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July 2020

And a royal princess she is: Princess Anne reveals her favourite supper — Devilled Pheasant from Royal Central

The Princess Royal is notoriously coy about revealing details of her everyday life but as she approaches 70, she has revealed her favourite recipe. Princess Anne has guest edited ”Country Life” magazine’s latest edition as part of celebrations marking her milestone birthday. Her contributions include her favourite dish and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it packs a punch.…

via Princess Anne reveals her favourite supper — Royal Central

When A Lighted Cross Saw Me Through The Night

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It has been my odd experience to have twice lived across the street from a huge, lighted Cross.
The first appeared to be the height of three men standing on each others shoulders. It was across a wide field and a road, from where I used to house-sit a number of occasions over the years..It was in the yard of a private dwelling, and was (so I was told) a memorial to a relative who had died in a mine disaster.

When the sun went down, it came on. Whether someone in the house turned it on, or light sensors on the edifice gauged the amount of darkness, I do not know. The street was a dead end street, so there was not a lot of traffic. However, if I so chose, I could get the full benefit of it. It shone brightly for hours onto the front of the house. And into the house if one was in one of the front rooms or bedrooms. It had a blue hue, and an unrelenting vibrancy that made one eventually think of neon. I didn’t so much think of spirituality or practicality, but did wonder at the waste.of money and resources for – let’s be honest – so little effect. I also (somewhat uncharitably) assumed that the cross did not shine forth from both sides, and the folk in the house behind it were not affected.

Then, years later, I found myself in another house, across another street, from a giant cross left alight all night. This cross did not shine directly into the house, but slanted more along the street, and not across it. It is affixed by mighty metal stanchions and stays atop a huge Evangelical church. When darkness comes, its emblazoned light can be seen across a whole city and, by my reckoning, into the hills beyond. I am not certain, but I also imagine it can be seen by ships at sea.

But, both crosses bestow upon me the light of the Lord, and I’ll happily take whatever blessings might be granted.

Shine on me.

(image) https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41r6ETelb8L.jpg

Kafka Lights His World On Fire

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My novel. Kafka In The Castle, fills in Kafka’s missing diary entries. This is how I imagine Kafka’s best friend, Max Brod, reacts to one of the many times Kafka burned his own manuscripts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

19 April 1917

Max was horrified when I told him about last night.

“You burned your stories? Are you crazy?”

“I wrote them, so I must be.”

He smiled at that. Max’s anger can be easily deflected, for it is never deep. Max is a very good man, and cares for me more than I do myself.

“And the novel? The Amerika novel?”

I told him that many chapters of that must have been burned. Probably right from the start – they were no doubt the first things I grabbed from the chair.  “Anything else?”

“There were a couple of plays. I remember pages of dialogue.”

Max’s voice became hollow. He might no longer be angry, but neither was he happy. “I didn’t know you had written any plays. You have secrets even from me.”

“I keep secrets from myself. Don’t be offended.”

“What else?”

I could picture him writing down an inventory.

“Some diary entries – those were deliberate.”

“And was that the end of your pyromaniac obsession?”

“Of my own work – yes.”

He looked at me questioningly – he didn’t need another secret.

“There were a couple of bundles of letters from Felice. Neatly tied with string. They burned slowly. I have not had such warmth from her for a long time.”

 

[image] https://quelibroleer.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/libo-quemandose1.jpg

How I Will Save Canada And Enrich The Nation

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[Rideau Hall]

I am putting myself forward to be chosen as the next Governor General of Canada. I am open to the job in the natural progression of such things, but can be on call to finish off a term if – well – the need arises.

I am a sturdy Maritimer (I think this part of the country could use the boost); have travelled nearly across this fair land; am a successful artist; and am descended from United Empire Loyalists.  I will be more than proud to represent our Monarch.

I also have a stellar idea of how to raise funds for this great country, even in these times of COVID-19 disruption.

I propose to turn Rideau Hall, official residence of the Monarch, into an AirBnB. I’ll be more than happy to live in Rideau Cottage, or even 7 Rideau Gate. I generally live small.

Rideau Hall has 175 rooms and sits on 88 acres. It can easily pass as a Gated Community – with guards. It is set back from the hustle and bustle of the city. Unwanted visitors are removed.

Though it could indeed be party central for the insanely rich, I think more in terms of renovating the interior into a number (admittedly, a large number) of rooms and apartments, suitable for a vast array of the world’s population.

Also, the way things are going, well-done – though admittedly hasty – renovations could turn the building into a grand place for staycations. Proud Canadians from sea to sea to sea can come (eventually) to stay in the nation’s capital. There might be a shuttle service for residents to go to the Byward Market to stock up on provisions.

I throw open this proposal even if I do not attain the high position I desire. It will be a gift to my fellow citizens.

But I think I would look right nifty in uniform

 

[image] https://www.gardensottawa.ca/img/cache/126/261/11/86976117480161100269-0114588001517009332.jpg

Space & The Universe Are Going Around In Circles

motion-map

 

There is a new map of the Universe, created after ten or more years and looking past numbers that are in the billions. There are also pretty colours.

I appreciate space speculations, and accept that the folk who come up with them, plus the knowledge and machines they use, make their pronouncements and suppositions more relevent than my musings. But I haven’t been proved wrong yet.

