Month: August, 2013

jan svankmajer

our czech hosts introduced us to the wonderful word of jan svankmejer. i came across him in my research for my dissertation on a czech surrealist novel, but didn’t have time to investigate and then forgot all about him. his work is funny and strange and done with no special computer effects – just animation. these two on food are particularly great.



czech point

internet has been so sporadic for so long. i’m working on a vineyard in the czech republic and the summer seems to have flown by.



the last weekend we had a wine tasting with over 20 different wines and at the end of the night our host sliced the top off a bottle of sparkling wine with a dagger. apparently it is a necessity with this type of wine.

the 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared

this book was not at all what i expected it to be, for which i am glad. it was extremely refreshing. i was expecting a sweet book about an old man who maybe went to the park for a day, fell in love and then died – nice but fairly normal. however this book did not pan out at all like that.

the writing style was unusual and humorous and the wonderful protagonist allan’s singular way of thinking and views on life made this book a complete joy to read. it was a big breath of scandinavian fresh air. the story unfolds in two parts alongside eachother; one part details what happens to allan after he climbs out the window, the other part charts his extraordinary life from birth until it catches up with the present day. the idea of climbing out the window and running away is one that i think appeals to lots of people, i feel slightly like that’s what i’m doing at the moment. having a 100-year-old protagonist who does exactly that and succeeds in having more adventures and finding happiness well past the age that people are ‘meant’ to makes this story a brilliant and wholly uplifting one.

this has to be one of my favourite sets of photographs ever. it combines my love of japan, old people and cute animals.