Tag Archives: #LWG

The Silly Season is upon us.

The Silly Season is upon us.

a Liskeard Writers Group 10-Minute Exercise – Prompt 2: Fallacy.

We renamed the seasons – they had been called the same names for so long; Spring became ‘Bounty’, Summer became ‘Heat’, Winter was renamed ‘Cold’, and Autumn became ‘Time of the dropping leaves from the trees when the Earth sighs with relief at the time of Harvest. The Americans decided that this was Fallacy.

We decided to rename America as The Land of the Giants, they renamed Britain as Limeland.

Everybody else looked on from the sidelines as the silly-season began.

We thought about that and made up a fifth season – Silly.

Well, you would – wouldn’t you?

—//—

Vivaldi the XVIIth re-imagined his great, great, great, great x 4’s grandfather’s classical interpretation of the four seasons, adding in the fifth fo comical effect.

SFX: Daaaaaa-diddlie-op-de-de

fiddle-op-de-do-de-da-

and on it went.

—//—

Further to this…

the classic Italian pizza, the Quattro Formaggio, now included Cheesecake as the fifth section – there was a reaction of disbelief at first, but it was surprisingly popular, astonishing the world with it’s combination of flavours.

So, at least some good had come out of the Silly Season.

Advertisements

Prompt: William Blake Quotation

LWG prompt for 16-07-2019

Quote: “To see a world in a grain of sand

and a heaven in a wild flower,

hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”

by William Blake

I read the words, the understanding of which was not immediately apparent to me. Nor did their meaning become any clearer within days, weeks, months, long years – decades even.

I hadn’t spent every second of that time thinking upon the quote from William Blake, that would have been a strange career; but, I did return to perusing their meaning every once in a long and wearisome while.

None of the actual words were a problem to me, it was just their combination together that caused the headaches,

‘that flesh is heir to- ‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wish’d’,

as Hamlet once soliloquised.

Saying that, I really don’t know what it has to do with anything, never mind the aforementioned quotation.

And, saying that, a quotation is just that: something spoken once (or written down) and then discussed or argued over for years (Centuries even) to come.

I may have digressed – I do that. Sometimes, I just waffle on about something when I really should be focussed and keeping to the point of the whole contentious issue – such as that time when I was talking about the possible existence of life on Mars and then I rambled on about how the Marathon bar became the Snickers bar and how the Mars bar stayed the same – did you know that Wagon Wheels are exactly the same size as they used to be, even though popular opinion is that they were once larger, and are now smaller, than they were.

Returning to the William Blake quotation that I quoted earlier, if you remember – wasn’t it a corker? – I have to say that, if I had chosen a quote, I wouldn’t have chosen that one; but, as it ‘was’ chosen for me, I shall limit myself to commenting upon its merits, rather than discussing the dubious benefits of a different, and more popular quotation, that seems to be the wise thing to do at this moment in time, or ‘now’ as ‘this moment in time’ actually means.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. William Blake. 1757 to 1827 – approximately half an hour, to be imprecise, or seventy years in old money.

He wrote the quote. And was a bit of a pote, to boot.

He couldn’t give a hoot about owls; although he did consider the use of tea-towels to be a waste of new material – and so never ever mentioned them in his stand-up routines.

What he was saying in his quote – if you can still remember it – was that if you can, ‘see a world in a grain of sand’

and ‘a heaven in a wild flower,’

and, also ‘hold infinity in the palm of your hand’

along with ‘eternity in an hour.’

then that pretty much sums up the idea of something or other.

Which my saying of that should have helped you to understand the “interesting” quotation… as much as I do.

Yes?

No.

Well, to put it another way.

“To see a world in a grain of sand…”

Is to see great detail in a teensy-tiny, minute item – grain of sand, rice, split lentil or atom –

“… and a heaven in a wild flower,”

is to realise the wondrous beauty that there is in Nature.

“…hold infinity in the palm of your hand…”

is to see possibilities to the nth degree as available to you, for your perusal, at your leisure, so to speak.

