Silly Saturday on Strike

Silly Saturday is on strike; #Climatestrike was yesterday, but as that was a Friday… you get the picture, in fact pictures are all you are getting; because of the strike no words will be written, except these ones you are reading.

Eclectic Selection of Silly Sights

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Friday Flash Fiction – Micro Edition

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The shortest flash fiction I ever wrote was for the Magic Oxygen 6-word Story contest in 2015.

I was one of the nine writers short listed out of 1,722 entries from 398 different countries… the prize was £100: if I won it would be the most pounds per word that I had ever earned or ever likely to earn…

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I didn’t win, but I think my theme is more relevant than ever …

‘I am starting again’ said God.

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Six word stories are not a new idea, but can you come up with a new one?

 

 

Sunny Salisbury

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A day out is even more enjoyable if everyone is having a day out and everybody was out in Salisbury on Sunny Saturday. Our day started at the free Park and Ride; the drive north from Bournemouth is slow but pleasantly rural. The walk from the bus stop to our brunch destination took us through the busy market in the square. Then towards River Walk where we bumped straight into a cheerful ‘Salisbury for Europe’ march by our fellow Remainers. Every town and county seems to have a ‘For Europe’ group, I’m thinking of collecting all the blue badges.

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After brunch we strolled to the cathedral, time was limited because we were going to a matinee at the theatre, but the cathedral is timeless. We jostled with tourists and locals through the narrow arch to the swards of green that surround Salisbury Cathedral. Cathedral greens and closes are usually delightful, with all the interesting old buildings and houses that have clustered round the great cathedrals over the centuries. On a sunny day, flowers blooming in window boxes and gardens, to live in such places seems perfect, though perhaps not with all the modern tourists.

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We paused at a red telephone box, peering in to see if it was still active or turned into a safe place for a defibrillator; we had hardly had a chance to see if it still took coins when an irate voice said ‘Excuse me’ in an accent that suggested she was not local. We were standing in the way of a lady trying to take an iconic photo of her husband with a red telephone box in the background. That was the only grumpy note we heard all day, for the grounds of Salisbury Cathedral on a sunny day are a happy place to be. People of all ages, language students, tourists and families; running, picnicking, painting, taking photographs, playing badminton. Even if you are on a whistle stop tour you can still treasure a few moments looking up at the spire soaring into the blue sky.

https://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/

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The cloisters were also packed, I wonder what monks strolling along quietly contemplating would have made of modern visitors. There was a free grab a canvas event; children and adults busy painting on two sides while opposite, people sat with their refreshments.

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While in the cloisters you can pop into the restaurant and shop with glass roofs to gaze up at the cathedral.  There are also recently improved free toilets. Just wandering around is enjoyable. If you do get a chance to visit there is a voluntary donation to look around inside the cathedral. Surrounding the cathedral are museums, a lovely National Trust House and the home of the late Edward Heath, one of Britain’s Prime Ministers.

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Our first visit to the Salisbury Playhouse was to see Alan Ayckbourn’s first successful play, Relatively Speaking, which we had seen a long time ago. It’s a comedy so the audience were in a good mood and it was hilarious. The theatre is a pleasant light place which we hope to visit again.

https://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk/whats-on/main-house/relatively-speaking/

What is your favourite day out and does the weather make a difference to your enjoyment?

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Salisbury features in Three Ages of Man, a stand alone novel from my Brief Encounters trilogy.

 

Silly Saturday – The Past Unblogged

It’s a tragedy, so many years wasted, so many years of our lives unblogged and the more decades you have put in on this planet, the greater the loss. Interesting events could have been shared legibly with the world instead of scribbled on an aerogramme to a few family and friends.

