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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

H from Homer - hippoptamus then to Happy!


"Hateful to me as the gates of  Hades

 is that the man who hides  one

  Thing in his heart and speaks another".

 In several of the 'classics'

 'HADES' is often referred to as The Gates of Hell. 




by  Ogden Nash.

 Behold The  Hippopotamus!

 We laugh at how he looks at us,

 And yet in moments dark and grim,

I wonder how we look too him.

Peace, thou hippopotamus, !

 We really look alright to us, As you no doubt delight the eye

 Of the other hippopotami.






The Hippopotamus.

 by Jack Prelusky.


The huge Hippopotamus hasn't a hair

 on the back of his wrinkly hide;

 he carries the bulk of his prominent hulk

 assembled loosely inside.



The huge Hippopotamus lives without a care 

 at a slow philosophical pace,

 as he wades in the mud with a thump and a thud

 and a permanent grin on his face.

A smiling hippopotamus.


HAPPY HIPPOS' HAVING an HILLARIOUS time.... dancing..... The Bump...



To finish.

A HEART warming moment as a very

HAPPY little girl with her  HANDSOME  friend.....

 HUMPHREY the they share an HILLARIOUS moment....

 I wonder what caused this HAPPY moment? 


                                          <HAPPY>      < HAPPY>      <HAPPY>   

My thanks to  Denise, for creating ABCW, with her HEART warming tales of,
  HOMELY life in Liverton, Village Yorkshire
 Also to  Roger for the HELPFUL and  HUMOROUS way in which he dilgently visits every post each week, this must take up a lot of his time!
 He  also deals with  the  HELPERS  who work  HARMONIOUSLY to keep ABCW  up and running.
My sincere best wishes to each and every one,
Di xx






Tuesday, 18 August 2015

F for From My Armchair.

From My Arm-Chair.  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

'To the children of Cambridge. who presented to me, on my Seventy Second Birthday, February 27th 1879, this chair from the wood of the village Chestnut Tree'.

 The tree was cut down due to safety concerns. The children of Cambridge Massachusetts US. raised money to have a chair constructed from it's wood and presented it to Longfellow on his birthday.


From My Arm-Chair.

Am I as a king, that I should call my own this splendid ebon throne?  

Or by what reason, or what right divine,

can I proclaim it mine                           

Only perhaps, by right divine of song

  It may to me belong ,

Only because the spreading chestnut tree

Of old was sung by me.

Well I remember it in all its prime, when in summertime

The affluent foliage of its branches made

A cavern of cool shade.

There by the blacksmith's forge beside

the street

It's blossoms white and sweet

Enticed the bees, until it seemed alive,

And murmured like a hive.

 And when the winds of Autumn, with a shout

 Tossed its great arms about.

 The shining chestnuts, bursting from the sheath.


 Dropped to the ground beneath.


And now some  fragments of its branches bare, Shaped as a stately chair,

 Have by my hearthstone found a home at last.

 And whisper of the past.


The Danish King could not in all his pride

 Repel the ocean tide,

 But seated in this chair, I can in rhyme

 Roll back the tides of Time.


 I see again in one vision sees,

 The blossom and  the bees,

 And hear the children's voices shout and call,

 And the brown chestnuts fall.


I see the smithy with its fires aglow,

 I hear the bellows blow.

 And the shrill hammers on the anvil beat The iron white with heat!

 And thus dear children have ye made for me

 This day a jubilee,

 And to my more than three score years and ten

 Brought back my youth again.

 The hearth has its early memory like the mind,

 And in it are enshrined The precious keepsakes, into which are wrought

 The giver's loving thought.

 Only your love and your remembrance could

 Give life to this dead wood, And make these branches, leafless now so long, Blossom again in song. 

My sincere thanks to the Fabulous Denise for devising ABCW and also to the Fair-minded Roger for his never Failing efforts in the administration of ABCW.
 Thanks also go out to the team of helpers too! 
Best wishes to all Di. x  




Monday, 10 August 2015

E For Edward Lear,

Edward Lear (1812-1888) was a poet and an illustrator.  He was talented in many fields, including music and in particular, famed for his wonderful nonsense poetry and limericks .


At the age of 16,  Edward Lear was employed by The Zoological Society as an ornithological draughtsman. Then, from 1832-1836 he was employed by The Earl of Derby who had a menagerie, at his stately home and estate, known as Knowsley Hall, in Liverpool UK. (My home town.)

Edward Lear's first publication in 1830 was 'Illustrations of The Family of  Parrots'. The paintings were well received and compared favourably with the works of John James Audubon.

