Local Heart, Global Soul

January 9, 2018

A “Moster Mill”, A Misleading Name Of Sorts…

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

Seriously, you’d think I could have organised my WordPress Schedule better: I’ve made two posts with tomorrows date (again)… sincere apologies for my incompetence. Pain medication messes with your brain. … or in my case.. What brain???

Early in February 2017 Family Kiwidutch had some visitors from the United Kingdom, two ladies we know who are Kiribati nationals and friends of others from Kiribati we have already good contact with.

After extended times at home catching up, cooking and eating far more than we should have, from the moment they arrived on the Friday afternoon, until Saturday evening, we decided to go out for a small tour on the Sunday.

Since they are only over for the weekend we couldn’t go far, do drove up the coast, passing through the small village of Monster.

The name “Monster” comes from the name of a Monastery that was located here centuries ago and there is a windmill of the same age there.

Our family passed by this “molen” (mill) many times before but usually it’s closed, so when we saw that it was open to the public we found a parking spot and decided to take a closer look.

The mill is called “de Vier Winden” (the Four Winds) and according to a brochure I found inside (Dutch language only) there has been a mill on this spot since 1311. This latest edition is fairly recent: a rebuilding that took place in 1882 after a fire razed the previous one to the ground in 1881. Mill fires seem to have been a common occurrence since there was so much wood in the inner construction. The name of the mill is spelt out in the bricks around the base, and our visitors are enthusiastic to see inside…

(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)

The weather gets decidedly stormy and the volunteers who look after the mill stop the sails from turning with special brakes and anchor them into a “resting” position so that the sails and machinery do not get damaged.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 20, 2015

Clues In The Mill Walls, If Only I Hadn’t Missed Them…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post, Himself and I have a few hours between out Nijmegen hospital appointments and decided to get some fresh air and sunshine.

It was late October 2014 and the days before had been rainy and gray, so having the opportunity to enjoy some sunshine was too good to pass up.

I’m not a natural city slicker and despite being largely brought up in cities, nor is Himself.

We both love the peace and quiet of country life and if there had been suitable work  and the cards had fallen differently then our living arrangement and lifestyle might have been very different.

Like most people we are tied to where the work is, and now that I am less mobile and tied to multiple hospital appointments it’s probably better that things worked out the way they did. I didn’t at first catch the name of the village we have arrived at, it didn’t matter, we just saw a little lane leading to an interesting looking tower and drove down to take a closer look.

Closer inspection shows that this is the remains of an old molen (mill), the kind used to grind grain for flour and it’s location on the edge of the village is perfect, not too far for the baker or locals to come and collect their flour, and also there seems to be some sort of fortification here too.

But first the tower itself has my complete and utter attention. Detail… enough to drool over. Worked into the brickwork is a windmill motif… and around the tower there are various letters. I can make out “G” in upper case and “S and d ” in lower case, and then what could either be “50” or “SO” under the window towards the door.

Annoyingly I only initially saw two letters and assumed that they were the initials of the family who built the mill, it was only later when I looked at photographs on the computer that I realise that there were more letters (or numbers) under the windows… and that I hasn’t photographed all of the windows to get them all. The little triangular windows look like eyes looking down on us, the zig-zag brickwork below the roof section is beautiful and the style and pattern of the  roof is a pattern lovers dream. I love how they have recycled one of the millstones into a large door step too…

(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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 31, 2015

A Lightening Strike Look Into The Past…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today’s post is another billboard from a series that the Gemeente Den Haag (The Hague City Council) placed around the city as part of their celebration of one hundred years anniversary of the Gemeente archive department.

This one is situated on the outer edge of the Hague, so as might be expected the “before” photograph taken in 1916 is very rural.

These days it’s a new-ish subdivision where the modern houses have been built around a few of the older homes and farms in the area.

