Thursday, 17 August 2017

Frying an egg (or eggs)


I think that it was in the Food and Wine supplement of my local newspaper  (the Sarasota Herald-Tribune) that I saw a recipe for fried eggs.

At first I thought "who needs a recipe for something as mundane as this?"   

But I read the recipe which offered fried eggs with fluffy whites and firm yolks.

Then I tried it, and it works!

First,  line the skillet with a smear of oil.

Then, heat the skillet and oil on a medium to high setting. When the skillet and oil are hot add the egg/s.

As soon as the edge of the whites firm up, dip your finger into cold water, flick the water on the eggs, then reduce the heat and cover the skillet with a lid.

After two or more minutes the egg/s will be ready.

The whites will be wonderfully fluffy, and the yolks will be firm and well formed.


I've tried this recipe twice, and "dammit" it works.

So I will now be able to "shuffle off this mortal coil" in the sure and certain knowledge that I knew how to fry eggs with fluffy whites and firm yolks.

Tee hee!


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

I said what?

I arrived very early at my **Health Fit programme today and decided to check my e-mail and text messages as I waited.

I looked at one text which contained a mailing address I needed, and then, like a fool, I deleted it by accident.

In a voice which was just above a whisper I exclaimed "Oh shit",  whereupon two other people who were seated near me  in the waiting room started to laugh.  I had been totally unaware of their presence.

Of course I apologised profusely, but my two "hearers" were so amused that they neither expected or desired an apology.

Speaking of **Health Fit, it's a programme (via a Doctor's Prescription only) and run by our Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

My Cardiologist wrote my prescription following my angiogram on May 5th during which he inserted a stent in my left descending artery.

The precipitating problem had been a diagnosis of  peripheral arterial disease in my right leg.

Recovery from cardio. problems can be addressed by vigorous exercise, hence my Health Fit Programme.    There my heart rate is continually monitored, and my blood pressure taken before and after exercise. I am pleased to see that my blood pressure is consistently more normal than it has been for at least five years.

What is also great is that the discomfort in my right leg is slowly and surely being abated because sans good arteries my blood is finding other routes down my leg.

I have supplemented the three day a week Health Fit programme by joining the gym at the local "Y". Thus I am able to do thirty minutes on a treadmill seven days a week.

The Health Fit programme expires after another five sessions.  After that I hope to be at the "Y"  seven days a week.

When I awake each morning I think "I don't want  to exercise today", but just as soon as I get on the treadmill (1.2 miles in 30 minutes)  I am glad.

A side benefit is that apart from the exercise but by a more mindful diet  I have lost 10lbs in weight, with at least another 10lbs to go before I visit my family in Bristol, UK (mid Sept to mid Oct 2017)

Monday, 14 August 2017

Click, click, click. Snip, snip, snip.

They came today.  The grass mowers that is.

They came with their noisy, behemoth-like mowing machines.  (I am told that these machines are banned in most cemeteries because the noise is sure to wake the dead).

They came with their edgers, trimmers, and leaf blowers.  A veritable festival of noise and gas/petrol fumes.

Then my very good and pleasant neighbor across the street decided to trim his bushes. (He is somewhat obsessive about this).  Of course he used those noisy electrically operated trimmers).

Not to be outdone, another neighbour  ( a truly arrogant jerk in the opinion of many of us), could not resist the use of his electric leaf blower to blow bits of dust off his prized Camaro.

NOISE POLLUTION invaded my ears today.

Oh my dear friends, I live a very quiet life.  I never play music, listen to the radio, or watch T.V.  at home (though I did tune into C.N.N. for an hour last Saturday as the dreadful events in Charlottesville, VA unfolded.)


The noise today caused my mind to enjoy memories from many a long day ago.

Across from our home lived a very respectable couple, Mr. and Mrs. Hurkett.  They were very private people and I knew next to nothing about them, save that they had a tenuous connection with the Plymouth Brethren denomination in which I was raised, and that Mr. Hurkett had once been a tinker - which made him very mysterious in my young mind.

(My twin sister and I used to sing carols for the Hurkett's at Christmas-tide (we had sweet voices) and we were often rewarded with half a crown (two shillings and sixpence), a princely sum in those days).

