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This is the final instalment of my Cannes notebook for 2019 (see parts 1 and 2).

Tomorrow, posts delve into the city’s restaurants.

Before then, here is a bit more about Cannes past and present.

The Anglo-French relationship

In 2017, I wrote a brief history of Cannes, from its earliest days to the present.

For centuries, the Church — via the local monastery on St Honorat Island — played a huge part in the lives of the townspeople.

After the Revolution, things changed dramatically. By then, the English were making their grand tours of France and Italy.

In 1834, Lord Brougham and his daughter Eleonora toured the Côte d’Azur in the hope of finding a place where she could recuperate from her bronchial ailment. By chance, they stopped in Cannes — then, like neighbouring Nice, a poor fishing village — where she recovered. The Cannois extended exceptional hospitality towards the two, and it was not long before Lord Brougham built a villa there for his daughter.

He and his family enjoyed their stays in Cannes. He told his English friends that they, too, should consider spending their holidays there.

With that, the numbers of foreigners grew and grew. By the time Lord Brougham died in 1868, dignitaries and royalty from not only Britain but also the Continent had built holiday villas in Cannes.

Today, everyone visiting Cannes can see a grand statue of Lord Brougham in the city centre (next to McDonald’s!) overlooking a large fountain facing the Bay of Cannes.

As one can see from this Provençal festival poster below, the English were still involved in the city’s activities in the 1920s:

The Lord Brougham referenced there would have been a direct descendant.

The Entente Cordiale between Britain and France began in 1904. This short British Pathé newsreel shows the 25th anniversary commemoration of this important alliance, which exists to this day. In 1929, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, was the honoured guest in Cannes, along with many other British and French dignitaries:

The cityscape looks much different these days! For a start, the old casino in the film was razed a long time ago.

New developments

Mayor David Lisnard has been making many changes which he hopes will further improve the city.

I am less sure, but then I always liked the little quirks that made Cannes such a unique place. They are quickly disappearing.

Rue Felix Faure

This street runs parallel to La Croisette and has the city’s most popular restaurants.

Lisnard is pedestrianising the street so that it forms a new esplanade running from the north side of the Croisette near the bandshell all the way to the restaurants’ frontage.

I already miss the traffic that used to go down there. I used to look at the registration numbers to see where the various cars were from. There were no bin men doing their early evening collections, either. Oh well.

I can understand Lisnard’s objective, but yet another quirky aspect of Cannes daily life has disappeared.

Plage Zamehnof

Zamenhof Beach is at the eastern end of La Croisette.

It has recently been enlarged and improved:

Largely, it’s a great move, especially as this is a public beach.

But …

Look at the rocks to the left of the photo. When we first started going to Cannes regularly in the late 1990s, they used to be a haven for locals who sunbathed nude. They did not bother anyone because the place was deserted. The sunbathers did not seek each other out. They placed themselves as far apart as possible.

Some years later, the nearby marina was expanded, making that area more exposed. Fewer lone sunbathers went there for privacy and quiet.

Now, as you can see, the rocks are deserted.

Another quirk gone forever.

Le Carré d’Or

The Golden Square is just off the Croisette.

It had the city’s nightclubs, particularly the late, glitzy Sparkling (6-8 Rue des Frères Pradignac), which was no stranger to the local news in 2013.

This area, comprising the small streets of Rue Macé, Rue des Frères Pradignac, Rue Gérard Monod and Rue du Commandant André, is undergoing renovation:

I can vouch for the fact that, since 2014, a number of traditional French restaurants in that area have closed. I accept that a) people retire and b) restaurants fail.

However, their replacements in Le Carré d’Or are highly-priced, characterless, blingy restaurants and bars designed for those on expense accounts, i.e. conference goers.

I liked the old places better. It was in this Golden Square that we had our first serious dining experiences in Cannes.

Another bit of ‘old’ (my term) Cannes that is no more.

Rue des Serbes

Arrgh! This is where the Nice Airport bus used to stop on its return journeys. It was so easy for travellers staying in the vicinity.

Note the palm trees in the before and after photos:

Okay, it’s now streamlined, and no doubt delivery lorries find it much easier now, but it’s too darned tidy!

I also lament the absence of the palm trees just to make a new bus lane.

This part of Rue des Serbes coming off La Croisette was actually quite pretty in the ‘old’ days. No longer.

Le Suquet

On top of Le Suquet, the old quarter, is a fortress which was turned into a modern art museum many years ago.

Added since our last visit is a large gold CANNES sign, similar to the HOLLYWOOD one in California, only more discreet.

You cannot see the sign in the photos below, but when you are in the centre of town a few storeys up you can see it and the clock clearly, even if the clock looks tiny here:

I haven’t been up there so I cannot comment, but I have been along the streets below the fortress, and they had some character to them. I will have to return next time to see if everything there has been cleaned up, too.

Conclusion

We saw a lot fewer cars in the centre of Cannes.

It seems that is one of the objectives of this exercise.

With that, however, the city is also beginning to lose some of its innate charm.

Cannes needs a bit of its old chaos. However, that’s all by the wayside now.

Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage

I attended Mass in this 19th century church in May 1978, in the days when I was still Catholic.

It is absolutely beautiful and, if I am not mistaken, Grace Kelly attended Sunday Mass when she was in town for the Cannes Film Festival one year in the 1950s.

This is another restoration project the city is undertaking:

There is a stone plaque on the side of the church along Rue Notre-Dame commemorating Napoleon’s march along that route.

It is one of Cannes’s oldest churches and why it is important to Mayor Lisnard and to the city. Both the exterior and interior will undergo renovation:

The importance of classical music in Cannes

Notre-Dame de Bon Voyage is known for its organ music. Often, between 6 and 7 p.m. you can hear the organist rehearse for Mass.

On June 24, the local Conservatoire de Musique et Théâtre gave an end of term concert at the church:

Here are some excellent photographs of that event — and of the church interior:

Education

As I mentioned yesterday, education has long been a priority for Cannes.

A new initiative has been launched for every child born in Cannes who is still living in the city on his or her sixth birthday — a set of six books to enjoy during their formative years:

These books will cover traditional subjects such as fairy tales, mythology, history, animals and nature:

Lisnard’s EAC — Education Artistique et Culturelle — has been achieved and appears to be going nationwide:

Parents attend special art workshops with their children. This one was held on a Saturday in June:

The mayor also actively promotes civic education in schools:

In order to receive the ‘passport’, each child has to undertake eight activities, involving personal behaviour, citizenship, computing and the environment:

This was a voluntary school project but will become mandatory in all Cannes schools for the next academic year:

Mayor Lisnard distributed the passports personally:

Thus ends my summary of Cannes for another year — with nary a celebrity or film star in sight!

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Yesterday’s post was the first of three parts about my visit to Cannes in 2019.

Today’s post gives a bit of insight into this beautiful city.

Mayor David Lisnard (LR, conservative) has a personal mandate to make Cannes even more beautiful.

Sustainability

Over the past several years, Cannes has adopted national and its own local measures that help to keep the city clean.

A few years ago, posters on street furniture and municipal vehicles brought litter fines to the public’s attention.

As of May 1, 2019, 72,993 fines have been issued since 2014 for everything from litter, including domestic pet detritus, to disturbing the peace. As the tweet notes, money from said fines goes to the State rather than the City of Cannes:

This is the view from the mayor’s office at City Hall. Lisnard notes that the city is already clean for the day, which is just as well, because there is plenty of activity even before office hours:

City Hall is on the right in this photo of the Old Port:

Here is the mayor’s office:

Here is the interior:

Lisnard is also concerned about what is going on beneath the city:

This year, we noticed tiled roundels next to many of the grilles over the city’s gutters. Each was labelled with this reminder:

Ici commence la mer. Ne rien jeter. (The sea starts here. Don’t throw anything (here).)

There are plenty of public waste bins, including ashtrays.

Markets

Marché Forville in the old part of the city continues to thrive, supplying restaurateurs and the general public with fresh produce, fish, meat and cheese. There are also flower stalls and, on certain days, intriguing second-hand markets with stunning china and silverware from house clearances:

We went here every other day.

As seen on La Croisette

La Croisette is the main boulevard running along the coastline in the city centre.

Cruise ships, such as this one, can be seen on the horizon. One or two a week dock at the end of the Old Port. In this tweet, Lisnard has asked the French prime minister Edouard Philippe to require cruise ships to limit their pollution:

On the other side of the spectrum, we saw this vessel while we were sitting watching the world go by:

This is the sort of sunset one can expect to see:

At night, the iconic carousel is illuminated:

As seen from the hills

This is the cityscape that one sees from the neighbourhoods in the hills of Cannes:

Sunrise

The sunrises here are incredible:

Here is the Old Port:

Sunset

Here is a beautiful shot of the city as the sun sets on La Croisette:

And looking westward towards the Old Port:

After the sun sets, the city’s natural beauty is still alluring:

Education

Schools have long been a priority in Cannes.

The city is currently the only one in France to mandate art and music classes as part of the local curriculum, as per Cannes Soleil magazine (June 2019).

I will have more on local education tomorrow.

Better spending, more improvements

Since 2014, David Lisnard has managed to reduce the city’s debt …

… whilst spending public money more efficiently through better controlled salaries and fewer city employees …

… in order to renovate districts throughout the city:

Local taxes are among the lowest in France:

More to come tomorrow.

As I mentioned in my July 4 post, last Saturday — June 29, 2019 — journalist Andy Ngo was seriously injured in a melée in Portland, Oregon. He is suffering from a brain haemorrhage.

Incredibly, no one in mainstream media has said much about this attack. Andy Ngo’s ‘crime’ is that he is a gay conservative.

In a short video, Stefan Molyneux explains that Antifa, Ngo’s alleged attackers, fit in the Communist mould of ‘sociopathy’, whereby any political opponents must be destroyed. Molyneux points out that Communist regimes around the world have slaughtered 250 million people over the years:

Incredibly, he got quite a few sceptical comments and denials to his tweet.

However, he is correct.

Michelle Malkin has a long Twitter thread with photos from the day’s events in Portland. They are painful to view, so I’m only going to post a few. It is hard to believe that such things are going on a) in the United States and b) with police passivity. What these attackers are doing is criminal.

He was not the only one injured that day. So was this man:

Ngo writes for a number of publications and is an editor at Quillette, which is a free-thinking multi-media magazine. On June 30, his colleagues wrote an article about his attack, ‘Antifa’s Brutal Assault on Andy Ngo Is a Wake-Up Call — for Authorities and Journalists Alike’. I highly recommend it.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

The article’s first paragraph ends with a reference to Communism:

as Bolshevik theorist Nikolai Bukharin put it, “In revolution, he will be victorious who cracks the other’s skull.”

Quillette describes their colleague, pointing out the irony in the attack:

Andy Ngo is an elfin, soft-spoken man. He also happens to be the gay son of Vietnamese immigrants—salient details, given Antifa’s absurd slogans about smashing the heteronormative white supremacist patriarchy.

The article reminds readers that Antifa also forced Milo Yiannopoulos to cancel a talk at Berkeley in 2017. Milo is also gay. He is British and has a black boyfriend. Again, his crime is that he is a conservative gay.

The article explains:

the reason Antifa activists were so eager to beat up our colleague Andy Ngo, a Portland resident who has been relentless in exposing the true face of Antifa. They attacked him for the simple reason that he has challenged their ideological propaganda—an Antifa tactic that any true fascist would recognize and applaud.

It points out that media attention is focussed on ‘far right’ groups, but never those on the left, like Antifa:

But this attitude of vigilance must be broadened to include all radical groups. It shouldn’t require an actual fatality to goad Portland’s mayor and police into real action. Surely, a brain hemorrhage should be enough.

