Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Day on the Sands

Pity about the weather! I look forward to these jaunts.
It's always rather lovely going back to the old haunts.
Remember the old days, Maudie, all that sand and all that sea?'
You with Georgie Pemberton, and Reggie Smith with me?
'Those were the days, eh, Ethel! We used to catch the train,
And it didn't really matter if we got caught in the rain.
We'd cuddle under a raincoat, and Reggie would steal a kiss!'
'The memories come flooding back when you reminisce.
That Reggie was a charmer, so tall and smart and slim!
Everybody expected you'd be sure to marry him!
Then you went and married your Arthur! Whatever were you about?'
'Don't remind me, Ethel! I swopped champagne for a bottle of stout!
Reggie Smith fell for Arlene Ramsey, the wretched low-down worm!!
Remember her sexy dresses, and that awful plastic perm!
They met one night at the Palais and they didn't seem to care
That I saw them out in the alley 'getting a breath of fresh air!'...........
So whatever happened to Georgie? He seemed a nice little chap.
I remember on the Dodgems you used to sit in his lap!'
'Fat lot of good it did me! Turned out it was all a pose.
In the end it was pretty obvious that he was....... one of those!'
'Ethel! Who'd have thought it! He pretended that he was shy!'
'You can guess how I felt about it! I thought that I should die!
But I carried on at the typing-pool and looked after Mum and Dad.
Georgie Smith! I hate to tell you he was the only beau I had!
Well, Maudie, I'll head for home now; Dad'll expect his tea.'
'And Arthur expects me home, too, to dress his gammy knee!
It's been good to talk about those days; the Day Trips to the sea.
We all got sand in our knickers but that didn't bother me!
I've enjoyed our little chat, Ethel. Now we'll go our seperate ways.'
'It's been delightful, Maudie! 
Remembering The Good Old Days!'

Running On Empty!


Cedric was no longer young; he was getting-on in years.
It was quite a while since he'd 'pulled a bird' or swung on the chandaliers.
Quite frequently he'd cast his eye on some delicious bimbo,
Only to find she turned-away, and he ended up in limbo.
However, on one Friday night he knew that he'd struck lucky;
A gorgeous girl came up to him and just said 'Lonely, ducky?'
All evening Cedric plied Cherie with food and drinks galore,
And he really felt that he had found just what he was looking for.
'I'd like to buy you a ring, my dear. I'm a lonely millionaire'
(Which wasn't true, but naughty Cedric never turned a hair!)
'Let's slip out to the jewellers, right now, this very minute.
I think we have a future and I'm eager to begin it.'
When they arrived at the jewellery store, the assistant hovered round
Saying 'These are the thousand dollar rings; they'll suit you, I'll be bound.'
"No, no' said Cedric 'Not at all! Bring the more expensive tray!
This lovely girl is so divine I don't care what I pay!'
Cherie was quivering with desire as she just stood there and listened!
Dollar signs were in her eyes and anticipation glistened.
She chose a ring for fifty thousand dollars right away
And Cedric went up to the desk only too pleased to pay.
Expansively he flashed his wallet. 'Will you take a cheque?'
The assistant answered 'Identity?' Cedric just said 'Oh heck!
I cannot prove my identity! But I have a great idea;
I'll sign the cheque right here and now and simply leave it here.
I'll bring documents in on Monday, if that's all right with you.
We'll collect the ring after the weekend; we may buy some earrings too'.

On Monday morning early Cedric got a call;
'There was nothing in your bank account. Nothing! Nothing at all!'
'That's all right' said Cedric 'Don't worry about it, friend!
I may not have any money,

But I've had a great weekend!'

If you like jokes in rhyme here are two more:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bench

This shot, taken on a recent holiday , has brought out the Victorian Sentimentalist in me! 


I must leave, and leaving, weep,
All I ask is for you to keep
Watch at some time in the day
Where you were when I went away.
Let me picture that shaded spot;
 A corner of our garden plot,
Where you and I just sat and talked
Gazing at paths where we once walked.
Honour bids me say farewell,
For how long no-one can tell.
Know that I will dream and yearn,
Till I join you there on my return.

Wild Wake

A contribution to WATERY WEDNESDAY.
It's a rite of passage for all our little grandsons to have a ride on the ferry with us. Car-rides, which so thrilled me when I was young, mean nothing to them, but going backwards and forwards on the Stockton Ferry (about five minutes each way) is a big adventure.

