Saturday 26 August 2017


“The clarinet is an incredible instrument. It’s a great, expressive instrument.” - Anat Cohen 

Joseph Leopold Eybler (February 8, 1765 – July 24, 1846) was an Austrian composer and contemporary of Mozart. Eybler was born into a musical family in Schwechat near Vienna. His father was a teacher, choir director and friend of the Haydn family. Joseph Eybler studied music with his father before attending Stephansdom (the cathedral school of St. Stephen’s Boys College) in Vienna. He studied composition under Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, who declared him to be the greatest musical genius in Vienna apart from Mozart. He also received praise from Haydn who was his friend, distant cousin and patron.

In 1792 he became choir director at the Karmeliterkirche (Carmelite Church) in Vienna. Two years later he moved to the Schottenkloster, where he remained for the next thirty years (1794-1824). Eybler also held court posts, including that of court Kapellmeister (chapel master - 1824–33). The Empress Marie Therese commissioned many works from him, including the Requiem in C minor (1803).

Through Joseph Haydn, Eybler met Mozart, who gave him some lessons and entrusted him with the rehearsal of his opera Così Fan Tutte. Eybler also conducted some performances of Così Fan Tutte. On May 30, 1790 Mozart wrote a testimonial for the young Eybler: “I, the undersigned, attest herewith that I have found the bearer of this, Herr Joseph Eybler, to be a worthy pupil of his famous master Albrechtsberger, a well-grounded composer, equally skilled at chamber music and the church style, fully experienced in the art of the song, also an accomplished organ and clavier player; in short a young musician such, one can only regret, as so seldom has his equal.”

Mozart and Eybler remained friends to the end. As Eybler wrote: “I had the good fortune to keep his friendship without reservation until he died, and carried him, put him to bed and helped to nurse him during his last painful illness.” After Mozart’s death, Constanze Mozart asked Eybler to complete her husband’s Requiem. Eybler tried but could not complete the commission perhaps, it is thought, because of his great respect for the music of his friend Mozart. Franz Xaver Süßmayr completed the task.

In 1833 Eybler had a stroke while conducting Mozart’s Requiem and thereafter could not fulfil his duties at the Court. For his service to the Court, Eybler was raised to the nobility in 1835 and was known henceforth as Joseph Leopold, Edler von Eybler. He died in Vienna on 24 July 1846.

Eybler’s main compositions were sacred music, including oratorios, masses, cantatas, offertories, graduals, and his requiem. His other works include an opera, instrumental music (especially his string quintets), and songs. Of special note is the Clarinet Concerto in B flat (HV160) he wrote most probably for “Mozart’s clarinetist” Anton Stadler. Here is this concerto with soloist Dieter Klöcker and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Mov.I: Allegro maestoso 00:00
Mov.II: Adagio 11:22
Mov.III: Rondo alla turca: Allegro 17:04

Friday 25 August 2017


“Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.” - Mark Twain 

Now that cauliflower is in season, we often have it as a side dish, simply prepared, as for example, steamed with a light lemon and olive dressing, or alternatively parboiled and added to a vegetable mixture that is then oven roasted. Sometimes we prepare cauliflower fritters, which although more trouble to make are tasty and quite morish.

Cauliflower Fritters

1 cauliflower (about 800g), cut into small florets with as little stem as possible
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup (50g) grated parmesan
1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (120mL) olive oil 

Cook cauliflower florets in a boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool under running water, then drain again. Pat dry on paper towel.
Whisk the eggs, herbs and spices, flour, baking powder in a bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper. Let stand for a few minutes.
Have your cauliflower and batter on hand while you heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat.
Take some cauliflower florets in your hand and form into a thin patty. Dip in the batter and place in the heated oil in batches, for 1-2 minutes on each side until crisp and golden, adding oil as necessary. Drain on paper towel and serve, garnished with some herb sprigs and your favourite sauce (sour cream or yoghurt-based works well).

This is part of the Food Friday meme.

Thursday 24 August 2017


“A well-made salad must have a certain uniformity; it should make perfect sense for those ingredients to share a bowl.” - Yotam Ottolenghi 

Sanguisorba minor, the salad burnet, garden burnet, small burnet, burnet, is a plant in the family Rosaceae that is native to western, central and southern Europe; northwest Africa and southwest Western Asia; and which has naturalised in most of North America. It is a perennial herbaceous plant growing to 40–90 cm tall, typically found in dry grassy meadows, often on limestone soils. It is drought-tolerant, and grows all year around. It has rounded leaves with toothed edges, and 4 - 12 pairs of leaves per leaflet. Its flowers are small, dense, of a purple colour forming on spikes.

