Showing posts from 2017


Dear Diary,
I like all the traditional things like the decorated tree, mistletoe, stockings, candles and Santa Claus but I celebrate them for their old religion symbolism which pre-dates Christianity.  Even though the weather is (mostly) warm and sunny here in the Southern Hemisphere, I and my family are very much in the holiday spirit.
It's been a year of ups and downs and really, I'm ready for some holiday merry-making:

Thanks, Auntie Mame.
Santa Claus came early and even let me pose for a photo with him:

Here's to the festivities, even though here they are backwards at this time of year. It's our summer solstice, not the winter solstice.  The festivities are about the shortest day of the year but it's our longest.  I pretend and join in anyway. The late, great Mr Nat King Cole can always put me in the mood:

What a crooner!
So, whether winter or summer, Happy Holidays to all, no matter how this time of year is celebrated,  I wish everyone much happiness.



Sewing & crochet

Dear Diary,
Recently, we had a family project of clearing out the attic (before the ceiling fell in on us).  We found something that Vati had made about 15 years ago.  At that time, he lived in an authentic Arts & Crafts house.  There were windows in the closets and he began to crochet a filet crochet curtain for one of them.  As things turned out, he moved before finishing the curtain but over the years he could never bring himself to throw it out.  We found the curtain and suddenly I had a fantastic idea - it would be the perfect coverlet for my Arts & Crafts bed.  Luckily, I was right and all Vati had to do was fasten the last stitch.  Vati was grateful he didn't have to crochet any more on it because he couldn't see the small stitches!

I'm all ready for bed now.

Also, mein Vita has gone back to the sewing machine and has been sewing shirts for me.  So far he has made 9 shirts, some pyjamas and a pair of corduroy short pants.  It was a chore to find a pattern to fi…

Zen gardening

Dear Diary,

As a follower of the Buddha's teachings, I have an interest in all things Buddhist.  I follow the Secular Buddhist path which means I don't believe in religious Buddhism.  I've studied all the major schools of Buddhism and found Zen to be of great interest. At one time, for a number of years, I practiced Zen.  I have moved on since then but I still use some of the practices I learned in that time.

A concise definition of Zen is "a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasising the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or the study of scriptures" (taken from the Google Dictionary).

Zen gardens are well-known in the West.  The strategic placement of rocks, gravel, trees, statues and the like is a meditation practice for the Zen Buddhist.  the placement of objects and raking of the gravel has symbolic meaning.  The quiet and focused work in the garden is meditation. The garden's simplicity is meant to bring the practitioner into…

Berets for days

Dear Diary,
I wear a beret because mein Vati wears one. Well, he has more than one: French, Basque, Italian, Spanish, Czech/Slovak.  The are all pretty much the same, some are smaller than others or are made of thicker fulled (felted) wool.  Berets are traditionally black but they do appear in colours from time to time.  Archeology has shown that hats similar to the beret were worn in the Bronze Age.  What we know today as the "French" and "Spanish" beret come from the south of France in the province of BĂ©arn and the Basque country in Spain.

Size is important but more important is how it's worn on the head and how it's shaped.  It can be worn pushed forward (farmer style):

Or sitting centered on the head:

Or pushed to one side or the other: