Saturday, November 28, 2009




Orkney's Italian Chapel

A herewith highly recommended post at Sicily Scene about the Churchill-made Arandora Star-tragedy, reminded me of my surprise when on my first visit to a certain island I 'stumbled' upon ...

this very chapel.

Imagine you had been one of 550 Italians captured in North Africa and in 1942 being brought to the Orkney Islands, being forced to construct causeways to block German U-Boots from accessing Scapa Flow.

The name those four causeways got, by the way:

Churchill Barriers (sic!).

As you can read (at least) the essentials here, I do allow myself to indulge one of my favourite passions - do I detect a knowing simper on the lips of my experienced readers? :) - and restrict myself to offer some photographs.

The chapel

Its inside (photo taken freehand, without flash)

The 24 prisoners of war who did it.

Not il duce


And here some more lines in Italian, just for Lady Limoncello (and those whose native tongue is Italian).


Why would an agnostic write a post about some Italians who a) were so stupid to follow a megalomaniac 'duce', b) be so stupid to let capture themselves, and finally c) in their rainy and stormy detention centre would start to build a chapel for someone/something who/that has - so far - not introduced her-/him-/itself as Her/His/Its godish Highness?


1. (the ironic one) Just because it's a sign of hope. After all, out of approximately 500 prisoners of war only 24 were such silly full stop

2. (the first of two serious ones, and I do cut it but short): It's just amazing! Just amazing.

Finally, two questions:

Major T. P. Buckland have allowed to build a mosque?

Would a Muslim-Major (have) allow(ed) his Christian prisoners to build a chapel?

And a last thought for tonight; a thought that is ... yes! ... permanent part of Omnium: We all (!) could (!) know from history how ... have no adjective here ... war is. And still ... and still ... there has not yet been the one generation who was willing and able to immunise their children against those roothless and greedy few (!) who'd do their best to instigate envy and hate and ... wars.

And therefore:

Past is. Is presence. Impossible to let bygones be bygones or even forget about. It’s there. Is presence. And maybe herein lies the reason that we remain unable to learn from the past.

Up til infinity?

For how many years, decades ... millennia the majority will keep silence?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Chapeau, Monsieur Aznavour

Well, from a 70 year young lady to an 85 year young man: Charles Aznavour. Today a new album of Armenia's Ambassador to Switzerland was released.
Apart from that I shall prefer listening to his old chansons: What an artist; the more when comparing him to the many tiny squallers who think they were stars, not knowing they are at least 86 per cent bicycle*.

* Those few - although it is most unlikely they exist - who would not understand what I am refering to, as they happen to not being in possession of the master's complete œvre: Saddle your ponies, folks, and hurry up. The friendly, most well-educated and -sorted bookseller just round the corner will be happy to fill the gaps of your education and in your bookshelf.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turning fools in Love

Not that I am a fan - fan is an abbreviation of fanatic, hm? :) -, but I admire here fire.
Thus on her 70th birthday:

Trashed - or: A circle of life

Those who have come to think they know Omnium (sic) a bit better will not be surprised when reading that sometimes - out of the blue - I could for half an hour watch butterflies dancing, bumble-bees humming from flower to flower and on a windy day leaves leaving a cherry-tree.

Why would a notorious lazy man feel such a joy in his heart watching a phenomenon that entails work?

Hm, does it entail work? Per se?


When I fell to the ground

you walked all over me

even though I shaded you…

was it just yesterday?

Now you are going to rake me,

toss me in a bag

as if I'm some kind of monster

you need to eject.

Why don't you leave me be;

by springtime you will

never even know I was here .

Janice Thomson

What Lady Janice puts in poetry, Andrew Scott puts prosaic: [...] some people not too far away from me seem to regard every fallen leaf as a disgraceful piece of filth, to be tidied away as soon as possible. They are out every morning, frantically scooping up all the leaves and casting disapproving glances at the coppery golden carpet adorning my lawn.

