Local Heart, Global Soul

August 29, 2016

Nature Presents A Storming Beauty…

Filed under: GERMANY,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

Last summer whilst on holiday in Germany,  the weather was not often on our side. The silver lining was however that every now and again  the sky presented us with something other than low grey cloud and pelting rain, and we got to see nature’s presentation of  storm clouds, sunshine and rain as something beautiful 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)

May 10, 2013

Merging Two Sets of Photos into One Adventure…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A month ago Himself and I had a few unexpected days out because a friend needed some support and transport to sort some personal events in the Belgium city of Mechelen.

I’d taken some annual leave off work intending study and spring clean my hobby/box room that since last years’s  renovation has become the dumping ground for all manner of  junk we spring cleaned from around the house with the intention of “dealing with it” later.  One year on, not only has “dealing with it” not happened, but a multitude of outgrown toys and general junk has been further added to the pile.

Sadly the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry and this time was no exception because on the first morning of my annual leave I found myself unable to get out of bed because I’d done my back in. One physio appointment, special heat band and a new set of physio exercises later, I was moving slowly but carefully. Spring cleaning was out of the question for which I was in two minds if I should be annoyed or grateful. We got a phone call from a friend in need… did Himself have work in? Could he maybe help run an urgent errand to Belgium? Luckily work had just gone out to a big client and more was expected the day after tomorrow so yes Himself was free.

Did I want to have a little sightseeing trip to Belgium too? Why not… I wasn’t much good for concentrating on anything else. With a pillow in my back and warming heat pad keeping me a bit more comfortable we set out early on Dutch motorways. The weather was cold and rainy so views were limited of the countryside going down.  I took a some photos throughout the day anyway and stashed them in a folder to post here soonest.  I lamented that the weather hadn’t been better.. but some things you can’t change.

Fast forward from last month to last week, when I have also taken a few days off work to cook for a large family party. All was under control in the kitchen when we got another phone call… same friend in distress with more personal developments that necessitated another trip to Mechelen. Himself had a steady stream of work but if he worked late tonight he could still make the trip and stay on schedule. The weather report for the next day was for glorious weather in the south of the Netherlands so I was delighted to go along for the ride again.

This is how I managed to take two sets of photographs of the same city just a few weeks apart and in both fair weather and foul. I’ve combined both sets here to give you a taste of our Mechelen adventures… fasten your seat belts and hop in for the ride… we are heading towards Mechelen.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This is just one of three blades lined up on the side of the road waiting to be installed on a wind turbine…  They are truly massive.

(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)

July 9, 2012

Welcome to My Afternoon Tea Party …(Oh I wish!)

In my final post about Sunshine Organics in Maungaturoto I’m looking at some of the backing on offer… I’ve caught them on their first day open after the Christmas/ New Year holidays so they don’t yet have their usual selection up to speed, but what I do see looks very tempting.

There are savoury muffins,  a fruity carrot cake that’s dairy and egg free, coconut and orange syrup cake, a health slice and chocolate muffins… YUM!  It’s inspiring me to see that “organic” doesn’t have to mean plain or boring and would be welcome at any first class afternoon tea party!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 8, 2012

They Really ARE Good Enough to Eat!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m the sort of gal who could care less about handbags and shoes but could stand and happily drool over a window display of kitchen gadgets or a green grocers window.

I LOVE grocery shopping because it’s chance for the Foodie in me to find something new in one of the isles to take home and getting my cooking teeth into. I also find fruit and veggies very photogenic and love the colour, texture and form of even ordinary veggies.

Doesn’t everyone find a head of garlic beautiful in form, function and isn’t it just a wonder of natures design?   No? (sigh) Ok, maybe it is just me.

Here in the Sunshine Organics shop in the small town of Maungaturoto I’m getting  the glazed over look of appreciation that  Himself knows only too well as he shrugs his shoulders, doesn’t “get” , but humours me.

These organic fruit and veg are probably even more appealing because you know they really are good enough to eat, no pesticides here!

Yes, I probably am  suffering from a mild form of madness… but come on, look at these photos and tell me that they aren’t images of beauty? And if you don’t think so…   take pity on my insanity and indulge me LOL.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kumara…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 7, 2012

Blues and Red Hot Blues… WOW!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sunshine Organics in the small town of Maungaturoto in Northland New Zealand is the place where I found these next gems

Blue tortilla chips are made from blue organic corn  (ALL new  discoveries for me!) and are to die for!

