Friday, 26 February 2016

Double column tie

So, what makes more sense than after showing a single column tie, to proceed with a double column tie? Nothing, Han. OK, that is what I thought. To show a little symmetry in my posts let's begin with the Twisted Monk again:



A double, or a two column tie. I'm not crazy about this one. First the girl has to keep her hands at the distance he likes,like my mother used to wind her wool together. A little bit surplus of consent here and the knot he makes is far from pretty. I do like the way he explains his bondage methods though.

The second is from Giotto. Same problem here. Very effective, no strain on the columns, in this case the feet, but it is not a nice looking knot. No need here to keep the feet apart, like in the first video, again not very pretty.



The third and last video I like best and I use that one, because of two advantages. Let's have a look first. The sound is terrible, the people have no heads, but the rigging is the most important:



One: I like the way he is making a different tie than the standard double tie knot and the end result is more pretty compared to the first. The second bight is useful as well  to secure the knot to a different knot you have already tied or are going to tie.
Again three slightly different ways to do the same thing, and there is no right or wrong way in all three video's, just the one you like best.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Vivaldi Alleluia





The very expressive Sandrine Piau in Vivaldi's Alleluia! Another Hallelujah, but so different from yesterday...

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Alleluia

Another new version of the Hallelujah chorus, this time by Arvo Pärt.





Arvo Pärt has occupied himself with the life and work of St Nicholas of Myra for many years, repeatedly discovering references to him during his own work. Pärt’s first expression of this interest was his 1998 choral work Triodion. Encouraged by the festival Le Voci dell’Anima in Bari, where Nicholas’ relics lie, Pärt wrote Alleluia-Tropus for choir and 8 violoncellos.

Nicholas has a special position amongst the saints, as he is a symbol not just in Christian beliefs, and it is from Bari that the international popularity of St Nicholas spread. Pärt uses a text from the Christian liturgy dedicated to St Nicholas. The text is sung in Church Slavonic.
The choir is supported by 8 violoncellos in the prayers and at times is doubled by them.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

23rd February: Banana bread day

Not everyone knows this, but 23rd of February is officially "Banana Bread Day". Extremely easy to make, banana bread is still a favourite way to quickly bake up a special treat for the family. Modern-day breads also include the addition of chocolate chips, nuts, or even dried fruit. Why not experiment and come up with a banana bread recipe that everyone will love? I for one want to share the recipe I found at Simple Recipes.com.
Why make a difficult, complicated bread? Choose a simple recipe!




  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2-3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup (240 cc) of sugar (can easily use 3/4 cup, or drop it down to 1/2 cup if you want it less sweet)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4x8-inch (6,5 x 20 cm) loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.
Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (check at 50 minutes) at 350°F (175°C), or until a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)

Monday, 22 February 2016

In the Neck

Some time ago I posted some posts about the art of kissing. And today I read something amazing that made me remember these posts:

Herodotus, the famed Greek historian, tells us that King Alexander the Great, when he was only eighteen years old, used this kissing technique on the neck of the Queen of Persia, who was 29 at the time. The queen had been a widow for three years and had vowed never to marry again. After a few minutes with Alexander and his neck kissing technique, she began to shiver and tremble, and a fine line of sweat formed on her forehead. She vowed to make the boy king hers, she fell so madly in love with his kissing style.

 The neck is often ignored with kissing, and that is very foolish. A few kissing techniques that will make you feel like Alexander the Great:

Slow

Men are impatient, but it pays to be slow. Caress with the top of your finger the spot in the neck where you will kiss her. Tell her you will kiss her there in hushed tones. Make her shiver with pleasure. When you get all hot and bothered soon, slow down again...

There are many kisses, use them all

Kiss her on the tender spots of her neck where the neck connects with the shoulder and collarbone. Another sensitive part of the neck is the front left or right side. But almost any part of the neck will be a good place if you are attentive of her reactions on that. Don't stand apart from her if you are kissing her. Lean in, get as close as you can and wrap your arms around her, so she will feel safe and secure in your arms.

Make butterfly kisses, closed mouth, like she will hardly feel your lips, open your mouth and let your tongue do the work. Blow the wet skin dry with your mouth. Suck on her skin to leave your mark on her or bite her gently, just scraping your teeth over her skin. Don't be boring, adjust your lovemaking.


