Friday 31 December 2010

Never Too Late To Learn Something New

Even on the last day of the year, it's possible to accumulate information about another poetic form - This one is apparently called a Shadorma, consisting of six lines with the syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5. 
Apologies to the Blogger whose name I've now forgotten, (but remembered again- Hedgewitch) even though I noted the Shadorma name and numbers. Blame it on my advancing years! Hehehe!

Here it goes!
Two Thousand and Ten;
is coming,
eager to push Time into 

another decade.

May 2011 be a great year for all Bloglanders!

Tuesday 28 December 2010

How About This?

A perfect partner for my previous post, wouldn't you agree? I'd forgotten all about it, until I scanned in another couple of my Dad's drawings earlier today, and opened the computer file which already contained this little gem! Like my candle holder, there is no real evidence of a potty in sight, but the mind - or at least, my mind!- made an immediate connection one with the other. Hope it makes you smile, as it did me. So from May 5th 1923 to December 29th 2010, just think how many smiles this drawing may have engendered in its lifetime? Nice thought...

Monday 27 December 2010

Seeing Things In A New LIght Is Good

That's the thought for the day, as the TFE's Poetry Bus driver at Muse Swings asked us to pen a ditty about any strange/unusual/thought provoking gift, given or received, in order to secure a seat on her transport of delight this week.
At first, I thought I would have to be a stay-at-home passenger (!?)  but eventually remembered a pottery creation which certainly came under the 'strange' category. Maybe later today, I'll be inspired to produce a graphic sketch to better explain this strangeness, but for now, I leave you with these lines. Some Bloggers may note with surprise, I have chosen to follow the latest trend for free form poetry which wanders down the page, but have married it to my love of rhyme. Compromise is a wonderful thing.  

The Gift

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
I was once given a candle holder
which lacked
the knack
to inspire admiration.
A generation
would be hard pressed
to best
this tribe
of childlike forms,
unlike any norm-
al bodies. Their botties
sat on a circle of potties,
or so it appeared.
The modelling was weird.
I may have misconstrued
these rude
blobs of clay -
who can say?
Perhaps each was meant
to represent
a chair ?
To be fair,
the joined hands
of this happy band
of pilgrims formed a ring,
to sing
the praises
of friendship. It amazes
me each time I recall the delight
of a friend who saw this candle light
and expressed a wish
to possess the dish!.
It was my salvation!
I presented it to her on the spot.
Did I regret it? Not one jot!

Sunday 26 December 2010

The 26th

 Only 365 shopping days to Christmas now folks!

Saturday 25 December 2010

Sunday 12 December 2010

My Christmas Card To You

If I've not been able to email you direct, please imagine this Seasonal Greeting is plopping through your Blogland Letterbox! I'm putting one on this shelf (!) for passing strangers to share as well!

Thursday 9 December 2010

It's a Good Time For Finding Things

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my Mum and Dad on their wedding day, 1st June 1936, and mentioned that I still had the dress which had been made (from the veil) for my Christening in 1941. Hilary from The Smitten Image, being a lady in love with her camera, asked at once to see a photo of this relic, but as usual, I couldn't find it to order.
But this morning, as if to underline the Discovery Of The Nighties, The Dress fell into my hands as I was looking for a jumper in my chest of drawers. I didn't find the jumper, but one can't have everything. I had to be content with The Dress, which I have now uploaded or downloaded, ready for this post. I shall definitely link it to Sepia Saturday this week, even though today is Thursday. Blogland days have even less relevance than real world days, wouldn't you agree? 
So here are the historical pictures of a very fragile Jinksy garment which is even older than it's present owner. And that's saying something.
The Dress




Tuesday 7 December 2010

But A Lovely Morning!

Lost is found! Blogland people one and all, I do believe your mammoth efforts at writing all those lovely replies to my plea yesterday, shamed the 'let's hide Jinksy's nightie' gremlins into submission.

After donning my deep lilac (shorter-than-the-others-therefore-not-as-snug) nightie yesterday, I was on the point of climbing into bed, when my inner voice said "Go, now! Look in the airing cupboard for one more time!"I have learned the wisdom of obeying this voice, without question, as it invariably knows best.

The lowest slats in the cupboard are home to socks, pants and bras, with an occasional pillowcase or duvet cover thrown in for good measure, and after removing  and balancing a large heap of the same on the top of the banister rail in front of the cupboard, I peered in, without success.

I'd hardly touched any of the contents of the next shelf up, when a flash of  pale aqua amongst the turquoise sheets greeted me. Lost nightie number one! I'd only just thanked the powers that be for this revelation, when lo, and behold! A pale blue version of the same garment winked at me. This was SO exciting! Within a moment  or two, a tell tale primrose hem peeked at me from the stack of hand towels, and my mission was complete! I swear, I'd already rummaged among those self same contents three or four times, when my nighties first became conspicuous by their absence, but without success.

The only difference last night, was that I had the delightful comments (full of fun and implied good wishes) of all my Blogland buddies, willing me to try, try, try again...And they worked! How can I ever thank you all enough - or will it be a case of "Don't applaud, just throw money?"

Sunday 5 December 2010

Not A Good NIght., No...

I wish I could tell you, as bedtime approaches tonight, that I would be donning a luscious creation like this before retiring to my boudoir. Sadly, not.
At present, I own five articles of nightwear, all of which resemble glorified T-shirts - only longer. Nothing wrong with that. No.