It is used as an ingredient in both salads and dressings, having a flavour described as “light cucumber” and is considered interchangeable with mint leaves in some recipes, depending on the intended effect. Typically, the youngest leaves are used, as they tend to become bitter as they age. Leaves can be used in sandwiches, they make a nice addition to cold drinks, like lemonade and wine spritzers. Salad burnet can be used to flavour dips and vinegars. Its leaves are tossed into soups, eggs and other hot dishes at the very last minute. The flavour of salad burnet does not hold up well when the leaves are dried, but leaves can be frozen and used in hot dishes.

It is easy to grow salad burnet, and it appears early in the season, holding up well in heat. It forms a clump and stays contained and controlled, growing in a loose rosette. However, salad burnet can spread by rhizomes and it will self-seed, although it is easy enough to pull out the unwanted seedlings (and use them), so it should not become a nuisance.

Salad burnet has the same medicinal qualities as medicinal burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis). It was used as a tea to relieve diarrhoea in the past. It also has a respectable history, called a favourite herb by Francis Bacon, and was brought to the New World with the first English colonists, even getting special mention by Thomas Jefferson.

In the language of flowers, salad burnet carries the meaning: “Let me refresh you”. A flowering stem conveys the sentiment: “Although humble, my aspirations are elevated.”

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday 23 August 2017


“Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.” - Pope John Paul II 

Snowtown (2011) Docudrama - Directed by Justin Kurzel; starring Lucas Pittaway, Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris. – 7/10

This is a movie based on the infamous Snowtown Murders (also known as the “bodies-in-barrels murders”), which were a series of murders committed by John Bunting, Robert Wagner, and James Vlassakis between August 1992 and May 1999, in South Australia. A fourth person, Mark Haydon, was convicted for helping to dispose of the bodies. The trial was one of the longest and most publicised in Australian legal history.

Only one of the victims was killed in Snowtown itself, which is approximately 140 kilometres north of Adelaide, and none of the eleven victims, nor the perpetrators were from the town. Although motivation for the murders is unclear, the killers were led by Bunting to believe that the victims were paedophiles, homosexuals or “weak”. In at least some instances, the murders were preceded by torture, and efforts were made to appropriate victims’ Centrelink social security payments and bank funds.

Although initially the notoriety of the murders led to a short-term economic boost from tourists visiting Snowtown (, it created a lasting stigma, with authorities considering a change of the town’s name and identity.

The film centres on sixteen-year-old Jamie, who lives with his mother, Elizabeth, and his two younger brothers, Alex and Nicholas, in a housing trust home in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. Their home is but one of many cramped, dirty, badly maintained houses crammed together in clusters where the disenfranchised people are placed by a society that needs to have them out of sight and out of mind. Elizabeth’s current boyfriend abuses her three sons and she lashes out, and finds support in a group of people that have been affected by similar experiences.

Jamie longs for an escape from the violence and hopelessness that surrounds him and his salvation arrives in the form of John, a pleasant and approachable man who unexpectedly comes to his aid. As John spends more and more time with Jamie’s family, Elizabeth and her boys begin to experience a stability and sense of family that they have never known.

John moves from the role of Jamie’s protector to that of a mentor and father figure, indoctrinating Jamie into his world, a world brimming with bigotry, righteousness and malice. Like a son mimicking his father, Jamie soon begins to take on some of John’s traits and beliefs as he spends more and more time with him and his select group of like-minded friends. Disaster and tragedy then follows…

This is a bleak and horrifying film, containing shocking some scenes of violence and torture, but not as much as in the standard “gore and guts” horror flicks. It is a raw, confronting, and chilling movie, which relies on the psychological suspense and emotional journey of the characters for its shock effect. It is not a film for the faint-hearted, but unfortunately we live in dire times and crimes such as the ones depicted in the film (or worse!) are all too common nowadays. Watch it with trepidation, but preferably cuddling someone who loves you and you love very much.

Tuesday 22 August 2017


“We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” - H. P. Lovecraft 

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday meme! Join me every Tuesday and showcase your creativity in photography, painting and drawing, music, poetry, creative writing or a plain old natter about Travel.

There is only one simple rule: Link your own creative work about some aspect of travel and share it with the rest of us. Please use this meme for your creative endeavours only.

Do not use this meme to advertise your products or services as any links or comments by advertisers will be removed immediately.
Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency. The jurisdiction is made up of ten parishes on the island of Guernsey, three other inhabited islands (Herm, Jethou and Lihou), and many small islets and rocks. The jurisdiction is not part of the United Kingdom, although defence and most foreign relations are handled by the British Government.

The entire jurisdiction lies within the Common Travel Area of the British Isles and is not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community with access to the single market for the purposes of free trade in goods. Taken together with the separate jurisdictions of Alderney and Sark it forms the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The two Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey together form the geographical grouping known as the Channel Islands.The island of Guernsey has a population of around 63,000 in 62 km2 and forms the legal and administrative centre of the jurisdiction of Guernsey and the shopping and service centre for all three jurisdictions. The parliament of the whole jurisdiction of Guernsey, including the nearby inhabited islands of Herm, Jethou and Lihou, plus the neighbouring jurisdiction of Alderney is the States of Guernsey.

