Monday, 29 December 2014

Where did this year go?

We are constantly comparing ourselves with others. The old adage that "the other man's grass is always greener" atests to this and to how misleading such comparsons can be. Consider then, the following:

"There can be no jealousy or discontent if you do what you know you must do. And if you do it to the best of your ability, you can do no more. If you do neither of these, then you should dissatisfied."

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A Thought

Christmas time is associated with much that comes from the artistic imagination: works of pictorial art, music and drama - even the humble school nativity play counts as such. Although Christmas is a time for celebration, it should also be a time for reflection. In keeping with the following quote from Hebbel, maybe there will be some piece of art this Christmas that causes you to ask questions.

"In a work of art the intellect asks questions; it does not answer them."
(Christian Friedrich Hebbel (1813-1863) German poet and dramatist.)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

"Life is a game missing its rules. Our job is to work them out - and then to live by those rules."

(Found somewhere I forget and altered somewhat.)

Thursday, 11 December 2014

In Memoriam - Werner Callebaut (1952-2014)

This blog is really about the marginalia of life. However, every so often something of particular seriousness arises.

Somebody I admired very much - Werner Callebaut - died a few weeks ago. Tomorrow (12th December 2014), his ashes will be interred at Unterer Stadtfriedhof, Vienna. He was, at the time of his death, scientific director of the Konrad Lorenz Institute. I wanted to note here how much he will be missed, not only by me but by all those who knew him. He was an intellectual of a kind that is very rare both for its incisiveness and its generosity. From both of these I was fortunate enough to benefit.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? ... Is it a fly?

Whenever I am trying out a new camera setting, I point my camera out of the window and take an image of the chimney pots across the road. This must place them among the most photographed chimney pots there are.
Below is an image I took in just that way. When I came to look at it I noticed something I hadn't noticed when taking the picture. There was a dark spot next to the cage on the chimney pot to the far left. What it was is not entirely clear. My initial reaction was that it was a fly with its wings in mid-buzz close to the cage. On reflection, it could be a swallow much further away in line of sight of the cage - although it lacks a clear head. I will never know for sure.