Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 17/02/2019

img_1345-3Jim Adams continues to look after Song Lyric Sunday, giving us the chance to share lots of favourites, and some not so familiar songs.

The theme for this week is Hill/Mountain and you can find all the great entries here.

Because I was pipped at the post by THIS THAT AND THE OTHER with my choice this week, I am offering another “Hill” tune for your delight (or not). You will find this at the bottom and it morphs my SLS entry into a personal history lesson too!

Anyone who has followed my SLS entries for a while will know that my mind often goes to Beatles songs to try to find a suitable offering to present. I’m not always successful!

What I found this week is a song off the Magical Mystery Tour album. After the success of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles wanted to create a psychedelically themed film, and Magical Mystery Tour was the result. It was designed as an unscripted television special and featured 6 new songs.

It was never meant to be an LP, but the producers added existing singles to make up the numbers! It worked out pretty well.

Here, for your enjoyment, is “The Fool on the Hill”.

The Fool on the Hill

The Beatles

Day after day, alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still
Nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

His head in a cloud
The man with a foolish grin is talking perfectly loud
But nobody wants to hear him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

The Fool on the Hill lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Here is the extra!

This is not a song, has no lyrics, and is unlikely to have been heard by anyone reading this blog. It is, however, special to me, and is amongst the music that MAY be played at my funeral/celebration of life/throwing on the local scrap heap!

It is “High on a Hill” by the Band and Bugles of The Royal Green Jackets

I had the honour to serve with The 2ndBattalion The Royal Green Jackets, in Dover, and Omagh, Northern Ireland. I can honestly say that they were the most professional and dedicated soldiers I have ever served with. This was the one and only time I served with a Light Infantry unit and It was a real eye opener. They are different! An example is that they march at 140 paces per minute, rather than usual 116, or 120. Examples can be seen below.

Imagine doing that for any length of time, AND carrying and playing an instrument!

St Kilda – Island on the edge of the world.

Anyone who saunters through my blog will very soon find that I was, for over 28 years, an Army man, a soldier, a squaddie!

This involved living in all sorts of weird places, in peculiar circumstances, and doing all sorts of things that the average joe doesn’t get to experience.

One of the places I lived was on the remote island of Hirta, in the archipelago of St Kilda. In all I spent over 8 months there, normally on a rotational basis of 6 weeks on, 12 weeks off. You can read a little about it here, and here.

During my time there I don’t think that I ever experienced the superb 4 day block of good weather that Angus Mackie and his group of kayakers did for their trip that is shown here.

This post is not about me but it does show a place that is dear to my heart, and to anyone who has ever been lucky enough to experience it.

Just as anyone who has experienced a true desert will know  what “desert fever” feels like, those who’ve been to Kilda will be forever drawn back there, even if it is only in memories!

This expedition report is rather lengthy, and will be hastily skipped through by some, but for a few it will be of great interest. The link at the bottom will take you to a marvellous set of photos and videos. It takes a while to load as they are high resolution, and lots of interactive 360˚ shots. I hope you have time to enjoy them.

A link to a newly updated blog post of “A Superlative St Kilda Sea Kayaking Expedition with Skyak Adventures.”

St Kilda is a place of superlatives!

The remote island archipelago of St Kilda lies some 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides and not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site but it has the highest sea cliffs in the UK, the largest seabird colony in northern Europe and a quarter of the world’s gannet population.

It’s also an amazing place for sea kayaking…!!

 

I’m Angus Mackie, a professional forester and photographer, based just north of Inverness on the beautiful Black Isle.  I’m on the North Coast 500 and am well placed to discover most of the Highlands.  The iconic scenery of Glen Affric and the Cairngorms are close by whilst many of the wild and dramatic locations on the west coast are within easy reach.

Mountains, landscapes, coastlines….  As a landscape and panoramic photographer who specialises in 360° photography, I enjoy exploring Scotland and its wild and remote places and have discovered some of the best photography locations in the Highlands over the last 35 years of living up here.  With a broad and wide ranging knowledge of the Highlands, I still enjoy finding new locations and fresh perspectives for my photography.  The use of natural light to capture stunning scenery at spectacular locations is very much a key factor for my photography.

I’m a qualified Summer Mountain Leader, a Sea Kayak Leader and a UKCC Level 2 Sea Kayaking coach, with many years experience of leading and guiding.  I am also a longstanding member of Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team.

