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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.




Monty: His Part In My Vistory by Spike Milligan

'Monty: His Part in My Victory' is Spike Milligan's 3rd volume of war memoirs, co-written with Jack Hobbs; it runs to only about 90 pages of text. I don't know when or where I got this book, been sitting in my bookcase for years before I picked it up to read. A good friend in the UK was a fan of Milligan's humor so I may I have remembered that when I picked it up on a chance encounter.

The book recounts a period when the Germans have been defeated in Africa and Milligan is not fighting. The book mostly describes Milligan's activities on leave, playing in a band and minor adventures and tribulations while on duty. Events span from May to September 1943: just after Operation Torch, the liberation of Africa in World War II, to Milligan's embarkation in Salerno, Italy.
There is a mix of photos, sketches, letters and mischievous ersatz Nazi communiques, similar to those in the earlier volumes in the series.
As an example of the very funny humor (imo):
"'I wonder why we're waiting?'...
'We're waiting for the tide,' says Kidgell.
'That's the best news I've had.'
'The Med's tideless.'" (This is while waiting for the landing at Salerno).

Terence Alan Milligan KBE (b.16Apr1918 – d.27Feb2002) was a British-Irish comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright and actor.
The son of an Irish father and an English mother, his early life was spent in India where he was born. The majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He disliked his first name, and began to call himself "Spike" after hearing a band on Radio Luxembourg called Spike Jones and his City Slickers.[1]

Milligan was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the popular Eccles and Minnie Bannister characters.
He wrote and edited many books, including Puckoon and his seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with 'Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall'.

en.wikipedia.org: Monty:_His_Part_in_My_Victory first published in 1976, my copy by Penguin was published in 1978.



Hinterland crime fiction drama

Hinterland crime fiction drama

Hinterland crime fiction drama

Y Gwyll in Welsh but otherwise titled 'Hinterland' (a.k.a. 'The Dusk'). It is a Welsh 'noir' police detective drama series broadcast on S4C in Welsh. I watched it on BBC Four in May (mostly).

The main character, DCI Tom Mathias, is played by Richard Harrington. He is a troubled man,
replaced within the police force for things that happened in the past, in his career and his marriage.
Matthias solves murders while searching for redemption; old wounds are reopened when he investigates murders or disappearances (esspecially where it involves children) and he finds he can't save everybody.

A conversation with the moody and brooding DCI Mathias is like drawing blood from a stone, but DI Mared Rhys seems to be able to connect with him at times.
The series are mainly set in Aberystwyth but also filmed against the backdrop of mountainous terrain, driving small roads through fascinating but often desolate landscapes into ' the Hinterland', visiting isolated farms and small stoic communities.

In November 2013, 2nd series was announced by S4C. An English language version, with brief passages of Welsh dialogue, aired on BBC One Wales. When it was aired on the BBC in 2014, it was the first BBC television drama with dialogue in both English and Welsh. The same formula was applied the Series 3.

The 3rd series of the show began filming in January 2016 and debuted on S4C in October that year.
So each scene is filmed twice, in the English and Welsh languages, apart from a few scenes where Welsh with subtitles is used for the English version. Despite the additional costs the production is based on 'low costs'.

Richard Harrington as Detective Chief Inspector Tom Mathias
Mali Harries as Detective Inspector Mared Rhys
Alex Harries as Detective Constable Lloyd Elis
Hannah Daniel as Detective Sergeant Siân Owen
Aneirin Hughes as Chief Superintendent Brian Prosser


Content Series 1 (7 episodes: 1 pilot and 6 episodes broadcasted as part 1 & 2)

.On his very first day in his new job in Aberystwyth, DCI Tom Mathias is called out to investigate a suspicious disappearance. In a quiet seaside bungalow he discovers a bathroom covered in blood but no sign of the owner. His investigation into the disappearance of 64-year-old Helen Jenkins leads him to the cascading waters of an ancient ravine at Devil's Bridge, and uncovers the cruel history of a long-closed children's home.
.The investigation into the murder of a 69-year-old, bludgeoned to death at a remote farmhouse, uncovers a bloody history in the mountains.
.In the isolated village of Penwyllt, the body of a young man is discovered in the murky depths of a quarry lake. The investigation draws Mathias into the heart of this tight-knit community.
.The body of a young woman in a striking red dress is found abandoned but carefully placed in the Borth marshes. A series finale that pushes Mathias to the edge, both personally and professionally.
All thought these episodes we see DCI Matthias on the verge of a breakdown and moves around with all shutters down, trying to shut out traumas that haunt his mind. His personal past continues as a plotline over the entire Series 1 and in fact thoughout the series.


Content Series 2 (again one starter and 6 episodes part 1 & 2)

.Mathias is under pressure. Meg Mathias, his wife, has turned up in Aberystwyth, and he's under investigation by the IPCC following the death of Mari Davies in the last episode. When a bus driver's body is found shot on an isolated mountainside, the investigation provides a welcome escape for DCI Mathias. The team have a suspect to question, but Mathias believes he is an unlikely killer. In his current state of mind, Mathias is fascinated by the lifestyle choices taken by ex-soldier John Bell. He also knows that he cannot avoid Meg for much longer.
.The murder of a local dignitary and barrister leads to the uncovering of a tragic story of love and loss fuelled by mistrust and suspicion in the depths of the Hinterland. Why were Nora and Daniel living such a secluded life? What has Mathias discovered in the garden?
.The discovery of a body in a remote lake leads Mathias and the team to investigate the complicated private life of a teacher missing from a small rural school. Who is Ben Willis? Why did another ex-teacher commit suicide? Who is the mysterious girl and why is she hiding from Mathias?
.Here DCI Mathias must solve the case of the murdered Aron Bowen, but he must deal with feuding family members and runaway teenagers first.

Content Series 3 (4 episodes)

.Still suffering from the injuries inflicted by an attacker (his stalker) who burned down his mobile home, DCI Mathias and his colleague DI Rhys are informed that the body of a well-respected preacher has been found in his chapel.  DC Owens leads an investigation into the attack on Mathias and his home. Prosser faces an old rival.
.The body of a young woman is found by some night-time poachers, recently buried in a shallow grave. DCI Mathias and DI Rhys learn that she has been reported missing by her boyfriend having not returned from a trip to visit friends in Manchester. Meanwhile, DS Owens tells Chief Superintendent Prosser that there has been a sighting of Iwan Thomas's car (Matthias'stalker) at Devil's Bridge (referring to events in Series 1).  Mathias comes under suspicion when another dead body is discovered. An independent officer is appointed to investigate the death and invites DS Owens to help him.
.When Mathias gets a call to an agricultural suppliers where a customer has been shot dead, their search for the perpetrator leads them to suspect a man who has recently had a restraining order put on him by his ex-wife. Concern deepens when it is learned that the suspect has taken his son from his primary school without permission.
.Tom Mathias and Mared Rhys seem to be no closer to solving the mystery of Iwan Thomas's death, when the case is officially closed by Superintendent John Powell, who claims that the circumstantial evidence all points to a verdict of suicide.
However, the mystery deepens with the discovery that Thomas had been continuing his own private investigation into the children's home at Devil's Bridge with further tragic consequences. An estranged husband kidnaps his son. Mathias and Rhys make a dark discovery at his parents home. Mathias risks his own life by searching alone.
The independent investigator is found to be the father of Rhys' daughter, her married superior (with kids) when she was still a PC and he, after 17 years, now shows interest to meet his daughter.
Matthias goes against orders of his superior Brian Prosser to bring the mystery of the Children's home to a close, find out who abused the children long ago and who killed Iwan Thomas...

