2014年3月31日 星期一

La Danza de la Realidad (The Dance of Reality) (現實, 舞吧!)

Without a doubt, Alejandro Jodorowsky 's La Danza de la Realidad is a mind-blowing film in more senses than one. He is the producer of three films which made him a myth of world cinema, El Topo (1970),  The Holy Mountain (1973), and Santa Sangre (1989). He stopped producing any film after 1990.  This highly autobiographical film portrays in striking images how the director grew up in the atmosphere of Fascist Chile in 1930's.

2014年3月30日 星期日

Avant l'hiver (Before the Winter Chill 冬日危情)

My second film at the HKIFF is a thriller which may be more than a mere thriller" Avant l'hiver(Before the Winter Chill) (冬日危情 ). Paul (Daniel Auteil) an amiable neurosurgeon who is head of the neurosurgical unit and a 60'ish professor of a French medical school with a busy practice at a French hospital who lives with his a wife, Lucie, an expert gardener Lucie (Kristin Scott Thomas) at a beautiful suburban house with a huge garden suddenly starts to receives bunches of roses first at the hospital and then at his house. The roses do not come with any name card! He first wonders why and then gets annoyed. His apparently busy and smooth running life is soon thrown into turmoil. He finally starts to find out who's behind it all those mysterious roses and sees a young lady Lou (Leïla Bekhti) who works at a café close to the hospital that he frequents (who once told him that she was one of his former appendicitis patients when she was a child) buying exactly the same kind of roses that he has been receiving, rushes up to her and yells at her that she should stop annoying him with her flowers and seizes the bouquet that she then has in her hands, and throws them on the ground in a rage but is met with an expression of complete puzzlement and hurt. He feels sorry. The following day, he goes to the café and offers an apology. They got talking. She tells him that she's Lou, a third year art student at the university who practically lives in the paintings she sees in the museums and that her family originally came from Morocco but since an early age, she's been an orphan, her father having left her when she was a child, shortly after which her mother remarried a Texan and emigrated to America but apart from sending her monthly remittances never really cares about her. He feels much better after talking to her. He gives him telephone number and says that he can call her if he wants to.

2014年3月27日 星期四

Eastern Boys (東歐美少年)

The HKIFF has begun for me. It's always a time of rushing about, of expectations, of excitement, of reflection, of surprises and hopefully, not disappointment. My first film is one of quiet, sensitive and intimate observation. The eye of the camera surveys everything, sometimes closing in on the face, on the hands on the body of the protagonists, on the walls, the clocks, the tables, chairs, the the blinds, bed, the plates of food ...but more often follows the scenes and the events which unfurls on the screen from a distance as if they were something general, almost abstract, as if what we see is what we get, mere impressions, without intentions, without plans, without expectations, without judgment.

2014年3月25日 星期二

The colors of Spring. 2 春色. 2


 It's fun ambling from the bottom of the garden to those above.  There's a tremendous variety of flowers, ferns, shrubs, trees.... The air is so fresh. The colors of some of the plants are so vibrant you can almost hear the sap of life sloshing up the capillaries to supply the incredibly complex network of veins and stalks above them just what they need to bloom or thrive.


even when they're past their prime: just as long as they live, they'll never suffer from any lack. The work of Nature, imperceptibly slow, incredibly patient and yet ever uneceasing. Is that not how all good things are produced?

2014年3月24日 星期一

The colors of Spring. 1 春色.1

For a really long time, the weather has been most unsteady. For some reason, the sun never wanted to stay long in the sky. But Sunday showed promise. So I grabbed my camera and off I went to one of my favourite hunting grounds for shapes and colors: blues, red, white, yellow, green and all the colors in between either alone or in combination. To do more practice, I had to crouch,  stand on my heels, bend my body backwards, inch my way uphill and stick my camera between leaves and branches and zoom in and out, focus and click on the shutter. But I was amply rewarded.

Flower at the entrance

2014年3月22日 星期六

The Lucerne Festival Strings--a Chamber Orchestra with a difference

I have been to I don't how many concerts in my life. Occasionally, I would see the conductor and a pianist/violinist or a singer give a light peck on the cheeks in a polite embrace but never have I seen all neighboring players and the leader of the orchestra doing the same to each leader of each section of the orchestra. I saw that for the first time last night. I saw the Lucerne Festival Strings ("LFS")  in action at the City Hall.

