RSS

Category Archives: General

#NaPoMo concluded

I must admit there were times went I felt myself going mildly cuckoo as I wrangled to make things rhyme or when rhyming couplets spewed forth like a native second language. Still, I have completed the challenge, a poem per day.

Last time I bored you with a few of my attempts. Well buckle in dear reader, here we go…again!

Our lovely group leader posted a picture of a fun fare, think charactered postcard, as a prompt to rhyme.

Yesterday at the funfair, There was so much to do
Throwing for coconuts, Hooking a duck or two
Crash banging on the dodgems, Screaming at the ghost
Stopped atop the Ferris wheel, Sure scared me the most
Eating hot dogs and candy floss, Galloping around the carousel
Sliding down the helter skelter, I started to feel unwell
With all that motion and excitement, The injested sugar and grease
My inside started to heave, It had to be released
Sorry Mr Tristrum I tried my very best
Apologies for spewing all down your bright striped vest.

Another bright thought in the wee hours, triggered by a podcast I was falling asleep to

I love an oxymoron they often make me laugh
Like being 'slightly pregnant', or choosing the 'larger half'

Being 'weirdly normal', when you're 'clearly misunderstood'
My 'unbiased opinion' tell me these are 'terribly good'

I feel your 'deafening silence', hear your 'dull roar'
From 'growing small' with 'intense apathy', wait I have more

How 'awfully good' was that 'crash landing'
What about a 'civil war' or being 'found missing'

It really is the 'living end' how 'seriously funny' these get
'Good grief', it is 'properly ridiculous' and yet

They're 'openly deceptive' and leave 'only choice'
Our language is ridiculous But it's our only voice

I found the challenge of haiku and fib syllable patterns quite enjoyable.

One
Nine
Thirty
Twenty six
Forty four, sixteen
Bugger, no Jackpot win, again

As for the last day, well…….

When April returns in 2022
Wanting another each day
You can if you want to
I'll be running the other way!

I’ve kept all my creations in a document, after a month or four I’ll re-read them and groan, maybe blush a little that I put them in public view.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 1, 2021 in General, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Rhyme Time (#NaPoMo)

April is National Poetry Month, across the cyber world people attempt to grapple and wrangle with their language to conjure something of power, of poignancy, or amusement. Poetry is one of those forms that has many variations, from the syllable structure of hiaku, tanka and fib, the free form structure (isn’t that a contradiction terms, an oxymoron), limerick, sonnet, the list goes on.

Many moons ago in the blogging days of the defunct bcuk.com a group of us would game play with words, write short stories, poems, enjoy the weekly Friday fives, Wednesday wordle and alike. A few of us are in a private Facebook group and have been enticed (read cajoled) into taking part in the write a poem everyday.

Now I am no bard, I struggle enough just writing a blog. My levels of imagination swing between non-existent to fleeting sparks. Yet somehow I seem to have ended up joining in and I might admit begrudgingly that one or two of my attempts ain’t too too bad. I shall now proceed to bore you all with a few, please feel free to vacate now if you wish.

Let’s start with a light limerick

There once was a man from Nantucket 
Who was troubled by the hole in his bucket
Eliza suggested
Henry then tested
Until they conceded to chuck it

A haiku follows a syllable pattern of 5-7-5.

Procrastination 
Is my new occupation
Until tomorrow

A fib poem follows the syllable pattern 1-1-2-3-5-8, and I was attempting one when the death of HRH The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh was announced

Gone
Dead
Grieving
Such a brain
Such a character
None like him will be seen again

The acrostic style is where the first letter of each line spells something out

Nonchalant 
Openly inquisitive
Through my window creeps
Mannered and quiet
Yet expecting
Chair, blanket or lap
And caresses on head and chin
This cat of not mine

There there is the more traditional comfortable style

Fight The Rhyme, is the new rallying call
We'll storm the libraries, we'll march to Whitehall.
April has been high jacked, It's becoming quite the strain
More addictive than hippie crack, the effort quite the drain.
It's sneaky and enticing, You're teased with a simple ploy
Just a few to start with, to release those endorphins of joy.
A little harmless game, it's fun, a poem a day
Before you know it you're caught, and with headaches you pay.
I am here to make a stand, to stop this engulfing all of us
If you need help, reach out, to Poets Anonymous.

Websites like thesaurus.com, rhymezone.com and syllablecounter.net have seen their hit rate sky rocket into the stratosphere.

Right then, off to wrestle with tomorrow’s attempt.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 15, 2021 in General

 

Tags: , ,

Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

Being Cuckoo-d by a Cat

There was a hilarious tweet recently that started me on a trip along that leafy memory lane. Someone posted “Our neighbour just put their house up for sale, couldn’t resist a snoop on Zoopla ………. that’s our bloody cat!” There quite unashamedly stretched across the purple bedspread was a very contented fluffy ginger cat. The comments had for more amusement as people across the globe were sharing ‘tails’ of having visitors. So if you’re in need of calm amusement, pop over to Twitter and search #NotMyCat.

