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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Octopus and an Odd Ode

In it's raw state I love Octopus, the first time I tasted it was on one of our many holidays in Turkey. I know, in it's raw state it is most unattractive, but when it's prepared and cooked, it is most delicious.  
  It takes on a pretty pink and creamy hue, the flavour of griddled Octopus surpasses most other seafood delicacies, (that is, in my humble opinion)!
 Altinkum in Turkey is where I  had my first experience of Griddled Octopus, we dined in a simple little Locanta on the edge of the beach, we saw the fishermen out in their brightly coloured boats in the morning, hauling in their catch which included our dinner!
The stunning beach at Altinkum.
Now an ODD ODE!
The Owl and the Pussy Cat.   By Edward Lear.
The OWL and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful Pea-green boat
They took some honey and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five pound note
The OWL looked to the stars above
And sang to a small guitar
"O lovely Pussy O Pussy my love
What a beautiful Pussy you are
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are"!

Pussy said to the OWL "You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long have we tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows.
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose
His nose
His nose
With a ring at the end of his nose
With a ring at the end of his nose.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Nonsense Poetry

I love  Nonsense Poetry.

Amongst my favourite writers of Nonsense verse are Ogden Nash,  Edward Lear and the highly acclaimed Liverpool poet  Roger McGough,  ( part of my subject matter for the letter M).

 There are many more, indeed too many to write about so, I have picked Ogden Nash the American journalist and poet.


This is one of my favourite poems by him, he was such a wordsmith he mixed his words with occasional hilarious insight almost turning his work into a parable.

Consider the auk
becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly
Consider man who may become extinct
Because he forgot how to walk and learned how to fly before he thinked! 

Good-by  Now or pardon my Gauntlet .

Bring down the moon for genteel Janet;
She's too refined for this gross planet
She wears garments and you wear clothes
You buy stockings, she purchases hose.
She says That is correct,
and you say Yes.
And she disrobes and you undress.
Confronted by a mouse or moose,
You turn green, she turns chartreuse.
Her speech is new minted freshly quarried
She has a fore-head you have a forehead
Nor snake nor slow worm
draweth nigh her ,
You go to bed, she doth retire.
To Janet births are blessed events
And odours that you smell she scents
Replete she feels when her food is yummy
Not in the stomach but in the tummy.
If urged some novel step to show
You say like this, she says, Like so
Her dear ones don't die but pass away,
Beneath her formal is longeray
Of refinement she's a fount or a fountess
And that is why she's now a Countess
She was asking for the little girls room
And a flunky thought she said
 the Earls room.
My thanks to the epitome of niceness Denise, for devising Abcw and to Roger our nimble Administrator for keeping us going. 








Wednesday, 8 October 2014

M is for The River Mersey and Roger Mcgough

Life goes on day after day  hearts torn in every way

So Ferry 'cross the Mersey 'cause this land's the place I love

and here I'll stay..........

The above lyrics to a well known sixties song performed by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
Liverpool people are passionately proud of their city and for good reason.

 Dare I mention The Beatles again? Gerry and his band and used to play along side them in the early days when the banks of The River Mersey was awash with Music.

The Mersey is  70 miles long and spills out into The Irish Sea to mix with the Mighty Atlantic Ocean. For centuries the port served as the second largest dockland in the UK where traders earned their millions whilst the dock workers were paid a pittance which, in more recent year caused a lot of industrial strife.
 Eventually the Container ship came to the fore and the docklands became derelict, until Margaret Thatcher's government invested large sums of money and they have been regenerated into a wonderful development of apartments, shops, restaurants and a marina,
 There is an arena where a host International stars perform and a large exhibition centre. All this is housed in The Albert Dock (pictured below).


Liverpool has a host of creative writers, many first appeared during the cultural renaissance in the sixties.

 One aspiring poet was a chap called Roger McGough. Roger was my form tutor at college, he was a terrific teacher and I learned so much from him. To appreciate poetry and the classics, modern literature, even contemporary writing too! This was very much frowned upon by the 'establishment'.

Roger hosts a wonderful programme on BBC Radio 4 called  Poetry Please, where listener can request reading of their favourite poems.
He writes quite a lot of quirky satirical stuff, he reminds me of Edward Lear another of my favourite writers
Here is one of my favourites from Roger.

We're the Mafia cats

Bugsy Franco and Tony

We're crazy for pizza
with hot pepperoni.
We run all the rackets
from gambling to vice
On St Valentines Day
We massacre mice
We always wear shades
to show that we're meanies
Big hats and sharp suits
And drive Lamborghinis
We're the Mafia cats
Bugsy Franco and Toni
Love Sicilian wine
And cheese macaroni
But we have a secret
(and if you dare tell
You'll end up with the kitten
at the bottom of the well
or covered in concrete
And thrown into the deep
for this is one secret
you really must keep). 
We're the Costa Nostra and
run the scams and the fiddles
but at home, we are known as

Mopsy Ginger and Tiddles !


My thanks to the magnificent Denise for devising Abcw and also to the masterly Roger for administrating this marvellous site.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

K is for Kindness and a King,

Good King Wenceslas.

This is one of my favourite Christmas carols that I enjoyed singing at the Christmas carol service at the local Parish Church.

Good King Wenceslas last looked out on the Feast of Stephen

Where the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.

Brightly shone the moon that night, though the frost was cruel

When a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.

"Hither page and stand by me if thou know'st it, telling. Yonder peasant who is he?  Where and what his dwelling" ?

