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Monday, 3 July 2017

Random Z's

The Zebra is an unusual beast, neither donkey nor horse with defining black and white stripes.

Z was a Zebra, 

 All striped black and white; 

And if he were tame,

 You might ride on his back,

 Pretty striped Zebra.

(Edward Lear).

Song of the South.

Zip-a-dee-do-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay,

My oh my, what a wonderful day,

 Plenty of sunshine heading my way,

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay.

Uncle Remus sang this joyful song in the animated movie by Walt Disney called Song of the South, He was a shy, kindly old freeman of South African American origin. He used to serve as a story teller, passing on old folk tales to children gathered around him.

Uncle Remus with some of his friends.

As many of myAbcw friends may have noticed that I have been unable to contribute of late, as my husband has had a quadruple by pass (Heart surgery), also going on permanent kidney dialysis.

 He is so much better now and I am so grateful for all the kind wishes and prayers for his recovery. 

Sadly we come to the end of the current series of ABCW and my sincere thanks to Denise Roger and Leslie, in their stalwart administration, also the steady team of helpers.

 Now to a new era withMelody and team. Good luck to everyone old and hopefully many new team members to join in this fun meme.

My best wishes go  to Melody who is taking over as our new administrator and the new team of assistants and helpers... Good luck to you all and I look forward to joining our new  Abcw meme.

Best wishes to all from Di xx (Abcw team).

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Shaky and Silver Linings.

The time that we have  been dreading, is upon us: Today my husband is going into hospital to have his triple by-pass(heart). The operation is scheduled for Wednesday am. He is the only patient in theatre that day so hopefully he will get star treatment . 

Also  a team of dialysis nurses will be looking after him keeping his kidneys functioning correctly. We are so fortunate in this country to have such a  wonderful health service, even though  a  lot of people complain about it, usually those that haven't contributed to it. Needless to say I'm rather Shaky, whilst himself still carries on in his usual cheery and Stoic manner.

Moi trying to keep calm !

Of course I have been  beset by the usual platitudes, such as, 'Don't worry they  perform these operations  every day '(not on my   husband they don't, I thought, most uncharitably) and 'My  uncle had that  operation when he  was  86 and he's still with us now, he's 92 And he's got all his own teeth!

Good old British Pantomime.

When I used to
'Strut my Stuff 'in Pantomime, I often played the part of Principal Boy, part of the role  involved chasing giants  in'Jack and the Beanstalk' or looking for a princess in 'Cinderella'.The role required me to sing various popular songs and one I particularly liked was 'Look for the Silver Lining', this was a delightful song because it offered optimism and hope I was just about 19 years of age I was young,

'in love' and engaged to be married. I was full of optimism for the future.

 A while ago I wrote about the most wonderful holiday in Austria. The beautiful cloud formation over the mountains certainly had many 'Silver Linings'. (The picture above was a view we encountered on a trip over the Bremmer Pass, travelling from Austria to the Northern Italy mountains called The Dolomites).

Look for the Silver Lining when'ere a cloud appears in the sky. 

Remember somewhere the Sun is Shining

So the right thing to do, is make Shine for you.

A heartful of joy and gladness will always banish

 Sadness and Strife, 

 So always look for the Silver Lining 

and try to find the Sunny Side of life.

Time to Sign off now and my Sincere thanks to the Sensational Denise for devising Abcw all those years ago. I thank Roger and Leslie who have worked Steadily to Showcase all the wonderful contributions of Abcw bloggers. Not forgetting the team of assistants who help with the time consuming job of visiting allotted memes.

best wishes,
from Di,
ABCW team. 
(My thanks to Bigstock and Google for supplying the pictures).

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

R stands for Robbie Burns.

Robert Burns was a world reknown poet, writer and lyricist. he was born in Scotland and wrote many splendid poems about his beloved Scotland. His words were often Romantic and were directed to his many loves. From reading about his life it seemed he fathered many children.

