Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dunkirk




Very often, I don't like films that the critics rave about but this time I am in agreement: the newly released movie "Dunkirk" is excellent!  The film is based on an original screenplay by the man who also directed it- Christopher Nolan.  In 1998, during the filming of his first movie "Following", he and his then girlfriend (now his wife, Emma Thomas) went across the English channel by boat to retrace the journey of the "little ships" of Dunkirk.  This is the first movie that Christopher Nolan has done based on a true historical account, the characters are fiction but the story is very real...

I should hope that everyone knows about the miracle of Dunkirk!
If not, I will direct you to read about it just here. 

Two things I want to tell you that won't "spoil" it for you but should actually help you to understand it a bit better...
  First,  You should know about a "mole".  A mole is built out onto the harbor for protection. It is large, usually built of stone,  similar to a pier but water cannot flow freely beneath it.  It was from the moles that many of the men were taken off. (The docks could not be used, they had been too badly damaged.)


Secondly, after the British had been evacuated, Churchill insisted on going back for the French troops.  Over 26,000 French soldiers were rescued on June 4, 1940.  (Sadly, between 30,000 to 40,000 were left behind and taken prisoner by the Germans.)

From May 27-June 4, 1940, the total men that were evacuated were 338,226. 

I know I haven't said too much about the movie, but that is because I want you to see it for yourself.  Remember that we know what came afterward now, but at the time, it must have been seemed very dark for the British Isles.  This film makes you feel as if you are living in that time and can experience the despair but then, the hope as the miracle of Dunkirk is revealed.  The boost of morale that this generated cannot be underestimated.








Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Great White Egret/Great Blue Heron





The Great Egret is a large heron that is white with black legs.  That is a fact for you but it does not describe the beauty of this elegant creature! Richard and I saw this at Alexander Lake at Panola Mountain State Park, at the lower lake, which after being drained is more of a wetlands area.  "A tall, stately white wader of quiet waters" is how the Audubon Society describes this bird.
The Great Egret was nearly wiped out at the end of the 19th century in North America and you would never believe the reason...it was for their plumes to decorate women's hats. 

Have you ever noticed the symbol for the National Audubon Society? It was chosen in 1953 and it is the Great Egret in flight.
Look!  Here I am wearing a National Audubon Society cap! The Great Egret is just behind me here but just to the right, not in the photo.  If your eyes are very good, you might spy another bird that we also admired. Can you see it? It is just above my capped head, just a bit to the left. (There are no natural lakes in Georgia, you can see all the tree stumps that were at the bottom of the lake!)

There, now you can see it!  It is the Great Blue Heron. We have often seen this bird at Alexander Lake but this was the first time we had seen the Great White Egret. (I do wonder if they are common in the Atlanta area!) 
Of course, I asked Richard to try and get both birds into the same shot.  You know he did!

I found a video from the Audubon Society for you!
We love our birds.  You really don't have to have any special equipment to enjoy them...just look out for them!

Our weather has been difficult for our nature walks lately...it is either boiling hot or threatening with thunderstorms.  I am ready for the autumn myself!  Hope you are all doing well.  Let me know if you like to observe birds as much as we do!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Dr. Who/ Some CHICK!



It was just announced today that the 13th Dr. Who will be...a woman!  WHAT was that?  Yes, the new regeneration this time will be Jodie Whittaker, you might know her from the TV show, Broadchurch, which by the way also stars David Tennant, a former Dr. Who!  (Um, I think the correct term is "regeneration", you have to forgive me, I honestly can't remember these kind of things.)
Here is my question for you, are you a Dr. Who fan?  I must admit my favorite was Christopher Eccleston but I also quite enjoyed David Tennant.  Here is a bit of trivia for you: David Tennant is married to Georgia Moffett and she is the daughter of the fifth Dr. Who, Peter Davison!  Now, I know this is not the news of the week but it is one of those little facts that will forever and always lodge in my brain not doing me any good so of course I feel obligated to share it!

