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Friday 24 February 2017

I Am Still Here! ....

I see that my last Post was written on the 3rd February, and here we are, fast approaching the end of the month.  

I'm sure the cry has been going up all over the land (and distant lands too!) "where has Southhamsdarling disappeared?!"  Truth be told, you haven't missed me at all, have you?! It's okay, I can take it!

I could say how busy I've been, dashing here, there and everywhere, but I'm afraid it's just the old story of not really being able to come up with anything to write.  Well, nothing entertaining, anyway. 

I did have a welcome visit from my eldest granddaughter, who is 19, and studying International Relations at Madrid University. Only a long weekend, but it was so lovely to spend some time with her again. It had been eight months since we had last seen each other, so a catch up was well overdue. The thing that made me happy, was that it was her suggestion that she should pop over for that long weekend 😊.  

My youngest daughter and her little ones were very excited to see her again, also. 



As  always happens, the time went by far too quickly, but we had fun and made memories to last until the next time we all meet up. 


So, a brief little Post today, just to let you know that I'm still around.  I know there are still a lot of people out there that are feeling bitter and disappointed about recent events. I do care what is happening in our world....of course I do, and I admire all these people that get out there and protest and march for what they believe in, but I've learnt over the years to just be kind to as many people as I can and to be always caring and thoughtful to others.  Also to respect their opinions. I do think sometimes that these things can go out of the window if we're not careful.

I enjoy debating about politics and I actually participate quite often, as I suspect many others are doing, more so than they have ever done before!  But it's just that I refuse to make myself ill over it or get too 'down' about it all. For that road doesn't do anyone any good. 

As you read this, you might have a different opinion of course, but we should never forget how fortunate we are that we live in Countries where we have freedom of speech and that we can protest if we want to, without living in fear of our lives. 

I wish you all a happy and relaxed weekend, and hope to see you again soon. 

Friday 3 February 2017

Why Raise A Princess, When You Can Raise A Warrior - Intrigued? Take a look at my latest Post....


Most of my 'older' bloggy friends will know that I love Quotations, and I'm always looking for new ones to add to my collection. I have a beautiful, (and, yes, boys can be beautiful too), kind and loving eight year old grandson, but I am also blessed with two delightful granddaughters, along with my two very special daughters. Notice that I'm trying not to use the word 'beautiful' too much here, although they are just that, both on the outside AND the inside.

It is such a different world for all girls now, from when I was young. These days, if they want to, they can do anything, and go anywhere. So, today, my Post is in honour of young girls everywhere - go out there and shine!! I hope you will enjoy the Quotations I have found for you today, all courtesy of Pinterest....









 I think this next one has to be one of my favourites....


So let's raise a glass to strong young girls and young women everywhere. Meanwhile, I wish you all a very happy weekend, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. ❤. For those of you who take a look at my Featured Posts, there is a new one up today, where I give you a little taster of my Summer garden here in heavenly Devon.  Just click on the link on the right hand sidebar.  Bye for now. 

Thursday 2 February 2017

An Italian Theme For You Today ....

If you love opera, and you also love Italy, as I do, you have really missed a stunning spectacle if you haven't been to the Verona Opera Festival.  (Even if opera is not really your thing, you could not fail to be moved by the ancient setting).  

I went a few years ago with a friend, and as it was her 'special' birthday, we decided to do it in style and opted for the best seats in the house (Poltronissime), where the Italian men wear their tuxedos and the ladies wear long evening dresses. 


Before entering the Arena di Verona, it is a good idea to eat at one of the many restaurants in the small streets that surround the Amphitheatre. This way, you can really make the most of the charged atmosphere, whilst doing some serious people watching at the same time.  There are lots of gorgeous, designer shops for you to feast your eyes on (I particularly remember the Louis Vuitton shop, which was immediately opposite the ancient Arena).


Once inside the Arena, be prepared to be blown away by the sheer scale and magnificence of it all.  The Arena sits 20,000 people, from the best seats on the floor of the Arena, right up to the unreserved places on the upper (very upper!) stone galleries, where you are perched high on the topmost ramparts of the original Stadium, which was built in 30 AD.  



When one thinks of opera, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Sydney Opera House, and La Scala all spring readily to mind, but you will find that Verona combines a quite unique setting with productions and performances of a consistently  high standard. Where else could you be watching, on a hot Summer's evening, a performance of Aida, as I was, when at the start of the second act, immediately behind the stage, a huge, full moon rose majestically  above the ancient stone walls, and literally hung in the dark sky, surrounded by glittering stars, for the remainder of the  performance!


The Italians really do have a love and flair for the dramatic performance, and they are a very demanding audience, which seems to bring out the best in performers and musicians alike. When the audience is appreciative of a certain Aria, they will stamp their feet, cheer and clap, so that, even though the performers are in the middle of an Act, they will perform the Aria again, to even more spontaneous applause!

It really was a magical experience, and one that I will never forget. 

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Out With The Month Of January - In With The Month of February


Hello there once again. It's rather lovely, isn't it, to think that January is out of the way for another year.  I must admit, I did rather enjoy turning over the Calendar this morning, from a snowy, wintery scene to a photo of banks of snowdrops....


Our National Trust properties in the UK are lovely places to visit in February and March, as they have delightful woodland walks, which are full of snowdrops and other early flowering bulbs.


February, of course, is the month of love and romance, with Valentine's Day falling on the 14th of the month. All around the world, flowers, gifts, and tokens of love ❤️ are given to loved ones, all in the name of Saint Valentine. Not a bad way to be remembered down through the years, is it?!  I know that a lot of people will be reading this, and thinking "stuff and nonsense!"  Others will be thinking "but we shouldn't need a special day to show our love to someone. We should do that every day."  Of course, that's true, but it's a dreary old time of the year, so I see no reason not to make the 14th February a day of celebration. 

Yes, even at my age, I'm still an old romantic at heart. My two favourite black and white films are "Now Voyager" starring Bette Davis and Paul Henried, when Bette, as Charlotte Vale, says to Paul, as Jerry, ......wait for it....

"Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars". It was in the days when the man lights two cigarettes and hands one to his love. I've actually just watched the clip in YouTube.... it gets to me every time!!  


The second film is the 1936 film, Camille, when Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor play the roles of Marguerite and Armand. I can happily weep buckets when I watch this film!! 


Well, I think I'd better end there, before I get too carried away!  I'm sure I'll be popping in again this month with some more romantic bits and bobs.  Do hope you can join me. At least it takes us away from what else is happening in the world right now 

Cheerio and Toodle-pip!