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Sunday, 29 October 2017

THINKING HAT, ELIZABETH THE FIRST AND SHAKESPEARE


Let’s see, what can I post today? "Errr ! . . Umm ! . . Errr !"


At times such as these I seek my thinking hat, my friend and inspiration.

Do I remind you of a deep thinking Plato? . . . . or perhaps a Socrates?  Definitely so, and certainly from the same stable, do you not think?

Don't be fooled by that rather gormless and vacant external expression, for inside that hat there is a positive powerhouse of activity and imagination, awaiting just a flicker of inspiration to spark and unleash my next literary tsunami.

Can you detect those powerful electrical impulses, jumping from dendrite to dendrite, dendron to dendron ~ and initiating the birth of creativity, with thoughts leaping from left cerebral hemisphere to right, at the speed of light? For this thinking hat has magical properties ~ it has got me out of the mire of inactivity and writer’s block on many occasions, and is powerful, rather like its cousin, the sorting hat of Harry Potter fame.

But do I feel a subject brewing? Not yet!! But wait!! Tarry a while ~ something is stirring, and fast!!!  I see a vision, not of this age, but very clear and real, as if it was.

We are being transported back in time, I can feel it ~ time is rushing backwards ever so quickly ~ 400 years to an age we studied whilst at school ~ the age of Elizabeth and Shakespeare, where language was more picturesque and words flowed as if by the pen of the mighty Bard himself, if a tad less so by Francis Bacon.

I imagined what life and everyday conversation might be like, thinking and speaking in pseudo-Shakespearean. So tarry a while good friends for all will be clear as thought cometh at this very hour, nay at this very minute! Nay, I am not bonkers for I relive a scene experienced in my present, but relived as if in yesteryear. It was the funeral reception of my good friend Nora, wife of Denis, when I met their charming grand daughter.
"Good morrow, fine Lady Leanne, ye are a maiden of such beauty, the like I have not set eyes upon this very week, nay not even this very year. Tell me good Lady I pray, how can it be that one so fair as ye can spring from the loins of that plain and ordinary father I know so well. It is a puzzle to exercise a mind indeed?"

I was amazed when she replied, "I thank ye good Sir for your words so generous and for those compliments so rare to my person - my eyelashes so long and finely manicured do but flutter in the wind - come sup with me fine Sir and together we shall have a merry conversation with words so free and plenty. Come, you may embrace me on my cheek but naught else methinks, and then perchance, let us sit and sup ale together and converse of joyful things!"

Wonderful . . .  If any young lad is looking in and wondering how to talk to ladies, try it in Shakespearean, they like something a little different. They get so bored being hit on all day long with the same old crap, time and time again!! So be different and you can say anything in this lingo and will not get your face slapped, I promise. She will see in you a man of class and you will pass all her tests.

I did wonder how on Earth William kept it up, writing glorious verses, line after line, play after play, year after year? Obviously it is a measure of his genius and we know there now is an enormous following. Yet he was popular even during his own day, wasn't he?

I wondered whether they all talked like that in the Elizabethan era, 400 years ago, or was it just William who did?  Surely not!  OK he may have been a little more verbose than the others and obviously knew how to hatch and develop a plot or two, and to craft a canny story, but he would hardly go home from work and say to Anne Hathaway, "Thank goodness I'm home, luv, where’s me tea, and now I can relax and let me hair down and talk proper for a change".

Nay, it must have been the language of the day, so I wondered how Queen Elizabeth might have spoken to someone with whom she was most displeased. Perhaps, "Pray good Sir, thou hast grieved me to the very core and before this very day is gone I shalt have thy head! Come, guards, escort this vile and evil man to my Tower and let the rack regurgitate his secrets and strip him of his bowels!"

The poor individual might plead his case by saying, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much, my liege, hell indeed hath no fury like a woman’s scorn! . . . but prithee show thy mercy upon thy lowly subject, Ma’am!”

“Enough and begone, good Sir! For I hath made my judgement and this lady’s not for turning, not on this day, nor for the morrow, nay, nor for any other day, savy!!”

