Mar 31st

Ten ponderings at ten.

By Kim

Please feel free to educate if you have the answers...

 

1.     Why does the person who pulls out on you at a junction, at the last moment and at sixty miles an hour, then pootle along at 23 miles an hour on a sixty mile an hour road, with no hope of you overtaking them.

2.     Why don’t the blue tits that fly into out bird boxes at the speed of light, folding their wings at the last millisecond before entering the hole, not splatter on the back of the birdhouse?

3.     Why do council repairs to potholes last only about twenty minutes?

4.     Why does the only screw fitting light bulb in the entire house decide to blow when eleven bayonet light bulbs is all you have in the maintenance tin?

5.     Why do people insist on parking their supermarket trolleys at ninety degrees to the aisle whilst they select their purchase?

6.     Why do toasters never brown evenly?

7.     Why does Sky telly skip out just as the murderer is being announced?

8.     Does Rick Stein ever cook meat?

9.     Does Gordon Ramsey keep a swear box?

10.  Does the Pope do the lotto?

Mar 31st

The Fly

By Aiyla
Life sucks
The fly on the wall didn’t budge. The little boy’s 5th birthday party was long over and Fly had eaten so much that he could barely move. He stayed put all
morning, all afternoon and most of the night.
At one point he was so tired of doing nothing that he flew around the room, whizzed fifty times around the light bulb then became a little dizzy and zoomed down and landed on a silver spoon of jam and was stuck.
He started to fret. He fought to escape, tugged at his miniscule wings, rolled from side to side but it was impossible to move: his body hid in a sea of red
gluey sticky-ness.
He called out with hope to any neighbouring friends. Nobody heard. The room was still and he felt all alone.
Closing his eyes and feeling the last of his strength drain from his fragile little shell of a body, he felt a gust of wind and then he was free. I’m flying, I’m
flying up in the air, he shouted in relief. And he was, but still stuck to the spoon.
Wow… he said, feeling a swoop in his stomach as the spoon came tumbling down and ended with a splash!
Everything became a blur. He couldn’t see; he couldn’t breath; and tried to understand what was happening. He was stuck in that red sticky sea again
and now another weight was around him. Water. Water pressed down on his tiny wings, crushing his body as he coughed, spluttered and spat out clouds
of white fluffy bubbles.
Oh dear, he thought, If only I stayed up on that wall.
Mar 30th

Waiting for yesterdays God?

By Kim

Does it ever frighten the whatsits out of you that you might actually, at some point in the future, lose your ability to get to grips with the basics of what is occurring around you? That the power to write, for instance, will become a skill that you cannot now bring to the fore? Or that you are unable to follow the basic plot of a film or book? I know it preys on my mind from time to time. I had always assumed that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or perhaps a stroke would be the main culprits. But there is one condition that it had never occurred to me to place on the list.


We had invited my mother over for lunch last Sunday, Mother’s Day, as we often do since my dear Dad departed this realm some two and a half years ago. Mum has always acted a little odd since his passing and we had put this down to a natural term of grief that would ease with time and become less painful for her as the months span out into years. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

 

After lunch, we sat down to watch ‘Keeping Mum’ a film that we knew to be fun, whose cast includes Rowan Atkinson, one of Mum's favourites. The script follows a somewhat basic plot that could be enjoyed and understood by all; no need to tax the brain, the ideal stuff of Sunday afternoons. (A small number of flashbacks were included for convenience so that no-one could be left in doubt of the timeline in the story.)

 

My poor Mum, despite being asked at various intervals if she had made crucial connections regarding the characters, struggled to grasp the essence of it, but why? Was this a sign of dementia setting in; Parkinson’s perhaps? I thought long and hard on the subject over the following days.

 

Then it suddenly and rather dauntingly hit home. She has never really rallied from losing my father. All her energies are placed in reliving their years spent together and there is neither room for now, nor the future any more in her life. Nothing exists except the past. You have only to look at the blank expression that glazes over her when any other topics of conversation are discussed other than my Dad; for her, time stands still. Her world only comes alive again when he or they become the talking point.

 

How is one ever meant to help or support someone who is so closed off from today? How is one to try and bring back someone who seems to have perished along with the first parent? In short, she is suffering from a broken heart. Question: How do we fix it?

Mar 29th

SUNDAY IN PARIS

By Aiyla

I love Sunday. Especially the morning.

It’s hard to find silence in a bustling capital city and I savour the stillness of the streets in those early hours..

