Friday, December 11, 2020

The1940s House

Wartime Farm Part 1 of 8

Make Do And Mend and Wear A Mask

 Hi Dear Folk,

With all this staying at home hunkering down and not traveling anywhere, it's rather taking me back to bygone days. I seem to be reverting back to a Make Do And Mend Era and Attitude.

I have been watching 1940s House and Wartime Farm, which if you've never watched them, you'll be in for a treat.  If you follow my Instagram which you can view on the sidebar, I've been using up odds and bods of yarn to crochet slippers, as gifts for friends.  

I also wanted to crochet a slip rug for either side of my bed in an off-white Aran, but after using one whole skein of yarn I realized how expensive these rugs might prove to be, so decided to use old 1970s red acrylic yarn which was destined for the thrift shop.  My friend gave it to me when her mum died.  It came from the old Korvette's Store.  I think I have enough for two rugs. I hope to be able to dye it with Rit DyeMore for synthetics, has anyone tried it?  I hope it works, as synthetics are almost impossible to dye.  I'm thinking some shade of green.  If they do not dye at all well, I will just use them in the basement.

I found this crochet stitch on You Tube.  Quite simple but thick and puffy for a rug. I love it.  Chain what ever width of rug you want, turn miss the first stitch.

Hook though loop pull up yarn, YO pull through 1 loop, 2 stitches on hook, hook through same stitch, pull up yarn and though 2 stitches on the hook.  I do not know what the stitch is call.  

On a more sober note I think at this stage there isn't anyone in the USA who does not know of a friend or relative who has not caught COVID or died from it.  My friend's husband died early on in the pandemic,  another whole family we know caught it in about May, and just last week our son caught it, but is OK.  He had a headache, fever and sore throat for a full day and then was feeling like he was getting better the next day.  

He felt ill on the Sunday, he had just come to visit us on the Saturday, the day before, as he moved out about two months ago and has been coming home to pick up odd and ends.  Obviously he was contagious, but when he came in the house we all wore masks.  He did have something to eat, just on his own, but we stayed at a distance and he didn't stay a long while, later going out to the garage to pick up different tools.

Rob phoned on Sunday to let us know, as he was concerned for us.  He was not able to get a test until the following Wednesday, when he was feeling much better.  I'm sure the wearing of masks saved us from getting ill, we never caught it.

As an older gentlemen in the Dakotas said it attacks your weak spot and of course when you're older you have a lot more to attack.  But still young people are dying, one must keep vigilant.  So really from our own experience we feel the wearing of a mask helps.  

Take care,



Saturday, November 14, 2020

Take Time to Daydream - A Weekend of Daydreaming

 Hi Dear Folk,

How has your week been?

I've been thinking about daydreaming.  It's something one needs to do.  I heard that your mind is actually filing when you daydream, just as at night when you sleep and dream.  One could say the word "daydream" is quite appropriate.

With all that's going on around us in the world, I don't know about you, but I feel my mind is under constant assault.  It's tired of sorting all the clutter of lies and rhetoric.  So I'm giving myself license to just daydream.  A weekend of daydreaming.  Clear the clutter of the mind.

Sit and file the paperwork.  Some will go up in the attic, it means something to me, but not right now, to be reviewed again in a different light.  Maybe it will be kept, maybe at a later point thrown out.  One can't dictate what the mind keeps or throws out, that's the funny thing about the mind.  But maybe a little daydreaming will clear the decks for now.  I like my mind, it just works away in the background, silently sorting.

All the files have keys.  What key is found at what moment, to open what filing cabinet, is again not dictated  to but happens naturally.  One day you hear a sound and it brings back a memory from long ago.  A certain smell, a certain scene, a certain friend.  All these trigger the brain to go routing around and come out with a snippet of memory.  

Give your mind the time.

Have a Weekend of Daydreaming.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Tale About A Clock and FBM

 Hi Dear Folk,

I am taking a cosmopolitan respite or my neurons will go into meltdown.  So I'm going to tell you a tale about a clock and FBM (Facebook Marketplace.)  

Once upon a time a lady saw a very pretty clock on FBM and decided that it might be a nice addition to her clock collection that had languished for many a year.  A price was negotiated and an agreed price set.  The clock in question that caught her attention was a Citizen clock, a good make, battery run but quite eye catching.  See said clock in question.

Pendulum, etched glass and quite appealing.

I could see that the person selling the clock was quite young, early twenties and I thought maybe she was selling it for her grandfather, possibly it had been a retirement clock, it seemed the type of clock you'd receive as a retirement clock, in the day.

We get the address give a time of arrival, I Google the address, I know it's in a pretty upscale area, Mr. B. drives and off we go, said cash in pocketbook (handbag.)  It's almost an hours drive but with the help of that wonderful technology GPS we find it quite easily.  Not a big thing these days, it's an event to go out.

Sharp little turn into the drive out in the country, but with houses around.  Typical old Pennsylvania stone house, with a big deep front porch.  Some barn buildings at the end of the drive and just a very nice house.  We go up on the porch and I see a package about the right size, but it turns out to be an old pair of sneakers in a box.  Nothing on the porch.  In this time of Covid, most things are contactless pickup and leave the money under the doormat.  

I walk up onto the porch and knock on the front door.  Big old heavy door knocker, where you know you will be heard.  A few minutes go by and a man comes to the door, he looks at me like who in the earth are you?  I said the address and the name of the contact person and he said, "Yes that's right." I said "I'm here to pick the clock up."

He turns shuts the door and I'm left standing there, wandering what to do.  A few minutes later a lady comes to the door, the man and woman were approximately both in their mid fifties and I guessed were probably the girl's parents.  She has the clock in her hands, hands me the clock, not packaged or anything, I give her the cash, she closes the door.

Mr. B. had been standing on the path between the front door and the car.  He said well we need to take the pendulum off and that's when I notice the clock had not been running because it was set to the same time as the photos on FBM, so I thought let me check the batteries and they were absolutely corroded, so I knew the clock had not been running for a while.

We got in the car and I said to Mr. B.  I don't want the clock if it's not running, because the girl said it had been running.  I get out of the car with the clock, knock on the front door, Bang, Bang, Bang, it was a very rewarding door knocker.  The man comes to the door again.  I say, the batteries are all corroded and I would like my money back please.  He takes the clock, shuts the door and I am left there for an age.  Back comes the woman with my money and the clock.

"Here," she says "Take the money and take the clock."  I said no "I just want the money."  She said you wanted the clock didn't you?"  I said "Yes"  "Then take the clock, I don't want the clock, take the clock."  So I took the clock.

It was all most bizarre, I was trying to work out a number of scenarios as to how the daughter came to be selling the clock, which I feel was her parent's clock.  None of them were a totally satisfying answer.  

When we got home Mr. B. took out the old batteries cleaned the area and put in new batteries and it's been running like a top ever since and I do like it.

Unbelievably the clock is still up for sale on FBM, they have never taken it off.  I never sent any messages to the girl, she never sent any to me and that's where I left it, the least said the better.

And that's my peculiar tale.

I have another FBM tale, but it is not to do with the purchase just the journey.

My concluding remarks to you all are breath deeply, have a lovely cup of tea and stay calm, as we Brits say.


PS:  Thank you for all the lovely comments left about my Mum's cookbook.  I will be revisiting that.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

My Mum's Old Cookbook, Farmhouse Fare, 1963 Edition.

