Monthly Archives: February 2019

Western Art. Felicity lesson 8 =======================


Western Art. Felicity lesson 8

Art is the range of art forms. They are about expressing things and representing things outside themselves. The word ‘art’ usually refers to visual arts which we sometimes call plastic arts. ‘Plastic’ arts do not involve plastic! These arts involve materials such a paper, paint, ink, charcoal, metal, wood, stone etc…. The visual arts include painting, drawing, print making, sculpture and so forth.

Art has been around as long as humans have. There were paintings on the walls of caves tens of thousands of years ago. People drew themselves and the beasts that they were hunting. They represented the natural world and mankind’s struggle in it.

Civilisation is about 5 000 years old. This is when writing began in Ancient Iraq. Many forms of art exist from that time. People made sculptures and dolls from clay and cloth. Their writing was about the same themes as their artwork. Writing grew out of drawing. People drew pictures to represent things – and these came to be words. Some of these pictures we call ‘ideograms’.

The Ancient Egyptians had a form of writing called hieroglyphs. The word ‘hieroglyph’ means ‘sacred sign’ in Ancient Greek. This was somewhere between writing and drawing. Drawing pictures was too time consuming. So a system of writing was invented that was based on representing sound rather than ideas or things.

Art in the Ancient World tended to be realistic. However, people had some fantasies. They drew, painted and made sculptures of imaginary beings. These creatures were partly human and partly animal. The Ancient Egyptians had gods and goddesses who had human bodies but the heads of jackals, crocodiles and cows etc…

Architecture can be a form of art. Architecture can be completely functional – simply building a house or bridge that is as easy as possible to build and not at all fancy. But soon people added flourishes to make buildings more alluring. Art is about aesthetics – making things visually attractive.

In Ancient Greece they believed that beauty could be expressed as a ratio. It was 3:8. A building should be 8 units wide and 3 units high. So it could be 8 metres wide and 3 metres high. Or it could be 16 metres wide and 6 metres high or anything that kept the ratio 3:8.

Corinthian architecture was the most popular form of architecture from Ancient Greece. It takes its name from the city of Corinth. They built columns on their temples and had a portico at the front. Roofs were triangular. You can see Corinthian architecture in many famous buildings in the west even today.

The Ancient Romans continued the Ancient Greek traditions and extrapolated from them.  They produced many statues and sculptures of nudes. The Romans and Greeks claimed that the Philistine people were unappreciative of the arts. This is why the word ‘Philistine’ means someone who does not have any artistic refinement.

Christianity began in the 1st century AD. Christianity became the dominant religion in Western Europe after the 4th century AD. The bulk of art was Christian inspired thereafter. Its imagery became increasingly stylized. This means there was little individual choice for the artist. He or she was supposed to follow set patterns. Images became less lifelike.

Stained glass was a popular art form at the time. They used wax to make colourful images in glass. These illustrated religious stories.

El Greco was a famous Greek artist in the 16th century. He lived in Spain and they called him ‘El Greco’ meaning ‘the Greek’. He was known for returning art to producing very lifelike images of people. However, they tended to be shown with rather long, thin faces like El Greco himself.

In the 15th century the Renaissance started. ‘Renaissance’ means ‘rebirth’ in French. This was the rediscovery of classical learning. European artists began to copy old Greek and Roman styles of art. They started to depict scenes from Ancient Greek and Roman myths. No one believed in the gods and goddesses of the ancient pantheon but they were shown anyway.

Some aristocrats became ‘patrons of the arts’. A patron (a man) or patroness (a woman) would have a salon. A salon is literally a ‘room’ for artists. The patron or patroness would give money to poor struggling artists whether painters, drawers, sculptors, musicians, composers, poets or whatever. The artists would then produce work that the patron or patroness found pleasing. This would sometimes be flattering images of the patron or patroness ; painting, drawing or statues. It might be a panegyric  – a poem of praise. Sometimes the artists would produce something laudatory about the ancestors and ancestresses of the patron or patroness.

Italy was the centre of European art from the 15th century to 18th century. Many famous artists were Italians such as Caravaggio, Galileo, Michelangelo, Rafael and Titian. Michelangelo made a sculpture of David for Florence Cathedral. The statue is 5 metres high and was supposed to be 100 metres up on the cathedral. It was so magnificent it was decided to keep it on the ground. Up high people would not be able to appreciate the detail.

In the Renaissance a popular theme was pastoralism. This is related to the Latin word for shepherd ‘pastor’. Pastoral scenes would be idyllic images of the countryside – of farms, of hills, forests and rivers. They would also show flocks of sheep or herds of cows. The shepherd and the shepherdess would feature. So would the herdsman and the milkmaid.

Milkmaids were women who milked cows. Milking a cow by hand is laborious and takes half an hour. Milkmaids were always depicted as exceptionally beautiful. They had radiant healthy skin. Poets as well as painters described these woman this way – as having a youthful and flawless complexion. Why was it that milkmaids had a reputation for such lustrous skin?

There was a disease called smallpox that ravaged Europe. This was a contagious disease that caused people to get pox – ugly growths on their skin. Smallpox killed some people. Those who survived it were permanently scarred with pockmarks. In the late 18th century it was discovered that milkmaids were protected from getting smallpox. They caught cowpox from cows. Cowpox is a much less serious condition – it does not kill people. Cowpox made the milkmaids immune to smallpox. We use the word vaccine because it come ‘vaca’ meaning ‘cow’ in Latin.

Some arts are not visual as such. Poetry, prose, theatre and music are also arts.

Art can be in things like wallpaper, carpets and interior design. It can also include fashion design especially haute couture. ‘Haute couture’ is French for ‘high tailoring’. Haute couture is treating clothes as an art form. It means designing clothes that are incredibly extravagant and eye catching. They are very expensive and impractical – they cannot be worn on a day to day basis. The other type of fashion clothes are called by the French words pret a porter (”ready to wear”)

Some artistic terminology applies to all art forms. This includes ‘leitmotiv‘. This is a pattern that keeps repeating. If there is a symbol on a carpet that is seen many times on the carpet that is an example of leitmotiv. If there is a certain rhyme which is used again and again in a poem that is leitmotiv. If in a piece of music there are a few bars that are repeated several times that is leitmotiv.


  1. What are plastic arts?
  2. What are arts other than the plastic arts?
  3.  Do plastic arts always involve plastic?
  4. What are the first examples of art?
  5.  What are hieroglyphs?
  6.  Why did we invent writing?
  7. What was the ideal ratio in Ancient Greece?
  8.  What is a popular Ancient Greek style of architecture?
  9. What did the gods of Ancient Egypt look like?
  10. Who was El Greco?
  11. What was the Renaissance?
  12. Name three Italian Renaissance artists.
  13. What is pastoralism?
  14. Why were milkmaids thought to be beautiful?
  15. What is a patron of the arts?
  16. What is leitmotiv?
  17. What is a panegyric?
  18. What is haute couture?
  19. What does it mean if an image is stylized?
  20. What is your favourite form of art and why? Five marks.

A dream of hobgoblin


she was in her gestation. we met a pakistani woman – maybe and ISI one. I had seen a bit of ek tha tiger which is it came up. Katina keif? This female was youngish and lubricious and pale s o probably katrina.

this woman said that hobgoblin shoudl have a termination.  was horrifed at this ghastly suggetion. so was hibgoblin. she was ending the secont trimisnter. maybe me think that was when hpv manifested.

had been speaking to geek about isi yesterday as he asked about indo pak siutation.

cannot remember what else was in the revery.

a dream of bill clinton


chattung to him. maybe because of univ. reminiscing a lot of late. introduce dby someone. was it lord butler? cannot remember what I duscussed with the ex pres but we spoke for a long while. he was tranquil, affabel and paid full attention

saw nude females too. chatting to zhanna – sweet nothings.

