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Month: September 2015

Paul Robeson and My Father

My Father Loved Paul Robeson He loved his deep bass-baritone voice and was a fan of anyone who had a really good singing voice. Fred Bentley loved to sing himself and often sang to our mother and to us kids.  I recall him singing many times “Don’t Fence Me In” and his ‘party pieces’ at weddings and family gatherings included “My Prayer’ as well as “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen”. The latter was aimed at Mum and he would look at her with love in his eyes every time he performed this song. I wish I had a £ for every time he said, “Listen to that wonderful voice” whenever Paul Robeson singing “Ol’ Man River” came on the radio or TV. I must have…

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Humor in the Courtroom

Humor in the Courtroom How Do Court Reporters Keep a Straight Face? They are usually a very solemn place but humor in the courtroom does happen. These are exchanges that took place and are things people actually said in court (allegedly), word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place. ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning? WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’ ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you? WITNESS: My name is Susan! _______________________________ ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks. ____________________________________________ ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active? WITNESS: No, I just lie…

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Social Media

Why do I blog? That is a very good question. I recently wrote that in my post Why Blog? Blogging 201. As I wrote in that post primarily I enjoy writing. A pleasant side effect is that it brings in some extra money to supplement my retirement income. Let me make that clear – this blog does not earn me one cent. My paid writing is commissioned for someone else’s web site and for reasons of confidentiality I am unable to reveal which site or even what genre it covers. Suffice to say it combines my writing skills with my investigative skills gained in a ‘previous life’. If that intrigues you then read my bio. I also mentioned I blog to try and drive  internet traffic towards…

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Zabrina’s Pinoy Banapple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

Zabrina’s Pinoy Banapple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake Or Pineapple and Banana Churla !!! hahahahah… Banapple? Banana and pineapple of course ! 🙂 The subtitle of this wonderful ice cream cake probably needs an explanation especially if you have no gay friends ! Churla is a wonderful word often heard used by gay people in the Philippines. It means “whatever” or is a generic word used to describe (or not) a particular thing that the speaker is struggling to find the correct word for ! Zabrina has many gay friends and the word has remained in her vocabulary to be trotted out at every opportune moment.  She even has me saying it now – much to the amusement of her Filipino friends both gay and straight…

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Stormy Weather! Or Why I Prefer the Philippines to British Weather

I write this during yet another thunderstorm and a heavy downpour here in Negros Island in the Philippines. I love thunderstorms. Are you one of those people fascinated by the TV documentaries about storm chasing, whirlwinds and all that other violent weather that us humans have to contend with? I know I am. Where did all that start? I mean loving thunderstorms . In my case I can trace it back to when I was a child, but more of that later. I am also conscious as I write that violent weather can kill people. That is a fact all Filipinos are aware of as a result of the regularity of typhoons sweeping through the archipelago. I have often heard Filipinos refer to two distinct monsoon…

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Facebook Dislike Button – Who Cares?

Facebook Dislike Button? It has been reported that Facebook is considering adding a Facebook ‘Dislike’ button. Apparently it has been listening to users – for a change! It is galling when someone posts about a sad event  or even a tragedy and people click the Like button! I can’t understand that at all. But those folks at Facebook say the new button will not be labelled “Dislike’. They are looking for suggestions as to the new name. Maybe you out there can come up with something good or maybe funny? Let’s give it a try and all have a go at my poll. I promise I will send the results on to Facebook. If you need any help I will go first. What about these labels…

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Zabrina’s Pinoy Crema De Fruta Dessert

Zabrina’s Pinoy Crema De Fruta Dessert Yet another simple to make but delicious Filipino dessert from Zabrina. All these recipes are inspired by her childhood days in Canetown, Victorias, Negros Island when Papa would make these desserts to thrill the kids. As a British expat here in the Philippines Zabrina’s desserts certainly thrill me and our kids and family. Papa must look down from Heaven and smile! Ingredients For at least 15 servings 1 large can (550 g) fruit cocktail 2 packs (200 g) Graham Crackers (British Digestive Biscuits) 2 packs whipping cream or all purpose cream 1 can (300 ml) condensed milk 1 pouch unflavored gelatin powder (optional) Method Drain the can of fruit cocktail and reserve the juice Pour the heavy whipping cream…

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4th Power Rocks!

4th Power is an all girl all-sister group of highly talented singers from the Philippines.  They appeared on the UK version of X Factor and they seem to have taken Britain by storm! Not only are they talented singers but can also dance. Why am I blogging about this as it’s out of my usual topics? They touched my heart as I could see they were just four young Filipinas who dream of making it big one day. They obviously ooze talent but seem remarkably normal and grounded. The audience reaction to them was huge. Simon Cowell could only say “Wow!” after their performance but went on to say that it was the best first audition in the history of the show. High praise indeed…

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Scrivener Deal Only $19.50

Interested in a great Scrivener deal then go here to buy it for either Windows or Mac. For the next two days it is available for $19.50 instead of the usual $40! It’s the Award-Winning Writing App Used by New York Times Best-Selling Authors. I grabbed it and I am still at the Tutorial stage with it and it looks great! I believe it will be particularly useful with my more wordy projects such as my partly completed book on undercover police work; my non-fiction book on my paternal grandfather who served in the British Royal Navy through WW1 and WW2; and my planned series of fictional police procedural novels. I cannot wait to put it to good use! Here is what Scrivener is all about…

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Zabrina’s Pinoy Oreo Cheesecake

ZABRINA’S PINOY OREO CHEESE CAKE Another no-nonsense Filipino dessert recipe from Zabrina. Easy to make and all the family will love it! Follow this recipe for Zabrina’s Pinoy Oreo Cheesecake– Ingredients For at least 15 servings 1 Cup of crushed Oreo cookies 1/4 Cup Butter 1  8 oz. Pack Cream Cheese 1 Pack All Purpose Cream 3/4 Cup Condensed Milk 1 Egg Method  Melt the  Butter and Mix with the crushed Oreo cookies and press to shape it into your aluminum foil  container Mix the condensed milk, all purpose cream and cream cheese until smooth Beat the egg Pour the cream cheese/cream mixture into a pan and bring it to a simmer on a medium heat You can sprinkle some of the crushed Oreos in at…

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