Thursday, May 6, 2021

Interruptions (Porlock) - Happy Trails!

 


There are things that seem to disrupt my inspired creativity these days...


Do you all know the poem "Kubla Klan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? I bet you do.  The one that talks about "a stately pleasure dome" and "the river Alph" and "Xanadu"?  The full title of the poem is "Kubla Khan: or A Vision In A Dream". You see, the poem came to him after a drug induced dream in the year 1797.  The next morning when he set about to write it all down, he was interrupted by a visitor from the neighboring village of Porlock. Sad to say, he just could not get back into the rhythm of it and was not able to fully complete it as he wanted. He wrote down what he could and was unhappy about it, as it was not as he originally envisioned and only showed it to friends. Coleridge left it unpublished until his friend, Lord Byron persuaded him to publish it in the year 1816.  Therefore, if one has a "visitor from Porlock" or just "Porlock" it means that someone or something has interrupted one's inspired creativity!

Now, I have TWO things that make me think of the word "interrupt"...one is quite lovely and the other is quite silly.

I know you are all dying to know my examples!

Okay, here is the beautiful one..."Interrupted fern".

Ferns are so beautiful! I have spent quite some time trying to identify ferns recently. You might think that this would be a simple thing, but that is not the case. Georgia has a great number of native ferns and they are just as difficult to identify as oak trees! The interrupted fern is not one that I would see here in Georgia but the sound of it pleases me, I can't say why that is so. (The interrupted fern is called that because there is an "interruption" of fronds in the middle.) 

Now, for the silly one... it is a knock knock joke!

"Knock knock".

"Who's there"

"The interrupting cow".

"The interrupting cow, wh...."

"MOO".


HA HA! Silly but funny.  And not a bad joke for children, you can teach them some manners at the same time.


Happy trails, my friends!






Sunday, April 25, 2021

April - Amaryllis/Asyndeton



April is amazing.  My last blog post was two weeks ago today and since that time, our trees are almost in their full summer splendor of green leaves.  On our front porch, the amaryllis flowers are blooming nicely.  Can you spot a little character that Richard has placed between the blooms? My husband is quite a character himself!



In case you can't see...I have another photo for you!


There, that should make you smile!



Asyndeton is a literary device that omits conjunctions. (From the Greek meaning "unconnected", it is used to shorten a sentence and to focus on its meaning. I can't tell you how much I loved learning this and reading different examples! Here's a famous one:

Julius Caesar..."I came. I saw. I conquered." 

 This really drives home the point, no time to clog up the meaning with "ands" in between!  I have read that using asyndeton gives writing a nice rhythm and pace. This somehow reminds me of how much I would like to edit both books and films...there is so much that just isn't necessary.  I do wonder...did any of you ever read the Reader's Digest Condensed Books as a child? I did and I enjoyed them immensely. I did have several teachers who told me that they disapproved of me reading them. They said that the authors would not like their books "condensed" for readers, that was not how they were written. I found that the books that were in the Reader's Digest Condensed Book series were very often so good that it really didn't matter if I didn't get the "whole" picture so to speak, if the writing was good, it was good. Period.  And I have always appreciated something that gets to the point.  (In Britain, they say "full stop" instead of "period.") 


We were able to see our son recently and as always, I asked him to play his guitar and sing us a song. One of the songs that he did...oh, how I wish I could have it on this blog post for you all to hear...was "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", a song from the 1980's by the English group, "Tears For Fears".  Now, no offense to those men in the group, but honestly, Christopher's vocal is better. No lie.

It's a good song!  You should listen to this and march around the room for exercise. You know that I do.  (And I loved the 1980's! So, it makes me happy to hear this music!)

P.S.  April, Amaryllis, Asyndeton.  Awesome alliteration! 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lilies, Butterflies and Lillibet (Queen Elizabeth's Nickname)

 

Atamasco lilies!  These were from last year on April 11th but I am sure they are either blooming now or about to do so. They are wildflowers.  Aren't they lovely?  They do remind you of the Easter lily, don't they?









The Easter lily is not a native flower, it was originally from Taiwan. It is a very tricky thing to get them to bloom in time for Easter since Easter is on a different day every year, it is always on the first Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox. Keep in mind that the Easter lily is poisonous to cats! Do not give these plants to anyone who owns a cat. (Uh, I might have forgotten this and done this very thing, so...learn from my mistakes, won't you?)

The photo here is from a local church.  I really liked the painting... 







MUD PUDDLING! That is what the butterflies are doing here...they are getting nutrients from the wet soil.  There were six butterflies here, all Eastern tiger swallowtails. They flew off just as Richard snapped the photo! (The Eastern tiger swallowtail is the state butterfly of Georgia, we think it might be the largest butterfly that we see.)



The mud might be good for nutrients but you can't beat a colorful flower for a great photo!


Of course, you have all heard of the passing of Prince Phillip.  Do you know that the Queen sends a telegram to British citizens when they turn 100? So, Prince Phillip was just two months shy of getting that telegram. (And from what I have read, he would have gotten one. The Queen Mother did when she turned 100!) Queen Elizabeth also sends a telegram to those celebrating wedding anniversaries, at number 60, 65 and 70.  Don't know about you but I think that is blooming marvelous!  You all must have seen so many photos the past few days of Prince Phillip but I think one of my favorites is from a postage stamp that I saved from one of my packages from England...


Richard says that no matter what you think of the idea of royalty in 2021, no one can deny that Prince Phillip and the Queen have done everything that has been expected of them and have done so with grace and dignity for a lifetime.


65th Wedding Anniversary Card and Telegram. This was to Richard's aunt and uncle in 2015. (Delivered by courier in livery- which means a fancy uniform to me!) Update: I have been informed that they once were telegrams but now it is cards that the Queen sends out and they are delivered by mail, although from what I have read they are stamped "Special Delivery"! 
 
Now, what song for this post? There can be only one!




 
 

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Spring! Happy Easter!

 


Ready for some of Richard's wonderful photos of the lovely Spring? Hope you enjoy!



Fringe flower. The flower petals are long and bright pink. Richard got this shot of the bud before it burst into bloom. The color is just stunning!


This was on one of our overcast days, but trust me, it's gorgeous.

Beaver alert!  You can see how the beaver has cut this tree down. Do you also see how it looks as if it also took giant bites from the felled tree? I looked it up and that is just what they do, they only eat the inner bark, apparently. "Just give me the tender bark, Sylvia". Ha, ha...anybody know why I chose the name, "Sylvia"?  

Sylvia is feminine given name of Latin origin, also spelled SILVIA.

The name originates from the Latin word for forest SILVA and its meaning is spirit of the wood.


Pansies and cabbages get along very nicely in a planting.


                              Lilacs in blooms! I was so excited to see them (and smell them!) I wonder if it is rare that they bloom in Georgia. I really have only seen them when I was visiting England. So pretty against a blue sky! 

Here is a photo of "MY" very large tree at Panola Mountain State Park!  It is only mine because of my love for it...I have no idea what kind of tree that it is...it has a very stripy trunk and very small leaves. It is some kind of oak because it has acorns underneath it in the Autumn!


My stripy tree is just behind this tree in the foreground. And yes, they are both very tall!  (But the stripy tree is taller, just a trick of perception, don't you know.)

The Eastern Swallowtail butterfly was very fluttery over this pink azalea. The only reason the butterfly is out of focus is because it is moving, Richard is as steady as a rock!


There, this one landed and was still for just a split second...



Today is Easter Sunday.  Here is one of the songs that we always sang at our services at the Episcopal church. It is one of my son's favorites...

Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!








Sunday, March 28, 2021

I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts (Sing It Forthwith!)

 


Just learned something new to me!  Believe it or not, I read a book of fiction recently. What was it, something hot and new at the top of the Bestseller list?  No, it was "The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. One of the things that was mentioned was a "coconut shy". Now, I wrote it down on a slip of paper and looked it up later... 


"A coconut shy (or shie, which means to "throw") is a traditional game frequently seen at funfairs and fetes. The game consists of throwing wooden balls at a row of coconuts balanced on posts. A player buys three balls and wins when each coconut is knocked off the post."


