Friday 17 May 2024

Biographic, Graphic and Curious books …

 

Inadvertently … I've found some genre of books … inspired from my introduction to Afrofuturism via Kugali (blog posts) in April and May 2019 … that I never thought to look at, or consider … but we get wiser as we get older – don't we - do we?!


Back cover
The first is Biographic Dickens … I borrowed from the library – and would love to read the rest … I've ordered Bowie, and one on Francoise Gilot – Picasso's muse and for a time wife – though I'm not sure it's from Ammonite Press – Biographic Lives in Graphic Form … anyway I shall see courtesy of the library …


This page shows their take on Victorian
Britain in Dickens' era


Other Biographic titles listed per their webpage – Prince; Van Gogh; the Beatles; Tesla; Sherlock; Shakespeare; Rembrandt; Picasso; Cezanne; Bowie; Austen; Audrey; Abba; Hemingway; Einstein; Dior; Beethoven; Hendrix; Dickens; Degas; Coco; Churchill; Monet; Marley; Marilyn; Leonardo; Klimt; Kahlo ...




Next the graphic novel author, Pénélope Bagieu (illustrator and comic designer), who profiles the lives of '30 Rebel Ladies Who Brazen Rocked the World' … all with indomitable spirits … such as (see below) Nzinga – Queen of the Ambundu kingdoms in present-day northern Angola …



... and Georgina Anzulata-Reid whose life story is told … who in the 1980s saved the Montauk Point Light for twenty years by planting reeds to shore up the bluff … at minimal cost …



... before the engineers took over its continuing restoration and protection in the 2020s … costing a mere $44 million! I mentioned her in my previous post.




I've added Temple Grandin's graphic – the Animal Whisperer - with many cows … her speciality …





... and Nzinga ... Queen of the Ambundu kingdoms ... 




The third book – 'The Art of Curiosity' – could have been written for me … but it gives a summary about 50 people who are visionaries, artists, scientists, poets, makers and dreamers - who are changing the way we see our world … that last phrase perhaps fits me in an old-fashioned way …



I'm going to revert to that book later … as there is one guy, about whom I want to highlight in another post …



Cheryl Lee McKenzie – mentioned another book 'Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime (A MusiComic Manifesto)' which is coming out later this year … by Ge Wang … who cannot be categorised … amazing man, by the sound of it.



Just occasionally I wish I lived in California … but I'm happy in my own little world of East Sussex! A quieter place perhaps ... though?! …



Then I remembered I'd bought 'The Complete Maus' by Art Spiegelman – which I will now read in this new genre that I'm beguiled by …



There are now two anthologies
here's the link


It looks like I'll not be reading reading books – but looking at comic, graphic and other types of books in future … though I suspect I'll revert to the written word




Thoughts for the brain …


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Open Door theme prompt ...

 

I remembered my Write Edit Publish bloghop Caged Bird post from five years ago … into which the new theme could fit with some obvious changes – from closed to open … I need that closed one for another prompt next week … but …


What to post … so many rabbit holes I will be going down … graphic books, submarine canyons, Western Australian indigenous art, Siberian oil field exploration, lighthouses, nettles, blue stockings … and so it goes … and yes, of course, a fish banana recipe …



then this week I remembered something I could write about for a prompt and a memoir note on an open door incident that happened in the mid 1970s … 'killing three 'birds' at once' …


A rather too posh
dormer window mine
was definitely plainer

... this probably happened in the very hot summer of 1976 when I lived in Arundel Gardens –which I wrote about in 2020, link below – when my sitting room balcony doors would have been wide open onto the tiny balcony of my card-house flat – up five storeys …



I lived at the top - where
those three bedroom
windows appear - the balcony
is on the south facing side
Suddenly at the doors there appeared a man – strange but true – five floors up – where from, and why … and what do I do … thankfully he was obviously not 'a thug' … but getting away from a drug bust in one of the houses further down the street – and had managed 'to escape' along the roof tops and balconies – thus avoiding the police.




I had no idea what to do – call the police, let him out, send him further along at five storeys up … so for a while we talked – I cannot for the life of me remember what about … I was bemused!



Graphic story about Giorgina Anzulata
from the book by Penelope Bagieu -
more to follow soon (see link below)

Anyway in the end after some time I let him downstairs … presumably by then he could evade the police … and I never saw him again – nor did I have another interloper high up in the skies above Notting Hill …



Here endeth this post … to solve one of my problems – another easy one after my fables … which yesterday claimed another thought process – when someone produced a dictionary of proverbs … and wondered about the term 'Belling the Cat' – attributed as a fable to Aesop – but set under Mediaeval attributions outside the Aesopic canon.


'Belling the Cat' - painting
by Breugel (1559)

I'd never heard of it … yet Gustave Doré created an illustration (1868), as too Peter Bruegel in his paintings of Netherlandish Proverbs (1559).



My sortie into May … gosh I waffle on – things might come straight sometime soon – if I'm lucky and all being well …......


Congo submarine canyon, west Africa

Welcome month of May and in the northern hemisphere some sunnier, warmer weather – well for us in the UK at least … I hoped!


