Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Present Perfect

Okay, you can stop thinking this is going to be a lecture on grammar, or even an advertisement for one of my staunch followers (they will know who they are!) . It's merely a way of introducing this:-

Fireblossom emailed the picture to me, after she'd discovered my poetry only blog, Alias Jinksy, for it exactly matches the tongue in cheek description I added after my Blog TitleHow kind and thoughtful was that?
If I were ever to be inveigled into a duel at dawn, I'd far rather  the chosen weapons were pen and ink, as opposed to épée or pistol.

Choose Your Weapons

There was an old lady called Pen
who liked to indulge now and then
in a battle of wits
with other odd twits
in a poetic duel - D'ye ken? 

N.B. Comments received in limerick form will be awarded with gold stars and putty medals.
This is a direct result of a plea made by Maggie for a return to the Verse and Worse spot so beloved of the one and only David McMahon...Remember that, folks?

Oh, and here's one more etheree for the pot that crept into my mind a while back:-

day off
on Monday
can play havoc
with your usual
routine, and alter time
as perceived by inbuilt clocks,
until body is uncertain...
Which day of the week it is today?
It's Tuesday, masquerading as Monday.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tales My Mummy Told Me

After the photographs, I thought should come a tale or two.  I have posted some, if not all, of these before, so sorry if longtime followers get a déjà vu  view feeling.

Ink, school and toilet tales

Because Dorrie had very long hair, worn sometimes in plaits, the boy sitting behind her in class used to take great delight in dipping the end of one of these into the inkwell, and flicking it at her frilly, white, starched apron.

The resulting mess brought scoldings galore from Ada, who was busy enough washing for her large family, as well as others, without this added hassle. (After being widowed, Ada eked out her money by taking in washing, as her Mother, Sarah had done before her.)

Since the Sunday joint's leftover cold cuts solved the problem of getting dinner  ready,  washing day was always Monday.  With the copper boiler in the scullery doing sterling service all day, not to mention bars of soap, washboard, blue bag and starch,  Mum remembered Gran always being less than cheerful(!) at the end of yet another steamy, marathon washing session. . .

Children at school with Dorrie sometimes took their lunch with them, like they do now,  but I don't know that she did, as she lived close enough to go home lunchtime. Anyhow, one of the boys earned the name 'Buppy-Shoog-shoog'  because of his predilection for  bread and butter sprinkled with sugar, for his sandwiches. Dorrie pleaded with her mum to do the same for her, but Ada was firm - 'No such rubbish for you, my girl.'

I do believe the boy's real name was Horace Bumpstead, as many years later, Mum recognised him, working as a conductor on the buses in Portsmouth, and pointed him out to me.  A small, insignificant little man, with old fashioned, round, wire framed glasses, slightly pot bellied (no doubt due to all those sugar sarnies) and what you might call a 'prunes and prisms' mouth - i.e., tiny and puckered. He stammered a bit, and used to repeat everything more than once in a hesitant way, his voice rather high and squeaky, but rusty sounding at the same time. In fact, just as you might expect one named Horace Bumpstead to sound.

I've mentioned elsewhere the 'piano game' Mum played with the meat skewers, but another of her favourites was to take a candle into the outside loo, (don't think there was an indoor one too - there wasn't)  drop gouts of  hot wax onto her hand (painful - I once tried it too) then 'operate' with a blunt knife to remove them.

The earliest memory I have of this loo is a bit traumatic, as I managed to bolt myself in, even though I'd been told not to,  then couldn't work the bolt properly to get back out… Not too disastrous, as the green -or was it brown?-, wooden plank door had a hole right through where the latch was, as well as decorative openings across its top, so a passing grown up easily heard my panic-stricken pleas for help, and gave calm instructions as to how I might get out.

The wooden seat went from side to side of the back wall, and the round hole must have had chinaware below it, but my memory doesn't stretch that far. I was too small to worry about the mechanics of the thing. The water tank was fixed on brackets high on the back wall.  Its chain was long and swinging, and loo paper was squares of newspapers, cut up and threaded onto a loop of string hanging from a hook on the side wall. 