Use your hands 

So close to her is not just for holding her tight. Use your hands to softy explore her body, even if you know every curve and all of her body, use your hands well. Avoid the obvious erogenous zones, be creative.

The bliss of a kiss

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Hand of God

This wonderful masterpiece in marble is made by Lorenzo Quinn from Italy. This gifted artist has made much more beautiful works of art. This one is called: The hand of God.





From another angle shows how impressive this sculpture really is:

 

Friday, 19 February 2016

Single column tie

There are so many wonderful instruction video's these days on the Net, and all those riggers and rope bottoms that want to share their knowledge with us.

A Single Column Tie. How easy is that? Everybody can make a single column tie, right?
It is the starting point for bondage, because anything can be a column, a bedpost, a wrist, a thigh, the chest, anything round, square or rectangle. So here are some of the well known riggers that share their knowledge, and each do it differently, smile. There are more ways than one to do it right...

The first one is from the Twisted Monk: a basic good, no frills single column tie:



As you can see he uses two square knots to secure the rope. Nothing wrong with that of course, but the version of Giotto is more elegant. Don't pay attention to his behaviour (I think it's the audience, I have seen video's where this guy is not as cocky), just concentrate on the way he is making the single column tie. And he explains it really well:




So this one does not only look prettier, it is more secure. Now what is that wrong knot both video's mention but don't show? We have to take a look at a third video Esinem made and he shows us the Reef Knot, that is really a slide knot that is not useful for a single column tie. So let's have a look at this one as well shall we?




A single column tie, with all the proper warnings, the nerve bundle at the hand, the tingling and feeling dead of the arms, the scissors to cut the rope in case of an emergency. Those three video's are from three different angles the basics of the single column tie.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Euro

There are a lot of people in the Eurozone who want their own currency back. It may be the Deutch Mark, the French Franc or as many of us the Dutch guilder. I am not one of them. I like to think forward and not backwards. I don't think we can go back to the days that were once. It is gone, a memory. We have to deal with the current situation.

But what I did like was the design of the Dutch banknotes. The design was from Ootje Oxenaar
and Jaap Drupsteen two graphic designers working for the Dutch National Bank. On the 5 guilder note is Joost van den Vondel, on the 10 guilder note Michiel Adriaanszoon De Ruyter, on the 25 guilder note Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. In 1980 came the first 50 guilder note "the Sunflower", inspired by Van Gogh of course. The 100 guilder note shows the Watersnip, or in Dutch for short "de Snip". On the 250 guilder banknote was the lighthouse of Haamstede Not shown here, but there was a 1000 guilder banknote in this series showing Baruch Spizoza
Before these notes were issued, some of these notes I remember vividly as well. The 10 and 25 guilder notes are so pretty, a pity these are easy to reproduce. On the 2,5 gulder note shows the late queen Juliana, on the 10 guilder note Joost van den Vondel again, on the 25 guilder not Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and on the 100 guilder note Erasmus.
Ah, yes. Compare it to the lifeless, boring euro notes... Those were the days.
Smile.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Oh, Batgirl, we hardly know you...


Oh, Batgirl do we know you? Maybe a bit trough 'Arkham Knight', a video game on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One?

Will we ever know the mysterious daughter of commissioner Gordon?  Not in a video game...

A word to the wise women

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Pretty picture

This is one of the more explicit photos I like very much. Two pretty people a man and a woman doing something in the shower we probably all did one time or another, and it looks so... pretty.

I like this photo for it's honesty, it's openness. There is nothing shameful or restrained in this picture.
It's just so .. pretty.



Monday, 15 February 2016

Mile high club

There once was a man from Bel Air,
Who was doing his girl on the stair.
When the banister broke,
He doubled his stroke,
And finished her off in mid-air.


Homeland, ring a bell?

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is loosing it's popularity, Valentine's day will not catch on in the Netherlands,



If you would believe these headlines, Valentine's Day is seen by the general public as a marketing stunt, and the only ones that profit from it are shop owners. Not much because the people who celebrate Valentine's day in the Netherlands declines every year...


Well, I believe in Love. I believe it is not in gifts, love is shown in every day acts. By saying on strange moments "I love you", or by giving her a special gift she is longing for a long time. Love is attention. Pay attention to your loved one. Know what she will like. Know what she wants to buy but don't want to spend on herself. If you are not interested you will never know. So love is paying attention to details. And love is stating the obvious. If she asks you "do you still love me?", make a mental note you are saying it not enough.

