Fine words butter no parsnips



Well, I was just kidding when I assured Robert Godden that I’d used ‘Fine words butter no parsnips’ in a long ago blogpost. Purportedly, he’s just spent an hour looking through the archives of my various blogs for the nonexistent time I used that phrase…now I almost feel bad, but not really. 

Maybe he-of-gullible-tendencies Mr. Godden actually happened upon some decent writing for a change. Chuckle chuckle…actually, he knows he’s one of my favourite tea bloggers. Hell, I’ll go out on a limb & say he’s just an all around superior blogger with or without the tea. 

Back to the point:

What on earth does that butter & parsnips nonsense up above even mean? Well, my impatience got the best of me & I simply stumbled over to Wikipedia, where I was told the meaning of ‘Fine words butter no parsnips‘.

Here it is:

Nothing is achieved by empty words or flattery.

Nothing? Really? 

What about that nice thing I said about Old Man Godden several lines back? You don’t think I achieved anything there? If nothing else I might get some tea sent to me. If you knew how good his tea blends are, you wouldn’t scoff. 

So, the jury is still out. Did my flattery of that demented madman of a teablogger and general wackadoo of a human being do me a lick of good in replenishing my barren tea cabinet? 

Watch this space: the suspense is killing me. 

Reading the paper on a Sunday

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Have felt a bit out of sorts lately, and then the weekend comes around and I don’t get nearly enough done on my writing projects. I’m juggling this and that, and seemingly without warning Sunday evening sneaks up on me.

What on earth have I been doing since Friday night when the vast expanse of the weekend was laid out before me?

Well, a lot of living got done between then and now, but I find myself asking what I’d most like to do with the few hours left. Why not read the newspaper?

‘What madness is this?’ you ask. Well, this used to be part of any decent leisurely Sunday.

Actually, only a few generations ago people read the evening paper regularly upon returning from a long day’s work. I’m old, but I’m not that old. Evening papers had gone the way of the dinosaurs by the time I became an obsessive media consumer.

Wait, you know what I’d forgotten while writing the above? My adopted hometown of Munich happens to still have one of those paper that comes out as the sun goes down. It’s got an incredibly inventive name, even. It’s the Abendzeitung, which conveniently means ‘evening newspaper‘.

I’ve heard people rag on it as long as I’ve lived here, but the Arts and Culture section isn’t bad and I actually learned a lot of German while reading it in my early days here in the Bavarian capital.

The photo up above is actually of the much more serious paper up the road in Frankfurt, which I won’t mention by name. The local papers don’t have a Sunday edition, so I end up slogging through this one when I get a hankering for old fashioned print.

‘You do know that you can get all of your news digitally, right?’

Yep, it’s just not the same. Back to my paper…enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Oh, apropos of the above: here’s a link to a funny Pearls Before Swine comic.

Feverish thoughts while trying not to think too much about the Munich Security Conference

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Thought I felt a cold coming on, but there was too much going on this weekend in Munich to slow down. I wasn’t going to be a hypochondriac about it, so I pushed on through.

It’s early February, so that means the annual Munich Security Conference was taking place. I typically pay close attention to what’s happening there & I did my best this year, but a few excellent concerts and what turned out to be more than a simple cold had me rather distracted.

The big topic at the conference was apparently what’s to be done in Ukraine, and this is where my take on things gets a bit shaky. I’m going to blame my feverish state for my loose grasp of the specifics, but from what I understand there’s been a lot of diplomacy to find a non military solution to the fighting that’s going on there.

While being openly mocked at the conference for continuing to insist that the citizens in Crimea democratically chose to rejoin Russia, the Russian foreign minister continued to insist that the West has meddled in this situation from the beginning. I’m not suggesting that there’s any validity to his argument and there’s plenty to suggest that the Russian position reeks of old school propaganda; however, the European leaders attempting alternatives to more weapons should be lauded.

The photo above is from the Amerikahaus, which has been a cultural outpost in Munich since the end of the Second World War, and that’s where I found myself on Saturday evening. An alternative country band called Lambchop was on the bill, and they played through most of their album from 2000 titled ‘Nixon‘. Interspersed with their music, the musicians had a bit of deadpan fun at the expense of the former American president.

