Showing posts from 2014

Be content with what you have

It was Lao - tzu the person who said: "Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you".

Nowadays it is almost impossible to stay away from materialistic ideas. To have the newest mobile phone, another pair of trousers, a new car, a bigger house, a white table, or any other thing has become the main temporary goal in millions of people all over the world. Once they have obtained it, another one will stay in their minds until they get it, and so on.   Companies do their best to create on us a need that we did not have before, and once we have it, we think we cannot live without it.

Obviously, we live in the XXI century and lots of things have changed in the world since Tao-tzu lived. Nowadays, we can't imagine a world without international organizations collecting money, food, medicines and the like to help people all over the world. However, his words focus on the idea that we shoul…

Two witty Johns

In“Of The Conduct Of The Understanding”,John Locke (1632-1704) writes not only about the importance of reading but about the importance of meditating after reading. He wrote: ”Those who have read of everything are thought to understand everything too; but it is not always so. Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking makes what we read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections; unless we chew them over again, they will not give us strength and nourishment. There are indeed in some writers visible instances of deep thoughts, close and acute reasoning, and ideas well pursued. The light these would give would be of great use if their readers would observe and imitate them; all the rest at best are but particulars fit to be turned into knowledge, but that can be done only by our own meditation, and examining the reach, force, and coherence of what is said; and then, as far as we apprehend …

John Donne and To his mistress going to bed

Reading John Donneis always a pleasure. I like most of his poems,especially those in which he develops his rhetorical technique to describe sex and sensual pleasure. Perhaps my favourite one is To his Mistress going to Bed. In this poem, he expresses freely his own sexual desire as he observes his lover undressed for bed.
His vivid description of a woman´s naked body points at Donne as someone who is crazy about women and the sexual desire he can obtain from them. He seems to crave for every single centimeter of his lover´s body. In this respect, the naked female body becomes his "America, [his] new found land", "[a] kingdom" that has to be discovered, investigated, searched in detail.

Donne, perhaps the most popular of the so-called metaphysical poets, was an expert at making metaphysical conceits, comparisons, unusual similes or metaphores which are more ingenious that either true or appropriate. The images of a naked female body and the discovery of a new…

The King's Singers

Two days ago I went to see The King's Singers. Honestly, I had never heard about them, but a friend of mind told me that were really good. They are good indeed. So I bought a ticket and went to Sala Koncertowa, here in Warsaw. They sang a cappella for about 90 minutes, but it looked like half an hour. Their amazing voices made me travel back in time to the 16th century while they were singing music written by Orlando Di Lasso (1532-1594) and the Polish composer and organist Mikolaj Zielenski (1550-1616).

In addition, they also sang five songs written by Pawel Lukaszewski ( born 1968), who appeared on stage, to everybody's joy.

The entire concert was sung in Latin except for the last 30 minutes in which they spent some time singing popular American songs from the 1920's and 30's.

I had a great time and hope to see them again.


I have prepared a short and practical list of the Kings and Queens of England from 1066-2014.

The House of Normandy (1066-1154) William I William II Henry I Stephen
The House of Plantagenet (1154-1319) Henry II Richard I John Henry III Edward I Edward II Edward III Richard II
The House of Lancaster (1399-1461) Henry IV Henry V Henry VI
The House of York (1461-1485) Edward IV Edward V Richard III
The House of Tudor (1485-1603) Henry VII Henry VIII Edward VI Jane Mary I Elizabeth I

The House of Stuart (1603-1714) James I Charles I
(__Cromwell __)
Charles II James II Mary II William III Anne
The House of Hanover (1714-1901) George I George II George III George IV William IV Victoria
The House of Saxe-Coburn (1901-1910) Edward VII
The House of Windsor (1910- today) George V Edward VIII George VI Elizabeth II

I have also found the traditional aid used in English schools to help students remember the English kings and queens from 1066-2014. 
Willie Willie Harry Stee
Harry Dick John Ha…