Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Journey of a Thousand Miles

Three Vases of Flowers
Odilon Redon

Confucius said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".  Often the journey takes courage, but it's usually that first single step that takes the most courage.  And then when we have taken enough steps, we get to the point of no return -- we can't turn back, we can only keep going forward, and that's when the journey becomes easier.

For anyone who is about to embark on such a journey, please know that there are many people who are cheering you on.  Whether you realize it or not, they'll be with you every step of the way.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Mull of Kintyre

Last night I passed up a chance to see Paul McCartney in Vancouver.  Silly me.  Silly, silly me.  I have never been a huge Beatles fan, however, always preferring the bad boy Rolling Stones instead.  So when the tickets to last night's show were offered to me, I declined, and I called my daughter and asked if she would like them.  But Christmas is coming up, and the price of the tickets was a bit steep, so ... she declined as well.  I should have taken them and gone to the concert anyway.

Did I mention, silly me?

Phinnaeus and a friend of his did go to the concert, however, and I'm very glad they did.  It's sort of a continuum that kids from his generation still enjoy the music of the ... um ... "older" generation.

My favourite song of Paul McCartney's is The Mull of Kintyre.  My dearest friend from school married a Scottish fellow and moved to Aberdeen, Scotland.  A few years ago I went back to visit her.  She and her husband took me on a tour of Scotland around the Aberdeen area.  One afternoon as we were driving along the North Sea coastline, The Mull of Kintyre began playing on the car radio.  The feeling was surreal.  Here I was, driving along the beautiful, rolling coastline of Scotland, listening to The Mull of Kintyre.  It was like the sound track of my life.  It was beautiful.

My friend, Sherry, passed away two years ago, and whenever I hear The Mull of Kintyre, I am back in Scotland with my friend, driving along the North Sea.  It is a very strong memory, and one of my fondest memories.

Apparently, Paul McCartney doesn't play The Mull of Kintyre very often at his concerts.  In fact, it is said he plays it about once a decade.  I don't know if that is true or not, but if I had gone to the concert, I certainly would have wanted to hear him play it.  Well, last night Paul McCartney and the wonderful local Delta Police Pipe Band played Mull of Kintyre, and thanks to the wonders of YouTube, I am able to watch it.  It is a beautiful tune, and it still makes me cry.  And it still takes me back to the beautiful drive along the North Sea in Scotland.

Smiles in the sunshine 
And tears in the rain 
Still take me back to where my memories remain 
Flickering embers growing higher and higher 
As they carry me back to the mull of kintyre 

Mull of kintyre 
Oh mist rolling in from the sea, 
My desire is always to be here 
Oh mull of kintyre 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I'll Be Baaaaaaack...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. Have a wonderful time, and take the next four days to relax and enjoy.

I have been swamped at work the past couple of weeks so I haven't had time to blog, but to quote Arnie, "I'll be baaaaaaackl"

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers, Jo

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dance to the Jailhouse Rock


This video speaks for itself. If you're ever feeling blue, just watch this video and you will be completely filled with joie de vivre, with some left over to spare. Be sure to turn the volume up really loud, and dance along -- once you have stopped laughing, that is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Challenge for You ... Who Is This Man...?

This is just a bit of trivia to see if you are on your toes.  This is the most famous man you have probably never heard of, but you have heard him.  Who is he?  I have a gorgeous fairly nice candle set to award to the first person who can identify him.  No hints, no clues, but I know once you find out who he is, most of you will say, "Oh, right ...! of course...!"

Are you on your toes?  Let's see.

Answer:  This is William Lyman, the narrator of Frontline on PBS.  We have all heard him hundreds of times, he has the most recognizable voice and unrecognizable face.  The blogger known as My Journey got it right.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes...

Several years ago, when I first moved to Vancouver, I was riding on a city bus and I looked over at the woman sitting across from me.  She was old.  Very old.  At least 50.  And she was wearing sensible, old lady shoes.  I remember looking at her feet thinking how sad it was that she had to wear those ghastly things, and could no longer wear sexy shoes.  It occurred to me then that one day those feet and those shoes would be mine.  I would no longer sashay down Granville Street wearing six inch heels.  Sensible shoes with flat heels were in my future, and my blood ran cold at the thought of it.

How quickly time flies.

At last count -- this morning -- I have 27 pairs of shoes.  None of them have high heels.  And none of them are particularly comfortable.  At one time I could spend the whole day at work and then go for a two-hour stroll around the seawall, wearing high heel shoes.  No prob.  Comfortable?  Of course they were.  In fact, I walked around London and Paris wearing high heel shoes.  But I bought my very first pair of flat shoes in Paris.  They were beautiful, made of leather as soft as butter, with a white laticework thread through them and a little white bow just so. The moment I slipped them on, I felt like Audrey Hepburn.  However, the first thing I did when I stepped outside the shoe store was to step into a little pile of dog poop, which litters the sidewalks of Paris.  Just try to get that out of buttery leather latticework.  I did love those shoes, though, and I bought a purse to match them.

Well, thank goodness for sneakers, is all I can say.  Now I can be the little old lady in sensible shoes, and I look really, really cool just like everyone else.  There won't be a young lady sitting across from me thinking, "Look at that little old lady in her sensible shoes ... how sad."  Well, at least she won't be thinking that about my shoes.  I have discovered that my sneakers are the most comfortable and the lightest shoes for walking.  I can walk miles in them -- even around the sea wall.  Every once in a while I look at my other shoes, the little red ones, the little black patent ones with the bow, the little suede ones with the zipper, and I think, "One day I will wear these, just not today."  So, if one day you see a little old lady strolling along Broadway in a pair of battered Adidas shoes, please stop and say hello.  It's me.

Captain Thomas Edward Larner

Long ago and far away
across the ocean
wild and wide,
the young men stormed
an alien shore
where many of them died.
Here and now
old men remember
the valor and the gore.
and the boyish faces
of their youth
that are young forever more

~~ William Bedford

My grandfather served in two wars, and he returned home and lived to be a very old man. But there was always something about him that was different, as if he had seen things no one should see.  What an awful sacrifice these folks make.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What Would Gambie Do...?

There was a poem that Gambie always used to recite whenever she was feeling troubled:

Never trouble trouble
Until trouble troubles you;
For you only make your trouble
Double-trouble when you do;
And your trouble, like a bubble
That you're troubling about
May be nothing but a cipher
With its rim rubbed out.

~ David Keppel (1849 - 1939)

There are no troubles too big that can't be solved.  Gambie would not want anyone to be troubled.  She also used to say, "This too shall pass".  And it will.  Have faith.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good Luck to My American Friends

Good luck to all my American friends today. This presidential race has probably been the closest and the most contentious in a very long time. Shakespeare would have a field day with American politics -- it has everything that he loved, including tempests and tea pots.

"A politician…one that would circumvent God."  ~~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet -- Act V

M ay the best man win, and may there be no hanging chads.

The whole world is watching.