 Magnificent series and I hope it will be continued..!!!




Wie Zijn Zij? - Maarten van Rossum

Rather more an essay than a book, Maarten van Rossem starts 'Wie Zijn Wij?' (EN: 'Who Are We?') paradox which he will hold on to throughout the book: "us Dutchmen are very satisfied with our lifes, but quite unsatisfied with where our country is going to".
The essay is a critical note on our attitude, our popular culture, in which we display great pride and nationalism when we can dress up in orange supporting the national soccer team and so (briefly) claim a national identity.

The Dutch show pride in their country but are unable to list critical aspects of our national identity. Aspects that would prove to be the fabric of our nation and perhaps define rules for Dutch immigration in our law making.
Van Rossum has sarcastic remarks for the football fans and also on Dutch politics, but through statistics tries to make a more scientific point. If we look at the hard facts, the cultural pessimism is nonsense.
The Netherlands is a safe country the statistics show, it is properous and inhabited by rather satisfied citizens...
In the end van Rossem concludes that an objective checklist to identify a common Dutch national identy does not exist. It is in many ways the diversity that formulates our (changing) culture.
Which is in fact proven by history, time and time again.

Wie zijn wij? by Maarten Van Rossem
64 pagina's, published by Nieuw Amsterdam - ISBN: 9789046812648

www.geschiedenis.nl/nieuws/artikel/3532/maarten-van-rossem-wie-zijn-wij (NL)



1864 - Danish-Prussian War (tv drama)

1864 - Danish-Prussian War (tv drama)

'1864' is a 2014 Danish television historical drama series, written and directed by Ole Bornedal.
It is based on 2 books by Tom Buk-Swienty about the Second Schleswig War of 1864 between Denmark and Prussia and Austria, which ended in defeat for Denmark and the loss of a quarter of its territory to Prussia.

Against a backdrop of factual history (e.g. Danish prime minister D. G. Monrad and Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck) a story develops describing the horrors of 19th century combat (esspecially brutal in those days), interwoven with political naivety & -conniving, family dramas and romance.

Allegedly it is the most expensive Danish TV series to be made so far, produced by Miso Film for DR and
a co-production with Film Fyn, TV2 (Norway), TV4 (Sweden), SF Studios, ARTE, ZDF Enterprises and Sirena Film (Czech Republic).
DR is well known for the highly successful series 'The Killing', 'Borgen' and 'The Bridge'.

 Both spectacular as well as dramatically moving at times, not to forget fascinating for its history and sheer proficiency to recreate this on film.




Naarden Photofestival 2017
The main 2017 photo festival had the theme 'Right Here Right Now!', but an added bonus is
always the 'Festival Off' a.k.a. 'OFF-festival' ; links with details further down.

Naarden Photofestival 2017
Juha Arvid Helminen, one of the more exceptional series on display I thought. Brilliant work.
This is from Juha's 'Invisble Empire'; it is among my photos on Flickr, with details (link further down)

Naarden Photofestival 2017
A closer look at J Henry Fair's 'Industrial Scars': he is an American photographer, environmental
activist and co-founder of the Wolf Conservation Center. He photographs places where man
has had (too much of) an impact on nature and the environment.

Naarden Photofestival 2017
Marie-José Jongerius and her series 'Los Angeles Palms'. At the time of the Olympic Games in
Los Angeles in 1932, thousands of palm trees were planted. These palms are now on average
80 years old, which means that they are now dying. Los Angeles has decided not to replant
because they use so much water. Within a few years, Los Angeles will lose its iconic palms.

Naarden Photofestival 2017
The photographs provide additional pleasure in roaming the fortifications of Naarden-Vesting.

Naarden Photofestival 2017
Another exceptional series: Charles Fréger: 'Wilder Mann'.
Devils, beer people, shamans with antlers: in many European countries monsters and human-animal hybrids turn up. They often come from old pagan rituals related to death and birth, the harvest
and the seasons. Never knew...!?

Naarden Photofestival 2017
Magnum-photographer Jacob Aue Sobol, portraying life along the 'Road of Bones' (R-504,
built by Gulag prisoners). Signature photography!

For many years now I have been visiting this biennial event: Naarden Fotovestival in Naarden-Vesting (Netherlands). I thought the level of photography really high and enjoyed so many brilliant exhibitions in this 2017 display.

I have 80+ images on my Flickr.com account, including information on many, if not most, photographers.

More information on:



Fik Meyer: Muren Van Alle Tijden

A book I picked up by chance, the title translates as 'Walls of all Ages', and has the author Fik Meyer reminisce on some of his travels as a tour guide, often the expert for ancient history subject, touring Italy, Greece and Turkey mostly.

Fik Meyer is rightly called an authority on the Ancient Greeks, etc. He studied classics and ancient history at Leiden University and graduated in 1973. Leading tour groups is only a sideline for he is an emeritus professor of ancient history at the University of Amsterdam.
His book 'Gladiators' was very well researched and has consistently received good reviews, while many other books by his name have been translated into multiple languages.

While I like history, I am not too keen on ancient history. While I have visited several sites in England, Tunesia and Italy (e.g. Rome), I have never read up enough to gain any level of knowledge on the history so far in the distant past.
My interest originated from the idea of joining groups in organized travel and the point of view of a tourguide was of interest to me. For the time being I can only conclude that expert information on the spot does not make it worthwhile for me to join tour groups.
I found Meyer's book easy to read and informative, even though I could not share his enthusiasm for the remains of the Ancient Greek and -Roman architecture & civilizations.




The Level - tv series (crime fiction drama)

The Level - tv series (crime fiction drama)

The Level is a British crime drama, which began broadcasting on ITV on 30Sep2016.
The 6-part series focuses on DS Nancy Devlin (Karla Crome), a detective with the National Crime Division, who is assigned to Brighton CID to investigate the murder of Frank Le Saux (Philip Glenister),
a corrupt businessman with whom she has been associated in the past.

Having been present at the scene of the murder of Frank Le Saux, Nancy struggles to keep her involvement during the investigation a secret, whilst working under the watchful eye of boss DCI Michelle Newman (Lindsey Coulson).
The series was predominantly filmed in and around the streets of Brighton.

One night, Frank Le Saux arranges to meet DS Nancy Devlin, who has been protecting him from prosecution on several occasions. Their meeting is cut short when they are interrupted by the arrival of an unknown gunman. Frank is shot dead, and Nancy receives a wound from a ricochet.

The investigation brings her back to where she grew up. She is confronted by her father, who she tries to avoid since he abused and neglected his family; gradually she finds out more of her own past and the reasons of her father's abusive conduct.

Nancy also meets up again with a friend, Hayley, daughter of Frank (the beautiful Laura Haddock).
Amanda Burton plays Frank's wife, a very secretive person who has more to hide and wields more business power than anyone suspects.
Shay Nash (Joe Absolom), a shady businessman and Hayley's ex, plays a sinister part which gradually become more apparent.

