Page 1

Issue 332

page 4 blog

18th April 2014

Random words : fold, slogan, exam, proceed, decision, acting, crab, truckle Assignment : Eggs

Word : Truckle, verb: to be submissive; noun: a small cylinder of cheese

The hedgerows are alive with the chattering of a thousand sparrows! Seen painted on the side of a narrowboat called “Dunwyngyn”:- „Time is precious. Waste it wisely‟. The motto of the Scottish National Party is „Forward‟. Personally, I don‟t subscribe to the view that perpetually forging ahead is necessarily a good idea. Sometimes, it is more sensible to stop, think, learn and maybe even take a step back! Consider this ... If we prosecute dog owners for allowing their animals to foul pavements and play areas etc, why don‟t we prosecute cat owners for allowing their animals to do the same and even worse to damage veg plots and befoul neighbours‟ gardens?


If you’ve never had the opportunity to discover the magical qualities of contemporary sculpture then the Dame Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden in St Ives is a very good place to start a personal journey of discovery and enlightenment ... writes SMS Entrance fees are modestly priced with concessions for senior citizens at £4.00. When open in the main holiday season the bijou sized garden can be combined with THE TATE for a reduction in entrance fees. The sculpture garden and museum is a gem tucked away behind a substantial stone wall and did take some finding but the search, with the aid of a map and advice from friendly locals, was well worth the effort, (always bearing in mind that I failed a map reading badge in Brownies and once got lost in Sainsbury’s car park). Barbara_Hepworth_Museum Few Brits would not already be aware of something of the extraordinary talent of Dame Barbara Hepworth DBE (10 January 1903 – 20 May 1975) who was an English artist and sculptor. It is often said her work exemplifies Modernism and in particular in her artistic field - sculpture. She was to many an icon, a beacon and one of the few women artists of her time to achieve international prominence. Along with artists such as (husband) Ben Nicholson, Hepworth was a leading figure in the colony of artists who lived and worked in St Ives during the 1940s. 4 Sculpture Images SMS 2014

Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and their children first visited Cornwall at the outbreak of war in 1939. Hepworth lived in Trewyn Studios in St Ives from 1949 until her death aged 72 in 1975. Hepworth reportedly said, "Finding Trewyn Studio was sort of magic. Here was a studio, a yard, and garden where I could work in open air and space." St. Ives became a refuge for many artists in wartime. On 8 February 1949, Hepworth and Nicholson co-founded the “Penwith Society of Arts” at the Castle Inn; nineteen artists were signed up, including Peter Lanyon and Bernard Leach. Hepworth was a skilled draughtsman. When her daughter was in hospital in 1944 Hepworth became friends with the surgeon Norman Capener. At his invitation, she was invited to sketch surgical procedures: between 1947-1949 Hepworth produced 80 drawings of operations in chalk, ink and pencil. Hepworth said she was fascinated by the similarities between surgeons and artists, stating: "There is, it seems to me, a close affinity between the work and approach of both physicians and surgeons, and painters and sculptors." In 1950, works by Hepworth were exhibited in the British Pavilion at the 25th Venice Biennale alongside works by Matthew Smith and John Constable. During this period, Hepworth moved away from working in stone or wood and began to work with bronze for commissions. Hepworth used her St Ives garden, to display large-scale bronzes only a fraction of which are seen in the images here.

Birth name Born Died Training Movement

Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth 10 January 1903 Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire 20 May 1975 (aged 72) St Ives, Cornwall Leeds School of Art, Royal College of Art Modernism, Abstract art



Website Wikipedia image (Hepworth 1966)

Hepworth greatly increased her studio space when she bought the Palais de Danse, a former cinema and dance studio, across the street from Trewyn in 1960. She used this new space to work on large-scale commissions. It is documented that during her later years Hepworth experimented with lithography. She produced two lithographic suites, (1969 and 1971), with the Curwen Gallery. "The Aegean Suite" (1971) was inspired by Hepworth's stay in Greece in 1954. She also produced a set of lithographs, "Opposing Forms" (1970) with Marlborough Fine Art, London. Sadly, Barbara Hepworth died in an accidental fire at the Trewyn studios on May 20, 1975. Personally speaking visiting this garden of incredible artworks was a high point of a recent stay in St Ives and I’d fully recommend the experience.