"Sire he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain, right against the forest fence, by St Agnes Fountain".

" Bring me flesh and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither, thou and I will see him dine, when we bear him thither."
Page and Monarch forth they went, forth they went together, through the wild wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.
"Sire the night is darker now and the wind blows stronger, fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer".

"Mark my footsteps, my good page,

 tread thou in them boldly, thou shall find the winter's rage, freeze thy blood less coldly".

In his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted, heat was in the very sod, which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.
This legend is based on the life of saint Wenceslas  1 Duke of Bohemia in Czech (907-935)
As an act of piety he would deliver alms around churches and gave generously to the poor, including widows and orphans,
He was considered, not a Prince but father of the wretched.
The holy Roman Emperor Otto posthumously conferred his regal dignity and sainthood posthumously in recognition of his dedication and KINDNESS to lesser mortals than himself.
Sadly he was assassinated by his evil brother Boleslav the Cruel in order to seize his title.
St Wenceslas is recognised as the Patron Saint of Czech.
my thanks to the  Denise Nesbitt  the keystone of Abcw and equally to Roger our knowledgeable administrator . 

K is for Kindness and a king

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The wretched back.

Due to a reoccurrence of my  back problem I have not been able to participate in abcwednesday, sitting upright for too long is torturous and typing on keyboard whilst lying down is nigh on impossible!

So sorry I can't get around to read all the interesting articles but will be back as soon as possible,

best wishes,


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Happiness from the heart !

I often wonder what it takes to make different people happy.  After having had a bad fall three weeks ago, I was seriously convinced I may not walk again. My back was already damaged with multi facet disc bulge with five discs out of place.

 I was hoping surgery would be the answer but was told it was too risky and could cause further damage, so, a course of pain killers and physio was prescribed and up until three weeks ago I was managing, quite well getting around, by using my walking aids indoors and my motorised chair out of doors. 

Then came the unexplained fall, I just remember Ian kneeling by my side,  the Para Medics arrived and helped me back onto my chair. Apparently my Blood Pressure was extremely high! My GP changed the BP medication also the Oramorph and MST intake.

The increase of the Morphine caused much HILLARITY, as I giggled and sang the day away. Youngest daughter came to help hapless Papa look after crazy Mama. All was well when I snoozed off into a drug induced sleep but then came the cabaret, apparently I sang every song from every show ever performed on stage. I think that was an exaggeration but it sure made them HAPPY listening to Mama's performance !

So............. What makes me HAPPY ?

I'll tell you what makes me really HAPPY !

Health restored to normal,  as near as normal as can be, so that I can enjoy the love and humour of my darling husband who helped my recovery from a frightening fall, I really thought my number was up!! 

Last but not least the heartfelt love I feel for our three wonderful daughters and son's in law, together with our four 'happy go lucky' grandchildren......

Not forgetting the unconditional love I get from my little cat Chloe who sat by my side for three weeks until I was able to get up out of bed and resume life downstairs. She would only go downstairs to get her food and have a 'tiddle' then, return to my side,  upstairs on the bed! 

Heartfelt thanks to the humorous Denise for devising 'Abcwednesday' and the honourable Roger for  keeping the hyperbole in perspective,Trubes

Tuesday, 5 August 2014


Charles Dickens

    The one story that so captivated me,  all those years ago was a story called.....                        'A Christmas Carol'.


 It was a Christmas Ghost story. There was a film made about it in 1951 and my sister Norma, took my brother Clive and I  to see it, at The West Derby Cinema,  in the village where we lived.

 What a fabulous film it was too, it was screened in black and white, which made it more realistic, particularly in the 'ghostly' scenes!

 I think we spent most of the time hiding under our coats because it was so scary.



  My sister, who was eight years older, used to read it to my brother and I in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The underlying theme of the story was about a Miser called Ebenezer Scrooge,  Scrooge's meanness, and in particular, the way in which he treated poor Bob Cratchit, his Articled Clerk.

 He made him work very long hours in the office, which was very cold and damp he knew Bob had a large family to feed yet gave him a pittance to live upon.

 However, Scrooge was to have an Epiphany. 

On going to bed on Christmas Eve, he fell into a deep slumber, and had the most frightening dream  which illustrated his meanness. It pointed out how his life would be if carried on being so mean and it was not a nice picture.  He was visited by ghosts in various  forms, including his former partner, Jacob Marley.  I won't go through the whole synopsis as I feel most of the readers will already have read this enchanting story. if you haven't I implore you to do so.

Some illustrations to help with the story line,
The Ghost of the Christmas Present
The Ghost of the Christmas Present    

Christmas at The Cratchits

Bob and Tiny Tim dashing home for their Christmas


The magnificent St George's Hall Liverpool


Charles Dickens


Magnificent Main Hall 

Charles Dickens used to give  readings of his works in the Small concert hall. They were called 'The Penny  Readings' and insisted that people were charged just one penny to enable even the poorest to attend.


He used to travel to Liverpool from London to give readings in the magnificent St Georges Hall. He loved Liverpool and said 'excepting London, it was his favourite city'. He was also quoted, as saying that  'Liverpool is a city that has a love affair with words' and described it as 'that rich and beautiful Port' !

As it is my quest to keep my beloved city in the picture of this round of Abcw  I am trying to keep a link between each post. I could have written so much more about Charles Dickens and Liverpool and will when the next relevant letter appears.

My sincere thanks to the Delightful Denise for Devising Abcw and also to the dashing Roger for administrating Abcw so diligently