Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth


Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth!
As a foetus you were standing in the queue.
And you entered the arena at the moment of your birth.
Quite unaware that payment would be due.
You can't see the show unless you care to pay the price.
The popcorn and ices don't come free.
And what you have to pay is just decided by the dice
But for certain you are going to pay the fee.
You may pay in your childhood, when your school-days are quite grim,
When you're haunted by a bully and his kind.
You may pay as a teenager who's longing to be slim,
When you feel that glamour's leaving you behind.
You may pay with poor health which dogs you every single day
And means you can't participate in sport.
You may pay in your middle-age when a partner runs away,
And depression seems to rule your every thought.
Consider every friend you have; no ticket has been free;
Each one of them has had some price to pay.
Just take the rich and is not unending glee,
Not some wild, exciting non-stop holiday!
But we all agree, whatever comes, Life is the Greatest Show
And we want the show to never, never end.
So pay the price, add your applause and just go with the flow.
And I wish you every happiness, my friend.

Round the Bend.



We say it's for our bodies' sakes
We stride out by the water's side.
We've all put on those extra pounds;
They're very difficult to hide!
We say we like the great fresh air,
The breathing in and breathing out.
We say we like the friendliness
We simply could not do without.
We say we like the water views,
The rippling distances of lake.
We say we like the water-birds
And all the many sounds they make.
We say we like the extra thrill
Of finding new things round the bend.
But I say the thing we really like
Is the coffee and pastries at the end!

A more momentous walk here:

Soak Joke!


Look at the shadow (well, it's a meme)
Then consider the photo's theme.
Naughty grandson, cheeky grin!
He's by the lake and he's just been in.
He's wearing his towel, a sort of cape.
We all said 'No!' but he made his escape!
Into the water, retrieving the ball,
Laughing at us, ignoring us all!
The towel is soaking, likewise the hat.......
But you have to forgive a grin like that!

Playing different sorts of games here:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunday Diary

January 31st

After a very quiet start to the month and a fairly restful week last week, this week picked-up speed with a vengeance! My overseas visitor arrived. His name is Rob and we were teenagers together in the Staffordshire village of Alton 62 years ago. We hadn't seen each other in the interim but we settled into an easy relationship without trouble. This was made possible by Rob's phenomenal memory. He reminded me of things I'd forgotten. How, for instance, I'd been dancing with him when he was on leave and in his naval uniform, when the band struck up 'All the Nice Girls love a Sailor'. Evidently I was so embarrassed that I ran from the dance floor! That must have done his ego a lot of good!

At Merewether Beach

The above is Rob (left) with Malcolm, the first evening he was here. We took him to see our vicinity even though the weather wasn't as blazingly sunny as he'd expected. It had been about 5 degrees when he'd left England! It inched towards 40 degrees the whole time he was here but he didn't worry too much!
Choir and Audience

The next day my Probus Choir gave a concert and both Rob and Malcolm braved a sea of grey-haired ladies to listen to it. He said he enjoyed it!

Bush Walk

In the afternoon we took him for a bush-walk. The bell-birds were singing like mad so that added to the atmosphere.

Patriotic swimmer.

Later we took him to the beach. People were just packing-up after the Australia Day Celebrations (which we avoided)but I did get this shot of a tired reveler trudging up the beach.

The Merry Mellows plus Rob.

Wednesday was an important day for me as all the Merry Mellows (the group for whom I write melodramas) met for the New Year get-together. We ran-through three plays and nutted-out details of dates, holidays, bookings etc. We had the party at friend Roz's large house. Errol, her husband, took Rob and Malcolm out in his boat and on the dunes in his four-wheel drive while we were 'performing' but Rob posed with me in this picture.He left the next day.

The next excitement was Harry starting school. I'll add several photos here and then my son can copy them from this blog.

Harry's School, St Joseph's.
A fond farewell to Mummy.

Harry meets Jasper.

Jasper is Harry's Buddy. He is an older boy chosen to assist the small children and he seemed a delightful boy.
Jasper looked proud too.

Mummy chatted to Jasper.

Harry disappeared inside and we all clamoured for news when school ended. All he said was 'My teacher is beautiful!'

Bev's Birthday Party.

My week ended with a birthday party. (And a visit to the doctor confirming my claudication. That was the only drab note in quite an exciting week).

Till next week.


