Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The infinite life of pi

I'm not sure if you are not into maths - sorry for this post, girl with the naughty name, fast-forward to tomorrow - you'll understand the complete message. But even if you don't, the graphics are stunning...

Monday, 30 May 2016

How to unboil an egg

Can you unboil an egg? Of course you can't... Or can you? Breathtaking.


Sunday, 29 May 2016


I was yesterday at the Support Expo in the Netherlands and was amazed again by all the inventions that people who have lost of whatever reason, their mobility.

We looked at new things for our daughter. It was a special day for her. She has her drivers licence already for two years, and only recently she bought a car. A Renault Twingo with a hoisting mechanism to put her mobility scooter inside her car without lifting a finger. Her gas and brake pedal are adjusted as well. Anyway she drove herself and her service dog to Utrecht for the first time. A little scary on the road, if you miss two years of experience, but hey, she did it!

And now she was able to see the Expo all by herself and to make her own priorities. Independence!
Anyway it was a nice day. We did see many interesting things, worth looking into more. I came today across this video. Except for these models:

Toyota makes a far more interesting model. It's a the iBOT that was invented by the famous inventor Dean Kamen. He explains in this video:

And I don't know about you, but it warms my heart that big companies like Toyota take part in making the world a more mobile place, especially for those who come home from Utrecht tired and say: Yeah, it did it myself.

Like my little girl.

Waarom is there a "b" in doubt?

A lesson in etymology today. Why do we write the words like we do, sometimes so "without reason". Well, if you go back in history you'll find out that there was a reason for it after all...


Saturday, 28 May 2016

The hidden meanings of yin and yang

When I say half-heartedly that I always wanted to be a teacher, it's not so much the urge to impose my opinions or views on subjects, it's more like sharing knowledge. When I come across something breathtaking, arousing, hair-raising or just electrifying I have that need to share my knowledge. It's the same at work. Knowledge is not to keep for yourself, knowledge becomes knowledge if you share it.

This week I share five of my favourite educational Ted Ed's. The kick-off is the Yin and Yang explanation. With such wonderful graphics to illustrate Mr. Bellaimey's talk about this fascinating subject.


Friday, 27 May 2016

Gethsemane - Colm Wilkinson

Colm Wilkinson is an Irish tenor born in 1944 and has played in many, many musicals. After yesterdays raw voices, this last Gethsemane is form mr. Wilkinson himself.

If some of you think because I chose five different versions of this song, I like them all you're mistaken. There is an Australian version sung by John Farnham I really dislike, as well as Kermit's version, not to speak of any Italian version, like this one by Simone Sibillano.
The Korean version is probably beautiful as well, but I can't hear it.

So I will stick to my five choices of this beautiful song.


The iconic angels were designed by Ernie Cefalu in 1969. They were designed for the release of the album on the American market. Some people think they were designed by the first released album in Great Britain, but that is not true. Cefalu designed in the sixties symmetric shapes, as these angels very clearly show. He was a young, not very well known artist, and he got his big breakthrough with this album.

I love the simplicity and beauty of the design very much. 


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Gethsemane - Stygma IV

Rock for adults - that would be a good way to describe the music of STYGMA IV if one were at a loss of words.
In 2001 the metal band Stygma IV released the album "Phobia" with their own version of the Overture of JCS (nr. 6: I.N.R.I.) and this version of Gethsemane. These talented guys are quite famous: they made 9 albums in 13 years.
OK, this version needs the acquired taste, but if you like the Gillian version in extreme, this is the version that will make a lasting impression.

Conductor score from Palace Theatre, London

Conductor score

Full orchestral score for Jesus Christ Superstar,
Palace Theatre, 9 August 1972

 In the storage rooms of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is museum piece S.102-1981 filed. It's a conductor score of Jesus Christ Superstar and this score is marked up for performance, with notes from the Musical Director on alterations made during rehearsals. The red spots on it are presumably fake blood, that indicates the score is actually used in a performance of the Palace Theatre. I was lucky enough to see the performance twice in the Palace Theatre in the seventies.


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Gethsemane - Paul Nolan

The Ian Gillian version is one of my favourites, it's closely connected to my young soul listening to it when I was 14,15 years old hundreds of times. No exaggeration. Hundreds. After that Ted Neely that made a huge impression with his high notes. These notes are very high for the tenor voice. Many singers choose to sing it one octave down.
" It’s clearly written into the music as a tonal shout as Jesus reaches the zenith of his pain with the decision to die. It’s a powerful moment, but the note is so difficult to sing with power, so many singers flip to falsetto. This would be fine, but the note is surrounded on both side by high belt patterns. In that context, the falsetto really takes away from the moment."
This performance is by Paul Nolan is impressive. Even in a jacket it's impossible to sing it without the strong emotions this song so clearly evokes. Not only by me, the listener, but by the performer as well! Look at the fire in his eyes: "Can you show me now.."

Nolan sang Jesus in JCS on Broadway in 2012

Gethsemane - compare with bible texts

Gethsemane is a special song from a spiritual point of view. Here are the texts to compare from the bible:


Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Matthew 26:36-45  


Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22:39-46


They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”  Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.  “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 
Mark 14:32-41


In the gospel of John there is no mentioning of the Garden of Gethsemane. John goes straight to the point where Judas betrays Jesus:

 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.”
 John 18:1-5


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Gethsemane - Ted Neeley

During filming of Fiddler on the Roof, Barry Dennen, who played Pilate on the concept album, suggested to Norman Jewison that he should direct Jesus Christ Superstar as a film. After hearing the album, Jewison agreed.



The cast consisted mostly of actors from the Broadway show, with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson starring as Jesus and Judas respectively. Neeley had played a reporter and a leper in the Broadway version, and understudied the role of Jesus. Likewise, Anderson understudied Judas, but took over the role on Broadway and Los Angeles when Ben Vereen fell ill. Along with Dennen, Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene), and Bob Bingham (Caiaphas) reprised their Broadway roles in the film (Elliman, like Dennen, had also appeared on the original concept album). Originally, Jewison wanted Ian Gillan, who played Jesus on the concept album, to reprise the role for the film, but Gillan turned down the offer, deciding that he would please fans more by touring with Deep Purple. 

Ted Neeley

Ever since the movie in 1973 Ted Neeley performed Jesus Christ Superstar more than 5000 times. On Tuesday 15 December 2015 I saw Mr. Neeley life, performing in the Netherlands.