And right both they are. Some people would overdo, acting like maniacs for housework or, in this case, maniacs for raking leaves.

Well, I am raking leaves, too ... and give them another job:

Seanhenge's chief-protectors of shrubs, trees, roses etc.; and after they have done a great job during winter, they get their deserved long rest, long enough to convert into young, strong and fresh humus.

And thus the cycle of life goes on ...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The day after

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dames en heren,
Bayanlar, Baylar,
Signoras e Signori,
Señoras y Señores,
Mesdames et Messieurs,


Once again, just in case anyone's con
CERNed and fearing - or exulting - I might have been swallowed by a Black Hole.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

soliloquy, blooming A ... or so

Stream of consciousness. In a blogpost? Lovely. Ha ha ha ha. I am not Molly Bloom, hm? Ah, a Joycean. Nah. Although, in a way. Four times? Four times that I read the 'Ulysses'? Five times? Yes. Five times. I think. Gosh. Did I write 'Yes'? "Plagiarism!!!!!!!!!!", I hear them shout, the heirs of the late James Joyce. And: "One million cun ... err ... punts for a Yes!" Fastards. Bucking. Sucking honey from the dead. Can't even spell the German philosopher´s name correctly. Phonetically, alright. Kant. But. Anal Ivia Plurabelle. Language, Sir. Language! Language? Language = Ethic = Fairplay. Thierry Henry. God's hand. Frog's hand. To be fair: Would Robby Keane have beseeched the referee: "No goal, ref. No goal. I played the ball with my hands"? Hypocrisy. Punt. Pound. Euro. Guinea, Guinness. Guinnessis. Money money money. Mon(d)ey. Monday? It's Thursday, isn't it? Thirsty. Thuirsdy. Nah! Not what you think. I'm drinking warm milk with honey. Bloody cold. Hm. Interesting. Do they say it´s every six seconds a child, a woman, a man dies of starvation? After all there can't exist poverty, hm?! 1,3 trillions being sacrificed each year to defend enduring global freedom. Praised be the defence (sic) industry. Malnutrition. No. No! Not in this lovely little village. See this tree?

Click to enlarge

Apples. Lots of apples. In front of the pub. Public tree. No one cares. No one is hungry. Otherwise ... Tomorrow morning I shall go and pick them. Up. Winter's coming. Hm? The blackbirds love apples. In winter, anyway. Lovely to watch them. Creatures. Hungry. In Seanhenge they will find food. Always. Ah! Watching them in the morning. While smoking a first cigarette on balcony. Phewwwwwwww! Smoking? Yep. Gosh, in the last moment. One ought always to have Mr Joyce's heirs in one's mind. Not to forget my former finance minister who when in 2003 once again raising the tobacco tax let me know that the more I smoke the more I support the 'war on terror', while the health minister ... Fucking hypocrites!! Sorry about this tiny aprosdoketon. There is something rotten ... not only ... in the state of ... Israel. I mean not only Joyce's heirs one ought to have in one's mind, but the peace-loving people of Israel, too. This sounds kafkaesque? Well, si. Mr Kafka(´s work) is national heritage, isn't he? National heritage? Well, at least heritage of the state of Israel, hm? After all, Kafka died only 24 years before Ben Gurion proclaimed a state of Israel. Shshhhhhh! A German ought not to write such naughty things. That's anti-semitism. Each Arab, Maltese etc. will get infuriated. Won't he? Not to speak of her. And what did the friendly looking elderly Turk in Bremen say three or four years ago when being asked about a most suprising campaign, in which the Turkish tabloid Hurriyet tried to elucidate that women are human beings, too, and that it's not nice to beat one's wife, at least not on a daily basis? "A man who does not beat his wife is not a man."
Ah, nuff written. What one cometh to think of within but a few minutes! Time to fall into the feathers, put my head on the pillow and have a dream: All semites and other machos with immediate effect do veil their faces up til infinity ... yes ... and walk four steps behind their wives ... yes ... when lugging the shopping bags. Yes.
The peace of the night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordy Wednesday VIII

Again I do hope you will enjoy; and again I do ask you not to be as lazy as (mostly) I am. If you like what you read, leave a comment.
Not here. On the very blogger's site I am linking to.

