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    Stephen Evans
    Stephen Evans commented on the blog post, Anne Hathaway Remembers

    When I wrote this, I wonder if I knew that it was (almost) a sonnet:

    They say that he was good, but I don’t know. I never left this town in all my life. It was he came back to me. What he left behind I cannot say. He could talk. Oh Lord, could he be sweet. No sweeter man drew breath, that I am sure. Young he was, and quiet, when we met. Handfasted in the spring of ’82, Wed by winter, child inside, Susanna, then the twins, and he was gone. And so it was, twenty year with letters, only words, words and words to live on, words to dream on, and I did, each night hid safe beneath me in our second best bed.

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    Stephen Evans
    Stephen Evans commented on the blog post, Time to Sing

    My father sang all his life, very nice second tenor voice. He got a ukulele for Christmas once and loved to sing along with it. Probably where I picked it up (singing, not the ukulele).

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, Time to Sing

    Permission to sing is a wonderful thing, especially if you are raised in a family that, for strange puritanical reasons, does not hold with it. (Weird, I know.)

    But your wistful and amusing piece is like an echo of life itself. Grace triumphant through setbacks, trials and annoyances. A change of heart that turns frustration on its head and opens a door to new Life.

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    Stephen Evans
    Stephen Evans created a new blog post, Time to Sing

    Time to Sing

    Posted in Blogs on Wednesday, 02 October 2019

    So there’s this cricket. He comes to visit every August, and he stays in the wall of my bedroom.  His living room seems to be the window frame by my bed, I think because it is the best place to sing. It is long and slender, almost like an echo chamber.   He likes to sing. Especially at night. My hearing is pretty sensitive. And I find I am unable to fall asleep while he (or she – we’ve never actually met in person) is serenading me. So if I have been a little grump lately I apologize. I am not getting as much sleep as usual. Not to be un-neighborly, but I have tried to convince him to move. I drop essential oils in a small hole in the window frame, which are supposedly too aromatic for the species. I shoot compressed air down the chamber, hoping to convince him a hurricane is approaching and he should take (other) shelter.  I put in an ultrasonic device. None of these have worked. But I refuse to take more drastic measures. I don’t want to hurt him; I just want him to find another place to sing. I have also tried ways to co-exist. Noise generators. Ear plugs. These help, but not enough. I thought perhaps he might be insulted at the lengths I would go to avoid his song. If someone did that while I was singing, I think I would get the hint. But he keeps on singing, even knowing that he is singing to himself. But it occurred to me this morning that we are the same in this way. He keeps on singing whether anyone is listening. I keep on writing whether anyone is reading. I’m luckier than he. Once his song is done, it is gone. My words will last a bit. I can’t say how long. But longer than I will, likely. And that is one of the things that keeps me writing. He is singing now as I write this. And as I am singing in my own way here, I think: “keep singing little one”. Everyone needs their time to sing.

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    Ken Hartke
    Ken Hartke commented on the blog post, This place

    A very late comment on an excellent post...thank you for sharing. Everyone has a sacred space that renews their spirit and brings things into a sharper focus. I loved my visit to Assisi but missed the Tempio di Minerva. I'll just have to go back. Sadly, the earthquake damaged some of the frescoes at the basilica but it was a moving experience just the same. Assisi is only a short distance from my favorite Umbrian hill town, Perugia. In fact you can see Assisi and the Basilica from the ramparts of the Rocca Paolina, the old fort built by the Pope to keep the Perugians in line. My sacred space is there: the 5th century Tempio di San Michele Arcangelo - and I have been there physically, and spiritually, many times. I've even written about that sacred space here before. There is something about these special places that brings focus and renewal just in remembering and reflection. Thanks for sharing the thoughtful description of your visit.

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    Virginia M Macasaet
    Virginia M Macasaet created a new blog post, Finally Landed!

    Finally Landed!

    Posted in Blogs on Thursday, 26 September 2019

    Yes!  I am ready. Finally cut the cord. Made that leap of faith.   When it’s right it will feel right. No explanation necessary. Walk away from the confining four walls.   What’s next? The ocean is wide! Dive in and explore.   Finally. There is no holding me back. I’ve procrastinated long enough.

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    Virginia M Macasaet
    Virginia M Macasaet created a new blog post, TRUST

    TRUST

    Posted in Blogs on Saturday, 21 September 2019

        My thoughts are hazy. Sleep last night was interrupted.   A premonition of sorts? Maybe just a reminder of what needs to be done.   They say it's all about the timing of things. Is there ever a right time or perfect timing?   More often than not, one just has to trust. Trust in the not knowing.   Trust in the uncertainty. Best of all, trust in him up there.   Somewhere in the sky behind the haze, Someone is watching over me.   This I trust 100%.

