Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
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.
SOUTHCLIFFE | TV DRAMA (DVD)
Southcliffe is a British drama series, set in a fictional town on the North Kent Marshes.
THE GIRL OF HIS DREAMS by DONNA LEON | BOOKS, CRIME FICTION
Donna Leon - The girl of his dreams (2008; I read the Dutch translation, titled Droommeisje)
Donna Leon (b.1942- in Montclair, New Jersey) is the American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional hero Commissario Guido Brunetti.
The intelligent and capable police commissioner Guido Brunetti confronts crime in and around his home town of Venice. Each case is an opportunity for the author to reveal another aspect of the seamy underside of society and another aspect of Venetian (or Italian) life.
In this book the issue of the Roma is adressed and how Italian politics deal with such an issue. There is plenty of cynicism for ineffective governing and maffia involvement in Italian society.
It took a few chapters before I started to enjoy my reading, but Donna Leon manages to integrate other Italian customs too and the story develops in a leisurely manner. With an ending some may find surprising.
I always start with The Top 100 of Books and find titles I want to purchase. So I make a short list and these are bought over a number of months.
COR JARING | PHOTOGRAPHY
Yesterday I went to Amsterdam (Netherlands) to visit both exhibitions, celebrating the photography career of Cor Jaring. 'Het Stadsarchief Amsterdam' (Amsterdam city archives) held an exhibition of his work relative to Amsterdam, while Huis Marseille (a nearby photography museum) held a more complete retrospective exhibition.
Cornelis 'Cor' Jaring (b. Amsterdam, 18Dec1936 - d.17Nov2013) was a Dutch photographer and conceptual artist. He became well known for his photos of the unruly 1960s and 1970s.
More photos of my visit to Amsterdam for these exhibitions, see my Flickr.com
WEATHER PERMITTING by ILSE WOLF | PHOTOGRAPHY
Caldey Island is a tiny island of the coast of Wales, where time seems to stand still. Her words. There used to be a school and children, but this has changed to a population of people 'passed their middle age', living a secluded existence. There are no street lights.
Ilse Wolf has managed to capture the atmosphere both with her photography and her interviews quite nicely, I think. And I am glad to have 'Weather Permitting' in my photobook collection.
THE SPIRAL | TV CRIME DRAMA
After having come across series 5 on BBC 4, and being totally captivated by it, I acquired also series 1 & 2 in dvd boxsets. And they were as compelling as the episodes we've recently seen on the the BBC. So I hope to watch series 3 & 4 soon too.
The following characters acted in series 1 and also appeared at the start of series 5:
BOONE by ROBERT MORGAN | BOOKS, BIOGRAPHY
DIT KAN NIET WAAR ZIJN / JORIS LUYENDIJK | BOOKS, WORLD OF FINANCE
Can you make a complex subject like the world of finance accessible to outsiders? The English newspaper The Guardian invited Luyendijk, a Dutch anthropologist with a background in journalism, to start a blog about the world of bankers in London’s financial district.
Joris Luyenduijk manages to drive home in 200 pages the seriousness of the 2008 collapse: forget about IS, the Islamists, the crisis in Ukraine - for very little has been put in place to avert Armageddon caused by the banks and financial institutions. This is a threat much bigger, forget about less job security, the need to economize & cutbacks: the 2008 collapse brought us near to a situation that could have led to plunder and rioting in the orderly places we live in.
Much has been written about the cause of the collapse, but no one went to jail. No guilty persons, in fact many of heads of instutions
involved in the UK & USA are still in their jobs or have moved on to even bigger salaries in the world of finance. Yes, certain provisions have been made, but when things go wrong as it could have gone wrong, it will once again be the taxpayer holding the bucket.
A thrilling read, but one best not to be read while under medication for depression.
THE KILLING OF BORIS NEMTSOV | POLITICS, RUSSIA, ASSASSINATIONS
Cartoon by Joep Bertram, published in Groene Amsterdammer 05.03.2015
Boris Yefimovich Nemtsov was a Russian physicist, statesman and liberal politician.
FOTOSTUDIO DEJONG | PHOTOGRAPHY ILLUMINATED ON TV
Tonight another episode of 'Fotostudio De Jong' on tv, with top amateur work on display, photo editorials in the news explained and a professional discussing his work. Excellent!
DARK ANGELS | ICELANDIC TV CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
Black Angels is a crime series based on the books by Icelandic writer Ævar Örn Jósepsson, and a true member of the 'Scandi noir'-type of films.
FOTOGRAFIE, 80 MEESTERWERKEN UITGELEGD | PHOTOGRAPHY
Val Williams is a British curator and author who has become an authority on British photography.
