Category Archives: Hobby Go Wild

Han Solo Dies In The Movie

Hello.

I have been under a lot of pressure, but this time it is a good thing. I have decided to use my creative ability for the good. Not that I have made things for the bad, only the end result of the things have turned out bad. I have not joined the Dark Side, but then again, I heard they have cookies. 🙂

I am sure most people on the planet who wanted to have seen the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. As mentioned in a previous post I couldn’t care less about finding out the ending before seeing the film. As the film itself did not affect me in any way, shape or form, finding out the ending before seeing the beginning did not take any more years off from my life expectancy. I took the news as any sane person. Richard on the other hand wanted to remain unclued.

At least I hope I  have not lost any years. I should not tempt fate, now that I think about it.

I have become interested in writing again. I have even thrown my hat into the poetry game. So far, as per my mentor’s comments (Louis Hemmings), I am not doing a bad job. You can find my examples of wordsmithing at: Cowbird. OK, there are only four “stories” listed, but I have been too busy trying to get my crafting projects lined up. That is another blog post entirely. You have been blessed (or cursed) with my ramblings here, but at Cowbird I am now kickin’ up a notch. I will be honest, I will not be doing any poetry readings any time soon.

I do read poetry, just not out loud.

I think the reason I have gone back to writing is not for the monetary rewards; there are none, really. I have no need to make money from anything I do whether it is crafts, baking, or writing. Sometimes creating anything is the reward. Did Bede make a fortune from his Historia eccesiastica? I don’t know. His name is well-known now, that is for certain. I am sure he wanted his work to be read by the world and now it is available online. The authors of the Anglo-Saxon ChronicleI suspect, did not make money from the distribution of said collection; copyright laws and editorial controls were nonexistent.

I do not think my writing is of the calibre of those who have been able to make a living (sort of) out of writing. This has become a great form of therapy for me. Though I still go through moments of heart-wrenching pain and need for closure, I am slowly using my writing as a way to do this. Cowbird has been a great discovery. I thank Louis’ tweet to Petroc Trelawny for this introduction. I thank Petroc Trelawny for introducing me to Louis, even though he does not realise it.

Oh, by the way, Ben was actually Luke Skywalker’s son’s name. In comics and other Star Wars novels Han and Leia do not have a son named Ben. Then again, Chewie actually died by a having a planet fall on his head. Well, you can’t win them all. That really is not a spoiler, is it? No, just me trying to make things right.

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Filed under Arts and Mines, Hobby Go Wild, Poetry in Emotion, Writing and Reading

My 2015 Reading Challenge – Met!

Happy 2016!

I was recently asked to list the books I read for the @goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. Though I am proud of reading 75 books this year, the selection may not be considered too … juvenile? Yes, my list contains some books for children, young adults, philosophers, literary reviewers, and everyone in between. I have placed them in reverse chronological order – most recent read first:

