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gerry's (gerry on UKA) UKArchive
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Title
Incident on a Reef. (posted on: 18-02-08)
The following is an account of a true incident on a Caribean Reef.

We had had a wonderful few days lounging in the sun on the wonderful sands, eating coconuts straight from the trees along with other exotic fruits. This place was truly a tropical paradise. It was about half way through the week when I asked my wife if she fancied snorkeling on the reef. I had snorkeled in the lagoon quite a bit and it was quite an amazing experience. My wife is not a strong swimmer and was a bit reluctant---the reef being about one mile out. She agreed to the boat ride out, but reserved judgment on the diving until we were out at the reef. I booked us on the boat for the following afternoon. There were about twenty people on the boat and we slowly made our way out to the drop off point where we were kitted out with life jackets and snorkeling gear. Shirley [my wife] took a little time to be tempted into the water---but she eventually decided to give it a try. This area surpassed all the sights I had viewed in the lagoon; the variation of sea creatures and the fantastic coral varieties were truly breath taking. Shirley soon got into the swing of things and thoroughly enjoyed the experience as did all the others present. I think we had about forty-five minutes on the reef, then we were called back to the boat. We removed our gear and it was stashed away. With our towels wrapped round us we headed back to shore, all eager to relate our experiences about the wonders we had just been privileged to see. We were nearly back to the beach when someone said 'where is the lady who was on her own'. There were ten couples and one single lady when we set off to the reef---The single lady had not been checked back on the boat. It was now starting to get dusk and the boat was quickly turned around. This was no speedboat it was just a flat bottom reef boat---very slow. It seemed to take an age to re-trace our path back to the reef. Eventually we arrived at roughly the same spot and started shouting for the lady. There was no reply. We all knew how easy it was to drift away from the boat, we were told to always make sure we didn't lose sight of the boat, even then it had been hard to swim back on occasions, I had stayed very close to Shirley all the time we were in the water. Panic was now starting to set in among the boat crew and also amongst us, it was a frightening scenario. Although not frequent, Sharks were known to visit these parts on occasions, there were sting rays, barracuda, snakes and other dangerous creatures which would not bother groups of people---but which would not be frightened by a lone swimmer. It was decided to circle our original diving spot and slowly increase our circle hoping to come across the lady. I always maintained we should have continued to the beach and reported the situation, but I was overruled by the crew who obviously didn't want anyone to know we had left a swimmer on the reef---we were now in serious trouble. The sea had also developed quite a swell. It was on our third sweep and quite a long way from our original spot when we found the lady. She had been swept a fair distance out. The lady had soon realised that swimming back was not an option and decided very sensibly to lay on the water and keep still. She was one very frightened and lucky person. On the boat she soon recovered, but couldn't understand how we could have gone without her. It was of course the crew's job to count the people back on board. If that astute passenger hadn't noticed the lady was missing I am sure no one else would have. It could easily have been a disaster. This incident happened in the Dominican Republic about eighteen years ago, Shirley and I often recall this incident, and the wonderful holiday we had. I was prompted to write this account after recently watching a film were a couple got left behind in similar circumstances---they didn't make it and were both eaten by sharks. I don't know if the film was based on a true incident or not. But our incident is most certainly true.
Archived comments for Incident on a Reef.
Bradene on 18-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
An absorbing anecdote Gerry, it must have been very scary for the poor woman. Hope you are well. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, yes she was pretty scared--a very lucky lady.
All well thanks--hope you are too...

Gerry xxx.

red-dragon on 18-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
How lucky that it had a happy ending - and I bet they never made the same mistake again. I remember a similar episode (though not as potentially catastrophic) when we left someone behind on a school trip! Ann

Author's Reply:
Red, Yes I am sure this would have made them more careful--
I think we all know of kids who have been left behind 😉
Thanks for the comment.

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 18-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
Unforgivable gaff by the crew. I remember how they checked on me being the only single in a group of a dozen snorkelers – in fact one member of the crew dived with me. "Nobody goes alone, Mistah" they said.

Author's Reply:
Harry, yes indeed very nearly a disaster--another half hour I gave here--and then bingo.
Just shows how things can go wrong, even in paradise...

Gerry.

delph_ambi on 18-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
Terrifying for the poor lady. Incomprehensible negligence by the crew.

Author's Reply:
Yes indeed my friend, an unbelievable blunder. Thank God we found her in time...
Thanks for the comment

Gerry xxx.

Slovitt on 18-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
Gerry: A well written, absorbing tale. Spent 10 days on the Carribean last spring and the snorkeling was spectacular, as you say in the lagoons, and then at sea with the giant sea turtles who come ashore and lay eggs on the Riviera Maya in season. Glad the story ending without a tragedy. Swep

Author's Reply:
Swep, I think the only place I have been to, that equaled this spot, was the Red sea near Aqaba--the Lion fish were amazing, also deadly 😉
I think I only posted this because it had a happy ending.
Thanks for comment.

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 19-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
It's something I've never done, though it sounds amazing...I cannot understand how a crew could be so flippin' incompetent as to not do a head-count before heading home! I know as a teacher that you do a head-count about every five minutes, just in case,, and that's if they're in a park, not underwater! I'm glad it ended as it did, but it just goes to show - fact is always stranger than fiction!

Author's Reply:
Roy, I think these guys get blase' and complacent--a terrifying ordeal for the lady.
I had nightmares for a while afterwards...

Cold and foggy here today Brrr-

Gerry.

len on 28-02-2008
Incident on a Reef.
I can't imagine how frightened that lady was. I know she discovered a new meaning to the word,"alone." len

Author's Reply:
Len. I have tried to imagine myself in her position---terrifying comes to mind...

thanks
Gerry.

eddiesolo on 24-04-2008
Incident on a Reef.
Scary Jerry.

She is one really lucky lady, this is not an isolated occurrence either, it has happened a few times.

To be out at sea, all alone for just an hour or so is bad enough but image been out at sea all night-or a few days!

Glad you had a great time and that your wife enjoyed her snorkeling.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:


The Big Race. (posted on: 28-01-08)
Make sure you place your bet with care...

Up and running, gaining speed Sole intention is to lead. White ones black ones brown ones too With other colours showing through. Must charge on, no mercy given To get in front, they are all driven. Anything goes in this mad race Strive for position, maintain the pace. Gun and bullet sword and spear Anything to cause great fear. Death no problem, a trivial thing Only thought the race to win. Children and elderly don't count at all Collateral damage---they have to fall. Arms and legs off---what a shame But if it helps achieve our aim! Buildings fall, planes blown apart It doesn't pay to have a heart. Women just don't mean a thing, Well a moment's pleasure they sometimes bring. Kids can be used to clear the way, If they're blown up, it makes their day. Napalm weaponsprecision bomb How can these things be ever wrong? We must make sure the race we win And never be accused of sin. Surging on, such a frightening scene No thoughts at all of what might have been. Objectives achieved with the cruelist deed, Even the weakest can make people bleed. Down on their knees now with prayers, thanks and grace, As the fools near the end of the human race. Envoi. It's not the winning it's the part you play No gain, if you lose your soul on the way.
Archived comments for The Big Race.
Harry on 28-01-2008
The Big Race.
It sends chills up and down my spine, Gerry. Makes me wonder what on earth will ever make us change our direction.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I think a second coming is about all we can hope for 😉
Mankind has lost it totally--such a shame.
Hope you are keeping well...

Gerry.

red-dragon on 29-01-2008
The Big Race.
Gerry, I am well impressed with this bit of hard-hitting philiosphical writing. IMHO, it deserves a nib for its portrayal of 'human' behavoiur. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, thank you so much for your understanding comment.

Gerry xxx.

Bradene on 29-01-2008
The Big Race.
Powerful piece of writing Gerry, pity it can't be read by the people with the power! Not that they would take much notice, it's not in their interest is it. Valx

Author's Reply:
Val, I honestly don't think they would understand it. Even the lowest form of life has more concern for its own kind, than some humans have of their own kind. Something has gone badly wrong...

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 30-01-2008
The Big Race.
Good one, Gerry. This race can only end when one gets across the winning line first - trouble is, there IS no winning line, is there? And it's not the big players that frighten me, they've got something to lose: we're on the brink (If not already there) of an "Islamic" bomb. Now that DOES terrify me, I admit. If only I had some divine power to intervene, but sadly I don't...

Author's Reply:
Roy, no one seems to have any respect anymore, even our polititions have no respect for anybody.
what a mess we are in. C'est la vie...

Best
Gerry.

Sooz on 01-02-2008
The Big Race.
The more we advance the further we retreat. It's terrifying to think that the brats on the street are going to be running our country very soon.

Author's Reply:
I think before too long the worm will turn Sooz. It will have to, the consequences don't bear thinking about. Thanks for your input.

Gerry xxx.

Aurelio on 25-02-2008
The Big Race.
Couldn't agree more...

Author's Reply:


The Common Sense party report--Part two. (posted on: 21-01-08)
Sorry about delay with this second part of the common sense party report dealing with changes over the last decade or so. The delay was caused by circumstances beyond my control. Editor. Peoples Daily. The People Daily January 2021---now looks at :- Drugs. Teenage pregnancies. Pensions. Immigration. Prisons Censorship.

