Showing posts from February 26, 2012

A fishy tale

Last Thursday (March 1st 2012) my pals Bill and Patrick went fishing again in the Gulf of Mexico.
They did well and reeled in a bountiful harvest of Mackerel.
Thing is, they do not like to eat Mackerel.
‘Nother thing is, my pal Ben and I are Mackerelphiles.
So Ben and I, were gifted by Bill and Patrick with about 6lbs (each) of gutted and filleted Mackerel.   Whoopee!

Of course I could not eat 6lbs of fish  in one session.
There was only one thing to do - I had to freeze it.
The other option was too dreadful for words.

After all – who wants “Mackerel Degeneration”

More on Sarasota's St. David's Day Banquet

What a pleasure to be at the Sarasota Welsh Society’s St. David’s Day banquet last evening.
We were at the Heritage Oaks Country Club in east Sarasota.  
The banqueting hall was decorated with Welsh themes, and our waitresses were in Welsh “National Costume”.
After the cocktail hour we had a bit of singing, including the Welsh National Anthem “Hen Wlad Fy Nhada’” (Land of my Fathers ) and “Ar Hy y Nos” (All thorough the night).
The Society’s lay Chaplain (Bob Griffiths – a member of my parish – St. Boniface, Siesta Key FL – led us in prayer.
Then we enjoyed a fabulous meal:
Leek and potato soup. Green Salad. Beef and chicken medallions with vegetables and “dauphinese potatoes” With Vanilla Bean Creme Brule for dessert.
It was a remarkably good meal. That is not always the case at catered banquets, so in this case I say “kudos to Heritage Oaks C.C.”.
I sat at a table for ten – five of us from St. B’s.
The odd thing is that there was only one person at our table with Welsh ancestry, and indeed five…

Honouring Vera, Wendy and Eric on St. David's Day

Leek soup was the first course at this evening’s Sarasota Welsh Society’s banquet for St. David’s Day.
I “raised” three spoonfuls of soup.
One in memory of the late Vera Dowden Baldwin  -  a favourite Welsh woman for many of my friends and for me. Born in Risca, South Wales, she had a stellar career as an educator, friend and mentor in Worcester, MA.
Another in honour of my dear sister in law Wendy Povey.  Born Wendy Williams she is “half Welsh”.
The third with gratitude for my Episcopal Priest friend and colleague, the Revd. Eric M Williams, who is a Welshman by adoption and grace.


About a dog (and it is not Penne)

My friends Diana and Fred live out on Longboat Key (and in Maine during the summer). Fred and I were colleagues in Massachusetts and it has been good to renew our friendship.
They recently adopted a dog from the Manatee Humane Society, and named him “Gustie”. Gustie is the sweetest and most gentle dog. He is in my canine pantheon just below Penne.
A few days after Fred and Diana adopted Gustie, he met a neighbourhood dog.  
It was love at first sight.
Here is Gustie (the smaller one)  looking with adoration at his new pal.
Damn cute I say!

Back to the Opera

Ah yes, the Opera!
My first opera (operetta) was Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” at the Hippodrome Theatre in Bristol, U.K.   Mr Syd Richards of Coombe Road Junior School took us to this performance.  I was entranced.
(Mum and Dad had a long conversation about whether or not this was suitable event, because by now they had been linked to the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren.  Thank goodness they allowed me to attend!).
After that I saw a few operas in various towns, “Carmen” in Oxford UK, “Il Travatore” in London U.K., and “Salome” in Boston.
Retirement in 2006 brought me to Sarasota FL, home to the Sarasota Opera, which has a five opera season each year. I decided to subscribe each year, in a way so that I could extend and grow my musical appreciation.
I shared in an elegant “box” seat for a couple of years, but these days I attend the Sunday matinees and sit in the “stalls” with my friend the Revd. Robert Lewis. 
Ever practical, this allows me to attend Church in the morning, come ho…

Wanting to write about the Opera, but getting waylaid

Dad spent a lot of time alone (by choice) in the room we called the kitchen.  That’s where we ate; the food was cooked in another room called the scullery).
Most often Dad would be listening to classical music on the old BBC “Third Programme”.
His preferences were well boundaried.  He did not care for chamber music, opera (1) or ballet (2).
Dad favoured the great orchestral works: - the music of Handel, Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. 

He also had a special fondness for choral works.

(1) Except Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas, and some of the orchestral overtures to operas by Rossini, Wagner.
(2)He shared the British working class prejudice against ballet.


In some ways I breathed in a love of classical music alongside Dad’s tobacco smoke in that old kitchen. 


Sic transit gloria mundi again, with good news for my dear brother Martyn.

It will probably mean nothing to you.
Indeed it means very little to me.
Nonetheless, in a U.K. Soccer match today called the “Carling Cup” the Liverpool FC won, defeating the team from Cardiff.
The result will mean everything to my brother Martyn who is a devout Liverpool fan.
“Sic transit gloria mundi” Martyn, but I am happy that “your team” won.