Tuesday, October 28, 2014

London, The South Bank 2014

You are in for a treat...this is a guest post from my husband.  Take it away, Richard!   
 ( Well, I don't know if "treat" is the right word. But I hope you might enjoy our walk beside the river and that you might even learn something new! If I have any of the facts wrong please feel free to correct me. Cheers! Richard )
As you gentle readers of this blog already know, while in London Kay and I visited and like everyone else who has seen it were deeply affected by the "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red " installation at the Tower.      
After that, our plan was to  walk across Tower Bridge - crossing the Thames for the third time that  morning - and explore the South Bank.   
When I worked in London in the 80's, my commute  from Croydon ended at London Bridge railway station and then I would either cross London Bridge itself and walk through the City or walk along the South Bank which back then was mostly just disused  warehouses and wharves plus the odd pub here and here and a beautiful,  almost forgotten  cathedral. But now, thirty years later....

A couple of photos of Tower Bridge from the South Bank. Sorry we don't know the story behind the giant "Alien" egg but it makes for a good shot!   And fortunately nothing hatched from it while we were there!

Hay's Galleria. In its heyday as an actual wharf, tea clippers and other merchant sailing ships used to unload here where the people are walking and sitting or drinking and eating. I have read that this was the first building to be
 restored as part of the "Regeneration" of the South Bank. It is beautiful Victorian structure. I think the roof was added as part of the restoration but that also is beautiful.


 London's "other" cathedral, Southwark Cathedral. ( pronounced sutherk. ) Back in the 80's, this was a rather grimy treasure that hardly anyone knew about as it was stuck between a train station and a load of near derelict warehouses. (When I worked in London, I sometimes spent my lunch break here...it was a haven of tranquility.)  Like nearly everything else here - it has been beautifully and lovingly restored and the new riverside walk has put it firmly back on the map both as a spiritual and social destination.
Here is one photo of the interior of this wonderful church. I think there may well be more at a future date!
The Cathedral with the Shard in the background.

By the time we arrived at the Cathedral we had been walking for about four hours. Fortunately, the Refectory ( Restaurant / Café ) at Southwark Cathedral is a most interesting and welcoming location to eat. They serve a variety of meals but we chose the wonderful jacket potatoes. As you can see they are drenched in butter and smothered in Cheddar cheese - a most delicious meal in itself!
The Refectory is part of a recent addition to the Cathedral  but the architectural style blends very well with the ancient Cathedral itself.

                                                    I liked the idea of this little character just taking it all in. You see that the tide is high on the river!

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

The Anchor
Just a few hundred yards from the Cathedral and you come upon "The Anchor" - a pub I have a lot of affection for - and the rebuilt Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. 
Then to end our time on the South Bank, here is something else that wasn't there all those years ago - the Millenium Bridge  (and our fourth bridge over the Thames! ) 
I hope you enjoyed walking with us in London on the South Bank. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Shirley Temple Black

There is a video on YouTube that I have tried to get on this post but I have been unable to do so... it is "Larry King Live with Shirley Temple Black" and it is from 1988 and is about 30 minutes long.  I know...I just did a post about Shirley Temple, and I did one back in February when she passed away... but I am telling you that it is 30 minutes of your time that you will not regret!  What a TREASURE we had in Shirley Temple Black and we didn't even know it!  When you listen to her in the video, her great intelligence and common sense just shines through and she is so KIND.   It occurred to me that when I told you that I had been unwell and not just sitting around watching Shirley Temple movies, perhaps you might think that I was insincere in my admiration for Shirley Temple...and we can't have that, can we?  So....I searched and searched until I found the most PERFECT video of Shirley Temple Black for you, and yet...I am unable to get it to link here.

There!  Click on that above and see if you can't see it! 

Just in case you are unable to see the video, I will just tell you a bit about it....

Shirley Temple Black talks openly and honestly about her famous childhood. She tells us of her great love for her mother (she is promoting her autobiography, "Child Star" here in 1988 and it is dedicated to her mother.)  We find out that her father and his business partner mismanaged her money and she was left with very little compared to the millions that she had made for 20th Century Fox, the studio that she and she alone, brought out of bankruptcy.  (Any bitterness?  NO! This is Shirley Temple Black!)  We learn of her great love for her family....she married at 17 and that marriage did not last, but it was her second marriage to Charles Black that brought her much happiness.  She tells us the story of how a studio executive from MGM came on to her when she was only 12 years old! (You might think that could have really messed with her mind, but her mother handled it in such a way, that Shirley and her mother just laughed it off, making it the MAN's warped problem and they simply never went back to that studio!)

Now, here's the thing...when she speaks of her great love for ALL people, and this is just what she said...."I love ALL people...I might not like them all, but I love all people".   She speaks of the work that she did as an ambassador and diplomat and it makes me long for more like her.  We are very much in need of love like that...respect and love for ALL in the world.  (And Larry King let her state this with hardly a mention...I wish I could have interviewed her!)