So...what do I think of  woman as Dr. Who?  Keep an open mind, I say.  I might not like her just as I didn't like the last Dr. Who.  Couldn't quite my finger on why I didn't like him in that role, I just didn't. Here's the thing though, if you say you don't care for her in this role, you will be accused of sexism!

The Dr. Who news was released today just after the Men's Single Final at Wimbledon where Roger Federer won his historic 8th win! First man ever to do so! Did you see him after the match? So gracious, he spent the first few minutes praising his opponent.  They told us during the match that during this past week that Roger Federer had prepared a meal for 40 people, did all the shopping and cooking himself!  What a great guy! (Think that they said it was this past Friday...could be wrong about that, I don't get hung up on details too much, I look at the big picture, but when you write a blog, you have to pay attention, folks will call you out on it!)

Let's see...tennis and sexism.  There must be something on YouTube that would somehow apply...you know I found it for you!





                                    Some chick!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Orpington Chicken


Do you know why Mozart didn't keep any chickens?
 (Answer at the end of this post.)

Hello, my friends! Nobody here but us chickens!  When you know someone who has chickens you feel obligated to take photos of them. I do anyway! See the pretty yellowish one above?  I asked if they knew what kind of chicken it was.  They didn't, so I looked it up!  From what I have read, I believe this to be an Orpington Buff (buff for the yellowish color) and would you believe it, the breed is from Orpington, Kent which is in south-east England!  What is more, that area is not very far from where Richard was born and raised!   There, you see...even a dang chicken can make me have a link to England!  Honestly, I don't look for these kind of connections, they just happen naturally.


It is entirely possible that the chicken might be another breed.  If I type this in a smaller font, perhaps no one will notice and believe me to be an expert on poultry.


Now...in answer to my question at the beginning of this post.
Why didn't Mozart have chickens?
Because they kept saying, "Bach, Bach, Bach"! 
______________________________________________


Foghorn Leghorn...I always thought he was funny! Voiced by the marvelous Mel Blanc, he was also the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam...the list goes on and on!  Hope you enjoy the little cartoon.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Make A Chain, Guys"- Amazing Rescue


Amazing Rescue



"Make a chain, guys!"  

Does anyone remember this line from the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life"?  George Bailey, as a child, saved his brother Harry when Harry had fallen into an icy pond.  He and his friends formed a chain by holding hands together they could reach Harry.  They saved him!
On the news today, I thought of this when we were shown an amazing sight from this weekend in Panama City, Florida.  EIGHTY people formed a chain to rescue a family who were caught in a dangerous riptide. (Two boys,  aged 8 and 11 were first caught in the riptide and the rest of the family tried to rescue them but became trapped themselves.)  The authorities wanted to wait for a boat but one woman saw the danger of this and shouted for a human chain.  And some of those who came forward to be a part of the chain could not even swim!
All were saved!  Let me repeat this...all were saved!

  Best Story of the day.
There, if you click on that link that I gave you, you can read more about it.
_______________________________________________________________________
"Make a chain, guys!"   We all need to help each other.
                               Beach at Eastbourne, England. (If I had a photo of a beach from Florida, I would show that to you!)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Peace and Love!



             Peace and love. Peace and love. Peace and love.   All around the entire world!

           (Supposed to post this at noon at my local time. Let's pretend I am further west and on a different time zone!)


Ringo Starr (real name, Richard Starkey) is 77 today!  Happy Birthday to him! (You know I love him, right?)   Ah, those Liverpool lads will always be in my heart!



Our son loves the Beatles too!  Look at this photo of him from a few years ago...is it just me or does his beard remind you of Ringo?








Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Brownies are All American!



Let's talk about ... brownies!

When I worked yesterday, we decided the week before that we would all bring food for the 4th of July.  I was asked to bring some baked beans.  Now, knowing that sometimes others don't come through on bringing dishes, I also took along a tray of brownies.
They were...drum roll, please... a big hit! YAY!
The men that I work with are not the kind that are given to superlatives.  You know the kind?  So, when one of them came to me and said, "Your brownies are AWESOME", I was thrilled to  bits!  (Oh sorry that is something that my English mother-in-law says, you get the idea.)  Another one of my co-workers told me that when somebody else ate one, his eyes rolled heavenwards (but in a good way) and exclaimed, "Oh, that is SO good". 