Home Hints


When cleaning artificial flowers
Don't work on them for hours and hours!
A bag and some salt is all it takes;
Add the flowers and give a few shakes.
Turn them out and they will bloom
Bright and clean, brightening your room.
Celery wrapped in kitchen foil
Will last for weeks and never spoil.
If food is stuck in your frying-pan
And you do the very best you can,
But wire-wool simply wont remove it;
Nothing you do seems to improve it;
Detergent used for washing-up,
Plus some water, about a cup,
Boiled in the pan will do the trick,
Your pan will sparkle, double-quick.

Music while you housework here:

See   tomorrow's blog for a curious instrument.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tough Stuff


Cora was no longer young and she had a nasty fall
Tripping over little Billy Johnson's soccer ball.
At the hospital they bandaged her which wasn't very nice
And then the doctor spoke to her and gave her some advice.
'Rest the leg for several weeks. Sit in easy chairs.
And on no account are you allowed to climb up any stairs!'
After several weeks he called around to see if she was better
And he could tell that she was fit the moment that he met her.
'My goodness me!' the doctor said 'You've recovered very well!
You can live a normal life at once; you're healed now, I can tell.'
'It'll be great to use the stairs!' Cora said with a joyful shout,
'Going up and down that drainpipe has almost worn me out!'
A wiser doctor here:

See tomorrow's blog for another feisty entry.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Puce il Animus!



I'm sure that you will all deduce
That Rinkly Rimes is quite a goose,
Picking on the colour 'puce'!
'Puce' is the French word for a flea!
Fleas have such audacity!
Biting people on the knee!
They pounce on people in the night!
They leave a mark! An ugly sight!
They fill with blood each time they bite!
And when a flea is fully fed
From our blood, where we have bled,
The blood's a sort of brownish red;
And yet, as you will see below,
The colour has a pleasant glow.
(I think that's all you need to know!)


A much more beautiful insect here:

The Truckies' Memorial


We passed it on a busy road, a sort of wayside shrine,
With all the names engraved on it..... sadly, line after line.
Truck-drivers names from down the years, killed while plying their trade.
A sad and mournful  litany, a sorrowful cavalcade.
Maybe we should spare a glance when we see a passing truck,
And whisper underneath our breath 'Mind how you go! Good luck!'


A very different memorial here:

See tomorrow's blog for  a medical joke.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Black Hole!

Letter 'B'.


Imagine it!
There you are,
Mooching along in Space,
When you suddenly start to
Too late you realise that
Like a piece of string,
Being sucked down a plug-hole,
You are entering
A Black Hole!
You are reaching
The Event Horizon!
You start to disintegrate!
This is it!
The Singularity!
'The Point of no Return!'
'Abandon hope
All ye who enter here!'
Nothing can escape
A Black Hole!
Not even Light!
(That's why it's Black!)
Once upon a time,
Your Black Hole was a Star!
It had a gravitational pull,
Like our Earth.
Then it collapsed!
It's gravity turned on it!
It sucked in and in and in,
Until nothing was left
But a dot!
But a dot with the gravitational pull
Of a Star!
And now it's gotcha!
This is the stuff of nightmares!
'Sucked In!'
You've heard that cry?
This is it!
But, fear not.
Our Sun is too minor
To behave this way.
Earth is safe too.
Looked at it that way
It's good fun!
Isn't it?

My view of the Cosmos here:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Modern Communications!




A baby born in America;
A Great-Grandpa from the UK,
Who's on vacation in Australia!
Introduced the modern way!
An email crosses the distance!
A click makes the precious link!
A twenty-ten relationship!
Gorgeous, don't you think?

My old friend, Rob, is staying with us. He has just received this photo of his fourth 

An unusual baby here:

Many a True Word!


"Many a true word spoken in jest."
When was Mankind at his best?
Rising to two legs was a gain
But now we're sinking back again!
Did we swing down from the trees
To merely live a life of ease,
Crouching over a little screen,
In a shape reminiscent of the Pleistocene?
That noble creature, centre-stage
Belongs to a much less 'civilised' age,
But did his sons grow extended thumbs,
Stunting the growth of their craniums,
Gazing, with hypnotised satisfaction,
At a little screen, which breeds inaction?
Oh the curve of that human graph!
If it wasn't so sad it would make us laugh.

Another view of technology here:

See tomorrow's blog for utter rubbish.

Monday, January 25, 2010



This week's quote comes from Sir Joshua Reynolds.
The line in blue is a quote from the famous artist.


