Category Archives: Wednesday Words

Wednesday Words: 8 May 2013

We all experience, at some point, a situation which is funny in the eyes of everyone except ourselves. This little poem sums this up quite nicely, I think!

Betty at the Party

“When I was at the party,”
said Betty, aged just four.
“A little girl fell off her chair,
Right down upon the floor;
And all the other little girls
Began to laugh, but me –
I didn’t laugh a single bit,”
Said Betty seriously.

“Why not?” her mother asked her,
Full of delight to find
That Betty – bless her little heart –
Had been so sweetly kind.
“Why didn’t you laugh, my darling?
Or don’t you like to tell?”
“ I didn’t laugh,” said Betty,
“ Cause it was me that fell.”


Wedenesday Words
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Wednesday Words: 1 May 2013

I’ve just got time for a simple contribution to Wednesday Words, hosted by Emma over at Crazy With Twins, here.

You know, very often, our biggest handicap can be our own estimation of what we can achieve. Henry Ford (1863 – 1947) Summed it up:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

And the Ford Motor Company that survives to this day and made Henry Ford rich, was his third attempt at success in motor manufacturing as he wanted it!

Wedenesday Words
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Wednesday Words: 17 April 2013

For ‘Wednesday Words’ this week, hosted by Emma at Crazy With Twins, I am posting something I wrote some time ago, before I had a blog of my own. It was written in response to the question of belief – not belief as a faith or religion, but rather, something about life that you uphold personally.








What do you think? Are there any issues especially dear to your heart? Let me know in the reply box if you like – or write a post of your own!

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Wednesday Words: 10 April 2013

The Wednesday Words link-up, hosted by Emma at Crazy With Twins, is, in general, an open forum. You can post – within reason – anything you like, whether a quotation (with credit to the author) or your own work, to inspire your readership at around the middle of the week. And this is great. But, right now, a particular topic has been brought to my notice.

First, let me make an observation: Every day, we read, or hear, statistics, in some form or other. But being part of, and interacting with, the blogging community has taught me an important lesson, namely, that behind statistics lie real issues to do with real events, affecting the lives of real people.

One such issue is the strange – and unwelcome – phenomenon known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, something which is still unexplained. And today, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) an organisation given over to study and practical advice on all aspects of this subject, is re-launching as The Lullaby Trust.

Now, just a few weeks ago, on the 2nd of February 2013, the blogging community in the UK was rocked by the death of a baby girl aged nine months: Matilda Mae, the daughter of Jenny, who blogs at Edspire, and her husband David. Many of us wanted to show Jenny and David – and each other – how we felt about their loss. This led to a collection of prose and poetry which linked the hearts of so many people, of which many – including myself – had not until then known Matilda Mae or her family.

So today, to mark this re-launch, I am re-publishing the poem I wrote then. Although it is hardly a lullaby for children, I hope it can be one for parents everywhere who have been directly affected by such an awful trauma.

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!

*  *  *

And so now – what about lullabies for small children? I would say, sing to them gently, anything that truly comes from your heart. The sense of love will come through. And if you sometimes get hoarse, or need a little inspiration, listen to this – written by one of the greatest writers of truly timelessly popular hit tunes ever: John Sebastian Bach!

 I trust my readers will join in my continued thoughts for Jenny and David, and for every family affected as theirs has been. Thank you.

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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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Wednesday Words: 27 March 2013

Time for Wednesday Words, hosted by Emma at Crazy With Twins…

First of all:

“Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.”

And then:

“Mr. Watson – come here! – I want to see you.”

OK, I know what you’re thinking…

Old Firefly usually gives us something a bit up on this. He’s flipped it. Blogging has turned his mind. It was bound to happen…

But no, gentle reader. I’m not quite ready for the men in white coats yet. Let me explain:

The nursery rhyme is by Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788 – 1879) from the USA. But, quoted by the inventor, Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931) those words became the very first to be recorded on a phonograph, the predecessor of the gramophone, to be followed in turn by the record player and CD player. The second quotation is by Alexander Graham Bell (1847 – 1922) the inventor of the telephone. Bell conceived the idea of producing an electric current that changed in the same way as sound waves produce vibration, then using this to reproduce sound again, using what we now know as a microphone, and an earpiece or loudspeaker. Those words were the first to be successfully transmitted that way, and so could be said to be the first words to be spoken over a telephone.

Whether either, or both, men would have chosen more inspiring words had they realised the long-term significance of their actions, I cannot say. But just to complete the picture, I’ll give you something else from each of them:

“Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”  (Edison.)

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing, that we see too late the one that is open.”  (Bell.)


This post is now also linked to Post Comment Love at Verily, Victoria Vocalises, here…

Post Comment Love
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Wednesday Words: 20 March 2013

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the way that many people, whose sense of justice makes them feel morally obligated to report on wrong-doing by giving information to the police and other agencies of law enforcement, are victimised by others rather than receiving praise for their actions. Recent news reports have highlighted the kind of abuse that is often meted out to whistle-blowers and others who assist criminal investigation.
One such person is Alexandria Goddard, whose investigative efforts in connection with a recent, particularly repulsive, rape case undoubtedly helped to secure convictions against the offenders. You can read her own account of this in full, here.
Right now, by way of mid-week inspiration to us all, I’d like to quote one phrase from this account in her own words. I would send this phrase all round the world, if I could.

“…it’s okay to be the lone man standing, as long as you STAND.”


Footnote: Our brave host of Wednesday Words, Emma at Crazy With Twins, is in hospital, having just undergone further surgery for thyroid cancer. I’m sure all of us send our best wishes for her recovery and for the full success of her treatment.

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Wednesday Words: 13 March 2013

For this week’s Wednesday Words – hosted, as ever, by Emma at Crazy With Twins, here – I’ve been thinking over a couple of closely-related questions. Firstly, just how short, how pithy, can a quotation be, while still carrying paint-blistering impact? And, secondly, how little of a person’s writing or speech can you quote, and yet still portray that person’s character?

Well, in previous Wednesday Words posts, I’ve referred to Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain (1835 -1910) and also to Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965.) Now, if you’ve read Tom Sawyer or any more of Mark Twain’s works, you’re bound to remember his inimitable wit and humour. Similarly, there are many accounts of Churchill’s rousing speeches – one that comes to mind is the time he addressed the people of Portsmouth on the day following a severe air-raid in World War Two when the city was still burning. It was followed by a moment of hush, and then a spontaneous cheer.

But, for today, my questions are not about how much, but how little. Let’s see. Remember, Mothers Day has only just passed, and also International Women’s Day. (You’ll see how that connects, in a moment.)

One story goes that someone asked Clemens what he thought men would become, in a world without women. His reply?

“Scarce, sir. Mighty scarce.”

And another anecdote runs that a man explained to Churchill that he had been charting the progress of women’s suffrage from around 1910 to the (then) current time. He then ventured to add something like “And, Mister Churchill, if this trend continues, then by the year 2000, women will rule the world!”
Churchill looked at the other man quizzically before replying.


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Wednesday Words: 6 March 2013

Sometimes, we get an unfairly narrow idea of what our ‘education’ is; school, and college or whatever, is surely an important part – but let’s not forget how we learn from nature, from things and people around us, and, indeed, from every aspect of our own experience. I think this statement sums it up neatly:

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

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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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