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  • Writer's pictureNigel

More Geese than Swans.......世の中には、 賢明 な人々よりも 多くの愚か者がいる

Updated: Mar 10, 2022


Nobody knows who wrote the text. Maybe it was Sir Christopher Hatton, whose London house the composer used when composing. At any rate, I'm sure that when he composed his madrigal The Silver Swan (銀色白鳥) in 1612, Orlando Gibbons had no idea how famous it would become. If you don't know it, then here is a link

The subject is the legend of the swan who does not sing in her lifetime - only when she dies does she give voice. Wait for the very last sentence: "......more geese than swans now live, more fools than wise....". This strange haunting piece of music seems to reach out to us from across the centuries. Given the times we now live in it makes you pause and take a deep breath.

The poor geese. What a reputation. But they are no fools. Here they were in Frankfurt last week, having found a juicy lawn to nibble in front of the Museum of Applied Arts.

Across the river the cathedral tower rises above the rather mundane post-war appartment blocks....

....witness to another mad spree of destruction nearly eighty years ago. But let's take a closer look at this splendid tower

and the nearby Dreikönigskirche, where I heard my son and a colleague sing some nice Heinrich Schütz last Sunday. From this organ loft. No, I am not attaching a recording - haven't got permission 😅. When I think about it, Schütz must have been around at about the same time as Orlando Gibbons......did they know of each other?


Flags. They seem to hit me in the face these days. They conjure up all sorts of images and emotions - from the modest ship moored in Frankfurt...(dreams of sipping a cocktail on a Rhine cruise?)...... ones made to be seen from far away.......(dreams of 日本? )

It was only yesterday when I was taking a short cut through Langen's commercial zone when these two flags caught my eye...It appears that a high tech japanese company has a site in Langen. Watch the promotional video...

They should had given the voiceover job to me...😂 .

The next flag I saw last week was more of a banner. My calligraphy teacher れなさん designed this for a local Kendo club.....


But I haven't just been looking at flags and geese all week. At the weekend I drove with a friend up to a region of Hessen where I have always wanted to do some walking. Millions of years ago, a volcano left a huge crater in a region known as the Eifel. It's just north of Koblenz, and is now a national park. There is a beautiful lake in the crater, the Laacher See, with an Benedictine abbey on one shore and a restaurant on the other.

After a great walk with scenic views ..........

we thought we needed some Kaffee und Kuchen, コーヒーとケーキ, so opted for the restaurant...not the abbey....😉

Mmmm, not bad. 美味しい。


Good news from Japan this week. The government is allowing foreign visitors in at last. However, tourists are not yet on the list. Now if you look at the normal route of a Frankfurt-Tokyo flight you will see a problem.....

Yes, the direct flight goes straight over Russia. Here is a picture I took somewhere over Murmansk on my last trip......

Apparently the flight is now 14 hrs instead of the usual 11, and goes via Alaska.


There is a phrase in English "from the sublime to the ridiculous". I will have to ask my teacher, みきさん, how to transalate this into japanese. It's always difficult with idioms like this! but here are two things, both left behind today by members of my family. The first one was on the piano (sublime)............

.....the second one on the kitchen table (perhaps not ridiculous, but rather amusing😀). Say no more......!

I will end this rather disjointed narrative with a picture I took this evening. It's nice that the days are getting longer now and you can have a short cycle before supper.... ばんごはん.....

Thank you for reading this. If you want to get the latest post, then fill in the subscribe form at the top of this page. この投稿を読んでいただきありがとうございます。 新しい投稿のお知らせを受け取りたい場合は、上部の購読フォームに記入してください。 ありがとう!Nigel.

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