Category: The Netherlands

Urban Tatoos

Some years ago, the Rotterdam Council began commissioning  local artists to paint scenes on the walls of apartment blocks, shopping centres and even the pillars of underpasses – anwhere where there were available walls or spaces.

The idea is to brighten up the urban landscape and break the monotony of a high density city but also to express the multicultural character of a city with over 100 different nationalities and where Caucasians are a minority. 

I’ve seen similar murals elsewhere in European cities but these murals in Rotterdam are the best I’ve seen anywhere. To take these photos I walked all over the city and many of them I discovered unexpectedly; no doubt there are others which I missed. 













Autumn Days






The leaves changing colour, falling.

The trees soon to become skeletons, naked, silent.

Cool winds, short days. 

The sun, like candle light, casting long shadows; 

The feeling of life changing, time ticking away

On our lives. This time together


Winter on the way and in the nights, creeping in the darkness

The kiss of silence, eternal. 






Rotterdam Solar Central

The roof of the new railway station in Rotterdam is entirely made of glass into which solar circuits have been worked. In other words, the station – a large and busy one (almost a quarter of a million people a week coming and going) – is a massive solar power generation plant.  

The Upsides of The Ukraine Conflict

Rotterdam Central Train Station

On the train journey to the south of The Netherlands, I noticed that the termperature inside the carriage was considerably lower than normal – a welcome change from the over warming of the carriages in the past. 

This was one of the measures taken to cut back on energy use – along with lowering the temperatures in offices and public places. People now have to get used to wearing jumpers if they feel cold. 

As a result of the new regime, the national energy use has declined by 35%. 

This should have happened years ago, not because of the Ukraine War and Putin’s energy blackmail but because of global climate change. Inadvertently the war has speeded up long needed changes. 

Another thing I noticed on the trains was the surfeit of litter lying around on the floor and the toilets permanently closed: not enough cleaners, another example of the labour shortage being experienced all over the world. 


The Sacred and the Profane

A famous and revered Monarch dies a natural death at a ripe old age and is consigned to the earth with pomp and majesty. A global media event witnessed by billions of millions of people from all over the planet. ‘The Crown’ live.  



Not so far away, in the killing fields of The Ukraine, the corpses of unknown people are excavated from that same earth. People committed to their graves with their hands bound and bullets in their heads. The words of Kurtz, the famous character from Joseph Conrad’s novel ‘Heart of Darkness’ reverberate in the silence: ‘The horror! The horror!’


The world we are living in: the sacred and the profane.