Sunday, September 29, 2019

Here Comes The Sun

Here Comes the Sun.   
Watch this video, please! The very last frame has George Harrison which is fitting because this song was his composition. Lovely to see all four Beatles.  I have always loved them and I always will. All you need is love!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Turtles


Anybody remember the Turtles? The group from the 1960's?
Well, you know that I do!  I heard a song on the TV today, when I was in a waiting room. Wow, it sure did sound good to my ears.  I don't want you to think that I live in the past and only listen to music from my youth. It's just that there are many songs that are lodged firmly in my brain and I am grateful to hear some of those great tunes in a TV commercial. (For one thing, it has to be a good thing for children to hear catchy songs from the 60's!)

Okay then, what was the song? You can guess, can't you?  "So Happy Together" is from 1967.  In the USA, this song knocked the Beatles' song "Penny Lane" off the top of the charts. 
"So Happy Together".

 Sing along if you like.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

London Pubs and Breweries

Top 20 Places to Drink Beer in London!

Would you like to read about the top 20 places to drink beer in London?  Sure you do!  Just click on that link that I gave you above and you should be able to read most of the article that our son wrote for the Beer Connoisseur Magazine!  (You might have to subscribe to the magazine to read the entire article.)

Christopher visited London this summer and I am happy to tell you that he inherited his father's talent at photography.  (Poor lad, he only inherited my seasonal allergies.) The photos that he took are outstanding!

One of the pubs that he mentioned is the Anchor Bankside on the South Bank.  Richard took a photo the last time we were there. If you look at the second window, you will see an American gawking  looking up at the pub- that would be ME!   

(Gee whiz, I am good at my words..."gawk" means to stare openly and stupidly.  I really should not have crossed that word out!)

Please let me know if you are able to read our son's article!
He is SUCH a great writer, truly he is! Of course, I am a bit biased in that regard but I am not the only one who thinks this about him.
Hope you are all doing well these days.  In Georgia we are ready for summer to be OVER. I got into my car this week and it said 108 degrees for the outside temp...that would have been correct on that hot Georgia asphalt parking lot. This week, it has been promised that there will be record breaking high temperatures, in the 90's.
Take care and stay cool!

Our hummingbirds will be leaving soon, usually the first week of October. How much I love them! Look at this photo, see those little feet? This tiny bird will fly NONSTOP across the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of 500 miles.  Wow.

What song will I share here?  You know the one!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

I Give You The World (And Brownies)

If you read the BBC like I do, you will already know about this! For the past four weeks at Peterborough Cathedral, there has been an art installation of the Earth! You may see it just here.   Go and look at it...I will wait.

(While I was waiting, I made peanut butter brownies. Would you like one when they are cool?)

There...wasn't that amazing?  I can't imagine seeing something like that, rotating just like the Earth and with music with it as well! It was called "Gaia" and the visual artist is from Great Britain. His name is Luke Jerram.  Reading about him, he is color blind and that is what he attributes to his way of "seeing " the world.   (I am reminded of a book that I have told you about before, "Crashing Through" by Robert Kurson". It is the story of a man who was blinded when he was 3 years old.  It is a fascinating book. His sight was restored as an adult and you learn that your sight is not just from your eyes but also from your perception.) 

 Luke may read more about him here.
Does anyone remember me telling you about pianos being placed in public places?  He is also the one behind that idea!  (He called it, "Play Me, I'm Yours".)  These pianos have been placed all over the world and it is estimated they have been enjoyed by over 10 million people.

(Sorry...that makes me think of the song by Squeeze, "Take Me, I'm Yours, so I had to have it here for you!)

Luke Jerram has also written a book..."Art In Mind: An Artist's Journey Exploring the Edges of Perception".  You know I want to read it!

