Saturday, 30 January 2010
As a result of these shenanigans, I was even tempted to go on a Spanish holiday to sing to a guitar accompaniment, no doubt rattling my castanets forcibly and stamping my heels to the rhythm. You never know where a Blogland path may take you... However, be warned! Wandering through its uncharted regions may leave you needing a jab in your bottie, too, if you are ever to be able to return to normal life...
Thursday, 28 January 2010
A Bitter Pill
Doctor B rose one morning
as daylight was dawning
and picked up his doctoring bag.
His front door was a jar* n.b this is not a typo -I mean A Jar- as per Jam Pot!
so he climbed in his car
and drove off while waving a flag.
His receptionist stared
she was quite unprepared
for the horrible vision she saw.
She knew in a trice
that he needed advice
as soon as he lurched through the door.
'Your nose drips are glowing
your pimples are growing
how dare you pretend to be well!
Dandruff is flaking
I see your knees shaking
Go home! You are ill, I can tell'.
Doc looked all forlorn
his face flushed and warm,
his backache was giving him grief.
He hurried back home,
gave a shuddering groan
and swallowed two pills for relief.
At this point I either ran out of steam, or my quill pen blotted my copy book beyond recognition, for I couldn't for the life of me find a suitable way to wrap up the sorry tale in fitting jinksy style. At present, it is a little lame, and in need of a word doctor of its own. Please, I need your help and advice on how to finish with a bang - maybe not literally - but a little eclat with a final verse would be good. I await your inspirational ideas, preferably sooner than later...
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
How about concocting your own recipe in the meantime?
A pink python purred,
swam through lemon curd
then pranced on the end of his tail;
but nothing deterred,
though he looked quite absurd,
he covered his head with a pail.
'Look at me, look at me!'
he then shouted with glee
'Aren't I just like a new kind of snail?
Why, don't you agree,
(and he hopped like a flea)
'as a secret disguise it can't fail?'
Hopefully, next time I shall return with a more sane approach to the world in general - but maybe not. Today has been totally daft so far. First I had a call from the surgery to cancel an appointment because my Doctor's not well! This so flabbergasted me, I didn't remember to cancel the taxi I'd booked, so have just answered my door with a totally blank look on my face, as a gentleman stood there, saying 'Taxi?' Oo er, no sense there then, on my part...
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
I confess to being a life long addict where A A Milne is concerned. I had thought to regale you again with his delightful poem entitled Sneezles, for the last line says 'Now, how to amuse them today?' You can see how this may be especially apt in my case.
But when I flicked through my book of his poetry to make sure I was remembering it correctly, I happened across a poem I'd swear I've never seen before - and that's in sixty plus years of addiction. I have no logical explanation as to how this may have happened - unless it was magically inserted on page 121 just for today. It's entitled The Alchemist, appropriately enough, Here it is:-
There lives an old man at the top of the street,
and the end of his beard reaches down to his feet,
and he's just the one person I'm longing to meet -
...I think that he sounds so exciting;
for he talks all the day to a tortoiseshell cat,
and he asks about this and explains about that,
and at night he puts on a big wide-awake* hat
...and sits in the writing room, writing.
........................................................................* So as not to go to sleep.
He has worked all his life (and he's terribly old)
at a wonderful spell which says 'Lo and behold!
your nursery fender is gold!' - and it's gold!
...Or the tongs, or the rod for the curtain);
But somehow he hasn't got hold of it quite,
or the liquid you pour on it first isn't right,
so that's why he works on it, night after night
...till he knows he can do it for certain.
This struck me as SO like Blogland writers, that I simply had to make a song and dance about it. I do believe many of them have their own wide-awake hats; but unlike the Alchemist, they very often successfully conjure gold with the words they write for us. Long may their spells continue.
Monday, 25 January 2010
I know that to stop cooking and stir the pot is good advice, but I figured having to keep popping the door lock too often was not a good idea. Then I remembered - on a medium high, medium or medium low setting, the oven worked in pulses, few seconds on, few seconds off, which would amount to the same thing as opening door/stirring routine.
I can happily report it worked like a dream: 2 mins high: 2 mins medium: 2 mins medium low, and not an oat escaped from the dish; no porridge tsunami ensued.
This left me in the perfect frame of mind for facing the real test of the day - a retinopathy one; my first. As is the way these days with any medical procedure, the explanatory leaflet spread doom and gloom as regards possible side effects, and as usual, was entirely OTT in it's warnings; the drops didn't sting even as much as a splash of soap or shampoo in the eyes, and the blurry vision was no great hardship, either.
