Sunday, 25 June 2017


Reflect often how all the life of today is a repetition of the past; and observe that it also presages what is to come. Review the many complete dramas and their settings, all so similar, which you have known in your own experience, or from bygone history: the whole court-circle of Hadrian, for example, or the court of Antonius, or the courts of Philip, Alexander, and Croesus.
The performance is always the same; it is only the actors who       change.    
                                                           Meditations - Book 10 no. 27
Marcus Aurelius

'That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.'

'. . . after 45 years of research and study the best advice I can give people is to be a little kinder to each other.' 

Aldous Huxley

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Black Bear, Burning Bush and Mystery Flower

A small nature reserve to the south of Vienna was the setting for today's adventure. Intended to be a recovery jog after last week's half-marathon (see Bard on the Run) it turned into a walk of discovery. Fortunately I had my camera with me. 

Please can someone identify the mystery (to me) orangey-brown flower immediately above the stone cat? I saw perhaps half a dozen of these flowers. Nobody I spoke to could say what they were.*

*Mystery solved. It's a Yellow Broomrape. And a lovely one too! 

Arctia Villica (Cream-Spot Tiger Moth (Eng) or Black Bear (Ger)

Dictamnus Albus - Diptam or Burning Bush (Ger)

Orbanche lutea - Yellow Broomrape (Eng) Gelbe Sommerwurz (Ger)

Friday, 26 May 2017

Meditations: Book 10, Meditation 37

from Meditations:

At every action, no matter by whom performed, make it a practice to ask yourself, "What is his object in doing this?"  But begin with yourself, put this question to yourself first of all. 

Marcus Auerlius 

(121 - 180)

The beginning of Ramadan is marked by the killing of 23 Coptic Christians in Cairo. It is another Friday. Another day of prayers for Muslims. The latest atrocity follows on the heels of the carnage
in Manchester. In an effort to understand what's behind all this I'm rereading Pulitzer  Prize Winner The Looming Tower. I think there's no better book on the subject.

For those who ask 'Why?'   

" . . . describes the contorted intellectual journey that has taken place among some Muslims . . . which allows a holy book . . . to be used to justify catastrophic terrorism." - Financial Times

" . . . untangles the anxieties, resentments, aspirations and ideals that have driven and defined radical Islam." - Los Angeles Times 

" . . . extensively researched, gripping tale of the growth of Islamic radicalism." - The Indianapolis Star

" . . . Wright's book is my new touchstone. None of the previous books led me to say 'Aha, now I think I understand' as frequently." - The Boston Globe

"Should be required reading for every American . . . yes, it is that good." - The Christian Science Monitor 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017