Here’s my story.

Back in 2017 I kept my green recycling wheelie bin at the back door so I could easily lift the lid and deposit my green credentials. When Big Sis and I were cleaning house ready for BFF’s visit, Big Sis grabbed the recycling with all intent but as she entered the kitchen said “Can’t put the recycling out, there’s a cat on the bin”.

Now ‘cat’ was no stranger, he was often seen prowling around the gardens, giving cars meticulous inspections and had played with a leaf atop my sisters estate car. He had decided this was his manor and he was security. Postie became a friend to go to for a quick head scratch, bin men were glared at from a distance, window cleaner and gardeners were avoided, a suitable snooze spot in the sun found. He often featured in estate agent exterior photos.

If my front door was wide open he would cautiously approach but not venture over the threshold. His neck would stretch further and further with curiosity but his back paws remained firmly on the door step. Until one day during BFF’s visit the ultimate, irresistible inducement to be courageous was offered – sandwich ham. My fate was sealed.

After BFF had left for home, Big Sis and I were sitting in my lounge when a faint sound could be heard, just slightly, we looked at each other and chuckled. She got up and opened the front door and in sauntered Mickey, on patrol but fussing.

On BFF’s next visit (can you sense a theme here) the bedroom window was opened for air and in the wee hours a voice remarked “Oh it’s you” as a lump walked up BFF and snuggled down for a snooze. A visit to the High Street pet shop resulted in a couple of cat toys and some nip. Somehow while grocery shopping some Dreamies or Felix treat bags sort of accidentally fell in, followed by a box of pouches (well he is a large lad). He confidently strides through an open door or window, has head scritches, chin tickles, back strokes, decides whether he is going to sleep on the wooden chair, desk chair, armchair, sofa or me. Gives me the “Do you mind!” expression if I move a muscle, lightly perpetrates my thigh with his generous acupuncture treatments.

With CoVid delaying BFF’s first visit last year she was concerned that Mooch might have forgotten her (ha! As if). She arrived mid afternoon, front window was opened slightly for air and suddenly this white blob attempted to jump in the narrow gap because he had heard her voice. You could see the joy in his face at having her back again. I’ve told him, June, just 66 days, she’ll be back.

Fur forward four years and “Mickey” (because his black ears reminded me of Mickey Mouse, should have called him Oliver) still sits on the bin, sunning himself, supervising any kitchen goings on, also gently rests front paw on the door handle as a subtle hint.

A carer had a sporty car with a straight exhaust and he’d inspect the car every time, warm his paws on the bonnet, or glare at her when she came in and disturbed his snooze. He is currently working his charm on my other carers. Just last week while I was parked on the porcelain throne Carer was in the kitchen preparing my dinner when she declared “I can’t stand it”. She strode to my lounge and returned to the kitchen and I heard “Here, stop starring at me”, treats were popped on the bin to appease her guilt.

This very morning as I was wriggling into position on my bed, Carer opened the kitchen door and declared “Ohhhh, hello beautiful, do you want in?”….. I think I need to check my care plan, I don’t think it says ‘Look after cat first’.

But, well, he is handsome and charming and……..

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2021 in General, Pets

 

Tags: , , , ,

CoVidVersary

How are we? Things pootling along okay? I am sort of slightly unanchored, with the days getting longer I cannot feel what time of day it is, I have no idea what day of the week it is and I am not altogether sure which month it is, especially in relation to things/events I need to remember. It’s all gone a bit groundhog. Even my three day week method has collapsed as I think it’s today when it’s actually tomorrow.

We are approaching the anniversary of the first lockdown here in the U.K. Oddly for me it wasn’t that much of a change, I can’t leave the house and there’s nowhere I want/need to go to anyway. Once I grasped the book-early book-often with the groceries, that sorted that.

Where it all impacted me was people visiting me. A work colleague (hello Joss) would visit and we’d chatter, laugh, rant, ponder and generally muse over the oddities of life and I have really missed those hours of escape. BFF had to reorganise her visits, although we were able to get together but were isolating except for food. Neph would bring my bread, ably assisted by mini-me and we’d have a brief catch-up. Then there was my bi-monthly pedicure, I really miss that. A hour of scrubbing, pampering and natter which resulted in tidy toes, shiny nails and a general happy inner well being. Plus Neph’s better half would come to harvest my hair and we could catch up on happenings at the same time.

Generally it feels like we have forgotten the seriousness and ominousness of how things were back early last year. It’s amazing the power of the unknown has, where as now, it feels like the atmosphere is a mix of weariness at the restrictions and lack of faith/trust in the information.

