Back in Blog

This turn of the year did not feel like others. There was not that optimistic feeling, the more or less happy outlook unto something new. Simply because there was nothing new to be expected. A bit like when you move to another place, you always take yerself with you. And when the problems are in you, when you are the problem, you face it the other morning, as usual.
The virus did not go away miraculously. In fact we have an even more serious situation as some week(s) before. The numbers do not go down, more and more people do get infected ; more and more people die from the illness ; the feeling creeps in that our arrangements, and sanctions, are less effective than we thought. And of course, the deniers, the know-betters, cheap yellers who have no idea about the practice and use anything that may be less than optimal to produce themselves, oh ihr Schaumschläger, ihr Gleissner !
The lockdown is tightened, I will not work until the end of the month.
Trump did not go away, miraculously. We will have to carry this load of garbage for another two weeks, and GOd alone may know what will happen in Amurga until & after the 20th. There is really nothing left to say about all this malarky. Vlad laughs his arse off, the Chinese smile is inestimable.
Europe, Germany, Franconia, myself, we all are soldiering on, blundering on, wursteln weiter.
Is PASCAL (1623-1662) (Ger., Eng.) right when he says that das ganze Unglück der Menschen rührt allein daher, daß sie nicht ruhig in einem Zimmer zu bleiben vermögen ? Man’s misfortune origins only in his inability to stay calmly in a room ?
I have books, music, and a microwave. What else do I need ?
A blog. Obviously. Night People, and MsScarlet’s QUEST.

A Present, And a Thank You

Some posts ago dear Dinahmow had the idea to arrange a Blog Party, assuming correctly that it would lift the mood of not only me, but all bloggers around. Of course Dianhmow put an own twist in it, after all it is a Christmas Blog Party, with gifts for fellow bloggers. She presented me with some Bix – very nice and welcome ! Blogger Inexplicable DeVice (IDV) followed Dinahmow’s example, including baubles. He gave me as present a castle, so that I would finally have enough space for the books : Very thoughtful IDV – and that house comes with a nice view too.
Because I am a lazy person, I did not go out trawling the web for individual presents, but choose the easy way out and present all of you, venerated readers and fellow bloggers, with one gift – let’s look together at one picture of a garden – a late nod to The Annual Infomaniac Garden Photos Event, originally hosted by The Mistress, this year’s tenth anniversary installation presented by IDV in an impressive series of posts (last here).
Actually we will look at a sixhundred years old piece of (oak) wood with the depiction of a small garden painted on it. If you want to see the real thing, you have to travel to Europe, Germany, Frankfurt am Main, visit the Staedel Museum, climb to the second floor and go to the room “Alte Meister”. It is part of the online collection, and this link should lead you right to the zoomable presentation. (It opens in a new tab, but when you right-click, you may open it in a new window, so you can keep it open while we look at it together, if you like.)

We see a walled garden, a hortus conclusus (Ger., Eng.) with a lot of naturalistically painted flowers, plants, and birds. I am sure that someone somewhere published a list of the identifiable plants and feather balls, but I am not in a mood to search for it – I am glad to recognise the Maiglöckchen, and the strawberries. I think to the left sits a blue tit. You see that they have a Hochbeet there, a raised bed, right behind the table is the strong wooden bordering. The mentioned (stone) table with its hexagonal plate carries a goblet made from greenish glas, a Nuppenbecher (Ger.), and someone ate from the fruits that are on that plate, apples perhaps. If you look closely, you see the fine, white table runner.
Next to the table sits Maria on something we do not see, but on a red cushion. She reads, not uncommon for her. I once read a nice article about this motif, but sadly did not bookmark it. Usually Mary reads when she is visited by the archangel who has to tell her that she’ll be pregnant soon – here is an interesting example. But here we see her son playing at her feet, in fact he plays some music on a kind of zither I think, supervised by Santa Caecilia (Ger., Eng.), the patronsaint of musicians. You may notice that Jesus uses white, rod-like things as plectra or picks, I guess it is quills. I do not remember another image of Jesus making music.
Behind the musicians we see another lady in red plucking little red fruit from a tree with intertwisted trunks, I am not sure who she is, but I like the idea that she collects cherries, and puts them into this beautiful, weaved basket – it has something grail’s-like about it. Maybe the holy grail is a basket full of cherries. This reminds me of our friend, I am sad that I can not show this painting to him, it is one year now since he left us. He liked cherries a lot, and I think it made him happy when he discovered Kirschgrütze (Ger., Eng.). Best with vanilla sauce. The intertwined trunks of the tree remind me of Jachin and Boas (Ger., Eng.), it may be a bit farfetched, perhaps.
A third holy lady, in blue, sits in the lower left corner of the painting. She uses a golden, chained ladle, either to scoop water out of a kind of piscina or cistern, or maybe she skims floating things from the water. If you look closely you may see waves, or reflections of light on the surface of the water, and possibly fish-like little strokes of colour. I am not sure whther there are really fish in this object.
The group of the three holy ladies, with Jesus, is arranged to the right of Maria, while on the other side we see three male figures, who actually do nothing : They sit together closely, talking and listening, separated from the other group by the trunk of a tree. This tree trunk is cut short, on top of it emerge two young branches, shoots. I do not know the English words, the gardening special language (Fachsprache), but it looks as if two Edelreier were aufgepfropft – is “scion” correct ?
And there sits a strange guest, obviously a dæmon, or may be (vanquished) satanas himself. I find this peculisr, I can not recall a painting of “paradys”, or a description of this place at all, with the evil attending. Paradys must be devil’s hell. He looks (grim) up to the group of three figures : A man leaning on a tree talking, identified as Oswald, king of Northumbria (Ger., Eng.) ; archangel Michael, and a knight, given as St. George. Who am I to doubt what professional arthistorians do conclude, but nevertheless, I wonder why an English king, and George, appear in a painting created in the Upper Rhine region.
Under the dragon slayer lies the (tiny) defeated dragon, on his back, pointing his four small legs to the sky, apparently pretty stiff & dead, and absolutely not intimidating. Not a Norwegian Blue, more of a Suebian Green. The archangel is the only figure who looks out of the picture, in the direction of the onlooker. I think he’s a bit bored, at least his gesture (resting his head in his right hand) and his “mien” could be interpreted this way, maybe Oswald is not the most interesting talker. St George btw is the only one who looks directly at Maria.
Thank you for following me around the little garden, I hope you enjoyed the stroll. Thank you all, venerated readers, fellow bloggers, for, well, just being there.

