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Posts Tagged ‘England

An older person who is setting an example for me, I hope!

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She is the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire and has a great look in her 90th year:

To me she looks so simply elegant and normal that I find posting about her after the KK cover is somehow right and resets the balance for my web site.  Needless to say I admire everything I hear and read about Debo,  her nickname. She is a truly cultured person who has done some extraordinary things in spite of being an aristocrat in a democratic age and carried it all off with deliberate charm and simplicity, or so I imagine it was. Her family connections extend to JFK so there has to be something special about her.

I will come back here and post more about my own feelings about taking her as an example for my own modest life.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/11/06 at 14:43

There are too many things I love about reading the NY Times

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and some of their photo enhanced reviews are one of the most lovely.

Here is a sample snip just to get your interest started:

I snipped this from today’s NY Times review of a book by the Nicholson grand-son of the famous owners of Sissinghurst, a castle with an enormous and lovely garden!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/07/06 at 15:27

June 18, 1940 me and my family were still in France

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and Sir Winston Churchill was giving his “their finest hour” speech in the British Parliament:

This is how this time is described in yesterday’s NY Times:

Seventy years ago, on June 18, 1940,Winston Churchill, barely six weeks in office as Britain’s prime minister and confronted with the threat of invasion from Nazi-occupied France, rose in the House of Commons and, in 36 minutes of soaring oratory, sought to rally his countrymen with what has gone down in history as his “finest hour” speech.

The speech — ending with the words “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’ ” — has resonated ever since. On both sides of the Atlantic and beyond, it has been hailed as the moment when Britain found the resolve to fight on after the fall of France, and ultimately, in alliance with American and Russian military might, to vanquish the German armies that had overrun most of Europe.

Me and my family eventually, around June 25, 1940, well after Churchill’s speech and after the armistice was signed by Petain  with Hitler’s Nazi regime, left the shores of France for Portsmouth, England.  We  got back to shores of Canada, via Halifax NS by July 13, 1940 when I officially landed in Canada as testified by a document from Immigration Canada.

I have no living memory of landing in Canada or of leaving the shores of France, but I take something from my feeble connection by place to Churchill’s famous words.

We made our way back to Canada on the MS Batory, which at that time was carrying the gold bullion holdings of the Government of Poland. Needless to say our convoy,  which left Greenock,  Scotland on July 7 was heavily protected by ships of the Royal Navy.

This is a quote from an earlier post about his convoy:

According to Royal Navy archives on the July 5th, battleship REVENGE met anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE (Captain H. J. Egerton) and troopships MONARCH OF BERMUDA (22,424grt), SOBIESKI (11,030grt), and BATORY (14,287grt). These five ships, which carried $1,750,000,000 in gold and securities from the Bank of England for safekeeping in Canada, departedGreenock at 0545 on the 5th escorted by destroyer GARTH.

The British ships arrived safely at Halifax on the 12th. Troopship BATORY with engine room defects was detached to St Johns escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser BONAVENTURE which then continued on to Halifax. Troopship BATORY arrived at Halifax on the 13th.

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Humorous limericks: Why aren’t they published, or written, more often

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Priestly Ordination, a popular devotional depi...
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a neat one:

There was a young lady of Devon
Who was had in a garden by seven
Itinerant priests,
The lascivious beasts,
And of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Kind of waggish and devastating in its own way given the sad record of sexual irresponsibility of RC priesthood in North America over the last 50 years and some!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/16 at 07:37

70 years ago the Hitlerian juggernaut was taking its next step

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Neville Chamberlain holding the paper containi...
Image via Wikipedia

Do you wonder about Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain‘s actions 70 years ago concerning Hitler’s threats to invade Czchecoslovakia? The London Times offers wide ranging access to its news archives to give a wide ranging picture of what was happening in Europe in the months leading to WW II.

In 12 short months the world went from “peace in our times”, declared by PM Chamberlain on his return by plane to England after meeting with Hitler & Co in Munich, to a declaration of war by Chamberlain on Sep 3, 1939.

It was around this time that a panel on CBC shared the following views about the impact of the end of the Spanish Civil War:

Could the end of the Spanish Civil War fuel a European crisis?
Broadcast Date: Feb. 26, 1939

In February 1939, the Spanish Civil War seems to be ending. But the conclusion of this war could mean renewed crisis in Europe. “And by crisis, I presume we mean the choice between further concessions to the dictators or war,” says historian R.G. Riddell in this half-hour-long CBC Radio panel discussion. Fellow historian Frank Underhill thinks crisis is indeed coming. But panellist J.L. Stewart thinks everyone is overreacting: “Now Underhill, I must say that I think that you’re inclined to view this situation with too much alarm.”

My septuagenarian memories: I was 3 years old in Oct 1938 and I was living in Vernet-les-bains in the French Pyrenees with my mother. In April 1939 we moved to Paris when my father became Branch Manager of the Royal Bank of Canada in Paris.

By July 13 1940 we ended up in Halifax NS after crossing U-Boat infested waters in the North Atlantic. Phew!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/10/10 at 07:59