Hi Dear Folk,

Another wet and windy day, although yesterday was sunny but chilly.  Mr. B. did get out to do some more painting.  It was in the fifties and you can still outdoor paint at that temperature, so we're pushing on.  It seems we're going to have a hard job matching the colour.  As I bought the paint a year ago from Sears when they were closing up their hardware store, and although it's a good outdoor paint the color is much more of a yellow cream than I wanted, but I'm not going to waste it.  I honestly think it has yellowed over time, the colour of my shed which I painted last year with this paint looks just the right colour cream.  Of course he may not have mixed the second two cans the same as the first, as he did have to play around with them a bit.  I just think all the upper floor will be a slightly different colour, but you know I'm not going to worry.  

I wanted to share with you my mum's old Farmhouse Fare Cookbook.  You can still buy an updated version of this on Ebay or other platforms.  Of course it has a different cover.  My mum basically had two go to cookbooks.  One was a cookbook that I think came with an old gas stove and this one from 1963.  My sister BB gave it to me when I was there two years ago.  So I got this book and BB kept the other one.

This book was first published before Christmas in 1935, they are a collection of recipes collected by the Farmer's Weekly and these must have been gathered all throughout the Commonwealth.  It was very popular and grew in size as later editions were published.

I've been looking through at her marked recipes and thought I'd share her tried and true recipes with you.  Starting at her first ticked recipe.

 Which is:-

Onion Quiche

Line a sandwich tin with short-crust pastry.  Make a filling as follows:-

Make 3/4 pint thick white sauce, add a cupful of chopped boiled onions, 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley.  Season well.

Garnish with slices of tomato and a little grated cheese.

Bake 1/2 hour in a moderate oven.  It can be made beforehand and warmed up when required.

From Mrs. Willis, Salop

I make a quiche with milk and eggs, so it's interesting that the base of this is a white sauce.

Old recipes assume that you have a certain amount of cooking knowledge, such as how to make a white sauce.  I just was reading a blogger from France who is American and he said French recipes are not set out like American recipes, many can be just one long continuous paragraph.  As many of these are.

I love it that it tells you the name of the person who contributed and where they lived.  I didn't recognize Salop but it seems that Salop is an old name for Shropshire.

Salop is an old name for Shropshire, historically used as an abbreviated form for post or telegrams, it is thought to derive from the Anglo-French "Salopesberia". It is normally replaced by the more contemporary "Shrops" although Shropshire residents are still referred to as "Salopians".

I think I'll have fun in visiting all the recipes mum made and many of which I remember eating.  I'll have to have a go at some of them and try some new ones in the book.

I hope you enjoy them too, and travel on this little journey with me.  A journey though Mum's Cookbook.  We can't do much else travel wise.

Keep safe,

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Driech Day and Pandemic Life

 Hi Dear Folk,

Cup of tea and raisin and lemon scones on a driech day.  Along with mascarpone cheese, which I think tastes most like clotted cream here in the USA, unless you want to go to a specialty store and my cherry conserve.  It is so tasty and apart from having to take out all the stones is very easy to make.

Long time no see.  It's pouring with rain today and is meant to tomorrow, I think it's the remains of hurricane Zeta that hit New Orleans.  It's been a busy day already and it's only noon.  We are eight months into this pandemic and as a couple of retired people, well I was and Mr. B. lost a contract at the beginning of the year before COVID hit and then lost his second job when COVID hit and did not return because he had too much contact with the public.  So eight months of both being home and I don't know where the time goes.

We had planned a trip to Maine in September but cancelled that, so here we are.  In September we started in earnest on getting some outside work done on the house.  Painting which we have done, and contractors will be here next week to cover some of the top soffit and roof rakes.

It's been a lot of work, but I do feel some kind of accomplishment that at sixty-six years old I can still climb up a ladder, I painted a lot of our sunroom exterior, Mr.B. did the prep work, I hate prep work, sanding and cleaning.  We are working our way across the front of the house.  Weather has been good to us up until now, and it may become too cold to paint.  Still I feel we have broken the back of it.  Our summers are just so hot and humid you almost seem on hold until the cooler summer days hit in September.

Our dear Tuppy died, our cat. We had been thinking of having her put to sleep as she was almost twenty years old and had some problems, but we were working with her medication and I cooked all her food for her.  She had always been an indoor and outdoor cat, but had taken to wandering and had become afraid of nothing, so unfortunately she was killed on the road in front of our house, our neighbor found her and picked her up for us so I didn't see it, which was very kind of him.  It's very hard to make that decision with a beloved pet.  We had spoken for a while about having her put to sleep.  With our other cat Tinkerbell she had a stroke so no decision there, it was the kindest thing to do.  In hindsight with Tuppy I think we should have had her put to sleep sooner, but Mr. B. disagrees, it's a hard call.  The Boy and the Mr. buried her together, in a corner area of our back garden, near my shed, where Baggy and Tinkerbell are buried.  There will only be three cats there as I'm not getting anymore pets, as much as I love a cat around.  All my cats seem to live to an old age.  Baggy was twenty and Tinkerbell my Himalayan was at least seventeen, I got her from the SPCA as a lost adult cat.  So I'm thinking that a cat at this point could actually outlive me.  Every time I open a tin of tuna fish or go out the back door, I think she'll be waiting there, it's so funny how the brain works.

Part of our spruce up of the house, is that Mr. B.  replaced two screens on the bedroom windows above the sunporch as Tuppy used to sprint up the pine tree, not when she was older, and would claw at the screens on Rob's bedroom windows to be let in.  And then as she got older she'd spy me in my Simla/sunroom and claw on the door screen there.  Obviously while she was still around we were not going to replace them.

This is rather a dry report of my life, but as long as you can keep mobile and ones brain is too, it's good.  Our Boy moved out a few weeks ago and just the aftermath of that is a chore.  I said to Mr. B. it's a good job he moved out now or I'd be too old to do the clean up.  He had the large bedroom which was used as a kind of audio room and TV room for him and his dad, so now we're making some changes.  The couch was listed on FBM (Facebook Marketplace) for free and went out the door the next day.  We also sold his bed on FBM, that went out the door today.  So now Mr. B. has moved his leather recliner to a central position for maximum surround sound experience, and it looks like grandpa's mission control, with all the left over cushions from the couch on it.  

We plan to move our bedroom back into the big bedroom and the medium bedroom will Mr. B's TV and audio room, of course lots of painting to do in both rooms.  So this quasi lock down thing has enabled us to focus on some much needed jobs around the house.

Some of Rob's things have left the basement, but not all.  Before he came back from college I had that basement all sorted and then he came back and stuff got dumped there, certain car work was done down there and hence was invaded and has never been the same since.  So I've been working on that and I'm still not done.

A lot of stuff is being listed on FBM.  You know the funny thing is you can never tell what will sell.  So I had fifteen plastic shoe boxes stacked, I washed them, listed them for $10, heck they only sell new for about a $1.  Do you know I had way over 200 views and at least 15 people contact me within one hour to buy them.  The thing is they could buy them on Amazon for not that much more.  All the antique furniture, that we collected in the eighties era ie. Eastlake style, clawfeet tables etc., you can't hardly give that stuff away.  But MCM (Mid Century Modern)  which of course The Boy wants for his place, well you had better be pretty quick to the draw on that.  It comes around and goes around, the thing is you have to live long enough to see it happen.

This morning the lady picked up the shoe boxes, then the bed went out the door.  Then a friend in our congregation delivered boxed food, all part of the feed America program, you know to keep the farmers working and paid, which of course they should be and I never say no because every little bit helps.  The one gallon of milk I received came all the way from Johnstown, PA.  All this while following COVID guidelines, it just makes ones head spin.

So then I felt a great need to bake, so I made raison scones and added lemon zest and juice which I'd had a hankering to do.  I used my tried and true recipe from here.  I'm looking forward to a nice pot of tea and a scone this afternoon, by the stove in my Simla Room where I hang out for now.

