Sunday, 14 October 2018

Belgian Pavilion in Venice (2018)

Belgium's original pavilion in Venice's Pubblici Giardini was designed by the Belgian architect Leon Sneyers (1877-1949) who was a supporter of the architectural and decorative elements of the Viennese Secession. He was influenced by Josef Hoffmann.

The 'house of art' was officially completed in 1908 and finally completed in 1910 when Sneyers added his 'finishing touches' to the facade.

Changes were made to the pavilion in 1929-1930, 1948 and 1997; the last  by Georges Baines in order to give the building a 'modern appearance'.

Leon Sneyers' work prior to the 'house of art' included the pavilion of The Congo at the 1905 exposition in Liege. The Congo became the Belgian Congo in 1908.

The other day when I visited the pavilion I found that is was adorned with four golden flags on which the sunlight and shadows from the garden played. Each banner was decorated with a ring of twelve black stars.

The EU-blue debating chamber into which I wandered was silent and empty.

There was nothing else to see. There was no book in which to leave a comment.

I retrieved my shoes from the man on the door and quietly left the sanctum.

Friday, 12 October 2018


Memphis is the cheap and cheerful style concocted in Milan and launched on a sofa resembling a boxing ring in 1981 by the Memphis Group.  

Memphis is furniture, glass, ceramic, silver, fabric, carpets and lamps.   

Although not as practical as the Vespa motor scooter or as classy as an Italian shirt it has its devoted fans. 

Memphis collectors include  Karl Lagerfeld and the late David Bowie. 

There's even a Memphis poem which sums it all up to perfection:

She invades the space
Even if she strangely fits in it 
She creates a rumour in your head
A weird sound to your senses 
She is still
She is a question 
She is a plastic movement in the room
Even if she seems dancing around
Invisible branches occupy the air where she breathes
A surprise 
A shock
A provocative painting 
She has an extremely irreverent glance
She cuts history
Even if she is somehow very familiar
Don't touch her
Look at her
Turn off your own colours 
Love her
As a plastic field in the ancient castle
She is Memphis

             -- Beatrice Bonzanigo  IB Studio  Milan

This delightful Exhibition is currently to be seen at Palazzo Franchetti in Venice. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

Today's Best Offers

O Shiva, 
what is your reality? 
What is this universe so full of marvels?
What makes the seed?
What is the hub of the wheel of the universe?
What is this life beyond the form that pervades all forms?
How can we enter fully into it, 
above space and time, 
names and 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

BREXIT: Kiss of Death for Chequers. Unscrupulous EU Trap Sprung in Salzburg.

I was never the biggest fan of the British PM but now I am. The EU's kiss-kiss bosses have sown the seeds of my discontent. I am seething. I see they have nothing to learn from Judas Iscariot, nor from the money-changers in the temple. Let them build their EU Reich, I care not anymore, for I know it is destined to the same fate as all previous efforts to control and manipulate the European peoples. The fat controllers and their dwarves have learned nothing from history. Their avarice and ambition knows no bounds. There is no means to which they will not stoop. They know nothing of honour and fair dealing. Under the guise of a refugee crisis and a terrorist crisis and any other crisis they think they can use they will now create their much vaunted European Army. I wonder who will be in charge of it. And I wonder who will dictate policy and who will give the orders. I think I know what the final outcome will be. Some of us have been there before. Others have the memories of parents and grandparents to draw on. Macron, Merkel and Co. have their own plans, agendas and their own theories. They do not include Britain, and probably the majority of the smaller EU countries who haven't yet woken up.  So be it.

Friday, 21 September 2018

The Old Driving Whirlwind

The poem first saw the light of day  on my Poet-in-Residence blog in 2009 under the title 'A poetry game you can play at home' where it still stands together with some words about its creation.

Reading Rachel's blog just now I recalled it, or something like it.  Thank you Rachel!

The Old Driving Whirlwind 

Two glasses of vin du pays
Settle the dust in my mind.
Hope is the colour of dirty brown paper.
A dark cultivated woman
Something of miraculous desirability
Was my desire
Mounting all the time steadily
Coming in at night in the wet
Punctured in a mountain village
In the bitter windy rain
In the old driving whirlwind . . .

Saturday, 8 September 2018

The 48th best 'quality of life' city in the world

Choose from this list:

A) Vienna

B) London

C) Istanbul

Answer below:

And in 48th place it's


Such a dismal performance. And going down fast. Knife crime. Murders. Terror. What can one say?

"Turn again Whittington,  Lord Mayor of London!"