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Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. -
Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
FEVER by DEON MEYER | BOOKS THRILLER
My copy of the book was in Dutch ('Koorts; SA: 'Koors'). I thought it a fantastic read; my reading may have been intensified as we read about the Corona virus Covid-19 spreading through Europe and North America. We returned home, after a fantastic holiday, just in time before many countries went in lock-down and airlines were forced to reduce their network and, in many cases, ground their planes.
Deon Godfrey Meyer is a South African thriller novelist, writing in Afrikaans.
HOLLANDSE BEELDEN by EDDY POSTHUMA DE BOER | PHOTOGRAPHY
He's a contemporary of Ed van der Elsken and Johan van der Keuken, he's also one of the most important living representatives of humanist photography in the Netherlands.
CELTIC CASTLES by MARTIN J. DOUGHERTY | HISTORY BOOKS
Some of the most fascinating castles in the world are found in the British Isles and Ireland. These remains of strongholds may now largely be ruined (stones often found new use), but here we find the tangible connection to history of many centuries ago.
So in this book Celtic Castles we travel from the tip of southern Ireland to northern Scotland, from castles maintained, or partly restored, over the centuries to ones that are now mere ruins.
Martin J. Dougherty is a freelance writer and editor specialising in military and historical topics. He is the author of 'Vikings', 'Celts' and 'Norse Myths'.
A CONFESSION | TRUE CRIME DRAMA TV-SERIES
EDDY POSTHUMA DE BOER, RETROSPECTIVE | PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHY
Really enjoyed this visit to the Fotomuseum Den Haag (The Hague) today; on show a major exhibition of work by living legend, Eddy Posthuma de Boer (1931).
THE BAY | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
The Bay is an ITV crime drama series that first aired in March 2019.
Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie, whom I remember from the series Grantchester) is the single mother (unexplained) of 2 teenagers and working for the (fictional) West Lancashire Police Service as a Family Liaison Officer (FLO).
She is called out on the case of 2 missing children, only to find the married stepfather of the twins is someone that she had met in a pub during a friend's hen do and with whom she had sex in an alley behind the pub on that fateful night the twins disappeared...
As a FLO, Armstrong is trained not to become emotionally involved with cases she is working on, but her sexual encounter with Sean (Jonas Armstrong), threatens to compromise the investigation.
Although she can prove that he isn't responsible for their disappearance, Armstrong deletes the CCTV footage of them having sex, rather than come clean and admit to the one-night stand and provide Sean with an alibi.
Her assistent and trainee Med stumbles on the incriminating CCTV footage and he's between a rock and a hard place!
Meanwhile Lisa don't sees her kids going off the straight-and-narrow, too much focus on her work and while her mother helps out the family comes under plenty of strain.
Series 2 was confirmed for an airdate in early-2020, a pleasant outlook!
FALLING IN LOVE by DONNA LEON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
Ik Aanbid je | Falling In Love
Commissario Guido Brunetti returns to Teatro La Fenice ('The Phoenix'), a famous opera house in Venice, for another dramatic encounter with the diva Flavia Petrelli.
Someone has been showering her with far too many yellow roses at performances around Europe and things get creepier when she finds flowers by the door of the apartment she's borrowing in her friend (and former lover) Freddy's palazzo; especially when Freddy tells her he hasn't let anyone into the building!
REMOTE BRITAIN by DAVID ST JOHN THOMAS | BOOKS TRAVEL
Subtitled 'Landscape, People and Books'
In Woodhall Spa (Lincolnshire) I came across this book Remote Britain, but strangely it was in a windowsill of the lunchroom rather than the bookshop (also selling secondhand books). Had a customer forgotten his purchase? But no, it was a copy owned by the bookshop-annex-lunchroom for Woodhall Spa was mentioned in the book a few times. And not for sale.