This is a favourite poem/lyric by Robbie Burns.

My love is like a red red rose      


  That's newly sprung in June 

 My love is like the  melody 

That's sweetly played in tune.

  As fair thou art my bonnie lass

 So deep in love am  I:

And I will love you still , my dear 

Till all the seas gang dry.

Till all the seas gang dry my dear

And the rock melts wi' the sun

And I will love thee, still  my dear,

While the sands o' life shall run                      
Robert Burns with his love Highland Mary. this poem is dedicated to her, so romantic!

And fare thee well a while          

And I will come again my love

Tho' it were were ten thousand mile.

I am dedicating the lovely ballad to my darling husband Ian . He has recently undergone kidney dialysis and is now preparing for open heart surgery, this will take place on Wednesday 17th of May, needless to say the Realisation of what is about to happen envelopes us both...countdown time....I'm wishing my life away, just wishing and hoping for it all to be over and for him to be fit and well again. His surgeon assures us he'll be a new man again.

Our thanks to Denise, Roger and leslie for keeping this much love mem running so well,
also to the team of helper who support Roger and co !
Best wishes,
ABCW team.


Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Q stands for Quiet

Oh!  How I love Peace and Quiet.  NOW ! 

But back in the day.........

Well ! I do now but going back several decades that just wasn't the case, I didn't know what 'QUIET' was. I believe i was the noisiest girl in the school and was always getting scolded for talking in class when I should be QUIET ! 

It wasn't that I was stupid, quite the contrary, I was actually Quite bright. Apparently, I used to get so excited when the teacher, the Quirky, Miss Nevesen, took class and she would ask questions and as  I thought I always knew the answer, I used to get beside myself with excitement, and jump up and down shrieking to get her attention, of course she ignored me and let the more timid children answer. Inevitably, I would sit glowering at her until I was told to sit in the corner and put the dunces hat on. 

Miss Neveson would wear her National costume on special occasions, I know she was Scandinavian and had come to England during WW2 with her family to escape persecution by the Natzis who had invaded their land. 

I  remember the Queen's Coronation in 1953 and Miss Nevesen wore her National Costume, she really looked lovely but not as lovely, as our new young  QueenElizabeth,  She looked beautiful.

The picture of the Scandinavian lady (left) is as near to as I can remember. After my bad start in Miss Nevensen's class we became Quintessentially the best of friends, she taught me so much and most of all, how to keep Quiet and listen 

! It's amazing how much one learns by Quietly paying attention and listening.

H R H Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. She is dressed in full Coronation Regalia.

When I was in my second year in the Infants  in Broad Square School I looked froward to friday afternoons because we had 'Quiet Time' in the school library, we could read to our 'hearts content' then pick two books to take home to read to our parents. Also incorporated in our 'Quiet time'we wer given a list ofspelling competition and my prize was.... 

After Miss Nevesen taught me how to keep 'Quiet' I was rewarded by her asking me to read a text from my favourite book, which was Heidi by Johanna  Spyri.

Heidi is a delightful story of the events in her life of a young girl in her grandfather's care. It is one of the best selling books ever written.

Notice to readers: I had written more about Heidi but my PC has decided to cut part of it off,???
There is still something wrong so my apologies for unwittingly for publishing only half of what I had originally written,

Thanks to Denise, Roger, Leslie and the tea of helpers for keeping this wonderful meme going.
ABCW team.

Monday, 24 April 2017

P for Poetry Phenomenal and Pretty.

After having written about many several different topics on 'Abcw', I seldom miss an opportunity to write about one of my  favourite subjects .....'Poetry' or Poets.

It is impossible to pick favourites because there are are so many. 

I do enjoy reading humorous Prose and limerics, but then, who could resist 'The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner' by Coleridge or 

The Village Blacksmith by Longfellow. 

The Blacksmith,

Maya Angelou really stirred  something within me when I first read 'Incredible Woman'.