Nancy is romantically approached by her colleagues Kevin O’Dowd (Rob James-Collier) and Gunner Martin (Noel Clarke), but her secrets requires her to keep her distance - which lead to distrust and mixed signals to all those involved.

Plenty of drama and entangled involvements to make the 6 episodes very entertaining, while the 'whodunnit'  focusses on who killed Frank Le Saux'.
When that is solved the series has plenty of open ends to warrant a second series!




Jimmy LaFave R.I.P.

Jimmy LaFave (b.12Jul1955 – d.21May2017) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. I already had several CD’s by him when I watched him play in Utrecht,NL.

LaFave crafted a musical style called Red Dirt music and became a disciple of the state's most famous folk musician: Woody Guthrie.
LaFave recorded 15 albums and his 2007 release, 'Cimarron Manifesto', reached the No. 1 mark on the Americana Music Association album chart.

Mixing blues, jazz, and country influences he wrote songs inspired by J. J. Cale, Chet Baker, Bob Dylan and Leon Russell.

After traveling to several other cities, LaFave relocated to Austin,TX in the 1990s.

In 2007 at Nora Guthrie's invitation, LaFave spoke and performed at Woody Guthrie's induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

LaFave's 14th release, 'Depending On The Distance', was released on 18Sep2012. Backing musicians include Austin's Eliza Gilkyson and John Inmon. The 13-track release includes 3 Dylan covers, including a version of’ 'Red River Shore' that runs more than nine minutes.

At the time of the public announcement that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, The Austin Statesman announced that a concert to honor LaFave would be held at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX on 18May2017. LaFave helped in the selection of friends and musicians who would perform that night.
LaFave died of cancer at his home in Austin, at the age of 61: only 3 days later after his appearance at the Paramount Theater tribute show in his honour.

According to the The Austin Statesman: "A sold-out audience heard artists ranging from Austin artists including Eliza Gilkyson, Slaid Cleaves and Ruthie Foster, plus some from out-of-state including Nashville’s Gretchen Peters, Boston’s Ellis Paul and Woody Guthrie’s granddaughter Sarah Lee Guthrie, primarily playing songs that LaFave wrote or were part of his repertoire.

A legend and one of my favourite singer-songwriters has left us.

Here's a photo I made during his performance at Ramblin's Roots 2015 in Utrecht,NL
Jimmy Lafave, a legend remembered - R.I.P.
More photos in my report of Ramblin' Roots 2015 on Flickr.com

Jimmy LaFave music
'Buffalo Return to the Plains' was the 1st CD by LaFave I bought, 'Cimarron | Manifesto' the last one.


Karen Miller of TMTHT made a fine tribute HERE; look for podcast #631



Gregg Allman

Gregory LeNoir ‘Gregg’ Allman (b.08Dec1947 – d.27May2017) was an American musician, singer, keyboardist and songwriter best known for performing in the Allman Brothers Band.

 The Allman Brothers Band began to reach mainstream success by the early 1970s, with their live album At Fillmore East representing a commercial and artistic breakthrough. Shortly thereafter, Duane was killed in a motorcycle crash in 1971. The following year, the band's bassist, Berry Oakley, was also killed in a motorcycle accident very close to the location of Duane's wreck...
Their 1973 album 'Brothers and Sisters' became their biggest hit.

For his work in music, Allman was referred to as a Southern rock pioneer and received numerous awards, including several Grammys; he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Over decades Gregg Allman struggled with drugs and alcohol addictions, the band split up, re-united, band members left (by choice, illness or death) and were replaced.

The last incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band, after 2000, was well-regarded among fans and the general public, and remained stable and productive.

The band released their final studio recording, 'Hittin' the Note' (2003), to critical acclaim.
Allman co-wrote many songs on the record with Warren Haynes and he regarded it as his favorite album by the group since their earliest days.
The band continued to tour throughout the 2000s, remaining a top touring act, regularly attracting more than 20,000 fans.

Since Haynes and Derek Trucks desired to depart the group, the Allman Brothers Band performed their final concert in 2014 and the band was disbanded.
Gregg Allman had been seriously struggling again with his health, for various reasons, since 2007.

In 2016,  though he kept it private, his liver cancer had returned. In April 2017, he denied reports that he had entered hospice care, but was resting at home on doctor's orders. One month later, Allman died at his home in Richmond Hill,GA on 27May2017 due to complications from liver cancer, aged 69.




Charles Bukowski, poetry

Charles Bukowski, poetry

Bukowski is special, expresses things in his own light; surely someone who could claim the theme of "I did it my way!".
That said, I didn't like 'The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills' as much as other Charles Bukowski poetry I have read, though it got better towards the end (I read it over a length of time so it could have been due to the mood I was in).
I found on this title that it is his first published collection from back in 1969. Only 8 years later he would publish 'Love is a Dog from Hell', which was the first one I read by him and which blew my mind!.
In that collection he had found his own voice and developed cadences and rhythms that were distinct to him and also pleasing to read.
Still, in 'The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills' a fair number of the poems are to be recommended and even in average poems one can usually find a gathering of good lines.
I will keep it available for occasional rereads!




1950s & 1960s American Roadtrip - Tom van den Broeke
Motels, diners, restaurants, automobiles, gas & servicestations, pumps and more in this picture book dedicated to American motoring in the 50's and 60's, documented by postcards and their texts.
By Tom van den Broeke

1950s & 1960s American Roadtrip - Tom van den Broeke

1950s & 1960s American Roadtrip - Tom van den Broeke

1950s & 1960s American Roadtrip - Tom van den Broeke




House of Sil: Holmes by Horowitz

Horowitz found a good reception for 'The House of Silk', in which an elderly Watson recounted the tale of one of Holmes's early adventures.
I probably have seen the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tales of Sherlock Holmes more on tv (Jeremy Brett!) than I've actually read the books, but the positive reviews made me buy a copy and I can honestly say I've taken an actual liking to Horowitz' Holmes and Dr Watson!

Horowitz is the only writer officially sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate to write the Sherlock Holmes sequels.
London, 1890. Adress: 221B Baker Street. A fine art dealer named Edmund Carstairs visits Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap - a wanted criminal who seems to have followed him all the way from America. In the days that follow, his home is robbed, his family is threatened. And then the first murder takes place...

THE HOUSE OF SILK brings Sherlock Holmes back with his almost superhuman powers of analysis and deduction that made him the world's greatest 'consulting detective'.
While Mr Carstairs problems seems quickly solved when Sherlock finds the man with the flat cap murdered, Holmes does not let go and the plot thickens...

I very much like the style of Anthony Hotowitz' writing, the narrative of Dr Watson looking back after decades on this particular case. The plot twists and turns and (spoiler alert!) not even Holmes manages to put all villians behind bars. In fact it is Holmes who is put behind bars at some point and even his brother Mycroft is unable to help here...

This Sherlock Holmes is a far cry from the roles played by Benedict Cumberbatch (though I like the modern setting of this series and Mr Cumberbatch plays an admirable Holmes and Martin Freeman a fine Dr Watson) or Robert Downey Jnr (too damn American: Holmes as G.I.Joe!) and I particularly enjoyed the atmosphere in this book of 19th century London: the fog, the filth & stench, the unfortunate and the villians, the corruption and depravity of those in positions of power and influence..!
I will be on the lookout for new titles: 'Moriarty', which has since been published and 'The Word for Murder', which is expected to be published Aug.2017 so I have noted.


