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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.).
DUIN EN KRUIDBERG | ESTATE PARK WALKABOUT
The estate that stretches as a strip from Santpoort-Noord to the sea coast is part of The South Kennemerland National Park.
On the estate is the monumental country house 'Duin en Kruidberg which is used as a four-star hotel (a.o.).
The estate was created by merging 'Landgoed Duin en Berg' and 'Landgoed De Kruidberg'.
The estate turns north into the 'Landgoed Midden-Heerenduin' and south into the nature reserve 'Kennemerduinen'.
MADE IN CHINA by ARMANDO JONGEJAN | PHOTOBOOK PHOTOGRAPHY
In China I have a special interest, which was peaked when I saw mention of it pass on Facebook. It isn't my first book on China and it won't be my last. I have visited China a few times but never in the intensity to warrant a photobook of my work. Perhaps one day...
Visiting China as a tourist, Armando used small camera bodies in a non-threatening way to capture the moments of everyday life which he encountered on his journeys.
The photos show a quality which I lack: able to approach the people and get a smile on their face. The photos show people relaxing in the street, at work (often a particular craft), doing chores, preparing food, at the market, in conversation, children playing,playing cards or a boardgame, doing sports, in reverie, allowing close up portraits, et cetera.
The books contains 134 pages (30cm x 30cm), over 100 photographs printed on firm '160gsm Biotop paper'. There may still be copies available, contact him through Facebook.
Armando Jongejan (b.1960; Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands).
In recent years, 7 photo books by Armando Jongejan have been published: Egmondse dorpsportretten (1996), Van binnenuit (2000), Licht uit, deur op slot (2001), Een zoektocht (2004), Thuiskomen (2011), Monnikenleven (2018) en MADE IN CHINA (2020).
ZHENG HE by MAAT BUTTSWORTH | BOOKS HISTORY
Zheng He (b.1371 - d.1433 or 1435) was a court eunuch, explorer, diplomat, Chinese mariner and fleet admiral, during China's early Ming dynasty.
Zheng He was castrated as a boy at the palace court in Xian and castrated men were generally not very appreciated in China in the past, in spite of this he rose to a revered leadership as a general of an army as as an admiral of his fleet.
This book by Dr Matt Buttsworth details his youth (according to the book by then known as Ali Mustafa) in Kashgar ('The place where it all began')), how he lost his father when Chinese forces besieged the town he lived in. The book continues with his life among the eunuch at the royal court, his career in the army and at sea.
Zheng He was born Ma He (no mention in the book) to a Muslim family of Kunyang, Kunming, Yunnan, during the Ming dynasty of China, according to Wikipedia.
A few notes from Wikipedia again-
In his capacity as Admiral, Zheng He had an epitaph engraved in honour of his father, in the third year
When the old general Zheng Liu is summoned to the emperor's palace in Xian, the emperor Zheng Fang insists Zheng He stays behind at his court as a playmate to his son; he does not want the general to train further his adopted son and become a threat to the royal throne.
After the narrative of Zheng He rising to become a successful leader of the Ming army and developing economic skills for developing trade in Yunnan, he receives a new assignment ffrom the young emperor, which is designed to let Zheng He fail.
While the emperor is distracted by army battles with the mongol Timur the Lame, Zheng He sets about his task to build a fleet. He allies with pirates, developing a shipyard in Guangdong and renewed trading along the coast.
Viewed in terms of time, Zheng He's voyages to the Western Ocean was far ahead of European seafarers as Christopher Columbus (1451- 1506), Vasco da Gama (1460-1524) and Ferdinand Magellan (1480- 1521). Zheng He's first voyage was in 1405. This means that each 87, 92 from 114 years earlier than sailors such as Columbus (who arrived in America in 1492), Gama (who arrived in Calicut, India in 1497) and Magellan (which started around the earth since 1519).
The book describes two voyages in detail. Wikipedia has ' Zheng He travelling in 1424 to Palembang in Sumatra to confer an official seal and letter of appointment upon Shi Jisun, who was placed in the office of Pacification Commissioner.'
Even before the voyages, according to this book, Zheng He falls in love with a slave girl and makes her pregnant: his castration had not been successful. To avoid the jealousy of the emperor, this relation is kept secret.
In terms of scale, Zheng He's fleet must have beenquite impressive.
Brought home by Zheng He's fleet to China, among others were pearls, crystal, gem jewels, ivory, lion, giraffe, leopard, ingredients such as clove, frankincense, rhino horn, antelope horn, perfumes, spices, various types cloth and wood.
Back to the book.