For those who haven’t been to a post office museum, an aerogramme bore little resemblance to Instagram, but in its own humble way was very convenient. A foldable gummed piece of blue paper bought from the post office; the idea being to write in large neat script at the top, then realise you had plenty yet to say and pack the words in tighter. By the time you turned over to the fourth and last panel you were reduced to illegible scribble with hardly room to sign your name. Then stick it down and post in a letter box. Perhaps there are attics full of these flimsy blue papers, full of family history across the seas…

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On holiday people could send picture post cards and still can, but they would not be in the picture… how many miles of travel unrecorded on Facebook, Instagram and blogs? Travellers had to wait till they got back to their hotel or tent to try and write to their loved ones, more likely no one would know where they had been until they had returned and who would believe they had been at the top of that mountain or canoed round those tropical islands without proof?

If you could go back in time and blog about your life which times would you reveal? A worse thought; if your parents had been blessed with the internet would they have been writing funny blogs about your nappy disasters at the swimming pool changing room or your tantrum in the supermarket…

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Friday Flash Fiction – Digital Dialogue – The Interpreter

Local man speaking in the tongue of his forefathers: it’s that time of year again, my annual trip out of town to see the land of my ancestors, earn a bit extra, but mainly have a laugh.

Interpreter: We have lived in this land for many generations, since time began, my grandfather was the village elder.

Local man: Who’s this idiot with the microphone?

Interpreter: We welcome you back to our village, now we have the well you built last year our women do not have to walk miles to collect water.

Local man: Thank goodness I don’t live in this godforsaken village, if only they had a decent pub instead of that hole in the ground which dried up two months ago.

Interpreter: I had fourteen children, only three live, if we could build a clinic other wives would not die in childbirth like mine.

Local man: These ridiculous clothes are so uncomfortable, the villagers will be glad to get back into their denims. Wonder what the missus is doing, how come she always gets out of this, probably having her nails done.

Interpreter: It is too far for the children to walk to school.

Local man: The village children have all got the day off school, hoping to get some freebies if they smile for the cameramen.

Interpreter: We send greetings to our dear friends in Great Britain.

Local man: Must remember to Skype my cousin in Slough, remind him to watch Celebrity Pose Day, see what he thinks of my performance, wonder how much I’ll ‘raise’ this year?

Interpreter: Many blessings on your families for your help.

 

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Dropping In

Bloggers just wanna have fun.

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With so many good blogs and not enough time to read them all, sometimes, maybe all the time, we like to drop in to blogs that make us laugh or don’t require much mental effort.

When I looked at how many bloggers I followed, the number was 748! I don’t feel as if I know them all… in fact I’m pretty certain I don’t regularly see posts from all those bloggers. I do have a variety of favourite bloggers, but here are just a few who post regular or occasional blogs where I can just drop in, know what to expect and have fun.

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Joan Hall has just started this series, Mystery Monday, featuring famous mysteries that remain unsolved. We all like a mystery; perhaps you know the answers, or can join in the discussion as to what might have happened. This week it was the tragic loss of the famous aviation pioneer.

https://joanhall.blog/2019/09/09/amelia-earhart/

Jaye and Anita share posts from other bloggers and write poetry and book reviews, but on Monday there are no words. Macro Monday brings you one amazing photograph each week.

https://jenanita01.com/2019/09/09/macromonday-63/

Travel the easy way. When Fozzie Bear took Brian Fagan on a cultural trip to Europe, Fozzie made sure he got in all the photos.

https://acrackinthepavement.com/2019/09/08/fozzie-loves-the-cologne-cathedral/

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It seems I am not the only one who loves photographing doors. Rowena in Australia calls one of her regular blogs Thursday Doors.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/35828219/posts/61136

 

Stevie Turner knows we’re all busy so if you want to share your blog  you can just leave a link and run off. Of course you might have time to stay and see what other bloggers are sharing…

https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2019/09/06/friday-click-run-6th-september/

Jill Dennison writes in depth blogs from politics to music, but on Saturday it’s time to have fun with Saturday Surprise and you never know what you might see. Pictures of cute animals, strange people and jokes… and… well see for yourself.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/15107025/posts/54381

And it’s the end of the week, Sunday and I look forward to Kim’s three quick questions, wondering what she will come up with each week. Can you answer without thinking too hard?

https://itrippedoverastone.com/2019/09/08/what-about-you-sunday-quick-questions-30/

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There are some bloggers I started following because I loved the names. Biff Sock Pow writes brilliantly about having nothing to write about… with great cartoons as well. Who could resist a blog entitled – ‘A Feeling Of Listlessness – or – Blogging On Empty.’

