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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

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

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 or Amazon.




Kasteel Assumburg

Kasteeltuin Assumburg

Kasteeltuin Assumburg

Kasteel Assumburg
This aerial photo I copied from an online source.

Centrally in the park Assumburg / Oud Haerlem there is a castle garden, behind castle Assumburg, of which I only recently became aware. Yesterday I went there for a visit, inspite of the fact the rosarium and herb garden were, of course, not yet in full bloom.
I visit castles as a matter of natural fact in England and France but ignore them in the Netherlands (Germany too). This cannot go on!

On the same spot as 300 years ago, a unique, landscaped garden in the French Classicist style has been realized.
Around the year 1700, an Amsterdam regent, merchant and banker, Jean Deutz (1655-1719) had his eye fall lovingly on Assumburg Castle.
In addition to a major renovation of the castle, he also had a beautiful symmetrical baroque garden laid out that suited his social position and the beauty ideals of that time.
In 1729 a copper engraving was made of this garden, which was used as a guideline to restore the garden to its former glory.

Reconstruction dates from 1997-2011.
The castle garden is maintained by volunteers.

More photos on https:www.flickr.com/dutchsimba/albums
www.kasteeltuinassumburg.nl (NL)



Shetland, seroes 5 - tv crime fiction drama

'Shetland' is a British television crime drama television series, made by ITV Studios for the BBC and broadcast on BBC One; it was first broadcast in 2013.
The series stars Douglas Henshall as Jimmy Perez, a detective inspector working for the Shetland police, Alison O'Donnell as Detective Sergeant Alison 'Tosh' Macintosh, and Steven Robertson as Detective Constable Sandy Wilson.
Mark Bonnar (as Duncan), Lewis Howden (Sgt Billy), Erin Armstrong (Jimmy's daughter Cassie) and Julie Graham (Jimmy's superior Rhona) are also principal members of the cast.
The story takes place largely on the Scottish archipelago of that name, although much of the filming
takes place on the Scottish mainland. The stories are based upon the novels by Ann Cleeves.
Douglas Henshall won the 2016 BAFTA Scotland award for best actor for his role as Jimmy Perez, and the series received the award for Best TV Drama.

This 5th series commences with body parts washing ashore of a person subsequently identified as Daniel, a young man from Nigeria. It is found that he was looking for his younger sister. This brings the storyline to that of people trafficking.
On a personal level Jimmy develops feelings for a married woman, Alice (role by Catherine Walker), while Duncan bunks with Jimmy because his wife kicked him out and his business is down the drain. Sandy becomes under investigation of 'criminal negligence'..

Again a pleasure to watch, 'Shetland' remains in my top 5 of top crime drama entertainment.

www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/... /shetland-series-5-cast/ (a who is who..)
Clips of series 5 on BBC One website


Books as streetart (Utrecht, march 2019)

Books as streetart (Utrecht, march 2019)

Fabulous! Artist Jan Heinsbroek a.k.a. 'Jan is de Man' and graffiti-artist Deef Feed created this bookcase mural, three stories high, along the Amsterdamsestraatweg (corer Mimosastraat) in Utrecht.
The people living in this area contributed books and these were depicted in this bookcase; the artist
added some of his own too.
Must go there myself some day!

www.rtvutrecht.nl/(NL) - still above from this RTV Utrecht video.



Trapped - season 2

Trapped (Icelandic: Ófærð) is an Icelandic television crime drama series, produced by RVK Studios and first broadcasted in Iceland on RÚV in December 2015.
The first series of 10 episodes see Andri Olafsson (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), the chief of police in a remote town in Iceland, solving the murder of a former townsman whose mutilated corpse is recovered by fishermen.
The 1st episode of the 2nd series premiered on RÚV on 26 December 2018, while I watched it on BBC Four during February/March 2019.
On Facebook I had read some negative remarks on the 2nd series, not as good as the 1st series, but I do not agree on this. While the first season heavily depended on severe winter circumstances (impressively filmed indeed) and a murder mystery, the 2nd series has more meat to the bone with plotlines involving foreign investments met by hostile sentiments, terrorism, pollution, foreign workers, homosexuality, agriculture against industrial development as well as drama in relations of the main characters Andri (now detective in Reykjavik, sent up north to investigate) and Chief of Police Hinrika.
The mysteries involving the several murders, a suicide and attempted murder see an unexpected outcome as well.

Hinrika is a prominent and excellent role by Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir: actress, screenwriter and also politician!

Plenty of drama and crime through all 10 episodes to keep one very much entertained,
Pleased to find a 3rd series can be expected.



Dressed for Death - Donna Leon
Dutch title: 'De Dood Draagt Rode Schoenen'

This is an early novel in Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series, no.3 to be exact. My paperback, in Dutch, dates from 2011 but this novel was first published in 1994. One would think that it may be disturbingly outdated but that is not the case: Italian society does not change so fast!

Commissario Guido Brunetti's hopes for a refreshing family holiday in the mountains are once again dashed when a gruesome discovery is made in Marghera - a body, a man dressed as a woman (quickly assumed to be a prostitute), so badly beaten the face is completely unrecognizable.
Brunetti searches Venice for someone who can identify the corpse but is met with a wall of silence. He then receives a telephone call from a contact who promises some tantalizing information.
The transvestite (allegedly) is found to be a reputable banker.

The author paints a vivid picture of how hot and unyielding the summer can be in Venice and most of all how unsurmountable obstacles can seem to be in investigations where bankers and 'high finance' are involved.

Pleasant reading.




