Monday, January 11, 2021

The Story of English by Robert MacNeil

 Hi Dear Folk,

The Story of English, narrated by Robert MacNeil.  I first saw this on PBS in the eighties and was so interested in the history that I bought the book and still have it.  

I've been going through my library revisiting many of my books, with the thought of reading them again and maybe turning them into altered books, or just keeping them. When I came across my Story of English, and thought let me see if that is on You Tube.

If you've never seen this series and love English, where it came from, what it is, and what it is becoming you will enjoy this series.  I will say that looking back to the eighties, I had just got married, forty years ago does look old fashioned, but the history of the English Language does not change.  If anything it is more entrenched now forty years later, than ever.

If you like history, geography and people, why we are, who we are, and why do we speak the way we do, you will want to watch this.

I grew up within fifty miles of London, to the North. Living within the triangle of London, Cambridge and Oxford; which was to form the centre of standard English.  I would say that my English was close to BBC English, because I grew up in the era that how you spoke was most important.  My mother worked on it closely, although I never spoke with the accent of either my father, London or my mother country Essex.

At the age of eleven I got my first tape recorder, and with my friend Jill, we would make up plays and record them.  I wish I still had those tapes, I could listen to how I sounded back then in the sixties.  Of course I have lived the better part of my life now in the USA, Philadelphia area and it is reflected in my speech and intonation of speaking.  I no longer speak the same as my eleven year old self and that is what spoken language is about, how it morphs and changes.  

My son had my accent until he went to school.  But even then I worked on his speech, and I would say he speaks well.  As a child his spelling and writing could be improved on, but he had an extensive vocabulary, because we love words in our family.  They are the subject of conversation.

We speak the way we do because where we grew up, how our parents wanted us to speak, the era we grew up in.  Dialects or varieties of speech are not wrong, in fact there are reasons you speak and I speak, the way you do and I do, and that is what this series is about.  

Enjoy, Christine

The Story of English episode 1 - An English Speaking World - Part 1 / 7

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Where To Start?

 Hi Dear Folk,

I seem to have succumbed, morphed over to Instagram.  I'm not going to berate myself I'm too old for that.      2021, where to start?  What to say?  A word that comes to my mind is "Endurance", we've just got to keep on keeping on.

2020 was a year of change.  Mr. B. lost his one and only job contract, then when COVID hit lost his little part time job, we both opted to get our Social Security, now being income less, and we had that option.  Thank goodness for options, when so many fellow Americans do not.  Our son moved out in the Autumn and thus we did an internal decorating and switching of bedrooms.  We're happy for him and for us, because so many children are moving back in and not out in this time of pandemic.  He went in with some friends and found a house.  The Boy is picky, had to have a basement for his sound system, a garage for his Miata.  I said did he leave anything for the other two boys?  He has the smallest bedroom, well so he should.  

I do like to have a project in mind, just the thinking about it, I find can give joy.  We got an awful lot done around the house last year, both outside and inside;  which I've posted over the months on Instagram.  My next project is the one hundred year old bathroom, which still has the original bath, open on two sides and not so bad, the original tile work.  Actually for its age it could look worse.  It has that old white brick tile and black edging, so black and white.  I'm going to keep that colour scheme.  

Needs new plumbing for the bath and shower, new tile, I'm going with white brick tiles again, but I'm thinking of black grout, not set on that.  Refinish the bath, I cannot imagine trying to get it out, you'd probably need a crane. An oval shower rail to enclose you completely, and keep the water off the tile.  It is in need of a new floor and tile, maybe black and white, similar to what's there now and a new toilet, one that really works.  Keep the carrara marble sink top, but I do not like the base, so want the builder to come up with some kind of stand, and have open plumbing underneath.

Over the sink will be a nice large mirror, right down to the sink, because for the past twenty years, I have only been able to see from my eyes upwards in the original medicine cabinet mirror.  Obviously a six foot man put it in, as it's just the right height for my husband.  To replace the under sink storage, we just found an Eastlake hanging wall cupboard and shelves on FBM, so that will go up over the toilet.

I do love wallpaper, so I'm thinking a black and white forest scene with animals, I'll know it when I see it, and of course that may change.  Well that's my next project, we'll see if it comes to fruition.  2021 here I come, one hundred year old bathroom.

I do have a project that should be finished by next week, which involves the basement.  I view my basement as the many headed hydra that keeps rearing up and has to be slain.  Why?  However many times I sort and get rid of things, there is still more.

I want just a nice open flat service to be able to do projects on, spread out and have room.  I have two old desks down there, so I'm going to use those, to define the space and behind them I'm thinking of hanging fabric murals so I have something to look at, rather than a basement full of basement things.  I need to do some wall and floor painting.  I've almost finished the crochet red rug, which I've decided to use in the basement.  My that took some yarn, a good project for left overs, but I think I'm up to fourteen hanks, and I wouldn't consider the rug huge, fortunately I had all that old yarn, that belonged to my friend's mum, had to be from the seventies.

I got to sit down at my new vanity the other evening, in my new bedroom, feeling like the lady of the manor.  I was getting ready for a Zoom Meeting where I was giving a five minute discourse, so felt I had to try my best.  I bought my lighted German design vanity mirror on FBM, where a lady said she was getting rid of hers, because it showed up every wrinkle, I know the feeling.  

Of course a hope is that at some point we can travel, but I'm not counting on it.  I could see possibly taking the trip we had planned for this year, which was a cottage all on it's own up in Maine.  As to a trip to family in England, if at all it would be the end of the year, and there're so many factors that weigh in on that.

I count my blessings, and you know I sometimes don't like using that word or phrase, I wish there was another one in the English language, because if you're doing better than someone else it kind of denotes that they weren't blessed and you were, and I don't think that at all.  

2020 the lost year, the lost generation, who knows, time will tell.  Moving onwards.

Take care, 


Monday, January 4, 2021

Starting off 2021 My Word is Conversation

Hi Dear Folk,

Many folk put out a word each year and the one I've chosen is CONVERSATION.  Just make conversations with people.  That is hard right now because no one wants to make conversation because they don't want to spread the virus.  But there are other ways through your network of friends and over the phone.

It's called the art of conversation, because it is an art, one party has to listen while the other talks, it's an interchange of thoughts and ideas. 


  1. a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged
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