Saturday 31 December 2011

Happy New Year Saturday Sepians

The postman's been and gone; now it won't be long before the New Year arrives with a bang.

Back in 1945 when I was young you were prompted to make

Prior to the revolution you might have even received a card (if you lived in Russia)

Happy Christmas & New Year
Very rare pre-1917 postcard (CC BY-SA 2.0 - paukmus Rusian)

If you are inclined to make resolutions for the coming year in 1907 you might have been inspired by this.

Captain James Cook's Ship Resolution 1907
(from James Cook, The Circumnavigator, London - John Murray 1907)

Don't forget to visit other Sepians at Sepia Saturday's Christmas & New Year

All that's left for me to do now is to wish you all 

New Year Day postcard c1900
(by Its Lassie Time)

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Yeats's Haunted Tower

Thoor Ballylee
 (By Dr Charles Nelson - CC A-SA 2.0)

The 16th century Ballylee Castle stands near the town of Gort in County Galway. The castle originally belonged to the De Burgo (Burke) family before becoming part of the estates of the Earls of Clanrickarde.

William Butler Yeats purchased the castle and its adjoining cottage in 1917, He renamed the property Thoor Ballylee (“Thoor” is Irish for tower.) Yeats and his family lived there during the summer for 12 years.

Ballylee was abandoned and fell into ruin in the 1930s. However it was fully restored for the centenary of Yeats's birth in 1965 when it was reopened as a Yeats memorial and heritage centre.

Ballylee inspired Yeats to write “The Winding Stair” and “The Tower” poem collections. On the first floor of the four-storey tower a steep spiral staircase hewn from stone winds to the upper floors about which he wrote,
"I declare this tower is my symbol; I declare
This winding, gyring, spring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair.”

As part of his restoration Yeats had this short verse carved on a slate and embedded into the tower wall.
Yeats's Verse
 (By James Yardley - CC BY-SA 2.0)

 I, the poet William Yeats
With old mill boards and sea-green slates,
And smithy work from the Gort forge,
Restored this tower for my wife George,
And may these characters remain
When all is ruin once again.

Yeats believed in ghosts and thought that the tower was haunted by an Anglo-Norman soldier.

A curator was reluctant to climb the winding stair at the end of a day; she was convinced a spectral form wandered the worn stairway. Her dog frequently appeared terrified of something in the downstairs rooms.

In 1989 a photographer took some pictures in Yeats’s sitting room. When his film was developed there was a ghostly silhouette of what appeared to be a young man standing in front of the camera; no one else had been in the room at the time the photo was taken. It has been suggested that the ghostly boy may have been Yeats’s own son.
Thoor Ballylee
 (By James Yardley - CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tuesday 27 December 2011

Favourites - Thematic Photography

I've a whole host of archive pictures taken during the year, Here are some that were favourites when first taken or else there is a not to be forgotten reason behind the shot.

One frosty morning  I came across this group when the sun was just beginning to win the battle for the day.
Spring Lambs
The next photo was sent to me by my daughter. You have seen this chap before (Seeing red ) but you might not recognise him here.
Cody's had his haircut
There isn't a cheese to match my next favourite from the summer time.
Cornish Blue
And if you were a bee, you would fall in love with this:
When you've drunk you fill you can buzz off here to see others' favourites via Carmi's blog

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Strangers - Thematic Photography

Strangers in my photos are there for a variety of reasons. On Brunel's SS Great Britain it was the anchor I was interested in.
Anchor for SS Great Britain 
No matter how I tried for a picture of the anchor in the Bristol dry dock under the bows of the ship, strangers got in the way.

In other pictures the stangers are needed as an integral part of the action like this one shot in Norway.
A Foal's Feeding Time
In Germany this street scene would not be complete without all the strangers involved.
Freiburg Street Market
My final photo is one where the strangers had to be included although the dogs were the stars for me.
Forest of Dean Dog Show - Judge under pressure?
For other 'Strangers in Paradise' photography visit them here on Carmi's blog

Monday 19 December 2011

Post Early For Christmas - Sepia Saturday

Now they are arriving from people to whom I have I have not sent a card so all I can do now is plead

(LP Cover)

deliver them in time.

