Archive | November 2015

Fifth November Blog

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Fifth November Blog.

Breeze Dreams.

Oh, thou fallow breeze,
Talk to me of far off places,
Sing me songs of yesterday,
Of strangely comforting
Exotic races.
Show me where my history lies,
Carry me to mountain pastures,
Tibetan monks ring twisting gongs
And teach me strength, oh, Lightning masters.
Horsemen on a Gobi plain,
Hunting eagles flying
For the desert foxes there,
Whilst soughing winds are sighing.
Brilliant colours shining brightly,
India’s tigers hunting
For the Samba in the mangrove,
Listening to the chirping Bunting.
Heat and desert fill my nostrils,
Camels ‘cross the sand,
Caravans are swayng gently,
Over all a dry parched land.
‘Til I reach the dense deep forests
Where the buzzard flies above,
Trickling streams down tree-lined hillsides,
Whilst he tracks the fleeting dove.
And the snake winds round the branches,
And ratler stows beneath the shale,
Nesting, laying eggs in darkness,
Feeds on passing mouse with tail.
Wind, now carry dreams aplenty,
To my sleeping, resting form,
Sing me songs to lull my being
‘Til the daybreak brings the dawn.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. November, 2015.

I will continue ‘Buried Treasure’ in another post. For today, it is getting used to the change, the chill, as November strikes with deadly force, heralding real winter. Oh, not the full measure, just the start, but certainly not the mild days we all have been enjoying of late.

Also, everyone who celebrates Christmas, is ramping up towards the holiday season. Thinking about what gifts to get for relatives and friends, be they small and personal or exstensive and ostentacious. Not forgetting the reason this holiday is celebrated, for the Faithful.

But not only gifts. We have to think about how we will celebrate, what food we are going to get, liquid refreshment too, all has to be decided. Cannot leave these essentials to the last moment. I do not think there are many households these days who leave these chores until the last minute. ‘Twould be folly indeed. I remember when I was young, ten, rwelve and more, waiting for dad to finish work the day
L before Christmas Eve so that he and I could go on a longish bus ride on Christmas Eve to buy all our fruit and veg. Usually it was frosty cold. We started out early, going to various of the many greengrocers’ stalls where we would perusr what was on offer and prices.

”Ere Govner, try this orange.’ Slices of freezing cold orange, dripping juices, would be shoved in our hands, to try the sweet cold taste. Same with other fruits. We could stamp our feet, trying to wam them, our fingers holding loads of plastic bags full of produce, then clamber onto a, by this time, full bus going back hone. We were loaded but satisfied that in the next few days, we had all we needed ( everything else had lready been bought or ordered and picked up by mum). Now, in our house, we get most goods delivered. How the wirld has changed! But, is it that much better, will these memories stay with todays young, like mine do?

Be extra careful, safety first. And for those of you Stateside, Happy Thanksgiving.

Evelyn.

This entry was posted on November 25, 2015. 2 Comments

Fourth November Blog

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Fourth November Blog

Part Two of

Buried Treasure.

Mary fumbled in her bag for her Iphone. She never went anywhere without her bag sittng across her body. One more sign that she was getting older, maybe not wiser, but certainly noticing the years slipping behind! Her hand shaking, she moved objects around in the cavernous interior without looking, but found only her lipstick, compact, a couple of tissues and sundry odds and ends. No phone!

‘Pull yourself together’, she told herself in a croaky voice. ‘Since when have you been scared of strange things?’ Since I got older,, she thought. Age makes you fragile. Especially when you are alone. It makes you think how easily it could happen to you. What could happen, flitted briefly through her mind?

Finally, Mary remembered she had put her phone in an inside pocket. You never knew when some gang of youths might accost you, grab your expensive phone and leg it. They would go for the bag first, she knew that. They often did, according to the local newspaper. Cities were no longer the sole recipients of gang vandalism. It had spread to the coasts and country villages.

Pulling the lapels apart, she delved into her inside jacket pocket, reaching for her phone. Dialling for the Police, Mary tried to compose herself. “Yes, yes, a hand.” She answered more questions, them closed her phone, suddenly aware of a snuffling sound beside het on the sand.

Yip. Yip. A wet nose and gritty muzzle shoved itself into her face. She turned and the small dog leapt all over her in its eagerness to be friends.

“Connie! Connie!” A masciline voice called from further down the beach where Mary had come ftom. “Come back you silly mutt!”

