Monday, December 11, 2017

The Brrr Edition

This weekend we had something like proper Winter weather sadly not Tundra but better than we've had for a bit which has helped taking my mind of discourse and drama elsewhere with temperatures blow - 2 degrees C (other measurements are available).
You could say those track pants I mentioned last week sure will come in handy trying to stay warm indoors and out.
Yes typical late 1960's site and road layouts abound here apart from having that sinking feeling while walking along the sidewalks not repaired since then(!) showing some of our snow fall.
Our woods are to the rear being between us and one of the two principal roads.
We shovelled some of the snow off but there's still some in the planters and pots
 "Brrr...It's brass monkey weather" our resident ape reckons who escaped from nearby Trentham, Staffs which like most of the county was well covered in it from the outskirts of Sedgley to the top of the Staffordshire Moorlands so he couldn't escape it even if he'd tried!
Another and most little appealing picture appeared during this period shown on the BBC and the Express & Star  newspaper on Friday of the Reindeer at Dudley Zoo out in the snow.
*Picture credits Express & Star
It's too late for a 2018 calendar for them  but I'd pick it for next years in a flash for December's picture.
Just keep warm folks!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Keeping warm

For a long time a staple of my more Tomboy look were lined tracksuit bottoms of the sort that was less overtly masculine with a very sporty feel to them but plainer fleece lined ones that for a period I wore a lot with baseball jackets.
 Just to annoy the brand loyalists I'm not simply because they tend to made from similar materials in the usual factory locations despite attempts to use 'sports science' to build up a strong sense of individual identity and unless you truly are using them in a professional sports context, you generally don't need that stuff anyway.
These area navy blue pair I recently  bought as I usually prefer to avoid baby pinks or white as they tend to show up marks and draw rather more attention to them than I'm comfortable with.
While non-brands can be cheap, I find the finish doesn't last as much.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hurrah for the circus

There are things you may have and do feel like revisiting such as books you had for an awful long time and today I'm writing about one.
 I think the first thing to said is this was written in 1939 when people did really look forward to seeing a circus with animals and the understanding of how captivity impacts their lives was less understood than today where it is rare to see such an old-fashioned circus because we are that more enlightened. 
This is the second of the three stories centred around Galliano's Circus looking circus life for children where it is Easter and they are all at Westsea although they are due to move on to Liverpool which I'd presume is some way off as it is probably Westsea is either around Somerset or Devon, areas popular for holidays in the UK.
The story is told through the eyes of Jimmy and Lotta circus children where much excitement is caused by the arrival of tigers to join the circus who are kept in a double locked cage.
Jimmy is very much in awe of the tigers and is determined to snuck into them and befriend them from what he sees as their ill treatment while being trained by Fric and his father which he does learning to control them by body language and words.
In some ways this is a high point of the book because in modern english he's being like a 'horse whisperer' gaining their trust and co-operation without the use of whips and shouting at them.
The friendship between Jimmy and Lotta is under threat of being torn about by Fric, the tiger keepers son and helping hand who is spiteful and not averse to telling lies  which given it is 1939 would be said to benefit from a smack.
Just as they are able to patch up their friendship, Jimmy's beloved dog, Lucky suddenly goes missing that leads to Lotta going out on a daring mission to rescue him who had been dyed after being sold for five pounds by Fric to a crooked, shady circus man called Mr. Cyrano to use. She does this by getting her curly hair cut, buying a shirt and pair of boy shorts and impersonates a  boy to confuse everyone so she's able to rescue Lucky.
As a reward Mr Galliano gets her a black pony that she calls Black Beauty after the Anna Sewell novel no doubt that she learns to ride and perform circus tricks with that are incorporated into their Liverpool show.
Just as everything seems to be going so well Lotta discovers Lal, her mother is ill in hospital in Europe where they've been performing with horses and dogs and The little girl's father, Laddo, may have to go away to another circus because he needs a partner in his act.
As is often the case in Enid Blyton's writing she leaves how this pans out until the next book but we are left pondering just what will happen to Lotta and if she might have to leave this circus and everybody including Jimmy for another.
It's very much a rip-roaring tale that I enjoyed re-reading from my original 1973 Deans hardback edition even if today much of the background to the plot simply would no longer be permitted. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Eight hundred trips around the sun

