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Archive for the ‘Fun’ Category

What a good sleep

What a good sleep!

England in November is such a drastic change from Seychelles at any time that the point is well made that I’m not in Kansas anymore, Toto. I’ve been here for more than a month now, quite comfy since the first day on the cold, cold ground when I traded in my flip-flops for a pair of boots and pulled on the jeans, jumpers and overcoats that had been hanging in my closet for the last 13 years … the last time I faced a winter.

I will be retracing my steps along the way in blog fashion in future, but for now I’m motivated to share a bit for those who may be looking for a great place to spend Christmas while there’s still time to sort something wonderful out.

I’m in North Devon at the moment, in the lovely village of Lynton. <http://lynton-lynmouth-tourism.co.uk/>. Having last visited during a different time of year and a far different time of life, I’m happy to be back to wander the Valley of the Rocks and gaze across the Bristol Channel and wave at Wales.

No time to write much about the experience, but I do want to let people know about a fabulous opportunity for a Christmas getaway/get-together in time to actually do something about it should this be the answer you’re looking for. snooker

Sit down or a bit of telly?

Sit down for a bit of telly?

Victoria Lodge <http://www.victorialodge.co.uk/>, previously a 5-star B&B, is now a fully-kitted and beautiful semi-detached that sleeps 12 in posh comfort in the heart of Lynton and is, unbelievably, not yet booked for the holidays. I can personally attest to the luxury of the accommodation, the two gorgeous sitting rooms, the lush beds, the fab kitchen and the convenient location having stayed here before, and being back in now.

xmas table portrait

My dear friend, Jacqueline, spent a few years in Seychelles as CEO of Cable and Wireless, and since I still miss her presence there I visit her here when I can. It’s not often, but as it goes with true friends we pick up right where we left off, so it’s not just the fact that her place is fab.

Main lounge

There’s much to do and see in the area. In addition to the Exmoor ponies and goats in the Valley of the Rocks there are sites of historical interest that range from Dunster Castle <http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle/> to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway <http://www.lynton-rail.co.uk/&gt; with its funky steam train. You can check out the lot here <http://www.victorialodge.co.uk/index.php?page=explore-exmoor>.

If you’re looking for a place to bring the whole family for Christmas … or one to fill with friends avoiding family … this is the perfect place to fill with whatever your version of holiday cheer might be, and at a very reasonable price. Kids and dog welcome.

You can book online, or give Jac a call on +44 1598 753203. Trust me … you’ll LOVE it!

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This evening, as the kids and I watched the “Wizard of Oz’, I had a sudden recollection that ties the generations together for me.

The movie came out in 1939, the year my mother turned seven-years-old, and made quite an impression on her.

It began what was to be an annual run on American television in 1956. I was five that year, but we watched it as a family every year of the ‘50s from then on.

I don’t remember ever not having a TV in the living room; sitting in front of that tiny (by today’s standards) screen in the huge wooden cabinet on the oval braided rug as my mother … either perched on the brown, skirted couch, cup of coffee in hand no matter what the time of day, or standing behind the ironing board with a bowl of starch water at hand … did the ’50s version of multitasking. It was a position I must have mastered very early. Color TV had yet to arrive, so black-and-white was all we knew. Ricky and Lucy’s apartment, Sky King’s sky, everything the Mouseketeers got up to … all were sans any shade but variations on gray.

Image

The 1939 Poster

And that was fine … most of the time.

The exception to the whole being-okay-with-B&W thing came with the opening bars of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. My mother’s WoO had imprinted itself on her brain before the age of television, when films were only seen in ‘movie houses’ where a show cost a dime … unless you wanted to sit in the loges … and grownups could add a bit of atmosphere with clouds of cigarette smoke.

By 1939, cinemas also offered films shot in Technicolor, something this movie was made for:

Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture. It also featured what may be the most elaborate use of character make-ups and special effects in a film up to that time.

The fact that this beloved experience was reduced for us kids to NO color annoyed my mother no end, apparently, so she did a running commentary to enhance our viewing pleasure … or hers.

This is where, all of a sudden, everything goes into brilliant color!

That is the YELLOW brick road!

The witch has GREEN skin! (No mention that she looked just like our Aunt Mary when seen in B&W until we were much older.)

Those flowers are poppies … bright red poppies … and are so beautiful.

The whole city is GREEN!

That’s the ‘Horse of a Different Color’ and as it walks around the color changes from green to purple and more!

And so on …

All these years later, I found myself tonight explaining my mother explaining the colors to me to my kids as they watched a hyper-hued DVD of the road and the witch and the poppies and the horse, realizing as I did that time sometimes moves in circles.

Now … if I can just find those damned ruby slippers. I know they’re around here somewhere …

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According to T.L. Squeeze, there’s a ranch for sale near ’bouts Red Bluff, California, and I’m thinkin’ I want it.

