What I’ve learned this week . . .

Dear Diary . . . (and fabulous readers)

I’ve learned a few life lessons this week.  Not all of them useful in any major sort of way, but all of them are probably important in one form or another.  Let me elaborate:

I’ve learned (yet again) that there are some adverts on the Television that make my skin crawl and infuriate me.  This is the current one: (turn sound up a little so that you can enjoy it) …

That    TV advertisement drives me insane.  And … it’s not just me.  Mr. Cobs admitted today that he  “. . . cannot abide this  &*%£*)@  advert!” – as he dived across the room to grab the remote and turn on ‘mute’.

I’ve learned this week. . .  that I really don’t much like my neighbours cat, Missy.  She’s an antagonist of the first degree.

Alfie (aka Alf Capone our HUGE great, black cat with a white diamond on his chest (looks like he’s wearing a tuxedo – in the style of James Bond) – is absolutely a lover, not a fighter.

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Alf Capone.   Used Furniture Dealer 

Where-as Maisie Dotes, our teeny weeny, little wittle,  butter wouldn’t melt, wide-eyed, elegant looking, princess tippy toes, DIVA – is an out-and-out fighter of huge proportions.

IMG_20160330_100158 copy

Two unknown cats visited our garden a couple of days ago, when both Alf and Maisie were in the conservatory.  Alf looked up from his feed bowl (breakfast no. 4)  looked at them both, then sat down by the window, with a very soft body pose, not bothered at all that these two intruders were in our garden.  He was only interested in what the entertainment was going to be.

Where-as . . .   Maisie … oh…. my …  goodness!!!  She had been fast asleep, but had obviously heard the hiss and spit which began at a low-level.  So low that we couldn’t hear it, but she could.  Her head spun around like a possessed thing.  She glared out of the conservatory windows and took on an indignation like no other cat could have achieved with their posturing.

She was out of that bed, and at the door within seconds, demanding that she be let out.  “Ohhh ho ho ho… not on your nelly Miss Maisie.  You can fuss all you like, you are absolutely not going out there!”  I told her.

“But … but …. they’re in  our  my garden!!!”   She said, over her shoulder, but not taking her eyes off these two shocking, alien invaders.

Then ….  a third cat appeared.  Ohhh My Stars!!!  This was the one which got Maisie scratching and banging her paws on the glass door, demanding that it be opened because she had to kill that cat!

This cat we knew.   She was called Missy

Missy lives in the cottage to the back of ours.  In the next road along.  She’s a brazen thing and cares nothing for boundaries or correct, polite behaviour.  NOR does she care that we have a dog.  Her belief is that our dog is fair game and she’ll take it on if it dares to challenge her.

One of the ‘new’ intruders had obviously come across Missy before, and when she appeared on the top of her owners shed, right at the bottom of their garden, the one intruder turned slowly, and made its way carefully along the fence and away from any trouble.   Missy smirked.

The other cat obviously didn’t know Missy at all,  for he, the daft thing,  walked along the top of the fence and towards her.

Mr. Cobs and I were both now trying to talk to the cat and tell it to  ‘RUN AWAY… RUN AWAY!!!”  …  but it either didn’t hear us, or it just decided that it felt he could take this stroppy individual on single-handedly.

There followed a long drawn out period of BIG hissing, spitting, and meeooaawwl  growling, before I could take no more and walked to the conservatory door, and opened it and closed it again, fast and loudly.  The intruder cat jumped down and ran off …  but  Missy … well she sat there and told me to  “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!”.

After 5 minutes of everything being quiet, I finally opened the door and let Maisie out … thinking that Missy would have got bored by now and gone home.  Nope.  Wrong.  Maisie jumped to the top of the fence and began a hunched over, “get ready, I’m going to box your brains out!”  warning sound, and started moving REALLY fast down the fence.

…  “Cobs!  Cobs!!! come and get her she’s going for it!”   Mr.Cobs had to rush out of the house, and grab her off the fence.  Now … she didn’t take kindly to this.  She didn’t want to come in.

He picked her up one-handed (she’s really very tiny, more like a kitten than a cat)but she was having none of it.  She shouted  Noooooooo”  –  and reached out with one paw and Velcro’d that paw to one of our big Pine trees.

Cobs Snr. tugged and tugged and couldn’t get her to let go of that tree.  His left hand was around her tummy and body, so with his right hand he reached up and unhooked her claws from the tree – only for her to reach out her other paw and grab the tree with her claws on that paw.  No one was going anywhere.

I glanced at Missy …. and I could actually see that cat smirking at our cats situation.

Mr.Cobs eventually won, and,  despite her best efforts to make him let her go,  Maisie was brought back into the house and the door was firmly shut behind her.

She was as mad as a box of frogs!  She whined and moaned for England.  Had it been a moaning contest, she would have won a Gold Medal.

So … although I learned that I don’t much like the neighbours cat, Missy, . . . 

I also learned that I have more dedication to the safety of our little cat Maisie than she appears to have herself.  Had there been a punch up – Maisie would have had her ears  well and truly boxed by Missy,  for Missy is a big, bold as brass, killer cat, with evil intent.  She runs this neighbourhood with an iron paw!

Well … that’s pretty much the major lessons I’ve learned this week … oh … apart from … …  why is it, when you’re having a great day and everything is going right … why does something – a letter, a phone call, someone or something ….  always come along just to be the fly in the ointment?  [insert grumpy face]. Yeah … I learnt that this week too.

Other than that … it’s been a truly grand week!

So … what have you learned this week?  Do tell!

Thank you so much for coming and sharing a coffee with me.  I love having your company.  Wishing you a wonderful Friday and an even better Weekend!

Coffee Sig

 

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The Friday Post ~ Edumacation for 23rd February

Not sure if you noticed this, so draw your attention to it  . . .   I finally managed to work out how to get my ‘Edumacation‘ word into the title of this regular Friday Post.  It’s only taken me FOREVER to work out how to make it short and to the point.  (But then … we all know that I don’t use one word when 20 will do). lol

Before we get into this weeks Edumacation, I’m going to take this moment to get a couple of moans out of the way:

  • WORDPRESS :  pin back your lugholes WordPress!   One of my much loved followers comments are suddenly now going into the Spam folder.  Sometimes it has taken days before I’ve noticed them, and that makes me feel just awful.  Please could you sort out why her comments are going straight to spam, and stop it from doing that?
  • LAWS OF GRAVITY ….  Kindly bu&&er off when you see me falling over.  Yes, I’ve said it and I swore in saying it.  Instead of  you,  I would like a kindly Angel or two to catch me and soften the fall for me.  I’m not asking for someone to lift me up, or make me float, I’m simply asking for someone to help me NOT land [on my knees] like a SACK OF POTATOES being dropped from a hi-rise building!  My latest fall happened two weeks ago tomorrow, and I am still in much pain with my poor feet (my toes got bent too far – ouch!);  my knees – I can barely stand up from the chair, and when I do, I can’t walk more than about ten little bent over shuffles.;  the bend of my leg at the top of my thigh – arrrrrrrrgh!;  my hips – I swear my knees were pushed up to my hips when I landed;  and finally ….  my back.  Oh.  My.  Goodness!  I had more than enough problems there in the first place – but now there’s this new lorry load of pain to deal with on top of the original stuff!   Laws of Gravity, please step out and instruct a couple of Angels to help on the next falling over.

(dearest reader  – this fall wasn’t due to alcohol in any way.  I rarely drink alcohol.  Christmas, weddings – and then only a small glass.  I’m just not over-struck with alcohol.  It tastes weird and I prefer to drink plain Tonic Water with ice).

Ok … those two moans will do for now because, well, you’re here for your Edumacation lesson, so . . .   without further ado, shall we begin?

23rd February

On this Day in History

1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
1839 In Boston, MA, William F. Harnden organised the first express service between Boston and New York City.  It was the first express service in the U.S.
1861 – President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.
1874 Walter Winfield patented a game called “sphairistike.” More widely known as lawn tennis.
1886 –  London Times publishes world’s 1st classified ad.

1898 – Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter accusing the French government of Antisemitism wrongfully placing Captain Alfred Dreyfus in jail.

J’accuse (“I accuse”) was an open letter published on January 13, 1898, in the newspaper L’Aurore by the influential writer Émile Zola.

J accuse

The letter was addressed to President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of Antisemitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the first page of the newspaper, and caused a stir in France and abroad. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel on February 23, 1898. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.

Other pamphlets proclaiming Dreyfus’s innocence include Bernard Lazare’s A Miscarriage of Justice: The Truth about the Dreyfus Affair (November 1896).

