Last week I did it again. I got lost on my way from work. The commute is only ten minutes when there’s no traffic. But that night, it was horrible. Cars slowed down in front of me, then came to a stop. And stayed put entirely. I only had a couple of seconds before I would be cornered -the lane was already flooding with other drivers who tried to find a way out- and forced onto the highway, so I decided to turn to the right. The car jumped into gear and took me into the shortcut.
Through that manoeuvre I found myself in a road I didn’t expect to find myself in. But hey, navigating is easy, right? I approximately knew the direction I had to take. Heading towards a roundabout, I decided to continue my straight course. At the next turn I took a left. My eyes were roaming the streets for landmarks so I could orientate myself, but to no avail. Right again, then left. It took me deeper and deeper into the residential area. Narrow streets, one-way streets. Little children on little bikes, swarming the sidewalks and road. Parents parking their cars and blocking my way. After ten minutes of following my built-in radar and getting nowhere, I surrendered and activated my TomTom.
While I waited for the satellites to connect with my little electronic guide, my thoughts returned to last week. Getting lost in the streets of a town is nothing. Getting lost in an English pub, now that is a new accomplishment of my nonexistent sense of direction. My V-man and I were having a very nice lunch. And, being in the United Kingdom, we simply had to have a very nice cuppa or two. Before resuming our trip, I decided to get rid of superfluous tea and visit the restroom. I had no trouble whatsoever finding it. To find my way back was the real challenge. When I came out, the place suddenly looked unfamiliar. Where was the lunchroom? Where was the entrance? Bewildered I stopped and stared, shaking my head in utter amazement. And resignation. A kind old gentleman asked “What’s the matter, love?” and I simply said “I’m lost. In a pub. Can you believe it?” For I could not.
In my defense though (the only defense I can artfully think of): the things one sees on the way in are not the same things one sees on the way back. I kid you not! But I rest this lost case. I’m missing some strange and mysterious ability and I will never get it. Lost. In a pub. I have hit rock bottom.
PS. I managed to find V-man that afternoon, and arrived at home safely. 😉
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Baking. Playing. Wii. New treasured memories.
How can silence be this deafening? Yesterday my youngest son left for the UK again, taking his charming girlfriend and her two extraordinary kids home. The house seems empty without the enthusiastic yelling over the Wii, the clapping and drumming of Donkey Konga, the smell of homemade bread, brownies, muffins and bread sticks. Without little feet that poke me in the middle of the night.
My son left again, and I’m focusing on the next meeting. Because if I don’t, I will have to apply new eye makeup.
Have a warm family weekend, all of you.
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The Rosetta Stone
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The Rosetta Stone was discovered in Egypt, at Fort St Julien in el-Rashid, known as Rosetta. It dates from the Ptolemaic Period, 196 BC.
The Rosetta Stone is one of the most important objects in the British Museum as it holds the key to understanding Egyptian hieroglyphs – a script made up of small pictures that was used originally in ancient Egypt for religious texts. Hieroglyphic writing died out in Egypt in the fourth century AD. Over time the knowledge of how to read hieroglyphs was lost, until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 and its subsequent decipherment.
The Stone is a tablet of black rock called granodiorite. It is part of a larger inscribed stone that would have stood some 2 metres high. The section that remains is roughly rectangular. It measures just over a metre high, 72 centimetres wide and almost 30 centimetres from front to back. The top part of the stone has broken off at an angle – in line with a band of pink granite whose crystalline structure glints a little in the light. The back of the Rosetta stone is rough, where it has been hewn into shape, but the front face is smooth and crammed with text, inscribed in three different scripts. These form three distinct bands of writing. The top band consists of fourteen lines of hieroglyphs: symbols such as an eye, a seated man, a reed and a basket. The middle band is made up of thirty-two lines of a curvilinear script called demotic, the everyday language used in ancient Egypt. At the bottom are over fifty lines of tightly compressed Greek writing.
The inscriptions are three translations of the same decree, passed by a council of priests, that affirms the royal cult of the thirteen-year-old Ptolemy V on the first anniversary of his coronation. In the early years of the nineteenth century, scholars were able to use the Greek inscription on this stone as the key to deciphering the others.
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Do you remember Kate Bush? When I think of her (English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer), I see graceful arms and huge expressive brown eyes, hear her rich voice. But I did not really remember that she was such a talented dancer! I have gathered a couple of music videos for you.
Great choreograhpy in Running Up That Hill:
Of course this classic: Wuthering Heights
, after Emily Brontë’s only novel:
Don’t give up – together with Peter Gabriel:
I love the Irish influences in The Sensual World
And last but not least this pearl. The song is called Mná na hÉireann
which translates to ‘Women of Ireland’:
Catherine ‘Kate’ Bush was born on 30 July 1958 in Welling, South East London, to English physician Robert Bush and his Irish wife, Hannah Daly. She was raised in their farmhouse in East Wickham with her older brothers, John and Paddy. Bush came from an artistic background: her mother was a former Irish folk dancer, her father was an accomplished pianist, Paddy worked as a musical instrument maker and John was a poet and photographer. Both brothers were involved in the local folk music scene.
Her family’s musical influence inspired young Kate to teach herself to play the piano at the age of 11. She also played the organ in a barn behind her parents’ house and studied the violin. She soon began writing her own tunes and eventually added lyrics to them.
At the age of nineteen, Bush topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single Wuthering Heights. She has since released ten albums, three of which topped the UK Albums Chart, and has had twenty five UK Top 40 hit singles.
Her accomplishments are quite impressive! Did you know that Kate Bush:
- is the first women to have a UK number one with a self-written song
- won a Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist
- had her songwriting ability recognized with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music
- has been nominated for three Grammy Awards
- is the first British solo female artist to top the UK album charts
- is the first female artist ever to enter the album chart at Number 1
- has been the first (and to date only) female artist to have Top 5 albums in the UK charts in 5 successive decades
- gave only one concert tour in her career.
A unique artist.