START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Nov 10, 2013

A champagne stopper may be the very last thing you consider essential, but in our house we do. I love champagne, but I don't like it to go flat and when we enjoy our takeaway chinese and champagne nights once a week with mum it certainly gets used. So much so that the housing around the sealer has snapped and I need to replace it! The fact that I now need a new champagne stopper made me wonder how many people know about them? You know that very first glass of champagne? The one you carefully poured without the cork popping off or any spilling? There is a knack to opening champagne correctly that my dear father taught me and this little known facet of the sommelier's art has stayed with me always. I don't need a special tool to open my bottle, to date nobody has been hurt by a flying cork and I very rarely spill a drop. I digress.... Why do I need the stopper? Well, the simple reason is that champagne has carbon dioxide from secondary fermentation forced into it under pressure hence the special thick glass bottle and the domed bottom. (Did you know the special bottles and corks were British inventions? Thought not!) Once you have opened your bubbly and carefully poured it drop by precious drop into two or more glasses (carefully because there is so much fizz to settle) that CO2 is no longer under enormous pressure. Like all things confined, the CO2 desperately wants to escape. So, put your champers in the fridge without a cork and it will be flat in short order. The champagne cork is specially shaped to resist accidentally popping off and it is virtually impossible to replace in the bottle. A normal wine stopper will be gradually pushed out by the escaping gas too. (Imagine the little molecules are like prisoners on Death Row when someone has blown a hole in the prison walls... off they scoot!) A champagne stopper is specially designed to confine the gas and maintain the pressure so your bottle of champagne stays bright and bubbly to the very last drop. This little lever action gizmo is easy to use and will last through many, many uses until, as happened in our case, the poor little thing gets trampled underfoot by clumsy feet.... Oh well! Now you know about my little vice! I had better get off to Amazon UK and buy one in time for Champagne Night! Hic!

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Nov 10, 2013 10:45am
Nov 10, 2013

The Cougar is a Gothic romance novel in the tradition of Mary Shelley or Edgar Allen Poe. I wrote it myself and recently published it on kindle for the first time. At present I am waiting for proof copies for the paperback version. Normally I write on musical subjects and I also love to write poetry, so the world of fiction is a new thing for me. What I wanted to do here was to share my love and enthusiasm for British Columbia and its beautiful scenery in the context of a fun book. It is a novel for adults because of its subject matter, it is not pornographic but it is sexually explicit in places. These scenes are essential to the story in a way that the scenes in Lady Chatterley's Lover are but they are not the be all and end all of the tale. When I wrote this, it was in the context of four decades or reading horror fiction and watching horror movies and my vampires are different. They are not evil killers, nor do they have to kill to survive, but there are some scenes of violence obviously. What I wanted to do here was to tell a different story, to pose some moral questions in a light hearted way and though I hope this is a tale that can be enjoyed without deep thought or struggling with deep concepts it does ask some questions about self-acceptance. For instance, coming out is always hard. As Ash Beckham so eloquently says, there is no harder - there is only hard - and the closet is no place to live. Whether the closet is telling someone you love that you are gay, bankrupt, pregnant, suffering from cancer or even - as in Raffaelo's case - that you are a vampire you are still better out than in. In this novel the characters all have their own closet. Owen can't commit to one woman and doesn't want children, Angela is bisexual and Owen's abuse brings her out of denial, Berenice is over five hundred years old and still in mourning for her dead husband, Ingrid is a transexual woman on the rebound from an unhappy break-up with her ex, Raffaelo is a vampire pretending to be a normal man and these secrets hang heavily between the characters as the story flits from Renaissance Italy to modern British Columbia. Finally, as a poet I wanted to describe some of the things I know and find beautiful in this world. My hope is to have written a story that is certainly dark but is not sickeningly horrific. One that has an ending that will leave more questions in your mind. A tale that adults can enjoy however they identify.... A big ask? Only the reader can tell me. It is available to borrow free if you are an Amazon Prime member or to buy if you prefer.