So fear not, any Bloglanders about to undergo the same thing - it's a doddle. And I don't have to go again for twelve months. Hang out the flags - porridge coloured ones, of course!
Sunday, 24 January 2010
However, now the day has run away with me, and I return at last to the keyboard, honesty bids me tell the background story to my morning porridge, mentioned above. Yes it was fine - eventually. But this is the before.
Usually, I put one scoop of oats into a bone china bowl, with three scoops of water, then microwave for two minutes for perfect results every time, and no saucepan to wash at the end of it! But in my groceries this week, I had 'organic' oats - still oats, but on opening the packet, they appeared slightly lager (?) (larger! Ta, Weaver for handy hint!) flakes that the 'ordinary' variety, so I thought I might follow the instructions that came with them: 50g oats to 300ml water, cook 31/2 mins, stir, cook 3 mins, rest one minute.
Now, before I found my perfect combination of china bowl, oats and water, I had experienced microwave boil-over emergency, as well as stove top burnt saucepan ditto. These disasters had taught me to be wary when trying new quantity versions of plain old oatmeal breakfasts. The instructions I read this morning, had me reaching for a larger, deeper, microwave plastic pot, just in case. First three and a half minutes - fine. Got bold, and left the second three minutes to run their allotted time without watching progress. Result? When I opened the door, a hideous alien creature met my gaze. Bulbous porridge warts oozed slowly down the sides of the pot, to pool in a gelatinous mass around its base.
I'd love it if anyone could tell me how a purpose designed, plastic microwave container of considerable depth, could not keep 50g of oats under control - or lock and key- for a paltry 6 1/2 minutes.
So though I spoke the truth - my porridge was fine - it only achieved that happy state after much scraping of the outside of the pot, and scooping up of gelatinous mass from microwave glass plate. I feel much better now I've shared the true story... blow QI.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Friday, 22 January 2010
In A Nutshell
I know I'm a nut,
in need of a cracker.
I sit in my shell
while the day just gets blacker.
Alone and unchewed -
how long must I wallow
before someone cracks me
and eats with one swallow
my nutty gold kernel?
I'm wasted, in here.
Please, crack me soon
and eat me, my dear!
Now you all have the opportunity of telling me which KIND of nut you think I am...plus your ideas of how to crack me, perhaps...Can't wait to read your answers!
P.S. I did hope for one moment, it being the day Flash 55 goes the rounds of Blogland, that this piece of idiocy may have contained the required word count, but for the sake of rhyme and whatever little reason it possesses, I can't get below 58. Tant pis. After editing this I did a recount, and by George! I think I've got it - I make it 55 after all!!! Howzat?!!!
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Gutters. What a glorious sounding word - think I'll say it again. Gutters. The closely following stutters, shutters, putters, butters and mutters, which inner voice interjected at this point, don't give me the same thrill at all. But enough of that.
The question is, did the word gutters send your imagination to rooftop height, with associated fear of heights and wobbly ladders, or did your mind instantly plummet to the drab fringes of our pavements ( sidewalks?) whose gutters tend to collect such a varied assortment of twenty first century, careless, throw away rubbish?
It made my mind link instantly to the other similar word, guttersnipe, which I then Googled - not because I didn't know its meaning, but because I was curious to see what else I might find.
a child of the slums who spends most of his or her time in the streets: contemptuous term applied to anyone regarded as having the manners, morals, etc. of the gutter
Etymology: orig. (Brit dial.), the common snipe, which picks food out of gutters.
As it happens, the Slumdog Millionaire film was shown on TV this week as well as a documentary called Slumdog Secret Millionaire, in which a wealthy London dentist, Seema Sharma, went to live undercover in Mumbai. She chose to stay in Dharavi, where nearly one million people are crammed into one square mile. It is one of the largest slums in india. People live in the poorest, most abject circumstances you could imagine, some even living on the pavement, with a gutter as their permanent home.
But what shone through from the programme, was the incredible pride and work ethic of so many of these adults, but more especially, the children. Far from creating rubbish, they spend their days collecting and sorting other people's rubbish, as a means of earning enough money to live on. One young nine year old boy considered it was his duty to work long, hard hours every day, to support his widowed mother, barely taking time out to go for occasional schooling, when the teacher made it her business to go and find him.
