Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Your serve - Sepia Saturday

With Wimbledon in full swing it just had to be 'anyone for tennis' this week.

Who would believe that tennis has gone to the dogs?

What do you mean, it's closed?
It's meant to be an all weather court, isn't it?

Ah well , we'll just have to wait for it to open up.

Scout and Cody

They might have given me a better seat than this.

Gem - waiting for the match to begin.
Play in this heat?

Cody and Scout
You must be having a larf.

Come on, Cody! It's your serve.

Lily's receiving

Cody won't be rushed
Time out.

Bring on the trainer.
If you enjoy playing tennis as much as us you must check out the other fans at Sepia-saturday-132

Love to All, from Cody (14), Gem (13), Scout (3) and Lily (2)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Michigan Summer - Thematic Photography

The summer theme seemed to be an opportunity for me to include some shots from my recent trip to Michigan.

My daughter's dogs (well one of them) is intent on catching one of these at the edge of the lake in their grounds. Not that this fellow was at all concerned.

American Green Frog
On a summer's evening what could be better than a ride in one of these.

Hot Air Balloon

This one landed within 200 yards of the house and then took off again.

Up, up and away
Meanwhile the boats are waiting for a tow to a nearby lake.

Beached (or grassed)
With temperatures nearing 100F it was time for the dogs to be shampooed and trimmed leading to:

Cody (in bandanna) and Scout
Why do you smell so different now?

Even Lily gets in on the act.

Scout and Lily (Cody hidden)
Little does she know  that it's her turn next.

For more summery action you need to turn to others at Carmi's Welcome Summer

Sunday, 24 June 2012

USA 1900s - Sunday Stamps

As I acquired more stamps while I was in the USA it seemed right to show some more as it is an 'own choice' week.

These are from the Celebrate the Century Series and represent the 1900s.

USA - 1900s
These commemorate

  • The Great Train Robbery - film of 1903
  • The first Crayola crayons form 1903 - they cost 5 cents and the pack contained 8 colours
  • The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 - which prohibited the sale of adulterated or misbranded food
  •  December 12 1903 - the Wright Bros. first aeroplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
For stamps chosen by others don't forget to check out Viridian's sunday-stamps-76

Friday, 22 June 2012

Swings and Roundabouts - Sepia Saturday

Three famous fairs came to my mind as soon as I saw this week's 'merry-go-round' (or is it a Noah's Ark?).

Some of you may recognise this place.

Scarborough - 1981
Just in case you've forgotten here's a little reminder about Scarborough Fair.

Scarborough Fair - Simon & Garfunkel

Scarborough Fair originated from a charter granted by King Henry III in 1253. The charter gave Scarborough the privilege of a yearly fair to be held from the Feast of the Assumption until the Feast of St Michael. The 45-day fair started on August 15th and was a huge trading event. In the early 17th century competition from other towns' markets and fairs made Scarborough's fair financially untenable. Scarborough Fair ended in 1788.

Widdecombe Fair is much younger taking place on the second Tuesday in September since c1850 in the Dartmoor village of Widdecombe-in-the-Moor in Devon. It's the subject of a folk song, also called Tam Pierce, known all over the world.

Tam Pierce - Burl Ives

Originally described as a cattle fair Widdecombe Fair soon was known for other livestock especially the local-bred sheep and Dartmoor Ponies. A sports day for schoolchildren and stalls for rural arts and crafts were introduced in the 1920s and 30s. Today visitors will see, in addition to the livestock, displays of farm produce, vintage farm machinery, bale tossing, a dog show and terrier racing. The terrier racing replaced pony classes cancelled in 1989 after an outbreak of equine flu. 

Naturally Uncle Tom Cobley makes a traditional appearance riding a grey mare.

For my last fair I'm coming back to Yarm where I lived for over 20 years.The charter for a fair was granted to Yarm by King John in the early 13th century. Originally the fair saw the sale of cattle, horses, sheep and cheese and at one time the fair was the biggest fair for cheese in North East England. In the early 1900s over 500 tons of cheese would be traded from unprotected stacks on the pavement. There would be no chance of that happening these days.

Fair in c.1949

Modern ride at Yarm fair

In 1901 the High Street was packed with shows, roundabouts, cattle and sightseers The modern fair consists of white knuckle rides, fortune tellers, lots of bright lights and loud music. Many businesses now close down while the fair is in town and the horse trading has been moved away from the main street.