As we begin the steady slow progress of coming out of lockdown, I do wonder how the general populous will behave. Will it be the manic, crazy, rush akin to the Harrods January sales of old or will it be the tentative, cautious, creeping animal rehomed after rescue.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2021 in General, In The News, Life

 

Tags: ,

Spring Like A March Hare

I say spring, more like enthusiastically lurch……. well I say enthusiastically but it’s more like begrudgingly shuffle…….. hmm begrudgingly that’s on point and shuffle, hmm yeah, kind of outch, dawdle, mosey.

Whether it is the decline of my physical abilities, the endless endurance of the shielding lockdown, the cold fingers of winter or a mix of it all, I cannot seem to shake off the shackles of winter oppression and awaken, find the joy in things, the pleasures in purpose, everything feels exhaustingly ::sigh:: As I said to BFF I cannot be bothered to be bothered.

There are the tentative hints of improvement. Doesn’t it make the day seem nicer when there is sunshine? It has an extra energy, almost an optimism. So in that fashion one might dare to tackle a bit of a to-do list.

  • Add crochet border to red cat blanket
  • Start the Alan Davies book
  • Check domain registry dates
  • Go through iTunes genre
  • File images accumilated

A chunk of that involves my desk, which is dependent on who my carers are and the times they are due here. Plus the sitting position isn’t the most comfortable.

The ‘remote’ app on the iPad that controls iTunes on my Mac is working really well, but as I scroll about trying to decide what I feel like listening to I find I tend to choose a genre and let the device shuffle. When I am at the desk I usually select an album or artist to listen to. As I think I have mentioned before my choice can be influenced by what I am doing, classical while html coding, rock/metal while photo editing, Rhythm/blues while dealing with accounts and numbers, etc. The automated comes-when-you-upload info of a cd can be a little odd, there are a few tweaks I would like to make and there are those with no genre tagged at all. Hardly a vital necessary task but it fills the time, like finding album covers and adding those.

My original iPad (gen1) has been struggling to deal with life for a while. When I purchased my new one I repurposed the old one to the bedroom for iPlayer, radio, audiobook usage, but many of the apps need an operating system it cannot cope with so I was using the browser, but even that struggled. Anywho, I took the decision to buy a refurbished one from MusicMagPie, it came today and so far so good. I’ve spent a couple of hours setting up and logging in, tweaking to my preferences, selecting display images etc.

Must think of more to blog about so it’s not eons again before I text lyrical.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 20, 2021 in General, Music, Tech

 

Tags: , , , ,

Same Old New

As much as there is nothing about this year that many of us would want to hang on to, again I feel a tug as I do every New Year’s Eve. There are those who talk of new beginnings, fresh motivation and forward ideas but for me it feels like the things I enjoyed, that I used to do, the people I was connected to, are further in the past. Somehow that seems sad.

Once upon a few decades ago we would all gather at my parents house, have a meal, probably another box of crackers, maybe play a board game (well Big Sis and I would with audience participation) and then an evening of tv, chatter, and a feeling of everyone waiting for the clock to chime so we could all go to bed. Most likely because we were tired of all the preceding festivities.

When things changed after mum died, New Year’s Eve was likely the one night I’d be in bed early with a book and only knew the time by the ships horns and cacophony of fireworks.

There were of course a couple of exceptions, midnight 1st January 2000 I was drinking champagne and dancing on the deck of a tall ship, watching fireworks, being deafened by horns, kissing strangers, moored in Tenerife between cruise ships showing them how mighty we were (some of their passengers didn’t look like they were having a ball) – sailory types know how to par-ty 😉.

There was the year a gang of us on a message board saw the various New Years in as the time crossed the globe. Apart from the in joke of “F5 Renee!” once midnight had passed in the U.K., I could say to my American pals “You guys are sooo last year”, well it tickled me.

As I sit here in my hovel, musing and pondering, I do wonder

  • Where will I be this time next year?
  • How will I be this time next year?
  • Who will no longer be with us?

Still, wherever you are, I honestly hope we are heading toward better things and I wish you all well 🥂

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2020 in General, Life

 

Tags: , , ,

As ancient as…

You that feeling when……. you are watching a black & white movie (Carry On Regardless, 1961) and your carer arrives asks what you’re watching and questions “So when did colour tv start?”

I explained that there were colour films shown in cinemas before there was colour tv because colour over black & white was hideously expensive to make. I thought that colour tv was introduced around the late 1960’s (turns out it was a Wimbledon final 1967 on BBC2) before becoming mainstream in early 1970’s.

This branched on to the fact there were (and still are) tv licenses for either a colour tv or a black & white one, this notion seemed quite startling, along with that many homes did not have a colour TV set until the mid/end of the 1970’s.

