Local Heart, Global Soul

June 10, 2014

The Blast Wall Stands Ready And Waiting: Just In Case…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS,Traditionally Dutch — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

On the journey south to Zeeland we decide to take the ferry over the Maas river.

As the crow  flies it’s not too far from the outskirts of the port of Rotterdam and there’s a  feature here that I’ve tried to explain in a previous post but not managed to photograph very well until this trip back in the autumn of 2013.

The port of Rotterdam is vast, in fact they have been busy reclaiming some sixty kilometres of land and recently opened another of a series of extensions.

There are petrochemical plants,  massive container terminals and storage areas, and rows and rows of  gas and petroleum storage silo’s as well as the storage of various chemicals on an industrial scale.

The big rivers in the Netherlands are not just vital as access to the port and carry millions of tons of barge shipping deep inland into Germany and beyond, they also have a serious role to play in the network of dykes and levies that help protect hundreds of kilometres of low lying land around and between them.Therefore it’s hardly a surprise that  contingency measures have been put in place to protect the surrounding area should a worst-case scenario situation ever come to pass.

By the bridge and along the river, huge concrete towers  stand as a blast-wall defence against the shock waves that would be produced should any of the storage tanks ever explode. The first set of towers are wide, have curved front edges and flat backs, the second set are smaller and rounder, but there are twice as many of them. The idea is that should there be an explosion in the petrochemical area close by, that these reinforced concrete columns can absorb the bulk of the shock-waves so that the dykes, river and surrounding land on the other side suffer the least amount of damage.

They stand like silent sentries, just a tiny part of how the Dutch national flood defence system, ready for their moment if ever needed.

(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 2, 2013

A Loo, A View, An Exit Too…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Now that we have walked around the Canterbury Cathedral, I start to realise how big the grounds around it are.

We pass by the toilets where the kind lady and Kiwi Daughter took Little Mr. when we arrived the other day and he was desperate…

…we pass the ruins of another ancient building and then an interesting wall with what might possibly be pieces of quartz instead of regular stone, and with a variety of  white plaques embedded into it, and finally we exit onto an open courtyard area where we can see the massive stone walls that enclose this part of the old central city.

We make our way through a little door that leads into a stone sort of gatehouse that with a tiny detour and a few steps find us at the top of the staircase under which we parked when we arrived the other day and looked for our accommodation. We descend the distinctive looking staircase and find our rental van parked close by. It’s time to jump in and travel to our new adventures…

(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 13, 2013

Stones That Stack Up, Flatten Out, Look Up and Lay Down…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I had too many photographs of around the church in Veere for one post and felt that these few deserved their own slot.

We know from one of the previous posts that the gravestones in the church cemetery were ripped up by the French invaders and some were recycled as windowsills.

The plots themselves (or at least some of them) and lay recessed in the grass around a few parts of the church.

There’s an interesting arrangement of large boulders on another (graveless) piece of grass that looks like an infant Stonehenge…

…and just across the grass, a simple but beautiful statue of two stylized figures who’s upward gaze just happens to be in the direction of the church.

Just along from the statue is the smallest entrance gate in the large wall that surrounds the church… the view through it shows a continuation of the former city wall, that now borders a little street. All of this gives a sense of tranquility and peacefulness… I drink in the calm atmosphere and enjoy, and walk on…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 10, 2012

History Painted On the Wall…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m still taking photos in the small east coast town of Opunake, yesterday we saw the tag art of the Café Surf Lodge 45,  and today we are looking at  a mural diagonally across the street that depicts the history of Opunake.

Called “Reflections of Opunake 1900 -2000”  it’s by mural artist Denis Lattimer and was painted in April/May 2002.

There was an information  board close by so I managed to collect some details about the mural which I have added (in italics)  to the photos below.

Whilst there was a large open space next to this wall, there were also several petrol pumps down  the middle of it so cars came and went  as people tanked  their vehicles and I made allowances accordingly since getting photos without the cars or the pumps in the picture was a bit tricky, but did my best from several angles.

