Saturday, March 28, 2020

It's About Time (Here Comes A Story!) Don't Miss The Wedding At The End!

When I called my father-in-law in England this past week, I wasn't able to reach him. Later, I remembered it was because the time in England was only four hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time rather than FIVE hours. (They will change their clocks this weekend in Britain, so the 5 hour difference will be correct after that...until it is time to change again in the Autumn.)

Time...on my last post, I showed you a photo of the clock at St. Pancras Station in London.  Look, I will show it to you again...

If you are thinking that there is a story behind this clock, you are correct and you know I am going to tell it...

The Definition of Time Acts of 1880. It is the act which standardized Greenwich Mean Time for Great Britain.  The railways were the reason behind this.  First adopted by the Great Western Railway in 1840 with other railways following suit. In the early days, it was called "Railway time". Up to that point, time was based on the 24 hour rotation of the earth which meant that East Anglia was about 5 minutes ahead of London and Bristol would be 12 minutes behind!  Okay, I am talking about Britain here but if you are American like me you may be thinking...."I wonder if that is how our time zones in the USA began? Correct!
We have Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones...they were introduced on Nov. 18, 1883 and this was also due to the US railroads! (In 1884, an International Prime Meridian Conference was held in Washington D.C. and Greenwich, England was selected as zero degrees longitude and established the 24 time zones based on the prime meridian.)

Back to the train stations in England with their giant clocks-  St. Pancras Station in London had a was said to be the largest at any railway station in England. With a clock dial made of slate,  it was 16 feet and 9 inches in diameter with the hour hand at 4 feet, 5 inches and the minute hand at 7 feet, 3 inches.  The clock was there for nearly 100 years until it was decided that the train station needed modernization and it was decided to sell the clock. Supposedly the clock was to be sold to a wealthy American but that never happened. Upon removal, the clock was dropped and was broken into pieces!  Now, enter our hero of the story, a Midland train guard named Roland Hoggard. He offered to take the pieces of the clock away and he did so. It took him a week, transporting the broken bits on the Midland line to his farm in Nottinghamshire. Here is his quote at the time, "I couldn't bear the thought of it being broken up". Roland Hoggard rebuilt the clock on the end of his barn using as much as the original as possible but recreating pieces that were beyond repair. In the early 2000's,  St. Pancras station was transformed into St. Pancras International Station, taking passengers to Europe. British Railway was able to use Roland's clock as a template for the new clock, with metal plate, slate diamond shaped hour markers and roman numerals.( If you notice it says "Dent" on the clock, the Dent Company also made the clock at the Royal Observatory Greenwich as well as Big Ben!)

If you look at the website for St. Pancras International Station, you will see this: "Our clock continues to keep time and ensure our passengers catch their train."  
What they didn't say but I will say for them, "Thank you, Roland Hoggard!".
Wedding at St. Pancras Station!  If you click on that, that is just a very sweet story...a couple getting married at the station in March of 2020. They knew their April wedding would be cancelled due to Covid-19. Instead of a kiss, they give each other elbow bumps with just the few witnesses laughing in the background.  Then, at the end, you see the couple looking up at the clock and the words, "I want my time with you."  I hope you are able to read that and see the photos!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dhani Harrison (The Inner Light 2020)

Just mentioned Dhani Harrison on my last post and then, I saw this video today!  Dhani Harrison (son of George Harrison, if you didn't see my last post!) is singing his father's song, "The Inner Light". The Material World Foundation (founded by George Harrison in 1973) today donated $500,000 to the MusiCares Covid -19 Relief Fund, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders Charities, all of which are providing aid during the Covid -19 pandemic.  In addition, Material World Foundation will donate another $1.00 (up to $100,000) for every one of you who shares their own "inner light" moment on social media using the hash tag #innerlight2020
You don't have to do the whole song, it can be a verse, a chorus or a line from the song. You can sing it, chant it, hum it or paint it! Just do it and post it to social media with the hash tag  #innerlight2020
You know I asked our son to sing this song on the guitar and to post it to social media!  Please let me know if any of you are able to do so!  
OH! And please make sure to watch the video above! You MUST wait until the end and see Dhani Harrison smile at the camera!
You can read more about the Material World Foundation at their website just here.

