“A Thousand Years”

I have  watched so many music videos and have noticed that (so often) the singer simply does their part and the various band members simply do their part. What I miss in many videos is them all  showing some cohesion in the performance. What do I mean? Well,  it is fine if everybody sings and/or plays flawlessly, but it is so much nicer when they are all “in the same space”. i.e. instead of a group of professional entertainers doing what is expected of them, I can see them reacting with each other as well. Interactions can make a good video into a lovely video!

What can I say about this one … except “What a really lovely video.” I am sure that most of you (probably all of you) will agree. Enjoy!  🙂

Canada Geese!

Some of you are regularly blessed (?) with Canada Geese. They are very large birds which can be a cause for concern. We experienced an incident once where we were on a bridge overlooking our harbour, and were watching a flock taking off towards us.  They were gaining height rapidly when air turbulence  caused by neighbouring buildings triggered a rapid loss of height … as they were  still approaching us. For a few moments I thought we would have to drop down behind the concrete wall along the edge of the bridge, but they all recovered sufficient height to go over our heads and went on their way. The other thing about Canada Geese is that they are prolific poopers!

Those of you who are not in Canada, but are visited by Canada Geese, may enjoy the pics below which were taken yesterday and today (11th).  You may even enjoy the sheer volume of this large, heavy and prolific pooper that lives here, and it would not surprise me if you were glad that you do not get so many!

Note: The lake is flat, so those dark lines in the distance are not waves … but more and more Canada Geese!

If they all took flight at the same time, the noise from their wing flapping together with their “honking” would be very prominent, in total contrast with an otherwise peaceful setting.

One song … 50 Countries!

I am not going to say anything about this video, except that it is Christian based. Any readers who are not of the Christian faith (or of any faith), can still appreciate the example of people from all around our world coming together to offer a united message of hope for our future. Of course we should also appreciate the technology that made it possible!

“Who Knows Where Time Goes”

Sandy Denny was a well known singer in the UK Folk/Pop scene in the 1970’s but, very sadly, died in 1978 after a fall down some steps. “Her death was ruled to be the result of a traumatic mid-brain haemorrhage and blunt force trauma to her head.” (per Wikipedia) She would have been 31 years old. I always loved her vocal tones and the way she used them.

For anybody interested, a search on this Blog for Sandy Denny will produce two more of her songs that I really like – “Solo” and “Full Moon”. Meanwhile, enjoy “Who Knows Where Time Goes”, recorded when she was the lead singer with Fairport Convention.

Aspiration or Inspiration?

“Treat others as I would like them to treat me.”

It’s a wonderful basis for living, and I adopted it many years ago. Of course, how effective I have been is open to debate, but I like to think that my “compliance percentage” is quite high. The problem though is that it is often misunderstood. I know that because, when I broach the concept with some people, they respond with “Aren’t you disappointed though when they don’t behave accordingly, or when you go out of your way to help somebody, but they never reciprocate … don’t you wonder why you bothered?”

It is so important to understand that the quote was not “Treat others as I would expect them to treat me”, but rather “as I would like them to treat me.”  Understanding the significant difference is important if one intends adopting that concept. An “expectation” that is not achieved can be really disappointing … but a “like” that does not follow through is just a part of living.

There are a number of areas which are important to understand if we are to role model effectively.

We have to understand that each of us is a product of so many factors – parental influences, childhood experiences, teen experiences, location, lifestyle, traumatic experiences, success and failures etc. etc.

Romantics will often stress our uniqueness; our individuality. They  are quite correct. Because we are all exposed to so many (and varied) influences as we proceed through life, we are indeed absolutely unique individuals. This means that I need never be disappointed at how “you” behave. I could of course not like how you handle a specific situation, but I just need to remember that your life influences are different from mine. If I can always remember that, then I can accept what you do/don’t do. I may not like  your actions in a specific situation, but I can accept that your life has taken you in that direction.

I am reminded of a lesson I learned many years ago when my two teenagers were being particularly challenging – “There is no reason why you cannot always love your children. You may not love what they do, but you can always love them for who they are.” – My issue with that was learning to separate the person from the action. I did not find that easy to do, but it makes so much sense when you think about it. Why should we stop loving anybody simply because of what they did, when all they did was behave in accordance with their life experiences?

We should perhaps each spend a little time to understand who we are … what/who were our biggest influences … who we admired, and why, as we grew up … what made us happy, and what brought us to tears … our emotional highs and lows …. our successes, and our failures.

If each of us was a cake recipe, it would indeed be a very complicated recipe, and each cake would be unique. Once we have grasped that perspective, it is so much easier to accept others simply for who they are.

“Treat as others as I would like them to treat me.”

Does this provide a goal for you to aspire to, or does it simply inspire more thought? Regardless of your answer, somebody once said “Role model how you would like the world to be.” There are more of us than there are politicians so, rather than wait for our leaders to move in this direction, we should simply take charge and demonstrate our desire for a better world. There are millions of us, so can you just imagine what such a common perspective could achieve?

 

 

“New World in the Morning”

There were some lovely songs recorded in the 1970’s … many of which are still appropriate for today (and probably tomorrow). This was another one that I came across in my task of converting vinyl to digital! It stresses the perennial message that “tomorrow never comes” in the context that, if you really want to do some thing, you shouldn’t wait until “tomorrow”. When you think about it, if there is something we want to do that is important enough to plan starting “tomorrow”, then surely  it is important enough to start today?

I remember listening to a speaker who had spent many hours talking with individuals who were at the end of their lives.  The ones that had been productive, and could look back with smiles of satisfaction, readily accepted their demise. Conversely, those who had procrastinated throughout their lives, often by simply putting off doing things until “tomorrow”, were the ones that were  bitter. From their perspective, life had been unfair to them.

