Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from February 2008

Looking up from the bus stop

February 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Looking up from the bus stop

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

I would call this a moment of springtime serendipity except that I did not have a full moment to give it.

Standing at bus stop, bus approaching. Petal falls past my nose. Look up, grab camera, turn on camera, raise camera to take shot of tree-against-sky, jump into bus, and look frantically for my bus ticket.

Thanks to camera magic — though I couldn’t enjoy the view then, I can see it now.

Tags: Wide wonderful world

Mixed message media

February 25th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Mixed media

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Just at the edge between winter and cold early spring, two Oxford ducks were exploring the new possibilities.

Er, what I mean is …

After a lot of trouble and with much help from Cecil Coupe, my trouble-plagued blog has come through a WordPress upgrade and onto a new ISP. Wish me luck as I now move from treading thin ice to (I hope) a dramatic re-entry into full springtime.

Tags: Wide wonderful world

Too much on plate?

February 22nd, 2008 · Comments Off on Too much on plate?

roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and veggies, traditional Sunday dinner in England

English Sunday traditional roast beef with Yorkshire pudding just got multiple updates–from a bright orange Mexican plate to the colorful veggies, steamed lightly to please modern taste buds.

But this photo is symbolic–not so much of what I’m eating as it is of the too-many too-tempting things distracting me from my current blog troubles.

Aside from Gilbert and Sullivan, lectures on Darwin, springtime in Iffley, work on my book, trying to set up a non-fiction writers’ workshop, and the glories of Oxford Botanic Garden, there are distractions less delightful taking up far too much time…grocery shopping with no car, just for a starter.

And then there are cross-cultural gotchas, like the dry cleaner who phoned to tell me that somehow he’d broken all eight buttons on my best jacket. He did pay for ten new buttons and sew them on free, but I did have to go find them in a tiny second-floor sewing store on a small back street.

Do less, write more–what a good plan. I plan to try that plan now.

Tags: Go go go · Metablogging

How ungenerous!

February 12th, 2008 · Comments Off on How ungenerous!

Grote Markt with tiny twilight moon

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Can this really be the only three-star destination in Belgium?

The great market / Grote Markt / Grand Place of Brussels is indeed spectacular, with or without a tiny crescent moon next to one of its many spun-sugar towers. Frank and I got here yesterday, taking a train (!) all the way from London.

More soon, but we are racing off. Forgive the blog-interruption last week; some odd hackers with a big interest in both dodgy drugs and Google ranking hijacked the blog so I couldn’t post even a comment or a correction until Cecil Coupe fixed things for me. If you still use WordPress 2.3.1, time to upgrade it!

Tags: Wide wonderful world

Dock of the bay

February 5th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Dock of the bay
Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Is it 11 hours or 13 … the time difference between New Zealand, and Oxford, England? We got to Oxford pretty late Friday night, and I’m still too jet-lagged for such complex mathematics.

This morning I’m resting my sleepy spirit with New Zealand memories, most especially of our peaceful week in Ferry Landing Lodge, overlooking this bay. This small B & B is top-rated in TripAdvisor because so many of Pam and Rob’s guests take the time to write rave reviews.

It’s not exactly the format for TripAdvisor, but Frank even wrote a sonnet for Pam and Rob’s guest book.

We took a transcontinental flight
And the transoceanic overnight
Then drove through scenic Coromandel,
To reach Ferry’s Landing, whose tale I tell.

It’s been our base for six fine days
We soaked up lots of UV rays
Hiked, swam, and slept as we pleased
Life is sweet with times like these.

Breakfast was fine and fresh and merry
At dinnertime we took the ferry
Bones got carved, glow-worms sighted
The snarls of workaday life got righted.

Thanks for everything, Pam and Rob
From the grateful Wilczek mob.

So does that or does it not qualify as a sonnet by a Nobel-Prize-winning poet? Once again, I’m just too jet-lagged to know.

Tags: Frank Wilczek · Travel · Wide wonderful world

NH librarian in Sweden and the NY Times!

February 3rd, 2008 · Comments Off on NH librarian in Sweden and the NY Times!


From today’s NY Times, here you see mother and daughter jaunting and laughing through summertime in side-by-side bus seats, because “My daughter and I wanted to see the Swedish countryside, and a bus is a good way to do it.”

I always love visiting Mary in her lovely and welcoming small-town NH library. I’m glad NY Times photographer Jacob Silberberg captured her and Kerstin in such a lovely but truly typical moment. I’m also glad he mentions that Mary is 60.

It seems to me that the natural active fun for a person at any age is whatever stuff that exact person has real fun doing.

My Time Goes By friend Ronni Bennett pushes back when older people talk about being active or happy as feeling young. I know why she does–for the same reason I once wrote about “I’m too bleeargingledly for my shirt.” But I think what most people mean by “feeling young” is just that we don’t feel some (bad) way society told us we’d feel when we got “old.”

My mom when she was 80 liked gardening and doing crosswords and reading Colette, and far be it from anyone to say that she should have been out riding back roads on a giant Harley while clad in black leather. Though that’s an image that would have made her smile…

And far be it from anyone to say she shouldn’t have ridden those roads and that Harley if she wanted to.

Tags: Go go go · My Back Pages · Sweden · Travel