It is difficult to write about walks. Ideally the description of a walk should be like good erotica - it should excite and be - in a minimal way - a substitute for the real thing. But when I try it comes out like a biochemical description of the erotic act - technically correct but not very inspiring.
How to write about places like Waddinxveen where - even according to the guide - nothing exciting ever happened and no interesting person was ever born? And what can we learn from such a walk?
This mix of economy and landscape is very authentic. Remember the Breughel paintings? How farmers used every inch of the landscape for survival? You're now walking inside this landscape.
The farmers have not moved but they've shifted markets. Where they used to grow fruit for the cities they now grow garden plants and trees. Later these will be transplanted into modern suburbia to give an illusion of nature and private space. In the meanwhile we can enjoy the structured and efficient chaos of horticulture.
I wrote this piece at the breakfast table in one session without any research. Later looking on the Internet I saw that I had missed the following facts:
- These inconspicuous places can be very old. This place is from the 13th century. The history is totally invisible (I intend to write more about that, how is it possible that centuries have become invisible?)
- It hosts the "Forgotten place". An artwork marking one of the many lowest points in the area, 7 meters below sea level.
- The Wikipedia list of monuments is laughably short. There is a lot more to see when you're "in situ".
I did not consciously copy the style of the previous Gilbert & George entry but somehow it must have entered my subconscious.