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text 2017-11-11 10:00
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 3 - Armistice Day / Veterans' Day

Tasks for Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Make, or draw a red poppy and show us a pic of your red poppy or other symbol of remembrance –OR– post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war.

 

 

"A man of importance had been shot at a place I could not pronounce in Swahili or in English, and, because of this shooting, whole countries were at war. It seemed a laborious method of retribution, but that was the way it was being done. ...


A messenger came to the farm with a story to tell. It was not a story that meant much as stories went in those days. It was about how the war progressed in German East Africa and about a tall young man who was killed in it. ... It was an ordinary story, but Kibii and I, who knew him well, thought there was no story like it, or one as sad, and we think so now.


The young man tied his shuka on his shoulder one day and took his shield and his spear and went to war. He thought war was made of spears and shields and courage, and he brought them all.


But they gave him a gun, so he left the spear and the shield behind him and took the courage, and went where they sent him because they said this was his duty and he believed in duty. ...


He took the gun and held it the way they had told him to hold it, and walked where they told him to walk, smiling a little and looking for another man to fight.


He was shot and killed by the other man, who also believed in duty, and he was buried where he fell. It was so simple and so unimportant.


But of course it meant something to Kibii and me, because the tall young man was Kibii's father and my most special friend. Arab Maina died on the field of action in the service of the King. But some said it was because he had forsaken his spear.”
― Beryl Markham, West with the Night

 

 

“The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King  

 

 

In Flanders Fields

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you, from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.”
― John McCrae

 

 

“War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace.”
― Thomas Mann, as quoted in This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of One Hundred Thoughtful Men and Women

 

 

“There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”
― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

 

 

People who prefer to believe the worst of others will breed war and religious persecutions while the world lasts.”

― Dorothy L. Sayers, The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers. Vol. 1, 1899-1936

 

Merken

Merken

Merken

Merken

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text 2017-11-11 10:00
The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Third Square: St. Martin's Day and Armistice Day / Veterans' Day
St. Martin’s Day

St. Martin's Day, also known as the Feast of Saint Martin, Martinstag or Martinmas, is the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours (Martin le Miséricordieux, a Roman soldier turned monk after his baptism), and it is celebrated on November 11.  This is the time when autumn wheat seeding was completed, and when historically hiring fairs were held where farm laborers would seek new posts. – The best-known legend associated with his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying from the cold.  In a dream, St. Martin saw the beggar revealed as Jesus Christ.

 

St. Martin’s Day processions – which typically end up with a bonfire – are held in the evening, with participating children carrying colorful lanterns (often homemade).  The goose became a symbol of St. Martin of Tours, because legend has it that when trying to avoid being ordained bishop he hid in a goose pen, but was betrayed by the cackling of the geese.  (St. Martin's feast day falls in November, when geese are ready for killing.)  He is also credited with helping spread viticulture in the Touraine region.  A pastry associated with St. Martin’s Day in parts of the German-speaking world is the “Weckmann”, a sweet yeast dough figure with raisin eyes clutching a white clay pipe.  (Elsewhere, it’s more commonly eaten on St. Nicholas’ Day.)

 

The Reading Tasks:

Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job. –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).

 

–OR–

 

Other Tasks: Write a Mother Goose-style rhyme or a limerick; the funnier the better. –OR– Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background. –OR– Bake a Weckmann; if you’re not a dab hand with yeast baking, make a batch of gingerbread men, or something else that’s typical of this time of the year where you live. Post pics of the results and the recipe if you’d like to share it.

 

 

Armistice Day / Veterans’ Day

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of WW I, which took effect at 11:00 AM – the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.  The date was declared a national holiday in many allied nations, and coincides with Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth and Veterans’ Day in the U.S., both public holidays.  The poppy became the international symbol of the day as a result of its being mentioned in the poem In Flanders Fields by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, which commemorates the fallen soldiers buried under the Flanders poppy fields.

 

The Reading Tasks:

Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction). –OR– Read a book with poppies on the cover.

 

–OR–

 

Other Tasks:

Make, or draw a red poppy and show us a pic of your red poppy or other symbol of remembrance –OR– post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war.

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review 2006-01-01 00:00
After the Armistice Ball: A Dandy Gilver Murder Mystery
After the Armistice Ball: A Dandy Gilver Murder Mystery - Catriona McPherson I thought this was one of the best crime novels I have read that has been written in the last 20 years. I find it extremely satisfying that not only is Dandy a good detective, but that she thinks as someone living through the post-war period would have been likely to. Ms McPherson has drawn excellent 3D characters and although I knew nothing about Scotland (either in the 1920s or even much now) before reading this series I felt that I had gained an insight into that society at that time. One other thing that is great is the nature of the relationship between Dandy and Alec.

If you enjoyed Dorothy L. Sayers then I like to think you would enjoy these - they are not the same, as that would be too boring, but they are intelligently written, the outcomes are feasible and it is hard waiting for the next one in the series.

Many thanks.
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