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Thoughts,vague ideas and pleasant tangents.

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Post  Celia Eriksson Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:13 pm

Yes, the term canal art stems from the days of bargiemen, on Horse drawn narrowboats that transported goods on the British canal system... they had so much time on their hands, for the boats moved very slowly.... why not paint everything bright colours? These days it is more of a womans thing....

What do you do with your Pears Liz? Perry is a lovely drink... but a juicy Pear, just to eat is quite a treat! I do have a Damson tree in my little garden, it is still young. I did have one Damson growing!.... then the other day l found two on the lawn....

Must away to Bedfordshire.... l have a 250 mile round trip drive tomorrow.... gulp....

Celia xx

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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Thu Sep 15, 2022 11:33 pm

Well, your art is superb.

As for my pears, I eat what I want off the tree and give rhe rest away to whomever wants to make the effort to pick them.

I have made perry - it was a long time ago at the beginning of my wine making days.  I followed a recipe precisely and added the amount of sugar called for by the recipe.  A huge mistake as I didn’t know enough to account for the natural sugar present in the dead ripe pears.  The stuff happily bubbled away through the airlock for six months.  I kept the car boys in my bedroom closet and at night I would lie there and listen to the burp burp burp.  Final alcohol content was 17%, the maximum tolerable limit for the champagne yeast I used.  It wasn’t really enjoyable to drink on it’s own due to the high alcohol content and imbalance of flavors resulting from my lack of wine making knowledge and skill.  But it worked very well as a fortifier for fruit punches and spritzers.

Though it’s been awhile since I’ve made wine or beer, my skills improved immensely since those early days.  Perhaps it’s time to use some of that bounty and make Perry again.

Safe travels!

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~  Liz
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Post  Mariehart11 Sat Sep 17, 2022 12:49 am

Celia, surely one of  those is in fact  a coal bucket? In fact  both? Love them though.

Liz, yes Autumn is in full swing but as often  happens the weather is  mild  here. I drove  my boys to a scout  camp this evening. It's  down by  a lakeside. It was a beautiful sunny evening enhanced  by my sunglasses. Aviator tan.😎

Incidentally I love the  Americanism 'Fall'. It is what it is when the leaves fall. So romantic.

The weekend  ahead will  continue the  nice  weather.



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Post  Celia Eriksson Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:25 am

Well yes, one is a coal scuttle. The other is simply a small bucket that used to drop in one side of a mop bucket... being able to lift it out to put clean water in, the other side of the bucket just drains the mop of dirty water.

I prefer our word, Autumn... Autumnal.... but we do use the term 'Spring forward, Fall back', when seasonally adjusting the clocks, so the term 'Fall' probably has roots here...

I can relate a couple of stories to my Fathers efforts in brewing. He had no less than four sheds and a workshop behind our old house in Surrey. Two were quite large. He was a very clever man that could turn his hand to almost any task. Alas not so brewing...

Once he decided to try and brew Barley wine. He actually used screw top bottles! One evening, whilst in his workshop he heard a very large bang and a whiish noise...

He came to the house and asked my Mother and l what it was, of course we did not know. My Father finally went to his sheds and found a bottle had burst in the woodshed, where had stored the bottles. The others metal tops were bulging upwards...

He told us to go in after mopping down the shed

Afterwards he told us he had tried to open one on the lawn, but it was too tight.... he got a tool.. he turned the top and whiish! The ale flew into the air! Nothing left in the bottle bar foam... he had 24 bottles to open! He said he could hear some bottle tops tinkling down the lane in the dark of the night, the other side of the house....

Once, he tried wine... Damson wine. It tasted sickly horrid and we would not drink it. My Father preferred whisky or beer. So when a friend from down the lane came by one evening, my Father opened one for him to try.

The friend and neighbour, loved the wine and enthused upon it. My Mother and l tried it again, hoping that there could be a nice bottle amongst them. Alas, it was awful..... but, after drinking little more than half of a bottle, Ken was as drunk as a Lord.... very silly drunk too.

