Showing posts from May 13, 2018

Good wine and great memories

A glass of good Bordeaux the other day brought back some lovely memories.

They were of my friends Jean-Paul and Lizzie Chausatt who live in Bordeaux.  I have visited them three times.

Lizzie's parents lived in Pittsfield, MA, where I was their Rector.  She would visit them every year and that's how I got to know her.

Lizzie had studied in Paris and was returning to the U.S.A on the liner "France".  Jean-Paul was on that liner, he was coming to the States to teach.  They romanced on the ship and in due course were married in the Chapel at St. Stephen's Parish, Pittsfield with the then Rector Malcolm Ekcel as Officiant.

The second time Lizzie was in Pittsfield she came to the 8:00 service.  After which I said "Lizzie, it's so good to see you".  She was shocked that I remembered her name from the year before  (and so was I).

That gentle encounter led to an invitation to visit the Chausatt's in Bordeaux (sister City to my home City of Bristol U.K. since …

Cactus Bloom

Just down the street from my home.  Blossoms during the night.

Let it be greasy!

Don't tell my heart doctor that I had a burger today. (It's O.K. Dr. Y, this dietary sin was an aberration on my part).

I was with my friend Ashley L, the daughter of my good pals Jack and Donna C.

We went, at my suggestion to CULVERS, a Wisconsin based chain which has recently expanded to America's Cholesterol Capital (Florida).

I chose a Sourdough Melt

Oh my goodness, it was so delicious.  Cheese notwithstanding the burger meat itself was greasy to the point of bliss. Such good flavour.

The best burgers cannot be made with lean ground meat. It's the fat which makes them so tasty!

O.K. so my "side" was not fries or cheese fries.  I chose coleslaw to offset the fat.  (Coleslaw made with Mayo which itself  is all too fatty!).

Dietary wisdom apart it was so good to relax,  and chat with Ashley. She is a good soul.

Let there be grease!  At least once a year.

Sadly to say Culvers issues plastic knives and forks for those who need such implements.  They also offer plastic

Warmed my Massachusetts Heart

I was driving east on Bahia Vista St, ready to take a left turn on to Tuttle Ave.

She, in the V.W.,  was continuing east.  I took the photo' from my car.

Her stickers read "Red Sox Nation" and "Boston Proud".  Her plates read BSTN LDY  (Boston Lady).

A woman after my own heart!

Members of the notorious "Grandma Phyllis Fenno St. Gang"  (private joke) will love this.

Sarsaparilla & c

The summer of 1975 saw me (as an English  seminarian in between my Junior and Senior years) helping to organize Vacation Church Schools in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. (It's a long story, but that summer ministry eventually led to my coming to the U.S.A. in 1976 and serving parishes here since).

Together with seven other students I spent a week of training at the former Camp Bement in Charlton Depot, MA.  At the end of that week the American students took me to a bar in Worcester, MA with the aim of getting  me drunk on Tequila. They failed!

Then a team of four of us began our summer programme, beginning at St. James Church in Greenfield, MA.

Tequila pshaw.  What I lusted for was a Root Beer.  In England I had read about it in the "Peanuts" cartoon, but I had never tasted it.

My trusty companions took me to an A & W roadside stand (remember those!) on Route 2 in Greenfield. 

There I savoured a Root Beer in a Frosty Mug.  'Twas great!


Adventure on the Campus

Friday May 11th  saw me on the campus of New College in Sarasota with Zion my trusty pal and therapy dog.

We were there (with five other therapy dogs) at the College's finals time in order to give students a relaxing "dog fix" at a stressful time.

Jacob (Jake) Taylor is a sophomore at New College. He is a son of our former assistant Rector the Revd Andrea (Andi) Taylor and Jonathan Taylor.  I'd alerted Jake that we would be at his College so he came to see Zion and me. We had a pleasant and fruitful chat.

The therapy part was not a one way street.  For I was able to have good conversations with some of the young men and woman at New College.   They are bright and charming people. It's cool that these 18-22 year olds wanted to shoot the breeze with an aging old fart such as I!  The trick is to ask questions and not to pontificate.

A young woman took some lovely  candids of Zion using the "portrait' feature on her new I-phone.

I gave her my e-mail address, but …

Chomp, chomp

I'd noticed that the small tree next to my car port was defoliating. I put it down to the semi-drought and began to water it well.

To be sure I do not know if it is a shrub or a tree.  It bears lovely variegated leaves.  A few years ago our idiot butchers (landscapers) cut the trunk to the ground, for reasons which even they did not understand.  But this hardy planting propagates itself from the roots.  In place of one trunk it emerged with eight trunklets.

Despite my watering it is now leafless.  I discovered the culprits.

The dark mess on the ground is their droppings.

A neighbour asked if I would buy a spray to destroy the caterpillars. I won't do that on the basis that what is a pest to my tree may well be a feast for birds.

I'll let it be for a while.  There is half a chance that it will re-leaf.

This reminded me of the Gypsy Moth caterpillar invasion of 1981 in New England.  (See NY Times article below)

There were multi-millions of these chompers, so much so that their drop…