My cousin, Peggy remembered that, as a child, there  were occasionally squares of tissue paper instead, if  our Auntie Glad had brought home some of the sheets used as packing for the fabrics delivered to the factory where she worked.

The well scrubbed, wooden seat was warmly comforting to sit on - about the only thing in the loo that was, as howling draughts were the norm on chilly days. It's  sad, when the toilet was updated in later years, that this seat met its demise in favour  of a more modern, much chillier version...

Monday Bank Holiday. I must add a little more for the benefit of any late comers - Gran's loo was a proper, brick built edifice adjoining the kitchen and attached to its mirror image for the house next door. No thunder box cans to empty! I might have known even the mention of a loo would dredge up some questionable reminiscences in the comments box !


Saturday, 28 August 2010

Dorrie, Dos or Dot

That's three of the nickname versions that Doris Lillian, my Mum, had during her lifetime, and the first photo, which is the earliest one I have of her, shows what a little dot she was! She was born in 1911, on the 25th July, just about a month after her father, William, died of a fever. When she started school, she scandalised my Gran by telling inquisitive children that she didn't have a father, when they asked about her Mum and Dad.
She was used to being the baby of the family, and her elder brothers were always inclined to spoil her. Here they are in a group portrait, taken in about 1904, which shows William and Ada, William Jr (from William's first marriage) then in order of age Arthur, Dorothy, Albert and Archibald. 
After the time of this photo came two more girls, Gladys May and lastly my Mum, Doris Lillian. Another son, Victor, born in 1900, didn't live long enough to make it to the 1901 census.

The photo was taken in the back garden of the same house that I knew as a child, when the widowed Ada still managed to rule the roost, all those years later!

And if you'd like to hear some stories from way back when, look at my Sunday's post...

Alan and Kath at Sepia Saturday gave the impetus for this post.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Water Water Everywhere

Water droplets fall;
flowing rivers flood in spate. 
A whole country mourns.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Live And Learn

I've just discovered something interesting. Have you ever felt cheated that you can't scroll to a post you know you read on a blog in the last few days, but which can only be found after a laborious search though archives? It's taken me a while to cotton on to the fact there is an option for letting many day's posts appear on your home page.  This makes it easy for readers to scroll down to ones they may have missed, or to recap on one they want to read again.

It remains to be seen whether this will slow Blogger down, but until that becomes obvious, I shall be giving everyone the option of scrolling through a month's worth of posts from my home page.

The brightly coloured image above is there just to wake you up, and is a detail from a larger Paint doodle I called 'Jazz'.  Have a good day, as the saying goes...

Although I've now come to the conclusion that today is a slow day in Blogland, and I've penned a few lines on the subject...

Not A Lot Happening

Deep in the heart of Blogland, nothing stirs.
For once, there is scarcity of words.
Have people reached the bottom of their well
of bubbling inspiration? Who can tell...
Maybe a multitude of cats that roam
have bitten lots of tongues? Shall we bemoan
this sudden lack of posts? I shall aspire
to light a match or two beneath the fire
which may ignite verbosity, in time,
so the only tongue that's wagging isn't mine...

Monday, 23 August 2010

More Of Life's Rich Tapestry

Thanks to GW for the title!

Flenny Noyders 

Ten Flenny Noyders
went for a stroll,
stumbled on a dillytow
and started to roll.
Uphill and own dale
they stroodabompy went
until their tiny totypills
were screwfilously bent.
They ran home to Mummy
a-rooning all the way,
and she laffatedly cobbed them
and told them ”Go away!”

Late Edition Extra! I have just created a new blog called  Alias Jinksy, where I hope to post more of the poetry, and less of the waffle. So why not come and take advantage of my two for one offer today? No charge for admission!

Tickets Please

Time for another ride already? Goodness, how the days fly. Here are the details of the depot from which the Poetry Bus trundled this week. It's destination? Early morning, in various disguises, so I've manufactured two for the price of one... 

Sunday Morning, 1st Edition
I Like It

As dream turned to reality at sunrise yesterday,
which song was it, do you suppose, that I heard start to play?
Was it music of the spheres, melodious or merry?
No - it was a pop song by some fellow name of Gerry!
Gerry and the Pacemakers were singing in my mind,
complete with memory of words I thought I'd left behind.

