Writing 101 – Bigger is better? …

Day Eleven: Size Matters (In Sentences)

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

This is what is said … “bigger the better”.

I suppose this is true for some members of society?

It’s difficult to remember a lot of things from when aged twelve. The year, 1962 In Britain, Harold McMillan was PM. I was in my first year at Secondary School. Which was a local school in Hendon, then Middlesex. I loved Hendon then. Located on the outskirts of London. Hendon Central or Brent, on the Northern Line. Plenty of fields around us, where I would play with my best pal at the time, Peter. We knew each ditch to splash in and each tree we had already climbed. There were bricked up bomb shelters in the local park as well as steel mounds covered in earth with grass. There was a mostly dis-used aerodrome. That was sometimes used to train parachute jumpers. They would send up an old barrage balloon with a basket beneath. We would watch then jump. One by one, parachutes opening behind them.

Peter lived about three doors away from me. We went to the same school. It was the year we, Peter and I, started wearing long pants … trousers, to school. Where I lived with my sister, Valerie. Our parents and Grandmother. Was part of a larger house.

Upstairs lived my father’s sister Barbara and her husband, my Uncle Ted. When I was a little before seven, my cousin Colin was born. By the time I was twelve, he and I would play. Romping about as cowboys or Robin Hood, etc. My father and Ted, along with Nanna bought the house some seven years earlier. It was divided into two. Living up and down. The first thing done was taking out the wall, that separated the two. That way Nanna could go upstairs in the evening to sit with her daughter Babs.

My mother had gone back to work. Auntie Babs would watch over us three kids after school. I was directed to change out of my school clothes, when coming home in late afternoon’s. Until the previous year, I had shared a room with my younger sister. I wanted my space. So, they gave me the sofa-bed. Which I liked. It meant I could get out of the house when everyone was in bed.

Aged eleven I had started a paper route, because Peter had one. As too, my later best pal in school Philip. I had to be at the shop for seven am, or earlier. I had one of the longer routes, covering the “Downage” and more, further south. Christmas time meant bigger tips. I kept the route until I was almost fifteen, when I moved over to delivering prescriptions after school.

My father had been a Boy Scout, which meant, I had to be one as well. At eleven he took me along to the Parish hall. Where behind was the troop hut.  The 8th Hendon. The scoutmaster named Mr. Raines, was the same one from my father’s time. Every Friday evening we would meet and do the stuff Boy Scouts did. Tying knots, parading, obtaining badges etc. Maybe not in that order, but you get the gist; dear reader?

In the early 1960’s most everyone would go to the coast for a couple of weeks summer holidays. Our family was no different. In 1962, I seem to remember? We, went to Woolacombe Bay in North Devon. In those years the vacation were taken with all my father’s brothers and sisters, still living in Hendon. Along with their partners and children. Travel would be by car. Some of them would go by rail, to be met by my father later the next day. It depended on Dave my father’s brother. I seem to remember that year he had a Rover car which accommodated five plus driver. My father with his car was also six including the driver. The rest likely went by train? All told, that year, we had fifteen people divided between two small houses, that were holiday lets.

Growing up was with all this. Done in a small way. One of crowding people; shoehorned into small rooms, houses and cars. But we had fun! A fun childhood with parents, who also knew how to have fun once the work day was done. Beach cricket, deck chairs grouped behind wind breaks. Sand castles or sand boats. Evenings at the penny arcade. The kids were sent home with one designated sitter. While the others spent late evening, at the local pub.

I love small houses and systems that make the best from little space. Which is likely the product? Of that upbringing.


Courtesy of http://www.bugbog.com/beaches/british-beaches-uk/devon-beaches-uk.html 

Writing 101 – Black or White?

Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Remember those “compare and contrast” essays in composition class, in which you’re forced to create a clunky juxtaposition of two arguments? Just because that particular form was a bore doesn’t mean that opposition has no place in your writing.

Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macaroons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!


Earth day is Wednesday, April 22. NASA gives us a way to celebrate our home:


Use #NoPlaceLikeHome on other social media or tag NoPlaceLikeHome on your blog.

The above was posted by Rainman on his blog Quertyness



Below was partially my reply, in his comments section. With much thanks to Rainman for raising the topic. It elucidated these thoughts, used to illustrate the Writing 101 exercise, around Black and White.

