Happy Father’s Day +1

Wash away the worries

Soak away the sad

Blow away the awful thoughts

Just think about your Dad!

 

If you do not have a Dad

Then think about your Mum

Remember all the cuddles

It’ll take away the glum

 

If perchance you’ve neither

Please do not despair

There’s millions in this world of ours

With tons of love to share

 

Should you still feel all alone

Just close your eyes and see

As you drift, you’ll feel the warmth

Of love and hugs from me!

Handfasting – a poem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handfasting_(Neopaganism)

Handfasting was very prevalent in the Hebrides, the Inner, and Outer, islands off the west coast of Scotland.

I had the unique privilege of living on St Kilda, a remote archipelago, some 45 miles West North West of North Uist, for several periods, mostly 6 weeks at a time. Stays sometimes proved to be longer, because access is always determined by the weather! In total, I spent some 8 months of my life there.

St Kilda has a strange hold on all who set foot there, rather akin to desert fever for anyone who has experienced true desert.

I follow a page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/St.KildaHebrides/ , on Facebook, dedicated to St Kilda, and, as part of advice being offered to a would be visitor, came across this poem written by Andrew Lane in 2009.

I do not know Andrew but, from what I’ve seen and read, feel that we would get on very well. He is a musician, so this may well have been written to perform. In any case, I hope that you find the poem at least a little interesting, especially those who may know nothing about the Scots, or their unique language.

Andrew has a lovely “lived in” face, and someone commented that it was obviously the result of someone’s advice:

“Smile a lot when you are young so that when you grow older, your wrinkles will all be in the right place”

THE HAND-FASTING

Oh, lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Bring the lassies from the wheel
To spin themselves a proper reel.
Bring the laddies from the loom
To weave a dance beside the groom.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Bring the stoddart from the braes
And leave the hoggie to its ways.
Bring the fisher from the shore;
This man will be a boy no more.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Set your creels upon the ling
And bow the fiddles till they sing.
Take the whistle from your poke
And pipe a tune for dancing folk.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Set the bellyrive aboot,
And spread the meat upon the cloot.
Place the whisky pig beside
And you shall see the hand-fast tied.

Lassie, place your hand on mine, and Alastair will fetch the twine
And bind us at the wrist for aye, for this shall be our wedding day.

Stoddart – a herdsman. Hoggie – a young sheep. Bellyrive – a feast.
Cloot – cloth. Whisky pig – a whisky jar.

©Andrew Lane July 2009

 

Too Soon to Speculate: thoughts on Grenfell Tower Fire

What a brilliant article by my friend Kirsty, and what chilling reading the blog of the Grenfell Action Group makes. (Linked from the “raised again and again….”) Clearly, there has been a problem for a long time, and there is still a problem with other tower blocks. No money to cure the problem? Tough – We have to find the funding! What a great community spirit has been displayed in the aftermath, with no regard to race, colour, religion or gender.
Whether you have a faith, or none, pray that you never have to experience what those fellow human beings have had to endure, and what they have to live with for ever!

kirstwrites

Sometimes you can watch the TV news unfold its daily horrors and let it just wash over you; at other times the sheer awfulness leaves you breathless, heartsick, overwhelmed. Today is one of those other days. It’s been difficult to concentrate at work today, flicking back to the news websites every so often with a pounding heart. If this is how I’m feeling, a comfortable 200 miles away from Grenfell Tower, I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for those personally affected.

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Mama Said So

The old ones are the best, and that includes the Simple, Village Undertaker. With apologies to Ray!

A Simple, Village Undertaker

Unknown.jpegA certain little girl, when asked her name, would reply, “I’m Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter.”
Her mother told her this was wrong; she must say, “I’m Jane Sugarbrown.”
The Vicar spoke to her in Sunday School, and said, “Aren’t you Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter?”
She replied, “I thought I was, but mother says I’m not.”
 

