Throw open the windows of your soul

Ancient Word of the Day: An

An: 'To breath' from Proto-Indo-European If you empty your lungs you make an AHHHH sound on the exhale. The Proto-Indo-European word for this onomatopoeic sound is An. The word an remains the same in Anglo-Saxon, Old English, Icelandic, Swedish and Dutch. The ancient sound of an even exists within the word Human and Anmal. After…

Ancient word of the day: Celandine

Ancient word of the day: Celandine

This pretty yellow star-like flower is from the buttercup family. It is common to see it flourishing at the beginning of spring in new grasses, hedges and in at the banks of rivers. It blankets forest floors. Commonly thought of as being a weed, it is still absolutely beautiful to behold.

Ancient Word of the Day: Serendipitist

Ancient Word of the Day: Serendipitist

Serendipitist: n. A person who benefits from a chance or serendipitous event Serendipity: happenchance or providence. This beautiful term was originally coined by writer Horace Walpole in 1754. Walpole was inspired by the ancient Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip, about some titular characters who ran around in ancient Persia having some marvellous luck…

Christmas in Russia

10 Cool Things I Found On the Internet: Christmas 2020 Edition

It has been a weird year šŸ˜• I hope wherever you are, Yule gives you a moment to pause, reflect and eat something nice. May the gods bless you and those you love this Yule. Santa invoking the dancing imps of hell https://twitter.com/HorribleSanity/status/1341802926633717760?s=20 Ring the Bells by Jessica Marie Baumgartner So right now I want…

Ancient Word of the Day: Stravaig

Ancient Word of the Day: Stravaig

Stravaig: v. to wander or amble without a purpose or destination in mind. Glad of the opportunity to explore and discover on foot, being unconstrained by time. (from Scots Gaelic) Travel: Hiking in Ireland Copyright Content Catnip 2010 Stravaig derives from eighteenth-century Scots extravage, meaning ā€˜wander about; digress, ramble in speechā€™, in turn derived from Medieval Latin extravagari ā€˜wander,…

Historic Jukebox: Henry David Thoreau & Fleet Foxes http://wp.me/p41CQf-9V

Ancient Word of the Day: Sussurate

Sussurate: n: to whisper or murmur. The noise produced by a hive of bees, a rustling of leaves in the forest or the crackling of a fire It turns out that elemental experiences for ancient humans echo and whisper back over aeons and are universally received and recognised. No matter where we are on this…

The macabre story of The Sorceress by Jan van de Velde II (1626)

10 Cool Things I Found on the Internet this week #26

Sometimes you just need a happiness infusion straight into your veins, so here is a little shot of endorphins I hope you enjoy it... A Day in the Life of my favourite artist family The lovely and soulful Bartons in their cosy den of creativity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPV-wQ4JGiM The macabre story of The Sorceress by Jan van…

Poetry and music from the film 'Wings of Desire' (Der Himmel uber Berlin)

Ancient Word of the Day: Weltschmerz

Weltschmerz: n: (literally) World Pain (from German). The feeling of sadness at the suffering that surrounds you in the world. The pain of being an empath and sensitive to all despair and distress in the world. An ill-defined weariness at the burdens carried universally by all of humankind. The Sensual World of The Unseen By…

Welcome to the rumbling belly of the shaky isles: Orakei Korako https://wp.me/p41CQf-JXQ

Ancient Word of the Day: Hell Kettle

Hell Kettle: n. A deep abyss or bottomless pool The deep pools in Darlington, Co. Durham in England are a part of fearsome local legend. These mysterious pools are said to have inspired Lewis Carroll's endless rabbithole, where Alice tumbles into another world - in his classic book Alice in Wonderland. They are known as…

Ancient Word of the Day: Cuneiform

Ancient Word of the Day: Cuneiform

Cuneiform: n. The oldest known writing system that originated in Mesopotamia circa 3400BC. It was etched onto wet clay tablets using a wedge-shaped stylus. Cuneiform is the original ancient written language that underpins all modern forms of written communication. Many languages throughout a vast geographical span over thousands of years were written in cuneiform, including…

Thule as Tile on the Carta Marina of 1539 by Olaus Magnus, where it is shown located to the northwest of the Orkney islands, with a "monster, seen in 1537", a whale ("balena"), and an orca nearby.