We also are hoping that our fellow journalists might awaken from the delusion that Antifa is a well-intentioned band of anti-fascists with a few bad apples sullying the cause. As Quillette reported last month, a simple statistical study serves to show that the journalists who cover Antifa most often and most energetically have turned their outlets into pro-Antifa propaganda organs. Indeed, this bias is so entrenched that some left-wing media responded to our report not with introspection, but with paranoid and maudlin claims that Quillette and its authors must be secretly in league with Antifa’s fascist enemies. One might hope that the brutality inflicted on one of Quillette’s editors will help disabuse them of such conspiracy theories.

Also:

These are the same people who would (rightly) respond with howls of outrage if a journalist were assaulted by right-wing protestors. And it is appalling that anyone in our industry would excuse violence against a journalist on the basis of political orientation.

The article concludes as follows:

We wish our colleague Andy Ngo a speedy recovery. For more details about the attack he endured, interested readers can follow him on Twitter at @MrAndyNgo. Although we lament his ordeal, we salute his journalistic courage in exposing a movement that seeks to crack skulls under cover of fighting fascism.

Amazingly, many of the 700+ comments defend not only Antifa but also violent crime against political opponents!

Fortunately, there are still some decent people in this world:

I pray that Andy makes a full recovery soon. I am still wrapping my head around the fact that such a vicious ‘milkshake’ assault even happened, let alone in the United States.

On Friday, June 21, 2019, the UK’s Court of Protection ordered a mentally disabled Nigerian woman in her 20s to abort her 22 week old baby.

Fortunately, the following Monday, the Court of Appeal reversed that decision:

The world had followed this story, and police are still investigating the circumstances of the woman’s pregnancy.

Going back to June 21, the Catholic News Agency reported:

The Court of Protection handles cases involving individuals judged to lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The woman, who cannot been publicly identified, has been described as “in her twenties,” and is under the care of an NHS trust, part of the UK’s National Health Service.

Doctors at the trust wished to abort her pregnancy and argued that, due to her diminished mental capacity, the abortion would be less traumatic for the woman than giving birth, especially if the baby would then be placed in foster care.

The woman’s mother made clear to doctors and the court that she would assume care of her grandchild.

The woman is believed to have the mental capacity of a grade school-age child. She is reportedly Catholic, and her mother is Nigerian.

It is unknown if the pregnancy was conceived consensually, and police are investigating the circumstances of conception.

The woman’s mother, reported to be a former midwife, registered her absolute opposition to the abortion citing the Catholic faith of herself and her daughter. A social worker who cares for the woman also disagreed that she should be forced to have an abortion.

The judge said she did not believe the woman understood what it meant to have a baby.

The Washington Examiner had more on the story that day (emphases mine):

In her ruling for the Court of Protection on June 21, Justice Nathalie Lieven said, “I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the State to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion … [but] I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination.”

“Immense intrusion” is a remarkable understatement. If the government can force you to abort your child, is there any limit to its power?

The pregnant mother and her family do not want an abortion, but she is under the care of a division of the U.K.’s National Health Service — thus why this matter has gone to court and why they have not already gotten one. But because the pregnant mother is mentally challenged, Lieven said, “I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” completely dismissing the mother’s desire for her baby.

Barrister John McKendrick, who is leading the legal team for the pregnant woman’s mother, says the court has “no proper evidence” that having an abortion will be beneficial to the pregnant mother. “Their evidence is premised on a narrow clinical view. The application must be dismissed,” McKendrick said. The pregnant woman’s mother has added that abortion strongly violates her family’s Catholic values and that she would raise her grandchild herself.

I have no idea why the judge, a woman herself, wanted an abortion instead of adoption. Could she not bear to see the baby go to a good home?

A Canadian CEO considered the term ‘right to choose’:

I have no doubt that millions of prayers ascended on this future mother’s behalf.

As is so often the case with prayer, the good Lord heard us and answered our pleas according to His will.

On June 24, Sky News reported on the welcome reversal (emphasis in the original):

Doctors must not be allowed to perform an abortion on a pregnant mentally-ill woman, Court of Appeal judges ruled on Monday.

This is a marvellous result, especially for the people of United Kingdom.

Thank you, Lord, for answering our prayers! Please bless this lady and her mother in the weeks and months ahead. Please also bless the child once s/he is born. To God be all glory, now and forever! Amen.

For 2019, President Trump has promised a YUGE Fourth of July show in Washington, DC:

Armoured vehicles have been arriving since the beginning of the week:

The Hill had more on the armoured vehicles:

U.S. military tanks arrived in Washington, D.C., via train on Tuesday ahead of their use in President Trump‘s July 4 “Salute to America” event on the National Mall.

NBC News captured photos and video of two Bradley and two Abrams tanks arriving in Southeast D.C. The news outlet also spotted support vehicles, including an M88 used to help recover armored equipment.

NBC’s report came after an Associated Press photographer spotted two M1A1 Abrams tanks and four military vehicles on a freight train late Monday.

Trump confirmed on Monday afternoon that there will be tanks stationed on the National Mall on the Fourth of July.

“We’re going to have some tanks stationed outside,” Trump said during a bill signing in the Oval Office. “You’ve got to be pretty careful with the tanks because the roads have a tendency not to like to carry heavy tanks. So we have to put them in certain areas.”

The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment about how the tanks will be transported to the National Mall.

Trump will deliver remarks from the Lincoln Memorial as part of the Independence Day event, and he has played an active role in its planning. The event will also include flyovers by military aircraft.

The United States has much to celebrate this year.

Economically, things haven’t been this good since the mid-19th century!

Wow!

Here’s another Wow! President Trump is the first sitting American president to cross the demilitarised zone (DMZ) into North Korea, which he did on Sunday, June 30:

How sad that Westerners, including many Americans, do not care.

The Korean War never came to an official close. It’s been going on since Trump was a child. He wants to do something positive about that. North Korea is controlled by China, so this process has to be carefully managed and negotiated.

