A fond memory


Have We Had Help?


Agnetha Fältskog

Back in the nineteen seventies, like many hot blooded males around the world I was infatuated by this woman. She still looks good aged sixty-eight don’t you think? I love Abba’s music…

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Moscow versus Petersburg in Anna Karenina


A Russian Affair

According to Orlando Figes (Natasha’s Dance – Orlando Figes) Petersburg is for working and Moscow is for living. At least so it was in the old days before the revolution. After Peter the Great founded Petersburg it became the capital and the residence of the tsar, very much influenced by the west through that famous window. As a result it also became a formal city. Built on a swamp it had a damp climate. And in spite of being a new city it soon became the focus of legends and ghost stories (such as Pushkin’s Bronze Horseman and Gogol’s Petersburg Stories).


Moscow, on the other hand, was much more provincial and influenced by the east. Its inhabitants were more anarchistic, being further away from the tsar. Characteristic is the fact that they didn’t surrender to Napoleon; instead they burned their city down and left an empty shell…

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The Surreal World: Haiti



Adoration a la Sainte Vierge-Hector Hyppolite-Collection of Andre Breton Adoration a la Sainte Vierge-Hector Hyppolite-Collection of Andre Breton

Although the presidency of Donald Trump is in a certain sense a bizarrely surreal spectacle, the political aims of the actual Surrealists and the nascent nationalist movement that Trump embodies are polar extremes. Nothing highlights this better than Trump’s insulting and ignorant comments concerning ‘shithole countries’ of which he deems the much maligned island nation of Haiti to be a prime example.

Haiti, however, was a source of enduring fascination and inspiration for the Surrealists. As strident anti-colonialists (for Surrealism there never was or could ever be a case for colonialism, it was always an unalloyed evil that debases the colonised and corrupts the coloniser), Surrealists celebrated the Haitian revolution that resulted in the only successful slave revolt in history and the first black republic in the world. This momentous event and the subsequent defeat of invading French, British and Spanish…

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Thriving Thursdays: Willing Instead of Wishing


Teagan's Books

Welcome everyone. I’m visiting our wonderful Story Reading Ape.  I’m there to encourage you to thrive.  However, I’m on the run from one campus to another at work today, and it will be hard to keep up.  So please leave comments at Chris’ blog here.  And please be patient with me.

Thriving Thursdays: Willing Instead of Wishing

Did you ever throw a coin into a fountain?  Make a wish when you blew out the candles on your birthday cake?  How about wishing on a star?  I honestly do hope your wish came true.  

Wishes are akin to dreams, so I’m all for them.  Keep wishing.  As someone once said, don’t just dream (wish) big — dream even bigger!

However… for many of us, wishes just don’t come true.  “Willing” is a different matter.  Whatever your wish is, will it.  Focus.  Be definite.  Be persistent.  Will it into…

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Peaceful Painting|نقاشی صلح آمیز


A Voice from Iran


Once upon a time,

There was a king who appreciated art a lot.

He asked all the artists of his kingdom to participate in a competition and create a painting with the subject of “peaceful view.”


He announced that there would be a great prize for the winner of the best painting and promised that he would hang the frame in his palace, which was a huge honor and fame for artists.


Every artist started to paint their version of the most peaceful view.


At the day of the competition, there was hundreds of beautiful paintings all gathered in the big hall of the palace for the king to judge.


The king looked at each painting in depth. There were many paintings of the blue sky and great sea, quiet and peaceful.


Between all the peaceful paintings, the king announced the winner.

The winner was a painting with a…

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