06-11-06

The change ? - De verandering ? (foto, Waaslandhaven, carterminal, transport)

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Ik groeide op onder de doem van de teloorgang van de biodiversiteit, het uitsterven van diersoorten, het kappen van wouden, het volbouwen van open ruimten, de lucht- en watervervuiling, de overbevissing en tenslotte ook de klimaatwijziging.  En na al die jaren van prediken in de woestijn, hoort iedereen ineens het alarm.  Wonderbaarlijk : al wat voorheen werd aanzien als marginaal geleuter blijkt nu ernst. Nu nog blijven hameren tot het zo diep is doorgedrongen dat er ook daden volgen.

 

I grew up under the doom of the loss of biodiversity, the distinction of species, the cutting down of forests, the building over of open areas, the air and water pollution, the overfishing and finally also the climate change.  And after all those years of preaching in the desert, finally everybody hears the alarm. Miraculous : everything that was considered as marginal twaddle is taken serious now.  Now keep on hammering until it is penetrated so deep that actions are actually following.

11:39 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (9) | Tags: haven | |  Facebook

17-10-06

On the border - Op de grens (2,3) (haven van Antwerpen, Waasland, Kieldrecht)

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00:25 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (9) | Tags: haven | |  Facebook

15-10-06

On the border - Op de grens (1) (haven van Antwerpen, Waasland, Kieldrecht)

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Short : Today I start to show some photos of  “development” (port of Antwerp), followed by a series of photos of what is preserved (polders and nature) so far.  Photo : Watch out ! Crossing work traffic.

Kort : Vandaag start ik een reeksje over “ontwikkeling” (haven van Antwerpen), gevolgd door enkele foto’s van wat tot hiertoe behouden is (polders en natuur).

 

Long : Last week I was for the first time able to watch the destruction of polder and natural habitats by the expansion of the port of Antwerp without being devastated myself.  It is all a long story : the expansion of the port of Antwerp from the right bank to the left bank of the river Schelde, where I live, started in my childhood.  Polders, creeks and reed fields are covered/filled with meters of sand and replaced by petro-chemical industry, docks, quays, container terminals and transshipment companies.  During ten years I had the opportunity to work for a nature conservation organization and now we have a sort of co-habitation formula of nature and port, which gave us some nature reserves and some promises of  future nature areas.  The expansion of the port, driven by the power of money, is way faster than the tempo of the officials of the Ministry of the Flemish Community who have, thanks to the nature organization and their actions, the task to install new nature.  It is like the speed of a  hare and a snail.  In theory nature has to be replaced and given  time to develop before it is destroyed, but here you always have a faster destruction than new nature where you and all living creatures of this habitat can flee in.  But I must emphasize : that nature has got rights and will be replaced is a giant victory.

Anyhow,  I can watch it now.  I still have a deep connection with nature (I am happy with nature that is here and now) but I think that, at least at this (probably short) moment, I can face the global decline of nature and the environment by men’s actions (read : short-sightedness).  Maybe that’s because all the scientific prove of what exactly is wrong (the global warming, the loss of natural habitats of all kinds, the enlargement of scale) and of what  should be done and of what should be stopped is available.  Attention is drawn to the problems, problems are recognized, many people and organizations are active concerning nature and environment (recently Al Gore).  Only the emperors in the world of money and business and in their wake the politicians, are not following … yet.  Therefore things have to get even worse first.  Maybe it is this short-sightedness, this lack of responsibility, that I am learning to see as an inherent part of man’s nature.  Maybe I am finally achieving an attitude which allows me to survive myself mentally.  It’s not a giving up, but it is taking a distance.  It is not changing my environmental  friendly and nature supportive behavior, but it is not longer being very hurt when being faced with people’s nature and environmental destructive behavior.  It is a loss of involvement and of authenticity and of passion, but maybe in theory it could make me a more dangerous fighter, a cool and calculating Roman instead of a passionate Germanic natural man.  I’ll see.  Anyway, the next coming years : no front-lines for me anymore.

