A few tips from a language magpie on acquiring new tongues..

First of all, my apologies to magpies. Recent research has shown that contrary to popular belief, magpies do not steal or accumulate shiny objects and that in fact, they may be positively apprehensive of new objects. In fact, if there is one species that is consistently attracted to hoarding shiny baubles, it is Homo Sapiens….

Can you guess the place?

How is everyone doing? I hope you are all taking adequate precautions to staying safe (if you are able to). Life has certainly made things different. Who would have thought a few months ago that we would all have to work from home, cloistered in our houses, unable to drive, take a train or a…

Reckoning Time

One of the biggest news stories that broke today was the announcement of the name of the new Japanese Imperial era (Reiwa). With the abdication of the current Emperor Akihito and the reign of the new Emperor Naruhito beginning, the way in which the Japanese reckon time also had to change. Of course, the people…


In the 1969 epic science-fiction work ‘Left Hand of Darkness’, written by Ursula K Le Guin, the protagonist, Genly Ai and one of the other main characters, pass through a treacherous passage of ice to cross a territorial boundary that they could get through overland. For over 80 days the two traverse an impossible territory,…

Happy New Year 2019!

And before we knew it, 2018 came to an end and 2019 is well and truly here. Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous new year filled with joy and all the things you love to do in life.  

At the start of every work week

I’m sure a lot of us feel this way when our alarms go off on Sunday or Monday mornings. Cheer up, the weekend is only 5 days away!

A Babylonian Lion roaring through the centuries

You can read more about this lion on the British Museum’s website. This image was shot with a fish-eye lens which gives it a sense of curvature. I did try correcting it but the lion immediately looked flat and plastered. I feel that the distortion gives the lion a sense of closeness, of motion.

Booker lists, an Etruscan sarcophagus, Kabuki and feminism

And a brief history of the world while you’re at it… kidding! My weekend mornings are devoted to catching up with household chores including cleaning and cooking. And because I can’t just be cleaning and cooking, I always take this time to either listen to music or catch up on my decade long podcast backlog….

Congratulations! We all judged a dying man.

Yeah, as humanity we just hit a new low. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me give you a brief synopsis. A few weeks ago, news hit of an airplane (operated by a company called Transavia) having to divert to Portugal (instead of the Netherlands which was the original destination) to make…

Solstice Reveries and a doodle

Growing up 12 degrees north of the equator, I was raised on a steady dose of about 12 hours of sunlight per day. It didn’t matter which month it was on the calendar, the day broke roughly between 5 and 6 and ended roughly between 6 and 7. The only exceptions were the days when…