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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

E-for Equestrian.

I love horses and all that is involved in the Equine world.

 I have been sitting in my favourite reclining chair just wracking my brains for a suitable subject, then...... Lo and behold.... Before my very eyes....on TV the coverage of the Equestrian Events in the 2016 Olympics Games.......Inspiration at last!

One of the British entrants competing in the dressage section.
Horses have been used through the ages for many purposes. When I was a child we used to have our freshly baked bread delivered daily by a large covered cart drawn by a huge shire horse called Bob we used to give him a large juicy apple off one of our Grandpa's trees. When the Cart horse had finished his deliveries Grandpa would diligently follow in the horse's big clodding shoe steps and shovel the loads of steaming horse manure into a bucket, he then would spread it around the garden on his various fruit and vegetable plants and particularly on his prize winning rhubarb. Needless to say my brother and I would not eat the lovely rhubarb pies our granny used to produce.

Shire Horse similar to Bob the Bread Horse.

In the UK we have many Police Horses that are used in crowd control at sporting events and protecting and escorting Royalty etc. Our Equine friends are also used in many sports including the most famous of all Horse Races; Where I live the world famous Grand National is staged annually at the Aintree Race Course.

 The famous horse called Red Rum who was from Liverpool and was trained on the wonderful beaches going from Liverpool up to the Lancashire seaside. 

               Red Rum won the Grand National three times.



Red Rum cantering along Formby Beach, during his daily training




Red Rum's Grave at Aintree Race Course.



My sincere thanks to the Enchanting Denise who devised ABCW, also to the administrator Roger who in his Endearing way, has Encouraged us all, and along with help from Leslie whose Erudition has helped Each one of us to keep contributing to this Excellent and most interesting Blog site.  Last, but not least the team of helpers who work with Exactitude in helping  with the visits to other sites.

Best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.















Tuesday, 12 July 2016

A stands for Abou Ben Adhem,

Abou Ben Adhem ( may his tribe increase)!

Awoke one night from a deep dream of Peace,  And saw within the moonlight in his room,

 Making it rich, like a lily in bloom,


 An Angel writing in a book of gold:-

 Exceeding peace had made  Ben Adhem bold,

 And to the presence in the room he said,

 'What writest thou'?:- The vision raised it's head,

 And with a look made of all sweet accord,

 Answered,'The names of those who love the lord.'

 And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay not so,' 

Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,

 But cheerily still; and said, 'I pray thee, then,

 Write me as one who loves his fellow men.'

 The Angel wrote , and vanished. 


 The next night,

 It came again with a great wakening light,

 And showed the names whom love of God had blest,  And lo!

 Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.


ABOU BEN ADHEM was a Muslim mystic  (Suffi) from Persia and was venerated as a saint, his father was a prince of Khurasan. One day when ABOU BEN ADHEM was out hunting with his favourite horse and dog,     they were in hot pursuit of a hare, he heard the voice of an unseen speaker . I felt dread and stopped, then I began again and urged my horse on.          Three times it happened....... Then, I heard the voice again,

                                    It was the voice of God saying,

 "It was not for this thou was created,

 It is not for this thou was commanded to do"

 I felt dread, stopped then began again and urged my trusty steed on. Three time it happened, eventually I dismounted, as I did I encountered on of my Father's shepherds.

 I took from him his woollen tunic and put it on and gave him my mare and all that I had with me in exchange.

It was then I turned my steps towards Mecca!


My sincere thanks to the AMAZING Denise for devising this AWESOME site, also to the AMIABLE Roger along with his ADVENTUROUS ASSISTANT Leslie who deal with the Admin. (No mean task!) Last but not least the team of helpers who visit around the ARDENT ABCwednesdayers!

Best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.






 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Y stands for ?

Ya Boo !

 Can You believe it ? I've wracked my brain and thought and thought, then Yawned and Yawned, Yet, I still can't think of a suitable subject starting with the letter Y ..... I thought of the lovely poem, 

 Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott which I learned to recite, when I was quite Young.....Having checked, it seems that ballad is eight verses long, on reflection I really can't believe that I actually learned and recited all eight verses.



Lochinvar.

 Lo! Young Lochinvar is come out of the West.

 Through all the wide border his steed was the best.

 And save his good broadsword he weapons had none.

He rode all unarmed and he rode alone.

 So faithful in love and so dauntless in war.

 There never was a knight like Young Lochinvar.


As the poem is rather long I shall give you a short synopsis of this delightful prose.

Lochinvar was a gallant young knight who had asked for the hand in marriage of the Fair Ellen. Her father, however, disapproved of Young Lochinvar and refused. In the meantime Ellen was betrothed to another, when Young Lochinvar heard of this, he left the field of battle to save his beloved Ellen. 


Sadly, when he arrived at her home she was already married . Being a noble Knight he asked her to dance with him, then, when the opportunity arose,  he took her up into his arms, swept her up onto his trusty steed and rode off into the night. 



         

Should you wish to read all of  this delightful prose by  Sir Walter Scott. (and I hope you do) please just google it. It is fiction but loosely based on fact during the time of a famous battle in Scotland.

Thanks to our ever Youthful Denise for devising ABCW and Roger the XYZ guy who puts so much into the running of this Yum Yum meme.... I love it .

Best wishes to all  our ABCW  friends,
 new and present..
Di xx

 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

X for XERXES.

Xerxes was a 5th Century king of Persia the son of Darius the Great. His attempt to conquer Greece ended unsuccessfully at the battle of Salamis.


