Saturday, 29 February 2020

Zion's new workmate

They met at our gig at ALSO Youth on 27th Feb 2020

Treat time with Olive's "Mom".

Her name is Olive. She is a sixteen month old English Mastiff; gorgeous to look at, sweet as they come, and already well trained.

  (But oh the drool!).

Zion and Olive got along well, especially at treat time.

Olive can be seen at
 Alberti's Distinctive Haircuts & Styles
Call (941) 365-6004
1379 Main Street | Downtown Sarasota  

where her Mum is the owner and operator.


Thursday, 27 February 2020

Tongue in Cheek, and UBER driver nonsense

It's been the best day of their life for many Glen Oaks Ridge Condominium Residents  (Sarasota).

We are a 55+ community of people who fret and worry about this, that and the other (and nothing).

But today was a day for exuberant and widespread celebration at GOR.  A begone dull care day.

We had fireworks, a brass band, and five or six block parties. There were sights and sounds of jubilation on our streets.  The Champagne flowed.

A bit of background.  About a year ago the City of Sarasota took over the trash and recycling collection, having been unable to secure a reasonable contract with either of the two Commercial trash/recycling contractors which operate in this area.

As part of the City takeover residents were issued with two brand 
new bins, one for trash, one for recycling.

But for reasons beyond my ken, we the humble residents did not get our new bins until today  -  a year late.

That was call for a fete, a carnival, a public display of joy at GOR.

Here they are

aren't they beautiful?  So much so that I probably won't use mine. T'would be a shame to spoil them.

P.S.  The City has opted for single stream recycling. So paper, cardboard, plastics, glass etc all go into one bin.  The giant sorting machines do the work more efficiently than householders,  (Sadly)  in Sarasota and in most communities a lot of recyclables are never  recycled, but go to the land fill after being sorted.


I used UBER today, for the first time in nearly a year.

As I got into the car, and before I put my seat belt on, my driver announced that he would not shake my hand on account of the corona virus.   Good Lord above, when did we become a nation of babies?  And why are Chinese restaurants being boycotted; and people of apparent south east Asian origin being harassed (ah that's a good and historic American tradition).

I had to point this out to him:

Globally, an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die from the flu each year, the World Health Organization says.

In the United States alone, an estimated 12,000 people have died from the illness so far this flu season, which started September 29, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Did I have a previous life?

My good friend and parishioner at St. Stephen's, Pittsfield, MA  Dr. Bill Travis is a keen fisherman.   He found this photo' taken at Cill Rónáin pier, Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway, Ireland. 1940. 

Bill suggests that the fisherman on the left is my 1940 doppelganger!

I don't think that it's me in a previous life, since the photo' was taken in 1940 and I was born in 1944.  Besides which, I don't believe in previous lives.

On another note

This morning I again saw the woman who is grieving the loss of her dog.  I remembered her name and hailed her across the pond at Arlington Park.  She remembered my name and Zion's name and hailed us back.

I waited for her in the parking lot.  She told me that today she had made three 1/2 mile laps around the park without shedding tears.  But when we chatted in the parking lot she began to weep again.

They were good tears; healing tears.

She said that our conversation yesterday had "made her day".  It's not that I said much, but that I understood.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Was I her Angel?

My friend Kathy B-J thought that the woman who tied my shoe laces at Red Bug Slough last Sunday might have been an angel; (i.e a messenger from God).

Mary C, a mutual friend to Kathy  and to me agreed.

If so, "what was the message this 'angel'  brought just before Lent?"

Maybe it was this  "John Michael Povey accept a gracious gift from a stranger".

Oh that's tough!  JMP is an all-American; all-Sufficient male.  
Dammit, he can tie his own shoe laces. 

And so my  male mental tapes go on, and on, and on, and on, and on.

Until this morning in Arlington Park.

I sat down on a park bench to make room for what I call the "Parade of Seven"  (three owners and five dogs) as they made their anti-clockwise peregrination. We meet them most every day.

Meanwhile, walking clockwise,  a woman walker encountered the parade.  At which she began to sob uncontrollably.

"You seem to be extremely sad" I said, at which the woman sat down on the bench next to me.

And she let it all out.  Her beloved dog of many years had died.  She'd forced herself to walk in the Park knowing that she would encounter many happy dogs, and happy owners.  But the Parade of Seven was more than she could bear.

I listened to her sobs.  I asked "what is your name?", and "what was your dog's name?"

I listened to those sobs, then told her that when my beloved Penne died I sobbed for three whole days. (My sister Maureen and my brother Martyn will attest to this)

Penne the great!

The woman arose from the bench. "Thank you" she said, "that's helped me".

Oh how I hope so.  Oh how I hope that I was  a temporary angel at Arlington Park, as the shoe lace tying woman was for me at Red Bug Slough.

The sobs of grief.  'Tis a stock photo'., not of the sobbing woman I met at the Park this morning.

Monday, 24 February 2020

"Hints on pronunciation for foreigners" George Bernard Shaw

Those ough words  (see my blog re Red Bug Slough);  and other good stuff from G.B.S.


"Hints on pronunciation for foreigners"

George Bernard Shaw

I take it you already know
of tough and bough and cough and dough.
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, laugh and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead-it's said like bed, not bead.
For goodness sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat.
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for pear and bear.
And then there's dose and rose and lose
Just look them up--and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward.
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come I've hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,
I'd mastered it when I was five!


There is also his explanation of how he spelt "fish"-


"gh" sounds like "f" in laugh
"o" sounds like "i" in women
"ti" sounds like "sh" in motion

Vivaldi as you've never heard him. Bobby McFerrin as you've never known him

The Woman Who Tied My Shoelaces In Public

Mr. Z and I set out yesterday morning for the Goodwill Second Hand Book Store on Clark Rd. Sarasota.

En route we took a walk at the Red Bug Slough Preserve, an oft ignored parcel of natural Florida.

 The preserve is named for the cotton stainer bug (scientific name: Dysdercus suturellus)

This link describes it well.  There are no paved walkways; the walking is on sandy trails.

Zion savoured all the new smells, his nose worked overtime.

Red Bug

 As we drew near to the parking lot on our way out we encountered an older couple (I sometimes choose to forget that I am an older man!) with their two miniature Dachshunds, one entirely black.

Stock photo'

The woman explained that her dogs were a bit yappy, but Mr. Z soon worked his calming magic on them.

Then the woman noticed that my shoe laces were somewhat awry (mid-way between teenager sloppy and Longboat Key elegant).

Despite my gentle protests she insisted on getting onto her knees and re-tying the laces on both shoes.

Well I never.  Was she a neat-freak or a concerned citizen who didn't want me to trip?

I'll never know.  But it felt distinctly odd to have a complete stranger re-tie the laces  -  in a public park!


About those ough words.  Just how are they to be pronounced?

In the case of the word "slough" I've heard it pronounced three different ways.

As in bough
As in through
As in rough