Rocking Horse Reminiscences

Baby Rocker

This rocking horse was my kids’ favorite toy, until it was so used up it was beyong repair. Bought when we lived in Moscow but brought back to Poland in my Jeep, it was with us for about 4 years and served both Tanya and Sophie (George didn’t fancy it it so much) and now what remains is the memory – in the form of this clip.

In the beginning it used to neigh when you stroked the mane, but as you can imagine that was about the first thing that went the journey.

Most of the children born in Europe and America today will never have the luxury of a cuddly horse to rock around on, as the Health and Safety Officials of these nanny states will rule against them on grounds that a child could fall off them backwards. Even on this film some wise guy made the comment that he thought my daughter was swinging too far back. In the near future they will probably want to take into care homes and foster homes kids whose parents wantonly gave them a rocking horse like this to play on. Never caused any tears in my household, that’s all I can say to that. The scratches it made on our Afzelia wood floor whenever it made its inexorable way, nudge by nudge, off the rug are still visible, but I’m not bothered about that.

A fish with a mouthful!

Geophagus hondae mouthbrooding

This is the same tank as you saw the Megalichthys in and in fact these Geophagus hondae were breeding while the catfishes were in there with them, but because of their great mouthbrooding ability, they didn’t lose many of the fry.

You can see the full chin and cheeks being a dead giveaway that she has a lot of babies, which we will see in another clip.

The species used to be called Geophagus steindachneri, but that was considered a bit of a mouthful in itself and so it got shortened to ‘hondae’, since Honda was actually Steindachner’s favorite motorbike.

"Ja, ja. Zose vere ze days!"

Here we see the old Austrian ichthyologist himself reminiscing about riding his Honda bike in and out of Harvard Yard making as much noise as possible at two o’clock in the morning and waking up all the undergraduates, as well as Louis Agassiz.

Franz Steindachner, incidentally, would have made a great mouthbrooder as his copious beard would have provided additional cover for the fry as well as looking serious and this warning off predators.

And that’s another thing we don’t get to do in YouTube, either, and that is add still images next to the videos.  This one is from Wikipedia, so it has the GNU licence.

Megalichthys thoracutum male in breeding frenzy

Megalichthys

This Megalichthys male was in the mood for breeding, but in fact I never got them spawning back in that tank. This was in the old flat before we moved to our own place, but had less space. I must try this fish again as it is one of my all time favorites.

Swallows learning to fly

Flying lesson

This was taken in a courtyard in Katowice just off the old area at ul Kopernika, where the swallows were being given their flying lesson by the parents. They go around and around screaming at each other, and when they’ve got the hang of it, then it’s off to Africa they go, and that’s all the induction they get before needing to make one of creation’s epic journeys. This is still one of my early attempts. these days I’d have enhanced the sound, and got them going round a few more times and in slow motion, but back when this was made I hadn’t even used Windows Movie Maker. No Titles, no cutting, no nothing, just the way it came off the camera, like all the ones in the “early attempts” session on Huliganov TV.

Habemus Presidentem!

He's got the whole continent in his hands

Habemus Caesarem! Ave! Ave! Ave!

The white smoke has risen over the Atomium, and the Holy Roman Empire has its Caesar once again, and fittingly one from the province of Beneluxus, which started the whole thing off in the first place by pacifying the tribes of the Belgae, the Low Rhenish-Franconians and the Luxurians and forming a mini-union of peoples, which was destined to grow and grow over subsequent decades, taking over the Roman Empire and in turn being assimilated into it in a way that this Hermann’s arguable etymological forebear Hermann Arminius, two millennia earlier, could only have dreamed of. Finally Hermann has taken the Empire.

Even more fittlngly, this new Caesar is a poet, after the honorable tradition of the Caesar poet Nero, whom we can even say is a type of Rompuy. This New Caesar combines in his surname elements both of a Romulus and of Pompey, the lost treasure of the Roman Empire.

This newly elected (only not by the people, there’s the snag – in fact the old Caesars probably were the product of more democracy than we now have) vicar of Nimrod on Eutopian soil, the man whom fellow Bilderberger Kissinger can now ring up for a cosy chat, or tell Obama to, Mr Hermann Van (note aristocratic Van) Rumpy-Pumpy and his blue-blooded Baroness boiler counterpart, Catherine Ashtonne, are now going to take us into the next chapter of the sorry history of this continent. Are we supposed to get up and cheer for the fact that these two, whom not of the readers of this blog were ever given the chance to vote for the office, are now the most powerful pair of politicians in the world, presiding over the largest economy governed by one president? I’m not cheering. I’m weeping. You may wonder why Obama isn’t weeping suddenly to be displaced as Numero Uno Del Mundo by some chinless haiku-writing wonder from Eutopia? Because he’s in on the deal, that’s why. They are all working for the same masters.

The new European dream seems to be summed up in the fact that every body, regardless of how bad they look, can become President and first laide-y, as the French would have it, as long as they have either a baronetcy or an aristocratic surname. No elitism here. Oh no.

So, to celebrate the (heh) election of this new Poet President of Europe, I’d like to write a special poem in honour of my new state representative, that I didn’t get a vote for.

Here goes:

President Elect?
As in “we choose our leaders”?
I remember that!

If you can do better, please leave your haiku tribute to our Neo-Nero from the land of Samsonite, Brel and Jean-Claude van Damme and his royal consnort the Baroness of Upholland, who is no oil painting even in the Flemish school, in the comments box.

Please no haikus involving “Rumpuy Pumpuy” or any such puns as they are too obvious. I already did some of them myself but edited them out as not being worthy. Anyway, I can’t really see it, can you?