-on effect that land prices are expensive. Naturally houses are compact, gardens tiny, staircases steep,  shops try and make best use of the small space they have. for some of them it’s an art form.

Last summer, whilst out walking I spied a flower shop on the Weimarstraat that certainly takes the award for the most pavement conveniently commandeered for business promotion  purposes… it’s neat and tidy, and smelled of the perfume of many flowers. Ingenious!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 24, 2011

No, …Not *just* Tulips From Amsterdam…

Filed under: Places and Sights,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ok, even if you can’t remember the tune or the words, you may at least have heard of the Title of the famous song “Tulips from Amsterdam“…

…but they aren’t the only flowers that the Dutch love.

Apartment living means that many Dutch city dwellers don’t have any garden of their own, but where there are steps, footpaths, windows and balconies, the inner gardener of the Amsterdam populous blooms at every opportunity.

Sometimes in the form of window boxes, sometimes just a few demur potted plants, sometimes squeezed onto the pavements, the spaces may be limited but the imagination on how to use it  is not.

In my first photo, the brown thing at bottom left, is a bollard to stop cars driving on the pavement… so yes, this ensemble is directly on the footpath outside their front door LOL.

And if you are weary from walking and admiring the blooms, there is ample space for quick rest on these over-sized chairs or this massive wheelbarrow  / bench (it’s about three quarters the length of a single bed!)

I did come across this flower (second photo) that I have never seen before and don’t know the name of.. . Wow, the form, texture and colours! this takes my appreciation of flowers to a whole new level and it’s my brand new all time favourite flower!

Granted, I do have to confess to being a little (ok, if I’m really honest),  severely horticulturally challenged so not knowing what it is, is par for the course.

If anyone knows what it’s called and can tell me, I’d love to know!

 

(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)

August 27, 2010

Something is afoot (or a-float) in Katwijk aan Zee…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is something very strange going on in Katwijk aan Zee.

Streets are being cordoned off, there are police everywhere, we see a film crew for a local TV station and we pass by more and more people who are sitting on the footpath.

Not sitting as in: we were walking, got tired and needed a wee rest… but properly sitting down, on plastic folding chairs, wooden kitchen chairs, plastic stools, picnic blankets.

Many of them have their cameras, some of them even have small folding tables, with cold drinks.

The evidence is mounting up fast my dear Watson, I smell a mystery that needs solving.

Equipped as I am with amazing powers of deduction I looked up and down the road in question and the answer to the mystery was clear to me in a matter of moments.

(sigh) that actually means is: I rolled down the car window, and asked an elderly gent if he had any idea what was going on…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apparently in five to ten minutes, there will be a parade though Katwijk in celebration of the local flower growing businesses and the horticultural services that support them.

It’s simply not possible to overestimate the importance and scale of the cut flower business in this part of the world.

Flowers here are grown in glasshouses that are measured in size not by the meter by the kilometer… and that’s not just kilometers long, that’s kilometers square.

The glasshouses themselves are already massive, and this area of the Netherlands they are built one next to the other in massive “blocks”.

Inside are billions of flowers that will be loaded onto temperature controlled trucks within a hour of being  picked and will arrive quickly and efficiently at the Flower Markets for auction and swift dispatch around the world.

Two main areas in the Netherlands  (the Westkland and Aalsmeer)  together are the center of the world flower trade.

We have arrived just in time to see them make a public display of all things floral…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bring your own band…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bring your own bread… to a flower parade? oh heck, why not?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

they first wanted to throw on the kitchen sink, but I suppose that this was more “convenient”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heck, throw in the back garden while you are at it, no?…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This police van is going to get some funny looks if it’s needed on an unexpected call out…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s music, sunshine and everyone is having a great time… THEN.. just around the corner….

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