A History of the Beautiful Highland Cow

Highland Cows or as they are commonly known in Scotland Highland Coos are an ancient breed known to have grazed the rugged Scottish landscape since the sixth century. Their genetic origins are still up for debate. They may be native to Scotland or introduced by the Vikings to Great Britain. One scientific train of thoughtContinue reading “A History of the Beautiful Highland Cow”

Travel: The Beautiful Terrace Windows of Triana, Sevilla

Back in 2010 during a particularly sweltering summer, I visited Andalucia and soaked in the beautiful architecture in Sevilla. The best way to see all of the charming neighbourhoods and historic monuments was going the tourist routes with an open-top bus. This also afforded me excellent views onto all of the terrace houses with theirContinue reading “Travel: The Beautiful Terrace Windows of Triana, Sevilla”

Travel: Kolejcowo is a cute and creepy version of Poland in miniature

When I was in Poland in 2019, I didn’t hesitate to visit the Kolejcowo in Świebodzki Station in Wrocław. This is the largest model railway in Poland, but also a rather amazing depiction of how life in Poland actually looks. Everything, right down to the petrol stations, graffiti, and the shops actually exists in realContinue reading “Travel: Kolejcowo is a cute and creepy version of Poland in miniature”

Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments

These sculptures and old buildings before the end of the Cold War era look futuristic and strange. Some structures demonstrate the military might of Russia. While others are scintillating, harshly modern, and located in beautiful forested landscapes. These monuments are artistic and architectural wonders. Could these lost and forgotten objects ever be revived and resurrected, albeitContinue reading “Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments”

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a magical and mythical Celtic classic from the  thirteenth century or earlier. It’s thoroughly Welsh and is considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. Although written down during the middle ages, experts think these stories may date from the dawn of Celtic civilisation in Britain. The Mabinogion has given rise to all ofContinue reading “Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion”

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kōContinue reading “Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons”

History: You are what you do – olden times  tradespeople and their tools

Hieroglyphics, circa 1800 This delightful print entitled Hieroglyphics dates from circa 1800 and was created by the London-based publisher Samuel William Fores in the aquatint style. We can see the composite portraits of four professions: a florist, writer, musician, and barber — their features made up entirely from the tools of their trades. Such compositeContinue reading “History: You are what you do – olden times  tradespeople and their tools”

The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

Kulning is an ancient, sweet and sorrowful form of Scandinavian music used to herd cows and goats back down from their high mountain pastures in parts of Norway and in certain provinces of Sweden, Jämtland and Härjedalen. In practical use since medieval times, the mysterious tones were also thought to be a deterrent to potential predators like wolvesContinue reading “The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening”

Captain Seeks a Sea-Going Cat to Sign on for a Trip Around the World, New York Times (1922)

Captain Edwin Dyason, master of the freighter Woodfield will welcome any ablebodied seafaring cat wishing to join the crew of his vessel, sailing today for Manila and China. “We missed the ship’s cat shortly after we put into port here,” said the Captain. “Her name was Cleopatra. She joined on in Fremantle, Australia and didContinue reading “Captain Seeks a Sea-Going Cat to Sign on for a Trip Around the World, New York Times (1922)”