Monthly Archives: June 2014

Things I want to do in 2014 – Half Year Update

Way back in January (doesn’t seem that long ago, this year is whipping by) I set out a list of “Things I want to do in 2014

Progress is, well, slow, to say that very least:

1.  I gave up reading Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. I got through 21% of it, but to be brutally honest, I didn’t care about any of the characters, and when I read a book I want to care about, or be able to relate to at least one of them, and I got completely and utterly bored. Now that may make me ignorant of great literature or stupid for not finding it inspiring, and if that is so, well, so be it. But I would rather not waste any of my 86,400 seconds that I have in a day reading something I find dull, just because it’s something ‘you should read’ – that to me is a waste of life.

2.  Learning to speak Spanish – this is one of the things I am doing, slowly but surely. I have the CD, but I also bought a box set, very reasonably for a bargain £5, which contains CD, phrase books, and a weekly step-by-step guide. I whizzed through week 1, and am now ploughing my way through week 2, food and drink. I am fairly confident now, I can book a table and maybe even order a cup of tea and churros 😉

3.  Learn to play the piano – have started pretending to practise, badly, in an attempt to get SC to do a bit more practise.  It seems to be working. I’m finding his book very good to work through and he’s just learning to put two hands together. This one I fear will be a long drawn out process. I certainly have no grand dreams that I will be a concert pianist, however, I would just like to be able to read the bass line of the music and be able to bash out a tune or two.

4.  Take a singing exam, just for fun – no progress on this, although I have got a singing teacher, just need the funds 😉

5.  Learn to knit and actually knit something – no progress, as yet, still autumn is fast approaching, so there’s time 😉

6.  Go and see Mamma Mia – tried so very hard to get Kids Week tickets for SC and I for this, but I had no luck. Again plenty of time, maybe I’ll treat us later on in the year.

7.  Try to do my exercise DVDs each day – this actually went well during January. However, medical problems and operation forced a cessation of activity.  However, post-operative progress seems to be sufficient for me to be able to resume exercising.  I’m also thinking of starting a ballet class, it’s been too long I fear my muscles will scream in agony!

8.  Train my chimp – have been training my chimp and channelling my good psychopath qualities.  I’ve been working and developing my new business and am ready to launch 😉  Looking forward to new adventures 😉

9.  Try a different soup each week – total failure to date ;-(  maybe I should just try one and tell SC I used a different coloured mud?

10.  Start writing my book – planning in progress.   I have a vague(ish) outline, working on character development and plots.

So there you have it!

Not too horrendous really, considering I still have 6 months of the year to go.  Admittedly, I’m no where near setting the world on fire, but these are things I wanted to do for me. For no one else, just for my own sense of learning something new, finishing something I started and just sometimes for the sheer fun and hell of it 😉

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They think it’s all over ….

…IT IS NOW!!

After, apparently, the worst World Cup performance since 1958, there will obviously be, as there always are, questions to be asked and lessons to be learned.  However, these would be my questions:

  1. Why does the blame of such a shambolic display always lie at the feet of the manager?
  2. Would my local pub team play better? (Answer, probably yes)
  3. Is the reason the English team fare so badly is that the players have failed to recognise the first and fundamental rule of teamwork …. that it doesn’t contain I!
  4. And obviously, the biggest question I would be asking if I was a Premiership Manager, judging by their performance are they actually worth their £100k + weekly salary?

I mean, seriously, in the real world, if you were paid an outrageous amount of money and spectacularly failed to provide a decent service, or conduct yourself properly in your employment you would be frogmarched out of the building before you could even say “Flaming Ferrari!”  So how come, the England players still have their job, are still paid their salary and the manager always gets the boot.

I get that the manager is in charge of strategy, line-up, etc, but all he can do is put forward what he considers the best strategy against whatever side the team will be facing, at the end of the day if the players can’t actually, as it would appear, pass the ball to each other, then surely they should be penalised as well?

I mean would they actually play any better if their international appearances were paid on a performance basis, i.e., if they didn’t win they didn’t get paid, or do they just need a good old fashioned team-building day to get them working as a team, so they know how each other thinks?

I would just like to reiterate that these are my own general observations. I am not a huge football fan. I do have certain teams that I support, but I don’t get upset if they lose – it’s just a game!  Besides Wimbledon starts on Monday 😉

 

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Friday Poem – Shakespeare Sonnet #18

midsummerWhat poem could be more apt on Midsummer’s eve than, possibly, Shakespeare’s most famous of sonnets:

Sonnet #18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

 

HAPPY MIDSUMMER – I’m looking forward to having a Midsummer Night’s Dream tomorrow 😉

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Friday Poem – Trees

A beautiful poem for this sultry Friday, by the American poet Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918). He was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and died on 30th July 1918 on the battlefields of dancing treeFrance.

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

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Friday Poem – “Fairy-Land”

This poem written in 1829 by the American poet, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), was originally entitled “Heaven”, and was written whilst Poe was at the United States Military Academy starsat West Point.

One of the poem’s original publisher’s called it “exquisite nonsense”, whilst others have called it a prescursor to the “Walrus and the Carpenter” – “a portrait of fancy created with a feeling of beauty conveyed in fantastic words and delicate music”.

Is the poem really about fairy land, or maybe something more celestial??

Fairy-Land

Dim vales- and shadowy floods-
And cloudy-looking woods,
Whose forms we can’t discover
For the tears that drip all over!
Huge moons there wax and wane-
Again- again- again-
Every moment of the night-
Forever changing places-
And they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.
About twelve by the moon-dial,
One more filmy than the rest
(A kind which, upon trial,
They have found to be the best)
Comes down- still down- and down,
With its centre on the crown
Of a mountain’s eminence,
While its wide circumference
In easy drapery falls
Over hamlets, over halls,
Wherever they may be-
O’er the strange woods- o’er the sea-
Over spirits on the wing-
Over every drowsy thing-
And buries them up quite
In a labyrinth of light-
And then, how deep!- O, deep!
Is the passion of their sleep.
In the morning they arise,
And their moony covering
Is soaring in the skies,
With the tempests as they toss,
Like- almost anything-
Or a yellow Albatross.
They use that moon no more
For the same end as before-
Videlicet, a tent-
Which I think extravagant:
Its atomies, however,
Into a shower dissever,
Of which those butterflies
Of Earth, who seek the skies,
And so come down again,
(Never-contented things!)
Have brought a specimen
Upon their quivering wings

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