Edward Lear's early paintings of the parrots for his illustrated book. 

I cannot write about Edward Lear without sharing a couple of his amusing limericks, of course I'm tempted into 'going into one' again (a description by my daughters of moi when I get a little over enthusiastic).... you may recall I covered 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat on an earlier ABCW and as I've been EULOGIZING for quite long ENOUGH, I'll just throw in a couple of limericks from the fabled Edward Lear

There was an old man of the South,

 Who had an immoderate mouth

 But in swallowing a dish that was quite full of fish,

 He was choked, that old man of the South.

There was an old man of the North,

Who fell in a basin of broth,

But a laudable cook,

Fished him out with a hook,

Which saved the Old Man of The North.

That's ENOUGH for now..... I'm  EXHAUSTED....

My thanks to the  ENDEARINGLY lovely Denise, for devising ABCW and also  Roger, the EPITOME of EXCELLENCE in his quest to keep us all in order!
Oh! and not forgetting the team of helpers assisting them..Di xx


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

D stands for Diana

Diana (My namesake.)

In Roman mythology Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and childbirth, being associated with wild animals and woodland and having the power to talk to and control animals.

Diana was known to be the virgin goddess of childbirth and women, she was one of  the three  maiden goddesses, Diana , Minerva, and  Vesta  who swore to never marry. 

Diana reposing.

Worship of  Diana is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles Ephesian.

Metal Smiths who felt threatened by St Paul's preaching of Christianity,  jealously noted in her defence, shouting, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians !(Acts 19:28 The New English Bible.) The city secretary hushed the crowd, saying "Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the Keeper (Guardian of the Temple) of the great Diana and of her image that fell from heaven?" (Acts 19:36.) 

In Ephesus where she was worshipped as Diana of Ephesus. The Temple of Artemision used to be one of the World's seven wonders.


The Temple of Artemis / Diana.


I wrote about Ephesus on the previous round of ABCW , this is the wonderful place we visited on many of our trips to Turkey, somehow I find myself there again ! Then I wrote about the temple, first named The Temple of Artemis, then, the Romans arrived and renamed it The Temple of Diana. There is a lot written about Ephesus in the Acts of the Apostles which I believe tells it all and particularly through Christ's disciples St Peter and St Paul.

 A fortune teller once told me  I was a descendant from an eastern goddess, I was amazed because I hadn't told her my name! Stranger still my youngest daughter was also told that she too descended from an eastern goddess.....maybe they all have the same script !

My thanks to Dear Denise for Devising ABCW and the dashing Roger for all that he does, also not forgetting the dependable team of helpers.
Best wishes Di, ABCW team. 

Monday, 20 July 2015

B stands for Enid Blyton,

As a child I was an avid reader and one of my favourite authors was Enid BLYTON . She wrote a myriad of books, the ones I enjoyed  most were The Famous Five and The Secret Seven.

The Famous Five consisted of four children and a dog called Timmie, he was George's dog. George was a girl but rather a tomboy, I think her real name was Georgina. The other three characters were Julian,  Dick and Anne.

 In the summertime, they all returned home from their respective boarding schools to stay with their  Aunt Fanny and Uncle Quentin. Unfortunately Aunt Fanny was taken ill and had to go to a far away hospital for specialised treatment, with Uncle Quentin at her side.

 Arrangements were made for them to be cared for by Aunt Fanny's temporary cook Mrs Stick, her ghastly husband and sly son Edgar.

They disliked their guardians so much that  they decided to run away to Kirrin Island.......... thus, the adventures of  The Famous Five invaded my life.

 As soon as there was a new copy published of their latest adventures I was down to the local library to order it. My parents and family purchased many of  Enid Blyton's  books for me, on special occasions, such as Christmas and Birthdays.

 Famous Five stories  kept in the bookcase by my bed.


Another set of  Enid Blyton stories that I loved were The Secret Seven, yet more exciting adventures for me to read under my quilt, with a torch.....During school days I was in bed at 8pm and then allowed to read until 9pm.... then it was 'lights out'.... Or rather, 'light's on',  in my case! Naughty girl!


However, unknown to the parents I had a torch under my quilt and carried on reading. Unfortunately, one night there was a power failure and my Father got very cross because he couldn't find the large torch I had 'borrowed' for my nocturnal reading! Reluctantly, I had to hand it over..... not to be thwarted, I borrowed a torch from my brother so I could carry on with my favourite pastime,  reading!


Then came The Secret Seven.


I read a lot of novels in a very short time.