Back in 1856 the village postman needed a means to get around.
The Village Postman (copy from a book by JM Carrick)
It must have been an art to make deliveries then as Van Gogh's postman would confirm.
Van Gogh - Portrait of Joseph-Etienne Roulin 1889
I wonder who received a letter from Russia with love in the early 1900s.
Russian Empire Postman (unknown author)
At that time a postman had a hazardous occupation in many places so if your post is late there could be a tragic reason.
Memorial Stone to Robert Cunningham-Postman
Stone located on Killantringan Moor (Photo by Keith Brown: CC A-S A 2.0 generic license)
Robert Cunningham died in a snow storm in 1908
If you should hear your door bell just wait and see because remember the postman always rings twice. If you're lucky when you open your door to see it will turn out to be
Postman pat
Postman Pat
(Photo by Pete Reed - ex flickr: CC BY-NC 2.0)

Merry Christmas one and all. May the postman deliver you lots of cards from the ones you love

Sunday 18 December 2011

Norwegian Christmas - Sunday Stamps

Like most people I have so many Christmas stamps that it is difficult to choose those to show. I decided to post this sheet from Norway commemorating 75 years of Christmas stamps.
Norway's First Christmas Stamps 75 Years (1980)
Nasjonalforeningens og Sanitetsforeningens julemerke 1980 translates as The National Association and Gray Ladies Society Christmas stamps 1980.

I understand The Gray Ladies are the Red Cross volunteer workers who provide non-professional care and services for the sick and convalescent in hospitals.

To see what others have chosen for the holiday theme don't forget to visit Viridian's sunday stamps 49

Just in case I don't get the chance to join in next week, I wish all who participate in Sunday Stamps a very Happy Christmas. My special thanks to Viridian for the work she does each week in keeping us on our toes.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Dog Tired - Thursday Photo Challenge

The Thursday challenge is a thematic collaboration of bloggers. This weeks theme was "shoes."

This pup was dog tired.

Put on your walking shoes and click here to find other fine posts about shoes.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: A-Z Reflections – snoitcelfeR Z-A by Bob Scotney

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: A-Z Reflections – snoitcelfeR Z-A by Bob Scotney: Today we have the Reflections post from Bob Scotney at Bob's Home for Writing . He tells us about his first Challenge and what his re...

Larking About - Sepia Saturday

What better way to start than:
Hail to thee, blithe spirit
Skylark with a caterpillar in its beak
 (By Daniel Pettersson - CC A-S A 2.5 Sweden License)

Percy Bysshe Shelly’s first line of his poem ‘To a Skylark’ is known all around the world.

In Britain the skylark numbers have fallen dramatically and I can’t remember seeing or hearing one in the last twenty years. It seems unbelievable that once they were considered a delicacy and appeared in Christmas feasts. Larks, commonly consumed with bones intact, historically were considered as wholesome, delicate, and light game. They were used in a number of dishes, for example, they were stewed, broiled, or used as filling in meat pies. Lark's tongues were particularly highly valued. Shrinking habitats made lark meat rare and hard to come by, though it can still be found in restaurants in Italy and elsewhere in Southern Europe.

For the cooks among you there is an ancient recipe for larks:
·        Pound the flesh of two larks in a mortar; add some butter, some chopped samphire, some breadcrumbs soaked in milk, some Malaga raisins, and some crushed juniper berries.
·        Stuff a third lark with the mixture and roast it on a spit covered with samphire leaves and a strip of fat bacon.
·        Serve on a crouton soaked in gin, and then toasted and buttered
(Samphire is the name given to a number of edible plants that grow in coastal areas. It is mentioned by Shakespeare in King Lear: Half-way down Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! [Act IV, Scene VI]. This refers to the dangers involved in collecting rock samphire on sea cliffs.)

In the 18th and 19th centuries, 'lark women' were a common sight in the streets of Leipzig, Germany. They sold finger food to the people from baskets hanging from their arms. Larks or skylarks were the major ingredient of the food. Larks were said to have an aphrodisiac effect – even Casanova ordered them from Leipzig.

