Thursday, 9 July 2015


“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.” - IsaacHayes

July 9th is St Zeno’s Feast Day (Roman Catholic) and St Pancratius the Bishop’s Feast Day (Greek Orthodox).

It is also the anniversary of the birth of:
Ann Ward Radcliffe, novelist (1764);
Thomas Davenport, electric motor inventor (1802);
Elias Howe, sewing machine inventor (1819);
Nikola Tesla, Serbian physicist (1856);
Ottorino Respighi, Italian composer (1879);
Enid Lyons, first woman in Australian parliament (1897);
Barbara Cartland, English novelist (1901);
Edward Heath, British prime minister (1916);
Ed Ames, singer (1927);
Hassan II, king of Morocco (1929);
James Hampton, actor (1936);
David Hockney, artist (1937);
Brian Dennehy, actor (1940);
Karin von Aroldingen, ballerina (1941);
Tom Hanks, actor (1956);
Kelly McGillis, actress (1957).

The dog rose, Rosa canina, is the birthday flower for today.  The Greeks are responsible for the name of this flower, calling it kynorhodon (“dog rose”) because its root supposedly was cure for the bite of rabid dogs.  Others say that it is derived from koinon rhodon (“common rose”), the name “dog rose” implying contempt because of its small size and insignificance when compared to the damask rose. It symbolises pleasure and pain.

Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) was an Italian composer well known for his symphonic poems, such as “The Fountains of Rome” (1917) and the “Roman Festivals” (1929).  He revived the Italian instrumental tradition, which was overshadowed by the operatic work of the likes of Verdi and Puccini.  Respighi used the modern symphony orchestra but was always aware of the past, often being inspired by melodies a few centuries old.  His “Ancient Airs and Dances” are a great favourite of mine. In these, he has taken several 16th and 17th century lute pieces and freely transcribed them for symphony orchestra, thus making them very accessible to many.

Died on this day: In 1747, Giovanni Battista Bononcini, Italian church and operatic composer.


  1. Beautiful photo of the dogrose.

  2. Very pretty. They grow all wild here along the shore and perfume the air with the beautiful fragrance. I just love them.