Penelope Bagieu - illustrator and comic designer ...  see Wiki ...  

My earlier post on Portobello and Ladbroke Gardens estate in west London ... 

Caged Bird - Write Edit Publish post ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Fables for the end of 2024's A-Z …


Congratulations to all who entered, contributed and enjoyed – it's an interesting challenging journey – relief is in sight today …

My inspiration for this post came from
finding Jean Ignace Isidore Gerard
(1803 - 1847) - prolific illustrator
and caricaturist


Life's moral lessons expressed via animals … A to Z of rabbit holes n'est pas?!


Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism


not quite animal, vegetable or mineral … but informatory tales told from the earliest of days …


An example of Anthropomorphism
see Panchatantra for explanation

I'd better start … with A for Anthropomorphism … using the rabbit fooling the elephant king by showing him the reflection of the moon.



B is for The Bear and the Bees …

C and D are for The Dog and the Crocodile …

E is for The Eagle and the Owl …

F is for list of Fables …



G is for Gutenberg's files on Fables ...

H is for The Hares and the Frogs ...

I is for the Impertinent Insect …



The Impertinent Insect
J is for Jupiter's Lottery …

K is for the Kite and the Doves ...

L is for The Lion and the Gnat ...

M is for The Mouse and the Oyster ...


Nizami Ganjavi


N is for Nizami Ganjavi – considered to be the greatest 12thC romantic epic poet in Persian literature …

O is for The Olive Tree and the Reed …

P is for the Priest and the Wolf …



(A Hilary adaption)
Q is for the Queenly ruler of the plain – to be found with The Lion and other Beasts in Council …

R is for The Rivers and the Sea …

S is for The Snake and the Crab …



T is for The Tortoise and the Birds …

(Another Hilary adaption)

U is for underground where we find The Mice in Council …


V is for The Vultures and the Pigeons …


W is for The Weasel and Aphrodite …



The Vultures and the Pigeons


X is for X number of fables …

Y is The Young Man and the Swallow …

Z is for Zeus and the Tortoise …





Short story from the 
Jungle Book collection
That's my list of A – Z fables (with a couple of hilarious add-ins) – there be more real ones … all found in the links …


Congratulations to all A – Zers … and as far as I'm concerned let's hope M for May gives us some summer weather!



Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Wednesday 24 April 2024

The 2021 film 'River' – promoted belatedly for Earth Day 2024 …

 

Our fresh water supplies … the rivers of this world … and their journeys around our planet …

Okavango delta - an inland one
in Botswana, Africa



River, rivers burning bright, sparkling perspicuity for life on earth … though this now is almost not so …




recently we've had fire, floods, storms and all manner of natural plagues that our earth has to deal with, humans have to cope with as per their apparent ability to believe they can control ...


Ural River - flowing south from
Russian into Kazakhstan



two mega river floodings very recently in the enormous continent that is Eurasia (Europe, Russia, China and the far East); fires burning again in western Canada …




We've manipulated some rivers – which haven't done us any favours … however to get back to my subject for Earth Day … the film 'River' – which our film society promoted in 2022 …


Pearl River basin
It's an Australian film – with an outstanding exploration of the timeless relationship between human civilisation and Earth's rivers, in all their majesty and fragility.



Six rivers in six continents … reflect the extraordinary differences of each of these water-courses … I cannot now remember exactly which rivers were highlighted …


Our six continents
(Eurasia counts as one)
There's captivating cinematography, with distinctive narration from Willem Dafoe, the music score is exceptional … and is available to listen to …



I've been wanting to write about this film for ages and need to re-watch it … there's so much to it – and I often need to see or read things twice to absorb the salient bits I can get my head around …


Poster for the film
If you get a chance do watch 'River' – it is different … the trailer (2.28 mins) will tempt you to see the film …


As the tag line notes: 'The arteries of the planet are the arteries of humanity' – it is a cinematic odyssey exploring the waterways that have shaped our world, in all their majesty and fragility.


Please see Wikipedia for further details of
these amazing instruments - the didgeridoo
The score features iconic works by composers including Bach and Ravel, music by Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, new original music by Richard Tognetti and the peerless indigenous composer William Barton …



Australian Chamber Orchestra logo

Jennifer Peedom's astonishing visuals are extraordinarily powerful … reminding us of the fragility of this world, and the damage we, as humans, are doing to it - we are poisoning it …


Let us seriously reflect … each day we must do a little more to help life on earth … the rivers are our life-blood …



Belated Earth Day … take your time, absorb the film and its impact …



Directors Jennifer Peedom and Joseph Nizeti;

Robert McFarlane's accompanying words, narrated by Willem Dafoe;

Music by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and Radiohead;

Conductor, composer and artistic director – the Australian violinist Richard Tognetti; and indigenous composer William Barton, and didgeridoo player.


Enjoy – it will make you think …


Australian Chamber Orchestra 'River' film link ... 

IMBd - link to trailer for 'River' ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 8 April 2024

Fish Bananas – Banoffee Pie…


The chef, Ian Dowding, who co-created the Banoffee Pie recipe, together with his proprietor at the Hungry Monk restaurant, Jevington, East Sussex … down the road … came out to talk to us about his life in general …

Ian Dowding's - a cook's note book

Now I don't want any comment on the image selected for his book … makes me laugh to think about it together with the title … but I do love artichokes … a summer treat.




