memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for April, 2011

Feng Shui

These days I hardly dare not to subscribe to any old daft theory; (I’ll be voting Liberal-democrat next). Not that there is anything displeasing to my obsessive mind in the oriental idea that a spiritual balance can be achieved simply by the way you dispose your furniture around your room.

WINDMILL AND FRUIT - PAINTING BY THOMAS MILNER

But I am seeking Feng Shui in my mind and in my heart.

Hurray To Be British!

I must confess that on this day I am proud to be British.

I’m an unashamed romantic at heart and besides, we do this kind of thing, (Royal Weddings, Coronations, and Processions etc.) rather better than anyone else, don’t we?

STAIN GLASS - PAINTING BY THOMAS MILNER

I wish William and Kate joy and harmony in their marriage and long may they to continue to make people like us crypto-patriots proud to belong to the same nation that produced Chaucer and Shakespeare, Newton and Darwin, Gainsborough and Turner, Blake and Coleridge, Rolls Royce and Range Rover, Peter Cook and Monty Python, John Lennon and Keith Richards, Pink Floyd and Queen, Coldplay and so on and so forth.

And so on this day I have raised my glass in silent toast – To William and Katherine!

A lone red poppy amid the alien corn.

Aprés Nous Le Déluge

Memento Mori

During the heyday of the Roman Republic the Senate had the constitutional governance, in the name of the People, of the robust and burgeoning city-state – SPQR. The policy of expansion was gradual and steady but not without some setbacks – the Carthaginian general Hannibal hauling his armoured elephants through the Alpine passes and then drawing up his army on the plains of Lombardy certainly took the Romans by surprise. But Roman arms prevailed and in due course the famed and beautiful city of Carthage, in the then fertile lands of northern Africa, was laid waste, plundered and the ground sewn with salt.

The commander of victorious Roman armies at the end the Punic wars, Publius Cornelius Scipio was descended from the gens. Cornelli – one of the six great patrician families of Rome. The Senate voted the agnomen Africanus be added to his name and granted him a Triumph.

Picture the scene: the cheering crowds, tramp of the legionnaires, the flowers thrown in front of the triumphant general’s chariot as, with a circlet of laurel-leaves on his brow, he enters the Forum and drives up the ramp in front of the Senate House to receive the plaudits of the Senate and the acclaim of the people … but wait! There is another man on the chariot behind him, a slave, who at the height of the frenzy, leans forward to his master and whispers in his ear –  MEMENTO MORI – remember that thou art mortal.

Memento Mori - Painting - Thomas Milner

Eye-catching Headline

I must say one sees some rather odd headlines in our newspaper:

MUSEU DE ETNOLOGIA DO PORTO VAI SER EXTINCTO

(ETHNOLOGY MUSEUM OF PORTO IS GOING TO BECOME EXTINCT)

Due to lack of funding, one assumes.

WINTER TREES – PAINTING – BY THOMAS MILNER

Loss Of knowledge

The destruction by fire of the great Library of Alexandria,  begun in 48 BC by Julius Caesar when he was forced to set fire to his own fleet and the blaze spread to the docks and to the Library and completed by the Caliph Omar nearly seven centuries later in 642 AD during the first frenzied and seemingly irresistible flames of the Islamic Faith rampaged through the Arab world, was a severe setback for Western Civilization. The Library had contained about seven thousand scrolls written by Greek, Persian and Egyptian poets, writers and philosophers.

DARK WOMAN - PAINTING BY THOMAS MILNER

The Caliph Omar is said to have commented: If they are to be found in the Koran then they are not needed. If they are not to be found in the Koran then they are harmful.

How much of the fruit of that wise age was lost? Not all of the most powerful search-engines in the world can discover that because it became unknown or non-knowledge.

 

Halcyon Days

Did you know that the word «halcyon» as in halcyon days comes from the ancient Greek word for «a kingfisher»? How’s that for a completely unnecessary, uncalled for, unwanted, unwarranted, unsolicited, a propos-of-nothing, gratuitous, pointless, out-of-the-blue and totally irrelevant piece of etymology?

Painting - MENAGERIE - by Thomas Milner

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