“…and eternity in an hour.”

is saying that you can make a moment last a lifetime, and even beyond – in some cases, longer.

It is really no surprise that Stan from ‘On The Buses’ really hated Blakey.

And that vague 1970’s TV reference finishes my clear and well defined essay upon the words that which were given to us for us to do that which what where we would.

To be honest, I just can’t wait for the rest of the poem to be suggested as a prompt – and, BTW (by the way) can I just say here and now that I loved Blake’s 7 – his finest hour so far.

“Absent Friends!”

“Absent Friends!” – A Liskeard Writers Group prompt for a 15-minute exercise.

(LWG exercise 02-07-2019)

We gathered around the round table and took the register of names.

It was sad that every year the knights became fewer; this time Sir Lachrimae was absent (tears were shed for his loss) and Sir Hector de Maine was counted as being amongst the fallen at Caer Baden.

The spaces at the grand old table of Arthur were almost matching those places filled by the elderly knights.

That was another thing, there were three present that wouldn’t be lasting past Lammas-time, their ailing and failing bodies soon to succcumb to ‘la Morte’.

Arthur raised his chalice. The room hushed as the knights, standing strong around the circle, finished raising their armoured arms to place their own goblets to within a touch of their stubbled and bearded chins.

“Absent friends!” Quoth Arthur.

“Absent friends!” came the response from the room.

They drank, thinking of those who had taught them to bear arms, fought alongside them through quests and battles, and who had fallen in mortal conflict when their time to go had arrived.

It was soon after this meeting that many of the knights decided to go on individual quests in search of grails; to find saintly places lost to knowledge, or to take up hermit status in caves in the woods or the mountains.

The Holy realm of Logres was fading quickly and would soon become a legend that would inspire the hearts of many in the centuries and millennia to come.

Arthur, king, hero, knight of the round table, founder of Camelot, was to become the once and future king – if legends are to be trusted he will return at the time of England’s greatest need.

But, legends being what they are, he may never be seen by any, apart from in a few written documents and the many tales that were ignited by England’s need for a giant in history.

The legend is still growing, Camelot, Tintagel, Arthur’s Seat, Badon and Silbury Hills, Logres, Glastonbury, and the like have claimed his name throughout the centuries, and shall do so for many more.

Hic Jacet Arthurus. Here lies Arthur.

“Somewhere in Cornwall…”

“Somewhere in Cornwall…”

LWG Prompt for 02.07.2019

Somewhere in Cornwall; not a specific place; but, within the confines of the Tamar River, the English Channel, and the Atlantic Ocean; or, to be similarly imprecise, somewhere within the triangulation of Torpoint, Bude, Land’s End and back to Torpoint, to finish the scalene triangle – a distance of some… if not many… many miles, and an area of quite a few square, and even more triangular, miles.

Anyway, some might say, if they were that way inclined, ‘Anywhere in Cornwall’, as that is all that really matters; be it at any point along the almost three-hundred miles of coast (296.2 miles to be exact – at the last count), or inland, at one of the drier places; upon the moor; or stuck in a traffic jam upon the A30 or A38 on any Bank Holiday.

As long as you are within the previously mentioned boundaries, you are going to be okay.

As to ‘your’ particular choice of location, that would depend on your pre-existing favourites (for myself, Looe, the beautifully charming fishing town; Polperro – Porthpyra In Cornish, meaning Pyra’s Cove; The Minack Theatre, hewn from the rock by Rowena Cade; Tintagel – of Arthurian legend; or the like) and choosing one of them; or heading off for a different castle, out on the wiley, windy Moor of Bodmin, or one of the many other amazing places that Cornwall has to offer.

“That was an advertisement on behalf of the Cornish Tourist Board ‘Kernow a’gas dynergh!’ Welcome to Cornwall.”

However, somewhere in Cornwall, there is a place that only I know of.

And how is it that only I know of it?

Well, I shall tell you…

many years ago, I was wandering along a leafy lane, close to where I lived at that time, when I found an old stone cross at the side of the road. Not that unusual, you might think, Cornwall has numerous stone crosses; however, this ‘was’ unusual in that it had never been there before, yet it looked as if it had always been there.