 

Lang :  Vorige week was ik voor het eerst in staat om de teloorgang, zeg maar de vernietiging,  van de polder en natuurlijke biotopen door de expansie van de haven van Antwerpen te aanschouwen zonder zelf tenonder te gaan.  Het is een lang verhaal : de expansie van de Antwerpse haven van de rechter- naar de linkeroever van de Schelde, waar ik woon, begon in mijn kindertijd.  Polders, kreken, rietvelden worden onder meters zand gespoten en vervangen door petro-chemie, dokken, kaaien, containerterminals en overslagbedrijven.  Gedurende tien jaar had ik de gelegenheid om voor een natuurbeschermingsorganisatie te werken en nu hebben we hier een soort van samenlevingsformule van haven en natuur, die enkele natuurreservaatjes opleverde en de belofte van toekomstige nieuwe natuur.  De uitbreiding van de haven, voortgestuwd door de macht van het geld, is veel sneller dan het tempo van de ambtenaren van het Ministerie van de Vlaamse Overheid die, dankzij acties van natuurbeschermingsorganisaties, de taak hebben van nieuwe natuur te gaan inrichten.  Het is zoals de snelheid van een haas en van een slak.  In theorie moet natuur elders vervangen worden en de tijd hebben van zich te ontwikkelen vooraleer een stuk natuur vernietigd wordt, maar hier heb je altijd snellere vernietiging dan nieuwe natuur waar jij en alle levende wezens van die habitat in kunnen wegvluchten.  Maar ik wil hier wel benadrukken dat het een gigantische overwinning is dat de natuur hier rechten verworven heeft  en vervangen zal worden.

In ieder geval : ik kan het nu aanzien.  Ik heb nog altijd een diepe verbinding met de natuur (ik ben blij met alles wat er nu is van natuur), maar ik denk dat ik, tenminste op dit (wellicht korte) moment, de globale teloorgang en achteruitgang van natuur en milieu door toedoen (lees : kortzichtigheid) van de mens kan aanzien.  Misschien komt dit omdat er nu voldoende wetenschappelijk bewijs is van wat er precies mis loopt (de globale opwarming van de aarde, het verlies aan allerlei natuurlijke habitats, de schaalvergroting) en van wat er zou gedaan of gelaten zou moeten worden.  Er is nu aandacht voor deze problemen, problemen worden erkend, vele mensen en organisaties zijn actief bezig rond natuur en het milieu (het meest recent : Al Gore).  Alleen de keizers van de geld- en zakenwereld met in hun kielzog de politiekers volgen (nog) niet.  Daarvoor moet alles eerst nog slechter worden.  Misschien ben ik bezig te leren van deze kortzichtigheid, dit gebrek aan verantwoordelijkheid te gaan zien als een onafscheidbaar onderdeel van de eigenheid van de mens.  Misschien ben ik eindelijk een houding aan het verwerven die me toestaat om zelf mentaal te overleven.  Het is geen opgeven, maar een afstand nemen.  Het is niet : mijn milieuvriendelijk en natuurbevorderend gedrag veranderen, maar het is niet langer gewond zijn als ik geconfronteerd wordt met alweer een staaltje van de vernietiging van natuur en milieu door de mens.  Het is een verlies aan betrokkenheid en echtheid en passie, maar in theorie zou mij dit een gevaarlijkere vechter kunnen maken, een koele en berekenende Romein ipv een gepassioneerde Germaan.  Ik zal wel zien.  In ieder geval : de eerstkomende jaren voor mij geen frontlinies meer. 

19:46 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (15) | Tags: haven | |  Facebook

06-10-06

Manneken pis in the souvenir shop (Brussel)

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00:42 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (16) | Tags: beelden | |  Facebook

22-09-06

Confrontation - Confrontatie

 

Dit is onder een brug bij Gent.  Vermits ik passagier was in de auto en het verkeerslicht op rood stond, had ik -toen ik dit bericht zag- net de tijd om mijn camera te nemen, het raampje te openen en één snapshot te maken.  Vreemde plaats om zo’n vraag tegen te komen, vind ik.

