Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back and Forward

I'm not one to recap the year and make new year's resolutions.  I guess there were a couple of mile stones this year.
  • This is the first year in my entire life that I have worked full time.  All I can say about this is, that it is a philanthropic effort to help my family and totally altruistic and disproves evolution.
  • The Boy, Rob graduated High School and bought his first car and had his first accident.
  • My nephew got married.
  • My dear mum died. 
  • And the first time I have been back to the UK twice in one year.
And apart from those things we live pretty mundane lives.

All you dear folk who have left comments read my wandering thoughts and put up with a zillion photos of the UK, my thoughts and thanks are with you.

And next year I will try and stay with more photos of where I actually live the USA.  As all folk know, who grew up in one country and live in another you are always betwixt and between, both literally and emotionally.

Take care,

The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield a Persephone Book

I've started on the Provincial Lady in Wartime, but as soon as I began reading The Home-Maker, I'm afraid I ditched the former book.

The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield is one of Persephone's American author choices. Set in 1920's mid town USA, in a town not too near other towns.  We come to know the Knapp family.  Lester the father, Evangeline the mother, Helen 13, Henry about 10 and little Steven about four.

Lester works at the only department store in town.  Old Mr. Willing's has died and now his nephew has taken the reins.  He is young in his thirties and wants to move the department store into the 20th century.

Lester quite college to marry Eva, taking a job in the accounting office at the department store, he loathes his job.  Eva went straight into being a house-wife; these were the expected norms of the time.

Eva is efficient her house is a bandbox, dinner is delicious, at the stroke of the hour.  But everyone seems to suffer from stomach problems.  Although on a limited budget she can make anything out of an old discarded piece of clothing, she has style and the eye for it.

Lester had come home to dinner and has told them that he has been passed over yet again for a promotion.  As she says:  There never would be anything else for her, never, never!  But is was Bitter!  She looked wicked.  She felt wicked.  But she did not want to be wicked.  She wanted to be a good Christian woman.  she wanted to do her duty.

Eva was at constant war with Stephen they butted heads all the time.  As Lester left the house after another confrontation was in the works he thinks.  The opinion of a man who couldn't make money was of no value, on any subject, in any body's eyes.

One day he goes into work and is told that he is to be let go.  On leaving work he's in a daze, he'd be better off dead to his family at least they'd have the insurance money.  His neighbor's chimney is on fire, he rushes up and falls off the roof.  He is taken home paralyzed.

You must read this book to see how it all works out.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book.

Evangeline held the suit up, looking at it and thinking gratefully how it would help some woman through a difficult year in her life.  She remembered suddenly the Mrs. Warner who had so pathetically longed for that bright green sports sweater.  This would satisfy her wistful, natural longing for pretty things and yet be quite suitable for her age.  Evangeline had so much sympathy for women struggling with the problem of dressing themselves properly at difficult ages!

So relate to that.

The two were silent father and son.  Lester said to himself, shivering, "What a ghastly thing to have sensitive, helpless human beings absolutely in the power of other human beings!  Absolute, unquestioned power!  Nobody can stand that.  It's cold poison.  How many wardens of prisons are driven sadistically mad with it!"

Another quote:
"He that is down need fear no fall, 
He that is low, no pride,"

said Lester Knapp aloud to himself.  It was a great pleasure to him to be be able to say the strong short Saxon words aloud.

This reminds me of Winston Churchill's writings:

Used to rally his countrymen and the English-speaking peoples in the dark days of the Battle of Britain. The best remembered words sound like this:
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

We shall not flag or fail. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
The words Churchill used are overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon, the old short words he thought best of all. 

She came to feel that talking to Father, when they were alone together, was almost like thinking aloud, only better, because there was somebody to help you figure things out when you got yourself all balled up.  Before this Helen had spent a great deal of time trying to figuring things out by herself, and getting so tangled that she didn't know where she had begun or how to stop the wild whirl racing around in her head.  But now, with father to hang on to, she could unravel those twisted skeins of thought and wind them into balls where she could get at them

I had so many more quotes referred to in my notes but I think I would over whelm you, so will stop here.  Do read the book.

I've been thinking that after I've read all 100 Persephone books, I would somehow like to list them by preference, but one to one-hundred would be too complicated, so I came up with the idea of 5 categories.  So the 5 Star Rating would go to the top twenty books and so on down the line to 1 Star.

Of course this is just within the Persephone Books which I already consider at the best end of a good read.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow Day Greyed Out

Mr Bit Brit and I decided to go for a walk in the snow.  It felt good to get out.

There were hundreds of Canadian Geese and they all took off, they start talking to each other and then off they go.  In flight they look like the Draconian Space Ship from Star Trek, or more likely they got the idea from a goose in flight. I didn't think to video them.  It's so wonderful to hear them cackling and calling to each other and off they go.  I wish I had caught that.

