Monday, August 3, 2015

The One and Only Cilla Black "Really Smashing"

If you heard that Cilla Black died this weekend, you might have wondered who she was if you are American.  I can tell you that she is a very well loved and respected singer/entertainer in Great Britain.  I always liked her myself and feel saddened at her passing.  I found two videos on YouTube for you, the first one is a celebration of her 50 years in show business from 2013 and tells a lot about this delightful woman, not just about her career.  If you don't have time to see it now, come back to it later! And at about the middle of it, at about minute 32...make sure you see Sir George Martin talk about the recording of the song "Alfie".  AND then, listen to the song sung on stage with just a guitar. Beautiful tribute!  (George Martin at Abbey Road Studios, I don't think we would have known the Beatles if not for him, he is someone I really admire.  And look at him in the 1960's, so tall and with his London accent, just gorgeous!)

The second one is of her wedding in 1969. (It is just over one MINUTE long!)  Look at the crowd if you don't believe that she is very popular! I love her short mini dress with the furry collar and sleeves, perfectly in style it was too! And I was 12 years old that year, but I had those same white go-go boots.  Anybody else remember them?  They were FAB!

When you listen to the videos I want you to pay special attention to the Liverpool accents...if you are a Beatles fan, you should recognize it anywhere!  (I don't claim to be an expert on accents but I know the Liverpool one, I really is a kind of sing song way of speaking and the voice goes up at the end of a sentence...okay, you have listened, you will always know it now, right?)

Once again, my friends, I have not been able to visit all the blogs I like to read.  I have been under the weather.  A visit to the doctor today and a day off work. Hope I will be able to get back into the swing of things soon-reading all your wonderful words and then...climbing my mountains, you all know that is what I truly love to do.  

My medical advice...try to get as much exercise as possible...the heat has made it very difficult for me lately to go on our long walks and my health has suffered for it. Take care! (And please don't worry about me, in the words of the lads from Liverpool... I am "getting better all the time".)  

Our cereus cactus only blooms at must get up early to see this bloom! (This cactus is now 21 years old and is over 6 feet tall!)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

I beg your pardon,
I never promiised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
there's got to be a little rain sometime...

Lynn Anderson, the singer who had a hit record with this song in 1970, died yesterday at the age of 67.  May she rest in peace.  "Rose Garden" was one of the most successful crossover country songs of all time.  I have a video of her performing the song on "Top of the Pops" on the BBC. 

 "Rose Garden" was written by Joe South and...oh, you all know how I love my songwriters, he deserves his own post, so look out for that soon. 

Take care everyone and have a nice weekend!

Smile for a while and let's be jolly,
Life shouldn't be so melancholy,
Come along and  share the good times
while we can!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Daisy, Daisy- First Song Sung By A Computer

Quick...I must type this post before my eyes give out!

Remember the song the  HAL computer sang in the movie, "2001, A Space Odyssey"?  The song was "Daisy Bell" but most people know it as "Daisy, Daisy".

"Daisy, Daisy...give me your answer do...
I'm half crazy all for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage,
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet
Upon the seat of a bicycle built for two!"


In 1961, the IBM 7094 was programed to sing "Daisy Bell" which was the first demonstration of computer speech synthesis.  Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke was one of those in attendance. 

I thought it was interesting to know that Arthur C. Clarke was there to hear a computer "sing" a song for the first time.  As a nod to this, he had his HAL 9000 sing the same song in his book and movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey".  See the things you learn from me?  What, you all knew this?  You should tell me these things!

Have A Nice Daisy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pineweed- Yellow Blossoms Like Star Jewels



The pineweed is in bloom!
Pineweed, Hypericum gentianoides, has tiny yellow star-like flowers and they are so small that they can be easily overlooked.
Against the grey rock of our local monadnocks, like Stone Mountain, Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain, they are like small jewels.

You might think that since these leaves look like pines, they would be hard like pine needles, but they are soft to the touch and bend easily in the hot breeze of a July day in Georgia.  What little breeze we have anyway! (My car said 106 degrees today.)


