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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Medieval Knights, Boat Racers and Poems

I planned my Sunday morning trip to the new Medieval Gallery at the British Museum in Bloomsbury, London, to tie up with the Oxford Vs Cambridge Boat Race that was happening, mid afternoon, on the tidal way of the Thames a short subway ride away.

The British Museum is one of my favourite seven Free wonders of the UK, in that you could go there, just to stand in the Great Court, with it's new lattice glass roof, (pic above ) making it feeling like a futuristic bio-dome as designed by Georgian architects. My snapshot can only take in one small portion of the view and simply can't do justice to the vastness, and the pleasure you can get just whiling away your time while a shower of rain falls outside.

But much as I would like to stand there all day, there are treasures to seek, as I outlined in my blog 'Middle Age Spread' 26th March.

It was all that I hoped for and more, and I won't go through all the items again, ( and there were another 300 plus with them ), other than to mention that the gilt silver casket owned by Isabella of France when she was twelve, was the tiniest wee-est most beautiful little thing you could imagine... being barely 3 inches by 1 and half inches... it was a true Queen's treasure, with the finest craftsmen detailing on it.

The real big plus was, that normally when I go to museums I get told off for taking photographs, when there are signs saying not to... This time I look around me and dozens of tourist are taking snaps in the huge gallery, and nobody got frogmarched to the door... so I trebled the pleasure I was having by taking non flash photos with my small Nikon, so I am able to savour it all again at home... This is unusual in England.

A second item I wanted to show the Knighthood, is a beautifully painted 12th Century Knights shield.

It was never made to be used in battle, but more likely as a Jousting Tournament Prize or Parade Shield. It was delicately painted with a scene of a Knight vowing his undying honour and chivalry to a Lady ( we've all been there haven't we fellas ?) with the spectre of Death appearing behind his shoulder, symbolising that he would Die first rather than dishonor her.

I spent the best part of three hours soaking it all up, especially, the section holding my latest fad at home, Tiles and designing for tiles, and my camera filled up with 900 hundred year old ideas.

These are floor tiles from a 12th century Abbey.

But Time and Tide wait for no man, and I would be back again someday soon...,...... I had to get down to the river, just west of the city, and by Subway train I he
aded to my annual pub by Barnes Bridge, 'Ye White Hart', to team up with a couple of friends who are Exiled Oxford types, now living and working in London.

The University Boat Race, or the Boat Race, as it is now simply known, is, alongside the Grand National Horse Race, ( next weekend ) one of the National Icons of Springtime Sporting in the UK.

I will guide you to the Wikipedia site for the full history.

It has been happening every year since the late 19th Century, as part of a challenge laid down by the winners, from Oxford or Cambridge, to the losers, to turn up next year

Being an Oxford man, I have taken a beer by the river most of my adult life, as it is a breezy and a quintessential part of being English.

20 million people watch it on TV, and a quarter of a Million folk hang from the bridges and wharves along the snaking route ( which in map appearances resembles th
e loop in the Ohio where our Founding Folk skip stones....though about a sixth in size across. )

We always chose Barnes Bridge, as it is less than a mile from the finish, which is always has enormous crowds, But by the time the crews shoot the spans of BB railway bridge, only once has the leader ever lost after that point.

Oxford are in the lead in my Picture, and so from my last statement you will know that the next two foamy brown pints back inside the pub went down with gusto and relish, and a big smile when I spill some on my Oxford sweatshirt.

I wave goodbye to my friends till another time, and catch a subway back to the centre of the city, to rendezvous with the Coach back to Oxford.

On the subway, hanging from a strap, relaxed by my winning brew, I espy that the Art on the Underground Scheme, that brings so much pleasure to people on the subways..., had put up a Springtime Poem, amongst all the other endless adverts, for phones and insurance. It was quite the best thing, so I sat down and wrote it in my Moleskine and after all my morning of ancient history it seemed to fit the thoughtful moment,.....

and so I leave you with "The Prehistoric Camp" by Andrew Young ( 1885 - 1971 ) as it recounts a poets day trip ramble to the remains of an Iron Age hill settlement in the county of Dorset.

