Throwback Thursday

*HFH Redux

Nora with that ridiculous Elizabethan collar – an affront to the dignity of a proud daschie!

While clearing out a few videos I came across several more immortalizing the early days of the *Hounds from Hell.  Those adorable days when our Nicky would eat concrete walls (I kid you not!), and IKEA furniture; when Nora would joyfully chew holes in blankets, and then throw the pieces back up on the oriental rugs.  Ah the salad days of puppyhood.  Days when a closed door or a gate were new challenges; nowadays they are just mundane and useless obstacles that can be overcome by whining until they are opened by a well-trained human.

Only last week , ever the consummate escape artist, Nora decided that she had enough of looking like Gloriana managed to remove her Elizabethan collar using the side of her kennel and a few well-judged moves.

On this day in 1942:  The Boeing B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight.


Throwback Thursday

In which two gifts* and a lovely present are recalled.

Eight years ago our lives were invaded by two little creatures who to this day aggravate, frustrate, annoy, and give untold pleasure and love:  The Infamous Hounds from Hell.

We had an online contest to name them and our friend Cecilia (at the time known on her blog as Dora) gave us the winning names.  Because they were Roman puppies we decided that their names should be introduced to the world in a traditional Roman way:

Several weeks after a parcel arrived from the United States:  a christening gift from their godmother in Virginia.

The collars are now a bit frayed and worn however they are still sported proudly as we take our walks through town.  Nora with her red collar and Nicky with his green have become celebrities around Charlottetown and there are people who know them but will be damned if they know who we are.

*For all that we mutter about Hounds from Hell they are still our treasures.

On this day in 1966: The Heron Road Bridge collapses while being built, killing nine workers in the deadliest construction accident in both Ottawa and Ontario.

Throwback Thursday

Over a year ago I transferred the blog from BlogSpot to WordPress and not everything migrated in the format it was originally published. So when the mood strikes me I go back and “tidy” things up. Reformat and resize pictures, realign captions, change links, reinstate videos etc. However there is one draw back to this: it appears that when I fix up the categories and tags on an entry the system sends out a message signalling a new post to anyone who is following me.

I worked on today’s Throwback earlier in the week and if you are getting this as a second notification I do apologize. I have asked the good people at WordPress if there is a workaround and await an answer from them.

I was reminded of this post from 2008 when I read a recent review of a play at Britain’s National Theatre. Singer/Songwriter/Cultural Historian Yasmin Levy is appearing in Salome, a new play based on the Biblical story as re-imagined by popular director Yaël Farber. It led me to reread this post and to spend some time listening to her on YouTube beyond the two songs I posted.

On this day in 1495:  A monk, John Cor, records the first known batch of Scotch whisky.

Willy Or Won't He

In 1492 their Catholic Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella weren’t just busy financing Columbus’s treasure hunt to India they were also arranging for an “ethnic cleansing” of their Kingdoms of Aragon, Castille and Granada. The Alhambra Decree gave the Jewish population of Spain four months to either convert to Christianity or leave their homeland – taking with them anything they owned that was not of gold, silver or minted coin. And with that edict the Sephardi began their wanderings in North Africa, Europe and the Near Orient.

Though Ferdinand and Isabella may have gained much financially – monies, treasures and land reverted to the crown – Spain lost much of a culture that had existed within it borders since before the birth of Christ. A culture that had flourished under Roman and Muslim rule but was destroyed by Christian zeal – and plain old fashioned greed. A culture that was rich…

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Throwback Thursday

The Return of the Flowers – J. J. Grandville

The weather today suggests that Spring does actually happen here on PEI. Trees are starting to sprout leaves, the grass has gone from dead yellow to vibrant green to dandelion yellow, and the many tulip beds around town are breaking into bloom. Tulips are a very important industry here on PEI and many of the bulbs that are gracing flower beds in Canadian towns during this our sesquicentennial originate here at Vesey’s and Vancos. And of course this week is the wrap up week of the Tulip Festival in our old hometown of Ottawa.

JJGrandville2So to celebrate our tulips bursting forth, the industry here in PEI, and the Ottawa Festival I decided to stroll through a virtual garden that I started back in 2012 and always meant to revisit. And that stroll has led me to take another look at J. J. Grandville and Taxile Delord’s Les Fleurs Animées (Flowers Personified). I thought maybe that once again I’d delve into their allegorical recounting of what happen when flowers assumed human form and revive the Friday’s Flowers posts. And on the odd occasion highlight one or two of the flowers growing in my Virtual Garden.

Willy Or Won't He

Despite the snow fall earlier this week and this mornings minus temperatures Spring is really on its way here in Ottawa. No honestly it is!  A patch of early warm weather has nudged daffodils, hyacinths and other early spring flowers out of the earth.  Now mind you the near sub-zero temperatures have them hiding their heads but I’m always surprised how hardy so many of those seemly delicate flowers really are.

A few weeks ago to mark International Woman’s Day I sent out mimosas to the special women in my life in the form of a wonderful lithograph by J. J. Grandville from Les Fleurs Animées (Flowers Personified) a two volume set of 54 hand-coloured lithographs which propose that “Flowers are the expression of society.”

The introduction to Les Fleurs Animées was written by Alphonse Karr and the allegorical texts by Taxile Delord.  Grandville’s designs accompany their stories of the…

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Throwback Thursday

One of the oh so many joys of living in Rome was taking a walking tour with Nancy.  She is an American art historian who has lived most of her adult live in Italy and has a wealth of knowledge – both technical and anecdotal – on Italy ancient and modern. And she also seems to have access to things that you just don’t see on the average tour. On one occasion she managed to set up a private evening tour of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. After visiting it in a group of only 20 I was never able to go back during the crush of regular opening hours.

On another occasion she arranged a peek into the rare book collection of the Biblioteca Angelica – one of the first public libraries in the Western world. I thought I’d reblog three posts I wrote back in 2010 after that visit. At the end of this first repost there are links to the other two. I had several others in the works that were left unfinished and languishing in that very large “drafts” folder.

Willy Or Won't He

A week ago Tuesday I spent the morning at the public library here in Roma – well okay not just any old public library but one of the earliest public libraries in Europe. Biblioteca Angelica was founded in 1604 by Bishop Angelo (hence Angelica) Rocca, a writer and collector of rare books. He was also in charge of the Vatican Printing House during the pontificate of Pope Sextus V. He entrusted the care of some 20,000 volumes to the Monks at the convent of St Augustine, provided a building, an annuity, and regulations for its operation: the principle rule being that it was open to all people regardless of income or social status. It has functioned as a public library since 1609 and except for a few periods of renovation and civil upheaval has been a major source of learning and research material to anyone over the age of 16…

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