As I write on my blog today, I have decided to make this a regular segment of stories each week called Weak Skim with a Little Sugar … you know, compared to the Strong Full-Cream no Sugar variety which is very political involving wars, murders and all things nasty.
You see, I often come across lighthearted pieces of news that I find interesting from the newspaper or online; sometimes too I hear things on the radio that I’d love to share. From this, the Weak Skim with a Little Sugar variety of news was born! Let’s start shall we? I give you my inaugural post.
Has anyone been watching Eurovision this last week? I don’t often watch it when it’s on, but sometimes … just sometimes … I can’t resist flicking the TV over to Channel 3 (SBS) and see parts of it as I did on Saturday night. I happened to visit at the moment when a man/woman called Conchita Wurst was about to sing. Imagine my surprise when ‘she’ came on all ‘glammed up’ looking gorgeous AND with a full beard, singing “Rise like a Phoenix.”
What a voice! And how absurd! It could only happen at Eurovision! Conchita Wurst belted out that song like Shirley Bassey and I was compelled to watch it until the end. It turns out that Conchita is actually a man called Tom and with a little digging I found out more on his/her website:
The private person Tom Neuwirth and the art figure Conchita Wurst respect each other from the bottom of their hearts. They are two individual characters with their own individual stories, but with one essential message for tolerance and against discrimination. http://www.conchitawurst.com/index.php?id=7
And now dear friends, from my five minutes of watching Eurovision, I just happened to watch the Winner for 2014!! Of all the times to tune in. I was actually watching to see Jessica Mauboy – who was invited by the organisers of Eurovision to sing at the semi-final. As you know, Australia can’t take part in EUROvision as they are not part of Europe, but we were able to do the next best thing: take part as a guest.
And I did find Jessica later on my recording of the show and the whole Australia act was fabulous! Watch the segment on YouTube, it is great. http://www.eurovision.tv/page/multimedia/videos?id=109623
#2 THE FOUNDER OF MOTHER’S DAY
With Mother’s Day just gone I found this interesting piece about the founder online. You see, Mother’s Day is fine and dandy if you have a mother you love and a family that manages to pull itself together to celebrate this special day, but if your family is in tatters and you are ‘enduring’ a less than perfect relationship and you can hardly even bid your Mum the time of day, it is a difficult time. Then of course, there are many more imperfect scenarios that make Mother’s Day difficult for some.
Well, spare a thought for Anna Jarvis the founder of Mother’s Day, because over the years, she ended up hating the day that she created. She never thought that the day she founded would attract such commercialism and this fact haunted her for the rest of her life. News.com.au says:
“The first Mother’s Day was held in May 1908 in a Methodist church hall where Ann Jarvis had taught Sunday school in West Virginia, and at the Wanamaker’s department store auditorium in Philadelphia. Anna Jarvis went to the Philadelphia event, but sent 500 white carnations to decorate the West Virginia event, because they were her mother’s favourite flower.” /www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/why-anna-jarvis-founder-of-mothers-day-hated-it/story-fnet085v-1226913208890
Anna later became outraged at the department stores and others who had hijacked Mother’s Day. In an article in 1924 she called them: “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.”
Oh dear, not a fan at all! Unfortunately, it affected her so much that she ended up in a psychiatric hospital where she died in 1948. Sad really, but I suppose she couldn’t handle the fact that what was supposed to be “a celebration for sons and daughters; a thank offering for the blessings of good homes” had got so out of hand. I think all of us can only agree. Read the whole story on the link above, it is truly tragic.
#3 MESSAGES IN STRANGE PLACES
This breaking news comes out of my travels to Coffs Harbour last week. Regular readers of my blog will remember the post I wrote about finding a wonderful drawing with a message on the back of a toilet door when we stopped for lunch at a tiny little town along the way (see the images here: https://tessross.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/inspiration-in-unlikely-places/)
Well, I thought it was a one-off thing didn’t I? Imagine my surprise to find another message on a toilet door when we stopped for lunch in a tiny town in New South Wales on Friday. In fact, I wondered what I might find when I walked into the toilet block but dismissed the thought from my mind thinking: “This couldn’t happen twice in a row surely?”
Well … yes actually it can.
As if there weren’t enough rolls of toilet paper on the door, there was also a message: “Remember You Were Created Special!” How could you miss it? I checked the other toilet, but there were no further messages for us passers-by. When I informed Geoff that there had been ANOTHER message from behind a loo door, he was as amazed as I was. I think this could just become a hobby for me: looking behind toilet doors for inspiration?
Mind you, the whole park was full of messages on trees so it came as no surprise to find one from behind a toilet door.
#4 THE STORY OF TETLEY TEA
Speaking of messages, I was making a cup of tea for my hairdresser yesterday (she comes to the house) when she looked at my Tetley Extra Strong Teabags and said “Look Tess, there is a message on the tag of the teabag.” I was surprised. I had gone through a rather large box of these teabags and had never noticed any messages! Now this is not at all like me as I am inquisitive always reading everything I come across. The message on one said: “An extra strong tea? Better give me an extra minute“ . The other teabag said: “For the next 5 minutes I’ll be with someone stronger.” How funny! My hairdresser and I had a good laugh.
As luck would have it, this morning I opened a new box of Tetley teabags (this time the ‘All Rounder’) I automatically began to read the blurb on the box. Now, this is NOT an ad for Tetley tea … I am not getting paid for this! In fact, it was only the second time I had bought the brand. I enjoyed my first purchase so much that I decided to try the Tetley ‘All rounder’ teabags. And there, upon the box, I found out the story of Tetley Tea. It is interesting and the perfect story for Weak Skim with a Little Sugar.
“In 1837, two brothers decided to stir up the tea industry, by horse. Really. Each morning for 19 years, Joseph and Edward Tetley loaded a packhorse with their finest tea and peddled it until the Yorkshire sun set. How did they (and the horse) do it for so long? We have no idea.
Finally, they set up shop in London. The horse was gone but the Tetley spirit remained: one part pragmatic attitude, an equal measure of working class roots and a generous spoonful of ‘stiff upper lip.’ There you have it. An almost 200-ish year history we’re quite proud of.”
Okay, so Weak Skim with a Little Sugar #1 is done and dusted. Hope you come back another week to find out more …