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 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 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' 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 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 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 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 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.)

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 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...

My friend Dusty, who died recently, would have loved this! I have to share this with of the main things that I remember him saying to me was simply this: "You're funny". 
  I treasure that!  

Sunday, May 28, 2017

You're Wondering Now

"Murder In Paradise" is a TV show that my husband and I both enjoy and one of the main reasons is for the gorgeous scenery.  Filmed on the fictional island of St. Marie it is really the lovely Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.  The theme music is a tune that I had never heard before (and they didn't list it in the credits so I couldn't look it up!)
However, in the last episode that I saw, the music playing in the background at the end of the show was the same as the theme music! The song is "You're Wondering Now". Many artists have redone this song over the years but it pleased me that they chose to use the original ska version by Andy and Joey from 1961 at the end of that particular show.

Now, there IS a name listed in the credits for the music in "Murder In Paradise" and that name is "Magnus Fiennes".  Hmm....could he be any relation to the actors Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes?
He is, they are all brothers!  They have one other brother who is a conservationist and two sisters, both film makers.

Here, I have the theme music for you from "Murder In Paradise"
(I will miss the very tall Kris Marshall who has left the show but I know I will also like Ardal O'Hanlon, an Irish comedian/actor that I remember from "Father Ted" and "My Hero".) 

No tropical beaches for me but I do know someone who has a nice pool!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Great Britain

In 1977, the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" was very popular.  Richard remembers seeing this in London that year in Leicester Square and at the end of the video that I have shown you above,  he said that the whole audience cheered! (And I noticed that one of the comments on YouTube for this clip said exactly the same thing!)
Sir Roger Moore died today.  He will always be 007 to me!
Safe landings to him.

The tragedy in Manchester weighs heavily upon the world.
Praying for all.

The Flowers That Bloom In May

Though April showers may come your way,
They bring the flowers that bloom in May.
So if it's raining, have no regrets,
Because it isn't raining rain, you know, (It's raining violets,)
And where you see clouds upon the hills,
You soon will see crowds of daffodils,
So keep on looking for a blue bird, And list'ning for his song,
Whenever April showers come along.

My friends, I have found it impossible lately to blog and I do hope you have all managed to somehow get along without me! (Yes, I know it must be very hard but you are all so strong!) 

Richard and I attended Dusty's funeral on Saturday.  It was very sad, of course but it was also very uplifting and moving.  There was music and laughter along with the tears.  One young man, who told us that Dusty was a mentor for him, sang a song on his guitar that he had written about Dusty.  One of the lines, "He lived his whole life putting smiles on the faces of the people he met", had everyone nodding in agreement.  At the end, he was given a standing ovation. How Dusty would have loved that!
At the end of the service, two guitarists played and sang the beautiful hymn,  "How Great Thou Art".  I love that song so much, I quietly sang, wishing that they would ask us to sing too.  Then, they DID ask us to sing along! (Did they plan that or did they hear others singing too?) It was beautiful, "Sing for Dusty!", one of them said and you know I did!
It is a beautiful hymn but it was perfect for Dusty, for someone who loved life and nature and expressed joy and love as best as anyone I ever knew.

I found a video of Alan Jackson singing the song for you.
Like Dusty, he is a Georgia boy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dusty Gillham, Southern Gentleman- Rest In Peace

Dusty Gillham lost his battle with cancer today.  Besides being an all around great guy AND an Eagle Scout,  he was also an award winning songwriter.  I found a video of him on YouTube talking about songwriting and even though the picture is grainy, I can hear Dusty's wonderful voice and that makes it very special to me.  I worked with Dusty for many years at the travel agency and worked there when I was pregnant with my son.  (Several of us were pregnant at the same time, it was great to leave the notes on Dusty's desk telling him of our pregnancies! You should have seen his face, priceless!)

Remember when our son formed a band a few years back?  When I called Dusty and told him that Christopher was going to be on stage, he made sure that he was there!  He got there that night before Richard and I did and he even bought food for all the guys in the band! That was Dusty for you.
If you ever wonder what a Southern gentleman looks like or sounds like, just watch the video that I have here for you.  Now you know.

P.S.  If any of Dusty's family or close friends stumbles upon this blog, please know that I am thinking of you all and you have my sincere condolences. Dusty, you were right, there are a LOT of people who are missing you.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Masterpiece Theatre- Home Fires

Next week on Masterpiece Theatre...NOT Home Fires!  What?

