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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.




Flower bulbs in bloom



Velserbeek, country estate (buitenplaats, Ijmuiden)

Velserbeek, country estate (buitenplaats, Ijmuiden)

Velserbeek, country estate (buitenplaats, Ijmuiden)

Walkabout 24Mar21, 'Velserbeek'

Velserbeek is a park in the Dutch municipality of Velsen. The park is located between IJmuiden and Velsen-Zuid.
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.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Velserbeek (NL)



Bloodlands, BBC tv-series

Bloodlands is a British police procedural BBC television series which premiered on BBC One on
21Feb021. It was renewed for a 2nd series in March 2021.
Bloodlands was filmed mainly in the rural area around Strangford Lough in the east of Northern Ireland.

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.
So, while Tom continues to search for Pat Keenan's kidnapper, hoping they will lead him to the legendary assassin Goliath.
Pat Keenan is a hard core criminal, with roots in the distant past. Is Goliath, after all those years, cleaning up those who knew him? Is Keenan Goliath? We see the divide between the catholics and protestants widening.
But is somebody leading Tom down a false trail perhaps? Jackie Twomey takes command of the investigation and as Tom's superior he puts pressure on him to stop looking for Goliath and his victims.

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.
Teacher Tori Matthews appears on the scene, Tom meets here at the universtity where hsi daughter studies.
Tori agrees to help Tom in the quest to identify this notorious assassin, Goliath. She appears to have her own agenda though.

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.
Tom can't stop the search for Goliath and his victims because it is the same trail as searching for the fate of his wife.




Earthly Remain - Donna Leon

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.
'Earthly Remains' is the #26 Commissario Brunetti novel (#30 was published in 2021, 'Transient Desires').

This novel is again pleasantly slow paced, when Commissario Guido Brunetti takes 2 weeks away from the Venetian Questura for complete rest and solitude.
Brunetti retires to a villa owned by an aunt of his wife Paola. The villa is in a secluded location on Sant'Erasmo, near Burano.

He packs 4 volumes of the classics and prepares to soothe his soul by doing something physical by day and reading Pliny by night.
The something physical he finds himself is rowing with Davide Casati, the villa’s 70+ caretaker. His daughter provides Brunetti with groceries, food and an occasional chat.

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.
Casati is obviously haunted by sadness over his dead wife and a mysterious ailment that is killing the bees he keeps on the various smaller islands in the laguna.There is a secret he’s not willing to confess to, even to his old friend’s son.

Davide Casati only confesses to his wife, when he visits her in the cemetery.
After his demise by an unfortunate accident during a storm, the story pans to the terrible accident Casati had at the factory he worked with in Marghera, many years ago.
Brunetti seeks others who were also involved in the accident at the chemical plant, not because he is suspicious of Casati's demise, but he wants to know more about the person Casati and why he became increasingly tormented. And why he had soil samples investigated.
We soon learn that there was a lot more to Casati's sadness than the death by cancer of his spouse.

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.
Donna Leon's books show a Venice that is not often presented in English books nor much seen by tourists. They take the reader into Venetian homes, listen to them gripe about everything (in the way of Venetians), learn where certain things are to be found, get a sense of what Venetians think about their government, both local and national.
A lot can be found on the machinations of Italian society, how politics 'work' (or not work), corruption, racism, et cetera.

www.kirkusreviews.com/- - -/earthly-remains/



BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest
BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest
by Jeroen Toirkens and Jelle Brandt Corstius

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest
The road to Treriksröset, the three-nation market post between Norway, Russia and Finland.

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest

BOREALIS, trees and people of the northern forest
The magnificent wrap-around cover unfold to poster size!

First of all, this book Borealis has a magnificent look and feel, it is wonderfully produced. Booklovers will know what I mean.
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.
People who take time out to go on such an enterprise deserve our admiration!

With the impact of climate change is being seen and felt increasingly, it is important that these stories are heard.
Toirkens’ images bear witness to the ancient mythical appeal of forests, but they also show how the inhabitants of the boreal zone manage and protect their habitat.
The major exhibition Borealis – Life in the Woods (which I hope to visit soon when museums can be freed from the Corona lockdown) will feature all 8 parts of the project, from loggers in Norway, scientific research in Japan and newly planted forests in Scotland to the final chapter in Alaska, the personal highlight for Toirkens and Brandt Corstius.

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.
The Americans and Canadians call it the Great Northern Forest or boreal forest (from borealis, Latin for northern), but the Russian name taiga is perhaps better known.
These boreal forests convert massive amounts of CO(2) into oxygen. Over a span of 100 years, an average tree produces enough oxygen to allow a single person to breathe for twenty years...
Still, less than 12% of these forests are protected.

Jeroen and Jelle encountered some extraordinary stories.
In Russia they saw the damage that increasingly severe forest fires are causing in Siberia. But they also met Gennady Tugushin, a lumberjack who, though he is now retired, supplements his meagre pension by working as a security guard for a logging company.
Marines from several European countries on training in Norway showed Toirkens and Brandt Corstius how to use the resources in the forest to the full.
On the island of Hokkaido in Japan they met scientists researching how to preserve the forests for the future.
They had their most thrilling adventure in Canada, when together with the Cree, a First Nation people of Canada, they travelled 160 kilometres through the primeval forest by snow scooter at a temperature of 40-45 degrees below zero. It was so cold that Toirkens was barely able to change his rolls of film, and his face began to show signs of frostbite. Brandt Corstius lost the feeling in his fingers, and he has still not regained it in one of his little fingers.
In a cabin on Vogel Lake in Alaska, so far from human habitation that the only way to get there is by floatplane, the two reflected on all their adventures. This final trip was the personal highlight of the project for them.

