Monday, 24 July 2017

Ancient Echos

Walk slowly, softly for you shall hear
ancient echo’s from long ago so vividly clear
the ancient ones that walked this sacred ground long before
have been waiting for you, the time has come for them to open the door
Showing you the glorious simple wonders of the Earth
taking you back to the beginning when the world was being birthed
from the tiniest world of lichen and moss
to the tallest majestic trees,colorful flowers that have been hidden not lost
A sacred sanctuary, where one walked and lived in peace and harmony
among the creatures and every living thing, a time where one knew and believed thoughts and dreams were a possibility
the Faeries danced on the silver moonbeams, the Dragons watched and sang out loud
each protecting the balance of Earth ,all living energy
where there was love, no doubts
Walking in the twilight was a cause for joy and much delightful wonderment
for one knew there was always going to be a loving gift of magnificent enchantment
fireflies filled the nights like twinkling stars tumbling down from the midnight skies
where everything was open to all, all was truth, no false pretenses or lies
One knew they were part of the ever evolving circle of the greatest love
where one walked in balance, where you heard and saw with just one touch
the world of enchantment held the promise of dreams for all your tomorrows
rejoicing in the incredible highs of joy, while learning from the heartbreak of sorrows
Walk so very gently, for you shall feel the heartbeat of Earth as well as hear
for the reconnecting of hands to hearts of the ancient one’s ways is so very near
where we will walk together balancing the energies of incredible love once again
walk softly…open your heart, for you are here to be part of the greatest moment in life to come around once again

Peace is .......

Peace is something we all seek,
When we lack it, we feel weak.
Since it's rooted deep inside, 
With our peace, we're closely tied.
Peace is something you can't buy,
You won't catch it from the sky.
Something about it is truly sublime,
It does not follow distance nor time.
Peace is something we mutually share,
For it is just, and always fair.
When we find it, peace is sweet,
It shall make our life complete.
Art Eileen Sorg

Golden Syrup Cake

Golden Syrup Cake


A rich, moist cake drenched with the wonderful flavour of golden syrup
This recipe has been submitted by the Good Food community.


225g Butter
225g Sugar (light muscovado adds depth but caster is fine)
450g Golden Syrup
450g Self Raising Flour
2 Large Eggs
300 ml milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
4 tbsp Golden Syrup
30cm x 23cm x 4cm baking tin or foil tray bake

Preheat the oven to 140C/fan (or 160/C - gas mark 3). Grease the tin and line the base with baking paper leaving a little to cover the bottom corners and sides. Press into place.
Place butter, syrup and sugar into a large pan and heat gently until the ingredients are just melted together, stirring occassionally. Leave to cool for 10 minutes (it helps if you place the pan away from the hob during this time since it will remain warm).
Beat the eggs with the milk. Add the flour and milk/egg mixture to the cooled syrup mixture in the pan and beat steadily with a wooden spoon until all the lumps have gone. This may take a few minutes so you will need a little patience. Pour the mixture into the tin.
Bake for around 50 minutes. The cake will be well risen and springy, but still very moist. After a few minutes cooling time, pierce the cake all over with a skewer and spoon the extra golden syrup over the top. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
This cake keeps for a week and only improves with time! A real treat and a cake you will be asked to make again and again.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

AbeBooks' Most Expensive Sales of April, May & June 2017

The sale of Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 abstract painting of a skull for $110.5 million (USD) in May shocked the art world. Only ten other artworks have sold for more than $100 million. The record-breaking Basquiat auction sale immediately sparked the sale of a remarkable poster on AbeBooks featuring Basquiat and pop artist Andy Warhol for more than £15,000.
In the Fall of 1985, the two artists staged a joint exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York and a colour poster was created to promote the event. Both Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat donned boxing gloves and posed for boxing bout-style photographs.
Warhol doesn't look like he could punch his way out a damp paper bag but Basquiat - who lived on the streets at the start of this art career - looks like he could handle himself as a light middleweight. It's a famous poster, capturing a poignant moment in the 1980s art scene with a rising star and the established icon, but this particular one was signed by both artists, which turned it from being simply special into exceptional. Sadly, Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27 in 1988. Twenty nine years after Basquiat's death, his art is now worth millions of dollars and his signature is worth thousands. Warhol died in 1987, and his art and books (especially the cat-related ones) remain highly desirable.
Basquiat started in graffiti art as hip-hop exploded in the late 1970s. At the time, he was regarded as the 'enfant terrible' of the New York art scene for his artistic interpretations of wealth, class and race in 1980s. The show displayed collaborative paintings that Warhol and Basquiat worked on from 1984 to 1985.