When I went on to remark that I remember as a child being told to change the channel because there were no remotes, and there were only three channels broadcasting at set times of the day (kids tv about 3pm til shutdown 11pm), and that at close down the BBC would play the National Anthem – well my carer’s jaw dropped to the floor.

When I said channel 4 didn’t start until 1982 and Sky started 1989 she remarked that she found it hard to believe these things happened not that long before she was born (1998).

Talk about feeling ancient!!

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 20, 2020 in General, Life

 

Tags: , , , ,

Beyond My Window

The world beyond my window
Is in a bit of a state
With pandemics, plastics and pollution,
Deforestation and nuclear waste.

The world beyond my window
Is in a state of fear
With anger, riots and violence,
Police suited in riot gear.

The world beyond my window
Is sometimes blue and green,
With life and light and untold
Beauty to be seen.

The world beyond my window
Was somewhere to explore,
Rolling on the high seas,
Rocking around a dance floor.

The world beyond my window
Is removed from me,
Years and decades have flown by
While my mind thinks it 1993.

The world beyond my window
Is somewhere I don't pursue,
It's not because of Covid
More nothing I can do.

The world beyond my window
Continues without me,
My ability has passed
To work, drive and spree.

The world beyond my window
Has become out of reach.
My access is now virtual
And that's a dreadful pastiche
 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 5, 2020 in General, Life

 

Tags: , , ,

Newer History

From time to time I surprise myself when some profound statement emerges from my fingertips and such an occurrence took place last week.

A pal had posted about the annoyance she felt at the hypocrisy she sees online, that groups while complaining about history, use history as validation and evidence for their actions. I saw her point and responded

History is history, we should learn from it, all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly, the triumph and the disaster, the compassionate, the whole, it’s ripples and it’s consequences. After all the shouting, breast beating and hash tagging, what will have changed for the better – very little quite possibly and that’s the saddest footnote for history to teach.

Me on Facebook

There is currently a tv advert for Persil which includes the phrase “hashtags can’t plant trees and tweets won’t clean oceans”, making reference to actions speak louder than words. Has social media turned the majority of users into outspoken criticisers, has it given the multitude a venting platform for vitriol, perhaps that’s a subject for another day.

As we move into black history month (it’s October in the UK) I agree with the thought that more perspective is needed regarding how history is taught and what history is taught. History is a subject that will keep growing, look at the past hundred years or so, what parts should be picked out to teach, the speeches of Martin Luther King Jnr alongside the riots and protests of Black Lives Matter; the horrors of the Holocaust and Russian pogroms and the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi; the nursing prowess of Mary Seagrove and the South African apartheid movement. The advances of industry and science and the violence of protests, riots and oppressive regimes. It’s sheer volume means we cannot cover it all.

The recent yelling and vandalism regarding the historical slave trade has highlighted a gaping hole in subjects covered, the actions taken have been destructive rather than constructive. I’m not sure if this programme is available worldwide but the tv series “The House History Built” is excellent, it traces the history of all who lived in one house across centuries.

Nothing is clear cut, everything exists in the grey area.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on October 1, 2020 in General, In The News, people

 

Tags: , ,

Black & Blue Ornery

Nothing in particular just everything in general has set the black cloud of short tempered, lacking patience, general ‘meh’ness.

The sudden change in weather last week was a stinging slap in the face. We were all still merrily enjoying the comfortably warm summer sun, wearing our thin short sleeved tops and light weight bottoms, and then bam, gale force winds, lashings of rain, temperatures dropped by half. No graceful ease into Autumn.

I can’t have the window and internal doors open so no furry visitor and yes I will admit it, I miss the furrball. He might cover me in white hairs, generously, rigorously massage my thighs, command my lap for two or three hours which means I cannot crochet or mess around on the iPad, but he entertains with his asking for attention, amuses with his snores and sleeping chunter, becomes a topic of conversation with my carers (his charm is doing a number on them too). If, if, if, if, things would be different.

Time to pull up the big girl pants are knuckle down to get some stuff done, so October goals……

  • Print off business transaction reports
  • Back-up Mac
  • Upgrade OpSys software
  • Complete Blue Badge renewal
  • Purchase tv signal booster + cable
  • Update website news
  • Finish two cat blankets
  • Make one mouse toy
  • Make one fish toy

There are a few other things I could add, like chase District Nurses who still haven’t been to draw my blood since I contacted them 2nd September, or the contact Orthotics to see if they will do a new brace without any appointments but that’s a sleeping thingy I shy at poking.

I shall have to concede by Canute approach to the season change and throw another log on the radiator (that translates to turn the heating on). Brrrr, I have a feeling it’s going to feel like a long winter.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on September 30, 2020 in General, Life

 

Tags: ,