Now, the song "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" should come to mind! (And I warn you, it is such a catchy little tune, you will be humming it and singing it for days!) Anybody remember the scene from " The Lion King" when the character Zazu, in a most funny way, sang a snippet of "I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts"?  If you don't remember, I have it for you here...


The song holds another memory for me from my visits to England...but funnily enough, I can't remember who used to sing it. Was it Richard's Mum, in a moment of comedic frolic? Was it his cousin who was also a very jolly soul? Memory is like that sometimes, it might be something so very familiar and yet...you might not be able to place all the details. Is it like that for anyone else or is that just me?   Anyway, the song is very well known in Britain, I think but maybe not so much in America, although it was a big hit in the USA in the 1950's with Danny Kaye and Merv Griffin both having big hits with the song.  (By the way, Merv Griffin...you must know developed many of the game shows on TV...Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, besides having his own talk show.  Good trivia to know- Merv Griffin actually wrote the music that you hear during the "Final Jeopardy Question"!) 

Something else that I wrote down from my reading the book "The Invisible Man" was the word, "forthwith".  He used it quite a lot.  Of course, it means "immediately" or "without delay".  Isn't it funny how it is really not used anymore? I like it and I think I shall begin using it forthwith.  (While we're at it, I miss the word "shall", shouldn't that word be used more often too?)  I shall use it!


Two names that I also wrote down from the book I must share with you... "Miss Cuss" and "Miss Sackbutt".  Sorry, that made me giggle.


Now this post is not actually about coconuts but I urge you to read more about coconuts!  The word itself..."coco" meaning head or skull, with the three indentations at the top resembling a face.  One can eat coconut, drink the coconut milk and make rope from the fibers and lots more!   The Indonesians claimed that coconuts had more uses than there were days of the year. (They should know!)

Should you ever find yourself in Great Britain and wonder what kind of chocolate you should buy yourself, I would highly recommend a "Bounty" bar!  In America, it is very similar to an "Almond Joy" but without the almond! Just pure joy! 

(Speaking of "Bounty"...another fascinating subject: "Mutiny On The Bounty"...you all know how much I love non-fiction. Look it up!)

Now, if you should find yourself humming this song... you're very welcome.




When we visit England, we bring back teabags and chocolate.  Some for ourselves and some to give to family and friends  Looks like I had already eaten all the Bounty bars! HA!






Really do miss walking beside the seaside in Eastbourne, England....


Hope you are all doing well in your part of the world, wherever that might be.





Sunday, March 21, 2021

Great Concert Memory- (What's Yours?)

 Even though many are acting as if everything is back to normal, I think it is too soon to be in large gatherings of people.  This reminds me of all the concerts that I have attended in my life.  Now, I dislike naming things as favorite, like my favorite book, film, concert...etc. I mean, it's difficult when you have read a great number of books, seen a lot of concerts and watched a TON of films. How can you choose a favorite? No, but there are some though, that are special, that for whatever reason...the artist (or artists) who performed, the place, the time...all that might combine to make a concert unforgettable.

I am going to tell you of one of my concert memories. (And after I do, I hope you might share a memory of your own.)  Okay then, let's go back to almost 20 years to Aug. 25, 2001...

Many concerts will just have one artist but sometimes if you are lucky enough, you might see several. (For years, Richard and I saw the Oldies Concerts at the Omni in Atlanta which had several groups from the 1960's and 1970's and while we enjoyed them, the SOUND quality was so poor that it was sometimes difficult to make out the songs!) On Aug. 25, 2001, we went to the Z93 BBQ & Blues Concert at Stone Mountain Park The only charge for attending was for the admission into the park! It was outside in what is now called "The Special Events Meadow". Here were the performers:

Christopher Cross  ("Sailing", "Ride Like The Wind", "Arthur")

Al Stewart "Year of the Cat", "Time Passages", "Joe, The Georgian"

Gary Wright   "Dream Weaver"

Ambrosia   "You're The Biggest Part of Me", "How Much I Feel"


Ambrosia was the back up band for the other musicians!  Isn't that something? My husband is the one who remembered that for me...but he would, he is a musician!