ONZE MAN IN TEHRAN | TV DOCUMENTARY
After 5 years correspondent Thomas Erdbrink and director Roel van Broekhoven finally obtained permission of the Iranian authorities to shoot in Iran for a new series 'Onze man in Teheran' (translates as Our Man in Tehran, broadcasted on Dutch television VPRO).
Through the eyes of Erdbrink one gets acqainted by Iran, the country, its people, its customs, as one seldom perceives in new bulletins.
Erdbrink is married to an Iranian woman, a truly delightful person, and speaks the language.
A very informative series and indeed an invitation to, hopefully, visit it one day. Even if it is only Tehran.
JUMPING FIRE by MURRY A. TAYLOR | BOOKS
Due to my interest in vintage aircraft I came to know about the use of aircraft in firefighting, dumping retardant or water to contain wildfires. But I knew very little about smokejumpers, men that are parachuted from aeroplanes into wilderness areas to contain and extinguish wildfires.
Little had me prepared for such a thrilling read!
Murry A. Taylor was a smokejumper on and off since 1965, in Alaska and 'the Lower 48'. He became the oldest ever to do the job, so there is little doubt he knows what he is writing about. But he is quite the storyteller and writer too!
Taylor manages to convey the camaraderie among smokejumpers, what it takes to become part of that crazy, elite force and the effects on personal life.
Parachuting into the wilderness, heavy with equipment, brings the dangers of actually landing in the fire, ending up in water and drowning, hung up in a 50-feet tree, getting seriously wounded while landing on steep or rocky terrain or getting smashed into a boulder or giant tree. Bypassing the risk of things going wrong in parachuting: equipment failure, midair collisions, etc.
Then there is the fighting of fire, the hardship of toiling on difficult terrain to create a line that would stop or delay a fire, working long exhausting hours skipping meals or make do.
Murry Taylor also manages to give the fire an identity as a sly and cruel foe, swooshing and swirling, encircling or backlashing the firefighters, its prey.
It is an absolute standard work for anyone interested in smokejumpers, but also a thrilling read with a fair share of personal insight, romance and descriptive of the scenic beauty of the landscape the firefighters help to preserve.
A five star read!
AMELIA CURRAN, SINGERSONGWRITER | MUSIC
By circumstance beyond my control it had been many months since I visited a singersongwriter concert. The happy occasion was last night, when I visited a gig by Amelia Curran in Koudekerk a/d Rijn, hosted by the Trouble Tree Folkconcerts people and LDM ('Lucky Dice Music') bookings.
Amelia played several of here older numbers, but also from her latest album, They Promised You Mercy.
I love the clarity in her voice and how she articulates her lyrics, even though here lyrics seem often rather dark.
Pity there were no lyrics included in the CD I bought and while I know I can find them online, same goes for the music. I think a singer/songwriter should always enclose his or her writing with the CD.
My photos of this gig on Flickr.com
http://en.wikipedia.org - Amelia_Curran
MARIA WERN CRIME SERIES | CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
I am rather surprised that these series never made more headlines, perhaps not grim enough for the 'Scandi Noir'-lable? Certainly gripping enough, with a nice mix of some wry humor and against the pitoresk backdrop of Gotland.
BREWERY DE PRAEL (AMSTERDAM,NL)
VILLAGE LIBRARY VIJFHUIZEN
In my quest for libraries I visited yesterday the village library ('Dorpsbieb') in Vijfhuizen, a community effort since the official library (funded) was closed in 2000 because the village population went below a required number. This library opened in Dec.2014. Today
I added a few of my books.
See more libraries I came across-
JOHAN FALK | TV POLICE CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
I came across the Johan Falk series upon a dvd boxset of various 'Scandi Noir films', which contained 2 Johan Falk episodes, where Johan Falk (actor Jacob Eklund) is a police officer and shows his dedication by grim determination lacking in team work with his fellow police officers and willing to steer close to legal or moral limitations. Frustrated by police procedures he resigns and becomes part of a security team.
This 'career period' contained 3 episodes of which I saw 2.
I liked the pace and the storyline.
It took a while before I found out a complete series (the dvd boxset refers to Series 1, but these episodes are also referred to as Season 2), where Johan Falk has returned from 5 years at 'EuroPol' in The Hague and has moved back to Gotenburg. He is assigned to a special unit, GSI, Special Operations, fighting organized crime.
And again I liked the action, the pace while Johan Falk's personal background is sufficiently developed.
These series started in 2009 and had 6 episodes.
Recently I watched the last episode of the 2nd boxset (Series 2, a.k.a. Season 3) and this series continued where it left off, with informant Frank Wagner (codename 'Lisa') working for Johan Falk but wanting to get out and start a normal life away from criminals. The privat circumstance of Johan is much more harmonious, but some of his collegues don't trust Johan's motives and information.
Patrik, Johan's boss, face health issues, his intendent replacement is geting in too deep with an informant of her own.
