BREXIT ???

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Euro? … EU? …  Eee You?
Let us hear your point of view 
You know, don’t you? . Last of the few.
Brexit ? …  Brexin ?  …  Brexout ? 
Let’s shake dem votes about. 

 

We’ll do the 
‘Yes Sir – No Sir’
In, Sir… Out, Sir
I say – you say
We’ll pay – they’ll pay 
Good deal – Bad deal
Some deal – No deal

So then, why not? 
Let’s vote again
As we did that summer
Yes, let’s vote again
As we did that year
Just remember when
We were younger then
Make us think again
All might not be in vain
(Though if we abstain
Will that dull the pain?) 

People’s Vote or Final Say?
Junker or Teresa May?
Talk of Backstops and red lines
A hundred thousand million times
Border hard or border soft
Must keep the Euro flag aloft
(Mine’s the Union, Jack!) 

Yes, let’s vote again
‘Cos that’s Democracy –
And we do like to vote
For that’s Bureaucracy
Then maybe let’s do it yet again
Long live Hypocrisy
So that Government
of the people,
by the people,
for the people,
Will be given birth
And shall not perish from the Earth.

Yes, that’s what it’s all about!

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The Vagrant

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The Vagrant – WHB …  Pen & Sepia Wash

The Vagrant

Trapped in this
The world’s darkness
Imprisoned with the dead
Penned in this penitentiary
Another life I’ve led

A world unknown surrounds me
And never will unfold
For life exists without me
On such a slender thread I hold

Existence is my penance
My lot
The cross I wear
Nor health
Nor sickness please me
And who is there to care

Caged in perpetuity
Circumscribed by wire
Fettered by well meaning
Yet situation dire

Leave me here to rot
While no one waits my ending
No one guards my cradle
Situation pending

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The Wheel Bed

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Tyring Platform or Wheel Bed

The Wheel Bed

The wood-burn tang remains,
purpose chosen
elm, oak and ash,
a pungent memory
burnt into my history;
childhood re-visited.

Metal rim fired,
it’s molten circle
beaten into flaky orange ring,
before,
from the flaming furnace, 
tongs at arms’ length, 
cast iron wrought and shaped, 
the new cart wheel
boldly borne
to the fitting-bed, 
its iron collar
to be burnt into place.

 
Then, 
ice cold water on fiery iron
sizzles, 
splash and spurt, 
heat relayed and remembered, 
felt and smelt, 
rooted in my molten memories.

Cold contracted, 
cooled into the tightest of fits, 
road ready, 
task worthy, 
winter prepared
and good to go. 

Another hole in the farmer’s pocket;
Another meal for the smith’s family;
Another tick of my life’s clock.

The vital wheels of forever – 
wood, iron, fire, water,
turning, as cogs
dependent each on each,
as carter, wheelwright, smith, farmer, 
primitive, elemental, 
part of my story
… and of me.

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Those who are familiar with my previous writing may recall my upbringing as the son of the village blacksmith. As such, I often watched my father, with hammer on anvil, create both large and small tyres of heated iron. I would look on in awe as, on a huge shaped ring of thick iron, the wheel-bed or platform, the iron tyre would be burned on to the wooden rim of a cartwheel, allowing the contraction of the iron on cooling to bind the wheel to the wood of the wheelwright’s frame.  Few such iron-wheeled carts remain in use.

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PC or Not-PC?

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“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.”

From Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ – Act III, Scene I..

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Thoughts on Seeing, Fleeing and Being Politically Correct

( Pace tua Wm. Shakespeare ) 

 

To see, or not to see: that is the question : Whether’ tis wiser to look it full in the face, or, to turn that blind eye, which is the kiss of ineptitude, and by ignoring, forget them.

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question : Whether’ tis safer to meet with danger face to face, or, to turn and run, and by escaping, live to flee another day.

PC or non-Pc: that is the question: Whether ’tis better in the end to put up with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion, or to take umbrage against such hubble-bubble, and by exposing suspend them. 

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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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Maldon & the Thames Sailing Barge

[ Photo Gallery # 91 ]

Thames Sailing Barges

Maldon is a town on the Blackwater estuary in Essex, England.   Cruises can now be undertaken from here on the traditional Thames Sailing Barges.  During the 17th and 18th centuries Thames Sailing Barges played an important role in ferrying cargo to and from ships to the London wharves. The very first barges were different from those we see today and lacked the distinctive sails which were introduced over time. Such craft  came in a variety of sizes that could carry from 100 tonnes, (river barges) to 300 tonnes (large coasters) to suit a range of needs.

