Family, History, Military, Truth, War

In Memory, Thomas Herbert Mapson

Thomas Herbert Mapson was my Auntie Betty’s father.  (Strictly speaking, she wasn’t my auntie–being my great-grandmother’s niece–and her given name wasn’t Betty–they were Jenny Alice May–but “close enough for gubmint work,” as they say. He was born and baptized in Bilston, Staffordshire in the UK, on July 4, 1878.  Given what I’ve found out about my… Continue reading In Memory, Thomas Herbert Mapson

Britishness, Culture, History, Plain Speaking

Merry Holiday Christmas Shopping in the UK!

First they came for the meat: A [London ] university has banned the sale of beef in campus food outlets in order to help tackle the climate emergency; Could Scotland Ban Meat?  Parliament Considers Petition to Transform the Food System. But many of my neighbors raise and process their own pigs, beef, and chickens and are happy… Continue reading Merry Holiday Christmas Shopping in the UK!

History, Quote of the Day

A Guy Fawkes Thought Experiment

This weekend brings on that most British of holidays–Bonfire Night–Guy Fawkes Night–the Fifth of November. The holiday that, when I was a kid, was exponentially bigger than Halloween, as for a few days before, children would push around a wheelbarrow laden with a straw-stuffed effigy of Guido Fawkes, usually dressed in their father’s cast-offs or… Continue reading A Guy Fawkes Thought Experiment

History, Literature, Quote of the Day, Writing

On the 956th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

William the Conqeror WILLIAM THE FIRST was the first of our kings, Not counting Ethelreds, Egberts and things, And he had himself crowned and anointed and blest In Ten-Sixty-I-Needn’t Tell-You-The-Rest But being a Norman, King William the First By the Saxons he conquered was hated and cursed, And they planned and they plotted far into… Continue reading On the 956th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Culture, History

Mount Rushmore: Check it Out While You Still Can!

Ninety-five years ago today, on October, 4, 1927, John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, son of Danish immigrants, and a prominent American sculptor, set chisel and dynamite to stone and began what is his best-known work, the carvings of the 60-foot-high heads of four American Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt… Continue reading Mount Rushmore: Check it Out While You Still Can!

Culture, Family Matters, Friendship, History, Nature

The Yankee Gale

With the recent devastation wrought on Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island by the remnants of last week's Hurricane Fiona, and the current emergency as Florida is inundated by Hurricane Ian, I thought I'd dust off a post from a couple of years ago about a great storm from the nineteenth century, almost exactly 171… Continue reading The Yankee Gale

Entertainment, History, War

Sweet-Sounding Saturday: Eighty Years Ago Today

Oh, Gosh. Eighty years ago today, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra made their last live radio broadcast: https://youtu.be/xQY3Qc_CM7E I'm a bit younger than many who might remember this (I was 68 this past week).  But I grew up in the British West African colonies, and we were a bit behind the eight-ball when it came… Continue reading Sweet-Sounding Saturday: Eighty Years Ago Today

Entertainment, History, Movies and TV, Quote of the Day

“Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

Disclaimer: I can’t be sure that’s true, because I’ve never owned any. But certainly, if I were to try and come up with my own undeniable truth in that regard, two of the items high on my shortlist would be flat, comfortable shoes and non-binding, full-fashioned, all-cotton underpants. But I digress; so before I head… Continue reading “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”

Culture, Family, Food and Drink, History, Royalty

In Praise of Afternoon Tea

So here I am, the day before my Queen's funeral, trying to figure out what to do to celebrate her life and my own Britishness (not a bit of the overabundance of which takes away a whit of my love for my adopted country, I assure you). Some of my family in the UK will… Continue reading In Praise of Afternoon Tea