Wednesday Words: 27 February 2013

Sometimes, life seems to be a lot of uphill going.  A few of us in the blogging community are finding this at the moment, none more so – and more unfairly so – than our kind host of this meme, Emma at Crazy with Twins. <–(Yes, read that.)

The great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922) had high regard for Kipling, the poet. He had three verses of the famous poem ‘If’ engraved below the bridge of his ship, the Quest – the last vessel he sailed in. At the start of the voyage he addressed his men:

“You see those lines which I have engraved below the bridge? Those verses are for the young men, but they will do for the old ones, too. There may come a time when the seas break over us and we shall wipe the salt water out of our eyes to read them. That is why I put them there.”

(As reported by The Chicago Tribune, 18 September 1921)

We are each of us explorers – through the blogging scene, and through life generally. We have a duty to inspire one another.

Edit – 30 July 2015:
Tonight, I’m digging out this post and linking it to the prompt ‘To  read’ from Sara at mumturnedmom. Note the context, picked out in bold above.
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How do you know that’s a fair description?

This post was prompted by the ‘100 Word Challenge’ here, where you will find lots of links to other responses. The brief was to write 105 words, including the five-word phrase shown in bold, which didn’t, of course, necessarily have to be at the beginning.

“What does it taste like?” is a common enough – and fair enough – question. Less logical, on the face of it, are many of the answers; indeed, they are often not so much answers as exclamations, like “Aaaarrrgh! Tastes like old socks boiled in washing-up water!” This, of course, is likely to evoke replies like “I’ll take your word for it. I’ve never tried that…”

However, this kind of thing isn’t as illogical as it sounds; this is because the majority of what we consider to be taste is, in fact aroma or smell – and the sense of smell is very powerfully connected to the memory!

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Wednesday Words: 20 February 2013

This is posted to join in with the meme hosted by Emma at Crazy With Twins. Other things got in the way yesterday so this is actually being posted on Thursday, the 21st!

Wondering what to post this week, I was just musing on the way that the repartee of the famous from times past often combines humour with historical interest. Here is an example:

The story goes that the playwright, George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) once sent the great political figure, Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) two complimentary tickets for the first performance of one of his plays, inviting him by letter to come along and “bring a friend, if you have one.” Churchill wrote back explaining that he would be unable to attend on that particular evening, but stated that he would welcome tickets for a subsequent performance “if there is one…”

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Chef’s Orders

This post is in response to the ‘100 Word Challenge’ here, where there are lots more responses to read. As usual, I struggled to think of a plot until the last day of submission. The brief was to write 106 words including the phrase shown in bold. Ironically, I nearly forgot to do this post altogether!

“Henry, pass that margarine… Oh, could you weigh out twenty-five grams…? Thanks. And, Oliver, just chop those two onions, please. Good lad… Georgia, will you open two tins of tomatoes, then weigh two hundred grams of rice? Now that jug of stock, pepper, some herbs… Oh, my goodness! I nearly forgot the Worcester sauce! Now, while this is cooking, Harriet, will you grate some cheese, there’s a dear… You know, I saw something like this in the ready meals section only yesterday – a frightful price it was! And never mind the additives, I always think it tastes so much nicer when you make it all yourself!”

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Wednesday Words: 13 February 2013

Once again, this post is written in answer to the link-up here, by Emma at Crazy With Twins. It’s being posted on Thursday 14 Feb as I had a special post to do last night. Emma suggested a theme based around ‘love’ for this week. After a little thought, I’m putting here a short poem of my own, that I’ve actually posted before:

The Time to Stay

Always grant yourself
The time to stay,
Looking for the sensitive;
Yet do not stray
From seeking empathy
That will reply;
Cling to the true
Heart, that encloses
Love, not the hate
It exposes.
That you are beautiful
None can deny.

If you care to read my original post, you will see how this poem was inspired by another one…

Wednesday Words

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In Memory of Matilda Mae

Over the last few days, the blogging community has been rocked and stunned. We have struggled to come to terms with a message put out on Twitter, announcing the ‘cot death’ of a baby girl, on the 2nd Feb 2013: Matilda Mae, the daughter of Jenny (@Edspire) and her husband David.

I, for one, have found my thoughts and feelings going round in an endless whirl; firstly, the struggle to accept the awful truth, then the sense of grief as the plight of the affected family bears in. After this, more happily, the incredible warmth of love and empathy in such a sorrow, as the news has touched so many hearts. I count it an honour to be associated with this.

I have tried to put all this into a poem. The metre of the verses was inspired by the tune sung to the Welsh song ‘Myfanwy’ composed by Joseph Parry (1841 – 1903) of which I am very fond. You can listen to it here.

We who, till now had never known you,
Are taking each the other’s hand;
Desiring to extend compassion
Yet struggling here to understand:
Of each who took to heart the story
Of how you left us on that day
The heart and mind, with ties that bind
You’ve drawn so close, Matilda Mae!

We who would never wish such sadness
Should fall on any family,
But rather, seek to share the gladness
A growing, happy child to see –
A rainbow through our hearts is streaming
Sorrow, for those who feel such pain –
And yet, for you, the sky is blue!
In this, we take our strength again.

Your absence in the body deeply moving
So sharp for one your mother and your nurse!
Yet now the power of love we’re proving
Strongest in all the universe!
The joy of Paradise receiving
Is yours, surpassing brightest day –
Yet now, as torn, for those who mourn
You’ve joined our hearts, Matilda Mae!

With best wishes for Matilda Mae’s family. Thank you for reading this.


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Monday Mobile: 11 February 2013

M.M. 13-02-11
M.M. 13-02-11

Today, I happened to look up… and this is what I saw: it’s the roof of ‘The Roundhouse’ – once an actual locomotive roundhouse, now part of a college. Spare a moment to think of the designers and builders – no computers then, all drawn and calculated manually!

Prompted by ‘Monday Mobile’ here, at Cakes Photos Life.

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An Incredible Journey

This post is prompted by the ‘100 Word Challenge’ here, where there are links to lots of other responses. The brief, as you will see, was to write 103 words,including the phrase shown in bold.

From far beneath the surface of the sea bed, up a pipe, along another pipe, and another… Into a tank and out, up a heated column, down into another tank, into a road tanker, into a tank again, out again into a tanker-trailer…

The young RAF officer was returning to duty. A last hug and kiss for his wife and little girl at the gate of the ‘married quarters’…

He was gone. Later that morning, the roar of jet engines rent the air.

“Daddy plane!”

The child looked at a trail of white. The first sighting of that oil-drop in millions of years.

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