'Remote Britain' relishes the ever-changing great landscapes of England, Wales and Scotland plus the people who live there. Who realises how sharp are the contrasts to be found within the Isles of Scilly or the Isle of Wight, how remote it is possible to feel in Essex, or how extraordinary is 'Yorkshire's teardrop', Spurn Point, way out in the Humber estuary? As in his acclaimed 'Journey Through Britain', to which this is a worthy successor, Mr Thomas finds remains of railways and even active steam trains in the most unlikely of places, stays in hotels to fall in love with or to hate and is never short of people to express their own views, as he does colourfully himself in chapters such as In the Footsteps of the Queen Mother.
However I enjoyed the ramblings of Mr St John Thomas , accompanied by his wife Sheila, I am not without criticism. The travels are depicted chronological, so we see areas visited north to south, east to west and back again. From Cornwall to the Shetland Isles, to East Anglia, the Western Isles, Lincolnshire and Lake District. Without drawings or any sort of maps where the reader has landed.
Format Hardback | 552 pages
David St John Thomas (b.30Aug1929 – d.19Aug2014) was an English publisher and writer who founded David & Charles.
IN KATRINA'S WAKE by CHRIS JORDAN | PHOTOBOOK HISTORY
In Katrina's Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster
Hurricane Katrina caused extensive destruction and casualties: overall, an estimated 1.245–1.836 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making Katrina the deadliest US hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.
While many may argue whether the devastation of hurricane Katrina was the direct or indirect result of global warming, infrastructural neglect, inadequate preparation or an incompetent governmental response, nobody will deny the heartbreak it wrought, the homes, businesses and history washed away, the landscape violently torn or the lives lost.
In Katrina's Wake, this series of 50 photographs by Chris Jordan while roaming on his own, depicting the horror of ruin, catching emotion in the stillness of the aftermath of havoc and ruin.
Katrina made landfall near New Orleans on 29Aug2005. Wind damage extended as far as 150 miles inland. Heavy rain battered the area and the storm surge—measuring as high as 30 feet and sweeping several miles inland—breached several levees intended to protect New Orleans from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain.
JACK IRISH | CRIME FICTION DRAMA DVD
Jack Irish is an Australian television drama series first broadcast on ABC1 on 14Oct12.
Jack sees his partner Linda Hillier (Marta Dusseldorp) leave for a journalist posting in Manilla, ambitious to advance her career. Their relationship has cooled quite a bit. She blames Jack for living permanently on hold and not prepared to take on a more permanent relationship.
Jack gets involved in missing persons, accidental deaths and cannot convince the police these are murder victims. A popular pastor seems very dodgy and a secret society has a trained murder squad of ex-convicts.
Meanwhile, Jack gets involved with an artist named Sarah Longmore (Claudia Karvan), her sister Tina is among the disappeared.
ICESCULPTURES 'JOURNEY THROUGH TIME'| ART
Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival, from 14 December 2019 to 1 March 2020.
RISING TIDE by KADIR VAN LOHUIZEN | PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD
RISING TIDE by Kadir van Lohuizen serves as a wake-up call that shows that climate change is an unstoppable force that can only be slowed down.
More photos on www.flickr.com
NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM | HISTORY
LOOK | PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS
BERLIN NOIR by PHILIP KERR | CRIME FICTION BOOKS
The fascinating trilogy by Scottish author Philip Kerr (b.22Feb1956 – d.23Mar2018) that introduced the world to Bernie Gunther, an ordinary German soldier turned KRIPO cop, turned private detective (specializing in missing persons) who just tries to do his job and keep his wits about him amidst the rising tide of Naziism in 1930s Berlin.
Sardonic, tough-talking, and cynical, Bernie smokes too much, drinks too much, has a rough sense of humor and an even rougher sense of right and wrong. Partly that's because he's a true Berliner and partly it's the result of life experiences...
BERLIN NOIR is an omnibus edition of the first 3 Bernie Gunther novels: 'March Violets', 'The Pale Criminal' and 'A German Requiem'. They were published between 1989 and 1992.