[28 MAY2017]


Dicte, series 3

Dicte, season 3

Dicte (broadcast in the UK as 'Dicte – Crime Reporter') is a Danish series starring Iben Hjejle as crime reporter Dicte Svendsen.
The series is based on Danish author Elsebeth Egholm's series of novels about the title character.

I have seen both series I & II and while Iben Hjejie plays a dramatic, stubborn and at times a quite irresponsible Dicte Svendsen, I also am fond of the role (police inspector) John Wagner by Lars Brygmann; he worked as a contraweight to the emotional Dicte (but I also liked the nerdy role he played in Unit One).
Another character I like in these series is Bo Skytte by Dar Salim; both Bo and John have a dramatic climax in this series III.

But also Rose Svendsen (Emilie Kruse), Anne Skov Larsen (Lærke Winther Andersen) and her husband Torsten (Lars Ranthe) see their life in turmoil.
While John Wagner's ex/ wife Nina Storm (Stine Stengade) is determined to get her detective job back (in spite of a drinking habit reputation) and find herself intimidated and sexually harassed by John's replacement, Tonni (Søren Malling).

There are 10 episodes in these Dicte 3, each a double episode of one mystery while certain plots continue through the series, e.g. Dicte's wedding on the rocks before it got started, Rose's pregnancy, Dicte getting acqainted with her father but finds she also has a sister by him (at first presumed dead), Anne & Torsten's problems and Nina's problems at work.
Btw, Stine Stengade's role as Nina is a dramatic one and I expect that if there is a Series 4, that she will be the one to watch!

Dar Salim, here as Bo the news photographer and married to Dicte, is seems to be doing well in his acting career; I have seen him appear in The Bridge (Bron/Broen - 2013) and Springvloed (NL; orig: Springvloden).

In the 10 episodes of 'Dicte 3' a lot happens: some sad, dramatic even while there is happiness, adventure and romance as well. All against issues and conflicts of modern society.




All Along the Watchtower - WW2 atc towers documented

All Along the Watchtower - WW2 atc towers documented

All Along the Watchtower - WW2 atc towers documented

In 2015 Frans and Theo Barten, professional Dutch photographers, published two photobooks on a wonderful project: dealing with their visits to 52 control towers in the UK, their 'All Along the Control Tower' Volume I provides 218 pages of hi-quality photos and stories how Frans & Theo found them.

The book depicts their history (e.g. open: 1942 - closed: 1946), aircraft based and possible present use.
The structure is most often depicted in two photos plus a satellite image (with coördinates) and, something I really like, crosshairs to find the location on the sat image.

The book contains excellent photographs of 52 remaining control towers at RAF airfields in the UK (and one Luftwaffe tower in the Netherlands), left over after WW2.
Numerous airfields were built from where the RAF and USAAF bombers departed to bomb Germany, strewn all over the British Isles.
The objective of the Barten Bros. is only to show them in the state as they are today in the surrounding landscape, with no military purposes.

Almost all airfields themselves have gone (mostly agricultural today) but many towers (sturdy, austere) still remain. It is wonderful to see vague traces of runways on the sat. images or see hardstands remaining.
Some of the Control Towers are still in use as such (quite rarely, I must add!), often they are in a derelict state, left to its dismal fate or in some use at a farm, some are turned in a museum and some are (oh joy!) renovated to a house people live in!
One was turned in a B&B! Check out: www.controltowerstays.com
Frans & Theo Barten often found their way blocked by barricades of industrial estates and had to proceed on foot along pathways and fences, some people were quite unwelcoming while others invited them in and many a muddy trek had to be made to document the Contol Tower...
The Goshill Tower was even exported and reassembled for Virgina for the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia, USA! The project is documented on the last pages of Volume II.

When I got hold of a Dec.2016 of the (Dutch) photography magazine 'Focus' I found Volume II in a review and immediately set out to order both volumes of 'All along the Control Tower'.
And I am glad to share Theo's news that they will venture out again this year and a Volume III is in the making!

Volume II has 220 pages in full colour, hardcover (ISBN 978-90-817110-4-3) and its dimensions (much the same as Vol.I): 22 x 25 cm.
And again in English, because on the British Isles is where by far the most Control Towers survive.
I applaud their effort!
Volume III is discussed on my blog-2018q2




Magnum Magnum, iconic photography

Magnum Magnum, iconic photography

Magnum Magnum, iconic photography

Magnum Magnum, iconic photography

Magnum Magnum, iconic photography

Magnum Magnum, iconic photography

To mark its 60th birthday, the world's greatest picture agency has published a 'best of' chosen by its own warring members.

Magnum Photos is an international photographic cooperative owned by its photographer-members, with offices in New York City, Paris, London and Tokyo. According to co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson, "Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually."
Their photographers have earned a reputation in photojournalism as 'the best of the best'. Perhaps to be compared as the 'Knights of the Round Table', but that is my personal view and admiration speaking.

Magnum Photos is not be confused by Magnum Foundation, a is a non-profit, photographic foundation located in New York with a mission to expand diversity and creativity in documentary photography.
Their brief: "Magnum Foundation expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Through grantmaking, mentoring, and creative collaborations, we partner with socially engaged imagemakers experimenting with new models for storytelling."
Magnum Foundation was founded in 2007, in the midst of the collapse of the media system that had traditionally supported photographic reporting.
Founded by the photographers of the Magnum Photos collective including board president Susan Meiselas, the organization was conceived as an initiative to support independent, long-form visual storytelling on social issues.

In 1947, Capa founded the cooperative venture Magnum Photos in Paris with Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Vandivert, David Seymour, and George Rodger. It was a cooperative agency to manage work for and by freelance photographers, and developed a reputation for the excellence of its photo-journalists.

Magnum is one of the first photographic cooperatives, owned and administered entirely by members.
The staff serve a support role for the photographers, who retain all copyrights to their own work.
The Magnum cooperative has included photojournalists from across the world, who have covered many historical events of the 20th century.
The cooperative's archive includes photographs depicting family life, drugs, religion, war, poverty, famine, crime, government and celebrities. Magnum In Motion is the multimedia offshoot of Magnum Photos and is based in New York City.

The Magnum family is unique in that it gets to choose its next of kin. This is not a burden that it dispenses lightly.
Each year since its inception the 50 or so photographers in the agency have met for a weekend, in Paris or New York or London, to work out once again how to balance the books, to mourn the passing of old comrades and to debate the work of those desperate supplicants who desire to be part of the tribe.

Admittance to Magnum is no easy matter; only after a two-year period of initiation may photographers be considered as candidates for full membership.
The convocation of elders in which such matters are decided is, by most accounts, an incendiary mix of diatribe and defamation and drink.
Photographers are not known for their humility or love of teamwork, and rarely can so many egos have been gathered together so regularly to determine the fate of so few...

