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Issue 544 12th July 2018

RBW is now on TWITTER @RisingBrookWrit


FLASH FICTION Random Words: potatoes, Mrs Pritchard, mellows, rattle, bottle, allotment, light, paint Assignment: on parade Memory project: wheels - memories about transport wanted

A warm welcome awaits. COME to WORKSHOP ... Rising Brook Library Workshops 1.30 start Mondays (closed on Bank Holidays) SUBMISSIONS ... New to RBW Online? Then please submit through our Facebook Page. We won’t publish everything. But, we will read everything submitted. RBW does not pay for submissions and should be viewed as a vehicle for free publicity.

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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 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 risingbrookwriters


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 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

Random words The summer draught seemed like a lifetime ago now the chill of November had arrived. Having decided to brave the outdoors after seeing an advert for the zoo on the T.V. we’d gone all out and were just finishing our wafer ice cream cones as we entered the baboon enclosure. They really are magnificent creatures. The chill from the air and the icecream finally getting to us we headed to the cafe for a coffee and grilled cheese sandwich. Assignment For the royal wedding of Will & Kate, my children’s primary school was having a “street party” in the playground. They had also invited people from the local community. At that time I helped out in the school quite a bit and was meant to be assisting in nursery that day. That was until one of the teaching assistants came and asked if they could pinch me to help with the preparation of the food. Wanting to try and be as traditional as possible the mail platter was ham sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches. It was my job to slice the cucumbers. Cucumber upon cucumber until I was sick of the sight of them. To cap the nightmare of the cucumber, we had a considerable amount left over that ended up coming home with me. It put me off cucumber for quite a while. Rachel Hope


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. Nancy Stykes (ladies maid) 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 ...


Extracts from Miss Kathryn Bluddschott’s Diary ... (RH) Dear diary, I think Mamma has finally lost the plot thanks to Pappa’s sudden demise. Nick is trying his best but can’t seem to get through to her. To look at her you wouldn’t know anything had happened, still prancing around in her own merry little world. Pappa is gone, the money is gone, the house is about to go and all she can think about is what the neighbours think of her outfit of the day. Maybe it’s just her way of coping, denial it’s not just a river in Egypt. TTFN Dear diary, It was the funeral today, very solemn. Mamma put on a fine show considering. Nick was a rock. Then there was Uncle Ralph, he was a bit of a cad and made Mamma cry. I thought Nick was going to thump him at one point though we really could do with his help so he refrained but karma can be a bitch, fingers crossed TTFN Dear diary, Well it’s the big move, London of all places. Not looking forward to it to be honest, no money, no freedom, no room, no green, no fresh air. Mamma’s happy though seeing her friend again. Must admit Miss La Crepererie sounds… interesting, she’d have to be to be a friend of Mamma, two merry maids for the price of one. It’s going to drive Nick potty, he’s already stressed coping with Mamma and looking for employment. Nothing from Uncle Ralph as yet. Life is looking as grey as the London. Onwards and upwards. TTFN Dear diary, Miss La Crepererie is actually quite lovely and she seems to be a good distraction for Mamma. She paints for a living, she’s quite good too and enjoys what she does. She is a little bit of colour in this dreary world. Her and Mamma can be heard giggling like little girls well into the night, goodness only knows what they are talking about but there are always two glasses on the side come morning. TTFN Dear diary, Seems Uncle Ralph has come good and has gotten a job for Nick, unfortunately it means Nick will have to move, it will just be me and Mamma. Something doesn’t seem right about all this. I do not trust Uncle Ralph, he gives me the heebie jeebies. He is up to something, Nick thinks so too but for now there is nothing we can do. Nick has promised to write, don’t tell anyone but I miss him. TTFN Dear diary, I knew that man was up to something! As soon as Nick was out of the way he had us moved. I didn’t know London could get worse. It’s so cold and the draught is getting to Mamma, you can virtually hear her knees creaking. Then there is the job. He has set me up working for a milliner, making those ridiculous hats, I mean really, who in their right mind. I have no idea what I’m doing, not sure how long this is going to last. Wish me luck. TTFN Dear diary, I got my first letter from Nick today, Miss La Crepererie was kind enough to bring it to me. She was horrified by where we were and offered to let us move back with her but we can’t afford to go against Uncle Ralph. I never thought I’d miss that potty woman. Anyway back to the letter. Nick doesn’t sound as happy as he was trying to. Seems he’s found another version of Uncle Ralph there, who knew there could be more than one, you’d have thought they’d have broken the mould the first time. I hope he settles in though, the sooner we get on set on our own the sooner we can get away from that man. TTFN


Who are you? To say Nicholas was taken aback is not sufficient to cover the extent of his perturbation; he had been drawn to the commotion in the vestibule of Dicken Boys Hall by the series of high pitched shrieks and yells emanating from, he hoped, some girls and not unknown banshee of the moors. On turning the corner from his classroom he was confronted by a sight of some discomfiture; two plump ladies in their late twenties or early thirties were holding hands and appeared to be jumping up and down while squealing with glee whilst by the wall a country gentleman stood turning florid of face with obvious embarrassment. So disturbed of calm was said gentleman that he was turning his hat around in his hands at a great rate and blowing out his cheeks. Nicholas felt for him and then to his dismay the plainer and chubbier of the two jumping ladies caught sight of him, detached herself and to his surprise and consternation grabbing him roughly by the arm and dragged him forward. The young couple had by now tried to rally into some semblance of decorum and were holding hands. ‘Pray introduce yourself, my dear,’ said the woman attached to his arm her nails gripping like a vice. ‘This is Miss Mattie Coster and her new fiancé Jock Finlay Esquire. The red faced man with the fine set of whiskers held out his hand. Smiling and nodding, Nicholas was obliged to him as clearly this was a person of some clout and far removed from anything, or anyone, he has so far encountered. Perhaps, he could ... no, Nicholas ceased the train of thought, one could not impose upon a person on the strength of one firm handshake. Both men stood, in the way men do on first acquaintance and weighed each other up, both seemed satisfied and Nicholas ventured a compliment on the man’s footwear. ‘Good boots, sir. I’d be obliged if you would furnish me with the address of your boot maker, my city shoes are not serviceable in these parts.’ Finlay was about to respond when interrupted by Miss Gloria, who never enjoyed not being the centre of all attention. ‘Never mind that, now, you’ve not told them your name, yet sir. Don’t keep it a secret.’ Nicholas blushed at the admonishment; ‘Nicholas Bluddschott late of Devonshire,’ he stated with a short bow and turning to Miss Gloria said; ‘and who might you be Madame, if one may enquire?’ The couple roared with mirth. Miss Gloria reddened from neck to scalp turned on her heel and fled up the stairs wailing in high dudgeon. ‘Eee lad, thee has done it now,’ said Jock Finlay. ‘That vision in pinkness is Miss Gloria Falls, Waterford’s lass. Eee you’ve made my day to put one across her ladyship. Anytime you need owt, you drop by Haversham Farm. Door’s never locked and the kettle’s always on the hob for a man brave enough to knock Missy off ‘er high horse.’ ‘What did I do?’ he ventured to Miss Mattie who was recovering her composure and patting flushed cheeks with a handkerchief. ‘Why sir, did you not know? According to Miss Gloria, you both have an understanding of future nuptials.’ ‘A what?’ cried Nicholas. ‘I’ve never even set eyes on that lady afore.’ Jock Finlay muttered quietly, ‘Prior knowledge of an intended ain’t the question you need to be asking Nicholas, you need to work out what that old devil Waterford’s been up to in London.’ Nicholas paled. What had Ralph done behind his back? Did this offer of employment come with a marriage contract as a codicil? What had he let himself in for now? How could he have been so trusting and naive? (SMS)


