Local Heart, Global Soul

September 4, 2018

Is This The Midnight Train To….?

Checking out the current state of Christchurch’s central city, I find yet another grand piece of artwork to document. There is a blue mural on the side of a parking building, close to the building that I would call “Noah’s hotel’. It’s changed its name long since to Rydges, but since I no longer live in Christchurch, or even New Zealand, I’ve never gotten used to using the new name and my brain still registers the name as Noah’s as the default setting. Apologies to Rydges.  The blue colour of not just this wall but also the car park is vibrant and immediately catches your eye, my only beef being that I can’t get close enough to zoom in and get some proper detail. Making do with what I can get, will have to do. It’s a stunning mural and credit to yet another artist who is helping make the city as beautiful as possible even as buildings have been being demolished, repaired and rebuilt all around it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 18, 2015

A Family Sized Meal, A Treat From Oma…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this archive post my husband’s extended family have come away together to a holiday park as a group, on a long weekend so that Oma (Grandmother) can spend time with us all together.

Naturally since it’s her weekend the three families who attended took care of her costs, but as a Thank You she wanted to treat us to a dinner in the restaurant.

The Landal park complex has a variety of eateries and on this occasion she wanted us to go into the main restaurant because she and several other families are vegetarians and there would be more options on the main menu.

The children mostly went for the easy and less adventurous option of fries, nuggets and the like, but the adults went for everything from cheese fondue to surf ‘n turf.

The saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” so I suppose I better get cracking posting photographs.

I do have to say that some members of the family enjoyed their meals more than others, but in a very large group there are always different tastes to cater to some things on the menu that turned out a bit different to what was expected and in the end the meal was less important than the fact that the service was friendly, Oma was really happy and we all had a good time.

(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 14, 2015

Landing In Landal: A Holiday Home From Home…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Several  years ago my husband’s family decided that it would be a good idea if his mother, Oma  (Oma = Grandmother) could have a long weekend away somewhere in the Netherlands, with present, as many of the extended family as possible.

The destination on this occasion was the Veluwe, an area of national park in the east of the country that contains wooded forest, open and semi-scrub land and roaming wildlife such as deer and many birds.

Dotted amongst all of this are various small towns and villages and because it’s a popular tourist destination, many camping grounds ranging from the  tiny eco-friendly minimalist sort to the larger parks that have fully furnished holiday houses and  on-site amenities swimming pools, bowling alleys, cycles for hire and restaurants.

Since Oma is in her 90’s and I’m in no condition to be attempting tents and sleeping bags, the families have opted for three holiday houses close to each other in a large Landal holiday park.

The houses come in different sizes and prices and we also took a family friend and her young daughter, so our place slept six, in three different rooms.

The holiday home had all the immensities we required, a shower and bath for scrubbing off the large of Mother Nature that Little Mr in particular was sure to collect whilst rummaging around in forest, an on-site restaurant because Oma wished to treat us all to a meal once during the weekend (all other costs for her were of course laid on by everyone present), an outdoor space and tables etc for everyone to join together for outdoor meals “at home” in the holiday houses, and in the case of our kids, a space where they could sit together and make loom-bands, since in this archive post, this was the first year that the world had gone completely and utterly loom band crazy.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It was a pleasant surprise to find a dishwasher (the narrowness of my original 1930’s Dutch kitchen and the stone worktop mean one doesn’t fit in our kitchen at home) and  for himself,  a good coffee maker in the house, the perfect start to his habitual crack of dawn risings.

The beds (even the double beds) are made with German style duvets, which means a single duvet per person rather than one large double one.

I must confess that under this system there are never any hogging of the bedding problems and I’ve always warm enough … the downside is that cuddling up close together is tricky, trying to decide which bits of the his and hers duvets go where for comfort without gaps appearing letting in the cold when someone moves fractionally.

The other downside is that we have four very decent but not so new double bed size duvets at home (for the double bed in the guest room and in ours)  and I’m too eco-friendly Dutch to get rid of them whilst they have good life left in them.

Laundry is certainly a lot easier when dealing with single sizes so this arrangement is still high on my wish list for when the old duvets are at the end of their use.

