Showing posts from August, 2011

Reasons why taggers will be looking a bit more carefully in future

Did you see the news story about the guy who was electronically tagged as a punishment but managed to dupe the men who tagged him into fixing it onto his prosthetic leg?  When they'd gone, he just unscrewed the leg and went out. I wrote a poem about it on Poetry 24.  I love the Poetry 24 website, because it provides angles on the news you wouldn't necessarily think about, and also it gives lazy, good-for-nothing poets like me an impetus to get writing.  Can we get Poetry 24 up to 100 followers?  I think it's on 95 and I reckon round numbers are so much more satisfying. Here's the link to the website and the poem - Rob got home from the pub to find that his mum had sold his prosthetic on e-bay to an unusual customer.

Reasons for and against adopting Dracula's nocturnal lifestyle

I'm just doing a re-read of Dracula  ready for going back to school next week (sob ..) and, I have to say, I find his 'sleep in the daytime, stay awake at night' lifestyle intriguing. (And, another thing, I'm loving the absence of mirrors - I mean, I like this man's think ing!) Anyhow, I've been considering whether to adopt his nocturnal habit, and it's meant going through some of the pros and cons. 1. I wouldn't be able to shop for clothes in Britain because the High Streets would be closed, so I could phone fashionable stores in Japan or China to see if they had the jeans I'd just seen online..... BUT I'd have to be prepared either to lose half my body weight or wear the jeans only on my feet and have the rest flapping along behind me. 2. I would have to give up teaching as a career ('Hi, I've rung about the English teacher post ... oh, you mean, it's in the daytime?.... it never said on the ad ..... oh well, never MIND! *

Evidence that parents can sometimes bring in the monster threats a little too early

A short play based on real events. Setting: Shoe shop, Warwickshire. Time: Daytime, 10am. Cast: Mother of lively 3 year old. 3 year old. Two shop assistants (non-speaking parts) Drop-dead gorgeous, deliciously-curvy 49 year old blogger looking at shoes on sale rack (non-speaking part) Scene 1 3 year old:   Wanna go outside.  [Runs outside.] Mother:        No, don't go outside.  I've told you to stay in here with me.  Come BACK. 3 year old:   [comes back]  Wanna go outSIDE. Mother:       I said, stay in here. 3 year old:   Wanna go outSIDE. [Runs outside.] Mother:        I said, come here.  Anyway, there's a MONSTER out there. 3 year old:   [comes back in] No, there isn't. Mother:       Yes, there is, and he'll eat you up.  Now stay here. Scene 2 (30 seconds later) 3 year old:   [runs off upstairs to another part of shop] Mother:       Come back HERE. 3 year old:   [shouts]  Wanna stay up stairs. Mother:       I said, come BACK.  Anyway,

Evidence that I am at war with Nature, news that will surprise no one

I am having big trouble with insects. 1. Insects in my drinks Sunday.  In the garden with husband and friends. A wasp dive-bombs into my non-alcoholic lager shandy made with diet lemonade.  Now, there's a wasp with an identity problem, or it hadn't worked very hard in its GCSE classes on 'Recognising Sugary Drinks'.  I'm thinking: 'I'll just give it a few seconds, because as soon as it realises, it'll make its way out again, and I can have my drink back.'  But, no.  It stays in there, and we all watch as its little black and yellow butt waggles up and down while it slurps my drink with undignified enjoyment.  It's all most entertaining, especially for everyone else who doesn't have wasps in their drinks.  In the end I scoop it out with a teaspoon and lay it on the patio in a mini-puddle of shandy from which it struggles into position, then flies off damply in a completely straight line, unlike all its less dense compatriots who are weavin

Evidence that my enthusiastic attitude towards activity is as yet undiminished

Four questions I posed while holidaying in the Lake District last week. 1. Why do people very keen on walking make it harder for themselves by going to a mountainous area to do so?  Why not walk in East Anglia where it's on the flat?  I don't get it. 'Look, I agree with Fran.  I've got more blisters than a 36 pack of aspirin. Next year it's East Anglia or you're on your own, sunshine.' 2. Is six pieces of Grasmere gingerbread in one day excessive consumption? Fran agreed that making TWO pieces of gingerbread look like ONE  was a great help with the guilt. 3. If you take a bus up to the top of a steep hill, is it duplicitous to pretend to wipe sweat off your brow when people walk past? If only those walking past knew that she'd only just got off the 43 from Grasmere and that the rucksack was crammed with gingerbread. 4. Does 'looking out of the holiday cottage's window at least once per chapter' constitute

Evidence that I have a new career as reporter of royal news

 Just in case you hadn't    heard the news about the Kate and William split  , follow the link to have a look at my poem on the Poetry 24 website and get yourself in the loop.

