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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

V for

Visions of Christmas of Times Gone By. When I think of Christmas my thoughts invariably venture back to my childhood in the 1950's.  

One of my Visions of Christmas takes me back to one Christmas Eve when my brother and I trudged through the snow to sing Christmas carols in ou local church choir. I can always remember the magical atmosphere that enveloped us as we merrily sang 'Ding Dong Merrily on High' and other favourites.


On this particular Christmas when the carol service had finished our dad was waiting at the church door to escort us home because it was snowing heavily, We arrived home to a welcoming  mug of  hot chocolate and delicious warm mince pies, which our elder sister Norma made. (Sadly Norma died at the end of December 2015).

 Then, it was off to bed to sleep and perhaps, dream of the gifts we hoped Father Christmas would bring us.

Visions of Christmas Day brings my brother, me and big sis Norma, sitting in front of a roaring log fire opening our presents, whilst our dear Mama and Aunt May busied themselves in the kitchen preparing the dinner.



Delicious Roast Turkey with all the trimmings for dinner served at 1pm prompt! (That's if Mama and Aunt May hadn't demolished the sherry bottle, there was a lot of laughter emanating from the kitchen)..


 I can Visualize this particular day quite clearly because we both received roller skates and of course couldn't try them out because of the heavy snow, perhaps we should have asked for ice skates!


Vision of my brother and I skating on our roller skates. We had to wait a while before we used them as it was a long snowy winter and indoor roller rinks didn't arrive in our town until the 60's.

I hope you enjoyed my childhood 'VISIONS' !

Thanks to Denise who initially had the VISION to create ABCW and to Roger our Valourous administrator together with Leslie his well Versed assistant.
Finally many thanks to the team of helpers who
pay weekly Visits to abcw memes.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Q for

A little silliness using  the letter Q that I have hastily put together, having just returned from holiday.

Questions.  Do Querulous Quabs Quack and if they do would they drive you Quackers ? 

Q was a Quince that hung upon a garden tree;

 Papa, he brought it with him home And ate it with his tea. (Edward Lear). The quince.

 Quince, is generally grown in central and southern Europe and Asia. Also parts of the US, including Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Newbury, Massachusetts.

 Round about 1275 Edward 1 had Quince planted at the Tower of London, 
They have a tough outer skin which makes it difficult to peel so are better- baked whole.
 They can be used in jellies and jams, and are delicious served with roasted ham and cheese.


Quartz a favorite gemstone.























Why does the QUAIL have a stumpy little tail ?

  My thanks to Denise the Quintessence of ABCW,  also to Roger for doing what he does, Quietly, along with the help of  Quick-witted Leslie.

 Finally not forgetting the helpers who happily take their Quota of 'visits' with good grace.

 Best wishes, Di.abcw team.

 

abcw team.



 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

M for Manx .The Isle of Man.

Map of the Isle of Man.

In the middle of the Irish Sea between England and Eire (Island) is a beautiful verdant Island called The Isle of Man; people born on the Island are known as 'Manxmen/woman'. The island is 52kilometers long and 22 kilometres wide; with an area of 572 square kilometers. At the last census, there were approximately 30,000 residents, about 2000 of them claimed to be able to speak or have a sound knowledge of the Manx language.
The Isle of Man Ferry from Liverpool.

To get to the Island from Liverpool England, it is 2hours by high-speed ferry or flying from Liverpool John Lennon Airport which takes about 40 minutes.

The Manx flag bears The Legs of  Mann, the official flag since 1932. The three are known in Manx as 'ny tree cassyn (the three legs). The triskelion is an ancient symbol used by the Mycenaeans and the Lycians. The Islanders have their own parliament known as the House of  Keys which is based at a place called Tynwald Hill.


 The Isle of Man famed for the wonderful kippers they produce . There is an abundance of herrings in the seas around the island and for centuries they have been fished out of the emerald green waters and taken to the smoke houses and then to be smoked and turned into kippers.