Okay, what is my secret for making good brownies?  Now, pay attention, and I will tell you.  Cook brownies slightly less than the time called for in the recipe. (Mine were just two minutes less than the specified time.)  Do NOT overbake them. Once baked, cut them into pieces that will fit into cupcake papers.  (In England, they say "fairy cakes"!) Place the brownies onto the prettiest tray that you have. 
That's it!   

Oh, and did I use some fancy recipe? Not on your life, I just bought a brownie mix and followed the directions. (Just baked them slightly less, that is all!)
 
Brownies were first developed in the USA at the last half of the 19th century.  All American, baby but hey, we don't mind sharing!
You may read all about them here.  Go on, you know you want to!

Wait...what is this?  I don't have a photo of my brownies but I made Richard a teacake recently...I will have to tell you all about that in another post!  Hmm...just noticing, that cake is on an English plate, and that is an English teapot and English tea in the background!  And this post was supposed to be all about my American brownies! Never mind, I like them both...brownies and teacakes!

I always think of Jimmy Cagney from "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on the 4th of July...doesn't everyone?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Liberty Enlightening The World"/ The Statue of Liberty

Happy 4th of July!  Happy Independence Day to America!
On PBS this week, they repeated a documentary about the Statue of Liberty.  When I say "repeated", I really mean it, it is from 1985! It is a good one though, it is by Ric Burns (not Ken Burns that you might be more familiar with but his older brother Eric who has always been called "Ric".)  It is a fascinating story.  

We all know that the statue is a gift from France but where to put this gift?  It's hard to believe that this great statue was made before it was certain that there was a place where it could be erected! (Bartholdi knew exactly where he wanted it placed, in New York Harbor, looking out to sea!)  Joseph Pulitzer is a  name that should be associated with the statue as much as the French designer himself, Auguste Bartholdi. (Not forgetting Gustave Eiffel who designed the internal frame of the statue...yes, the same one behind the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris!)  Mr. Pulitzer was the main force behind the drive to raise money for the pedestal for the statue, asking Americans to donate money...not money from millionaires but from the working class Americans. He asked, "Give something, no matter how little".  The money was donated, much of it in increments of $1.00 or less.
Click on those links that I gave you...such extraordinary lives!


For me, one of the best things about it...the show began and ended with the song "American Tune".
The music itself is based on the melody of a hymn by Bach, "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded".
The words are by Paul Simon.

Most Americans will have this day off  but I am one of those who will be working.  Hope everyone who has the day off will have fun for me!  ("I've just got to get some rest"...that last line of the song is something I will be singing today!)





American Tune

Many is the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Many is the time I’ve been forsaken
And certainly abused
But it’s all right it’s all right
You can't be for ever blessed
And when I think of another working day
I’ve just got to get some rest
I’ve got to get some rest
I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
Don’t have a friend who feels at ease
Don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
Oh but it’s all right it’s all right
We’ve lived so well so long
And when I think of the road
We’ve travelled on
So far away from home
So far away from home
And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down on me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high above all my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying
We come on the ship they called the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the ages’ most uncertain hour
And we sing an American tune
Oh but it’s all right it’s all right
You can't be for ever blessed
And when I think of another working day
I’ve just got to get some rest
I’ve got to get some rest

Sunday, July 2, 2017

It May Be Raining But There's A Rainbow Above You


"Desperado" is a song from the early 1970's by the Eagles.  The songwriters are Glenn Frey and Don Henley. It was recorded in London with the London  Philharmonic Orchestra with Don Henley singing lead vocals.  Never released as a single, it is nevertheless one of their most well known songs.

Recently, it was reported that Vince Gill will perform with The Eagles on tour along with Deacon Frey, Glenn's son.  The two will share lead vocals on the songs that Glenn Frey sang with the Eagles.  Sadly, Glenn Frey died in January of 2016.


