IMAGES & WORDS: distance


© Photo and image remake: Riihele. All rights reserved

I find that there is nostalgia somehow in this photograph taken in Ireland in the summer of 2006:
the tracks of the aeroplanes, the hills,
and the setting sun
add to the feeling of dreaminess and longing.

Yet, it is not despairing for the connection of the lovers is there.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S!

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.comCartoon by Dave Walker.

Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

COMEDY: DINNER for ONE

The Menu

Mulligatawny Soup (with sherry)
Haddock (with white wine)
Chicken (with Champagne)
Fruit (with port)

– Little drop of soup, Miss Sophie?
– I am particularly fond of mulligatawny soup*, James…I think we’ll have sherry with the soup.
– Sherry with the soup? Yes… oh, by the way, the same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
– Same procedure as every year, James.

Dinner for one also known as The 90th Birthday, or by its corresponding German title, Der 90. Geburtstag, is a comedy sketch written by British author Lauri Wylie for the theatre in the 1920s. German television station Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) recorded a performance of the piece in 1963, in its original English language. This short comical play subsequently went on to become the most frequently repeated TV programme ever (according to the Guinness Book of Records, 1988-1995 eds.; later editions no longer have the category). Wikipedia

The 18 minute black-and-white 1963 TV recording features the British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden. In many countries New Year, without Dinner for One, would be like Christmas without It’s A Wonderful Life! The German airline LTU shows it on all its New Year flights, and Dinner for One recently ventured across the border to Austria, where it has become compulsive annual viewing. (The Daily Telegraph online)

Everywhere where it is regularly televised, it has become a cult, and translated into many languages, including Latin:

Ceterum, domina, iubesne me sequi eandem rationem procedendi atque anno superiore? – Same procedure as last year, milady? (BBC online)?


This sketch is absolutely hysterically funny, methinks. Rii

* Recipe for the Mulligatawny Soup is in this link.

“Literally meaning pepper water. Mulligatawny Soup is an Anglo-Indian invention. Created by servants for the English Raj who demanded a soup course from a cuisine that had never produced one. You can make this soup a day ahead and you can add chicken pieces in the soup as well.” (All Recipes online)

Haddock and other fish pictures.
Dinner for One BBC link.
Transcript for the dialogue between Miss Sophie and James.
Even a Quizz on the Dinner for One.

ALL CREATURES: SUZIE Q~ The DIVA


I am of the opinion that

‘A House without an Animal is Not a Home’.

(
My own guote.)


This Beautiful Madame in the photo above is Becki’s cat, the 20-year-old, Suzie Q, who is posing and sitting pretty as a pro model. Even the known cat-haters have admitted that Suzie is the prettiest pussy they ever saw!! She takes all this admiration with an admirable coolness of a renowned and recognized beauty.

Suzie is a mighty mixture of the cat personalities that The Purina, in their online site, describes as The Boss and The Diva. She holds the command in many ways: the goings and comings of hers are totally in her own control, she will NOT be bunged out. Nope – no way Jose!!

HPIM1255.jpg image by Riihele

When Suzie gets a bit peckish at any hour day or night – one just has to oblige her Ladyship. Otherwise, she will bang the doors off their hinges. At least, she will try, and nobody but no body will get any sleep or peace until she is attended to. At least, she will try, and nobody but no body will get any sleep or peace until she is attended to. Suzie was adopted by Becki seventeen years ago, when the Pud would have been about two years of age. The neighbours, whose cat Suzie was originally, totally neglected her, and she was in a terrible state when we took her on. The vets bills were enormous at the time just to get her sorted so that she could be an indoor cat.

HPIM1257.jpg image by Riihele

Ever since then Suzie Q has been an one woman cat – Becki’s. She will hardly take any notice of me once the food is served on her dish and she will give me a polite nod for ‘Thank you’ if she feels like giving me some attention! At present, I do not take care of her as she still lives in Ireland and I am not. Becki has even taught her to sit down at command to get her dinner, and Suzie is only too happy to obey her favourite person on earth.

SLEEPYHEADSUZI.jpg picture by Riihele

A snippet of of what Becki wrote about Suzie Q – The Diva:

I have loved all the cats that we have had. Each one has their own personality but there is one special lady that I am the closest with: Suzie. In the words of Tigger “we’re closer than teeth and gums.”

She came into my life when I was about eight years old and I knew straight away she was going to be my girl but my parents didn’t agree. They thought that we don’t have room, money or time to take on another cat. I used to sneak Suzie in, feed her and if I couldn’t bring her in I would go out and stand in the rain as a protest that if Suzie couldn’t come in then I’ll stay out with her. My stubbornness eventually worked and I got my way. My dad and I went to the owners and asked if we could have her. They agreed and 16 years later she’s still my girl.