Gosh, she was so intransigent, wasn't she?  No wonder no-one dared propose marriage to her. She would have eaten them alive, just like a black widow spider.

But were they not so polite with all their 'Good Sirs' and 'Good Ladies'?  Even when they were extremely annoyed, or were about to torture, kill or murder someone, or chop off their heads. We are not nearly as polite today - shame on us.

The executioner might have spoken, "Good Sir! My sharpened axe is thirsty for thy blood and at that appointed hour it will fall like falcon from the sky and sever that vile receptacle which houseth thy brains and thoughts from thy lifeless body. Aloft shall thy head be held and dripping blood, whilst from thy body jets of blood will spurt into the very air to drench us."

Imagine that poor chap waiting with his head on the block, time advancing so agonisingly slowly, waiting, waiting, waiting for the axe to fall. He might say, "Prithee thee, good Sir to act with haste according to the wishes of my liege to make good speed with thy act so vile, for my knees do quake and smite one other in terror, and I am all of a dither and quiver ~ kindly make my future dark and blank with utmost speed, kind Sir."

“Nay good Sir, such is thy request and I wouldst of course deny it. For  I wouldst have my practice swing to smite and sever that scrawny neck in two with just a single blow, not two, nor three, for that wouldst insult my pride and I like my task well done. Hark, the watching crowd is thirsty for their pleasure, for they wouldst have their sport and merriment, and when this deed is done all would gasp with wonder should thine eyes blink when that bloody severed head is held up high!”  Gosh the poor man.

I looked up William on google and asked, "How many children did William Shakespeare have?" The answer was, "How the heck do I know!" Yet in another place I learned, three ~ not many for those days and I wondered why. I have a suggestion. The answer might lie in the language Bill used to Anne. For perhaps when the mood of love arose between them and was amplified by their overtures he might have concentrated a little too much on his words of love, thus hindering his natural progression and action. Consequently he might have said something like, "Good day, Lady Anne, prithee tarry a while in patience for I am not yet ready for the task that lies before me! Tarry a while and in due season watch mine manhood bloom and blossom like a rose before thy very eyes, ‘As You Like It!’"

Oh Bill, you've blown it! That's a passion killer if ever I've heard one. She'll start laughing and be no longer in the mood so you'll have to start all over again. 

She might remark, "Good husband, I do not mock thee but merely show my mirth, for I grant thee (Hathaway) with words but this day thou doth amount to almost nought, and to me thou art but as a little boy. Methinks we should postpone this pleasure 'til another day when thou art more generously equipped, thus more fitting to the task before you. But hark! methinks thoughts of inspiration ~ two titles for thy plays spring forth between my ears. So, my good husband, no longer wrestle with these conundrums for these titles be clear and likened to a cloudless sky, just like this day’s experience ~ 'Much Ado About Nothing' and 'A Comedy Of Errors'”


“Anne, thou art an inspiration to behold, of former matters I shalt return this hour on the morrow, but tarry with me no longer for words spring clearly in my mind and I must make utmost haste to regurgitate this genius ~ tarry no longer dearest wife, go put the kettle on.  'A pen - a pen my Kingdom for a pen', for I have Macbeth's soliloquy germinating in my brain and I wouldst make these words immortal, "Two truths are told as happy prologues to the swelling act of the Imperial theme . . . . . . " 
____________________________________________________

I posted this a number of years ago but recently reworked it and had some fun.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

A FISH OUT OF WATER

Hi Folks!

I have joined a creative writing group here in my home town and I thought I'd post my first piece. I was given this picture and asked to write something about it. So here goes:



A Fish Out Of Water



It is the boredom; the sheer monotony of my life,
Seemingly with no purpose ~ an existence only.
My whole being is condemned to randomness and no structure,
Devoid of anything except swimming aimlessly;
Round and round, up and down, down and up, then round the other way.
All this when confined within a small round glass prison full of water,
Changed once a week; an occasion when something different relieves my sanity.
This is my entire world, a planet explored in total in just a single hour.
All routes and combinations are etched into my tiny brain,
And I am not challenged with any thought, idea or dream.
My companions are silent, non communicating and ignorant of my presence.
There is no conversation or recognition or fellowship or any stimulation of any kind.
The monotony is unbearable and I must escape into whatever lies outside my universe.
A fish just in water is not good enough for me ~ I must break free
Or I shall lose what little I have of a mind.
I'll take a chance and become a fish out of water.
I'll settle the matter once and for all, whatever the outcome.
Even if probability dictates I shall not land in a pond.