Keukenhof 2019 - flowerbulb show

Keukenhof 2019 - flowerbulb show

Keukenhof 2019 - flowerbulb show

Keukenhof 2019 - flowerbulb show

Keukenhof 2019 - flowerbulb show
Thank you ladies, we had a fine visit!

And for the perfect selfie...
Keukenhof 2019 - flowerbulb show
I thought this fitting for my 'streetphotography' gallery; check it out

Yesterday 'De Keukenhof' opened its yearly presentation (21Mar-19May). The sun came out this afternoon, we decided to go; not all bulbbeds were yet in full bloom, but the amount of tourists had not yet peaked as well!
Many flower beds have bulbs planted in 3 layers and they bloom successively, a garantee to see bright flowers through the weeks of this event.

Keukenhof (EN: Kitchen garden), also known as the Garden of Europe, is one of the world's largest flower gardens, situated in Lisse, Netherlands.
According to the official website for the Keukenhof Park, approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park, which covers an area of 32 hectares (79 acres).

These flowers are a calling card for the flower industry. The presentation here at De Keukenhof results in the flowerbulb industry getting some 1.500 press contacts each year, both national as well as inter-national.

www.flickr.com/photos/ more photos of this visit
www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/ (NL)



De Dam - Fred Feddes

De Dam - Fred Feddes
The dam and 'damrak' in Amsterdam, boats sailed up to the dam for loading and unloading.

De Dam - Fred Feddes

De Dam - Fred Feddes

De Dam - Fred Feddes
Tragic event at the closing of World War II here on the Dam of Amsterdam

De Dam - Fred Feddes
Modern days

The Dam, celebrated as the centre of the Netherlands, the national square of Holland in Amsterdam, it features the Royal Palace, the National Monument and the monumental Nieuwe Kerk (host to major exhibition including the yearly World Press Photo).
Since centuries this square, which isn't exactly square, has been the location of official events, parties, protests and memorials. Even a place of execution once upon a time...
Having said praise about 'The Dam', it is also a bit of an ugly duckling among famous squares in the world.
Amsterdam started as two row of houses besides a river in which a dam was placed. The dam grew in importance because of much business and trade conducted on it.The square is in fact two squares made into on. For a long time it was considered to be a failed square.

Over time it changed in appearance several times, as the many illustrations in this book shows.
The author Fred Feddes describes, using many photos, drawings and illustrations of paintings, how it was used since the 13th century, morphed into its present situation and which remarkable events passed through history here.

I was pleased to note the location of 't Schilt van Vranckrijck, almost on the Dam, an inn where Cosimo III stayed during his stay in Amsterdam in the 17th century (Cosimo's travels in the Netherlands was reviewed further down this page).

Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin around a dam in the
river Amstel.
Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch 'Golden Age' (17th century), as a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading centre for finance and trade.
In the 16th century, the Dutch rebelled against Philip II of Spain and his successors. The main reasons for the uprising were the imposition of new taxes, the tenth penny, and the religious persecution of Protestants by the newly introduced Inquisition.
The revolt escalated into the Eighty Years' War, which ultimately led to Dutch independence.[35] Strongly pushed by Dutch Revolt leader William I, Prince of Orange (b.24Apr1533 – d.10Jul1584), the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance. Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, Huguenots from France, prosperous merchants and printers from Flanders, and economic and religious refugees from the Spanish-controlled parts of the Low Countries found safety in Amsterdam.
The influx of Flemish printers and the city's intellectual tolerance made Amsterdam a centre for the European free press.

While this book focusses on a small, albeit important part of Amsterdam, it also provides a timeline of historic events through the ages. The fun thing is this book is richly decorated with images and illustrations, dating from the 17th century upto and including more recent photos by Ed van der Elsken!
Simply wonderful!




Springvloed, series 2

Absolutely enjoyed the first series of Springvloed and season 2 did not disappoint either!

Spring Tide (Swedish: Springfloden; Dutch: Springvloed) is a Swedish television drama series.
It had its premiere on 06Ma16 on SVT.
It was written by Rolf and Cilla Börjlind[ and is based on their crime novel of the same name published
in 2012. I haven't yet read of their books, must make it a point to do that some day.
The two leads are played by Kjell Bergqvist (Tom Stilton) and Julia Ragnarsson (Olivia Rönning). The 2nd series have more expanded plotlines of the other characters.
This 2nd series premiered in September 2018.

Tom Stilton was a police inspector until his mental health failed him and lived for a number of years a homelss life. In this 2nd series we see him still struggling with his traumas on and off and learn more about the cause and background.
Olivia wants to become a police detective and solved her first crime in the first series, during a home project that spun out of control. In this 2nd series she returns from an extended stay abroad and wants
to restart her training with a work project but tragic events suck her into an investigation.

In this 2nd series we see Abbas (Dar Salim), who had a late appearance in the 1st series, investigate the murder of his first love in Marseille. Tom initially helps him, but Abbas and his knifes leave a trail of blood and Tom is sent home by the local investigating officer, Michelle. For a long time we remain in suspense how the plotlines of Marseille and Stockholm will connect.
Mette (Cecilia Nilsson ), the chief investigating officer in Stockholm, suffers from heart problems and the machinations of a high ranking policeman who wants to send her into retirement. She tries to control Olivia but that is easier said than done.
Sandra (Saga Samuelsson) is the daughter of the murder victim in Stockholm, severely traumatized by finding her father dangling from the staircase at home, while her mother had died in the tsunami of 2005 in Thailand (of all western countries, Sweden was the worst hit by the Asian tsunami). Sandra refuses any help but keeps turning to Olivia for support.