So Love is no path of roses (or candy, or sugar hearts) but it's most truly reflected in your actions, not in what you feel, think or say.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Smokin' Hot



Not the same picture as in stay for dinner tonight, but it looks very much like it. Anyway if your imagination is working well, this is one of the scenario's that could play out after what we saw last week.... I like the look on the girls face with the blindfold on, (pun intended).

It is Smoking Hot Scene...

Smoking

I started smoking when I was 19 years old. My mother smoked, and my father was a chain smoker. I don't know if that is an English expression, chain smoker, but he smoked them not to break the chain.
I was late when I started smoking and I started smoking a Big Ben pipe not the same but almost the same as the one below.





I thought it would made me look quite interesting. I read books how very interesting people are who smoke pipes and that the Dutch were masters of making a pipe. So I bought one. Quite expensive. And I smoke my first pipe. I was sick all evening to the point of throwing up. Boy. I was. Boy, Oh Boy. This was something you had to do several times. But the damn thing did not burn well. And my mouth would be full of hot disgusting smelling smoke.

No, not a good investment, a pipe. Well I was 19 and very interesting so I switched to cigarettes. But not any cigarette you know. Of course not. I bought a box of John Player Specials. That was me. John Player, and I was special. The cigarettes were special as well, you could tell because they were much more expensive than normal cigarettes.

I had a box just like that one. Very special. And so easy to smoke, you lit them and they burned until the special filter. And I learned to like it. And show off my expensive cigarettes. After a while is was not so special any more. Everybody had seen my round boxes. And as my financial means were less and less and less I switched to smoking shag. Drum shag was for pussies, Van Nelle zware shag (heavy shag), that was the thing to smoke. With rice smoking papers. Those who were made for joints really, but as I have never smoked pot in my life, I used them for my heavy Van Nelle.














As I matured only money wise, I switched again to something I really liked. And still like very much so: Cigars. The smell of a cigar can still make me longing for one. It is called ADDICTION. I only smoked de Heeren van Ruysdael. Dutch cigars but excellent quality.

Ah. I only smoked them to enjoy the taste, the smell, the feeling in your hands. About 16 years ago I quit. Cold Turkey. I had three cigars left in my box, I closed it, gave it to my Wanita and said, I quit smoking. And I did. Never touched one since that day. Honestly. Not one. Yes it was hard at first. No, I did not buy nonsense like nicotine plasters. I just stopped. And I was silently quite proud of myself.... But that doesn't mean I'm not tempted when I see a beautiful box of cigars, especially from "my" house. Still after 16 years.

I will never smoke again. In the last few years there has been a change in the attitude towards smoking. People who smoke are treated like pariahs at work, and they have to go outside in the cold to smoke addiction away. People don't except it any more if someone smokes when visiting. The world of smoking has changed and it will never change back.
When I was young, it was as normal as wanking your dick when you were young to start smoking. Often 13, 14 years old. It truly was. See this ad below, that tells it all:




Friday, 12 February 2016

The Riding Crop


Today I want to share an old Chinese poem with you from Lu Ji who lived from 261 to 303.

Lu Ji wrote "the art of writing" and that book was quite influential in those days. How good this book was shows this next verse that tells the writer that better is the worst enemy of good.


The Riding Crop


Sometimes your writing is a lush web of fine thoughts
that undercut each other and muffle the theme:
when you reach the pole there's nowhere else to go;
more becomes less if you try to craft what's made.
A powerful phrase at the crucial point
will whip the writing like a horse and make it gallop;
though all the other words are in place
they wait for the crop to run a good race.
A whip is always more help than harm;
stop revising when you've got it right.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

A bit of spiritual energy for today

In these last days when my energy level was low, I came across this list called thieves of energy. And I know there are thousands of similar lists like this one, but I read them I thought, that I could use a reminder myself today.

