Of Lords, Orangutang’s and Black Cabs


We Learn by circuit and progress. To ‘ride circuit’  was a traditional judicial custom. Judge would ride specific routes in the network, settling cases in the locality ‘on the hoof’ where evidence was easily obtainable, witness could be assessed on the spot for reliability and credibility of testimony, rather than bringing the case to a centralized location. Lord Monboddo rode everywhere on horse back even the long road from Edinburgh to London, a journey usually conducted by coach. One of his other noted, ‘eccentricities’ (historical anecdotal accounts of Lord M. are prone to cliche and repetition) was on leaving court one day to find it was raining, he placed his wig (a badge of office) in a sedan and continued his journey home on foot , denoting his other activity philosopher. Reading, lord Monboddo reveals an individual with a very distinct sense of humour which is often read in a number of ways by individuals.

Wrote this a couple of nights ago popped into my mind, my son had his foot run over by a taxi in Edinburgh last week. Shattered a few bones nothing too serious but feeling rather sorry for himself. My mind turned to this episode that appears in many accounts of Lord Mondoddo’s life. I noticed the connection retrospectively, I inserted it into a post on something else and wondered why the hell I was thinking and writing about it as it did not fit with the rest of the post. The eccentricity label and its repetition gets some what weary when you read the sources I thought at first that was the reason. Words are entirely from memory not read the accounts its placed in for about four years or longer.


Japanese Artists Impression Of A Scottish Orangutang. Due to the distance of observation a few details may have been confused.


Absorbtion In Christ


St Ides Wish

I will take nothing from my lord, said she, unless he gives me His son from Heaven in the form of a baby to be nursed by me…..

Sing a chorus, girls, the One Who has a right to you’re little tribute: he is in His place on high, though as little Jesus He is on my breast. (1)

Irish 9th cen.? I think the verse captures the emotion and passion of connection, understanding of how intimate and an essential part of peoples lives religion is. These are not objects exclusively for study or cold calculation, they are peoples lives and emotion but it is also a way to understand and connect with very different cultures. Lots that is alien and difficult to grasp about this period in Irish history, but the emotion behind the words does not require much effort to grasp.  This song people discuss emotion and feeling of giving birth, holding life and all the responsibility that comes with that role. A means of discussing and coming to terms with the world and the emotion of being in the world.

Retrospectively add in something I just read which is a very interesting notion.

How do people get so precisely synchronized? By locking in to built-in expressive rhythms that are the same for everyone and that emerge during emotional excitement and engagement. This synchronization is thus not a result of conscious effort at synchrony, but rather, it results from allowing one’s musical actions to be governed by innate patterns of feeling. That is to say, you get the needed precision by playing with passion.

This is a very important point. For Western culture has come to see passion and precision as being antithetical. Precision is about measure and control and so is disrupted by emotion or feeling. The physical reality of music gives us reason to question this. For, if I am correct in my explanation of the magic of the bell, then musical passion enhances musical precision and is not antithetical to it. (2)


(1)K.H. Jackson, A Celtic Miscellany

(2) Bill Benzon, Musicians’  Journal: The Magic of the Bell


Michelangelos Pieta, by Stanislav Traykov, image wiki


I read an earlier version of a post Bill did on this subject and his research has been useful but the correspondence and similarity is drawn from subject I think and observation. I have largely ignored theory until recently working with sources mostly in the raw and learning from trail and error of reading rather than consulting history papers and books on the late 17th century, me own academic training in history was entirely medieval. Now concentrating much more on reading other peoples perspective and synchronizing the raw data with what seems appropriate. An activity I was keen to avoid at an earlier stage although it is impossible to fully escape from you’re own culture and its influence. It is always a factor at play wither noticed or not and data about the world we want to correspond with what we feel about being a part of culture.