If you read the last report you will know what subjects we covered and how things have improved so much over the last 10 years or so. In this report we intend to draw a comparison with some remaining subjects and show the improvements that the party has been responsible for, on your behalf. You will remember the situation in 2011 when all drugs were made available, in an attempt to reduce the escalating crime-wave, and stop trafficking. This action was demanded at the time by those who thought drugs did no harm. The idea being that by decriminalising all drugs, the problems would go away. Well we know what the results were. Our education system nearly collapsed completely. The hospitals couldn't cope with the drug-related problems. Crime figures went through the roof. The whole thing was a complete disaster. The common sense party worked hard on your behalf to sort out the problems before irreparable damage was done. All drugs are now banned. Only medical drugs are allowed. It is a capital offence now to deal in drugs. Anyone found with none prescribed drugs in their bodies is sent to the 'Drugs- building'. No substitutes are allowed, no money is wasted on medical care. Drugs are a self imposed problem and anyone stupid enough to still use them will either sink or swim on their own. The 'Drugs Building' is not a nice place. You will remember the appalling situation of teenage pregnancies, ten years ago. The total lack of responsibility by young people towards producing children. Then of course, total reliance on the taxpayers to house, clothe and feed the mother and child. In most cases the father had moved on to pastures new. The young mothers lost out on education, and were not capable of giving any moral guidance, not having had any themselves. We had a self-perpetuating situation that had to be stopped. The common sense party stopped it. No houses or flats now for these girls. If the family cannot support the mothers totally, they are sent to the special units. These units provide shelter and food, and education. The young mothers have to work for their keep, nothing is free. Young father are now held responsible for their actions and have to pay heavily. In some cases medical intervention is thought necessary to stop reproduction. We are now bottom of the table in European child pregnancies, and it seems this problem might now be over. The answer was so obvious all along wasn't it? Just make people responsible for their actions. The Party has got it right again again. Can you remember the pension crisis of 2007-8? When people who wouldn't work and scrounged from the state (which was happy to pay them) were receiving more income and were being better looked after than pensioners who had lived through tough times and worked hard all there lives. Well look at the situation now. Pensioners get a decent pension. No means testing. No tax payable on pension income. No stealing pensioner's homes if they have to enter a care home. Wasn't the answer easy? All we did was get the scroungers back to work. No work no pay. They soon returned didn't they? We now have healthy fiscals and can spend the money were it is really needed. Thank goodness for the Common sense party. You will remember of course the immigration crisis of 2006 when high-jackers were showered with money and allowed to stay in this land of milk and honey unpunished. Didn't we sort that out well? By 2012 nobody wanted to come here anymore. Why? Because there was nothing for them. This party decided our finite recourses should be used for our own people. Illegal immigrants were rounded up by our specially formed military units, and deported without appeal. Our newly formed national - guard has proved very popular (we still have a long waiting list) and since we withdrew all our troops from foreign shores--the assistance they are giving to law enforcement has just about eradicated crime. The criminals who remain in society are not dealt with too kindly by the courts now, unlike 2006-7 when the victims were treated worse that the criminals. We have restored common sense. Our prisons are not nice with a capital N and offenders are not quick to return. Political correctness was kicked out when we told Europe to stuff the EU. We are of course much better off without either. It really only needed common sense. Censorship was a little difficult to deal with. People had got used to seeing and doing anything. We had however to think about our children. The gradual return to a more moral society seems to have gone without any problems. We are seeing the results of this with our children, who are now better mannered and behaving with respect. Teachers now have control of schools ones more and Policemen have authority on the streets. We think it is significant that visitors are queuing up to visit Britain to see how we have achieved such an improvement. The common sense Party is your party---you voted us in, and we are working for you. Lets face it, the only way to run a country is with Common Sense. Watch out for further reports from this paper in the future. Ed. January 2021. PS. Remember, the common sense party is your partyyou wanted it. Make sure we stay in power, and keep this country the envy of the world.
Archived comments for The Common Sense party report--Part two.
RoyBateman on 21-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
Im sure that you're going to kick over the hornets' nest with this one, mate! And, of course, we have to guess whether it's serious or a great spoof...though I'm sure I know. You know the only glaring error in there? The supposition that we'd ever get allowed to vote for a commonsense-based party. Sure, we can always vote for ice-dancers and wannabee pop stars, by the million, but, say, an EU referendum as PROMISED?? Hell, no - that would be important! And just you wait until parties are state-funded...it'll then be illegal to even voice anti-EU opinions. The laws are already in place, in the bowels of the Constitution (That doesn't exist, of course...) What price "democracy" then? What price now? WE need this debate, Gerry, so keep it coming!

Author's Reply:
I am beyond help...

Gerry on 21-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
Roy, thanks for the comment. CS does seem to be in very short supply, and has been for some time now. The party is in its infancy, but I am determined to get it up and running. I am getting some amazing names backing me 😉

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Guess what I did???LOL.

Bradene on 21-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
I demand to know the amazing names Backing you Gerry (-;
imaginative write. I'm sure Roy is quite correct when he says you are bound to kick over a hornets nest here. Val

Author's Reply:

Harry on 25-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
Funny how the problems we face, even though we're separated by 4000 moles, are identical. Our 'Common Sense' party, (we call it "Conservative") preach it night and day. But the vast majority of voters are made up of the people who want things to remain as they are.

Author's Reply:
Harry put my reply in comments again--no hope for me..

Gerry on 25-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
Harry--when are our leaders going to wake up? They just go from bad to worse. Why should I care any more? I just can't help it, it saddens much so much when I see the mess we are in...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 28-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
Not sure I'd vote for the immigration laws ... but I'm with oyu on everything else, where do I sign up? And it's oh so simple to sort. No work-no pay ... easy.

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 28-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
oops, almost forgot, great piece of wriitng. Still can't get over the common sense of it.

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 28-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
oops, almost forgot, great piece of wriitng. Still can't get over the common sense of it.

Author's Reply:

Sooz on 28-01-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
oops, almost forgot, great piece of wriitng. Still can't get over the common sense of it.

Author's Reply:
Sooz, thanks for dropping in, did you have hic-cups? 😉

Gerry xxx.

neotom on 14-02-2008
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
I'd like to think this is unfinished. I was expecting the story to end by demonstrating that the Common Sense Party was nothing more than a clone of Orwell's Big Brother.

It is fiction isn't it?

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, it is deadly serious--watch this space in ten years 😉

Thanks for dropping in...



Gerry.


neotom on 12-05-2009
The Common Sense party report--Part two.
Okay, I can see it is deadly serious now.

Please can you write some horror/sci-fi/amazing short stories for 2009, as I miss your originality combined with a powerful sense of realism (bit like the way H.G. Wells used to do).

Tom

Author's Reply:


A Nineteen Fifty 'Boy's Prayer'. (posted on: 14-01-08)
Written very quickly and with thanks to a certain JB for inspiration.

Oh God look down on what I do, And please don't let temptation through. I know I am not always right But I don't succumb without a fight. And when I err I know full well, And I'm awful grateful you don't tell. I know you're forgiving and really fair, So please look kindly on ten Portman Square. These others will all be asking too But believe me they are not so true. If I wanted, there are things I could tell That would destine most of them to hell. But I wouldn't think of such a thing, Knowing the misery it would bring. Of your goodness hear my plea And save a lovely spot for me. Please bless my dog, and Mary Brown--- For what she did for half a crown, It wasn't great, in truth I re-call--- But so much better than now't at all. We are only young my Lord you know And Mary put on quite a show. I thought I'd get punished for going astray, But I wasn't---so I guess it was all okay. So Lord I'm sorry for what might go wrong, I know your mercy will make me quite strong. I will really try to not go the wide way, And know you'll guide me through each day. Now I'm feeling much better after this little prayer, And I'm sorry I can't wait with more words to share--- But I really must fly now or I will be late, I have five bob, and I have this date.
Archived comments for A Nineteen Fifty 'Boy's Prayer'.
niece on 14-01-2008
A Ninteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
:D...

Good one, Gerry...would definitely make a great bedtime prayer...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Niece, It's difficult to know what a fourteen year old boy would pray for in 1950;-) I guess just getting over the war, it may well have been a bit like this. (if I remember correctly) LOL.

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 14-01-2008
A Ninteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
It could have been mawkish, but it's not – your sense of humor and your wisdom step in and make this a very appealing prayer. A prayer that I guess all of us can understand.

Author's Reply:
Harry, John Betjeman is my favourite poet and his poem 'In Westminster Abbey' gave me the idea for this effort. His poem is brilliant---mine? well it was fun doing it...;-)

Gerry.

woodbine on 14-01-2008
A Nineteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
Oh for the days you could go for a date with five bob. Today a newspaper costs more that 25p. I don't recall the JB poem, but what marks out this poem is the chatty unforced relationship with God that you build, quite unlike my own at the time which was in black and white and pretty soon doomed to failure, in parallel with my relationship with my dad, who wore God's spare overcoat, and would stand in for him at a moment's notice. Your prayer has a lot more colour and shading, a bit like Don Camillo. Good work.


Author's Reply:
John. God and I have always had this easy rapport 😉 Thanks for the comment--I was beginning to think nobody could remember half-a -crown and five bob. Or maybe they just don't like prayers. LOL.

Regards
Gerry.

AlbanyRose on 14-01-2008
A Nineteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
I enjoyed this very much Gerry. It gave me food for thought and some giggles as well. : D kathy

Author's Reply:
kathy sorry posted reply under comments--woops...

Gerry on 15-01-2008
A Nineteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
kathy, glad you enjoyed this little ode. It's good to have a giggle now and again 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 15-01-2008
A Nineteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
Brought a smile to the face, Gerry...all so very innocent despite the (alleged) slight naughtiness! Well, what do you expect for half a crown? Mind you, if you've got five bob, heaven knows WHAT you'll get tonight.* Better draw a veil over it, eh? Excellent atmoshere in this - shades of a byegone, maybe more optimistic, age!
* Probably a slap.

Author's Reply:
Roy will I ever get used to this--put reply in comments again.

Gerry on 15-01-2008
A Nineteen Fifty Boys Prayer.
Roy, in 1950 half-a-crown was a fair amount--not to be sniffed at. Five bob would buy two seats in the best circle at 'The Clock' with ice cream in the interval, and fish and chips after, for the walk home. Laters! depended on various things 😉 not least was if your prayers had been answered --- Just lets say I am sure somebody up there liked me LOL...

Gerry.


Author's Reply:


The story of a book--- (posted on: 17-12-07)
From first word to finished article.

