I recently connected again with Rebecca Budd a dear friend and fellow blogger from Vancouver, and we had another enjoyable conversation via the wonderful world of Podcast. This time we spoke about the joy that music brings to our lives and I shared some of my memories of how I came to play the piano and the happiness it has brought into my life over the years. Some of you have said in the past that you would like to hear me play and when you listen to the podcast, you will hear me playing the lovely melody ‘The Way We Were’, a song made famous by Barbra Streisand. I hope you enjoy listening.
Just click the link below to be taken to the podcast.
When we arrived at the Isle Of Palms ‘Wild Dunes’ resort near Charleston, where we were to stay the night on our drive from New Jersey to Florida, there was not a single person to be seen on the beach. In fact, the whole place seemed deserted.
The beach in Phuket which had been hit by a Tsunami just two years before our visit seemed just as unpopular.
In Umhlanga Rocks, things were a lot more lively as many spectators took a seat on the grass as well as on benches to view the annual Red Bull surfing competition.
Further along the beach, the rocks provided improvised seating for holiday makers.
What a great place to sit for a few hours, quietly reading or just watching the waves.
It seems that everyone loves to be at the beach.
It’s the most relaxing place to sit and do absolutely nothing.
I’m looking forward to going back there at the end of May.
A few weeks ago, my daughter sent me a gardenia bonsai, “Just because I love you, Mom.” What a lovely surprise it was, and I stood it in my kitchen, read the instructions and waited for the buds to come out. I was supposed to mist it daily, keep the pebbles moist in the tray and make sure not to water it too much. Not that difficult really. My daughter was disappointed when she saw the photo, because in the brochure, it showed a bright red pot with many flowers already blooming.
I followed the instructions religiously, but all that happened was that a couple of buds fell off. Then I had the bright idea to stand it outside in the humidity instead of inside in the air conditioning. Light bulb moment! The very next day, my first flower started to appear and now it’s looking gorgeous.
The fragrance is wonderful and takes me back to when I was a teenager in the 60’s. For Christmas, my very favourite aunt bought me my first bottle of perfume, which was ‘Gardenia’ by Goya. I can still remember how excited I was when I opened the bottle and dabbed a couple of drops behind my ears.
Tonight we’re going to see the fabulous Judy Carmichael performing at one of our local theatres. I wish I could play piano just like her. Tomorrow evening, we have dinner and dancing here at the club, so that should be fun too. Wishing you all a very happy weekend.
In May 2010 we took a trip to Yellowstone National Park, starting off in Jackson Hole, where we rented a Dodge Durango SUV. Here it is outside the cute chalet where we spent our first night.
When we set off the next day, hubby realised that the power outlets weren’t working, which meant that we couldn’t use our GPS, so back we went to the rental office where it was swapped out for a Chevy Suburban which was very spacious indeed for just the two of us, but who’s going to complain about that? The weather was unseasonably cold for May, and when we arrived at Old Faithful, I noticed pretty icicles on the wheels.
Now for something completely different. A horse and buggy ride around Savannah in much warmer weather.
Last but not least, some ‘choo choo’ wheels in Chattanooga.
“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” ~ James Dean
As we travelled to San Jose after an overnight stay in Paso Robles, hubby remarked that soon we would be crossing the San Andreas fault line and also would most likely drive through the road junction where James Dean met his untimely death in 1955 at the young age of twenty-four. I kept a look out of the window and was fascinated by the way the hills over to my right looked almost like undulating velvet. My shot through the car window is a bit blurry, but I’m sure you can see what I mean. “What a desolate but beautiful place,” I thought.
I was so intent on looking at the hills and thinking about the fault line, which actually crosses the road roughly midway between where the road accident happened and James Dean’s memorial, that I almost missed the spot where his fans come to leave their strange miscellany of tributes. Almost missed it, but not quite, as I must have pressed the shutter just at the right moment. Yay me!
Apparently people leave all sorts of objects there, from Chesterfield cigarettes, playing cards and beer bottles, to intimate items of women’s clothing hanging on the fence together with an assortment of American flags.
Just after the junction where the crash had happened, we saw a diner with a few motorcycles parked outside. It seemed like a good place to stop for lunch and the official memorial was right there too.
Inside the cafe, the walls were adorned with memorabilia pertaining to the young icon. At a table in the corner where most of the photos were displayed, sat three elderly biker guys chatting animatedly about the times they’d been pulled over by the traffic cops and what their fate had been. From the snatches of conversation that I overheard, they mostly got away scot-free with their misdemeanors. When they left, I got up to take a couple of photos and noticed one of them had left a jacket on the back of the chair where he’d been sitting. I was about to pick it up and take it outside to him, when he reappeared and we had a very friendly chat about where I was from and where we were headed, after which he offered to take my photo before retrieving his jacket and rejoining his friends.
The whole corner was filled with photos of and newspaper cuttings about James Dean, together with photos of the wreckage of his Porsche 550 Spyder, which he nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’.
Ironically, James’s last autograph was on the speeding ticket he’d collected on the same day he died and only two hours before his fatal accident.
Here is the newspaper report of his death. As you can see, the entire front page was devoted to him.
“ If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.” ~ James Dean
Although it seems as though the name ‘James Dean’ has always been known to me, only now, more than sixty years later did I think to find out more about him and how he died. If your curiosity has been sparked, here’s a fascinating article about the circumstances of his accident and what happened to his Porsche ‘Little Bastard’ afterwards. https://allthatsinteresting.com/james-dean-death