Thursday, August 11, 2011

Funeral Blues, Riots

John HannahI mentioned, yesterday, that I had watched Four Weddings and a Funeral on Tuesday night. During the funeral a poem is recited as part of a eulogy, I have wondered about this poem before and I finally got round to finding it. I think it’s quite beautiful. W.H. Auden is not a poet with whom I am familiar, but this certainly fits the occasion and was beautifully read by John Hannah in the movie.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

My working week and my Sunday rest,

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

-- W H Auden

I clicked on the poet’s name and found a lot of his other works many of which I read. One verse really struck me as apposite today, from Doggerel by a Senior Citizen - I could almost have written that myself.

When couples played or sang duets,

It was immoral to have debts;

I shall continue till I die,

To pay in cash for what I buy.

I can think of several governments and countries who should read and remember that piece of wisdom. Not to mention the private citizens who run up extreme debt as well.

The riots in Britain continue, Tuesday night they were in bothRiots Birmingham and Manchester with three men being killed in the former. In London the cops used water cannon and flooded the streets, I did hear talk of rubber bullets, but I am not sure if these were used or not. The prime minister promises that people who lose their homes and businesses will be compensated. My personal opinion is that they should reintroduce national service which was stopped many years ago, but prior to that time there were not gangs of young people with nothing to do but cause problems. Mind you they even arrested an 11 yr. old whom they sent home on probation. The courts are so busy they were working all night.

We had a plethora of broccoli so I decided to turn some of it into soup which we then had for supper last night.

Best Cream Of Broccoli Soup

recipe image

Photo By: Diana Moutsopoulos

Servings: 6

"Onions, celery and broccoli cooked in chicken broth are puréed with milk in this roux-thickened soup."


2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 cups chicken broth

8 cups broccoli florets

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

ground black pepper to taste

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized stock pot, and sauté onion and celery until tender. Add broccoli and broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot. 
In small saucepan, over medium-heat melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and add milk. Stir until thick and bubbly, and add to soup. Season with pepper and serve

Have a great day


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