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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

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.



Section de Recherches ('Research Unit') - French crime drama

Section de recherches is a French television series that was first broadcast on TF1 on 11May2006.
This special group is a unit of the National Gendarmerie, responsible for the most complex cases. The series are situated in Bordeaux (from 2006 to 2013) and then in Nice (since 2014); the unit investigates child abductions, disappearances, murders and sexual crimes.

I recently came across this series, broadcasted on Belgium's Canvas, and have only seen the 2nd series (located at Nice).
The series seem to follow American production lines, which I find disturbing. The cast for one: too many young beautiful women (casting is not resembling actual life), a white male as the 'wise senior' in charge of a very loyal team and a black guy in the investigation team.
Also a sparse background of the key actors, some romance, no humour. Fast tempo instead of real 'noir' scenario's. Bleak comparison to another French production, (e.g.) The Spiral.

Plotlines were entertaining, but not the best French crime drama I have seen sofar.




The Coroner - tv series

The Coroner is a BBC Birmingham ('feel-good')  drama series of 20 episodes, starring Claire Goose as Jane Kennedy.
She is a coroner based in a fictional South Devon coastal town.
A coroner is a person whose standard role is to confirm and certify the death of an individual within a jurisdiction. A coroner may also conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death, and investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead within the coroner's jurisdiction.
The word coroner derives from the same source as the word crown, and denotes an officer of The Crown.

Matt Bardock has a very nice role as Detective Sergeant Davey Higgins.

Jane Kennedy returns to Lighthaven as the local coroner. She works with Davey Higgins, a Detective Sergeant in the South Dart police; they were childhood sweethearts and he broke her heart.
I liked the playful banter between Jane and Davey, a bit of humour so often missed in modern crime drama series.
Nice roles also by Oliver Gomm as Clint Holman (Coroner’s Officer) and Grace Hogg-Robinson as Beth Kennedy, Jane's daughter.

The BBC announced on 02March2017 that there would be no further series.
I have only seen Series 2, the last 10 episodes of the series. As feel-good drama goes, I quite liked the series.




'Overwhelming' and 'spectacular' comes to mind when viewing these photographs


I am determined to visit Argentina's Peninsular Valdes for the whales some day!

I love the way how the 2 women look: one in the direction of the photographer the
other in the direction of the woman next to the photo. A candidate for my next LOOK edition.

Another candidate for my Blurb edition LOOK: do you see the couple leaning into a photo there?


Yesterday I visited a world class photo exhibition in Netherlands Photo Museum (Rotterdam) : 'Genesis' by Sebastião Salgado.

Genesis is the magnum opus of world-renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. To create his ode to our fragile planet, Salgado travelled to such remote regions such as the Galapagos Islands, Madagascar and Antarctica: places where people and animals still live in harmony with each other and with the natural world.
In these photographs, Salgado shows us the beauty of the pristine natural world and makes us aware of the need to preserve our planet. 
The over two hundred spectacular black-and-white photographs in the exhibition include images of life forms ranging from whales to tortoises, landscapes from glaciers to deserts, and a variety of native peoples.
I hope I can share some of my enthusiasme for these images here! The images certainly added a few destinations to my 'bucket list': Madagascar and Argentina's Peninsular Valdes for the whales!




So Anyway - John Cleese autobiography

John Cleese

John Cleese’s 'So Anyway…' (Random House 2014, Arrow Books paperback 2015) is the long-awaited story of the actor’s life, told how he wants to tell it ("how a tall, shy youth from Weston-super-Mare went on to become a self-confessed legend").

John Marwood Cleese (b.27Oc1939 - ) is an English actor, voice actor, screenwriter, producer, and comedian.
He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on 'The Frost Report'.
In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus and the 4 Monty Python films: 'And Now for Something Completely Different', 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', 'Life of Brian' and 'The Meaning of Life'.

In the mid-1970s, Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote and starred in the British sitcom 'Fawlty Towers', with Cleese receiving the 1980 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance.
Later, he co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and former Python colleague Michael Palin in 'A Fish Called Wanda' and 'Fierce Creatures', both of which he also wrote.
He also starred in Clockwise and has appeared in many other films, including two James Bond films as 'R' and 'Q', 2 'Harry Potter' -films, and the last 3 'Shrek'-films.

This is a very entertaining look at Mr. Cleese’s early life. It must not have been easy for Mr. Cleese as a child. He was tall at a very early age — five-foot three at age 8 and over six feet tall at 12. Being that height so early in life not only makes you stand out in a crowd.
He was weak and awkward, very uncoordinated.
While he is very fond of his dad, he credits him for keeping his complicated marriage together. The same can’t be said for mom; she was a complicated woman who, by his account, was a good mother, but she was also "self-obsessed and anxious, and that could make life with her very uncomfortable indeed".

Mr. Cleese weaves his recollections seamlessly together while along the way displaying some of his sardonic observations, I envisage him making his remarks with clenched fists and teeth but in a very polite and eloquent manner. Having had to deal with BBC scrutiny and 'political correctness' (which he abhors) he quite enjoys putting his readers (his audience) at arms length and uttering the occacional 'fuck'!

