Category: Culture

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Thirteen.

Contrasts!

The first weekend of this month saw Jeannie and me in Chicago. Then back home in Merlin, earlier this week, half-an-inch of rain fell to break a long spell of dry weather. I went out last Thursday morning to capture some sights of the first misty morning of Autumn. The contrast between our rural home and Chicago was dramatic; to say the least! Enjoy!

(P.S. I sensed there was no need to describe each photograph in terms of which one was taken in Merlin or in Chicago!)

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

oooo

You all have a good week!

Letting go of the glass.

Another vital lesson from our dogs.

I saw the following video on Facebook from a dear friend back in my days of living and working in Colchester, Essex, England.

There’s nothing mind-blowing about the message but nevertheless it’s a good reminder to learn to chill out as our dogs do.

Or as Jeannie and Pedy were doing last Thursday evening!

(Oh, and this will be the first time that Jeannie knew of me taking this picture!)

Thanks Roger.

Ghosts.

An emotional post that is potentially upsetting to readers. Especially English readers.

Yesterday, September 14th, saw the opening of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire that happened on June 14th. As the BBC News reported:

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has opened, with its chairman promising it will provide answers to how the disaster could have happened in 21st century London.

Sir Martin Moore-Bick said he would not shrink away from making recommendations that could lead to prosecutions.

Yesterday morning, I woke at 5am PDT (1pm UK time) and picked up my tablet that has a BBC Radio 4 app installed. I lay there in the dark, Jeannie still fast asleep alongside me, and listened to the World at One: Forty-five minutes of news, analysis and comment, with Martha Kearney. Naturally the opening stages of the inquiry were one of the main items covered.

I was born in London. At the maternity ward at the hospital in Park Royal, West London. Some 5 miles from Grenfell Tower. I was brought up in Wembley, London again some 5 miles straight line distance from the tower.

For much of my early life as a young adult I was in and around that part of London. So while I was not personally familiar with Grenfell Tower itself, the news coverage of the disaster at the time relayed sights of a part of London that seemed like an old friend from the past.

A ghost of my life from over 50 years ago.

Yesterday on the World at One Martha Kearney interviewed Kareem Dennis better known as the rapper Lowkey:

Lowkey: A song for Grenfell, a call for justice

Hip Hop artist Lowkey lives opposite Grenfell tower. He has written a song called Ghosts of Grenfell, featuring people from the local community, which demands justice for those who died.

Lowkey told the World at One about his song and the night of the fire.

(Photo: Lowkey. Credit: BBC)

The interview included snippets of Lowkey’s song.

After I had finished listening to the World at One I did a web search to learn more about the poor animals that lost their lives in the inferno. It broke my heart reading the stories.

Then I started watching the full video of Lowkey’s song: Ghosts of Grenfell. Sixty seconds into the song I could hold my emotions no longer and burst into deep sobs.

Here is Lowkey’s song.

For those that want to stay with this, then here are the lyrics to Ghosts of Grenfell.

ooOOoo

Ghosts of Grenfell

Lowkey
Featuring Mai Khalil

Produced by Jo Caleb and Quincy Tones

[Intro: Lowkey]
The night our eyes changed
Rooms where, love was made and un-made in a flash of the night
Rooms where, memories drowned in fumes of poison
Rooms where, futures were planned and the imagination of children built castles in the sky
Rooms where, both the extraordinary and the mundane were lived
Become forever tortured graves of ash
Oh you political class, so serve out to corporate power

[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream
[Verse 1: Lowkey]
Words can not express
Please allow me to begin though
1:30am heard the shouting from my window
People crying in the street
Watchin’ the burning of their kinfolk
Grenfell Tower, now historically a symbol
People reaching, from their windows
Screaming, for their lives
Pleading, with the cries
Tryna reason with the skies
Dale youth birthed champions
Comparison is clear though
That every single person in the building was a hero
So don’t judge our tired eyes in these trying times
‘Cause we be breathing in cyanide, the entire night
They say Yasin saw the fire and he ran inside
Who’d thought that would be the site where he and his family died
The street is like a graveyard, tombstones lurching over us
Those shouting out to their windows, now wish they never woke them up
Wouldn’t hope your worst enemy to go in this position
Now it’s flowers for the dead and printed posters for the missing, come home
[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream

[Verse 2: Lowkey]
I see trauma in the faces of all those that witnessed this
Innocence in the faces of all those on the missing list
See hopes unfulfilled
Ambitions never achieved
No I’m not the only one that sees the dead in my dreams
Strive for the bravery of Yasin, artistic gift of Khadija
Every person, a unique blessing to never be repeated
Strive for the loyalty of siblings that stayed behind with their parents
Pray that every loved one lost can somehow make an appearance
We are, calling like the last conversations with their dearest
Until we face, what they face we will never know what fear is
We are, calling for survivors rehoused in the best place
Not to be left sleeping in the West Way for 10 days
We’re, calling for arrests made and debts paid
In true numbers known for the families that kept faith
We’re, calling for safety in homes of love
They are immortalised forever, the only ghosts are us
I wonder
[Chorus: Mai Khalil & Lowkey]
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
Ghosts of Grenfell still calling for justice
Now hear ’em, now hear ’em scream
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, or us?
Did they die, for us?
This corporate manslaughter will haunt you
Now hear ’em scream

[Bridge: Mai Khalil (Arabic)]
Olooli win arooh
Nas a’am tehtere’a fe sa’at sahoor
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Olooli win arooh
Nas a’am tehtere’a fe sa’at sahoor
Ahess ennee be alam tanee
Ahess ennee be alam tanee

[Speech: Lowkey & Various Voices]
To whom it may concern, at the Queen’s royal borough of Kensington in Chelsea. Where is Yasin El-Wahabi? Where is his brother Mehdi? Where is his sister Nur Huda? Where is their mother and where is their father? Where is Nura Jamal and her husband Hashim? Where is their children, Yahya, Firdaus and Yaqoob? Where is Nadia Loureda? Where is Steve Power? Where is Dennis Murphy? Where is Marco Gottardi? Where is Gloria Trevisian? Where is Amal and her daughter Amaya? Where is Mohammed Neda? Where is Ali Yawar Jafari? Where is Khadija Saye? Where is Mary Mendy? Where is Mariem Elgwahry? Where is her mother Suhar?

Tell us, where is Rania Ibrahim and her two daughters? Where is Jessica Urbano Remierez? Where is Deborah Lamprell? Where is Mohammed Alhajali? Where is Nadia? Where is her husband Bassem? Where are her daughters, Mirna, Fatima, Zaina and their grandmother? Where is Zainab Dean and her son Jeremiah? Where is Ligaya Moore? Where is Sheila Smith? Where is Mohammednour Tuccu? Where is Tony Disson? Where is Maria Burton? Where is Fathaya Alsanousi? Where is her son Abu Feras and her daughter Esra Ibrahim? Where is Lucas James? Where is Farah Hamdan? Where is Omar Belkadi? Where is their daughter Leena? Where is Hamid Kani? Where is Esham Rahman? Where is Raymond Bernard? Where is Isaac Paulos? Where is Marjorie Vital? Where’s her son Ernie? Where is Komru Miah? Where is his wife Razia? Where are their children Abdul Hanif, Abdul Hamid, Hosna? Where are Sakineh and Fatima Afraseiabi? Where is Berkti Haftom and her son Biruk?

Tells us, where is Stefan Anthony Mills? Where is Abdul Salam? Where is Khadija Khalloufi? Where is Karen Bernard? Where are these people? Where are these people? Where is Gary Maunders? Where is Rohima Ali? Where is her six year old daughter Maryam, her five year old daughter Hafizah and her three year old son Mohammed? God bless you all! Where are all these people?

