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Halcyon actively monitors change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter at the beginning of 2023 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

A Mundane Comedy will be Dominic Kelleher's new book, published in early 2023. Extracts will appear on this site and on my social media accounts the final quarter of 2022. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

France

On Exercise

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While most people start running for the physical benefits of the sport, it can also be hugely beneficial for your mental health. A study on 14,000 people undertaken by Asics(opens in new tab) during the pandemic has found that 82% of UK runners say running helps to clear their mind, and 78% feel more sane and in control as a result of running.

On Medieval Provencal

Provencal

 

Now online, Paul Hillier et al's Proensa interpretations of the troubadours have long enchanted me - although perhaps not some of the dinner party guests on whom I inflicted the vinyl version at various times in my more earnest past!

Is it really as long ago as the 1980s that I specialised in Medieval Provençal and wrote my dissertation on the amour de loinh of Peire Vidal? Rupert Gordon and I were the only students at Edinburgh to choose the option in many a year (perhaps since the 1950s, judging by the stamps in some of the books I borrowed!), and having been back in the George Square library for the first time since then relatively recently, I wonder whether anyone else has borrowed any of these books since!

On Now

Now

 

Dave Pollard wrote thought-provokingly of the "Now Time”, a multidimensional recursive eternal present familiar to aboriginal cultures the world over, and recalling Friedrich Nietzche's desire to be a "yes-sayer" to each moment.

This recalls Camus' celebration of Sisyphus starting afresh each day and more recently, Eckhart Tolle's "power of now".

On Albert Camus

Camus

 

I was first attracted by Camus, "prince of the absurd" when I was 16. Camus still fascinates me, now well beyond what would have been his 100th birthday, and 60 years after his premature death in a car crash in Burgundy (it's said that he was found with an unused train ticket in his pocket - he'd planned to go by rail to Paris to rejoin his wife and children, but had accepted at the last minute the offer of a lift from his publisher).

What's Changing? - Europe

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Please see below selected Europe-related change from 2015 and earlier, For change from 2016 onwards, please see What's Changing? - Economics.

 

December 2015

 

On Marcel Proust

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I realised that the essential book, the one true book, is one that the great writer does not need to invent, in the current sense of the word, since it already exists in every one of us — he has only to translate it. The task and the duty of a writer are those of a translator - Marcel Proust

After the BBC opened up its archives of In Our Time, I came to the episode about Marcel Proust.

On Vincent Van Gogh

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To commemorate the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death, the artist’s birthplace of Zundert, a small town in the Netherlands near the Belgian border, dedicated its annual flower parade to his work and art.

Meanwhile, Van Gogh's paintings have been brought to life using 3D animation and visual mapping by Luca Agnani Studio.

On Echoes Halcyon In Kal… 20 June 2013

Researchers have unearthed what are probably the only surviving recordings of the voices of Virginia Woolf, from 50 years earlier, of Alexander Graham Bell (below) and from a quarter of a century earlier still, perhaps the oldest sound recording of all, French schoolchildren singing Au clair de la lune.

On Arthur
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Halcyon 18 January 2013

Fascinating In Our Time edition about Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. The Arthurian legend is one of the most enduring and popular in western literature, and and its characters are as well-known today as they were then; and the book's themes - chivalry, betrayal, love and honour - remain as compelling (to me, as to so many others, since childhood).