In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the german company Grünenthal Chemie marketed the use of thalidomide under the name contergan as a medication useful against morning sickness, sleeplessness and anxiety. It was also used as a sedative for pregnant women, although it was never tested on this particular group. The use of contergan led to numerous miscarriages and birth defects, in particular severe deformations of the limbs. The reason was an enantiomeric impurity, which was difficult to detect with the means of the time. There were 10,000 victims in 46 countries. It took a long time and numerous law suits to get at least financial compensation for the victims.
The coast along the north sea between the French-Belgian border and and the northern tip of the Netherlands is one long stretch of sandy beach. Behind is an area of dunes. The sandy ground behind the dunes proved to be perfect for the cultivation of flower bulbs. In spring the colorful fields are a popular attraction for tourists. The flowers are not marketed but discarded. Only the bulbs are harvested, dried and sold.
My neighborhood was built in the first two decades of the 20th century. The building plan left lots of space for green. In the spring the display of flowers in the gardens add to the ornaments of the art deco houses. The use of bricks in different colors was typical for the time. Only the oldest houses got names
The time of the leafless trees will soon be over. For me, winter is a good opportunity to find hidden gems. And sometimes the distorted reflection of a leafless tree in a ditch leaves a spooky impression.
This year saw the earliest cherry blossom season in Japan in more than 800 years. Meanwhile the Sakura trees are popular ornamental trees all over the world. They also line this shopping street in Delft. In the background the old church of Delft. It has a steeple which is not much less inclined than the one in Pisa, Italy, but is much bigger.
Cherry blossom in times of Corona…
During the time of the GDR, the german democratic republic before reunification in 1989, the Trabant was a coveted possession. People were on a waiting list for many years to get one. In January 1991, a year with an exceptional cold and icy winter along the coast of the Baltic Sea, buyers already preferred to buy a more fancy car. A few years later they had disappeared from german roads. At the station in Göhren on the island of Rügen this one, the station wagon version, still had the old GDR license plate. The Rügen narrow gauge railroad, however, in the background, which in 1991 still was a means of public transport which had barely changed since the foundation of the GDR, is still running today with the same steam engines and cars. It even was extended. However, today, its services are many used by tourists.
Trabant, Göhren, Rügen (scan of an Agfa CT 18 slide)
I heard that some of you went for a street photography excursion. What a pity I could not come along. But here is one of my own favorites, from the US, August 1st, 2014. People sit on a hill in gold medal park above the banks of the Mississippi in downtown Minneapolis to enjoy the sunset. The name of the park is a reminder of the history of the place: the banks of the river were lined with flower mills. The Gold Medal mill in the background was converted into a museum. In between the landing of the Guthrie Theater stretches out towards the river. The owner of the two manicured dogs leaves just as the sun is setting behind the theater
This is the first picture for me to post here and for a while I have pondered about which one. Well, it is the time of Corona and also, last week, it was international women’s day. At least in the country where I live, wearing a mask as a measure against Corona seems to be a big issue and an attack against the holy grail of freedom. In Oman, wearing a mask for women in the countryside is common. They come in various sizes and shapes and there are variations in how much they cover. This one is the medium version. Taking pictures is difficult, but the huge animal market in the town of Nizwa gives the right opportunities
A couple of new pets….