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Issue 553 13th Sept

RBW is now on TWITTER @RisingBrookWrit


Random Words: fancy, bread, Tuesday, spire, restaurant, bedding, leap, espresso Assignment: a ghost story

A warm welcome awaits. COME to WORKSHOP ... Rising Brook Library Workshops 1.30 start Mondays (closed on Bank Holidays)

Reminder: Poems on CHANGE needed for first week in Oct! Climate change, personal change, social change, political change, seasonal change, geographical change, scientific change, speed of change, educational change ...

New: Word of the Day Abibliophobia Noun: uh-bib-li-uh-fo-bee-yuh The fear of running out of books to read.



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

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


Random words: Cabinet, auction, thermos, long-johns, kitchen, bread, curry, Salad It was cold in the auction room, so I took a thermos of hot tea and was wearing my long-johns. I bought the cabinet that I wanted, went straight home to my kitchen and cooked a curry which I ate with fresh bread and a side dish of green salad. The Village Show. Some years ago, I stayed with my parents in Gloucestershire. It was the August bank holiday and they were preparing vegetables, jam, honey and flours for the village show. Village shows are not for the fainthearted because some people need to win. There are two types of person who want win at the show. Firstly, the man or woman who works ceaselessly in their garden to produce wonderful fruit, vegetables and flowers. Secondly, there are those who will cheat rather than lose. I will recount two incidents of the people who cannot lose. One person who entered lots of vegetables and flowers always seemed to win prizes much to the surprise of the other competitors. The ruse used was to sneak into the show tent just before the judges arrived and swap their labels with someone else’s if the fruit/vegetable looked like winning a prize. When the judges left and the tent was re-opened they would scurry round and swap the labels back and moving the prize card as well. One year the person was not quick enough, and the swapped labels were discovered. The judges were recalled, and all the person’s entries were disqualified. To make matters worse they were banned from ever entering the show again. My favourite, if a cheat can be a favourite was the following. This person would buy tomatoes in the supermarket and superglue green stalks to the tomatoes. Furthermore, he had a friend in another village who grew excellent apples, so he ‘borrowed’ a few. Another competitor was suspicious because the cheater’s garden was very small. The judges went round to his the garden found no apple trees and no tomato plants. Again, disqualification and banning from the

show. There is serendipity too. My mother entered a flower arrangement and during its transport my father knocked over the vase. He put them back in any old way and told my mother. She hurried to the show tent, but the judges had arrived early, and the door was shut. My father was told off but when the door was re-opened, and my mother and father went in to look at the flower arrangements, what did they see? Yes, my father had won first prize.

Nigel Peckett Poem I wandered lonely as a cloud

William Wordsworth 1770-1850

I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.


Allotment Everything was so overgrown. It seemed the last person to lease the plot wasn’t able to keep up with the weeds. Clearing that jungle was going to take a while, a plan of action would be needed. The first priority would be to find the soil to be able to dig the weeds up. With a pair of heavy duty gloves the grab and pull started and the pile kept growing. It may have been worth getting some marshmallows for toasting, a treat for all the hard work . Phase two, the digging, getting to the roots would take even longer than clearing the first layer, it takes more precision. They’d all have to be taken out if there were ever going to be any flowers or vegetables. The back ache would just have to have been endured. Finding a good treatment to get the last of the roots took almost as time as the weeding, a lot of money but would do the least amount of damage. Waiting was never fun but finally it was the turn of the rotavator. All had been going well until the blade caught on something, probably a brick, bringing it to a standstill. Going in with a spade revealed it to be too large to be a brick. The size of the block began to get worryingly large. Too large for one person reinforcements were needed. The allotment committee was informed, they informed the council. The council excavated the block and started to demolish it. They stopped when a hand fell loose. The council then called the police. No wonder it had been so overgrown with weeds, there would be no prize winning pumpkins that year. Rachel Hope

National Poetry Day, the UK-wide celebration of poetry, is taking place on 4th October 2018. This year’s theme is change, with everyone encouraged to try #poetryforachange! competitions/win-fantastic-bundlepoetry-books-time-national-poetryday-2018/


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 Crumbly: Manager of a theatre group that hires Nicholas and Mikey. Master Crumbly: son of manager. Master Percy Crumbly: another son of the manager. Mrs. Crumbly: wife of the manager. Miss Charlotte Crumbly, the Infanta 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 ...