My mum always says that Suzie knows I fought for her and that she remains loyal to me. In the early days she would scare my little sister and her friends and be very demanding (i.e. food, food, food) to my mum and dad. Now it’s funny to see the change in her from a feisty young lady to a big softy. Her newest demand now is cuddles ALL the time. I had a friend visit lately and she was puzzled to see that I and Suzie have the same “looks”. She asked, “Who taught who”, meaning some of our expressions that I and Suzie have are alike. I don’t actually know. I guess I learnt them from her. Funny that.”

HPIM1270.jpg image by Riihele

”Yep, you and Suzie are ‘like 2 peas-in- a pod’ – you always were, hey.”

This was my comment on the above writing.

This for now. Riihele xx

Winnie-The-Pooh: Wise Words from a Little Bear

Winnie the Pooh

I am very fond of The Winnie-the-Pooh. I got to know him and his pals – the link is into just-pooh.com – through my daughters while they were young. The story has the most marvellous fictional personalities like: Winnie-the-Pooh, Roo the Kangaroo, Owl the Old Wise One and The Always-Depressed Eeyore. Many a time I ask people which one of them is their favourite one – I have found that it tells a lot more of the person in question and their personality than one thinks. It is sort of a mini personality test of its own kind.

Here is the New York Public Library link to more trivia and interesting details of the story of the Winnie and his friends. My favourite character by a mile is Tigger – the link is into just-pooh.com – that bouncing, flouncing tiger of the happiest disposition ever! He makes me laugh so much. The actor who does Tigger’s voice is spot-on with the drawn picture of him. This is the way he often introduces himself:

“Tee aye double-guh err, that’s how you spell Tigger.”

I was reading today the book by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard called –Winnie-the-Pooh’s Little Book of Wisdom* – (The Methuen Imprint by Egmont Children’s Books Limited.) Here is a link to where the ‘original’  Winnie is at present. This tells more about the author and this gives background information to the story of the Winnie-the-Pooh.

I found such wonderful pearls of wisdom in this book which has this other title as well:
Wise Words from a Bear of Very Little Brain. Here are some pearls, the first 3 have been in an earlier entry as well but I like these very ones the best:

Don’t Procrastinate
If you are always saying, ‘We’ll see,’
nothing ever happens.

Insight
It’s best to know what you are
looking for before you look for it.

Organisation
Is what happens when you
do a search and you don’t all look
in the same place.

Don’t Worry
When you get a sinking feeling,
don’t worry, it’s probably because
you’re hungry.

A Little Philosophy
Sometimes, the more you think,
the more there is no real answer.

Companionship
It isn’t much good having anything exciting,
if you can’t share it with somebody.
It’s so much more friendly with two.

Take the Initiative
Like Rabbit, never let things come to you,
always go out and fetch them.

Gastronomic Disappointment
A Very Nearly tea is one
you forget about afterwards.

Manners
Always say Goodbye-and-thank-you
-for-a-nice-time.

Tis for now. Riihele xx

Clan Gathers & Gatherings

RIVER TORNIO

”The lack of emotional security of our American* young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit.
No two people – no mere father and mother – as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.”

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973)
Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (1932)
Nobel Prize in Literature (1938)

It has been both fashionable and popular to have these meetings of people related to one another in Finland, and our clan, for example, has been having these gatherings for over twenty years, but for me the Clan Gathering of summer 2004 was my first ever. It was amazing to be together with about 100 plus of one’s own flesh and blood! Our clan is much, much larger than that and spread all over the globe. This number – 100 of those present – is really only chicken feed compared to ALL the relatives that belong to our clan, although for whatever reason they did not come to the gathering in Lapland, nor to the latest gathering we had last weekend in the Northern Finland. The Clan Gathering of 2004 was in our home village of Ylitornio, Lapland, and this year it was not as far north.

The photo was taken in the middle of the night and I think it was about or after midnight. It was so bright with the sun still not gone to bed. The sun does not go-to-bed there for several weeks over the summer months. It is also hard for the humans to hit the sack, as it is simply too sunny right through the night to even feel tired. It was so exiting to be back in our home territory, where we were born and where we grew up. You might be aware of this, that Lapland is called the Land of the Midnight Sun. Yes, all of Finland is claiming that title, as a matter of fact, though not quite so! SORRY, Suomi !! That is Finland in Finnish.

I have posted this photograph as my very first photograph in my very first blog, because this is where my story began all those years ago. My younger sister took it in Ylitornio, the place where I was born and where I grew up ’til I was eleven years old. Or should I say, as it says, in my passport, though in fact, I was born in a town nearby called, Tornio. The area in Lapland , where these places are situated, is right at the Swedish border. It is said to be the most peaceful border on the globe. There is great action happening across the Väylä – the Tornio River- that separates the villages of Finnish Ylitornio and the Swedish side of the village called – Övertorneå .

