Sunday, 31 May 2009

Storytime Continues

And A New Day Was Begun ... continued

Mother and daughter spent the next few moments immersed in culinary details.
'I've still got most of my last Saturday's wages upstairs', Louise explained, 'so I'll go round the corner shop and get some sausages and bread rolls. Emma told me she'd bring tomatoes, beans and a couple of onions, so we'll have a right royal feast. But... I was wondering, have you got any special 'treats' in the freezer that you would donate to your lifelong good cause ... me!?'
'What a nerve you've got, Miss ', laughed her Mum, 'but just for your cheek, yes, I do have some biscuits and little fruit pies I'd be willing to 'donate'!

Barter and banter time eventually over, the rest of the morning disappeared in a flurry of activity. By eleven o'clock, the chores were finished and Louise, complete with bulging hamper and beach bag, sat on the back doorstep, waiting for Emma and the boys.
Soon she heard their rather old but well loved car growl to a halt outside the house. After a lot of teasing about the size and weight of the hamper, when Peter struggled to fit it in the boot, they were off.

'Bye, Mum! See you this evening. Enjoy yourself at the fête.' Louise waved to the receding figure leaning out of an upstairs window, then settled herself back in the none too comfortable seat with a sigh of contentment. Comfort was not high on her list of priorities when the prospect of a day at the beach stretched invitingly before her. She turned and grinned at her companion on the back seat, who had been briefly introduced by Peter as 'my friend Alex' while the car was being loaded.

The face that smiled back to her was brown and dimpled, beneath a shock of fine, black hair. 'You look happy as I feel. May one enquired whether it's for a special reason, or simply a general love of the world and mankind as a whole?' Alex's hazel eyes smiled approvingly at the pink and white picture before him, as he spoke the words in an exaggeratedly 'posh' voice.
'Oh, I think life in general - though mostly the prospect of a long summer holiday before college starts in September, I suppose.' Louise felt immediately at home with this sturdy but slim young man, so close by her side in the cramped spaces of the small car that she could feel the heat of his body like the radiant warmth from a convector heater. If it had been winter, she may have appreciated it a little more, but, nonetheless, it gave her an inexplicable feeling of sharing, and even...belonging. Her mind searched for the right word to capture the sensation that the proximity of this boy produced in her, but without success. It was totally beyond anything she had ever experienced before.

While they embarked on a verbal voyage of discovery with each other, Louise tried to imprint his separate features on her memory. The eyes she had first labelled hazel, varied from clear grey that appeared to be lit from within, to rich, warm brown, as the light altered with every twist and turn of the car through the town. Strong white teeth, although neat in appearance, were uneven enough to give them an identity all their own, whilst each smile of the sensitive lips sent the dimples flashing on either side of his mouth. A kind face, that matched the gentle, well spoken voice. Louise knew instinctively it would always be the face of a little boy, however many years left their mark upon it. Perhaps it was the almost comical snub nose that would achieve this effect, or the small, neat ears and overall vulnerable shape of the head and neck that contributed to this air of a permanent Peter Pan.

As she sat there, happily talking to Alex, Louise was suddenly aware of a strange sensation in the region of her diaphragm. It was as though the heat of the sun had gradually focused on the closed petals of a flower and forced it to bloom to welcome the day; a joyous, many petalled, bright golden sunflower. Could this be the dawning of the magical, elusive thing called love? For an instant, she felt as though she was whirling through endless galaxies of spinning stars, only to be brought back to earth with a bump as the car stopped.

She realised they'd come to a halt in a gravelly car park, in full view of the bluest sea imaginable, and she heard Alex saying 'Come on - no time for daydreaming. We're here!' as he reached out a firm hand to help her from the car.
Now the day was really beginning.

The End

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Story Time Again

And A New Day Was Begun

Louise opened her eyes and lay still for a moment, while consciousness gradually took possession of her sleep-lulled brain. Dappled patterns of sunshine filtered through waving leaves of the aspen tree outside her window and made a living kaleidoscope of light and shade across her bedroom walls.

A smile hovered round her lips. She raised her head a little, clasped her hands behind it, then allowed herself to plump back luxuriously onto the soft pillows. No need to rush this morning! After twelve long years of school régime, she could now indulge in a celebratory lie-in. No longer a child: a young lady. Even as she thought these last words, her smile broadened. Could she ever claim them as being true? Certainly, 'Tomboy' would be a truer title, if she were laying claim to any title at all. And today was not the one on which to be especially ladylike. Heaven forbid!

Before she could indulge in any daydreams sparked off by this last train of thought, there was a great commotion outside her bedroom door. It banged noisily open, to admit a whirling dervish of dog and small boy, as her younger brother, Simon, bounded in and executed a flying rugby tackle aimed at her feet, which were still under the bedclothes.

'Come on, sleepy head!! It's holidays! Don't let's waste a minute of them!' Scruff joined in the general mêlée, with excited barks and a good deal of tail wagging. Eventually order was restored and Louise moved her feet to give Simon enough room to perch himself on the end of her bed, followed closely by Scruff, so that she had to re-arrange herself again.
'Sorry, Si. You'll have to count me out today', replied Louise, as she sat with legs drawn up, hugging the hump of her knees. 'I'm going to the beach with Emma.'
'Good, then I'll come too,' was the instant rejoinder.
'Not this time, I'm afraid. There are four of us going by car. If we'd planned cycling, it'd be different, but we'll have so much gear to take for a whole day, you'd never fit in.'
'What on earth will you need on a beach besides bathers and a towel? Simon could not begin to imagine.
'Well, we'll have two picnic hampers for a start. Emma and I said we'd take one each to share with the boys as a thank you for giving us a lift.'
'Huh! Stupid boyfriends. Thought there had to be a catch. No wonder you don't want me as a gooseberry!' interrupted Simon, scathingly.
'Don't be silly, it's only Emma's cousin Peter and his friend,' but even as she spoke, Louise couldn't prevent a little flush of expectation tinging her cheeks. She'd never had a steady boyfriend, as had some of her classmates. Boys seemed so immature, and the few she had gone out with to discos, or the local cinema, had never made her heart beat faster with their persistently wandering hands and wet, ill judged good night kisses that she'd usually tried to avoid.
Who could tell? Perhaps this unknown 'friend' would be someone special. Louise wondered what he would be like.
' Anyhow,' she carried on,'we want to take a picnic table and chairs and a camping stove, so we can do the whole thing in style. We intend having a pic-nic to end all pic-nics! But don't be cross with me. Tomorrow you can choose what we do. How about asking James if he'd like to come over?'
'Smashing idea!' Simon was already imagining a blissful, rambling day looming on the horizon. Two boys and a dog, plus a sister who was quite useful when it came to giving a chap a bunk up a tree, no to mention treating him to the odd ice cream if the weather turned hot, was a recipe for a good time.
'Right then, young man. I've got lot's to do.'

