Showing posts from May, 2014

Modlin Fortress Tour - Classic Car Club - 18 May 2014

On Sunday I arranged a tour of the Modlin Fortress for the car club of which I am the chairman. It is about 30 kms from Warsaw at the confluence of the Vistula and Narew Rivers. I suggest you have a look at this link as there are some superb photographs  of one of the greatest fortresses in Europe as well as interesting  historical commentary and classic  cars of course. I cannot repeat the material here but it deserves your attention. It was the last chance to see many parts of the fortress before redevelopment wrecks the historical atmosphere and ambiance which will be lost forever.

The Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea

Young Girl from the Trobriand Islands during milamala time I was rather pleasantly surprised to read an article about the exotic Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea yesterday with some superb photographs.  It brought back so many wonderful even joyful memories of the many months I spent exploring the beautiful and peaceful Islands Provinces of the Papua New Guinea in order to write my book entitled: Beyond the Coral Sea: Travels in the Old Empires of the South-West Pacific (HarperCollins London 2003) The great Polish ethnologist Bronislaw Malinowski studied these islanders and inspired me with his superbly written book  The Sexual life of Savages. H e is   one of the great geniuses of modern times and scarcely mentioned these days.  If you are interested in further reading on the Trobriand Islands my book covers this fascinating region in great cultural detail.  The island provinces are a true paradise, seldom visited owing to the unfortunate prejudic

Daniil Trifonov - Filharmonia Warsaw - 7th May 2014

I am afraid I was so disappointed in this keenly anticipated recital I cannot write about it at the moment with any degree of detachment. Too emotional. You know how lyrical I have been about his playing in the past. Just look at some of my past postings in the archive on this blog. All I will say is that there were some beautiful things, moments of finesse and nuance (flashes of the pianistic genius I remember) but also a large number of seriously unacceptable aspects of his interpretations (particularly in the Schumann) and an exaggerated display of keyboard virtuosity. I always considered  he was above this type of thing. He played Debussy Images Book I Nos:1 & 3, Chopin Preludes Op.28 and the Schumann Symphonic Etudes Op.13 plus sundry unfortunate encores. Much of the time he seemed out of control like a young thoroughbred stallion let loose in a field in spring. I really do not want to go into details - it is just too painful. The glorious tone emerged  occasion

Most Recent Antics

The Russian Antonov An-2 which first flew 31st August 1947 and the perfectly in period 1949 MG TC with yours truly MM at the wheel  May Day 2014                 I have not been inhabiting the world of culture for a few weeks but indulging my other passion of motoring and finishing various writing projects. The biography of Edward Cahill the pianist is almost complete. Details of my motoring if interested can be found at Also I have yet to write up my family Easter experiences. I am also in the process of putting together another submission to the Australia Council for a grant to write an account of my great-uncle-in-law and his fighting during the Gallipoli campaign based on his diaries of the time. *However Daniil Trifonov is playing in Warsaw on Wednesday evening May 7th so I shall certainly be giving an account of his much anticipated piano recital