1956 saw the birth of this little chamber orchestra, founded by  Wolfgang Schneiderhan and Rudolf Baumgartner in Switzerland (who remained its artistic director until 1988 when Achim Fiedler took over but from 2012 , it's led by Daniel Dodds)  and has since become one of the leading chamber orchestras in the world and been touring the Americas, South Africa, Turkey and other European cities since the early 2000's. It's characterized by one overriding principle: dialogue, not only between the past and the present, between baroque and contemporary  but also between the leaders of a section and its members and between the members with each other amongst themselves. When they play, they don't just look at the "conductor/leader" ( they don't have a non-playing conductor), they look at and listen to whoever is playing opposite and around them. As a result they play with a kind of rapport with each other that's rarely seen. And it shows in the sound they create, not alone but together, as a seamless ensemble. One actually "hears" such impeccable rapport which generates a joy all too visible in the eyes and faces of its players whilst each is playing their own instrument and which somehow increases also the joy I experienced in listening to them. I understand that they have done more than 100 works and many composers have chosen to have their work premiered by the group like those of Frank Martin, Bohuslav Martinu, Sándor Veress, Iannis Xenakis, Krzysztof Penderecki, Herbert Willi, Milko Kelemen and Peter Ruzicka  etc. works commissioned by the LFS and their artistic directors.

Saturday Fun (星期六歡樂)

There are so many ads nowadays about hairsprays, shampoos, lip gloss, nail polish,  skin whitening, "miracle" formulas for reducing waistlines and unwanted muscles dangling behind thighs and upper arms, X-day programme for bust- boosting etc and "fashion" that sometimes I wonder if half the population of the civilized world do not live by the motto: give me beauty or give me death. I shudder to think of all the tortures which those unpredictable creatures called women are prepared to endure just to "appear" more beautiful than they are. But the beauty business may be a source of fun too. 


Monster: Im so ugly. 
Ghost: Its not that bad! 
Monster: It is! 
Ghost: What the hell are you talking about?
Monster: When my grandfather was born they passed out cigars. When my father was born they just passed out cigarettes. When I was born they simply passed out.


Boy: Last night I dreamt I was dancing with the most beautiful girl in the world?
Girl:  Wow.  What was I wearing ?
Boy: She wasn't wearing anything. 


Mary:       My boyfriend thinks I'm so so beautiful !
Martha:    Didn't they say that love is blind ?


John:  I can't understand why people say my girlfriend's legs look like matchsticks.
Jack:  For me, they do look a bit like sticks - but they certainly don't match.


Wife:          I don't think these photographs you've taken do me justice.
Husband:   You don't want justice - you want mercy !


Girlfriend: Will you love me when I grow old and fat and ugly?
Boyfriend: If you'll pardon me were I to tell you what my eyes tell me, I'd say that the growing part does seem entirely unnecessary. 


Mary: Do you think my sister is pretty ?
Gary: Well, let's just say that if were you to pull her pigtail, she'd probably say "oink, oink"

The weather seems to have gone a little cooler and there ain't no clouds in the sky. Have some fun out there this weekend.

Flower Show 2014.(花展 2014)

The Flower Show now seems almost an amateur photographer's annual obligation. It was as crowded as the previous year and it's so difficult to get a good spot to do full justice to some of the flowers there. But...

Never saw this kind of this flower before

2014年3月21日 星期五

Flower Show 2013.3: Begonias...(花展2013.3: 海棠..)

There were other flowers too, of course.

Some grow in clusters of red

Others in purple

 Some in blue: its tiny crystals shimmering  so hesitantly along the edges of its petals

Some closer together

Some in blue and purple and pink

In red, in purple, in blue or in mixed blue, purple and pink, they are all gnawed by the invisible teeth of time. How preciously and promptly should we capture them before time gathers in its grim harvest ?

2014年3月20日 星期四

Flower Show 2013. 2 Roses (花展2013: 玫瑰)

I got a minor shock. After I went to this year's flower show, I suddenly realized that I had only posted one episode the pictures I took at last year's flower show! So here are some more of my practice shots there:

2014年3月19日 星期三

Mang Shan Tour. 3 Stockade of the Ghosts ( 莽山行.3 猴王寨)


The visit to Mang Shan was a really hectic experience. We covered not one mountain, not two mountains but three the same day! And on top of that, a natural history museum. 


