Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Potential situations

Surprise, surprise... I was at the beach again this weekend. It is so incredible how peaceful it looks in these pictures and still it was very windy and cold out there. It was almost too much to walk against the wind and I had to warm up my hands for a long time after taking photos. I had a good distance from the water this time and was more inspired walking beside the higher dunes, which are protecting the coastline of Holland against the water masses of Atlantic ocean. 

This windy beach walk was just a small struggle compared to the fact that the Netherlands is also preparing this vulnerable coastal area against climate change and possible super storms, which could wipe away a huge part of this country when hitting the coastline of Holland. I would not like to think of this possibility, but even they have builded some extra protection: dams, storm gates to stop the water masses and made the dunes stronger to keep this country dry, the nature can be unpredictable. The climate change will make the storms stronger and there will be more of them in the future. After a last very big flood in South Holland 1953, the planning and building the protection against the flooding has been taken very seriously in this country. The dutch people have seen the potential in this flatland and worked hard so it is possible to live here as a neighbour of the big blue sea, the force of Nature that we have to respect.


To protect the country, which is mostly under the sea level, they have for example builded a huge storm gate in Rotterdam (picture 1), which is supposed to stop the bigger water masses in case of a flood. Rotterdam harbour is one of the biggest in the world and largest in Europe.

Storm gate in Rotterdam (1)

Afsluitdijk, a dam separating the Atlantic ocean from the IJsselmeer
There has been floods in Amsterdam too. Since one bigger one they builded a big,32 kilometres long dam in Norh of Holland(picture 2, build between 1927 and 1932), that separates the Atlantic ocean from the South Sea bay (Zuiderzee), which is now called IJsselmeer (a sweet water lake, which gets most of the water from the Ijssel river). Before they builded this dam, there was a big risk that the flood from the Atlantic ocean could easily reach Amsterdam and other parts of the country. And even there has been huge projects like Delta project in Zeeland, in the South Part of Holland, this protection seems to be a process that will never end. The weather type is changing and all the work and planning needs to be up dated constantly. It is good to be realistic, but I am keeping my hope high that there will be happening more an more during the next years to stop the climate change. 


I share you some impressions from the Castricum beach. 

I was enjoying my time at the beach even it was cold. Luckily some restaurants are open all year round and you can always step in for a hot drink. My favourite lately is a hot ginger tea made from fresh pieces of Ginger.

It was like a museum of still life in a noisy and windy theatre stage. Some of us brave ones getting fresh air and forgetting all the other noice from everyday life. The scenographer or the art director of this movie scene was still making plans for the summer I think. Hiding somewhere in these abandon looking buildings and ruins on the sand. I am looking forward to the masterplans for this coming summer season.  

Take away coffee here..not a bad idea!
Some beach restaurants and clubs are taken down in every autumn and build again in the next spring. It is interesting to see all these piles and wooden frames here and there. Actually it even makes everything more interesting and photogenic somehow. How many perfect beach pictures, landscapes and nature captures there are in the internet? So many that you sometimes even become bored seeing all that perfection and the ultimate result of all editing work.

Absolutely nothing wrong there, but sometimes you need to see and feel the raw reality and see the beauty in there. That works as an reminder that we need to do something to make things work and better. The ability to see the potential of the moment in a given context is good skill to have. That has driven people to design solutions and make further plans..and photographers too make good pictures. I think we have to keep our eyes open in many directions and respect the real life. More time with the friends and the family, more time outside, more time making things by hands, more time being aware who we are and letting our creativity come out in many fields of life:-). 

The piles of a beach club...coming soon :-)

Shadow art
Lisää kuvateksti

Human made spider net :-)

The real tuesday is waiting for me. Writing this with my own hands with the help of the computer was a good moment to look back on my weekend and get ready to make the best out of today. I wish you a wonderful day with full of interesting moments!

A video of Holland's barriers to the Sea

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

January visions

Today we had a black morning in Amsterdam - The power outage early this morning affected to the public transportation and to the normal morning routines in many households. When I woke up and wanted to turn on the lights nothing happened at first, but after a one minute the power cut was off in our case. I slept happily in my bed without knowing the night was even darker than usual without any streetlights. The vulnerability of our modern system is there, even it is easy to forget. The luxury of light, heating, transportation, shopping and many other things is something we are used to. The electricity is making so many things easier and possible. This sort of interruption is always a good reminder and also making me think we should be better prepared and more ecological with our use of energy. I have been thinking for a while we should install the sun panels on our roof top. 

Netherlands is the first country in the world testing the opportunities using the solar panels on the surface of roads. The first solar bike path was build in Krommenie, a town north of Amsterdam. The solar panels are between glass layers, silicon rubber and concrete and are strong enough to support 12-tonne fire trucks without any damage. There are now plans to roll the technology of SolaRoad to other provinces of Netherlands in the future. Similar plans are now also made and signed in California, USA and in 2016 the first 1 km long solar road was build in Normandy, France. The new innovations are giving more opportunities for collecting and producing the energy we need. 

We were having a nice energy walk at the beach on Sunday. For me the element of water is very important to see in a bigger scale regularly. We will go to the beach more often this year, because it is such a balancing, surprising and mind clearing way to relax - just walking, listening and breathing there. Especially the winter is even more inspiring sometimes by the sea. The waves seem to shape the coastline more powerfully during the colder season and the beach looks different every time.

It is fun to follow the solar path at the beach. The sun is often giving a bit of light, even through grey clouds. Many times it has been raining in the City and we still decided to go to the beach and the weather has been just perfect there. Like it was again in Bloemendaal on sunday.

This time the water line was full of starfishes and my daughter was fascinated by seeing these beautiful creatures. She was worried that some of them, washed too far to the dry land along the waves, would die when not being able to go back to the sea. She spent some time moving many of them back to the water. This was also the first time she saw seastars and it was wonderful to see how she wanted to help them. 

Winter surfers with their minimal silhouettes are fun to watch.

Every time there are horses at the beach too.

A rescue team and the police arrived to the beach, hopefully no one was in trouble in the water.

After a long walk and finding interesting details like shells and crayfish scissors, we went for a luch at the beach restaurant. What I love about Holland is that there is always nice fish meals also on the menu. This time we tested the portion of shells and it was very tasty. 

Now the life is back to normal rhythm again after a long holiday season in December. I hope the year has started well to you !! I think the worst grey, season is over now. Yesterday I found out that the 3rd monday of the year( which was yesterday), is always a "blue monday", the most depressive day of the year. Well, for me it was a sunny, positive day with a clear blue sky. Anyway the life can be challenging, tiring and boring sometimes. But the blue sky combined with the bright sun is making it easier to go on. I feel I also learned about something new about myself during my winter sleep:-). I learned I can change the wrong tracks of my thoughts by being aware, giving me some time to consider and this way letting me to see the other possible options and solutions in the situations. I feel I am more in charge of my visions and reactions this time and ready for the new set of seasons again. The great thing of getting a bit older every year is "it seems to be I am more and more willing to get to know myself better". This means I am also getting more understanding considering the other people in my life. It is wonderful!