To his untrained ears the applause was thunderous. Mrs Crumbly was visibly moved, the dying scene had seen her dabbing her eyes with a lacy handkerchief; albeit a torn one. She still had the presence of mind to be clutching the carpet bag holding the takings close to her ample bosom though. Three gentlemen, only a little worse for strong ale, were on their feet clapping and whistling. As they did so others soon followed and some were even stamping their feet. The notion of beer sales in the interval had been inspired. Brambly was at her side, ‘My dear, my dear, it’s a ... it’s a success!’ ‘Success, oh yes, what a good idea of yours, my dear to hire that young Nicholas. A star. A true star.’ Brambly couldn’t remember whose idea it was to hire the youth, but was happy to go along with the flow. ‘A natural, my dear. A natural.’ On the tiny shoe box of a stage at the Winter Gardens, Nicholas was beaming in a bemused sort of way as was the Infanta Phenomena, his Juliette, for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, standard bearer to the House of Montague, Mikey, was unsure what he was supposed to do and what had just happened: the stage was a whole new world of infinite possibilities the like of which he had never imaged or dreamed. Was it less than a fortnight since their escape from Dicken Boys Hall? His face darkened. What if Waterford found them? What if he was dragged back? What if ... Nicholas was grinning at him as the curtain fell, literally as it so happened, the old ropes needed work. Buoyed up Mikey managed a grin. ‘Fish and chips, eh, old son?’ said Nicholas. Mikey fingered the faded velvet costume, which was made for a much larger thespian and supported by pins at the back, and nodded; fish and chip suppers, now that he did understand. The auditorium was clearing, the raucous audience were wending their way into the night, Brambly was on door duty wishing all a good-night and urging them to return in haste and bring their friends. ‘My dear one,’ said Mrs Crumbly, ‘an extension of the hiring? What think you?’ Brambly beamed, ‘You should do mind reading, my angel. A fortnight? A month? The end of the season? What shall it be?’ Mrs Crumbly put forward her master plan, and a brave and bold one it be. ‘A pantomime, Mr Crumbly. We take the Winter Gardens for a whole winter season, and put on a panto as well as our usual repertoire. You can have young Nicholas help you write it. He knows the stories of Scheherazade, and those of old Arabie.’ ‘A thousand and one nights?’ Brambly’s tiny brain was bursting with the prospect of closed season money pouring out of wooden chest, silver and gold and ...’ Back in the real world, Mrs Crumbly was thinking more along the lines of ‘Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp’ the script of which needed polishing up a bit, but with the Infanta in a daring diaphanous costume and young Nicholas with his shirt off and donning a silken waistcoat, yes that might work. That might well drag in the punters and keep the company afloat until Spring.