The text on the billboard reads “Tomatenlaan hoek Oosteinde, molen van de Wippolder, circa 1910. De molen brandde in 1916 af als gevolg van blikseminslag. Verzameling Vereniging De HollandscheMolen, Amsterdam” …

…which translates as ” Tomatenlaan corner Oosteinde, (wind) mill from the Wippolder, around 1910. The mill burnt down in 1916 after being struck by lightening. From the collection of the foundation of Dutch (wind) mills,  Amsterdam.”

The gemeente website section that featured the billboards (which has since been removed for some reason) only had images of the photographs on the billboards but not of the present day.

Himself and I decided to visit each billboard and capture the present day views, this is therefore the “old” and “new” alongside one another so that you can see how much, or how little things have changed.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The view in the opposite direction…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

March 8, 2014

Keeping My Feet From Getting Wet…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Windmills have been an iconic part of  Dutch culture and a necessary part of Dutch life for centuries.

Maybe people know that a good deal of  the Netherlands lies undersea level but what many people don’t realise, is just how high the natural water table is in most of the country.

Mills and modern pumping stations work  and monitor twenty-four hours a day and three hundred and sixty-five days of the year to  regulate the water-table so that it does not simply rise to it’s “natural” level and therefore give Dutch citizens wet feet.

This is achieved by pumping water off the land and into the surrounding canal system at a constant rate, the water is directed though the canal network and pumped out into the sea with every low tide.

During especially high tides in Spring and Autumn the sea levels are so high that often it’s difficult to open the gates to release the “inland” water, and this puts the whole system under pressure.

This pressure is often alleviated by the installation of modern technology, faster pumps, the elevation of old dykes and the installation of flood plains where excess water can be directed in emergencies.

Sometimes water can be held at high levels in canals until it can be released into the sea, but one thing is for certain, water management in the Netherlands is very much a full time job. In fact it even has it’s own government department.

The polders (reclaimed land) are of course something that the Dutch are world famous for and there is a half serious side to the popular saying ” God created the world but the Dutch created Holland.

“Molen” (mills) were wind powered but were not only used to pump water, amongst other things they also provided the energy for saw mills or helped mill flour. I like the old style molen, they have charactor and personality. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they are a necessary part of the historical and current Dutch working lanscape.  Here therefore in this last post from Zaans Schans is my tribute to the humble Dutch mill….

(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)

(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)

February 23, 2014

First a Mad Dash And Then Milling Around…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page of my 2012 Summer travel diary where we are talking visiting Singaporean friend “Velvetine” on as many adventures and new experiences as we can whilst she is staying with us.

Today’s post comes from Zaanse Schans,  where historic buildings have been relocated rather than having been lost to make way for modern development projects.

As usual the kids have raced on ahead, I’m happily bringing up the rear as I take my time on the crutches, go at my own speed and pause for a rest and to take photographs.

I see Himself and the kids appear and disappear from view from time to time as they investigate attractions ahead of me, and then they disappear altogether for a while so I figure they have found something interesting.  Velvetine is more or less with me, a little ahead, but keeping me company and taking advantage of my slower pace to enjoy taking photographs at leisure.

We are almost the only tourists around, it’s surprisingly quiet probably because the weather is drizzly and threatening, but we like that too.  All of a sudden our peace and tranquillity is shattered by my offspring, emerging from around a corner and sprinting towards us, and is typical for small boys, Little Mr. adds volume to speed as soon as he spots me, shouting  at the top of his lungs “Mama, Mama, Mama, you have to come quick, you have to come NOW !!!

Knowing my son, this could mean anything from an emergency situation to the discovery that a shop sells Lego (things of equal importance in his brain) and he arrives at such speed that he’s now too out of breath to tell me what the drama is about. Kiwi Daughter refrained from shouting and concentrated on running so tells Velvetine and I that they discovered a boat trip that Himself has taken the liberty of purchasing tickets for, they waited for us but we are going slower than they anticipated so now the Captain is really waiting for us so that he can cast off, could we please make haste and get there as soon as possible please?