See the photos above?  This is a sign of the flowers that can be found at Stone Mountain in the Quarry Exhibit. (Why isn't this in the Nature Garden there? Who knows?) I think Richard took a better photo of the pineweed than the one they have displayed on the photo!  AND dear reader of this blog, if you have been reading this blog for very long, YOU will know all the names on this sign!
(P.S. We call spiderwort "tradescantia" because that is the botanical name and Richard likes that name better! I must admit, it does sound nice with his accent.)
See the coreopsis and the Yellow Daisy? People will confuse the two, but hey, just look at them! Can't tell the difference? Come and find me, I will set you straight!  HA!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Best Musical Moment- What's YOURS?

Christopher is on the left!

Hey! What is your best musical moment?  Have you seen a band or a singer that you will never forget, one that you will recall with pleasure for the rest of your life?  Do tell, I want to know!

I have heard Paul McCartney sing "Yesterday" on the stage with just his guitar.  That is a fantastic memory for me but that is not the BEST one!  My most treasured musical memory is seeing our son play at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta, Georgia!   Christopher is not only a good singer and guitarist but he is also a songwriter.  If there is one thing you might have learned from my blog, I have a very high regard for songwriters!  

It was two years ago that Christopher was on stage and it is my hope that I will be a member of the audience again and see him perform once again!  What a joy! 

P. S.  Love you son!   And you know another BEST musical moment is the song that I sung to you after you were born! You know the one!  xx 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

London - The Hardy Tree - Where's Kay?

Richard and I like to watch our British TV shows.  Quite often, there will be a mention of some historical landmark and we find it quite interesting.  On an episode of "New Tricks",  we were shown a train station in London and very close to it, a church with the gravestones stacked against an ash tree in the church graveyard.  It is called "The Hardy Tree" because the gravestones were placed there by Thomas Hardy. (Yes, the famous author of "Far From The Madding Crowd").  Before he became a writer, Thomas Hardy studied architecture in London and it was his job to supervise the removal of bodies and tombstones from the church graveyard of St. Pancras Church in order to build a railway station there. 

When I looked at more photos of this, the black fencing in the churchyard grounds at St. Pancras looked very familiar to me.  The Beatles were photographed there on July 28, 1968 to promote the single "Hey Jude" and the White Album. (It was really their album entitled "The Beatles" but since it had a solid white cover, everyone called it "The White Album"!)  Does anyone else remember the photo that I am talking about?  You would only know this if you studied all the albums from that decade!  Note: After looking at our Beatles albums, we found the photograph inside the red album
The Beatles/1962-1966 and the blue album The Beatles/1967-1970.

Perhaps the photos were taken at the time the White Album was released but they are in the albums I just told you about!  

Okay then, back to Thomas Hardy before the famous four lads from Liverpool came into the picture.  I have always found the writings of Thomas Hardy to be a bit melancholy. Perhaps this is due to the fact that he never recovered from his first wife's death.  It was his wish that he would be buried in the same grave with his first wife.  (He later re-married his much younger secretary.)  His family and friends wished to fulfill his wishes but his executor wanted him buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.  They compromised and his heart was buried with his wife, Emma in Dorset but his ashes are in Poet's Corner. 

If you are ever in London, you must see Westminster Abbey! You know those "Where's Waldo" books?  (In England, they are called "Where's Wally"!)  See if you can spot me in the photo below!

See, I told you I loved the Beatles and children's books...I almost always think of one or the other!

Once again, my friends, I have been very busy at work and have been typing so much that I am thinking of wearing my arm in a kidding!  Take care, everyone and hope you are all well and enjoying the season wherever you are. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bright Pink Flower/Horton Hears A Who


On one of our recent walks, we came across a native plant.  It was the sensitive briar (Mimosa microphylla) and the color was amazing!  (NOTE: The mimosa tree that grows in Georgia is NOT native and is actually considered an invasive species.)
 This flower reminds me very much of one of my favorite books by Dr. Seuss, "Horton Hears A Who".  In the book, Horton the elephant believes that he hears a small voice from a speck of dust. He carefully places the speck upon a pink clover and he tries his best to make others believe that there is a small creature who is in need of help. (This mimosa really looks more like the flower in the book rather than a pink clover!)

Wait, you don't know this story?  Well, everyone should!

"A person is a person no matter how small."


I love Dr. Seuss and his books.  I read "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" to my little sister so often, that I know it by heart! AND of course I had to try and read it in a fake English accent but you know I couldn't read it like Boris Karloff!

So, my friends, tell me...have you been surprised by beauty lately?
And have you ever read a book to a child so often that you know it from memory?