Tag: birthday

For Mother, who would have been 91 today

Monday, 29 July, 2019

We celebrate the birthday of Kit O’Donnell today with the poem In the Same Space by C. P. Cavafy, translated from the original Greek by Edmund Keeley. We also remember the love, the generosity, the wit, the words and the indestructible legacy.

In the Same Space

The setting of houses, cafés, the neighbourhood
that I’ve seen and walked through years on end:

I created you while I was happy, while I was sad,
with so many incidents, so many details.

And, for me, the whole of you has been transformed into feeling.

C. P. Cavafy (29 April 1863 – 29 April 1933)


For Mother’s birthday

Sunday, 29 July, 2018

“Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.” — Roberto Bolaño

Mother's birthday

Sup, Yo!

Friday, 18 May, 2018

Recent birthday presents included a camisa superior by Toni Vartrano, the promise of a lunch at O’Callaghan’s Deli, and, from Ian, a copy of Shakespeare’s Words by David Crystal and Ben Crystal. Upon opening the book, the first word Mrs Rainy Day noticed was “sup”, a verb meaning to have supper:

1H4 I.ii.191 [Prince Hal to Poins, of Eastcheap] These I’ll sup
2H4 II.ii. 139 [Prince Henry to Bardolph, of Falstaff] Where sups he?
Oth V.i. 117 [Iago to Emilia] Go know of Cassio where he supped tonight

The meaning of “sup” has morphed in our time and in the lingo of the yoof it’s become the short form of the phrase “What’s up?” In another context it’s capitalized as SUP, which is the acronym for the popular activity known as standup paddleboarding, often referred to as standup paddling. The image below shows a band of SUPPERS at play in the Mediterranean Sea. Hat tip: Mrs RD.

SUP in Sitges

A single candle can defy the darkness

Friday, 29 July, 2016 1 Comment

Today, we remember, with sadness and joy, the birthday of Catherine O’Donnell-Fitzgerald (29 July 1928 – 6 September 2015). Her generosity, wit and hospitality were legendary and her legacy of love is a permanent reminder that some families are blessed by goodness and some are not. It is true that when the sun has set, no candle can replace it, but it is equally true that a single candle can defy the darkness.

Blowing the candles out

“If you don’t grieve for the dead, how can you mourn for the living?” — John le Carré, Smiley’s People

God and Shakespeare at work

Monday, 17 February, 2014 0 Comments

“And what a character is Iago! undaunted John Eglinton exclaimed. When all is said Dumas fils (or is it Dumas pere?) is right. After God Shakespeare has created most.” Ulysses, by James Joyce, Episode 9, Scylla and Charybdis.

On 26 April 1564, John Bretchgirdle, the parish vicar of Statford, a small town in Warwickshire, noted the baptism of “Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakespeare.” This year, Rainy Day (and the world) will celebrate the 450th birthday of that extraordinarily creative person. We’re kicking off with Shakespeare Exchange, a New York based theatre company, which is publishing video clips of each of his 154 sonnets, performed by 154 different actors. For beginners, here’s Sonnet 101.

Françoise Hardy at 70

Saturday, 18 January, 2014 0 Comments

The story goes that on 24 May 1966 at a concert in l’Olympia in Paris, Bob Dylan refused to return to the stage unless Françoise Hardy agreed to meet him. Later that night, during his 25th birthday party celebrations at the George V Hotel off the Champs-Elysées, he took Hardy to his suite and serenaded her with I Want You and Just Like a Woman. She recalled that he looked like a vampire with yellow skin and long yellow fingernails. Françoise Hardy was 70 yesterday. Joyeux anniversaire!

Another Side of Bob Dylan, the singer-songwriter’s fourth studio album, was released in August 1964. The liner notes contained the following verse:

françoise hardy
at the seine’s edge
a giant shadow
of notre dame
seeks t’ grab my foot
sorbonne students
whirl by on thin bicycles
swirlin’ lifelike colors of leather spin
the breeze yawns food
far from the bellies
or erhard meetin’ johnson
piles of lovers
lay themselves on their books. boats.
old men
clothed in curly mustaches
float on the benches
blankets of tourists
in bright red nylon shirts
with straw hats of ambassadors
(cannot hear nixon’s
dawg bark now)
will sail away
as the sun goes down
the doors of the river are open
i must remember that
i too play the guitar
it’s easy t’ stand here
more lovers pass
on motorcycles
roped together
from the walls of the water then
i look across t’ what they call
the right bank
an’ envy

Galty at 80

Tuesday, 3 April, 2012

The Great Galty at 80

“His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings / He furleth close; contented so to look / On mists in idleness — to let fair things / Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.” The Human Seasons, John Keats. Today, we hope that Galty will be contented to look back on 80 memorable years as he looks out upon the mists along the the mountains that carry his noble name. Happy birthday!