No More Stan Lee

Just last Friday we watched Dr Strange on dvd down here in Portugal and every time I consider those old Marvel superheroes I am transported back to the Saturday mornings of Spiderman and Iron Man read in the backroom of our house in south Bucks after completing my paper-round and using part of my earnings to buy the comics…

spiderman portugal

All that witty dialogue and great graphics – not to mention the pathos – of those strips made mundane UK days not only tolerable but exciting and worthwhile…

God Bless Stan Lee

PS I have my own theory why the films don’t really work so well: a movie narrative requires character development, whereas a comic character MUST remain the same time after time in order to continually engage the reader… And Stan Lee created these characters quite a while before special FX made films based on them possible at all.

GLYN F RIDGLEY NOVELS

Peace Pact (Pax Cultura)

peace pact banner
The symbol above – which has sometimes been used as the site icon – is The Banner of Peace designed in conjunction with the so-called Roerich Pact, and was designed by the Russian artist of that name (Nicholas Roerich 1874-1947).

‘The Banner of Peace symbol has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past, present, and future. The sacred origins of the symbol, as an illustration of the trinities fundamental to all religions, remain central to the meaning of the Pact and the Banner today.’

ARTICLE I

The historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions shall be considered as neutral and as such respected and protected by belligerents. The same respect and protection shall be due to the personnel of the institutions mentioned above. The same respect and protection shall be accorded to the historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions in time of peace as well as in war.

‘The history of international treaties shows us how many of them were relevant and applicable to the times in which they were signed, but then lapsed into irrelevance. The Roerich Pact, however, has kept its heart and its life, and is linked to the needs of today’s chaotic world as much as ever. In so many countries we see a deterioration of cultural values and a disregard for the right of all cultural treasures to have their own continued existence, forever protected and unimpeded. We see destruction of life, property, and the inheritance of the creative genius of the nations. One can only hope that a greater awareness of the importance of humanity’s cultural heritage will increase, rather than deteriorate. There is no greater value to a nation than its culture.’

‘The Roerich Pact was first agreed to by twenty-one nations of the Americas and signed as a treaty in the White House, in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on April 15, 1935, by all the members of the Pan-American Union. It was later signed by other countries also.’

(from the Roerich Museum website)

GLYN F RIDGLEY BOOKS @ Amazon

27 Countries (count ’em)!

This is the vancar we’re going to set off in.fiat doblo And this blog is now going to become Old School.
When I ask my international language students where the word BLOG comes from they never know – and it’s likely that a lot of us forget – a BLOG is a ‘web log’ – and that’s what from now on – or at least when the trip begins – this blog is going to be…a log put out on the web from the road.
And it’s going to be an amalgamation of sights and sounds and thoughts political, mystical and social that just pass through the blogger’s mind – just as, in fact, this blog was always supposed to be.
It’s going to be a story.
I am no expert in anything – but I am tired of being expertised to by a whole bunch of know-nothings who are out there expounding as though they really do understand what’s what concerning Europe…Well, THEY ONLY SOUND LIKE THEY DO.
That is part of what this blog is all about and always has been – and especially is from now…
Oh, yeah, those 27 countries…I’ve been to Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Benelux, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria – so that’s already over half of them – but that means a lot I haven’t and don’t know about, and I look forward to seeing some of those previously visited countries once again,…
This trip is all coming about due to Brexit, remember, so that by around this time next year I may not – as a UK citizen – be able to visit any of these countries without some kind of pass or visa. (As it happens, I have a way out – a trick up my sleeve – . Be that as it may…)
To start with, we’re taking the ferry to Hoek van Holland and heading north-eastwards…to form a triangle containing Amsterdam, Tallinn and Podgorica. That’s the plan.
First, there’s a whole lot more to organise – like what to do with the house…
In a future blog, I’ll try to give my starting position re Europe and the UK’s imminent departure from within its ranks.

Comments will be very warmly received.

In the meantime, here are some books of fiction I’ve written – all available from local bookstores or online, hardcopy or digital, and none of them particularly expensive.

GLYN F RIDGLEY

A peace packed a.m..!

After a full night’s sleep with no disturbances…
A cup of tea in bed and chat with my beloved about a personal matter which has been bothering her…
A shower. A shave. Getting dressed in freshly-laundered clothes…
A bowl of porridge oats and a handful of nuts and dried fruit. A cup of green gunpowder tea from China…
Sitting in the English mid-February sunshine reading Holger Kersten’s ‘Jesus Lived in India’ in preparation for a visit to that wonderful country soon…
Two years ago – almost exactly to the day – I was involved in a car accident that might well have killed me, while last year I was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening condition (and not for the first time either). And yet here I am sitting on an armchair in my living room enjoying the bright warmth and looking forward to a trip across Dartmoor to the castle ruins in Tintagel where King Arthur is reputed to have had his Round Table surrounded by his knights and the Lady Guinevere.
Some little while ago – during a one-to-one lesson on the very first day of that year – a Russian student made a comment concerning the artist Roerich (he of the Peace Pact contract signed in 1935) and a quick bit of research revealed where he lived at that time in Himachal Pradesh, so that I have wanted to visit the place ever since…
Think: precisely two thousand years ago, before his ministry started in Palestine, Jesus had been studying Vedic texts there and was wandering around the same area we will be heading to.
Myth and legend and reality all bound up in one tiny time frame and space.
Ain’t life just wonderful sometimes…

BOOKS

peace pact banner

[I had the visa application in my hand when news came in that a relative had suddenly fallen ill; therefore the trip had to be postponed. Updated 11/04/18]

My favourite work of art

Pollination Symbol by Julius Bissier (1937)jb

‘[1936-37]…he [Bissier] produces a series of small-format ink works on paper and “symbolic inks” (“Symboltuschen”), which synthesize through elementary symbols the bi-polar constellations (male-female, wave-rock, life-death, protected-threatened) and thus refer as much to myth, philosophy and European mysticism as to philosophical concepts of the Far East (above all, Taoism and Zen).’ – bissier.org/biography

This reproduction of an ink drawing by the German artist has hung on my wall for twenty-five years, and still reveals something new on each viewing.

GLYN RIDGLEY BOOKS