Local Heart, Global Soul

January 3, 2011

This Substation is …Elementary My Dear Watson…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In recent years the City Council took it upon themselves to commission a beautification programme for the city’s Electrical Substations.

(Finally doing something that brings a smile to my face with the tax Euro’s I give them LOL).

Gemeente Den Haag (The Hague City Council) commissioned artists to paint up Electricity substations around the Hague, and since I loved seeing the results, I resolved to try and find and photograph as many of them as I could.

Therefore this post is part of an on-going series, featuring the artwork of Electrical Substations in The Hague.

Today’s substation stands on the side of a canal, at the intersection of The Laan Van Meerdervoort and the Valkenboskade, not quite on the corner but a very short distance down, heading in the direction of the  Ligusterstraat.

It’s a quirky one, and several things intrigue me: First a question…

If you look closely at the first photo, Does anyone else get the impression that the right side of the figure was drawn by a different artist than the left?

The hands are as mis-matched a pair as I have ever seen and do my eyes deceive me or is she wearing a boot on one foot and does she have a peg-leg ? …or is there a more rational explanation? ..like, Does she have one very skinny leg and the other one is in a plaster cast ?

(Yes, naturally enough I have plaster casts on the brain at the moment..  and maybe my lack of mobility IS driving me a little stir crazy and I’ve started to hallucinate).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The other thing that needles me about this substation is the background pattern. I’m VERY sure that it’s an abstract representation of the street map of the area, so I did a little Google-ing to try and confirm that.

Annoyingly  I could get some bits to fit, but not all of it… so maybe that theory is just born of cabin fever.

Ah well, I was quite the amateur detective there for a moment, sleuthing out the clues and trying to put the pieces together.

Turns out that my powers of detection are rather rubbish and I can now stop kidding myself that I’m the new Sherlock Holmes.

Probably for the best you know… dunno  if I could have gotten Himself interested in being Watson, but then again I think that Little Mr. might have obliged if I told him that the job went with a Police car complete with siren and blue lights.

Ok, I’ll cut with the delusion now and get the the photos…

There are only two sides to photograph on this one, since one of the short sides and the back side facing the canal are both covered in ivy.

I have done my best with the other two painted sides.

Enjoy!

The other substations I have featured so far are:

It’s bold! It’s bright! It’s Electric!
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/new-66/

An Electricity Substation that lights up your day…
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/new-85/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This Electricity Substation comes gift wrapped ?
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/new-54/

Amazing Artwork!
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/new-post-41/

Electricity Substations… More works of Art
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/new-post-25/

Electricity Substations… Works of Art
https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/electricity-substations-works-of-art/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)


September 8, 2010

Food Glorious Fooo… err, wait a minute…!

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are due to catch our evening flight to Portugal. I’ve literally stopped at the house to collect the bags and the rest of the family and after that the next stop was the check-in desk after the car ride to the airport.

Now our stomaches are rumbling and we’ve decided that we need dinner. There will be a light “meal” on board the plane but it arrives at what will be our children’s normal bedtime and even with the excitement of the flight to keep them awake for a little longer, I can see that at the very least the kids need food in the tank before then.

There is a Food Court  but last  time we were here, we only ordered drinks as we’d eaten at home already, l and since I dislike McDo and the golden arches with a passion, we head to the food court where  I know there is a small play area as well.

Instantly both kids are sketchy on what they want to eat, but Pizza gets nomimated  and Himself goes up to queue up and order whilst I herd kids to the ladies toilets to do the necessary and to scrub their filthy paws before eating.

Both procedures took necessarily long as neither kid was in a co-operative mood and we still had to wait ages for Himself to arrive back at the table with a large slice of pizza, since it appeared that the the queue was as long as the staff here are too short.

One look at the pizza told me that it wasn’t my cup of tea, but the kids were ravenous and started on it, Himself asked me to go choose something for myself and to please come back with another piece of pizza for the kids.

