Friday, 18 August 2017

A little light reading 1


Hello Everyone,

I have decided that it is time for a little light reading or time for me to remind you of my books.
Please enjoy learning about them over the next weeks. OR if you're sighing because you've already read them, join Sofia again in October, until the end of the year, when she will be making her choice of blogs from the archives.

For those of you who ask the question, How long does it take to write a book? It took 3 years to write this one. It was designed with the Millennium in mind. At that time there was much euphoria about the 'good old days' and all that had happened in the twentieth century and I thought it would be a good idea to take a character born on January 1st 1950 who would be celebrating her 50th birthday at the Millennium and create a family saga around her and those 50 years. I created the Stephenson family with Irene Joy born in 1950 and named Irene because the name means 'peace' in Greek. She was a symbol of hope for the future after the first part of the century had seen two World Wars. In addition to the narrative I gave Irene's mother the role of writing a diary but not just a personal one, one which included the social and historical events throughout the 50 years and it interspersed throughout the book in italics.

I will share the synopsis with you.

'TIME AND TIDE' tells the story of Irene Joy Stephenson, born on January 1 1950. The Prologue sets the scene for her fiftieth birthday; chapter one goes back in time to her birth. She realizes that life is cruel at an early age when her mother attempts suicide and her brother dies on his first birthday. When she is ten the family move from a Nottinghamshire village to a country estate, owned by Lord Fordingham, where her father takes up the post of Estate Manager. She, and the gardener's son, Daniel become childhood sweethearts. They plan their future together; they both pass the 11+ examination and take up places at the local Grammar School. They are inseparable until he is killed in a car accident. She returns to school as a sixth-former, takes the 'A' level exams and then attends the local College of Education. In her final year she meets Philip White. They qualify as teachers and marry in 1972 before taking up posts in Birmingham. On her wedding night she realizes that it has all been a mistake. She does not love him but was infatuated by his similarity to Daniel. They drift apart; he has an affair with a sixth-former from his school. He and Irene divorce and he leaves the area with his pregnant girlfriend in disgrace. Irene is left devastated and alone again. Her Head of Department helps her pick up the pieces of her broken life. Their relationship develops; they marry and are happy but it is short lived. He has a tragic accident before he finds out he is to be a father. Irene returns to her parents at Fordingham and gives birth to a son who only lives for a few months. The local vicar tries to help her through the trauma. She becomes involved in the Church and eventually marries him. As the vicar's wife she feels that she has found her true vocation in life. In 1993 the Rev. Alistair Duncan finds that he cannot come to terms with female vicars. Priesthood for him is a male domain. His solution to the problem is to disappear and send a letter to the Bishop telling of his crisis of faith and his wish not to be found. Irene spends the last years of the nineties just waiting for January 2000 when seven years after his desertion she will officially become a widow. She must carry on with her life in the new century because 'TIME AND TIDE' wait for no one'. Throughout the story, in the form of a diary written by Irene's mother, is a concise history of events, changes and discoveries during the second half of the twentieth century, probably the most dynamic fifty years in our history.

If you think you will enjoy this as one of your autumn/spring reads, it is still available worldwide on Amazon, and the Internet or from good bookshops. The ISBN is 9780953945108 (paperback). Alternatively, get a signed copy from me at the sale price of £5 GBP plus p & p.  Just leave me a message below.

Happy Reading!


Lady M

                                                          

Friday, 11 August 2017

Our tribute to the King

💗                                                    




Image result for Young Elvis Presley
Elvis in his US army uniform. I love a man in a uniform! Sexy!

Hello Everyone,
Lady M here with her good friend and colleague, the Blackpool poet, Darryl Ashton. Next Wednesday is the 16th; this date in August is extremely important to me... my father's birthday. I have many happy memories of this date throughout the years. Alas, forty years ago the day was darkened as we heard the news of the 'King's' demise. Darryl and I are paying our own tribute to this 40th anniversary of this 'Legend's' death.
Those of us old enough to remember the fifties and sixties can remember a time when life without Elvis, his music and films was unthinkable. Elvis was a man of humble origin. he was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8th, 1935. In 1954 he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis, "That's All Right, Mama". I visited the Sun Records in Memphis and felt privileged to stand where he had recorded so many hits. Other hits followed and this young man became a popular star. He had the looks, the gyrating hips and the charisma for success. He was also one of those whose popularity became even greater after his untimely death of a heart attack at his home, Graceland in Memphis. His songs were across genres ... pop, blues and gospel. I adore his rendering of "How Great Thou Art."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf0vJiyeLIo
I visited Graceland some years ago. It has become a kind of Mecca in the music world:  somewhere for people to make a pilgrimage to in his honour. A lasting memory of Graceland has to be the final stop on the tour...