But, can any Blogger explain to me why I am having to exist with only two? One on, one in the wash....WHERE ARE THE OTHER THREE HIDING? Are they huddling together for warmth in some dark drawer or cupboard? Have they turned into an Invisibility Cloak, like Harry Potter's? And let's face it, it would have taken an army of Borrowers to have purloined ONE garment, let alone three...

Why can't I find them?

I shall be eternally grateful if anybody can come up with an unusual suggestion as to where they may be hiding, or how I might set about tracking them down... Even better, if you can do it in rhyme! 

A Quandary

My nighties have got flighty
they've been and fled the coop
I cannot find 'em anywhere -
Am I a nincompoop?

Okay, I'll answer that one straight away - Yep!

Saturday 4 December 2010

Football Fanatics

You may have heard on the news recently, many discussions on the subject of football - not one of my favourite topics.  But here are two of my Dad's drawings which may mean something to those with a greater knowledge of former football stars than I have.

The last painting must have been done very early on in his drawing career - probably when he was still at school - but it's clear to see the dawning of  the artist in his soul!

These are the latest Sepia Saturday offerings from me and mine.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Time To Stand Up And Be Counted!

Are Bloglanders turning into a bunch of wimps and sissies all of a sudden? More and more blogs have 'Comment Moderation' activated which results in that infuriating notice  ' Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval.' Can nobody bear to hear even a hint of criticism? Is everybody afraid of seeing words published that don't comply with their idea of 'niceness'?

Do people not realise, ANY comment can be removed by the blog owner at any time, anyway. I see little point in having this vetting process operational right from the word go. In two years of blogging WITHOUT comment moderation, I believe I have only had to removed one comment - and that was because it was written in what appeared to be a Chinese script, and as such was unintelligible to me.

What exactly are people afraid of?

When one is unable to read comments preceding one's own, a blog can end up with line after line of almost identical remarks, each so banal as to make them valueless. At least, when all comments are instantly readable, it gives one a chance to write something more original, and also allows the deletion of one's own comment if mistakes in spelling (or sense) are noticed after clicking the post button.

Come on, folks! Grow up! and take things on the chin a bit more! Take off the dratted moderation, and lets see a bit more freedom of speech.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

A Wandering Day In Blogland

Here at least, any snow encountered is the imaginary kind. In my travels this afternoon, I noticed a post by a fellow blogger, Cad, whose choice of picture made me do a double take, and I eventually asked him if I might purloin it. He was kind enough to say "Yes!" I thought it would give exactly the right chilly feel to one of my favourite wintry poems by none other than A A Milne and his trusty Bear Of Very Little Brain. This is, of course, one of the Hums Of Pooh.

The more it snows
 Tiddly Pom
The more it goes
 Tiddly Pom
The more it goes
 Tiddly Pom
On snowing.

And Nobody knows
 Tiddly Pom
How cold my toes 
 Tiddly Pom
How cold my toes 
 Tiddly Pom
Are growing.

It needs to be sung by two people, with the smallest of the pair singing the Tiddly Poms. My brother and I used to take great delight in such a performance, back in the days when he was actually smaller than his Big Sister, a state of affairs which was VERY short lived, believe me. (Short lived - Ha! Get it? You will if you realise he was one destined for the 6ft plus brigade) Snowy weather always needs the Tiddly Poms to complete it...

"Tiddly what?" said Piglet. "Pom!"said Pooh.

Monday 29 November 2010

Here We Go Again

With a threat of snow creeping ever closer, being able to escape to Blogland is twice as appealing.  But it's only now, with my supper bubbling away and teasing my nostrils, that I can take a few moments to put together a post which has been hovering in the sidelines since this morning.

A last minute luncheon guest kept me occupied in Napple Mansion's soup kitchen  this morning, before I could entertain her in the Great Banqueting Hall... Hah! Who am I kidding? But Blogland can be anything we care to imagine, right?

Can't you see the two of us at opposite ends of the mile long Carved Oak table, dressed in our finest ermine and pearls, supping soup from golden plates? If you can, then your imagination is even better than mine!

But culinary matters were the order of the day for Monday's Child, too, for this was the illustration by Blanche Fisher Wright that was on offer today, and here comes my interpretation of it, for gastronomes everywhere.

For Adults Only 

There was a tradition
in many a kitchen
of making Christmas Pudding
from scratch, including
flour an' fat an' fruit an' spice
and bread an' eggs an' all things nice.

Some silver coins would be hidden
in the mix, and you'd be bidden
to stir it thrice and make a wish
over this fancy Christmas dish.

Now the puds come ready made.
They're boxed, and carefully displayed
on well stacked supermarket shelves.
They're not like ones we made ourselves,
round and wrapped in pudding cloth...

When came the time to take this off,
the pud was topped with flaming brandy,
then cream or custard came in handy,
for they added  an extra charm -
though many a stomach came to harm
from overindulging at Christmas dinner
which never did make a body thinner!

Saturday 27 November 2010

But Today Is All You'd Expect

 i.e. Saturday and Sepia - sort of!
Thanks once again to my Dad for the drawings, and to Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen for dreaming up Sepia Saturday in the first place!

With November being the month when the subject of war continues to be a topic of conversation, I thought I'd use these three sketches to look back at 1939/40 from my father's viewpoint at the time.