Guernsey, with its sandy beaches, cliff walks, seascapes and offshore islands has been a tourist destination since at least the Victorian days. The military history of the island has left a number of fortifications, including Castle Cornet, Fort Grey. Guernsey loophole towers and a large collection of German fortifications with a number of museums. The use of the roadstead in front of St Peter Port by over 100 cruise ships a year is bringing over 100,000 day trip passengers to the island each year.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme. 

Add your own travel posts using the Linky tool below, and don't forget to be nice and leave a comment here, and link back to this page from your own post:

Monday 21 August 2017


“Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.” - Immanuel Kant 

Nut (Egyptian: Nwt), also known by various other transcriptions, is the goddess of the sky in the Ennead of ancient Egyptian religion. She was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching over the earth, or as a cow. The pronunciation of ancient Egyptian is uncertain because vowels were long omitted from its writing, although her name often includes the unpronounced determinative hieroglyph for “sky”. Her name Nwt, itself also meaning “Sky”, is usually transcribed as “Nut” but also sometimes appears as Nunut, Nenet, Naunet and Newet.

Nut is a daughter of Shu and Tefnut. Her brother and husband is Geb. She had four or five children: Osiris, Set, Isis, Nephthys, and (in early Egyptian sources) Horus. She is considered one of the oldest deities among the Egyptian pantheon, with her origin being found on the creation story of Heliopolis. She was originally the goddess of the nighttime sky, but eventually became referred to as simply the sky goddess. Her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of her name, a pot, which may also symbolise the uterus. Mostly depicted in nude human form, or wearing a star-spangled dress, Nut was also sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets (representing the stars).

Nut appears in the creation myth of Heliopolis which involves several goddesses who play important roles: Tefnut (Tefenet) is a personification of moisture, who mated with Shu (Air) and then gave birth to Sky as the goddess Nut, who mated with her brother Earth, as Geb. From the union of Geb and Nut came, among others, the most popular of Egyptian goddesses, Isis, the mother of Horus, whose story is central to that of her brother-husband, the resurrection god Osiris. Osiris is killed by his brother Set and scattered over the Earth in 14 pieces which Isis gathers up and puts back together. Osiris then climbs a ladder into his mother Nut for safety and eventually becomes king of the dead.

Nut was the goddess of the sky and all heavenly bodies, a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. According to the Egyptians, during the day, the heavenly bodies (such as the sun and moon) would make their way across her body. Then, at dusk, they would be swallowed, pass through her belly during the night, and be reborn at dawn. Nut is also the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in the world. She was pictured as a woman arched on her toes and fingertips over the earth; her body portrayed as a star-filled sky. Nut's fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions of north, south, east, and west.

Because of her role in saving Osiris, Nut was seen as a friend and protector of the dead, who appealed to her as a child appeals to its mother: “O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, and that I may not die.” Nut was thought to draw the dead into her star-filled sky, and refresh them with food and wine. She was often painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus, protecting the deceased. The vaults of tombs were often painted dark blue with many stars as a representation of Nut. Some of the titles of Nut were: Coverer of the Sky; She Who Protects; Mistress of All; She who Bore the Gods; She Who Holds a Thousand Souls.

Sunday 20 August 2017


"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." - Rabindranath Tagore 

Peter Gerasimon was born in 1951 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, one of eight children of Russian/German immigrants. Very early in his life he developed an interest in fine arts and attended art classes, despite advice from relatives and friends that this was not a secure career choice. Although he preferred to learn the hard way, by trial and error, he did develop his skills formally through art studies at the Escuela de Artes Quilmes, Argentina 1966-1967 and a course at the Famous Artists' School for Talented Young People 1969-1971.

Not convinced that the arts could support him in the future, Peter pursued a career in economics and business management, but painting remained his passion. Even on his business travels he always found some time to draw sketches and produce an occasional painting. In early 1996 he gave up his busy management career to go after his passion and become a full time artist. He set up his home studio and gallery, “Glenrowan Studios” in Gisborne, Victoria, near the Macedon Ranges and met with instant success.

Gerasimon has participated in some Art Shows in Australia and has obtained several Awards at the Berwick, Ivanhoe and Woodend Art Shows.

The art of Gerasimon is a mix of the realistic with the naïve, his canvases often depicting everyday scenes, streetscapes and landscapes in a rather dispassionate and detached manner, which nevertheless manages to evince emotion in the viewer. His paintings also include depictions of Australian flora and fauna, which border on the genre of scientific illustration, while his still life painting often evokes a deeper symbolic meaning. Still other types of paintings include commissioned work and illustrative material. More of the artist’s oeuvre can be found on his website (

The Painting above is his “As Time Goes By” a view in St Kilda, Melbourne.