AbeBooks' Top 10 Sales of April, May & June 2017

1. Warhol vs Basquiat Exhibition Poster - £15,900
An original boxing-style promotional poster for the 1985 collaborative exhibition in New York, signed by both artists. Unsigned copies are priced up to £3,850.
This Warhol vs Basquiat Exhibition Poster sold for £15,900.
2. Chocky by John Wyndham - £9,000
A science fiction story about an alien, first published as a novella in 1963 in Amazing Stories. This copy was a scarce 1968 signed first edition of the book format published by Michael Joseph, and in near fine condition. The BBC adapted Wyndham's story for radio in 1967. Chocky was Wyndham's last published story during his lifetime - he died in March 1969. British author Wyndham is best known for his novels, The Day of the Triffids and The Chrysalids.
3. Seven volumes of poetry by Hans Sachs - £8,450
Sachs (1494-1576) was a German Meistersinger (or mastersinger), poet, playwright, and shoemaker. He wrote more than 6,000 pieces of literature from plays to fables and poems while paying the bills as a shoemaker. He is best known for his poetry designed to be spoken aloud.
4. La Fontaine's Fables - £8,150 
The Fables of Jean de La Fontaine were issued in several volumes from 1668 to 1694. They are considered to be classics in French literature. These four volumes were published from 1755 to 1759 and represent the second edition with a fine engraved frontispiece and 275 plates.
5. An original drawing by Franz von Bayros - £7,830 
Franz von Bayros (1866-1924) was an Austrian artist, best known for his controversial erotic drawings. Part of the Decadent Movement sweeping through Europe at this time, von Bayros' book Tales at the Dressing Table was explicit enough to have him arrested. This particular drawing is pretty tame compared to some of the artist's other work.
An original drawing by Franz von Bayros sold on AbeBooks for £7,830
6. Codice del Sacro Militare Ordine Gerosolimitano - £7,325
This is a compendium of the rules that governed the Gerosolimitano - the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem founded around 1100 - whose goal was to free the tomb of Christ from Islamic control during the Crusades. A Maltese first edition from 1777.
7. Studio d'architettura civile sopra gli ornamenti di porte, e finestre colle misure, piante, modini, e profili, tratte da alcune fabbriche insigni di Firenze erette col disegno de piu celebri architetti by Ferdinando Ruggieri - £6,500
Florentine architect Ruggieri (circa 1691-1741) published three volumes in 1722, 1724 and 1728 displaying his drawings of buildings in Florence. The full length title translates from Italian as 'a study of architecture above the ornaments of doors, and windows with measures, plants, fashion, and profiles, drawn from some of Florence's outstanding buildings designed by the more famous architects'. This copy is three volumes bound in one, and comes from the library of English book collector and amateur artist Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford (1751-1812). Florence has enchanted the English for centuries. An important book as it details buildings by architects as notable as Michelangelo.
Studio d'architettura civile sopra gli ornamenti di porte...
8. Le monde de l'art n'est pas le monde du pardon - £5,950
The World of Art is Not the World of Forgiveness is an art book published in 1974 containing illustrations by Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Victor Brauner, Joan MiróPablo PicassoWifredo Lam, Zao Wou Ki, Vieira da Silva, Arpad Szenes, Jean-Philippe Charbonnier and Alberto Giacometti among others. Poet René Char(1907-1988), a former member of the French Resistance, provided the text. There were 75 numbered copies and 25 signed by Char. This copy contains a suite of original prints by Miró, Lam, Charbonnier, Vieira da Silva, Arpad Szenes and Zao Wo-Ki, all signed and numbered by the artists. A handful of trade editions are available.
9.= Letters from Aldous Huxley to Goddard Lieberson - £5,750
An exchange of letters between Huxley and Lieberson, president of Columbia Records from 1956 to 1971. Thirteen of the letters are either typed or autograph letters, signed, from Huxley, and the last two are autograph letters from Huxley's second wife, Laura. Sixteen carbon copies of Lieberson's typed letters to Huxley are also included. The letters span a significant portion of the end of Huxley's life, from 1952 to 1963. Lieberson initially wrote to Huxley asking if he would like to be part of a series of recordings of authors reading their work, which already included Truman Capote. Huxley invited Lieberson to his house, in order to listen to some previous recordings, and the two became friends.
9.= Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - £5,750
A first edition, first printing of Huxley's most famous book in its dustjacket, published in 1932. Huxley's New World was set in London in 2540 and predicts a variety of technologies concerning reproduction, learning, psychology, and conditioning. The author does not offer a positive view of the future.
Treasures for a Huxley fan.