THB that technology has gone too far====================================================



we are not total luddites. no technophobes

physical health. locomotion. lazy, obese. no sports. no games.  headaches.

socially disconnected. phones. FB. birthday drink. ‘the net’ film

addicted online. not speaking in hostel. buying more expensive tech. drugs and slaves.

mental health. fantasy world. believing lies. porn. online gambling. dark web.

no nature. concrete over. pollution. bad for environment. fossil fuels. wear clothes.



tech svaes lives. emergency. healthcare. heating. trasnport.. hygiene/

improve quality. travel to work. holidays. houses. clothes. electricyt . running water.

true we need to cut down on phnes. save energy.

communication. friends across the world. jobs. work online. info. education. mooc. PASSING of remoteness.

we had drugs porn and cultes before internet.

we can still do sport. technology can help you drive to the gym and count steps, music as you run.

other side is anti progressive. live in a cave, some do so.



A dream of a rainy day by the green


In the British Isles. crossing a green – perhaps the playing field by Myland

collecitng a child from school. not Friday in fact. I was walking back with a black little girl – slightly plaer than the avergae black. Turned out she is my daughter. did not surprise me. I spoke to her about it how people might not think me her father but I am. She was unemotional about it. I wonder whom she represents. Then the child vanished. It did not strike me as odd or worry me.

My parents were in a hotel. They griped about how it was inadequate. They preferred somewhere they had lodged previously. It began to rain heavily.

There was a railway station or some such. I was nude and my clothes were scattered. could people be distratced such that I could pick them up without any noticing.

I felt a need for treaba mica.

Later people were lining up – males. It wa sa clal up fr the amr.y I saw Peter Cook there – VVp. He was just one among the others. Was it only a call up for their army? I was keen to avoid it.


Royal Ascot. Felicity lesson 3



Ascot is a small town that lies 30 km west of London, the United Kingdom. Ascot is famous for its race course. Races take place there twelve months a year because it almost never snows there.

Horse races have taken place at Ascot since the 18th century. It is perhaps the most famous race track in the British Isles. There are flat races at Ascot and there are steeplechases (i.e. with jumps).

Horses line up at the start. They are said to be ‘under starter’s orders.’ Then a gun is fired to indicate the start of the race. This is because the report of a gun is so loud that no one can doubt whether they heard it or not. If it was a word shouted then someone might not hear it or mistake another word for the word that signals the start. The horses are behind a rope under the gun goes off  – then the rope is dropped.

The race course is about 5 km long. It only takes the horses a few minutes to finish the race. There are roughly 30 horses in each race. If there are jumps then a few riders fall off. A horse has to have a rider on its back to win! Sometimes the jockey falls off the the horse keeps on running dutifully over the finish line. This does not count.

There is a winning post – a poll beside the finish line. This makes it clear from a distance if someone won or not. Sometimes a horse clearly wins. It can be said to have won by a length if it was 2 m or more in front of the next horse. The length of a horse is roughly 2 metres long. A horse might win by more like win by two lengths or three lengths etc… Sometimes the horses are neck and neck at the finish line – very close together. This is a photo finish. It is hard to tell who won. They have to look at photos of the finish to see who crossed the line first.

Until the 20th century cameras were not good enough to tell who won when the race was very close. Sometimes a ‘dead heat’ was declared. That means that two horses were said to have crossed at the same time and both were considered winners.

There are stewards who are in charge of the race. They investigate any misconduct by jockeys. Overuse of the whip is not allowed.

In the middle of June there is a period of five days called ‘Royal Ascot.’ At Ascot Race Ground there are three levels of spectating. The most exclusive is ‘Ascot Royal Enclosure.’  It is called ”Royal” Ascot because Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family attend.

If you want to attend attend in Ascot Week you are advised to get there very early indeed. The traffic is horrendous. If you are within 5 km of the race the traffic is at a standstill. You would be faster walking. If you can get a hotel room within walking distance then that is best. You need to book a hotel room months in advance.

To get into Ascot Royal Enclosure you must be invited by a member of the enclosure. A member is someone who has been there at least four times. He or she can invite one new person per day. Royal Ascot runs from a Tuesday to a Saturday inclusive. So let’s imagine Philomena was a member of the Royal Enclosure. She could invite Phyllis on Tuesday, Susan on Wednesday, Phyllis again on Thursday, then she invites Michael on Friday and lastly she invited Serena on Saturday. Or you could invite the same person all five days. If you are a member of the Royal Enclosure you do not have to invite anyone.

