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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.




Paris by Paul Almasy, photographer

Paris by Paul Almasy, photographer

Paris by Paul Almasy, photographer

Paris by Paul Almasy, photographer

Paris by Paul Almasy, photographer

Paris by Paul Almasy, photographer

This is a book I recently acquired for the subject of nostalgic streetphotography, for I had not heard of Paul Almasy before. And so pleased I ordered this book! Ca. 116 amazing photographs, a book that will be forever a pleasure to pick up and browse!

Paul Almasy (1906-2003) was a pioneer of photojournalism. For more than six decades he traveled the world with his camera and during this time took about 120.000 photographs.
Almasy termed his oeuvre an "archive of the world", cataloguing the photographs by country - and for each country he visited he then sorted the photographs by category: state, economy, culture, everyday life, animals and plants, being but a few of them. In this way, he established a detailed and comprehensive picture archive that today constitutes a unique document of 20th century history.
This particular book focusses on Paris, but I will be on the lookout for other books by him!

At the tender age of 17, Paul Almasy left his native Budapest and after various interludes, among others in Vienna and Munich, he ended up in Paris.
It was the city that was to become the second home and main point of reference for the self-taught photojournalist - and it was likewise his gateway to the world.
It was from here that he set out on his countless world trips on behalf of WHO, UNESCO and UNICEF. For a time, Paul Almasy was a visiting professor lecturing at the Sorbonne.
He became French citizen in 1956. In September 2003, Paul Almasy died at the age of 97 in Paris.

His black-and-white work focuses almost always on people.
Almasy is not concerned here with social class or milieu: he photographed the powerful men of his time, Bohemian artists in Paris, but also midwives in Africa, rice farmers in Indonesia and street children in Mexico. Even where Almasy addresses poverty and distress, he never does this as a voyeur but participates respectfully in what he sees while preserving his distance as an observer.
It was an approach he internalized: "When I took photographs, I never crouched down like a cat about to pounce on its prey. I never attacked with my camera." Paul Almasy always viewed himself as a photojournalist and never as a photographer.




Liar, tv-series season 2

Liar is a British thriller tv-series co-produced by ITV and SundanceTV.
The first series saw Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd as two people whose initial attraction leads to far-reaching consequences for them and their friends and families. This series was broadcasted on ITV
in 2017.
The programme was renewed for a second and final series, Liar 2, which premiered on 02Mar2020.
With again sterling performances by Joanne Froggatt (as Laura Nielson) and Gruffudd (as Andrew Earlham), but the entire cast showed no weaknesses.

The 2nd series focuses on a whodunnit storyline involving the cliffhanger of the first series' finale: Andrew's dead body ending up in the marshes; this is where the 2nd series take off after a private pilot spotted the body when the tide was out.
DI Vanessa Harmon (Shelley Conn) who led the investigation in the first series is now suspended pending an inquiry for helping Laura to clear her name and DI Karen Renton (Katherine Kelly) has been dispatced the Metropolitan Police to lead the inquiry second time around. And from the start Renton suspects Laura for killing Andrew.
Laura started dating again but her distrust in men in general sees this breaking up.
Laura's sister Katy (Zoë Tapper) has resorted to drinking for the strained relation with Laura and the seperation with husband Liam and her two kids.
DI Harmon is pregnant but both she and Katy as well as Winnie Peterson, a nurse like Katy who was also raped by Earlham, they all help Laura to find the person who has planted evidence that suggest Laura is the killer.
The amount of energy Joanne Froggatt thows into her role as Laura, the desperation, anger and putting her friends under pressure to help her, is quite astounding.
We also find how Andrew became the serial rapist that got him killed in the end.
The second series is no less than the first series.



Go No Go - Ad van Denderen - photography

Go No Go - Ad van Denderen - photography

Go No Go - Ad van Denderen - photography

Go No Go - Ad van Denderen - photography

Go No Go - Ad van Denderen - photography

'Go No Go' is photographer Ad van Denderen's acclaimed project on contemporary migration and European border politics.
In 1986, while shooting a story in eastern Turkey, he saw a then brand new phenomenon: the start of the great contemporary migration. In 'Go No Go' Ad van Denderen leads us along the edges of Europe where immigrants try to reach the West along smugglers' paths, with varying success.

