Friday, 31 August 2012

Once in a Blue Moon

An unusual solar event tonight - a blue moon. Now in my ignorance I imagined I would be going out to see a blue moon - literally, a blue colour. That is not the case I've learned.

You are never too old to learn and my view is we'll all keep learning until our days run out. The blue moon is in fact the second full moon within a calendar month. This is indeed a rarish event and the next time this happens is in 2015. Hence the phrase, "once in a blue moon". However, what is the mystery around it being 'blue' if it's not actually blue?

We find then that this second full moon within the month is a false moon - we've already had one full moon! The old English word for false or to betray is 'belewe' (as well as meaning blue). As the church calendar was constructed in part on the moons cycles, the populous needed to know which was the real moon and which the false (second in the month) moon, hence - the blue moon.

Well we have to go back as you would expect many centuries - in fact to the sixteen century and a piece of literature which took a pop at the clergy at the time. In essence it said that if the clergy told you the moon was blue (belewe), then you are expected to believe them.

Good story and even if it's not true, it's still a good one.

Just to confuse things however, moons can be seen as blue which is caused by atmospheric pollution such as smoke from fires or volcanic dust. The Smurfs thought a blue moon was actually blue and the detective agency in Moonlighting starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd from the 1980s was the Blue Moon Detective Agency!

Finally on this lunar subject, the song Blue Moon which was played on the radio this morning on the way to work. Written by Rodgers and Hart in 1934, the song was recorded among others by Billie Holiday, Elvis, Mel Torme and Cliff Richard. I heard the Marcels doo-wop version.

The opening lines of Blue Moon, a romanticised reworked film title tune, and sung by the male lead goes like this:

Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

'She' responds: 

Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for

And by the end, you know they've got together when they both sing:

Blue Moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

I hope you have a great weekend, take care.

Chat soon


Monday, 27 August 2012

What's in a Number?

This is my 473rd post. Nothing particularly significant in that as such, however this was the year in which Leo the First granted his six year old son Leo the Second the title of Caesar in the Roman Empire. Today, the 473 bus in London will take you between North Woolwich  and Stratford and takes in the London City Airport. A few years ago, the journey would have taken you between  Dormansland (Plough) and Crawley via East Grinstead, Kingscote, and Three Bridges. The old hand painted aluminium bus sign above is from this site.

473 is the country telephone code for Grenada and United Nations resolution 473  adopted in June 1980 expressed concern and condemned South Africa for the killing of protesters, including schoolchildren opposed to apartheid. At the time of writing, Flight United 473 is travelling from LaGuardia to Chicago Hare International airport in the United States of America.

So there are some useless facts about 473; but some would look at the number and determine that indeed, the number may not be random and that it might actually mean something.

This is what numerologists do. In his excellent book, Complete Guide to Developing your Psychic Skills, David Wells outlines the basics and explains what numbers mean and how they can be used and I'll give you an example of how it works as I understand it, using the random number that I started with - 473.

Take the number 473 and add all the individual digits together: 4 + 7 + 3. This equals 14. Now, add 1 + 4 and this equals 5. And so 5 is the 'magic' number.

You can do this with your birthday. Say you were born on the 27 August 1960. This works out like this:  27 (the day) + 8 (the month) + (1 + 9 + 6 + 0).

Reduce this down to 9 + 8 + 17. This equals 34. Finally add these numbers together and your number is 7.

So what do your final numbers mean? Well that is a matter of interpretation and a good book like David's can explain it, so for example, in the above birthday example, 7 in terms of your life path, it means science, solitude, spiritual and mystical. My birthday is worked out as number 3: truth, optimism, playful, expressive. It is possible to work out your personality number, your life path number, your soul number  and your destiny number using your name (by assigning numbers to the letters), significant dates etc.

Now of course this is only for fun. If you think it's bunkum, well thank you for reading so far. The jury is out for me, but if asked what was your favourite number, what would you say? We are often asked that, like 'what is your favourite colour'. I have favourite numbers, for example, house numbers where I've lived, my personal number 3 is another and so on. Ask yourself why you have a lucky or favourite number or a colour - if you have one, are you superstitious do you believe in luck or is there another reason. 