An excellent book by one of the best comedy writers of his generation, even though he did not include much from his Monty Python days.




Follow the Money (Season 2)

Follow the Money (Season 2)

'Follow the Money' (Danish: Bedrag) is a Danish financial crime thriller that has run for two seasons and been shown in several other countries.
The original series, set in the renewable energy business in Denmark, was first broadcast in Denmark in January 2016 in 10 episodes; it has dialogue in Danish, Swedish, and English.
In The Netherlands, the 1st episode was broadcast on 07Mar2016 on VARA television, under the title 'Follow the Money'; many countries followed.

The 2nd season of the show was broadcast in October-November 2016; this series continues the stories
of most of the characters from the 1st series, but the main focus is on a bank practicing P2P lending and their attempted takeover by a bank whose chair, Knud Christensen, was behind the fraud case investigated in the 1st season.
It was screened in the UK, on BBC Four, starting 04Mar2017.
Screenwriter Jeppe Gjervig Gram revealed in November 2016 that work on a continuation to 'Follow the Money' has begun!
Excellent crime drama and indeed looking forward to Season 3!

Thomas Bo Larsen - as Mads Justesen
Natalie Madueño - as Claudia Moreno
Thomas Hwan - as Alf Rybjerg
Esben Smed Jensen - as Nicky
Line Kruse - Kristina, wife of Nicky




Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Streets of the World - Jeroen Swolfs, photography

Photography by Jeroen Swolffs, who travelled all over the world to depict streetscenes in every country in a sphere of positive spirits and hope.
He travelled 195 countries in 7 years and produced a fantastic coffeetable book on this project this year, with 195 photos in 436 pages including iphonographics and his 'why & what' of each photograph.
To see many of those photographs almost larger than life is awesome.
Fantastic achievement, -photography, -exhibition and -book! Inspiring!

folder for more images






Broadchurch, series 3

Broadchurch is a British television crime drama, produced for and first broadcasted on ITV.
The first series, which premiered on 04Mar2013, focused on the death of an 11-year-old boy and the impact of grief, mutual suspicion and media attention on the town's community.
While one can enjoy series 3 without having seen series 1 or 2, aspects of these series continue in three.

Broadchurch series 1 focused on the search for a boy's murderer by detectives Alec Hardy (played by David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (played by Olivia Colman).
Alec Hardy saw his marriage and his career going on the rocks and is hoping to start afresh in Broadchurch, but has difficulties adapting. Ellie Miller annoys him immensely, with her empathy and emotions, but she finds his weak spots, finds great pleasure in teasing him while contributing with her perspective to the investigations and knowledge of the local community.

The series was created and written by Chris Chibnall, who was inspired by the Jurassic Coast of Britain to set his crime drama in a fictional, close-knit small town in Dorset.
Harbour Cliff and Beach in West Bay, Dorset is often featured in the background while filming.

Series 2 primarily focuses on two plot strands: the trial of the murderer (who after initial confession claims to be innocent when on trial and is set free) and the reopening of the Sandbrook case (backgroud of Alec Hardy).
Tennant, Colman and most of the cast of series one returned for series 2, as we see many familiar faces in series 3.
A U.S. remake in one season, Gracepoint, also created by Chris Chibnall and starring Tennant, aired on 2014 on Fox. The French channel France 2 also announced an adaptation, titled Malaterra.

Filming for the series 3 began in May 2016 and broadcast started on 27Feb2017.
The final series follows Miller and Hardy as they investigate a serious sexual assault.
In all three series the personal background and family issues of Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller ('Millerrrrr...' ) add to the drama, lifting Broadchurch's entertainment to a level much higher than a simple 'whodunnit'. The working relation between Hardy and Miller provide a glimmer of humor, which I do so appreciate.
Also again an excellent role by Jodie Whittaker, as Beth (the mother of Danny, the murder victim in series 1 and again in a starring role in series 3); recently it was announced that she is to become the next 'Doctor Who', the 13th and first woman in that role!

Enjoyed all three series tremendously, Tennant and Colman had a great raport between each other and the drama was intense.


Threats of Pain and Ruin, by Theodore Dalrymple (2014)

Perhaps not the most inviting ititle to pick up at the bookstore, but I have read books by T. Dalrymple before and again was not disappointed: more of interest than shockingly depressing! But is indicative for his (wry) sense of humor. I like it.

The man himself has this to say of this book:
'What is written without pain, said Doctor Johnson, is rarely read with pleasure. Rarely perhaps, but not, I hope, never: for the little essays in this book were written, I must confess, without much angst.
In part this was because, in writing them, I had no thesis to prove, no axe to grind, except that the world is both infinitely interesting and amusing, and provides us with an inexhaustible source of material for philosophical reflection.
Many of the subjects treated of in this book were found by serendipity or came to me in flashes - it would be immodest to call them of inspiration - of previously unsuspected connection and interest.

I can only hope that they entertain the reader as they have entertained me. At least they will do no harm, in compliance with the first principle of medical ethics..'