So I deleted the comment, to post it here. Where it is more relevant. With regard to why should I use Rainman’s comments section. For what amounts to my diatribe.

Earth Day

True enough, Earth Day is a chance to recognize how much we need the planet to survive.

At the same time, there is a type of cynicism by authority. A type of smoke and mirrors if you will? Around the notion of Earth Day. Why should it be limited to 1/365th of a year?

Corporate greed and the way with which they integrate, with authority. Strip mining our planet, to one devoid of forests. The holes in the ground where there were once mineral deposits.

The idea that turning off a few street lamps and high-rise buildings is going to really help our planet? Other than as a public relations exercise. Or is Earth Day, a better substitute for what should be a vibrant animal kingdom? Or is Earth Day now used as a substitute. For an ocean full of plastic, choking the fish and other sea creatures. Earth Day now seems to be glysophate spread throughout the planet’s fields, or is it air pollutions of radiation? Earth Day is now one. That sees fluoride, designated as a neuro-toxin. When fluoride is  also promoted by toothpaste manufacturers, as an agent for dental health. A neuro-toxin that has seen a sharp incline, of brain degenerate disease.

Authority that insists, corporate inclusion brings jobs. The same authority and corporations that then send those jobs, to where the people are little more than slave labour. Where profit is not about saving the planet. One that sees a commodity price rise, while the production costs decline. An Earth that sees ocean going trawlers with nets that can fit thirteen jumbo jets across the mouth of them. They trawl the ocean bottoms, disturbing the complex life on sea bottom. Nets that strangle mammals, living in the seas.

Every day ought to be Earth Day. Not just one day, a year.



Writing 101 – My Uncle Ted …

Was born in 1920 and he died a few days ago. He and my Auntie Barbara, lived upstairs, from my Parents. Barbara was my Father’s older sister. She too has died and is missed by our family.

Edward Sidney, my uncle was nice to me and my sister Valerie. Growing up, my Mom and Dad would go out of a Saturday evening, with Dave and Lil. My Dad’s brother and wife.

Valerie and myself, would then be looked after by Babs, Ted and our Grandma, for the evening. Which was one of TV and treats. Like chocolates, oranges and nuts. My cousin Colin who was substantially younger than us. Missed the evenings, for he was in bed. While we watched Bonanza or Rawhide. TV westerns, like Gunsmoke, etc. Shows that today, I would feel dismissive of; for their gun culture.

Since living in Canada, over the years, I would travel back to North London. Where until 2002, they still lived above my mother. Dad having died in 1980. Mom now lives with Valerie my sister. Ted and Babs moved to an apartment about 1/4 mile away.

Colin and I would hang out together. Colin lived a few hundred yards down the road. Evening trips to the Greyhound at Church End. Sometimes with his then wife Lynn and sometimes his son Oliver. Oliver was a cute kid and a great sport. Called Ted … Gaggs.

Babs and Ted were like constants in life. Always open toward me/us, a pair of generous souls. Invited to watch soccer on TV and plates of sandwiches, crisps and pickles. Tea and chocolate biscuits. Ted would have beer and scotch for arrival, then Babs would show up with plates of sandwiches.

The last time I saw Ted, he was pretty much confined to a bed and armchair and had a young man to help him with his needs. A Philippino called Joe. While he had his own room, Joe was a paid for carer. With a family in Philippines.

Valerie and I took our Mom, to visit. Joe made tea and supplied biscuits … all too familiar. In place of Babs, who had since died.

Ted had spent a substantial part of WW2 in a German POW camp. The picture of his wife that he had kept through that stay, on the wall. He made the point of emphasizing, that the guards in the camp had been good to the POW’s. “The inmates had been allowed to keep their photos and personal jewellery”, he said, as he opened his hand to show his wedding ring.

As we left, we said goodbye shook hands and kissed. Our eyes both welled with tears. So the news in late March, was not entirely unexpected. It has been a tough 7 years or so, for Colin. While the news was not unexpected it is with a mild shock, that it did come. For it brings on that sadness of memories past and the sadness that his great grand-daughter will miss the pleasure of growing up, with those two lovely people.

Writing 101- Committing to a writing practice …

Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Nailing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance Number 5 on your alto sax. Making perfect pulled pork tacos. Drawing what you see. Or, writing a novel. Each requires that you make practice a habit.

Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.

Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

The basic unit of writing practice is the timed exercise.

– Natalie Goldberg

Author Natalie Goldberg says to “burn through to first thoughts, to that place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or the internal censor.” Here are some of her rules of free writing practice from Writing Down the Bones, which we recommend you keep in mind:

  • Keep your hand moving. (Don’t pause to reread the line you’ve just written. That’s stalling and trying to get control of what you’re saying.)
  • Don’t cross out. (That is editing as you write. Even if you write something you didn’t mean to write, leave it.)
  • Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar. (Don’t even care about staying within the margins and lines on the page.)
  • Lose control.
  • Don’t think. Don’t get logical.
  • Go for the jugular. (If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.)

Today’s assignment asks for choosing three songs, that are the most important in our life and what they mean to us?

For me that is a difficult task. There are many that have come into my life at different times. I tend to focus on the artist rather than the product.

My taste in music is somewhat eclectic, anyway. The last time I ever really listened specifically to popular music would have been in early 1970’s. Since then, I have not lived under a rock and have heard all sorts of music. Some good, some not so … My feeling is that Payola still exists. That what the general public hears on radio stations AM/FM, etc. Is still manipulated by industry.

That is not to say that talent and hard work is not required.

In my youth, I lived in North London U.K. I would go to different clubs and pubs, with friends and occasionally by myself. To listen to the vibrant music culture that was emerging then. I remember one DJ. from the ill-fated Radio Caroline. Boasting that he could influence society’s buying habits, through wearing an article of clothing, or playing a particular record in about three weeks. He was likely right? For that’s how trends are started. people make money and some of that moola flows straight down, to those who can influence the most.

So, how do I choose? Three is such a limiting number.

How do others write? I use those scribblers that in September after “Back to School” events are over, go on sale. I use a pencil. Generally a propelling one. That only requires leads to refill. Pencils are “high-tech” instruments.  The hand guides them like a mouse and they have a delete feature on the top. One can fast-forward, eliminate, copy and paste very simply.

Do I worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar? … Yes I do! But i seldom think. Just let it flow, as if drawing.

Go for the jugular? Well violence just begets more violence. Going for the jugular may be just phrase that is urging us to say what we mean? But the “jugular” … c’mon. Let’s keep a sense of proportion and try to be polite, as we draw the noose tighter? ;-]

Okay down to the nitty gritty, … now there’s an influence from the 1970’s, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. They’re still playing, ya’ know?

In the 1950’s I used to listen to a BBC radio show called Children’s Favourites with the host Uncle Mac. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_McCulloch

The music choices were wide and eclectic. All good. Maybe the first song I sang to myself was this one? Popularized by the Kingston Trio and in Britain by Lonnie Donegan. About a man with the name of Thomas C. Dula who was hanged in 1868 for the murder of Laura Foster.

My next song chosen is from the 1960’s. I might have chosen one of several Beatles songs from the time, or one of many other British Bands that shot to prominence. There was so much going on then, on both sides of the Atlantic. For myself 1968 was a special year. This next tune dates from then.

The last choice. Is a difficult one, in that, I’ve already used up two choices. Yet I am determined to use this one, in my selections. Since it is the last opportunity in this post. Here it is. From the coffee houses of New York, in 1960’s to a life in Hawaii. Buffy Sainte Marie :-


Writing 101- A room with a view …

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

The spaces we inhabit have an influence on our mood, our behavior, and even the way we move and interact with others. Enter a busy train station, and you immediately quicken your step. Step into a majestic cathedral, and you lower your voice and automatically look up. Return to your own room, and your body relaxes.

Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

Giving your readers a clear sense of the space where your story unfolds will help them plunge deeper into your writing. Whether it’s a room, a house, a town, or something entirely different (a cave? a spaceship?), provide concrete details to set this place apart — and to create a more immersive reading experience.

It’s possible I’m wrong?

For Muslims it is considered offensive to sleep with the feet pointing to Mecca. … Hey I didn’t make the rules!

Where is God Not (retold by Nasruddin)

My beloveds, I travelled again to the village of my friend Tekka, after years away. He had become very devout in his ways, sometimes a little pompous, but still the kind soul I had loved for years.

