Saturday, 20 October 2018

Another Sarasota Gem

This morning Z. and I took a walk at Sarasota's Bayfront Park.  It's a delightful place, and a good reminder that our city is in truth centred on Sarasota Bay.

(I venture to say that eight out of ten of my friends have never heard of Bayfront Park, yet alone walked there.  They drive everywhere, to the homes of their friends, to the shops, to the restaurants, to the movies, symphony, opera, theatre etc and in doing so they miss our walking gems such as Bayfront, Arlington and Ken Thompson parks.)

My park walks are good in themselves.  They have an added bonus because I get to meet and greet utter strangers.  In that meeting and greeting we help to create a lubricant for the improvement of civil society.  'Tis vital.

Here are some photo's from this morning.

The couple walking together are a son (Michael) and his mother (May).  We chatted for a while, and the Mum called us "the three M's".  She was amused when I said that not only did I share a name with her son, but that I was born in the month of May. 

Note the fancied up decorative bike.

As we walked through the formal archway which marks the entrance to Bayfront Park we encountered two pleasant women who were handing out those somewhat simplistic "Gospel Tracts"  (showing "the way of salvation") - tracts which I used to hand out when I was a teenager, I flipped through one whilst saying "I am a believer".  The older of the two began her spiel, then she heard my words.  That enabled us to alleluia together.  (Perhaps I do not believe in the same way as she, but the alleluia were good!)

Alleluias done I saw another woman.  

She was carrying a banner in support of our Florida ballot question which (if it succeeds) will abolish Greyhound racing in this State.

I called out a hearty "yes", and gave her the thumbs up. Zion approved!

In these Bayfront Park  meetings and greetings we helped  to create a lubricant for the improvement of civil society.  'Tis vital.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Bird's Nest

We've had some necessary tree trimming at Glen Oaks Ridge today as a result of which this wee nest fell to the ground (don't be concerned, we are not in nesting season).

Can you guess what the nest is made from?

Yes indeed its dog hair from Zion.  When I relieve him of handfuls of hair using a "Furminator" I toss it on the grass in front of my villa. I've seen the birds retrieve it.

Human/Canine/Avian recycling.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Corporate Climate Piety

This was on the back of a greetings card which I bought at a well known American retailer.

Goodness me, what a noble and gracious statement in favour of environmental stewardship. 

Environmental stewardship, say what?

The card was enclosed in this wasteful and unnecessary plasticy wrapper.

More fool me for buying the card without thought when I was in a hurry.

Bigger fool the retailer which claims to be environmentally friendly out of one side of its mouth whilst the other side is plastic friendly.

The wrapper cannot be re-cycled. It will go into my trash can and from there to a landfill where it will rest eternally. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Such beauty

This photo' of the (in)famous hairpin bend on U.S. route 2 in north western Massachusetts was posted by my face book friend Jean McN.

I've driven this part of US 2 a score or so times, at least once in snowy/icy conditions. It is not for the faint hearted or the foolish.

I hope that you will agree that this is western Massachusetts in all its autumnal beauty.

For me the beauty is enhanced by the roadway.  It gives the scene a rootedness and definition.

Nature/God/Evolution (call it  what you will) offers us great beauty. 

Human endeavour sometimes brutalizes such beauty.

From to time we improve it.

For other examples of such improvements see  the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon Gorge in my home city of Bristol U.K.

and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay here in Florida.

The Brexit process explained (by Gary Bainbridge via my Face Book friend Nancy H)

LEAVER: I want an omelette.
REMAINER: Right. It’s just we haven’t got any eggs.