Hope you find this as fascinating as I do!  Why when I took the edge of my knife and pulled it through that peanut butter mixture on the top of the brownie batter, I felt like an artist creating something for the ages! My baking might not be the best but it looks good!
I made those brownies for a family reunion.  "Oh no, here comes Kay with brownies again.", said NO ONE EVER!  Most people really like brownies!  Even mine!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Milton Hershey, Chocolate and Accolades

September 13, 1857...that is the date that Milton Hershey was born.
Of course you all know Hershey Chocolates! The Hershey bar was invented in 1900 and the Hershey's kisses in 1907. (I have seen varying dates on that but it is close enough for me.)  The Hershey bar was a part of the rations supplied to the troops in WWII. Milton Hershey is the one behind the famous chocolate company that bears his name but he was not just a successful businessman but was also a great philanthropist. 
Read some of his quotes...

"One is only happy in proportion as he makes others happy".

"An interest in something new triumphs over the calendar". 
(Never too old for new things.)

"If I rest, I rust."

The town of Hershey, Pennsylvania was built around the Hershey chocolate factory and he wished to build a model town.  He envisioned a town that would be a nice place to live: tree lined streets, good schools, public transportation and parks.  (I remember my own Dad saying that he once drove though Pennsylvania and as he came near Hershey, he could smell the chocolate from miles away.  Don't know about you but I love that.)

"Hershey: The Sweetest Place on Earth"

Milton Hershey's wife, Catherine "Kitty" sadly died in 1915.  In the year 1918, Milton Hershey gave sixty MILLION dollars to the Hershey Industrial School for Boys (now called the Milton Hershey School.) This was his entire fortune of Hershey Chocolate Company stock. There is a statue of Milton Hershey at the school and on it there is a plaque that reads: "His deeds are his monuments. His life is our inspiration."

I hope this post will make you think of Milton Hershey whenever you see a Hershey kiss! There is a lovely story of a gentleman who gives away Hershey's kisses... you may see that story just here.

"All I really need is love but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt".  That is a quote from Lucy from Peanuts.   I agree!

Our yellow daises are beginning to bloom now (these are photos from last year at this time) and they are beautiful to see. Sweet!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Al Stewart

Al Stewart, you might remember his name from one of his biggest hits..."Year of the Cat".  Remember that one? He is a very talented songwriter and is very interested in history. Many of his songs will make you bring out your history book to refresh your memory on historical figures...

WAIT...let me just come out from behind my teacher's desk and tell you something that I did once. Oh, you might not believe I did this but I did! When I worked as a travel agent in the 1980's and 1990's,  I noticed that Al Stewart was scheduled to perform at a casino at Lake Tahoe in Nevada. (This was 1988, I believe.)  I thought to myself...if he is performing there, he must also be staying there that week. WHAT IF I were to send him a note to that hotel address along with a postcard addressed to myself and ask him if he would send it back to me...would he do that? (I put a stamp on it, of course, I did!)  I asked him when would his next album be released. And the post card was a postcard from Scotland with bagpipers in their colorful kilts, since I knew that Al Stewart had been born in Scotland, that might make him know that I was a fan. (Although he moved as a child to England and was brought up there). What do you think?  HE MAILED IT BACK! Yay!
He told me that his next album would be "Last Days of the Century" and would be released on Sept. 1st of that year! Okay...let me get back to my serious self...

                  "Joe, The Georgian" is a great tune but can you believe it...Al Stewart wrote this song about Joe Stalin, who was responsible for millions of deaths.  Strange that such a lively tune is about Stalin, but that is Al Stewart for you!  Must tell you something that my son and I still laugh about...when Christopher and I went backstage to ask Al Stewart to sign one of his CD's (which he did), I told him that "Joe the Georgian" was one of my son's favorites. Al Stewart then replied, "It's about Stalin, you know.". To which I replied, "Yes, we know".
Now, my son has told me that I said this in such a way...
I can't describe is so funny.  "Yes, AL...we KNOW!" 
Honestly, no one ever thinks I know anything but you all know that I know everything, right? HA!  Well, musical lyrics anyway!           

Al Stewart had a birthday this past week, he turned 74 on Sept. 5th.
As a British artist, he is well known in the folk music scene. He played at the first Glastonbury festival in 1970 and he shared a flat with Paul Simon. (I hope you all know that famous songwriter/singer! Paul Simon is American, of course, and is also well known as 1/2 of the famous Simon/Garfunkel duo but he was in London in the 1960's, when he shared that flat with Al Stewart.)
At that time, Al Stewart and Paul Simon played at a folk club in Soho (in London, of course.) and performed alongside Cat Stevens, Bert Jansch, Van Morrison, Roy Harper and Ralph McTell.) Wow!