Over a period of 12 years Ad van Denderen photographed migrants and refugees who were under way to the rich West. He stayed for weeks in squalid pensions in Istanbul, where Pakistanis wait for the human traffickers who will bring them to Greece. He joined police patrols along the border between Greece and Turkey, where it was primarily Sri Lankans who were arrested, and watched how men and women stepped soaking wet from their small boats at night near Tarifa, in Spain, after their rough sea passage from Morocco.
The result is this photobook 'GO NO GO', published in 2003.

Ever more people make the decision to leave house and home. Aided by their families, they will journey for months, sometimes under dreadful conditions.
Van Denderen saw a shadow world arise, of people who are willing to do anything to make a living.
They work in the fields of Greece, as prostitutes along Italy's roads, in the greenhouses at El Ejido, in Spain. Van Denderen recorded their lives.
He photographed them in the places where they sleep, the fields where they work, in the prisons intended especially for aliens.
'It's a hard life,' says Van Denderen of the migrants. 'I want to give them a face.'

Sad to note so little progress has been made to this day by the EU on the subject of this immigration problem. A solution seems not in sight.

Ad van Denderen (b.1943, The Netherlands) has worked as a photographer for Vrij Nederland, Stern, NRC Handelsblad, GEO and The Independent magazine, among others.
He has received a number of prestigious prizes for his work, including the Visa d'Or at the international photo festival Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan in 2001 and The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts' (Fonds BKVB) oeuvre prize in 2007/2008.
Go No Go, his book on migration in Europe, was published by Actes Sud, Mets & Schilt, Lunwerg Editores, Edition Braus and Paradox in 2003.
For the 2008 SteidlMack/Paradox publication 'So Blue So Blue', Van Denderen photographed the 17 countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
Earlier publications include 'Peace in The Holy Land', a book about Palestine (1997) and 'Welkom in Suid-Afrika', about Apartheid (1991).
Ad van Denderen is a member of VU agency, Paris.

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



Cardinal, tv-series, 4th season

Cardinal is a Canadian crime drama tv-series, which was 1st broadcast on 25Jan2017.
The series adapts the novels of crime writer Giles Blunt, focusing on police detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and his partner Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse), who investigate crimes in the fictional city of Algonquin Bay.

Season 4: Until the Night --
We return the the winter wonderland of Algonquin Bay.
After a prominent politician's husband is abducted and then left to die from exposure, Cardinal and Delorme suspect that a hired killer is targeting those close to four people, out of revenge for a cover-up in their past.
Cardinal and Delorme grow closer but this case will be their last together as Delorme takes a new job in Toronto.

Sheila Gagne and Barry Leblanc meet in secret and discuss something in their past that connects them - something they haven't told the police.
Cardinal and Delorme try to link Barry and Sheila to Ken McNider, a wealthy local businessman involved in forestry and mining.
As the detectives close in on the secret from her past, Sheila goes into hiding at Taj's trucking company but believes they should go to the police.
Scrambling to find young Mena and Taj in time, Cardinal and Delorme learn what really happened in the woods twenty years ago.




The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Iceland’s Yrsa Sigurdardottir surprised me with a stunning crime novel not featuring the main protagonist from the two previous books I read by her: Thora Gudmundsdottir.
The Legacy, with detective Huldar and child psychologist Freya, is referred to as 'Children’s House Series, Book 1'.
It was originally published in 2014, under the title DNA. This translation by Victoria Cribb (of course!) was published in 2017.
Four out of five Freyja & Huldar (Children's House) series have already been translated into English so I have something to pursue here!

The Legacy is equal parts 'police procedural' and suspense narrative.
Weaving together dark family secrets both present and past with a chilling investigation, Sigurdardottir delivers a standout Nordic thriller with which, in my opinion, she has proven to be as good an author as Arnaldur Indridason.

Plot Summary:
The only person who might have the answers to a baffling murder case is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the bedroom where her mother died. Severely traumatized, she’s not talking.
Newly-promoted and quite out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja for her expertise with traumatized young people.
Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.
The unusually violent serial killer is leaving them strange clues, but the victims don't seem to have any connection.
Truly a page turner with that special gripping Icelandic atmosphere!

Other books here by Yrsa Sigurdardottir on MyBlog2019Q3 and MyBlog2019Q2



SUNSHINE, Australian miniseries (2017)

The story of 'Sunshine' (a.k.a. 'The Sunshine Kings') follows the life of Jacob, a young, aspiring South Sudanese-Australian basketball player who is on the cusp of being picked up by US scouts for the US College league.

