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Digital Time – Boldriaan [schaakkunst.nl]

Ballet dancers – Irma Stern

Flowerseller – Irma Stern

 

The Hunt – Irma Stern



Chess is an art. Chess is a science. Chess is music.  Chess is a game. Chess is cool. Chess is fun. Chess is Chess! There are always people ‘arguing’ about what Chess actually is and I really find these ‘conversations’ [if you can call it a conversation] really boring. I think it’s mainly bored people on chess sites just wasting time around topics like these. The same with ‘men are better than women’ – also one of the most boring topics. Can Chess players not have more intelligent conversations in the Chess forums than these boring topics? – or is it just me in a ‘mood’.[haha]

Here’s some musical fun!  Click on this link for the  FUN  and enjoy! The link will open in a new window and you need to use your mouse to click the rain drops and you create your own melody too.

From a document found on the US Chess_trust site, I’ve copied a few paragraphs, but once again, this is just another ‘confirmation’ of what I’ve said in many entries on my blog before. So much evidence is available – research done by many people in the past and you will find plenty of documents on my blog to support it – to prove the benefits of chess for children and their learning. These quoted paragraphs are just a tiny drop in the bucket of all the evidence available. Whilst it’s Easter Holiday, I feel to take time out to enjoy a ‘trip’ to some fine ‘art galleries’ and fine  ‘music theatres’ of the ‘world’ and would like to share with you Irma Stern’s art. I’ve found you some info about Irma Stern on Wikipedia and her house [now an art gallery-museum]-link can be found near the bottom of this entry too. The three music files are some of my favourite music and it’s by Waldo de los Rios [and his orchestra] and you can read about the Toy Symphony on my blog on the link at the bottom of the entry. [copy/paste the link in your browser]. These files are not complete files – as you will notice. I hope you can hear the clock – at the start of the first file. Haydn’s ‘Clock’. [Turn the volume up if you don’t hear the clock] Lastly, I had to add a file from Mantovani and his orchestra: Elizabeth Serenade

She was born in Schweitzer-Renecke, a small town in the Transvaal, of German-Jewish parents. Her father was interned in a concentration camp by the British during the South African War because of his pro-Boer leanings.[1] Irma and her younger brother, Rudi, were thus taken to Cape Town by their mother. After the war, the family returned to Germany and constant travel. This travel would influence Irma’s work.

In 1913 Stern studied art in Germany at the Weimar Academy, in 1914 at the Levin-Funcke Studio and notably from 1917 with Max Pechstein, a founder of the Novembergruppe. Stern was associated with the German Expressionist painters of this period. She held her first exhibition in Berlin in 1919. In 1920 Stern returned to Cape Town with her family where she was first derided and dismissed as an artist before becoming an established artist by the 1940s.

In 1926 she married Dr Johannes Prinz her former tutor, who subsequently became professor of German at the University of Cape Town. They were divorced in 1934.

Irma Stern travelled extensively in Europe and explored Southern Africa, Zanzibar and the Congo region. These trips provided a wide range of subject matter for her paintings and gave her opportunities to acquire and assemble an eclectic collection of artifacts for her home. Stern was to travel extensively in her lifetime: in 1930 to Madeira, in 1937 and 1938 to Dakar, Senegal, 1939 Zanzibar, 1942 Congo, 1945 Zanzibar, 1946 Central Africa, 1952 Madeira, 1955 Congo, 1960 Spain and 1963 France. Stern travelled extensively in South Africa, for example in 1926 to Swaziland and Pondoland, in 1933 to Namaqaland, in 1936 generally, and in 1941 to the Eastern Cape. In 1931 she visited Madeira and Dakar, Senegal, in 1937 and 1938. Irma Stern refused to either travel or exhibit in Germany during the period 1933 – 1945. Instead, she undertook several exotic journeys into Africa; going to Zanzibar twice in 1939 and 1945 and then planned three trips to the Congo region in 1942, 1946 and 1955. These expeditions resulted in a wealth of artistic creativity and energy as well as the publication of two illustrated journals; Congo published in 1943 and Zanzibar in 1948.

Almost one hundred solo exhibitions were held during her lifetime both in South Africa and Europe: including Germany, France, Italy and England. Although accepted in Europe, her work was unappreciated at first in South Africa where critics derided her early exhibitionsin the 1920s with reviews titled “Art of Miss Irma Stern – Ugliness as a cult”.

The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades. She moved into The Firs in Rondebosch in 1927 and lived there until her death. Several of the rooms are furnished as she arranged them while upstairs there is a commercial gallery used by contemporary South African artists.

On the 8th of May 2000, one of her works sold at Sotheby’s South Africa in Johannesburg for an all time record of R1.7 million.[2] This record was soon broken, however, and in March 2007 Stern’s work was sold for R6.6 million.[3] Stern’s Gladioli was sold for an all-time high of R13.3 million in October 2010[4], but was then followed by the sale of Bahora Girl for R26.7 million later that month[5] – both were also records for sales of South African art at the time.

Quote from the Chess document, you can find it at the end of the entry. It is a PDF document and will open in a new window.

Chess clearly is a problem-solving tool, an “ideal way to study decision-making and problemsolving because it is a closed system with clearly defined rules” (Horgan, 1988). When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to
previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3)

When faced with a problem, the first step is to “analyze [it] in a preliminary and impressionistic way: sizing up the problem” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), possibly looking for patterns or similarity to previous experiences. “Similarity judgements may involve high levels of abstract reasoning”
(Horgan, 1988, p. 3). As in mathematics, which might be defined as the study of patterns, pattern recognition in chess is of prime importance in problem solving. After recognizing similarity and pattern, a global strategy can be developed to solve the problem. This involves generating alternatives, a creative process. A good chess player, like a good problem solver, has “acquired a vast number of interrelated schemata” (Horgan, 1988, p. 3), allowing for good alternatives to quickly and easily come to mind. These alternatives must then be evaluated, using a process of calculation known
as decision tree analysis, where the chess player/problem solver is calculating the desirability of future events based on the alternative being analyzed. Horgan (1988) found that “the calculation may go several to eight or ten moves ahead. This stage requires serious concentration and
memory abilities…[or]…visual imagery” (p.4).

The mathematics curriculum in New Brunswick, Canada, is a text series called “Challenging Mathematics” which uses chess to teach logic from grades 2 to 7. Using this curriculum, the average problem-solving score of pupils in the province increased from 62% to 81%.