Again a series of 6 episodes with plenty of action and nice interaction between the various officers in the GSI police unit. Very entertaining.
While the last episodes were released in 2012, and Wikipedia made no mention of new episodes, I noticed Imdb does mention 2015 filming of 2 new titles. Nice!
SPIRAL | TV CRIME DRAMA
Spiral (French: 'Engrenages') is a French television police and legal drama series set in Paris.
The show follows the lives and work of Paris police officers and the lawyers and judges who work at the Palais de Justice.
It was created by the TV production company Son et Lumière.
The first eight-episodes series started on Canal+ in France on 13Dec2005. The series was first shown in the UK on BBC Four during the summer of 2006.
Spiral has been a great export success, with sales to broadcasters in some 70 countries, among them Australia, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Following the death of Sami, Captain Laure Berthaud is trying to cope as best she can. But her personal life, already a mess, threatens to be derailed further when she receives some unexpected news.
This was series 5 which I stumbled upon, broadcasted on BBC 4. I had not seen any of the previous series and was more than pleasantly surprised by the quality of these French tv series. They reminded me very much of the first series of 'The Killing'.
I'll make sure I'll find the previous four series to watch and hope there will be a 6th series!en.wikipedia.org - Spiral_(TV_series)
DOORS OPEN by IAN RANKIN | BOOKS, CRIME FICTION
But somehow it never really gripped me, it seems the 'twisting & turning' happened (to me) in slow motion, never really surprising and somewhat lacking in 'edge'. Entertaining yes, but not quite the page turner I had hoped for.
LIFE OF RILEY - B.B. KING DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC, THE BLUES
'The Life Of Riley' is the much-lauded feature documentary film on the extraordinary life of Blues legend B.B. King. King worked closely with Director Jon Brewer for 2 years to create this powerful film.
Riley B. King was born in a cabin on a cotton plantation outside of Berclair, Mississippi, to Albert King and Nora Ella Farr on 16Sep1925. Although, King considers the nearby city of Indianola, MS to be his home.
Battling unrelenting racism and the humiliation of segregation whilst working in the cotton fields as an orphaned child, King lived to overcome the toughest critics in the entertainment industry and ultimately be hailed as one of the kingpins of an entire genre of music.
'The Life of Riley' includes appearances and contributions from: Aaron Neville, Bill Cosby, Bill Szymczyk, Bill Wyman, Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Willis, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Carver Randle, Derek Trucks, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, George Benson, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Walsh, John Mayer, John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mick Taylor, Morgan Freeman, Paul Rodgers, Rev. David Matthews, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Slash,, Susan Tedeschi, Tina France, Walter Trout, and Wayne Cartledge.
ABOVE SUSPICION (SERIES 3) | TV CRIME DRAMA (DVD)
The fourth series, 'Above Suspicion – Silent Scream', was first shown on ITV in January 2012, but it might be another year before I can see it on tv, broadcasted by Belgian tv or our Dutch tv (KRO Detectives most likely). I cannot watch ITV.
THE MORAL CONSEQUENCES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH by BENJAMIN M. FRIEDMAN | BOOKS
It took me quite a while before I was finished with this book. In part due to circumstance beyond my control, but also because I frequently needed rereading: the chapters are so packed with statement and figures that it took me some slow reading to have it all sink in. But I did not mind one bit, it is a glorious book (rather like slowing down eating on a rich meal) and I hope to reread it again in full, pencil in hand, at some later date.
'The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth' not only deals with how economy functions (looking back sometimes for centuries), but also with how it serves the common good.
Reading this book creates an understanding, how dealing with economy and changing scenarios effect our daily lives. Friedman demonstrates how economic growth promotes the social, political and economic well-being of people. Well documented too.
"Are we right," Mr Friedman asks, "to care so much about economic growth as we clearly do?" In his answer Friedman reaches beyond mere economics.
A list of the Chapters:
PART I: Ideas, their origins, and their implications
1/. What growth is, what growth does
2/. Perspectives from the Enlightenment and its roots
3/. Crosscurrents: the age of improvement and beyond
4/. Rising incomes, individual attitudes, and the politics of social change
PART II: Democracy in America
5/. From Horatio Alger to William Jennings Bryan
6/. From Tr to FDR
7/. Great depression, great exception
8/. America in the postwar era
PART III: Other times, other places: the European democracies
PART IV: Development, equality, globilization, and the environment
12/. Economics and politics in the developing world
13/. Virtuous circles, Viscious cricles
14/. Growth and equality
15/. Growth and the environment
PART V: Looking forward
16/. Economic policy and economic growth in America
CRIME DRAMA ON DVD
A enthusiast for crime drama, it is quite surprising to see how many of these series I watched. Only two here I haven't seen yet: The Spiral (though presently watching Series 5 on BBC4!) and Death of a Pilgrim. Only saw oa few of the BBC Wallander series as I did not like them as Kenneth Branagh portrays Kurt Wallander as a blabbering fool.