No, I have no real wish to move back to the stifling little cow town I escaped from ASAP so many years ago, although it would be nice to have more time with my mother and she still lives there. I don’t miss those 115 degree summer days that left so much of my flesh stuck to steering wheels or the sight of tobacco juice dribbling from the lips of good ole boys; most of my memories of the place are prosaic and fraught.

There are good people there and may still be the possibility of getting a decent margarita at the Iron Horse or the Palomino Room, hopefully without the strains of “Gloria” blaring, and as pleasant as those peeps and drinks and atmosphere might be I have no interest in living their again.

It’s the ranch idea that has me going this morning, but maybe not for reasons others would understand.

I could just as easily … read: it’s impossible anyway, so why the hell not dwell on the images for a while … do some ranching in Africa, although it would be called a “farm”. (As in, “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills … “)

I’d like that, actually, being steeped for so many years in the lives of women who carved places on the continent for themselves in the early days of the last century and wrote eloquently about how bloody hard that was.

I could maybe even call this one-acre-plus bit of African island I already have a ranch if pressed, but there’s not enough room for more than maybe one cow, and it’s cows I need, you see.

Cows, and that whole “ranch” thing because it’s a brand I’d be going for, and I’m not after leather on the hoof stamped “Prada”, if that’s what you’re thinking.

Nope.

I want to drive on to my place under a sign that reads: But Bar None Ranch.

Why?

Because I want to drive by cattle branded thusly:

:-0

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The following is an apocryphal accounting of the approach of Judgement Day, true to the nature of such to the nth degree, and to be taken with every bit of the gravity it deserves …

If you’re one of those thinking a bullet was dodged on the 21st of May you are missing something … or from Joplin, MO.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are heading for the last roundup, and last week’s “deadline” was nothing less than a census before culling begins.

All the advance press on this palaver being subject to interpretation, it’s now clear that the parameters used to establish who makes the cut and who bites it are not exactly what that fuckwad from Oakland espouses, although he may very well be part of the testing process. His biblical references and yaddidy yaddidy on the “invisible judgement day” … small ‘j’, small ‘d’ … are merely a smokescreen masking the real criteria that will be used to establish who rises like yeasty bread and who’s toast.

Although nonbelievers may balk at this revelation, the truth is, in part it’s facebook that will be used to separate the productive wheat from the useless chaff, and anyone fooled into thinking only their friends are watching what they post needs to be led to the light.

It has been revealed that god isn’t stupid and actually does have a sense of humor, so sensibly decided eternity will be one hell of a lot more fun and interesting if populated by only funny, smart souls. In other words, dour, dumb downers will be heading in their chosen direction. (Not up … duh … )

Figuring that Adam/Eve/apple thing was more than a bit simplistic, counted too heavily on impetuosity and didn’t really give much clue to anyone’s true nature, an Onion was substituted and social networking was extended toward humanity as a test of an individual’s character.

Turns out that faith, adherence to antiquated dictates, gullibility and a refusal or inability to link thoughts together independently is easily tracked on fb wall-by-wall and comment-by-comment, and the resulting lack of a grasp of satire … a word rooted in the Latin satira, meaning “poetic medley”, therefore having nothing to do with Satan … pretty much adds up to putting a person on the “toast” list.

No longer seeing a need for the confessional closet when a website will do, Literally Unbelievable came to be. Not that the omnipotent needs such a convenience, but it does make it easier for god’s representatives on Earth to work out which folks they’ll not have to be listening to in the hereafter. Click on the link for an idea of what we’ll be missing … sheesh ….

Harkening back to more a more traditional take, a read of the Book of Revelations makes the point:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev 20:11-12)

There it is, in black and white … IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO READ ALL THE WORDS, AND TO GET IT!

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Treading water while burdened by worry prompts a shutdown. A bit of verse and some photos on offer, though:

Hue Cares?

Not ice, nor powder
no robin’s egg,
no nothing royal
neither slate nor steel,
electric or baby
Cyan’t and indon’tgo …
just BLUE

Thankfully, there are kids!

Cj in her birthday crown

Birthday Strawberries

Beautiful Girls! Cj and Amber ...

Sam waters Alex

Photos by JP and Christine Larose. Thanks!

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Having way too much fun being lazy with the kids these days to focus on shit in the world, so will now bore the socks off you with photos rather than write …

Cj and Mitzy ...

Cj at the waterfallSam at the same waterfall

Hammock time! Can't touch dis ...

Cj after birthday shopping ... YIKES!

Cj's new dolls meet Sam's toys. Should I be concerned?

Cj’s 6th birthday is day after tomorrow and there’s a beach picnic tomorrow, a gathering on Sunday and much fun to be had! Have a great weekend, all!

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After 10 pm or Sundays only …

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