Yarm High Street
(Photo by Ian Britton - - Creative Commons licence)

Yarm Town Hall
(Photo by Ian Britton - - Creative Commons licence)

At one time hundreds of horses would be bought and sold after being put through their paces. In his book, The Yarm of Yesterday, Malcolm Race tells the story of a young boy left in charge of a horse while his grandfather was in one of Yarm’s many pubs.  The boy was only too pleased the lead the animal up and down the High Street for a prospective buyer. The man had handed over £50 and was leading the horse away when he discovered that the horse was blind. The boy had long since disappeared!

Yarm Fair - rides surround the Town Hall
(Photo by thornej - - Creative Commons Licence)

For more fun of the fair I suggest you visit Sepia-saturday-131 where I'm sure you will find some more to make you dizzy.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tell me a story - Thematic Photography

Congratulations to Carmi for reaching a 200 thematic photographic milestone. For this week he has chosen an abstract theme.

As I am preparing to travel back to the UK later today I only have one picture for you today. This was taken through a double glazed window. The tree is 400 yards away; the birds are rooks.

There are several collective names for rooks. This photo may hit them all.

  • Building - who put that scaffolding there"
  • Parliament - a lot of hot air
  • Clamour - you can hear them this far away.
  • Story tellling - about the bird that got the worm.

For other abstract celebratory posts please visit thematic-photographic-200

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

There's Many A Slip - Sepia Saturday

This week’s photo from The State Library of New South Wales  features a couple embracing whilst a cat escapes from between their legs. The man is in uniform and they are either saying ‘goodbye’ or ‘hello’. The cat is bored by all the spooning going on.

This reminded me of the man who said to a lady he did not know, "Excuse me, Madame. Your slip is showing.

Annoyed, she retorted, "Don't look now but so is your father's."

All sorts of slip exist. It's a fielding position in cricket,  a tie, a place where ships are launched and even:

A slip of the tongue

Which leads me to William Archibald Spooner

Caricature of William Archibald Spooner - 1898
By Leslie Ward - published in Vanity Fair
Spooner became famous for so-called spoonerisms or play on words where constonants, vowels and parts of words are mixed.

And example appropriate to our prompt picture might be, "It is kisstomary to cuss the bride."

This Diamond Jubilee Year of our Queen

Queen Elizabeth II - 2007
(NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Spooner could have said, "Let's glaze our arses to the queer old Dean" but actually he is reputed to have said this alluding to our other "Diamond" Lady.

Queen Victoria - c1900
(One of her last photos from 'Victoria Images of her World)
It's a common occurrence for a language to be misused either by accident or deliberately. The term malapropism comes from Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play The Rivals and in particular the character Mrs Malaprop who frequently misspoke words to comic effect. (Malapropos is and adlective/adverb meaning  inappropriate/inappropriately) derived from the French mal à propos (literally "ill-suited").

Comedians and stars in films and on television have made use of malopropism's and not to leave the cat in our picture out in the cold there's this from Stan Laurel in the Laurel and Hardy film "Any Old Port".

"What a terrible cat's after me."

To avoid further linguistic disasters I suggest you take a look at other interpretations of our lovers at Sepia Saturday-130

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Got the blues - Thematic Photography

Somehow I don't think that you will be depressed when you see these picture selected for Carmi's "Got the blues" theme.

Polar bear with the blues.
Even if that chap was depressed there is no doubting the fun this bear's having.

Polar bear icing
You may say there's no blue in my next shot unless you count the jeans worn by the bike rider.

Road sign - Oxford Michigan
When there are sports competitions between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England the participants are awarded a 'Blue."

Oxford. Michigan has its own 'blue".

Oxford, MI, light blue water tower
In England however Oxford Blues are dark blue which would not be as attractive on a water tower.

Meanwhile on the East Coast of England there is this beach view.

Whitby, Yorkshire (looking north)
And if you try hard while you are there you may even get a shot of the replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour

The Endeavour approaching Whitby.
If these views aren't blue enough for you, and even if they are, you should take a trip across to Carmi at thematic photographic 199.

Friday, 8 June 2012

String of Pearls - Sepia Saturday

The first thing that caught my eye was the string of pearls worn by the lady being served tea from a silver pot. Pearl fishing has been going on for centuries and in place like India it was a big undertaking.

Pearl fishery at Tuticorin, India
Artwork by Johann Nieuhof, c 1663
But the string of pearls that I remember best is that of the late Glen Miller

Glen Miller - 1942 recording

This modern day string of pearls  is a marvel to behold.

Cosmic dust clouds in Messier 78
This image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78, just to the north of Orion’s belt, shows clouds of cosmic dust threaded through the nebula like a string of pearls. The  observations, made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope and shown here in orange, use the heat glow of interstellar dust grains to show astronomers where new stars are being formed. They are overlaid on a view of the region in visible light. 