Mary cuddled the dog, gently trying to extricate it from her top half. It got in the way as she struggled to her feet. “Down, down,” she said as she pushed the dog down and brushed her clothing.

“Hello there,” shouted the man. Puffing, he closed the gap. “Is she annoying you? Down Connie, you little rascal. All that training gone to pot! I am sorry if she bothered you Miss.” As he spoke, he bent down, grabbed the dog and put her back on the lead.

“No, no, she’s fine,” replied Mary, still a little flustered. “As a matter of fact, she is just what the doctor ordered.”

The man straightened and looked at her, curiosity brimming in his face. “May I ask why?” he queried, giving Connie a chuck under the chin as she jumped up in eagerness.

“Don’t go near it, but there is a hand buried by the stairs there.”

“What do you mean? A dummy hand?”

“Well, I was too shocked to really look properly, but it looks like a real hand to me.” Thinking about the hand again, Mary began to shake all over.

“Oh, you poor thing. I am sorry. Here, I know I am a stranger to you but, when in need?” He held his arms wide, closing the slight gap between them and, with no sudden movement, genly enfolded her to him. Mary slid into that enveloping warmth, that comforting stance, and the tears just flowed.

“I …I’m sorry,” she blurted out. “I’m not usually so vapid. Quite strong, really,” she added between sniffs.

“Never you mind. I’m Randolph, by the way. Rand to my friends, such as they are.” It was an aside comment, for a lot of his friends had moved away. One up north, another had emmigrated to Australia ( lucky blighter, but he missed George, his best friend) a couple were dead. That had been a sobering thoiught for him. Dead and not a lot different in their ages. Not that sobering meant a lot, he was not a big drinker. The odd glass of whisky on a cold day, after his walk with Connie, but today was not cold enough. However, if it was a real hand, like this woman thought, a good enough reason later, for a short snifter? Hmm! A warming glow began to tickle his stomach. The wind had freshened, a shot would go down quite well. Perhaos the local pub?

“I do apologise,” uttered Mary, pulling away from the embrace. She really was losing it. In the arms of a strange man, albeit, a rather handsome one, with a lovely friendly dog. OK, put on the straightjacket, I am definitely gone, she thought. Ready to be stuffed in a home where they never let you out unaccompanied. “This is not me,” she said aloud, “I would never normally be thown by something like this,” she offered the excusr, her cheeks reddening.

Rand stepped back, to let her get her bearings again. It was presumptuous of him. Spur of the moment thing. But she did look as though she needed a bit of support.

“Here, let me escot ypu back a bit further. I can hear Police sirens. I presume you called them, Hmm?”

Mary let herself be led back along the beach a few yards, his comforting presence a boon at this time. Well, he was only being kind, after all. Nothing else!

“i expect they will want to question you. They usually do in such cases. Pity! You should have run home. Oh, no, these days they track mobiles don’t they?” He turned to the dog who was straining to get away over to the stairs. “Connie,will you stop it!” Connie was getting all excited again as several uniormed Policemen clunked down the rickety steps. Mary hoped it would not collapse. They had been erected donkeys years ago. The ocean in these parts was not kind to wood. There was quite a bit of creaking as the Policemen, three of them, clumped down.

One crossed the small strip of beach to where Mary, Rand and Connie were standing. The tide was on its way in and this part of the beach was narrower than the far end and high tide came in sooner. Mary could hear waves lapping the shore. She wondered how long it would be until the first fingers of ocean started slapping at the steps, obliterating the crime scene, if that was what it was? Wouldn’t be the first time a bidy had washed up here from further up the coast.
—-//
Another episide noted down.
Lonely Tides.

Waves slapped an empty beach,
Frothy salted water ebbed the sand,
Shells, vacant now, uniccupied a while,
Mussels, limpets, cockles clack
As tides wash them ashore, tinkling
As each lap throws them away.
Dispensing with the occupants,
The sea no longer has need.
Curlews fish in the froth, seeking
Shellfish for a meal,
Gulls fight for a flapping fish,
Chasing smaller birds away.
The sea does not want them,
But predators cannot resist
A tasty meal, easy meat,
A gritty feast. Who knows
What the ocean throws away?
Fox, weasel, landlubbers both,
Taking a chance for something different,
Braving the incoming tide,
Snatching from greedy gulls,
Who knows? Gulls might be tasty too.