I visited him, and we picked up our friendship as if we had never been apart.

“Nasruddin, you are a light to the eyes,” said Tekka, “Please stay with me. I insist.”

I accepted his kind invitation. He showed me my sleeping room, with a window to the east, and the bed made up. “I have arranged it so your head faces toward Mecca,” he said proudly. “You must always sleep with your head toward Mecca, out of respect for the Prophet, on whom be peace.”

My first night, I tossed and turned, and finally fell asleep. I am apparently an active sleeper, for when Tekka shook me awake the next morning, he was very agitated.

“Nasruddin, I am disappointed in you!” I looked at myself, and said, “I am often disappointed in myself, Tekka, what seems to be today’s problem?”

“You have slept with your feet toward Mecca! This is most disrespectful!”

“My apologies, Tekka, it was unintentional. I am a very active sleeper.”

Tekka was mollified, but insisted that the next night I must do better. I promised I would.

The next night resembled the first. I slept well, after some tossing and turning, but awoke to find my feet on my pillow and my head resting on the floor at the end of the sleeping mat. Just as I realized my predicament, Tekka stood in the door and clucked in concern.

“This will never do, Nasruddin. I am a good citizen and a good Muslim. You must sleep with your feet pointing the opposite way from Mecca, and your head pointing toward Mecca, out of respect for the Prophet and devotion to Allah.”

“What is your reason for insisting on this, my friend?” I asked.

“You must not point your feet toward God!” he said, and repeated it. “You must point your head toward God and your feet away from Him.”

I thought about this. We spent the day together, and that night Tekka was most emphatic. “Nasruddin,” he said, “If you cannot sleep with your head toward God, I regret to say I cannot have you in my house. It pains me to say this to an old friend, but my devotion is to Allah.”

The third night was much like the other two, except that this time I awoke with my nose pressed against the floor at the foot of the sleeping mat. It was pushed out of shape, and I was rubbing it when Tekka appeared. His face was clouded with anger and sadness.

“Before you speak, Tekka, answer me this,” I said, springing up. “Does Allah rule over everything, even the fate of men?”

“You know he does,” replied Tekka, puzzled.

“Is Allah there in every part of His creation?”

“Of course he is!”

I pointed out the window at the birds rising from the edge of the well. “Does he live in the birds of the air?”

“Yes,” said Tekka. “Why are you asking these questions?”

“Please have patience with an old friend,” I replied. “Is Allah everywhere, even across the desert and the mountains?”

“Allah is the creation. Allah is in the creation, and is the lord over the creation!” exclaimed Tekka.

“So, Tekka,” I said, holding out my feet. “Point my feet where God is not!”



Similarly :-

It is difficult for me to pick “One place”. “What place would I go to right now”?

For expediencies sake, I will choose a Trans Atlantic flight. From North America to London, England.

I have flown a few different routes. Spokane to Minneapolis/St.Paul then on to Gatwick or Heathrow. Spokane to Denver and on. Taken off from Seattle, Vancouver, or Calgary AB. All landing at those London Airports. One time we landed in Amsterdam. Where I waited for a connection to Heathrow.

Not once were we served Camembert.

One time flying out from St.Paul, I was bumped up to first class. Where the travel is world’s apart from economy. The first thing that happens when welcoming you aboard is escort you to your seat and then offer Champagne. Around comes a cheese board and I seem to remember Camembert was on offer, then? As part of a selection. I think I declined the cheese board? However they were magnificently presented. A special cheese knife to cut the desired cheese. This was before the twin towers fiasco. Things were different then.

Senator Ruth, it seems. Is totally out of touch with the world, of most people. Her notion of extra billing to expenses for another meal because the airlines, or class of travel she uses. Serves her “ice-cold camembert and broken crackers”.  Shows a disdain. It shows a disdain for us the rest of the population. Apart from Senators in the Canadian Senate. Few of us are able to bill for expenses. The sort of expenses that get reimbursed promptly. Few of us have the ability to book first class travel. Which means travel in style where the seats are like day-beds, with quiet service. The little complimentary sacks of soaps and hair care.

What does Nancy Ruth do? We are told by one unnamed Senator that we “Do not have the first clue about Parliamentary life and public life in general”?