Bernhard Gunther is 38 years old in 1936, a veteran of the Turkish Front and an ex-policeman ('Bull').
He's a private investigator who reminded me of Raymond Chandler novels: hard-boiled and cynical but soft hearted when it comes to dames in distress.
A cluster of diamonds sets Bernie off on a new case-diamonds and a couple of bodies. The daughter and son-in-law of Hermann Six, industrialist millionaire and German patriot, have been shot dead in their bed and a priceless necklace stolen from the safe.
The book is discussed on my blog-2015q4.htm, when I read a single copy. I did not know of Philip Kerr, Bernie Gunther or of the Berlin Noir series. It got me hooked though.
The Pale Criminal is set in 1938, the German people await the outcome of the Munich conference, wondering if the Fuhrer will plunge Europe into another war.
is hired by a rich widow to find out who is blackmailing her, an investigation in which he finds himself exploring the crankier side of modern German medicine and psychotherapy. Meanwhile, a brutal serial killer stalks the streets of Berlin, and Kripo, embarrassed at having been caught framing an innocent Jew for the murders, is not above using a little blackmail to obtain Gunther's racially unbiased services to catch the real culprit.
A German Requiem plays in the bitter winter of 1947, as the Russian Zone closes around the ruined city, Berliners live on fear and dubiously earned PX goods. Russians rape and steal, while the Americans buy sexual favours from the German women with luxury items. We learn of the terms ' sparkler' (prostitute) and 'chocolady' ('escorts' looking for a good time).
Berlin is in ruins and Bernie finds his wife of 7 years, also performing sexual favours for Americans. So when an enigmatic Russian colonel asks Bernie to go to Vienna, where his ex-Kripo colleague Emil Becker faces a murder charge, he doesn't hesitate for long.
And Vienna is a different world: prosperous, peaceful, the gracious hostess to The Powers' proliferating bureaucracies, her buildings and consciences almost rebuilt.
Gradually, Gunther discovers that Vienna is world of smoke and mirrors, preparing for new realities in post-WW2 world.
'OUD VAN TOEN' by LARS VAN DEN BRINK | PHOTOGRAPHY URBAN RENOVATION
'Oud van Toen'
(roughly translates as 'vintage from the then') is a photo exhibition by Dutch photographer Lars van den Brink, documenting vintage or historic buildings (e.g. churches, factories) for their new use.
VILLA WELGELEGEN | HISTORY NETHERLANDS
'Villa Welgelegen' is a historical building in Haarlem, the Netherlands, which currently houses the offices of the provincial executives of North Holland.
It was built by Henry Hope of the famous family banking company Hope & Co. of Amsterdam, from 1785 to 1789 as a summer home to replace the already quite impressive structure that he purchased there in 1769.
John Williams Hope sold the villa in 1808 to Napoleon's brother Louis Bonaparte who had just been named King of Holland.
From 1814 to her death in 1828 Princes Wilhelmina of Prussia, who remembered the villa from her marriage, kept the villa as a summer palace and opened it to the public as a museum of modern art.
Unlike Teylers Museum (also in Haarlem), that was built at the same time, 'Welgelegen' lost its museum function and has been in use since 1930 by the Provinciale Staten as the seat of government for the Province of North Holland.
INUKSUIT | CULTURE ARCTIC PHOTOGRAPHY
Norman Hallendy was bestowed with the name Apirsuqti ('the inquisitive one') by the Inuit elders of Cape Dorset, Nunavut, for his insatiable curiosity to learn from them and document their stories, experiences and insights in a vanishing world as it transitioned from a life on the land to one in settled communities.
This book, subtitled 'Silent Messengers of the Arctic', includes several educational essays:
Although most appear singly, sometimes they are arranged in sequences spanning great distances while others are grouped to mark a specific place.
Norman E. Hallendy is an internationally recognized Arctic researcher, writer and photographer.
I cannot imagine a more informative, readable and inspiring book on this subject!
