Painted from a photo that I took of my daughter, standing on the spot where my grandfather used to operate the bridge, in Gouda, the Netherlands.
My daughter was carrying flowers to take to my aunt.
It was 2005 and my daughter and I were visiting the town of my birth.
My grandfather (Opa, Jan Postma) used to manually turn the bridge to let the barges through, as they passed Gouda, from Rotterdam to Amsterdam.
When he retired, at 65, after opening and closing locks and bridges, in a lot of different locations, in the Netherlands (A lot of it below sea-level), since he was a teenager, his photo made the local paper.
When I was little, I was sometimes allowed to stand, on the bridge with him.
The boom gates had been lowered to stop the people who wanted to cross the bridge (mainly walking or riding bikes to the market square, but some cars and trucks as well).
Grandfather (‘Opa’ ) would then get out the ‘handle’ with which he manually turned the bridge, joking with the skippers and giving as good as he got to the people, waiting on the road-way, who had been inconvenienced by the boom, going down.
Canals, ditches and rivers, everywhere, in Gouda. The only other way to cross them, was on real winters’ days, when the ice was strong enough!