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: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

In this funny, odd-ball and deeply emotional novel by Japanese debut novelist Sayaka Murata, we follow the book’s heroine Keiko, who is in her late 30’s and is working as a sales assistant in a convenience store, while living unmarried and childless (a mortal sin in Japan). Keiko has been bullied and friendless for mostContinue reading “Book Review: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata”

Every picture tells a story: In transit in the JR station

Everyone is always in transit and a great metaphor for life is that we can only ever trust in the constant flux of change. Forget about the serenity of temples, impermanence is ever-present in JR stations, subway stations and airports. There is something magnetic about these places because as you flow through there, you areContinue reading “Every picture tells a story: In transit in the JR station”

Before Time Began: Latin Quotes on Ancient Sundials

Ancient sundials of Greece, Egypt and Babylon often featured provocative and emotional expressions in Latin. They were succinct and powerful calls to action which were designed to waken up the senses and peel back the blinkers on what really matters. These concise messages highlighted the passing of time, mortality, life, death and enjoying one’s briefContinue reading “Before Time Began: Latin Quotes on Ancient Sundials”

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Another book from Scandinavia this time from debut novelist Fredrick Backman. Originally in Swedish, A Man Called Ove is a universally appealing narrative about a curmudgeonly old man who seems to encounter infuriating people and annoying situations at every turn, when all he wants is to be left in peace. Since being published, A ManContinue reading “Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman”

Book of Hours: Eric Gill at Terse

Action is for the sake of contemplation. The active for the sake of the contemplative To labour is to pray. Work is the discipline (the yoga) by means of which The body holds its noise and leaves the soul free a little. Recreation is for the sake of work. Leisure time is for the sakeContinue reading “Book of Hours: Eric Gill at Terse”