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole created a new blog post, Endless Palaver

    Endless Palaver

    Posted in Blogs on Tuesday, 17 September 2019

    "What do you mean, it's wrong? In ethics we learned that the truth is always subjective!" There can be no doubt that the teaching of correct written English has never been for the faint-hearted. So much so that the forensic parsing of paragraphs, once key to a grasp of the nuts and bolts of structure, has been abandoned in favour of an approach that appeals to mystified students. ('Syntax', if mentioned, means confiscation of your iphone for Instagramming during lessons, or swearing the dog wolfed your homework three nights in a row, else being despatched to 'iso' for testing the resilience of technology hardware.) Overheard: Beleaguered teacher, reaching for a one-size-fits-all solution: Remember, if it sounds right, it likely will be right! Surely somebody, in the course of the lady's schooling, should of pointed out this is horse feather's and as such, obvs, its defo not on? Nor is the absence of full stops exceptable, irregardless of the need for fluency and spontaneity. Your asking the class to believe that King Charles I walked to the Whitehall scaffold twenty minutes after his head was severed. It puts Goves meddling in the shade, while the bloopers of split infinitives and ending sentences with prepositions have long been out of court. Of course, theres little way of knowing where to put commas if you haven't tangled with adjectival and adverbial clauses. It's no good blaming the teacher, though. Her's is an unenviable task and she probably didn't receive adequate tuition either. Plus, the possessive pronoun can sometimes seem a tad illogical. Just because spurious expressions, misspellings, muddled concepts and random punctuation, or none, have passed into common usage, it doesn't make the situation okay. Too wrong's don't make a right. You know it! Daily, we're bombarded with words. Habits spread like an epidemic, even infecting those who know better. Many argue that language is a living thing. It is evolutionary. But do we really want to deconstruct the enlightenment conferred by education and inspired achievement which are the foundations of a civilised society and have forged the better part of it? It's not about Me and My view of the world, it's about objective, consensual values and disciplines in the interests of everyone's wellbeing. How we regard language has a direct effect on behaviour. The hierarchy within it helps us form appropriate responses to any given set of circumstances. The choice to ignore it is, ultimately, a vote for anarchy. We are at a pass where the world turns on hearsay. People, this is no mere plea for shunning 'smoke and mirrors' jargon and the adoption of 'techspeak' where it doesn't apply. Such august authorities as Fowler, Strunk and White, Joseph Priestley, William Cobbett, not forgetting Dr Johnson, toiled tirelessly to prevent literary corruption, all with a view to clear communication at home and abroad and the democratic right to an education. Their design was to enhance culture, identity, and grant a voice in global affairs. Language is a means of breaking down complex and nuanced ideas, sensations, beliefs, into comprehensible chunks and stringing them together in a new pioneering way for the benefit of mankind. It's what creates cohesion between peoples. Even dialects are part and parcel of this, with their picturesque idioms that tell of historic experience. The rules of grammar are analogous to those of building. You can't go wrecking the superstructure, else the house will fall down, the street will fall down, the city will crumble and the nation will be consigned to the annals of doom. We shall be back to cave-dwelling and monosyllables. Ug!  No joking!    

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, Smitten!

    But who is she? :-)

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    Virginia M Macasaet
    Virginia M Macasaet created a new blog post, Smitten!

    Smitten!

    Posted in Blogs on Wednesday, 11 September 2019

    In the South of France. Second time around, the love gets stronger! Thousands of miles away, her mind is able to switch off from reality. Her heart beats with excitement each waking moment. Oh! how the smell of the ocean invites delight! There is no ending, only beginnings.

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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor commented on the blog post, New Moon, New Month

    I'll bear that in mind for next year :–)

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, New Moon, New Month

    As every gardener knows, it's always best to plant your beans and flowers on the premier side of the moon and, preferably, before the summer solstice if you want the force to be with them :-)

    A lovely dreamlike evocation. Thank you!

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, Clarity

    It seems that the 'toxicity' of the workplace is almost universal now. It was never more important to stay grounded and remember who you are and to whom you owe most in your life.

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    Virginia M Macasaet
    Virginia M Macasaet created a new blog post, Clarity

    Clarity

    Posted in Blogs on Wednesday, 04 September 2019

      Struggling to break free from a toxic work life,  I've forgotten what a quiet moment sounds like and feels like. Staring at the window and watching the sunrise, Today I find myself sitting at my work station alone. Alas! this moment of silence reminds me of my core. Not all is lost, just at a standpoint in between crossroads. The next steps are beginning to clear.

