About Roland's Ragbag

Long retired; Expatriate Tyke; Eclectic; Not-So-Grumpy Old Man.

In–Sects

shallow focus photography of couple ants holding book figurine

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In–Sects

 I started my hobby when 60 years old
I’d left it a bit late I know 
An interest in ladies I soon found out 
Well it gave me somewhere to go

Nothing afraid
I cashed life’s cheques
Every second a buzz
Nothing complex
At simple sex
Never afraid
I plied my trade

Until one day
A well-heeled lady
Enticed me with her laugh
Her chequebook too
Rang loud and true
I fell for her autograph

But then one day
I chanced to say
I was interested in sex
A hobby I wished to follow

But suddenly
Her demeanour changed
She said she was disgusted
And I was maladjusted
Of all the things that she objects 
She said the worst was insects

I tried to make her understand 
A spider with eight hairy legs
Was not my idea of fun
Too late, too late,
She’d upped and left
I was perplexed
I should have guessed
Insects ARE worse than sex

 

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Cadiz

 [ Photo Gallery # 93 ]

Cadiz – Spain

Cádiz is a city and port in south-western Spain. It is the capital of the Province of Cádiz, one of eight which make up the autonomous community of Andalusia.  In my Photo Gallery today I include just a selection of the photographs which I took whilst wandering around the city on a visit there in 2006.

There are narrow streets, beautiful tree-lined plazas, a magnificent seafront promenade adorned with wonderful fountains, paved with colourful majolica tiles, and surrounded by a variety of trees and flowers.  Alameda Apodaca is a beautiful spot in the city of Cadiz, ideal for a stroll and to cool down on hot summer days.  It is a broad avenue with cobbled streets, and a variety of cobblestones and majolica tiles forming geometrical designs.

 

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View of the city from the sea with Cadiz Cathedral dominating the skyline

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Monument of the Spanish Constitution (approved in 1812)

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Blossoming Jacaranda tree

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Arbol del Mora, giant Moreton Bay Fig Trees (Ficus macrophylla) planted around 1900

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Fountain and tiled majolica paving in the Alameda Apodaca

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In Park Genoves

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In the amazing Park Genoves, a botanical wonderland filled with over 100 species of trees and shrubs

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 On one of Cadiz beaches, below the statue bust of Paco Alba, composer and creator of the  Carnival comparsa of Cádiz.

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A Cadiz Roofscape

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Cadiz street entertainment

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Sea, Sun, and Hills

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Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

THREE  HAIKU

 

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The Sea

The sea in its strength
Thrusts its breakers to the shore
Stressing my weakness

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The Sun

The morning sun rose
Feeding life into darkness
Renewing with hope

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The Hills

The hills are my strength
Confirming Nature’s promise
That tomorrow lives

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I Remember

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Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

I REMEMBER

 

 So well I remember, 
Can I forget 
Those long summer days 
When you and I met? 

The moors were in heather 
And I was in haste; 
My heart it was yearning
Your lips to taste.

But you were indifferent,
Your eyes were elsewhere,
Oblivious to me
And life wasn’t fair.

So I buried my pride,
Gave in to sorrow. 
I’d learnt a hard lesson,
There was always tomorrow. 

Now that day it has come 
And we’ve met up again. 
You express your regret 
For the ache, for the pain. 

But I can’t now rekindle 
Those feelings I had. 
Time has taken its toll,
Our story is sad. 

 

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‘This Is Just To Say’ – William Carlos Williams

[  # 87 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Q. When is a mundane note not just a mundane note?
Q. When is a mundane note a poem?
Q. When is a scribbled note stuck on the fridge door to your wife a poem?

A. When William Carlos Williams writes it – as he did here, as long ago as 1934, when it suddenly  became, in 21st century jargon, ‘viral’.

The more times I read the poem below, the more I am able to see the depth in it.
Contentment in a relationship, acceptance, ease, familiarity, intimacy and even love are all here.

Note how pointedly the title becomes the first line . . .

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sliced fruits on pink ceramic plate

Photo on Pexels.com

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

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The effect of this poem may be enhanced by watching and listening to this YouTube video in which Matthew Macfadyen reads the poem ‘This Is Just To Say’

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WCWilliams

William Carlos Williams ( 1883 – 1963 ) had an English father and a Puerto Rican mother.  He grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey.   He was an American poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright. He was also a physician practising both paediatrics and general medicine.  With Ezra Pound and H.D.Williams he was a leading poet of the Imagist movement and often wrote of American subjects and themes. He became an inspiration to the Beat generation in the 1950s and 60s.  As in the poem above, his poetry was often domestic in focus and was described as “remarkable for its empathy, sympathy, its muscular and emotional identification with its subjects.”

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Fever Pitch

summer

Photo provided by Pexels

FEVER PITCH

 

I was at fever pitch with fervour
Full of fire, desire and lust,
Expectant, hopeful and excited,
Self-contained, but only just.

Summer came, I was excited,
An end to rain and wind and snow;
Warmer weather does delight me,
I’m a sun-child, that I know.

But now the summer has arrived
I’m pleading that it will not last.
I’ve had enough of sweaty T-shirts,
Hoping it will soon have passed.

Hot and bothered by the weather,
Aching for a cooling breeze.
Can’t bear this heatwave any longer,
Send me wind and rain now please.

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North Yorkshire Moors National Park

[ Photo Gallery # 92 ]

It is the area where I spent my youth and which will for ever be close to my (now southern) heart.  I have shown my photographs, taken over the many times I have revisited, in previous blogs.  The ones below were taken on a motoring tour of this delightful high moorland area in 2005.

