Book Review: In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World by Simon Garfield

Are you fascinated and delighted by small things? Then I’ve found the ultimate book for you. In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World by Simon Garfield. Each chapter delves into a miniature world of its own and there is only a tenuous connection between them, but no matter. All is forgiven because learning allContinue reading “Book Review: In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate the World by Simon Garfield”

Film Review: Backtrack Boys

Framing delinquent youth as hopeless cases is a common narrative ploy by a ruthless and shallow media. There’s the assumption that youths are going to gather together in gangs, commit crimes and cause havoc. Director Catherine Scott has thrown a fresh bucket of water on an old stereotype. Just as she did in her otherContinue reading “Film Review: Backtrack Boys”

Mind-expanding books that opened up the world to me as a teenager #Booktag

Some books help you as a teenager to move beyond the claustrophobic and limited world you were born into. We can’t help where we were born or who our family is. However, when we are young, if we read the right books, we may just be able to transcend challenging beginnings and see the worldContinue reading “Mind-expanding books that opened up the world to me as a teenager #Booktag”

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 evenContinue reading “Netsuke & Gashapon toys Ancient Japanese treasures and modern collectibles”

Book Review: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Two of the Min Kemp (My Struggle) in the series of six autobiographical volumes is possibly the least adventurous of his stories although still no less compelling and compulsively readable as the other ones. If you are unfamiliar with Karl Ove Knausgaard then you must have been living under a rock. He has beenContinue reading “Book Review: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard”

The Private Lives of Animals circa 1842

This collection of funny and witty animal fables was originally published in 1842 in French as Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux. The authors of these fables are a who’s who of literature in the mid 19th-century including Honoré de Balzac, George Sand. Also The Private Lives of Animals boasts some fine,Continue reading “The Private Lives of Animals circa 1842”

Lebensader: a little girl finds the whole world in a leaf

This is a luscious trip into a parallel microcosmos where colours, sounds and mystical beings all abound and swirl together. Lebensader is a short film with a sweetness, innocence and curious wonder about it that will stay with you for a long time afterwards. It was created in 2009 by animator Angela Stefffen who worksContinue reading “Lebensader: a little girl finds the whole world in a leaf”

Classic Russian Animation: Hedgehog in the Fog

Hedgehog in the Fog is the Russian equivalent of Winnie the Pooh, Paddington or Beatrix Potter stories. This delightful cartoon was made in 1975 by Yuriy Borisovich Norshteyn and introduced the world to a hedgehog that becomes bewitched by different shapes obscured by thick fog. Yuriy Borisovich Norshteyn is one of the most respected animators inContinue reading “Classic Russian Animation: Hedgehog in the Fog”

A Journey into Childhood Nostalgia at the Muzeum Zabawek in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland

Kudowa-Zdrój is a border town between the Czech Republic and Poland. Traditionally over the centuries, the area has been a  spa town for convalescence, attracting visitors from all parts of Central Europe who come to enjoy the abundant mineral springs and fresh mountain air. There are beautiful landscaped walks through forest and woodland here. As theContinue reading “A Journey into Childhood Nostalgia at the Muzeum Zabawek in Kudowa-Zdrój, Poland”