Thursday, February 4

A Poem for Thursday.



A Poem for Thursday
Today at the writers' workshop the prompt was from Shauna. She gave each of us some pages with interesting lists, to make us think about our lives and the people associated with us at various stages of it.
Time Line..............I choose 10 - 15. ...it was the 50s, it was Co Down, and all was well in my world.

Before the Fall
Time was endless, friends were many.
Vicky and Sandy, and I was Gerry.
We laughed a lot, linked arms and talked
About boys we fancied and those we stalked.
A caravan was where we gathered 
Under the stars at Ballyferris
Our bare feet kicking the silver sand.
Where time was endless, nothing planned.
"There's  Cassiopeia and there's the Plough".
"Oh your luck's in, there's a shooting star!"
We raced down maran covered dunes
And harmonised on Western tunes.
And miles away on the far horizon
Were ships bound for ports in the land of England.
We seldom thought of our futures then,
But time and tide don't wait for man.
They pass unseen and never waver
Then gather up all in their net without favour.
And I daren't go back to that holy place
Where time stood still. A time when space
And mercy was real, before the fall
That enveloped and overwhelmed us all.

Sunday, January 10

Chalk Paint

It's been a long time coming, but at last, at last,  we have redecorated the dining room.
I say we...you who know me will realise that the royal "We" usually means ..The Potter!.
But I did my bit by keeping up the supply of coffee and tea and making soup for lunch from the stock saved from the holiday meats and bones. Never, ever did a carcass get thrown out at the Ormeau Road home in Belfast while I was growing up. Bones and giblets, onion and carrots, rice or barley and the homely smell of stock simmering on a low gas!...ahhh! .
...Anyway the walls are now a soft grey, the ceiling white and the wooden staircase wall white as well. Things have yet to go back in place, but it's starting to regain a life of its own again .
For a while it had become a dumping ground...the table always full of items crying for attention .......or not!
 I also did my duty and went to IKEA! Obviously, I bought a box of candles....does anyone ever go to IKEA and not buy candles? I bought new cushion covers in glorious shades of grey...very tasteful I'm told ..a sort of zebra rug thingy to put under the table...to warm our feet...the room is not the warmest spot in the house.
 Oh and three little sheepskin rugs to cover the seats of the wooden chairs. That idea I saw in one of the blogs I follow " Lisas Hus "....http://lisashus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/ett-vackert-julslut.html....brilliant...so now there will be warm feet and warm derrières.
I'd bought some chalk paints about a year ago when I first mentioned the redesign of the room to the potter and there they sat all year, clogging up the kitchen surfaces. But today, was the day to bite the bullet and brighten up the old wooden chairs.
We used to be antique dealers. Hmmm....what have we not been I ask myself!...and to paint a windsor chair was tantamount to betraying one's country....treason!
What rubbish...I plonked it on the studio table and got the job done...love it. Another two to do tomorrow and the job's a goodun...as they say around here.


Thursday, January 7

Writer's Workshop Warrington


My prompt today was a photograph taken out of a weekend magazine and one of many offered by Margaret K.


...and this was the result...
"Hopes and Dreams"
I might go to China this year.
Go and see the great wall of China.
I'm told that one of mum's relatives walked it in the 1800s.
She was a sturdy woman called Isabelle.
Isabelles are sturdy I think.
Maybe that's why one of the grandgirls is so feisty ....well part of the reason!
I tell her that the Queen of Spain was an Isabelle, Isabella actually to be correct.
So, a lot to live up to there, not that she is'nt quite capable enough.
She'll probably end up leading some political party in the future, then walking the length of the Wall of China before becoming the next Queen Isabelle of Spain.
The other Isabelle waas Scottish.
That says it all really
Determined, sturdy, feisty....all my Scottish female relatives in a nutshell.
So...China this year?
Sooner pigs might fly.

There was a lottery rollover yesterday.
I hear it was the largest ever...£50m!
I said, what a responsibility if you win.
The daughter said, I think I could find ways of using it.
We bought tickets and had a meal together while we waited for the result.
We had game pie made by another grandgirl.
She put the rest of the goose and duck from the freezer into a bechamel sauce in a dish and slapped a nice golden crust on the top.
Great girl.
I tell her she's a queen too.
Esther
The one who took a year out in finishing school before she wooed King Xerxes with her beauty.
Of course I don't think that they had anything like the Great British Bake Off then,
Or even the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
That's Esther's motivation at the moment.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Cooking Badge.
Anyway we benefit from all that.
So all good there then,.
I heard nothing back from the daughter.
So I don't think we won the £50m.
Haven't seen any pigs flying either today.

I've stopped looking in the mirror much these days.
There's something happening with my face.
The skin has acquired a lot of unnecessary lines.
They started around my eyes a few years ago.
I bought the right skin cream.
The advert said that it stopped any aging which might occur....completely.
It promised a peach soft glowing complexion.
I followed the instructions for years.
Not one to give in at the first sign of failure. 
My mouth area was next to "line up".
Someone said that the top lip gets thinnner as you get older, they were right...
 ..noone said it disappears altogether. 
And what's that trick that lipstick plays.
A creeping red line from the lips to the nose?
Nasty.
Anyway, I think they were lying, that company selling the face cream.
So I just stopped looking in the mirror.
It lies too.
Peach soft skin?
Pigs might fly!

Friday, December 4

Blogging, followers and friends!!


