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Issue 536 17th May 2018

RBW is now on TWITTER @RisingBrookWrit

Have we all become photo journalists? Does a photo paint more than a 1000 words? Or, replace those words? Does the phone camera lie? Can we trust what we see depicted?

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FLASH FICTION Random Words:

two, triple, cartwheel, boomerang, ocean, strap, Millicent, year, disaster, Titanic Assignment: stuff and nonsense

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www.issuu.com/risingbrookwriters

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Doors the RBW Poetry Collection for 2018 is now online. Check it out for free on the Rising Brook Writers Facebook page and www.issuu.com/ risingbrookwriters

MARKET RBW Workshop Project 2018 Now free and online at issuu/Publitas/ Twitter @RisingBrookWrit and Facebook. Memories, stories, poems and historical research. Click image to go to www.issuu.com/ risingbrookwriters

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Clock on the wall is watching, She doesn’t mark time anymore. She’s quietly watching and waiting, But nobody knows what for. She’s seen many things in her lifetime, Laughter and tears, joy and pain, Secrets she could tell if she wanted, But what would such treachery gain? Perfectly still, day in and day out, Now no chime, no tick and no tock. Bought by my Grandad in 1916, Our silent grandmother clock!.

Stand up for what you believe in, Let your voice be heard! Don’t lurk in the shadows, We hang on every word. Make your own small protest, Say what’s in your head, If you have the confidence, It’s rejection that you dread. You’ll find we are behind you, We agree with all you say, Stand up for what you believe in, Let your voice be heard today.

Random Words: fancy, doomed, karma, porridge, dustbin, Abbey, cloisters, partridge, cartridge The scouts had set up camp outside the Abbey cloisters. They found an old, empty dustbin, lit a campfire and sat around it, singing scouting songs. Somebody said “Anyone fancy playing Chinese Whispers?” “Oh yes!” the others replied, enthusiastically. “Do you like porridge?” one boy whispered, but it came out as “Do you like Norwich?” when it reached the end of the line. “I must buy a cartridge for my pen” ended up as “I need to fly a partridge for my gran,” and “Keith’s karma’s gone south” turned into “Keep calm and carry on Seth.” “Ha ha!” the scout leader chuckled. “It seems we are doomed to be incapable of transmitting a simple message to each other!” (PMW) Observation: You know you are getting old, when you have a special BIG birthday and you tell people the wrong day!

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What the Dickens? MAIN CHARACTERS Mr. Godfrey Bluddschott: deceased The grandfather of Nicholas Bluddschott, Jr. and father of Ralph and Nicholas Sr. : who leaves an inheritance. Uncle Ralph Bluddschott: Godfrey’s son who becomes obsessed with money. Source of inheritance for Mikey after his death. Mrs Bluddschott Snr : the foolish wife of Nicholas Bluddschott, Sr. Nicholas Bluddschott Jnr OUR HERO Son of Nicholas, Sr., who is 19 at the beginning of the story Kathryn Bluddschott: the 18 year old sister of Nicholas, Jr. Oldman Bloggs: Ralph Bluddschott’s clerk, a ruined gentleman Miss Arthemia La Creperie: a painter who lets out her house Landlady to Mother of Nicholas and sister Kathryn. (Arthemia - French girl’s name, meaning from Greek mythology Gift of Artemis – goddess of virginity, child birth, midwives). Mr Brooks: a former clerk of Ralph’s Dicken Boys Hall, Yorkshire Mr Waterford Falls : a one-eyed headmaster of an institution who hires Nicholas Bluddschott Jr. Mrs Vera Falls : the bullying wife of Mr. Falls – Headmistress Master Damien Falls JR.: the son of Falls who is heir to the school and their way of thinking Miss Gloria Falls: 23-year-old daughter of the Falls. Mattie Coster: Gloria Falls’ best friend Jock Finlay: the fiancé then husband of Mattie Coster. Helps Nicholas Bluddschott and Mickey escape Dicken Boys Hall. Helps Mikey escape being kidnapped back. Mikey (Ralph’s Jnr. son) a physical/ learning disabled boy at Falls’ school. MR. Yelwans: a stepfather who enrols his two stepsons in Falls’ school. The Theatre Troop Portsmouth Mr Brambly Crumbles: Manager of a theatre group that hires Nicholas and Mikey. Master Crumbles: son of manager. Master Percy Crumbles: another son of the manager. Mrs. Crumbles: wife of the manager. Miss Charlotte Crumbles, the Infant Phenomenon: 18 year old daughter of the Crumbles, considered talented by some. Marries Mikey. Miss Gloria Smellevicki : considered one of the talented actresses of the theatre group Miss Vera Bedrock: fellow actress and friend of Miss Smellevicki. Nicholas at Employment Office Mr Charles Freudenberger : a German merchant, who finally helps Nicholas to find a good job, a home for his extended family. Ned Freudenberger: Charles’ twin brother Frank Freudenberger: nephew of the Freudenberger brothers Eclaire Choux: devoted daughter who makes sacrifices to take care of her father. Beautiful young woman that Nicholas Bluddschott eventually marries. Will inherited wealth. Mr Walt Choux: Father of Eclaire, in great debt and ruin Leon Scrunge: an elderly gentleman, Ralph’s mentor, who is in lust with Eclaire and nearly marries her to clear her father’s debts. Maggie Leech: deaf housekeeper of Leon Scrunge. Plus a cast of extras brought in from as many Dicken’s stories as we can find. E.g Miss Haveitall and her ward Stella, Uranus Heap, Jaundice and Jaundice Solicitors, Roberto Catchit and Little Tom, Ebenezer Squeeze, moneylender. You get the idea ...