I suppose every one would like to have a book published. Some will pay high prices to achieve this end, others will say 'If I am not a good enough writer to be taken on a royalty basis, with the publisher taking all the risks I will not bother'. But there is no reason why we shouldn't be published. Just because rejection slips keep falling through the letterbox, does not necessarily mean that the manuscript is no good, in many cases it will not even have been read. It was only when I realised that I had amassed quite a few thousand words that I began seriously thinking about having a book published. I never even considered trying for a royalty publisher, because I didn't think I would have any chance of being considered. It was my intention to have a book of short/stories, and this heading is particularly difficult to get published. The first publisher I contacted asked for my whole manuscript, after about a month they contacted me. The stories had been read by different people and evaluated by the submission editor. I wasn't happy with the evaluation---it wasn't accurate. They praised my work and offered me a contract. I declined because I considered their ideas to be unrealistic and too risky. I then contacted a publisher who I knew had been used by a UKA author. These people were much more with it; again they read all the manuscript and even pointed out errors to me. They offered me a deal at a much-reduced price to their published rate. This is partly due to the fact that I would be sending a print ready PDF file and completed book-cover. I considered their offer seriously. During the above period I had been repeatedly trying to contact Diggory Press, this was the publisher that seemed to meet my requirements, however this was not to be. They wouldn't or couldn't answer my e/mails. I e/mailed them different addresses and even wrote to them---without any response. It seems they have some quite serious problems from all accounts. It was at this point that I began to look at 'Lulu' again. I had gone off Lulu initially because I didn't like the name. When I looked closer at what they had to offer I realised that I could for a small price actually publish the book myself, Lulu would just act as an interface between me and the printer and distributors. This deal required me to buy ten ISBN numbers for eighty pounds. I decided to go with this. I had to fill in a detailed form to apply to become a publisher---and then choose a publisher name. I was then accepted as a publisher, and assigned my ISBN numbers. The first number was then added to my book and a bar code was generated and added to the back cover of the book. The finished article was then checked for the relevant standard, and then it was passed for distribution. It was at this point that I was able to order a proof copy before distribution could take place. This did not stop the book appearing on the Lulu storefront where it is on offer as a Book or download. The things I do not like about LULU? Firstly the format of the book that is available for the self-publishing offer is 9 x 6 inch only. I consider this to be too big. My first book is only 120 page about fifty thousand words. It will be very thin. If the format was 8 x 5 or even smaller it would be much better. There is no way to talk to anyone; you are dealing with machines at all times. They offer a live e/mail chat facility with agents (their word) but they are only geared up for the American market and know nothing of the UK set up--quite useless. Lulu is not easy to navigate first time round, and can leave one very frustrated---there were times when I never thought I would get this far. Now to the serious stuff. Lulu is not a Publisher; they are an interface between the author, distributor and printer. When you submit to them, your work has to be print ready. It has to be fully formatted, that is --- titles, page numbers, margins, clear of 'widows and orphans' etc. They will not do any proof reading or editing. What they receive, is what will be printed. They will however convert a word file to PDF if it is presented correctly. Likewise the book cover has to be correctly prepared with correct bleeds, and bar code information added to the correct dimensions. I must tell you now that I could not have done any of the above myself. If it hadn't been for two members of UKA who offered to help me, my project would not have got off the ground. These Guys who I cannot mention by name for obvious reasons---are the ones who are responsible for my book appearing. If you read this guys---thank you. The first version of my book is a soft back, this will be followed fairly quickly I hope by the hardback version. I am already working on my third book, which will be of 'Prose and Poetry'. That will mean that everything I have written 'more or less' will have been published --- and published by me. What has it cost me? It has cost 79, that is for distribution and ten ISBN numbers. Each new book I publish will cost 15 for ISBN assignment and distribution. Any other costs will be for me buying the book, at a discount for author's copies. Another point to remember, publishers will typically charge you fifty to sixty pounds to send copies of your book out to various establishments. They will let you think this is required. It is not required. The only legal onus on the publisher is to send one copy of the book to the British Library book repository at Boston Spa; this place is very near to me so I can drop a copy in---another saving when being a publisher. If the other five establishments should require a copy then they will have to request one, I doubt they will. I have not written this article to canvass sales for the book. To be honest I don't care if it doesn't sell any copies, this has been purely an ego trip for me. I just wanted my name on a book before I leave this mortal coil; it seems now that I might even achieve my name on three books. So I am now waiting for my proof copy (which I have just been informed has been dispatched) to check on any last minute errors, before pressing the go button. I will then incur further expense buying copies of the book for my friends and family. Even then I think it has been a very reasonable exercise cost wise. Should anyone wish to read a little of the book or if you are interested in what name I am publishing under, just Google 'Orb Web Tales,' that link should take you to a PDF of a couple of pages. Or you can go to my home page on UKA and follow the link. If anyone decides to go down this publishing route and wants any advice, I will be pleased to help if I can. I will still have seven ISBN's left so may have to start writing again 😉
Archived comments for The story of a book---
Harry on 17-12-2007
The story of a book---
Very interesting Gerry. Have you felt that the business end of the process has in any way compromised your function as a writer? Up until now the two parts of the book business have been kept separate and distinct.

Author's Reply:
Harry, my wife is the actual publisher of the book, so in that respect I am distant from it. What I am having published has already been written--so there can be no compromise there. I cannot see any problem either if I go on to write more, indeed I will not have to worry about finding a publisher 😉

This path may not be for everyone, but it has put my village on the map--we now have a publisher in the village lol.

RoyBateman on 18-12-2007
The story of a book---
A very interesting article, Gerry - you seem to have had a pretty good response before choosing this path. I started off trying conventional publishers, then agents, when I started writing, and had no luck at all...the only time I actually took an agent's advice to have some pages "professionally" edited, I was disgusted with the standard of work. My own editing was more accurate - and didn't contain mis-spellings, either!
Since then, I've been through having a novel published by PublishAmerica, which was a real experience - editing and correcting a 120k word thriller to "finished" standard yourself can be daunting! Still, like you, I'm proud of the result even if hardly anyone apart from me reads it. I shall take a look at your link ASAP, and thanks for a fascinating piece.

Author's Reply:
Roy, my proof copy arrived in six days--that is impressive. I have just finished the last edit and found two mistakes. I can't believe it--I have read the damn thing hundreds of times 😉 It is so wise to order a proof copy before going live. lol.

I shall now continue with a Hard back version, and then my prose and poetry book. At least books will survive longer than A4 sheets. It is nice to see ones work in print. You are correct Roy professionals are not always the best option--I found that out. thanks for your comment--two isn't too bad lol.

Gerry.

shackleton on 23-12-2007
The story of a book---
Fascinating to read of your publishing adventure, Gerry. It's a bloomin' minefield (possibly also a 'mindfield').

I've just finished the 5th chapter of a book I'm attempting... ain't got a clue wot to do if I ever finish it.

Happy Christmas, young man.

Author's Reply:
Michael, thanks for comment, it is a bit daunting first time round. Let me know when you are ready to go 😉

Gerry. Enjoy the day...

woodbine on 24-12-2007
The story of a book---
Hi Gerry,
A very interesting and revealing article which UKA should keep filed among
Resources.

Speaking as a poet I come at the problem of being published differently. Ideally I should like to publish my stuff spoken on CD, with a book so people can read the words. But I don't want a stash of unsold copies in the basement. What I really want is for people to read my work for themselves and decide what if anything to think about it.
Good luck with your efforts, and thanks for your analysis of self-publishing.
John


Author's Reply:
John, Lulu have facility for making CD'S and books--it may be what you need. You only buy what you need 😉 no stacks of books...

Have a great Christmas.

Gerry.


Tommy's Funeral. (posted on: 16-11-07)
I went to Tommys Funeral on Wednesday. That event inspired this poem. You may wish to refer to this post. Tommy and the Tin

Comments welcome but no crit on this post please.

'The Good Lord giveth and the Lord will take,' 'Are they sultanas in that cake?' 'We remember Tommy in the war,' 'Sausage rolls were great, going back for some more.' The church is full, 'Are they apple pies?' And lots of hankies up to eyes. Tommy was neglected, did anyone care? Then at his funeral---they're all bloody there. Eulogies galore---'Was like a father to me' 'The bravest man you would ever see' 'The worlds a worst place now' one said with a grin. I wonder if anyone ever looked in that tin?' 'I remember Dunkirk with so many dead.' 'Is that garlic, I smell on the bread?' 'Yes Tommy got shot there'---the ham sandwich was poked, 'Indeed badly wounded---is that salmon smoked?' If Tommy could have seen this crowd He surely would have screamed out loud He'd never seen them all for years Now milling round with all those tears. Where were they when he'd cried all day? Always too busy or too far away. 'Look at them all --- just here for the tea None of them gave a jot about me.' 'The day though gavest Lord is ended The darkness falls at thy behest,' 'This apple pie is really nice Old Tommy always liked the best.' 'Well poor Tommy's left us all for good, I didn't realise he was ill--- We must all promise now to keep in touch' 'Yes indeed, I'm sure we will'
Archived comments for Tommy's Funeral.


Harry on 16-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Like so many funerals where the living cling together and forget they came for the dead. Yes, Gerry, I guess that's the way life is.

Author's Reply:
Yes indeed Harry, your philosophy is spot on...

Gerry

69-96 on 16-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Fantastic sarcastic, bitter, truths which appear at every wake Gerry. You did a marvelous job on this as a viewer from the wall (Fly on the wall). I also love the change of memento with the fifth and sixth verses. From one Yorkshire man to another well done!
'Memento' I'm not sure about this spelling???

Author's Reply:
Eric, I think you covered all the possibilities here. Did you mean momentum? 😉
Thank you for your comments --Appreciated...

Gerry.

Jen_Christabel on 16-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
A cracking write Gerry. Most fitting.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Jen, I am not a lover of funerals, but they are a good place for observations 😉

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 17-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Very acidic but certainly the truth, Gerry. Yes, they all come out of the woodwork when there's something free going...but there is a long northern tradition of funeral teas with distant relatives turning up, isn't there? Like the rich vein of mordant humour that used to be so much a feature of the routines of many northern comics. Al Reid, etc.. I'm not sure how many come for the dead, I think the boiled ham's the bigger attraction. Very well observed and thought-provoking.

Author's Reply:
Roy, It just started off as humour, but something took over--might have been Tommy 😉

Gerry

orangedream on 17-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
'Many a true word...' and all that, Gerry.

A brilliant piece that certainly rung so true, for me at least.

Tina :-)xxxx

Author's Reply:
Tina, I will never go to a funeral if my conscience tells me I shouldn't.
Thanks and glad you appreciated this bit of scrimson scramson...;-)

Gerry xxx.

Elfstone on 18-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Oh yes, this works and it is so true! I wrote something in a similar vein, but very different style, a while back, regarding the hypocrisies indulged in at funerals ( if you are interested). This is very cleverly done and entirely believable. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:
Elf, well it's not a poetic classic--I knocked it out in an hour---but it does make a point 😉
Thanks for comment. I have just read yours and left a comment...

Gerry.

Elfstone on 18-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Something odd going on ? Was it "Coda" that you left a comment on (this page ) - I had a quick look but I can see no new comment . . . ?
Elf.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 18-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Something odd going on ? Was it "Coda" that you left a comment on (this page: http://www.ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=15396 ) - I had a quick look but I can see no new comment . . . ?
Elf.

Author's Reply:
Elf, yes it was Coda. It has disappeared! it was there when I left honest 😉
I will go back and try again--can't remember what I put now lol...

Gerry.

wfgray on 19-11-2007
Tommys Funeral.
Hi Gerry, Another master piece. You see I was one of those blokes who had those tea and wads and the odd sausage roll in the Church Halls . Yes you got it all right. A fine poem for the time of the year. Will

Author's Reply:
Will, thank you for popping in and for your comment--thought I spotted you there 😉

Gerry.

Bradene on 05-12-2007
Tommys Funeral.
How I came to miss this I'll never know! although I've been a bit airy fairy of late (-; This is such a true to life observation Gerry. We are all guilty of it at some time or another I fear. Wonderful writing. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, glad you caught this one. I am sorry if I have been missing your posts, I am busy trying to get two and maybe three books sorted for publishing, I doing the publishing myself so it is quite an enterprise--time consuming. I hope to have the first proof-copy before Christmas. I will try to catch up ASAP.
Thanks for your comments--always appreciated...

Gerry xxx.


Leeds under attack. (posted on: 12-11-07)
It was whilst at a Remembrance Day service today, Sunday, that I got to thinking about when Leeds was bombed. I hope this post gives you a little idea of what it was like. Please dont crit this post. I have done it very quickly to meet the deadline, while things are still fresh in our minds.

