Showing posts from 2015

Silliness, whimsy and huma for the end of one year, and the beginning of another.

"The Lantern" is a venue which  was previously known as Hall Two at the Bristol (U.K.) concert hall; the Colston Hall.

"Hall Two" has been renovated and re-named.

The Bristol Post (on line edition)  greeted this renovation with the following headline:

"Lantern aims to be Colston Hall's shinning light".

(Enjoy music, but wear your shin-pads?)


My local United States Post Office at  935 N Beneva Rd Ste 801, Sarasota, FL34232 is officially designated as theGLENGARRY STATION POST OFFICE.  

It is NOWHERE near Sarasota's Glengary Street, nor is it near the town of glengarry station in ontario, Canada.

Does anyone know why my local USPO bears this name?



Finally: here is a lame (but cunning) jpost!

A visit to the United States Post Office (or "Life is so unfair")

Monday morning saw me at my local Post Office on North Beneva Road (about a mile from my home).

I had an awkward sized envelope filled with Christmas Cards which had arrived to the home of my neighbours Bert and Polly after they'd gone back to Fishers, IN  to live with their son. (Bert and Polly can no longer take care of themselves).

There were two clerks on duty. Each was attending to a customer.  There were two people in line ahead of me.

I heard some back office grumbling which led me to believe that there had been a massive failure in the scheduling of counter clerks.

This showed on the face of one of the clerks, I'll call him "Mr. I Don't Want To Be Here".

The woman clerk, having attended to her customer said, with a smile and a tone of regret, "I am sorry, I have to close down now".

Mr. I Don't Want To Be Here was doing his best to explain to a non-English speaking customer that a USPS notification that he had mail awaiting had been put into …

Dreadful and Delightful

When my two older sisters and their husbands visited me in November, (and used my car) they got lost more than once.

We had a standing joke about this when we were driving together.

On one journey, brother-in-law Bernard snapped some coot as the old fella was driving.  Bern put the photo' on Facebook with the caption  "I am sure this is the way to Trader Joes".

When I first saw Bern's photo' I thought "who the heck is that?.   Then I recognised my shirt, then my hat from Vietnam, then my scrawny neck.

Oh dear!

On Christmas Day I was the guest of my friends Fred and Diana for a superb buffet dinner at a Country Club on Longboat Key.

Diana thought that a photo' with "Santa" would be nice ( and when I discovered that the photo's were gratis I was more than happy to take one home).

Sermon for Christmas Day 2015. The Revd. J. Michael Povey, at St. Boniface Church, Siesta Key, FL.

Gospel Reading:  (from the King James/Authorised translation, at my request.
Luke 2:1-20
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abi…

So silly

My friend Nancy D posted this on Facebook.

Making fun of myself!

As a left of centre liberal who tries to be culturally sensitive, this made me snort with laughter.

Boxing Day/St. Stephen's Day/My youngest sister's birthday

26th December

In countries which are part of what once was called the British Empire and Dominion, then the British Commonwealth, now "The Commonwealth of Nations" it is Boxing Day, one of the few good things the English shared with the world.  (Scotland did not observe Boxing Day until comparatively recent years).

God for ye in the Commonwealth  -  an additional public holiday after Christmas Day  -  how very smart!

St. Stephen's Day too.  An inconvenient day for a "Patronal Festival" when I was Rector at St. Stephen's, Pittsfield, MA.   But a day for a good song, especially as it is sung by the Irish Rovers.

 BEST OF ALL, December 26th is my youngest sister's birthday.   We had a good chat earlier today.

The story of "O Holy Night"

French Carol - Abolitionist anthem I post the following just about every year in December.  I am not the author of the following ( jmp)

Stories Behind the Music: "O Holy Night"
"O Holy Night" remains one of the world's most beloved Christmas carols, with uplifting lyrics and melody.
The lyrics were written by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), a resident of Roquemaure, France (located a few miles north of the historic city of Avignon). Cappeau was a wine merchant and mayor of the town, as well as an occasional writer of poetry.
 Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked Cappeau when his parish priest, shortly before Cappeau embarked on a business trip, asked him to pen a poem for Christmas mass.
In a dusty coach traveling down a bumpy road to France's capital city, Cappeau considered the priest's request. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, Cappeau imagined witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Thoughts of being present…

Dec 22nd - 25th

I will not be posting to "Povey Prattle" between now and Christmas Day, and maybe beyond 25th December.

Instead I will post some of my favourite Christmas music directly to  Facebook.

They  will be songs/carols/ hymns from outside of the traditional British "canon", i.e. music  from Spain, France. Germany etc.

No "Povey Prattle" for a few days, but good stuff from me  on Facebook, beginning today.

Au Revoir and Adieu

Au Revoir to Betty M.  

Her home faces mine on the other side of our street.

Betty has moved to a retirement home, way south of me on Beneva,

She is one of the most gracious and utterly happy people I have ever met.

I will miss her as an utterly delightful neighbour.

I hope to see her from time to time in her new abode.


Adieu to Bert and Polly.

I have grown to care for them in the 9 1/2  years during which I have lived in SRQ.

Their home is four doors away from mine.