I am quite sure they will appreciate your comments.
After all, (interesting) comments are the salt in the soup of any article, hm? :)

So, let's begin with my favourite:

Cause and effect

All you need is Awe and Humility - Finding the Right Attitude towards Life's Marvels

Why everyone must move to Finland, or not.

A little man against torture and torturers.

Interview with Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas:

... and deliver us from hypocrisy

World leaders convened at the FAO Headquarters for the World Summit on Food Security today unanimously adopted a declaration pledging renewed commitment to eradicate hunger from the face of the earth sustainably and at the earliest date.
The article ends:
Addressing FAO's Member States in all their official languages, the Pope concluded: "God bless your efforts to ensure that all people are given their daily bread."
Addressing the Pope, I conclude:
Cha líonann beannacht bolg.

A blessing does not fill a belly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Still no divorce filed

What's new?

Well, first of all: It's Friday the 13th of November 2009, thus exactly 209 years and eight months after their wedding, and still the great grandparents of my grandfather have not filed for divorce.

See? There does really exist no reason for paraskavedekatriaphobia,
at all!

Secondly: I wanted to spend the weekend in

Mrs. J. would rather have picknicked on top of

Compromise: We shall spend the weekend in and around


Alright, perhaps the name is a bit short. I shall ponder ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The advantage of billionfold gay marriages

As Nevin asked for thoughts about gay marriage:

Well, what about looking on the bright side?
Two generations of billionfold gay marriages,
and the problem of overpopulation will be solved.

On celebrating remembrance

It's Remembrance Day.

I do it my way.

Controversial opinions ought not to be islands, hm? :)

To make it easy, though, in times of organised stupidity, when victims of a psychotic alienist (sic!) are getting praised as heroes*, just two links to posts about the matter.

Herewith I declare the bazaar - err - the discussion open.

Help yourself.

The red poppy signifies the yearly charade of concern for the UK's war dead and wounded is upon us.

At the going down of the sun ...
and in the morning, we will remember them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sláinte, Sire Schiller!

Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit!
Give freedom of thought! *
Friedrich von Schiller , November 10th, 1759 - May 9th, 1805
To put it straight: In case I were an autograph collector, I'd give 100 Grass' and Goethes for one Schiller.

* The quotation above is incomplete?
You miss one word?
The word "Sire"?

Hm, let's look at
Don Carlos, 3,10 on page 176 of Volume one of the complete edition from 1886, published by A. Warschauer Verlag, Berlin.

It's obviously neither Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit, Sire! nor Sire, geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit!.

Why would most quotation collections then offer Sire, give freedom of thought! ?

Let's look a bit closer.

See the 'stage directions' after Gedankenfreiheit?

1. in the same line: Sich ihm zu Füßen werfend = Throwing himself at his feet

2. König / King (überrascht, etc = surprised, etc.)

Is it possible that some translator(s) in later (erroneously) added König / Sire to Marquis Posa's speech, and thus it became Sire, give freedom of thought?

Well, anyway, Friedrich, both we shall be able to live with this, shan't we? :)

In this sense [raising my tin chalice from 1905]: Sláinte, Sire!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Summer leaves

Some might say: Bravo Sean, who would have thought that when winter is in the air summer leaves?
Well ... :) ... this does not lack of logic.

Friday, November 06, 2009

In the Fog

Im Nebel

Seltsam, im Nebel zu wandern!
Einsam ist jeder Busch und Stein,
Kein Baum sieht den andern,
Jeder ist allein.

Voll von Freunden war mir die Welt,
Als noch mein Leben licht war;
Nun, da der Nebel fällt,
Ist keiner mehr sichtbar.