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!
Along with their donors, Toirkens and Brandt Corstius enabled Trees for Life to plant 360 trees in the region to compensate for the flights they had taken while making Borealis.

Portrait of a tree.
During their travels, Toirkens photographed in both black-and-white and colour, but always with an analogue camera.
He intuitively differentiated between the documentary black-and-white photographs and the more associative work in colour. Every day he would also seek out the ‘tree of the day’, not just to photograph it, but to portray it as a real character.
It is these portraits that will surround visitors to the exhibition when they enter, as if they too are travelling into the forest, before they enter the space where the accounts of their travels unfold.

Much of the reviews obviously is about the trees, but I was amazed by the importance of the forest grounds!
The total carbons stored in forest ecosystems is estimated to be about 1150 gigatons (can't get my head around such a figure), of which 49% is stored in boreal forests, 37% in tropical forests and 14% in temperate forests.
Aprox. two-thirds of the total carbon is stored in the soil, and one-third in the vegetation.
In the tropics the carbon is partitioned more or less equally between vegetation and soil. In the boreal zone, however, 84% of the carbon is stored in soil and 16% in vegetation. The primary cause is this difference in vegetation.
You'll be surprised in what ways (many!) global warming is effecting the environment through trees and soil.

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.
So think again if you see a large patch of clear-cutting by loggers: new planted trees don't make a forest when they are again 'fully grown, the soil with its invisible structure might need years or even generations to make a forest whole.

Both the project and the book are first-rate and worthy of admiration.
And I hope to visit the exhibition soon.

Museum visit 11Jun2021 on Flickr.com



Buitenplaats Beeckestijn

Buitenplaats Beeckestijn

Buitenplaats Beeckestijn

Buitenplaats Beeckestijn
It looks busier with people than it actually was: long zoom on my Nikon P950 camera.

These summer country estates are a good place to loose the crowds and go for a walk in these Covid-19 lockdown days.
Well preserved and an oasis of peace and quiet in the busy Randstad area.
At the lunchroom ('brasserie') we rounded the walk off with coffees and sweets. Nice!



Walk in the park, spring is in the air!

Walk in the park, spring is in the air!
Keeping fit!

Walk in the park, spring is in the air!
These pictures were taken with a Nikon P950 Coolpix (26FEB21)



Under The Wire - Paul Conroy
Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Final Assignment

Paul Conroy, war correspondent / photographer

A country at war: Lybia & Syria
A city under Siege: Homs (Baba Amr)
A friendship under fire: Paul & Marie Colvin

Paul Conroy (b. 04Jun64) is a British freelance photographer and filmmaker who works in the British media.
A former soldier with the Royal Artillery, between 1980 and 1987, he has since worked extensively as a journalist in combat zones, producing footage from conflicts in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Libya. In 2011, he was shortlisted for the PRX Bayeux TV report along with Marie Colvin, a war correspondent with The Sunday Times.
This book is (a.o.) about the friendship between Paul and Marie, with flashbacks to their work together in Lybia ('sealed in the blood and confusion of the Arab Spring') and how they were smuggled (twice!) into Syria where they soon found themselves in one of the most hellish neighbourhoods on earth: under the wire, into the line of fire.
The book is also a standing charge to the massacre by Assad's regime on the Syrian people, the cruelty is well detailed and certainly hits home.

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.
It is believed that the journalists were targeted.
Paul is an avid supporter of local football club Liverpool. His codename during the evacuation into Lebanon was 'Liverpool'. Locally he was know as 'Abu Faluafel', for his great appetite for falafel.
There is, understandably, little humour to be enjoyed, except the tongue-in-cheek remarks on Marie about her snoring, her luxury underwear in the warzone, her disorder and being a total analog person; very endearing.
One cannot but be impressed by this book.

Marie Colvin's book In Extremis is discussd on MyBlog 2019Q2.

www.streetroots.org/news/ - - - /bearing-witness-war-correspondent-marie-colvin
edition.cnn.com/videos/- - - conroy-escape-homs.cnn (incl. footage by William Daniels, out of Homs)
www.theguardian.com/film/ - - - /under-the-wire-review-reporting-syria-paul-conroy-marie-colvin



The Bodyguard, BBC series

The Bodyguard, BBC series

The Bodyguard, BBC 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 six-part series centres around the fictional character of Police Sergeant David Budd (Richard Madden), a British Army war veteran suffering from PTSD, who is now working for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service.
He is assigned as the principal protection officer (PPO) for the ambitious Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes), whose politics he despises.
As the series unravels, the series comments on many issues regarding the controversy around government monitoring of private information and its regulation, and also on PTSD.

The BBC commissioned the series from the then-independent World Productions in 2016. ITV Studios Global Entertainment acquired the company in 2017.
The series was met with critical acclaim, particularly for Madden's performance.
The series received numerous award nominations including the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, with Madden winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama.

There must be a sequel coming up!



QATAR 2020

Qatar2022 #6500

The Guardian revealed (23Feb21) that thusfar at least 6.500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for the 2022 World Cup Championship Football.
The findings, compiled from government sources, mean an average of 12 migrant workers from 5 south Asian nations (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) have died each week since the night in December 2010 when the streets of Doha were filled with ecstatic crowds celebrating Qatar’s election for these championships.
The total death toll is significantly higher, as these figures do not include deaths from a number of countries which send large numbers of workers to Qatar, including the Philippines and Kenya.
Deaths that occurred in the final months of 2020 are also not included.

