By Jennifer Ann DAVIES

NCWQ Arts and Letters Adviser



Humans search for Truth and Beauty

In the Arts

In the Ordinary

In Myth and Magick

On Foreign Shores

Within the Self

And in Each Other!!

Jennifer Ann Davies



A snapshot set in country Australia, written by Glenda MILLARD in “The Naming of TISHKIN SILK” – ! A story of loss, friendship, family and fun!

Main characters, Griffin and his friend, Layla, had made and worn crowns of small, white daisies, which finally began to wilt….even so “…Nell recognised royalty when she saw it and was quick to stand in their presence.

‘Good afternoon, Your Highnesses,’ she said, with a graceful curtsy, ‘may I introduce myself?’…” Nell was Griffin’s gram, but his friend, Layla, stood speechless with surprise at Nell’s appearance!!

“…She wore green rubber dishwashing gloves right up to her elbows, with red fingernails painted on the ends and lots of sparkling bead bracelets over the top of them. On her head was a magnificent, silver tiara decorated with glass rubies, which she had borrowed……..for the occasion. Her long black skirt trailed behind her, showing only the toes of her elastic-sided boots.

‘I am Nell, your Fairy Godmother,’ she said….as she took from her deep pocket a long, slender piece of silver-frosted dowel with a glittering star attached to one end and tapped each of them lightly on the shoulder with it.Then she addressed the crow (family pet) – ‘How splendid you look in your yellow ruffle, Lord Zeus. It flatters your dusky complexion…” p.51 Griffin, of course, has uncommon courage and the heart of a lion!! (Cairns, Australia.)

THE BOOK OF TEA – Tenshin Okakura

“Tea began as medicine and grew into a beverage……Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence….It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.” (Tokyo, Japan.)

SOCRATES NOW – Solo performer: Yannis Simonides

This performance captures the essence of Socratic ethics, in his famous defence when he went on trial for his life! Members of the audience will discover Socrates’ humour, wit, cutting logic and essential ideas on virtue, justice and civic duty!! This solo performance leaves us with the question – “IS Socratic thought and action applied in our world today?” (Athens, Greece.)

GLOBAL WRITERS – FLUID IDENTITIES – International New York Times

“…Many people often seek to categorize authors by language or nationality, yet many writers seek citizenship only in the republic of letters…” Elaboration International New York Times, June 20-21 2015 p.1 and via the Academie Francaise (France).


A strong following for Kristian Thulesen Dahl, leader of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party – (London, UK and Copenhagen, Denmark.)


Stone houses designed by Venetian and Genoese architects are still well preserved and beautiful on the Greek Island of HYDRA! – Some claim that they can still feel the aura of the grand musician, Leonard Cohen in the fishing village of Kamini, where he apparently lived for some time!! (Hydra, Greek Islands.)


Major art works and artefacts preserved in an almost-secret spot!! – We say and write Nauplia, in language English – In Greek, this beautiful seaside village is NAFPLION! – after many trudging the Acropolis and hearing the new Acropolis Museum promoted, I was wonderfully surprised to learn that Nafplion has, in fact, a stunning archaeological museum, said to be the ‘second best’!! –

It is impossible, however, to miss the beautiful preserved works anywhere in Greece or the Greek Islands! – Walking through the dust and dirt of many sites, the mixture of olive trees and eucalypt was curious….apparently there is an excellent symbiosis between these species and they excel, in this relationship, in the hot, dry places of the ancient greek gods!! – The olive tree is as intelligent as mangroves, I must add, for it turns the very deep green side of its leaves to the sun when in need and then turns the silver side, which acts as a deflector, when the sun’s rays and heat intensify! This is particularly evident in the hinterland of Epidavros, where there are the ‘healing; waters near the sanctuary of Asklepios – the most brilliant centre of healing in the ancient world – arching back to the prehistoric period. (Nafplion, Sparta, Epidavros, Greece.)


Beauty, art, dust, olives, eucalypt – past Delfi, where Zeus is said to have sent out two eagles to discover ‘the naval of Gaia’ – called by some the Mother – more often recorded, in myths and legends of Zeus, as his Grandmother!! – The two eagles flew over Delfi (Delphi) and where their flight paths crossed over was declared ‘the naval of Gaia’ – THE NAVAL OF THE WORLD – travelling here I learn of some of the alleged influences on the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci – and little surprised the visitor until Cervantes appeared – on the foreshore of a tiny beach, in a tiny village, driving north through Lamia and onto Trikala in Thessaly, longing, by then, for Kalakbaka….

One guesses that this statue was created after the gentleman’s flight from Spain, for all tales are of him still attired in Spanish clothing, having been proudly injured, and there he stands, near a rather large gun battlement, right on the sea wall where the village fishermen clean out their bait nets!! Cervantes “Journey to Parnasses” ( Delfi, Lamia, Trikala, Kalakbaka, Greece.)


I was lucky enough to stay in an area green with forests in Berlin, where the people of Reinickendorf still like to show you the oldest tree – Dickie Marie – an oak of 26 metres with a circumference of 6.65 metres and a diameter of more than 2 metres – claimed to date back to 1192!! – and then one may be directed to the oldest existing inn in Berlin, ALTER FRITZ, 1410: Goethe rested there in 1778…..The housing estates in this western area began as “free clods”, estimated establishment 1895, and these were intended to give workers real estate property and a house, with one famous person who promoted this idea, being the brother of their pioneer of aviation, Gustav Lilienthal….the aviator was Otto……most of their baroque-style, former residences of well-known people and families now belong to the Academy of the Foreign Office, though beautiful little, old cottages, akin to those in Finland, are still preserved in Hermsdorf – a note on some of the tourist brochures – “Natural beauty noted since 1349 and area protected…”

Then…the French Embassy, the E.U. Parliament and a huge bookstore, DUSSMAN, which had part of one of its six floors of books providing English speakers and readers with English translations. I will provide comments on the content of these in a further report, as this is quite lengthened with my little travel-log!! – (Berlin, Germany.)

THE EINSTEIN GIRL – Philip Sington – Vintage, London, 2010

DEMIEN – Hermann Hesse – Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, N.Y. 2000

AUGUST – Christa Wolf – Seagull Books, 2014. This publication was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut India*

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