Left to herself, Louise quickly showered and, dressed in pale pink shorts and a halter top, worked a small miracle in setting her room to rights in five minutes exactly, before padding barefoot downstairs. In the kitchen, her mother already had coffee made.

'Hello, love! Toast or cereal today?'
'Toast and peanut butter, please, but it's alright. I'll see to it.'
'Thanks,' said her mother, continuing to sort clothes into various coloured heaps by the washing machine. 'I'd like to be finished quickly this morning, because of the W.I. fête. I'm organising the cake stall, so the more help I get today, the better.'
'Can I pack up a basket of food for us to take to the beach today, Mum, if I give you a hand with the housework first? How about if I vacuum everywhere?'
'That will be lovely. Simon can wield a duster and we'll be finished in record time.' Simon groaned as he overheard this last suggestion in passing the kitchen door, but only for effect, not as a serious protest. His mother loaded the washing machine, deftly shook powder into the pull out dispenser and started the wash cycle, before going to sit opposite her daughter at the table.

Louise had watched her, grinning. Every time she shook powder that way, there was as much on the floor when she'd finished, as ever went into the machine.
'What are you smirking at, my girl?' asked her mother, helping herself to coffee.
'Nothing special, Mum. Just wondering if I'll ever be as competent as you one day.'
'What a funny thing to say.' Her mother was pleased, nevertheless, at the round about compliment. 'I dare say you'll do fine, in your own way. Now, tell me about this pic-nic.'

To be continued...

Friday, 29 May 2009

Keeping It In The Family

About seven o'clock yesterday evening I checked my emails. There was one from No.1 Son, among others, so naturally I opened his first, and was delighted to find the following:-

More Stuff!

I too collect the treasure
that others label trash.
From time to time it's useful
and reborn in just a flash.

I think it is genetic
and I get it from my Mum.
My latest acquisition is
a stick used for a drum.

It has a perfect balance
and is very smooth and neat.
There's not a mark upon it,
like it's never missed a beat.

It seemed a crime to bin it
just because it wasn't paired.
Today it served as inspiration
for this poem to be shared.

He'd just read my post and 'This popped into his head', he told me! He'd thought about posting it in the comments box, but decided against it. I urged him on, but he was in a rush to go out, so we let things lie. Then I realised I had the perfect post for today, ready made, thanks to his inspiration.

This morning, what do I find, but another missive from him, which made the whole thing even better!

Quote -
True to form, whilst I was visiting my dearest friend 'M' today sipping coffee in her back garden, I said 'Wow, that's a lovely table top', referring to the polished oval piece of wood propped up against the side of her house. It has an intricate inlaid design to its centre and carefully carved accents around its circumference. M replied 'Ah yes, it's destined for the tip; it was mounted on a tacky base that never really did it justice.' ... and wait for it ... 'You can have it if you like.' !!!!!!

My mind had already given it new life, reshaped and finished edges mounted upon an old Singer sewing machine base of the kind with the large square treadle/pedal which has remained topless for some time now, waiting for that perfect top to transform it into a plant stand or similar.

Applying this simple rule - on the days when you are feeling like half a table, legless, seemingly unwanted and discarded, take extra great comfort in the fact that there are people out there who will always see you for the true treasure you really are!

Dermot.
(AKA Q, No1 Son).

xx


What more need I say? Don't I have the best son ever?!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Waste Not Want Not?

Stuff

I think I am a magnet,
but not the usual kind
that gathers iron filings
whenever it has mind.

No, I collect detritus,
unwanted bits of 'stuff'
that other people throw away.
They say 'Enough's enough!'

But I embrace all this debris;
it may spark creative juice
and for other people's cast outs
I can often find a use.

You could pity my addiction,
unless you share it too,
and are always on the lookout
for something new to do

with multifarious rubbish;
a treasure trove in waiting.
It may end up recycled- but
what joy comes with the making!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Wakey Wakey?!

That was an interesting peep at early morning Blogland - all you merry band of comment writing, blog addicts cover the whole spectrum. Imagine everyone in a sleep clinic, wired up to record their first reaction on awakening! The scientists would have a field day analysing the results, I'm sure.

I started life as a definite 'lark' - up, up and away as soon as the old eyelids lifted, inbuilt clock primed the night before to wake me at specified time, so I could turn off alarm clock before it rang! It was only a back up, that clock, and in all my school and college years, I can only remember it beating me a couple of times.

Marriage brought a new set of factors into the equation. Hubby was an 'owl', to my 'lark'. With him, came an alarm clock loud and clangy enough to wake the neighbourhood. This would have been enough to cope with, but he liked to set it half and hour before he intended to get up... In his book, this constituted a 'lie in'. In my book, it constituted torture! As a result, for many years, I set my 'inner alarm' to wake me up before his. Could almost have called it enforced larkdom, but I was happy with it!

Now I'm retired and sole guardian of an electric clock/radio/alarm, I'm only too happy to have it in an'Off' position for most of the time. Thank you for all the variations you wrote about in your replies - I now feel twice as lucky! Retirement does have its advantages...

Solution?

'Come on, get up!' , the sunshine says,
'It's time to start the day!'
'Slow down, why rush?' the rain cloud drips.
'Why don't you go way?'

From North to South, from East to West
the daylight wakes us all;
but 'larks' and 'owls' have different views,
some rush while others crawl

to start their day, take up their lives,
as Earth goes spinning round.
Day and night, night and day,
it turns without a sound;

it's just our gears grind in our ears
as 'sleep' moves on to 'wake'.
If only we'd an inbuilt switch -
what difference that would make!

No sluggish, early morning head,
no wakeful, night-time blues,
a simple, on/off sleeping switch
would enable us to choose!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Wake Up Call

I wonder how you wake up in the morning? Do you leap into action the minute your eyes open, or do you come round slowly, allow body and mind to gradually acclimatise after a night in dreamland? Perhaps you have an 'inner clock' that wakes you at a time you choose, or you might be one of those people who need anything up to three varying alarm clocks to shock you into greeting the day. Maybe you have young children, who provide the most efficient wake up call ever created.

