On the plus

On the plus 🤔

The airport will stay closed, probably till next Sunday.
The recent terror attacks in Belgium, most notably at Zaventem (Brussels Airport) do have one consequence to rave 🤔 about. 

I live about 45km. away from Brussels Airport. Many planes arriving at and departing from that airport fly over my area. Altitude varies from 300m. to 2km.
Most of these make awfully screeching & belly shaking grumbling noises. This happens every 2 to 5 minutes between 6am and midnight. 

It’s all gone now. 2 days to go.

#ajournalofuneventfuldays #terrorbrussels


Tom Wolfe/ The kandy-colored tangerine-flake streamline baby

Tom Wolfe/ The kandy-kolored tangerine-flake streamline baby
Chapter Three

The Fifth Beatle

John, Paul, George, Ringo and -Murray the K!- the Fifth Beatle! Does anybody out there really understand what it means that Murray the K. is the Fifth Beatle ? Does anybody comprehend what something like that took ? Does anybody comprehend what a victory it was to become George the Beatle’s roommate in the hotel in Miami and do things like tape record conversations with George during those magic bloomings of the soul just before a man goes to sleep and bring back to the kids the sound of a pure universe with nothing but George , Murray the K. and Fedders Miami air-conditioning in it ? No; practically nobody out there comprehends. Not even Murray the K.’s fellow disc jockey William B. Williams, of WNEW, who likes singers like Frank Sinatra, all that corny nostalgia of the New Jersey roadhouses, and says, ‘I like Murray, but if that’s what he has tondo to make a buck, he can have it.’
(Mayflower Books,1972, copyright Thomas Wolfe, Jr., 1965)
This book is a classic. All the fragmented life-styles of the past decade meet in one big total recall. Tom Wolfe’s Amerika is a nostalgic madhouse of customized cars and Putting Daddy On, and it’s all caught forever in these dazzling, fast-reading pages. (back cover)
Thomas Kennerly “Tom” Wolfe, Jr. (born March 2, 1931) is an American author and journalist, best known for his association with and influence over the New Journalism literary movement, in which literary techniques are used in objective even-handed journalism. He began his career as a regional newspaper reporter in the 1950s, but achieved national prominence in the 1960s following the publication of such best-selling books as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (a highly experimental account of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters), and two collections of articles and essays, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. His first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, published in 1987, was met with critical acclaim, became a commercial success, and was adapted as a major motion picture (directed by Brian De Palma).
#ajournalofuneventfuldays #tomwolfe


Flamin’ Groovies

Flamin’ Groovies

Yesterday I was at a concert by seventies prepunk band Flamin’Groovies. They played a tough, unrelented, no nonse set adorned by several rock ‘n roll classics and embellished with goodies like Gene Clark’s ‘Feel a whole lot better’. Back then, they were not the greatest band ever and this show probably was some kind of reunion thing for old time’s sake and today’s hard cash. But I liked it, there was so much energy, they were this archetypal guitar band, playing really loud, uncompromising rock music.
I don’t know the song title. It was their final song before the encore.

The show was is a small village called Leffinge, close to the Belgian coast. In September the annual 3-day “Leffingeleuren” rock festival takes place here. It brings together established acts and promising new singer-songwriters & bands -mostly folk/rock- and they’re from all over the world.

#ajournalofuneventfuldays #flamin’groovies


The best of all worlds

The best of all worlds

The best of all worlds is a world in which everybody lives in eternity.

There will be no progress and there will be no decline. It will feel alright though.

Age will be frozen in time, so to speak, but not for old or sick people. They will be sent back in time to a date prior to their illness or old age. By us.

The status of adults will be maintained. And if they were unhappy in the past, they will live a better life now, as if by miracle.

There will be no newborns because we don’t need any. Any newborns. We forgot all about maternity.

Young boys and girls will not be aspiring to become adults. The thrill has gone. They will feel OK as they are.

Beautiful people will still be beautiful people. Ugly people will become less ugly and will like and be liked by beautiful people.

There will be no bad guys and there will be no bitches. Definitely.

Nothing is going to change in the solar system. Not ever. We feel happy about this in particular.😀

#ajournalofuneventfuldays #eternity #time


Hortus conclusus


Hortus conclusus
In one of the photos, you can see the outline of the famous botanical garden by Carolus Clusius, which was (and still is) located at Leiden University in the Netherlands. This 1610 sketching represents the walled garden in its original state.

It was primarily meant to be an object of reference to the benifit of the medical students, who could study a collection of medicinal plants there.

At the same time, it was a meeting of science and art, as it was an early and really ambitious example of formal garden architecture.

The 3rd photo shows recent images of the reconstructed garden.

The concept of the walled garden was popular with the nobles and the clergy at that time. These gardens were built around cloisters and castles and had stone walls in order to protect the plantations from ravaging animals, wild seeds and…stealing mobs.

Today, for the rich, it is more convenient to cultivate a “wild garden”; formal gardening is left to the poor (allotments!) and the middle classes (boxwood garden!). ☺️🤔
“The Authentic Garden” edited by L.Tjon Sie Fat and E. de Jong

Clusius Foundation, 1991

#ajournalofuneventfuldays #hortus conclusus


The End

The End
Eastern 2016 long gone now.

‘ajournalofuneventfuldays’ must end here.

Still continuing on Tumblr. 

Ocasionally Medium, WordPress, Blogger.

See you soon in another dimension.


Le sentier Cathare

Le sentier Cathare

I actually did this years ago, long before the Da Vinci Code. I can confirm it leads you straight into another world. It is somewhat challenging, physically, you walk about 12-15km in one day, the path is steep or narrow and rocky but never dangerous. At night we ended up in a fine hotel, a youth hostel or in a b&b. ( Airbnb was still hidden in the unpredictable future 😉). We were there in the summertime, the weather in the Pyrenees is unstable then, alternating between very hot and dry days and stormy weather with heavy downpoors rain.

After our final stage, we were lucky to find a friendly couple who invited us in their car to drive us all the way back to the starting point where we had left ours.

Below you find a web page with a fine and really accurate description of the trip.

Photo: the book we used back then, in 1996, if memory does not fail me.
In The Footsteps Of The Cathars 

 Take a trip down Languedocs unique and incredibly beautiful ‘Cathar Trail’.

The success of the book and movie of the Da Vinci Code has fed a new awakening of interest in the Languedoc and its fabulous Cathar castles. These ‘Castles in the Sky’, perched on their vertiginous rock pinnacles, are some of the last remnants of the ill-fated Cathar ‘heretics’ and the legends that linked them to the Holy Grail.

The Sentier Cathare or Cathar Way, invites walkers to ‘travel through time’ over 250 kms of breathtaking Languedoc countryside. From Port-La-Nouvelle on the Mediterranean coast across the Corbières and the Pyrénées foothills of the Aude to the historic Ariège town of Foix, the trail links nine of these famous fortresses. 

It was at Montségur (to be found on the 11th of the 12 recommended Trail étapes) that the Cathar ‘heretics’ finally surrendered after a seige lasting ten months and where, according to tradition, the ‘treasure’ of the Cathars was kept before being smuggled out prior to the fall of the fortress. More than two hundred of those who refused to renounce their faith were burnt on a pyre at the foot of the mountain. A funeral grave marker was built in memory of the Cathar martyrdom in Prat dels Cramats, ‘The Field of the Burnt Ones’.

The Cathar faith came to prominence in the twelth century with a Cathar church being established as early as the beginning of the eleventh century in the Champagne region. Catharism spread all over France with many ‘heretics’ being burnt, but it was in the Languedoc that it had its widest appeal, to noblemen, peasants and merchants alike. It was especially popular amongst the peasants who liked the simple life of the priests or ‘parfaits’ with their lack of riches and who appreciated the fact that their teachings were given in the common language rather than in Latin. The Cathars had only one prayer, The Lord’s Prayer. They rejected the Eucharist and refused to acknowledge the principal of free will, saying that man did not have the ability to choose between good and evil. They also did not accept the concept of a Last Judgement or Hell but believed that eventually through successive reincarnation, all souls could become sufficiently pure to reach « The Celestial Land ».

 The Cathar priests or ‘Parfaits’ were vegans and were also celibate. They lived in the community and had to carry out their share of the work, even sometimes sharing their meals with believers. Interestingly there were also female Parfaits.

It was Pope Innocent III who has gone down in history as having started the fight against and systematic extermination of the Cathars, making a call for a crusade against them to be led by Simon de Montfort – the only crusade ever led on Catholic lands. It commenced at Beziers on 21st July 1209 where the crusaders set fire to the city and massacred nearly all the population, almost twenty thousand of them. The abbot of Citeaux who was the ‘spiritual’ leader of the crusade was famously reported as shouting out « Kill them all, God will recognise his own ! ». The ‘song’ of the crusades was even more chilling :

 “Any castle which resists, any stubborn town shall be taken by force and reduced to a charnel-house. That no living being should be left, even new-born babies. Thus shall be sown healthy fear and no longer shall anyone dare to defy the Cross of God.”

 The Trail itself is well marked, the signposts being in red and yellow, the colours of the Languedoc and Catalonia. Each stage averages about 20km over sometimes wild and rugged terrain with rest houses and ‘Gites d’Etape’ where one can stay en route. Although the trail can be rocky and steep in places (highest altitude 1300 m), it can be walked by anyone who is well-equipped and reasonably fit. It is a challenging walk rather than an arduous mountain trek and is extremely well-maintained. The responsibility for the maintenance being in part due to one of the Trail’s instigators, the Maire of Nébias (one of the towns on étape 7), Louis Salavy. 

On étape 6, the trail runs between the village of Bugarach and the crossroads town of Quillan on the river Aude. The French guide to the Trail states ‘nous pénétrons donc dans le domaine des eaux vives et des forêts’ . The route, traverses the village of Le-Bezu with its almost-ruined 10th century chateau – another of Simon de Montfort’s spoils – and passes close by the hilltop village of Rennes-le-Chateau. The mysteries associated with this village brought it world-wide fame long before Dan Brown linked it with the Da Vinci Code.

Many books have been written and documentary films made about Rennes-le-Chateau, the most well-known being the book ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’ in which Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln expounded their theories (as in the Da Vinci Code) that Rennes was linked with the Cathars, The Knights Templar and the Holy Grail itself. Stories of mysteries at Rennes-le-Chateau first came about though when the 19th century priest Bérenger Saunière was rumoured to have discovered a vast treasure which enabled him to restore the dilapidated village church, build a new road leading up to the village, install new water facilities for the villagers and also to build a large house and library tower (Tour Magdala) for his own use. His expenditure amounted to the equivalent of several million dollars, not an amount a poor village priest would normally have at his disposal. The mystery of Saunière’s sudden wealth remains unsolved as he never divulged its origin, whether it was the lost treasure of the Cathars of a ‘treasure’ of an entirely different kind. He took his secret with him when he died in 1917. According to eye-witness statements, the priest who was called to Saunière?s deathbed emerged from the room ‘visibly shaken’ and refused (presumably on the basis of Saunière’s confession) to administer extreme unction.

 There is no doubt that the Sentier Cathare is enriched by the history of the places it traverses but the countryside itself with its fabulous landscape and clean mountain air provides the best of that good-to-be-alive feeling.