Monday 31 January 2011

At It Again!

At what? A bit of a leg pull. I have never learned to train my mind to be serious, so when I saw the illustration for Monday's Child, what sprang to the fore was not a twee, kiddywinks ditty along the lines of Peter Pan and Wendy, but a somewhat cynical observation on an aspect of our present culture. Who has not seen in the media examples of unusual age discrepancies amongst some newly weds?
Don't get me wrong.  I approve of love, providing it's genuine, no matter where it occurs.  But in some of the news items engendered by the subject, one cannot help but doubt the motives of the participants in these unbalanced unions. So this rather explains my non-child-friendly poem for today...(Apologies to BKM!)
Wedding bells and lover's knot?
Kids do grow up fast!
Look at the Toy Boy she has got -
I can't but look aghast!

The Love Bug's biting younger
participants each day  -
it must be raging hunger,
makes it carry on this way...

Sunday 30 January 2011

Monkey Business

Mister Monkey had used a new shampoo which promised strong, silky soft hair. But unfortunately, he dropped the bottle in his bath water, with disastrous results.

How could anyone resist being charmed by this picture, as they surf the Blogland wastes on a Sunday morning?  It appeared, appropriately enough, on the blog of Monkey Man, who challenges us to write exactly 160 characters  for our homework today. Being someone who cannot resist a challenge, I couldn't wait to have a go. Much to my surprise, by using this gadget, my first two sentences came to exactly one hundred and sixty, after a minimal amount of editing. Why not have a go yourself?

Saturday 29 January 2011

Three Little Words

Time, Change and Evolution. I've just read these on NanU's blog.  She has now been in charge of the Poetry Bus for two weeks, it seems, but  I never managed to find her, even in the Bus Depot, last week!  But I am going to try buying a cut price ticket for the second leg of her journey, on 31st January.
The three words seem inextricably linked in my mind, so rather than trying to produce a long and convoluted poem  to weave them into, I intend to condense them into a Haiku, short and to the point.

With evolution
change is inevitable.
Time has its own rules.

Birthday Fallout

Another lovely photo
I have permission to let you all read the email SIL sent me yesterday, after she'd read both my post and your comments - I think it was rather special...
My goodness, the comments on your blog are blowing me away! Beauty???? I don't think so! But very, very flattering for an old girl, nonetheless.

Yes, I really was an anxious young girl because I'd had such a rough time with my father dying suddenly (in South Africa) just a couple of years before that picture was taken, and being uprooted 3 months later from everything I ever knew and taken to another country (Holland) where I arrived with NOTHING at all as the only suitcase with ALL my belongings was lost in transit. Then being sent to yet another country (England) to continue my education in yet another language. It was quite a lot for an eighteen-year-old to experience, and still stay relatively balanced and optimistic. I find it amazing that I look so serene in that picture when emotionally I was in turmoil.

'Tell that to the youngsters these days and they won't believe you . . . etc.' 
I couldn't better a story like that today.

Friday 28 January 2011

Late Again!

January the twenty eighth is/was* my sister-in-law's birthday. By some quirk of my stupid mind, even as I started to type this I wrote 'February', and part of me can't get out of this habit of picking the wrong month. I am full of remorse, and in a little while, I will telephone her in far off New Zealand to grovel, grovel. But I have been thinking about her all day today, and have been looking through my brother's photos that he took of her, way back when the world was young.

I think I have found the most beautiful.  So as a tribute to her for her birthday, and to my brother for his life long skill behind a camera, here she is.

With love and best wishes for another year SIL, from forgetful me...

* Explanation for Friko - 28th  it IS her birthday today in England, but WAS her birthday yesterday in New Zealand!!

Thursday 27 January 2011

A Day Down A Rabbit Hole?

And why not, my friends? Having had it brought to my attention here and here, that Lewis Carroll was born on  27 January in 1832, I thought I should spread this news today - as well as a little nonsense - in honour of the occasion. (Thanks go to Fairy Hedgehog, of course, for hosting the event...)

