Grandmother: “How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the air so blue?” Me, pulling and repeating: “How do you like to go up in a swing, up in the air so blue?” Grandmother: “Oh I do think it the pleasantest thing ever a child can do.” Me: “Oh I do… Continue reading Poems and Punkah
Six years old…. Canton, China. My six-year-old heart was burbling with excitement. Today I would be given my very own book with real words in it! Today I was going to learn to read. I rushed to our classroom – an unused room in the servants’ wing of the house, overlooking the canal (windows closed… Continue reading Learning to Read
Shame and stupidity TEA, three little letters, that, when interspersed with others, can bring comfort, solace, and healing, but left together on their own they detonate into an explosion of grief, shame, humiliation, regret, and stupidity. I have lived, grown up, worked, or visited in 22 different countries of the world. For all of them,… Continue reading TEA!
You could tell she was miserable. Her sullen angry face stared straight ahead from the audience’s front row, her lips clenched tightly together. You’d think we were torturing her – we probably were. This concert took place in a bygone era when folk were allowed to come together. It was a simple audience participation… Continue reading I wish we still had the stocks
The Brits are crazy. As an American I was absolutely sure of it. Especially at Christmas time. When I first arrived in England, an American bride married to my Yorkshire husband, I was baffled by the fact that at Christmas, the busiest, most stressful, most here-and-there-and-everywhere time of year, they spend this most food-clogged… Continue reading Mince Pie Madness
“Miss Judy, will you come on Thursday to share our bread and salt, as we say?” “Oh, thank you for the invitation. I would love to come. But bread and salt are all I will share, because in the evening we Americans have our Thanksgiving celebration, with a big feast.” “Good. We normally do not… Continue reading The Magnificent Clash of Cultures
Whatever is this world coming to? I looked again at the document. “I can’t sign this,” I said. No punctuation marks. A relative clause so far from its parent verb that it wasn’t even a distant cousin. A spellcheck-reliant secretary who didn’t know the difference between “apologies” and “apologises”. What kind of trust could I… Continue reading GRRRRRR!
The Ping that started it all. Do you ever hear an incidental passing comment that suddenly goes ping! in your brain but you don’t know why? And you have to pursue it even if it leads nowhere? This happened to me when someone casually mentioned “Widemarsh Ventures. “They collect all sorts,” he said, “and turn… Continue reading The True Planet Savers
The Earl of Sandwich. John Montagu’s cribbage addiction has given, what the Wall Street Journal states, is “Britain’s biggest contribution to gastronomy”, which is a bit harsh, but probably true. The Earl of Sandwich (in Kent, by the River Stour ) didn’t want to eat meat with his bare hands because it messed up his… Continue reading Sandwich Stories
Panic. “Oh no, here I go again!” I said as the heart pounded, fear gnawed my insides, hands perspired, and brain locked rigidly into Danger mode. Logic and clear thinking would now be suffocated by the black cloud of confusion and self-hatred. This is a lifelong experience. It always happens when I have to find… Continue reading Mary