Thursday, 14 November 2013


“Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” - William Shakespeare
Today, the Eastern Orthodox day celebrates the Feast Day of St Phillip the Apostle, who was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia.
Today is also the anniversary of the birth of:
William Pitt the Elder, British Prime Minister (1708);
Robert Fulton, built first steamboat (1765);
Henri Dutrochet, described process of osmosis (1776);
Johann Nepomuk Hummel, composer (1778);
Charles Lyell, geologist (1797);
Claude Monet, French artist (1840);
Jawaharlal Nehru, first Indian Prime Minister (1889);
Aaron Copland, US composer (1900);
Marya Mannes, writer (1904);
Brian Keith, actor (1921);
Leonie Rysanek, soprano (1928);
Hussein I, of Jordan (1935);
Charles, Prince of Wales (1948).

The teasel, Dipsacus fullorum, is the birthday plant for this day.  The generic name is derived from the Greek dipsa = thirst, alluding to the leaves of the plant that are joined at their base forming a hollow in which water collects.  The plant is used as a weather oracle, the prickles closing up meaning it will rain.  The common name and the specific name are in reference to the plant’s prickly flower and seed heads which in the past were used by fullers to raise or “tease” the nap on woollen cloth.  The plant symbolises misanthropy and importunity.  Astrologically, this plant is ruled by Venus.
Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) was a Hungarian pianist and composer. In 1785 Hummel went to Vienna where he impressed Mozart and was his student for two years. Hummel was thought to rival Beethoven in piano technique and skills of improvisation. His many compositions for piano include sonatas, chamber works and concertos. His work represents a link between the Classical and the Romantic in music. One of my favourite works of his is the Piano Concerto in A minor opus 85.

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