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Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
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.).
SPRING IS AROUND THE CORNER!
COUNTRY ESTATE VELSERBEEK | HISTORY
The estate dates back to the 1600s, the family Ramp lived in nearby Overveen and for generations were governors in Haarlem. They went down in debts during the 18th century.
In 1639 it as bought by a merchant from Amsterdam, Jerimias van Keulen, later renamed van Collen. He went broke in 1668 and this property went to his children. By then it had quite a status.
Various owners followed over the years.
The family Goll became owners and were lovers of nature. Ca.1785, Goll junior, after the death of his father, took the initiative to have the geometric garden decorated in the English landscape style with ornamental elements, such as a ruin, a hermit's hut, a gin house and a Chinese Schellenhuisje.
Only a few avenues of the former landscaping have been maintained. Between these avenues and the mansion are the gardens, flower beds, special flowers and plant crops.
The design is attributed to Johan Georg Michaël, the landscape architect of nearby Beeckestijn.
The Velserbeek country estate is a national monument.
BLOODLANDS | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
Northern Irish police officer DCI Tom Brannick connects a kidnapping with an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance. There's a lot of plotlines and drama in those 4 episodes!
When a former IRA man is abducted, DCI Tom Brannick is forced to confront an assassin who haunts his past, in order to crack the investigation in the present. From higher up het gets pressure to put the past behind him, after the peace process the country was supposed to have started with a clean slate.
Goliath is supposed to have killed 3 men around the time of the peace process and could also have been involved with the disappearance of Tom's wife around that same time. The disappearance without any contact or message is a continued trauma for Tom and his daughter Izzy; Emma could have staged her disappearance for she worked for Police Intelligence.
The Northern Ireland peace process includes the events leading up to the 1994 Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire, the end of most of the violence of the Troubles, the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, and subsequent political developments.
Tom and his DS Niamh launch a manhunt for Adam Corry, who has disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
As pressure builds on the police, Tom must confront the possibility Goliath may be one of his fellow officers. Tom Brannick digs in the past of Jackie Twomey, maybe he knows more about Goliath. Perhaps he was Goliath back in the day.
EARTLY REMAINS by DONNA LEON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
In July 1992, 'Guido Brunetti' arrived as a new protagonist on the mystery scene in Donna Leon’s first novel, Death at La Fenice, which combined her love of opera with her gift for character and her deep appreciation of Venice.
This novel is again pleasantly slow paced, when Commissario Guido Brunetti takes 2 weeks away from the Venetian Questura for complete rest and solitude.
He packs 4 volumes of the classics and prepares to soothe his soul by doing something physical by day and reading Pliny by night.
To Brunetti’s delight, Casati is an old friend of his father. While the two row, we learn a little more about Brunetti (even after 25 novels!), but only a little about Casati. The two create a bond while silently rowing through the laguna.
Davide Casati only confesses to his wife, when he visits her in the cemetery.
Because my parents had a special love for Venice, over the years and several visits to La Serenissima, it also became a city dear to me. My 2020 visit.
BOREALIS by JEROEN TOIRKENS & JELLE BRANDT CORSTIUS | PHOTOBOOK ENVIRONMENT
It measures 32x26cm and has 256 pages. It is both artful (wonderful photography by Jeroen Toirkens) and informative (easily readable science and impressions by Jelle Brandt-Corstius).
Text is in English and Dutch.
The importance of forests to our planet is more apparent now than ever before. It is trees that filter our carbon emissions out of the atmosphere, and are thus a key weapon in our fight against climate change. Over the past four years photographer Jeroen Toirkens (b. 1971) and journalist and broadcaster Jelle Brandt Corstius (b.1978) visited forests in the boreal zone for their Borealis project, seeking out the stories of the forests and the people who live there.
Thirty per cent of all trees are in the so-called boreal ecosystem, a circle of mostly coniferous trees, ranging from Europe and Asia to North America.
Jeroen and Jelle encountered some extraordinary stories.
Toirkens and Brandt Corstius sensed a deep love of the forest in many of the people they met on their travels. This is certainly true of the people behind the Trees for Life charity in Scotland, which is working to revive the Caledonian Forest. The last ‘granny’ pines there often stand alone on bare rocks, but the rocky landscape typical of Scotland was once covered in pine forests!