Click on the following link Why Chess to read more to convince yourself why Chess is so important for children to develop their thinking/reasoning skills at a young age.

http://www.irmasternmuseum.com/artist.htm

https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/waldo-de-los-rios/

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Alexandra Kosteniuk: The current Woman’s World Chess Champion – see her blog-link on my blog’s sidebar.

 

A nurse playing chess with a patient – WWI

Women at Chess in London
London, June 24 – The fourth round of the International Women’s Chess Tournament, played in this city this evening, was finished with the following results:
Stevenson beat Thomas in a Giuoco Piano after twenty-nine moves. Gooding beat Muller-Hartung in a French defense after fifty-three moves. Bonnefin beat Hooke in a Ruy Lopez after forty-eight moves. Fagan beat Watson in a French defense after seventy-four moves. Finn beat Forbes-Sharpe in a two-knight defense after forty-three moves. Rudge beat Field in a Giuoco Piano after twenty-nine moves. Fox beat De La Vigne in an irregular opening after thirty-one moves.
Appended are the scores up to date: 1897


*Games left unfinished
The New York Times
Published June 25, 1897
Click
HERE to read the news article in PDF-format. Links will open in a new window.

Giuoco Piano - Chess Opening

Giuoco Piano – Chess Opening – image: Wikipedia

I’m not familiar with this name as a chess opening, I’ve heard/read about many chess openings, but this one was new to me.

The Giuoco Piano is a chess opening characterized by the moves

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
Instead of 3. … Bc5 it is possible for Black to play 3… Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 ( Two knights defence ) or 3. … Ne7 4.d4 d6 5. h3 Nf6 6.Nc3 0-0 7.0-0 exd4 ( Hungarian defence )

The Giuoco Piano (Italian: “quiet game”) is the oldest recorded opening. The Portuguese Damiano played it at the beginning of the 16th century and the Italian Greco played it at the beginning of the 17th century. The opening is also known as the Italian Game, although that term is sometimes used more generally to describe the position after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4. The Giuoco Piano was popular through the 19th century, but modern refinements in defensive play have led most chess masters towards openings like the Ruy Lopez that offer White greater chances for long term initiative.

White’s “Italian bishop” at c4 prevents Black from advancing in the center with …d5 and attacks the vulnerable f7 square. White plans to dominate the center with d2-d4 and to attack the Black king. Black aims to free his game by exchanging pieces and playing the pawn break …d5, or to hold his center pawn at e5.

Source: Wikipedia

Another champ…

MRS. HARRISON TRIUMPHS

February 27, 1938, Sunday

 Defeats Miss Lesley in Women’s Title Chess Tourney.  Mrs. Edna Harrison continued her winning streak in the preliminaries for the Hazel Allen championship trophy at the Marshall Chess Club yesterday, defeating Miss Dora Lesley in the seventh round. Mrs. Harrison now has scored 6 1/2 points.

Click here to view the source.

Mar 5, 1986 – Lyudmila Rudenko, the first women’s world chess champion, has died at age 81, the official Soviet news agency Tass reported Tuesday. The news agency said she died Sunday in Leningrad. A native of the Ukraine, she won the first world chess competition for women in 1950,

was a Soviet chess player and the second Women’s World Chess Champion from 1950 until 1953. Rudenko held the FIDE International Master and Woman International Master titles.

Born in Lubny in the Poltava region of Ukraine, in the Russian Empire, her father taught her to play chess at age 10 although at first she was more serious about swimming. After grammar school, she moved to Odessa and took a degree in economics. Rudenko became the Odessa swimming champion in the 400m breaststroke. Her professional career would be as an economic planner for the Soviet Union, and chess would remain a hobby.

She began playing tournament chess in 1925 after a move to Moscow. She then moved to Leningrad where she met and married scientist Lev Davidovich Goldstein; in 1931 they had a son. In Leningrad in 1929 she began training with chess master Peter Romanowski. She would not reach the peak of international women’s chess until she was about 40 years old.

Source: Wikipedia – Vera Menchik died during a German air raid in Kent.

Lasker and Women …

Among the women fond of chess of this country, mrs J W Showalter has long been considered the champion chess player. At present she is engaged in a little match with Lasker who has to concede to her the odds of a knight. Mrs Showalter has so far won two games, while her opponent has registered an equal number of wins.

Read the NYTimes-article dated 1890’s here.

On this Google-link you will find more links about the history of women in chess to follow up.

 
To explore some chess openings, click on this link from the site of chessgames. To enjoy your chess openings, I have three music files to share with you which you might want to listen while exploring some chess openings. Choose the music to open your chess dance floor and have a ball! The first song is a famous song – Zorba’s Dance. The second, a South African golden oldie – Helloh-A  and Strauss – The Skaters Waltz. I will of course choose the music of Strauss to open my chess dance floor. On rainy days like today, Amazon can be sure of making their money out of me when it comes to music!

Image:chess.com


Zorba’s Dance by Mikis Theodorakis
from the CD: Memories from Greece  – see the youtube-link for the dance.

I once tried to teach this dance to 10 year old kiddies for our class assembly – see this video….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkHfKjwPHXo

Sharon Tany and Billy Forest – Helloh-A


The Skaters Waltz – Mantovani and his orchestra.
If you prefer a different Waltz to open your chess ball, enjoy this link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJNcomorvjg

The Sicilian Defence: Eduard Gufeld – a book I found on Amazon about openings.


Click here to take a look inside  Modern Chess Openings or to order it from Amazon. The Giuoco Piano (“quiet game”) is even chapter 2 in this book!

Something to do on a rainy day!

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wind

Die wind in die baai het gaan lê

Die wind in die baai het gaan lê en rondom
het dit oor Houtbaai, oor Kampsbaai
en by Seepunt wit koppe bly waai.
Maar, in die baai het die wind gaan lê:
alles wil toegesluit lyk – byna veilig -;
en ‘n seun het in ‘n blikskuitjie uit,
sakdoek vir seil
– sonder fletter -, plankies vir roeiers,
dit uit-gewaag
– want die wind oor die baai het gaan lê.
En ons bid na die berg, die wind, die planeet toe
om alles wat wind-berg-planeet se aard is
af te lê, en ‘n oomblik (‘n oomblik!)
net te broei, broei oor die vrees vir die vrees
en die ongewete roei van die seun
in hierdie kort stilte binne die baai.

