U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, right, talks with civil rights leaders in his White House office in Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 1964. The black leaders, from left, are, Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); James Farmer, national director of the Committee on Racial Equality; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Whitney Young, executive director of the Urban League. (AP Photo) Photo: Beaumont


Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (November 20, 1910 – July 1, 1985) was a civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, lawyer, and author. She was also the first black woman ordained an Episcopal priest. Born in Baltimore, she later moved to New York and obtained a degree in English in 1933. In 1940 she was arrested for violating Virginia’s segregation laws on a bus. This incident, along with her involvement in the socialist Workers Defense League to free a Black sharecropper from execution for killing his white landlord, led her to become a civil rights lawyer. She enrolled at Howard University’s law school where she, along with James Farmer and Bayard Rustin co-founded C.O.R.E. (Congress for Racial Equality) in 1942. 

While at Howard, she became conscious of sexism, or “Jane Crow” as she called it. As one of the few women law students there, she found herself the object not of hostility but of ridicule. On her first day of classes she was shocked to hear her professor announce that he didn’t know why women went to law school, but that since they were there, he guessed the men would have to put up with them. She responded with steely silence. “The professor didn’t know it,” she later wrote, “but he had just guaranteed that I would be the top student in his class.” 

After passing the California bar exam in 1945, Murray became the state’s first black deputy attorney general. It would be Murray’s 1950 book States’ Laws on Race and Color that NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall would hail as the “bible” of the civil rights movement, directly contributing to the 1954 Brown vs. Board decision. Respect for her mind did not improve her treatment by men in the movement however. In 1963, she became one of the first to criticize the sexism of the civil rights movement. In a letter to civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, among other grievances, she criticized the fact in the 1963 March on Washington no women were invited to make one of the major speeches or to be part of its delegation of leaders who went to the White House:

I have been increasingly perturbed over the blatant disparity between the major role which Negro women have played and are playing in the crucial grassroots levels of our struggle and the minor role of leadership they have been assigned in the national policy-making decisions. It is indefensible to call a national march on Washington and send out a call which contains the name of not a single woman leader.[x]

Murray lived in Ghana from 1960–61, serving on the faculty of the Ghana School of Law. She then returned to the US and studied at Yale Law School, becoming the first African-American to receive a J.S.D. from the school in 1965. Murray co-wrote the critical position papers on the E.R.A., Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the American Civil Liberties Union brief for the White v. Crook case, which successfully challenged all-white, all-male juries in Lowndes County, Alabama. In 1966 she was one of the founding members of NOW (National Organization for Women), but resigned when the white women of the organization failed to incorporate analysis of racial oppression into their activism.

[I’ve begun to] reassess my entire relationship to the women’s movement and to ponder how I can remain effective without exposing myself to humiliation, for it is humiliating to be deliberately excluded from participation in an area to which one has devoted many years of one’s life.[x]

In 1973, Murray left law and academia for the Episcopal Church, becoming a priest, and was the first Black woman named an Episcopal saint in 2012.

AU where Sirius Black fakes his own death and becomes a farmer, but James (who is a sailor for some reason) get jealous of his relationship and so goes and tells Regulus, who had inherited the family estate, that Sirius has been alive all along and so Regulus crashes Sirius’ wedding and says “OK, YOU go deal with the family portraits!  They are yelling at me!”  

And of course there are Professional Bridesmaids and Evil Time Travel.

1922 (2017)

Sometimes, Netflix makes recommendations that are right up my alley. This is one of them. 

1922 is a Netflix original movie based on a Stephen King novella of the same title. The story is framed by a written confession from the main character, Wilfred James, a farmer in rural Nevada who describes how he conspired to murder his wife in 1922.

This film is slow moving and atmospheric. It takes the time to paint a picture of the main characters and their motivations, especially Wilfred. The horror in this movie is based around that same atmosphere – the gritty, hard, and unforgiving work of a small farmer struggling to make ends meet. 

The horror scenes are brutal in the details they show, and in the way the plot moves slowly along through misfortune and tragedy until it finally reaches the ending you’d been expecting. Throughout all this, the film is framed by narrations from Wilfred’s confession, describing his state of mind, and adding to the gritty atmosphere of the film. 

This is an American gothic story without a doubt, with the way it depicts how moral compromise leads to both the literal and figurative collapse of family and home, and the lingering atmosphere of dust and decay.

Overall: 8/10. A great story with cinematography and acting to match and draw out the full feeling. And also the kind of story that shows Stephen King at his best as a storyteller. Worth checking out if you have Netflix and you like a slow burning, atmospheric film.

Hogmanay on Islay

Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve, has a special significance in Scotland. There is nowhere I would rather be than the island of Islay on New Year’s.

My first experience of Hogmanay on Islay would cement my love for the place and the festival. Upon arriving, my partner took me to the Bruichladdich whisky distillery, which at that time was locally owned. There wasn’t much going on, and the local dog, Badger, a Jack Russell terrier, ran through the gift shop and on top of the barrels without much of a care. This was where you ended up after a tour of the distillery, and most visitors were offered a few quick tastes of whisky. However, since I was a special guest, after our first few tries of various Bruichladdich whiskies, the men behind the counter said “Ach well we were going to give her the rest of this one, what do you think?”

The leftover half-bottle of whisky in question was the first cask bottling of Bruichladdich Black Art, which pours out the colour of garnet in the glass. It is, to this day, the best whisky I have ever tasted.

We walked back to Port Charlotte from Bruichladdich after drinking the rest of the bottle’s contents. The sun was out, illuminating emerald-green hills more in keeping with Ireland across the water than the usual stern and sublime landscape of Scotland. As we walked, fairly tipsy, red deer began to bound across the road and a rainbow spread from the hills of Bruichladdich all the way across the bright Caribbean blue of Lochindaal. My partner stopped in the middle of the road and shouted at the general area, “Really?? This is too much!” He insisted that the weather was usually dreary and windy, cold and unwelcoming at Hogmanay. He continued to be baffled as the beautiful weather held for the entire holiday.

In the mornings, we had freshly baked, homemade bread spread with butter and a variety of Scottish cheeses. Those wonderful fresh eggs with the orange yolks formed part of these meals and made you ready for the day ahead, walking the beach or touring the island.

However, there was no time for that, because it was the night of Simon’s party!

Simon’s party was the most anticipated event of the year. His sprawling house near the ocean was absolutely full of people, the wine and whisky flowed freely and there was always an incredible cheeseboard along with venison stew for everyone. It was a great way to meet everyone on the island and listen to the Scots talk about what was going on in the area. The younger people would go outside for a smoke and then return to the warmth of the house, where people were talking at volume and shouting with laughter. It was exactly the kind of Scottish island gathering you’d hope for in your dreams.

When my partner introduced me to Simon, he said “I say! She’s marvellous!  Where did you find her?” He also addressed the dog by saying “I say, Badger!” Simon was very welcoming and friendly, and his party was one of the best I’ve ever attended. It was also where I discovered and fell in love with Brie de Meaux, the cheese melting all across the cheeseboard while I scooped it up with crackers, drinking whisky and talking with people. One distinguished-looking old man, Duncan, was a native Gaelic speaker, and when he discovered I was learning the language he refused to speak to me in English ever again, despite the fact that I mostly had no idea what he was saying. Another local farmer, James, insisted we were from the same clan and this entitled him to a cuddle. When he accidentally revealed later on that we weren’t from the same clan at all, it turned out that he’d say pretty much anything for a cuddle from a lady. 

Then came the main event, the following night. Hogmanay began with dinner across the street at the neighbour’s house on the ocean. The three young men living there were constantly getting in the way in the kitchen, sticking their fingers in the desserts and getting yelled at by their mum. My partner looks a bit like Harry Potter, so I told him they’re the Weasleys, and I have to keep reminding myself they are actually blond and not ginger.

Champagne is served and dinner begins, an incredible feast of all different kinds of food and wine. After dinner, it’s time to cut into the cake, which is first set on fire and then cut into pieces. Someone always gets a piece where they find a pound coin. A UK Christmas tradition is also practised, where people pull apart Christmas crackers and wear paper crowns, reading stupid jokes they have found in their crackers.  We would sit around in front of the fire, talking for a while, until it was getting late enough to go out into the street.

Down the street from the house is the Port Charlotte hotel, and by this time the street is absolutely jam-packed with people.. A huge bonfire is already roaring there, near the sea, and a crowd has gathered. The Islay pipe band unpredictably shows up and starts to play. People stand under the stars out in the wild Scottish night, or they fill up the hotel bar and living area chatting and drinking. Then, men from the Bruichladdich distillery start to move through the crowd wearing camel packs of single malt whisky on their backs, pouring it into cups for people standing around. Many times, I have also shared whisky from the various bottles that people already had stowed on them. As cold as the night can be, it is incredibly warm after enough whisky. The joyous shouts and kisses of Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!  echo throughout the small village as the clock strikes twelve.

Then the fireworks begin over the water, as everyone watches and shouts their appreciation from the shore. As the beautiful display blooms and fades to the last, you move toward the bonfire or back to the hotel, where you’ve already made friends with people in the street. If you’re new to the island, they already know your name, guaranteed. There’s nothing like Hogmanay on Islay, and making sure your First Foot is a dark and handsome man, whiling the night away talking and swaying to the music beneath the Scottish stars.

Fotografías en blanco y negro coloreadas por la pintora Marina Amaral

Monje budista quemándose a lo bonzo

Huérfano inglés en Londres, 1945

Niño francés conociéndo a los soldados indios

Abraham Lincoln

Víctima de un bombardeo americano

Piloto de correo aéreo

John y Jacqueline Kennedy

Presos del campo de concetración Wöbbelin

Elvis Presley, Priscilla Presley y Lisa Marie

Tres niños franceses mirando un Panther destrozado

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What’s not to love about living in the Countryside. I’ve travelled the world and lived in Sunnier Climes but nothing beats the English Countryside in May. We had a lovely walk through the Bluebells to my Neighbours Farm today. James the Farmer promised I could Cuddle a Lamb if I could catch one. He was so cute I wanted to take him home. (The Lamb not the Farmer) hahaha!!!
It’s so pretty with all the Wildflowers coming out that I picked a few on route home and made a beautiful Bouquet. I’ll post pics shortly!!
I really want a pet pig now :)) watch this space 👩🏻‍🌾


Versailles was a world in which all the nobility revolved, according to their own rank, each in his own orbit, like the stars and planets about the sun. Etiquette, invisible and absolute as gravitation, bound all, and an infraction of its laws was the unpardonable sin.

–James Eugene Farmer, Versailles and the Court Under Louis XIV