Friday, November 17, 2017


T.R.A.C.S at Timothy Street on River Island

Roger Miller, Little Green Apples


The apple tree (Malus pumila, commonly and erroneously called Malus domestica) is a deciduous tree in the rose family best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple. It is cultivated worldwide as a fruit tree, and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.

Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally, apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
Worldwide production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China accounting for 48% of the total.

Apple (symbolism)
Apples appear in many religious traditions, often as a mystical or forbidden fruit. One of the problems identifying apples in religion, mythology and folktales is that as late as the 17th century, the word "apple" was used as a generic term for all (foreign) fruit other than berries, but including nuts. This term may even have extended to plant galls, as they were thought to be of plant origin (see oak apple). For instance, when tomatoes were introduced into Europe, they were called "love apples". In one Old English work, cucumbers are called eorþæppla (lit. "earth-apples'), just as in French, Dutch, Hebrew, Persian and Swiss German as well as several other German dialects, the words for potatoes mean "earth-apples" in English. In some languages, oranges are called "golden apples" or "Chinese apples". Datura is called 'thorn-apple".

Mythology and religion
Though the forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis is not identified, popular Christian tradition holds that Adam and Eve ate an apple from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. This may have been the result of Renaissance painters adding elements of Greek mythology into biblical scenes. The unnamed fruit of Eden thus became an apple under the influence of the story of the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides. As a result, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, the fall of man and sin.

The Ancient Greek word "μήλον" (mēlon), now a loanword in English as melon or water melon did not mean, in Homer's time, apple, the pomaceous fruit, but sheep or goat. In Latin, the words for 'apple' ("mālum") and for 'evil' ("mălum") are nearly identical. This may also have influenced the apple's becoming interpreted as the biblical 'forbidden fruit' in the commonly used Latin translation called "Vulgate". The larynx in the human throat has been called Adam's apple because of the folk tale that the bulge was caused by the forbidden fruit sticking in the throat of Adam. The apple as symbol of sexual seduction has sometimes been used to imply sexuality between men, possibly in an ironic vein.

The notion of the apple as a symbol of sin is reflected in artistic renderings of the fall from Eden. When held in Adam's hand, the apple symbolises sin. But, when Christ is portrayed holding an apple, he represents the Second Adam who brings life. This difference reflects the evolution of the symbol in Christianity. In the Old Testament, the apple was significant of the fall of man; in the New Testament, it is an emblem of the redemption from that fall. The apple is represented in pictures of the Madonna and Infant Jesus as another sign of that redemption.

Legends, folklore, and traditions
  • Apples feature frequently in fairy tales. A well-known example is the Brothers Grimm tale "Snow White", in which Snow White's evil stepmother offers her a poisonous apple which puts her to sleep. Another evil stepmother maliciously offers her stepchild an apple in another Brothers Grimm fairy tale, "The Juniper Tree". In Le piacevoli notti (The Facetious Nights) by Giovanni Francesco Straparola, apples appear in four stories.
  • Savior of the Apple Feast Day is celebrated on August 19 in Russia and Ukraine.
  • A boatbuilder's superstition holds that it is unlucky to build a boat out of wood from an apple tree because this wood was previously used to manufacture coffins.
  • Swiss folklore holds that William Tell shot an apple from his son's head with his crossbow.
  • Irish folklore claims that if an apple is peeled into one continuous ribbon and thrown behind a woman's shoulder, it will land in the shape of the future husband's initials.
  • According to popular legend, upon witnessing an apple fall from its tree, Isaac Newton was inspired to conclude that a similar 'universal gravitation' attracted the moon toward the Earth. (This legend is discussed in more detail in the article on Isaac Newton).
  • In the United States, Denmark and Sweden, a fresh, polished apple was a traditional children's gift for a teacher, starting in the 19th century. The symbol of an apple is still strongly associated with teachers to this day, with apples being a popular theme for gifts and awards given to exemplary teachers.
  • New York City is often called "The Big Apple." The term "The Big Apple" was coined by touring jazz musicians and horse racers of the 1920s who used the slang expression "apple" for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple.
  • "Comparing apples and oranges" means to examine the similarities of things that are completely different; in German and Dutch the corresponding expression is "comparing apples with pears".
  • "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a popular saying, the apple obviously symbolizing health, but also the advantages of eating fresh fruit.
  • "Apples and Pears", Cockney rhyming slang for stairs
  • Johnny Appleseed is said to have wandered the early United States planting apple trees by leaving seeds wherever he went.
  • The Macintosh project was begun in 1979 by Jef Raskin, an Apple employee who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. He wanted to name the computer after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh, but the spelling was changed to "Macintosh" for legal reasons as the original was the same spelling as that used by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc., the audio equipment manufacturer. Steve Jobs requested that McIntosh Laboratory give Apple a release for the name with its changed spelling so that Apple could use it, but the request was denied, forcing Apple to eventually buy the rights to use the name. (A 1984 Byte Magazine article suggested Apple changed the spelling only after "early users" misspelled "McIntosh". However, Jef Raskin had adopted the "Macintosh" spelling by 1981, when the Macintosh computer was still a single prototype machine in the lab. This explanation further clashes with the first explanation given above that the change was made for "legal reasons.")
  • The Son of Man (French: Le fils de l'homme) is a 1964 painting by the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. Magritte painted it as a self-portrait. The painting consists of a man in an overcoat and a bowler hat standing in front of a low wall, beyond which is the sea and a cloudy sky. The man's face is largely obscured by a hovering green apple. However, the man's eyes can be seen peeking over the edge of the apple. Another subtle feature is that the man's left arm appears to bend backwards at the elbow.