The building of roads out of boulders and swampland created it’s own share of mishaps. This 1910 scene shows a steamroller being extracted on one such occasion. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Potentially seen as the biggest port on the west coast, two attempts were made to establish a safe wharf during the early part of the century. Unfortunately both failed as commercial ventures and safe berths. Some piles of the one pictured still remain at the northern end of Opunake beach.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This mode of transport was a common sight on Opunake roads at least into the 1930’s.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Taken from a 1921 photograph this Hudson vehicle transported passengers and mail from Eltham to Opunake. “Speed, safety & comfort”was the company motto. 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The farmers co-op-operative chain of retail outlets were vital suppliers to the coastal towns these delivery vehicles  were a common sight on the Opunake roads during the 1950’s and 60’s. Allied farmers continue in business today.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Opunake’s  beach has long been a popular spot with both locals and tourists. This picture from the 1930’s shows a pagoda changing room  where the local surf lifesaving club stands today.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Flax farms and associated fibermills were an important source of employment. Maori women are adept at flax weaving – a tradition continued to this day.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The railway line branched from Hawera and ended at Opunake, where engines mounted a turntable for the return journey. This thriving method of transport was superceded by road cartage and the rail closed in 1973.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hand milking a mixed breed cow, probably in the 1920’s. Cow herds may have numbered 20 compared to the largest today of around 700.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The surf breaks along this coast are considered among the best in the world. Depicted is a local surfer on a typical wave.  This sport is nurtured as a future tourist industry.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Frisian  herds are arguably the most popular of breeds on the local coast. The dairy farms form the economic infrastructure are vital to the prosperity of the area. The milk collection tankers are an everyday sight through the township.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The oil and  gas condensate platforms, Maui A and Maui B, (erected 1976 and 1972) are situated approx. 33 km offshore. Their operating lights are visible on a clear night. They are part of the  part of the recovery of the considerable on and off shore oil reserves.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2012

Whoa! An Entire Wall of Classic Kiwiana!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are looking though the pages of my travel journal and making a virtual tour that follows our New Zealand trip of December 2011- January 2012.

In this post we are in the small town of Otorohanga, situated between Hamilton and the Waitomo Caves. Yesterday I posted a few photos of a mural that’s just down the street,  and whilst it’s fun and eye catching, this is the mural a little distance further on that makes you stop in your tracks, do a U-turn and go back for photographs.

What you are looking at here are a selection of items that could be termed “classic Kiwiana”… they are instantly recognisable to New Zealanders and this mural is sure to bring a “whoa! wow, look at THAT!” reaction, probably followed by a big smile  from all who pass by here and spot it whilst waiting at the traffic lights like we did.

Let’s take a look at some classic iconic New Zealand things and acquaint yourself with items that are known and loved by Kiwi’s everywhere.

Gumboots: They might be known as “Wellington’s” in  the United Kingdom, but Kiwi’s know them as Gumboots, or “gummies”.  Gumboots  for farm work are generally black, but butchers,  lab staff, freezing workers and fisherman are often found in the white variety. Of course children’s gummies come in an arrangement of colours and are a standard edition to every New Zealand back porch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia tells me:  “The term “gum boot” in New Zealand is thought to derive from the 19th-century kauri-gum diggers, who wore this footwear, or perhaps because the boots were made from gum rubber.”

There’s even a 1970’s song about Gumboots by Kiwi comedy character Fred Dagg  which most New Zealand kids at the time knew at least the first lines of.

Pāua is known to a lot of Kiwi’s as the edible seafood found as Patties in many a fish and chip shop, and by mostly tourists as the colourful shells that are turned into various souvenirs.  It’s the Maori name of the molluscs from the Haliodae family which are also known in other parts of the world as abalone or ormer shells.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You know all about the Edmonds Cookbook from this post: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/?s=edmonds+cookbook

Thomas John Edmonds opened a small grocery shop in the suburb of Linwood in Christchurch New Zealand, and after hearing  customer complaints about the quality of the baking powder available on sale at the time, he started making his own out the back of the shop.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When one lady expressed doubt on the supposed improvement on the old products available, Thomas apparently replied “it is sure to rise Madam” and from this comment the iconic “Sure to Rise” trademark and logo were born,  both of which are still in use on  the Edmonds Baking Powder  product today.

The Edmonds company website tells me:

Thomas spent 3 years perfecting his baking powder but demand for Edmonds Baking Powder was initially low so Edmonds travelled the Canterbury region leaving free samples with almost every household, promising to take it back on his next visit if anyone was unsatisfied.