The book has many of my heroes, iconic photographers with inspiring photography even so many decades after their demise. But it is also an excellent book to become acquainted with many other photographers and the wide range of styles in documenting human activity in the world we live in.
The unique thing is that Magnum photographers selected work from their colleagues and provided comment on their selection. Next to an objective account of the photographer's career.
News is to be shared so problems can be adressed, joyful events can be shared and culture gaps narrowed; the world benefits from sharing & understanding; and these people do, or have done, just that in the best possible way.

A book I treasure!
'Magnum Magnum', edited by Brigitte Lardinois, Thames & Hudson, pp568




Department Q films, based on books by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Department Q films, based on books by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Department Q films, based on books by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Based on Jussi Adler-Olsen's international bestsellers, the riveting Department Q series introduces maverick detective Carl Mørck (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) who, after majorly botching an assignment, is relegated to reviewing cold cases.
Nikolaj Lie Kaas plays a stirling role here, a more pent up emotional role than in 'Following the Money' (discussed further down), where I liked him too.

With his new partner Assad (Fares Fares) and secretary Rose (Johanne Louise Schmidt) the moody Mørck digs into shocking unsolved mysteries, including the kidnapping of a high-ranking government official, a brutal prep school murder and a bloody message from two children presumed dead...
A nonstop series of ingenious twists and shocking surprises keep the suspense simmering in these three stylish thrillers: 'The Keeper of Lost Causes', 'The Absent One' and 'A Conspiracy of Faith'.

I had read all these three books by Jussi Adler-Olsen, but found it no objection to enjoy these films immensely. Brilliant stuff.
Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen (b. 02Aug1950) is a Danish writer of crime fiction, as well as a publisher, editor and entrepreneur. Jussi Adler-Olsen made his debut as a non-fiction writer in 1984, and as a fiction writer in 1997.

en.wikipedia.org:_The_Absent_One_(2014_film) a.k.a. Fasandræberne (original title)



Follow the Money / series 1 - Scandi crime drama
The best crime drama series I have seen for quite a while!

Follow the Money / series 1 - Scandi crime drama

Follow the Money / series 1 - Scandi crime drama

This Danish crime drama Follow the Money (Danish: Bedrag) starts off with a suspicious death: a body has been fished out of the sea. And this occurrence is being investigated by police inspector called Mads.
Mads has issues at work and at home: his wife suffers from MS and they have two young kids to take care of. He isn't satisfied about the murder investigation, it seems that big business once again tramples on the fate of immigrant workers.

The company under scrutiny is Energreen; the other pivotal character in this series is Claudia Morena, an ambitious young lawyer with Energreen, mother of a young boy but separated.
She is in awe of Energreen's CEO Alexander Sodergren and is drawn into the shady dealings, insider trading and illegal speculations, this company had to embrace to keep growing and maintain its financial momentum.

Meanwhile Mads is ousted, sent on leave, from his police team but finds himself work with the fraud squad, determined to find the culprits at Energreen.
But the fraud squad are used to different police work, painstaking research in piles of documents which can take months, even years. Mads has different ideas but is regarded as somewhat of a loose cannon.
Mads way of working is much alike the usual obsessive lone ranger, but he does strikes up a friendship with Alf. The family background of Mads makes this series so different from the usual two dimensional crap we get from Hollywood.

Alf has contacts with a friend and journalist who suddenly finds herself with a mysterious insider, and who shares incriminating information about Energreen's dealings.
But the journalist is killed before she can share much with Mads and Alf.

Alexander Sodergren has a handyman who can be called to do the dirty work. Violent crime has come into play.
There is another plot in this series involving two young car mechanics, Nicky and Bimse, who manage to find themselves in bigger and bigger problems when they come into a large amount of cash after they steal a car - but find the owners are of a different criminal league.

The original series, set in the renewable energy business in Denmark, was first broadcast in Denmark in January 2016 in 10 episodes; it has dialogue in Danish, Swedish, and English.
This series is the best I have seen in years! Each episode has the plot twisting and turning. Am very much looking forward to series II !

Cast from Imdb (in part):

 Mads Justesen (20 episodes, 2016)
 Alexander Sødergren (10 episodes, 2016)
 Claudia Moreno (20 episodes, 2016)
 Nicky (20 episodes, 2016)
 Alf Rybjerg / ... (20 episodes, 2016)
 Kristina / ... (20 episodes, 2016)
 Bimse (19 episodes, 2016)
 Lina (19 episodes, 2016)
 P (19 episodes, 2016)




Koningsdag 2017
The inevitable 'free market' (items can be sold without governmental sales tax)

Showing the colours of the House of Orange


National Holiday in the Netherlands: King's Day. A day of jubilation and celebration (festivals) but for many (if not most) the day of the 'free market' (items can be sold without sales tax, flea market style) and walking around with paraphernalia in relation to the Dutch royalty, the House of Orange.
I did a brief walkaround with the camera; it was colder than on most days this past winter!

Images on MyFlickr



Flowerparade 'Bloemencorso' 2017

Flowerparade 'Bloemencorso' 2017

Flowerparade 'Bloemencorso' 2017

Flowerparade in Haarlem (2017Apr23)

Flowerparade in Haarlem (2017Apr23)

Flowerparade in Haarlem (2017Apr23)
Float 'Netherlands bicycle country'
This one wasn't the winner, but it was my favourite!

Over the years I have enjoyed the Dutch flower parade (bloemencorso), a yearly tradition in april.
Most years, if work and weather allowed as much, I witnessed the parade pass by as a convoy. This year a slightly different method was applied: on thursday (april 20th) I visited the flowerhall ('Klinkenberghallen') in Sassenheim where volunteers were busy pinning the flowers in the designed patterns.
The team of volunteers work from wednesday to noon on friday and that's the deadline. It is a race against the clock, they can't take more time because the fresh flowers won't hold much longer than a few days. It takes some 6.000 crates to finish the job...
Per float combination it takes about 75.000 pins (total number 1.750.000!).
It was magnificent to see all that work progressing. The logistics is most impressive.

The convoy slowly parades from Sassenheim to Noordwijkerhout on friday, on the saturday to Lisse, Hillegom, Heemstede and come to a full stop stop in Haarlem.
On the sunday the show is stationary and as today, it always draws quite a crowd; in 2016 some 65.000 witnessed the parade en route while Haarlem saw 80.000 admirers.
The fragrant smell of all these flowers is something to be experienced!
The theme this time was 'Dutch Design' and this year was the 700th anniversary: this colourful tradition started soon after WW2!

MyFlickr for the preparations
MyFlickr for the show in Haarlem




'Slowly I am becoming aware of the fact that I have many more years behind me than ahead of me.
There is simply not enough time for me to realize all the plans I have in my head and that forces me to make some difficult choices...'

How true!



Unni Lindell

Not quite sure how this crime novel by Unni LIndell ended up in my bookcase, as the author is unfamiliar to me (does not appear on my 'search for'-list). But it was a pleasant read with a fascinating plot, though I could not warm much to any of the main characters, Cato Isaksen & Marian Dahle.

'Boeman' is the Dutch title of the original Norwegian 'Mørkemannen' novel and was published in 2009; this Dutch translation by Carla Joustra was published in 2010.

