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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

News about our daily astrolgical column!

Hi Gals and Guys.   We're thrilled to bits   The first of our daily astrology columns are on the net, and  looking good.   If you need to access them go to parkeriters.com    If you're expecting something serious or a little daily 'sermon' it's not for you; but we think you'll find it pretty amusing and fun.   I'm all for encouraging  people to enjoy their astrology -of course all the serious work going on all over the world is  more than marvelous, but we feel that the lighter side of astrology should be enjoyed and  that  while all Julia's comments are astronomically and astrologically accurate -and how- we are producing something very different and original from the run-of-the mill dailies.   We'd be delighted to see if you agree with us.   Now Julia has to get back to writing the interpretations for June. . .  'Bye for now - from a busy Julia

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Take those shoes off!

May - this is the month when we should all be out good and early, with our shoes off. Nothing is so good for the feet as the early morning dw on the grass. Well, that's what has always been said: a doctor writing in 1847 said that 'May dew is a very great dissolver of many things that willnot be dissolved any other way, which puts me in mind of the late Wm Gore of Clapton, who foir his gout walked in the dew with his feet bare, and found much benefit from it. This was the very method used to cure his bunions by Oliver Cromwell.' Dew was also considered a great cosmetic, anbd young people often went out very early in the morning during the month to gather the dew frio the grass, which preserved their faces from wrinkles, bloitches and 'the traces of old age'.  And as for dew from the hawthorn:
'The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.'
- and, in 1674, 'a party of young girls between the ages of eleven and eighteen were taken up by the watch for strolling quite naked in the fields beyond Hampstead, accompanied by a number of boys and young men in an equal state of nature; it being reported that while the young gentlemen were applying dew to the bodies of the young ladies, certain familiarities took place which while perhaps adding to their beauty were not altogether condusive to the sweetness of their reputations.'

NB - Our new daily forecasts are now available at www.parkeriters.com

Monday, April 28, 2014

What Mr Lilly thought of Taurus


 

Qualities of the Sign Taurus   Is an Earthly, Cold, Dry, Melancholy, Feminine, Nocturnal, Fixed, Domestical or Bestial Signe, of the Earthly Triplicity, and South, the Night-house of Venus.

Diseases   The King’s Evil, sore Throat, Wens, fluxes of Rheumes falling into the Throat, Quinzies, Imposthumes in those arts.

Places Taurus Signifieth   Places where Horses are, low Houses, Houses where the implements of Cattle are laid up, Pasture or Feeding grounds where no Houses aree neer, plaine grounds, or where Bushes have bin lately grub’d up, and wherein Wheat and Corn is sowed, some little Trees not far off, in Houses, Sellars, low Rooms.

Shape and Description   It presents one of a short, but of a full, strong and well-set stature, a broad Forehead, great Eyes, big Face; large, strong Shoulders; great mouth and thick Lips; grosse Hands; black rugged Haire.

Kingdoms, Countries and Cities subject to Taurus   Polonia the great, North part of Sweathland, Russia, Ireland, Switzerland,Lorraine, Campania, {Persia, Cyprus, Parthia.  Novograd, Parma, Boronia, Panormus, Mantua, Sena, Bruxia, Carolstad, Liepzig,Herbipolis.

-          William Lilly, Christian Astrology (1647)

NB - Our new daily forecasts are now available at www.parkeriters.com             

Look forward to a lively sexy weekend!

Hi - Julia here again.   As well as the Eclipse today, very soon ( I mention all this in good time to get you in the right mood and to give you time to decide how you want to use what the solar system is getting up to.) on Sunday in fact, the planet of love -  Venus - as if you didn't know - goes into Aries.   Venus isn't supposed to be at her best in Aries -  but I don't believe that.   You see Aries is a an energetic sign and that energy is often best expressed between the sheets.   So put Venus alongside and you'll get her romantic influnce too.    She's in this kind of mood until the 29th of May so you've time to express yourselves.   Be experimental and make the most of this very general, but such fun, influence.     Here's another snippet:over the weekend Mercury  is quite busy too, so he will add to our powers of communication   - great for outings with friends or working on the social media; but of course, your seductive words will have the desired results.   One more Note:  from the first of May and for every day, we are starting our new lively daily forecast.   Each day will be changed at GMT 00:00 hours - so wherever you live you'll be able to read it. The 'If it's your birthday today'   paragraph is worth keeping an eye on when your birthday comes round. At the moment this is an experiment   We will want-feed back in due course.   The fact that it is going to be so different will increase its appeal - well, we think so anyway!   Bye for now - Julia!

