Saturday, November 29, 2008


A thousand tales...

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar

- Antonio Machado -

Whatever will be, will be

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here's what she said to me

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich
I tell them tenderly

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be


Sunset eyes

Your clear eye is the one absolutely beautiful thing.
I want to fill it with color and ducks,
The zoo of the new
Whose name you meditate--
April snowdrop, Indian pipe,

Stalk without wrinkle,
Pool in which images
Should be grand and classical

Not this troublous
Wringing of hands, this dark
Ceiling without a star.

-- Sylvia Plath

Friday, November 28, 2008



Uh-oh! The Pogue-o-matic just spotted I need to get a Nikon D90 for Christmas... Just don't buy it tomorrow, ok?

The perils of sharing...

"Whatever purpose a piece of information may have been created and shared for, it will eventually be used for something else"

"Something new has recently occurred in the timeless human activity of socialising, and it will begin to cause a lot of grief in 2009. The fashionable term for it is “sharing”. In its new context, this refers to volunteering personal information that used to be considered off-limits to all but the most intimate friends and relatives—but that is now taking on a life of its own.

It may consist of daily photos to chronicle a pregnancy, uploaded to websites such as Flickr or Facebook and adorned by comments from “friends”, real and imagined. Or video clips of bacchanalia by the hockey team. Or geo-tagged and time-dated clips of the girls’ softball team’s weekly practice, with each girl’s name tagged and pointing to a MySpace page.

But things can go wrong in pregnancies, and prying eyes that are not those of friends suddenly witness tragedies or a cruel hiatus in updates. College-admissions deans and potential employers browse bacchanalian footage. Perverts can plot detailed schedules of a particular girl’s movements on a given practice day.

People have always tried to manage their reputation, and today’s new media give them powerful tools to do just that. So most people participate, and share, enthusiastically. This is rational, says Edward Felten, a privacy expert at Princeton University, because they get benefits: inclusion into a community and more control in crafting and presenting their own image.

The problem is that they quickly lose that control. This has to do with what Steven Rambam, a professional investigator, modestly calls “Rambam’s Law”: whatever purpose a piece of information may have been created and shared for, it will eventually be used for something else. There was a time when the likes of Mr Rambam got paid big bucks to snoop out somebody’s picture, sexual history, mother’s maiden name (still a popular password) and list of friends. Today, this is a matter of minutes spent stitching together data from a few web sites. An identity thief, a political rival, a bitter ex-spouse, a litigant—anybody who is savvy and wants information—can get it.

Most of the paranoia about privacy in the internet era has focused on the power of companies, primarily Google, to collect information about all our doings online. Google installs cookies in web browsers that record the search history of users; it analyses the text in e-mails to insert relevant advertisements; it takes photos of private homes—occasionally with the residents visible—and adds them to its online maps.

This makes it necessary for the public to scrutinise Google and similar companies, and to hold them accountable for any breaches of privacy. But Sergey Brin, one of Google’s two founders, is also right to point to the risk of an asymmetrical hysteria. The public may have overreacted to the perceived threat of Google. Google ensures that computers, rather than humans, “read” user data. And Google has a powerful incentive to protect its users’ information, rather as the self-interest of banks includes proper custody of depositors’ data.

Meanwhile, the public has mostly ignored the bigger danger: ourselves. Anybody with a mobile phone that is also a camera is today a potential producer of an autobiographical documentary. She may upload this for fame, friendship and fun, but it may come back to hurt her.

Does that mean that it is prudent to opt out of Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube and their ilk? Probably not. Participation has become automatic. Even as the camera phone makes each individual an autobiographer, it also makes all the people around her into freelance paparazzi, with their own tabloid-style press (the web). Those paparazzi capture, tag and gossip about her in their own photos, clips and “twitters”.

So there we are, a Google search away, for all to see in places and company we should not have been in, the unwitting backdrop of other people’s documentaries.