Ms. Sharma visited relations of hers, a family in which the main bread winner was an accountant who enjoyed a good standard of living. She was shocked to find this family had a negative attitude to those much worse off that themselves, shrugging shoulders and saying 'What can we do? They wouldn't appreciate us interfering. They have to do things for themselves'.
With no home, no money, no prospects of a good education, I wonder what he expects the children to do, other than to continue being guttersnipes...
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
‘So, you imagine you’re a writer? What’s stopping you?’ it sneers.
Good question. The freedom of choice as to subject matter and style are completely in my hands. No restriction, no rules, other than those I set for myself. So why the tongue tied, word blindness that screams at me to leave the pristine white page unsullied by typeface, words, ideas in embryo? Instead of tumbling and jostling ‘Write me! Pick me first!’, the words back up upon themselves, a dam of jumbled letters, dyslexic heap of detritus, blocking the flow of cohesive thought.
The more Logical Brain rebels, the more Creative Brain baulks at being assaulted in this way; digs deeper holes for words to be buried in as ideas are cremated and crumble to dust.
Who’d have thought I’d be tempted to wax lyrical about a dose of good old writer’s block?! I wonder what all of you do to purge the demon from your systems? All suggestions gratefully accepted, but humorous ones will go to the head of the queue…
Monday, 18 January 2010
THANK YOU, all who dropped by at some time
with a name for my pome (!)
while I languished at home
and rested my brain, by design!
Friday, 15 January 2010
Untitled - but living in hopes...
Meltwater droplets drip on frozen ground.
Air temperatures relax, relinquish hold
on pristine snow that fell from Winter’s hand.
They unlock the vice-like grip of biting cold.
Now, drab and brown, our countryside returns;
no more disguised as one amorphous mound
beneath a cloak whose icy fire burns
while bush and branch, defenceless, hunker down.
The snowbound world held still its frost-rimed breath
as Silence danced light-footed through the land -
leaving in her wake a peace like death,
she forbade the merest whisper; it was banned.
A trespasser is how she made me feel,
in her soulless universe of cold forged steel.
And, because it's Friday, here's one of those slightly annoying, 55 word stories to whet your appetite, whistle, or whatever, as dreamed up by this gentleman.
A gunshot echoed amongst the trees. Birds raucous alarm calls shattered the air in tandem with wing beats, which created swirling eddies in overhead foliage. The sudden brouhaha ceased, as wildlife realized no danger lurked. Only a slight aroma of gunpowder remained to mark the scene where,in surrounding leaf mould, a body lay bleeding.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
I was hoping to post much earlier today. On Tuesday, Mr BritGas said he would have to get a new part for the water heating side of my boiler and that he'd arrive today, Thursday to fit it. 'Good', thought I. 'Then I can blog the concluding part of the saga'. Hmm - might have known he'd not be here at the crack of dawn, and indeed, it was just after 3pm when his blue van drew up outside my door.
It took him roughly half an hour to take everything apart, reassemble and test it, and I heaved a sigh of relief when it was all systems go, as opposed to only the warm air section that he'd sorted on his first visit, for I used the word 'roughly' advisedly. He was one of those bombastic workers who went at everything like a bull at a gate, while I cringed on the sidelines, praying he'd not end up doing more damage than good!
Anyhow, the day was looking brighter; snow was melting and Asda had delivered a mound of long-awaited groceries, at last. After closing the front door on the retreating form of Mr BritGas, I felt a poem coming on - like you do. For once I didn't reach for the back of an envelope and a pencil to scribble on madly, but sat before the screen and typed, slowly and neatly. Some considerable time later, I had twelve lines of carefully crafted iambic pentameter finished to my satisfaction. 'Right, time to copy and paste', I thought to myself. Then BOOM - I somehow managed to lose all but one line. Off it went to the great junkyard in the sky, and I lost heart, and walked away from the screen in disgust.
If it had been typical jinksy doggerel, I'd probably have been able to repeat it verbatim, but iambic pentameter is a different kettle of fish, especially to a Piscean like me.
It may, or may not, resurrect in some form eventually, but for today, enough is enough.
A dejected, thwarted poet I bid you all good night.
