Saturday 19 July 2014

Second Childhood?!

I was delighted today to discover this gem, which I remember having first heard as a child. The reader, David Davies, was a relatively young man then, but it wasn't until technology had grown to include tape recorders, that the BBC issued a recording for sale, by which time, it's clear, that Mr Davies had aged- as had we all! But the recording still holds magic of a very special kind, which I hope you will appreciate... *smiles*

Sunday 6 July 2014

My Sibling

Who plays with pictures the same way I do, will celebrate his 70th birthday this month, so his latest creation is especially appropriate, and deserves sharing.
I'm not sure which member of his family should have the credit for the original photo, but I love this variation on a theme. I hope the layers of loveliness in that tall glass will have given him enough strength to huff, puff, and blow out all his candles in one go, when the day arrives! Have a good one, Bro, and here's to many more. :-)

Wednesday 25 June 2014

Blogger may drive us scatty at times...

...but I wish that the WordPress fanatic who keeps leaving yard long comments identified as  "ce8d632a-647c-11e3-94d3-000bcdcb2996" would go take a long walk off a short pier, as they obviously have too much time on their hands...

They persist in visiting sundry Blogger blogs via any handy Linky List, to leave their annoying two-penn'orth with links which aren't even added in the correct HTML format comment boxes require.

Any WordPress users who know how to report them to the relevant authorities will immediately earn themselves a gold star and a putty medal from yours truly.

Tuesday 17 June 2014

No Travel Involved capture this delightful seascape - only a television and a digital camera! The resultant image is a remarkable tribute to both Mother Nature and man's power of invention.

Sea Thoughts

Shadows skim the water
as clouds race overhead
and blues deepen,
in harmony with the depth of the ocean.

There, unseen currents
travel the globe
with a population of sea-creatures
too numerous to count,
a moving tide of life.

It's entrusted to the guardianship of Man,
but if he fails, destruction of the planet
and it's species will haunt the universe
for eternity.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Part Of Life's Rich Tapestry

A beautiful bouquet I received this morning set me photoshoping,  after I'd clicked the shutter and saved the image, until this rich and opulent 'painting' variation cried out to be displayed as a new creation in its own right...
But if you want to compare the real thing, it looks like this:-
  And the connection between flowers and the urge to photoshop, is obviously a family failing, for my Bro emailed me the following pcture of his garden, which he'd taken - before he read my post! Hehehe! It's all in the genes...

Tuesday 27 May 2014

But some things are simply beautiful...

Like the incredible photographs Hilary displays on her blog, The Smitten Image. Bless her cotton socks, she has given me permission to use any of her images to spark my writing, So with no further ado, here is a detail from one I particularly admired, complete with my added Tanka.  There may be more poetic thoughts in the pipeline ...

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Nothing Is Ever Simple

For example, buying this new cooker, after the drop down grill door of it's predecessor dropped, and refused to un-drop... or in common parlance, would no longer stay closed. As I'd bought it second hand in 1992, it had done sterling work, and deserved its retirement.
New safety rules and regulations meant a gas/electric expert had to disconnect the old appliance, as well as re-connect the new.

Perhaps you begin to see the logistics of needing two cookers in my kitchen at the same time, so that only one visit from the fitter would be needed? When a payment of £65 is charged for such a person to simply step across your threshold, you can see how the cost may escalate, if the whole operation isn't tackled like a military exercise!

However, after several unintelligible mobile calls from a non-native UK van driver, the cooker arrived late Monday morning, and a Little and Large duo carried in the appliance you see here in all its glory. They removed all the plastic sheeting and polystyrene blocks with umpteen wooden strut strengtheners, and left me with the untrammeled stove, and no wheelie bins stuffed with its wrappings. Bonus brownie points.

A local gas/electric fitter arrived at tea time to do his bit - only to discover the old bayonet gas pipework was so old, the modern replacement wouldn't fit. Off he trundled to the nearest supplier, but they'd closed an hour ago. He said he'd be back with the new part at 8am Tuesday, which left me with the happy prospect of having a pizza delivered for my dinner, as no way was I in a frame of mind to cook, even if I could. And he told me the end payment would be £105.00...

Eight o'clock on the dot, he arrived as promised and fitted this smug looking silver-coloured gadget, as befits a Silver Surfer like me. He also said he had a mate who would come later in the day to take away the old cooker at no extra charge. Another bonus. And I went to bed last night with dreams of cooking up a storm or two...eventually. Eventually being the operative word, for it so happened the length of electric cable supplied with the cooker was not long enough to reach my previous socket, and if I didn't want to permanently play put-and-take with my kettle plug, I'd need another one fitted in a better position behind the cooker.