So just for me, the thieves of energy:

1- Let go of people who share only complaints , problems , disastrous stories , fear and judgement of others . If someone tries a trash can to throw his garbage, it makes it not your mind.
2- Pay your debts on time . At the same time you have to pay to who you should or you choose to let it go , though now he can not do
3- Keep your promises . If you did not , you ask yourself why you find it difficult . You are entitled to change their minds , to apologize , compensate, renegotiate and offer an alternative to a broken promise. The easiest way to avoid not do something that you promise to do and say NO immediately 4- Eliminates possible and delegate tasks that you'd rather not do and enjoy your time to do the ones you like
5- Allow yourself to rest when you need it and given permission to act if you have good opportunity


6- Butta , collect and organize, nothing will take more energy than a messy space, and full of things from the past that no longer need any more
7- It gives priority to your health , without the machinery of your body firing on all cylinders , you can not do much . Take breaks
8- Take the toxic situations you are tolerating , to redeem a friend or family member , up to tolerate negative actions of a partner or a group
9- Accept. Not for resignation, but nothing makes you lose more energy to fight with a situation that can not change
10  person , let go of a situation that is causing pain, you can always choose to leave the pain of remembrance

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Talk with your body

Perhaps you have seen this one before, It's from a Ted Talk from 2010. It's from a group called Pilibolus and the dance they perform is "Symbiosis". It's a dance that is a combination between ballet and Cirque du Soleil. In this dance the male and the female need to be with each other, live together even if they don't want to. They are condemned to one another in a way.

Symbiosis: (biology) a close and usually obligatory association of two organisms of different species that live together, often to their mutual benefit


It's so nice that this is a "TED Talk". Interesting lectures about different subjects. And now this. And yet so appropriate. Because they really talk. Judge for yourself:

  


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Peaceful waters

Two days in a row of dark posts, that cannot be a coincidence. Funny how your posting reflects your mood... Today it is over, my mind is calm now and this soothing music of Henry Purcell is not only consoling to the ear, it is also good to pacify the soul.







Now that the Sun hath veil'd his Light,
And bid the World good Night;
To the soft Bed, my Body I dispose,
But where shall my Soul repose?
Dear God, even in Thy Arms, and can there be
Any so sweet Security!
Then to thy Rest, O my Soul! And singing, praise
The Mercy that prolongs thy Days.
Hallelujah!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Why refugees flee

The next time you have a discussion with an ignorant human being about why the refugees flee in such numbers from their country send them a link to this video below, the city of Homs in Syria. Homs with an estimated population of 830.000 in 2008 a city that housed 4 universities, some industrial projects and had a rich culture.

From Wikipedia you can read quite a bit about Homs. About the cuisine for instance:
"Although people in Homs eat the same foods common in Levantine cuisine, the city is well known throughout Syria for its own cuisine. A prominent dish is Batarsh, a type of baba ghanouj made with yogurt and garlic instead of tahini. Homs is also home to a variety of kibbeh mishwiyyeh or "grilled kibbeh". It consists of two pancakes of kibbeh stuffed with ground lamb, cooked with lamb fat and various spices. Batata mahshi ("stuffed potatoes") is native dish in Homs and is made of baby potatoes stuffed with minced lamb, pine nuts and pomegranate molasses. The city specializes in cooking a type of okra meal, known as bamya bi-l zayt ("okra with olive oil").




Homs has an array of restaurants, some of the most highly acclaimed are those within the Safir Hotel: Mamma Mia and Mersia. The former specializes in Italian cuisine, while the latter serves Arabic food. For the local population, popular restaurants include Prince Restaurant which acts as a type of fast-food place, serving shawarma, grilled chicken, and other common Syrian foods, as well as homemade juices. In the Old City, low-price restaurants are grouped together along Shoukri al-Quwatly Street and sell similar foods, such as hummus, falafel, various salads (mezze), kebabs and chicken dishes. Restaurants and coffee houses typically offer hookahs and are a common place for men to gather and smoke.
Old clock square


Other notable restaurants include Broasted Kreish, a local favorite for shish taouk and shawarma on the Korniche St just south of the Ghouta; the Rawda, a garden lounge located by the New Clock Tower which is known by locals for its Homsi-style fatteh and for the atmosphere created by its divided men and family areas, providing an area for men to gather to play cards, smoke and watch soccer games and for families to have a drink and dessert on late downtime.
Homs also recently emerged as the restaurant scene in pre-civil-war Syria after completing its Malab St. Hamra development. The Hamra Street in the Malab area was home to a strip of highly rated restaurants including La Luna, a shisha lounge; Chez Moi, serving a few French dishes along with the typical local food; Mia Casa, an Italian restaurant; Troy, an American-Latin-Syrian mashup; and Quattro, another Italian restaurant.

