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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

B for The Brenner Pass.

The Brenner Pass.
 Last week I wrote about a wonderful holiday I had in Austria (Europe); Whilst we were there we took a trip to Northern Italy to see the magical mountain range of The Dolomites (part of the Alps).
 The Brenner Pass is a pass throgh the Alps , it forms a border between Austria and Italy;
 It is one of the principal passes of the Eastern Alpine range.




The Brenner Pass (mlddle right),


We stopped at  a most stunning sight it was of Lake Carezza; It has a beautiful backdrop of Pine trees and The Dolomites.

Lake Carezza.


We were heading for the City of Bolzana, in the heart of the Alps. it has a most interesting history which will saved for another time.
 Note the beautiful architecture.















The peak of The Dolomites.



  Yet another amazing trip over the Brenner Pass from Austria into the stunning scenery of Northern Italy.

My thanks to Denise, Roger Leslie and  team for making ABCW happen.
Best wishes Di.
ABCW team.





Monday, 2 January 2017

Z for Zither

Shirley Abicair playing her Zither.

When I was little I clearly remember a rather talented lady called Shirley Abicair who played the Zither and sang lots of jolly songs on the TV.

  She had a crystal clear voice and her Zither accom paniment was truly lovely.

 She discovered the Zither at the back of a cupboard when she was quite small and virtually taught herself to play, She lived in Adelaide in Australia before she came over to the UK and presented some childrens' TV programmes.

 The  Zither and Shirley were made for each other.




This is a concert Zither, it has a fret and not quite so basic as the one Shirley found in a cupboard many years ago.


The Austrian Zither also known as a Landleute and was very popular in Austria and Bavaria. It was also a popular folk music instrument called a Volkzither, this was around the beginning of the 19th century. 

Austrian lady playing the concert zither.




The highly acclaimed painter Franz vonDefregger (1835-1921). he is well known for his peasant genre and narrative painting..

Austrian peasant playing the  ZITHER .
As I've run out of  Z's I shall ZIP off for a quick zzzzz ( siesta time) but before I go i would like to thank the wonderful ZANY Denise who devised abcw all those years ago and the ever ZEALOUS Roger and his ZESTFUL assistant Leslie for doing what they do in keeping us writing our memes, Last but not least thanks to the team of assistants who help with the visits.  
Best wishes to you all for 2017..... Happy New Year. Di, xxx




Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Y stands for Yogi,

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, (Yogi means great Seer) was a great Seer and travelled the world teaching Transendental meditation.




 'Transendental meditation'.....has been described as both religious and non-religious and mainly rooted in Hinduism. The meditation practice involves the use of a Mantra (especially in Buddhism and Hinduism). It is a word or sound that is believed to have a special spiritual power.

 A personal Mantra is sometimes repeated as an aid to meditation or prayer. 



   Association with the Beatles.


 The Beatles went to study with him in Bangor North Wales, before travelling to Rishikesh in India (1968) to devote themselves fully to his instructions.

 Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen left after ten days, Paul and his girlfriend Jane Asher left after five weeks and John and Cynthia Lennon, George Harrison and Patti Boyd, left sixteen days later . During their stay they were led to believe that the Marahishi Yogi had made unwanted advances to the actress Mia Farrow it is widely believed that instigated their return home, In 1968 the Beatles renounced their association with him.

.

Years later George Harrison accepted that nothing improper had taken place with the actress and gave a benefit concert for him and his Natural Law Party;

 He later apologised for the way the Mararishi Yogi had been treated by saying "We were very young in believing the alleged attack had taken place but it was total 'bull shit'!

 Cynthia Lennon later wrote that she hated leaving on a note of mistrust when the Mararishi Yogi had been so kind to the Beatles.

 Later the Mararishi was asked if he had forgiven the Beatles he answered, "I could never be upset with angels.

Some of the Beatles music inspired by Indian strengths are illustrated in ,

'Across the Universe' which has Indian influence and especially John Lennon chanting "Jai  Guru Deva".

 Then there was 'Within You Witout You' another mystical sounding piece.

 My particular, favourite song  written by George Harrison was 'My sweet Lord' this had hints of Indian chants where George expressed his love for Indian gods.... 'Hare Krishna Guru Brahma.'


RIP. George Harrison. 

I firmly believe that the spiritual guidance of Marahisi Yogi upon George inspired him to write the famous songs  mentioned in the above paragraph.


Wishing you all a peaceful and happy New Year.

My sincere thanks to the ever YOUTHFUL Denise who cleverly devised Abcw and to the Administrator Roger who has read his way through many a fine YARN, along with his deputy leslie who is frequently YRAPT  with interest at the wonderful tales of yore.
 Finally thanks to the team of helpers who YARELY  visit YOUR  sites too!

Best wishes for 2017,
Di,
Abcw team. 

 


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Xanadu

Kubla Khan  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.



In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure -drome decree;

 Where Alph the sacred river ran

 Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.

 So twice five miles of  fertile ground 

With walls and towers were girded round; 

 And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

 Where blossomed many an incense- bearing tree

 And here were forests ancient as the hills,

 Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

 But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted


 Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!

 A savage place! as holy and enchanted

 As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted


 By woman wailing for her demon - lover! And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething.

 As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,

 A mighty fountain was momently was forced:

 Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst

 Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,

 Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: 

And mid these dancing dancing rocks at once and ever

 It flung up momently the sacred river 

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion

 Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,



 Then reached the caverns measureless to man, 

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:

 And 'mid this Kubla heard from far,

Ancestral voices prophesying war,

  The shadow of the dome of pleasure

 floated midway on the waves;

 Where was heard the mingled measure

 From the fountain and the caves.

