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RBW Online ISSUE 237

Date: 18th May 2012

Words Exercises Assignments Fiction Projects Events Workshops Thoughts Your Pages Poetry News Items

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Thoughts & Quotes ... Anonymous ramblings Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. Deaf people can do anything other people can do except hear. Death is the final journey. Depression is anger without enthusiasm. Depression is anger without motivation, it's like having an empty beer bottle with no one to throw it at. Don't let the chains of the world keep you down. Cast them off, and be free to fly. Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly! Don't hate the player, hate the game. Don't s**t where you eat. - The Talisman by Stephen King Don't look back in anger. – Oasis. Don't take life too seriously, nobody ever makes it out alive anyway. Variant: Do not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. Dead fish go with the flow... but I'm not dead yet. Draw a circle not a heart, because a heart can break but a circle goes on forever. Does a one legged duck swim in a circle. Don't drink water... Fish have sex and poo in it! Don't aim for success. If you want it, just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally! Effort makes the man – ask any woman. Eschew Obfuscation! Espouse Elucidation! Everything's better with butter. Everything tastes better when it's free. Even "impossible" says I'm possible! Even the mighty oak tree was just a little nut once. Every dog has his day. Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer. Eat right. Exercise regularly. Die anyway. Every song ends, but that's not a reason to not enjoy music. Issue 237 Page 2

sumptuous adj Magnificent, splendid, extremely good. splinter v To break apart into long sharp fragments. To cause to break apart into long sharp fragments. (figuratively) To break, or cause to break, into factions. mollycoddle v To be overprotective and indulgent toward; to pamper. penny for your thoughts phrase (idiomatic) A phrase used to inquire into the thoughts and feelings of another, especially when the person appears pensive or conflicted. encomium n Warm praise, especially a formal expression of such praise; a tribute. plenary adj Fully attended; for everyone's attendance. (theology or law) Complete, entire. lope v To travel an easy pace with long strides. banyan n A tropical Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, that has many aerial roots.

LIFE OBSERVATIONS If it is true your waist measurement should be less than half your height measurement to stay healthy, then I guess that 1960s hoola-hoop gathering cobwebs in the loft is due a dust off. So ‗lol‘ now means ‗laugh out loud‘ and not ‗lots of love‘ ... what a disappointment for grandmas everywhere as well as for the prime minister. Today is not a rehearsal for tomorrow. Why do people taking photos take such risks? What is it about a view screen that suspends their perception of reality? Pictorial observation ... taken in the grounds of Osborne House

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Random words: Living in Carshalton, had certain advantages for a veterinary heart specialist whose area of expertise included seizures in a type of hippopotamus. Humphrey was always on message, didactic to a fault in Kate’s opinion. His meticulous approach to all things was annoying. His idea of caution was to Kate, his chief nurse, nothing short of prissy. However, when Ambrosia the half-ton dyspeptic heifer, needed a clean dressing on her poorly knee, Kate decided Humphrey was the better man for the job. ‗Eventually, my Lord Jack, everything comes around again, swings and roundabouts,‘ sighed the Red Queen whispering to the visiting courtier as their feet trod the damp grass leaving a trail in the morning dew. A page drew forth wearing the fawning smirk of a sycophant carrying a waistcoated white rabbit on a silver platter, its bleeding muzzle dangling. ‗Your wishes haz been a carried out, Ma‘am,‘ he said in the high falutin‘ over pronunciation affected by the royal court and flourishing a bow complete with bended knee and doffed feather hat. ‗No sanctuary for the old coney here, then?‘ breathed Lord Jack suppressing fury at the senseless demise of his old friend.

“OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! I want to see them bleeding,” shrieked the Queen of Hearts, who was having a bad hair day. “I don‟t care about sanctuary or the dignity of visiting Bishops, I want their blood all over the grass; that‟ll fertilise it nicely once it‟s rained in, and the crochet lawns do need the rain. Moreover, I want some new crochet balls so „OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” The King of Hearts, as always a sycophant where his other half was concerned, agreed, and issued the appropriate pronunciation or proclamation; the poor fellow could never tell the difference, if he could have, he‟d never have married the fury disguised as his wife in the first place. “It‟s all swings and roundabouts”, he caught himself whispering, “she‟ll be alright, eventually”. “Hoy”, yelled the Cook from the kitchen. “If you do that you can boil them heads yourself. I told you the last time you didn‟t put enough pepper in them. They never lasts long unless you pepper them well. Look at that Knave. How long did his head last? Two matches that‟s all. Disgraceful that was.” Almost Silence settled over the palace grounds, well silence, except for the cook shouting, “More pepper” that is, as the Queen her tranquil mood almost returned, whacked her new balls into the shrubbery.

Random words: Queen, swings, whispering, grass, visiting, appropriate, eventually, sycophant, bleeding, sanctuary, fury, pronunciation

Assignment: Dialogue exercise: Conversation over the garden wall. Steph’s FREE poetry e-chapbook is now published on and on RBW main site The chapbook is illustrated by some of her original artwork. She is a member of Stafford Art Group and has exhibited some pieces locally.

CLIVE’s three free e-books NOW PUBLISHED on RBW and issuu Issue 237 Page 4

Humphrey was a Hippopotamus in Carshalton zoo. His keeper Kate brought him regular food, was very pretty, and meticulous about keeping his enclosure clean. But Humphrey was not content because he had a dream. Eventually, throwing caution to the winds he confided in a neighbouring vulture. It stared, croaked, ‘You? Fly?’ and then embarked upon such screams of laughter that Kate thought it was having a seizure and summoned a specialist vet who had been watching the cup final. He told her, in a most didactic way, that the bird was merely amused. Humphrey snuggled up to Kate, his eyes brimming with sympathy and tried to explain. She understood immediately. ‘You know,’ she said. ‘You can do anything you want as long as you want it enough.’ Obviously the last bit of this sentence contains a get-out that renders it meaningless. But Kate had some rice pudding she knew to be magical. ‘Open your mouth,’ she said. Humphrey felt the sweet dessert run over his tongue like ambrosia, and the next minute he was soaring over his enclosure. The vulture dropped down dead and the vet was sacked for misdiagnosis.


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The root of the word ‘dragon, means, apparently, ‘one who sees clearly’. Throughout history dragons have caused all sorts of mayhem but it’s not until a princess is threatened that the hero appears with his sword. And a good thing too. We can’t have the doings of the rich and powerful on show for everyone to see. Most of us are exposed daily by friends, neighbours and all sorts of dragons without the world bothering too much, but look at the chaos Leveson is causing. The revered are tumbling like ninepins and politicians have to neglect their proper business of getting re-elected to waste time in the House of Commons. And some dragons are roaring for the Culture Secretary and even the Prime Minister. Haven’t they had enough sacrifice? Then there was the whistle blower from border control who daren’t show his face because the responsible minister’s champion might gallop in. Of course he might. A minister can’t have anyone revealing bedlam in his department. It’s unsettling for the rest of us. Much easier to let everyone into the country, especially as they probably aren’t terrorists anyway. The fate of all whistle blowers is to get shafted by the likes of St George because eliminating those who see clearly is essential to the stability of any society. That’s why so many countries have adopted him as their patron saint. Folk like to know where they are, or at least where they are supposed to be, and adapt accordingly. We do live in a caring society, anyone will tell you. Look, only last week I myself was burgled and not only did the authorities leap round to asses the damage, but they also offered counselling. And if the dragon in me glimpsed that the burglar who probably didn’t own a fraction of the things I surround myself with, who mightn’t even have a roof over his head, who might be enslaved to a drug that was making someone else rich, needed psychological support much more than I did, then the St George in me quickly slew it because the problem’s too big, isn’t it? We just haven’t got the resources. Look at the deficit the last government left. And before you mention it lowering the 50% tax rate is costing the country nothing at all because the better off just found a way round it. With the new 45% rate they’ll sack all their accountants and cough up. We’ll all be richer for that. Anyway, people don’t have to drink/smoke/ inject do they? It’s their choice. I worked hard for what I’ve got. Well, moderately hard. Well, hard enough. Why didn’t the burglar apply himself at school and get a decent job? The philosopher Terry Eagleton has written a book called The Spirit Level in which he demonstrates that societies are more prosperous and peaceful if their members have more or less equal advantages. I can only advise him to take a few lessons in jousting or buy a fast horse.

Deirdre Drinkwater was mooning about. Her mind was clearly not on her job of dusting the window display. She had polished the plastic statue of Hercules with the broken helmet tree times and totally neglected to shake the dust off the heap of knitted dogs which, as usual, sadly graced the charity‘s display. Deirdre was still flicking about with the feather duster when Cynthia Saunders meandered by casting an appraising glance into the rival establishment, to gain an insight into their marketing plan. Deirdre didn‘t notice the vision in various shades of puce and pink pulling faces at the pile of overstuffed dogs of all descriptions. Deirdre was on the look-out for only one thing: Mick Grabble. It was as her nose actually made contact with the shop window that standing on the pavement, Cynthia noticed two things, the bizarre antics of the weird volunteer with a face only a mother could love, and that Lady Annabelle Bluddschott‘s Land Rover had pulled into the only parking place left on the High Street. ‗Good morning, your Ladyship...‘ smiled Cynthia doing her best not to drop a curtsey. Cynthia was big on royalty, not that this brassy heiress had any claims on nobility, not much grandeur being attached to pork bangers. Lady Annabelle nodded and strode past, entering the establishment of Mans‘ Best Friend without a word, leaving Cynthia blinking at the affront. Meanwhile at the rear of the premises, Randolph was opening the door to accept another delivery. ‗Hey up, lad. Giss an ‗and with this lot. Albert Mews, might be a bit tasty,‘ said Mick, dumping four black bin bags onto the floor. Leaving the kettle, Randolph rushed to oblige, the sacred scarab safely concealed in his back pocket. Jumping into the back of the collection van where he was out of sight, Randolph hastily pushed the scarab into a convenient split in a plastic bag thoughtfully marked ‗bits and pieces‘ by the donator. It was just as the last of the bags was secured in the back room that Manageress Geraldine, her face slightly flushed, and Lady Annabelle emerged from the shop front, and that Lady Annabelle was confronted by both the tattooed muscles of the sweating young offender, and the wide-eyed charms of the older ragman, who was by now giving her his full attention. It was a moment of choice. And for once Lady Bluddschott was temporarily lost for words as their eyes met over the sea of black bin bags. In the shop, over by the till, Deirdre Drinkwater glanced up into the security mirror which covered any activity in the rear stock room and wailed. It was a silent wail. But she knew her place in the pecking order. That over-dressed besom held all the aces: how could she compete with Lady Annabelle for Mick‘s attentions? Deirdre cuddled a stuffed poodle to her sagging bosom as her double chins wobbled in the abject despair of the rejected.

PLEA: This story would have been enhanced by a picture of a pile of bin bags or even one bin bag. BUT trying to find an ‘open source’ photo of a plain bin bag proved impossible. Have you got any? Please email Steph — don’t send photos — just let her know what you have available. Thank you.

Workers’ Playtime Project RBW are delighted to announce the free e-book of this project has been uploaded on to the RBW main website, profile page and our Facebook page Control/CLICK the picture The project’s book is crammed with colour pictures and recorded memories. The actual manuscript is currently with the printer and will be released shortly. Copies of the book will be donated to local libraries and to all the participating groups. The main website also contains MP3 tracks of the memories for those who prefer to listen to accounts of oral social history. Very shortly the distribution round of workshops will begin when those taking part will see their memories in print for the first time and be able to hear the memories of people from other groups taking part. A Power Point Presentation has also been prepared for their enjoyment.