A room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts;
Thoughts, I'm afraid, of different sorts.
Arthur gazes at a naked figure
And wishes it had been painted bigger!
Gladys looks at the same bold scene
And she thinks it is quite obscene!
Fred takes a look and thinks 'Not my type.
In my opinion she's over-ripe!'
May, who's obsessed with cellulite,
Thinks 'If I undressed I'd look a fright!'
Guy, the local Man of the Cloth,
Thinks 'That deserves the Grapes of Wrath!'
Felicia, who's young and pretty,
Thinks 'I've never posed and that's a pity!'
Bertie, a lad who's not too smart,
Thinks 'So that is why they take up art!'
A myriad thoughts buzz round the place,
And you'd never guess them from each face!
In cartoons thoughts always appear
As a sort of cloud looking really clear.
But all that we can do is guess
As they view a lady without a dress!
Another question of taste here:

Men In Suits

The Council of the Royal Academy
Selecting Pictures for the Exhibition
By Sir Francis Grant
19th century



A mouthful of a title.
But simply a picture
Of men
Choosing pictures!
Not a woman in sight!

It seemed normal
At the time.
After all,
What would a woman know about
What would a woman know about
The important things in life?
In any case,
She would be too busy.
A child in the womb,
A child in her arms,
A child at her skirts,
Two or three playing on the floor.
Of course,
There were always Nannies.
But they had to be supervised,
Along with
The Cook,
The Parlour-maid,
And the little 'Tweeny'.
"That is quite enough responsibility
For a Little Woman.
But Art?
Surely you jest!
Only we are able to discern the difference
Good Art
And Bad!
Because we wear suits."

More feminist ranting here:

The Waiting Game


On night-patrol a Policeman saw a car parked down a lane;
It was all lit-up so he looked inside, gasped....then gasped again!
'What are you doing?' the Policeman said, as he took a second look.
'As you can see' said the young man 'I'm sitting here reading a book!'
Then the Officer saw, on the back seat, a young girl quietly sitting
Occupied with a woolly scarf that she was busy knitting!
'How old are you' the Policeman said. 'Eighteen' was the boy's reply.
The Policeman responded 'There's more to this, I'm sure, than meets the eye!'
Looking at his watch the young man said 'Oh, I might as well come clean....
As soon as it gets to midnight she's going to be sixteen!'

A more romantic Policeman here:

See tomorrow's blog for a social comment.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


An Acrostic

Jubilation? No more grief?
Understand that bliss is brief.
Better catch it while you can;
It will have but little span.
Let the pleasure catch your throat!
And sing a wild ecstatic note.
Too soon will happiness depart.
Immediately pain will start!
Of course you'll feel depressed once more!
Never ask what is in store.

From Jubilation to Humiliation here:

See tomorrow's blog for a humour spot.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seasonal Change



A winter's day in Sydney, protected by the glass,
Watching all the little ships as back and forth they pass.
Reflections from the building criss-cross the passing show
And all the winter-world is filled with a trick mid-summer glow.

More Sydney here:

Truly, Deeply Sorry.

© John Wagner
Hallmark, Inc.



Poor old Maxine! She's had snow!
Winds that blew her to and fro!
Here, in Oz, we're in the sun,
Lots of heat and beach-side fun.
And I'm sitting empathising
With Maxine and her snow-drifts rising!
Sympathy flows through my veins!
Bet the slush slurped down her drains!
Poor old Maxine! Did I see
Her poking out her tongue at me!!!!

An earlier 'Maxine' here:

Sunday Diary

January 24th

And so I resume my diary. I let it lapse for a while because, quite honestly, I didn't have much to write about. January is a very quiet month in Australia, unless one is away on holiday, and we would never go on holiday when the heat is at its peak. We tend to stay in because of the heat, in January, much a wrinklies in the Northern hemisphere stay in because of the cold. We put the air-conditioning on and do odd jobs. At least, I do. Which means I now start the New Year proper with a reasonably tidy house and everything (nearly everything) sorted. I organised the publication of my poetry books and prepared the coming year's melodrama program for instance.

Of course, my life fades into nothing when I consider Haiti. In fact, one feels almost guilty about enjoying life, but, apart from donating what one can afford, what can one do? The results of the earthquake have dominated our news bulletins.

Australia has had incidents of its own, of course, the most worrying being a spate of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne. Some may have been straightforward robberies as Indian students here are usually affluent, but there has certainly been a racist element as well and that's nasty. It's caused a rift in our relations with India itself.

Indians pointing a finger.

But one rather good thing came of it. The composer who wrote the music for 'Slumdog Millionare' gave a free concert at the Opera House in order to improve race relations, and it was a great success. There were lots of 'Europeans' among the enormous crowd.


