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Mark Wiens…international FOOD Guru, highly addictive Vlogs!

23 Jun

Mark

“I TRAVEL FOR FOOD”

A plethora of excellent international food Vlogs by Mark Wiens…I can not stop watching, very entertaining and an eye opener by this exceptional foodie GLUTTON, amazing!!!

…How does he stay so slim and trim?

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A very clever interpritation… Gentleman Jack BBC

23 Jun

Gent Jack

https://www.hbo.com/gentleman-jack

Artist Horace Mann Livens c. 1902

3 Jul

Two Children Playing c.1902 by Horace Mann Livens 1862-1936

One of the many studies of the artist’s children. The eldest son Leo was born 24 May 1896 and his daughter Evangeline in 1897.

My Father has a similar picture of Leo and Evangeline, sourced by my Mother many years ago.

Horace Mann Livens 1862-1936, is probably best known today for having painted the earliest recorded portrait of Vincent Van Gogh. Livens had become friends and lodged with his fellow student Van Gogh whilst studying at the Academy in Antwerp in 1885/86 and is known to have kept some contact with the Dutch artist after his move to Paris. Livens returned to England where he was a founder associate of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers which was founded in 1898 with Whistler as its first president. H.M.Livens’s own highly accomplished work as both painter and printmaker is now little known due to the fact that many of his works were lost during the blitz and a further group was destroyed in a fire at his widow’s home in Harrow in 1957.

How Finlaystone House changed the course of my life…

18 Jun

Finlaystone

Finlaystone House, Langbank, Scotland. Home of the Chief of Clan MacMillan…

Unsure of what to do when I left school, Mother saw an advertisement, Lady MacMillan, Finlaystone House, Langbank, looking for a gardener…went for an interview but she had already employed Benedict Thierrie, to work alongside Hugh Sweeny, head gardener. She asked if I could cook, and I said no, but was willing to learn.

 

I arrived at Finlaystone on my 18th Birthday, 25th October 1977.

 

Caroline Lucken taught me cookery and I quickly managed, with team work & Mrs Beaton’s Cook Book and Finlaystone’s wonderful cooker and Victorian kitchen, also garden work, bees and floristry.

 

Lady MacMillan wrote the menu out for the week on a little chalk board. Lady “M” had us making seasonal jams, marmalade, chutney, bottled fruits and honey. Lots of baking and fresh made bread. Little balls of butter made with butter pats and served in shell shaped dishes, cream skimmed from a big bowl of milk.

 

I met Richard Birch, Ranger at Finlaystone, and we kept in contact, enjoying some excellent botanising, bird watching and fossil hunting trips over the years. He is now Dr Richard Birch, Senior Ecologist.

 

One day in the news paper in the dining room I saw an advertisement for B.A. Degree Home Economics, my WORST subject at school, but exactly what I was learning at Finlaystone…applied & got accepted, so after a wonderful year with the MacMillans I left for Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh.

 

In the summer holidays, twice running, I went to Virginia USA to live, visit and work with & through Finlaystone friends of the family…Kay & John Pollard, the Oliva family, Laura MacMillan, Frances Ehrlich, Jane Baskerville, Lelani and Andrew MacMillan NYC.

 

Met my life long Virginian sweetheart and penfriend Wardell Carter.

 

Did not want to teach Home Economics, and on a trip back to Finlaystone, just before graduation, Judy Hutton asked me if I was interested in becoming a Preparatory School Matron, as her daughter Alice had had a job offer she did not need…I took the position and worked 10 wonderful years, 9 as House Matron, at the school Robin and Judy Hutton’s son and cousins had attended, Horris Hill.

 

Later, when I had my son James, I saw an advertisement for Horticulturist, and with my Finlaystone garden experience, I applied; 10 years Horticulturist in a lovely garden with Mrs Newton, who taught me so much, & I was able to take my son to work pre-school, and in school holidays.

 

As my walking deteriorated, as I was born with a dislocated right hip, James’ father David trained as a Tree Surgeon and I supported his business, my horticultural experience invaluable.

 

David, James and I visited Finlaystone with grandmother Doreen from New Zealand, and were greeted by Chief George and Jane MacMillan.

 

I still have so many dear friends connected with my year at Finlaystone, and keep in contact with the MacMillans every Christmas

Picture of the Day: Astronaut Salutes Nimoy From Space

1 Mar

TwistedSifter

live-long-and-prosper-from-iss-space-nasa

Photograph by Terry Virts

International Space Station astronaut Terry Virts (@AstroTerry) tweeted this image of a Vulcan hand salute from orbit as a tribute to actor Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Nimoy played science officer Mr. Spock in the Star Trek series that served as an inspiration to generations of scientists, engineers and sci-fi fans around the world. Cape Cod and Boston, Massachusetts, Nimoy’s home town, are visible through the station window.

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Exciting News from Virginia USA!

24 Sep

HAVE A LOOK HERE FOLKS…

Exciting News!.

cropped-belle-grove-big

I have watched Belle Grove come to life over the last year…a wonderful rebirth of this delightful Virginian Plantation, beautiful house, top class B&B and amazingly energetic and multi-talented hosts & custodians Brett & Michelle Darnell.

Brett & Michelle

To celebrate a year of abelmoir.com reborn here on WordPress I have to share a friends wonderful as always Blog…Stalking Longbeard

12 Sep

Stalking Longbeard.