American Pie – the song – by Don McLean

 

iuI’ve just been re-united with some of my old CD’s – in the process of moving to West Wales, there were some boxes that didn’t have labels and so didn’t get opened until now.

I picked one out at random, and was back in the nostalgia of the 1970’s! It was. of course, this one – well actually a compilation of his popular songs – and just played the whole CD thro’ – this was the first track, which I’d always liked, but I had bought the CD for his song – Vincent – about Van Gough and his painting of Starry Night – a poster of which I once had on my wall, when I was a student.

Wikipedia tells us that “American Pie” is a song by American folk rock singer and songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was a number-one US hit for four weeks in 1972………..

The repeatedly mentioned “day the music died” refers to the 1959 plane crash which killed early rock and roll performers Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens. (The crash was not known by that name until after McLean’s song became a hit.) The meaning of the other lyrics has long been debated, and for decades, McLean declined to explain the symbolism behind the many characters and events mentioned. However, the overall theme of the song is the loss of innocence of the early rock and roll generation as symbolized by the plane crash which claimed the lives of three of its heroes.[2]

You can find the full lyrics here, as they are too long for this short blog post, and there is a fascinating article on the BBC news site, written when the original lyrics were sold for $1.2 million in April 2015, which goes into the meaning of the lyrics in great detail.

All I can contribute to a subject that has been endlessly debated over the years, is that the song is about what Don McLean was doing on the “day the music died”.

Enjoy!  This one is for Orde who helped me move some of my stuff around last week, and  when he asked about this song, I couldn’t even remember Buddy Holly’s name until we looked it up – smile.

Please do contribute your memories of the song – if you are old enuf to have them – by leaving a comment at the bottom of this blog!

 

And a few more chicks ….

chicks in lakeland box – Version 2

This is the second lot of chicks I hatched a few weeks ago, they are about 2 or 3 days old here.  Once again, eggs I bought thro’ ebay.  They are another batch of  buff sussex, from an address far away from the supplier of the first lot, so that I can be sure that they are unrelated and I’ll be able to breed them – which is the plan.  Hopefully I’ll have a few chicks to sell in the spring/summer, and later some very pretty hens at their point of lay.

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the same chicks before I found a box for them!

There are also some white silkies in this batch – all are growing well – in fact, I have had to replace this box with a much larger one – but first –

king of the water bottle

this buff sussex chick has managed to jump up on the water bottle – and is now wondering how to get down again!

Their new ‘temporary’ home – they are about 3 weeks old here – and have grown so big that I had to give them two brooders – those things in the box with them – they provide heat for the chicks, and keep them comfortable.

chicks at 3 wks

Cardiff Docks: ‘Below the Bridge’ 1982/83

A selection of photographs I took of Butetown and the Docks area of Cardiff before the redevelopment – the book has been in my study for years, and is a little tatty!

If you hover over the pictures, you will be able to read the captions.  Click on a single picture and you will be able to see an enlarged version within a slide show.

 

WHAT I HAVE NEVER FEATURED ON THIS BLOG are a few of the hundreds of shots I took of Cardiff Docks for the then WELSH INDUSTRIAL & MARITIME MUSEUM that used to be just a stones’ throw from the wooden Norwegian Church which is just by the new Welsh Assembly building.  

This was back in 1982/3, when three of us were employed on one of those ‘community schemes’, and as well as me photographing the area to memorialise it, we interviewed, on tape, as many locals as we could, did as much research on the history of the area that time allowed and at the end of the year’s contract, the Museum staged an exhibition of our work, and published the ‘book’ we wrote – which was called “BELOW THE BRIDGE”.

The idea of redevelopment was already in the air, although not yet agreed, and it was the foresight of the then Curator, to put this project together – altho’ I have to say the ‘politics’ within such a small museum was vicious, and it wasn’t a very happy year, which is perhaps why I’ve never talked much about it – smile.

I knew the area so well at the time, and had wandered into every foot of the old Docks – the pubs and clubs, on some of the ships and the businesses around the area – and community hall – but I get totally lost there now!

The book and the archive seem to have vanished from public sight – they must have been lodged somewhere, as that was the point of the whole project – but I’ve no idea where.

I’ve recently reconnected to Linked-In, and a few people were asking what kind of photographs I used to take, when I was a ‘serious’ photographer, and it occurred to me that it would be nice to show the collage above, and use this page to create a mini-portfolio of my work.

Among the other posts I have put up on this blog, there are some of my favourite photos – you can see the set of photos I took in 1981 of the small local mine that until it closed in 1985 still worked with pit ponies HERE

And a still life, taken on large format, that I have played with HERE

And a collage of photos taken at various Agricultural Shows HERE

All comments would be welcome – its nice to get feedback – critical or not – smile.