                       I want my time with you...this is at the St. Pancras Station in London.
Here is a close up of the clock. Isn't it beautiful?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

My Sweet Lord and Face Masks

Found this video of Billy Preston singing "My Sweet Lord". (A George Harrison composition, I hope you know.) Billy Preston is one of the main reasons that we have that last album that was released by the Beatles, "Let It Be". (They really recorded "Abby Road after that one, but it was released before "Let It Be".)  By 1970, for various reasons, the Beatles were still together but in name only.  In fact, George Harrison left the recording studio in disgust during the "Let It Be" sessions and went to a Ray Charles concert. Billy Preston was also performing and George was so impressed, he asked him join in the recording sessions.   It is believed that Billy Preston with his gregarious personality was a calming influence and they were able to complete the album (which was hundreds of hours of music, with really not much planning into as an album...I hope that makes sense, look it up!) Sadly, Billy Preston passed away in 2006 and it must not have been long after this concert in honor of George Harrison. (I believe that this was the Concert for George at the Albert Hall in London. Be sure and notice Paul McCartney on guitar, Ringo on the drums and Dhani Harrison also playing guitar, George's son!) 

Now, as you are listening to this song with the great vocal by Billy Preston, perhaps you would like some instructions on making face masks.  There is a shortage in the USA and even hospitals are asking for help. These might not be perfect but the attitude is that "something is better than nothing."  Many of those who can sew were inspired to come up with something when the CDC urged hospitals to use bandanas if their medical masks ran out! You may read more about it just here.

There are also masks that you can crochet...

Here is one made from paper towels...

Even if the face masks are not a total protection from virus germs, they would do two things: 1) Would make you stop touching your face and  2) Help with social distancing.  When someone sees you in a mask, it is reminder that we are GOING THROUGH SOMETHING BIG and it is SERIOUS.  So, BACK UP!  I know the experts say 6 feet apart but let's try for 10 feet...after all, that is 4 the better!  
See, I hope that makes you smile. 

Having said all that...staying at home, you won't have to wear a mask but if you HAVE to go out for necessary things, I think wearing a mask would be a good thing. (Our county just tonight issued a stay at home, shelter in place order but essential businesses are still open. For those who work in essential businesses, health care, grocery stores, gas stations, auto repair shops...they should wear masks!) 

I made a crochet face mask this week.  I didn't think of looking at instructions, I just kind of winged it...crocheted a piece and added some crocheted ear "hooks" at the end and used a handkerchief inside for my filter. I will go back and study these videos I gave you and try again!  Listening to music, of course.  "My Sweet Lord".
Be safe everyone, please take care.  
Sending you love from my part of the world...Georgia, USA.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

St. Bartholomew The Great Choral Eucharist-Mothering Sunday, 22 March 2020

St. Bart's in London...

If you copy and paste the above, I hope you can see and hear the service from TODAY, March 22, 2020 from London. If not, then type my post title into the search engine on YouTube.  It is from London's oldest parish church, St. Bartholomew the Great.

Today is Mothering Sunday in England. (Mother's Day). It is always the 4th Sunday in Lent, 3 weeks before Easter.  My English mother-in-law always preferred "Mothering Sunday" over "Mother's Day", so that is what we always wrote on her cards for this day. (She passed away two years ago this March. I miss her.)

If you are able to see the video, you will notice that there are only four people in the choir. The sound that comes from just four souls is incredible. Listen and hear for yourself!
The entire service is very moving.  If you don't have time to listen to it now, perhaps you could come back later to see and hear it.

This is an Anglican Service, it is the Episcopal Church in the USA. The service features the Collect in Times of Plague and Sickness from the 1928 Prayer Book. And a collect is a special prayer written about a specific subject. The Book of Common Prayer is online, you can see it just here.  On the side, you can click on "Collects" and see for yourself. (The one that is online is from the Prayer Book of 1979.) Also, don't miss to click on Prayers and Thanksgivings!