Sunday Music on Mondays

Rright, here we are, back from cloudy and humid Suebia in Franconia’s scorching heat. Today we’ll break the 30°C barrier, and, as the weather people predict, the 40 is within reach on Wednesday. All melting to plan.
Last week was good, a taste of life as it should be. My inner housewife awoke & broke out, I cooked eatable stuff, there was even time to walk around and look at things, mostly ruins of once fortified castles – yes, Suebia lies in ruins, but picturesque, quaint even. Franconian ruins tend to being grey, scuffed on the edges, clipped, but Suebian ruins are nicely groomed and look fresh. Like just unwrapped.
The Alb is a good place. The air is clean, temperatures are always four grades lower than in the valley below, at some occasions one drives uphill right into the sky ; the aboriginies are mostly friendly : Dead tourist no good, this one does not come back for more, as they usually do, like me for example.
I returned yesterday, started the vehicle this morning, and there we go. The kids are alright, my codriver also had restful two weeks and finds nothing to moan about, seems we are bound for Days of Wine and Roses.
Here in the version of Wes MONTGOMERY (Ger., Eng.), Melvin RHYNE (Ger., Eng.) and Jimmy COBB* (Ger., Eng.) from the 1963 longplayer Boss Guitar (Eng.).
I hope you enjoy the music, drink enough water, and stay in the shade. And : Do not hesitate to visit that other Sunday Music.


A bit of a shame that so fine music comes under such a daft title


* BTW, Jimmy COBB is the last living member of the group around Miles DAVIS who recorded Kind of Blue in 1959 : This August it will be sixty years since the album was released.

Sunday Music

I am very sorry to disturb you, venerated reader, by violating the “old order” that you are used to – and actually post a “Sunday Music” on Sundays !
I blame the weather. It is grey and cold, and rains and rains and rains.
If you’d ask me what I did last week, I could not tell one “important” thing I did. I read, I slept (a lot), looked out of the window, rode my bicycle a bit around the village, all terribly exciting. I think I’ll leave for Suebia tomorrow – why hang around alone, when one can hang around in company ?
There I will try to avoid the news, it is all too depressing. I do not want to watch ruthless ignorance rule, it makes no difference in what direction one looks. There is no need for daily “updates” on the behaviour of the ruling scum, it’s all too predictable and deeply disappointing.

So let’s turn around and look at pleasant things, like MsScarlet‘s collages : Do not hesitate to visit her site, read her blog, and inspect her wares. But the Devon dervish not only does a “Sunday Music” too, she and Dinahmow of More Idle Thoughts host July Map Month, this summer’s must-be-there-event.
This all was triggered by Mr Inexplicable DeVice’s treasure map.
If you feel lost – help yourself, draw a map ! Look at other people’s maps, over the coming weeks they should be available via the blogs I mentioned. All together, each & single map, will contribute to an Atlas of Everything – that of course never existed, exits or will ever exist. A hopeful continuation of our futility.
What reminds me that some days ago wordpress let me know that I registered at wordpress nine years ago ; in fact my first wordpress post was published in June 2010, while my first post at all came up a little bit earlier.
Let’s hear some nice music : Today it’s a title called Canadian Sunset (Eng.), here in the version of Hugo WINTERHALTER (Ger., Eng.) and his orchestra (1956) with composer Eddie HEYWOOD jr. (Ger., Eng.) at the piano.
I hope you like the music, may we have a relaxed, and peaceful week ahead.