If you live in America, you might enjoy Masterpiece Theatre on PBS as much as I do.  The most recent series shown was "Home Fires" about the Women's Institute in England during World War II.  Marvelous storyline and great acting as you would expect from a fine British cast.  Were you shocked recently when you were shown the previews for the following week and they showed us scenes about ...oh, I don't know, something about a film of Charles becoming King?  Say what? What happened to "Home Fires"?

I looked it up and it seems that those who were behind "Home Fires" were as shocked as we were when it was cancelled.  The writer, Julie Summers, has written about it and I have a link for you just here.  She calls this piece "Home Fires Extinguished".   There are worst things in life but honestly, the last episode really left us all hanging!    (Julie Summers wrote the book "Jambusters" about the Women's Institute and "Home Fires" was developed from this.  What does "Jambusters" mean?  I have a link to a piece in the Daily Mail where Julie Summers will tell you all about it! Read it here!)

There have been times lately that all that keeps me going is a soft, comfy chair and lovely English accents washing over me.  And yes, they very often send me off to sleep and I have to re-wind the episodes to catch up on what I have missed!  (Hey, you don't have to know ALL the great excitement of my life, do you?)

Tomorrow is Mother's Day in America, so I have a photo here of Richard's mother, Joan and his aunt, Doreen in England.  There, I have given you two mothers and I know that Joan was also in the Women's Institute, they call it W.I. over there.

Happy Mother's Day to all my sweet friends and family who are mothers.  Keep the home fires burning!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Moina Michael-The Poppy Lady

Moina Michael, a fellow Georgian, was the woman behind the idea of using the poppy as a symbol of  remembrance for veterans of war.  She is buried in a small family plot in Monroe, Georgia. 
She got the idea from the poem "In Flanders Fields" by the Canadian,  Col. John McCrae.  I encourage you to learn more about Moina Michael and one of the best links I have for you is from the UK, of course! You may find it just here.  Moina Michael titled her autobiography "The Miracle Flower" and dedicated it to Col. John McCrae.

Debra, also from Canada, has a wonderful blog and she has written of her family's connection to Charles Walker, who died at the battle of Vimy Ridge on May 8, 1917.  Please, take the time to read her post.  We need to remember Charlie and others like him.  Her post is  just here.
(If anyone ever asks me why I like to blog, I think I would direct them to this one post by Debra.)

                                Poppies at the Tower of London, each poppy representing a fallen soldier from Britain or the Commonwealth. By the time this exhibit was finished, the moat was full of these ceramic poppies.

Image result for poppy poem

Sunday, May 7, 2017

C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, And J. M. Barrie-All British!

Last weekend, I went to a baby shower that was at a children's bookstore! Isn't that a great idea? It was a fabulous place, beautifully decorated. In the photo above, just to the right beside the teepee reading area, there is a circular door in the wall and that is the Hobbit reading room!

   The theme for the shower was "Neverland" and of course, is from "Peter Pan". 

There is a very large wardrobe and when you open the doors...

You walk past the hanging coats into Narnia! (Also used as their story telling area.)

It did make me wonder if anyone who comes into this book store realizes how many of the authors represented here are from the British Isles.

Now, let me just say that I love children's books and they do not HAVE to be written by someone from Britain to be wonderful.
Haven't I told you of my love for Dr. Seuss? (Theodore Seuss Geisel was a genius in my book.) And not to mention the man who gave us the characters of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Lucy, among others...Charles Schulz!  (Strictly speaking, he was a cartoonist but hey, these were made into children's books too, you know!) Both of these men were Americans and in my opinion, should have their own tables represented at this bookstore!  Hey, maybe the owners should ask know I would tell them! 

Eric Carle is another author that had his own table in the bookstore and he is American!  He was one of our son's favorite authors!

So, don't anyone get into a huff that I noticed all these British authors, but being Georgia Girl With An English Heart, you knew that I would and have to point it out to you!

Oh! And it was a beautiful baby shower, by the way!

Can you spot my present above?   Here, I will make it easier for you...

I think the mother-to-be likes the hat for the baby boy!

Well, you know I must have a song for you!  Ralph McTell is from Croydon, England and his "Alphabet Zoo" was a favorite of our son's.  Holly the Hedgehog!