NB - Our new daily forecasts are available now at www.parkeriters.com.au 

Eclipse! Doom!! Doom!!!

Because they can easily be seen from earth, solar and lunar eclipses have always been popularly regarded as important astrological events - but they have been given more more importance by lay people than by astrologers, no doubt because they appeared in ancient times to be magical interferences with the natural order of thing and the great lights in the heavens. In time, and especially after the invention of printing and the publication of almanacs, astrologers were able to explain how eclipses occurred, and thus divest them of their 'magical' reputation.
A lunar eclipse - an eclipse of the Moon - always occurs when the Moon is full. It is generally recognized, even by non-astrologers, that at the time of a full moon mankind seems to be under special psychological pressure, and this will be exacerbated when there is a lunar eclipse. The drama of a total solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience, and the ancient view of it as signalling significant disaster is not at all surprising.Astrologers continue to regard eclipses in general as malevolent when they appear in a personal birth-chart, in particular if they occur on a degree of the horoscope conjunct the Sun.
 Hi - Julia Here! Today we have a partial solar eclipse and here in Australia we will get a good view.   Probably lots of other locations will see it too.  PLEASE  DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN WITH YOUR NAKED EYES  - even the strongest sunglases won't help.   I suggest you look on the net to find safe ways.   You don't want to go blind do you? - bou really will if you don't get the right protection - TRUE.   Now go on to see my proper blog for today - all you lovers  - especially if you enjoy a bit of 'hump-pumpy'. . . .

NB - Our new daily forecasts now available at www.parkierters.com.au

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tomorrow - look out all you lovers!

Hi! just a quickie today; but yes the solar system becomes lively tomorrow for  our love and sex life!  I'll be back in twenty four hours!   Cheers Julia

Friday, April 25, 2014

The case of Rolf Harris

The Sydney Morning Herald today published a page of unverified, untested accusations against Rolf Harris, who is shortly to be tried in London for various sexual offences against young girls. This raises several issues. The SMH prints, in red type, a note pointing out that these accusations could not at the moment be published in England for fear of influencing possible juriy members, and must not be reprinted or tweeted.. But can it be doubted that in some way the article will make its way to the UK? Apart from which, what justifies the publication of specific accusations against someone without their being tested in a court of law? The Herald, a paper I have hitherto found ireproachable, seems to have steopped right back into the murky area where the words 'gutter' and 'press' are specifically linked.

Oh those alpacas!

Hi gals and guys!     Oh I have fallen madly in love with the alpacas!   We have been to the Sydney Royal Easter Show and while I've always thought they were so nice  - now I'm totally smitten.   These days they have their own Pavilion and it's not surprising, since I learned  that in 2000 there were some 26, 000 here in Australia and  now there are 400,000!   ( Yes no miss typing here.)   The wool is unbelievably soft and I have a fantasy that if ever we became country rather than city types - most unlikely -  I would have to have a couple in my paddock!     Then, rather like the medieval ladies we sometimes see in tapestries leading their tamed unicorn  on a long lose lead, I would do that with one of my darlings and take him - or her -  'walkies' to the village shop. . . .  Their expressions and wonderful eyes are fascinating and they obviously have very different personalities and one can choose one's favorite colour.     Heigh ho!   I think I'll stick to my two lively and adorable fox terriers, Crim and Fille, who had a day at the vets while we waxed  lyrical over the alpacas - and lots of other animals too!   Cheers for now have a great Saturday -  always Julia