Upon that cross were written the words – in Latin – that roughly translated as ‘One day in a million I shall appear, to show you the way, then I shall disappear.’ My Degree in Latin – although non-existent – has always been a help to me at those times when a roughly incorrect Latin translation is required.

Back to the message – ‘The way to what?’ you might ask. And, even if you don’t, I shall answer you thus, as if you had.

I don’t know. I was flummoxed and a little non-plussed, my nom-de-guerre had become all guerre-de-nom, if not with a little confusion added on the side.

I sought help – which is highly believable, if you know me – and found it in the shape of one Professor Tremaine Penholder – there not being two of him – a Cornish institution (such as the Cornish County Asylum at Bodmin) with a wealth of experience under his belt, and a pocket-knife, in his pocket.

He showed me his pocket-knife, but was rather blunt (as wqs his pocket-knife) about my lack of interest in it. Then he asked me what I knew about fourteenth century peasants – I admitted to knowing little, then after he questioned me upon what I knew, I admitted to knowing nothing apart from when they were likely to have been present in history – he was rather impressed with this and offered me his help with my Cornish Conundrum.

“Nine letters, you say?” he asked. I nodded.

“And we only have thirty seconds in which to decipher the hidden word?”

I nodded again.

“Okay!” he announced. “Let’s just do this!”

SFX Countdown Music

As the music started the strangely hidden word appeared and we stared at it.

Less than thirty seconds later we had it.

“GoonHavern!” We both shouted – we were wrong, GoonHavern has ten letters.

After a further week of due consideration we realised that the word wasn’t ‘Penzance’ or ‘Tintagel’ but ‘Merrymeet’.

[MEETMRRYE]

The riddle was solved.

Well, that one was.

We then turned back to our task of deciphering the meaning of the translated-into-English-Latin-message that we had received from the illusory cross.

Tremaine poured over some ancient texts – trying to see who was sending them to him; eventually, I persuaded him to put his phone away and get on with the job in hand.

We soon (also, eventually) realised that somewhere in Cornwall there was also a Brigadoon- type place that appeared once every two thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven years for the space of a day.

The cross was a marker. And we had missed the date of the appearance of Trebrigadoon.

“Oh, well, maybe next time.” said Tremaine calmly. “I shall put the date in my diary.”

So, somewhere in Cornwall, in two-thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven years time…

A Picture On The Wall

‘A Picture on the Wall’ LWG prompt for 19/03/2019

A picture

is not a permanent fixture;

whether it is upon a canvas

upon a wall,

or painted directly upon a surface;

The Last Supper

will not last forever

and may be renamed

The Lost Last Supper.

Pictures painting a thousand words

are not always exactly at a thousand – at least, that is my thought upon the phrase.

‘A picture can paint a lot of words’

may, technically, be more apt –

but less apposite.

“The Perpetual Calendar”

LWG 22/01/2019 prompt: “The Perpetual Calendar”

‘A very simple perpetual calendar consists of two cubes in a holder. One cube carries the numbers zero to five. The other bears the numbers 0, 1, 2, 6 (or 9 if inverted), 7 and 8. This is perpetual because only one and two may appear twice in a date and they are on both cubes.’

Having explained all that, let us move on to our little story.

Data Cat was unsure whether it was a Tuesday or not. It could have been. Or it quite easily have been one of the other numerous days available; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Yesterday, Today, Someotherday and so on.

Data Cat knew exactly the date, and the month, but not the day, and not the year – never the year.

Actually, Data Cat was often a day or, occasionally, a month behind, because he relied on the human to change the numbers and the words of Data Cat’s Perpetual Calendar.

And sometimes the human forgot.

Humans often forget, and elephants, who never forget, are simply unable to change the date due to their thumbs being slightly too large for the job.

Data Cat considered an idea that he had just thought of: what if there could be made a Perpetual Calendar that just told the day and the year?