NP van Wyk-Louw

wind from the sea

Wind from the sea – by Andrew Wyeth – an American Artist

I’m in a mood for art and poetry. I have two Afrikaans poems and art from an American artist. “Wind” is my topic in the above poem and art. Next I have the opening lines from a poem by William Blake, one of my favourite poets.

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour. –William Blake: Auguries of Innocence

Rosa Rosarum

Kom na my tuin waar die donkerrooi rose
Duist’re geheime vertrou aan die nag;
Sonnestraal-kusse en suidewind-kose.
Drome en liefde die lang somerdag.

Kom in die soel someraande en luister
-Wanneer die nagwind hul drome verklaar-
Na die veelvuldige blommegefluister,
Bloesem en bloeisel en blad altegaar!

Kom waar die lelie – die blanke, die reine –
Skugter haar bloesem ontbloot aan die maan,
Blou miosotis – die slanke, die kleine –
Met haar vergeet-my-nie-ogies betraan.

Kom as die maanblom – wit sy en satyne –
As ‘n vorstinne verskyn in haar prag
Onder die wierook van roos en jasmyne –
Skoonste juweel op die bors van die nag!

Daar in die vywer, bestraal deur Arjana,
Open die lotus haar heilige kelk,
Dan eers bereik sy die hoogste – Nirvana –
As sy in glorie van songloed verwelk.

Bok-bokmakieries sing bly twee gesange
Wanneer die oggend ontwaak in my tuin;
Saans koer die tortel sy lied van verlange
Bo-uit die troost’lose treurwilg se kruin.

Kom in die aand en geniet van haar geure;
Foelie, jasmyn, angelier, minjonet;
Kom in die môre en kies van haar kleure:
Rooi, wit en goud, groen en blou, violet!

Kom as die skitter van dou-diamante,
Rosa Rosarum, in my Paradys,
Dat ek my blomme, my bome, my plante,
Roos van my hart, hulle weerga kan wys!
–A.G. Visser (ca. 1878 – 1929)

bokmakierie: groengele vogel met opmerkelijke kreet
minjonet: welriekende tuinplant, reseda

This song’s title is…Kentucky Blues by Lauren Copley – a South African artist

prinshof 001

Cd-cover of one of the 2 cd’s
The songs to follow are all by the choir of Prinshof School – School for the blind and visually impaired students in Pretoria. The first two are Afrikaans songs and the last is where a girl– at the time of the recording of the music she was about 12– played her penny whistle. She was very musical/talented and played 12 instruments! Do treat yourself to her. The first two songs, of the next 3, are ‘wind’ related songs.

 

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 caissa1

Image: caissa.com

caissa3

Image: Chessville

Play chess on caissa.com

Play chess on caissa.com

Caissa is the “patron goddess” of chess players.

She was created in a poem called Caïssa written in 1763 by English poet and philologist Sir William Jones.

Scacchia ludus was the basis for the poem written by William Jones in 1763.  While Scacchis may have been the first Goddess of Chess, Caïssa is certainly the most famous and sustaining. In the poem Caïssa, Mars becomes infatuated with a nymph named Caïssa but she does not return the favor and is in fact a bit repulsed by the God of War. Not one to give up the fight, Mars enlists the aid of an ally, Euphron, the God of Sports and Games. Euphon creates the game of chess and designs a beautiful and elaborate board and chess set for Mars to give to Caïssa. In the poem, Mars gains Caïssa’s attention this way and teaches her how to play. As the game progresses, Caïssa’s resistance wears down and in the end, Mars wins more than just the game. But Caïssa wins eternal fame.

…fram’d a tablet of celestial mold,
Inlay’d with squares of silver and of gold;
Then of two metals form’d the warlike band,
That here compact in show of battle stand;
He taught the rules that guide the pensive game,
And call’d it Caissa from the dryad’s name:
(Whence Albion’s sons, who most its praise confess,
Approv’d the play, and nam’d it thoughtful Chess.)
Mars then presents the game of chess to Caissa in an attempt to win her affection.

For chess players, Caissa is often invoked as a source of inspiration or luck, e.g. “Caissa was with me in that game.”
vidabook

Image: sbchess.sinfree.net

Caissa is also spelled Caïssa.

Caïssa is quite frequently referred to in chess commentary. Garry Kasparov uses this reference now and again, especially in his epic volume My Great Predecessors. It is used as a substitute for being lucky – “Caïssa was with me” – especially in unclear situations, for example in sacrifices. Caïssa as a concept has also been explored by some who seek the evidence of the sacred feminine in chess. The first (Russian) computer program that won the World Computer Chess Championship (in 1974) was also named Caïssa.

On this next link – which will open in a new window – you will also find a bit of info about Caïssa and a link to mythology-images.

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Caissa.html

Please click HERE to view the site where I got the complete poem from. The link will open in a new window.

The poem is based on Scacchia ludus (‘The Game of Chess’) written in 1510 by Marco Girolamo Vida– an Italian poet and later Bishop of Alba – where the nymph is called Scacchis. Jones also published an English language version of the poem.

CAISSA
or
The Game at Chess- a Poem.
(written in the year 1763, by Sir William Jones)

(pronounced ky-eé-sah)

Of armies on the chequer’d field array’d,

And guiltless war in pleasing form display’d;

When two bold kings contend with vain alarms,

In ivory this, and that in ebon arms;

Sing, sportive maids, that haunt the sacred hill

Of Pindus, and the fam’d Pierian rill.

Thou, joy of all below, and all above,

Mild Venus, queen of laughter, queen of love;

Leave thy bright island, where on many a rose

And many a pink thy blooming train repose:

Assist me, goddess! since a lovely pair

Command my song, like thee devinely fair.

Near yon cool stream, whose living waters play,

And rise translucent in the solar ray;

Beneath the covert of a fragrant bower,

Where spring’s nymphs reclin’d in calm retreat,

And envying blossoms crouded round their seat;

Here Delia was enthron’d, and by her side

The sweet Sirena, both in beauty’s pride:

Thus shine two roses, fresh with early bloom,

That from their native stalk dispense perfume;

Their leaves unfolding to the dawning day

Gems of the glowing mead, and eyes of May.