Ian talked to us about how he came to being a chef, and how he learnt his trade and then the creation of the delicious infamous Banoffee Pie … oooh so good.



Banoffee Pie - made with a digestive base
He uses a pastry base – me … I'd always go for the digestive biscuit base … but here we go – the English digestive base, or the American Graham cracker base …



... I'm not sure I've ever tasted a Graham cracker … though to me it would be hard to beat the digestive, crushed and mixed with melted butter before being formed into a base.


Digestive Biscuits

Banoffee Pie is delicious … I could easily crave it – but banish the thought … and, though I'm sure it's around, I don't see it … so am not tempted.



What's not to like … digestive crust, boiled cans of condensed milk … I remember doing this for another dessert (coffee mousse) I used to make when I was a youngster …


... the boiling of the cans gives us the goooey toffee base, add sliced bananas, use thick cream (your choice) with a coffee flavouring to cover … and serve … with or without a dusting of coffee …


Camp Coffee
 - coffee syrup
Coffee flavouring when I was growing up – was made with Camp Coffee … for coffee milkshakes and desserts (never coffee per se) … oddly my brother mentioned they'd run out of Camp Coffee for a pudding (as we call them) for a supper party over the Easter weekend … he was noting after the dessert he'd had a very wakeful night overdosed on caffeine!



Ian Dowding's talk starting out in the culinary world – it was interesting to hear his take … and now I have his book, together with Le Repertoire de La Cuisine - which contains a very concise précis of over 6,000 recipes (c/o Escoffier) ... 



... this intrigued me – and no doubt I'll use it to bring some amusement to my posts in future … as I can find 'artichoke bottoms' in it … this is the reference source where I could not find the 'Groër sauce' per my last post …



I must comment on Fish Bananas – Ian has a recipe for them … a meaty fish, bananas, mango chutney … which does sound interesting …

Through the keyhole -
to all you eclipse chasers ... 


That concludes the Fish Bananas and Banoffee Pie post … all tastes to the mill of your delight! And a big thank you to all references in the previous post … Monty Python, JD Salinger's Nine Stories …



Enjoy the Eclipse tonight in that large continental mass over the pond! I do hope the weather plays fair … the experience is well worth it - even if it's only a partial eclipse like the one I experienced 25 years ago …


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 1 April 2024

WEP Get Togethers # 3 … Fish Bananas …

 

It is April Fool's Day isn't it … so we could have Fish Bananas … I've come across them – more anon … but for now some funnies – other than fishy bananas!

First bi-monthly: June, August, October
and December in 2024
Predictive text cropped up for me today – when I commented on a blogging friend's post … that became a glogging friend (since repeatedly globbing – though could also be a drinking glogging friend as it's a holiday) … how often do words slip through uncorrected, particularly in text form on the phone …


Beech tree - happily living on ... many lives,
with an undergrowth of Spring cyclamen
When I was on the Committee as the dinner administrator (see my post 30 January 2023) we'd wanted to know the dinner menu as the Ukrainian Ambassador was our guest speaker and we needed to ensure the evening went smoothly.



The hotel sent up the menu for us … including a chicken dish:

"Sauteed supreme of Chicken in a Groer sauce, caramelised apples, thyme scented wild rice with chanteney carrots”


The wise old owl typing here -
sensibly realised she'd need
a photo of the guarding owl

Fine … but I didn't recognise Groer as a sauce – I checked in Mrs Beeton, in “Louis Saulnier's Le Repertoire de la Cuisine book”, on the net … nothing.


I did dig a little further – but the only thing that popped out was an Austrian Cardinal, who served as Archbishop of Vienna from 1986 – 1995.


He DID NOT have a sauce named after him – his only claim to fame was as a paedophile … he denied those allegations unto his death … I had to laugh at the sauce's name though - I'm glad I picked that one up!


Deer statue ... 

The next menu also had – to me – a glaring error in it … which had gone from the hotel to the Chair, to the administrator for the dinner bookings, back via the same route to the hotel for printing out the menu card put on the dinner tables … no editing or checking …



Vegetarian option: Mushroom, leak and broccoli short crust pastry pie, roasted vegetables and seasonal vegetables.


Still Life with Leeks by Carl Schuch
(1846 - 1903)


The Leek Pie was very tasty … but I'm glad it was leek, the vegetable, and not a plumber's leaky pie!




I had a lovely Easter day over with my brother in the still very wet Alfriston … with roast lamb, an Easter egg hunt in the garden – as shown … with family and friends … all in all a good last day of March.


Banana Wrasse - to be found from
Sri Lanka to the Hawaiian islands
Happy Spring and I do feel easier and ready for the longer days ahead … as Denise mentions life is flashing by ... to one all happy thoughts …


(PS I used to put in diacritical marks ... but omitted them here) 

and the other thing re Groer ... was it should have read Cider sauce ... 


# 3 WEP Together from the administrators ... 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories