Sunday, July 27, 2008

I saw this picture of these tulips and had to print it.
They are my alltime favourite flowers.
The colour is wonderful.

Top: Three White Tiger cubs
Left: Golden Eagle
Right: Peacock.
There is one thing that these three have in common.
They are all Albinos.
This is a rare occasion in the animal world. No-one really knows why the one 'gene' that gives us all colour, is missing from these animals.
Just a rare thing to happen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Every month I receive the national geographic magazine and this is where I got these photo from. Aren't they lovely?
I wish I could take photos like these.
The one on the left is a 'nightjar' and the one on the right is a 'humming bird.'

Eastern Bluebird.

I just had to share this picture with you.

Isn't it just so beautiful?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The history of the Salvation Army in World War 1.

Evangeline Booth, National Commander, April 1918.

The popularity that came to the Salvation Army as a result of it's overseas work during World War 1 was greatly out of proportion to the quantity-though not the quality-of it's service.
The entire overseas assignment of officers was 241 men and women, with supplement workers bringing the total to about 500 individuals. These were backed up by 268 members in the United States.
In france the salvation army won the affection of the 'doughboys' and the gratitude and respect of the whole nation, yet the spirit of those salvationists who went to france was no different from those whose stayed in america and ran slum nurseries, homes for the destitute men and women.
But the eyes of the nation were on those who went to france, and millions of americans learned of the spirit of the s.a. (salvation army) for the first time.

The director of war work in France was Lietenant Colonel William S. Barker, who left new York with adjutant Bertram Rodda on June 30th 1917.
Armed with a letter of recommendation from Joseph P. Tumulty, president Wilson's secretary. who arranged for him to see General Pershing.

Meanwhile in the united States,preperations were underway to follow the boys overseas. Evageline Booth, national commander of the s.a. borrowed $25,000 from international headquaters to finance the war work.

Colonel Barker asked for some women to help them with their cause and although Evengeline Booth was surprised at his request she carefully selected women officers and sent them over to france.
The work of the 'sallies' justified Barkers wisdom in making this request.
The salvation army in france first went to work in the area of the First Division.
The first division landed in france on august 22nd 1917 and work on the first division began on september 1st.
The first 'hutment' as it was called, was a long sectional building 40 by 150 feet with 10 windows on each side. It had staff of five men and six women, all of whom were musicians, who gave concerts and conducted long services in addition to operating the canteen. They also gave bible classes but their building was available to other denominations or fraternal orders. In it Jewish services were held and on one occasion the Loyal Order of Moose conducted an initiation.
A clothes-mending service was offered by the girl officers.
The first hut would multiply by a factor of 400 over the next 15 months. The tiny group of salvantionists and co-workers would set up that number of huts, hostel and rest rooms, all as nearly like home as human ingenuity could make them, some right on the front lines.

Although the doughnut became the symbol of the s.a. in france, pies and cakes were also baked by the women in crude ovens, and lemonade was served to hot and thirsty troops as well.
It was not just the home cooking but also the spirit with which it was served that captivated the men.
The simple secret was that the salvationist were serving not only the soldiers but God, and they brought to mind thoughts of home and their families.
At the s.a. hut the men could men could not only bring their uniforms to be mended, they could also bring their problems to share. As buttons were sewn on, a brief message of help was offered.

Soldiers in france often had more money than opportunites to spend and to discourage gambling and wines and spirits the s.a. officers encouraged the soldiers to take advantage of the s.a.'s money-transfer system. Soldiers would give their money to an s.a. officer who would enter the sum on a money order blank and send it to National Headquarters in New York. From their it went to the corps officers nearest the soldiers home who would then deliver the money in person to the soldiers family or nearest relative.
The money-transfer plan also worked in reverse on occasion when friends sent money to soldiers overseas.

One of the things that the american soldiers marveled at was the fact that the s.a. followed them right to the front. the women as well. Often they were in danger from shells and gas.

Financial support fir the s.a. war programme came with a rush. A plea for a million dollars, endorsed by president Wilson and secretary of War Newton Baker in december 1917 was soon answered.
In 1918 the s.a. joined the YMCA, YWCA,War camp community service, National Catholic War Council, Jewish Welfare Board and the American Library Association in a United War Work Campaign to raise $170 million of which the s.a. was to receive $3.5 million.
This drive was underway when the armistice was signed on November 11th 1918.

