Sunday, November 17, 2019

"If" by Rudyard Kipling

"If—" first appeared in the "Brother Square Toes" chapter of the book Rewards and Fairies, a collection of Kipling's poetry and short-story fiction, published in 1910. In his posthumously published autobiography, Something of Myself (1937), Kipling said that, in writing the poem, he was inspired by the character of Leander Starr Jameson,[4] leader of the failed Jameson Raid against the Transvaal Republic to overthrow the Boer Government of Paul Kruger. The failure of that mercenary coup d’état aggravated the political tensions between Great Britain and the Boers, which led to the Second Boer War (1899–1902).[5][6]


As an evocation of Victorian-era stoicism—the "stiff upper lip" self-discipline, which popular culture rendered into a British national virtue and character trait, "If—" remains a cultural touchstone.[7] The British cultural-artefact status of the poem is evidenced by the parodies of the poem, and by its popularity among Britons.[8][9]
T. S. Eliot included the poem in his 1941 collection A Choice of Kipling's Verse.
In India, a framed copy of the poem was affixed to the wall before the study desk in the cabins of the officer cadets at the National Defence Academy at Pune, and Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala.[10]
In Britain, the third and fourth lines of the second stanza of the poem: "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / and treat those two impostors just the same" are written on the wall of the players' entrance to the Centre Court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, where the Wimbledon Championships are held.[3] (These same lines appear at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York, where the US Open was played.)[11] The first verse is set, in granite setts, into the pavement of the promenade in Westward Ho! in Devon.[12]
The Indian writer Khushwant Singh considered the poem "the essence of the message of The Gita in English."[13]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1914 the New Zealand School Journal published the poem without asking permission following the outbreak of World War I. The Education Department wrote to the publishers and offered to pay a "reasonable fee". Kipling, who routinely turned down requests to publish "If—", asked for £50 to settle the matter. The Solicitor-General said that the Crown was not bound by the New Zealand Copyright Act of 1913, and could reprint the whole of Kipling's works if it chose.[14]
There is a classical translation in French by André Maurois, who was an interpreter with the British Army during the First World War. It was published in Les silences du colonel Bramble (1921), chap. XIV (Collection Poche, pp. 93s.).[citation needed] In Portuguese, the most widely-circulated translation is by Félix Bermudes.
On 21 September 1938 the Czech journal Přítomnost published the poem in the place of editorial (as a reaction on the situation before the Munich dictate).[15]
The cab driver character Alex (Judd Hirsch) begins the poem and it is finished by the unlikely character Jim (Christopher Lloyd) in season 2 episode 22 of the television show Taxi.
In Apocalypse Now, when the photojournalist played by Dennis Hopper meets Capt Willard, played by Martin Sheen, he spouts a few lines of the first stanza during his drug-fueled, frenzied greeting while trying to relay how much he admires Colonel Kurtz.
In The Simpsons, Grandpa Simpson quotes an abbreviated portion in "Old Money" as justification to betting all the winnings of a recent inheritance at roulette.[16]
Reebok produced a shoe commercial in 1993 featuring Basketball Hall of Famers Wilt ChamberlainKareem Abdul-JabbarBill RussellWillis ReedBill Walton, and John Wooden reciting "If—" to then-NBA rookie Shaquille O'Neal.[17][18]
The book by David Weber “March Upcountry” references this poem. (2001)[19]
The fictional character Bridget Jones is powerfully struck by "If—": "Poem is good. Very good, almost like self-help book".[20]
Brand New adapted part of the second stanza of the poem for the lyrics of their 2006 song "Sowing Season".[citation needed]
The poem was adapted and performed as a song by Joni Mitchell on her 2007 album Shine.[21]
The first lines of the poem are used as a password in the 2015 film Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
In 2016, the Boston Red Sox used the poem in a short video tribute to retiring player David Ortiz, narrated by Kevin Spacey.[22]
Tennis player Serena Williams recited a version of the poem for International Women’s Day 2017, substituting 'woman' for 'man'.[23]
In July 2018 students of Manchester University defaced a mural with the poem written on it, and replaced it with Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, saying that Kipling "dehumanised people of colour".[24]

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Buzzy Body Neighbours Have Moved in

So far, we think they are Asian honey bees. Which has me feeling relieved as a few people were telling me they are wasps and to kill them immediately. I really don't want to do that if they are bees.
I am a bit terrified of them and a lot fascinated. I look forward to seeing if they are going to build a hive.

Quick Facts on impeachment

Impeachment is the first part - the charges - of a two-stage political process by which Congress can remove a president from office.

If, following the hearings, the House of Representatives votes to pass articles of impeachment, the Senate is forced to hold a trial.
A Senate vote requires a two-thirds majority to convict and remove the president - unlikely in this case, given that Mr Trump's party controls the chamber.
Only two US presidents in history - Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson - have been impeached, but neither was convicted.
President Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.
Graphic explaining the impeachment process. Any member of the House can introduce an impeachment resolution, but it has to be passed by a simple majority to make its way to the Senate. A trial is held in the Senate with members of the House forming the prosecution while Senators act as the jury. The president is able to appoint defence lawyers. Senators vote on the outcome, and if at least two thirds find him guilty, he is removed from office.

Forgive Me

It's been a while that I haven't posted on here, mainly due to technical issues. I hope you've missed me LOL. I used to be able to upload content and pics straight from my phone to my blog and now I can't and I don't know why. I am still pretty active on FB and most days on Instagram. If I ever figure it out I promise to post more on here as I like that this is archived and easy to find.

A legacy of a shared time in Kuwait.

Kim x

Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: Dai Forni, Four Seasons Hotel

We booked a table specifying it was for my daughter's 16th birthday and ordered the additional roses for KD 10. One would think that a little extra attention would have been given but no we were assigned a table away from the view and next to the gurgling coffee machine. About 5 window tables have stunning views unless you sit outside which we did contemplate but it was 39 degrees so stayed next to the non-stop coffee machine reminiscent of sitting in a Starbucks. 

Our waitress was fabulous she was articulate, funny and professional. The maître d' was unremarkable. We ordered drinks, calamari, minestrone soup, truffle pasta, shrimps and monkfish. The prices are high and we were expecting great things.

Passion fruit cocktail was delicious. Unseasoned bland calamari even the aioli couldn't make it taste any better. Minestrone soup and the bread basket were superb. Truffle pasta was inedible. Shrimps delicious. Monkfish, the weirdest thing I've eaten in a long time it was overcooked and hence on the tough side served with a pea puree (that was not all pureed} and blanched almonds. Blanched almonds which added zero to the already pitiful, expensive dish. Gordon Ramsey would have had a field day.

Unremarkable Maitre d' did nothing except bring out the chef for humiliation. The poor chef apologised and offered free dessert but we had pre-ordered a birthday tiramisu. Zero knocked off the bill. A limp apology from Maitre d' along the lines of blah, blah next time you come. No honey it's now you need to impress there are too many great restaurants in Kuwait to waste another meal at Dai Forni again.

The average dish is priced at KD 16-20 can't remember how much my husband paid in total but way too much.

It's a 3/10 for great waitress service and a fabulous bread basket. PS the roses were wilted.
Shocked at how disappointingly overpriced this experience was.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

AMG Classical Music Charity Concert

Ladies and gentlemen - don't miss this chance to help support orphans created by recent events in Sri Lanka, and to enjoy quartets by Schubert and Dvorak.  Ahmadi Music Group will end its 63rd season this Friday at 8:00 pm with its traditional charity concert, and hopes for your support.  Tickets are here on

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Atlas Obscura - Kuwait Water Towers

 Article Credit to Tony Dunnell

Kuwait City's uniquely designed water towers look straight out of a retro sci-fi cityscape. 

Dotted around Kuwait City are six groupings of eye-catching water towers. Five are composed of striped mushroom-shaped towers, and a sixth features towers that look like they’re about to take off for Alpha Centauri, albeit in a retro sci-fi kind of way.
In 1953, the city set up two large seawater distillation plants. A lack of a piped water distribution system, however, meant that this water had to be transported to customers in tankers. So in 1965, a Swedish engineering firm was commissioned to build a modern water distribution system to connect the distillation plants to Kuwait City with an expansive system of water towers erected around the city. 
But the Amir of Kuwait at the time, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed, didn’t want just any old water towers. He wanted structures that would also function as works of art—landmarks that would impart a sense of modernity and technological advancement upon all who gazed upon them.
The firm presented a number of tower designs, and two types were selected. Five of the groups, consisting of 31 towers in total, feature the so-called Mushroom Towers, completed in 1976. These vertically stripped towers do indeed resemble mushrooms, supported on shafts of varying heights. Each concrete tank has a capacity of 3,000 cubic meters, with the groups placed in strategic locations around the city.
Part of the reasoning behind the mushroom design was to create a kind of pillared hall, where shade was cast on the desert floor beneath the giant mushrooms. The idea was to create landscape gardens in the grounds beneath them, but not all of the groups have yet been decked out as such.
For the sixth and final tower group, the Amir wanted something even more impressive, as these were to stand prominently on the bay across from the Amir’s palace compound. The engineering firm presented a handful of designs, and the Amir chose one that wouldn’t look at all out of place in a retro sci-fi cityscape.
This group of three towers, known simply as the Kuwait Towers, was completed in 1979. The largest is a 607-foot concrete “needle” supporting two spheres along its length. The spheres themselves are clad in enamelled steel plates, arranged in spiral patterns and in eight shades of blue, green and gray—a design chosen to imitate the mosaic surfaces of Islamic domes.
The lowest but largest sphere is divided in two; its upper half contains a restaurant, banquet hall, and an indoor garden, while the lower half holds a large reservoir. The second and highest sphere holds no water, instead functioning as a rotating viewing platform and café. The second tower is 482 feet tall and serves only as a water tower. The third is a bare needle with no spheres but does hold equipment and lighting that illuminates the other two towers.
Know Before You Go
The five groups of Mushroom Towers can be seen sprinkled around Kuwait City, and are typically admired from afar as nothing more than landmarks. The map coordinates above point to the Kuwait Towers, located in downtown Kuwait City, on the bay and just off Arabian Gulf Street in the Sharq District. The Viewing Sphere opens from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. The entrance fee is 3 Kuwaiti dinar (about $10 USD). The restaurant is free to enter and is open from 8 a.m. until midnight.

Sign up for newsletter and get the best of Atlas Obscura in your inbox. [link] Some really good articles about interesting places to travel to.

They also have an article on the House of Mirrors, Qadsiya, Kuwait [link].

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Little Leaders Educational Classes

Mommy and Me Free Two Day Workshop

2019 WFF Middle East Championship

In 2019 WFF returns to Kuwait for another unforgettable experience. Saturday, 4 May will see Bodybuilders and Beach Models hit the stage and battle for over $40,000 cash.
Don't miss the 2019 Middle East Championships in Kuwait City.
Registration and weigh-in will be on Friday, 3 May starting at 9:00am.

Review: Notre Dame Deep Cleansing Facial

Notre Dame Clinic is located on the 7th floor of Mallorca Medical Centre in Block 1, Bneid Al Gar at the corner of the 2nd ring and the 30. The clinic came highly recommended. The first impression was great, I was really impressed with the pristine decor, cleanliness of the clinic and the friendly staff. Even the bathrooms are gorgeous.

My 15-year-old daughter has typical teen skin: spotty, oily patches and dry patches. This was her first ever professional facial (trust me there is a huge difference between a cheap beauty salon facial and a deep cleansing clinical facial by a trained esthetician). The lovely esthetician was very sweet, informative and well trained, she did a thorough cleanse, tone, massage, mask and moisturising. My daughter loved the whole experience especially her blackhead free nose and spotty bump removal.

The very next day we could see how much clearer and more even toned it looked. 3 days later, and it is looking amazing. I will definitely make this a regular thing for her. Professional facials are far more effective than anything you can do at home or in a salon. It is recommended to do one per month to keep your skin in tip-top condition. 

The price was excellent KD 35, compared to KD 50 I paid elsewhere for myself. So happy mummy and happy teen. 10/10

My daughter had deep cleansing but the facial can be tailored to your needs depending on skin type.

Appointments Tel 66663820, 66662910, 22282352.

Map [link]

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Women of Kuwait: Photos by Maha Alasaker, Words by Nada Faris in Rolling Stone Magazine

And more [link]

LWDLK - I love the rawness and realness of almost all of the photos and statements. I love that Kuwaiti women are bold and empowered. Here's a peek at their inner sanctums without designer handbag and trimmings. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Kuwait International Motocross

With racers from all over the world. Kuwait Motor town will be hosting its first Motocross International Race on the 15th - 16th of March 2019. Don't miss the action. Free entry for spectators.

The Art Hub with Shilpa

6 days of acrylic painting workshop awaits anyone who is above 6 years of age to 60!. All materials will be provided. Pre-registration is required.

With school holidays looming, if you or your child wish to do something fun individually or together, here is a great avenue.

With only limited seats, you may have to rush.
 — with International Art Studio@Shilpa.

Offline KW Teen Event at Banana Leaves Coffee Shop, Souq Mubarakiya

The 'Lollipop Latte' rose petal flavoured drink exclusive to Offline KW pop up.

Happening on Thursday, 14th March from 6-10pm for cool teens to meet, chill out sippin on artisanal beverages in the uber stylish Banana Leaves Coffee Shop in Mubarakiya. 

Instagram: Offline KW
Instagram: Banana Leaves Coffee

Map [link