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Friday, 26 December 2014
Sunday, 21 December 2014
|Over 1,000 Santas took part in a Charity Run in Bristol, England last weekend. |
Your correspondent was there!
5) In which continent did turkeys originate.....? (In the UK we don't celebrate Thanksgiving but, traditionally, eat turkey at Christmas.)
6).....and why are they so-called?
Thursday, 4 December 2014
Saturday, 29 November 2014
|Roger McGough now.....|
helping clean up the town,
Now they hang from the mantelpiece
both upside down.
and then straight up the stairs,
Batman and Robin
are saying their prayers.
They've locked all the doors
and they've put out the bat,
Put on their batjamas
(They like doing that)
made their batbeds,
With two springy battresses
for sleepy batheads.
and they're counting black sheep,
Batman and Robin
are falling asleep.
Thursday, 13 November 2014
|15 minute flower study|
|Painted for my Grandson, Sonny ,when he had cancer at the age of five.|
|Copied from a small picture in a holiday flat.|
|The Beach Huts|
|Some chap in a fantasy library with a Cezanne forgery on display.|
|Sonny about a year after leaving hospital, aged six.|
|Quaint local Street, Woodford Essex, UK|
|Carvoiero, The Algarve, Portugal|
|Carvoiero, The Algarve, Portugal|
|English rural scene. Composed from an amalgam of three separate photographs.|
Thursday, 6 November 2014
When I chose the London Boroughs as the topic for this series I should have thought it through a bit more. It should have been called 'A Review of Some of the More Interesting and Historical London Boroughs'. Bexley would not have been on that list! However, I have often said that, if one keeps digging, something interesting can be found about almost any topic......
|The London Borough of Bexley shown in green in the south-east of London, just south of the Thames.|
Monday, 20 October 2014
|Gary Oldman and Tim Roth as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern|
forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily
with my disposition that this goodly frame,
the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how
express and admirable! in action how like an angel!
in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the
world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me,
what is this quintessence of dust? man delights me not: no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling you seem to say so."
This is Hamlet describing his melancholy to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Of course, William Shakespeare had a genius gift with words but he also had great psychological insight into the human mind. Although I read these words quite often they take on a whole other perspective when heard spoken by great actors. I have selected some You Tube examples of how the speech comes alive and a final special treat!.
1) Kenneth Branagh as Hamlet
2) Iain Glen as Hamlet in 'Rosencrantz and Guidenstern Are Dead'
3) David Tennant as Hamlet
And finally a wonderful sung version from the musical 'Hair'
4) What a Piece of Work is Man
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
The place name Barnet is derived from the Old English word bærnet meaning "land cleared by burning". It is the second largest of the 32 Boroughs by population and covers over 33 square miles. Various parts of the area were mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book and the 1471 Battle of Barnet was very important during the Wars of the Roses when the House of York defeated the House of Lancaster to place Edward IV on the throne. At that time Barnet was a small town to the north of London.
|The Battle of Barnet 1471|
In 1588 Elizabeth 1st granted Barnet the right to hold the annual Barnet Fair. In Cockney Rhyming Slang 'Barnet' means hair as an abbreviation of Barnet Fair.
Hampstead Garden Suburb, within the borough was set up in the early twentieth century and is a fine example of early town-planning. The philanthropist couple Henrietta and Samuel Barnet were instrumental in it's formation but now, contrary to the original conception, it is one of the wealthiest districts in the country.
Hampstead Free Church, Hampstead Garden Suburb
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
|Restaurant de la Machine à Bougival, 1905|
|"You talkin'' to me? You must be talkin' |
to me 'cos there ain't no-one else here!"
He travelled all over France to paint and also spent some time painting by the Thames in London.
The works of the Fauvists are usually very colourful, of course, and rather cheery with a high 'feel good' factor. Another striking example of his colourful work is shown below.
|A Day in the Country, 1905|
Friday, 29 August 2014
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
|Eastbury Manor House, Barking, built 1573 during the reign of Elizabeth I|
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
|Mr and Mrs Andrews, Thomas Gainsborough c.1750|
The National Gallery, London
Thomas Gainsborough was only twenty-one when he painted this early masterpiece and it was quite pioneering in showing the realistic changeable elements of British weather.
Difficult to see in the background (although if you can enlarge the picture you can see more clearly) are cattle and sheep on the right, middle-distance and I can just make out a couple of horses below the trees to the left. Mr Andrews has got his world under control and now he can relax although he doesn't appear comfortable holding the firearm.
|Thomas Gainsborough, self-portrait 1754|
Note the similarity to Mr Andrews.
It was probably the hope that a small child would be added later.
Incidentally the oak tree which they stand in front of is still there today on the Essex-Suffolk border in Eastern England.
The marriage of this couple was not for love. It was a business decision that brought together two great estates. You are looking at Mr and Mrs Andrews Inc. They don't look happy do they?
As an experiment I am going to be mentioning the music that I am listening to (usually on Spotify or You Tube) as I post. Right now its Luciano Pavorotti duetting with Bryan Adams at Sydney Opera House in a 'live' recording of 'O Sole Mio'. Don't care for it much....
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
|Brunel pictured in front of the chains of the SS Great Britain|
|The Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol, England|
His greatest achievement, however, was probably the SS Great Britain, launched in 1843 which was the largest ship in the world at that time. It sailed between Bristol and New York and Brunel also conceived an incredible scheme to extend the Great Western Railway across the Atlantic by utilising steam-powered ships!
|The SS Great Britain now restored, pictured in Bristol|
He died of a stroke at the young age of 53 in 1859.
Saturday, 19 July 2014
|Berkeley Square Gardens in the centre of Mayfair|
I believe that a Nightingale sang there once upon a time...
|Shepherd Market, Mayfair (savills.com)|
|Beautiful shop entrance in Mount Street in the heart of Mayfair|
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Monday, 23 June 2014
|THE SUNFLOWER GALAXY, Image Copyright: Bill Snyder, Sierra Remote Observatories|
|ROVER ARRIVES AT ENDEAVOUR CRATER ON MARS|
Image Copyright: Mars Exploration Rover Mission, NASA