Monday, 1 January 2018

1. January 2018


 
New Year's Day. 

A fresh start. 
A new chapter in life waiting to be written. 

New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. 

Answers to be discovered 
and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. 

Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. 

Only dreams give birth to change.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

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HAPPY  NEW  YEAR

BONNE  ANNEE

FROHES und  GESUNDES  NEUES  JAHR !



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"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And this year's words await another voice."
T.S. Eliot

Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word. Goran Persson
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/goran_persson_178599?src=t_newyears
Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word. Goran Persson
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/goran_persson_178599?src=t_newyears
Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word. Goran Persson
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/goran_persson_178599?src=t_newyea
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a bientòt....

Sunday, 31 December 2017

A Moment of Reflection...


....at the end of the Year

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
T.S. Eliot

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If you travel northwest from Athens, on the road to Corinth, you will come to the ruins of the once great city of Delphi. Delphi is the place once thought by the Greeks to be the center of the world. Here, in the 6th century B.C., the Oracle in the Temple of Apollo, was at its busiest, as it was called upon to dispense wisdom and to give answers to some of the pressing questions of the day. 
But, the Oracle of the classical world was silent before the age old questions like 
Who am I ?  
 Why am I here ? 
What should I be doing ?  and Where am I going?



From the beginning of time man has been trying to make sense of himself and his world. He has been seeking understanding. But as time marches on, man isn't getting the understanding he seeks, 
he isn't happier, and he hasn't been able to conquer his own nature.

What's wrong ? 

With all the great minds and thinking that have gone before us, with all the lessons of history left for us to examine, it is difficult to imagine why we aren't further along than we are. Why are we asking the same questions in our search for meaning, the Greeks were asking 2600 years ago. 
Do we not yet have enough information available to us?

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We now live in a world where we are inundated with more information, on a daily basis, than we can possibly process. It is an over-communicated environment. There are so many unwanted messages bombarding us, that often the ones we want get lost in the noise. The average person can now communicate faster, with more people—without thinking—than ever before. 
Information has become disposable. It doesn't matter whether you are connected to the Internet or not. 
We get hit with it at every turn. 
At work. At home as we try to relax. And at all points in between.

So what about it? 

What are we doing with this information? 
Is all this information really doing us any good? 
Are we living happier lives? 
Are we experiencing fewer problems? 
Are our decisions better? 
Are we any wiser? 
History tells us that we haven't learned much in spite of all we know. 
The situation changes, but the problems remain the same. 
Clearly, we need to do something better with all of this information. 

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T.S. Eliot posed the question: 
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? 
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" 

In a day and age where the number one shows are sitcoms and we commonly find best sellers 
written by those on the fringe of society, we are clearly in need of better thinking.
 We need wisdom. ......

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It is essential then, that we learn to let the unwanted information we receive go in one ear and out the other and to get the knowledge we need, to stop somewhere in between. It is interesting that armed with mountains of information, we have turned arguing into a national pastime. It seems one can always provide more information to support a claim. We begin to think might makes right—more is better. 
In turn, relationships fracture as we go off with our own tangential, myopic views. 
We lose perspective. ....


To gain perspective, it is helpful to study events and people throughout history. 
The past is the sum of all we are today. Understand it. 
Know why we are where we are today. 
Napoleon said, "May my son study history for it is the only true philosophy, the only true psychology." 
Take time each day with those who have left their lives for our example. In time, it will broaden your perspective and deepen your understanding. You will gain many lifetimes of experience in your own.....  






Wisdom requires humility. You must be teachable. 
If you are to put these things into practice, you must be willing to take a look at what you thought you knew about yourself and the ideas you hold. It requires an outward focus not a selfish one. 
Often people who know a lot can't get past that fact and as a result never gain insight into what they know.  A wise man never stops asking questions. 
He realizes that what he knows is but a drop in a sea of knowledge. ....

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As we examine the results of our behavior and learn from the experiences of others, and conform to the laws common to every living thing, we begin to create a yardstick to judge what we know and the knowledge we come into contact with. We can learn what is acceptable. You are the only one that can gain wisdom for yourself. No one can make you wise or make you not wise. It's up to you. Any time you see, hear, or experience a lesson for better living, it's up to you to do something about it. The job of living is to make this decision. Put what you have learned into practice or you will never be wise.





Text source, with thanks, here:
http://www.foundationsmag.com/wisdom.html

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"Dare to be wise; begin!
He who postpones the hour of living rightly 
is like the rustic who wants for the river to run out before he crosses."
- Horace 

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 Thank you all so much for still visiting my blog and for your comments!

Wishing now all of you a pleasant New Year's Eve, a peaceful turn of the year.

