Saturday, 3 October 2015

RSC 15: week 40: Farewell to Orange

Each month Angela at Soscrappy posts a colour and block patterns for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler. September's colour was orange.

Whirling Blades - the last orange block
I made this block to go with the other two orange sawtooth star blocks, and also the two alternate blocks which go between them. I haven't yet done the outer alternate blocks in the row. I didn't take any photos of the other blocks, I'm afraid.

We are experiencing an Indian Summer here, and took advantage of the warmth and sunshine to visit Zeeland (the Old one, not the New!) with two of our grandchildren. The purpose of the visit was to see the Storm Barrage at the mouth of the Eastern part of the River Scheldt.

Oosterschelde stormkering - East Scheldt Barrage Dam photo taken from the sightseeing boat
The construction was finished in the 1980s, but before the work proper could start an artificial island called Neeltje Jans had to be constructed in the middle of the channel to serve as a works site. Here the concrete piles were built and then towed out into the channel and fixed in the seabed - all 66 of them. Last time I was on the island, in the 1980s, it was a construction site, with a small visitors' centre, a necessary PR stunt as the project was slurping tax-payer's money!

Now the island is no longer an island as it is connected by the barrage dam to two of the real islands in the Delta. It has been turned into a water theme park with a variety of attractions for young and old:

art work from washed up rubbish - mostly plastic; here a giant jelly fish suspended from the ceiling

performing sea animals: here sea lions
which are so quick they're difficult to photograph!

and a water discovery area with different water management systems made simple

brother and sister "managing" water!

No rides as in most theme parks, but this wonderful hands-on learning experience, so children can learn about the various systems used to keep our country dry. As most of us live 2 to 3 metres (about 9 feet) under sea level, managing water concerns everyone.

The most spectacular aspect of The Delta Experience is a semicircular video screen with a reconstruction of the disaster of February 1953 when the dykes in Zeeland proved inadequate to hold back the North Sea during a north-westerly storm. The 10 minute film focuses on a farmer and his wife who are filling sandbags to raise the dyke next to their house while their daughter is in bed. They survived, but hundreds didn't. This disaster led to the resolve of the authorities to raise the dykes and construct new dams and sluices to prevent another such disaster. This barrage dam in the East Scheldt was the last link in the Delta Works - the major project to be able to close the Delta from the sea during a severe storm.

Not so much sewing in this post, but I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our modern Dutch heritage. We're not only windmills and clogs, you know!

I'm linking up to 
RSC 15
Click on the badge to see other orange goodness.

Happy Sewing



scraphappy said...

Congratulations on getting your orange blocks done. They look fabulous.

Vireya said...

Fascinating post! At school we learnt a little about the Netherlands' fight with the sea. I remember a unit in Geography about the polders in the Zuiderzee. But it would be very interesting to see it in real life. I'm sure I'd enjoy the educational theme park as much as the kids!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Your last ORANGE Sampler block is SEW pretty!! Thanks for the "tour" of your educational excursion.

lindaroo said...

That was fascinating! Thanks!

Nell's Quilts said...

What a lovely tale! So good to read of the history of the areas other quilters live in. A great learning experience without all the hoopla of theme parks. Great little orange block too.

Dasha said...

Well we have to manage water here too, but for the opposite reason. It is so very dry in our country. During the last big drought which was well on the way when we moved here, this town's water supply was less than 11% of capacity, and that is about 3 months supply. Goulburn ran out of water completely. We still have water restrictions here - only hand held watering of the garden, and then we are only supposed to do it early morning or late afternoon. There is a hose leading out of my laundry window, right this minute, which is dumping the water form the washing I am doing onto the garden, rather than down the drain.

Gina Smith said...

I remember visiting the Barrage as a building site in the early 1980's on a school trip to Holland. It was fascinating although as a youngster I didn't really understand all the reasons. Obviously I do now.
After years of ignoring the power of the sea some areas of the UK are now only starting to realise that they too must start protecting themselves. I hope they look to your country for ideas.

Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Marly! What an interesting post... I knew that a lot of the Netherlands is below sea level and that water management is very important but this was a very interesting insight and it looks like your grandchildren had a good time too! Lovely RSC block! Christine x

Angie said...

When New Orleans flooded (due to poorly built and maintained levees) after Hurricane Katrina, public officials and scientists flocked to the Netherlands to study your protection systems. I always marvel at the public/political will that led to the building of your protections. We have improved our protection here in New Orleans, but the political will to really create better systems everywhere just doesn't exist. I really scratch my head at our (American) priorities sometimes.

Sally T said...

Nice block--those points even look dangerous. And thanks for the tour--I especially loved the trash sculpture.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Very much enjoyed your post . . . thank you!

PaulaB quilts said...

Thanks for showing us the barrage dam and the history of it.

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love that orange block! The visit to the barrage sounds fascinating!

Sheila said...

Thank you for the history lesson about your country's barrage dam. Beautiful pictures. Love your block, too.

Christine Feldstein said...

Stunning block with a deep blue! Thank you for sharing the story and the pictures of the barrage.

gayle said...

Your blue background blocks were especially stunning in September. I like blue and brown together, so I expect I'll enjoy your October ones as well.
Thanks for all the info about the islands and water management. I learned lots!