Nicholas sets off to Yorkshire Nicholas spent the evening packing making sure he had clean clothes and his trusty walking stick. Next morning, he set off early after a tearful farewell from his mother and sister. As he walked through the quiet streets our not so bright rampsmen sprang out of an alley and were about to set about Nicholas to take his bag and wallet. The first rampsman received a clout from Nicholas’ stick and lay down in the road for a rest. The other two being a bit quicker on the uptake ran back down the alley. After their unfortunate experience with Nicholas all three signed the pledge and became devout members of the local Methodist Church. Nicholas arrived at the Red Lion where the stage coach to Yorkshire was being prepared for the journey. Nicholas went inside where Ralph Nickleby and Waterford Falls were hatching much mischief. Ralph whispered to Waterford, ‘Here’s that idiot nephew of mine. Remember what I said about wanting to never see again.’ ‘ARRR, that I do,’ replied Waterford who had read too many pirate stories, ‘ARRRR that I do.’ ‘Less of the Long John Silver and more of the, Yes I will do as I’m told. Otherwise I shan’t be so generous with my money.’ Waterford burst out laughing and grunted, ‘Thruppence a week to keep your nephew in Yorkshire. You’re about as generous as your friend Ebenezer Skrunge.’ Meanwhile four young boys wandered about aimlessly until Nicholas asked if they were going to Dickens Boy School. They said they were. The coach horn sounded, and all the passengers got on or in the coach. Waterford well filled with bacon, twelve rashers; sausages, eight; fried eggs, six; beer, five pints; brandy, half a bottle. Nicholas and the boys followed Waterford who got inside the coach, the boys and Nicholas were on top with all the luggage. The boys’ breakfast was water, lots, bread, one slice. Nicholas breakfast was much the same. ‘Tarantara, tarantara,’ the coach horn went. The driver whipped the horse and off they went. That is where the problem started. Waterford’s breakfast had not helped his sense of direction. The Red Lion was the departure point for at least half a dozen coaches. Thus, hero, villain and boys were now careering along the road toward Penzance. Some twelve hours later in Bristol the error became clear and Nicholas told the somnolent Waterford what he had done. ‘ARRR, well I’ll be blowed, ARRRR dang it,’ he shouted. ‘Less of the Long John Silver what are going to do?’ asked Nicholas. ‘I’ll have a bit to eat in this here public house, The Admiral Strongbow,’ replied Waterford. In he went and met Miss Purity Pinker. They had to stay the night, Waterford in a room all to himself, Nicholas and the boys in the stable. Next morning Waterford repeated his breakfast menu of the previous day at the Red Lion, with a top up of the finest rum. Nicholas and the boys had bread and water. ‘Tarantara, tarantara,’ the coach horn went. The driver whipped the horses and off they went. Still trusting to Waterford’s knowledge of the English transport system they set off for Yorkshire. Night fell or more correctly tripped up. Our travellers arrived in Birmingham where they were they had to stay the night at another public house called the Strongbow Inn where a large landlady also called Pinker greeted them. (NP)


Corn Harvest 1940's (For those on tuther side of the pond read WHEAT harvest) When father came to Seighford, he grew a lot of wheat, He built it into corn ricks along the stack yard neat, Started at bottom getting wider up to eves, Then narrow off to great tall point, all built out of sheaves. The main cash crop apart from sugar beet, was wheat this was sown usually after a break crop of grass as in the Norfolk four coarse rotation of Roots Barley Seeds Wheat, before sprays were brought out it was always important to give the ground a rest of perhaps 3 years of grass, to break the cycle of annual weeds, the only troublesome weeds were docks and thistles, which were pulled or spudded in the growing crop. Wheat is sown in the autumn, then when ripe cut with a binder during August, the shoffs of wheat are then stooked in the field and left for 2 church bells (ten to fourteen days) before being carted in to the barn. It was our first real driving job in the school holidays to drive the Fordson tractor pulling the binder with father at the controls to adjust the binder according to the crop.

Wheat stooked in the field and left for 2 church bells (ten to fourteen days) before being carted in to the barn, although if you look close this looks like oats being stooked

In the days before the tractor this was a job for a team of three horses with one man in the seat of the binder machine and the reigns to steer the horses, the horses would be well used to the job, and walked close along side the crop to be cut. Only at the corners they needed guidance when they had to step sideways in unison because of the long pole stretching from the machine up to their collars. After two weeks in the stook, the shoffs of wheat are loaded onto the wagons and taken to the rickyard, where it was built into the remaining bays of the barn. The first in the bays would be the hay for winter fodder for the cows and horses, then the corn would be built into ricks in the rickyard the shape of a house with the top going up to a ridge. This was then thatched with the previous years straw that had been saved for the job, father would go down to the Moor Cover wood to an area that was being coppiced and cut hundreds of thatching pegs, a lot could be saved from the previous year and reused so it was a matter of topping up the number you were short. The straw was then straightened and taken onto the roof of the stack and pegged down with string between pegs to stop it being blown away, starting round the eaves the next layer overlapping the lower one until he reached the top of the ridge. This would keep the stack dry until the threshing machine came sometime during the winter.

