Autumn:

November 5, 2014

Chrysanth

It’s Autumn or, if you live in some parts of the world, Fall. I have said elsewhere that I love the wonderful Chrysanthemum blooms that we can sometimes find in the florists’ emporia  at this time of year. I say sometimes because they are increasingly rare in these times of all year round carnations and freesias, not to mention roses, alstromeria and gerberas.

Tonight is our annual celebration of Bonfire or Guy Fawkes Night. In reality this is a celebration of an old fire festival called Samhain that has been transferred from the eve of November 1st, now overtaken by Hallowe’en shenanigans.

As kids we never had bonfires as we always seemed to live too close to farmyards and hay ricks but  Fireworks Night was always opened with a salvo of a “penny banger” and jumping jacks, neither of which are available today. A variety of explosive devices followed: Roman Candles, Golden Rain, Volcanoes, Traffic Lights and Catherine Wheels (a gruesome thought). Always we ended up with an expensive rocket. Sparklers always featured (which reminds me: I have forgotten to buy some this year).
Sometimes we were treated to Bonfire Toffee, a particularly hard and tooth breaking version of Treacle Toffee.

It seems to me that I recall these essentially fun filled times, for that was my father’s intention, being spoiled quite often by my mother’s comments. “There goes another half crown” or perhaps it was a shilling or even five shillings. Something of this ilk was always muttered, sotto voce, as my father, pyrotechnician in chief, sey off another device. Eventually the chief firework-lighter himself would blow up in his own inimitable and frightening way and bellow at us all.

One thing I wil say for him: I never heard any of the vile language one hears too often today. He did not need it.

In those post war days of posterity we  were content with what we had. We never dreamed of having any more but today it seems that fireworks have to be large enough to propel a wartime high explosive shell and make just as much noise thus frightening the local animal population out of their wits. Feeding the cats tonight is going to be difficult to say the least.

Mind you. I do love the spectacle.

Back again: For how long I do not know

November 3, 2014

A couple of people on Fb… suggested that I write down my anecdotes or write a blog…. so I’m tryingt o open up this one again so that they can find out why it’s not a good idea.

Observation

May 24, 2012

I have unlocke things just to say:

How interesting it is that so many of those who protest (undying?) friendship do not maintian contact once one withdraws from this means of communication.

Decision time…….

March 9, 2012

For some time  now I have been disatisfied with the “Blogo-Sphere”. Like the majority of users, I was seduced into it by my own vanity. That vanity having been massaged by some people.

I was happily oblivious of the existence of this sphere that seems to have been added to the already existing, bio, tropo, strato and other sphere’s surrounding our planet until I decided to search for the origins of a phrase my late granmother used: ‘Three jumps at the cupboard door’ was often her answer to the question, “What’s for dinner Grannie?”

The only reference I could find was by someone called Grannymar. I took to looking at her blog on  and off and even to commenting.

I found myself being asked why I didn’t blog? Something I would never have thought of before. I wrote peotry of dire quality in the past…in fact that has stopped since this Blogosphere adventure,,, but never anything to publish. I admit that at one time a young, happy clappy christian musician expressed a desire to put my words to music. I ran a mile.

In short. Like so many, my vanity got the better of me and I began to believe that I truly had things of import to say to people, to share. What nonsense.

I explored this sphere more and more and, as I became more familiar with itI found good people. I found truly clever people. I found nasty and vindictive people. I found that there were important people out there saying important things. I found hypocrites, racists and every type of personality you could think of, even would be terrorists.

I am reminded of something a Police Officer, whose sons I taught, said to me. This was back in the late 1970s and we were discussing police corruption (much in the news at the time), ” You must remember that a police force or any other group of public servants will reflect the society from which it is drawn.”

Well, I guess that is true of any group of people, including Bloggers.

Incidentally I liked and respected that police officer and his wife. They had been missionaries in Nepal and were very down to Earth. We became close acquaintances and our paths crossed several times in the course of my career and in the course of crime investigations down our road. The last I heard of this particular policeman was a press report that he had been found with  pictures of young boys on his computer. All sorts.