All kind of interesting characters circulate through this excellent series, such as Luna (Amanda Ooms) who rents a room to Tom on her boat and becomes involved, Minken (Johan Widerberg) who was Tom's chief informant in a previous life and sees Tom as his life support, Alex Popovic (Nemanja Stojanovic) is an investigative journalist and there's a modest role by Alexandra Rapaport as Sandra's aunt Charlotte.
Ten episodes of excellent crime drama entertainment!

Julia Ragnarsson played a starring role in Blinded (Fartblinda, 2019) as journalist Bea Farkas (MyBlog 2020Q4).




Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer
'In 1890, 1000 amateur photographers were active in the Netherlands'.

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer
The start of 'streetphotography'.

Photo exhibition Rijksmuseum: Everyone a photographer

The invention of cameras that were small and easy to operate meant that, for the first time, amateurs could capture important moments in their own lives. That is, if one could afford one..
In 'Everyone a Photographer' shows that the effect of amateur photography on visual culture was profound, and that early amateur photography is the missing link in the history of photography. Everyone a Photographer will run from 15 February to 10 June 2019 in the Rijksmuseum.




Photojournalism by Eddy van Wessel (Leica Store)
Photojournalism by Eddy van Wessel from the war zones

Photojournalism by Eddy van Wessel (Leica Store)
'Most of the time Eddy works with his Leica M or his Leica M Monochrome
and sometimes with an analog panoramic camera. As one can see in the gallery,
he works up close and his images are raw and recognizable.'

Photojournalism by Eddy van Wessel (Leica Store)

Photojournalism by Eddy van Wessel (Leica Store)

Today I visited the Leica Store in Amsterdam, for Eddy van Wessel's photography on display in the basement.
The photos here are displayed on screens and each screen shows photos as in a slide display. They are from from his 'The Edge of Civilization', books of which are still available for sale.
I had seen these photos before, but I am a great admirer of Eddy van Wessel's photography and a 2nd
(or 3rd..) time is no hardship at all.
By chance the last two photobooks I bought were also Leica photographers: David 'Chim' Seymour and Ragnar 'RAX' Axelsson (further down this page).

At the time of writing Eddy is at work in Baghuz, Syria.




The Truth Will Out - Scandi crime series

The Truth Will Out - Scandi crime series

The Truth Will Out - Scandi crime series

After a long sick leave, Detective Peter Wendel (Robert Gustafsson) goes back to work. He heads a small group of misfits to investigate cold cases.
But that changes when the police receives a message from an unknown murderer, claiming that Sweden's most notorious serial killer, who has been detained for many years, is in reality innocent.
So Wendel and his team is to investigate the conviction of the serial killer and this investigation has parallels with the ongoing investigation (not a cold case) and provokes obstruction by those instrumental in convicting the serial killer.
Wendel struggles with his old fears regarding the recent suicide of his brother and abuse by his father when Peter and Urban were young. His wife Ann-Marie, of whom he became seperated, while he was 'mad', starts to work for the Minister of Justice Björn Stenius, but lands in loyalty problems regarding her new workplace and her ex/ husband.
Their daughter Vera is traumatized by the seperation and finds herself unknowingly approached online by the murderer.

We also see plotlines developing with Peter's team: administrator Barbro Svensson (Ia Langhammer), Caijsa Bergholm (Louise Peterhoff) and Jorma Virttanen (Christopher Wagelin) - the latter two not without blemishes in their careers.

The Truth Will Out, inspired by the famous Swedish criminologist and author Leif GW Persson, is inspired by the true story of Thomas Quick, who was wrongly condemned as a serial killer.

An excellent series, true 'scandi-noir'!

IMDb: Det som göms i snö / The Truth Will Out



Photos from Japan by Paulien Oltheten

Photos from Japan by Paulien Oltheten
So strange: captions often refer to the photo on the previous page

Photos from Japan by Paulien Oltheten

Photos from Japan by Paulien Oltheten
Silly graphics

Having visited Japan in 2018 I grabbed this photobook by Paulien Oltheten on another exhibition. On a first glance I thought it a nice book on street photography in Japan. I was mistaken.

Paulien Oltheten (b. 1982) travels the globe with her camera, casually but precisely capturing photos and video footage of people on the streets who are passing by, waiting or hanging around. Sometimes she asks the person to change his or their attitude, in other words to pose.
This book is a compilation of photos and film stills that were recently shot in Japan in combination with images, short texts and sketches from Oltheten's extensive archive. It is a book about thoughts, about lines, folds and wrinkles, about interspaces and traces.

I found it very annoying to have captions referring to a previous page, the need for swapping pages.
Photos often lack a certain dynamic or relevance and graphics, 'from her archive', silly and equally irrelevant.
A book I won't keep.




1666 by Rebecca Rideal

Samuel Pepys wrote a very detailed diary in the 17th century and I have 2 editions of his excellent account. This book often quotes from Pepys' eyewitness account but also use many other sources.

The book begins in the spring of 1665, among London’s "barking dogs, clattering carts, calling pigeons and chattering early risers" on a grey Tuesday, just three days after a grand, trumpeted procession swept through the capital declaring war on the Dutch.
Alongside the lords and admirals, the famous diarists Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn, Rideal introduces
a cast of less familiar names – such as the Mitchells, booksellers based in Westminster Hall, and the Taswells, a family of merchants living in Bear Lane – which she returns to over the next year-and-a-half as the city is wracked by plague, war and fire.