I have a bizarre if not funny story about a clock purchased on FBM, but will leave that for another time.  The trouble is the more you get on to sell, the more you see to buy, one needs to keep blinkers on and not to become side tracked.

As I said I don't know where the time goes, busy, busy, busy, even though I hardly leave the premises.  My creative endeavors have been on the back burner for a bit, just getting all this other stuff done.  But I have set the stage with the sorting and organizing of all my yarn stash, so I'm ready to go.

Have read some good books from the library, one of which I will give special mention to, The Convert, by Stefan Hertmans, probably I should do a review on that.  He's a Flemish author and a professor at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Ghent.

The Convert is based on a true account, which history only gives us the bare bones of and the author fleshes that out into a wonderful story, set in France, a thousand years ago, the time of the crusades.  I will leave it there for now, but will try and write a review.  If you like history and learning history while reading a good story, then you'll really like this.

Well will close for now friends.  Hope all is well for you.

Keep safe, Christine

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Everyone Should Have A Moleskine

 Hi Dear Folk,

Well I guess Blogger went and did it, now you cannot even revert back to the old interface.  First of all my labels are gone and I guess I'll have to enter them back in manually, why have they always got to try and fix what was not broken, really.   Blah! Blah! Blah!

Do you have a Moleskine? I have one, it's small, red, has a ribbon marker and a wrap around elastic, where I write down all sorts of odd things, statistics, meanings of words, crochet patterns, what makeup to buy after watching one of those You Tube videos on how to do your makeup when you're older, and so on and so forth. I thought I'd share with you a few of the random things written in my Moleskine.

Crochet Japanese Flower Pattern

The Face of Age

Job 26:14  Look!  These are just the fringes of his ways:  Only a faint whisper has been heard of him!  So who can understand his mighty thunder?

Average age of a woman in USA 78, Man 71

Road to Hani.  Waianapanapa State Park.  Black Beach

If invited to a good meal.  Do we send a thank you note saying "Dear pots and pans, spaghetti and meatballs.  No, so where does our praise and thank you go?"

King Ferry, NY.  A Wobbly Reisling is good.

Shalwar kameez, Indian tunic and trousers.  Dupatta, head scarf

It's a pity the Hun prefers fighting to fun - Noel Coward

I refuse to join a club that would have me as it's member - Grocho Marx

Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right - Henry Ford

Daniel 5:24  Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin.  May have said mene twice to show the fall of both father and son - Nabonidus and Belshazzar.

Imposter - from the Latin impose

Gutsy Gorgeous.

People are as happy as they make up their minds to be - Abraham Lincoln

Learned behavior - 
1.  Identify the thought that produces negative thinking
2.  Talk back rationally
3.  Short circuit thought
4.  Consciously replace bad thought

Miss Grief, cost $15.99 left out in the rain.  Pay the library.

Evolution - Irreducible complexity, cannot come about in a gradual manner, useless unless all in place.

PNES Psychogenic seizures.  Stress, Anxiety, trauma, depression.
NES Nonpilectic seizures.  

Progress and Poverty by Henry George

To give birth in Italian, to give to the light.  Clare alla luce.

Longly School of Music Project, BC, Canada.  1978  Kids singing, Hans Fenger, teacher, recorded his students.

Evil in the absence of empathy.

Irish Gaelic - Senility - duino le dia.  A person of God.

Lord Vestey, who's estate was just down the road from where I grew up, owned huge holdings of land in Australia.  Who knew.

Life is freedom, dying is a denial of freedom.  Vasily Grossman

Seersuckeer, from the Persian, milk and sugar

Crochet, Bonni Lass Capelet

Tour of British Museum, 2 Kings 10:31 -32 Assyrian King Shalmanezar III, 2nd panel, man bowing, Jehu son of Israel.

Mosquito yard spray

Old age like being increasingly penalized for a crime you never committed.

Herd Immunity, 60% of world 4.7 billion people out of 8 billion would need vacination.  Have only ever made 100s of millions of vaccinations, over decades of time.

Russia's economy the size of Texas.

COVID in USA has killed twice as many people as have been killed in the Korean War and all the wars that American has been in since then.

Abrunt, one whose behavior departs substantially from the norm of a group.

Regiments No 166409 N Somerset Yeoman, private Henry Reginald Sansom

The Body Keeps the Score, by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Passing of time should not be detrimental to the solving of crime.

French say, not a cat in sight - pas un amerce de chat

Fibula - Latin, means to fasten.  Tunisian Berber Fibula

Object Trouve - A natural or discarded object found by chance and held to have aesthetic value.

Rising tide carries all ships.  When things go up all rise.

Love makes the world go round, hatred stops it dead in it's tracks.

Just a cross section of my Molskine.  Now you have a cross section of my brain under the microscope.

Take care, Christine

PS I found my labels, hurrah!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Oppermanns by Lion Feuchtwanger

Hi Dear Folk,

I read a book I wanted to review and share with you, it was pertinent in it's time and I would say today too.

The Oppermanns written by Lion Feuchtwanger and published in Amsterdam in 1933 and the edition I have was published in 1934 by The Viking Press, in the USA.  As I've often said love my local library, but I have to say it was brought to my attention by Persephone Books, as one of their newer releases.

It is set in 1932 Germany, current at the time, and is the story of a German Jewish family who own a furniture store, founded in the late 1800s, by their grandfather Immanuel Oppermann, and their coming to terms with National Socialism and all that that will mean for them.  Lion Feuchtwanger saw the writing on the wall, but did not have the skills to decipher it, no powers of prophecy.  Who could have foreseen? And thus makes it even more poignant.  Nationalists, even the name sounds benign but it and they were not.

Goethe:  "There is nothing the rabble fear more than Intelligence.  If they understand what is truly terrifying, they would fear ignorance."

I will set down the characters as it is hard to get a handle on who's who.

The Siblings:-

Gustav Oppermann - Batchelor, fifty years old, a minor literary scholar and writing a biography of Lessing, living in a beautiful house in a lovely suburb of Berlin.  The eldest.

Martin Oppermann - Running the family furniture business from which they all receive an income.

Edgar Oppermann - A world renowned doctor, who came up with a special procedure for throat surgery.

Klara Lavendel - Married

Souses and Children:-

Lisolette Oppermann - Martin's wife, who is a Christian, son Bethold (Baruch) seventeen years old.

Gina Oppermann  - Edgar's wife.  Ruth their daughter is a Zionist and wants to move to Palestine.

Jacques Lavendel - Klara's husband, a Jew, born in an Eastern European country, but has lived in and holds an American citizenship, as does his wife and son Heinrich.


Sybil Rauch - Mistress of Gustav

The story opens on the day of his fiftieth birthday, Gustav in his home, reminiscing on the beauty of his house, where he lives and how well he looks for his age; he has an indolent, self-absorbed existence.  About twenty guests gather together in the evening at his house for a birthday party, the talk is of politics.

"Here in the charming rooms of Gustav Oppermann, people were not inclined to concede that a thing as imbecile as the Nationalist movement had a chance."

"The paltry varnish of logic is being scraped away."  Says Freidrich Wilhelm Gutwetter an aryan literary critic and writer.

Frau Emilee Francoise, nicknamed Little Thundercloud is the wife of Rector Alfred Francoise, headmaster of a boys school, which Berthold Oppermann attends.  They were originally from France.

"He always believed everything was all right as long as one could prove one's statements.  If she tried to explain to him that accuracy meant nothing ..."

Jacques Lavendel:-

"Why, in the devil's name, had so many French aristocrats been so asinine as to be caught in the Revolution, whereas any schoolboy nowadays knows that the writings of Rouseau and Voltaire, decades earlier, had indicated precisely what would happen."

