Sunday, 26 April 2015

And the moonbeams kiss the sea

See, the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another;

Sitting in Druckers patisserie in the Dolphin centre having a breakfast muffin and an Americano. I like it here as you can see the world go by cocooned in your coffee place,  sort of invisible. Some of the people walking by leave a lot to be desired. 
I digress,  Susan is having her nails done in preparation for her trip to Florida next week, so it seemed like a good time to wrIte a blog. 
Last night we went to a Abba dinner and dance, needless to say I did not dancing but there were some amazing outfits, all dresses like Abba, loud Abba music and too much wine saw us only leaving just before midnight. I must admit it was good to hear Abba live and see what a following they still have.. 

No sister flower could be forgiven. If it disdained its brother;

The new Happiness Report is out and this time the happiest place is : The land of clocks and chocolates is the world's happiest country, according to a new survey.
Switzerland topped the third annual World Happiness index produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative under the United Nations.
It was closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

World's Happiest Countries

1. Switzerland
6. Finland
2. Iceland
7. Netherlands
3. Denmark
8. Sweden 
4. Norway
9. New Zealand 
5. Canada
10. Australia 
15. United States                  
18. Ireland 
21. United Kingdom 
113. South Africa 

Well we have gone from 22nd to 21st but the shock is Denmark, dropped to 3rd, no one expected that. Australia did well but then the sun shines more often then not, for that alone they would be happier than the Brits.
Actually psychology has defined happiness as subjective well-being however some theorists disagree with this and instead promote the idea of the meaningful life being as important or more important than a happy one.

And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea;--

I love tranquil solitude, and gentle society, that is quiet and good. The things I strive for are always there if I look close enough, so I would put my self on the same leave as Denmark. Where do you really see your self?
People are getting fatter, I am not sure our bones in our legs were designed to carry all this excessive weight. I just counted 10 people walking passed and 4 were obese, 3 just plain fat and the rest cubby, not one normal weight among them. Sorry fat people but you are taking up more space then you should.

And finally I leave you lovers with this last line of the extract from a poem by Shelley.

What are all these kissings worth, If thou kiss not me? 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The arrival of spring and Anzac Day.

To celebrate spring we have planted all manner of things in our cottage garden. Plants for their beautiful colour and plants to smell as well as some to eat. Yes spring is here, Susan declared Saturday a ‘Beautiful Day’, high praise indeed. The other clue is that Susan has started to sun hibernate, long hours will be spent in the sun to get that tanned, healthy look that she loves so much. So beware, Susan has donned her bikini and will be out of the office until the autumn.
Lets move on, on in fact to Saturday, Anzac Day for Australia and New Zealand. What can I say, yes it was a battle and many were killed but I suppose it is really a celebration of the spirit of the soldiers. Their courage in the face of almost certain defeat, their ability to carry on in that hopeless situation must be celebrated. It was actually the first military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces in the 1st world war. Anzac being short for Australian and New Zealand Corps.

What better way to honour the brave, then with Anzac biscuits. Why the Anzac biscuits you well may ask? During the 1st world war, the friends and families of soldiers sent food to the fighting men. As it took a long time to get there they had to come up with something that would remain edible, without refrigeration, for long periods of time. Anzac biscuits are also high in nutritional value and can be eaten months after they were baked.

That tradition lives on in the Dickens house hold. Angela bakes a big batch every Sunday and then packs 4 biscuits for Matt as he goes out to fight the kitchen cupboards and polished wood floors. A note to Gary and Claudia, refrain from ordering doggy pizzas and tack into Anzac biscuits. Health is paramount. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Nobody shall sleep

Story time, a story as old as time but still a favourite with anyone who has heard "Nessun dorma" one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. It is sung by Calaf  (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.
In the act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot's prospective suitors. Nonetheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects shall sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.
Prince Calaf sings the aria...

Nobody shall sleep! Even you, o Princess, in your cold room, watch the stars, that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me, my name no one shall know...
On your mouth I will tell it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!…

Just before the climactic end of the aria, a chorus of women is heard singing in the distance:

No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.

Now early morning, Calaf, certain of victory, sings:

Vanish, o night!
Fade stars! Fade stars!
At dawn, I will win!

