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Here comes and goes another full moon

This blog post has been left in draft since mid-July, the month of the Buck or Thunder Moon, which was also a Supermoon. One of those opportunities to keep quiet and let the view take over, or publish a couple of good photographs. For anyone interested in a minute timeline of lunar appearances, there's always  Moontimes.app
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Montaigne's kidney stones

Philosophy underpinned by a kidney ailment?  Michel de Montaigne was quite a prolific essayist despite his kidney stones or was his painful condition the catalyst of his writings? When does being unwell stop being an impediment? Too many questions, admittedly, a sign of weakness in prose and poor rhetoric anywhere else. Seriously now, or "srsly" as some write nowadays, questions can be quite an effective way to jump start a monologue, and it rhymes with blog as well. Etymologists, beware, I know the two word' ending may sound similar, but they have different origins. A chat with a philosophically-inclined friend included at some point a reference to Montaigne and how debilitating a toothache can be. First the pain and then its crushing ability to obliterate any high-level thinking. Suppose that quite a few of us, bringing a vague cultural or literary reference to the table, feel a bit guilty afterwards and double-check they were not misquoting or worse, inventing. I have

The myth of "Happy Friday"

One more "Happy Friday" greeting and someone will start screaming...Why not  "Happy Wednesday"?  No other day of the week is worth having the same treatment as Friday, let alone elicit a big smile and the thrill of anticipation. Phew, end of work, lovely weekend, all good, isn't it?  Let the fun begin. Well, no.  I'm done with anachronisms. "Happy Friday" is a relic from a pre-digital era, one with a fixed schedule, no internet and no 24/7 culture.  Add here whatever takes your fancy and think of those times without shift work, teams on 4 continents or rolling news. You would have to go back a lot, to pre-historic times even. Social historians and linguists might find it an interesting piece of research, looking for the approximate moment when "Happy Friday" entered common vocabulary. In the meantime, it is as obsolete as it can be. The only saving grace lies in being a myth. There, I said it.

Kids, adults and time do not go well together

What is not to hate in discovering something too late in life? It is not just resentment against poor timing. It is also a new burden on top of an already heavy load, a life lived, experience and mistakes in one bundle. Knowledge revealed which could have been so useful 30 or 40 years before, who needs it when almost down to the last mile? Would you like a new source of regret? Here is one, just for you, sing the sarcastic Eumenides.  The scene could not be more idyllic, waiting for a grandchild to get dressed, with the prospect of a whole new day of outdoor adventures. Gentle prompts are spoken suavely. Total fail. Maybe going away for a while, under a fake pretence, would work? No, it does not. If the Invisible Man would have left and then returned to the room containing the kid, there might have been some  reaction. Invisible does not mean non-existent. A small cry of impatience is trying to work its way up the vocal cords, but is suppressed. After all, it's the era of adults ma

The delicate life of roses and humans

Sometimes a link is enough : A rose will bloom...  

We are all window dressers now

 It used to be the Sunday morning rush, tidying up the front-room, sweeping, dusting, plumping up cushions. Guests would arrive soon and we had to present them with an acceptable environment, avoid post-visit gossip. It is every day now, having guests coming into the digital front rooms of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the others. Eyes are greedy and attention flickers between the best-looking vase in the house filled up with fresh flowers, always fresh, and a small unidentifiable shiny object. Glass of wine or cup of coffee, a couple of books, immaculate surroundings, good lighting provided by a smartphone's camera.  Does it matter that this camera is equipped with something called High Dynamic Range (HDR)? Oh well, it does. Unruly pixels and impossible contrasts are tamed into a picture that looks good, forever. Is this Feng shui in tidbits?  Faced with the impossibility of clearing the mess in every nook and cranny of life, we may find comfort in posting beautiful photos.

The old amulet and the oak tree leaf

 Google Lens is a magical tool, or should I write "magickal"? It's a very short story. Rummaging through old boxes full of long-forgotten objects brought to surface this pendant. No idea at first what it was and no memory of getting it, as a gift or an impulse buy.  Google Images did not work because it the snapshot was not in the right format. Giving up was not an option, the pendant was definitely an amulet of some sort, what if giving up the search meant giving up untapped powers? Random clicking through drop-downs has never been appealing, but curiosity is the best engine.  The photo opened in Chrome, right-click, noticed 'Search images with Google Lens' and here it was, in its full copper and bronze splendour. A Shri Yantra charm or talisman, sold by at least ten different online shops. I could get myself other kinds of Yantras or read at length about them online. Could I?   Of all possibilities opened up this morning I chose to retrace my steps and test Goog