The Sad Story of Prince Friedrich
May29

The Sad Story of Prince Friedrich

The sad story of Prince Friedrich of Hesse. Who was the prince? He was a grandchild of Queen Victoria – the son of her daughter Alice. Princess Alice married Grand Duke Louis, a member of the German royal family. Friedrich was their fifth child. When just a toddler, he was diagnosed as having haemophilia which, as we know, was hereditary  and passed down from Queen Victoria herself. Although Friedrich’s parents were...

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Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès
May28

Princess Gabriella, Countess of Carladès

Who is Princess Gabriella? You see, the thing is this. I have decided who Prince George ought to marry. OK, I know that he was born in 2013 so marriage is hardly on his list of priorities right now.  So yes, I’m a bit premature. Marriage might not be on the cards for another twenty five or thirty years by which time I might no longer be around (I’ll be amazed if I am) so I’m going to get my selection in now. I know...

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Grand Prix Gourmet: Quiche Monaco
May27

Grand Prix Gourmet: Quiche Monaco

Quiche Monaco recipe Everyone should have a great quiche recipe in their repertoire. Quiche is incredibly adaptable and you can vary the fillings depending on your taste and the ingredients you have to hand. This delicious version features wonderful goat cheese and some additional fabulous flavours. Use your favourite pastry recipe or, which is what I do these days, use frozen. The great thing about quiche is that it can be served as...

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Whispered Lies, by Kathleen Brooks, A Review
May25

Whispered Lies, by Kathleen Brooks, A Review

An Excellent Audiobook! Whispered Lies was a “must listen” when I noticed on Audible that Therese Plummer is the narrator. She has been a favorite for years now. Ms. Plummer is one of the best. Her voices for women and men both are clear and so well done. Variations in voices as well make it easy for the listener to be clear who is speaking. Please listen to the sample here, see if you won’t be as drawn in as I was. The Story...

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When is Towel Day?
May25

When is Towel Day?

What is Towel Day? I’m surprised that you have to ask. Although if you are a Douglas Adams fan – and in particular a devoteé of the amazing Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy – you are very familiar with Towel Day. The Guide is a fictional (um, obviously) handbook for those who are hitching their way through space and everything that entails. Should you ever find yourself hitchhiking in the galaxy (and you never...

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Frank Stranahan
May22

Frank Stranahan

Fort Lauderdale history: Frank Stranahan. It’s generally accepted that Frank Stranahan from Ohio was the first permanent resident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When he arrived, Fort Lauderdale didn’t actually exist. It was a settlement of just handful of people on the New River. Seminole Indians lived in the Everglades nearby but in general, the are was inhospitable with a stifling climate, dangerous wildlife and lots and...

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When Fats Waller Met Al Capone
May21

When Fats Waller Met Al Capone

 When Fats Waller Met Al Capone. Fats should have seen it coming. But playing at the Sherman House Hotel, in the swinging heart of Chicago’s loop, he must have felt safe from the mob. As the song goes, the joint was jumpin’. Fats was only 21 years old in ’26 but he was already a big draw. He’d been making records for four years and was about to enter his first peak period. His solo stride piano and pipe organ...

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The Mystery of the Saddleworth Moor Body
May20

The Mystery of the Saddleworth Moor Body

The mystery of the body found on Saddleworth Moor. One morning a cyclist found the dead body of an elderly man in a remote spot on a moor with a grisly history. At first, the cyclist thought the man was sleeping or resting, but no. When the police arrived it was discovered that the man had no identification, no cellphone — and it seemed that he had taken his own life. But who was he? The body was discovered on December 12th,...

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Secura’s Anti Theft Convertipack, A Review
May19

Secura’s Anti Theft Convertipack, A Review

Three Bags In One The Secura RFID blocking anti-theft convertipack is much more than a backpack. This well made bag can be worn as a shoulder tote, a cross-body bag, or a backpack. From Lewis N. Clark, with their wonderful products, this one has turned out to be even handier than expected. Three bags in one. You can’t go wrong with that. Useful for all varieties of events from shopping to hiking to travel, it helps you stay organized...