I walked out into the night wondering about Realpolitik and what’re now generally seen as easier times. As some present day American politicians insist on saber rattling and tough talk with regards to the Russians, I’m weirdly relieved to live in a country that at least gives pacifism more than a cursory nod.

Now this could be my fever talking, and I’m well aware that the situation in Ukraine could spiral out of control despite the good intentions of Germany’s Chancellor and France’s President, but sending any weapons into this cauldron seems to be the wrong message. Someone mentioned purely defensive weapons, and I almost spit out my chicken soup.

Anyone who’s watched European politics for a while will have at least a handful of theories about what’s really going on behind the scenes. I’m not by nature a conspiracy theorist, and I continue to hold out hope for whatever’s left of Realpolitik. Whatever happens, it’s certainly going to be a gold mine for the troubadours among us. At least there’s that.

trumpeting in the shadows of the Dom

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When I’ve got writing assignments, along with their requisite deadlines, I end up letting other things slide. My blog is an obvious victim of this mentality, and sure enough I’ve neglected you my legions of readers.

As anti intuitive as it might seem though, I seem to be able to write those more serious things better when I’m regularly continuing with this blogging lark.

There have been plenty of things going on in the world that I’ve got opinions about, and what little I share here about my private life is generally good fodder for reflection. So, I suppose some of you who’ve been clamoring for my take on things can just settle down. I’m still here – as whimsical as ever in my better moments.

The above photo was taken in Bremen a few weeks ago, while I was doing research for an article that I could say was dry and boring, but it wouldn’t be true. In addition to getting to write about something that really fascinated me, I also found myself tooling around the Schnoor, which is the old city centre in Bremen.

I’ll have to talk more about that in another blogpost, but needless to say it was quite an enjoyable afternoon. The above-photoed trumpet players standing in the shadows of the Dom (cathedral) are trumpeting the news that I’m back in the blogging business.

Soon enough you won’t even remember that I’d been gone.

Blogging like a boss and ridiculing other’s ideas up close and personally

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Elaine and the girl dog

 

It’s been quite a week at Lahikmajoe Headquarters, as Elaine of @elaine4queen has been visiting on her way back from Athens, and we’ve been plotting some blog adventures that you shall see come to fruition in the next few months.

We continue to foment a sort of revolution that includes a bit less cake eating and a bit more writing and pontificating.

The nature of the web and our digital tribes is that we can stay in contact and collaborate on projects regardless of geography; however, there is still something to be said for sitting in the same room and being able to ridicule other’s ideas up close and personally.

My French Connection, Paris, Sexy Paris

lahikmajoe:

I’ve got my own love affair with Paris going on. Here’s Michael Owens’ take on how his perspective changed.

Originally posted on Laptops and Lederhosen:

Rally for solidarity with the French in Munich. Photo: MunichFOTO, Jeff Ely Rally for solidarity with the French in Munich. Photo: MunichFOTO, Jeff Ely

What a week it’s been. You’ve all read the headlines and stories. To end this week, this crazy week, what happened today in Paris was a fitting finale. The whole world was watching the show of force against religious fascism, terrorism, and any other ism you can and can’t think of.

Some people believe the Parisians are arrogant. They are, absolutely, and rightfully so. You ever been to Paris? It’s an amazing city. I’ve been there twice.

Moulin Rouge 1900. I'm not sure why but there must've been something better about naked boobies in a club like this at that time. Photo: Wikipedia Moulin Rouge 1900. I’m not sure why but there must’ve been something better about naked boobies in a club like this at that time. Photo: Wikipedia

After the first time I was there I hated it. I thought ‘what’s the big deal?’ I saw all the stuff. Crowded museums with too many tourists (I wasn’t a tourist in my mind…

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Dragged with vim & vigour

Ella and Louis taking Johanna for a walk

Taking the hounds out for a walk takes on a whole new meaning when you’re wearing your roller blades, doesn’t it?

So much holiday preparation going on this last weekend, but we still had time to go out and seize the day. Apparently, aside from decorating Christmas cookies, letting Ella and Louis pull her along was the best part of the weekend.

Can completely understand. I second that emotion, even.