President Clinton visited North Korea during the Obama administration. Speaking of Obama, compare and contrast the photos:

Tucker Carlson from Fox News got exclusive coverage and describes what happened at that historic moment. This short five-and-a-half minute video is well worth watching. The segment appeared on Tucker’s show on Monday, July 1:

Meanwhile, in the United States, the gay conservative journalist Andy Ngo was recovering from a brain haemorrhage he received from an attack by Antifa in Portland. The following tweet is from his lawyer:

Andy saw it coming:

Regardless of the following tweet, Portland Police stood by on the day, allowing bloody attacks on Andy and others:

The US ambassador to Germany has rightly called for an investigation:

Andy was well enough to write a few days later:

The American flag also came under attack. Colin Kaepernick objected to a Nike shoe with the Betsy Ross colonial flag on the back, so the company withdrew it from sale:

Congressman and military veteran Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) is not wrong:

Trump supporter — and Obama voter — Charles Payne opened up the subject to his readers and listeners:

Sadly, I couldn’t agree more.

Nike will be losing big time with American consumers as well as the state of Arizona, where it had planned to open a factory.

First, here’s a consumer’s point of view:

Now here’s what the Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, had to say:

He concluded with wise words about Betsy Ross:

And finally, it shouldn’t take a controversy over a shoe for our kids to know who Betsy Ross is. A founding mother. Her story should be taught in all American schools. In the meantime, it’s worth googling her. 9/9

Here is a short film about this American icon. Her flag, commissioned by none other than George Washington, inspired The Star-Spangled Banner, America’s national anthem:

In closing, contrary to what many left-wing and libertarian clergy say, the idea behind celebrating Independence Day also included giving thanks to God. Hence church services, which are much criticised by said clergy railing against ‘American exceptionalism’. Would that other Western nations actually held such services on national days for their own countries.

The Revd Robert Jeffress explains what President John Adams, America’s second president (and first vice president), had in mind:

We should all give thanks for our respective nations.

Most countries have been doing their best through the course of modern history to right the wrongs of their ancestors. They are also working together internationally to make the world a better place.

Rather than focusing on ‘exceptionalism’, we should thank God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for guidance through the ages — no matter where we live! Our leaders did not always listen to the Triune God, but, when they did, things turned out for the better.

I hope that all sensible Americans will be able to celebrate Independence Day in peace and with pleasure. It is a big day. Enjoy it, whilst remembering to say prayers of thanksgiving.

Please also pray for Andy Ngo’s swift and full recovery. The Founding Fathers wanted everyone to be able to speak freely in safety, hence the First Amendment.

On June 29 and 30, 2019, a new era dawned for baseball — in London.

The first Major League rivalry games, featuring the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the 2018 World Series winners, took place during London Series 19 at London Stadium in the East End.

The number 19 represents 2019.

Tickets went on sale late last year. They were incredibly expensive, starting at over £100 apiece. Not surprisingly, we decided to watch it from home:

London Stadium was built for the capital’s 2012 Olympics. The opening and closing ceremonies took place there. For the games themselves, it was the athletics stadium, the scene of so many marvellous medal-winning achievements for both Olympians and Paralympians.

Today, the stadium is West Ham United’s home ground.

A lot of hard work by thousands of men and women behind the scenes to temporarily transform a football (soccer) pitch into a baseball field. This was also an international effort. The turf came from France. Other parts of the field came from Canada. The various elements can, everyone hopes, be stored away for next summer’s London Series.

This is what the stadium looked like:

The venue attracted fans from all over Europe — and the United States:

The stadium was nearly filled to capacity — 60,000 — on both days. It was a joy to watch at home:

Despite the breathtaking stadium, its design and location had a strange effect for batters, pitchers and those in the field. Foul territory was double that of a normal ballpark. There was a certain drag on the balls once in air. This produced a lot of home runs, pitches that didn’t go quite to plan and a lot more running by those in the outfield. The commentators said that scientists attended both games to study exactly why this was happening, as the drag is much different to the usual.

The sunlight was also a major problem. The stadium had a huge black screen on the wall behind second base. That was so the batter could see an aiming point. Yet, as the commentators showed us on both days of play, from certain angles, the sun rendered that white, too.

On Saturday, the first game opened with the national anthems of both the UK and the US:

Then, it was time to play ball!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex — Prince Harry and Meghan — threw the first pitch. They’re avowed Yankees fans, as you can probably tell from their attire:

This was the lineup:

Incredibly, at the end of the first inning, the score was 6-6!

Saturday’s final score was an unusual 17-13. The Yankees had won:

A fireworks display took place afterwards:

This was a first not only for the Yankees, but any MLB team:

Sunday’s action took place in the afternoon.

BoSox fans were hopeful, especially with their lead of 4-2 by the second inning. This chap had a hat in each camp, so to speak. Worth watching:

Fans were told on both days that they could keep any balls that reached the stands. This happened a lot:

Then, at the top of the 7th, doom struck. Three BoSox pitchers in that inning could not stave off the Yankees:

Boston’s Alex Cora already knew that he will have to dramatically improve his bullpen when trading for the 2020 season starts in July. He needs much stronger pitchers overall.

Cora has already told his star batters that they will have to play more offensively when on the field. Mookie Betts has been taking that advice on board and is beginning to play more aggressively, anticipating opponents’ moves and strategies.

Sunday’s final score was another rout for the BoSox, unfortunately:

Next year, our other favourite rivalry will battle it out in London Series 20:

Representatives from the Chicago Cubs and the St Louis Cardinals came here to watch this year’s games.

They can hardly wait for 2020! Nor can we!

Special thanks go to MLB, Mitel and other sponsors for making the London Series possible. THANK YOU!

In perusing the Internet the other day, I ran across this tweet which has film footage from 1912 about a variety of Manhattan neighbourhoods:

It’s just under two-and-a-half minutes long and well worth watching.

The comments on the video are enlightening, too.