Copyright. Evelyn J. Steward. November, 2015.

Keep happy, be safe.

Evelyn

Maud de Braose, the King’s Enemy

Very interesting. I had picked up bits of information regading the name De Braose ftom readiing Elizabeth Chadwick books, but thus had expanded my knowledge somewhat more, and I am grateful for that knowledge, just to try to understand a little bit more if our English hetitage.

History... the interesting bits!

220px-William_de_Braose,_4th_Lord_Bramber.svg Arms of William de Braose

Matilda de Braose was probably born in the early 1150s in Saint-Valery-en-Caux, France, to Bernard IV, Seigneur de Saint-Valery and his wife, Matilda. Contemporary records describe her as tall and beautiful, wise and vigorous.

Made famous by the de Braose’s spectacular falling-out with King John – and the manner of her death – very little is known of Matilda’s early years; though she probably spent time at her family’s manor of Hinton Waldrist in Berkshire.

Sometime around 1166 she married William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber, a Norman lord with land on the Welsh Marches. William was highly favoured by both Richard I and, later his brother King John.

Whilst William was away campaigning in Normandy, Matilda would be left to manage their estates in Wales. In 1198, Matilda defended Painscastle in Elfael against a massive Welsh attack by Gwenwynyn, Prince of Powys. She…

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Nous sommes Paris

With tears for the families of killed, injured and this who eill suffer mental stress because of this atricity.

The Silent Eye

‘I want to believe we’re not going to live in a world of fear.’Dr Louise Hefez. Eyewitness.

Like so many others today, I wait for news from Paris. Not the impersonal horror of announcements in the media, but the email to reassure that amongst the dead and injured of this atrocity are not those I have called friend or family.

I lived, laughed and loved in Paris. I worked and played there. Married. For many years I was known as Madame Verron. My sons are half French, their father a Parisian and I have called friend those of every faith and nation encountered in the City of Light.

Friendship does not discriminate.

Neither do bullets. Nor do bombs.

Nor should we.

There are over two million people living in Paris. It is statistically unlikely that anyone I know has been involved. It came closer with Charlie Hebdo… Even so…

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This entry was posted on November 15, 2015. 1 Comment

Third November Blog.

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Third November Blog.

Northern Winter.

Dark, drab days,
Wind in my face,
Oh, Northern climes,
Have pity.

Leaves whirling down
From fast barren branches,
Cast a yellow carpet
On brown bare earth.i

Where colour once bloomed,
And sunlight bore witness,
Grey is my hue now,
Colours have vanished,
Gone now from my view.

Winter is nigh,
And days are short,
Bitter cold beckons,
Rain comes more often,
Puddles gleam with lamplight
On paved roads of town.

Bright sparks of neon
That glitter within,
Reflected in pools
To brighten
A black night.

Count the days,
How long to holidays,
When it is over,
Leaning to springtime,
To lightness once more.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. November, 2015.

The picture above is new, maybe not completely finished. Having problems seeing details. But it is a trial of different shapes, colours, all new to me.

Buried Treasure. (A tale of the coast)

A battling wind blew off the North Sea, heading inland, carrying with it, a cold rain that spattered across the barren drifts of grassy sand dunes and up over the dotted shacks that littered that part of the eastern coast.

It brought to mind books, like ‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens, where he visits the upturned boat on the shore, made into a home. A wintery barren shore, blasted by Nature’s torrents.

Mary drew her coat tighter, cinching the belt a notch more to keep out the seeking strands of chill wind. Though she was well wrapped up, this had always been a cold coast. Even in sumner, the wind whipped along the beaches, picking up grains of sand from one part of shore, depositing it further along the coast, at its whim.

Yet she liked that. Enduring the chill was what she grew up with, that and the continual pitting of sand on the face. Summer visitors complained. Though they were at ease with the loneliness, the wildness of the area, and ended up erecting windbreaks for some kind of surcease.

Clouds tumbled across the leaden skies. A moving picture, constantly changing shape and colour. So many greys, bank upon bank, like some strange castle aloft, with turrets and walls and crenelations. Mary pondered on the shapes, thinking how many ghosts stood at these ramparts? Of sailors, shipwrecked of old. Of soldiers taken to war, only to be sunk without reaching their goals? She was in a melancholy mood, or was it the dullness of the day, the drawing slick grey ocean that took no prisoners?
Gulls, flying aloft, called their mourneful cries, adding to her mood.