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Nov 10, 2013 8:20am
Nov 1, 2013

I am a frequent flyer between London and Vancouver and one thing I can guarantee as a nervous flyer is that I won't sleep on the flight. That is where a good book comes in and one of the very best was The Dalai Lama's Cat which rescued my sanity on the flight last year. Remembering how I easily frightened myself at 37000 feet with The DaVinci Code then many months later I was weirded out by The Lovely Bones, I looked in the bookstore at Heathrow. So many books, so many promotions.... Eventually I decided to take advantage of an offer and buy two. Now the first choice was 50 Shades of Grey simply because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about, but then I spotted this beautiful cover "The Dalai Lama's Cat". Now I have to say, had I only been allowed one book, 50 Shades of Gray would have gone back on the shelf. Once a cat gets her claws in me, there is no putting it back, but I was allowed two, so I bought them both. Besides which, I live with a Buddhist who also worships cats, so what choice did I have? Now you might guess that 50 Shades was first on my reading list? Wrong! It would wait. There was a cat story to be had. I started in the departure lounge because I had a long wait and by the time we landed in Vancouver I had read from cover to cover. I don't want to spoil the story by giving away too much, except to say that this is a delightful tale about a very sweet little Himalayan cat who is rescued from almost certain death by the Dalai Lama. The terrified kitten is brought back to the monastery where she becomes a cherished member of the household. During the course of her adventures, we discover much about compassion as the Dalai Lama's Cat reveals her new Buddhist insights from a kitty's point of view. It has some surprises along the way too.... Now having read this charming book on the plane, I insisted my friend in Canada should read it and she loved it too, then bringing back to England for Colin to enjoy. So discovering David Michie's book is part of a series has me planning to restock my slowly depleting bookshelves. The only question is, do I wait until I next fly to Vancouver....

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Nov 1, 2013 5:17pm
Oct 22, 2013

Celtic Music is a huge influence on many musicians. I love Celtic Music and for many years I enjoyed singing and playing Celtic music in folk clubs. I had a couple of folk club gigs, but nothing major. This was before Celtic guitar music bounced into the charts as a fashion statement and I would sing Scottish and Irish ballads, play bodhran or guitar along with amateur sessions. These days I have people listening to my Celtic Dream song worldwide and fans in over 40 countries thanks to internet radio. Back then, it was not really big in Lincolnshire, and no internet to reach out of course, but for me it was roots and I loved it. Intro image "Thistle at Tupholme" from my own photo collection. Please do not copy! To this day I am often told my music has a Celtic lyricism to it, which makes me smile as I find this complimentary. Although I have sold my original compositions on-line, the mainstay of most Sibelius Music composers is actually arrangements, so I have arranged folksongs from all over the world for educational use. Best of all, I like the Celtic ones and in this lens I shall present some of them to you! I hope you find it enjoyable.

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 22, 2013 5:13pm
Oct 22, 2013

Hallelujah is one of Leonard Cohen's best loved songs and Hallelujah guitar chords are easy too! If you play the guitar at all, this page will help you. Do you want to sing Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen? Here you will find lyrics, sheet music and even backing tracks for Hallelujah. I love to play Leonard Cohen's songs and have taught guitar for many years, so this page shows you how to play the chords for Hallelujah on the guitar and suggest a guitar picking pattern. Finally, you can buy the sheet music to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah here. Photo of Leonard Cohen from Wikipedia, Creative Commons, courtesy of Rama, edited by myself.

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 22, 2013 8:56am
Oct 18, 2013