Eclaire Choux sees Nicholas Bluddschott for First Time – Herr Freudenberger offer of Clerical Job to Nicholas and companion to Frank Freudenberger’s Lady Wife to Eclaire Choux Eclaire looked despondently at the sign over the door that said, Prestige Employment Agency on that coal sooty central London street. Only this morning, yet more misery had been heaped upon her, by a letter received by runner from yet another creditor, which ran: Dear Mr Walter Choux, If your account is not finalised at the 1st inst. you will be taken to debtors’ prison. Your Servant Sir. Her father’s emaciated appearance and sunken eyes had grown even more haggard at this news. The previous evening she had been courted by an elderly gentleman even older than her father, who handed to her his introduction card which named him Leon Scrunge, who had informed he was in business with the successful gentleman Ralph Bluddschott. She had to grant permission to be courted in the hope of marriage, to save her indebted father, despite her revulsion at this much bent and twisted lean figure of an old man, his jaws merely gums and no teeth, a visage of yellowed skin stretched tight, his scant grey hair gathered back in old fashioned black bow. As he paid court to her, his expression was of a wrinkled leer over her, his lecherousness being made obvious by sitting far too close as they took tea, with him slyly touching her hand or brushing against her when taking offered sandwich or little iced cake. That evening her slumber was broken by nightmares, that only reading the good book had put aside to bring calm sleep. Her father was most keen on this union. Eclaire stepped reluctantly through the door and was met by an unkempt, wooden floored hall and then a narrow, rickety-looking staircase, that creaked ominously as she walked along. Up on the first landing, was a door marked Office and she gained entrance to find a small room with low ceiling, a dusty threadbare carpet and cheaply papered walls, that held a heavy railing and high desk and counter which divided the room to give the appearance of a police court. Above the small open fire’s mantel were plaster-ofparis busts of serious gentlemen of high rank. Around the walls were hung cards of appointments offered. Eclaire approached the counter, when a middle aged bald headed round shouldered man who had been conversing with a young man, not uncomely in appearance, came to offer her service. Eclaire asked of him, ‘Are you the man who gains appointments?’ He spoke, ‘I am indeed, which position do you seek Miss? Eclaire answered, ‘Governess, French language teacher, Ladies Maid, Companion.’ He questioned, ‘Where did you work last Miss?’ Eclaire answered, ‘I was a companion to my father alone, but life has made it necessary to seek a living.’ He informed, ‘You must pay two shillings for the use of this bureau for one month.’


Eclaire queried, ‘So much?’ He answered, ‘My clients pay for very particular placements. And if you gain a position more than the common, you will have to pay my bureau more.’ Eclaire further asked, ‘If I pay this two shillings now, will you assure me an appointment?’ He assured, ‘Oh certainly, certainly, that is what this Agency is for.’ Eclaire concluded, ‘I do hope so, as two shillings is a high sum to pay.’ As Eclaire turned to look upon the work positions displayed upon the walls, the bureau manager spoke to the young man, ‘Now Mr Nicholas Bluddschott, have you found any position to your liking? Your uncle Ralph Bluddschott is to my knowledge, a successful gentleman of business.’ Nicholas nodded and informed, ‘I am minded for this clerical position with the Freudenberger merchants. I note it comes with a tied house by the warehouse, ideal for my mother and sister to live along with me. And the person I must contact, their Chief Clerk, Thomas Kanalwasserschloss, is an old friend of my late father’s, by your description of him being elderly, ample in girth, wide in face, wearing silver spectacles and having powder upon his hair.’ The bureau manager then began to pen a letter of introduction upon the agency’s letter headed vellum paper, dipping his feathered quill in the desk’s ink pot and writing with careful calligraphy. Eclaire’s curiosity was piqued, as she had seen a position of companion to the Mrs Frank Freudenberger, with the same Chief Clerk of Thomas Kanalwasserschloss, as first contact granting consideration of employment. Fluency in German being required. As the bureau manager finished his letter of introduction, Eclaire handed the job card to him, ‘Might I gain a letter of introduction for this position?’ The bureau manager then began to pen a further letter of introduction. Holding out both to each of Eclaire Choux and Nicholas Bluddschott. Eclaire and Nicholas came awkwardly into each other’s personal space, and Nicholas bowed and said, ‘Beg Pardon Miss, please pass ahead,’ and opened the door for her. Eclaire’s heart leaped at this close proximity to this young man with kindly eyes and fresh comely looks, dressed well more than the common. The bureau manager saw this attention and said, ‘May I hand to you Miss Eclaire Choux, the card of Mr Nicholas Bluddschott, who has but recently come to the city.’ Eclaire handed via the bureau manager her card, to Nicholas who bowed to her, as she went on her way, ‘May it be my good fortune for us to meet again at the home of the Freudenbergers, where it appears both of us will find employment.’ ‘Yes indeed Sir,’ answered Eclaire. (ACW )


Random Words: fancy, bread, Tuesday, spire, restaurant, bedding, leap, espresso That particular Tuesday was no different to many others in the Copper Kettle restaurant nestled under the spire of Trentby cathedral. Mrs Deakin was being as fussy as usual with the napkins turning them into fancy flowers and swans. The bread basket was overflowing with rolls and scones surrounded on the sideboard by a display of flowers mostly cut from summer bedding plants in Mrs Deakin’s garden. It would be a leap of faith to say the Copper Kettle was at the cutting edge of modernity, when they installed the ‘new fangled’ espresso machine last week some customers were appalled.