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
As I explained to some of my concerned followers yesterday, by dint of schmoosing a local taxi firm, I have been fairly toasty, after all. First, I made sure my local Curry's store had a convector heater for a reasonable price, and after only a modicum of friendly persuasion - or do I mean coercion? - a wonderful taxi driver bought one and delivered it to my door within about fifteen minutes, for just a nominal charge. If that's not service, I don't know what is! Thank goodness, I had some money in my purse, for these days I normally use a debit card all the time. Anyhow the rest of the day was far cosier than the evening before, and I could even shed the poncho, hat and gloves before too long.
Just as my lunch time soup was ready, a large van drew up outside my door. Mr BritGas? No.
But something possibly even more welcome - a parcel containing a pair of Wellington boots.You think that's not exciting? Well, it is, when it means it's a key to my door - from the inside, to out! As though losing the heat on Sunday wasn't enough, the trip switch in my meter cupboard, tripped, which meant I had no lights in the hall or kitchen when it got dark. With no shoes capable of braving the outdoor conditions, my wonderful neighbour it was, who waded through the snow in his wellies, to flip the switch for me. Now if that had happened today, I could have put my new boots on and done it myself. Sod's law in action.
Ode To My Wellie Boots
Oh, Wellie Boots, oh, Wellie Boots
with lovely, rubber smell!
They've been delivered to me -
and they fit, as well!
For many years my wardrobe
has lacked a pair of these -
my feet could not get round the bend,
not even with a squeeze,
into the cheaper models
on offer in a store -
you, know, psychedelic coloured ones
not like any seen before?
But a lovely pair of Hunter's
I found displayed on line,
which,ordered for a princely sum,
I can at last call mine!
They're plain and black and boring,
just like Wellies used to be,
but none the less, I'm certain,
they'll be like gold to me!
Hoorah! Mr BritGas has just 'phoned and told me he'll be here in about 15 minutes... Just as well I've finished this post.
Monday, 11 January 2010
It's hard to type with gloves on.
I never thought before;
but now I'm learning daily,
since my heat has gone.
I sit here bundled like a loon
thank goodness Tuesday
will come soon!
The Gas Man's booked
'twixt eight and six;
not sure when he'll come.
Hopefully an easy fix
will warm my chilly .......?
Answers on a postcard will only be considered if accompanied by an adult, as rude answers are expected to arise.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
When I came downstairs at eight o'clock-ish this morning, I turned the thermostat up from the lowly number four I have it set on overnight, to a slight more friendly five and promptly forgot all about it, as I rattled away on the keyboard after breakfast. One poem, two loads of washing and one lunch time later, I became increasingly aware that something was amiss on the heating front.
Now, I pay what seems like exorbitant amounts to British Gas each month, for them to come and service my boiler once a year to keep it happy, and the engineer completed this task only last week. Not exactly reassuring when something goes to pot a few days later. I have my suspicions it may be the thermostat, as the boiler seems to be heating water, just not doing the warm air part.
Luckily, I have a gas cooker, so have turned the oven on to provide warmth in the kitchen, and there are gas wall heaters in two of the bedrooms. But here at my computer in the living room, it's a different story, and I'm not sure whether I wish you could see me or no...It's not a pretty sight. Over my all cotton T-shirt, and all synthetic fleece(!) I have now added my all wool crocheted poncho, and, obeying keep-warm-instructions-for-old-wrinklies, have now place my all wool, felt fedora on my all white, sparsely haired head.
Eccentric? Moi? What ever gives you that idea...
The 365 day, 24 hour cover British Gas Home Care people, when I eventually got to speak to a human being, have booked me in for an engineer's visit on Tuesday, between 8 am and 6pm. What's the betting he arrives at 5.55 ?
Good job I'll have your love to keep me warm.
A Sorry Tale
I'm feeling like old Mother Hubbard
the longer the snow is in place;
I keep peering into my cupboard,
a pensive look stuck on my face.
How long will I manage to feed me
and keep the old wolf from the door?
No delivery vans have come lately,
replenishing stuff like before.
The roads all resemble an ice-rink;
night temperatures were all to blame.
They plummeted steadily during the week.
We've all had enough of this game!
So seldom do we see a snowstorm
that covers the whole of the land,
for us, it is certainly far from the norm,
but can't be dismissed out of hand.
We're told future years will repeat it,
as the climate see-saws in between
the summertime highs and wintery lows,
which scientist's minds had foreseen.
They say it's excess Global Warming
we've all heard so much about,
and the longer we ignore their warning,
then the more our poor world will lose out.
Friday, 8 January 2010
This snow is glistening brightly;
the back door's iced-up, tightly.
The front door opens very wide -
but icy blasts will creep inside
each time I peep into the street
to study all the prints of feet
of wary walkers who pass by
and trample bits of fallen sky -
for isn't this what snowflakes are?
A cloud that came here from afar?
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
What a waste of a life in 2010.
While sorting through a box file yesterday, I came across an envelope in which I have carefully stored a letter dated February 18th 1918, sent to my Gran. It is typed on a flimsy, foolscap sheet of very thin, translucent paper. There were several spelling mistakes and no paragraph breaks, so I've edited it, to make it a little easier to read. This is is what it says:-
Dear Mrs Flew,What a waste of a life in 1917.
A letter written by L.Stokes from Portsmouth, on the 15th of January 1918, reached me February17th, Sunday last. I feel grateful that the opportunity is given me of writing to express my sincere and heartfelt sympathy with you, in the great loss you have suffered by the death of your gallant son.
Your boy fell in action on December 17th 1917, his death being instantaneous and unaccompanied by any pain or suffering. He fell in an attack on a hill called Hill 2450. It was a day of heroic deeds, performed under very difficult and trying conditions. Your son was second to none in the gallantry which he displayed, serving his Lewis gun faithfully right up to the end.
The Hill is in Palestine, 7 miles north-east of Jerusalem, and it was on this hill we laid him to rest after the battle was over, besides those of his comrades who fought and fell with him on that day. The site of the grave has been reported to the graves regulation unit at Alexandria and we have marked it with a little wooden cross, as a token of our respect. The exact position will be carefully preserved in the records of the committee appointed to take care of soldier's graves.
One of our officers has taken a photograph of the grave and I will do my best to obtain a copy and send it to you. It is rather difficult to get photographs developed in conditions under which we are now living. All your boy's belongings were sent to the base, to be forwarded on to you through proper channels, but I am afraid they will take some time before they can reach you.
I feel deeply for your sorrow, all the more so, as I know how my own widowed Mother would feel if anything were to happen to me out here. May He who comforted the Widow of Nain, comfort you also in your sorrow, by the reassurance that He holds your brave son in His keeping.
His Company Commander speaks very highly of him, and wrote you in early January last. I hope you will have received his letter by now. If there is any further information that you require or anything else I can do, please write and let me know. The same address as before will always find me.
Yours in sympathy,
W. J. Jones. C.F.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
I've actually popped this poem in with my comments on one or two blogs, when it's seemed appropriate to do so, but readership must have been relatively limited, so for those amongst you who have never had the temerity or desire to exhume any of my previous ramblings, nor spotted these words elsewhere, here's the reprise. Definite apologies to Friko, for I'm certain I've regaled her with this before; but for the rest of you, open wide for your daily dose from Nurse Jinksy. Who was it who said laughter is the best medicine? Even tongue in cheek...
A Hostess' Farewell
Did you enjoy the party?
We hoped it would go with a swing,
but next time
we'll make sure the neighbours are out
before we let everyone sing...
Did you enjoy the party?
I'm sorry it got out of hand,
once all the noise has died down
the majority will understand?
Did you enjoy the party-
the food and the drink and the fun?
You must have,
because you're the last one to leave...
I'm so glad you decided to come!
PS For a truly hearwarming winter photo pop over here. It was so beautiful, I've had to write a haiku on the spot.
Winter fire warms.
Dancing flames' molten red gold
gilds burning logs.
Friday, 1 January 2010
I'm a forlorn Christmas Fairy,
tied to the top of a tree.
I've been here already for over a week
but nobody notices me.
Below my skirts tiny lights twinkle
and pretty things hang all around
but the needles keep pricking
my poor fairy feet -
I wish I had both on the ground!
I flutter my wings with excitement.
It does me no good, you'll agree
for they tethered me fast
with a thread round my waist.
Oh, how I long to be free!
I know all too soon
the Twelve Days will be past,
and the tree will be carried away.
I shall be bundled into a big box,
to wait until next Christmas day.
It's really no life for a fairy,
just waiting or hanging around.
I might give a wave of my magical wand -
Why, yes! What and idea I've found!
I'll wish that next year they'll forget about me,
and stick up a star on the top of their tree!
Then I'll fly off to Fairyland on Christmas Eve
when toys everywhere spring into life,
and who knows, I may even surprise myself
and make some Christmas elf a good wife!