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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor created a new blog post, New Moon, New Month

    New Moon, New Month

    Posted in Blogs on Sunday, 01 September 2019

    The crescent of a new moon is slowly emerging through the darkening sky.  A pale silver at first, now with a bright, almost golden glow.  A waxing new moon.  A middle-aged lady in the flat down the corridor, when I was growing up in France, taught me how to distinguish the moon quarters.  "Just hold up an imaginary stick against the moon," she said. "If it forms a P, then it's premier – first, so a waxing moon.  If it forms a D, then it's dernier – last, a waning moon."    Tonight, my imaginary P has a very straight, perfectly vertical stem.      My grandmother would have smiled and said, "It's going to be a sunny month."  She always checked the new moon and, depending on the inclination of the crescent, would predict the weather, or at least the chances of rain.  The more vertical, the least chance of rain, the more inclined, the more likelihood of a wet four weeks.  If it lay practically flat, with its tips sticking up, then don't even think of leaving the house without an umbrella.   The funny thing is, her predictions always came true.  In the thirty-five years since I left my family home, it has never occurred to me to check for myself.  I wonder if the English moon follows the same pattern as its French and Italian counterparts.   I have always found the moon inspiring and soothing.  I love the delicate, golden sliver of a curve promising new beginnings, and I love moonbathing in its bright, silver fullness.  I once had a bedroom where once I month I went to sleep with the curtains open and the full moon shining brightly in my face, making me feel safe and deeply at peace. The moon for me is indisputably female.  I don't know what Eric Maschwitz was thinking when he wrote the line "Poor puzzled moon, he wore a frown" in A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.  I can't see any Man in the Moon.  Only a kind, understanding, maternal smile that says Sleep peacefully, I'll watch over you.   At school, during maths classes, I would sometimes write sonnets or free verse in honour of the moon.  I spent summer nights in Rome lying on a sun lounger, staring up at the moon.  If I'd had to choose between the sun and the moon, I would have sworn allegiance to the moon without the slightest hesitation.   When I was much younger and brazen, I would sometimes tell people who insisted on my defining my accent that I originally came from the moon.  Didn't they know there was life there that couldn't be detected by machines? Of course there was.  Everybody lived in houses made of crystal, with roses and honeysuckle climbing up the walls, and musicians playing the lute to lull you to sleep every night.    In recent years, I have steadily been moving towards the sun camp.  Hardly surprising after over thirty years in a country where the sun, far from being a rude imposition, is rather an overly tactful visitor constantly anxious about outstaying its welcome.  Now, I rush out to catch ever sunbeam I can.   And yet the moon is splendid tonight.  So slender, so straight.  I remember my grandmother's words.  I must pay attention to the weather this month.   Scribe Doll

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, Paris, 14 Juillet

    Yes, I feel confident that 'The Government' does not essentially represent the British people. When quibbles are stripped away, the Monarchy is much closer to who we are deep down.

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole created a new blog post, Uriel's Token

    Uriel's Token

    Posted in Blogs on Thursday, 08 August 2019

      'Flowers appear on the earth;     the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves     is heard in our land.'   Song of Songs                   To capture images of a summer garden is like culling fruit  to preserve and savour parade on the screen-shelf fit for winter, when sap drains colour shrinks from truant sun, and the fulsome songs of birds and fevered insects are muted This once was and will be again an ever-amplified rebirth   Though sticks of winter cringe in silent frost bones ache in cruel winds that claw at heartbeats and circumvent the frame cocooned in quilting, the Archangel of Summer will one day appear  and reveal his abiding realm   ©RosyCole2019                                                   

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    Stephen Evans
    Stephen Evans commented on the blog post, Memory

    Very kind! :)

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Latest Blogs

So there’s this cricket. He comes to visit every August, and he stays in the wall of my bedroom.  His living room seems to be the window frame by my ...
Yes!  I am ready. Finally cut the cord. Made that leap of faith.   When it’s right it will feel right. No explanation necessary. Walk away from...
    My thoughts are hazy. Sleep last night was interrupted.   A premonition of sorts? Maybe just a reminder of what needs to be done.   They...
"What do you mean, it's wrong? In ethics we learned that the truth is always subjective!" There can be no doubt that the teaching of correct wri...
In the South of France. Second time around, the love gets stronger! Thousands of miles away, her mind is able to switch off from reality. Her hear...

Latest Comments

Stephen Evans Anne Hathaway Remembers
14 October 2019
When I wrote this, I wonder if I knew that it was (almost) a sonnet:They say that he was good, but I...
Virginia M Macasaet Anne Hathaway Remembers
13 October 2019
Love this! So eloquent!
Stephen Evans Time to Sing
13 October 2019
My father sang all his life, very nice second tenor voice. He got a ukulele for Christmas once and ...
Rosy Cole Time to Sing
12 October 2019
Permission to sing is a wonderful thing, especially if you are raised in a family that, for strange ...
Ken Hartke This place
30 September 2019
A very late comment on an excellent post...thank you for sharing. Everyone has a sacred space that r...