A Prehistoric Camp

It was the time of year

Pale lambs leap with thick leggings on
Over small hills that are not there,

That I climbed Eggardon.
The hedgerows still were bare,
None ever knew so late a year;

Birds built their nests in the open air,

Love conquering their fear.

But there on the hill-crest,

Where only larks or stars look down,

Earthworks exposed a vaster nest,

Its race of men long flown.

Sir Dayvd ( the culture vulture ) of Oxfordshire

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Pogonology Lesson

The Greeks had a saying: "There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless — boys and women — and I am neither one."

Well, I am today.

If you've followed these posts since the beginning of the year you have seen the progression of my first beard in decades.

(Photo From: Monday, March 16, 2009 2 Knights, 2 Beards and 2 Walks )

I had promised that I'd keep the facial hair only through the winter. Yesterday, I brought out the trimmer, scissors, and razor.

In my youth, my beard was oddly red -- even though I had brown hair. I was, back then, following an ancient course of history: men with facial hair had been ascribed various attributes such as wisdom and knowledge, sexual virility, or high social status (I proved all that wrong).

Today, my beard grows in a nice Santa white (more proof that I'm not only over the hill, I'm near the bottom) and I feared my snow-white facial hair projected more of a crudeness, or an eccentric disposition, such as in the case of a tramp or hobo.

I was seeing it more as in association with nature and outdoorsmen. (Though I realize that a beard does not a true outdoorsman make).

There is a very fascinating history of beards. In fact, I've learned that there is a word for the study of beards: Pogonology.

If you think about it, at one point all men (and probably most women) sported beards.

According to Daniel Lew, a beard historian and author of the article The Troubled History of Beards (edited for length):

Archaeologists have found evidence that men started to shave off their beards as early as 100,000 BC. The first razors discovered by archaeologists date back to 30,000 BC, and were made of flint. Thus, before then shaving was a painful ordeal. One who wanted a bare face would use two sea shells to grip their hair, then pull.

Beards were in the vogue in Greek society, where a healthy beard was a sign of wisdom and knowledge. But then Alexander the Great came along and changed all that, for the sake of the military. He forced his soldiers to shave for fear that an enemy could use a man's beard to his disadvantage in close combat. He thought that the enemy would grab it during hand-to-hand struggles, though I would be more worried about the pain of someone ripping my beard off. In contrast, the slaves, who were normally made to shave, were then ordered to grow out their stubble.

The beard eventually came back into fashion, but a few rulers objected to their presence. In 1698, Peter I of Russia commanded his courtiers and officials to cut off their beards. To add insult to injury, he would sometimes personally shave the beards of his noblemen. Those wishing to keep their beards had to pay a tax - 100 rubles each year - as well as carry around a medal proclaiming that "beards are a ridiculous ornament." A similar taxation was passed by England's Henry VIII in 1535 - who, hypocritically, continued to grow a beard of his own. It's good to be the king (end).

The first time I grew my beard (aged 20) both my grandmothers were horrified. Why? They grew up in a time when beards were virtually nonexistent in mainstream America. The few men who wore the beard or portions of the beard during this period were either old, Central Europeans, members of a religious sect that required it, in academia, or part of the counterculture, such as the "beatniks".

It was only after the Vietnam War that beards exploded in popularity. In the mid-late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, beards were worn by hippies and businessmen alike. Popular rock, soul and folk musicians like The Beatles, Barry White and the male members of Peter, Paul, and Mary wore full beards.

Today, there is still one segment of American society where facial hair is virtually nonexistent: government and politics. The last President of the United States to wear any type of facial hair was William Howard Taft, who was in office from 1909 till 1913.

So, there you have it. A very brief history of the beard. Besides spring and warm weather, there was one more important reason to have shaved off my beard: The powers that be at Guinness say that a pint of beer is lifted about ten times, and each time about 0.56 ml is lost in a beer drinker’s facial hair. That’s a lot of wasted beer!

Sir Bowie "hair today; gone tomorrow - except the moustache" of Greenbriar

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I wonder what good Gandhi would have done with nearly $2 million in his pocket!

Here's a little beer and spiritualy news from UPI:

Indian beer magnate buys Gandhi's glasses.

