Other 10 Dec 2019

tesoro nero & wild cats

Two Worlds IntertwinedOur world is made up of the most beautiful and resilient creatures that affect our lives more than we could ever understand. Among them are the wild cats. Not only do they inhabit the mountains, the savannahs, the jungles, and the rainforests, but these remarkable animals have occupied a special place in our hearts for several lifetimes. Wild cats possess a fierce majesty, free and untamed, an almost mythical allure within the vast expanse of our imaginations. So rarely do our physical worlds intertwine; most of us will walk through life without once capturing a single, wild glimpse of one of these amazing creatures. Our lives are so very different, yet, we encounter these animals every day more than we even know. They have fuelled our imaginations for centuries. They have been anthropomorphised, given human gait and speech. They have been venerated for their beauty and the mystery that surrounds them. They have made regular appearances in our various cultures, in stories with which we have grown up and cherished throughout our lives. Bagheera and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, Aslan from Narnia, The Lion KIng and The Pink Panther - just a few examples of how these remarkable cats have ignited our imaginations. The Circle of LifeWe have all seen the film The Lion King, and we all know the famously uttered line, 'the circle of life'. This is more than just a well-known maxim - it is the foundation of how we all live, from lion prides in Africa, solitary snow leopards in India, and ourselves and our families at home.Wild cats help to maintain a balanced eco-system, ensuring that one species does not overpopulate and disrupt the natural equilibrium. By targeting the diseased, weak, and elderly prey when out hunting, these wild cats ensure that only the healthiest reproduce. It is Nature's way of ensuring that 'the circle of life' is upheld.Wild Cats in DangerThe future of these wild cats is severely threatened. With the loss and fragmentation of their habitat, they struggle to find food, mates, and a safe territory. Their prey is overhunted, leaving them unable to hunt successfully for themselves and for their cubs. Conflict with local people over real and perceived threat posed to livestock means that wild cats are slaughtered. They are illegally poached for trophies, their skin, meat, and parts of their body for use in traditional medicine. Due to so many dangers posed to their survival, these incredible animals need our help. And what will happen if they disappear forever? All we'll have left of these cats will be in our stories, nothing more than ink on a page or millions of tiny pixels on a screen. We will be left with myths, with wraiths of memories, with the bitter knowledge that we could have always done something, but we chose to do nothing instead. We will have to explain to our children why we allowed these animals to be forgotten, and they will hate us for it.Tesoro Nero & PantheraSo how are we helping to protect these magnificant animals when they are at their most vulnerable? Tesoro Nero has created a piano to reflect the beauty of one of Nature's rarest creatures. With every purchase of one of our panther pianos, we donate 10% of our profits to Panthera, a trusted organisation dedicated to saving the threatened future of wild cats everywhere.Panthera conducts significant research, identifying and protecting these wild cats and their habitats, monitoring their populations as well as the population of their prey. They collect critical ecological data and enhance law enforcement, ensuring a healthy and sustained ecosystem is kept in place. Using cutting-edge technology, they can prevent poaching and protect these animals from being needlessly slaughtered. By purchasing our panther piano, you will be helping Panthera carry out all of this incredible research, and helping to save these beautiful wild cats who desperately need our help.We Refuse to ForgetWe refuse to forget about the wild cats and to simply let them fade away into dust, to disappear into the furthest crevices of our minds only to be lost forever. We refuse to forget about our connections with Nature, and of everything that makes us human. It is our duty to protect the creatures with whom we share our earth. We refuse to forget how important these wild cats are, and how they have shaped us as a species. If we lose them, then we lose a part of ourselves forever. 

Other 25 Nov 2019

origins of the piano

The modern piano has undergone a great evolutionary journey throughout the centuries. From around 1600, the harpsichord was one of the leading instruments of the era. It resembled the piano with its appearance, and its system of strings and soundboard. But the harpsichord had its restrictions - it did not give the player freedom to control the instrument's volume, to play notes loud or soft. It was Bartolomeo Cristofori of Italy who, in around the year 1700, set out to create an instrument with which a player would have more control. He invented the piano by replacing the harpsichord's plucking mechanism with a hammer. The first piano started out with only 54 keys, but this number gradually increased over the centuries until it finally reached the standard 88 keys following the First World War. Pianos were mostly limited to the aristocracy, until the French Revolution occurred in 1789. Subsequently, they became more popular with the general public, and demands for these instruments increased. Music that had also been previously appreciated by aristocrats in their exclusive courts was now being performed in large concert halls that seated up to 2,000 people. This created a greater demand for instruments that had a louder sound and carried further.Many famous composers fell in love with the piano and its music, composing stunning masterpieces and performing in public concerts. The piano has been a part of our lives from the beginning, and our love for it has only continued to grow. From grand concert halls to the privacy and comfort of one's own home, the piano belongs to everyone. It was created to be without limits. It became an instrument to be beheld and enjoyed by all. There was no barrier between rich and poor, amateur and professional. People from all walks of life were united by music. The piano is an expressive instrument, almost alive, with every single note it breathes.Rich with soul and feeling, the piano captivates us all. Even today, in our fast-paced, modern world, we can still find the time to slow down, sit back, and appreciate its rich and vibrant music. There are so many ways we can now enjoy our music, but nothing is quite so powerful as the melody of the piano. It can be poignant and full of sadness, soft and dreamy, sharp and intense, joyful and uplifting. Like a living creature, the piano possesses soul. It owns laughter, it owns heartbreak. Every string murmurs with feeling, tearing down unbreakable barriers, and we reveal a side of ourselves to others in a way we were unable to before.Strengthened by the piano's exquisite voice, it heals us, whatever our emotions, our hardships, our fragility. There is very little out there that can move us the same way a piano can. It will never be antiquated, a timeworn fossil. It has influenced us for many lifetimes, and it will continue to influence us for many more lifetimes to come. 

Other 19 Nov 2019

the songs of nature

'Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything' - PlatoFor thousands of years, we have cherished the soul of music. It is more than just sound in the air, more than just ink on paper. We use it to mirror our thoughts, bring to life complex emotions that can otherwise be lost in translation. Ancient armies used music to rally their soldiers into a fierce and fiery passion, to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. We have always used music to tell stories, to manipulate the heartstrings of listeners with the ease of a puppeteer manipulating the strings of a marionette. Music gives us the power to speak without words. Even somewhere devoid of all human influence, there is rarely silence. Deep within the gloomiest rainforests, a choir waits, silent, concealed by the leaves and shadows. Its audience, unseen, but out there somewhere. Throats swell, songs rise, and a cacophony of voices suddenly engulfs the silence of the trees. The male frogs serenade their invisible females, coax them out of the darkness like a love-struck Romeo serenading Juliet beneath her ivy-clad balcony. And in the darkness, within the shadows of the sickle moon, a lone wolf raises his head and sings at the stars, fills the sky with the echoes of his haunted voice. He is a ghost, mourning his solitude, and his song is a lonely one. It carries further than he will ever wander.Songbirds warble joyfully in the trees, and even the caged canary must sing to keep his soul alive. We cherish the lark for her beautiful lovelorn ballads, the hooting owl for his soothing lullabies. We are captivated by the songs of Nature. We have listened to them, learned from them, taken from them something that is primitive and raw, and transformed them into entirely new creatures. There are many voices, each one demanding to be heard. Music has existed longer than we have. We do not possess it, nor do we claim to. We merely embrace it, allow it to embrace us, to nourish our fettered emotions, and to set them free.