This is like the threshing set that used to travel around the farms in our area, the steamer was eventually replaced with a single cylinder Field Marshal tractor


I Remember Father Showed us how to Thatch When father came to Seighford, he grew a lot of wheat, He built it into corn ricks along the stack yard neat, Started at bottom getting wider up to eves, Then narrow off to great tall point, all built out of sheaves Then before it rained, he would have to get it thatched, Gathering the thatch pegs, the thatch to rick attach, With big long thatching ladder, which the wheelwright made, He took bundles of straw up top, never he afraid. He wound ten pegs as bobbins, with forty feet of twine, Then started at the gable end, first thatch was pegged in line, On two feet up the ladder, the straw he overlapped, The twine was tight from peg to peg, into rick were tapped. The ladder rolled twice along the roof, two more pegs allow, And on again until complete, to thatch he showed us how, The eves were trimmed with shears, and sides of rick also, To give a weatherproof stack, the result of reap and mow. The threshing was done by a contractor who had a complete threshing set, of box baler and binder, pulled in the earlier days by a steam engine then latterly by a single cylinder Marshall Tractor which was more manoeuvrable and a lot smaller than the steamer. Two men travelled from farm to farm in sequence with the machinery going round the local area about once every two months. Once in the village he called at all the farms that needed corn or straw for the cattle, it took a gang of nine men to operate, that meant one man from every farm would follow it all through the village. The driver of the steam engine would arrive from Woodseaves on his bicycle (about six miles) at six am to get steam up ready for an eight thirty start, he would stay with the steamer all day and oiling moving parts and bearing on the equipment it was driving and feeding its fire with coal. Two men would be pitching the shoffs of corn onto the thrashing box, it was an easy job throwing down from the top of the stack until lunch time, then hard work getting harder till the end of the day when it was pitching from ground level two more were on top of the box one cutting the strings (or bonds as they were called) and one usually the other operator feeding the crop into the drum, the grain came out of a row of chutes where two more men bagged it off weighed it if it was for sale and stitch the top of every sack, other chutes took off the light grain and one the weed seeds. At the other end the straw emerged into either a baler if it was for stock bedding or into a binder if it is to be used for next years thatching, this occupied another two men and with the driver that makes nine. On moving from the village he would often be seen calling at the Hall Pool to take on water for the next days work on the next farm.


My village growing up, Thorpe Langton, was part of a group of five known as The Langtons. East Langton homed the cricket club and was the last village on my cycle route. With not much to do I decided to pause and go and watch a match. As it happened it was the last game of the season and they were selling off drinks at a reduced price to clear stock. Having met a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while and we spent the afternoon catching up. That also included helping clear the bar stock. That was all very pleasant until it was time to leave and trying to make it back home on my pushbike. I did have the advantage of it only being one village to the next and it was all downhill so not much effort was involved but the momentum of the descent caused the journey to be slightly longer due to the unsteady path taken. I remember my mum telling me a story from her time working on the buses, before all of us kids. One particular shift, in a hurry to finish the driver had taken the roundabout a little too quickly. This resulted in a, fortunately empty, childs buggy to go flying out of the back door of the double decker bus which just carried on it route. Surely a scene worthy of On The Buses. The village had a pub, a church, a postbox and a phone box with no Sunday bus service. As a teenager with not much to do I would often take off on my bike and cycle around the villages. It was tranquil and beautiful. Following a similar route throughout the summer watching the changes during the year. One of the best things about the route I would take was the small tearoom that was about halfway round, perfect for a quick break and a teacake before setting off again to finish the ride. My very first driving lesson pulling up behind another car at the traffic lights the instructor asked if I had driven before. No. Why did I leave that amount of space when I pulled up? By this time I was panicking thinking I’d done something wrong but apparently the exact opposite. I had applied the two T’s, Tyres and Tarmac. He explained you should be able to see the tyres and a bit of tarmac between you and the vehicle in front. That is something that has always stayed with me and I continue to apply. Buses today are passenger friendly with no steps and being able to lower to the curb, something I appreciated when my kids were younger and I had to get the buggy on and off though one time the wheels were too near the curb and the bus lowered on top of them and the buggy got trapped. It also made me wonder how my mum used to cope when this wasn’t available.


