Sacrilege

Grace looks back at her best ever holiday to a country everyone regards as special, but reminds us how easy it is to let hate flourish.

Anecdotage

NZ Queenstown

We travelled to New Zealand in the autumn of 2011 when the Rugby World Cup was scheduled to be held there. This was to be our retirement treat-a three month stonker of a trip that also encompassed Australia [where I have cousins] and a small add-on of a stay in Hong Kong on the way home.

The thrill of such an enormous piece of travel was tempered, initially by having our flight from Heathrow cancelled by Quantas for no reason we could discern. This meant that our onward flights from Brisbane were scuppered, messing up our arrival to Christchurch, New Zealand and losing us a night of accommodation.

2011 was also the year of Christchurch’s catastrophic earthquake, which was heartbreaking in itself, besides disrupting the Rugby matches and venues involved.

After a tortuous and exhausting series of flights we arrived to Christchurch’s small airport. In the arrivals hall we staggered…

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Sunshine Blogger Award 4

Popsicle Society was one of the bloggers I nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Enjoy reading her answers and find out more.

Popsicle Society

I’m very grateful to Janet from Times and Tides of a Beachwriter for this Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank you Janet 😊

I have discovered Janet recently and I’m glad I did it. If you don’t know her yet, she has four novels and four collections of short fiction published on Amazing Kindle, go visit her blog now and you won’t be disappointed.

The Rules

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.

Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions – or cheat and use the same questions 🙂

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Janet’s questions

1.Tell us three things about the place and country where you live…

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SUNSHINE Blogger Award #2

Kevin is first off the starting block of the bloggers I nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Read his answers to my eleven questions.

Kevin Parish

sunshine blogger award

Thank you so much, Janet, for nominating me for this award. Please see Janet’s works here. She is a gifted and published novelist who has been writing “furiously” for over a decade.

The Rules…

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.

🙂

Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions – or cheat and use the same questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Janet’s Questions

1.Tell us three things about the place and country where you live now.

I live in West Lafayette, Indaian, USA. Purdue University is here and has produced more astronauts than any other university. They are are top Engineering school and this…

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Sunshine Blogger – 2

sunshine blogger award

Carol at Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/ has kindly nominated me for Sunshine blogger Award.

Visit Carol’s blog for plenty of sunshine, good food, healthy living and fun.

The Rules….Well, there are always rules are there not?

Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and make a link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.

Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award, and then write them 11 new questions – or cheat and use the same questions 🙂

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog

Here are Carol’s questions  and my answers.

  1. Marmite or Vegemite…Think carefully…lol 

Both, I liked Vegemite when we lived in Australia, I love Marmite ( spread thinly ! ) on toast when I’m in the mood.

2. If you were stranded on a desert island what two books and 3 music albums would you take and why?

This had me stumped. Not very original, but I think I should take the complete works of Shakespeare; I certainly haven’t read all he wrote, all life is there and it would take a long time to read, so I wouldn’t be bored while waiting for rescue. And for something light, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome, an hilarious trip down the Thames in an age I romantically think I would enjoy; it would also remind me of where I was born and many other happy times by the Thames. Albums even harder, I love so much music of all sorts I would probably get fed up with just three.

3. What or who scares you the most and why?

Fire; it can pop up anywhere caused by terrorists, war, accident or nature.

4. If you could choose who would be your next door neighbour …Who would it be and why?

My sister. We live on opposite sides of the world, too far. I’m sure we would both prefer not to actually live in the same house, but we could pop in and out and look after each other’s gardens and dogs. I haven’t got a dog, but if my sister lived next door I would get one.

5. Having a dinner party? Who would be your 8 guests dead or alive, famous or infamous and why?

A bit worrying that I had to think about this… out of all the billions of people in the world, but after a few days I came up with some possibilities. Greaves, my favourite character in my trilogy. He strolled into the first book uninvited, nameless and ended up writing his own story for the second; he is kind, wise but vulnerable and has experienced  a very different life that I want to hear all about. I love listening to the radio and a varied selection of some of my favourite presenters will make this a dinner party to remember; Michael Ball on BBC Radio 2 has a lovely speaking voice, Brian Cox on Radio Four is enthusiastic about science and would love answering impossible universal questions. Woman’s Hour has accompanied me through life since I was pregnant the first time and the presenters feel like friends, so we’ll have Jenni Murray, Jane Garvey and Lauren Laverne who presents Late Night Woman’s Hour and is at present hosting Desert Island Discs, voted greatest radio show of all time, one of my earliest memories – it has been going since 1942 and is still inspiring questions for bloggers! I must invite my sister, she wouldn’t want to miss this dinner party and Greaves is one of her favourites. Now my eighth guest… I thought why not, why not invite Jesus. What would he really be like, would the other guests even recognise him?

