A friend shared this on social media tonight. Having done a little bit of digging, it appears to come from Season 13 Ep. 9 | “So you think you can dance?” From USA; featuring J.T. & Robert.

Worth a watch, on so many levels.

Posted in Healing, Self Awareness | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

HBO October schedule causes chaos

Well. That’s that mystery solved. You know. The one about my most visited page being completely unexpected, attracting an audience disinterested in anything else the blog had to say? Yeah. That one!

Yesterday, HBO, that staple of American entertainment, published its October schedule. Almost immediately, this little blog went into meltdown, as a tidal wave of American visitors hit, you guessed it, the mysteriously popular post. Coincidence?

Nope. Thanks to HBO, it has been the craziest couple of days here. I jest ye not!

You see, embedded within their Autumn movie schedule is “Deadpool“. That guy over there is Deadpool’s friend, ally, and all round good egg… one assumes, having never read the graphic novel nor seen the movie.

His name, you ask? Oh, yes. Weasel.

Who knew?!?

Hundreds (literally) of HBO subscribing, live action aficionados of the cult and graphic genre have been misdirected to read a short piece about my early ally, weasel. Lord only knows what went through their minds when confronted with that little “off topic” offering.

All that said, this revelation gives much hope for those wishing to misdirect readers to their blog in order to improve otherwise lack lustre statistics.

Now. What could possibly be the next big thing that isn’t yet a thing… I feel a post coming on…



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Autumnal Equinox: The Piano and The Sixpence!

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!

My piano left me today. Given, it was, with love and no expectations, other than it be loved and played, to friends of mine.

It was trundled onto a trolley, pushed over the carpet upon which it had stood for so long, its move away from the wall revealing one of my many descant recorders which had, at some point, slipped down the back – and which, for one magical moment, hung suspended by will-power and fairy-dust against the wall-paper.

As it accelerated down the piano movers’ sloping board, a tiny coin, loosed from within, tinkled out and fell onto the front door mat in the porch.

I picked it up – then, busy watching as the piano was strapped in to the removal vehicle, its stool, pink topped and elegantly carved, wedged in before it, my friends and the movers driving off for pastures new, only thought to examine…

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What the vines said

I went outside this morning to ask the vines about Life… I asked, “Why do you spiral energy only to try to hold onto tight to solid form?” “But also spiral untethered, as th…

Source: What the vines said

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Reclaiming O’Shaughnessy for Roald Dahl

"Dreamer of Dreams: Glistening White" Edmund Dulac

“Dreamer of Dreams: Glistening White” Edmund Dulac

Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory;
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration
Is the life of each generation
A wondrous thing of our dreaming
Unearthly, impossible seeming…
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising;
They had no divine foreshowing
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man’s soul it hath broken,
A light that doth not depart;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man’s heart.

And therefore to-day is thrilling
With a past day’s late fulfilling;
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of to-morrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing:
O men! it must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing’
A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid and hear us cry –
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God’s future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to  the comers
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers;
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song’s new numbers,
And things that we dreamed not before:
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

Poor O’Shaughnessy. The opening lines of this, my favourite of his works, possibly because of its association with Willy Wonka, and the meter so elegantly carried through that film by the wonderful Gene Wilder (read it again in Willy Wonka’s voice during his more reflective moments), has been turned into a myriad of memes popping up in my social media, attributed to Roald Dahl.

Poor Dahl. Just a children’s story writer? He was SO much more, weaving into many of his stories, little gems like this. Indeed, I have often wondered if the entire story of Willy Wonka is not constructed around this very work. Many of O’Shaughnessy’s lines are included in Wonka’s rambling musing during the psychedelic boat ride scene.

Go on. You know you need to read it again, in that context…

So, whilst social media celebrates the 100th birthday of Dahl by wrongly attributing to him the words of O’Shaughnessy, I’ll just throw out there that Dahl brought to the world a much more literary legacy than we possibly give him credit for.

Happy Birthday, Mr Dahl.

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Mad, bad and dangerous to know


Nice lads. (Found at Matt Fradd)

Well. I’ve been trying to write the same post since April 2015, and it might (just) be about to be writ… or not… so a little preamble might be in order.

I was at work. The phone rang. It was the wife. She immediately went on a rambling explanation about two clean-cut young men standing on the doorstep. When would I be home to meet them?

Well, it made sense. They were offering something that I badly needed. The comparative religion / cult shelf was missing “The Book of Mormon”. Ironically, I’d seen them sitting in a car on the street the night before. Since they must have noticed me diving through a handily open window in order to avoid them, it couldn’t possibly be awkward when we would finally meet.

Nice pair of misguided lads, with an intensity and fervour which would no doubt serve them well in other parts of their lives; one a lapsed Catholic from Germany, the other a failed Presbyterian from Pennsylvania, both disowned by their families. We had an interesting enough discussion, largely encompassing issues of faith and living a faith centred life. We tried to make it clear enough that we were in no way interested in “joining”, but they were pretty insistent on returning a few days later, “once you have had time to read a set of passages in the book”.