 

The delicious silver herring .Herrings don't have to be smoked, the Scottish people are fond of them coated in oatmeal and sauteed  in butter, I like this too but there's nothing as good as a MANX kipper. 



Kippers are Herrings that are split and cleaned then put on poles in a smoke house then gently smoked over wood chippings and a special ingredient, that is a strictly kept secret amongst the smoke house people.


Delicious grilled Kipper....Yum Yum !

There is so much more to write about this delightful island but sadly time eludes me so I shall write more in another thrilling instalment whenever i have the opportunity.

My thanks to Denise who MAGICALLY devised ABCW, also to Roger who MANAGES to what he does with such MAGNITUDE ably assisted by Leslie and the rest of the team who METHODICALLY help with visiting and commenting on other sites.
Best wishes,
Di,
ABCW team.
 



Wednesday, 28 September 2016

L for LOVE

I have been in 'Love' so many times (or so I thought) that a friend of mine told me that 'I wore my heart on my sleeve'. She was probably right although, I didn't agree with her at the time! My first teenage love was a boy called Tony, we used to meet most nights and ride our bikes around the neighbourhood, generally Laughing and doing the things teenagers did in the sixties. Sadly my parents and his totally disapproved of this romance because we were of different religions. I was Church of England and he was Roman Catholic, the more they protested the more determined I was to see him.


Boy Soldier who went on to become Regimental Sergeant Major

  One day, we were sitting by the lake in a local park, my beau turned to me and told me he loved me and wanted to marry me but also, that day, he had enlisted in the British Army. He wanted to build a career by going through the ranks and hopefully, gain a commission. Then, when the time came we would marry and I would become an army wife. I didn't think  much about marriage then as I was too young, aged 14 and still at school. He asked me if I would wait for him and of course, I said yes, so off he went to training camp which was based in Germany. He came home on leave and I felt very proud of him, he looked so handsome in his uniform; The  only downside was that his lovely blonde curls had been cut off into a regulation short back and sides.


Sadly, as we both matured it seemed that we had little in common and drifted apart. I started a new career in a major city bank, and he married a girl who was also in the army.

He was based in several places but scarily, was in Northern Ireland, at the time of the IRA uprising;

 I found out that he had been badly injured in a booby trap bomb and sadly for him he was pensioned out of the job he loved so much, serving his Queen and country.He did recover quite well from his injuries and went on to having a successful career helping wounded servicemen into rehabilitation.

 I must say that whenever I see a man in a military uniform my heart flutters a little and my mind wanders back to when I was, 'just a teenager in Love'. 



A poem about Love by the America writer
Mary Angelou;  It's called 'Touched by an Angel'.


We, unaccustomed to courage
excites from delight lives coiled in shells of loneliness
until Love leaves its high holy temple
 and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life

Love arrives
 and in its train comes ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pleasure
Yet if we are bold Love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of Love's light
We dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that Love costs all we are
and will ever be
Yet it is only Love
Which sets us free.

My sincere thanks to the   Lovely Denise for devising ABCW thus giving so much pleasure to many and also Roger the Lexicographer for doing what he does, ably assisted by Leslie who Lightens the work load.
Finally the band of Lively helpers who assist with the visits and encourage new contributors to keep on writing on ABCW.
Kind regards to all,
Di,
abcw team.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

K for Rudyard Kipling

Last week, 
 I wrote the introduction for ABCW about the Jungle Book stories written by Rudyard KIPLING the English writer and poet,
I thought it only fitting that I should to tell you a  little more about him.
One of his most poignant writings was called ......


RUDYARD KIPLING as a young man in India.

      .... ....IF.......

If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when others doubt you,
But make allowances for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal  in lies-
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winning
Ans risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
- And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word against your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone.
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them:  'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If  all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth distance run -
Yours is the earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - 
You'll be a man my son !

Lieutenant John Kipling British Army  Regiment of The Irish Guards.