6. Chillies do you love them or hate them?

Hate, I don’t do HOT

7. Would you change anything about your blog and what would it be?

I would have animations and me as a cartoon.

8. Your three favourite foods ...

 Cheese, rice, roasted red peppers

9. Cats or Dogs?

Dogs – see above

10. What is your pet hate? Mine is.. I cannot stand anyone digging at the butter.. scrape it nicely…

Litter Bugs of any sort.

11. Which of your blog posts is representative of you? Please add a link.

I hadn’t realised I wrote this over two years ago.

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/opting-out/

 

Here are the bloggers I have nominated, people I follow regularly or who I have just discovered. Will they  like the challenge or enjoy a bit of fun? No pressure, have a go at some or all of the questions, if you have the time or feel in the mood. Anyone else who wants to have a go is welcome.

https://gracelessageing.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/bajan-escape/

https://rachelmankowitz.com/2019/02/23/snow-and-a-haircut/

https://crowonthewire.com/2019/03/05/cupcakes-by-mark-tulin-friday-flash-fiction/

https://whatwordsmaycome.com/2019/03/07/splinter-15-minute-fiction/

https://thestoriesinbetween.com/2019/03/06/a-little-longer/

https://popsiclesociety.com/2019/03/07/dont-think-too-much/

My Questions

1.Tell us three things about the place and country where you live now.

2.Can you name a teacher you remember for their influence or words of wisdom?

3.Have you been to a school reunion, if so were you glad you went?

4.If money or rarity were not problems, what would you like for your next birthday present?

5.If you were stranded on a desert island with nothing and let’s face it, if you were shipwrecked you are not likely to have your favourite books etc. Would you rather have any person with you or be alone?

6.If you were offered a part as an extra in a film, what would you like to be?

7.If reincarnation is true, who or what would you be next time?

8. What is your favourite mode of transport?

9.City, suburbs or rural retreat?

10.What is your idea of a dream night out?

11. When you are buying birthday cards do you choose flowery or funny ?

 

 

 

Friday Flash Fiction – Reach for The Stars

 ‘Why have you waited till bedtime to announce you have to present a project on infinity tomorrow? When did the teacher tell you about it?’

‘I can’t remember, it might have been at the beginning of time, or was it Tuesday, but does time have a beginning?’

Sometimes Helen wondered if her son had been here before, he didn’t seem to be like other eight year olds, but then she hadn’t had an eight year old before, or a younger brother, though she did recall being eight and thinking all the boys in her class were stupid.

Sebastian was in the enrichment group at school and the teacher had taken the project to heart; perhaps he was running out of ideas to challenge the half dozen children, who were not allowed to be called clever or cleverer, but had extra interests. Helen’s scientific knowledge was confined to listening to programmes on Radio Four such as the Infinite Monkey Cage, but she had gathered enough to know that even scientists freaked out at the thought of infinity. They could cope with the thought of the edge of the observable universe being forty six and a half billion light years away, but not with the uncertainty of infinity. Sebastian’s Dad was night shift at the soap factory, so it was no use waiting till he got home to help them.

Instead of a bedtime story she tucked Seb in and they Googled infinity on her smart phone.

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Mr. Struthers was hoping for great things from his group, especially Sebastian, as he was hoping to get material for his blog Help, my Child’s a Genius.

Sebastian stood in front of the class.

‘The good thing about infinity is you can write endlessly about it and you can’t get it wrong as nobody understands it, including my teacher. But I do understand the universe as my mum helped me last night. Professor Stephen Hawking said the universe is growing, therefore at one time it must have been smaller and long ago so small it was nothing, one minute it was nothing and the next minute there was a big bang. But theory two, I’m not sure if this was mine or Mummy’s idea, if the universe is infinite it will go on forever so it must have always been here forever.

But how big is infinity? The edge of the universe we can see with a big telescope is 46.5 billion light years away, but we can’t see if there is an edge to it or what is outside it and that makes us go all shivery. But the third theory which I think my mum got off the radio is supposing the universe curved round on itself, then it wouldn’t have an edge and maybe it wouldn’t be infinite.

And that would probably mean time goes in a circle and if we crossed the circle with a diameter, or crossed a small part with a chord we would be in a different time, so that means time travel could be possible. I think grown ups do time travel because they are always saying things like I don’t know where the time has gone. The other possibility is that time is an illusion and that’s how magicians do magic.

