Monday, April 27, 2020

Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Hi Dear Folk,

A hush has engulfed the world, song birds are singing more, air quality is good, and animals are walking in places never trod by them before.  Water is running clean in the canals of Venice.  As the French say "pas un aperçu de chat" not a cat insight.

Despite sickness and horror a strange beauty, spaces empty, silent.

"All things counter, original, spare, strange."

Pied Beauty, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Written 1877

Glory be to God for dappled things – 
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; 
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; 
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; 
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough; 
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim. 

All things counter, original, spare, strange; 
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; 
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: 
                                Praise him.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - How Can I Go On (Live at La Nit, ...

How Can I Go On Freddie Mercury, David Garrett, ...

When all the salt is taken from the sea
I stand dethroned
I'm naked and I bleed
But when your finger points so savagely,
Is anybody there to believe in me
To hear my plea and take care of me?

How can I go on From day to day
Who can make me strong in every way
Where can I be safe
Where can I belong In this great big world of sadness
How can I forget
Those beautiful dreams that we shared
They're lost and they're no where to be found
How can I go on?

Sometimes I tremble in the dark
I cannot see
When people frighten me
I try to hide myself so far from the crowd
Is anybody there to comfort me
Lord, take care of me.

How can I go on
From day to day
Who can make me strong in every way
Where can I be safe
Where can I belong
In this great big world of sadness
How can I forget
Those beautiful dreams that we shared
They're lost and they're no where to be found
How can I go on?

Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - The Golden Boy (Live at La Nit, 1...

Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - Barcelona (Original David Mallet ...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

New Normal or New Abnormal?

Hi Dear Folk,

A phrase that has been coined in recent years is "The New Normal."  My thought is are we really living the New Normal, or the New Abnormal.  A pandemic that only has an equal of the Spanish Influenza which happened 100 years ago, must make the pandemic not the new normal, but the new abnormal.  We are living through abnormal times and live in hope that somewhere down the tunnel which is longggg...  we will get to a place that will be a New Normal, because the Old Normal is not going to come back.  Decisions we make now will decide what the new normal is for us.

On a lighter note the word abnormal always makes me think of Young Frankenstein and the brain of Abby Normal.  I've just posted the clip from the movie.

Take care, keep safe in the new abnormal.


Young Frankenstein Abby Normal

The Rabbit Hole of Reading, The Kingdom By The Sea, by Paul Theroux

Hi Dear Folk,

How are you all holding up without a hug?  So big hugs and handshakes to all.  I'm afraid that even when we are let out, things will not be the same.  I can't see handshakes and hugs being freely given to strangers anymore, at least not for a long while, and that's very sad.

As you know if you follow me on Instagram, is that I'm reading The Kingdom By The Sea, A Journey Around Great Britain, by Paul Theroux.  This book has been in my personal library for a long while, I started it years ago but could not get into it.

It was published in 1983.  His travels around the coast of Britain and Northern Ireland was during the time of the Falklands War.  Theroux sticks to the coast line as much as possible, it takes him along windswept headlands, quant villages, but also past nuclear power plants, old dockland areas and industrial towns that have seen better days.  In the eighties I was newly married and living in the States, but would go back to the UK for long holidays.

I started the book with the preconceived notion, that it would read something like the book by Susan Branch My Love Affair With England, but no, it is the UK without the rose coloured glasses, the gritty side of people and places.  It is worth a read, it makes me think back to that time, how things were in the eighties, how some things have changed and some are still the same.

Moving on to the thought of the rabbit hole of reading.  While in Wales, he, Paul Theroux, mentions Taliesin, and I remembered that Frank Lloyd Wright named two of his houses, Taliesin Spring Green in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona.

Taliesin in Welsh history was a Brythonic poet, a Celtic poet in sub-Roman times whose work possibly survived in a Middle Welsh manuscript, The Book of Taliesin.  Taliesin a renowned bard who is believed to have sung at the courts of at least three Brythonic Kings.  Now of course he Frank Lloyd Wright used the name Lloyd which is a Welsh surname and his mother's name was Anna Lloyd Jones, her forebears emigrated to Spring Green, Wisconsin, from Wales, hence the connection.  I always thought Taliesin was an interesting name for a house.

Now down another rabbit hole while reading Kingdom By The Sea, were some quotes from the Ulster poetry of Louis MacNeice, who wrote so well about the sea.  "Upon this beach the falling wall of the sea..." and my favorite "That never satisfied old maid the sea.  Rehangs her white lace curtains ceaselessly."  I will never again go down to the sea and not think of that quote, the old maid rehanging her lace curtains, the white froth of lace as the waves crash, I love it.

So then I went on to who was Louis MacNeice, born in Northern Ireland? I was not familiar with him.  It seems that he was a counterpart of W. H. Auden while at Oxford along with Cecil Day Lewis, who were all part of the Auden's circle.  He was a contemporary of John Betjeman and Anthony Blunt who he was a life long friend.  All these names I know.

The Day-Lewis I am familiar with is the actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, well Cecil was his father, I found that interesting.  He often plays an Irish part, although born in London, but his father Cecil, was born in Ireland, hence connections.

And of course who does not know Anthony Blunt, who had close association with the royal family as the curator of their art collection.  He was recruited by the NKVD, later to become the KGB, while he was at university.  He worked for MI5 but was spying for the Russians.  He never was publicly outed at the time, because of the high circles he moved in and the scandal it would have caused, let alone the embarrassment with the Americans.