The vast majority discuss the lack of obesity:

There is that. Walking, as a few people stated, also helped. Furthermore, there was no central heating at the time, so houses and other buildings were much colder, adding to the calorie burn. There was no air conditioning during the summer, either.

They also weren’t eating much carbohydrate then, including breakfast cereal and cakes. Sugar was expensive back then, too:

My late grandmothers, both of whom were born at the end of the 19th century limited their carb consumption to morning toast and, if they had guests, a slice of pie or cake after dinner.

The next set of frequent comments concerned personal attire and comportment:

Unfortunately, we are where we are today:

Ugh!

One person mentioned the decline in Christian values since then.

I will add ‘Judeo-‘ to that, as a few of the neighbourhoods shown were predominantly Jewish. The point about the decline in faith and worship still stands, though.

Of course, it’s not only New York City where social standards have deteriorated. They have gone downhill everywhere in the Western world, which used to be a beacon of hope for those searching for a better life, when hard work often led to prosperity.

The generations alive today have some work to do if we want to recapture what once was with regard to dignity and integrity.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were in England and Normandy for commemorations of the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The night before, he hosted Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall for dinner at the US ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park, London. The guests at his table were also in Portsmouth the following morning. Theresa May is on the right in the photo:

On Wednesday, June 5, the Royal Family’s Twitter account summarised D-Day’s importance:

Also:

The Allied landings on the Normandy beaches marked the start of a long and costly campaign to liberate north-west Europe from German occupation.

This was the scene in Portsmouth, on England’s south coast that day:

A short time later, veterans who had been involved 75 years ago began taking their seats:

The Queen, who served as a mechanic during the war, arrived:

This is a photograph for the history books:

Warm exchanges took place beforehand:

The Queen stood between Prince Charles and President Trump to watch the proceedings:

She addressed the crowd, referencing her father, George VI:

President Trump read then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s prayer for the troops:

D-Day veterans appeared on the dais to grateful applause.

Actress Celia Imrie (speaking in the next video) compered (emceed) the various performances:

The following ABC News video has the Portsmouth commemorations in their entirety:

The BBC has a set of photographs covering the day’s events.

Afterwards, the Queen, Prince Charles and the Trumps met with veterans who so bravely served in D-Day operations:

Trump also met with British veterans as well as US Navy personnel based in England:

The Queen then bade farewell to the Trumps, who were leaving for Ireland, where the president met with the prime minister there that afternoon:

The Trumps went to Normandy the following day for D-Day ceremonies before returning to Ireland, then onwards to the United States.

The Q Tree has the Trumps’ schedule after Portsmouth for the rest of June 5 (emphasis in the original):

2:50pm BST / 9:50am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Southsea Commons en route to Southsea Castle Landing Zone, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

2:55pm BST / 9:55am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Southsea Castle Landing Zone, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

3:05pm BST / 10:05am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Portsmouth, United Kingdom, en route to Southampton Airport, Southampton, United Kingdom, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

3:25pm BST / 10:25am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Southampton Airport, Southampton, United Kingdom

3:35pm BST / 10:35am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Southampton Airport en route Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland, Southampton, United Kingdom

U.K State Visit Concludes ~

4:50pm IST / 11:50am EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland

5:00pm IST / 12:00pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Shannon Airport en route to Shannon Airport Terminal, Shannon, Ireland

5:05pm IST / 12:05pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Shannon Airport Terminal, Shannon, Ireland

5:15pm IST / 12:15pm EST THE PRESIDENT participates in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Shannon, Ireland

5:20pm IST / 12:20pm EST THE PRESIDENT participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland, Shannon, Ireland

6:00PM IST / 1:00pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Shannon Airport Terminal en route to Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland

6:05pm IST / 1:05PM EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Shannon Airport, Shannon, Ireland

6:15pm IST / 1:15pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Shannon, Airport, en route to Trump International Doonbeg Landing Zone, Doonbeg, Ireland, Shannon, Ireland

6:35pm IST / 1:35pm EST THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Trump International Doonbeg Landing Zone, Doonbeg, Ireland

The Clare Champion featured their arrival:

At the end of Tuesday, Trump tweeted:

He and his entourage would fly from Ireland to Colleville-sur-Mer in the département of Calvados of Normandy the following morning.

Speaking of Normandy, two British veterans were preparing to re-enact their jumps from 1944. Here is one of them undergoing a refresher course:

This is what happened on Wednesday, June 6:

This is what the Trumps saw as they landed in France that morning:

The following is an excerpt of President Trump’s speech on Omaha Beach:

The Q Tree has his speech in full on Omaha Beach, excerpted below (emphases mine). More than 60 surviving American D-Day veterans flew to France for this important anniversary. Many more Second World War military survivors also attended:

President Macron, Mrs. Macron, and the people of France; to the First Lady of the United States and members of the United States Congress; to distinguished guests, veterans, and my fellow Americans:

We are gathered here on Freedom’s Altar. On these shores, on these bluffs, on this day 75 years ago, 10,000 men shed their blood, and thousands sacrificed their lives, for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty.

Today, we remember those who fell, and we honor all who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization.

To more than 170 veterans of the Second World War who join us today: You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. You’re the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Here with you are over 60 veterans who landed on D-Day. Our debt to you is everlasting. Today, we express our undying gratitude.

When you were young, these men enlisted their lives in a Great Crusade — one of the greatest of all times. Their mission is the story of an epic battle and the ferocious, eternal struggle between good and evil.

On the 6th of June, 1944, they joined a liberation force of awesome power and breathtaking scale. After months of planning, the Allies had chosen this ancient coastline to mount their campaign to vanquish the wicked tyranny of the Nazi empire from the face of the Earth.

The battle began in the skies above us. In those first tense midnight hours, 1,000 aircraft roared overhead with 17,000 Allied airborne troops preparing to leap into the darkness beyond these trees.

Then came dawn. The enemy who had occupied these heights saw the largest naval armada in the history of the world. Just a few miles offshore were 7,000 vessels bearing 130,000 warriors. They were the citizens of free and independent nations, united by their duty to their compatriots and to millions yet unborn.