As a result of the popularity of the letter, even in the English-speaking world, J’accuse! has become a common generic expression of outrage and accusation against a powerful person.

1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch – form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.

Rotary International is an organisation of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. It is a secular organisation open to all persons regardless of race, colour, creed or political preference. There are more than 32,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members world-wide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarian’s. The stated purpose of the organisation is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is a social event as well as an opportunity to organise work on their service goals.

Rotary’s best-known motto is “Service above Self”, and its secondary motto is “They profit most who serve best”.

1940 Walt Disney’s animated movie “Pinocchio”, released.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio is a wooden marionette (a puppet that is manipulated with wires) and not a hand puppet (directly controlled from inside by the puppeteer’s hand). But the piece of wood from which he is derived is animated, and so Pinocchio moves independently. Basically good, he often gets carried away by bad company and is prone to lying. His nose will become longer and longer once he starts lying to others.  Because of these characteristics he often finds himself in trouble, from which, however, he always manages to get out. Pinocchio undergoes transformations during the novel: he promises The Fairy with Turquoise Hair to become a real boy, flees with Candlewick to the Land of Toys, becomes a donkey, joins a circus, and becomes a puppet again. In the last chapter, out of the mouth of The Terrible Dogfish with Geppetto, finally stops being a puppet and becomes a real boy (thanks to the intervention of the Fairy in a dream).

In the novel, Pinocchio is often depicted with a pointy hat, a jacket and a pair of coloured, knee-length pants. In the Disney version, the appearance is very different, and the character is dressed in Tyrolean style, with Lederhosen and a hat with a feather.

Pinocchio’s nose is his best-known characteristic. It grows in length when he tells a lie.

The nose only appears a couple of times in the story, but it reveals the Blue Fairy’s power over Pinocchio when he acts disobediently. After struggling and weeping over his deformed nose, the Blue Fairy summons woodpeckers to peck it back to normal.

1941 – Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg. Plutonium is a rare transuranic radioactive element. It is an actinide metal of silvery-white appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidised. It reacts with carbon, halogens, nitrogen and silicon.

plutonium

When exposed to moist air, it forms oxides and hydrides that expand the sample up to 70% in volume, which in turn flake off as a powder that can spontaneously ignite. It is also a radio-logical poison that accumulates in bone marrow. These and other properties make the handling of plutonium dangerous, although its overall toxicity is sometimes overstated.

1945 – World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag.  The photo would later win a Pulitzer Prize and become the model for the national USMC War Memorial.

raising the flag

1954 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, PA.

1963 – Peter Hicks, a farmer from Sussex in England, who electrified his car to ward off traffic wardens in London’s Convent Garden, found out he may be able to evade the law. Read more of this story here: news.bbc.co.uk – Peter Hicks   (opens in new window for you). 

1963 – The Chiffons’ He’s So Fine was released.

1970 – Holy Eucharist given by women for 1st time in Roman Catholic service
1972 – Elvis and Priscilla Presley separated.
1974 – Columbia Records released Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”

1998In central Florida, tornadoes killed 42 people and damaged and/or destroyed about 2,600 homes and businesses.
1998 – Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders;” – the latter term is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.

2010 – Unknown criminals pour more than 2.5 million litres of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in northern Italy, sparking an environmental disaster.

❤  ❤  ❤

Born on this Day

1592 – Balthazar Gerbier, Dutch painter (d. 1663)

1633 – Samuel Pepys – of London England, navy expert/composer (Diary, Memoirs)

1685 – George Frideric Handel, German-English organist and composer (d. 1759)

1817 – George Watts London, painter & sculptor

1947 – Shakira Caine Guyana, actress (Man Who be King) – Miss Guyana (1967) wife of Michael Caine

1952 – Brad Whitford, – American musician (Aerosmith)

1959 – Linda Nolan, Irish singer and actress – (The Nolan Sisters)

1964 – Dana Katherine Scully fictional character (X-Files)

1983 – Emily Blunt, English actress

1994 – Dakota Fanning, American actress

~  ❤  ~

Died on this Day (and remembered here)

1821 – John Keats, English poet (b. 1795)

1931 – Nellie Melba, Australian soprano and actress (b. 1861)

1934 – Edward Elgar, English composer and academic (b. 1857)

1965 – Stan Laurel comedian (Laurel & Hardy), died in California of heart attack at 74

1976 – LS Lowry,  English artist (b. 1887)

1995 – Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)

1995 – James Herriot,  English writer (b. 1916)

2000 – Stanley Matthews,  English footballer (b. 1915)

❤ ❤  ❤

Playtime Bell Rings!  ~

These are the jokes folks!

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Yoda lady.

Yoda lady who?

wow, Great yodeling!

if you didn’t ‘get it’  – say it all over again, only this time out loud.

Apparently taking a day off is not something you should do when you work for a calendar company.

What’s the biggest pan in the world?
Japan

What do snowmen do in their spare time?  Chill.

Vegans believe meat eaters and butchers are gross.
But those who sell you fruits and vegetables are grocer.

I’ve seen this show about beavers last night – best dam documentary I’ve ever seen!

Why does Peter Pan fly all the time? …   Neverlands!

Should pregnant women actually be called … body builders?

What did the blonde girl say when she saw Cheerios? …  “Donut seeds!”

I hope when I inevitably choke to death on gummy bears people just say I was killed by bears and leave it at that.

I hate when I’m running on the treadmill for half an hour and look down to see it’s been 4 minutes.

I entered what I ate today into my new fitness app  and it just sent an ambulance to my house.

My kids are at an age now where they are beginning to understand embarrassment. This is my time to shine.

I’m not saying your perfume is too strong. I’m just saying the canary was alive before you got here.

❤  ❤  ❤

Ahh …. and now we’ve reached coffee time,  and a moment of contemplation. . . 

Cup of Coffee

Thought for the Day

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”  …..  Those are said to be the last words spoken by Jesus Christ, and they have inspired a number of people, both great and small.  And … they inspire me every morning … for they aren’t my last words, they are my first with the dawn of every new day.

I can think of no better person to take care of my living spirit, than my Father.  For while He’s taking care of ‘stuff’, I can get on with all the other stuff.

Give it a try.  Let Him take care of stuff, while you go off and enjoy your day doing the ‘stuff’ you’re meant to be doing.

~  ❤  ~ ❤  ~  ❤  ~

Well … that was a great read today, wasn’t it!  I learned so much …  sadly, my one and only brain cell has developed a leak.  On windy days it makes a gentle sound which goes:  shhhhhhrupppp.  On rainy days it makes a sound like:  [insert long wet raspberry noise here].

I’m guessing that the gentle shhhhhrupppp noise is actually the brain cell telling me to ‘shut up’.  The long wet raspberry noise – well I’m not really sure I know what it’s telling me when it makes that noise, but it worries me greatly that others might hear it and think that I’ve ….  well …. you knoweek!  :/

Thank you so much for coming.  I so enjoy your company.  I take this opportunity to say hello to new friends too.  Please new people, don’t be shy.  Everyone here is a total delight and you’ll soon get to know them all.  Say hello, in a comment, and before you know it people will be replying to your comments when they begin to recognise your name.  And … if you have a blog yourself, you’ll no doubt gain some followers too!

Have a truly wonderful Friday, all.  And remember …   as far as anyone knows, we are all nice, normal people here!

Sig coffee copy

 

The Friday Post

Hap-pee Friday!  Where has this week gone?  How very dare it rush past in a flash!  If it’s going to come and visit, then a week should surely hang around long enough for tea and cakes!  I’m coming to a conclusion that weeks have no manners what-so-ever.  The arrive, don’t wipe their feet, don’t take their coats off, and they leave without saying a word, don’t thank you for opening your home to them and don’t even say goodbye.  No … they just up and off, leaving us with yet another Friday.  How VERY dare it!

Anyhoo …  before I get into edumacationing you, I’ve learned some fun things this week and I thought you might like me to share them with you:

I’ve learnt:

  • Lions can get hair-balls the size of footballs.  Thankfully I don’t have to clean those off my carpet.
  • The letter Q was illegal in Turkey for 85 years.
  • Wherever a leaf is in the world, its internal temperature is always 21oC.
  • A popular way to cure impotence in the 14th century was to wear your trousers on your head for 24 hours.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?  LOL.

Right .. enough of this giggling.  Let’s get you into the classroom and start your expensive edumacation!