A band of youths and damsels sat around,

Their flowing locks with braided myrtle bound;

Agatis, in the graceful dance admir’d,

And gentle Thyrsis, by the muse inspir’d;

With Sylvia, fairest of the mirthful train;

And Daphnis, doom’d to love, yet love in vain.

Now, whilst a purer blush o’erspreads her cheeks,

With soothing accents thus Sirena speaks:

“The meads and lawns are ting’d with beamy light,

And wakeful larks begin their vocal flight;

Whilst on each bank the dewdrops sweetly smile;

What sport, my Delia, shall the hours beguile?

Whall heavenly notes, prolong’d with various art,

Charm the fond ear, and warm the rapturous heart?

At distance shall we view the sylvan chace?

Or catch with silken lines the finny race?”

Then Delia thus: “Or rather, since we meet

By chance assembled in this cool retreat,

In artful contest let our warlike train

Move well-directed o’er the field preside:

No prize we need, our ardour to inflame;

We fight with pleasure, if we fight for fame.”

The nymph consents: the maids and youths prepare

To view the combat, and the sport to share:

But Daphnis most approv’d the bold design,

Whom Love instructed, and the tuneful Nine.

He rose, and on the cedar table plac’d

A polish’d board, with differing colours grac’d;

Squares eight times eight in equal order lie;

These bright as snow, those dark with sable dye;

Like the broad target by the tortoise born,

Or like the hide by spotted panthers worn.

Then from a chest, with harmless heroes stor’d,

O’er the smooth plain two well-wrought hosts he pour’d;

The champions burn’d their rivals to assail,

Twice eight in black, twice eight in milkwhite mail;

In shape and station different, as in name,

Their motions various, not their power the same.

Say, muse! (for Jove has nought from thee conceal’d)

Who form’d the legions on the level field?

High in the midst the reverend kings appear,

And o’er the rest their pearly scepters rear:

One solemn step, majestically slow,

They gravely move, and shun the dangerous foe;

If e’er they call, the watchful subjects spring,

And die with rapture if they save their king;

On him the glory of the day depends,

He once imprison’d, all the conflict ends.

The queens exulting near their consorts stand;

Each bears a deadly falchion in her hand;

Now here, now there, they bound with furious pride,

And thin the trmbling ranks from side to side;

Swift as Camilla flying o’er the main,

Or lightly skimming o’er the dewy plain:

Fierce as they seem, some bold Plebeian spear

May pierce their shield, or stop their full career.

The valiant guards, their minds on havock bent,

Fill the next squares, and watch the royal tent;

Tho’ weak their spears, tho’ dwarfish be their height,

Compact they move, the bulwark of the fight,

To right and left the martial wings display

Their shining arms, and stand in close array.

Behold, four archers, eager to advance,

Send the light reed, and rush with sidelong glance;

Through angles ever they assault the foes,

True to the colour, which at first they chose.

Then four bold knights for courage-fam’d and speed,

Each knight exalted on a prancing steed:

Their arching course no vulgar limit knows,

Tranverse they leap, and aim insidious blows:

Nor friends, nor foes, their rapid force restrain,

By on quick bound two changing squares they gain;

From varing hues renew the fierce attack,

And rush from black to white, from white to black.

Four solemn elephants the sides defend;

Benearth the load of ponderous towers they bend:

In on unalter’d line they tempt the fight;

Now crush the left, and now o’erwhelm the right.

Bright in the front the dauntless soldiers raise

Their polish’d spears; their steely helmets blaze:

Prepar’d they stand the daring foe to strike,

Direct their progress, but their wounds oblique.

Now swell th’ embattled troups with hostile rage,

And clang their shields, impatient to engage;

When Daphnis thus: A varied plain behold,

Where fairy kings their mimick tents unfold,

As Oberon, and Mab, his wayward queen,

Lead forth their armies on the daisied green.

No mortal hand the wond’rous sport contriv’d,

By gods invents, and from gods deriv’d;

From them the British nymphs receiv’d the game,

And play ech morn beneath the crystal Thame;

Hear then the tale, which they to Colin sung,

As idling o’er the lucid wave he hung.

A lovely dryad rang’d the Thracian wild,

Her air enchanting, and her aspect mild:

To chase the bounding hart was all her joy,

Averse from Hymen, and the Cyprian boy;

O’er hills an valleys was her beauty fam’d,

And fair Caissa was the damsel nam’d.

Mars saw the maid; with deep surprize he gaz’d,

Admir’d her shape, and every gesture prais’d:

His golden bow the child of Venus bent,

And through his breast a piecing arrow sent.

The reed was hope; the feathers, keen desire;

The point, her eyes; the barbs, ethereal fire.

Soon to the nymph he pour’d his tender strain;

The haughtly dryad scorn’d his amorous pain:

He told his woes, where’er the maid he found,

And still he press’d, yet still Caissa frown’d;

But ev’n her frowns (ah, what might smiles have done!)

Fir’d all his soul, and all his senses won.

He left his car, by raging tigers drawn,

And lonely wander’d o’er the dusky lawn;

Then lay desponding near a murmuring stream,

And fair Caissa was his plaintive theme.

A naiad heard him from her mossy bed,

And through the crystal rais’d her placid head;

Then mildly spake: “O thou, whom love inspires,

Thy tears will nourish, not allay thy fires.

The smiling blossoms drink the pearly dew;

And ripening fruit the feather’d race pursue;

The scaly shoals devour the silken weeds;

Love on our sighs, and on our sorrow feeds.

Then weep no more; but, ere thou canst obtain

Balm to thy wounds, and solace to thy pain,

With gentle art thy martial look beguile;

Be mild, and teach thy rugged brow to smile.

Canst thou no play, no soothing game devise;

To make thee lovely in the damsel’s eyes?

So may thy prayers assuage the scornful dame,

And ev’n Caissa own a mutual frame.”

Kind nymph, said Mars, thy counsel I approve;

Art, only art, her ruthless breast can move.

but when? or how? They dark discourse explain:

So may thy stream ne’er swell with gushing rain;

So may thy waves in one pure current flow,

And flowers eternal on thy border blow!”

To whom the maid replied with smiling mien:

“Above the palace of the Paphian queen

Love’s brother dwells, a boy of graceful port,

By gods nam’d Euphron, and by mortals Sport:

Seek him; to faithful ears unfold thy grief,

And hope, ere morn return, a sweet relief.