Here at The World of Joanne Chan we're marking an anniversary today.
You see it is our 800th post on the blog that was began before Tumblr was born and Instagram was thought of so this was my main platform to express myself as a person on rather than just sharing opinions around odd topics on forums.
It's a slice of life blog of a middle/little as lived and experienced so all life from adventures and interests about that life are to be found which I feel is it's strength as when you're like me you're always regressed to a point, usually requiring some oversight and so that life is in its context rather than something you might just role play at.
One thing I have been doing for this anniversary has been tidying up some entries where say images were small being made on a ancient desktop computer and a very slow unreliable internet connection where it was type, assemble and publish before the connection went.
It was much the same story on That Boarding School Girl where I have too being working on tidying entries up as some had images under 180 x 270 pixels even in places around the same era some just being above what today we regard as thumbnails.
Some had strange things going on involving the text breaking out in colour too.
One thing I have being more of is exercise and today's picture was taken recently while out doing just that in its vivid colours which the recent changes in blog layout now allow me to take full advantage of
Happy 800th Anniversary!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Classical sacd round up part three

This months entry on the collection of new Super Audio cd's abbreviated to sacd is a bit different to the first two in that they all have one thing in common.
One of the first composers I encountered was Tchaikovsky when I was a child so it wasn't so long that on record I did buy a few recordings which in time made their way to compact discs with the last major addition being the adding of the Andre Previn set of the complete ballet scores on EMI that I used to borrow on record.
One thing I had decided early on was in so far as new recordings went the priority was going to those in Super Audio cd and a good modern set of his symphonies  was the first .
 The first three symphonies are it has to be said something of a challenge to play in way that makes much sense of the score as in all honesty Tchaikovsky was very much feeling his way composition-wise but Valery Gergiev's interpretation does bring more out of these than many as much as I like my original disc on DG of Claudio Abbado's recording of the second coupled with the fourth. I also managed to get this two sacd set for £7.99 which was a absolute bargain!

 I was raised very much on Herbert von Karajan's recordings of the Fifth symphony firstly in mono with the Philharmonia Orchestra and then his 1960's stereo for DG but wanted something more modern and this just fits the bill being in similar style and highly acclaimed. 

I have a recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto coupled with Mendelssohn's by Nathaniel Milstein but this one by the much talked about Julia Fisher is one recent recording many feel brings more from it from a slightly different edition of the score.
 This recent recording combines one work I lacked but did like, the Souvenir de Florence with an arresting very well recorded account of the Serenade for Strings, one of the most well known string compositions.

In addition to a previous regular cd addition of such familiar tunes as the March Slav, the 1812 Overture etc on Tchaikovsky Festival on Naxos effectively replaced technically so-so recordings I had previously, this has now given me a pretty decent sounding set of recordings of his music.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Doing things Jo style

The same but different was part heading of an entry on the other blog that was a necessary examination of some topics before it could (and did) move on in an integrated way and in some ways this years party was like that.
The first thing was some who normally would of attended didn't because it without going into personal details couldn't and one who having attended other meet ups but never managed to attend this one did.
It also was the first meet up where I decided to put my feelings pretty much on the line where it comes to the variety of forms of presenting as more as a Little/Middle simply because as I see it we all do it differently and so do actual little or middle girls.
It's not uncommon for girls to wear shorts or trousers to school however much traditionalists may not so keen on it as I saw earlier on in the week where one girl of about ten living on our road wore grey long trousers to school and still be the same girl who may put a dress on whenever she feels like it. It's not one or the other necessarily.

There's a TomBoy element within me that likes in that context wearing formal shorts so I decided for the first day to wear my black ones where everything else was all girls  which I quite enjoyed as much as I liked wearing my thicker grey school dress on the Saturday and part Sunday.
For all that you see I'm still me, Jo, and I don't like pigeon holes.