Unni Maria Lindell (b.03Apr1957) is a Norwegian writer. She is best known for her crime novels (whodunits), but has also written a collection of poems and several children's and young adult
Lindell worked as a journalist before she became an author.
Her first book 'Den grønne dagen' ('The green day') was published in 1986.
One of Lindell's most prominent characters is detective Cato Isaksen. He also features in this book.
Some of the Isaksen books have been adapted as TV films starring Reidar Sørensen, though I failed to find any titles of such films or crime series (a search on Google, Wikipedia and Imdb.com did not result in any titles).

The plot of this novel starts simply enough. A woman becomes very frightened when she hears someone whistling a children's song; it brings back scary memories.
Two days later she falls from her balcony 6 stories high and dies. Police find clues that warrant an investigation into this suspicious death.
The trail leads to a summer campground.
We change perspective and find a teenager working at the campground hearing a whistling during the night; she finds someone staring at her.
Cato Isaksen and his team are perplexed because the background of the victim is very vague.
The owner of the campground lives in the same complex as the victim.
The start of the investigation shows much unrest and bickering among the police team about office space, Marian's dog Birka in the offices to which Cato objects, some personal background of Marian Dahle (one of Isaksen's team but with obvious mental problems and not a teamplayer - much of the book is from her perspective).

New facts keep popping up and the murder is connected with events from the pasts for which a murderer was convicted, although the body was never found...

Not exactly five star material but if and when I come across another Unni Lindell crime novel I will certainly acquire it.




Raj, by Gita Mehta, a history novel about India

I picked up this book, Raj by Gita Mehta, for my interest in India's history as well as rekindling some of the memories dating back to my 2009 travel in India. During that travel the path of the Raj culture was crossed many times.

At the time of the first British colonies, India was ruled by 565 princely states. These states were most remarkable, perhaps, for their multiplicity and diversity.
The very palaces and forts of the dynastic rulers varied remarkably, as well, in size, architecture, history and occupation: from a chieftain's well-appointed, tapestried tent to a Maharajah's 400-room marble palace housing thousands of servants and retainers, rose-water-filled swimming pools, exotic zoos, squash courts, modern movie theaters and great, gilded durbar halls.

Among the princely rulers were hedonists and ascetics, scholars and sportsmen, tribal chieftains and Oxford graduates, despots and reformers.
However, regardless of their wealth, religious background, or aptitude for leadership, most royal leaders of British India initially welcomed imperial rule, for one of the Crown's first acts was to freeze the borders of many kingdoms, thus providing a security and tenure heretofore unknown to the rulers and their predecessors.

This novel describes how the Maharajah's succumbed to the rule of the British, voluntarily from a selfish or progressive point of view, or because their was little option.
The Maharajah's all complained about the cost of contributions for British warfare and infrastructure development in India, under orders by the British, such as railway lines and train stations, but meanwhile spending fortunes on their life style and the exorbitant costs of travel and long term stays in exquisite accommodations in Europe.
Even during my travels in India one noticed that the Maharadja's, even those considering themselves progressive, had little concern during their long reign for community improvements of their people.

The book decsribes in a very readable way the progress to independence. One reads about the British offering self-ruling to India provided the Kingdoms could all come to an agreement on the conditions, the Maharajah's ducking the responsibilities and uncertainties (to their own interests) of such a change, the rise of the Nationalists, the awful response of the British military to uprisings, the fighting between the Moslems and Nationalists...

Probably not the greatest book on India's history but a most readable one and I enjoyed it.




Travel and healthcare in th eTropics

Probably the only book my father, Jan Leeuw, ever published!
While working for what is now called the Human Resources Dept, he was designated with the desk for employees working overseas.
He published this comprehensive manual in 1977 for those sent out for detachments to countries in the tropics with some 126 pages filled with advise on food, drinking, cockroaches and rats and such, illnesses, etc.
The health issues were part of his work and he was in frequent contact with experts such as the Institute for the Tropics.
I treasure it as fond memory!


Suspects, tv-series

Suspects is a British police procedural television series first aired on Channel 5 on 12Feb2014.
Set in London, the series follows DS Jack Weston (a role by Damien Molony), DC Charlie Steele (Clare-Hope Ashitey) and their senior DI Martha Bellamy (Fay Ripley) of Greater London Police while they investigate different types of cases including murder, attempted murder, missing people, drug overdose, child abuse and sex crime.

Most of the show's dialogue is improvised in order to make it seem natural, the actors have a detailed story document and perform from there.
The show is filmed within the former London Electricity Building on Cambridge Heath Road, London.

I esspecially liked the high paced plot lines and dynamic way of filming.
Very entertaining series I thought, and while I missed Series 1 and sofar only have seen Series 2, I am looking forward to Series 3 & 4.




Werner Bischof, In Bevrijd Nederland

Werner Bischof, In Bevrijd Nederland

Werner Bischof, In Bevrijd Nederland

Werner Bischof, In Bevrijd Nederland

I came away with 2 photobooks from Werner Bischof's exhibition in Den Haag recently; 'Backstory' was discussed below, but Fotomuseum Den Haag / Lecturis also published a photobook in particular dedication to the photos on display concerning Holland, as Werner Bischof travelled in the Netherlands during november - december 1945 and photographed the destruction by bombing but also destruction by water after the Allied Forced had bombed the dykes of Walcheren to weaken German defenses in that area.
The book has 96 pages (31.5 x 24cm), 40+ large size photos and copies from Du magazine.

The photographs are not only about destruction and damage, as was Bischof's signature, he shows people objectively in the streets, children posing for the photographer, a woman cleaning a house from flood damage, etc. Life goes on, there is hope among the rubble.
A valuable document indeed.


Backstory - Werner Bischof, iconic photojournalist
The below photos are not meant to reproduce the images but rather to get the feeling of this fine book.

Backstory - Werner Bischof, iconic photojournalist

Backstory - Werner Bischof, iconic photojournalist

Backstory - Werner Bischof, iconic photojournalist

Backstory - Werner Bischof, iconic photojournalist

Werner Bischof (b.26Apr1916 - d.16May1954, died aged 38) was a Swiss photographer and photojournalist. He became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1949, the first new photographer to join its original founders.
At that time Magnum was composed of just five other photographers, its founders Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour, and Ernst Haas.

From 1939 on, he worked as an independent photographer for various magazines, in particular Du, based in Zürich.
He travelled extensively from 1945 to 1949 through nearly all European countries from France to Romania and from Norway to Greece. His works on the devastation in post-war Europe established him as one of the foremost photojournalists of his time.

The focus of much of Bischof's post-war humanist photography was showing the poverty and despair around him in Europe, tempered with his desire to travel the world, conveying the beauty of nature and humanity.
In 1951, he went to India, freelancing for Life, and then to Japan and Korea.
For Paris Match he worked as a war reporter in Vietnam.
In 1954, he travelled through Mexico and Panama, before flying to Peru, where he embarked on a trip through the Andes to the Amazonas on 14 May. Two days later his car fell off a cliff, on a mountain road in the Andes, and all 3 passengers were killed.

'Backstory' was published in celebration of Werner Bischof's 100th birthday. It contains 400 photos plus contact sheets, personal letters, quotes from his diaries and sketches, as well as magazine features as published in Du, Paris Match and Life.
It is rather typical that Life has a subtitle to Bischof's article (Dec.1949) 'Iron Curtain Countries': "a sensitive photographer shows their somber mood". The photography goes beyond mere reporting.
There's also a fine essay by Fred Ritchin and an interview with Karen Lubben, executive director magnum foundation, with Marco Bischof.