Ik hoop jullie blogs binnenkort te kunnen bezoeken (waar kan ik extra tijd vinden ? op welk rek in de hoeveelste gang van de supermarkt ?)

 

This is under a bridge near Ghent.  Since I was a car passenger and the traffic light was red, I just had the time to -when I saw  this message- get my camera, open the car window and make one snap shot.  Strange place to come across such question.

I hope to visit your blogs soon (where can I find some extra time ? on which rack in which corridor of the supermarket ?)

00:57 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (15) | |  Facebook

22-07-06

De IJsboef (Brussel)

 

Zie hem rijden : het IJsboerke, maar doordat ik enkele letters mistte werd het de IJsboef.

 

See him driving : the Ice cream farmer (in Dutch : IJsboerke) but because I missed some letters it became IJsboef : meaning the Ice cream rogue.

01:24 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (9) | |  Facebook

03-05-06

So if one meets a virus …

 

… one should be able to bend backwards as only a kid can do.

I am pasting in pictures in a photo album : it doesn’t ask much energy and at least I have the feeling that I am doing something now that I am sick.

Anyway, I came across this photo of the Easter action in 2001 of the shopkeepers of the Dambrugstraat (Melsele) where I live and there is my youngest niece bending backwards like a stick on the arm of the Easter bunny (scanned photo).

20:07 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | |  Facebook

08-04-06

Portraits 1 : Shoemaker Van der Meiren, Melsele

Making portraits that is a challenge : the light and the colors must be perfect, the person must be captured in his essence and character, the surroundings are important.  There is so much to learn and to try here for me, it’s like a whole new world to discover.

 

There are not many shoemakers anymore in Flanders, it is a fading profession.  It is more like a handicraft and very useful (a longer life for shoes means less waste, good for the environment too). 

Shoemakers are  snowed under with work.  It is a very good thing to learn if you want a good and regular job, but strangely enough not many youngsters seem to get this idea. 

The shoemaker Van der Meiren is one of the rare craftsman who has also the skill to repair saddles.  Since horse riding as a hobby is booming, people come from far and near to get their saddle repaired. 

If you enter the workshop of F. Van der Meiren, it is a bit as if you go back in time : saddles hang on the wall, a mass of shoes in all forms and measures is waiting for repair, other rows are ready to be collected again, there is the smell of leather and all kind of tools and machines are around him.

With thanks to F. Van der Meiren.

 

01:19 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | |  Facebook

31-03-06

Looking back in time

 

Not much is left over of the polders of Kallo. 

(polders = very fertile clay ground used as farmland, flat, won on a tide river or on the sea)

Most of it is taken for port infrastructure (Antwerp). 

In the remains of the Steenlandpolder, with an old farm on the background (such a farm that still has a Barn owl opening in the façade of the barn, reminder of the time that Barn owl and farmer were allies), an older lady stands on the bridge looking down on the canal as if she is looking back in time. 

She reminds me of my grandma and of my youth when there was no port on the left bank of the Schelde yet.

A prohibitory sign raises above the head of the lady : that is because this is a snap-shot, no time for composition.  Meanwhile it seems to be symbolic : no polders allowed anymore.

13:41 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: haven, polder | |  Facebook

11-03-06

If you are visitor 4000 ...

 
... please land for a moment and leave a note !

15:02 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | Tags: vogels, haven | |  Facebook

22-02-06

World trade

 
 
Really everything is shipped from one corner of the world to another ( Verrebroekdok - Port of Antwerp ).

16:18 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: haven | |  Facebook

07-12-05

Paving cobbles

... is an old profession.  Cobbles are reused here to keep somewhat authenticity in the view of the town center of Melsele.


21:46 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | |  Facebook

30-11-05

Yes, really !


23:57 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | |  Facebook

In the McDonald’s building in Beveren-Waas …

… you can buy ???  ……… Domestic appliances !


23:56 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | |  Facebook

27-11-05

Winter cuddly toys …

… to hug and to make the winter cozy  (  shop - sorry shopkeepers, I didn’t notice the name -  in the shopping mall in St.Niklaas).


