Ancient Word of the Day: Rema

Rema (Shetland Scots) The mirror-calm surface of the sea on a calm day. A body of water with a surface as smooth as cream. Comes from the Scots word “reyme”, meaning “cream”). Rjómalogn (Icelandic) Cream-calm, used to denote  profoundly tranquil weather or sea. Arafin (Welsh) Calm or slow weather in Welsh. blikkstille./ blekkstille (Norwegian) AContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Rema”

Ancient Word of the Day: Kawaakari

Kawaakari (Japanese) Kawaakari is a mystical Japanese word that means the glow of a river or stream in darkness or dusk, or the gleaming surface of a shadowed river (Japanese 川明かり). Kawaakari can also mean the reflection of the moonlight off flowing water. Obumbro (Latin) A similar word in Latin in Obumbro. To shadow overContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Kawaakari”

Ancient Word of the Day: Philoxenia

Philoxenia is a word that comes from Ancient Greek. This literally translates to be “friends with a stranger”. Philo – Friend, Xenia – Stranger. In Ancient Greece, hospitality in the same was held as a great virtue. Great honour was bestowed upon guests by the host. If a stranger was to appear on your doorstepContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Philoxenia”

The Māori legend of two sisters Rehutai and Tangimoana

This painting by Bronwyn Waipuka illustrates a story by Wairarapa kaumātua (elder) Mita Carter. Rehutai and Tangimoana were beautiful twin sisters who lived on the banks of the Ruamāhanga River. They both fell in love with Rautoroa, a handsome warrior, but he could not decide which to marry. Rehutai asked Tangimoana to fetch some water from aContinue reading “The Māori legend of two sisters Rehutai and Tangimoana”

The Māori legend of Pania: Kaitiaki and taniwha of the reef, retold as street art

Pania is the legendary Kaitiaki (guardian/protector) of the reef in local Maori legend and her wairua (spirit) is connected strongly to the moana (ocean) close by to the town of Napier. Legend has it that Pania was a shimmering and iridescently beautiful maiden who lives in the sea and following a human encounter and a brokenContinue reading “The Māori legend of Pania: Kaitiaki and taniwha of the reef, retold as street art”

Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland

Poland in the summer is filled with enveloping sunlight, as bright and life affirming as a hug. Vibrant life, bees and flies take a circuitous route through fields of barley, poppies and wheat in the countryside. The air filled with drifting dandelion and pollen. A cacophany of bird song fills the countryside accompanied by aContinue reading “Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland”

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”

Book Review: Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies

Life in a Medieval Castle is one of a series of compelling historical reference books written by acclaimed husband and wife historians Frances and Joseph Gies in the 1970’s. Life in a Medieval Castle (along with companion books Life in a Medieval Village and Life in a Medival City) were re-released in 205 under the weightContinue reading “Book Review: Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies”

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 overContinue reading “Travel: Among the Irish Faeries and Norse Gods”