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Dickens published well over a dozen major novels, novellas, and a large number of short stories. Dickens's novels were initially serialised in weekly and monthly magazines, then reprinted in standard book formats. Nicholas Nickleby (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby; monthly serial, April 1838 to October 1839) The Old Curiosity Shop (Weekly serial in Master Humphrey's Clock, April 1840 to November 1841) Barnaby Rudge (Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty; weekly serial in Master Humphrey's Clock, February to November 1841) A Christmas Carol (A Christmas Carol in Prose: Being a Ghost-story of Christmas; 1843) The Pickwick Papers (The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club; monthly serial, April 1836 to November 1837) Oliver Twist (The Adventures of Oliver Twist; monthly serial in Bentley's Miscellany, February 1837 to April 1839) Martin Chuzzlewit (The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit; monthly serial, January 1843 to July 1844) The Chimes (The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In; 1844) The Cricket on the Hearth (The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home; 1845) Dombey and Son (Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation; monthly serial, October 1846 to April 1848) The Haunted Man (The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain: A Fancy for Christmas-time; 1848) David Copperfield (Monthly serial, May 1849 to November 1850) Bleak House (Monthly serial, March 1852 to September 1853) Hard Times (Hard Times: For These Times; weekly serial in Household Words, 1 April 1854, to 12 August 1854) Little Dorrit (Monthly serial, December 1855 to June 1857) A Tale of Two Cities (Weekly serial in All the Year Round, 30 April 1859, to 26 November 1859) Great Expectations (Weekly serial in All the Year Round, 1 December 1860 to 3 August 1861) Our Mutual Friend (Monthly serial, May 1864 to November 1865) The Signal-Man (1866), first published as part of the Mugby Junction collection in the 1866 Christmas edition of All the Year Round. Edwin Drood (The Mystery of Edwin Drood; monthly serial, April 1870 to September 1870), unfinished due to his death

The project is set in 1840. Here is some background to events taking place in that year. Monarch – Victoria Prime Minister – William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne (Whig) Parliament – 13th 6 June – the first group of British emigrants from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints set sail from Liverpool bound for Nauvoo, Illinois. 10 June – Edward Oxford attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria. 12–23 June – the World Anti-Slavery Convention is organised by the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society at Exeter Hall in London.July: Fresh water is piped to Buxton Market Place by the 6th Duke of Devonshire, beginning the Buxton well dressing festival.Last known great auk in the British Isles caught and later killed on the islet of Stac an Armin, St Kilda, Scotland. 4 July – the Cunard Line's 700-ton wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia departs from Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the first steam transatlantic passenger mail service. 15 July – Austria, Britain, Prussia, and Russia sign the London Treaty with the Sublime Porte, ruler of the Ottoman Empire.23 July – the Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union. 7 August – Chimney Sweepers and Chimneys Regulation Act 1840 prohibits the employment of children under the age of 21 as chimney sweeps. 10 September – Ottoman and British troops bombard Beirut and land troops on the coast to pressure Egyptian Muhammad Ali to retreat from the country. 16 September – Joseph Strutt hands over the deeds and papers concerning the Derby Arboretum, which is to become England's first public park. 30 September – foundation of Nelson's Column laid in London, Trafalgar Square being laid out and paved during the year.The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals gains its Royal status. W. Harrison Ainsworth's novels Guy Fawkes and The Tower of London (both serialised). Charles Dickens' novel The Old Curiosity Shop (serialised). "Thomas Ingoldsby"'s The Ingoldsby Legends (first collected in book form). Agnes Strickland's Lives of the Queens of England begins publication. William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Catherine. William Whewell's book The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, founded upon their history, in which he introduces the words "Physicist" and "Scientist". Born: 2 June – Thomas Hardy, novelist and poet (died 1928)