1973       Ted Neeley         2014
Neeley says in interviews, asked he still loves his role: "Every time I hear those first sounds the intense feeling comes back to me. This is such an intellectual, spiritual and emotional role that I discover something new every time. It has drastically changed my life. I'm very grateful for that. "

Gethsemane - lyrics from Jesus Christ Superstar


I only want to say
If there is a way
Take this cup away from me for I don't want to taste
Its poison
Feel it burn me, I have changed, I'm not as sure as
When we started
Then I was inspired
Now I'm sad and tired
Listen surely I've exceeded expectations tried for three years
Seems like thirty
Could you ask as much from any other man?
But if I die
See the saga through and do the things you ask of me
Let them hate me, hit me, hurt me, nail me to their tree
I'd wanna know I'd wanna know my God
I'd wanna see I'd wanna see my God
Why I should die
Would I be more noticed than I ever was before?
Would the things I've said and done matter anymore?
I'd have to know I'd have to know my Lord
I'd have to see I'd have to see my Lord
If I die what will be my reward?
I'd have to know I'd have to know my Lord
Why should I die?
Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain?
Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain
Show me there's a reason for your wanting me to die
You're far too keen on where and how and not so hot on why
Alright! I'll die!
Just watch me die!
See how I die!
Then I was inspired
Now I'm sad and tired
After all I've tried for three years seems like ninety
Why then am I scared to finish what I started
What you started - I didn't start it
God thy will is hard
But you hold every card
I will drink your cup of poison
Nail me to your cross and break me
Bleed me beat me kill me take me now -
Before I change my mind

Monday, 23 May 2016

Gethsemane - Ian Gillan

Original version of this all time musical classic. Deep Purple's Ian Gillan played the role of Jesus and his interpretation of this immortal cut defined all the upcoming ones. When this work was recorded, Deep Purple was on the top of the musical world, so Ian was unable to join the plays in Broadway, nor film the 1973 movie.

The musical started as a rock opera concept album and was released in September 1970. The length of the album was 86:56 minutes. The "rock-opera" music genre was only preceded by "Tommy". It was sung-through, with no spoken dialogue. The story is based on the Gospels' accounts of the last week of Jesus's life, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. It highlights political and interpersonal struggles between Judas Iscariot and Jesus.



I made the posts of this week, Gethsemane week, about a month ago. After I scheduled the limerick posts, I began to make the posts for this week from the Rock Opera "Jesus Christ Superstar".
I had considered for some time to make a post about the different versions of this Gethsemane song, but never had the time to find the time to work on it.

After I had finished them, I found out I planned them all in the week I was going to have a small operation. Nothing special or dramatic, just to take the gall bladder out, but still these words rang in my  ears:
Alright! I'll die!
Just watch me die!
See how I die!

Compact MP3 Player

I don't believe in coincidence.
More afraid than I cared to admit? Perhaps. Anyway the operation is postponed by some weeks now. So.... I'm not such a drama queen I postpone my Gethsemane posts as well. :-)
So here are five different versions of Gethsemane this week.

I hope it will bring you the same feelings of inwardness, combat and reflection as it brought me.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

The blue cross, A Father Brown story

C.K. Chesterton wrote many of his father Brown stories before the great war in 1910,1911. Short stories in a newspaper. 
Father Brown and I go way back... I was young when I saw the television series of Father Brown. And we kept in touch ever since. This one of my favourite Father Brown stories. Free of rights to share, and important to share so this stories will not fade into oblivion.

First published in The Saturday Evening Post, Jul 23, 1910
as "Valentin Follows A Curious Trail"

Between the silver ribbon of morning and the green glittering ribbon of sea, the boat touched Harwich and let loose a swarm of folk like flies, among whom the man we must follow was by no means conspicuous—nor wished to be. There was nothing notable about him, except a slight contrast between the holiday gaiety of his clothes and the official gravity of his face. His clothes included a slight, pale grey jacket, a white waistcoat, and a silver straw hat with a grey-blue ribbon. His lean face was dark by contrast, and ended in a curt black beard that looked Spanish and suggested an Elizabethan ruff. He was smoking a cigarette with the seriousness of an idler. There was nothing about him to indicate the fact that the grey jacket covered a loaded revolver, that the white waistcoat covered a police card, or that the straw hat covered one of the most powerful intellects in Europe. For this was Valentin himself, the head of the Paris police and the most famous investigator of the world; and he was coming from Brussels to London to make the greatest arrest of the century.

Flambeau was in England. The police of three countries had tracked the great criminal at last from Ghent to Brussels, from Brussels to the Hook of Holland; and it was conjectured that he would take some advantage of the unfamiliarity and confusion of the Eucharistic Congress, then taking place in London. Probably he would travel as some minor clerk or secretary connected with it; but, of course, Valentin could not be certain; nobody could be certain about Flambeau.

It is many years now since this colossus of crime suddenly ceased keeping the world in a turmoil; and when he ceased, as they said after the death of Roland, there was a great quiet upon the earth. But in his best days (I mean, of course, his worst) Flambeau was a figure as statuesque and international as the Kaiser. Almost every morning the daily paper announced that he had escaped the consequences of one extraordinary crime by committing another. He was a Gascon of gigantic stature and bodily daring; and the wildest tales were told of his outbursts of athletic humour; how he turned the juge d'instruction upside down and stood him on his head, "to clear his mind"; how he ran down the Rue de Rivoli with a policeman under each arm. It is due to him to say that his fantastic physical strength was generally employed in such bloodless though undignified scenes; his real crimes were chiefly those of ingenious and wholesale robbery. But each of his thefts was almost a new sin, and would make a story by itself. It was he who ran the great Tyrolean Dairy Company in London, with no dairies, no cows, no carts, no milk, but with some thousand subscribers. These he served by the simple operation of moving the little milk cans outside people's doors to the doors of his own customers. It was he who had kept up an unaccountable and close correspondence with a young lady whose whole letter-bag was intercepted, by the extraordinary trick of photographing his messages infinitesimally small upon the slides of a microscope. A sweeping simplicity, however, marked many of his experiments. It is said that he once repainted all the numbers in a street in the dead of night merely to divert one traveller into a trap. It is quite certain that he invented a portable pillar- box, which he put up at corners in quiet suburbs on the chance of strangers dropping postal orders into it. Lastly, he was known to be a startling acrobat; despite his huge figure, he could leap like a grasshopper and melt into the tree-tops like a monkey. Hence the great Valentin, when he set out to find Flambeau, was perfectly aware that his adventures would not end when he had found him.

But how was he to find him? On this the great Valentin's ideas were still in process of settlement.

There was one thing which Flambeau, with all his dexterity of disguise, could not cover, and that was his singular height. If Valentin's quick eye had caught a tall apple-woman, a tall grenadier, or even a tolerably tall duchess, he might have arrested them on the spot. But all along his train there was nobody that could be a disguised Flambeau, any more than a cat could be a disguised giraffe. About the people on the boat he had already satisfied himself; and the people picked up at Harwich or on the journey limited themselves with certainty to six. There was a short railway official travelling up to the terminus, three fairly short market gardeners picked up two stations afterwards, one very short widow lady going up from a small Essex town, and a very short Roman Catholic priest going up from a small Essex village. When it came to the last case, Valentin gave it up and almost laughed. The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting. The Eucharistic Congress had doubtless sucked out of their local stagnation many such creatures, blind and helpless, like moles disinterred. Valentin was a sceptic in the severe style of France, and could have no love for priests. But he could have pity for them, and this one might have provoked pity in anybody. He had a large, shabby umbrella, which constantly fell on the floor. He did not seem to know which was the right end of his return ticket. He explained with a moon-calf simplicity to everybody in the carriage that he had to be careful, because he had something made of real silver "with blue stones" in one of his brown-paper parcels. His quaint blending of Essex flatness with saintly simplicity continuously amused the Frenchman till the priest arrived (somehow) at Tottenham with all his parcels, and came back for his umbrella. When he did the last, Valentin even had the good nature to warn him not to take care of the silver by telling everybody about it. But to whomever he talked, Valentin kept his eye open for someone else; he looked out steadily for anyone, rich or poor, male or female, who was well up to six feet; for Flambeau was four inches above it.