The great events of the mid-1660s are told from the English point of view: the fire in London that flattened most of the medieval City, the great plague that killed around a quarter of the capital’s inhabitants and the second Anglo-Dutch war.
But from my Dutch point of view I also learned about the relationship Willem III of Orange and Charles II of England, the political situation in The Netherlands between The Republic and Royalists eager to
take over (which indeed would take place), about the Dutch commanders of the fleet, Michiel de Ruyter and Tromp.
Rideal takes the story also down to street level: e.g. in a Buckinghamshire cottage, John Milton was polishing Paradise Lost and Isaac Newton investigating the nature of light in a Lincolnshire farmhouse, about booksellers, merchants, hesitating administrators, financial tribulations for the warring fleet, et cetera.

Born in Chester in 1983, Rideal studied history at Leeds and had been pursuing her interest alongside her TV career, first with an MA at University College London and then by founding The History Vault, an online magazine exploring less familiar corners of the past in essays, book reviews and interviews.

A wonderful book. And so nice it matched the book about Cosimo III (below), for he decided to start travelling through Europe when he found the second Anglo-Dutch war had ended.




David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition
Chim covering The Spanish War, he valued support to the anti-fascist movement

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition
Post-WW2 photo-doc made a great impression

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition
During 'We Went Back' David Seymour briefly visited Holland (Netherlands)

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition

David 'Chim' Seymour, retrospective photo exhibition
On 10Nov1956, Chim was killed during assignment by Egyptian machinegun fire, 4 days after the armistice of the 1956 Suez Crisis, 10 days before his 45th birthday. I believe I have also read that
he was killed when a bombardment overturned the jeep he was driven in.

I was just in time to visit this large retrospective exhibition of the Jewish Polish-American photographer David 'Chim' Seymour (1911-1956), at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, until March 10th.
Born as Dawid Szymin, his friends called him Chim for easy pronunciation. In 1942 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States (the same year that his parents were killed by the Nazis) and he changed his name to David Seymour, but he remained Chim to his friends.

David Seymour was one of the greatest documentary photographers ('photojournalist') of the 20th century and was one of a group which included his friends Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson who founded the photo agency Magnum Photos, in 1947.
Chim's photography covers a period of almost 25 years, from the early 1930s to his sudden death in 1956, and shows the most violent events of that time: the great pre-war political demonstrations and strikes in France, the Spanish Civil War, and the reconstruction of a devastated Europe after the Second World War. In particular, photographs of children who were traumatised by the war attracted attention at the time.
The modest Seymour stayed in the shadow of his famous friends for a long time and he was not well known to the general public.
This impressive retrospective exhibition does him justice.




De Twee reizen van Cosimo d'Medici 1667-1669
'De twee reizen van Cosimo de' Medici 1667-1669'

I have a fascination for books that provide an insight into travel through the ages and this book describes the travels by a Tuscany prince, Cosimo de' Medici, through the Netherlands in the 17th century, as part of two Grand Tours he made through various countries in Europe.

Cosimo III de' Medici (b.14Aug1642 – d.31Oct1723) was the penultimate (6th) Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany. He reigned from 1670 to 1723, and was the elder son of Grand Duke Ferdinando II.
Cosimo's 53-year-long reign, the longest in Tuscan history, was marked by a series of ultra-reactionary laws which regulated prostitution and banned May celebrations.
His reign also witnessed Tuscany's deterioration to previously unknown economic lows. He was succeeded by his elder surviving son, Gian Gastone, when he died, in 1723

Prince Cosimo was running away from a less romantic marriage to Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, a cousin of Louis XIV and he took the opportunity to make these Grand Tours in preparation of his career as
ruler over Tuscany. He was one of the wealthiest men in Europe and on his two tours through the Dutch Lowlands, a very young Republic at the time, he met merchants, royalty, men on every level of government, diplomats, artists and well-known people such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Michiel de Ruyter, Constantijn Huygens, Pieter Blaeu and Jan Swammerdam.
Never before or ever again has anyone of his standing travelled so thoroughly through the Netherlands and was recorded in such excellent detail on government, landscape, architecture, infrastructure, religion, trade (e.g. shipping), housing and travel accomodation.
Recording was done by members of Cosimo's staff and was translated from Italian to this publication.
A marvellous read!

www.lubberhuizen.nl/ (NL)
historiek.net/toscaanse-prins-bezoekt-de-republiek-in-17e-eeuw/ (NL)



Steinar Bragi - The Ice Lands

This is a book I bought because I so much liked Icelandic authors Arnaldur Indriðason and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. But I found this to be a presumption.
I gave up on after so many days and 188 pages...

Set against Iceland's volcanic hinterlands, two couples (more or less) set out on an impromptu trip in a car.
We meet the reckless hedonist Egill, the recovering alcoholic Hrafin and their partners Anna and Vigdis.
Their jeep is packed with supplies an ambitious camping trip.
Victims of the financial crisis, the purpose of the trip is to heal both professional and personal wounds, but the desolate landscape forces the group to reflect on the shattered lives they've left behind in the city.
And this reflecting goes on and on....
In an impenetrable fog they crash into a rural farmhouse. A mysterious elderly couple somehwat reluctantly offer them shelter. Both the couple and the house offer an atmosphere of mystery and horror. But very inexplicitly.
Past tensions within the group rise to the surface, but this is very drawn out and failed to fascinate me.
They get an old car from the old couple but drive it into a gaping hole they hadn't seen and walk back to the house. One of the young women has hurt her foot and stays behind while the others set out for an attempt on foot. But soon they come to what looks like an abandoned fort and seek shelter for a sandstorm. More reflections, none of the characters very interesting and a growing number of mysteries without much progress.
So I gave up on it, which I very seldom do.

