Local Heart, Global Soul

February 1, 2018

Gardens, Floating? Bridges? Not Necessarily In That Order…

Filed under: Marina Bay Sands Hotel,PHOTOGRAPHY,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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From the Observation deck of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, Family Kiwidutch have a really good overview of some of the most famous landmarks in Singapore. The “pictures” on the information boards help to put names to the buildings we can see as well as giving snippets of information to visitors in a multitude of languages. Working our way around the observation deck, I can see and identify sights that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, such as the “Bay East Garden

The Bay East Garden is 32 hectares (79 acres) in size and has a two kilometre promenade frontage that embellishes the Marina Reservoir. It is designed as a series of large tropical leaf-shaped gardens, each with it’s own specific landscaping design, character and theme. Five water inlets are aligned with the prevailing wind direction, maximising and extending the shoreline while allowing wind and water to penetrate the site to help cool areas of activity around them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although “Float@MarinaBay” is labelled on one of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel observation deck information board as No.3 and another further along as No.7, the information given for each is exactly the same. The board reads:

The Float@MarinaBay”, Made entirely of steel, the Float@MarinaBay can support up to 1,070 tonnes in weight, with a seating capacity of 30,000 people. It serves as a venue for events on the waters of Marina bay, including sports, concerts, exhibitions and performances such as The National Day Parade. This stadium is also part of the Marina Bay Street  Circuit Turns 17 and 18.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Helix Bridge”. “The Helix Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that links Marina Centre and Marina South. Officially opened on 24 April 2010, the bridge has four viewing platforms providing stunning views of the Singapore skyline and events taking place within Marina Bay. At night the bridge is illuminated with lights that highlight it’s double helix structure, including lighted alphabets “c” (Cytosine), “g” (Guanine, “a” (Adenine) and “t” (Thymine) on the ground, representing the four bases of DNA.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Esplanade”, “The Esplanade boasts the largest performing stage in Singapore. Known affectionately as the “Durian” (a beloved tropical fruit) due to the ridged roof architecture, it’s theatre is built in the style of a traditional European opera house, and it’s concert hall is one of only six in the world with such state-of-the-art acoustics.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Esplanade Bridge”. The Esplanade Bridge is a 260 metre-long, concrete-arched road bridge that spans across the mouth of the Singapore River in Singapore. The bridge was built to provide fast vehicular access between Marina Centre and the financial district of Shenton Way. Construction of the bridge began in early 1994 and was completed in March 1997.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 30, 2015

The Sands Of Time Tick Back Some 70 Years…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next section of the Garderen Sand Sculpture exhibition deals with historic events, and there are various informational boards in the Dutch language, the first being:

Liberation 70 years. After nearly five years of occupation by the Germans, the American offensive nicknamed “Operation Market Garden” began on 12th September 1944.

The offensive would go on to liberate North-Braband, Limburg and a part of Gelderland, but stalled at Arnhem.

The Dutch that has not yet been liberated were hit hard by the following “hunger winter” which was a particularly hard winter in the most pressing of times. The second offensive began on 8th February 1945 and was called “Operation Veritable” (also known as the Battle of the Reichswald), an attrition eventually won by the Allies. On 5th May 1945 the Germans capitulated and with the war and oppression over, people broke out in mass celebration.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This was followed by: “The Lady of Putten. In retaliation for an ambush  of a car carrying two German officers and two corporals by the organised Putten resistance movement, the Germans captured the population of Putten and set one hundred houses on fire during an action that saw six men and a woman shot dead.

Men and women were separated and almost the entire male population of 601 men were transported to the Neuengamme forced labour concentration camp. By the end of the war only 48 men returned.

On 1st October, 1949 , Queen Juliana unveiled a monument that includes a memorial park and a statue  depicting a grieving woman in traditional dress holding a handkerchief in her hand, that has become known as “The Lady of Putten”. The statue is located so that looks toward the Oude Kerk in Putten, from where the men were deported.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sand Sculpture Garderen / Zandsculpturen Garderen

November 25, 2015

It’s A Concrete Fact That I Want A Squirrel… Maybe.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting the sand sculpture exhibition in Garderen earlier this year, I was first taken with all of the painted “klompen” near the entrance and then with the look of the entrance itself.

It appears that a local garden center might be part of the land her because there are always lots of garden ornament things on display and for sale.