He alighted at Liverpool Street, however, quite conscientiously secure that he had not missed the
criminal so far. He then went to Scotland Yard to regularise his position and arrange for help in case of need; he then lit another cigarette and went for a long stroll in the streets of London. As he was walking in the streets and squares beyond Victoria, he paused suddenly and stood. It was a quaint, quiet square, very typical of London, full of an accidental stillness. The tall, flat houses round looked at once prosperous and uninhabited; the square of shrubbery in the centre looked as deserted as a green Pacific islet. One of the four sides was much higher than the rest, like a dais; and the line of this side was broken by one of London's admirable accidents—a restaurant that looked as if it had strayed from Soho. It was an unreasonably attractive object, with dwarf plants in pots and long, striped blinds of lemon yellow and white. It stood specially high above the street, and in the usual patchwork way of London, a flight of steps from the street ran up to meet the front door almost as a fire-escape might run up to a first-floor window. Valentin stood and smoked in front of the yellow-white blinds and considered them long.

The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen. A few clouds in heaven do come together into the staring shape of one human eye. A tree does stand up in the landscape of a doubtful journey in the exact and elaborate shape of a note of interrogation. I have seen both these things myself within the last few days. Nelson does die in the instant of victory; and a man named Williams does quite accidentally murder a man named Williamson; it sounds like a sort of infanticide. In short, there is in life an element of elfin coincidence which people reckoning on the prosaic may perpetually miss. As it has been well expressed in the paradox of Poe, wisdom should reckon on the unforeseen.

Aristide Valentin was unfathomably French; and the French intelligence is intelligence specially and solely. He was not "a thinking machine"; for that is a brainless phrase of modern fatalism and materialism. A machine only is a machine because it cannot think. But he was a thinking man, and a plain man at the same time. All his wonderful successes, that looked like conjuring, had been gained by plodding logic, by clear and commonplace French thought. The French electrify the world not by starting any paradox, they electrify it by carrying out a truism. They carry a truism so far—as in the French Revolution. But exactly because Valentin understood reason, he understood the limits of reason. Only a man who knows nothing of motors talks of motoring without petrol; only a man who knows nothing of reason talks of reasoning without strong, undisputed first principles. Here he had no strong first principles. Flambeau had been missed at Harwich; and if he was in London at all, he might be anything from a tall tramp on Wimbledon Common to a tall toast-master at the Hotel Metropole. In such a naked state of nescience, Valentin had a view and a method of his own.

In such cases he reckoned on the unforeseen. In such cases, when he could not follow the train of the reasonable, he coldly and carefully followed the train of the unreasonable. Instead of going to the right places—banks, police stations, rendezvous— he systematically went to the wrong places; knocked at every empty house, turned down every cul de sac, went up every lane blocked with rubbish, went round every crescent that led him uselessly out of the way. He defended this crazy course quite logically. He said that if one had a clue this was the worst way; but if one had no clue at all it was the best, because there was just the chance that any oddity that caught the eye of the pursuer might be the same that had caught the eye of the pursued. Somewhere a man must begin, and it had better be just where another man might stop. Something about that flight of steps up to the shop, something about the quietude and quaintness of the restaurant, roused all the detective's rare romantic fancy and made him resolve to strike at random. He went up the steps, and sitting down at a table by the window, asked for a cup of black coffee.

It was half-way through the morning, and he had not breakfasted; the slight litter of other breakfasts stood about on the table to remind him of his hunger; and adding a poached egg to his order, he proceeded musingly to shake some white sugar into his coffee, thinking all the time about Flambeau. He remembered how Flambeau had escaped, once by a pair of nail scissors, and once by a house on fire; once by having to pay for an unstamped letter, and once by getting people to look through a telescope at a comet that might destroy the world. He thought his detective brain as good as the criminal's, which was true. But he fully realised the disadvantage. "The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic," he said with a sour smile, and lifted his coffee cup to his lips slowly, and put it down very quickly. He had put salt in it.

He looked at the vessel from which the silvery powder had come; it was certainly a sugar-basin; as unmistakably meant for sugar as a champagne-bottle for champagne. He wondered why they should keep salt in it. He looked to see if there were any more orthodox vessels. Yes; there were two salt-cellars quite full. Perhaps there was some speciality in the condiment in the salt-cellars. He tasted it; it was sugar. Then he looked round at the restaurant with a refreshed air of interest, to see if there were any other traces of that singular artistic taste which puts the sugar in the salt-cellars and the salt in the sugar-basin. Except for an odd splash of some dark fluid on one of the white-papered walls, the whole place appeared neat, cheerful and ordinary. He rang the bell for the waiter.

When that official hurried up, fuzzy-haired and somewhat blear-eyed at that early hour, the detective (who was not without an appreciation of the simpler forms of humour) asked him to taste the sugar and see if it was up to the high reputation of the hotel. The result was that the waiter yawned suddenly and woke up.

"Do you play this delicate joke on your customers every morning?" inquired Valentin. "Does
changing the salt and sugar never pall on you as a jest?"

The waiter, when this irony grew clearer, stammeringly assured him that the establishment had certainly no such intention; it must be a most curious mistake. He picked up the sugar-basin and looked at it; he picked up the salt- cellar and looked at that, his face growing more and more bewildered. At last he abruptly excused himself, and hurrying away, returned in a few seconds with the proprietor. The proprietor also examined the sugar-basin and then the salt- cellar; the proprietor also looked bewildered.

Suddenly the waiter seemed to grow inarticulate with a rush of words.

"I zink," he stuttered eagerly, "I zink it is those two clergy-men."

"What two clergymen?"

"The two clergymen," said the waiter, "that threw soup at the wall."

"Threw soup at the wall?" repeated Valentin, feeling sure this must be some singular Italian metaphor.

"Yes, yes," said the attendant excitedly, and pointed at the dark splash on the white paper; "threw it over there on the wall."

Valentin looked his query at the proprietor, who came to his rescue with fuller reports.

"Yes, sir," he said, "it's quite true, though I don't suppose it has anything to do with the sugar and salt. Two clergymen came in and drank soup here very early, as soon as the shutters were taken down. They were both very quiet, respectable people; one of them paid the bill and went out; the other, who seemed a slower coach altogether, was some minutes longer getting his things together. But he went at last. Only, the instant before he stepped into the street he deliberately picked up his cup, which he had only half emptied, and threw the soup slap on the wall. I was in the back room myself, and so was the waiter; so I could only rush out in time to find the wall splashed and the shop empty. It don't do any particular damage, but it was confounded cheek; and I tried to catch the men in the street. They were too far off though; I only noticed they went round the next corner into Carstairs Street."