The flat-bottomed barges with a shallow draught were perfectly adapted to the Thames Estuary, with its shallow waters and narrow tributary rivers. The larger barges were seaworthy vessels, and were the largest sailing vessel that could be handled by just two men.

The cargoes carried by these boats varied enormously – bricks, cement, rubbish, hay, coal, sand, grain and gunpowder. Timber, bricks and hay were stacked on the deck, while cement and grain was carried loose in the hold. They could sail low in the water, even with their gunwales beneath the surface.

They sailed the Medway and Thames in a ponderous way for two-hundred years; then in the 1860s a series of barge races were started, and the barges’ design improved as vessels were built with better lines in order to win. The Thames barge races are the world’s second oldest sailing competition, second to the America’s Cup.  At the time of World War 2 these Thames Sailing Barges played a vital part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk, their shallow-bottoms proving excellent for this purpose.

 

 

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust, which owns such boats, operates some of their boats from Maldon and offers the opportunity to sail to various locations around the Thames Estuary,  and also to take part in competition with other barges in the various barge matches arranged throughout the sailing season.

The photographs below, except the first and the last, were taken by me on a visit to Maldon in 2005.

[  My notes above are based on information from a variety of sources ]

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Map of the Thames estuary and the Essex coastline

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Maldon02 (2)

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Maldon02 (7)

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Thames Sailing Barge in full sail

 

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Snowflake News

snowflake

SNOWFLAKE NEWS

Yes,
perhaps it was a mistake, 
But, Oh,
For heaven’s sake,
Did you never fake
An ache
That kept you wide awake
Until you just had to take
A break …
Generation Snowflake.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Snowflake

Art On The Rack

ART ON THE RACK


tall and slender
thin and lean
what do such racked
such skeletal
figures mean

imagination extended
perception broadened
brought to brush and canvas
stone and chisel
bronze and rasp
unique reality
given expression
in the artist’s eye
and distorted vision

el greco
modigliani
giacometti
parmagianino

artistic differences
paralleled
in paint and bronze

fashion’s fad
now continued
on the catwalk

do my eyes
deceive me
with beauty
in the eye of the bewildered
creating
or perhaps following
fashion

emaciated
underfed
and stretched out models
tapered
taut
and elongated
in the artist’s vision

paraded to their public
asked to accept
an interpretation
allowing retrieval
of a larger truth

thus to become
stricken and striated
darlings
of a new generation

fêted now
as great and good
but fated still
to be misunderstood

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The images at the top are, from left to right  . . .
El Greco:  ‘St.John The Baptist’ – c.1600; Oil on Canvas
Giacometti:  ‘Walking Man’ – 1960; Bronze
Modigliani: ‘Lunia Czechowska in Black’ – 1919; Oil on canvas
Parmagianino: ‘Madonna With Long Neck’
The bottom picture is of ‘Catwalk models’ – from Pinterest.

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‘Do You Know These People?’ – Five CLERIHEWS

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Five CLERIHEWS

Johann Sebastian Bach
Played his spinet in the park …
Till the ‘St Matthew Passion’ 
Went out of fashion.

Teresa May
Will still have her say,
When Brexit is over
She’ll barricade Dover.

That man, Donald Trump,
makes journalists jump,
But his late night tweet
Is their bread and meat.

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Was so very clever;
When he composed ‘Phantom’
He made ugly men handsome.

Kim Jong Un
Is full of fun,
But his braggadocio
Will end in atrocious woe.

[ . . .  WELL – you try to find a feminine rhyme for ‘braggadocio’  …   No, I won’t allow Pinocchio … or Tokyo ]

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NOTE:   A CLERIHEW is a whimsical, four-line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley.  The first line is normally the name of the poem’s subject, usually a famous person put in an absurd light, or revealing something unknown or spurious about them. The rhyme scheme is AABB, and the rhymes are often forced.  (Wikipedia)

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Let Life Happen: A Vagrant’s Charter

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‘The Vagrant’ – Pen & Ink sketch: WHB 2017

 

Let Life Happen:
A Vagrant’s Charter

Give in
Let life happen
Don’t resist
or make a move towards it
Opt out
Disengage
Let It approach you
and when it does
stand your ground
Wait
Don’t even think
of reacting
for if you do
then you will be committed
bound to your response
compelled to decision
confirmed in participation
in life
slave to
yes and no
and thus to become
established
fed to the mould
Another
one of them
A shackled soul
… A human being

 

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