 

Whose Chair is This?

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At six weeks old the buff sussex and speckled sussex chicks, who you last saw sitting on the roof of the ‘hen house’,  are already up to mischief!

I’ve taken to letting them out of their pen for a couple of hours most days, so they can do some exploring.  I usually sit in this chair watching over them, and enjoying their antics.

The other day, I went inside to answer the phone, and make myself a cup of tea, and forgot about them for a bit – when I went outside again – this is what I found – it made me laugh – and luckily the camera was nearby, so I took this picture.

(By the way, yes, one of the chicks had cut her foot on something, and I did wash it and put some disinfectant on it – she’s fine now!)

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A couple of days later Teeni, my (I think) barbu d’uccle, bantam hen, who has started taking her 3 week old chicks out and about with her, came and visited me when I was potting up some plants – using the old soil from a wooden planter that had rotted – at the bottom at the pots, just as a filler.

Mum is the blur at the back – the chicks are having a great time.  The one on the far right is sitting on the handle of my trowel – so you can see how small they are, but wow – can they fly!

Whose Garden Was This: Tom Paxton

This song has been in my head for a while now – its the ultimate environmental anthem!

“Tell me again, I need to know
The forests had trees, the meadows were green
The oceans were blue, and birds really flew
Can you swear that was true?”

 

Tom Paxton wrote this song for the first Earth Day in 1970. It was originally recorded on the album “6”, and was later covered by John Denver and Vera Lynn. Chords and lyrics can be found at http://ddpro.ucoz.com/tpchords/wgwt.htm.

or:

Whose garden was this?

It must have been lovely

Did it have flowers?

I’ve seen pictures of flowers

And I’d love to have smelled one

Whose river was this? You say it ran freely
Blue was its color, I’ve seen blue in some pictures
And I’d love to have been there

Tell me again, I need to know
The forests had trees, the meadows were green
The oceans were blue, and birds really flew
Can you swear that was true?

Whose gray sky was this? Or was it a blue one?
At night there were breezes, I’ve heard records of breezes
And I’d love to have felt one

Tell me again, I need to know
The forests had trees, the meadows were green
The oceans were blue, and birds really flew
Can you swear that was true?

Whose garden was this?

It must have been lovely

Did it have flowers?

I’ve seen pictures of flowers

And I’d love to have smelled one

 

Call Ducks, Bantams and chicks…..

2call ducks

my two call ducks – brothers who get on really well

I was just sitting in my garden this morning, after feeding all the above, and watching their antics, and thought – Its about time I put a blog up about them all!

Now that I have moved to rural West Wales – for reasons you can find HERE – I can finally keep some chickens again.  I started just looking around the local auction – isn’t it great that poultry auctions are allowed again! – without any intentions of buying, as I hadn’t got anywhere to put them.

But …….I couldn’t resist the two fellas above……….or a lovely pair of bantams – both lots for some reason being very cheap.

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photo taken by my cousin O Eliason – professional photographer – you can tell!

This is the cockerel – does anyone know what breed he is – he and the hen are both very small, so whilst they look very like barbu d’uccles – which I’ve got a soft spot for, I think they might have been crossed with a Lemon millefleur sablepoot.  As you can see, they both ended up in the garden shed, and before long the hen got broody and I gave her a shoe box (you can see the edge of it where he’s resting his leg) which turned out to be just the right size for her!

Three weeks later her tiny chicks arrived – they were about an inch tall.

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I took this one – its slightly out of focus, but then I was trying not to spook her or the chicks

At the same time, I’d bought some eggs off ebay, and put them in my old manual incubator.  Whilst buying eggs by post is about as safe as a bet on the Grand National, I’m glad to say I got 10 chicks – out of 18 eggs.  Buff Sussex and Speckled Sussex.

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the chicks are about a week old here

By this time, I’d managed to get hold of a second hand ‘hen house’, and found someone to put it back together with me, but even tho’ it had wheels, I found I couldn’t move it on my own, so it, and I were stuck!

Luckily my cousin decided to visit and help me out, and by the time the chicks were getting far too active to keep indoors, we’d managed to create a nursery home for them outside.

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Only to find that they were even more active than we thought – its just a hop and a jump onto the roof after all!

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buff sussex chicks making themselves at home on the roof of the hen house!

I’ve since put some netting up, which keeps most of them in, and any circling red kites out – except for one of them, who keeps getting out whatever I do!

Hope you like the pics – I’ll probably post some more – cos I’m just loving having them around me – smile.