Our living room (as we have the fractionally biggest house of the three rented for the weekend) is a good size to accommodate all should the weekend weather be inclement, there is a door leading out to the outside patio right off the living room and it’s one of the houses in this complex of over one hundred houses that is closer (relatively) to the restaurant, reception and main area, so do-able with crutches at least once. Let’s take a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our children’s bedroom…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Our friend and her daughter’s room…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Around the Landal site, plenty for kids…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Most of the weekend’s meals were buffet, picnic style… like this…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Although on the last day, we (ok, the others not me) cleared the table at a flat out running pace as the first fat raindrops fell, and then literally two minutes later the heavens opened and the cloudburst looked like this…

 

November 1, 2014

An Unexpected Roast And I Avoid A Drenching More Than Once…

Filed under: Cornwall,ENGLAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,South Coast — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you are touring the south coast of England, then Cornwall is  beautiful place to head to… and we join a huge stream of holiday makers heading in this direction.

Our next campsite is the  “Seaview International Camp Site”, where we arrive late on a cool day and after checking in and parking the camper go in search of some groceries for dinner.

As luck would have it, they have a roast dinner on this evening at the little Cafe next to the shop so we forgo buying pasta we came in for and decide to take the easy option of a ready made  roast dinner instead.

Outside the weather turns unexpectedly dark and there is a sudden cloudburst, the torrential rain also helps make the decision not to attempt the walk back to the camper, and as luck would have it we came in just minutes before the rain started and the rain stopped just as we were finishing our meal… perfect timing. Kiwi Daughter was unimpressed by the roast on offer so opted for a pizza and Little Mr went for rice and his guilty pleasure: chicken nuggets. Later, since daylight lasted deep into the evening, the kids found some other children to play with and amused themselves by filling one hundred and fifty-six water balloons… yes they were all counted. I allowed it on the proviso that none were thrown inside campers or tents and that all the kids involved got their swimming costumes on and  helped pick up the burst rubber pieces afterwards.

Deal done, they started a massive water fight and their squeals attracted other kids who joined in with gusto. A few Euros for a packet of five hundred water balloons… enough to last a summer and cheap entertainment. As night fell our kids were herded to the shower block to clean up before bed and there were lots of excited stories about who chased who, who got , and took, direct hits and how wet everyone got. Who need electronics?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One hundred and fifty-six  water balloons look like this…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Seaview International Holiday Park
Boswinger
Gorran
St Austell
Cornwall
PL26 6LL

T: 01726 843425
F: 01726 843358
E: holidays@seaviewinternational.com

June 11, 2014

Holiday Villa Ownership, Costs More Than We Guessed… Luxury Sea-Side (For A Weekend At Least)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve arrived at the Roompot “Noordzee Résidence De Banjaard”  holiday park that my sister in law has organised,  there are large houses that are holiday homes for the owners, but individually let out to the public  via the holiday  park website when they are not using them. Houses vary in size (and thus price) .

We have a three bedroom house that has a large kitchen, dining area and living room.

One set of in-laws also has a three bedroom place, for themselves, their youngest son and Oma (Grandmother) and the other in-laws have a slightly smaller two bedroom house that has a double, plus a room with two single beds for their two children.

Our rented house has a large double bedroom for Himself and I, a room with two single beds for our two kids and a smaller with singles for our friend and her toddler daughter.

Our double room has French doors leading out to a balcony that overlooks the street and which is the roof of  the veranda below. We aren’t the sun-bathing types (Like all New Zealanders these days, I’m only too well aware of the risks of skin cancer, and our family prefer Factor 80 sun-block to any sort of tanning lotion) , but if you were you could opt for a spot in the shade or in the sun as takes your fancy.

There is an extra cupboard (or it may be a small room) downstairs that’s locked, it’s storage for the owner’s personal belongings, understandably they need somewhere to keep their own bed linen and private effects that are not meant for casual tenants to use.

Other than that there is not a massive amount of storage in the house, but since I think that there are rules that prohibit year round occupation in the holiday park and most tenants would only be hiring for a week or two at the time, that’s less of a problem short term.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The living area is nice and large downstairs, our villa may have the same amount of bedrooms as one of my sister in laws, but is considerably bigger inside, so after the family sharing a picnic dinner at their place on the first evening, on the Sunday, everyone did the same at ours and the larger amount of space was noticeable when filled with a crowd.

It appears that there are various floor plans available for owners to choose from and the houses are more or less compact as a result. Judging from the house rules and reading material our owner is clearly of German nationality,  and I think that many of the houses here are also German owned: it’s an established fact that with large land area but  limited coastline, German nationals love to holiday in the Netherlands and be close to the sea.

This frequently leads to German families returning year after year to their favourite places on the Dutch coast, combined with the fact that many Dutch speak German and communication is easy,  has lead to a trend where owning  a property of your own by the sea is a good long term family investment. The holiday houses aren’t cheap though,  One of my sister in laws had a brain wave and thought that one of these would also be a brilliant idea, until we checked out the website and discovered prices between 300.000,– and 400.000,–  Euro for the types of villas we were staying in and her dream one a little larger.   Ouch… her dreams quickly evaporated at those  prices.

There are various modes of “transport” to play on and to get around with: short term hires of tricycles plenty big enough for adults, with a “side-car” sort of arrangement that the kids were delighted with. Then for a set fee you could hire a little cart, to take your stuff to the on site swimming pool, playground, or in our case, to transport tired toddler back to the villa.

We had all weathers during the weekend so my photographs reflect that… 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)

(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)

October 1, 2010

Dogs, Bridges and Accidently Spying on Someone’s Eternal Rest.

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

The children have seen something by the river and dashed off to investigate, Himself runs to keep up with them and I’m taking photos whilst bringing up the rear.

The kids are first excited about fish they can see swimming in the water, but loud splashing s and other noises quickly divert them further and soon I am following two squealing kids as they head towards the bridge.

We are  still in Nigrán, across the river mouth Miñor at the estuary of Baiona (Pontevedra) Spain, the day is a scorcher and we are being leisurely and lazy.

There is a ramp leading down to the water, and standing there a lady with her dog. The temperature  is close to 40 C and the  dog is happily plunging into the water to fetch sticks, our kids are delighted not only with the process but also with the dog bounding back close to them each time and shaking all the water off in a big arc.

Both the dog and the lady are friendly and Himself stops to chat whilst everyone enjoys the fun.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

I take some photos of them but then spy something in the trees a little further back… we missed seeing it as we headed in to the carpark by the park.

(Small boys starting to yell ” Now I’m  really Really REALLY bursting!!!”  in the back seat of the car tends to lead to that kind of distraction)

I excuse myself from the dog entertainment and go for a little investigate.

I find myself looking at a little chapel, it’s standing all alone, there are no other buildings here by the side of the river.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

There is a tall column in front of it with a cross and figures and according to an information board, clearly someone important is buried inside the chapel.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

That fact is reinforced by a painting in tiles on the wall. I peer though the small dark glass window in the chapel door.  It’s dimly lit and I get a fuzzy photo by pressing the camera lens as close to the glass as I can…

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

Inside is full of decoration and ornament and there is an alter that appears to have a figure resting inside it.

Wow, imagine spending your eternal rest on full display of the local parishioners? I’m not sure I feel too comfortable looking.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I turn my attention quickly instead to the column outside and stonework detail.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Other views…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

.. and then eye up the bridge, no, not this modern one, lets walk around to the beautiful ancient one hiding behind behind it….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

September 30, 2010

This Park, Really IS a Workout…

Filed under: SPAIN — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

The day is hot and it’s taken me until now to figure out exactly where we have stopped.

We are  in Nigrán, across the river mouth Miñor at the estuary of Baiona (Pontevedra) Spain.

Right by the waterside where we found the wonderful ice-cream, there is a wonderful, well planned park.

There are deep avenues of shade trees,  and at regular intervals under and around them, children’s play equipment has been installed.

There are lots of playhouses, swings, climbing frames, a lot suitable for smaller children for whom playgrounds are exciting places to be explored.

I do spy some items for slightly older kids too, even a flying-fox.

At the end of the trees, more in the open there is an installation of park equipment that  is also adult exercise equipment and naturally, along with the kids we all have a go at flexing our muscles and testing our strength.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

I’m always rubbish at anything that requires arm strength, and we laugh at my puny attempts to pull the levers down, the kids have a massive laugh at their lack of strength too but give it a valiant effort.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

We linger there until the heat  and lack of shade by the exercise equipment eventually drives us back towards the end of the park where there are more trees and suddenly the kids are off, completely distracted and diverted… by what?

(photograph © Kiwidutch) 

…I follow to find out.

Additional note: Updated 01 Oct 2010, I’m having some technical difficulties with WordPress, the post for Oct 1st is on the page where we prepare the posts, complete with photos but when I try and view/preview it, I get an error message that says “Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.” and a blank page.  I’ve contacted WP support and hopefully this is NOT what you will see when this posts just after midnight my time!!) If it is, please bear with me, I’m trying to get the page to view a.s.a.p. Cheers,  Kiwidutch 🙂

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