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!

 

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!

Stateless.

Now that China is ‘allowing’ families to have a second child, Debbie tells the sad story of those unrecognised 2nd children that already exist.

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Stateless.

You are given a name, after you are born. It’s better than being called Third Sister. You have a name, but no number, no 身份怎 shenfenzhen, Household Registration, an Identity Card.

You have a name and you grow up happy, playing with your older sister, even without a number, without a registration card. You don’t know about those things, you are three, and your sister goes to school. She is five.

Once you are five, you want to go to school too, but you can’t. You want to play with other children in your village, but they don’t want to play with you, their parents shoo them away from you, as if you have the plague.

Your parents don’t take you out, like they do with Older Sister. When visitors come you are hidden, you mustn’t speak. No-one must know. You don’t exist, outside your immediate family.

When your…

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“If you want eggs, take care of the hen”

chickens in grass pastureOddly I found this quote in an article about a Japanese billionaire, Kazuo Inamori, who is a Buddhist Priest, and is talking about his business philosophy.

The hens in this quote refer to the workers in his companies, and he believes that the recipe for success is to look after your staff and your customers.

This advice is directly in opposition to the usual business rules that the shareholders are the people to consider first!

Well as all you fellow poultry keepers will know, a happy and well fed chicken will certainly give you eggs – so there might be more than a grain of truth in this quote – smile.

This philosophy could equally apply to any organisation, and even to politics – wouldn’t it be nice if the current British Government thought again about how to re-organise the tax credit system, instead of trying to starve the workers!

If you want to read the original article please click HERE

Some more pictures of Sennybridge Agricultural Show

As I said in my last post Fancy Dress on a Pony, I took loads of pictures at the Sennybridge Agricultural Show on the 5th of September, so I thought I’d put up random selection of them today.

the local hunt's display in the ring, with the hills in the background

the local hunt’s display in the ring, with the hills in the background

I will be sending a link to these posts to the Committee, so I hope if you were there, you get a chance to see them!  I can’t identify anyone in them and nor am I sure who won the rosettes – if anyone would like to let me know I will add the names to the photo captions.

To see the captions just hover over the pictures or to see the full sized photo click on them and they will turn into a slide show.

around the field

a selection of the crafts on display

a selection from the food & produce marquee

I also have another set of photos of the amazing display of the history of tractors – which I will sort out and put up in another post.

Fancy Dress – on a Pony!

I went to Sennybridge Agricultural Show yesterday, and among some very fascinating events they put on, the Fancy Dress Parade they organised for young riders was a joy to watch!

Here are a few of the photographs I took …in fact I took so many photos at the show that I will be splitting them into various posts. (see also HERE)

To see the photos as a slide show, just click on any one of them and you will find the larger versions to scroll thro’.

To see some Suffolk sheep dyed yellow – yes really – that were also at the show – click here!

Sennybridge is in the Brecon Beacon area of South Wales