There were the British, whose nobility and fortitude saw them through the worst of Dunkirk and the London Blitz. The full violence of Nazi fury was no match for the full grandeur of British pride.

There were the Canadians, whose robust sense of honor and loyalty compelled them to take up arms alongside Britain from the very, very beginning.

There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, and the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commandos, soon to be met by thousands of their brave countrymen ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valor.

And, finally, there were the Americans. They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities, and the forges of mighty industrial towns. Before the war, many had never ventured beyond their own community. Now they had come to offer their lives half a world from home.

This beach, codenamed Omaha, was defended by the Nazis with monstrous firepower, thousands and thousands of mines and spikes driven into the sand, so deeply. It was here that tens of thousands of the Americans came

One of those men in [Colonel George] Taylor’s 16th Regiment was Army medic Ray Lambert. Ray was only 23, but he had already earned three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars fighting in North Africa and Sicily, where he and his brother Bill, no longer with us, served side by side.

In the early morning hours, the two brothers stood together on the deck of the USS Henrico, before boarding two separate Higgins landing craft. “If I don’t make it,” Bill said, “please, please take care of my family.” Ray asked his brother to do the same.

Of the 31 men on Ray’s landing craft, only Ray and 6 others made it to the beach. There were only a few of them left. They came to the sector right here below us. “Easy Red” it was called. Again and again, Ray ran back into the water. He dragged out one man after another. He was shot through the arm. His leg was ripped open by shrapnel. His back was broken. He nearly drowned.

He had been on the beach for hours, bleeding and saving lives, when he finally lost consciousness. He woke up the next day on a cot beside another badly wounded soldier. He looked over and saw his brother Bill. They made it. They made it. They made it.

At 98 years old, Ray is here with us today, with his fourth Purple Heart and his third Silver Star from Omaha. Ray, the free world salutes you. Thank you, Ray.

Trump related a few more real life stories about what is known as the Longest Day, unimaginably harrowing. God was with the Allied troops.

Trump concluded:

The men behind me will tell you that they are just the lucky ones. As one of them recently put it, “All the heroes are buried here.” But we know what these men did. We knew how brave they were. They came here and saved freedom, and then, they went home and showed us all what freedom is all about.

The American sons and daughters who saw us to victory were no less extraordinary in peace. They built families. They built industries. They built a national culture that inspired the entire world. In the decades that followed, America defeated communism, secured civil rights, revolutionized science, launched a man to the moon, and then kept on pushing to new frontiers. And, today, America is stronger than ever before.

Seven decades ago, the warriors of D-Day fought a sinister enemy who spoke of a thousand-year empire. In defeating that evil, they left a legacy that will last not only for a thousand years, but for all time — for as long as the soul knows of duty and honor; for as long as freedom keeps its hold on the human heart.

To the men who sit behind me, and to the boys who rest in the field before me, your example will never, ever grow old. Your legend will never tire. Your spirit — brave, unyielding, and true — will never die.

The blood that they spilled, the tears that they shed, the lives that they gave, the sacrifice that they made, did not just win a battle. It did not just win a war. Those who fought here won a future for our nation. They won the survival of our civilization. And they showed us the way to love, cherish, and defend our way of life for many centuries to come.

Today, as we stand together upon this sacred Earth, we pledge that our nations will forever be strong and united. We will forever be together. Our people will forever be bold. Our hearts will forever be loyal. And our children, and their children, will forever and always be free.

May God bless our great veterans. May God bless our Allies. May God bless the heroes of D-Day. And may God bless America.

The Q Tree has full coverage, including this 90-minute video of the day’s commemorations:

This is NBC’s video, which begins with an analysis of D-Day:

French president Emmanuel Macron also addressed the American veterans. I was in France at the time and watched part of his speech on BFMTV. It was highly evocative and really captured the idea of Americana. Whoever wrote it should get a pay rise. I was very moved by it. He spoke, as did Trump, of young soldiers from farms in the Midwest mixing with their comrades from Manhattan and New Jersey, writing their girlfriends farewell letters.

Afterwards, Macron shook hands with all the veterans and spoke with each individually. I’m not a Macron fan at all, but I have to give him credit for that.

Trump tweeted a short video recapping his day in Normandy:

This is the view of the Trumps’ departure, returning to Ireland before flying back to Washington:

Reflecting on D-Day, someone online posted this excellent graphic from Gab:

We should be so grateful for everything that God has given us — especially peace and freedom in the Western world.

However, it would also be prudent to look at how we have squandered the opportunities for our young people in peacetime. The safe space generation is not equipped to deal with the horrors of life such as it is.

May the good Lord grant us the wisdom to get us out of a navel-gazing attitude towards one of genuine progress and ingenuity, such as that of the post-war years.

In closing, let us give thanks to the Greatest Generation for their immense courage and bravery.

On Monday, June 3, 2019, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived in London for a three-day State Visit:

The Daily Mail has a full itinerary of the trip.

The president’s adult children accompanied them, along with Cabinet members and senior staff.

America’s first couple stayed at the US ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park, Winfield House. The Trump offspring stayed at the Corinthia Hotel in central London.

Monday was packed with events for the Trumps. This video recaps the day, which began by landing at Winfield House, meeting the Queen for lunch at Buckingham Palace, taking tea as guests of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House and being the guests of honour at a State Dinner at the palace:

I was out of the country at the time and wanted to have a record of his trip by posting about it here. I am not sure how much made the media outlets and how it was reported.

One thing that did surprise me — and my better half, who is English — was that the president spoke with the honour guard as he was inspecting them. Both of us were shocked. This is a no-no. Then, Prince Charles did the same. See a brief glimpse at 11:40:

France’s BFMTV showed much more of Trump’s talking to the honour guard. The French commentators were equally surprised.

Meanwhile, the Queen, her daughter-in-law Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Mrs Trump enjoyed a light moment:

Afterwards, the Queen hosted a private lunch and showed the Trumps various items and documents from the Royal Collection pertaining to the United States.