Then there are the 'Just Bridge' dvd's and the series on the BBC (several of them produced by ITV), such as Midsomer Murders, Death in Paradise, Above Suspicion...
THE CROW ROAD by IAIN BANKS | BOOKS, LITERATURE
Iain Banks (b.16Feb1954 – d.09Jun2013) was a Scottish author. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks, and science fiction as Iain M. Banks.
This book describes a pivotal period in Prentice McHoan's life, seen through his preoccupations with death, sex, his relationship with his father, unrequited love, sibling rivalry, a missing uncle, relationships, cars, drink (and other intoxicants) and God, with the background a celebration of the Scottish landscape.
I was under the misconception that Iain Banks was a crime writer and after some 120 pages I gave up on the book, in my view it wasn't going anywhere interesting. My choice for this book was in error.
AMSTERDAM LIGHTFESTIVAL 'ILLUMINADE' 2014/2015 | ART
What seems to have beeen established as a yearly art festival, the Amsterdam 'Lightfestival ILLUMINADE', was visited this time through a boat ride through the Amsterdam canals. And a lovely experience it was, this 'Water Colours' tour by the Grayline.
DO YOU FEEL THREATENED? BY WHOM?
Above cartoon was drawn by Joep Bertrams and published in the Groene Amsterdammer, in the aftermath of the assassinations in Paris,France.
On 07Jan2015, 2 Islamist terrorists forced their way and opened fire in the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo (French for Charlie Weekly, a French satirical weekly newspaper), killing 12, including staff cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Honoré, Tignous and Wolinski, economist Bernard Maris and two police officers as well as wounding 11, 4 of them seriously.
During the attack, the gunmen shouted 'Allahu akbar ('God is great in Arabic) and also 'the Prophet is avenged'.
Aterwards politicians and many who has an interest in 'law and order', started clammering for stricter policing, enforcing new laws (effecting people's privacy rights) and equipping the police with heavy armour.
It all goes back a long way, the differences between Christianity and Islam. The widening gap between these religions is painfully felt in a world that has grown smaller, in a 'Global Village'.
The assassinations in Paris are linked to when the 'Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy', which began after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons on 30Sep2005, most of which depicted Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
But is equally linked to 'nine-eleven' and it could also be a shooting match between IS and al-Qaeda.
Zooming out we see the outrage comes from individuals: those who manage to transfer their outrage to large masses (demonstrations after the Jyllands-Posten cartoons) or who pick up guns or bombs for terrorist attacks.
Their is no war between Christians and Muslims.
Perhaps my concern is more directed towards measures that will curtail our freedoms, as we've seen with security because of the Osama bin Laden threats. There are a lot of cynical people in the Western world to abuse this situation to their own advantage, claiming to work for people's safety and security but their own gain is their prime concern.
REDEMPTION by JUSSI ADLER-OLSEN | BOOKS, CRIME FICTION
JONATHAN CREEK | TV SERIES (CRIME FICTION)
'Jonathan Creek' is a British mystery crime drama series produced by the BBC. It stars Alan Davies as the title character, who works as a creative consultant to a stage magician while also solving seemingly supernatural mysteries through his talent for logical deduction and understanding of illusions.
Alan Roger Davies (b. 06Mar1966) is an English stand-up comedian, writer and actor. In recent years he is best known for appearing as the permanent panellist on the BBC panel show QI, since 2003. I love his part on 'QI'.
Back to the 'Jonathan Creek'-series.
I think I watched the Series 5 last year, or at least partially, but I thoroughly enjoyed this 'blast of the past' with these early episodes.
AMERICANA MUSIC (MIXCLOUD) | ONLINE MUSIC / PODCASTS
For a few years I had been listening to Karen Miller's Americana music, through downloadable podcasts. Then I discovered her channel on Mixcloud, and this way I found out about Michael Park's channel there, The International Americana Music Show.
These are my favourite online sources of Americana music.
TMTHT has Karen's lovely voice as a bonus, while Michael Parks has a focus on, the clue is in the title, non-American artists playing folk and singersongwriter type of music which can be tagged as 'Americana'.
What an outstanding way to learn of new artists, while also enjoying the familiar, established old hands, by the expertise of these two experts.
BIERTEST ZWAAR & DONKER
In the Dec.2014 issue of 'Straatjournaal' ('Streetjournal') was a very nice article on 'beers' for the deep of winter in the Netherlands. The author, Willem Brand, invited a panel and did a blind test.
With the above result.
Most winter 'ales' are dark and heavy, though 'Winterwit' (2nd place) is a white beer.
'Kasteel Winterbier' came in first, I might go look for a taste!
Here's to the New Year!