And who knows what you might be tempted to write yourselves as a result?

After little or no consideration on my part, I've let my fingers do the walking, in order to provide something in keeping with his quirky ideas.

The urge to write is upon me. It's hanging round my shoulders at this very moment, but more like a boa constrictor than a feather one, squeezing the words out the way toothpaste, paint or tomato puree may be forced from a tube...

Why not join in the fun and see what you can squeedge into a comment - or a post of your own?
(Now I can see some of you scurrying off like The White Rabbit, peering at your pocket watches, as you mutter "I'm late, I'm late! Oh, my ears and whiskers!" Or some such exclamations...)
In Memory Of...

Lewis Carrol had some fun
writing as he did...
I think I'll let a poem hatch
by lifting up the lid
of my imagination,
(Did someone say "Splendid!?")

But rather than a rabbit
diving down a hole,
I see a sort of Jumping Jack
climbing up a pole,
a-losing all his arms and legs
and yelling "Make me whole!"

A Jack Inside a Box, I know
is not a new idea,
but one that has no arms or legs
is surely rather queer?
I bet he'll be the only one
you'll come across this year!

"Jack be nimble, Jack be quick"-
now there's another thought,
for if he had no arms or legs
how could he be taught
to jump out of that pesky box
in the way he aught?

Monday 24 January 2011

Monday, Bloody Monday!

Yep, we all get 'em from time to time, don't we? Today it was my turn. On Sunday evening, I discovered I had yellow spots on my tonsils - decorative maybe, but not likely to go away without medical intervention. As there were no doctors appointments for anything but emergencies, I turned up to the optimistically named 'walk-in clinic'. Although the walking in is the easy part. The difficulty is sitting there for 90 minutes waiting to see a Doctor.

However, It gave me a chance to study some foibles of mankind. One family group consisted of six assorted adults and one baby. Were they hoping for a discount on group bookings, I wonder?

I silently awarded one of the lads my prize-of the-day for his outfit - obligatory jeans and trainers, plus a shabby nylon blouson, were nothing unusual. But his headgear, which he wore all the time despite the central heating,was something else! I could hardly take my eyes from his scarlet tartan trapper hat, thickly lined with dark grey, synthetic fur. From the back view it looked as though he had headphones on...
Sartorial elegance, or what?

Flight Of Fancy


From her tower, the Fairy flew
to catch some early morning dew,
before the moon in all her glory
had time to tell a sunnier story,
as the day began to break,
and the world became awake.

 Monday's Child supplied the original 1930's illustration by Ann Anderson -  thanks bkm! I enjoyed waving my magic wand over the picture...

Sunday 23 January 2011


We writers often have a tendency to use two words where one would do, so it is good training to occasionally limit our output! In the tradition of Stony River and and Mr Knowitall, Monkey Man is asking us to limit ourselves to 160 characters to get a particular point across.
This Sunday, he chose a picture of a gavel, but I preferred to exchange it for a hammer. Then, being awkward, I ignored his subject of 'Justice'...sorry! Here's my 160 off-spin offering.

When Joe said he wanted to get hammered, this was not the picture that sprang to mind. His thoughts were more liquid, after his girl friend, Patsy, dumped him.

Saturday 22 January 2011

No Prizes For Guessing

...Who this gentleman was...

It looks as though Dad started drawing at the top, then ran out of page, by the time he arrived at the feet - I know the feeling well...It's not always easy to judge the position of the finished subject when your pencil first hits the paper!

For any newcomers to Napple Notes, it is one of a series of pencil sketches my Dad did, and I've been linking them to Kat and Alan's Sepia Saturday, where there are always more intriguing images to beguile us.

