Monthly Archives: November 2013

What would you say?

If you were on your death-bed, you have one minute to live and your grandchild asks you “Grand ma/pa* what should I do with my life?”

Give yourself a minute to think, then write it down.

And every day after, look at it and live the words!

[* delete as appropriate]

I got this out of an amazing book I am reading at the moment, and it is a very profound question.

You tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine 😉

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – “I Don’t Want to Grow Up!”

SC’s had a pretty rotten couple of weeks. He has been having a little trouble at school – some of it of his own making I admit.peter pan

Anyway, he was in the car the other night after a particularly horrendous day and he blurted out, “Mummy, I don’t like life!”

What, it transpired, he actually meant was that he didn’t like school – so obviously I had to tell him that all schools would be the same and that there would be nice children and not-so-nice children, just like where he is at the moment, but they would just have different names and faces. (Whilst I was saying it I was having a memory flash of my mum saying exactly the same to me, when I wanted to move house and change schools!)

And because he is just like me, in pretty much every aspect, it has obviously been playing on his mind. He woke up very early this morning (and when I say very, I actually mean stupidly early, like 3am!) complaining of tummy ache.

He said the tummy ache came and went, and “it feels like I’m going to vomit, but I’m not!” (translate to mean “I feel nauseous”). By 6am he was doubled in pain, so I called the doctor and made an appointment (very panicky mum thinking it was appendicitis – it wasn’t, it was just stress – he did exactly the same as I do, sore tummy, throw up bile, feel better!)

As he lay in bed cuddled up to me with a hot water bottle on his tummy he suddenly, out of the blue said “Mummy, I don’t want to grow up!”

“It’s OK darling,” I said, “I didn’t either. I always wanted to be 4 for ever. We can’t do anything to stop it unfortunately, but we can always be young in our hearts and minds!”

Growing up is tough, being a grown up is tough, but at the end of the day it’s all a journey!

It would be nice to live in Neverland though 😉

 

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Friday Poem – O Captain! My Captain!

Beautiful poem by Walt Whitman, written to honour Abraham Lincoln, after his assassination, but the phrase “O Captain! My Captain!” is probably most famously dead poet's societyassociated with the amazing film “Dead Poet’s Society”, where Robin Williams’ character suggests:

“O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain! My Captain.”

… and then at the end of the film when they all climb on to the desks calling “O Captain! My Captain!” (love that film, and yes I cried!)

But anyway, here is the poem:

O Captain! My Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up–for you the flag is flung–for you the bugle trills;      10
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths–for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;      20
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

 

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Do you know what a body hitting a car sounds like?

It is the dullest of thuds, but loud enough to make everything that heard it stop!

Literally, the earth around is silent, as it takes in what has just happened.

It brings an unbelievable sense of nausea to your stomach.

Then of course the chaos ensues….

That’s what it was like this morning.

I heard the thud, then I saw a lady with a dog and thought that it was a dog that had run onto the road, then the realisation dawned that it was a schoolgirl who had been hit.

Thankfully, she was lucky to get up and walk away, but it could have been much worse.

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Remembrance Day

There are so many wonderful poems that describe the horrors of war, and more especially of World War I, but I stumbled across this one today, by someone I have neverpoppies heard of, and yet its words are as poignant with all the horror in the world today as it was when it was written.

It is by a poet called Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929), an Anglican priest and poet nicknamed “Woodbine Willie” during WWI.

Whatever our personal views, soldiers risk their lives daily to try to make the world a better place, and we should all ask ourselves if we would be prepared to do the same!

I know not where they have laid him.

I wouldn’t mind if I only knowed
The spot where they’d laid my lad;
If I could see where they’d buried ‘im,
It wouldn’t be arf so bad.
But they do say some’s not buried at all,
Left to the maggots and flies,
Rottin’ out there in that no man’s land,
Just where they falls — they lies.
Parson ‘e says as it makes no odds,
‘Cause the soul o’ the lad goes on,
‘Is spirit ‘as gorn to ‘is Gawd, ‘e says,
Wherever ‘is body ‘as gorn.
But Parson ain’t never ‘ad no child,
‘E’s a man, not a woman, see?
‘Ow can he know what a woman feels,
And what it can mean to me?
For my boy’s body were mine — my own,
I bore it in bitter pain,
Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,
It lies and rots in the rain.
Parson ain’t never suckled a child
Nor broken ‘is nights o’ rest,
To ‘ush it to sleep in ‘is aching arms,
While it drew life from ‘is breast.
‘E ain’t never watched by a sick child’s bed
Nor seed it fightin’ for life,
A man don’t know what a mother knows,
‘E leaves all that to ‘is wife.
I minds that chapter as Parson read
When poor little Jenny died,
And I were feeling as I feel now,
Wiv this emptiness inside.
Thou fool — it said — thou Fool — for to ask
And ‘ow do the dead arise?
What is the body that they shall wear
Up there in God’s Paradise?
I may be a fool, but that’s just it,
That’s just what I wants to know,
What is the body my boy shall bear,
And ‘ow does that body grow?
I reckons as ‘ow that Scripture piece
Were writ by a single man,
They never knows what a body costs
And I don’t see ‘ow they can.
A married man ‘as a bit ov sense
If ‘e’s been and stood wiv ‘is wife,
‘E knows the body ‘is baby wears
‘As cost ‘er all but ‘er life.