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Character study: Vera Falls had few faults she acknowledged. Those unfortunate to fall under her sphere of influence would have conceded if the harridan had a good nature it was buried deep beneath a thick veneer of cruel horridness. One good thing was her voice, it was so shrill it entered a room several paces before her waddling rustle of petticoats caught up which gave some youngsters a chance to hide. The waddling gait did little to improve her temper or appearance, the boys whispered; the barrel was coming, on hearing her step on the stair. And those stairs were a source of annoyance to Mistress Falls whose florid complexion would leak copiously under a grubby mop cap which failed miserably to contain a confection of ringlet curls of dubious hue. Mistress Falls had been trying out the new fashion for coal-soot hair dyeing with little success. Even Waterford acknowledged it was Vera who was the mistress of Dicken Boys Hall, her rule was undisputed, and, sensible man knowing which was up his bread was buttered, Waterford did his utmost to stay well out of the way of his beloved; all knew it was she who must be obeyed. Waterford was twice blessed; their daughter Gloria was the spit of her mother as a lassie, and proving that the rosy apple had indeed not fallen far from the maternal tree. That puce plumpness was already starting to spread, that charming voice was taking on a shriller tone; that once delicate chin-line was tending towards the double porcine and upturned nose could so easily be imagined with a ring through it. Any young beau with his eye on the prize of Dicken Boys Hall could see his future panning out before him if he cared to take a long hard look at his prospective mother-in-law, Mistress Vera. So far no young suitor had taken that risk and Miss Gloria remained as single as it was single to be in a sacking pinafore. In short the matriarch of Dicken Boys Hall and her daughter ruled with a rod of iron, or rather with a large wooden spoon and a bowl of brimstone and molasses which they doled out once a week together with tablespoons of the oil of fish liver. This dosing often put the lads off their dinner such as it was. Mistress Vera was forward thinking on the health and welfare of her young charges and especially their habits and dietary requirements. In her view red meat made them choleric and prone to wild behaviour, she often told Gloria, no pork, as pork was far too rich for young digestion, especially pork crackling which was only ever to be served to dear Waterford who needed to keep up his strength. Chicken was permissible but only in the sickroom and only ever served in broth, in short a vegetarian diet was most efficacious for growing boys with porridge, gruel, and bread making up the main part while soup of cabbage and swede was allowed as an occasional treat. This semi-starvation diet was never commented on by the merchants of nearby Skipton, who enjoyed a prosperous comestible trade with the school and could not have known the vast quantities of foodstuffs being delivered were only destined for the Falls’ personal pantry: brisket rolled, belly draft stuffed, best rump steak and fattened capon all arrived every week by donkey cart watched by thirty pairs of sunken eyes all sharing the same diet as the ass in the shafts.

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At the age of eighty, I don't seem to feel much over seventy nine plus one dee, but they put on a party fa me and a gathering of relatives and friends, some I have not seen for a good many years. My younger brother did the MC job and he was talking to at least five people who he had not met for fifty and in one case over sixty years. It was almost as though I was present at my own wake, (perhaps it was just a rehearsal of it) and a most enjoyable and memorable day was had by all, on top of that we raised a good chunk of money fa charity. Had to pinch me sen the following morning ta see I was still here, and looked in the Newsletter ta make sure me name was not in the obituary column. (I think that must be quite normal fa folk of my age.)

Birthdays pass us by The years have built behind us, as birthdays they accrue, Young ones taking over, sometimes the days they flew, Fa 80 years still plodding on, with many things yet to do, Looking forward to a few more years, before I join the queue. There’s tractor runs around the lanes, and ploughing matches too, The County and the Eccleshall shows, machinery all on view, Meckin hay and cutting hedges, keeps me busy fa a month or two, Get out n’ about while I can, old age catching me up is the clue. Ta see all you lot ov known fa years, a gatherin here to review, Find out what om workin at, must think ov got a loose screw, But keepin busy n’ exercise, in me workshop tools bestrewed, Ta tidy it up ov got no time, piles on the bench n’ floor tis true. Om owd enough to know better, but old habits, ov got a few, Mek do and mend is what I do, big hommer and nails, no glue, Our old chap he knew best, he told us all how to-Wear out all the old buggers out fost, his favourite saying to construe. Everyone who’s gathered here today, family and friends old and new, You’ve all been important in my life, support and help hereto, Through happy times and darker days, always there to turn to, I thank you all for being in my life, some thanks are well overdue.

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YO HO shipmates ... After nearly 12 months of deliberation, research and jolly good fun the pirate comedy is complete and posted online on our Facebook page and on www.issuu.com/ risingbrookwriters and Twitter. The salty tale has everything a reader expects in a pirate treasure hunt and more besides ... Ghostly pirates (3), navy ships (2), Treasure hunters (4), Pirate Captains (2, 1 with a fire brand hat), a white whale, castaways, a brothel franchise, a cornucopia of nationalities all after Captain Kidney’s buried loot. And who gets there first ... Vera and Gloria, of course, and what do they do? Dig a ‘place for convenience’ ... Course they do ... Welcome to ... X Marks the Spot

WI Market Stall Remembered Jams and chutneys stand in a row, plumb-line labels, jars all aglow. Fresh baked scones split with cream, two dozen soft rolls, like yesterday’s dream. This morning’s duck eggs speckled blue, still covered in a sheen of damp and dew. Victoria plums and fresh cut flowers, chatting away for hours and hours. Strawberry sponge cakes drenched in white, doilies and lace-caps tied up tight. Curly lettuces and hand-raised pie, laughing voices raised up high, until market close means cash-up time, when divi is shared and pennies chime. Such hard work, but more like play, as all is packed away for another day.

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Taking the Peas. I planted peas in the garden. All sorts of different array Some grew and other didn't. The few I picked were okay. I planted more peas in the garden. Digging the ground with a fork. Scared the birds off my seedlings Especially a great blooming hawk. The best of my efforts to grow them. Day after day I tried hard. I caught my neighbour’s children Eating the peas in my yard. The fruit and the peas were abundant. What a joy for a gardener like me. What a shock when I went to pick them. None left, taking the peas!

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Random words: Doomed, Karma, porridge, fancy, partridge, cartridge, dustbin, abbey, cloisters.

Poems

‘We’re all doomed. We’re all doomed. I tell you,’ wailed the abbot to the monks in the cloister. ‘I received a photographic cartridge in the post. It was a record of our last day at the races. I know we were dressed in civvies but Brother Peter’s singing in plain song gave the game away. There’s a demand for five thousand pounds or they’ll send to the News of the Globe. and the archbishop.’ ‘It’s karma. I knew we shouldn’t have gone in the beer tent and drunk all those fancy cocktails,’ moaned brother Hilarius. ‘Oh, well back to porridge for most meals. No more roasted partridge with caramelised shallot sauce. No more fine wine. All that’s consigned to the dustbin,’ said the cook. ‘Ah me,’ sighed the abbot.

By John Clare

Assignment: Taking the peas Obadiah Smallpiece was looking forward to the annual fruit and vegetable show. His garden and allotment were his pride and joy. Well, perhaps not joy but more of an obsession. Every year he won the Cottager’s Trophy. The winner of this trophy was the person who had won most first prizes in all the different sections. If you walked past his garden you would have seen onions as big as footballs, marrows big enough to make two dugout canoes and delphiniums as tall as a giraffe. However, he never managed to beat his arch rival, ‘Bert Scoggins’, in the peas competition Today, he was going to his allotment walking past his neighbours’ gardens and observing with pleasure that his rivals had black spot on their roses, mildew on their raspberries and blackfly on their broad beans. He would always commiserate with them but in his mind, he was chuckling happily. Down the lane and though the gate to the field where allotments were. The sun was out and the birds all singing in the trees and hedgerows. At last he came to his plot. Rows of potatoes all earthed up cabbages in serried rows, runner beans a foot long and at last his peas scrambling through their pea sticks. For some reason he his favourite vegetable was the pea both the edible sort and the sweet pea the flowering sort. He checked out the peas, they were coming along nicely long, well filled pods ready for the show. The week of the show and preparations were underway the marquees were being put up, the car park in the field laid out and the plots for the stalls peg out. Obadiah was hoping that this year his peas would be judged best. Every day he went down to his allotment to tend his vegetables especially his peas. Now it was the day before the show everyone was selecting their crops for the show. Poor old Obadiah he went down to pick his peas but the wood pigeons had beaten him to it. The wind had blown the netting off the peas and pigeons had scoffed the lot. ‘Oh sod,’ he shouted, ‘they’ve taken the peas.’

Evening

'Tis evening; the black snail has got on his track, And gone to its nest is the wren, And the packman snail, too, with his home on his back, Clings to the bowed bents like a wen. The shepherd has made a rude mark with his foot Where his shadow reached when he first came, And it just touched the tree where his secret love cut Two letters that stand for love's name. The evening comes in with the wishes of love, And the shepherd he looks on the flowers, And thinks who would praise the soft song of the dove, And meet joy in these dew-falling hours. For Nature is love, and finds haunts for true love, Where nothing can hear or intrude; It hides from the eagle and joins with the dove, In beautiful green solitude. The Blackbird

By John Clare

The blackbird is a bonny bird That singeth in the wood His song is in the evening heard When the red cow chews her cud His song is heard in morning loud Upon the bright white thorn While the blythe milkmaid sings as proud And holds the world in scorn O bonny is the blackbird still On top of yon fir tree On which he wipes his golden bill And blithely whistles he He sings upon the sapling oak In notes all rich and mellow Oft’ have I quit towns noise, and folk In springs sweet summer weather The blackbird is a bonny bird I love his mourning suit And song in the spring mornings heard As mellow as the flute How sweet his song in April showers Pipes from his golden bill As yellow as the kingcup flowers The sweetest ditty still.

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XXIX When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd, Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising, Haply I think on thee,-- and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate; For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings. XXX When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste: Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow, For precious friends hid in death's dateless night, And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe, And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight: Then can I grieve at grievances foregone, And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan, Which I new pay as if not paid before. But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.

Th e Sha kespea re sonn ets are to be found on PROJECT GUTENBURG and are reproduced here for educational purposes and are nfp.

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Extracts from Articles by the late, horticulturalist, Mrs F. Hartley who so kindly and freely shared her knowledge online

I still think when planting Tubs, or large Pots it is a good idea to add a few Water Retaining Crystals such as Swell Gel. It also helps, if we have a very dry Summer, to stand each Tub on a saucer, because Concrete does get very warm in the Sun and will draw the moisture from any Tubs, or Pots standing directly on it.

May has come again and its all systems go in the Garden and on the Allotments. It’s time to sow Runner Bean seeds so that you can have plants ready to put in the ground at the end of May, otherwise if you sow the seed directly in the ground sometimes Mice will enjoy them. Cabbages, Cauliflowers, Brussels, etc should be in now and growing away. If you only want a few of them though you can buy small packs of Vegetable Plants from the Garden Centres, but they really should be in the ground, although, you can still plant some vegetables to give a crop that follows on and the benefit of late planting is that they will often be reduced in price now.

When the Forsythia finished flowering, or indeed any other late Winter flowering, or Spring flowering shrubs, they should have been cut down. We have a White Flowering Currant, or Ribes and it was a mass of flowers which very nicely hides a shabby garage from view - so that is another bush to prune now. If you have any of those Lollipop type of bushes made from Lonicera Nitidia, Buxus, Privet, etc, they might have to be trimmed to help them keep their shape.

Now that we are into May it should be safe to put out Hanging Baskets and after the late frosts in April it really should be safe for all the other bedding plants to go out in your tubs and borThe Flowering Cherries seem to have ders. The more tender vegetables like Courgettes, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomabeen better than ever this year and Daffodils in tubs have also done really toes, Outdoor Cucumbers and semi exwell. Apricots, Peach and Pear have all otics like Cape Gooseberries, can all be planted outside later in the month. been covered in flowers this year, so we are hoping for a good crop. There Any other tender plants that have been were Bees about for some of the flow- over Wintered in the Greenhouse such ers, however, there may be what they as Dahlias, Geraniums and Abutilons call “June Drop,” when a tree has too should also be safe now. However, it is much fruit on it and it discards some, probably still a bit risky for things like the tender Banana plants and edible but not too much we hope! Lime trees that really do need warm It is a busy time in the garden and on nights as well as warm days. the Allotments now with lots of potting on and planting out. We find when handling the bought compost that hasn’t got Peat in it, it needs Horticultural grit, or Perlite mixed in to it, or it clogs up and stays to wet. 14


Ribes is a genus of about 150 known species of flowering plants native throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is usually treated as the only genus in the family Grossulariaceae, but a few place the gooseberry species in a separate genus of Grossularia. Sometimes Ribes is instead included in the family Saxifragaceae. Common name, Flowering Currant.

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Issue 536 RBW Online  

Poems, assignments, random words and gardening

Issue 536 RBW Online  

Poems, assignments, random words and gardening

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