Paul - who brings friendly nonsense (blur_kiwi) wrote,
Paul - who brings friendly nonsense
blur_kiwi

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The Netherlands at Christmas

I'm sorry this has taken me ages to get round to, but things have been a little hectic one way and another.

As you probably know, I went to The Netherlands to spend Christmas with my friends Gerrit and Jos. As always it was a great time, fairly relaxed away from traditions and expectations. It's always good. I arrived a few days after a big snow fall to find the whole country blanketed. Of course, since I've been back the same has happened here, which takes the polish off of some of my photos to a certain extent, but it was still great to have a white Christmas and to feel that special snowy crunch underfoot.


The view of the farmhouse opposite, from the front window. I've always loved this view. It's typically Dutch yet different every time I see it. It seems that I take this photo, from inside the house looking out, every time I visit. Sometimes it's sunny, sometimes dull, sometimes, in this case, a snow scene. Always a delight.

 

Although it is, on the face of it, a flat and seemingly featureless landscape, I love the large expanses that The Netherlands offers. With no hills surrounding you, you can see for ever, or at least until the distant mists swallow up the view.

 


 
This was Christmas Eve, the frost on the trees turning them magical and the snow on the ground.

 


 
Roads like this would make, and indeed did make, the UK come to a standstill - here you just get on with it.

 
I really like this picture, nothing special but somehow, so Dutch.

 
Every year, in the week leading up to Christmas, the radio station 3FM has a charity event where three DJs are locked in a glass house with only drinks to sustain them. They play requests (the whole thing is called, Serious Request) and raise money for, in this case, the fight against malaria. In 2009 the glass house happened to be in the main square in Groningen, so it was a golden opportunity to go along and feel part of the whole thing. They raised over seven million Euros this year and came out on Christmas Eve to an amazing reception.

 
I will admit, not the greatest photo I've ever taken but these are two of the DJs, Gerard Ekdom and Annemieke Schollaardt, inside the glass house. 

 
This was Christmas Day, so there is no getting away from the fact that it was a real white Christmas.

 
The area where Gerrit and Jos live is known as a supplier of natural gas. They have been extracting it for fifty years now from below the ground. While this is an important industry for the area it is also making it sink, so the long-term effects are far from certain. In recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of this industry, this sculpture has been put into the central reservation on the A7 motorway. There is no prize, but can anyone tell me what it represents?

 
Gerrit and Jos's daughter, Evelyne, during a snowball fight.

 
And finally, evening near Ter Apel on 26 December, with the snow almost gone.

Next time, the Festival of Chinese Lights at Emmen.

 
 


Tags: 09, nl
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