Thursday, 7 May 2015

Tchaikowsy, Brahms, Britten, and my Mum.

Peter Tchaikovsky was born on 7th May  in 1833

Johannes Brahms was born on 7th May in 1840

Evelyn Maud Finch (my mother) was born on 7th May 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, U.K.

Benjamin Britten was born in 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, U.K.


(Mum was born as Evelyn Maud Povey.  When she married my Dad she became Evelyn Maud Povey.  After his death she re-married, and became Evelyn Maud Woolcock.)

Mum, a matter of months before her death in 2002

 

Johannes Brahms

Peter Tchaikovsky


Benjamin Britten.


Lowestoft Harbour area.

The drawbridge, left centre, (with a bit of blue at each end), is the only link between South and North Lowestoft.  When it is "up" traffic in the town grinds to an all embracing halt.
 
 
QUIZ:   What do Tchaikovsky, Britten, and John Michael Povey have in common?.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Softening Butter


Many of us have very likely taken a stick of hard butter from the fridge, and then softened it in a toaster/convection oven, set at "warm".
 
 
I did so today, forgetting that I  should have placed the butter in or on a china dish or plate.
 
 
My stick of hard butter was on a plastic plate:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oh dearie me, that was not a good idea! 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

"In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag" W.H.Auden

The following is from my secondary health insurance provider, United Health Care.
 
 
 

Family enjoying a golf game What's your joyful noise? A whisper of gratitude for a stunning sunset? A belly laugh at a child's sweet silliness? A "Yes!" for a challenge mastered?

No matter how you express it, you deserve and need joy in your life. And whatever its source — from a drowsy pup on your lap to a parchment diploma in your hand — it doesn't just feel fabulous. Blissful moments can also give your well-being a boost.

What's joy got to do with it?
Many activities that create feelings of happiness — being lively, joking around, helping others — can also have physical benefits, such as:
  • Lower risk of illness
  • Improved circulation and heart health
  • A rise in feel-good endorphins
  • Relief from stress and depression
So for health and happiness, try these five tips for experiencing greater joy:

1. Chortle, snicker or snort. Laughter that is hearty is healthy too. In fact, it's good for your heart health — and can relax muscles and reduce pain. So video chat with that friend who always makes you laugh. Chuckle over the Sunday comics. Giggle through a comedy clip. Or maybe even try a laughter yoga class or DVD. (Yes, there is such a thing!)

2. Delight in play dates. From racquetball with your best buddy to hopscotch with the neighborhood kids, being playful can kick up your mood and confidence. And when your activity gets you moving, you're getting good exercise to boot!

3. Slow down too. In the rush of our busy lives, moments of quiet joy can pass us by. Whether you relax by sitting in the evening shade, listening to sweet harmonies or doing tai chi in the park, be a regular in the pursuit of peace.

4. Savor with your senses. Dew on lush, green grass … the earthy scent of fresh rosemary … a crunchy bite of a deep-purple plum that bursts with juice. Make it a practice to relish the joy in small things.

5. Be generous. Whether you give time or money, big or small, generosity is a proven source of happiness. So leave a kind comment on a blog, pay someone's toll, donate blood, thank your bus driver or let someone merge into your lane.

Finally, share your joyful noise. Talking about happy events brings pleasant memories. And since positive feelings are contagious, when you share them, others might follow in your footsteps toward greater joy — and better health.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Mercurial? Or maybe it's because I am a Gemini.

What a difference a days makes.


On last Saturday afternoon I was in the screened -in porch, sipping some lemonade, reading a good book  ("Amsterdam" by Ian McEwan), watching the bids and the water-fowl (a crow chased off a pelican, who flopped down into the pond and caught a fish), with  Penne my faithful friend lying at my side.

I felt utter peace and contentment.  "It doesn't", I thought,  "get any better than this".

Yesterday I was on the same Lanai, with another of McEwan's books ("Sweet Tooth"), a glass of water (lemonade all gone!), dearest Penne at my side.  An almost identical scenario.

I felt utterly sorry for myself, and entirely woe-be-gone.

Maybe it's because I am a Gemini.