Over the Hunter River the little ferry goes.
It's back again before we can say 'Boo!' 
And we like to look back at our town as it strikes a gracious pose
And you'll never find us tiring of the view.
Here we see the wake that's always streaming out behind
And the buildings of our very favourite city,
Though we take the journey often it's for sure we always find
That the scene is very tranquil, very pretty.
Journeying to Stockton can take a while by road
But the ferry lets the wind blow in our hair,
And all commuting workers make quite a heavy load
But the little ferry never seems to care.
The inhabitants of Stockton tell quite a hairy joke
But then of course they are inclined to tease.
'Of course' one says  'I'm better than a lot of other folk;
I'm from Stockton;



  Onomatoepeia! What a most exciting word!
I find I use it almost every day!
And there are more  examples that, as yet, I haven't heard!
And most of them are such great fun to say.
I'd be loudly shouting 'Tuxtax!' if I lived in ancient Rome
Intending to give someone else a whack.
I'd be saying 'Dokidoki!' if Tokyo was my home
And I was speaking of a heart-attack!
Take the truly great example that's illustrated here, 
Say 'Splat!' and then it's there, in your mind's eye,
It could be a well-aimed snowball that smacks one on the ear,
Or a fly-swat that gets a passing fly.
And think of all the animals whose voices we portray
In simple words that get the sound off-pat.
There's the 'Woof-woof!' and the 'Quack-quack' and the 'Oink-oink!' and the 'Neigh!",
And don't forget the "Meow!' of the cat!
I think all language started with an imitation sound;
A caveman must have instituted 'Plop!'
And other people liked it and so it spread around.
Goodness gracious, is it ever going to stop!


Isaac Newton. looked at light,
Didn't say 'Well, well, that's bright!'
He observed that light was colour!
(We have brains a great deal duller!)
Other people, off the mark,
Saw just boring Light and Dark!
He took a prism (illustration)
And sought to give a demonstration.
Rays, through the window, from the sun,
Showed light-splitting could be done.
Sure enough, on the opposite wall,
He saw the rainbow colours fall.
'But', said observers 'It's the prism
Doing it all!' Such criticism
Spurred him on more than a bit!
He made a screen with a tiny slit.
This, as the clever man suspected,
Caused only green to be reflected!
Then he reflected only blue,
Followed by every other hue.
He'd proved his point and that is why
When we look at a rainbow in the sky
We realise light's refracted! Right!
Raindrops are prisms splitting light!
Without that amazing Newton brain,
We'd never have thought of suspecting rain!

More reactions to Colour Prompts here:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


                                                                        Christian Harkness


Rather heavy for me but the illustration attracted me.


If she had waited a while
She would have heard the telephone ringing.
She would have answered it.
 She would have heard his voice.

But she did not wait!
She could not wait.
Not one more moment of waiting could she endure.

It had gone on too long.
The hurt.
The emptiness.
The pain.

She would end it.

Taking the overdose was easy.
Too easy.
The tablets slipped down her throat
Without hindrance.
She desired them so completely.

Sleeping was easy too.
She slept.
She died.

And, as her spirit emerged
From her body

The telephone rang.


'Goodnight and Good Luck'
Ed Murrow
'Shakespeare's Wife'
Germaine Greer


I read less often than I should; I don't watch much TV;
So the following recommendations are a personal rarity.
But  it so happens, yesterday, I read a certain book
And then I saw a certain film, well-worth a second look.
The film was old, the book not new, but both were new to me,
And I found both enthralling, linked by serendipity.
What was the link? It may seem odd, but they both shared a theme,
A 'take' on human nature, a universal meme.
Both film and book demand that we view life with open minds,
Not passively accepting those views one often finds
In news and articles and books from people 'in the know',
But delving deeper, finding out the truths that lie below.
Now Germaine Greer has written of a subject that's inviting;
The quotes and references alone are full of clever writing.
But it's an easy book to read because the language flows,
And her research is wonderful, engrossing, and it shows.
She never says she knows the truth about Will Shakespeare's wife,
But she gives a charming picture of Elizabethan life.
Where other critics paint poor Ann as someone rather graceless,
Aging and illiterate, homely, drab and faceless,
The author merely urges us to look into the facts
And quotes reliable sources and many ancient tracts.
She paints a picture of poor Ann that may be quite untrue,
But she also shows the damage that a buttoned-up mind can do.
Ed Murrow was American , and not well-known to me,
But the story of his downfall was presented vividly.
The McArthy years were dangerous as everybody knows,
But criticism was quite rare, and that's what Murrow chose.
As a smart TV presenter, his influence was great,
And he knew the comments that he made were bound to seal his fate.
Like Germaine Greer he said 'Hold on! Is this the truth we're hearing?'
For, sure enough, the citizens' rights were quickly disappearing.
He challenged the suppressor  to prove the things he claimed;
He sought to prove the innocence of people who'd been named.
He delved beneath the surface, he didn't once kow-tow,
And we can learn a lot from his reactions, even now
A pleasant evening's watching, a pleasant bedtime read,
Both excellent productions I can recommend, indeed.
And both taught me a lesson, (as The Bard might say 'Forsooth!'),
'Don't accept things blindly; keep searching for the truth.' 