I would imagine almost everybody, at some time in their life, could identify with the poem I'm going to post today. My little blue book (where all my original, handwritten 'stuff' was collected before the days of computer) presented me with it as I leafed through its faded pages the other day, and the subject has been coming closer to the surface ever since. I've recently read several blogs whose authors have been at some kind of crossroads in their lives; decisions have needed to be made, and often the way forward has not been easy to see.

When I was still at art college, I imagined I would go on to teacher training college, and indeed, I eventually had a provisional acceptance by Reading University to do just that. At twenty three, I thought my life was mapped out.

However, life and circumstances had other ideas, and I got a bad dose of influenza instead of the final NDD ( National Diploma in Design) I'd been working towards for five years. The principal of the college would have let me repeat the last year, to sit the exam again, but made it abundantly clear in his opinion, that by then, a twenty four year old, female student, was more than likely heading towards marriage, rather than a teaching career. He was an out and out MCP, on reflection, but I was too naive to recognise the symptoms, and cowered under his eagle eye.

So you can place me, and this poem, in the setting which left me wondering what would come next.

Back To Reality

Head on a pillow,
lids lowered;
light breathing
blowing the cobwebs of night.
Consciousness surfacing.
Flutter of eyes opening.
Panic.
Orientation.
Then memory flooding
and realization
of who
and where
and why
and how.

Only problem is
what now?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Just Deserts

After using this phrase on a comment today, I was tempted to explore further. There is a wonderful Internet site called The Phrase Finder, which does just what it says on the box, and has often given me a deal of entertainment browsing its pages. Today, I also noticed they offered 'a phrase a week', and gave some examples of recent postings under this heading.
Just deserts forgotten, my attention was captured by 'old codger'. This, they said , was 'An old man, especially one who is eccentric, curmudgeonly or grotesque'. Yes, no problem there, exactly as I pictured. Doesn't everyone know somebody who fits the bill?

But that wasn't what intrigued me. It was the origin they came up with. On Time Team back in April, they showed a contraption used by falconers in Tudor times, called a 'cadge' - a square frame which surrounded a man's body, supported by crossed shoulder straps. It was used as a perch to carry falcons to the field. Frame carrying was supposed to be a job for elderly falconers, hence 'old cadgers' to 'old codgers'.

The gentleman writing the article on The Phrase Finder site, became very indignant at this assertion, and proceeded to give arguments as to why this was dubitable.

He maintained the word 'cadger' had been in use at least 200 years prior to the 'cadge' for falcons, and was the name used for itinerant dealers of eggs, butter etc, transported by pack horse. He supplied a wonderful quote from something called The Morall Fabillis of Esope, circa 1450:-

'A Cadgear, with capill and with creils' [horse and baskets]

I think he won this round... He said by early 19th century, the meaning of cadging had changed from trading to begging, or borrowing, and could be applied to any who made a living by questionable means. As it was often those too old to find work who had fallen on hard times, the idea of a 'codger' (an unfashionable, peculiar chap) and a 'cadger' (wanting to borrow or steal from you) were probably merged into the 'Old Codger' expression we use today.

I thought Blogland would never forgive me for failing to pass on such a riveting piece of all but useless information... Especially as I'm sure there are more Old Codgers per square megabyte here than anywhere else in the known universe.

(Spellchecker has just shown me its displeasure at the word 'dubitable', but appears quite happy with both cadger and codger. Is it trying to tell me something?)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

What's'is Name?

After No.1 Son emailed me the other day with some more tips on IT wizardry, I quickly replied to thank him - like you would. But his next rejoinder included the following:-

"I'm taking a wild stab in the dark that you have just replied to lots of emails and been signing them off as Pen! :-) First time for everythingI guess; just reads very funny to me! If I were one of those shaky flaky haracters who's paranoia has consumed them and the world around them, I could roll up into a ball crying 'My Mum has disowned me! Wo is me!
Right, that's it, I'm changing my name!!!!'...... but I'm not so I won't.
Loves ya,
Dermot."

Yes, he'd guessed. I had been sending mail, left, right and centre, to Blogland pals all over the world, and instead of my usual 'Ma' sign off to son, I'd typed 'Pen'.... OK, so he'd rechristened himself Dermot. I could live with that. He, he, he...

Speaking on the 'phone later to No.1 daughter, I told her of the joke, just to keep her up to speed should she too get an email from 'Dermot' instead of her Bro! We had a good laugh about it. But it didn't end there. Friday evening, 'phone rings. 'Hello?' says I , with my customary, non-specific greeting. I was then besieged by a giggling daughter, spluttering a little manically in my ear.
Eventually when we'd both composed ourselves a little, I got the gist of what she was attempting to tell me.

She'd just sent her Bro a text which should have said 'How are you?' , but predictive text had overtaken...as she punched 'send' she realised what it actually said was 'Howard you?' Luckily, he knew that she knew (!) about the Dermot thing, and with his usual quick wit, he'd replied 'Fine, thank you Mildred! Love, Howard.'

Needless to say, Mildred is NOT the name my daughter started life with, so here I was with two grown up children, Mildred, Dermot - or possibly Howard - transformed in the twinkling of an eye into unknown entities!

I may not have managed to capture here the true hilarity of the on-the-spot experience, but I still have to crack a grin to myself each time I think it over.

Love to Blogland - from ?
(If anybody can tell me who I am today, I would be grateful...)

Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Recipe Box Conclusion

Carrie crossed the hall and opened the far door. Still occasionally muttering to herself, she pottered around, filling the kettle and placing it on the hob before taking time to study the surroundings. They'd changed little, other than in colour scheme. The same honey coloured pine wood dresser stood against one wall, but a scarlet box file on one of its shelves arrested her attention. 'That's something new', said Carrie under her breath. The bright colour stood out like holly berries in the snow, standing as it did among the pastel tones of this white and eau-de-nil room.

She sat down at the kitchen table and placed the box before her. The spine bore the label 'Recipes', and it became increasingly obvious how great her Aunt's enthusiasm had been, as Carrie leafed through them. There were pages torn from magazines, pieces of paper with scribbled pencil notes and some sheets of paper with typed recipes that her Aunt had copied out from some long forgotten source.

