Daily Update: Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

03-15- Ides of March and the Return of the Buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio

With no Saints to honor, we Beware the Ides of March! So spake the Soothsayer to Caesar in 44 BCE, a few days before the Ides, according to long tradition and William Shakespeare. And since 1957 this day has been celebrated as Buzzard Day in the Township of Hinckley, Ohio, when large flocks of buzzards return to the Hinckley Reservation.

In William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, a Soothsayer had told Caesar “Beware the Idea of March!” When Caesar was going to the Capitol on March 15th, 44 BCE, he told the Soothsayer “The ides of March are come”, and the Soothsayer responded, “Ay, Caesar; but not gone.” Shortly thereafter Caesar was stabbed 23 times in one of the most famous assassinations in history. It should be noted that Caesar’s reported last words, “Et tu, Bruti?” also come from Julius Caesar; the historian Suetonius (died 130) asserted that while some said that Caesar said “καὶ σύ, τέκνον?”, translated as “You, too, child?”, he himself (Suetonius) held that Caesar said nothing, which was also the report of Plutarch (died 120). The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars with the holding of a military parade. On a different note, since 1957 this day has been celebrated as Buzzard Day in the Township of Hinckley, Ohio, when large flocks of buzzards return to the Hinckley Reservation. The event is hailed as a sign of spring in the Midwest by all who attend, and the Sunday following is Buzzard Sunday, with a pancake and sausage breakfast hosted by the Hinckley Chamber of Commerce.

I neglected to mention yesterday that Richard had mowed the grass. And our New Orleans Pelicans lost their away game with the Golden State Warriors by the score of 107 to 185.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and posted to Facebook that today is the Ides of March. On our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in Richard was on Mini Baccarat (and mostly not busy today), and I was on Mississippi Stud (and mostly busy). In the mid-morning they closed I-10 east of the Texas border, due to flooding along the Sabine River; this effectively stranded our guests from Houston and points west at the casino, unless they wanted to drive all the way up to Shreveport, cross the river on I-20, and then drive south to Houston and points west.

After work we went over to the clinic; at the pharmacy, my prescriptions were not yet ready (I will pick them up on Friday (I hope)), but I picked up Richard’s prescription. He also saw the dietician, and has decided to get back with Atkins. The First Quarter moon arrived at 12:04, while I was waiting on Richard; his next appointment is on April 4th. When we got home I read the morning paper, then took another belated nap, but not before I heard from Julie via Facebook Messenger that Thursday is out for our meeting in New Orleans, as she had promised to baby-sit. She suggested next Monday or Thursday; I work on Mondays, and next week is Holy Week (when on Holy Thursday I go to Mass in both Lafayette and in town), so I suggested Thursday the 31st of March.

I woke up from my nap at 4:00 pm, watched Jeopardy!, then left at 5:00 for Lafayette. I got my dinner via the McDonald’s drive-through in Rayne, and arrived at the Barnes and Noble at 6:00 pm. At 7:00 pm I attended the Third Tuesday Book Club meeting (sans our moderator Sharon, who could not make it, or my optometrist Pam) to discuss The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I got home at 9:15 pm, and promptly got on the computer to do today’s Daily Update; when I finish this I will go to bed.

Tomorrow we have no Saints for us to honor, so instead we will note that in 1621 the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony made the acquaintance of an English-speaking Native American named Samoset. Tomorrow is also the birthday of Ed, a friend of ours (originally the friend of the sons of Richard’s sister Bonnie, when they were living in Baton Rouge). I will do my laundry and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance, and later I will go through books and get a haircut. Our #7 ranked LSU Baseball team will play a single game with New Orleans at home tomorrow evening, and later our New Orleans Pelicans will play an away game with the Sacramento Kings.

Our Parting Quote this Tuesday evening comes to us from Clarissa Dickson Wright, English celebrity chef. Born as Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmeralda Dickson Wright in 1947 in St. John’s Wood, London, her father was a surgeon to the Royal Family and her mother was an Australian heiress. Although born to privilege, her father was an alcoholic who subjected his wife and children to verbal and physical abuse. At the age of 11, Dickson Wright was sent to Sacred Heart School, a former independent school for girls in the South coastal town of Hove (in what is now East Sussex). After school, Wright studied for the Bar at Gray’s Inn while pursuing a law degree at University College London. At the age of 21, Dickson Wright passed her Bar exams and became England’s youngest barrister. After her mother died of a heart attack in 1975, she inherited £2.8 million. Her mother’s death, combined a few years later with her father’s, left her in a deep depression, and she drank heavily for the following 12 years. During this time Dickson Wright took control of the food at a drinking club in St James’s Place in London. While there she met Clive (“no surname, because he has children” according to Dickson Wright), a fellow alcoholic, and they had a relationship until his death in 1982 from kidney failure at the age of 40. Shortly thereafter she was disbarred for practising without chambers (i.e., practicing law without being part of a group or partnership). Dickson Wright claimed that, during her alcoholic years, she had a tryst with an MP behind the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons. In the early 1980s she was homeless and staying with friends. For two years she was cook-housekeeper for a family in Sussex until she was fired for her alcohol-induced behaviour. After being charged with driving under the influence, Dickson Wright started to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, counselling, and a detox centre. She attended the Promis Recovery Centre at Nonington. Seven months after leaving Promis, Dickson Wright was asked to run Books For Cooks, a shop and café in Portobello Road, London, for the shop’s owner. After seven years, the owner decided to sell the shop; it was offered to Dickson Wright, but she did not have the money, and was sacked by the owner. She then moved to Edinburgh and ran the Cooks Book Shop. During her time in Edinburgh, television producer Patricia Llewellyn asked her and Jennifer Paterson if they wanted to make a television programme; they made a pilot in 1994. After the pilot, BBC2 commissioned a series of Two Fat Ladies. Three successful series were made and shown around the world. Paterson died in 1999 mid-way through the fourth series. Two Fat Ladies ended after Paterson’s death. Dickson Wright appeared with Johnny Scott in Clarissa and the Countryman from 2000 to 2003 and played the gamekeeper in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous in 2003. In 2005 Dickson Wright took part in the BBC reality television show Art School. Her autobiography, Spilling The Beans, was published in September 2007. In 2008 she presented a one-off documentary for BBC Four, Clarissa and the King’s Cookbook, where she made recipes from a cookbook dating to the reign of Richard II. Along with racehorse trainer Sir Mark Prescott, Dickson Wright was charged with hare coursing with dogs in North Yorkshire in March 2007 under a private prosecution lodged by the International Fund for Animal Welfare under the Hunting Act of 2004. On September 1, 2009, she and Prescott pleaded guilty and received an absolute discharge at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court. They said that they were invited to the event by the Yorkshire Greyhound Field Trialling Club, which told the court that it believed it was running a legal event by using muzzled dogs. In 2009, she published Rifling Through My Drawers: My Life in a Year. In October 2012, Dickson Wright appeared on Fieldsports Britain to discuss badgers and their nutritional value. In November 2012 she presented a short BBC4 TV series on the history of the British breakfast, lunch and dinner (died 2014): “I’m not a very good or compliant Catholic. I reserve my right to disagree. On the other side, I come from a long line of Nonconformists. My ancestors fought with Cromwell. Other ancestors went with Guy Fawkes. So we’re bolshy on both sides.”

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