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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

T stands for Trees and Tall Ships.


I love trees and woodland. I live in a leafy part of Liverpool a large city in the UK.  We are lucky to be surrounded by landscaped Parks and beautiful woodlands,  The trees in the two photographs below are taken in the woods across the road from where we live. Although we live on a main road leading into the city, the avenue is resplendent in the springtime when the beautiful apple and cherry blossom trees burst into bloom. There are various forms of wild life including foxes, a snowy owl, woodpeckers, some beautifully marked thrush and kestrels, Two herons have been spotted recently.

A baby thrush looking a bit startled, so cute !




The Tall Ships Race.


 

In the summer of this year The Tall Ships came to Liverpool and what a spectacle it was, thousands of visitors lined the docks to see them, it was a wonderful regatta with sailors singing sea shanties and singers giving concerts on board the ships. The famous Albert Dock was overcome with tourist from all over the world to see the spectacle , There wasn't a spare hotel room in the city, So wonderful for the economy of the City.

 

The Liver buildings in the background, on the wonderful Liverpool waterfront,  with a Liver bird on each tower.
 
My thanks to the terrific Denise for devising ABCW and the tenacious Roger for his administrative skills..  

 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

S stands for The Sea

                                      Sea Fever.

                                                          by John Masefield.

I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky
And al I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And the grey mist on the sea's face,
And a grey dawn breaking. 

I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-gulls crying 
 

I must go down to the sea again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
to the gull's  way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
 And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow- rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
 
 
I h
 
I have to say that John Masefield is one of my favourite poets, he often spoke longingly about the sea and as a young man lived his dream as an apprentice marine officer, aboard a sailing ship that crossed commercial sea lanes.
After becoming sick on one of his voyages Masefield quit his job as a sailor, he jumped ship and ended up working in a carpet factory in the US.
He returned to the UK in 1897 whereon he became a successful writer.

Through his writing  he imaginatively returned to his great love, The Sea.

My sincere thanks to the sensational Denise for devising  ABCW and to Roger for his administrative skills.  

 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

R stands for Rabbits and Remembrance

I just love rabbits and have had several as pets. This is Rocket the naughtiest rabbit ever!

He was called Rocket because of the speed he could gallop around the garden.

When our first grandchild was born I went to stay with our daughter to help out, such a joyous occasion, only to be spoiled by my husband's frantic phone calls to tell me that 'The B..... Rabbit has escaped again'.  What he thought I could do to help when I was two hundred miles away, I don't know, just a shoulder to cry upon I guess.  Attempting to thwart the rascally Rabbit from any further rambles around the neighbourhood, said husband was on his knees fixing a gap in the hedge, from where he suspected Rambo Rocket was escaping, when he was  floored by a revved up rabbit, thundering down the garden, leaping onto his back and hurtling over his shoulders into a neighbouring garden.  This  knocked him over into some prickly shrubs that had been planted to deter the little 'sod's ( quote by exasperated husband) escape attempts! 

When I returned home from bonding with our new baby Molly, the Rabbit had been exiled to the pet shop, from whence he came, for B+B  until I rescued and  him and returned him to his normal habitat.  A quick visit to the vet for a minor procedure soon dampened his ardour..

A sad but wiser rabbit was he ! At least he didn't end up in a rabbit pie !

 

Sadly, Rocket died aged nine when, a hungry fox got him, This was to be his last tour of the local woods, I'm amazed he lived so long.  It is said a cat has nine lives but I reckon Rocket had twenty nine !

 RIP Rocket.

 

R for Rabbit by Edward Lear.

R was a Rabbit

who had a bad habit

of eating flowers

In gardens and bowers

Naughty fat Rabbit!

 
 

Who can forget Beatrix Potter's tale of Peter Rabbit?

 
 

Peter Rabbit was a mischievous Rabbit, reminds me of  Rocket.