It was the miracle of rare device

  A sunny pleasure-dome within caves of ice!

 A damsel with a dulcimer

 In a vision once I saw;

 It was an Abyssinian maid

 And on her dulcimer she played,



 Singing of Mount Abora,

 Could I revive within me

  Her symphony and song,

 To such a deep delight 'twould win me,

 That with music loud and long,

 I would build that dome in the air,

 That sunny dome! Those caves of ice!

 And all who heard should see them there,

 And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

 Weave a circle round him thrice,

  And close your eyes with holy dread

 For he on honey-dew hath fed,

 And drunk the milk of Paradise.







And so I will say goodbye and wish you all the Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas one and all.....My thanks to all the team that keep ABCW running particularly Denise Roger Leslie and all Santa's little helpers....
Best wishes,
Di.
ABCW team.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

V for

Visions of Christmas of Times Gone By. When I think of Christmas my thoughts invariably venture back to my childhood in the 1950's.  

One of my Visions of Christmas takes me back to one Christmas Eve when my brother and I trudged through the snow to sing Christmas carols in ou local church choir. I can always remember the magical atmosphere that enveloped us as we merrily sang 'Ding Dong Merrily on High' and other favourites.


On this particular Christmas when the carol service had finished our dad was waiting at the church door to escort us home because it was snowing heavily, We arrived home to a welcoming  mug of  hot chocolate and delicious warm mince pies, which our elder sister Norma made. (Sadly Norma died at the end of December 2015).

 Then, it was off to bed to sleep and perhaps, dream of the gifts we hoped Father Christmas would bring us.

Visions of Christmas Day brings my brother, me and big sis Norma, sitting in front of a roaring log fire opening our presents, whilst our dear Mama and Aunt May busied themselves in the kitchen preparing the dinner.



Delicious Roast Turkey with all the trimmings for dinner served at 1pm prompt! (That's if Mama and Aunt May hadn't demolished the sherry bottle, there was a lot of laughter emanating from the kitchen)..


 I can Visualize this particular day quite clearly because we both received roller skates and of course couldn't try them out because of the heavy snow, perhaps we should have asked for ice skates!


Vision of my brother and I skating on our roller skates. We had to wait a while before we used them as it was a long snowy winter and indoor roller rinks didn't arrive in our town until the 60's.

I hope you enjoyed my childhood 'VISIONS' !

Thanks to Denise who initially had the VISION to create ABCW and to Roger our Valourous administrator together with Leslie his well Versed assistant.
Finally many thanks to the team of helpers who
pay weekly Visits to abcw memes.


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Q for

A little silliness using  the letter Q that I have hastily put together, having just returned from holiday.

Questions.  Do Querulous Quabs Quack and if they do would they drive you Quackers ? 

Q was a Quince that hung upon a garden tree;

 Papa, he brought it with him home And ate it with his tea. (Edward Lear). The quince.

 Quince, is generally grown in central and southern Europe and Asia. Also parts of the US, including Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Newbury, Massachusetts.

 Round about 1275 Edward 1 had Quince planted at the Tower of London, 
They have a tough outer skin which makes it difficult to peel so are better- baked whole.
 They can be used in jellies and jams, and are delicious served with roasted ham and cheese.


Quartz a favorite gemstone.























Why does the QUAIL have a stumpy little tail ?

  My thanks to Denise the Quintessence of ABCW,  also to Roger for doing what he does, Quietly, along with the help of  Quick-witted Leslie.

 Finally not forgetting the helpers who happily take their Quota of 'visits' with good grace.

 Best wishes, Di.abcw team.

 

abcw team.



 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

M for Manx .The Isle of Man.

Map of the Isle of Man.

In the middle of the Irish Sea between England and Eire (Island) is a beautiful verdant Island called The Isle of Man; people born on the Island are known as 'Manxmen/woman'. The island is 52kilometers long and 22 kilometres wide; with an area of 572 square kilometers. At the last census, there were approximately 30,000 residents, about 2000 of them claimed to be able to speak or have a sound knowledge of the Manx language.
The Isle of Man Ferry from Liverpool.

To get to the Island from Liverpool England, it is 2hours by high-speed ferry or flying from Liverpool John Lennon Airport which takes about 40 minutes.

The Manx flag bears The Legs of  Mann, the official flag since 1932. The three are known in Manx as 'ny tree cassyn (the three legs). The triskelion is an ancient symbol used by the Mycenaeans and the Lycians. The Islanders have their own parliament known as the House of  Keys which is based at a place called Tynwald Hill.


 The Isle of Man famed for the wonderful kippers they produce . There is an abundance of herrings in the seas around the island and for centuries they have been fished out of the emerald green waters and taken to the smoke houses and then to be smoked and turned into kippers.

 

The delicious silver herring .Herrings don't have to be smoked, the Scottish people are fond of them coated in oatmeal and sauteed  in butter, I like this too but there's nothing as good as a MANX kipper. 



Kippers are Herrings that are split and cleaned then put on poles in a smoke house then gently smoked over wood chippings and a special ingredient, that is a strictly kept secret amongst the smoke house people.


Delicious grilled Kipper....Yum Yum !

There is so much more to write about this delightful island but sadly time eludes me so I shall write more in another thrilling instalment whenever i have the opportunity.

My thanks to Denise who MAGICALLY devised ABCW, also to Roger who MANAGES to what he does with such MAGNITUDE ably assisted by Leslie and the rest of the team who METHODICALLY help with visiting and commenting on other sites.
Best wishes,
Di,
ABCW team.