Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What Mr Lilly thinks of Virgo

Qualities of the sign Virgo   It’s an earthly, cold, melancholly, barren, feminine, nocturnall, Southerne Signe; the house and exaltation of Mercury, of the earthly triplicity.
Places Virgo Signifieth    It signifieth a Study where Books are, a Closet, a Dairy-house, Corne-fields, Granaries, Malt-houses, Hayricks or of Barley, Wheat or Pease, or a place where Cheese and Butter is preserved and stored up. 
Diseases   The Wormes, Winde, Cholicke, all Obstructions in the bowels and miseraics, croking of the Guts, infirmesse in the Stones, any disease in the belly.
Kingdoms, Countries and Cities subject to Virgo   Greece, the south part thereof, Croatia, the Athenian territory, Messopotamia, Affrica, the South-West of France, Paris, Hierusalem, Rhodes, Lyons, Thoulouse, Basil, Heidelberg.
Shape and Description   A slender Body of mean height, but decently composed; a ruddy browne complexion, blacke hayre, well-pfavoured or lovely, but no beautifull creature, a small shrill voyce, all members inclining to brevity; a witty discreet soule, judicious and excellently well spoken, studious and given to History, whether Man or Woman; it produceth a care, understanding, if Mercury be in this Signe, and Moon in Cancer, but somewhat unstable.

-          William Lilly, Christian Astrology (1647)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Greetings, Australian listeners!

This is just to say hello to all you people who hear my daily predictions on Radio Stations in Australia, and to thank you for taking the trouble to click on Julia Parker Astrology.   You were probably disappointed when you saw there were no up to date or extended forecasts, and I’m sorry about that; but I’m experimenting with this new approach and while I put out your daily forecasts for two months recently, don’t feel I’ve got it quite right as yet; but thank you to those of you who kindly sent us emails about them! Until the end of next month Derek and I will be in the UK and being particularly busy; so come October I have plans to get my forecasts under way again, if you see our ‘blog’ keep an eye on any entries related to astrology (or indeed any of our other varied interests!).   Meanwhile I hope to be back in due course and thank you for your patience.   All best wishes from Julia (Parker) – and Derek too!

Back, back, back . . .

The Polperro History Society has produced a marvellous CD of the photographs of all the fishermen in the little village of Polperro in Cornwall in the 1850s or thereabouts – some of the earliest photographs taken in the Westcountry; wonderful old gnarled faces - among them one of my great-grandfather William Jolliff, whose daughter Priscilla married my grandfather William Blatchford in May 1862 – and one of  Priscilla’s brother Charles (great-grand-uncle is it? can’t work it out) lounging about on the quay with some friends – he is on the right, and recognisable as me in younger days, informally dressed!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Did Derek Jacobi write Shakespeare?

I don’t actually much care who wrote Shakespeare’s plays – just love and revere him, whoever he is. But I have to say I think the case against Shakespeare the actor is weaker than the case against any alternative so far suggested by Sir Derek and the other sceptics. Apart from the much-touted arguments against him, is it credible that the company at the Globe and elsewhere could have rehearsed and performed the plays and been deceived into believing their colleague wrote them when he didn’t? Wouldn't he have been consulted about the meaning of this line or that, about stage ‘business’, about the meaning of one of the words he invented? If he wasn’t the author, wouldn’t it have been a case of ‘Bill? - thick as three planks – he couldn’t possibly have written Hamlet. He’s having us on.’? Wouldn’t someone have mentioned that the scripts kept arriving in a plain brown envelope with nobody’s name on it? Instead of which the members of the company – and his writer colleagues and friends Chris Marlowe and Ben Jonson and the rest – were desolated when he died, celebrated him as a great writer, and two of them actually worked on producing his Collected Plays.
No, I think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare, and none of the alternatives convince.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Books, and then books.

'From his earliest infancy he was remarkable for his great fondness for reading, so that when any of his family went to distant markets or fairs, he constantly importuned them to bring him presents of books; which, if they returned home later than his usual hour of going to rest, were always taken up to bed to him; and sometimes when they had been forgotten, his mother had no other means to allure him to sleep but by wrapping a piece of wood in paper like a book, which he would then huig to his pillow till the morning discovered the deception.'

Written about William Shenstone (1714-63) - but might have been written about me! However I hope that the following isn't as true: Lord Kames met Lord Monboddo in the street (about 1780). 'Well,' said Kames, 'have you read me book?' 'I have not, my lord,' replied Monboddo. 'You write a great deal faster than I am able to read.'

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Robinson Crusoe sneezes

Oh, yes - so here it is. The slight mock cold I've had for a few days is now a full-blown one with all the lovely accoutrements - flowing nose, sore throat, sneezes, general fed-up-ness. I've been comforting myself with - what? - Robinson Crusoe, a book I've never read - has anyone read it, these days? - and it's actually extremely readable, sometimes funny, a little over-religious for one's twentieth century taste -It goes to show, I suppose, that few books whose title at least has survived for a couple of centuries is likely not to be at least interesting. And in fact, on a desert island is where I should be, at present.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

We've got attitudes - not nasty ones!

Hi you dancers -young and old.    I've been thinking recently what our beautiful attitude pose is actually saying - yes I do think that many of our ballet positions are actually saying something - I guess you're actually saying this idea is silly!   Maybe in some cases; but the attitude is different.   It also looks  very different depending where we are or were trained!      Look at the position of the Russian dancers. Their interpretation of the pose is far more open, and it is freer.  Putting it simply it is bigger.   It takes up more of our surrounding space.   I think it's saying 'look at me' (Well it would anyway!)  But added to that it goes on 'I'm not going to stay like this for any longer than I have to! I'm really keen and ready to move on to my next enchainment !  It is a  freer interpretation  of the pose, with more built in movement in spite of its stillness.  Now if you weren't - or aren't being - trained a la Russe,  your attitude will be much firmer, tighter and considerably more compact and secure looking,   I think it is saying 'Look at me! I am firm and I can stay here til curtain down if I have to - I don't want to move on until I have to!'   And let's face it, you darlings who have performed the Rose Adagio would identify with that useful concept!.    So I guess what I'm getting at in all this is I'm tending to feel that just maybe these beautiful poses can talk to us very differently from what we have to absorb and master when coming to terms with them physically and emotionally .     They can bring in another totally different dimension.   Well every little helps!  ' Bye for now  Julia