An Indian beer and airlines magnate placed the winning $1.8 million bid Thursday in New York for Mahatma Gandhi's spectacles and other personal items.

Tony Bedi, representing Vijay Mallya, who owns the company that makes Kingfisher Beer, did the bidding and said that the items will be returned to India for public display, The New York Times reported. He said that Mallya has not yet decided whether to give them to the government.

The Indian government tried to stop the auction at Antiquorum Gallery in New York. On Thursday, officials said that the government would not put in a bid but would ask Indian-Americans to secure the items.

James Otis, a California peace activist who had consigned the Gandhi belongings to Antiquorum, tried to stop the auction at the last minute. Antiquorum refused.

Shyan Gulati, who heads Infopeople Corporation, said that the crowd at the auction included many well-heeled leaders of New York's Indian community. About a dozen people joined the bidding in person in addition to others who had placed written bids or entered them by phone.

"Anything when it comes to Gandhi is emotional, sentimental and patriotic when it comes to Indians," Gulati said.

In addition to Gandhi's eyeglasses, the items on sale included a pocket watch, a pair of sandals and a plate and bowl.

A little information about the beer that made Gandhi's spectacles famous (or more famous):

A name synonymous with Beer in India - Kingfisher stands for excitement, youth and camaraderie.

The Beer brands manufactured and marketed by United Breweries Ltd. have always been recognized for their international quality. That's Beer at its best for the discerning consumer!

The largest selling Beer in India

Commanding a 29% market share in the country

One out of every 4 bottles of beer sold every second in India

Available in 52 countries across the globe

The first among Indian brands to launch its own range of designer wear

Kingfisher, the bird is known for its keen instinct, and perfect aim. It zeros on its target with unfaltering focus. It is a very vibrantly coloured bird. All of its colours represent energy, youthfulness, enthusiasm, freedom with a touch of formality and discipline. No wonder, that this bird with an eye for right focus and an aim for succeeding in its attempt became the mascot for The Kingfisher brand of Beer from the stables of UB group.

Since the launch, Kingfisher Beer has become one of the largest selling beer brands in the world.

"It's flying" and the mood is upbeat - both within the Company and among consumers.


Sir Bowie of Greenbrair

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Knight Time: St. Brigid, Semen Sale and Recruitment...or...Now for Something Completely Different

I, Sir Hook of Warrick, have been enjoying variety in my travels of late. I recently blogged about my experience with Sir Bruce of Tennessee while in I decided to pick up where we left off with this edition of Knight Time.

While in Ohio, I had the opportunity to attend Mass at the Catholic Church in Dublin. Imagine my surprise when I pulled into the parking lot and saw the sign...St. Brigid of Killdaire Church!

Yes, I was greeted by non other than the Patron Saint of the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale as selected by the Council of the Founding Father's. You know, she's the one who said, "I had a vision of heaven of being surrounded by lakes full of beer!"

I thought it appropriate to go into her chapel, complete with Lennox Crystal Chandeliers, to offer prayers for all the Knights and Ladies of the Realm, as well as thanksgiving for the opportunity to share our quirky views with the world.

As so often happens to this errant Knight...and full time humanist...I quickly was transported from a Spiritual High to a Semen Sale the following day at one of my clients.

Having to come up with an ad to go into the next Ohio Beef Expo program, I was confronted with Cow Porn. How can you compete with that?! If you're looking to purchase semen for the spring breeding season this is the place, with over 200 semen tanks from studs like...Hit Man, Hannibull, Dirty Hairy, My Turn and the Witchdoctor!

I briefly considered selling a tank of Sir Hook the Beefmaster, but I'll remain happy to be able to produce my own for now!

Finally, after catching up this past week from being on the road (why you haven't seen much action for this Jackson of late), Lady Allwinky and I met friends at one of the House of Warrick and Greenbriar's favorite watering holes...the Gerst House this past Friday night.

One, a client of mine, has deemed this sordid band with the title, The Fairfield Mafia. Four of the six of us are from my home town of Fairfield, Illinois...notorious for gangsters, bootleggers, meth labs, etc. There is saying that the only things that come out of Fairfield are successful people or inmates!