I checked out the salad bar. Sadly the veggies on offer looked not just a tad tired, but flat out exhausted so I skipped that section. They are calling it a  “food court”  but by my estimation it’s rather a ramshackle array of culinary bedmates trying to look better than the food that was actually on offer.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There are menu boards but the food  in the photos don’t quite look the same as what I can see before me in this “market”.

The Asian part had no queue of people which made the offerings there more tempting, but the area that offered the most direct access to the Asian offering was roped off and by the time I walked the long way around, there was a queue of 6 people in front of me.

I look at the menu and decide that it didn’t look remarkable, so  maybe the burgers would still be better after all, or at least quicker. There were long lines at two cashiers, even those there were other tills also available (closed).

I stand in line, I mean, how long can it take to get Fast Food? too darned long as it turns out.

I wait close to 20 minutes to get served and then another 10 for the food to arrive… the kids still haven’t gotten their second piece of pizza ( I did that last on purpose so theirs would stay hot and because I thought that the burger queue would be a quick turnaround one) wrong!!!!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So after an age, I’m standing with a cold burger and fries in the pizza queue… and it’s another 15 minutes before I have everything that everyone wanted complete on one tray.

I pay and hurry back to our table.  Himself and the kids confess that they ate pizza more because they were starving hungry than because they felt it was particularly edible, and so the piece I bring is poked at, and a minimal effort is made before it’s rejected.

I’m therefore left with a stone cold offering of burger and fries and most of ends up in the bin because it’s far from appetizing. Grrrr on all levels.

Come on Schipol, how hard IS it to get some brains? We have the technology!

If Kiwidutch were in charge I’d be ripping this place apart tomorrow, and this is what I would set up in place of what’s there now.

1) I’d take great photos of each of the limited menu items available. they would be prominently displayed in large  format photos with a simple tag each.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

2) My Customers would choose from the photos what they want and pay at the cashier for any mix from any of the food “court” offerings. One burger, One Asian pork with noodles, one pizza with meat topping please… pay in one hit for this plus drinks, …receive a ‘ticket” with your order on it and a number.

3) Go to your table with your drinks and keep an eye on an electronic board for your number to come up, Et Voila all of your food is ready and hot at one time, and you go up and collect it when your number shows…

Hot food, less queuing and  happy customers, no??? Surely it can’t be that hard to organise?

Staff at the actual food outlets were friendly, although I noticed a tendency for some staff at the burger place to speak Dutch to customers who clearly didn’t speak the language, and the staff at the cashiers didn’t bother to smile or be particularly helpful or organised ( e.g. you have to get a cup of tea right by the till, but the tea bags are way back down the line so you have to squish backwards  past other waiting customers to get something to actually put into your hot water)

That’s just plain lazy organisation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch

As we left to catch our flight, Himself and I vowed to never eat here again, we have better chance of hot food that is  more edible at the dreaded McDo.

.. and that’s a very bad conclusion to have to come to.   Ouch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 30, 2010

It’s bold! it’s bright! it’s Electric!

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We are  leaving Katwijk and have a small drive along  the beach.

Most of the spots we stopped at involved more walking to get to the sand than my Mother in Law wanted, so we don’t end up stopping anywhere.

Still, this little number caught our attention and we stopped so that I could add some photos to my collection of decorated Electricity Substations.

To see the rest of the collection please see here:

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/new-85/ and

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=substation and

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/new-post-25/

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/electricity-substations-works-of-art/ and here…

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/new-54/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 29, 2010

The Last Flower…has bloomed and fades away into the distance…

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

Ok, I promise, I promise, this is my LAST post from the Floral parade… I wanted to include this as extra because after some initial problems uploading to YouTube I finally got it to work.

Here is your final installment of Katwijk Floral Fancy…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s even a floral train to … ( Paris in this case)…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Ten drummers drumming?.. duh I missed the music hat they started playing immediatly afterwards due to heavy oncoming bike traffic… (explained further below)

The one and only thing that was not good? The police cordoned off large vehicle traffic from the parade street, but still let though scooters, small motorbikes and bikes… who were constantly streaming between the watching public and the parade participants. Some ladies were giving out sweets (candy) to kids on the sides of the street and Kiwi Daughter almost got mown down from the rear  as she took a step out to make certain she got a sweet.. worse, the middle aged pompous lady on the bike was clearly annoyed that daughter was in her way! and certainly didn’t apologise for  the near collision. Boy, was I one angry Mama! Poor Daughter was almost in tears from the fright. The lady cycled off in a huff before I could bend her ear and ask if she was proud of her selfish action towards a child.