His Mummy Rabbit warned him not to go into Mr Mcgregor's  garden and reminded him that his daddy was shot and put in a Rabbit Pie.

Peter couldn't resist all the tasty treats in the garden so off  he went.

"First he ate some lettuces and some French beans, and then he ate some radishes".

Fortunately Mr McGregor didn't shoot him but he went home with a very sore tummy, He was tucked up into bed and dosed on soothing camomile tea. Sadly for Peter, he missed his favorite supper with his three little sisters,

 

Remembrance

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them.

 

I remember my mother's brother, Uncle Jack who lost his life in WW2, he was just 22 years of age.

 

My thanks to the radiant Denise for devising Abcw and the ever rational Roger for reading all our ramblings!  

  


 

 

 Rabbits and Remembrance

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Paul McCartney

I cannot let the opportunity pass without mentioning 'The day I met Sir Paul McCartney.....
This how he looked then....just so handsome !
We were in a stream 0f traffic driving along a congested street in Liverpool city.
It was 1964 I was a very happy teenager and had fallen in love with the guy I was to marry three years later.  We drew alongside a very smart, silver Aston Martin DB6 and who should be driving it but Sir Paul McCartney. I nearly passed out, he was so handsome. He wound the window down to speak to me, I spluttered to him, "I absolutely love your latest record, 'I want to hold your hand". He asked if I would like to hear it, then pressed a button on his 6 track tape recorder and played ' I want to hold your hand'. Then he proceeded to sing along with recording.
I bet there's not many girls can boast that they were personally serenaded by Paul McCartney. His father was sitting alongside him, smiling proudly.
Although, I'd seen The Beatles perform live at The Cavern  years before, they were just a talented, local band of boys and didn't have the pazzazz that  they'd achieved by 1964. 

 
 
During the heady days of the sixties they used to sing a song called Penny Lane.
Long before they recorded it, Paul  was sitting in a Bus depot waiting for John to arrive. Whilst he was looking around the environs, he started to write the lyrics for the song, which was recorded later.
 It is a song I very much relate to because it's a place I know well as it's not far from where I live now.
 
 Here are some of the lyrics that a very talented young Paul wrote whilst waiting for John Lennon, little knowing what lay in store for them.
 
I unashamedly say that, I am one proud person  to have been a part of Sir Paul McCartney and the Beatles phenomenal rise to fame!
 
Here a few lines from that touching little ditty......
 
In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
of every head he's had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello
 
Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling Poppies from a tray.......
 
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit
Penny Lane,
Paul as he performs today.

 
My sincere thanks to the patient Denise for devising Abcw and Roger for his painstaking efforts in his administration of Abcw.

Trubes and Paul McCartney
Trubes

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Octopus and an Odd Ode

In it's raw state I love Octopus, the first time I tasted it was on one of our many holidays in Turkey. I know, in it's raw state it is most unattractive, but when it's prepared and cooked, it is most delicious.  
  It takes on a pretty pink and creamy hue, the flavour of griddled Octopus surpasses most other seafood delicacies, (that is, in my humble opinion)!
 Altinkum in Turkey is where I  had my first experience of Griddled Octopus, we dined in a simple little Locanta on the edge of the beach, we saw the fishermen out in their brightly coloured boats in the morning, hauling in their catch which included our dinner!
 
The stunning beach at Altinkum.
 
 
 
 
 
Now an ODD ODE!
 
The Owl and the Pussy Cat.   By Edward Lear.
 
The OWL and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful Pea-green boat
They took some honey and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five pound note
The OWL looked to the stars above
And sang to a small guitar
"O lovely Pussy O Pussy my love
What a beautiful Pussy you are
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are"!
 

 
Pussy said to the OWL "You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long have we tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows.
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose
His nose
His nose
With a ring at the end of his nose
With a ring at the end of his nose.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Nonsense Poetry

I love  Nonsense Poetry.

