Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Glen Campbell, RIP

I remember many of his songs, but this one was new to me when I spotted it on the Tube o' U today.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Feminine logic

There follows the gist of a conversation I enjoyed had yesterday with the Old Bat. I was ironing a t-shirt of hers but was unsure were she would want me to put it later.

Me: Where does this green t-shirt of your live?

OB: In the t-shirt drawer.

Me: I am never sure which of your t-shirts go in the t-shirt drawer and which go on hangers in the wardrobe.

OB: All my t-shirts go in the t-shirt drawer. Except those that go on hangers.

There are times when it seems easiest just to keep quiet.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A hundred years

I am always slightly surprised when there are large-scale (well, largish) events commemorating something that happened a century ago. I'm reasonably sure I would remember if there had been anything done to commemorate the Crimean War (battle of Balaclava, Florence Nightingale, the Charge of the Light Brigade) when the centenary occurred in the 1950's, but perhaps it is just that the Crimean War didn't leave such a mark on the hearts and minds of my fellow countrymen as did the First World War.

There are, I would suggest, two major battles from that war that are deeply etched into our consciousness: the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and the Third Battle of Ypres, commonly known as the Battle of Passchendaele, in 1917. Indeed, the centenary of the start of that battle occurs next weekend.

Briefly, Passchendaele is a small village a few miles from the Belgian town of Ypres, also spelt Ieper and known to the Tommies of WW1 as Wipers. It was considered vital to the war effort to capture the ridge on which the village stood. the attack was launched on 31st July, but it was until 10th November that Canadian troops finally captured the village. The weather was appalling, as can be seen in this photograph, and there are reports of many men drowning in the mud.

Australian gunners on a duckboard track, 29 October 1917. Photo by Frank Hurley.
The number of casualties is still a matter of controversy, but the official figure of British and allied losses is in the region of 250,000.  Many of those men have no known grave - and Belgian farmers still find human bones from time to time. The Menin Gate at Ypres was erected after the war as a memorial to the men who died and on it are carved the names of those who have no known grave.

The Menin Gate. Photo Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

When the memorial was finished, it was found to be too small to contain the names of all those who had no known grave so a cut-off date of 15th August 1917 was imposed. There are, nonetheless, 54,395 names inscribed. A further memorial at Tyne Cot Cemetery has the names of the remaining 34,984 UK soldiers missing. The names of the missing New Zealand and Newfoundland soldiers are on separate memorials.

One of the main roads out of Ypres passes through the gate, but every evening the road is closed while buglers of the local fire brigade play the Last Post.  The Last Post Association web site states:
Every evening since 1928 the Last Post has been played under the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper at 8 o'clock sharp. This evening the ceremony will take place for the 30747th time.
In fact, that is not quite correct. The ceremony didn't take place while Ypres was occupied by the Germans during World War II, but on the day the German army retreated, the ceremony was reinstated. It regularly attracts considerable crowds, as can be seen in this video taekn only in April this year.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Blue sky thinking

We do get blue skies in Brighton - but not today!

This is possibly the best-known building in Brighton, the Royal Pavilion. It started life as a modest farmhouse, until the Prince Regent had it converted into his palace by the sea some 200 years ago. Can you believe that at one time there was a proposal to demolish it and build a bus station on the site?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

More on the daily photo

Some days ago, or just two blogs ago, I mentioned the City Daily Photo scheme. I had signed up to that - but my photos were more often of the countryside around the city than of the city itself. This is one such. I have just discovered that there are a couple of dozen (or maybe even more) pictures on the camera that I have done nothing with. This one, taken from the bedroom window early on an October morning back in 2013, was intended for that daily photo blog of mine, but obviously never made it.

I had long wanted to emulate those photographers who managed to capture early morning mist filling valleys, with perhaps a church spire poking through. This is the nearest I have ever got to it - and I didn't even have to leave the house!

Friday, 21 July 2017

It's the pedant in me

that objects and I have to struggle to keep my mouth shut when I hear:

"hopefully" instead of "I hope";
"was" instead of "were" (you/we was there too);
"can I get" instead of "may I have"
"should of" instead of "should have".

And there are others - but you get the idea!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

City Daily Photo

Some years ago I discovered the City daily Photo website and wasted spent a considerable amount of time each day visiting cities around the world. I even started my own daily blog with photos I took in and around Brighton.

This had all virtually (pun intended!) slipped from my memory until this morning. I had an outpatient's appointment at the hospital (no real problem, just a follow-up from an earlier consultation and no further action required) and on the way back to the car I walked past St George's church, the parish church for Kemp Town. I had photographed the church back in the 'old days', and here it is:

It doesn't look English to me!

Built in 1824-25, the total cost was £11,000. According to Wiki, "After Revd James Anderson became curate of the church in 1828, his close association with Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV, made the church very popular. The queen consort was popular with the British people and often spent time in Brighton. When in the town, she worshipped at St George's." Hence the Royal coat of arms above the door.