__________________________

Pleased to say I've found my thinking hat.
Thought I'd lost it for a while . . . lol





Thursday, 7 September 2017

I'M SO SORRY TO INTERRUPT YOU

A highly amusing incident occurred yesterday.

I was looking after two year old Rosa, my grand daughter, as I will do so every Wednesday afternoon, in addition to a full day Tuesday. My daughter asked me to deliver a parcel to the mother of a friend for her grand daughter. The mother, a divorcee, lives closeby to me and so whilst out walking with Rosa, pushing her in her stroller, I knocked on her door.

A period of time elapsed before the mother, still looking quite young for a grand parent, opened the door, dressed in a dressing gown and bare footed, although it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Recognising me she apologised for not being suitably dressed to receive me and then her eyes moved over to Rosa and her heart melted, since she loves my daughter and Rosa, but has not seen them for a while.

She said she would dearly love to invite us inside but right now she has someone with her, and looked a little flushed.

I winked at her and said, "You are entertaining a gentleman friend, aren't you?"  and she said, "Er! well, yes!"

I said, "I am so sorry to interrupt!", and we both laughed so darned hard.

I said I had a parcel for her from my daughter for her son and fiancee for their daughter.

Quite a while had passed by now and she said she would love to see Rosa and myself and when would we be available. I said we are here every Wednesday afternoon and she proceeded to ask me for my telephone number, both land and mobile. Then she said she had better go and I apologised again for the interruption, remarking that this was the first time I had ever interrupted at such a crucial moment. Oh boy, she did laugh, and even more so when I continued, "I expect he is feeling rather deflated and you're no longer in the mood now, are you!! . . . the poor chap will have to start proceedings all over again!! Please extend my apologies to the gent!"

She was in absolute hysterics. . . . lol


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

PLEASE DON'T POOH ON MY LAWN

It's by no means unusual. It is a universal problem with pets fouling lawns, invariably someone else's, away from the house where they live.

I have a real problem in my back garden where a large black and white tom cat has made my lawn his own private and exclusive toilet. He is very territorial and does not tolerate any other cat around.

Don't get me wrong, I love pets, including dogs and cats, and I do realise that they have to go somewhere. I don't mind as much if it is on the garden borders, but the lawns are a little different where the grandchildren wish to play. 

Until recently I have managed to keep it clean but a while ago there were no fewer that 10 poohs in various stages of decomposition, and I must say that the poor animal appeared, according to his results, to have an ongoing abdominal issue . . . with pooh being the operative word.

I have not been able to photograph him because he scarpers as soon as the deed is done.

I have tried various deterrents, including this lion face which I drew on an old bird table with the help of Peter. I had high hopes of it being likened to the ultimate nuclear deterrent, but no such thing. Perhaps my lion looks a little anaemic.





We placed the face on the cat's usual walkway to the garden lawn and I was highly amused, when looking out of the kitchen window on day one, at his reaction when he saw the lion face. He looked at the lion and then at me looking at him with an expression on his face as if to say, "You will have to get up much earlier than that in the morning to get one over on me!!" . . lol. Then he proceeded to go right up to it fearlessly, knock it over and then to urinate on it, looking back with what I can only describe as a triumphant cat smirk.

We have tried all sorts of things to deter him including orange peel, which they are supposed to hate, lion's pooh which was about as successful as the lion face, and these metal cats with marble eyes, plus a sound repeller,





 None of them worked and all were treated with complete contempt . . . lol

The only thing that seems to help is to keep the grass short, which I try to do regularly.

I'll try again with my camera to get a shot of him.