Amongst my favourite writers of Nonsense verse are Ogden Nash,  Edward Lear and the highly acclaimed Liverpool poet  Roger McGough,  ( part of my subject matter for the letter M).

 There are many more, indeed too many to write about so, I have picked Ogden Nash the American journalist and poet.



 

This is one of my favourite poems by him, he was such a wordsmith he mixed his words with occasional hilarious insight almost turning his work into a parable.


Consider the auk
becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly
Consider man who may become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked! 
 
 

Good-by  Now or pardon my Gauntlet .

Bring down the moon for genteel Janet;
She's too refined for this gross planet
She wears garments and you wear clothes
You buy stockings, she purchases hose.
She says That is correct,
and you say Yes.
And she disrobes and you undress.
Confronted by a mouse or moose,
You turn green, she turns chartreuse.
Her speech is new minted freshly quarried
She has a fore-head you have a forehead
Nor snake nor slow worm
draweth nigh her ,
You go to bed, she doth retire.
To Janet births are blessed events
And odours that you smell she scents
Replete she feels when her food is yummy
Not in the stomach but in the tummy.
If urged some novel step to show
You say like this, she says, Like so
Her dear ones don't die but pass away,
Beneath her formal is longeray
Of refinement she's a fount or a fountess
And that is why she's now a Countess
She was asking for the little girls room
And a flunky thought she said
 the Earls room.
 
My thanks to the epitome of niceness Denise, for devising Abcw and to Roger our nimble Administrator for keeping us going. 

 
 

 
 
  
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

M is for The River Mersey and Roger Mcgough



Life goes on day after day  hearts torn in every way

So Ferry 'cross the Mersey 'cause this land's the place I love

and here I'll stay..........


The above lyrics to a well known sixties song performed by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
Liverpool people are passionately proud of their city and for good reason.

 Dare I mention The Beatles again? Gerry and his band and used to play along side them in the early days when the banks of The River Mersey was awash with Music.

The Mersey is  70 miles long and spills out into The Irish Sea to mix with the Mighty Atlantic Ocean. For centuries the port served as the second largest dockland in the UK where traders earned their millions whilst the dock workers were paid a pittance which, in more recent year caused a lot of industrial strife.
 Eventually the Container ship came to the fore and the docklands became derelict, until Margaret Thatcher's government invested large sums of money and they have been regenerated into a wonderful development of apartments, shops, restaurants and a marina,
 There is an arena where a host International stars perform and a large exhibition centre. All this is housed in The Albert Dock (pictured below).

 

Liverpool has a host of creative writers, many first appeared during the cultural renaissance in the sixties.

 One aspiring poet was a chap called Roger McGough. Roger was my form tutor at college, he was a terrific teacher and I learned so much from him. To appreciate poetry and the classics, modern literature, even contemporary writing too! This was very much frowned upon by the 'establishment'.

Roger hosts a wonderful programme on BBC Radio 4 called  Poetry Please, where listener can request reading of their favourite poems.
He writes quite a lot of quirky satirical stuff, he reminds me of Edward Lear another of my favourite writers
Here is one of my favourites from Roger.

We're the Mafia cats

Bugsy Franco and Tony

We're crazy for pizza
with hot pepperoni.
We run all the rackets
from gambling to vice
On St Valentines Day
We massacre mice
We always wear shades
to show that we're meanies
Big hats and sharp suits
And drive Lamborghinis
 
We're the Mafia cats
Bugsy Franco and Toni
Love Sicilian wine
And cheese macaroni
But we have a secret
(and if you dare tell
You'll end up with the kitten
at the bottom of the well
or covered in concrete
And thrown into the deep
for this is one secret
you really must keep). 
 
We're the Costa Nostra and
run the scams and the fiddles
but at home, we are known as

Mopsy Ginger and Tiddles !

 


My thanks to the magnificent Denise for devising Abcw and also to the masterly Roger for administrating this marvellous site.