In August and September 1939 Leeds, like many other British cities began to gear itself up for war. Preparations were made to protect the city and its people, and organise emergency services. In August 1939 all police leave in Leeds was cancelled and there was a call for hundreds of ARP volunteers. During WW2 Leeds was a major centre for heavy engineering Optics and textiles. This highly skilled workforce had to be switched quickly to the war effort. Most of the engineering works were soon turned over to making shells, guns and fuses. Tanks were made at the ordnance factory at Barnbow and Fowlers steam plough works in Hunslet. The engineering firms, which produced generators, engines and optics, carried on doing so with the necessary alterations for war requirements. Montague Burton being a member the citie's large Jewish community hated the Germans, and turned his clothing factory over to the war effort. As the menfolk were being called up into the services, the women were gradually taking over the jobs, These included heavy engineering, making tanks, guns, munitions locomotives etc. Government training colleges were quickly set up to provide instruction in factory work. Brighter students were taught more specialised work. All workers had to keep quiet about their work, Spies were known to be about. Factories were camouflaged and some had their own armed defence units. Strategic targets were sometimes moved totally to other locations to fool bombers. All doctors and nurses were recalled from holidays and told to prepare. Huge supplies of drugs dressings blankets etc were made available, as were extra beds in the Leeds hospitals. Most swimming bath were emptied and boarded over to make emergency casualty posts. Churches and chapels had vast amounts of food stored in them in preparation for the survivors of bomb attacksnothing would be cooked, the food was tea biscuits and corned beef only, 14,000 shelters were erected in the city enough for 300,000 people. Those with their own gardens had Anderson shelters. Anybody earning less than 250 per annum got one free. Necessities for the shelters were Buckets, Bunks, tins with candles and matches, some food and most important wellington bootsthe shelters were always flooded, and yes, a pick or shovel for digging out if required. During the war there were hundreds of air alerts in Leeds. Many pets had to be destroyed at the start of the war, because of the difficulty in looking after them during air raids. They were gassed by the RSPCA to stop possible suffering. Because Leeds was considered to be a major target for air raids many children were evacuated to Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for safety. In the event only 30,000 children left, not the 60,000 that was anticipated. On January 8th 1940 rationing was introduced and ration books were issued. By July 1942 everything was rationed, including clothing. Some things produced in Leeds during the war :- Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Skua Fighters, produced by Blackburns Over 15,000 armoured fighting vehicles. Generators, Diesel Locomotives and petrol engines. Vast quantities of guns and munitions The Royal Ordinance Factory employed over 3,000 women building tanks, they worked ten-hour shiftsthe factory never closed. Another large firm produced millions of shells and fuses as well as gun and mortar barrels and tracked vehicles. Montague Burton mentioned above who had the largest clothing factory in the world produced millions of uniforms for the forces. The Bombings of September 1st 1940 saw between 3,000 and 4,000 incendiary bombs dropped and many high explosives. This was described as a terror raid. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Leeds Art Gallery after bombing raid. I have only just realised, although I can remember hearing the bombs exploding, guns firing, seeing the destroyed and burning buildings---just how near I was to it all. The bombers were after the aircraft factory in Roundhay road I lived 100 yards from Roundhay road. The school for the blind was bombed, I lived only two hundred yards from that building. Quarry hill flats, the largest municipal block of flats in the world at that time was attacked --- to inflict maximum civilian casualties, Once more very near to where I lived. Easterly road where the posher people lived didn't escape, again very near to me. Indeed Leeds city centre, Town Hall, Infirmary, and major railway junction were all bombed and all very near to my house. It is only now I realise just how bloody near they were. At 9PM on March the fourteenth the dogs and cats became restless long before the sirens started, their acute hearing had picked up the sound of the approaching German planes. The raid lasted until 03-10 am. It was found out after the war that The ordinance factory at Barn Bow, Blackburn's aircraft factory and Kirkstall Road Power stations were all prime targets. Apart from the terror raid on the civilian population all the other raids were strategic targets, and nearly all failed. Leeds was the only industrial city to escape intensive air attacks, but on the night of 14 march 1941, 60 people were killed, many seriously injured,and 20,000 were made homeless. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket These were our ambulances. By the way although I remember these events clearly, I was never frightened; it all seemed like an adventure to a young boy. It was only after serving in the forces and handling weapons myself that I began to understand the full horrors of war.
Archived comments for Leeds under attack.
Slovitt on 12-11-2007
Leeds under attack.
Gerry: A well written and evocative reminiscence. Little details like gassing pets in anticipation of bombing raids underscore how thoroughly life, and lives were changed. Yes, for you the boy, all a matter of the only life you had ever known, and were knowing. Your tale is one of simple determination, and preparation, and resolve on the part of the people of Leeds. Swep

Author's Reply:
Swep, It must have been hard for me as a young boy to understand the seriousness of the whole thing.
For older folks with children the terror of being bombed and the threat of invasion must have been truly awful. Then all the shortages and rationing--hard to comprehend. Thank you for your understanding comment.

Gerry.

Jen_Christabel on 12-11-2007
Leeds under attack.
Very interesting piece Gerry. I have lived in Plymouth most of my life, some 26 years now, and this City was badly bombed during the war. Nobody forgets something like that.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Jen, perhaps it was fortunate for the rest of the country, that Leeds being a major producer for the war effort escaped so lightly---the supplies always got through. I know this is no consolation though for the places like Plymouth Coventry London etc who really got hammered. thanks for your comments.

Gerry xxx.

orangedream on 12-11-2007
Leeds under attack.
Gerry - I always enjoy your pieces so much. The photographs are fascinating and bring your writing even more to life. This fine piece, no exception.

I always remember, on the corner of my street in North London, there was a bomb-site. Funny how, as a child, one doesn't really think about the reality of things. To me then, it was just another place to play and get up to mischief amongst the rubble and debris. It was only in later years, when it was just a childhood memory, that I got to wondering how many houses were destroyed, blown to smithereens and likewise, how many lives.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina, yes indeed, I remember well the night of the massive raid when the incendiaries were dropped. The next day the city was still burning, I thought it very exciting --- too young to know.
Thanks for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 13-11-2007
Leeds under attack.
Fascinating, Gerry - personal stuff like this always is! Being born in 1947, I naturally missed it, but I fully understand your attitude that it was all exciting. That's how kids rationalise it, isn't it? It wouldn't be normal to dwell on the horrors at that age, as long as you weren't personally affected. Interesting photos, too - and it's good that these events are noe being remembered and commemorated more than they were in the past - Birmingham, for instance, has just had a sculpture erected near the rag market in memory of the civilians killed there by bombing. Once more - great stuff, mate. We can take any amount of this kind of article.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 13-11-2007
Leeds under attack.
Roy, I don't know really why I was prompted to write this. It was a flash I had during the rememberance service.
I do think we need to remember and share some of what it was like with the younger folk. I am glad I lived through this period of time it taught me to appreciate and value things.
When people talk about the bombing of Germany they should remember this country suffered terribly from bombing raids.

Thanks Roy

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
No hope for me Roy--put my reply under comments again. 😉

Jolen on 13-11-2007
Leeds under attack.
Wow, Gerry, I had no idea of any of this and how well you showed us a moment/momentous occasion of the past. So well done and you have enlightened me on a bit of my new homes history for which I thank you.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, thank you for your comment.
Do I take it you are living in the Leeds area now? Give me a clew to your location 😉
I was born and bred in Leeds but no longer live there...

Gerry xxx.




The Prison. (illustrated) (posted on: 05-11-07)
"Harbour no thought of 'Devils Island and 'Alcatras you will only leave here when your sentence is over, or you die first."

Nico and Ianis were silent, but both were deep in thought. Nico knew his thoughts would not be the thoughts of his prison companion. He had not yet, even after nine months got to the stage were he could call Ianis his friend. He remembered in great detail the speech they were given by the governor on the morning they had arrived. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket ''Listen carefully and remember well. You are all repeat criminals. You are here because it was decided this was the best place for you. This is an evil placeyou will hate it. I hate it, my men hate it, we have to be here because of you lot---so we hate you. The only consolation we have is that we can go home to our wives and families, and have a cold beer when we feel like it. You lot are here for at least two years, there will be no cold beer for you. ''You will be well fed here, not tasty food, but adequate to keep you healthy and strong---you will need to be strong. First thing then; there is no escape from here. The two-mile track you have just been brought up is always guarded and lit up at night. My men are armed and are ordered to shoot on sightthere is no escape that way. You have probably looked out to sea and wondered. Let me put you right on that score. There is nothing here that will help. You will sleep on iron framed beds, there is no wood here---nothing that will float. It is not possible to swim more than two hundred yards out from the shore before the current will have you; there is no escape there. You will also have looked at the cliffs. Four hundred feet high and not climbable---believe me, the climb has been attempted many times by fully equipped and trained climbers--- no one has got near to the top. You will not escape from here, so don't bother to even think about it. Harbour no thought of 'Devils Island' and 'Alcatras' you will only leave here when your sentence is over, or you die first. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket ''You will not be locked up. The cells hold two prisoners, you will have your clothes, one thin mattress and nothing more. There are no walls to the cells only a roof. The perimeter fence is electrified---just don't go near it. You will work in the quarry under armed guards at all time, you will have picks and sledge hammers. One day half of the prisoners will break rocks, the next day they will cement them back together. You will do this everyday for the duration of your sentences. Do not be tempted to injure yourselves, the hospital building which you will have noticed with its red crosses is just a cell with walls. We have no doctor, just a medical orderly who is useless---no drugs of any kind. Just stay clear of injuries. The mosquitoes; you will get used to. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket ''You will have noticed the cages. These are used for infringements---they are not nice places to visit. Anyone unfortunate to be sent to a cage will be very sorry. The cages have nooses hung from the top spars. We have various ways of using them depending on the severity of the infringement. Our methods are; hanging by the chin, toes just on the ground. Hanging by the arms toes just on the ground. The worst punishment is hanging by one leg and one arm completely suspended. You will be naked and have no food or water. The cages are completely open to the elements, blistering sun or cold wind and rainthere is no avoiding the elements. One day is usually the most anyway can take. Just don't go there. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Finally don't make any friends; you will never know who you can trust. We have rewards for information---any good steer can earn a prisoner two iced cans of beer--- most will sell their mothers or children for just one can of beer. I have been honest with you. We are not totally cruel, behave, do your work, no escape attempts, it is possible to survive.'' Nico had gone over that welcome speech a hundred times, looking for something that he might have missed or a clue of some kind. Six months had blown his mind he had to get out. He decided he had to have friends, he would have to take a risk. Ianis was his first risk---he seemed okay they had got on well together and supported each other through their dark times---of which there had been many. Nico broached the subject of escape to Ianis just lightly at first, he was astounded by the response, Ianis had also been thinking that way himself but had been too scared to tell Nico. Slowly a plan was worked out. Ianis was a good swimmer and was all for swimming out. Nico who used to do a lot of climbing had been studying the cliff at every chance and was convinced that was the way out. Nico gradually over the weeks coached Ianis in climbing techniques, he was a quick learner and Nico knew if he could make it, Ianis would make it also following on closely behind. There was a part of the cliff hidden from the camp, and body counts were seldom made after the return from work; they would have enough time before it got too dark --- but it would be a close thing and very risky. When Nico had taught Ianis all he could about free climbing he knew that the time had come to enlist another friend. They had to clear the electric fence and needed help to do this. They chose the guy who they thought was the best risk and most likely able to help them. To their delight he agreed, but insisted no one else should be aware of the escape attempt. He would not be going with them, but would stay behind and cover the escape attempt. Alexis was as good as his word; the prisoners were in their cells mostly sleeping off the days hard labour. The guards were drinking their cold beer. The road was flood lit -- and the guards on duty there were well armed. The fence nearest to the cliff was never checked, after all there was no escape there. Nico and Ianis eased their way under the now safe fence. As soon as they were clear Alexis re-connected the electricity supply to the fence. He tidied the escape point; no tracks---no one would ever know. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket The climb started almost immediately, fairly easy at first but getting progressively harder. About half way up Nico was delighted at the progress. Ianis was strong and was following every toe and hand hold that Nico used. About one hundred feet from the top Ianis was in trouble the hand and footholds were now much smaller and giving him great problems. Nico was having problems too and he marvelled at how Ianis had done. He offered his friend all the support he could but it was only to be verbal, there was no way he could physically help his friend. Ianis lasted only another couple of feet and then fell backwards. Nico watched as his friend bounced off the lower cliff and plunged into the sea. With only himself to worry about Nico concentrated on not making any mistakes, He could fully understand why this cliff had not been climbed before. He knew that although he was an expert climber this cliff was one he would have never tried to do---it was just far too difficult and risky. He was only doing it now out of necessity --- a different ball game. Nico knew he had made it with about twenty feet to go. He had scanned the top section and realised it would be possible. He would not be missed until morning roll call; all being well he would be miles away and well out of it. He had it all planned---his escape from the island in a small fishing boat, there would be plenty of those around the coast. He could island hop all the way up to the mainland and then he would never be traced. He may even leave Greece altogether. He was feeling life was about to change. The last few feet then over the top and a well earned rest. Nico never heard the bang; the bullet hit him in the forehead. He described the same arc as Ianis had---hitting the same outcrop and splashing into the sea at the same spot. Alexis was excused labour the next day he would find his three tins of ice cold beer much more to his liking than breaking those bloody rocks. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket PS. Nobody ever made a successful escape from the prison. It was closed down soon after Nico's escape attempt. It still stands---just as it was.
Archived comments for The Prison. (illustrated)
RoyBateman on 05-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
Never trust any bugger, eh? A fascinating piece, Gerry - clearly the place exists, and presumably you dramatised it around real-life events. It's quite an eye-opener, too, to realise that such places existed in recent times...probably, they still do in most parts of the globe. I'd like to see some of our inmates try that system out! Human rights? Pah.