LXIV When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age; When sometime lofty towers I see down-raz'd, And brass eternal slave to mortal rage; When I have seen the hungry ocean gain Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, And the firm soil win of the watery main, Increasing store with loss, and loss with store; When I have seen such interchange of state, Or state itself confounded, to decay; Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate-That Time will come and take my love away. This thought is as a death which cannot choose But weep to have, that which it fears to lose. LXV Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea, But sad mortality o'ersways their power, How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea, Whose action is no stronger than a flower? O! how shall summer's honey breath hold out, Against the wrackful siege of battering days, When rocks impregnable are not so stout, Nor gates of steel so strong but Time decays? O fearful meditation! where, alack, Shall Time's best jewel from Time's chest lie hid? Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back? Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid? O! none, unless this miracle have might, That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

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 Sept Time goes rattling by, Summer is on it’s way out and the nights are drawing in a little earlier all the time. However, we are getting some very welcome sunny spells that are ripening the Tomatoes in the Greenhouse and bringing on the plants outside on the Allotment. The sun is also helping the Gladiola that have had a rough time as they don’t like too much wet and will rot quite easily in the ground. We have cut several fantastic spikes of Gladiola flowers already and they are following on nicely from the Sweet Peas that are starting to go to seed and coming to an end.

Something else we are trying, came from one garden centre where we found that they were selling the Dahlia tubers they had left at half price. We bought some even though they are far too late to do much for this year, potted them up as we thought if we could get some growth on them this year and keep them over Winter they could be started early for next year and we will also try taking some cuttings from this years soft growth. Ever hopeful and with any luck, we can grow these on enough to get them through the Winter to make more flowering plants - we like experimenting! The Garden Centres seem very well stocked with Palms this year. I don’t know whether they are hoping we will have a mild Winter, or that they think everyone has a large conservatory, but I must say they do look elegant, especially the one we saw in flower. It had enormous hanging racemes of bright yellow flowers that put on a fantastic show.

Coming down to earth, Lavender plants should have a good clip now, but don’t cut into the old wood, or they might not shoot again. The clipNot only do I use flowers around the house, but pings don’t need to be thrown away as they are I also press a lot of the smaller ones. I have got good for lavender sachets, or to liven up your one of my flower presses nearly full of flowers dish of Potpouri. and leaves and I am hoping for plenty of spikes of Crocosmia as the flowers press so well and look nice when glued into my Christmas cards. The blank cards I use are the 3 fold ones with windows in, so that I can glue the flowers onto the card and it looks like a little picture showing through a window. Recently we bought a couple of pots of Dwarfed Chrysanthemums with quite exotic flowers on. After getting them home, we cut the flowers off which we put in two vases and then, tipped the remaining plants out of their pots, carefully separated them and was able to pot 3 nice little plants up from each pot to grow on for next year. We did the same thing last year with some, so this Spring those had made good “Stools,” with good roots that could be planted out and they are about 2 ½ to 3ft high now. The plants are full of flower buds and will give many cut flowers to put in my vases. When putting cut Chrysanthemum flowers in water you should gently hammer the ends of the stems, or just split the stem ends, other wise they will not take up water and so will not last very long.

By Saffron Blaze - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https:// Different lavender cultivars grown at Snowshill, Cotswolds.


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RBW Online issue 553  

Events, poetry, fiction project, competitions and more

RBW Online issue 553  

Events, poetry, fiction project, competitions and more