Valencia Street Aria

Art by Rob Goldstein

On a walk along San Francisco’s Valencia Street toward the Mission I heard Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate K165-Alleluiastream from the second story window of an old Victorian.

It was a wonderful San Francisco day and the gardens on Valencia Street were in bloom.

Share this walk with me:

Valencia Street Aria

Music: Mozart: Exsultate, jubilate: iv. Alleluja (McNair, Gardiner)
Sylvia McNair, soprano; English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner,
cond.
Philips, recorded March 1993

Video (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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Victorian Valentine’s Day Verses for Rejecting Unwanted Suitors

If you are having trouble discouraging your admirers, help is on the way.

Mimi Matthews

The Two Central Figures in Derby Day by William Powell Frith, 1860.(Met Museum) The Two Central Figures in “Derby Day” by William Powell Frith, 1860.
(Met Museum)

Published in 1875, The Lover’s Poetic Companion and Valentine Writer is a book intended for Victorian ladies and gentlemen “who wish to address those they love in suitable terms.”  It contains a variety of Valentine verses, ranging from the sweet to the satirical.  The book promises that these “Love Lyrics” are harmless and that even the more comical lines do not descend into vulgarity.  But what these verses lack in vulgarity, they more than make up for in unkindness and—in some instances—outright cruelty.

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Hounds on a Picnic

Nutsrok

imageMother had been frying chicken and making potato salad all morning in preparation for our picnic with Christine who was high-spirited and laughed all the time, making any occasion a party.  She left her chocolate cake and deviled eggs in an open box on the back seat of her car when she parked in our drive. We made several trips loading the goodies.  Christine got the car packed to her satisfaction, then decided to run her little girls back in for one last bathroom stop. Forgetting we had dogs, she left the back car door standing open, a fatal mistake.

Ecstatically, five or six hounds bounded into the backseat, snarling and falling on the the chocolate cake and fried chicken laid out so enticingly for their benefit.  Hearing the dogfight in progress, we all flew out of the house to see chocolate-covered dogs fighting tooth and nail for the remains…

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Never Could Say Goodbye

itinerantneerdowell

Why did the process of leaving a family friend or relative’s house seem to take forever?  Little kids hated adult small talk, “My how you’ve grown.  What grade were you in school? You’re almost as tall as your older brother.”

Adult chattering never stopped.  Pitiful expressions, tugging at mom’s skirt, never made the process go faster. Going to your father for help didn’t work, either.  His standard response, “Go ask your mother.”  Which really meant, he knew from years of experience, saying goodbye could not be hurried.

Two generations later, blessed with more patience, the process hadn’t changed.  Only the players in these mini-dramas were different.  Grandma, family matriarch, cooked at home–did most of the cooking away from home.

For that reason, the head chef needed proper utensils, small appliances, to feel at home away from home–anything easily transportable.

Leftovers had to be divvied up.  Grandma refereed the process.  “Don’t take all of that–take more of this.  Your sister likes cranberries, you know.”

“Where were the…

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I Love Mr. Henry

Nutsrok

loveMr. Henry was the one admitted as a patient, but the nurses took care of Miss Alice, too.  Mr. Henry had to have been in his late forties when he married simple-minded little Miss Alice, a girl of fourteen.  Nowadays, that would have been a case for the courts, but when it happened back in the sixties, there was no one to speak for Miss Alice.  They’d been married more than thirty years when I knew them and appeared to dote on each other.  Miss Alice never voluntarily left his side, except to go down to the courtyard to bum cigarettes from patients and staff smoking in the long ago days when hospitals had smoking areas.  Sometimes she even talked folks out of a little money.  After a successful run, she’d bring a couple back up to him to smoke in the room.  Miss Alice ended almost every conversation with, “I…

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Smorgasbord Short Stories – New Year’s Eve by Sally Cronin

Reblgged from Smorgasbard

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

short-stories-twoNew Year’s Eve by Sally Cronin

Kenneth Fitzgerald looked across the crowded ballroom at the woman that he had loved for a lifetime. Georgina was surrounded by attentive male admirers, and was holding court as she always did, with elegance and grace. He watched as she tilted her head to one side to listen to the young man sitting next to her, cupping her hand delicately behind her ear, to better hear his comments over the sound of the band.

The handsome companion was her grandson Timothy, and even at first glance you could see the resemblance; the same blue eyes, golden hair colour and a long refined nose. Georgie was 90 years old and yet her beauty was undiminished. Kenneth knew he was biased. He remembered his stunned reaction to meeting her for the first time over 70 years ago, in this same ballroom on New Year’s Eve 1935.

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THE BIG TRIP X – MY EXPERIMENT AND MORE GEORGE

Reblogged from Lucina E. Clark. She needs our votes.

lucinda E Clarke

It’s Sunday, yes and my blog goes out on a Monday right? Well in a major step forward, I am going to try and time this to go out tomorrow by using the timing thingie. Will it work? Watch this space. I am determined that I will get some writing done tomorrow morning while DH is out playing boules/petanque and I must also go and get a haircut. When DH starts calling me lassie and offering me dog biscuits, I know the time has come.

lassie

Last week we were still in Hue (pronounced Way) and we were about to go for lunch. Well I guess it was a tourist venue although when we arrived we were the only guests there. It was in a really beautiful setting with different little glassed-in areas set around brick paved walkways circling goldfish ponds. I thought it looked like a Japanese garden, but I…

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