One of Maya's profound messages.

Phenomenal Woman.

 By Maya Angelou.

 (The first verse, to read more  please log into The Poetry Foundation). 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies, 

I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size 

But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies,

 I say,

It's in the reach of my arms. 

The span of my hips. 

The stride of my step.

The curl of my lips.

 I'm a woman


Phenomenal woman, 

That's me.

Now for some jocularity, this is the sort of Prose  that I like to read to the grandchildren on a gloomy day!

P for the Porcupine.  (by Ogden Nash)

Any hound a Porcupine nudges 

Can't be blamed for harbouring grudges 

I know one hound that laughed all winter 

At a Porcupine who sat on a splinter.

Who can forget the humorous poem by Edward Lear..... 

The Owl and the Pussy Cat. 

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 up 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. 

Here , below, is a picture of our beautiful  Pussy, 

HRH The Princess Chloe.

A final word from Ogden Nash.

A Word to Husbands.

 To keep your marriage brimming 

With love in the loving cup,

 Whenever you're wrong,

 admit it; 

Whenever you're right, shut up.


Sincere thanks to   Denise for devising ABCW, to Roger and Leslie for dealing with the administration, and the rest of the team for their support. 

Best wishes, Di.

ABCW team.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

O for Oh Dear !.. Whatever next ?

I've always been a firm believer in taking whatever life throws at me 'straight on the chin' in other words, don't whinge just get on with it. last week we had a most challenging week, in fact it was so awful I seriously considered sitting in the corner of a darkened room and screaming my head off. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and instead of having a total melt down,  I sat quietly in my favourite reclining chair, played some soothing music then poured myself a brandy on ice with soda water.

Oh Dear ! Recently I wrote about my husband Ian, who is awaiting open heart surgery which is due to take place on the 25th of May, but what I haven't mentioned that in the midst of all this he has been put on kidney dialysis.

 He had either the choice of going for dialysis at the hospital three times per week which would have been extremely difficult because he is my main carer, (I have severe rheumatoid arthritis), or to have treatment at home.

Initially, he had surgery to place a catheter into the abdomen to make access, then the abdominal area is filled with Dalysate through the catheter. 

At first, this is done manually four times during the day, then, eventually the process can take place through the night whilst he is sleeping using a machine called a Cycler. 

We've had a wonderful team of nurses calling most days and a back-up team should anything go wrong, which it has, but I won't bore you with the details and soon sorted by Ian's specialist nurse, Sarah, who really is an angel.

Next step is preparing ourselves for his open heart surgery which is due to take place on the 25th May 2017.

OH DEAR! Whatever next ? In the midst of all this activity my lap top decided to throw a fit and as it was a bank holiday weekend, we had to wait a while until  Mike the 'magic mender man' could fix it for me. My P.C. is my lifeline with the outside world, as I can't get out and about without assistance from my beloved, it's been a rather trying time! I hope to get back to blogging as soon as possible,

Until then my thanks to Roger for stepping in to help and of course to all those who have been so supportive at this rather emotional and trying time.

Best wishes to all my blogger friends,
Abcw team.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

N for Nomads,

My very first visions of Turkey, as our plane seemed to glide in slowly over the tops of verdant  Pine trees, on the forest shrouded  Taurus Mountains, was Wow ! Are we really landing at Izmir Airport, in Turkey? I just couldn't believe how green and fresh it looked. 

NOMADIC Women in national dress.

Add caption

I imagined it to be very dry and barren but it was quite different  the scenery was breathtaking, As we turned to land, we could see the turquiose blue waters of the Aegean sea on one side and people in bizzare clothes working on the mountainside. These people turned out to be Nomads. I must confess, I did hold my breath at that stage we seemed rather too close to the mountains for comfort! 

Nomadic women working in a mountain side vine yard..