I have decided to withdraw from this particualr sphere of life. It is not for me.

I will not be any more specific. It is after all MY Blog.

Now, there have been some honest compliments paid to me in my time here and some genuinely meant friendly criticisms. So this is what I propose:

Should you wish to keep any of my writings, stories perhaps, then please let me know in the next week. Obviously, copyright exists in my “work”.
Once I have acknowledged this wish you can then copy and paste to elsewhere. This does not apply to Pictures and photgraphs as some of these are not my copyright.

Equally, if you wish to save some of your comments then please copy and paste them because I am assured by WordPress that when I finally switch off they will be permanently deleted.

There may well be some of your comments that I wish to keep for a while and I promise that I f I do I will not use them with out permission and I will remain aware of any copy rights……. and believe me ther are some priceless comments out there. If of course you do not wish me to keep copies of your comments please let me know.

Any one who seriously wishes to remain in touch with me can do so by email, or even good old steam telephone landline and pen and paper.

Time frame? Today is Friday 9th March 2012 so , all other things being equal,…like mother in law’s health, a week should suffice.

Here is a double offering.

I just could not decide between the almost laconic Leon or the swinging Billie so I offer you both.
I once shared a versionof this with an ex girlfriend when we met after a couple of years….we laughed and parted friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ReQSCi24S8                     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ReQSCi24S8

“Here’s a kiss! I hope that this brings lots of luck to you.

Makes no difference how I carry on,
Remember, please don’t talk about me when I’m gone.”

Yes, some quotations say things in a much better manner than we can ourselves.

I want to swear…

March 7, 2012

Never have I felt more like swearing . Well, certainly not for a long time.

My reaction to comments on a previous post I used my usual search engine to research “the need for religion”.
The first word I saw on the results list was Auschwitz.

I did not even look at the article (though I suspect that it quotes Viktor Frankl) My  immediate thought was “Where does that and other attrocities fit with Conrad’s behavioural explanation?”

What is the  B****** difference between that and the destruction of  other species? Of course, we know the answer don’t we? The Nazis considered Jews and Gipsies as less than men…aka animals. As their tool they used the wilful blindness present within a group to carry out their wishes. The same at Srebrenica and in Ruanda.The same in the killing fields of Cambodia.

I remember my son sitting watching an historical documentary about the Holocaust and commenting, “This is part of what makes us human.” (OWTTE)  It must have been around the time of the Srebrenica massacre. How right he was.

No doubt these attrocities against humans can be explained on behavioural grounds…in fact they can be. They can even be understood but that does not mean thay are to be excused nor does it mean that there is anything “right” about them.

The nazis took dominion over the lives of millions, so did the Hutus over the Tutsis, so did General Ratko Mladić over the Bosniaks.

So do all we humans over “the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”
And we exercise that dominion callously, with no thought to the consequences of what we do. And many humans use scripture and religious teaching as an excuse.

Religious teaching political teaching….whatever the creed it does not make it right.

I hold no torch for animal rights groups but give me their, sometimes twisted,  honesty over the religious caucus that hide behind “scripture” and “holy” books any day.

Me? Yes I eat meat and drink milk. I try my damndest not to consume over exploitative foodstuffs but I’m by no means a completely green person. Not in any sense of the word.

Badgers….

March 7, 2012

I like badgers. They are strong, goodlooking, will eat almost anything you offer them, they wisely stay in during the day and ususally only come out at night and their hair makes wonderful brushes. In literature Brock has some wonderful roles.

Unfortunately Old Brock has come into conflict with Old Homo and his farming activities. He has become the object of blame in the saga of bovine Tuberculosis (TB). Dairy farmers in the UK blame the badger population for the presence of bovine TB in their herds. The badger being cited as carriers. I remember birds, particularly starlings , being blamed for the spread of TB from herd to herd.