Monday, November 6, 2017

GHS Halloween Party 2017

As mentioned last week, I was going to away for a few days with friends at our Littles Halloween and Bonfire party at GHS which as ever required a little preparation.
I set out from home at half past Seven  on the Friday morning as in what is supposed to be an hourly bus service from our estate  to the nearest town had a gap in it and this was only slot that would work  before catching a bus to our rail station that offers some of the best  rail connections across the UK to catch my London Midland Train.
Having contacted the person to let them know I was enroute, I then met up with at their local rail station before we caught the local bus to GHS and had a hot drink.
At GHS something very spooky had been going on the building was festooned with ghostly streamers, spiders and skulls and some ghosts were in residence!
 Two other people were coming early as I was although events proper were not to start until noon on the Saturday so apart from chatting I had my dollies to play with when the person who runs GHS had her  nails painted most well.
When they returned there were a number of things to do such  making Spooky Halloween sponge cake which I did with some assistance, making the two sponges although I had to remake one as mixture made from margarine, sugar, eggs and self raising flour  didn't quite work right for one of the pair before applying home made Plum Jam and cream following by green and black icing that was allowed purposely to run off the very edges. 
 As well we were having a beef roast to which as is increasingly the case rightly I'm expected to help out with so I cleaned and cut the home grown potatoes, prepared the cabbage and carrotts ready for the carrot and potato mash with the cabbage being boiled and the potatoes being roasted.
I also helped in making a jam flan with blue berries on top which was served with cream all of which was appreciated when two other guests arrived in time to consume it and I was thanked by Miss Green for my contribution making things easier for her.
After conversation I went to sleep cat style near the fire being a bit tired and slept like a log all night.
I woke up on the Saturday had some shredded wheat for breakfast and around Eleven o clock  got changed into my thicker grey zip up at  the front dress which is easy for me put on by myself before as from Twelve noon the remainder of our group arrived bit by bit  in time for home made Burgers with Onion (cheese slices available for  those that eat it) which that tasty I had two!
After this it was time for our Halloween treasure hunt that took place outside although overnight it had rained and indeed was somewhat overcast for much of the day where hunted for clues that lead to others with prizes.
We also did  Pumpkin carving out of doors with child-proof tools which is as well with me although we interrupted for a period by a shower that required us to huddle in the shed while it passed over.

 Cutting and especially scooping out a pumpkin can be a really sticky job so I the Sticky One was joined by another-me with those sticky paws.
Actually I was fairly quick at getting the actual carving done

 Here's part of the completed group with mine on the right hand side.
We had a kind of bring bits with you tea with quiche, sausage rolls, pork pie and  a variety of desserts such as the Pink Blancmange trifle of Andi's I had and yes my sponge which I was informed by my second best friend was very nice.
The final event of the day after the spooky music quiz was our bonfire which as on previous years we had some competition locally. 
 Here's a picture taken with a slowish exposure of one of fireworks 'going off' while the bonfire was blazing.
We we up rather late so typically I and a n other whose name I won't say to avoid embarrassment were falling asleep around everyone else but other than to say it was probably apt both of us did.
We got up lateish Sunday morning I know I was up around a quarter to Eight  which is late by my standards and having gotten changed had either cereals or a smoked bacon sandwich fried.
After changing clothes (for some of us), we set off for a morning walk though local woodland, passing a canal with ducks, a Kingfisher and narrow boat before we arrived at a Public House for lunch as Miss Green had booked a table.
I had a delicious Turkey roast with trimmings  while others opted for other things such as beef steaks before we waked back to GHS as in small groups we all said our goodbyes.
Suzy and I were kindly driven by Andi to the rail station to catch our way trains home that were running a bit for one of us and somewhat late for another due to an incident in the North.
I got a cab off the taxi rank  straight home which was rather quick and not too expensive as local estate service does not run on Sundays plus it's over a mile to walk over rough and in places step terrain.
I'd like to thank Miss Green for organizing this super event, the hospitality  and her contributions to catering, Andi for lighting the fireworks safely which is so super important, helping with the Burgers and kindly providing Suzy and I a lift.
I'd also like to everyone else who did bring something else to this event, fun and contributions to the food  that all help make  this a most enjoyable weekend get together.