Friday 26 November 2010

It's Not Sepia, And Today Isn't Saturday

But on looking in my picture files, I came across this fairytale row of houses and I couldn't remember having posted them for everyone to see, although I know I've emailed them to some of my Blogpals.  I'm sorry for those of you who have seen them before, but aren't they extraordinary?

They always make me think of  the Gingerbread House of  Hansel and Gretel fame, and they couldn't be further removed from modern day, sleek lined architecture if they tried. There are no others around the town that look like this, so it begs the question, what were the planning department thinking when they allowed them to be built? Perhaps no such body existed then, so that any old builder with money in his pocket could indulge a whim, and create these flights of fancy. Well, what would you call them?
How far removed are they from the elegant, if slightly less than perpendicular, row of cottages, a little to the left of this bend in the road?

I'm not sure whether I tilted the camera at an odd angle when I took the photos, or whether ancient builders failed to use plumb lines, but the more I tried to choose which upright to align with the edge of my screen, the harder became the choice. Nevertheless, you can see Havant is a quaint and charming place - bit like its inhabitants I guess, says she, chortling...

Wednesday 24 November 2010

A Cold And Frosty Morning

Here in Napple's Nook it's the kind of day that makes you think of woolly socks and hot drinks at regular intervals, and as my last post was (vaguely) weather related, and today's will be (vaguely) connected to a cup, you can see how my mind has been working. Or not.

Chilly days often freeze the inspiration too, but the picture prompt from Willow was enough to light a small fire under mine and I produced a few lines, which I shall lay before you eventually. But not before a dose of waffle.I expect many of you are relieved I have stopped doling out medicinal compound of this kind on a daily basis. With the dreaded countdown to Christmas beginning to wind back the Shopping Days' numbers at an alarming rate, most Bloggers will be happy to have less posts on their reading list. Aren't I being thoughtful?

But I have to admit, each start of the week finds me looking forward to playing along with Monday's Child  and Stony River who keep my brain ticking over in Alias Jinksy mode, even though this can mean Napple keeps her mouth shut for a day or three. Remember, silence is golden.

So as promised (or threatened) here is the Magpie Tales picture, and my latest offering.

A Cup, A Cup...

Cup your hands under your chin
and let the memories begin-
of lazy, Alice In Wonderland days,
of Cup Runneth Over secret ways
we followed, each one filled to the brim
with happiness.So together we basked in
our new found love and carefree laughter
and drank a toast, "To ever after!"
But this cup has been drained dry
and bitter dregs blow in our eyes
now, from a sudden teacup sandstorm.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Not Another Weathermap?

I was looking at some Photopaint images I have stored on the computer, and this one made me think of the wind that has been swirling around at times during the past week... Though it certainly wasn't in the warm pink temperature range, being more reminiscent of blue faces and blue moods of winter, with its unexpectedly chilly blasts..

You would never guess what this image started its life as, so I'll tell you. It was my two small granddaughters.  Dressed to the nines in full Princess Regalia when they were still both knee high to a grasshopper, as the saying goes, they posed proudly for my camera when they came to visit. An idle moment found me playing with different options on the Arcsoft programme I used at the time, and further dabbling with Paint created this whirling vortex which I decided had a certain charm all its own.

I still find it puzzling that a random set of shapes and colours can suddenly make one think "That's it! Don't change a thing!" But I suppose every creative artist, no matter what their preferred medium, reaches the same conclusion eventually, or no music,  no writing, no pictures and no craft work would ever be completed and offered to public view.

Once any of these works are let loose in the world, they too swirl in vortices of their own, blown on the winds of chance...


I've no idea who this represents, so leave it to your imagination! Although the second of Dad's sketches for today needs no introduction...
I apologise for the messy strip of Sellotape across the top of this scanned page. One of these days, I'll have to crop the picture and tidy up the finished result !

Both are in answer to yet another Sepia Saturday, where I'm sure you can find more treasures from the past.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Now A Bit Of Nonsense

If I were a turkey now Thanksgiving's nigh
I'd be worried that I might end up in a pie!
But if you should catch me
and pluck out my feathers -
then I'd need  a warm coat
to wear out in all weathers!

This is down to the Monday's Child prompt for this week, which gave me a chance to give my blogpals  across the pond a little grin.   The illustration is by Michelle Lana.

Saturday 13 November 2010

A Bit Of Romance ...

  ...Wouldn't go amiss for this week's Sepia Saturday, I think, so here's a photograph of my parents on their wedding day, June 1st, 1936. Now you can see for yourself the artist who was behind the drawings I've been posting for Sepia Saturday recently, and the very hand that held the pencil!
Mum's wedding veil was eventually used to make a Christening robe for me, which was then adapted into a short dress - the sorry remnants of which I still have to this day.

Click on the link to see other people's sepia sensations.

Friday 12 November 2010

Waterlogged Spa

It's no secret, we've had more than out fair share of rain this year, in all parts of the country. A friend was describing how his driveway was beginning to resemble a babbling brook, and this gave me a nudge to write a little something for a Flash, seeing as how it's Friday again, and the G-man, alias Mr Knowitall, is hovering. Here it is then, with no further ado, a little splash of exactly fifty five words.

Floater's Dance

There, on a path where water is rushing
over shingled drive not intended for gushing
streams, leaves huddle, form a raft.
Without map or compass this craft
will continue to dance to skirling song
of wind and rain. Who knows how long
the piper has called this same tune
in other lands, under different moons?