"I like it, I like it!

I like the way you run
your fingers through my hair,
and I like the way you tickle my chin
and I like the way you let me come in
when your Mother ain't there,
your Mother ain't there!

So I had to go to YouTube and watch an ancient clip
of Gerry's actual pop group who'd made my mem'ry flip
by infiltrating through my dreams the instant I awoke -
I never would have guessed a 'lectric guitar playing bloke
would choose to haunt someone like me, a blogger, (name of Napple)
who's fond of many silly words with which she likes to grapple.

Sunday Morning, 2nd Edition

Thoughts On An An Empty Inbox

Once, morning smiled with messages;
now, it creeps into day, its face solemn.
Once, joy would illuminate my mind
as beloved's name greeted my eyes,
the bold black characters forging
a ferrous bond with my emotions.

But the screen remains silent too often.
No longer amongst the favoured few,
I wait for any chance snippet of comfort,
perhaps a sentence, to be tossed to me.
How do I explain the loss I feel
to one who gives it not a second thought?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Words, Words , Words

Where would Blogland be without them? Yesterday morning, Poet in Residence was in playful mood, with ten non-words which he asked you to incorporate in your own 250 word tale, and I'm sure he'd be delighted if you decided to participate. Being a woman of very few words (am I kidding?) I only managed a sixty four word offering, which was so short I merely left them as a comment.

But with words on my mind as a subject, here's a selection of them, rearranged into a poem, this damp and dismal Sunday.

More Of The Same

All words are recycled.
They never wear out,
but sometimes we wonder
what they are about.

The mind of the writer
always has its own view,
but it may not be what
those same words mean to you.

For experience alters
the links that we make
through our synaptic sparks,
and the routes that they take.

A brain's a computer
of unrivalled design,
for it keeps body running
as well as the mind...

And to round off the day, here's a Paint doodle that I called "Circuitry", for it reminded me of the convoluted way our minds make and store memories.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Mind Of A Poet On Sepia Saturday

 Yesterday's short poem highlighted for me how differently our minds work - or at least, as much a one as I possess. There was no intention, on my part, for the last line to appear as anything but a declaration of wonder, that after sixty nine years of leaving footsteps on various parts of our miraculous globe, my quiet footfalls were still as ephemeral as the winds that blow. It was a concept which felt full of charm and magic.

So I was surprised when so many left comments in which they'd obviously assumed I'd intended to bemoan a life which left no mark. In reality, I have no doubt that my existence has added its quota of ingredients to the melting pot of life, which will ensure my being part of the final concoction, be it appetising or no, as the Great Cook in the Sky wills.

In keeping with this thought, and for Sepia Saturday addicts everywhere, here is a photo of a gentleman whom I believe to be the younger brother of my maternal grandmother. As far as I know, a relatively early death precluded his founding an ongoing dynasty, but nobody can gainsay the love which inspired his sister to guard his portrait for all her eighty nine years, and the outreaching love that I am able to extend in order to write about him here and display his handsome face.

Friday, 20 August 2010

A Moment Of Reflection

As the weather man had predicted showers for today, when the early morning appeared to be fine, I quickly donned my denim blouson and headed to the postbox, important letter clutched in hand.

Appearances, as we all know, can be deceptive - as was this one. An extremely delicate misty-rain tickled the skin of my hands and face, like fairy footsteps dancing. It was soothing and not unpleasant, as it remained but a merest whisper of dampness.

In the quiet hush of a day not yet awake, I suddenly heard the dull rhythm of clunky shoes closing in on me from behind. I realised at this point, that my own Birkenstock sandals had created no noise.

So began a short meditation, or musing, on the matter, as I recognised the advent of my poetry Muse. She sent me straight to the keyboard once I got home, and this was the result...

A Silent Place

My feet walk silently through the day,
soft-stepping over cracks and flaws.

The pavement slabs, dusty and grey.
make no echo as my sandals fall.

No sign remains to show I passed this way,
or even that my life's been lived at all.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Toe Tapping?

In Mum and Dad's flat was a bathroom,
the like of which you've never seen.
A rickety gas boiler's  function
heated the water - to steam!