Perhaps best to eat or preserve your Pears Liz!

Celia xx

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Post  Mariehart11 Sat Sep 17, 2022 2:31 pm

I have one of those coal scuttles going spare. We have no open fire anymore. You've given me an idea C. It'll look good in the garden.

Your stories about your Dad's brewing fails are hilarious. It's not something I'd ever try. Of course here in the west they used barley to make an entirely different beverage: Poitin. Now that could be up 90% proof. Ideal as a hand cleanser. I remember the first time I tasted it. 🥵 Straight vodka is for wimps. 🤣

Fall or Autumn I like this time of the year.
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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Sat Sep 17, 2022 3:18 pm

My dad had a similar experience. Brewed beer from a kit and I don’t think he followed the recipe for priming the bottles when he filled them and used too much sugar. He stored the bottles in our basement pantry and a couple of weeks later we heard the bottles begin to blow their tops. It mad a horrible smelly mess and my mother was not amused. Dad didn’t offer an argument when she handed him the broom and mop. He never tried again, found it much easier to just buy his beer.

Though I’ve not made beer in a good long while, I have made some wonderful beers. My taste heavily favors rich malty brown ales with just enough bittering hops to balance out the slight sweetness of the malt.

I believe autumn is used more frequently on the east coast of the US, especially in the New England states. Here in the Intermountain west, Fall is the norm, with autumn used most frequently in more romanticized contexts. Language and the regional variations that occur are fascinating.

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~  Liz
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Post  Mariehart11 Sat Sep 17, 2022 6:58 pm

You know Liz, I read years ago that Americans actually speak a form of English more akin to how it was spoken when you got independence. Same with Canada. British English continually absorbed other languages so it moved on. English took in French, German and various Indian words. But if you look at various Indian English language websites they are almost Victorian in their language. Here in Ireland our English is often structured like the Irish language.

But like in Britain regional variations are often extremely difficult to understand. English as a language is interesting because of it's flexibility. People often explain how difficult it is to learn English because of that. I've met people who came to Ireland thinking they had good English but being baffled by the idiomatic language.🙂

It's a fascinating topic.


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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Sat Sep 17, 2022 8:24 pm

So very fascinating. American English has it’s share of borrowed words from French, Spanish (mainly Mexican Spanish), and some Native American though that’s very regional.

One of my Air Force assignments was in Maryland and I was very surprised by the lexical differences and the accent of those that had lived their entire lives in the area. There was a noticeable similarity in speech rhythm and accent to British speakers. During Desert Storm I deployed to Britain to staff a 500 bed contingency hospital near Bicester, Oxfordshire. In what little free time we had I visited the shops and pubs there and that’s when I noticed the similarity.

Other languages we’ve heavily borrowed from is both Greek and Latin, mainly in technical and medical language. I was also stationed at Iraklion Air Station on the island of Crete. I developed a modest vocabulary but could never catch on to the grammatical structure and was continually caught off guard by idioms.

I am fascinated by Gaelic and follow several Irish and Scottish folk singers who sing in both Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Some of my favorites is Julie Fowlis, Niamh Farrell, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Linda Nic Leòid and Niall Hanna.

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~  Liz
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Post  Mariehart11 Sat Sep 17, 2022 9:29 pm

That's  really  interesting. I have  to  confess I  don't know any of those  musicians. I do know  how to  pronounce their names though.

On the other  side my wife  and her  sister are in Dublin right now  as I  write this enjoying Garth  Brooks in concert. Country music  is huge  here  outside the  cities.

She sent a photo of herself and her sister at the concert  wearing  cowboy hats  and check shirts. I  honestly  had no idea my wife  had a check shirt and where  they got the  cowboy  hats. I've  no  idea.  

Not only that both are fluent  Irish  speakers and her sister  is a noted international liberal human rights lawyer.

It's a  funny old world.

I've  gone to bed early so I can be awake when she  comes home in the  wee small  hours after the  bus trip home. She'll  be buzzing so I  want to  let her talk of it.