On This Day in History

1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England, – England’s first queen (also known as ‘Bloody Mary’), dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth I  (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.  Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess,  Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.  The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed three years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, cut her out of the succession. His will, however, was set aside, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister, the Catholic Mary, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial. Falsely accused of treason, he had been offered a large sum of money by Lord Cobham, a critic of England’s King James I, to make peace with the Spanish and put Arabella Stuart, James’s cousin, on the throne. Raleigh claimed he turned down the offer, but Lord Cobham told his accusers that Raleigh was involved in the plot. Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh (c. 1552 – 29 October 1618), was a famed English writer, poet, soldier, courtier and explorer.

Raleigh was born to a Protestant family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Little is known for certain of his early life, though he spent some time in Ireland, in Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath, taking part in the suppression of rebellions and participating in two infamous massacres at Rathlin Island and Smerwick, later becoming a landlord of lands confiscated from the Irish. He rose rapidly in Queen Elizabeth I’s favour, being knighted in 1585, and was involved in the early English colonisation of the New World in Virginia under a royal patent. In 1591, he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, without requesting the Queen’s permission, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. After his release, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

In 1594, Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of El Dorado.  After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I who was not favourably disposed toward him.  In 1616, however, he was released in order to conduct a second expedition in search of El Dorado.  This was unsuccessful and the Spanish outpost at San Thomé was ransacked by men under his command.  After his return to England he was arrested and after a show trial held mainly to appease the Spanish, he was beheaded at Whitehall.

1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica (the Palmer Peninsula was later named after him).
1827 – The Delta Phi fraternity, America’s oldest continuous social fraternity, was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
1855 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now present-day Zambia-Zimbabwe.
1869 – England’s James Moore won the first cycle road race, an 83 miles race from Paris to Rouen.
1880 – The first three women to graduate in Britain received their Bachelor of Arts degrees at London University.
1882 – The Royal Astronomer witnessed an unidentified flying object from the Greenwich Observatory. He described it as a circular object, glowing bright green.

1903 – The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).

1911 – The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the first African-American fraternity at a historically black college or university, is founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

1922 – Britain elected its first Communist Member of Parliament, J T Walton-Newbold standing for Motherwell, Scotland. He eventually joined the Labour Party.

1945 – Britain’s H J Wilson of the RAF set a New world air speed record 606 mph.

1950 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as Tibet’s head of state at the age of fifteen. Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub is the 14th Dalai Lama. He is the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader revered among Tibetans. The most influential figure of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, he has considerable influence over the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese government, whose occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him into exile, regards him as the symbol of an outmoded theocratic system.

Tenzin Gyatso was born fifth of 16 children to a farming family in the village of Taktser, Qinghai province, China. His first language was the regional Amdo dialect.

He was proclaimed the tulku or rebirth of the thirteenth Dalai Lama at the age of two. At the age of fifteen, on 17 November 1950, one month after the Chinese army’s invasion of Tibet, he was formally enthroned as Dalai Lama. He thus became the country’s most important spiritual leader and political ruler.

In 1959 the Dalai Lama fled through the mountains to India following a failed uprising and the effective collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement. He had at first, in 1951, ratified under military pressure a Seventeen Point Agreement to coexist alongside China. In India he set up a Tibetan government-in-exile. Among the 80,000 or so exiles that followed him Tenzin Gyatso strives to preserve traditional Tibetan education and culture.

A noted public speaker worldwide,Tenzin Gyatso is often described as charismatic. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West, where he seeks to spread Buddhist teachings and to promote ethics and interfaith harmony. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.. He was given honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006, and was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal on 17 October 2007.

1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland are evacuated to the mainland. The Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí in Irish – etymology uncertain: it may come from the Norse word “brasker”, meaning “a dangerous place”) are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Kerry.

Map

They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population. The inhabitants were evacuated to the mainland on 17 November 1953. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts and some former residents still live on the Dingle peninsula, within sight of their former home.

Ireland2

The islanders were the subject of much anthropological and linguistic study around the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and, thanks partly to outside encouragement, a number of books were written by islanders that record much of the islands’ traditions and way of life. These include An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

The Blasket Islands have been called Next Parish America, a term popular in the United States.

1955 – Anglesey became the first authority in Britain to introduce fluoride into the water supply.
1959 – Two Scottish airports, Prestwick and Renfrew, became the first to offer duty-free goods in Britain. London Heathrow followed soon after.

1964 – Britain said that it was banning all arms exports to South Africa.

1967 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”
1968 – NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a game to air a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. Viewers were deprived of seeing the Oakland Raiders come from behind to beat the New York Jets 43-32.
1969 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.

1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre. William Laws Calley, Jr. (born June 8, 1943, in Miami, Florida) is a convicted American war criminal. He is the U.S. Army officer found guilty of ordering the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.

Of the 26 officers and soldiers initially charged for their part in the My Lai Massacre or the subsequent cover-up, only Calley would be convicted. He was seen by some as a scapegoat used by the U.S. Army for its failure to instill morale and discipline in its troops and officers. Others, knowing nothing about his education or background, sought to excuse his actions because of his allegedly low intelligence and cultural background. Many saw My Lai as a direct result of the military’s attrition strategy with its emphasis on “body counts” and “kill ratios.”

1970 – Luna program: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and was released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
1970 – Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.

1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, US President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.

The Watergate scandals were a series of political scandals during the presidency of Richard Nixon that resulted in the indictment of several of Nixon’s closest advisors and ultimately his resignation on August 9, 1974.

The scandals began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. Investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and later by the Senate Watergate Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the press revealed that this burglary was one of many illegal activities authorized and carried out by Nixon’s staff and loyalists. They also revealed the immense scope of crimes and abuses, which included campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. This secret fund was also used as hush money to buy silence of the seven men who were indicted for the June 17 break-in.

Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in as early as six days after it occurred. After two years of mounting evidence against the President and his staff, which included former staff members testifying against them in a Senate investigation, it was revealed that Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. Recordings from these tapes revealed that he had obstructed justice and attempted to cover up the break-in. This recorded conversation later became known as the Smoking Gun. After a series of court battles, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in United States v. Nixon that the President had to hand over the tapes; he ultimately complied.

With certainty of an impeachment in the House of Representatives and of a conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later, becoming the only US President to have resigned from office. His successor, Gerald Ford, would issue a controversial pardon for any federal crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.  Click here for the link to the New York Times story

1989 – Riot police arrest hundreds of people taking part in the biggest show of public dissent in Czechoslovakia for 20 years.
BBC News complete with Video footage of the news from that day

2000 – A catastrophic landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, kills 7, and causes millions of SLT (Slovenian Tolar – the currency of Slovenia) of damage. It is one of the worst catastrophes in Slovenia in the past 100 years.
2003 – An ex-soldier who served in the Gulf War was found guilty of at least one of the Washington sniper killings in October the previous year.
BBC News story complete with Audio from the court room
2003 – Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.
2004 – Kmart Corp. announced it was buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.

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Born on this Day

1887 – Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, English soldier who was a painstaking planner, which contributed to his most successful battle in North Africa when he broke through Rommel’s lines during the Second World War. ‘Monty’ was also a superb communicator, which assured his popularity with his men.

1923 – Mike Garcia, American baseball player (d. 1986)

1925 – Rock Hudson, American actor (d. 1985)

1937 – Peter Cook, British comedian (d. 1995)

1934 – Fenella Fielding, English actress

1942 – Martin Scorsese, American film director

1943 – Lauren Hutton, American actress

1944 – Danny DeVito, American actor

1951 – Dean Paul Martin, American singer and actor (d. 1987)

1960 – Jonathan Ross, British presenter

1960 – RuPaul, American drag entertainer

1980 – Isaac Hanson, American musician (Hanson)

1981 – Sarah Harding, English singer (Girls Aloud)

 

Thought for the Day

Isn’t it funny (?) how people go searching for happiness, travelling the world, or buying things that they feel will make them happy . . . and yet  . . . their happiness is there all the time.  They just have to sit for a moment and go inside themselves and look at what they have.

Try it.  When you are done reading this, close your eyes and sit quite still for a moment and ‘see’ all the people you love surrounding you.  See all the blessings you have in your life:

  • The place where you live
  • Your family and friends
  • Your pet(s)
  • Your job
  • Your television;  your computer;  your kitchen equipment which enables you to make a drink and cook food to eat.

Think about these things and more.  And then … imagine that someone or something suddenly takes it all away from you.  Everything – gone.  Forever.  Washed away by some sort of hurricane.

How would you feel?  What would the feeling be like to be totally all alone in the world with no one who know you.  No one who YOU know.  No one to talk with except strangers in the street who don’t know you and who are rushing past you every day, without giving you a thought or care.

