Random Tree

A random Yorkshire tree. When it snows, a random Yorkshire Tree positioned at the end of our sledging run. So a random Yorkshire tree with a very hard trunk which I have collided with on more than one occasion. It’s like a Rome. All the sledging runs seem to abruptly end at this tree.

So this morning’s fight with WordPress was a bit of a score draw. On the plus side it went remarkably smoothly and very quickly. On the downside my attempted fix – didn’t pigging work. So the app is still possessed. My comments on many sites just disappear. One explanation is that I’ve upset one of the Spam filters. I might have used a naughty word on a comment (or two ). See kiddies swearing is not big or clever. Anyway until it’s resolved I will keep trying to comment on your sites – a few comments are still sneaking through. Enjoy the peace and waffle free time while it lasts.

So the school version of homeschooling has ended for another week. It’s now the two week Easter break. A break which will probably look very like the last few weeks. Normally we look forward to these two weeks but this time it feels like just the same as the last few weeks. No real change except the school iPad can remain switched off.

But as everyday is FUN DAY let’s try to make the most of them.

It’s good to see school is getting into the celebratory mood. The kids have been set homework and have been given plenty of revision to complete over the holiday. After Easter it’s straight into online exams and YES the delights of spelling tests. Deep joy.

But we are not going to let school put a dampener on life over the next couple of weeks. So at lunchtime we reverted back to one of sons favourite games. Bouncing on a trampoline while holding a bucket filled with water. It’s amazing how even Son’s bucket of water ends up over his Dad. Maybe that’s why the game is so much fun. Then it was back to online lessons and trying to explain to a bewildered son the finer details of love poetry. You might have seen my sledgehammer writing style in Thursdays Terrible Poetry submissions. Me advising on poetry is like asking a pheasant to operate a pedestrian crossing. Some lessons are about personal growth and development. However this one was just about survival.

After the last lesson of the day the Easter break started with a dog walk. A walk to our sons self imposed world boundary. And a look over to a distant random tree. A tree beyond our little world. Let’s hope that when we get snow again, once again all our sledge runs will be able to meet this tree again.

Spring

Spring must have arrived as the Rowan Tree has sprung into life.

My partner loved these plants. She thought every garden should have at least one in a prime location. We had a beautiful one next to the front door. Poignantly it died the winter just before our partner left us. It’s taken a few years to grow a replacement but now she would be pleased again.

These days the replacement is in a large pot in the back garden. Now that’s my running is restricted to endless circuits of our little garden the tree forms a helpful obstacle to run round. On my last epic run I rather sadly counted how many times I passed the little tree. 213 times….. Yes I can count that far.

So according to the Rowan Tree and the daffodils it is Spring. Can someone tell the weather. It’s freezing. Even the bird bath is frozen every morning. This means the path is icy. That explains my latest fashion statement. My son looked at me with one of those Paddington Bear stares, shock his head and sighed.

Dad in most cases the human species has been evolving for millions of years. Clearly there are one or two exceptions to that.”

I had just finished my early morning workout and has decided to feed the birds. On my way to the bird table I slipped on the icy pavement. When I say slipped I mean a full ‘arse over tit’ moment. Most of the bird seed, bread crumbs, surplus rice and water landed on my very large head. It was a fetching look especially when it was merged with a white T-shirt and pink compression leggings.

Don’t you bloody love Spring.

While on the subject of Spring let’s seamlessly transition into our weekly fix of terrible poetry in the form of Chelsea Owens weekly challenge. This week Chelsea has set the following task

  1. The Topic is Springtime -or Autumntime if you’re South. You can haiku, limerick, free verse, acrostic, tanka, cinquain, sonnet
  2. Length is wholly dependent on the type of poem you write. If you go with an epic ballad, please cut things off before page 54.
  3. Rhyming also depends on your creation.
  4. The goal is to make it terrible. Mother Earth must rise from her seasonal slumber to smack you with an olive branch of peace.
  5. Keep the Rating at PG or cleaner.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (April 3) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

It’s Springtime in Yorkshire

The Sun is still on vacation

Still waiting for it to be a scorcher

Oh the pigging frustration

The path is covered in ice

And I’ve just landed on my bum

Now I’m wearing last nights rice

And I feel a right dumb dumb

The washing on the line is frozen rock solid

The gale force wind screams over the barren field

The weeds and broken branches makes it look so squalid

The poor garden birds hide in the bushes seeking any decent shield

So Springtime is here which means dust down the garden chair

Now I’m off inside to find my extra thick thermal underwear

Terrible Poetry

****No actual birthdays here warning****

One of the most memorable tips to come out over the last couple of months has been to wash your hands for 20 seconds. To help work out what 20 seconds is – wash while singing Happy Birthday to You. Never sung so many Happy Birthdays.