For another £65 pounds, he'll come back next Tuesday to 'socket to me' ?! And I thought that would be a wrap.

But no. I was counting hatching chickens erroneously.  After lighting the grill to toast a currant bun this morning, as the fan started its automatic humming, a CLOUD of blue smoke and an awful scent of burning rubber blew out of the grill cavity, as I grabbed the pallid, un-toasted bun from its jaws.

The manufacturers will be sending an engineer to inspect my appliance in due course. And 'twas on a Monday morning that the gas man came to call, as the song says...

Saturday 10 May 2014

Love Thy Neighbour?

Listen to the news on almost any day, and there will be talk of unrest somewhere in the world; Russia and Ukraine ; kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria; these are but two examples we've heard of during recent days, and this made me think about how Nature copes with its differences.

Do you see plants having a battle royal over territory, or ownership? Of course not. They carry on doing their own thing, minding their own business. If only we could all live the same way...

In Harmony

Honeysuckle twines and plaits its way
through jasmine, smoke bush, lavender, hibiscus.
Foliage and flowers flourish here,
with scant respect for others' boundaries.
They intermingle, managing to grow
with minimum of fuss. No fight for food,
for space, for light, appears to stunt their growth.
The flower kingdom lives its days in peace,
with only nature's laws to shape its fate.

Friday 9 May 2014


A Plane Tree's Beauty

Dappled shadows waiver on bricks-
muted red-brown, dust covered-
beneath the plane tree's canopy
of rustling, summer's-end leaves.

In blocks of cool grey, shading to umber,
the bark flaunts a rich, textured surface,
while one bright spot of gamboge
draws the attention like a beacon.

Specks of eau-de-nil moss, or fungus,
are embroidered in a sparse pattern
down one side. They lift the colour palette
into another dimension, alien to the tree,

whose branches spread a benison of calm
over all below. The day's breath
slows at the approach of dusk, until
a sudden crescendo sends a few dry leaves

spiraling to earth, where they scutter
over the cobbles, rasping, brittle, whispering,
as they scurry across the road's surface
in a wind-whirled dance of Autumn.

Looking through folders on my computer just now,  I thought this picture and poem should be in partnership, even though they are nothing to do with Spring. The same tree which inspired both, is now dressed in a new gown to greet another year. I stood admiring it, last time I walked to the shops, and it's as beautiful as ever

And now I'm linking it to Imaginary  Garden - long after its first appearance!  Hope some people enjoy it anyway...

Thursday 8 May 2014

Where Did Yesterday Go?

In the blink of an eye, of course, where else? Do you have days which concertina, despite your best efforts to stretch them longer? Wednesday was like that for me. All intentions to write a blog post went out the window, and I spent the greater part of the day immersing myself in yet more music. I blame this, of course, on my discovery of Loreena McKennit and my initiation into iTunes for Windows.

They both occurred on the same day.  With happenstance leading me to Ms McKennitt's video on Tuesday, curiosity about her music soon had me rushing to join iTunes - something I'd previously ignored. As with every other technological bit of wizardry I embrace despite initial reluctance, it caused some minor blips, from which my long suffering No. 1 son rescued me. Bless him. Again.

By Wednesday morning I was clutching my Plastic Pennies in my hot little hand, metaphorically speaking, spending them at the rate of 79p per track on collecting iTunes for all I was worth. Or about £7.11's worth, whichever was the greater! No problems there, but, in order to choose favourite tracks, I had first to listen to the whole album...That is my excuse, and I'm sticking to it. LOL.

So I had another magical musical day; live at the Alhambra with Loreena  McKennitt, torn between West Meets East with Yehudi Menhuin and Ravi Shankar, memerised by Joshua Bell's violin concertos by Bruch, Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky then serenaded by Voces8 as they sang my favourite 'O Magnum Mysterium', from their album Eventide.

Hence no blogpost.

Though to make up for missing a day, here's an extra, poetic thought to add to the musical ones above.

Blank Pages

Our book of life falls open at a page
whereupon we write our stories daily,
with tracery that weaves our souls’ intent
into the fabric of the words we choose;
ours the choice to seek the light or dark
inks to embellish the script of our play.