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Remembering Anzac Day

As usual, Australia remembered the dreadful slaughter at Anzac Cove, now 99 years ago. The dawn commemoration at the Cove itself was as usual touching; but instead of the interminable speeches (some good, some poor) and carrying-on, how much more moving and effective it would be shorn of all that, with simply the Last Post and Reveille and a single reading of the Laurence Binyon verse. The no doubt unconscious self-aggrandisement of the staff officers and ambassadors, the speeches boring and sending to sleep the youngest present, the school choirs some members of which can't resist a small smirk at the camera - it simply doesn't seem to me to work at all well, now. And I suppose the centenary occasion next year will be even grander and less effective. 'We will remember them' - certainly; but let's do it with a little more consideration, with dignity rather than pomp.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Your (sex) life in the stars?

How much can astrology tell someone about their sex life - how much can it help to solve problems? The wide interest in sexuality which began to be frankly expressed in the second half of the twentieth century led to consider speculation about how far astrology can discover indications of sexual orientation or preference, or can be used to help solve sexual problems. But this is nothing new: one of the earliest horoscopes to have survived, from about two hundred B.C., suggests that the subject will 'die of excessive love-making', while in Elizabethan times both William Lilly and Simon Forman were extremely frank in recording and discussing their clients' sex lives - and in Forman's case energetically participating in them. Individual astrologers have been as successful or unsuccessful in dealing with their clients' sexual difficulties as with any other area of their lives. There have been few statistical studies that have attempted to discover significators of, for instance, paedophilia, sadism, masochism; perhaps predictably  attempts to discover any reliable information of homosexuality have been based on studies of the charts of individuals (in one early case, the charts of Oscar Wilde and Tchaikovsky) and have revealed only that the charts of such men and women are as individual and as difficult to read as those of heterosexuals!

NB - Our new daily forecasts now available at www.parkeriters.com.au

Monday, April 21, 2014

More news about our astrological dailies!

Hi everyone - we are already getting interest in our dailies and are taking our plans a bit further.   We have decided to put each day on the net at 00.00 GMT.  We think that's about fair for most time zones, though it will be a bit later in the day for you Kiwis- but not so late that you'd find it useless!      We've been enjoying the young Royals' visit, and so has everyone else it seems, and while I'm sure they'd never show it -  they don't seem to be bored either!   So now Derek and I follow in their footsteps as we're going to the huge Easter Show tomorrow (23rd April), which I've already enthused about.   It will be terrific but I dare say that some of those more elaborate cakes - or 'sugar work' will have tended to topple over by now!   Cheers -always Julia   

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Our exciting and entertaining new daily predictions!

Hi guys and gals !   We are getting excited about the beginning of our new daily predictions, which you can find from May 1st on parkeriters.com-   yes that's the right spelling-  eccentric though it is - well, we're Brits so I guess that's the reason!   I'm sure you will find my suggestions as I'm calling them really very different from any other dailies you might have come across.   These are upbeat and fun, I'm hoping that many of them will make you smile somewhat wryly, and inwardly know that elements of truth are there - good and strong!   You see, I never, ever write anything astrological which doesn't relate to pure planetary astrological or astronomical facts, and I think this will soon become clear as you get used to my new style of work   Nothing comes off the top of my head.   That's way I interpret - with more yonks of experience than I care to remember. Incidentally that goes for whether I am writing my upbeat dailies, my huge or smaller books or the personal the work I do for my clients.   All this is based on the wonderful discipline of astrology which I'm sure you know is extremely old indeed. 
 My monthly work ends on the 21 st of April and there will be a notice telling readers about the changes until the 1st of May - when I burst forth in a very different style which I hope you'll like and enjoy because I've always felt that astrology should be fun as well so enormously helpful!    Cheers for now -  always Julia!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hitler and astrology