Obviously though I'll just lie awake for the next three hours or so.
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Post  Celia Eriksson Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:18 am

Accents are strange. Maybe some Brits spoke like Americans, but it is known, (how it is known is a different question, possibly from written descriptions), that the Cockney accent is only as old as London polution... the poor air affected their accent over time... apparently before, they spoke something akin to a Brummy accent with less drawl.

From the Museum of London article, Breathing in...

   Those born in London were distinguished from new arrivals to the capital by their unhealthy pallor, weak stature, a habit of talking louder than ‘outsiders,’ with a distinctive slang and accent affected by their need to breath heavily through their mouths due to their congested nasal passages. The skin, clothes and nostrils of Londoners were filled with a compound of powdered granite, soot and still more nauseous substances.  

The East coast of the USA does have sizeable populations in which British accents are still spoken, as Liz says. I believe a town called Plymouth there still has a West Country brogue.

I speak what is known as Queen's English, probably now King's English. It is core English and although many believe their own accent is the base, King's English is imagined to be the plain, the non accent.

For example of people's belief of having no accent, l can relate an anecdote. Noddy Holder was/is the lead singer of a Black Country popular band, (The Black Country is an ancient region, nothing to do with race or C&W!).... the band was called The Slade, not my cup of tea, but...

...he had a very guttural Midlands accent of that area. The band played Carnegie New York. As he introduced the band, he heard a girl shout, in full whiny New Yorkish, 'Gee, l wish l had an accent!'....

People tend to be different regionally also... stay long enough and you will adopt them too. London has always held differences of opinion to most other regions. Yorkshire has a very ironic sense of humour, Cornish among others, strangely Kentish people too, still will remind newcomers of their origins, 'She is a Londoner' etc., even if that person has lived there for decades...

So an accent is almost tribal too. When l was young, l knew a man who had moved to Glasgow with his family aged 13. The Father had a job that took them there.

They returned a few years later and l knew him when he was aged about twenty, l assumed he was a Scot..  he spoke with a Scottish lilt. He explained that it had been broader, for he had to speak that way quick, else he was given a hard time, being English.

It gives a sense of belonging, to speak the same, have the same phrases, even think and act alike.

So now l will come to my point about plain English... l may get called snooty, but there are people across England that speak like me, many Scottish islanders, for another example, also. Whilst we may be identified as English, and posh, we do tend to get away with it... nobody knows exactly where we are from.

Gosh, l do rattle on!

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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Sun Sep 18, 2022 5:45 pm

This conversation is reminding me of the musical My Fair Lady. In many ways our language can carry so much of who we are, our history, our ancestors and where we came from.

My military service gave us the opportunity to live in communities that have distinctive populations that resulted from different waves of immigration. Growing up in Montana, I wasn’t aware of any particular uniqueness other than a few first generation German families, but for the most part the community I grew up in was pretty ethnically homogeneous.

My first assignment was in San Antonio Texas, so huge Hispanic influence, but also a very distinctive German ancestry population just north of San Antonio.

Next was Minot North Dakota where we encountered a very proud and present Scandinavian history, predominantly Norwegian with still very present cultural and linguistic influences. I learned to eat, and kind of like Lutefisk which was no small achievement.

From there we went to Crete, Greece so everything was new and unique. Except, outside the tourist industry, Crete was still fundamentally agrarian. As I grew up in similar influences, I found many things very familiar and language aside, I was able to get along well with the Greeks as most of them are small land holders and farmers.

Next was Andrews AFB, Maryland, adjacent to Washington DC. DC is an eclectic melting pot of the world given the political and ethnic diversity in the area. This was my first experience with Black Urban and Asian cultures among many others.

Next assignment was Scott AFB, Illinois, just east of St Louis Missouri. Predominant there was an aging first generation Catholic German population that had a visible influence on food, architecture and regional language characteristics.

Next and last was Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, about 50 miles southeast of Boise. Curiously, much of the early settlers of the Idaho territory were from the southern US just after the end of the civil war. Along with that population came influences on food and language and unfortunately racial prejudice that still exist today and in fact has grown more visible. The other major ethnic influence was the influx of a huge Basque population originally immigrating as sheep hoarders for huge sheep ranches grazing their herds on the vast public lands.