When I was child my father worked as a cowman, milking herds of guernsey cows. Our milk was unpasteurised, and all the better for it, and when bottled on the farm for sale was labelled T T . A “soubriquet” that caused me some amusement as I could not see how milk could be “Tourist Trophy”.  T T stood for Tuberculin Tested. Our milk was regularly tested for the the Mycobacterium tuberculosis that causes T B.

In humans TB is passed from person to person by droplet infection. One assumes that this is so with Badgers and cows.  Apparently one needs to be in contact with another infected person for something like eighthours to become infected. I cannot imagine badgers spending that long in contact with a cow or cows and thus passing on the infection. However, cows do spend those sorts of amounts of time in contact with each other (and even more so with modern methods of intensive milk production)

Today I received the accompanying cartoon on Facebook  and repost it here with full acknowledgement to Andrew Birch ,the artist, and in the hope that he will appreciate my motives:

Of course we mayy have dominion over the cows and badgers but we also have a moral repsonsibility to them. Our ingenutiy has given rise to a problem, increased occurence of T B In our dairy herds, and it seems that our dominion over nature allows  us a scapegoat, however poor the evidence.


I looked through the list:

March 3, 2012

I looked through the list of my posts today. I was looking for a story that I was sure that I had posted and could not find it. If it is there it exists under a title that I do not recognise. What I did find was a swarm of posts with the legend Draft appended to them…. pieces that I had started off to write and which were never completed or posted. Some were completed and then pushed aside for future consideration. These were full of the vitriol I oft-times feel for my fellow humans and yet realised that if I published them would be at worst ignored at best dismissed by some readers with little thought as to the ideas or feelings behind them:

********************************************************

As she entered the small town square it seemed that the populace looked up in unison, on some unseen unheard signal. On seeing the old woman the market traders started to pack up their stalls, parents ushered their children and even their dogs into their houses and shuttered the windows and doors. Even those masters of independence, the cats, were scooped up and taken indoors. The town square was, as if by some invisible broom, swept clean, was empty of towns people

She sighed and started on the inevitably fruitless search for a morsel to eat. Next came the equally fruitless knocking on doors and pleading for a bite to eat.

Nothing.

Behind a door a baby’s cry was stifled by  a parental hand.

As she approached the well for a drink she saw that it too was inaccessible to her by dint of a huge timber cover locked and chained in place. With a sigh the old woman settled at the foot of the large tree that offered shade at the far end of the square.

Time passed and no-one stirred. Suddenly the woman caught sight of a dust cloud in the distance beyong the gate of the town. As she watched it grew larger and eventually she could make out the figure of a handsome young man. The cloud was caused by his enormous, richly embroidered cloak trailing behind him.

As if on a new signal there was a flurry of activity as doors and windows were unbarred and children ran excitedly into the previously deserted square. market stalls were set up and even the dogs appeared to be excited.

The handsome young man strode into the town square and held his arms spread out in front of him. Children crowded around him and half dragged half guided him to a stool that had been set out near the tree.

The woman gazed in wonder as a carpet was spread at the young man’s feet and in no time atall became  covered with fruit and cakes, bread and bowls of spiced meat.

The children sat at the edges of the carpet and their parents stood behind. A large dish of water was drawn from the well and handed to the young man. He first drank and then washed his hands and face in the cool liquid. A skin of wine appeared and he drank a draught.

The young man spoke.

He told stories and sang songs. He recited poems and rhymes. Every story, song and rhyme was greeted with applause, laughter, smiles even tears from time to time.

After an hour or so the storyteller stood and moved the stool nearer to the tree where the old woman sat and started to feast of the gifts that had been given him.

Suddenly the young man seemed to notice the old woman watching him and proffered a loaf of bread and a a cup of wine. The old woman smiled her thanks and he smiled back as  she ate and drank.

“Tell me who are you? And why are you so popular?” the woman ventured after being pressed to eat some ripe figs.

“My name is Story,” the young man replied,” and I am indeed lucky for no matter where I go in this great world of ours the people always welcome a good story. Tell me who are you?”

The woman paused and sighed,” MY name is Truth and I am afraid that those same people that love your stories do not like Truth. They say that Truth hurts. They are scared. No one really wants to hear the truth.”