Sunshine is based in Melbourne's outer-western suburb of Sunshine and its surrounds. The Sunshine Kings is a basket ball team, initially led by a pastor to keep kids on the straight and narrow.
Jacob and his friends go joyriding in a stolen Porsche, which Jacob return in the dark of night but the car (with their fingerprints) is found connected with a molested young girl who is hospitalized in a coma.
So they get caught up in a police investigation involving this teenage girl, daugher of an influential white owner of a large construction company.
There is a good development of narrative against a backdrop of institutional racism, a very current subject (it has always been there of course) with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement again in the media spotlight. This 4-episode Australian miniseries was created in 2017.




Before We Die - season one

Before We Die (Svenska: Innan vi dör) is a Swedish thriller tv-series which premiered for Sveriges Television on 15jan2017.
Hanna (Marie Richardson) works in the Stockholm policidepartment in the Fraud department, but gets involved in an investigation by the Organised Crime Dept (housed on another floor in the same building).
Hanna is divorced and while working with Organised Crime had her son Christian caught dealing drugs for which he was convicted to 2 years in prison.
The first episode sees Hanna and Sven, a police detective with Organised Crime, getting dressed for each making their seperate ways to work. Sven is married and their relation is also hidden from their colleagues.
Sven parts with a remark he has a visit with a police informer named Inez. He subsequently does not arrive at his work that day and it is found that he has been kidnapped.
Organised Crime was working on an investigation into a killing involving 2 motorcycle gangs and they seem connected with Sven's disappearance.
A search for Inez starts.

Though some of the plotlines seem to disappear without a trace the 10 episodes have plenty of twists and turns, with dark aspects making it worthy of the label 'scandi noir'.
Excellent roleplay, btw!




Sommerdahl Murders - tv-series crime fiction

A love triangle between Dan Sommerdahl (Peter Mygind), his wife Marianne Sommerdahl (Laura Drasbæk) and their best friend Flemming Torp (André Babikian) occurs as they try to solves killings in Helsingør.
Police investigator Dan Sommerdahl and his wife, Marianne, are celebrating their silver wedding anniversary when Dan is suddenly called to work after a woman is found dead. Marianne once more feels her husband choosing work over her and her daughter.
Dan, Marianne and Flemming have to face each other at work for she is the forensic expert supporting their crime investigations.
While Sommerdahl has promised to be in time for their intimate anniversary dinner, he does not show up. However a friend from schooldays shows up and after much wine the two end up in bed together. Sommerdahl has not the insight that this is a result of many years of neglect and meanwhile there are murders to solve..

Not the best of Scandinavian crime series I thought, dialogues are not always convincing, the love triangle is a bit corny, entertaining nevertheless in a summer romantic sort of way.




The Last Resort by Martin Parr

The Last Resort by Martin Parr

The Last Resort by Martin Parr

The Last Resort by Martin Parr

The Last Resort by Martin Parr

Leisure, in all its manifest forms, has occupied Martin Parr for his entire career. But from funfairs to food to flower shows, nowhere is the pursuit of pleasure more nakedly apparent than on the beach.
Parr’s most enduring photographs of the British coast were taken between 1983 and 1985, when he visited the Liverpool beach resort of New Brighton.
His now characteristic use of saturated color and on-board flash illuminated a country in a state of decay, but still finding pleasure where it could.
The deterioration of the British economy—and society as a whole— seemed to be writ large in the litter-strewn, concrete promenade of New Brighton.

Martin Parr (b.23May1952) is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular documenting the social classes of England, and more broadly the wealth of the Western world.

Another book by Martin Parr, Small World, is discussed on MyBlog 2020Q2.




Sandsculptures at Markelo
Dutch proverb: 'Achter het net vissen' (EN: fishing behind the net, meaning
missing the opportunity, coming up empty handed)

Sandsculptures at Markelo
Dutch proverb: 'De poten onder iemands stoel wegzagen' (EN: undermining someones position)

Sandsculptures at Markelo
Dutch proverb: 'Alle wegen leiden naar Rome' (EN: all roads lead to Rome)

Sandsculptures at Markelo

A few days ago I visited this fine estate, Markelo (also referred to as Castle Markelo) near Diepenheim, in the province of Overijssel (The Netherlands). The grounds are open for visitors and upon our visit there was the special attraction of 16 sandsculptures on the theme of Dutch proverbs.

nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warmelo (NL)
kasteelwarmelo.nl (NL)
More images on flickr.com




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Created: 01-JUL-2020