The detective was on his feet, hat settled and stick in hand. He had already decided that in the universal darkness of his mind he could only follow the first odd finger that pointed; and this finger was odd enough. Paying his bill and clashing the glass doors behind him, he was soon swinging round into the other street.

It was fortunate that even in such fevered moments his eye was cool and quick. Something in a shop-front went by him like a mere flash; yet he went back to look at it. The shop was a popular greengrocer and fruiterer's, an array of goods set out in the open air and plainly ticketed with their names and prices. In the two most prominent compartments were two heaps, of oranges and of nuts respectively. On the heap of nuts lay a scrap of cardboard, on which was written in bold, blue chalk, "Best tangerine oranges, two a penny." On the oranges was the equally clear and exact description, "Finest Brazil nuts, 4d. a lb." M. Valentin looked at these two placards and fancied he had met this highly subtle form of humour before, and that somewhat recently. He drew the attention of the red-faced fruiterer, who was looking rather sullenly up and down the street, to this inaccuracy in his advertisements. The fruiterer said nothing, but sharply put each card into its proper place. The detective, leaning elegantly on his walking-cane, continued to scrutinise the shop. At last he said, "Pray excuse my apparent irrelevance, my good sir, but I should like to ask you a question in experimental psychology and the association of ideas."

The red-faced shopman regarded him with an eye of menace; but he continued gaily, swinging his cane, "Why," he pursued, "why are two tickets wrongly placed in a greengrocer's shop like a shovel hat that has come to London for a holiday? Or, in case I do not make myself clear, what is the mystical association which connects the idea of nuts marked as oranges with the idea of two clergymen, one tall and the other short?"

The eyes of the tradesman stood out of his head like a snail's; he really seemed for an instant likely to fling himself upon the stranger. At last he stammered angrily: "I don't know what you 'ave to do with it, but if you're one of their friends, you can tell 'em from me that I'll knock their silly 'eads off, parsons or no parsons, if they upset my apples again."

"Indeed?" asked the detective, with great sympathy. "Did they upset your apples?"

"One of 'em did," said the heated shopman; "rolled 'em all over the street. I'd 'ave caught the fool but for havin' to pick 'em up."

"Which way did these parsons go?" asked Valentin.

"Up that second road on the left-hand side, and then across the square," said the other promptly.

"Thanks," replied Valentin, and vanished like a fairy. On the other side of the second square he found a policeman, and said: "This is urgent, constable; have you seen two clergymen in shovel hats?"

The policeman began to chuckle heavily. "I 'ave, sir; and if you arst me, one of 'em was drunk. He stood in the middle of the road that bewildered that— "

"Which way did they go?" snapped Valentin.

"They took one of them yellow buses over there," answered the man; "them that go to Hampstead."

Valentin produced his official card and said very rapidly: "Call up two of your men to come with me in pursuit," and crossed the road with such contagious energy that the ponderous policeman was moved to almost agile obedience. In a minute and a half the French detective was joined on the opposite pavement by an inspector and a man in plain clothes.

"Well, sir," began the former, with smiling importance, "and what may—?"

Valentin pointed suddenly with his cane. "I'll tell you on the top of that omnibus," he said, and was darting and dodging across the tangle of the traffic. When all three sank panting on the top seats of the yellow vehicle, the inspector said: "We could go four times as quick in a taxi."

"Quite true," replied their leader placidly, "if we only had an idea of where we were going."

"Well, where are you going?" asked the other, staring.

Valentin smoked frowningly for a few seconds; then, removing his cigarette, he said: "If you know what a man's doing, get in front of him; but if you want to guess what he's doing, keep behind him. Stray when he strays; stop when he stops; travel as slowly as he. Then you may see what he saw and may act as he acted. All we can do is to keep our eyes skinned for a queer thing."

"What sort of queer thing do you mean?" asked the inspector.

"Any sort of queer thing," answered Valentin, and relapsed into obstinate silence.

The yellow omnibus crawled up the northern roads for what seemed like hours on end; the great detective would not explain further, and perhaps his assistants felt a silent and growing doubt of his errand. Perhaps, also, they felt a silent and growing desire for lunch, for the hours crept long past the normal luncheon hour, and the long roads of the North London suburbs seemed to shoot out into length after length like an infernal telescope. It was one of those journeys on which a man perpetually feels that now at last he must have come to the end of the universe, and then finds he has only come to the beginning of Tufnell Park. London died away in draggled taverns and dreary scrubs, and then was unaccountably born again in blazing high streets and blatant hotels. It was like passing through thirteen separate vulgar cities all just touching each other. But though the winter twilight was already threatening the road ahead of them, the Parisian detective still sat silent and watchful, eyeing the frontage of the streets that slid by on either side. By the time they had left Camden Town behind, the policemen were nearly asleep; at least, they gave something like a jump as Valentin leapt erect, struck a hand on each man's shoulder, and shouted to the driver to stop.

They tumbled down the steps into the road without realising why they had been dislodged; when they looked round for enlightenment they found Valentin triumphantly pointing his finger towards a window on the left side of the road. It was a large window, forming part of the long facade of a gilt and palatial public-house; it was the part reserved for respectable dining, and labelled "Restaurant." This window, like all the rest along the frontage of the hotel, was of frosted and figured glass; but in the middle of it was a big, black smash, like a star in the ice.

"Our cue at last," cried Valentin, waving his stick; "the place with the broken window."

"What window? What cue?" asked his principal assistant. "Why, what proof is there that this has anything to do with them?"

Valentin almost broke his bamboo stick with rage.

"Proof!" he cried. "Good God! the man is looking for proof! Why, of course, the chances are twenty to one that it has nothing to do with them. But what else can we do? Don't you see we must either follow one wild possibility or else go home to bed?" He banged his way into the restaurant, followed by his companions, and they were soon seated at a late luncheon at a little table, and looked at the star of smashed glass from the inside. Not that it was very informative to them even then.

"Got your window broken, I see," said Valentin to the waiter as he paid the bill.

"Yes, sir," answered the attendant, bending busily over the change, to which Valentin silently added an enormous tip. The waiter straightened himself with mild but unmistakable animation.

"Ah, yes, sir," he said. "Very odd thing, that, sir."

"Indeed?" Tell us about it," said the detective with careless curiosity.

"Well, two gents in black came in," said the waiter; "two of those foreign parsons that are running about. They had a cheap and quiet little lunch, and one of them paid for it and went out. The other was just going out to join him when I looked at my change again and found he'd paid me more than three times too much. 'Here,' I says to the chap who was nearly out of the door, 'you've paid too much.' 'Oh,' he says, very cool, 'have we?' 'Yes,' I says, and picks up the bill to show him. Well, that was a knock-out."