1. Dodger Terry Pratchett
2. Night and Morning, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
3. Wordsworth: A Poet’s History Keith Hanley
4. The Temple Of Glas John Lydgate
5. English Poetry from Chaucer to Gray: Part 40 Harvard Classics Charles William Eliot
6. The Christmas Santa Slept Nick Sheridan
7. Great War Britain Leeds: Remembering 1914-18 Lucy Moore
8. Miracles C. S. Lewis
9. The Complete Works Robert Henryson
10. Complete Works Baruch Spinoza
11. Beasts and Super-Beasts Saki
12. The Complete Poems Philip Larkin
13. The Problem of Pain C. S. Lewis
14. The Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis
15. The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis
16. Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis
17. Reggiecide Chris Dolley
18. Anglo-Saxon Sagas and Songs Christopher Webster
19. The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1) Charlie N. Holmberg
20. The Chronicles of Clovis Saki
21. Outside In: Ten Christian Voices We Can’t Ignore Cindy Brandt
22. How I Kissed Evangelism Goodbye & a Collection of Other Essays On Faith Cindy Brandt
23. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things Jenny Lawson
24. The Cloud of Unknowing Anonymous
25. An Anglo-Saxon Primer, with Grammar, Notes, and Glossary Henry Sweet
26. 1000 Cornish Place Names: Explained Julyan Holmes
27. Cornish Curiosities: A collection of oddities, frivolities & downright stupidities Margaret Caine
28. Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People Nadia Bolz-Weber
29. Troublous Times in Canada A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 (Sir) John A. Macdonald
30. The Shepherd’s Crown Terry Pratchett
31. Reginald Saki
32. Reginald in Russia and Other Sketches Saki
33. Carnival of Secrets (Grim Hill, #6) Linda DeMeulemeester
34. Forest of Secrets (Grim Hill, #5) Linda DeMeulemeester
35. The Family Secret (Grim Hill, #4) Linda DeMeulemeester
36. The Forgotten Secret (Grim Hill, #3) Linda DeMeulemeester
37. Johannes Cabal and the Blustery Day: And Other Tales of the Necromancer Jonathan L. Howard
38. Exeunt Demon King (Johannes Cabal, #0.75) Jonathan L. Howard
39. Awkward Moments (Not Found in Your Average) Children’s Bible – Vol. 2 Horus Gilgamesh
40. Awkward Moments (Not Found in Your Average) Children’s Bible – Volume #1: Illustrating the Bible Like You’ve Never Seen Before! Horus Gilgamesh
41. Letters of Note: An Eclectic Collection of Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience Shaun Usher
42. An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments Ali Almossawi
43. Gaspar The Thief (Gaspar the Thief, #1) David A. Lindsaay
44. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 11 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
45. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 10 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
46. Alice, Or The Mysteries Book 09 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
47. Alice, or the Mysteries – Book 08 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
48. A History of Ancient Britain Neil Oliver
49. The Coming of the Friars Augustus Jessopp
50. Alice, or the Mysteries – Book 07 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
51. A Collection of Old English Plays, volume 4: Two Tragedies in One by Yarrington, The Captives by heywood, The Costlie Whore, and Everie Woman in Her Humor Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
52. Happy Valentine’s Slay, Children of Hamlin, Tooth & Nail & Fairy Tale, Ember in the Wind, Jar of Hearts, Welcome to Sorrow (The Grimm Diaries Prequels #11- #14) Cameron Jace
53. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 06 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
54. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 05 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
55. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 04 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
56. Alice, or the Mysteries Book 03 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
57. The Secret Deepens (Grim Hill, #2) Linda DeMeulemeester
58. The Secret of Grim Hill (Grim Hill, #1) Linda DeMeulemeester
59. The Historical Works of Venerable Bede Bede
60. Runaway Radical: A Young Man’s Reckless Journey to Save the World Amy Hollingsworth
61. Murder on the Hill (Harley Hill Mysteries, #1) Kennedy Chase
62. Murder on the Page (Harley Hill Mysteries, #2) Kennedy Chase
63. The Chronicles of Narnia(Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) C. S. Lewis
64. Thomas Adès: Full of Noises: Conversations with Tom Service Tom Service and Thomas Adès
65. What Ho, Automaton! Chris Dolley
66. Russian Fairy Tales Alexander Afanasyev
67. A Bright Moon For Fools Jasper Gibson
68. Gaspar And The Fantastical Hats(Gaspar the Thief, #0.5) David A. Lindsay
69. The Ludwig Conspiracy Oliver Pötzsch
70. Dying for Dinner Rolls (Chubby Chicks Club, #1) Lois Lavrisa
71. Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and Their Orchestras Tom Service
72. The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries William Guild Howard
73. Raising Steam Terry Pratchett
74. The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, #7) Carolyn Keene
75. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical Shane Claiborne

Please check some of these out. I am trying for another 75 for 2016. Let me know what you think.

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Filed under Downtime, Hobby Go Wild, Writing and Reading

A Ward

I have to thank my new found friend C. C. Yager at Anatomy of Perceval

I have been reading and conversating with Cinda for the last couple of months and through this meeting I have picked up her book Anatomy of Perceval, which I am enjoying immensely. Thank you Cinda for the nomination and for the great conversations!