Halfway Down

jogs my memory today with the topic

The illustration is pure 'Christopher Robin', of course, as is my title, but it is all part of that same childhood dreamworld. It fits perfectly.


Suddenly, I hear a tune, and then the frisson starts!
How is it that a simple song can fribulate our hearts;
That a certain special melody played in that certain style
Can send a pleasant shiver up my spine and make me smile;
Can make me stop, there, in my tracks, to live again times gone,
Sometimes a time so long ago it's rarely looked back upon?
Take 'Lullaby of Broadway'. I was only about four
And life was a strange, mysterious thing with all of it in store.
And, as I sat there on the stairs, I heard the radio!
It was a strange new-fangled thing. (This was very long ago!)
The words were such a puzzle! They didn't make much sense!
A lullaby in the morning? Bewilderment immense!
And, somehow, as I puzzled, the tune got in my mind,
And all of that comes back to me in detail, I now find.
One chord and I am back there, a little child again,
Gazing between the bannisters, hearing that refrain.
And puzzling and puzzling and trying to get it right
And wondering and wondering, up there at a great height.
And now that I'm merely writing of that moment in the past
I feel the same old magic!
How good that it can last!

Another glimpse of childhood here:

My World: Pokolbin


Any Sunday, any time, and any sort of season
Novocastrians take a drive, and for a very good reason.
They drive to the Hunter Valley through rich and ripening vines
Forgetting that, beneath them, lie the tunnels of the mines,
And they come upon Pokolbin, where the glorious gardens spread,
With the little Brokenback Mountains rising far ahead.
Twenty-five acres of gardens each with its own design
And outdoor tables made for lazing, sipping Hunter Valley wine.
With thirty-five thousand roses, they could wander round for weeks,
Unless they were diverted by the riveting boutiques!
It's a garden, it's a playground, it's a place to ease your mind,
The Hunter Valley Gardens are joy. And what a find!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moo Coo!

Will a 'coo' do?

I clicked-on a Scottish blog with the name 'Purple Coo'. As a Sassenach I had no idea what a 'Coo' was.
Now I know!

When faced with a Purple Coo,
What is a girl to do?
If  she's an Australian Sassenach,
She hasn't got a clue!
Not being called MacDougal,
I looked it up on Google.
'The soft low cry of a dove' it said!
One entry.....rather frugal!
A 'purple cry?' I mused,
As the entry I perused.
How could a cry have colour?
I really was confused.
Ah! Passion's purple! Yes!
I'd made an intelligent guess.
'A cry of passionate love', that's it!
Amatory happiness!
So I clicked-on the 'Purple Coo'
As any poet would do,
Expecting lots of dalliance


No introduction necessary!


A car is a car is a car!
(Pinched from someone else's verse!)
To me they all look just the same,
Except, maybe, for a hearse!
When evolution formed my brain
It left an aching void,
Where recognising cars should be;
A fact I can't avoid!
I cannot tell a Chevrolet
From a Ford or a Toyota!
When car-spotting genes were once doled out
I missed out on my quota!
A Packard is a mystery.
Likewise with a De Soto!
They all look just alike, I fear,
Even in a photo!
They're all tin boxes set on wheels,
Zooming along the highway.
Why is it that all the rest of you
Don't seem to see them my way?
Malcolm, my husband, shades his eyes
To see a distant blur;
'Here comes Rosy Smith!' he says
And, sure enough, it's her!
And all he's seen in the distance
Is a vaguely car-like shape. 
I find this so amazing
That I can only gape!
And it's not a male or female thing,
I've friends who make that clear.
In the car-park they see Maudie's car,
And say ' Maudie's already here!'
I don't even recall the colours,
The shapes are a mystery!
As for badges and things like that,
They're all the same to me.
Take number-plates. Now there's a thought;
It's easy to memorise them.
Except that I'm number-challenged
And I just can't recognise them!
There's one car that I recognise
And it's not the one I drive
( I'm not exactly sure of that!
Does the number end in five?)
Malcolm has a hobby-car;
He treats it like a toy,
A session in the garage
Is his very greatest joy.
He's tinkering and revving
And working up a sweat,
And, though it looks a picture,
 He hasn't finished yet!
I'm called-out to admire it
And coo over it's design.
I'm beginning to recognise it!
So that's a hopeful sign.
I recognise it! A Triumph,
From nineteen-sixty-three!
It's certainly a Triumph
For poor car-challenged me!