Author's Reply:
Roy, yes indeed--they were warned though. The reward of a cold beer or two must have been a great incentive to squeal. Alexis was their bridge too far. I wish I could have ended on a happy note--with an escape. Thanks for your comment Roy always appreciated...

Gerry.

Bradene on 05-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
What a grim story, and you told it so well. It had me riveted. Val x

Author's Reply:
I was just replying to Roy when your comment bobbed up so here is an instant reply lol,
Grim indeed Val. Still I think this place like Alcatras and Devil's island was a last resort. There doesn't seem to be any such deterrents these days.
Thanks for the comment and rating Val.

Gerry xxx.

Jen_Christabel on 05-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
I thought this was most interesting. Thank you for sharing.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Jen, glad you found it interesting--pity it didn't have a happy ending...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 05-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
Fine story Gerry. Only a 'papillon' could get out of there. The two escapees were fore-doomed, but I sure would like to hear more from the 'stoolie'.

Author's Reply:
Harry, yes butterflies have a finite life--but they are free (unless some moron sticks a pin through them)
I cannot elaborate on the 'stoolie', only to say he had his conscience to live with. I wouldn't want that incident on my mind, Thanks for comment...

Gerry.

orangedream on 05-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
Just 'ditto', everything and more that has been said.

A fine write indeed, Gerry, that I feel richer for reading.

Tina xxx

Author's Reply:
Tina, thank you for your comment, I am pleased it enriched you a little (A grim place indeed)...

Gerry xxx

RDLarson on 06-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
Did you ever see the movie "Birdman of Alcatraz" with Burt Lancaster? He lived there I think during the filming of the movie. In any case it gave me the chills when I saw it. You've done so well with this. How about Sing Sing? I think dungeons and prisons are like hospitals and motels -- a million stories! Great work!

Author's Reply:
RD, thanks for your comment. I did see 'The bird man' It gave me the chills too--as do all prisons. Places to keep out of at all costs...

Regards

Gerry.

Romany on 07-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
Fascinating an the photos really brought it to life.

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Romany, thank you for your comment--wasn't sure about adding the pics, but glad I did now...

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 07-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
Oh Gerry, I loved this piece. The photos really added to the richness but you have done such great work here and as others have said, it had me hanging on every word.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen thanks, so pleased you enjoyed this. After taking the pictures the story was just crying out to be written...

Gerry xxx.

Yutka on 07-11-2007
The Prison. (illustrated)
A grim but thrilling story, Gerry! The photographs bring a shiver.....what is life without hope?
Yutka

Author's Reply:
Yutka, I wonder what I would have done in those conditions. We don't know of course what these guys were there for---maybe they don't deserve any pity. thanks for your comment.

Grus Gott.
Gerry xxx.


The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide) (posted on: 19-10-07)
I am sure there is a place for Crit, but it needs to be approached carefully. If you give it on the basis of 'I am better than you' then perhaps you ought to think about it a bit more...

If anyone has missed me on UKA of late, I have been tied up trying to get my book ready for publishing and err, trying to find a publisher. Not an easy job. I have dropped in occasionally to read a few posts but not many. I have posted a few old posts on Thoughtcafe, but have not written anything new. On Monday I posted 'On Being A Genius' on 'Google-groups Thought caf' site. I noticed an error and tried to correct it. Google in their wisdom have made this impossiblewell for me anyway. I decided the way forward was to terminate my membership and start again. This went okay, but it didn't remove my article. On Tuesday the post started to get hits, and because I was no longer a member, I couldn't respond. Maybe I wouldn't have anyway. To proceed further with this read you will have to be familiar with the said post: - On Being A Genius This post received a nib and some nice comments on UKA. The following two comments were taken from my post on 'Google thoughtcafe.' I consider them to be offensive, insulting, nasty, cruel, arrogant, and totally uncalled for. The two people are obviously full of their own importance, but not bright enough to realise the 'tongue in cheek' intent of the post. (It was spotted by the very first reader on UKA when posted here) and was of course a take on 'Walter Mitty'. The clue was there, as the author 'James Thurber' was mentioned; but the connections seems not to have been made. It is surely critique of this nature that puts people off writing--- especially young writers who are more sensitive to attack. Anyway here are the comments, see what you make of them, and if you think they could in anyway be justified. Comment one: - ''I found your writing lacked humour or relevance. It was a straight bio and as such, lacked the emotional pastiche I love in writing. In the writer you mentioned, Thurber, it is his tongue in cheek ability to poke fun at himself and his encounters that make him such a wonderful talent and wit. A laundry list of your accomplishments without any context of how it affected others is a journey through a cattle chute rather than an adventure in wonderland. If you are writing for an audience of yourself, fine. It is a resume of your accomplishments. It is joyless and juiceless so in effect you are telling your audience that having an outstanding mind vitiated the necessity to have a life. If you are going to spew on for many paragraphs and expect that a real reader will spend time reading it, you need to pay more attention to how you phrase your writing. If I kicked a dictionary, I would expect a similar torrent of words to pour forth. What makes writing different from listing is developing a context within which the material makes sense and importance to the reader - not the writer. I would rather read that your mother died of typhus giving birth to you than you were probably a genius at birth. You are your own context. No one else is worthy to exist in your cold and intellectually high-ceilinged but bleak establishment. I spent a few wasted moments in Mensa listening to self-appointed geniuses (genii?) bragging about how intelligent they were. To me, intelligence is not what is measured by a test but what is used in the context of a life well lived. You, instead, tell people you wouldn't want to put yourself on a pedestal while building one to stand on ... or stoop on if your ego is so large that it won't fit under the ceiling. If I were to diagnose this piece, I would start off by saying that the writer had an "I" infection. '' Comment two :- ''Do not look down on, or patronise, those whom you consider may be mentally inferior to you---you might just be wrong.' Why did you write the above? What relevance does it have? A first paragraph should engage the reader. You talk about your parents not bragging. You talk about not trying to feel superior. You talk about devising a method so that other people wouldn't know. That's probably the most important thing about this paragraph yet you don't mention what it is. Give us a reason to care about why you derived much pleasure from other people thinking that you were just average, or why you just cruised through school. Honestly this paragraph doesn't make much sense. By the time you go to university or get a PHD most people would want to be though smart. Why didn't you? That's what would make this interesting. You cover too much territory in this paragraph. I can understand wanting to be viewed as average in some work situations and that other people need more money but I can't understand wanting to be thought average in most work situations. You would have to explain this in depth to keep people interested Are you talking about your holidays? Or how you speak five languages fluently? Did you enjoy being with your friends or did you enjoy being smarter than them? Wouldn't it be much more interesting to talk about an actual holiday? What you did? Why your knowledge of five languages came in handy in one locale or did it? The above paragraphs are a book and an unbelievable one at that. If you did those things talk about them One thing that is considered impossible--a mathematical formula to play a lottery. If you know one, tell it. If you don't want people to know don't say anything. I would love to know about a space trip. Don't know where James Thurber came from or what book you're talking about. I have no idea if this is truth or fantasy but it can't work on either level as you cram too much into it Almost every sentence is its own chapter or book. I chose to treat this seriously though less carefully than I normally would as I'm putting off doing things I have to do.'' Well there it is, it rather left me speachless. I am just grateful that I don't know anyone who would be capable of penning such caustic nastiness. I think the writers of the above crit have proved their total lack of comprehension of the written word; they surely must be very unhappy people --- and totally without any thought for others.
Archived comments for The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Harry on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
When I heard Jonathan Beckett was taking his site to Google 'groups' I immediately canceled my membership with ThoughtCafe and requested all material taken off before the move. Google is notorious for attracting these basking sharks that have attacked Gerry.

Criticism is a very dangerous thing. It is especially lethal when it is unqualified and misapplied as these were. To a greater or lesser extent we all feel our opinions take precedence over those of others and that, (for some godlike reason) we are duty bound to give it. It takes a strong effort of will to keep one's mouth shut when our brain is absent.

Author's Reply:
Harry, All your details picture posts etc are still on Thoughtcafe. All my details and post are still on Google Groups TC site even though I canceled on Tuesday. What goes on?
Thanks for commenting Harry. I am just grateful that I never have the urge to attack others--mind you if I ever encounter the vermin who brought my mother into his vitriolic attack on my post, I will find it very hard not bop him on the nose 😉

Gerry.

Jen_Christabel on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
I can wholeheartedly agree with this. But I have had a different experience; that of comments by people who think that are sooooooooo superior. It stinks! Nice one Gerry.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:
Jennifer, I'm afraid that's the way of the world. We have to rise above it---they are such sad people.
Thank you for commenting.
Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Hi Gerry:
I agree, I think that you can be critical of a piece without being pretentious and evil, but it seems to be a rarity. I have seen this sort of thing deter many talents from continuing and that is a shame. Thank you for sharing this and it's great to see you around here.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi Jolen, I have been a bit adrift of late--one thing and another. Shirley and I are going to Rhodes for some sunshine shortly, hope to get back to normality soon.

re the above:-
This was way over the top for me and did make me cross, I think it deserves to be brought to peoples attention. I would hate to think it could happen on here.

Gerry xxx.

e-griff on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
gerry - I have a criticism of the title of your piece! 😉

this item is not about 'critique' - this is about two bloody idiots so clearly dripping bile disguised as critique - they are trolls (whatever), not genuine critiquers/commenters.



Author's Reply:
John, point taken 😉

I honestly think people like this have a mental problem. There is absolutely no justification for this kind of attack.

Thanks for the comment ...

Gerry.

freya on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Gerry, I saw this. It was vicious. What makes me despair is that these kind of attacks cause almost irreparable harm to both individuals on a personal level and websites like UKA, where the intention is to provide support to writers, whether they're beginners or accomplished authors. It's my observation that the latter may often just want to get some feed-back in order to polish up a piece before they send it off to various publishers and mags et cetera, or perhaps a feeling for whether it 'works'. I understand, too, that some merely want to share their work with an appreciative readership, while others may hope to get a discussion going about content - to philosophize, in other words.

The point is, we all have our various reasons for being on writing sites. But unfortunately, there are people like these two all over the place and we are wise to be wary of them. it would be prudent, too, if we (as a group) decided on a way to intervene immediately when they appear.

I was very disappointed when ThoughtCafe made the move to Yahoo. It came without warning ( at least to me) and it looks almost impossible to navigate. Then one reads comments such as you received. I have removed my work from TC, also, as a result. My sympathy, Gerry, but I'm glad you posted this: it's one subject we do need to address and talk over in a civilized manner. Shelagh




Author's Reply:
Shelagh, thank you for your input on this. I nearly didn't post it--but what the hell, people should be aware of what is out there. I had withdrawn my membership of the new thoughtcafe site before these attacks took place. I have requested all traces of myself be removed from the site--but without success so far. The move to 'GOOGLE' not Yahoo 😉 came without warning to everybody on TC. I do not want to be associated with any site that allows such morons to be members. Thank you for your understanding comment...

Gerry xxx.

eddiesolo on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
No wonder you are upset and angry-well effing fuming to be honest!

Crit is leveled at the piece-structure, content etc. Questions can be asked, privately if the author has any expertise regarding the story. Crit is there to make us all take a look at our work and see something (maybe better) that we, as the author can use. We do not write the type of comments that you have received-these people are, thankfully, far and few between-but when they strike they should be banned! You need to inform the website you go to-utter disgrace!

With you all the way Gerry, as John points out-TROLLS TROLLS TROLLS!

I went to Thought Cafe to read you're piece but couldn't find it. I also was tempted to Join, months ago-glad I didn't 🙁

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Simon whoops put my reply in comments--no hope for me 😉

Gerry on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Simon, well Thoughtcafe didn't last unfortunately, it just couldn't get the members. Hence its move to Google Group.

If you want to read the post in question you will have to cut and paste lol. I tried to make the URL active but it didn't work.

Thank for your understanding comment on this Simon.

Best--
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

littleditty on 19-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Hi Gerry - i remember your piece - i read the first crit example through, the second didnt hold my interest im afraid...and i couldnt be bothered to finish it...:o)...sorry was that rude of me? with crit i find it helpful to feel i am a reader of this crit - more than the writer of the piece - even arrogant, twisted, nasty, boring crit becomes interesting only because it is then all about them - and not my piece of writing. i suppose we learn to be selective as to who, or is that 'whom'? lol, we listen to! It's good to support other writers and wag a finger at nastiness, because us hooomans are sensitive creatures - and some have forgotten this somehow - good to read, good for those writers who are stifled by the shitty things that people do to others on the net, and elsewhere - arrogance and anonymity...dangerous combo...xxldx

Author's Reply:
LD, you are right--the first comment was an out and out attack, The second didn't seem to make any sense whatsoever and totally lacked any understanding of the article (just the old 'I am better than you' syndrome)
Thank you for your comment.

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 20-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Gerry, if I'd had comments like that I'd feel exactly the same way, and the "commenters" would be lucky to be somewhere safe in the ether! I agree absolutely with you re your mother - that was a really beyond-the-pale stunt. It's a great pity - like you, I was on tc before uka and had fond memories - but it's obviously not in the same league as uka is now, and I for one am remaining loyal. I presume that you are too! I have an unread mail in my box inviting me to this tc google group, so I shall have a look just out of interest, but it's a very sad thing to happen - tc used to be fine, but I note what Harry says above. All it takes is one or two *"@!s to ruin it for everyone...and if they haven't even got a sense of humour, they're no more my sort of reader than yours!

Author's Reply:
Roy, why people have to be like this is totally beyond my comprehension. They were so quick to attack and attempt ridicule that they missed the whole point of the piece. By the way Roy I rate Danny Kaye's portrayal of Walter Mitty as superb, and well up near the top of my old film favourites. They just don't make films like that anymore.

(I am wondering now just how many people really understood the original post on UKA) I would hate to think that anyone thought it to be biographical in any way. Maybe 'Walter Mitty' was a bridge too far...LOL.

My wife and I are going to Rhodes on Wednesday (I may read WM again while away) 😉

Gerry.

SugarMama34 on 23-10-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Hi Gerry,

I'm appauled to be honest with you about the comments you have recieved. Some people don't care if they offend or hurt a persons feelings with the critique the dish out.
Comments like the ones you recieved can do a lot of damage to the writers' confidence and in some cases can even put them off writing altogether.
There is a certain way to deliver critique - politley and with without malice, sadley these people did not. I really feel for you going through this.
I can undestand your anger and frustration. I would feel exactley the same too. Thank fully though you have good friends on UKA to help you through times like these. As someone else mention on here (I think it was John) They are TROLLS. They prove it with their so called critique. Take it with a pinch of salt - Your mates on UKA know best and will always give you sound advice and crit. :0)

Take Care, Gerry.
Best Wishes,

Sugar. xx (Lis'.)

Author's Reply:
Lis sorry --put my reply under comments. whoops...

Gerry on 02-11-2007
The NASTINESS of critique. (You decide)
Sugar, sorry late in replying -- have been away in the sun.

Walter Mitty was of course a guy with his head in the clouds, always day-dreaming himself into fascinating situations. I tried to write the article the way Walter may have done.
Walter could have done anything 😉

The two morons mentioned above had there heads so far up their rear departments they couldn't detect the intention ---so they just attacked. sadly quite a common occurrence.

Thank you for your support...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Come evil bombs and fall on Britain. (posted on: 27-07-07)
Any Similarity with a certain poem by JB is purely intentional.

Come evil bombs and fall on Britain Not fit for decent people now No one immune we'll all be smitten Embrace us, Death! Come bombs and blow us all away Our wide screens sets and cars of play, Our latest diet and keep fit place Fast food, canned breath. Mess up the mess you've made of the town A house for twenty thousand down And never paid in fifty years But never live to see! And there the man whose life is veiled Make sure the package is well nailed Then let him wash away the sin In women's tears. It's not their fault-they do not know The suffering on T/V and radio Go to a wedding so far away Over in Nofaultistan. Talk of things in trains and cars, In dingy cafes and fast food bars But never look up and see the stars Over in Nofaultistan. Come evil bombs and fall on Britain It can't be changed it has been written The cabbages are with us now The Earth breathes out
Archived comments for Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
orangedream on 27-07-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Well done, Gerry. Many a true word written here, skilfully I might add. Love 'Nofaultistan'!

Especially enjoyed and related to stanza 3.

Originality is the name of your game, always and as always, I enjoyed.

Thanks Gerry and hope the weather is at last looking up - for you and me both!

:-)Tina xxx

Author's Reply:
Tina, I am on holiday in Scotland, just managed to get on line for a minute to thank you for leaving the only comment on my poem. My pooter got struck by lightning two weeks ago so I have been adrift again. Hope to catch up soon. once more many thanks...

Gerry xxx

Sunken on 29-07-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Hello Mr. Gerry. There's a lot going on in this poem and no mistake. I foresee a few more reads. Nice one.

s
u
n
k
e
n

her hopes were dashed over coffee

Author's Reply:
Mr Sunken, There is indeed much going on here--and it does seem to have attracted a good few reads.
I thank you kindly for your comment. I am still hoping that the penny will drop with one of my readers 😉

May I respectfully suggest that the lady tries 'Camp' lol.

Gerry.

shackleton on 29-07-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Good shout, Gerry. Take care you auld rascal.

Author's Reply:
Michael---Moi, auld rascal? never.

Glad you enjoyed the shout...

Gerry.

Harry on 30-07-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
I think I am on the outside looking in to the gist of your crusade, Gerry – even so I can recognize the strength and logic of it ... and the well tuned verses as well.

Author's Reply:
Harry, it is a parody in a way--more difficult your side of the pond 😉
Thanks you for your understanding comment.

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 02-08-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Caught up with this at last...and glad I did! Can't argue with any of it, and if I continued on this theme we'd be here all day...grrr! Just come back from a few days in London, and - well, it's good to get back to sanity. And pavements you can walk down unhindered. And peace. Keep up the good work, mate!

Author's Reply:
Roy, good to see you and I back again 😉

The above effort was greatly inspired by a truly great poem. If it has been rumbled no-one has mentioned it yet. Maybe you lot are just being kind. lol.

Know what you mean about London--many cities are very similar these days.

Best--Gerry.

soman on 05-08-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Gerry,

I can well understand your pessimism, even though my cousin, settled in UK, may not be with you all the way. Here in India, you see, many people feel that nothing short of a hydrogen bomb (or something even more lethal) could save this country!

By the way, I have just been reading your "What colour...." and "Rope trick" -- both of which I had missed earlier. Thanks for telling me about the former. Iliked both.