I have been nominated for a blogging award: One Lovely Blog Award

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In order to participate posters are asked to list seven interesting things about themselves:

  1. I am a beginner of things that will never get finished. I think my way of dealing with stress, whether it being artistic or edible, almost never seem to become complete. Well, the food items do get eaten, if possible. My stress does not seem to go away as the plan does not go according to … plan.
  2. I have a keen interest in history of the Medieval persuasion. at one time I wanted to be an Eqyptologist, but that all changed when I discovered Chaucer at age ten. Though I never studied the subject in university, it seems to have followed me to where I am today.
  3. I have a B.A. in Music. I never went as far as to go into performance or education, as I am not one to perform constantly in public and I am not very fond of children. Oh, I should not say “not fond of children”, I guess I men that I could never teach a child like myself.
  4. I am a collector of new musical ideas and old-timer stuff as well. I cannot get into reggae or hard-core rap, but at the same time I do not like Richard Wagner or John Adams. I would have to say the music of Joseph Haydn and the Manic Street Preachers saved my life; not literally of course, but I did find solace in the joys they offer.
  5. Books are another life-saving devise. I have started reading some of the masters of Christian thought: C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers, Bede, and William Langland. I am a strong supporter of self-publishing and also independent family-owned publishing companies. I just like books – full stop.
  6. I do not watch many TV shows, as we do not have a television package. I do watch the news and the periodic show on the Internet, but overall, I am very content to read the newspaper or a blurb on a news website.
  7. Finally, I am happily married to my husband of eight years, Richard. We live in Waldheim, Saskatchewan Canada, about forty minutes north of Saskatoon. I am glad to live in a fairly quiet place with very little traffic. There are times I miss that traffic, as it indicates activity. We have lived here for six years and at times I still feel like we just moved in.

Those who have been nominated are also to list fifteen blogs that we would nominate for the same award. I have a list of sites that I frequent, but I have discovered a good number of bloggers do not want nominations, as some believe the postings are similar to spam. I do not think so, as it is a cool way to show appreciation, but out of respect for my friends and fellow bloggers, I will not send notifications. Please feel free to check out my list of favourites, as I hope you enjoy some of the offerings as I do:

1) Daily (w)rite
2) GroovyHistorian
3) juliustyson
4) vanyieck’s last stand
5) Forward to the Past
6) Weave a Web
7) The Daily Post
8) An Historian About Town
9) Katzenworld
10) streetsofsalem
11) Joeyfully Stated
12) Pete’s Favourite Things
13) A Northeast Ohio Garden
14) The Hazel Tree
15) Useless Book Club

Thanks for all your support. All bloggers, like me, work very hard on our projects. Leaving a kind comment or a virtual high-five would be great. I know not everyone likes to leave a comment, and that is just fine. We are just grateful to spend some time with you.

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I Did Not Celebrate National Poetry Day – Oops!

I have been reading the works of Philip Larkin, but for the last few years I have delved into the art of poetry by Canadian, American, Chinese, Japanese, Irish, Welsh, and English writers. Though some have been translated into Modern English (I need to distinguish it this way, as a number of my collection is in Old English).

On Thursday I did try my hand at writing a poem, but it was a reminder for me to finish The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry. I think I need to learn how to do this. Modern poetry does not have the a-b-a (so on …) format and there is no need to have rhyming bits. You do not need to have a poem look “normal”:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

By E. E. CUMMINGS

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) (1)

Of course, you have your standards:

The Song of Hiawatha (excerpt, you will thank me)
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Part I: The Peace-Pipe

On the Mountains of the Prairie,
On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,
Gitche Manito, the mighty,
He the Master of Life, descending,
On the red crags of the quarry
Stood erect, and called the nations,
Called the tribes of men together.
From his footprints flowed a river,
Leaped into the light of morning,
O’er the precipice plunging downward
Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.
And the Spirit, stooping earthward,
With his finger on the meadow
Traced a winding pathway for it,
Saying to it, “Run in this way!” […] (2)

OK, that is all I can take.

And here is one of my favourites:

“To a Mouse”

By ROBERT BURNS

On Turning up in Her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
          Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee

Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
          Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An’ fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave
          ’S a sma’ request:
I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,

An’ never miss ’t!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
          O’ foggage green!
An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,

Baith snell an’ keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
An’ weary Winter comin fast,
An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
          Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro’ thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
          But house or hald,
To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,

An’ cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou art no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,

For promis’d joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
          On prospects drear!
An’ forward tho’ I canna see,

I guess an’ fear! (3)

In case you are wondering, quotation marks are used for individual poems, e.g. “To a Mouse”, italics or underline is used for a collection, e.g. The Canterbury Tales or The Divine Comedy.

The Divine Comedy is not to be confused with The Divine Comedy:

Poetry, at its core, is essential to writing. Some of the earliest English stories were in poetry form: Beowulf by an artist unknown, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Confessio Amantis (a 33,000-line poem by John Gower, friend of Chaucer), Nibelungenlied or The Song of the Nibelungs by another unknown poet (this is considered to be one source for Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen). I think we take for granted the value of poetry and we label it as avant garde, beatnik, a form of protest, you name it. Then again, when you see poem spoken you do get the sense of hippage:

After the murder of King Richard II (starved to death in the Tower of London, put there by King Henry IV), John Gower was forced to rewrite portions of Confessio Amantis due to hints at support for King Richard II. Up until recent times poets, composers, and artists were commissioned to create works of art. The threat of death influenced a number of commissioned poets to change allegiances. Today poets are using words to protest established laws and current governments. Some writers are still being threatened with torture or death for their writing. Unfortunately, the idea of freedom of expression through word art is just not allowed in some places.

OK, I lied, I have written a few poems in  my day, as found in my book Short Poems 

“Unnamed 11” (4)

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________________________________________________________

(1) “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” Copyright 1952, © 1980, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
(2) Steve. “The Song of Hiawatha.” Poets’ Corner. © 1994 – 2009 Poets’ Corner Editorial Staff, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
(3) Pechman, Alexandra. “To a Mouse.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
(4) Jensen, Wendalynn P. “Unnamed 11” Short Poems © 1982 Used by permission by the author.

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Attempting Stuff

2015-05-18 12.09.36

This is an attempt to make a mug rug. The initial plan was to put two blocks together into a placemat, but the dimensions would not allow such a venture. I had to do some invasive surgery to get the blocks in a workable situation – hence the severe cut-up points. My Granma Ballan, who passed away in March, left boxes of material, thread, patterns, and the galore. She even stored some assembled quilt blocks (six in number). I have decided to make these into some type of table decoration. Though my grandmother had great sewing skills, I found it tough to get everything to line up properly. I have five more blocks to go.

2015-05-18 08.08.07

My mother gave me her old sewing machine this weekend (16 & 17 May, 2015) and I was going to attempt to create a creation. Some have seen this photo already, but there is a shoebox full of cut pieces ready for assembly, which will be more forgiving when I put them together. The templates (as shown here) seem to have been used a number of times. As well, I found a number of attempted blocks in the box (hey, that rhymes). It is fascinating to see the progression of art. I almost don’t want to disturb what is there.

My cousin Alexia wants to see a finished product; and to her I say “this is just the beginning, I am sure I can do better than this.”

I know it is tough to see, but I am sure some of my family may recognise the material. Granma used this for a few other quilts made for us throughout the years. Though I will never reach the full quilt stage, I do not want to waste something my grandmother spent so much time compiling over the years:

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This quilt was given to me when I moved into my first apartment in 2001. I later found this same pattern on a quilt at the Clothes Basket in Rosthern, but the difference was in the stitching. My grandmother did all hers by hand:

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I will admit I am nowhere near the same level as those who do quilting and sewing projects. My knitting, crochet, and cross stitching projects are not even close to awesome either. It would help that I get at least one project done. Done right, well, that is not a physical measurement. A quilt given to Richard and me by an expert quilter is coming apart at the seams, literally. All the proof of being human and the wonderfulness in that.

The projects-on-the-go of my grandmother reminds me of the purse she commissioned me to make. I was in the midst of making it when I lost the pattern and I was unable to find the website I found it originally. Upon looking at the version I made for myself, she could tell exactly what type of stitches I used. I have an idea, but I modified the pattern to fit her specifications, and that too has gone missing.

Comparisons will not make things move any faster. Whether the person is here physically or spiritually, I need to remember that I have only do so much. I have two hands full of guy thumbs, which does make for interesting delicate work. When we ask “when is mathematics ever going to be useful in later life?” quilting and sewing make a good reminder to keep it up. Well, it is more geometry, but the concept is the same.