DAIDO MORIYAMA | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
Daido Moriyama is a prolific Japanese artist, well-known as a photographer, graphic designer, and writer.
In the 1970s, Moriyama was plagued by personal problems and was not productive in matters of art, only regaining focus in the early 1980s, and even being awarded the Photographer of the Year Award by the Photography Society (Shashin Kyokai).
WALKABOUT IN LEIDEN
Leiden in the Netherlands is a typical university city, university buildings are scattered throughout the city.
JAPANMUSEUM SIEBOLDHUIS | ART CULTURE EXHIBITIONS
When one visits the SieboldHuis museum in Leiden (the Netherlands) one is treated to beautiful objects from Japan: fascinating Japanese artifacts behind a Dutch historical facade. But I came for this temporary exhibition, which was on its last day!
Ryohei Tanaka (born in Takatsuki, Japan, 1933 is a Japanese artist. He specialises in printmaking, through etching. The amount of detail, nuance in grey tones with only a rare etching with a dab of colour (equally stunning I must emphasize) is mind boggling.
The Leiden Volkenkunde museum (National Ethnology Museum) and Naturalis (the National Museum of Natural History) both participate(d) in the realization and conservation of the SieboldHuis museum on the basis of their leading Japanese collections.
In 1822 Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold entered the service of the Dutch East Indies Army as surgeon major and was stationed in Batavia. There he caught the attention of the governor-general. Siebold had managed to learn both Dutch and Malay in a short time and took his tasks very seriously.
FEARLESS | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
DE GOUDEN EEUW | BOOKS HISTORY
The Netherlands was so much different during the 17th century, labelled 'The Golden Age', than today, but still we see similarities with modern society in the Netherlands.
The story of the 17th-century Netherlands, a speck on the map, remains a tale beyond belief.
WIKIPEDIA: 'The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world.
WISTING | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
'Wisting' is a Norwegian police procedural tv-series, starring Sven Nordin as widower William Wisting, a senior police detective, and in the first 5 episodes, co-starring Carrie-Anne Moss as FBI Special Agent Maggie Griffin.
In episodes 1-5, Wisting heads a murder investigation with FBI collaboration since the suspect is a serial killer hunted in the US. Someone hiding in the identity of another (deceased) person is called a caveman.
I preferred the first series over the 2nd series, but overall again an excellent ' Nordic Noir' series.
TEMPLE | CRIME FICTION TV-SERIES DRAMA
'Temple' is a Sky One television series and is an adaptation of the Norwegian television Valkyrien, which first aired in 2019. It stars Mark Strong, Carice Van Houten and Daniel Mays and was commissioned on 2Aug2018.
In a labyrinth of abandoned service tunnels near Temple Underground Station, Daniel (Mark Strong), a surgeon, runs an illegal medical clinic to treat criminals and other desperate patients who cannot or will not seek help from regular medical facilities. Daniel sets up the clinic to find a cure for his wife, Beth (Catherine McCormack), who suffers from a terminal illness.
THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by ROBERT GALBRAITH | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
In 2007, author Ian Rankin claimed that his wife spotted Rowling "scribbling away" at a detective novel in a café. Rankin later retracted the story, claiming it was a joke. But the rumour persisted, with a report in 2012 in The Guardian speculating that Rowling's next book would be a crime novel.
I am not sure why I purchased this book, as I had seen it on television and the story was still too much in my head to enjoy the meandering way this book is written. It has endless dialogue and minute progress of Strike's investigation. The plot is a good one, but the book could have done with a 100 pages less, in my opinion.
HET STADSPALEIS by GEERT MAK | BOOKS HISTORY
Geert Mak shares many interesting details on the interior, changes made over centuries, its occupants and mausing anecdotes over the years concerning this palace.
Geert Ludzer Mak (b. 04Dec1946 in Vlaardingen) is a Dutch journalist and a non-fiction writer in the field of history. His ten books about Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Europe have earned him great popularity.
WHAT ABOUT BOOKS