 Everything was very greyed and flat looking.  One showing of green was where a little runoff comes down the hill always in the same place and here the celandines grow and bloom yellow in spring.

We ended our walk by going to the super-market bakery and buying two delicious chocolate eclairs with fresh cream and taking them home, I don't think I've ever had an eclair with so much chocolate on, delicious.  Dinner was cooking slowly in the oven, so that was nice to come home to, followed by tea and our treat.

I've added a new banner from our walk yesterday and I've done a little house cleaning on my blog to start off the New Year.

Good news on the car front for Rob.  His wish list was very specific being a boy and it couldn't be the base model, no everything had to be the X, Z or S version, then he started getting picky about colours, but we set him straight on that, this was last on the list of needs.  It's quite interesting trying to keep an eighteen year old on track.  We think he's found something that hits all the check points will keep you posted.


Our Day In Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely is in the Fen Lands of East Anglia.  This is all land that has been reclaimed from the sea and marshes, much like the Netherlands.  The land is flat with wide open views and vistas of the sky, criss crossed with dikes and canals.

Ely sits atop a high point with Ely Cathedral being seen for miles around.

You can't not have one meal of fish and chips while in the UK.  Here my BIL and I are dining al fresco, very al fresco, as the showers kept coming on and off.  There was a very big willow tree right there that kept us nice and dry.

The town market.  Also several nice charity shops where I found two lovely sets of knives and forks with the white handles.

 Ely Cathedral


Saturday, December 29, 2012

The London Eye

There were a few postings I wanted to finish out before the end of 2012 one was my visit to the London Eye back in the Spring.  Our day in London had been off and on showers all day, but we got to the Eye just at the right time, because no sooner did we get off than a squall came up the River Thames and we were holding onto our inside out umbrellas.

Just to finish out our day a walk to Buckingham Palace through St James's Park.  The oldest of the Royal Parks, dedicated to the leper hospital named after St James The Less.

I worked on two Blurb books a couple of weeks ago, one I promised to my nephew and wife of their wedding; which I completed and sent directly to them.  It seems once you upload the files they can be printed anywhere in the world, according to where they're shipping to.  So I think the wedding album was printed in the Netherlands.  It arrived very promptly.

I also did another Blurb book of my 2010 Blog Year. So by the time I did that trying to also use their 25% discount coupon, my eyes were worn out.  It was a marathon weekend, to have those books just the way I wanted them and proof read etc.

I was also able to buy them as an eBook for my iPad which was great especially the Wedding Album as I only printed two copies one also being for my sister.

After all that I didn't want to look at the computer screen anymore, as I'm also on it a lot at work.

It's been a little crazy the Boy had an accident. Fortunately he's alright and nobody else was involved.  It was after work on a wet rainy night he hit a concrete pole, so the car is totaled, we were hoping not, as he loved that car, but unfortunately it had frame damage.

So now we're back looking for another second hand car in a certain price range and it's not that easy.  Oh well!  That's life.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

iPad View of Blog Mobile or Desktop How to Change /?m=1

It seems that all Blogger Blogs default to Mobile view on the iPad.  You have to scroll to the bottom of the page to view them in Web View, which is an extra step you have to do now.

Well guess what I found the answer.  Go into your Blog's dashboard and you will see two views as you see your Blog on your Desktop or Laptop and how it is viewed on a Mobile device.  Just click on the Mobile view and disable it.  Now your blog will always default to Web Version View.

At least that's the answer for me.


iPad Viewing My Blog in Mobile or Desktop View /?m=1

I have a problem which started on Monday 12-17-12, my Blogger Blog now defaults to Mobile View and not Web Version View.

Wordpress and Typepad Blogs still default to desktop view on the iPad.

There is some crazy code that comes up after my URL /?m=1 when ever I pull my Blog up on my iPad.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Persephone 2013 diary

I love my new Persephone 2013 Diary and look forward to using it soon.


Saturday, December 15, 2012


Sadness over 22 children being stabbed in China and then later in the news, 20 children shot in CT, plus 6 adults.

Revelation Chapter 21 Verses 3 and 4

"Look!  The tent of God is with mankind and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples.  And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.  The former things have passed away."

Our prayers and thoughts are with those grieving families.


Monday, December 3, 2012

A Day In Southwold, Suffolk

We, my sister BB her husband Trev and my nephew Sam spent a lovely day out, with out major destination being Southwold.  

First of all we had a lovely picnic here.  Indulging ourselves in a bottle of wine and a nice brandy peach liquor.

We found a prime parking space right on the Seafront.

I love the above photo, it just seems to capture so much.  The lady walking out of the shop with her daughter, sunglasses in hand, and then the older lady on the scooter in her lovely seaside dress with her hat.

Cath Kidston shop.

The usual seaside town shop.

Sweetshop with traditional sweet jars.

On Southwold Pier, I love the seats also the water clock.

The traditional seaside style guest house in UK.

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