Family Kiwidutch do not currently have a garden but when in the past I did (in New Zealand), garden ornaments consisted of bird baths, garden gnomes and other basic items.

These days it appears that if you can imagine it, there is a garden ornament to fit the bill: everything from mermaids, dolphins, animal, adult and childrens figures, and vehicles of all descriptions.There are the weird and the wonderful, large and small, it seems like if you can mold an idea into a concrete form then you will find it here. There are even figures of animals that are almost lifelike… I was tempted… for a second. My excuse is that I grew up in New Zealand where there are no squirrels, living now in a busy city I never see squirrels, so needless to say that I’m rather taken with the novelty of these little red creatures if I get a chance to see them in the wild. Ergo a very realistic fake furry friend would give me a daily squirrel fix.

But with nowhere to put it what would be the point? (sigh) I need a garden…with big trees for squirrels and birds. But I also want a veggie garden, do squirrels raid veggie gardens? I don’t know. That would be a major conflict of interests. In the mean time I can dream about having squirrels in my imaginary garden.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

As an aside, I also found a board with photographs of some of the 2009 exhibition sand sculptures, the theme that year being ” Geldersche Kasten ”  (the Castles of Gelderland). The Gelderland in question being the Dutch province in which the village of Garderen is located. This also tells me that maybe there has been a large sand sculpture exhibition here each year for the past seven years. Sigh, why and how did I not know? Well at least I have come the last two years. But “better late than never” as they saying goes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sand Sculpture Garderen / Zandsculpturen Garderen

August 26, 2013

Not Exactly “Lost”: Just …”Not Directly Found”.

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page from my last Summer’s travel diary, and from the magnificent grounds of Audley End House, owned by English Heritage.

As well as the ornate beds of the flower garden, the sweeping lawns of the grounds and the Kitchen garden, there is a large ornamental garden to explore as well.

I had the assistance of the mobility scooter on loan from the House staff so I tried to see as much of it as possible, but even with a motorised machine,  Velvetine, Himself and the kids got quite a way ahead of me.

Since I was stopping frequently to take  photographs I didn’t worry about it at all, and I saw them in the distance bounding around a path that led over a small bridge, next to what looked like a classical styled summer house with white columns.

About ten minutes later I reached the same spot and discovered that I could go no further:  hidden by the bridge was a very large step.  There was no way I could get the mobility scooter around that.  Naturally leaving the scooter behind in the grounds also wasn’t an option and anyway, the one thing missing on the mobility scooter was any place to stash the crutches so Kiwi Daughter was carrying those around and was far ahead of me by now.

I turned around and went off to explore on my own, and later joined back up with Himself and the kids who, not having figured out that I couldn’t follow from where I had last seen them, had discovered a childrens playground and the House’s second Café, where they had lunch and played as they waited for me to arrive. When Himself finished his coffee and figured out that he needed to come looking, I had just left the ornamental garden and was driving around looking for them too so we literally came around a corner from different directions with joint exclamations of “where have you been?!” Reunited, we  set out together once more…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 25, 2013

Zooming In On the Garden Details…

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It should come as no surprise that I managed to find some detail to photograph in a kitchen garden too.

I like the obvious “working” areas of the garden as well as the  neatly presented parts: the rows of pots lined up for use, the bulbs drying before being stored  over the winter etc.

I was also fascinated by bees zipping in and out of the blooms in one area and tried hard to get close up for some  micro shots but I have one small problem:I’m severely allergic to bees and wasps so I had be be rather cautious as to how close I dared get.

The little mini glass-houses  on the ground (yes I am certain they probably have a more technical name)  also caught my eye…

…are they there to help the plant grow faster? or to  keep the bugs and birds from eating whatever is inside? who knows?… but they are very cute. Let’s have a look around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 24, 2013

I SO Want One of These In My Dream Home!

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you ask two Foodies like my Singaporean friend “Velvetine” and I which part of Audley End House we would like most to replicate in our if-we-won-the-lottery dream homes, we would be sitting debating for a while to decide if it would be the Kitchens we have just visited or the Kitchen gardens we have discovered now.

Seriously, I really want a garden like this one day (ok I may have to scale down my vision just a little LOL) Therefore I first opted for the kitchen garden but changed my mind and decided to be greedy:

I sooo want both.  I’m delighted to see that the Audley End kitchen garden is also organic…

An information board tells me:

The kitchen garden at Audley End provided a continual supply of fruit, vegetables and flowers for the household.

