Left-Over Posts? Snippets Not Quite Meaty Enough On Their Own To Make A Satisfying Post?
This Is The Place To Come To Use Them Up.

Monday, 31 May 2010

There are more questions than answers ....

How come I never have a coughing fit in a noisy market town, but always in a silent assembly hall/at a funeral/while waiting in a long checkout queue?

How come I never get a stone in my shoe when I'm in a quiet country lane, but always on a busy road so that at least four million people have to look at my bum while I lean on a post and shake out my shoe?

How come it always rains when I don't have an umbrella, but when I bother to take it with me, swapping it from hand to hand, putting it in my bag then finding it makes the bag too heavy, leaving it on bus seats so that I have to  stop the bus driver and rush back to fetch it, the sun comes out and it's like a Caribbean afternoon?

How come I only ever need a stapler when there's only one bent staple left in it?

How come I only ever need the photocopier when it's flashing this message: 'SOMEONE'S ALREADY COCKED THIS ONE UP, SUNSHINE'?

Not that I'm feeling that life is unjust, or anything .....

Friday, 28 May 2010

Blim Blim


The market was full of gloriously coloured fruit and veg. this morning . Standing in the queue , waiting to pay , I was suddenly joined by an elderly Indonesian woman .
"Blim Blim !!" she cried , "Look ! Blim Blim" . We were standing next to a pile of those ridged green things that must be starshaped if you cut one across . Carambola , I think . She obviously thought they were a great find , so I did the only logical thing and asked how you ate them .
"You cut them in slices and cut up those and those and those " , arm swept extensively over the tropical fruit section , "and you make a syrup from red sugar or palm sugar and you mix a fruit salad . "
But then came the bit we knew we couldn't do , not today . "Then you eat it all afternoon , in the sun , with your family and you talk ".

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Grey Areas

(This one's for Jinksy! - inspired by this post)

We live in the grey areas
between the black and white,
the ‘could go either way’
between the very and the quite.

We live in the grey areas
between the wrong and right,
we live in the delay
between 'Not ever!' and 'Tonight!'

We live in the grey areas
from cell to satellite
and in the swing, the sway
from loony left to ultra right.

We live in the grey areas
between the true and trite,
we dangle every day
between the fuse and dynamite.

We live in the grey areas
between sugar and shite,
we live in the halfway
between the fondle and the fight

We live in the grey areas
between the dark and light
not in the aye, the nay,
but in the possibly, the might.

computer virus

First human with a 'computer virus' - Yahoo!7 News
What will happen next?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Being Appreciative

could be a tad embarrassing.

We did a megashop yesterday at a supermarket in the nearest major town, using three trolleys between the two of us - in relays - to ferry the stuff to the check-out.

The cashier was so efficient, friendly, charmingly chatty and all round helpful, that I got the stuff loaded into bags and boxes in double-quick time without getting frazzled,  all the purchases separated into categories and stowed like with like -  okay, I am a bit anal about these things -  that I had to show my appreciation.  After Beloved had paid - getting out the correct card and putting it in the right slot and remembering the pin number first go - I was so relieved it was all over and having moved a little  away from the check-out to accommodate my collection of trolleys, I bellowed my thanks.

"You have been most efficient and helpful, thank you so much for your patience and kindness".

Everybody on the nearest check-outs turned to stare at the mad woman with three laden trolleys, creating a disturbance of the usual grumpy and harried supermarket atmosphere. And then the unthinkable happened!

They all beamed at me and everybody - and I mean everybody - shouted "Thank YOU and Good Bye.
The "bye byes" followed me halfway out of the store. I still have the cashier's delighted voice ringing in my ears.

What's the Latin for murdering a friend?

It's ambicide. Sounds quite harmless, doesn't it.

We all have our dim moments, I know, and our organisational skills may have deficits, but this one takes the biscuit. Those of you who have visited Chelsea may need to weep a little at this.

S down the road, who hates rushing, is going with friends to the Chelsea Flower Show. The Show that needs time, patience, an ability to tolerate slow-moving crowds, and a good sturdy pair of legs to walk around on, looking at all the prize-winning gardens and all the stalls, before collapsing somewhere for refreshments. Time is also needed to travel from Kings Cross station to the show grounds. Time.....

S and the group are going on Saturday, the last day. The day when at 4 pm plants are sold off, and the ordered, beautiful show turns into a scrum, a free-for-all. Great fun if you aren't going to spend over 3 hours on a train home afterwards. The day when the show closes at 5.30 rather than 8 pm.

The friend who was left to organise the train tickets has booked a (very expensive) round trip that only reaches Kings Cross around 12.30 in the afternoon, with a return that leaves around 6.30. 

As our American friends would say, do the math.

S is ambicidal.

Eating Dirt

Eating Dirt: The Latest Culinary Trend : TreeHugger
Bizarre world we live in where the latest culinary trend bears quite a resemblance to the diet of the very poor in Haiti who survive on bisuits made of dirt and oil.