The other thing I discovered, though Mr. Strutthers didn’t ask us to do this, there’s lots of space between atoms and inside atoms; if you took all the empty space in the atoms that make up a human being, I would be a lot smaller than a grain of salt. If you removed all the empty space from the atoms that make up all the humans on the planet, we could all fit inside an apple. If we remove the spaces between and inside all the atoms in the solar system it could fit it inside a thimble, though I’m not sure what a thimble is. But it means the rest of the universe is not that big after all, it just has lots of space in it.’

‘Well done Sebastian’ said Mr. Strutthers ‘and you said it all off by heart. Have you written it down to hand in?’

‘Not on paper, but it is written on the blog Mummy and I just started.’

 

Thoughtless Thursday – the antidote to Valentine’s Day

Forgotten it’s Valentine’s Day, can’t be bothered with all the hype? All you need is scissors and glue and old greeting cards to cut up. Make your own card then copy these verses. No need to buy a gift as it will be obvious from the words of the poem that the loved one won’t be expecting any.

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I never buy you flowers in a bunch,

Or your favourite box of chocolates to munch,

I always forget to take you to lunch.

 

But you don’t need those things to know

You’re the one to whom I go

When my heart is full of woe.

 

I never tell you how much I care.

To make up poems I do not dare.

Expressions of emotion are rare.

 

So I made this card

To explain how hard

It is to say I love you.

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Into Infinity

Writing about infinity presents endless possibilities. Most of my scientific understanding comes from listening to BBC Radio Four while doing the housework or cooking. The Infinite Monkey Cage is a programme combining comedy and science which I can understand, then there was the serialisation of Professor Stephen Hawking’s last book Brief Answers to Big Questions; if I didn’t take that all in I blame it on domestic interruptions or a noisy washing machine.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00snr0w

Here is my handy guide to the universe. I think Stephen Hawking said the universe is growing, therefore at one time it must have been smaller and long ago so small it was nothing; one minute it was nothing and the next minute there was a big bang. I prefer my theory that if the universe is infinite it will go on forever, so it must have always been here forever.

But how big is infinity? The edge of the observable universe is 46.5 billion light years away, but we can’t see if there is an edge to it or work out how much more of it there is. Apparently even clever scientists, who can cope with the thought of billions of light years, still find infinity a bit creepy. They are no different to young children ( or was that just me? ) who ask ‘Who made the universe?’

‘God’ the parent replies and then they ask

‘But who made God’ or ‘What’s outside the universe?’

Another theory is that the universe could curve round on itself, making it both finite and infinite. Could that mean time goes in a circle and if we crossed the circle with a diameter or a chord we would be in a different time, thus making time travel possible? But is time merely an illusion? If so, time travel is still on the cards…

Talking of space, there is a lot of space between atoms and inside atoms; if you took all the empty space in the atoms that make up a human being, a person would be a lot smaller than a grain of salt. If you removed all the empty space from the atoms that make up all the humans on the planet, we could all fit inside an apple. If we removed the spaces between and inside all the atoms in the solar system it could fit it inside a thimble, so perhaps the universe is not so big after all.

Whatever the truth, authors who enjoy writing about time travel are never going to concede that time travel is impossible. Science fiction writers in general vary from those who are scientists to those who make it all up and who can prove them wrong if they set it in the future; unless a book reviewer travels to the future to check…

If you want to stretch your mind and go somewhere different why not dip into Someone Somewhere.

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Stevie Turner is a blogger I follow regularly, here she answers the questions I posed for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I hope she gets to meet the Queen.

Stevie Turner

Thanks to Janet Gogerty at Times and Tides of a Beachwriter who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Below I’ve answered her questions, and nominated some bloggers who make me laugh with their posts and/or comments.  First of all …

Here’s what to do!

1- Give a big thank you to the person who nominated you so others can find them!

2-Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you.

3-Nominate other bloggers and ask them your own set of questions!

4- Let the nominees know about the nomination in one of their posts (I’ve added their names in this one)!

5-List the rules and the Sunshine Award nomination on your own site.

6- Let the fun begin!

Janet’s questions and my answers are below:

  1. If money and responsibilities were no problem where would you like to live and write?

In a house by the sea on the Isle…

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Why people shop online

Here’s a laugh for anybody who goes out shopping – from Bluebird who always brings us something musical or amusing.

bluebird of bitterness

Despite the name of the channel, this is most emphatically not “a southern thing.” I’ve lived my whole life north of the Mason-Dixon line, and this explains why I shop online whenever possible — and why, when I must shop locally, I always use the self-checkout lane.

(Thanks to my friendmindful webworkerfor this one.)

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