The video that I have for is from the 02 Arena in London from 2014.   I saw the Eagles when they came to Atlanta during the 1970's and they were wonderful...a very nice memory to think of those gorgeous voices!

You better let somebody love you...

I love how the crowd sang along at the end!


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Flowers- Male and Female




 Cucumber flower, is it a male or a female?   This one was a male, it did not become a cucumber!

Steve Bender aka the Grumpy Gardener from Southern Living Magazine has a very informative (and funny!) article about growing zucchini.  You may read it here. 

Did you know that the plants of cucumbers and zucchini have male and female flowers?  It is the female flower (of course) that bears the fruit.  On a zucchini plant, the large showy yellow flowers toward the end of the stalk are the male flowers, the female flowers are towards the base of the stalk and are smaller...that is where the zucchini squash will be!  There are always more male flowers on the plant than are needed. Have you ever heard of people eating fried squash blossoms? That would be the male ones! Hey, better to eat them than to just let them wither on the vine, right?  (Sorry, but I usually do not like the idea of eating flowers, I just don't but in this case, it makes sense to me.)

I found another thing for you...Hand pollinating.  There, that link will explain how to help things along, it involves a small artist's paint brush!  We have not had the problems that we have read about here, maybe we have so many plants and flowers that the bees in this area just can't wait to see what we have for them.  Come on, bees, you are always welcome here!

(Of course, it might also have to do with the amount of rain in your area...we have had more rain than normal, so it took a while for the bees to even find our garden!)


     Are you growing any fruit and vegetables this year?  Aren't they the best when they are fresh from the garden? 
 Our flowers are pretty in the bright sunshine of June...








Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Aled Jones Sings With His Younger Self- One Voice (With Help From An Airing Cupboard!)




The things I learn from writing my blog! After my last post, I thought I hadn't looked up any info on Aled Jones lately and you will never guess what I discovered!

First of all, I hope you know Aled Jones! No? Well, do you remember the picture book "The Snowman" by Raymond Briggs?
It was made into a short film during Christmas of 1982, and it had a beautiful song, "Walking In The Air".  It was sung by a choir boy from St. Paul's Cathedral, Peter Auty.  A few years later, a young Welsh boy had a huge hit doing a cover version of the song and that was Aled Jones!  As an adult, Aled Jones became a host on one of my very favorite British TV shows, "Songs of Praise". (A BBC show where a church is visited each week and the church choir and congregation sings hymns...why can't we in America copy this show? I love it!  You can look up some of the episodes on YouTube if you don't know what it is like.) 

Since last year, his latest show is "Going Back, Giving Back" and it looks like my kind of show...


Now...I will tell you the story behind the title of my post! Better yet, listen to the story behind it by the man himself!

“We were sitting around the kitchen table one day, when my mum suddenly announced that there was an album of folk songs of mine that had never been released,”
“I didn't even remember recording the album, but when I listened to it at my parents’ house, I felt like a proud uncle or father. From that came the idea to release the album of duets, featuring my voice as a boy and now as an adult.”

I love that!  What is even better is that I read that his Mum had kept the album in her "airing cupboard", which tickled me no end because I know what an airing cupboard is! It is...well, here is a definition I found for you:

a heated cupboard where clothes, sheets, etc, that have been washed and are almost dry are put so that they can become completely dry.

That is certainly what my mother-in-law uses it for! Now, it seems to me that the hot water heater is in this small cupboard, and the Brits, being the practical lot that they are, used this cupboard to help finish drying their clothes.  From the explanation above, you might think they have the cupboards specially built just to dry clothes! HA!
(Can't help but notice too that some wealthy folks have HEATED towel racks but the Brits have them too, that would  be the hot water pipes which is part of their hot water central heating in their bathrooms! Practically perfect, like Mary Poppins!)

Goodness me, here I am telling you all about heated cupboards and pipes and Aled Jones is patiently waiting to sing for you!                  