Winds are changing everywhere and at the hospital where Dr. Edgar Opperman works along with his faithful Nurse Helene and his protege Dr Jacoby, who looks very Semitic.  He believes:-

"He was a German doctor, a German scientist.  German science and Jewish science did not exist, the only thing that existed was Science."

Rector Francoise has had to accept Master Bernd Vogelsong, from Bavaria who is a Nationalist.  He finds it hard to listen to his speech, as it is a low German and even harder to listen to his rhetoric.

"The bombastic German, the ranting, mass-meeting oratory made him physically uncomfortable. ... The worst of it was that he sincerely believed the gibberish he was talking.  Due to an inferiority complex, he had encased himself in an armor of the cheapest nationalism, ..."

Vogelsong quotes Hitler to Francoise:-

"He had made a mistake.  He ought not to have quoted the Leader's book to this misguided man.  It was unfortunately only too true.  Rector Francoise was right in a certain sense.  The greatest living German, the leader of the German movement, was not familiar with the rudiments of the German language."

I found this most interesting that Hitler, who of course was born in Austria, did not speak and have a grasp of higher German.

Professor Mülheim, the family lawyer urges Gustav to invest some money outside of Germany.

"He had been urging Gustav for years to invest his capital abroad.  The outlook in Germany was becoming steadily more threatening.  Would he not be a madman who should  continue to sit in a train, the staff of which showed unmistakable signs of madness?"

"... Gustav agreed with Goethe, who preferred to put up with injustice rather than lawlessness."

Bertold Oppermann's form teacher was Master Vogelsong, his previous form master, who had died suddenly; had asked him to prepare a lecture for the class, a lot of work had gone into this.  He asks Vogelsong if he may give the lecture, but Vogelsong does not like the theme title and gives him an option to write a lecture on the life of Arminius.  A character held in high esteem by the Nationalists as a true aryan hero, who fought against the Romans.  Bertold gives the lecture the way he has been taught pros and cons as to character and outcome.  Vogelsong can only take the pros, no cons must be said about this hero.  He goes into a rage, he considers the Jewish boy, not just a problem in class, but a problem in the school.  He must apologize.  Berthold does not see it that way he was just presenting Arminius in the way he had been taught.

Rector Francoise must set this right, he sits on it for a while, he agrees with Bertold, but as Little Thundercloud points out to him this could mean his job.  He agrees to ask Gustav to intervene and say something to the family about this.

"It could only be hoped that the irritating new teacher who they had planted in his beloved institution, like a potato in a tulip field, would not spoil things too much.  And then he related the Vogelsong affair." 

"On the 30th January, the President of the Republic appointed the author of the book entitled My Battle to the post of German Chancellor."

That was in 1933.

Things are not looking well for Oppermann's Furniture Stores and it is decided very quickly to change their name to the German Furniture Company.  This had been discussed previously but now they see the necessity of changing their name and taking on Herr Heinrich Wels a competitor; who's grandfather had established his furniture company at a similar time to which their grandfather had established theirs.  In fact Wels had made previous offers to come in, but they had always turned him down, but now as a Nationalist, it would be good to have him on board.  Herr Wels has the upper hand, they no longer do.

Martin speaking to Herr Brieger, Herr Hintze who help run Oppermann's Furniture company, along with Jacques.

".... Do you believe that, because a few thousand young, armed ruffians roam about in the streets, there is an end of Germany?"  

"There are no pogroms in Germany nowadays."

Back at the hospital Nurse Helene is trying to warn Dr. Oppermann of what could happen at the hospital.

"In the hospitals, in the University, on all sides, medical men without ability were seeing signs of hope.  An era was beginning in which the requisites were no longer talent and accomplishment but the ostensible consanguinity to a certain race."

"On one of the following afternoons it so happened that a patient of the third class, which was treated gratis, was caught smoking a cigar contrary to strict instructions."

The nurse told him to put it out, he would not do so, so she called in Dr Jacoby.

"The sight of the Jew made the man raving mad."

Dr Jacoby:-

"He had nothing to offer the shouting, rebellious ward but the arguments of reason, the least suitable of all sedatives."

Herr Markus Wolfsohn is a shop floor salesman at the furniture store.  His brother in law Moritz Ehrenreich has booked passage to Palestine.

"Perhaps his brother-in-law Moritz Ehrenreich was right in clearing out now as he was doing.  Yes, they had got to that point now:  Moritz Ehrenreich was due to sail for Palestine on 3rd of March, from the French  port of Marseilles, on the steamer Mariette Pacha."

Herr Rudiger Zarnke lives next door in the same two-hundred and seventy apartment building to Herr Wolfsohn.  He would like Herr Wolfsohn's apartment for a relative.  It isn't fair that Oppermann's has a special block deal on a number of the apartments especially for their employees.

"In booming tones, impossible to ignore, he would tell his wife how the Nationalists, the moment they took over the reins of government on the fifth of March, would make mince-meat of the Jews."

Herr Wolfsohn:-

"Yes, it was all over with his snug security in the beloved flats in Friedrich Karl Strasse."

Berthold has been in a turmoil over his speech and the thought of apologizing to Vogelsong.  He decides to visit his uncle Joachim Ranzov, his mother's brother who holds a high position as a Commissioner.

Berthold says:-

"Must I now go and confess that I am a bad German because I spoke the truth?"

Muhlheim entreating Gustav to leave Germany:-

"What nonsense!  Because the Reichstag was on fire, he, Gustav, would have to leave Berlin."

Gustave decides to travel to Bern, Switzerland.  He is given a bundle of papers to read from a man who introduces himself as Dr. Bilfinger this man has documented atrocities in Germany, he reads it.

"The aged President had handed the Reich over to them in good order.  They had ruthlessly broken their solemn pledges, trampled law underfoot, and submitted caprice, disorder, and brutality for civilization and order.  Germany had become a madhouse in which the patients had overpowered their warders.  Did the world realize this?  What was he going to do about all this?"

In this passage I wonder whether the writer Lion Feuchtwanger had a spark of hope, but I think not.

"Very many people had left Germany but very many more had remained.  The Nationalists could not kill or imprison all their adversaries, for their adversaries comprised two-thirds of the population."

Bernd Vogelsang is appointed as Minister of Education.  A former student of his Werner Rittersteg a tall blond nicknamed Long Lummox, of no great intelligence, takes it upon himself to stab a journalist Richard Karper for printing the truth.  He does it to attract the attention of Heinrich Lavendel, a great football player at school, who he has silently hero worshipped for a long time, the cousin of Berthold.  He Rittersteg gets of scot-free.

Did they intend to entangle a young hero in the maze of stupid rules, to impede his career, his activity on behalf of New Germany, merely because his scholarship had not stood the hazards of an examination?"

Rector Francoise stands up to Vogelsong, he knows he will lose his position.  His wife is pragmatic.

"These comforting words did Francoise good.  He had always known that Socrates must have had some good reason for marrying Xanthippe."

"Jacques Lavendel informed Friedrich Pfanz, the head of the Department of Economics, that he proposed to leave Germany and that he would liquidate his German business interests."

A turn of events with Herr Zarnke, who has become disillusioned with unfulfilled promises.  He listens and agrees with his little troop, not turning them in for subversive speech.

"Such rebellious views were gaining more and more control over the simple soul of storm-troop-leader Rudger Zarnke."

The Oppermann family are together at the Lavendel's house in Switzerland.  They are celebrating Passover. Enjoying each other's company and using all the old utensils dedicated to the celebration, reading the Haggadah.

"They wanted to sterilize all Jews, as well as the Socialists and the intellectual classes.  Nationalists only were to be allowed to propagate, there would be no one left to spoil their power."

"In Nationalist Germany there was no worse crime than the profession of reason, peace, and honorable sentiments."