This book goes beyond a retrospective of Bischof's photography, it includes letters to Rosellina Mandel, who was to become his wife. Also most of the captions with the photos are quotes from his personal diary, he speaks to us from beyond the grave.
We read how Bischof considers becoming a member of Magnum and takes the plunge as he finds them ' .. all reliable and socialist-minded individuals.'

The book also illustrates by personal letters and diary entries.
This is a telling caption to a photo in the 'India' chapter: "I have to say that this work is meaningful to me, because it is closely connected to life, and that every day brings new thoughts, new problems, which keep you flexible. It's not necessary to entirely lose sight of sensitivity, but in order to save these things, man must first be saved, and we are the 'enlighteners' , the tools which can allow people to see."

The reader also sees that, with time passing, Bischof expresses doubts about his work as a photojournalist and subsequently struggles with his role as an artist and his frustrations with magazines and the short attention span of the media.

Werner Bischof was restless and idealistic as we see in his travels and photography, but restless regarding his morality as a reporter, entertaining a higher calling for beauty in everyday life while struggling with realities his job brought with it. He also had a wife and a small child, with another one on the way (who was born months after Bischof died), bringing further responsibilities.

The book and photographs are of course immaculate, but the personal struggle expressed in correspondence with his father, his sister Marianne, to Rosellina and to 'Bob' Capa & Magnum Photo is what sets this book aside from so many photobooks. The person who Werner Bischof was, with his dreams and ambitions, really comes alive in 'Backstory'. A fine tribute and masterpiece by his son, Marco.

Germany 1945
France 1945
Italy / Greece 1946
Hungary / Romania / Poland 1947
India 1951/52
Korea 1951/2
Japan 1951/2
Hong Kong 1952
Indochina 1952
USA 1953/54
Mexico 1954
Panama 1954
Peru 1954
Eassy / Fred Ritchin
Interview / Marco Bisschof / Kristen Lubben



Cartoon by Joep Bertrams
Published in De Groene Amsterdammer 6.4.2017



Pillars of the Earth - miniseries tv/ dvd

Pillars of the Earth - miniseries tv/ dvd

Pillars of the Earth - miniseries tv/ dvd

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett (book)

I had not been interested in Ken Follett's spy novels, but when I noticed he had written a novel set in the year 1135, with a focus on life of common people I soon bought this paperback edition of Pan books (published 1990).The 1070 pages were a constant pleasure.
Imagine my surprise when I recently noticed that a mini series for tv had been produced, by none other than Tony & Ridley Scott. It probably was a good thing there were decades between me reading the book and watching this film and I enjoyed it immensely.

'The Pillars of the Earth' is an 8-episodes 2010 TV miniseries, adapted from Ken Follett's novel of the same name.
It debuted in the U.S. on Starz and in Canada on The Movie Network/Movie Central on 23Jul2010. Its UK premiere was on Channel 4 in October 2010.
In 2011, the series was nominated for 3 Golden Globes, including Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Ian McShane (as Waleran Bigod, a man of God) for Best Actor and Hayley Atwell (as Aliena) for Best Actress at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

In 1120, the White Ship catches fire in the English Channel, killing the only legitimate son of King Henry I, and seemingly leaving no survivors. Henry, who is close to death, requires his court to pledge loyalty to his daughter Maud's unborn son. However, Henry's nephew Stephen of Blois, who enjoys close ties with the Church, makes a deal with the Archbishop of Canterbury to be crowned instead. The battles for the English throne is a plot through all episodes.
For their loyalty and participation in the conspiracy Lord Percy of Hamleigh and his wife Regan & son William are rewarded with Castle Shiring. Lord Bartholomew of Shiring, owner of Shiring and loyal to Henry I, is thrown in the dungeon, his daughter Aliena and son Richard are reduced to poverty but take an oath to recapture Castle Shiring.

Aliena manages to set up a wool business in Kingsbridge, thus finding funding for her brother Richard to buy a horse and weapons to start a career as knight and he manages with his fighting fame to be invited to the royalty surrounding King Stephen. Both await their chance to strike, but this is not without stumbling blocks.

Meanwhile, Tom Builder has found work in repairing the abbey of Kingsbridge; he has brought his family but his wife died on their way. Tom and his son & daughter strike up a friendship with a woman and her son living in a cave in the woods as outlaws. They have a story connecting to that ship that went up in flames.
Alfred, Tom's son, becomes jealous of Jack, the son of Ellen, the witch from the woods. Jack has a talent for stone carving.

Prior Stephen is ambitious but struggles with intrigue among the monks at Kingsbridge.
Kingsbridge manages to get market rights from the King, to pay for the building of the cathedral. But this takes business away from Shiring and there is constant intrigue, conspiracies but also armed raids and murder surrounding the building of Kinsbridge cathedral.
The story, filled with plots, assassinations, drama and fighting in the battle fields, develops over decades until the cathedral is finished.

Cast (from Imdb):
Ian McShane - Waleran Bigod (9 episodes, 2010)
Matthew Macfadyen - Prior Philip (9 episodes, 2010)
Rufus Sewell - Tom Builder (8 episodes, 2010)
Natalia Wörner - Ellen (9 episodes, 2010)
Eddie Redmayne - Jack Jackson (9 episodes, 2010)
Hayley Atwell - Aliena (9 episodes, 2010)
Sam Claflin - Richard (9 episodes, 2010)
Sarah Parish - Regan Hamleigh (9 episodes, 2010)
Robert Bathurst - Percy Hamleigh (9 episodes, 2010)
David Oakes - William Hamleigh (9 episodes, 2010)
Anatole Taubman - Father Remigius (9 episodes, 2010)
John Pielmeier - Father Cuthbert (9 episodes, 2010)

A very entertaining series!




Werner Bischof - Standpunten (Fotomuseum Den Haag)

Werner Bischof - Standpunten (Fotomuseum Den Haag)

Werner Bischof - Standpunten (Fotomuseum Den Haag)

Werner Bischof - Standpunten (Fotomuseum Den Haag)

Swiss Magnum photographer Werner Bischof (1916-1954) worked as a photojournalist for legendary magazines like Life and Picture Post. Over the two decades prior to his premature death in 1954, he produced a memorable and multifaceted oeuvre.
To mark the centenary of his birth, the Hague Museum of Photography mounted a major retrospective of his work.
The exhibition numbered around 220 original prints, plus contact prints, personal letters and photo books. It offers an extensive view of his studio work, his images documenting Europe in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and his travels in Asia, South America and the United States.
The exhibition has been created by the photographer’s eldest son, Marco Bischof in collaboration with Magnum Photos.

This exhibition was already shown in Munich and Lausanne. For the Dutch showing (until 07May2017),
it was supplemented by 30 photographs that Bischof took during his 1945 visit to Holland and which have never previously been exhibited.






Recorded this from tv and wathched it over the past few weeks. Expecting a run-of-the-mill Scandinavian crime drama, but found myself in for a surprise!

Jordskott (EN: 'earth shot' or 'subsoil shoot') is a 2015 Swedish TV series, which is broadcast by SVT.
The series was filmed in Sala and Ragunda in the summer of 2014 and premiered on 16Feb2015.