Elvis's grave in The Meditation Garden where, with the audio tour, the pilgrim may listen to him singing "My Way". I thought it was the perfect end to the tour. His grave is in this garden with his parents and paternal grandmother. If you would like to hear him singing that song along with pictures of his funeral click on to the link below.

 

                                                       
Darryl is also an Elvis fan and, as a tribute, has written the following poems for this occasion.

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE KING
With
(DARRYL ASHTON)

(To mark what would have been 40 years since Elvis Presley’s death this year, DARRYL ASHTON sat down with the King and asked for his take on the world today…)


ELVIS, you’re now 82. How has old age affected you?

(To the tune: All Shook Up)

Well, my hands are shaky and my knees are weak,
I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet.
Who do you thank when you have such luck?
I’m in love, huh,
And I’m All Shook Up.”


What do you make of modern issues like Global warming?
(To the tune: Suspicious Minds)

We’re caught in a trap,
I can’t cool down,
Because I love polar bears too much baby.
Why can’t we see,
What we’re doing to trees,
When you don’t believe a word I say?
We can’t go on for ever,
With suspicious carbon footprints.”


And prison overcrowding. Is it a serious problem?
(To the tune: Jailhouse Rock)

The warden threw a party in the county jail,
The prisoners were given smack and granted bail.
The cells were so busy you couldn’t get more in,
You should’ve heard those drugged-up jailbirds sing,
Let’s rock, everybody, let’s rock,
Everybody, the jail’s chock-a-block,
We’re dancin’ to The Jailhouse Rock.”
What have you made of the recent mail strikes? Have you personally been affected because of all the fan mail?
(To the tune: Return To Sender)

I gave a letter to the postman,
He wouldn’t put it in his sack.
Bright ‘n’ early next morning,
He brought my letter back.
They wrote upon it:
Return To Sender, we’re all on strike,
No such service, till we get a pay hike.”


Now, I know you are a big fan of the English Football Premier
League – and in particular – MAN UNITED.
Who is your favourite player?
(To the tune: The Wonder Of You)

When no one else can beat the keeper,
When everything they do is wrong.
He gives MAN U hope and consolation,
He gives them strength to carry on.
And he’s always there to beat his man,
In everything they do,
That’s the wonder,
The Wonder of Roo.”


What did you think of those two Scotsmen’ who supposedly’
Were in charge of the “United Kingdom?”.
Blair and Brown, I think they were called!?
(To the tune: Heartbreak Hotel)

Well, since my Tony left me,
He’s found a new place to dwell,
A five – million pad in Connaught Square,
And a country house as well.
Oh, Tony, I’m lonely, Tony
Oh, I’m so lonely, Tony,
I’m so lonely, I could cry.

And when he’s not in England
He’s got somewhere else to live,
It’s a luxury, six – star hotel suite
In downtown Tel Aviv
Oh, Tony, I’m so lonely, Tony
Oh, I’m so lonely, Tony,
I’m so lonely, I could cry.

Well since my Tony left me,
My life’s been a living hell,
It’s not so much 10 Downing Street,
As Heartbreak Hotel
Oh, Tony, I’m lonely, Tony
Oh, I’m so lonely, Tony,
I’m so useless, I could cry."


Thanks for your valuable time, Elvis.
God bless you, and, Rock – On! Yeah!


Elvis: “Thank you very much…!”


WRITTEN
BY
DARRYL ASHTON

and

ELVIS PRESLEY SINGS WITH THE ROYAL
PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.
The brilliant Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra are really so supreme,
They are teaming up with Elvis
Presley - to sing; 'If I Can Dream.'
Elvis does stand there as the
orchestra begins to play,
And Elvis sings his way through - 
the classic; 'My Way'.
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
play their instruments loudly,
As Elvis Presley belts out the
classic; 'American Trilogy'.
The whole orchestra follows Elvis
and they wait for their cue,
Then Elvis belts out loud - the
brilliant; 'The Wonder Of You'.

