Thursday, December 31, 2015

End of Year Bing-Bang

Because I didn't expect it, I must interrupt the program and give some ting tang, walla walla bing bang before the New Year tomorrow.  Are you ready??!

So, what happened last week, Wednesday, two days before Christmas, was an exhibition/clinic of old-timey Dutch zwieren and zwaaien (gliding and swaying) ice what they used to do on the canals (when there was still ice and snow!!!!!)...HERE in Gorinchem at our city center's Winterfestijn.

This image, from the Gorkums Nieuws, is of the Schoonrijders (Clean Riders) in costume,
when they came to Gorinchem on 12 December (but whom we totally missed).

The plan was that I would go and take photos of the whole thing, from 1-2:30p.  But guess what, it wasn't anything like what I expected because, well, it was a clinic and not really a show, like above.  They wanted to teach people how to do it.

I bet you know what's coming???!

But first, since I was there half an hour early, here's the rink that is set up around our city center's fountain every Christmas vacation:

The kids were having a blast (especially since it was 50-55 F outside).

Have you ever wondered how the Dutch teach their kids to skate?
Of course, it's usually on a canal somewhere, and with a chair for the prop.
But everyone helps each other.  It's a big deal.

Finally, I saw the professional skaters arriving...the ones who would demonstrate the zwieren and zwaaien.  I kept waiting for the officials to clear the ice, as did the professionals.  But it never happened.  Talk about a huge disappointment.  They had to do their thing in between all the kids skating in their way.  This was NOT how it was supposed to be (and Astrid, who was at work, later wrote to complain about it....), but they tried to make the most of it....

...while I attempted to get some snippets!
First there were two, then four, then six, followed by a wee demonstration with a newbie.
Notice the stokken (sticks) that are important for the "dance."

Okay, now here's what you're waiting for.  HA!  One of the very kind ladies, not at all pushy, kept asking me if I wanted to try it?  I had a hundred excuses, of new knee, Astrid wasn't there, etc., etc.  My last excuse was there was no safe place to put my camera and purse, to which she offered very kindly to hold for me...and to even take pics of me, if I wanted?

And yes, they just happened to have skates my size.  And two gentlemen to help me!

Within seconds, there I was zwieren and zwaaien,
and laughing my head off like a kid thinking it was Christmas.
The guys couldn't stop laughing either.  Once you get me started...Oh, my!

I think we circled the rink 4 or 5 times.
"Do not ever take your hands off the stick," they told me.  And thank god,
because I fell twice but not all the way, because the gentlemen held me up with the stick.

Ting tang walla walla bing bang!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And since we're on the subject, Astrid and I once again drove to Kinderdijk before sunrise on Christmas day, just because.  It's become a soulful tradition for us that is a gift you cannot buy.  Since then I have used some of my manipulation tools to be a bit artistic...another soulful gift for ME, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

On that note, remember this...?
Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Aah, Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang.



  1. Now you know I'm going to have that song in my head all day!! LOL! First, I love that you have this soulful tradition and second...wonderful manipulation! It's all what pleases us, right? And a bonus when you please others. You got a bunch of bonus points! Happy New Year! xoxo

    1. I've had that song jingling around in my head for many days now, Robin. OMG--the power of a simple tune! Just think how it could change the world, if only!

      In the meantime, thanks for the bonus points!!! Happy New Year, dear friend!

  2. Skating...who would have thought... I am so happy for you that you had that experience and and we will go together one evening to the skating rink in Dordrecht to have another try.
    Beautiful pictures and yes we had a great time at Kinderdijk. We will do that next year again.
    Happy New Year with maybe more adventures to come IHVJ.

    1. I definitely want to skate with YOU one time, so let's figure out when we can go to the rink in Dordrecht. I'd really like that. In the meantime, Happy New Year to my Partner in Crime. I LOVE that we can share these things together! Thank you.

  3. I love those Christmas morning shots...and oh what fun to skate...I haven't in years and I love how they give you ways to stay up...the chair idea would have helped my bum years ago. Happy New Year to you and Astrid!

    1. Thank you, dear Donna. It felt like old times to skate I had never forgotten a thing. Memories! And now, Happy New Year to you and yours.

  4. Bravo for gliding and swaying, but even more so for those windmill creations. Beautiful!

    Alas, there were some blank images in the middle - probably video, and they fell on top of the words making that section unreadable, but I think I got the drift, glide and sway.

    1. It appears that as long as you only read the Inbox version of the post, Ted, you will never see the videos. Alas, alack. Have you recently tried to access the posts on the blog? I still don't "get" why you can't see them there. (sigh)

      But yes...glide and sway! :)