I silently wished her a flat bicycle tyre for her rudeness…

We all cheered up quickly though when this passed us by:

August 28, 2010

Bloomin’ Katwijk! What a Show!

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

Since readers are enjoying yesterdays photography of the Katwijk aan Zee Flower parade, I’ve decided to entertain you with a few more photos of the event.

So, without further ado, let’s return to the parade and try and guess what might come around the corner next…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

She’s not real, but for a second or two we were not certain…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Even the Army are getting camouflaged in  Westland style…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I think there is a car under there somewhere…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

the Bob The Builder theme tune belted out from loudspeakers from this one and instantly won greatest adulation in Little Mr.’s eyes… I mean, between this float and all the police cars, police vans, police motorbikes and police cycles… My little boy was suitably delirious and in total awe…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Spray out of the back of the boat !… I got it, but  in spite of an explanation Kiwi Daughter missed the boat on this imagery…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A Dutch summer is still a Dutch summer… so in case it rains… naturally !

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 27, 2010

Something is afoot (or a-float) in Katwijk aan Zee…

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is something very strange going on in Katwijk aan Zee.

Streets are being cordoned off, there are police everywhere, we see a film crew for a local TV station and we pass by more and more people who are sitting on the footpath.

Not sitting as in: we were walking, got tired and needed a wee rest… but properly sitting down, on plastic folding chairs, wooden kitchen chairs, plastic stools, picnic blankets.

Many of them have their cameras, some of them even have small folding tables, with cold drinks.

The evidence is mounting up fast my dear Watson, I smell a mystery that needs solving.

Equipped as I am with amazing powers of deduction I looked up and down the road in question and the answer to the mystery was clear to me in a matter of moments.

(sigh) that actually means is: I rolled down the car window, and asked an elderly gent if he had any idea what was going on…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Apparently in five to ten minutes, there will be a parade though Katwijk in celebration of the local flower growing businesses and the horticultural services that support them.

It’s simply not possible to overestimate the importance and scale of the cut flower business in this part of the world.

Flowers here are grown in glasshouses that are measured in size not by the meter by the kilometer… and that’s not just kilometers long, that’s kilometers square.

The glasshouses themselves are already massive, and this area of the Netherlands they are built one next to the other in massive “blocks”.

Inside are billions of flowers that will be loaded onto temperature controlled trucks within a hour of being  picked and will arrive quickly and efficiently at the Flower Markets for auction and swift dispatch around the world.

Two main areas in the Netherlands  (the Westkland and Aalsmeer)  together are the center of the world flower trade.

We have arrived just in time to see them make a public display of all things floral…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bring your own band…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bring your own bread… to a flower parade? oh heck, why not?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

they first wanted to throw on the kitchen sink, but I suppose that this was more “convenient”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Heck, throw in the back garden while you are at it, no?…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This police van is going to get some funny looks if it’s needed on an unexpected call out…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There’s music, sunshine and everyone is having a great time… THEN.. just around the corner….

August 25, 2010

Climb on up, the view is great.. AND a loud surprise ending to the tour!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s worth the small climb to get to the top of  the lighthouse in the Dutch sea side town of Katwijk aan Zee.

If you need to see how we got ourselves up here then this post will fill in the necessary gaps:

https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/new-97/

There is a viewing platform that goes all the way around and so we have views across the town, along the dunes and out to sea.

The Dutch word for “lighthouse” is Vuurtoren” = literally  translates as ” Fire Tower”, but the original name here is not Vuurtoren in Dutch, but rather “Vuurbaak”  which is better translated as ” Beacon”.. which is presumably what it’s early origins were.

