Sep 17, 2023


Playing the "12-Tile" variant of the game(*), I drew (in alphabetical order) 


(*) Using the longer 'rack' invented by Montgomery Spoonbill, and applying the 3-words per turn rule which is the norm in countries with 27 or more (sometimes many, many more) letters in their alphabets.  Worth a visit. They are all south of the Equator as you would expect.

I was playing against myself (Harbinger's 'Solo' Rules).  As soon as I saw these letters, three words sprang to mind but, as often happens under Harbinger, were instantly forgotten.

So, working from left to right (English system), I made - first

LIKE MOON RVST      The judge disqualified RVST as not being a real word (c'mon! It's RUST. Well, nearly) and told me he didn't LIKE the way I was MOONing around. Awarded a Harbinger Score of ZERO and a Yellow Card.  Said I must try harder.  OK, what next?
MORE VOLT SINK      Three real words at last!  YEAH!  Harbinger score 377, a Fibonacci number!   

LINK ROTS MOVE.    Better. Makes sense, but not a lot.  Harbinger Score 128, or 2^7 if you're binary.    

KIT LOVES NORM.     All the letters in a sensible order. A little story, too!  Best wishes to both. 

RON MOVES KILT.     Another little story. 

MOVE TORN SILK     Why?  You might well ask.

MORONS LIKE TV    Now I'm really on fire!  Making a social comment, too.100 Bonus points.

ROOM V TINKLES.    Better see what Room 5 wants.  (Harbinger permits Roman numerals in lieu of the actual words, so . . . )

LIV MORE KNOTS.    Fiftyfour more knots, geddit?

And make what do you will of the following.







Then, out of nowhere, my first three words came back to me!  Without wasting a moment, I rearranged the tiles.  I laid the words out on the Scrabble board.  They looked familiar.  I'd seen them somewhere before . . . . 


 . . .  scoring 351

And leaving me just 18 words to explain where this nonsense came from. It came from HERE

Sep 8, 2023


Give me a girl with garlic on her breath!
Fragrance of warmer air and jugs of wine.
Oh, such a one I'd love half way to death!
Not all the way, I could not spare the time

from thinking of her mediterranean hair,
falling about her shoulders and the wood-
en chopping board, the cloves of garlic there
blithe to be squidged to make her lips taste good.

Sometimes she'll munch mouthfuls of allium raw –
pungent disulphides plating pearly teeth,
promising scented lungfuls and much more.
Ah now I live and breathe, while underneath

the cooker-hood the pasta rolls and boils
as drops of garlic essence she drips in.
Not too much in case the penne spoils
nor so little her perfumed burps seem thin.

As aniseed is to the hunting hound
so hints of garlic urge my manly pride
and when she smoothes the garlic butter round
her person - she can run but she can’t hide.

Keep, if you please, your "Midnight" and "Chanel,"
witches' brews that all real ladies scorn.
Let me inhale the aroma I love well -
garlic sweet as sunlight each new dawn.

Rosemary at Poets&Storytellers United asks us to reflect on perfumes, fragrance, natural or manmade.
I'm sure you will find efforts worthier then mine HERE.

Aug 25, 2023

How Do They Do It? -

- the virtuoso pianists, violinists and other  -ists who take the stage, bow, glance at the conductor and launch into 30 or 40 minutes worth of  concerto, with no printed music in sight.  Beethoven's 5th piano concerto  - the 'Emperor' - keeps the soloist busy for 38 minutes - about par for the course.  It's an astonishing feat of memory. But memory of what, exactly?  Partly 'muscle memory,' where your arms/hands/fingers know where to go next;  partly 'score memory,' where you 'see' the printed music unrolling in your imagination; partly 'sound memory,' where you 'hear' what's coming next and play it.
Whatever, it's an amazing. almost eerie ability . . . that occasionally goes wrong!
I wish the following little story was true, but it seems 'too good to be true' somehow.

The Russian pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninov was accompanying a violinist in a performance of somebody-or-others sonata for violin and piano.  Two virtuosi who, whilst combining superbly as musicians, did not get on with each other particularly well off stage.  The violinist was playing from memory; Rachmaninov, at the piano, was playing from score.  The violinist sensed his memory was about to let him down; he was losing his place in the music. Disaster!  Still playing, but getting closer to, as you might say, his collapse point, he edged toward the piano and, in a rest passage, indicated the score with the tip of his bow and muttered to Rachmaninov 'Where are we?'
Rachmaninov leered, and said 'We're in the Carnegie Hall.'

Read a medley of responses to the Poets and Storytellers' prompt here. 

Aug 11, 2023


To Laugh or Cry.

The world is on fire, and if not in fire it's under 2 metres of water, and if it's had the good fortune to avoid fire and flood it's being blown away by hurricane force winds, tornados and typhoons.   Climate scientists tell us that these extreme weather events are at least in part caused by Mankind - individually brilliant, collectively stupid - abusing planet Earth, our one and only PERSONAL LIFE SUPPORT SYTEM. Read that bit again. Climate sceptics - exemplified by USA's favourite half-wit (you know who I mean) deny humankind's role in global warming, maintaining that climate change is 'fake news' and/or 'a hoax,' while all over the world political leaders trumpet 'zero carbon by 20something' once day and do their green-washing the next - JUST CARRY ON GRANTING DRILLING LICENSES.  

