what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

St George's Day - and Vernissaj


Am I the only person finding the Yahoo site increasingly aggressive and unacceptable? So many huge ads and so much flashing – and delays in getting access to my mail as they divert you to proselytise their latest version of one thing or another. I am seriuous thinking of switching – but is google any better? And not easy to switch when you have been with one address for 8 years!
The weather here in southern europe (Sofia) continues to be…well…Scottish! Cold, dreich and drisle – not calculated to get you running for your swimming gear. So I missed this morning’s walk and swim. And the constant problems anyway with access to the large pool in the Sparta Complex makes swimming totally uninviting….
Tomorrow is (another) holiday here in Bulgaria celebrates I was told that it was Soldiers' Day but became a bit puzzled - the soldiers' day I celebrated (with Russians!) in Riga a decade or so back was 23 February. And Victory day for Russia is 9 May so I don't know what 6 May is all about (Now I learn it's St George"s Day - a soldier!!) Regardless, the roads in town were clogged as people tried to get out for a 3 day weekend. If this is indeed a celebration of the Russian soldier it is utterly deserved. A couple of days after the US assassination in Pakistan, I'm not sure if we should be celebrating soldiers generally. It appears that, for once, they got the right guy - but so easily it could have been an innocent. And what sort of people go dancing in the streets to mark such a macabre strike? Only the sort who danced in the streets after September 11 2001!

Last evening, as I was returning from the Konus Gallery, I alighted on a Vernissaj (free wine at the opening of a gallery viewing) on Rakovski st – interesting landscapes from one Milko Voshkov and I struck a very professional figure as I manoeuvred the four paintings which Yassen had had framed for me into the gallery! The wine was bitter so I didn’t linger. This evening I had an invitation to another opening – at a new gallery only 4 minutes' walk from the flat. I was soon home – the paintings were a modernist disgrace (supposedly on the 7 deadly sins) and the place full of empty English chattering glitterati

Jeffrey Sachs is a figure we all love to hate. A neo-liberal in liberal disguise. I was amazed to fiind him today talking about the corrupt elite (about which, I concede, he knows a great deal!)

And a good discussion thread on the UK health reforms

Angela Minkova is a very creative and versatile Bulgarian artist - who paints and sculpts (in unusual materials - including bone). I'm very tempted by this piece which my friend Yassen has in his Konus Gallery - for 100 euros (the small guy at the bottom is dangling a key).

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