Special Bonds

Spare a few minutes to view this delightful story posted by Bridget, The happy Quitter. Smiles guaranteed, oohs and aahs are optional!

The happy Quitter!

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Animals never fail to surprise me. I work in animal rescue for many years, and always when I think I have seen it all, along comes a story that touches my heart and makes me smile for days.

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A Corkman dies on the Somme

John McGuiggan, on his site Broadsides, writes brilliantly on all sorts of matters. History, reviews, interesting tales about life in general, and his life in particular. Born into a military family, serving in the army, then transforming into a union organiser, he then somehow ended up as a barrister. He has tales to tell, funny ones, sad ones, reflective ones, but always interesting ones. Do read, and enjoy!

Broadsides

The Pencil portrait of Private Christopher Coleman, from Cobh, County Cork, made by his wife.

The first week of September 1916 and the 16th Irish Division are engaged in the bloody advance across theSomme. At the village of Guillemont , men of the 7th Leinster Regiment manage to pass through the shattered village and secure and hold enemy trenches on the far side, but at terrible cost, losing some fifty percent of the soldiers engaged in the advance.  But in the bizarre ethics of war, it was a victory

Following the ‘victorious’ advance, non-combatant labour battalions are sent into the killing fields to clear up the mess left by the fighting soldiers. They clear away abandoned trenching tools, wire cutters, discarded equipment and bits and pieces of dead soldiers. It is gruesome and arduous work.

Among their number is an Englishman, Private George Wiles of the Royal Engineers. As…

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 25/02/18 – Letters

SLSHelen’s theme for this week is letters.

As I left home at the tender age of 16, to join the Army, letters were very important to me. I must admit I wasn’t very good at writing them but I did so love to receive them.

In later years I wrote to my fiancé, less than I should have, and managed to avoid direct involvement in arrangements for our wedding, as I was overseas. Letters were thus very important in the process. (Younger readers please note – no mobile phones,  no dedicated landline phone, and very expensive call charges!)

My Mum kept all the letters I wrote, for many years afterwards. Unfortunately, they were eventually disposed of so they are just a fond memory.

Letters to Mum, military service, and being parted by continents, leads to my choice of music for this week, Letters from War. I hope you enjoy it.

Letters From War

Mark Schultz

She walked to the mailbox
On that bright summer's day
Found a letter from her son
In a war far away

He spoke of the weather
And good friends that he'd made
Said I've been thinkin' bout dad
And the life that he had
That's why I'm here today

Then at the end he said
You are what I'm fighting for
It was the first of his
Letters from war

She started writing you're good
And you're brave
What a father that
You'll be someday
Make it home
Make it safe

She wrote every night as she prayed

Late in December 
A day she'll not forget
Oh her tears stained the paper
With every word that she read

It said, I was up on a hill
I was out there alone
When the shots all rang out
And bombs were exploding
And that's when I saw him
He came back for me
And though he was captured 
A man set me free

And that man was your son
He asked me to write to you
I told him I would
Oh I swore
It was the last of the letters from war

And she prayed he was living
She kept on believing
And wrote every night just so say

You are good 
And you're brave 
What a father that you'll be someday
Make it home 
Make it safe

Still she kept writing each day

And then two years later
Autumn leaves all around
A car pulled in the driveway
And she fell to the ground

And out stepped a Captain
Where her boy used to stand
He said mom I'm following orders
From all of your letters
And I've come home again

He ran into hold her
He dropped all his bags 
On the floor
Holding all of her letters from war

Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home

Holding all of her letters from war

Songwriters: Cindy Morgan / Cindy Lavonne Morgan / Mark Schultz / Mark Mitchell Schultz

Letters From War lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Life Lessons learned from a 2-year old

An interesting, and informative article from Daniel Rattner, via Bridget, The happy Quitter. If you head back to Daniel’s original post there are some interesting pictures of Ilya.

The happy Quitter!

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I often babysit the neighbor’s kids or they babysit me -however you want to look at it and there is a lot I learned from watching babies, toddlers and yes, even teenagers.

