Monday, August 31, 2009

Gilding the Lily

Two for the price of one today!





I won it in a raffle, this delicious fruity cake.
To win anything at all was a surprise!
It lay there in it's glory and I said 'For goodness sake!
That cake itself is quite sufficient prize!'
But the Lily had been Gilded, with these lovely yellow flowers,
Frangipani blossoms, seeming to belong!
Both cake and frangipani should have lasted days, not hours,
But neither of them lasted very long!
A human cake here:

Back in the Land of Memes!


The days of abstinence are done!
I'll return to having fun!
Picking-up on meme suggestions
Thrown at me from all directions!
My True Colours! Here I come!
Ruby Tuesday! Hear me hum! 
Scenic Sunday! Watch this space!
Hope I can keep up the pace!
Acrostics Only! Do your worst!
I'm so ready I could burst!
Shadow Shots! Bring on the sun!
Monochrome! Colour I'll shun!
I'll take my place on all those teams
Now I'm back in the Land of Memes!
And has my housework been completed?
My good intentions were defeated!

A return with a difference here:

Sunday, August 30, 2009



Sally answered her phone one day and heard the voice of a man.
Without the slightest preamble his rigmarole began.....
'Darling! I haven't slept a wink! I love you to distraction!
I know I was out of line last night! I regret each foolish action!
You're the only girl in the world for me! I'm speaking on my knees!
If I agree to your demands will you marry me please!
I agree to the triple-diamond ring, the one with the highest price.
And yes, your mother can live with us! I think that would be nice!
And yes, we'll buy that penthouse on the Gold Coast right away!
And yes, I'll even say those words, 'I promise to obey'!
Of course we'll have the reception on an ocean-going yacht!
And of course I'll be signing over half of everything I've got!
You know I love you madly. Please, please, please say 'Yes!'
And Sally replied 'Of course I will!...... Can I have your name and address?'
A little more romance here:

Sunday Diary

August 30th

World news was dominated by the death of Teddy Kennedy, the horrific sex-slave drama in America and the British soccer riots. Here I was very interested in a small item in our local paper saying a form of nano technology for desalinating sea-water had been discovered by Australian scientists. Water is a big problem in this country and, if this dry winter is anything to go by it's going to get worse, so I hope something comes of this. I'm fascinated by the new technologies. My favourite is Hot Rocks, but I don't suppose I'll live long enough to see much of the new technology come to fruition. I don't care if we're responsible for Global Warming or not, I just think a nice clean world would be an advantage to us all.
On SUNDAY Harry came for a lesson. He's just about to 'break the code' with reading, so that's quite exciting. He's turned into a really sensible little boy and we get on very well. Here he is sorting pictures for a sort of Memory game.
In the afternoon I took a stroll down Darby Street. It's a very busy street at the weekends because it's almost entirely restaurants, a lot of them out on the street, so it's an interesting venue.

A sunny Sunday.

I love the architecture.

And the sentiments!
MONDAY was Probus day. We had our usual meeting and then someone called Bob talked to us about the U3A movement. This is the University of the Third Age  which is popular here. I've been to quite a few of the lectures and I actually run the Poetry group myself. But it was new to many members of our club.
Here are members of Probus socialising over morning-tea.

On TUESDAY I introduced the Melodrama group to my new shortened version of 'Pirate Pie' and we read and sang it. It will take very little preparation for the Xmas entertainment season. Carole, the pianist, came and she was very helpful with her ideas. I'm in my element at such times.
On WEDNESDAY there was a drama! But not until the evening! I had booked for ten of us to go to the theatre to see the musical 'Menopause'. Many of us had seen it before in Sydney. The title was off-putting, but the parodies (of the Village People type) and the performances made up for that. Anyway, I booked for us all to have supper at the 'Clarendon' first. Here you see some of the crowd.
Another gastronomic shot!
Shortly after I'd taken this picture my blood ran cold! I'd left all the tickets at home! I'd just collected all the money too! I rang Malcolm and he said he'd bring them to the theatre, but when he arrived he said he hadn't been able to find them! Panic! Luckily, the theatre staff replaced the tickets with a docket without demur. I suppose they're used to stupid women!  Anyway, we all enjoyed the show in the end.
"Menopause; the Musical"
On THURSDAY it was one of my delectable Rebecca-and-Max days. This time we took him on his bike to Throsby Creek. We had a picnic when we got there, sitting on the deck of  a disused pavilion.
Banjo at the ready.
Max took his bike but preferred the pelican!

