Sunday, 31 August 2008
The Leaning Tower of Piza and the Dissociated Membral Tower of Stephen's House. I am honoured to be on the same page, I wonder if I could sell as many post-cards though.
And now for the 'Just Because I Can' page, here are a whole bunch of photos from my last day in the park. It was sunny out but thankfully cooler inside. It is my last day with the house in Europe, so the fact that the weather was smiling for me seems like a good omen.
4500 km, four festivals and more faces than you could meet at world year-book convention.
This is great Annika, I like this a lot, it's going to find it's way onto my wall somehow, somewhere....
The exclaimation points tell it all. I think we got there in the end but there was a fair amount of unoffical sign language going on.
More festival folk from the ticket kiosk. They had a light day yesterday apparently due to the fact that everything was sold out. Can't do better than that!
And once more Ghert-Jam, quickly someone put this guy in a movie, I reckon his is made for it.
Some Dutch words are easier to pick out than others.
Meet Goina, she has been living in New Zealand for the past 18 years but comes from Groningen, or nearby. She arrived with gifts! Thanks so much! A Peanut slab (you have to be local to understand the subtleties of this delight). She also gifted me a bone carving which it turns out she sells online on aotearoa.co.nz -
And then there was...
Don't want to go on about it too much, but this was a great day particularly due to the good luck of a certain event. It even hit the papers... to cut a long story short there was a break in, not my house the house housing my computer (where I do the blogs). Someone clearly wanted a preview of my photo collection before I edited them onto the blog. Turns out the Police had a differnt idea and through a weird chain of events the computer was returned to me without harm.
So now I'm less that-guy-in-the-little-house and more that-guy-who-had-his-computer-stolen... well no more, so Groningen has redeemed itself completely.
And the sun went down in Groningen for the last time for me. I hope we'll meet again soon.
Watch out Groningen, I've gone mobile. Not a bad way to see the canals of the city, perhaps I should take tickets... the beauty of a photograph is that you can't tell I'm crawling at about 2 kph on the only vaguely tilted piece of roading in the city.
It was a great day for shoes. The pink ones were bought in Stockholm I am told. There were delightful faces at the other end of them also as it turned out. And what's more, Gabby and her daughter gave me some of the most beautiful (and weird) chocolate I have ever tasted.
This is Youge (I think it is Dutch for George). He'd spent a few months travelling around New Zealand in a camper van and we had an interesting conversation about Able Tasman, who was an 18th century Dutch explorer who was the first European to chart the waters of New Zealand. There is a museum near here in a town called Lutjefast (not sure of my spelling) about him. In fact, the story I heard was that Able Tasman arrived in his boat and on seeing the Native Maori coming towards them in their canoes, he had a Barroque trumpeter reply to their conch shell calls. It appears there was some musical differences or aural confusion because when Tasman's men met them mid-seas in their row boat, the natives attached them with paddles, killing five of his crew members. Able Tasman took this as a sign that the Dutch were happy to leave New Zealand to the current owners, and it took the English another 60years to come back with rifles and trading goods to convince their way on shore and ultimately colonise the place.
What I would like to know, is if that trumpeter had played a different tune, would it perhaps be thatched-roof Dutch house I would now be sitting in?
And this is Pierre, the frenchman with a lens wider than his smile. He took some beautiful photos this day, I'll try and get a link for you if you are interested....
She was curious about what I was doing here on the street. I could have asked the same thing.
In case you are wondering, she got the club-tropicana nails done here, though she actually lives in the Carribean.
Above is a demonstration of some of the diffcult preparation exercises I must do in the evenings to prepare mentally and physically for my time in the house, and to the right receiving a little tuition from Femke. Sometimes this preparation can be very demanding.