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/32671356/posts/9464

The Bluebird of Bitterness has plenty of jokes and cartoons. You can also join in the Friday Happy Dance or enjoy more music as the birthdays of great composers are celebrated.

https://bluebirdofbitterness.com/2019/09/05/reptile-dysfunction-4/

If you want to rest your brain at the weekend visit Silly Saturday here at Tidalscribe.

Silly Saturday – Stretching Summer

Don’t worry what the weatherman says.

Astronomical autumn is defined by the Earth’s axis and orbit around the Sun, autumn equinox. This year autumn begins on the 23rd September 2019 and ends on the 22nd December 2019.

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Meteorological seasons consist of splitting the seasons into four periods made up of three months each. By the meteorological calendar the first day of autumn is always the 1st September ending on the 30th November.

This information is issued by the Met Office who call themselves that as they can’t remember how to spell meatioralogecal. In some parts of the world autumn is called fall to save remembering how to spell awtum.

So it’s still astronomical summer in the northern hemisphere, even if all the children have gone back to school and the leaves are falling off the trees.

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You can stretch summer further by waiting till the clocks go back… In 2019 British Summer Time will come to an end on October 27th. Easy to remember as that is the date of my first born’s birthday.

So enjoy some more summer.

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Enjoy 24 stories that take you through the year.

 

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Friday Flash Fiction -1000 – Take A Break

‘You’re not going to MRS again today are you Dane?’

‘Yes, it’s a nice day to be out digging, we’re hoping to bring up that gantry from the river bed today.’

‘What on earth is a gantry?’

‘Like a big metal bridge that held the signs for motorists.’

Mona smiled. ‘Motorists, motorist, such a romantic word…’

‘Why don’t you come down and join me for lunch, they’ve got Burger King up and running now.’

‘I’m not hovering over all those fields and through that wood. When they’ve got the flylane established, then I’ll come.’

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Mona sighed as she watched her husband glide off on his hoverscooter. This was not how she had imagined their retirement; the dirigible cruise had still not been booked and at the age of 75 Dylan had entered a second childhood playing with cars.

Dylan skipped across the lush summer fields, anticipating a busy day with two more cars arriving for restoration. Soon they would have enough vehicles for the traffic jam display and he pictured the gantry proudly straddling the 200 metre section of motorway with signs such as  SEVERE CONJESTION AHEAD, TWO LANES CLOSED, 20MPH…

There was great excitement as he emerged from the wood.

‘Hey Dylan, come and have a look, we think we’ve found a lorry; dig down a bit more and we should know for sure.’

It was too good to be true, a genuine HGV? Most lorries and trucks had been commandeered, legally and illegally, for housing after the fossil fuel ban. He imagined his grandchildren clambering up into the driver’s cab, but that day was a long way off, even if the lorry was in one piece it would take years of restoration. His friend read his thoughts.

‘Don’t get too excited, it is probably entwined in tree roots, we might never get it out. Anyway, you’re needed down at the river, they’re having trouble with the gantry, good job we have that school party in doing field work.’

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But before Dane reached the river bank he was summoned by another of the volunteers.

‘Great news, the bridge is finished, we need you to do a trial run.’

After a lifetime in the methane industry Dane wanted to work with cars not cows now, but he was the only expert they had, the only one who could persuade a herd of cows to walk across the recreated bridge that spanned their short section of excavated motorway. He only had himself to blame, he had found the faded old photograph and research showed that farms had been sliced in half by motorways and cows had to cross a footbridge to get to another field or their milking parlour.

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A couple of hours later the volunteers and school history students were gathered in Burger King for their lunch break. Dane was exhausted, walking over bridges was not what the local cows were used to. As the youngsters tucked into their burgers they looked disappointed, one of them spoke up.