Wahrlich, keiner ist weise,
Der nicht das Dunkel kennt,
Das unentrinnbar und leise
Von allen ihn trennt.

Seltsam, Im Nebel zu wandern!
Leben ist Einsamsein.
Kein Mensch kennt den andern,
Jeder ist allein.

Hermann Hesse, November 1905

And here - fully aware that here and there it will sound strange - perhaps even foggy :) - to some native speakers - a humble attempt to translate as literally as possible.
Suggestions for improvement are, nevertheless, welcome.

In the Fog

Strange, to wander in the fog!
Alone each bush and stone,
No tree does see the other,
Each is alone.

Full of friends was my world
When still my life was light;
Now the fog descends
None is to be seen.

Verily, no one is wise
Who does not know the dark
Which inescapably and quietly
From everyone him separates.

Strange, to wander in the fog!
Life is loneliness.
No man knows the other,
Each is alone.

As for some crossroads

When reading an interesting little crosstalk about crossroads in the comment section to Stan's fascinating post Blather and blarney and blindfolding the devil which to read and enjoy herewith I do again wholeheartedly recommend, it crossed my mind that once in the past millennium with great interest I read this book.

Well, actually I had just been after - sic! :) re-reading it only a couple of weeks before, which was the more interesting, as the reader had the advantage to know more about the past 13 years than the contributors while writing their essays.

John Hume, f.e., could not know that in 13 years time there'd be
a heated discussion whether a majority of the Irish in the(ir) second referendum about the so-called Lisbon-Treaty within one year should vote "Yes" or once again "No".

Still, his essay
Everything is Political in a divided Society could easily be written in September 2009.
Judge yourself.
Here's a short excerpt taken from “Arguing at the Crossroads – Essays on a changing Ireland”, 1997, pp 105/106

"[...] The renewal of Ireland is scarcely thinkable outside the process of the development of a political and cultural Europe. [...] It (the EU; sj) is the greatest example of conflict resolution in the history of humanity. Nations who for centuries invaded each other, occupied each other’s territories, expelled each other’s peoples and massacred each other, came together freely to bury their old hatreds. [...] But the fact that these nations have preserved their identities is even more encouraging. It proves that institutions can be created to pursue common objectives without sacrificing Europe’s diversity of culture and traditions.

[...] The more people are given responsibility for their future, the more they show their ability to take such responibility. The more people believe that their political institutions belong to them, the more effective those institutions will be.
[...] Working for a new Ireland in a new Europe [...] It is time to look honestly at the virtues and defects of our society and find new answers capable of preparing us for the challenges which lie ahead. It is time to paint a realistic portrait of society and to abandon the consolation of outmoded imaginary mental pictures. We need the courage to imagine new perspectives which will help us to formulate answers to the questions of social diversity, possible political institutions and the eventual resolution of our conflict."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009

Crescent Nebula

Please click to enlarge
NGC 6888 (Crescent Nebula)

Dedicated to those (earthlings)
who think they were the cream of all universes
and even those not yet discovered.


An ideal couple, the astrophysicist and I,
I watch the wor(l)d, he observes the sky.

No personal note

Days I enjoy

Days I enjoy are days when nothing happens,
When I have no engagements written on my block,
When no one comes to disturb my inward peace,
When no one comes to take me away from myself
And turn me into a patchwork, a jig-saw puzzle.

A broken mirror that once gave a whole reflection,
Being so contrived that it takes too long a time
To get myself back to myself when they have gone.
The years are to strictly measured, and life too short
For me to afford such bits of myself to my friends.

And what have I to give to my friends in the last resort?
An awkwardness, a shyness, and a scrap,
No thing that's truly me, a bootless waste,
A waste of myself and of them, for my life is mine
And theirs presumably theirs, and cannot touch.

Vita Sackville-West

Sunday, November 01, 2009