Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aswan. April 3th 1987


Aswan. Late in the afternoon on April 3th, 1987. Old Cataract Hotel on the back. Sitting on a big red rock. Fresh wind. Sun going down. The feeling of a rock radiating it's warmth. Felluca's sailing by. Noises. Sitting in the black and fertile world (ancient Egyptian 'kemet'). Looking at the other side of the river Nile, the red world of the death (ancient Egyptian 'deshret'). Thinking about Lord Carnavon and Howard Carter. Puzzling on what's the same and different in ancient and modern day Egypt. Wondering on Tutankaten and Tutankamun, 2 radical and different religious names for the same physical man. Felluca's sailing by. Riverbed with water floating. The same riverbed. For ancient egyptians. For present day egyptians.

Suddenly, everything was quiet and one. The world with all it's sounds and motions came to a standstill. For a few seconds I felt "...", One with the universe and humanity. For a few seconds - that seemed to last forever - everything was perfect. THAT! 

P.S. More on this from me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life in progress. List 28th June 2010 12.27h

My to do list. My public to do list concerning Twitter and Blogging (disordered):
  • Check out writer Dulce Maria Cardoso. I want to read one of her books because she said “I love just let time pass by”. I blogged about her before.
  • Re-read Tom Holland's  book 'Rubicon'. Find out why Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon. Was it survival? Vanity? Or ...? It's a spin-off on this blog.
  • Read poems of one of my friends.
  • Listen to music of one of my friends.
  • Decide if I'll write a bookreview on Robin Olds book 'Fighter Pilot'. I finished it last week.
  • Write a non-read-review on book ''THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. How Our Most Ancient Moral Text Can Renew Modern Life'. A book I'll never read.
  • Check out website of cloud lovers: They really exist!
  • Find out why Winston Churchill refused twice his Duke title after winning World War II. He was such a proud men and jealous on his nephew's title. Why did he refuse the title he earned himselves? Vanity?
  • Re-reading Gerald Brenan's book 'South of Granada'. It's input for a #dream #travel post for @kirsty_wilson
  • Pick out the 7 books I'll read in this years summerholiday. I love puzzling on this. Pick up books. Browse a little. Smell at the book - I really do. 
Question: What's your list?

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Stop Talking.

    ... - I'm not telling you.

    Silence or "..." is an underestimated activity. Yes, activity! It's the place where the mystic stops talking. It's the place where marriages are saved by not unnecessary hurting the other. It's the place where friends understand that we do not always want to talk. It's the place where new lovers find eachother's mystery and mutual attraction. 

    It's the image of all the things that are not frozen, that are not experienced or that are not yet history. It's the place of thousands of possible ways you can follow. Or not. It's the place of making choises. Or not. It's the place of being active inactive.

    We talk. We tweet. We buzz. We blip. Don't you need silence once in a while? I guess I think that we as species would communicate much better if we would be more silent once in a while. 

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Democratie in #ned Dutch elections 2010

    Een keer wat anders. Ditmaal een typisch Nederlands onderwerp in de taal van mijn land: de verkiezingen die in Nederland op 8 Juni 2010 zijn gehouden. Afgelopen maandagavond had ik mijn beste vriend aan de telefoon. Toevallig (?) hebben we ook kort gesproken over de uitslagen en hoe we de ontwikkelingen met betrekking tot de PVV moeten duiden. We waren het er al snel over eens. Het gaat in Nederland nergens over! Zelfs de extreme partijen, aan de linker- en rechterkant van het politieke spectrum, zijn braaf en democratisch. Een echt gevaar voor de democratie is de PVV niet. Democratie in Nederland is kniezen voor kneuzen en geneuzel op de vierkante centimeter. Niet omdat een democraat een kneus is maar omdat het bij ons allemaal zo goed geregeld is. In Nederland werkt democratie. (Merk op dat 'werken' een werkwoord is.) Bij ons hoeft er niet gevochten te worden op leven of dood om onze democratische rechten te halen. Bij ons regeert routine, kniezen en verveling. Verveling!

    Ben ik een democraat? Om heel eerlijk te zijn. Alleen tegen beter weten in. Ik leun altijd op Churchill's (1874-1965) visie op democratie (bron): It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. Voor democratie geldt hetzelfde als voor een goed huwelijk. Met vrouw is het nixs enne ...  zonder ook niet.

    De verkiezingen in Nederland gingen wat mij betreft nergens over. Hypotheekrenteaftrek laten vervallen? Ze doen maar ik zal er geen last meer van hebben. Uiteindelijk zal er toch gekozen worden voor een geleidelijke afbouw (over 20 jaar of later) omdat anders de huizenmarkt in Nederland in zal storten. En in zijn kielzog de hele economie. Dat wil niemand. Kinderbijslag en ziektekostenverzekering inkomensafhankelijk? Ze doen maar. Burgemeester mogen kiezen? Het zal me worst wezen. Kerncentrales wel of niet erbij? Ze bouwen maar. Of het nu links- om rechtsom gaat en of de "grote uitdagingen" nu wel of niet doorgevoerd worden. Uiteindelijk is iedere keuze acceptabel voor mij.