After several minutes spent delving into them, Carrie promised herself an even closer study one day soon. Eventually, she came to the last card in the box. It was a proper, printed post card with a snapshot of her Aunt's house on the left and an inset picture of her little sitting room table, laid for tea, at the bottom right hand corner. Two delicate, china place settings stood on either side of an ornate cake stand, on which a delicious looking cake had already been sliced ready to serve.
On the reverse, in her Aunt's spidery handwriting, was written 'My Dorset Apple Cake', with a tight packed list of ingredients. Carrie smiled. Now she knew exactly which cake she would bake for Bill and Ted.
The End

Now the explanation, folks, as to how this tale came to be. I'd signed up for a short, creative writing course in our local library, and for our first week's homework the lecturer had passed round a postcard - yes, the one described - and packed us off to write a short story of no more than 2000 words by the following Saturday. I'd been hoping the course would cover something on the poetic front, but I was out of luck. The rest of the class were were avid novelists or short story buffs, and my interest in poetry stuck out like a sore thumb. 'Poetry isn't my thing', said our very nice, but somewhat un-inspiring tutor, as she managed to pretty well quash me from the start.

There was much talk of writing for magazines, and of 'showing' not 'telling' a story. That just about wiped me off the map all together, as I guess I identify with being a story teller, after years of doing just that for my kids! So, I'm totally clueless on the short story front, and can only apologise if you thought this Recipe Box was going to turn out to be a chef's Table d'Hote instead of a plain old Soup du Jour.
(If I could have got ^ this over the top of the o in Hote, I would!)

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Recipe Box Continued...

'I understand you want Primrose Cottage, Miss?' called Ted over his shoulder, as the archaic, black taxi went lumbering along. He was inordinately proud of 'the Duchess', as he fondly called her, but it was only his consummate skill that kept such an ancient vehicle on the road. 'Don't get much call for taxis round here, so it's good to take her out for a jaunt this fine spring morning - no matter how brief. Are you staying long?'
'Only a few days. I guess you've heard...?'
'The sad news about Prue, you mean? Aye...indeed. No need to explain.'
For a moment, the pair of them sat in silence, remembering the kind old lady, each in their own way.
'Did you know, she always won more prizes for her cakes, every Summer Fayre, than the rest of the village put together. My Missus got to be quite jealous. Never did beat Prue's 'secret recipe'.'
'Oh, really? I wonder which that was? I know she must have had lots, from the days when she used to let me lick the bowls. Every one more delicious than the last!', said Carrie, and they both grinned companionably.
'Here you are then, Miss. Have you got a key?'
'Yes, the solicitor had been given one for me. Auntie was nothing if not thorough. How much do I owe you?'
'That's alright. Call it my welcome to the village.'
'You're very kind. I'll make it up to you somehow, promise.'

Carrie determined at this point to make at least two cakes as good as any Auntie Prue had made, one each for Bill and Ted; between them, they'd managed to allay her feeling of trepidation at returning to the village with no prospect of a warm welcome from Auntie Prue herself. As to which recipe to use, that could be a difficult choice. She wouldn't want to let her Auntie's reputation down by association!
Carrie waved her thanks, as Ted performed a rather miraculous three point turn in the narrow, cobbled street and headed back to his garage.

'Now, let's see if this works,' said Carrie under her breath, as she slid the shiny key in the lock. The door opened effortlessly and she gazed round the miniature entrance hall with delight. Sunlight dappled the pale, apricot-blush walls and lit a tiny hall table in pride of place against the wall. A gleaming copper jug and a porcelain dish stood on its mellow, well polished surface, alongside an envelope clearly marked 'Carrie Luscombe.'

'Dear Carrie', she read on the enclosed card, after putting her bags down next to the table.
'I wanted to welcome you to Primrose Cottage again, even if it's only with the paper kiss I can give you today....' X' ! There! Much love from Auntie.'
To the right, the cosy sitting room door stood ajar. Walking in, Carrie whispered 'What a dear she was' and, kissing the symbolic 'X' on the scented paper card, she placed it on the mantel shelf, next to a a quietly ticking, quartz movement clock, which only served to underline the fact that life goes on, no matter what.

Two chintz covered armchairs flanked the coal effect gas fire, which she lit, grateful for its instant warmth in the room which had already assumed an indefinable, unlived in air. Beneath the lattice window, prettily framed by matching curtains, stood the table she remembered from her childhood, exactly positioned for taking afternoon tea in the sun. She stood by it for a moment, gazing out at the peaceful village street where she had skipped and played with local children on each of the holidays she'd spent with Auntie Prue. Then, bringing herself back to the present, she decided on a plan of campaign. 'Right, first the kitchen and a cup of tea.'

To be continued...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Storytime

The Recipe Box

Carrie Luscombe stood on the platform of a tiny, rural station, juggling to carry a grip, a handbag and a brown paper carrier all at once.
'Could you tell me where the nearest Taxi Rank is, please?' she called to the dapper stationmaster as he finished blowing his whistle, sending the rumbling carriages on their way.
'That's a bit grand!, he replied, his weather beaten face breaking into a smile. 'There's only one taxi in the village. Come into the office, while I 'phone', and he opened the door with a flourish. 'You going far?', he continued, picking up the receiver, as Carrie perched on a bentwood chair.
'Not very. I need to go to Uphill Lane - Primrose Cottage.'
He dialled a short sequence of numbers on the antiquated 'phone.
'Hello, Ted? Got a young lady here needing a taxi to Uphill...a huh...yes...see you in a bit, then...bye! That Prue Luscombe's house?' he continued, turning back to her and Carrie nodded.
'Yes. She was my Aunt...'
'My goodness me, then you must be young Carrie, all grown up! I do declare! I remember you coming to stay with Pru when you were knee high to a grasshopper.'
'Really? Then you must be...wait a minute, I've got it! Bill Purkiss, the porter. Sorry, Stationmaster, now I see!'
'Fancy you remembering... Well, well, well!', and he chuckled, secretly pleased.
'I'd hardly be likely to forget,' laughed Carrie. She'd last seen Bill as a young lad, pushing a trolley piled high with teetering suitcases on that far off summer day that had brought a drove of eager holiday makers pouring onto the station. He'd wobbled a bit and the cases had avalanched to the ground. Aunt had said, 'Quickly, Carrie. Let's give Bill a helping hand'. They'd laughed over the incident at the time, as they all three huffed and puffed the luggage back into position, as well as giggling any time they remenisced.
'Sounds like the car already,' said Carrie as a horn blared. Bill hoisted up her bags and hurried to put them in the boot.
'Thanks', she added, clambering into the cab. 'See you again soon, Bill' and she waved to him through the window as they got underway.

To be continued...

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Dotty As Ever

Spot The Leopard?

A leopard was covered in spots
(attributed to chicken pox)
which he quickly discovered,
when his skin they'd quite covered,
knocked the spots off his usual black dots.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Everyone On Form Yesterday!

I loved the way some of you couldn't wait to have a go! It's occurred to me, if I gave out a different form and rhyme scheme every day, and everybody piled in with examples, I could finish my module in a flash by presenting their efforts instead of mine ! Just as well I'm not tempted to cheat.