Sunday 7 November 2010

Emily Greenleafe

On Summer walks down to a nearby sea-shore
we would discuss which of the routes to take-
across the tussocks in the cow-pat field
or by dim-shadowed lanes that wind below
boughs of elderflower, hawthorn, oak
and beech?
                   Another path would bring us into
the peaceful graveyard of a Saxon church,
where chiselled names left shadows in our minds    
sharper than those cast on weathered headstones.

Our favourite by far, was Emily Greenleafe.
We'd stop to say 'Hello', and felt  by doing so
our thoughts reached out, perhaps tip-tinged with grief,
from this, our present 'now', back to her 'then'.
She would have known these self same country paths,
that all lead down to meet with harbour tides,
where seagulls send their plaintive cries to sea
as echoes riding winds from distant lands.

This has been simmering for a couple of weeks now, and The Poetry Bus driver, Jessica, asked us to write about bathing. I decided to ignore bathrooms, and take my ablutions to the sea, hence giving a very loose connection to this poem which has been occupying my thoughts!

And to get back to a bathroom theme, here's a re-run of a poem I wrote much earlier! The Gurgler. Now I demand two tickets for the price of one, Jessica.

There's a Gurgler in my sink
and I think he wants a drink.
When I slowly shift the plug,
that is when he starts to glug
as the water's rushing down.
I do hope that he won't drown.   
It can't be very nice to swallow
soapy water from a hollow
gushing, pipe (so dark and gloomy!)
in the sink of my bathroomy.

Friday 5 November 2010

Awards? Hmm...

Today, Blogpals all, I present to you my newly created B.A.award! Despite my carefully added Extra Edit to yesterday's post, it would seem some of you still consider the Red Badge I displayed then as some kind of honour. Think again! I'd hardly pushed the publish post button, before I realised that clicking on said badge merely served as a means of advertising the courses at ten different American scholastic institutions - absolutely nothing to do with furthering a community spirit amongst poetically minded Bloggers.
Thanks to the IT know how and definite community spirit of four long time Bloglander pals - Shadow, AC, Hilary and Gerry - the insidious advertising link was banished to the back of beyond in less time than it takes to say 'Foiled again, Moriarty'.

I have emailed the Jen Hughes who sent me the original email notification of the 'award', and will be exceedingly interested, should I ever receive a reply. While a decision to advertise any site we choose via our Blogs is a God given right in my view, that does NOT cover being made to link to one purely as a hidden agenda by another person.

So now, if your get an email entitled 'Master Blog!' from Jen Hughes, you will know before you accept her offer, that you are being used as a pawn in a different game.

And now, just for Smitonious and Sonata, a special little something :-

An unscrupulous lady called Jen
once tried to entice me, and then
she added a link
which lead in a blink
to a website I shan't visit agen - er - again?

Thursday 4 November 2010

Now What?

I had an email last week, telling me my blog had been recognised by a team from Blogger, as deserving of recognition. There was an embed code for the above badge, but, me being a dimbo, I have no idea how to insert it anywhere on my side bar. I've resorted to putting it into an ordinary post. Now I'm sitting back and waiting for some kind person to explain how to put it anywhere else - only polite answers, please!

N.B. On 29/12/2012 and I've had a spam email from  one purporting to be, asking that links from this be removed. As far as I can tell, there are now no links from this post, but I leave the logo as a warning to others. I would say meanwhile... Caveat Emptor...

This was their explanation of what the whole thing is about:-

Love to write poetry? Love the sound of visual and kinesthetic imagery? The way a poem can say what you feel in fewer words than even a short story can? Do you breathe in simile, exhale metaphor and enjoy the presence of assonance and alliteration? Then writing poetry is for you. Already know these basic terms? Want to go beyond them? Good news. These award winning blogs are for you. Learn from the masters how to best apply the terms you know. Improve the poems you have written; seek for a pattern scheme that better reflects your work and intent. Share what you have learned with others. These blogs will get you started.

As far as I can see, only good things can come from being part of such a community...I did ask for more information, and this was the next reply I got:-

The objective of the award is not just to recognize the great blogs that are out there, but also to create a community in which a blog can be used as a resource for others. We want anyone that has the yearning to educate themselves  in a specific area, to be able to know they can come to one place, and connect. The resources we've acknowledged and recognized, are blogs we think can educate and help someone learn more about that topic.
Aside from the educational aspect, we want those who blog about topics to connect, whether they already know each other or not. There may be just that one that we find to have a great blog, who doesn't know anyone else that blogs about their topic. This is where we come in and hope that you could display the badge in order to show yourself as a proud part of our community.  We want to connect the blogging community, not only to share ideas, but also to find motivation, strength and encouragement in each other.

The Blogger team actually found your site. They found that it fitted the criteria needed to be part of our community.

Some of the attributes of the criteria were: content, affiliations (relevancy to the actual blog itself), and posts (also pertaining to the relevancy of the subject of the blog), to name just a a few.

A list of other blogs that have been chosen can be seen  HERE  but don't expect to be able to link directly to any of the blogs you find on it! The cynicism is beginning to creep in...

Late Edition Extra

Thanks to the help and advice of tried and trusted Blogpals, the gratuitous link to ten different universities which was incorporated in the so called 'Badge', has now been removed, and I shall go to bed tonight a sadder and a wiser person. As my philosophy has always been to be a 'Mrs do as you would be done by, not a Mrs done by as you did' (see The Water Babies by Charles Kingsly for the origin of this reference) I will no doubt continue to be too trusting for my own good, but I shall now revert to my original declaration, that this is an award free blog!