    De verkiezingen in Nederland in zijn algemeenheid gaan nergens over. Alles is goed geregeld. De democratie werkt. "Het volk" (het waren er maar 1,5 miljoen, dit is 15%) heeft ditmaal gekozen voor de PVV omdat ze stevigheid beloven in deze tijden van onzekerheid. Het is een leugen. Angst en lust zijn slechte raadgevers. Laat de PVV maar in de regering komen. Laat ze maar vuile handen maken. Wellicht profiteren ze nog  een of twee keer bij verkiezingen die in de toekomst uitgeschreven zullen worden. Uiteindelijk zal "het volk" ook inzien dat ook zij maar verkopers van lucht zijn geformuleerd in een taal van stevigheid en fermheid. Onzekerheid is van alle tijden en niets blijft ooit hetzelfde.

    De democratie in Nederland werkt. Bij ons gelukkig alleen nog maar geneuzel over details die er eigenlijk niet toe doen. Dat is in de meeste landen op 'planet Earth' wel anders die in naam ook democratisch zijn maar die in de praktijk gebukt gaan onder machtsmisbruik, corruptie en intrige.

    P.s. I'm sorry that this blog is written in Dutch. It's a typical Dutch subject. Hardly possible to translate.

    Summary in English: Democracy in The Netherlands works. The good results in the last elections of the PVV is not a treat for the system. In my country we talk about minor and boring details. Dutch are bored to death.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    History of castles. Development in 4 pictures

    Castles! What about castles in western Europe? According to Van Dale dictionary a 'castle' (dutch 'kasteel') is: 1 reinforced building 2 large and beautiful house. In a nutshell it tells it all. One thing missing: it's historical development.
    Phase 1. Safe home in times of endemic wars
    Starting in the 9th century feudal lords built private fortress-residences for defence. Wars were endemic in those times. The fortress was built on a defensible height. Surrounded by a dry ditch and surrounded by a wooden palisade.
    Phase 2. Siegproof
    Castles and outer walls were made out of stone. Walls get thicker. Sophisticated circuits of curving outer walls and towers to defend all sections of the wall. Never ending arms race of siegers and defenders.
    Phase 3. Military importance lost AND residence of landowner
    With the use of gunpowder  and artillery the castle lost its military importance around the 15th century.  The thick stone walls no longer withstand bombardments with cannonballs. New and bigger windows. Gardens. House of a rich landowner of noble origin.

    Phase 4. Make it profitable
    Taxes on inheritance and costs of materials and personnel make most castles too expensive to live in since the 20th century.  Castles no longer belong to the same family who lived there for centuries (generation after generation). 3 D's that causes selling castles: death, debts and divorce. Castles have to be profitable. Selling home made country products. Museum. Zoo. Country garden. Bed and breakfast. Restaurant. Hotel. 

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Bouquet of prunier and chocolate

    Next week I'll buy a couple of bottles 'vieille réserve' from Paul Giraud - I found a winery nearby where I can buy his products. It's cognac. Two years ago I drank for the last time a glass of his cognac. Since then my stock is empty.

    Last week I found by accident a 20 year old advertising brochure of Paul Giraud. I watched the pics. Read a few lines. Good memories. The need of taste and above all smell it's bouquet of prunier and chocolate.

    My favourite? Fall. It's cold outside. In a warm hot bath. A glass of Paul Giraud's vieille réserve. Slowy my nose and bathroom is filled with the smell of prunier and chocolate. The taste of cognac. Slowly getting drunk and sleepy.  

    P.s. My smell favorites.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Some basics on dreams and travels

    #Dream #Travel What about you? Where do you want to go to?

    Sometimes I think it works like this on planet Earth. Or am I too biased as spoiled Dutchman? People who live in North-Korea dream of fleeing to South-Korea. People who live under a dictator regime dream of living in the "free world". What do you dream of if having good contacts (including nothing comes for free) or go with the flow of corruption is the only way to survive? Do you dream of  Western Europe or USA?

    Where do people living in Western Europe dream of? They can't flee - they are already there. People of Northern Europe dream of living around the Mediterranean: an easy and simple life under a warm sun. Where do rich, intelligent and free people around the Mediterranean dream of? For them there is no place they can flee to or dream of. They can only flee to an inner invisible world, to an inner spiritual world or to an imaginary elsewhere.

    Seneca (Moral letters to Lucilius/ Letter 104, 8): "O what a blessing it would be for some men to wander away from themselves! As it is, they cause themselves vexation, worry, demoralization, and fear! What profit is there in crossing the sea and in going from one city to another? If you would escape your troubles, you need not another place but another personality."