5 More #atoztreasures

I promised I’d share some more of the excellent blogs that constituted the April 2016 a to z challenge. Here is another bunch of five that I have enjoyed. I think you will, too. Check out Suzanne Rogerson for a sumptuous collection of photographs, recipes and more. Some contributors experimented with different verse forms. The View From the Third Floor by Eliptical Man is one such. Dr Amit Prakash will, in his Doc2poet blog, introduce you to many oriental and other forms, with translations and explanations. Also from the sub-continent prabatks, aka inkyfire, produced 26 love poems. Nebraskan author and … Continue reading 5 More #atoztreasures

5 #atoztreasures: #atozchallenge

One of the great pleasures of participating in the #atozchallenge has been the opportunity to look at what others have done with it. Over 1300 people completed the challenge so it would be impossible for any one individual to read them all. I have looked at a few – and intend to look at a few more over the next while. I’ll provide links to some I’ve liked and that you might like too. Here, in no particular order, are the first five. The submissions from The Dublinhousewife.com take the form of conversations between husband and wife or wife and … Continue reading 5 #atoztreasures: #atozchallenge

Zoot Sims: #atozchallenge

A couple of years before I left school some of my class mates started bringing jazz records they’d purchased in specialist music shops in London. It was my introduction to a style of music that came to be known as Modern Jazz. A development from swing, this free flowing form of music was pioneered by various instrumentalists who had cut their musical teeth with one or more of the Basie, Ellington and Goodman bands of the 1940s. Zoot Sims and his brother Ray were members of the Benny Goodman band in 1946-7, Zoot on saxophone and Ray on trombone. Afterwards … Continue reading Zoot Sims: #atozchallenge

Yakety Sax & Yakety Axe: #atozchallenge

If you are old enough to remember the Benny Hill show, after it transferred to Thames Television in 1969, you will know the tune that accompanied the closing chase sequence. Originally recorded in 1963 by its composer, Boots Randolph, the raucous nature of the saxophone notes and the insistent rhythm were an ideal accompaniment to the jerky motion of Hill’s many pursuers. British saxophonist Peter Hughes was responsible for the version used on Hill’s show. Boots Randolph was a Nashville based session musician who played on recordings by many country and rock artistes during the 60s and later. Hits featuring … Continue reading Yakety Sax & Yakety Axe: #atozchallenge

Making a Choice: #atozchallenge (X)

This post is for election nerds. If politics or statistics leave you cold, read no further. If, however, you want to try to understand how it is that supposedly democratic elections so often fail to produce a satisfactory outcome, read on. In May 2015 the voters of the UK made their choice. 37% of them placed their ‘X’ against a candidate of the Conservative Party. Almost 13% placed their ‘X’ against the name of someone representing the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). Yet the Conservatives hold 331 of the seats in the new Parliament (51%) whilst UKIP holds just one … Continue reading Making a Choice: #atozchallenge (X)

Work and Wealth: #atozchallenge

Time, I fear, for another rant. I’ll start with the assertion that work is not a right, it is a duty. Consider this: nothing of use exists without work. The most precious metal has no value until someone digs it out of the ground, someone else refines it, yet another shapes it into something desirable. Consider, too, the most primitive form of human existence, the hunter-gatherers. Are hunting and gathering not forms of work? Maslow’s hierarchy of need places food and shelter at the bottom of the pyramid. They are the things without which we cannot survive. If you have … Continue reading Work and Wealth: #atozchallenge

Volunteering in Later Life: #atozchallenge

Many people who have retired from full time employment find renewed fulfillment by volunteering their time and skills to organisations working to improve their local communities. Everything from running a “meals on wheels” service to maintaining flower beds in your local shopping centre can be done by volunteers. Retirement Worries Are you approaching retirement and wondering how to fill your time? Or maybe you are retired already and starting to suffer from “cabin fever”. Have you considered volunteering? There are lots of organisations that involve people like you providing services for others. Some of them are near you. What do … Continue reading Volunteering in Later Life: #atozchallenge

UB40: atozchallenge

(Most of what follows originally appeared as part of a longer post on a website called Bizarre Britain) You and a few mates with a love of music have been rehearsing together. Having chosen your genre you’ve driven the neighbours crazy practicing in your father’s garage. Now you are ready to bring your efforts to the attention of the public. There’s only one problem: what to call yourselves. All the best names have been taken. It was in situations like this that some of the most successful British bands found inspiration in the oddest of places. Late in 1978 a … Continue reading UB40: atozchallenge

Tailor: #atozchallenge

On my mother’s marriage certificate, dated 2nd January 1940, she is described as ‘journeyman tailor’, and ‘telephonist with ARP’. ARP stands for Air Raid Precautions and relates to the fact that it was 4 months since Britain had declared war on Germany. Air raids were expected but had not yet taken place. In fact it would be another 9 months before the first of the raids that came to be known as ‘The Blitz’ took place. From 7 September 1940, one year into the war, London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 57 consecutive nights. More than one million London … Continue reading Tailor: #atozchallenge