As Mary walked along, her feet kicked the sludgy sand which scattered in front of her, all dank and wet from the receding tide. Reaching the far end of the cove, she found the wind had picked up some. There was an icy bite to it now.
A shiver ran though her and turning, she headed towards the rickety old wooden steps that led to the top of the cliff at this end.

But as she neared the paint-peeled first rung, something in the sand caught her eye. Though there was no sunshine, the object glittered.

Mary stooped, trying to discern what the item was. Metal, for sure. The sand almost covered it. She brushed the softer loose stuff away, then fell backwards.

Scrabbling to get further away from the step. Her hand flew to her mouth, trying to hold down the bile that rose. It looked like an engagement ring, but it was attached to an almost totally buried hand that was grey, wrinkled and fetid.

Well, me hearties, that is it for this time. Keep warm and dry, keep safe and spry.

Evelyn

This entry was posted on November 10, 2015. 5 Comments

Second November Blog

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Second November Blog.

Bonfire Night.

With the first and second days of November, we got fog. Since then, the days have been somewhat dank. And after today, November 5th, Guy Fawkes Night (Remembrance of The Gunpowder Plot), with peope all over the country lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks, we will probably have a foggy morning again tomorrow.

I had forgotten how fast the days slip by. No wonder I hear music and thrumming through the walls. Wondered why it was coming through on a Thursday? Now it makes sense. A good thing I no longer have any animals to be scared.

That was always a problem, back in the day. How to keep dogs and cats pacified around this time of year. Quite often, Diwali is celebrated in my neck of the woods.n this means double fireworks going off. Pehaps it is a bit later this year? Google says 10/11 November, so, to come!

So for those who do not live and were not brought up in England, the old saying is :
Please to remember the fifth of Novmber a gunpowder, treaon and plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treaon should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspiritors disagreed with Parliament, stashing barrels of gunpowder in the vaults of the Houses of Parliament in the 1600s. They were found out, and arrested. This is what is celebrated. An effigy of Guy Fawkes every fifth Of Nivember 1605. Over 400 years since that time.
( Not so many fireworks, nit enough bonfires to cause fog, makes a change, but then it was yesterday,and is today, very wet. I guess the displays will be tomorrow, Saturday).

Talking about time, I love to watch t.v. Programmes about historical things of many kinds. Tonights programme dealt with a virtual autopsy of Tutenkhamun. Hiw old he was when he died, what killed him. Refuting ( or itherwise) myths if him being killed by someone.

Like in Jurassic Park, yjey can now retrieve DNA and Mitracondial DNA to check his parents and his mother’s line. Now ain’t that just dandy? Art mirroring life, it would seem. Anyway, it was refuted by a doctor that he was hit on the head. This, he sid, wa because skull bone fragments were loose insude the skull, not set in the mummification process ( see, I do learn a few things) but that they happened Post Mortem.

The presenter told of the ( horror, horror) suster/brother relationship of Tutenkhamub’s parents ( and those gone before, like we all knew). And a mummy called ‘The Young Woman’ was in fact, his mothet but lso his father’s sister. All thus has acfascunation for me. Love all the old Egyptian stuff.

What it doe mention is that Tut had a club foot, probably in the Family genes. It also says that he suffered from Epilepsy, which would cause a lot of things to go wtong with his body, which in turn would kill him wuickly vua infection setting in. In another orogramme some time ago, it was said that his fathet, Akhenaten, suffered from Marfan’s Disease, which elongates the bones, also killing early.. Of course, being born of incest makes him liable for all kinds of diseases.

Sunrise River

Alongside a pulsing river,
Flushing, in dawn’s early light,
Darkened mountains, rise majestic,
Chasing away the starry night.
Swiftly flowing. On she travels,
Rushing fast to meet her fate,
Through the valley, on she suffers,
Ebbing tidal, accentuate.
Pine trees cling along her edges,
Banks of grasses, bushes, lie,
On the far side, rocky steepness,
Where great thunderbirds do fly.
In the golden sunrise glory
Pinks and yellows do abound,
Scarlet flurries, ‘neath dark shadows,
Clouds of darkness o’er the ground.
As the light flows over water,
Giving succour to us all,
Gently does the sun enhance her,
It is her way, her clarion call.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. November, 2015.

Be extra safe out there these dark says.

Evelyn.

This entry was posted on November 6, 2015. 4 Comments