Friday, October 7, 2011
musical and visual tributes, visit to Dionysus shrine
First some musical tributes – sparked off by the very sad news that a guitarist legendary in my young days, Edinburgh-born Bert Jansch, has died - in his late 60s. I hadn’t realised he had an association with the Pentangle group which was a favourite of mine.
Billy Connolly, the great Scottish comedian, did a nice video on Jansch some years back.
Going down memory lane, I googled two other favourites of mine then - Pete Atkins (with words by the famous Clive James)and the Renaissance band
I visited Perperikon on Tuesday – an amazing medieval fortress topping a high hill with a superb 360 degree panorama (in the south to and beyond the Greek border). It was built in the place of an ancient Thracian sanctuary, related to the cult towards the Thracian equivalence of the Greek god of wine and feasts, Dionysius (known as Zagrey among the Thracians). It was discovered fairly recently; is still being excavated and is reckoned to have been built some 3,500 years ago - used for ritual sacrifices of animals and people. You have to be pretty fit to scramble up a steep trail for almost a kilometre – and then climb the stone staircases. I'm suffering today (knees)
Yesterday I had just over an hour’s drive to Blagoevgrad to visit a workshop on private-public partnership. Chatted with a couple of the participants and the trainer – then off to see the gallery of my favourite contemporary Bulgarian artist – Yuliana Sotirova. She is a very versatile painter – attracted to old buildings but good also with figures. She is also a sculptor (life size stuff). Before my visit, I had 6 of her paintings – including a magnificent oil one she did of my father from a black and white photograph which now hangs in my study in the mountain house. She must have more than 200 paintings in her studio – but after an hour she had 6 fewer.
The Guardian is the only UK newspaper I look at and was instrumental in Rupert Murdoch's recent humiliation. The Editor delivered recently a stirring (and rare) statement of the importance of a strong and free presswhich everyone should read.
And, if you are a cook and use garlic, this is a must-see video clip on how to peel a clove in 10 seconds flat without all the usual hassle (as a purist) I threw away my garlic crusher years ago