I did see the TV special that was shown on PBS.  It was called "Shirley Temple: America's Little Darling".  There was nothing at all wrong with it, but it made me sad to hear people talk about how Shirley had "changed".  You see, it seems to me that when we have an extraordinary talent, we simply don't know how to handle it...we tend to put people into boxes and leave them there, not allowing them to grow or to change, and I think that applies to people in general but it certainly does to child stars like Shirley Temple.  We will always have the movies that Shirley Temple made as a child but we should also realize that her childhood was just a brief time in her life, and her life was a long and fulfilling one,  I just wish we could have better appreciated the sincere and earnest heart of Shirley Temple Black, a gift to the world.

Shirley Temple was born just one year after my Dad and they are of the generation that some have called "The Greatest".  Many of that generation find that labeling a bit unsettling, but it is only because we don't have the words or expressions to convey to those who lived through the Great Depression the great respect that we have for them.  We just try our best.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Don't Give Up, Don't Give In" by Louis Zamperini & David Rensin

A new book will be released on November 18th, "Don't Give Up, Don't Give In: Lessons from An Extraordinary Life"  by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin. 
  The book was completed just two days before Mr. Zamperini's death in July of this year.  I have written several posts about Mr. Zamperini before.  I read "Devil At My Heels" by Louis Zamperini & David Rensin in 2004.  It is  where I first learned of his story and wrote a letter to the publisher and received a handwritten reply from Mr. Zamperini himself.
Louis Zamperini is a hero to me and now, after the hugely popular book by Laura Hillenbrand, "Unbroken" he should be a hero to many others.  The movie, "Unbroken" will come out at the end of this year, the release date is Christmas.  I hope that the movie will do well and will bring Mr. Zamperini's extraordinary life to millions!
I very much look forward to this new book.  I will most certainly tell you all about it when I read it!
You can see where this book will go on my bookshelf, it will be beside my copy of "Devil At My Heels".   (And that is "Love and Duty" by Ben & Anne Purcell, in case you can't read that title....Col. Purcell was a POW in Vietnam for 5 1/2 years and he also went back and forgave his captors, just as Mr. Zamperini did in Japan.)  Read all these books!  They are truly inspiring.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Peace Prayer of St. Francis/Belle prière à faire pendant la Messe

What?  You all miss think I have lost my mind! Am I sitting around watching Shirley Temple movies and think that is the cure for our nation's ills? No, although I think our whole world could use more goodness like hers. No, the main thing about me is this:  I have had an illness for over three weeks that has been very difficult for me to get over.    Have I left you strange and rambling comments?  Yes, I know, but maybe even MORE so than usual?  Let's blame it on the strong combination of drugs that the doctor prescribed for me...doctors really don't know that my small brain should only use a small amount of medicine!

When I am well, I can just about handle this cruel world.  When I am ill, it is a another matter...it seems that everyone is so mean and hateful, and I only notice the violence on TV shows and the horrible things on the news.  I noticed that one of my posts that I did about the monastery was written when I was ill....and  it is now my second rated post of all that I have written. Our Lady of Holy Spirit Monastery- Conyers, Georgia, USA  On that post, I have the St. Francis Assisi Prayer,  you do know that one, don't you?  The prayer has always been called that, but it is not believed St. Francis actually wrote it...it was first published in a Catholic magazine called "The Little Bell" in 1912.  It is possible that it was written by a French priest by the name of Father Bouquerel during the first World War but no one knows for sure.  The prayer was published with a photo of St. Francis of Assisi on the back, and perhaps that is how the saint became connected to it.

 I know just enough French that when I see it in this language, I can recognize the prayer...

Belle prière à faire pendant la Messe
Seigneur, faites de moi un instrument de votre paix.
Là où il y a de la haine, que je mette l'amour.
Là où il y a l'offense, que je mette le pardon.
Là où il y a la discorde, que je mette l'union.
Là où il y a l'erreur, que je mette la vérité.
Là où il y a le doute, que je mette la foi.
Là où il y a le désespoir, que je mette l'espérance.
Là où il y a les ténèbres, que je mette votre lumière.
Là où il y a la tristesse, que je mette la joie.
Ô Maître, que je ne cherche pas tant à être consolé qu'à consoler, à être compris qu'à comprendre, à être aimé qu'à aimer, car c'est en donnant qu'on reçoit, c'est en s'oubliant qu'on trouve, c'est en pardonnant qu'on est pardonné, c'est en mourant qu'on ressuscite à l'éternelle vie.

Here it is in English:

A Beautiful Prayer To Say During The Mass...