Having a rest on a strange concrete sofa at the edge of the water!

Malcolm seemed to enjoy himself!

And I got a lovely shot of friend, Pam's, house on the other side of the water.

On FRIDAY the U3A class was cancelled in favour of a Trivia Morning, so I just pottered at home, preparing for the 'Jeopardy' rehearsal in the afternoon. We were downstairs in the Bingo Room this time. I think we have the club officials who were walking in and out quite a shock as we acted our ridiculous drama!

Goodness knows what was happening here!

On Saturday I made up my mind to work on preparing my blog-jokes for publication. That sounds very grand, but all it means is that I'll self-publish them in a very cheap and cheerful manner to sell to audiences when I go round performance-poeting. I'm often asked for such a booklet. I'd like it if people desired my more poetic offerings but no, it's the jokes that are in demand! Anyway, after cleaning the bathrooms and doing a Big Shop, I decided to leaf through our next Book Group book......and I was hooked. I usually make-up my mind about a book in the first page (style, topic etc) and this one enchanted me from the first capital letter! It's 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society' by Mary Ann Shaffer. The words flowed, and the wit was entrancing, although I'm not too sure about the character-drawing yet. Then I read about the author and discovered that this was her only book and that she died before it was published!  I felt really emotional about the tragedy of it. Anyway, the book consumed my day. So much for plans!
Here is the author with the niece who assisted her when she became ill.
The book.

SATURDAY was a very quiet day. I read my book and worked on my joke booklet, to be called 'Chips Off The Old Blog'. At night we watched an ancient film from the Public Library, 'Chariots of Fire'. I still found it quite moving after all these years.
Till next week.


                       Aubrey Beardsley

I'm still 'eschewing'(!) memes but I couldn't resist this one!

has given us this picture to think about.

'The Battle of the Beaux and Belles'
What a strange sort of story it tells!
We are given no indication
As to what has caused the odd situation!
Let us just imagine this 'beau' went too far!
(You know what all young gentlemen are!)
There are onlookers too, so I've supposed
That the gentleman kneeling merely proposed!
A 'speech-balloon' could put me right!
And yet there must have been a fight!
A chair knocked over! What a mystery!
With costumes hinting at ancient history!

Yet not so mysterious when we scan
An account of Aubrey, artist and man.
All his work was vaguely erotic,
The decoration boldly exotic.
Oscar Wilde was a special friend,
Which tells us a lot about the trend.
Though Aubrey, himself, had no love-life,
Neither a lover nor a wife.
His health was such that he was frail
And merely an asexual male.
However, in Aubrey Beardsley's art,
Sexuality played a part.
The above is a very mild example,
Of 'Lysistrata', just a sample.
In a prudish age his imagination
Gave him a reckless reputation.
And the worst of his pictures, he openly said
Should be destroyed when he was dead.
It's sad that someone such as he
Should have died in his twenties of TB.
A very different sort of erotica here:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fine and Dandy!

to see Margaret Gosden's painting of the Dandelion.


Margaret painted some dandelions in colours richly hued,
Flower and puff together in a 'conservation' mood.
Her painting set me thinking about this little 'weed'
Stigmatised by it's very name! A sorry fate indeed!
And so I Googled 'Dandelion' and found that it's been lauded!
By artists and photographers its charms have been applauded!
Consider it's lovely yellow orb, as brilliant as a daisy's!
That it's considered common-place is a thought that quite amazes!
It's like a cushion made of gold: each petal seeks the sun
Standing precisely in its place by another one!

Sharon Marcella Marston

Consider it's truly wondrous leaves, elegant and indented;
The 'lion's teeth', the 'dent de lion', with form and flare presented.
From a central point of departure behold the curving grace
Of each leaf seeming to take a bow in its appointed place!
And then consider the miracle, that puff-ball work of art!
See, when the blossom's faded how the progeny depart!
The magic of the seed dispersal turned into ballet,
With every airy particle dancing upon its way!
Ann Blockley
They are spoken-of with rancour; they are treated as mere pests!
They are the nasty little weeds each gardener detests.
They fear they'll swamp their other flowers, their precious little blooms,
The rigid painted notables they show-off in their rooms.
But if dandelions took-over and the other flowers were routed,
And all the rules of gardening were just ignored or flouted,
We could have a world of dandelions, like that you see below.
And we could do a great deal worse!
Grow, Dandelions, grow!


A child's-eye view of weeds here:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Winter Sunshine


Cold sand; cool water.
Holiday homes, empty for Winter,
Cast long shadows on the beach.
A very Australian view of the weather here:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Inner World

Another from my 'publishing' past! 

I left teaching at 3.00 p.m. on my sixtieth birthday, and started work as a copywriter at 4.00 p.m. the same day! I felt so grown-up after forty years 'at school'!

This poem was originally written as part of an advertising campaign when I worked for a Publisher.


Enter the World of Literature, the Theatre of the Mind.
Stand entranced at the miracles that you will surely find.
All that you ask of life is there, all that your spirit needs.
Piety, bravery, wit are there for anyone who reads.
Fantasies rich as tapestries hang for your feasting eyes,
Facts that may seem fantastical, truths from the sage and wise.
The Vision Splendid beckons, you need no further look.
Enter the World of Literature.
Simply pick up a Book.

Life as a book and bookends here:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family Tree

                          Brenda Bryant

Letter 'F'.

As you can see, this poem was written for a poster for schools, when I was working as a copywriter, after my retirement from teaching. I've re-typed it to make it easier to read.


Family Trees are enormous plants,
Sprouting with parents and uncles and aunts;
With brothers and sisters in every cranny
And, here and there, a special Granny.
Small baby cousins soon appear
For there's someone new almost every year,
 And weddings may bring us new relations
Who may even come from different nations!
The roots are down in the sweet, rich earth
Of a faraway land or the land of our birth,
And the future branches will sweep the sky,
Ever more leafy and ever more high.
Someone in the future will bear my name
And maybe their features will look the same!
Oh how lucky we are to be
Part of a beautiful Family Tree!
Not such a happy family here:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guess the Ghost



It was the day I disappeared.
And it happened outside the Library!
Passing by,
I saw the imposing couple
In the foyer.
A photo opportunity
Presented itself!
Reflection, shade, comparison,
All were suggested.
The green trees,
The threatening shadows,
The sheen of glass.
And I would be there!
The fat little photographer
Caught in the act!
It would be amusing!
Later, I viewed my work.
There they were,
The long-armed couple
With their featureless features.
Or barring the way
To the world of literature?
There they were,
The lush green trees in the park,
Preening themselves
Against the blue.
But where was I?
So it will be, eventually.
The monuments will be standing firm.
The foliage will be growing brightly.
But don't waste your time
Looking for me.
I will have disappeared.
More world-minus-me here:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Where's Max?


Have you seen Max?
Why! No! Have you?
Well, what do you think we ought to do?
Do you think he's run away?
When we tell his mother, what shall we say?
He was here a moment ago!
I think you were in charge!
Hey! No!
He was holding your hand! You are to blame!
He's been with you ever since we came!
Poor little Max. He's not yet three!
How very lonely he must be!
Fancy losing a little child!
His father will go really wild!
His mother will get in an awful tizz!
Goodness gracious! Here he is!
A more romantic loss here:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Diary

August 23rd

We've been enjoying astounding weather lately. With Spring still ten days away. we've been basking in balmy temperatures. The photograph was taken last Sunday in Winter at Merewether and published in the local paper.! Mind you, I expect the water was very chilly!
Our local news has been dominated by a huge commercial win for Western Australia. Liquid gas will be sent from there to China for the next few decades at least and this will create over 6000 jobs in the area. My own state of NSW isn't doing too well, but a lot of the profits from the gas venture will go into the country as a whole. As far as international news goes, I have been intrigued by the American angst over socialised medicine! I have lived under a social-medicine scheme all my life and I've felt utterly secure. Of course, we top it up with private insurance but that is only so that we can go into hospital at a time and place of our choice if we need to.
On SUNDAY we went for a walk at Honeysuckle. This is a fairly new area along by the river and the walk was delightful. We accidentally met-up with neighbours and walked together.They are keen to buy in the area so there was much discussion.

I couldn't resist reflecting in one of the new buildings.

