Friday, June 5, 2009

date stamp: 6 p.m. gmt, may 30, 2009

This date stamp was by special request, as today was the day that blogger and Army serviceman Art La Flamme celebrated his 40th birthday with his family at home in Hawai'i, where he is on leave from the war for some well-deserved R and R.

In other parts of the world, firsts of a similar kind were taking place, with some date stampers hailing the beginning of summer, as over in California (where summer never seems to take its leave) another marked the beginning of a young girl's career on pointe.

The day wasn't all about firsts and milestones, however, and that's what made this date stamp feel complete. In Manchester, England, one date stamper looked back at the centuries-old remains of a church that was nearly decimated in World War Two, as in Queens, another found not what she was looking for, but something equally as intriguing. And as the rest of us made our way through what seems to have been a sunny Saturday the world over, Singapore's date stamper woke just long enough to note the time in her dark corner of the world before saying good night.

Here, then, is a look at May 30, 2009, from the perspective of 6 p.m. GMT:


London, England
(6 p.m., local time)

Well, it's getting to the end of another fine day - summer has (maybe) arrived. This is one of our twin cats, Pippin, crashed out in the shrubbery and savaging his favourite plant. As an old boy (fourteen on Monday), this is about as active as he gets. He and his brother just laze around all day and wander in at mealtimes as if they're long term residents of a hotel. And there had better be something decent on the menu or their disdain is palpable.

As the saying goes "Dogs have owners. Cats have staff."


Toronto, Ontario

GMT -5

(11 a.m. local time)

'Shadetree mechanic' is a term that I have often wondered about. I mean, real mechanics have garages with lights, tools and important looking automotive bits, right?

So on a lovely Saturday afternoon I find myself at a good friend's house for a barbeque.

Next thing I know, we have his 76 MGB on stands (under a tree by the way) as we try to figure out why it is leaking gasoline.

We are serious mechanics... look hard and you will notice the beer in my hand.

All in all, a perfect summer day.

Svet Rouskov


Manchester, England
(6 p.m., local time)

From the road it's just another church.

But then you notice the blue sky through the windows - looking in! The barbed wire that fences it off and the safety notice bolted to the locked gate.

It was hit during WW2. All that remains is the front. Complete. Intact. Perfect.

For years I've thought someone should film a zombie movie here. Y'know, the locked door that is really a portal to another time, the zombies trapped on the other side. They cross into our world one night when a bunch of partying kids break open the door.

Oh yeah, Stockport Zombie hunters. Okay, one day I'll get a good title!

— Peter Spencer

New York, New York
United States
GMT - 5
(1 p.m. local time)

I don't know if it's a commentary on me, my life(style) or just life in general in these United States, but despite the fact that it's almost a year to the day since I moved into my digs in Queens, I really haven't had a lot of time to explore the neighborhood. My job is in Manhattan, most of my socializing and extracurricular activities are in Manhattan, and during my "down" time, I often visit my family in New Jersey.

So today, I decided to try and find the Sculpture Park, which is supposed to be lovely. I took a look on the internet, and set off, determined to find it, take some pictures, and still have time to meet up with a Manhattanite friend coming into Queens to eat at my favorite creperie. Of course, I don't find it. I didn't print out a map, and I have no sense of direction. But, in wandering around, I saw the Boys and Girls Club, which has this fantastic mural painted all along the wall. In the center are portraits of the five founders. All around them are the different activities you can partake of at the Club. I've included a close-up of a segment of the mural which I thought relevant to this blog: A girl on a computer, with an image of the world above her head. Macro and micro. Ah, the wonder and beauty of the internet.

Mrinalini Kamath
Playwright, Filmmaker

Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
GMT - 5
(1 p.m. local time)

Bright, sunny – summer like. Mr. Squirrel cools himself in the shade of a neighbor’s tree. Wary of the world that surrounds him. Oblivious to the wonders above. His loss.

Happy Birthday, Art LaFlamme.

Michael Scherer


Westlake Village, California
United States
GMT - 8
(10 a.m. local time)

First pair of pointe shoes: a dream finally realized.

She sewed them over the course of an hour with Broadway show tunes playing in the background, wearing the subsequent blisters like a badge of honor.

— Pamela Schott
Author, Screenwriter


Royal Ville
GMT + 8
(2 a.m. local time)

Hmmm...What's that smell? Oh, it's 2am! As my blurry brain processes this information, my eyes refuse to open so I let my ears do the work. I know that the outside air is extremely humid so I'm very thankful for our air-conditioner, the best invention ever created by man. Meanwhile, out on the not-too-distant road beyond our apartment block, traffic still resonates albeit not as loud and chaotic as during the daytime. Still, people are out there going places, perhaps home after a night out or on the prowl to the next drinking den or on the way to Johore, the nearest Malaysian state just across the causeway. As they get on with the rest of the night, I drift back into sleep looking forward to a full Sunday with my family. Ah, that's the life!

— Sonia Marzuki
Freelance Writer, PR Consultant

Tikrit, Iraq
GMT + 3
(9 p.m. local time)

Note: Art La Flamme is on leave from his duties in Tikrit, Iraq.

The photo is actually by my son. We snuck out of the house early, while the ladies slept, and headed up to Tantalus for some photos. That's Diamondhead in the background, and beyond it is the Pacific. I could not be further from Iraq, if I tried -- physically, emotionally, or mentally. If this is what turning 40 is suppose to feel like, I can say that it's a good thing.

Art La Flamme
Blogger/Army Serviceman

Elsewhere in the world:

Australian Station
GMT + 4
(10 p.m. local time)


Abbey Road
London, England

United Kingdom

(6 p.m. local time)


Grand Canal
GMT +1 (6 p.m. local time)


Paris, France
GMT + 1

(7 p.m. local time)

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