The Hurkett's had a big back garden, reaching all the way  to the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway line.  Mr. Hurkett was an avid gardener, and should a Police Horse, or a trader's horse and cart pass by he would rush out with a shovel and bucket to look for horse manure which perchance had been deposited in the street.


But what I remembered most today was the soothing and gentle sound of an old fashioned lawn mower when Mr. H. cut his grass in summer time.It was a early evening sound.

Click, click, click forward.  Then back, and click, click, click forward again.  

Respectable  working class folks often had a Privet hedge to establish a boundary in their small front gardens, or bigger back gardens.

Another comforting early evening sound was when they used hand shears to trim the Privets: "Snip, snip, snip" it went.


I love modern life.I am by no means a Luddite.  But I wish that modern life were not so darn noisy.


Hand driven grass cutter. Click, click click.

Old fashioned hedge trimmer/ Snip, snip, snip.

Privet hedge

English lawn with daisies ("Bellis  Perennia")

Saturday, 12 August 2017

We need a President who will......? We need preachers who will....?

We need a President who will......?

Without equivocation or obfuscation condemn racism, white supremacy, white nationalism, the resurgent KKK, and neo-Na-ism.

Don't hold your breath.


We need preachers who will....?

On Sunday August 13th  resist the temptation to utter pious pablum about "God Loves Everyone", or "We must strive for reconciliation".

Rather, they should without equivocation or obfuscation condemn racism, white supremacy, white nationalism, the resurgent KKK, and neo-Na-ism, noting that such beliefs are incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Again, don't hold your breath.


I won't be in any Church tomorrow, nor will I listen/watch the Talk shows.  I cannot hold my breath that long.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Roosevelt. How many Americans know this?

Field of Roses/Roosevelt

Having just waded my way through a a comprehensive biography of Alexander Hamilton (see my earlier blog) at

I am now enjoying a biography (published in 1992 and written by Nathan Miller) of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Published by Quill//William Morrow1992
I'll bore you later with details of the book, but for now here is a bit of trivia.

The surname Roosevelt is Dutch by origin,  It arises from the town/area from which the family grew.

Roosevelt, and its alternative spellings,  means (in English)  FIELD OF ROSES.

Makes sense n'est pas?

But I wager that many Brits, Americans, and Europeans (apart from the Dutch) have never made this connection.

(I saw my Dutch/South African friend Pal Van D. this afternoon and he confirmed the meaning/origin of the Roosevelt name/)

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Ear worm through the sleeping (and waking) night hours.

I had an exceeding good night's sleep yesteryear (Wed 9th to Thurs 10th), but on the couple of occasions I stirred it was to encounter an ear worm.

I have no idea why but the song I "heard" was an the one-hundred year old  English Music Hall "My Dear Old Dutch".

I kept coming back to the line "I call her Sal, her proper name is Sarah".

It reminded me of my confusing as a young kid about my paternal grandmother's first name.

Sometimes she would tell me that it was Sarah, but on other times she said it was Sally.

So I thought that her name was Sally-Sarah, not knowing that Sal and Sally are diminutives for Sarah.

Which take me back to my ear worm.  The song was written by the Londoner (maybe Cockney) Albert Chevalier, with music by his brother under the pen name of Charles Ingle.

It's a tender, albeit sentimental song about  the 40 years of marriage of a working class couple.

Sentimental or not, I love the refrain:

We've been together now for forty years,

An' it don't seem a day too much,

As I'd "swop" for my dear old Dutch.

There ain't a lady livin' in the land

As I'd "swop" for my dear old Dutch.

*Dutch" Cockney slang for "Duchess".


Here are two versions.
The first by Chevalier himself (from the very early days of recording)

And a touching rendition by Peter Sellars (of all people).

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Hauntingly beautiful

"Somewhere along the Road" -  Steeleye Span.  (I've probably posted this before)

So wistfully lovely.

Too much plastic at Trader Joe's, Fresh Market and Publix.

Retail grocery stores binge on plastic.  It's not good for consumers, or for the planet.

For this reason I am rapidly falling out of love with Trader Joe's.

Their cheeses are good, their frozen foods are mostly fine, and their inexpensive wines are worth buying.

BUT  Oh, Trader Joe's is addicted to plastic. So much of their "stuff" (especially produce) is packaged in "clamshells", in cellophane bags. or on Styrofoam trays covered with plastic wrap.  Such a waste!

