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Saturday, 26 April 2014

The 200th 'To Discover Ice' Post

My original idea for my 200th post was to link to my ten favourite posts, but I have changed my mind and decide to do this instead:
Regular readers of this Blog will be aware that I don't write much personal stuff. The only reason this is so is because I don't really think anyone would be interested but I really enjoy reading other people's writing about themselves in many cases. However, when my grandson had cancer at the age of five in 2010. I found it helpful to talk about and was really buoyed by the tremendous support from my Blogging friends.
My daughter Laura with Sonny in 2011
Sonny, now 9 and fully recovered (with his sister Lois, 6)
This is a good opportunity to thank all of those who provided support and prayers through that difficult six months:
  • All the remarkable staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the world's leading children's hospital in London.
  • The staff and classmates at Sonny's School, Ilford Jewish Primary School, who took Lois, then aged 3 under their wing.
  • All of our family and friends who gave love, support and cooked food at that time.
  • The amazing 368 people across the world who joined the 'Supporting Sonny' Facebook page.
  • All the Bloggers who joined the group and gave valuable support via this Blog.
  • The generous charities who gave, and still give, unquestioning support.
  • ....and Sonny himself who is a kind, very bright, loving and caring boy who is wise beyond his years.
Witness this recent conversation-
Auntie Linzi: "It's no good kids, you will never guess the password for my phone!"
Sonny: " Lois, Auntie Linzi was born in 1977. Try 1977."
Auntie Linzi: "Damn!."
I will return to my former idea of linking to some of my favourite past Postings at a later time. Thank you for being there!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

London Monopoly (23): Liverpool Street Station

Only two more London Monopoly Board posts after this one!
Exterior of Main entrance to Liverpool Street Station, London
The Railway Station
Liverpool Street station is one of the many central London railway termini. Located in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, it is the terminus for the West Anglia line to Cambridge and the much busier Great East Anglia main line to Norwich as well as many local commuter services to parts of east London, Essex and Hertfordshire and the Stansted Express, a fast link to London Stansted airport. There has been a station on the site since 1840 and the current building was greatly modernised in 1993. Liverpool Street was built as a dual-level station with an underground station opened in 1875.    In World War One the station was the target of one of the first-ever daylight bombing raids by fixed-wing aircraft. The deadly German attack killed 162 people.
The busy interior of Liverpool Street Station
The Wonderful Story of the Kindertransport
In Nazi Germany in 1938  the infamous Kristallnacht took place In the build-up to World War two. On that night swarms of SA Paramilitary forces destroyed thousands of Jewish homes, businesses and Synagogues in Germany and Austria. 30,000 people were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Meanwhile non-Jewish civilians and German authorities looked on without intervening. Shock waves reverberated around the world. The Times of London wrote: "No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenceless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday."
A delegation of British Jewish and Quaker leaders approached the UK Government who agreed to allow unaccompanied children to come to the UK as refugees. This was the start of the Kindertransport. In all 10,000 children, who would otherwise surely have perished in the Holocaust, came to the UK and were fostered here. Their arrival-point in London was Liverpool Street Station where there is a moving memorial to them. 2,000 of the children remained in England after the war and became valued members of society. Many of them joined the British Armed Forces. Four of them became Nobel prize-winners.
Frank Meisser's bronze memorial sculpture
My next post will be my 200th and I will be creating a review of my favourite posts over the last four years.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Painting of the Month (44) April 2014: Alma-Tadema

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 -1912),  A Roman Art Lover
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a controversial Anglo-Dutch Victorian painter. He was born in the Netherlands and settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life here. To me he is an odd mix of the sublime and the faintly ridiculous. He drastically fell out of favour soon after his death in 1912 and after the First World War there was a sea-change in the Arts with the rise of Modernism, which was characterised by Freudian theory, philosophy, industrialisation and political theory - a complete break with past.
Alma-Tadema's subjects were based on Classical Antiquity in a kind of super-realism. Since the 1960s his importance to Victorian painting has been re-evaluated and his reputation somewhat restored. The important thing to rememberis that, of course, the paintings didn't change; just the 'expert's' opinions of them. So the lesson from that is - don't be afraid to like what you like, unfashionable or not!
Whatever one may think of these pictures, the fact which cannot be denied is his great photo-like technical ability.
Anacreon Reading His Poems at Lesbia's House 
Selfie of the artist