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

When we were in London at our hotel, I pulled out the Gideon Bible from my bedside table.  Someone had written almost a full page on the first page of the Bible.  It was in French and was a statement of unbelief.  I read it, or as much as I could and then, asked my husband to translate it for me.   It most certainly was exactly what I said, a statement against everything in the Bible and Jesus.  I didn't do anything about it, I just thought I would have a little talk with God about it.  Now, the thing that came to me...it was written in PENCIL, so maybe whoever wrote it, thought maybe someone might come along to care enough to erase it. 

That would be me!

So, in case this ever happens to you...it is useless to buy souvenir pencils (the erasers do not work) and also, erasers in the shapes of London taxis and buses do NOT work either...one of the shopkeepers told me that he didn't carry pencils...but I kept looking and I found some anyway! He seemed very surprised...they were just loose, in a cup at the far back corner of the shop... (God, was that YOU?!)
Hey, the shopkeeper charged me anyway! 

Now, after I erased that entire page in pencil, I took my hand and brushed away the erasings to make sure that I had gotten it all... I had missed erasing just one word and it made me smile to see it there, just that one word on the page and I decided to leave it...


Needlework on kneeler at All Souls Church in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England.

Stained Glass Window-All Souls Church, Eastbourne.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Shirley Temple

"Where have you gone, Shirley Temple, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you"....

This is a paraphrase of a Paul Simon lyric, but I think it fits....

Shirley Temple...as a child, I really enjoyed watching her in her movies.  I think that I know them all by heart.  There will be a show on PBS about her this week and I wanted to tell everyone in the USA to look at their local listings, and try to watch it.  (This might have been on earlier this year, she died in February, so I might have missed it then.) You might think of her as just a pretty child star but there is a real sense of intelligence behind that goodness that I think that everyone should admire, not just kids...

If you are from another country, then you can most likely see her movies or else clips of them on YouTube.  She reminds me of many of the women that I have known in my life...just because they have great beauty and talent, their high intelligence is very often overlooked.

It is Shirley Temple's sweet nature that comes through for me.  To be honest with you, that is really all I care about anyway...you can have the highest IQ of anyone and be a super model, maybe you are both, that's okay but I really only care about how nice you are.  That's it.

Let me know if you see this TV show on PBS about Shirley Temple.  I will let you know if they did a good job on it.  Gee Whiz, you think they would call me up and consult with me the best way to present this, wouldn't you?

Leaving you with the video of Shirley Temple singing, "Oh My Goodness" and it is the one where her dolls come to life and she sings to them in all the accents of their countries.  It might not be politically correct but I think you can sense the sincere respect that comes from this extraordinary young actress/singer/dancer.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Arabia Mountain- I Cannot Hold Thee Close Enough!

At Arabia Mountain - the color of the rock in the sun, the clear water in the pools, the bright and beautiful sky above, the beginning of the Autumn foliage and the last of the wildflowers, all combine to create such incredible beauty...all in one place and close to me.   I am grateful.


I am also most grateful for all who left such sweet comments on my last post wishing my dear father-in-law a happy birthday.   The quote from my post title is from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Milay, and it is really "World, I cannot hold thee close enough".  And so I say, that is true too, I am saying this to all of you from all parts of this world.   I am thankful.
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
   Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag
To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Happy Birthday To The REAL Lord of the Manor!

Another Birthday?

It's evil, malicious...
it's heartless and vicious...
a birthday's a dastardly foe...
your age keeps increasing!

And someday it might even show! 

(I totally stole this from a birthday card that was from the collection of cards from my mother-in-law's 80TH birthday.  Yes, I do copy out good rhymes from cards, doesn't everyone?  HA!)

Happy Birthday to Peter, my dear father-in-law in England!  So wonderful to see you last month, I hope you have recovered from some of my cooking!  Loved making those fruit salads for you, those grapes from Spain and the apples from Italy were wonderful, but there is just nothing like those English strawberries!   Of course, I wrote about being grateful for gluten free restaurants but the very BEST cooking was at your home.  My very favorite meal is a Chicken Roast Dinner with your roast potatoes, they are my favorite.  And your selection of wine to accompany the meal is excellent!   :-)

Forget Downton Abbey, a Englishman's home is his castle and this is what a REAL Lord of the Manor looks like, along with his Lady and the REAL boss of the house, the DOG!  (My in-inlaws are so nice, they won't mind me showing you in their gorgeous dressing gowns, will they?...Uh, okay, there Joan, Peter?....Here's hoping they won't mind!)  Love you both!  You HAVE to be the best sports in the world to have ME as a daughter in law!!

Please, my friends, leave best wishes for a happy birthday for Peter, or as I and all my American friends would say, "Pee-DER"!  Sorry, that is just the way we say it!  Anybody else having a birthday in October, you must all be the best, if you are born in the same month as this guy!