Maybe it's because their nearest distribution centre is in Daytona Beach, some 200 miles away.

Thus Trader Joe's offers very few foodstuffs if any  (especially produce) which are locally sourced.


I have a somewhat  jaundiced view of the "Fresh Market" chain, founded in Greensboro, N.C.

"Fresh Market" has an abundance of unpacked produce, meat, and fish at a premium price.

But they also use all too much plastic.

For instance:  last Saturday, in a moment of  weakness, I chose to purchase a grilled chicken breast at Fresh Market.

It was a 4 oz portion at a high price.  ( I salved my conscience by using it for two meals).

This is how it was packed:

All this for four oz. of chicken breast.

Fresh Market should be ashamed.   

By contrast  I bought  6 oz of fish at my local Publix Supermarket for my supper tonight.,  It was appropriately wrapped.

Good for Publix of course,  but sadly this chain is also addicted to selling  produce on those horrid styrofoam trays.

Monday, 7 August 2017

For your funny bone

Since so few of you respond to my utterly wise, well researched, historically  accurate, and undoubtedly perspicacious historical and political posts (ahem!)  I decided this day to tickle your funny bone.

"When stores in eastern Massachusetts understand how we talk there".

Sunday, 6 August 2017

August 6th 1945

On this day in 1945 the United States Air Force dropped an atomic bomb over the City of Hiroshima in Japan.

The City of Nagasaki suffered the same fate on August 9th.

Estimates of civilian deaths are hard to come by, but a consensus is that between 90,000 and 146,000 perished in Hiroshima, and between 30,000 and 80,000 in Nagasaki.

Tokyo had been taken off the list of prospective targets because that City was largely a forest of rubble following the firebombing on 9/10 March earlier that year - resulting on some 100,000 deaths and 1,000,000 people rendered homeless.

See this for the background to the atomic bombings.  It makes for chilling reading.

Allied carpet bombing and firebombing had been perfected by the wartime chief of the R.A.F's Bomber Command Air Chief Marshall Arthur "Bomber" Harris.  "Bomber"  When he arrived at Bomber Command, he found a directive from the Air Ministry: 'the primary object of your operation should now be focused on the morale of the enemy civilian population and, in particular, of the industrial workers'. But he applied it with a relish.

Churchill's Wartime Cabinet had authorised blanket bombing in 1942.

Under Harris's command Hamburg had been firebombed on in February  1943, with the resultant deaths of 40,000; ( it was on the night of 27 July that most of Operation Gomorrah’s 40,000 victims would die.) The ten-day pounding of Hamburg was, Air Chief Marshal Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris conceded, ‘incomparably more terrible’ than anything thus far visited upon Germany. Ten square miles of the city were obliterated, forcing 900,000 of its inhabitants out of their homes.    Dresden was carpet bombed  on February 13/14 1945, with 25,000 civilian deaths.

"Bomber" Harris was known as "Butcher" Harris by many  R.A.F members because of his apparent callous disregard  for their lives. Bomber Command had the highest casualty rate in the WWII British Military Forces.losing 55,173 of its 125,000 men.

The Americans had resisted carpet/fire bombing in Germany as being militarily unnecessary and wasteful of resources.

This "principled" resistance was laid to rest when it came to carpet/fire bombing of Tokyo.


Prof. Christopher Grayling (a philosopher)  wrote a book about the  fire/carpet bombings of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo.

I  read the book, and find Grayling's arguments to be powerfully convincing. But is you want to have your mind stretched, do read two reviews. one from the left (The Guardian) and one from  the right (The Telegraph).


What is clear to me is that the collective punishment of civilian non-combatants for the policies of their governments is always wrong.

The massacres at Lidice make this clear.


Of course the atrocities of the N-zi regime in Germany and in German occupied countries; and of the Japanese Empire in south east Asia were unconscionable.  Of that there should be  be no argument.

My question is "Did the fire/carpet and atomic bombings right those wrongs?"

And given the horrendous and cruel racism of the British Empire; and of the American genocides against Native Americans and African slaves, could the United Kingdom and the United States of America claim the moral high ground without deep and endemic hypocrisy in WWII?


Dresden flattened.

Hiroshima before and after

Saturday, 5 August 2017

It's a big book!

The book has 43 chapters, 731 pages of text, 48 pages of footnotes, and 7 pages of bibliography.  It was given to me as a birthday gift last May by my wonderful SRQ friends Ron and Charlotte Thompson.

