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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…

Walking and thinking. A meander, some quotes and lunch.

I own dogs - Four-legged-friend and Bertie Baggins. 
I own dogs and therefore I walk. I walk the dogs. And I walk me, obviously.
Learning how to walk is one of the milestones on our journey from infancy to adulthood. So ordinary. So fundamental. So universally ... well, ... useful. We walk to the sink to brush our teeth. We walk to the kettle to pour a hot drink. We walk to fall into the arms of those we love. We walk to work. We walk to the cinema.  We walk to ....  To?
We don't always have to walk to do or achieve something. 
We can walk aimlessly. In Old Scots this would be daundering, as in 'I go out for a wee daunder wi' my dugs.' Like this -




Walk - definition, (mostly) from online OED: verb - to move at a regular pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, while never having both or all feet off the ground at the same time (that would be a jump!)
In the English language, we have lots of words (... again, mostly from the OED) that mean walk - stroll, saun…

Saunter, dream and sometimes marvel

Sometimes, when I visit an art exhibition, it is enough to spend an hour or so getting lost in the paintings.

Sometimes, the paintings are not to my taste and rather than getting lost in the art, it loses me and I leave feeling that I have walked through a sweetshop and failed to eat any of the sweets.

I have been to art exhibitions where every picture is a wow - Turner, Lowry, the 2017 BP portrait award - and to some where none is - Rauschenberg at Tate Modern. And I have been to some unexpected gems - Ernest Shepherd's illustrations at the Winnie the Pooh exhibition at the V&A and a marine art exhibition in 2016, in a small maritime gallery in Mystic, USA.

Special exhibitions or event exhibitions are expensive and I have devised a private, retrospective is-it-worth-it score. If there is one picture that makes me stop and stare. And stare again. That pauses time. And takes my breath away. If there is one of these - there only needs to be one - then the is-it-worth-it worthine…

Oh bother ...

I can't believe I've let #WinniethePoohDay pass without posting something about the bear of little brain who is and always has been my favourite literary character. Were I ever cast away on a desert island, the collected tales of Pooh would be the book or books I would choose to have with me.

Alan Alexander Milne created a character who has universal appeal.

Whether we are young or old, in China or Dubai or Greenland or a windy village in a wintry England, we all have Pooh days. Days when we 'stop to think and forget to start again.' And days when we fail to 'pay attention to where we are going and without meaning to get nowhere.' I have those days all the time.

There is Winnie-the-Pooh thinking or philosophy or whatever-you-want-to-call-it in all of us.

For a birthday treat this week, my big children invited me to London. It was one of those 'I'll come down* to London and spend the day with you for your birthday doing whatever yo want to do' that t…

On snoring, barking and (un-)stable geniuses

Snoring.

Snoring - go on; say 'snoring.' And again. And again. Play with the word; roll it around your mouth - sno-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-rrrr-ring.
Try it again.
I defy you to do this without a tiny twitch appearing at the corner of your mouth. A tiny twitch plus a slight wrinkling of the skin at the outer angles of your eyes. Why is snoring funny?
Why, for example, did I find it impossible to discuss snoring yesterday without smiling; in a professional situation where smiling was probably inappropriate? Snoring is funny. In the same way that everything about toilets is funny to a seven year old boy. It makes us smile; childishly. It's something only other people do; isn't it? It's funny! Unless you live with someone who snores. Or you are the snor-ee ... snor-er ... ? ... one who snores ... and live life in a permanent fog of day-time exhaustion.

Snoring is not restricted to humans.





Four-legged-friend and Bertie Baggins snore: they sprawl in front of the aga paws twitch…