Take a look at Homs now, filmed by a drone:

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Contagious

 This week the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff acknowledged last Wednesday that the government is “losing the battle” against the mosquito that carries the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in Brazil and other countries. It made me think of 1345 -1350 when half the population was wiped out by "the Black Death".


In about 1350 30% to 60% of Europe's population was killed by the Black Death, The Plague. A pandemics so devastating 200 million people. And what caused it? God's wrath? No. A flea from a rat. Take a look at this 3 minute video: The black death . And how did all those rats came in all those houses in Europe in the 14th Century? Bad hygiene situations in those days.

Coming out of the East, of the vast Mongol empire, the Black Death reached the shores of Italy in the spring of 1348 an unimaginably large number of death spread across Europe unprecedented in recorded history. By the time the epidemic played itself out three years later, nearly 50% of Europe's population had fallen victim to the pestilence.

The plague presented itself in three interrelated forms. The bubonic variant (the most common) derives its name from the swellings or buboes that appeared on a victim's neck, armpits or groin. These tumors could range in size from that of an egg to that of an orange. Although some survived
The Plague's Progress
the painful ordeal, the manifestation of these lesions usually meaned the victim had a life expectancy of up to a week. Infected fleas that attached themselves to rats and then to humans spread this bubonic type of the plague. A second variation - pneumonic plague - attacked the respiratory system and was spread by merely breathing the exhaled air of a victim. It was much more a viral disease than the bubonic plague - life expectancy was measured in one or two days. Finally, the septicemic version of the disease attacked the blood system. Having no defense and no understanding of the cause of the pestilence, the men, women and children were bewildered, panicked, and finally devastated. People were dying in such numbers, they thought the end of the world was near.

The Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio lived through the plague as it ravaged the city of Florence in 1348. The experience inspired him to write The Decameron, a story of seven men and three women who escape the disease by fleeing to a villa outside the city. In his introduction to the fictional portion of his book, Boccaccio gives a graphic description of the effects of the epidemic on his city.
The Signs of Impending Death
 
The triumph of Death - Pieter Brueghel de Oude

"The symptoms were not the same as in the East, where a gush of blood from the nose was the plain sign of inevitable death; but it began both in men and women with certain swellings in the groin or under the armpit. They grew to the size of a small apple or an egg, more or less, and were vulgarly called tumours. In a short space of time these tumours spread from the two parts named all over the body. Soon after this the symptoms changed and black or purple spots appeared on the arms or thighs or any other part of the body, sometimes a few large ones, sometimes many little ones. These spots were a certain sign of death, just as the original tumour had been and still remained.


No doctor's advice, no medicine could overcome or alleviate this disease. Ignorant men and women set up as doctors in addition to those who were trained. Either the disease was such that no treatment was possible or the doctors were so ignorant that they did not know what caused it, and consequently could not administer the proper remedy. In any case very few recovered; most people died within about three days of the appearance of the tumours described above, most of them without any fever or other symptoms.
The violence of this disease was such that the sick communicated it to the healthy who came near them, just as a fire catches anything dry or oily near it. And it even went further. To speak to or go near the sick brought infection and a common death to the living; and moreover, to touch the clothes or anything else the sick had touched or worn gave the disease to the person touching. "



"...Such fear took possession of the living that almost all of them adopted the same cruel policy, which was entirely to avoid the sick and everything belonging to them. By so doing, each one thought he would secure his own safety.
Some thought that moderate living and the avoidance of all superfluity would preserve them from the epidemic. They formed small communities, living entirely separate from everybody else. They shut themselves up in houses where there were no sick, eating the finest food and drinking the best wine very temperately, avoiding all excess, allowing no news or discussion of


"The sick were avoided and everything belonging to them"

death and sickness, and passing the time in music and suchlike pleasures. Others thought just the opposite. They thought the sure cure for the plague was to drink and be merry, to go about singing and amusing themselves, satisfying every appetite they could, laughing and jesting at what happened. They put their words into practice, spent day and night going from tavern to tavern, drinking immoderately, or went into other people's houses, doing only those things which pleased them.

