Mar 29, 2011

Magpie Tales#59

Much mystery surrounds La Gioconda and her Enigmatic Smile. The indefatigable Willow invites us to speculate . . .
Art critics have long argued about That Smile, The Half Length Sitting Portrait, and the Curious Landscape Beyond . . .

"Shall I tell him his fly's undone?
No! That would really spoil the fun.
While he fiddles with his brushes
I'll just keep shtumm and spare his blushes!"

"I wonder where this sitting's going?
M'lady's little knees are showing.
I'd better paint her all demure
so hubby thinks she's Mona pure!"

The country scene stretched far and wide
with ricks and barns wherein to hide.
That's why the portrait's done outdoors . . 
(Bluddi hard, those castle floors . . . )

Mar 21, 2011


Thanks once again to Tess at Willow Manor for another fine prompt - Magpie#58.

A brave Scottish warrior called Field
had a very fine leathery shield.
Its horsey-tail tassel
caused opponents much hassle.
When his squad was advancing
his tassel was dancing.
When the war-cries were ringing
his tassel was swinging,
and the enemy assembled
stared, shivered and trembled,
aghast at what Field's shield revealed!

Mar 19, 2011

Hard Hats Must Be Worn!

The sine qua non of blogland, the peerless G-Man, once again gives us 55 words, no more, no less, to reflect on the sadnesses of the World. 

The Moon is sneaking up on you, unsuspecting Earthman! Last night it crept to within 221,567 miles of your backyard, its closest for 18 years.  Take no risks. Stay indoors unless your journey is absolutely necessary.  If gravity fails, you don't want the Moon landing on your head, do you? Things that heavy don't bounce!

(55 words)

Mar 14, 2011

Glowing Testament

One of the Brightest Stars of British Blogland sent me this picture, with a link to the Daily Mail article where you can read the full story.  One might ask what a Nice Girl like the B.S. of B. Blogland was doing reading the Daily Mail, but let that pass . . .

Look at that!  It's a filament electric light bulb that's been lighting somebody's life almost continuously since 1901 . . . that's 110 years ago!  (Full story linked above)  
In the modern consumer society when lots and lots of folk change their cars because the screen needs  washed and their kitchens because the hobs need cleaned and buy a new sofa because DHS keeps telling them they need to buy a new sofa - I exaggerate of course but only slightly . . who wants a light bulb that lasts A HUNDRED YEARS! Particularly one as ugly as that.
That's not really the point, is it?  The point is, if light bulbs made a hundred years ago lasted . . er . . er . . a hundred years, why do modern light bulbs last for about as long as it takes you to jump down off the stool? Oh surely I don't need to spell it out for you? It's because Osram, Philips etc don't want them to. They want you to nip round to B&Q or Morrisons and fill your trolley with enough bulbs to last you till today week.  BTW . . see this guff they tell you about "average life 1000 hours" True, as long as the bulb is UNSHADED, HANGING VERTICALLY DOWN, and is NEVER switched off after it's first switched on. 
A thoroughgoing commitment to a low energy policy would see the Government requiring firms to make consumables and (so-called) durables that last a reasonable length of time. Another example that really annoys me . . fridge/freezer door seals. Unless you're unlucky enough to buy one with a "Friday afternoon" motor or compressor unit, the component that finally sees off your fridge/freezer will be the door seals, which gradually harden and crack until they no longer seal properly and then the unit ices up in no time. Solution. Buy and fit new seals. Ever tried to find a replacement seal for a unit more than about 6 months old?  No, bloggers, the solution that Hopoint, Ariston, Bosch etc want you to go for is a new £250 unit, not a new £25 set of door seals.  Something to do with GDP or something . .  growing the economy.
I could get REALLY ANGRY about the shocking deterioration in the impact resistance of McVitie's Digestive Biscuits, but I'm sure you've all got the point.

Mar 12, 2011

Flash Fiction 55. 11th. March 2011

Never shall the incomparable G-Man's Friday Challenge pass unregarded.  55 or fewer words to recount life's challenging experiences . . .

Two students called the police, reporting - “Students dressed as workmen are digging up the Town Square for a Charity stunt!”  They then went to the Square and told workmen quite legitimately repairing a water main - “Look out! A bunch of students disguised as policemen are coming to arrest you for digging up . . ."

(55 words)

Mar 10, 2011

Magpie Tales#56

Willow's Magpie Tales prompt this week will inspire culinary flights of fancy from enthusiastic bloggers worldwide . . .


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 "Blue Grass" and "Chanel,"
witches' brews that all real ladies scorn.
Let me inhale the aroma I love well -
garlic sweet as sunlight each new dawn.

Mar 9, 2011


For this week's Microfiction Monday (#73), Susan at Stony River invites her followers and fans to tell the story of this picture prompt. And allows them a massive 140 characters to do it.

Thief: How did you get onto me?
Detective: When you pinched the teaspoons a hidden camera in the lid snapped you
Thief: Clever, those Japanese 

Mar 5, 2011

Short Back and Sides

The most excellent G-Man challenges one-and-all to tell a telling tale in 55 words max. for his Friday-Flash-55. Don't cry "Why 55? Why not 54, or 56?" Just get on with it!

The "Wait" sign in a barbershop read "2 hours"
A customer seeing this, left.
Next day he returned. Another 2-hour wait. He left.
The barber asked a friend 'Follow him. He asks how long he'll have to wait - never does. Where’s he go?'
The friend returned, smirking. "Bad news! He went to your house."

(55 words)

Mar 4, 2011

Robert Lloyd (Poets United) suggested we use a quote to inspire a poem for the Thursday Think Tank#38.

"All indications are that the satellite and the rocket are in the Southern Pacific Ocean somewhere,"  
Launch director Omar Baez, speaking after the "Glory" satellite launched from California ran into telemetry problems 3 minutes into its flight. (Reported on BBC News, 3/3/2011)

Readers, please note he said "Somewhere"
The monitor stations said, "Hmmm . .  where
can the bluddi thing be
in that vast, southern sea?
Its GPS clearly is bumware."

Mar 3, 2011

Magpie Tales#55

True to form, Tess at Willow Manor gives bloggers another juicy prompt . .

Next Tuesday, 8th March 2011 is "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day," the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The tradition of making and eating pancakes derives from the time when Lenten fasting was taken more seriously than it is these days. Good Christian folk would have a "blow out" of pancakes made from a rich batter containing eggs. Fry lightly on a griddle and serve piping hot with sugar and lemon juice . .  oh YUMMY . . .

Police Sergeant: (surveying bloodstained handprint, fork, lemon etc)  "Now then, my lad. We got you bang to rights! You're nicked!  We're 'oldin' you on suspicion. Orl the hevidence is there right in front of us. Even the murder weapon. Forked 'em to death, didn't you? Orl we're short of are the bodies. You goin' to tell us where you buried 'em? That there lemon gives quite an unusual flavour to the case, you must agree? Must warn you that anyfink you say will be taken down and used in hevidence. You 'ave the right to remain silent but I must warn you . . .

Doctor FTSE:  When I said I could murder a couple of pancakes I didn't mean . . .