Going Under

suggests 'WATER'.


The opinions of the Hunter Valley Community are divided regarding the 'drowning of a large area of arable land to build
Tillegra Dam.


Here we see a stretch of water which does not exist.
But be assured, the Powers That Be have got it on their list.
This is just a mock-up of the way that things will be
When Tillegra Dam becomes another sort of inland sea.
One hundred and sixty thousand people are going to move in
To a lovely fertile valley, with their buildings and their din.
Those people will need water, even in times of drought;
So many places in this land have learned to live without.
Great for the economy, but sad for the countryside,
Which graziers and farmers have nurtured with such pride.
Is it needed? I don't know; it's all too much for me!
They tell me what a playground the ensuing lake will be;
They say that sailing, fishing and other like diversions,
Will send the tourists there in droves on fun-loving excursions.
Then others say it isn't needed, it can be done without!
The cost is quite extortionate, there isn't any doubt.
All I know is.... sunken homesteads, out-buildings gone for ever,
Are mournful things to contemplate, and we can be too clever.

For another piece of amateur commentary on modern life click this:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Brain Train

 suggests the topic 'EXERCISE'.


The elderly, as we all know, grow weaker as they age.
The muscles tend to soften as they reach the final stage.
But the brain is quite a different sort of animal, I find,
And there are many exercises with the brain in mind.
The more one thinks, the more one grows, the grey cells multiply.
The mind can stay quite sprightly till the very day we die.
Now, I've found writing poetry has kept my mind in trim,
Although, to look at, I'm no longer youthful, smart and slim.
Inside my mind I'm still sixteen, life's full of great surprises,
Because composing verses beats more youthful exercises.
Not everyone likes poetry, that the whole world agrees.
But the brain reacts to stimuli of different sorts, like these......
There's reading, writing, Bingo even, crossword puzzles too,
Joining in group discussions is something else to do;
Even conversation with some stimulating friends,
Discussing how you just can't stand the latest awful trends!
There's listening to radio, not just gazing at TV;
Then there's the chance to go on-line, or trace your family-tree.
The list is endless , so it seems, so work with might and main
To keep a young mentality and exercise your brain!
 Lizzy Frizzfrock made a point when she wrote a recent letter!
Blogging is brain exercise! In fact there's nothing's better!

More good advice here:



gives this as one of  her choices this week.
 I fear the picture has inspired some Grandmotherly advice!


A charming picture of Mother Love, with the little cub at play,
But Mother's looking wary in an un-maternal way.
She knows her cub has sharp white teeth that are inclined to nip.
She knows her cub has short sharp claws that are inclined to rip.
Should her offspring overstep the mark she'd give a little growl,
Then, no doubt, she'd bite him until he gave a howl.
Not such a pretty picture, but Nature, itself, decrees
That parents teach their children  with methods such as these.
There's an awful lot of poppycock talked about 'the smack',
About how it harms young children somewhere down the track;
How they'll grow up brutalised by that little short, sharp shock,
And go round hitting everyone right around the clock!
I think a slap is natural and speedily forgotten.
(Of course, I don't mean beatings; they're absolutely rotten!)
A little slap, but not too soft, can say more than a shout,
And any toddler quickly learns what life is all about.
Before a child can understand a reasoned argument;
Before you can explain to him exactly what is meant,
A short sharp slap brings discipline, which everybody needs;
A child soon learns that 'consequences' follow doubtful deeds.
And, once the howling's over, then love comes into play;
Lots of kiss-and-cuddles, and then it's time to say
'Though sometimes I get angry with some naughty thing you do
Nothing in the world is going to stop me loving YOU!'

I smacked my two, in days gone by, if they were very naughty,
And now they're gorgeous adults, very well-behaved and (whisper) forty!
What's more they can't remember any discipline at all!
So, parents, don't let naughty toddlers drive you up the wall!

There are more reactions to SIMPLY SNICKERS suggestions below:

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Dick Russell


My cousin sent me this beautiful spring photograph earlier in the year.
I thought I should share it with others.
These woods are near his home in the English Midlands.


Responding to my Spring Nostalgia,
Hoping to make it worse,
My cousin sent this scene of bluebells
So I respond in verse.
'Dear Richard, you are ever thoughtful,
(But that's a family trait)!
Thank you for this lovely photo.
Send more when it gets to May!'

Other blogs referring to my cousin Richard can be found here: