Showing posts from January, 2021

A Trilobite Speaks -- Susan Price

The trilobite in his rocky bed. Photo: Wikimedia The Lay of the Trilobite by May Kendall   A mountain’s giddy height I sought, Because I could not find Sufficient vague and mighty thought To fill my mighty mind; And as I wandered ill at ease, There chanced upon my sight A native of Silurian seas, An ancient Trilobite. So calm, so peacefully he lay, I watched him e'en with tears: I thought of Monads far away In the forgotten years. How wonderful it seemed and right, The providential plan, That he should be a Trilobite, And I should be a Man! And then, quite natural and free Out of his rocky bed, That Trilobite he spoke to me And this is what he said: ‘I don’t know how the thing was done, Although I cannot doubt it; But Huxley – he if anyone Can tell you all about it; ‘How all your faiths are ghosts and dreams, How in the silent sea Your ancestors were Monotremes – Whatever these may be; How you evolved your shining lights

Resolutions or re-solutions - Lorraine Smith

  Here we are three weeks into a brand new year. I have never been one for Resolutions. I am too fickle to keep them going. The sense of disappointment and self loathing which comes from failing at them is overwhelming. I just don’t do them. I have decided to see what each new year brings. 2020 for me, started as normal. Then lockdown came and my autoimmune problem meant I was working from home. Once the decision was made, I was escorted out of the building clutching my briefcase, my desk calendar and my plant and warned that I would not be back in the foreseeable future. I felt like a kid let out of school early. I could work in my jammies, drink enough coffee to floor a horse,  pig out on chocolate and crisps,do my laundry if I wanted,  in short, be my own master.  Then, new normal hit home and I rode the rollercoaster of emotions and problems which came along with that. I had not realised that I could be so vulnerable to a tiny organism that I had to stay closeted away, behind a bar

Eighties Fashion and Big Covid Hair by @EdenBaylee

This is my first post of 2021 here, so I'd like to wish a Happy New Year to readers!  When I was thinking of a topic to write, I came across a post on a friend’s Facebook page that made me laugh.  The caption read: For the next time you think the 80s were cool.  Yeah, it was the decade of big hair and outlandish fashion.  The reason I found it funny was because I used to be a slave to fashion. My jeans had to sit above the waist, not below it. They couldn’t be too faded or too dark. They had to conform nicely around my butt and not cut off the circulation in my legs. I preferred the skinny fit over a baggy, loose pair, and if there were holes in them, they had to look as if they'd been ripped accidentally, not deliberately. The pressure of buying a pair of pants!  I wanted "the look" with Jordache jeans. Didn't we all? Looking back now, I pity my younger, insecure self. I was pretty shy in the eighties, and fashion gave me a sense of belonging. The eclectic style

...This Likewise May...? by Mari Howard

‘Happy New Year’ - how many of us stayed up, let off fireworks, made resolutions, or toasted 2021?   Did anyone still think we’d be rid of the Pestilence, which seemed to’ve been celebrating its own capacity for moving into what we call a ‘New Year’? Enthusiastic about its own persistence, and whether human beings would stick to their resolutions? New Year’s Eve, someone was defying any gloom: fireworks which began at 11.00pm banged and boomed, illuminating the sky until 12.00pm.   Will this be the year we escape into ‘normal’ life, the Year of the Vaccine? I rather think that display was for something else… something a bit divisive… the 21st century looks to continue divisive and conflicted, set with clashing cultures, discontent, instability, and powerful urban myths.   In January 2021, looking back on childhood, adolescence, early adult life, there was none of this. Refugees (now officially labelled ‘migrants’) were people we supported by holding ‘Jumble Sales’.   This conveniently

The View from District 11 - Katherine Roberts

It has been more than a decade since the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins took the dystopian fiction world by storm. Since then, these books have been made into four feature-length films and spawned a raft of fan merchandise, including gold mockingjay pins for budding revolutionaries. They split the third book   into two parts for the screen, which annoyed me at the time because I had to wait a whole year for the final instalment reach my local cinema. (Ah, those were the days... CINEMAS! Remember when you could sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers, hold hands in the back row, and scoff popcorn to your heart's content?) Fortunately in this era of lockdowns, you can now get all four films on DVD (and stream them, too, no doubt) to watch in the comfort of your own home, where I believe you still can hold hands and scoff popcorn without breaking any laws. If you haven't seen them yet, they're perfect lockdown viewing. Collins' Panem is divide

Storms and Great-aunt Scilla by Sandra Horn

AE blogs are a treat and, quite often, thought-provoking, as Bill Kirton’s last one about where ideas come from. It’s a topic I’ve used before about my picture books, but this is about now and chain reactions. I woke up the other morning thinking about my Great-aunt Scilla – christened Priscilla but known as Setfire by her sister, my lovely Nan, because she couldn’t pronounce Priscilla and Setfire was the nearest she could get. It turned out to be prophetic; Scilla’s habitual stance towards other people was condemnatory, or so it seemed to me. I later learned from Nan, who had birthed and brought up eight children and also housed Grandad’s parents and his six brothers until they married and moved on, that Scilla had had an illegitimate child and given him up for adoption. She might have had no choice in the matter – this was West Cornwall in the early 1900s – but hers was a soured and solitary life thereafter.   I don’t know why Scilla popped into my head as I woke that morning. I’