On the subject of Happy Birthdays it’s time for a bit of terrible poetry in the form of Chelsea Owens weekly challenge. This week she has set the following guidelines

  1. The Topic is birthdays. You all don’t know this, but March and April are our second Christmas around here. Even my birthday is this time of year.
    So, as a birthday gift to me, write a horrible parody of the classic song you sing for someone’s birthday.
  2. The Length will depend on the length of the song you honor.
  3. Songs usually rhyme, so I expect your poem will most likely rhyme as well.
  4. It’s my party, so make it terrible ’cause I want you to. You would cry, too, if I sang, “Happy Birthday to you.”
  5. I’ve got children listening! Keep the Rating a G.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (March 27) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday Dear

Happy Birthday to You

How many birthdays you have seen

So many decades since you were a teen

Happy Birthday Dear Has Been

Happy Birthday to me, now sod off and pour me a Jim Beam

**** it’s not my birthday for ages, so this is dedicated to all those of you like me who have entered the ‘have you seen my keys’ age.

Terrible Poetry

It’s time for this weeks bit of panic poetry in the form of Chelsea Owens weekly Terrible Poetry competition.

Here are the specifics for this week:

  1. Topic: Stockpiling against a worldwide disaster, in limerick form.
  2. Length: A limerick. They’re five lines: AABBA, in anapestic meter.
  3. Rhyming: Yes. In AABBA anapestic meter format.
  4. Make it terrible! Got it? Make it terrible!! The world’s ending, after all!
  5. Rating: PG-13. This is the perfect time to panic …poetically.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (March 20) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

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Shelves stripped bare including the Gluten free

Load your boot with every single last frozen pea

You can keep your 10 year supply of toilet roll

Fill your trolley with all the Chicken casserole

But keep your pigging hands off my Yorkshire Tea

Terrible Poetry

It’s time for a bit of terrible poetry thanks to the wonderful Chelsea Owens and her weekly competition. This week the game is a foot with the following modus operandi…

  1. The Topic is the cute (or ‘cute’) things that kids say. I’ll admit I’m more inspired by the parenthetical version after our dinner conversations lately. What is it with young children (perhaps just with boys) and potty humor? Do they really think meals are the best place to discuss vomit?
  2. We’re talking kids here, so the Length may be quite short (barely learning to talk) or quite long (talks your ear off about Minecraft).
    …Don’t make the judge suffer too much.
  3. Rhyming is optional, or entirely concerned with the word ‘fart.’
  4. It’s likely to not need much help in this department, but try to make it terrible. Make my young children giggle and start chanting lines from your poem whilst pointing at a brother in an insulting way.
  5. Kids sometimes say words they ought not to, but let’s keep the Rating an optimistic G.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (the 13th!) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

So here goes with the philosophy of our very own wise one. So many to go for yet so few will rhyme…

‘Apart from his girl like eye lashes, thankfully no sign of dad in me’

‘Of all the festive colours, my muppet Dad bought a black Christmas Tree’

On a packed French TGV ‘why does the food smell of wee’

To someone from Ireland ‘apart from the rain, wind and cold is it like Hawaii’

Shouting ‘he’s got rabies’ to a poor bearded man on a train

To a mum in the playground ‘my dad fancies someone called Shania Twain’

‘Dad it’s rude to say fart you need to call it a bottom burp’

‘My Dad is a muppet, funny but such a twerp’

‘I can’t eat that carrot, it looks like a willy’

‘That looks like sick’ the day school served chilli

To his nursery teacher ‘my dad let’s me watch Frankenstein’

‘My teacher broke a cup and said a funny word, what does FUCK mean’

**** important note ‘my dad let’s me watch Frankenstein’ actually means ‘my dad let’s me watch Scooby Doo which featured Frankenstein’.

Poets Society

The feeding zone has been active today with the usual characters. Yes the characters are making a mess of the lawn but it’s always so good to see them. We don’t get too many human visitors these days so who is going to notice the rugby pitch of a lawn and I don’t think non-human visitors are that fussed.

Another largely sleepless night. One short dream, a viewing of the stunning yet grim Everest movie and a bout of late night blog catchup. While reading a friends post a thought entered my zonked out brain. How many other souls are struggling with sleep currently. We really deserve our own secret club. Maybe the name should be The Dead Tired Poets Society. Dead Poets Society is a truly stunning movie. If we want to be selective we could be the Dead Tired Parents Society.