Elvis sings his heart out - that is
so evident to see,
While The Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra all play with magic glee.
The songs are coming thick and
fast - as Elvis wears his bling,
Confirming to the audience - he
really is the 'King'.
The orchestra stays with him - 
and the music does get higher,
And Elvis belts out the classic 
song: 'See See Rider.'
The audience are in raptures,
as the orchestra know their role,
And Elvis does a mean version - 
of the stunning; 'King Creole.'

The orchestra sounds so
very clever,
As Elvis sings;
' It's Now Or Never'.
The backing singers are at the altar,
As Elvis serenades with
'Bridge Over Troubled
Water'.

As Elvis stands there 
having a drink of ice tea,
The orchestra play; 'It's
Always Me'.
Elvis smiles and the crowd
shout;  'MORE' - 
So Elvis goes through; 'In
The Ghetto'.

This concert is magic - as
God did choose,
And Elvis belts out the:
'Steamroller Blues'.
This CD should be put in
to your checkout cart,
As you listen to Elvis sing;
'How Great Thou Art'.

 Elvis bows to the Royal Philharmonic, 
As his voice sounds so
awesome - and pure 
magic.
The Royal Philharmonic
Orchestra - has pleased Elvis Presley,
Computer magic - is Elvis's'
destiny.

This magical concert is a must
for Elvis fans,
And everyone in the audience - 
are excitingly clapping their hands
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
was sent from heaven, above,
While Elvis brings the curtain
     down with; 'Can't Help Falling  In Love.' 

BY
DARRYL ASHTON   

Enjoy the week, my friends, and perhaps be nostalgic and play the old Elvis favourites or watch his films.
Love  Lady M xxxxx



Friday, 4 August 2017

London!

                             

The red double decker and Big Ben


Hello Everyone,

My final capital city is my home one... lovely London! Enjoy!


1. London is the capital of the United Kingdom.

2. It is situated on the River Thames.

3. In this city you will find Westminster Palace and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park.

4. It is home to the Chelsea Flower Show; the world's most prestigious flower show.

5. It is where one may experience a civilised ritual steeped in tradition and take tea at the Ritz.

6. Samuel Johnson said,
"The man who tires of London tires of life. For there is in London all that life can afford."

7. London suffered a terrorist attack on July 7th, 2005.

8. It  hosted the 2012 Olympic Games.

9. In 1665, there was an outbreak of Bubonic plague killing more than 70,000 people in London

10. In 1666, four-fifths of the city was destroyed in the Great Fire which began in Pudding Lane. Samuel Pepys gave a vivid accountof the fire in his diary

11. It is the city which has 'Cockneys' in its East End. To be a true Cockney you must have been born within the sound of the church bells of St Mary-Le-Bow in Cheapside.

12. Charles Dickens lived at 48 Doughty Street, Holborn from 1837-1839; during that time he completed Pickwick Papers, wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and Barnaby Rudge and his house has been preserved as a museum.

13. A musical highlight from this city is the annual Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall which take place between July and September.

14.There are more than 50 theatres largely in the West End of London and this area has become known as theatreland.

15. Wimbledon is the home of tennis.

16. Lord's Cricket Ground is the hallowed capital of cricket.

17. Wembley Stadium is the football home.

18. London Bridge was sold to an American in 1968 for more than £1,000,000. It is now a tourist attraction in Arizona!

19. Crystal Palace was the world's first major prefabricated building of iron and glass, built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in Hyde Park. After the exhibiton, the palace was moved and re-erected in Sydenham, South London but was destroyed by fire in 1936.

And finally, number 20:

A famous feature of this city is its red double-decker buses!

So, as this is the holiday season whether you be visiting a city, beach or staying at home remember to have a good book at your side!

"Time & Tide" wait for no man, so have "No Regrets"; always "Stay in Touch" and "Look After Each Other"!

Thought for the week: Both great love and great achievements involve great risks!

Yours, Lady M