There’s a plaque on the side of the tower written in Dutch, which translated says:

Vuurbaak 1605,  One of the oldest Lighthouses in The Netherlands (the oldest: Brandaris , Terschelling)

(Terschelling, dear reader, being one the the little islands in the far north of the Netherlands).

For three centuries  a so-called “fisherman’s fire”  on the roof  marked the landing point for  fishing boats.

Heavy storms required the building of a stone tower further inland instead of the (former) wooden one. Due to erosion of the beach and dunes it was once again close to the high water line.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Previously a lookout post for the Royal Navy (1914-1918), a machine gun position for anti aircraft artillery (1940), Landmark for the  English Royal Air force  (1940-1945).  Recently restored 1989.

Naturally everyone climbs up for the view from the top… so without further ado, let’s look at the panorama…

There is a surprise event on in Katwijk today ( that family Kiwidutch were unaware of until we got here and saw a local TV station’s cameras)

Kiwi Daughter and I were just exiting the lighthouse when we heard sirens and the roar of motorcycles…

Stupidly it took me more than a minute to think of setting the camera on video and filming, so you miss the first 60-80 motorbikes that roared past in thunderous convoy…

I only got my wits about me in time to catch the very end.

Sadly, Himself had rushed Little Mr to a toilet as the Little Man was in desperate need as only a  five years old can do with great dramatic urgency,  and thus they both missed the entire spectacle.

Here though, are the views they didn’t miss:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Kiwi Daughter takes her first photos …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And then back to the bottom of the tower again…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

These bellows are so big they take about 1/3rd the inside of the tower, the stairs wind around them…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Old beams define the structure:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A small anchour inside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… and a massive one outside…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Who says that fun needs to cost much?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr was not amused that his big sister got to watch the motorcycle drama and that he missed it. (Little did we know that soon there is more to unfold…)

August 24, 2010

A “Vuurbaak” literally a “beacon” of a Lighthouse

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

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Just a short distance up the coast  from The Hague is the small town of Katwijk.

To spit the name out in Dutch you need to pronounce it as ” cut-why-k”.

Katwijk is a town that comes in two halves: part one is the bit of the town on the sea front,  that’s called  “Katwijk aan Zee” (Katwijk on the Sea) … then literally a few streets away you have part two of the town “Katwijk aan de Rijn” (Katwijk on the Rijn{formerly the river}).

It’s logical that in centuries past that these two were near neighbours and quite separate villages, but progress of time and population has melded the two together so that these days moving from one to the other only involves crossing a particular street somewhere between the two.

Himself thinks that there was once upon a time a social demarcation between the fisher-folk who worked the sea and the farmers, or landlubbers who worked the land and that they divided this small town accordingly.

Well, that’s his theory at least.

It’s known that Katwijk was known as far back as Roman times  and it has a long and varied history that courses through the centuries.

Wikipedia tells us:

Over the course of time the mouth of the Oude Rijn silted up. However, a lock was constructed at the mouth of the river in 1807 by engineer F. W. Conrad (d. 1808). After this the Old Rhine (here called the Uitwateringskanaal) did not flow naturally into the sea, but was held back by a lock.

When necessary, the lock can be opened to allow the river to flow out to sea. The shore and the entrance to the canal were also strengthened by dikes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

During World War II, most of the buildings of Katwijk aan Zee were demolished by the Germans to make way for the Atlantic Wall. In the dunes south of Katwijk, many bunkers from World War II can still be found.

Bunkers from the Second World War are not only a feature of Katwijk but also of a good bit of the Dutch North Sea coast, so for any WWII historian there are a wealth of places to explore locally.

I’m interested most in the beautiful little lighthouse that stands close to the beach… built in 1605 it has endured countless storms both of nature and politics.

It survived the mass demolition of buildings up and down the coast by the Germans in WWII as part of the Atlantic Wall programme, and was a valuable landmark used by British  air force at that time too.

The place is run by friendly volunteers, the steps start out winding but with the final push to the top you will need to negotiate a “staircase” that is actually a ladder in thinly veiled disguise.