I've been posting blogs since March 2010...I can hardly believe that!
 But in all that time I've not personally met a single blogger friend. Well all that has changed! 
The timing was exact...the place was right ...the conversation started...and lo and behold...someone who actually had read my posts...finding them on the sidebar list of the wonderful Pen Wilcox. Stunned ..we both were.
I was standing by the Pithoi pots at The Beetham Garden Centre near Milnthorpe in Lancashire when as I was ringing the rims to make sure that the pot was whole..as.any little crack or flaw will not give a bell-like sound. (This I know from the potter himself!...he had rung one or two before going off to buy a pot for our Christmas present to one another.)


It's big!...some in the Tuesday evening ceramic group that he teaches wondered why he didn't make it himself...well...it's bigger than the kiln for a start! And pithoi from Crete are famous for their shapes and traditional decoration.
So now I'm a follower on "woolywanderer" on Instagram...I'm G Snape there.."Documenting the Mundane" by the way. And also a follower on multicolouredmadness.blogspot.com .

We hugged with laughter and tears and hugged again...two grown women who had never met but had so much in common! 
Well that's blogging for you. You wait five years and along comes a follower and then a friend. We shall plan to meet up again I'm sure of that as we both have homes around that glorious Bay I talk about so much.


Thankyou Blogspot...thankyou daughter amelieshouse.blogspot.co.uk for getting me started...thankyou senior grandgirl troase.blogspot.co.uk for encouraging and quietly showing me techie things!!

Monday, November 16

A Poem for Thursday..."Just Desserts"


The prompt on Thursday morning was...."Desserts"...but with out fail everyone of us thought of "Just desserts". So the stories were rich with comeuppances!!
I decided to go for lists. We had been encouraged at the last workshop at Aldeburgh to think along this line...so this is what arrived.



...it applies to whatever you do....

Tuesday, November 10






We made our now annual expedition to The Aldeburgh Poetry Festival this weekend just gone. It's held mainly in the village of Snape at The Snape Maltings...very apt for the potter and wife!
Our association with this part of Suffolk goes back to the years of the teenage children. But the festival..only the last three years. The potter has some ceramics in the Gallery there and also in The Buckenham Gallery in Southwold ...so there's a double reason to take the six hour trip from here in the north west to East Anglia. And a further reason as the oldest grandgirl is now at UEA  in her second year and getting more political by the moment!!
But the festival was just great this year. I love the different approaches. The "academic"...the "comedic"...the "ex-punk"...the "rock-star"...the "rap poet"....and the madness of the open-mike late night session!!
Each year I've made the effort to get to as many sessions as I have energy....and these poets are a sample of those I heard speak this time.
Attila The Stockbroker, Gerry Loose, Kei Miller, Helen Mort, Jeremy Reed, Valerie Rouzeau, Pedro Serrano, Susan Wicks, Jane Duran, Peter Sansom and Jeni Smith.
From the workshops to the Q&A sessions the talks and the readings, it's a feast of words and emotions.
  Now I will have to have a go at putting it all into practice....
I plucked up enough courage to have a go at the open mike session in The Plough and Sail at Snape on the Saturday evening.....this was my contribution!




...hands shaking by the time I had finished!!...

Sunday, September 27

Room 101

Thursday...and it's writer's workshop and the prompt is...
Room 101
We're to choose three things/ people/ situations we would like banned forever and thrown into that fearful room that Orwell wrote so graphically about!

Oh dear! What to put in? I'm thinking that there is so much to be dumped at the moment, that I'm not sure where to start.
Well let's see.I could start with the Syrian situation.That doesn't mean that I want to dump any people in that room.No no never. But the situation that has initiated the whole shebang. I read this week that the real reason has nothing whatsoever to do with bombs and fighting. No no. The real reason apparantly is ...the escalation of global warming. Yes.  Syria's fields have dried up. Parched. Dry. no rain falls.
We should have been thinking about that some decades ago. People need food. People need water.  Even the Pope himself got in on the act this week in Washington. I heard him say it this morning on the early news in his wonderful hesitant English. Too late though for the Syrians or others in that desperate situation as well.The only thing to do is put the war and all the trouble into room 101.

And talking about global warming and how to counteract the consequences, I heard the head of Greenpeace say...also on the early news..he's all for technologies.Well good. We need all the help we can get. Need to go forward with up-to-date technology. So..that means solar energy. They say that the north African deserts alone, fitted up with solar energy farms could produce enough energy to light up the whole world.
But wind farms? Oh dear I feel I could get into trouble here. I would put most of them into that scary room.We were travelling last week through the hills and valleys of our lovely northern countryside, when... bang... wallop.. on the top of a magnificent mountain...a row of white giants! And do you know I've heard that if the wind is too strong or if the wind is non existant...well they don't even work!

Think I'd better move swiftly on!...as I know this is a very emotive subject...not that it could be any more emotive than a drought in Syria and the people in power deciding who gets the water and who doesn't.
Anyway I'm think now about the third lot to go in the room. I'm sure that we all want litter louts and those owners who leave their doggy parcels halfway across the pavement, put into the room...
But I want to put in all of those drivers who think that their cars will be safer if they park them up on the pavement. Especially in narrow suburban streets. No room left for babes in prams. So on to the busy road they must be pushed. Must take a chance and dice with death as the drivers whizz past them, inches away from the pram wheels. Not that my grand daughter does that. No no!. She doesn't go out on to the road in her motorised wheelchair. Her policy is if there's not enough room between the wall or hedge and the passenger door of the parked car......just to plough on...!! Oh I hear you say, what if she scrapes the side of the car? Well the answer to that is...it gets scraped! The family worked that policy out over 19 years of frustration.

I think we could say...so did the Syrian people. Frustration boils over in drastic situations and the consequences are not always pretty. We've seen that on our screens recently. It takes years to end up in certain scenarios and years more to come to terms with new situations...if ever.