The big lark business in Leipzig came to a sudden end, when the Saxon King prohibited the killing of skylarks in 1876, due to public protests. A Leipzig baker then invented a sweet alternative, now known as the "Leipziger Lerche" (Leipzig Lark). This short pastry cake contains marzipan, almonds and strawberry jam, its appearance resembling that of the original lark pies. The Leipzig Lark is now a favorite Leipzig souvenir. And lark women are only seen as guides for guest in the streets of Leipzig...
Lark women in front of Gohlis Palace, Leipzig
(Photo: LTM - Keuhne)

Should you be one of those who likes birds for a Christmas feast then perhaps you would like the pie sent to King George III by James, Earl of Lonsdale. It contained contained 9 geese, 2 tame ducks, 2 turkeys, 4 fowls, 6 pigeons, 6 wild ducks, 3 teals, 2 starlings, 12 partridges, 15 woodcocks, 2 Guinea fowls, 3 snipes, 6 plovers, 3 water-hens, 1 wild goose, 1 curlew, 46 yellow-hammers, 15 sparrows, 15 chaffinches, 2 larks, 4 thrushes, 12 fieldfares, 6 blackbirds, 20 rabbits, 1 leg of veal, half a ham, 3 bushels flour, and 2 stones of butter. It weighed 22 stones, was carried to London in a two horse wagon, and if it was not as dainty as the celebrated pie containing four-and-twenty blackbirds, which, when the pie was opened, began to sing, it was, at all events, a ‘dish to set before the king.’

George III became King in 1760, around 100 years after the poet and politician Edmund Waller had written.

The Lark

The lark, that shuns on lofty boughs to build
Her annual nest, lies silent in the field.
But if the promise of a cloudy day,
Aurora smiling, bids her rise and play,
Then straight she shews, ‘twas not for want of voice,
Or power to climb, she made so low a choice:
Singing she mounts, her airy wings are stretch’d
T’wards heav’n, as if from heav’n her notes she fetch’d

I’ve larked around long enough with only two photos to show, it’s time for you to fly off and check other festive fare at Sepia Saturday

Tuesday 13 December 2011

One Thing - Thematic Photography

The theme I've chosen for my 'one thing' photos is that of wildlife. All these pictures are from Michigan, the first from an Oakwood swamp.
Great Blue Heron
Then, of course, there's Harry who visits a Deer Trail Lake.
Great Blue Heron
Meanwhile in Rochester there is just one collecting nuts.
Squirrel near the Paint Creek Trail
There is always one black 'sheep' in the family.
Black Squirrel (trying to get in on the act) 
But they're mine, all mine!

To check out other 'one things' the only place to go is Carmi's thematic-photographic one.

Sunday 11 December 2011

Norske Frimerker 1979 - Sunday Stamps

In 1979 I went to Norway on a three month work assignment. One thing followed another before I returned to the UK permanently nine years and 51 weeks later. In that first year one of the things I bought was a collection of  Norwegian Stamps - Norske Frimerker 1979.
Norske Frimerker 1979 (in their original pack)
Working downwards row by row the stamps are:
  • Centenary of the Holmenkollen Skiing Contests
  • The International Year of the Child
  • Norwegian scenery
  • Centenary of the novelist Johan Falkberget
  • Norwegian Engineering
  • Norwegian mountain flowers.
For other stamps from the frozen north visit Sunday Stamps 48

Thursday 8 December 2011

Steven's Grandparents - Sepia Saturday

When in America earlier this year I found this photo on the wall of my daughter's and son-in-law's home.

Maria Skǒumka and Tadeusz Alfonse Glogowski
This is a photograph of of photograph of a photograph taken before WWII in Warsaw. Maria and Tadeusz  were the grandparents of Steven, my son-in-law.

Tadeusz had been born in the Ukraine but after the Russian Revolution his mother took him at the age of 14 and Stefan, his 16 year-old brother, to Poland. Both brothers were Russian speakers. However Stefan did not like Poland and returned to Russia when he was 17 only to be arrested as a spy. He spent 8 years in Siberia before going to live in Palestine.

Tadeusz’s mother had high hopes for him; he was introduced to the Polish Ambassador in 1921-23 and mixed in Polish society’s highest levels. A clever man he was a humorist but he didn’t particularly like the ladies amongst whom his mother hoped he would find a wife. He married Maria Skǒumka, an orphan girl whom he had met in a pub when she was 17. They had a daughter and Stefan, a son who was to become Steven’s father. The daughter died when Stefan was 2 years old.