But even a Father never knows
The ache in a Mother’s ‘eart,
When she and the body ‘er body bore
Are severed and torn apart.
The men wouldn’t make these cursed wars
If they knowed of a body’s worth,
They wouldn’t be blowin’ ’em all to bits
If they ‘ad the pains ov birth.
But bless ye—the men don’t know they’re born,
For they gets away scot free.
‘Ow can they know what their cruel wars
Is costin’ the likes ov me?
I were proud to give, I’d give again
If I knowed the cause were right,
For I wouldn’t keep no son of mine
When ‘is dooty called to fight.
But I’d like to know just where it’s laid,
That body my body bore,
And I’d like to know who’ll mother ‘im
Out there on that other shore,
Who will be bearin’ the mother’s part
And be makin’ your body, boy?
Who will be ‘avin’ the mother’s pain,
And feelin’ the mother’s joy?

Gawd, is it you? Then bow you down
And ‘ark to a Mother’s prayer.
Don’t keep it all to yourself, Good Lord,
But give ‘is old Mother a share.
Gimme a share of the travail pain
Of my own son’s second birth,
Double the pain if you double the joy
That a mother feels on earth.
Gimme the sorrow and not the joy
If that ‘as to be your will,
Gimme the labour and not the pride,
But make me ‘is mother still.
Maybe the body as ‘e shall wear
Is born of my breaking heart,
Maybe these pains are the new birth pangs
What’ll give my laddie ‘is start.
Then I’d not trouble ‘ow hard they was,
I’d gladly go through the mill,
If that noo body ‘e wore were mine,
And I were ‘is mother still.

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Friday Poem – In the Orchard

orchardThis lovely poem is by Muriel Stuart (1885-1967), an English poet. This is her most famous piece of work, a poem made up of nothing but dialogue and no verse form.

In the Orchard

‘I thought you loved me.’

‘No, it was only fun.’

‘When we stood there, closer than all?’

‘Well, the harvest moon was shining and queer in your hair, and it turned my head.’

‘That made you?’

‘Yes.’

‘Just the moon and the light it made under the tree?’

‘Well, your mouth too.’

‘Yes, my mouth?’

‘And the quiet there that sang like the drum in the booth. You shouldn’t have danced like that.’

‘Like what?’

‘So close, with your head turned up, and the flower in your hair, a rose that smelt all warm.’

‘I loved you. I thought you knew I wouldn’t have danced like that with any but you.’

‘I didn’t know, I thought you knew it was fun.’

‘I thought it was love you meant.’

‘Well, it’s done.’

‘Yes, it’s done. I’ve seen boys stone a blackbird, and watched them drown a kitten… it clawed at the reeds, and they pushed it down into the pool while it screamed. Is that fun, too?’

‘Well, boys are like that… Your brothers…’

‘Yes, I know. But you, so lovely and strong! Not you! Not you!’

‘They don’t understand it’s cruel. It’s only a game.’

‘And are girls fun too?’

‘No, still in a way it’s the same. It’s queer and lovely to have a girl…’

‘Go on.’

‘It makes you mad for a bit to feel she’s your own, and you laugh and kiss her, and maybe you give her a ring, but it’s only in fun.’

‘But I gave you everything.’

‘Well, you shouldn’t have done it. You know what a fellow thinks when a girl does that.’

‘Yes, he talks of her over his drinks and calls her a–‘

‘Stop that now, I thought you knew.’

‘But it wasn’t with anyone else. It was only you.’

‘How did I know? I thought you wanted it too. I thought you were like the rest. Well, what’s to be done?’

‘To be done’

‘Is it all right?’

‘Yes.’

‘Sure?’

‘Yes, but why?’

‘I don’t know, I thought you were going to cry. You said you had something to tell me.’

‘Yes, I know. It wasn’t anything really… I think I’ll go.’

‘Yes, it’s late. There’s thunder about, a drop of rain fell on my hand in the dark. I’ll see you again at the dance next week. You’re sure that everything’s right?’

‘Yes,’

‘Well, I’ll be going.’

‘Kiss me…’

‘Good night.’

‘Good night.’

 

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Snake Massage anyone?

It would appear that in some beauty parlours in some far flung corners of the earth, the latest ‘craze’ (for want of a better word) is to have a snake massage.snake massage

Which basically involves lying on the massage table whilst several reptiles (non venomous of course) are adorned across you and left to slither around. Apparently, it is all very relaxing!!

Now, I know I’m game to try most things when it comes to alternative treatments, etc. – and yes I did have my feet nibbled by fish – but I think I even I would draw the line at this.

Mainly because snakes scare the heck out of me (and yes, I know they aren’t slimy, or cold – but they still scare me), so paying for the privilege of them crawling all over me – I don’t think so!

I think I’ll stick to having my body massages by hands 😉

Would you?

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