Cat Dreams might just be the perfect Christmas gift for your little furry ones. I know my cats love to watch the TV and the computer too whenever there are wildlife shots. Dolcippi has her own particular favourite bird video on Youtube and often insists on watching it. (Thus putting a stop to all of my creative endeavours!) The advert for Foxy Bingo is interesting enough to entice Max away from his food. (Though why a cartoon fox should so fascinate a hungry Persian cat is beyond me.) Bugs on TV always catch Amberleigh's attention, so anything with crickets, butterflies and grasshoppers is very welcome in our house. So what about Cat Dreams a new cat movie with eight layers of sound and plenty of cool garden action? The nicest thing about this video is that it covers all regions. So whether you buy it for your Canadian KittyPie, your British Pussykins or your Aussie Moggy, you won't have to worry about whether it will play. If you have a cat that sleeps all day long and howls and bounces off the furniture for half the night (hello Oliver, I am talking about you sweetie!) this video might help. Mr Olly Purr could watch it with you in the daytime and it will keep him awake at least, rushing around at best. Then, Hey Presto, mummy's first decent night's sleep in a year! The only thing that has me really worried is the idea that people might leave it on loop while they are out. Knowing that cats will hit the screen, try and go behind the TV or even hop on top of it actually frightens me. Imagine leaving it on loop while you go shopping only to return and find the house on fire or an electrocuted cat behind the TV set? No way! My cats watch their wildlife videos under supervision. I get to laugh at their antics and if things get too frantic I can switch it off. Cat safety is really important, would you leave your toddler alone watching TV? No? Then consider very carefully whether it is safe to leave your cats home alone with such a stimulating video! Of course, if you have a wall mounted set and an RCD device that will cut out in the event of something unforeseen, then go for it by all means. Make sure the area underneath your TV is safe, nothing that might hurt a leaping cat, and it should be fine.

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 18, 2013 10:37am
Oct 18, 2013

Cat Dreams might just be the perfect Christmas gift for your little furry ones. I know my cats love to watch the TV and the computer too whenever there are wildlife shots. Dolcippi has her own particular favourite bird video on Youtube and often insists on watching it. (Thus putting a stop to all of my creative endeavours!) The advert for Foxy Bingo is interesting enough to entice Max away from his food. (Though why a cartoon fox should so fascinate a hungry Persian cat is beyond me.) Bugs on TV always catch Amberleigh's attention, so anything with crickets, butterflies and grasshoppers is very welcome in our house. So what about Cat Dreams a new cat movie with eight layers of sound and plenty of cool garden action? The nicest thing about this video is that it covers all regions. So whether you buy it for your Canadian KittyPie, your British Pussykins or your Aussie Moggy, you won't have to worry about whether it will play. If you have a cat that sleeps all day long and howls and bounces off the furniture for half the night (hello Oliver, I am talking about you sweetie!) this video might help. Mr Olly Purr could watch it with you in the daytime and it will keep him awake at least, rushing around at best. Then, Hey Presto, mummy's first decent night's sleep in a year! The only thing that has me really worried is the idea that people might leave it on loop while they are out. Knowing that cats will hit the screen, try and go behind the TV or even hop on top of it actually frightens me. Imagine leaving it on loop while you go shopping only to return and find the house on fire or an electrocuted cat behind the TV set? No way! My cats watch their wildlife videos under supervision. I get to laugh at their antics and if things get too frantic I can switch it off. Cat safety is really important, would you leave your toddler alone watching TV? No? Then consider very carefully whether it is safe to leave your cats home alone with such a stimulating video! Of course, if you have a wall mounted set and an RCD device that will cut out in the event of something unforeseen, then go for it by all means. Make sure the area underneath your TV is safe, nothing that might hurt a leaping cat, and it should be fine.

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 18, 2013 10:37am
Oct 15, 2013