Now imagine that I come in and one by one, I give everything and everyone back to you.  One by one, the people you love and who love you, walk in through a door and back into your life.

Bit by bit I give you back your home, your kitchen equipment, your clothes … everything.  All those things that you take for granted, every day in your life.

Your family, friends, pets, your car …  everything.  All suddenly back.  Just when you thought you wouldn’t ever see them ever again …  there they are.

Can you get an idea of how that would feel?

Now …  why are you looking for happiness in things that you don’t have …  when your happiness is right there all the time.

Stop searching for your happiness.  You already have it.  All you have to do is ‘see’ it.  Recognise it.  It’s all around you.  Right there.  Right now!

Wishing you a great, and thoroughly blessed day.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Sending you squidges and love ~

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The Friday Post ~ 10th November 2017

Hello and a very Happy Friday to you where ever you are!  Well Autumn arrived here and before it had chance to draw breath, it would seem that Winter is trying to push it out-of-the-way and get settled in.  It’s very cold here.  I went shopping today and was dithering inside the shop.  I even asked the lady on the till if they’d had something go wrong with their heating system. She said no, and told me that she too was freezing cold.  It was good to know … it confirmed that it wasn’t me having a ‘moment’.  😉

Anyhoo … you haven’t come to hear about the weather in the UK, you’ve come to gain that expensive edumacation that your parents pay for …  oh, wait!  No … I forgot to send the invoices out.  You’re getting this for free.  Darn and Dash it!  I need someone to take care of the books.  Application forms are available from my secretary.  Please apply asap.

On This Day in History

1619 – René Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy. Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled ‘In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated’) is a philosophical treatise written by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641.

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded.

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney is wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board. The disaster results in the construction the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

Fastnet Rock (Irish: An Charraig Aonair, meaning Rock of Solitude or Lonesome Rock) is a small clay-slate island with quartz veins and the most southerly point of Ireland, 6.5 km southwest of Cape Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) in County Cork, which is itself 13 km (8 miles) from the mainland.  It lies in the Atlantic Ocean 11.3 km south of mainland County Cork, at latitude 51.37°N.  It rises to about 30 m above low water mark. Study of the documentary record suggests that the name is from Old Norse Hvastann-ey  ‘sharp tooth island’.

Fastnet Rock lighthouse

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

Divided into Fastnet Rock proper and the much smaller Little Fastnet to the south by a 10 m (30 ft) wide channel, it also had the nickname ‘Ireland’s Teardrop’  as it was the last part of the country seen by Irish emigrants to the United States in the 19th century as they sailed past it.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.
1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika saying those well-known, world famous words; “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, NS received a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa, ON and Washington, DC) that said on November 11, 1918 all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air, which marked the end of the First World War on the Western Front.

1924 – Dion O’Banion, leader of the North Side Gang is assassinated in his flower shop by members of Johnny Torrio’s gang, sparking the bloody gang war of the 1920s in Chicago. Charles Dean O’Banion (8 July 1892 – 10 November 1924) was an Irish-American mobster who was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during the brutal Chicago bootlegging wars of the 1920s. O’Banion never went by “Dion”.

1

With the advent of Prohibition in 1920, O’Banion started a bootlegging operation. He made arrangements for beer suppliers in Canada to start shipments immediately, and also struck deals with whiskey and gin distributors. O’Banion pioneered Chicago’s first liquor hijacking on December 19, 1921. He and the “lads of Kilgubbin” quickly eliminated all their competition. The O’Banion mob, known as the North Side Gang, now ruled the North Side and the Gold Coast, the wealthy area of Chicago situated on the northern lakefront. As O’Banion’s name grew in the underworld, he attracted more followers, including Samuel “Nails” Morton, Louis “Three Gun” Alterie, and “Handsome” Dan McCarthy.

At the height of his power, O’Banion was supposedly making about $1 million a year on booze. During one famous caper, O’Banion and his men stole over $100,000 worth of Canadian whiskey from the West Side railroad yards. In another famous robbery, O’Banion looted the padlocked Sibly Distillery and walked off with 1,750 barrels of bonded whiskey.
2

In 1921, O’Banion married Viola Kaniff and bought an interest in William Schofield’s Flower Shop on North State Street. He needed a legitimate front for his criminal operations; in addition, he was fond of flowers and was an excellent arranger. Schofield’s became the florist of choice for mob funerals. Schofield’s happened to be across the street from Holy Name Cathedral, where he and Weiss attended Mass. The rooms above Schofield’s were used as the headquarters for the North Side Gang.

3

In May, 1924, O’Banion learned that the police were planning to raid the brewery on a particular night. Before the raid, O’Banion approached Torrio and told him he wanted to sell his share in the brewery, claiming that the Gennas scared him and he wanted to leave the rackets. Torrio agreed to buy O’Banion’s share and gave him half a million dollars. On the night of O’Banion’s last shipment, the police swept into the brewery. O’Banion, Torrio, and numerous South Side gangsters were arrested. O’Banion got off easily because, unlike Torrio, he had no previous prohibition related arrests. Torrio had to bail out himself and six associates, plus face later court charges with the possibility of jail time. O’Banion also refused to return the money Torrio had given him in the deal.

Torrio soon realized he had been double-crossed. He had lost the brewery and $500,000 in cash, been indicted, and been humiliated. Following this incident, Torrio finally agreed to the Gennas’ demand to kill O’Banion.

Heretofore, Mike Merlo and the Unione Siciliane had refused to sanction a hit on O’Banion. However, Merlo had terminal cancer and died on November 8, 1924. With Merlo gone, the Gennas and South Siders were free to move on O’Banion.

4

Using the Merlo funeral as a cover story, over the next few days the Unione national director from New York City, Frankie Yale, and other gangsters visited Schofield’s, O’Banion’s flower shop, to discuss floral arrangements. However, the real purpose of these visits was to memorize the store layout for the hit on O’Banion.

5

On the morning of November 10, 1924, O’Banion was clipping chrysanthemums in Schofield’s back room. Yale entered the shop with Torrio/Capone gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. When O’Banion attempted to greet Yale with a handshake, Yale clasped O’Banion’s hand in a death grip. At the same time, Scalise and Anselmi fired two bullets into O’Banion’s chest, two in his cheeks, and two in his throat. Dean O’Banion died instantly.

6

Since O’Banion was a major crime figure, the Catholic Church denied him burial on consecrated ground; however, the Lord’s Prayer and three Hail Mary’s were recited in his honor by a priest O’Banion had known from his youth. Despite this restriction, O’Banion received a lavish funeral, much larger than the Merlo funeral the day before. O’Banion was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. Due to the opposition from church officials, O’Banion was originally interred in unconsecrated ground. However, his family was eventually allowed to re-bury him on consecrated ground elsewhere in the cemetery.

The O’Banion killing would spark a brutal five-year gang war between the North Side Gang and the Chicago Outfit that culminated in the killing of seven North Side gang members in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.

1938 – Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on network radio.

1940 – Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.
1942 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, discussing the recent British Commonwealth victory over Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt, said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

1951 – Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.
1958 – The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children’s television program Sesame Street.

1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization – For the first time in five years, an entire week ends with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.
1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham, Alabama is hijacked and, at one point, is threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After two days, the plane lands in Havana, Cuba, where the hijackers are jailed by Fidel Castro.

1995 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) are hanged by government forces.
BBC News complete with Video Footage
1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time). MCI, Inc. is an American telecommunications company that is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia.
1997 – British au pair freed after appeal. British au pair Louise Woodward was freed from jail in the United States after her conviction for murdering a baby was reduced to manslaughter.
BBC New complete with video footage

Born on this Day

1683 – George II of Great Britain (d. 1760)

1728 – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright (d. 1774)

1925 – Richard Burton, Welsh actor (d. 1984)

1932 – Roy Scheider, American actor (d. 2008) best known for his role as police chief Martin Brody in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws

1940 – Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician (d. 1999) was famed for founding the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Despite his seemingly light-hearted antics, Screaming Lord Sutch in reality suffered from periods of depression and committed suicide by hanging on June 16, 1999, following the death of his mother the previous year.

1944 – Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist

1956 – Sinbad, American actor

1963 – Hugh Bonneville, English actor

Poppy

 

Thought for the Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – in 1918, the Guns fell silent across the Western Front.  99 years ago, tomorrow, at precisely 11am, on the 11th of November 1918, ended what was then called the “War to end all Wars.”.

During the four months to November 1918 Allied troops launched a sequence of successful offensives against the Germans, forcing them to retreat and surrender.

