Category: ANNOUNCEMENTS

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Wood shack at Hampstead Heath, photo by PH Morton

Hampstead Heath, photo by JMorton

I love this Manet-like impressionism photo at Hampstead Heath by PH Morton

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Forest bathing has become an accepted form of relaxation and stress management in Japan.  It was started in the mid-80s.

But what is forest bathing?

It involves going into a woody land or forest, a green space, and hike leisurely; relax and breathe in all the freshness and negative ions, the so-called air-borned vitamins’, given off by the surrounding trees and plants.

Let all the stress of the day melt in the comparative embraces of the forest.

In London, there is a woodland called Hampstead Heath, a 320 hectares of open, green space perfect for forest bathing, among other things.  It is a place for a great family bonding.  There are numbers of ponds, there is even a ‘secret garden’ which is architecturally excellent.  It also covers a natural swimming pool for ladies and also for men, there are the Parliament Hill, the Kenwood House, Highgate pond, etc.

Be astounded at how great Hampstead Heath is, when it is just 6 kilometres away from the very busy bustling city centre of London, the Trafalgar Square.

It is a place for biodiversity: human meets natures and wildlife in a capsule of forested heath.

So Londoners, now the weather outside is no longer frightful, put on your walking shoes and have a forest bath!

 

Face of Turin’s Jesus

Turin’s Jesus

Face of Turin’s Jesus

We have become used to seeing Jesus in the guise of English actor, Robert Powell, when he brilliantly play the role of Jesus of Nazareth.

But how does Jesus really look like?!!!

I saw a very fascinating documentary about 3-D imaging of face from the famous Shroud of Turin, which is garnering points for authenticity. How the shroud was created is still very much a mystery. Was it really the burial shroud that as the clothed the body of Jesus Christ, as He was interred at the Holy Sepulcher, after His crucifixion at Mount Calvary?

Palm Sunday 2017

Just after Palm Sunday Service, iPhone photo by JMorton

Palm Sunday 2017

Today is Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week, where the crisis of the cross is imminent.

Let us take this Holy Week as a time to ruminate the lives we lead.

To start with, here is a wonderful food for thought:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

~ Martin Luther King Jr

Draw Me After You!

Skyrider, photo by PH Morton

Draw Me After You!

Draw me after You!

We will run in the fragrance of Your perfumes,

O heavenly Spouse

I will run and not tire,

until You bring me into the wine-cellar,

until Your left hand is under my head

and Your right hand will embrace me happily

You will kiss me with the happiest

Kiss of your mouth.

~Saint Clare of Assisi

…..

St Clare of Assisi is rather too familiar with God! 🙂

Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

Major

Ghost in the Shell – Movie Review

We started the week by going to the movies.  The movie of our choice was Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlet Johannson, a very capable American actress (I still remember her in the Horse Whisperer as a child actress).

The film has a tinge of that excellent iconic film, Blade Runner of the early 80s, starring Harrison Ford and Sean Young as well as that heart-thumping performance of that excellent actor, Rutger Hauer.  It has that apocalyptic feel to it.

The story was based on a Japanese manga, of the same title, thus some unfounded controversies have surfaced.  The selection of Scarlet to play the Major is a typified Hollywood whitewashing in the eyes of a few.  Apparently whitewashing is when a white actor is cast to play a role of ‘historical’ non-white’ which is deemed rather racist.

I can think of a few Oriental actresses that would have made a good Major, Korean Han Ji Won for one.  However the film was made especially for world cinema goers and because it is fast-paced there are so much to see, too much goings on; reading subtitles or listening to heavily accented actors delivering their lines would definitely be a challenge and may detract viewers from fully enjoying the film in a cinema, where there is no access to rewind button. LOL

Asians are perplexed about this issue.  The Japanese audience did not mind, in fact they were expecting an A-list Hollywood star to play the role for worldwide audience.

Being from the Orient myself, I did not have any problems with the casting of Scarlet.  It was me who proposed to Peter to go and see the film as soon as we saw the trailer a few months back. I still remember how good Scarlet was in Lucy.

It is those pc brigade and pressure groups, who are stirring it up, thereby influencing prospective audience and fans into altogether not going to see the film, thereby missing a good movie.

I believe this controversy has affected the movie a lot and thus there were news that the film had flopped in the box office.

This is sad as the film is rather good.  Scarlet did very well playing Major.  And the story is a good hokum to tell. A very plausible scenario that could happen in the future.

Ghost in the shell is about the rise of technology.  So much so that some scientists working for Hanka Robotics, presumably based in Japan, started experimenting on creating human robots as weapons.

There were pockets of activists and bloggers working against the excessive  technology that is being implemented.

The irony was that these activists against technology were carted off to the lab and experimented on one by one until No 99 was the one deemed ‘perfect’.  Number 99 had the brain of the activist Motoko Kusanagi encased in a perfect mechanical body.  Motoko had been completely brain-washed and told that she was Major Mira Killian, working against terrorism.

Motoko or rather Major in her new guise had become a killing machine.

As I said the film is fast-paced and thrilling, worth a watch even for just the sheer ingenuity of the SFX and CGI.

In the end if we allow such pressure and over political correctness to influence movies and entertainment, the movie industry will be run aground.

Let us not be sheep corralled in PC machinations.

Dark Vs Light

Sunset, Photo by PH Morton

Dark Vs Light

Thought of the Day:

30 March 2017

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
Plato


15 April 2017 (Black Saturday)

If a man
wishes to be sure
of the road he travels on,
he must close his eyes
and walk in the dark.
Saint John of the Cross

Anticipation vs Procrastination

Camelia, photo by PH Morton

Anticipation vs Procrastination

Thought for the Day

Anticipate things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small.  All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they are easy, and all great things from one in which they were small.  Therefore the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things.
Lao Zi

Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th Birthday

Dame Vera Lynn

Giant projection slide of Vera Lynn on the iconic white cliffs of Dover.

Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th Birthday

Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th  Birthday.

During World War 2 (WWll) Vera Lynn was known as the ‘forces sweetheart’ and was massively popular.

Born in London 20th March 1917, she became an actress singer and songwriter. During the war years, her songs  “We’ll Meet Again“, “The White Cliffs of Dover“, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Always Be an England“. became iconic and a tonic for troops and forces fighting in the war. The white cliffs of Dover were the last part of Britain troops saw as they departed on ships across the Channel to fight. Also the cliff were a  welcoming sight on their return home.

My late father was a WW2 soldier in the British army(known as Desert Rats) fighting in Egypt.

Vera Lynn undertook concert tours in Burma, Egypt and India for the troops. She remained popular after the war, appearing in movies and on radio & TV.  At the age of 92, Vera became the oldest artist ever to top UK music charts with a melody of her famous songs. She outsold outselling both the Arctic Monkeys and the Beatles.

My favourite rock group Pink Floyd even had a track about her in their superb album ‘The Wall’.

Vera

Whenever my wife hears anything about Vera Lynn she would burst into song of We’ll meet again