We tried the Blue chips first and thought “ooooh Bliss!!” … Then we tried the Red Hot Blues and I had to pinch myself to see if I hadn’t actually died and gone to heaven.

Just enough heat to make you go weak at the knees and have your taste-buds soar but  not so much that it rips your insides to bits… perfection!

I’m not mobile enough to go looking for these here in The Hague, but once I am this is the item I’d hang just out of arms reach in front of the treadmill and be prepared to walk kilometres for. … or just say heck and grab the bag and make myself decadently comfortable with the bag on the sofa LOL.

Annoyingly I was sure I’d photographed the makers details on the back of the package but can’t find the photo anywhere at the moment… but if I find it later I’ll  be sure to slot it into this post.

I dare you to find the nearest organics shop to you JUST for the hope that they stock THESE CHIPS   (at the very least) … you won’t be sorry!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 5, 2012

Taking Back Control Over What’s in Your Food…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are still leafing though the pages of my journal as I retrospectively detail our travels to New Zealand during December 2011 and January 2012.

I’m delighted to have discovered a wonderful organics shop in the small town of Maungaturoto and after explaining that I have a blog, am a foodie and have a deep interest in promoting the good news of small businesses making a positive difference in their communities,  the owner was delighted to let me take as many photographs as I wanted and for me to feature her business here.

As usual I didn’t waste any time getting clicking and asking as many questions as possible.  One of the food problems that has seen a massive rise in people suffering from gluten intolerance.

I knew a few rough facts about gluten: it comes from wheat and from my few attempts at bread making I knew that kneading the dough releases the gluten and in theory (if only I could get it right) would help my bread rise nice and high in the oven and produce a light fluffy texture inside the loaf.

Then some years back,  a long time Christchurch friend and her husband extended their family buy taking on long term care of a foster child… who turned out to suffer from Coeliac’s disease and can not tolerate gluten.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When their family and ours ate together it became apparent that gluten is in many products where you would least expect to find it and this young girl’s diet was far more limited than I ever expected. Did you know that soy and tomato sauce or ice-cream have gluten in them?

No? I  didn’t either. Apparently it’s stabilising agent and as such is added to a whole host of  food products, and my friend has had to become a label vigilante in order for this child to not have severe adverse reactions to things she eats.

Like asthma, the occurrence  of  Coeliac disease seems  to be rising at an alarming rate, especially in children, so finding certified and trusted gluten-free products is fast being a necessity for many families rather than a supposed fad amongst a few people that society first supposed were getting a little too fanatical about their food.

I hear that the demand for gluten free products in the shop is rising, and probably as word gets out about this new business, more people will come and shop here, knowing that they can get everything from their gluten-free flour and general gluten-free products and baked goods under one roof.

I also discover something close to my heart: organic cleaning products, something I’m currently experimenting with since several commercial washing powders and most commercial cleaners wreck havoc on my lung condition and asthma.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I have also sported the “bloated lobster” skin reaction look after trying many  new commercial soaps and make-up products,  so I’m delighted to find an entire range of organic cosmetic product and toiletries here too.

It’s nice to see that a shop like this has won an award for Excellence, it becomes instantly clear that the owner shares my concerns about what the food industry is hiding in our food and that an ever increasing number of people are wanting to cook “from scratch” with healthy ingredients so that they can regain some control over what’s in the food they are eating.

Sadly gone are the days when we can just assume that the corporate food giants have our best interests at heart when they sell us their products as time and again investigations are proving that tricks like adding sugar to products that never traditionally contained any is causing many people’s bodies to become addicted to sugar. This has a knock-on effects of making healthy diets hard to stick to and obesity an epidemic.

Himself and one of our friend’s severe reaction to the pine-nuts that I documented in yesterday’s post tells me that even one simple product obviously contains much more than is first apparent, and that financial profit is a bigger motive for decisions within the food industry than concern for the health of the customers who consume it.

Getting “back to basics” as a home cook is the first step of re-taking control of  our waistlines, our blood pressure and our own life expectancy, but we also need to recognise the need to be very careful that we are not cooking from scratch with tampered ingredients,  and  therefore lulling ourselves into a false sense of security that we are getting healthy when we might not be.

Clearly ditching the supermarket is going to be near impossible, but at least having a greater awareness and changing our lifestyles one tiny product at a time should be possible both on a financial and practical level.

This place and places like it are a brilliant resource for getting back to basics with safer ingredients…  so 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)

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