"What do you mean?" asked his interlocutor.

"Well, I'd have sworn on seven Bibles that I'd put 4s. on that bill. But now I saw I'd put 14s., as plain as paint."

"Well?" cried Valentin, moving slowly, but with burning eyes, "and then?"

"The parson at the door he says all serene, 'Sorry to confuse your accounts, but it'll pay for the window.' 'What window?' I says. 'The one I'm going to break,' he says, and smashed that blessed pane with his umbrella."

All three inquirers made an exclamation; and the inspector said under his breath, "Are we after escaped lunatics?" The waiter went on with some relish for the ridiculous story:

"I was so knocked silly for a second, I couldn't do anything. The man marched out of the place and joined his friend just round the corner. Then they went so quick up Bullock Street that I couldn't catch them, though I ran round the bars to do it."

"Bullock Street," said the detective, and shot up that thoroughfare as quickly as the strange couple he pursued.

Their journey now took them through bare brick ways like tunnels; streets with few lights and even with few windows; streets that seemed built out of the blank backs of everything and everywhere. Dusk was deepening, and it was not easy even for the London policemen to guess in what exact direction they were treading. The inspector, however, was pretty certain that they would eventually strike some part of Hampstead Heath. Abruptly one bulging gas-lit window broke the blue twilight like a bull's-eye lantern; and Valentin stopped an instant before a little garish sweetstuff shop. After an instant's hesitation he went in; he stood amid the gaudy colours of the confectionery with entire gravity and bought thirteen chocolate cigars with a certain care. He was clearly preparing an opening; but he did not need one.

An angular, elderly young woman in the shop had regarded his elegant appearance with a merely automatic inquiry; but when she saw the door behind him blocked with the blue uniform of the inspector, her eyes seemed to wake up.

"Oh," she said, "if you've come about that parcel, I've sent it off already."

"Parcel?" repeated Valentin; and it was his turn to look inquiring.

"I mean the parcel the gentleman left—the clergyman gentleman."

"For goodness' sake," said Valentin, leaning forward with his first real confession of eagerness, "for Heaven's sake tell us what happened exactly."

"Well," said the woman a little doubtfully, "the clergymen came in about half an hour ago and bought some peppermints and talked a bit, and then went off towards the Heath. But a second after, one of them runs back into the shop and says, 'Have I left a parcel!' Well, I looked everywhere and couldn't see one; so he says, 'Never mind; but if it should turn up, please post it to this address,' and he left me the address and a shilling for my trouble. And sure enough, though I thought I'd looked everywhere, I found he'd left a brown paper parcel, so I posted it to the place he said. I can't remember the address now; it was somewhere in Westminster. But as the thing seemed so important, I thought perhaps the police had come about it."

"So they have," said Valentin shortly. "Is Hampstead Heath near here?"

"Straight on for fifteen minutes," said the woman, "and you'll come right out on the open." Valentin sprang out of the shop and began to run. The other detectives followed him at a reluctant trot.

The street they threaded was so narrow and shut in by shadows that when they came out unexpectedly into the void common and vast sky they were startled to find the evening still so light and clear. A perfect dome of peacock-green sank into gold amid the blackening trees and the dark violet distances. The glowing green tint was just deep enough to pick out in points of crystal one or two stars. All that was left of the daylight lay in a golden glitter across the edge of Hampstead and that popular hollow which is called the Vale of Health. The holiday makers who roam this region had not wholly dispersed; a few couples sat shapelessly on benches; and here and there a distant girl still shrieked in one of the swings. The glory of heaven deepened and darkened around the sublime vulgarity of man; and standing on the slope and looking across the valley, Valentin beheld the thing which he sought.

Among the black and breaking groups in that distance was one especially black which did not break—a group of two figures clerically clad. Though they seemed as small as insects, Valentin could see that one of them was much smaller than the other. Though the other had a student's stoop and an inconspicuous manner, he could see that the man was well over six feet high. He shut his teeth and went forward, whirling his stick impatiently. By the time he had substantially diminished the distance and magnified the two black figures as in a vast microscope, he had perceived something else; something which startled him, and yet which he had somehow expected. Whoever was the tall priest, there could be no doubt about the identity of the short one. It was his friend of the Harwich train, the stumpy little cure of Essex whom he had warned about his brown paper parcels.

Now, so far as this went, everything fitted in finally and rationally enough. Valentin had learned by his inquiries that morning that a Father Brown from Essex was bringing up a silver cross with sapphires, a relic of considerable value, to show some of the foreign priests at the congress. This undoubtedly was the "silver with blue stones"; and Father Brown undoubtedly was the little greenhorn in the train. Now there was nothing wonderful about the fact that what Valentin had found out Flambeau had also found out; Flambeau found out everything. Also there was nothing wonderful in the fact that when Flambeau heard of a sapphire cross he should try to steal it; that was the most natural thing in all natural history. And most certainly there was nothing wonderful about the fact that Flambeau should have it all his own way with such a silly sheep as the man with the umbrella and the parcels. He was the sort of man whom anybody could lead on a string to the North Pole; it was not surprising that an actor like Flambeau, dressed as another priest, could lead him to Hampstead Heath. So far the crime seemed clear enough; and while the detective pitied the priest for his helplessness, he almost despised Flambeau for condescending to so gullible a victim. But when Valentin thought of all that had happened in between, of all that had led him to his triumph, he racked his brains for the smallest rhyme or reason in it. What had the stealing of a blue-and-silver cross from a priest from Essex to do with chucking soup at wall paper? What had it to do with calling nuts oranges, or with paying for windows first and breaking them afterwards? He had come to the end of his chase; yet somehow he had missed the middle of it. When he failed (which was seldom), he had usually grasped the clue, but nevertheless missed the criminal. Here he had grasped the criminal, but still he could not grasp the clue.

The two figures that they followed were crawling like black flies across the huge green contour of a hill. They were evidently sunk in conversation, and perhaps did not notice where they were going; but they were certainly going to the wilder and more silent heights of the Heath. As their pursuers gained on them, the latter had to use the undignified attitudes of the deer-stalker, to crouch behind clumps of trees and even to crawl prostrate in deep grass. By these ungainly ingenuities the hunters even came close enough to the quarry to hear the murmur of the discussion, but no word could be distinguished except the word "reason" recurring frequently in a high and almost childish voice. Once over an abrupt dip of land and a dense tangle of thickets, the detectives actually lost the two figures they were following. They did not find the trail again for an agonising ten minutes, and then it led round the brow of a great dome of hill overlooking an amphitheatre of rich and desolate sunset scenery. Under a tree in this commanding yet neglected spot was an old ramshackle wooden seat. On this seat sat the two priests still in serious speech together. The gorgeous green and gold still clung to the darkening horizon; but the dome above was turning slowly from peacock-green to peacock-blue, and the stars detached themselves more and more like solid jewels. Mutely motioning to his followers, Valentin contrived to creep up behind the big branching tree, and, standing there in deathly silence, heard the words of the strange priests for the first time.

