Painting, birds, sea and buildings in Katwijk


Jan Toorop, 17 September 2017

As I blogged before, on 17 September 2017 we arrived at the North Sea in Katwijk town in the Netherlands. As this photo shows, there, on a sand dune, is a reproduction of a painting by artist Jan Toorop (1858–1928). Of Dutch-Indonesian ancestry, he lived some of his life in Katwijk.

Jan Toorop, bomschuit ship, 17 September 2017

This 1890 painting shows a ‘bomschuit‘ type ship on the beach of Katwijk. Fishermen and horses had to drag the ship out of the sea, or back into the sea; as Katwijk has no seaport.

A bit further was more art reminding people of fishing, traditionally the main industry in Katwijk aan Zee village.

Katwijk aan Zee, monument, 17 September 2017

A metal sculpture commemorates the over a hundred Katwijk fishermen who died at sea from 1919-2000, mentioning their names and ages.

Katwijk aan Zee, monument poem, 17 September 2017

The poem on the monument says (translated): Went to sea to have daily bread/Not knowing about the ends of their lives/This death did not grant farewells to loved ones/Only the names and memories stayed.

So, after the 1900 theatre play Op Hoop van Zegen by Herman Heijermans, which exposed unscrupulous shipowners and workplace deaths, and increased pressure for improvements, fishing was still a dangerous job. And it still is in this 21st century: in front of the metal monument were four stones commemorating four Katwijk fishermen casualties from 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Katwijk aan Zee, lamppost, 17 September 2017

A lamppost which used to be a ship’s mast.

Katwijk aan Zee, bird migration counting point, 17 September 2017

We arrived at the bird migration counting point, with pictures of various bird species which pass here. Meanwhile, barn swallows flying south on their autumn migration. So did meadow pipits.

A jackdaw and two migrating northern wheatears on the ground close to us. Unfortunately, no people counting birds present.

Sea holly growing. The flowers are gone already.

We continue to the mouth of the Old Rhine river. A carrion crow. A ringed plover on a rock.

Katwijk aan Zee, on 17 September 2017

Then, we walk south along the beach.

Katwijk aan Zee, church, 17 September 2017

We pass the old Saint Andrew’s church and its tower.

Katwijk aan Zee, church, on 17 September 2017

Finally, we are on the part of the beach south of Katwijk, and go inland to the sand dunes. Stay tuned!

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Ancient Roman houses and Greek rock partridge


Glassware, 26 August 2017

On 26 August 2017, we went to the Casa Romana exhibition in the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands. This photo shows glassware at the exhibition. Like the other photo in this blog post, it is a cell phone photo.

The exhibition is until 17 September. The museum writes about it:

Casa Romana provides a surprising introduction to the rich life of the residents of a fashionable Roman town villa. Visitors can look around the villa’s sumptuous interior, following the Romans’ everyday life from morning rituals to bedroom secrets. Countless objects from the museum collection have been incorporated into the rooms furnished for this exhibition, such as a dinner service, glassware, oil lamps, and portrait busts.

Mix of archaeology and modern design

In Casa Romana we see a blend of ancient archaeology and modern design by Studio Job, Tjep., and the garden architect Piet Oudolf, among others, as well as work by artists including Ruud van Empel, Gerd Rohling, Olivier van Herpt, and Teun van Staveren. There is also plenty to delight devotees of architecture. In total, over eight hundred objects are on display: dinner services, delicate glassware, mosaics, marble portrait busts and architectural fragments, jewellery, a silver table leg, roof tiles, children’s toys, and hundreds of small Roman oil lamps.

Interior of a Roman villa

The exhibition shows a sequence of twelve scenes from the private life of a couple from the highest echelons of Roman society and their family. You can follow their fascinating story in an audio tour, written by Brenda Meuleman, the author of the recent novel Het verraad van Julia (‘Julia’s betrayal’). The interiors that go with each stage of the story fully capture the lavishness of Roman villas, with their colourful frescoes and mosaic floors. They were composed using frescoes, film images, and art based on Roman antiquity.

Objects: a mix of items from the museum’s own collection and loans from elsewhere

Most of the Roman objects come from the National Museum of Antiquities’ own collection. They are joined by loans from numerous designers, artists, and antiquarians, as well as from the Royal Collections (The Hague), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam), the Kröller-Müller Museum (Otterlo), and the Allard Pierson Museum (Amsterdam). The guest curators of this exhibition are the archaeologist and independent researcher Dr Gemma Jansen and Professor Eric M. Moormann and Dr Stephan T.A.M. Mols (the latter both of Radboud University, Nijmegen).

As we were in the museum anyway, we had a look at ancient Greek sculpture.

