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A sunset, a dog walk, some aphorisms and a ramble about Commonplace books

The dust of exploded beliefs may make a fine sunset.




It is funny how we sometimes stumble upon something that inspires us to turn detective; to ask questions and then stay up too late researching the answers. 
For example, consider the quote above - I had a photograph in need of a quote and I found this one about 'sunsets' (the word I looked up) and exploded beliefs (not what I was expecting). The words are  by Geoffrey Madan, 1895 - 1947, whose father had the marvellous name Falconer (disappointingly he wasn't one) and was master of Brasenose College, Oxford and librarian of the Bodleian. I'm guessing that with such an academic pedigree the young Geoffrey would have been introduced to books at a young age. And that this lead at some point to the compiling of lists of quotes and aphorisms for which he is or was famous. 
*Short interlude here while I remind myself (and you, perhaps... ) exactly what an aphorism is. Think of a phrase or sentence that is brief and to-the-p…
Recent posts

Dickens, dogs and tangled leads

Procrastination is the thief of time ...



I know this and yet I continue to allow procrastination to steal away my time every day. Charles Dickens also knew this which is perhaps why his completed quote reads

Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.

I wonder if he found it as frustrating as I do?

Dickens was born on February 7th 1812 which makes this the 207th anniversary of his birth -  not his '207th birthday.' I'm being pedantic perhaps, but there is no wheeling the double-centenarian out in a chair, brushing the dust off his lips and watching him blow out a forest of candles.

I wonder what he would make of his fame, if he could see his books still in print today. And marvel at the many films and television series. And hear us quoting him in everyday speech - words like butterfingers and flummox were brought into everyday use by him. He used devil-me-care in Pickwick Papers and this continues to be used as an apt description of reckless behaviour. Everyone knows …

#2019 Connections, characters and a stone ball.

Half-way into January. A small step into a new year. And I am another year older. How did this happen?

I could answer part of that by reminding myself that as I was born in January and have just had a birthday I am a year older. But half-way into January (over half-way now - several days have passed since I started this blog) and a small step into a New Year; how did these happen?

Time doesn’t stand still. I've said that before. In November's blog. I called it out as a cliche then too. It is. But if cliches can be good and I think this is a good one. Time is animated. Time moves. I wittered on about this at length. In November. Two months ago. Two months filled with frantic present hunting; over-eating; over-spending; under-sleeping; and wrapping (always late on Christmas eve - so late that I risk Father Christmas finding me sitting on the floor surrounded by paper and string - the sellotape always runs out at about 11.57pm on Christmas Eve, doesn't it? - hot chocolate insul…

Time and dreams. And a mountain or two.

Time doesn’t stand still. Not for any man or woman. Time is physics. It proceeds and there is nothing that we can do about it. Not yet anyway. Probably not ever.

While perhaps it's not great writing to start with a cliche (or even a few), the standing still of time, as sometimes observed in a moment of awe, is something we can perceive. Sometimes. Okay, time doesn't actually stop. But it feels like it does. Insert here any moment when for you time 'stood still'; that moment, perhaps, when you had raced to summit a mountain and - with your feet standing on the highest point, your body in that state of elated exhaustion - you watched as the rising sun crept long pillars of light above the distant horizon. And you realised - literally standing still - that you were holding your breath. 

The sun of course went on rising and time did not actually stop. At moments like these, we tell ourselves that it did; just for a moment. But that is an illusion. A mere mistaken perception.…

Bollockworts

Ah, spelling! Or more accurately mis-spelling. And in particular, my near mis-spelling of the title above.

As AA Milne said with the voice of Pooh, or Piglet, or maybe wOl,

'My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.' He went on to say that 'spelling isn't everything.'

But ...

Mark Twain said that 'anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word lacks imagination.'

But ... hmm ...

Unfortunately, I can think of two ways to spell the title of this blog - the homonym for wort would create a major Wobble and would turn an innocent blog about plants - yes; plants ... you have the homonym in your head, don't you? ... to something entirely different; unpleasant skin eruptions in unspeakable places. All entirely ... still stuck in your mind? ...  yes, entirely unintended. Yes, un-in-ten-ded. Absolutely. Not a w-a-rt in sight.

Bollocks on the other hand. You didn't see that coming, did you?

Bol…

Confetti for the brain. A little bit of history regarding a use for holes and a couple of quotes.

Confetti - noun: small pieces of coloured paper thrown over a bride and groom following their marriage ceremony. Also the bane of church yards and wedding venues - who wants to exit church after their favourite spinster aunt's funeral and slip on the papier mâché mush of last weekend's weddings, or step, in your wedding gown, onto a pink spattered step when your colour theme is lilac?

Confetti - derived from the Latin confectum, meaning something prepared. Which suggests that there is something missing from the traditional wedding rhyme 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue ... something prepared.' How about something shared ... declared ... or ensnared??

Nature's confetti is all over the ground at this time of year -




The garden, footpaths, and pavements are covered in blossom snow. And, when he falls asleep beneath the apple tree, it speckles Four-legged-friend's black coat.





The confetti we know today - bits of bio-degradable (churc…

If I put up my hand

If I put my hand up,
if I try to have my say,
will anybody listen? 

If I tread softly in a wood of silver trees
and whisper susurrations;
snippets sparsely spoken from my soul -
my supplications rising in the warming breeze,
will my words rustle any of the paper leaves
and stop them falling?

Falling,
f
 a
  l
    l
     i
      n
       g
falling to our precious fragile earth.

Fragile is our world.
Fragile our grasp of what - it - is.
One world. Precious. And us,
just,
holding on,
mere atoms in a surging sea of selfish, greedy strife.
Fragile is our hold, our will, our voice. Our life.

To right a wrong with words
is right.
To hit back with fury risks a monster
roused. Stirred to act; tit for tat.

Tit for tat.

Tit for tat.
An eye for an eye.
Think on that.

If I put up my hand
and cry. And cry. Will it stay
the will of leaders who capitulate and bluster
and risk throwing our lives away.

Let us not forget.
World Peace - that illuminated icon,
precarious as a glass balanced
on some far away…