After he had listened for a minute and a half, he was gripped by a devilish doubt. Perhaps he had dragged the two English policemen to the wastes of a nocturnal heath on an errand no saner than seeking figs on its thistles. For the two priests were talking exactly like priests, piously, with learning and leisure, about the most aerial enigmas of theology. The little Essex priest spoke the more simply, with his round face turned to the strengthening stars; the other talked with his head bowed, as if he were not even worthy to look at them. But no more innocently clerical conversation could have been heard in any white Italian cloister or black Spanish cathedral.

The first he heard was the tail of one of Father Brown's sentences, which ended: "... what they really meant in the Middle Ages by the heavens being incorruptible."

The taller priest nodded his bowed head and said:

"Ah, yes, these modern infidels appeal to their reason; but who can look at those millions of worlds and not feel that there may well be wonderful universes above us where reason is utterly unreasonable?"

"No," said the other priest; "reason is always reasonable, even in the last limbo, in the lost borderland of things. I know that people charge the Church with lowering reason, but it is just the other way. Alone on earth, the Church makes reason really supreme. Alone on earth, the Church affirms that God himself is bound by reason."

The other priest raised his austere face to the spangled sky and said:

"Yet who knows if in that infinite universe—?"

"Only infinite physically," said the little priest, turning sharply in his seat, "not infinite in the sense of escaping from the laws of truth."

Valentin behind his tree was tearing his fingernails with silent fury. He seemed almost to hear the sniggers of the English detectives whom he had brought so far on a fantastic guess only to listen to the metaphysical gossip of two mild old parsons. In his impatience he lost the equally elaborate answer of the tall cleric, and when he listened again it was again Father Brown who was speaking:

"Reason and justice grip the remotest and the loneliest star. Look at those stars. Don't they look as if they were single diamonds and sapphires? Well, you can imagine any mad botany or geology you please. Think of forests of adamant with leaves of brilliants. Think the moon is a blue moon, a single elephantine sapphire. But don't fancy that all that frantic astronomy would make the smallest difference to the reason and justice of conduct. On plains of opal, under cliffs cut out of pearl, you would still find a notice-board, 'Thou shalt not steal.'"

Valentin was just in the act of rising from his rigid and crouching attitude and creeping away as softly as might be, felled by the one great folly of his life. But something in the very silence of the tall priest made him stop until the latter spoke. When at last he did speak, he said simply, his head bowed and his hands on his knees:

"Well, I think that other worlds may perhaps rise higher than our reason. The mystery of heaven is unfathomable, and I for one can only bow my head."

Then, with brow yet bent and without changing by the faintest shade his attitude or voice, he added:

"Just hand over that sapphire cross of yours, will you? We're all alone here, and I could pull you to pieces like a straw doll."

The utterly unaltered voice and attitude added a strange violence to that shocking change of speech. But the guarder of the relic only seemed to turn his head by the smallest section of the compass. He seemed still to have a somewhat foolish face turned to the stars. Perhaps he had not understood. Or, perhaps, he had understood and sat rigid with terror.

"Yes," said the tall priest, in the same low voice and in the same still posture, "yes, I am Flambeau."

Then, after a pause, he said:

"Come, will you give me that cross?"

"No," said the other, and the monosyllable had an odd sound.

Flambeau suddenly flung off all his pontifical pretensions. The great robber leaned back in his seat and laughed low but long.

"No," he cried, "you won't give it me, you proud prelate. You won't give it me, you little celibate simpleton. Shall I tell you why you won't give it me? Because I've got it already in my own breast-pocket."

The small man from Essex turned what seemed to be a dazed face in the dusk, and said, with the timid eagerness of "The Private Secretary":

"Are—are you sure?"

Flambeau yelled with delight.

"Really, you're as good as a three-act farce," he cried. "Yes, you turnip, I am quite sure. I had the sense to make a duplicate of the right parcel, and now, my friend, you've got the duplicate and I've got the jewels. An old dodge, Father Brown— a very old dodge."

"Yes," said Father Brown, and passed his hand through his hair with the same strange vagueness of manner. "Yes, I've heard of it before."

The colossus of crime leaned over to the little rustic priest with a sort of sudden interest.

"You have heard of it?" he asked. "Where have you heard of it?"

"Well, I mustn't tell you his name, of course," said the little man simply. "He was a penitent, you know. He had lived prosperously for about twenty years entirely on duplicate brown paper parcels. And so, you see, when I began to suspect you, I thought of this poor chap's way of doing it at once."

"Began to suspect me?" repeated the outlaw with increased intensity. "Did you really have the gumption to suspect me just because I brought you up to this bare part of the heath?"

"No, no," said Brown with an air of apology. "You see, I suspected you when we first met. It's that little bulge up the sleeve where you people have the spiked bracelet."

"How in Tartarus," cried Flambeau, "did you ever hear of the spiked bracelet?"

"Oh, one's little flock, you know!" said Father Brown, arching his eyebrows rather blankly. "When I was a curate in Hartlepool, there were three of them with spiked bracelets. So, as I suspected you from the first, don't you see, I made sure that the cross should go safe, anyhow. I'm afraid I watched you, you know. So at last I saw you change the parcels. Then, don't you see, I changed them back again. And then I left the right one behind."

"Left it behind?" repeated Flambeau, and for the first time there was another note in his voice beside his triumph.

"Well, it was like this," said the little priest, speaking in the same unaffected way. "I went back to that sweet-shop and asked if I'd left a parcel, and gave them a particular address if it turned up. Well, I knew I hadn't; but when I went away again I did. So, instead of running after me with that valuable parcel, they have sent it flying to a friend of mine in Westminster." Then he added rather sadly: "I learnt that, too, from a poor fellow in Hartlepool. He used to do it with handbags he stole at railway stations, but he's in a monastery now. Oh, one gets to know, you know," he added, rubbing his head again with the same sort of desperate apology. "We can't help being priests. People come and tell us these things."

Flambeau tore a brown-paper parcel out of his inner pocket and rent it in pieces. There was nothing but paper and sticks of lead inside it. He sprang to his feet with a gigantic gesture, and cried:

"I don't believe you. I don't believe a bumpkin like you could manage all that. I believe you've still got the stuff on you, and if you don't give it up— why, we're all alone, and I'll take it by force!"

"No," said Father Brown simply, and stood up also, "you won't take it by force. First, because I really haven't still got it. And, second, because we are not alone."

Flambeau stopped in his stride forward.

"Behind that tree," said Father Brown, pointing, "are two strong policemen and the greatest detective alive. How did they come here, do you ask? Why, I brought them, of course! How did I do it? Why, I'll tell you if you like! Lord bless you, we have to know twenty such things when we work among the criminal classes! Well, I wasn't sure you were a thief, and it would never do to make a scandal against one of our own clergy. So I just tested you to see if anything would make you show yourself. A man generally makes a small scene if he finds salt in his coffee; if he doesn't, he has some reason for keeping quiet. I changed the salt and sugar, and you kept quiet. A man generally objects if his bill is three times too big. If he pays it, he has some motive for passing unnoticed. I altered your bill, and you paid it."