The journey to the top wasn’t for my 88 year old Mother in Law, who preferred a little rest in the car close by, and Himself, who could negotiate the stairs with ease just had to bend  severely to get though the low doorways.

So, warnings for the elderly and overly tall in place… let’s  take a look around.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A living based around the sea was a tough life often full of tragedy… looking at photos of modern boats in heavy seas you can but wonder at the amazing courage  that it took to go fishing in tiny wooden sailing boats of old…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Some of the photos in the display on the  walls on the way up… if more History lessons where like this in school wouldn’t  it be great?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The “light” that shone out as a beacon  was housed in this tiny window…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now to negotiate those stairs… looking upwards, sizing up the assent…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

… then looking back below, wondering how on earth I will get down later…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Finally the doorway that leads out to the balcony above…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

But I’m out of breath… a little rest and we will see the view soonest…

August 23, 2010

A little Rant,(ok a Big One) and a Competition to Promote your Blog…

Filed under: Blogging & Writing — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags:

Having trouble getting traffic for your Blog?  Do you wish you could reach more readers? I constantly see Bloggers asking how to increase traffic to their blog. Fair enough, no problem there , I write because I love to write and not purely for traffic but each to their own.

There  are various Forums for “WordPress” Bloggers … just as there probably are for other blogging formats but I’m sure that often the problem I see, is often the same no matter which provider you are blogging with.

Take the WordPress “Showcase” Forum for instance. It’s the Forum where WordPress bloggers can plug their blogs to other bloggers.

My problem is that there is a continuous multitude of messages that I have seen in the last year that all say ” See my Blog“, ” Go look at my Blog” “my blog is great ” “New Blog” ” pick me, pick me” and other words in this vein but when you open their post,  that’s all it says!

Often too, the header of these  posts ask in one way or another how they can generate more traffic to their blog… but what does the potential reader know about their blog from their post?  Zip,  Nada, Nothing, Nix.

Agggggggh!!! I just wasted precious seconds of my life for zero information and you seriously expect me click on for more???? (you can’t be serious!.. or sorry for you are totally unrealistic or very stupid) <- Grrrr, this is one of my pet hates, can you tell mayhap?

Do people assume that  I, (and others) as  potential readers and subscribers to your blog have unlimited time to click on links that contain Zero information about what their blog is about?

Get Real people, I do at least understand that folks have busy lives,  that more demands from more sources of media are being made on our time today than any time previously in history.  I also understand that there are more Blogs out there than can be read in a human lifetime and that the number of  new Blogs being added is growing by the day.

I’m also a realist, not all blogs will appeal to everyone, it would actually be pretty boring if they all did. The idea is to be able to sift though the bits that don’t interest you to find the stuff that does.

After about a nano-second looking at blogs  it’s clear to pick out the people who are passionate about their subject, who write well,  who write  from the heart or for the pleasure of writing  or all of these. It  also  becomes painfully clear who isn’t and doesn’t.

I want to promote good Blogs… but I don’t want  just a “pick me, pick me”  empty advert.

So .. to Enter the Competition Please leave me a Comment on this post:

How do you enter? .. read on…

Describe  YOUR blog.., Like any good advert make it catchy, make it memorable,  be short and to the point, use humour, use wit, but most of all be honest, …sum up the essence of your blog, do it accurately so that no one who clicks on your link afterwards can say ” Hey what’s in the tin isn’t what was advertised on the package” and leave disappointed.

Here’s your chance to sell your blog… if you do it well, you will attract people who are passionate about the stuff you are passionate about, who share your views.. (or don’t), who enjoy debate, who like your sense of humour, your sense of style, the way you write or just plain who you are.   They might even stay and keep reading future posts.

It doesn’t matter if your genre is not mine,  the aim of the game is to impress readers with an advert of you that is impressive. Your honesty and passion is what counts in this.  Wishy-washy and vague won’t make you stand out, we want to see your passion for what YOU blog about. Surely you are blogging because you love words so let’s see your best !

If you are a Local Heart, Global Soul reader who doesn’t have their own blog, you *might* wish to make a comment on one of the blogs in the comments that catches your eye. I’d encourage you to please do so… everyone (should) love constructive feedback. If you do, I have one tiny request to make please: Please tell us when you make your comment, that your comment stems from the post you are reading right now. That would be muchly appreciated.

The Winner is the person you impresses me most with a comment that so perfectly sums up their blog, and so well written (in my view, since it’s my competition and I’m the top brat in the playground brandishing the water pistol, throwing the sand and squealing  out the rules today– Oops no, were  they were my kids? ok, Phew no… ack , back to topic…)  I want to look at your blog and your summary of yourself and say ” 100%  it-takes-the-cake,  right-on-the-button, ya-hit-the-jackpot  and I can’t think of a single way to say it better”

I’m busy racking my brains for a prize to give… the easiest is that  The Winner gets a free Blog Promotion here with the result of the competition from Moi, Kiwidutch. Sound like a deal?

You all have until the end of August 2010 to get your thinking caps on and to sell your stuff to the Kiwidutch readers and I will announce a winner on 1st September after I have read them all.

If you are advertising your blog in my comments, please just do it ONCEthink about what you want to write and give me the ” final version” . Readers have limited time after all… and you are trying to entice them to read more blog and  not spam them.. right?… I repeat.. RIGHT?????!!!! ( to be fair on everyone, I will delete every entry except your first, so make it count!)

Bloggers write for fun, because they love communicating via the written word, Let’s show people how well we can do it… and if you DO do it well then maybe someone will fall in love with your blog too!

So, let’s be hearin’ from you!

August 21, 2010

History took the Bakery, but the fortunately the Bread survived…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

So what could a Chiropractor and a Baker possibly have in common?

Kneading bread is hard work, but surely not that seriously bad? Well in this case the answer lies less in the occupations and more in the building that they both occupied at one time or another.

If you at the kind of person who walks in a hurry with the sole aim of getting from A to B and everything passes by you in a blur, then maybe taking  moment to look around will make your commute a more scenic experience.

Naturally this is easier to do in places that have buildings with some history to start off with.. Europe has bucketloads of it so I’m very lucky indeed in this respect.

Most people, I notice completely forget to look upwards and have no clue that above their heads are beautiful decorative tiles, roof lines, iron and brick decoration.

Maybe it’s the current obsession with the modern, maybe these people don’t find these styles aesthetically pleasing any more, thinking of them as the “old things equals old fashioned”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If that’s the case then I’m a confirmed ” old fashioned” because I’m happily to surround myself in the styles of  Art Nouveau , Deco, Georgian, Renaissance and Medieval…

Machineale Roggebroodbakkerij ” in this beautiful sign of old, means “Machine made Rye bread bakery”, Roggebrood being a very dense, dark brown, almost black bread. It’s later typically cut into ultra thin slices and paired with a heap other Dutch favourites such as Erwtensoep (the thick winter traditional pea and ham soup).

These days the building houses a Chiropractor’s premises, but luckily the signs of old remain.

I love that not only the name of the company was incorporated (Roggebroodbakkerij v/d  (van de) Firma  Gebr Ten Hoeve, and the date above of 1910) literally translates as ” Rye Bread Bakery from the Firm/Company of Brothers Ten Hoeve”.   The Ten Hoeve being the family surname.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Being a detail fanatic I also love the extra small detail of the three stalks of wheat/barley or rye, with a hand scythe wrapped neatly around it.  Simple, elegant decorative and beautiful to the eye.

I look at this sign and wonder what life was like in 1910,  what I would have seen had I been standing in this exact spot as these tiles were being fitted into place. Definitely times have changed beyond recognition, especially for me as a woman, but luckily though, whilst the Roggebroodbakkerij that stood on this spot is long gone, Roggebrood in the Netherlands is still to be found in every bakery and supermarket and is still much loved.

Sadly for me, I like a lighter rye bread very much but find that Roggebrood is a little too heavy and dense for my taste. So I’ll stick with oogling the signs instead.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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