Sonata's response to Friko's post about growing older encouraged me to share this beautiful video. Below is the poem that inspired the video: Borges' Limits.

by Jorge Luis Borges

Of all the streets that blur into the sunset,
there must be one (which, I am not sure)
that I by now have walked for the last time
without guessing it, the pawn of that Someone

who fixes in advance omnipotent laws,
sets up a secret and unwavering scale
for all the shadows, dreams, and forms
woven into the texture of this life.

If there is a limit to all things and a measure
and a last time and nothing more and forgetfulness,
who will tell us to whom in this house
we without knowing it have said farewell?

Through the dawning window night withdraws
and among the stacked books which throw
irregular shadows on the dim table,
there must be one which I will never read.

There is in the South more than one worn gate,
with its cement urns and planted cactus,
which is already forbidden to my entry,
inaccessible, as in a lithograph.

There is a door you have closed forever
and some mirror is expecting you in vain;
to you the crossroads seem wide open,
yet watching you, four-faced, is a Janus.

There is among all your memories one
which has now been lost beyond recall.
You will not be seen going down to that fountain,
neither by white sun nor by yellow moon.

You will never recapture what the Persian
said in his language woven with birds and roses,
when, in the sunset, before the light disperses,
you wish to give words to unforgettable things.

And the steadily flowing Rhone and the lake,
all that vast yesterday over which today I bend?
They will be as lost as Carthage,
scourged by the Romans with fire and salt.

At dawn I seem to hear the turbulent
murmur of crowds milling and fading away;
they are all I have been loved by, forgotten by;
space, time, and Borges now are leaving me.

Monday, 24 May 2010

More Realistic Or Just Older ?

Sonata :
Friko has posted a poem about getting older on her blog and asked what our thoughts were on the subject . I'm answering here because it's a bit longwinded for a comment .
Perhaps for me getting older , which , let's face it , we're all doing inexorably , comes with an acceptance of what we're probably not going to get round to doing .
Flying a plane seems less likely now , as does reading Homer in the original or crossing Patagonia on horseback .
But there are things that surely can't be beyond the realms of possibility ? There's no earthly reason why I shouldn't learn to paint in oils or to swim well . I can float alright but , much as I try , I seem to stay in roughly the same spot , however hard I try all these manoeuvers .
It could be due to my lack of co-ordination , of course . I can dance for instance , just not with anyone else . The Twist was a godsend ! But perhaps this year will see me swim a length or two in less than an hour .

Oh yes ! And , Friko will be glad to know that I'm going to read a real poem every day , even ones that don't rhyme . I'm easing myself in gently today with one in the vernacular , Roger Crawford's "Ma Old School Friend".

And before you scoff , it's about Macbeth .

Saturday, 22 May 2010


Bob Dylan chucking a brick
Minerals Provision Becomes Part of Financial Bill - NYTimes.com
Was it Dylan who said "Money doesn't talk it swears"?

My day improved before I was even out of bed!

I woke up to see I had only half an hour before I needed to leave for work.
Oh, I'm dreaming.
Then I woke up and looked at the clock. I had only twelve minutes before I needed to leave for work.
Oh. I'm still dreaming.
I woke up and looked at the clock. Six a.m.
That's better.
And it's Saturday; I don't need to leave for work!

I haven't had one of those weekend awakenings in years.
It's like Christmas morning.

Friday, 21 May 2010

We Are Stardust!

Editorial - The Being of Being - NYTimes.com

From Bums To Other Bits

I'm thoroughly enjoying all this broadening of my horizons . Fridge Soup is proving to be intellectually challenging in unexpected ways . Rude poetry , for instance . Who knew !

Poetry's all Tumpty-tumpty-tumpty-tum and a rhyme . Daffodils and a bit of sentiment . Work with children long enough and you expect a joke thrown in . This crocodile puppet and a rhyme about a crocodile who sits under a bridge does the trick always . They chase each other around and the crocodile bites any passing bum .

Now I'll be looking further .

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Ruthless Rhymes

L’Enfant Glacé

When Baby’s cries grew hard to bear
I popped him in the Frigidaire.
I never would have done so if
I’d known that he’d be frozen stiff.
My wife said: “George, I’m so unhappé!
Our darling’s now completely frappé!“


Weep not for little Léonie,
Abducted by a French Marquis!
Though loss of honour was a wrench,
Just think how it’s improved her French!

Harry Graham

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Other Life Forms Month!

Life in the Third Realm - Opinionator Blog - NYTimes.com
Let's hear it for other life forms this month, indeed every month!
Why single them out for special attention? Let's just celebrate their existence; well some of them anyway!

Warning: Poetry Ahead


What Humans Do

The candle-lit
after dinner
careful screw,
the under-the-moon
shooby doo
be doo groove,
the from behind,
the sixty-nine,
the is there time,
the I need wine,
the twisted talking
dirty grind,
the Erica Jong
zipless screw,
the I got somethin'
to prove ruse,
the big bang,
the power game,
the long play,
the itchy-ish, sudden-ish
roll in the hay,
the take me away,
the once a week
married way,
the hail mary
I-can't- believe-
my-luck hump,
the side to side
slow pump,
the grudge fuck,
the quick poke,
the hard core,
the tenderest lap
of waves on the shore,
and the gushing rushing
endless coming
of I've never felt
this way before.