Many of the names of these different forms are poetry in themselves: pantoum: roundel: rondel: rondeau: rubai: sapphic: sestina: terza rima: triolet: villanelle. All designed to drive an aspiring poet into a flurry of words tinged with despair while trying to martial them into a semblance of order.

Of course, the names of limericks, ballads, sonnets and odes are probably quite well known, even to those writers who have never been bitten by the poetry bug. A little snippet of information here, for anyone interested. Stephen Fry has written a delightful book with the title 'Ode Less Travelled', which could provide a great stepping stone into the land of rhyme and rhythm for anyone with a poetic inclination.

Some of us pen pushers were afflicted with this sideways, poet's view of the world right from our beginnings though, and words 'do their own thing' as they juggle to get put down on paper. No names needed as to form. But the wet Sunday just gone had me attempting a sonnet, after the minute. Can't waste it, so here goes:-

Rain Legacy

This Sunday afternoon is cold and drear;
though May had lifted welcome face
to early Sun, his heat left little trace.
Instead, grey Cloud remains, to drop a tear,
mar window pane with silver spear
of rolling, water-droplets; liquid lace
that vies to win a timeless, random race
as ever more participants appear.

One crystal drop soon blends into another,
becomes a growing family affair,
has sprinting Sister fight with dashing Brother
till sibling rivalry between the pair
calls for judgement of them, both together,
from Rain, their father. Who will be his heir?

Monday, 18 May 2009

Practising Poetic Form

This seemed a suitable occupation for a wet Sunday afternoon. I'm still wading through the modules of a correspondence course about the ins and outs of writing poetry. I'm on the one dealing with Poetic Form, a subject touched upon originally in my far off schooldays, so a refresher is no bad thing by now! The course notes give details of rhyme schemes, rhythm, meter and number of lines for each form, so my only task is to choose which follow.

There is one apparently American invention, called a 'Minute' - twelve lines, sixty syllables in total, which I've never see or heard of before. It seemed like a good place to start.

If I'm writing anything on computer, I tend to use as symbols v and / as a pattern of feet (poetic, not bodily), so in this case the 'pattern' became:-

v / v / v / v /
v / v /
v / v /
v / v/
v / v / v / v /
v / v /
v / v /
v / v/
v / v / v / v /
v / v /
v / v /
v / v/

The rhyme scheme is aa bb cc dd ee ff.
And here is the resultant, first-time-of-trying poem in the form of:-

A Minute

I want to write a verse today,
but what to say?
Aye, there's the rub,
I need a hub
from which to let the words rotate,
to flow in spate
all down the page,
the poet's stage,
from whence I hope to fill the screen
that will be seen
by Bloggers all
who come to call.

Hmm - doesn't immediately inspire me to try more of the same, but at least it got a bit of my homework done...

Sunday, 17 May 2009

I'm Done To A Turn

Roastwise, that is, Authorblog style...and not a barbecue in sight. I could tell the temperature was rising in the oven already, as I'd been asked by David late on Friday for a Self Portrait to garnish the roast. Panic set in. I'm the one who hides behind the camera, rather than parades before it, and this request could not have come at a less auspicious time. On Wednesday, I'd had half a dozen - wait for it, and promise not to laugh?- Senile Warts (!) on my face, frozen into submission by the dear old Doc. This initially causes a red, blotchy spot which slowly turns black before going the way of all things. Did I want such horror to be spread for all to see? Nah!

I opted for an alternative one. My desk, on a good (bad?) day. Never having been the kind of person to do one thing at a time as opposed to umpty nine, in a very short while I can achieve a collection like the one shown, but I think you need to have it explained... in a messy sort of way, as befits the picture.

You have to think of it as the 'Strata Of A Day'. Underneath the pile, ergo where things began, are sundry packs of photographs, scanned and ready to roll on the computer. Rather than put them back in the cupboard, I'd obviously got sidetracked by the pressing need of a spot of sewing. This added a Chinese silk pincushion, and three large perns of thread to the equation.

My tiny, silver mobile 'phone perches on top of the snaps - probably after fielding a text from one of the kids, and the lime green, retractable rule has just measured a packet ready for posting. We have strict postal guidelines these days. I admire the way the green of it compliments the thread nearby, and the box of antiseptic jell over on the right, rubbing shoulders with the sellotape and parcel tape that had adorned my postal item, and weighing down a few scraps of paper and back-of-envelope shopping notes that it's resting upon...See how it all begins to make sense? Well, my kind of sense, anyway.

On the left of the photo, a sheaf of papers - receipts, letters, et cetera - are propped between a large turquoise green sellotape dispenser (out of sight) and a plastic box in which I secrete small but useful items like Tippex, pencil leads, erasers, pens. Although most of those have migrated to the top of the box, the inside of the cotton reel, or the pen pot in front of the wooden storage cabinet. This last provides a plinth for the clock, and Elmer the Elephant, who peers down at my home made, jolly Piglet, who stands amongst the knitting needles which gave him birth...Are you still with me?

The white, egg shaped mound in the foreground is a wonderful gizmo which holds paper upright when I want to type from a sheet of writing, but also serves to stem the avalanche of desk mess from sliding into my lap. The black and yellow torch beside it has just been given it's dinner of two new batteries, while the remaining two, still in evidence, stand looking on. A calculator in its black sleeve sits on the lid of the box, on top of a pack of pens, and leads the eye to the black of the computer screen. Oh, and don't miss out on the wee green frog resting on the torch. He must have hopped from the plant pot in which he is normally at home. Some things even I can't explain away.

But I can tell you why I took the photo in the first place. On screen you can see the littlies desk in New Zealand. My niece, their Mum, had thought to blog ' before and after' pictures of it. I thought she deserved to see what a messy desk really looked like. I hope it doesn't run in the family. I, of course, am almost in the picture - I'm behind the white flash on the screen! So this is as close to a self portrait as I could manage, David. Thank you again for asking me to lunch...

N.B. If you're looking for the photo (like Jay!), you'll need to go to Authorblog's Sunday Roast!

http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/2009/05/sunday-roast_17.html

Saturday, 16 May 2009

More Antics

Hideaway

Percy Pig liked to hide in a wallow
with more mud than a Hippo could swallow,
for he knew he'd be free
from both you and from and me,
for none but the bravest would follow.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Animal Antics

A Noisy Noise?

