Wednesday 23 October 2013

A bit of a detour

Had to go a different scenic route home today after a 30 ton land slip on the Nant Gwynant Pass.

Saw none of this, road closed miles back.

All of the above from The Daily Post.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

What I have learnt today

Tescos in Porthmadog has been taken over by Eccles.
(Note I had to brave three elderly ladies engaged in an animated conversation in Welsh to take this photo. No wonder the Welsh are so good at singing opera - the language is so declamatory, poetic and just plain operatic and the old ladies had fearsomely formidable personalities equal to any opera house.)

The bara brith and Welsh cakes meanwhile cowered on a low shelf swamped by scones and other foreign goods. I'm only surprised that the Free Wales Army haven't paid a visit to redress the obvious slight to homegrown tea time delights.

My other interest, in between ploughing through John Elliot Gardiner's just published biography of Bach ( tip Ch3 on everyone called Bach in the 17th-18thC is not that interesting without musical examples- why not just print a few then we'd get the idea what they sounded like?),is adding to my not very extensive knowledge of food in Welsh. Thuringia after the 30 Years War was pretty miserable, btw.

I now know that focaccia bread is bara focaccia and that aubergine must be a direct translation of egg plant because it's something wŷ=egg and butter nut squash must be the same because it ends menyn = butter.

Sunday 13 October 2013

A postcard from the volcano by Lucy Beckett

Ignatius Press own blurb says

Beginning in 1914 and ending on the eve of World War II, this epic story follows the coming of age and early manhood of the Prussian aristocrat, Max von Hofmannswaldau. From the idyllic surroundings of his ancestral home to the streets of cosmopolitan Breslau menaced by the Nazi SS, Hofmannswaldau uncovers the truth about his own identity and confronts the modern ideologies that threaten the annihilation of millions of people.

A Postcard from the Volcano opens with the outbreak of World War I and the Prussian pride and patriotism that blind the noble von Hofmannswaldau family to the destruction that lies ahead for their country. The well-researched narrative follows the young count as he leaves home to finish his education and ends up a stranger in the land of his birth.

Both intelligent and sensitive, Beckett’s prose explores the complex philosophical and political questions that led Europe into a second world war, while never losing sight of a man whose life is shaped by his times. A deeply moving historical novel that shows the horrific impact that two world wars had on whole countries, and how individuals struggled to deal with the incredible challenges presented by such devastation.

Lucy Beckett studied history at Cambridge and is the author of several books, including her highly acclaimed work, In the Light of Christ: Writings in the Western Tradition, as well as another work of historical fiction, The Time Before You Die: A Novel of the Reformation. She lives in Yorkshire, England, where she teaches at Ampleforth Abbey.

“Written with beautiful prose, a great pleasure to read. The prose is in the service of immense themes —but always in the context of a skillfully handled and greatly moving human drama. A gigantic, and splendid, piece of work.”
—Thomas Howard author, On Being Catholic

“In this extraordinary work, the mysteries of faith and hope and love, prevailing in a time of radical fear, teach us how to find our own humanity.”
—Michael D. O’Brien author, Father Elijah

“This astonishing novel is meat for the mind and manna for the soul.”
—Joseph Pearce author, The Quest for Shakespeare

I'm enjoying this a lot.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Resolution #123

I'm only reading encyclicals in official English translations from the present pope. (Plus FrZ, if that translation is wonky.)

Since he's only written one and a fair amount of that was by BXVI anyway, no bandwagons to jump on or knee jerk reactions needed.

My usual guerrilla tactics then apply.

Support good Catholic causes relentlessly and ignore everything else.

This always was going to be a long game.

If people could just stop retweeting rubbish into my twitter feed by people I purposely don't follow, I'd be really happy.

And if CAFOD would refrain from phoning me up, I won't need to waste their time and mine telling them why I give my money to ACN. Clue dodgy spin doctors and a loose understanding of Catholic teaching make for compelling reasons not to give them a bean. I do hope the call was recorded for training purposes.