Gossip has always asserted that Hitler had an interest in astrology, and even employed astrologers. There is no evidence to support this, and his table-talk doen't include any reference to the subject. However, it is clear that a number of Nazi ministers and officials of the Third Reich were closely associated with astrologers, and it is certainly the case that many German astrologers cast Hitler's birth-chart and wrote about it. The one substantiated anecdote about Hitler and astrology comes from the diaries of Count Schwerin von Krosigk, Hitler's Minister to Finance. Josef Goebbels, the Reich's chief publicist, was with Hitler in the bunker in Berlin in the last days of the war, and showed the Fuhrer copies of the horoscopes of Germany and Hitler's own horoscope, pointing out that these had predicted the outbreak of war in 1939, the victories until 1941, and then a series of defeats. But it was also clear that they showed an overwhelming victory for Germany in the second half of April 1945, and an arranged peace in August. Later, when Goebbels heard of the death of President Roosevelt, he went to Hitler with a bottle of champagne and proclaimed, 'My Fuhrer, I congratulate you! It is written in the stars that the second half of April will be the turning point for us. This is Friday, April 13th - it is the turning point.' Within a fortnight both men had killed themselves and Germany had surrendered.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New astrology news - you're going to love it!!

Hi! well, yes, certainly new news! For years we've been publishing on our web site, www.parkeriters.com, a regular column of astrological forecasts.  If you haven't seen this - give us a try! For all you lovely regulars who have been following our regular monthly horoscopes on our web site for what will probably have been ages, we are starting something new and very different, and in due course we will want your feedback. As you know up to now we've put the new forecasts for the month on the site on the 21st of each month. Now, on that date is going to be publishing   A DAILY FORECAST    Now, it's not  going to be like anything else on the Net - it will be quite different and great fun, and yes, of course you will learn quite a lot about yourselves and what the planets are getting up to for you and your your sign, and sometimes a bit more! There will be good information, and great fun.   Astrology exists to be enjoyed; that's something that Julia always bears in mind - in addition to the help and personal development which its most important and wonderful function.   So on the 21st when you turn to our astrology page, expect to blink, but when you get to your sign you'll smile and perhaps, too, have considerable food for thought!  I'll be reminding you of all this from time to time during the next few days.   So in advance we're sending all you new fans a specially warm welcome!    From Julia (Sun sign Leo, Moon in Taurus)  and Derek (,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Sun sign Gemini Moon in Pisces)

Rite a leter

If you have difficulty in contacting such establishments as electricity boards or banks or businesses selling small cardboard machines for cleaning cars, write them a letter - a real letter, on paper, with an envelope and a stamp. They are so aghast and amazed to receive such a thing that you get an immediate response, whereas no-one ever returns your call or responds to an email. Honestly, it works.

If you're an astrology fan, please look at Julia's Forecasts on parkeriters.com

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our guests for dinner - on the eclipse!

Hi - well I guess I ought to have taken into consideration that there was a total eclipse today - although we in these latitudes couldn't see it - so  was it a question of  'out of sight, out of mind'  which, as an astrologer, makes me blush.    However yes it did hit home for us.   I picked up an email from our two main guests who were coming to dinner with us for the first time,and they were ill and  not well enough to come and we have, as yet to meet the wife.   We were disappointed and D was already  'prepping'  - he's the chef in the Parker household.   At first we thought of cutting back on two portions - we were to be six including ourselves;  but then  that would have been rather messy and complicated.    So - ask two close friends, but at totally short notice?   I took the line 'I wonder if you can help us out?' and explained the reason, of course they were delighted even although our friend Michael Hope had been playing piano for fully seven hours earlier in the day and his wife Wendy was at it writing her children's books.   Well, we had a great evening and then  another of our guests,who is a very experienced astrologer  mentioned the Eclipse.   'How has it affected you?' she asked. I just smiled and chickened out! Fortunately, as conversation was more than lively we didn't get into anything seriously technical about possible long term effects!   I hope we can catch up with our two unwell guests sometime. . . Cheers Julia!

Food, merveilleux food.