Today is really all we have, and there are no guarantees about tomorrow. One day, tomorrow really is not going to come … literally!  Use today to write that letter; send that email; make that phone call; start a walking program; be careful about what you are eating; make the first move to repair a relationship; do anything that you have been thinking about starting “tomorrow”. Nike’s logo of “Do it now” says it all. Enjoy Roger Whitaker reminding is of all this!

 

“Once upon a time …”

Once upon a time … a Barn Owl nest was destroyed in a storm, and the only survivor was a young female. (“I’m a Barn Owl, so I can do this!”)

Once upon a time … a Jackalope (Antelope/Jack Rabbit) climbed into a rowboat to escape a storm, but the boat was washed out into the sea. (“I can’t swim, so I have to think this through carefully!)

Once upon a time, an abandoned kitten fell off a fallen tree and into a swollen river. He was lucky to be able to grab a branch and pull himself out. Exhausted, cold, and wet, he dragged himself into a hollow log and curled up. (“Did anybody leave any food in here?”)

Once upon a time, a man was planning his retirement.  His dream was to buy a little farm out in the country, where he could live the rest of his life at his own pace, and with the tranquility of the countryside surrounding him. (“It will be lovely to have no obligations to others, and just do whatever I want … and on my timing. Heaven!”

So what happens?

Well …. The Barn Owl accidentally bumped into the Jackalope, and between them they saved a kitten. All three found an old farm to live in and were planning on living “happily ever after”.

The man retired and, as planned, bought a little farm in the country. Everything went according to plan until …

The following is an excerpt from “The Odessa Chronicles”:

**  ***  *****  ***  **

Joshua Jeremiah Jonathan Jacob Jackson Pebblestone had worked pretty much all of his life, and was now retired and about to start living his dream. He had bought a small farm, out in the country, so that he could enjoy the sights and sounds of rural life. He had been planning for this moment for many years, and now here he was … opening the old wooden gate to his own little farm.

He looked at the gate and smiled, for engraved in the top bar were some letters. The letters were almost totally hidden by years of weathering, and blended in with the wood, but he had noticed them the first time he saw the farm. He had traced his fingers over the letter shapes, and quickly realized that they spelled “Moonbeam Farm”. Perfect! he had thought to himself. Perfect!

He walked cross the yard, unlocked the farmhouse door, and went directly into the kitchen, where he made himself a cup of tea. His belongings had all been delivered earlier, so he sat down and smiled. This was what he had worked for. His life, from now on, was going to be one of peace and tranquility.

His first night there was uneventful, but … the next morning? He walked into his living room and the cushions that should have been on his sofa were gone! He found them all piled up in the corner of the room, very close to the fireplace. He shook his head and thought, I don’t remember putting them there. Why would I put them there? Oh well, I’ll put them back on the sofa. He did so immediately. When he woke up the following morning, the sofa cushions were once again on the floor and near the fireplace. I must be moving them while I am asleep, he thought to himself.

He later went over to the barn and was also rather puzzled by what he saw. The barn had clearly not been used for a considerable time, and yet one small area in one corner was very neat and tidy. There was some straw there, which had an indentation in it, as though some small person had been lying there. He also noticed that, on the other end of the barn, there was a pile of small bones on the floor, as if dropped from above. He looked up, but all he saw was a large wooden beam, which helped to support the roof.

One night, he woke up rather earlier than usual and heard a sound from downstairs. He quietly got out of bed and put on his slippers. By the light of the moon, he slowly went down and into his living room, where he quickly turned on the light. He saw that not only was there only one cushion on the sofa, but he also saw a cat near the fireplace, with another cushion in its mouth!

He thought it looked friendly, so he bent down and said, “Who are you then?”

The cat turned its head to face Joshua, and said, “I am Dewey. Who are you?”

Joshua was in shock, as he had not been expecting the cat to talk. “Ummmm … well, I am Joshua Jeremiah Jonathan Jacob Jackson Pebblestone, and I live here.”

So do I,” said Dewey, “but I was here before you!”

**  ***  *****  ***  **

“The Odessa Chronicles” is a book of short stories based around those four characters, and is suitable for ages 4 to 104. If there is a child still within you, you will love the stories. You will love the characters involved. You will love how they keep their quite different personalities, and yet slowly progress to not only living together in harmony, but how they also eventually became best friends.

“The Odessa Chronicles” is available from any on-line book retailer, or direct from Friesen Press Bookstore. For reviews, amazon.com has the most. Click on book cover over to the right (may have to scroll) for more information.

 

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“The Shamrock and the Thistle.”

Many of you know that I have a significant library of music, covering a wide range of genres. Music has always been important to me and, while I have over 7000 tracks currently on my pc, I have a large number of vinyl albums yet to be converted to digital.

Back in the 1960’s, and on a Saturday evening, I would often be found at a local pub …. upstairs in a room used by the Peterborough  Folk Club.  The entertainment there was generally very good. English Folk Music appealed because if its simplicity (totally acoustic), and that there was often some kind of message in the song. Continue reading

“Zombie”

When I discovered Disturbed’s cover of “Sounds of Silence” (previous Post), I also discovered Bad Wolves cover of The Cranberries’ “Zombie”. I have many Cranberries songs in my library, and loved Dolores O”Riordan’s vocals. It was a sad day when she left us so prematurely in 2018, which made me question the ethics of marketing a cover version of a song (which she made so popular) so soon. I was however curious, so I did listen to it. Continue reading