Some background from Wikipedia-
Anthony Malcolm Daniels (b.11Oct1949- ), who generally uses the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is an English writer and retired prison doctor and psychiatrist. He worked in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries as well as in the east end of London.
Before his retirement in 2005, he worked in City Hospital, Birmingham and Winson Green Prison in inner-city Birmingham, England.
Daniels has been described as a pessimist. In 2010, Daniel Hannan wrote that Dalrymple's work "takes pessimism about human nature to a new level. Yet its tone is never patronising, shrill or hectoring. Once you get past the initial shock of reading about battered wives, petty crooks and junkies from a non-Left perspective,
... you find humanity and pathos".
In 2005 he retired early as a consultant psychiatrist.

Regarding his pseudonym 'Theodore Dalrymple', he wrote that he "... chose a name that sounded suitably dyspeptic, that of a gouty old man looking out of the window of his London club, port in hand, lamenting the degenerating state of the world".
From his travels (see further below) one will not ethat he did not stay at home with his books to form his opnions on (to use a familiar quote from another book) "Life, the Universe and Everything"!

His writing has some recurring themes, e.g.....
  • The cause of much contemporary misery in Western countries – criminality, domestic violence, aggressive youths, hooliganism, broken families...
  • Poverty does not explain aggressive, criminal and self-destructive behaviour.
  • An attitude characterised by gratefulness and having obligations towards others has been replaced – with awful consequences – by an awareness of "rights" and a sense of entitlement, without responsibilities.
  • Technocratic or bureaucratic solutions to the problems of mankind produce disasters in cases where the nature of man is the root cause of those problems
  • &c &c...

    Meanwhile he followed some adventurous paths in his life!
    From the backcover: 'He has been arrested as a spy in Gabon, been sought by the South African police for violating apartheid, visited the site of a civilian massacre by the government of Liberia, concealed his status as a write for fear of execution in Equatorial Guinea, infiltrated an English communist group in order to attend the World Youth Festival in North Korea, performed Shakespeare in Afghanistan, smuggled banned books to dissidents in Romania, been arrested and struck with truncheons for photographing an anti-government in Albania and crossed both Africa and South America using only public transportation.'

    Life, The Universe and Everything on Wikipedia



    Fargo - series 1

    The 1st season of this black comedy-crime drama tv-series Fargo, premiered on 15Apr2014, on FX.
    Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Martin Freeman, the season consisted of 10 episodes.

    Set in January 2006, the season follows drifter Lorne Malvo (Thornton) who stops at a hospital in Bemidji, Minnesota following a car accident and influences local mild-mannered insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Freeman) with his violent and deceptive ways. Their meeting sets forth a series of murders throughout the city.
    Meanwhile, Deputy Molly Solverson (Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Hanks) of Duluth, Minnesota attempt to solve several crimes across the state they believe may be linked to Malvo and Nygaard.

    Filming of the first season began in Calgary, Alberta in late 2013 and concluded in 2014.
    It is one of the few US tv series I actually enjoyed, being a fan of Billy Bob Thornton, I had enjoyed the original (1996) Academy Award-winning film Fargo and found all key actors here (including Colin Hanks as Officer Gus Grimly, Keith Carradine as Lou Solverson and Police Chief Bill Oswalt played by Bob Odenkirk) doing a wonderful job.
    I have been a fan of Martin Freeman since his role in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005) and his part as Watson in the Sherlock tv-series (starring Benedict Cumberbatch).
    Am looking forward to see Fargo 2 and Fargo 3!



    Abandoned Places by Henk van Rensbergen (2016)

    Abandoned Places by Henk van Rensbergen (2016)

    Abandoned Places by Henk van Rensbergen (2016)

    Abandoned Places by Henk van Rensbergen

    As a photographer Henk van Rensbergen explores the empty buildings of our times, an urban world where mankind has disappeared.
    In Belgium he is considered one of the pioneers of Urban Exploring in Belgium. He started some 30 years ago, venturing in abandoned hospitals, factories, hotels, etc

    The photos in 'Abandoned Places' (published in 2016, as a spin off of the bigger coffee table book, which was published 2 years earlier) show the silent beauty and the macabre decay of these places, sometimes revealing their secrets…
    "Some of the photos were taken at locations I visited during my stay after flights, most however are the result of planned explorations. I prefer to set out on my own, but with many locations it isn’t wise to do so. I am very aware of the legal questions involved. Therefore I never break my way in, I don’t invade ones privacy, take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints."

    The photos reproduce the atmosphere that reigns inside these abandoned places, the presence of people is still very tangible and it is that eerie ghost-like feeling that stirs the imagination.
    As a kid van Rensbergen first started doing this exploring, he clearly remembers the urge to explore one freightening abandoned villa in the dunes of Oostduinkerke, a Belgian coastal town and that one started a long series of explorations!

    Henk van Rensbergen (Brussels, b.1968) is an airline pilot, and currently flies as a Captain on the
    Boeing 787.
    He has already had several exhibitions and was represented at different art fairs.

    This book contains 160 pages, has a hardcover and the size is roughly A5.





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    Created: 17-Jul-2017