We've also had a visit from Prince William and that has caused quite a flurry of excitement. I'm not much of a royalists (I'm in favour of Australia becoming a Republic) but I thought he was very charming and gave a good impression.

Very popular.

This girl proposed!

The photograph below was taken at the Australian Open Tennis Championships and I found the TV coverage of this very endearing. When the crowd clapped him he actually blushed. That couldn't be feigned and I almost became a royalist there and then! I feel quite sorry for him as he proved himself to be naturally shy and he's got such a tough job ahead of him.

At the tennis.

My week was still quiet on the whole, although we enjoyed our first Book Group meeting of the year,and the Scrabble Group met as well. One evening we went to friend Pam's for a meal. But it was very quiet by comparison with the Christmas season!

Pam must have said something very funny at the Book Group!

The photo below is not me (you may have noticed) but it's just a shot of someone suffering the pain of Claudication, with which I have just been diagnosed. It used to be called Hardening of the Arteries (how aging!) Like this gentleman I have been suffering pain on walking. I had the scans done during the week. I'm hoping it can be cured with a pill, but a friend had a stent inserted into the blocked artery for the same thing, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!.

Typical situation.

As a foot-note, I was very amused to see this notice at the Printers' when I went to organise my books!

It says it all!

By the way, blogging will take a back-seat to entertaining this week, so forgive me if my comments drop-off.

Till next week,

Silent Symphony



A book, a stand, a clarinet,
But no-one's there to use them yet.
Left to itself an instrument
Is quite inert, with no intent.
The book is paper, nothing more
Although it may contain a score.
Awareness of music is not in these;
Their purpose isn't symphonies.
Clarinet, book and stand all wait
To meet the player that seals their fate.

More Magic Music here:

See tomorrow's blog for a rather cynical view of joy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Last Post!




Guarding the fading embers
The trees stand in a row.
We can almost hear the Last Post
As the colours start to go.
Catch the moment! Catch the glory!
Before it fades away.
And leaves the trees to guard-duty
Until another day.
More guarding going on here:

Domestic Dilemma

Written from the heart. Read Diary on Sunday (the day of the arrival!)


Have you ever noticed, when a visitor's expected,
Your normally neat and tidy home suddenly looks neglected?
There! Around the handles! Surely that's a smudge!
And over there I see a stain that nothing's going to budge!
Why didn't I buy new cushions? Why didn't I clear the drawers?
Why didn't I throw out that old mat and polish all the floors?
Those plain white cups and saucers suddenly look too plain.
Oh no! Behind the standard lamp! Not another stain!
It seems I'm normally half-blind, deluding myself as well.
I thought my home was Heaven! Now I find that it's just Hell!
I'm trying to shrug my shoulders and pretend that it's all right.
'They must take me as they find me. I will not get uptight!
I won't be judged by my stupid house, but by my cheerful ways.
In any case they're only here for a certain number of days.
And once they're gone I can return to my previous attitude.'
Oh no! I'd almost forgotten! I've got to give them FOOD!

Another cry from the heart here:




Take your partner! Do-see-do!
Swing her high and swing her low!
Circle her till her eyes are popping,
Never ever think of stopping.
How your petticoats are swirling!
You dazzle us with all that twirling!
Less successful twirling here:
See tomorrow's blog for much less motion.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blue and White



Blue and white,
Clear and bright.
Sky and snow,
Above, below.
White and blue,
Shining through.
Think I'll choose
Whites and blues
From photos found
Lying around.

'Cousin' Barbara.

Harry in Winter.

Harry in Summer.

Max in Winter.

Me at Christmas.

That'll do!
White and blue.
Blue and white.
And so 'Goodnight!'


More family business here:

Basking Beauties

Near Cape Town
Seen on holiday



Theirs' for the asking;
A life full of basking,
Of rolling and twisting and diving.
The African coast
Is the place they like most.
And just look for yourself! They are thriving.
The water is clear
And they swim without fear;
Bobbing up to see who is arriving.
I suddenly feel
I could live like a seal!
Why on earth do we waste our lives striving?

A moving story about South Africa here:

Time Line

                               Brenda Bryant



The school-year shuffles to a close.
We strike a very patient pose.
Lining up with serious faces,
Ready, as one, to take our places
Up on the stage with all the others,
To sing a song for the Dad's and Mothers.
A shaft of light and some silhouettes.
Every one of us Teachers' Pets!
This is all very serious stuff.
It will be over soon enough;
I wonder, then, will you remember,
How the school year ended one December,
And Grandma and Max came to see the show?
Will it all seem very long ago?
A comical line here:
See tomorrow's blog for girls in a spin.