Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

A September Sunset in the Similkameen Valley, 2007

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An English farmer may have answered the prayers of priests, by planting the first crops of natural confetti. Charles Hudson has devoted 16 acres of farmland to delphiniums which, when harvested and dried, will provide pink, purple, lavender and ivory petals to be scattered as a biodegradable alternative to paper confetti. (The Week, July 2003)

Charles Hudson's delphiniums
- are here at The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company website.

These are the ones that grow in our garden.

If only people got married in churches nowadays instead of on hillsides, in public gardens, aloft in balloons, on the beach in Hawaii, at the bottom of somebody's orchard, underwater with flippers, at the zoo, or any number of other quaint places, then I might consider going into the organic confetti business!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ABC Wednesday

V is for V.A.D. (Voluntary Aid Detachment)

This is the story of V.A.D.s in the First World War.

"In 1909 it was decided to form Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) to provide medical assistance in time of war. By the summer of 1914 there were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Of the 74,000 VADs in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls.

Katharine Furse took two VADs to France soon after the outbreak of the First World War. After establishing a hospital at Boulogne, Furse returned to London where she became Commander-in-Chief of the organisation. During the next four years 38,000 VADs worked as assistant nurses, ambulance drivers and cooks. VAD hospitals were also opened in most large towns in Britain.

At first the military authorities were unwilling to accept VADs on the front-line. However, this restriction was removed in 1915 and women volunteers over the age of twenty-three and with more than three months experience, were allowed to go to the Western Front, Mesopotamia and Gallipoli. Later VADs were sent to the Eastern Front.

Some women went to the Western Front as letter writers for soldiers who were either too ill or too illiterate to write their own letters. May Bradford, the wife of John Rose Bradford, Physician to the British Expeditionary Force, later recalled how she educated men on the treatment of women: "To one man I said, 'Shall I begin the letter with my dear wife?' He quietly answered: 'That sounds fine, but she'll be wondering I never said that before."

In the Second World War the V.A.D. system was still in place and 15,000 members of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade or the Red Cross served as either Mobile (posted) or Immobile (Aids who stayed in their own community)

Towards the end of World War 11 I was an Immobile V.A.D. and helped week-ends and some evenings in the Royal Alexander Hospital in Edmonton. We had extensive training before our hospital experience, but in reality our main occupations were making beds, giving back rubs and emptying bed pans...

A small contribution, but one that I enjoyed. Hospitals were different sixty-five years ago. Much more regimented, - Matrons and Head Nurses were pretty impressive looking individuals, and the R.N.s in their starched caps and uniforms gave patients a great feeling of confidence. They looked very swish and glamorous in their navy capes, whereas the lowly V.A.D. looked just like this....

Monday, June 15, 2009

I have now made 400 postings to this blog, - Four Hundred - CD in Roman Numerals.

This is my four hundred and first since July of 2007.

I find this kind of overwhelming, and I wonder, humbly, if I have said anything worthwhile in all those many words. Is a Blog supposed to be full of wisdom and information? Is it more a Diary? One chooses which I guess. Or strives for a combination.

I know it has been fun.

And I have learned a great deal, so much so that I am quite often amazed at the world and all the people in it who contribute wonderful postings to Blogland.

I have expanded my horizons in many ways - geographically, artistically, musically, and perhaps the way I have found to be most surprising and rewarding is the increasing exposure and understanding of different generations.

As one gets older it seems you must guard against becoming encased within your own generation, your own memories, the ways that you consider traditional.

It is not easy to see the values you hold dear seemingly discarded; hard to accept new ways that appear careless to you.

But in the world of Blogland I have found the paths I've wandered are peopled with a younger generation who are principled, open, sometimes terribly entertaining and amusing, apparently imbued with the moral standards that we have treasured, loving of family, intelligent, exuberant and creative. I find these attributes in our own family, so why should I be surprised to find them so abundant in the world.

Is it because we seldom hear the good news? The media thrives on the scandalous, the spectacular, the innuendos and the horrors of the world, when all about us is lying a fair and beautiful land, unheeded.

So I will continue to write, to read and so fill my life with enchanting essays, prosaic records, marvelous photos and endearing peeks into other people's lives and cultures.

It's a great world!!!!