Last night as I was adding a splash of Cointreaux to the melon and avocado starter, I remembered what a splendidly entertaining book Alexandre Dumax wrote about food and cooking - one of his 437 books, including of course The Three Musketeers, The Lady of the Camelias and The Count of Monte Christo. His Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine originally contained 600,000 words, but it's well wort finding a shorter translated version which is full of unexpected pleasures like the recipe for Gateau au fromage de Brie, or Brie cake:
Take some fine Brie cheese, knead it with a litre of flour, 90 grams of butter and a little salt. Add five or six eggs and thin the bough well, working it with the palm of your hand. Next, let it rest for half an hour; then roll it out with a rolling pin. Shape the cake in the usual way, brush it with egg, put in the oven to cook, and serve.
As usual, he's short on such unimportant details as how long you cook it, at what temperature, what is 'the usual way' of shaping what is more like a recipe for cheese straws than anything else., But it's all good fun.
There are many wonderfully simple but splendid recipes for 'ordinary' food: such as Pommes de terre a la parisienne: Melt a piece of butter or other fat in a casserole with one or two onions cut in small pieces. Add a glass of water, and put in your carefully peeled potatoes, with salt, pepper and a bouquet garni, and cook on a low flame. Delicious.


Af you're an astrology fan, please visit Julia's Forecasts on parkeriters.com

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A different bed every night

Everyone complains about how fast time seems to pass; and the older one is the greater - and more justified - the complaints. My view is that it's routine that is the main bugbear. You start cleaning your teeth, and you think 'I seemed to do this an hour ago', or go to do the weekly shop, which you seemed to have done only a couple of days ago. Is the answer, then, to break the routine? We all know how long the first two or three days of a holiday seem to last - but then, as you get used to the new routine: swim at ten o'clock, cocktail at six, deckchair and a book at half-past two, slowly the days speed up until the last three or four pass in a zip. What's the solution? Was it in Graham Greene's Travels with my Aunt that Mr Visconti in old age bought a villa near Venice with eighty rooms, and slept in a different one every night? That would certainly break the monotony - might even make life seem to pass rather too slowly!


If you're an astrology buff, do visit Julia's Forecasts on parkeriters.com

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Shoolgirl sex

Presenting the prizes at a girl's school, Sir Cyril Dyson, a distinguished Mayor of Windsor, found it difficult to think of something different to say to each girl. As an attractive seventeen-year-old approached him across the platform, he could come up with nothing more original than, 'And what are you going to do after you leave school?' With a coy flutter of the eyelids, the girl replied, 'Well, I had thought of going straight home.'


If you're an astrology buff, do visit Julia's forecasts at parkeriters.com

Thursday, April 10, 2014

They just ain't there!

Believe it or not, some astrologers consult up to a hundred 'hypothetical planets' in the belief that they have the same effect on an astrological chart as the actual planets. These non-existent planets have usually been 'discovered' by mediums, and in some cases ephemerides have been prepared for them, showing their movements through the skies - or, presumably, where the movements they would have made if they actually existed. The theory by which they can possibly mean anything is obscure. But take it from us, Isis, Janus, Lilith, Hercules, Hermes and the rest simply don't exist except in the minds of astrologers who are right at the edge of loonydom.

It's Sydney Royal Easter Show Time!

Hi!   Julia here!   Yes!   it opened yesterday (Thursday)with 40,000 people attending!   We will be going a bit later on, but on Tuesday evening  was the special Arts and Crafts Preview Evening.   It's a lovely do with every sort and age of person attending, all trying not to look too anxious to see whether or not they,or their loved ones, have actually  won a prize.   The Arts and Crafts show really is gi-normous.   There are hundreds - maybe even  thousands -  of paintings, all divided into scores of classes.   Even different ones for different types of portraits, for instance.   A great many pictures really do shine but there are, of course,   a great many by enthusiastic amateurs or beginners.   The same goes for photography - with lots of clever digital  stuff.   I was a little disappointed to see the tapestry section pushed behind a screen and near a wall where a very different class of work was displayed.   To list a few of some of the classes that really struck my eye, there are all kinds of sculpture and pottery, some very striking millinery, scrapbook craft, and parchment work (don't understand that - I must look some more when we go over later on)  A  class of marvelous models of trucks and cars in wood, fabulous saddlery. which one would expect from what is basically an agricultural show. Some lovely mosaics and stunning hand made glass ornaments. I admired a superb, large rocking horse, and a good selection of various toys. And oh the 'Sugar Craft' classes! That 's amazing cake decoration for people like me! There was plenty of food and wine  too, but my really  fun bits of the evening were rides in an open 'people carrier' from the car park, before and afterwards, through the fun fair  where people were getting on with their setting up, and most of the terrific lights were very much switched on.   It was after dark and a lovely balmy evening where everyone was soon having a really good time - whether or not they'd won a prize!  I'm looking forward to the dog show and flirting with the beautiful alpacas! 'Bye for now - Julia.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Female underclothing and the Commonwealth Bank.