His temple hangs below the azure skies;

Seest thou yon argent cloud? ‘Tis there it lies.”

This said, she sunk beneath the liquid plain,

And sought the mansion of her blue-hair’d train.

Meantime the god, elate with heart-felt joy,

Had reach’d the temple of the sportful boy;

He told Caissa’s charms, his kindled fire,

The naiad’s counsel, and his warm desire.

“Be swift, he added, give my passion aid;

A god requests.” – He spake, and Sport obey’d.

He fram’d a tablet of celestial mold,

Inlay’d with squares of silver and of gold;

Then of two metals form’d the warlike band,

That here compact in show of battle stand;

He taught the rules that guide the pensive game,

And call’d it Cassa from the dryad’s name:

(Whence Albion’s sons, who most its praise confess,

Approv’d the play, and nam’d it thoughtful Chess.)

The god delighted thank’d indulgent Sport;

Then grasp’d the board, and left his airy court.

With radiant feet he pierc’d the clouds; nor stay’d,

Till in the woods he saw the beauteous maid:

Tir’d with the chase the damsel set reclin’d,

Her girdle loose, her bosom unconfin’d.

He took the figure of a wanton faun,

And stood before her on the flowery lawn;

Then show’d his tablet: pleas’d the nymph survey’d

The lifeless troops in glittering ranks display’d;

She ask’d the wily sylvan to explain

The various motions of the splendid train;

With eager heart she caught the winning lore,

And thought ev’n Mars less hateful than before;

“What spell,” said she, “deceiv’d my careless mind?

The god was fair, and I was most unkind.”

She spoke, and saw the changing faun assume

A milder aspect, and a fairer bloom;

His wreathing horns, that from his temples grew,

Flow’d down in curls of bright celestial hue;

The dappled hairs, that veil’d his loveless face,

Blaz’d into beams, and show’d a heavenly grace;

The shaggy hide, that mantled o’er his breast,

Was soften’d to a smooth transparent vest,

That through its folds his vigorous bosom show’d,

And nervous limbs, where youthful ardour glow’d:

(Had Venus view’d him in those blooming charms,

Not Vulcan’s net had forc’d her from his arms.)

With goatlike feet no more he mark’d the ground,

But braided flowers his silken sandals bound.

The dryad blush’d; and, as he press’d her, smil’d,

Whilst all his cares one tender glance beguil’d.

He ends: To arms, the maids and striplings cry;

To arms, the groves and sounding vales reply.

Sirena led to war the swarthy crew,

And Delia those that bore the lily’s hue.

Who first, O muse, began the bold attack;

The white refulgent, or the mournful black?

Fair Delia first, as favoring lots ordain,

Moves her pale legions tow’rd the sable train:

From thought to thought her lively fancy flies,

Whilst o’er the board she darts her sparkling eyes.

At length the warrior moves with haughty strides;

Who from the plain the snowy king divides:

With equal haste his swarthy rival bounds;

His quiver rattles, and his buckler sounds:

Ah! hapless youths, with fatal warmth you burn;

Laws, ever fix’d, forbid you to return.

then from the wing a short-liv’d spearman flies,

Unsafely bold, and see! he dies, he dies:

The dark-brow’d hero, with one vengeful blow

Of life and place deprives his ivory foe.

Now rush both armies o’er the burnish’d field,

Hurl the swift dart, and rend the bursting shield.

Here furious knights on fiery coursers prance,

but see! the white-rob’d Amazon beholds

Where the dark host its opening van unfolds:

Soon as her eye discerns the hostile maid,

By ebon shield, and ebon helm betray’d;

Seven squares she passed with majestic mien,

And stands triumphant o’er the falling queen.

Perplex’d, and sorrowing at his consort’s fate,

The monarch burn’d with rage, despair, and hate:

Swift from his zone th’ avenging blade he drew,

And, mad with ire, the proud virago slew.

Meanwhile sweet smiling Delia’s wary king

Retir’d from fight behind the circling wing.

Long time the war in equal balance hung;

Till, unforseen, an ivory courser sprung,

And, wildly prancing in an evil hour,

Attack’d at once the monarch and the tower:

Sirena blush’d; for, as the rules requir’d,

Her injur’d sovereign to his tent retir’d;

Whilst her lost castle leaves his threatening height,

And adds new glory to th’ exulting knight.

At this, pale fear oppress’d the drooping maid,

And on her cheek the rose began to fade:

A crystal tear, that stood prepar’d to fall,

She wip’d in silence, and conceal’d from all;

From all but Daphnis; He remark’d her pain,

And saw the weakness of her ebon train;

Then gently spoke: “Let me your loss supply,

And either nobly win, or nobly dir;

Me oft has fortune crown’d with fair success,

And led to triumph in the fields of Chess.”

He said: the willing nymph her place resign’d,

And sat at distance on the bank reclin’d.

Thus when Minerva call’d her chief to arms,

And Troy’s high turret shook with dire alarms,

The Cyprian goddess wounded left the plain,

And Mars engag’d a mightier force in vain.

Strait Daphnis leads his squadron to the field;

(To Delia’s arms ’tis ev’n a joy to yield.)

Each guileful snare, and subtle art he tries,

But finds his heart less powerful than her eyes:

Wisdom and strength superior charms obey;

And beauty, beauty, wins the long-fought day.

By this a hoary chief, on slaughter bent,

Approach’d the gloomy king’s unguarded tent;

Where, late, his consort spread dismay around,

Now her dark corse lies bleeding on the ground.

Hail, happy youth! they glories not unsung

Shall live eternal on the poet’s tongue;

For thou shalt soon receive a splendid change,

And o’er the plain with nobler fury range.

The swarthy leaders saw the storm impend,

And strove in vain their sovereign to defend:

Th’ invader wav’d his silver lance in air,

And flew like lightning to the fatal square;

His limbs dilated in a moment grew

To stately height, and widen’d to the view;

More fierce his look, more lion-like his mien,

Sublime he mov’d, and seem’d a warrior queen.

As when the sage on some unfolding plant

Has caught a wandering fly, or frugal ant,

His hand the microscopic frame applies,

And lo! a bright hair’d monster meets his eyes;

He sees new plumes in slender cases roll’d;

Here stain’d with azure, there bedropp’d with gold;

Thus, on the alter’d chief both armies gaze,

And both the kings are fix’d with deep amaze.

The sword, which arm’d the snow-white maid before,

He noew assumes, and hurls the spear no more;

The springs indignant on the dark-rob’d band,

And knights and archers feel his deadly hand.

Now flies the monarch of the sable shield,

His legions vanquish’d, o’er the lonely field:

So when the morn, by rosy coursers drawn,

With pearls and rubies sows the verdant lawn,

Whilst each pale star from heaven’s blue vault retires,

Still Venus gleams, and last of all expires.

He hears, where’er he moves, the dreadful sound;

Check the deep vales, and Check the woods rebound.

No place remains: he sees the certain fate,

And yields his throne to ruin, and Checkmate.

A brighter blush o’erspreads the damsel’s cheeks,

And mildly thus the conquer’d stripling speaks:

“A double triumph, Delia, hast thou won,

By Mars protected, and by Venus’ son;

The first with conquest crowns thy matchless art,

The second points those eyes at Daphnis’ heart.”

She smil’d; the nymphs and amorous youths arise,

And own that beauty gain’d the nobler prize.

Low in their chest the mimic troops were lay’d,

And peaceful slept the sable hero’s shade

chessinpark

chessgame

I think Caïssa was with me in this game…haha.. I played against one of my all time favourite players..We always have five games going at any one time and I always try to save my Knights. In this end position you can see why I do save them…whenever I can. I know most players – I’ve played – prefer Bishops, but I always prefer my Knights! See the pgn-file which I’ve copied here to look at.

Now, for another all-time-favourite…the music of Ravel…the ostinato from Bolero, though I do apologise for the funny sound you will hear..I have no idea what they did when they recorded it.



Boléro became Ravel’s most famous composition, much to the surprise of the composer, who had predicted that most orchestras would refuse to play it. It is usually played as a purely orchestral work, only rarely being staged as a ballet. According to a possibly apocryphal story, at the premiere a woman shouted that Ravel was mad. When told about this, Ravel smiled and remarked that she had understood the piece.
Click on the link here to read this piece of interesting text about Bolero – or this link on classiccat too.

The Chessgame…
1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 d6 3.Bc4 Qe7 4.Nc3 Be6 5.Nd5 Qd7 6.Nxc7  Qxc7 7.Bxe6 Nf6 8.Qf5 fxe6 9.Qxe6  Be7 10.Nf3 Nbd7 11.Ng5 O-O-O 12.Nf7 Rhe8 13.Nxd8 Kxd8 14.d3 h6 15.Qf7 Rg8 16.O-O g5 17.Qb3 Nc5 18.Qc3 b6 19.b4 Na4 20.Qxc7  Kxc7 21.c4 Nc3 22.Re1 Kd7 23.Bb2 Na4 24.Ba3 a6 25.Rab1 Nc3 26.Rb2 b5 27.c5 Na4 28.Rc2 Rc8 29.Re3 dxc5 30.bxc5 Bxc5 31.d4 exd4 32.Rh3 h5 33.Bxc5 Nxc5 34.e5 g4 35.Rg3 Nfe4 36.Ra3 h4 37.f3 gxf3 38.gxf3 Ng5 39.f4 Nf7 40.Rh3 Nh6 41.Rxh4 Nf5 42.Rh7  Kc6 43.Rh5 Ne3 44.Rd2 Rg8  45.Rg5 Rxg5  46.Kf2 Rg2  47.Ke1 Kd5 48.Rxg2 Nxg2  49.Kf1 Nxf4 50.Kf2 Kxe5 51.h4 Ne4  52.Kf3 d3

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dance_alone

The Dancer: Image: noise.net/featured-work.asp?artist_id=8618&category_id=4

This entry is quite an odd entry. I have a few snippets of music files which I truly enjoy and they are some of the about 2GB music files on my MP3-player. The first file is the Elizabeth Serenade, then you can listen to “The mouth organ boy” – by Vicky Leandros. The 3rd song is by Laurika Rauch..”The song of the trains” and then you can enjoy Jackson Browne’s “For a dancer”- a bit down in this entry!

I also have a poem! “The Night Mail”. I had to teach this poem to Y4’s a few years ago and when I searched for the poem, I found it on a website which was about the Night Mail…Royal Mail! It was such interesting reading – the history of the night mail, but what was sad, was the fact that the services of the Night Mail train were terminated. The same time it was about to be terminated,  I came across the site and the poem. There was an abundance of info on that site, but it seems to me that the site, where I found the poem, doesn’t exist anymore! What a shame! I could find you a newspaper article about this train- at least! The poem by Auden is about this train! The Royal Night Mail was about the train from London to Scotland/Wales…see the youtube movie-links at the bottom of this post… and there are even more movies on youtube to be seen! Do enjoy it! Enjoy the music here too! Wherever you go this week, make sure you “make a joyful sound”! – see the lyrics of “For a Dancer”.

 


Night Train
(Commentary for a G.P.O. Film, July 1935)

by W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973)

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient’s against her, but she’s on time.

Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,

Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.

Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.

In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens. Her climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends
Towards the steam tugs yelping down the glade of cranes,
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In the dark glens, beside the pale-green sea lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from the girl and the boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or visit relations,
And applications for situations
And timid lovers’ declarations
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled in the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Notes from overseas to Hebrides
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, adoring,
The cold and official and the heart’s outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep
Dreaming of terrifying monsters,
Or of friendly tea beside the band at Cranston’s or Crawford’s:
Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
And shall wake soon and long for letters,
And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

It was one of the world’s great railway journeys, but you could not book a seat on it. It inspired two of Britain’s greatest 20th-century poets, and Britain’s most infamous bunch of 20th-century villains. It rushed through the darkness, utterly reliable, while the rest of us slept. But last night it ran for the last time.


Please click
HERE to read more about the last Night Mail train from London. The link will open in a new window.

nightmail

Night Mail Image: See more images on this link….http://flickr.com/photos/scardy/421208053/in/set-72157594588477493/


Image: buckinghamcovers.com

jacksonbrowne

Jackson Browne

For a Dancer..by Jackson Browne

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I dont remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must have thought you’d always be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you’re nowhere to be found

I dont know what happens when people die
Can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I can’t sing
I can’t help listening
And I can’t help feeling stupid standing round
Crying as they ease you down
cause I know that youd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away
(right on dancing)
No matter what fate chooses to play
(theres nothing you can do about it anyway)

Just do the steps that youve been shown
By everyone you’ve ever known
Until the dance becomes your very own
No matter how close to yours
Anothers steps have grown
In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone

Keep a fire for the human race
Let your prayers go drifting into space
You never know what will be coming down
Perhaps a better world is drawing near
And just as easily it could all disappear
Along with whatever meaning you might have found
Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around
(the world keeps turning around and around)
Go on and make a joyful sound

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you’ll never know.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zmciuKsBOi0
The poem on this link on youtube.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=AlG4dLxHjCY
The Royal Mail on this youtube-link.