We recruited this Merry Band into the Knights of Moleskine, Spirit and Ale last night. I introduce to you Sir Steven of Henderson, DMD, client extraordinaire, and his lovely companion and one of my 8th grade girlfriends, Lady Nayne of York.

Here we have Sir Richard of Larue, who has enough information on my past to guarantee that I'll never run for office, and his significant other, Lady Meis of LaCentre, whose father was my doctor, brothers where my drinking mates, and I coached on my swim team in the 70's.

So, there you have the latest edition of Knight Time with Sir Hook of Warrick. Hope you enjoyed the tour, the company and the semen!

Sir Hook the Breeder of Warrick

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Middle Age Spread

A phial of 'Madonna's milk' is just one of the bizarre medieval treasures on show at the new Medieval Gallery at the British Museum.

Thieving monks, naughty paintings of Jesus and relics claiming to contain breast milk from the Virgin Mary: the British Museum’s new medieval gallery paints a weird and wonderful picture of the Middle Ages.

There are 350 priceless treasures on display, brought from different corners of the museum to make up London’s foremost medieval collection (well, until the V&A opens its medieval and Renaissance gallery in November). “The British Museum’s best known for its mummies and classical art,” says curator James Robinson, “but we want to put medieval culture at the forefront of everyone’s attention.”

Sex and treachery (Silver casket of Isabella of France, circa 1303, from England)
This casket was given to Isabella of France when she married Edward II at the age of 12. She later deposed her husband (who was more interested in men), had him executed, and ruled the country with her lover.

Breast milk and thorns (Reliquary of St Oda)
Medieval folk loved their relics – there were 13 of “Jesus’s foreskins” scattered around Europe at one point, which were believed to have healing powers. This reliquary was claimed to contain milk of the Virgin Mary. Another relic in the collection was supposed to have been a thorn from the crown of thorns used at Jesus’s crucifixion.

Prankster Jesus (Tring Tiles)
These 12th-century tiles show Jesus getting revenge on a bully, being slapped by a teacher for being cheeky and getting scolded by his mother. When he’s being naughty, his halo disappears.

Monky business (Fake seal-die, late 12th century, England)
Fake charters were made by monks to say they were entitled to land or revenue. This die was used to seal the charters. You can tell it’s a fake because there’s a spelling mistake and it’s made from lead rather than silver or gold.

Executive toys (Folding spoon, 15th century, Flanders)
This 15th-century silver-and-enamel spoon could be disassembled to fit in a pocket, and would have come out at a feast as a bit of a party trick. Ceramic pottery and wooden utensils would have been common at this time, but metal cutlery was a luxury: even rich diners would have brought their own to banquets.

Disappearing elephants (Piece from the Lewis chessmen, circa 1150-1200 AD, Norway – found on the Outer Hebrides)
These chessmen are made from walrus ivory. For some reason – no one knows why – the supply of elephant ivory dried up between the ninth and 13th centuries. Chess evolved from an Indian game which was later adopted by the Islamic world and finally reached Europe at the end of the 10th century, when queens and bishops were introduced to the board.

Heart-shaped jewellery (Gold heart brooch, early to mid 15th century, Nottinghamshire) The simplified heart shape as a symbol for love was a 14th-century convention. These 600-year-old brooches wouldn’t look out of place in a jewellery store today.

Proof once again from one of my favourite periods in history, that Human Nature has never really changed, just the technologies.

Sir Dayvd ( who will be first in the queue this weekend.. ) of Oxfordshire

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'skine Art

I recently discover hundreds of artist / moleskine lovers celebrating their art.

Go to:

and you’ll find thousands of images ranging from Abstract, Action, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Mixed Media, Pop and Pep Art, Realism, Watercolor and so much more.

Here are a few examples...

"This is part two of my entry in Jan Allsopp’s book for Moly-X48, part of the International Moleskine Exchange. I used Winsor & Newton India ink and gold ink with a dip pen and brush" Szaza:

From the moleskine of Steveloya:

From the moleskine of Artsyalex, Summer Heimdall, another character from my comic Alien Raver. Figure studies:

And from the moleskine of Margie:

There are new additions daily!

Click around and you’ll read interviews with featured artists as well as posts and forums.

I guarantee that this site will get your creative juices flowing and spilling out all over your moleskine!

Have fun.

Sir Bowie “too many blank pages” of Greenbriar

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ostara : Rock n' Roll Primavera

This weekend, passed, marked my favourite of weekends in the UK that of Ostara.

Ostara is an early Pagan holiday to mark the Spring Equinox, usually celebrated around March 21st. The God and the Goddess are married, and the Goddess conceives. Life is renewed, and it is a time of great fertility for land and creatures. It is sacred to the Teutonic fertility goddess Eostre, who was either depicted as an egg shape, or in the form of a Hare, the former now marketed as Chocolate...the latter as a bunny.

Part of the Ostara mythology involved the return of various deities from the underworld (symbolic of the end of winter). So it's not surprising that this holiday got enmeshed with the Christian story of the resurrection of Christ, a good example of early Christian marketing to muscle in on the wicca calender by calling it Easter.

Ostara represent new birth and new life. Night and day stand in perfect balance, with light on the increase. Plant the seeds of long-term goals.

For me it is just that... the long winter wait is over, the plum and cherry blossom comes out, seemingly overnight... and it appears like there are thousands of tiny pink clouds all over the city and north Oxford.

On Saturday with a few hours toiling with nature in my fathers front garden....digging it over...weeding and sweeping away the old year. and feeling particularly macho and holy after doing it..... was clean my fingernails and down to the City for a night of beer and Rock and Roll...... with my friends in the band High and Mighty, putting on their epic annual Ostara, reunion gig at the O2 venue and headlining the event.... Nationally known in the late eighties, they still fill out the venue, the rocking crowd forcing me up onto the stage apron to take photos...

With the After-Show Party taking care of the night, it was great to be able to walk out into the Sunrise in the City Centre and take it all in, without the crowds and the traffic.. Oxford still has its medieval sensibilities intact as it wrestles with the 21st Century, but early morning or late at night is the time to savour it.

St Mary's Church in the High Street, is my parish church and the City's, even though it does have a Cathedral as well. And before Morning Song, I managed to take a couple of nice shots of her ( top and below ) in all her 12th Century glory, soaking up yet another Sunrise... ( approximately her 330,000th).... and offer up a quiet thanks to who/whatever for getting us through another Winter, while we continue to go about ruining the planet.

Sir Dayvd ( is that Cathedral bells ringing, or my ears? ) of Oxfordshire

Monday, March 23, 2009


In college, I once wrote and read a radio magazine story on the history of the phrase "Okay or O.K."

My professor gave me a "C" on the project. I objected because I thought it was worthy of a higher grade. He said that the "C" stood because the project was just "okay" and laughed.

I was reminded of that essay when I read the following on

March 23, 1839 : OK enters national vernacular

On this day in 1839, the initials "O.K." are first published in The Boston Morning Post. Meant as an abbreviation for "oll correct," a popular slang misspelling of "all correct" at the time, OK steadily made its way into the everyday speech of Americans.

During the late 1830s, it was a favorite practice among younger, educated circles to misspell words intentionally, then abbreviate them and use them as slang when talking to one another. Just as teenagers today have their own slang based on distortions of common words, such as "kewl" for "cool" or "DZ" for "these," the "in crowd" of the 1830s had a whole host of slang terms they abbreviated. Popular abbreviations included "KY" for "No use" ("know yuse"), "KG" for "No go" ("Know go"), and "OW" for all right ("oll wright").

Of all the abbreviations used during that time, OK was propelled into the limelight when it was printed in the Boston Morning Post as part of a joke. Its popularity exploded when it was picked up by contemporary politicians. When the incumbent president Martin Van Buren was up for reelection, his Democratic supporters organized a band of thugs to influence voters. This group was formally called the "O.K. Club," which referred both to Van Buren's nickname "Old Kinderhook" (based on his hometown of Kinderhook, New York), and to the term recently made popular in the papers. At the same time, the opposing Whig Party made use of "OK" to denigrate Van Buren's political mentor Andrew Jackson. According to the Whigs, Jackson invented the abbreviation "OK" to cover up his own misspelling of "all correct."

The man responsible for unraveling the mystery behind "OK" was an American linguist named Allen Walker Read. An English professor at Columbia University, Read dispelled a host of erroneous theories on the origins of "OK," ranging from the name of a popular Army biscuit (Orrin Kendall) to the name of a Haitian port famed for its rum (Aux Cayes) to the signature of a Choctaw chief named Old Keokuk. Whatever its origins, "OK" has become one of the most ubiquitous terms in the world, and certainly one of America's greatest lingual exports (end).

Once again, I'm sure that you Knights might have a different opinion of the origin... and that's OK!

Sir Bowie "have offered more original blogs, but that's OK" of Greenbrair

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Knight Time at March Madness

Knight Time invaded one of the sectional March Madness tournament venues in Dayton, Ohio this past Friday.

Being the consummate last minute planner, balls to wall
(in this case balls to the hall), if not now then when kind of guy, Sir Hook took advantage of the games proximity to his business trip to Columbus, Ohio, and with a little help from his friend, Bruce Pearl, Head Coach of the Tennessee Vols, commandeered a 5th row floor seat in the corner of the action!

Bruce, formally head coach of the University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles in good ole' Evansville, Indiana, is now a famous multi-million dollar Division One sensation! Sir Hook used to help him market his coach's show for nine years in Evansville. Now, he's just a friend and a fan.

Still crazy and true to his character, Coach Pearl has taken Tennessee by storm with his infectious personality.

Recently divorced, he is also enjoying playing the one-on-one game again. His ex-wife has opened a beauty parlor in Knoxville that she has named, "Alimony".

Unfortunately the Vols couldn't pull off the win and Bruce, not being one to be happy with defeat left Sir Hook with tickets to Sunday's games, which he will enjoy before returning to Columbus for his final meeting on Monday morning.

So tonight we'll raise a glass to Sir Bruce and celebrate life one moment at a time!

Sir Hook Who's Loving the Madness of Warrick

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I think, therefore I am.

I am, therefore I think.

Therefore, I think I am, because I am able to think, I think?

Or, am I really thinking?

Maybe...maybe not?

Maybe I'm just spewing recycled information fed into my brain?

Or...maybe I'm really thinking as a unique individual...but...
where did I learn my language to express what I think?

Are these words I use to express what I think unique to me, to my race, to my nationality...or do they correctly communicate regardless of age, race or creed?

Maybe communicating without words is the purest form of expressing thought?

All this thinking is making me want to start drinking....
...I think!

What do you think when you drink?

Sir Hook a Son of the Great I Am and Starting to Think A Lot Like Andy Rooney of Warrick

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Thought Therefore I Were

With the tragic and sad demise, the other day, of Natasha Richardson, to a simple knock on the head, ....(The UK is very sad today, as the Redgrave Family , especially to the theatre-goers amongst us who have grown up with them, are regarded as a kind of dynastic "Royalty ")... it highlighted again the soft and delicate nature of the grey cells humming away in our noggins.

It also by way of initial conversation with my father, re-ignited the age old debate in our family, about the nature of the brain., but more specifically the Mind.

In my College and early working life I worked extensively in Micro-Pathology, and even all those years ago we were adept at using Liquid Nitrogen to freeze cancer cells and then at a later date sometimes years later....unfreeze them and use them, with all their capabilities still intact...

I got as far as thinking that, if you are frozen, you are not dead, neither are you alive, but that there is a third state of bio-thesis.

Over the years my father, took to railing against any rich person, who showed up in the news saying that they wanted to be frozen before they die, if they were terminally ill, in hope that in the future , science would have found a cure to whatever was ailing them.

His main plank of argument was that they may well be able to be unfrozen, but that they would have lost their mind, or who they were. as he figured the mind is sepa
rate from all the other functions, that our brain is geared to do, with its highly tuned network of nerves and sensors all over out body.

The problem is, that of all the things we have debated...this is always the one thing..(.other than what happens after death... which in a way is connected with the "is the mind separate, and does it float off to inhabit something else theorem " )...that I never successfully have an opinion on, because I've never worked out myself, if the mind is separate from the main body... or whether the lovely thinking that I do... is just a by product of having a wonderfully developed brain. The former would mean that my father could be right... whereas the latter, if correct, would mean that when we die then everything just goes as the same nothing as before we were born... i.e.: no wandering about in fluffy clouds with harps.

Often when I fly back from America, especially right across America... it takes several days, to get my head straight... and while I kind of know its jet lag, it does feel sometimes as if you've left your mind behind travelling at speed, and it finally catches you up, coming back on its tiny connecting piece of elastic.

I'm not even sure why I am even typing this out......but I just thought I'd throw it out into the KMSA forum, ( as it is what we sort of invented the whole thing for..) ..and wondering if any knights or ladies out there, knew of any of the latest essays, thoughts, or books on the subject......any web sites you know of, to save hours of time trawling around in the ever growing heap of nonsense online.

Preferably layman ones...and also ones that don't start simply heaping it all on God and such-like... tho I realise that might be a trap... and indeed the mind is the voice of god etc etc... I am more concerned at the moment with the simple detached or connected nature of the mind and the brain. ..ergo is the brain just a warm host for this thing or generating it.

There.... you can tell I have just been working hard for 12 hours straight, and that all I want to do now I am back off the road is just blob in front of the puter and type. and type and type...

Its just my mind catching up... and of course feeling sad for the Redgraves.

Sir Dayvd ( who does in fact need a beer ) of Oxfordshire

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Search of the Perfect Leader

I have shared on many occasions my love for the works of Paulo Coelho. In addition to his many books, he also has an online newsletter "Warrior of the Light Online". Below are some very interesting and thought provoking words he shared in a recent newsletter. I share them, because not only would I have written it almost exactly as he, but because I believe he hits the root of the problem we have in our society today about non-tolerance for diversity. Enjoy!

In search of the perfect leader

A reader sends me a questionnaire in which he presents the profile of three world leaders who lived in the same period of history, and asks if it is possible to choose the best one using the following data:

Candidate A was associated with witchdoctors and often consulted astrologists. He had two mistresses. His wife was a Lesbian. He smoked a lot. He drank eight to ten martinis a day.

Candidate B never managed to hold down a job because of his arrogance. He slept the whole morning. He used opium at school, and was always considered a bad student. He drank a glass of brandy every morning.

Candidate C was decorated a hero. A vegetarian, he did not smoke. His discipline was exemplary. He occasionally drank a beer. He stayed with the same woman during his moments of glory and defeat.

And what was the answer?

A] Franklin Delano Roosevelt. B] Winston Churchill. C] Adolf Hitler.

So what then is leadership? The encyclopedia defines it as an individual’s capacity to motivate others to seek the same objective. The bookstores are full of texts on this theme, and the leaders are normally portrayed in brilliant colors, with enviable qualities and supreme ideals. The leader is to society as the “master” is to spirituality. This, however, is not absolutely true (in either case).

Our big problem, especially in a world that is growing more and more fundamentalist, is not allowing people in prominent positions to commit human mistakes. We are always in search of the perfect ruler. We are always looking for a pastor to guide and help us find our way. The truth is that the great revolutions and the progress made by humanity were brought about by people just like us – the only difference being that they had the courage to make a key decision at a crucial moment.

A long time ago, in my unconscious, I changed the word “leader” for the expression “warrior of light”. What is a warrior of light?

Warriors of light keep the spark in their eyes.

They are in the world, are part of other people’s lives, and began their journey without a rucksack and sandals. They are often cowards. They don’t always act right.

Warriors of light suffer over useless things, have some petty attitudes, and at times feel they are incapable of growing. They frequently believe they are unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

Warriors of light are not always sure what they are doing here. Often they stay up all night thinking that their lives have no meaning.

Every warrior of light has felt the fear of joining in battle. Every warrior of light has once lost faith in the future.

Every warrior of light has once trodden a path that was not his. Every warrior of light has once felt that he was not a warrior of light. Every warrior of light has once failed in his spiritual obligations.

That is what makes him a warrior of light; because he has been through all this and has not lost the hope of becoming better than he was.

That is why they are warriors of light. Because they make mistakes. Because they wonder. Because they look for a reason – and they will certainly find one.

Thank you Paulo!

Sir Hook the Warrior of Light of Warrick