The world seemed waiting for Flambeau to leap like a tiger. But he was held back as by a spell; he was stunned with the utmost curiosity.

"Well," went on Father Brown, with lumbering lucidity, "as you wouldn't leave any tracks for the police, of course somebody had to. At every place we went to, I took care to do something that would get us talked about for the rest of the day. I didn't do much harm—a splashed wall, spilt apples, a broken window; but I saved the cross, as the cross will always be saved. It is at Westminster by now. I rather wonder you didn't stop it with the Donkey's Whistle."

"With the what?" asked Flambeau.

"I'm glad you've never heard of it," said the priest, making a face. "It's a foul thing. I'm sure you're too good a man for a Whistler. I couldn't have countered it even with the Spots myself; I'm not strong enough in the legs."

"What on earth are you talking about?" asked the other.

"Well, I did think you'd know the Spots," said Father Brown, agreeably surprised. "Oh, you can't have gone so very wrong yet!"

"How in blazes do you know all these horrors?" cried Flambeau.

The shadow of a smile crossed the round, simple face of his clerical opponent.

"Oh, by being a celibate simpleton, I suppose," he said. "Has it never struck you that a man who does next to nothing but hear men's real sins is not likely to be wholly unaware of human evil? But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren't a priest."

"What?" asked the thief, almost gaping.

"You attacked reason," said Father Brown. "It's bad theology."

And even as he turned away to collect his property, the three policemen came out from under the twilight trees. Flambeau was an artist and a sportsman. He stepped back and swept Valentin a great bow.

"Do not bow to me, mon ami," said Valentin with silver clearness. "Let us both bow to our master."

And they both stood an instant uncovered while the little Essex priest blinked about for his umbrella.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Personal life

I told you in March all horrible stories about my time in hospital. Three months later my gall bladder operation is still not carried out, and the infection to my drain that is coming out of my body is tiresome. But somewhere in the first week of June it's going to be removed at last. Together with my gall bladder my drain will be removed in a "buy one and get the other one free" operation. Perhaps I should tell them it takes me almost two hours to fall asleep.

The anaesthetist told me I had to get rid of my beard and moustache before the operation, due to leakage of the oxygen mask they might have to put on. Well, that was the worst news of all. I don't know exactly, but I am wearing a beard for over 30 years.... Now it is off. It's not an improvement I might add. That handsome, distinguished face is now a milksop and due to the fact I use a real razor of course ( a real man does not use an electric razor), a daily bloodbath. I'm loosing more blood from my cheeks and throat than from the wound in my belly. It's really a horrible sight. I pity my wife and daughter that have to look at that face most of the day. I like to pity my colleagues as well, first the shock -  without warning, mind you -  about the bald face and then all that blood... Gross, my daughter would say. I furthermore pity all those people in public transport that are sitting next to me, one time or another. A glimpse sidewards and this naked chin in blood... Brrr.

Anyway, the moustache is still there, I was not mentally ready to take that off as well. If I wanted to be totally nude, I would contact playboy, oh no, the magazine for girls is playgirl I think...

There is nothing more boring than people telling in great detail about their health. You listen (or read) for a few lines and you think. Ah. Yes. I believe it. Stop, I have heard enough. Women are supposed to think: "A man. Typical man. A little pain and the world is upside down". So I refrain from great detail. Sufficient to say I'm looking forward to the day the operation is scheduled.

Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

Some people say this one is better than the original. You'll be the judge of that.

Friday, 20 May 2016


There was a young lady of Gloucester
Whose friend they thought they had lost her,
   Till they found on the grass
   The marks of her arse,
And the knees of the man who had crossed her.
 The bride went up the aisle
In traditional virginal style,
   But they say she was nary
   An innocent cherry,
But a whore from the banks of the Nile.
There was a young girl from Madrid
Who thought she'd be having a kid.
   So by holding the water
   Three months and a quarter
She drowned the poor bastard, she did.
There was a young lady named Hall
Wore a newspaper dress to a ball
   The dress caught on fire
   And burnt her entire
Front page, sporting section, and all.
 There was a young girl from Peru
Who had nothing whatever to do,
   So she sat on the stairs
   And counted cunt hairs -
Four thousand, three hundred, and two.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Hallelulajah - Paul Nolan

Paul Nolan sings his interpretation of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

Mariage bliss

There was a young fellow name Fyfe
Whose marriage was ruined for life
   For he had an aversion
   To every perversion
And only like fucking his wife.

There was a young sailor from Brighton
Who remarked to his girl "You're a tight one."
   She replied: "Pon my soul,
   You're in the wrong hole;
There's plenty of room in the right one." 

Nymphomaniacal Alice
Used a dynamite stick for a phallus.
   They found her vagina
   In North Carolina,
And her ass-hole in Buckingham Palace.

There was a young man with a fiddle
Who asked of his girl, "Do you diddle?"
   She replied, "Yes, I do,
   But prefer it with two -
It's twice as much fun in the middle.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Coming, dear.

There was a young plumber from Leigh
Who was plumbing his girl by the sea.
   She said, "Stop your plumbing,
   There's somebody coming!"
Said the plumber, still plumbing, "It's me".

Il y avait un plombier, François,
Qui plombait sa femme dans le Bois.
  Dit-elle, "Arrêtez!
  J'endends quelqu'un venait."
Dit le plombier, en plombant, "C'est moi".

Es giebt ein Arbeiter von Tinz
Es schläft mit ein Mädel von Linz.
  Sie sagt "Halt sein' plummen
   Ich höre Mann kommen."
"Jacht, jacht," sagt der Plummer, "Ich binz."

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Hallelujah - John Cale

Haven't got enough of Cohen covers of Hallelujah? I haven't! This one by John Cale is a classic.

Winter is coming

Winter is here with his grouch,
The time when you sneeze and slouch,
   You can't take your women
   Canoein' or swimmin',
But a lot can be done on a couch.

There was a young lady of Clewer
Who was riding  a bike, and it threw her.
  A man saw her there
  With her legs in the air,
And seized the occasion to screw her.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Young man in a choir

There was  a young man in the choir
Whose penis rose higher and higher,
  Till it reached such a height
  It was quite out of  sight -
But of course you know I'm a liar.

Saturday, 14 May 2016


 This picture reminds me so much of a girl I used to know, The hand in the hair. It's irresistible. Just a "nude" neck is enough to bring me in ecstasy.

This was the last one in the series this week. I hope you liked them as much as I did.

Friday, 13 May 2016


The rope harness itself is not special, well done, but not special, but the head bondage is very interesting, the way the gag is part of the complex binding. The arms bound at the back I always found soooo very exciting! I mean this, this picture is Vulnerability itself.

