Now, I am not saying that I am looking rough these days but look at what I saw looking down at me from a tall tree in my backyard! (Some people would call this a buzzard but since you all know that I know my birds, it is a turkey vulture.) One does not always look one's best after an illness...I keep telling myself that! (I don't really speak that way, I have been watching too many British TV shows! HA!) What are you seeing out your door or window these days? Do tell!
Our house faces east, so we sometimes have some gorgeous sunrises. This is the view from our front door!
"Christmas, Don't Be Late (The Chipmunk Song)" was written by Ross Bagdasarian. His cousin was the famous novelist William Saroyan. Rostom "Ross" Bagdasarian is better known by his stage name of David Seville. Both of these men were Armenian-Americans and this means a lot to me since my son's girlfriend is from Armenia. Now, the song is most known as being sung by the cartoon Chipmunks-Simon, Theodore, and ALVIN, which were created by the aforementioned Mr. Bagdasarian! (Funny fact, Ross Bagdasarian named them after the executives from the record company that produced his records.) Now, this Christmas my son let me know that he realized the song in 3/4 time and is therefore a WALTZ! Also, he realized that it was a very pretty tune. There, you see...I always knew I loved this song! I ADORE waltzes! Christopher found a piano version of this song...so I have it for you here. Enjoy! Hope you are all having lovely times with your family and friends. Blessings to you all! (And I am still wanting that hula-hoop!)
One of my favorite songs at Christmas (and you do know I love so many of them, don't you?) is "Hark The Herald Angels Sing". The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley. The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, I am sure that you know who they are! They were both born in Epworth, England - John in 1703 and Charles in 1707. John Wesley is considered the father of Methodism and you should know the name of Charles Wesley as the author of thousands of poems that were set to music. (Yes, you read that correctly, thousands of them. I have read 5000 or 6000. Regardless of the number, the quality of his writing is what truly impresses me.) They were Anglicans of course, but they were called Methodists by their fellow students at Oxford due to their methodical approach to Bible study and daily prayer. (They never left the Anglican church but they were not allowed to preach in Anglican churches due to their evangelical ways. Instead, they preached in barns, private homes and outside, under the trees.)
John and Charles Wesley both traveled to Georgia in 1735 as missionaries! (John in Savannah and Charles at St. Simon's Island.) Things didn't go so well for them though and they returned to England. I wish I could make a film about the Wesley brothers. Then, I would have to do a follow up film about their mother, Susanna! What an amazing woman. It was their mother who educated her children, their father...well, their upbringing mainly fell to Susanna. She had 19 children with nine of them dying as infants. The son of Charles Wesley is Samuel Wesley and he is known as the English Mozart! He was a child prodigy in music and from what I have read, we owe a lot to him since he was an early fan of Johann Sebastian Bach. (He named his son Samuel Sebastian.) Oh dear, that will have to be my THIRD movie that I make about the Wesleys! Now, my friends, I have dozens of things to do before Christmas...and I am sorry if all of these facts might be a bit jumbled in my head!( My advice to you: don't be sick for a whole month before Christmas, it makes things very tough!) Please know that I wish all of you a most joyous Christmas and I am sending you all my best! Leaving you with one of the verses from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"... LIGHT AND LIFE!
Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings. Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.
Recently, I said this to a couple - "How did y'all meet?" Smiling, they told us that they first met at a bus stop while it was raining and they had shared an umbrella. This couple is from Armenia and they didn't know the song that instantly sprang to my mind. (I hope they will see it here now!) If you don't know the song, "Bus Stop" by the Hollies, which was a big hit in 1966, then I hope you will listen to it now! The lead singer on that song was Allan Clarke and I just found the most wonderful interview with him! It has so much background information about the songs from the Hollies. If you are interested, you may click on his name that I have below and you can read it too.
I knew that Graham Nash (you know, from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young?) was with the Hollies in the early days but what I did not know was that Graham Nash had been good friends with Allan Clarke since they were school kids, when they were only six years old! Oh goodness me, things like that just tickle me no end!
Richard was in England in December of last year and he took some photos from the pier in Eastbourne. Isn't this beautiful? Richard and I actually met for the first time when I visited London in May of 1981. I told him to meet me in the lobby of the hotel where my sister and I were staying. Why didn't I think of some romantic spot, like on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral or beside the Thames near the Houses of Parliament? I am just not the romantic type, I guess! So, if you are married or have a romantic partner, how did you meet? Do tell!
