Showing posts from February 3, 2019

Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations.

Published by Faber, Strauss and Giroux, New York 2007.
It's a fine biography of a remarkable, courageous, wise, foresighted, and utterly determined Englishwoman.
Born to a prosperous Co. Durham family, (wealthy industrialists with a liberal conscience), she obtained a First in History at Oxford in just two years; traveled in Europe and became a renowned mountaineer (in the days before crampons were invented, and women climbers were rare).  
She was fluent in six languages.
But her passion became what we used to call the Near East, or Mesopotamia:  the modern lands of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Palestine.
There she traveled the great deserts, seeking and exploring  ancient archaeological sites; making maps of  the ancient desert cities and camel routes.
She might have gone down in history as a great archaeologist, but Gertrude Bell could not be placed in a convenient small box.   
She began to delight in the various and sundry Arab cultures, clans, tribes, religions; (…

Bluebirds on Cape Cod

From Cape Cod photography blog, via Chris G

Bluebirds feasting on a meal worm feeder on Cape Cod, MA  during the recent very cold weather.    Fabulous photography  eh?

1949 - "I wish, I wish, I wish"

Image -  nothing to do with my story -  just to get your attention!


1949 at Nanny Povey's house  (she was my paternal grandmother).

My two older sisters and my twin sister were teasing me.  I was think skinned then (and I am often thin skinned now).

I cried out  (or so I seem to remember)  "I wish, I wish, I wish I had a brother".

Well, you never know.  Between 1950 and 1956  I was given four brothers,  and another sister.

The first of this gang of brothers, Andrew James, was born on 7th February 1950.


(1) Lovely. (2) Silly

LOVELY   Snowcycles at Bard College, 2nd Feb 2019 (via Martha S)

SILLY   via Bruce L

As a former preacher - occasionally guilty as charged


Filching a line from a Christmas Hymn

I sit down on my Lanai to read. 

Then this appears, and rests his head on my thigh.

"Who would not love him, loving me so dearly"

WNYC "On the Media"

Great programme, broadcast in Sarasota on WUSF,  Sunday afternoons at 4:00

Do take time to listen to the most recent -  compelling reports on the situation in Venezuela; on the legacy of Simon Bolivar; on U.S. interventions in Central and South America; and on the fate of the Vigher people in China.

His name is Bodie

As I've mentioned previously, one of the things I love about Sarasota's Arlington Park is that I see a lot of children there, maybe riding their bikes and scooters, or kicking a soccer ball, or simply goofing off  - without a heliocopter parent in sight.

It's a wonderfully safe place for children to play.

Today Zion stopped to engage in that canine obsession with a single blade of grass.  Up trotted a lone boy child, maybe eight or nine years old.  He asked if he could pet Mr. Z.  

Given the fears about children and strangers I said yes, given that we were in full sight of the dog park and therefore in view of many adults.  The boy and Mr. Z engaged in a love fest. 

I told him Zion's name, and asked what was his.  It is Bodie.

Bodie wandered on.  I rounded a bend,  There he was, crouched down and trying to entice a squirrel to come near.

The squirrel bounded away,  and in a sight which I found to be touching, Bodie waved it good-bye.

The best was yet to come.  As I was beginn…