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Monday 30 March 2015

L is for Love

Nearly every Valentine's Day, I hear the same thing: "Why do we need a holiday to show LOVE?" It is akin to what is said each Thanksgiving. “Why aren't people thankful ALL the time?”

And my answer is always the same: because we are human. Yes, we should ALL be LOVING and thankful ALL the time. But sometimes, we're not. Sometimes, we are tired, or grumpy, or distracted, or overwhelmed. Our thoughts are overstuffed by the busyness of LIFE.

I, for one, need/want special days to remember veterans, or show thanks, or express LOVE, or the LIKE.

Here are some Valentine's Day statistics.

From HERE:

The music industry LOVES LOVE. The latest project from Nickolay Lamm—a Pittsburgh-based digital artist...tracked the popularity of certain keywords across more than 50 years of the Billboard charts. One of the most consistent words? LOVE.

Lamm's "History of Music" project details every song on Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 list since 1960. Each colored rectangle in the visualization represents one song, and each column represents one year of the list, organized from the top of the graph to the bottom starting with the year's most popular song. The redder the rectangle is, the more times that word popped up in the song’s lyrics. Blue means it wasn't mentioned at all. You can see not only how often a word has appeared in pop music over the decades, but what percentage of each song was dedicated to that word.

Since "LOVE" has taken a dip in our music this century, we obviously need to have show more LOVE at every opportunity. Here are the lyrics of a noted song on the topic, circa 1967:

There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung
Nothing you can say but you can LEARN how to play the game
It's easy

Nothing you can make that can't be made
No one you can save that can't be saved
Nothing you can do but you can LEARN how to be you in time
It's easy

Nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy

All you need is LOVE
All you need is LOVE
All you need is LOVE, LOVE
LOVE is all you need

From the movie LOVE Actually.

The version by some British band, the name of which currently escapes me.

Make sure you send some LOVE to your fellow ABC Wednesday bloggers by visiting 3 or 5 (or more) of them.

LAST thing: sometimes, when you visit ABCW, the LINKS are slower to LOAD than the rest of the page. If necessary, reload.

Thursday 26 March 2015

test D

There are many things in life that I love so  I thought I'd share some of them with you. When I was young I would fall 'in love' so easily that,  one of my friends, who was quite pragmatic, accused me of 'wearing my heart on my sleeve' !

But of course I didn't agree, what was wrong with falling 'in love'?

This particular friend  who was a lovely girl had a boyfriend and had been seeing him for a couple of years but he treated her so badly, he had her waiting around expecting her to do whatever he wanted to do, instead of her making decisions too. I couldn't understand her but of course she was 'in love'  but could never admit it !

One of my favourite texts in the bible comes from Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast.

 It is not proud. 

 It does not dishonour others,  It is not self seeking,

 It is not easily angered.

 It keeps no records of wrongs.

 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

 It always protects, always trusts,

 always hopes, always perseveres.

Monday 23 March 2015

K stands for The Kykkos Monastery Cyprus.

Paphos Beach.

During one of our many holidays on the sunny Island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean we visited The Kykkos Monastery up in the Troodos mountains. 

At the time we were staying at the popular Paphos area, you will see Paphos on the bottom left of the map and The Troodos Mountains,  nearby where The Kykkos Monastery is situated.  





Outer entrance to the monastery.

Inner court entrance to the monastery.

The Kykkos Monastery looks quite ordinary from the outside but once you get to the inner sanctum the opulence is quite breath taking. It is the richest and most lavish in Cyprus, and is situated at an altitude of 1318 metres on the north west face of the Troodos Mountains . 

A row of icons where people line up an make their pleas then kiss the icon.

Mosaic depiction of  The Virgin Mary with the child Jesus







Dedicated to Panagia, (a term for a particular type of icon of the Theotokas) The actual icon of The Virgin Mary is covered in silver gilt and is in a shrine made of tortoise shell and mother-of-pearl,  it stands  directly in front of the Iconostasis. It  is never looked at  and remains hidden behind a protective covering. It is said whoever looks at it will be blinded.


                                   The Troodos Mountains Cyprus.  


We stopped at this mountain village, (on the left)  for lunch, view to the right from where we were sitting.


Throughout the centuries the village people in the mountains have revered the icon and have attributed miracles to it's presence. It is said St Luke the Apostle painted and carried it from the Emperor's Palace in Constantinople at his request to place it on the site where the new                    Kykkos Monastery was to be commemorated. 