Along the coastal areas in Turkey there are groups of NOMADIC herders called Yoruks. In the winter they come down to the pastures by the coast. During the summer time the blazing sun shrivels the vegetation so the Yoruks travel up to the mountains to the Yaylas, the high mountain plateaus and valley, where there is  enough grass and fodder to feed the stock.

Herdsmen with their stock.

They live in traditional black goat-herd tents. The tents are sectioned off into living areas, bedrooms and a cooking area. Most of their cooking is done out side on an open fire and a flat griddle stone.

All these scenes really took us back in time, they looked so biblical yet it was in 1993, that was our first visit to Turkey and we've had several more since,


Nomad kitchen consists of one open fire  and a board to roll out the flat bread or pidi .

NOMADIC  Herdsman bringing home supper to go with the flat bread!

Aubergine and tomato salad.

The finest beach in Turkey which lies further down the coast still surrounded by the beautiful Taurus Mountains. The contrast between Izmir and Olu Deniz couldn't be so different but still in the same region of my favourite country in Asia Minor...Turkey

Looking at the above picture of Olu Deniz could you believe that this is the same country as Biblical Izmir....?

That's all for now...NO MORE NOMADS>
Many thanks to Denise,Roger, Leslie and the rest of the team.
Best wishes,
ABCW team 
PLease note all the pictures are by courtesy of of Mr Google.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

M for Merriment.

As a natural optimist I always try to look on the bright side of life.  MERRIMENT on a daily basis can wash the blues away. For that reason I have a fine collection of humorous poetry, limerics, one-liners, and many stories of silliness. When I was younger and carefree I was always ready to party with friends, visit the theatre take part in pantomimes and plays. We would regularly have friends, neighbours and family around for a social 'get together' which would include MERRIMENT by the bucketful, and not forgetting, the food.

Lamb Tagine alway a favourite when Making Merry in Chez Di and Ian's,

After the food out would come the guitars, tambourines, Irish drums, violin and so on. All jolly good fun ! 

Cous - Cous.

Flat Bread.
Radish, potato and roasted nut salad,

The Tagine, would take centre stage and would be accompanied by Cous-Cous, Flat bread and salads.  
Kale and chick pea salad

My not so MERRY side of life.

Unfortunately at the grand young age of 50 I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis which was a whole life changer. No longer could I cook and entertain our friends and family, but not to be thwarted, Ian took over all the daily cooking.
 Had I known what a good cook he was, I would have hung my pinny up years ago, 
Then, our delightful daughters stepped up to the 'MERRIMEN' and entertaining platform, 
 they carried on cooking all our favourite recipes at our regular soire`s.
 Often, our lovely neighbours invite us round for yummy dinners,
 Mother (moi) now acts as the Executive Chef, sitting in our cosy kitchen, glass in hand giving out instructions, whenever required,
. They don't really need help, they are all really good cooks in their own right,
 I suspect they do it, just to keep my love of cooking 'on the back burner' !

Now back to the source of my MERRIMENT....... A few little ditties or odd odes that always raise my chuckle levels.

The Mermaid's song.

I'm a little mermaid,

 I'm as pretty as can be,

 And I live in a garden under the sea.

 I ride a seahorse and I sleep in a clam

  I'm a lucky little mermaid,

Yes, I am!

 Oh I'm a little mermaid,

 I'm as pretty as can be, 

 And I'd like to invite you home for tea.

 We'll dine on lobster and octopus stew, 

Then we'd wash it down with a seaweed brew. 


Mrs Moon by Roger Mc Gough.

Mrs Moon

 sitting up in the sky

 little old lady rock-a-bye

 with a ball of fading light

 and silvery needles

 knitting the night.

(Thank you Roger, my former form tutor at my Liverpool college,
A lovely, lovely guy.)

"If I decide to be indecisive that's my decision"
(R. McGough.).
"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine".
(Lord Byron).