In this suffering and misery of our city, the authority of human and divine laws almost disappeared, for, like other men, the ministers and the executors of the laws were all dead or sick or shut up with their families, so that no duties were carried out. Every man was therefore able to do as he pleased.
Many others adopted a course of life midway between the two just described. They did not restrict their victuals so much as the former, nor allow themselves to be drunken and dissolute like the latter, but satisfied their appetites moderately. They did not shut themselves up, but went about, carrying flowers or scented herbs or perfumes in their hands, in the belief that it was an excellent thing to comfort the brain with such odours; for the whole air was infected with the smell of dead bodies, of sick persons and medicines.

Others again held a still more cruel opinion, which they thought would keep them safe. They said that the only medicine against the plague-stricken was to go right away from them. Men and women, convinced of this and caring about nothing but themselves, abandoned their own city, their own houses, their dwellings, their relatives, their property, and went abroad or at least to the country round Florence, as if God's wrath in punishing men's wickedness with this plague would not follow them but strike only those who remained within the walls of the city, or as if they thought nobody in the city would remain alive and that its last hour had come."





"Brother
abandoned
brother"

"One citizen avoided another, hardly any neighbour troubled about others, relatives never or hardly ever visited each other. Moreover, such terror was struck into the hearts of men and women by this calamity, that brother abandoned brother, and the uncle his nephew, and the sister her brother, and very often the wife her husband. What is even worse and nearly incredible is that fathers and mothers refused to see and tend their children, as if they had not been theirs. Thus, a multitude of sick men and women were left without any care, except from the charity of friends (but these were few), or the greed, of servants, though not many of these could be had even for high wages, Moreover, most of them were coarse-minded men and women, who did little more than bring the sick what they asked for or watch over them when they were dying. And very often these servants lost their lives and their earnings. Since the sick were thus abandoned by neighbours, relatives and friends, while servants were scarce, a habit sprang up which had never been heard of before. Beautiful and noble women, when they fell sick, did not scruple to take a young or old man-servant, whoever he might be, and with no sort of shame, expose every part of their bodies to these men as if they had been women, for they were compelled by the necessity of their sickness to do so. This, perhaps, was a cause of looser morals in those women who survived."



"The plight of the lower and most of the middle classes was even more pitiful to behold. Most of them remained in their houses, either through poverty or in hopes of safety, and fell sick by thousands. Since they received no care and attention, almost all of them died. Many ended their lives in the streets both at night and during the day; and many others who died in their houses were only known to be dead because the neighbours smelled their decaying bodies. Dead bodies filled every corner. The smell of death had to be devastating. 

Most of them were treated in the same manner by the survivors, who were more


concerned to get rid of their rotting bodies than moved by charity towards the dead. With the aid of porters, if they could get them, they carried the bodies out of the houses and laid them at the door; where every morning quantities of the dead might be seen. They then were laid on biers or, as these were often lacking, on tables. Such was the multitude of corpses brought to the churches every day and almost every hour that there was not enough consecrated ground to give them burial, especially since they wanted to bury each person in the family grave, according to the old custom. Although the cemeteries were full they were forced to dig huge trenches, where they buried the bodies by hundreds. Here they stowed them away like bales in the hold of a ship and covered them with a little earth, until the whole trench was full."


Some people coped with the terror and uncertainty of the Black Death epidemic by lashing out at their neighbors; others coped by turning inward and fretting about the condition of their own souls. Some upper-class men joined processions of flagellants that traveled from town to town and engaged in public displays of penance and punishment: They would beat themselves and one another with heavy leather straps studded with sharp pieces of metal while the townspeople looked on. For 33 1/2 days, the flagellants repeated this ritual three times a day. Then they would move on to the next town and begin the process over again. Though the flagellant movement did provide some comfort to people who felt powerless in the face of inexplicable tragedy, it soon began to worry the Pope, whose authority the flagellants had begun to usurp. In the face of this papal resistance, the movement disintegrated.
The Black Death epidemic had run its course by the early 1350s, but the plague reappeared every few generations for centuries. Modern sanitation and public-health practices have greatly mitigated the impact of the disease but have not eliminated it.




Friday, 5 February 2016

Alleluia (Händel)

Annick Massis, Soprano, sings Hallelujah (Alleluia) from Händel (1685 - 1959). Special to me because my daughter sung it recently. Not the Messiah Hallelujah, but this one of his Latin Vespers. It sounds so... what the word is: Praise the Lord or Thanks to our lord.