This was a decisive victory for the Greeks. In his attempt to conquer Greece and the rest of Europe he built a canal across the isthmus where Mount Athos covered the land all  the way down to the sea.
 The canal was critical to Xerxes plan in an attempt to conquer Greece and the rest of Europe. Xerxes commissioned his General Mardonius to build a bridge across the Hellespont to assist the effort in conquering Europe.
 To the dismay of  Xerxes a fierce storm erupted and totally wrecked the bridge thus thwarting his plans. He was furious and ordered that all those that built the bridge be decapitated. Furthermore he ordered that the Hellespont should receive 300 lashes!

 Xerxes truly believed that flogging the Hellespont would be an indication of his wrath. he believed that the water intended to wrong him by destroying his bridges.

Xerxes and his men flogging the Hellespont .


Xerxes may have been an emergent Pantheist believing that God and nature are one and the same. Either way Xerxes  not only gave the Hellespont a good dose of it's own medicine but also, undoubtedly felt better after this exercise.


X stands for an  EXTRA Piece... a little 

 fun from Mr Edward Lear... one of my favourite writers.





 Without EXCEPTION I'm about to  EXIT this EXCRUCIATINGLY difficult letter to find a subject worthy enough to write about on this wonderful and EXTRAORDINARY  Meme created  by the EXCEPTIONALLY talented Denise who devised ABCW and our EXPERT administrator Roger for all he does and not forgetting the team of helpers who assist with the visiting of each participant.

Best wishes,

Di. ABCW team.

  




Tuesday, 14 June 2016

W stands for Witches..

My family like to tease me at times, as I apparently have an uncanny knack of foretelling the future. Often, when our three girls were younger I would foresee what they were 'up to' when they were doing things they shouldn't. Therefore, for this reason I was labelled a Witch.... A White witch that is, not an evil Black Witch. I don't regard this as 'Witchery' but a mother's intuition!


White Witches are good and often mistaken for being Earth Angels. Although there is a crucial difference between them, White Witches have a deep connection to nature and Earth angels are beings of air. Whilst Angels are mediators between heaven and earth, White Witches are beings of earth and are mediators between humans and elements. However both serve the greater good.


Mrs White Witch spying on youngest daughter drinking cider in woods with other friends when they should have been at a Girl Guides meeting !

  You should have seen the look of horror on their faces when I appeared from behind a tree !

She still doesn't know to this day how I knew she was there, easy really.....The Guide leader telephoned me as she 'smelt a rat', the four compatriots were noticeably missing for two weeks on the run... Oh boy! Were they in deep trouble.....I pushed the four of them into my car... after pouring the cider away. Youngest daughter was fuming with me..."how did you know where we  were"?  she sniffed, "Put it down to Mother's intuition" I replied, desperately trying not to laugh. "You're a Witch" she sniffed again.

 "Ah yes! but a White Witch"I retorted"( where lies another tale to tell).

I drove them all home in sullen silence to 'face the music', whilst the White Witch was stirring her cauldron to compose a suitable spell, to teach Astrid and her friends how to learn the error of their ways.......
 Needless to say, Girl Guides meetings were not missed again ! 


My sincere thanks to the Wise and Warm-hearted Denise for devising Abcw all those years ago.

It is Wonderful how it has achieved a World-wide status.
 Also, we must Whole- heartedly thank the ever Watchful Roger our administrator with his wealth of knowledge, doing what 
he does, so well.

 Finally our thanks must go out to the band of willing helpers, working  hard together, visiting  other sites and particularly, to WELCOME new contributors.

Best wishes  to all,

Di.
ABCW team.


Sunday, 12 June 2016

ABC Wednesday: V stands for Venerable.

ABC Wednesday: V stands for Venerable.: The Venerable Bede The Venerable Bede is widely known as the greatest of all Anglo Saxon scholars, born in 673AD  He was a monk and was...

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

U stands for UTENSILS

I have always been an enthusiastic cook and one of the most USEFUL and often USED UTENSIL in my kitchen is my pressure cooker. If I was given the option of having either a microwave or a pressure cooker , the pressure cooker wins, hands down.

My favourite kitchen UTENSIL. The UBIQUITOUS pressure cooker. 


Over the years it has turned out some hearty and delicious meals. Some of the family favourites are Minestrone Soup with Parmesan Cheese Wafers and

  Lentil with Bacon Soup plus lots of fresh vegetables... and not forgetting   Di's famous parsley dumplings......

Minestrone soup with Parmesan Chips. 




Bacon and Lentil Soup with Di's famous Parsley Dumplings.

USING a pressure cooker cuts the cooking time considerably, from start to finish, these two wholesome and hearty soups can be from cooker to table within twenty minutes.


Honey Glazed Ham.

The honey glazed ham took 35 mins in the pressure cooker, then a further 30 mins, roasted with a honey and clove glaze, in the oven. USING the Pressure Cooker cut the cooking time almost by half.  This method keeps the gammon tender and succulent.

 Cumberland sauce goes well with it.



Honey Glazed Ham.



Cumberland sauce.

So here it is .... all this lovely food cooked in my favourite kitchen UTENSIL,
THE UBIQUITOUS  
Pressure cooker. 

My sincere thanks to  Denise, who has UNDENIABLY brought a lot of pleasure to so many of us, by devising abcw and  UNITING people from all over the world, sharing thoughts, pictures, poems and daily doings, et al !

Also, our  UNENDING  gratitude to Roger the  UNASSAILABLE  Administrator,  for doing what he does, in keeping US, UP and running with UNFAILING aplomb.

Thanks too, to the team of helpers who, week after week, assist Roger with the visits to all participants....
WORLDWIDE....WOW!

Best Wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.