In a railway carriage in France’s Compiegne Forest, during the early hours of November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed and six hours later the ‘War to end all Wars’ was finally over.

The statistics of the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918 and surpassed all previous wars in the enormity of its destruction, are mind-boggling:  65 million men mobilized by the Central Powers  (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey) and the Allied Powers (Britain, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy and the United States).

An estimated 10 million killed and 20 million wounded on the battlefield.

It was, as I’ve said, the war to end all wars,  and, of course, it did nothing of the kind.

Our World is still ‘at war’.  As we sit here, right now, reading this, there are guns being fired, families living in fear,  men and women being put into unenviable positions of trying to stay alive, and men and women losing their lives, in a war, somewhere in this World of ours.

Will there ever be an end to war?   I would love to think so.  But in reality, I fear there won’t.  For we don’t seem to know at what point we should stand up to evil.

How can you distinguish good and evil from nationalistic ranting and posturing?  Those questions and all the associated questions remain with us.    All are unresolved and perhaps will never be resolved.

Did  The Great War  teach us nothing?  Does it not now stand as a great warning?  In the days of mass terrorism and nuclear proliferation, shouldn’t the Great War,  and all wars since, be a reminder of what can happen when two causes collide, each armed with technologies of mass destruction and each driven by a blind faith in its own righteousness?

Until we understand fully that violence begets violence and move beyond justifying war, beyond nationalism, beyond belief of what we ‘think’ may be, beyond blind belief of ‘jingoism’ and the self-righteousness of ‘my faith is the only right path’, until we learn to treat all, even the stranger, as a brother and sister, as someone we are related to,  we will not stop war.  We HAVE to believe it’s possible;  and we have to work, tirelessly, to prevent the seeds of war from flourishing.

Will the 21st Century be the century in which we finally choose between human and ecological suicide and peace?  I hope so, for all our sakes.  For what would happen, if another country, practising another faith and another way of life, invaded our own country demanding that we do things their way, and killing anyone who disagreed?

Today, I am wearing my Poppy with the greatest degree of pride that is possible.  I wear it to show that I remember all those men and women who have lost their lives in the name of war.  I wear it to say  ‘thank you’  to them, in the only way I know how.

I wear it, and each time I touch it, or look down at it, I am aware of the lump in my throat, signalling the holding back of tears which spring all too readily to my eyes, for the loss of not one, not one hundred, not one thousand … but thousands upon thousands of people who didn’t choose to die.  But did.

Tomorrow (11th day of the 11th month) is not only a chance to remember those brave men and women who were victims of conflict past,  but also victims of current wars.

I have chosen to place a song here which is normally associated with Great Britain, but I feel that now, more than ever, a strong bond holds us all together, and I feel that the true meaning of the song can be shared by us all.

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

To those who gave everything so that we may be
free to live in peace.

We shall remember them.

Poppy

 

Thank you so much for visiting and having a coffee moment or two with me.  I so enjoy your company.

May your day be peaceful, bright and calm.  May joy reach you and love find you.  And, where ever you go  …  may your God go with you.

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The Friday Post ~ 3rd November 2017

There are 51 Days (plus a few hours) till Christmas Day!
but hey – who’s counting?

Pin back your lugholes, for here is your first round of Edumacation for November!

On this Day in History

1783 – John Austin, a highwayman, is the last to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.

1911 – Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.
1913 – The United States introduces an income tax.

1936 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected in a landslide over Republican Alfred M. ”Alf” Landon.
The New York Times front page News

1941 – English broadcaster Roy Plomley conceived the idea for ‘Desert Island Discs’. The programme was first broadcast on BBC Radio in January 1942.

1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit: a dog named Laika.
BBC News Report

1964 – Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.
1964 – Lyndon B Johnson, who took over after President Kennedy’s assassination, won the White House race
BBC News Report complete with Video Footage
1969 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the “silent majority” to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to support his policies.

1973 – Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 10 toward Mercury, on March 29, 1974, becoming the first space probe to reach that planet.
1975 – Queen Elizabeth II opened the North Sea pipeline – the first to be built underwater – bringing ashore 400,000 barrels a day to Grangemouth Refinery on the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
BBC News Report
1976 – In Great Britain, the first £100,000 Premium Bond was won, by an anonymous person in Hillingdon.

1985 – Two French agents in New Zealand pleaded guilty to sinking the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior and to the manslaughter of a photographer on board. They were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.
BBC News Report 

1986 – Iran-Contra Affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been selling weapons to Iran in secret in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

1992 – Democrat Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States, defeating President George H.W. Bush.

1994 – Susan Smith, born in Union,  South Carolina, USA,  was arrested for drowning her two young sons, nine days after claiming the children had been “abducted by a black man”. (Smith is serving life in prison.)

The case gained international attention shortly after it developed, due to her false claim that a black man had carjacked her maroon Mazda Protegé and kidnapped her sons. Her defense attorneys, David Bruck and Judy Clarke, called expert witnesses to testify that she suffered from mental health issues that impaired her judgment when she committed the crimes.

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Smith will be eligible for parole on November 4, 2024, after serving a minimum of 30 years.

2004 – George W Bush was elected president of the United States for the second time, beating his Democratic rival by a comfortable margin.

2014 – One World Trade Center officially opens.


Born on this Day

1903 – Walker Evans, the American photographer best known for his portrayal of America during the Great Depression

1921 – Charles Bronson, American actor (d. 2003)

1933 – John Barry, English composer – best known for composing 11 James Bond movies and was hugely influential on the 007 series’ distinctive style.

1933 – Jeremy Brett, English actor (d. 1995) – famous, among other things, for his portrayal of the detective Sherlock Holmes in four British television series: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

1933 – Michael Dukakis, American politician

1948 – Lulu, British actress and singer

1949 – Anna Wintour, English-American journalist

1952 – Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedian

1953 – Kate Capshaw, American actress known for her role as Willie Scott in the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and for her marriage to director Steven Spielberg (who directed the film).

1954 – Adam Ant, English singer

1963 – Ian Wright, English footballer, manager, and sportscaster

1973 – Ben Fogle, English television host and author

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Thought for the Day

You are innocent until proven Awesome.

Be Awesome today.  You never know, you might like it so much that you want to do it the next day ….  and the next day …  and the next.  Until, eventually, you don’t realise it, but you are plain and simply just AWESOME!

I think, if I’m not mistaken, that was the whole idea.

He made an awesome thing …  WE were meant to continue with the work!

coffee cup

So then  … November arrived like a quiet little mouse who found a place to sneak in while we weren’t looking!  Although…  the end of October (Halloween) was entirely the opposite!  Halloween saw me dressed all in black, with a witches hat on, and my face made up as a Witches Cat!

Not a scary cat, you understand.  A cat with a tear drop shaped black nose,  with three black whiskers on either side of my nose …  and two black ears drawn above my eyebrows.  All drawn on my face with a black Kohl eye pencil.  To finish it all off …  I put black eyeliner along my upper eye lashes, and finished them with a flick to make them look more cat-like, and added pinky nude lipstick on my lips.

I’d obviously done a goodish job with the make up because when Little Cobs arrived for Halloween Tea and fun …. he touched my face gently and asked: “Who did your make up Grammy?” – with a touch of wonderment in his voice.

We had TONS of little halloweeners.  Ranging from monsters, aliens and one Frankensteins Monster, all the way to a top to toe costume of a furry, fluffy fox, a princess, a ballerina and the one which gave me the biggest ‘awwwww’ of the evening …  a little one of about 10 months old, dressed up as a butterfly, complete with wings …. being carried by his Daddy.  While I cooed over the baby, Daddy cooed over our front door, filled with so much admiration that I thought he was going to produce a screwdriver from his pocket and take the door with him!  lol.

Little Cobs had a ball of a time meeting and greeting all the weird and wonderful costumed children.  The only one which scared him was the Alien.  But then … it scared me too, so I can fully understand why he jumped stood behind me, peeping around my waist and hanging on so tightly to my trousers I thought at one point he was going to pull them down.  EEEK!!

Here in the UK we now have Guy Fawkes Night almost upon us (or ‘Bonfire Night’ as the children call it) – it’s on the 5th of November every year.

It’s a night of Bonfires up and down the land, and fireworks.  Now Bonfires I can cope with.   But fireworks scare me silly  …  and they scare my animals and all the animals everywhere.  Horrible – legal – explosives.  I would rather see these vile things allowed only at proper organised events, which have responsible, fully trained staff.  Having them available to buy from a variety of stores and shops just leads to the possibility of a child or youth getting their hands on them and causing a situation which could be life changing or even fatal.