An Early Harvest. My Sea Kale seedlings came on much better than I could have hoped for as they put on a lot of top growth that looked something like a cross between Rhubarb and Globe Artichoke leaves. They grew so big that in the Winter when they were dormant I decided to re-plant them and spread them out a bit more to give them more room. The Crowns seemed nicely developed as did the thick fleshy root system that were again reminiscent of Rhubarb roots. Because of the apparent health of the plants I decided to try and “Force,” them to get some stalks to harvest in the early Spring, although it is recommended not to harvest them for a year or two after planting. Getting as many cheap buckets as I needed to cover all the crowns I shielded the plants from the daylight from January onwards. Within a couple of weeks the Crowns started to throw up long, pale, leaf stalks that were soon ready to cut. They looked very much like Celery stalks, but cut, cooked and tasted exactly like Asparagus. As with other Herbaceous type plants, Sea Kale Crowns will multiply in numbers quite readily by removing the small offsets that appear round the main Crown. Most of my Crowns already have several little plantlets growing round them that I shall remove, pot up and give away. There is quite a bit of interest in the plants on the allotments so I am sure I will make plenty of new friends! My Welsh Onions have also come through the Winter nicely and are bunching up well so, I should be able to pull a few of those soon. They will make a great alternative to Spring Onions that I don’t grow and will be another early harvest for this Spring. Last year they suffered too much after dividing, but the mild, wet Winter has done them good and got them off to a flying start. This time I shall not leave them so late in the year before dividing and replanting. The Egyptian “Walking,” Onions sets that were delivered at the back end of last season are shooting nicely and will be ready to plant out soon. These are another unusual plant, but are more of a novelty than for serious cropping. The Onions develop at the top of the stem and then start to grow as their weight bends the stems down to the ground. Hence the name “Walking,” Onions because if left alone the plants will spread by this method of “Walking.”


At last I have started cutting a few Chicory, “Chicons,” that are developing nicely in my cold greenhouse at home. They were of course grown in my allotment before being taken in and replanted in the dark as the Winter

came. Normally you would harvest them in the depths of Winter, but they were hidden under the staging and I forgot to water them so, they just sat there until I did. Still, we like them lightly boiled and served hot so, they are another green vegetable for early on in the season. I am awaiting delivery of yet another new plant and that is a root of Liquorice. I don’t know if you would really class this as a vegetable because it is most definitely edible, but you would hardly serve it up with roast beef! From what I have read it is the roots that yield the sweet juice that sets into the Liquorice that we all know. For hundreds of years it has been grown in Yorkshire so it should be alright on my allotment and the plant is said to be drought tolerant to some extent so even if we have a dry Summer after our wet Winter it will be able to cope.

(Please note these blogs taken from Alan’s websites are not in seasonal order ... This article is from the first of the FOURTH YEAR blogs)

"All right, it was an exaggeration," Michael admitted as he defended himself and his reputation as an amateur rocket scientist to his friend. "Yes, I cheated, I didn't power the thing using an artichoke for fuel." They were staring at the remains of his crashed attempt to send his daughter's teddy bear into orbit. "But now I really do need your help to find that bear or my life won't be worth living. I saw it floating down so at least the parachute worked, but where the devil is it?" (EL) “It would have been an exaggeration to say Michael McGann had defended The Bear. It was physically impossible to render the former member of the parachute regiment any assistance in the mêlée in the bar of the Artichoke and Compasses, that afternoon,” said the barrister, peering over the top of half-moon spectacles. “Archie Brunovski, „The Bear‟, was, in the words of the prosecution witness, „going off like a rocket on speed‟, however, the reason for this display of aggression in self-defence will soon become apparent. Call Michael McGann to the stand, if you please, Melord.” (SMS) Tom was a keen gardener, and loved his allotment. Michael loved skydiving, and it was only a matter of time before their paths would cross, and the outcome would not be a happy one. Michael grew prize winning vegetables, and his artichokes and rocket always won First Prize at the local Flower and Produce shows. One Saturday, he was out there, digging, when out of the blue, Michael leapt from a small plane, and pulled the ripcord of his parachute, floating inexorably towards Tom‟s veggie plot. “Oh no! I can‟t bear it!” Michael wailed, rushing forward, waving his fork at Michael. “You‟ve ruined my prospects!” “That‟s an exaggeration!” Michael replied, as he defended himself from attack by the enraged allotmenteer. (PMW)