Friday, 21 July 2017

This Empowering Quote by (not) Meryl Streep just Lifted my Life a Little

Via Renée Picard
on Feb 14, 2015
meryl streep
get elephant's newsletter

True freedom is understanding that we have a choice in who and what we allow to have power over us.

Each individual’s day-to-day level of agency varies with lifestyle and a host of socio-economic factors, where at any given moment some people actually have less choice than others.
But many of us only think we are lacking in choice.
(The next time you think you “can’t” be outside because it’s too cold, think about a prisoner who really does not have the choice to go outside).
True empowerment is about recognizing where the choice is and then moving in directions that reinforce not only our joy and presence but also this feeling of knowing that we have choice.
To me, that has everything to do with who we interact with—how we treat others, how we are treated.
We all have to deal with—welll, a**holes—sometimes. That’s just a fact. Thickening our skin is necessary. We can’t hide from the world just because people are jerks; to an extent, we have to learn how to deal with them. We have to learn this to survive.
There will always be jerks.
But life is too short to feel small on a regular basis, to be in close proximity to this kind of energy any more than is necessary. We may try to be tough, but it can wear on us—especially the extra-sensitive souls.
This quote has been floating around the internet as something that Meryl Streep said (wrote), but should be attributed to Portuguese self-help author José Micard Teixeira.

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.

I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping.

I hate conflict and comparisons.

I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals.

And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

So it’s still not 100 percent clear who said this originally, but I’m not sure that it completely matters. I think we just need to read it and remember to push ourselves towards those things and people that really make us shine.
Here’s to Meryl’s grace and beauty.


This recipe makes 16-25 pieces of Mint Aero Slice!
– 400g Milk Chocolate
– 125g Golden Syrup
– 125g Unsalted Butter
– 150g Digestives, chopped
– 3x 113g Mint Aero Bubbles
– 75g White Chocolate
– Green Food Colouring
– Mint Aero Bar/Bubbles, crushed
– 100g White Mini Marshmallows (optional)
1) Line a 9×9″ Square tin with Parchment paper and leave to the side.
2) In a Large bowl, add in the Chocolate, Golden Syrup, and Butter – melt on a low heat over a Double Boiler, or in the Microwave on low, in short bursts until fully melted – stir till smooth!
3) Once its melted and combined wait 3-5 minutes for the chocolate mix to cool a little. Add in the chopped biscuits, and Aero Bubbles and quickly fold together (add in the marshmallows here as well if you are using them) – pour into the tin and spread so its even and refrigerate until set.
4) Melt the White Chocolate on short bursts in a microwave, or over a double boiler until melted. Add in a bit of green food colouring to get a ‘minty’ colour and drizzle it all over the traybake. Sprinkle on the crushed Mint Aero pieces so they stick and refrigerate again till set.
5) Chop up the pieces into either 4×4 for 16 larger pieces, or 5×5 for 25 smaller pieces. Enjoy!
Tips and Ideas
As I said, you should really add in Marshmallows to make it Rocky Road, but I didn’t have any at the time, so I didn’t use them. But add them in with the Biscuit, and Aero pieces on step 3 of the method if you do use them!
I really would recommend using just Milk or Dark Chocolate for the base of this recipe as it melts better than White Chocolate. The White Chocolate might mix/split when mixing it with the Golden Syrup or Butter, which I have had happen to me several times!
I often use either Cadburys Milk Chocolate or Callebaut Milk Chocolate – I find the flavour works best and its delicious!
You can easily half the recipe for less, but these are so moreish you will want the large piece! Trust me!
This recipe will last in the fridge for up to two weeks, IF it happens to last that long!

