A tale of many cities

A tale

The following excerpt from Charles Dickens “A Tale of Two Cities” could apply all over our precious planet at present, for while too many innocent bodies are being ravaged by this horrendous pandemic, people are still falling in love; new life is coming into being, and new, vital, medical and other advances are, fortunately, being made.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the Spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The biggest positive in that paragraph is “the Spring of Hope” for where would we be without it?!

Whatever age we are, many of us have doubts. Some more than others. Despite being enthusiastic and keen to write, for years I never felt good enough and always too aware of successful, top authors. Something we should never do…Then, one day, I read a description which led me to view my efforts in a different light. It stated: “Writers can be weavers of magic and purveyors of exotic tales. They can transport readers to new heights and give them hope and guidance; they can educate, illuminate, as well as shock and open our eyes to the unique, mysterious and exotic.” That gave me heart, and hope, and as long as we write to the very best of our ability and strive to write even better, readers should be mollified and entertained. After all, if we can make someone, somewhere happy reading our words, even for a little while, it is surely worth any effort on our part.

With Christmas very near, whatever our circumstances, we can only hope that we and our loved ones will be able to indulge in a little festive fare, and can at least make sure that our neighbours are not hungry. With food in mind, the following quotations may be apt!

wc fields“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” Barbara Johnson (Courtesy Sarah Weinberg)

“Ice cream is exquisite. What a shame it isn‘t illegal!” Voltaire

“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food!” Paul Brudhomme

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” Julia Child

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently, is an art.” Francois de la Roche Foucauld

And, an excellent one:

“I cook with wine. Sometimes, I even add it to food!” W.C.Fields

Christmas memory… Lake Garda & Riva

Riva del garda

I’m sure we all have festive memories that stay special to us, and – if you’ve never experienced the delights of Italy, do sample them if you can! I’ve written about the alluring sights of Florence, Rome and Venice elsewhere, but the magic of our Christmas Lake Garda holiday remains almost as enjoyable in retrospect as it did physically. Imagine a marginally ‘iced’ town festooned with coloured lights, with welcoming cafes and shops casting pools of light on the winter gloom, guarded by snow-topped mountains as a lure. Then a cosy hotel offering all the traditional delights and day trips to a dazzling, freezing …Venice and the gay market of Verona, where Romeo was supposed (of course he did) to have wooed his Juliet, and the actual balcony: ‘Wherefor art thou Romeo?’ on which she stood! Magic was in the air…It hovers still.

Back to today and reality… whether you are dining alone and spoiling yourself –and why not? – or having (a few) family members or friends over for chow, enjoy every mouthful and raise your glass to HOPE for a much, much better year in 2021. Cheers!

Jingle bells, jingle bells…

© Copyright Joy Lennick 2020


48 thoughts on “A tale of many cities

  1. Crystal Byers 18/12/2020 / 4:42 pm

    So much wisdom in Dickens (and perspective in W. C Fields). Merry Christmas, Joy!

    • joylennick 18/12/2020 / 5:04 pm

      Thank you, Crystal. I loved those words of Dickens..A Happy Christmas to you too! Cheers. xx.

  2. sharonbernackibooks 18/12/2020 / 4:42 pm

    Lovely words. Thank you. ♥️

  3. joylennick 18/12/2020 / 5:07 pm

    So pleased you enjoyed them, Sharon.I LOVE YOUR WORK! Must see more…Happy holidays. Cheers. x

  4. Darlene 18/12/2020 / 5:07 pm

    A wonderful post! Thanks and have a Merry Christmas!!

  5. joylennick 18/12/2020 / 5:23 pm

    Gracias, Darlene. And a Very Happy Christmas to you and Paul. Salud! xx

  6. D. Wallace Peach 18/12/2020 / 6:06 pm

    A lovely post from top to bottom, Joy. What a year! I give it one star and hope for a five-star 2021. Wishing you peace, love, and good health this holiday season. Have a beautiful Christmas. ❤

  7. joylennick 18/12/2020 / 6:15 pm

    Hi dear Diane, So pleased you enjoyed it. Yes, what with the dreadful virus, Brexit, Boris and Trump – could it have been any worse?! Everything crossed for a much better 2021. Have a lovely Christmas and a bountiful, healthy New Year Salud! Hugs & love.xx.

    • joylennick 18/12/2020 / 7:05 pm

      Thank you for reading my post, Becky. Have a Happy Christmas! xx

    • joylennick 18/12/2020 / 7:07 pm

      Gracias Little Miss! Have a jolly festive season too. Cheers! xx

  8. quiall 18/12/2020 / 6:53 pm

    Words from the past can give comfort in the present as we hope for the future.