St Luke carrying the icon.


 There is a lot of folk lore associated with the 'icon of The Virgin Mary', but time and space disallows me from writing more, but good old 'Mr Wikpedia' is bustin' at the seams with reams of it  should you require to read further!
My thanks to the KINDLY Denise for devising ABCW and Roger the KEYSTONE admin man for KEEPING us on our toes. 
Best wishes to you all,
Di.....  ABCW team.


Monday 16 March 2015

J is for Jump

ChrisJ asked me this question on my blog, which I'll post here:

"I try to comment on 7 or 8 ABCers but JUST randomly. Do your commenters have a system or are they random too?"

My response, with an addendum:

I assign all the (currently seven) readers to (currently) 12 numbers, 1-12, 13-24. etc. Usually I try to mix up the list so that they get to JUMP around and visit different people, on the (sometimes false) theory that most people post roughly at the same time each week.

Personally, I try to visit everyone who JOINS us in this JOURNEY, eventually (though the last ones might be over the weekend), so that, theoretically, two people from ABCW has visited everyone. I'm trying to keep people from feeling JILTED.

Now the participants should JUMP around and visit as the spirit moves.

We are trying not to have people JUMP through too many hoops, but that I will e-mail folks who, the team has JUDGED, don't mention ABC Wednesday or have an obvious theme. In the worst case scenario, I can JETTISON folks from the Linky roster, but I get no JOY in that.

One last thing: the starting time may get slightly JOSTLED about during these weeks when US Daylight Saving Time and British Summer Time are not JOINED together. It happens for three weeks in March and one in late October.

Let's have some JUMP songs:

Jump - Van Halen, a #1 hit in the US Billboard charts for five weeks in 1984
Jump - Aztec Camera, a cover of the Van Halen song, and a totally different reading

Jump(For My Love) - Pointer Sisters, a #3 hit in the US Billboard charts for two weeks, also in 1984

There are several totally different songs called Jump that have been in the charts, including by Kris Kross (#1 in 1992), Movement (#52 in 1992), Flo Rida with Nelly Furtado (#54 in 2009), Aretha Franklin (#72 in 1976), Loverboy (#101 in 1982), and Madonna (#1054 in 2006).

What else?

Jump Back - Rufus Thomas (#49 in 1964)

Jump into the Fire - Harry Nilsson (#27 in 1972)

Jump Jive An' Wail - The Brian Setzer Orchestra (#23 in 1998), a cover of the classic Louis Prima version

Jumpin Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones (#3 in 1968)


Monday 9 March 2015

Introduction of "I "


Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936).

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.Don't forget to mention Mrs. Nesbitt IF you want to join us with another I-word.


Sunday 1 March 2015

H stand for Hamam..

On our very first visit to Turkey we took the opportunity to visit a  Hamam  or to the uninitiated,  a Turkish Bath.

 On entering you are given a changing room to undress in.  Ladies and gents tend to keep their underwear  on and are given a pestemal to wrap around them,  this is usually a red and white check cloth.

A Tellak (attendant) will then lead you through to the hot room, much like a sauna, and there you will stay for 15 mins(I lasted 8mins), just too hot, for a delicate flower like moi!

The hot room.



After having been toasted in the HOT ROOM   you are given scoop like buckets to take fresh spa water from the delightful ancient marble basins,  to  pour all over  yourself, in preparation for the next stage of the cleansing ritual.

We were taken to the splendid marble platform by the masseur then soaked with warm water and lathered with a fragrant, sudsy swab - then the most amazing massage.

After that, we were scrubbed all over  again, then another rinse.  Finally, more soap washing, this was followed by a jolly good rinsing session with cold water.    Fortunately, the marble platform was heated!

The Gobektasi . A central raised heated marble platform.

After we'd been pummelled, soaped, rinsed and even spun around and around, under mountains of suds, by the chuckling Tellaks, we were given our final rinse and then wrapped in huge warm fluffy towels.

 We were led to the lounge area to recover from, what can only be described as the most thorough wash of a lifetime!

When we'd recovered from this most exhilarating experience we tootled back to our hotel room with the intention of having a quick nap then dinner. 

 This was not to be, we both fell fast asleep and awoke at 7am the next morning, having missed our dinner. Needless to say we were first in the dining room for a hearty breakfast!

Yet another happy memory of high jinks in Turkey.

My heartfelt thanks to Denise for devising ABCW and to the honourable Roger for all his hard work . Best wishes to all from Di.... abcw team.