Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Solstice

21 December 2014 Sunday

Stayed in bed til 11.30 and then woke up OH with cup of tea and we drank it in bed and listened to the small birds singing in the high trees.  Sky was sky blue and the thermometer at 14 degrees so we headed over to the big lake to walk the dog.  OH infuriated by cormorants (drain the reserve of fish) and lobbed stones at them.  Cormorants just dived and then popped up somewhere else but they did follow us for a while, just out of stones reach.  Fortunately the dog was too occupied with smells and bodily functions to follow the stones into the water.  Cormorants have very jagged swimming motion and apparently are able to be hunted in the UK.  Not over here, where it would actually be useful and to some purpose.  

Came back and I went out to gather mistletoe which is so prolific at the top of inaccessibly high trees. Had spotted some on an old apple tree.  Time for Wikipedia.  It appears that the seed sticks itself to the host tree, takes a year for the root to penetrate the bark and then becomes parasitic once it reaches the hosts conductive tissue.  It then forms a haustorium which penetrates the host tissue and takes water and nutrients.  As for the kissing part, Norse legends tell the tale of Balder, son of the goddess Frigga (from the family of unfortunate names), who was killed with by an evil spirit with an arrow made of mistletoe.  Frigga wept tears of white berries which brought Balder back to life.  Frigga blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it.  Balder seems an excellent name for all newborns but who would want a mother by the name of Frigga.  Certainly not yours truly.... 

Tackled the ironing mountain whilst listening to Doris Day and Jimmy Cagney replaying the lives of Ruth Etting and her hood husband manager.  Glamour and misery, Zigfield and alcohol.  Fine actors and excellent script 'Love Me or Leave Me'.  On reading about the Ettings later in the day, transpired that the story had been somewhat smoothed over for general consumption.  

Etting fell in love with her pianist, Myrl Alderman, who was separated from his wife.[15] In January 1938, she began receiving threatening telephone calls from Snyder, who initially claimed Etting withheld assets from him when the divorce settlement was made. Though the couple was divorced, Snyder was also upset because of reports that she was seeing another man. Snyder told Etting that he would come out to California and kill her.[14] Snyder's first threat was delivered to his daughter, Edith. When Snyder telephoned and found his ex-wife unavailable, Snyder told his daughter that he "would fix her ticket, too". He called again that evening; this time Etting took the call with her cousin, Arthur Etting, listening on an extension.[16] Etting requested police protection after the telephone call and arranged for private protection.[17] She believed the danger was over when Snyder did not appear soon after his telephone call and released her bodyguards.[18]
On October 15, 1938, Moe Snyder detained Myrl Alderman at a local radio station and forced the pianist to take him to the home of his former wife. In the house at the time were Etting, and Edith Snyder. Edith, Snyder's daughter by a previous marriage, worked for Etting and remained living with her after the divorce. Snyder held Etting and Alderman at gunpoint; when told his daughter was in another part of the house, he made Etting call her into the room. Snyder said he intended to kill all three, and told them to be quiet. When Myrl Alderman attempted to speak, Snyder shot him. Snyder then told his ex-wife, "I've had my revenge, so you can call the police."[19][20][21][22]
Snyder claimed Myrl Alderman pulled a gun and shot at him first and that his ex-wife would not file charges against him because she still loved him. He also claimed he was drunk when he made the telephone threats to Etting in January 1938, saying that at the time his intentions were to kill both his ex-wife and himself. Ruth Etting said that the only gun in the home belonged to her, and after the shooting of Alderman, she was able to go into her bedroom and get it. Upon seeing Etting's gun, Moe Snyder wrested it away from her; it landed on the floor. Snyder's daughter, Edith, picked it up and held it on her father, shooting at him but hitting the floor instead.[22][23] During a police reenactment of the shooting three days later, Edith Snyder said that she fired at her father to save Ruth Etting, weeping as she continued, "I don't yet know whether I am sorry I missed my Dad or whether I am glad."[24] Snyder was accused of attempting to murder his ex-wife, his daughter, and Etting's accompanist, Myrl Alderman, the kidnapping of Alderman, as well as California state gun law violations.[25]

Even without the background and hairstyle and makeup, this lady looks like she comes from the 1920's.  Do you know a person in their twenties now who looks like this?  Or is it that the people who look like this never make it to our screens because they no longer conform to the modern standard of beauty?  Why does the accepted idea of beauty change over time. Who on earth was Gladys Swarthout?  Heavens, a mezzo soprano.
We then pulled the Christmas decorations down from the loft and I banished OH to the kitchen hence avoiding unnecessary strangulation of innocent wall features by excessive tinsellation.  Front room is so small that there is no room for a large tree which is a source of great sadness for me.  Our next house is going to have room for an immense tree with a scent of pine that you can smell from the front door.   Each year I buy new decorations and this years contributions come from the wonderful Tiger which I presume is not in France because it costs too much to employ people.  The current trend is Scandinavian so I have two small stags heads with badly behaved antlers, knitted red and white hearts, crystal angels and small raffia headed dolls.   Effect is rather pleasing and I jazz up the net poles with a selection of baubles and tastefully arranged tinsel.   Dinner and final of the Apprentice.  Auzzie guy pulled it out of the bag at the last minute.  Zeds before the new week.