See what I mean about Rabbit Holes.  Well wasn't that diversionary.

Stay well, keep safe.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pink Moon April 8th 2020

Hi Dear Folk,

Was able to get out and take this shot of the Pink Moon last night, as it rises past my she shed,  deux portes Francaises looking through my oak tree.

Super Pink Moon, the biggest and brightest of 2020, this full moon appears larger and brighter than usual because the moon was at perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit.

I got outside for a bit today in the sun, crocheting and listening to a Tea and Tattle podcast, then the wind came up dark clouds came over rain and hail fell.  It is still windy now,  it's more like March in April.

I have a book that if a word, a phrase a thought, anything of interest I jot down in there.  One that caught my eye today was "No society can function unless people follow the rules."

Take care,

Pennsylvania May Garden 2018 To Remind Me, In Just a Month

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Day 28 of Social Distancing

Hi Dear Folk,

I was watching a movie, they're driving along Route 66 and stop off at a Diner and order a cheese burger and fries.  Who would have thought that just such a simple picture would conjure up such longing.  The thought of ones big escape and the simplicity of just eating at a Diner, yes we all took that for granted, who could have pictured this day, except for on a movie.  All the brave health workers and volunteers brings a tear to your eye.  I hope they get all the protective gear they need.

I made some face masks the other day and will make some more.  You are meant to have at least two one in the wash and one out.  I posted my pictures on Instagram and have linked the video below for the pattern that I used.  I had rather a thick fabric so I hand sewed the side pleats in.  Used a coffee filter in the pocket and folded up foil for the nose piece, which works well.  Mr. B. tried it out today and he says he can hardly breath in it, so I guess it is not porous, which is what you want.

Going back to my love of words.  The word Influenza sounds like the word Influence, and is from the Italian, where it derived from the Medieval Latin word influentia.  People attributed the disease to the influence of the stars.

With all this time at home I want to increase my skills.  One is I want to relearn knitting, as you know I crochet and absolutely love it, but have thought that I would love to learn to knit.  The way I was taught was the English way of knitting, but since I've got to relearn, I am going to train my fingers to knit the Continental way, which I think will be easier for me, as I already hold my yarn for crochet on my left index finger and I've heard it's quicker, not that that's a problem with all the time we have on our hands.

The other thing I want to master is my camera.  I do have a really nice one Mr. B. treated me to a Sony 6000 mirrorless, which even my son has taken on some jobs he's shot.  The thing is you are not using it to its full potential if you don't spend the time to learn how to use it.  Also since I got my iPhone I've become rather lazy camera wise and I never was before.

So two things I'm going to work on.  Plus I have several crochet projects on the go.  Two shawls in different colour yarns and a capelet pattern I want to try.  Plus my UFO (unfinished object) or PHD (projects half done) a felted hat I never finished from last winter, that's on the back burner though.  Also have a crochet bag I've finished and need to line.

I am going to post the video on how to breath if you catch the Covid-19 virus, comes from Queen's Hospital, Romford, UK.  You never know you may need it and it could help save your life.  J.K. Rowling used this technique and it helped her.

Keep well.


Dr Sarfaraz Munshi Queen's Hospital in Romford shares breathing techniqu...

How to sew a simple pleated face mask with just 5 lines (with nose wire ...

Troglodyte Cave Man and There's Nothing Like a Dame

Just viewing old videos.  This is an old record from FIL collection, Troglodyte Caveman and There's Nothing Like a Dame.

Fore a bit of light relief.  Hope you are all well and keeping sane.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Hi Dear Folk,

I looked up the definition of Stir-crazy; which is psychologically disturbed because of being confined or imprisoned, seems an appropriate definition, I think that is how some folk are feeling, so I wanted to share with my readers some fun British series that I have been able to watch on You Tube and thought you might enjoy too.

The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Great British Sewing Bee see below for my blogged links to the first episodes on these shows, you can take it from there.

I was so happy to find them, because for a long while you did not have access via You Tube to The Great British Sewing Bee, although I did know about that show.

Hope you are all well.  I feel lighter as just completed getting our taxes done, although I know they extended the deadline to July 15th, but at least that's off my plate.  Signed them remotely which I've never done, all new to me.

The sun is out today blue skies, although chilly.  Now for a little crochet and a cup of tea before I tackle cleaning the glass front on our wood stove, closing that up for the winter as all the wood is finished.

We are still on quarantine.  I looked up the definition of isolate and quarantine.

Isolation - Separates sick people with a contagious disease from those who are not sick, even within the same household.

Quarantine:  Separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.  These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or the may have the disease but do not show symptoms.  Or may not want to catch it.

Personally I always though the definition was visa versa.

While I'm on words which I do love, I was watching an Icelandic show with English subtitles and I caught the Icelandic word for disgrace or shame which is skomm and that made me think of the English word scum, when a person has done something really disgraceful you say they are scum, it sounds almost identical. It is interesting to see how different words have been added into the English language from so many other derivations.  Hope I haven't bored you with my love of words.

Well now for tea.

Take care,

The Great British Sewing Bee - Season 1, Episode 1

The Great Pottery Throw Down - Season 1, Episode 1

01 09 10