Monday, November 26, 2012

Neighborhood Demolition: Part III

Just when I thought it was basically done and over with, NOOOO, they weren't done.  In fact, after sending Jeroen (a.k.a. Hoomer, the demolition man, not Astrid's son) the links to my last demolition posts, he wrote back and said, "Please don't stop taking pictures.  Did you see the big machine out there now?!"

That machine spits out the metal, crushes the concrete, and grinds it down to gravel.
 It's then sold to companies that use it, for instance, to build the surface layers of roads.

See, my education was not finished!

Another steam shovel came in to do this part of the job.
Another steam shovel; another company; another process.

 See how it keeps that gravel-crusher moving.  Garbage in, gravel out.
And that's our senior apartment complex in the background...our back side.

In fact, some of these pictures I took of the bulldozer from our 2nd-floor balcony.
Our parking garage is there in the background, just a stone's-throw away.
Talk about a front-row seat!

I'd walk back-n-forth from our apartment and the garage to get different perspectives.
And yes, that's Hoomer/Jeroen visiting the bulldozer driver.

That little bulldozer was a little workhorse.
As soon as one huge truck was filled up with the gravel, another backed in to take its place.
Day in and day out for over a week!

Now, here's a treat for you from Astrid, who took all these following images:

During the week, Astrid works, of course, so she was the one who took the night shots.
Apparently that gravel-crusher is expensive to rent, so they worked late.
She took these from the parking garage, looking back on our aparment complex and city.
See our Grote Kerk there in the background (middle right)!

She even caught them changing the crushing blades.
Those steam-shovel operators can pick up toothpicks, I think!

Then on a Sunday Astrid went "trespassing."
She told me she found an opening in the fence...just like someone else, apparently.
That gravel-crusher is humongous.  It's a beast!

As compared to this cutie-pie bulldozer, at rest on a gorgeous day.

Thank you, Astrid, for your fabulous addition to this photo-journalistic project.
And NOW I think the demolition is done.  
What's left is the leveling, grading and grass-planting?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

After all that, it's my turn at Vision and Verb again, following the Thanksgiving weekend.  It's about what I do when I can't be home for the holidays!

For one thing, we drove to Antwerp, Belgium, an hour away, and spent an overnight there to see the city up close and personal.  But more on that next week....  

Monday, November 19, 2012


Believe it or not, I just finished an easy week by my standards...not working all day long every day on getting images processed for a new post.

Just bits-n-pieces of this, that, and the you'll soon see!

Promise not to laugh...but this past summer during the Olympics, our nearby Aldi grocery store brought in pallets of goodies from England, to celebrate the festivities.  One of the goodies I latched onto was Ginger Bier (= beer).

The 6-packs started out at €3.49.  "I can afford that," I said.
We're not beer drinkers, to be honest, but there's something about ginger, right?
And when Astrid said she liked it, I took her inch and ran it for a mile.
After a couple months, the price was reduced to €2 per 6-pack.
When it was then reduced to €1 per 6-pack, I bought the remaining 13 packs!
Thankfully the expiration date is next April because we drink only 4 bottles total/weekend.  HA!

So, speaking of ginger, which is gember in Dutch....

I really am a glutton for it!
I love the lemongrass & ginger oil I use for our Sunday-night homemade popcorn.
And when I saw it as a jam (extra jam!), I jumped for joy!
It doesn't take much to make me happy.  But you know that by now.

Backtrack now to Adrie Bezemer, the wood turner.  When we were at his shop 2 weeks ago, he told us about the exhibition where he would be this past nearby Nieuwpoort.

It so happens that Nieuwpoort is a tiny town we like to visit
twice a year or so for their spareribs.  Another small pleasure.
And see, it's even ready for the season.

Within a one-block area, we went to the exposition and afterwards ate our spareribs.
It was fun to see Adrie again doing his thing, which he does so well.
We feel like we have a new friend!

And, as luck would have it, we found a new friend...Jan Scheffe.
Making bronzes is just one of his hobbies!  He also paints.
We had fun getting to know him better as he explained the art of making a bronze.
Aren't we lucky?!?!?!
(Maybe we can talk him into making a website?!)

Now, to fill in some more bits...

 Did I ever mention that Astrid and I have a chess game going all the time...
...and all year 'round!
This is the chess set Donica and I bought in Barcelona years ago, with the Gaudí flavor. 

And lest I forget (which I did!), we always have a jigsaw puzzel going!
These are ones we've finished since the last time I mentioned it...all from Jan van Haasteren
(in no particular order)

At the Gym (In de Fitness)--1000 pcs.

Castle Conflict (De Middeleeuwen)--1000 pcs.

Christmas (Kerstmis)--1000 pcs.

Departure Hall (Vertrekhal)--1000 pcs.

The Golf Course (De Golfbaan)--1500 pcs.
In the Car Respraying Shop (In de Autospuiterij)--1000 pcs.

