Local Heart, Global Soul

November 16, 2014

Signs Of The Times… Well Sort Of…

It’s probably because United Kingdom place names are so unlike Dutch ones that we giggled so much when we saw these signs along the highway… (Unless it’s just our sense of humour) I hope these signs will tickle your funny bone too… Ducks crossing? beware of Ducks? (Don’t ducks just fly out of the way??) Who Knows?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Do you really  want to write on the back of a letter that you live in “Puddletown”?  (unless you are one of the Ducks from the sign above)!

All of these sounded to us like made up names of  children’s story book place names…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blandford? Nothing spicy goes on there clearly… Piddlehinton (Himself hinted that someone must be taking the Pi$$)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Tolpuddle, a tax on weak bladders? That the Martyrs museum is close by may be significant?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The result of more weak bladders… and very recently in Warmwell… the rest? the mind boggles…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Add Tolpuddle Ball (Himself said it was maybe better not to ask)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Poulner already sounds like it involves poultry… but a place called Crow where they also need to add a sign of a bird?  (and a bird that looks like a parakeet at that?)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s a place called Arundel in New Zealand, where everyone pronouces it “Ar run dul” , then I heard on the BBC the following pronounciation” air ran daal” which made me seriously wonder… who’s right here? (yes, it’s exactly the same spelling).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If somthing’s worth doing, it’s worthing doing right…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… or Sompting like that…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s near the sea… did they miss the “C” off the front of hove???

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

More nursery rhymes…  I’d like to say it was near Puddletown, but it wasn’t.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sevenoaks / Seven Oaks… ok that ones is clear, “Orpington” …I have no clue and “Maidstone”,  maybe let’s not go there either…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gravesend, clearly the end of the line …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 23, 2011

Santa Maria, Double Take, Something Fishy…

I’m still on  my retro tour of  the island of Sal in the Cape Verde islands…  we are walking around supermarket hunting on the main streets of Santa Maria.  I spied something hanging in a tree that appeared at first glance to be made of plastic….

I went closer to inspect it and the smell instantly gave things away…. definiately fishy….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…it’s a puffer fish that’s had a red balloon put into it, blown up and hung up to dry… (why? no clue? are these things tasty dried? it would be a rather smelly ornament I would think)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… here’s another one that we saw washed up on the beach (a short drive away, I’ll take you there later)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

While we are on the subject of local amusments.. here are a few signs from around town to make you smile…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Picasso? … methinks not…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

…and one seriously annoyed looking crab… (and with a tatoo on it’s claw!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 27, 2010

Oh Just Shuddup and Navigate…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m usually the Navigator when it comes to long road trips.

Actually these days I’m usually relegated to holding Our Lady of the TomTom and  checking if the “Right Turn Ahead” instruction  necessitates taking action on our part  3 seconds further up the road or 14 minutes away.

Is it just us, or do you also hate that dreadful attachment that attaches Our Lady of the Tom Tom to the windscreen? You know the thing, it’s a detatchable ring with a suction pad that you then clip Our Lady into.

The annoying thing  is that we have been advised to detach it all from the windscreen every time we leave the car to deter possible car thieves so it’s not just a matter of getting it right once and leaving it there for eternity (our preferred option).

The curse is that we often have any of  the following things happen;

(a) the suction thingy that’s supposed to sick onto the windscreen won’t suck, it just refuses, you try and try and try…. and try and try and try to keep your blood pressure from rising in the process. You fail on both counts.

(b) it sucks and sticks nicely to the windscreen but several minutes ( or 20) later it falls off , and Our Lady hits the floor or slides the length of the dashboard … if you are in the middle of turning out of the street or passing someone on the motorway it’s a dangerous and alarming distraction.

