Ancient word of the day: hedgehog

Ancient word of the day: Hedgehog

The ancient word for today is hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus. In the Middle Ages, writers didn't make reference to hedgehogs, but to urchins. A term still favoured in some English dialects. It's also associated with the sea urchin, which is literally a sea hedgehog. The word urchin came over to England with the Norman invasion and…

A Beautiful Proposed Flag for Planet Earth (and also New Zealand's new flag)

Rant: Looking for a place to rent is a little like selling your soul

You know how when you go for a job interview, you need to dress yourself up like a trussed up overpowering pineapple. An exaggeratedly normal version of yourself. The power self you wish you were, but deep down you simply love to wear track suit pants if at all possible? Well, when presenting yourself to…

Pagan Date: Imbolc

Pagan Date: Imbolc

In the southern hemisphere, today in the Pagan calendar is Imbolc. It's a Sabbat to honour the Celtic goddess Brighid. It's a time to purify oneself, dedicate oneself to a task. The word imbolc comes from Irish Gaelic and means 'ewe's milk'. It's in reference to the time when ewe's begin suckling with their young…

Travel: Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto

Travel: Magnificent Ryoan-ji temple and gardens, Kyoto

Ryōan-ji (meaning the Temple of the Dragon at Peace) is a Zen temple located in Kyoto, Japan. The Ryōan-ji garden is considered one of the finest surviving examples of Japanese Zen temple garden design generally featuring distinctive larger rock formations arranged amidst a sweep of smooth pebbles arranged in immaculate linear patterns, designed to facilitate…

Te Ao Maori and the aesthetics of cosiness Featured

An indepth exploration of the aesthetics of cosiness

There’s a lovely subreddit I recently found called Cosy Places, which calls for people to submit their log cabins, hideaways and cosy loungerooms. This is a veritable treasure trove of different ideas for cosiness. Someone even parsed the photo content in the subreddit and came up with the recipe and criteria that make up a…

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen

So long, Marianne: Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen

In November 2016, the singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, renowned for his melancholic and romantic ballads, died a few months after the woman who inspired many of his famous songs - his Norwegian lover and muse, Marianne Ihlen. On the summery idyll of Hydra, Greece in 1960, there was a bohemian community of artists and musicians living…

I Collect Images of Paintings Like Others Collect Treasures

Ancient word of the day: Cirrocumulus

Origin: 1650s. Cumulus " a heap, pile, mass, surplus " in Latin *keue "to swell" in Latin. Cirrocumulus are flocks of fleecy clouds that whisk past us on a glorious spring day. Often their appearance in the evening foretells of a stormy morning the following day. At least thats old shepherd’s wisdom. German Schäfchenwolken: Little…

What New Zealand native species are you? Southern Right Whale

The connection between curiosity and happiness

A lovely blogger friend on here Jonelle recently did an article on where to see the lotus blossoms in Tokyo. She had witnessed a little kid blowing soap bubbles through the stem of a gigantic lotus blossom and decided to do it herself. This is something I would love to do too. Many adults wouldnt…

Ambient Album Review #2: 'The Disintegration Loops' by William Basinski

Ambient Album Review #2: ‘The Disintegration Loops’ by William Basinski

American avante-garde composer William Basinski created The Disintegration Loops by a serendipitous and heart-wrenching series of events in his life and in the history of the world. This led to one of the great classics of the ambient and avante-garde genre – a four album opus called The Disintegration Loops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjnAE5go9dI Basinski recorded some loops…

Nick Cave's new album: Skeleton Tree and the film 'One More Time With Feeling'

How to banish the harsh inner critic – by Nick Cave

Nick Cave's incredible blog The Red Hand Files features Ask Me Anything question and answers. It's a beacon of pure creative joy for anyone in search of inspiration. Here's an unforgettable nugget of wisdom from Nick on how to forge on with big ideas and ignore the asshole inside of you, telling you to stop…

Ambient Album Review #1: 'Everything' by Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano

Ambient Album Review #1: ‘Everything’ by Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano

Here are a collection of my favourite ambient, dub, experimental and drone albums of all time. They are in no particular order because they're all brilliant. I hope you will give them a listen, let me know if you enjoy them! Everything is a spawling, epic atmospheric soundtrack that echoes the enormity of the universe.…

Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles

Netsuke are uniquely Japanese and sublime in their beauty. They are tiny objects carved of ivory, ceramic, wood, tortoise-shell, gold or many other materials. They tell the story of the culture of Japan during the old Edo period and before. Netsuke featured fishermen and farmers, who rubbed shoulders with scholars, samurai warriors, royalty and even…