You can write to your embassy or high commission. Each diplomatic mission has a number of invitations it can issue each year. They can get you into the Royal Enclosure if you ask on time. You should apply several months in advance. Remember if you go for 4 years you  become a member of the Royal Enclosure and can start inviting people yourself. You must be over the age of 15 to go. You can go for all 5 days in Royal Ascot Week or 4, 3, 2 or just one day – as you wish. If you are a member you are not obliged to go to Royal Ascot at all. You do not lose the status of being a member.

To get into the Royal Enclosure you must dress appropriately. Men must wear morning dress. This means a black or grey tailcoat. They must wear black or grey trousers – usually striped. He must wear a top hat – black or grey. When a man in the 1920s attended Ascot wearing a brown hat King George V asked him, ”Going ratting?”. He must wear a collared shirt. Most men wear ties some wear a stock which is like a tie. They must wear black shoes – they can be lace-up or slip on.

Ladies have to wear a dress to get in. A lady must also wear a hat which covers the crown of the head. Ladies really go to town wearing fantastically creative and crazy hats. They are not allowed to wear fascinators. A fascinator is a tiny hat. Ladies invariably wear high heels.

You will receive a badge with your name on it a week before Royal Ascot. You must wear it to get into the Royal Enclosure. That is your ID! They will not ask you for a passport or any form of identity. The security guards will simply see the badge and nod you in. The name badge does not have your photo on it. They guards do not know if the man wearing the badge saying ‘Tommy Atkins’ is the real Tommy Atkins.

The gates open at about 12 noon. The first race is not till about 2 o’clock. Plenty of people get there well before 2 o ‘clock. There are 6 or 7 races a day. A race lasts roughly ten minutes. There is about twenty minutes between each race. The last race is around six o’clock.  People often stay for hours after that to socialise. Because it is the middle of June the hours of daylight are very long. It is pleasant to be outside.

Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family arrive at the end of the race course. They come by car from Windsor Castle which is only 10 km away. They get out of their cars and into horse drawn carriages. These are driven by coachmen. The postilions, in scarlet livery tunics, stand on the rear of the carriages. When Her Britannic Majesty arrives at the stadium part of the race course she is jubilantly greeted by her loyal subjects.

There are paparazzi photographing famous people on their way into the Royal Enclosure. These celebrities are princes, princesses, models, actresses, politicians and billionaires.

People are not allowed to use mobile phones inside Ascot Royal Enclosure. You are not allowed to take photos, film or record sound inside the Royal Enclosure. You may bring phones with you but they must be switched off. There are many VIPs there and they want to be able to relax and have fun without being photographed and filmed.

You are not allowed to make a phone call, look at texts or use the internet. You are there to watch horse racing and to socialise. You are not there to use a phone! Many people comment that it is so refreshing to go just one afternoon a year without using a phone. If you need to make a call you can go out of the Royal Enclosure and make that call then come back in. You can go out and come back – go out and come back as many times as you want.

People watch racing. They lay bets. They eat and drink. There are bookmakers there, bars and restaurants. You do not have to lay any bets. Most people ‘have a flutter’ which means that they bet some money just for fun even if they know little about horse racing.

The Royal Enclosure is about 1 km long and 1 km wide. There are several thousand people there. There are marquees. You can go into a marquee and go out as much as you like. The marquees are there in case of inclement weather or shade in the case of excessive sunshine (a rare occurrence in the British Isles).

There is also the Golden Circle. You do not have to be invited to get into the Golden Circle. You simply have to buy a ticket. This is like the Royal Enclosure but there is no dress code and no rule against cameras or phones. If you have a badge for the Royal Enclosure you can go into the Golden Circle. People with a golden Circle ticket are NOT allowed into the Royal Enclosure. Although there is no rule about what to wear in the Golden Circle in practice most people dress formally – morning dress for men and dresses with hats for ladies. The food and drink is cheaper there.

Then there is the Silver Ring. This is like the Golden Circle but cheaper. There is no rule against phones or cameras here. There is no dress code and people wear whatever. You just need to buy a ticket to get in. People with Royal Enclosure badge can go into the Silver Ring. People with a Silver Ring ticket cannot go into the Golden Circle or the Royal Enclosure.