"Unemployment figures rose to staggering heights.  Germany's percentage of unemployed became the highest in the world.  But the stiff-necked Nationalist declared that they had reduced unemployment.

Lies, profiteering, and selfish indulgence went hand in hand.  Anyone who belonged to the party in power could have his competitor spirited away to a concentration camp."

The story by no means ends here, the ending is quite incongruous.  I think it had to be, because it was published in 1933 and at that time it had taken National Socialism fourteen years to rise to power, and only at the beginning of their government control of Germany.  So how could Lion Feuchtwanger actually end his story.  The Third Reich did not come to an end until 8th May, 1945.

I hope my humble review of The Oppermanns has moved you to read this book.


Saturday, August 22, 2020

Mazda Miata Engine Swap, Honda K Motor

Dear Folk,

The Boys creation.  My, he has put some work into this.  Last thing was adding a roll bar, which made mum and dad happy.  He has a clutch problem to sort, but I know he will.  He is totally self taught.  Long conversations with his dad and I do wish his grandfather had known him, coming from that aircraft engineer background.

He added the front bump to cover the bigger engine.

All the dash-board and door panels have been covered in kid leather, he did all that.

New Honda engine.


Saturday, August 15, 2020

In the Fog as to what is a Blog, Vlog, Podcast, Video Podcast

Hi Dear Folk,

Thank you for all those who left comments on this subject in my previous post.  As always I love to hear everyones comments.  Thank you for taking the time.

So on doing a little further research I think this is the best definition I can come up with.

So we all know what a Blog is because we are doing it here.

A Vlog I have concluded is like a diary only as a video log of daily things, also can be weekly, or monthly.  Everything you want to record that's happening in your life.  Your Blog in Video.

Podcast is just audio.

The Video Podcast is different.  It is like a podcast; which is audio, but with video too.  The major difference I think is that of having a theme, and can include guests.  Also another key is, that it provides some information for the audience.  So content informative.

I have come to the conclusion that what I have been watching are Video Podcasts, but they just refer to them as Podcasts.

Glad I've got that straight, in my mind.  Do hate to be in the fog.

Take care, have a great weekend.


P.S.  If you disagree with that or want to add to that please leave a comment.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Technical Question - Podcast or Vlog?

Hi Dear Folk,

I have a technical question to ask.  I showed my son a You Tube video of a person I subscribe to on You Tube and said how much I like the way she presents her podcasts.  In fact in the title it calls the program a podcast.

Now my son said strictly speaking that is not a Podcast but a Vlog because it is visual and audio, podcasts are only audio.  But I have noticed that a number of people on You Tube, call it and have it in their very title that it is a podcast.

So what is the consensus?  Is it strictly speaking as my son says a Vlog, or is it a Podcast or can one loosely call it a podcast, or does it matter?

My son majored in photography, film and visual media, so I feel technically he is right.  But if the majority of people call it a podcast then by doing so that becomes the predominant way of referring to such a media.

For example in the UK we never say I'm going to Vacuum the house, we say I'm going to Hoover the house.  If one was being truly technical Vacuum would be the correct terminology.

So this is my conundrum of word usage.  Please give me your input.  I would like your thoughts.

Thank you,

Thursday, August 13, 2020

I. D. Stamper, Appalachian Music

Hi Dear Folk,

I've been thinking of America and it's immigrant folk, who they are and what they've bought with them adding to the diversity.  I'm an immigrant and everyone here is except for the Native American Tribes and what a diversity of language and culture they have.

I've also been thinking of music on Podcasts and Vlogs, which led me down the rabbit hole of remembering I had an old cassette tape recording of Kentucky Appalachian music.  The recording had been given to me in the late eighties.  So last night I routed through a number of drawers and eventually came up with it.

How did I come to have this, well in the late eighties I went to eastern Kentucky as a volunteer with some friends  and stayed with a local family the Stamper's.  He was the son of I. D. Stamper.

Isaac "I.D." Stamper was born in Arkansas, but raised in Letcher County, Kentucky, where he lived until his death in 1986.  He worked nearly forty years in the mines until he left the "bad air" for a safer and better paying job as a maintenance man in a Louisville children's hospital.

The harmonica was his first instrument, followed quickly by the banjo, guitar and fiddle.  I.D. and his brothers had a band that played at many of the local dances.  Which reminds me of my grandfather from the thirties in the Hedingham area of Essex, he also had a band and played guitar and banjo, playing at local dances and events.

The legendary Uncle Ed Thomas, was his mother's uncle, the roving dulcimer builder and player, that struck his fancy to the instrument that was to become his hallmark.  It wasn't until the 1940's that I.D. finally put together his first dulcimer, from a butternut log his father brought in for firewood.  His first instrument was fashioned after his recollection of Uncle Ed's design, but, by his own admission, "improved on it."  I.D. Stamper constructed over 500 instruments during his lifetime with buyers from California to England.

I.D.  had a brief career in his retirement, playing at Folk Festivals, Folklife events at National Parks  and dances until he was cut short by Parkinson's disease as was my father.

I ran across this and I think you'll enjoy listening to his music.  His blend of white dance music and black blues, offers the only blues dulcimer music most people have ever heard.  His rarely-heard versions of "Darlin Corey," "Lost John," and "Little Pink" act as a musical milestone, to a time and a life that you can only read about.

He only made one album recording and this was "Red Wing"  I think you will enjoy listening to his music.  What a wonderful rich heritage from Eastern Kentucky, many songs derive from English, Scottish and Irish ballads brought over with these immigrants, such as "Pretty Polly."

I enjoyed my time there and remember I was told to never pull in front of a loaded coal truck coming down the mountain.  Now over thirty years later you probably wouldn't see a loaded coal truck, the coal industry was on the wain even then.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Katherine Mansfield

Hi Dear Folk,

I often listen to BBC Radio 4.  This week they are running a reading of five of Katherine Mansfield's short stories.

  • The Stranger
  • Miss Brill
  • A Cup of Tea
  • Poison
  • The Doll's House

She is a brilliant Short Story writer and well worth reading, I love Miss Brill.

Katherine Mansfield was brought up in New Zealand; which I've always felt an affinity with, because my great grandmothers half siblings, Mary and James, who my great grandma was very close with emigrated to New Zealand the year before WWI.

A regular correspondence was kept up with them.  In fact after my grandfather died 1938 of Polio, and grandma was left a widow with four children, they invited her to migrate to New Zealand after WWII and I often wonder what that would have meant for the family had my grandmother taken them up on that.  I honestly think she personally would have had an easier life, rather than staying on in post war England.  But I digress.  Click on my New Zealand label on side bar to see some old family photos taken in New Zealand.

Katherine Mansfield 1888-1923 did not have an easy life and eventually died of tuberculosis.  She had many contemporaries and was friends with such people as Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence and Elizabeth Von Arnim was a cousin.

As with many New Zealand writers she made the trek and relocated to London, on a more permanent basis in 1908, she had lived there before from age 14 to 17 as a boarder at Queen's College, Harley Street.

After her diagnoses she often lived abroad on the Continent, one place being the Montana region of Switzerland where she wrote many short stories.  The Montana Stories published by Persephone Books contains her short stories from July 1921 to her death in France, January 1923.

I ran across this lovely link to the Katherine Mansfield Society where you can read her stories.

Off down the rabbit hole now.


P.S. A quote from Virginia Woolf

"...then Morgan Forster said the Prelude and The Voyage Out were the best novels of their time, and I said damn Katherine! Why can't I be the only woman who knows how to write."  Virginia Woolf writing to Katherine Mansfield, 13 February 1921

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ants !!!