The book is

 It is  a magnificent and comprehensive biography of a man who was arguably the most brilliant man of the Revolutionary War; as a soldier, as a lawyer, and as a scholar (with James Madison) of the meaning of the new United States Constitution  (c.f. "The Federalist Papers").

Hamilton was loved and respected by George Washington.

In the early days he was a friend and ally of John Adams (our second President, and of James Madison (our fourth).

Jefferson (our third President) and Hamilton were implacable foes from the get go.

Because Hamilton  wrote prolifically author Chernow has been able to write what may well be the definitive biography.

In all of his adult life Alexander Hamilton was sustained  by his wife, Eliza (Elizabeth) Schuyler Hamilton.

She loved, adored and supported him despite his tawdry affair with Mrs. Mariah Reynolds.  

Eliza lived for fifty years after Alexander's death.


My American friends will know that Alexander Hamilton was killed in an avoidable duel  with former Vice-President Aaron Burr, at  a bluff on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.

The duel  destroyed the aspirations and political hopes of Burr.

But it exalted the status of  Hamilton. His long funeral procession took two hours from its  beginning to the end at Trinity  Church, Wall St, New York.

Hamilton's remains, and those of Eliza are buried in the Trinity Church graveyard.


Thomas Jefferson  does not emerge well in Chernow's book.  He, Jefferson, comes forth as manipulative and cunning.

Nor does John Adams emerge well.   Nobody liked/likes Adams except for his wife Abigail (and Adams' modern  day biographer David McCullough).


I have next to no investment in Hamilton's life but I know that he was brilliant. 

Agree with me or not, but do not pass judgment  until you have read all 43 chapters and 731 pages of Chernow's book.

And as you do so please note Ron Chernow's editorial comments:

Page 534 " Hamilton was incapable of a wise silence "   and

Page 619 "he had a serious (?) (capacity? ) for the self inflicted wound, and was capable of marching off a cliff". 

"Aye"  (as the Scots  might say) "there's the rub"

"The proof is in the pudding?" NO!

In the U.K. at one time "pudding" was an generic term for dessert, or afters  I think that this generic usage is dying out. 'though just a few years ago I encountered a British couple eating ice cream in a shady spot outside a restaurant in Vietnam. The woman said "we're having our pudding".

A wide array of very different foods are called pudding.

Yorkshire Pudding (should be eaten straight out of the oven while it is still hot

Sticky Toffee Pudding  (unhealthy but delicious!)

Rice Pudding  (so good!)

Black Pudding (or Blood Pudding).  Our Mum would never serve this, but in my later years I have grown to like it (in moderation)

Steak and Kidney Pudding (made with a suet based pastry). I like it more than the more familiar Steak and Kidney Pie. Most likely not often made in the U.K. these days.

Steak and Kidney Pie. Oh so delicious,'though most Americans blanch at the thought of eating kidney.

On Thursday last I was listening to a panel of pundits on the WAMU/NPR programme called IA ( a clever reference to the First Amendment to the American Constitution.

The wiseacres droned on and an as they opined on some political plan or other.  They wondered if it would work. With an air of assurance one of them said "Of course, the proof is in the pudding".

I wanted to stop my car and scream  (I exaggerate!).

No, no, the proof may be in the Whiskey, but it is not in the Pudding.  The panelist was misquoting this: The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

In other words, you do not know if the pudding is good until you eat it.

(Or you do not know if a plan is good until you try it out).

Here's hoping for some Steak and Kidney Pudding when I visit England later this year.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Podiatrist's Dark Huma/ and the 've contraction/

Podiatrist's Humour

I use a local Podiatrist not because I have major foot problems, but because that my advanced age and fat belly I find it tiresome to cut my toe nails.

It's all very easy because Medicare pays for some of the cost, my supplemental health insurance picks up a few more dollars, and I am left with a modest fee,

So it was that I mailed a small cheque to cover my small balance on July 22nd.  The cheque did not get banked so with my deep seated fear of being in arrears with bills in mind I stopped by the office two days ago.  I wondered if my cheque had been lost in the mail.

Well no. It turned out that the Office had been closed for a week which meant that the staff were behind in posting payments,  My cheque had arrived safely.