Aw … I sound exactly like a Bah Humbug kind of person, and I’m really not.  I just think those things are way too dangerous to be so easily, publicly available.

Anyhoo

Like any great school, I like to give you a little fun at the end of your lessons, and today is no different.  The video I give to you now is just 2 minutes and 25 seconds long.  But … it will have you stumped.  I promise that there’s nothing scary going to suddenly happen (you should know me better by now to KNOW for sure that I wouldn’t give you any video which will scare the wotsit out of you) … but it will astound you and have you wondering:  “How the heck did he do that?”.  Watch, play along and have some fun.

Till we meet again, may the weather be kind, and life treat you nicely.

Sending love, and squidges. Oh .. and …  Remember to be AWESOME!

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The Friday Post – 13th October 2017

Today is … FRIDAY THE 13th.

The fear of Friday the 13th is so big that it has its own name.  It’s called friggatriskaidekaphobia – or triskaidekaphobia for short.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words Triskaidekaphobia, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear.

Now Friday the 13th is not universally seen as a day of misery. For example, in Italy, Friday the 17th and not Friday the 13th is considered to be a day that brings bad luck.  In fact, the number 13 is thought to be a lucky number!

In many Spanish-speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as a day of misfortune. And  ….   For a month to have a Friday the 13th, the month must begin on a Sunday.

OK, that’s enough of this Friday 13th silliness!  Get your notebooks ready, and put your chewing gum in the bin!  Edumacation coming up!

On this Day in History

1773The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier. The famous Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51, NGC 5194) is one of the most conspicuous, and probably the most well-known spiral galaxy in the sky.

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici.  It is one of the most famous spiral galaxies in the sky.

The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

M51 is visible through binoculars on a dark night, but with modern amateur telescopes this galaxy is truly a sight to behold. It is very forgiving on the instrument, when seen even through a humble 10 cm telescope the basic outlines of M51 and its companion are visible. Under dark skies, and with a moderate eyepiece through a 15 cm telescope, one can detect M51’s intrinsic spiral structure. With larger (>30 cm) instruments M51 is simply breathtaking. The various spiral bands are very obvious and several HII regions appear to be visible, and M51 can be seen to be attached to M51B. The shape of the X-formation in the nucleus has often been compared to the Christian cross.

1775 – The United States Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy).
1792 – In Washington, D.C., the cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House since 1818) is laid.

1843 – In New York City, Henry Jones and 11 others found B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world).

membership_certificate_
The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith – Membership Certificate

The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (IPA: /bəneɪ ‘brɪθ/; Hebrew: בני ברית, “Sons of the Covenant”) is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others, on October 13, 1843.

The organization is engaged in a wide variety of community service and welfare activities, including the promotion of Jewish rights, assisting hospitals and victims of natural disasters, awarding scholarships to Jewish college students, and opposing anti-Semitism and racism through its Centre for Human Rights and Public Policy.

The organization’s main body is B’nai B’rith International, the entity that works with hundreds of countries around the world to increase the welfare of resident Jews.

1845A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approve a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, will make Texas a U.S. state.

1881 – Revival of the Hebrew language as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (a key figure in the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language) and friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations.

1884 – Greenwich is established as universal time meridian of longitude. Greenwich is a district in south-east London, England, on the south bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Greenwich. It is best known for its maritime history and as giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Which was chosen as the universal time meridian of longitude from which standard times throughout the world are calculated.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich – as depicted on a picture postcard in 1902

The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by University of Greenwich and the Trinity College of Music.

Stood on the Meridian Line

A favourite thing to do when visiting is to stand with one foot either side of the Meridian Line and be photographed.

The town became a popular resort in the 17th century with many grand houses, such as Vanbrugh castle established on Maze Hill, next to the park. From the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre. The maritime connections of Greenwich were celebrated in the 20th century, with the sitting of the Cutty Sark and Gypsy Moth IV next to the river front, and the National Maritime Museum in the former buildings of the Royal Hospital School in 1934. Greenwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created.
(Greenwich is pronounced: Gren–itch = ‘Grenitch’.)

1894 – The first Merseyside ‘derby’ football match was played at Goodison Park between Liverpool and Everton, with Everton winning 3 – 0.

1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” is witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The Miracle of the Sun is an alleged miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on 13 October 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.  Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on October 13, 1917.

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky. It was said to be significantly less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world. Some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry.”

Estimates of the number of witnesses range from 30,000-40,000 by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século, to 100,000, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra, both of whom were present that day.

The miracle was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted by the three children on 13 July, 19 August, and 13 September 1917.  The children reported that the Lady had promised them that she would on 13 October reveal her identity to them and provide a miracle “so that all may believe.”

According to these reports, the miracle of the sun lasted approximately ten minutes.  The three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.

The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher. De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principles at undisturbed length.  In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that, “their ranks (those present on 13 October) included believers and non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men.  Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony. Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun.”

Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi’s several books on the matter.

• “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.” ― Avelino de Almeida, writing for O Século (Portugal’s most widely circulated and influential newspaper, which was pro-government and anti-clerical at the time Almeida’s previous articles had been to satirize the previously reported events at Fátima).

    • “The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem.

“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.” ― Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.

• “As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multi-colored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees.” ― Dr. Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarem, and a priest.

    • “I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.” ― Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima.

• “On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda…” ― Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.

Critical evaluation of the event
No scientific accounts exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have “danced”, and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than forty miles out from Cova da Iria.
De Marchi claims that the prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination unlikely. That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometers away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria, according to De Marchi.

Pio Scatizzi, S.J. describes events of Fátima and concludes:

    The … solar phenomena were not observed in any observatory. Impossible that they should escape notice of so many astronomers and indeed the other inhabitants of the hemisphere… there is no question of an astronomical or meteorological event phenomenon …Either all the observers in Fátima were collectively deceived and erred in their testimony, or we must suppose an extra-natural intervention.

Steuart Campbell, writing for the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology, postulated that a cloud of stratospheric dust changed the appearance of the sun on 13 October, making it easy to look at, and causing it to appear yellow, blue, and violet and to spin. In support of his hypothesis, Mr. Campbell reports that a blue and reddened sun was reported in China as documented in 1983.

Joe Nickell, a skeptic and investigator of paranormal phenomena, claims that the position of the phenomenon, as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun. He suggests the cause may have been a sundog. Sometimes referred to as a parhelion or “mock sun”, a sundog is a relatively common atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection/refraction of sunlight by the numerous small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. A sundog is, however, a stationary phenomenon, and would not explain the reported appearance of the “dancing sun”. Nickell suggests an explanation for this and other similar phenomena may lie in temporary retinal distortion, caused by staring at the intense light and/or by the effect of darting the eyes to and fro so as to avoid completely fixed gazing (thus combining image, after image and movement). Nickell concludes that there was

“likely a combination of factors, including optical and meteorological phenomena (the sun being seen through thin clouds, causing it to appear as a silver disc; an alteration in the density of the passing clouds, so that the sun would alternatively brighten and dim, thus appearing to advance and recede; dust or moisture droplets in the atmosphere, imparting a variety of colours to sunlight; and/or other phenomena).”

However, there are marked problems with the sundog theory because the meteorological conditions at the time of the Miracle of the Sun were not conducive to such an occurrence.  Sundogs occur in the presence of cirrus clouds, which are made out of ice, not water droplets. A sundog could have occurred prior to the rainstorm but not trailing the rainstorm, which is when the phenomenon occurred. A sundog would have to have occurred, at very least, hours prior to the storm, since cirrus clouds can precede a rainstorm by a few hours. The short and brief rain experienced before the sun event, on the other hand, indicates cumulonimbus clouds.

Not everyone reported seeing the sun “dance, including the children, who reported seeing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph blessing the people. Some people only saw the radiant colours. Others saw nothing at all.

Paul Simons, in an article entitled “Weather Secrets of Miracle at Fátima”, states that he believes it possible that some of the optical effects at Fatima may have been caused by a cloud of dust from the Sahara.

Kevin McClure claims that the crowd at Cova da Iria may have been expecting to see signs in the sun, as similar phenomena had been reported in the weeks leading up to the miracle. On this basis he believes that the crowd saw what it wanted to see. But it has been objected that McClure’s account fails to explain similar reports of people miles away, who by their own testimony were not even thinking of the event at the time, or the sudden drying of people’s sodden, rain-soaked clothes. Kevin McClure stated that he had never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research he had done in the previous ten years.

