Monday, 27 April 2020

Friday, 17 April 2020

Haiku recommendation

Readers might like to visit Yamaguchi Seishi's haiku published today on my haiku universe link (see links column or comments).

I wish I'd written it.

More than a work of art.

The photo is mine and has nothing to do with the haiku except to say we don't know what lies ahead.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Not my Cat. It just thinks it is.

Seems to enjoy my company when I'm sitting outside and often it watches me or goes to sleep.

Very occasionally it tries to sneak past me to get into the house. I don't allow cats in the house. It knows that. But still it likes to have a try.

Perhaps it's a game we play.

A red cat called Tommy used to come by. But sadly one day it was killed by a car as it was crossing the road. The car didn't stop.

A local doctor went to the aid of Tommy but it died in his arms.

He buried Tommy in his garden. I was allowed to see Tommy in his box in the doctor's kitchen before he was buried.

I don't know the name of this cat.  I don't suppose it matters since it has never asked me for my name.

It seems to be listening to small birds in the hedge.

It was was watching me working until I approached to take the photo.  Of course being a cat it then looked away. Haughtily, almost.

But me being me I nevertheless took the photo.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

EU News Numbers Game

Opening words:  Sad news. The USA overtakes Italy!  This is terrible. The worst for a country since the outbreak of the pandemic! (Euronews).

Next up wonderful words about how it's going to be in the EU after the pandemic from the German president no less.

Yes, they're already setting the agenda.

Euronews, the EU news channel which claims to have the most viewers in Europe, never compares like with like.

The EU plague news is invariably slanted.

Blatant anti-America.



The plain and true fact is that the European Union has by far the highest death totals in the world. Far higher than the USA.

In just three EU countries (Italy, Spain, France) with populations totalling 174,000,000 the number of deaths is rapidly approaching 60,000.

In fact if we include little Belgium in our list of EU pandemic deaths the total of just FOUR  EU states is over 3 times higher than that of the whole of the USA.

And let's not forget the USA population is 331,000,000.

It's time for the EU's major news outlet to report the news as it really is and not as they wish it to be.

Cheesy encounter

personal Frankenstein
bat -mouse

as I now recall
involved a laboratory mouse

the friendly stall holder said
must have escaped
from the medical university

The mouse it was white
was sniffing
the various cheeses on offer

on the cut and taste
that sultry pre-Christmas


Thursday, 9 April 2020

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Bad Moon Rising

                                  This is not a corona virus. It's a photo of tonight's moonrise.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Comparing like with like

In the USA the number of coronavirus deaths stands at 10,000.

10,000 is a fifth ( 20%) of the number of coronavirus deaths in Europe - already over  50,000.

I don't know what Europe is any more. I don't think anybody does. Is it the Europe on my school atlas?

If Turkey is in Europe then Europe's number could increase dramatically in the next couple of weeks.

I join with everyone in wishing British PM Boris Johnson well in his personal battle with the virus.

And I have to add that I was impressed with US President Donald Trump's heartfelt tribute to Boris and his never give up qualities.

The words of one Eurpoean leader, I shall not name him, left me cold. They were Orwellian in their exactness. Perhaps they were computer generated for the occasion.

I think that's all for today, unless things change dramatically.

Hope everybody is keeping safe and well in our little corner of Blogland.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Anticipating summer holidays.

One thing I've decided to do to pass my time and keep cabin fever at bay is to plan a little holiday.

I shall start near the Great Orme, a place which holds fond memories for me. It was there  I 'officially' finished my cycle ride from the Severn Estuary to the North Wales Coast some 20 years ago.

The mode of transport for the forthcoming adventure has yet to be decided. I fancy taking the steam train through the Snowdonia National Park using the mountain railway from Caernarvon to Porthmadog

Are any of you thinking of taking a post-Covid-19 holiday break later in the year? I'm interested to see if people will be reluctant to travel far and wide once this thing is ended.

Have just discovered I have something called 'comic effect' amongst my photo tools. I think it's cool.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

TV channel disappears.

Yeti Footprint Found on Moon*.

Lest we forget, it was Galileo who discovered craters and mountains on that body and it was he whose last words were that the earth moves, that it goes around the sun. Fake news of course! He must be joking. Throw him in the clink.

The EU's recent 'edict' (source: EU Observer) abolishing April Fool's Day 'fake news' items and mentioning, in the same breath, the word 'Russia' appears to have had an unfortunate  consequence.

Or maybe it's a strange coincidence.

   Dear Frau Von der Leyen, in times like the present we need something to laugh at. Your predecessor the joker clearly understood that.

You apparently not? That's a question.

Following your April Fool 'edict' I appear to  have a problem. The channel RT - Russia Today - now shows me a blank screen.

Fortunately I still have Al Jazeera.

But how long before it too is gone?

An Al Jazeera news item this morning said China's early under reporting is responsible for the pandemic. Can that be allowed EU?

Who decides these things Mrs VdL?

Don't panic: Yeti Footprint Found on Moon 
is a Zen My Ass April 1st Fake News Joke!

Alternative sources of news are essential to the understanding the world of today. I object to being told which news channels I may watch and not watch. I like to flick through Al Jazeera, CNN, Bloomberg TV, Euronews, BBC World and even the Chinese channel I'm still allowed to watch (for the time being). The TV has hundreds of channels. Most in German and most of them uninteresting. 

The truth shall set you free. Although maybe not immediately. It was 350 years after his death that Galileo was granted a pardon by those who imprisoned him in his house for 32 years. 