Portrait of a tree.
Much of the reviews obviously is about the trees, but I was amazed by the importance of the forest grounds!
I already knew that trees are important for the structure of the soil, esspecially on slopes. But I did not know that trees connect through the soil, they exchange raw materials through fungi by way of their rootsystem. Trees support each other, an example was given of a tree in Germany struck twice by lightning and 10-15 trees surrounding that tree perished too.
Both the project and the book are first-rate and worthy of admiration.
SUMMER COUNTRY MANSION BEECKESTIJN | WALKABOUT
WALK IN THE PARK
UNDER THE WIRE by PAUL CONROY | JOURNALISM WAR CORRESPONDENT
A country at war: Lybia & Syria
Paul Conroy (b. 04Jun64) is a British freelance photographer and filmmaker who works in the British media.
On 22Feb2012 during the Syrian uprising, Conroy was injured while covering events from the Syrian city of Homs, a stronghold of Syrian opposition forces, after the building where he and other journalists were based was shelled by Syrian government forces. Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik were killed in the attack, while Conroy was injured along with another journalist, French reporter Édith Bouvier of Le Figaro.
Conroy suffered leg injuries in the attack and was subsequently smuggled out of the city and across the Syrian border to Lebanon. Edith Bouvier (wounded) and William Daniels did not make it in time through the tunnel and had to return to Baba Amr; they were later smuggled out on a different, also a perilous route.
Marie Colvin's book In Extremis is discussd on MyBlog 2019Q2.
www.streetroots.org/news/ - - - /bearing-witness-war-correspondent-marie-colvin
BODYGUARD | CRIME FICTION TV-SERIES
Bodyguard is a British police political-thriller tv-series, created and written by Jed Mercurio and produced by World Productions as part of ITV Studios for the BBC (2018).
The BBC commissioned the series from the then-independent World Productions in 2016. ITV Studios Global Entertainment acquired the company in 2017.
There must be a sequel coming up!
It is of course undefensible that such a championship is held in a country with such a disregard for human rights. But the UEFA is of course corrupt to the core and only money is the subject of consideration.
JAGLUST COUNTRY ESTATE ('s-GRAVELAND) | HISTORY WALKABOUT
'Jagtlust' is a small country estate on the Leeuwenlaan in the Dutch town of 's-Graveland (North Holland).
The widow Jan Gerritsz lived on 'Jagtlust' in the early 18th century.
Squire ('jonkheer'), dr. Jan Pieter Six (1824-1899), lord of Hillegom and lord of Wimmenum, and his
The eldest son, Professor, .jhr. dr. Jan Six van Hillegom (1857-1926) received the part of Wolfsbergen and the eastern pastures from the inheritance. His brother Willem got Jagtlust and the back forests.
Children of Jan Six.
In 1992, the back forests that stretched from the Oude Meentweg to the Bussummer Grintweg were sold to the municipality of Hilversum. They are now called 'Spanderswoud'.
Vereniging tot Behoud van Natuurmonumenten in Nederland (English: Society for Preservation of Nature Monuments in the Netherlands), also known as Vereniging Natuurmonumenten, is a Dutch nature conservation organization founded in 1905 by Jacobus Pieter Thijsse and Eli Heimans, which acquires, protects, and manages nature reserves in the Netherlands. It is a member of the European Environmental Bureau.
Unfortunately nearby 17th-century manor house 'Trompenburgh' was not open, but I am determined to visit it upon a suitable occasion. It has an amazing history dating back to Admiral Cornelis Tromp (1629-1691)!
WINTER IN HOLLAND (CONTINUED)
THE SISTER | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
WHERE I FIND MYSELF by JOEL MEYEROWITZ | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
“Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books.”
Joel Meyerowitz: 'Where I Find Myself', is a lifetime retrospective of marvelous photography. Meyerowitz takes the unusual approach of displaying his work chronologically from the most recent to the oldest, which changes and clarifies the way one would evaluate his career, his accomplishments.
Joel Meyerowitz is a New Yorker who grew up in the East Bronx.