N.B. I've just checked - Mahatma Gandhi made an official visit to England in 1931, which is no doubt when my Dad drew this picture.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Spoilt For Choice

Abroad in Blogland at the moment are prompts from Susan, bkm, Willow and TFE, to name but a few, any one of which can stir a writer into action.
And then there's me. All of a sudden, the Jinksy devilry takes over, and I can't wait to play with their pictures, or take the mickey out of their suggested ideas, which is probably not what any of them intended!
However, I do believe the one that pleased my warped sense of humour this morning, was Willow's picture of three demure ladies in the snow, their shapeless, long garments making them look like dressed snowmen.
But I liked this version best, for Arcsoft Studio 6 has turned them into something from Harry Potter Land.
They have become three School Inspectors, travelling to Hogwart's under cover of darkness, wearing their invisibility cloaks, wands at the ready!

Meanwhile, in the slightly more sensible part of my brain, the following sonnet came into being yesterday, after a long winded prompt for this week's Poetry Bus set me off on another tack. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice today, folks...


I exist inside my head; my eyes
turn their camera lens onto the world
about me. Eventually, to my surprise
the barriers melt. I am unfurled
like a ribbon caught upon the breeze,
until I dip and twirl around and through
every living thing. I am at ease
with this unity, this different view
causes no concern. I disappear
into a universe where time and space
coalesce about an Inner Sphere
which holds us in molecular embrace.

Pulsating energy is all we are,
mere remnants of a long forgotten star...

P.S. There's another version of my Magpie, Picture and Poem, over at Alias Jinksy.

Monday 17 January 2011

It Had To Happen!

After yet another post of mine over on Fridge Soup, about those bloggers who enable Comment Moderation because they object to Spam or Crank Comments, what should turn up on my Alias Jinsky Blog this morning, but one such entry.

It came from a somewhat embittered male who decided to broadcast details of his strange blog, where he was urging everyone to 'Boycott American Women'.  Would you believe it?! I imagine there may be one or two American Males who would vigorously oppose his views.

I may have been more inclined to take time to listen to his tale of woe, if he had been brave enough to allow comments to be made on his posts - no such luck. So I hope he enjoys his solitary ranting into the silence of a Blogworld which will never be able to offer him a chance of help.

I would suggest he needs to learn how to cope better with his feelings, until he can find a point of balance within himself, but as he chooses to withhold both his identity and email address, he is liable to remain in his unhappy state of self inflicted purgatory for all time.

Sunday 16 January 2011

New Discovery For Today!

Thanks to a comment left on Alias Jinksy just now, by one Catfish Tales, I looked for an example of an Erhu being played, as I'd never heard the name of this instrument before, although I recognise its sound. But this piece, entitled "Predestined Relationship" so captivated my ears, I had to share it with you all! Enjoy!

Thursday 13 January 2011

The Age Of Chivalry Is Dead

But not all of it!   For A DELIGHTFUL DEMONSTRATION of courtly behaviour, before you read my waffling, PLEASE click on Dr FTSE's Spoon in my right hand side bar! There's a Right Royal Tale waiting to be enjoyed on the other side of the logo!

We all know the trials and tribulations of waiting in a long queue at the supermarket checkout, but at the weekend, I thought my luck was in. I only had a few items in my basket, so the quick serve desks near the exit were just what I needed. There were two, on opposite sides of the aisle, and as I approached, there was a customer being served at each, plus two gentleman waiting, who had formed a 'mini-queue' centrally, between them.

As I studied clues, and weighed up which desk would be free by my turn, the right one cleared, and First Gentleman stepped up to it.
Now it was a race against time. Would the Old Lady at the left counter fumble with her purse for a longer time than First Gentleman with his wallet?
(Second Gentleman was still standing bang center in the aisle, to make sure he could dive towards the next free cashier. I shall now call him SG, for brevity.)

After due consideration, I decided the Old Lady, despite fumbling, would be next to exit, so, assuming SG would take her place, I moved across towards the right hand till.
But the stentorian voice of  said SG boomed "Do you mind?" as he raised quizzical eyebrows at me, and nodded to each desk in turn so that I couldn't mistake his meaning. I was proud of my instant reply. With a sweet smile, I looked him straight in the eye and spoke in my best soothing voice.