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Sleep and His Half Brother Death
John William Waterhouse
http://www.illusionsgallery.com/sleep.html

Image: dreams.co.uk
 How do you feel about sleep? Sometimes I can go a whole night without sleep, but I will surely feel knackered two days later! I love being in bed at night when the rain is tapping on the roof. Weekends I like to lie in…and then get a nice breakfast in bed! …now to the music!  I’ve these wonderful music, two tracks from a chess friend and he also sent me the third track by Hennie Bekker and suddenly! I found myself busy with an entry on sleep!! I even found you an interesting link about the stages of sleep and one about sleep deprivation…that’s for me, actually…lol! It was truly not my intention to blog about sleep when I uploaded these snippets of music, but at the end, after  searching for some images, I came across these interesting info and sites and thought to share it with you as it was interesting to me.  I  blog about stuff which I enjoy/find interesting…apart from chess…my blog is sort of a “gathering space” for info I want to refer back to, but also in the hope that other people will find it useful too or will enjoy it at least. In the same process, I also found music for children with Aspergers! I’ve worked with children with Aspergers syndrome, Down Syndrome and also Autistic children and they are all a pleasure to work with!

I’ve come across music for  ASD– the link will open in a new window – which you will find in this post. You can read more  about ASD on the link and there’s another link in this post for you to follow up too, if you are more interested in Autistic children.
Seven hours sleep a night helps reduce heart problems. Read the article…the link will open in a new window.

Image…see more fantastic images here..http://photo.net/photodb/member-photos?user_id=941594

Firstly, enjoy “Sea of Dreams”…this track is about 5 min, but you get to listen to only a taster of it, as well as the other tracks. Tranquil Realms is about 11 min but the taster only about 2 min. For Afrikaans speaking people, I wonder if you can remember the Afrikaans poem about sleep! Please find it at the bottom of my post, a wonderful poem by DF Malherbe! In this poem he asks God to shut his eyes one day like the little girl’s when she falls asleep…
On my blog on this link you can read about dreams…the link will open in a new window.

Sea of Dreams..by Angelle

Sleepy Time…by Angelle

Hennie Bekker…Tranquil Realms

Read on this link about sleep cycles. The link will open in a new window. Read on this pdf-link on wiki about dreaming.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikibooks/en/e/ef/Lucid_Dreaming.pdf

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior
Sarah Ledoux
Sleep deprivation is a commonplace occurrence in modern culture. Every day there seems to be twice as much work and half as much time to complete it in. This results in either extended periods of wakefulness or a decrease in sleep over an extended period of time. While some people may like to believe that they can train their bodies to not require as much sleep as they once did this belief is false . Sleep is needed to regenerate certain parts of the body, especially the brain, so that it may continue to function optimally. After periods of extended wakefulness or reduced sleep neurons may begin to malfunction, visibly effecting a person’s behavior. Some organs, such as muscles, are able to regenerate even when a person is not sleeping so long as they are resting. This could involve lying awake but relaxed within a quite environment. Even though cognitive functions might not seem necessary in this scenario the brain, especially the cerebral cortex, is not able to rest but rather remains semi-alert in a state of “quiet readiness” . Certain stages of sleep are needed for the regeneration of neurons within the cerebral cortex while other stages of sleep seem to be used for forming new memories and generating new synaptic connections. The effects of sleep deprivation on behavior have been tested with relation to the presence of activity in different sections of the cerebral cortex.
The temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex is associated with the processing of language. During verbal learning tests on subjects who are fully rested functional magnetic resonance imaging scans show that this area of the brain is very active. However, in sleep deprived subjects there is no activity within this region. The effects of this inactivity can be observed by the slurred speech in subjects who have gone for prolonged periods with no sleep .
Please click HERE more about sleep deprivation and brain behaviour…the link will open in a new window.

The music in ‘Sleep’ has been designed to be physically relaxing – the program features no distracting surprises and feels like slow, steady breathing, to help transport the listener away from the stresses of the day towards restful sleep.

This CD, with music composed by Hennie Bekker, incorporates scientific principles of sonic response, and is designed to nudge your mind toward deep and refreshing sleep.

On this link you can listen to more snippets of his music. The link will open in a new window.

Hennie Bekker

African Roots
Bekker was raised in Mufulira, a Zambian copper mining town 10 miles south of the Congo border. In those early years, he was captivated by the symphonic sounds of the African wilderness, the haunting harmonies of tribal chanting and the rhythmic dialogue of drummers communicating between camps at sundown. He is a self-taught pianist who had his professional debut at age 15, spending the next decade performing with various bands throughout Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe and Kenya. His success as a fusion-jazz musician and band leader elevated him to become the musical director for one of South Africa’s largest record companies. Here, he added scores of film, television, radio and commercial music to his list of career accomplishments.
Read more about Hennie
Bekker here, the link will open in a new window. If you click on “home”, you will find youtube-videos of him to watch.


On the “music” link you will find more albums, even some Africa-music and snippets to listen to.

Asperger’s Syndrome is a condition that was initially described by Dr. Hans Asperger’s 1944 doctoral thesis. It was not until 37 years later, in 1981, however, that Dr. Lorna Wing used the term “Asperger’s Syndrome” in a paper that helped to introduce this condition to the English-speaking world.

As described by Dr. Wing, the primary clinical features of Asperger’s Syndrome include:
naïve, inappropriate, one-sided social interactions
limited ability to establish relationships
poor non-verbal communication
a lack of emotional empathy
pedantic, repetitive speech
intense absorption in certain subjects
clumsy, un-coordinated movements

odd postures

Currently, the prevailing view is that Asperger’s Syndrome is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder which falls at the high end of the Autism Spectrum continuum.