Lee Marvin: Learning, Culture, Style

I liked take here on acting, noting method as a style and the underlying technique being the same. Also the way memory gets in the way, when his eyes lighted up at the mention of one German director, reminded me of my own past and training that was drawn from a similar tradition and style with an old school German instructor fortunately not as described in the film. But would like to learn more about the origin of these German methods. We ended up with a German instructor largely due to the war I suspect he had to flee because he was Jewish but many actors and performers had to leave Germany and clearly an influential group. Past gives me the motivation and interest to study this further but looking at it from a very different perspective I have no experience of. Style of movement I was trained in was exclusively for the stage, very different method, the fritz Lang clip a few posts back gives a seriously exaggerated form. Its interesting hearing Lee Marvin speak of the transition from stage to film and learning a whole new different aspect to craft, and the way American t.v and film is breaking new ground and learning from observation of older experienced actors. Also what seems to be a culture clash between German style and American development in film with regard to movement although not certain on that one? One thing I do know is the transition from, German to other parts of the West was a difficult one for many. My teacher never spoke of Germany but use to talk about Israel were he first moved to a lot. Lived through early stages of revolt against British rule and found the violence particularly unsettling or that is at least the impression you got.  These guys were really larger than life figures, people you cant help but remember and certainly Director discussed in this seem to have had the same effect.


Unsychronized Swimming

The Well Of A Worlds End

Personally, peoples motive to write and present evidence in a supportive way, does not particularly concern me. It can be a bit annoying if you do not know what the motive is, but you always note the ‘bendy pattern’ that does not fit with personal observation, experience or perspective. Seeing different sides and perspectives to things is useful. You are not forced to believe everything or indeed anything of what people write. Engagement with debate and open mind seems enough (or just one that will absorb and sort the rest out later I think). Peoples perspectives are fascinatingly different, I like such creative organic structures that branch off all over the place. Its the dispute aspect that is the negative, over attachment and love sickness. The world will no longer turn in the same way unless this love I feel is shared. I must confess to sharing no personal taste for Skeeter Davis music but can understand and connect with the emotion.


Emmanuel Frémiet, Gorilla (Troglodyte gorilla from Gabon) Abducting a Women. 1887

Corrections and Amedments in The Scheme Of Things

Again, That they are Enblems indeed and Parabolical Figures of the Divine Attributes, which they are defign’d to signify; as if they were Signs of Figures of our own, altogether precarious and arbitrary; and without any real and true foundation of Analogy between them in the Nature of either God or Man; and accordingly he unhappily defcribes the Knowledge we have of God and his Attributes by the Notion we form of a ftrange Country by a Map which is only Paper and Ink, Strokes and Lines.

Notwithstanding the main fcope and defign of his Grace’s Sermon is juft…………


Peter Browne, The Procedure Extent and Limits of Human Understanding, 1729

The Good Wife

The Lost and The Found

“Ive heard this story about a man called Somhairle MacDonald. He lived on the mainland. He was rich a rich man, he had all the money he needed. And he used to go out shooting. This day he had been shooting in the hills and he was coming home towards nightfall, and he sat down on the side of a knoll for a rest. And there wasn’t a breath of wind. What should he see but a wreath of mist coming over the top of the mountain facing him across the glen.

He had never seen mist move as fast as that, and this really astonished him when it was so calm. He thought it must be something unnatural. He had heard that shot would never harm an evil thing, so he went and put sixpence in his gun. And the mist was coming within range, and he could see a black shadow in the middle of the wreath of mist. And he fired of a shot at it and the shot went of and the mist…………

The Three Mary’s

Be examining the silent and dumb good wife saved from the faeries alongside the ‘howling one’ and a female ‘animal’ who seems to speak with a human voice. Going to have to spend a very boring few hours going back through posts and constructing a proper referencing system before introducing any more.


Story performed by Angus MacLellan in A.J. Bruford and D.A. McDonald (ed.) ‘Scottish Traditional Tales,’ Edinburgh, 1994.

Feeling, Sensation, Embodiment

Cha Dig as a’ phoit ach an tiot a bhios innte

Nothing will come out of the pot but the steam that is in it


  • The island of ants, from which the men flee because the ants’ intention is to eat their boat

  • The island of tame birds

  • The island of the horse-like beast who pelts the crew with the beach

  • The island of horses and demons

  • The island of salmon, where they find an empty house filled with a feast and they all ate, drank, and gave thanks to God

  • The island with the branch of an apple tree, where they are fed with apples for 40 nights

  • The island of the “Revolving Beast”, a creature that would shift its form by manipulating its bones, muscles and loose skin; it cast stones at the escaping crew and one pierces the keel of the boat

  • The island where animals bite each other and blood is everywhere

  • The island of apples, pigs, and birds

  • The island with the great fort/pillars/cats where one of the foster brothers steals a necklet and is burned to ashes by the cat

  • References
  • Immram (journey) Of Maele Duin, description of the islands from wiki

    Margret Fay Shaw, Folksong’s and Folklore of South Uist, Edinburgh 1986