Wed
17
Dec
2014

A NEW VENTURE

Christmas card

Here’s a thing , Scissorshop, created by me, for the edification of the masses. As I’ve said over there it’s more a religion than a craft.

Sat
13
Dec
2014

THE DONG WITH A LUMINOUS NOSE.

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WHEN awful darkness and silence reign
Over the great Gromboolian plain,
Through the long, long wintry nights;—
When the angry breakers roar,
As they beat on the rocky shore;—
When Storm-clouds brood on the towering heights
Of the Hills on the Chankly Bore:—

Then, through the vast and gloomy dark,
There moves what seems a fiery spark,
A lonely spark with silvery rays
Piercing the coal-black night,—
A meteor strange and bright:—
Hither and thither the vision strays,
A single lurid light.

Slowly it wanders,—pauses,—creeps,—
Anon it sparkles,—flashes and leaps;
And ever as onward it gleaming goes
A light on the Bong-tree stems it throws.
And those who watch at that midnight hour
From Hall or Terrace, or lofty Tower,
Cry, as the wild light passes along,—
“The Dong!—the Dong!
“The wandering Dong through the forest goes!
“The Dong! the Dong!
“The Dong with a luminous Nose!”

Long years ago
The Dong was happy and gay,
Till he fell in love with a Jumbly Girl
Who came to those shores one day.
For the Jumblies came in a Sieve, they did,—
Landing at eve near the Zemmery Fidd
Where the Oblong Oysters grow,
And the rocks are smooth and gray.
And all the woods and the valleys rang
With the Chorus they daily and nightly sang,—
“Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.”

Happily, happily passed those days!
While the cheerful Jumblies staid;
They danced in circlets all night long,
To the plaintive pipe of the lively Dong,
In moonlight, shine, or shade,
For day and night he was always there
By the side of the Jumbly Girl so fair,
With her sky-blue hands, and her sea-green hair.

Till the morning came of that hateful day
When the Jumblies sailed in their Sieve away,
And the Dong was left on the cruel shore
Gazing—gazing for evermore,—
Ever keeping his weary eyes on
That pea-green sail on the far horizon,—
Singing the Jumbly Chorus still
As he sat all day on the grassy hill,—
“Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue,
And they went to sea in a Sieve.”

But when the sun was low in the West,
The Dong arose and said,—
“What little sense I once possessed
Has quite gone out of my head!”
And since that day he wanders still
By lake and forest, marsh and hill,
Singing—“O somewhere, in valley or plain
“Might I find my Jumbly Girl again!
“For ever I’ll seek by lake and shore
“Till I find my Jumbly Girl once more!”
Playing a pipe with silvery squeaks,
Since then his Jumbly Girl he seeks,
And because by night he could not see,
He gathered the bark of the Twangum Tree
On the flowery plain that grows.
And he wove him a wondrous Nose,—
A Nose as strange as a Nose could be!
Of vast proportions and painted red,
And tied with cords to the back of his head.
—In a hollow rounded space it ended
With a luminous lamp within suspended,
All fenced about
With a bandage stout
To prevent the wind from blowing it out;—
And with holes all round to send the light,
In gleaming rays on the dismal night.

And now each night, and all night long,
Over those plains still roams the Dong!
And above the wail of the Chimp and Snipe
You may hear the squeak of his plaintive pipe,
While ever he seeks, but seeks in vain,
To meet with his Jumbly Girl again;
Lonely and wild—all night he goes,—
The Dong with a luminous Nose!
And all who watch at the midnight hour,
From Hall or Terrace, or Lofty Tower,
Cry, as they trace the Meteor bright,
Moving along through the dreary night,—
“This is the hour when forth he goes,
“The Dong with a luminous Nose!
“Yonder—over the plain he goes;
“He goes;
“He goes!
“The Dong with a luminous Nose!”

The Jumblies and Other Nonsense Verses

Author: Edward Lear

Illustrator: L. Leslie Brooke
Thu
11
Dec
2014

BLINKERED? MOI?

