A Quiet Place

In which I share two not-so-guilty pleasures.

Any one who has read this blog over the past twelve years knows that I have a fondness for visiting cemeteries. Not through any sense of the macabre or romantic fatalism but because they are often lovely spots of quiet in the middle of madness. They may be a hidden away in a overgrown woods (I’ve been sitting on those photos of the Yankee Hill Cemetery for too long now) or beside a small country church. Where ever they are they reflect the stories of a place, a time, and the lives, and deaths, of people.

I also love to travel both in reality and as an armchair passenger. And one of my favourite guides should it be the latter mode is my dear David over at I’ll Think of Something Later. It seems that David is forever on the go – either at home in London or in wonderful exotic places in Europe. Where ever his wandering takes him he manages to take me along with his wonderful photo essays. This past week I was able to travel with David as he took a walk through the Brompton Cemetery near his home in “West Ken”.

I thought I’d like to share that walk with my readers and a left click on the detail from Charles Booth’s 1889 Poverty map of London will allow you to join us.

We were fortunate that on our last trip to London back in 2016 – has it really been that long? – to be able to have brunch with David and J, his diplomate husband. Then we spent the afternoon wandering through Chelsea with David with our final destination the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden – a true “hidden gem” in the heart of the city. I wrote about our visit and posted a slideshow of the pleasures of the Garden in the late fall. I made a vow then to return to see it at other times of the year and I really should fulfill it. And besides that would give me the chance to wander with David in real time.

On this day in 1907: The Mud March is the first large procession organised by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).

Summer maybe

The Massacre of the Innocents modelled after Rubens – by Kent Monkman.
Shame and Prejudice – Confederation Centre Art Gallery until September 15, 2018.

I was going to write something about the new Summer Exhibitions at the Confederation Gallery but Laurent has already done so and there is no need to repeat. Both exhibitions are fascinating and the Monkman will need repeated viewings to tease out every message that is in them. A great but disturbing show.

Larry Muffin At Home

We had a funny Winter with little snow, much icy rain, fog and very high winds, our Spring was cold and wet. Yesterday 22 June finally warm weather and warm enough for us to take our Summer clothes out and put the Winter stuff away.  Today is 24 June, Saint Jean Baptiste day in French Canada or La Fête nationale as it is called in Quebec and it is the beginning of the of the week long Canada day celebrations.

This weekend was also the opening of the Summer Show at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, two artists are featured this year, Marlene Creates and Kent Monkman.

Creates has a 40 yr retrospective of her work in 5 parts, she describes herself as an environmental artists and lives in Portugal Cove on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland on a 6 acres plot of wood land. Her work is about her…

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The Broccoli Tree: A Parable

“You cannot unsee a tree.”

My good friend Lara sent a link to a video bearing the above title.  I have to admit that I had not heard of either the Broccoli Tree or the story behind Patrik Svedberg’s photographic biography of it.   Its tale is told in this video which was produced, edited, and inspired by Seth Radley and posted on the Vlogbrothers’ YouTube channel. A left click on the photographs of the Broccoli Tree will take you to the Parable of the Broccoli Tree.

A collage of photographs of the Broccoli Tree taken by Patrik Svedberg.

I’m still not sure what moral I am meant to take away from this parable but it is an interesting story and highlights both the positive and the negative of modern communication.

On this day in 1966: Off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean, the DSV Alvin submarine finds a missing American hydrogen bomb.


The Gift of Caring

A few Sundays ago I shared a post by my fellow blogger  Steven at So This Is Me which had touched me deeply.  In his slightly self-deprecating fashion he pooh-poohed my emotion but this Sunday he has done it again.  He is dealing, as so many people I know are and have, with an elderly parent suffering from that most dreadful afflictions – Alzheimer’s.  I will not go into details as the story is his to tell.  Let me just say that my heart is breaking and I cried when I first read this.  I cried for the situation yes but more from the tenderness and love with which it is being met.

A click on the link will take you to My Little Girl.

Back in 2012 when faced with her mother’s illness my dear Elizabeth wrote a poem that Steven’s post brought to mind:  A Caregiver’s guide to Alzheimer’s.

I share both as a reminder that there is more love and caring in this world than we allow ourselves to consider.

On this day in 1702: The Daily Courant, England’s first national daily newspaper is published for the first time.

Books I read lately

I can’t recall what led me to purchase this book but remember finding it a fascinating historical study at the time. Now that Laurent has picked it up off the shelf and read it I’m tempting to go back for a second read.

Larry Muffin At Home

Some years ago Will got a book entitled  ” When London was the Capital of America” by Julie Flavell. The book is the story of colonial America and though we forget it prior to 1776 London was the Imperial Capital of all British North America, it included the 13 original colonies and the territories south, after 1763 it also included all of Canada which had passed from French domination to British after the end of the Seven Year War and the Treaty of Paris.

Flavell debunks a lot of myths about America before 1776 and its white colonists. It was the practice for American colonists especially those with money to send their sons and daughters to London or Geneva for a proper education and to learn manners and etiquette and to become proper gentleman and ladies. This was very important for social status in the American colonies, you could not…

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