Hi Dear Folk,

Well it's been a long time.  I'm just going to blame Instagram, fulfiller of the quick fix need.  But maybe I'm in more of a longer contemplative mood today.

I have been waging war with tiny ants in my kitchen.  We are loath to spray but these troop brigades are relentless, their sorties ongoing.  It has made me super vigilant even a crumb of food left anywhere brings out a long trail of workers.  You have to admire them.  Cat food left on the ground for any longer than it takes Tuppy to eat it is an absolute no, no.  They also seem to like water and I will find a number in and out of the kitchen sink.  It's driving me crazy.

We think we've found where they are coming in and obviously we will have to put something down out there, because the war is full on.  Of course maybe it's hypersensitivity during lockdown madness.

"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."  The summer that was, but was not and for some it never will be again.  So I keep that in mind and stay close to home, which is basically pottering around in my garden.

Will one ever need to buy another piece of clothing?   And I'm certainly not bothering to dye my hair, I have not done so since last February.  I'm going to go with the gray trend , well it's certainly easier and who really sees you, except for Zoom Meetings.

I had planned to visit my sister in England, but of course early on I knew that was all off.  In anywise who's going to let anybody out of America when we are 22% of the cases of Covid in the world.  We are now locked in, we can't go out to play, just like the naughty children we are here in the USA.  Unless we change our behavior we're never be let out.

So what keeps you sane and happy?  I do like my garden and my crochet.  Reading a book under my giant oak tree can be quite satisfying.

I think compared to so many in this giant land I am most fortunate and count my blessings, when so many others are not doing well.

Take care, keep safe.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

I Think This Says It All, Niagara Falls, Maids of The Mist

Hi Folk.

Hope you are all keeping well and safe this summer.

I'm viewing this time as stepping back and smelling the flowers.

Take care,

Monday, June 29, 2020

Day What?

Hi Dear Folk,

We are on day 96 of this pseudo lockdown state.  We are back to green but with the use of masks strongly suggested, which of course we adhere to.  I take a one time look at the data every day.  Mr. B. was called back to work, but we made the choice not to do so, we are both in that higher risk age group.  We follow the statistics to see if in our area since opening up, is it still tailing down, staying level or going up.  The truth is it is beginning to rise mildly, and we're in a North Eastern State, not a Southern State where it seems out of control.  We want it to go down for all, and then Mr. B. will go back to work.

If you look at the scenarios that they run, projections of how many people will get Covid, how many people will die and they run this with are people wearing masks or are people not wearing masks, and the truth is if you wear a mask less people will die.  Doesn't seem a hard choice, it's like wearing a seatbelt.  Less people die in an accident if they wear a seatbelt, it is mandatory, it safes lives.

I have been able to connect on a regular bases with my aunt Joan and it has been so good, such fun and she is a wealth of information, things my mother never told us.  One story was this, she said she still has a guilty conscience over.  She was staying with my mum, aunt Joan is the younger sister by five years, I was a little girl and a huge spider was on the staircase, they were both scared of it.  I had a little toy dust pan and brush and they sent me up to scoop and brush the spider into my pan, of course, it ran, I ran and they ran, when they came back it had disappeared.  They were naughty sisters, obviously the trauma could not had been too bad, because I do not remember.

This time has given me a lot of time to reflect on just all sorts of things, as I think it has many others. It's like being in the Eye of a Hurricane, total calmness but all sorts of cyclones are going on around you.

I have enjoyed my garden.  Mr. B got an extender for our Wi Fi router to reach the far end of the garden, down to my shed, and that has been great.  It has meant I can sit under the oak tree and be online if I desire to do so.  It was actually The Boy who suggested it, he wanted to be able to use his laptop and tune his new engine and for that he needed Wi Fi in the garage.  I ask the question, why we didn't think of doing this for ourselves, we probably benefit more from it.  But when the children ask, we jump, even now.

If you follow my Instagram you know that Rob has installed a new Honda K engine into his 1997 Miata.  He's pretty much ripped the whole car apart and put it back together.  That's kept him busy all winter he started I think about last October time.

It's truer than ever that you need to enjoy the day to day activities of life, live in the moment and make it the best you can.  Books are a great comfort and I found two lovely ones at Ollies, which is a discount store, buying out lots that don't sell elsewhere.  The Shepherd's View, by James Rebanks.  I instantly knew who it was because I had listened to him reading his book, The Shepherd's Life on BBC Radio 4 and was absolutely inthralled with it.  Lots of wonderful pictures of the Lake District Fell lands and the Herdwick sheep so suited to their environment.  Herdwick comes from the Nordic word Herdvyck which means sheep pasture and these sheep do have Nordic relatives.

I love their Heaf instinct passed down from generation to generation of sheep.  Fell famers have access to Common Land which has ancient grazing rights that go back for generations, in fact many back to the Doomsday Book.  The cottage I grew up in was very old and had grazing rights that went with our cottage, on the heath land, Patmore Heath in front of our house.  The newer built properties did not.  I remember that my mum and dad filed legal documents to make sure that this was passed down with the cottage and so did our neighbor.  Well it was a good job we did because a number of years later a whizz kid builder came along and tried to grab that Common Land to build on, plus he seemed to be in with the local authorities, but the locals were able to stop him, after a big fight.  Not only that Patmore Heath was a biological sight of specific scientific interest, but where money is concerned who cares.

Going back to Heaf instinct of these Herdwick sheep, they know exactly what is the pasturage that goes with their little farm on the fells, they do not wander off, even though there are no fences or outward signs of where one area of farm grazing rights starts and stops.  Thus a herd of Herdwick must be sold with the farm, poor things would become confused.

The other little gem I found, and tied in so well with what my sister and I had just been talking about was Chinese, Celtic and Ornamental Knots, by Suzen Milodot. My sister BB, said she had great grandmas, old wood bead necklace from WWI when the disabled soldiers came back from the war, I think it was the blind soldiers that made wood beads.  The beads needed restringing and to do that one would need to know how to knot between each bead.

I'm happy with the results of repainting a lot of our garden furniture, more to do but we've done a lot. Photos can be seen if you go to my Instagram account on the side bar.  I have a little ongoing project involving an old mirror, I'm hoping shabby chic but who knows.  It all happened because of a bit of a faux pas.  I had an old wood bathroom medicine cabinet, probably about 100 years old, I put it up for sale on Face Book Market Place and it didn't sell.  I had tried to fit it into my shed but it was too big.  I mentioned to the Mr. that maybe if we cut the front from the back I could use the mirror door, and then maybe the shelves inside separately.  He did this quiet promptly, of course didn't someone message me, and somehow I didn't get them until two days later, my lack of technology know how, and of course the deed was done, even though I had taken the post down.  So now I have to follow through, lots of sanding.

Another little joy was the small harvest off my cherry tree, from which I was able to make a number of jars of cherry conserve and a tasty cherry crumble.  An additional fun project has been the making of elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne, which reminds me I need some gin.  Both have turned out to be quite refreshing.

I can say for June the weather has been unbelievably delightful, blue skies, a breeze and more often than not low humidity, it does make this lockdown period more bearable, today is positively windy and my wind chimes under the oak tree are really chiming away.

We have been graced with no less than three bird nests in our garden, we have, a cardinal nesting right by our kitchen window, she seems to always face inward and you see her tail sticking out at the back.  I left that thorn bush just for the birds, because this would be the thorn bush that they made Jesus crown of thorns from, they are deadly and I've had many a nasty encounter with it.   What we do for the little dears.  The other two nests are gray catbird nests in our hedge.  I always think of birds nesting earlier than June, but I guess not, although cardinals have two lots of eggs one earlier March/April and the other later May/June.