Soman

Soman

Author's Reply:

soman on 06-08-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Gerry, Soman again : I have to clarify that it was not my purpose to contradict your theory, but merely to chime in with our own tale of woe hereabouts. Calcutta, Delhi are competing with each other in 'smogmanship', terrorist activities etc., closely followed by Bombay and Madras--aka Chennai.

We here in the remote countryside are not so badly off now, but we wont be lagging behind for long.

Soman

Author's Reply:
Soman, No problem my friend, I fully understood. I am closely following events in India--we are currently getting some good t/v coverage of all the contentious areas and history. It is amazing how many things have been distorted. Our government have totally lost the plot. They encourage irresponsibility and discourage responsibility---I should be too old to worry, but I remember much better times!

Gerry.

neotom on 06-08-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
John Betjeman would be proud.

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, I am so pleased you made the connection--I thought I had failed 😉 JB is probably my favourite poet--I just couldn't resist this little parody. Thank you...

Gerry.

Jolen on 07-08-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
While I am unfamiliar with the poet you parody, I can surely appreciate the sentiment. The poem is moving and brilliant, really. Great lines, loved the third verse most especially. Really fine work, here Gerry. I'm so happy to be back here and reading such wonderful pieces as this.
And your 'nofaultistan' is simply brill!
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, well I feel all was not in vain now -- thank you for those lovely comments.
The poem that inspired the above was 'Come friendly Bombs' by John Betjeman. Not everyones favourite poet, but near the top of the list for me. My bedside book is JB's collected poems.

Gerry xxx.

CVaughan on 19-09-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs and blow to smithereens
Those air -conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town-
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week a half a crown
For twenty years.

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears:

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

For refererence as you didn't, hope you don't mind. Enjoyed your pastiche of JB's famous, slightly controversial at the time satirical rant which I expect many UKers may not be that familiar with know aside from the opening first line salvo. I know it's the only words I knew till I googled just now.

I thought it would add context here. I have parodied (always liked a parody, especially Vanessa Paradis. Trouble is when I did on poetry sites people said they didn't get it through not knowing the original, had I pasted in the original I supposed it would have helped.

Anyway up this is the first of your ouevre I've read, I certainly found merit in it and appreciated your homage to the mighty witty craftsman that was JB, as someone said the pun on the placename ...istan is a hoot. Commitedly non-pc, politics aside good work sir, well done Gerry. Frank alias CVaughan.

Author's Reply:
Frank, thank you for your comment--sorry I am a bit tardy.
I am pleased you appreciated this little parody--I may have another go now 😉

Gerry.

69-96 on 16-10-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Hi Gerry. This is a brilliant piece and I understand your comments fully. I love the forth line in each case, in it's brevity, a great finish. Also your one word total comment in the name Nofaultistan. Quite brilliant. Thanks for a great post.

Author's Reply:
69-- many thanks for reading and for your generous comment...

Best-
Gerry.

eddiesolo on 18-10-2007
Come evil bombs and fall on Britain.
Holy crap Gerry!

This is a piece and a half! I thought it very skilfully done-the quote from the good man. "Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough. It isn't fit for humans now." is complimented by you're wonderful write...know just where you're coming from Gerry.

May I leave you with another quote from the good JB?

"Too many people in the modern world view poetry as a luxury, not a necessity like petrol. But to me it's the oil of life."

Think he may be write (little pun) there.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon, thanks mate for your nice comment. It is encouraging to get remarks like yours.

Hope you are getting on okay.

Gerry.


'This is where we came in'. (posted on: 22-06-07)
'Remember during the war years, any nocturnal visits to the loo had to be partaken in absolute darkness'

It seems very funny and strange now, but at the time, the forties and fifties it was just accepted as normal. The pictures as we called them in those days started about midday and were continuous performances until about eleven thirty at night. Many workers in those days were on shift work, the factories never closed---this meant that visits to the cinemas, which were the only source of entertainment were made at the time you could get there. This time was very seldom at the start of the main film. It didn't seem to bother anybody if they came into the cinema in the middle of the film, near the end, or indeed any other time. The expression 'This is where we came in' was heard frequently all over the cinema. Many men visited the cinema in their working overalls, sometimes very dirty and smelly, but because it was wartime I suppose nothing was said. Most people smoked at this time, and you would find yourself peering through a haze of smoke to view the film. There would be the main film, and usually some short if we were lucky it would be Popeye or Mickey Mouse, and always the news, Pathe and Movietone were the ones I can remember. This was our source of information about how the war was progressing and I think it was heavily censored in our favour on many occasions. The evening post was broad sheet in those days and I can picture every page even now. The second page was always devoted to the cinemas and it took the full page to get them all listed. There was seven cinemas within walking distance of were I lived. If you wanted a treat you could take a tram into the city centre and visit one of the posh places (about eight I think in the city centre) where you would get two main features and maybe an organ recital in the interval. These visits were few and far between for most folks because of the cost. Local visits were sixpence to one and sixpence depending on the chosen seats (cheaper at the front). The Bughutch on Saturday afternoon was fourpence but only if one had had a successful morning earning the money from shopping or collecting jam-jars, one halfpenny for a pound jar, one penny per two pound jar. The city centre cinemas were at least twice the cost of locals - plus the tram fare, which put it out of reach for most folks. One of our best local cinemas was bombed and burnt downcinemas had to be evacuated if the sirens went off. -------- We had to walk at least twenty-five yards up the street to the lavatory. It was a dingy little roomnot big enough to turn round in and it had no lighting. The fact that it was so far away presented a small problem in case of night-time emergencies, or sickness. Remember during the war years, any nocturnal visits to the loo had to be partaken in absolute darkness, and in winter this was often in thick fog or snow. Another solution had to be found, and this solution came in the shape of a white enamel bucket. There was no shame attached to the morning run as it was called, because everyone in the street had to do the same thing. The loo didn't resemble anything like a modern toilet; it was just a bench with a hole in the middle. There was a water cystern on the wall with a string to pull to flush. My uncle Ted who lived the other side of town had an earth toilet, so we were probably quite lucky. If toilet paper existed, I never saw any until well after the war ended. The little room, had a nail on the wall with carefully fitted squares of newspaper stuck on the nail, without going into detail, one can well imagine how very unpleasant this operation was. Whilst having tea at about five PM which people did in those days, we could watch the activity of people on the other side of the street sauntering up to their lavatory. Depending on how long they were away one could easily calculate the nature of their visit. There was no privacy whatsoever in this street existence. The up street lavvy was always shared with another house and the key was left in the door to deter entry when occupied. Cleaning was also shared---one week on - one week off. My mother had to light a fire under the 'set pot' in the skullery to wash our clothes each week, (mine were always filthy) they were agitated by hand with a posser, and then rinsed in the sink and fed into a hand operated mangle to squeeze the water out. into a dolly tub. The mangle had a large spoked wheel on the side where the handle was, and was geared to make turning easier. There were other contraptions to aid wash day, like rubbing boards and things. If the weather was suitable the washed clothes were then hung across the street to hopefully dry. I think the elected wash day was Monday, this was the day that no access was allowed to the streets by vehicles above a certain height, because all the streets were full of hanging washing. If the weather was inclement clothes were hung all over the house. Washing machines, vacuum cleaners and fridges were just a dream on the horizon, most houses had a radio though. Burton's clothes factory wasn't far from where I lived. It had a workforce of seven thousand---a place to avoid at leaving times. The factory was vast and covered many acres; indeed the whole place was so big, that after the war they had a car racing circuit within the grounds. The cars were a bit different to today's models though. Burtons still survives today but on a much-reduced level. I think I was eleven or twelve before we had a house with a garden and inside loo---it was sheer luxury. Today we have a large bathroom, with toilet, bidet, bath and shower, wash basin and the other usual things -- and still have enough room for a dance. How things have changed. I sometimes grumble about the size of my garden and the time and effort taken to keep it in order, but then I remember when I used to go out of the front door into a dingy cobbled street with gas lights. Having said all this, although I lived through the dark years of the war and the difficult years afterwards, I also had the magical decade which was the fifties, and I can tell you I wouldn't change places with any other era. Although hard, they were happy carefree days I think this is where we came in 😉
Archived comments for 'This is where we came in'.
orangedream on 22-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
Gosh Gerry - wasn't around in the war but being born a few years after I too took a trip down memory lane reading this. We were lucky, I guess. At least our lavatory was in the shed in the back-garden, the place where my nan kept her mangle, similar to the one you mention. It used to be covered with a tatty Union Jack flag when not in use. Got my fingers stuck in it one day, I painfully remember. She had a copper in the scullery, which was the source of all our hot water, especially for our weekly Friday bath nights (tin bath of course, in front of the kitchen range. Just before the Cisco kid we used to have it and then sit at tea at five o'clock with our treat of a boiled egg. Saturdays, I used to go to our local cinema, the Ritz in Turnpike Lane near Wood Green in North London. I had joined the ABC minor's club and remember that Flash Gordon was my favourite.

I so agree with you about the fifties - only talking to Mr. O about it yesterday actually. I think we were so lucky to be born when we were. I wouldn't swap places either with any other era.

Enjoyed so much, thank you Gerry.

Tina:-)

Author's Reply:
Tina, yours memories don't sound too different to mine. Shirley was in the minors--but we couldn't afford that, it was in the city centre on Sat mornings---and I had to do my shopping then if wanted to go to the 'Bughutch sat pm, we got FG there lol. It was a talk with my wife about our happy young days in the fifties that prompted this post. Thanks for reading and commenting, always appreciated...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 22-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
A very nice look back, Gerry. Was your family typical of middle class Britain at the time? I ask only because I can’t remember ever going to the John in urban New York and seeing squares of newspaper hamging on the wall. In the country ... yes.

Author's Reply:
Harry, we were very much a working class family. I would say middle class started at the bottom end of doctors, and maybe vets. Some people though liked to elevate their status lol. Although we are quite well off now. I still consider myself to be very ordinary 😉
Many people here will have used the dreaded newspaper during this period if they are honest enough to admit it. Thanks for the comment mate--and I hope you are keeping well...

Regards Gerry.

Bradene on 22-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
My memories are not far removed from yours Gerry although I lived in a tiny village so perhaps things weren't so dingy. I remember the thruppeny rush on a Saturday afternoon and washdays, they had a smell all their own and the inevitable bubble and squeak for dinner. I agree with you whole heartedly about the 50's what a wonderful carefree decade that was for children, the last truly innocent one I should think.
As Bob Hope used to say,Thanks for the memory. Val x

Author's Reply:
Hi Val, I had to laugh when writing this post, my mother was so regimented she had a day for everything and would never vary anything even as she got older--right down to the time of her bath lol.

Yes they were good days Val, and like Tina our memories will be very similar. Thank you for reading...

Gerry xxx.

delph_ambi on 23-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
Fascinating piece of social history. All outside my experience, so it's particularly interesting to read first hand accounts of this nature.