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Scandal:  John Lennon and Alma Cogan
May19

Scandal: John Lennon and Alma Cogan

Yoko Ono did not break up the Lennon’s marriage. Cynthia Lennon, the first wife of John, died on April 1st, 2015. Four days later, a newspaper broke the story that she had told a reporter, back in 1989, that it wasn’t Yoko Ono that had split up the Lennon marriage. Cynthia had revealed, the newspaper said, that the breakup of the marriage was due to a once-famous but then-fading British singer called Alma Cogan (pictured)....

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We Are Legion (We Are Bob), by Dennis E Taylor
May18

We Are Legion (We Are Bob), by Dennis E Taylor

So Imaginative! We are Legion is definitely a phenomenon.  Definitely one you shouldn’t miss. How author, Dennis Taylor,  put together an entire universe in such detail, is fascinating. The complexities it considers are mind boggling. Yet he covers the details so well. It’s a book I will listen to again, very soon.  I know I missed some details while pondering the scope of their activities.  There is so much in the story...

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Surrounded by Enemies: Bryce Zabel
May17

Surrounded by Enemies: Bryce Zabel

‘JFK was not killed at Dallas’. This is the premise of the fascinating novel, Surrounded by Enemies. Author Bryce Zabel has woven a plausible and thoroughly-imagined fictional series of events that might have taken place had Kennedy suirvived. Maybe you have your own theory about how America would have developed over the years if Kennedy had lived? It’s a subject that many people – the general public and expert...

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Who Was Ellen Church?
May15

Who Was Ellen Church?

Ellen Church: The first air hostess. In 1930, Ellen was ideally qualified to become the first air hostess. She was a registered pilot and a qualified nurse. In those days, airlines wouldn’t employ female pilots (for reasons known only to them) but Ellen persuaded them that cabin crew should be trained in nursing. Flying was a rather hazardous business in those days — you only have to think of the large number of...

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The Loudness of Jack Bruce
May14

The Loudness of Jack Bruce

“Cream’s last year was extremely painful for me. When we started in 1966, Eric and Jack had one Marshall each. Then it became a stack, then a double stack and finally a triple stack. By 1968, I was just the poor bastard stuck in the middle of these incredible noise-making things. It was ridiculous. I used to get back to the hotel and my ears were roaring.” Ginger Baker, Drummer: Cream Jack Bruce had been playing upright...

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Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Grand Prix Gourmet, Spain
May13

Shrimp in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Grand Prix Gourmet, Spain

  Spain is famous for its delicious satisfying cuisine, with certain dishes in particular.  Paella, gazpacho, flan, to name a few.  But there are so many other wonderful dishes, many including shrimp or other seafood.  This is a favorite featuring shrimp in a rich tomato sauce, spiced up with red chili pepper. It sounds wonderful! Since their schedule is quite different from the usual American schedule, this main dish is usually...

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Kathleen Kennedy
May13

Kathleen Kennedy

Four months before he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, American president John Kennedy visited Ireland. Most people thought that he then flew directly to London from the US but in fact, he detoured to the tiny village of Edensor in England. There he laid a wreath on the grave of his younger sister, Kathleen. How had she died and why was she buried in a country churchyard in Derbyshire? Who was Kathleen Kennedy? Kathleen Cavendish...

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ValuJet Flight 592
May11

ValuJet Flight 592

The crash of ValuJet Flight 592. This was the worst aviation accident in Florida and happened on May 11th, 1996. The plane crashed into the Florida Everglades. There were no survivors. The aircraft took off from Dallas-Fort Worth at 8.20 in the morning. It was bound for Miami and there was a scheduled stop in Atlanta. Everything went as usual. At 2.30 in the afternoon, the plane was cleared for takeoff from Miami Airport for its...

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Bob Marley
May11

Bob Marley

Bob Marley Being from England, it always surprises me to discover that people have English ancestry. Did you know that Bob Marley’s father was English? Bob’s mother was only eighteen when she married Norval Marley – he was about sixty and the supervisor of a plantation in Jamaica. Bob was the result, although the couple split up when he was just a baby and Norval died ten years later. Bob rarely spoke about him in...