Sydney snake was afraid of the dark,
so we frightened him just for a lark.
We made such a din
he jumped from his skin
to rush naked around a car park.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Purple Ronnie

This name may not mean anything to you if you don't live in the UK. He is a little stick man character, appearing for the most part on greeting cards, his claim to fame being the witty rhymes his creator uses to accompany each drawing. According to the TV, Giles Andreae, who invented him, earns more money than any other English poet. The question was put forward - is it poetry?
I've just done a Google search and now know Giles went to Eton and Oxford, thanks to a Times Online article, which quoted him giving an example of his work.

'I want to say I love you
And you make my life complete
Except for all your bottom burps
And your stinky feet.'

'Poetry gets a very bad press, largely because it does have some navel gazers in it', he adds with ferocity. 'I am not a navel gazer, I use everyday language... Poetry can be populist as well as elitist.' I think I could agree with that opinion.
I'm pretty sure I give scarcely a glance a my navel. But then, I would feel a mite awkward actually designating myself a poet, as opposed to an ordinary bod with a poetic bent...Anyone asking 'Bent what?' will get a hearty reprimand.

Flicking through my blue patterned notebook which holds most of the collected poems of jinksy, I happened upon one which made me wonder whether it held a touch of the navel gazing, or simply a mite too much flowery language. Comments will no doubt winkle out the truth...

The Rose

A red rose in bloom,
'The colour of love,' you say.
Hold fast the image.

Crimson petals fall
like blood from a mortal wound.
to lie forgotten.

In the memory
their heady perfume lingers,
a hovering wraith.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Keepsakes

I wonder how many of you will hold up your hands, and admit to keeping items that come under this label? I can think of a few oddities I've squirrelled away over the years: a recipe written out by an aunt on a tiny page torn from her pocket diary, and slipped into my cookbook for 'safe keeping': an icing sugar rose that adorned a chocolate Easter egg, given me by my first boyfriend: petals from a bunch of anemones given me by my brother, just before he sailed to New Zealand with his family.

Sometimes, these morsels of tactile memories, after being cossetted for years in various nooks and crannies of cupboards or drawers, one day elicit the response 'Why on earth did we keep that?', and get unceremoniously consigned to the scrap heap. Other times, we smile fondly at them, and return them to their hiding place, still looking upon them as treasured keepsakes.

Those faded anemone petals fell into this last category. I had originally pressed them between layers layers of paper, not in a proper flower press, but simply between the pages of a weighty tome on my bookshelf. I'd intended to use them, once dried, in a collage, but needless to say, this turned out to be another 'roundtuit' pipe dream. They got transferred to an envelope, and spent many years in a box file with receipts, agreements and other legal 'stuff', only coming to light intermittently.

Eventually, their fragile, veined paperyness, had me inspired enough to write the following lines as a more lasting memento of their original glory.

Retrospect

Dreams of youth
become faded with age,
like bright flower petals
that dim as they dry
between interleaved paper
meant to preserve them.

And yet those pale petals
live on in the mind
to bloom again,
as memory recalls
the hour of their plucking.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Snag...

... about making something to give to a special friend, is that other people, on viewing said gift, occasionally come out with the dreaded saying, 'Oh, do you think she would make one for me? I'll pay, of course!'

Dilemma. The time taken to create any handcrafted item is unlikely to be recompensed by any monetary offering. A labour of love, on the other hand, requires no payment.

After spending the best part of two days on the project of which I speak, you may understand, I was not over the moon to receive such a request. But this is where things become tricky. I know the person who asked is a kind, caring, compassionate being, who has had her share of difficulties thrown at her by life. If anybody deserves a little kindness, she does. So I will willingly make her request come true, but without asking for payment; instead, I offer to teach her how to produce similar objects herself, as her interest appears to have been caught by my handiwork.

I wonder how my Blogland buddies would deal with a similar situation?

Obviously, I don't have time for a longer post today - I have to get back to the production line!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Hot Off The Presses

Already into my sixth month of blogging, I was trying to get a grip on which of my 'old' poems I'd included in posts, so yesterday, I trawled through the archives and made a list! Laborious, but worth it, so that I don't keep serving up 'seconds' of the same thing. Of course, this was never an issue when I 'invented' another poem on the spot, but not every day inspires me to flights of fancy, as you may imagine.

I had no intention of taxing the grey cells this morning. Writing another poem could wait for me to get the 'urge' - which wouldn't be today. Or so I thought. The powers that be had other ideas. As I finished loading the washing into the machine and turned to leave the kitchen, the early morning sun on my forearm drew my attention. It was warm and glowing and made me brush my right arm with my left hand, to doubly experience its warmth. And that was it; the unexpected push to gather a few more random words into a little ditty.

Wash Day Blues No Longer

Sun through the window is warm on my skin.
The washing machine will soon start to spin,
it's cycle complete, the clothes turning round
to the motorised hum of the whirligig sound.

'Traditional washday', that's Monday, for sure.
But, time was, for ladies it held no allure.
Up to their armpits in water and soap
they slaved by the washtub with nary a hope

of relief from their labours till all work was done.
No time for them to relax in the sun...
How times have changed. Now washday's no chore,
load up the drum and then close the door.

Add soap. Push button. Machine does the rest,
helping us keep ourselves suitably dressed
in sparkling clean garments from morning till night.
This kitchen appliance is such a delight!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Sunday Ponderings

Have spent a happy day wandering Blogland. I did think I might post another limerick, but somehow the following words have floated to the surface and demanded recognition. Who am I to decide they should remain silent? For no reason, other than I once wrote them down, here they are:-

Seeing

There is but one sun in the sky.
No two people since time began
have viewed it from an identical point at the same time.
The distance between heads, eyes and brains
means the sun remains unique to each individual;
and so love, also as old as time,
is universal but unique from each viewpoint.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Monkeying Around

Monkey Business

A monkey who felt rather frail,
thought it time that he learned to abseil.
But when faced with the ropes
he relinquished his hopes
and continued to swing by his tail.

Friday, 8 May 2009

That Was Today, That Was

It came - and now it's nearly gone, leaving me all behind like the proverbial cow's tail. At nine fifteen this morning, after reading a plethora of comments engendered, among other things, by a humble washing up bowl, I thought I'd see what planetary influences were abroad in the heavens.

Mercury was in the 11th house - connected with friendships, groups and other kinds of social relationships. This house represents hopes and dreams one has for the future, not only for oneself, but for people in general. Planets placed here show the ease or difficulty of social integration, and will often relate to some form of group involvement.
It is the planet connected to our ability to communicate, as well as desire for knowledge. Mercury represents our thoughts and the constant activity that goes on in our heads.

Sound like blogging to you?