Business 25 Oct 2019

africa trade & investment global summit, (atigs)

Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit, (ATIGS) is a unique high-level, prestigious, biennial business platform designed specifically to promote and facilitate international trade and foreign direct investment in Africa. It is the leading Africa-global centric event in the world. The highly anticipated 2020 edition of Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit will be held on October 28 & 29, 2020 in Dubai, UAE during the World Expo. ATIGS Dubai 2020 is theme "Connecting Global Capital with Africa Investment and Trade Opportunities" with a sub-theme "Better Africa, Better World"  ATIGS Dubai 2020 will welcome a delegation of ministers, governors, business executives, and global investors to facilitate deal making, co-investments, strategic partnerships, and business networking all under one roof. Last year, the premier ATIGS USA 2018 was held on June 24-26 in Washington DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and World Trade Center. The Summit attracted 2,300 delegates from 92 countries, and 186 Accredited Investor groups, a great success for the hosting country, sponsors and the participants.  

Business 09 Sep 2019

ybbrio holding uk

Since 2018, YBBRIO UK has been helping ordinary people achieve their financial independence.We are not a bank, nor a broker. We are a financial services, investment fund, venture capital and development and financial collateral leasing management company in accordance with UK law, registered company number: 11711995.• Activities of financial services holding companies (64205)• Activities of investment trusts (64301)• Activities of venture and capital development (64303)• Financial leasing (64910)

Travel & Events 26 Aug 2019

7 game drive tips

For everyone who likes to go on a classic safari, some nice tips to make it an even better experience!  Cheers! Henk & Angelique  1.             Go out early in the morning before sunrise and the heat begins or just at the end of the day, when the predators will reappear. 2.             Be as quiet as possible and look closely at bushes and trees. These are good hiding places for felines. 3.             It obvious, but don't wear striking colored clothing. During a walking safari it is better not to wear white or black, because predators can                associate that with the tail or the buttocks of a prey. Or they see you as a competition. You'll be surprised when suddenly there's a lion behind                you. 4.             A huge cliché, but it happens too often that people are stubborn: always stay in the car! Unless your guide says it's safe to get out. As long                as you are in the car, a feline will not see you as a human being, but as part of an object. If you climb out of the car, then it becomes a                different story. 5.             In order to preserve as much as possible the experience and memory of the animals you have spotted, you can arrange for one to film and                the other to photograph. 6.             Before you start, immerse yourself in animal tracks. In this way, you can also participate in the 'game' along the way and you increase the                chance of success. 7.             Take your time: if you have found a leopard or cheetah, talk to your guide (and other travelers) to see if you can stay a bit longer. It is often                better to choose to see one animal (and family) than to see a little or nothing of everything. It is special to be able to observe animals up close                and the moment will soon be over. And even if they are found, waiting is worthwhile. Animals almost always move around and only then it can                become really interesting! 

Travel & Events 26 Aug 2019

part 3: paradisiacal botswana embraced by water

Despite the dry Kalahari desert, Botswana is one of the most fertile countries in Africa. This is mainly due to magical rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Zambezi and the unique wet landscape of the famous Okavan Modelta. This combination results in a rich ecosystem, in which nature uses its own 'water engineers'. Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Henk Bothof  Peaceful solutionsWe continue talking about human versus wildlife conflicts in Botswana in the previous part I and II. The dosed shooting of elephants by professionals of the dikskins around problem areas is not a solution, we hear from different sources. This means that a completely healthy family will die, including pregnant heifers and young and baby elephants. An elephant is known for its good memory and can mourn for days when a family member dies. And chances are they will return to the same places. Hopefully there will be more peaceful solutions, which will have a long-term effect. There are success stories, for example, that the animals are kept away with beehives. And there are several international universities and organizations that study the forms of elephant migration. Arnold Tshipa has been investigating the migration and movement of 32 elephants around Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe) for Wilderness for a number of years. Some of them wear a gps-tracking band. In a nutshell, it can be seen that there are animals that barely move around, there are herds that travel short distances and there were eight elephants that crossed the border at Botswana. The migrations are important for the distribution of the families, which can cause the animals to settle in neighbouring countries. Arnold: "It is essential that the elephants are able to move around the major rivers and along the corridors. We will discuss this with politicians in order to stimulate this approach. And if we have more knowledge about why elephants migrate - apart from the dry versus wet season - then we might as well lead them to similar areas where they feel at home. The downside is that such research and the movement of elephants is a very expensive affair and governments must be prepared to give up land so that they can receive elephants."  Finally, education also plays an important role in the future of elephants, as well as other endangered species such as big cats and the African Wild Dog, which are also the inhabited world crosses. According to Sue Goatley of Children of the Wilderness, education is a key role. Sue has been working in the field as a teacher and school principal for many years and coordinates school projects in the Zambezi region. She is involved in the Wilderness Eco-clubs, which have 18 primary schools. For each school, thirty pupils follow a special nature conservation program for four years. Sue: "Children under the age of twelve are sponges and with the right guidance they can absorb a lot of knowledge, such as how best to deal with wild animals in their environment. The great thing is that pupils not only pass on knowledge to each other, but also to their family members. The children convince their parents or warn them not to kill animals, but they can act in other ways when there is danger. And that they can even - with increasing tourism - take advantage of it."       Small water lifeThe daily problems are hardly visible during our trip. But it keeps us constantly busy, because nature has to fight hard for its existence. When we drive with Robert through the northern flanks of the delta, in the Kwedi concession, again the peaceful silence is overwhelming. The vastness. And every time the surprise. Also for Rob as a researcher: "This is such a unique area. It continues to amaze me. Recently I discovered a new species of dragonfly and lastly near the lodge, Vumbura Plains, a new carnivorous plant species that seems to come from the Congo River. Certainly the varied little water life that takes place here fascinates me." And that's what we see when we get into a mokoro. This traditional hollowed out tree trunk has traditionally served as the main means of transport in the delta. In the meantime, the wooden examples have been replaced by durable, light fiberglass canoes. The helmsman uses a long stick to move the boat. We glide criss-cross between the high reed and along countless papyruses. From the water level we see small insects flying by, frogs jumping off leaves and small kingfishers taking a dive. The shallow water is clear and warm to the touch. I doze away a bit and think back to all the impressive experiences of this trip. To the many elephant families I have been able to observe and to their uncertain future. The three little ones of only a few months old who greeted each other, the clown of the family, who gave a show with a stick and then got tangled up with his trunk. And the caring mothers who kept an eye on things in the background. I can't get enough of it. Nor of this paradisiacal landscape and its inhabitants, in which the power of water, the source of life, is all-encompassing. BACKGROUND Wilderness SafarisWilderness Safaris is one of the few organizations in Botswana that has the means to rent or lease a number of concessions from the government. The exclusivity is not only in the really beautifully decorated, luxurious tents and lodges, which are often equipped with natural materials and perfectly fit in with the vast landscape. It's all about the overall picture. The location at the waterfront is breathtaking at all four camps we visited -Toka Leya (Zambia), DumaTau, Quoroke and Vumbura Plains-. The friendliness, service and knowledge of the local staff deserves a compliment. The healthy local products are a party and finally the daily activities are varied and the knowledge of the rangers is always astonishing. In order to minimise the impact of tourism, Wilderness only uses solar panels, which also heat its own purified water. This water comes from the rivers and the swamp. To this end, Wilderness employs managers who apply as clean ecosystems as possible. The cars and their own planes do have an impact, of course, but they are necessary to get around in this country. Wilderness compensates their CO2 emissions by planting new forests. Furthermore, with their impressive contributions from the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which has been in existence since the end of the 1980s, they want to make the difference in sustainable tourism. The trust focuses on nature conservation, research, education, running their own anti-poaching management and supports and involves local communities in their projects. There are dozens of projects that the Trust makes possible. But the relationship is symbiotic: without tourism there is no trust and therefore no conservation. Finally, the non-profit organization Children in the Wilderness has an important role to play, with a focus on various educational projects. More information: wilderness-safaris.comREAD ALSO OUR OTHER BLOGS ABOUT BOTSWANA