From Wikipedia: "Steinar Bragi (full name: Steinar Bragi Guðmundsson) is an Icelandic writer born August 15, 1975.
He has been called 'Iceland's foremost contemporary author, in the estimation of many."
Well, not for me.




Mammon, series 2 (Scandi crime drama series

Mammon - season 2

In MyBlog 2018 Q3 I discussed the first series, while entertaining I found it sometimes confusing which I thought had to do with only 6 episodes cramping the plot. This 2nd season has 8 episodes and succeeded much better in portraying a multi-facetted plot to the viewer.
And indeed a lot happens, various plotlines shift and turn, entertaining to the very last minutes!

Political machinations, high-finance subterfuge, investigative journalism and murder victims with seemingly extreme-right connections, plenty of suspense & drama. It's all in there!

Recurrent roles for  Jon Øigarden as journalist Peter Verås, Nils Ole Oftebro as Frank Mathiesen (editor) and Ingjerd Egeberg as Eva Verås, Peter's sister-in-law.
Very nice to see Trond Espen Seim (Varg Veum) once again, also starring roles for Laura Christensen (Ellen Claussen), Ingar Helge Gimle (Erik Ulrichsen), Anders Danielsen Lie (Johannes Ritter Hansen) and Anna Bache-Wiig (Inger Marie Steffensen).

Am hoping a 3rd series will be commisioned soon!

www.imdb.com/.../episodes - season2



Martin Brile | Donkere Dagen

In 2009 the celebrated Dutch journalist & columnist Martin Bril died of (esophageal ) cancer, only 49 years old. Various compilations of his work continued to be published after his death. He's also the man who invented 'skirt day' (NL: 'rokjesdag'), that day in april or may when women start wearing (short) skirts
in The Netherlands , a day starting too cold for such a dresscode but by 12:00 has warmed up enough to start tanning the legs outside with the first warm rays of sun and proclaiming suitable spring weather has arrived.
I came across this little booklet 'Donkere Dagen' (EN: 'Dark Days'), published by Prometheus in 2008, a very nice hardcover edition with 41 columns.
It is excellent bedtime reading or outside in the garden, while in contemplation of life's little matters.
Also discussed on MyBlog 2012 Q4.

nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Bril (NL)



Vera - 9th Season

'Vera' is a British television crime drama series based on novels of the same name, written by crime
writer Ann Cleeves.
It was first broadcast on ITV on 01May2011, and to date, 9 series have aired.
The series stars Brenda Blethyn as the principal character: Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope.
Kenny Doughty has played the role of Stanhope's sidekick, DS Aiden Healy, since 2015 to the present.
David Leon, as DS Joe Asworth played that role from the start in 2011 until 2015. It is not an easy job next to DCI Vera Stanhope, grumpy and introvert as she can be.

Other long standing actors in the fictional Northumberland & City Police, are Jon Morrison as DS Kenny Lockhart (24 epsiodes and counting!), Riley Jones as DC Mark Edwards, 24 episodes) and Kingsley Ben-Adir (Dr Marcus Summer, 16 episodes 2014-2018).

I recently watched Series 9, unfortunately I missed the 1st episode (this run had only 4 episodes).
Wikipedia has a brief description of each episode.
Presently it is one of my favourite series to watch!




Black Lake, series 2 (scandi crime drama)

Black Lake series 1 was discussed earlier on my blog (2017 Q4) and I visualize a 2nd series (announced in 2017) until I found it was a prequel to the first. But I found that out after having seen this 2nd series.
We see Johan (a role by Filip Berg) not in a group of friends as in the 2nd series but part of a group enrolling in a rehabilitation programme on the island of Kallskär.
Each person has a different problems to deal with, some are returning to Kallskär.

Johan has been caught with cocaine and is convicted to participation, but he is trying to proof himself to his father who does not know of Johan's conviction; when arriving at the island all the participants have to hando over their laptops and mobile phones and Johan is moving heaven and earth to get his back for he is expected to negotiate an important deal for his father in the immediate days ahead.
Minnie is a young mother with a trauma when she fled a burning house in a haze of drug abuse, forgetting about her daughter. While she has not been using for a year, she has difficulty coping. She gets drawn into a mysterious death on the island the year before and finds that the woman killed was a mother of a young child who disappeared around that same time. Staff and fellow participants don't believe her findings, thinking she is unstable and hallucinating.
Other participants as well as the coach and the housekeept have secrets to hide and these steadily are unravelled.

It could have been a good series, but I found the Minnie character naive and irritating. Equally so for the haunted-house effects (only effecting Minnie) and the final episode quite unbelievable and simple.
Not a great succes.

This 2nd series was broadcast in Sweden and Denmark from October 2018, followed by a BBC Four broadcast commencing on 29Dec2018 which I recorded and watched recently.




Faces of the North - Ragnar Axelsson - photobook
The horizon is askew, the subject looks away and isn't centered... But it's
a photo that stops you in your tracks, takes you my the scruff of the neck
and makes you look and look and look...

Faces of the North - Ragnar Axelsson - photobook
Through the Facebook account of RAX I have copied and printed many an English caption
for this book, as I read English easier than German.

Faces of the North - Ragnar Axelsson - photobook
Ragnar's book Andlit Norðursins (2004; English edition 'Faces of the North', 2005) is a collection
of his black-and-white photographs of vanishing ways of life in Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland
taken over a period of fifteen years.