Thursday, 4 February 2016

Alleluia, Behold the Bridegroom

The dark voices of the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir makes you calm and at peaceful deep within your soul. The composer is alas not known, and it is a Russian traditional. So Russian and yet so universal, so eternal beautiful. Close your eyes for five minutes and let your tears flow...




Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching, but unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless.

Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighted down with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God! Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hallelujah (Praetorius)

Remember Hallelujah from Georg Friedrich Händel? Or Hallelujah from Leonard Cohen? Here is another by Praetorius.





Michael Praetorius (actually Michael Schultheiss or Schulze) (Creuzburg, near Eisenach, Germany, February 15, 1571 - Wolfenbüttel, February 15, 1621) was a German composer from the early days of the baroque music. Praetorius uses multiple voices in the Italian style and applies it to the German music. He is well known for his church music, and he was also music theorist. His three-part treatise Syntagma Musicum (1615-1620) is considered to be an encyclopedia of music theory and practice of that time. The first part deals with the church music and contains a wealth 
of  quotations from earlier sources; The second part gives an overview of 
the all instruments at the time.

I am so curious who of you listens to the final Hallelujah. I love this music. I can listen to it all day. When I listen to it at work my colleagues react the way I react to rap-music. LOL. The same irritation, the same feeling: I don't want to hear this. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. And so we find some middle ground where we listen to music none of us likes.

The song  is about Christ' resurrection. The text is:




Original Text English Translation
Hallelujah,
Christ ist erstanden,
von der Marter alle,
des sollen wir alle froh sein,
Christ will unser Trost sein.
Kyrioleis.

Hallelujah,
Wär er nicht erstanden,
so wär die Welt vergangen
seit daß er erstanden ist,
so loben wir den Herren Jesum Christ.
Kyrioleis.

Hallelujah,
Des sollen wir alle froh sein,
Christ will unser Trost sein.
Kyrioleis.
Hallelujah.
Hallelujah,
Christ is arisen
from all of the torment,
we should all rejoice.
Christ will be our comfort.
Kyrioleis.

Hallelujah
Had he not arisen,
the world would have ended,
and since he is arisen,
we praise the Lord Jesus Christ.
Kyrioleis.

Hallelujah
we should all rejoice.
Christ will be our comfort.
Kyrioleis.
Hallelujah.




Did you listen to the end of the music clip?

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Tea, high or low

Jean-Étienne Liotard, Still Life, Tea Set, 1781 - 1783 c., The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles,
oil on canvas, 37,8 x 51,6 cm

The moment I saw this beautiful still-life painting of a Chinese tea set it made me think of two things. No three, actually. The first: How amazing it is if you can paint like that, in that much detail. Some modern camera's are less sharp than these two centuries old painting.

The second it made me think of High-Tea's in restaurants all over Holland. My English (rather Scottish) colleague would smirk that none of them even slightly resembles the real thing. It makes me feel a bit as a cop commenting on a crime series, that it is not the same as the real thing. The real thing has become something of the elite, and the masses will do with the McDonalds version of High Tea: Fast, simple, affordable for all classes, and easy to make. (The origin of High tea, also known as meat tea or tea time in Ireland, usually refers to the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5 pm and 7 pm.) To Wanita and my daughter a high tea is a typical Mother-Daughter thing.

Thirdly it made me think of a tea ceremony from the country this tea-set above originates.The tea ceremony. And how important BDSM people think a ceremony is becomes clear in this newsletter from 2005, 10 years ago, the first issue with lots of interesting articles and a tea ceremony that takes half the content of the newsletter. This issue is saved by Luna at Submissive Guide. The link to all of her new posts are on the right hand column and I can recommend all of them. She is a wonderful, kind, warm and loving person who is always willing to give some one who askes good advice. A woman with kindness and sense of reality.

BDSM is full of ceremonies. Like the Ceremony of Roses or a Collaring Ceremony or a Contract Signing Ceremony. So I was not surprised at all when in this newsletter 3 pages of all the small details of a tea ceremony were carefully written down for you to imitate.

And all of that, because of a tea set on a painting...

Monday, 1 February 2016

Music was my first love

And it will be my last
Music of the future
and music of the past

To live without my music
would be impossible to do
Cause in this world of troubles
My music pulls me trough....

Ta  da tam ta tam ta da tdam. Ta ta dam ta dam ta dam.



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