Fa – the name of the Green Dragon

A Place for the Odd Musings of an Expat Bristolian


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Is Trump’s behavior causing you stress?

On October 5th of 2018, a friend of 43 years passed away. He died of a heart attack. He was 81 years old and as I like to say, he had a good “at bat”. Harland “Lanny” Ross was in his retirement years an artist. He referred to himself as a swab and glob abstract painter. His work, quite extraordinary.
As a former executive with Norwest Orient Airlines, he travelled millions of miles around the world. However, most of his travel was in Asia and the South Pacific. During the Vietnam War, he managed the military contract flights moving troops in to  and out of Ton Sun Hut air force base in Saigon, (now Ho Chi Minh City). At the end of the war he established a tour wholesale company offering tours to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.
The theme for his abstract art was portraying  pictures of Asia on canvas. These images in his mind’s eyes covered the gambit from Fijian beaches, Tahitian moonsets to the Malaysian jungle, Indonesian volcanoes, Rainy days in Tokyo, vineyards in Australia and his passion, China.
Lanny was a talented person. You can see some of his work here at his former website. He billed himself as The Man of Colours http://www.themanofcolours.com

In spite of his talent as an artist he bemoaned his lack of financial success, eking out a living on his somewhat meagre Social Security income and occasional sale of a painting. Which brings me to the real point of this post.
This is my first post in almost a month and a departure from my usual stuff: Haikus, stories in rhyme and Don the Con satire. Lanny was an ardent anti-Trumpian. He realized what a con job Trump had pulled on the American people. He was so anti-Trump that he wrote daily to a large list of email followers with updates on the latest lie, dirty deed, illegal, abuse of power, insult, manifestation of misogynistic narcissistic behavior that Trump had displayed. When all was said and done, I think the stress Lanny endured because of Trump is what led to his heart attack.
I have refrained from writing for a while because I too have been stressed by the disgraceful excuse for a president of the United States that we have.
Yesterday marked the beginning of his end. Madam Speaker of the House of Representatives stood up and showed us and the world how to dispose of a tyrannical toddler prone to temper tantrums in order to get his way.. Thank you Nancy Pelosi.


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Stories in Rhyme No.31 – Wanderlust

Stories in Rhyme No. 31 – Wanderlust
I had a nagging urge that told me I must write
And so, sitting at my keyboard I began to type.
At first the words came slowly Then gradually not at all
My mind it would not function, nothing to recall.
A thought then came to me, it was an awful shock
I had been stricken with this thing, they call it writer’s block.
This was not the first time, it had happened oft before
And so, I searched my memory for a quick and simply cure.
I began to think of old times, the days of distant past.
Days upon the high seas spent before the mast.
From Angola round the cape to a place called Zanzibar
With rum culls and Lascars and one, one-legged Tar
But now those days are done, no more do I quest
To view a new horizon from a place they call the nest
A garden plot is my place now, it’s where I ply my sport
Planting seeds I gathered up from many foreign ports
I have not seen every seed, there are many still unknown
But those taken and to my plot consigned were well and truly sown.
Did they grow to manhood or plant maturity?
Not always, but it was a wonder just to see
God’s miracle emerging from the soil
Green shoots searching sunshine, with just a modicum of toil.
Ampalaya, a bitter gourd has a taste to be acquired
A vegetable so good to eat, of which I’ve never tired.
And then Kamote, comes purple and it’s sweet
The original potato another tasty treat
With a glass of wine at hand, it’s good to reminisce
]and write down pleasant memories so the grand kids will not miss
Reading of adventure and so learn firsthand the truth
What grandpa was up to in the days of his youth.
And therein lies the use (perhaps) of stories told in rhyme
Many years from now will they stand the test of time
And become the stuff of legend or forgotten and then lost.
Or worse, consigned to boxes, (as I have done) to be buried in a loft.
What fun it is to find them, to blow off gathered dust
And relive forgotten moments and days of wanderlust.


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Asian Fare

Asian Fare

I like Chinese food he said
Why’s that? He was asked
It’s got a taste, but I can’t declare
The flavour sometimes masked.

Allow me then to take you,
On a little tour
We’ll begin perhaps with India
And then Japan for more.

Refrigeration is paramount
To keep food fresh and nice
But when it gets to a certain point
You have to use some spice.

Garam Masala’s good and hot
And so is Madras curry
Important though that when you cook
Do it slowly, do not hurry.

Koreans like to pickle
And of course they serve with rice
Kim-chi is a favorite dish
But not like bread to slice

It’s hot and spicy and then fermented
Exotic food that they invented
To use the cabbages that they grow
Fields and fields, row after row

Viet-Nam has Pho, a tasty noodle soup
With chicken that comes straight from the coop
And then there’s China and its cuisine
Strange snake bile soup and owl spleen

Of course Chinese pepper has a fragrant smell
Makes many dishes go down really  well
Especially when served with rice
Brings the taste to twice as nice

After China there’s Japan
Cultural creations made by man
Kaiseki, Japan’s most expensive eats
Carefully made artistic feasts

But being honest, you have a choice
Drive through a Subway and with your voice
Speak to an electronic clown
It will take your order down

And deliver it at window number two
Their creation will be made just for you.
Enjoy your sandwich, lunchtime fare
Often made with Asian care.


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An Open Letter to WordPress Readers

AN OPEN LETTER TO WORDPRESS READERS  

As we wrap up the year 2016 and brace ourselves for the New Year 2017, I am taking advantage of this forum to write to you. There are several reasons I am doing this. Mainly it is to thank you for following my blog – Fa the name of the Green Dragon and to thank you also for the contributions you have made. I am amazed by the diverse topics which are posted. Speaking of myself I should clarify that I possess the soul of an adventurer but it’s trapped in the body of a clerk. You can well imagine therefore how much I have enjoyed your various adventures which you have written about and upon which I have commented from time to time.

I have especially enjoyed, without being nosey or the intent of an electronic stalker, the personal glimpses you have shared with me about your lives.

I have especially enjoyed pictures of extraordinary street art taken around London and my home town of Bristol in the U.K. I have enjoyed great nature photography from Dorset and Staffordshire, remarkable pictures and cultural glimpses into India, art from Sweden and excellent water colour art from Germany. Having made many house moves myself over the years I have been in silent empathy for those of you who moved this year. I know how stressful it can be.

I have been fortunate to have already visited many countries and to have lived in a few of them for an extended period of time. So it’s really good fun read postings from Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, China and SE Asia.

I don’t claim to be a great blogger, but my hope is to get better in 2017. This by the way is not a resolution only a tacit idea that my subconscious can chew on as I go about my day. 

A word though about 2017. Of course we don’t know what the future will bring but, for those of us who reside in the United States, I have a feeling we are in for a bumpy ride. I have no faith or confidence is the person who is about to be inaugurated on January 20th as its president. His open disdain for tradition, protocol and simple decent behavior are bothersome to say the least. But enough said except perhaps to say let’s wait and see. We can rest assured he will not fall flat on his face; his growing nose will prevent that from happening.

So now the wish: wishes are a chance to express hope and I hope that 2017 is healthy, happy and prosperous not only for you but for your families and extended families. 2017 has got to become a year of great outcomes for us all. Nigel