The only remaining choice is whether or not to inject our own perspective, with our own media, into this never-ending stream of narratives, to preserve whatever control remains in presenting our own image. The wise will still share things about themselves in 2009. But they will become hyper-sensitive about sharing collateral information about others, in the hope that reciprocity and a new etiquette will eventually limit everybody's vulnerability, including their own. "

Andreas Kluth: San Francisco correspondent, The Economist

Just like honey

Monday, November 24, 2008

Do your bit this Christmas


The Buy Nothing Day is an annual protest against consumerism and globalisation. Its organisers describe it thus:

"Buy Nothing Day (Saturday November 29), is a simple idea, which challenges consumer culture by asking us to switch off from shopping for a day. It's a global stand off from consumerism - celebrated as a holiday by some and street party for others! Anyone can take part provided they spend a day without spending!"

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the inequity of 20% of people in the rich world consuming 80% of the world's resources - and the environmental destruction that stems from that consumption. And some have taken it much further than just one day out of the shops.

"The idea is to make people stop and think about what and how much they buy effects the environment and developing countries. Increasingly large companies use labour in developing countries to produce goods because its cheap and there aren't the systems to protect workers like there are in the west."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Selecting A Reader

Edward Hopper, Compartment C, Car 293, 1938

First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.

Ted Kooser

From the archives

Claudia Trafaria Cadeira 1973
Me in the Summer of 1973, when I was 7. Why on Earth wasn't I smiling? I should have smiled more throughout life... Grumpy girls become grumpy old women!

Google Doodles - Magritte's Birthday

Google keeps on coming up with some great commemorative doodles. Today's marks René Magritte's 110th birthday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Blue-Eyed Sis!

Tons of love!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Twilight Zone

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

Carol Ann Duffy


Obs. Rockall, Malin,Dogger, Finisterre are all sea areas in the shipping forecast issued by the Meteorological Service, and broadcast by BBC Radio Four. The shipping forecast always follows a set pattern, a formalised routine. You can readthe current one at Read it out loud and savour the words as they roll off your tongue! There's a map of the shipping forecast areas at The broadcast goes out at 12.30 and 05.30, so that you tend to catch it if you can't sleep late at night or if you've woken up early, worrying - and then you follow the coast of the British Isles in your mind's eye and think of those working the dark sea areas, and sometimes you feel soothed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Post Traumatic Obama Disorder

Must see AND hear! Absolutely hilarious!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank you!

Get Well

It came in the mail in a HUMONGOUS box before 8am! It was the first thing Clara saw when she woke up. She was thrilled! She's so much better now. She can't wait to go back to school next week! At least she's had more time to chat with Nia online. They both have their webcams on and have loads of fun playing 3d tic-tac-toe, chess, Barbies or webkinz with each other. Hurray for technology!

Monday, November 10, 2008

She's much better :-)


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Autumn day

Autumn in the garden

The colours on display outside the girls' bedroom window are so beautiful I couldn't help but snap a shot and pin it here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Obama

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Years of my life...


... spent in mazes of concrete and asphalt. They look so insignificant from above...

Everything in life changes with perspective and time.

As for right now, I'm just killing time, waiting to find out who the next president of the USA will be. Big night.


Jellyfish - sizes variable: approx. 16" x 16" x 36" - hand blown glass, neon
Eric Ehlenberger

Bird on a wire

Autumn Daybreak

Gold Autumn Sky

Cold wind of autumn, blowing loud
At dawn, a fortnight overdue,
Jostling the doors, and tearing through
My bedroom to rejoin the cloud,
I know—for I can hear the hiss
And scrape of leaves along the floor—
How may boughs, lashed bare by this,
Will rake the cluttered sky once more.
Tardy, and somewhat south of east,
The sun will rise at length, made known
More by the meagre light increased
Than by a disk in splendour shown;
When, having but to turn my head,
Through the stripped maple I shall see,
Bleak and remembered, patched with red,
The hill all summer hid from me.

