Category: ART & LEISURE

Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th Birthday

Dame Vera Lynn

Giant projection slide of Vera Lynn on the iconic white cliffs of Dover.

Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th Birthday

Dame Vera Lynn on her 100th  Birthday.

During World War 2 (WWll) Vera Lynn was known as the ‘forces sweetheart’ and was massively popular.

Born in London 20th March 1917, she became an actress singer and songwriter. During the war years, her songs  “We’ll Meet Again“, “The White Cliffs of Dover“, “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” and “There’ll Always Be an England“. became iconic and a tonic for troops and forces fighting in the war. The white cliffs of Dover were the last part of Britain troops saw as they departed on ships across the Channel to fight. Also the cliff were a  welcoming sight on their return home.

My late father was a WW2 soldier in the British army(known as Desert Rats) fighting in Egypt.

Vera Lynn undertook concert tours in Burma, Egypt and India for the troops. She remained popular after the war, appearing in movies and on radio & TV.  At the age of 92, Vera became the oldest artist ever to top UK music charts with a melody of her famous songs. She outsold outselling both the Arctic Monkeys and the Beatles.

My favourite rock group Pink Floyd even had a track about her in their superb album ‘The Wall’.

Vera

Whenever my wife hears anything about Vera Lynn she would burst into song of We’ll meet again

Masks

 

Masks, photo by PH Morton

Masks

#1 Noh Mask

#2 Zo-Onna Mask

#3 Hannya Mask, represents a female demon

#4 Hanakobu Akujo

#5 Uba

These masks can be currently and readily admired at the V&A Museum, East Asian gallery.

Masks are used for protection, disguise, performance and entertainment.

The above masks were Japanese and were sculpted from wood.  They were based from the 14th century classical Japanese theatre called Noh which was much loved and patronised by the Shogun, supreme military leader.

Silver Speaks @ V&A

Animus, by Kevin Grey,
Photo PH Morton

Silver Speaks @ V&A

The above beautiful shining solid sliver abstract fine silver work which is an exhibit, rather caught my eye. The silver smith craftsman made five and from what I learned cost £72,000.00 each. If I were a multi millionaire+. I think I would indulge myself 🙂

The Maker’s diagonally stamped Hallmark can just be seen near the top.

This is just one of many wonderful silver work exhibits many dating back hundreds of years, in the ‘Silver Speaks’ exhibition, held in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The V&A is well worth a visit if you can when in London.

 

The Age of Innocence

Age of Innocence, V&A, photo by JMorton

The Age of Innocence

The above marble sculpture of a young girl was by Alfred Drury.  It was signed and dated in 1897. Apparently it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1897.  It is now housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The young model for this work was Grace Doncaster, who was a daughter of one of Drury’s friend.

I was very taken with the facial feature of this bust.  The girl has such a sweet innocence about her.  Her plump cheeks and rounded chin are so lifelike!

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

Snuff Bottle, V&A Museum, photo by JMorton

Snuff Bottle – Qing Dynasty

The above object caught my attention immediately, not only because it was exquisitely beautiful but I remember I have a similar one at home, which Peter got me as a gift a couple of years ago.

I thought it was a perfume bottle.  It was only during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum two days ago that I learnt it was a snuff bottle, which was used during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

Smoking a tobacco was prohibited during the Qing Dynasty, therefore nicotine loving Chinese and Mongolian people had resorted to sniffing powdered tobacco contained in snuff bottles.  Inhaling finely ground tobacco was allowed as consumption was deemed medicinal at that time.

The snuff bottles were constructed as tactile as possible as they are carried by hand replacing the snuff boxes favoured by Europeans.  There were really beautiful, work of art, snuff bottles as they were a symbol of your position, how high up you were in society.  Sharing a snuff during the 16th century China was a form of greetings.

Wonderful to learn new things.  I now know that my ‘perfume bottle’ is actually a snuff bottle.  Where is the tobacco?!!! 🙂

Happy Song Collection

flower meadow, photo by JMorton

There are songs that makes you feel instinctively happy regardless of the lyrics.  I think it has to do with the tempo of the song.

I felt a lightness of being.

Happy Song Collection

My list comprises of the following:

Day Dream Believer, the Monkees – this song always gets me clapping in tune with the music.   Happy clappy indeed.

In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Gangnam Style, Psy

Blue, Eiffel 65

Hey Ya, Outcast

Where is the Love, The Black Eyed Peas

Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani

Push the Button, Sugababes

Mickey, Toni Basil

Girls Just Want to have Fun, Cyndi Lauper

Rasputin, Boney M

Numa Numa, Dragostea Din

Barbie Girl, Aqua

Nobody, Wonder Girls

Coming Around Again / Itsy Bitsy Spider – Carly Simon

Fugees & Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly

Destined to Love You – Chinese Drama

Destined to Love You

Destined to Love You – Chinese Drama

This drama is very underrated.   Destined to Love You has the potential to be popular internationally, if not globally, if only all the episodes are given an English subtitles, allowing wider audience to enjoy it fully.

It has the charm comparable to those massively loved British Carry On films, sophisticated intelligence of the Monty Python and satirical comedy of Mel Brooks, The Producers.

The drama is a corroboration of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

I fell in love with Destined to Love You the moment I saw the first episode.  It was so engaging. I wanted to see more.

There were great chemistry between the love triangle played beautifully by Chen Qiao En (aka Joe chen), Jia Nia Liang and Bosco Wong.   The chemistry was such that you would be happy that anyone of the two leading men will get the girl (Joe Chen).

Apparently Jia Nia Liang really wanted to make the drama that he willingly had his pay cut.  He was so good on the drama.  You just fall in love with his antics which are sometimes excruciatingly funny. I have never laughed so much watching a tv program.

Below is a synopsis I cut and pasted.  I just could not put into words what the story is all about from my own point of me; there just too many ‘choice’ scenes that I would like to include and therefore would probably curtail your enjoyment if I give too much away.

Qian Bao Bao is on the run from creditors with her sick mother. She meets Xiao Han on the train, who offers her hope for curing her mother. But when an assassination attempt results in Xiao Han falling off the train, Bao Bao feels she has no choice but to take her place. Thus she assumes the role of a psychology instructor at a prestigious military school, and becomes entangled in a in a love triangle and some dangerous politics while trying to hide her true identity.

Please Chinese translator, kindly complete the rest of the subtitles for the dramas, please, please, please!

Dramacool needs translation from episode 22 – 41.  Please

 

 

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Shrimps, photo by PH Morton

Prawns Vs Shrimp

Having grown up in the Philippines, we call these delicious crustaceans as shrimps rather than prawns.  Apparently prawns is the term used in the UK and Australia while in the USofA they tend to use the term shrimps.

I further found out that both the words: prawns and shrimps are English in origin.  The prawns are supposed to be larger than the shrimps. But to really tell a prawn from a shrimp is to look at their legs.  The first three pairs of legs in prawns have pincers while in shrimps, only the first two pairs are claw-like.

Well I don’t think I would be really bothered whether I was eating a prawn or a shrimp as they are both manna from heaven. They are both a cause for taste-buds jubilation. 😉