S.A. war work in (europe) did not end with the armistice, hospital visitation and nursing aid continued after the war, as did other services for the troops in France and later occupied germany.

The salvationists were frequently given permission to get a watch repaired or to buy a christmas or birthday gift for a loved one.

They helped the troops returning home by sending telegrams announcing their expected return date and time and even helping families re-unite at busy docks.

I think we would all agree what wonderful work they did then and that they have continued to do their wonderful work.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I also did the 'whats your musical taste'

Your musical tastes are upbeat and conventional.
You are an easy going, optomistic person.
Family and friends are important to you.
You enjoy caring for and helping others.
You thrive in a tranquil enviroment, and you do your best to keep things peaceful.
You enjoy your life.
You have your priorities straight.

Seems like there is only one result, don't you!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Deep space

This beautiful picture was taken by ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) on the hubble space telescope.
It shows two swirling galaxies on the upper left hand side of the photo.
A closer look has revealed a paradox:

Stars of 3 vastly different ages exist in a cluster that should have formed at about the same time.

These stars are 8billion years old.

Isn't that a lovely photo?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This lovely fish is in fact a new species.
The scientist have discovered a missing link in the evolution of bizarre flatfish.
ct scan of 50-million-year-old fossils have revealed an intermediate species between primitive flatfish ,they are the ones with both eyes on one side of their heads, and the 'modern' lopsided version (like this one) which includes flounder, sole and halibut.
The change has happened slowly over the years, in a way with evolution. It did not happen suddenly as some scientist think.
The gap between the two flatfish was because of an unknown animal which had a severe mutation that was passed down through the generations.
No-one knows why they have changed like this and some scientist are putting it down to 'intelligent design.'
For example, Lee James Best,Jr, wrote in his 2003 book about 'God and fallacy in the theory of evolution.
"As with aimless squeezing of wet clay, without a mold or other purposeful directed pressures," He wrote. "an intended end to a construction project would occur."
The new discovery, however, is unlikely to change the minds of many creationists.
Zoologist Frank Sherwin, science editor for the institute for Creation research, called the findings 'underwhelming'
"We do not deny that there is a minor variation that occurs within created groups or kinds." He Said. adding that he fails to see the new paper as evidence of a progression from one flatfish to another.
"Fish have always been fish,all the way down to the lower Cambrian." He says.
"We have no problem with the variation within flatfish. What we are asking is: "Show me how a fish came from a nonfish ancestor."
Some of the argument is that the asymmetrical eye configuration can easily be seen as intelligent, because it is advantageous to flatfish survival.
The eyes allows the flatfish to use both their eyes to look up when lying on the seafloor.
Paleontologist Matt Friedman, has been to the natural history museums all over the world to look at these flatfish and says:
"In more than one specimen, one side of the skull looked normal, but the other side of the head, the eye was moved up. "

It's possible that even the intermediate eye position would have provided an evolutionary advantage for the fish.
"Living flatfish don't lie completely flat on the sea floor, they prop themselves up with their fins".
More than 500 species of flatfishes now live in fresh and salt water.
They range in size from 4inches to 7 feet and can weigh up to 720 pounds.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sean (vic) Reeve.

23rd June 1979---17th June 2008
When we heard the devastating news about sean we just couldn't believe it, as I'm sure you can imagine.
But what made it worse was that sean only had less than a week to go. He was coming home on Sunday 22nd June 2008.
They brought sean home on Monday 23rd June 2008.
That was his birthday.
He would have been 29.
Just one of those things that happen, I guess.
Bob and Rosaleen decided to kep sean in their house on thursday 3rd July so all his friends and family can pay their last respect. Rosaleen said their house was full that night as people came to see sean.

On the Friday 4th July 2008 we arrived at St. Josephs church in Brighton at 1p.m.There were police officers everywhere. As we walked into the church it took our breath away, it was packed.
They were at least 300 people.

We were shown to our seats two rows from the front and my sister and her daughter and son were already there. We joined them.

At 1.45p.m. my brother bob and his wife rosaleen walked in and took their seats at the front.

