Mystery Picture 6

I didn’t intend to publish another ‘Mystery Picture’ until the last one had been guessed, but I also didn’t quite reckon with the intriguing nature of my ‘Silent Sunday’ post last week. I’m just putting that picture here, for the sake of convenience:

Mystery Picture 6
??? Mystery Picture 6 ???

OK, so it’s a shot taken from a confined, dark place, looking outwards into a light space. But just what is the picture of, and just how was it taken? Please put your guesses in the reply box. You might care to look at Mystery Picture 5 while you’re at it. Oh, and if you’re feeling really kind, I’d love it if you gave this post some publicity – tweets, tell your friends and family, smoke signals, whatever you like… I’ll look forward to hearing from you. I’m also linking this post to Post Comment Love at Verily, Victoria Vocalises.

Post Comment Love
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Prose For Thought: Picture the Scene

For Prose for Thought this week, hosted again at Verily, Victoria Vocalises, I’m publishing a little ‘word picture’ that I put together a good while ago, and which is (if the person who recounted  the incident to me, an even longer time ago, is to be believed) founded on fact. All I’ve done is to add a little colour and atmosphere, for which, as they say, I haven’t charged you any extra.

Just a point before I go on: I am certainly not wanting to make a joke of drinking and driving in itself, which tragically claims lives, nor to mock efforts to control it, by publishing this. I most certainly support the police in their efforts. OK? Then I’ll continue…

Somewhere near the centre of a Midlands city, at around 11 pm. on a Friday, a police patrol car has stopped behind a small and rather battered-looking white van. The car’s blue beacon is still flashing. The officer has walked from his car to the driver’s door of the van, and opened it. The ‘motorist’ has fallen out, his head and body on the road, his feet still tangled in the pedals. A miasma of beer-laden breath pervades the immediate vicinity.

This is the moment. The officer’s mien is static, his face inscrutable. The erstwhile driver of the van is motionless simply because he is helpless. The rotating beacon is the only visible sign of any movement, indifferent to the frozen charade over which its blue beam traverses.

And then, the moment is over. The incoherent occupant of a small piece of tarmac attempts to pick himself up but success eludes him. The officer begins a dialogue with a question which epitomises the paradoxical dignity that accompanies the absurdity of official inflexibility:

 “Have you been drinking, sir?”

Prose for Thought
Edit, 3 May 2016: linked to #chucklemums
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Wednesday Words: 3 April 2013

For Wednesday Words this week, hosted again at Crazy with twins, I’m going to do what other contributors have done previously, that is, to pick the lyrics of a song…

We’ll Meet Again

Let’s say goodbye with a smile, dear
Just for a while, dear, we must part.
Don’t let this parting upset you
I’ll not forget you, sweetheart.

We’ll meet again,
Don’t know where, don’t know when,
But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do,
Till the blue skies drive those dark clouds far away.

And I will just say hello
To the folks that you know,
Tell them you won’t be long.
They’ll be happy to know that as I saw you go,
You were singing this song.

We’ll meet again [repeat]

Albert Rostron (Ross) Parker (1914 – 1974) and
Charles Hugh Owen Ferry aka Hughie Charles (1907 – 1995)

Now, just typed out like that, it doesn’t look all that much, does it? Almost a bit soppy, you might say. But in the context of inspiring troops and civilians alike during World War 2, when partings were very raw and very real and many of them, sadly, final, the words sung by Vera Lynn (now Dame Vera Lynn) come alive. Singers have maintained the tradition since. Just watch this video…

It is, I think, particularly touching, how the young singer and Dame Vera pay tribute to each other. Also, at about 3 minutes 53, note the face of The Queen. The number of occasions, recorded on video, where she has ever come near to losing her usual composure must be very few.

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There She Goes!

As some of you already know, I have a weakness for all things steam. Well, back in the days of school metalwork, after completing my ‘set pieces’ I decided I wanted to build a small stationary steam engine. Luckily, I had support from the teacher and others. Cutting a very long and involved story short, I completed one in about a year’s worth of lessons and some extra time in the workshop whenever I could. And so the great day came to test it.

The boiler was filled with water. As we had no methylated spirit at school, a Bunsen burner was used instead of the spirit burner I had made. After a few minutes, bubbling noises issued from the boiler. The piston rod moved slightly, then stopped at the end of its stroke. After a flick of the flywheel, the engine spluttered out condensate… and picked up speed!

Now, of course, technically speaking, there was no reason why it shouldn’t have done. But, to a lad not long a teenager, there was a ‘what if’ factor; so this was indeed a magic moment.

Sadly, no-one recorded the event on film. (That’s right, you youngsters – FILM. Digital imaging was still a long way away.) But, on Monday this week, in honour of the  Magic Moments linky at The Oliver’s Madhouse, I steamed this little creation and took some pictures…

Steam EngineAh… Methylated spirit fumes on the spring air! It quite took me back, I can tell you. One day, I’d love to make a bigger, better one. Maybe I will. But the first run will be no more – but, perhaps, no less – a magic moment than that first test run all those years ago.

*  *  *

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All That Chocolate – A Few Thoughts

This post was prompted by the ‘100 Word Challenge’ here, where you will find links to many more responses to the prompt, namely, to write 106 words, including the phrase shown in bold.

In a supermarket the other day, looking at all of that chocolate, I started to wonder about how many people know, or, more importantly, care, about where chocolate comes from. I was reflecting on how, on the one hand, Easter seemed to be turning into more and more of a materialistic affair, yet on the other hand, how hard people in, to use the approved term ‘less economically developed countries’ have to work, for a pittance in return, to grow and harvest the cocoa beans that are the primary ingredient of chocolate. People who consider themselves fortunate if they have a nearby supply of clean water.

How do you feel about this? Please let me know in the box below!

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