Tadeusz became an accountant and worked for a Warsaw tyre company. He was killed in 1939 when the Germans bombed Warsaw; he did not get to the air-raid shelter with the rest of his family when his home was hit.

It's ironic that thanks to Steven I can post this information about his grandparents but can only search census records and the like to find out about mine.  

I managed a related couple in a sepia photo to link to other posts here

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Seeing Red - Thematic Photography

In meeting the weekly themes set by Carmi I'm seeing things and interpreting photos in a different way than was intented when they were taken. Here's some that have me 'Seeing Red.'
This plant has been in our garden for a long time, but decided to flower this past summer.

Cody has been around a long time too but is always ready for a game. When his coat is long then he is reddish as well.
Cody, waiting for the kick-off.
He's is only pretending to be alseep.

Also at the ready at Stockton's riverside was this fire engine with the high reach ladder and hose.
Simon Snorkel
Fire practice
A pedigree Border Collar with her red prizes has a water connection as well.
Elemark Waterlily (Lily)

This house in Yarm maintains both the red and and the water link.

Flood Cottage, Yarm

 And finally there is this fellow, definitely seeing red after flying into our lounge window early one morning.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
 If you want to 'spot' some more then please visit seeing-red

Monday 5 December 2011

Writelinkers Magazine 2011

The Writelinkers Magazine 2011 is available now to read on line or download as a pdf. Over 50 pages of Christmas reading all written by members of the Writelink online community.

You'll find articles, stories, poems, recipes and lots of fun when follow the links from WRITELINKERS-2011

You can get close and personal with me and check out my piece on Christmas Rituals.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Universal Postage Union - Sunday Stamps

Last week I put up a first day cover and this week I discovered another that I had forgotten.

Universal Postage Union Centenary 1974
 The four stamps issued on 12 June 1974 show methods of transport which have played a part in overseas mail in the hundred years, 1874 - 1974.
  • 3.1/2p - The P&O packet steamer of 1888
  • 5.1/2p - The first official air mail flight from London to Paris at the time of the Coronation of George V in 1911.
  • 8p - An Imperial Airways flying boat of 1937 which was later used on the England-Australia service.
  • 10p -The blue air mail van and posting box first seen in London in 1930.
 To see what others have posted this week don't forget to visit Viridian's Sunday Stamps 47

Thursday 1 December 2011

Heigh-ho, the derry-o - Sepia Saturday

When I saw the photo I didn't know where to start. Googling nurses got me to some naughty pictures so I though I would start nearer home with one of my favourite castles.
Richmond Castle

(By Ambersky235 - ex flickr - CC B-NC-SA 2.0)

I had to go much further away to find my group of nurses all looking very smart.
Early Memphis Nursing Sisters
But then I remembered this.
Nurse's Song (Innocence)
The poem by William Blake starts 
When voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still.

From one song to another with a nurse involved.
The child takes a nurse,
The child takes a nurse.
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The child takes a nurse.
The nurse takes a dog,
The nurse takes a dog,
Heigh-ho, the derry-o,
The nurse takes a dog

I hope you all recognised the song - The Farmer in the Dell - which originated in Germany in 1820.

Now we are in December and Christmas is drawing near it's time for Dickens and I'm sure you'll all remember his character Tiny Tim. That link's enough for me to launch into the lyrics of  Tiny Tim.

Miss Lucy had a baby, a baby.
Miss Lucy had a baby and she named him Tiny Tim.
She put him in the bathtub to teach him how to swim.

He drank up all the water,
He ate up all the soap he tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down his throat.
Miss Lucy called the doctor
Miss Lucy called the nurse,
Miss Lucy called the lady with the alligator purse.

Operation said the doctor,
Operation said the nurse,
Operation said the lady with the alligator purse.
Out came the water, out came the soap,

Out came the bathtub that wouldn't go down his throat.
Goodbye said the doctor,
Goodbye said the nurse,
Goodbye said the lady with the alligator purse. 

It's goodbye from them and goodbye from me. But before you leave don't forget to see other Sepia Saturday posts 
[Attributions: Bathtub - monicams; soap - laurianne; Alligator bag - nerissa's ring - CC BY 2.0]