No tins were returned and the householders asked for more. Demand slowly grew until its popularity spread from the housewives of Canterbury to span the whole of New Zealand.

Edmonds Baking powder also won a prize at the Dunedin Exhibition in 1890. As the 19th century drew to a close Edmonds moved to Ferry Rd, Christchurch and in the expanded premises increased production of Edmonds products.

Edmonds Baking Powder went from strength to strength and by 1912 one million tins had been sold.

Thomas Edmonds was not only a successful businessman but a pioneer in industrial policies, during the Depression the company was the first to introduce a five day, 40 hour week which enabled redundancies to be avoided. 

When the Edmonds company turned 50 in 1929 Thomas Edmonds generously gifted the city of Christchurch with a clock tower and band rotunda.

Today the Edmonds range of products has grown to include not only baking ingredients but flour, cake mixes, pastry, mayonnaises and salad dressings and the Edmonds brand still stands for Kiwi home-style cooking and baking.

Today Edmonds baking powder mostly comes in cardboard box or plastic packages but I have fond memories of the old tin canister that was ever present on the shelf in my New Zealand Grandma’s kitchen. It was the type that had a press lid with a lip that you put the edge of a spoon under to prise open again.  How many times did my little childish hand hold a wavering teaspoon over that can, whilst I carefully levelled the teaspoon with the back of a knife ready to be added to a baking mix for scones, biscuits (cookies) or cakes?   I long ago lost count.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 6, 2011

Get a Square Peg into a Round Hole? …These Towerhouses Prove It CAN Be Done!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The small Dutch town of Leerdam grew over the centuries and earned the right to be called a city in 1407.  Situated on the meeting points of the Rivers Leede and Linge, Leerdam was ruled by local Counts of Leerdam (the “Vijfheerenlanden”) but the region achieved official “County” status in 1498.

The beginnings of the city are thought to have been formed around the 11th or 12th century along with a castle owned by the Lords of Arkel.

The castle incorporated part of the city walls into it’s structure but was separated from the town by a moat.

William of Orange inherited the County of Leerdam in 1557 and he also became the new owner of the castle as part of his inheritance.

in 1574 the town and the castle were besieged by Spanish forces during the “80 Years War” and was destroyed, along with vast sections of the city walls.

Sections of the former castle walls were used to rebuild new city walls but the remaining sections of the castle became a ruin, until in 1770 a “hofje” (almshouse)  for poor young women and widows was built atop of the castle foundations.

The hofje is called ‘Hofje van Aerden’  and is now a museum. During restoration in the 1970’s, original castle wall fragments dating back to 1300 were discovered at the site.

Larger sections of the city walls have been restored over the centuries  and three tower houses were built on the foundations of earlier  wall towers in 1738.

One theory for their shape is:  the bases of the tower houses are round because  a round foundation is a stronger defensive structure than a square one, but I secretly wonder if they weren’t just getting heartily sick of the idea of piling and re-piling up stones at some point and  thought, ” let’s see if we can get this square  house to sit on  the round foundation that’s already there, then we won’t need all the hard work of taking the old stones away, just to rebuild them straight away in a different shape!

Either way, I’m guessing there aren’t too many houses in the world that sport a square house on a round foundation?

Just proves you CAN get a  square peg into a round hole if you try hard enough.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 27, 2011

Making a Feature of what Might have been Dull and Boring…

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

Since I’m not out and about at the moment, I’m going though some of the photos I took whilst out on walking trips last summer.

This one is the end wall of a building that I think is on the Segbroeklaan, close to the tram line and the bridge. I especially like that they made a feature of the end wall and didn’t just leave it as a gray slab.  Cool!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

June 14, 2011

Most Creative use of Space I’ve seen for a Long Time…

Filed under: FRANCE,Miscellaneous — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Simple picture post today:  Still in France, we were driving to one of our friends homes when I asked Himself if we could stop so I could get a quick photo.

It looks like a garden centre and on the end wall of one of the buildings there is an amazing plant display. An eye-catching and very practical use of space.

Pity my photos don’t do it justice, we couldn’t reverse further without creating complications with cars and displays at the entrance and getting out and trying to get photos on crutches was literally a step too far. But anyway you get the general idea.  How cool is this? methinks: Very!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Blog at WordPress.com.