Boise evolved to be a significant refugee resettlement and immigration center so we have large communities of Russian, Ukrainian, Somali Bantu, various Mid Eastern communities, huge Hispanic population, Asian and small Indian communities.

Over the course of my AF years I deployed to the UK (mentioned earlier) and Bahrain. I’ve at least set foot in all but 8 US states, almost all of the in the North East/New England states. So those are part my travel bucket list destinations. In addition, I’d like to visit Greece again, and spend more time visiting Germany and visit Britain again and explore Ireland and Scotland.

Apologies for the long rambling post.

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~  Liz
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Post  Mariehart11 Mon Sep 19, 2022 10:36 pm

Yes accents are quite interesting. I have  noted that outside of the obvious southern, New York or Texan accents etc. Most  Americans don't  think they  have an accent at all but  in fact  they have an American  accent which is  obvious to  all non Americans.  I did notice though  in a few a few weeks there I  stopped noticing the accent and probably  began to adopt it.

Meanwhile here in  Ireland we have 32 different counties and probably 64 different accents. Britain is similar.

I  have  a quite different accent to many of the  people in Dublin  City where I  grew up. Even to the extent that people growing up the same street sound different to me.

The range of accents over comparatively small distances is remarkable.

So whatever you  thought the  clichéd Irish accent is. You are wrong. Same with  Britain there is  no one  'British accent'.

It's a fascinating topic.

Liz, your air force travelogue is very interesting. Many of us outside the USA don't really understand the regional differences between regions and states. When I passed through Milwaukee a few years ago the German influences were obvious. All those church steeples.

But I must say I would draw the line at sampling Lutefisk. 🤢
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Post  Celia Eriksson Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:37 pm

One of my favourite accents is the Southern drawl. I simply love it! Of all of the US brogues, the New Yorker is the most annoying, not that l would ever say that to someone from the Big Apple...

I know not much of Idaho Liz, except where it is and it has a chimney on top of its geographical shape that touches Canada...  unlike Ross on Friends, l can name all states, their capital cities and where they are on a map. I know all the shapes too, apart from the boxy type ones!

I quite like Cajun music and once asked a Parisian aquaintance how Cajuns sound. She said of course she understood most of what was being said, but the accent was very, very strange... l guess if you listen to dear D L Menard here, you get the gist. Most unlike French!!!



I like the soft Irish accents Marie and the American Southern ones, as l said, but my favourite is Parisian French. When a Parisian man speaks English, it is rather like chocolate melting.

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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:24 pm

You then know more about US geography than a good number of Americans I’m sad to say. World wide geography literacy is even more abysmal.

There are not many people who know about Cajun music let alone like it. I grew up on County & Western music. Though rare, there were a couple of Cajun artists that crossed over into mainstream C&W. I have cousins that grew up in South Louisiana, one married a Cajun girl - what a sweetheart she was!

I grew to love Cajun music and it’s more obscure relative, Zydeco. Both are incredibly fun to listen to and wonderful to dance to. I learned to jitter bug by the time I was 7 or 8. Then came the two step, schottische, and waltzes. I loved dancing.

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Post  Mariehart11 Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:03 pm

I love the Cajun thing and the music but know little of it. I do remember the movie 'Southern Comfort.' As a bunch of young reservists (National Guard) on exercise. We were shown the movie in camp one night. We were jealous of the M16s compared to our bolt action Lee Enfield but next day we viewed the locals with suspicion.🤔

My sister had a French Canadian friend. She had a completely incomprehensible Canadian French accent. I read once that the famous and brilliant Canadian F1 driver Gilles Villeneuve had such a strong accent that French journalists would interview him in English.