But fixed to the cold water faucet,
or rather, the overflow pipe,
was connect an aerial wire,
about which I intend to gripe.

It must have earthed something electric,
for one day, as I floated in foam,
my big toe got stuck, by a fluke, in the tap
and a small 'lectric shock made me groan!

It must have been nothing but static,
for a bigger charge could have been bad-
might have polished me off altogether,
instead of just making me mad!

This piece of nonsense was inspired by Magpie Tales scary photo of part drowned feet, and the link will lead you to more toe tapping exploits, I'm sure...

Here Do Be Dragons

Not the most fearsome of creatures, I grant you, but a fitting follow on from the previous post! He was part of a Fancy Dress Competition, where George and the Dragon set a challenge to the costumier's imagination, as well as to the wardrobe department's supplies.

Lots of cereal cartons and silver foil, finished off with a lace petticoat, leather gauntlets (well, gloves with milk bottle tops attached) and a fencing helmet disguised the brave St George, while ten sporty neighbours provided the dancing feet of Draco.

In the excitement of the ensuing battle, the photographer failed to pay enough attention to such things as ensuring the feet of St George were in the frame, rather than several pairs of onlookers dittos which would have been better out of shot.

However, a right royal skirmish ended with a noble death on the part of the dragon, who, nevertheless, still managed to live to tell another tale, I'm quite sure...

I may be back later with a draconian ditty - or I may not.  Watch this space... OK, you can stop watching - here it is...

Draconian Ditty

I took my harp to this party
but nobody asked me to play.
Everyone there was too busy
following Dragons, that day.

The ten legged beastie was playful,
and staggered around like a loon,
but the shine on St George’s brave helmet
was really what caused it to swoon.

Then, dazzled, the dragon  expired,
while it glittered in afternoon sun,
and its mournful voice croaked in an agonized wail
“Oh, no! Saints Alive – I’m undone!”

The sun had ignited his nostrils,
so none were surprised when he spoke.
“That additional heat was the trigger,
and now I am billowing smoke!”

Feel sorry for dragons, dear reader,
for I’m certain that everyone knows,
the tenderest spot for such burning
is the tip of a dragony nose.

Okay all smart alecks (you know who you are)  who can't wait to tell me there were twenty legs, not ten -I'm already ahead of you - ten PAIRS, I should have said, but it would have messed up the meter.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Sales Pitch

Saw this photo on Stony River's Microfiction Monday (Okay, so it's Wednesday, but hey, who's counting?). The object is to tell a story inspired by it, in 140 characters or less. Not being a story teller by inclination, I opted for a straight forward sales pitch of the kind which is all too prevalent in our mercenary world. so, first the picture, then the pitch.

BOGOF! Get Two for One!

Mobile safety suit for unswerving agoraphobic whose only remaining fear will be an automatic, electric tin opener.

If you go and visit Stoney River's blog, and then Mister Linky, you will be able to beat a path to the doors of many more blogs and read all the other Micro fiction offerings for the week. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Morning After

Sleep or no sleep, this morning my old cogs and wheels whirred again at the sight of the word 'Shadows' in a post here, by the cryptically named bkm.
To prove that levity can turn to seriousness in the blink of a jinksy eye, here is the result.


The shadow beings follow all our lives.
Their untold stories, full of silent words,
trail behind us under cloak of dreams.
They are never written on life's page,
because we chose to pen a different tale
from one they secretly had planned.
Their umbrous spectres hover ever near
and fill us with amorphous sense of loss,
if we should bid them closer to ourselves
and stand them in a spotlight on our stage.

Bedtime Delaying Tactics

I'm sure you've noticed how adept children are at employing myriad devices for this activity, but who'd have thought that a computer could have similar wily ways? My hand was geared up to get Mouse to hover and click Shut Down last night, when the computer chimed in " Oh, no you don't! I need one more effort before I'll let you do anything as boring as go to bed."

I am such a slave to its demands, that I obediently opened a new page, and let the fingers start dancing one last tarradiddle. So here is the layout of the choreography as described by their steps...