An ideal companion for a date and month Perpetual Calendar!

Truth be known, Data Cat was a little lonely for one of his own kind; a Perpetual Calendar mate?

True, he did have Sergeant Salt and ‘Boxy’ to keep him company; but, they were not PC (in so many ways) and could not be the soul mate that Data Cat yearned for.

Another day passed.

Data Cat was a watchful cat – and that doesn’t mean that he was a cat full of watches, that would be silly.

He kept his eyes wide open as life continued to proceed before him.

Nothing escaped his attention.

There was another cat that shared his life, Rosie Cat; but, she never noticed him.

This also made Data Cat a little sad.

The days passed. The months changed in order. Life went on.

One Day – if could have been a Thursday – there was a knock upon the door: ‘Knock!’ but, nobody was around to answer that knock.

Then the doorbell rang: ‘Ring!’but, there was nobody around to answer that ring.

Then there was the sound of smashing glass: ‘Smash!’ and, as before, nobody was around to hear that sound.

Somebody had smashed the window in order to break into the house where Data Cat lived.

This was actually very silly, and a lot of wasted effort – never mind the damage caused – as the door wasn’t locked in the first place.

Data Cat stood silently and awaited the forthcoming events.

No days passed.

It was a matter of seconds.

The Burglar moved into the house, passing Data Cat, and into the lounge.

Data Cat noticed that the Burglar was dressed in a black and white striped shirt, black trousers, soft-soled shoes and had a black mask covering his eyes.

Data Cat didn’t notice the black beret that the burglar was wearing as the burglar wasn’t wearing one.

Luckily, Sergeant Salt was taking notes.

The burglar turned the place upside down – everything fell down on to the ceiling – and then the burglar decided that he wasn’t the sort of person that would tidy up after he had made a mess.

There was nothing of value to be found. Data Cat (now laying at a strange angle from where he could see up to the floor) whispered to Sergeant Salt: “He’s a messy tyke!”

To which comment Sergeant Salt heartily agreed: “He could do with a good stiff talking to.” was his reply. “If only I was six foot tall like my father.” Sergeant Salt, being only three inches tall, was in no position to apprehend the naughty burglar.

Data Cat noticed that all the numbers and months that he treasured so proudly had fallen to the ceiling and were now proclaiming that it was August, May or February the 91st – although whether it was a Thutsday or not was still unknown.

The burglar, a little miffed at finding nothing of any worth in the house, stole away.

Part of a day passed; midnight came and went; but Data Cat’s date didn’t change – as things stood, it wasn’t likely that that would happen for a while yet.

Data Cat, Boxy and Sergeant Salt just lay there on the ceiling, looking up at the floor, patiently awaiting the return of the Humans.

As to whether Data Cat found a Day and Year Perpetual Calendar to share his time… well, that is for another story

Prompt: Abacus #LWG

Prompt: Abacus #LWG – 10 Minute Writing Exercise

10-minute Exercise #2 – 04/12/2018

“So, if I push one along here that makes five. Then I have to push one of these along here to signify the five that I have, and push these five back here to the beginning.?”

“Yes. That is correct. You now have the basis for a far-reaching knowledge of Mathematics. When you become the 13th Emperor of the Ting Dynasty you shall be able to add to your wisdom and to the happiness of your subjects through being able to add, subtract, divide and multiply numbers.”

“Is this all that I need? A knowledge of numbers?”

“You will also need to know how to treat your subjects. Be a benefactor and not a tyrant – bring prosperity to all and not just some.”

“And these people here who perform the part of a human abacus… are they not worthy too?”

“They are the subjects of our enemies – they have been treated kindly and given jobs. Some are Abacusians like these, others man the human table-football games; and yet others are models for our Terracota army.”

“Have we a need for an army?”

“It is a Terracotta one. It’s hardly going to be much use in a battle.”

“True. So what is the point of it?”

“We do have rather a lot of Terracotta that we didn’t know what to do with.”

“Figures.”

“Indeed. So, let us get back to our sums, Little Master. We move one across here and that makes…?”