I expressed my relief and ventured that I'd been worried lest the Doctor would  decide to amputate my foot (for non payment) at my next appointment.

The Book Keeper reassured me.  "Oh no", she said, "we would never do that".  

She continued "we do it one toe at a time to prolong the pain"!



The 've contraction in  "I've", rather that "I have",   is very useful in the spoken word.  It flows off the tongue very easily, and sounds less firm than "I have".

"I've decided" sounds more negotiable that "I have decided".

've can be less than useful for U.K. folks when used with "would", "could", or "should" in speech.

This in doubtless the spoken "would've"  sounds a bit like "would of"..

So I read and hear my U.K. friends saying "would of", instead of "would have", e.g. "I would of chosen a different route had I heard about the accident on the  M5  (or A38).

I shouldn't ("should not" ) let this  bother me, but it does!

(American speakers of English do not seem to use "would of"   for "would have".

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Mary House in Turkey, and lunch with a friend.

I had lunch today with one of my Church friends, Ann Albritton, a woman I respect and admire.  Ann teaches at Sarasota's storied Ringling College of Art and Design.

1985, Night View

Ann H. Albritton, Ph.D.

Ann H. Albritton earned a BA in Humanities from Eckerd College; a MA in Art History from University of South Florida; a MPhil in Art History from City University of New York; and a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art History from City University of New York. With over 21 years of professional teaching experience, Ann joined Ringling College in 2000. She is writing a children’s artist book, a global art history, as well as articles and reviews for Sculpture Magazine.

My lunch with Ann was at the Sunnyside Cafe on Sarasota's "North Trail".

More about this later.

Ann and I chatted about our various travels and it transpired that we had each visited ancient Ephesus (in modern Turkey), and that we had each visited the nearby (so called) "MARY HOUSE".

You can read about the Mary House here.

I was there in 1999 with my friend the Revd. Michael Vono.  As a fervent Protestant I am naturally sceptical about Marian apparitions and sites.

But at the Mary House (whether it is historically authentic or not)  I felt an overwhelming sense of awe.

Ann had the same feeling when she visited the Mary House.  With her usual wisdom she added "whether or not Mary the Mother of Jesus lived there doesn't matter. What matters is all the prayer which has been offered there".  Oh so good for you Ann!

Ann told me of her conversation with a religiously sceptical man ( a lapsed Roman Catholic) who was reduced to tears when he too had visited the Mary House.

Yes indeed Ann.  The sanctity of these places has everything to do with the prayer which has been offered.

This "low as a snake's belly Protestant"  (jmp) had the same experience when he visited the Shrine of St. Bernadette, in Lourdes, France.


As for lunch

Ann had the Hungarian Goulash.  She gave me a taste and it was very good.

I opted for the Lamb Burger (I am partial to Lamb),  It was good, but a bit dry.  I should have requested a medium rare burger. My English friends and family will think this to be heresy. They and I grew up and enjoying lamb "well done".

That being said, it was an un-mitigated joy to be with Ann Albritton today. She is a fabulous woman.


P.S. The owner of the Sunnyside Cafe is Hungarian. Our waiter was Argentinian.  Ole for multi-ethnic America whatever D.J. Trump says.  He is wrong!

Monday, 31 July 2017

My beloved Penne - such sadness.

I dreamed last night that two former St. Stephen's, Pittsfield,MA parishioners showed up at my home.

They were D. Mitchell (formerly Debbie Hinman), and Susan McWilliams (formerly Susan Goranson),

They arrived in separate cars (in both cases a 1985 vintage Ford Taurus Estate Car).

Once in my home they ignored me and left me to work alone at my desk.

In due course I told them that they would have to leave. They did so without complaint.  As I escorted them to my front door Penne, my beloved former rescue rushed out of my house.

Penne and I walked down the street and greeted a woman who was walking a lovely black Labrador.

The woman complained about the noisy children in the home, but when I explained that they were not children but my "lady friends" Susan and Debbie she said "well that's O.K. then".

I said to Penne "Let's go in the car" (something she loved to do), "I need to get some wine".

Then I woke up.  It was 10:00 p.m. I realised that it had all been a dream, and I became very sad.

This was because I miss my Penne so much.  I've spent the whole day (rain, winds and all) thinking about her - a wonderful dog who brought me such joy. I've had teary eyes.