Enjoy the ponder.

The work on the house continues apace and is on schedule. The work has already transformed the house, how it looks and how it feels. Another couple of weeks and we should have it finished ready to decorate out.

On Saturday  a couple of days ago, we had the most torrential summer storm including hailstones the size of marbles. Leaves were ripped from the trees and my poor flower heads on the geraniums were felled in a five minute deluge. Fascinating how the weather is showing signs of extreme weather which, in the mainland UK were fairly rare events up until the last few years, now they are regular occurrences.

Chat soon 

Ta ra.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ladybird on my Shoe

Hello fellow bloggers and blog readers.

It's been nearly a fortnight since I blogged; I seem to be only blogging at weekends because weekdays are blessedly busy! Anyhow, last weekend was spent in the beautiful countryside of North Yorkshire just on the edge of the wonderful Dalby Forest just outside a village called Thornton-le-Dale at Pexton Moor Farm. I was with a few friends enjoying the fresh air and it was our intent to do some spiritual exercises and meditations, but the weekend was just one long much needed relaxing break, we just chilled out. 

The weather was fine although I have to say the Friday night was somewhat chilly, but we saw the International Space Station pass by on the Friday night - bright, stately and magnificent and we saw a few meteorites from the Perseid showers - often known as 'St Lawrence's tears' as they occur on the 10th August, the anniversary of the man's martyrdom ( c. 225–258, a deacon of ancient Rome and the keeper of the Holy Chalice).

Work on our garage conversion goes on apace and the garage door is long gone and a hole awaits a window fitting tomorrow. Internal rooms in what once was the garage are now created, the walls lined and some of the plumbing done. The house is in a mess with 'stuff' awaiting the completion of the conversion when we can get it safely stored back in a specifically built store room.

Here is before:

And here is a... wall with a hole!

Now then, here's a question. I was walking to a friends house for a meditation last week one evening and happened to come across a couple of magnificent chestnut trees on the side of the footpath in the grounds of a nursing home. Both the trees and indeed other chestnut trees I subsequently spied during the walk also had leaves that were like this:

Has anyone any idea what this may be? I know the Chestnuts are one of the earliest trees to turn when autumn arrives, but surely, it's too early for leaves to turn yet?

Finally, the title of the blog? I had just cut the grass this afternoon and was having a reflective moment on a garden chair with a cup of fruit tea before the rain came and a ladybird landed on my foot. Here is a picture of a black ladybird with red spots I took a couple of weeks ago.

Chat soon


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Square Eyes

A delicate beautiful begonia from my hanging basket outside the front door
I'm not a big TV viewer to be honest, but I've been glues to a bits of the Olympic coverage this last week and was privileged to see Super Saturday (4th August) when TeamGB won a sack load of medals. Today is becoming Super Sunday with more golds so we now have a super weekend.

The BBC have done famously with their coverage which has been very professional with great anchor-people and passionate commentators particularly those on their exceptional radio coverage. The news bulletins have been a bit repetitive with summaries of the Olympics which we don't need but no complaints really.

The real stars are the competitors, win or lose, they have trained hard for four years, sometimes every day in some disciplines for one event. For some, a once in their lifetime event, so well done to them, they all deserve a medal.

In between a bit of sport (and England are playing South Africa in the cricket too) I've been a domestic help this last week. My t'other half has done her back in - quite serious this time with complete bed rest ordered for a few days so it's been all pumps to the hand. I write this as I've finished ironing shirts for next week! I'm not very good at it to be honest, but the result is passable.

Our garage is empty now awaiting the builder who arrives at 8 am tomorrow so we have a few weeks of mess to content with because our 'back room' is being converted after that so no respite. I didn't realise how much stuff you accumulate and store because you think you might need it or keep it for sentimental reasons.  Needless to say, the recycling tip has been busy this week with a lot of junk. With reduced space once the conversion is done, there is less room to store anything, so it gives us an excuse for keeping the place tidy and getting rid of stuff we don't need - or perhaps better still - the lesson is: don't get it in the first place!

My grandfather was a hoarder - his shed was full of useless junk which he said 'might come in useful one day,' but it never did.

Chat soon