I have been back since the move from Lapland in Ylitornio a good few times and one of the times we stayed in a cottage of a resort there for a spring holiday. I had thought that I had forgotten how to ski with no chance to ski in other countries I had lived in – but on that break, I realized that what one learns while young, stays in the noggin well! I did enjoy the skiing at that time, for I used to dislike the skiing at school because it was terrible to nearly kill oneself with all that exercise and then after showering, having to go into the class! Phew. I would have loved to be able to just chill and do après ski…

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
Jane Howard

The following visit there was not until this Clan Gathering our clan had there in the summer of 2004. It was the most interesting time to meet so many of the cousins and the other relatives that I had even never seen before. The emphasis of that gathering was on our branch of the clan – that is my maternal granddad. Our locally living cousins had prepared a most detailed and varied programme to take in as much as possible of the life and happenings of his life into it.

It was brilliant, ooh so marvellous, to hear my first language and old dialect – Meän kieli – again after all these years! We did not call that dialect with that name while living in there, it was only known then as “to speak with the letter H” or something like that. Only recently have I heard that new name for the language. Our cousins used it with relish in their guiding the party all around Ylitornio and Tornio, – on the Finnish side of the river, and Haparanda and Övertorneå – on the Swedish side of the River Tornio. We had a delicious dinner in Aavasaksa and a tour of the site and plenty of photographs were taken there. It is a most wonderful feeling to be part of a family, a clan and people that have common roots and common blood. Yes, it does give one a marvellous sense of security of belonging and not being an alien in an alien land nor a stranger in a strange country!

I was told by one of my slightly older cousins that I used to speak, as he put it – a colourful language – when I was small!! That means that I was effing and blinding** as the Irish say, like a twenty-stone dock worker. This cousin reminded me of an incident that happened when I was six-years old: our Granny had given us cousins, about ten to fifteen of us, just a few pence to buy sweets. All the other grandchildren of hers were overwhelmed with thankfulness, except me.***

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past,
bridge to our future.

Alex Haley
Tis for now – Riihele xx.

* I would say: The whole Western world, and not just America!

** = cursing and swearing
*** What I did state after receiving that morsel of a pocket money from poor Granny was:

“One cannot even buy s**t with this!!” We, as in my siblings and I, were used to receiving much bigger pocket monies. So, knowing what one could get with money …. My, my what a brat!! I remember that our usually so patient and kind to me Granny went ballistic and just screamed for help to the other grown-ups.

TREASURES in LIFE: True Friendships

Two Friends

These two friends are my daughter and her friend
in the countryside one summer in Ireland.
Photo by me.

“A FRIEND LOVES AT ALL TIMES”
(Proverbs 17:7 Ampl.Bible)

In some countries it is harder than in others to make the ‘cut’ – that is – to get into the mainstream of the life and the living but once you are in, ‘you are in’, for good! Finland, Sweden and Israel are like this. It requires much patience to get there. The Finns, the Swedes and the Israelis are cautious at first, then after a while they let their guard down and you will be firm friends for life. No matter how fiercely your opinions on matters differ and how much you would argue, at the end of the day; it only clears the air and strengthens the bond of friendship. I am not saying that this the rule 100 per cent in each and every case, but certainly in my own personal experience, it has been the norm.

The Irish give the ‘hail fellow, well met’ – impression of ease and quick skills of getting to know other people. That does not lead to lasting friendship, most of the time. It is just politeness, social skills or whatever one will call it. I am most outgoing but it was in Ireland that I found it the hardest of all to really get to know people where they would be genuine and real. No stereotype Irish, but the person, the people as they are.

A friend said this in one of her comments in my page on another entry on friendships:

“Funny how to put the differences in friendships in a cultural view, because I’ve had to deal with this issue myself. Americans are more like the way you describe Irish…easy get by with on basic social levels, friendly in that “hi, how ya doin, see ya” way.

But maybe because it’s so easy to become “friends” with them, you don’t realize that you aren’t really really friends, true friends, until you try to get closer and come up against a wall. I sound disparaging, but that’s the way I am. My Israeli friends often tell me that they see Americans as hypocrites, or pretend friends. And I find the Israeli friendships to often be suffocating. It’s worth knowing when you go to a strange culture.”

My response to her:

“Yes indeed, it is wise to know some basic things about the strange, as in different, culture one is moving to. It makes the adjusting so much easier. The Scandinavians, particularly, the Finns are considered ‘cold, aloof and distant’ by the others who don’t understand that the culture is such that people take their time ‘letting’ you through the barriers bit by bit.

Then once you are IN; YOU ARE IN for life. This kind of process takes a lot adjusting to do but it’s worth it in the end. I’m not a typical Finn in this aspect either but more Latin in my manner, style & personality in that I am not reserved in meeting new people, yet still Finnish in this that when I am your friend – I truly am your friend through thick & thin!”

Tis for now. Riihele xx