My sister's friend was hilarious though. Once my sis took her for a drive in the hills near Dublin. She suddenly screamed, 'Stop, stop'. Leapt out and took pictures of the sheep. She'd never seen sheep before.🤣

Celia, yes the southern drawl is engaging. My first experience was arriving in Memphis, 'arriving in Memphis'. I love saying that. They sent an airplane for me manned by a good old boy with an absolutely clichéd southern accent. Even the air traffic controllers had the accent. They all seemed so friendly though. When I mentioned that to my Instructor, who came from Oregan. He sniffed, 'It's all fake.

Interestingly an accent I like quite like is the northern English women's accents. Almost sexy.

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Post  Mariehart11 Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:34 pm

Elizabeth Lynn wrote:You then know more about US geography than a good number of Americans I’m sad to say.  World wide geography literacy is even more abysmal.

It's often a criticism Americans that they know little of geography and the outside world. Sometimes rather sneering. That's unfair. The USA is huge. It's no surprise. It's all about education. You can't cover everything.

But I can tell you that here in Ireland which is the same area as the state of Maine. Many of us know little of our own state. Quite often it's very distorted. Their perception of the United States is based on Hollywood.

But even Americans tell stories. When I was working in Vermont, one of my colleagues told how when serving in the military he was asked where he was from. He said Vermont. 'What state is that?'

Liz, country and western music is huge in Ireland particularly outside the cities just like in the States. Right now now wife's cowboy hat which she wore at last weekend's Garth Brooks concert is staring me in the face.

Yet when I met her she seemed like a classic metropolitan east coast woman. How little I knew.😀

But we all live in our little bubble.


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Post  Mariehart11 Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:44 pm

Elizabeth Lynn wrote:
Apologies for the long rambling post.

Clearly you have no need to apologise. Have you seen my posts? I'm good at rambling Besides you've had an interesting life.



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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:26 pm

[quote="Mariehart11"]
Elizabeth Lynn wrote:But even  Americans tell stories. When I  was working in Vermont, one of my colleagues told how when  serving in the  military he  was asked where he was from. He  said Vermont. 'What state is that?'

It’s common enough throughout the states that non-Idahoans mix up Iowa and Idaho. The speaker immediately becomes the object of merciless derision. This faux pas has become much more frequents as the Boise State University football (American) team (BSU Broncos) has become nationally ranked.

The US land mass is huge, something not well appreciated by many of our citizens, especially those living on the east coast, residents of the major metropolitan cities. There are places in the west that while driving the topography allows one to actually see where you will be tomorrow. I’ve made numerous (too many) near coast to coast and border to border trips. It takes all day just to get out of Texas driving north from San Antonio. It’s a 5 day, 8-10 hour/day trip from DC to Montana.


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Post  Mariehart11 Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:15 pm

So true Liz. I've love America, well at least those states I visited. It's interesting I've never been as a tourist except maybe Chicago for a day or two. So I mixed with real often blue collar Americans. In truth there was a bit of a soap opera at times. I look forward to going back. It's interesting but I always felt at home in the US. Something I never experienced in other countries except Britain which is so similar to Ireland. It's hard not too.




But
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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Thu Sep 22, 2022 11:20 pm

Well, if you make it to Boise, I’ll show you the town. Not as large as Chicago, but it has it’s charm.

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Post  Mariehart11 Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:10 am

Elizabeth Lynn wrote:Well, if you make it to Boise, I’ll show you the town.  Not as large as Chicago, but it has it’s charm.

Boise, Idaho. For some  reason I  always loved those words together. No idea why. 'Let's go to Boise, Idaho.

I  have to  honest I  know  nothing of Boise Idaho but I  suspect it's heartland America. Full of lovely  friendly people.  Just  like my experiences when I was in Tenneesee, Vermont and Wisconsin.

My wife has never  been to the  US. She travelled everywhere else in the world but  not America. We need to  remedy that soon. Although it'll  probably be  California.

But meanwhile there'sa tax bill to pay off..


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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:33 am

I can share more about Boise at another time.

I’ve had a couple of surprise tax bills in the past, both due to tax preparer mistakes and me not catching them. It’s agonizing. But, honest mistakes so penalties were minimal and we eventually got them paid off.