Richard and I were just here in October of 2019. These are a few photos from that time. We went there for a classical guitar concert and we sat on those chairs on the right side that you see above. I was more awed by sitting in this ancient church and only wished I could attend a church service there. Now, I am pleased that I can "attend" one from my computer. 
Let me just say, if there are any negative comments on this post, I will delete them as soon as possible. My blog, my rules! Having said that, as I delete any spam or bad comments, I will pray for you.  Be kind to one another and outdo each other in giving encouragement and hope. May peace fill your heart this day, and every day.

John 1:5  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dame Vera Lynn, 103 Today! (With A Positive Message.)

"There'll be blue birds over the White Cliffs of Dover".

All along the southeast coast of England, you will find these chalky white cliffs. (The above photo is from 2009 from Eastbourne.  Look at this photo where I managed to miss the gorgeous red and white lighthouse...yes, this is one of my pictures, not Richard's!)

Today is the 103rd birthday of Dame Vera Lynn! She was called the Forces Sweetheart in Britain during World War II. (I mentioned her on my post about the lady in white in South Africa, another woman who sang to the troops.)  I was so very pleased to read on the BBC that Dame Vera Lynn made a video encouraging the Brits during these difficult times that we must find moments of joy and reminding us that music is good for the soul. You all know that I agree with that! You may read more just here!

If you listen to this video of "We'll Meet Again", you will hear her voice at the very end saying "Keep Smiling and Keep Singing."  She made this just this week, during her birthday week!  (And she sounds so very much like Joan, my mother-in-law, who passed away two years ago. I know she would have loved this too.) Dame Vera also posted a second video specifically addressing the concerns of the day with a frank but positive message. 

Now, I have to tell you that I mailed Dame Vera Lynn a birthday card!  The one that I sent had bluebirds on it and I signed it, "Sincerely Yours", which was the name of her wartime radio program from London. I am sure she got lots of cards but I truly hope she got the one I sent her!  Okay, I found the video...enjoy!

Anybody else celebrating a birthday? Happy birthday to my friend , Meike in Germany!  And also to my Uncle John on Sunday, 22 March. He will be 95! My friend in Germany and my Daddy's brother share a birthday. My Dad would have loved knowing that!  God bless them. God bless us all!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Hands of Man (SOS)- Flowers Blooming

Chris de Burgh did a wonderful thing on his Facebook page. He said that in these troubling times he wanted to keep spirits up by posting and singing a different song every day this week, recorded on his iphone.  Isn't that great! He asked for people to send in requests and within an hour, he was on there sitting at a keyboard with his song "The Hands of Man".  If you do Facebook, you should find it. It is an amazing song, I think you will agree and I believe that it is most fitting that he chose this one to share.

Richard and I both liked this video of Chris de Burgh performing a cover of "SOS" by Abba. (It made me dance all around the room, you know it did.)  I was curious as to where this video was filmed. After some research, I found that it was made in Liverpool, England!  Yes, Liverpool...the birthplace of the BEATLES!! 

Okay, now...after a bit more research , I found a great video about the making of the "Hands of Man" album.  It is just over nine minutes long but I MUST share it here with you!  You all know how fascinated I am by songwriting and this is just...well, wonderful!

Oh! I do hope you loved that as much as I did!  I have never been to Liverpool, you know I want to see it!  (Remember my post about the Rodgers and Hammerstein song,  "You'll Never Walk Alone" and it is inscribed on the gate for the Liverpool football club? You will see it on this video!)

These are troubling times.  On Feb. 2nd, I wrote this on my blog..."We need to try and outdo each other in giving hope and encouragement."  Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson are in Australia and have the virus and are in quarantine.  Their posts on Facebook and Instagram are positive and most encouraging! Rita is a singer and she asked for folks to name the playlist of the songs that she would post. "Quarantunes" is the result!  And Tom Hanks had this to say..." Remember despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball".  (Referencing his great role from "A League of Their Own".)  And this was just from today..."Thanks to all the Helpers. Let's take care of ourselves and each other."  (Once again, from his wonderful portrayal of the inspirational Mr. Rogers.)