Friday, 27 March 2020

Zen My Ass Pandemic Bog Paper


Toilet paper has never been so popular. Zen suggests a commemorative design to mark the event. 

  Strictly limited.  One sheet per customer. Framed or Unframed. Standard toilet paper size.

Thursday, 26 March 2020


Icelandic author Olafur Brynjulfson painted this picture of the one eyed god Odin (dated 1766).  The image is taken from the German version of Wikipedia. Odin's parents who were Giants emerged from the melting ice in the north during a global warming period. Their arrival was witnessed by a crow. You may believe in the transmigration of souls or you may not but you probably know in the Old Testament it is written "there were Giants in the earth in those days". Genesis Ch 6 v 4.  Odin you should know killed the serpent with one blow which split the thing into nine pieces. Not a god to be treated lightly.

This is a picture I'd like to hang on my wall. I think to order a copy from the firm that produces my annual photo calendar.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Doris Day sings The Party's Over

There are many reports concerning the usual idiots. In this time of crisis groups of them are holding so-called coronavirus parties.  It is even reported today that some of these brain dead cretins are spitting in people's faces on railwaystation concourses and other public places and causing alarm with their inane outpourings -  Ha ha I've got corona virus!  and words to that effect.

Let's hope the insane partying and unpleasant behaviour doesn't get any worse. Hopefully the police will catch up with these people and put them where they belong.

Meanwhile here's the lovely Doris Day with a classic rendition of a golden oldie from way back.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Italy (19 March 2020 update*)

A paining by Franco Rivolli on a house wall in Venice featured on the front page of today's Kronen Zeitung newspaper in Austria shows an Italian health worker holding the body of the nation of Italy the first European country to record 1,000 covid-19 deaths. The last 189 of them in 24 hours.

*Today 19th March 2020 saw Italy (now 3405 victims) overtake China. Ironically the only country helping Italy is China which is flying in corona virus experts and medical equipment.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Friday, 6 March 2020

The last item on the current agenda

In Gubbio:

Francis of Assisi and the wolf 

In Fernand Braudel's 'A History of Civilizations:

. . . debates about customs duties, prices and production levels . . . address only the spirit of calculation.

. . .

It is disturbing to note that Europe as a cultural idea and objective is the last item on the current agenda. No one is concerned with a mystique or an ideology; no one pays any attention to the misleading calm waters of revolution or socialism, that still run deep; no one seems concerned by the living waters of religious faith. But Europe will not be built unless it draws upon those old forces that first formed it and still move within it: in a word, unless it calls forth the many forms of humanism that it contains.

In fact, it has no choice. It will either work with them or, inevitably, sooner or later, they will overturn it and cast it away. 'Europe of the peoples' is a fine slogan; but it remains to be achieved.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Two views of the Mad Cow

I'm sorry but I've no idea who created this monster. I think the nearby Ferry Cafe' people will use it for burning old wood. The collected timber will I suspect be heaped on the back of the iron beast and be set alight on midsummer night or other such occasion. It should be quite a show. I hope I'm there to see it.

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Mum takes baby elephant home

             This juvenile wouldn't move fast enough for mum. She gives him a motherly push.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Leopard in zoo catches nosy duck

Vienna Zoo / yesterday

Spring is an active time for zoo animals. Why not visit your local zoo and see what's going on?

More zoo pictures in the pipeline.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Independence Day

The new day dawns!

A Gillette shave.

Radio 4  - it's Yorkshire Pudding Day

ORF Radio - Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel

Twining's English Breakfast Tea

Austrian milk

Kronen Zeitung front page news - "Not the end but the beginning" says Boris

Sunshine and blue skies.

Lovely day for a walk.

Monday, 27 January 2020


This year sees the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. The sculpture of Beethoven's head is in Baden  near Vienna. In Baden he composed much of his 9th symphony.

The spire of Vienna's cathedral can be seen in the top picture. The composer lived at many addresses in Vienna and environs. His last residence was at Schwarzspanierstrasse (black Spaniard street) which is near the Votiv church, a church often mistaken for the cathedral by visitors to the city.

Big Bee

Radio controlled hot air balloon in the Alps. We also met a fox and an elephant!

Friday, 24 January 2020

Horses at Work

sleigh bells ringing
horses pulling happy souls
over snow and sun

Tuesday, 21 January 2020


those evenings outside
in the glo worms' green dancing
- why are they gone?

The number of glo worms in the garden has diminished over the years. Once they were abundant. Dozens blinking their neon green lights on and off in the evening. Now they are a rare sight. There were  years when we didn't see any at all. Last year we saw three. Hopefully this year they will return once more in abundance. They are an uplifting sight. Good for the soul.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Haiku at the edge of a wood

in silence one stands
 a pondering figure draped in fog -
where now goes the way?

Friday, 17 January 2020


the shed on the slope
where the wine grows in summer
- the fog rolling in

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Three Books

Open Culture (link in side bar) lists the top ten borrowed books of all time at New York Public Library.

Six of the top ten are children's books.

That leaves four adult books.

The one adult book I haven't read (and don't propose to read) is Dale Carnegie's 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'.

My three adult reads are

 'Fahrenheit 451'
 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'
And I've read each of these books much more than once.

They are hereby five star  'Zen recommended'!

Monday, 13 January 2020

Instant Fish Soup

1- open one end of plastic bag
2- place bag and contents in large china cup
3- fill to brim with salt and water
4- heat until ice forms on surface
5- drink 

Best before: _____/______