Saturday, May 30, 2020

Secret Agent Man (At 77!)

"Secret Agent Man"!  The song was a big hit for Johnny Rivers. It was the theme song from the TV show "Secret Agent Man".  Did you know it was "Danger Man" in the UK? I didn't, I just it read it on Wikipedia! (I am addicted to Wikipedia, shh....don't tell anyone!)  The TV show ran from 1964 to 1966. To be honest, I don't even remember the show very much, but I love the song! I told my son about this video and he agrees that it is a great song with a simple but very effective guitar riff.

Now as for this video I have here for is Johnny Rivers performing the song from 2018!  At the age of 77!  And he is still ROCKING it! Listen to the video and see if you don't agree! Enjoy!
I was able to see the Fire Pinks at Panola Mountain State Park recently. How much I look forward to this flower! It is such a vivid red color! Rock & Roll!

Hope you are all doing okay! Take care, everyone. Remember, music and flowers!

Sunday, May 24, 2020

White Garden (Can't Get It Out of My Head)

Welcome to my all white garden! There is just something about white. This also makes me think of men playing cricket in England dressed in their all whites. (Forgive me if I only say England but that is the only place I have ever seen it being played!)
Yucca cactus flower-  Arabia Mountain

Hydrangea - Monastery in Rockdale County

                                           Southern Magnolia -  also from the Monastery
                                       Fringe Tree - Arabia Mountain (They are also at the Monastery!)

                                     Amaryllis -  In our garden! (Not in bloom now but 
                                        it was a beauty!)
      Ox eye our yard.  These are really weeds but we like them and let them grow. Once again these have just "gone over" as my English father-in-law calls it but we enjoyed them so much, I wanted to share them with you. 

Many of these flowers I have here for you are no longer in bloom but you guessed it... I can't get them out of my head!

"Can't Get It Out of My Head" by ELO.  I am sure you must know this song but please listen to this video. It is Jeff Lynne on guitar and Richard Tandy on piano with Jeff Lynne doing the vocals, of course. So, just a man singing and playing his guitar with a piano accompaniment.  JUST! It is amazingly good! See, if you don't agree.

There, isn't that something? I have read that he wrote the song after his Dad mentioned to him that his songs lacked the melodic quality of classical music. This was his answer to that!

And you have to love a song that has this in the lyric:
"Robin Hood and William Tell and Ivanhoe and Lancelot, they don't envy me".

Here are all the lyrics if you would like to sing along:

Midnight, on the water
I saw the ocean's daughter
Walking on a wave's chicane
Staring as she called my name
And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head
Breakdown on the shoreline
Can't move, it's an ebbtide
Morning, don't get here tonight
Searching for her silver light
And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head, no how?
Bank job in the city
Robin Hood and William Tell
And Ivanhoe and Lancelot
They don't envy me
Sitting 'til the sun goes down
In dreams the world keeps going 'round and 'round
And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head
And I can't get it out of my head
No, I can't get it out of my head
Now my whole world is gone for dead
'Cause I can't get it out of my head, no how, no now

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Flowers and Music (for Mental Health!)

Whether we are around wildflowers or blooming trees at Arabia Mountain or Panola Mountain...

Or if they are carefully tended flowers in our own garden...

   all of these flowers are good for our mental health. So, flowers and music, I believe are good for all of us.

The month of May is Mental Awareness Month.  During these stressful times, it is important to remember those who are having trouble coping.  There was an REM song that received quite a bit of airplay at the beginning of the pandemic, but the one that I wish would have been given attention was another one..."Everybody Hurts".    

May I tell you something? You might not believe this but it is true.
In February (which seems like a lifetime ago now), Richard and I met Michael Stipe. (The lead singer AND songwriter of REM.)  I recognized him and asked if I could shake his hand. (Oh the days when one could shake a person's hand and not think a thing about it!)  He was most gracious and I am grateful that I am able to recall a moment like that from this year.

So remember, "hold on"!  (This song is from their album, "Automatic for the People".  Don't you just love that? He got that phrase from a small restaurant in Athens. That would be Athens, Georgia, not Athens, Greece!)

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Flowers! We Will Rock You!

Wandering iris (or Apostle plant) with poinsettia in the background...who still has poinsettia in May? You would if you had an English gardener like me! (By that I mean my husband, if anyone new is reading this.)

I LOVE flowers! Don't you? They raise our spirits, I believe. Very much needed at this time.
Gardening is actually quite hard work. I am quite happy to let Richard do most of it. (But he is so very good at it, my friends, just as he is good at cooking and shopping and doing the laundry...oh dear, better not tell you all my secrets!)

Did you read recently in the news that Brian May (the guitarist from Queen) was hospitalized because he had an injury from gardening? Yes, that is correct.  Apparently, he injured his gluteus maximus (in England, they say "bum", we were always taught to say "rear end".) Anyway, I can see how that could do a lot of bending over and pulling at weeds and digging the earth, so...I will try to remember that when I am helping Richard with the gardening!  My specialty is planting seeds and re-potting. Oh! And directing where things go and also what pots should be used....I am very good at that!


What song shall I give you? Of course!  "We Will Rock You" by Queen!  I hope you know that Brian May wrote it! I recently watched the film "Bohemian Rhapsody". I have seen it before but it is very good and well worth watching again. I love the part where Brian May presents the song "We Will Rock You" to the group and in particular to Freddie Mercury. (The actors were just so very good in their roles, the casting was excellent!)
If you watch the film, make sure to watch all the way to the end, even through the credits. You will be rewarded by real videos and photos of Freddie Mercury, the REAL Freddie Mercury, an  incredible songwriter AND singer. (And not putting the actor down at all who portrayed him, Rami Malek...his performance was AMAZING.) He deserves every acting award for this role!