(c) The gadget sucks itself to the window successfully,  but once you have informed Our Lady of your intended destination you try and place her gently into the other section that is successfully on the windscreen. In doing so, you accidentally turn her off…and turning her off appears irritatingly easy to do, the slightest touch of the touch-screen does it …(frustratingly, resetting her requires removing her again from the stuck-to-the-windscreen part of the gadget)

(d) you clip the suction clip to Our Lady, inform her of your destination and then try and put the whole kit and caboodle onto the windscreen in one hit,  … and accidentally turn her off,  ( you are seriously trying to refrain from throwing Our Lady out of the window at this point, and frustration is now at a level that  means that you don’t even care if said window is open or closed)

(e) you actually mange to get everything onto the windscreen, it remains up their successfully AND you manage to not turn her off in the process, Result!!!

(f) or you give up completely with the suction gizmo and place Our Lady on the passenger seat or in the lap of your front seat passenger.

(g) or multiple combinations of the above.

We prefer to think that it’s a design flaw in the gadget rather than our lack of technical expertise, it’s easier to cast blame on the stupidity of an inanimate object rather than ourselves after all.

So the Navigational part of our travels remains only partly resolved to our satisfaction. Of course, finding yourself entering a Portuguese village, arriving at a “T” intersection and wanting to get back to Valença , requires a far more simple form of navigation: just read the sign.

Hmmm… left, right, left, right…. hey let’s just toss for it  shall we? Interestingly Our Lady was silent until after we had made a decision ourselves and turned the corner, maybe even she was confounded by the stupidity of a sign that points both ways.

Or maybe she was busy stifling laughter that she’s finally met humans who are clearly even more  stupid navigationally challenged than we are.

July 28, 2010

Signs of the Times … slowly fading away.

Filed under: The Hague,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m interested in old buildings, architecture,  the history of places.

It’s wonderful to see how buildings evolve in style and function, how they change with the times (or don’t).

I particularly like old advertising… and chanced upon this one whilst out on a walk one day.

The unexpected thing about this one is that I found it on what looks like an ordinary house, in an ordinary street full of houses, and not in a shopping street as I might have expected.

There are two signs, a long one and a short one. The short sign is easy enough: “wijnen” means “wines”, but the longer sign has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer legible.

I’ve tried guessing, but there are too many possibilities and combinations to be able to make sense of it at all.

I wonder when this was a business, when, for how long and why it stopped being one.

One thing is clear: businesses going out of business (for whatever reason) are nothing new… it’s being going on for decades, centuries and probably millennia.

Lack of heirs to take over the business?  lack of customers?  fell on hard times?  or suffered ill health? or maybe the owners went on to better or different things? … or simply moved somewhere else.

Who knows? It’s all part of the mystery.

The mystery remains, and will do so until the final letters slowly  fade away entirely.

Then no one will even know that a mystery had even existed….

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 8, 2010

Advertising of Yesteryear in the Hague: Prinsestraat 107.

Prinsestraat 107

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’ve been walking around Paleis Tuin (the Palace Garden) which lies at the rear of the Dutch Queen’s working Palace (Palace Noordeinde).

When you leave the Garden you will pass by this  building at the very end of  Prinsestraat.

On the end of the building is their advertising for the business,  which clearly shows that this building had a previous “life” in the past.

I know that each day we are bombarded with modern day advertising  via many types of media.

Apart from a few very well made adverts, or some very funny ones, most are ( for me at least) unwanted drivel that insults my intelligence and tries to convince  me  that I need this “now whilst stocks last” .. .

…yeah right… their stocks of hundreds of thousands, or worse still, millions of items.

As you can guess, I’m not a fan of advertising LOL.  But… there is a certain charm of finding buildings that were clearly built  for a certain purpose, and to find that purpose illustrated in the bones and core of the building material itself.

I will be slotting in a new theme of blog posts from time to time: old buildings with Advertising from Yesteryear. Sadly often the original  business carried out in these buildings have slipped into the past as well, but they have left their mark in stone, tiles and beautiful paintwork.

This one stands on the intersection of  Prinsestraat, Prinseswal and Nordwaal. It’s the IJzerhandel  vd Toorn en v/h Stolp and it stands at Prinsestraat 107.

It’s origional buisiness was ” as an iron shop” so it would have sold metal tools and items made from iron (By the way  the “v/h”  stands for “voor heen”  which  means ” formerly known as”).


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