It's a mild, rainy, at times blustery, all in all pleasantly atmospheric Saturday over here. My home team have won. I'm having a lovely cup of tea. Birds chirping like in spring. Outside temperature is 10°C (50 °F). I'm working at my desk with the window open. It's almost impossible to imagine that my friends in America are freezing in a country more than two thirds of whose surface is covered in snow.
By contrast, we haven't really had a winter this year, in the western parts of Germany - it's been more like an extended autumn.
Naturally, as you grow older, fewer things have the quality of a genuinely new experience. Viewing paintings by van Gogh belongs to that category of uniquely fresh events in your life.
"Loving Vincent" is an upcoming feature length animation about Vincent van Gogh in which every frame (about 56,000 in all) will be painted by hand in the style of the painter himself. The animation is based on over 120 of van Gogh’s paintings and tells the tale of his life and controversial death through 800 of his letters.
A portrait of Claudio Monteverdi from the eventful year of 1640.
Monteverdi's setting of Carlo Milanuzzi's text in the solo madrigal Si dolce e'l tormento conveys a wide range of emotion that belies its simple strophic form. It appeared in the composer’s Scherzi musicali of 1632.
For the above quote and English lyrics consult the source.
At 18, as soon as I got my driver's license and my own 2CV car, I embarked on a tour up to Denmark, returning via northern Germany, proceeding through the Netherlands and France, and across the channel to England. Late in the evening, during the crossing, I asked an English guy if I was likely to make it to Cambridge before midnight (but the place I meant was Canterbury - I am terrible with names). He doubted it. However, that day I spent my first night in Canterbury, not realising that I was going to return to the place soon to spend 3 wonderful years there, only to move on to Cambridge where I would stay à la Henry James (another delightful year) In England To Be Happy - actually that's the English translation of the title of the German translation, the original's title is "English Hours".
A bit youthful, i.e. based on notions of "cool" not all identical with those of a person of over 50, the first video clip is still nice to watch. I wonder, which parts of Nebraska does it record?
And this video is quite simply endearing and a bit touching: