The Blue Blot

notes, finds & fragments of research

Opulence, Opera & Opium ~ The Associative Mind at Work

The associative mind, apparently, can work its way through memories and general knowledge – linking them, crossing continents and centuries, to finally land where the music starts.

October 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

To the Indies in the East ~ The Manuscript Journal of a Young Ships-Doctor, 1840-1841

There are moments in the life of a historical researcher and writer that cause a feeling of bliss; often related to either a lucky find or a great new subject … Continue reading

June 23, 2015 · Leave a comment

Why is a Raven like a Writing-Desk? ~ 150 Year old brilliant Nonsense (in 30 Quotes)

This year, for 150 years children have been enjoying the wonderous mad world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

June 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

Pulcinella under the Hammer ~ Bumping into an Old Childhood Friend again

Pulcinella is an old childhood friend to whom I was introduced at a very young age – recently, we had again brief meeting through the auction house of Bonhams​ in London.

April 25, 2015 · Leave a comment

Copulating Skeletons on a Roof ~ Rameau’s Rocking Gavotte

This gavotte is hypnotically beautiful, it cheered me up tremendously, and proves that seventeenth century composers were the rockstars of their time.

March 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Bloody Excuses ~ because Apples don’t fall far from Trees

Hoorah! We finally have scientific support for pushing our personal flaws and problems back to our ancestors. It is not my fault, my grandfather was already born this way.

March 9, 2015 · Leave a comment

Remember, Remember ~ Plotters & Heroes in the Family Tree

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

November 5, 2014 · Leave a comment

Calm & Explosive ~ Another Dutch New Year’s Eve

A new year has begun! To all a happy New Year; with all the best in health, success and happiness possible. I hope everyone had either a calm and relaxed New … Continue reading

January 1, 2014 · 1 Comment

Religion in Tradition ~ Rachmaninoff & Six Generations

Today it was once again quite clear that I’m not well versed in the Bible. I admire and, at the same time, envy people who can quote the appropriate verses … Continue reading

November 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

Remember me ~ Portrait Miniatures under the Hammer

A sturdy shiver went down my spine as I opened today’s e-mail from Bonhams. No, it was not the invoice for my last purchase there, but the announcement and catalogue … Continue reading

November 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

A Stray Paper ~ The Ximenes Family Record

It often puzzles me how family papers can go astray. Of course, there are many explanations possible: It could have ended up in a book, never retrieved, and the book … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

After you’ve gone ~ First Lady of Jazz, Rita Reys (1924-2013)

This is what I call a bad start of the day. Whilst putting on some music to make breakfast and browsing through e-mail and the latest news, my jazz-playlist first … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Christ has risen! ~ Thank Heaven(s) for Bach

I am currently staying in a village of a rather orthodox-protestant character, and, that is – putting it mildly. It is a small village of about five-thousand souls, with (at … Continue reading

March 31, 2013 · Leave a comment

The End of an Era – The announced Abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands

This evening, at seven o’clock, a special broadcast was aired by all national (Dutch) television and radio stations; it was announced rather suddenly at the end of the afternoon. Expected … Continue reading

January 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

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