Ralph McTell playing a guitar on a single stage like that and singing his own songs!  Paul Simon and Cat Stevens, can you imagine?

Anyway, back to Al Stewart...I found it very interesting to read what he had to say about songwriting.

 "I think of songs as aural cinema...I want to show you a movie when I'm playing a song. One of the ways that I get inspired to write a song is to look at a world atlas and whatever page I am looking at, at least six songs occur to me. So, if you look at pretty much any of my songs, a lot of them are geographical, historical and form a movie".

Here is more songwriting advice...

"Don't use words that other people use."  
And "write about subjects that no one else writes about".  
Al Stewart moved to Los Angeles after the release of "Year of the Cat".  He is still performing and does tours all over the world. You may find his website just here.

Oh! I just thought to tell you...I had a bright red "Year of the Cat" T shirt that I bought when I saw him in concert in the late 1970's. Years later, my son wore it when he was in middle school.  He didn't care that no one knew who Al Stewart was...he just thought it was a cool shirt!
Yeah, that's me...I am one cool cat!

Now, I must tell you...we saw Al Stewart in concert when our son was in middle school and he was in concert with A.J. Croce...I will have to tell you about him in another post!  Just a taste of the talented A.J.  (son of Jim Croce, but he is extremely talented in his own right, I promise you!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Beautiful Buildings (Thomas Heatherwick)

Beautiful buildings! I have written a bit about my love for architecture before.  Did I tell you that as a kid in school, I admired the cover of my Social Studies book that showed the very modern buildings of the capital of Brazil and asked the teacher if we could write a letter to Brazil asking about them? I wonder what they thought when they received a letter from the 6th grade class from Conyers, Georgia? (I wasn't allowed to write the letter myself, the teacher asked a GUY to do so. Hey, that was okay. It was MY idea!)
Anyway, that was my first taste of architecture! Having only lived in small towns in Georgia, the first time I saw London in 1981...well, it was just breathtaking to me. Many of the buildings that I admired then are long gone... but many of them are still there, along with lots of modern edifices that seem to be from another world! 

Sometimes, there will be a building that catches my eye that might be something very simple but it impresses me nonetheless.
(There, I haven't used the word "nonetheless" in ages. It is so old fashioned, that suits me just fine!)

I have given you two photos here...I hope you recognize the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built in the early 1700's. 

This next photo is also from London... Can you guess what it is?

It is the Charing Cross Railway Station!  Isn't it lovely?  Perhaps you don't notice it as much in the day but in the evening, when it is lit up with those purple lights, I find it quite beautiful.

Here is a name for you...Thomas Heatherwick.  Have you seen photos of the building that he designed in New York City called "The Vessel"?  It was opened in March of this year.  It is just beside the Hudson River, it is a structure with 16 stories, 15 flights of stairs and 2500 steps.  It looks very much like a honeycomb to me.
Thomas Heatherwick is an English designer and he has also designed buildings in England and in other parts of the world.  You should really look at his buildings and may do so just here.


There, did you see that he designed the Olympic Cauldron for the 2012 London Olympics? Remember that one ? The one where the children lit all the different flames and each flame joined into one big flame?  I loved that!

Also, he designed the East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton in East Sussex!  It is a steel structure and the steel was allowed to rust to a lovely brown and then was fixed with a transparent oil.  I find that fascinating!  
(Getting a bit rusty myself, might be useful to fix myself with that oil! HA HA.)

The most beautiful building that is close to me is the Monastery. This was built by the monks themselves over a period of about 20 years and is made entirely of concrete.  It is considered one of the most beautiful buildings ever constructed in that medium in our state.

What is one of the most beautiful buildings that you have ever seen? Do tell me! I would love to know.  

1000 Trees in Shanghai.  (Still under construction.)
  Look at the video!