Just one more thought about airing cupboards...we visited the Anne of Cleves house in Lewes, England. (Anne of Cleves got this as part of the divorce settlement from Henry VIII, she never lived there but it is called her house nonetheless!) Since it is from the 15th century, I was surprised to see that even this house had an airing cupboard!  (It was just behind the fireplace, I have a photo below of it for you.)

Let me know what you think of Aled Jones singing as an adult, combined with his younger self! I think it is great! 




Saturday, June 24, 2017

Who Is Henry Bates? "A Rare Human Being"- Amazon Adventure IMAX Film






The IMAX film, "Amazon Adventure"  is based on the true story of the 11 year journey down the Amazon by the Englishman Henry Bates in 1848. (At the time, it was only small sailing vessels that were used...steamships came a bit later!)  The book that he wrote of his discoveries, "The Naturalist on the River Amazons" was published in 1863 and he was encouraged to write of his experiences by Charles Darwin.  The subtitle of the book is from a time when books had subtitles that told you quite simply what was in store for you:  It is: A Record of the Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator during Eleven Years of Travel. 

Also, please note that the book has the word "Amazon" in the plural as I have it spelled above! Was the river called Amazons in those days?  And in England, the word "Amazon" is pronounced "Ama-zun" while in America, we say "Ama-ZAHN".   You will notice this if you watch the next YouTube clip I have for you...



I just looked this up and it is being shown at the IMAX Theatre at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta until the end of September, 2017.  It must be at all IMAX theatres all over the country, check it out!




Even if you don't see the movie, read about Henry Walter Bates and his amazing life.  I have a link for you here and here!  Besides being a naturalist and explorer, he was also a singer and guitarist and you know that makes him special to me!

On a personal note, Richard and I walked past Burlington House once when we were in London and it looked so inviting, we just had to stop there and have a coffee in the courtyard. Read the links about Henry Bates and you will then know about Burlington House and the Linnean Society!

You never know who will be lurking in the shadows of these mighty gates!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Service of Hope-Southwark Cathedral




Last week, on June 16th, there was a service at Southwark Cathedral in London following the terror attack at London Bridge.
It was called a Service of Hope, to remember and honor the victims of the attack. 
Looking at the Southwark Cathedral website, I was able to view the order of the service. If you would like to see this also, you may do so just here.


One of the songs, "Jesu, Lover of My Soul" was one of the songs in the service.   It is one of my favorites.  I have a video of Aled Jones singing it.  The lyrics are by Charles Wesley and this is what the American preacher Henry Ward Beecher had to say about it - "I would rather have written this hymn of Wesley's than to have the fame of all the kings that ever sat on earth."





Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In The Summertime! (Gluten Free?)






Chick Fil-A is a restaurant chain which is based right here in Georgia.  They have good chicken sandwiches and are very popular. You must remember this though, they are always closed on Sundays.  (By the way, filet is pronounced "fil-a" in America, but did you know it is pronounced like this- "Fill- It" in England? Sorry for my English side to break in here...back to my story!)

Today, I learned that Chick Fil-A has come out with a gluten free bun! My husband has celiac disease and must be on a gluten free diet. I thought that was wonderful news...until I read a bit further.
First of all, the buns are made in a bakery and then shipped frozen to the restaurant.  Also, there will be an additional $1.15 added to the price of the sandwich (which is already fairly pricey, in my opinion). You will then be asked to MAKE YOUR OWN SANDWICH as Chick-Fil-A can't guarantee that the food will not be cross contaminated with gluten in the kitchen.)  Okay then, that is fair enough...but I read further, and their website states that they have grilled chicken and tomatoes and lettuce and mayo...that ARE considered gluten free but they can't guarantee that those food items will be completely free of gluten as they are around, you guessed it, other foods which contain gluten!  Got that?
So... what is the point of having that gluten free bun if you can't guarantee that the chicken is safe for those with celiac disease?
Well, it must mean that the restaurant has been responding to the public's insistence on the "healthy gluten free" life style that I have been reading about, for those who are eating this way to either lose weight or because they know it cuts out many processed foods.  You would think that it would be a good thing for gluten free to become a trendy thing, but I find that it is a double edged sword...one must be very careful and read the fine print, just as if you are entering into a legal contract.