I must include a lady wearing a sting of pearls; the one I've chosen is  Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of US President Theodore Roosevelt after launching the USS Theodore Roosevelt in October 1959.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth - 1959

Can you see the broken champagne bottle in her hand. She was supposed to break the bottle on the bow of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the first Polaris submarine built on the West Coast. She had declined a dress rehearsal for the launching ceremony. She missed the ship when she swung the bottle and in desperation threw the bottle at the ship - and missed again. Fortunately a crew member on the ship pulled the bottle up by the attached cable and smashed the bottle on the bow before the ship hit the water.

The string of pearls that Alice was wearing was a wedding present given her by the Cuban government.

Somehow I don't think she would have been relaxed enough to listen to:

Aria from The Pearl Fishers - Bizet
Lorna Pollock - piano.

For more pearls of wisdom you should visit Sepia Saturday-129

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Natural World - Thematic Photograpy

As I'm in Michigan it seemed right to me to post some photos taken there even if they are from previous visits.

Traverse City Harbour
OK, I'll admit that man has changed the view a bit as he has also in the next shot.

Lake Michigan from the Mountain Dew golf course
This shot was taken from an elevated tee on the golf course at the Homestead, Michigan's fresh water resort. That island on the horizon is South Manitou  which in the Ojibwe Indian legend of the sleeping bear is one of the two cubs of Mishe Mokwa. Mishe Mokwa and her two cubs tried to swim the Lake to escape a fire. The cubs did not make and drowned. The great spirit Manitou formed the two islands North and South Manitou as the cubs' resting places. Meanwhile Mishe Mokwa became the sleeping bear dunes on the Lake Michigan shore - where she had waited for her cubs in vain..

Meanwhile nearer home it was foggy on the island of Tresco in the Scilly Isles.

Tresco - 2008
Also in Tresco near the Island Hotel we could see a pile of rocks - not put there by man.

These reminded me of a rocky place in Yorkshire.

Brimham Rocks, Yorkshire
(photo by Penny Mayes - CC A-S A 2.0 generic license)
If that leaves you between a rock and a hard place I can only suggest you take a look at some more of the natural world at Carmi's thematic-photographic-198

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Found in the USA - Sunday Stamps

I did not expect to take part this week as I am staying with my daughter in Michigan. However I 'found' some stamps in her desk so here's my photograph.

These are from the 'Celebrate the Century' series and represent the 1940s with the jitterbug, abstract impressionism and the post war baby boom.

I shall have to see what else I can find for next week.. Meanwhile enjoy other finds at Viridian's sunday-stamps-73.

Friday, 1 June 2012

There's Nothing Like a Dame - Sepia Saturday

Alan’s prompt this week is a photo of Sophie Tucker.

Sophie was born in the Ukraine. When her parents emigrated to the USA Sophie sang in her mother’s restaurant to entertain diners. She began her career in 1906 at the Old Music Hall in New York. She performed for 62 years in burlesque, vaudeville and English music halls.

Sophie Tucker - What's My Line (1957)

If you are looking for a quote by Sophie Tucker there is one that stands out, “from birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a personality. From fifty-five on she needs good cash.”

In Paris in 1926 an African-American expatriate singer dancer and entertainer became an overnight sensation at the Folies Bergère when she performed the Danse sauvage wearing a costume of a skirt made from a string of artificial bananas and little else. Her name was Josephine Baker. – her erotic dancing and near nude performances were renowned.

Josephine Baker
in banana skirt from Folies 
Bergère  production "Un Vent de Folie." (1927 by Walery)
In the early 1960s I had the privilege to spend a month in France on a steel industry exchange scheme. We were taken to the Folies for an evening out. There were no artificial bananas but I can vouch for the ‘little else.’

The Bar at the Folies Bergère was made famous by Édouard Manet whose painting depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaines, standing before a mirror.

Bar in the Folies  Bergère - Édouard Manet (1881-82)
I suppose my knowledge of the English music hall is limited to the BBC series ‘The Good Old Day’ which ran from 1953 to 1983. It was a regular occurrence for someone to sing the songs made famous by the great Marie Lloyd whose life overlapped with both Sophie and Josephine Baker.

Marie Lloyd
(Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)
Marie Lloyd’s ability to add lewdness to the most innocent of lyrics led to frequent clashes with the guardians of morality. She first appeared in the USA in 1897, but in 1913 was initially refused entry for ‘moral turpitude. A story indicative of her reputation suggests that when peoples objected to a song “I Sits Among the Cabbages and Peas” with its double entendre, she altered the lyrics to “I sits among the cabbages and leeks.”

I suppose to make another link to Sophie’s “I Can’t Get Enough of …” we should finish with Marie:

For more musical entertainment make sure you see what others have provided at Sepia-saturday-128