Line(s) of the Day #TheSilverSword

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“You won’t come with me?” said Joseph.

The boy ignored the question. He was undoing the wooden box, and he took out the little silver sword. “This is the best of my treasures he said. ‘It will bring me luck. And it will bring you luck, because you gave it to me. I don’t tell anybody my name – it is not safe. But because you gave me the sword and I didn’t borrow it, I will tell you.’ He whispered. ‘It is Jan.’

The Silver Sword (1956) by Ian Seraillier is a children’s novel that tells of three siblings and an orphan’s difficult quest to make it from Poland to Switzerland just after World War II. I read it again for the first time since Primary School and enjoyed it just as much.

Line(s) of the Day #AbrahamLincoln

Abaham Lincoln

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), the 16th president of the United States. Growing up in an enpoverished background, Lincoln is known for preserving the Union, abolishing slavery and modernising the U.S. economy. You can find another of his sage quotes here.

Line(s) of the Day #YesMinister (RIP Derek Fawlds)

Derek Fawlds

Bernard Woolley: “I’ll just say, ‘The Minister has asked me to thank you for your letter’ and something like ‘The matter is under consideration’, or even ‘under active consideration’.”
Jim Hacker: “What’s the difference?”
Bernard Woolley: “Well, ‘under consideration’ means we’ve lost the file, ‘under active consideration’ means we’re trying to find it.”

Jim Hacker: I’d like a new chair. I hate swivel chairs.
Bernard Woolley: It used to be said there were two kinds of chairs to go with two kinds of Minister: one sort folds up instantly; the other sort goes round and round in circles.

Bernard Woolley: Well, take the Foreign Office. First you get the CMG, then the KCMG, then the GCMG; the Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, Knight Commander of St Michael and St George, Knight Grand Cross of St Michael and St George. Of course, in the Service, CMG stands for “Call Me God,” and KCMG for “Kindly Call Me God.”
Jim Hacker: [chuckles] What does GCMG stand for?
Bernard Woolley: “God Calls Me God.”

A special tribute to Derek Fawlds (1937 – 2020 pictured left in above photo), who so memorably played the part of Principal Private Secretary Sir Bernard Wooley in Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister (1980 – 88) Though Fawlds had a long and successful acting career, it was his role in the sharpest of political satires that I’ll remember most. In fact, the show was one of my earliest blog posts.

Things to See: Magical Ice Kingdom – A Christmas Carol

I added some animal ice statues photography in my previous post, but really the main attraction of the Ice Kingdom at Winter Wonderland was using A Christmas Carol theme. The story of Scrooge’s redemption through the use of three ghosts (well four if you include Jacob Marley) needs no introduction.

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Line(s) of the Day #EightMenOut

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He [Eddie Cicotte] had grown up believing it was talent that made a man big. If you were good enough and dedicated yourself, you could get to the top. Wasn’t that enough of a reward? But when he got there he had found out otherwise. They all fed off him, the men who run the show and pulled the strings and kept it working. They used him and used him and when they had used him up, they would dump him. In the few years he had been up they had always praised him and made him sound like a hero to the people of America. But all the time they paid him peanuts. The newspapermen who came to watch him pitch and wrote stories about him made even more money than he did.

Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof, which tells of how a set of elite Chicago baseball players threw the final against the lesser fancied Cincinnati Reds for monetary gain. While the scandal is well known in American culture, there are still plenty of myths and uncertainities around the whole series. There are doubts about how much Shoeless Joe, the most famous of the eight, was involved.

Line(s) of the Day #MarcusAurelius

Marcus Aurelius

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

The wise and inspirational Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180). You can find more of his insight on my blog here and here.

Gr8at: Winning Photographs from International Wildlife Photography Awards

As any regular readers will know, I’m a huge photography fan, both in taking my own and appreciating the high levels of others. So when I saw The Guardian had published a piece about the best photographs of 2019, I just had to share my favourite ones with you. Which ones stand out most to you?

lion photo

Bond of Brothers by David Lloyd in Lumix People’s Choice

Bird entrance

Greater Sage-Grouse by Elizabeth Boehm – 2019 Audubon Photography Awards

animal shot

Flamingo Socks by Jasper Doest – 2019 World Press Photo Contest

hare dance

Jump by Csaba Daróczi – Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

rainfall shot

Golden rain by Norbert Kaszás – Nature Photographer of the Year 2019

animal dance

Survival Instinct by Bence Máté – 2019 World Press Photo Contest

falcons photo

Falcons and the Arab Influence by Brent Stirton – 2019 World Press Photo Contest

turtle photo

Caretta caretta turtle by Eduardo Acevedo – Underwater Photographer of the Year 2019