According to my Astrology program, 'Mercury is Trine the North Node; this aspect represents a resource to be drawn upon, namely, considerable mental talent and more than a touch of genius.'

The next sentence had me in stitches.

Quote ' It is difficult to know where you get your ideas - you are moved by distant memories and seem to be able to tap into thought processes which have their roots in something universal. What you think, write and say can have a particular significance for your generation, because it touches a chord in them which they instinctively understand. When you work with communication in one form or another, you are close to fulfilling your destiny.'

What a pity I didn't start this post straight away! Might have come up with something good...

Sadly, the next bit I read, was regarding the Sun conjunct Mercury:- '... You hate to be stuck in any job, and need constant mental stimulation. This can of course lead to a number of radical job changes... .... your weaknesses are connected with restlessness and lack of concentration...

Which probably explains why I went away from the keyboard and spent the rest of the day, till now, doing other things!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Little Things Please Little Minds

So the saying goes. One that score, mine is about the size of a pimple today. After settling down to visit a few blogs for a catch up and beginning to get into the swing of things, I was suddenly brought down to earth with a bump, by the forceful banging on my front door. I have one of those old fashioned, small, cast iron bells with a dangling rope pull, but many people who approach my house either think it's merely an ornament, or don't notice it at all. Hence the banging.

What was in the box being delivered? Unexpected gift? Exotic purchase? Nope. A new washing-up bowl. Why, I hear you ask, do I need to have such an item brought to my door? I'll tell you. Havant has, over the years, lost its two, wonderful ironmongers wherein I might have once been able to buy a large, Addis bowl. Now the only option is a Wilkinsons' store, with unbranded kitchen ware not to my liking. The next step would require a car to go to the larger superstore outside of town. I am not a car owner, let alone driver, so Amazon to the rescue, folks!

And why the sudden need for a new bowl, anyway? Don't they go on for ever? I discovered not. The other day, after leaving a few jars and tins in the water at the end of washing up to soak off the labels, I returned later to find the bowl half empty and the labels (above the waterline!) still stuck. Further inspection showed two or three vertical cracks in the corners of the bowl, through which drained a steady trickle of water. OK as long as the bowl remained in the sink, but potential disaster if I happened to take it out of there for any reason. So a replacement was called for.

These days, a large shopping trolley accompanies me on all forays into Havant, but certain items are forever barred from its capacious interior, among which would have been a bowl, even If I'd found a replacement one I liked. Therefore praise be to the Internet and Amazon, the best shopping buddies around...

Now my nice, new, shiny, cream coloured bowl is freed from its wrapping, and is waiting to be christened with its first splash of soap and water, before being bombarded by an avalanche of dirty dishes, pots and pans for the rest of its existence. And we think we have a hard life?!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Countryside Thoughts

...from in front of the computer. Found a copy of this skulking around on my desk and thought I'd post it today, while I hurry back to the addictive Arigurumi. Need to make a few more to get them out of my system...

Communion

There is a sudden quiet.
Perspective of hearing changes.
A bee drones more loudly
than a passing plane,
and the breath echoes the wind
rustling amongst green leaves
whose dappled light and shade
dances around us,
a living camouflage.

Thrum of bird wings
makes attention follow flight
into nearby bushes,
as territory disturbed by our presence
is loudly re-acclaimed.

We trespass on the solitude of Nature,
but in so doing, Universes converge;
All are One.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

A Few Of Life's Out-Takes

After reading Sniffles and Smiles sad tale of the shrinking cover, among others, I though I'd let Blogland know I've met the odd out-take as well. You are not alone, Janine. There will be no attempt at chronological order with these tales. Suffice it to say, all stories are true, be they funny or sad. Perhaps sad is the wrong word; the occasion I'm thinking of in this instance relates to my Dad. He was up a stepladder, painting the last square yard of the ceiling in his and Mum's bedroom, when an over enthusiastic stretch before moving the stepladder yet again, resulted in a less than graceful, speedy descent sideways. Dad, ladder and paint hit the deck. Dad, it turned out, had broken his wrist, the ladder remained unscathed, and the paint - ah, the paint!

If the new ceiling colour had been white, my brother and I could have completed the job so's you couldn't see the join. Unfortunately, the paint was pale blue...not a pale blue picked from a shade card, but a home made, lets-put-a bit-of-this with-a bit-of that, pale blue. Remember, I was at art college, and loved creating these one off colour variations at every opportunity.

While Mum escorted a shaken Papa to the hospital, Bro and I valiantly tried to scrape as much of the remaining paint from the plastic dust sheet back into the tin. It became quite clear, the residue was unlikely to be sufficient to cover that last vital patch. I thought I might eke it out by adding a tad more water. A good/bad idea, as it turned out, although I did paint that final area (up the same stepladder may I add, but with the addition of Bro as chief steadier) the paint dried in a slightly lighter shade, due to its lack of density. I should point out, as we lived in an old, high ceilinged property, starting the whole process again from scratch was not an option - far too much hassle. It stayed that way until next time the room was due a refurbishment. I didn't water down emulsion again, and Dad and I discovered those wonderful things that let you paint a ceiling while standing firmly on the floorboards...

I was always a bit of a liability when I had my own kitchen. I soon learned not to keep tumblers in a top cupboard out of reach of children, as I was more of a hazzard than they were. I dropped so many from that height, that I resorted to plastic or stainless steel ones, so neither I nor the kids had to worry about glass shards.

On the high cupboard subject, a large box of Brown and Powlson's cornflour met the same fate as the tumblers one day. From a shelf just too high for me to reach comfortably, I managed to knock the whole packet off onto the top of my head. If I'd been a tidy person I'd have folded over the inside paper bag and closed the box, when last I'd used it, but no, ever in a rush, I'd shoved it back on the shelf open, for easy access - and exit, as it turned out.

I was suddenly transformed into a perfect replica of a Halloween Ghost. White. Floury. Laughing like a drain while trying not to move one iota more than necessary, I called out to young son for help. He was the only other person in the house at the time, but luckily he was old enough to get the cylinder vacuum cleaner out from the cupboard under the stairs and put all the sections together, under my instruction. As my vision was somewhat restricted, I didn't actually notice which end of the cylinder he plugged the hose into. Until he switched it on. It blew, instead of sucked. The cornflour spread a little further. But then, I always did like sharing...

