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”

Film Review: Ruben Brandt, Collector

* Contains no plot spoilers This is a fun, glamorous, art-heist caper in anime. If that makes sense. Directed by Slovenian Milorad Krstić, it features tiny love letters to his home country in the finer details of the film. And this is a film of beautifully rendered and amusing details. The animation is just awe-inspiringContinue reading “Film Review: Ruben Brandt, Collector”

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Life in a Medieval Castle is one of a series of compelling historical reference books written by acclaimed husband and wife historians Frances and Joseph Gies in the 1970’s. Life in a Medieval Castle (along with companion books Life in a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”

Artists & Writers in Their Own Words: Evaldas Azbukauskas AKA Giriu Dvasios

Evaldas Azbukauskas AKA Giriu Dvasios makes completely unique and haunting music that ranges through different terrains of dub techno, ambient, techno, Lithuanian folk and much more. His genre-shuffling music was too unusual to be noticed by other record labels, so ten years ago he created his own label and ever since then has been championingContinue reading “Artists & Writers in Their Own Words: Evaldas Azbukauskas AKA Giriu Dvasios”

The quirky meander through the origins of language in the Polish calendar

With a few exceptions that are Latin, the Polish month names of the year take more from the Pagan world of seasonal changes, rather than from the Latin calendar that we all know and use in English. What’s even more interesting is that even though Poland is historically a Catholic country, they chose to distanceContinue reading “The quirky meander through the origins of language in the Polish calendar”

Pagan Date: Samhain

In the southern hemisphere, today we celebrate the pagan new year or Samhain. This ancient gaelic word means Summer’s End.  On this date it’s a good time to reflect on and honour those that have come before us. It’s also a time to release anything that no longer serves you.  Incantation for ancestors  This isContinue reading “Pagan Date: Samhain”

Travel: The sensitive faces of animals in Warsaw Zoo

Something unexpected happened to me in Warsaw Zoo today. Instead of enjoying myself seeing all the animals I felt really sad. Why? Because they came across through my camera lens as being full of emotion, sensitivity and immense intelligence. I connected with them and their pain in the same way I would if I lookedContinue reading “Travel: The sensitive faces of animals in Warsaw Zoo”

Film Review: The Distant Barking of Dogs

Another film that featured at the New Zealand International Film Festival was The Distant Barking of Dogs. It’s the story of a young boy and his family who live on the Ukrainian and Russian border, on a slice of disputed land that is being fought over tooth and nail, for years. The people in thisContinue reading “Film Review: The Distant Barking of Dogs”

Film Review: Cold War 2018

Paweł Pawlikowski directed and wrote this love story that’s set in the 1960’s. This film is unlike any other Polish film I’ve ever seen and I mean that as a compliment. That’s because it has more in common with one of these cool French New Wave films of the 1960’s – Bande A Parte orContinue reading “Film Review: Cold War 2018”

Matchbloc: Czechoslovakian matchbox art from the mid 20th century

The design and aesthetic of Eastern Europe was really beautiful. Product  labels and film posters of the mid-20th Century, like these fruit box labels of Australia are optimistic, bright and speak volumes about the artistry of the people who made them. The modernist and colourful aesthetic is incredibly timeless. Subject matter for posters and product labelsContinue reading “Matchbloc: Czechoslovakian matchbox art from the mid 20th century”