Travel & Events 26 Aug 2019

part 2: paradisiacal botswana embraced by water

Despite the dry Kalahari desert, Botswana is one of the most fertile countries in Africa. This is mainly due to magical rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Zambezi and the unique wet landscape of the famous Okavango Delta. This combination results in a rich ecosystem, in which nature uses its own 'water engineers'.  Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Henk Bothof Geological wonderWe move on to the southeast of the Okavango Delta, to Qorokwe, a camp that lies under the vast Moremi Game Reserve. From the air the total area of roughly 15,000 km2, filled with canals, lagoons, swamps, reed collars and islets looks spectacular. Nowhere are asphalt roads, no electricity poles, no light pollution. Nothing but wilderness, in which earthly colors alternate. I feel very insignificant in this great country, but also happy: that I can enjoy this geological miracle.   The world's largest inland delta, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, borders the Kalahari Desert to the northwest. The original water source can be found some 1600 kilometers upstream in the Angolan highlands. From here, countless streams and smaller rivers in the catchment area of the two main tributaries of the Okavango - the Cubango and Cuito - are fed by summer rains that fall between October and April. Between December and March the rain peak occurs, allowing the water level to rise up to two meters and the delta to expand. In the dry season, the marshland landscape decreases. However, the delta is supplied with water throughout the year, so that the migration of animals to this area is high. Due to weaknesses in the earth's crust, formed by tectonic shifts along the Eastern African Rift Valley, the Okavango River was split millions of years ago from the Kwando and the Zambezi and therefore does not flow to the sea anywhere. Instead, the water disappears into the desolate Kalahari Desert after its fanning out. The current funnel-shaped delta was created as a result of a series of fault lines and a tectonic impoundment, such as near the town of Maun, where the watercourse was closed off. It can take four to six months for the water to flow through a large estuary throughout the delta, feeding the seasonal marshes.  AuthenticityOpinions are divided as to the extent to which the delta has changed in recent decades. Ecologist Robert Taylor specializes in wetland studies and is a botanist. He has been working for five years on various projects within Wilderness, such as a successful rhino reintegration project. Taylor indicates that the delta has largely retained its authenticity. A visible change is that the clear water becomes darker. This may be due to the increasing number of forest fires, where peat, for example, ends up in the water and attacks the soil and plants. "There is much debate among researchers about the extent to which the delta is formed from fire; that it is part of the natural balance. Others claim that increasing fires have a negative impact on water and that this is a development of recent years. In my opinion, too little research has been done into the impact of fire on the delta's ecosystem. In addition, 50 years ago there were hardly any elephants to be found here. Now there are many of them and their presence is visible in the landscape. There are many fallen and bare trees that do not survive. But it is a dynamic system. We can't agree that because there used to be forests with tall trees, it should look like this." Water architectsThe elephant, as well as the hippopotamus and termites, also plays an important role in the landscape. These are the ecosystem engineers and water architects. Rob explains: "The termites, with their hills, create islands in the delta area. At high tide, their structures protrude above the surface of the water, allowing permanent vegetation to develop here. In wetlands, elephants and hippos can use their movements to open channels to allow water to flow. Thanks to this movement, complex networks of pathways through the wetlands are created, which ensures that there is a flow of water and that the areas remain accessible. IssueThe sparsely populated Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa, with counts exceeding 130,000 since 2018. The fact that the animals thrive here is often due to the remote rich wetlands, the diverse vegetation of open savannahs and forest and shrubs. In addition, the presence of humans is limited, especially in the protected, remote areas such as the Okavango Delta and the private concessions. Because the government allows an exclusively small-scale form of sustainable tourism, it is also a costly affair to visit the wildlife parks. However, the success of the elephant now takes such a refuge that it is a major problem outside the protected areas. For example, at the end of March AG Africa Geographic reported that more than 65% of Botswana's wildlife is located outside protected areas, in the Wildlife Management Areas (AMMs), demographically speaking. These are mainly pastoral and agricultural areas, where communities live along the border. Here, elephant herds regularly cause great damage to homes and destroy agricultural crops. Sometimes with fatal consequences for the inhabitants. It is a complex discussion about which the opinions and interests of nature organizations and conservationists, politicians and the local population differ widely. The problem goes beyond the elephant problem: it is a forerunner for more human-wildlife conflicts. This is possibly the greatest challenge for the future, not only for Botswana, but also for neighbouring countries and how they should deal with these issues. In 2014, the previous president, Ian Kaha, issued a hunting ban because of the low level of wildlife. Meanwhile, the current president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has lifted this ban since May of this year and it is legal again to hunt elephants. Worldwide, this leads to great resistance and with it, the poaching and 'pleasure hunting' that has been fought against so hard in recent years can once again celebrate victory. This is already visible in less protected areas, according to a recent report by the conservation organization Elephant Without Borders: in 2018 they identified four 'poachers' hot spots', where 87 carcasses of elephants had been found. They provided the sites with photographic evidence, ground surveys and had nine international elephant experts look at them. According to researcher Mike Chase and the BBC, the government denies the extent of this poaching and is trying to silence Chase. READ FURTHER IN PART 3!  

