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Fraternal Twins

Thankfully we don’t get asked the question anymore. When the twins were young and enjoying a ride in the stroller, we were often asked if they were identical. To which we would patiently reply that one was a boy and the other was a girl. “Yes, but are they identical?” would inevitably be the next…

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It is, what it is

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “It is, what it is”.  It’s an interesting assessment of the way things can sometimes be, and the statement is not without its truth. Some situations just can’t be changed, and the sooner we come to the point of acceptance and look for some…

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The Holy Curator

Not long to go now until the announcement of this year’s Archibald finalists. I always enjoy visiting the Gallery, and not just to smile or smirk at the entries, but to try to appreciate the Director’s placement of the artworks in terms of sequence. I dare say it’s easier when the works being exhibited come…

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Ode on an Ephesian Urn

During the last month I’ve enjoyed some Keats, and reacquainted myself with his famous Ode that I remember learning at school. What a picture he paints. Those lovers who grace the urn’s side, so close to sealing their affection with a kiss, but caught forever in the ‘potential’ and never in the ‘actual’. Are they…

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Nonna’s roast lamb

While I was doing some weeding in the church garden recently, I chanced upon a Nonna breaking off a few sprigs of rosemary. She’d not realized I was there, and a little flushed, explained that she needed some for her roast, and then added: “I think the baby Jesus would be very unhappy with me…

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The Knuckle-cracking Choir

I wish I could find a supportive scientific paper to warn others about the danger of knuckle-cracking. So far, all I’ve been able to find is a small study involving one parent and two children. In this study, which has been in progress now for approximately three years, the children are called the “irritants”, and…

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Naming rights

Apparently if you discover a new plant or animal, you have naming rights. Except there’s a convention that says, that whatever name you choose, it must be Latinized. Quaint really. The idea that the once proud Roman Empire can still lay claim to everything. Once upon a time it did. In fact, such was its…

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A parable is a fictious story that is ‘cast beside’ (literally) a true story, in order to achieve a particular outcome. Sometimes to keep certain people out. Sometimes to ennoble a truth so that it can be better appreciated. Sometimes to function as a safe gateway for the genuine seeker to make further enquiry. George…

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Brothers in arms

There are many things to take into consideration when offering a handshake. The angle of engagement, the firmness of the grip, the number of fingers to commit, the exact place to press the thumb on the back of the other person’s hand, the number of vertical movements to perform, the length of the hold, the…

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Endless Variations

Toward the end of the eighteen century, when Mozart was about twenty-five, he wrote twelve variations on a tune that we know as “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”. Variations are musical twists and turns on a basic tune, keeping always connected to the theme, but creating a rearrangement in double-time, or right-hand arpeggios, left-hand arpeggios, etc….

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