After 47 years young Susan Boyle -wiggling hips/just one side of her- stunned the world with her performance at a prior Britain’s Got talent show and will continue to storm the world as she is scheduled to appear in an Oprah satellite live show shortly, Britain’s Got Talent keeps surprising us with a singing waiter, Greg Pritchard. Look for yourself:
The Dutch Do Dance! Even their Queen!
Happy Queen’s Day!
On January 30, 2008 our Queen Beatrix reached the venerable age of 70. The Dutch QueenÂ´s birthday is celebrated officially on April 30th, since Queen Beatrix ascended the Throne. It is a public holiday and everybody goes out partying. In Amsterdam you can walk over the heads of the visitors. Many cruise the Amsterdam canals in little boats totally clad in Orange. Other people use QueenÂ´s Day as their annual garage sale day, because everybody is allowed to sell everything freely all over the cities. So did my family.
Under Queen JulianaÂ´s (BeatrixÂ´mom’s) reign there was an official defile at her palace which went on for hours and hours. Beatrix changed tis rather boring tradition satisfactorily and decided to pay two Dutch cities a visit in celebration each year. Today the Frisian cities Makkum, world famous because of their polychrome “Delf” blue ware, and Franeker had their turn.
She does that with the whole Royal Family. This often leads to humorous situations as the young Dutch princes are always in for a little playful game. Today you could see some princes trying to collect rings from poles while riding on a small tricycle.
The Queen herself made a few dancing steps with a Frisian Salsa dancer in Makkum. I was glad I found this nice photo to prove my right in my previous post.
The Salsa dancer was clad in a dancing dress made of the pattern and colors of the Frisian Flag over an orange dress. The Frisians have their own flag and own language and are very proud of it.
I found this excellent photo on Flickr where it appeared to have been uploaded by Ethiopian Eyasus Solomon. Thanks Eyasus.
The Dutch can now put their orange clothes in the cupboard until the European Football Championships.
The Dutch Don’t Dance, Photo Â© by Wouter Hogendorp and Canon
Recently I found this apt picture with apt title and color.
- The picture is apt because the wooden shoes or clogs stand as a sort of fake national symbol for The Netherlands, whereas hardly any Dutchman (or Cloggy as I am actually teasingly call my fellow countrymen) actually wears wooden shoes.
- The Title is as aptly untrue as the clog as national symbol as the Dutch do Dance, even on wooden shoes (later more on the subject of wooden shoe dancing).
- Actually the color is the only really apt element of this picture for today as orange is the Dutch national proud, not the national color because that is red white and blue, because it is the color of the House of Orange. Our Queen is a descendant from William of Orange who led the Dutch in their 80 years war against the Spanish. Tomorrow , 30th April is the official celebration of her 70th birthday this year and we will celebrate and dance!
The official 2008 Haagsche Koninginnenach Poster
But before the Dutch celebrate Koninginnedag or Queens day several cities celebrate the night before the day. In The Hague we celebrate Koninginnenach. It is a free pop festifal throughout the city. There are several Pop- and Jazz podia. In several theaters and bars there is life music and all is one big party.
On the 2008 Haagsche Koninginnenach you can actually hear the music of several groups performing tonight.
I will not get permission from my dear wife to enter the festivities with my cameras because I am just recovering from a flu alas. It is her good excuse to keep me from partying:-)
I had some luck that I found some photos on Flickr Â© by Fiona Bradley that give a view of the preparations for Koninginnenach. Thank you Fiona for being so quick.
one of the pop podia
Part of the The Hague Queens Day Fair
If you want to have a nice overview of Konininnenach pictures do a Koninginnenach search on any photo site.
And you should read the post about Dutch Orange Day in New Holland from antipode (from Down Under) James Clarke from the Australian I Travelnet Blog. Then you will understand why I am proud to be a Dutchman. And I am curious whether Nomadic Matt will report about his Amsterdam Queensday experience.
Update May 1, 2008: Nomadic Matt did indeed post about Koninginnedag, But the post has disappeared since….
Last edited by GJE on December 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm
Monet painted his Waterloo Bridge paintings during a stay in the London Savoy Hotel. This painting fetched a record at Christie’s of UK pnd 18 mio which is more than double the pre sale estimate.
From the Lot notes of Christie’s :
‘I adore London, it is a mass, an ensemble, and it is so simple. What I like most of all in London is the fog. How could English painters of the nineteenth century have painted its houses brick by brick? Those fellows painted bricks that they didn’t see, that they couldn’t see… I so love London! But I only like it in the winter… It is the fog that gives it its marvellous breadth. Its regular, massive blocks become grandiose in this mysterious cloak’ (Monet, quoted in J. House, ‘Visions of the Thames’, pp. 15-37, Monet’s London: Artists’ Reflections on the Thames 1859-1914, exh.cat., St. Petersburg, FL, 2005, p. 33).
When Monet arrived in London in 1899 for a family visit, he had not been to the British capital for some time. Checking into the relatively recently built Savoy Hotel, on the North bank of the Thames, he was amazed by the view, fascinated by the ever-shifting light effects on the river, and immediately embarked upon one of his most celebrated series of paintings, all showing essentially one of three motifs in London. These were the Houses of Parliament and, painted from his bedroom, Charing Cross Bridge and Waterloo Bridge. He focused more on the latter, as in Waterloo Bridge, temps couvert, perhaps enjoying the looping rhythm of the arches in comparison to the rigidity of the ever-right-angled Charing Cross Bridge. Another aspect that may have led to his preference of Waterloo Bridge as a theme was the fact that the sun, rising in the East, shone during the morning from behind it, providing an intriguing array of subtle light effects, a smog-bound chiaroscuro. It is a tribute to the visual power of Monet’s paintings of Waterloo Bridge that the majority are now in museum collections throughout the world, meaning that the appearance of Waterloo Bridge, temps couvert is a rarity, a factor that is emphasized by the sheer quality and beauty of this painting.
It was in order to see his son Michel, who was ostensibly in London to improve his English, that Monet arrived in 1899 with his wife Alice and his stepdaughter, Germaine HoschedÃ©. His immediate rapture on seeing the view from his room must have been to the chagrin of his family, for already during this stay he embarked upon the beginning of a campaign that would last half a decade. Canvas after canvas was used in order to capture the ever-changing view from his window, and the speed with which these view changed meant that he ended the first stay frustrated, and would return– alone, and therefore presumably without the distractions of his family– to the same hotel in 1900 and 1901.