If you are just reading this, then you already missed it.
In Norway, people celebrate the coming of summer with a celebration called Slinningsbålet. The celebration marks the time when the days grow short and the sun begins to retreat in the sky and in Norway they celebrate with the world’s largest bonfire. Norway’s largest celebration takes place on June the 24th in Ålesund in the county of Møre og Romsdal, on the western coastline of Norway. In 2010, the townsfolk built a massive tower of shipping crates, a record-setting 132.71 feet tall.
Did I mention that Stressless recliners and office chairs are designed and made in Ikornnes, a village along the Sykkylvsfjorden, in Møre og Romsdal county. Though you missed this year’s Slinningsbålet, you can still relax in your favorite Stressless recliner and enjoy the summer weather.
Stressless recliners are carried by many fine retailers including:
When I was a child, things did not always go well. In fact things might go badly. It might be that I did not get a passing grade at school. Or, that I chanced to break a window with an errant swing of the bat. For these things and others I always had an excuse that would begin with the word “If”.
To which my father replied,
“If ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans, there’d be no need for tinkers.”
Then, I would be instructed to sit in in a time-out chair or go to my room to study the errors of my ways.
Poems to read when life does not go well, “If” by Rudyard Kipling.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Kipling’s poem, written in 1895, was addressed to his son as worldly advice on how to handle the difficulties and set backs that will inevitably occur in life. It is said that Kipling had in mind the celebrated Leander Starr Jameson as he wrote the poem. Starr became infamous for his participation the failed Jameson Raid that took place between the end of the First Boer War and the beginning of the Second Boer War.
Jameson’s raid on the South African Boers failed. The govenor of the Cape Colony, the Prime Minister of England, all who had an interest in the success of the raid, repudiated Jameson and his goal of capturing Johannesburg and overthrowing the Boer government.
For trying to bring glory to Britain, Jameson was tried back in London and sentenced to jail.
It was Saturday morning and the first day of spring. The weather was cloudy and cool.Because I thought it might rain, I was wearing a short light grey trench coat, the kind Audrey Hepburn wore in Charade. But maybe, I was just trying to be incognito.
I am not really kidding you am I? Incognito? I was as inconspicuous as Peter Sellers playing Inspector Clouseau minus the drop brim fedora and mustache.
Five minutes before, I had just arrived after an 8-hour, sleepless flight from Heathrow to Dulles. The Metro was due to arrive in two minutes. Then my baby called, saying she had missed her connection in Atlanta. Next flight noon.
Stranger things have happened
There it was, a Stressless recliner in the middle of the plaza.
That is strange, but stranger still is the fact that it was empty. No one, not a soul, seemed to see it. And baby, it was calling my name.
The ultimate comfort
I felt relieved as I sat down. I stretched out my arms and back, and felt the chair magically adjust. I closed my eyes and began to sing, “Ain’t got time to take a fast train…”
And soon I was asleep.
Aer-o-planes and fast trains
I dreamed of my baby comin’ home to me.
Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home
Wayne Carson wrote and composed “The Letter” after his father suggested an opening line, “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane.” The track was recorded in Memphis with a local five-man group in a session produced by Dan Penn. The band members were Alex Chilton on vocals, Danny Smythe on drums, Russ Caccamisi on bass, John Evans on keyboards, and Richard Malone on guitar. The session took over 30 takes to get it right, with Penn suggesting to Chilton he pronounce the title “aer-o-plane”. After the session, Penn added the sound of an airplane take-off.
The song took off and reached #1 position for a total of four weeks, Billboard ranked the record as the No. 2 song for 1967.
All I want in the morning is a hot cup of coffee and Peace.
Peace is a stylish Stressless recliner with a touch of modern details. The uniquely shaped back adapts to your spine and provides just the right amount of support. The Signature base adds the patented BalanceAdapt technology that will gently rock your body as you move. Also, the Classic base with its hourglass shaped base.
Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.
Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth
Let me go where no tourist goes. There I will find what is truly France.
These days it is hard to travel without running into fellow travelers. Cars, trains, and planes have all made travel to foreign countries easy. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy swapping stories with my English mates, American buddies from back home, and the occasional Aussie, the less frequent New Zealander and South African.
Amiens was a pleasant surprise. Amiens, pronounced “Ah-mee-on.”* Compact enough to walk, better to bike, Amiens is a gem of green gardens and quaint cafes, of ordinary French going about their daily lives.
Mes aimes, Ameniois ils s’appellent eux-mêmes.
Amiénois, they call themselves.
My friends, a little French goes a long way to make a friend in France. And if one makes a mistake in trying, all the better to becoming better friends and learning little by little.
Amiens was pleasant, nice enough for Jules Verne Jules Verne and his wife Honorine and to make it their home in 1882. It was just two blocks from the charming hotel where I stayed. Not a hotel really, but a bed and breakfast run by a most helpful couple who converted their three story flat and courtyard into an upscale place to stay. No air conditioning, but who needs it when the evenings are cool and one can leave the window open at night. No elevator, but again one is here to live the way the French do. A charming dining area, a pleasant courtyard, gracious hosts, who can ask for more.
The city is capital of the Somme Department (destination of those wishing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of the same name) and part of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie (if you are a Sakespeare fan, not far from Agincourt). It is known for its floating gardens; its cathedral, the largest Gothic church in France (don’t miss the evening illumination of the cathedral); its Christmas market; a lovely park where you can still catch “boaters” sailing their powered craft across the lake to the delight of children; and of course, its food, “pâté de canard d’Amiens”, duck pate in pastry, and its sweets, “macarons d’Amiens”, half biscuit, half cookie; “tuiles amienoises”, chocolate and orange curved treats.
Two things to surprise you about Amiens – first, the best restaurant and the one the locals eat at is the Brasserie Jules, near the train station and far from Saint-Leu where the tourists gather. Seafood is what you want. Second is the Amiens cathedral. Impressive on the outside, on the inside it is immense. Then what is truly surprising is the illuminated show in the evening. One comes to find out that the cathedral was originally painted in vibrant colors an hues. Over the hundreds of years the colors washed away, but for 2o minutes each evening, a light show recreates the look.
There is so much to take in. And, if you have the time, bring a book and spend an afternoon in the park reading, or in a lovely café along the river, drinking café au lait and eating a macaron.
The book – something by Jules Verne, who made Amiens his home. My choice – Around the World in 80 Days.
* The French hardly ever pronounce the “s” at the end of a word. That is unless the following word begins with a vowel, in which case, the “s” gets added to the following word.
It is so important to make someone happy. Why, just thinking about it makes me happy.
It also recalls to mind the raspy voice of Jimmy Durante, the Great Snozzole, who cajoled us all to “make someone happy.”
Listen to the happy Snozzole on Youtube. Clicking on this link will open a blank page and you will have to put up with an ad for a few seconds (this doesn’t make me happy, but what are we going to do about it?), then you can be happy too.
You could be happy too, if you were sitting in a Stressless recliner with its patented glide system that gives you total control with a scrunch of the knees or a stretch of the back.
And if you liked Jimmy singing Make Someone Happy, try one more song – The Glory of Love.
Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia… Timaeus, dialogues of Socrates, 360 B.C., by Plato.
Atlantis Paradise Island in the Caribbean, a most relaxingvacation resort, located in the Bahamas. Experience the world’s most relaxing recliner at Traditions Home, Stressless.