Travel & Events 26 Aug 2019

paradisiacal botswana embraced by hydropower

Despite the dry Kalahari desert, Botswana is one of the most fertile countries in Africa. This is mainly due to magical rivers such as the Chobe, Linyanti and Zambezi and the unique wet landscape of the famous Okavan Modelta. This combination results in a rich ecosystem, in which nature uses its own 'water engineers'. Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Henk Bothof A few meters from our safari tent, I hold my breath. Leaves rustle and branches break. Suddenly I see a big grey skin. I've never seen them so close before. Manager Anneri of the really beautiful and completely self-sufficient Wilderness DumaTau Camp, hasn't said that we should be on our guard, or we're already staring straight into the eyes of an elephant. The animal flaps its ears. Not because it feels threatened, but to regulate its moisture and temperature. "You should never turn around and run away when you see an elephant, because then he will come after you. Always let the animal pass by first. Or as now, we just have to wait until he's finished nibbling. Because as long as he keeps chewing on grass, there's nothing wrong", says Anneri calmly. We wait a few minutes for the elephant to turn around. But that doesn't happen. Anneri chuckles and finally she claps her hands. She doesn't like to chase away animals, because we are guests in their environment. But the safety of the guests is paramount. With some reluctance the animal disappears into the bushes and eats its lunch a little further on. The adrenaline slowly slides out of my body. Soon it turns out that this is one of the many grey colossus that we can admire up close. And there are many of them at the same time. A day later, for example, an impressive bull wanders around the reception and during a delicious boat lunch where we float along the Savute canal, we have to wait with mooring. An elephant swims along the quay and decides to go ashore right at the back of the luxury camp. DumaTau takes its name from 'the roar of the lion', but in this area it's without a doubt the large herds of elephants that make up the service here. These large 'parades' are not only to be found in this area, on the edge of the Linyanti swamp and the Ospray Lagoon. They are mainly found in and around the waters of the major rivers such as the adjacent Chobe and Kwando, the famous Okavango Delta and the extensive Chobe National Park. In addition to elephants, these watery ecosystems are also bursting with hippos, many bird species, crocodiles, antelopes, cat-like species and other wildlife that migrate to the water to drink. We are located in the untouched Africa of North Botswana. Where water systems can still flow largely unaffected and freely and where the diverse ecosystem not only depends on this rich area, but also makes an important contribution to its future.  Complex as a wholeThe rich water and river systems of North Botswana are closely interlinked, as well as with neighbouring countries. As a result, it forms a complex whole, with rivers flowing into each other and bearing a different name. The Savute canal starts in the Linyanti concession and ends in the Savuti marsh, which borders Chobe National Park. These are protected areas. The Linyanti concession covers an enormous area of 125,000 hectares and is supervised by Wilderness Safaris and its Wilderness Wildlife Trust. Wilderness Safaris is a large tour operator within Southern Africa and only has its own concessions. In Linyanti they have two other small-scale lodges besides DumaTau. The organization has been in existence for more than 35 years and presents excellent eco-safaris in the high segment.  VeinsThe Savute water comes from the Kwando-Linyanti river. This river originates in the highlands of Angola and undergoes several name changes on this route before forming a delta-law country on the border with Botswana and Namibia. To keep it 'clear': the Kwando River touches the Linyanti fault line and changes direction into the Linyanti River. Linyanti then turns into Chobe, which in turn flows into the Zambezi River near Kasane. Then there is the Selinda Canal, which connects the Okavango system with the Kwando-Linyantis system. In the event of a flooding of the systems, water enters the other network via the Selinda canal. And so all the veins are interconnected again.The fault lines and shifts of the rivers are clearly visible from the air, so that the change of vegetation (river, swamp, grassland, forest and savannah) also complement each other. Due to the intense presence of all this water, the game thrives in this part of Botswana. And the marshy areas are unsuitable and too remote for settlements. A positive result is that the game has more living space and is less threatened, especially in protected concessions such as Wilderness. Unspoilt natureBack to Linyanti. This fairy-tale area of 28,000 m2, situated at the edge of the fertile Okavango oasis, forms a dynamic color palette, with spectacular views over the lively water landscape. There is always movement. During several game drives we see elephants cooling down in the swamps and river. They splash and spray water with their trunks on top of each other, as if they shower together. The grey skins like to swim between a bed of white water lilies, which sparkles in the rising heat. Occasionally a few hippos take a beating. Like a submarine, they appear on the surface, keep a close eye on everything with its strong smell, only to disappear under water again a little later. Gallant and agile impalas spread in small groups in the high reed while jumping. They also seek shelter and refreshment, unaware that there may be a crocodile lurking. Or a leopard, because this devious cat can sneak silently around shallow water. We are very lucky, because a two year old male has been spotted, who is working away an old bite in a tree. The beautiful animal is luckily not impressed by our 4x4 jeep, and is slowly moving after his breakfast. The solitary leopard wanders in its dead field through the high grass and walks over a wooden bridge that the jeeps can cross. The cat screens the swamp for prey with his sharp vision. There is not much to see. On the other side he marks out his territory by a tree, and then, by a small detour through the forest, arrives at an open water spot again. Rttttssshhhh... Despite its speed, the beaten leopard sees its next bite - a lizard - shooting into the water. There is always boss above boss. The cat gives up and disappears into the bushes in search of cooling. I dare to breathe again, what a privilege to be able to follow this animal in this untouched nature. SEE PART 2 & 3 FOR THE FULL STORY! 

Travel & Events 09 Aug 2019

stunning scenic flight helicopter horizons

When you are travelling across the Okavango Delta of Botswana (see previous travel blogs), one of the best ways to get an idea of the terrific scenery is up in the sky. We collaborated with the amazing Helicopter Horizons, which already fly their guests from lodge to lodge with small airplanes. But to experience a unique and even more exciting free feeling, one must really try a scenic helicopter flight! It is one of those things you put on your bucket list. And we must say, it is an absolute must!  We had a stunning flight with Helicopter Horizons, which made our trip even more magical. You can SEE OUR VIDEO HERE, and the images speak for themselves. Helicopter Horizons collaborates with travel organisations such as Wilderness Safaris. In addition to scenic flights, it is also possible to book private transfers, special helicopter safaris, they support with filming and photography. Also – that is what we really appreciate- Helicopter Horizons also supports when help is needed for special wild life assistance. They strive to give back as much and often as they can. Therefore, they for instance collaborate with organisations like the Rhino conservation Botswana (RBC) and Elephants without Borders (EWB). It is also possible to book flights to Makgadikgadi Pans and the Kalahari Desert. For more info, check the website. Photographs by Henk Bothof | Text: Angelique van Os 

