Saturday 31 March 2018


“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” - Mahatma Gandhi 

J.S. Bach (1685 – 1750) wrote an enormous amount of music (much of it secular), however, like most composers of his age, he spent most of his professional life writing and directing music for the church. Consequently, he wrote well over 200 sacred cantatas (sometimes up to one a month) to provide music for the busy church calendar. 209 survive to the present day and of these, around 25 were written for the period starting on Easter Sunday and ending on Pentecost, four weeks later. Therefore, we have an embarrassment of riches to choose from for this season. Here is his “Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubilieret” BWV 31 of 1715.

1. Sonata
2. Chorus (S, A, T, B) at 2:33
The heavens laugh!
The earth doth ring with glory,
And all she beareth in her lap;
Our Maker liveth!
The Highest standeth triumphant
And is from bonds of death now free
He who the grave for rest hath chosen,
The Holy One, seeeth not corruption.
3. Recit. (B) at 6:09
O welcome day!
O soul, again be glad!
The A and O,
The first and also last one,
Whom our own grievous guilt in death’s own prison buried,
Is now torn free of all his woe!
The Lord was dead,
And lo, again he liveth;
As liveth our head, so live as well his members.
The Lord hath in his hand
Of death and also hell the keys now!
He who his cloak
Blood-red did splash within his bitter passion,
Today will put on finery and honour.

Text: Salomo Franck. 21 April 1715, Weimar 1
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Ton Koopman, Director

Friday 30 March 2018


“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” - Omar Khayyam

We have a house guest for Easter and amongst the things we had to eat were these bread sticks, from a recipe a friend of ours gave us. They are always a hit! 

Bread Sticks
Ingredients - dough
1 (7g) package active dry yeast
4 and 1⁄4 cups plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon fine salt
Ingredients – topping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch dried thyme
1 pinch dried sage
1 pinch dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika 

Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and sugar, stirring to mix. Set aside in a warm place until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
Add the flour, butter, salt and 1 and 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the dough hook until a slightly sticky dough forms (about 5 minutes).
Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft (about 3 minutes). Shape into a 60 cm roll; cut into 16 pieces, each just under 4 cm long. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 17 cm long breadstick; arrange 4 cm apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake until slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavoured salt.

Tuesday 27 March 2018


“I fall asleep thinking there is no better elixir than travel. Old things always bored me, boredom always scared me, while travel - travel is a carnival of wild affairs.” - Carol Vorvain  

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.   
Tahiti (previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia. The island is located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the central Southern Pacific Ocean, and is divided into two parts: The bigger, northwestern part, Tahiti Nui, and the smaller, southeastern part, Tahiti Iti. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. The population is 189,517 inhabitants (2017 census), making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.7% of its total population. 

Tahiti is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity (sometimes referred to as an overseas country) of France. The capital of French Polynesia, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast of Tahiti. The only international airport in the region, Fa'a'ā International Airport, is on Tahiti near Papeete. 

Tahiti was originally settled by Polynesians between 300 and 800 CE. They represent about 70% of the island’s population, with the rest made up of Europeans, Chinese and those of mixed heritage. The island was part of the Kingdom of Tahiti until its annexation by France in 1880, when it was proclaimed a colony of France, and the inhabitants became French citizens. French is the only official language, although the Tahitian language (Reo Tahiti) is widely spoken. 

One of the most widely recognised images of the islands is the world-famous Tahitian dance. The 'ote'a (sometimes written as otea) is a traditional dance from Tahiti, where the dancers, standing in several rows, execute figures. This dance, easily recognised by its fast hip-shaking and grass skirts, is often confused with the Hawaiian hula, a generally slower more graceful dance which focuses more on the hands and storytelling than the hips. 

Every July, the Heiva Festival is celebrated. Heiva comes from the Tahitian words hei and va, which mean “to assemble” and “community places”. It is a time of celebration, a national get together in a festival which showcases the very best of the Polynesian culture – by far the most exotic in the South Pacific Islands. It is a month-long celebration of life in paradise, a time to respect the past, and a time to share with the rest of the world the rich Polynesian heritage.

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.