Wendy Videlock

(First published in Poetry Magazine)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cocking a Snook

Crocodile and Fish, part 5
List of gestures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In my quest to learn the history of the expression in the title, discovered this fascinating list of gestures, both simple and complicated, specific and general.
I shall definitely be adding some of these to my repertoire, how about you, any favourites?

Thanks antonsrkn for a lively photo!

World Expo has a lot to answer for!

Op-Ed Contributor - The Pajama Game Closes in Shanghai - NYTimes.com


Derge Rain Retreat Festival ,Tibet on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Check out these wonderful photos and also the faascianting information about T.ibetan genes!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Calling All Phrase Freaks

Has anybody come across this one before, and if so, where did it originate?
"A belly full of music with a bad road out." Google seemed to think it's of Russian origin...
A friend used it in conversation yesterday, and I was intrigued to know more. She thinks she first heard it in an old TV sitcom.

Friday, 14 May 2010


This morning I asked Beloved to help me remember
that I had to collect some pills from the Surgery.
This is how he did it.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Blog Action Network

Blog Action Network Change.org
Just in case you're interested people!

Would this have any bearing on current affairs?


When in that House M.P.’s divide,
If they’ve a brain and cerebellum, too,
They’ve got to leave that brain outside,
And vote just as their leaders tell ’em to.
But then the prospect of a lot
Of dull M. P.’s in close proximity,
All thinking for themselves, is what
No man can face with equanimity.

Something went wrong when I posted this piece, a long gap appeared and I don't know how to 

get rid of it. Any ideas?

Monday, 10 May 2010

VW Electric Bike

Volkwagen's Electric Bike Folds Up To Size And Shape of Spare Tire : TreeHugger
First the Beetle,the Kombi and the Kharman...now this!!!!!

Retro can be overdone , I feel .

Sonata :
I should have known , the minute I climbed into this train and saw the seats , that it was the s-l-o-w one to Amersfoort . Took twice as long and stopped at nearly every hole in the wall .

Luckily they aren't quite as hard as they look .

Is this now due for a revival ?

Pamper yourself

The house across the road has gone up for sale. In the estate agent's gushy blurb, with marked over-use of the word 'fabulous' in its strangely-contorted English, is this:

A most impressive family bathroom with teardrop shaped free sanding bath

That'll do the hard skin on your heels a power of good....

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Accompanying his mother to the polling station , small grandson was asked by someone , "And who are you going to vote for , then ? " . With a beam , he said , "ME ."
His manifesto is still a bit vague but I would imagine he'll be insisting on the closure of all hairdressers salons as the first step in the emancipation of small boys .

Tips for Aspiring Novelists - #1

from my notes on a recent submission in my popular fiction class:

"Her doe-shaped eyes gazed into mine" conjures up a very strange picture.

Try "Her doe-eyed gaze" . . . if you must.
Posted by Picasa

Limberick and Limericks and Clerihew

It's time to make love. Douse the glim,
The fireflies twinkle and dim,
The stars lean together
Like birds of a feather,
And the loin lies down with the limb.

Conrad Aiken

Young men who frequent picture palaces
Haven't heard of our psycho-analysis,
They've never read Freud
But they feel overjoyed
As they cling to their long-standing fallacies.

An epicure dining at Crewe
Found quite a large mouse in his stew.
Said the waiter "Don't shout
And wave it about!
Or the rest will be wanting one too.


Sir Christopher Wren
Said, "I am going to dine with some men.
I anybody calls
Say I am designing St Paul's".

E.C. Bentley

Sunday, 2 May 2010

The Gulf of Mexico Today

Prairie Dinner

Last night, while writing to a friend in the UK, I began to consider culture and food. What we eat, when we eat it, how it's served etc.

Last week I was in Alberta, the westernmost of the Prairie Provinces. The purpose of the trip was to present an award in a small town between Calgary and Edmonton. The award ceremony included a dinner - pictured above. It was a meal that I've had many, many times in small town prairie towns, with just a few little differences. There was turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mixed vegetables, green salad and home-pickled beans and asparagus. The crowning glory was a big dish of pirogies with sour cream......home made pirogies! I had to take the picture for The Great Dane, who is at heart, a gastronomic Ukrainian.

This same meal can be found at church suppers, weddings, school banquets and service club dinners. There might be cabbage rolls added, but the basic meal remains true to the picture. Afterwards? Tea and coffee and pie. It's comfort food, usually served by women from whatever club/church was hired or offered to cater. Seconds, and even thirds are encouraged, and God help the man who only fills his plate once.

What's standard 'big crowd' fare where you are?

Here's another one

"The object of an epitaph is to identify the resting place of the mortal remains of a dead person.
It should therefore record only such information as is reasonably necessary for that purpose."


Hampstead 1930

How's This For An Epitaph?

to the memory of
who was killed by the
accidental discharge of
a pistol by his orderly
14th APRIL 1831

well done
good and faithful servant

(Woolwich Churchyard: demolished)


Whatever form your Saturday evening took

I hope it included good friends , good food , good wine and plenty of this

Gracious music .... that's the key !