Then it was time to go to Westminster Abbey. The Duke of York — Prince Andrew — accompanied the Trumps, who received a tour of the Abbey from clergy and placed a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Despite its title, the video below does not include tea with Prince Charles but does have extensive coverage from the visit to Westminster Abbey:

 

The State Banquet took place that evening:

Protests took place outside the palace, but guests were undisturbed:

As one would imagine, much preparation went into this dinner:

This is what the ballroom looked like as the Queen’s guests filed in:

Sarah Sanders, who also accompanied the Trumps on their 2018 visit to Windsor Castle, will have another lovely memory of her time as press secretary:

At the State Banquet, the president remembered the events of D-Day and those who bravely fought for freedom:

He also made another faux pas. Like Michelle Obama, he touched the Queen. Unlike Michelle Obama, he did it twice. The Daily Mail reported (emphases mine):

The Special Relationship between Britain and the United States was reaffirmed last night with moving toasts in the Buckingham Palace ballroom as Donald Trump clinked glasses with the Queen and patted her shoulder having called her a ‘great, great woman’.

Amid the splendour and ceremony of a state banquet for 170 dignitaries and guests, the US President thanked the monarch for her ‘gracious hospitality’ and ‘nearly seven decades’ of personal friendship with the United States.

He spoke of the Blitz and the bombing of Buckingham Palace, saying that ‘in their dark hour the people of this nation showed the world what it means to be British’.

He praised the Queen a ‘great, great woman’ recalling her service on the Home Front during the war, and said ‘the bond between our nations was forever sealed in that great crusade’.

He said the Queen embodied ‘the spirit of dignity, duty, and patriotism that beats proudly in every British heart’.

Raising his glass the 45th President of the United States said: ‘On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen.’

Shortly before retaking his seat Mr Trump appeared briefly to breach royal protocol by placing his hand on the Queen’s back in a gesture of personal thanks. By tradition the Queen should not be touched, but the President’s host seemed unperturbed following his warm personal toast.

In her address, the Queen welcomed the Trumps, celebrated the Special Relationship between the UK and the US, and while Brexit was not mentioned she highlighted how the two countries faced ‘new challenges of the 21st century’. 

The article includes a brilliant set of photos, by the way.

Here is another terrific photograph:

The Queen’s remarks followed:

Mr President,

I am delighted to welcome you and Mrs Trump to Buckingham Palace this evening, just twelve months after our first meeting at Windsor Castle. Visits by American Presidents always remind us of the close and longstanding friendship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and I am so glad that we have another opportunity to demonstrate the immense importance that both our countries attach to our relationship.

In the coming days, you will see some of our most treasured historical buildings, speak to the business leaders whose expertise and innovation drive our economies, and meet members of our Armed Services, past and present. You will also travel to Portsmouth and Normandy to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.

On that day – and on many occasions since – the Armed Forces of both our countries fought side-by-side to defend our cherished values of liberty and democracy. Mr President, in your State of the Union Address this year, you paid tribute to some of the American heroes who risked their lives, and we owe an immeasurable debt to the British, American and Allied soldiers who began the liberation of Europe on 6th June 1944.

I paid my first State Visit to your country at the invitation of President Eisenhower. As Supreme Allied Commander, he had ultimate responsibility for the execution of the Normandy landings. In his headquarters in St James’s Square – not far from Buckingham Palace – British and American officers worked closely together to plan the freedom of a continent, and it would be no exaggeration to say that millions of lives depended on their common endeavour.

As we face the new challenges of the Twenty First Century, the anniversary of D-Day reminds us of all that our countries have achieved together. After the shared sacrifices of the Second World War, Britain and the United States worked with other allies to build an assembly of international institutions, to ensure that the horrors of conflict would never be repeated. While the world has changed, we are forever mindful of the original purpose of these structures: nations working together to safeguard a hard won peace

Mr President, as we look to the future, I am confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us. Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come

The Queen then proposed a toast:

At the end of the day, Trump tweeted:

Protests did take place around the country, but a crowd of well wishers was on hand in front of Buckingham Palace to greet him.

Events on Tuesday, June 4 involved talks about trade:

More protests took place in London:

Interestingly, Prime Minister Theresa May and President Trump did not shake hands when he and his wife arrived:

The Trumps received a tour of No. 10:

Mrs Trump was with Mr May during the meeting between the president and our outgoing Prime Minister:

Here are clips from the May-Trump press conference:

Meanwhile, a British woman burst the Trump baby balloon. Great news, even if she was arrested:

The Gateway Pundit reported:

“I’m going in..I’m going,” the woman says as she walked up to the baby Trump blimp.

The woman then stabbed the blimp with a pen and a small popping sound is heard followed by gasps from onlookers.

The woman screamed “It’s a national a disgrace! The President of the United States is the best President ever! Shame on you!” after she popped the balloon.

Police quickly moved in for the arrest as the woman walked away.

“It’s going down baby,” the woman said as police approached her and cuffed her.

The woman, whose hand was bleeding, had a fiery exchange with the police and pleaded for them to stop manhandling her.

That evening, the Trumps hosted a dinner for Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Winfield House:

The Daily Caller has more photos.

It should be noted that the Trumps did not experience all the trappings of a full State Visit, which includes staying at a royal residence and addressing either house of Parliament.

The Washington Examiner explained:

… royal watchers said the Trumps will be missing out on many of the trappings of a state visit, such as staying at Buckingham Palace. “Not being invited to speak before Parliament is testament to the fact they know he is going to be rude and there’s going to be massive protests,” said Marlene Koenig, an author and expert on British and European royalty.

“They are doing the bare minimum of what they would do for a state visit of a major ally.”

Several honors afforded visiting American presidents or other heads of state will be missing.