So some kind gentleman (or, for that matter, lady) suddenly made my Mastercard available to the World, which meant that suddenly I was charged with everything from female underclothing and subscriptions to the Conservative Party to a weekend excursion to Kabul and a four course meal at Li Fung's French Restaurant, 14 Democracy Street, Beijing. Oh, what joy to spend a day trying to remember to whom you have to supply the number of thee placement card before you are charged for failing to pay regular bills . . . Yes, yes, it's what makes life worth living. Onward and upward.

If you're an astrology buff, please visit Julia's Forecasts page at parkeriters.com

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fourpenny all-off

To the hairdresser's today, and not before time. My reluctance to have my hair cut I'm quite sure stems from my very first experience, when I suppose I was three or four. The only barber in Lostwithiel, in Cornwall, was Mr Green, who had a shop on the Parade, and charged fourpence for a child - he called it 'a fourpenny all-off', and you can just imagine from that what sort of a haircut it was. The first time my Dad took me to him, he removed the hair simply by pulling it out at the roots - well, he was holding scissors, but that's what it felt like, and I bawled the place down - with reason. After that I had to be carried, kicking and screaming, to Mr Green - and could only be forced into the high chair by the promise that afterwards I would be taken round the corner to the front room of the Monmouth Hotel, where Dad, exhausted, would have a pint of bitter and I would talk to the parrot, who lived in a cage there and had a remarkable vocabulary of words, many of which when I reproduced them myself were not favourably received by polite society. No parrot, alas, next to Brompton's in Sydney, so I shall simply grit my teeth and think of happier things I might be doing. No reflection on Roger, who is a splendid hairdresser and has never been known to cause the slightest discomfort of any kind. Well, not often.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Astrology: news about Venus

Hi - Julia here! Yes, Venus is usually news-worthy, and until the 3rd of May is traveling through Pisces - lucky old Pisces  While the planet may not necessarily put you into a more romantic mood than usual, her influence is usually cheering and positive.   If you've love-life problems you should at least be able to look at them from a somewhat different angle; and if you are blissfully in love - that's terrific.   However, knowing you Pisces types, it's all too easy for you to drift up to cloud nine wearing rose-coloured spectacles!   Enjoy your feelings and express them positively, but don't go overboard!   Venus also has a say with regard to money and possessions.   The warning here is do think twice before lashing out with anything seriously expensive that you might well tire of all too soon - like a wildly fashionable outfit that's uncomfortable to wear anyway!   Or more importantly, don't lend money to a lover or friend who later on will say it was a gift (Watch Judge Judy!)  As we always consider the opposite sign across the Zodiac, you Virgos (The Pisces polar sign) can take note of all this, and see if your partner is responding to you in a kind of nice, romantic, but possibly  as you see it, in an over-sentimental way - especially when you have lots of other things to do!   Enjoy all this.  'Bye for now - Julia

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Heigh ho Hermes?

