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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Sweet Thing

Another re-post from exactly three years ago. The years have not dimmed my love of this music......

Van Morrison: Sweet Thing
Sweet Thing
(Click on the above to listen. Open another window if you want to listen and follow the lyrics!))
And I will stroll the merry way
And jump the hedges first
And I will drink the clear
Clean water for to quench my thirst
And I shall watch the ferry-boats
And they'll get high
On a bluer ocean
Against tomorrow's sky
And I will never grow so old again
And I will walk and talk
In gardens all wet with rain 
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing

And I shall drive my chariot
Down your streets and cry
'Hey, it's me, I'm dynamite
And I don't know why'
And you shall take me strongly
In your arms again
And I will not remember
That I ever felt the pain.
We shall walk and talk
In gardens all misty and wet with rain
And I will never, never, never
Grow so old again. 
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing

And I will raise my hand up
Into the night time sky
And count the stars
That's shining in your eye
Just to dig it all an' not to wonder
That's just fine
And I'll be satisfied
Not to read in between the lines
And we will walk and talk
In gardens all wet with rain
And I will never, ever, ever, ever
Grow so old again.
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
Sugar-baby with your champagne eyes
And your saint-like smile....

Lyrics like poetry.......
"And you shall take me strongly
In your arms again
And I will not remember
That I ever felt the pain"

Van Morrison has a reputation as a grumpy old curmudgeon but with a body of work like he has nobody could seriously doubt his commitment to his art. Ever the contrary one, he say's 'it's just a job'! If you still doubt my word listen to 'Into The Mystic'.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Royal Parks of London (1) St James Park

A magical view  across the lake in St James Park, London
St James Park is the second smallest of London's eight Royal parks at 57 acres. These parks were originally owned by the Crown and used for sport, mainly deer hunting. In 1532 Henry VIII purchased some marshland owned by Eton College in an area that had formerly consisted of a female leper colony and pig farms and he enclosed it to create a hunting park on his door-step. Successive monarchs improved the park until Charles II, upon the restoration of the monarchy after the English Civil War, had the park laid out in the way he had seen in France during his exile. Today the park is pretty much as improved by the architect and landscape designer John Nash in 1827. It's full of the most charming range of trees, shrubs, flowers and wildlife.
In 1664 the Russian Ambassador presented a pelican to the Court of St James (any Ambassador or High Commissioner to the United Kingdom is officially "Ambassador to the Court of  St James") this began a tradition of presenting pelicans as gifts and today there is an island of rocks in the lake, especially for them. There are also Egyptian geese, Greylags, Wood Ducks and many other beautiful birds. At one end of the park is Horse Guards Parade famous for the ceremony of Trooping the Colour and at the other end the best view of Buckingham Palace is to be seen.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

London Monopoly (19) Picadilly

I am resuming my journey around the London Monopoly board with Piccadilly - last of the properties in the Yellow set.

Piccadilly, looking towards Hyde Park Corner
Piccadilly runs east to west from Piccadilly Circus to Hyde Park Corner and is one of London's widest and straightest thoroughfares. It was once full of great mansions and houses and was formerly known as Portugal Street. A wealthy merchant named Robert Baker had a business there from the late 1500s making the lace collars called Piccadills which were fashionable at that time. It is reasonable to suppose that is the origin of the name it acquired in the 17th century although there are several competing theories.
At one time Piccadilly was known as "the most famous street in the world". It is now mostly famous for being the location of the Ritz Hotel and Fortnum & Mason the very posh grocery store and restaurant complex.
Piccadilly Circus with the statue of Eros
Situated at the epicentre of London's West End, Piccadilly Circus was always regarded as being at the very centre of the British Empire. As well as being a major crossroad it is also the metaphorical crossover point of the arts and of popular culture. It is surrounded by theatres and high-end architecture. It is an area that is always packed with tourists and students from around the world.
The statue of Eros is also known as the Shaftesbury Memorial as it was erected in 1893 in memory of the philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury. The base is made of cast bronze but, somewhat surprisingly, the statue itself is made of aluminium - a rare and precious metal at that time.

Next in this series: Regent Street. 
I will not be going to Jail. Probably.