  The storyline here was about a group of juvenile detectives. Peter was the leader, then there was Janet his sister.  Jack who was Peter's best friend, then Barbara, George, Pam and Colin. They would all meet up in an old shed and use secret passwords for entering. They also had badges with SS engraved upon them.         




When the school holiday arrived my brother and l formed a similar  sort of club with our local friends, our headquarters based in the father's shed. With the help of our elder sister we made badges and played all summer with our very own Secret Seven.

 Big sister set out a trestle table for us  with Sandwiches fairy cakes and jelly and ice cream and cups of cream soda... after all this was devoured she would read us a passage or two out of our beloved ENID BLYTON'S  Secret Seven Stories.


My humble tribute to a Bountiful author who helped me expand my knowledge of the English language and also indulge in a little escapism, imagination and fun during my childhood years. 

Enid Blyton

1897- 1968
My sincere thanks to the BUBBLY Denise for devising ABCW and to the BOUYANT
Roger for keeping us all afloat.
Many thanks too, to the band of helpers.
Best wishes,
.ABCW team.








Tuesday, 14 July 2015

A stands for Antibes in France,

Antibes is a delightful little town on the Cot d' Azur  part of The French Riviera.  It is surrounded by mediaeval ramparts which would protect the town in times of strife.

A view of  the town from the sea, you can see the snow covered alps in the background.

One of the many colourful streets that weave their way through the old town.

The place has many fine restaurants and street café's, serving the delicious Mediterranean food also there are quite a few Italian Tratoria's that  serve some of the finest  pasta dishes I have ever tasted. My favourite one was called  Mamalu's,  a very simple little café that served a different pasta dish each day. We dined there several times and my favourite dish was the Linguine Vongole.


I managed to persuade the chef Lucca to share his recipe with me, I would like to share it with you, but I was sworn to secrecy. However, it is on our menu regularly so if any of you are passing by , I would be delighted to cook it for you !

We would walk along the ramparts to a beautiful beach in Juan les pins which is part of the province of Antibes. Yet another part of town to soak up the sun and swim in the azure waters.

Juan les pins fabulous beach.

The Ramparts. 

Walking back along the Ramparts into Antibes is The Picasso Musee`D'Antibes   

La Joie la Vivre (Picasso).

  This  is one of Picasso's famous painting which he painted in Antibes, he found the light there most favourable for his works,

La Joie de Vivre painted in 1946 is emblatic of  his stay there.                                               

Picasso's bronze statues along the ramparts overlooking the bay.

The master at work in his studio.


That's all folks, I could write and write about yet another favourite holiday jaunt but hey we're only at the letter 'A'....still plenty of time to have ANOTHER jaunt in Europe!

My sincere thanks to the AMIABLE and AMUSING Denise for devising ABCW and also to our ACTION MAN Roger for doing what he does, so well.
Best wishes and thanks to all the little helpers, also welcome to Melody, a new little helper,
Di. xx 


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Z stands for Zakynthos

Zakynthos also known as Zante is a pretty island nestling in the Ionian Sea. it is the third largest of the Ionian islands with many picturesque beaches and bays. Navagio Beach, pictured below left, is a famous beach on Zakynthos and can only be reached by boat, there is a shipwreck on the beach that people flock to, to photograph!

Caretta Caretta!

This is the affectionate name for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle

This stunning sea creature comes ashore on several beaches in Zakynthos to lay their eggs. The Bay of Laganas which has six beaches, approximately four kilometres in length, hosts 800-1800 nests. The mothers come ashore between June and August, at night and drag their 100 Kg bodies up to the dry part of the sand where they leave over 100 eggs in a chamber40-60cm deep. They lay their eggs late at night  but can be frightened by human intervention, such as noise or bright lights.



The surviving hatchlings emerge about two months later and return to the sea.







The babies making way to the first of many adventures in the sea.

Twenty to thirty years later the female adults will return to their natal beach to reproduce...... 


So the circle of life continues, she returns to her place of birth to repeat the process once again.

Loggerhead Turtles are a protected species and it is forbidden to remain on the designated beaches of  Zakynthos after sunset so that the turtles can emerge from the sea to lay their eggs in the hours of darkness.


The Greek national Anthem was written by a Zakynthos writer,  Dionsios Solomos in 1823, then in1865 it was set to music by Nicholas Montzares.  Inspired by the Greek War of Independence Solomos wrote the hymn to honour the struggle of greeks for independence after centuries of Ottoman rule.

My sincere thanks to the ZANY Denise for devising ABCW and the ever ZEALOUS Roger for doing what he does as the administrator of this ZEPHYR like blog site,
best wishes and thanks to all the helpers too!
ABCW team,