Some like it Hot--1000 pcs.

The Playground (De Speeltuin)--1000 pcs.

United Europe--750 pcs.

The Kitchen (De Keuken)--1000 pcs.

Dat was it!  That's it.  Just a whole bunch of this, that, and the other.  Bit's-n-pieces.

For all my American friends, HAPPY THANKSGIVING this week!  It's the one American holiday I miss more than all the others put together.  (sigh)  I'm at least thankful for all the memories....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Adrie Bezemer: The Wood Turner

When I stop to think about it, Astrid and I are so darn lucky!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you about the wood turner we saw in our nearby Grote Kerk at the end of our Summer Festival here in Gorinchem: 

His name is Adrie Bezemer and this is his hobby after retirement.  He's 72.

After that post, Astrid sent him the link to these above collages.
He responded by inviting us to visit him at his home shop for a personal demonstration.

WE ARE NOT DUMB!  We did it a week ago, on November 3, 2012!

Adrie and his wife bought a huge farmhouse 30 years ago 
and remodeled it themselves over 16 years in the evenings and weekends.
In the back of the house, the former cow stable, is now Adrie's display studio and workshop.

Because we arrived by 10 a.m., and true to Dutch custom, we first had koffie break.
Adrie's lovely wife made sure we had plenty to eat and drink.
More Dutch you cannot get!

The wood-turning shop, adjacent to the studio, was a photo op for both of us!
You know how they say it's all about having the right tools!

When Astrid strings tennis rackets, she says she goes into her own zone.
Adrie said the same thing!  He truly was in his own zone.

And what did he make, you might ask?
He actually made TWO different goblets out of goudenregen (golden rain) wood.

The one on the right is mine, of which the Vimeo video below is made.
The one on the left is Astrid's, who chose the same wood but different design.

After the demonstration, Adrie burned the name of the wood 
and his signature into the bottoms of both goblets.
See the A3?  That's his signature.  A (ah) plus Drie (Dutch word for 3) = Adrie.
But A3 also looks like AB for Adrie Bezemer.  How clever is that!

Those 2 goblets were gratis, by the way!
My gift to Adrie in return is the following video, which he plans to add to his website.

Adrie Bezemer: The Wood Turner from Ginnie Hart on Vimeo.

And just before we left, after all our oohs and aahs, I bought a wood ballpoint pen that Adrie had on display in his studio.  Just call me a sucker for any writing utensils! Totally worth €15.

And yes, Adrie inscribed my name on the pen!
I picked out the pen that looked the most like oak wood, my favorite.
Guess what wood it was:  goudenregen.  Golden Rain.
The same wood as our goblets!

THANK YOU, Adrie Bezemer.  THANK YOU.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Neighborhood Demolition: Part II

But first, a commercial break for my Vision and Verb post today...

All the world's a stage....
one day before our American presidential election!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, to continue where I left off last post with our neighborhood demolition here in Gorichem, Netherlands!

By the time we got back from our August/September trip to America, the steam shovel had moved in.  Let the real games begin!  I was like a little kid, watching it off-n-on almost every day, with camera in hand.  I LOVE to see how things work.  (When was the last time I said that?!)

 Isn't she a beauty!  I've almost memorized her from head to foot.
So much beauty but what a mess she makes!

I hardly know where to begin because there were two sides of the street being worked on.
Across the street from our back (bedroom) window was one part.
And just next to our retirement complex was this part...just a few yards from our front door.
In the bottom left image above is our complex in the background.
(click collage to enlarge) 

The apartment buildings had sheds behind them which needed to be torn down first.
Once cleared out, the actual buildings themselves could be demolished...

...One by one...actually, two by two units every day.
The colors, the wallpaper...all coming down.

 No sooner was one dumpster filled up, it was moved
and another took its place.
(click collage to enlarge) 

It was like clock work.  I knew exactly what to expect.
And I was mesmerized to keep watching it, over and over again.

This is how close it was to our building in attached!
I'm standing on one of our walkways for these images.
And that's our friend, Wim, watching and taking pictures, too.
(click collage to enlarge)

Did I mention the dust??!!

When they tackled the 3-story apartment building next to our parking garage,
I watched the steam-shovel operator pick it apart like toothpicks.

Wouldn't you love it if Kony 2012 could be demolished so easily?!

In the above collage I am standing in the parking garage looking back on our complex,
where Astrid and I have lived now for 3 years.  The heaps of rubble are still being removed.
(click collage to enlarge) 

Ditto.  The heaps of rubble are still being removed.

Eventually, when there's money, they plan to build new apartments.  In the meantime, we've heard they plan to plant grass and make it look beautiful.  I can live with that!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Another reminder about my Vision and Verb post today.  We've got a presidential election coming up tomorrow, folks!  All of the world is watching, trust me!