But why stop there. We could have so many subgroups.

For the financially challenged – The Dead Broke Poets Society,

For the puzzled amongst us – The Dead Confused Poets Society,

For the bad cooks – The Dead if you eat this cake Poets Society,

For those feeling happy – The Dead Chuffed Poets Society,

For those who can regenerate – The Deadpool Poets Society,

For the rubbish Fortnite players – The Dead in five seconds Poets Society,

For the rubbish negotiators – The Deadlock Poets Society,

For the strong amongst us – The Deadlift Poets Society,

For the gardeners amongst us – The Deadheading Poets Society,

For the Monty Python lovers – The Dead Parrot Poets Society,

And for the impassive people – The Deadpan Poets Society.

Today was another fun day. Fun but with son’s anxieties bubbling just beneath the surface. I have emailed school to tip them off but deep down I know they won’t do anything. The teachers won’t be informed and if they were – what would actually happen. Not much. I’m not sure how much training this group of teachers have had in dealing with anxiety. They certainly have had little specialised training in areas like dyslexia and autism. Maybe that’s why my first questions to the teachers tends to be

You do know he has Aspergers and you do know he has Dyslexia and you do know he has Dyspraxia.

The look I get back with the generally vague replies suggests either they don’t or they do but given the 1000 things they are dealing with this is never going to be a priority. So my parenting anxieties are mounting again. That’s why having fun is so important. It’s great for my son and it’s such a release for me. A release which is even more important when sleep fails you. Can you guess what tonight’s insomniac movie is. I’ve dropped enough clues.

Dead Poets Society.

Terrible Poetry Contest

Photo from Inside Croydon

It’s Thursday so it must be Terrible Poetry time thanks to Chelsea Owen. This weeks challenge is set out by Chelsea.

“I normally encourage entrants to follow basic rules; today, however, I’ve decided we need to bring back a type of poem that’s terrible for a reason other than cliché composition. I speak of the Little Willie poems.

Here are the specifics, copied from the last time we tried these:

  1. The Topic is to write a Little Willie poem. The name comes from a way of writing poetry that was popular in the early 1900s.
    From A Treasury of Laughter*:
    “Every paper began to print ‘ruthless rhymes,’ and every contributor tried to invent a catastrophe more gory in event and more nonchalant in effect than its predecessor. The favorite ‘hero’ was Willie, and although other characters sometimes crept into the quatrains, the terse lines became known as ‘Little Willies.’”
    I included three of the tamest examples at the end of this post.
  2. The Length is about four lines, a quatrain. Some were written as limericks or a double quatrain; but most were short, clever, and darkly humorous.
  3. Rhyming is imperative. These poems usually follow an A/A/B/B pattern.
  4. As I said, this week the poems are terrible because of their message. I expect darker tones, questionable humor, and stretches into creative venues writers never knew they had. If you’re sensitive, stay away. If you’re twisted, come on in.
  5. One might be tempted to up the Rating, but this is the sort of clever writing that makes readers uncomfortable but stays in the PG range.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (February 21) to submit a poem.”

********************

So here goes then

Poor little Willie lived in England but was an immigrant

Posh Boris didn’t like Willie so his deportation was imminent

But Willie worked in a Care Home looking after the sick

But Boris didn’t care because he’s such an uncaring slippery dick.

Terrible Poetry

It’s Thursday so it’s time for Chelsea Owens Terrible Poetry contest. This week the instructions are

Love is (still) in the air, for our 58th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest! -For nothing says “terrible” quite like the pain and embarrassment of our very first crushes.

That’s right! I’d like every one of you to remember your First Love. What did he or she look like, smell like, eat his/her boogers like? MOST IMPORTANTLY: if you were to write that person a poem, in exactly the advanced writing abilities you had at the time, what would that poem look like?