While in fact, according to Wikipedia, on 07Sep1424, the Hongxi Emperor indeed terminated the undertaking of further treasure voyages but appointed Zheng He, in 1425, as the defender of Nanjing and ordered him to continue his command over the treasure fleet merely for the city's defense.
In 1430, the new Xuande Emperor appointed Zheng He the command over a 7th and final expedition into the 'Western Ocean' (Indian Ocean).
Traditional and popular accounts of Zheng He's voyages have described a great fleet of gigantic ships far larger than any other wooden ships in history.
One theory is that Admiral Zheng He died in 1433, during or shortly after the s7th voyage. Another is that Zheng He continued to serve as the defender of Nanjing, dying in 1435.
THE BAY | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
After dealing with the repercussions of her actions (having had sex with a prime suspect and thus suspended from active duty, at the 1st series ending), DC Lisa Armstrong is given the opportunity to step up when asked to assist a murder investigation in Morecambe.
Determined to ignore her ex Andy's unexpected arrival the night before, Lisa throws herself into the case and discovers a significant lead from her only eyewitness.
As the team press on with the investigation, Lisa and Med dig deeper into the family and discover not all relationships with the victim were amicable.
The Bay is an ITV crime drama series produced by Tall Story Pictures, first aired in March 2019.
A 3rd and final series will begin filming in summer 2021. Christie decided to leave the show following production on the 2nd series, sad not to see her returning..
ZILVEREN CAMERA 2020 | PHOTOJOURNALISM AWARDS PHOTOGRAPHY
'The Zilveren Camera' is the most prestigious prize for photojournalism and documentary photography in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately there was no exhibition to visit this year, for the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Hopefully we get a raincheck later this year.
I got the impression that things went a little out of control for the organizers of this award.
TULIPS OF AMSTERDAM
More photos on flickr.com
HIDDEN SEASON 2 | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
Some three years have gone past since I saw Hidden, season 1.
In this series DCI Cadi John (Sian Reese-Williams) and her sisters mourn the death of their father, in the first series his care was a cause of disagreement between the three of them. Now the disagreement is about disposing their father's personal things.
And in the first series the wife of DS Owen Vaugh (Sion Alun Davies) was pregnant, now their relation is under strain because of the newly born baby; a murder inquiry plays havoc to the hours Owen works.
So, series two..
Cadi and Owen look into the dead man’s background and discover there are reasons behind his reclusiveness.
The community gathers to mourn the passing of Geraint Ellis, but previously they all ignored him for unsubstantiated allegations that Mr Ellis, a teacher, had improper relations with a student (Karl Lewis, an older brother of Lee). Mr Ellis took early retirement, gradually fell in isolation while his family also avoided him.
Some night, Mia and her friends visit an old ruin with a dark history. Mia draws Connor closer to her because she feels Connor is about to confess to the police.
Then Cadi is informed that another body has been found at a remote petrol station outside Blaenau Ffestiniog. Suspecting the worst, she issues a warrant for Mia's arrest, but all efforts to trace her fail.
'Hidden' (initially broadcasted in the Welsh language as 'Craith') is a Welsh television drama serial, first broadcast on the Welsh language channel S4C in January 2018.
A very entertaining series, interesting narratives and filmed on fascinating locations.
RED-COLOR NEWS SOLDIER by LI ZHENSHENG | PHOTOBOOK HISTORY
Li Zhensheng (Lǐ Zhènshèng; b.22Sep1940 – d.June 2020) was a Chinese photojournalist who captured some of the most telling images from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (a.k.a.the Chinese Cultural Revolution).
His employment at the Heilongjiang Daily, which followed the party line, and his decision to wear a red arm band indicating an alliance with Chairman Mao Zedong, allowed him access to scenes otherwise only described in written and verbal accounts.
His 2003 book Red-Color News Soldier exhibits both the revolutionary ideals and many of the atrocities that occurred during the Cultural Revolution.
A private museum, dedicated to Li's life and work, was opened in 2017 in Sichuan Province as a part of the Jianchuan Museum Cluster.
The Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was one of the most catastrophic political movements of the 20th century.
An excellent review (by John Gittings) of this book can be read on TheGuardian.com¬
"No one has heard before of Wu Bingyuan, a Chinese worker executed with a bullet in the back of his head during Mao Zedong's cultural revolution, but this review of the book should really be dedicated to him.
Wu was one of those, a technician at the Harbin Electric Motor Factory who, with a colleague, wrote a pamphlet called Looking North.
Similar events happened all over China and (minus, in most cases, the public execution) still happen today...
This collection of photos, taken by Li in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang, where he worked for the official Communist party newspaper, is unique for a simple reason. Although the post-Mao Chinese government has labelled the cultural revolution "10 years of chaos", it still tries to suppress any real inquiry into the countless human tragedies it caused. More...