His epiphany came while working as a young art director on a location shoot with the experienced Robert Frank, and witnessing Frank photograph two young girls. The spontaneity with which Frank photographed the girls, instinctively moving around them and clicking the decisive moments, mesmerized Meyerowitz and made clear his life's calling.
His fascination of people's body language, their interactions, and how they moved in an urban setting were an intoxication he and street-shooter Gary Winogrand jointly pursued. And for about 12 years Meyerowitz's work was characterized by candid black-and-white street-photography.
Then suddenly he reached a tipping point, and after much thought shifted from shooting 35mm to photographing with a large format 8-by-10 inch view camera.
Meyerowitz still works with a large format 8-by-10 view camera, shooting color film as he has done since the late 1970s.
This book encompasses his work from the earliest photos in the 1960s to the present, and it is a splendid inspiring body of work.
Each chapter begins with short, articulate essays by Meyerowitz which are peppered with anecdotes and insights as to what prompted the projects.
Early in the book there is a large portion of images that document the aftermath of 11Sep2001. Meyerowitz was the only photographer granted unrestricted access to document the horror and ruin of the collapsed towers, and the painstaking work of workers searching for human remains.
Although Joel Meyerowitz's roots are in urban street photography, one of the things that continually inspires about his work is his adaptability and variety. Undoubtedly, his single biggest change was the switch from 35mm street-photography in midtown Manhattan to photographing the beach life of Cape Cod in color, with an 8-by-10 inch view camera in 1976.
I consider this lifetime retrospective a treasured addition to my collection. Marvellous.
ZAANSE SCHANS | HISTORY TOURISM
Zaanse Schans in Holland, normally trampled by hordes of tourists but due Covid-19 lockdown almost to ourselves! A real treat.
Zaanse Schans (Dutch pronunciation: is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk, Netherlands.
ROAD KILL | TV-SERIES POLITICAL FICTION DRAMA
Roadkill is a British four-part tv thriller, written & created by David Hare and directed by Michael Keillor. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 18Oct2020.
The series stars Hugh Laurie as the Justice Minister Peter Laurence, whose private life is under fire from his many enemies, not in the least threatening his political career.
Peter Laurence is a charismatic government minister on the verge of promotion to high office. We see him celebrating a win in a newspaper libel case which was a close call for his political career. Also, we get the impression that everything but justice was served.
The newspaper behind the trial sacks the young investigative journalist, but she does not let go.
It is one of many skeletons in Peter's closet but he always proceeded full throttle (from selling furniture, a a landlord, real estate to politics) and considers his options: there is no way other than brace the various crises, fight his way out going forward.
Pressure mounts on Peter, as friends, family, employees, and even a dead person turn against him.
FLESH AND BLOOD | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
'Flesh and Blood' is a British television thriller, in 4 episodes, which was first aired on ITV in the UK in February 2020.
The cast include Imelda Staunton, Francesca Annis, Stephen Rea, Russell Tovey, Claudie Blakley.
Filming took place in the coastal village of Pevensey Bay, near Eastbourne in England.
Lives of three siblings are disrupted when their recently widowed mother Vivien declares she's in love with a new man.
In the first of 4 episodes we get a glimpse of a (fatal?) accident and the series proceeds over an earlier timelapse, interspersed with police interviews after the accident with all involved.
All roles were equally convincing, but to see Francesca Annis in her role as Vivien is indeed a real pleasure. Her career as an actress spans over 7 decades!
A tangled web of secrets, lies, rivalries and betrayals eventually leads to, what could be, a murder.
DUIZEND DAGEN IN CHINA by BETTINE VRIESEKOOP | JOURNALISM
An unusual angle this time
for my interest in China.
Vriesekoop started playing table tennis in 1972 (!), and between 1977 and 2002 she played at top level in Europe. She won the European Championship twice and was a Dutch Champion a wopping 14 times in the singles and and amazing 16 times in the doubles..
She was selected as the 'Dutch Table Tennis Player of the Century' in 2000 and as the Dutch
Vriesekoop was the youngest of 9 siblings in a farmers family. Her father died of cancer when she was 9 years old.
About the book.