Now here's the funny thing.  MOST PEOPLE agree that there is a problem.  'Ooo, it were terrible!  We was burned out of our 'oliday 'otel.'  'Me car were floatin' down the street.' 'Granny and Granddad were buried in a mud-slide.'  'Blew the roof of me conservatory, so it did.'  'You'd enjoy Greece more is it weren't so bloody hot.'  BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE do you know who have changed the way they treat their PLISS in the interest of an earth fit for their grandchildren to live in?  No, once they've settled the insurance claim they resume flitting round and round the world for fun in aircraft.  They buy a replacement motor twice the size they really need  - SUV's are posh builders' vans. They buy an outfit for their Saturday Night Out and bin it on Monday. They cool themselves down by cranking up their air-cond - and how many people understand that AC makes matters worse.

Before starting this rant I did my washing-up. (Don't have a dishwasher . . . too polluting) Rinsing a saucepan, I thought, 'That used more pure, clean water than lots of little kids in the world get to drink in a week.  Doesn't that make you want to cry?

I watch Hawaii, Portugal, Greece, Canada going up in smoke and am reminded of a line from a Peter, Paul and Mary song. back in the seventies -


This doom-and-gloom inspired by Magaly's prompt on Poets and Storytellers

Aug 5, 2023


 . . .  how many 'psychological thrillers with a gut wrenching twist' (*)  feature a female character, usually a police person, who has been blessed with 'red hair and green eyes.'  So many that, IMHO, the red-haired, green-eyed heroine has become a cliché.

With this in mind I did some research and discovered that . . .  Less(**) than 2% of the world's population have 'green eyes,' with aren't green anyway.  They are brown eyes deficient in melatonin. There is no 'green' pigment.  The 'green' tint is produced by internal reflection in the cornea.   Just thought you'd like to know that.  Start a punch-up by commenting below - particularly if you have green eyes and have never featured in an Amazon thriller.

(*) Translation.  'Psychological' means it's about people. 'Thriller' means it usually isn't.  'Gut wrenching' can be substituted by (pick where you like): hair raising, ear splitting, eye popping, jaw dropping, mind boggling, heart stopping, stomach turning, knee trembling, foot tapping, toe curling . . . and that's just for starters.

(**)  'Less' or 'Fewer'?  Which would you vote for?

This post posted in response to Rommy's intriguing prompt on Poets and Storytellers United

Jul 23, 2023


 - from their home in Abergele, N.Wales, Mrs. Ada Trellis and her husband Caddoc.

Neighbours say they were a quiet - well, normally, though from time to time the sounds of extreme marital concord interrupted the clash of cooking utensils were heard late into the North Wales night (noson gogledd Cymru) - couple who kept themselves to themselves, Mrs.Trellis in her kitchen and Caddoc in his garden shed, where he would spend many happy hours potting out Ladies Mantle or playing his saxophone. 
Despite a massive police presence and a finger-tip search of their house and grounds (and shed(sied ardd)) - no trace of the lovebirds has come to light, leaving the police scratching their heads (heddlu yn crafu pennau)

Nor have they posted on the following blogs: -

where for several years they entertained blogfollowers with their matirmonial comings and goings.

Can you help?  HOW can you help?  Leave comments under this post. Remember, in all 'mispers(*)' cases, the smallest scrap of information could turn out to be of critical importance in the Wales-wide and room to be UK-wide search for the happy pair.  

Thank You.

(*) Police slang for (missing person) Geddit?

Jun 20, 2021


 "Yes.  We understand that, Herbert.  And a chauffeur is a great costume.  Really great. Inventive. Imaginative. And the black glasses make you look really, really spooky."


"t's just that . . . well . . . we didn't expect you'd bring the car."

"Everyone else has."

"True. But their cars are to get them home afterwards.  Yours is part of your costume."

"I'll leave it on the drive.  Or what about the porch?  I could park it on the porch and just stand beside it. More authentic, a chauffeur with a car, holding the rear door open for Madam."

"But there are folk backed up behind you, Herbert.  Couldn't you have come in a taxi?"

"It's an Austin Princess! Ninety sixty one.  It wouldn't fit in a taxi."

"Herbert!  Just get it out of here."

"All right.  Keep your hair on.  Can I give you a lift somewhere?" 

Posted in response to Carrie's prompt showing a Classic British car and the owner's driver.

May 10, 2021



Now listen, you three . . .

If it looks like a Beatle and walks like a Beatle and sings like a Beatle
IT'S A BEATLE,  Geddit?

A response to Carrie's Sunday Muse #159

May 2, 2021


"This isn't Bronté country!!  I think I'm lost.

"I can hear someone coming - Is that you, Heathcliffe?"

Posted in response to Carrie's picture for Sunday Muse #158 

Apr 25, 2021


First day of Spring.  I think it's OK to stick my head above the parapet and say 'Hallo trees. Hallo sky' -     and what's the first thing I see?

A road-roller
Heading this way!

Post prompted by Carrie's picture for Sunday Muse #157