The Quinzaine

After my attempt at a cinquaine in a recent blog, I turn to another verse form, sounding rather similar but conforming to a different set of rules.

A Quinzaine is an un-rhymed verse of fifteen syllables. The word comes from the French word quinze, meaning fifteen. The syllables are distributed over three lines so that there are seven syllables in the first line, five in the second line, and three in the third line (7/5/3). The first line makes a statement. The next two lines ask a question relating to that statement. From: Wikipedia).

Below are 4 of my attempts at a quinzaine, each related to one of my own photographs 

Cardiff Waterfront

Look! The sun is coming out
Isn’t it home time?
Dog: Food time?

Watchet Harbourside, Somerset

I just shot an albatross
Does that mean bad luck?
Isn’t life short?

Funeral Urn – Churchyard, Surrey

Resting place for my ashes
Will I end up there?
Who can tell?

Stone Owl – Yorkshire

The owl is a wise old bird
Does a stone one count?
Can he hoot?

Just For A Joke

POOLE  is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is approximately 21 miles east of Dorchester, and adjoins Bournemouth to the east.  The town borders Sandbanks, a gorgeous beach backed by some of the world’s most expensive areas of real estate.  I came across this defaced Borough Council notice board when I visited Poole some years ago.  The Limericks followed . . .


Photograph … WHB – Poole Harbour – 2009 

Some Smart Alec just for a joke
At the burghers of Poole took a poke.
He committed a crime
By altering a sign,
Causing mayhem with these gentle folk.

When they took their dogs for a stroll
Their pets lost all sense of control
And without more ado
They started to poo
Not thinking to bring toilet rolls

When the Poole cops arrested the joker
He said, “I lost all playing poker.
I thought he wins who dares;
I had toilet roll shares.”
He turned out to be a stockbroker.


If you click on this link to the website you will find an interesting explanation of how the term Smart Alec was derived.


In The Doghouse

Kennels & Ightham Mote

Dog houses, or kennels, have been in existence for many thousands of years.  In fact dogs, both as pets and as working animals, were widely used in ancient Egypt since before 4000 B.C.   They were also at times revered as messengers of the gods. The earliest known dog houses in historical records were constructed by Egyptian nobles from baked mud in order to provide shelter and safety for their hounds.


Dogs were also an accepted part of other ancient civilisations.  The Chinese, the Greeks and the Romans are known to have held dogs in high esteem, and they were often considered as status symbols in these cultures.

I was prompted to mention this subject when I visited the moated medieval manor house of Ightham Mote (pronounced “item moat”).  The manor and gardens are near the village of Ightham, close to Sevenoaks in Kent, England.  The building and its gardens are owned by the National Trust.

It was there that I came across this small outhouse – the only Grade 1 listed dog kennel in the UK . . .IghthamMoteKennel





The building, constructed in the early 14th Century, has, unusually, retained most of its original features as, through the centuries since then, few changes have been made by its various owners.

There are many features of note both in and around the buildings. One  of these which caught both my eye and my imagination, was this ancient doorway, now surrounded by wild flowers.  My pen and ink wash is below . . .

ightham mote1a