I am very thankful for this gift. I knew what I was getting, as I was one of the few who helped sort Granma’s suite out after the funeral. Though I did not show it, my chest was heavy, my eyes were sore, and my brain almost exploded. The knowledge that she was no longer there and people going through her things brought back memories of the same situation after Grandma Jensen passed away in 1984. Now I am old enough to further appreciate the value of the scraps and little bits left behind.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I may have been ten when Granma Jensen passed away, but I knew darn well what it all meant. My heart experienced a lot more than what people expect.

With all this said, I hope to use this material, thread, patterns, the galore, and the love for what it was meant for.

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“We Are One”, Young Artists Day, and Bartolomeo Cristofori

This post is gonna be a-longen.

Today has been a busy day for celebrations. I will not, however, mention the Star Wars one. It was fine for the last couple of years, but now it has to stop. Thankfully it will only be for today.

For me today was all about music. As I work the front desk at work I am not able to listen to the radio. That is OK. I get an hour lunch, which I spend reading the many stories and anecdotes on the Beeb. Channel The Third, that is.

Today was special on a homebase musical front. It was Music Monday. This day is set aside to remind students of the value of learning music in school. I always valued music in school, even getting in trouble from my Kindergarten teacher for wanting to sing instead of doing work. Check out this page to get the full meaning of what music in the classroom is all about:

Music Monday

I became interested in piano when some friends took piano lessons from a woman, Mrs Apple, who taught during lunch hour. I was mesmorised. Though I knew we did not have a lot of money, my parents agreed to make the investment to buy a piano. From Grade Three until the end of university that piano served me well, and I, it.

Neither my elementary school or high school offered a band program. I was not interested (at the time) in learning a brass or woodwind instrument. I did not like the uniforms of the Lions or Police Junior bands. I am not devaluing my music teachers in school, as they taught with what they had. As I stated earlier, funding was a bit tight, so band was not an option.

The Coalition for Music Education would have been wonderful for kids like me. It has been around for ten years, and today on Music Moday we celebrate the Music Monday Anthem written by a 16 year-old Connor Ross:

Music Monday Anthem – “We Are One”

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Today on the BBC 3 side of things (UK Bank Holiday as well) there is Young Artists Day:

Radio 3 – Young Artists Day

On my breaks I had the opportunity to listen and read some great stories about young adults creating life experiences through music, art, dance, film, photography, literature, and so much more.

These young men and women make me suffer from at least one of the seven deadly sins – envy. My compositional skills, as mentioned by Dr Schudel, were “severely lacking, somewhat.” Yes, the drive and the want were there, but I was not (and still not) able to accomplish nearly what these talented young people have.

When I finally got to take Brass and Woodwind Techniques in university, I realised I should stick to piano.

Again, it is not the fault of a teacher, a professor, or a parent. I just think my attempts make for better stories and songs than they would if they were finished. I love these young women and men.

Finally, we celebrate the 360th birthday of Bartolomeo Cristofori, the man who has been credited for inventing the piano. I don’t normally celebrate birthdays of people who have passed on, including family (yes, that will get a right sour face from those still living); however, the idea of creating an instrument that would be part of some of the best music in the world is something worth commemmorating.

Bartolomeo Cristofori – ‘Who invented The Piano?’ (1)

I have stated before that I am not very keen on listening to piano music, but I love playing it. A good friend from university, a piano major, would not listen to piano music at home because it would make her physically ill. I am not that bad, thankfully, but I do understand. Computer gurus often spend time away from the computer at home.

I had made the attempt to relearn the piano, but with recents events at my old church, the practice piano had become not an option. Mum and dad gave me the old keyboard from my church in Regina. I took it out of the case, stared at the keys, then made my way to put it back in the case. I see it in the basement and I think I need to try again.

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I will never be a concert pianist, not with only having Grade 2-and-a-half of Royal Conservatory training.

To end my little discussion, I will leave you with this debate. Luckily I did not get into this deep a debate in uni, as I don’t know how I would have survived. In the end, it is not something worth arguing over:

Fortepiano vs Pianoforte

(1) The Guardian, ‘Who Invented The Piano?’. 2015. Web. 4 May 2015.

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1000th picture!

Please check out my husband Richard’s website: Roadside Objects

He has posted his 1000th picture. He has been working on this project for a while, and he would appreciate a few looks and some great comments.

C’mon, show him some love!

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