To recap the highest level is the Royal Enclosure, the middle level is Golden Circle and the lowest level is the Silver Ring. You can go from higher to lower. But you cannot go from lower to higher. If have a ticket for the Royal Enclosure you can go to the other two areas. You can then come back to the Royal Enclosure. You can come and go, come and go as much as you like.

People lay wagers on the gee gees. Some people become multimillionaires overnight. On the other hand some bankrupt themselves.


  1. Which country is Ascot in?
  2. When did horse racing start in Ascot?
  3. What is a steeplechase?
  4. What does it mean to be ‘under starter’s orders’?
  5. Why does a gun go off at the start of the race?
  6. How long is the race course?
  7. What is the dress code for men in the Royal Enclosure?
  8. What is the dress code for women?
  9. Which month does ‘Royal Ascot’ take place?
  10. What is a photo finish?
  11. What is a dead heat?
  12. How many days does Royal Ascot take place for?
  13. How do you get a badge for the Royal Enclosure?
  14. Are you allowed to use a phone in the Royal Enclosure?
  15.  Is it ok to take photos in the Royal Enclosure?
  16. What does it mean ‘to have a flutter’?
  17. What is the Golden Circle?
  18. What is the ‘Silver Ring’?
  19. If you have a badge for the Royal Enclosure are you allowed into the Golden Circle?
  20. If you have a ticket for the Golden Circle are you allowed into the Royal Enclosure?
  21. If you have a ticket for the Silver Ring are you allowed into the Golden Circle?
  22. What is the dress code for the Golden Circle?
  23. Are you allowed to use a camera in the Silver Ring?
  24. What is the minimum age to get in to the Royal Enclosure?
  25. Can embassies invite people?
  26. Would you like to go? Why or why not? Five marks.

Felicity 2. more on horses



Centuries ago we started to breed horses. That means we put male and female horses together to breed. We wanted to produce horses with certain desirable characteristics. Size, speed, colour etc… are heritable traits. If we breed a fast mare with a fast stallion the likelihood is that the foal born to the mare will also be fast.  This is ‘selective breeding’ because we choose the mare and the stallion because of their good characteristics. We do not let just any mare and any stallion breed.

Horses sleep standing up. Foals learn to walk within hours of birth. A long time ago horses were predated by wild beasts. A horse had to be able to move to keep safe.

Different breeds of horses emerged. In the British Isles a thoroughbred is one of the best kinds of race horses. We also have breeds like a Clydesdale horse. These came from near the River Clyde in Scotland. ‘Dale’ means valley so ‘Clydesdale’ is like saying ‘Clyde Valley’. A Clydesdale horse is huge – very tall, very broad and extremely strong. But they are not fast.

Charve horses are large draught horses from Belgium. By ‘draught’ we mean they were uses for pulling carts. They were not ridden much. The back is so broad it is uncomfortable to sit on.

A ‘dray’ is a horse that pulls carts of beer.

In Arabia there were small, fine boned horses that were very fast. We called these horses ‘Arabs’. However, the word ‘Arab’ can also mean and Arabic speaking person such as from an Arab country like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Iraq or the UAE etc… So to be clear say ‘Arab horse’ so we do not get confused with an ‘Arab person’.

Most horses are of an even colour  as in all black, all grey, all brown etc… Some horses are pie balled which means they are a complete mixture of two or more colours. Some people considered a pie balled horse to look unappealing.

A pony is a type of horse that is small. It is exactly the same species as a horse. The only difference is that a pony even when an adult is below a certain height.

Some people were nomads. That means they moved from place to place. Many nomads moved on horseback. This was the case in Central Asia in lands such as Kazakhstan and Mongolia. They had herds of hundreds of horses. They moved in search of fresh pasture.

The nomads of Kazakhstan lived off the horse. They ate horse meat, drank horse milk and horse blood. They made their clothes, tents shoes, utensils etc… from horse hair, flesh and bones.