Oh Penne. You were so good to me, and for me.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sarasota's War Zone

As reported in the Sarasota Observer.

In late June and early July, San Remo Estates residents reached out to city officials with an urgent message: The neighborhood is suffering from a crime epidemic.
Those residents had concerns about the response time to incidents in the past month, which included a stolen vehicle and two attempted break-ins. They called on city leaders to add officers to the Sarasota Police Department and asked for relief from what they described as a dire situation.
**** “Far from the idyllic life we envisioned, we are living in a state of alert one might experience in a war zone!” San Remo resident Ellen Foster wrote in an email.
San Remo Estates is a 67-home neighborhood on the water near the north Siesta Key bridge. So far this year, police have recorded seven property crimes in the neighborhood. That’s an increase over the two reported last year.
Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino says the community is relatively safe, but understands the significance of the concerns residents have expressed.
“If it’s your stuff that’s taken, you feel very serious about it,” DiPino said.

She said the crimes in San Remo have mostly been opportunistic. When someone’s car was stolen, the owner left the keys in the car. When thieves broke into other cars, the doors were unlocked.

****   I drove through San Remo this afternoon en route to Trader Joe's.  I didn't see any bullet holes, any bombed out homes, any burned out tanks.

I did see a couple of modest homes being transformed into McMansions.

A war zone? NOT!!!

Ellen Foster, I do not know you, but may I suggest that you should  try Fallujah, Homs, or Yemen for war zones.


Spoiled brats come in all ages.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Relatively speaking

I have seven surviving siblings.  One sister, Sylvia, died soon after her birth in 1942. My dear brother Stephen died all to soon and all too suddenly last year.

Thus we are/were a family with ten children.

I have nineteen nieces/nephews.

Through them I have twenty six great nephews/nieces.  I think that in the U.S.A. they would be called grand nephews/nieces.

Later this year I plan to be in the U.K.  I will see many (but not all) of this gang of fifty two descendants of my Mum and Dad (fifty three when I am included).

As I have planned this trip I have arranged to take two or three of my great nephews/nieces on a boat trip down the Bristol Avon on the M.V. Balmoral on Oct 1st.    (See the MV Balmoral  website for details of trips from Bristol).

My guests will be Ryan, the son of my niece Nicola; Bree, the daughter of my niece Leah, and (maybe) Isaac, the son of my niece Emma.

My question for those of you who are expert in such matters is "How are Ryan, Bree, and Isaac related to each other?"  Their parents are first cousins. What are they?

MV Balmoral on the Bristol (U.K.) Avon

Friday, 28 July 2017

German Shepherd Dog and Trader Joe's

" To sleep, perchance to dream"  (Shakespeare), or in my case, "to sleep and always to dream".

Take last night  (Thursday 27th)

I was in a big gym.  About 3/4  of the space was devoted to free weights, treadmills, and fitness machines.

I was exercising  in a corner in the empty 1/4 of the room. Across from my was a huge gym mat on which I saw a long-haired German Shepherd Dog.

I couldn't find a stock photo' of a G.S. dog on its ba

He was lying down on his back,but had twisted his head to look at me.  His tail never stopped wagging.

I whistled him over, but he ignored me. I could not figure out of he was there to protect me or to attack me.

Then I "sort of" woke up.  When I got back to sleep I had the same dream all over again. ( I have no way of knowing if I had been half awake for ten seconds, ten minutes or longer, but I remember thinking "I've already had this dream").

This dream revisited went on.  I decided to leave the gym, only to discover that I was driving out of the parking lot at Trader Joe's on Mass. Ave in Arlington Heights, MA.

Trader Joe's, Arlington Heights, MA

My Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington friends who have used this store know that the (usually crowded) parking lot is a bugger to enter and leave.

As I was leaving my foot got stuck on the accelerator pedal, and I zoomed out, narrowly missing an elderly couple who were pushing an occupied baby buggy/push chair. They glared at me.

I drove west on Mass Ave at high speed until I cams to an intersection with a road sign pointing to Eastville a district of  Bristol U.K. (very near to where I grew up).  I turned left, but never got to Bristol!

Go figure!  My dream is fairly easy to interpret.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Rabble Rouser in Chief (and a request to my Church friends who are Republicans)

Under the current Occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C the very word "immigrant" has been tarnished and demeaned.

As an immigrant (and now a citizen of the U.S.A.) I find this hard to take  (to put it mildly!).