" The lady to our left is just paying for her groceries, and will be finished before the gentleman on the right. I realise you are next in line, that's why I was moving across to the other desk, because it will clear later."

"Lets just wait and see, shall we?"

His words boomed at me again, as if he were a schoolmaster abrading a wayward pupil. Still smiling sweetly, I halted in my tracks, and remained center aisle to prove I was not intending to 'queue jump', while I prayed fervently to all the powers that be for  my prediction to come true! It did! I resisted the urge to poke my tongue out at SG  and say "I told you so! Perhaps I should have avoided using the word Gentleman...

Monday 10 January 2011

Look Behind You!

Did somebody mention Pantos? Well, actually, in a kind of way, Blogpal bkmackenzie did with her choice of illustration for her Monday's Child blog, where she encourages us to write poems for kiddywinks. This illustration by one Felix Lorioux made the Jinksy mind go off at somewhat of a tangent, but as it's a dull and dismal Monday, perhaps readers may enjoy a bit of nonsense to start the week with a smile.

Treading The Boards
An Actor's Dilemma

Every year at Christmas
the local drama club
put on a different panto.
Aye, and there's the rub!
The members fight for glory,
all wanting the best part-
the most to say -
best clothes to wear -
it make producers tear their hair!

Last year they picked on Puss in Boots
who needs no introduction.
I tell you, no expense was spared
on this lavish production.

The lines were learned,
the costumes made.
Then, on dress rehearsal night
an unexpected hang up
left them in a plight.
Dick Whittington discovered,
as he puffed on a cheroot.
that poor old Tom, the doughty Puss,
was too big for his boots!     

How they cut him down to size
is quite another tale,
on which I'll let you ponder,
as I quaff a pint of ale!

Sunday 9 January 2011

Are They Fading Already?

I wonder how many have been made - and started to shrink into oblivion already? Perhaps, like me, you don't make any to begin with! That way, no making no breaking, eh? The word resolution is much more interesting if you think of it as meaning resolving something, finding a solution, not in the sense of being resolute and sticking to an impossible dream of...what? Stopping smoking? Losing weight? Getting fit? I wouldn't mind betting these are at the top of many peoples' lists of notorious New Year Resolutions.

Somehow, today was not a day for posting more baby clothes memorabilia. Instead I had a 'playtime' afternoon, producing the Shrinking Resolutions graphic, to give me a reason to add this passing thought:-

With New Year comes Resolution,
the past is washed away.
What is left after these ablutions?
It may be hard to say...
That has flown.
Procrastination wins!
And so the Resolution
is back where it beginned!

Saturday 8 January 2011


I thought it only fair, in the natural course of things, to Divulge the Bulge in Person, after all these recent references to It...Her! (Him came three years later, but I doubt there are any corresponding Bump Pics available for this second time around.)
Be that as it may, here's the finished article, complete with the bootees which had been knitted earlier. Both items demonstrate how I like to finish what I start.

It may appear I have her bundled up to the Nth degree in a voluminous blanket of some sort. Wrong. She is actually dressed in one of the long Viyella nightgowns I made for her, with an undergarment I only knew of as a 'bed', according to my Mum.

This, also Viyella (a kind of flannelette), was a sleeveless, wrap around contraption which tied with tapes. It crossed over at the front, and one tape from the underneath section, slotted through an opening below the opposite armhole, and wound round to the back, where it tied with its twin tape which had sprouted at the edge of the overlapping crossover section, by the other armhole.

I still have one of these nighties, but not sure about a 'bed', as that may have been relegated to dolls' clothes duties back in the dim and distant past. Now, I can see me needing to go a-ferreting armed with a camera, again. Watch this space for revelations as to what babies wore before Babygrows took over the planet.

