Thursday, August 09, 2018

A Giessen River Boat Ride

Do you ever feel that sometimes you have way too much fun?!  HA!

Well, this is one of those times, almost 3 weeks ago, when Astrid and I joined our friends, Margreeth (mother) and Natascha (daughter), for a Saturday's boat ride on our nearby Giessen river, just 7.5 km from home.

It so happens that Margreeth's brother, who lives in Giessenburg, owns an electric-motor boat.
Out of the goodness and generosity of his heart, along with his wife, we had access to it for the day. 
(Notice that I have a photo of them and their house...but not the boat!)

Here's the collage I put up on Facebook of Natascha's iPhone images.
(Did I mention it was a hot day and I had to keep myself covered from the blistering sun?)

Think about 4.5 hours of lazily cruising the Giessen river...the operative word being lazily.
Just ogling the real estate along the way was worth the trip.
Location.  Location.  Location.  (right?)

We watched mamas and papas along the way feeding their babies. 
It was educational.
(Have you ever seen a great crested grebe that wasn't soaked to the skin?)

Speaking of eating, we did our own thing right there on the boat.
A picnic on a boat!

Everything else was frosting on the cake.

What you see is what you get when you are lazily passing by.

We especially enjoyed seeing the Ons Museum from the river, which we had visited in 2014.

But to be honest, it was the cows who made my day, there at the water's edge.

By now, back away from the water, our earth is parched for lack of rain and the heat.
The cows teach us about how to deal with this extreme weather, right?

And then it was the windmill at the far end before we turned back.
It's the Oudendijkse Molen from 1683.

What is it about windmills!

I put this collage on Facebook today and someone said Astrid looked like a little girl!
I think all 4 of us (each with our turn at the helm) were little girls that day.

I even got my "fix" of weathervanes, all from the boat.
(Most of these I've shown before.)

Let's just say we had the Life of Riley that day...
thanks to the generosity of dear friends.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Watercolor Sunday and Saturday's Color: July 2018

When August comes, does it feel like summer is ending or still in full-throttle for you?  Actually, I always started thinking of school in August, whether for me or my kids, which made me think about the fall...before it started!

Right now, however, we're still dealing with record high temps all over Europe and, sadly, not enough rain.  So, yes, summer is still full-throttle for me.

Here are my Watercolor Sunday posts on Facebook for July 2018:

July 1 (photo manipulation):
"As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves
as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government.
I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality."
--George Washington

HAPPY July  1st and 4th to all my Canadian and American family and friends.

July 8 (photo manipulation):
"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead;
his eyes are closed."
--Albert Einstein

July 15 (photo manipulation):
"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarted than you think."
--A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

July 22 (photo manipulation):
"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."
--Mother Teresa

July 29 (photo manipulation):
"I imagine that yes is the only living thing."
--e.e. cummings

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Saturday's Color posts on Facebook for July 2018:

(finished on 19 February, posted on FB 7 July 2018)
Believe it or not, I had already queued up this Vintage Patterns design before connecting the fact
that last evening we were eating dinner with an Irish man and his Dutch wife.
I love how the Celtic knots stick out like a sore thumb, don't you?
More Irish you cannot get!

(finished on 27 December 2016, posted on FB 14 July 2018)
I love the quote in Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" when Shug says
"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."
(from my mini-mandala 6 x 6 in. book)

(finished on 5 February, posted on FB 21 July 2018)
It's that time of the year to notice Mother Nature strutting her stuff everywhere we go.
(from my Stained Glass book)

(finished on 12 March, posted on FB 28 July 2018)
These are colors I like together, even if I might not ever wear them.  HA!
(from my Mandala book)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Here's a fun tooting-my-own-horn moment, if you don't mind:

It goes back to all the posts I published about all our capers while in Malta, 2016.  Remember?  It so happens that Raymond Fenech, who lives there and is an author of short stories, poems, articles and essays, published in 12 countries, contacted me last year to request the use of one of my images at the Addolorata Cemetery.  In exchange, I would receive a copy of his book.

Talk about a man of his word!  That book arrived by mail this week:

And yes, one image with credit to me.  :)
Thank you, Ray!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The KLM Houses in Gorinchem, NL

I wish you knew how many times Astrid and I both pinch ourselves about where we live, here in Gorinchem, NL.  How many times we've acknowledged that THIS is where we were destined to live in this whole wide world.