Oh well...I saw a TV advert for Chick Fil-A today that I really liked, it was a woman singing the song "In The Summertime"...with the words just changed slightly.  I would find it for you if I could!  I have been singing this all today and it is perfect really...today is the first day of summer!  Might as well give you the original song by Mungo Jerry, and you know the band was British!  (Lead singer-Ray Dorset.) This was their biggest hit and well deserved, I think.





Happy Summer everyone! 


Friday, June 16, 2017

1960's- "Silent Spring" and "Abraham, Martin and John"





The New Yorker Magazine on June 16, 1962 published the first of three articles by Rachel Carson.  (You may read the first one just here.)  "Silent Spring" was published in September of that same year.   Rachel Carson wrote of the effects on the environment from the use of chemicals and of the chemical companies who knew of the dangers but tried to hide them. (Can you say "Monsanto"?)  Her book led to a nationwide ban in America on DDT, a widely used pesticide at that time. Due to the interest generated from her writings, this led to the creation of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. (The EPA.)











In 1968, Dion had a big hit with a song..."Abraham, Martin and John".   It was written by Dick Holler.  (And he also wrote "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron"!  Do you remember that one too?)
Mr. Holler has a website and he has a place there that you can send him a message. You know I had to send him a note and tell him of my admiration for his songwriting! I invite you to do the same!
You may find his website just here.


The 1960's...it seems as if I am living that decade all over again but this time, I am an adult and current music is not as good.







Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Blue With My Best Side



       Lobelia is blue...



   Hydrangeas are too.


Blue is the water...


Blue is the sky.

Blue is the color I see with my eye!


Hello my friends!  Just in case you have forgotten what I look like, here I am! My friend in Germany had some wonderful photos made of herself (you may see them just here.)  Therefore, I am sharing the above photo of myself showing you my BEST side! HA!
(By the way, the bit of plant that you see just beside me is something that we are growing in a pot but it is NOT illegal, I repeat it is NOT, it just LOOKS a bit like it, okay?) Honest!

                                                    I love blue!  No weed here!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Ferris Wheels






Ferris wheel at the seafront in Eastbourne.

London Eye

A Frenchman, Antonio Manguino, introduced the idea of the wheel to America in 1848, when he constructed a wooden pleasure wheel to attract visitors to his start-up fair in Walton Spring, Georgia (now Spring Street which is in Atlanta, Georgia.)

There, isn't that interesting? I only just learned this when I was reading the history of the Ferris wheel. Wheels had been around for a while but the Ferris wheel as we know it was invented by ...wait for it...an American!  His name was George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr, an engineer.  In 1893, the directors of the World Expo in Chicago issued a challenge to American engineers to design a monument that was unique and original, something to rival the Eiffel Tower (which was built in 1889, I am sure you all remember.)  Mr. Ferris proposed a wheel that would allow visitors to view the entire exhibition.  The directors did not think this could be safe! He did so, of course and it was a huge hit with the crowds.

Oh dear, what a sad story this turns out to be.  After the fair closed, Mr. Ferris sued the directors claiming that he and his investors were robbed of the $750,000 profit that was made at the fair.
(By the time the Ferris Wheel in Chicago was demolished, it had carried 2.5 million passengers.) George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. died of typhoid fever in 1896.  He was only 37.

Dare I say to you that I wish that could make a film about him? 
Don't you want to know more about him? 
When some famous director makes this movie, you will know where he got the idea!

1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel
I remember reading that the London Eye is technically not a ferris wheel...it is more like a wheel of a bicycle.   Hey, I am no engineer, just telling you what I read about it years ago!
  The London Eye was supposed to be temporary, I can't imagine that they would ever let it go now! 

Oh look...here is something I found...
And let's not forget that the London Eye was supposed to be a temporary structure. It was only tentatively given planning permission for the first five years after the millennium. Its future is now secure, in planning terms at least, for at least another 20 years, but it is likely to be there a great deal longer.

See!  I told you!  It is such a burden being right all the time but I try to muddle through somehow!

