Worth a thousand words?

It’s not just the picture that tells the story.  Though I love photos of castles and British country homes and follow many of them on Instagram, this time it’s the words that get me.

For all my colleagues who’ve toiled in the marketing/ad agency/broadcast production world, always looking for fresh ways to describe available merchandise, when I read the description of this gorgeous place on Instagram and came to the part in green  below, I applauded the copywriter.

Who thinks to describe plants growing up the side of a building like this?

Eastwell Manor is a Great British country house originally built for Sir Thomas Moyle in 1550, located in Ashford, Kent.   Much of Eastwell Manor, the building that now serves as a hotel, was built in the neo-Elizabethan style during the 18th century.

Eastwell was occupied by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria, for a long period of time. He lived here with his family until 1893.

This property is Grade II listed and a gorgeous display of period neo-Elizabethan architecture, and has been shackled and enthralled by a wave of moss, ivy and other vine shrubbery.  We adore this overgrown aesthetic which was allowed to progress over the last century, do you?




Wouldn’t it be nice?

This website shared with my fellow broadcaster Dave- here he is on our home page, is called The Aging of Aquarius, so yeah, from time to time we write about differences between generations.

Some wise words about the generation gap popped up in a Frank Bruni (New York Times) column a couple of months back.  I’ve been thinking about this  ever since.

“Older generations need younger ones to reconnect them with their idealism.  But younger generations need older ones to turn that idealism into more than pretty words. They need the moral authority reserved for people who’ve done so much loving, so much losing and so much figuring out how to press on. They need the life lessons, which have grown from a pamphlet to an encyclopedia. What a waste not to read every last syllable of it.”
February, 2019

Beautifully said, Frank.  Thank you.


How Daddy Got Us Our Mother

                      Teenage Bride – Wedding day

A very short Mother’s Day story.

In El Dorado, Arkansas in 1939, Raymond Jones cooked at a local cafe where Fern Salisbury stopped after school for a Co-Cola. He’d learned to cook in Roosevelt’s CC camp, then took to riding the rails, cooking in town after town, working his way back home to Arkansas.

Fern Salisbury lied about her age (with her Mother’s knowledge) and sang in honky-tonks on the weekend while going to high school during the day. She loved steak and he cooked it well, frying it a special way for her in a huge cast iron skillet, browning the outside the way she liked it.  She ate steak at the cafe counter several times a week.  He flirted while she enjoyed meals like she didn’t have at home.

He started hanging around the honky-tonk.  Turned out he was the best dancer in town.  He danced with all the girls while she sang. Then he danced with her. Then he danced with her mother too, Gramma said just so she would let him keep seeing her daughter.

They married and both my brother and I were born while she was still in her teens.  They gave up dancing because of his new religion but they made music together all their lives and Reverend Raymond Jones (Brother Ray) cooked steaks for his Doll Baby (Sister Fern) in a cast iron skillet that went with us everywhere we traveled.

Depending on who was telling the story, when they talked about falling in love it was either the steaks or the dancing.


Sing out anyway!

I’d already written this, ready to post this morning,  then last night American Idol judges messed up my happy mood. So I added graffiti to the picture above.

Sometimes I watch American Idol or The Voice with my girls.  They’re fans.  I wander in and out. A crucial piece of each contestant’s story is how the singers get from where they started to here.

“I’ve lived my whole life on a tractor, never sang for more than ten or fifteen people at a time but here I am in Hollywood.

I embroidered that a little, but it’s close.

Talent is everywhere, but once it was nearly impossible to be discovered unless you lived in an entertainment center. One good thing about music competition shows – if you make it to one of their audition locations, you might get yourself noticed.

I like the solo auditions but I cringe when the finalists have to out-sing each other. I’m a wimp about young talent competing against other young talent so I walk away. Last night the girls came hollering down the hall to announce American Idol just eliminated sweet-faced, earnest, curly-headed Jeremiah.  I liked him best.  Obviously I am not strong enough for a whole season of this.

Getting from there to here still makes a good story, which is probably why reality shows keep telling it, and luck still plays a role, but if we’ve got something to say or sing and a way to post on You Tube, we can shout it to the world.

This video below already had millions of views by the time I heard about it.  Dad’s a musician who quit performing to support his family another way.  He did make it to The Voice, but didn’t win, but then Ellen invited Dad and Claire to her show.  I don’t know what’s going to happen next but in the meantime, sing out, Claire.