Friday 8 February 2013

Reaction to my mission.

Had a massive amount of work to do to tidy up and hand over (now) ex-clients' files and paperwork.

Therefore, nothing done on railway today.

So, instead, here are some paintings of French railways.

The first two are of the same scene, The Railway bridge at Argenteuil, both painted by Monet in 1873.

Next, is 'Railway Carriages' by van Gogh.

And finally:

The Railway Cutting by Paul Cezanne, 1870.

Last night's dinner on a shoestring:

Once again, raided the freezer for the duck and there was a cabbage in the fridge.

M&S Duck a l'orange, braised cabbage and rice.
What are we going to do when the freezer is empty? Out with the calculator, paper and pencil, the bus pass and the ruck-sack and down to inspect the pricing policy of the local supermarket.

Quite looking forward to doing that.

Kenny Ken:

Suspending all purchases from iTunes and instead looking for free musical acquisitions. Some months ago, I remember really enjoying the drum 'n' bass of London DJ Kenny Ken.

A quick search through Google proffered a website that offered 50 minutes of continuous music  from Kenny Ken - first rate.

Kenny Ken
Drum 'n' bass seems to be a crude musical genre, but I love it.

Tango update:

Have continued to attend the Beginners' Tango classes on a Wednesday evening. A great decision to repeat the Beginners' class rather than progress to the Improver's.

No longer do I spend the day dreading the evening's class: the embarrassment, the feeling of holding everyone back, of being the dunce and not understanding the teaching points (rather like a little child sitting uncomfortably at his desk and not understanding anything of what the class teacher is explaining).

My position now is firmly in the middle of the class. My posture and gait are still laboured and graceless but my technique is pretty accurate. Also, I understand the teaching points when they are expressed in terms like: shifting weight; making one's intentions clear (to one's partner); making space etc. Last time round these concepts were alien to me.

Bill's reaction to my mission:

Informed my Friday squash partner, Bill, of my mission. As expected he was fully supportive.

Continuing to read Thomas Merton.

I find the terminology and the concepts to be difficult and therefore instead of starting at page 1 and working through the whole book chapter by chapter, have been dipping into the book, more or less at random. Once, I have a feel for things, then I'll approach the book more systematically.

Merton was a monk and therefore is influenced by the great Saints who founded monastic orders or were the heads of monasteries eg St Benedict; St Gregory and St Bernard of Clairvaux.

Clairvaux Abbey  is a Cistercian monastery in Ville-sous-la-Ferté, 15 km from Bar-sur-Aube in northeastern France. The original building, founded in 1115 by St. Bernard, is now in ruins; a high-security prison, the Clairvaux Prison, now occupies the grounds. (Wiki)

Presumably part of the original Abbey
 Here is a quotation from the start of chapter 8 in Merton's book.

"In the monastic life one could find, according to Bernard, three vocations: that of Lazarus the penitent, that of Martha the active devoted servant of the monastic household, and that of Mary the contemplative."

That forms today's point for my contemplation.

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