Saturday, June 27, 2009

Welcome (back) to Albania

Welcome (back) to Albania, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Albania has Parliamentary elections tomorrow, so time to step back to the Albania collection.
The smooth-runing of the election is one of the tests to see how far Albania is on the path to eventually joining the European Union. Let's hope the elections go smoothly and that Albania has none of the trouble which is now besetting Iran.

This chap has more the look of a (young) Roman Emperor, a look which is quite typical in Albania.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Child Star (a tribute to Michael Jackson)

Two songs which Marc Almond could have written about Michael Jackson:

Child Star: />The Idol:

R.I.P. Michael. I hope you finally find some peace...

Whilst my favourite Michael Jackson song would be Dirty Diana

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Look! We can all hold a glass between our teeth!

We had a great time at the Amsterdam Roots Festival - much better than last year!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Speed Caravan at Amsterdam Roots Festival - Mehdi Haddab and his 'oud'

Excellent excellent group - Speed Caravan - catch them while you can - music and list of dates to be found on: I particularly liked the track 'Galvanise'.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Going back another year to 1983...

Here I am (on the left) with Simon, my best friend from university. We are on the beach at Trevignano Romano, where we used to keep a windsurfer. Simon came out to stay with us for two weeks, after we had graduated from Southampton University.

This is the beach at Trevignao Romano on the shores of a volcanic lake (Bracciano) just north of Rome, nothing to compare with your wide sweeping beaches in Denmark, but it was pleasant enough. We would drive up from Rome on the Cassia, spread out over the beach, set up the windsurfer, read books, listen to BBC World Service, eat our picnics (usually rosetti with gorgonzola and tomatoes - my favourite) and some peaches or nectarines. The wind would get up in the afternoon every day and this would be the best time to be out on the windsurfer. I remember once that a storm brewed up and we had to hide underneath the sail board because the hailstones were so big they were quite dangerous.

Apart from that, this would be one of the last photos ever made of my friend Simon as he died in a motorbike accident the following month...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Charles at 48

Charles at 48, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

47 is a prime number and from there we go to a number which can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12,16 and 24 - quite a difference!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Sea The Stars' Derby

Sea The Stars' Derby, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Sea The Stars with Mick Kinane on board, looking very calm at the start of the 2009 Derby, which a few minutes later he would win...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

European elections - D66 - Ja

European elections - D66 - Ja, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

There is a site at which helps voters decide which parties most closely represent their political views. It is a popular application which has been sold to many other countries. It asks you your opinion of various issues (about 26) and then asks you to rank them in order of the importance which you attach to each issue.

I came out with D66 being the closest (which I had known would be the case before I did it), then GreenLeft, then the Party for the Animals.

My main issues were the following:

1 the protection of the privacy individual from the intrusion from The State
2 encouraging Turkey (and the Balkan countries) to reform their systems so that they can also join the EU - ie. NOT taking teh Sarkozy/Merkel approach
3 maintain and defend same sex marriage, legal euthanesia and the decriminlaisation of soft drugs
4 maintain freedom of speech with no extra protection for religions
5 invest in green technologies, even if it means extra costs and taxes now

D66 and GreenLeft are the only parties to whole-heartedly embrace the European ideal. It is very easy to be critical, more difficult to maintain a vision.

European elections tomorrow

Madrid - at the Sol, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

We have just been watching te debate between the leaders of the six largest parties in The Netherlands. Thre a bit right, three a bit left.

Interesting debates about whether to let Turkey into the EU or not.

Almost all of them (apart from Green Left - Groen Links) thought that we should never have let Romannia and Bulgaria countries in whe we did - they were/are corrupt and not ready for EU membership.

They then use this argument against Turkey, although Turkey isn't even thinking of joining just yet. The Green Left candidate that a negative attitude towards Turkey now (as shown by France and Germany and the leaders of the other five parties) will not encourage Turkey to do its best to make the changes necessary for it to be allowed to join and likened this to a footballer training with a team when he knows that the trainer is never going to pick him.

These women look like they might be from Romania or Bulgaria and might have been found on the streets of Madrid with ot without the EU...

Street art in Amsterdam

Street art in Amsterdam, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

This crucifi=xion scene was painted by a member of teh X Streets Collective on some baordings put around some building work going on behiond us up on the Ringdijk. I think it looks really great as does the rest of the art which was painted that afternoon on 19th May.

A pity to report that the baordings have been pulled down and piut back together in the different order. Some art further on was detroyed only three days after having been painted whereby some other people painted over what had been there before.

I suppose it is all prt of teh game if you are a street artist. Anyway, I am glad I managed to capture these before they were destroyed.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The sun takes its toll

The sun takes its toll, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Fred's brother and his family came to Amsterdam for the Pinkster weekend. The two children (12 and 9) had never been to Amsterdam before. Itw as great showing them around and Fred was particularly pleased that the younger one was so interested in his stories from history.

The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, hot sun and a cooling breeze.

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