Local Heart, Global Soul

December 3, 2016

Painting The Town…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Being largely confined to the four walls of home can make you more than a little stir-crazy sometimes since you slowly get cut off from the outside world.

Himself has to juggle being the family taxi driver and the drug-free, clear headed listening brains in my many medical appointments, keep up with work, extended family duties, drive kid to sports, clubs and social life events, and then do housework and cooking.

I help out with cooking, laundry and supervising kid homework as much as I can, but even so, Himself certainly does the lions’ share of the work.

When he is really busy and there is nothing I can help with, I don’t want to heap more on his plate by asking for a car rides somewhere, help getting in and out of the house or anything else that would make his work load even heavier.
I do not get to step outside of the front door, often for more than a week on end which can get me down sometimes.

Luckily I have good friends who keep me up to date on events that are worth an outing so every now and again, for which I am very grateful.

Different neighbourhoods in The Hague have their own versions of  the “Kunst Route”  (Art Route)  Statenkwartier which I wrote about a few years back (link at the bottom of this post). This is where people display their art and hobbies in their own homes on a sort of “open day”, but also that it’s a coordinated thing, so up to sixty homes will be open on one day.

I’ve been meaning to go for ages but so far other appointments have gotten in the way. Earlier this year my intended visits around the Statenkwartierwere set aside because of my mother in laws serious dip in health, and whilst I was disappointed, Family comes first.

It was therefore a lovely surprise when a friend informed me that another neighbourhood also hosts a similar event, and passed on the brochure. Called “Parels” (Pearls), the  neighbourhoods covered are the “Flora en Faunawijken” (Flora and Fauna), so this means the districts in which the streets are named after fruit, trees, flowers etc. There is a fold-out map in the back and a list of fifty-two addresses that can be visited on their Open Day.  There are not just paintings to see though, the Open Day covers everything from sculpture to space saving eco-gardening, from hedgehog rescue and quilting to puppetry and medieval music recitals. I aim to try and visit several of them and be inspired by what artistic endeavours are happening right here in my own city…

(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)

Psst, Wanna Come Home and See my Etchings?!!!

November 16, 2015

Literally Cutting Edge Technology…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Still at the Kazerne Scheveningen, (Scheveningen Fire Station) on their summer Open Day, we are treated to a live demonstration.

Little Mr has seen this once before, several summers ago at a similar Open Day in the town of Schoonhoven , written about in my post: “Pincers to the Rescue: a Coconut Crab Would be Proud“… but the two little neighbourhood friends who have joined us, it is a first time experience and they have their eyes wide and their mouths open.

Little Mr even proudly shows off his experience by explaining what some of the equipment does and why some of the steps are being made (taping over the windows first so that when they are knocked out the glass will stick to the tape). Little Mr is thoroughly enjoying everything anyway. Unlike the Schoonhoven demonstration that used one of the fire service personal as the “victim” in the crashed car, this Brandweer (fire service) has a stuffed dummy to fulfill the role as the crash “victim”.

Everyone in the crowd was suitably impressed, especially with the deep “thump” that the jaws-of-life pincers made cutting through large lumps of metal. After the passenger doors were removed, the back doors and roof followed and the audience was told that it can all be done in less than four minutes when casualties need to be extracted in haste. Let’s take a look…

(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)

Other related posts from Schoonhoven:

Our Fears are Extinguished As we Leave a Morning of Fire and Ice…
When Fundraising Reaches Scary New Heights…
A Monumental Turn Of Events…

 

January 6, 2013

Our Fears are Extinguished As we Leave a Morning of Fire and Ice…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

For my last post in Schoonhoven we are being treated to  multiple displays from the Schoonhoven Brandweer (Fire Service) as part of National Open Monumentendag (Open Monument Day).

This is where numerous organisations open their doors for the day so that the public can learn more about what they do.

Little Mr. has discovered that this fire station is hosting all manner of activities and so we’ve stayed here to take a look and it’s turned out to be very interesting and well worth the detour.

There’s a trailer here too where two of the sides  drop down and the fire service can take  it out for demonstrations in the community. In this demonstration involves learning what to expect if you ever should need to use your home fire extinguisher and is an excellent way to do it in a controlled environment.

We first watch a teenage girl have a go and then I ask the fireman if he could please do a demonstration so that I can take photographs for my blog,  something he is more than happy to do. He says that if anyone ever has the opportunity to have a go in a controlled situation like this one, that they should do so because it will given you real confidence and an extra element of calm that can be a life-saver should a fire break out in your home or workplace.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m a bit too tired after all the walking I’ve done on crutches today to attempt this, but directly after these photos were taken Himself had a go and said that the experience was a real  revelation: knowing  afterwards what to expect definitely made him far more confident that he could handle our extinguisher at home without hesitation if ever the need arose.