This excerpt from one of my short stories keeps being very popular, so maybe I have achieved an answer by having no real answer. Sounds likle the Universe to me.  I’m always glad and willing to add to knowledge about the unknown.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Circles are the answer.

“Just look at any circle and you’ll see what I mean. Of course, no one else is to know about the circles. They must be very stupid if they can’t see something so obvious.

“Yet, you get hints, don’t you – all the time out there. And in your own life – the way things happen so you never get anywhere. Never change.

“The earth, of course, and the sun – well, that’s something you can see. Either way you look at it, the one goes around the other in a big circle that takes in the whole sky. And the earth and the sun and the moon are round  – all circles in their own right. So you have circles which are going around in circles, if you get my meaning.

“And if you look further – reach out into the universe as far as you can go – they tell us that everything is going around everything else. Smaller circles and elongated circles which take in such large distances that numbers become forgotten.

“Now, this means that everything, eventually, comes back upon itself. The beginning is really the end. That’s what most people would think – and that’s where they make their mistake.

“You see, things don’t start by beginning – they start by ending. It’s the end which comes first in a circle, so, instead of going back to where it started, it comes back to its end.

“That explains it.”

(image) http://public.media.smithsonianmag.com/legacy_blog/motion-map.jpg

Pay(ing) Attention To The Other Animals

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A character in one of my novels, Mother Ursula, always refers to the other animals on Earth as the other animals. She is well aware that homo sapiens sapiens are but animals with pretensions – and the Grace of God. She fits in right well in the chapters set in Africa, where the other animals come to the fore. It is the author’s observation that the other animals still hold more sway in Africa than elsewhere on our benighted planet.

So, I pay attention to the other animals.

During a walk in the neighbourhood, a right old rumpus erupted in a parking lot to my left. A man was having a frantic time keeping his dog in check. The dog was on a leash, and actually pulling the man. They were in the middle of the empty parking lot, and I could see nothing to make the dog so agitated. The dog was straining mightily, but it was obvious that, if he broke free, he was not coming for me. He was wishing to get free to dash into an adjoining back yard. I carefully went on my way.

About five minutes later I turned onto another street. Now, I fully understand that the phrase “Can not believe my eyes” is not literal. We say it when we see something extraordinary. However, that was the phrase that immediately came to mind, even as I was seeing what I was seeing.

Part way along the street, an albino deer was standing in the middle of the road. There was not a patch of colour on the animal other than white. Head, body, legs. Looking right at me. Calmly. It stood stock still. Not a twitch.

Well, I did the same. Not a movement. It was about three houses along the street. Blessedly there was no traffic. No walkers. And I at least now knew why the dog had been so agitated. Perhaps it could not trust its senses, either.

The albino deer didn’t move. After three or four minutes, I wondered if it was ill. Somehow stunned. Dealing with some sort of trauma. Regardless, I knew it was not safe for the albino deer to keep standing in the middle of a street. I started to – very slowly – walk toward it.

And it didn’t move.

I went closer and it still didn’t move. I wondered if deer could be rabid. Was its mind gone? Was I in danger? I was not going to confront a hefty deer. I stopped.

About a couple of minutes after I stopped, two fawns came trotting between two houses. Seemingly not a care in the world. They were of a normal deer colour. The albino deer turned and started to trot toward a swath of bushes and trees on the other side of the road. The fawns quickly followed. Exit three deer, as if responding to stage directions.

Those other animals, eh?

 

[Image] http://i.pinimg.com/736x/a2/da/0e/a2da0ee76b4b8d0e8dca30f7f86e93cf.jpg

A rare situation for Her Majesty – talking to someone older than herself. “The Queen knights Captain Sir Tom Moore at Windsor Castle” — Royal Central

Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised over £33 million for the NHS at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, has received his knighthood at Windsor Castle. The Queen conferred the honour in a special investiture ceremony on Friday afternoon. The 100 year old was accompanied by his family for the outdoor investiture, the Queen’s first…

via The Queen knights Captain Sir Tom Moore at Windsor Castle — Royal Central

The Ghost Hunts The Living For Revenge

woman's ghost
The Ghost came calling

(As ghosts are wont to do)

When they go to wander,

In those places,

They used to play.

The Ghost wanted

(As ghosts are wont to do)

When all full of revenge,
To pull the living

To the Other side.

The Ghost hated

(As ghosts are wont to do)

Those who had been mean,

And hateful, and cruel,

And so so selfish.

The Ghost tugged

(As ghosts are wont to do)

With bony hands and fingers,

Hooked into both

Memory and conscience.

The Ghost succeeded

(As ghosts are wont to do)

Tenfold times ten again,

Turning troubled dream

Into shrieking nightmare.

The Ghost retreated

(As ghosts are wont to do)

At the blush of dawn.

Slipped behind the drape,

Waiting ever patiently.

 

{image} https://media4.s-nbcnews.com/i/newscms/2016_43/1169631/ghost-woman-tease-today-161026_a0e92f89834bf99d7763b514b91aa60d.jpg

What Lives On Our Flesh.  >> What Quarantine Is Doing to Your Body’s Wondrous World of Bacteria

The germs, fungi and mites that grow on our hands, face, armpits and elsewhere have become stranded during the age of social distancing

Source: What Quarantine Is Doing to Your Body’s Wondrous World of Bacteria

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