Ancient Word of the Day: Hibernal

Ancient word of the day: Flukra

As the southern hemisphere turns now towards the colder months we are all finding comfort into our nests and getting cosy for the winter. In New Zealand and the southern parts of Australia we are experiencing snow in the alpine regions. So it seems appropriate now to talk about the many ancient words for snow.…

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Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme MacRae Burnet

His Bloody Project by author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the triple murder and subsequent trial of accused 17 year old crofter Roderick McRae, who brutally slays three people in his remote village in 1896. Roderick lives with his family in a tiny croft on a property and land owned by the laird. His…

Book Review: The Recovering Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamieson

Book Review: The Recovering Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamieson

The Recovering is a memoir about alcohol and how it runs rampant in the lives of writers and artists throughout history. It’s seen through the lens of the book’s author, Leslie Jameson as she navigates her way through life and the being drunk and being in recovery. Jamieson clearly has a knack for the written…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #10

1. Subterranean murmurs and echoes from beneath the ice Two hours of haunting, swirling and otherworldly sounds as ice crackles in a frozen river in Sweden. This is a nice lullaby for going to sleep. Although you may have strange vivid dreams! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd-CwJa1SHE 2. Jessica Baumgartner on how to find balance on a global, local…

Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods

Travel: Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods

Many years ago, I went hiking in Ireland in Glendalough I saw some magical landscapes. Ireland has a beautiful soft light in the summer. The diffused sunlight is speckled with clouds that pass over the vast valleys and mountain-sides. It's possible to sit there all day and just watch the way the light travels over…

Anaïs Nin on why she writes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-dRf7Zxf8Q We write to taste life twice...in the moment and in retrospection. Those few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain. Writing is worth it for others. It's an inheritance for others. A gift to others in the end. One has to create a world in which to live. I could not…

Book Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Book Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Tulip Fever is one of the most captivating historical fiction reads I have had the pleasure of enjoying in recent years. Tulip Fever takes place in Amsterdam in the 1630's during a time of immense wealth that is brought into the country by merchants and tulip sellers. If you enjoyed that other iconic historical novel…

Ginkaku-Ji temple gardens, Kyoto © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.co

Ancient word of the day: Apricity

Apricity was a term originally coined by English lexicographer Henry Cockeram to denote the "the warmeness of the Sunne in Winter". This photo I took during a particularly chilling end of autumn day in Japan in Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto. Note how the sun falls in cascades of enveloping warmth onto the golden tinged leaves. Apricity…

Book Review: The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann

Book Review: The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann

*No spoilers Recently translated into English from German, The Pine Islands tells the story of Gilbert Silvester, a stuffy middle-aged lecturer in Germany. His area of academic specialisation is beard fashions in film. One day he finds out his wife is cheating on him (or so he believes, we never discover the truth). So he…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #9

1. Olan Ventura's surreal splashes of colour in Still Life With Golden Goblet Here is a quirky kaleidoscope of things that inspired me this week, I hope you enjoy them. Let me know if you have any things of your own to share...Much love Olan Ventura, Still Life With Golden Goblet, 2019, acrylic on canvas,…

Hold the shell of your consciousness to your ear

Wherever you are, whatever stresses you are feeling, just remember the free and beautiful moments and memories from your world, relish and collect them and hold them close to you. They will sustain your heart when it feels fragile and sustain your soul when you are riven with fear. You have oceans of love inside…

Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson

Book Review: Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson achieved great fame for her book Life After Life. This is one of her earlier and lesser known collections of short stories. I have to admit I never got into Life After Life, so I was a bit dubious about whether or not I would like this one. However, I was absolutely transfixed…

10 Uplifting Things I Found on the Internet This Week #8

10 Uplifting Things I Found on the Internet This Week #8

Here are some randomisities both old and new that I found this week and wanted to share with you. Take 1 or two with a cup of tea and a few buttered scones and have a good lie down if you want to have a break from the world for a while. 1. In the…

The symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle

The symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle

Detail of ‘Smell’ c1500, from The lady and the unicorn series. wool and silk, 368 x 322 cm. Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris Photo © RMN-GP / M Urtado Mark De Vitis, University of Sydney The arrival of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle at the Art Gallery of…

Book Review: Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell

Book Review: Medieval Bodies Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jake Hartnell

Art Historian Jake Hartnell takes us on a macabre and enthralling journey from head to toe in the medieval human body. This is fascinating because, even though we share the same bodies as our medieval ancestors, we had wildly diverging beliefs about the inherent symbolic power of parts of our bodies and what could heal,…

Book Review: Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

Book Review: Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl

Book Review: Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl Roald Dahl may be the writer of gross-out and macabre tales for children but he also wrote darker, more delightfully grotesque and adult short stories such as this collection Kiss Kiss, along with his other adult short story collection Tales of the Unexpected. Written in 1960 – there…