Equestrianism is a smart word for ‘horse riding’. It comes form the Latin word ‘eques’ meaning ‘horse.’ An equestrian is someone who is an excellent rider. In the case of a woman it is ‘equestrienne’. This word comes from French which is why it has a typically French ending. Sometimes we called equestrianism ‘equitation.’

In mediaeval Europe people invented dressage. This was a fancy type of riding. They taught horses to walk backwards and sideways. They taught a horse to ‘rear’ – this means to stand up on the two back feet. The horse learnt to walk on only two feet. People still learn how to do dressage. It is an Olympic sport.

Spain was the best at dressage. The King of Spain became Emperor of Austria. He set up the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. Dressage declined in Spain. However, it flourished in Austria. The Spanish Riding School still exists in Vienna.

In the old days ladies never wore trousers. They wore dresses and skirts. They had to ride on a special saddle so that both legs came across onto the same side of the horse. This is called ‘riding side saddle’. It is uncomfortable on the back.

In the 19th century Westerners found out about special riding trousers from the Indian city of Johdpur. This type of trousers became known as ‘johdpurs’. They are skin tight and they are comfortable for riding. In the 20th century is became acceptable for women to wear trousers.

The Queen of the United Kingdom is Elizabeth II. She learnt to ride as a child. She is commander in chief of the British Army.  Although wearing johdpurs was accepted by then at official ceremonies she wore a skirt. At army parades she rode side saddle. Her favourite horse was named ‘Burmese’. At the age of 60 the Queen stopped riding at military parades.

In the United States they often say ‘horse back riding.’ In the United Kingdom people are surprised to hear this. We simply say ‘riding’. ‘What other animal would you ride? An elephant or a camel?’  As for the word ‘back’ – of course you would ride the horse’s back. You would not ride its belly!

We can use to verb ‘to ride’ in relation to other forms of transport. ‘Ride the bus’ or ‘ride the train’ or ‘I gave him a ride in my car’ etc… At a fairground there are ‘rides’ such as a rollercoaster.

In the 19th century other forms of transport were invented. Horses became less important. In the First World War soldiers put up barbed wire two metres high. This was too high for horses to jump over. Machineguns also ensured that horses could be killed from a long distance away. Horses were no longer used much in combat. However, they were still used for transport. Men rode to an from battles sometimes but they fought on foot. Horses also pulled carts full of supplies.

Many people had a stable in their house in the 19th century. A stable is a building for a horse to live in. An ‘ostler’ was the man or woman paid to look after the horse. Notice the ‘t’ in ‘ostler’ is silent.  We sometimes call him a ‘groom’ because he had to groom the horse. ‘To groom’ is to look after including to brush and clean.

In the 20th century stables were usually converted into garages to park cars.

Horses slipped on very smooth surfaces. So road were made from cobblestones – many rectangular stones fitted together. This uneven surface was better for horses.

Horses wear metal horseshoes. These are semicircles that are nailed onto the hooves. A farrier is the man who makes horseshoes and fits them on. There is a superstition that there is luck in the horseshoe. People would put the horseshoe on the wall. It is in the shape of a letter ‘U’. The horseshoe had to be up in the shape of the ‘U’ so the luck would stay in. If people put the horseshoe upside down in the shape of a small ‘n’ then the luck would fall out.



  1. What does it mean breeding horses?
  2. How do horses sleep?
  3. When do foals walk?
  4. What is a Clydesdale horse?
  5. What is a draught horse?
  6.  What is a dray?
  7. What is an Arab horse?
  8. Where is the Spanish Riding School?
  9. What is dressage?
  10. What is riding side saddle?
  11.  What are johdpurs?
  12. What is the name of the Queen’s horse?
  13. Why do British people not say ‘horse back riding’?
  14. What else do we ‘ride’ besides animals?
  15. Why did people no longer use horses in battle after the First World War?
  16. What is a stable?
  17. What is an ostler?
  18. Why did people turn stables into garages?
  19. What are cobblestones?
  20. Why did we have streets made of cobblestones?
  21. What is a horseshoe?
  22. Which way up does a horseshoe need to be to keep the luck in?
  23. What is a farrier?
  24. Where do johpurs come from?
  25. When did the Queen stop riding at parades?