One of the gazillion reasons, as an example, is what you will see today with this public, outside exhibition of the KLM houses that were first shown in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.  They're now here where we live, from July 13 - August 10.

But I need to go back a bit into my past life when Donica, on her many-many flights on KLM, back-n-forth to The Netherlands, received miniature KLM houses for free in the World Business Class.  She collected them!

So, yes, I was very familiar with them and was delighted to see the much larger "miniatures" on exhibition here.  In fact KLM's 96th Delftware miniature was unveiled here at our Gorinchem exhibition:  the Hamel House.  That in itself is a long story that connects the Dutch with Korea.  That Hamel house is here in Gorinchem!

Anyway, after all that, here's what I want you to see:

There are supposedly 15 houses on display but 13 of them are here at our Lingehaven (Linge harbor).
[Addendum:  we have now found the 14th here as well.]
Coming in from town (a short walk from our apartment), we see the first 5.

Two more houses stand in front of the terrace of the Le Bon 'Apart restaurant across the street,
followed by another stretch of 4 houses, bringing us to 11.
(If you click on the restaurant link and just wait, it'll give you a video view of the harbor.)

Then you come to the inner lock of the Linge canal, on which I'm standing, looking into town.
On either side of the lock is another house, bringing the inner harbor total to 13.

Got it?  So here goes, in the order as given above:

Pulitzer Hotel, Amsterdam, opened in 1970

Dutch National Opera and Ballet, opened in 1986

Rode Hood, Amsterdam, a hat-making shop

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, from 1915

Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam, on the UNESCO "Gentlemën's Canal

Meddens, an exclusive department store of men's and ladies' clothing, Amsterdam
(Astrid was a window dresser there from 1977-83.)

Hamelhuis, Gorinchem
(This is our city's claim to fame!)

Hotel Sofitel Legend the Grand, Amsterdam, opened in 1992

Coster Diamonds, Amsterdam, oldest diamond polishing factory

Japanmuseum Siebold House, Leiden

Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam, opened in 1885

Hotel Arena, Amsterdam

Hotel Estheréa, Amsterdam

Heineken Experience, Amsterdam, built in 1867

I'm quite sure there's a specific name to each house, which I may want to research further.
But for now, you get the idea.  These are the "life-sized" miniature KLM houses 
of historic buildings from all over The Netherlands.
[ADDENDUM:  I have now added all the names as well as the 14th house.]

To give scale to the size, I had Astrid go back with me one day.
Here you see different views of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet Theater house.

Here's the Hotel Estheréa.  How fun is that!

This way you can also see the inner harbor up close.
See the lock in the center above the foreground boat?  Yup.
It opens up to the Merwede river outside our city walls.

And you know me.  I have to put them all together for Facebook.

But now that I know there are two more, I will go look for them
and add them later.  I had no clue.
[ADDENDUM:  I hadn't yet found the 14th house when I made the above collage.
This past Sunday Astrid and I went back to look and found the Heineken house,
which I've now added to the above list.]

[ADDENDUM 2:  I heard back from a contact that says #15 is the INK Hotel in Amsterdam which was damaged in the Oosterpark and is now in the atelier.  It will be exhibited in the hotel soon.  
#16, the Koepelkerk, had the same problem and is ready to be transported to Hotel Renaissance
in Amsterdam where it will be exhibited.
Which is to say we weren't crazy after all...about not finding them here!] 

It's directly across the river from the Meddens and Hamel houses at the Le Bon 'Apart terrace.
How we missed it earlier I'll never know!

And when we realized what house was, in fact, the Hamelhuis, I decided to round out this post
with some info specific to Hamel, since he's from Gorinchem:

First of all, this statue of him stands further down the Linge, not far from our apartment.
Hendrick Hamel (1630-1692) was born in Gorinchem but spent 13 years in South Korea.
It's a story worth reading from the link if you have the time.

Also, we have the Hendrick Hamel Museum...his house, just a couple of blocks from our apartment.
Astrid was there years ago, and maybe now I'll go on Open Monument Day in September.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Remember the Memory Bricks (another reason why we love this city)?

We found the #00 Roll of Film outside the citadel wall,
thanks to a clue from someone on the Memory Brick Facebook page.
I have now added it to that post....
but #26 is still a mystery to everyone.  No one has found it yet!