Ancient Word of the Day: Thule

Thule or Tile is a legendary island in the North Europe, which was first written about by Ancient Greek Explorer Pytheas of Massalia during his travels between 330-20 BC. Later, a Roman citizen named Strabo wrote about Thule in his treatise named Geographica c. 30 AD. Thule - is the great unknown. The land of…

The mystical beauty of an Ancient Egyptian daughter of Osiris (1913)

10 Interesting things I Found on the Internet This Week #17

A Shelf-Portrait with Alanis Morissette Rock goddess, highly sensitive person and all-round legendary bookworm Alanis Morissette talks about the books that have shaped and improved her life. A lot of great non-fiction here about mindfulness, spirituality and personal growth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwrLSpHz4lk The mystical beauty of an Ancient Egyptian daughter of Osiris (1913) An anonymous autochrome photograph…

E Pii, e Paa: A poem by Haare Williams #TeWikioteReoMāori #MāoriLanguageWeek #MahuruMaori

E Pii, e Paa: A poem by Haare Williams

This week is Māori Language Week/ Te wiki o Te Reo Māori. So I will be sharing some beautiful poems, proverbs and words in Māori and English for you to enjoy. Here is a poem by Haare Williams from his incredible book of wisdom: Words of a Kaumātua. E Pii, e Paa tiny bees swarming…

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Ancient word of the day: Twankle

Twankle https://twitter.com/SlenderSherbet/status/1278930494827237376?s=20 To twang your fingers on a musical instrument or absent-mindedly strum or play an instrument without thought. Other concatenations include: Twiddling, twandling, tootling, plunking, noodling, thrummling or tudeling. Tudeling (origin) German dudeln - to perform badly. The crappiest song that almost everyone can play on the piano Chopsticks was invented in 1877 by…

Book Review: SPQR by Mary Beard

Book Review: SPQR by Mary Beard

I really wanted to love this book because I am a huge Mary Beard fan and I love her enthusiastic, passionate and fascinating documentaries about the Romans. As a novice to this topic, I was really craving a book that would educate me and also sustain my interest. About a decade ago, I waded through…

Athena Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue 1502 by Andrea Mantegna

Opening Pandoraā€™s Box: Phrases Borrowed from the Classics and the Stories Behind Them by Ferdie Addis

If you are in love with language, storytelling, folklore or classical history then you will love this book. Itā€™s short at only 162 pages. However Opening Pandoraā€™s Box punches well above its weight in terms of quality with many amusing and shocking stories from classical history to enjoy.

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 shepherdā€™s wisdom. German SchƤfchenwolken: Little…

Book Review: The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Book Review: The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson

Ant-lover and Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, Edward O. Wilson has been arguing for the unity and connectedness of all human knowledge for many decades. In his latest book The Origins of Creativity, Wilson singles out creativity as humanityā€™s most important legacy which has allowed us to evolve and dominate other organisms on…

Celestial ceilings and soaring skies in Poland

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 distance…

What do the longest living people in the world have in common?

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"). RjĆ³malogn (Icelandic) Cream-calm, used to denote  profoundly tranquil weather or sea. Arafin (Welsh) Calm or slow weather in Welsh. blikkstille./ blekkstille (Norwegian) A…

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Ancient Word of the Day: Whelm

Whelm originates from Old English and it means to overturn or capsize a hollow vessel (a boat, a heart); to bury by wave, flood, storm, avalanche. The etymology is from the Old English hwelfan, to 'upheave'. This explains the modern use of "overwhelmed" and "underwhelmed". No voice divine the storm allay'd, No light propitious shone;…

Book Review ā€“ Word to the Wise by Mark Broatch

Book Review ā€“ Word to the Wise by Mark Broatch

Although I am an experienced writer, sometimes I get it wrong, either through laziness, tiredness or ignorance. The first two are under my control which is why I tend to circle back the day after I write, to re-edit professional work before I send it out. Iā€™m the first to admit that I make mistakes.…

Ancient word of the day: DƦgeseage

Ancient word of the day: DƦgeseage

The ancient word of the day is DƦgeseage. This is an old English word for daisy. The origin of DƦgeseage is literally daisy or day's eye. Which makes sense when you think about the quaint little flower and its tendency to follow the arc of the sun through the sky from dawn to dusk, soaking in as much light and goodness as possible.

Every Picture Tells A Story: Teens in Brooklyn (1980's)

List of the week: Adult words I used as a teenager to make myself sound more intelligent

As a teenager I was incredibly precocious at times, spouting big words to make myself feel older and more worldly in high school. Later on, as my vocabulary developed at University, I dropped these intellectual bombs into conversations to make myself feel better in the company of people more middle class and posh than I was.

Scotland's Momentous Decision on September 18th

Travel: A Survival Guide to Edinburgh Slang and Scots Words

If you ever go to Edinburgh and find yourself in one of its countless excellent pubs, you may want to strike up a conversation with one of the grave looking, old guys at the bar drinking pints. If so, you will want to be able to hold a conversation while also not making a fanny…