I wondered if I am the only one who looks at it that way. Does not being a parent make me more of a pushover or perhaps more observant?

Yesterday, I found by accident an article that made me feel good and of course, I have to share my finding with all of you. Here you go:

To start, I’m not a parent. I opted into a commune-style Brooklyn home I found on Craigslist, and I live with a young couple and their two-year-old, Ilya.

I’ve now been living there for one year and I can confidently say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Because in my time living with a kid, I’ve come to…

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Whats In A Picture?

A perfect description of why photography is so important to us. Not a selfie in sight, just a beautiful cross section of John’s life, and reason for being!

John David Ray

My interest in photography started with my first trip across the country. So much was new, so many places and sights I had never seen but for pictures. It was then that I started to understand the power of a photograph. I think back to reading National Geographic as a child and dreaming of all the places I could go, drawn in to the story with the images captured by those who had actually been there. The imagination of a child is a blessing we should nurture in youth, and desperately try to hold on to as adults for it brings forth a passion for all things simple and pure.

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Something as simple as sitting in a diner that you have been to many times gives a feeling of comfort, a harmony with your past reflected on the page in color. Each pixel a small part of what your existence…

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 14/01/18 – Natural Disasters

SLSI know it’s way past Sunday, and I know this is really not a Natural Disaster as specified in Helen’s challenge , but it is worth a listen.

This song was inspired by the 1966 Aberfan mining disaster in Wales. According to Robin, there actually had also been a mining disaster in New York in 1939, but not in 1941.

The song was written in 1967 and was the Bee Gees first recording after they had travelled from Australia to England.

I’ve given 2 versions for you to compare. I much prefer the earlier and original version. See what you think!

 

The New York Mining Disaster 1941

In the event of something happening to me,
There is something I would like you all to see.
It’s just a photograph of someone that I knew.

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it’s like on the outside?
Don’t go talking too loud, you’ll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.

I keep straining my ears to hear a sound.
Maybe someone is digging underground,
Or have they given up and all gone home to bed,
Thinking those who once existed must be dead.

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it’s like on the outside?
Don’t go talking too loud, you’ll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.

In the event of something happening to me,
There is something I would like you all to see.
It’s just a photograph of someone that I knew.

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it’s like on the outside?
Don’t go talking too loud, you’ll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.

Written by Barry Gibb, Robin Hugh Gibb • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

What do soldiers do?

The very last line of Owen’s poem The night in showers came to war… 

inspired me to write the following. Thank you, Owen, for the inspiration.

 

Amidst the noise and battle cry, what do soldiers do but die?

Do they rescue one another? “Let me help him, he’s my brother!”

Can they carry even one, when the bullets cease to come?

Is there any feeling left, or is it that they’re all bereft?

Amidst the noise and battle cry, what do soldiers do but die?

 

Amidst the noise and cry of battle, politicians ever prattle,

seeking ways to wage the war, counting bodies, keeping score.

Do they count the family cost, brothers, sons, and fathers lost?

Do they care for all the strife, grieving mother, child, or wife?

Amidst the noise and cry of battle, politicians ever prattle.

 

Amidst the noise and battle cry, what do soldiers do but die?

No one cared until too late, no one heeded others’ fate.

So long as profits filled the banks, businessmen all gave their thanks.

Politicians counted votes, and journalists made copious notes.

Amidst the noise and battle cry, what do soldiers do but die?

Sunday sayings #16 and a bit more

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Particularly at this time of year!

However, there is always lots to be thankful for. Family, friends, a warm home, good food, and YOU.

I’m really grateful for all of my followers, and for those that I follow, on WordPress.

I love the humour, the candour, the help, the advice, the comments, the really serious posts, the absolutely zany posts, the travel, the food, the photos, the recommendations. Some blogs I read every single word, some blogs I dip in and out of, some I visit infrequently. I consider you all as friends.

Thank you one and all, and may I wish you (an early) Happy New Year. I hope that 2018 brings good health, peace, contentment and as much success in your writing/blogging as you would wish.

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AND THANK YOU