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Turn Back Time

No, nothing to do with changing clocks, but an attempt by the BBC to show us how different High Street shopping was in the 1870's. For a week, they had a group of modern shopkeepers take over some empty shops in a neglected Market Square in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

This photo ( thanks to the BBC article) shows the grocer, who along with a baker, a butcher and an ironmonger cum blacksmith cum candlestick maker(!), spent a week plying their trades under the same conditions their predecessors would have had to contend with two centuries ago - no electricity, no running water, no women allowed to serve in the front shop...
The grocer probably had the easiest task - the female members of his family had to work in the back room, weighing and wrapping goods to order, while he played the jovial showman front of house - especially on Market Day, when he sold cuts from a giant cheese, outside his shop. When the shop had became overfull of customers waiting for the wrapping/weighing process to be completed, he decided to revert to the old tradition of merely taking orders, then having goods delivered directly to the customer's homes.

The butcher and his son had one huge Gloucester Old Spot pig delivered, with the challenge of selling every scrap of it by the end of the week. When you learn it took six men to manhandle this beastie into the shop, it should give you an idea of its size. With the only refrigeration supplied by a few enormous ice blocks in metal cages, the need for selling quickly was obvious, though there was no such thing as a sell by date back then. Sausages made from the less aesthetic cuts of meat, and encased in the well washed intestines, were a popular choice with shoppers, though an attempt at making pork pies was less successful, as they were put to cook in the baker's oven, then forgotten and burned to a crisp. On the market day, their own version of fast food - i.e. bacon and pea soup (peas pudding) - made them a good profit, as well as pleasing the crowds.

The Ironmonger soon realised he did a better trade from his blacksmith's forge than from behind his counter, and closed the shop. He took on an apprentice and set him to work making candles, while he himself crafted wrought iron candle holders, plus meat hooks for the butcher, and bread knives for the baker. At the end of the week he had made the largest amount of money, totalling about one and a half thousand pounds.

The baker's family had the greatest challenge to contend with, for it was the wife, not the husband, who was the master baker in real life, but in the eighteen hundred's women were not allowed to work in the trade. So the husband, who had never baked a loaf in his life, had to immediately set to work to produce 150 loaves overnight, ready for opening day on the morrow. Needless to say, as he wouldn't listen to any of his wife's gentle hints regarding quantities of salt and water needed to produce decent bread, the results were disastrous - burnt, and too salty by far.
After a crash course with a specialist baker, who gave him a lesson in how to make a profit by adding other ingredients to bulk out the flour (chalk, sawdust, alum and even arsenic were sometimes used!) he opted for the fairly innocuous rice to add to the fine white flour that had been delivered to him, and his bread improved.

The programme made it obvious how difficult life was for all tradesmen, not to mention their families who worked hard behind the scenes, supporting the men. But what it also brought into high relief, was how the  shoppers loved the personal interaction with the shop owners, especially on Market Day, when they turned to showmanship to advertise their wares to passers-by, be it by means of a giant cheese, pig's head complete with glass eyes hung above the shop, homemade candles and holders by the forge, or simply baskets of fresh bread displayed on trestles on the pavement; a far cry indeed from an out of town, all-purpose, impersonal supermarket.

Sunday 31 October 2010

A Hard Day's Night

Right! No one, I say, no one, will come to my door to pester me tonight!

* * *
As it grows dark, I hunch over my cauldron, don my pointy hat and prepare my potions. Drips and drops of fizzing liquids, green gloop and scarlet sludge plop into my selection of gruesome, ground up goodies: thorn- sharp eagle talons:  slimy lion bogies: scratchy tiger whiskers: snapping crocodile scales. The marble of my pestle and mortar is deathly cold to the touch, as it clatters and cringes at my enthusiasm.  Soon, the toughest rat’s skull bone is reduced to powder in the twinkling of a bat's eye.

“Splotnoggin,  flopkerood!  Impellunset quinkle!”

Secret spells leave my lips as each noxious ingredient is added to my brew. The mixture bubbles, plops, hisses like a geyser, rumbles like a miniature earthquake, and I chortle.

”Listen to that magic sound,
it says "Wicked", I’ll be bound!”

By the time moonlight reaches the dimmest corners of my hidey-hole, the work is complete. Steam rises from the luminous mouth of the cauldron  as I carry it to an open window and place it on the sill. The smog cloud drifts out and up, up over the neighbouring houses and gardens, billowing, ballooning, growing, until eventually it covers them all.

* * *
Now, with midnight passed, I am happy with the results of my wizardry.  Not even the tiniest ghoul braved my doorstep. I don’t think my neighbours have been bothered, either, for no revelry disturbed the evening quiet. I made sure of that.

As I climb on my broomstick for one last tour of inspection before bed, I’m pleased with my evenings work... I will have to remember to use the same spells next October the thirty first. That American ‘Trick or Treat’ custom is one import we British can do without...


Halloween's coming! The witch-hag is nigh!
On hovering besom high in the sky,
in black cloak and hat, see her silhouette fly!

A familiar black cat perched on the handle,
ears all a-twitch, long tail a-dandle,
watches the stars, each bright as a candle.

Mewling spells to the moon, he fills us with fear.
So, remember, children, it's best you steer clear
of fast flying broomsticks once Halloween's here!

For anyone who read Alias Jinksy's  Friday Flash 55, I apologise, for this is the same - only different! LOL :) And it happens to fit the bill for the Poetry Bus, too!

