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So, if you had been there and seen these things, you would have approached this god, whom you now hold cheap, with prayers.

One single post so far this year. What can I say? It’s the cult of Dionysus these days. I have plunged my fennel rod into the earth’s surface and the god has spurted up a ceaseless spring of wine.

I was told a while back that Dionysus wasn’t the right fit for vegetarians like moi as the maenads were in the habit of voraciously tearing apart and eat raw animal meat. Well, let’s just say I proved them wrong – you don’t need to eat meat to be possessed by Bacchus.

Except for work, work and work, I have this year, in addition to the العربية, embarked on the mystery traditions, which seems to have catalysed a sequence of most random events and an endless amount of that Bacchic drink. I have been to my very first literary salon (in Bloomsbury one might add); and spent a dangerous amount of time with a Wiccan high priest; I have attempted to join a community effort to build an orchard for what I suppose I thought would be the-lesser-privileged, am now of the opinion that people can build their own bloody orchards; I have finally been to see Swan Lake (unfortunately tainted by Black Swan and a much too svelte prima ballerina); I have been to hear Richard Sennett talk about the pleasures of co-operation; I have ventured South-of-the-river to meet old men at Irish joints; and ventured down alleyways to meet old men at Soho joints;  found Collier’s Clytemnestra hanging in the Guildhall Gallery; and, most recently, been to seen Master Class with Tyne Daly –  Maria Callas idolatry has now commenced.

Klimt Two Girls with Oleander

“Oleandrin and neriine are two very potent cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) found in all parts of the plant. Red flowered varieties of oleander appear to be more toxic. Oleander remains toxic when dry. A single leaf can be lethal to a child eating it, although mortality is generally very low in humans. The lethal dose of the green oleander leaves for cattle and horses has been found to be 0.005% of the animal’s body weight. The minimum lethal dose of oleander for cattle was found to be 50mg/kg body weight. Horses given 40mg/kg body weight of green oleander leaves via nasogastric tube consistently developed severe gastrointestinal and cardiac toxicosis. Cardiac glycosides that act by inhibiting the cellular membrane sodium-potassium (Na+-K+ ATPase enzyme system) pump with resulting depletion of intracellular potassium and an increase in serum potassium. This results in progressive decrease in electrical conductivity through the heart causing irregular heart activity, and eventual complete block of cardiac activity, and death.”

(From: Colorado State Univeristy)