Nancy Ruth


I wonder if Ms. Ruth has the same opinion?

This same source sniffed at the auditors looking into expense claims. Going on to say, “they are bean counters and they work in a very narrow environment”. Yes they do. Thankfully for the Canadian taxpayer. For they are not counting beans but dollars. Dollars that to Senators, are about as worthless as beans.

So, here’s to Ms Ruth. Anytime I fly to Europe again, I shall be thinking of her and her extra meals, paid courtesy of the Canadian Taxpayer. Looking at her; Canada’s first openly lesbian Senator.

She has had over ten years, of the pork barrel. In that time what has she actually achieved? Not very much it seems?

The only thing I could see was; “in 2010, Nancy Ruth took credit for the Throne Speech‘s including a proposal to study changing the line of “O Canada” from “all thy sons command” to “thou dost in us command”, the original wording. Intense publicbacklash caused the Prime Minister’s Office to announce the issue had been dropped from consideration6] “.

Maybe this failure, caused her to take it out on the taxpayer? Determined to seek revenge for this slight, she is extra billing and double dipping, in some sort of fury at being rejected? Who knows? Maybe it’s none of that? Perhaps, it is just plain piggy, Like the rest of the piggies, that run government.

She has all the trappings of the well-heeled. The designer jacket and jet earrings. The progressive bifocals, a touch of lipstick underneath a grizzled countenance.

For none of us would begrudge her a decent meal, as she flies around the country putting wrongs to rights. Another meal, on top of what the taxpayer is already going to pay for. When she travels first or business class. For she is right. “Ice-cold Camembert and broken crackers”, is positively insulting, toward such an august member of the Canadian establishment?

Maybe she might have just asked a flight attendant to run that Camembert under the microwave for a few seconds? Or for some crackers that were not broken? But like a dummy she kept quiet. Then upon descending, went and scarfed down another meal, before leaving the terminal?How did it actually go Ms Ruth? Enlighten us poor sinners.

Austerity is for others, not for Canadian Senators.

We hear the angel’s trumpet, as Ms Ruth travels the highways and byways. Seeking out some other anthem injustice. It is rarefied air up there in the high-flying ethers, for sure.

Writing 101- Unlocking the mind …

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen — it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted to say.

– Author Khaled Hosseini, “How to Write,” the Atlantic

The first assignment asks the participant to just write for twenty minutes. A seemingly simple task?

Living in western Canada. For the last day or so, I’ve been somewhat perturbed or pre-occupied by something that appeared in our national press on Saturday. A quote from one Canadian Senator, concerning airline food. Her opinion was that airline food was “bad”. Which justified her billing the Canadian public for the expense of another meal. Ostensibly, to replace the aforesaid airline food.

Senator Ruth, actually said that being served “Ice-cold Camembert and broken crackers”. Was unacceptable to her, thus the replacement meal at taxpayers expense.

Why has this struck a chord with myself and others across the country?

Well, there are a few levels to consider.Firstly, I do not consider myself a world traveller. Yet since the 1960’s I have taken enough trans-continental flights to have some experience of airline food. These flights have always been taken in economy class. A couple of times because of being a solo passenger, it resulted in being bumped up to another class. Just once or twice.

In economy class, the food was never wonderful. Yet it was adequate. Actually, I learned long ago that when booking a ticket to order a special dietary meal. Usually I ask for a vegetarian one. But there is a list to choose from. One may be Halal, Vegan or Sikh among others like Nut-free.

That is my first tip to travelling. I always confirm this at the desk, when booking in. It means among other things that you are usually served first before the general cabin population. Years ago, being a vegetarian meant sumptuous repast. It was as if the airline was afraid that the lack of animal protein, meant the passenger was about to keel over and expire? So, they always did it right. These days of cutbacks to passenger comfort. means less leg room and food or beverage service. Means that the meals have become smaller and less diverse. A vegetarian meal has started to become predictable. Like all the other meals they are served on plastic plates. No more china and silverware for you chappies in economy. After all, there is always the possibility, you will attempt to hi-jack, or whatever?


There my time is up … and I have yet to get to the crux of my gripe. Maybe there will be an opportunity to expound in the next segment?

Just remember – “Ice cold Camembert and broken crackers”, is the current theme.