DID YOU KNOW? May is National Share a Story Month Storytelling is engraved in our DNA. Ancient peoples first started telling stories. How do we know? Some academics believe cave-dweller paintings might have been their first attempts at picture stories. Apparently, although there has been very little fanfare, May is National Share a Story Month, and, after giving it some thought, perhaps they are right at the National Literacy Trust there are plenty of ways to introduce stories to children/grandchildren, and not all involve books, which many children regard as to do with school work. Here are some top tips: 1. Share your own favourite childhood stories You can tell them from memory or perhaps find a copy in the library. 2. Ask the child what their favourite characters are Try to engage them in talking about that story and telling it to you — it might be from a DVD or TV. This doesn‘t matter. All films, drama etc started off life as a storyboard. 3. Read a bedtime story Most children love being read to. It‘s not just about the story; it‘s also about spending quality time with you. 4. Create your own story These could be memories. Perhaps you have family photos to show them. ―This is Uncle Ernie who won a cup for his runner beans‖ etc. Most children are really interested in their own family members‘ life stories. Perhaps, you could involve them in helping you to make a family tree. 5. Visit your local library One of the best ways of getting your children/grandchildren into reading is by joining your local library and actually taking them to that library and getting involved with book choices and reading those books. Most libraries have children‘s sections. Some have with regular story times and music sessions. You might learn something, too. 6. Start them young Babies love the rhythms and patterns of nursery rhymes, songs and stories. These repeated sounds help with the development of their language, talking and listening skills. YES ... listening is a skill.

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ODDFELLOWS HALL OPEN EXHIBITION Friday 18th and Saturday 19th May

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Portraits landscapes — watercolours — oils — acrylics - demonstrations. Something for all tastes and pockets. Refreshments with home made cakes available.

Latest Competitions: Printerinks Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 21-May-12 The Page is Printed Creative Writing Competition | Closing Date: 29-May-12 The Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize 2012 | Closing Date: 31-Aug-12 Fire River Poets Open Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 31-Oct-12 Barnet Open Poetry Competition 2012 | Closing Date: 16-Nov-12 New Magazines: Nyne Magazine Latest News: Items added to the Poetry Library in April 2012 | 10-May-12 LONDON EW1: Film of speeches - Césaire, Glissant, Darwish and others | 05-May-12 E710548AD5C34C6E/3FDCBEAC9B75AD5C0367819F23434F99

National Literacy Trust Newsletter — new issue now on line Top authors respond to commission on boys' reading Writers Anthony Horowitz and Michael Rosen (former children‘s laureate) were expert witnesses at the House of Commons as part of a commission on boys‘ reading this week. Other witnesses were representing the UKLA, Oxford University Press, Working with Men, the National Foundation for Educational Research, The Reading Agency, the Every Child a Chance Trust, Dyslexia Action, Ofsted and members of the teaching profession.

Richest 20% of children twice as likely to be read to at age three The All Party Parliamentary Group on social mobility has released their report stating that reforms aimed at families with young children are more effective at boosting social mobility than strategies aimed at 16-18-year-olds. The report cites evidence that the richest 20% of children are twice as likely to be read to every day at the age of three as the poorest 20%. It also recommends that children aged three should be given basic literacy lessons to prepare them for school. MP Damian Hinds, chairman of the cross-party group, said the scale of the challenge was immense: “The very earliest years are an obvious place to prioritise. This is not easy territory because it's about parenting. No one wants to be telling parents what to do in their own home. There are things which we know are good for children, like having books in the home, holding them, a good diet. The challenge is to find ways to encourage good parenting.” news/4631_richest_20_of_children_twice_as_likely_to_be_read_to_at_age_three Issue 237 Page 10

Romeo: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

Romeo And Juliet Act 2, scene 2, 2–6

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Issue 237 RBW Online  
Issue 237 RBW Online  

Issue 237 RBW Online weekly magazine