We have to take the leading role. Each act
supplies a cast of characters for us,
without whom our production would be dull,
a monologue in shades of monotone
uniformity.  So raise the curtain,
let the orchestra play an overture
as we stand in the wings of a stage set
with backdrops poised to paint the scene for life.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Magic of Music

Since I bought an Internet WiFi Radio, I've been listening more and more to a Dublin station which goes by the the name of Live Ireland 1.
Many of the folk songs it broadcasts are in Gaelic, but just as with Indian songs I enjoy, the language of the music creates no barriers in my mind.
But  I'm unable to Google for the titles of any  of them, because I can't speak or read the Gaelic! What a conundrum.
However, here is a perfectly understandable English title to one well know melody, which I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

Monday 5 May 2014

Bank Holiday Monday

That doesn't sound half as romantic as May Day, does it?  The first of the month used to be our traditional day for a holiday, but eventually powers that be decreed it had to be forced to fit a Monday mould, regardless, thus the first Monday in May took on a new persona.

But in the spirit of ancient traditions, if not by date, here's a picture of a birthday card I've kept for many years, because of its special 'vibes' which I hope will bring a spring to your step, if not Spring to your local environs!

Sunday 4 May 2014

Asda Takes The Cake

Or at least, one lady in their customer care team. In a moment of idiocy, I sent them a copy of the 'Pesto Houmous' diatribe I posted here last Thursday.
Saturday morning I got the following reply:_

Hi Penelope

Thank you for your email about the pesto houmous.
What would I do, if I had the same pesto as you?
I'd make sure we sell more so that every customer gets them in store.
I'd suggest them as one of the best, and give the pessimists a taste test.
I'd buy so many, but then that wouldn't leave you with any.
So instead what I'll do, is leave the pesto with you.
I hope I don't see any drivers, youths or dog walkers in green. But if I do, I'd know you weren't being mean.
You like the pesto, and want to share it too. I might not get to taste it, but I'm very glad you do.

Thanks again for contacting me and if there’s anything else I can help you with please let me know.
Have a good day.
Kind regards

Asda Home Shopping Team

Thank goodness a sense of fun is still alive in this commercialised world.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Inside Out

Or perhaps that should be inside looking out, because four years ago, this was the view I had as I sat here before the gaping hole which was, and would be, patio doors.
And why blog about it today?
Well, last time I was wandering down my reading list path to pop in an out of other Bloglanders' worlds, one lovely lady gardener had a snapshot of a plaque which said 'Leave room for fairies .'  Sadly, my abysmal ability for name recall, means I can't at this precise moment say who she is, but it might come to me later.

Anyhow, I thought I could guarantee a promise to do exactly that, and started to hunt through files, to prove it... But I became disillusioned when I came across this image. Which self-respecting fairy would chose to set up home in such a rain-splattered wilderness? None.

That's why I had some squatters!

This Mummy fairy and her offspring roosted high on a shelf, well out of the reach of inquisitive fingers and guarded by two fearsome Chinese Dragons who happened to be circling nearby...

 A  diminutive cousin chose to hide herself away amongst some fairy foliage on the opposite side of the room, while a couple of Woodland Sprite Tree People danced on top of my bookcase in admiration...
The workman soon had my garden back to rights, but for some reason the fairy folk you see here decided to stay with me on this side of the new double glazing.

From here, safe and warm, they may gaze at the often wet and windswept playground which awaits them, should they decide to escape, any time I slide open the patio door. Do you think they ever will?

Friday 2 May 2014

Calloo Callay

Oh, frabjous day! This morning, as I opened up Napple Notes, Lo and behold! The top of my page had a NavBar (of sorts) complete with a Blogger logo, and a message about Cookies.

This reminded me that I had opted out of as many cookies as possible, some months back... Now, perhaps I shall experiment with allowing some again, to monitor the effect that has. It's certainly brought back my longed for NavBar, for starters. Yay!

At least for the moment, I have no wish to yell 'Pesto Houmous!' in the direction of Blogger!

Thursday 1 May 2014

Pesto Houmous

My eyes focussed on those two words as I threw a paper wrapper in the bin, and my brain had a Harry Potter moment. I suddenly pictured them being used as a spell to ward off any loutish or unseemly behaviour.
"Pesto Hounous!" car drivers could shout at jaywalkers, to make them think twice before undertaking a potential suicide mission.
"Pesto Houmous!" we could fling at unruly youths as they mingled in boisterous groups, blocking our path.
"Pesto Houmous"! we could chant, as we pointed our invisible wands at the non-public spirited dog-walker who failed to have a Pooper-Scooper ready to wield as necessary.

Now you try. Say the words out loud and with gusto, then give us a clue as to whom you might be inspired to aim them at! Hehehe! And at worst, should your spell prove effective, your victim would only be covered in a tasty, green-tinted sludge, and no harm would have been done.

