Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've Discovered Downton Abbey

For as long as I can recall, I've considered myself a bit of an Anglophile. (Our friends at Wikipedia define Anglophile as someone who is fond of English Culture). At any rate, I am one. I've long been a fan of Masterpiece Theatre, the venerable PBS series that has featured the best of the best television programming, in my humble opinion. That series alone makes the dreadful fundraising drives worth the torture. For some unknown reason, I've not watched much television at all- never mind Masterpiece Theatre. Well anyway, I stumbled on a British drama series called 'Downton Abbey'. It is a magnificent British period piece storyline, so if you love that sort of thing, run-don't walk to download it from iTunes.

I won't even try to tell the entire story, or give away the plot, but in short Downton Abbey follows the lives of two groups of people; the fictitious Earl and Countess of Grantham and their aristocratic Crawley family, as well as their household servants and staff. It is broadly similar to the old 'Upstairs, Downstairs' series. The story kicks off with news of the Titanic sinking, and its impact to the family. The rest, my gentle reader, you will need to watch to find out. Suffice to say, it would certainly not make this blog if the Palm Springs Savant didn't feel it was up to scratch!

If you are looking for a nice story to watch, download Downton Abbey season one. Make yourself a nice batch of tea and settle in for a really great series.
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rick's Roadshow: Florence, Italy

I've only recently returned from Florence, Italy- known to the Italians as Firenze. The capital of Tuscany, Florence is an important historical Renaissance city, with incredible architecture right from the Middle Ages that will blow your mind. A center of Medieval life in Europe, today Florence remains a major tourist attraction. Take this replica of Michelangelo's
famous statue of David. Even the replica outside the museum draws the fascination of millions each year.
From the moment I arrived, I fell in love with Florence. It is a destination that truly lives up to-and in my opinion exceeds one's expectations. Italians are generally friendly to tourists and make you feel welcome. It is so nice to be in a country where locals appreciate your presence. I should mention that there are zillions of tourists in Florence. Too many really, but nevertheless it exudes beauty and charm on every corner.
For those of you who are art-history buffs, there is no better place to visit. Statue galore, museums, and eye-popping paintings will leave even the casual admirer in awe.

Florence has a natural beauty to it. The city's muted earth tones are easy on the eyes and visually stimulating. Punctuated by the River Arno, you only need to close your eyes to imagine what life during in the Renaissance was like for this fair city.
And now, a little picture show for you:

an artist was painting the scene, I like this photo!

have you ever seen such beauty?

Cute little sidewalk restaurants abound...

vineyards on a hillside...sigh.

taking a moment to soak it all in. Ah Florence, such beauty!


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

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