Sunday, August 12, 2012

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

My Stern Rox sidecar frame ready to go to the powdercoaters.

The spare tire carrier and assorted metal pieces from the sidecar ready for powder coating.

Friday, August 10th, 2012.
This morning we disassembled my soon to be sidecar outfit for the last time as we enter into the final stages of the construction.
All of the metalwork is finally finished and today I dropped everything off at the powdercoaters.
Yesterday I brought the fiberglass sidecar to the paint shop, so by Wednesday of next week, we will have all the parts back and start putting it all together, and hopefully we won't have too many parts left over (!).

So, what to do while I wait?.
Get out on the bicycle and breathe a bit, something I haven't  had much of a chance to do in the last two or three weeks.
I had intended to pack a few items on the bicycle and head off for a week of cycling and photographing, but trying to get the sidecar outfit built and ready for the August EGT has taken up all of my spare time. 
I was going to cycle up the 110km(67 mls) to Alblasserdam, which is just a wee bit south east of Rotterdam and right by the famous Windmills of Kinderdijk, a series of 19 mills on the World Heritage List, used for water drainage from the Alblasserwaard polders which are situated below sea-level (Polder is a piece of land in a low-lying area that has been reclaimed from a body of water using dikes and drainage canals). But now that i'm running out of time, I don't think I'll be able to go on a bicycle trip, pity.

There are plenty of bicycle paths to ride on here in Noord Brabant, probably a few thousand miles of them.

Cafes are everywhere here in the Province of Noord Brabant in the south of Holland, and Noord Brabant borders itself with Belgium to the south, Limburg province to the west and Zeeland province to the east.

If dogs could smile.

A traditional and typical thatched roof cottage just outside of Milheeze here in Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands, and just to the right of this cottage is the beautiful "Laurentia' grain mill.

The Laurentia would be what the Dutch would describe 
 as an "Achtkante Stellingmolen", or a "Smock Mill" due to it's shape.
Smock Mills are usually octagonal and built from brick unlike tower mills which are usually cylindrical and built of timber. In a tower mill the whole body of the mill turns to be able to be faced into the wind, whereas in a smock mill only the crown or head of the mill turns, allowing the construction of the smock mill to be much larger and stronger.

The "Laurentia" is a fully operational Belt Mill, originally built in 1890 and then called the "Ludolizawi", a combination of the names of the former owners.
It was changed in 1965 to "Laurentia" after a having a substantial restoration done to her.
The Laurentia is also a hell of a lot easier to pronounce after a few cocktails.

And in stark contrast to the Laurentia, this slowly decaying Mill on the outskirts of the village of Gemert has been left to deteriorate and age gracefully, and there's still an air of majesty to her. As I wandered around the base I couldn't help but wonder what she was like and the people and the millers who she entertained back in her heyday.

From what little research is out there about this mill, it appears it was named
 "The Peoples Friend" mill. 

'The Peoples Friend' windmill must have been a very beautiful mill when fully operational, structurally it's very well made with it's cylindrical brick base. 
Due to the fact it was made of brick it would have been able to take a lot more weight inside, so I'm guessing it probably had three pairs if not four pairs of milling stones in it.
The older wooden mills, the tower mills, were not able to carry as much weight as brick mills and usually had only one or at most two pairs of the huge and very heavy grain milling stones in them.

And now for something unusual, my "Omen" moment if you will.
If any of you have seen the movie "The Omen" there is a scene I remember ( i'm not sure whether it was Omen I, II or III) where a photographer shoots a picture of the priest outside of a church at night. When the photographer get's back to the darkroom and starts to develop the pictures, the image of the priest comes out with a white 'slash' or a flare going through him (the priest), and as it turns out that night during a particularly bad storm the weather vein on the church is hit by lightning, falls and spears the priest, just like the white slash flare did in the picture.

So, as I processed this image, I noticed in the bottom left part of the shot a flare that looked to be in the shape of an orange cross.
Just a cross, nothing unusual really, except that it wasn't there on the overgrown hedges surrounding the brick base of the windmill to begin with, wasn't in any of the other shots I took that morning and there was nothing in the way of the shot that would reflect or throw off a shadow with this type of a shape to it.

So, just an interesting lens flare, or an Omen of things to come?.

I'm sure that there's a perfectly rational and scientific explanation for it, but what's the fun in that?.

The comments section is now

Have the day of your choice......


1 comment:

Alan Sean said...

Such great photos and storyline.