FENIKS by DEON MEYER | BOOKS THRILLER
Deon Meyer - Feniks (EN: Dead before Dying). Mat Joubert #1.
Someone in Cape Town has chosen a conspicuous murder weapon: a century-old German handgun, with ancient bullets that tear through flesh and bone creating large and cruel holes.
Captain Mat Joubert is still grieving over the death of his wife, a colleague in the police force, almost
Captain Mat Joubert is an interesting character, who has some redeeming qualities, but he is preoccupied with his crumbling self esteem and spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about sex, especially when there is a single female in his presence: his therapist, a serial killer consultant and a young woman only 18 year old, the daughter of his neighbor.
It was interesting to see him grapple with his life starting to fall apart and striving to regain some control over it. It was also interesting to see how, even though he is extremely flawed, he does look out for his friends, especially Benny Griesel who has a drinking problem.
Deon wrote his first book when he was 14 years old, and bribed and blackmailed his two brothers into reading it. They were not impressed. Heeding their advise, he did not write fiction again until he was in his early thirties, when he started publishing short stories in South African magazines.
In 1994, two years before this book was pulished, he published his first Afrikaans novel, which has not been translated.All later novels have been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, Slovakian and Bulgarian.
KILLING EVE, SEASON 2 | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
After a series of events, the lives of a MI.6 security operative and an assassin become inextricably linked.
AVIATION SLIDES | BINNED FAREWELL
HEEMPARKEN AMSTELVEEN | BOTANICAL GARDEN
FARGO SEASON 4 | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
This is the 4th season of 'Fargo', an American black comedy-crime drama tv-series created by Noah Hawley which premiered in 2020. It consists of 11 episodes, a rather odd number.
As an anthology, each Fargo season possesses its own self-contained narrative, following a set of characters in various settings and eras, albeit in a connected shared universe.
This 4th season has an excellent performance by Chris Rock, as a leader of a black crime group, fighting the Italians with mob connections.
BECK SEASON 8 | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
Based on the crime novels and characters created by the Swedish writing couple Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, the popular Beck series stars Peter Haber as the Stockholm-based, crime-fighter Police Inspector Martin Beck.
The conniving police boss Klas Fredén continues to play his intrigues, trying to oust Martin Beck, even tries to convince Alex Beijer to make him a scapegoat in a mired investigation.
Series 8 (2020-2021)
In Undercover, the murder of a boy leads Beck's team to a drug network.
In The Fall Guy, a macabre discovery in the trunk of a car appears to lead to a cold-blooded killer.But is that really true?
In Death In Samarra, a Nobel Peace Prize candidate is brutally stabbed to death in central Stockholm.One of the witnesses worked with Alex when she was in the Middle East. This is the episode that we get to understand more about Alex, when we see the burn scars while she looks in the mirror.
In The Prodigal Son, a jawbone is found in the middle of a forest. If the rest of the body is found, it turns out it belongs to Viktor Eklund, who has been missing for five years. Incest plays a role here.
Will we see Martin Beck return? The closing scene of the series shows Beck being wheeled into the operating theatre for a life threatening brain surgery...
A SONG FOR THE DARK TIMES by IAN RANKIN | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
This is the 24th Rebus novel (or the 26th in the 'franchise' if one includes the two standalone novels featuring Malcolm Fox). I've read them all and am indeed a fan of Mr Rankin's writing, so forgive me when I am not entirely objective.
I am glad that after the two standalone Malcolm Fox novels, Rebus was reintroduced again as his 'rogue qualities' are so much more appealing than the rather civil servant characteristics of Malcolm Fox.
'A Song For The Dark Times' is a very good novel, but the inevitable seems ever closer for John Rebus.
There are two crime stories here, one with Clarke and Fox in the main naarative and one with Rebus on a murder inquiry up north, where his daughter Samantha is the main suspect of the murder of her parner Keith.
Obviously, the question arises: are these cases in any way connected, and if so, how? Rankin sets multiple hares running, and the various suspects and causes zig-zag just like a hare on the hill.
I particularly like how Rankin details the relationships between all involved, the weary coöperation between Clarke and Fox, Rebus chasing the investigating DS Robin Creasey from Inverness, the difficult relationship Rebus versus his daughter Samantha, Rebus and the pub owner May Collins, et cetera.
I did find the narrative of Rebus' investigation and the plot of those involved in the days of Camp 1033 (fictional, though such POW camps did exist in Scotland) rather blurry and unclear.
Btw, nice to see Canadian singer/songwriter R. Dean Taylor mentioned...