Tag Archives: Kipling

The Day Declines and I Quote Kipling

It was all going too well. I made lunch (which included Ryvita crispbreads instead of ordinary bread), I washed up and I cooked the evening mal ready for when Julia returns. It’s panhaggerty, though I’m not going to melt the cheese on top – too much fat, too many calories….

This proved to be the high point of the day.

First, as I opened the fridge door a pyrex plate slid out and smashed on the floor. There were two cold sausages on it, so I invoked the ten second rule and threw them into a pan of hot fat to kill any bacteria from the floor. That meant I had to have  a sausage sandwich. So, smashed plate, glass all over the place and my diet gone for a Burton.

As I made the sausage sandwich  I looked down on the work surface and realised that I’d left the second layer of bacon out of the panhaggerty. I had to prod it down without disturbing the layers too much. Then, forgetting that I was only wearing socks, I walked across the badly swept area where the plate had smashed. Fortunately the bits I found were only small and they didn’t do any damage, just gave me a bit of a surprise.

Next, it was over to check emails as I ate the sandwich. Part of the sausage fell out o0nto the carpet. I really have been pushing the ten second rule to its limit.

I had two replies from editors. I always think that a quick reply indicates a rejection so I ate the sandwich first. No point in spoiling a good sandwich. The first on was an acceptance, though I sent off ten haiku and three haibun and only had one haiku accepted. It’s not great, but as I spent two years trying to get into the magazine, I’m happy to have had anything accepted at all.

The second one was from my nemesis, the editor who has never accepted anything I’ve ever sent him at either of the magazines he’s been editing when I’ve tried. In a way it’s a comfort to know that in a n ever changing Covid epidemic he still won’t accept any of my work. He did send a few pointers, which is always useful, and always a good sign when an editor takes the time to do it.

The only problem is that I left room for the reader to interpret, as we are advised to do, and he seems to have interpreted it in a way that I didn’t intend. Not quite sure what this means, but I’m left with the impression that my lack of clarity means I’m an even worse writer than mere rejection suggests. I spent several downcast minutes wondering whether to laugh or cry. Then I started laughing and made a cup of tea.

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

Kipling might be old-fashioned and politically suspect, but he can still hit the nail on the head when it counts.



A More Positive Post

I loaded  yesterday’s post has been downloaded. It was touch and go, and I made it with less than ten minutes to spare. WordPress and my computer, appeared to become slower and more glitch-ridden as the deadline approached.

The last sixteen hours of the day were frustrating and unproductive and I’m afraid it showed in my post, and the two attempted posts which I discarded. There is a positive to be taken from that – I managed over twelve hundred words today, even if I did throw half of them away.

Julia has just read the post and commented that I appear grumpy. It’s probably a good thing she didn’t see the deleted drafts.


Cat Stamp

Whilst browsing the site I wandered into Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50. The subject for the last couple of days has been judging. Do we do it? Should we do it? Why do we do it? I do like a good

I do. And the reason I do it is because there are idiots about who need judging. Some of them actually need removing from the gene pool, but eugenics are out of fashion at the moment.

It would, I suppose be nice to live in a world where people weren’t judgemental. It would, of course, be particularly nice for idiots, who could do what they liked without fear that anyone would correct them.

Eugenics will, I’m sure, come back into fashion once doctors work out how to improve the children of rich people with expensive DNA modifications.

However, they should remember Kipling’s Arithmetic on the Frontier. when the revolution starts – ‘the odds are on the cheaper man’. Kipling might be derided for being old-fashioned and jingoistic but he’s often right in what he says, and he has a good turn of phrase.


Bear lurking in woodpile

In my visions of dystopian futures I’m not sure whether I see the downtrodden masses rising up or the robots taking over. They are both fairly dispiriting, but it’s probably most likely that we will just carry on as normal with the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer.

The rich will live in air-conditioned bubbles and be attended by robot butlers while the rest of us wilt in the heat and pin our hopes on lottery wins and making it big on reality TV – bread and circuses as they say.

I have managed to make some progress today, despite being at work in a well-filled day. It’s amazing, but it’s living proof of the old saying – if you want something doing ask a busy man.

We had a man in the shop today who brought his children, It seems he used to buy coins from us 20 years ago. Having recently found his coin collection he showed it to his kids and they have become interested in coin collecting, so he came to buy them some coins. It’s good to see the passing of time summed up like this and it was good to see a father spending time with his kids. They will reap benefits in the future, both the time spent together and the time spent learning about the coins they collect. In the case of my kids it was mainly bird watching and rugby, but the principles are the same.


Sunset over Sherwood


The images are random shots of things that make me smile. I hope they have the same effect on you.




Wodehouse, laughter and Kipling

I’ve been reading Wodehouse recently, which is always a good thing to do when convalescing. I’ve always thought laughter is good for you, and there seem to be other people who think so too.  In the gaps I’ve been reading a history of the Irish Guards in the Great War and the Wikipedia list of Prime  Ministers of the UK. Neither of them make particularly cheerful reading, though you can’t base all your reading on its capacity to induce laughter.

I have an interest in the Great War, though I’m not one of those experts who talk knowledgeably about divisions, Army Orders and such. I’m more interested in the human element such as the history of watches and why the government set children to collecting conkers.

The wrist watch became much more popular as a result of the Great War, as a pocket watch isn’t very practical when you are lying face down in mud whilst somebody shoots at you. There had been various attempts at wrist watches over the years but the war was the beginning of the end for the pocket watch.

The conkers were a bit of a distraction, as it turns out.

When I saw that I could get the Irish Guards book for 49p on Kindle I thought I may as well have a go. Apart from my interest in the subject, I was interested in seeing what it was like as it’s written by Rudyard Kipling. Sadly, despite the quality of the writing (and the frequent insertion of light relief in the form of interjections from a comic Irishman) it’s only as interesting as the subject matter allows it to be. It also contains the news that Lieutenant J Kipling was posted missing after the Battle of Loos in 1915. Those must have been hard words to write.

That just leaves the Prime Ministers. I thought I’d brush up on them as I’m a bit deficient in my knowledge of PMs but after a quick run through I realised that I’d discovered an antidote to Wodehouse. I don’t need that, so I’ve left them for the moment – a monument to my ignorance. Well, one of several…