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The Cavendon Women: Barbara Taylor Bradford
May10

The Cavendon Women: Barbara Taylor Bradford

The Cavendon Women: Barbara Taylor Bradford This is exactly the sort of book to choose when you need a little light, but dramatic reading. It’s set in the nineteen twenties and features the lives of the members of an aristocratic family in England. You’ll certainly see how the other half lived. But the characters in the book are strangely appealing and you’ll be drawn in by the trials and complexities of their lives...

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Occupied by the Germans in WW2: The ChanneI Islands
May09

Occupied by the Germans in WW2: The ChanneI Islands

Under Nazi rule: Jersey, Alderney, Sark and Guernsey The scene that you see above is a typical one and shows the British island of Jersey before the Second World War. What a peaceful scene it is. The castle overlooks the calm, blue sea. Jersey cows are contentedly grazing. There is rolling countryside and a man and boy sit enjoying the scenery and the peace of the island. But this traditional and sleepy, rural way of life was to...

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The Princesses and V.E Day
May08

The Princesses and V.E Day

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, 1945. On May 7th, 1945, the BBC interrupted a broadcast of piano music to declare that the following day would henceforth be known as ‘Victory in Europe Day’. Hitler had killed himself several days before and the German forces had surrendered. On the following day the crowds outside Buckingham Palace were greater than they had been for the coronation of the king, George VII.  The crowds...

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The Sinking of the Lusitania
May07

The Sinking of the Lusitania

Why is the Titanic better known than the Lusitania? It seems that the fate of the Titanic captured the imagination of the public much more than that of the Lusitania. Yet it seems that the story of the Lusitania is more dramatic,if not more so. They both ended up at the bottom of the ocean, of course, but whereas the Titanic met its end because of an iceberg, the Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine during the First World...

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Ivy Benson
May06

Ivy Benson

Who was Ivy Benson? Have you heard of Ivy Benson? I doubt you have but her story is fascinating. Unusually, she was the leader of a swing band in England during the Second World War – and it was an all-girls band. They were incredibly popular. Women came into their own during World War Two. They drove trucks and buses, flew planes, worked as machinists and engineers, worked decoding messages and in general, took over the jobs of...

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Mexican Cabbage Salad
May04

Mexican Cabbage Salad

Mexican Cabbage Salad Mexican Cabbage Salad is another recipe I’ve tried to replicate from a favorite local restaurant in San Diego. Cinco de Mayo or anytime, it’s a family favorite. It brings back memories of leisurely dinners complete with margaritas, chips and salsa, and friends. We often enjoyed sharing one of these salads with our dinner order. Usually we make coleslaw with mayo, but this is so crisp and refreshing with oil and...

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Plot vs. Character, by Author D. M. Annechino
May04

Plot vs. Character, by Author D. M. Annechino

Spotlight On:  “More Than A Soldier” We are so pleased to feature an article written by D. M. Annechino, author of his newly released novel, More Than A Soldier. Currently on a virtual book tour hosted by Italy Book Tours, you will find this fine author around the web at a number of sites, with articles, interviews and more. He writes on a variety of topics, which adds to the enjoyment when you pick up one of this books....

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Bing Crosby
May03

Bing Crosby

Who doesn’t remember that one voice in a lifetime Bing Crosby? If you are too young to remember, or think that you have never heard him sing, think again. If you have listened to any radio station around the holidays then you have probably heard his voice. The famous song “White Christmas” is played over and over again during the Holiday season. Written by Irving Berlin “White Christmas” was the biggest hit of Bing...

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The Loch Ness Monster
May02

The Loch Ness Monster

 Couple saw Nessie ambling across the road. The Loch Ness Monster was a thing of myth and legend dating originally from 565 AD. But the modern news about the ‘existence’ of the Loch Ness Monster was originally broken in the  Scottish press in May 1933. A few months later,a Mr and Mrs Spicer reported that they too had seen the monster who was casually ambling across a country road adjacent to the loch. He (or she) was...

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