Lastly there was the decompression diving tank, with the duikteam (diving team) divers inside.

It was difficult to get photographs because reflections in the very thick porthole windows showed the background behind me, but I managed a few interesting shots, even right to the other side of the tank where people were looking in windows on the opposite side.

We manage to see everything on display and are only a little behind schedule in getting back to the car and back to Den Haag (The Hague) for our 2.00 p.m. appointment. The whole family is unanimous  this day out has been a total success, even with the combined themes of Fire and Ice (cream)!

(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)

January 5, 2013

When Fundraising Reaches Scary New Heights…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Continuing from the previous day’s post, we are enjoying the displays and events put on by the Schoonhoven Fire Service as part of  “Open Monumentendag” (Open Monument Day) where various organisations open their doors so that the public can gain an insight to what they do.

One of the things that this local Fire Service also does is to raise funds for various projects and for this  they have an brilliant  idea.

The public can take a ride in the cherry-picker “basket” on the end of the biggest extension ladder and in an ingenious twist the ladder extends from the vertical great height to a horizontal one over the roof of the fire station where a large red bucket (or is it an old oxygen tank?) sits waiting for their donation to be deposited.

Himself and I asked the kids if they wanted a ride in this too and confessed our secret relief to each other afterwards when both children looked horrified at the idea and swiftly declined.

Having no head for heights ourselves we reassured them that not wanting to go on this was absolutely fine with us too and I told Kiwi Daughter afterwards that I found the height that this ladder went to rather scary, so didn’t blame her in the least.

It’s certainly a brilliant idea, and I wish I was brave enough to have enjoyed what must have been some fabulous views from so high up. Maybe if the opportunity ever arises again I should stop being a cowardly lioness and summon some courage to give this a go.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 4, 2013

Pincers to the Rescue: a Coconut Crab Would be Proud…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our family day out in Schoonhoven has taken an unexpected detour as we discover that today is also “Open Monumentendag” (Open Monument Day) when Little Mr. found a local Fire Station giving displays and information.

We arrive just in time to see a crash dummy in a car that’s been in a car  “accident” and a demonstration of how the fire service use their tools and training to cut the car open to extract the “victim”.

It’s amazing to see that sometimes a low tech solution is the best one as a firewoman sticks what looks like a wide roll of heavy duty sellotape onto one of the car windows, after pressing it to the glass she then smashes the glass with a special mallet and hey presto, lifts off all the broken pieces of glass (still in the shape of the window) stuck to the tape for clean, easy and swift disposal.

On the other side of the car a fireman is in the back seat keeping the head and spine of the “victim” stable whilst colleagues use massive hydraulic snipper claws (yes thére’s probably do have an official name for them but I have no clue what it might be) to first remove both the doors from the car body and then chop through the pillars between the front and rear seat section of the car.

There’s a dull thud as the hydraulic claw crunches through the metal… children, definitely not a hands-on toy for you to play with, as it would make rather literal short work of fingers or limbs. The spinal board is levered expertly into the back of the car and I’m surprised to see that once al hands are on deck that getting the “victim” out is a smooth operation that only takes a few minutes.

Mission accomplished, the “victim” is stretchered away for “treatment” and we turn out attention to the “claws” used to extract him…

Humans regularly steal brilliant ideas from nature and Tasmanian King or Coconut Crabs may be two of the biggest crab species in the world, but I dare say they would be very jealous of the pinching power of these man-made claws…

(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)

January 3, 2013

A Monumental Turn Of Events…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are still in Schoonhoven and have sampled the ice-cream and had a look around.

We take a look at the bricante second-hand bric-a-brac market that was advertised in the sign nearby.

We walk back to the car, well at least I’m walking, bringing up the rear as the kids run ahead and  Himself  jogs to keep up with them.

They disappear out of sight but after ten minutes or so Little Mr. runs puffing back and can barely speak he’s so excited.

By sheer co-incidence today when we were in Schoonhoven (the 8th September 2012) happens to be “National Open Monumentendag” in the Netherlands (Open Monuments Day) but it’s not just monuments that are open to the public but all sorts of local, national and international organisations as well.

By sheer chance the parking space that Himself secured earlier is right next to the local fire station and the Schoonhoven Fire Service is talking part in Open Monumentendag too, so there’s a whole display of vehicles and a heap of activities.