Obeying The Call

It's late at night
the muse is right;
"Go To Bed
Sleepy Head!"
She shouts aloud
into the crowd.
I heed her call,
my eylids fall.

But where is sleep?
I count the sheep;
but, wide awake
the numbers make
my brain revolve,
and I resolve
to never let
the tally get
the better of me...

Monday, 16 August 2010

Nature As An Artist

This is part of the bark of a  Plane Tree - but with nothing plain about it, I'm sure you'll agree.

I've spoken before about the fascination I have for this particular specimen, which overshadows a slatted wooden bench with its green canopy. This morning, blustery winds stirred its branches, while sunshine created dappled patterns at its feet.

I had at last remembered to take my camera when I went shopping in Havant earlier, and made good use of it once the errands were completed. The point where the trunk splits into branches is gnarled and knotted, and fires the imagination. What do you see, when you look at its face?

I think today it had the appearance of a giraffe - or maybe a mythical, many horned version of one; I guess it depends on the lighting. Sometimes it looks almost human, as it stares back at me below... That's fine, as long as it doesn't start speaking its thoughts aloud, eh? I might not like to hear what it has to say...

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Ticket To Ride

The Poetry Bus is about to travel the highways and byways of Bogland again this week, driven by Enchanted Oak. I hope to purchase a valid ticket for once, with no last minute dash to the stop. The seriousness of this wish probably influenced my take on the subject matter, as for once I have left the joking behind me, and opted for a more romantic mien.


Morning shrouds the placid, shining water
with mists that roll across awakening Earth.
At river’s edge, low willow fronds have captured
this shallow, patient craft, securely berthed.

Will one who comes to claim her be a maiden,
or will it be a youth, well built and spry?
Will they rendezvous among the shadows?
These dissipate as softly as a sigh

as Sunlight claims creation as her own.
With her slanting beams outpouring from above
she drapes all bodies in her golden raiment
to act as testament to dawning love.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Auntie Lettie

Sorry for the disconcerting line across this old photo, but I think you will forgive it, because the rest is such a gem!

Lettie was one of my husband's Aunties, not mine, and was born in a tiny village called South Poole, in Devon. She never married, and the story goes her sweetheart was a fisherman who died young - maybe in an accident, or the first world war - who knows?

She was a kind and loving lady, who moved to Hampshire to take care of her sister's three young children after their mother became unwell, and remained there until her death, having spent her life being a surrogate mother.

A quiet life, then, but deserving of a measure of recognition, if only by being the subject for this Sepia Saturday.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Still A 55 But Different

Friday and Mr Knowitall go together like strawberries and cream, or perhaps nuts and bolts! However that may be, his plan to get people writing a story or poem in exactly fifty five words, is well known to many of you. But Delwyn sparked an alternative choice in my mind, when she introduced me to the etheree poetic form:- ten lines, beginning with one syllable, increasing by one for each line, until the tenth. By this time, by some quirk of mathematics, you will arrive at a total of fifty five syllables. Don't believe me? Start counting!

you now
please ignore
'fifty five words'?
Use as substitute
fifty five syllables,
such as those I have written,
showing stalwart Friday Flashers
a carefully counted etheree
whose last line will match with their ten digits!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Round The Bend

I once had a screw thread
but rust saw to that -
now no plumber can shift
these pipes linked to my tap.

The copper green hue
adds a certain allure,
but there's holes in disguise
right above it, I'm sure.

I'm bendy and flakey
and well past my prime
and due for the scrap heap -
it looks like it's time!

Photo prompt by Magpie Tales

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A Passing Piece Of Nonsense

While pondering on a tuba and its various delights, as envisaged by the incomparable Dr FTSE, I had the urge to compose the following:-

An Inner Tyre With Tuba Envy

Deep in black re-treaded depths
tuba notes grow in vitro.
They try to escape from my
inner tube, but can’t be heard.
Instead, their musical tone
is muted by rubber walls
dampening ardour and zest,
with no sign of melody.
But I strive to play my song
by inflating my body,
waiting for slow releasing
of air that holds me firm
to give me a voice.