As I seem to be 'posting by colours' today, might as well stick to it and go for the red option, though I believe I may have mentioned this before, in which case, forgive an ageing brain...
I'd made a stencil for 'Christmas card mass production', one year. There was a handy, pull-out clothes dryer/airer with four lines that stretched the length of my kitchen, and I thought it would be an ideal place to slot the sprayed cards over while they dried. I decided to 'create' last thing at night, then the cards would be dry enough to handle first thing in the morning, and I could clear the kitchen of all craft paraphernalia before I had to cook there!

The red spray can delivered the goods satisfactorily, and the stencil design looked good. I soon had the four lines full of cards, end to end, and went to bed with a satisfying feeling of a job well done.

It was a different story when I opened the kitchen door in the morning. Every horizontal surface had a fine dusting of microscopic, red dots, resulting in a pink, blush effect overall... Especially our all-white floor tiles. The kitchen menace strikes again...

The last picture I give you today, is almost tame by comparison. I made a cup of cocoa for hubby one evening, but as I was attempting to pass it to him through the hatchway, disaster struck, and it was more like a flying saucer, than a cup and saucer. Not sure myself how I manged this one, but the cocoa seemed to rebound upwards, liberally covering the underside of the wall cabinets above the hatchway, before falling back to the work surface, or floor.
Aren't you glad I won't ever need to be in your kitchen? Who knows what I might come up with next...

Monday, 4 May 2009

Good Timing

After my initial jubilation at having a (seemingly) working keyboard yesterday, the reappearance of the gremlins, just as I was getting into the swing of posting, left me deflated. I abandoned Blogland, and went to get myself some lunch, instead.

By afternoon, the call of the computer won again. I decided to browse the Internet for keyboards, and soon found a similar one to mine on Amazon. It was offered free of postage, so I decided to text N0. 1 Son, and explain that I could save him the hassle of coming over to deliver his 'spare' one, if I were to order from them. I'd hardly sent the text, when the mobile rang with an incoming call. 'Hello, Ma!' came Son's cheerful greeting. 'Don't click the 'Buy' button - there's a keyboard just about to come through your front door - listen!' - Quick toot of car horn - ' I'm right outside!'

Saved by the bell - sorry, car horn!

I'd not expected him to make it over here before about Tuesday, as he'd been helping some friends with electrical wiring for a food and wine bank holiday special, where Raymond Blanc was to do a cookery demonstration, displayed on plasma screens so the audience could have a good view of the proceedings. Once this was set up, he'd also offered to help one of said friends move house, and we all know what that can be like! So it was an unexpected pleasure in many ways, to find he was about to walk in here. Bless his little cotton socks...or wool, or acrylic...and definitely no longer little, come to think of it. Isn't he a sweetie? Happily, I added to his 'sweetness' by plying him with tea and biscuits ( from a luckily well stocked biscuit barrel - it doesn't often get to be in that voluptuous state - it's mostly full of crumbs only. If I don't refill it, I can't indulge. The current lapse was really a holiday special.)

I'd enjoyed an alternative playtime, while the 'space bug' ruled - making a couple of Amigurumi. For the uninitiated these are small, crochet dolls, or animals, and I'd been eager to try creating a few, once I saw the possibilities. Amazon books on the subject first caught my attention a while back, and last week I'd succumbed and sent for one, as I have an enormous stash of yarn begging to be used...

An extremely tiny, white teddy (first project) made his exit in son's shirt pocket yesterday, peeking his weeny nose over the top as he surveyed the world for the first time. With a fine yarn and small hook, he was only about three inches tall when completed. I don't intend to repeat this mini-sized wonder - once was enough; there is a limit to eyesight and patience.

However, there was a jolly looking duckling, in a slightly larger pattern, and I crocheted happily away, only needing to stuff and sew him up today. Hmm. Went quite well, until I suddenly noticed I'd inverted head and body; head was larger than body, as designed, but I'd reverted to the usual ratio, where body tends to be larger. This meant I managed to sew his legs into the middle of his forehead before I realised my mistake. Not good. It took me a good half an hour to rectify my mistake, as when I sew things together, I don't mean them ever to fall apart. Before stitching them back in the correct place, I thought I'd take time out to share my latest idiocy with Blogworld. Please note, Sniffles and Smiles, creativity with balls of wool, hooks and sewing needles can leave just as much margin for error as cookery or washing covers...

Sunday, 3 May 2009

By Jove! I Think She's Got It!

No thanks to Eliza Dolittle, though. They go to one of the technical bods who kept the computer systems up and running when I was at work; he once showed me a delightful trick with obstreperous keyboards. He demonstrated by taking hold of my board, turning it over, and gently but firmly whacking the edges, then corners, on my desk. Once I saw the heap of staples, hole-punched circles of paper, fluff and general garbage that came showering from beneath the keys, it became quite obvious as to why I'd been having problems typing.

As I'd already tried this method to sort current problems with little success - although with a fair amount of grot dislodged - I rather gave up the ghost on the hope front. However, this morning I thought I'd try another gentle walloping session and Lo! and Behold! It appears to have worked. So far, I've only had a slight 'stick' using the caps lock, but a wiggle round the offending key with a sable brush, plus another gentle tap at the bottom left corner of the board, and things seem to be running normally. Just shows what a bit of fluff in the wrong place can do.

You'd think some bright spark might have started to breed special computer dust mites, that could be bought by the gramme to sprinkle over the keys every so often to feast on unwanted 'stuff'.

I do hope I haven't rejoiced too soon - the little blue Numlock light has just winked off/on. No.1 Son said that can be a sign of impending keyboard doom... Time, no doubt will reveal all.

Special thanks have to go to 'rhymeswithpalgue' (oops! sorry pardon! plague) for his repartee yesterday - 'Sp ace. T he n e w fron ti er...' - for giving me a good giggle. That was exactly what most of what I was typing looked like. Each time the cursor stuck, a good whack on the sp ace bar got it goi ng agai n... AARRGGHH it' s bac k ! Son, where are you?! I spoke too soon! I'm off to do something less frustrating for the rest of the day...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Culprit

...... seems to be the keybo ar d No. 1 son will come to my rescue with a spare. You can see the problem, as the word 'key board' doesn't like to be typed without a gratuitous space o r two. My typing is bad enough without its help. More when possible - little blue Numlock light is flashing and winking at me i n alarm. The spaces have a mind of their ow n at present, sorry for the oddities!

Friday, 1 May 2009

News Flash

Just heard on Women's Hour, on Radio 4, that the new Poet Laureate is Carol Ann Duffy. Let's hear it for the girls!

Computer is still not totally happy - it's taken me for ever to answer emails today, so I don't intend struggling to write a proper post. Hopefully the gremlins won't last for ever? I now have fingers and toes crossed, which may account for difficulty, I hear you chortle...