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2 Paintings by 
Jan Davidsz de Heem 
- c. 17 April 1606 in Utrecht - before 26 April 1684 in Antwerp
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T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) Poet and critic, 
he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948 
and the American Medal of Freedom in 1965 



Wednesday, 15 November 2017

'BY INVITATION ONLY' - CONNECTIONS


"You Are Invited to... My Sensory Connections."
 - the topic for this month -  
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Growing up in South Germany on the country side, in hamlets, small villages and farms -
I am deeply CONNECTED to rural country life.

When I've visited the Périgord first time in 1984 it felt like coming home,
coming back to my childhood, and it was so clear for me -
one day I will - I have to live here.

I fell in love with this part of France, 
the Périgord which is the Department Dordogne in South-West France.
Have found my home at La Pouyette...

 

And now - after 30 years - still love it, being still connected.

CONNECTED to the soft rolling country side, the space to breathe.....



.....being surrounded by old farms,




old manor houses,
 


and as an "extra" - 


countless Chateaux, Castles....


.....Romanesque Churches.....


 ......some dating back to the 11th Century.....
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All in all - a country side full of history, 



not to forget the gentleness of the local people, 
the old farmers and....and....

 

 A country side which has kept authenticity -



 "Herz, was begehrst du mehr..."  -  


......what could the heart desire more?..... 

I'm fully CONNECTED !
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 PERIGORD - "Impressions...."


As I'm also connected to music - what would be better than Beethoven's Pastorale
to "accompanied" a walk over the the country side....


First movement:
"Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande"  
(Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside):  
Allegro ma non troppo (F major)

Beethoven was a lover of nature who spent a great deal of his time on walks in the country. 
He frequently left Vienna to work in rural locations.
The first sketches of the Pastoral Symphony appeared in 1802. 
It was composed simultaneously with Beethoven's more famous—and more fiery—Fifth Symphony
Both symphonies were premiered in a long and under-rehearsed concert 
in the Theater an der Wien in Vienna on 22 December 1808.
The composer said that the Sixth Symphony is "more the expression of feeling than painting", 
a point underlined by the title of the first movement.
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 5th Movement - also called:

Shepherd's song; cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm



Thinking of this movement which represents
 the shepherds' song of thanksgiving.....


whenever having this old and antique German sack in my hands.....


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"Straw and Order"......

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like "sculptures"...

  Simply love the look of it - every year again....


...again.....  

 ....and again....

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Sunset at La Pouyette.....
 and....

 .....a Sunrise

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Our river - the Dronne

'Scene by the brook.'
The 2th movement was titled by Beethoven "By the brook"
At the opening the strings play a motif that clearly imitates flowing water. The cello section is divided, with just two players playing the flowing-water notes on muted instruments, with the remaining cellos playing mostly pizzicato notes together with the double basses.
Toward the end of the movement there is a cadenza for woodwind instruments that imitates bird calls. Beethoven helpfully identified the bird species in the score: nightingale (flute), quail (oboe), and cuckoo (two clarinets).



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CONNECTED to Objects:

"What Objects Tell the Story of Your Life?"
(by Michael Gonchar)
here
"— Do you think telling history through objects is a “a clever way to hook people on history”?
Do objects tell a story that words or images aren’t able to convey quite as effectively? --"
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I'm connected to all old objects related to food,
food containers storage, jars, pots, jugs, bottles.....
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The History Of Food Storage. ... 
Heat, cold, time and moisture are all enemies of food and its lifetime. Food preservation enabled ancient man to make roots and live in one place and form a community. They no longer had to consume the kill or harvest immediately, but could preserve some for later use.
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Preserving food has been a problem of man since the very beginning. Ever since the first people began roaming the planet the problem of food and water has always been our first and foremost concern. Right from the very moment of harvest, food begins to break down which causes us as people a major problem. Heat, cold, time and moisture are all enemies of food and its lifetime. Food preservation enabled ancient man to make roots and live in one place and form a community. They no longer had to consume the kill or harvest immediately, but could preserve some for later use. Each:
 culture preserved their local food sources using the same basic methods of food preservation. In other words, its allowed civilization as we know it to form. Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, Mayans and Greeks there has been advancements in the technology and techniques that have helped us come up with the processes that we use today.

Here is a small history of the methods that people have used to store food through out the years:
https://valleyfoodstorage.com/the-history-of-food-storage/
Text source with great THANKS to Valley Food Storage

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19th Century Italian storage jars

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 These 19th century Italian storage jars 
were the most rare and beautiful ones I've ever had...

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 Two 18th Century Swiss jars - or jugs? With a most beautiful patina.


