Convict and Pim

This was another early attempt at aquarium filming. This convict cichlid was bought initially in an attempt to breed with a sajica, but they all turned out to be males. I no longer believe any fish shop with promises a female cichlid, They all sell you males as females, they are like Svejk with the dogs.

After the sajica was no more, the convict lived with this Pimelodus fasciatus, which was a good match for it, being a lot bigger. That pim died only late this year after living in my tanks for about 4 years. I first bought it from a tank of much bigger cichlids in a shop where it had been roughed up a bit. At the start it had a broken barbel, but that fixed itself in time.

Psalms of Davey #3 – Thou Art The Lord Who Art Highly Exalted

This is the third of my cycle of ten Hymns, called “The Psalms of Davey”. They are being reproduced in a special category on this blog one after another. In only one case is the tune my own (that’ll be number ten). In other cases, please follow the links to get to the midi for the tunes, courtesy of


Words Uncle Davey, Voronezh, Russia, 1985. Music Alexey Fyodorovich Lvov Tune name “Russian Hymn”, also known as “The Tsarist national anthem” – the pre-Revolutionary Russian National Anthem. This is one of the finest national anthems in the world and not currently used as an anthem by any country, but the first two lines of the verse will be familiar from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture, where it is mixed with the crash of the cannon and snatches of ‘La Marsellaise’ to produce one of the most evocative pieces of classical music ever composed. At present, Russia, being a republic, chose after the dismantling of the Soviet Union by the power of God and the prayer of the Church, to retain for itself instead of a Tsarist hymn, the old Soviet anthem known as “Soyuz nerushimy” but with new, pluralist words. The Tsarist hymn is not even widely known among the youth of Russia today, the most the man in the street is likely to remember are the three opening words; “Bozhe, tsarya khrani!” (“God save the King”) To which I can only say that the Tsar of all the Russias now cannot be saved by God. For God himself, the LORD Jesus Christ, is Tsar of all the Russias and of all earthly and heavenly dominions, and Vladimir Putin, who is to my mind a very good President for the Russian Federation, is but an instrument in His hands. So the best use for this majestic piece of music is as a hymn to God. It is widely sung in English speaking Churches throughout the world to the hymn “God of the covenant, triune Jehovah”, and also for “God the omnipotent king who ordaineth” which are both much finer hymns than this is, but nevertheless, maybe this will catch someone at the right mood and be a source of comfort or inspiration.

Thou art the Lord who art highly exalted,
Far over earth and Thy creatures below
Thou art the sov’reign of all creation,
Thou standest sure when to ashes we go.

We are rebellious, thou art yet sov’reign
Thou hast our life breath in Thine holy hand
Sinners, we howl in our hard-hearted stupor
Still Thou art king, and Thy statutes all stand.

We are idolatrous, Thou art the true God
Thou art o’erall and Thou rulest in pow’r.
Search, Lord, our hearts, and, saviour, within us
Shatter the brickwork of Babylon’s tow’r.

Thou art almighty, Thou art all-holy
All heathen gods are but ashes and dust.
Thou art the Judge and Thou art the Saviour
Thy works declare Thou art perfect and just.

“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18v25b)

The “Secret” Concert

Secret Concert, three small parts

This is Richard Berkeley’s Nowa Orkiestra Kameralna, or New chamber Orchestra. The piece is from an anonymous Polish composer and is part of Simfonia di Nativitate.

I went on to film much more of the work of the NOK and it will have its own section on this blog. The memory card at this time was tiny – I could put only 4 or 5 minutes on it then unlike the 1 or 2 hours I can film today. However, the short clip here just gives a hint of the magic of their Christmas concert in 2005 in the Reformed Church on ul Solidarnosci, Warsaw.

The second bit is a piece I still cannot identify – please add if you know it

Here is the third bit I took. Some of “My country childhood” by Vaughn Williams.

This was, as with everything so far, taken with my now defunct Fuji Finepix. An excellent camera while it lasted, with just a few shortcomings, but with lovely sound as you can hear.

For those interested in visiting this Church building, one of a handful of impressive protestant places of worship in Warsaw, you can see it in the centre of the below map…

Eaten like a true Belarusian…

This is pretty much George’s first solo appearance on the channel. He doesn’t do that much, but he can be very amusing in his own way. There was something cute about the way he was eating those chips. We had a chip maker for a short while, but then it broke, after using it for less than a dozen times. The chips were very good while they lasted.

The Czech word for chips, by the way, “hranolky”, I used to just take at face value, but recently while developing my goldlist I discovered that literally it means “little prisms”, which is quite an original term for them.

Sonnet about David

I search the marches of my mother-tongue, 
A fitting form of sound and sense to find,
And search the vaults of meaning in my mind
To draft a verse that David might have sung.

For David, that sweet psalmist of the Lord,
Was called a man made after God’s own heart,
And this it was that sanctified his art;
That he loved God and dwelt upon His Word.

However clever be the poet’s strain,
The assonance and structure, so sublime,
How fine the rhythm, excellent the rhyme,
‘Twas none but God that gave the poet’s brain.

So let this lesser David also be
After Thine heart, and raising praise to Thee!

(29th November 1988 & 16th April 2000, Hemel Hempstead and Warsaw)