Copyright © 2018 Scotland360° and Angus Mackie.

https://www.scotland360.co.uk/Blog_St_Kilda_July_2014.html?fbclid=IwAR0jolFavOHKug8o9RkHNk_oxkkAcyjGYtSI-heTlQk7dehf9o-Xyo-xans

Thank you

This is my 500th post!

At least, that is what WordPress analytics tells me.  Although, when I checked, the figures add up to 503.

Not that I’m counting!

I have never been bothered about the statistics of my blogging, although I am surprised by the number who read my blog.

I do it for me – not for you – not for kudos – not because I want acclamation – purely because I want to.

I spend far more time on WordPress than I should. I sometimes neglect other, more important, things, but I enjoy it!

I love all of you who are reading this.  I love some of you who are not reading this. Some sites I read every single post, others I read only occasionally.

If you follow me, I will not necessarily follow you.

I worry about some of you out there.

I am particularly concerned when bloggers disappear but fully understand the reasons why. Anyway, it has nothing to do with me. But I still worry!

There are brilliant wordsmiths here, fine minds, successful authors, stupendous poets, fine artists, great photographers. People who stretch their own limits, and also mine.

Some comment threads turn into real conversations, some turn into flirting. Not mine, I hasten to add (although, to be honest…….)

Some blogs that I follow are so prolific, and so good, that I have to curtail my reading of them, very reluctantly! (but only temporarily)

I did check through the WordPress statistics and found the following:

  1. The most views (86) prize went to a re blog of a poem on March 17th 2016.  A worthy winner!
  2. I have one post that received NO LIKES whatever – you can rectify that by going to 16th September 2015!
  3. I started blogging on 11th September 2014 by telling how I had lost my big sister!

So, there you have it. My 500th post. Not very exciting, but factual.

It just remains for me to say a BIG THANK YOU for your being there, for reading my blog, for being my friend, for giving me interesting and informative posts to read.(and, honestly, I will eventually let you know why I was crawling under the Queen’s bed!)

post-milestone-500-2x

Parking the mind

I particularly enjoy the poetry of Frank Hubeny, and he often includes a recording of his reading of his original work. He normally includes his own photographs to enhance the overall experience, and they are always a delight.

I wish I had his talent.

Today, he posted Walking to the Botanic Garden, a haibun, which combines prose and haiku. I know it sounds complicated but, believe me, it isn’t. As usual, Frank began, and ended, with his own photographs that perfectly frame the whole experience.  Follow the link, above, to see why I love Frank’s poems.

I commented on today’s haibun as follows:

I don’t park my mind, I just let it wander all by itself. Not only does it seem perfectly capable of wandering during the day, but it also wanders a great deal most nights too, and it is kind to me in that it holds the memories for me to consider later!

That struck me as profound,  and I thought I should record the thought, if only for my own peace of mind!

A tribute to a colleague and friend

Yesterday I attended the funeral of Colin John Muge, a man who gave far more than he took, a man who served his community in so many ways, a man held in such love and high esteem that there was standing room only at the lovely secular service led by his wife, son, and two daughters.

Colin’s daughter, Catherine, played this cello music for the entrance.

All the family spoke lovingly and bravely, and two friends gave heartfelt tributes. We heard “Everyday” from Buddy Holly, “Misty” by Erroll Garner, “Heart of Glass” by Blondie, the poem “If I Be The First Of Us To Die” by Nicholas Evans, and the exit music was:

Afterwards, around 50 people enjoyed afternoon tea at Colin’s house.

Colin would have enjoyed it tremendously!

A life well lived.

Farewell my friend.

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

PHEW – I MADE IT!

I once set about reading The Bible all the way through.  I made it! (although a lot of it was skipped through very swiftly, because some parts are boring {quite a lot}) I don’t take the Bible as gospel (see what I did there!), but it is a tremendous work by many people over many, many years.

One of the bits that many people could recount, although not verbatim, is the bit about reaching the age of 70, and guess what, I made it!

Psalm 90:10 King James Version

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

That inspired the following little offering of ageist poetry:

Well, I’m buggered

Whoever thought? Three score years and ten,

and maybe, then, another ten;

but no excitement for the morrow

for it’s bound to end in sorrow,

and even if you reach that stage

you’ll surely creak, and feel your age;

but don’t get too complacent mate,

your number’s up, it’s just too late.

So, make the most of every day

before you have to fly away!

 

I fully intend to make the most of every day, with a little help from my friends.

For those who don’t know the real lyrics here they are