In my inbox just now

That was a nice surprise! And it includes Mindi Abair, with whom I have a town in common.

Here is one of her older pieces, but one that I quite like because it has that big band build-up feel, really cheerful. And I can, ahem, almost play it somewhat. I tried to get someone to study this with me, person plays clarinet, but felt too rusty, I guess.


Amazing how memory works (Lily was here)

Something YouTube recommended…

“Lily was here” by Candy Dulfer and Dave Stewart is based on the soundtrack to a Dutch film (“De Kassière“, which means “the checkout girl” or “the cashier”).

I saw that film, but it is a pretty depressing one, so I forgot all about the film, until I just saw it mentioned.

“Lily was here” was the perfect tune to end that film with. I don’t know how to explain that in words. The tune has an everyday harshness to it that compliments the film so well, that says “Life goes on” or “Life sucks and then you die. Get over it.” You don’t realize that until you hear it in combination with the film. You may be walking out of the cinema with a few tears hiding in your heavy heart, but you know that life will go on because the tune says so.

The tune later also became the basis for the intro and outro to the brilliant TV series “Candy meets” in which she travels, talks and jams with people like Sheila E and Maceo Parker. All of it used to be online, but I can only find the episode with Maceo Parker these days.



And in the video below, look at how different these two women play… The blond one and the darker one, with the slightly more curly reddish hair, in between. The blond one clearly looks much more confident and competent, right?

(It reminds me of a recent communication on LinkedIn.)

She played North Sea Jazz at 12 years old, it says.


To brighten up anyone’s day!

A charity shop find. An original watercolour. It came in a frame that I’ve just removed so that I could scan the artwork.

It was one of those instances when I am walking down a street and something catches the corner of my eye and I automatically take a few steps back to see what it was.

I then looked at it, stepped into the shop and bought it, for the price of a very cheap bottle of wine. £4.

It’s been brightening up my office since. It’s lovely!

Below is an image of another original that I used to own. I am still mourning its loss, but having this image helps tremendously. It was painted on wood, and I found it in a thrift shop in Florida.

Need a chuckle? (sorry – but it’s funny)


Gonna be on BBC1 this evening. 7:30, I think. Start listening at 7 if you don’t want to miss themhim. Haven’tHasn’t released any music in about five years. They’reHe’s back.

Here it is! Hmm. It’s a bit different. I like it, but I am not sure yet what to think of it. Takes a few plays, I guess. There’s a whole story in it. Sounds like a lot of pain and tragedy, in the middle. Makes ya wonder. Yeah, okay, I like it.

(Confession: I really really really like Jamelia. And Irene too, I think.)


Targui = singular

Touareg = plural

Also called “Kel Tamashek” (something like “those who speak Tamashek”).

How do I know this? For a long time, I had a bunch of books, some quite old, in storage in the US that I once bought in Amsterdam. I also borrowed some for a while. About (mostly) northern Africa.

How come? A long time ago, when I was working at a large hotel in Amsterdam, a guy checked in who was living in the US – I think he had a travel agency there, in Virginia – and he completed part of his check-in card in French, as he had been born in Oran.

I realized that I knew nothing about the country he must have grown up in and went to the library, started reading. I soon went south and this is how I ran into the Touareg and their rich culture. Music, poetry, dance, lifestyle. I found them very inspiring.

I crossed into the Sahel too, into Mali for example, but I stopped there (until I later got into apartheid a little bit).

I seem to remember that the white dress is worn by royalty or only on special occasions and that the royal blue is the more commonly worn color. The Touareg cover their faces out of respect for you, if I recall correctly.

So at first, the title “The Voice of Tamashek Women” looked like it had been translated incorrectly, but during the interview, Eyadou Ag Leche talks about “the Tamashek style” so it apparently is more complicated than merely “language”. More like “culture”? Kel Tamashek then becomes something like “those who speak the language of that culture”, maybe.

Reading up on Africa in the early ’80s made me aware how much we of the west messed up there. The way I see it, we caused many of the drought (food) problems there because we didn’t think people in Africa knew how their own land worked and we started drawing lines and called them borders and told people to stay put instead of move around like they had always done.

I also had Geoffrey Moorhouse’s “The fearful void”.

“I’m in a complete solitude, where thoughts frighten me, and lost in their midst I arose and noticed that I was thirsty and wanted water.”

Wonderful that I now get to hear what the books I read sounded like, so to speak.

When you’re looking for an old André van Duin or John McEnroe sketch and can’t find it…

… and somehow end up with this? And are reminded of Candy Dulfer.

I was looking for something positive as I am surrounded by so much negativity these days, and from so many different groups of local people (almost none of who actually know me even a little bit, I should add).

About trust

“If you don’t trust people, you make them untrustworthy.”

Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching

Trusting people does not necessarily mean that you are naive, though some people may believe that people who trust others are naive.

If you go through life behaving as if you assume that all or most people are good, you effectively appeal to the good in people.

In principle, such a “naive” attitude probably allows you to be the best you can be independently of who other people are.

It is a much easier and nicer way to live than to go around expecting everyone to be bad people or intending to outsmart you.

From “When Cultures Collide” (Leading Across Cultures) by (Briton) Richard D. Lewis:

Pinkney C Froneberger III who passed away much too soon recommended this book to me, the first time we met, which was at a workshop about cultural differences in Utrecht, the Netherlands in May 2004.

We discovered that we were both members of the Amsterdam American Business Club. We were business partners for a while, but we also spent part of US election night 2004 in Amsterdam, at the Amsterdam American Book Center’s Tree House.

A month later, I moved to Britain, and so much changed for me. In 2010, when I was living in Nightingale Road in Southsea, I still had a long phone conversation with him. (I didn’t tell him why I couldn’t fly over to visit him. I should have because I think he felt let down by me.) It was probably the last time we spoke.