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.