In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn by Morris & Grueninger

I have been fascinated by the story of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife, who was tragically beheaded at the Tower of London on 19 May 1536.  The Tudor period is on top of my list of the most intriguing eras of English history.  When reading a book about this period, I am always enthralled by Henry VIII’s evil scheme to get rid of his wife to achieve his goal to produce an heir; the conspiracy among his circle of trusted courtiers; and all the other fascinating events usually inspire me to read up more about the Tudors. Continue reading

Sunset and Special Childhood Memories

The sunset is beautiful in and of itself.  Whether we attempt to capture it or not, it captivates us, stirs us and inspires us.  But, if we attempt to capture the sunset, what are we attempting to capture?  A photographer could take a perfect picture, but would that capture what is stirred within us?  A photographer can’t take a picture of the stirring in our heart, and that stirring, so flagrant in youth and, all too often, so withered in the old, is what poetry is all about.  A poem or a song attempts to express in words that which already exists — what a photograph fails to convey. Continue reading

Friends and Summer Cake

For about three years now I’ve been baking a cake every first Sunday of the month for our church fellowship to celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries of members and regular attendees, and I always try a new recipe each month.  A few weeks ago I found this recipe and replaced some of the ingredients such as Guinness (beer) to suit my palate and of course, the congregation. Continue reading

Blenheim Palace: The Grandest Private Residence that outshines the British Monarchy’s Homes

There’s more fascinating tale about Blenheim Palace than just being the birthplace and ancestral home of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.  This place is steeped with formidable history and is far superior in grandeur and magnitude than any of the royal palaces in the country.   Continue reading

Afternoon Tea at Dukes Hotel (Favourite Haunt of James Bond’s Author Ian Fleming)

History of the Hotel:

The Dukes is not ostentatious nor glamorous, but rather a discreet hotel.  It used to be a hotel for dukes, earls, and other members of the British nobility who wanted to remain as inconspicuous as possible.  Anyone who is showy and wanted to be seen, went somewhere else.  Its proximity to the Court of St. James’s (St James’s Palace/Clarence House is just a stone throw away), made the hotel an old stomping ground of the old  British aristocrats. Continue reading

Purple Yam Cheesecake and Purple Yam Donuts

Purple yam (we call it ube [ooh-beh] in the Philippines) occupies a special place in my heart. It’s one of those foods that I always associate with my hometown and sweet childhood memories. My maternal grandmother had ube plants in her backyard and she made sweets using this tuberous root vegetable. I was 10 when she passed on and my mother continued the tradition of making ube desserts. Every time I see a purple yam (fresh or preserve) I am always reminded of my hometown and the pleasant memories I had growing up in southern Philippines. Continue reading

London Roman Amphitheatre

The City of London was founded on the River Thames.  A few clues of the original city can still be found all over the city today like some remnants of Roman walls in the heart of London.  Other traces have survived but to see those, you have to go underground. Continue reading