Specifically:

  1. The Topic is an awkward first poem to your awkward first crush.
  2. I don’t know how prosaic you were then, but I’ll assume the Length will be on the shorter side. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, like me, all of your poems took on the form Rose are red, Violets are blue…
  3. Rhyming? Maybe, maybe not. How poetic were you?
  4. Naturally, without trying, make it terrible. I want the younger version of you to read over your composition, sigh in romantic ecstasy, and imagine the love of your life rewarding your efforts with that elusive First Kiss.
  5. I’ll give Past You the benefit of the doubt and assume you’ll keep the Rating at PG or cleaner.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (February 14!) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

*****************

There’s a girl in my class so shy and so cute

She’s so clever as she can work out a cube root

She the star of athletics team and her name is Anita

Runs for the county as she is as fast as a Cheetah

One day at lunch she came over to talk

I fumbled my words and started to squawk

One hot summers day I found my voice and asked her out in the end

We became good pals but never lovers as she already had a lovely girlfriend

*****************

Unbelievably no reference to Boris or politics. Hopefully it’s terrible but it is based on real life. Anita was a good friend and lovely human being. Life wasn’t very kind to her. Sadly we lost touch years ago. Last time I heard she was living in a kibbutz in Israel. Hope your smiling Anita.

Dad are you cheating

Dad I hope your not cheating”

No son of course not”

Dad I saw you. You went outside with some bread and seed. You tried to get the birds in next doors garden to move into ours. You also went over to the tree on the road and you tried to tempt the birds onto our lawn”

Yes I did. I was desperate as it was the RSPB Garden Bird survey this weekend. You can only count birds that land in your garden. This weekend even our normal visitors were refusing to land. Yes I know no shame. I did go and try to tempt birds from next doors garden. Yes I did go underneath the trees to try and tempt birds into our garden. Those beaks and eyes looking down at me in the same disdainful way Hitchcock’s Birds looked upon their soon to be victims.

Eventually a few reluctant souls landed but none of the birds I had tried to tempt.

Came across a great poem from Tina (Pippi’s Poetry) that fitted perfectly with the bird count theme. Thanks Tina for letting me share it.

I’m trying to bee more English
As I take my afternoon tea
It’s the simple things that make life sweet
They are perfect gifts that make life complete.

I’m dreaming of an English landscape
Where daffodils seem to grow wild
And a yard is called a garden
As it was in the beginning–before the world went wild!

I’m imagining a pretty country home
Where sheep graze in distant fields
And bird counting is an annual event
For life is short, and joy it can steal.

So I’m trying to bee more English
As my mind buzzes with daffodil daydreams
And of a land I’ve never been nor seen
But for the views I’ve glimpsed through my t.v. screen.

Tina S.W.
January 26, 2020

The birds that did kindly consent to being in my garden count are regular visitors. They don’t bother flying off when we come out now. I know them better than most of the humans in the village. So far in 2020 I’ve spoken to one person from the village. Whisper it quietly I speak to these feathered characters everyday.

Tina in her wonderful poem spoke of the English landscape and daffodils. Today that landscape was cold, grey and bleak. But bleak is good some days.

It matched my mood. Walking through the village which once seemed so full of familiar faces and friends. Now it seems cold and full of strangers. A world I don’t fit anymore. Yet a few strides and I’m back in our garden. Amongst friends again. My world has shrunk but it’s still a world of beauty.

A welcoming party waiting for today’s food offerings.

Dad are you cheating again. I’m not falling for that one.”

Yes I was. Every year we watch the famous Kitzbuhel Skiing Downhill race on telly. Every year we play the who can spot The Terminator first game. The race crowd is full of famous people but the crowning glory is always Arnold Schwarzenegger. This time we recorded the race. My cheating plan was while Son was having a bath I would fast forward through the recording to try and spot him first. I was busted before I could find him. On the actual viewing I lost the game – yet again. Arnie always where’s a warm hat here. No wonder I couldn’t spot him on my fast forward cheat.

Just goes to show cheating doesn’t work.

Terrible Poetry

It’s time for of hopefully terrible poetry in the form of Chelsea Owens weekly competition. This week the rules are.

  1. The Topic is The Bleak Midwinter. Yes, I know some of you are not experiencing cold weather and do not feel bleak. Maybe come stare out my window for inspiration…
  2. Try for a Length of a standard 3-75.5 words.
  3. Rhyming is wholly up to you.
  4. Make it terrible. I want your poem to force travel agencies to contact your therapist to make appointments for themselves after reading it.
  5. Keep things PG or cleaner. It’s about the bleak midwinter, for heaven’s sake.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (January 17, 2020) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

************

Boy it’s bleeding bleak

Low chance of me doing a streak

Every day it rains

An everybody complains

Keep hoping for some snow

More chance of seeing Marilyn Monroe

In every lane and field

Dreaded mud congealed

Wind so strong

It blows over King Kong

No chance of seeing the sun

This is no bloody fun

Every day is exactly the same

Redonculous Boris that’s whose to blame