One of the few advantages of being on crutches for several years is that you get strong arms, so instead of trying to put my foot on the ground and going slow, I lift it up and make (careful) haste in the wake of the kids who are now busy sprinting back to tell the Captain of our transport that I’m getting there as soon as I can. Luckily the distance we need to go wasn’t too far, but that said I was rather relieved to be sitting for a decent time afterwards to recover. Since it’s lunchtime and the place is quiet today the boat only has half a dozen other passengers in it, so we have our choice of seats. The weather closes in as we leave the dock and the rain starts now in earnest so we are just in time. There are windows, some of which open a little way, but I have to be selective due to the rain and take some of the photos through the closed windows.

The first part of the boat tour goes past “molen” (mills) which in the Dutch context means wind mills rather than water mills. There are all working mills, used not only to pump water off the surrounding low lying landscape but also for generating power for grain grinding, saw milling, and driving other machinery.  I know they are a cliché, The Dutch windmills, but I always love them all the same and try and get shots from various angles.

(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)

I took the boat photograph when we got off, but forgot to get an extra photo of the  very large (probably a bus tour) group that were waiting on the dock to take the next tour. It was a good choice to have rushed to the boat earlier… we had almost a boat tour to ourselves without the crush of the masses.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaanse_Schans

August 22, 2012

Surely We MUST Be Seeing Things!….

Filed under: Funny,Landmarks,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Traditional — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch were driving down the main street of Foxton, when all of a sudden Himself starts to laugh.

I’m taking photos out of the front window but was distracted by the general view so didn’t  at first see what he had seen: a strange but familiar spike-like shape behind the chemist shop on the right hand side of the street.

I keep clicking as we advance, unaware until I saw the photos on the computer screen why Himself was laughing so hard, until the van reached a point where the  object of Himself’s mirth was simply unmissable: there’s a massive windmill right in the heart of  this small New Zealand town!

For Dutch people to find something like this so far from The Netherlands is a little surreal… did we really  sit on a plane for twenty-four hours to see something so kitchly Dutch staring at us in the New Zealand landscape? Apparently so… the whole family are now laughing as we pull into a side street and then a car parking area next door so that we can take  a closer look.

Sure enough, it’s a real windmill… and totally Dutch in a rather over-the-top kind of way.

The sign on the door says “de Molen” ( the mill) and inside there is a small shop that sells an array of Dutch sweets, baked goods and a few general Dutch groceries as well as flour milled by this, a working  flour mill. There is some blue and white porcelain and rather touristic figurines of the Dutch boy and girl kissing (does anyone actually ever  buy these?) and books on wooden shoes and windmills.

Himself and I joke about buying relatives some of the items for sale…  but decide that would just be a little too weird, so  instead ask the lady behind the counter  questions about how this rather severely transplanted windmill  came to be so far from home.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We learn that the Mill’s first stone was laid in 2000 but it was officially opened in 2003. That said, planning, fundraising and construction had been taking place over the ten years prior to this.

There were some local émigré Dutchmen who had this idea on their wishlist for many years, since they felt like it would be a good tourist attraction for the town and because the area of drained and stop-banked pasture land just down the road  reminded them strongly of the drained and dyked polders they had left behind in their homeland.

It’s possible to go upstairs and see the working parts of the mills, but the kids are getting restless and hungry.

Himself doesn’t think it’s a good idea to let Little Mr. see it because he’s terrible at listening and can’t keep his fingers off machinery, and I have no intention of negotiating stairs on crutches of the type I know are found in windmills. We have fun looking around and can’t stop smiling at just how ludicrous this feels, but mind you, it does bring in tourists!

The biggest laugh of them all came when we were on our way out of the door and came face to face with a Dutch couple coming in!  They were speaking Dutch as they arrived and were rather taken aback when we started speaking to them in Dutch as well (greetings).

A quick chat revealed that they were a retired couple who were combining a tour of  New Zealand with visits to  relatives who had emigrated in the 1960’s and that they too were so taken aback by the presence of a windmill here, that like us they pulled over to investigate.

(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)

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