Monday, September 24, 2007

Art or Not and a little bit of unadulterated fun!

So yesterday we were cycling in the Bois de Boulogne - its not often I start a blog with that line. Its the old hunting grounds of the french Kings now a huge park on the edge of Paris. Stu , Keli and I hired bikes and as we went racing of into the trees were swept by a wave of childlike euphoria - cue screams and laughter and some dodgy cycling in and out of the trees. Ah it was marvellous and then we ventured into the Bagatelle Botanic gardens where in the midst of a picture perfect garden replete with roses and fountains , there was a free classical music concert going on in the Orangerie ...... so we sat outside in the sun and were content.

I've also been to rugby matches ( least said about that the better) , Notre Dame ( so far no justifiable homicide of american tourists clutching copies of the Da Vinci Code but give me time) and the Louvre and hence my question of the day .....

What makes a work of art great ? The two photos above are works of art by Leonardo Da Vinci - one the Mona Lisa is world famous - always has a cue around it and is frankly quite disappointing close up . I much preferred the other picture of an unknown noblewoman from Naples hanging in the corridor outside with no crowds near it as they all rush past to see the Mona Lisa. So who decided what is great and what is not and why is one better than the other ..... answers on a postcard please ? Anyway am off to the Louvre again - must be all that french food .

avoir un jour splendide


Sunday, September 16, 2007

For Sausage Baps and St George

Yesterday I had my last sausage bap of the year at St georges market before heading off on my travels and so in tribute .......

Its a little bit of heaven - a place where both adults and children can be happy. Its sometimes a little cold in the old victorian building but the light is always good. Even on a rainy day it feels bright , ethereal and set apart. A world of music and good food. The smell of bacon and sausages cooking over at the Mossbrook Farm stand. Trevor is always smiling as he hands over the sausage baps while the girls make the coffee - the spitting of the grill mixing with the hissing of the Italian coffee machine.

But ultimately its a place of friendship. A space to catch up and enjoy the company of many friends both old and new. And a space to wander and buy your food for the coming week. I cant help but love it. If heaven is a little like St Georges I'll be happy there.

and in honour of Padraig a Saintly Haiku

St Georges Market
Children Crying , bacon frying
and I am happy.



Wednesday, September 12, 2007


H.L. Mencken said, "The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animals. Some of their most esteemed inventions have no other apparent purpose, for example, the dinner party of more than two, the epic poem, and the science of metaphysics."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Contemplating Merton

Thanks to Mike over on the Moot site for reminding me about a book I read a few years ago but as is the curse of men had forgotten most of it. I love this quote but also check out the Moot website where he is sharing some others over the next little while

"Our vocation is not simply to be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity, our own destiny. We are free beings and children of God. This means to say that we should not passively exist, but actively participate in His creative freedom, in our own lives, and in the lives of others by choosing the truth. To put it better, we are even called to share with God the work of creating the truth of our identity. We can evade this responsibility by playing with masks, and this pleases us because it can appear at times to be a free and creative way of living. It is quite easy, it seems, to please everyone. But in the long run, the cost and sorrow come very high. To work out our identity in God, which the Bible calls "working out our salvation," is a labour that requires sacrifice and anguish, risk and many tears. It demands close attention to reality at every moment, and great fidelity to God, as God reveals Gods self, obscurely, in the mystery of each new situation."

Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation.