Local Heart, Global Soul

August 1, 2012

Personally, I Blame John…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

After seeing this in Piopio…

Seriously, I’m about to make you privvy to some very important information:  after making this post I’m going to have  to make a  special Category in my blog’s category list…

It’s a little bit confessional, and has come about as a matter of urgency due to the inconvenience of finding a convenience on some occasions or the delight of discovering that there is a porcelain God after all and a throne’s been thrown in there too…

I shouldn’t  bulkhead at the task, naturally I need to flush out the perfect name and once I’ve  found it I think that maybe there’s some hope of getting this subject out of my cistern  err…system.

I think I commode a decent enough grasp of the English language  … but sometimes this is a subject cloakroomed in secrecy, since finding your way back to common sense entails a very long drop indeed  to get back the rest room.

I wish people would just say what they mean, Why do they want to go to the Ladies or the Gents when preferably there are no Ladies or Gents in occupation  there already?  I mean if there were, it would be totally inconvenient.

And why ask for a bathroom when you have no intention of taking a bath? This could blow up to be a powder room of debate!

In  the meantime feel free to wonder if I have loos my mind, or if I need to go back to the very beginning and explain my fascination with A, B’s and W.C’s.

Yes … sigh, you are right, I’m going potty and they’ll probably assign me a white jacket and put me in a little room.

There are Facilities for this maladie I hear but it’s easy to get bogged down in the how and why’s this happened. Personally I blame John, he should carry the can for taking the pot, I mean he’s all bluster and thunder and he dunny know what’s he’s talking about.   It has to come to a head some time doesn’t it?

….or should I just keep very quiet about this obsession before I become the  butt of too many internet jokes?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 23, 2012

Taking a Look at my Own Convenience…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Oh Dear, you know I’m weird right?  (but you love me for it anyway I hope LOL)

Yes, another  toilet post…  but with Conveniences as special as the ones we are visiting in Kawakawa, it’s worth taking your time and appreciating the view as well as the amenities.

Fortunately the rush on the Ladies side of the toilets has all but dissipated for the moment so I feel free to take my time and take a few (ok, quite a few) photographs.

Look for the photo that shows the mirror on the wall …with light from the coloured bottles  streaming onto it… or the baby changing table that will entertain your baby with shapes and colours…

…or the Ladies half of the most brilliant security gates (for when the Public Toilets are closed for the night) , even better than the one on the Gents side I think, and one that I would loooovvve to copy in the garden I might get to own one day.

Check out the crooked little window high up on the wall… and since the second Ladies cubical was empty and the door was open after I’d exited,  I took a quick snap of that too, and loved how even the toilets themselves don’t match.

Unconventional down to the finest detail.

The luminescence of the bottles in the walls when lit from the outside and seen from the inside could easily rival any stained glass window in any Cathedral… it’s stunning and your eyes are delighted as they dance  across patterns, shape and colour.

Why do so many Public places have to look like concrete slab boxes when they could  look like this? Everyone we saw was smiling… having fun.

I wish the world could be filled with more of such whimsy and be less grey /bright white/ stainless steel / clinically serious.

I also love not having to coax any of the five children  “to please “go” before we get back into the van and back on the road”  because at this Lavatory they couldn’t wait to have a look and a giggle 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)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 22, 2012

Do I Dare to Step Into a Gents Toilets?

In this part of my journal of our retrospective tour of New Zealand, we still visiting the small town of Kawakawa, and it’s famous toilets designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Now I have a small problem…I’m not a gent, and I know that Himself would definitely draw the line at taking a camera into a Men’s loo… actually that does sound a little too perverted doesn’t it?  (and strangely somehow it doesn’t when applied to the Ladies.)

Anyway… at one point I noticed that the crowd of visitors thinned out considerably and whilst there was still a small queue on the Ladies side, that the Gents side appeared to be now empty. Noooo, I wasn’t brave/foolish/rude enough to actually pop into the Men’s loos but I did take a quick peek around the little corridor leading to the entrance of it and caught sight of what’s probably the best security gate I’ve ever seen, as well as some more amazing bottle and tile work.

Come and take a peek too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

May 21, 2012

Kawakawa: Going Out Of Our Way is NO In-Convenience…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Regular readers of my blog will know that  I have a fascination with the weird and wonderful of the everyday world around me: patterns on man-hole covers,  unusual doors and letterboxes, architectural detail … and unusual toilets.

If you need reminding, please see:

For When you Need to Bolt the Stable Door https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/new-559/

An Old Fashioned Dutch convienience …sure to surprise Loo.
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/new-post-47/

USA: Getting ready for takeoff and a loo with a view…
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/usa-getting-ready-for-takeoff/

Actually I suppose the latter stems from that fact that we own two of said unusual loos, and well also because when you travel  a little bit off the beaten track you can often find something quirky to add to your “collection” if you keep your eyes peeled.

In this instance however I didn’t have to open my eyes very wide at all because for a very small Northland town of approximately 1300 people, there are there is an inordinately long queue outside the doors of  the public convenience located in the middle of the main street.

In fact, would be even correct to say that many people touring through the region actually detour into the farming community of  Kawakawa expressly to use the public toilets!

An Austrian architect,  Friedensreich Hundertwasser came to the town in 1975 and lived there until his death in 2000:  he not only fell in love with the town but used his talents to quite literally leave his mark on it.

Hundertwasser melded art and design, used recycled materials such as old bottles, iron and tiles to make a brilliantly quirky Public convenience for the town.

The floors are cobbled with uneven tiles in a fashion reminiscent of the European streets he hailed from, there is nary a straight line anywhere to be found in the place, there are golden balls in the corners on the roof,  bulging shapes of every description incorporated everywhere and to top it off (quite literally) … a tree growing out though the roof!

Let’s have 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)

April 5, 2012

Needing a Breather… Let’s Take a Seat…

Filed under: ART,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY,Places and Sights,Travel — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

One of the things that people said they really wanted in Napier after the 1931 earthquake were wide streets.

This was duly incorporated into the rebuild of the city and  gives a lovely relaxed feel to the shopping area.

There is also plenty of room for public seating,  something achieved here by placing simple large , white geometric  Deco inspired  forms  down the length of the shopping area.

On the top of these seats there are all sorts of Art Deco styled motifs in various tile designs.

Some of these are different,  with a more abstract, Pacific and Maori inspired designs within their patterns. These  ones were in  silver and gold colours.

I didn’t get photographs of them all because naturally enough sometimes people were busy sitting on these seats and well, it’s strange enough to be the kind of  foodie photographer who takes photos of their food in a restaurant or cafe before eating … but I draw the line at photographing people’s derrières whilst they sit in public places!

There is one photo that kind of looks like it might have been someone sitting there, rest assured it’s not,  it’s a coat that some people in a group next to the seat had put down on it whilst they had a chat close by. I think that they quite rightly figured that the camera lady on crutches wasn’t exactly going to grab it and sprint off it with it!

What was extra nice for me too was that I used these seats as  convenient resting places whilst making my way back to where Himself and a kids were, but  in the end they met me half way so these are the photos I managed to get during the smaller amount of walking that I did do.

(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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