Nessun dorma roughly translated means " Nobody shall sleep "

He finally woes her and they live happily ever after. Hopefully all her subjects are spared death.

You can listen here Nessun Dorma

Friday, 10 April 2015

F1 Fan Dices with Death in Track Invasion Stunt

Chinese Car Buyer
What the Newspapers Said

Newspaper 1. Spectator invades track during  Chinese Grand Prix P2.
A man who ran across the track during practice for the Chinese Grand Prix has been arrested. He crossed the main straight shortly before a car, climbed the fence and ran into the pits before reportedly trying to enter Ferrari's garage.

Newspaper 2. Chinese Grand Prix: Man avoids death after invading track as F1 hit by security breach.
Formula 1 bosses will investigate how the tight security measures, which are imposed at all races, were breached.

Newspaper 3. Chinese GP 2015: Tragedy narrowly avoided as man runs onto the track during practice.
He weaved between cars on the main straight. He reportedly was trying to get a test drive in one of the Ferrari’s.

That is what the papers said. How much is true we will never know as they will report on the official investigation and they do have such amazing writers licence. I am intrigued by the report from newspaper 3 stating he had weaved between the car that were doing over 200 mph. Such a cad. But he must be quick.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Witches Knickers

Walking past an oak tree near the railway line I saw it had witches knickers in it. Reminded me of those heady days in South Africa. I can picture those bosky woods decorated with witches knickers. Enough, I say to all this remembering, just now you will think I am getting old. 
I have bought a Hudl 2 - a Android Tablet to do my blogging when away from the office. In fact this blog is from this outstanding little devise. Note the crisp type style, clear images and instant rendering of this awesome machine. In truth, many of my clients have 7" tablets or 6" smart phones and I need to be able to check that their websites are rendering properly on this format, so have invested £ 99.00 on this tablet. The iPad mini is just too expensive for something I will only use 2 or 3 times a month.
Reminds me of the days we had the Psion Handheld computer, way back in 1980's, those were way before their time. 
I have just read that they are going to film another version of The Neverending Story. Now that is good news. If you have not read the book or seen the film then do. 
The story is about Bastian Balthazar Bux, neglected by his father after the death of Bastian's mother. To escape from some bullies, Bastian bursts into the antique book store of Carl Conrad Coreander, where he finds his interest held by a book called The Neverending Story. Unable to resist, he steals the book and hides in his school's attic, where he begins to read.

The story Bastian reads is set in the magical land of Fantastica, ruled by the benevolent and mysterious Childlike Empress. A great delegation has come to the Empress to seek her help against a formless entity called "The Nothing".
Read it to your children and always remember, this story never ends.
Talking about The Nothing makes me think of the lack of comments. 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter back again

Just when you think life is slowing down a little, Easter comes around to assault us with chocolate and hot cross buns. One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns. I have already had several and with a slice or two of cheddar cheese, yummy.

Where did the real Easter come from? Not the Bible. If Easter is not found in the Bible, then where did it come from? The vast majority of ecclesiastical and secular historians agree that the name of Easter and the traditions surrounding it are deeply rooted in pagan religion.
There are those who decry Easter. Groups such as the Restored Church of God reject Easter, seeing it as a pagan spring festival, which it is. Jehovahs Witnesses have a similar view, but the Quakers think everyday is the Lords day. So no fun for them then, we knew that. 
It is quite a holy time for some and just a happy times for me. Easter is Easter Eggs, chocolate bunnies and hot cross buns. It is a time, as Gary says, when the egg hunt starts the day and all the children have satisfactory sugar highs. That is Easter.
So to all those out there I know and love, HAPPY EASTER.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Happiness Day

The World Happiness Report is a measure of happiness published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
In the Reports, leading experts in several fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. They use six key variables to explain happiness: actual money in the bank, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.
Well that counts out most African countries. Europe seems the happiest place with 1st Denmark, 2nd Norway, then Switzerland and Netherlands, leaving Australia 10th and the UK 22nd.
Psychology has defined happiness as subjective well-being however some theorists disagree with this and instead promote the idea of the meaningful life being as important or more important than a happy one.
We must realise that most of the 3rd world countries are just happy to have a good meal and warm nights sleep. That I suppose is happiness enough.