The young man nodded and smiled at the woman. He stood up stretched and started to gather together what remained of the gifts given him earlier.

He paused and looking down at the woman said, “You know, I very rarely go without. Indeed I often have enought to provison an army it seems. Why don’t we share and travel the  world together? When we approach a town, a city or a village then you can hide under my cloak. I would be glad of your company upon my way.”

And this is what they did. Story and Truth. Truth and Story

Still, today, you will find, where ever a good Story is told, Truth is not far behind.

***************************************

I cannot remember when or from whom I first heard this story but for the last ten years or so of my career I  made sure that this was the first story that I told to any new class or group that I taught. I have told it to children as young as five, changing the woman’s name to Lesson, and to groups of adults of all ages. Among the latter I have been asked permission to re tell the story.
If, perchance,  anyone reading it here knows the author or where the story originates, please let me know.

Please also tell the story, in your own way of course.

And try to consider the truth (or lesson) within this story itself: You do not like the truth, do you?

the FIshes of the Sea……

March 2, 2012

Genesis 1:26 ” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,” and Genesis 1: 28″ And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” are two of the most frightening verses in the whole of Hebrew and thus Christian scripture.

Why frightening? Simply because they illustrate the arrogance of human kind and in that arrogance provide excuses for the destruction that we have wrought and continue to wreak upon this planet of ours.

Later (in Genesis 9) this supposed God is purported to have said (to Noah )” And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. ” How ture might this be seen to be if only we could, like Dr Dolittle, talk to the animals.

Throughout these Scriptures the biblical writers appear to seek to justify mankind’s supposed superiority by references to our supposed dominion over other forms of life. Psalm 8 makes reference to this “dominion”. Oh yes, I know that this particular Psalm suggests that mankind is a little lower than angels. Just a little lower. perhaps because it is needful to keep the non-preistly (or kingly) minions from becoming too big for their boots…err sandals.

I rather like James 3;3. In this passage the author references such things as Horses with bits in their mouths and the rudders on ships. Later he goes on to say, ” For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind, ” Some how he is tryingto make the point that the tongue, “a little member”, causes a great deal of damage.

Is it an irony that those early references to mankind’s dominion are actually very damaging products of that “little member”? Given, that is, the oral sources of these arrogant scriptural tellings.

As a child I always wondered how man (as it was told to me then) could have dominion over “the fishes of the sea”. Understanding dominion as the power or right of governing and controlling. I could never understand how we could govern or control fishes, or almost any living creature for that matter> it was only much later that I saw and understood that htis was in fact an attempt to put humankind at the head f all living things and that this would be used to excuse so much destructive behaviour towards our planet.

LBC Post…for others writings on the topic go to: Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, The Old Fossil, Will Knott, Grannymar,

Just how small and insignificant we ALL are……

February 23, 2012

See the moon up there?

 

At last! I can see again ……

February 18, 2012

A few days ago I broke a springy,  titanium arm on my spectacles and had to leave them for repair at the Opticians. It was a painful experience, being without said optical correctors. I developed a constant dull headache. Certainly not my idea of fun.
It is little wonder that I forgot that I was due to type a post yesterday afternoon. I had to use a pair of  “drug store” spectacles to do any reading and found myself preoccupied with that struggle. The drug store specs do not correct my astigmatism which mean that at times I would suffer from a queasy tummy, not unlike motion sickness.
Well, you poor things, I am back and typing away as badly as ever. I really should post a completely uncorrected piece for you. Then you might be able to forgive my erratic grammar.

Nooo… not my erotic grandma.

That is, of course, an example of one of my ideas of fun. I love a jolly good pun. I think that I love a jolly bad pun even more. Why? The very thought of the look that passes across your face, dear reader, when you finally understand exactly what I have written or said amuses me.

I wonder , does paronomasia beget paranoia?

More thoughts about Others’ ideas of Fun? follow a link… Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, The Old Fossil, Will Knott, Grannymar,


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