[Outro]
Where are all these people?
The blood is on your hands
There will be ashes on your graves
Like a Phoenix we will rise
The blood is on your hands
There will be ashes on your graves
Like a Phoenix we will rise

ooOOoo

 

The doggie language course continues!

Another delightful insight from Lea.

On the 6th September last I offered a guest post from Lea of the blog Paws Give Me Purpose that carried the title More Doggie Language. It was well-received by all of you.

So it was easy for me to say “Yes” to Lea offering an update. Here it is.

ooOOoo

September 1, 2017, by Lea

Doggie Language Continued

Lately, I have seen many articles written on dog language and what your dog may be telling you. I published my own post entitled “Doggie Language” back on June 25th, the link can be found here:

http://www.pawsgivemepurpose.com/doggie-language/

There are just so many ways our dogs speak to us that one post will never be enough. Even when you think you have it all covered you suddenly think of something else, see your dog do something new, or read something else from another individual’s perspective. That is why today I am writing about this subject once again.

So here’s an interesting question that I have been asked a few times, and it makes me laugh every time I see someone on Facebook, or another site posting a joke or photo about it. Why do dogs follow you into the bathroom?

(image courtesy of Pinterest.com)

Having a loyal dog in your household ensures an incredible amount of love between you and your pup. Understanding your dog can be easy and it’s not hard to understand that your pup wants to give you some love with kisses, however your pup may often behave in more subtle manners as well.

Now, most of us aren’t mentalists or even Dr. Doolittle, so here are some things your dog may do and what they are trying to say to you:

  • Puppy dog eyes – puppy dog eyes are often used by young children whenever they really want something. Your pup may use them to show love and it enforces a greater trust between you both.
  • Following you around – you must agree that it is absolutely adorable when your pup follows you all over the house. According to some Veterinarians, following behavior is a dog’s instinct, to always do things with their pack/family.
  • Giving you gifts – I have had my dogs bring me dead birds, squirrels, and even once a live baby squirrel into the house. The gift is not always as interesting or gross, sometimes it’s a ball to play fetch or a stuffed toy, but turns out that our pups simply want to share their joy with us and there’s no better person to share it with!
  • Cuddle time after dinner – most of us are used to our dogs cuddling at bedtime or on the couch when we watch tv, but cuddling with you after their bellies are filled with a hearty meal shows that your pup is truly comfortable around you.
  • Licking your face and body – there are some people who love it, others find it gross, but all dogs like giving licks once in a while. Licking is actually a submissive behavior and it actually helps your pup ease their stress level as well as of course being a sign of loving you.
  • Going “crazy” when you come home – the second your dog hears you coming back home, chaos ensues. I know at my house it starts the minute I pull into the driveway, I can hear them even before I put my key in the lock.. Your pup is just happy you’re home, happy to see you! This enthusiastic response is just their way of saying “I missed you”.
  • Knowing when something is wrong – Your pet doesn’t need to be able to actually talk to you to sense that something is wrong or if you’re feeling sad. They read your body language and use their senses to detect if something is wrong. They are also more than willing to help you feel better.
  • Crawling into your bed – not everyone sleeps with their dogs, it’s a personal preference. Perhaps once every so often, your pup will join you in your bed, they won’t just sit there, they keep you close. Often they will cuddle you, they lay on you. When you’re not home and away for work, they may just want to smell you so they climb in the bed because they miss you.
  • Raising a single paw or tapping you with a paw – raising one of two paws usually means your dog is in the mood for some playtime or wants attention. Sometimes, they’ll do this when they see something interesting in their environment, they will sit with one paw raised like a statue.
  • Leaning against you – if your dog is actively leaning against you, it means he or she is looking for some extra love, hugs, pets from you. Dogs always love to have your undivided attention!
  • Try to get your opinion – have you ever had the feeling that your dog was looking for your approval? Your pup actually really appreciates and values your opinion. A little love and affection go a long way!
(image courtesy of Pinterest.com)

Whether you have a new dog or you and your pup have been together for a while, it’s helpful to know the meaning of their communication signals so that you can adjust your own behavior as needed and also you know how your pup is feeling.