My crochet has been sidelined a bit, although I do have a Harvest Shawlette on the go with a cake ball of yarn in variegated colours, its a lot of backwards and forwards, crocheting in the front loops and the back loops.  I think I will like the finished article.  Some more creative crochet is calling me, like the basket I covered in crochet and flowers.

Yesterday we took a picnic to the park, back to our favorite spot by the cabin, I love the wide open vista there.  A little reading, a little crochet and a little nap.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Well I'm not climbing Mount Everest or have found the code for a break through vaccine, but I am being a responsible citizen for humanity and my neighbors.

Take care, keep safe, be good.


Monday, June 1, 2020

Re-Posting My Review of The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes.

The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes

The Expendable Man by Dorothy B. Hughes is one of the books on the Persephone list, as you may or may not know I am gradually working through all the books they have published and did actually get to visit their shop on Conduit Street in London.  If you just click on my Persephone label you will pull up all related posts.

Again a First Edition published in 1963 from my local library, Dorothy Hughes was an American writer and you would call the style of this book Noir Fiction, with a very American setting and style of writing.  It is a refreshing change to the Persephone Collection.  I also love the dust cover of this book in orange and purple with white and black so very sixties.  It says a Random House novel of suspense.

When you read a book you form pictures of the story in your mind, the characters, what they look like and sometimes it is very bad news to watch a film before you read the book.  That would certainly be very true of this book, because for the first sixty odd pages you have one image in mind and then you read a line and your whole image of this person goes through a 360 degree turn and this is so with this book.  So if you want to read this book and don't want to ruin the surprise, stop right here.

Hugh Densmore a UCLA intern, is traveling from California to Phoenix, Arizona in his mother's white Cadillac, to attend a family wedding, his niece is getting married.  He sees a young teenager at the side of the highway in the twilight of the evening and in all good conscience cannot leave her there, this he does against all his better judgement.  He knows his parents have told him never pick up a hitchhiker it will get you into trouble and other such phrases run though his mind and you begin to think it is beginning to touch on paranoia

"The shadow, raised up from its haunches, waited for his car to approach.  He knew better than to pick up a hitchhiker on the road;  he'd known it long before the newspapers and script writers had implanted the danger in the public mind.  Most assuredly he would not pick up anyone in this strange deserted land."

Bonnie Lee Crumb

"She was a teen-ager, she might have been one of the girls he'd seen at the drive-in.  She wasn't pretty;  her face was just a young, thin, petulant face, too much lipstick on the mouth, wisps of her self-bleached hair jutting from beneath the gaudy orange and green scarf covering her head.... She also carried a box handbag of white plastic."

Such a nineteen sixties picture is now set.

"I go ape over Johnny Mathis."

"Personally I prefer Sinatra."  He wondered if that dated him, as his mother was dated with Bing Crosby.

At last the music kept her quiet and he could enjoy the morning ride.  He'd always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country.

Hugh had dropped her off before the California/Arizona border and bought her a bus ticket, to Phoenix, it is illegal to transport a minor across a State Line, but there she was waiting for him on the Arizona side having cashed in her ticket, he was again put under an obligation to give her a ride.  He drops the girl off and arrives at his parents house.

"I stayed over in Blythe.  It was late when I got off."  He wouldn't tell her the story, he wouldn't worry her.  "Where's Dad?"

When you watch so many of the old American black and white movies, you know it was a tradition for the bride to get married out of her parents house and it is no different with Clytie, his niece.  I think a very nice tradition which has been lost now.

Clytie had chosen to be married in the ancestral home, to walk down the long front stairway as her mother and her mother's mother had before her.  With Grandfather to marry her.  He was retired now, but once a minister of the Lord, always a minister.

"The schedule?"  Tonight's a barbecue at Uncle Dan's.  The whole tribe of course and members of the wedding party.  Sports clothes."

Gram returned for more dishes.  "Barbecue.  Cooking outdoors like Indians."  She didn't wait for rebuttal but trotted back to her kitchen.

Bonnie as you already know, because you know the direction this is heading in, turns up dead.

"Like Ringle says, we got a tip.  Right after that report went out on the radio.  this guy says a nigger doc driving a big white Cadillac brought Bonne Lee to Phoenix."

This sentence is where you have to rearrange all your mental pictures and all the little cogs of information have to be taken out of their slotted cubbies in your mind and rearranged and slotted back into the correct cubbies of your mind.  It now makes sense why his parents say never pick up a hitchhiker, his grandfather is a minister, he is able to be a doctor, they have escaped the South and have a nice family home with a staircase to walk down for the bride.

This wasn't the deep South.  It was Arizona.

But prejudices are still high even out of the South.

Innocently involved?  No, he couldn't call it innocent.  Rather, it was mindless.  It was neither;  it was a paper chain of circumstances, cut from sympathy and too much imagination.  Imagination, yes - why else should he have thought that unless he picked up the girl she would be in danger?  Another car would have come along, a family car for which she had said she was waiting, or even another man, a white man.

He Dr. Hugh Densmore, product of his heredity and environment, sufficiently intelligent and well adjusted to his mind and body and color and ambition.

His mother is reading the newspaper.

Hugh could have asked her:  May I have a quick look at the front section?  But what answer could he give to her inevitable:  Why , is there some particular story ...?  And she wold glance at the front page in passing, would see the headlines about the dead girl.  Fear would squeeze her, the fear lying ever-dormant beneath the civilized front, beneath the normal life of a Los angeles housewife whose husband's income was in near-five figures, whose children had been born ad bred and coddled in serenity and security and status.

Somehow he knew, knew with dreadful clarity, that this man had full intent to make Hugh the killer.

Because the wedding was in the home, the guest list was small - the family and a few old friends.  But the reception which followed seemed to include the entire community.  there was no segregation with Clytie's university friends and John's Air Force crowd on hand.  

With all the different friends flying in for the wedding Hugh meets Ellen.

He offered Ellen a cigarette, took one himself, and lighted them.

A scene with a man and a woman smoking together seems dated in this time, but maybe not.

"You need a lawyer."

"No." He rejected it utterly, violently.  "What could a lawyer do?  I haven't been accused of anything. I haven't done anything."  He tried to make her see it.  "Having a lawyer would make me look guilty.  And I'm not."

She smiled wryly.  "Most lawyers prefer an innocent client."  He tried to laugh.  "the Judge's daughter"

The night was sharp with cold at this hour, the stars were broken glass patched against the dark sky.

I do like the above quote.

She had thought it out with care;  she must have been thinking of little else all day.  "A young man, not over forty, but top drawer in his profession;  liberal, but not too liberal, no Civil Liberties lawyer, they're suspect from the beginning because they show up in any case involving minorities.

Trying to check Ellen into the same motel as Hugh.

It was a lie and they all knew it was a lie, but there was no rancor among them.  This clerk couldn't cancel the system;  her genuine friendliness was her contribution toward eroding it.  Five years ago she wouldn't have had a vacant unit;  ten year ago she would have said, "We don't take Negroes,"  if any had had the courage or spunk to inquire.

Skye Houston pronounce  Howston, the lawyer.

His close-cropped hair was sun-bleached to pale lemon;  he was tanned far darker than Ellen, almost as dark as Hugh.

There was no excuse he could give for postponing food; ..."There's a bakery cafeteria a couple of blocks from here.  Not elegant but friendly and the food used to be good will that do?"

"It sounds just right."  She was a different girl since Houston.

The cold of the cafeteria enveloped them like a snowfall.

This so takes me back to when I first stepped foot in the USA in the seventies and what a shock air conditioning was.  Coming from a country where you did not need it and it did not exist.  How one always had to carry a cardigan even in the hottest of days, just for the sake of AC.