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.
The the entire sports industry is ruled by money and greed, from the football players and other sportsmen in e.g. racing (hypocritically taking the knee for BLM) as well as their representing national organisations.
Money, greed and power is what makes the world go round. Don't let 'woke' and other display of hypocrisy fool you.

www.theguardian.com/- - - - - migrant-worker-deaths-qatar-fifa-world-cup-2022



Country Estate ('Buitenplaats') Jagtlust
The house took its current form in 1900, when Jan Six had a floor built on top of it.

Country Estate ('Buitenplaats') Jagtlust
A folly, to have tea while overlooking the water.

Country Estate ('Buitenplaats') Jagtlust
This was the warmest recorded Feb.21st in NL!

Country Estate ('Buitenplaats') Jagtlust
A very pleasant walkabout.

Country Estate ('Buitenplaats') Jagtlust
Imagine, this is only one week after the photos below, with people skating on frozen ditches!

'Jagtlust' is a small country estate on the Leeuwenlaan in the Dutch town of 's-Graveland (North Holland).
Until 1966 it belonged to the municipality of Hilversum, but historically it belongs to the other estates of 's-Graveland.
The mansion was known by various names such as 'Het Derde Heihuis', 'Grote Jan' and 'De Laatste Stuiver' (EN= The Last Penny); it was not until 1791 that the name Jagtlust was used.
It is situated on a plot of land cultivated in the 17th century.

The widow Jan Gerritsz lived on 'Jagtlust' in the early 18th century.
Her grandchildren sold Jagtlust to Mathys Wigman in 1736. The house was then called 'De Laatste Stuiver'.
In 1724 David Craegh rented the 'hofstede' to Klaas Boelhouwer. In 1782 the house was sold by Martinus Alewijn to mr.Gerrit Corver Hooft. In 1790 the tea dome was built.

Squire ('jonkheer'), dr. Jan Pieter Six (1824-1899), lord of Hillegom and lord of Wimmenum, and his
wife Catharina Teding van Berkhout (1834-1887) lived in Amsterdam, where their son Jan was born in 1857.
In 1861 Six bought the country estate Jagtlust and expanded it with his inheritance of Hilverbeek (part
of Wolfsbergen), the Eastern meadows without Stofbergen, plus the back forests (now the Spanderswoud).He had four farmworker's houses built, the so-called 'Heihuisjes' or 'Vier woningen'.
In 1862 he had a pigeon tower built. He also grew subtropical plants.

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.
Jan Six died in Amsterdam in 1926, his wife died in 1951 on Jagtlust.
The house took its current form in 1900, when Jan Six had a floor built on top of it.
The adjacent farm was demolished, but the cheese cellar remained.
In 1910, the wooden playhouse 'Heilust' was renovated on behalf of the sons of Jan Six, in the architectural style of an Amsterdam canal house, with a beautiful façade and light blue shutters.
There was also a large orangery to let the subtropical crops hibernate and in 1924 also a coach house with horse stable, tack room and harness space.
It added to one's stature what special kind of crops from the garden could be added to the sumptuous meals with friends and guests.

Children of Jan Six.
Jhr. ir. Willem Six (1893-1971) inherited the estate, which he expanded by buying five bunder belonging to Trompenburgh (see further down).
The family property was managed by Willem's brother Pieter Jacob Six (1895-1986), who lived in Amsterdam at Amstel 218, where he also managed the family's art collection.
The two youngest daughters of Jan Six (1859-1926) lived on Jagtlust. In 1992 the youngest sister died.

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'.
The country estate was owned by Pier Ebbinge, who had it restored almost entirely.
In 2006 he sold Jagtlust to 'Natuurmonumenten', which received a subsidy for this as part of the realization of the Provincial Ecological Main Structure (PEHS); Natuurmonumenten already owns almost all country estates in 's-Graveland.
The estate was opened to the public in 2008 and a care hotel moved into the house.

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.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Vereniging_Natuurmonumenten (NL)

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)!




trompenburgh.nl (visit) - a.o. on Open Monumentendag.




Dutch windmill
After the heavy snowfall we fell into a period of some severe (by Dutch standards) frost.

Ice skating by the Dutch
Ice skating by the Dutch on canals, ditches and lakes.

Ice skating by the Dutch

Ice skating by the Dutch
By 15Feb21 the frost was over, for about 3 days we had ideal iceskating conditions.



The Sister, mini-series

'The Sister' is a British psychological thriller, adapted by Neil Cross from his own novel 'Burial'.
The four-part series stars Russell Tovey, Bertie Carvel, Amrita Acharia and Nina Toussaint-White; it was first broadcast on ITV in October 2020.
The original title was 'Because the Night'.

Nathan Redman, devoted husband to his wife Holly, has been hiding a dark secret. Then, one rainy evening, an unwelcome face from his past knocks on his door: Bob.
Nathan realises his loved ones are at risk as secrets are exposed and a surprising link is revealed between past events and the present. Bob looks the part of a messenger from hell, he's heavily involved in the paranormal.
And just when Nathan hopes his long nightmare might be over, Bob inflicts another twist of the knife.
Bob reveals his true intentions, and Nathan fights back with everything he has. But how far is he prepared to go?

It took me the best part of the three first episodes to seperate the characters and the narrative.
There are three plotlines, the first detailing a New Year's Eve party 2009/2010. The 2nd is 2013, in which Nathan gets acquainted with real estate agent Holly, the sister of Elise who went missing during those fateful early morning hours Jan.1st 2010. Nathan and Holly get married.
During the present time Bob appears on Nathan's doorstep and massively gets on Nathan's nerves. Nathan and Holly try to make a baby. A friend of Holly, Jackie, is a police officer who digs up the files of Elise's disappearance; she was never found.
Russell Tovey, I thought, played his role as Nathan over the top, I thought. Bertie Carvel played Bob
very spooky, enjoyed that.




WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography

WHERE I FIND MYSELF - Joel Meyerowitz, photography
Colour versus Black & White

“Books are a hard-bound drug with no danger of an overdose. I am the happy victim of books.”
¬ Karl Lagerfeld

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

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans in Holland, normally trampled by hordes of tourists but due Covid-19 lockdown almost to ourselves! A real treat.
Used both my Sony RX10M4 as well as the new Leica Q2, acquired last week.

Zaanse Schans (Dutch pronunciation: is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk, Netherlands.
It is best known for its collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses.
From 1961 to 1974 old buildings from all over the Zaanstreek were relocated using lowboy trailers to the area.
Zaanse Schans derived its name from the river Zaan and its original function as sconce ('schans' in Dutch) against the Spanish troops during the Eighty Years' War of Dutch independence.
The Zaanse Schans houses 7 museums — the Weavers House, the Cooperage, the Jisper House, Zaan Time Museum, Albert Heijn Museum Shop and the Bakery Museum.

Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the Netherlands and an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH). The neighbourhood attracted approximately 1.6 million visitors in 2014. It is served by Zaandijk Zaanse Schans railway station, 18 minutes away from Amsterdam Centraal station.

More photos of Zaanse Schans, taken during the same outing, Flickr.com



Road Kill, tv-series

Road Kill, tv-series

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.
Then an inmate at a women’s prison claims to have a secret about Peter’s past that could affect his future: through another inmate she claims to be his illegitimate daughter.

The newspaper behind the trial sacks the young investigative journalist, but she does not let go.
Charmian digs into Peter's political past, in particular a speech he might have made in Washington DC.
With dramatic consequences.
Peter's youngest daughest is filmed going wild on drugs and sex in a night club. The Prime Minister, Dawn (a role Helen McCrory Helen - of Peaky Blinders fame!), considers him damaged goods and withholds a promotion to higher office, instead he lands at Justice.
Troubles arise at home when unstable daughter Lily finds out Peter is living with a mistress, Madeleine, and travels to Hastings where her mother lives. She calls a family meeting and confronts all with the existence of the mistress.
Not everybody is pleased with Lily's action.

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.
With his enemies circling, we also see others considering their careers and best interest.
We go deep down the snake pit!
Excellent political thriller and surely we get to see a follow up!




Flesh and Blood, tv-series

Flesh and Blood

'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.
Their father passed on only 18 months ago and they consider it wya too soon. For them, that is!

The oldest daughter Helen just made a promotion to a high level rank in the NHS, but has neglected her husband and has no time for her pubescent daughter. It doesn't help that she has started to drink.
Jake is married with two kids but his marriage is in disarray because of severe gambling debts. He is trying to fight his way back into his marriage but his unusual agreement with an unmarried solicitor, as a personal coach with extras, is a time bomb.
The youngest daughter, Natalie ('Nats'), has already been in a relationship with a married man for 5 years and tries to force him to stand by his promises and divorce his wife, also meaning he'd have to leave his two young daughters.
Mary, who lives next door to Vivien on the beachfront for as long as they can remember, sharing so many memories, is not enthusiastic about the evolving relationship of Vivien and Mark. But Mary (Imelda Staunton) is careful to hide her negative emotions and proceeds acording a Machiavellian strategy.

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.
The interviews are in stark contrast with the events we've seen and the police is fighting an almost impenetrable defense to find proof of malice.

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.
Excellent drama!

www.pbs.org/wgbh/- - -/flesh-and-blood



Duizend Dagen in China - Bettine Vriesekoop

An unusual angle this time for my interest in China.
The author Bettine Vriesekoop (b.13Aug61) was a sports celebrity in The Netherlands, a formidable former table tennis player. To state that her life thusfar had many ups and downs is a considerable understatement!

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 European champion in 1982 and 1992 individually and in 1982 in mixed doubles.
She competed at the 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympics in singles and women doubles with the best achievement of sevenths place in both events in 1988.
She managed to beat the highest ranking Chinese table tennis players, quite a cultural shock in the Middle Kingdom.

She was selected as the 'Dutch Table Tennis Player of the Century' in 2000 and as the Dutch
Sportsperson of the year in 1981 and 1985.

Vriesekoop was the youngest of 9 siblings in a farmers family. Her father died of cancer when she was 9 years old.
In 1995 she appeared on the cover of Playboy Europe, and the issue contained an unprecedented 12-page interview with her. The money she received from Playboy helped her solve financial problems.
She retired from competition in 1997, and in 1999 gave birth to her son Tymo, but her husband died shortly before that..
When she left for China, taking her son, she was in a new relationship but went anyway. When she returned to the Netherlands and to Ted, she again was parachuted in a changed world.

About the book.
Bettine Vriesekoop stayed in China for 3 years, based in Beijing, as a China correspondent for NRC Handelsblad.
In this book she recounts of how, as an aspiring and inexperienced journalist, she finds her way in turbulent China and seeks the confrontations between old and new, rich and poor, majority and minority, law and injustice.
While training in China she had become interested in the culture and then studied Chinese language and philosophy in Leiden. So whilst at first inexperienced as a reporter, she arrived with a basic knowledge of customs & culture in China and spoke the language somewhat.
Her help in the household, Wang, looks after her son Tymo, while Bettine travels all over the country.
She finds in the retired Colin an excellent fixer and companion on her travels.