Rock partidge, 26 August 2017

Including this oil flask in the shape of a rock partridge, from Corinth, about 500-480 BCE.

Grenfell Tower flammable cladding also in Germany


This 22 June 2017 video from Britain is called Cladding Removed For Testing On Three Barnet council high rises.

Another video from Britain used to say about itself:

Krishnan Guru-Murthy Challenges Former Tory [Conservative] Minister Over 74 Falsified Building Fire Inspections

26 June 2017

Former Tory Party Housing and Fire Minister Brandon Lewis is challenged by Krishnan Guru-Murthy over his record with at least 74 tower buildings failing safety standards that were passed as safe when he was minister.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Inhabitants of flat in Wuppertal moved out due to flammable façade cladding

Today, 18:08

In the German city of Wuppertal people are moved out of a building. The façade of the building is of the same material as at Grenfell Tower in London, which completely burnt out two weeks ago.

After the fire in the tower block, which killed at least 79 people, all apartment buildings in Germany are being checked. The evacuation in Wuppertal is the first result of this.

What The Grenfell Fire Could Teach Trump. The Trump administration has been loosening health and safety regulations since Day One. By Dave Jamieson, Arthur Delaney in the USA.

Cuba, Havana flowers and street photographs


Flowers, 15 March 2017

This photo shows beautiful flowers on a tree on the hill in Casablanca, a suburb of the Cuban capital Havana; where we were on 15 March 2017. As I wrote, after Casablanca we went to the old city center.

This video says about itself:

La Habana Vieja is the proper name for the central neighborhood Old Havana in Havana, Cuba. If you visit Havana for the first time, this is where need to go. If you’ve visited before, you probably still want to return – even if only to sip a cold beer in the shade and watch the hustle and bustle of the streets.

Everything was filmed in April 2016.

Major sights in this video:

Castillo del Morro Castle and Lighthouse (seen from our balcony)

La Cabaña Fortress (seen from La Habana Vieja)

Castillo de la Real Fuerza

El Templete

Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis on Plaza de San Francisco

Catedral de San Cristobal

Plaza Vieja (including Factoria Plaza Vieja, Cervezas y Maltas)

Hotel Ambos Mundos (Hemingway Hotel) on Calle Obispo

Plaza de Armas (where I got the Obama poster for my birthday)

La Floridita (where Hemingway and us had delicious daiquiris)

La Bodeguita del Medio (where Hemingway hung out, but we didn’t)

Parque Central

Payret Cinema and Capitolio

Prado (Paseo de Marti) street

Museo de la Revolucion

Memorial Granma

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de la Habana

The song in the video is “El Pescador” by Bruno Bassi of Los Hermanos – from the royalty-free music website http://GoSoundtrack.com. Their collection is available via a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Havana sign, 15 March 2017

This photo from the city center shows a sign, celebrating Havana’s 497th birthday. Still three years until the big 500 years celebration.

Havana car and bike taxi, 15 March 2017

In old Havana, there are several means of transport.

Havana cars, 15 March 2017

From these vintage cars …

Havana cars, on 15 March 2017

Havana bike taxi, 15 March 2017

to these bike taxis…

Havana empty bike taxi, 15 March 2017

Havana bike taxi, on 15 March 2017

Havana boats, 15 March 2017

to these boats.

This video says about itself:

26 August 2014

In this film you will get an impression of what there is to see in the Calle Obispo.

It`s the number one shopping street of Havana Vieja. This is the place where girls are shopping and meet their friends. You can buy a lot of things here, eat something or go to the hairdresser. … The street has dilapidated buildings but also well maintained and beautifully decorated houses.

Havana clothes, 15 March 2017

Clothes hang out to dry from various windows in old Havana.

Havana clothes, on 15 March 2017

Havana drainpipes, 15 March 2017

People are at work putting new drainpipes underground.

Havana children, 15 March 2017

While the pipes are still above ground, Havana children use them in play.

Havana children, on 15 March 2017

Cuban birds and Havana buildings


Turkey vulture, 15 March 2017

15 March 2017. After seeing hummingbirds and doves on the Zapata peninsula in Cuba, we left that day for Havana. This photo shows a turkey vulture flying near a lake providing drinking water for Havana.

We had arrived there at 13:30. Cattle egrets, snowy egrets and great egrets.

Common gallinule. House sparrow.

Two ospreys flying. One lands on a small tree in the water.

Havana, 15 March 2017

We arrive in Havana, and go first to Casablanca suburb. From the hill, there is a fine view of Havana harbour and the old city centre behind it.

Havana, on 15 March 2017

Havana, Cuba, 15 March 2017

On the Casablanca hill, a singing northern mockingbird. A cattle egret flying past.

We went downhill, to the city centre.

Stay tuned!