Police inspector Eva Thörnblad (Moa Gammel) returns to the village of Silverhöjd, 7 years after her daughter Josephine disappeared beside a lake in the forest. Josephine's body was never found and it was presumed that she had drowned.
Upon Eva's return, a boy is missing and Eva begins to look for similarities between this disappearance and that of her daughter. At the same time, she has to deal with the death and probate of her late father and his large timber felling and processing business, Thörnblad Cellulosa.
Besides the missing children, there are a few murders and while the police soon have a suspect for the murders, the motiv remains a mystery.

The local police is not equipped to deal with such a crime wave and an inspector of the National Police arrives on the scene; but he, Göran Wass (Göran Ragnerstam), seems to have an agenda of his own in all this.
Local police inspector Tom Aronsson (Richard Forsgren) is divorced and has his autistic daughter staying with him, but his ex wife wants her to return home seeing the news from Silverhöjd on tv; an added family drama thrown in the plot.
Over the course of the series, Eva discovers that the children's disappearance is inextricably tangled with the conflict between those who want to protect the forest and the community that depends on Thörnblad Cellulosa.

There are various deadlines here: a bounty hunter is killing 'unhumans' who supposedly live in the boreal forest and Thörnblad Cellulosa is keen to start dynamiting the caves in the area for mining purposes.
Two parents on the board of Thörnblad Cellulosa have their kids kidnapped, but keep this from the media for the sake of the company business, under pressure from their CEO. The kids are suspected to be kept hostage in these caves...
The secretary of the CEO has a retarded child from him and her fight to keep him home, out of institutions, is a plot that continues through the series and has a climax all of its own.

When I found that the series dealt with 'unhumans' and other alien creatures (never seen, sometimes heard with their shrill, piercing noise unbearable for the human ears), I had difficulty in adapting from the usual crime drama at first to something with a twist. In the end I enjoyed all 10 episodes.
But I can understand the reluctance of undertaking a 2nd series, it may be a little too 'strange' for the greater audience.



One Summer in America 1927 by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is one of my favourite authors, I love both his travel books as well as his other work e.g. browsing history of the character of Shakespeare and a book like this one...

How much can happen in one summer and how interesting can it be compared to the present time? Well, in 1927 a lot happened and indeed much of great interest while the facts that have vanished in the grey past are fortunately put back in the limelight, dusted off by Bill Bryson.

The memorable summer of 1927 began with Charles Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic and ended with the release of The Jazz Singer, which ushered in sound cinema, and Babe Ruth's record-setting 60 home runs for the New York Yankees.
In between came the notorious Ruth Snyder murder case (inspiring the film Double Indemnity); the execution of anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti; the great Mississippi flood, which lasted longer than any other American natural catastrophe; the Dempsey-Tunney fight; Henry Ford beginning to develop the Model A; and the starting of work on Mount Rushmore by the improbably named Gutzon Borglum.

These milestones mark Bryson's landscape, but his guided tour takes in many detours: back to the origins of prohibition, through the presidency of Warren G Harding, around Lindbergh's fellow flyers from Italy to France to Newfoundland, through Henry Ford's preposterous 'Fordlandia' settlement in Brazil, with a great deal about baseball, boxing, aeroplanes, cars, radios, films and televisions along the way.

Thanks to Bryson's entertaining style of writing, this book never becomes a bore; he is indeed a gifted raconteur and we have to thanks his love for research for this magnificent book. Never in the 600+ pages of this paperback my attention flawed, wonderful reading.

It is educational to read how rampant racism and legal inequality prevailed in those times. The person Lindbergh, from hero to fallen icon, becomes even more fascinating while the subject of 'eugenics' (a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population) is positively shocking!
Reading about society in the United States in 1927 one can only conclude: lessons to be learned here!

I also appreciated to read about so many aviation pioneers who strived for the same ambition as Linbergh, but failed and many lost their lives in doing so but their efforts and courage largely forgotten.

In spite of natural disasters such as the devastating flooding by the Mississippi river and the stock market crash, optimism prevailed in that summer of 1927. And rightly so, because Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic, his promotional tour during months throughout the United States (and afterwards also a tour through Latin America), built the foundations of aviation as an industry in the USA and gave them the headstart in global aviation.
The film industry going from silent movies to talkies was a painful process, but also gave the USA a headstart in this business, a leading role that continues to the present day.

It is a hugely entertaining book and I am grateful Bill Bryson brought all his fine research into this excellent book; one can only be grateful to people who undertake such monumental task.

Sarah Churchwell on Bill Bryson's fun, encyclopedic rattle through the memorable summer of 1927:
theguardian.com/books/2013/, she even finds some facts to correct and a modest amount of criticism; worth a read in itself.




My book on Blurb: Look

It has been a while, probably 3 years, but I have added a new title to the books I have published with Blurb's BookSmart. It is another title in the '36 Exposures' series, a subject adress in the maximum amount of exposures of the famous 35mm photographic film.

The title of this book is 'LOOK', documenting people looking, absorbed by photography, paintings or expressions of history such as memorials and such like.
The series of 'art & photography' books I have for sale on Blurb (and soon on Amazon) can be found via this link:




Hoorn Steamtram station

Hoorn Steamtram station

Steam locomotive 'Medemblik'

Steam locomotive 'Medemblik'

Changing from steam transport to historic ship
MS Friesland, on IJsselmeer

MS Friesland, on IJsselmeer

Historic triangle Hoorn - Medemblik - Enkhuizen

Yesterday we enjoyed 'travel in time' on the steamtram 'Medemblik' by rail from Hoorn to Medemblik and after a lunch there travelled on the historic (built in 1956) MS Friesland from Medemblik to Enkhuizen.

We started at the 'Hoorn Museum Steamtram' and stepped on board for a thrilling journey through time.
The engine whistled and the fireman shovelled coal into the firebox. Our sense were opened to experience it in full: wooden partitions creak, wheels sing and steam hisses.
Meanwhile we also enjoyed the the Westfrisian countryside where springtime treated us on a fine, sunny day.
We were allowed to disembarked at Wognum station and visit the historic station, note the modest accommodations and logistics of many decades past.

The locomotive 'Medemblik' was built in 1943 by Arnold Jung in Jungenthal (Germany).
It was numbered 14 the very first years when operated by the ' Georgsmarienhutte', later this became 16.
With both firms it was used to rearrange equipment at the factory.
Through the years some major repairs and modifications were needed. During the period of restauration the appearance was altered to resemble the locomotives which used to be operated on regional rail and tramways in the Netherlands.
The rather resplendent red colour is in striking contrast to the faded green it wore when operated in Germany.

The MS Friesland is old-fashioned steamer with a fantastic saloon-deck, it sails along the coast of lake IJsselmeer.
The IJsselmeer used to be connected to the open sea ('Zuiderzee') and there is a large museum at Enkhuizen where the ship can drop you off. As a visit warrants quite a bit of time we left that for another day, but it is certainly worth a closer look and see more about the historic 'Zuiderzee' towns of Hoorn, Medemblik and Enkhuizen.
The return trip (e.g. for a parked car) Enkhuizen - Hoorn is by modern rail.

My photoreport of this day on Flickr.com




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Created: 03-Apr-2017