  Z93 Music Festival2001 (concertshots.com)   


IF YOU CLICK ON THAT LINK ABOVE, YOU CAN SEE PHOTOS FROM THE CONCERT! If only that drunk couple hadn't gotten up and started dancing, you would see us! We're right behind them!)

 I have given you some of their most well known songs beside each artist's name. They were all such amazing artists! We enjoyed this concert very much. My husband and I were there along with our 11 year old son. It was such an amazing concert that we called Richard's cousin and told him to get there ASAP! He came straight away and so also was able to hear some great music. 

Since we had the latest CD from Al Stewart we took it with us in hopes of getting an autograph! He didn't disappoint us, after his performance, my son and I walked behind the small stage and when he saw us with the CD, motioned us over and he signed it for us! (I encouraged Christopher to tell him one of his favorite songs on the CD, which was "Joe, The Georgian". Al Stewart must have thought we were a couple of country bumpkins because he said, "It's about Stalin, you know.". (I wonder if he thought we liked it just because we were in GEORGIA.)   Well, my friends, this has always been a funny memory in our family...you see, my reply was..."Yes, we know."

My son is VERY funny telling this story.  (He tells it like..."YEAH, AL...we KNOW.")  Of course, the song IS about Stalin but hey, it is a very lively tune and I have it here for you, see if you don't agree! It is very interesting...Al Stewart writes a great many songs that are tied in with history, you should really check him out! Oh! And one more thing...years before this, when I worked for a travel agency, I saw that Al Stewart was performing at Lake Tahoe. I sent him a note to where he was scheduled to perform along with a post card addressed to myself. Hey! I had a stamp on it! I asked him if could send it back to me and let me know when his next album would be coming out.  HE MAILED IT BACK TO ME!  Isn't that great? (He told me that "Last Days of the Century" would be released on Sept. 1, 1988.)  I just looked it up and it said it was released on Aug. 24, 1988...maybe it came out just a wee bit earlier than expected!




                                           Here I am on top of Stone Mountain! It only looks
                                             like I am about to fall off.  I am not anywhere near the edge! (See
                                             Atlanta in the distance?)


                                            It is a tradition to have Easter Sunrise Service on Stone Mountain. 
                                            Cancelled last year, not sure about this year.


                                            






Okay, now...what concert memory would you like to share with me?

Don't be shy!

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Hope you are all doing well! Guess what?!  I got my first Covid 19 vaccine yesterday! It was a real shot in the arm! HA HA!  I was so happy to get the appointment. My 2nd one is scheduled for April 12th, I will be there with BELLS on! You know I will!

 Oh, and also, in my last post, I told you about Aaron Frazer, if you remember. He will be the musical guest on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" tomorrow night, March 22nd!  See, he will hit it really big now that I have mentioned him on my blog.   Tee-hee.




Saturday, March 13, 2021

Can't Leave It Alone (Song for March Films on TCM 2021)





Hello, everyone! I just saw the best thing on TV and I have to share it with you! You must know that I have a great fondness for TCM (Turner Classic Movies).  AND I also enjoy that in between the films, someone puts together snippets of the films shown that month along with a song in the background.  For the month of March, it was the following... (And be sure to pay attention to not just the song but how cleverly and seamlessly the song goes along with the moving images and also how the images are connected.) Wait...difficulties.....  Okay, not able to post it here but I have a link below...be sure and watch!










There! I hope you were able to see the video!  The song is "Can't Leave It Alone" and it is by Aaron Frazer. What an interesting and talented young man!   I had never heard of him or this song but I like them both! (The song is very new, it was released on his album just this past January.) To me, it is like an R & B sound but with a modern twist.  He sings in a falsetto voice and that is most unusual, isn't it? Although, I also am remembering Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons...


Can you think of others?  (The marvelous Bill Kenny of The Inkspots should also come to mind!)

Falsetto! Now who is going to do a post talking about falsetto today? Only me! 

Remember my post where I told you about the song, "Whispering Grass"? I so wanted to show you some photos of whispering grass but here you go, better late than never! 
 

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Hope you are all doing well and that wherever you are in the world, it is a nice day. Take care.