Blogs from District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 3

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 30th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Thursday, April 6, 2017 Today, Thursday April 6th 2017, is a Vietnamese national holiday – the Hung Kings' Commemoration Day. The Hung Kings – all 19 of them - were the founding fathers of Vietnam. The first Hùng king, Kinh Duong Vuong, came to power in 2879 BC. He founded the Hong Bang Dynasty, whose members ruled Vietnam until 258 BC. The internet states that: "The Hung Kings' Commemoration Day is oriented around the themes of filial piety, ancestor worship, and patriotism. For many people, Hung Kings' Commemoration Day is a joyous occasion centred around traditional Vietnamese culture and values." Today was a fairly joyous occasion for me, because I was on holiday, and a former student treated me to lunch in a fancy restaurant, Eon51 on the ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 29th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Saturday, November 5, 2016 Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date; Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st; Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st: So long as men can br... read more
Original 1609 Frontispiece of the Sonnets
Who is the 'Thee' of Sonnet XV111?

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 29th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Saturday, November 12, 2016 Oh, a storm is threat'ning My very life today If I don't get some shelter Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away War, children, it's just a shot away It's just a shot away War, children, it's just a shot away It's just a shot away Ooh, see the fire is sweepin' Our very street today Burns like a red coal carpet Mad bull lost its way War, children, it's just a shot away It's just a shot away War, children, it's just a shot away It's just a shot away Rape, murder! It's just a shot away It's just a shot away Rape, murder yeah! It's just a shot away It's just a shot away Rape, murder! It's just a shot away It's just a shot away ... read more
Stones
The Rolling Stones 1969

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Sunday, October 18, 2015 This wonderful photograph has been part of my life since the 1950's. It was in an album of small black and white photos - depicting the early, premarital, life of my father - kept in an old tin box in our house in Reading. When, after my mother’s death, I took full ownership of the Reading house, buying my sister’s half share, I inherited a portion of the family photos, including this one. Some years ago in Ho Chi Minh City I decided to have it blown up and displayed in my apartment (along with various other old black and white photos). Right now, it graces the door of the guest bathroom – prominently placed so that my toilet-going friends can admire it. The ... read more
The Bathams Eight!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Friday, October 30, 2015 Thai, my wife Thuy's brother-in-law, is dead. He was taken ill in his native Tan Chau, moved to a hospital in Long Xuyen and, a week later, when his condition became critical, rushed by ambulance to Ho Chi Minh City, where he died at 11-40pm on October 27th 2015. He was 42. His untimely death has shocked us all. Six of Thuy’s seven sisters, along with husbands and friends, travelled to the hospital in HCMC where Thai lay in a deep coma, on a drip, with assorted tubes inside his mouth. He had been unconscious, unable to speak, for over a week when the doctors pronounced him past saving and removed the various pieces of life-saving apparatus from his body. I found out only on the day ... read more
At Our Wedding August 2014
Happy Days

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Monday, November 9, 2015 "Don't it always seem to go That you don’t know what you got Till it’s gone" (Joni Mitchell) “There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced, as by a good tavern or inn” (Dr Johnson) Santa Café is no more. My favourite Saigon drinking haunt, on the corner of Bui Vien and Do Quang Dau, has closed forever. The rent escalated to $8000 a month, which the owner could not afford, and now the place is completely shuttered up. Santa drew its last breath on Hallowe’en, October 31st 2015. Apparently, a KFC will now be built on the site. It is some small consolation that La Vang Café, Santa’s sister bar/restaurant across the street, remains open, staffed by ... read more
Lee, Oliver, Nick and Lars
The Good Old Days
Gam - My Favourite Waitress

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

I'd never heard of Palestrina until I was well into my 20’s. One day – around 1977 – I asked Maurice Bradley, my friend and cultural mentor, to name his favourite musician. Without hesitating, he replied: 'Palestrina’. The name meant nothing to me. Maurice is an expert on opera and classical music. I have always respected his musical opinions, so when he praised Palestrina, I went out and bought a vinyl LP containing Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli. It was a revelation. I was deeply into jazz at the time but had always enjoyed classical music. Palestrina, however, was something new. This was 16th century polyphony, a genre I’d never heard before – heavenly church voices interweaving in Latin without musical accompaniment. If I want to be transported to heaven, away from the passions and stresses of ... read more
Missa Papae Marcelli - One of His 105 Masses

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Monday, November 30, 2015 Tyson Fury has confounded the pundits (and me) by beating Vladimir Klitschko to become the new heavyweight boxing champion of the world. In 1964 after dethroning the seemingly invincible Sonny Liston, young Cassius Clay boasted: "I shook up the world!" Klitschko is no Liston, but his defeat has shaken up the world of boxing. He was widely expected to retain his crown against the relatively inexperienced Fury, thus equalling Joe Louis's record of 26 wins in heavyweight title bouts. But Fury was not overawed and, from the opening bell, made Klitschko look ponderous and old. His unanimous points win was richly deserved. I watched the fight in Phatty’s Sports Bar in Ho Chi Minh City at 10am on Sunday morning. It was a recording of what had ... read more
Fury's Left Jab
Rampant!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Saturday, January 16, 2016 When I asked my friend, Maurice, who adores opera and classical music, to name his favourite musical instrument, he replied: "The human voice." I agree. The human voice has infinite variety, a far greater range of expression than any single instrument. Maurice was talking about the singing voice, but the death of Alan Rickman (14/01/2016) has reminded me of just how beautiful and expressive the spoken word can be. Here are my reflections on some of the great speaking voices that I have enjoyed. As a child, I was captivated by the voice of Johnny Morris on BBC television. He was Welsh, a natural mimic, and his programmes were aimed at children. He had a wonderfully soft, tender, flexible voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Gd... read more
The Great John Wayne
The Marvellous Alan Rickman

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 May 28th 2017

Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Sunday, March 27, 2016 Since 2001 I've been living in Vietnam where there is no cricket, except on the big screen in sports bars during World Cups. Although I still read the latest cricket news, I have essentially lost touch with the game. I have no time for T20 and haven't watched a live game for years, not since I travelled to Melbourne to watch the Boxing Day Test in 2002. Increasingly, I live on my cricket memories. Here they are. I was born in 1951, when my parents were living in lodgings in Tilehurst, Reading. According to my mother, I was dandled by the Bedser twins, Alec and Eric, who lived on our road. At that time Alec was still bowling for England, although just past his ... read more
The Voice of Cricket
Viv Murdering the Bowling
My Protege




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