The old bridge has been left as a fishing-bridge under the new one.
Others chose the river-bank.
June and Max with whom we walked.
A very pleasant afternoon.
MONDAY was Probus Day. We had a Committee Meeting in the morning. Since I'm no longer President, I find this year's meetings pleasantly relaxing and I always enjoy the convivial lunch afterwards. In the afternoon it was Probus Choir Practice which was unusual, as quite a serious discussion cropped up regarding non Probus Members joining the choir!
Members of the Choir discussing a very serious problem!
(Lois' house looks right out over the sea and is a lovely place to meet.)
TUESDAY was a domesticated day (so much so that I can't remember what I did!) But, in the evening, we went to Judith's for Book Group. Thereby hangs a tale! I was chosen to be 'leader' so, ages ago, I got the book from the library so that I could read it thoroughly. My daughter Rebecca leafed through it and said 'Mum! You can't do this book! It's full of nasty sex and swearing!' On her advice I took the book back. However, the description seemed to attract members of our group who shall remain nameless(!) so I went to the library to get it out again! Only to find there were 56 people ahead of me and only 13 copies!!! So we had to have a discussion without a leader! The book? It's called 'The Slap'. Having listened-in on the discussion it sounds awful! But it's won prizes so who am I to say?
Favourite Book-Clubbers; Gwen, Caroline and Ann.
WEDNESDAY was even more domesticated that Tuesday, but it was purposefully so! I spring-cleaned my computer, getting rid of things, sorting, etc. I even succumbed and reacted to two memes! I just love 'Carry On' and 'Acrostics' so I reacted against my better judgement. I also looked into Twitter. I have an account but I'm going to close it. It seems a lot of trouble for very little. One person approached me to be my 'friend' and I'd have been his five-thousandth!!! Life is too short! In the afternoon I enjoyed another hilarious Scrabble Session at my house. Maureen and Susan are on a cruise together and we're wondering what they'll report when the get back as they're both such volatile women!
Max wasn't well on THURSDAY and Becca encouraged him to sleep a long time so we didn't go round until afternoon tea time. Then, when Greg arrived with Harry, we were all together, including Brian, who's on a months leave from the Fire Service, but barring Michelle, who was at work. I love family gatherings. Greg gave us the news that Harry has got into the local Catholic School. I'm in two minds about this as the class-sizes are 30, whereas only 20 is allowed in Government schools, and I have such anti views about religion. But Greg wants him to go to the Catholic High School later on as it's so good. So we'll see. I'll be too old to worry about it!
FRIDAY was busy. I went to my U3A class in the morning and we discussed 'War Baby' by David Malouf. Jean is a good lecturer and I think I like the group just as well now as I did when it was Playreading. I had to dash home as Michelle wanted me to look after Max while she went into work to sign documents. He was very sweet as usual. He's talking non-stop now but I'm afraid it's not always in English! I tried to get a good shot of him, but, as you can see, he wanted to have fun instead!
On SATURDAY I gave myself neck-ache on the computer. I looked into Stumbleupon and became completely hooked on what I found there, particularly the photographs.I couldn't find a category of poetry though so I'm just hoping something comes up under 'Writing'. I'm just about to watch a recording of 'Lark Rise to Candleford' which is unashamedly sentimental and unrealistic, but which gets me misty-eyed every time! (We've got a bar of dark-chocolate-and-raspberry too!)

Till next week.



Whenever one reads of Virgos, the mind comes to the fore.
They are highly intelligent people, who always know the score.
They always seem firm and resolute, dependable and calm,
People that one can rely on to lend a strong right arm.
But, inside, the mind's in a turmoil, the questioning never ceases
As they constantly try to be making sense of all life's bits and pieces.
How to improve things, how to fix and how to analyze;
Virgos never stop seeking; Virgos can't compromise.
However, they're not creative; the mind can be closed at times
And sometimes they feel bewildered, looking for reasons and rhymes.
Because they are so logical they may appear cold to some,
But the fact of the matter is Virgos may march to a different drum.
They are very analytical; interrogation suits them well;
They can peer into another's mind  however tough the shell.
Sometimes their way of thinking can seem quite dull and slow;
Preparing for a holiday, they'll never say 'Let's go!'
They'll have to check the tickets a thousand times or more
Before they even take a step outside their own front door!
They need to be wanted, in a very practical way;
Their way of showing affection is to organise the day.
They so love perfection that they may appear quite 'picky'
Which can make a simple relationship something a little tricky.
But, underneath, they're honest and their motives are quite pure.
Not the easiest of star-signs but a worthy one for sure.
A different approach to virginity here:


Sunny, who, I'm sure, looks just like my illustration (!), has just sent me this!

"In defense of being a Virgo, and in great admiration for your poetry...

I read what you wrote about Virgos
And took it on the chin
Somethings you said where quite truthful
But others...where shall I begin?

It's true that we like perfection
And to me, sometimes it's a curse
But to say that we're not creative
Just makes the whole matter seem worse

You claim that our way of thinking
Can at times, be quite dull, even slow
But I don't think of myself as either
So I felt it was quite a low blow

It's true that Virgos are picky
Sometimes from morning to night
But I know our ways could be mended
If the rest stared doing it right!