P.S. And this was what a 'bed' looked like, in diagramatic form for those who found the word description peculiar! >>>>>>

Friday 7 January 2011

OK, You Can Laugh

My bump in the previous post progressed apace; Bro's photographic penchant also. It's unfortunate that I happened to be sitting in an arm chair with my legs protruding towards him when he took this picture, as here's me, captured for ever with elephantine legs. As I say, you can laugh - I do!

But the sixties print on my curtains of the day is too good for me to consign the snap to obscurity, simply becuse I look weird in it. I loved those curtains, with their flashes of turquoise and yellow amongst the more sombre tones, and they served us well for over twenty years.

And Bump, now she's here, is still going strong, too, bless her, though she's way beyond her twenty years milestone! As we are now fast approaching another weekend, I shall link this to Alan and Kat's Sepia Saturday blog, for I think my Bro's talent with cameras (of which he now has a sizeable collection, I don't doubt) should be applauded.

P.S. Any knitter will tell you I was KNITTING - to crochet, my hands would be in a totally different position! OK now, RWP?

Monday 3 January 2011

And Here We All Were!

And now you can get an idea of how much washing up there must have been! Because this is a coloured photo, I had it tucked into a different folder, and only realised a few moments ago, it had to have been taken on the same occasion as the black and white shot I posted yesterday. 

As usual with such family gatherings, there were always 'cliques' that formed, who 'did their own thing'.

Big Boys
Little Boys

And Girls of All Ages!
Mum and Dad's kitchen may have been small, but the large living room in these pictures more than made up for it. This bay window was level with the treetops of the park which spread its beauty before us on the opposite side of the road. 

As it was dark outside (I think that could be the moon in the top left frame?) my earlier guess at late summer has to be wrong, it must have been well into Autumn, but I can pinpoint the year as 1967, for I had a bump which would eventually emerge as No.1 daughter on the first day of December! 

This explains why I am sitting with my feet in a bowl of water, under the table, prior to some kind soul cutting my toenails which were becoming increasingly beyond my reach. What else are families for?!

The coloured photo shows you my bearded brother in the back row, who for once got in front of a camera instead of behind, and the clicking finger in this case was supplied by the wiper-upper of yesterday. My Dad, as a chef, was busy feeding other mouths elsewhere, and wouldn't have been able to join  us until about nine o'clock. A long journey on ferry and bus would finally deliver him home from Gosport at the end of his shift in the Officer's Mess at St George's Barracks. What a trouper- though never a trooper!

Sunday 2 January 2011

After The Party?

My Bro was ever a one for taking Candid Camera, unposed photographs, which are now proving to be true snatches of history! How's this for a Sepia Saturday special?  I've just come across it in a file of old shots he emailed me earlier this year, and you can see my Mum and my cousin's husband as washer-upper and wiper-upper after some family get together, somewhen during the 60's.

The tiny kitchen was in my parent's flat, and the picture is full of details that make it obvious it's from a bygone age. Look at that Ascot water heater, and the brass tap over the big, Butler sink!

It must have been late summer, early autumn, I guess, looking at the row of tomatoes across the window frame, put there to ripen in the sun, no doubt. The sprightly lettuce in the bottom right hand corner of the picture would suggest a touch of over catering, if there was this much left over?! It's dish is standing on the drop down, enamelled flap of a traditional kitchen cupboard of the day - the top cupboard door of which is showing slightly ajar above it. That, and the cupboard in its base, was the only storage available. Large weekly shopping orders were unheard of - catering was mostly done on a 'buy it daily and use it' system - apart from goods which could be stored in the refrigerator that you can see to the left of the sink.

What a far cry from the fitted kitchens many people enjoy today, with their mod cons and matching units!

Saturday 1 January 2011


Oh One, Oh One, Two Oh One One!
That's the date today...
and it looks funny written down
in words, this kind of way!

But now we have to use it
until the day is through -
and then it will be time to change
until Oh One's Oh Two!

Unless, of course, you live elsewhere
and use a different format -
in which case, you will never place
your tootsies on my doormat...

'til you decide to journey
and travel to UK
where we always write our dates
starting with the day...