BEHAVIORAL DEFINITION

The autism spectrum extends from “classic autism” — which lies at the lower end of the spectrum– through ASPERGER’S SYNDROME, which is characterized as being at the mildest and highest functioning end of the spectrum –or Pervasive Developmental Disorder–Continuum

The major source of stress in life for the person with Asperger’s Syndrome is social contact, and increased stress generally leads to anxiety disorders and depression Attwood, T. Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, 1998, p. 148.
AS represents a neurologically-based disorder of development

AS reflects deviations or abnormalities in four aspects of development:

(1) Social relatedness and social skills
(2) The use of language for purposes of communication
(3) Certain behavioral and stylistic characteristics such as repetitive or persevering features
(4) Limited, but intense, range of interests

These dysfunctional features can range from mild to severe

“The Epidemiology of Asperger Syndrome: A Total Population Study” by Ehlers and Gillberg (retrieve citation) 2001), it is estimated that the prevalence of Asperger is 2.6 per 1,000 individuals. With the population of the U.S. currently estimated at 275 million (July 2000), this would mean an estimated 715,000 people are affected by Asperger’s syndrome in the U.S. alone”
Stewart, K. (2002). Helping a Child with Nonverbal Learning Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome, p. 148

AS is characterized by:

high cognitive abilities — or, at least, “normal” IQ level
extending into the very superior range of cognitive ability
normal language function when compared to other autistic disorders
difficulties with pragmatic, or social language
a better prognosis than other Autism spectrum disorders

Please read on THIS LINK more…the link will open in a new window. Click on “products” and it will take you to the music page.


Image: babyzone.com

DF Malherbe (1881-1969)


Slaap


Wat is die slaap ‘n wondersoete ding!
Sag op haar bloue oë daal die vaak
soos maneskyn diep waterkuile raak
om daar te droom in silwer skemering.

Vir laas beef oor haar lippe ‘n fluistering:
“Nag, Pappie.” Ek merk hoe langsaam hy genaak,
wat drome soet tot werklikhede maak:
in vaderarms rus my lieweling.
Sluit so my oë, God, wanneer vir my
u Engel wenk ter laaste, lange rus
en ek van wilde woeling hier moet skei;
dat my dan stille drome huis toe sus
en sterke Hand deur duisternisse lei.
Sluit so my oë, God, as ek gaan rus.

To Sleep
by John Keats.

O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting, with careful fingers and benign,
Our gloom-pleas’d eyes, embower’d from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes.
Or wait the Amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passed day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still hoards
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oiled wards,
And seal the hushed casket of my soul.

Sea of Dreams…Kelly King …I’ve found this book on google-books whilst searching for images and thought it might be on my list to read when I have more time…I’ve read a couple of books about wars…and for some reason I like to read about it…all part of history.

Sea of dreams by Martin Sramek

Dreams
by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

My Piano….by… artistnina.com

 

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Image: allposters.com

From Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, 1601:

DUKE ORSINO:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Swallows in Durban – see the news article in this entry from ENS news

Enjoy “Village Swallows” by  Mantovani and his orchestra. It is a composition by Josef Strauss, one of the Strauss-brothers.

 

hmmm…just what I need…flowers and chocolates!! and on this video…the music of Strauss…”Roses from the South”

Swallow Flocks and World Cup Airport Try Coexistence

DURBAN, South Africa, November 12, 2007 (ENS) – This year, as five million barn swallows migrate from across Europe to roost in South Africa’s Mt. Moreland Reedbed, they will be greeted by air traffic controllers. The controllers will be waiting to warn pilots of the swallow flocks coming in to land so that bird-plane collisions can be avoided.

The plan to protect the birds was announced Monday at a ceremony at the reedbed, attended by the nonprofit conservation group BirdLife South Africa.

The decision to protect the swallows was made in response to global outcry last November, when BirdLife outlined its concern about the expansion of La Mercy Airport at Durban, in preparation for South Africa’s hosting of World Cup 2010.

The airport is being expanded to handle traffic expected for the soccer event and the KwaZulu Natal government wants to see the project completed by 2009.

The Airports Company of South Africa, which administers the existing Durban International Airport, owns the La Mercy land where the $8 billion King Shaka International Airport is under construction, 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Durban.

The new airport is expected to replace Durban International, which will be decommissioned. But for the swallows at the Mt. Moreland Reedbed, without special planning and accomodation, the airport would have been deadly.

Both the reed bed and Mount Moreland are situated South West of the proposed development are aligned exactly with the proposed runway and so are in the flight patch of aircraft leaving or arriving the airport.

The controllers at La Mercy Airport have been among those watching the millions of birds come in this year from all over eastern and western Europe. They will leave again at the onset of winter.
The threat that planes at an expanded La Mercy Airport would pose to the swallows roosting at the reedbed, among Africa’s largest roosts, was put across by conservationists and BirdLife partner organizations throughout Europe.The barn swallow, Hirundo rustica, undertakes one of the world’s most remarkable migrations. The birds fly thousands of miles from southern Africa in spring to breed in Europe and then repeat the feat in reverse in the autumn, to winter back in Africa.

“This has been a fantastic result, and we’re delighted to report on this outcome after a year of negotiations and meetings. The support of so many people via letters and petitions has played an important part.” said Neil Smith, conservation manager at BirdLife South Africa, which led the campaign.

The Airports Company of South Africa has been supportive of making accommodations for the birds.

“Since our campaign started, the Airports Company of South Africa has really come on board, quickly realizing the importance of this site as a reedbed of international significance,” said Smith.

Following BirdLife’s complaint, consultants were brought in to examine the roosting and flocking behavior of the swallows, using advanced radar imagery. They confirmed that constant monitoring of the swallow movements during take-off and landing of aircraft would be required.

The Airports Company of South Africa now says it will install in the airport control tower the same advanced radar technology that the consultants used to study the movement of the swallows.

This will mean that planes can take the option of circling or approaching from another angle when large flocks of swallows form over the reedbed site in the late evening.

Environmental management staff will be employed to make sure that suitable management of the reedbed continues, the airports company said.

Bird conservationists feel somewhat reassured about the swallows’ future. “Losing such a valuable site could have affected breeding swallow populations across Europe,” said Dr. Ian Burfield, Birdlife’s European research and database manager.

“Conserving migratory birds is about more than ensuring one site is protected or well managed,” said Burfield. “It takes global effort: at breeding sites, at stopover sites during migration, and at important non-breeding sites like this, where large numbers of birds roost.

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