National Apple Cider Day

November 18th is National Apple Cider Day in the United States. I don’t know when it became an official Holiday.
Apple cider (also called sweet cider or soft cider) is the name used in the United States and parts of Canada for an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples. Though typically referred to simply as "cider" in those areas, it is not to be confused with the alcoholic beverage known as cider throughout most of the world, called hard cider (or just cider) in North America.

Once widely pressed at farmsteads and local mills, apple cider is now easy and inexpensive to make. Apple cider can be differentiated from apple juice in that apple juice is typically filtered to take out apple particles, pasteurized to maximize shelf-life, and sugar and water are often added to the beverage. Because of its limited shelf-life, untreated cider has become a seasonal beverage produced mostly in fall and winter months, making it a popular holiday beverage.

Today, most cider is treated to kill bacteria and extend its shelf life, but untreated cider can still be found. Apple cider is a seasonally produced drink of limited shelf-life that is typically available only in autumn. It is traditionally served on the Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and various New Year's Eve holidays, sometimes heated and mulled. It is the official state beverage of New Hampshire.

Apples are not a fruit native to the North American continent. After finding only inedible crab apples on the continent, apple seeds were brought to America by colonial settlers from England in the 17th century. The first apple orchard in North America was planted in Boston in 1625. Seeds from Europe were cultivated on Colonial farms as well as spread throughout Native American trade routes. John Chapman, known by many as “Johnny Appleseed,” traveled ahead of western-bound settlers in America and began to plant small cider apple orchards across the Midwest.

The Fall is a perfect time to make a nice warm cup of cider and enjoy as the snow hits, leaves fall, and the temperature drops. If you’re lucky enough to be in a city where fall doesn’t really exist, then there’s nothing wrong with some chilled cider either. Cider can be enjoyed cold or “mulled” by making the cider hot and adding spices like clove and cinnamon.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Beggar Party at T.R.A.C.S

T.R.A.C.S at Timothy Street on River Island

Maybe I'm A Beggar

I ain't got too much money, I ain't got too much sense
Long ago I had a dream but that's no recompense
My father was a blind man, my brother was a fool
My mother told me "God is love"
But hatred makes the rules

Teach me to fly
So I shan't drag my feet in the sand
Give me the sky
I would take the whole world in my hand

Well, don't you tell me
I cannot last at all
Before you know I'll come and go
And make you if I can
Maybe I'm a beggar
Just check your sympathy
They throw away their gentle love
And keep their pain for me

Can we be free
In a world where to love is to own?
Well when will we see
That a man must face life all alone?

Maybe I'm a beggar
Just check your sympathy
They throw away their gentle love
And keep their pain for me

Teach me to fly
So I shan't drag my feet in the sand
Give me the sky
I would take the whole world in my hand

Can we be free
In a world where to love is to own?
Well when will we see
That a man must face life all alone?


Begging (also panhandling or mendicancy) is the practice of imploring others to grant a favor, often a gift of money, with little or no expectation of reciprocation. A person doing such is called a beggar, panhandler, or mendicant. Beggars may be found in public places such as transport routes, urban parks, and near busy markets. Besides money, they may also ask for food, drink, cigarettes or other small items. According to a study in the journal of the Canadian Medical Association, "(70%) [of beggars] stated that they would prefer a minimum-wage job, typically citing a desire for a 'steady income' or 'getting off the street.' However, many felt they could not handle conventional jobs because of mental illness, physical disability or lack of skills."

Martin of Tours

November 11th is also known as Martinmas and celebrates, Martin of Tours. Martin was born in Hungary and educated in Italy in the late 4th century.  He became a Roman Army soldier for Constantine. While stationed in Amiens, France, he found a beggar dying of the cold in a snowstorm. Martin slashed his cloak in half with his sword and gave it to the man to keep him warm. Legend has it that Christ appeared to him in a dream wearing this same garment, causing Martin to convert. He became a monk and led a peaceful life, and he was known to be kind to the sick and the poor. He is the Patron Saint of Beggars, Drunkards, Innkeepers, Equestrians, Harvests, Horses, the Military, New Wine, and Tailors.

Sint Maarten | Saint Martin
Halloween, despite its roots in Scotland and Ireland (Samhain), Halloween is a distinctly American tradition. The celebration of Halloween is a special day for light-hearted, community-sanctioned mischief, totally devoid of meaning and the best example of runaway consumerism.

While Halloween has taken over England, it still hasn’t reached the Netherlands. Outside the American expat sanctuaries of Amsterdam, Den Haag, and Utrecht, Halloween is simply another day. In the Netherlands we celebrate the Dutch tradition of Saint Martin (Sint Maarten of Tours). The two celebrations are actually quite similar under the premise that it’s a children’s holiday involving going door-to-door and receiving special treats or sweets.

Saint Martin is regarded as a friend of the children and patron of the poor in the Catholic tradition. November 11 is the day that Saint Martin passed away. Saint Martin’s day is traditionally an old harvest festival that is celebrated in many European countries and precedes the fasting period of Advent, which begins on November 12. 
Part of the celebration involves an informal parade of hand-crafted, or store-bought lanterns made out of paper as children go around the neighbourhood, door to door.
Traditionally, children’s lanterns were made of hollowed out sugar beets or turnips hanging on a string tied to a wooden stick. Now children often decorate their own paper lanterns at school, or purchase it at the local grocery store. As soon as the sun sets, which often feels like around 4:30 p.m., small groups of Dutch children make processions around their neighbourhoods with their lanterns.
There’s something romantic and nostalgic about seeing little children with little paper latterns going door-to-door and lighting up the dark, cold “winter” night. The “11th day of the 11th month” after all, is traditionally considered to be the first day of “winter” according to the agricultural calendar.

The real city banner, in use since the citizens
of  Utrecht presented it on 5 May 1956, 
does have the image of St. Martin.
Have you ever taken the time to look at the coat of arms and the city flag of Utrecht? Did you know that it was made in honor of Saint Martin, the patron saint of Utrecht? The red part is the Roman coat and the white part is the undergarment of Saint Martin.

Sint Maarten is practiced only a handful of pockets in the Low Countries – traditionally in Utrecht, Limburg, Noord-Holland, Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe and Noord Brabant. Perhaps it’s about time that the Dutch embrace this beautiful tradition as an entire country.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Join us, the performers of The River Island Theatre, TODAY 1PM SL time. For our repeat performance of The SL Rocky Horror Show, We will make you shiver with anitic.....ipation, at the beautiful stages, choreographed routines and amazing special effects. Shows are free, spaces are limited, please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Here some snapshots that Tim and I could make of this great show.
And your taxi to R.I.P.A :