Tag Archives: Sunday

Sunday Morning

It’s mid-day on Sunday and, as usual, or morning has not been marked by a frantic rush. We had porridge with blackberries as a healthy breakfast. It would have been porridge with blueberries but I seem to have hit the wrong button whilst shopping. That may be a good thing, but it might be a bad thing. To some people it may even be a matter of indifference, though to my mind there’s something wrong with people who keep calm in the face of provocation by their internet shopping. I suppose it’s a test of personality.

When your shopping goes wrong do you

(a) curse the evils of modern technology?

(b) welcome the opportunity for new experiences?

(c) blame the Government?

I usually go with (a). None of the new experiences I’ve had from internet shopping – frozen spinach, plastic cheese, sour blackberries – have actually enhanced my life.

There’s no point blaming the Government, or any Government, because with rare exceptions they aren’t really in charge of what is happening. They just talk about how bad the last lot were and shove their snouts deeper into the trough.

I just went off on a 200 word tangent about politicians. It’s clearly going to be one of those posts where much is written but not so much is posted.

I can’t help wondering if this makes it a stronger post and thinking of an article I once read about composing haibun.

It recommended editing until you managed to remove the subject of the haibun, leaving the reader with a feeling about the unspoken subject – the ultimate ‘show don’t tell’ technique. At least I think that was what it said. And I think it was about haibun. I really ought to make notes.

It’s a bit bit like homeopathic medicine where you dilute the cure so much it is no longer there. I’m on surer ground there because that was on Wikipedia.

There’s a big gap on Wikipedia when it comes to discussion on composing haibun. This is ironic when you consider a gap was what I was researching.

close up of eyeglasses on book

Photo by ugurlu photographer on Pexels.com

For details of the afternoon, check here.

Now, where was I?

As far as the blog is concerned I’m eating cake in Derbyshire. In real life I am back in Nottingham, where I passed three increasingly unpleasant days at work and finally had a day of rest.

Today, Sunday, I had a lie in, read, shopped, snacked, snoozed and cooked.

As I speak, I am on the verge of serving ratatouille with Lincolnshire sausages, and also have a pan of vegetarian cottage pie filling simmering away. Tomorrow we will have the pie, with a topping of mash, and on Wednesday we will have the remains of the ratatouille, probably with a baked potato.

We used to serve Italian style sausages with the ratatouille (Italian style meaning British sausages with Italian flavoured fillings) but they cost more and didn’t taste as good as a Lincolnshire sausage.

They are also better for use in sandwiches, and tomorrow we will have sausage sandwiches for lunch.

And that, for the benefit of future researchers, is the way middle-aged  men and their wives spent their winter Sundays in the early 21st Centuries. By the early 22nd Century you will probably need a license to own a sausage, or at least pay a punitive tax, and the use of plastic wrappings will be superseded by the use of potato-starch substitutes which can be composted or used as a topping on pies.

TESCO Top Valley - an hour later

TESCO Top Valley – an hour later

While I was looking for a potato starch/plastic links I found this one. It’s one of my favourite subjects, but I wouldn’t advise reading it if you are eating. In the 22nd Century people will probably wonder why we ever thought cremation was a good idea.

Back to work.

On Thursday I was referred to as “disabled” by my co-worker. It’s funny what goes through people’s minds. We were discussing whether coin dealers would have made it to heaven in Egyptian times as we spend a lot of times destroying dreams when people ring up with a “valuable” coin. I checked this up – I think we’re OK. If you read this, it’s about doing good deeds, not necessarily about valuing coins.

We moved on to Christianity and he asked me if I thought I would still be disabled in Heaven or if all would be corrected. This was news to me, as I didn’t realise I was disabled. Anyway, as I pointed out, we don’t go to Heaven after we die, we have to wait for the general resurrection and, theologically, only need a skull and two femurs (the Skull and Crossbones) to gain eternal life, so I’m not sure a dodgy knee comes into play at any time.

I then asked him if he saw me as “disabled”. He changed the subject.

We then move on to a couple of days of him continually arguing with the shop owner about minor details of what we do. It’s like being in the middle of a divorcing couple. Fortunately I was given a set of ear plugs last week (the reason is too long and involved to explain) so on Saturday afternoon I put them in. It helped cut out some of the noise.

 

Sometimes, when there is no other subject, I take pictures of wheels.