Travel & Events 07 Aug 2019

video: 5 reasons why we love wilderness safaris

This Spring Henk and I had an amazing trip with Wilderness Safaris (also see our previous blog about the classic safari trip we made). But we really want to share this video with you. The images speaks for themselves. Soon you can find the profiles of Wilderness on Miljonet.  Hope you also get inspired!  Henk Bothof & Angelique van Os Images by Henk Bothof & Dana Allen (interior)

Travel & Events 07 Aug 2019

classic game drive botswana animalwahalla part 2

No LuckWe move on to the southeast of the Okavango Delta, to Qorokwe, a camp near the vast Moremi Game Reserve. From the air the area of roughly 15,000 km2, filled with canals, lagoons, swamps, reed collars and islets looks spectacular. Nowhere are asphalt roads, no electricity poles, no light pollution. Nothing but wilderness, in which earthly colours alternate. I feel very insignificant in this great country, but also happy: that I can enjoy this geological miracle. The end of the afternoon is approaching. With our new guide Alan, we go looking for lions. Everywhere we meet elephants, giraffes, antelope, birds and monkeys. The lions are nowhere to be seen. In the meantime Alan tells us all about the landscape, about the trees that have a hard time because of the many elephants. They are eaten bald and pushed over. Then we arrive at a vast plain. In the distance there are buffaloes and impalas. An ideal place for a lion to go hunting. We wait a while. But nothing happens. Alan drives on. Because Wilderness has its own concessions, the guides are allowed to drive off road here. This increases the chance to find cats and rhino’s. But no matter how many laps we drive, we don't find any lions. Alan also follows a rhino trail for a while, but without any luck. And the African Wild Dog hasn't been seen in the park for two weeks. The endangered dogs can travel up to sixty kilometers a day, so that's looking for a needle in a haystack. So no luck today.  Soes and sleepThe next game drive starts early again. Because it is already quite hot, Alan drives to a clearing that borders a large pond. Again we don't find a lion's-eye here, but we do find dozens of birds and elephants that cool off among the hippos. We can watch this peaceful scene for hours, but since the lions are not around here, we continue. While Alan drives on quietly, I hear him talking in the walkie-talkie. "Have the lions been spotted?" I ask hopefully. "And while I ask, the guide smiles and says: "Look right in front of you, under that bush." I start to shine glimpse away. There are two young lions puffing in the shade. They are brothers. Soon it turns out that the whole family (nine cats in total) is scattered under the bushes. A little further on two mothers and their one and a half year old sons are puffing in the grass. One of the lionesses looks like a sleeping beauty, with her head resting gracefully on her front leg. Cats sleep an average of 18 to 20 hours a day, so it is not surprising that there is little action. At the end of the day we see more lions! This time it are two adult males that have beautiful dark and long manes. These boys are also lazy and suffer from the heat. Yet there is a lion that walks along our jeep. We can almost touch him. The male hardly seems to be aware of our presence; the only thing he sees and hears is the car and the clicking of the cameras. Well hiddenIt's time to leave Qorokwe and fly on to the crazy area of Vumbura Plains, north of the Okavan Modelta. The Vumbura concession covers an area of 60,000 hectares, and I find it even more varied than the previous parks. Swamps, small islands with palm trees, vast savannas, acacia forests and seasonal flood plains alternate. No wonder there is so much wildlife here. We have set our sights on finding cheetahs and looking for wild dogs. However, the dogs haven't been seen in the area for a couple of days now and have moved to the south. Lettie is our new friendly guide. Also here the guides of Wilderness work well together during game drives. With three cars they scan the area. During the first afternoon trip Lettie finds lions on the trail. Because the cheetahs are nowhere to be seen, we change our plan. That is also part of a good game drive. Lettie hangs every few minutes with his nose above the unpaved path. By the size of the legs he recognizes whether we follow a male or female. It is the Kubo group, says the guide. This is a group with only lionesses and their young. "I see here that they have crossed the road, probably to drink. We zigzag through the bush. It is difficult to search in the dense and high bushes. The car is approaching a clearing. Now it gets confusing. "Look at the prints. Do you see that all the tracks run through each other, as if they doubted where to go", says Lettie pondering. The lions are nowhere to be seen, so Lettie drives back to the road. Unfortunately. Just at that moment a message follows: the others have spotted the group a bit further on. The lionesses and their offspring are well hidden under the bushes. We wait a while, but there is little movement. Through the walkie-talkie a voice resounds again. Lettie answers excitedly and turns to us with a big smile: "By chance a cheetah female has been seen with a number of cubs! On the way Lettie tells us that his colleague in the other car wanted to drive to the buffalo that we had spotted earlier that morning. When they were close by, it turned out that the cheetah had a dubious hunting attitude. And rightly so, because you don't just attack a buffalo. She had probably set her sights on a calf, but it was too well protected by the herd. Meanwhile she has retreated into the bushes. Ten minutes later Lettie drives off road through the bush. I keep finding it unimaginable how the man always manages to find his way without getting lost. In the distance we see the other jeep. Lettie looks surprised when we find the cheetah mother. "Wow! I know this female. She hadn't been spotted for a while. Apparently she has been busy, because we see her cub now for the first time. So for me also a boost. Her cubs are only a few months old." The mother keeps a close eye on us, but is otherwise relaxed. The boy doesn't know the car yet. They look around a bit nervously and when their mother starts moving, they walk in a bit nervously and trot after it. Lettie reacts immediately each time the animals are in a higher gear. At an appropriate distance he turns the car around so we can see them clearly. We stay with the cheetahs for more than half an hour and say goodbye when the foursome falls asleep under a tree. After this crazy morning a fairytale surprise awaits us: in the middle of nature Wilderness has set up a table where a delicious lunch buffet full of salads, soups, meat and fruit awaits us and the other guests. What a misery!  Close brothersThe end of our trip is approaching. The last game drive is approaching. And it will be memorable too. Again we encounter lions. This time there are four brothers. In consultation with Lettie we decide to take our time and stay with the lions. A male keeps an eye on things. The other three are lazily lying next to each other. They have their legs nicely crossed over each other. "These boys are very close. They hunt and eat together. They are three years old now. Only when they start mating do they retreat and possibly become dominant towards each other", says Lettie. Meanwhile, the sun begins to burn and the lions start to move. Together they search for a pool to drink water. Three of the four then plunge into the shady high grass. But one male walks on. He marks his territory spraying by a tree and calls with a kind of crying song to the females we saw earlier. "The lionesses won't let him come near them, because with the cubs there is a chance that he will kill them. Maybe that's why he sounds so pathetic, he probably already knows that it makes no sense", jokes Lettie. And while we're still watching the lions, I review what we have all seen. What a diversity of animals and landscapes we have seen! And in less than six days we have achieved a nice score with four lions, cheetahs and a leopard. Mission accomplished!  MORE TO COME: soon you can also read 7 Game Drive Tips, 5 reasons why we love Wilderness Safaris, a special feature about the waterlife of the Okavango Delta (& Wilderness) and we will share a video about the amazing landscapes we experienced from a scenic helicopter flight above the Delta. Keep you posted! 