My sincere thanks to the Marvellous Denise who devised ABCW so many years ago, and to Roger who Magnanimously stepped in to help as the site grew..... then ably assisted by Leslie who also took on the Mammoth task.

 Last, but not least, the Multifarious team of helpers who support the Magical and sometime Mystical contributors share their talents and Musings  on  

Best wishes,


ABCW team.




Wednesday, 29 March 2017

L for Library.

At  The Library of Congress in 1979 a very talented writer called Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989) gave a lecture called 'The Book'.She was an American Historian and Author. She focused on writing popular history. One biographer said of her,  "Tuchman was not a historians historian but a lay person's historian, who made the past interesting to millions of readers". Here is what she said at her Lecture called;

Barbara Tuchman

The Book.

 "Books are the carriers of civilization without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.

Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, (as the poet said), windows on the world.

 Lighthouses erected in the sea of time".

 They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print". 

 Where I lived as a child there was an Art Deco style Library.

 I spent many a happy hour browsing through the amazing assortment of books, picking the books I wanted to read, I started of with Enid Blytons books of The Famous Five and The Secret Seven, such great adventures for children.

Norris Green Library.
 Childrens Section.

 Who can forget Louise .M. Alcott's Little Women?

 Not forgetting Anne of Green Gables  by Lucy .M. Montgomery.

 Then there is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The door leading through to the magical Secret Garden.

 I could reel off lists of books that I hired from the Library, but that would take an age. We were allowed two books per week and I nearly alway read them before the due date. 

 I would read my brothers books, naturally, boy's own' stuff! There was Biggles, about a W.W.2 pilot in the Royal Airforce by H.E. Johns,  also Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes. 

My whole desire for reading and learning centred around this wonderful Library. Quite rightly the Librarians were highly respected in the community. When I started college we used The Central Library in the City to research our particular subjects. 

The Picton Room in Liverpool Central LIBRARY.

My thanks to Denise, Roger,Leslie and the ABCW team, without you there would be no chance for such a
LOQUATIOUS yet LOVELY  group of people to transport their interests and views etc to this LAISSEZ -FAIRE meme.
Best wishes to all,
ABCW team.

Monday, 13 March 2017

J for random J's,

Thomas Jefferson. 1743-1826. Was the third President of the United States 1801-1809. He was a highly educated man, an American Founding Father, also he was the principal author of the 'Declaration of Independence'.

 He coined the phrase ......

'All men are created equal', 

 which in my mind has an ironic twist because he owned  plantations with hundreds of slaves working on them. To be fair to him he did inherit them from a relative. In 1807 Jefferson signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves.

Slaves sorting cotton on the plantations.

Moving on from Jefferson's statement 'All men are created equal'

 The highly acclaimed  novel by British writer George Orwell Animal Farm ( A brief synopsis of the story).

It evolves around a group of animals lead by the pigs, they decide to take over the farm and run it themselves, Old Major the oldest boar dies and the two younger boars Napoleon and Snowball, tired of the drunken farmer Mr Jones mistreating them drive him away,  renaming the farm from Manor Farm into Animal Farm. The animals adapt the seven commandments of Animalism, the most import one being  'All animals are equal'...

Eventually as the animals adopt a human way of life the Mantra was changed to.....

 'All animals are equal but some are more equal than others'.

Now for the final random 'J'....

There was a Jolly Miller once

 lived on the river Dee; He danced and he sang from morn 'till night No lark more blythe as he 

A jolly Miller.

And this the burden of his song For ever used to be

I care for nobody,  no,  not I, If nobody cares for me.

Enough Jabbering from me and I must thank the Jolly Denise for devising  ABCW,  Roger the Judicious admin. man, ably assisted by Jazzy Leslie, not forgetting the team of helpers who journey around all the abcw memes with Joyous glee,
JEEZ I'm Jiggered, so I'll Jump ship now until next time.
Best wishes to all,
ABCW team.

Random Z's