It was established in the mid-18th century, and grew to a peak of productivity around 1900, when it covered nearly 9 acres. The restoration of the kitchen garden is the result of a special partnership between English Heritage and Garden Organic . Europe’s leading organic gardening organisation.

The framework of the garden, including the  path layout and glasshouses, has been restored by English Heritage. A team of gardeners from Garden Organic is creating a working example of a walled Victorian kitchen, demonstrating the best of both the past and the future. Organic gardeners use practical, effective, environment friendly alternatives to artificial fertilisers and pesticides – harnessing natural systems to create healthy, attractive gardens.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The original glass-house was built in 1856 to the designs of Thomas River to house fruit trees in pots, especially peaches. The present glasshouse is a replica, built in 2001.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Historic garden. This is the historic core of the garden and  and is being authentically restored and managed as it would have been around 1900, with vegetables, fruit and flowers of the period.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Vinery. The magnificent vinery, one of the largest and earliest surviving in the country is back in full production, with it’s historic vines and  and a central show house for flowers and exotics.

I find it really interesting that the glass roof of the vinery follows the pattern of the large wall that runs along the back side of it…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back sheds. Tucked out of sight behind the vinery’s array of glass, this row of buildings formed the heart of the working garden, The potting shed and tool shed are once again in use and the mushroom  mushroom house and the boilerhouse have been opened up to  visitors.

These sheds are neatly tucked along the wall, (the other side of which has the vinery along the length of it.)

In the 19th century, two apprentice gardeners lived here in the bothy.

Bothy Garden. This part of the garden kitchen garden is planted with ornamental plants that are beneficial to wildlife, as well as being attractive to look at. the large grassed in the centre of the garden is bordered with heritage apples trees.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 17, 2013

Bloomin’ Heck! … I Just Wish I Was More Capable Than Capability!

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

“Capability” Brown may have designed this garden but it’s my wish to photograph it and do justice to his genius.

Probably the best views are not  to be found at ground level at all, but from the upper stories of the main house, but I will do my best.

The mobility scooter makes easy work of getting around the majority of the paths and the camera should make light work of the photography, except that flower photos are not my forte.  A bad worker blames his tools, but I’ll readily admit that if my camera could blame me sometimes it would be well within it’s rights.

As usual they look several hundred percent better in real life than they did once I’d clicked off their portraits. There’s a certain “je ne sais quoi” that I failed to capture, the intensity of the colour,  that extra sharpness to the image that I manage far better with food photos but which lays fractionally out of my grasp with anything floral.

Probably since I’m a perfectionist at heart, In all honesty I need better knowledge of my camera, a tripod, a marco lens and more time to practice than I could fit into one lifetime. I’m also no gardener,  so will simply say: the tall purple-y ones captured my imagination for their grace and form, the red ones had amazing colour and the large dark purple ones at the end had an intensity about them that was beautiful. Even if I didn’t know their names, I enjoyed them, I hope you do too.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 16, 2013

A More Than “Capable” Garden and Grounds…

Filed under: Audley End House,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page of my last summer’s journal of our adventures when we scooped up our visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” from Schiphol, Amsterdam’s airport and started whisking her off to as many unique destinations as we could manage.

We are currently visiting Audley End House, a beautiful building owned by the UK’s National Trust, and have been exploring the gardens.

By the time we got through to the formal gardens the weather had improved considerably which was good because soon after we left the car park we all got caught in a cloudburst that had everyone rushing for cover.

Even sheltering under trees (there was no thunder or lightning) didn’t save us from getting  wet.

Luckily it was warm enough to be able to laugh about it and we met plenty of other visitors also drying out whilst we walked around the grounds near the house.

The attention to detail in the garden isn’t just in the layout and the selection of plants, it’s also in the small things: the fountain is not running  at the moment so you can see the flower motif around it’s edge. It helps the fountain to really be a part of the garden, I like that sort of thinking…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I learned from Wikipedia that: “The Capability Brown parkland still includes many of the mock-classical monuments, although some are not in the care of English Heritage.

The grounds are divided by the River Cam, which is crossed by several ornate bridges, and a main road which follows the route of a Roman road. The park beyond the river is frequently used for open air concerts. There is also a miniature circular railway in the grounds.