This is the entrance to the Mang Shan Natural History Museum

2014年3月18日 星期二

Mang Shan Tour. 2 Stockade of the Ghosts ( 莽山行.2 鬼子寨)


From the top of the mountain, we went downhill to another tourist hot spot, the Stockade of the Ghosts (鬼子寨). The place got its name from a slice of Qing Dynasty history. At that time, the Qing soldiers were in hot pursuit of the army of a rebel called Li Chi Shing (李自成). When they reached a valley of one of its streams which Li had caused to be blocked up, they set up a camp there for the night . But whilst they were sleeping, Li broke the dam and torrents of water came tumbling down amidst the "ghostly" cries resounding from the surrounding hill deliberately mimicked  by Li's rebel soldiers to scare them away. Those not washed away by the floods ran for their lives and never ever returned.

2014年3月17日 星期一

Mang Shan Tour. 1 Tin Toi Shan (莽山行.1 天台山)

Since its introduction to China in the early Han Dynasty, Buddhism has grown deep roots in China. Long after it ceased to animate spirituality in its birthplace in northern India, it has sprouted not only shrubs but almost a forest of temples and monasteries on all the famous and not so famous mountain sides of China or even at their peaks. The ordinary folks worship the Amida Buddha as a "god" who would answer prayers, something which the Buddha has admonished against because for him, the only thing which matters is the dharma and the practices based on it. Others  are attracted by its preaching of the need for purity to be found in silent meditation and contemplation of the illusions of worldly wealth, secular power and political influence. Still others find solace from its teachings on the fickleness and impermanence of human emotions. Those with a penchant for thought find plenty of nourishment in its profound analysis of the nothingness of being and the consequential need for compassion for the less enlightened. But whatever the cause, it's rare that we don't find a Buddhist temple or two amidst the hills of China.

I visited one such hill in China: Mang Shan (莽山), at the northern tip of Quangdong (廣東)Province where it joins the south-western tip of Hunan (湖南)

2014年3月16日 星期日

Iphigenia in Tauris--The Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

Once upon a time, singing, drama, instrumental music were separate genres. The Renaissance Italians combined them and produced the opera which reached its zenith in the works of Richard Wagner. Likewise music and dance used to be done one by one with no story to link them up until at more or less the same time when again, the Italians developed  them together into the mixed genre of ballet. But it had to wait for more than two centuries before it underwent another radical change, developing into something called the dance theatre in post World War I Germany, a form which grew out from the expressionist dance first developed by such choreographers as Rudolf Laban, Kurt Jooss, and Mary Wigman and such students of Jooss as Pina Bausch and Reinhild Hoffman and Wigman (Susanne Linke) who were all influenced by the concepts of alienation and the use of the chorus of such dramatic theorists as Bertolt Brecht and Max Reinhardt who sought a new unity of stage design, music, choreography. We had an example of such a dance theatre at the Cultural Centre in the form of Iphigenia in Tauris by the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

Hector Olivera's Organ Fantasia

Before yesterday, my only regular acquaintance with the pipe organ is its sound in catholic cathedrals and protestant churches and occasionally in the concert hall where a piece of orchestral music features such an instrument. But yesterday, at the concert hall of the Cultural Centre, I had my first concert in which there was no other musical instrument than the organ which some say is the queen of all musical instruments. And we had some one who simply is in love with that instrument. He is Hector Olivera, an argentinian who started  learning music the Buenos Aires Conservatory at the age of 6, entered the University of Buenos Aires for studies in advanced musical studies and has since appeared with major orchestras around the world and more than 20 CDs on classical, contemporary and film music. In addition, he's been the senior improvisional accompanist for the Collegium Musicum in Buenos Aires for 3 years. It was a joy to listen to him as he deftly moved his fingers on the three rows of keyboards and switches on various stops on the left and right of our enormous concert organ as his legs swung left right and centre depending whether the higher or lower bass notes were called into action.

2014年3月15日 星期六

John Mclaughlin & the 4th Dimension in Hong Kong (麥克勞克林與第四空間在港)

The Concert Hall of the Cultural Centre turned electric last night. I don't mean it was lit by electric lights. It had always been so. Neither do I mean that sound from the instruments being played there was electronically amplified. I mean the atmosphere. And the cause of the charged atmosphere was an artist I have heard numerous times on CDs and seen in DVD's or on U-tube: John McLaughlin. But he didn't appear alone. He was joined on the stage by 3 other extremely talented musicians. On the electronic keyboard and drums was Gary Husband. To provide tangible chest-tremors from his powerful bass guitar was a black French musician Etienne M'Bappé and as vocalist and a fantastic drummer, we had the Indian Ranjit Barot. Together they made incredible music.