LEAVER: Yes, we have. There they are. [HE POINTS AT A CAKE]
REMAINER: They’re in the cake.
LEAVER: Yes, get them out of the cake, please.
REMAINER: But we voted in 1974 to put them into a cake.
LEAVER: Yes, but that cake has got icing on it. Nobody said there was going to be icing on it.
REMAINER: Icing is good.
LEAVER: And there are raisins in it. I don’t like raisins. Nobody mentioned raisins. I demand another vote.
LEAVER: Right, where’s my omelette?
REMAINER: I told you, the eggs are in the cake.
LEAVER: Well, get them out.
EU: It’s our cake.
JEREMY CORBYN: Yes, get them out now.
REMAINER: I have absolutely no idea how to get them out. Don’t you know how to get them out?
LEAVER: Yes! You just get them out and then you make an omelette.
REMAINER: But how?! Didn’t you give this any thought?
LEAVER: Saboteur! You’re talking eggs down. We could make omelettes before the eggs went into the cake, so there’s no reason why we can’t make them now.
THERESA MAY: It’s OK, I can do it.
THERESA MAY: There was a vote to remove the eggs from the cake, and so the eggs will be removed from the cake.
REMAINER: Yeah, but…
LEAVER: Hang on, if we take the eggs out of the cake, does that mean we don’t have any cake? I didn’t say I didn’t want the cake, just the bits I don’t like.
EU: It’s our cake.
REMAINER: But you can’t take the eggs out of the cake and then still have a cake.
LEAVER: You can. I saw the latest Bake Off and you can definitely make cakes without eggs in them. It’s just that they’re horrible.
REMAINER: Fine. Take the eggs out. See what happens.
LEAVER: It’s not my responsibility to take the eggs out. Get on with it.
REMAINER: Why should I have to come up with some long-winded incredibly difficult chemical process to extract eggs that have bonded at the molecular level to the cake, while somehow still having the cake?
LEAVER: You lost, get over it.
THERESA MAY: By the way, I’ve started the clock on this.
REMAINER: So I assume you have a plan?
THERESA MAY: Actually, back in a bit. Just having another election.
REMAINER: Jeremy, are you going to sort this out?
JEREMY CORBYN: Yes. No. Maybe.
EU: It’s our cake.
LEAVER: Where’s my omelette? I voted for an omelette.
REMAINER: This is ridiculous. This is never going to work. We should have another vote, or at least stop what we’re doing until we know how to get the eggs out of the cake while keeping the bits of the cake that we all like.
REMAINER: Fine, I’m moving to France. The cakes are nicer there.
LEAVER: You can’t. We’ve taken your freedom of movement.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Parting is such sweet sorrow

My five family members took British Air Flight 2166 on Mon 15th, leaving TPA a tad late and arriving LGW a bit early.

My home seems very lonely. Zion will not let me out of his sight. 

He now has only one person, rather than five, to make a fuss of him 

(Have I ever told you that I have a dog named Zion?!!)


When I moved to the U.S.A. from the U.K. in 1976 my mum was sad but she kept a stiff upper lip.

Much later she told me that my move brought her great benefit.  She visited me here at least seven times, and in the process made new and good friends, thus enriching her life.

Over the years eight of my nine siblings, together with various nieces, nephews,  and in-laws have crossed the Atlantic to visit with me in places such as Fitchburg MA, Chicopee MA, Pittsfield MA, Cambridge MA and Sarasota FL.

They have been good visits, but when they have ended parting has always been such sweet sorrow.

The sadness creeps in when one launders the guests' sheets and towels.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Oeufs sur pattes Uova su gambe Huevos en las piernas Wyau ar goesau

My family members are now winging their way back to London Gatwick Airport on B.A. flight 2166 (TPA - LGW).

We've had a good reunion.  The house is very empty.  I am sad at their departure,  but this too will pass.

Some weeks before they left England for their visit here my niece Leah asked if she could bring me a gift.

There was.  I asked her to bring a couple of egg cups for those times when I have a taste for a soft boiled egg ( to eat with with toasted strips of bread to dip into them - in the U.K. we call them soldiers).

She found just what I wanted.  The egg cups  are called Oeufs sur pattes   Uova su gambe  Huevos en las piernas   Wyau ar goesau OR EGGS ON  LEGS

WARNING  The eggs portrayed above are for illustrative purposes only.  They are uncooked. Do not crack or eat them.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Valedictory Brunch

My U.K. family members and I, together with three of our U.S.A. friends were at the Peridia Golf and Country Club in Bradenton FL today for a valedictory brunch. (My family members will return home tomorrow).

The food was splendid and abundant at a very reasonable price.  Such an abundance would be more than enough for two or three  days for many Americans, and more than enough for a week or even two  for the world's poorest people.  

My conscience was nagging me even as we ate.  

I tried to quieten it by telling myself that it is O.K. to indulge every once in a while, and that I had previously been at Peridia two years ago. 

My conscience was not entirely convinced by these rationalisations.


That apart it was so good to be with family and friends for brunch at Peridia.

Here are two photo's.

L-R  Ashley Lloyd, my great niece Bree, Ron (rear) and Charlotte (front), nieces Beth and Leah, sister Ruth.

L-R  jmp, bro-in-law Dennis, great niece Bree, niece Beth, niece Leah (Bree's Mum), sister Ruth.