He'd have to ask Houston for help.  They'd be afraid not to answer Houston's questions.  It rankled that he could not bring the same force to bear, that he had to forgo his own social position and become a caricature to ask a simple question.  And receive no answer.

"He said lightly, "I hear we have some fine courses in foreign diplomacy.  Maybe you'll decide to transfer."

"Okay, Madam Ambassador."

She smiled at him.  "I didn't choose the field because I'm a feminist."  Thoughtfully, she continued, "We've traveled abroad quite a bit.  Because of my father's various assignments.  I believe there's a definite need for what I call dark diplomats.

This book is far more than Fiction Noir, it addresses the racial prejudices of the era and makes you think about what has changed and what has not.


I first posted this Monday February 15th 2016.  I think in view of what is happening this is an interesting read.  I was at approximately page 60 before I realized the story was about a black doctor and not a white doctor.  

Posting Comments

Hi Dear Folk,

Just wanted to say, I have tried to leave comments on numerous Blogs that I follow, but there is a problem all the time.  Not sure if I can sort it on my end, something to do with Cache. I do follow along on ones I have read over the years, but I've been muted on what I can post on their Blogs and comments, which is very frustrating.  So girls I have tried.

Do take care in these times.  Be discerning and use ones common sense, because there's a lot of stupidity out there.


Saturday, May 9, 2020

B26 Marauder | The Most Advanced Mid-Range Bomber, My father in law was a flight engineer on one of these 1943-1945 Florida, England, France

At the beginning of WWII my husband's father worked in Baltimore at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Factory, on the B26 Martin Marauder, which flew with Pratt and Whitney engines.

In 1943 he went to Pensacola, Florida for training to be sent over to Europe as a flight engineer on the B26 aka Widowmaker. Obviously with already having worked at the factory in Baltimore, MD he would be ideal for this position.

The role of flight engineer was introduced in 1942 as the new heavy bombers required six or seven-man crews. The flight engineer controlled the aircraft's mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and fuel systems. He also assisted the pilot with take-off and landing. Plus he was a gunner.

He was stationed in England with the US Army Air Corp 9th Division, which saw him flying 1943 to 1945 bombing runs over Germany and France. He landed in France a few days after D-Day.

See my Instagram for photos of my father in law. Although no pictures of him with the B26.

Take care, be safe,

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." George Santayana

Hi Dear Folk,

The weather is crazy they've been talking about a Cyclone Bomb, I had not heard that terminology before, but this morning was in the low thirties Fahrenheit, it is cold and windy, but I think we may have missed the snow that will fall further north.

bomb cyclone is simply a storm that intensifies very rapidly. Bomb cyclones form when air near Earth's surface rises quickly in the atmosphere, triggering a sudden drop in barometric pressure — at least 24 millibars within 24 hours.

I was looking back on the month of May from bygone years, some happy pictures from four years ago, son's graduation from Ithaca.  Not to say we're not happy now, but we're not gallivanting.

The Lake in the distant background is Lake Cayuga, one of New York State's Finger Lakes.  Mum and son.  It's an area of great beauty, renowned for vineyards and some great wines.

With Mr. B. and I love those shell earrings I bought in Hawaii a few years back.

How are you all coping?  I've been reaching out to family and friends.  Had a wonderful Zoom meet with friends from forty years ago, some of which I have not spoken to in that long, who are now dispersed all over the States, Kevin in CA, Prince in Chicago, Jill in Charlotte, NC, Florence in FL and the others all in this area but a radius of fifty miles, so was great.  We did have some laughs and reminiscing over old times, good for the soul.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  George Santayana

Although the Spanish Influenza affected a different part of the population, mostly younger people with strong immune systems and Covid-19 affects more older folk, many parallels can be drawn. The actions of governments and individuals have a similar ring to them, lack of unity and disinformation.

The Spanish Influenza started in the January of 1918, not too dissimilar to the Corona Virus, but what was really distressing was the second wave that began in the autumn of 1918 and was far more deadly.  I'm not a soothsayer, but this does concern me.

I think it's interesting that basically we can do no more than they did one hundred years ago, wear a mask and socially isolate.  Of course we've got better follow up once in hospital but still.  How quickly things change.

I enjoyed looking at these old photos of folk during the Spanish Influenza all wearing their masks, but  they don't seem to have been as creative as our generation.  But maybe they were and we just don't have a picture of their masks.

Take care, keep safe.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Planning The Great Escape; While Living Life

Hi Dear Folk,

How is your day?  Just wanting to reach out and touch the world, hugs to all.  I always liked what John Lennon said "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." I'm sure I've quoted it several times over the years on my Blog.

Days are merging together, but I think it's Wednesday.  I woke up to dull skies and quite chilly.  Last night I even turned my stove on in the Simla room/sunporch.  To counteract the grayness of the weather I've put on a bright pinky peach jumper with black leggings, one thing for warmth and the other to have some colour.

That's where I am now in the Simla Room, because even though it's dull out there, still a lot of light in here.  I listened to an interview with Tim Gunn and he said that he had been slumming around in PJ bottoms, T-shirt and a robe, if you can imagine that of Tim Gunn who is always so immaculately dressed. I don't feel so bad after hearing him say that.  Prime is now airing all the shows of Making The Cut, which I have enjoyed, all that creativity and design.

It got me to thinking about this moment in time and how we have bought clothes.  Mostly one buys clothes to go out, and to be around the house, well! One just wants, easy and comfortable.  But is easy and comfortable stylish?  I do think you can make it so by what you were with it; which led me on to the thought, if I made a piece of clothing just for home, what would that be?

Thinking back to the fifties my mum never wore trousers, so all housework was done in a dress, over which she wore, what we called an overall, that may have had long sleeves even, or a pinafore that covered everything but no sleeves.  Now thinking to my stash of patterns, I do think I have a vintage pattern for making one of those old pinafores, and I that's what I'm going to do.

Going back to my heading Planning The Great Escape.  Isn't it the most ironic thing that there is no Great Escape.  Could I buy a little cottage in rural France, plan a trip to PEI, or my dream vacation New Zealand and Australia.  I heard it will be a long time before they let flights and people in from the USA, because we are the worst hit in the world, not per thousand, but overall.  I'm going to live life, a combination of cleaning, clearing and creativity.  The cleaning is not inspiring me, the clearing is lightening my soul, but the creativity feeds it.

On the cleaning front I cleaned out under the kitchen sink at 3:00 am the wee hours of the morning. Actually I've been sleeping quite well, so that was a bit of an anomaly, although I hear many people are not.  Also big change around of my glass and cottage ware in the dining room, plus a purge of some glassware, I did post photos on my Instagram.  I want to put things on Facebook Marketplace, now I've figured out how simple it is to do that, but this is probably not the best time to do porch pickup, no indeed not, although my neighbor seems to be busy that way.  On the other hand if people are not working and have limited resources one cannot judge.  Think about contact guidelines, which I'm sure will be in practice for a long while.  Tim Gunn did mention he was on a clothes purge, which is what I am planning, I have already done some of that.

Mr. B. put up some lattice work for me, four panels above our already existing fence, along the top.  I had one panel up, and it's been up so long ivy is growing all though it and give us wonderful privacy, so I think the other panels will do so too.  I plan to plant clematis and other climbers.  Mr. B. mentioned trumpet vines and wisteria, but I said no, because they become so woody and can pull down what they climb on, and I don't want my fence pulled down.  Any suggestions on flowering climbers?  I stained one panel, but have three more to do.  I am a slow painter, but meticulous, so it took a while, and I was frozen through by the time I finished and could not get warm for the better part of the evening even with the stove on.

Later today more crochet on my lace diamond shawl and watch Maudie.

Stay safe, be good, keep well,
01 09 10