   Tiny wildflowers blooming just now.  "Bluets", they are called.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Never Been To Spain/Never Been To Yorkshire

Not sure if many of you know this but I worked as a travel agent for many years, almost twenty years, in fact. (I left in 2000 since I could see that the internet would make my job obsolete.  I was right!)  Lots of people assumed that travel agents visited a lot of exciting locations. I did some traveling but mainly I would read as much as I could so that I would be able to advise my customers.  I loved learning of so many destinations!  I still do even though I no longer send people around the world. ("Where in the world do you want to go today?" I used to ask but no one ever got my humor!)

Just lately, I have been reading about Yorkshire. Specifically, a town in Yorkshire by the name of Pontefract. (It is also called "Ponte" or "Ponte Carlo" just to be funny! And Shakespeare called it "Pomfret".)  It is well known for ...wait for it...licorice or as it is spelled in England, "liquorice"!  Want to read the strange story  about Britain's oldest sweet? I have a link to a great piece on the BBC. You may read it  here.

The Queens Hotel in Pontefract was built in 1901 and the theme was based on the calendar of the year.  The building has four turrets, one for each season and 52 doors (weeks of the year). It also has 366 windows and 7 staircases. (Sure you can work that out!) The Queens Hotel was originally built for the patrons of the Pontefract Racecourse (horseracing) who would arrive at the nearby railway station.  No longer a hotel, it has now been converted into flats. (Anybody want to buy me one?)

Another building in Pontefract...the Buttercross.  Now, this is very interesting to English market towns and mostly from medieval times,  there would be a cross in the middle of the town. On the circular steps around the base of the cross locally produced butter, eggs and milk would be sold. Many of them are covered by a roof as protection from the elements but in most cases, the roofs were added at a much later date. From my reading, it appears that the cross in Pontefract was actually taken down in 1734 and replaced with a stone shelter with a roof and wooden benches inside. That is the best description that I can give you from my reading. If anyone else has seen it, please let me know.  

Never been to Yorkshire...but I kinda like the tea.

"Never Been To Spain" written by Hoyt Axton. If you listen to the words of the song, you won't be surprised to learn that he was from Oklahoma.  Now, today is International Women's I am happy to tell you that Hoyt Axton's mother was also a songwriter! Her name was Mae Boren Axton and she co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" which was a huge hit for Elvis Presley. Therefore, why not have Elvis singing "Never Been To Spain" for you? Yes, I think that is just right.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

John Kay ( Steppenwolf "Born To Be Wild") and Maue Kay Foundation

Hey! You will never guess what I learned today! John Kay was the lead singer behind the band "Steppenwolf" from the late 1960's and early 1970's. Their hits are well known.  "Born To Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride are the ones I remember. It was interesting for me to find out that John Kay was born in 1944 in East Prussia (his name at birth was Joachim Fritz Krauledat).  His father died before he was born and he and mother were trapped behind the Iron Curtain. His earliest memory is that of fleeing to West Germany with his mother when he was only four years old.  Then, he fell in love with American music, listening to the radio. (Even though he could not speak English!)  John Kay emigrated to Canada with his Mother and Step-Dad in the 1958. Five years later, they moved to Buffalo, New York. John Kay first became involved with a group called The Sparrows, which after moving to California changed the band's name to Steppenwolf.   Also, nice to find out that he met and married a young woman also from Germany and they have been married since 1968.

There is more to the story!  John Kay and his wife, Jutta Maue founded the Maue-Kay Foundation which supports human rights and wildlife and the environment! I just spent a good deal of time on his website. You may find it just here!  John Kay has a video on there, "A Word from John Kay". Please listen to it!  And if you are like me, read all about the foundation. Sounds like they do really great work.  

I was so pleased to find this out today! What caused me to do this? I heard "Magic Carpet Ride" on a Goodyear TV commercial. And can I just was so nice to hear that music!


We have had some beautiful sunrises between some very rainy days. Hello, nice to see you.
 How are you all doing my friends? Spending time researching whatever strikes your fancy, like me? No? Why not? Insert smiley face here!