OED timeline challenge: can you guess when these words entered the English language?



Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

Review #10 – Poems That Make Grown Men Cry by Anthony and Ben Holden (2014)

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What I’ve recently watched: 127 Hours (2010)

Director: Danny Boyle, Writers: Danny Boyle (screenplay), Simon Beaufoy (screenplay); StarsJames Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara | Based on Aron Rolston’s book: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (2004)

I’ve got a soft spot for adventure / biography type films like Cast Away, All is Lost, Life of Pi, and The Grey.

127 Hours was an another entertaining watch and I highly recommend it. James Franco is surprisingly good in his role despite my misgivings from his Spider-man years.

Without ruining it with any spoilers, there is something I always carry with me wherever I go. Can you guess what it is?

Klassiske Komponister – Classical Music for the newbie

d9b1-1854-4948-9140-a6a746e81a73Last month, I bought a large collection of classical music CDs. Actually 67 in all and were presented in wonderful horizontal wooden stand. I thought that these would go nicely with my Bang and Olufsen BeoSound Ouverture with CD stand (that provides clutter-less CD environment. I just love it. Best B&O furniture ever) but sadly they don’t fit and are too tall. Oh well at least I have the wooden stand.

The collection or series is called in Danish “Klassiske Komponister” or translated to Classical Composers and is a wonderful introduction into the world of classical music. It was published in 2004 by International Masters Publishers, Delta Music Plc., Retrospective Recordings Ltd.

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Each composer is divided by genre and defined by their masterpieces, for example with Beethoven you get his Fifth Symphony as No.1 and Piano Sonata No. 14, aka. Moonlight Sonata as No.2 on the track CD. Mozart is interesting enough contains The Marriage of Figaro as No.1 and Clarinet Concerto In A Major K 622 as No. 2, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as No.6 and Requiem as No.10. So you get all his best pieces.

photo-4photo 1I am teaching my seven year-old niece about classical music – she loves Beethoven – and I’ve been looking for something like this for years. It can be daunting for those wanting to listen to classical music but don’t know where to start. This is where this series is absolute best.

Each CD contains a small biographical booklet so you can learn more about the composer’s life and background of each classical piece. It really is perfect and convenient; and the little ones can easily learn to recognise a couple of classical pieces quickly with general Q&A games that we sometimes do. I usually take one or two composers with me for listening when I drive to work in the morning. My niece plays Classical-DJ and decides which piece to listen. It really is a great way to learn.

There are about 12 tracks on a given CD – all the best collected, conveniently for the newbie who is starting out listening to classical music for the first time or the devotee that’s looking for an enticing all-round collection of the best masterpieces of the world’s best classical composers.

photo 2I highly recommend this. It’s a wonderful collection. If only I knew more about it. I would love to know how many originally were issued.

Good listening.

What I’ve recently watched: Contact (1997)


Director: Robert Zemeckis, Writers: Carl Sagan (novel), Carl Sagan (story), and others; Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Skerritt.

This is one of my favourite films. I remember as a kid being captivated by the opening sequence with the zooming out from planet Earth. I remember reading the 1985 novel by Carl Sagan back in the nineties before the film premiered. Contact is directed by Robert Zemeckis, who has directed some of my favourite movies:  The Polar Express (2004), Cast Away (2000), Forrest Gump (1994) all staring Tom Hanks, and Back to the Future (1985).

So if you’ve never seen the movie, go now and buy/borrow it to see it.

New Faber Members Collectors’ Edition of Seamus Heaney available

w628_6064043_heaney10emailFaber & Faber has just announced the publication of their latest Faber Members Collectors’ Edition: Seamus Heaney’s New Selected Poems 1966–1987. This is the second Collectors’ Edition after The Buried Giant by Kazou Ishiguro that I covered in an earlier post. This looks absolutely wonderful. The price is £50.

Faber — “Our latest Collectors’ Edition presents Seamus Heaney’s own selection from the first half of his extraordinary career. Sewn and bound by hand in Yorkshire, and with a first impression of only 400 copies, this edition is exclusive to Faber Members.

From the outset, Seamus Heaney’s writing was ‘mature and certain in its touch’, as Austin Clarke conferred in the Irish Times, throughout a run of epoch-making volumes in the 1960s and ’70s: Death of a Naturalist (1966), Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972) and North (1975). The bravura pieces of Field Work (1979) and Station Island (1984) that followed culminated in the Whitbread Prize for Poetry with The Haw Lantern (1987).

Since its original publication in 1990, New Selected Poems 1966-1987 has become a seminal edition, containing many of Seamus Heaney’s most cherished and studied poems, ‘Digging’, ‘Mid-Term Break’, ‘The Tollund Man’ and ‘Casualty’ among them. Together with its later, sibling volume, New Selected Poems 1988-2013, it opens the story on Seamus Heaney’s calling as a poet.”

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Review #9 – My Brief History by Stephen Hawking (2013)

My Brief History by Stephen hawking

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Hay Festival from 21 – 31 May 2015

Hay2015-coverHAY FESTIVAL 21–31 MAY 2015: I would really love to go if I could afford it. This and The London Book Fair at Olympia are both what’s been on my mind for years. I guess booking flights tickets, hotel and all that wouldn’t come cheap. So it’s definitely something I need to save for in addition to all that book buying from Folio! One day though I will. This sounds like the perfect place for me! I love the poster. Don’t know who designed the poster but would love to have a higher resolution image.

If you’re so lucky to be in London, then remember to book your tickets early on www.hayfestival.com

Hay Festival—“Hay Festival brings together the best writers and readers to share stories and ideas. At Hay you can enjoy great writers and thinkers from around the world and discover new ideas in the arts and sciences, politics and history. Among the star writers speaking this year are Vikram Seth, Elif Shafak, Meera Syal, Asne Seierstad, Yuval Noah Harari, Azar Nafisi and Helen Macdonald. The festival celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta by inviting writers and thinkers to examine ‘what we would like’ in the fields of law, education, warfare, democracy and equality – and inviting Haymakers to pitch some demands for a new charter.”