Ruyard Kipling's beloved son who lost his life in the Battle of Loos Atois In France during World War One; He was just eighteen years of age.

 Kipling was distraught with grief because he introduced his son Jack (John)  to a close friend in the Irish Guards and was accepted into the regiment at Kipling's request.  Jack had already been turned down by the Royal Air Corps and the Royal Navy because he had such poor eye sight and desperately wanted to serve his king and country.

Insignia of the Royal Irish Guards which would be worn on the sleeve.

After his son's death Rudyard KIPLING wrote,


"If any should question why we died, tell them, 

 because our fathers' lied" !


As we complete the penultimate round of abcw, I  hope to write more about RUDYARD KIPLING, his amazing works and life.

My sincere thanks to the KINDLY Denise the founder of   abcw, also to Roger our most KNOWLEDGEABLE Admin. Man. Also to The Pedalogue Leslie who is blessed with the 'KNOWHOW' to support Roger and his team of helpers who KNUCKLEDOWN each week and visit others by  reading and encouraging their 'contributions to ABCW.
Best wishes,
Di,
ABCW team.



Wednesday, 7 September 2016

I means ' In all Honesty'.

Propositions by Stephen Dunn.

Anyone who begins a sentence with  "In all honesty"........ Is about to tell a lie. Anyone who says "This is how I feel" had better love form more than disclosure.

 Same for anyone who thinks he thinks well because he had a thought.


Rodin.....The Thinker.

If you say "You're ugly to an ugly" to an ugly person-no credit for honesty, which always must be a discovery, an act that qualifies as an achievement. If you persist you're just a cruel bastard, a pig without a mirror.



Somebody who hasn't examined himself  enough.

 A hesitation hints at an attempt to be honest, suggests a difficulty is present.

A good sentence needs a clause or two, interruptions, set off by commas,

 evidence of a slowing down, a rethinking.

Before I asked my wife to marry me, I told her I'd never be fully honest.  "No one she said, had said that to her"

' I was trying to be radically honest', I said, but in fact had another motive.

 A claim without a 'but' in it is,  at best, only half true.


IN ALL HONESTY,  I was asking in advance , to be forgiven.

I really enjoyed this  INTERESTING piece of work and I do hope, You do too!

My sincere thanks to DENISE for creating ABCW and to  ROGER ably assisted by Leslie in the smooth running of this meme. Also many thanks to the team of assistants who help with the visits.

 Best wishes Di,ABCW team.










 





Tuesday, 30 August 2016

H stands for HUMPTY DUMPTY

HUMPTY DUMPTY.......sat on a wall,

  Humpty Dumpy had a great fall,

  All the king's horses and all the kings men,

All the kings horses and all the kings men.

 couldn't put HUMPTY together again.  







HUMPTY DUMPTY ......

Is really a character and literary allusion,

  He has appeared,  or been referred to  in many works, including Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass'.

  He is typically portrayed as an 'anthropomorphic' egg.


(Anthropomorphic:  Having human characteristics or ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things.)


In 1996 the Colchester Tourist  Board's website revealed, after years of research that  HUMPTY DUMPTY  was in fact a giant cannon which was colloquially known as HUMPTY DUMPTY.



Colchester Castle.
town centre.

Colchester was a walled town with a castle and several churches and was protected by a city wall.

HUMPTY DUMPTY  (the giant cannon) was strategically placed on the wall to protect the town from the enemy. However a shot from a Parliamentary cannon succeeded in damaging the wall beneath HUMPTY DUMPTY,  causing the cannon to tumble to the ground.

The Royalists or Cavaliers ("All the King's Men") couldn't put HUMPTY together again.

The story goes that attempts to raise the giant cannon again proved impossible.


HEARTFELT thanks to Denise for devising ABCW, to Roger our HARD working administrator, Also to Leslie, who with many others, HUGELY HELP the smooth running of ABCW meme.
Best wishes to all,
 Di.
ABCW team, xxx.