01:32 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: knuffels | |  Facebook

23-11-05

Useless fact

Did you know a Belgian prohibitory sign has the same size as a bike wheel ?

Do you think road signs have the same size in different countries ?


14:36 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | |  Facebook

19-11-05

Puddington ?

This campaign can hardly be overlooked when a lot of different posters are placed one after the other as is done in the train station of Bruges.  The effect decreases when there are less different posters and when they hang dispersed.  Both conditions are the case at the tram and bus stop in Zwijndrecht.


16:17 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | |  Facebook

John Lemon ?

And so there is :

Carrots ? (two letter change, but OK : t sounds like d)

Tape Gallery ? (http://www.tate.org.uk/)  

Duckingham Palace ?


16:16 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | |  Facebook

18-11-05

A one letter change …

… can give a great effect : Hide Pork ? It is high time (to advertise for) to visit London.


20:58 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | |  Facebook

16-11-05

WHY ??

oh why do they have to turn everything upside down in supermarkets just when you know where all products can be find ?

I once heard that if you know where all products are, you shop too efficient : you just get the things on your list and you’re out, you don’t spend time looking around, you get no chance to notice ( AND BUY ) other products.  So they put the bread where the socks were, the eggs where the cookies were, the drinks where the shampoos were … : it makes me want to turn back immediately.   But no I have to face this and search myself a way to find the stuff on my list.  I only look for the most necessary things, so I buy less and I am out of there.

When all the groceries are on their usual place, THEN I have time to notice (new) products, make some comparisons, buy things that are not on my list,  not the other way round !! So, turning everything upside down gets a zero from me for sales tactics.


10:31 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | |  Facebook

14-11-05

Black Pete

OH, these Black Petes are really excited to get out of  baker Steven’s (Melsele) cupboard !

All about Sinterklaas and his Black Petes : http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/~erik/sint/sint.html

Sinterklaas should be nominated as manager of the year, according to the  “De Standaard” newspaper. One of the reasons for this is that he has a lot of allochtones (people of an ethnic minority) on his payroll.



09:09 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: melsele | |  Facebook

05-11-05

So, can we eat Chiquita bananas again ?

For years I don’t buy Chiquita bananas.  In short : everything was wrong with that, so environmentalists and Oxfam-people said : no organic cultivation, poison to preserve them, people working in this poison without protection, socially not OK. 

And now there is this arrow poison frog relaxing on a banana with this reference : www.rainforest-alliance.com  and I read more on www.chiquita.com

 “Chiquita is the only global banana company to have undertaken and met the strict, voluntary environmental and social standards of the Rainforest Alliance's Better Banana Project (BBP). The Rainforest Alliance, the leading certifier of agriculture and timber products, began the BBP in 1991 in an effort to transform business and land-use practices as well as consumer behavior. Together with a network of partner conservation organizations throughout Latin America, the Rainforest Alliance evaluates, certifies and monitors the use of best management practices on banana farms -- thereby protecting water quality, worker health and safety, and wildlife habitat. Chiquita has been involved in the program since 1992.”

So, can we eat Chiquita bananas again ?


12:14 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (4) | |  Facebook

03-11-05

Fairy tale night in the park and castle of Cortewalle (Beveren)

A great initiative of the employees of the library (children and youth department)  of Beveren : the children, dressed as fairy tale figures, were guided through the park by a fairy tale storyteller with twinkling lights and ended by the fire place in the castle.  Tales of Hans Christian Andersen were told. I only heard the last part : it was the end of the tale of the Snow queen (http://hca.gilead.org.il/snow_que.html ) , written in 1845.  The children were enchanted.


15:21 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: fantasie | |  Facebook

13-10-05

Sunrise in Flanders

“A new morning” in Melsele at the bus stop, commercial for the broadcasting service Donna.

Summer weather (temperatures around 20°C =  68°F) in autumn, yes the climate is changing.


12:19 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | Tags: melsele | |  Facebook

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