‘Tastes just like our bean burgers, I thought we were going to get something exciting. What was so special about Burger King anyway?’

‘Beef Burgers’ replied Dane.

‘So what were they made of?’

‘Beef… from cows, dead cows.’

Their faces went green. ‘WHAT… you mean they killed the cows and ate them, that is disgusting. How did they get enough methane for the power stations if they kept eating the cows?’

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After lunch everyone headed over to see the wreck of the gantry. Lying on the ground covered in mud it did not look at all impressive and they were glad to leave it and go to the site of the lorry. The solar powered digger was hard at work but suddenly one of the team shouted STOP. He clambered down into the hole beside the strange hulk, carefully poking around amid tree roots and the dark soil, with the others wondering why he was so agitated.

‘It is, it really is, a petrol can, with the lid on. Of course it might have evaporated… and we’ll have to declare it.’

‘Nooo…’ said Dane ‘just to take the lid off and smell real petrol… if only we had a working engine to put it in.’

‘So who’s to know,’ said a cocky lad ‘we’re not going to tell, or maybe we can get special permission. For my finals exam project I could restore or even build a real internal combustion engine, I’ve been studying how they worked.’

Dane was taken up with the boy’s enthusiasm. ‘My grandfather actually remembered seeing an engine working, pistons going up and down… what a dream.’

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12 MONTHS LATER

 

MOTO SERVICES FIRST OPEN DAY

THE MORE PEOPLE THE  BETTER THE EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE.

RE-LIVE WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO STOP AT A BUSY MOTORWAY SERVICES

 at the beginning of the twenty first century.

SEE A TRAFFIC JAM, A REAL HEAVY GOODS VEHICLE AND COWS CROSSING THE MOTORWAY.

ALSO – SPECIAL SURPRISE EVENT.

Everything was out of Dane’s hands now, he was no engineer, but some of the old chaps and the students had worked hard and claimed it would work.

Crowds gathered in the fields above the short stretch of motorway. Gleaming with its new coat of red paint the car stood with its doors open. The president of the Motorway Restoration Society got into the front passenger seat, two other volunteers got into the back and a very proud student took the driver’s seat. A strange noise filled the air and the car moved slowly. Dane sniffed the air, some ancestral memory made the wonderful scent of petrol fumes so familiar. They had done it. The car chugged along to the traffic jam display, then edged slowly backwards, then forwards a little faster, everyone cheered it on. No one knew how long the precious canful of petrol would last.

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Worried on Wednesday

Human beings have always worried; what if we don’t catch a mammoth for dinner? Now it’s called anxiety. Of course I don’t suffer from anxiety… I just imagine all the things that could possibly  go wrong so I am prepared.

There are some things people should worry about such as global warming and war; is my stretch of the jungle going to be burnt down, is my island going to be flattened by Hurricane Dorian, will there be anything left of my city after the bombing.

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What most of us worry about;

What shall we have for dinner when son brings his new girlfriend round / when boyfriend’s parents come to see our new flat…

Will the car run out of petrol, will the bus be late…

Should I water the garden before we go away, have I packed my hair straighteners.

Should I make an appointment at the doctors / dentists.

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Most of us are not completely self centered; we do worry about our loved ones…

Will their holiday flight crash, will they be involved in a motorway pile up on their way to visit us…

Is there something wrong with the budgerigar, he’s off his food.

If you have the misfortune to be in charge of other people, or worse still, other people’s children, you may be justified in worrying. It would be best if you didn’t take precious little ones near any water, roads or firework displays. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; think they are safe in the park? No, a stinging nettle might leap out and grab their leg or worse still, a pack of pit bull terriers… and you forgot to put on their suntan lotion…

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But this blog is about not worrying.