Elvis Lives! At least as long as we have his music and men who like to impersonate him! I really like this latest ad from Apple with Elvis impersonators from around the globe communicating with each other on Group Facetime on their IPhones. The ad is called "A Little Company.". Instead of making fun of those who imitate Elvis (which usually happens) this ad presents them in a very respectful manner. Anybody else enjoy this ad as much as I do? You will never guess...I looked this up and the ad is from Dougal Wilson, a director of commercials and music videos and he is from England! (Always goes back to England for me, somehow.) His bio says that he was born in Heswall, England. I had no idea where that could be so I looked that up too...it is a town on the Wirral, near Liverpool! One of my blogging friends lives in Wirral, so that tickled me to discover this! (John and brother Graham, I hope y'all see this post!) Dougal Wilson There, if you click on his name, it will take you to his site "Furlined" and once there, you will see this Elvis ad along with an ad with children singing "Bohemian Rhapsody." Make SURE you go to see it, you will thank me! It is amazing too! There are other ads there also and they are all simply little masterpieces of film. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do. (The Ikea ghosts...so funny!)
In case anyone wants to hear the real Elvis sing this song, I have it for you too. "There's Always Me". It was originally recorded on June 17, 1961 on his album, "Something for Everybody".
P.S. I have been known for singing "Happy Birthday" like Elvis, so Elvis impersonators are dear to me! If no one ever wants to imitate you, Elvis...there's always me! Elvis lives!
When Clint Eastwood was playing in a golf tournament this past May, he had a conversation with one of his fellow golfers, a singer/songwriter by the name of Toby Keith. Clint Eastwood is 88 years old and Toby Keith expressed his admiration for the fact that Clint Eastwood is still working at such an age. Clint said to him, "I get up every day and don't let the old man in." Well, of course, that is just the best thing to say to a songwriter! The song, "Don't Let The Old Man In" is featured in the new film "The Mule", which will be out this Friday. (Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Clint Eastwood!)
I really have no idea if I will like the film or not but the music video with the song is quite good, I think. Of course, this makes me think that I shouldn't "let the old woman in" but I just went past a mirror so... too late! HA!
We have had lots of rain lately, so hardly any nice sunrises or sunsets but last week, Richard got this of the sun coming up and you know I asked him to take a photo for you.
Now, I am getting better...I keep telling myself that! Hope you are all well.
The sculptures of the four bronze lions in Trafalgar Square in London are very memorable. If you have never been there, I am sure you recognize them from photos of London. They are called "Landseer's lions" because they were designed and made by Sir Edwin Landseer, a painter and sculptor from the Victorian era. Until Feb. 3, you may see one of his most famous paintings, "The Monarch of the Glen" at the National Gallery in London. (Also in Trafalgar Square.) And please tell me if you get to see it, I won't be able to do so but I'd love to know that I told someone else to view it. (This is the first time the painting has been at the National Gallery since 1851, so a pretty special thing to see, if you ask me.)
Interesting to me, Sir Edwin Lanseer had only seen lions at the London Zoo, and he based the sculptural design upon the drawings that he made from his observations of them. I like his paintings very much. You may see more of them just here. Do you have a favorite? I keep going back to the one of the falcon. After all, I have observed birds myself for many years and I know for a fact how perfectly he has painted those feathers... (He is very famous for his paintings of dogs, there is a breed of a Newfoundland dog which is called the Landseer Newfoundland.) The gingko tree at the monastery here in Conyers just lost its beautiful yellow leaves recently and Richard took some photos, of course! Can you see the face of the lion in the photo above? I saw it right away, it is only just the face, almost a smiling face, just in the middle...do you see it? There, I hope that makes you smile! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Does anyone remember me writing about our friends, Joy & Henry in England? Henry fell and broke his hip recently, so I hope that you will leave your get well wishes here for him! Henry, I was going to tell a funny story here to cheer you up but how about I show you some photos of our leaves instead?
At the Monastery, the monks have the great, good sense not to blow or rake these away...they let them fall where they may. Lovely to see and to walk through.
The monks also sell bonsai trees at the monastery and they are showing their true colors also!
These last two photos were taken this week, on Dec. 3rd!
There, Henry, does the light shining upon these leaves cheer you up? I hope so! Just know that we are thinking about you and wishing you the best.
To all my blogging friends, I have not been very well and not able to visit many blogs but I hope I am getting better now. Hope you are all doing well! Take care.