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.
The reader is witnessing Bettine's own learning process and the unique encounters she has with Chinese from all walks of life. There are people who seek the change and speak out, many times against their own safety. Others value 'harmony', and offer little or no information nor opinion.
The book is well documented, written with a smooth pen, a sharp look and often move between despair and humour.
Follwing the writer's narrative, one get an excellent insight into China as it really is, or at least was about 10 years ago. Quite an eye-opener and a must-read for those interested in the development and the motivations of the People's Republic of China (PRC), its leaders and its people's prospects.

This book is at least one of six she's written, won't be the last one I read by her hand!
Currently she writes books and articles for magazines, as well as holds speeches and seminars over China.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Bettine_Vriesekoop (NL)



Sandhamn Murders, series 7

'Morden i Sandhamn' (EN:Sandhamn Murders) is a Swedish crime drama TV series based on the book with the same name, by author Viveca Sten.
The series is broadcast on TV4 and has so far been produced for 7 seasons.
The series follow Police Prosecutor Nora Linde, played by the delightful Alexandra Rapaport.

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.
We don't see Jakob Cedergren as Thomas Andreasson returning, the impossible attraction between him and Nora seems to have run its course. Instead we see the introduction of Alexander (a role by Nicolai Cleve Broch, whom I remember from Acquitted / Friskjent).

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.
There are some old and new characters in this Season 7. Nora's ex, Henrik Linde (Jonas Malmsjö) annoys Nora by his jealousy of Alexander's frequent presence and getting involved with a friend of Nora.
Policewoman Miriam is promoted to plain clothes detective and is off to a difficult start working with Alexander.

Deaths start being reported to the police, caused by what seems to be a new chemical narcotic. The police bust a sale and arrest a young dealer. Nora is called in on the case and meets the new police Alexander for the first time. She is disgusted with his cutting corners to get an arrest.
There are more cases of young people being seriously harmed by the blue tablets. Alexander hears a young woman been brought into the hospital's emergency room, a friend of Nora’s daughter who appears missing.

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.
But it is a woman named Sara.
Alexander and Miriam go out to investigate. They find a clue in her dating account.
Nora has her 2nd home at Sandhamn rented to a friend, Kristina. She met Anders through a dating site and hopes she will divorce his wife, as he promised.
Nora sees couples brimming with love, but is left out alone.

One Carl-Johan is appointed Jubilee doctor and celebrates it with a big party in his house at Sandhamn. The party gets an abrupt end when he is murdered. Nora's daughter Anna, who works at the party, becomes a witness to the incident. The murderess is found next tot he body, holding the murder weapon, a knife.
The murderess is arrested and is identified as Vicky, Alexander’s wife. To his frustration Alexander is kept away from the investigation but Vicky refuses to talk.

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, 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.
Banaz Mahmod (b.16Dec1985 – d.24Jan2006) was a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurdish woman who lived in Mitcham, South London, England. She was murdered on the orders of her family in a so-called honour killing because she ended a violent and abusive forced marriage and started a relationship with someone of her own choosing.
Her father, uncle and three cousins were later convicted of her murder. Even her mother refused in co-operating with the police.

Gwyneth Hughes created the screenplay using the first-hand experiences of key figures from the real case including Bekhal Mahmod, Nawzad Gelly and Caroline Goode, who acted as consultant.

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.
It soon transpires that Banaz had been in contact with the police repeatedly in the preceding months; she'd even left a note with her local police station listing several men, including her uncle Ari Mahmod, who she claimed were planning to kill her, but she had not been taken seriously. Rahmat confirms that he and Banaz have been threatened with death because they'd been seen kissing and their relationship was deemed inappropriate; he claimed the threats were initiated by Ari Mahmod, and had been reported to the police two days before Banaz went missing.

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.
Excellent roleplay by Keeley Hawes as DCI Goode. Also by Alexa Davies as Keilly Jones, the data analyst.




Smeltend IJs - Arnaldur Indridason
(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 victim in The Darkness Knows is a businessman missing for thirty years, found by tourist frozen in a glacier but partly thawed due global warming.
Konrad had participated in this case and is drawn in, mostly because he was fascinated by the main suspect who was tarnished by the investigation but always insisted on his innocence and never convicted.

Inspite of his retirement, Konrað visits Hjaltalín on his deathbed but does not get a confession out of him. Instead, Hjaltalín confronts Konrað with the death of his father, a petty criminal stabbed in the back, a crime also never solved.
A woman named Herdis approaches Konrað with new information and progress can finally be made. Instead of trying to solve the murder of Sigurvin, on the glacier, he accepts the request of Herdis to look into the hit-and-run death of her brother around that same time, looked upon at the time as an accidental death, a drunk died in the road during a snowstorm.
Konrað can accept this assignment, to make inquiries on behalf of Herdis, for the other inquiry is in the hands of the police and he does not have a badge anymore.

But as Konrad starts to look back at the case(s) and secrets of the past. More ghosts of the past haunts him: the shady dealings his father was involved in (could they have led to his murder?) and the recent death of his wife, Erna.

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.
When Konrað's parents divorced, his sister went with their mother while Konrað stayed behind with the father. It seemed Konrað would follow in his father's footsteps, but things changed for the better. But we get to see there still is a dark side to Konrað.

Another fantastic read by Arnaldur Indriðason.




We Hunt Together - tv-series

This is not a 'whodunnit', from the start we know who does the killing.
We have a duo who does the killing and we have a duo in the policeforce aiming to put a stop to the killing.
Both consist of a caucasian woman and a man from Africa.

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.
Freddy says she loves Babba, whom she met in the men's room of a club. Babba worked there handing out soap and perfume to gents, working for tips while he was awaiting to be processed for a permit to live and work in the UK.
Babba has a trauma from his youth when he was a child soldier in Nigeria, killing many. This is a secret he does not want to share, for if known he can forget his permit. But his conscience plays up, he 'sees' persons from that terrible period.
Freddy, of whom he later learn here actual name is Lilly, manipulates Babba in helping her.