Friday 29 October 2010

I've Been Playing!

With witchery afoot, I had fun creating this flying fiend to suit the words I'd written this morning, when I got waylaid from my intention to post another of Dad's drawings because my bloglist was showing the symbol for the G-Man's Friday 55. Of course - it's Friday. So, although a Sepia Saturday is imminent, I'm wrapping up a bundle of bits and pieces, past and present, with some Jinksy waffle to mix them all together in the melting pot which is Napple Notes...

I've always thought this pseudo sailor was a bit of a conundrum. Did my father sit down to sketch one day, then find he couldn't decide on a subject, so settled for a question mark? Perhaps...
But also on one of the green pages, mottled with age, was one I did at the tender age of seven. No masterpiece this, but I can remember how honoured I felt, being allowed to draw in Dad's very special book. What is strange, I don't remember ever being given paper and pencils of my own to play with. Even at school, until I was eleven, I have no recollection of being encouraged artistically by the provision of equipment which might have let me experiment.
I suppose I've come a long way since then, for yesterday I managed to produce this (perforce!) lightening sketch in yet another unsatisfying Life Drawing class.

The model was made to take ten different poses in the course of the two hours. As the afternoon session included a fairly lengthy coffee break as well, it's not hard to realise why I grumble!

Wednesday 27 October 2010

As Clear As Mud

Sometimes, similar murky words can come out of my mouth, or off my keyboard. And so it was when I mentioned an Everest Man. To Kat , those words conjured a mountain-climbing hunk, complete with crampons, crevasse ladder and probably carabiners enough to sink a battleship.

In reality, The Everest Window Fitter was back here following A Complaint. By me. Not because of faulty fitting or below standard goods. Dear me, no. But Strange Happenings on the outside surfaces of the glass, which meant that when the sun shone upon them, Smears, Ghostly Smears obstructed my view. All the time the weather remained cloudy, the doors appeared pristine, but sunshine transformed them so's I could believe they'd been in situ and unwashed for years.

After my attempts to clean them with varying mixtures of water, washing up liquid, vinegar, scrunched up newspaper, scrim and elbow grease, I telephoned Everest Customer Service. Like you would.
An appointment was made for a Manager Man to come and inspect them at the end of the week.

He too, expended much elbow grease attempting with chamois leather and water to make them sparkle, but finally admitted defeat. He arranged for the fitters to come back to use their industrial glass cleaning products for a second time, which they duly did. And left my side gate unlatched on their way out.

So the tale has gone full circle, as my tales have a habit of doing. Bit like me really - I spend much of my time going round in circles...Don't we all?

With a change in the weather, sunshine has been conspicuous by its absence, and the silver lining to this cloud means my windows have looked transparent as intended... But woe betide Everest if we have a sunny spell in the next few days, and my world appears smeary....

Sunday 24 October 2010

Be serious ! It's Sunday!

I had no idea that my simple tale of  things that go bump in the night, would give so many of you a chance to exercise your funny bones, and come back with such mirth making repartees! Britta managed to give me a dose of my own medicine, with the Chamomile tea suggestion, while Madame Butterfly was clearly in need of a cup of the same (my brother swears by Chamomile tea  as a sleep promoter). Then June was obviously haunted by the Wellies, while Jabblog almost lost her cool due to lack of sleep.
Derrick managed to spare a thought or two for my poor neighbours -
  1. in case they had fallen out of bed, 
  2. because they may have witnessed my deshabille which may have scarred them for life.
But Hilary's alternative scenario was enough to make my hair curl, although it did make me laugh. You see, many years ago, I did receive a crank 'phone call which began seriously enough with an unknown voice saying, "I bet you don't remember me?"but ended with a lewd query as to what colour panties I was wearing, at which point I slammed down the receiver...See, Hilary, many a true word is spoken in jest...

I must say, Steve Gravano's suggestion of cat naps was a good one, and AC might do well to take note of this advice too. But they can't usually be done to order. I find they only creep up on you unawares, much as a real cat would, while rhymeswithplague was inclined to agree my mishap was enough to make a cat laugh, though the TMI had managed to scandalise him, I fear.

Thanks to the fashion conscious ladies, Technobabe, Weaver of Grass, Raining Acorns and Barnie, who were suitably impressed with attention to detail shown in my attire, whereas Doc was rendered speechless for a moment, until, after he'd let Christine H voice her gratitude, he chimed back in with a vocabulary lesson in Czech. I must point out, however, when applied to boots, the term 'kinky' describes the wrinkles in the soft suede or leather which slouch boots are made from, whereas my black rubber Argyll footwear is incapable of copying such folds.

I thought I should find a suitable illustration, before Doc's 'holinki' word inadvertently sparks a plethora  of comments from those who are picturing Kinky Booted Jinksy in  a totally erroneous manner.
These would be my kinky boots of choice, but the narrow toes mean  they would never fit my foot shaped feet, no matter how much I might yearn for a pair! I'd be interested if any of you could show me where I could buy kinky boots designed for real feet, as opposed to a designer's fantasy...
 And I let Dr FTSE have the last word here, as he emailed me the cartoon above, then dared me to post it...

Saturday 23 October 2010

Seize The Day

If I did that this morning, I think it would be to strangle it. Having been brought to consciousness by a dream in which I was searching for a loo on a crowded train -obviously to alert me to the fact a trip to the loo in real life would be a good idea (!)- I  eventually clambered back into bed shortly after the dreaded Four O'clock In The Morning (witching hour for insomniacs) and switched on BBC World Service, in the hope I'd be lulled back to sleep.

