Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Oh to be in England Now That April's There

April in the Botanical Gardens, Durham

It's glorious weather here. Think we should make the most of it, this might be our summer!

Seems like this poem expresses how I feel about spring here in England. It just suddenly appears from nowhere and to be truthful although I love going on holiday, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else at the moment.

Home Thoughts, From Abroad

Oh, to be in England,
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough

In England--now!

And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops--at the bent spray's edge--
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower--
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower.

Robert Browning

When I read the poem this morning I remembered this song. It's another of my favourites, written and sung by Clifford T Ward.

He wrote it for his wife in 1973 when he was touring the American Army bases in France and based it on the Browning poem, Home Thoughts From Abroad.

He was a wonderful singer songwriter but suffered from multiple sclerosis and sadly he died in 2001.

Nice one Clifford!

Home Thoughts from Abroad - Clifford T Ward

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Susan Boyle and Egg on the Face for Simon Cowell!

As I said in the previous post I never normally watch reality shows like Britain's Got Talent.

I didn’t see this act but my eleven year old grandson told me to watch it on You Tube. Wow!!!!!
I'm glad I did, she is amazing.

Simon Cowell behaved like a patronising git as she came on. Well let's face it she's not a dolly bird (showing my age again there), she's forty seven. So it was wonderful to see his expression change the moment she started to sing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. It was better than a slap in the face. Doesn’t he look nice when he smiles? Almost human. You can see I'm not a fan.

The moral - Never judge people by their appearances! What a wonderful lady. I hope her dream comes true and this isn’t the last we see of her.

Sadly they’ve disabled embedding on these videos now so you have to go to You Tube and watch from there. This is the link

Susan Boyle – Britain’s Got Talent

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Stavros Flatley, the Greek Irish Dancer!

Happy Easter to everyone. The weather is great and doesn't it makes you feel wonderful.

Last night by accident I saw a few minutes of the telly show Britain's Got Talent. Now I don't do these kind of shows but I was at my step mother's last night and she was watching it.

I have to say it's the funniest thing I've seen in ages. Like the judges and Ant and Dec, I just couldn't stop laughing. The tears streamed!

Eat your heart out Michael Flatley!

Unfortunately You Tube have disabled the embedding for Britain's Got Talent videos for some reason.

To watch it use this link Stavros Flatley - the Greek Irish Dancer

Thursday, 9 April 2009

What’s Your Favourite Website?

BBC Home Page

I have lots of sites I like to look at but I have to say I have the BBC website as my homepage and I use it lots.

Now when you look at it, it may look different to the screen dump above. I can't post the whole front page on the screen dump and also I’ve customised it to have the topics displayed that suit me. You can add a range of features such as sport, food, science, blogs, business and money etc. In addition you can change the colour to suit what you prefer or you have the option I have chosen to have it rotate colours.

Really useful features of the site are that you can not only customise it, you can localise it too. So you can have your local weather and news at the click of the mouse.

Another feature I like is that it keeps changing. A few minutes after I had moved off the home page I went back and the page colour had changed to a purple shade and with Kylie Minoghue featuring on video.

BBC Home Page

The children’s section is great especially CBeebies. My granddaughter absolutely loves it. All her favourite programmes are there with lots of different activities like painting, making things, singing, dancing, games, poetry etc.

What I like about it is the educational aspect but they make it fun.
Lauren’s current favourite is a new programme called Poetry Pie. Her favourite poem and song?
This one:

The Potty Song

Never put your potty on the table.

Never put your potty on a chair.

Never put your potty on the telly.
Never put your potty on the stair.
Never put your potty in pyjamas.
Never put your potty in your bed.
And never, never, never, never,
Never, never, never - ever!
Never put your potty on your head!

Don’t they always like toilet humour!

Another brilliant part of the site is the Education and Learning section. It covers all kinds of topics and there’s stuff there for adults, parents, teachers and students. The language section is particularly good, there’s audio and video courses in 36 languages. Amazing!

I know I sound like I’m advertising the BBC site and in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not on commission. I just love this site. A work colleague told me a few years ago that her friend worked on the BBC website team and it cost an absolute fortune to maintain and develop. Well if it did then, goodness only knows what it costs now, but it’s worth it.

I've barely touched on the vast range of topics and features. For one thing I haven't mentioned BBC Radio. I'll save that for another day!

To finish with, my favourite feature on the site is iPlayer. You can catch up on all your favourite programmes that you’ve missed. I don’t have any kind of service or technology to record telly programmes so I find this fantastic. You don’t need to worry about remembering to set the recorder or store it, it’s all there. Not sure if this works outside the UK.

BBC iPlayer

Now in their wisdom, nay stupidity, ITV have now scheduled Lewis at the same time as BBC air No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I’m no expert on viewing figures or the ins and outs of TV scheduling but, I would have thought that to keep up your viewing figures, you don’t schedule a programme you want high figures for with the opposition’s prime new drama programme. That’s just dippy!

My husband prefers to watch Lewis so I missed Sunday night's episode of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, so I’m off to catch up on it now.

Bye for now!

Roy Orbison

When I was a teenager I had lots of lovely LPs with their beautiful covers and one of my favourite singers was Roy Orbison. I was luck...