Saturday Fun

Went to an excellent concert last night by one of the best guitarists around: John McLaughlin, accompanied by 3 other excellent musicians, forming what's officially called a "4th Dimension". Guitarists are often a wild bunch and jokes abound around them. Here're some guitarist jokes

Q: What do a guitar solo and premature ejaculation have in common?
A: You know it's coming and there's nothing you can do about it.

 Q: How do you get two guitar players to play in perfect unision?
 A: Shoot One.

Q: What would a guitarist do if he won a million dollars?
A: Continue to play gigs until the money ran out.

2014年3月14日 星期五

From Hell to Heaven: Peyroux, Kavakos & Pace

The last two evenings are simply unbelievable. In the first, I experienced hell. In the second, I heard heaven.

Madeleine Peyroux is a female jazz singer whose songs and lyrics I loved. So I could be forgiven if I went to her one and only concert at the Cultural Centre the night before last with some expectations. I couldn't be more wrong. It turned out to be an experience I'd much rather forget because it destroyed all my illusions about her. I really don't know what happened. Is it because Peyroux was tired and didn't have the energy to make it an unforgettable experience? Is it because it was so very poorly planned? Or is it that there was no planning to speak of at all? If there's any planning, is it because of poor choice of the sound engineering company or a bad choice of its technician/engineer? Or Is it because the three local violinist, viola-player etc. were not of the right kind? If they were, did they ever rehearse together?

Jazz is a musical form which depends for its success upon the spontaneous rapport between the different players making up the musical group performing on the band stand or the stage. I saw a lead violinist, a second violin, a double bass, a guitarist, a drummer on stage. They were all playing and for Peyroux both playing and singing. Some had a score in front of them, some not. But whatever they were doing, they were not playing together despite their physical proximity to each other. And as if that were not bad enough, the sound engineer/technician seemed to know absolutely nothing about music, let alone jazz music or even anything about the right kind of sound level: the amplifying equipment seemed perfectly posed to fight and overwhelm the screams from teenage lungs run wild in a rock concert. He might have forgotten that he's doing it not at the Hung Hom Sports Stadium but at the Cultural Centre and there were few teenagers. About the only thing he knew appeared to be restricted to how to avoid any "mike-feedback" from re-entering the sound reproduction/amplifying system. I had thought of walking out after the sound failed to improve after the third number. No matter how good Peyroux might be, my mood was completely spoiled by the sound trying its best to pierce my eardrums and from time to time threatening to do them permanent damage.  Peyroux tried to put up a brave face and made some feeble attempts to lighten the atmosphere by her mis-fired jokes which evoked hardly any response worth mentioning from the audience. I felt sorry for her. I felt sorry for myself. But I congratulated myself for restraining my urge time and again to storm out and my unbelievable patience in enduring the ordeal right to the end of the concert and still managing to stay all in one piece. At the end of that rare episode of musical hell, I did not have to revise my initial impression that I could do much much better reverting to listening to Peyroux's CD's.

2014年3月12日 星期三

Budapest Festival Orchestra in HK

Budapest is a very far away city. Not just geographically. As far as culture is concerned, it might just as well have existed on another planet. But not entirely. At least we have a nodding acquaintance with the works of such famous composers as Béla Bartok, Georges Cziffra, Ernö Dohnànyi, Lukas Ligeti and of course Franz Liszt. However, apart from the occasional work by the two last, we don't really get much chance of listening to the music of their music. We got one last week. But not their composers, only their orchestra: the Budapest Festival Orchestra under their energetic conductor Ivan Fischer. They gave two concerts but only on works by Mozart, Bruckner, Borodin, Glazunov and Beethoven. I went to their second, those on Borodin, Glazunov and Beethoven. I was in for a surprise.

2014年3月11日 星期二

Tunisian Tour 14.2 BardoTunisian Tour (突尼西亞之旅14 .2 巴度博物館)


The chief attraction of the Bardo Museum is not its collection of Carthaginian and Roman sculpture but its reconstitution of floor or wall tile mosaics from different ancient Carthaginian and Roman monuments and ancient archaeological sites.


An early  3rd century BCE mosaic found at Hadrumetum ( Sousse) in the House of Virgil, showing the famous Roman poet Virgil surrounded by two muses: Calliopse the muse for eloquence and epic poetry and Polymnia, the muse of pantomime.