Well, three days later, the Book of Mormon devoured, discarded, and in its rightful place on the shelf, who could be bothered with the follow-up? When they arrived they came with a third, who just sat observing, and we thought little of it. The discussion was more focussed, and very much driven by their insistence on the need to be baptised. Not just any baptism would do, of course; only baptism in the form of the Church of Latter Day Saints would suffice. Obviously.

So we talked of the greater mystery of the sacrament of baptism, the touch of the Spirit, and how that feels. The lapsed Catholic sat in slacked jawed awe for most of the hour, whilst his two companions, lost in the philosophical hoops through which we whipped them, had recourse only to fall back on the official line “but, you need to be baptised”.

I was having too much fun. The following Sunday we attended Temple. Mistake. It became blatantly clear that they had managed to corral the most needy, socially outcast and disenfranchised of the community. But it wasn’t that, so much, which caused the ruckus. It was the no alcohol Communion.

The following Tuesday, a goggle of five Mormons came knocking at the door. One, most surprisingly, the local LDS bishop. When the bishop himself was unable to understand the alchemical significance of the ritual elements of the sacrament, it became pretty clear that, even he, hadn’t given the greater mysteries much thought at all. He seemed oblivious to the completion represented by the Last Supper, and was more than a little offended by the assertion that the LDS service amounted to a denial of the Mission of Christ. (Did I mention I was having too much fun?)

Our young lapsed Catholic friend, on the other hand, had a new brightness in his eyes. Something had gelled in him regarding his previous faith, which suddenly made sense in a way that it hadn’t before. Most of the rites of the Catholic service retain deep symbolic truths, even if those officiating and celebrating the Mass merely go through the motions without considering the significance of any of the individual elements. In the discovery of this, something had opened within him that threatened to set him free.

An unexpected visit on the Thursday from the initial pair. “We’re sorry. We’re not allowed to associate with you anymore.” What? Wow! To go from zero to hero to persona non-grata within a week? Mad, bad and dangerous to know! I could get used to this notoriety.

Our new German friend thanked us more deeply than was appropriate, given the reason for the visit. His time among the heathens was coming to an end, and he was returning to Germany in the next couple of weeks. The wife rustled up a small, appropriate gift and that was the last we would be bothered by the Mormons. (We both revel too much in telling new Mormon visitors that they need to get the Bishop’s permission to enter our house…) Whether we succeeded in “turning” him, we may never know. Faith is a double-edged blessing which has the power to either free or enchain.

Anyway – what rambling? And what has this all to do with April 2015, some ten months off at the time of these events?

It was the baptism. For months prior, I had the feeling that a baptismal enactment had to be completed. Confusing? Very much. So when “you need to be baptised” was accompanied by the laying on of a thorny crown, you find yourself attending Temple and annoying cultic Bishops…

It wouldn’t be until April 2015 that any of it would make sense.

(To be continued…)


Posted in Ceremony, society | Tagged , , | 46 Comments

Do animals “feel”?

Eddy Miller delivering the milk...

Blackie on her rounds.  (Found at Mira Images)

They say that animals don’t “feel”.

Meet Blackie. At least that’s what we called her, as kids. It may even have been her real name, it’s been so long I’m no longer sure.

That’s Eddy Miller on his rounds with her. Hadn’t thought about Blackie for many years, despite the large part she played in my childhood, so imagine my surprise, if not joy, at stumbling on this image of her online!

She had been doing the job so long that she needed nothing more than the sound of empty bottles being loaded and she would walk, just as far as would be required to drop off the number of bottles in a crate, and stop, waiting patiently for the next chinking cue.

She knew every kid on the street, which ones would offer a rub, and which ones were most likely to harbour the kind of tidbit that horses probably shouldn’t indulge in, yet, not wanting to appear rude, would accept graciously. Despite a wonderfully, easy-going disposition she was no angel: many a prize rose met its demise when Eddy wasn’t watching, causing all sorts of ruckus when caught in the act.

In 1983 a new ruling was brought into force regarding the pasteurisation of milk. The equipment required was too expensive for Eddy to even consider investing in. At one stroke of a mandarin’s pen, an era ended and Blackie was out of a job.

Not that you could tell her that. First day of her “retirement”, crack of dawn, she was at her usual place expecting to be harnessed up. And the next day. And the next…

Whatever passes for confusion in horses, turned to whatever passes for depression. She so missed her routine, that within a few days she had stopped eating; and a few weeks after her forced retirement she was dead.

It is, of course, considered fanciful to believe that animals have the same feelings as humans. Yet, are not humans merely animals?

As a child I came to believe that Blackie died of a broken heart. Nothing I have learned in the years since have suggested a more plausible alternative.





Posted in Random, society | Tagged | 40 Comments