Dogs make vocalizations and gestures using their face and body just as us humans do in order to express their feelings. While some of these gestures can appear similar to ours, they can have very different meanings. It is my hope that my original post on the subject and in this follow up, I have helped you learn a little more about how to interpret your dog’s various actions and that you’ve learned something new about how to communicate more effectively with your own pup!

Sources and further reading:

http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/how-read-your-dogs-body-language/415

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-body-language

http://stories.barkpost.com/dog-body-language-charts/

When I was reading this I was struck by Lea reminding me, and all other dog lovers, that the role of the gestures and faces of our dogs so closely matches how we humans communicate non-verbally. No wonder the bond between dog and human can be so close and wonderful.

Back home again

And it feels so good!

Jean and I were invited to Chicago this last weekend, actually Friday through Sunday, to support a charity that does a great deal of work saving dogs in many countries. (Will write more about this great charity soon.)

So we flew out, via San Francisco, from our local Medford airport last Thursday returning on Monday. The long week-end was not without a few challenges!!

I hadn’t been back to Chicago in nearly 30 years and found it a bit of a shock to the system.

So going to leave you for today with two photographs of the other side of city life!

oooo

Back to normal soon!

A story!

Sent to me by my grandson, Morten!

How times change! Morten is now writing stories on his iPad and sending them to me.

Like this one:

ooOOoo

Once upon a time there were 2 Very cute dogs called cuty and puty and they were having a great day in the deep dark forest 🌳 and  cuty said I want to go home 🏡 but puty doesn’t want to go home but they did. THE END

This was a story about two dogs 

ooOOoo

And included in that lovely email was this photograph:

Maija, me and Jeannie.

Okay good people, my book event is now behind me and Jeannie and I are back home.

Hopefully more responsive to you all now!

Love and caring.

“It is a time for kindness, love, community and human spirit to connect with nature.”

This sentence was written by Colette who blogs over at Stargazing Futures. Colette offered that thought in a response to a post last week in this place.

The reason I used it as the sub-heading for today’s share is that it is perfect.

Read this from Mother Nature News and you will understand.

ooOOoo

Watch an excavator gently rescue a deer

Russell McLendon   September 5, 2017

When two young black-tailed deer wandered onto a construction site in 2016, they probably didn’t realize how dangerously muddy the ground had become. They both got stuck in the mud, a predicament that could have easily been fatal — if an observant worker at the site hadn’t noticed them and swung into action.

“I wouldn’t have seen them if they hadn’t moved and caught my eye!” wrote Bill Davis, a native of Tacoma, Washington, who was checking on the property for his employer.

When he realized the two yearling deer were stuck, he “orchestrated a rescue operation with his cellphone,” his son-in-law told GrindTV, by contacting a skilled excavator operator who might be able to pluck the helpless deer out of the mud.

Using an uncannily light touch for such a powerful piece of machinery, the operator managed to rescue both deer from the mud. Davis posted one of the rescues in the video above; the actual scooping up of the deer starts at about the 2:30 point.

Of course, it might have been even better for these deer if the property was still forest, not a muddy construction site, and it’s worth noting that habitat loss is one of the main problems facing wildlife around the world. But that was a moot point by the time these deer got stuck, and since Davis couldn’t return their lost patch of habitat, he did the next best thing by making sure they survived this ordeal.

Plus, as Earth Touch News points out, these deer were thought to be yearlings at the time, so they may have already been old enough to rebound afterward.

Davis wasn’t taking any chances, though. “Didn’t sleep much last night [after the rescue],” he wrote on Facebook. “[A]ll I could think about was those little guys getting stuck again, and not finding mama! I’m out there looking to make sure the babies didn’t come back to the mud! No sign of them.”

ooOOoo

“It is a time for kindness, love, community and human spirit to connect with nature.”

Exactly!