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.
Detective (DS) Lola Franks (Eve Myles) is addicted to heroin, but sofar has been able to hide it from everybody. She suffers from a trauma when through her fault, on the job, people died in a head on collision. One of the victims was a young child, she died after a week or so with Lola at her bedside.

During the investigation Jackson finds out about Lola's addiction and she notices that it isn't exactly a rosegarden at the Mendy's.
Their investigation get stranded a few times, the police chief anxious to conclude it, while Freddy/Lilly & Babba keep running but finding it more and more difficult to outrun the police.
There is a showdown, with an unexpected outcome, at the house of a friend of Lilly.

Very entertaining series!




Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn, OBE
Subtitled 'the extraordinary story of one man's passion for lions and for Africa'
Co-author Miles Bredin.

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Locations of Kora NP and Mkomazi NP

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Kora National Park (Kenya)

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Mkomazi National Park (Tanzania)

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Tony with Freddie in his arms, underneath is Arusha and Gigi awaits its turn

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
19.Tony in Kora camp woth Kaunda
21. Jojo's arrival in Kora
22. Girlfriend Lindsay visiting Tonu in hospital after he was almost killed by Shyman
20. George, Kaunda and Tony at the river (Kora)

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Leopards are very different from lions: they don't like to cuddle like lions will and they
don't drink bottled milk as young lions will.

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
32. Tony and Bugsy, true camaraderie
33. Bugsy and Squeaks, great friends

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
At Mkomazi camp, working on the infrastructure, getting married & raising a family and.. wild dogs

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
49. Wild dogs in Mkomazi boma devour their food
51. Kisiwani school, funded by the trust. Started while the roof still needed finishing
52. The first four rhino's for Mkomazi arrive by Antonov 12 from South Africa
53. Officials celebrate the arrival of the rhino's
50. Aart Visee (r.) and Sangito Lema take blood samples of the Wild Dogs for DNA-analyses

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
Rino's and elephant Nina. After returning to the wild Nina returned to Mkomazi camp
to show her first born; sadly Nina died in the bush (near the camp) in childbirth of her second.

Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn
The stories about these animals, each with a name and a unique character, are deeply moving

When I bought a new car last year, I was pleasantly surprised seeing various display of rhino's. Having been on safari in South Africa only a few months before my visit to the cardealer, this hit the right note for me.
After we concluded the deal, I was given a copy of Born Wild by Tony Fitzjohn, a copy in Dutch titled 'Wilde Haren'.
Only now I managed to read this, in part due to the lockdown.
And what a pleasant surprise it was!

Anthony Raymond Fitzjohn, OBE is a conservationist who worked extensively with George Adamson at Kora (Kenia) in Africa.
In recognition of his service to wildlife conservation, Fitzjohn was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2006.

The book starts with describing how Fitzjohn was almost killed by a lion, a chilling introduction.
Next we learn how Fitzjohn struggled find his place in the UK, in life and experienced a great feel of belonging when he found himself in Kenia during the late-1960s.
When he met George Adamson at Kora, he decided to stay, in spite of primitive living conditions.
Like George, Fitzjohn walked and cuddled with lions. He and George succeeded in raiding lions and reintroducing them into the wild.
We read about the characteristerics of the lions, each different from the other, as the other animals we come to be introduced to.
Life in Kora is a constant struggle: financially but also due to a lot of obstruction and corruption of local and national government. Gradually poachers and herders (grazing their cattle) encroach on the wilderness surrounding Kora. Soon followed by outlaw Somali terrorists wielding AK47's, killing people and wildlife.
The circumstances are explained in details, how tribes in Somalia fell apart and young men formed bands terrorizing a wide territory, knowing full well that the Kenyan government did little than nothing to protect Kora and its northerly area.

When Kora became increasingly unsafe, Tony Fitzjohn took the offer with considerable difficulty to start something similar in Tanzania: Mkomazi.
Again we see a repeat in difficult living conditions and much obstruction and corruption by government officials, so endemic for African countries.
But some things had changed. Tony now found himself increasingly by support from influential people in the Western World, as well as influential people in Tanzania. Actress Ali McGraw and Princess Margeret of Kent already had supported work at Kora, as well as Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands.
People helped to set up a trust, set up bookkeeping and accounting, and gradually life improved.
The book ends in 2009, when Mkomazi was officially declared a National Park.
The reader is acquainted with many individual animals, such as lions, leopards at Kora and rhino's, wild dogs, an elephant in Mkomazi.

In Tanzania Tony get married to Lucy and they get 4 kids. A life in the African bush, Tony travelling for crowdfunding and he finds himself awarded with an O.B.E. and dining with the British royal family.
A constant drama is during this period 1968-2009 the way officials, criminals, terrorists, thieves thwarted George Adamson and Tony Fitzjohn's dream for providing a safe haven for the animals, to care for them and raise them for reintroduction into the wild.
And not without success. Many animals return in different frequencies to the camp, but many also died by poison or by other predators, elephant Nina in childbirth.

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-
Established and stocked the first successful rhinoceros sanctuary in Tanzania.
30 years of successful rehabilitation of zoo animals into the wild.
Gained National Park status for two game reserves.
Completed the construction of a new secondary school for 400 children.
Provided local communities with clean water supply, dispensary and Flying Doctor service.
First successful captive breeding program for endangered African hunting dog in East Africa.
Ground-breaking veterinary research into disease of endangered species.
20 years of developing and supporting anti-poaching units.




Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
'Pixelparadise', by Joep Lennarts. Photographer of light and shadow.

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
The news, large firms deemed immortal (e.g. Philips, DAF Trucks) forced to layoff many

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Photographer for De Volkskrant

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Reporting the news: the Dutch Air Force C-130 crash at Eindhoven

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Joep in Africa

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts

Het Pixelparadijs - Joep Lennarts
Joep Lennarts also loved photography of music concerts, he photographed many an iconic star.

The Pixel Paradise, subtitled Photographer of Light and Shadow'. This is the title of a book that was published 8 years after Joep Lennarts passed away. It entirely devoted to the photographic work of Joep Lennarts (1958-2011).
The book can be read and viewed as a warm tribute by his son Daniel and various friends to the Bossche photographer who retired from life in 2011. It is also an excellent showcase of photojournalisme abroad and at home.

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.
He had worked at the Brabants Dagblad for 5 years as a reporter when he switched to photojournalism
in 1986. From 1989 to 1997 he worked for De Volkskrant, from 1999 to 2006 for the Brabants Dagblad.
He went missing on 25Feb2011. His body was found 69 long days later in the Meuse.
This book is a fine tribute to Joep and his legacy.

Soon after Joep's death there was talk of a book, but it took 8 years before The Pixelparadise could be published.
It became a collaborative project of son Daniël Lennarts, working at a design agency, and some friends
of the photographer: his colleague Marc Bolsius, the publicist Eric Alink, designer Eric Schreurs and the Brabants-Dagblad journalists Theo van de Zande and Joop van der Pol.
The book has 8 chapters on themes, 8 for the number of years to complete this book. Each chapter starts with an excellent essay, giving an insight into the person and his life.

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') -
5.Op cel (sub 'the incarcerated reality') - 6.Reizen (sub 'the unzipped horizon') - 7.Portretten (sub 'the search for truthfulness') - 8.Cultuur (sub 'the unquenchable fire').

The why question, of why Joep retired from life, has no answer. It isn't a sad book, though.

www.bd.nl (NL)
www.heinen.nl, the Adr.Heinen bookshop in 's-Hertogenbosch where was able to buy this superb book
www.youtube.com, presentation of the book Pixelparadijs (NL)
www.youtube.com Portrait of Joep Lennarts



Occupied, tv-series, season 3

Occupied, tv-series, season 3

To summarize the first two seasons of Occupied: the series is set in the near future and inhabits a world
in which Norway became occupied by Russia, on behalf of the European Union, because Norway was shutting down its oil and gas refineries to transition to clean energy sources.
The environmental friendly Norwegian government was under leadership of Jesper Berg and he was forced out, he subsequently organized the growing resistance Free Norway and by Machiavellian cunning managed to regain leadership of Norway.

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.

Hans Martin Djupvik, still in charge of government security forces, discovers that the new Defense Minister Harald Vold may have ordered the assassination of Anita Rygh. Norwegian border troops in Pasvik rise against EU's peacekeeping forces.
Djupvik is seperated from his wife and daughter and is in growing concern about his work ethics.
Sidorova does everything in her power to get her partner Lyubov back from Russia. 'Ljuba' carries their child.
Harald Vold enters the electoral campaign and accuses Jesper of profiteering.
A growing number of Russians are being attacked with acid in the hate campaign #BrandThem. Jesper's attempt to link Vold to BrandThem only increases Vold's popularity among Norwegians who are furious with the Russians.
Jesper's party has a big lead in the polls, until he is targeted by rumors claiming that he ordered the assassination of Anita Rygh. Jesper discovers that Bente's boss Sobol is paying troll factories to spread the rumors.
On Election Day, Jesper wakes up from a near fatal heart attack. Bente's testimony spurs the Supreme Court to recommend the impeachment of Jesper. Hans Martin discovers that Sidorova is collecting compromising information on European politicians, for Russia to regain control in Norway's politics.

Again an excellent political drama, brimming with intrigue that seems to have a high agree of reality.




The Beat Goes On - short stories by Ian Rankin (Rebus)
The Complete Rebus Short Stories

The Beat Goes On - short stories by Ian Rankin (Rebus)
Content: John Rebus short stories by Ian Rankin

'The Beat Goes On': The Complete Rebus Short Stories is an anthology of all the Inspector Rebus short stories (30) by Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, plus the novella Death Is Not the End; though the Rebus short story 'Well Shot', published in 2nd Culprit (1993), is not included.
It is Rankin's 3rd collection of short stories.

Published in 2014 (the paperback version published in 2015), it includes 2 stories not in the hardback edition; a new story 'Cinders', written for Christmas 2014 and an old story from his files 'My Shopping Day', which was first published in 'Herbert in Motion and Other Stories' (1997).

The first story 'Dead and Buried' is set in the mid-1980s, when Rebus was learning the ropes at Summerhall Police Station, and 'The Very Last Drop' is set during a tour of a brewery immediately after Rebus's retirement in 'Exit Music', a retirement present from Siobhan Clarke who goes with him (written to be read aloud at a charity night at Edinburgh's Caledonian Brewery).
'The Very Last Drop' was written to help the work of Royal Blind.

All the 12 Rebus stories in 'A Good Hanging and Other Stories' are included: they cover a chronological year in Rebus's life; 'Playback' in March, 'A Good Hanging' in August during the Festival Fringe and 'Auld Lang Syne' in December.
Also included are the 7 Rebus stories in 'Beggars Banquet', which has 14 other stories, 21 in total.
There are 6 uncollected stories from magazines and newspapers, often for a Christmas issue so set in the festive season.
There are 2 new stories: 'The Passenger' and 'A Three-Pint Problem'.