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I’m quite concerned about some of the middle-aged people that I know.
Set in their ways, at a loss of knowing how to empathise, a tad neurotic, blinkered, sometimes paranoid, unable to use common sense and not having the ability to use the evidence of reality.
The Interweave has an influence but I think that the root cause is an egotistical navel watching that has reached out to people on the hysterical level condoned by peer pressure and allowed by no inner core strength.
It’s a shame and a waste and I’m very disappointed.
There’s the hope that the NEXT generation will be better. I’ll watch, as I always do, with interest and optimism.

(Almost time to hang up my laptop – but not quite)

Thu
4
Dec
2014

BAD NEWS KIDS

Unfortunately I mixed up my list for Santa Claus and my ‘to do’ list.

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This means that I’ve got to buy all my own presents, I wish I hadn’t been so greedy, and Santa will be too busy grouting the bathroom, vacuuming the living room and mending the shed roof to be able to deliver any presents. Sorry.

Mon
24
Nov
2014

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Born this day in 1864.

640px-Lautrec_rue_des_moulins,_the_medical_inspection_1894 The Medical Inspection at the Rue des Moulins Brothel (1894)

He had a short but very productive and interesting life.

Mon
10
Nov
2014

LACK OF COMMUNICATION

One of the things I love about Portugal is the inability to converse with the natives.

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As we all know the majority of the spoken word is wasted on expressing opinions of little worth, silly banter and boring anecdotes. (Avid readers fall into a different category …. obviously).

I’m very pleased to keep my communication restricted to “Good morning”, “Good afternoon” and “Can I have a milky coffee please?”.

The people in our little village are very smiley and friendly but I’m quite relieved I can’t understand all the internal backbiting and bitchiness, local politics and gossip that is endemic to small communities.

Keep life simple and just get on with your own thing, that’s my motto.

Mon
10
Nov
2014

COULD THIS BE A WAY ….

…. to write my words of wisdom?

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Playing with TextEdit on MacBook Pro.

Apple really need to make an effort in some areas. (<—- words of wisdom)

Tue
21
Oct
2014

BATTLING ON …

… the fight continues for the right to sit or lie down and put things away in drawers.

The Flatpack War of 2014 in Central Portugal was a close run affair with the comfort of Lo, she is a terrible goddess at stake.

The pictures below are quite shocking. I suggest you have a cup of tea before viewing.
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Initially I was having a very successful campaign and even involved Papersurfer Junior. I felt confident … even, dare I say it, rather smug. IKEA tried to fool me with weird names but I could handle that easily.

And then, in front of Junior, I was felled, flummoxed and fooled by Argos. They’d not left one fitting out or even two, I could cope with that, they’d forgotten to put any fittings in at all! I looked in the box 13 times, I lifted everything in the room 16 times, I looked back in the box 3 more times, I patted down Papersurfer Junior in case he was playing a cruel jape, I checked once more in the box. Nothing.

Lo had to be involved. I had no other choice. She made several calls and involved the family while I carved a horse so I could then cut off it’s head to put into something on her instructions.

Several days later Argos eventually delivered. They struggled to the end by leaving out 4 fittings. I laughed out loud and with the help of my gay friend in Poiares, who is open all hours, the problem was cracked. The bed was made … and I’m lying in it.

Fri
17
Oct
2014

TIME AND MOTION

One of the most effective ways to increase one’s efficiency  is to purchase an electric kettle.

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Beverages are consumed by civilised people several times a day. They are vital to help clear thought and to create open receptive eyes.

With the use of an electric kettle the minimum amount of time is wasted. Filling the old fashioned kettle, lighting the hob, putting the kettle on the hob and then waiting around for the kettle to boil or disappearing to do something really importantly only to be interrupted by the insistent whistling that requires attention, is the way of the bucolic peasant. The electric kettle can be filled, turned on and left, because it automatically switches itself off. It is then, almost immediately, at your convenience, ready to provide the boiled water that is vital for your beverage. Many minutes can be saved and important matters can be dealt with without interruption. I have used both methods and can vouch wholeheartedly that my productiveness  increases hugely when an electric kettle is involved.

Wed
24
Sep
2014

THE FAIRLIGHT EYE

Hot air and wind have long been associated with me and so it seemed appropriate to develop the Fairlight Eye into a wind powered icon of my true nature. I know, it’s very moving … but only when the wind is in a certain direction. Many thanks to the tins of baked beans that made this all possible.