Object of the Month – March 2015

Serendipity …
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
synonyms: (happy) chance, (happy) accident, fluke;

Strangely, the Free Dictionary phonetically spells the word, differently from the actual spelling? … The vagaries of the English language.

The word “serendipity” is used by sculpturesteph, https://gurkykowsky.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/object-of-the-month-my-pearl-necklace/. In her challenge for this month, for March.

My object used for the challenge, is “The Giant”. A local stone sculpture.



Now I’m not really sure whether the object might seem serendipitous?

For myself it is. For I have been back to the spot easily 4 times since late January. Trying to get a photo that will convert to WordPress, framing the whole large sculpture. I have turned the camera sideways on to capture the largeness. That works well into something like iPhoto. Yet converting into my image files, here at WordPress. The head is chopped off, or the feet, etc.

I was trying to use the original photo, taken in January. For use as an example of local sculptures. It is at the very end of a local park, called Lakeside Park. It is located under large trees, which in summer are cool and shady. In winter the snow hangs on and it is cooler also, from the chilly wind that blows off of the lake. As a site for the sculpture, it has much to be desired. With a backdrop of the bridge, leading across to the other side. The lack of sunlight during the winter months and the children’s playground close by. Brings people to use the swings, etc. Yet few stop to look at “The Giant”. With his large feet. Hands, clutching a cat in one and a bird in the other. The sightless eyes, staring out across the water.

How serendipity bought me back again and again, trying to capture the right snapshot. Yet each time I leave, makes me think about the statue itself. Is there a point, or meaning, of the cat and bird? The notion of a large person holding the creatures and proportionally how the hands and feet seem to be about the only things out of scale.

I suppose I could go and ask the sculptor himself? For I know where he lives. Somehow, I do not really want to know. Preferring the enigmatic questions that serendipity has bought me to.



The Song of the Pacifist …

What do they matter, our headlong hates, when we take the toll of our Dead?
Think ye our glory and gain will pay for the torrent of blood we have shed?
By the cheers of our Victory will the heart of the mother be comforted?

If by the Victory all we mean is a broken and brooding foe;
Is the pomp and power of a glitt’ring hour, and a truce for an age or so:
By the clay-cold hand on the broken blade we have smitten a bootless blow!

If by the Triumph we only prove that the sword we sheathe is bright;
That justice and truth and love endure; that freedom’s throned on the height;
That the feebler folks shall be unafraid; that Might shall never be Right;

If this be all: by the blood-drenched plains, by the havoc of fire and fear,
By the rending roar of the War of Wars, by the Dead so doubly dear. . . .
Then our Victory is a vast defeat, and it mocks us as we cheer.

Victory! there can be but one, hallowed in every land:
When by the graves of our common dead we who were foemen stand;
And in the hush of our common grief hand is tendered to hand.

Triumph! Yes, when out of the dust in the splendour of their release
The spirits of those who fell go forth and they hallow our hearts to peace,
And, brothers in pain, with world-wide voice, we clamour that War shall cease.

Glory! Ay, when from blackest loss shall be born most radiant gain;
When over the gory fields shall rise a star that never shall wane:
Then, and then only, our Dead shall know that they have not fall’n in vain.

When our children’s children shall talk of War as a madness that may not be;
When we thank our God for our grief to-day, and blazon from sea to sea
In the name of the Dead the banner of Peace . . . that will be Victory.


March madness …

Mad as a March Hare, goes the saying. Likely because in March, the lust of mating lies heavy on their bodies? Once, while living in Wales during mid-1970’s. Witnessed a Hare, or Rabbit, likely a Hare. Leaping and gambolling in the field across the road, one late March day.

Alberta, in the city of Calgary. One may see Hares, Jackrabbits. Astonishingly fast, when they need to be. A zigging and a zagging, outrunning their predators. Once only,  was I in Calgary in March. Didn’t see any Jackrabbits then. Just a skiff of snow across the black top, waiting for take-off on my way to Heathrow, London. The brown and pale gold patchwork of fields as we left.

Eventually descending 9 hours later. Into the landscape of brilliant greens that make the home counties what they are. No matter how many times I’ve done that trip, that descent and circling of London City, in holding pattern waiting to land near Hounslow. Hounslow Heath, one row of cottages – Heath Row. Gave what became London’s main airport, its name.