This certainly did not escape the attention of our seven year old Emergency Services fanatic who’s arrived back smothering me in hugs and  begging and pleading for me to let him detour there.

We have an appointment back in Den Haag (The Hague) at two, so need to leave at 1 o’clock at the very latest to get there on time, and with our spare hour had intended to stop somewhere for a quick toasted sandwich or pancake on the way back but decide that if we are really quick then we could see the events here and then just grab a sandwich to munch in the car on the way home instead.

Little Mr. almost bounces up the street with joy as he dashes back to tell Himself that Mama didn’t mind having her lunch plans shelved in favour of looking at fire engines. O.K.  what actually what really happened is that he ran back screaming  “Ik mag! ”  (I may!) over and over on the top of his lungs and Himself worked out the rest without any difficulty.

I’ve a good mind to tell the Fire Service that they don’t actually need sirens on their engines and that the “greener” version would be the shrieking joy of seven year old boys who appears to easily outdo the siren in decibels. Behind the Fire Station are a grand assortment of vehicles, and actually it’s an education for me too as I see the huge variety of equipment on board.

I knew that axes and cutting equipment would be standard issue but was surprised to see rakes and brooms there too (for clean up after road accidents or something else?) So much to see … Let’s take a look around.

(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)

June 2, 2011

When Getting it Wrong Didn’t Get Our Goat …or Did.

Filed under: FRANCE,Places and Sights — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I settle down to test my French with some of the brochures in the Gîte that advertise local  and regional events.

One of them especially caught my eye, it was Saturday “Open day” a various local farms, where the public are invited to come and see a working farm in action.

There are only three or four of these Open Days per year, but by a stroke of good fortune this Saturday happens to be one of the Open Day dates.

I’m well used to rural sights and smells but am well aware that my city-bred kids are not, and since Kiwi Daughter and I both have mild cat and dog hair allergies, which we have been warned would only become more severe if we had these as pets, we also have no animals at home.

One item on the list especially caught my eye:  a working goat farm where you can see the goat’s milk being made into cheese.  If you are a fellow foodie you will see why this one appeared to be the jackpot selection.

Downside was that it was almost an hour drive away, but we kicked the kids out of bed early (nooo not literally) and with the aid of Our Lady of the SatNav, were soon taking shortcuts though little lanes that lead though the vines and enjoying the view of the French countryside as we did.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our Lady, for once, took us directly and easily to the required gate and we turned in, stopping in front of a enormous shed.

There were no other cars around and it looked deserted, so Himself went over to the open doors of the shed to investigate. A few polite calls in French resulted not only in a reply but the emergence of a friendly French goat farmer who looked somewhat puzzled.

Yes, it appears that indeed, ages ago he signed up for the  Farm Open Days, but some time back he got a contract to supply goat milk to a large local cheese making company and now their own dairy is closed as all the milk goes straight to the processing plant located some distance away.

He  had notified the people who produced the brochure of the change  and thought therefore that his farm had been taken off the list.

Regardless of the fact that he wasn’t expecting anyone and the dairy isn’t open we get an invite for a tour of the goat farm.

I did the ‘ultra short tour” which involved getting in the doorways of the sheds and then back to the van on crutches, Himself  then drove me further up the farm track and then I got inside the next  shed door and then back to the car. I could photograph whatever was in range whilst Himself and the kids saw adult goats and real kids further in and went exploring around the back with the farmer.

First the shed we are parked outside of… it’s an unseasonably warm 27 C  outside in the yard but inside the shed was cool and shady. There is a central “isle”  where feed is stacked and then two lower areas filled with goats. We instantly attract attention as heads turn to greet us, many of then stand on their back legs to get a better view.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Kiwidutch kids are delighted and try and “feed” straw as many of them as they can, and it’s as if all their Christmas’s have come at once when the farmer spots a stray baby kid, grabs it and brings it over got them to pat.

I’m impressed that the goats seems to have a decent amount of space, the place is amazingly clean and there’s only a sight very natural farm animal smell, so clearly these animals are well treated and looked after.

I also find the goats to be a delight, they are straining to get close for a nuzzle or a nibble and its clear that some of them are real “personalities” as they rubberneck especially hard and appear to enjoy having their photographs taken.

On the photography level, its hard to get a good photo as they keep straining to get closer, and I like their faces and the fact that the pupils of their eyes are almost perfect rectangles, rather than round. You can see it clearly when their faces are side-on but when they are facing you their eyes look like they have stripes.

My children are in love with them all…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwi Daughter)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blog at WordPress.com.