Monday, July 30, 2012

On Firetrucks, Military Vehicles, Gardens and Such

So, now that the London Summer Olympics are in full swing (YES YES YES), how about  a sweeeeet little commercial.  One of the best I've seen:

Yup.  Astrid and I are gluttons for the Olympics.  This year I'm rooting for 3 countries:
USA, Netherlands, and Great Britain.  Well, add Canada, too.  :)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, a bit of my own olympic mish-mash of this, that and the other....

First, a bit of nostalgia when one recent Saturday the nearby Stoomspuit Gorkum ("steam-spout" firehouse museum) displayed their goods.

  We heard the clanging bells and ran to our balcony off the kitchen.
We almost didn't get the shots in as they quickly passed one floor beneath us.
Notice the old geezers...having so much fun (click any image to enlarge).
I still pinch myself when I see such things!  (Here's a YouTube.)
(And yes, those are the apartments behind us, ready to be torn down.)

Speaking of museums (and old geezers), they're all over the place here in the Netherlands.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  One of the "others" is a walk away from us here in Gorinchem:  the Rijdend Unifil Museum (military vehicles).  It's open every weekend and we decided to finally go visit it, on the day they also had a flea market on the premises (yup, you heard that right).

From the outside, it started to make sense...the juxtaposition of the flea market with these dinosaurs.

Once inside, it was a photo op for these old geezers.

Thank God for the Red Cross.  But don't you wish they weren't necessary!

And as regards the flea market (which I didn't shoot, for some strange reason), I bought a new orange polo shirt for €1.50 (important for those important Dutch holidays!) and together we found 18 DVDs for €25.  Crazy, you say, but it's one of our favorite pastimes...watching movies together.  We now have over 400 in our library.  :)

I won't call Thelma and Siem old geezers, at age 75 and 76 respectively (since I'm too closely following suit!), but we went to visit them in their lovely home last weekend, giving me another photo op with my macro lens:

 Oh yes, and I took the oculus with me (bottom right), just in case!

 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This past Saturday we drove 100 km north of us to Wijk aan Zee to meet up with new bloggers for us, from Sweden:  Mr. and Mrs. Lifecruiser!  So my week is cut out for me, processing those images with the TV screen in front of me.  



  1. Nice to see the oculus making the trip ;-)

  2. Geoff: Oh yes. Gotta get it going again for real. This time was more of an experiment than anything. :)

  3. Wonderful compilation! I too love the Olympics and so get your comment about watching as you work your photos! :) Oh how I hope we can take in a flea market if dates allow! xoxo

  4. Robin: Thank you...and wouldn't that be fun, if the dates do in fact match the time you're here. We'll check it out. If not that, we'll take you to the second-hand store which is just as good. The stuff you will see. :)

  5. Sometimes we have these photo opportunities are within reach, we don't have to go far, just as far as the balcony.
    Great shots at the Military place, one day we will go back. It seems they have flea markets, several times a year.
    Siem and Thelma have a great garden, you did so well with the flowers.

  6. I am not neglecting your last post... I just need more time to feast and all those images before writing a comment. Perhaps while I'm on the plane to Montana by way of Denver (with a saved PDF generate by 'printing' the post).

    Meantime, I wanted to share with you a pointer concerning macro photography that I'm still thinking about for myself just in case it resonates with you. While I was in Ireland with the photography tour, the tour leaders told us that in order to get GOOD macro images, the camera back (and thus the lens and sensor) needed to be exactly parallel to the plane of the object we were shooting in order for the entire object to be sharply focused. Well, my issue with that is that 'bokeh' is one of the things I love about macro photography and sometimes (to my eye anyway), the image just works better if part of the object is in soft focus while the rest is sharply focused. That said... I LOVE the lily macros! And the center image in your macro collage.

    The images in the first collage are absolutely marvelous! You do have some wonderful photo ops present themselves!

    So I may be disappearing again shortly... but not for good! :-)

  7. Astrid: It continues to amaze me how much is at our fingertips here in this wonderful city where we live. I never get tired of it! We really are very lucky. Thank you.

    Victoria: You do come in and out but I usually know when you're traveling, so I just smile. You always come back, for which I truly thank you!

    Very interesting point about macro photography. Well, of course I've never been taught...just flying by the seat of my pants. ANY TIME you have tips like that, I'm very grateful. THANK YOU.

  8. How exciting that you caught that steam spout engine just as it was passing by your apartment! I always look out the window whenever I hear a strange noise coming down the street even though most of the time it's just the hourly fire truck or police car. The other day though, there was a protest march that I could hear but couldn't see because they were on the nearby cross street.

  9. Mad: Astrid is often the one who first hears the tell-tale sound, since she's used to the different ones here. We were lucky to have been home at the apartment when this one happened. I love living here! :) Thanks.

  10. I looked at the youtube ad – just wonderful- the scenery was stunning. You always have so many good pictures on your blog – it is a delight for the eyes – I do enjoy looking at the food, like in the last post, but wish I could taste rather than just “look.” When we were in Holland, we survived on croquettes – do they still make them?
    What you are achieving with your close-up lens is impressive.

  11. I'm especially intrigued by the little ducks (?) in the upper left of your macro collage. It looks like a mama and babies, and a very fanciful breed, too. Are they old? Newly fashioned? A traditional craft? They're lovely and appealing, whichever!

  12. Vagabonde: Isn't that YouTube ad just one of the best, yes! I love that kind of creativity. And yes, they do still make the croquettes here but we hardly ever eat them...not our favorite thing. Thank you for your kind comment!

    SA: Those little ducks, Linda, are ceramic creations by Thelma, our hostess. She takes a class where she comes up with all kinds of wonderful nic-nacs all around her garden and house. She'll love your compliment. :)