Travel & Events 07 Aug 2019

botswana game drives bring a great animalwahalla

If you go on a classic safari, you'll be in the car for hours. You never know what you will encounter. Game drives can increase the excitement considerably or it can turn out to be a disappointment. It's not a 'game' for nothing. We took up the challenge in Botswana, looking for big cats. Game on!  Text: Angelique van Os | Photopgraphy: Henk Bothof & Dana Allen (interior) The sun is gradually setting. Thank God, because it's almost forty degrees. And that before the end of the rainy season, at the beginning of March. The grass is high, in many places a bit yellow. It hasn't rained much. However, the many low shrubs and the rich forest landscape offer shade. The ever-emerging marshy Linyanti river, the many small onion fields and water poles at the edge of the immense Chobe National Park, form the common thread in this colourful and extensive landscape. The Landcruiser follows the dusty, unpaved path. We are quiet, peering in the bush. Cameras ready to shoot, binoculars in hand. Looking for hidden game. "A good game drive is mainly about waiting, finding and recognizing tracks and good teamwork", whispers our guide Andy. "And luck is perhaps the most important factor", he adds with a smile. It's quiet; the predators still seem to be asleep. There are no footprints or faeces to guide us in the right direction. We are looking for big cats: lions, leopards or cheetahs. Here and there a small group of impala's and zebras pass by. And then suddenly, about ten metres from the car, a large group of elephants looms up. Dozens at a time they walk past us. A number of females protect their calves and trumpeting is imminent. The sound vibrates through my body and the adrenaline rises. I've been on safari several times already, but never before have I seen such a large family so close by. These elephants don't get a lot of visitors every day. And it's a good thing that they are wary, because unfortunately the Botswana government has allowed the hunting of the tadpoles again since May 2019. This has to do with the enormous elephant population in the country and the complex human versus wildlife problems. Fortunately, the Linyanti Concession is a well-protected area, supervised by Wilderness Safaris and its Wilderness Wildlife Trust. Wilderness Safaris is a major tour operator within Southern Africa and only has its own concessions. The organisation has been in existence for over 35 years and presents excellent eco-safaris in the high segment.   Devious cat Linyanti borders on the northwest side of Chobe National Park. The remote reserve vessel is a natural paradise of about 125,000 hectares. Driving around in the jeep, shows how rich this area is in a variety of small game. There is always movement. I get used to the many elephants, but they intrigue me time and time again with their idiosyncratic behavior. They splash and spray water with their trunks on top of each other, as if they shower together. The grey skins like to swim between a bed of white water lilies in the swamps and the Linyanti river, which shines in the rising heat. Gallant and agile impalas spread in small groups in the high reed while jumping. They also seek shelter and refreshment, unaware that a crocodile may be lurking. Or a leopard, because this devious cat can sneak noiselessly around shallow water. That leopard - or another cat - we have not spotted today. It is one of the most shy felines and lives solitary, so it's hard to find. Tomorrow we will make another attempt. The next morning we leave at dusk. "A new day, new opportunities", says Andy cheerfully. He babbles something in the walkie-talkie and while we're having breakfast, he drives quietly towards the savannah. "In addition to our car, two other cars are active. We keep in touch when someone sees something, so we can reach the location quickly." Andy is looking forward to it. After half an hour of driving he stops and stares at the ground, looking for tracks. "Hmmmm...I see a lot of things, but no traces of cats." A quarter of an hour later there is a sound from the walkie-talkie. Andy talks quickly in a local language. He hangs up and returns the car. "The other group has found a leopard, it's near here." I jump up from the couch from excitement. We are very lucky, because a two-year-old male has been spotted eating a prey in a tree. I only catch a glimpse of his beautiful coat and contours. Luckily the animal is not impressed by our 4x4 jeep and slowly starts to move after breakfast. The vehicles split, to give the leopard space. Moments later he is wandering through the high grass at ease and walks past our car in a squint. I hold my breath. Then the animal walks over a wooden bridge that the jeeps can cross. The cat screens the swamp for a prey with its sharp vision. There is not much to see. On the other side he marks his territory by a tree and disappears into the forest. The two other jeeps drive away. We decide to turn the car around and park at a water spot at a walking pace. And yes, there is the leopard again. Rttttssshhhh... Despite his speed, the defeated cat sees his next bite - a lizard - shooting into the water. Every animal meets his match. He gives up and disappears into the bushes in search of cooling. What a privilege to be able to follow this animal in this unspoiled nature. And that at seven o'clock in the morning. READ MORE ABOUT OUR CLASSIC GAME DRIVE IN PART 2! 

Gadgets & Trends 20 Jun 2019

watches available

Dear All,I have access to watches direct from manufacturers.Please let me know if there is interest,Many thanks,Timi 

Other 19 Jun 2019

luxury showcase london, 18th july

Dear All,There is a luxury brands showcase in London on the 18th July  at the The Lalit Hotel. Confirmed invitations to over 150 UHNWI.If you would like further info please send me an email to timi@4s-events.com,Many thanks,Timi  

Fashion & Design 10 Jun 2019

rolex day-date 36 vs porsche 2019 ;p

https://www.relojeriaalemana.com/es/brand_details/25/Rolex?cmpid=cpc_pfx_66_11562https://www.porsche-baleares.com/One of the things I love the most about my job is to research for personal shopping.Well, it actually is to go later with my beloved VIP super selected clients and take them shopping to those previously selected places. Just a few weeks ago I had to research some watches and cars.Are you more of a watch kinda man? Or a car kinda guy?    

Cars, Boats & Planes 31 May 2019

a princely debut for top marques supercar show

A PRINCELY DEBUT FOR TOP MARQUES SUPERCAR SHOWThe 16th Edition of Top Marques supercar show opened under brilliant blue skies in Monaco today at the Grimaldi Forum.H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco joined Salim Zeghdar, the newly appointed CEO of the show, along with ambassadors Thierry Boutsen, Eddie Jordan and David Couthard. Mr Zeghdar said: "I would like to sincerely thank H.S.H. Prince Albert II for his presence this morning, as well as our three ambassadors. I am very touched by their support of Top Marques, and I am genuinely delighted by this first day. There is a wonderful atmosphere and I have heard such positive feedback, especially from the exhibitors. I can’t wait for the rest of the show!"Prince Albert sent time visiting all the stands including the 100% electric yacht by X Shore before descending into the Espace Diaghilev to present no less than six world premieres.Zacaria SC, the first ever road-worthy Formula 1 is a unique model manufactured by Zacaria, an Australian workshop. Also, from Australia, Ferox unveiled its’ Azaris, a hybrid laboratory vehicle equipped with six wheels, the back four having no axes and therefore be able to ride over the rough terrain better than any existing vehicle. With a torque similar to that of a Lamborghini Aventador, it can achieve high speeds over any terrain. The e-bike company Stajvelo presented its Beau Rivage, unveiled by S.A.S. Prince Albert II and Thierry Manni, the CEO of the new brand of electric bikes ‘Made in Monaco’.On the two-wheel side, L’Atelier du Gentleman presented the Carbon Zero world premiere, also unveiled by the Sovereign.The iconic British manufacturer McLaren presented it brand new model, the Grand Tourer, in a world premiere.Aston Martin also unveiled a limited edition of its DBS Superleggera, the OHMSS inspired by James Bond On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  

News, Media & Society 29 May 2019

sunny isles beach florida most exclusive penthouse

Sunny Isles Beach Penthouse For Sale By Katerina BrosdaCall me now +1 (305) 788-9393. There are a few luxury penthouses for sale in Miami, but this is the ultimate penthouse designed for grand-style indoors and outdoors entertainment.

Restaurants & Clubs 28 Mar 2019

in london / mayfair - claridges next friday 5th

In London / Mayfair - Claridges next Friday 5th from 2pm - if anyone fancies a glass of wine!

Restaurants & Clubs 21 Mar 2019

singeasy by the piano works west end

Hidden away in the fun palace of Piano Works West End where live music and comfort food go hand in hand, a new experience has emerged where the audience takes centre stage... SingEasy by The Piano Works allows the audience to request ther favourite pop, rock and musical theatre songs which the musicians not only play but encourage you to singalong! Waiters are very engaging and also take turns in singing but the energy (and choice of songs) makes this hidden room a hit. Every night comes with a different theme; join them on Mondays for a Musical Theatre Takeover with your favourite West End stars, Tuesday SingEasy Goes Drag and Wednesday SingEasy Goes to the Movies with sing-along films from Grease to The Greatest Showman. The party doesn’t stop there, with live music that you can sing-along to until 1am. From Thursday to Saturday enjoy the original SingEasy Experience with a mashup of different styles, from 5pm until 1am followed by a DJ until 3am. Dine and dance with a two-course pre-theatre menu from £15 per person or the two-course dinner menu from £21 per person with a bottomless prosecco option for an additional £20pp. The pre-theatre menu features traditional British favourites with a twist including fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash; or dinner options of shrimp tacos, chicken Caesar salad and rib eye steak. Both come with vegan alternatives including tofish and chips and ‘shepherd’s pie’ with puy lentils, chickpeas, chestnut mushrooms and sweet potato. If it’s just drinks that you’re looking for, book your table at SingEasy and enjoy cocktails from their Top 10 list such as the Dancing Queen, with vodka, Chambord, extra dry martini, lemon juice and chickpea water or the Despacito with koko kanu rum, white wine, lychee purée, coconut cream, apple juice and fresh chillies. Overall, this is an experience for a group of friends, hen party or date night. Whatever the excuse, SingEasy will provide soundtrack you'll never forget. The Piano Works47 Whitcomb Street, London, WC2H 7DHhttps://pianoworks.bar/west-end Tel: 0207 889 1966Email: hello@pianoworks-westend.bar

Cars, Boats & Planes 21 Mar 2019

m/y brigadoon finalist in world superyacht awards

Moonen is excited to announce that the 36-metre superyacht Brigadoon has been nominated in the Boat International World Superyacht Awards 2019! Delivered to her new owners in Summer 2018, Brigadoon is the first hull in the Moonen Martinique line of Dutch-quality, oceangoing motor yachts. This years’ awards ceremony will mark the 14th edition of the annual World Superyacht Awards hosted by Boat International and will be held from 16th - 18th May 2019. The annual event will be hosted in London this year, with previous glamorous ceremonies of the high-profile event taking place in Florence, Amsterdam and Venice.  A luxury yacht with heart & soulBrigadoon is the first yacht built on the semi-custom Martinique 36-metre platform and features naval architecture by Diana Yacht Design in collaboration with Réne Van Der Velden, with the latter also undertaking her exterior design. Nauta Design undertook her interior design together with Studio Indigo, who was responsible for the interior styling and decoration. The Moonen Martinique is one of four of Moonen’s proven superyacht platforms and combines proven performance and seakeeping abilities with the versatility of customisation. Talking of the creation of Brigadoon in close cooperation with her experienced yacht owners, CEO of Moonen Yachts, Johan Dubbelman, explains: “In the case of Brigadoon, the owners entered the construction process just three months before scheduled delivery. As such, the level of customisation possible was relatively limited. However, working tirelessly with the owner and his team, a number of significant modifications were able to be applied - including replacing the bimini on the sun deck with a hard top and removing the Jacuzzi.” The Moonen team worked closely with the London-based designers at Studio Indigo in these last three months to ensure the perfect interior design. “Combined with fantastic interior styling, the finishing touch from the owners together with Studio Indigo really gave the boat heart and soul,” Dubbelman continues. “We delivered a vessel that suits the owners perfectly and we’re honoured and delighted to be recognised for our work on M/Y Brigadoon as a finalist at the upcoming World Superyacht Awards 2019.” In regards to her technical features, Brigadoon’s hull is constructed from high-tensile steel and is teamed with an aluminium superstructure. With a focus on comfortable cruising and technical efficiency, she features a reduced construction weight which leads to higher speeds, lower fuel consumption and exceptionally low noise reduction levels.  She achieved more than 16.5 knots on sea trials - an exceptional feat for a 36-metre steel-hulled yacht! World Superyacht Awards 2019The annual recognition of excellence in the yachting industry, the Boat International World Superyacht Awards are a celebration of the best of the best in the world of luxury yacht construction, design and engineering. Moonen’s 36-metre motor yacht Brigadoon is nominated for best yacht in the semi-displacement or planing motor yachts - 33m to 39.9m category. The whole team at Moonen Yachts is excited to be a finalist and looks forward to attending the Boat International World Superyacht Awards 2019 in May. 

