Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Y

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that either begin or end with Y or the caption contains the word “Why.”

If you want to see more Y photos, click here.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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London Mailbox

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that begin with X or have the shape of an X.

If you want to see more X photos, click here.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

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William (Shakespeare)

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Waterfall in Riau, Indonesia

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that begin with W and have at least 2 vowels.

If you want to see more W photos, click here.

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Travel Theme: Indoors

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Each week Ailsa of “Where’s My Backpack?” invites bloggers to share travel photos based on a particular theme. This week’s theme is Indoors.

I knew I’d have to share a photo of the interior of Beijing’s first Stock Exchange. It’s been long forgotten and is now just a tenement, where you can hear people cooking, kids playing, etc. Thanks to Jeremaiah Jenne’s walking tour or Tiananmen Square and the area southwest of it, I knew that this isn’t just some old building, whose exterior you can see here. If it hadn’t been for this tour, I would have just walked by this building without giving it a second glance.

Now if you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome to join in!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Indoors
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes.
  • Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

Downton Abbey, Season 6 Begins

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In the U.S. after months (maybe 10 months it seems) of promotions, Downton Abbey’s sixth season began on Sunday. My tradition has been to watch Downton with my aunt, who’s now living in an assisted living facility. I brought dinner for us and arrived early. Our problem was we couldn’t get PBS on Direct TV in her room. No one was able to help us. Ugh!

We had dinner and then I left to watch the show, feeling awful that my aunt wouldn’t be able to watch a show she loves.

I enjoyed this first episode, but feel that this review will echo what I said last season. I enjoyed seeing favourite characters and elegant costumes, but not all that much happened.

A chambermaid tried to blackmail Mary about her rendezvous with a Lord Whoever last season. We knew the chambermaid wouldn’t succeed and she doesn’t she’s just an annoyance. I’d expect a chambermaid in a nice hotel would have lots of opportunities for blackmail and that she’d be better at it than she was. It was odd how she had so much time and money to travel to the Abbey so frequently. By the end of the episode, Robert came to Mary’s rescue, showing his fatherly love, which made Mary realise how good a father he is. Still, I’d hoped that wily Mary would have outsmarted the chambermaid.

Violet has learned that a larger hospital would like to take over the village hospital. She shares her scuttlebutt at a board meeting and Isobel and Lord Merton, who seems to be trying to score points with her, oppose Violet and the local doctor, who doesn’t believe bigger is necessarily better. Cora’s caught in the middle and seems to be swayed more by Isobel’s views. I hope Cora gets a better storyline this season, but I doubt it.

Edith, as is often the case, didn’t get a lot to do. Her daughter is fully now part of the family. Edith handled an irate call with the editor of the paper she’s inherited. There was a nice scene with her aunt in which Edith considers moving to London to get out of Mary’s shadow, which would be best for her. Mary dominates Downton and there Edith will always play second fiddle.

I’ve wondered how the series will end and whether the Crawley’s will be able to keep their estate. In last night’s episode a nearby house went up for sale and the Crawley’s neighbours auctioned off most of their belongings. This sale obviously makes us all wonder what will happen to the Crawley’s who’re unable to replace staff and are now considering lowering wages.  The elegiac mood of the end of a beloved era hung more heavily last night and probably will throughout the series.

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At the auction, Daisy had an outburst. She’s very upset that her father-in-law will probably be kicked off his farm. When she saw the new owners, surrounded by her employers and all the people milling about shopping for antiques and what-not, Daisy let loose her feelings of the injustice of Mr. Mason. Though she had a point, she didn’t help Mason at all and just got herself in hot water. As Mr. Carson points out this was a “dismissible offence.” Yet the Crawley’s were merciful and Robert just scolded her.

Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are engaged, but Mrs. Hughes was worried about the “terms of the marriage.” There was a bit of comedy as she had Mrs. Patmore run back and forth to find out how intimate Mr. Carson expected her to be. In the end, Mr. Carson convinced Mrs. Hughes that he wanted a real marriage and that his love for her was strong and real. I wonder whether Mrs. Patmore will have to continue to play the messenger/marriage counsellor between these two people who’ve known each other for decades?

With a flourish of deux ex machina, Julian Fellows tied up the storyline of  Anna being suspected of murdering her rapist. Another woman confessed to the crime. She must have been a female Jean Valjean since Anna was the prime suspect and there was no clear reason why the woman confessed, but it’s lucky for Anna that she did.

Favorite Violet lines

  • Does it get cold on the moral high ground?
  • If you were talking in Urdu, I couldn’t understand you less.

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Downton Abbey: Left Footers?

In last night’s Downton Abbey Robert says he doesn’t want his granddaughter to be a “left-footer.” That was a Catholic slur I’d never heard, though it was apparent it was derogatory.

I found the explanation on this website, Glesca Pals.

Halfway down the page it explains that Irish Catholics used spades that had a foot rest for the left foot. Protestants used a different kind of spade.

Chinese Cigarette Ads

At the Nanjing Art Museum they had an exhibit of cigarette ads from the 1920s and earlier. I wanted to take photos, but the guard stopped me. So I’ve found a few online.

I was struck by how innocent the ads are and how small the image of the actual advertised product is. Cigarette brands had curious English names including: White Horse, Baby, Goldbar, Double Crane, Pleasure, The Globe, Golden Dragon, Blue Dragon, The Golden Horse, Golden Ax, Pearl, Ruby Queen, Fancy Isle, The Three Castles, Berlin, Original Pinhead, Honey Bee, Richness, The Beauty, The Raven, Great Wall, and The Rat.

The museum had a number of ad posters with middle aged men dressed in Imperial era robes and sweet young things entralled with them. I wish I could have taken some photos (without flash, of course).