Shortly afterwards the music started as they brought sean in and laid him at the front of the stage.

The priest welcomed us and started to talk about sean and his family. (Rosaleen is catholic)

His mother Rosaleen, his father Robert, his brother Neil and his sister Heidi.

Sean was the youngest of three.

Sean had written a 11 page 'will' and the priest started to read it out to us.

How sean loved his mother with all his heart and how his father was his hero.

How he used to 'fight' with his brother and sister, as you do when you were younger.

We listened to this and could just imagine sean sitting there writing it probably with a smile on his face.
We also learned that sean had a masters degree in chemistry and management consultant.
He had set up a charity to help the children of Afghanistan as they had no schooling and seans charity was trying to get them books to read.

An hour went by and they then took sean back to the hearse.
We all gathered outside and walked behind the hearse to the crematorium.
The police had stopped all traffic.

It took about 15 minutes to walk there and we all felt so proud and many people stopped and took their hats off and even firemen had stopped their fire engine and stood to attention as we walked by.
It was mind blowing.

On arriving at the crem the pall bearers were 5 of seans friends, the 6th one was bob. His father.

He took his son into the crematorium with such pride.

In the crematorium heidi, his sister said a few words about the brother she loved and how she was going to miss him and a friend of his said how well loved and respected sean was.

Then the curtains closed.

Most of the people there was seans friends who were in the SAS with him.
I must say I have never met such nice gentlemen in my life, and I mean gentlemen.
No lady stood as they immediately gave up their seats for them, and they stood back while the family went outside and look at the wonderful flowers that had been sent to the crematorium.

We were all invited to go to Brighton Racecourse for the wake. A room had been booked for us.
It started as you can imagine with a rush to the bar, the queue was knee deep, as they say.
But once we all got our drinks and sat down talking we noticed a video camera and a screen in the corner of the room. We watched as it showed sean over and over again. All different photos of him and all different poses. By that I mean just general photos, some taken when he was younger and some recently, and some of him in uniform.
It was lovely to look at and it was not over powering as you could look away anytime and not be seen to be rude.
It was your choice.
All this time there was seans favourite music playing, he loved the irish music.

After about an hour the waitresses came out carrying large tins and put them on a table. This went on for some time.
Then a gentleman announced that 'dinner is served'

There was a bit of a rush, as you can imagine, but it wasn't until you went up and had a look at what they serving you suddenly realized just what a spread it was.

Curries, chicken and vegetable.
Onion bhajees,,
You name it, it was there. Everything you could get in a indian restaurant.

It was seans favourite food.

Soon everyone was laughing and talking, introducing themselves to each other, and having a merry time.
I mean no offence by this but we knew this is what sean wanted.

Two gentlemen walked in, one carrying a violin and the other a small drum.
They sat down at a table and started to play the real 'Irish' music.
We clapped and cheered them.
When sean was at home, in brighton, he used to go to the local pub on a tuesday night and listen to these two men playing and singing the irish music. He loved it.
When they heard what had happened to sean they volunterred to come down to the race course and play 'for him.'
It was wonderful.

It really was a very emotional day as you can imagine but sean always said he wanted a happy time and even told everyone not to wear black.
We did of course, out of respect, but we all wore something white or blue to go with it.

Bob and Rosaleen never sat down all day, they were talking to everyone and just mixing with us all.
Although they were 'happy' and laughing you could see the sadness in their eyes.

Geoff and I left at about 11.30p.m. and left my sister and her family there, the next day she told us that it was still going on at about
Just how sean would have wanted it.

At the end of seans 'will' he put a little message for us all to read, It read as follows:

"Finally,of course,the funeral should be followed with a good old fashioned drinkin' session, including all my favourite music. (Goron, Levellers, Pogues, Dubliners, Toots, etc. you know!!!) The last man standing gets my seal of approval! Remember-no fighting!"

Thats exactly what it was, a good old fashioned drinking session (no-one was drunk, by the way)

It was a funeral fit for a king.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

For thoughts:
I was so pleased when I saw those lovely strawberries you grew. This is the one I have grown!!!
Don't want to eat it though!!
Sean's funeral will be held in Brighton on Friday 4-7-08.
At 2.00pm