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domingo, 26 de agosto de 2012

The Empire Dances Back [Notting Hill Carnival]

The end of August has a taste of bank holiday for the British. On this weekend, Notting Hill a popular suburn in London celebrates its annual Carnival. The Empire dances back on it and the streets are full of music and colour: masquerade is served with feathers and drums as garnish.

Notting Hill Festival first took place in 1964. It has been a celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture since then. In colonial times lots of people were taken from African countries to work in the plantations in the Caribbean colonies. That was called the Middle Passage. Then, those people wanted to have a better future and went to "Mother England!" to receive an education and a to have the opportunity of graduating at the university. Most of these people now have recovered their identities and have spoken back. This is called the third passage.
I wonder what would have been their the first passage in the mind of a British. Probably before they were taken to the "first" world in infrahuman conditions.
Thanks to Northamerican president, Abraham Lincoln, everybody can dance freely on Notting Hill Carnival.


Teaching English by Fran | Presidents' Day
Teaching English by Fran | Black History Month

jueves, 16 de agosto de 2012

Julia Child


Yesterday it was the anniversary of the birthday of Julia Child. Even google celebrated with one of their already classic doodles

Some of you would have known about her after watching the movie Julie & Julia, where the character of Julia was performed magistrally as always by Meryl Streep . Both of them were/are quite tall, over 6 feet in the case of Child.

But, who was Mrs. Child? Destiny took this Pasadena girl to live in Paris in 1948 because of the WWII. Her husband was reassigned to work in the Information Service at the American Embassy in Paris.

Therefore, Child became a Parisian in her way of cooking. She attended classes in the well-known school Cordon Bleu and afterwards, she even dared to found her own one with two classmates and they called it L'école de les Trois Gourmandes.
With the goal of adapting French sophistication in cuisine to the American public by publishing a two-volume cookery book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was rather innovative. Thanks to the good selling of the book, she embarked in a new adventure: television. Her first programme was a The French Chef, changing American ideas on cuisine.

From that moment on there were more TV shows and book publishing, being the latest Julia’s Casual Dinners published in 1999.

She was also criticized among other things for using too much fat and not washing her hands in the kitchen. Despite critics, Julia Child was the first woman in the Culinary Institute Hall of Fame.




Teaching English by Fran |Melitzanosalata [DiaDeLaEnsalada]
Teaching English by Fran |Greek Independence Day and Greek Easter

domingo, 5 de agosto de 2012

On the Day I Complete my Thirty-six

'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!

My days are in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits of love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief,
Are mine alone!

The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic isle;
No torch is kindled at its blaze -
A funeral pile!

The hope, the fear, the jealous care,
The exalted portion of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.

But 'tis not thus -and 'tis not here -
Such thoughts should shake my soul, nor now,
Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.

The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around me see!
The Spartan, borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.

Awake! (not Greece -she is awake!)
Awake, my spirit! Think through whom
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!

Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood! -unto thee
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of beauty be.

If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable death
Is here: -up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!

Seek out -less often sought than found -
A soldier's grave, for thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.

This poem, written by one of my favourite poets (Lord Byron) in my favourite country (Greece), in Missolonghi, on January. 22, 1824 is dedicated to the icon, the actress, the first-lady-to-be, the addicted, the blonde ambition, the new Helen of Troy, the I-am-always-late, the diva, the caviar-lover, the myth, the short-sighted, the victim, the forever young, the do-be-do, the temptation who lives uptairs, the milionaire-catcher, the blessed, the cursed, the lucrative product, the sex-symbol, the fostered girl, the showgirl, Chanel Number 5 few drops, the lonely girl, the bombshell, the diamond's best friend, the bus stop girl, the candle in the wind, the happybirthday Mr. President, the legend, in fact, THE WOMAN. Why Lord Byron? Because they both died at the age of thirty-six.


Teaching English by Fran |International Women's Day