That set me thinking… we assumed that the Audley House estate ran along this side of the road, but we saw when we came in that the miniature railway was located on the main road opposite the main entrance so this place is much bigger than we first thought.

Even without the house tour we could be busy for an entire day if we added the railway to our schedule, the kids are disappointed that since we arrived later, we have no time.

Still, it does mean that if we come here again one day there will still be plenty of new things for us left to do. (and maybe next time I will think to ask why there is a little tent pitched in the middle of one of the lawns)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 11, 2013

Weeding Out The Rotten Apples in a Fit of Giggles…

Filed under: ENGLAND,Kids and Family,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page of last summer’s diary as we whisk our Singaporean friend “Velvetine” away with us on a few adventures.

Earlier Velvetine and I were in the magnificent Ely Cathedral ogling stained glass and delighting in the fact both of us love discovering the beauty of ancient churches and Cathedrals.

Himself  would humour me but could care less about stained glass so it’s excellent to have Velvetine as a partner in crime as she shares my excitement as I find a new detail with equal enthusiasm.

In fact we’ve been egging each other on with squeaks of delight in discoveries in stone, glass and wrought iron all morning, in and on a bit of a high with our enthusiasm.

Now after a short drive we are visiting Himself’s cousin, close to Ely.  Our delight of earlier is renewed: cousin has a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden and Velvetine and I are garden-less Foodies who live in apartments with tiny balconies. Need I say more? After heading into the thick of the vegetation to take photographs we earn our keep by filling a very large bucket with windfall apples that are cluttering up the lawn. It was done not long ago but the tree is bursting with fruit and cousin who is ill,  has been finding it difficult to keep up with clearing up the mess.

We are happy to oblige and my aim for the bucket (mostly) improves  as the collecting progresses… Kiwi Daughter even dares to pick up some of the rotting apples with as little contact as is humanly possible, albeit with a lot of noise and face pulling and in general her effort was excellent comedy. (She proves she is very clearly a city kid!) The chore is accomplished with a lot of laughter and we later relax in the shade with a cup of tea and come good conversation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

July 11, 2013

Look How Your Garden Grows! …We Finish Up With A Delicious Mess (Eaton Mess That Is!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last week I posted about the novelty and luxury it is for us to be able to sit in a private garden.

Since we went back to Veere for a second visit last weekend, I am able to update you on how much can change in the space of two months.

The temperatures have risen drastically in the Netherlands in the last week enabling us to swap our winter jackets for light shirts and a sun umbrella,  the flowers around the seating area have burst into bloom.

Due to Himself’s hard work the hedge has had it’s energetic growth chopped back into trimmed neatness, and we can enjoy  drinks and and al fresco lunch in a beautiful setting.

Our friend is a fellow Foodie so produced a delicious home-made salad.

Later in the early evening it was decided that we should eat before the journey home, so we polished off the leftover salad with a new accompaniment of  “veldsla”  and sliced chorizo and some excellent cherry tomatoes that our friend bought locally at a roadside stall.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Since I’ve never eaten veldsla anywhere else except The Netherlands, I have to confess I had not idea what it might be called in English. A Google search tells me it’s called “lamb’s lettuce”, so I’ve just added something new to my culinary knowledge.

We indulged in ice cream after lunch (no photos,  rapidly melting ice cream in 27 C heat begs to be eaten not photographed) but after dinner our friend brings out a surprise: He’s made a Mess. (Eaton Mess to be precise).

Eaton Mess is an English recipe whereby pieces of meringue are mixed into freshly whipped cream, and summer berries, in our case, strawberries and since our friend fancied a little experimentation with the recipe: pomegranate seeds. He only added half of  the seeds whole, the rest he made into a juicy pulp and mixed in to give extra flavour to the cream.

It was a perfect dessert for a hot summer’s day and I busted my healthy-eating-low-sugar- diet for a day so that I could enjoy it without guilt. I was however back on the no-sugar wagon the next day.  A little indulgence in a beautiful setting…  and the ironic thought that the garden was no longer a mess, but what we were enjoying at the table certainly was. A very tasty mess indeed!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr. took this photo of his “step” (I think you call it a “scooter” in English)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

Our friend has these little leaded weights that clip onto the tablecloth to stop the wind blowing it off… I liked the mix of form and function.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Little Mr.)

Eaton Mess…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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