Then I decided that Danny Kaye would have to give the final, finishing touch to whole thing, as his was the version that accompanied my childhood days!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mystery Tour Time

Go HERE to find out more! Or even HERE! You will find that the challenge by Rallentanda was to incorporate all these words into a poem or story, and I chose to post my effort on Friko's Fridge Soup Blog, which you can find by clicking on the first link above. Be ready to be surprised!

Monday, 9 August 2010

New Zealand Vibes

Hands up if you can see the Mud Monster? No.1 Son took the photo while on holiday in that far off land, but it was not until he downloaded it to email me, that we noticed the eerie looking entity struggling to get out of it's mud bath.
With New Zealand being uppermost in my mind at present, due to visiting Kiwi relatives zooming around our bright little, tight little island, what better time to share a piece of such serendipity?
Particularly since small great nephew L7 had a bad dream about aliens on Saturday night, which sent him scurrying into Mum and Dad's bedroom, closely followed by small P4 sibling. They were visiting this corner of Havant, much to my delight, but the only one who had a completely undisturbed night was me- the usual non-sleeping one! How's that for an unlikely result?

Late Edition Extra:-

Glug and bubble, schlop and pop!
Monster squelches to the top.
He leaves his hot, volcanic bed
and scares us with his muddy head.
With eyes as big as sewer covers
he looks around to find his brothers,
then makes another geyser blow
before he suckers back below.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

There's A Dent In The Cushion...

...at the centre of this Sepia Saturday gem. Bet you can't guess who made it? Meantime, I wonder how many of you will recognise the two little shipwrecked mariners?

They are none other than the younger selves of HRH Elizabeth and HRH Margaret aboard The Royal Yacht of the time. I think they were playing at being either rescued sailors, or stowaways, when they smiled so nicely for my Uncle Fred, who was a member of the yacht's crew.

And the dent? Well that was made by this much loved lady...

I love the fact that they were kind enough to allow the photos to be taken, even posing with special smiles for no one but my uncle...


But maybe the best snap he captured was this one of father and daughter taking an early morning jog around deck. No wonder the little girl is still hale and hearty in her eighties. Long may she reign.

This is another Sepia Saurday post, as if you couldn't guess! Click the link to track down more offerings, from present day to yesteryear.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Island Of Dreams

I wonder what you would choose to have on yours, if you were cast away on a desert island? Only one luxury allowed.
This was my latest Paint playtime, if you're wondering...

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Tango Time

rhythm fans
desire until
syncopated notes
demand  to be obeyed;
switching sharp staccatto notes
for slower, more sultry phrasing,
soon mesmerizes swaying dancers,
compels  them to tango with abandon.

Rallentanda has chosen to set a Spanish flavour for her Wednesday poetry fun and games, and this made me want to hear to hear an Argentinian Tango in all its glory. Of course, this then challenged me to stick to my latest discovery and produce yet another etheree, but with musical undertones - hence, see below! Shall we dance?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Some Days Are Diamonds!

shade by shade
from black to blue;
so early morning
creeps from the bed of night
and tiptoes towards the day,
gently awakening the Earth,
as persistant fingers of sunbeams
prod reluctant dreamers into action.

Daily routines take control of our lives.
Like automatons, we follow them,
marching relentlessly towards
the inevitable end
of one more busy day,
and we look forward
to night, when eyes
will look up
at dark

Monday, 2 August 2010

Verifiable Nonsense

That was the request of today's Poetry Bus Driver, Nanu, - that tickets were to be purchased by collecting free samples ... of word verifications!
Having left everything to the very last minute, I was going to miss the Bus for this week, but  a prod from my creative devil prompted me to concoct this offering a moment ago and leap onto the platform in one gargantuan, though late, stride.

If only...

I'd like a job like Blogger's.
I could dodyliff all day
inventing splochi phloffers
(quite japfalod and gay)
for word verifications -
I'd do it for no pay!

No misaplovel spellings
would haunt my very dreams
when my twidanocky digits
typed words I didn't mean.
Imagination squafolding,
I'd write 'em by the ream,
'cos me an' totzy nonsense
make an undiflopit team.

P.S. No Word verifications were vandalised to create the above. I have totally forged my ticket today, in order to exercise my funny bone. Spell checker is currently lying down in a darkened room...