Brace yourself

At my house, we have a mass of purple Geranium in front, towards the street.  They are wonderful – lots of flowers from mid-May to far into the autumn.  They start flowering just as the Rhododendron are finished, and wimg_0406ith a bit of luck keep doing so until the first snow. And with very little work. I love that, long after most other flowers are go
ne, the Geranium is still going strong – green, lush, and lots of colour in front of the house. We have precious little of that around here. Continue reading

Lauren Bacall, 1924-2014. Rest in Peace.

Lauren Bacall in The Big SleepAnother actor I adore dies.  Not a big surprise, I guess – she was not exactly young – but it makes me sad.  I guess that when actors of her generation pass away, more than anything I stop to remember, and I’m reminded that I’m not young anymore.  So many great movies, so many great actors, so much I did years and years ago with friends I may have lost along the way.  I was looking at the Bacall filmography, smiling and remembering, and it occured to me that most these movies I have seen I no longer remember when, where, or who I was with.

Anyway. Time to watch The Big Sleep one more time.  And be thankful for all the memories.

Robin McLaurin Williams, 1951-2014. Rest in peace.

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

FA Cup Final – Five Minutes or more

Saturday is the FA Cup final, and for sentimental reasons I’ll probably be watching, in part because it’s Arsenal with a chance of finally winning a title, but mostly because the FA Cup final was a childhood fixture – one of these things you’d talk about for weeks ahead, plan where and how to watch, and fret over if a team you liked was in it. And, later, stock beers for and plan after-parties.

The FA Cup isn’t what it was – it’s not where the big money is, and there’s so much more sports on TV here now. Plus it’s probably feeling the squeeze from being close to the Champions League final. But the nostalgia remains, and there’s still some fine matches once in a while. So I’ll be ready on Saturday – or at least I’ll record it so I can watch parts of it. And I’ll be rooting for Arsenal.

Something else that isn’t what is was is the teams – specifically, their lineups. This year is the 35 year anniversary of the “Five Minue Final” – the one where Liam Brady defeated Manchester United 3-2 and all the action occurred in the last five minutes. On that day, two of the biggest teams in British football fielded teams with a solid base of English players, each adding a handful of Welsh, Scottish, and Irish players (including, obviously, Liam Brady). On Saturday, Arsenal will field two, maybe three English players, and none from Wales, Scotland, or Ireland. In fact, Arsenal will probably have more German and French players than English on the field, and Premier League teams have more than once gone into a game with not a single British player on the field.

It’s a little scary, btw, that I still remember that game. I guess there’s some psychological effect related to the adrenaline rush of the team your rooting for dropping a sure win on the floor in the last five minutes, only to take it back again.