Don’t Worry Be Happy

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bobbymcferrin/dontworrybehappy.html

It may feel like the human race has more to worry about than ever. Big things to worry about like Brexit, Trump, Syria, Hong Kong, The Amazon, bees, the Whole World, failure of antibiotics, nuclear weapons, Armageddon – put in worrying order with number 1. being utter dread and number 10.  ‘Don’t Worry, be Happy.’

But our ancestors had just as many worries.

What they did need to worry about.

‘What if mammoths become extinct, what will we eat and wear?’

‘I hope we don’t get another ice age.’

‘Let’s hope it won’t take too long to get back to the promised land.’

‘What if those white men don’t get back on their big canoe and sail away?’

‘What if that volcano erupts?’

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What they needn’t have worried about.

‘Thanks a lot Eve, that’s the end of beautiful gardens for humans.’

‘If we don’t sacrifice our daughter the gods will wreak vengeance on all of us.’

‘Don’t sail too far or you will fall off the edge of the earth.’

‘This great plague is going to wipe the human race out.’

‘If man ever reaches the Moon goodness knows what that will lead to.’

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What needn’t you have worried about?

Have you ever said ‘I told you this would happen!’

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Silly Saturday – Sing a Song of Sixpence

While others cherish all their lives and quote verses from the world’s great poets and song writers, some of us have only childish or banal words and tunes fixed in our brains. I can’t remember what was on the shopping list I left at home, but can recall all the verses of Sing a Song of Sixpence.

My uncle made strange songs up that I still remember. ‘There was a song that I recall, my mother sang to me, she sang it as she tucked me in when I was ninety three’ –  (to the tune of the Christmas carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen ). It wasn’t till years later, when I heard old recordings of The Goon Show, that I realised he had borrowed that and other great works such as ‘ying tong, ying tong, ying tong…

What geniuses are they who write complete rubbish that will stay in our brains forever? They should be celebrated, though they can cause havoc. How many great operatic singers have had their career destroyed when, despite having memorised the libretto and rehearsed the sublime music, they open their mouths for the famous aria only to sing Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben, Flower Pot Men.

The best music can be stolen and abused; Tony Hancock in the classic comedy episode ‘The Blood Donor’ sang the words of the poster on the wall to the tune of the German national anthem, it is also a stirring hymn tune, but the words stuck in my head are ‘Coughs and Sneezes Spread diseases’.

When we were new migrants to Australia the Mavis Bramston Show was the first satirical sketch show to gain success on television there. Topics included the then controversial building of the Sydney Opera House, but the sketch seared in my mind forever had the song ‘Go to the tip, go to the tip, all the Australians go to the tip’. This struck a chord with our family as Dad was very good at creating useful things from scrap found at the municipal rubbish tip; it still comes into my head every time we go to the tip.

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Not all verses I remember are worthless, though I hated learning poetry in infant school I have never forgotten the prayer we sang at the end of the day when we had put our chairs on the desks. Thankyou for the world so sweet, thankyou for the food we eat, thankyou for the birds that sing, thankyou God for everything.  A simple verse that could replace all the world’s religions and please environmentalists.

Some of my remembered ditties are useful; also at infant school we learned the alphabet song. I know adults who still are unsure of the alphabet, but for me the letters are firmly entrenched as four parts ABCDEFG, HIJKLMN, OPQRSTU, VWXYZed.  Never superseded by the Sesame Street version ending in Zee.

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But let’s get back to the something silly. My brother had a story book with one of the characters a rag doll who was always losing her stuffing and when she did, all she could say was Piggle Poggle. Oh Piggle Poggle, became a family saying whenever anything went wrong. What a brilliant replacement for angry swear words and what if politicians  just said Piggle Poggle when confronted with national disasters.

Children are still being imbued with the inane. Why on earth did I wake up one night with the words ‘Hello Tombliboos’ in my head? Watching too many episodes of The Night Garden? The Night Garden does have very soothing music, perhaps we should all watch it before going to bed.

Perhaps on our death beds, eyes closed, with relatives uttering meaningful words in case we are listening, the last music in our heads, the last words we try to utter will be such music greats as ‘Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat…’