Well, he wasn't Moses - although Marsilio Ficino, who was a servant of Cosimo de Medici, thought so. Indeed, did he actually exist at all? His full name - Hermes Trismegistus - was attached to a huge collection of documents relating to astrology, alchemy, magic, philosophy and religion some of which were said to date from over nine thousand years before the death of Christ. Unsurprisingly, none of these seem to have survived to modern times, though one Egyptian temple was once said to have a collection of some of them, together with a few documents written by Hermes himself. Though the Church condemned Hermes' writings because of their association with astrology, many of them prefigured Christian beliefs and attitudes - suggesting that the Creator made the seven planets to govern the Earth, their movements causing all earthly events. Hermes' great associate was the Egyptian god Thoth - both were gods of writing and magic, and Thoth in particular, the god of intellect, had an interest in astrology.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

High five, Miss Austen



Having trudged my way through Peter de Vries’ Slouching towards Kalamazoo (de Vries not for me, I’ve decided, though I can see why he might be for others) and having nothing much on the list, I’ve relaxed once more into the arms of Miss Austen and am re-reading Persuasion for the, what, fifth or sixth time? The reason why she’s the second best of all English writers is that, as with Mr S., one can go back to her again and again and always find new nuances and insights and delights. I guess that Persuasion and Northanger are the two slightest among her mature novels, and Northanger only has a few good scenes and two or three good characters (including of course the great conversation about novel-reading). Persuasion however is always a delight to return to – the characters of the sisters so delightfully, wickedly done, and the slow confirmation of the turn plot surely everyone on a first reading must foresee – and the great success of the book, among others, is that that doesn’t matter. High five, Miss A.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Well, you see it was like this. . .

Hi, Julia here!   Yes it was just like this. . .   At the time I was still living with parents in our home city of Plymouth England and I was - as were all my friends - active members of a really terrific Arts Centre, which was housed in an Elizabethan House in the historic area of the City.    The word got round that our local newspaper, The Western Morning News, had a new drama critic, and for several weeks my friends kept asking me if I'd met him.   Everyone else seemed to - but not me.   On Saturdays we served afternoon teas and we were on a rota of helpers.   My turn came round and after I'd finished my duty, one of my friends nudged me and said 'Look that's him!'   He was sitting on a slightly higher level of the lounge, leaning forward in his chair in animated conversation with someone - I don't know who, but I clearly remember he was wearing a dark green polo neck sweater. Later that evening we got to know each other, and he seemed a really nice guy.   We went our separate ways.   A few days later I got a letter from him asking me if he could borrow a long playing record I happened to mention I had, as he wanted to write a piece about the composer.   I at once recognised that this was a pretty brilliant opening gambit, so grinning and thinking that it could be rather fun, of course I said yes, and we met up  for me to deliver it....   Well, that first encounter was on April the 2nd 1955. . .    We have been married nearly  fifty-seven years.   I am beginning to plan a celebration for that date next year!!!  . . . I suppose it must have been something like that wonderful number from South Pacific!!!   'Bye for now  - cheers Julia.


Note: Why did I let this woman only my blog? D.P.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Something interesting about dingoes

Hello gals and guys!    Julia here. I was fascinated by a report in the Sydney Morning Herald  on Monday about dingoes.    Everyone based their description on the drawing of a dingo in the journal of the first Governor, Arthur Phillip and, according to Matthew Crowther, the research leader from Sydney University, the lack of official status has meant that  dingoes are often confused with wild dogs - a pest to farmers.   However, from a mix of skeletons, skins and preserved specimens held mostly in European museums, the team determined the physical characteristics that define a dingo - a longer snout, bushy tail and pointy ears, and a large skull.   Their appearance  was more varied than people assumed, with considerable differences in the colours of their coats.   While dingoes and domestic dogs have a common ancestor, the dingo has lived in isolation for more than 3,000 years, so  it is appropriate  that the dingoes scientific classification is Canis dingo, as they are not descended  from wolves, were distinct from dogs and were not a sub-species.    I am interested in all this because we know one!.  He belongs to our friend Wendy Wouter, fox-terrier breeder and prize winning groomer.  He really is beautiful  with a wonderful expression and huge grey eyes.   He is micro-chipped and, alas, carefully confined because if he goes walk about he will definitely kill smaller farm animals   Nevertheless he really is a gorgeous creature !