No such luck; the subject under discussion was Money, or rather Britain's lack of it - guaranteed to keep anybody wide awake, not just me.

Having suffered from this imposed gloom for several minutes, my attention was drawn to the battering of torrential rain on my flat roof, punctuated intermittently with a dull 'Thud!'.....'Thud!'
'What on Earth is that?' my mind chipped in. I replied ' Nothing. Must be from next door neighbour falling out of bed.'
Well, how could I expect myself to come up with a logical explanation at that unearthly hour?

I searched though my mental index file of things that go bump in the night, and eventually found a match. The side door in my wooden fence must be banging against the house. The two Everest workmen who had gone out that way earlier on Friday, must have failed to close it properly, drat them. From the sound of the wind and rain, there was not going to be any let up on the weather front for some time.

This called for action.

I pulled on a pair of black Wellingtons,  struggled into a colour co-ordinated, green and black waterproof jacket over the top of my shortie nightie, and exited via my shiny new patio door to fasten the offending object securely. The grey half light snuggled a welcome round me, as musical raindrops beat a tattoo on my hood. Yes, the gate was swinging wide. The men had obviously made no attempt to close the latch properly.

So, dear reader, that was why at five o'clock, clad in shorty nightie and Wellingtons  (I discarded the rain splattered jacket) I sat down before my trusty computer to share the tale of my rude awakening. The boots, brand new ones bought in honour of last winter's snow and never actually worn before, are quite cosy on my feet, but the shorty nightie makes me glad I can go back upstairs to my waiting duvet, as soon as I finish typing this, to reheat the chilly bits of my anatomy.

Have a good weekend, people...

Friday 22 October 2010

Saturday Is Nearly Here Again

And I'm going to post another double spread from Dad's album. He served aboard an HMS Fowey at one point in his career, and I think the drawing probably represents an earlier sailing ship of the same name.
After a week of minimal posting from me, it's good to have a ready made one waiting in the wings, thanks to the unsung talent of my nautical Pa - a perfect offereing for Sepia Saturday.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

You Are Always On My Mind

Erm...not quite! But yesterday, Pobblebonks were. Such a lovely word could not be lightly dismissed, and all day I could sense a nonsense rhyme struggling to croak to the surface, which it finally did, but too late for me to start posting.
As the following unadulterated lunatic rhyme is enough to make anybody cry, I'm sneaking in one of Dad's drawings this morning, where the effect has already taken place. Happy Tuesday, peoples...

A Pobblebonk sat on a log.
He knew he was some kind of frog,
but he felt so unsure
of his froggy allure,
that he hopped off to hide in a bog.

But, as he was leaping,
a lady frog, creeping
nearby while hunting for flies,
twitched with surprise -
got stars in her eyes -
here was the Prince she was seeking!

Before very long,
they joined in song
the pobble-bonks rang loud and clear
as together they croaked -
he was all she'd hoped -
But boy, did she get things all wrong?

For with the first kiss,
the amorous Miss
found her Pobblebonk pal,
had turned into Prince Hal-
had transmogrified,
it could not be denied,
into Prince Harry -
not a beau she could marry!
Then Right Royal Harry,
not inclined to tarry,
called for his horse
and skedaddled, of course!

This comes with my humble apologies to The Royal Family, as well as any other Frog Princes who may still be waiting for a magical kiss to release them from an enchantment...

Saturday 16 October 2010


I couldn't think of a better word to preface a typical napple note on this Saturday morning. For those intrigued by it, YouTube will supply an explanation, complete with sound, and for those not blessed with a curiosity gene, I can tell them it's another name for Banjo Frogs - inhabitants of Australia.

There are two reasons why Pobblebonks came to mind.
  1. A fellow student in my creative writing group chose to write a clever poem about them last Tuesday.
  2. For the past few days I have been croaking like a frog myself, thanks to a free gift of a bug-of-unknown-origin with which fate has seen fit to bless me.
However, as I am able to talk the hind leg off of a donkey* in Blogland, with no ill effects, I shall proceed unabashed.

My Dad's sketch fired peoples' interest last weekend, so I thought I'd post another today. It illustrates exactly the right sentiment, don't you think? A permanent smile always makes other people wonder what you've been up to, while they yearn for a little of the same medicine. Which brings me nicely back full circle to Jinksy Germs and Croaking Frogs.

* For another jolly jape on an equine theme, do take the time to go and see Dr FTSE who, I happen to know, has written a post guaranteed to make a horse laugh, or in my case, to make me laugh hoarsely...
Come to think of it, a doctor could be just what I'll need myself soon, if my symptoms worsen.

"Knock, knock!"
"Who's there?"
"The Doctor."
" Doctor Who?"

Sorry, folks, you can see I'm in a bad way when I'm beseiged by such thoughts...That padded cell looms closer by the minute. But before the men in white coats come to take me away, I'll just have time to give you the link to Sepia Saturday.

Friday 15 October 2010

One? Two?

No, this is not a BOGOF, (Buy One Get One Free, for anyone who may have thought I was being nasty!). It is me realising I have created a split personality by starting a second blog. Time was, napple notes swallowed everything I fed it without complaint - I could concoct any recipe and more or less knew who would come to my table to sample the menu.

