Month: February 2015

გალაკტიონ ტაბიძე Galaktion Tabidze. როგორ თოვს!

I am still trying to learn Georgian. Some months ago I learnt Tabidze’s poem “ქარი კჰრის” by heart. Revisiting the poem of 10 lines. I find I have forgotten a lot.

ქარი ჰქრის, ქარი ჰქრის, კარი ჰქრის,
ფოთლები მიჰქრიან ქარდაქარ…
ხეთა რიგს, ხეთა ჯარს, ხეთა ხრის,
სადა ხარ, სადა ხარ, სადა ხარ?
როგორ წვიმს, როგორ თოვს, როგორ თოვს,
ვერ გპოვებ ვერასდროს … ვერასდროს
შენი მე სახება დამდევს თან
ყოველ დროს, ყოველთვის, ყოველგან!..
შორი ცა ნისლიან ფიქრებს სწრის..
ქარი ჰქრის, ქარი ჰქრის, კარი ჰქრის!

Galaktion Tabidze: Poems

Galaktion Tabidze: Poems

If we put that into Google Translate, we come out with:

Hkris wind, wind hkris, door hkris,
Leaves mihkrian kardakar …
Rows of trees, trees army, trees bows his head,
Where are you, where are you, where are you?
How rains snows, how it snows,
Gpoveb could never … never
I put it in your prototype
Each time, always, always it is! ..
From a distance, the sky overcast stsris thoughts ..
Hkris wind, wind hkris, door hkris!

This as you see doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Innes Merabshvili translates the title as “Whirls the Wind”

I was inspired to revisit the poem because of the words “როგორ თოვს” (How it snows!)

Today was the first snow of the winter in Tbilisi, it is usually February that has the snow.

როგორ თოვს

როგორ თოვს

Yesterday, I went to the theatre with my wife and two granddaughters Ana(6) and Elene (2), Elene wouldn’t stop crying so Khato took her home. I was left with Ana watching a Georgian play, of which to my shame I understood very little. At the interval, I thought the play had ended and was looking for the exit, when Ana explained it was just a break.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Generic

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Depth.”

"Depth" "Converge" "Descent"


I took this photo today descending the escalators of the Tsereteli Metro. This is my second entry for “Depth” and is taken in almost the same place as my first. This photo could also be used for recent challenges Converge and Descent and even Express Yourself… and maybe Friday’s challenge, too whatever that will be…

Betty Zapat and Yorrick

In December 1996, I was in Corsica looking after my first wife, who was ill. At this time I started a comic strip called “Betty Zapat and Yorrick“, from then until the middle of 1998, I created 127 episodes. Most of them have disappeared but I have rediscovered a few of the early episodes that I scanned and put onto a memory stick.

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 10

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 10

This episode features most of the major characters. It started with a cat “Betty Zapat” (which was an anglicized version of the French “Betises à Pattes” (which meant a silly thing with paws)). The cat was modelled on our own cat “Feline”, who was always doing crazy things. Her sidekick was Yorrick, modelled on a toy fox cub, named after Hamlet’s friend. There was also Rugbyman, a rugby playing macho man, Carolina, the sensible one, she wore a headband and played rugby, too. Trev was a baldheaded fashion victim, Eddie was a human sized rugby playing elephant.  Carolina had a dog called Fang, which looked vicious but was friendly.

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode. 11. The cast meet Fang

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode. 11. The cast meet Fang

It is giving me goosebumps seeing looking at these closely again after nearly 18 years. When I drew the following episode, back in 1997, I hadn’t been on the internet….

Betty Zapat Episode 21: Surfing

Betty Zapat Episode 21: Surfing

Comic Strip, Cartoon

Reading “The Diary of the Wimpy Kid” and about its creator Jeff Kinney, has given me an itch to have a go at drawing some cartoons or comic strips again. In the book the protagonist Greg Heffley tries out for the post of cartoonist on the school magazine. He got to work with his buddy Rowley…

We banged out a bunch of characters real quick, but that turned out to be the easy part. When we tried to think up some jokes we kind of hit a wall.

Back in 1997 I drew a comic strip called “Betty Zapat and Yorrick“, it was to amuse  my wife who was ill at the time, I had a cast of characters and eventually drew 127 episodes. I don’t have them today, maybe I can find a few on a memory stick somewhere. I also drew a strip for a football fanzine the “Leyton Orientear” called “Leyton’s O”, a surreal strip imagining a letter signing up for a football team, about eight or nine of them were published.

I’ve found a few early episodes of Betty Zapat that I scanned and put on a memory stick:

800dpi colour

I seem to have a problem uploading them….this one is upside down…maybe it will be okay for Australian audiences. I think the problem is the files are .bmp files which aren’t allowed for adding. Just looked at WikiHow…to convert .bmp to .jpg… through the paint program….I think I might be getting somewhere…

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 8. Rugbyman is critical of women's rugby and gets no sympathy when he trips and falls.

Betty Zapat and Yorrick Episode 8. Rugbyman is critical of women’s rugby and gets no sympathy when he trips and falls.

I want a new strip, I’m not sure what yet. One idea is “ენოტი და ანა” (Enoti and Ana) based on my granddaughter Ana and her toy raccoon.

ენოტი და ანა

ენოტი და ანა

My favourite comic strips are Calvin and Hobbes, Footrot Flats, Peanuts, Lucky Luke and The Far Side.

It has been dangerous for cartoonists lately with the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. I don’t think I will create a strip around the Prophet Mohammed, it wouldn’t be a sensible idea, and Jesus had better jokes…”did you hear the one about the camel passing through the eye of the needle?” (Mark 10:25)…although it is probably a whole lot funnier in the original Aramaic.

ენოტი და ანა

ენოტი და ანა

Georgian Language Update

February 1: My New Year’s Resolution to learn Georgian hasn’t got too far. I need far greater self discipline, motivation etc…

I have got up to Lesson 13 of Peace Corps Georgia’s Georgian Lessons on Youtube. Lesson 13 is particularly useful with the aspirated and unaspirated letters that cause me so many difficulties. There are five pairs of letters that to me sound the same but are slightly different.

An aspirated sound produces a slight waft of air coming out of your mouth and an unaspirated sound does not.

Georgian alphabet…all 33 letters.

Consider the th in thistle versus the th in this: the former is unvoiced, while the latter is voiced.

aspirated              unaspirated

თ       t                         ტ       t’

ქ         q                        კ       k

ქარი (wind)             კარი (door)

ჩ      ch                        ჭ    t’ch

ფ      p                         პ     p’

ც      ts                         წ    t’s

I’m still struggling with the differences.