  9. joylennick 18/12/2020 / 7:09 pm

    Thank you, Pamela, well said. Happy Christmas and a better 2021. xx

  10. Yeah, Another Blogger 18/12/2020 / 8:47 pm

    Joy, a very Happy New Year to you and your husband. All the best from a fan of yours in Pennsylvania.

  11. joylennick 18/12/2020 / 11:04 pm

    Hola Keith in Pennsylvania, Thank you for reading my post, and for your kind and festive wishes. I do hope you and your wife have a happy Christmas and a better 2021. Salud!

  12. willowdot21 19/12/2020 / 10:33 am

    Happy Christmas Joy to you and hubby 💜💜💜 and hopefully a better 2021💜

  13. joylennick 19/12/2020 / 12:28 pm

    Festive good wishes to you and your family too Willow, and a – fingers crossed – much healthier, luckier New Year! Cheers. xx

  14. Jennie 19/12/2020 / 1:07 pm

    A lovely post, Joy. Hope springs eternal. There will always be turmoil and strife in the world, yet it is hope that moves us forward to find joy. Merry Christmas and best to you, Joy. Here’s to a new year!

    • joylennick 19/12/2020 / 1:13 pm

      Hi Jennie. Thank you for reading and your kind words. Yep, life certainly is like a roller coaster ride!
      Wishing you an enjoyable Christmas and a much better 2021, xx

      • Jennie 19/12/2020 / 8:01 pm

        My pleasure, Joy. Merry Christmas to you, and best for 2021.🎄

  15. dgkaye 19/12/2020 / 3:02 pm

    Lovely words Joy. Hope floats for sure. Happy holiday season to you dear Joy, may it be safe and bright, as we kick this year to the curb. ❤ xox

  16. joylennick 19/12/2020 / 3:14 pm

    Hola Debs, Much appreciated. Happy Holiday to you and your husband and MUCH BETTER NEW YEAR! Hugs & ,love. Joy xx

  17. ruthlarrea 19/12/2020 / 5:19 pm

    Lovely, Joy. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, despite the pandemic.

  18. joylennick 19/12/2020 / 6:50 pm

    You too, Ruth. Such dire times at present. All those poor souls affected and infected…And what with Brexit, etc., Hey ho. Hope you can enjoy Christmas and here’s to a much better New Year. Hugs xxx.

  19. Annika Perry 19/12/2020 / 6:52 pm

    Joy, a beautiful and heartwarming post in these days! Your opening paragraphs struck a chord with me about new love as my son met a girl the day before lockdown in March and although they’ve only met a few times when allowed they have fallen deeper into love, a serious relationship has ensued and they are now planning on moving together as he takes up his industrial placement year in June. It is lovely to have something to look forward to, that positive things are still happening on a daily basis.

    Your words on writing struck me to the core and I’m saving this in my quote file. We argue for our limitations so easily, we forget the power of our words, our own abilities to touch others with our writing. Thank you so much for the reminder.

    As for Lake Garda … wow! Breathtaking and sounds heavenly … I’m adding it to my list of places to visit and definitely at Christmas time! It was lovely to take this virtual trip with you!

    Happy Cooking, Happy Christmas and wishing you an enjoyable and relaxing celebration and all the best for 2021. hugs xx 😀❤️

  20. joylennick 19/12/2020 / 10:02 pm

    What a lovely response, Annika. Thank you so much for your kind words. We live on such a fantastic planet and have so much to be thankful for. Nature is magnificent too but can be equally cruel…and at present, humanity is being sorely tried. New love makes us feel warm and hopeful. I do wish your son well in his relationship. We must all live in hope. Happy Christmas to you and yours and a healthier New Year. Hugs. xx

    • joylennick 20/12/2020 / 12:13 pm

      Muchas gracias,dear Sally. I so love these words by Dickens (I am sure you know he was never formally educated?!) I only wish I had a better education, but learn something new every day…What a dreadful year it has been for too many..- we can only hope for a better one in 2021. We really should take a leaf out of New Zealand’s book…but we can’t alter the past, more’s the pity…You and I are so lucky that we have our husbands,our hearts go out to the lonely…Celebrate the best, and hope for the rest. You can sleep easy as you are such a good soul. Enjoy! Peace & Love Joy & Eric xxx

      • Thanks Joy and Dickens was born in my home town of Portsmouth and it made his books all the more personal when I read them for the first time. The world is a crazy place and as you say we are very lucky to have David and Eric by our sides.. Have a wonderful Christmas and see you in 2021..love and hugs Sally ♥

  21. A very appropriate quote from Dickens Joy and a lovely post. I try to travel through life with hope and despite this year’s attempts to sabotage that… there have been wonderful moments. Happy Christmas to you and Eric and the family and look forward to sharing 2021 with you…love and hugs Sally ♥

  22. jenanita01 20/12/2020 / 9:56 am

    Dickens could have been writing about 2020, we so hope 2021 will be better…

    • joylennick 20/12/2020 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you, dear ladies. Hope you have a jolly good Christmas, despite all! And a much improved New Year. What would we do without Hope?! Here’s to good health and luck. Peace and love are all. Hugs Joy xxxx

      • jenanita01 20/12/2020 / 8:43 pm

        It won’t be for the want of trying!

  23. Gwen M. Plano 20/12/2020 / 1:29 pm

    Lovely heartwarming post! Thank you, Joy.

    • joylennick 20/12/2020 / 2:38 pm

      Hi Gwen, Thank you for reading and kind comment. Your lovely photograph radiates ‘niceness’ and ‘kindness’. I’m a bit of an empath myself…’ Pleased to ‘meet’ you, I’m ancient, a Brit, and retired in Spain. Here’s to a ‘Cool Yule’ and a healthier New Year! Salud! x

  24. Liz Gauffreau 20/12/2020 / 3:21 pm

    Thank you for this life-affirming post, Joy. It gave my morning a lift. My dad used to talk about A Tale of Two Cities, so it was good to be reminded of him. Merry Christmas to you and yours–and here’s to a better 2021!

  25. OIKOS™-Editorial 20/12/2020 / 4:33 pm

    A lot of wisdom inside! Thank you, Joy! Have a wonderful Christmas. Honestly, never thought on visiting Lake Garda near Christmas. The images are looking great, and i am sure next Christmas i need to be there. Michael

    • joylennick 20/12/2020 / 5:00 pm

      Hi Michael, Many thanks for reading and kind comments. I do hope you get to visit Lake Garda – you’ll love it, Meanwhile, have a good Christmas, despite all…and a healther 2021. Salud! x

      • OIKOS™-Editorial 20/12/2020 / 6:17 pm

        Thank you very much, Joy! Was a great pleasure, and very informative read. From here we have only 400 km to the Lago di Garda. What a shame not have heard about this Christmas celebrations before. Best wishes to you too, Joy! May we all have a better 2021, as this year has shown. Be blessed! Michael

  26. joylennick 20/12/2020 / 4:47 pm

    Many thanks, Liz.I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Always good to be reminded of parents – if they were good ones!.Obviously your Dad counts as one! Mine did too. I did enjoy reading the poems on your site, and it’s inspired me to write some from my days as an evacuee. Here’s an old one…
    Magical Tips
    The Pyramids of Giza beckoned
    and Everest was standing by…
    as, dress tucked into knickers: navy –
    I skimmed slag’s surface
    with triumphant cry,

    Back up I trudged with piece of lino –
    to survey my land around –
    there I stood: Queen Boudicca,
    clutching tight, broom-handle sceptre,
    adjusting, hasty home-made crown.

    “Your dinner’s rose…” called auntie Sal,
    cupping mouth with onioned hands
    The spell was broken – I was me:
    evacuee, treading unfamiliar land. Joy xx A very Happy Christmas, and improved New Yea!.






    • joylennick 20/12/2020 / 6:33 pm

      Apologies, Liz. Towards the end of the poem, the computer went haywire, so excuse the odd words at the bottom! I couldn’t remove them.. x .

  27. robertawrites235681907 21/12/2020 / 6:49 pm

    A wonderful post, Joy, I love that quote from A Tale of Two Cities although I didn’t enjoy this book as much as Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. Hope is very necessary for humans to thrive. Romeo and Juliet is my favourite Shakespeare play so you’ve nailed it for me today.

  28. joylennick 21/12/2020 / 7:07 pm

    Hi Robbie,

    So pleased you enjoyed it. It’s always so satisfying when you enjoy writing something and it’s liked by others too! Like a double whammy… I’ve just finished writing another book but it needs a little more tweaking before publishing.I am also trying to find a mainstream publisher as the other option is so difficult for me as I’m not a technical person.. Hey ho!. Take care and all have a fun Christmas and a healthier New Year. Hugs xx

  29. Marsha 23/02/2021 / 4:55 am

    Fun post. I loved all the quotations especially, ““A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” Barbara Johnson (Courtesy Sarah Weinberg)” What could be better at Christmas than Christmas cookies? 🙂

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