REPORT OF THE AGM The AGM of RBW was held at 1.30pm on Monday 09.07.18 at Rising Brook Community Library. The accounts and annual report were accepted and it was unanimously agreed that workshops and e-publishing projects could continue for another year. Tributes were paid to Mary Murphy who has stood down as a Trustee but all hoped she will be able to come back into workshop in the very near future as her presence is much missed. Everyone was very pleased that the set back caused by the new data protection regulations which meant the loss of the e-mailed reader service is now being offset by a new Twitter online readership which is growing steadily.


The Industrial Revolution Cromford Derbyshire Arkwright built the first large weaving factory in the world. It is remembered and preserved as a museum. What is less remembered is the way in which he looked after his workers. He housed his them in decent houses with a clean water source nearby and with a school close to the houses. The houses are still in use today and are well looked after by their present owners. Even the school continues to this day not far from the houses in the picture below. The housing contrasts greatly with the later industrial slums in the cities of Britain.

mals although they found Pointless rather boring, but they liked travel programs about the drought in Africa more to their liking. When EastEnders was on they would grill cheese and settle down and eat the cheese with a wafer or two. Assignment: Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford (3 September 1783 – 3 July 1857) was a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, whom she served as a Lady of the Bedchamber between 1837 and 1841. She was also the originator of "afternoon tea." commons/f/f4/Anna_Maria% 2C_Marchioness_of_Tavistock.jpg

Cucumber media/File:North_St,_Cromford.jpg Random words: zoo, baboon, television, grill, cheese, wafer, November, drought. It was November and the weather was cold and wet. In the baboon house the zoo had installed a television which seemed to entertain the ani-

It was summer, and the greenhouse was full of ripened and ripening tomatoes. George, the gardener, was really pleased not only were the tomatoes doing well but so were all the other vegetables. The lettuces were crisp and green, he had managed to stop them bolting to seed by watering them twice a day. The radishes were red, spherical nice and peppery, just right to slice and put into a salad. George was happy and so


were the members of the nobility whose garden he managed, together with four undergardeners. The Duke of Hamptonshire was justly proud of his garden and gardeners. The greenhouse, facing south, in the walled garden, was producing fresh and tasty vegetables every day. There were even pineapples ready to be harvested. The rest of the garden was laid out in neat rows with the soil in between the rows a dark brown with not a weed in sight. The red walls were lined with trees all neatly espaliered, their branches all burdened with ripening fruit, apples, pears, peaches and apricots. George’s speciality was the cucumber. There were plants in the green house and some outdoor one’s as well. In the big house visitors were always given cucumber sandwiches with afternoon tea besides the obligatory seed cake. All those who partook of the famous cucumber sandwiches silently thanked the Duchess of Bedford for inventing the delight of afternoon tea. Sadly, there one thing that upset the duke, in the big house, his eldest son, William, was slowly losing weight and fading away. George grew all sorts of exotic vegetables, fruits and root crops to tempt him to eat but to no avail. Eventually, the Duke took William to the family doctor. William walked in to the doctor’s consulting room. The doctor looked up and saw William who had a small cucumber in each ear and one up each nostril. ‘Ah,’ said the doctor thoughtfully, ‘I can see your problem. You are not eating properly.’

Poem Extract from the Ancient Mariner

1772-1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 'Twas sad as sad could be; And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea! All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody Sun, at noon, Right up above the mast did stand, No bigger than the Moon. Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea. About, about, in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils, Burnt green, and blue and white. And some in dreams assurèd were Of the Spirit that plagued us so; Nine fathom deep he had followed us From the land of mist and snow. And every tongue, through utter drought, Was withered at the root; We could not speak, no more than if We had been choked with soot.