I am a sucker for a good vampire movie and An Interview with the Vampire is a horror movie that I can watch again, and again and again! Remembering how good Anne Rice's original book was, I went to the cinema with some trepidation when this came out so many years ago. Many movie adaptations - notably Edgar Allan Poe stories - just fail to come up to standard compared with the book. Perhaps it is for that reason that Anne Rice did not at first support the movie, but she came on board with a great screenplay and this classic was born. In the 1980s, the horror genre degenerated into a series of bloodbaths and gratuitously violent video nasties that just left the true Gothic horror fans reeling. That seemed to be offset by "spoof horror" movies that seemed to be targeted at students. Neither to me was satisfactory. Now, looking back at those great classic horror movies, these more recent masterpieces like An Interview with the Vampire , Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have taken us back to the original idea. A good horror movie should be like a Greek tragedy, the characters should be real, the action on a grand scale and we should experience a catharsis that leaves us questioning the human condition itself. Without An Interview with the Vampire, I doubt there would have been a Twilight series either... a series I love! The reason I find this movie so very special is how easy it is to empathize not only with Louis, the reluctant "vegetarian" vampire, but also with the child vampire Claudia, who is played by a very young Kristen Dunst, and Tom Cruise's evil vampire Lestat whom Louis and Claudia attempt to murder. Whereas the vampires live a sumptious lifestyle (giving rise to great period drama scenes), this contrasts with an endless search for their own kind that culminates in meeting Armand. Louis is spellbound by Armand, the oldest vampire (Antonio Banderas), but ultimately this leads to tragedy for Claudia and her "mother". Once more Louis is alone, which sets him up for the interview with the news reporter. What eventually kills vampires it turns out is future shock as they are unable to adapt mentally to the speed of modern life. The vampire coven turns out to be so evil and hate driven that we are bound to be on Claudia's side despite her voracious killing of human beings. Nothing in this movie is black and white. Morality is relative to the backdrop of murder and human mortality. There are evil vampires and there are good vampires which is perplexing! I loved the novel, and I loved the way the movie brings this all to life. I have watched An Interview with the Vampire many times now, and I am sure I will be watching it many times more!

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 15, 2013 7:13am
Oct 14, 2013

I am a sucker for a good vampire movie and An Interview with the Vampire is a horror movie that I can watch again, and again and again! Remembering how good Anne Rice's original book was, I went to the cinema with some trepidation when this came out so many years ago. Many movie adaptations - notably Edgar Allan Poe stories - just fail to come up to standard compared with the book. Perhaps it is for that reason that Anne Rice did not at first support the movie, but she came on board with a great screenplay and this classic was born. In the 1980s, the horror genre degenerated into a series of bloodbaths and gratuitously violent video nasties that just left the true Gothic horror fans reeling. That seemed to be offside by "spoof horror" movies that seemed to be targeted at students. Neither to me was satisfactory. Now looking back at the great classic horror movies and more recently masterpieces like An Interview with the Vampire , Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein have taken us back to the original idea. A good horror movie should be like a Greek tragedy, the characters should be real, the action on a grand scale and we should experience a catharsis that leaves us questioning the human condition itself. Without An Interview with the Vampire, I doubt there would have been a Twilight series either... a series I love! The reason I find this movie so very special is how easy it is to empathize not only with Louis, the reluctant "vegetarian" vampire, but also with the child vampire Claudia, who is played by a very young Kristen Dunst, and Tom Cruise's evil vampire Lestat whom Louis and Claudia attempt to murder. Whereas the vampires live a sumptious lifestyle (giving rise to great period drama scenes), this contrasts with an endless search for their own kind that culminates in meeting Armand. Louis is spellbound by Armand, the oldest vampire (Antonio Banderas), but ultimately this leads to tragedy for Claudia and her "mother". Once more Louis is alone, which sets him up for the interview with the news reporter. What eventually kills vampires it turns out is future shock as they are unable to adapt mentally to the speed of modern life. The vampire coven turns out to be so evil and hate driven that we are bound to be on Claudia's side despite her voracious killing of human beings. Nothing in this movie is black and white. Morality is relative to the backdrop of murder and human mortality. There are evil vampires and there are good vampires which is perplexing! I loved the novel, and I loved the way the movie brings this all to life. I have watched An Interview with the Vampire many times now, and I am sure I will be watching it many times more!