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Twittering Tales #26 – 18 April 2017

Kat Myrman has this wonderful challenge to tax our creative souls. Just take her photo prompt and write a story, inspired by it, in 140 characters or fewer.

car-1576894_640

Here is this week’s prompt and my contribution. Check out all the fabulous entries here.

On reflection I knew the twins were safer now than they’d ever been. Their father too! I wound down the window and tossed the 3 empty cases.

(140 characters)

I’ve never wished that I wasn’t a woman. 

A powerful piece of writing from a young lady who is worth far more than all the misogynist, childish, and ignorant bullies who hide their own insecurities behind group bravado. Please do like, and comment, on the original post.

Emily Speaks

I’ve never wished that I wasn’t a woman. Not once. I’ve never envied a man or wanted to be anyone else. I’ve always felt valued and equal to my male friends, never an object or something insignificant or worthless. I’ve never felt scared to walk down a street, as a woman. I’ve never felt like my gender defined who I am or what I’ve done. I like to break the mould, the stereotype; be different and be myself. As a woman, I’ve always stood tall. I’ve always felt proud and strong.

I’ve never wished that I wasn’t a woman, until recently. Until I was jeered at by a group of men, as I walked past them. Until two men stood in front of me and my friend and wanted to tell us (and probably show us) “all the things I’d do to you”. Until I was made to feel like…

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In memory of P.C. Keith Palmer, Metropolitan Police.

b4d7c990b8e792469d58c5dc69dc0f9e072ab9f4a3aabf6f6802f732b5e63e3f_3915030“The Final Inspection”

The policeman stood and faced his God,
which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining
just as brightly as his brass.

“Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?”

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
“No, Lord, I guess I ain’t,
because those of us who carry badges
can’t always be a saint.

I’ve had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I’ve been violent,
because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
that wasn’t mine to keep….
Though I worked a lot of overtime
when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I’ve wept unmanly tears.

I know I don’t deserve a place
among the people here.
They never wanted me around
except to calm their fear.

If you’ve a place for me here,
Lord, It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected, or had too much,
but if you don’t…..I’ll understand.

There was silence all around the throne
where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
for the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, policeman,
you’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets,
you’ve done your time in hell.”

Author Unknown

I Loved Them Enough

For any parent whose children have yet to reach 10 years old you NEED to read this, and commit it to memory for later use.

The Chatter Blog

Each of my children, during their teenage angst years, once told me they hated me.  There was a five year age gap between them.  It was two separate occasions with years dividing the incidents.  So it wasn’t as if I was bombarded.  And each time I could see it approaching.

They didn’t mean it.

Though they were pretty vehement in their expression at the time, I knew better.

I knew they felt like they had no control.

I knew they felt like I had all of the control.

And I knew what to do.  I was ready.  Prepared.  I had this one.

I had read a story, long before this point in my life, about a parent who’s child had constantly said “I hate you”.  So when it was my turn, I borrowed from that wise parent.

When it happened I reacted with great calm.

When each child in their own…

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The Pleasures of Facebook – A photograph from WWII

This amazing story from Broadsides deserves a read. It stirred memories of my own experiences in Gibraltar.

Broadsides

I belong to this group on Facebook, Gibraltar Old photos 2 it’s called. It a nostalgia group whose members, mostly from Gibraltar,  post old photographs of life on and around and about the Rock. I lived there once and have many happy and treasured memories upon which I once contributed a piece to the site, some years ago, about being a boy in 1950’s Gibraltar. You can read it here. I still contribute to the site now and then, and to that purpose I was searching google for a film poster of a movie, made in Gibraltar in the early ‘60’s, staring Terry Thomas and called “Operation Snatch”. You need to be a bit careful what you type into google at times!

evacuation-happy-to-be-home
In my search I stumbled across this lovely old photograph the caption of which read “Gibraltar families returning to Gibraltar in 1945 after five years of evacuation…

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