Faces of the North - Ragnar Axelsson - photobook

Faces of the North - Ragnar Axelsson - photobook

Faces of the North - Ragnar Axelsson - photobook
Backcover of 'Gesichter des Nordens'

Ragnar 'RAX' Axelsson is an Icelandic photographer who has spent the past few decades photographing the people of the cold remote places of ‘the North’.
This is another photobook in his quest to record the diverse ways of life which, in his words, are being threatened as the world becomes warmer (although other issues also play a part).
Incredible imagery by his Leica (sometimes Canon equipment is used when a bigger lens was needed). That frontcover may well have been removed early in amateur photo competitions, but, well you read
my above comments. So powerful.
One gets drawn into Rax’s deep passion for the people he was photographing across Greenland, Iceland and the Faroes.
Traditions caught in the thaw of a world of ice, people documented long hidden far behind a distant horizon, the worse weather conditions turned into poetry by these images; a hefty document good for a million minutes of browsing while realizing changes on this earth also cause anguish and anxiety.

Ragnar Axelsson (b.1958), also known as RAX, is an Icelandic photographer.
He has been a staff photographer of Morgunblaðið (Iceland's second largest newspaper) since 1976. Ragnar has done work and stories for various agencies and magazines, shooting in Iceland, the Faroes, Greenland, Indonesia, Scandinavia and Siberia.
He has been traveling to the Arctic for almost three decades.
His images have won him recognition as a documentary photographer and saw photographs and picture essays published in Life, National Geographic Magazine, Le Figaro, Stern, La Vanguardia, Time, amongst others.
His book 'Last Days of the Arctic' (Veiðimenn norðursins) I have bought a few years ago, equally impressive.




Friday on my mind - Nicci French

Dreadful weather in january and early february made me devour 2 editions of favourite authors in a matter of a few days (having put aside some non-fiction books, preferring something easier to read).

By the time his corpse is fished out of the Thames, neurologist Alexander 'Sandy' Holland is scarcely identifiable. But a hospital bracelet he’s wearing labeled 'Dr. F. Klein' leads DCI Sarah Hussein and DC Glen Bryant to Frieda, and she makes the dry-eyed identification.
Soon the inquiry focusses on Frieda Klein, instigated by some people who have no liking for the psychotherapist. She did end the relation with Sandy Holland which the latter had great difficulty in accepting.
Frieda immediately sees the black hand of Sean Reeve in this, getting rid of her stalker but also implicating Frieda.
The Sandy’s wallet turns up in Frieda's dresser drawer and a warrant for her arrest is made up.
But, instead of turning herself in, Frieda does a bunk, goes into hiding with the help of her good friend Josef Morozov, a Ukrainian builder with contacts from here to Kiev. In fact a Russian helps Josef here.
When compiling a timeline after some research, she realizes that Reeve can’t have killed him!
While the net is tightened around her, she can't resist helping Sasha and her son Ethan; DCI Mats Karlsson finally tracks her down, but does not offer her whereabouts to the police inquiry - which results in him being suspended when this is found out.
Again a great novel with a compelling high pace and which I thoroughly enjoyed, although not all the reviews I read came out positive.




Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon

Commissario Guido Brunetti looks into a 15-year-old mystery in Donna Leon’s 25th novel (published 2016) with the Venetian police inspector fighting crime, police politics and his general musings about changes in society.
Did Manuela Lando-Continui, who was almost 16, fall into a canal, as the contemporary police investigation concluded, or was she pushed?
The beautiful youngster sustained permanent brain damage and has no recollection of the incident. The only witness, a notorious drunk named Cavanis, claimed that he saw a man push her.
Manuela’s elderly contessa grandmother would very much like to know the truth before she dies.

It seems like a hopeless inquiry but the plot remains interesting in the light of struggles of contemporary Venetians unable to afford housing in their beloved city and under threat from hostile immigrants.
Brunetti finds helpful assistance by Commissario Claudia Griffoni, the inspector’s colleague.
Of course Signorina Elettra assists in her unorthodox ways, but she plays a less dominat part in this book.
And we get the usual share of Brunetti's domestic life, about his wife Paola and his children Chiara and Raffi.




Zilveren Camera - prize winning photojournalism

Zilveren Camera - prize winning photojournalism

Zilveren Camera - prize winning photojournalism

Zilveren Camera - prize winning photojournalism

Dutch photographer Cynthia Boll has won the Dutch photography award Zilveren Camera ('Silver Camera') 2018 in the category Documentary International for her photo series Sinking Cities, Jakarta. The series is a direct result of her photo project The People Behind The Seawall, that DutchCulture helped produce.

In the exhibition were many other series worth watching; excellent work throughout.

photoqbookshop.nl/product/zilveren-camera-2018 (1949-2019: 70 years!)




Stonemouth, crime fiction tv-film

Stonemouth, crime fiction tv-film

Stonemouth is a 2012 novel by Scottish author Iain Banks. The novel was published in 2012 and was filmed in a two episode tv-film.

Stewart Gilmour returns to Stonemouth, a fictional seaport town north of Aberdeen, for a funeral. It is five years since he ran away to London after a sexual indiscretion at a wedding. Stonemouth is controlled by two rival gangs, the Murstons and the MacAvetts, and Gilmour was engaged to a member of the former clan before he had to leave.
Gilmour also has to face his former fiancée, Ellie, but she (nor her family) has forgiven his indiscretion.




In A House Of Lies - Ian Rankin

Another splendid novel by Ian Rankin, again featuring the three partite: John Rebus, DI Siobhan Clarke and DI Malcolm Fox.
Rebus has retired from the police force but gets involved because Siobhan asks him to look into a not-so-cold case and Rebus tries to follow the progress of an ongoing investigation, to see what dirt may be coming his way.
Malcolm Fox is involved in the investigation because a missing person has reappeared as a murder victim and Malcolm is called in to look for skeletons in the cupboard of the 'misper' investigation; he soon finds it has Rebus' paws all over it for favors and tip offs.

