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Posts Tagged ‘Nostalgia’

holton-12

Admiralty Park, Holton Heath…

There’s a great novel called Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill, “a daring saga of culture, history, and heredity”. A little girl falls down a mineshaft and we learn of all her wonderful ancestors who were born thanks to minor miracles that brought their parents together or saved them from early death. By quirks of fate does our personal DNA come together.

Obviously I would not be here today if my parents had not met. So in a way I owe my existence to World War II and specifically to the manufacture of explosives by the Royal Navy…

My father was from South Wales, my mother from South Dorset. What could possibly (more…)

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Rinjani

The Indonesian volcano of Rinjani in 1994, by Oliver Spalt on Wikimedia Commons

STOP PRESS: Moments after I published this, reports came in of a volcano erupting in Sumatra – so best wishes to everyone struggling there…

Did you have an irrational fear of something when you were a child? In my case, for a while at least, I was terrified of volcanoes. You might say that’s not so crazy. But as I lived in Wales, where an eruption would be pretty near impossible, I think it was.

So this post is all about what (more…)

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mandela-cardiff-1-400

Nelson Mandela in Cardiff, June 1998

I hadn’t expected to post this today, but when I heard the news that Nelson Mandela had died at the age of 95 I felt I needed to write. I found my old diary entry for the day Nelson Mandela received the freedom of the city of Cardiff, on Tuesday, June 16, 1998 – I was there and I want to remember the great man and that lovely day.

At the time (more…)

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kennedy-who

In November 1963, 50 years ago, John Kennedy was assassinated and Doctor Who hit our TV screens…

OK, this will probably be very boring for you, but I am going to explore some big moments in history from my childhood perspective.

If I don’t do this now I never will, for there can never be a better time than the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy and the first episode of Doctor Who on TV. Those events happened in this week and I’m sure most people will have noticed the coverage in the media.

I don’t have any huge insights into history, just a few moments frozen in time. In my mind and heart I can still (more…)

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virtuose-400

My old iron…

The other day, when I was in the middle of ironing, all the electrical power went off in the house. I assumed it was a power cut and checked with neighbours. I was surprised to find it affected only our house.

I turned the power-supply trip-switches off and back on. Nothing. I switched off the lights, radio, iron, etc and tried again, realising I had missed one of the trip-switches the first time. Hooray! Let there be light!

I switched the iron back on. Bang! Everything went again. But (more…)

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skibbereen-1995

Skibbereen, west Cork, Ireland, in 1995…

A couple of posts ago I shared my pictures of the colourful streets of Aberaeron in West Wales. At the time I mentioned that brightly-painted buildings are also a feature of coastal towns in the west of Ireland.

I haven’t been there for a while, but (more…)

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It’s that time to draw a line under 2011 and announce my top posts for the past year (figures kindly crunched for me by WordPress) – and three out of five were posts I had published in 2010…

I seem to have the BBC’s Frozen Planet to thank for my top two posts this last year, as again penguins seem to have been the big attraction for search engines.

Penguin-Arabia

Penguin of Arabia by Ursula Vernon

1. Designer birds: Penguin

From paperback books to chocolate biscuits and much more besides, penguins are iconic birds. Here are some others I have chosen in 2011:

Designer birds: Peacock

Designer birds: Owl

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2. English words from Celtic roots…

celtic

English words from Celtic roots were top post in 2010...

This year’s runner-up was last year’s winner – and again it’s all because I used a picture of penguins. The word penguin comes from either the Welsh or Breton
Pen-Gwyn (meaning “head-white”).

I have also posted several other items on the origins of the English language:

The ungothroughsomeness of stuff…

Latin for today

English words from Scandinavian roots

English words from Indian roots

English words from Spanish roots…

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white-tiger

White tiger at Singapore Zoo by David George

3. The sadness of white tigers

This one was new for 2011 and is a memory of the white tigers of Bristol Zoo and some information on other threatened big cats of the world.

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4. Carousel horses – an illusion of freedom

carousel-horse

Horse head from the Riverfront Carousel in Salem, Oregon, by Crossmark

This was a wonderful excuse to collect together some beautiful images of carousel horses, unicorns and even zebras and this post was fourth in my top five for the second year in a row.

Another collection of art went with my post
Fairytale bedding: the Princess and the Pea…

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letraset

Some 1970s 'sci-fi' fonts from the 1970s

5. Design icons: Letraset

Design and nostalgia combined to make this a popular post. The same elements appeared in
Every poster tells a story

There’s more art and design here
and more nostalgia here

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all-saints-01

The All Saints window in the Hayes, Cardiff

I think I must be in possession of the only old Singer sewing machine still in the wild. All the others have been rounded up and herded into the windows of All Saints fashion stores throughout the land.

singer-wild

My Singer sewing machine - with apologies to Henri Rousseau's Tiger in a Tropical Storm painting of 1891...

My mother’s machine still (more…)

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wimbledon-teddy

This teddy in the Wimbledon tennis colours is currently available online for just £14 - click on the pic to go to the Wimbledon Shop...

It’s the Wimbledon tennis championships at the moment, so what better time to look at that iconic colour combination of purple, white and green used by the tournament – and also by the suffragette movement. But (more…)

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sweetwilliam-01

Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) from Marks & Spencer...

For many years I have seen the buckets of bunches of Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus) at the Marks & Spencer checkouts and thought maybe one day I would buy some – although I usually prefer big yellow chrysanthemums or roses.

Last week I bought some. I had hoped for the heady nostalgic spicy smell I recalled from childhood, when my “Auntie” Margaret grew them in her garden and gave me fresh little bunches. Her lovely second husband was called William (Bill) Baldwin and she sometimes called him Sweet William.

But back to the M&S bouquet. What a disappointment! Nothing! Hardly a whiff of perfume. Is it because they are stale? Or have the plant breeders knocked the odour out of them?

sweetwilliam-02

Sweet Williams come in several shades of pink and white...

They are of course (more…)

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