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  French 18th Century Oil jars - originating from the Périgord and Lot et Garonne



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Old Master Still Lifes - with jugs and jars...
 
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19th Century Water or Wine and milk jugs from the Black Forest region

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The paintings by Julien Dupre bringing back memories of my childhood...




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 French 19th Century Vinegar Jars
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 French Mustard Jar and others.....

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French 19th Confit pots


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 French 19th Century Pate pots
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Antique and Vintage French Confiture / Jam jars and glasses

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French antique and vintage canning bottles
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Collection of antique bottles for minerale water, selters, Eau de Vie etc...

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 ...and so on....there would be plenty more storage objects
but it would need another post.

 For now - like to finish this with a very special and rare object -
a French winnowing basket, dating from the late 19th century:

 Winnowing:
After a flail had separated the grain from the harvested sheaves, a winnowing basket was used to separate the corn kernels from the outer husks or chaff. The thrashed corn was thrown up from the basket and the breeze (sometimes created by waving a sheet) blew the chaff from the heavier kernels.
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When I have found this I had to have it ! 

Jean Francois Millet -A Winnower, 1866-68

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Separating Wheat from the Chaff (c. 1460)

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GRAINS - 
that leads me to the special German grain and flour sacks,
another "Food - Connection":


Pieces / Objects of country ART

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 This sacks belonged originally to a Weaver ("Weber" means weaver)

 This is one of my oldest sacks, dating from 1814 !
It belonged obviously to a butcher because of the cleaver or shopper symbol

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Love the animals.....
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Aren't they not beautiful !

 
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A Trousseau Flour Sack...
...and so on...
To show more, to talk about the history - it would fill a whole post.
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"The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection."
– Johann Harri

I see it other way round....
...when CONNECTION became ADDICTION....


"Old Linen and Hemp"


As much as I love the fine monogrammed French Draps - Oversheets,
Damask napkins and table cloths...

 
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My heart and soul is deeply connected to the 
HEMP,
mainly homegrown by the farmers, spun and hand loomed.

 French 19th Hemp sheets - different natural colors, different weaves
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Nappe de Vendange 
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 French antique bath towels from the Basque region
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Late 18th and 19th Century Hemp - German Bauernleinen
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 2 French antique Hemp sheets - circa 1860-1880

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These antique Hemp cloths originate from the Basque and Pyrenees region


Some of the large cloths were used to cover cattles to protect them from flies




also sometimes to bring them to villages or towns for exhibitions......


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This one is the most special and rare one, 
also to cover cows - but only for exhibitions

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"Old Linen and Hemp - Connection - Addiction"
it would fill more than another post, it could fill a book !
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“It is only in the world of objects that we have time and space,” 
T. S. Eliot wrote.
 
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Every so often I have olives on my small trees...


...these are from last year - stored in earthenware pots in sea-salted water -
- still waiting to be pickled !

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But every year I have "tons" of walnuts !

 Love to collect them, although - bending down - my back sings "hallelujah" :-)



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La Pouyette....

 
  
"Thesensory part of sensory gardens, that is, 
the integrated sensory experience of nature, seems to provide the best benefits."


 


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:
"Meaning of sensory:
noting a structure for conveying an impulse that results or tends to result in sensation, as a nerve..."
 Yes?



November-Sunsets at La Pouyette...

 

....breathe taking....

 
 
 O heart, what more do you desire?

 
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The Perigord....


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«Diesseits von Griechenland kommt nichts dem Paradies so nahe» 
schwaermte Henry Miller....



Henry Miller went so far as to say that the Dordogne 
“gives me hope for the future of the race, for the future of the earth itself.”


 ...and:


"France may one day exist no more, 
but the Dordogne, the Perigord, will live on 
just as dreams live on and nourish the souls of men."

 

La Pouyette, the Perigord, the Country Life...
all of it...

...my Sensory Connections. 
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 Please visit the blog of D.A.'s 
"Daily Plate of Crazy" to read all posts of our group.
click on this link below: 
https://dailyplateofcrazy.com/2017/11/14/you-are-invited-to-my-sensory-connections/ 

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Remarks:

A very interesting post about food preservation by Melissa Snell:

https://www.thoughtco.com/medieval-food-preservation-1788842
worth to read.

http://foodprocessinghistory.blogspot.fr/2011/03/ancient-food-preservation.html

History of food processing is the history of transformation process of raw ingredients into food or food into other forms. Food processing dates back to the prehistoric age when crude processing including various types of cooking, such as roasting, smoking, steaming, fermenting, sun drying and preserving with salt were in practice. Food processing is probably one of the oldest avocations man has been involved with from time immemorial......

click on the links to read all.