The second one proves that a woman doesn't have to be nude to be vulnerable, one of my favourite pictures of all time:

Both of them have their eyes downcast, but for different reasons. This woman in chains is as fragile as the bound woman, but in her submission fabulous. It's the look of submission I think that I relate to the word vulnerability. This next one, putting on a posture collar has that as well:

Now I see them together I notice that all three have their eyes downcast. The hands on the head raises the jacket, exposes the breast and the posture collar, well the posture collar will restrict her head movements with a big ring on it. For any leash to chip on.

Thursday, 12 May 2016


Just squeeze and hold it tight. Just like that...
Wanita says I'm a tit-man. I wouldn't know.

Squeezing a bit more, this time with a clothes pin, and you can leave it on for as long as you like without having to squeeze yourself:

 The third one is the tracing wheel. Does it hurt? Yes, a bit. But not as much as the nipple clamps. And I can't see any blood spill...

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Walking through the path of pictures I like most, there are a lot of them with women on the ground kneeling, I wonder why? I like this picture because of it's curves. People say there is no straight line on a woman's body, and this, this is the living proof.

In almost the same posture, is this wonderful picture. 

Did you notice the wrists ready for tying on her back? Left over right? Did you notice hoe close her feet are together and how elegant they stretch? This posture is more difficult to maintain than the first but it's a sight for sore eyes.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Light and dark

This pose is interesting because it has a lot of conflicts in the picture. The pulling towards the master with the panties, the pushing away from the master with the crop.
The fullness of the breasts and the skinny waistline.
The look on her face and her arms behind her back
The light and the dark...

Monday, 9 May 2016

Nude and dressed

The contrast between nude and fully dressed is as sharp as black and white. The inequality of the number of clothes they wear, is symbol of the inequality of power between them. She is kneeling and her hands are in Nadu resting on her thighs. Relaxed, in waiting what will happen. His hand under her chin forces her to look up, but it's not a look of fear, it's a look of expectation...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

After so many vanilla blogs..

... A proper warning to my "new" readers is appropriate, I think. The warning sign before you open this blog is there with a reason. I wish there was a better warning system in Blogger to keep the curious youngsters out, but there isn't. So it's parental supervision, that is underestimated and badly needed.

"A man is more than a sex life. But part of his life is his sex life"

Why do I mix vanilla content with bdsm-related content in one blog? Well, it makes good sense if you want a huge audience to find a niche in the blog land and blog all about it. But I didn't choose to do just that. If I would the pictures of women “in a corner”, would be all over the place, because all these make my stats list jump higher than any other post. No, I do it because it gives me joy to do so. So it's a strange mixture of all parts of my personality: A  man is more than a sex life. A guy with a lot of interests has a sex life as well. If people want to visit my blog, I love it. If they comment on it, even better. But if they stay away that is OK too.

Just be warned, explicit content this week...

Poem for the eyes

This wonderful poem is not just for the ears it's for the eyes as well. Spark: A Visual Poem by Meghan Rienks for all mothers on Mother's Day.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Fear and Fearlessness

Fear and fearlessness. Pema Chödron is quoting Trungpa Rinpoche about the subject of the cause of fear and how to face your fears. It's an excerpt of a much longer teaching, but this graps in seven minutes the essence what Chödron calls "Living from the heart".

Friday, 6 May 2016

Inner strength V

You are too young... And we don't take the young always seriously. Now this woman, not girl, is trying to change all that. It's not easy to be young these days.

The last in the series of Strong Women this week. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Inner strength IV

In the series of Strong Women, Maya Angelou has a special place. Her famous Poem " I know why the Caged Bird Sings" and the problem of addiction.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

4 and 5 May: the Dutch context

The fact that the Netherlands observes Remembrance Day and celebrates Liberation Day, the day on which the German army capitulated, on two separate days is primarily the result of the strong influence that former members of the resistance had in Dutch society directly after the Second World War. The Dutch resistance had already gained considerable authority during the war. After the country had been liberated, the former resistance was relatively well organised and prominently represented in government circles. The most important reason why the national commemoration of Remembrance Day takes place on 4 May and not on 5 May is that directly after the Second World War, both the survivors and the bereaved in the former resistance circles found it inappropriate to mourn the victims of war and to celebrate the liberation on the same day. In their view, the emotions that went along with both sets of memories were incompatible. As the Netherlands had not played an active role in the First World War, the country did not already have a tradition of commemoration in the mid 1940s. Whereas most other European countries had commemoration traditions of a military character stemming from the First World War, the Netherlands was free to commemorate and celebrate in its own distinct manner.

National commemoration on the Dam, Amsterdam

The Dutch tradition of remembrance and celebration that developed in response to the Second World War had a primarily local character. In all Dutch cities and villages, local committees, organisations, associations or municipal officials organise a remembrance ceremony on 4 May or on another day in connection with the local war history and on 5 May there is often a celebration in honour of the liberation and freedom. In addition to all the local groups, there are also numerous other organisations in the Netherlands founded by people who have been affected by wars. They often organise their own ceremonies of remembrance in connection with various different historical events. For example commemorations are organised in reference to (the liberation of) various extermination and concentration camps, such as those in Mauthausen, Auschwitz and Ravensbruck, where Dutch citizens were killed. While other gatherings commemorate specific events such as the bombardment of Rotterdam or the massive razzia in Putten, in the north-east of the Netherlands. The Netherlands also commemorates the war in its former colony the Dutch East Indies and the end of the Second World War on 15 August. And each year the Auschwitz Committee organises the Holocaust/Auschwitz commemoration on the last Sunday in January.

So besides 4 and 5 May, there are over 40 other occasions throughout the year when victims are remembered and survivors and people concerned get together to commemorate. All these different experiences and stories converge on 4 May. On that day, at 8pm, the entire country – including those who experienced the war first hand and everyone else who recognises the civic importance of remembering – commemorates the victims of wartime violence in two minutes of silence.

(source: http://www.4en5mei.nl/english/4_and_5_may)

Inner strength III

Don't you forget it, a powerful message to "All women" by Jon Jorgenson, a very charismatic and well spoken young man. Nothing to add to his message...

Intense, this video. Beautiful message. Beautiful video.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Inner strength II

This one is close to heart. Nora Cooper reads her poem "I Won't Write Your Obituary", about a friend who is thinking strongly about committing suicide, and Nora Cooper says to this friend, I will not
make it easy for you. But call me.

Intense, this video. Beautiful poem. Beautiful video.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Inner strength I

This week is all about strong women. Women who had to sail in windlessness, and yet do not give up.
This is from the poet Sierra DeMulder and she read her poem "Paper Dolls". Paper Dolls is about how fragile woman are after rape (the rape figures are stunning) and yet how strong they are.

Intense, this video. Beautiful poem. Beautiful video.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

To me, fair friend, you never can be old

Beauty doesn't change in the eyes of the lover, William Shakespeare writes in his Sonnet 104. Everything changes in the seasons, but not the beauty of the beloved. And when you are gone I will never find someone as beautiful as you....

Sonnet 104:

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turn’d,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv’d;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv’d:
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
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