Leo Madigan believes that the various witness reports of a miracle are accurate, however he alleges inconsistency of witnesses, and suggests that astonishment, fear, exaltation and imagination must have played roles in both the observing and the retelling. Madigan likens the experiences to prayer, and considers that the spiritual nature of the phenomenon explains what he describes as the inconsistency of the witnesses.

Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural extra-sensory phenomenon. Schwebel notes that the solar phenomenon reported at Fátima is not unique – there have been several reported cases of high-pitched religious gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of lights in the sky.

It has been argued that the Fátima phenomenon and many UFO sights share a common cause, or even that the phenomenon was an alien craft.

Many years after the events in question, Stanley L. Jaki, a professor of physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, Benedictine priest and author of a number of books reconciling science and Catholicism, proposed a unique theory about the supposed miracle. Jaki believes that the event was natural and meteorological in nature, but that the fact the event occurred at the exact time predicted was a miracle.

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930. On 13 October 1951, papal legate Cardinal Tedeschini told the million gathered at Fátima that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.

External Links
Pictures of the crowd from, “Fatima Portugal Our Lady of Fatima”
“The True Story of Fatima” by Father John De Marchi

1924 – In Great Britain, – Labour Party leader Ramsay MacDonald became the first Prime Minister to make an election broadcast on BBC radio.

1940 – Princess Elizabeth, aged 14, (now Queen Elizabeth II), made her first radio broadcast to child evacuees.
1943 – World War II: The new government of Italy sides with the Allies and declares war on Germany.
The New York Times – front page news story

1958 – Burial of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII on the 41st anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun”.

1958 – Michael Bond publishes the first story on Paddington Bear.  Michael Bond, OBE, is an English children’s author.  He is the creator of Paddington Bear and has also written about the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, as well as the animated BBC TV series The Herbs.  Bond also writes culinary mystery stories for adults featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites.

Paddington Bear 1

Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, England on 13th January 1926.  He was educated at Presentation College, Reading.  During World War II Michael Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army.

He began writing in 1945 and sold his first short story to a magazine called ‘London Opinion’. This experience helped him decide that he wanted to be a writer.

It was while Michael Bond was working as a television cameraman for the BBC that he first came up with the idea for Paddington and he recalls in his own words how this came about:

“I bought a small toy bear on Christmas Eve 1956. I saw it left on a shelf in a London store and felt sorry for it. I took it home as a present for my wife Brenda and named it Paddington as we were living near Paddington Station at the time. I wrote some stories about the bear, more for fun than with the idea of having them published. After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn’t written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind things I liked reading about when I was young.”

Michael Bond sent the book to his agent, Harvey Unna, who liked it and after sending it to several publishers it was eventually accepted by William Collins & Sons (now Harper Collins).  The publishers commissioned an illustrator, Peggy Fortnum, and the very first book “A Bear Called Paddington” was published on 13th October 1958.  After the first Paddington book was accepted, Michael Bond went on to write a whole series.

The polite immigrant bear from Darkest Peru, with his old bush hat, battered suitcase and marmalade sandwiches became a classic English children’s literature icon.

In fact – by 1965 his books were so successful that Michael was able to give up his job with the BBC in order to become a full-time writer.

Paddington Bear 2

Since the first publication the Paddington books have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into over forty different languages, including Latin.

Paddington books have been translated into thirty languages across seventy titles and sold worldwide.  Over 265 licensees, making thousands of different products across the UK, Europe, USA, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and South Africa all benefit from the universal recognition of Paddington Bear.

In total Michael Bond has written almost 150 books, including his autobiography ‘Bears and Forebears’.

Paddington with Michael Bond

Michael Bond with Paddington – Britain’s most politest Bear!

Michael Bond sadly passed away 4 1/2 months ago, in London on 27 June 2017, at the wonderful age of 91.  Thank you Michael, for adding wonderfulness to children’s lives, and to the world in general.

1963 – The term Beatlemania was coined after The Beatles appeared at the Palladium, in London. They made their debut as the top of the bill on ITV’s ‘Sunday Night at The London Palladium.’
1967 – The first game in the history of the American Basketball Association is played as the Anaheim Amigos lose to the Oakland Oaks 134-129 in Oakland, California.

1971 – ‘World’ Series: The first night game in ‘World’ Series history is played at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes mountains, in between the borders of Argentina and Chile. By December 23, 1972 only 16 out of 45 people lived long enough to be rescued.

1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois. A cellular network is a radio network made up of a number of radio cells (or just cells) each served by a fixed transmitter, known as a cell site or base station. These cells are used to cover different areas in order to provide radio coverage over a wider area than the area of one cell. Cellular networks are inherently asymmetric with a set of fixed main transceivers each serving a cell and a set of distributed (generally, but not always, mobile) transceivers which provide services to the network’s users.
Cellular networks offer a number of advantages over alternative solutions:

    • • increased capacity
      • reduced power usage
      • better coverage

A good (and simple) example of a cellular system is an old taxi driver’s radio system where the taxi company will have several transmitters based around a city each operated by an individual operator.

1992 – In Great Britain, thousands of miners lose their jobs. The government announced plans to close one-third of Britain’s deep coal mines, putting 31,000 miners out of work.
BBC News Story

1993 – Captured American Pilot Mike Durant is filmed in an interview in captivity by a CNN camera crew.

Michael ‘Mike’ J. Durant (born July 23, 1961) is the American pilot who was held prisoner after a raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. Durant served in the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a CW4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others. He and his wife Lisa have six children.

1994 – In Northern IrelandThree main loyalist paramilitary groups announced a ceasefire following an IRA announcement weeks earlier.
BBC News on the Day complete with Video footage and Timeline of events

Born on this Day

1853 – Lillie Langtry, British actress (d. 1929)

1904 – Wilfred Pickles, English actor and broadcaster (d. 1978)

1917 – George Virl Osmond, Osmond family patriarch (d. 2007)

1925 – Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.  Known as ‘The Iron Lady’ she was the longest-serving Prime Minister for more than 150 years.

1934 – Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician

1941 – Paul Simon, American singer and musician (Simon and Garfunkel)

1944 – Robert Lamm, American musician (Chicago)

1946 – Edwina Currie, British politician

1947 – Sammy Hagar, American singer (Van Halen)

1948 – John Ford Coley, American musician – most well-known for his partnership in the musical duo England Dan & John Ford Coley.

1959 – Marie Osmond, American entertainer

1962 – Kelly Preston, American actress – married to John Travolta since 1991.

1969 – Nancy Kerrigan, American figure skater

~~💜~~

Thought for the Day 

What makes you think that what you’ve done in the past is worth carrying with you, like an old burden,  into this perfect moment.?  

Let go of it.

Mentally, envisage it as a way too big, dirty, old, overcoat that you have forced yourself to wear, day in, day out, for years.

It’s heavy, … it’s grubby,  …  it’s horrible.

Imagine yourself shrugging your shoulders and shrugging the overcoat off.  Feel it slipping down your arms, falling free of your hands and sliding to the floor around your feet.

Step out of it.  Now take your first step away from it.  Then stand for a moment and feel how much lighter your life feels without it.

Now – slowly – but in a better frame of mind . . .  walk away from it.

DON’T  look back.  DON’T  turn around.  You don’t need to look at it – it’s of no use to you.

You don’t need it anymore.  Leg it go.

With every step that you take away from it, feel how much lighter you become.  Feel how your footsteps become faster . . .  until you are almost skipping with joy!

Don’t drag old baggage around with you.  Each day is a new start.  What’s gone is gone.  Start anew.  Start NOW.

~~ 💙~~

Well we’ve reached our full input of Edumacation for Friday, and now that you’re filled with information which will surprise and astound some of your family and friends, I want you to go out there and spread that information around, for just like spreading fertiliser around your garden, which helps makes things grow … so your newly learned edumacation will enrich the world.  And quite frankly, at the moment, the world really needs as much enriching as possible.

Please, have a truly beautiful Friday.  There may be a gremlin that might just get into the day, but remember, it’s not what happens to you which matters in the long run, it’s how you react to what happens to you.  You have a choice.  Choose wisely because I want you to do the best you can possibly do, for YOU.

Sending squidges in wheel barrow loads …. right to your door!

sig-coffee-copy

 


Things I’ve learned this Week

Act 1, scene 1:  Setting the scene:-

[The door is flung open.  She’s arrived, but not under her own steam.  She was blown through the door with the great force of a wind which took no prisoners.  And she arrived with as much grace as a cow in a china shop and making about the same amount of noise too!].

windy-day

WHOOO!!!  Flipping heck, its windy out there!  I don’t know about the weather where you are, but here in the UK (in various places dotted around Great Britain), Storm Doris has blown in and she’s making sure that her presence is felt.  Folks here have christened today (Thursday evening, as I’m writing this),  Doris Day.  HA!  Love it.  (actually giggle to myself every time I say it.  Doris Day.  Love that soooo much!).

The odd thing about the weather this week is that I went out two days before Doris Day wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a lightweight jacket.  I ended up taking the jacket off and leaving it in the car because it was SO hot!

sunny-day

We have a saying here: …  ‘Come to the UK and experience Snow;   Wind;  Rain;  Hail;  Sleet;  Sunshine;  Warmth;  Heat;  and Hotter than hot.  In fact all of the weathers,   all in one day!’

This week has been a mixed week.  I seem to have done much but only have a little bit to show for it.  I made a card for a blogging friends mum, who had broken her ankle.  I have photos, and now that the card has been received the other end, I can share the piccies with you.  I’ll blog the pictures in the next couple of days.  After making the card, I decided it was about time I cleaned my craft room and moved a few things around which were now in the wrong place.  Oh.  My.  Goodness!  Nightmare In the Craft Room time!    I got about half way through and really wished I hadn’t started this task.

I’m still finishing off.  And I’ll be so glad when everything is put in its rightful place, and all the papers and trimmings have all been put back where they belong.  phew!

Anyhoo...  you haven’t come here to listen to my ramblings about cleaning up.  You’ve come to get some edumacation.  (Yes I know it’s ‘education’  … but I prefer my word. lol)

So …  shall we dive in and get educationamalised?  Strap yourself in.  Ready?  And we’re OFF!  . . .

This week …  I learned to leave a fresh from the oven pizza all alone for at least five minutes  and NOT to take a bite of a slice until 5 minutes have passed.  How did I learn this?  ….  picture the scene dear reader …

The smells from the oven were over-whelming.  A gorgeous, tummy rumbling, nose twitchy sensation, hunger pangs sort of way.  The whole house smelled of the fabulous roasted vegetables which topped the pizza, along with the two different cheeses, and the little circles of garlic butter (the size of a penny) which dotted the top of the pizza.  And the Garlic bread which was cooking at the same time.

The timer dinged, sounding out its permission to remove that pizza from the oven.  Pizza and garlic bread were removed, and salad was waiting for the finished dishes.  The pizza was cut, popped onto the plates and served up.  The smell was way too much.  I couldn’t wait …  I lifted that slice up to my lips and took a bite of that fabulous triangular bit which came from the centre of the pizza.

What happened next was something that should have been reported on the news! (Unfortunately the POTUS pushed me off the top spot so I never even got a mention!).

What I didn’t know about that Pizza was that the toppings and the cheese came from the depths of the core of a VolcanoSo hot.  SO SO SO  –  H.O.T.!!!  Not spicy hot.  Hot as in ‘let me put an iron straight out of the blacksmith’s fire into your mouth and you bite down on it for a moment or two’.  Yeah, that sort of HOT.

I burnt the roof of my mouth behind my two front teeth.  Not just a little burn.  No.  I don’t do things by halves.  When I do things I go full-out and do ’em good.  Ohhhh… the roof of my mouth was sore for days.  The ‘problem’ lasted 4/5 days before I could brush my teeth in the normal way.  In the:   “I’m thinking about sunshine and flowers.  What am I wearing today?.  Why do I have the entire cast of the four-legged members of this household all in this tiny bathroom with me, looking up at me, waiting for me to what?  Tickle them all maybe?” … way.

I had to concentrate very, v. e. r. y.  carefully as I brushed the backs of those two teeth.  None of that brushing the gums as well motion.  Noooooooo.  I had to be sure that I brushed the teeth and only the teeth.  I had experienced the pain which occurred when I brushed the normal way I do, and I didn’t want to experience that again.  Care needed to be taken.

So I learned that I shouldn’t be a pig with Pizza.  Wait ….  wait….  and wait some more  … until the pizza was cool enough before you take a bite.  Good lesson to learn.

I’ve also learned this week: That the Cadbury’s factory make 600,000 Creme eggs every 12 hours, and all those eggs, if weighed, weigh THREE TIMES HEAVIER than an elephantThe moral of this tale is …  don’t eat more than one Cadbury Creme egg a week – unless you want to become an elephant.

I also learned that the Cadbury Brothers released the first filled eggs in 1923, but the Creme Eggs we all know today were introduced to stores only in 1963.  They were initially named Fry’s Creme Eggs. But in 1971, they were rebranded as Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.

Each Creme Egg consists of 180 calories.

According to a survey done by Cadbury, there are different ways of eating the Creme Egg:  53 percent of people bite off the top, lick out the cream, then eat the chocolate;  20 percent just bite straight through; whereas six percent use their finger to scoop out the cream.

Which group do you fit into?

I also learned this week that I miss some of the funny people from our films and TV screens who have either parted company with us, or chosen to sit back and enjoy life, or just aren’t getting the jobs offered to them anymore.  People such as  Steve Martin.  Bill Murray.  John Candy.  Robin Williams (I will never stop missing him).  Leslie Nielson.  Chevy Chase.  Danny DeVito.  Peter Sellers.  Vince Vaughn.  Jane Lynch.  Dan Aykroyd.

We need to laugh more.  I’m starting a movement for more funny stuff on TV.  Lobby your TV stations and tell them that in these difficult times in which we live, we need more funny stuff on TV!

I learned this week or should that be realised?  No, we’ll stick to learned.  I learned this week that I’m totally dumbfounded at how my attitudes towards certain things have changed as I’ve got older.

Things which were, in my opinion, ‘set in stone’ when I was in my twenties are now just not important at all.  Stuff which was so crucial in my thirties, really aren’t anything I bother about now.  Things which were of great significance are now …  meh.  They can all just slide on by me now.

What is important to me now is knowing that I am loved, and that the people I love KNOW I love them.  Can see that I love them.

Our (Mr.Cobs and I) two children, who had their trying times and their ‘I’m going to pour her down the drain‘ moments …  I now look back and see that in actual fact all that worry about them when they were in their teens,  was just me being an over protective mum.  I could see where ‘the dangers’ were and so would try to head them off before daughters 1 and 2 got to them.  But … I shouldn’t have.  They needed to learn, just like we all did.  Only by learning the lesson ‘the hard way’, would they actually learn what the needed to – that being … how to deal with the problem!

So … young mums reading ... allow your children to learn about the things they’re going to need to know about in adulthood.  Even if it’s how to get the lid off the Tupperware container …  or how to sort their dirty clothes into piles of whites, darks and mixed colours!  And WHY they need to learn that.  It’s a valuable lesson – knowing not to put all the washing in the machine without sorting it out and only washing the right things with each other …. as we’ve all learned!   😀

But …  enough of my ramblings!    … I know what you’re waiting for …  the JOKES!

My friend thinks he is smart. He told me an onion is the only food that makes you cry, so I threw a coconut at his face.

A child asked his father, “How were people born?” So his father said, “Adam and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on.” The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, “We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now.” The child ran back to his father and said, “You lied to me!” His father replied, “No, your mom was talking about her side of the family.”

Q: What never asks questions but receives a lot of answers?
A: The Telephone.

Teacher: “If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven.”
Teacher: “No, listen carefully… If I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven.”
Teacher: “Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Six.”
Teacher: “Good. Now if I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?”
Johnny: “Seven!”
Teacher: “Johnny, where in the heck do you get seven from?!”
Johnny: “Because I’ve already got a freaking cat!”

Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Officer asks a young engineer fresh out of the Institute of Technology, “And what starting salary are you looking for?” The engineer replies, “In the region of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.” The interviewer inquires, “Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?” The engineer sits up straight and says, “Wow! Are you kidding?” The interviewer replies, “Yeah, but you started it.”

A bank robber pulls out gun points it at the bank teller, and says, “Give me all the money or you’re geography!”   The puzzled teller replies, “Did you mean to say ‘or you’re history?’”   The robber says, “Don’t change the subject!”

and last but not least …. this little thing which I saw this week and it tickled the heck out of me  . . .

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Well that’s us done and dusted and all caught up for another Friday!  And not just any Friday either!  Today is the last Friday in this month.  Next Friday it will already be March.  We’re really racing through these months, aren’t we. Phew.  I can barely keep up.

I hope your Friday is a lovely one.  A day which passes without any problems, and no gremlins getting into the hours.

May your weekend be the weekend you’re hoping for.  May you sleep well and wake up feeling wonderful.

Sending you squidges, and hoping that life treats you well,  till we meet next time. 

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