Sunny :) "

Dear Sunny, Your dullness and slowness applies to the part we can see!
Inside brains are whizzing and whirring! All poets are clever! BB

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I had planned on a meme-free month (to attack the dust under the beds!) but I couldn't resist an Acrostic! Who needs crossword puzzles?

suggests this word.


Round and round humanity marches
Emerging from eternal arches
In an incessant catch-up game,
Never escaping praise or blame
Can it be you've been courageous?
Are your sins just too outrageous?
Rated! That's how you will be!
Neatly labeled A.B.C.
And can you bear to face the fact
That this wont be the final act?
It may be you'll come back a bug
Or a slippery slimy slug!
Next time I do this earthly tour
I'll watch my Ps and Qs for sure!

Another view of eternity here:

Friday, August 21, 2009


The words in blue are the opening phrases of
'The Floating Island'
Jules Verne.

(A true story.)
When a journey begins badly it rarely ends too well.
Too many unwise  travelers have a sorry tale to tell.
Take my friends, Alf and Noela, in their nifty caravan.
They should have guessed their trip would fail from how badly it began!
Alf is not too fond of cats! Well, there are folk like that!
He gets all sort of twitchy when confronted by a cat.
But he bore up very bravely when they called in on old friends,
And, when the cat came up to him he tried to make amends.
While they were sitting chatting and drinking cups of tea,
He let the cat get friendly and purr around his knee.
Next morning, thinking all was well, they set of home once more,
Cheerily saying their goodbyes at their old friends' cottage door.
But their journey started badly as you will soon find out;
Although it was a good four hours before things went up the spout.
They stopped at a wayside picnic spot to have a little snack
And Noela went to get things from the caravan at the back.
With a piercing shriek she called 'The cat! The cat is here inside!'
And, sure enough, the moggy had hitched a little ride!
Alf stamped and stomped and carried-on, as do all angry men,
But they both agreed that they must take the cat back home again!
So four hours back they drove at speed, so the cat could be returned,
And then they started off again! You can guess how rubber burned!
There's a sequel to this little tale! You may find it amusing.
But animal-lovers may, I fear, find it pet-abusing.
Two weeks after their return a phone-call was received.
And Alf and Noela found the message hard to be believed.
The little cat had met its end going underneath a car!
As Alf said 'What a waste of time driving back so far!'
'With cat-like tread' here:

Thursday, August 20, 2009



Australia! Land of Freedom! I don't think so! Do you?
Look at this very lengthy list of things you are NOT to do!
This is at Merewether Beach, which I've praised in many a verse,
But you'd have to say these instructions are verging on the terse!
And look at the hidden dangers! By rights we should be scared!
We should be praising highly those swimmers who have dared!
They use that strong word 'Hazardous'! Enough to curl you hair!
The only word that's missing is that chilling word 'Beware!'
Is it any wonder that the pool is where I swim
For every other area sounds positively grim.
Yet there they are! The surfers! Lighthearted as they can get!
The notice is there for all to read but have they read it yet?
P.S. When I look closer my worries start to fade;
The Powers that Be have granted us access to First Aid!
Sometimes it happens here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Something Serendipitous


I never met the gentleman above, but I felt I knew him slightly through Granny Smith's Blog.

When Otto died 'Granny' wrote about her husband, and she included a poem he once wrote. I asked permission to read the poem to my poetry group here in Australia. She, generously, gave permission and told me that I would be reading his verses on the very day of his memorial!

Here is a quote from 'Granny's' current blog:

"I  would like to read one of Otto’s poems to you. Coincidentally, just yesterday, long after I had decided on this poem, a blogger friend in Australia e-mailed me for permission to use it in her literary group."

And here is the poem:

The sun orb at its noon zenith
approaching midsummer
casts my shrunken shadow around my feet.
It stretches out like a snake emerging
from his hole
then races east and south
as the sun swings low and north
until at sunset my shadow is infinitely long.

It sleeps fitfully
then jumps to life in the early midsummer morn.
Stonehenge points to the sun's
most northern emergence.

We mark each high point with such monuments:
greatest weight lifted
farthest discus thrown
largest pumpkin grown
highest flood
largest tree.

We mark the onset of anxiety
that the sun will desert us quickly -
shorter days, longer noon shadows,
cooler nights, threat of winter.

We are anxious about the ebb,
the coming cold, slipping skills,
a loved one leaving.

What enchantment can keep this warmth with me?
Otto Smith