Random Words: November, draught, zoo, baboon, TV, grill, cheese, wafer It was a cold November night. Liz was trying to avoid the draught from the ill-filling front door in her new flat. “Hm, just look at the window frames in this place!” her mother had commented when they first looked round, with a view to renting. “They’re wafer-thin, not substantial like in our old house. Skimp on materials they do these days!” Despite her mother’s disapproval, Liz had gone ahead and signed the lease. Now she was curled up on the sofa with her TV dinner, a cheese toastie made in that new grill mum gave her for her birthday. A cosy throw might have been more useful. She wanted to watch the documentary about a zoo which rescued baboons. Her mother had been right of course. Mothers always are. Observation: Sunbathing naked in one’s own garden caused great offence to a neighbour, who called the police! What I want to know is, why on earth didn’t the nudists turn the tables on the neighbour for being a peeping Tom? A man from the motor manufacturing trade was heard to say on the Radio that modern cars used a lot of plastic. He said that if you lift the bonnet, you will see plenty of plastic components, which ‘light weight the car’. Ugh!

Assignment: cucumber I’m as cool as a cucumber And never get flustered. On the other hand, I can be As hot as mustard! I don’t suffer from pressure Or feel under stress And I never become An emotional mess. I can keep a cool head When others lose theirs. I sail through life Without any cares. Yes, I’m cool as a cucumberA good thing today When everyone’s sweating And melting away!


XLV The other two, slight air, and purging fire Are both with thee, wherever I abide; The first my thought, the other my desire, These present-absent with swift motion slide. For when these quicker elements are gone In tender embassy of love to thee, My life, being made of four, with two alone Sinks down to death, oppress'd with melancholy; Until life's composition be recur'd By those swift messengers return'd from thee, Who even but now come back again, assur'd, Of thy fair health, recounting it to me: This told, I joy; but then no longer glad, I send them back again, and straight grow sad.

XLVI Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war, How to divide the conquest of thy sight; Mine eye my heart thy picture's sight would bar, My heart mine eye the freedom of that right. My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie,-A closet never pierc'd with crystal eyes-But the defendant doth that plea deny, And says in him thy fair appearance lies. To side this title is impannelled A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart; And by their verdict is determined The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part: As thus; mine eye's due is thy outward part, And my heart's right, thy inward love of heart.

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


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

have to be left, can be stood on it. Of course the pots should be well watered first, and if the bath is not suitable and the kitchen sink is not in full sun, you can use that instead.

Now is the time to trim conifers and tidy them up. Winter and spring flowering shrubs should have all been trimmed by now, but Spring flowering perennials that have finished flowering can be lifted JULY and divided. The whole clump should be The months pass by so quickly we shall uprooted and split with the old central be seeing Christmas cards and crackers piece discarded on the compost heap. When replanting the new young pieces in the shops soon, but we have a Sumthey should be well watered to give them mer where we could laze in the garden a start and not forgotten if we have a dry and listen to the birds and bees. spell. Hostas are better divided earlier in If you have tomatoes in the greenhouse the Spring and things like Polyanths in it is wise to give the canes a gentle shake the autumn, but things like Lupins and each day to distribute the pollen when Red Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) should be there doesn’t seem to be many bees finishing flowering about now. about. Another little reminder for you is it’s a good idea to start giving tomatoes a weekly feed with a high potash fertilizer such as Tomorite when the young fruit are like small marbles. If you are going on holiday and cannot get a friend to do any necessary watering for you, you can get drip hoses to connect to the tap to water tomatoes etc in the greenhouse. Some seep hoses as they also called can be bought to fit on water tubs rather than the tap. Or another idea is to put a large tub of water with a piece of very thick string or even rope (not Nylon) dangling with one end in the tub and the other end trailed through the soil where the tomatoes are. This is not ideal but will help. Also you should shade the greenhouse and make sure there is plenty of ventilation to keep the temperature down, but ensure that the windows are secure in case the wind gets up while you are away. If you place a really wet, dripping, thick towel or small blanket in the bath with a small amount of water in the bottom as well, house plants that

Kniphofia also called tritoma, red hot poker, torch lily, or poker plant, is a genus of perennial flowering plants in the family Asphodelaceae. It is native to Africa. Herbaceous species and hybrids have narrow, grass-like leaves 10– 100 cm long, while evergreen species have broader, strap-shaped foliage up to 1.5 m long. All plants produce spikes of upright, brightly coloured flowers well above the foliage, in shades of red, orange and yellow, often bicoloured. 18

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RBW Online Issue 544  

Poetry, blogs, Dickensian Project and much more

RBW Online Issue 544  

Poetry, blogs, Dickensian Project and much more