Another Routine Sunday

I eventually prised myself from bed just after mid-morning. I had been up earlier but my back was so stiff I’d gone back to bed to get some warmth and do some straightening exercises. At that point I fell asleep and, as I say, reluctantly emerged. I’m tempted to say “like a butterfly from a chrysalis” but that wouldn’t be an entirely accurate picture.

We breakfasted on what was supposed to be smashed avocado and eggs on toast but Julia is such a gentle soul the avos were no more than moderately roughed up. It’s a shameful thing to do, offering any sort of violence to an avocado – they should really be filled with prawns and thousand island dressing. Or mayonnaise with ketchup, which is my version. However, this is the modern way and Julia likes it so who am I to complain?

After that we had toast and marmalade whilst watching The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was the 1988 TV version with Jeremy Brett. I like him as Holmes, but there are several other versions of the story which I prefer. Holmes really should be in black and white.

Then it was off to the laundry for Julia and off to the supermarket for me.

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Shopping

The laundry was crowded, because it was a dull wet day. The supermarket was not crowded, but the people in it all seemed to be on a mission to get in my way.

That was the first part of then day. On our return I wrote the first 240 words in twenty minutes as I cooked pie and beans for a meal that was a mixture of late lunch and early tea.

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View from the Driving Seat

I then frittered the rest of the afternoon in front of a fire, watching quizzes, snoozing and drinking tea. No, not all at the same time.

It is now 8.00. Washing up is done, the roast vegetable as are in the oven for tonight’s meal and the ones for tomorrow are boiling as I type. We will be having gravy tonight as we eat roast veg, Lincolnshire sausages and Yorkshire puddings.

Monday night’s veg will, with the addition of last night’s rice (which is currently frozen, to avoid food poisoning) and some other bits, will provide another go at veggie burgers. I will have two on Tuesday night with ratatouille (Julia is dining out for a birthday celebration) and on Wednesday we will both have veggie burgers and ratatouille. My capacity for repetition of meals means I can happily eat the same thing for three or four days if necessary.

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You could chart my life from pictures like these

The timer just went off – time for a trip to the kitchen, where mounds of steaming vegetables are waiting for me.

Later I will return to load some photos and publish the post.

The writing has taken 37 minutes according to the kitchen timers I had running at the time. I bet the photos and Tagss take at least another 20, if not more.

This blog hates me – it’s just taken twelve trouble-free minutes to do the photos and Tags. It’s trying to make me look like a liar by doing everything the easy way…

 

 

Sunday Night Already

Where’s it all gone?

A certain amount of it was lost to sleep because I worked into the early hours setting up a plan for submissions. If you go to bed three hours late, you may as well get up three hours late on Sunday morning. Or, I suppose, you could just leave the planning for the morning. I’ve never worked out the best way to do it.

Late night is better for concentration, as there is nobody about to ask me to do other things, but it’s not so good for being alert and getting up next morning.

In the early hours I feel more like a writer. In the morning I feel more like an accountant.

From sleep we burst into action with laundry and shopping, then home for brunch. I did some writing and some work on my talk (it’s only four months away!) then watched TV, had a roast dinner cooked by Julia, who also made crumble. Number Two son served it. Looks like the Old Man has been left to wash up.

Watched some cricket. Then back to the writing.

When I say writing I also mean on-line Scrabble, reading comments on WordPress, playing Othello and trying to read a few WordPress posts, though I’m still very bad at this. Sorry to everyone I’ve been neglecting. Playing Scrabble hasn’t really increased my facility with anagrams, which I’ve never been good with, but it has enlarged my repertoire of games and increased my capacity for wasting time. To be fair, it has also increased my vocabulary of two letter words, but that’s not terribly useful.

I’m going to have to get a grip of my time.

Even if I merely stop discussing my talent for wasting time I’d save several hours a week.

1994 22 carat gold 50p

1994 22 carat gold 50p

The coin I’ve pictured today is a 22 carat gold 50p piece – one of only 2,500 made in gold. It is a rare coin compared to the normal cupro-nickel one, but the collectors are also rare. It weighs 26.32 grams, which is the same as about three and a quarter sovereigns. The cheapest currently on eBay is £1,099.

People with £1,099 don’t visit the shop every day, and don’t often want a modern coin like this.