A mosaic of various figures grapes, birds, ducks etc.

2014年3月8日 星期六

Tunisian Tour 14.1Tunis. Bardo Museum (突尼西亞之旅14 .1 巴度博物館)


After Nabeul, we're back where we first set foot on this complex country with a complicated historical past going through Greek-Phoenician, Roman-Carthaginian, Arab-Muslim, German Vandal, Hispano-Moorish, Persian-Egyptian, Turkish and French influence : Tunis.

The countryside looks quite green. 

From time to time, we even passed through some fresh green, something you rarely find in the south.

2014年3月7日 星期五

Tunisian Tour 13.2 Cap Bon. Kelibia. Kekouane. Nabeul (突尼西亞之旅13 . 好角. 加利比亞. 蓋赫庫阿勒. 那布爾)


There was a slight change of tour itinerary the day we went to Sousse, such that instead of going there first, we we were taken to first to Kelibia, and then to Kerkouane and only then to Sousse. It didn't matter much but I have never been to any of those places. Kelibia used to be a fortified sea port with a fortress on the hill guarding the harbor . However, we weren't given any time to go up there.

This is the famous fortress overlooking the Kelibia harbor. It had just been renovated. But we did not have time to visit it.

2014年3月6日 星期四

Tunisian Tour 13.1 Cap Bon.Kelibia.Kekouane.Nabeul (突尼西亞之旅13 .1 . 好角. 加利比亞. 蓋赫庫阿勒. 那布爾)


After a night's rest, we were on our way again, heading for the point nearest to Italy, the tip of Cap Bon Peninsula in the Nabeul Governorate in the far northeastern part of Tunisia. We were told that our first stop would be Kelibia, a fishing port with a population of slightly more than 40,000 and home to Tunisia's National Fishing School. The beaches around it are considered some of the finest of the Mediterranean Sea. Kelibia was founded by the Carthaginians as the fortified town of Aspis in the 5th century BC.It's famous for its recently restored Kelibia Fort on a hill overlooking the harbor and its fruity Muscat white wine, considered by some as the best in Tunisia.

We passed through the main streets of a number of small towns. The side of such streets are studded with all kinds of stalls: folksy ladies fashion. Looks a bit like ladies street in Hong Kong except that it's much less crowded and is in a much more pleasant setting and the style of the garments sold. Perhaps a bit like those in some rural towns in India without their dusts? 

2014年3月5日 星期三

Tunisian Tour 12 Sousse (突尼西亞之旅12 . 蘇斯古城)


After Kairouan, we went on to Sousse, another old town on the UNESCO's world heritage site list. Since Souses is a seaside town, the road we took stuck fairly closely to the Mediterranean coast, richer in rainfall.

 For the first time, I found some grazing sheep, some cows and some goats

and lots of market gardening land. Whilst farmers elsewhere separate their fields with earth mounds and trees, in Tunisia, they do so by planting cactus!

2014年3月4日 星期二

Tunisian Tour 11 The Great Basins and the Great Mosque of Kairouan (突尼西亞之旅11. 大池與大廟)


I was lucky. The following day was a bright and sunny day. We visited three points of interest. The first was the site of the two reservoirs built in the 9th century by the Aghafid governors of Kairouan to solve the city's problem for the supply of fresh water..  

 This is the first reservoir that now remains. Originally, there were 15.

2014年3月3日 星期一

Tunisian Tour 10 - Kairouan (突尼西亞之旅.10--開羅安)


After our buffet breakfast of bread, croissant, fruit juice, hams, sausages, yogarts, cheeses and tea or coffee, we were off again to another historic city, Kairouan  (irwan or al-Qayrawan), capital of the Kairouan Governorate and its cultural capital, It's a city founded by the Arabs around 670 CE during the reign of Caliph Mu'awiya (who was caliph 661-680 CE ). It's a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's famous because of its great mosque Sidi-Uqba which became an important centre for Islamic and Quranic learning and ranks only next to Mecca and Medina in Islamic culture. 