Year 1589 : The Cast : The Queen’s Men : a group of strolling players thrown out of London where the theatres have been closed due to an outbreak of plague. Elizabeth I was on the throne. Kit Marlowe (wordsmith/detective), Harry Swann (the murderer of thefirst victim who first found the chalice) Samuel Burball (Owner), Peter Pecksniff, Daniel Alleynes, young Hal who plays a girl’s role very badly. Vesta Swann, Rosie Rippsheet. The Boar’s Head Tavern, Trentby: Bertha landlady, Molly Golightly, Martha Goodnight wenches. Ned the bear keeper. The Trentby Abbey of St Jude : Abbot Ranulf knows something about the missing Roman hoard of silver plate/chalice etc The Manor of Bluddschott : sodden Squire Darnley Bluddschott, wife Mistress Anne, daughter Penelope about to be sold off into matrimony, Mistress Hood seamstress, sister to Penny, Mistress Tatanya The Sheriff’s Castle : Magistrate Squire Humphrey Pettigrew, Black Knight, the Sheriff Burrowmere Lord Haywood, man-at-arms Richard of Hyde Leigh, a constable Daniel Smithers and a scribe Modern Day: Rick Fallon and Tommy Tip-Tip McGee** Private eyes in Trentby on case for Sir Kipling Aloysius Bluddschott (Sister Christobel) to locate silver chalice and Roman hoard of Trentby Abbey + corpse Jago Swann DI Pete Ferret and Lavender Pomeroy and Rose Rippsheet

PLEASE NOTE: It is imperative that those writing for the storyline read what other writers have already written before they add a new piece. AND the year has been changed and Moll Rippsheet has become Rosie.


Jago Swann stumbled along in the dark, his candle spluttering and threatening to go out in the cold, dank tunnel. He shivered. Had this been a good idea, he thought to himself. The tunnel seemed to go on for miles, but then he noticed that the ground beneath his feet had changed. It was no longer hewn stone, but dustier and less hard under his boots. It felt like compacted soil and there was definitely a moist earthy smell in his nostrils. This damp hole wasn’t doing his asthma much good. Jago had heard rumours that there was a tunnel under the tavern, as well as the one below Trentby Abbey, but evidently nobody had bothered to find out if it were true. And he couldn’t blame them. He’d been going for ever, without getting anywhere, and he was becoming ever more certain that whoever had built the tunnel, had intended that any folk of an investigative frame of mind would be deterred because the tunnel had doubled back on itself several times, and meandered aimlessly for mile upon mile. Jago himself had thought about aborting his exploration, but kept thinking to himself “I’ve started, so I’ll finish”, and “Having come so far, I may as well carry on.” And with no conviction whatsoever, ”It’s probably further to go back than to go on.” Besides, he wasn’t sure if the candle would hold out much longer, and he didn’t want to get caught down here in the dark. He’d always been secretly afraid of the dark. Jago was so busy musing about his own frailties, that he almost walked into the ancient, wooden door which loomed out of the gloom in front of him. But whatever lay behind it was determined to remain a secret. He wrestled with it, pulled it, pushed it, kicked it and swore at it, but it would not yield. He took a liberal swig of the amber liquor he’d bought on the cheap from a work colleague, who brewed his own. “Blistering barnacles!” he exclaimed out loud, “this stuff packs a punch!” But it seemed to do the trick, for he set about the task with renewed vigour, bending down and scratching away the dirt and dust which had accumulated in front of the ancient entrance over the centuries. With one final Herculean effort, the door creaked… and moved. It was very heavy, and Jago required several more swigs to produce a gap big enough to squeeze through… but squeeze through he did, and collapsed in a heap on the other side, coughing and choking with dust, effort and asthma. At first glance, the tunnel appeared to go on as before, but Jago Swann took his time. He needed to get his breath under control, and leaned up against the tunnel wall. It was a bit uneven. He held the candle closer and had a good look round. He spied a stone in the wall which was slightly different from the surrounding ones. He grasped it, and found that it was loose. With some gentle persuasion, it came away, revealing a rectangular hollow. He felt around, and at the back, in the deep darkness, touched an object wrapped in an old cloth. He put the candle on the ground and carefully extracted the mysterious find. It was the chalice and HE had found it! Swann quickly wrapped it up again, and replaced the stone in the wall. He stumbled on, along the tunnel, candle in hand; his treasure clutched close to his chest. Suddenly, in front of him was a flight of rough-hewn stairs. He would have to sacrifice the light and proceed in total darkness, in order to have his hands free to move the trapdoor at the top of the flight. It was hard going, scrambling up the steps with the chalice stuffed inside his jacket and his breathing laboured, but he persisted… and heaving open the door, found himself in the dark corner of some sort of storeroom, full of boxes and box files and filing cabinets. Jago hoisted himself out and lay on his back on the dusty floor, panting. He got up,

and looked around. In the adjoining room, there was a desk, with glass and water decanter. He fell into the plush leather chair and poured himself a drink. Taking out the chalice from under his coat, he examined it closely, then placed it on the desk in front of him. This was going to be good for his pension fund, for sure! He took a generous swig from the hip flask, followed by two full glasses of water. This treasure hunting was thirsty work! Suddenly, he was overwhelmed by a violent attack of coughing. He was gasping for breath and convulsing. “Where’s my inhaler?” he called out in desperation to anyone who was within hearing. But there was no-one. His cries fell on deaf ears. He realised he had left it on the shelf at home. Panic set in. He clutched at his throat, loosening his clothing in a vain attempt to get more air into his lungs, but to no avail. Jago Swann writhed and thrashed around for several minutes, and knocked his hard-won spoils onto the floor in the process, before finally collapsing in an untidy heap across Rick Fallon’s desk. And whose dead cold eyes could not notice the chalice rolling out of sight into the floor space chewed out by decades of diligent mice beneath the leckie meter cupboard. Armada “Well, Kit, what do you think? A good idea or not?” “Definitely a not, Samuel. Not a good idea at all; not out here in the sticks anyway. In London it could be a good one, but you know that these yokels are years behind the times. They haven't, quite, managed to get used to the idea that Howard and Drake defeated the Armada yet.” “But that was, what? A couple of years ago! Even the Tower Warders have had the news by this time, and heavens only know that they're as thick a bunch of tosspots as you can find.” “That's as true as the nose on your face, Samuel.” Kit Marlow stopped to think for a second before continuing. “It must be all that embroidery on their coats affecting their minds.” Burball took up the challenge. “Or those fancy hats they wear. No good can come of wearing hats like those.” They chuckled at the thought of the Tower Yeomen, stuck in London with the plague raging, forced to wear outdated uniforms. “You know; I've always thought that you'd look good in one of those fancy outfits they wear, Samuel. Why haven't you offered to join them?” “'Cos I can't afford the hundreds of marks they want for a position, Kit. Besides the pay's no good. Sixteen pence a day for an Ordinary or, even worse, four pence for an Extraordinary? I ask you, how can it be worth it at sixteen pence a day?” “That must be why they hassle visitors for tips and run the alehouses and games on the side, Samuel. Still, I've never heard of one going to debtor prison. Ordinary prison, aye; but not for debt.” “Anyway, Kit. My idea is that the hero must be foreign; everybody knows that foreigners are a peculiar lot, he needs to be exotic: swarthy, young, lithe, handsome. That remind you of anyone?” He preened. Kit made a great play of looking around. “Well, the only one who gets near that lot is

young Hal, but I can't think of anybody else. Not offhand.” He knew what Burball was angling for and was going to make him work for it. “But that Constable would make a good foil. He could do the none too bright parts a treat, 'course he'd have to get rid of his collection of fleas first. Might give the horses something nasty they might.” Burball didn't know if he should laugh at the idea, or take umbrage at the implication of not being right for the part, and settled for chuckling. Kit took pity on him. “Of course there's always … No, he's not right. On the other hand, there's … No, he's no good either. It'd be difficult of course, playing a Moorish nobleman and all, but I'm sure that we've got somebody who can do it.” Kit sighed, theatrically of course. “But, as you say, we've got to use our very best to get the cash flowing. Now whilst I wouldn't want to add to a burden by piling it onto the usual duties, I'm afraid that the only player with the expertise to carry the part is ... Samuel, yourself!” “Could be that you’re right, Kit. Now, what do you think the Bluddschott's would make of the plot?” “They can make what they like, Samuel! After the last time you swore a Bible oath that you'd never play the Castle again, even if it was the last one in the land, and I'm holding you too it. Never again, you said. Remember?” Kit could see that Burball was hovering, if-ing and butting. “The plot's a difficult one. A comedy of a Moor being married to a termagant who screams and raves at him, and her father, and anyone else, and need some persuasion the being married, to him, or anyone for that matter, is a good thing? Hmm … won't be easy to write and even more difficult to play … Hal won't do, it's beyond him and I hear signs of his voice breaking. We need somebody better. What we could do with is a real termagant. Somebody like Mistress Joan, only younger.” “Difficult that. The old Popes forbade it but it was done, in France and Spain, anyway. But, who cares about Popes, and their edicts, in England. You know, Kit, put women on stage and we could be in with something really new, a new style of theatre. It could be what we need to become the premier company in all the land, I'll think on the matter!” This is the tenth issue of Best Scottish Poems, an online selection of twenty of the best poems by Scottish authors to appear in books, pamphlets and literary magazines during 2013. This page is well worth a visit.

MISSING PERSONS Missing persons — missed by others wives and children, siblings, mothers. Man walks out on a family of five And they don‟t know if he‟s dead or alive Why he goes no one is sure For fear of belonging no obvious cure. Missing persons are loved ones lost Others left counting emotional cost Lost loves are missing even if we know their address It‟s the empty space in the heart and that we don‟t love them less. Dead parents are missing too Even when they were overcritical giving guidance or whatever it is they do. I imagine my dead dad as a star in the black blanket sky I was just twenty-three when he had to die of course as a window cleaner He did not mind heights He would love being a star with an excellent view of the Northern Lights. Missing persons are sometimes never found Like the plane on its mystery destination bound. Is it worse for the Others left waiting and hoping, praying and crying can't rejoice with the living can't mourn the dying?

10/04/2014 12

As you may appreciate, this is written from experience. You get much better at jobs the more practice you have, so while it may look a bit slapdash, it can mean the job’s done before the weather breaks. Time and tide wait for no man, or so the saying goes, and if ya doing nowt while waiting for the breakdown man, ya may as well do it ya sen. Farmers’ Skills know no Bounds Over the years you learn most skills, enough to get ya by, Welding, plumbing, laying bricks, ya mind ya must apply, Laying concrete with a slope, grids and drains dig in, Mend the roofs and spouting, protect the stock within. A builder’s job is in his hands, a trowel and shovel need, Pegs and line and spirit level, practice now for speed, Anyone can do the job, an eye for accuracy to lay, Bricks and blocks to make a wall, mistakes are on display. Plumbing now with plastic pipes, and easy joints push fit, Gone are the old iron pipes, a lot of work admit, Cut with hacksaw threads to cut, paste and hemp wound on, Elbows tees and feral joints, with pipe wrench now all gone. A breakdown now, repair with weld, another job to learn, Clean the rust off on the joint, with weld rod at angle burn, Steady flow and curled up ash, or that is how should be, Mine resembles pigeon ***, in lumps and holes for me. Old nuts and bolts of any size, they build up in the shed, But finding one the right size, too thick, too short the thread, When one’s found that’s okay, but now you need a pair, Then the job’s impossible, enough to mek ya swear. Cotter pins they’re soft and bend, can never get them out, Top and tail it breaks off, in hole with rust we clout, The right size nail comes handy, tail end bent round double, Get you moving, harvest time, and gets you out of trouble. Farmer’s skills know no bounds, most thing he will tackle, Jack of all trades master of none, but saves a lot of hassle, Do the job to how he likes, no one to tell that’s wrong, Confidence in homemade skills, build and make real strong.

ENJOYING THE FRUITS Last week the garden was smiling so brilliantly that I actually decanted the lounger from the shed and, after a minimum of struggling, got it up on the lawn. 'There,' I said, leaning back contentedly, whereupon my head clouted the metal tubing because the cushion had slipped down. 'Damn!' I cried, vowing once more that this year we really will get new garden furniture. Ours is so old that I can't recall buying it, although I remember getting new cushions and the cost so astounded me that I felt we must make them last forever. I said as much to my friend. 'That's the trouble with war babies,' she said. 'Are you saying we're mean?' 'Green.' I pondered this for a while, then asked, 'Where's the difference?' 'Acceptable justification,' she said. 'Was justification not acceptable before?' 'During the war it was, but after that we were supposed to use up as much of everything as we could in order to keep people in work. Now we're getting flooded. So once again it's time to ease off, stop burning the coal and the petrol, and most of all, stop cutting the trees down. You can't have teak. You know economies change according to social needs,' she said, warming to her theme. 'Well, no,' I had to point out, 'social behaviour changes according to economic needs.' 'Same thing,' said Gillian airily. 'Is it?' I asked doubtfully. 'Maybe you could have teak. It is an economy in the end because it lasts forever.' I couldn't help feeling she had subtly changed the subject, and I have to admit that I had once coveted a teak number on which to recline and enjoy the fruits of my labours. But it was miles out of our price bracket. 'The real problem,' I said, is that I've never found anything as comfortable as the rusty tubes upon which I presently recline. They are arranged so you can put your feet straight out and remain seated upright if you wish. Or you can recline to an angle of your choosing. The modern stuff seems to shoot you backwards the minute you raise your legs so you have a view of the sky instead of the daffodils.' 'You're not trying,' she said. 'What's the point of slaving away to make a beautiful garden if you...?' Go on to ruin it with a pile of scrap, she meant. So we set off to the garden centre in search of something that was comfortable without needing a mortgage. Fake wicker seemed to be in. Certainly it looked good. 'And practical,' said Gillian. 'You'd get backache using that table.' She sighed and looked at me meaningfully. Meaning that the table I invited her to rest her coffee mug on had a slat missing and was covered in lichen. 'There's the teak,' she said, pausing beside a set priced at six times what we'd paid for our own dining suite. 'Where do you put your feet up?' I asked. 'You won't like this wrought iron then?' 'I couldn't imagine anything less comfortable if I thought for a year!' So it continued, through canvas (not sufficiently padded), aluminium (not sufficiently warm), driftwood, (not sufficiently anything). It was all stiff, unyielding, so unlike the sloping plastic arms of my own dear rustpile. 'It's hopeless,' I said after about an hour.' So we went home. In the evening the spouse demonstrated why we had weathered the storm so long. 'Who else has a collection of lichen like yours?' he asked. 'There's all sorts of colours and styles in there. Why don't you just buy a couple of sofa cushions to sew on the ends of the ones we've got? And if your friends are offended by the rust, present them with a can of spray paint. Pale green would be nice.' So I did.


Random words : Careful monk pickle endeavour wings afterthought scales clinic caterpillar air articulated blanch/e

“You can’t be too careful when it comes to the internet”, Blanche told her friend. “There are some right weirdos out there!” She spoke from bitter experience and had had her wings singed and got herself into a pickle several times. “I endeavour to be cautious”, she added. Her friend Liz nodded, “but my life seems to consist of overweight patients, scales, diet plans and Friday clinic. It’s time I had a private life!” Meanwhile, Joe was uploading his profile onto the dating website. He had been single and lived like a monk since his wife’s death eight years earlier. “I am a heavy goods vehicle driver,” he wrote, attached a picture of himself standing in front of several huge articulated lorries and tractors with caterpillar tracks. “I enjoy the open air,” he added as an afterthought.

Assignment :Missing people. I lost you to the air and wind and rain. Oh not aboard Flight MH370, But three years since. You took to your wings And left me here, aground, Yet without my grounding;The one who kept me grounded, Rooted and in touch with reality. Now, though I seem to all to be present, It is an illusion. I am elsewhere. My body lingers on, impatient, But my mind and soul and spirit Search for yours. I am an actor, skilled in deceit. Well-practiced in the art of subterfuge. Forever pretending to be alive And human, Wearing a mask for others’ benefit. Waiting for my Missing person.

Nights out. When I was young, I enjoyed a night out. I could live it up with the best. Now I‟m ready for bed by nine o‟clock, In my flannel pyjamas and vest. Instead of a drink in the bar with friends, I prefer a nice cup of tea. A rum-and-coke has lost its allure And holds no pleasure for me. Instead of dancing the night away In my hot pants and high-heeled shoes, My corns and my bunion are playing me up, So it‟s my comfy slippers I‟ll choose. I‟m sorry to say that I‟m getting old, So nights out are a thing of the past. I‟ll stay in and watch the telly tonight, And let others live lives that are fast!

Sue Townsend: how the welfare state left me and my kids scouring the streets for pennies The writer, who died last Thursday, created her teen diarist Adrian Mole while she was a struggling single mother of three. In this Observer article from 1989, she described how the state had left her destitute


Further research: Sue_Townsend

World War I Poetry Recital Evening Friday 11 July 2014 On 11th July, the National Memorial Arboretum will host an evening of war poetry stories and music, where guests will have the opportunity to hear some of the Great War’s most famous poems, read in the atmospheric Millennium Chapel. Hosted by poet Paul Thornber, this event promises to be a moving

Staffordshire Poet Laureate Tom Wyre will be presenting a new work, a contemporary reflection on the sacrifices made 100 years ago. experience, looking at the cost of war from a number of different perspectives.

This is a rare opportunity to see the National Memorial Arboretum after hours and to reflect on World War I in beautiful surroundings. Time: 7.30pm - 9.30pm Admission: ÂŁ15 per person, including welcome drink Venue: Millennium Chapel Contact: 01283 792 333 or email

EASTER Please Note: There will Not be a Library Workshop on Easter Bank Holiday Monday -o0oAnyone Thinking About Joining the Trustees Please Talk To Trevor Asap. Many thanks.

EPIPHANY...... now there's a word. A striking realization of one's being and an infinitesimally small place on the broader spectrum of one's life; the Universe and its energy around one and all and a particle being searched for. This morning as infant hours woke upon a new day, I have listened to the birdsong, touched the shining leaves on trees and felt the smile of the sun upon my face. I've absolutely no idea why, but I'm inspired to look more than ever from within before looking outside. I am approaching nearly half a century and it has took until this moment to peek at a sense of true nirvana, peace, understanding... what ever I and all of us are searching or striving for?? Everyone's got a different "bag" haven't they ... or perhaps, just perhaps we are all searching for that one point of light? Scientists call it the "God particle", poets and philosophers call it a sense of being, teachers and gurus call it knowledge, mothers call it unconditional love. Strange, unforeseen... sometimes dreamlike and then an occasionally nightmarish series of events have happened and continue to develop in my life... true love lost and then found and then lost again; sudden life and realizations, "out of the blue" losses of loved ones and forks in the road; close friends and others chewed and tormented by cancer. They are all embryonic twists and turns in a road on which I'm travelling. I was at an event called "Outside The Box" the other day which encourages and inspires "free thinking". As both friends old and new, we discussed Freud's concepts of Super Ego and Id; the presence of good and evil and strived somehow to assess causes; Einstein's postulations of time and relativity; communication with fellow and kindred spirits; experiences of spirituality and even the role of quantum mechanics and particle physics. For me, I've finally realized that what I've been searching for all of this time was right under my nose and around me, seeping in and out of my every pore, waving its arms holding neon signs shouting out and whispering at the same time... I'm here friend... hello old soul! I wrote a poem in the last year or so called "The Methuselah Tree" and not really knowing what it was (although in my musings it could have had connections with the "Tree of Life"). Now I know more about my poem, I've come to realize that I don't hug my Mum and family enough or embrace friends and others around me enough. I will always try to see the other view, everything is relative as a genius called Einstein once said... light and dark, super ego and Id. We are all at a point in time. The same people looking into mirrors and reaching out. An urge to touch the sky or feel the earth beating beneath one and all's feet. Sparks of imagination within a heartbeat, a single breath sleeping on a cloud. These are echoes of words sprung from a poetic mote and this humble man; a particle of being and a truly personal epiphany. Happy Easter, Love, one and all Tom Wyre, (Staffordshire's Poet Laureate) 18

Resurrection He breathes life in the wind and in the murmurs through the trees, His tree still lives within our memories, Of sacrifice and silent defiance, Gentle eyes that melt the stern and bitter stares. Wrath and blood and pain calmed by whispered care The clouds run across the fleeting sky and wisp and fly, As wings of doves waft and caress the ailing sighs. The son still glows brightly as if his fingers outstretched Should be the rays of the sun, Open hands in love and peace forever on and on. On a distant breeze I still hear the song that greets The morn, So do not mourn for the spirit is free and he still lives As nature’s heartbeat.

Copyright Tom Wyre

Shadows Lit When the rains swamp your moods, search for the sun. When one door closes, another door opens. When one makes mistakes, one can learn. When one therefore fails, one also succeeds. When a flower withers, it leaves its seed. When one skin is shed, another is shown. When the egg cracks, a miracle is made. When your love is lost, at least your love is known. When tears drop, a rainbow smile slips from shadow. When you behold beauty, always look to the heart. When wrinkles surface, wisdom sometimes appears. When the year ends the year commences. When bad memories fade, good ones grow. When there is death, life consumes the void. When a star vanishes, a nova is born. When you look at the end of the tunnel, light often waits. With these verses deep in thought, let the positive create. Shadows lit by smiles.

Copyright Tom Wyre

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Issue 332 RBW Online  
Issue 332 RBW Online  

Tom Wyre blog, Hepworth garden visit, poetry and blogs