Wednesday 30 April 2014

A Bit Of Daydreaming...

...Doesn't go amiss, sometimes, when the colours outside my windows are nowhere near as idyllic as they appear in this somewhat 'doctored' shade of blue sea and sky.

Yes, I know I went OTT with photoshop, but just get a whiff of that weed in the foreground. Mmmmm!

Almost central on the skyline is the dark grey hump of Langstone Mill, and the part of the harbour wall you can see, forms the boundary of a pub garden -  complete with gaudy sunshades which bloom out of the middle of each sun bleached, wooden table.

It's a popular haunt for tourists on a nice day, and I decided to let a touch of nostalgia for the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, flow onto my blogpage for all of you to share.

And don't forget the sun screen lotion and your dark glasses if you go searching for the real thing!

And now a Funny Footnote, to finish with...

"When the weed in Langstone Harbour
gives off its pungent smell,
I know God's in his Heaven
and all the world is well!"

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Telephone Torture?

Having been a loyal customer of BT since the days when I had a phone exactly like this picture, I've since developed a love/hate relationship with them, as their services blossomed to embrace modern technology which now includes Broadband and Online Billing.

The downside of the widening horizons of telecommunications, has been the Marketing Menace of  increasing numbers of unsolicited calls at all hours of the day - and occasionally, night - well, late evening, anyway.

Since January this year I've been running a one woman campaign (almost!) to stop such intrusions. The
TPS (tephone treference tervice), the barring of 'withheld numbers' and the 'choose to refuse' option are all services which BT offers - but at a price, in the case of the last two.

On studying today's Online Bill, I was reminded that 'barring' costs me £4.75 a month, and 'refusing', £3.90. I now know that the first only bars 'no number' calls made in the UK, and the second only allows me ten 'spaces' for detailing numbers I wish to refuse.

Within a month from the date I opted for three pounds ninety's worth of refusing, my ten spaces were filled - the first with a number which registered as 0000 000 000. Where in the universe is a 'phone allocated with THAT number, pray tell me?

And as most nuisance marketing calls stem from call centres abroad, what is the use of BT limiting their barring to the UK only?

It's about time the making-millions-of-profit BT started being honest in the way they deal with Telephone Tortures which continue to plague poor OAP's like me.

P.S. Sorry I was A.W.O.L yesterday - I  was out and about, and the day ran away with me! LOL. :-)

Sunday 27 April 2014

If Only

If only Blogger would re-instate the little banner across the top of it's pages which used to give us a quick link for a new post. Now, we have to go hunting for the option by first visiting the Dashboard. Has no body else seen fit to mourn the passing of the earlier layout?
For some reason it still appears if I use Google Chrome to open my blog, but I prefer Mozilla Firefox. No accounting for taste, I suppose. I wonder if others amongst you have wished the 'new post' option was left in the 'old' layout?

But apart from that, the morning has escaped me as I've been flitting around blogland drinking in creative juices from the prolific writers whose names catch my attention as I wander its highways and byways. I've missed days doing just that, following my nose and absorbing thoughts which leap from the screen's words and pictures that others have posted.

I think I have become too punch drunk on their creativity to let my own take flight today, but who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Saturday 26 April 2014


Saturday things took charge of my thinking processes, and Blogland went out of the window. You see, I'd obviously got into the  lazy habit of recent months, where there was no nagging voice inside my head chanting"Now, how to amuse them today?" as the redoubtable Christopher Robin was heard to say in the wonderful poem called Sneezles, which you can read for yourselves if you click on the link.
I hope none of you are similarly afflicted this weekend.*smiles* I'll see you anon...

Friday 25 April 2014

Rain Stopped Play

How often has that phrase came over the airwaves of the BBC, to dash the hopes of sports fans? Cricket and tennis have certainly lost out to the wet stuff more than once, but I'm not sure about football. I think those games are allowed to turn into impromptu Mud Baths - aren't they?

Luckily, when the rain woke me at seven this morning with a musical drumming on the flat roof, I had no play time planned - other than a morning workout for my fingers on this keyboard.

Yesterday, I had planned to get ahead of myself, and schedule a post for today.  Camera in hand, I took a couple of shots of rain splattered bluebells, thinking" Those'll be a good place to start!"
Oh, foolish me.
The plan failed dismally, as for reasons best known to Computer Imps or Google Gremlins, the smooth running sequence I was expecting when I tried to download them, never materialised.

