Thursday, April 15, 2021

Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose......

Our writing word for today is "change." I have always maintained that change is the only constant, well maybe not. Maybe the more things change, the more they remain the same. 

For some reason, there are always dictators. Democracy is challenged in the most democratic of countries. There are still the poor, the homeless, the starving. There is still war somewhere. Peace is merely a "time out." Time to catch one's breath, gather some capital and then start all over again. We have only to look at Northern Ireland.

There is racism everywhere. Certain cultures are being purged daily. Free speech is silenced. Journalists are incarcerated and/or killed. The list goes on. Nothing, it seems has changed over hundreds of years.

Something there is in the human psyche that is always ready to explode. It's buried like a mine, just below the surface. Say the wrong thing, create an awkward situation, or look a little suspect and you could be destroyed.

Are we genetically programmed to remain the same?

It wasn't that long ago that a divorced American celebrity challenged the Crown. It is now happening again.

Trump could happen again.

Any liberties won by women, by those not following, what is considered a social norm, by those not following a dominant religion, by those not part of the main stream for whatever reason, could be reversed with every new governing power.

Change may not be merely two steps forward, one step back. It might be constantly turning in the same frustrating circles, waiting for the end ...or...

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of 
Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

W.B. Yeats

"Psst, buddy, can you spare some change?" I wish I could.

The picture? The best I could do for circles.

Have a thoughtful day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Duchess of Wessex....

 .....I have not commented on the very silly antics of "some very minor people" who have a lot of money and who feel that they need to be considered important. OK, she manipulated herself into a minor role in a dramatic series, "Suits," which aired on a secondary network. She also had her sights on a title - doesn't everyone, who wants easy fame, and/or lots of money. She charmed herself into the life of a prince, several slots away from the throne, and managed to get him to marry her.

She had a son - a great-grand-child to a woman far her superior. So, she got the job - Duchess of Sussex, but didn't want to do the work - go-figure. She wanted the title, the money, the prestige, without doing all the bowing, smiling, dressing for the cameras..etc. Somehow, she must have thought that royalty was an easy ride. 

So she started to play the cards - bi-racial, American, divorced, independent woman etc. Did she never think that the monarchy had been there before and that she was just another mistake to be "dealt with"?

May she fade away like all the others of her ilk. Wallis Warfield Simpson comes to mind. May she live and die in that obscurity, in that virtual exile. Certainly ignored, in fact, possibly hated, by many, while those who chose duty over petulance, live the beautiful lives of the role models they are - worshipped for their diligence at keeping the faith, setting an example, putting duty before pleasure, and generally reminding everyone that we are dependent on one another, we support one another, we respect one another and we play the games that get us through life, by making ourselves and everyone else stronger. Rather than being pathetic weaklings, needing sympathy and generally luring the emotionally immature into their maelstrom.

I think that her current title should be revoked. I'm sure Sussex wouldn't mind. Personally, I don't think that she or her husband should have titles at all and certainly none of their offspring.  May I offer another title, should she need one - the Duchess of Wessex. Now, Thomas Hardy may object, as would his hard working heroines - the county, of course is novel (she doesn't deserve literary); it is imaginary, as are most of  her illusions, and Wessex is inherently tragic - may she meet the fate of any or all Hardy's Wessex characters.

...and on the topic of sadness, a tribute to Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, may he rest in peace. Even at 99, he may have been brought to an earlier grave by the antics of a particular grandson. Still because of Prince Phillip's commitment to duty, we are all a little happier in our small little lives because he chose his duty over his preference, and as a result we are all doing our duty and sucking it up rather than complaining that $10 million isn't enough.

Have a hardier day

The picture - strength from my hardiness zone!

PS. Did you know that we all have hardiness zones - Mine is 6b - what is yours?

Monday, April 12, 2021


......Yesterday, I made naan, an Indian flatbread that is often eaten with curry. I also made Butter Chicken, but I forgot to take pictures so I'll have to make it again and post the process here, because it was delicious. 

I accepted the "naan" challenge, because a friend of my son has just started a YouTube cooking channel - J's World Kitchen -  and I wanted to try some of his recipes. I make curries from time to time, but I often forget to buy naan to go with them. I also forget to buy Mango chutney, but that's another story.

My journey went as follows: (please take a look at J's World Kitchen for the proportions.)

1. I set about to proof the yeast.

2. I measured out the flour and salt in one bowl and mixed the egg and milk in another bowl, while I waited for the yeast to froth up.

The yeast took a while, because it was a little old - not Egyptian tomb old, but you know, old.

3. Finally, I added the frothy yeast to the dough along with the milk and egg and started to mix and knead by hand. Yes you could use an electric dough processor, but that would be another machine on the counter and you would miss all the fun (and exercise) of kneading the dough. J tells you how long to knead the dough.

4. I covered my "blob" with plastic wrap, a tea towel and put it in a "warmish" spot to rise. I then went to Metro to pick up a few things.

5. An hour later my efforts were rewarded with an even bigger blob of dough that had risen beautifully!! It was huge, too big to turn it all into to naan, so I halved it and will use the rest for a pizza tomorrow. I love doughs that just need one rise. I do make bread, but I always worry about the second rise.

6. Now to fry the naan in a cast iron frying pan. Fortunately, I have four of these, each a different size. It's a heavy collection :) J said to pull off chucks of the dough, roll them out and then fry the flattened dough, coated in butter, in a medium hot pan. Enter, my son. He is one of those, who cannot pass a stove without stirring a pot, flipping a pancake, or sniffing a stew. He decided that I was not cooking the naan long enough and took over.

7. It was perfect. I rolled the dough and he fried it. A great way to spend some fun time with my son.

I covered the stack of naan with an overturned bowl and proceeded to make Butter Chicken, another post on J's World Kitchen. I'll save my take on it for another day, when I remember to take pictures.

Have a tasteful day!