Polly, in her mid 90's, has become increasingly forgetful.

Her husband Bert  ( a bit younger) has shown every sign of stress due to his extreme tiredness.

Bert and Polly have spent their summers in Indianapolis, at the homes of their daughter (and her husband); and their son (and his wife).

I have often wondered if they would be fit and able enough to return to SRQ for the winter months.

True to form, they came back to SRQ just before Thanksgiving 2015,

They came back, but it s…

More silliness - this one made me splutter with laughter! (at the Nathan Benderson Park).

I was a wee bit jaded this afternoon, so I did the right thing and took Penne for a walk.

I drove her to the Nathan Benderson Park here in SRQ.

We entered the park at the south end (off Cattlemen Road), and walked for thirty five minutes  along the nice footpaths at the south end, and a bit of the west end.

Penne loved it -  there were so many fresh smells for her enjoyment.

I took a gander at the Sarasota County bulletin board.

There were a list of rules, including this one:

Dog owners must pick up after defecating dogs.
I  hope that you find this as amusing and confusing as I did!

More whimsy (to amuse you).

FROM THE BOOK "Black Diamonds" by Catherine Bailey (Penguin 2008 [UK]. 2014 [USA]

(More about this book later in the week, or after Christmas Day).


pp 91/2

"The Duke of Portland was one of the richest coal owners in England..  In the 1860's , when construction first began. a miner working at one of his collieries earned around 50 pounds a year..  The Duke's annual income was in the region of 108,000 pounds.  Whimsy, not wages, drove him to burrow underground; an eccentric and a recluse, he could not bear to be seen,

The Duke spent his life wandering his estate at Welbeck. Tenants,labourers and servants were forbidden to speak to him, or even to acknowledge his presence.. If they chanced upon the Duke. their instructions were to pass him by 'as they would a tree'.  The man who dared to touch is hat would be instantly dismissed.  The temptation to stare must have been strong.  Winter or summer, the Duke dressed in the same pecu…


The other day I viewed a You Tube video of the the Basque song "Gabriel's Message" which (in English)  begins with the words "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came".

It's a sweet enough song,  even though it portrays Mary as a docile woman  (that she wasn't!) .

The refrain (at the end of each verse) is "Most Highly Favoured Lady: Gloria"

But one person who had viewed this Video made a comment.  He/she  was not familiar with the biblical story,

So, she/ he did not "hear"  "Most Highly Favoured Lady: Gloria"

 Instead that You Tube viewer thought that the words were"Most Highly Flavoured Gravy: Gloria ".

I love it!!!

Close encounters of the heart warming sort.

Ed is a a bagger at my local "Publix"  Supermarket.

He is a gentle man with "special needs".

I thanked him for bagging my groceries.

He replied "It's my pleasure".

I grinned from ear to ear because I knew that he meant what he said.  It was indeed his pleasure to bag my purchases.


I was at the Sarasota Office of the "Triple A"  (American Automobile Association) the other day, to purchase some Great Britain Pounds.

I was attended to by a genial and pleasant "Anglo" employee.

To my right an Italian speaking AAA employee was engaged in a lively conversation with an Italian customer.

Their conversation was music to my ears.

I had a vague understanding of what they were saying, but that was not the main point,

The main point was that I was excited and charmed to hear the Italian language -  surely one of the most delightful sounds for those of us who are of Western European descent ( and a…

Use your minds friends! (There is no "war on Christmas". and no-one has been banned from saying "Merry Christmas".)

It's the most crazy time of the year.
Once again certain segments in the "market place of ideas" are asserting that there is a "war on Christmas".

I beg to differ and ask you to bear the following in  mind:-


Retailers love Christmas.
Supermarkets love Christmas.
Restaurateurs love Christmas.
The Entertainment Industry loves Christmas.
The Sports Industry loves Christmas.
The Advertising Conglomerates love Christmas.

---- etc., etc., etc.,

In short, if there was a war on Christmas, it would be a war against capitalism and free enterprise!


In these United State NOT ONE CHRISTIAN has been banned or barred from the free expression of her or his faith at Christmas-tide.    Every Christian in America is utterly free to attend the Church of his/her faith to celebrate the birth of Jesus.


The only time in American history when the celebration of Christmas was banned was when the sincere and godly Puritans/Calvinist CHRISTIANS  ruled the roost in Massachus…

Great story about a Conservative Christian

Via Religion News Service.

American Christians could take a lesson from Angela Merkel (COMMENTARY) Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons | December 10, 2015

(RNS) Time magazine’s 2015 “Person of the Year” is a self-identified conservative Christian, but not one of the many running for president of the United States. While the dynamics of faith and politics are different in Europe, German leader Angela Merkel is an example of a conservative Christian living out her faith in the public square quite differently than we see in the U.S. Time, which calls her “Chancellor of the Free World,”  characterizes her strong leadership of economic and political crises in Europe as “no flair, no flourishes, no charisma, just a survivor’s sharp sense of power and a scientist’s devotion to data.” She may be a quantum chemist, but she’s also an Evangelical Lutheran preacher’s kid with an unwavering faith.
The chancellor has described her personal faith in several interviews. “The structure of the world relating to beli…