Three boys discover a car deep in a gully in thick woodland. It has been there for a long time, and there’s a decomposed body in the boot. The legs are handcuffed and appear to be police-issue equipment.
DI Siobhan Clarke, Rebus’s old protégé, is early on the scene, and it’s not long before she gets a text from Rebus, asking if it’s a red Volkswagen Polo...
The murdered man, Stuart Bloom, was a missing person in a case back in 2006.

Rebus is suffering from COPD (emphysema) and needs to keep an inhaler on him. He had to stop smoking and all but has given up on alcohol; he seems a typical pensioner as he walks his dog Brillo in the Meadows. But from the Meadows he can see the apartment where his old adversary Big Ger Cafferty lives...
The investigation into the murder of Stuart Bloom brings out of the woodwork two crooked cops and Rebus sees a glimmer of hope to bring Cafferty behind bars again; but Rebus also exchanges information with Cafferty: the old adversaries circling each other like back in the old days.
A leopard cannot change its spots..

The protagonist in 'In A House Of Lies' is still John Rebus, though Siobhan is very much on the foreground as well (obviously Rankin may have difficulty writing from the thoughts and emotions of a woman), while Fox has taken a backseat in this novel.
John Rebus, having difficulty with social media and other modernities in Scotland anno 2018, driving around in his decrepit Saab and hesitant to move in with Deborah Quant, Rebus remains the scoundrel we like to read about!




Max Westerman, In Alle Staten
'Het Amerika van Max Westerman'

In this book (EN: 'In All States') journalist Max Westerman describes his experience and career during a period of 25 years in his life, from a first visit to the United States, backpacking, to a lengthy career as a journalist and tv correspondent for RTL Nieuws (tv channel), featuring US President elections, 9-Eleven, commenting on devastations such a Hurricane Katrina plus all kind of local events and insights (into e.g. religion, UFO believers) in the USA and its people.
He had the longest career of Dutch tv-correspondents in the USA. Before that career he also worked for Newsweek. He made two popular tv-series and wrote another bestseller: Max & The City (about New York City).

While this book was published over 10 years ago (2007, Nieuw Amsterdam) it still provides valuable insights, but it's also very much a pleasure to read through the concise, 'to the point'-style of writing and while critical never negative, Indeed, Max often proclaims his love for this powerful country where people have a plentitude of optimism and bounce back from disappointments for a 2nd (3rd, 4th..) attempt on success and the American Dream.

The author keeps it light, there is plenty of self-criticism and he occasionally shares a tongue-in-cheek remark.
A pleasure to read and to this day of informative value on a country that often enough finds itself on the wrong side of history.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Max_Westerman (NL)



Goldstone, fil ('Outback Noir')

Goldstone, fil ('Outback Noir')

Goldstone, fil ('Outback Noir')

Goldstone, fil ('Outback Noir')

Goldstone is a 2016 Australian crime thriller film directed by Ivan Sen. It is a sequel to Mystery Road (2013) and stars Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, Jacki Weaver, David Wenham and David Gulpilil.
It was released in Australia on 07Jul2016.

Indigenous Detective Jay Swan arrives in the frontier town of Goldstone on a missing persons inquiry. What seems like a simple light duty investigation opens a web of crime and corruption.
The Furnace Creek gold mine pulls all the strings in town and the neighbouring Aboriginal community has little say in the ambitions of the gold mine corporation while they stand to loose ground and see the fish floating dead in the water.
Young Asian women are flown into town for prostitution, to serve the miners; the women are held against their will. The local policeman has succumbed to the powers of the mining company, enforced by the pie-baking mayor, and he enforces the law in a very minimal way.
Jay has roots in the indigenous community, from where he was taken away when he was a child.
He must pull his life together and bury his differences with young local cop Josh, so together they can bring justice to Goldstone.

The film has extraordinary sceneries of the outback and the community consists only of a handful of houses and trailers.
A very entertaining film, of which a series was made as a result, also featuring Aaron Pedersen as Jay Swan; discussed on myBlog2018-Q4.





De Tijd in Kleur, Beelden uit Wreledgeschiedenis 1850-1960
My copy was the Dutch translation: 'De Tijd In Kleur, Beelden Uit De Wereldgeschiedenis 1850-1960'

De Tijd in Kleur, Beelden uit Wreledgeschiedenis 1850-1960
These scans do not include the entire book, too large to fit on my flatbed scanner

De Tijd in Kleur, Beelden uit Wreledgeschiedenis 1850-1960

De Tijd in Kleur, Beelden uit Wreledgeschiedenis 1850-1960

'The Colour of Time', of which I recently acquired a Dutch translation (published in 2018) spans more than a hundred years of world history from the reign of Queen Victoria and the US Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and beginning of the Space Age. It charts the rise and fall of empires, the achievements of science, industry and the arts, the tragedies of war and the politics of peace, and the lives of men and women who made history.
Dan Jones is the author of this interesting historic document and Marina Amaral was responsible for painstakingly digitally colouring, pixel by pixel, this hefty book.
Unfortunately the Dutch translation was not without spelling mistakes and typing errors, the worst being 'Al Pacino' where 'Al Capone' was referred to!

Marina Amaral has created 200 stunning images from the original B&W photos and each photo has a short narrative describing the situation in context.
A most readable book!




