Deadly Women (with Matt Fullerty)


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not Great Britain, but Dear England

Not Great Britain, but Dear England

Dear England, how I love you,
I will never leave your side.
No other land is calling me...
'With thee I will abide'.

Your towns are steeped in history
From centuries long gone by.
Cathedrals grand and beautiful
Reach high towards the sky.

All nature wakes from early dawn
In England in the spring,
When tiny lambs demure are born
And choirs of children sing.

Such splendour shines in summer
Emerald leaves adorn each tree,
Sweet roses of all colours bloom
with imposing dignity.

Sad memories of a battle fought
Some seventy years ago
Live on within the minds of men
As the British archives show.

O Queen and Country so beloved
Great poets exalt your name...
Distinguished seat of learning
A majestic hall of fame.

I walk along your peaceful shores
My heart is filled with pride,
And with tears of joy I sign a pledge
'With thee I shall abide'.

Joyce Hemsley


Thank you, Joyce!

You can see the original poem here.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Green Card maze!

The Green Card process for acquiring Permanent Resident status in the United States can be a real maze. I should know - I've been building up to the end of the process for six years. I'm pleased to say I've now received my 'Conditional' Green Card. This means that in two years my case is reviewed again (with a second interview).

At that time, if all is well, I receive the holy grail of Permanent Resident Status - a 10-year card instead of the conditional 2-year card! But that's all in the future...

For now, I'm happy to make it through Stage 1 of the Green Card good times. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to ask them in the Comments to this post. I can at least convey my experience to you, which may be helpful.

Cheers, America!
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning..."

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), the poet and art critic, was born in Lancaster in 1869. He worked at the British Museum before going to war, having studied at Trinity College, Oxford where he won the Newdigate poetry prize. Whilst on the staff of the British Museum he developed an expertise in Chinese and Japanese art.

Aside from his best known poem For The Fallen (1914), most notably the fourth stanza which adorns numerous war memorials, Binyon published work on Botticelli and Blake among others. He returned to the British Museum following the war. His Collected Poems was published in 1931.

For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Socialite inspiration behind Miss Moneypenny

Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny & Roger Moore as James Bond 007

Lois Maxwell as Miss Moneypenny & Roger Moore as James Bond 007

In the spirit of what is most definitely Bond season, we have more news from the slick, Brit spy and his creator Ian Fleming.

Ian Fleming’s true inspiration for M’s no nonsense secretary Miss Moneypenny has been revealed as society hostess and bright young thing of the 1920s, Loelia Ponsonby.

The wife of the 2nd duke of Westminster, Ponsonby was said to be a close friend of the 007 author after meeting just before the 2nd World War.

The link between the two was made public after correspondence between the pair came to light. It was the impersonal, flirtatious manner of the letters, which mirrored the exchanges between Bond and Miss Moneypenny.

In the original novels he gave the Duchess’ name to the secertary before changing it to Miss Moneypenny in On Her Majesty’s Service. This all occurred long before the celebrated film franchise kicked off.

The letters, which are to be auctioned at Christies in London, contain playful exchanges such as, ‘shall I come and wake you with a kiss’ and ‘I shall sleep outside (I said outside) your door and live on Luft and Liebe (air and love)’. Although the letters may suggest otherwise it is thought the two never actaully had a relationship, much like Bond and Moneypenny.

For the diary:
The collection of letters go under the hammer at Christies on 13 November. Visit the site here.

2008 also marks the centenary of the birth of the world’s most famous spy novelist. Click below to watch a clip of Fleming talks about his fictitious hero:


Dean Samways October 23, 2008 The Scribbler
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Monday, November 09, 2009

National Novel Writing Month - up and running!

The writers are off - for National Novel Writing Month 2009, which runs the length of November.

There are certainly people who are down on National Novel Writing Month - this link at Pimp My Blog for example. Editors and agents are thrilled about the possibility of another mountain of submission from work knocked together in a single month. But then that's what makes their jobs so glamorous, right?

Personally, I like the fact that National Novel Writing Month treats writing like running, like a muscle you have to exercise, that you have to get comfortable with. Then you can write/run faster and probably better. That's the idea at least. What do you think?

"On a dark and stormy night..."

Hey, I made the runner speak!
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Marine Corps Marathon - the finish line!

Before I forget, the best part of the Marine Corps Marathon 2009 was, of course, finishing it. I knew this before 'the race' started, but somehow I was reminded at about mile 18, while what were formerly known as 'my legs' gave out. All of a sudden, the muscles above and behind my knees decided to rebel. My mind was supposed to override this feeling (mind over matter) but somehow the body proved stronger!

Anyway, I did finish and was mighty glad. I was then pleasantly surprised to learn the finishers' medals were awarded by the Marines themselves. Somehow the task now felt even more Herculean, and I was ready to bask in the brief glory of feeling like a Marine for about 5 seconds. Worth it? Well, I'm not sure I'm up for Marathon Number 4 just yet (I did the London in 2000 and New York in 2004). But it's definitely the best part to get a medal to make sense of those miles from 18-26, which remain a blur. Know any good knee doctors?
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Sunday, November 08, 2009

The man throws his hat in the ring!

Congrats to Sir Amit Goel, who is getting hitched today! The man resisted taking the big step for 35 years, but could hold out no longer. Have a good one, AG, and good luck riding that horse into the ceremony. 200 yards - you can make it!

As an Indian-American, the big man was thinking of hiring an elephant to arrive at his wedding. Apparently it costs $18,000 to hire an elephant. On the other hand, it costs $500 to hire a horse, still quite a sum. Amit is now a certified jockey in the Commonwealth of Virginia :-)

Congratulations, AG and Kelly!
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