But first we had to drive through lots of other little towns and villages

2014年3月2日 星期日

Igor Moiseyev State Academic Ensemble of Popular Dance in Hong Kong

Saturdays evenings are usually reserved for the delights offered by the HKPO. But last night, it wasn't them. From the Concert Hall, I moved a few steps to the opposite Grand Theatre. But it wasn't the question of a just a few steps. It was a leap. My heart and my pulses lept with the mainly Slavic dance steps of the Igor Moiseyev State Academic Ensemble of Popular Dance ( otherwise known as Moiseyev Ballet. According to a video clip on the U-tube, Igor Moiseyev was already a ballet master of the Bolshoi Ballet Company of Moscow when he was 26. But his career took a completely different turn when he started the first folk dance company specializing in folk dances of the entire world and became its principal choreographer.I don't know the details of how he did it. But he did it for more 70 years. He died at the age of 102 in 2007. He was credited with having invented a new dance style called "character dance", combining the dance steps of the traditional ballet, folk dance, acrobatics, athleticism and theatrics, a formula which proved eminently successful. It brought him not only to the Bolshoi Dance Theatre, but also the Red Square, the La Sacla of Milan, the Grand Opera House in Paris and the Metropolitan in New York. He won countless awards for his work. If I may judge from what I saw last night at the Grand Theatre, I  think he deserved them all. He was an indefatigable and endlessly creative choreographer, having created through the years more than 200 dances for his company. According to the Wikipedia, in 1953, he was named People's Artist of the USSR, in 1967, got the Lenin Prize for his "A Road to the Dance" , in 1876, declared in Hero of Socialist Labor in addition to four Stalin/USSR State Prizes (1942, 1947, 1952, 1985), Russian Federation State Prize (1996), and numerous orders and medals from his own country and from Spain and other countries and became the first Russian to receive the Order of Merit, First Class when he turned 100. In 2001, he was awarded the UNESCO Mozart Medal for outstanding contribution to world music culture. He died in Moscow in 2007.

I really don't know how to describe last night's performance. I'll probably run out of all the positive adjectives in my limited vocabulary in no time: magnifcent, spectacular, exquisite, great, superb, tip top, exciting, exhilarating and even humorous at times. Not only were the dance steps done in perfect synchronization with the rhythms in the relevant music (which spanned the full range Slavic and Latin world even including in one number, Chinese (!)) the costumes of the dancers  for both men and women were so colorful and the stage props were cleverly minimal, choosing to rely instead on the much more economic but no less effective use of intelligent stage lighting. We had a Russian dance (Summer), a Kalmyk dance, a Tartar dance (Ttarotchka), an Adzharian dance (Khorumi), a suite of Moldavian dances (Khora, Chyokylie, Zhok) some numbers from the cycle Pictures of the Past called "Old city Quadrille",  some dances from the choreographic picture called Partisans, an excerpt from the naval suite A Day on Board of a Ship called "Engine Room", A Bessarabian gypsy dance, a Chinese ribbon dance and two numbers from the Suite of Mexican dances called Sapateo and Avalulko, an Argentinian cowboy dance called "Gaucho, a dance number form a Nanayan play called "Two boys in a fight" and finally a Ukrainian dance called Gopak.

I can do nothing better to introduce this wonderful group of dancers than to provide two video clip from the U-Tube from which one may get a glimpse and a taste of what this remarkable group of extremely professional and talented group of dancers can do.


2014年3月1日 星期六

Weekend Fun

Housekeeping is always a problem. The killing part about housekeeping is that you got to do it. If you do it yourself, it could sometimes be literally backbreaking. So what to do? A maid certainly. But often having a maid is just the beginning of another problem. You can't do anything with her and you can't do without her. But sometimes, they can be fun too.


This bishop invites a young priest over for dinner. During the meal,the priest can't help noticing how attractive and shapely the housekeeper is. Over the course of the evening he starts to wonder if there's more between the bishop and the housekeeper than meets the eye.
Reading the young priest's thoughts, the bishop volunteers, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, my relationship with my housekeeper is purely professional."
About a week later the housekeeper comes to the bishop and says,"Excellency, ever since the young Father came to dinner, I've been unable to find the beautiful silver gravy ladle. You don't suppose he took it, do you?"
The bishop says, "Well, I doubt it, but I'll write him a letter just to her be sure." So he sits down and writes: "Dear Father, I'm not saying that you 'did' take a gravy ladle from my house, and I'm not saying you 'did not' take a gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner."
Several days later the bishop receives a letter from the young priest, which reads: "Your Excellency, I'm not saying that you 'do' sleep with your housekeeper, and I'm not saying that you 'do not' sleep with your housekeeper. But the fact remains that if you were sleeping in your own bed, you would have found the gravy ladle by now."