Tag Archives: Chinese new year

365 things I am grateful for #31


Well, one month down, eleven to go. I’ve enjoyed it so far, hope you have too.

My intention for these posts is to highlight just how fortunate I think I am compared to many people around the world and write a gratitude each day. Although we all have our fair share of trials and tribulations to face, whether they be financial, emotional, physical, spiritual or something else, most of us are very lucky indeed.

Should that stop us being ambitious? No.

Should it make us apathetic and resigned to our lot in the world? No, it shouldn’t.

Should it make us stand by while there is injustice in the world? Most definitely not.

But we can still strive for our dreams whilst being grateful for the things we often take for granted.

So, for the day that’s in it, I think I’ll share something Chinese with you.

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The Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu is a philosophical, (and religious), view of the universe. The Tao, (pronounced Dao), means The Way. Lao Tzu decided he’d had enough of society and headed out into the world in about 600 BC.

I’m not a Taoist in the religious sense, but there are a lot of pearls of wisdom in his teachings. The Tao is the ultimate creative principle of the universe. All things are unified and connected in the Tao. The principle of Yin Yang sees the world as filled with complementary forces – action and non-action, light and dark, hot and cold, life and death, etc. The Tao isn’t a god but a way of life. Basically, being in harmony with the universe. (To me, it looks a lot like Buddhism.)

In fact, I bet you’ve come across many of Lao Tzu’s teachings as a lot of them are in common parlance today, such as – A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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Even if you practice your own religion, it’s worth a read from a philosophical point of view.

On that note, Kung Hei Fat Choy, everyone!

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Enter the Dragon – Kris Kuksi


Welcome to There Is No Cavalry 2012, everyone.

I know I’m a bit late off the mark with my salutations but, what with Chinese zodiacs, Julian, Gregorian and Hijri calendars, (not to mention about 50 others), I didn’t think a couple of days hither or tither would be of consequence.

2012 Year of the Dragon

Of course, we are entering the Chinese Year of the Dragon. As you may or may not know, I too, am a dragon. So I’m expecting some pretty extraordinary things from 2012.

First of all, I don’t want to see another episode of the shambolic Heinz Beans & Sausage debacle where, to my horror of horrors, there were only three frankfurters lurking beneath the beans rather than the requisite four.

For that alone, 2011 could be classed as an absolute shocker.

But I’m nothing if not an optimist. So am looking forward to sharing with you all manner of manna from my creative cassoulet.

First up, for your delectation is Kris Kuksi.

Incredibly intricate sculptures on a biblical scale.

The Emperor, by Kuksi

I urge you to click on the images and visit his website. There you will find a veritable smorgasbord of sculptures that you can zoom in and out of to really appreciate the delicate and painstaking detail that you just can’t see from my screen grabs.

For me, they are reminiscent of the Chapman Brothers and, to a lesser extent, Grayson Perry. I don’t mean that in a bad way, as Kuksi’s work appears infinitely more complex. But I haven’t seen them in the flesh like I have with the aforementioned.

What I find extraordinary about Kuksi’s work is the juxtaposition of religious symbolism and iconography with 21st century western greed, imperialism and materialism. (I know, I can’t believe I said that either.)

Below is a detail of The Retreat of Daphne.

The Retreat of Daphne

You can also see drawings and paintings on his site too. But, to be honest, whilst he is obviously a very gifted draughtsman, they don’t really arrest me in the same way his sculptures do.

Right, that’s all you’re getting for today, it’s time for my dinner – All Day Breakfast in a tin. And woe betide anyone at Heinz if these shriveled up sausages aren’t actually handmade by a master butcher from Cumberland.

Keep reading. More posts to follow shortly. (If my ticker holds out.)

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