New and world-shattering evidence which proves that Wordsworth wrote many of his poems while wearing a kimono

'Hi.  Can I have a ticket to see round William Wordsworth's house, please?  We're staying nearby in Grasmere and I particularly came to the area so I could see his house and garden.' 'Yes, of course.  That will be £7.50.  That includes a guided tour around his house, Dove Cottage, entrance to the Wordsworth museum and also entrance to the Japanese Calligraphy exhibition we are running at the moment.' 'Japanese Calligraphy exhibition?' 'That's right.' 'As part of a Wordsworth tour?' 'Yes.  It's running throughout the summer.' 'That's strange.  I must have missed all the references to Wordsworth's deep interest in Japan when I read his poems and journals.  And, silly me, I forgot that one of the overriding concerns of the Romantic poets was Japanese handwriting in all its forms.  Now I think about it, it's obvious.  When he wrote 'I wandered lonely as a cloud/that floats on high o'er va

Reasons why not to read 'The Slap'

Am just logging in from a library in Ambleside, Cumbria, to say that I agree with the negative comments about 'The Slap' which followers left on the last post.  Yes, it was an interesting story (eg what would happen if you slapped someone else's child?)  But the characters are horrible and self-absorbed and immoral and you don't feel any sympathy for them.  And it seems as though the author thinks every now and again, 'Aha, at least 3 pages without any steamy sex.  I must put some in, and the cruder the better.'  And as if he thinks, every now and again, 'Aha, at least 3 lines and no one has said the 'c' word.  I must rectify this immediately.' I apologise if you bought it on my early recommendation.  Big time. More about Cumbria soon .... the gingerbread ... the rain ... the gingerbread ... the rain ... the gingerbread ... the rain ...

Reasons why I am going quiet for a week. STOP CELEBRATING, YOU MEANO.

Tomorrow I'm travelling oop North to the Lake District - more specifically, Grasmere - and I'm staying for a week.  For those of you not British, the Lake District is a district of England.  With lakes.  Here's a bit of it. Grasmere Lake. Why are you going there, I hear those of you ask who know VERY WELL what a pagan I am when it comes to Nature, Nice Scenery and Putting One Foot in Front of the Other. I'm going because, in Grasmere, there is a shop selling gingerbread to die for  William Wordsworth's home, a place of deep literary value which I must visit.  So I have persuaded The Husband that it is of the utmost importance that we stay in a holiday apartment ten minutes from the gingerbread shop Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth's home. (Or should I say 'ex' home, as Willie-boy is of course very dead and therefore busy DEcomposing.) The first thing I am going to do when we get there tomorrow is to find out what the opening hours of the

Evidence that I am not always trivial and flippant (should you, of course, NEED such evidence ...)

My short poem about the inconsistencies of our world, posted on the fabulous Poetry 24 'news-in-poetry' website today.

Reasons for keeping a wet cloth with you at all times

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, said someone in the Old Testament. I looked this statement up in a newer translation of the Bible and it roughly translates as this: 'Serves you right, loser, for buying lip plumper lipgloss and thinking it would make you look like you had inside out lips worthy of any giant fish with an allergy issue when all it did was shine up your Thin Lips for everyone to see more clearly.  Serves you right for thinking you could get away with keeping the lip gloss in your handbag without realising that unless you put the lid on really tightly it would leak its glutinous fluid so that every time you pulled it out of your bag in public, there would be a spare panty pad sticking to it.   Serves you right for not realising that as well as displaying your spare panty pad to the world, it would also at various times stick itself to your a) mini sewing kit, b) packet of tissues and c) Cafe Nero loyalty card, making all your friends and family wonder why you c

Reasons why tomorrow I will be avoiding butterflies, washing up, Robert Carlyle and daytime TV

I learned some lessons today.  Here is some advice for you.  Learn from my mistakes, peoples. 1.  When you are sitting in the garden having your morning coffee in the sunshine, do not get complacent just because you are not alarmed by the sight of a bumble bee so big that it would substitute for a chicken on a Sunday and feed a family of four.  Do not pride yourself on thinking, 'Some might be afraid of bees.  Not me.  I know they will do me no harm.'  Why?  Because the bee may not bother you, no, but you are soon going to look very stupid indeed during your 'I am not afraid of nature' moment as an innocent yellow butterfly suddenly flutters into your face and makes you squeal and spill hot coffee on your legs. 'I'll just sit on this leaf here while she's congratulating herself on her  lack of bee-fear, then I'll divebomb her face.  Mwa ha ha.' 2. When you are sitting in front of your laptop after your morning coffee thinking, 'I'l