Do you like Ferris Wheels?  You know I do!



Wheel of Fortune!  You know I had to find some kind of wheel video for you!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Music From One Love Manchester




Chris Martin and Ariana Grande AND the wonderful singers in the crowd singing "Don't Look Back In Anger" at the One Love Manchester concert from this past weekend, this is the video I have for you.  If you don't have time to listen to all of it, just fast forward to the last minute or so and listen to the crowd.  Thousands of voices joined together...if this doesn't move you, you don't have a heart.


Okay, you know how much I love music so I have to share another one with you...it is "Angels" by Robbie Williams.  Once again, I find this particularly moving due to the audience participation.  Those young voices!   Just beautiful.

(I just read that the Manchester benefit concert raised more than $13 million for the victims of the May 22nd attack.)



Something of hope for you...the eggs of a mockingbird.  Like life, they are fragile and precious. 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

"A Part of the Main"

                                       London Bridge

                                                             Borough Market


Richard and I came home last night and switched on the TV to see the news from London.
Borough Market is just beside Southwark Cathedral on the South Bank.

                                  Southwark Cathedral


I looked at the website for Southwark Cathedral and this is what was posted for today.


Sunday 4 June

As a consequence of the terror attack on London Bridge and in the Borough Market the Cathedral is closed until the police cordon is lifted. We will post updates. Please pray for the Cathedral, its parish and community and all those caught up in the attack.

Praying for SE1

(SE1 is the post code for this area. It stands for Southeast 1.)

                          


 
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
                    

The above was written by John Donne, a cleric in the Church of England, in 1624.  If you would like to read more about his life and writings you may do so just here.
Sorry to say that it states that for a many number of years his work was considered "inept and crude".  Well.
If I had never written any other thing in my life, if I could have written the truth as he has stated it in that piece of prose above, I would be content.


Note:  I don't have much control over this world but this is my blog and if anyone leaves me a comment that I find offensive, it will be deleted. 







Friday, June 2, 2017

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.





Desiderata (Latin for "desired things" or "essential things" was written by Max Ehrmann, an American writer, poet, and attorney.  He wrote the poem in 1927 (some accounts say even earlier)  but it was not published until 1948.  The rector of an Episcopal church in Maryland, Rev. Kates, must have liked it very much as he used it in some devotional materials at his church.  There was some confusion to the authorship to this poem since the church, St. Paul's, had this printed at the top of their stationary: "Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore, Maryland 1692".(The poem must have been on this without any mention of Max Ehrmann.)Therefore, many still believe that it is written by an unknown from 1692...
If you read about the life of Max Ehrmann, and you may do so just here, it seems sad to know that this beautiful poem was only published after his death, and he never knew of its popularity. Yet, maybe that is the whole point of what he wrote here.Let me know if you know this poem and the background behind it.(I have written of this before but wanted to share it again.)

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My nephew will be graduating from high school this month.  I am thinking of him.  He is the son and grandson of lawyers, so this is my way of honoring him.Congratulations for all those who are embarking on new journeys! 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

You Might Be A Bad Potato


Something woke me recently...it sounded like a murmuring of voices.  As I quietly tiptoed down the stairs, I realized it was coming from my pantry.  I opened the door and...

What?  Aren't you just waiting on tenterhooks wanting to know what happened?  Of course, you know I will tell you but the title of this post might give you a clue!  Okay then,  here is the rest of the story!

... I was shocked to see three potatoes angrily staring at me with their beady black eyes.  "What are you looking at?", said one with a snarl.   My reply, " I thought you were just potatoes!"
Then, the second one spoke up, 
"No, we are aliens.  When you eat a bad potato, you become one of us and we are going to take over the WORLD!"


Now, was this a dream?  Or did this really happen?   My friends, you have been warned!  Don't eat any bad potatoes. Keep the world safe from these alien creatures, they are plotting against us as we sleep, with their beady black eyes...
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My friend Dusty, who died recently, would have loved this! I have to share this with you...one of the main things that I remember him saying to me was simply this: "You're funny". 
  I treasure that!