down the rabbit hole

“It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.” ~ Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

 

Down

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Down

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Down —

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Oh, hello! Didn’t mean to be rude, but I only just noticed you. 🙂

Happy September!

We’re finally back at ye ole’ blog, and I’ve missed you. Hope you’re safe and well. Before we have a little chin wag, see if this poem doesn’t describe how things have felt for you lately.

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Anthony Browne (Alice in Wonderland, 1988)

 

ON THE OTHER SIDE
by Lynn Ungar

Through the looking glass,
down the rabbit hole,
into the wardrobe and out
into the enchanted forest
where animals talk
and danger lurks and nothing
works quite the way it did before,
you have fallen into a new story.
It is possible that you
are much bigger — or smaller —
than you thought.
It is possible to drown
in the ocean of your own tears.
It is possible that mysterious friends
have armed you with magical weapons
you don’t yet understand,
but which you will need
to save your own life and the world.
Everything here is foreign.
Nothing quite makes sense.
That’s how it works.
Do not confuse the beginning
of the story with the end.

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It’s now been about six months since life as we knew it was suddenly upended. Crazy, scary, unbelievable times.

Up is down, down is up.

Do you feel like you’ve been in freefall too — spinning, confused, worried, frustrated, unable to focus?

Each day there’s a new challenge, yet another outrage, another reason to adjust and readjust as we try to navigate this neverending nightmare. Choppy waters, impossible mountains to climb, crawling through broken glass, drowning in a pool of tears, you name it.

 

Anthony Browne

 

As Ungar’s poem suggests, we now find ourselves stuck in the middle of a strange story we never chose to be a part of, one we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams. Talk about dystopia.

Because all bets are off, we’ve been forced to make things up as we go. We shop, eat, clean, communicate and connect differently. Companies have changed how they do business. Educators have had to ramp up their superpowers to refine remote learning. Families have set new parameters for work, play, and privacy as they strive for peaceful coexistence. Frontline workers of every stripe, from healthcare employees to delivery people to grocery store clerks, now routinely risk their lives.

We’re all mad here.

 

Charles Robinson (1907)

 

We don’t take much for granted anymore either, not healthcare, safety, financial security, mobility, dependable mail delivery, truth in reporting, or that anchor of steadiness, predictability.

I find anti-maskers sadly foreign with their defiant denial, business-as-usual selfish behavior, and sheer lack of respect or caring for other human beings. A simple act can help save lives. Shouldn’t that be a no brainer?  I keep wondering what happens when they get sick. Do they see a real doctor or call up the My Pillow guy?

Off with their heads!

New buzz words: Zoom, social distancing, quarantine, rapid results testing, contactless delivery, curbside pickup.

Pipe dreams: shaking hands, hugging, airline travel and vacations, anxiety-free restaurant dining, concerts and sporting events, a classroom full of happy, chattering, maskless kids.

Curiouser and curiouser.

 

Anthony Browne

 

More and more, we realize we have to be the heroes in our own stories. After all, it’s a time when finding yeast or toilet paper at the store is a small victory, when getting your hair cut is an act of bravery.

So how are you finding balance and staying sane? There is simply no right or wrong way to cope. We all do the best we can, armed with a personal cache of magical weapons.

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six cool things on a tuesday

Bonjour!

A few tasty tidbits to make your week:

1. Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, Charlotte Charlotte Charlotte! How much do we love the new royal baby? She seems perfect in every way, doesn’t she?

 

And what better way to mark this special occasion than with a sweet mug from Emma Bridgewater? 🙂 You can pre-order this little beauty now for shipping later this month (U.S. residents can get free shipping from Joanne Hudson).

 

Here’s the other side:

 

You know you want one. 🙂

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2. Nothing I like more than a chewy, flavorful foodie book roundup. Check out Anne Schamberg’s delectable post from the Journal Sentinel featuring 11 new titles. I’ve reviewed several of the books here at Alphabet Soup (A Fine Dessert, Gingerbread for Liberty!, Kids Cook French, Lidia’s Egg-Citing Farm Adventure). Can’t wait to read the others. Anne has also included five recipes. Yum!

 

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3. Recently, readers of the News & Observer were asked to share stories of their favorite kitchen heirlooms. They sent in photos of old cookie cutters, whisks, scales, and other cooking and baking tools, and talked about the history behind them. So interesting to read about what foods were made with these objects, who made them, and how they were shared. Thanks to Melodye Shore for the link!

 

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4. Guess what just came out on DVD?! Hooray for Paddington! In case you missed seeing the film this past winter, or if, like me, you want to watch it again and again, grab a copy soon. Make a pile of marmalade sandwiches to munch on while you watch. Did you know they’ve already started working on the sequel? 🙂

 

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5. How about 15 Places for Afternoon Tea You Must Visit Before You Die? Thus far I haven’t been to any of these places — frankly, some of them feel a little too posh for my tastes, but I could see myself at Cinnamon Soho, Drink Shop & Do, or the Betty Blythe Vintage Tearoom. The Berkeley and Bake-a-boo look like fun too!

 

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6. Mmmmm, how about “8 Fictional Chefs Whom We’d Like to Sit Down and Have a Meal With?” Nothing better than a piece of fiction that makes your mouth water. Invite me to Mrs. Weasley’s, of course I’d love to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and Calpurnia’s cracklin’ bread from To Kill a Mockingbird sounds divine!

 

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Oh, a hummingbird just greeted me at the window!

It’s going to be a good day!

Happy Tuesday!

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

royalTEA: mr. cornelius meets the Queen (with Darren McGrady’s chocolate biscuit cake!)

“I have to be seen to be believed.” ~ Queen Elizabeth II

Roll out the red carpet and practice your curtsies. Polish your tiara if you like.

A very special guest is joining us for tea today!

Mr. Cornelius has been a fan of Her Majesty the Queen for a long time. He likes that she loves animals and chocolate, lives in several beautiful royal residences, always wears the best hats, and has reigned for an amazing 60 years!

A tea lover from the start: Princess Elizabeth with her parents Queen Elizabeth and King George VI.

Needless to say, he was beside himself when she accepted our invitation. We spiffed up the dining room, stocked up on Earl Grey and Darjeeling (reputedly her favorite), and made finger sandwiches and cake.

She’s so photogenic!

We were a little nervous but she immediately put us at ease. Imagine our great surprise when she brought Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry with her! They were such a jolly group and didn’t seem to mind dipping in hot water. 🙂

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