Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MURP'S HOLLAND..................the Bicycle Diaries Pt II.

"De Rode Fiets". 
Gemert, the Netherlands.

A little bit of Old World Charm.
Having been raised in a small town in Ireland called Bray, 21km(13mls) south of Dublin, population around 24,000 (at that time), and working and traveling in a 
65km(40ml) radius of said town, I grew up with tractors sharing the town streets along with cars and delivery bicycles.
It was still an age where empty milk bottles were left on the front doorstep at night for the following mornings 5am milk delivery. Many mornings I woke up to the clank of the milk bottles as the milkman removed the emptys from the little 6 bottle metal carrier and replaced them with full ones.

Cycling around Elsendorp and the surrounding areas, I get to encounter a whole new level of Old World Charm that brings me back a little in time, where small towns still have market days in the square, and you still have deliveries to your door. 

Here in Elsendorp at LBS, a rolling supermarket arrives once a week filled with most everything you need, from coffee, tea, fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms, and bread and pastries from local bakeries, of which there are many in the area, and I try my best to avoid them, as the selection of pastries is nothing short of sinful.

A Thursday morning market in Bakel, the Netherlands.
From what I have seen, there are markets in different towns most weekday mornings from 7:30am to midday.

I have come to really enjoy my cycling here, it slows me down enough to 'smell the coffee' so to speak, and taking just one camera with one lens keeps it simple.
Less is more. 

On a recent Sunday morning cycle, I came across a gathering of 50's Opel's in the cobblestone square of a small town, it could be right out of Cuba actually, except the old Opel's were too mechanically correct and perfect.

As I was about to leave the square I heard the beating of drums.
Oooh, a public hanging perhaps?. It sounded like a death march, one of those 'Condemned Man' type of beats.
Maybe they still have the Guillotine in these parts. That'd be a treat for sure. 
Nah, thats in France.

Ooh, these people look very serious, maybe there is going to be a hanging after all.

Ok, good, finally, somebody is smiling. That's got to be a good sign.

So when I got back to Ad at LBS I was explaining about some of the stuff I photographed and mentioned about the parade.
So he says "Oh, my father was probably in that parade".

Sure enough, I inadvertently photographed Ad's Dad, Mr. Donkers Sr.

I wish I could say the ride back was picture perfect, but as is the norm in these parts the weather changed in the blink of an eye, and looking at the sky, I new I was in for a soaking.

And of course when there's a good storm in the afternoon, that usually means that there's going to be a nice sunset later on that evening.

And there was.

The next post here on my photo journal will be Pt IV of my Mobec Duo-Drive Sidecar Build.

Have the day of your choice,



Alan Sean said...

OK so what was the parade for?

Anonymous said...

My wife comes from a small town in Austria (population 16,000). Its the same, weekly market & eggs, beer, soft drinks, wine etc. all delivered to your front door. I only get to visit there once a year but your photos bring back fond memories. Thanks. Tony

IRISH Murph said...

I have been told it's the Parade of Saint Anthony. All these parades are religious based, no way of escaping it.

IRISH Murph said...


Thanks for writing, and glad that the post brought back good memories for you. I get that feeling sometimes when looking
photographs too. THis time it's my own pictures that make others feel that way.


Ken Danielsen said...

Hej, I like your pictures very much. I especially like how you catch the bright and clear colors.
I´m from Faroes Island, the little dot in the north Atlantic ocean. You might look it up, it is worth a visit. I think the nature there is much like your Ireland, just in a smaller scale.
I´m looking forward to your visit to Denmark, that´s were I live now, since 05. I do hope I will have the chance to welcome you together whit a lot of bikers gathered from the MCF forum.
God wishes to you and your bike from me.
Happy thoughts Ken... Called Kendan on the forum :-)