It is striking that Bettine gives very personal interpretation to reporting, by emphatically also highlighting the human side of developments. And yes, China is a country of change, but she also recognizes the reflex of the Communist Party to fall back on severe repression in its fear for chaos and instability.
This book is at least one of six she's written, won't be the last one I read by her hand!
SANDHAMN MURDERS S7 | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
In spite of the murders involved I consider it a pleasant, sort of soft series, since the plotlines in drama in this series, between the various characters is equally dominant in this series.
Alexander is from Norway and has some difficulty with the Swedish language, providing a touch of humour occasionally. But his background is dramatic: he is returning to Sweden with his young son Tor with hopes of reuniting with his wife Vicky who ran away 3 years ago. Esspecially Tor suffers from a trauma due to this, but it also effects Alexander in his work at times.
There is obviously some chemistry between Nora and Alexander, but as usual events have a habit of intervening.
When a family's matriarch ends up in the hospital and she asks her daughter Jonna to handle a sale in her absence, despite her son is CEO. He goes disappointed behind their back to close a deal quickly with a real estate entrepreneur. Jonna is under appreciated by her mother while the son is hiding his gambling addiction. Then Jonna makes several bad decisions in trying to protect her brother.
A fisherman finds a female body in his fishing nets near Sandhamn. Alexander and Miriam take the call. Alexander reacts unusually strong to how the police handle the dead body, and he has to confess he thinks it could be his missing wife Vicky. His son Tor has even more difficulty handling this.
This renewed cast is quite refreshing, good for a few more series I hope. The script has been excellent sofar, each season. I was pleased to read that in August 2020, TV4 announced that an 8th season was to be produced!
HONOUR | TV-MINISERIES TRUE CRIME
Honour is a two-part British television drama, depicting the investigation into the real-life disappearance and murder of honour killing victim Banaz Mahmod.
Narrative: Rahmat Suleimani reports his 20-year-old girlfriend, Banaz Mahmod, as a missing person; newly promoted DCI, Caroline Goode, heads Team 16 of the London Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Command in the ensuing search.
While Banaz's parents insist Banaz is not missing, her phone hasn't been used and there's been no movement on her bank account.
In a closing note we learn that Caroline Goode was awarded a police decoration for bringing the culprits to justice, she also brought 2 suspects who fled to Iraq back to England where they were convicted for murder.
SMELTEND IJS by ARNALDUR INDRIDASON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
(Myrkrið veit) (The Darkness Knows)
Myrkrið veit is a spin-off from international bestseller Indridason's critically acclaimed Reykjavic-set novel, The Shadow District. In other words, another Konrað novel, Indriðason seems to have done with the Erlendur and Young Erlendur novels.
The book is very low paced, on many inquiries he receives no co-operation as he has to admit he's retired from the police. He does get help from Marta, a former colleague and now a police chief.
Another fantastic read by Arnaldur Indriðason.
WE HUNT TOGETHER | TV-SERIES CRIMA FICTION DRAMA
The murdering couple, Freddy and Babba (resp. Hermione Corfield and Dipo Ola) face the world in a Bonnie & Clyde fashion. Freddy works at a center for sex-lines, but she is unable to pay back 10.000 pounds she borrowed from Matt, a criminal.
The other team also has distinct characteristics. DI Jackson Mendy (Babou Ceesay) is originally from Gambia, happily married with an ambitious lawyer, plus 2 kids. Jackson meets every problem or person with a happy attitude, and works very much on the nerves of Lola Franks.
During the investigation Jackson finds out about Lola's addiction and she notices that it isn't exactly a rosegarden at the Mendy's.
Very entertaining series!
BORN WILD ('WILDE HAREN') by TONY FITZJOHN | AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Anthony Raymond Fitzjohn, OBE is a conservationist who worked extensively with George Adamson at Kora (Kenia) in Africa.
The book starts with describing how Fitzjohn was almost killed by a lion, a chilling introduction.
When Kora became increasingly unsafe, Tony Fitzjohn took the offer with considerable difficulty to start something similar in Tanzania: Mkomazi.
An amazing book, about realizing dreams, support by people far and wide, friends dying, people hurt by the animals they care for. The animals are the true stars of this book, as well as Tony Fitzjohn.