Of course he means undocumented immigrants (I refuse to call them illegal immigrants, because although there are illegal acts there are no illegal people).

But who, in the mind of D.J.T., are the undocumented immigrants? Are they the hundreds of thousands of undocumented residents;  people from Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and India?

I think not!

You know, I know, and his acolytes know that he is referring to children, women and men from Mexico. from Central America, from some countries in South America, and from Haiti etc.

In a speech in Youngstown, Ohio earlier this week he described these immigrants as "animals".

(See the video below, and see also the apparent enthusiasm of his acolytes).

With no reference to authentically reported criminal events (except for those in his mind) he referred to those who slice and dice young women.

Of course there is immense cruelty in some criminal activity in the U.S., but to suggest that such cruelty is the exclusive province of immigrants from Latino countries is to fly in the face of the facts. (But when did facts bother our Rabble Rouser in Chief?).

In truth, most immigrants who have been deported under D.J.T. have been law abiding and productive citizens.  And in case you think that I am blinded by my biases I add that President Obama (in danger of being deified by we progressives) was no slouch when it came to deportations of undocumented immigrants).

But he never called them animals.

And that's what bothers me about "The Occupant".  He is all too willing to use the same kind of  rhetoric as did the Na-i propagandists  under Joseph Go-bels in their references to Jews.

Such rhetoric inevitably leads to hatred, cruelty, persecution and death.

It's all too easy to demonise "the other".


When ever we have a baptism in the Episcopal Church we all say "yes" to this solemn promise.

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I pray that my Episcopal Church friends who are Republicans will remember this holy promise and then urge our President (whose third marriage was solemnized in an Episcopal Church)  to respect the dignity of all immigrants, and never ever refer to children, men, and women who are made in the image of God as Animals.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Getting my dog fix.

My friends Rick and John live in the adjoining Glen Oaks Manor community.  They have four dogs between them and they often walk out at about 5:00 p.m. Rick has two Poodles, John has two Labradors.

Yesterday (Sunday 23rd) I called to see if they were about to walk, 'cause I needed a dog fix.

They were, and I got my fix.

There is Vittone.  He is a handsome, bright and self confident Standard Poodle, and he knows it.  All the girls dogs adore him.  He is like the handsome star quarterback on a High School team.  He knows that all the cheerleaders have a crush on him.  He says (to himself) "just because I am very nice to you it doesn't mean that I'll invite you to the Prom.

Vittone is that kind of "stud" dog.  (And he loves every bit of attention I give him).


Vittone belongs to Rick, as does Louis.  Louis was the runt of his litter, and he's a bit smaller than most Standards.

Louis is the the modest, shy, self-effacing dog.  "I am a nothing and a nobody" he says, "there is no need to make a fuss of me.

So I do make a fuss of Louis, telling him over and over again that he is a wonderful, splendid beast and that he has a special place in my heart.  (He remains unconvinced!)


Annie and Kate (or is it Katie and Anne) come with Rick's partners John.

They have discovered the secret of perpetual motion.  It's almost impossible to scratch their ears or haunches 'cause they can't stand still.  They run around me, between my legs, and around me again.

They always walk together, and they have the particular skill of "synchronised tail-wagging"  it's fun to behold.


The "Ever Ready Bunny" Labs.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

It's (vaguely) salmon, but don't' call it bacon

I picked up a package at Trader Joe's. thinking it to be Smoked Salmon. (if only I had read the label!)

Well, it is salmon (reconstructed bits?)  but by no stretch of the imagination is it bacon.

I think the same way about "Turkey Bacon''

It's "O.K" in its own right, but it should never be called "bacon". (note that it is chopped and formed).

Some Americans rave about Canadian Bacon.

It's good in its own way but I doubt that the "Canadian Bacon" made and sold in the U.S.A. would recognize the Maple Leaf Flag.

Americans encounter "Canadian" Bacon most often in Eggs Benedict. (Made well they are superb),

I grew up in England eating
Back Bacon if we were flush
Streaky Bacon in less prosperous days.

These days I am reduced (and delighted) to eat American Bacon

Cooked well it is entirely delicious and dripping in pork fat.  Oh so good!

Oh so good and entirely unhealthy.

That's why I sometimes eat "Salmon Bacon" and pretend that it is the real thing,