In the harbour too, there are posters and banners asking the public for support. Here's one just in front of the Vereeniging's neighbour. Essentially, it explains why the yard has closed and what action we'd like the owners (the council) to take.
The petition states that "the future of yard and slipway is uncertain. This iconic piece of Rotterdam has a special historical value is a major attraction for tourists to the city. We need your vote to keep the Koningspoort open."
What's great is that the cafés as well as the residents of the apartments support this move, so we are all behind it and tomorrow, being a public holiday here, there'll be an event staged in the harbour with activities, workshops and live music in an effort to gain further support. So...if anyone here is reading about this for the first time, I'd be so grateful if you'd also sign our petition. It's such an important resource for us and such an attraction for the city. Everyone in the area benefits from keeping it open and alive. The link to the petition is here: Thank you!
In other news, I drove back down to the crumbly cottage for the weekend as usual, aware that we were heading for more of that inclement weather again. Well it hit hard on Friday night. The storm raged and the wind blew. I was wakened in the wee hours by the sound of rattling windows, tiles and doors, while our wheelie bins and containers scooted around the side passage on their own mission. It was quite a bad one and there was a fair bit of debris lying around yesterday when I took myself off for a walk. The sun was shining, but it was still blowing hard and I had to lean into the wind to make progress along the dyke.
What I really regret is that I didn't have my camera with me because I encountered two other rather special types of walkers as I trod my way round our nature reserve. It made me think of one of my favourite bloggers, Beth Haslam whose life is populated by all kinds of fascinating animals and I've often envied her rural French domaine. Well, it was my turn this time. The first people I met were taking their horses for a walk. They weren't riding them; they were just meandering around the nearby lake with two horses on leads, letting them snack to their hearts content on the rich grasses and clover that line the banks. We had a brief chat (the people and I, not the horses) about what a great restaurant this was for their equine friends. Five stars no less and in the Michelin Guide for sure. We had a good chuckle about this as I stroked the noses of their connoisseur customers, who snorted gently in appreciation. They obviously liked the service too.
|Thanks to the Feed Room website for this photo|
Then, as I carried on round, I met a woman walking her pot-bellied pigs. I've seen them before as she's had them since they were tiny piglets. Sadly, they're a bit shy, so tend to scatter if anyone else tries to give them attention, but it was great to see how they've grown. They're actually quite large now. I remarked on their size to the owner, but she seemed quite at ease with it, so she must be used to them by now. Who says country walks are dull? I so enjoyed this one.
|A photo I found on the Internet from ABC news|
This morning broke fine and sunny, and the wind had thankfully dropped, which encouraged me to get on my bike and go to the Hennie H again. Koos was busy with other chores and I'd hoped to do some more painting. Alas, when I arrived, I found our little barge covered in dirt and debris from the storm. I wasn't best pleased given the time I'd spent on cleaning her last weekend, but needs must and I had to do it all over again, which meant no painting this week. Such is life with boats. When the weather's fine, we have no time, but when we have the time, she's covered in grime (haha). Still, I managed to do some anti-rusting in places and cleaned up inside as well, so it wasn't wasted. Here's the view from the back deck. It was wonderfully calm on the water today.
|View from the back deck of the Hennie Ha|
Since it was so unexpectedly pleasant, I took the long way round back to the cottage, and decided to cycle along the towpath dyke of the Gent-Terneuzen canal. I'd noticed there were several barges heading for Gent and as I crossed the bridge, the bell started ringing, which meant it was about to open. By cycling along the dyke, I could enjoy the ride and see what was coming.
It's a lovely route as the towpath passes between the canal and a nature reserve, which is a beautifully peaceful stretch of land where water birds of all varieties congregate.
|The nature reserve along the dyke|
Then on the other side, I watched this beastie approaching. Several such ships pass every day, but I never get tired of watching them. They are so huge, yet they proceed so smoothly they rarely make a big wash and I'd rather be on the water with one of these than some of the smaller barges and boats.
The rest of my ride home took me through lovely gentle country and I was tired but relaxed when I reached the crumbly cottage again. Still an hour's weeding and ivy cutting in the garden, ably assisted by Koos, finished us both off for the day, and then it was time to get back to reality and down to marking again.
It's all part of life's rich tapestry, isn't it?
Have a great week allemaal!