About Tony Fitzjohn-
HET PIXELPARADIJS by JOEP LENNARTS | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
Joep Lennarts, photographer between 1985 and 2011 for the 'Brabants Dagblad', 'de Volkskrant' and Theatre Festival Boulevard. He started his career as a journalist but after a few years switched to photography.
Soon after Joep's death there was talk of a book, but it took 8 years before The Pixelparadise could be published.
The chapters are 1.Nieuws (sub 'eternal transience') - 2.Documentair (sub 'the grandness of the insignificant') -
3.Religie (sub 'the intoxication of the invisible') - 4.Boeren (sub 'the uprooted idyll') -
The why question, of why Joep retired from life, has no answer. It isn't a sad book, though.
OCCUPIED, SEASON 3 | DVD TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
To summarize the first two seasons of Occupied: the series is set in the near future and inhabits a world
In season 3 we have the Russians withdrawn from Norway, and Jesper Berg is tasked with forming an interim government. The EU is monitoring the Peace Treaty and pressures Norway to resume its oil and gas production. While Russia tries to regain some form of control.
Again an excellent political drama, brimming with intrigue that seems to have a high agree of reality.
THE BEAT GOES ON by IAN RANKIN | SHORT STORIES CRIME FICTION
There is an excellent interview on YouTube of Ian Rankin by Scottish journalist Ruth Wishart during the 'e-edition' of the Edinbuirgh Bookfestival (August 2020). It's about an hour long and the interview commences at about 3 minutes into the video.
OCCUPIED, SEASON 2 | DVD POLITICAL CRIME DRAMA THRILLER
Occupied (Norwegian: Okkupert) is a Norwegian political thriller tv-series which premiered on TV2 on 05Oct2015.
J.W.M. TURNER by MARTINA PADBERG | PAINTER ART BOOKS
Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (b.23Apr1775 – d.19Dec1851), known in his time as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist.
William Turner was a shy loner, an einzelgänger and a bit of an eccentric, but also an extremely productive artist who quickly became one of the most successful painters of landscapes and seascapes in England.
I thought it remarkable how much he has travelled!
It will be good to seek his work on display in the various museums in London and elsewhere in the UK.
Martina Padberg is an art historian and works as a freelance curator and writer. Her exhibitions and numerous publications are focused mainly on (modern) art. Martina Padberg's most popular book is on Claude Monet.
DE ZWARTE DOOD IN VENETIË - GERRIT KORTHALS ALTES | ART HISTORY BOOKS
Venice was historically the capital of the Republic of Venice for a millennium and more, from 697 to 1797. It was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce—especially silk, grain, and spice, and of art from the 13th century to the end of the 17th.
'The Black Death in Venice' tells of the other Venice, where the harbors brought in not only wealth, but also unsuspectingly the Black Death.
With the vow to build grand new houses of worship, the Venetians hoped to defuse the pandemic. Renowned architects, sculptors and painters – such as Palladio, Tintoretto, Bellini, Titian and Veronese – were invited to submit designs for church and interior design.
Gerrit Korthals Altes (b.1939-d.2020) was a theatre director of a.o. 'Toneelgroep Amsterdam'.
Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which exists in parasitic fleas of several species in the wild and of rats in human society. In an outbreak, it may kill all of its immediate hosts and thus die out, but it can remain active in other hosts that it does not kill, thereby causing a new outbreak years or decades later.
I was more interested in life during the plague in Venice but how this found itself depicted in art and churches certainly broadened my perspective. On a future visit to Venice I will use this guide to find new places to visit in La Serenissima!
A doge (plural: dogi or doges) was an elected lord and chief of state in several Italian city-states, notably Venice and Genoa, during the medieval and renaissance periods. Such states are referred to as 'crowned republics'.
The Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore (EN: Church of the Most Holy Redeemer), commonly known as Il Redentore, is a 16th-century Roman Catholic church located on Giudecca (island) in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, in the city of Venice, Italy.
Santa Maria della Salute (EN: Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the Salute, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica located at Punta della Dogana, in the Dorsoduro sestiere of the city of Venice, Italy.