____________________________________________________

There is a sequel to this story. My next door neighbour knocked on my door, asking if I had seen her next door, on the othe side, neighbour's cat, a black and white one?  
I said, "Oh! that must be the one which keeps fouling my law."
She said, "Me too! but the cat is very poorly and is 14 years old. Have you seen it recently because Mike hasn't? Could you let them know if you see it again?"
I said I could tell it was ill by it's revolting deposits.
Well I did think I saw it again but it seemed smaller, much trimmer and fitter and did not use my lawn as a lavatory, and just walked on by, also ignoring the lion face and various deterrents. 
So I rang the neighbour to say I had seen it and Jill said, "It cannot be our's because our's passed away after being run over by a car a few days ago ~ it must be another one!"

Shame, poor cat . . . but it is quite a coincidence that the one I saw is almost identical, yet a bit smaller.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

Peter 'pulled' in the park today with a delightful little girl called Stella.


I had taken my grandson, Peter, to the park this afternoon and he had a great time on the swings and slides.

I noticed he was forming a slight attachment with a little girl. She was having a bit of trouble climbing the steep steps to a slide and Peter, gentleman as he is, extended his hand, which she took, and pulled her up. She tried again to go it alone but again he came to her assistance, and in fact did so another 3 times, much to the amusement of her mother and me.

She was a little shy of him at first as he chased and played and I did wonder if his advances might be unwelcome but lo and behold after about half an hour it was Stella who was doing all the chasing and holding his hand as often as she was able . . lol.

When it was time to leave and say our goodbyes Stella cried and said she wanted to stay with Peter. Their car was parked in the opposite direction to where we were heading so she grabbed his hand and asked me if he could walk with her to their car.

"Come on Peter, come with me!"

He looks quite proud of his conquest, doesn't he?
"I remembered everything you said, Grampa!" lol


So away we went, with Stella and Peter hand in hand and her mother and I following, rather amused.

When we got to the car Stella started to cry again because it was time to say goodbye to Peter.

I asked her mother if they visited the park regularly and if she thought it would be nice for them to meet up again and she said it was a good idea, so I gave her my telephone number. The little girl's face lit up and Peter just took it all in his stride. I wonder if he was thinking that this sort of thing often leads to this . . . lol


Saturday, 10 June 2017

BRASS PLAQUE FOR TREE BENCH

When I was in Bristol recently I passed a shop specialising in all sorts of engraving and brasswork ~ most interesting and just my type of shop. I had been considering having a brass plaque made for the tree bench I recently made, which now is at the garden where my friends Sue, Fran and I meet every Wednesday.

Here again is the bench, after a number of coffees have been enjoyed over delightful and amusing conversation, during the past few weeks.



And today I fitted the plaques.



. . . a closer look:



I had to be careful of the wording because normally such an inscription on a bench occurs when a person has passed on. 

lol . . . all three of us being very much alive I avoided the words, "in memory of".

Sunday, 14 May 2017

PARROT JUST PIPPED AT THE POST FOR STAR OPERA ARIA

Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, has always been a favourite of mine, and one of my favourite arias is the well known and notioriously difficult to sing Queen Of The Night, when the Queen rather insistently orders her daughter, Pamina, to kill the high priest, Sarastro. The aria is full of high drama and tension, requiring the singer to utilise incredible vocal acrobatics, matched superbly by a parrot, as you will see.

I was very interested to see that during recent auditions for this star role, top operatic singer soprano Diana Damrau was faced with stiff competition by a parrot, as can be seen filmed by a secret camera man on location.

When asked why the parrot did not get the part a spokesman said that Ms Damrau won the part by her superior acting ability.

Judge for yourselves . . lol



If anyone would like to see the full human version, please be my guest.




Crumbs!!  "Hell hath no fury like a woman's scorn" . . . and . . "Methinks the lady doth protest too much!" . . . 

When asked to comment on why she did not get the part, the parrot said she should have practiced a bit harder. 




Rumour has it that Mozart was inspired to model the role on his rather eccentric and vocal mother-in-law, that is at least the flavour gleaned from the equally well know production, Amadeus. 

When children my mother used to wake us each morning with a "Wake Up, Get Up and Shut Up", followed by a breathtaking and dreadful  rendition of "Queen Of The Night". My father said she sounded like a dying duck in a thunderstorm . . lol