He will not get the usual welcome in Horse Guards Parade, the grand parade ground in central London where visiting heads of state are usually invited to inspect the honor guard with the queen before a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

Instead, he will follow the example of President George W. Bush, who was given his royal welcome in the garden of Buckingham Palace in 2003 because of fears protesters would line the route through London

Trump will not get to stay at Buckingham Palace with the Queen. Both Bush and Obama, the only two American presidents to have been granted official state visits, stayed at the royal residence, but Trump has been told that renovations to the east wing of the palace meant its guest rooms were out of service

The run-up to this visit featured speculation about whether Trump would be invited to address the British Parliament.

In the end, the speaker — the figure who presides over the House of Commons and who had previously said Trump’s attendance would run counter to Parliament’s longstanding opposition to sexism and racism — said he had not been asked by British officials to host the president. Presidents Obama, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton all addressed Parliament.

A U.K. official said Trump had not requested to address Parliament. “The president not asking to do that is the norm,” he said. On both sides of the Atlantic, a mutually-convenient cover story of Trump not being asked to be invited in order to avoid being told he will not be invited appears to have been adopted

Previous visits have sometimes reflected the warm relations between individual leaders.

In 1982 the queen invited Ronald Reagan to stay with her at Windsor Castle and took him horse riding. A decade late, Bill and Hillary Clinton were treated to a night aboard the royal yacht Britannia.

And in 2011, Obama grilled sausages with David Cameron in the garden of Number 10 during an event for British and American service personnel.

That said, in summing up his stay in the UK, Trump tweeted:

I will cover the president’s attendance at D-Day commemorations in Portsmouth and in Normandy in tomorrow’s post.

President Trump had a busy schedule at the end of May 2019, which included a return trip to Japan.

This time it was a State Visit.

As he and First Lady Melania would be out of the country on Memorial Day weekend, they visited Arlington Cemetery before their departure:

On May 25, the first day of the State Visit to Japan, Trump met with that nation’s business leaders, too many to list here:

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie hosted the Trumps for dinner that night. Abe had not forgotten his guest’s favourite dessert:

Abe was delighted to welcome back his friend:

The next day, the two world leaders played golf:

Their wives toured the Mori Building Digital Art Museum:

The QTree explained the significance of the following day’s welcome by the new Emperor and Empress of Japan — a first for both couples:

… our President and FLOTUS become the first guests of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace.

There are three components to the state visit: (1) The guest arrival and formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress. (2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard.  (3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests.

During the official state call component there is an exchange of gifts.

1) Formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress …

2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard.

The ‘inside palace’ greeting and introduction was not covered by international media. However, due to the significance of the visit (first of imperial era of Reiwa) it was broadcast on local Japanese media (below).

Body language and facial expressions can’t be faked. They are all VERY PLEASED AND HONORED to meet one another. Such a proud moment for both nations.

(3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests in video below.

Then, there was the customary exchange of gifts. The Japanese emperor is an accomplished violin and viola player, as evidenced below in this video from 2007:

The accompanying press pool report states (emphases mine):

The President presented the Emperor an American-made viola in a custom case and a signed photo of American composer Aaron Copland. This vintage 1938 viola was handmade in Charleston, West Virginia. The President also presented the Emperor with a signed and framed photo of the President.

The First Lady presented the Empress with a custom White House desk set featuring a pen made of Harvard tree wood. The Empress herself studied Economics at Harvard. This fountain pen was handcrafted from a red oak tree that still stands in Old Harvard Yard. The First Lady also presented the Empress with a signed and framed photo of the First Lady.

The Emperor presented the President with a traditional Japanese pottery and porcelain bowl as well as a signed and framed photo of His Majesty the Emperor.

The Empress presented the First Lady with an ornamental Japanese lacquer box with traditional design as well as a framed and signed photo of Her Majesty the Empress.

Note: It is long-standing custom of the Imperial Palace that their Majesties the Emperor and Empress exchange signed, framed photographs with their guests on the occasion of a State Visit.

Afterwards, Trump and Abe held discussions on trade and security:

Their wives attended a cultural presentation:

Upon his return, Trump tweeted:

While the Trumps were in Japan, on May 25, actor Jon Voight tweeted:

The president faces the same threats as Lincoln did. He is in danger every day from people who desperately want to remove him from office, either by death or by impeachment. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says Trump belongs in prison.

The Mueller Report left the door open to more scheming by Democrats.

The coup is not yet over.

Therefore, on May 30, the Revd Franklin Graham issued a national appeal for prayer for the president on Sunday, June 2:

That day, another friend of the president’s explained to Fox News that this appeal had nothing to do with politics but the real fight of good versus evil:

Other pastors on social media had to remind their detractors that they had prayed for past presidents, too:

On Friday, May 31, a mass shooting took place in Virginia Beach. After golfing on Sunday, June 2, the president visited the Revd David Platt’s McLean Bible Church in Virginia, where he joined congregants in praying silently for the victims of the shooting.

The New York Post reported:

While he did not talk during the service, Trump stood behind pastor David Platt as he offered a prayer for the 12 killed in Friday’s mass shooting.

The president was there to “visit with the Pastor and pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach,” said Judd Deere, the White House’s deputy press secretary.

Trump arrived at about 2:20 p.m. and his motorcade left a little over 15 minutes later.

DeWayne Craddock, 40, slaughtered 12 at Virginia Beach’s municipal building Friday — just hours after quitting his job as a civil engineer.

In turn, Platt prayed for the president:

I do not know where Platt stands on his stance of private redistribution of wealth he was promoting back in 2012, but I am grateful that he prayed for President Trump.

Considering the prayers, the threats that the president endures daily and Jon Voight’s comparison of him with Lincoln, it was amazing that he and the first lady went to Ford’s Theatre that night for an awards presentation. Ford’s Theatre was the site of Lincoln’s assassination:

I am very glad I was out of the country at the time. Otherwise I would have been worried about his safety.

Yet, thankfully, God continues to watch over President Trump, who flew to London that night with the first lady and his family (apart from Barron).

More on that trip tomorrow.

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