All’s Right With the World

Having gone to bed just before midnight, I found myself awake and ready to creak into action just before 7am. There’s something inevitable about it. As a result, I will potter about until mid-afternoon. If I make the mistake of sitting down in front of TV I will then sleep. I don’t know why, but 3pm on a Sunday just seems to be made for sleeping.

It is now 8am and, having just discovered that I’ve left my camera at the shop, I am muttering at the computer screen and using this quiet sliver of time to blog.

Julia has had her weekly lie-in (she calls it that to make me feel guilty about my sluggardly habits) and is moving around upstairs.

She will be down soon, disturbing my day by pressing cups of tea on me and asking if I would like her to wash my shirts. She means well but seems unable to understand that a creative artist needs time and space in which to write.

I do need tea and clean shirts, but I want them to appear magically rather than have to answer questions about them when I’m pursuing my career as a 21st century Samuel Pepys.

At this time of the week I like to mull over events and draw lessons from them.

In this case the events of the week were uneventful and I learned that I didn’t know much.

I did manage to work the word “skullduggery” into an eBay description, the first time I’ve used it in writing in my life, though I’m still deciding how to spell it. There are choices. This might be the first time I’ve used the word “orthography” in writing too. I don’t recall using it before, but why would you, when “spelling” is just as good for most purposes?

It cropped up in something I was reading during the week and I thought, “I’ve never used the word “orthography” in writing.” Now I’ve used it twice.

I read it in a book about Shakespeare. I doubt that he ever used it, but if he did it would have been ironic, in that he would probably have spelt it in several different ways. The Elizabethans did that, and Shakespeare was hard pressed to spell his own name the same way twice.

Just some old photos again, due to lack of camera. The title comes from the fact that, miserable as I am, there can’t be much wrong with life when Julia is making cups of tea and I still have new words to use.

Even if I only have a picture of a cup of coffee.

Help, get me out of here!

Help, get me out of here!

Sunday…

Apart from the fact that it was Father’s Day, yesterday followed the same format as most Sundays. Started with laundry, then off to the garage to fuel the car and watch a lady hoovering her car. After I watched her hoovering I was able to watch her inflating her tyres, including the spare. After that I was able to do my own tyres.

The design of the bay could do with some improvement, like having the air-line accessible while the hoover is in use.

After being beaten by my Dad and wife at Snakes and Ladders, my sister proceeded to win three of the five games of dominoes. Dad won just one and Julia took the other.

By a process of elimination I’m sure you can see who didn’t win anything. Not that it bothers me, I’m used to be being beaten by an elderly man with dementia, a sister who claims she’s trying to let Dad win, and my wife.  It’s our 30th wedding anniversary this year and I’m fully resigned to life under the thumb.

I did get messages from the kids for Father’s Day, though this was probably due to Julia reminding them, rather than any actual filial feelings.

Number One son has taken up bird watching again, and is enjoying the birding in New Zealand. Number Two son, despite hating the hotel job when doing it in the UK, has taken to hotel work in Canada and is enjoying life in Toronto. This isn’t setting the bar particularly high; he’d enjoy life anywhere that showed sport on TV in a bar.

And that, in brief, was Sunday.

After returning home we had the remains of the vegetable curry from Saturday, watched Gentleman Jack, which has a story line that moves so slowly that glaciers look sprightly by comparison, browsed eBay and fell asleep in the chair.

How different from the evenings of fine food and witty conversation I used to imagine for myself in middle-age…

Fortunately, I have WordPress for that.

Haiku, clerihu and an idle moment

I’ve successfully procrastinated the morning away since dropping Julia at work. I blogged, I slept, I composed twelve haiku on modern subjects, I reflected on Clerihews and their superiority to haiku and I replied to a few comments. I even read one post from someone else. It was fascinating, though it didn’t seem promising at first. Try Repro Arts of Great Yarmouth. It’s a print shop, but one that has made at least one fascinating blog post. I say “at least” because I have not yet read any of the others. They may all be fascinating, but in line with my theme for the morning, I’m going to read the rest later.

I recently invented a new poetic form – the haiklerihew. So far the world’s stock of haiklerihews is one. It’s probably all we need. I’m thinking I might have a crack at the clerihu next, though amalgamating a four line humorous poem nobody values with a three line nature poem that people are very serious about could take some doing.

 

from ancient Japan we have Basho

who never has gone out of fashion

deep in the woodlands

a nature cliche gestates

serious poem

 

I’ve amalgamated the first two lines of the clerihew, with the name, then added a haiku underneath. Clerihews, for those of you who have missed previous efforts, are allowed to be bad in terms of rhyme and scansion. I think I have achieved that here.

The haiku is a bit unkind, but some of them are a bit cliched in terms of the nature reference – I know mine are. I’ve used the 5-7-5 syllable format which is now seen as a bit old-fashioned – that way you can tell it’s a haiku. I had to change woods to woodlands to get the five in the first line, which is in the bad poetry tradition of the Clerihew.

All in all, a satisfactory poetic form, and much better than the haiklerihew.

I’m now going to brace myself for death threats from haiku poets.

Writers of Clerihews are much more laid back.

I Invent a New Poetic Form

Well, it’s been a thought-provoking day.

It started when I wrenched myself from bed and took Julia to work. The mornings are already significantly darker than they were a month ago. By 6.15 I was taking photographs by the roadside and at 6.30 arrived at the services ready to collect Number Two Son. He was supposed to be off shift at 7.00 but nobody turned up. Eventually he was relieved at 8.15 after ringing round.

 

I tried to pass my time profitably, by writing haiku and watching people. The people-watching didn’t go well as there was nobody interesting to watch, apart from a hairy middle-aged man wearing only shorts and flip-flops. Even that wasn’t really interesting, just an anthropological footnote.

The haiku? They soon degenerated into my favoured format – the clerihew. I didn’t produce  any of note this morning but this one has been hanging round in the drafts for a while. It features a Japanese word so it’s a hybrid form I just invented, the haiklerihew.

Martin van Buren,

was au fait with shitsuren,

and, stressing ideology over personality,

opened an era of boring banality

It’s a niche market and I can’t help feeling I may have written more haiklerihews than the world needs.

Now I just need to use canicular.

 

Then I did laundry, shopped, snoozed and picked Julia up from work. We had salad for tea. We were going to have roast vegetables and belly pork but I fell asleep in front of the TV and it was a bit late to start cooking.

I can’t help feeling I’m not using Sunday to its full potential.

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Strange clouds over the Trent Valley

Should I Read or Should I Write? (2)

Well, I tried to do both, whilst humming a song by The Clash.

After an hour and a half of reading, which leaves me not quite caught up, I decided to write a quick post and go washing, in order to keep to the plan.

When I came to publish, WordPress was playing up and I couldn’t enter a category or tag. I pressed “Publish” anyway and can’t see the post on the blog, even though it appears on the list to link to.

Ah! I just linked it in and had a look. seems to be a page. I’ll have to sort it out later. It looks like I must have pressed page instead of post when I started it.

So WordPress isn’t playing up. I am.

What an idiot.

More haste, less speed…

Here is the original. As you can see, it’s more or less the same. This loss of a post, and subsequent loss, may qualify as an epic senior moment.

Should I Read or Should I write?

I decided to read, and I’m nowhere near catching up after over an hour of reading and commenting.

I was going to post a link to Should I Stay or Should I Go by the Clash to mirror the title but I can’t switch the audio on the computer and don’t like posting links to clips I can’t hear myself.

It looks like bits are dropping off the computer all over the place. It’s a feeling I know only too well.

WordPress seems to be playing up too, but I’m going to publish and see what happens.

Time to get the washing done now if I’m going to stick to my plan.

See you all later.

 

A Pale Rainbow

First of all – a correction. I cooked the chicken and vegetables in the oven, not on the hob, so it was actually a casserole and not a stew as I stated in a previous post. It’s a small point but important if you value accuracy.

Apart from that, there’s been drizzle, a poor attempt at a rainbow and cheesecake to follow the casserole. (We bought it on the way back from the leisure centre, my cheesecakes are better than bought ones, but tend to be runnier and crumblier and harder to eat with panache.) Though it’s tangy and lemony, and makes you tabs laugh, as they say round here, it does tend to get spread down your shirt, in your beard and on the table.

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Casserole – before

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Casserole – after

You may be wondering why I’m posting three times today, when the first was sufficient. The truth is that it helps me avoid hoovering, and gives me an excuse to use some of the photos I took this afternoon.

My latest way of improving my life is to take photographs every day, declutter  every day (even if it’s only a small amount) and to write every day. That means you have to look at photos of a drizzly day, but I’m sure there are worse things.

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Pale Rainbow over Mapperley