Hope you are all doing well, my friends.  Take care and don't forget to appreciate the beauty of flowers. They will rock you! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The REAL Lord of the Flies! (The Last Hobnob)

The Last Hobnob.

   Is it just me or does my half eaten Hobnob look like the moon? Yes, this is the kind of thing that entertains me, my friends!
Listen, the real reason I took a photo of this was to tell you that this is my very last Hobnob.  I brought this back with me when I visited England in October 2019. The sell by date for these biscuits was May 11, 2020! That means if you plan on sailing around the world, take some Hobnobs! 

Now, I am not sailing around the world anytime soon but that does remind me of a story that I want to tell you about...

I am sure that you have read the book "Lord of the Flies". If you haven't read it, then you must have heard about it. Seems like we had to read it in school. It is a book of fiction written by William Golding in 1954, about British boys stranded on a desert island and's not very pretty, shall we say.  Now, what if I told you about a true story of boys on a desert island?   It is fascinating!

In June of 1965, six teenage boys "borrowed" a boat and sailed away. They were in a Catholic boarding school in Naku'alofa, which is the capital of Tonga, in the South Pacific.  Caught in a storm, they drifted for eight days with no food and no water.( They managed to catch rainwater in some coconut shells and shared it amongst themselves.) On the eighth day, they reached an island (not the kind with gorgeous sand and palm trees but an island that was mostly rock and is today considered uninhabitable named 'Ata.) They set to work with a great determination to survive. These six teenage boys lived for 15 months on coconuts, fish and tame birds. These kids worked together! They worked out a two man roster for garden, kitchen and guard duty. Whenever there were arguments, this was settled by "time outs". Each day began and ended with a song and a prayer. (They had made a guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires from the boat.) 

I read about this in a British newspaper and you may read the same piece just here!  Please take the time to read it, you will also see photos!  (Rutger Bregman is the author of "Humankind" and is the Dutch author who unearthed this story. He discovered this story because it was...oh be still my heart...mentioned on a blog! 

The boys were rescued on Sept. 11, 1966 and the doctors were astonished at the boy's good health. They had survived because they had worked together and had learned to lean on each other. Their true story is the one that should be read in schools! Captain Peter Warner who rescued them, wrote his own account of this and said, "Life has taught me a great deal, including the lesson that you should always look for what is good and positive in people."

Can you imagine the JOY of the families when they were reunited with those boys? (They had been assumed dead and they had had funerals for them.) AND I do wonder what it would have been like for them, what foods did they want to eat first? I hope they didn't give them a SEAFOOD buffet they like did for Tom Hanks in Castaway! (Sorry, I know I am veering over into fiction here...but I did enjoy that film but why would you have shrimp for someone just rescued off an island?) See the things I think about?

Can't seem to get that video on here but if you click on the above, you should be able to see it.  It is so worth watching!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Royal Night Out

Hello, everyone!  I might have mentioned this film to you before but I will tell you again!  It is "A Royal Night Out".  It is based on the true story of Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret being allowed to "mingle" with the crowds as the great celebrations were taking place in London in May 1945 after the end of WWII in Europe. (And when I say Elizabeth and Margaret, I mean Queen Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret before Elizabeth was queen of England, of course!) 
The film veers over into great fiction, as many films do, but I hope that will not stop you from enjoying this movie!
Don't look up and see any of the reviews about it, just trust's great fun! 
Let me know if you are able to see it.  You're welcome!

In the past, whenever we would visit Eastbourne,  one of the neighbors of Richard's parents would put some Union Jack flags in a milk bottle along with the American flag on the front door.  Betty passed away and now, when we visit, we really miss that colorful greeting.  (Oh, and she also had the English flag on there, that is the white one with the red cross.)   Betty spent some time in California and so, she had a special fondness for America, which was perfectly fine with me!

Take care, everyone. Please stay safe.  I still think a mask is a very good idea, along with the 6 foot distance (2 meters in Europe) and hand washing, hand washing, hand washing...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

I Went To A May Garden Party (In The Past!)

May is here! (Yes, I know we are well into it now but I am always a bit late these days.)
For the past few years, we have been invited to a wonderful garden party during the month of May. A beautiful garden to enjoy with fabulous food and drink and lots of laughter and scintillating conversation.  Of course, this year I am sure that there will be no party at this lovely garden. So...why not just share some photos from the past two years? Yes, I think that will be nice....
One year the theme was "Alice In Wonderland" and a woman and her daughter made these cookies that were just stunning!
Now, you might think that they might look good but how did they taste? My friends, they were the BEST that I have ever had in my life. And yes, I have had a few cookies in my time! Look at the decoration! Every bit of all of that was edible.  The best thing, I was able to take one of them...I chose the blue dress one with the white apron...and took it to my Dad. (This was in 2018, remember he passed away in Feb. of 2019.) Now, my Dad took one bite of that cookie and looked at me...and said, "Wow."  So much emotion in that single word!  So happy I could share this with him!

Oh, of course I took a photo of the one that I took to him! (I managed to crack the cookie on the journey but you know my Dad didn't care!)

Tweedledee and Tweedledum were on the invitations! So good!
I was thrilled with this display that someone had made! I must have shown you this before but it was two years ago, so you might not remember! All of it was tied in with Alice In Wonderland as I have told you and you can recognize this if you look at all the objects very carefully.
Okay, that was I will show you 2019!

There were all kinds of hidden bits around the garden which made it so interesting...

"Recall a happy memory as often as you like, you can never wear it out."