Surreal indeed: An exhumation of Salvador Dalí shows his mustache intact

In the mid-1920s, Salvador Dali appeared to be beardless. By the end of the decade, he supposedly grew his first Menjou beardlet, fairly popular at that time. He would himself call it “the smallest mustache in the world,” but as photo evidence shows, he wore his mustache in such a manner until the end of the 1930s.
Throughout the next two decades, photographs show that Dali started growing longer tips to his mustache. The prominent antenna stood out from his face by the mid-1950s, reportedly reaching almost 10 inches.
While eccentric and attention-grabbing appearances were standard for Dali, his distinctive mustache eventually became the most recognizable trait of the Spanish surrealist. A personal trademark ever since the 1950s, Dali’s mustache became the most prominent detail of his image and Gertrude Stein would appraise it as “the most beautiful mustache of any European.”
As Dali grew older, his mustache got slightly shorter, and in some of the last photographs taken of the surrealist, showing him at the age of 82, the mustache appears a little gray and drooping. He died in 1989, at the age of 85.
Is it possible his mustache has “lived on”?
Photo of Salvador Dalí in 1934
Due to a legal paternity claim, the body of the famous painter was exhumed in July with the aim of collecting samples. According to the artist’s embalmer, the mustache has “remained in its classic shape.”
Embalmer Narcis Bardalet, who tended Dalí’s body following his death in 1989 and who is now assisting with the exhumation, remarked he was “absolutely stunned” after seeing the famous mustache still on Dali’s face when he removed a magnificent silk handkerchief that covered it.
“His mustache is still intact, [like clock hands at] 10 past 10, just as he liked it. It’s a miracle,” he had said in a statement for the Catalan station RAC1.
Photo of Salvador Dalí dated November 29, 1939
Bardalet added that “you could also see his hair.” He explained that at this point, Dali’s body resembled a wooden-like mummy, adding that it was a bit of a challenge for experts to take the needed bone samples. According to Bardalet’s predictions, Dali’s body will last for many years more, and that the mustache will remain perhaps for centuries to come.
Dali’s remains have been buried in a crypt set beneath the museum he designed for himself in his hometown of Figures, Catalonia. His remnants have been disentombed so as to help settle a decade-long pursuit of paternity evidence. The claim has been made by 61-year-old Maria Pilar Abel, who has persisted in saying she is Dali’s single child. Abel has been described as a tarot card reader and fortune teller. Her mother worked for a family in Spain that lived near Dali’s home.
Salvador Dalí with his pet ocelot Babou (1965)
The stone slab beneath which Dali was entombed weighing 1.5 tons was lifted so that experts could take samples from his bones, hair, and nails. According to local accounts, the biological specimens have been taken successfully.
The retrieved DNA from the specimens will be further compared with samples from Maria Pilar Abel, who claims that she was born after her mother had been with Dali in 1955. Abel had been looking forward to what she says will be proof of her lineage for the last decade, and has also stated that her physical similarity to the surrealist painter is so strong that she is only missing the famous mustache.
Portrait of Salvador Dali, taken in Hôtel Meurice, Paris, in 1972. Photo by Allan Warren, CC BY-SA 3.0
Abel has further stated that within her family it was an open secret that the famous artist was her biological father. If Abel’s claims are proved true, she would be the heir to a quarter of Dali’s fortune in accordance with Spanish law. Dali’s heritage, his entire estate with hundreds of his paintings, was estimated to be worth close to 400 million euros at the end of 2016.
The 61-year-old’s motion to have Dali’s body exhumed was contested by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation that administrates the lucrative estate of the artist, but the foundation’s appeal against exhumation at the courthouse failed. As Dali had left his heritage to both the foundation and the nation of Spain, Adel has brought her claims against the two, so far seemingly quite successfully.
In 2007, she got an allowance to try to extract DNA from skin, hair, and hair traces found in Dali’s death mask, but the results failed to reach a conclusion. One more attempt at collecting DNA and conducting tests had been made later that same year, using specimens provided by Robert Descharnes, Dali’s friend, and biographer. Abel claimed she never received the results of this second analysis, but according to Descharnes, the tests conducted were negative.
The results of the latest and third DNA run are expected at some point this summer. Once the specimens are tested, they will be returned to Dali’s grave.