Art & Culture 17 Mar 2019

tefaf 2019, overwhelms in every way (final blog 3)

 I finish my first TEFAF visit with some impressions of Tribal art and design. The Belgium gallery Didier Claes from Brussels’s has several interesting figurines and statues from African countries like Gongo and Gabon made from wood, metal, pigments, vegetal fibers, copper and brass. Kind of intimidating is a big mummy-like statute Vanuatu from the early 20th Century covered with attributes. The Tetela Mask from the 19th Century at stand 604 from Lucas Ratton is a rare beauty. The colored wood is covered with fur and feathers, and the motives and lines give the face a direct expression. Also impressing is the 250 cm high wooden Funeral Post Hempatong (stand 615). The Dayak people from Borneo, Indonesia probably used this 18th-19th Century statute. Moving on to the big embrace by NWC Force Arms. I wonder to who these big wooden arms, curved out of one piece in an over life size, belonged to. Was there more than these arms? What is the symbolism behind it? It was discovered in the Northwest Coast of British Colombia in the late 19th Century (Galerie Meyer- Oceanic & Eskimo Art, stand 605). There is also a great diversity on design at TEFAF. From a funny and stylish Bird Lamp (1952) by the French Roger Capron, to a sophisticated day sofa which seemed to be inspired by ancient Roman art to the famous Lounge chair from 1936 by Marcel Breuer (1902-1981), which is molded and cut from maple plywood with upholstery wool (Jackson Design AB, stand 617). Finally, I have a look at some ancient art from Asia and Iran. From big Buddha’s to a variety of attributes, such as little statues, tableware, trays, utensils and vases. Not to forget some of the antique music books and religious works, that have very detailed notched motives on the cover. In the press corridors I hear voices say that this is one of the best editions of the TEFAF history so far, with a steady high quality of art. So although, after thirty years, it is not too late to get introduced with this amazing art fair. Moreover, this might just be the right timing to discover all these pearls. More info: tefaf.com  TIP: This year TEFAF expands its program with side events in the vivid city center of Maastricht with TEFAF and the City. Read more about this in my other blogs and check tefafandthecity.com Text & photo's: Angelique van Os

Art & Culture 16 Mar 2019

tefaf and the city (blog 3 ronald kolk & tips )

I finish my museum day at the Museum aan het Vrijthof, at the vivid Vrijthof square. Till June 16th the museum shows a tribune to the craftsmanship of the Dutch houte couturier, Ronald Kolk (Amsterdam, 1960). The exhibition, the Girl, the Dress and the Pearl, shows his oeuvre with fifty selected dresses. Also, goldsmith, jewel designer and emailleur Margareth Stalman (Heerlen, 1959), shows a big collection of her work. Because of their mutial respect for each other’s work, they collaborated a number of times for the annual fashion shows that Kolk organized until 2018.The whole museum - ten rooms in total- is transformed into the rich, colorful and highly fashion world of the couturier. Every room has its own theme, and the visitor also gets a glance of Kolkman’s atelier and workshop and the different techniques he uses. His specific extravagant glitter and glamour dresses have been wore by artists and actresses such as Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Grace Jones, Dutch Prinses Laurentien and Liesbeth List. Kolk also designed costumes for the Trocadero Ballet in New York. This exhibition is also the closure of the ‘Kolk era’, because the designer has closed his Haute Couture salon in Amsterdam, and will focus on the support and inspering of young, new designers to adopt their love for craftsmanship. I going home with a lot of impressions. It was a divers day, and only a glance of the TEFAF and the City program. The following weeks there are more interesting concerts, theathre shows and exhibitions to come. Maastrichts also overwhelms with passion for art and great diversity. Looking forward to come back next year! Some other TIPS: (source TEFAF and the City) ·      Lumière Cinema Specials: the film house shows four films which are related to art. First there is Degas: Passion for Perfection; a documentary about the famous French painter and sculptor Edgar Degas. Followed by The Mill and the Cross. Lech Majewski translates Bruegel’s masterpiece The Procession To Calvary into cinema. Starring our own Dutch-American Rutger Hauer as Bruegel. Willem Dafoe shines in his wonderful role as Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate, by director Julian Schnabel. And finally, there is The Art Life of David Lynch (see also blog 2). See the website for more info. ·       Official TEFAF Club in the basement bar of the trendy Commons Restaurant in Student Hotel Maastricht. An event with live DJs, cocktails, good company and happy hour from 22:00 to 23:00! ·       The Sphinxpassage is a free, permanent exhibition that embodies the history of the Sphinx factories and the Eiffel building. Approximately 30,000 tiles arranged into 26 chapters recounts the history of both the ceramics industry in Maastricht and the Regout family. This impressive storytelling exhibition was created by using a mix of tableware, designs, old adverts, family portraits, and old transfer prints (a method of decorating enamels or ceramics). And it is very near to the TEFAF Club and Lumiere. ·       Classical music: Philharmonie Zuid-Nederland with Dmitry Liss leads Brahms, Friday March 22nd - Dmitry Liss knows the vigour and venom of romantic, Russian music through and through, nor does the music by Johannes Brahms hold any secrets for him. Liss knows how to combine the poetic idylls of his Second Symphony with ‘sombre contemplation’. He makes Brahms into an experience, ‘an endearing man of flesh and blood’. And Liss also brings along violinist Sergey Krylov. ·      Tune In- Best of Jazz – March 24th. This is a free series of Jazz & Classical Concerts by Conservatorium Maastricht in the Sint Janskerk. On this Sunday afternoon, some of the leading new jazz talents present their own projects. Experience a surprising afternoon with that many facets that jazz has. From beautiful vocals to energetic drums, from small and fragile to large orchestral. See the WEBSITE for more info about the mentioned tips and other program during TEFAF and the city.    Text & images: Angelique van Os ·       

Art & Culture 16 Mar 2019

tefaf and the city (blog 2- microsculpture) 

After having experienced the intense and dark world of David Lynch at the Bonnefantenmuseum (see blog 1), I am cycling to the Natural History Museum of Maastricht. It is pretty crowded on Saturday, especially because families with children can do several activities in the museum today. On the ground floor there is an intimate room, which show a dozen amazing blow-ups of insects. The exhibit is called Microsculpture, and can be visited until the 21rd of April. This is a ground-breaking project by the British photographer Levon Biss. He presents different insects species which reveal breathtaking beauty, powerful colors and the intricate structure of the tiny animals. The insects really come to live on the black backgrounds, and the prinst have a very high quality. Also the images are incredible detailed. You can see the seams and lines of the transparent wings of the deep dark green Orchid cuckoo bee. You almost want to touch the furry skin of the Silver longhorn Beetle. And how about the magnificent patterns of the Jewel longhorned Beetle; it is almost hypnotizing. Biss has worked on macrophotography for the past five years. But actually he is more famous for his work on sports, reportage and portraiture. For Microsculpture he collaborated with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The reactions of the visiting children are interesting; on the one hand they are curious and impressed, but insects like the Marion Island Moth, the Flying Saucer Trench Beetle and especially the Tortoise Beetle and the Treehopper are also a bit scary. “They look like aliens”, I hear some kids say. And that is true, but also shows the power of macrophotography. Read in Blog 3 about my last visit to The Girl, the dress and the pearl.  Text & images: Angelique van Os | note: of course the credits of the origional images are of Levon Biss