My house will finally be paid off in a couple of years, something I thought would never happen as we never stayed in one place to realize much equity in the 3 houses we bought over the years. A down side of military service and frequent moves. I just wish my wife were hear to celebrate the paid off mortgage.

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~  Liz
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Post  Celia Eriksson Fri Sep 23, 2022 3:15 pm

Yes, Boise... it just 'goes' with Idaho. I do happen to know that next door to Idaho is Wyoming. The most sparsely populated state.... including Alaska too! So, l guess in my own way, that Idaho is too?

Northern womens accents... sexy? No way! Gosh... l guess there are two things l should consider about that Marie...

Firstly l guess you are Irish, you may hear it differently and secondly, l prefer men, but still don't find the accent that alluring, except maybe Geordie and Highland...

I give His Majestys' Inland Revenue it's due, they don't mess up hardly ever, if ever... windfalls or demands are for a reason... new job, people cheating etc.

I like antiques and now attend an auction often, but the teller is terrible, when l do actually win something that l like, he makes mistakes, every time, almost.

I love the atmosphere there and they are always respectful towards me. I have quite a few nice chats with other bidders too. l have been told off twice now by the auctioneer...

...in a jokey way. He stops and just looks... it has happened to others too... the first time with me, we carried on chatting, apparently, for a minute or so before we realised! He is part of the attraction, because of his humour...

I had better make my tea... something in a small baguette, perhaps tuna or cheese... decisions, decisions!

Celia xx

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Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.
Mary Tyler Moore (1936-2017).
Celia Eriksson
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Post  Elizabeth Lynn Fri Sep 23, 2022 6:12 pm

Yes, Wyoming on the southeast corner, Utah and Nevada on the south, Oregon on the southwest corner, Washington state on the northwest side, Alberta CA to the north and Montana (my home state) on the eastern side.

Idaho, like many of the deep red, Republican held states is being consumed by extremest, far, far right ideology. And like many others have taken square aim at trans people, especially trans kids. It’s scary when the nut cake extremists in our legislature want to gin up votes as they have no area of lies and threats that are off limits. The recently elected chair of the Idaho Republican Party is one of the most egregiously extreme.

Here in Boise we are a blue island in a sea of red, so Boise and immediate environs are reasonably safe, but nonetheless, I find I am increasingly alert to my surroundings when out and about. I almost unconsciously am scanning people, roof tops areas that might provide concealment and continuously identifying potential places of shelter or escape - recalling in detail the antiterrorism training I received in the military.

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~  Liz
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Post  Mariehart11 Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:28 am

"Northern womens accents... sexy? No way! Gosh... l guess there are two things l should consider about that Marie...

Firstly l guess you are Irish, you may hear it differently and secondly, l prefer men, but still don't find the accent that alluring, except maybe Geordie and Highland..."

Ha ha C, maybe you're  southern softy.😃  No I  kind of mean, I  do like strong women. Sexy in a non sexual way. I  think I  see their accent as authentic. Which of course is  unfair to women from the  South.

If you know  Beth Rigby of Sky news you  know what I  mean. I  think really I  aspire to be like that.

But don't worry I'm a sucker for a 'home counties' accent. Let Liz figure that out 😀

Acually C,  I do prefer men nowadays. Sexually anyway. As if sex was even an option. I'm  more celibate than the  former  Bishop of  Galway.

Liz, while you  work out  where the  home  counties are.. I  think it's  such a  shame that the Republican party has devolved into an anti  democratic frankly unAmerican  organisation. You  can't even  blame  Trump because frankly he just rode the zeitgeist. Power hungry.

My 13 year old son came to me today. He cares. He can't understand Putin. I  tried to  explain how power corrupts but I  lack the words.  He did  grasp it a bit when  I  compared Putin to his older brother (by 18 months).  He's a  strong  personality and I  can only hope he'll be  a benign dictator when he takes over. Very Happy

Oh their innocence.


Last edited by Mariehart11 on Sat Sep 24, 2022 2:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
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