Monthly Archives: November 2017

A change of plans for Brian

Hello everyone that has followed my postings over the past few years.  I have really enjoyed it all – and I hope you have too – but all things must come to an end sometime and I think it is the time for me.

I won’t bore you with details – let’s just say Brian’s brains keep deciding far too often not to function correctly!  Hopefully I shall still feel able to post items – but they may be a bit wider apart than recently.

Thank you all for your support and comments – I shall miss it.

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In Flanders Fields

John McCrae is remembered for what is probably the best known and most popular of all First World War poetry.  It is believed that he was so moved by the death of his friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmet, who had been killed by a shell burst, and inspired by the profusion of wild poppies he could see in the nearby cemetery, that he wrote In Flanders Fields. Sadly, John McCrae did not survive WW1; he died from pneumonia whilst on active duty in 1918.  He is buried at the Commonwealth War Grave Commission, Wimereux Communal cemetery.

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We live, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold on high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The words of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, Canadian Army (1872-1918)

My mother’s father was involved in this war and served in many areas of conflict – but not in Flanders.  He died in the mid-1930s and, according to my mother, the doctor said it was because of what he did in the war.

 

What Guy Fawkes could have done!

I just can’t leave the following alone.  It was in the ‘Daily Mail’ of Saturday 28th October 2017 in their ‘Weekend Magazine’ supplement.  It reads:

‘If Guy Fawkes had managed to blow up Parliament on this day – Saturday 5th November 1605 – it has been calculated that the 5,500lbs of gunpowder would have also destroyed everything within a 500-metre radius – and that that would have included Westminster Abbey!’

 

A lady I wish I had known

In looking through various sources – like notes – and ideas – and luck for posing I often find something that is new to me.  That has happened today when I found something by Dawn Powell.  She was new to me so I dug a little deeper and discovered that she died in 1965.  Going deeper I found her work was very nice and I’ll certainly ‘come back to her again’.  The piece I chose is perfect for this – it was published on Wednesday 3rd November 1954 and reads as follows:

‘Notes for talk – people like different books at different times in their lives.  It seems odd that such difficult ponderous writers as Walter Scott, Dumas, Victor Hugo are so often pets of our youth when later in life they seem almost over our heads.  It must be that, at 12 or 13, our heads need filling – there are few experiences and knowledge to furnish resistance, so the story has a wide screen.  The young reader has no experience of his own to debate the story; he accepts it wholly, is gullible, it blooms in his mind completely.  Trollope is certainly a writer for adults.’

1st November 1665 and Samuel Pepys goes visiting

I know this is being posted on 3rd November but it is my fault and not Samuel!  Why the delay?  I got tied up in getting some December different work completed.  That’s done now – so let’s get on with Mr P…..  Samuel and his wife are off and he writes:

‘My Lord Brouncker with us to Mrs. Williams’s lodgings, and Sir W. Batten, Sir Edmund Pooly and others; and there, it being my Lord’s birth-day, had every one a green riband tied in our hats very foolishly; and methinks mighty disgracefully for my Lord to have his folly so open to all the world with this woman.’

[Sir Edmund Pooly is the M.P. for Bury St. Edmunds and in the list of proposed Knights of the Royal Oak of Suffolk]

We’ll have another encounter with Sir Edmund again later in this month and one with Sir Edmund’s wife in August next year