--- Edna St. Vincent Millay ---

Monday, November 03, 2008

Good Night


Design: Christine Birkhoven

The concept for the
good night eileen lamp is based on the archaic hand-lamp, which was used for illumination moving from one room to another at home in the dark.

The idea behind it is to give the user a clear message through the product. The form language is unmistakable; the lamp can be taken anywhere in the house e.g. at night to the kitchen or toilet. The lamp does not need to be switched on anywhere, because good night eileen recharges on its base and continues to shine as soon as it leaves the base for a view minutes before slowly fading.

The ceramic material plays an important role by transporting the user back to a time of candle-holders and hand-lamps by means of its appearance and feel and primarily by the way it is held. The lamp is also equipped with modern LED technology which allows low use of electricity. Electricity is transferred between the lamp and its base via magnetic induction, i.e. there is no visible connection.


Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on, the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the strangers that you've met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they're not listening still.
Perhaps they never will...

- Don McLean -

On problems

Vasily Kandinsky, Composition 8, 1923

Our choicest plans
llll have fallen through
our airiest castles
llll tumbled over
because of lines
llll we neatly drew
and later neatly
llll stumbled over.

-- Piet Hein --


"A grook ("gruk" in Danish) is a form of short aphoristic poem. It was invented by the Danish poet and scientist Piet Hein. He wrote over 7,000 of them, most in Danish or English, published in 20 volumes. Some say that the name is short for "GRin & sUK" ("laugh & sigh" in Danish), but Piet Hein said he felt that the word had come out of thin air. His gruks first started to appear in the daily newspaper "Politiken" shortly after the Nazi Occupation in April 1940 under the signature Kumbel Kumbell. The poems were meant as a spirit-building, yet slightly coded form of passive resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II. The grook are characterized by irony, paradox, brevity, precise use of language, sophisticated rhythms and rhymes and often satiric nature."

(Source Wikipedia)

For Magritte lovers


Or Jeeves and Wooster lovers...

Jeeves by Jake Phipps - pendant light suitable for any aspiring gentleman or conscientious manservant where class and sophistication are the essential components to illumination. Jeeves’s bowler hat is lined with a refined gold interior and exudes that quintessential British combination of regimented style and eccentricity.

Apricot and almond pudding

Hubby's favourite pudding:

4 tablespoons of apricot jam (I usually use a whole jar)
60 g of pudding rice (short-grain rice)
4 dl of whole milk
150 g of sugar (I usually use caster sugar)
750 g of Egremont Russet apples (reinette/reinetas; any other are fine but these are best)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 dl of double cream
1 egg white
2 tablespoons of flaked almonds
2 tablespoons of grounded almonds

Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the milk and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Leave it to simmer - covered, on a low flame - for 25 minutes or until the rice cooks. Stir occasionally. After cooked, leave it to cool for about 30 minutes.
Peal the apples, remove the core and slice them. Pour 3 dl of water into a saucepan, add 120 g of sugar and stir over a low flame until the sugar dissolves.
When it comes to a boil, add the apple slices and leave to cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until they're soft. Using a sieve, drain the apples and leave them to dry for about 10 minutes.
Whip the cream until it just starts to thicken and then fold in the cooked rice, mixing well with a wooden spoon.
Beat the egg white until it's firm and then fold in the grounded almonds and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.
Cover the bottom of a round Pyrex container with the apricot jam.
Spread the apples evenly on top of this layer.
Spread the cream and rice mixture evenly over the apples.
Spread the egg white mixture evenly over the rice.
Sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
Put the Pyrex container in the oven set to hot (8) for just enough time to slightly toast the flaked almonds.
Serve hot or cold.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

When you are old

Vilhelm Hammershoi, originally uploaded by Gatochy.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars

-- W.B. Yeats --

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Goo-Shun Wang created this brilliant movie “Hallucii” in 2006 at the MFA Computer Art, School of Visual Arts, New York. It carries forward the creative torch in the spirit of the Penroses and M. C. Escher.

Enjoy the level-transcending camera metaphor and subtle details, like the bottle label.

Source: Michael’s “Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena"