New blog about Georgia

I have some exciting news! Tall person has launched a new blog to share his experiences about life in the Republic of Georgia. Having lived here for several years he wants to show the best of the best of this wonderful country and with the help of De and Mari his new blog will take you on a guided tour of its unique culture, rich history, amazing food and wines, colorful markets and natural wonders.

Walk with him in the snow covered Caucasus mountains and lush forests. Tour the towns and cities and countryside and meet the Georgian people, renowned for their hospitality and love of life. Learn how to cook Georgian food. Visit centuries old churches filled with exquisite icons and murals. Learn about traditional crafts and customs. See the best of the best of Georgia.

Called Georgia About, the new blog will bring beautiful Georgia to you! http://georgiaabout.wordpress.com/

Visit Georgia About and see the best of the best of Georgia: http://georgiaabout.wordpress.com/

Good luck with your new blog tall person. I see you have found something thinner than you!

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I hope the phone never rings

On my walk through the neighborhood today we found 50 rings but they hadn’t slipped off people’s fingers.

The rings were made of wood.

The tall person counted 50 rings, each representing one year of growth.

That meant that the tree began its life in 1962.

I asked the tall person what the world was like in 1962 and he told me that the world came very close to being destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. He said that the Russians placed ballistic missiles on Cuba just 90 miles away from the coast of Florida. In response, the United States readied 1,436 B-52 bombers for take off and 145 intercontinental ballistic missiles stood on ready alert.

Fortunately, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. President John F. Kennedy reached an agreement and the missiles were removed from Cuba.

Because the Soviet Union and the United States came the closest in history to all out war a direct communications hot line was established between Moscow and Washington, D.C.

Hmm, I hope the hot line phone never rings.

The day of national unity

Yesterday was the Day of National Unity (ეროვნული ერთიანობის დღე) in the Republic of Georgia. It commemorates a massacre that took place in Tbilisi on April 9 1989 when an anti-Soviet demonstration was dispersed by the Soviet Army, resulting in 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Tens of thousands of people had gathered before the House of Government on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi in peaceful demonstration, demanding the restoration of Georgian independence.

In the evening of April 8 Soviet forces were mobilized. The Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II addressed the demonstrators, warning of the danger posed by the Soviet troops and asking asking them to disperse to the safety of churches. Despite this plea the demonstrators remained

On April 9, at 3:45 a.m., Soviet troops advanced on the demonstrators.  As the troops came close, the demonstrators kept singing and dancing to show the nonviolent nature of the gathering.

Suddenly the troops began attacking the demonstrators with batons and spades.  One of the victims was a 16-year-old girl who tried to get away from the soldiers, but was chased down and beaten to death near the steps of the government building.

Gas was also used against the demonstrators.

The attack resulted in the death of 20 people, among them 17 women.

The event marked a transformation in Georgians’ mentality, which unified the nation.

A blind woman at the demonstration sang a Georgian patriotic song as the Soviet troops advanced. Her voice can be heard on a video taken at the time.

On a walk recently we saw a blind musician singing the same song and we stopped and listened and remembered the terrible tragedy that took place on April 9 1989.

Where ancestors rest (part 3)

In a recent post about the 11th century church in the tall person’s ancestral village of Stogursey in the County of Somerset, England, I mentioned that there is also a castle.

The castle was built by the De Courcy family in the late 11th century and is surrounded by a water-filled moat.

The castle was largely destroyed in the mid-fifteenth century during the War of the Roses and only parts of the outer walls remain today.

In the early seventeenth century a house was built on the site of the castle gatehouse.

The house, which has a thatched roof, was restored in the 1980s and is now used as holiday accommodation.

What a beautiful place to stay!