The North York Moors is a national park in North Yorkshire, England, containing one of the largest expanses of  heather moorland in the United Kingdom. It covers an area of 554 sq miles (1,430 km2).  The area became a national park in 1952.

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Ralph Cross on Westerdale Moor

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The Lion Inn on remote Blakey Ridge is a 16th Century establishment located at the highest point of the North York Moors National Park.  It stands at an elevation of 1,325 feet and offers breathtaking views over the valleys of Rosedale and Farndale.

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The Lion Inn, Blakey Ridge

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Long before ‘Heartbeat’ and TV fame, the tumbling waterfall of Mallyan Spout helped put Goathland on the map as a tourist village in the nineteenth century. 

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The waters of West Beck into which Mallyan Spout tumbles.

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Grosmont Station is home to the operating and engineering world of the NYM Railway. Here you will find the engine sheds where the steam and diesel locomotives are maintained and restored.

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Yes, steam trains – in all their glory!

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This bracing moorland village has attracted visitors since the 19th century, but numbers soared following its appearance (as ‘Aidensfield’) in the television series ‘Heartbeat’ and its role in the ‘Harry Potter’ films.

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Trains passing at Goathland (‘Aidensfield’) Station

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A view from the NYM Railway, of the pyramid shape of the Fylingdales Royal Air Force station on Snod Hill in the North York Moors. It is a radar base and is also part of the National  Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.

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The Rydale Open-air Folk museum can be found in the beautiful village of Hutton-le-Hole, in the heart of the North York Moors National Park.  The museum offers a unique glimpse of the past, with collections housed in 20 historic buildings depicting rural local life from Iron Age to 1950s.

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Some of the cottages at the Rydale Folk Open-air museum

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‘Willy-Nilly’ – Reduplication

[ Wednesday Replay # 4 ] 

[  First posted on January 23, 2017  ]

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reduplication

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Definition of reduplication in English …

Reduplication in linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change.  (From: Wikipedia)

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My word-play attempt (I’ve called it, quite arbitrarily, ‘Willy-Nilly’) at composing  a few Nonsense Verses to link together – however tenuously – a number of the very many examples of reduplication in the English language.

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My latest knick-knack
Is a handy-dandy
Criss-cross
Walkie-talkie,
With Wi-Fi;
Better than snail-mail,
It creates a real hubbub
And gives me the harum-scarum
Heebie-jeebies;
But here goes, willy-nilly.

I’m an arty-farty
Culture vulture
I’m not hoity toity
Nor am I a toy-boy;
I love the pell-mell
Hurly-burly
And I don’t shilly-shally;
But I’m really so easy-peasy.
Okey-dokey?

So, let’s hob-nob
And chit-chat;
While the tick-tock
Turns topsy-turvy
And goes ding-dong
And ding-a-ling
We can talk clap-trap. 

Don’t be namby-pamby
Keep the bric-a-brac
Ship-shape
And we’ll have tip-top
Tittle-tattle;
No wishy-washy
Fiddle-faddle.

No ping-pong
No higgledy-piggledy
Ding-dongs,
No tom-toms
On the helter-skelter,
Just ship-shape
Pitter-patter
On the see-saw.

So Jeepers-creepers,
Let’s do the hokey-cokey,
The hip-hop
The hootchy-cootchy
and the boogie-woogie.

Let’s be goody-goody
And super-dooper;
Don’t dilly-dally
Let’s get lovey-dovey
And enjoy a little hanky-panky.

I’m not a nit-wit
Nor a bit ga-ga,
Well, maybe itsy-bitsy;
I do yada-yada
And  blah-blah,
But just a teeny-weeny bit.

Now cut the mumbo-jumbo
Get to the nitty-gritty.
When we pow-wow
With the fender-benders,
And have a happy-clappy
Sing-song
A razzmatazz
On the hurdy-gurdy
Wearing flip-flops;
What a mish-mash
And a hodge-podge,
But still mumbo-jumbo
And hocus-pocus.

I can Zig-zag
And razzle-dazzle
With the bee’s-knees
And in the hurly-burly
Cause double-trouble,
‘Cos I’m just an old fuddy-duddy.

So-so,
Night-night!
Bye-bye!
Ta-ta!
Must chop-chop!
I’m off to a chick-flick –
Called La-La Land,
To listen to more flim-flam.

 

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Bed-side Blues

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“Life is like a half-sucked sweet –
Not what it used to be.”

 

What A Sucker

She brought me gifts to soothe my hurt;
She meant well I suppose,
As in this clinic bed I lay
Attempting just to doze.

She tiptoed gently to my side, 
Pretending not to wake me;
Whispering then into my ear
She raised my spirits greatly.

“Just a few nuts, you’re bound to like,
They’ll help to make you well. 
A peanut a day is good they say,
I don’t know how they tell.

The sickly coating’s not so good, 
So to help you with that cough
I’ve licked them till there’s just the nut
And sucked the chocolate off.” 

 

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Kurt Vonnegut – ‘Two Little Good Girls’

[  # 86 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Known primarily as a novelist, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was an American writer. He published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, published in(1969.

I do like this short poem of his which I came across only recently.  Apparently it was never given a title by Vonnegut and was discovered in a letter of 1961 sent by him to a friend.  It has a delightfully simple and artless warmth which engenders such good feeling and optimism.

 

Two little good girls
Watchful and wise —
Clever little hands
And big kind eyes —
Look for signs that the world is good,
Comport themselves as good folk should.
They wonder at a father
Who is sad and funny strong,
And they wonder at a mother
Like a childhood song.
And what, and what
Do the two think of?
Of the sun
And the moon
And the earth
And love.

 

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