Saturday, 1 December 2018

Au Revoir Auntie Irene

My father was an only child so I had no aunts or uncles from his side of the family.

Mum was one of eight.  She had one sister (Kate) who died of tetanus poisoning way back when, long before I was born.

Her youngest brother Albert was killed in Normandy in August 1944.

From her five surviving brothers I had five aunts by marriage, one of whom I met only once.

I knew the other Aunts a bit but did not know them well, all except for Irene.  May her memory be a blessing.

Auntie Irene was always my favourite. She came to the U.S.A, from the U.K. maybe four or five times to see me, and to see her dear niece by birth Catherine  (Kippy) on Staten Island. We both adored her.

Irene began a long journey into dementia.  When she could no longer take care of herself my cousins were able to secure her a place in a quite lovely "care home" in our native city of Bristol, U.K.

Auntie Irene died today at age ninety three.

I saw her last year (2017) in that care home.  She did not know me but that does not matter.  I knew her!

Of course I am sad, but I am not in deep grief. There is, as the biblical book of Ecclesiastes says, a time to die.

So please, I do not need or want messages of sympathy. Simply join with me in saying thank goodness for the life and love of my beloved Aunt.

P.S. I am deeply aware that apart from my two older sisters and my twin sister I have known Irene for all of my life,  from the time when memories begin to form ( at aged three or four).

Friday, 30 November 2018

For your funny bone ( and a word about fruit)

Very bad photo' shop


The fruit I mentioned yesterday.... a Persimmon. 

New to me and utterly delicious.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Adventures in Foodland

I'd read about these, but  usually in a history or a novel in which (for example) a western European traveler of the 18th century arrived at a market in (say) Persia and noted their abundance. "A relic of history" I thought.

A few weeks ago my ex-Sarasota-now California friend Susan R noted that she had harvested, or had been given 50 lbs of them.

I saw some in a Sarasota market this morning and bought some, not knowing what to expect, but thinking that if Susan liked them I might too.

"Oh my stars!"  I discovered a gem of fruity sweetness, with a delightfully crunchy skin.  I'll be back at the market tomorrow  to lay in a store before they go out of season.

I've never knowingly eaten one of these odd looking root vegetables so I took a chance and bought one in another market the day before yesterday.

They are a devil to peel  (do they have to be peeled?).  I cut one into small pieces, boiled the pieces, then mashed them along with parsnips and butternut squash.

Such a good and "nutty" flavour, enhancing the parsnips and squash.  Yum!


Name that fruit.   Name that vegetable.

Charlie Pierce nails it

Charlie Pierce

Article posted on Face Book by my friend and former colleague Manny F
** See below for information about Charlie Pierce 
"In my life, I have watched John Kennedy talk on television about missiles in Cuba. I saw Lyndon Johnson look Richard Russell squarely in the eye and and say, "And we shall overcome." I saw Richard Nixon resign and Gerald Ford tell the Congress that our long national nightmare was over. I saw Jimmy Carter talk about malaise and Ronald Reagan talk about a shining city on a hill. I saw George H.W. Bush deliver the eulogy for the Soviet bloc, and Bill Clinton comfort the survivors of Timothy McVeigh's madness in Oklahoma City. I saw George W. Bush struggle to make sense of it all on September 11, 2001, and I saw Barack Obama sing 'Amazing Grace' in the wounded sanctuary of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
"These were the presidents of my lifetime. These were not perfect men. They were not perfect presidents, god knows. Not one of them was that. But they approached the job, and they took to the podium, with all the gravitas they could muster as appropriate to the job. They tried, at least, to reach for something in the presidency that was beyond their grasp as ordinary human beings. They were not all ennobled by the attempt, but they tried nonetheless.
"And comes now this hopeless, vicious buffoon, and the audience of equally hopeless and vicious buffoons who laughed and cheered when he made sport of a woman whose lasting memory of the trauma she suffered is the laughter of the perpetrators. Now he comes, a man swathed in scandal, with no interest beyond what he can put in his pocket and what he can put over on a universe of suckers, and he does something like this while occupying an office that we gave him, and while endowed with a public trust that he dishonors every day he wakes up in the White House.
"The scion of a multigenerational criminal enterprise, the parameters of which we are only now beginning to comprehend. A vessel for all the worst elements of the American condition. And a cheap, soulless bully besides. We never have had such a cheap counterfeit of a president as currently occupies the office. We never have had a president so completely deserving of scorn and yet so small in the office that it almost seems a waste of time and energy to summon up the requisite contempt.
"Watch how a republic dies in the empty eyes of an empty man who feels nothing but his own imaginary greatness, and who cannot find in himself the decency simply to shut up even when it is in his best interest to do so. Presidents don't have to be heroes to be good presidents. They just have to realize that their humanity is our common humanity, and that their political commonwealth is our political commonwealth, too.
Watch him behind the seal of the President of the United States. Isn't he a funny man? Isn't what happened to that lady hilarious? Watch the assembled morons cheer. This is the only story now."
- Charles Pierce



Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Zion is unhappy on Sundays and holidays.

Yes, Sundays and holidays are not to his liking.

'Tis because there is no mail delivery on those days.

My lovely dog is crazy about our regular Letter Carrier.

The mail usually arrives mid to late afternoon at which time I am often to be found on my Lanai reading a good book.

The letter carrier (Sh-ane) first delivers mail on a street which is roughly parallel to mine, but on the other side of our lovely retention pond. 

Zi-Zi (Zion) recognizes the sound of his van and becomes alert, even more when he sees the van (across the pond, some three hundred yards away).

That's our signal to go outside.  I know that the mail will arrive in about five to eight minutes.

We wait.  Zion holds his head up high.

When the mail van gets near I let Zi-Zi off the leash and he bounds forward ready to greet my letter carrier, not only to get a treat, but also because he is is entirely fond of Sh-ne, and Sh-ane of him.

I may have posted about this before.  

Forgetting which here are a couple of pictures of today's Zion and Sh-ne  encounters


Fabulous Dog.  Great Letter Carrier.

Monday, 26 November 2018

My awful and groaner joke.

I was at the office of my Podiatrist (Dr. Arthur C)  for a treatment this morning.

I asked if he had thought about merging his business with a local Landscaper.

He was bemused until I said you could call the merged business 


He groaned.  Then he laughed. Then he added that he would try out my awful joke on his wife (Dr. Dawn C) who is also a podiatrist.



Sunday, 25 November 2018

Tactile pleasure

So much produce is packed in tightly sealed plastic  (blah). that it is hard to remember that it once grew on a tree, or a bush, or in the soil.

I rebel against this industrialization of our food. I try very  hard not  to buy those "oh so convenient" bags of lettuce, onions, squashes etc. which have been pealed, chopped and "washed" prior to being sold.  (Much loved Trader Joes is a serial offender.)

I take primitive pleasure in peeling root vegetables


as I did today.  

I par-boiled  the peeled carrots, together with some par-boiled parsnips.  Then I roasted them alongside a butternut squash with maple syrup in the "well".


Such a good meal!

Damn!  Delicious!  Delightful!