My time is limited, soon the noisy green lorries will appear on the streets to collect the bins. I leave my flat and enter the desolate streets on a fresh March morning. The sound of water is gushing from the drains and streaming below the kerb. Walking on I pass through the market and discover a busy little world where fruit and vegetable sellers are creating their pyramids of oranges and pamplemousses, champignons and tomates, as empty wooden crates piles up at the side of their stalls. I walk towards Park Monceau; an adored place not only by me but also Claude Monet, who painted the park between 1876 and 1878. The Duke of Chartres bought the plot of land in 1769 and the English style gardens were designed by Louis Carrogis; known as Carmontelle, whose talents also included the writing of over one hundred short dramatic sketches, Proverbes Dramatiques. His love for litterature and music may have inspired the collection of neoclassical statues which are seen throughout the park, depicting famous Frenchmen such as; Fréderic Chopin, Guy de Maupassant et Alfred de Musset- to mention but a few. I enter the Park by one of the 4 majestic, black iron gilded gates and walk past the Rotonde de Chartres. I take my favourite path and meander towards the little pond surrounded by Corinthian pillars and a bowing Willow tree. Only the wildlife of the pond pause in their bathing and watch me cross the small white bridge and walk towards the tiny waterfall and grotto. I stroll down the tree lined path; the prominent Arc de Triomphe in the distance enticing my steps. Whilst listening to sweet birdsong from the trees. I exit by the gate leading to Avenue Hoche in search for a café for the first café crème de la journée.

This is Paris, and this is my weekly walk through beauty
Mar 29th

Inertia - Butterfly intro

By Vin

For donkey's years I've been adding bits to a story I call Inertia.  Inertia is a small town in the Mojave Desert in California and everyone who lives there is stuck in some way; their lives have ground to a halt and they never achieve anything.  The story's narrator is Howling Goose - a Native American.  Here's how his wife, Butterfly, is introduced.

 

Butterfly.

    She had a voice like butterfly wings fluttering in cupped hands  - soft but quick, almost as if she was talking to herself.  If a voice could be tactile, hers was. 

    People often made the mistake of ignoring her, not realising she was addressing them.  The absence of eye contact didn't help.  She fixed her gaze somewhere in the middle distance, trying to make out something riding towards her but which never arrived.  People would often glance over their shoulder when she spoke to them to see what she was looking at.

    She was as slight as her voice, almost not there at all.  She lacked presence, as corporeal as vapour.  It was, perhaps, fitting that she should be married to Howling Goose; each, in their own way, was invisible.  Their marriage was a union of two tribes characterised by under-achievement.  She was a Pima - a tribe, originally from Arizona.  The Pima character was in community; individual recognition was frowned upon.  And to that end her lack of presence honoured that tradition.

    He was a Kickapoo, from the Traditional Tribe of Texas which had made turning the other cheek an art.  The Traditional Tribe's roots lay in the northern states where it had accepted each new white incursion without a fight and moved steadily south until the tribe fell off the end of the country and into Mexico.

    Howling Goose was a detached one-man wing of the Kickapoo, drifting around Inertia like a leaf looking for a tree and not realising it is Fall and it will never cling to a branch again.  He earned a living as an odd-job man and the breeze of employment blew him from place to place.  Had Howling Goose possessed a greater sense of his own history he might have smiled at the etymology of his tribe - Kickapoo from the Algonquin word, kiwegapawa - or, 'he who moves about'.

    Butterfly and Howling Goose were the ghosts of Inertia - each drifting, barely noticed.  They lived in the corner of the town's eye and when anyone caught their movement and turned to look, they would be gone.  They were visible only in the moment of vanishing.

 

Mar 28th

Something Comes A Creeping

By Marion
3 a.m.

I can't have been sleeping deeply. The thud above my head has me instantly awake. I resist the urge to turn on the light. There's no need anyway, the moon is bright tonight. I glance at the dogs. All five of them are looking up at the ceiling.

Another thud followed by scraping sounds. A growl rumbles to life inside Chelsea, my most vocal Alsation. My thoughts immediately jump to everything anyone has ever said about South Africa.

'It's one of the most violent, crime-ridden countries.'
'My next door neighbour opened his back door to let the puppy out and they stabbed him to death.'
'They're getting crafty. These days they remove the slates from the roof and enter the house through the ceiling. It takes them all of five minutes.'

This last thought has my heart pounding and now I'm positive I hear stealthy footsteps creeping towards the trapdoor. What am I going to do? Why hadn't I left some lights burning? My husband is away for the weekend and I'm all alone in a big dark house. Will my dogs protect me? I have my doubts. In their case their bark really IS worse than their bite.

Now there's a scuffling sound and the dogs are on their feet. I'm out of my bed in one fluid movement and running to the gun safe. My husband has left it open because I'm not strong enough to turn the stupid handle thing. I almost take the rifle then change my mind. It's too heavy to lift and aim and the best I could do with it is shoot off my own feet. I find the revolver. It's loaded. Good.

Scurrying back to my bedroom, I stand in the doorway, staring at the trapdoor, waiting for it to open. I'm holding the gun with both hands because they're shaking badly. I'm so scared I feel quite sick. I stand like that for ages but nothing happens and there are no more noises from the roof. I eventually retreat to my bed.

Next thing I know, it's morning and the sun is streaming warmly in. The gun is on my pillow, pointing at my right eye. A funny thought enters my head. What if it went off? What if one of the dogs jumped onto the bed and trod on the trigger? I sit up quickly. This may be a good day to die but I'm not so keen on going out with a bang.

Ps: There was no intruder. There are rats in the roof. And even if there was an intruder, they could've waltzed in through the patio doors which I had left wide open.
Mar 28th

EUREKA - HOW TO CLEAN YOUR WALL

By Aiyla
Have you been having trouble cleaning your wall ?
This has been driving me mad all day. I kept deleting the comments on my wall and they were really naughty and kept coming back. 
Ok this is what you do.
Go to your profile page with your photo.
Scroll all the way down to the very bottom of the page, after your photos, blogs and comments.
Click on VIEW ALL on the bottom right hand corner.
You then can delete and you will notice you have several pages.
I was so excited with this amazing discovery that I left things as they are, to come back here to tell you all. It could be that this is slowing things down for everyone. I need to trudge back. 188 notifications. I hope you don't think I'm  rodomontading. (thanks Em )

Oh, and another thing fellow word clouders, it might be a good idea to delete the message box too. There is an In box and an Out box and I've just realised that there were quite a few messages that I hadn't noticed, so be careful for this too.

Aiyla



Mar 27th

Fiction set in Japan

By Tommy

Hi guys!

I'm back to using my fellow word clouders as a bottomless pit of knowledge. This time for no practical purpose, other than to beef up my fiction library. (Don't tell the Mrs... Apparently, if I buy more books, I'm going to have to move more of them into the loft. Can you imagine?! Poor shivering books, all alone up there...)

Aaanyway. I'm fascinated by urban Japan. Don't quite know why. I just am. Tokyo in particular. Does anyone know of any good novels in English (translated or originally so - I don't mind) set in urban Japan? I've read the brilliant After Dark by Haruki Murakami, and Idoru by William Gibson, but am hungry for more. Any suggestions?

Movie ideas welcome too, although you should be warned that I didn't like Lost in Translation. Thanks, people!

Mar 27th

The most powerful person on earth?

By Kim

Have you ever debated who may be the most powerful person on the face of the planet? Obama? Mandela? Gates? God?

 

An odd sort of question to be asking oneself at three a.m. you may think, but that is what was occupying my grey matter during the early, sleepless hours of this morning whilst I topped up my caffeine addiction.

 

We have been waiting for a specific letter (don’t ask) which we know will arrive at some point because we have been told it will. The persons involved are to be trusted beyond question and have already prepped us on the subject. The only trouble is we don’t know when it will arrive. We do know that it will change our lives completely and hopefully for the better and that it will come by registered post. We have been waiting nine months for it and we may have to wait another nine for all we know.

 

As we actually live at our practice address, we do, from time to time, receive registered post but only perhaps four times a year. Mike and I have recently taken to mugging the post lady on a daily basis in the hope of salvation but to no avail. We are now on our fourth postie in as many months; I think word may be starting to spread? The other day she rang the doorbell, left the post on the doorstep and promptly disappeared. (I wonder if one can receive a Restraining Order to 'Not go within 100 yards of your postie'?)

 

In the last week alone we have received three registered post letters. Our hopes have been raised and dashed on each occasion. Satan is toying with us I feel. Yesterday, when we returned home from work, in amongst our post, we found a card ‘We missed you. Please collect your registered letter at the sorting office’ . This had to be it! Our heart beat in our ears and our blood pressure rose far more than is prudent as I ‘rally drove’ us to the sorting office of our local town with only eight minutes to spare until they closed. Nope, still not ‘the’ letter.(Did you know that if you take a roundabout in a 4X4 too quickly, the car pivots to one side, becoming, by definition I suppose, a 2X2?)  

I wonder if these messengers of fate have any idea of the power they hold over everyday folk such ourselves? They have the power to inform us of life or death, riches or poverty, damnation or salvation and everything in between.

 

Is anyone else on tenterhooks waiting for mail, feedback, the first hardback copy of your MS or otherwise?

Mar 27th

Banana Blog

By Aiyla

No point lying in bed like a banana, I always thought, might as well get up and eat one. So that’s what I did and here I am at a scary 6 am. The middle of my working day promises to be fun.

But life’s too short to be sleeping, eating, living when there is so much word clouding to be done and like the early bird that catches the worm, the early wordclouder gets to create a new group so why not toddle over there now and have a little peep into the Playpen.: a place for us little ones who are just learning to play with the pen.