In the Preface (page 1) and Rankin on Rebus (pages 595-609) Rankin discusses Rebus and writing him. Not something to be skipped, esspecially by someone such as myself who has read Rankin's all his books.

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

Occupied (Norwegian: Okkupert) is a Norwegian political thriller tv-series which premiered on TV2 on 05Oct2015.
Based on an original idea by Jo Nesbø, the series is co-created with Karianne Lund and Erik Skjoldbjærg.
Season 2 premiered on 10Oct2017.
The final 3d season started airing in Scandinavia on 05Dec19. It will be discussed here soon as I have the dvd box at the ready.

The series depicts a fictional 'near future' in which, due to catastrophic environmental events, Norway's Prime Minister Jesper Berg (Henrik Mestad) has stopped the country's oil and gas production.
Russia, with support from the European Union, occupies Norway to restore its oil and gas production, in response to a Europe-wide energy crisis. The deal was that the Russians would only stay for 6 months, but in season 2 they are in continued presence for 2 years with no sign of leaving.

The former prime minister Jesper Berg, who now has been ousted from Norway, has found refuge in Sweden. He communicates with Free Norway, a resistance group, through a computer game.
There is a lot of political intrigue.
Anita Rygg is put in power, as nobody wants the job as Prime Minister of Norway at this stage. Everybody expects her to fail, for she lacks the experience for such a position. She has a good working relationship with the Russian ambassador, Irina Sidorova (Ingeborga Dapkunaite).
Russia is trying to increase its hold on Norway, to draw Norway into the fold, even with countries such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
A semi-military group of coastguarders, on a self initiated check visit a gasplant, end up in a shoot out with Russian military forces, with dead and wounded on both sides. Jesper Berg had secretly initiated that raid to Melkøya. Berg is hounded by Norway's security forces, lead by Hans Martin Djupvik (Eldar Skar), and Berg flees to Poland and onwards to Paris in an attempt to form a new political alliance to oust Anita Rygg. He stops at nothing.
We also meet a couple of young activists who see their ideals misused and abused.
Djupvik's daughter is kidnapped by the underground movement.
A Norwegian hotel, lead by Bente Norum (Ane Dahl Torp) plus a business partner, caters for the increasing amount of rich Russians. The hotel becomes a hotbed for covert operations and a Russian oligarch forces Bente's partner out: his young daughter is the new partner.

Again a fine political thriller, brimming with intrigue and drama!




JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter
Venice by J.W.M. Turner

JWM Turner, painter

JWM Turner, painter
A good roadmap to see more of Turner's paintings.

Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (b.23Apr1775 – d.19Dec1851), known in his time as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist.
He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings.
He left behind more than 550 oil paintings, 2.000 watercolours, and 30.000 works on paper.
Turner was championed by the leading English art critic John Ruskin from 1840, and is today regarded as having elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.

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.
Although his fame was limited to his native Britain during his lifetime, William Turner is now revered as an exceptional talent who bridged romanticism and impressionism.

I thought it remarkable how much he has travelled!
This fantastic little book shows he was much more than a painter of ships, always seeking the glorious light, seeking understanding of all kind of weather phenomena and he was interested in the changing of times during his days.
He may have been a bit of an eccentric, he had no trouble making money by being very productive, also working as an illustrator for travel documentation and poetry publications.

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.





Doge of Venice

The Plague in Venice, its art


With my interest in history and having a particular interest in Venice, it had to be that during the
Covid-19 pandemic, I would stumble on this charming little book: The Black Death in Venice, subtitled 'Pest, Politics and art in the City of the Doges'.

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 city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century.
Its trading empire made it vulnerable for several severe outbreaks of the plague, The Black Death.

'The Black Death in Venice' tells of the other Venice, where the harbors brought in not only wealth, but also unsuspectingly the Black Death.
Two outbreaks shortly after each other, the plague outbreaks in the late-16th and early-17th centuries claimed tens of thousands of victims and depopulated the city. Only faith could turn the tide, since the correct cause based on scientific evidence had not yet been found.

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.
Thanks to generous donations and indulgences, the buildings were quickly built. By the end of 1630, the Venetians had been liberated from the plague and the city with richly decorated domed churches was given its famous silhouette.

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.
The bacterium has several means of transmission and infection, including through rats carried on ships or vehicles, fleas hidden in grain and—in its more virulent forms—transmitted by blood and sputum directly between humans.

There's detailed history of the Doges of Venice during this era, lost and won battles influencing its empire, the building of Il Redentore and the Santa Maria della Salute, their art and other important art preserved in museum and collection relevant to this era.

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.
The cornerstone was laid by the Patriarch of Venice, Giovanni Trevisano, on 03May 1577 and the building was consecrated in 1592.
Every year the Doge and Senators walked across a specially constructed pontoon bridge from the Zattere to Giudecca, to attend Mass in the church.
The Festa del Redentore remains a major festival in the Venetian calendar, celebrated on the 3rd sunday in July. A huge firework display on the previous evening is followed by a mass procession across the pontoon bridge.

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.
In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague (until 1631 the Black Death killed nearly a third of the population). As a votive offering for the city's deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health (or of Deliverance, IT: Salute). The church was designed in the then fashionable baroque style by Baldassare Longhena.
Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death.
The dome of the Salute was an important addition to the Venetian skyline and soon became emblematic of the city, inspiring painters like Canaletto, J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Francesco

geschiedenis-winkel.nl/p/de-zwarte-dood-in-venetie/ (NL)
www.parool.nl/nieuws/gerrit-korthals-altes-1939-2020 (NL)
My most recent travel to Venice (2020)





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Created: 01-JAN-2021