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 14, 2013 10:18am
Oct 12, 2013

Coming Out Late is a new book about a pretty amazing subject. We are all used to the idea of teenagers coming out as gay to their parents, aren't we? Equally well, film stars and entertainers announcing they are lesbian or gay is commonplace too, but what if grandma was a lesbian? What if grandpa is gay? What if mom wants to marry another woman? How would you deal with an older person in your family coming out late? Would you give them the love and support they need to become who they really are? October 11th is National Coming Out Day and so this month seems an appropriate time to consider why some people spend a lifetime in the closet. Even today, there are men and women who do their best for social or religious reasons to fit into a way of life that just does not work out for them emotionally. Coming Out Late tells the story of a woman who lived a straight lifestyle until her fifties. This is not all that unusual and is not confined to women. As you will see, there are some men who live a lifetime in denial. Reading this book will lead you into the writer's world of self discovery within the context of a loving and Christian family background. Antoinette Desiree Artot is not imprisoned by fundamentalist views, but she is nevertheless a prisoner of Christian conscience, traditional upbringing, conservative values and consequently the belief that any romantic (let alone sexual) attraction to her own sex was wicked. Artot details how she narrowly avoids suicide and self harming behaviour in her teens and comes through this youthful identity crisis into a series of heterosexual relationships - some good and some not so good - that last half a lifetime. All seems well, allowing for occasional crushes and confusion, until one day, now middle-aged, Antoinette is put into circumstances that make it impossible to deny her feelings. She becomes involved in a dangerous relationship at a very vulnerable time of her life and experiences a mental breakdown. Her breakdown is written about with frank honesty. Happily she discovers love and comes through this dark period stronger and happier. The book goes on to deal with practical issues around coming out as bisexual. (How could a lesbian have loved men?) It details her worry of coming out to a Christian father who turns out to be accepting and loving and changes in the relationship with her former partner who remains a loyal and supportive friend throughout this life changing identity crisis.

Imported from external blog

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted: Oct 12, 2013 4:51am

 

 Next >
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

Lisa Gabriel
, 3, 10 children
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Shares by Type:
All (633) | Blog (620) | Alert (5) | Message (8)
SHARES FROM LISA'S NETWORK
Feb
18
by Barb K.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\r\\nHello my C2 Family, \\r\\nFirst let me say Thank You to those of you who have so sweetly fwd my posts. You are SO AWESOME!! I will never forget your help. Anytime I can repay the favour, please tell me. Second, my Submit button has disappeared lea...
Jan
19
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\n \\\"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.\\\"  (Matthew 5:5)Who are the meek?  I guess it depends who you ask, but I think the meaning implied in the passage above has somehow been lost over the years.  Perhaps t...
Jan
12
(0 comments  |  discussions )
  It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul.  There is much to be said about this.  You can see emotion through the eyes, can you not?  You can often tell if a person is lying or not by looking into their eyes.  Wha...
Jan
11
(0 comments  |  discussions )
When we are born, we are aware of our spiritual self.  Actually, this is the part of ourselves with which we are most aware!  The body is new.  Wow!  Look at those fingers and toes!  As to the mental aspect of self, we were ha...
Jan
5
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nI no longer choose to trust the medical system with caring for my health in any significant way.  If I need stitches or an emergency accident occurs.  But for my ongoing health care, no thank you.  I do not believe in their ways.\\nI o...
Dec
31
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nThe turning of the calendar year \\nbrings hope of new things, but the truth is that new things occur every \\nmoment in time.  And just as we have the tradition of making resolutions\\n on New Year\\\'s Day, we can also resolve to change how we exp...
Dec
29
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nChristmas is for everyone, whether Christian or not.  Christmas is an occurrence of something available to everyone, regardless of their indoctrination.  It is rather according to faith.  Faith in what?  Faith in the Power of God...
Dec
24
by Good H.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nNorthern California Beach Reading 500 CPM on 12/20/2013 - Fukushima Radiation Is Here. Via @ AGreenRoad. \\r\\nFr om Rense; \\\"The above video was taken today with an Inspector Plus Geiger counter by \\\'Dave\\\', giving readings on a Northern Californ...
Dec
22
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\n\\n\\n\\n\\n\\n \\n\\n\\n\\\"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.\\\" (John 1:1)\\nEVERYTHING begins with spoken word.  It is words which bring thoughts into the distinguishable world to be perceived by others.&n...
Dec
19
(0 comments  |  0 discussions )
\\n\\n\\nThank you so much to Pilar Farnsworth, our dear friend and Associate Minister at Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center, for writing this week\\\'s message for us.  I asked Pilar to write to us in preparation for the Winter Solstice on...