It took late evening ministrations from No. 1 son before the photos were safe in a folder where I stood a chance of finding them again! Hehehe!

So here, better late than never, lets 'ring those bells!'

Thursday 24 April 2014

Come into my garden...

...But only if you bring your secateurs and several sacks to collect the ensuing debris!
This was more or less my plea to the wonderful lady gardener a friend introduced me to last year. Considering most of the space outside my patio door is covered in hideous concrete slabs, Nature has managed to produce an overabundance of green stuff in the few remaining patches of earth, with only a minimal input from me.

A couple of weekends ago, the hard working, Green Fingered Goddess came to my rescue again, and order has been restored.
You can see, almost dead centre, a solar powered 'dragonfly- on-a-stick' who is somewhat lacklustre, by daylight. But come the dusk, his ever-changing colours glitter with glee, and he becomes a thing of beauty - until his solar energy runs out.

And it made me think; all living creatures need to recharge their batteries in some way or another - either in sleep, or by slowing their metabolism down during certain periods of their lives. And in order to do this, sustenance is a pre- requisite.

So artists, writers and poets need to feed on 'experiences' and undergo 'hibernation' of a sort, before they can utilise their creative 'light' to brighten corners of our world. Long may they shine.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

The Wonder of Wednesday... that it's neither here not there. It's past the insistence of Monday which drives people back to work, and it's still too far away from the weekend for them to heave a sigh of relief. Which means it's in a kind of never land, which suits me fine, as I have a penchant for imaginary things, even in dreams.

Just before I woke up, Dreamland had me primping, as I tried to get ready to sing in concert in the Dreamtown hall. Not difficult to see how my Barbershopping days floated to the surface here.

But then pure fantasy took over. 'I'd like to buy you a present' said a friend, as they steered me into a gift shop.'Choose anything you like'.
'Do you have any ornate, brass trays?' I found myself asking an assistant.

My morning self thinks 'Why on earth would I want one of those, having been happy to give away the beautifully inscribed one of Indian origin which had belonged to my parents?'

I can see shelves and cabinets full of curios all about me, in this bijou shop with the air of a museum, but no trays. Thank goodness.  Then, high up on one stand, a hand materializes, and passes me a brass object which I can only describe as a flattened, Russian-doll-aping chalice, filigree and emblazoned with a cross, within whose elliptical innards nestled many miniature versions of itself.

I think Easter and Lolamouse's challenge had overtaken my subconscious for the night! LOL. Pity me.

But on the subject of filigree, I think my latest crochet bedspread oeuvre is a contender...

Tuesday 22 April 2014

I've started so I'll carry on...

...Maybe because last Saturday, I time warped back to when I first started this blog, and was overwhelmed by seeing again the delightful people who'd faithfully popped by, day after day, to make encouraging noises to me, a hesitant beginner.

There were no Happy Snappy photos of mine, or anybody else's, and those who visited were content with word pictures I managed to paint in their heads.
Posts  became more like conversations starting up, as those who commented often returned more than once to 'talk' to each other via my comment box - if you see what I mean?

I guess nostalgia got to me, and I've decided to see whether some of that magic can still be tapped into, after the inroads on Bloggy communication made by Twitter and Facebook, which appear to me closer to the world of advertising hype, than writerly whimsy.
The proof of this pudding will be in the daily eating thereof. On my own head be it. Which tempts me to leave you a link back to yesterday, in case you missed that post...

Monday 21 April 2014

Hang Out The Flags!

The proverbial Bad Penny is out of hibernation. The long silence since December, was simply due to the Jinksy grasshopper mind choosing to follow other than Blogland paths for a spell. It can't resist a challenge.
For instance, I needed to create a Treacle Pudding Beanie when a certain person floated the idea in my direction, and I couldn't rest until I'd made one. The whole thing evolved as I worked, patterns  for same being unavailable.

You wouldn't believe how hard the exercise proved to be, for no self respecting pudding would be symmetrical in its syrupy dribbles, and it was down to luck rather than design as to how the final colours spread themselves around the rim.
 And of course, taking a photo of any hat becomes difficult when there is no head to model it. I tried a pudding basin, but discovered the old idea of a pudding basin hair cut was no help in this somewhat different situation, and the Pyrex bowl was banished back to the kitchen. So these two shots leave the beanie looking a little flabby, though they do show how the golden sponge, the oozing syrup and the caramelized top each played their part in this trompe l'oeil experiment.

I believe the recipient has had the grace to wear it in public at least once, though his daughter was scandalized at the thought of her father making so bold...