Since I became inundated with tempting, ready made menus from Flash Fiction 55, Sepia Saturday, Magpie Tales, The Poetry Bus, Big Tent Poetry, Monday's Child, Microfiction Monday, Poets United and last, but not least, Writer's Island, I have been very remiss with creating my own Dish Of The Day, and I know Hilary, for one, has an aversion to Double Blogging. For those who have yet to meet the lovely Hilary, aka The Smitten Image, she has a hard enough time following one blog per person, when choosing her Post Of The Week, without nuts like me suddenly creating a second one.

Why did I do it? I thought I could, and would, keep poems separate. However, I am finding the lines becoming blurred between my two blogs. What shall I do, Blogpals? Keep two? Loose one? Look for the nearest padded cell immediately?

Thursday 14 October 2010

Writer's Island Prompt #24

See beyond the veil;
all future pathways embrace
The challenge is to decide
which may give the best outcome

 Inspired by Writer's Island prompt "  Envisioned".

Monday 11 October 2010

Monday's Child # 16

What's Cooking?

"I will sprinkle in fairy wishes
so this brew will be delicious
in a twinkling" said the gnome,
chanting over bright green foam
through flowing beard. From pointed hat
he added bits of this and that
as he was elegantly sitting
beside the Witchy Sisters, spitting
spells into the brew,
each foot dangling (minus shoe)
in the way that people's do
whose legs are short, like me and you.

Two rats, three bats and one black spider
wondered what could be inside the
pot that bubbled on the fire,
as the flames curled ever higher.
Would they be allowed to drink
a sample droplet, d'you think?
Or would the witches be too greedy
to share supplies with any needy
animal who might be near?
Come, whisper answers in my ear!

Thanks to Monday's Child for finding the Beccy Blake illustration featured in this week's prompt.

Friday 8 October 2010

Sepia Saturday With A Difference

You can see from the date at the bottom of these two pages,  that they were drawn in 1938 by my father, Francis Edwin Jinks.

I have two of his autograph albums, with drawings which span the years between 1922 and 1939. He seems to have used them in lieu of a sketchbook.

I realised this week that I could scan and save his drawings on my computer. Many of them are pencil sketches, but this one has colour added as well, and I decided to post it under the Sepia Saturday banner, as it's a historical document!

I seem to have inherited his love of drawing. Aren't I the lucky one?

I'm sure I'll be posting more of his sketches, as it'd be a pity for them to stay tucked away in the albums with only me being able to appreciate them. As he travelled all over the world  for twenty two years, in his capacity of Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, I'm sure he'd love to think his drawings are now travelling abroad in a different way!

Thursday 7 October 2010

Time For A Chat?

It's all very well, rushing out bits of so called poetry or prose at the drop of a hat, to comply with somebody's prompt, and it may keep one's writing urge on tiptoe, waiting to see who will think up what next, but plain old Blogland gets a raw deal.

Despite today being National Poetry Day, according to BBC news, I intend doing no more than a Napple Waffle about my own illustration...Monday, as you will notice in the picture,  my room was open to the elements for a goodly part of the day, as two workmen demolished old, cheap-and-nasty patio door/window and replaced it with an A rated, energy saving, up-dated version.

At the crack of dawn, I'd teetered up a step ladder and taken down heavy curtains (in the foreground you can see their Rufflette tape waiting to be un-pleated), then waited...and waited...until the men eventually arrived at 10am. They'd come from Bournemouth - from where, I assume, they'd had to collect the units they were to install. Late starting they may have been, but they worked steadily and methodically straight through to 4pm, when they took my money and had me sign on the dotted line before going to their next assignment.

Having learned from previous attempts that my washing machine had difficulty coping with even one of the big curtains, I decided a trip to the local cleaners would be the best idea. Hmm. When I'd unpicked the hems and trundled my trusty trolley full of curtains and liners into Havant, I was told the price would be £45 for the curtains, and £45 for the liners, as they were separate, thermal ones which I attach  with hooks, not the sewn in variety whiach would have been included in the one price of £45. They also told me, unpicked hems were not acceptable, as curtains might fray. They suggested I took them across the road to a Launderette, which advice I was glad to follow. There they will do a service wash, dry and press curtains and liners for the princely sum of £25 pounds. That was a no brainer, wouldn't you say?!

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Monday's Child # 15

In any Wonderland, imagination can,
and should, as if in an enchanted wood,
unlock the doors to a magic place
where all newcomers may enter the race
on equal terms. They'll walk, fly, swim, or crawl,
and whether large and bold, or meek and small,
participants of every kind will join in,
with feather, fur, shell or tender skin
rubbing shoulders, as they tumble ever on
in a frenzied, helter-skelter marathon.

Thanks to BKM at Monday's Child for supplying this prompt.

Friday 1 October 2010

Second Class

No, not citizen, nor yet goods, merely a chance for me to bemoan another afternoon spent chasing rainbows, as it were. There was this extremely accomplished model, adept at creating and holding wonderful poses, yet again, forced to change them after three, five, or at most, ten minutes. It was as bad as it would be to have a tasty plate of food before you, only to have it fed you on the tip of a match, or with a salt spoon, instead of the heaped dessert spoonful  that your taste buds craved!
I promised to post some results for you today, which I will do, although I didn't stop to think that my A3 drawing pad wouldn't fit in my A4 scanner. Using my camera to capture the images is far from satisfactory, but I've managed to get a few to share with you, but apologise for any poor quality images.