Marc Riboud, photographer (Photofile publication)
The cover depicts an image taken by Riboud on 21Oct1967, entitled 'The Ultimate Confrontation:
The Flower and the Bayonet' and it is among the most celebrated anti-war pictures. Shot in
Washington, D.C. where thousands of anti-war activists had gathered in front of the Pentagon
to protest against America's involvement in Vietnam.

Marc Riboud, photographer (Photofile publication)

Marc Riboud, photographer (Photofile publication)

Marc Riboud, photographer (Photofile publication)
One of Riboud's best known images is Eiffel Tower Painter, taken in Paris in 1953. It depicts a man painting the tower, posed like a dancer, perched between the metal armature of the tower. Below
him, Paris emerges from the photographic haze. Lone figures appear frequently in Riboud's images.

Marc Riboud (b.24 Jun1923 – d.30Aug2016) was a French photographer, best known for his extensive reports on the Far East: The Three Banners of China, Face of North Vietnam, Visions of China, and In China.
He photographed his first picture in 1937, using his father's Vest Pocket Kodak camera. As a young man during World War II, he was active in the French Resistance, from 1943 to 1945.
Until 1951 Riboud worked as an engineer in Lyon factories, but took a week-long picture-taking vacation, inspiring him to become a photographer.
He moved to Paris where he met Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, and David Seymour, the founders of Magnum Photos. By 1953 he was a member of the organization.
Over several decades, Riboud traveled around the world.
In 1957, he was one of the first European photographers to go to China, and in 1968, 1972, and 1976, Riboud made several reportages on North Vietnam.
Later he traveled all over the world, but mostly in Asia, Africa, the U.S. and Japan.
Riboud has been witness to the atrocities of war (photographing from both the Vietnam and the American sides of the Vietnam War). But he has also captured the graces of daily life, set in sun-drenched facets of the globe (Fès, Angkor, Acapulco, Niger, Bénarès, Shaanxi), and the lyricism of child's play in everyday Paris.
In 1979 Riboud left the Magnum agency.

Riboud's photographs have appeared in numerous magazines (e.g. Life, Géo, National Geographic, Paris Match, Stern), won many awards and his work was displayed worldwide in several retrospective exhibitions (e.g. at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the International Center of Photography in New York).
Riboud died in Paris on 30 August 2016, at the age of 93

The Photofile series brings together the best work of the world’s greatest photographers in an attractive format and at an affordable price. Handsome and collectible, the books are produced at the highest quality.
Each volume contains some sixty full-page reproductions, a critical introduction, and a full bibliography. The series was awarded the first annual prize for distinguished photographic books by the International Center of Photography.




Fortitude, season 2

Fortitude, season 2

Fortitude, season 2

Fortitude (a.k.a. Svalbard) is a British sci-fi psychological thriller tv-series created and written by Simon Donald. A 12-episode series was commissioned by Sky Atlantic in 2013; it started airing on 29Jan2015. The series is set in the fictional Arctic Norwegian settlement of Fortitude.
On 09Apr15, Sky Atlantic recommissioned the show for a second series consisting of 10 episodes, which premiered on 26Jan2017.
Most of the filming was done in Iceland and the icy arctic wasteland is depicted in a most impressive way. Probably one of the most attractive features of this series!

Series 2 begins several weeks after the events of series 1 and the strange goings-on continue in the town of Fortitude, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, after a body is discovered.
A headleass body...

So picking up the plot from the first series took me a while. We find that Sheriff Dan Anderssen has disappeared. Eric Odegard has set out to find him among the glaciers but needs to replace Dan in town with the murder inquiries.
Governor Hildur Odegard is replaced by an official from Oslo, she is sacked for ignoring a fuelban by the Norwegian authorities much for the shipping fleet to sail for the crab season.
The marriage of Eric and Hildur seems to be on the rocks. Eric is jealous of Hildur's suspected relationship with shipper Michael Lennox, with whom Hildur is following a seperate line of inquiries. Her theory of an ongoing conspiracy Eric dismisses as disappointment for being fired.
Eric does not have the qualities needed to replace Dan and can't see beyond his jealousy.
The police track down their suspect, but a dark turn of events leads them to question everything.

There still seem to be wasps around which can survive the Arctic cold and infect victims, humans as well as animals, by a parasite who die or show abnormal behaviour. The ultimate fate of the surviving victim is uncertain.
Dr Khatri is the mad scientist here, working on a hidden agenda for a biomedical firm, trying to discover magical regeneration on human tissue and organs of those infected by the wasps at Fortitude.
Eric struggles to keep control as the body count increases. Meanwhile, lab technicians Natalie and Vincent's field trip end in chaos.
Michael finds a glimmer of hope for his wife Freya, who suffers from A.L.S. and is at death's door.
Dan resurfaces and he and Elena relive their trauma. Dan goes through a biological alteration but seems not to realize it fully. He is determined to deal with the threat on Fortitude.
Nobody except Eric gets along with the Oslo burocrat, Erling Munk, who has replaced Odegard as governor of Fortitude.
Police women Petra and Ingrid continue to seek the truth, but lack insight and supervision. They know to suspect Erling Munk but not to what extend.
Dan, serving justice on 'a consultancy basis' (but no longer sheriff), faces his toughest battle, seeking his own vengeance with a disturbing obsession
A Shaman is at large and is identified as murderer of most of the bodies, but he is hunting a demon.
Is Dan the demon here?

In this second series I think they tried to cram in so many weird ideas and subplots, things became quite complicated and it needed some knowledge of the first series too to grasp the plotlines. I am not too keen on supernatural aspects in these mystery series, too many easy ways out.
Fortitude 2 did not quite grow to its full potential for me.





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Created: 04-JAN-2019