Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Summertime, all the cats are bored, Philippe Georget

The title of this book immediately caught my eye. Summertime, all the cats are bored is a French thriller, and it is the first in a series. There is no Dutch translation, so I read it in English.

It is set in Perpignan, in the south of France, near the Spanish border. Here works Inspector Gilles Sebag and he has a difficult case to solve. A Dutch tourist has been kidnapped and it seems that there is somebody with a grudge against Dutch female tourists.
But Inspector Segag realizes that there is somebody who is playing a clever game with the police.

This book is published as French-noir and I can see why. There is something in the atmosphere that reminds you a little of Philip Marlowe. On the other hand I also felt some Maigret, but can also be because it is the French police.

I loved the atmosphere of this region, and I really liked Inspector Gilles Sebag. He is a balanced policeman, who also has a life beyond his work. The case is not too violent or overly gruesome and interesting enough to keep me guessing.

The only point I found a little disapponting is that the Dutch angle is not very strong. A few more details could have helped here, like proper last names (Braun and Verbrucke are not very Dutch), and for example the kidnapvictim thinks of her hometown, but the town itself is never named.

But on the whole I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I have the next two books in the series already in my bookcase. These are Autumn, all the cats return and Wintercrimes. (I think there will be at least four books in this series)

Original French title: L'été, tous les chats s'ennuient (2009)

Friday, 21 September 2018

Paris can wait (2016)

Paris can wait tells us the story of Anne, the wife of a film producer. They were in Cannes for the film festival, but now he is going to the set of his new film, and she wants to go to Paris.

Unfortunately she cannot go by plane, since she has an ear problem, but a friend of her husband offers to drive her to Paris.

Only it will not be the shortest trip, but one with attention for beautiful locations and towns along the route, and of course plenty of time for good food!

I read a lot of critique about this film, that is is without chemistry or that is has no dept at all. I do not agree. Is it a light movie, yes, but it is also charming and fun.

I liked the chemistry between Anne (Diane Lane) and Jacques (Arnoud Viard), and I liked how there was a little flirting, but nothing more than that. This is not the story of a passionate love affaire, but a trip to find back some love for life. To take the time to enjoy and to watch and to truely see something.
Anne (Diane Lane)
Anne is a amateur photographer, and I enjoyed how they inserted her photographs into the movie. The scenery is wonderful and all I wanted was to be in that car with them!

If you want a story with a lot of layers and a complicated plot, this is not the right film. But if you want a charming and light film, set in beautiful France, celebrating life and friendship, than this is a good choice.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Doors in Trastevere

When I was walking through the neighbourhood Trastevere in Rome, I saw all these amazing doors and I began photographing them.
So here are a few Impressions of doors in Trastevere!

Friday, 14 September 2018

Odilon Redon: a unique artist

Bouquet of wild flowers (1905)
A few weeks ago I saw an exhibition about the French artist Odilon Redon (1840-1916). I did not know much about him, but I was bown away by what I saw and how beautiful his work is.

He was an avid reader and a good violinist and he was inspired by both literature and music. He made lithographies by works from Baudelaire and Fontaine, was inspired by the opera's from Wagner, but he also had a lot of interest in science.

When he was younger, he made very dark lithographies, that he called his noirs. Later in life he switched to pastels and oil paint.

His work is still and almost dreamlike, but you can feel there is an extra layer in his work, these are not superficial little drawings.

I really loved it and I am glad I was able to see the exhibition before it closed. It can now be seen in Copenhagen, Denmark: Odilon Redon, La littérature et la musique

Pegasus, (1895-1900)

Chimera (Fantastic monster) Tadpole (1883)

Church window (1908)

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

White houses, Amy Bloom

I know a bit about president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we always cover him in the historylessons about the depression, the New Deal and of course World War II. I know he is the only president who served three terms, but I knew little about his personal life. I only knew his wife Eleanor was also a social reformer.

White houses by Amy Bloom takes a closer look at the marriage of Franklin and Eleanor. It seems their marriage was not the best. Franklin had numerous affaires, even with his secretary, but Eleanor also had a lover.

Her passion was for the journalist Lorena Hickok. Lorena worked herself up from a poor girl from South Dakota into a respected journalist, and she and Eleanor met in 1932.

This was the beginning of an affair that lasted years.
Lorena even lived in the White house at a certain time, as 'Eleanor's best friend'. It seems that most people knew what was really happening, but nobody asked and nobody said anything outloud.

Amy Bloom begins her story in 1945, when Eleanor and Hicks (as she is known), meet again after a couple of years of not speaking to eachother. Franlin died and Eleanor must find a way through her grief. And we have flashbacks to what happened in the previous years when Eleanor and Hicks were in love.

I like how Amy Bloom managed to give us an unsentimental insight in a not very well known piece of history. It is well written and interesting and also a bit sad, because a happy end for them is of course not possible.

Published in 2018

Friday, 7 September 2018

Impressions from Rome (Summer 2018)

In the first week of August, I was in Rome for 5 days, and I loved it as much as I always do. So here are a few impressions of the most beautiful city in the world!

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Summer vacation wrap-up

Goodmorning! It has been a long time, but the Summer vacation is over and I am back at blogging. I hope you all had a great Summer, mine was very good!

Just quickly, an overview in numbers:

Things I did:
- Books read: 19
- Series and television: Carnivàle (2 seasons), The Americans (season 5), The Frankenstein chronicles (2 seasons) and numerous episodes of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, making the team. The reruns are shown on Dutch television now and I love it. Cheerleading is not a Dutch thing and I must confess I always thought it was just silly. But this show has given me new respect for these ladies and what they need to do to become a cheerleader. And I like how there are all so very nice, unlike in some other reality-series! So, I can say I am a DCC fan!

- Exhibitions: 2
- Dates with friends: 4

- Citytrip: 1. (5 days in Rome: 15 works by Caravaggio, 4 museums, 5 churches, walked 44.2 km/27.4 mile and I bought one amazing handbag)

- new items bought for the schoolyear: 5
- new clothes: 1 raincoat, one wintercoat, 2 blouses, one pair of shoes, 3 tops

- bookcases: 12
- study: 1
- windows: all windows inside and a few outside
- fridge: 1

Other stuff that I only have time for during the holidays
- dentist appointment: 1 
- hairdresser: 1
- annual check-ups: 1 car and 1 cat. I took Silvia to the vet for her check-up, and I am happy to say she is completely healthy. I was worried since she seems skinnier, but she is still the same weight (2.5 kg, she is a small cat). To be sure they did some bloodwork, but that was excellent. So she is just an old little cat, but there is nothing to worry about.
She was very angry with me, since the vet needed to shave her neck a little to draw some blood and now she has a bald patch in her fur. Silvia was not amused!

As you can see, I did not have any time to get bored, and I must say I did have a good vacation. I do feel it went by very fast, much faster than I imagined. Right now, I am on the second day of the schoolyear and tomorrow I will see my students and then it will be like the vacation never happened.

I do feel like blogging again and I will continue with my schedule with one or two posts per week (Tuesday and Friday). Coming friday I will post some photo's of Rome (something to look forward to)
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