Author's Reply:
Catherine, I am sure it does seem fascinating to those who never experienced these times. A long time ago now, but seems like yesterday to me. I think we shouldn't neglect social history--I have a trip back from time to time 😉 Thanks for dropping in...

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 23-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
Fascinating, Gerry - I think that for us born shortly after the war ended (1947, in my case) things were much the same - the war more or less "froze" certain activities such as housebuilding, etc.. I was lucky - I grew up when my parents lived with my grandparents, who had a council house...proper bathroom, under-stairs food storage (meat safe - remember them?) and an Anderson shelter out back. No outside loo!
Yes, I remember that title line very clearly - and the fact that you usually got a B feature, maybe even a documentary like "Chipping Sodbury - hidden jewel of the West Country!" as well. Yes, happy days indeed, but I was a kid then and childhood should be happy. Great read - well done on the nib!
ps Interesting about the posser - it was called a posher where we lived. (From "pusher" perhaps? Who knows!)

Author's Reply:
Roy, the year you were born I was just leaving the cubs and joining the scouts. It was about that time that we moved into our first decent house---it sounds very much like the one you described.

Yes I remember those short films (they were a real bonus). I am sure I enjoyed my afternoon at the 'Bughutch' more because I had to fund it myself--I remember clearly the days when I didn't make the fourpence, well a week soon goes 😉

I never expected a nib for this spur of the moment post--someone has style lol.

Best-Gerry.

sirat on 23-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
Fascinating piece of personal history. I was born in the same year as Roy Bateman (1947) so my earliest memories are of the middle to late 1950s. We lived in a small town in Ireland where my Dad was the local GP, and the house came with the job. It was big and old, with an apple orchard behind it and a river beyond that. We were probably a lot better off than most of the townsfolk, but you don't really think about that when you're a kid. The local cinema figures large in my memories, as well as summer days spent running around in the fields, tree-huts, home-made boats that instantly sank in the local lake – the kind of ideal childhood that most people only read about in books I suppose. But it wasn't a happy home. That's a story for another day. I don't think the war made quite such a big difference in Ireland. I can't remember any real shortages or hardships. But maybe that was because I belonged to the middle class without knowing it. We always had an indoor loo and whatever labour-saving devices like vacuum cleaners and washing machines that were available. The nastiest thing in my life was the Roman Cathoilic Church and its sadistic nuns' and Christian Brothers' schools.

This is well put together and I like the use of the "where we came in" tag line to round it off. Just spotted two tiny typos:

censured (censored)
shear luxury (sheer)

Author's Reply:
David, thanks for dropping in. I used to pinch apples and pears during the war--never would have got one any other way lol. We also played in the woods and with home made boats etc and I loved climbing trees, but we always had our gas masks on our backs. Pleased to say I never experienced sadistic nuns--but some of our teachers were sadistic 😉
Thanks for your bit of personal history, and for spotting the typos--I will check them out...

Gerry.


shackleton on 24-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
I remember times like this from the mid/late 50s, Gerry. No blackouts, of course, although I recall a very grey existence. Our family had no telly until 1959... a visit to the local flea pit every Saturday barely whetted my appetite for images of the world. We had an outside loo and newspaper squares too... I had a permanent sore bum from the roughness and a black bum from the newspaper print. Yuk!

Enjoyed your story. Your reminiscences could do with being published in a book and put on display in a social history museum. Good to read your writings.

Author's Reply:
Michael, thanks for dropping in and for your comments. I escaped the street life in 1947 and after that thinks got steadily better for us.



regards--

Gerry.

niece on 28-06-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
Gerry, a very fascinating read...!!!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, just realised I put my reply in comments...

Gerry on 05-07-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
niece, thank you for reading and so pleased you found it fascinating. You will realise that it wasn't all wine and roses in England---only for some 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

woodbine on 18-07-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
Hi Gerry,
Born in 1944 this stirred all sorts of memories for me, including the little squares of paper, and the ABC Minors (At first I confused them with Miners and expected lamps on their helmets), and it never occurred to me that it was the normal practice to arrive in time for the beginning of the film rather than as my mother taught me which was to eat your tea, catch the bus to the Regal, enter during the middle of a performance, watch it til the film overlapped where you had come in, and then go home.
Thank you for the memories and a well written piece.
John

Author's Reply:
John I have a reply under comments--sorry.

Gerry on 10-08-2007
‘This is where we came in’.
John, I am sorry about delay in replying to your comment.
I had a computer failure and then a holiday.
I am pleased it brought back some memories, and thank you for commenting...

Regards--Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Old People these days. (Solution Found?) (posted on: 21-05-07)
'They cant see properly, nearly all deaf as posts, and dither about at roundabouts, a real menace. Go shopping and they are always there blocking the aisles with their bloody trolleys or zimmer frames. They block the pavements with their shuffling about, and take all the seats up; and, they are always wanting more---never bloody satisfied.

'Well what do you think then gentlemen? Shall we go go over the main points again. Would you care to read out what we have down so far Mr Secretary.' 'Yes Mr Prime Minister. The six of you seem to broadly agree---these are the main points that have been raised. The over seventies can be regarded as a general burden and nuisance, contributing very little if anything to society or to the government. They are though very proficient at demanding their rights and taking from us. We find a considerable amount of the health budget is taken up with this group.' 'Okay let's discuss what we have so far?' James. 'I will start the ball rolling then Mr Prime Minister?' The general opinion is that the elderly are just a bloody nuisance all round. Go out on the roads, there is always some silly old bugger in front of you with all the time in the world. They can't see properly, nearly all deaf as posts, and they dither about on roundabouts, a real menace. Go shopping and they are always there blocking the aisles with there bloody trolleys or zimmer frames. They block the pavements with their shuffling about, and take all the seats up; and, they are always wanting more---never bloody satisfied.' Okay got your point James, what's your take Tom? 'Right let's take a look at the fiscal side. A large slice of the health budget is taken up by the over seventies with replacement parts, just think what we could save there. How many knees, hips, legs and other things do they have fitted? They keep having bloody strokes and heart attacks, it shouldn't be like that; soon they will be living for bloody ever. What about eyes? Take all these cataract operations, that's bad enough but soon we could have eye replacement, what about that cost. Just think what we could do for Aids, drug abuse and unmarried mothers if we had that money. What about care homes and nursing homes, how much do they cost to run. I know we have cut food and care to the bone, but all these bloody silly old fogies who don't know whether the are coming or going, I mean what is the bloody point. They don't even know what bloody day it is.' 'Yes you're right on those points James, but we won't gain much from their pensions, they are so low now, it won't make much difference. How should it be done then?' What do you think Tarquin? 'The legislation should say that on reaching the age of seventy, life will be terminated. People will soon get used to the idea and any initial opposition will soon end. In fact in many cases it will be welcome. All property should be forfeit at death --- that will be a nice little earner, and will help the over crowding problem no end. Just think of how many dithering old fools are living in large properties, sometimes on their own---just doesn't make sense does it? But I have to ask about exception to the rule, we surely must have some exceptions, and will the age be retrospective?' 'Okay Tarquin thanks. Exceptions Mildred, can you come in on that?' 'Well yes, we have thought of that, if anybody is considered essential to the state there could be a stay. We will also make it possible to buy time, the PM and myself discussed this earlier. We were thinking in the region of thirty thousand for a year. That should give the likes of us a good few years, but still get rid of the rabble. There will be no state aid of any kind during this extension though, all health needs and care will be provided and paid for by the individual. With regards to age---a bit tricky that one, but we thought maybe give anyone over seventy now, another year, and anyone of sixty eight now, till seventy one; just to roll it out. That should be pretty fair. Tarquin interrupted---'What do they do in Wales and Scotland Prime Minister have you had any feedback on this kind of thing? 'No---and I don't bloody care to have either. They chose to go there own way and look what happened to the fools, they were in a right bloody mess last I heard. Sod em, that's what I say.' 'What about Europe PM?' Ben came in --- 'Don't know that either; since we made that final break, nobody seems to know what they do over there, and let's face it who bloody cares any more I certainly don't. I remember when we nearly lost it because of those European fools. Let them sink now, and I hope it's without bloody trace. Well okay then guys, we seem to have a good starting point; we will put it to the executive committee. I think we are on to a winner here, and let's face it we haven't much alternative have we, with all the money the youngsters are demanding these days and hardly any of them willing to work.' Yes Ben---- 'I was thinking about all the kids the youngster are producing, something has to give. We are acting sensibly here, and let's face it we are in a better position to confront the old than the young. But just one point, what if the executives turn it down Mr Prime Minister? 'Stuff em, we say what goes on here, they are just a bunch of thick bloody noddies anyway, if they don't play ball I will sack the bloody lot of em. Yes Tarquin, but just a quickie.' 'What about any money or legacies that oldies want to leave?' 'I think to be fair, let's say ten per-cent of any assets will be allowed for buying time, anything over that to be forfeited. If time is bought, no other benefits can be passed on to family. Why should anyone be handed money for nothing---it's about time all that stopped, and then that will be another nice income for us. Who knows were this might lead if we get it up and running? There are a few other groups who spring to mind who we could well do without. We could have a real bloody shake up. Best do a bit at a time though.' 'Yes PM we could end up being able to afford quite a few extra years I should think.' 'Right gents let's break there and go for lunch. I hear they have just got a new consignment of wine in from Australia that is very friendly to the old taste buds. You want to come back in Tom before we go?' 'I was just thinking about Australia PM, that was a bloody good move when you emptied the prisons and sent all the wasters down there. It was similar to what happened years ago I understand.' 'Yes indeed, but it's been a financial success for us this time. Saved us a bloody fortune, and let's face it the Ausies soon turned it to their advantage---got the buggers working didn't they? and they keep asking for more of em, still---sooner a nice bottle of plonk, than prisons full of useless criminals draining all our bloody resources.' 'Okay let's go and eat.'
Archived comments for Old People these days. (Solution Found?)
Bradene on 21-05-2007
This Elderly Problem. (Solution Found?)
Lol you do love to stick your neck out don't you! nice one Gerry
What do they say about words spoken in jest? ((-; Val x

Author's Reply:
stick neck out Val--Moi? never 😉

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 21-05-2007
This Elderly Problem. (Solution Found?)
You’re heartless, Gerry ... but you’ve hit the nail on the head and ticked my funny bone at the same time. Devilish!

Just think, I would have been passed over twenty years ago!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 21-05-2007
This Elderly Problem. (Solution Found?)
Harry with all the dosh you have--I suspect you would have been buying lots of years--quite right too, we cannot afford to lose writers of your caliber too young 😉
It will never catch on in the states...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Harry I am beyond help--have posted reply under comment again...

orangedream on 21-05-2007
This Elderly Problem. (Solution Found?)
Top hole, Gerry! As Val, quite rightly said, many a true word and all that. I remember reading Orwell's, '1984' way back when and thinking, this could never happen in reality. Do I have to say more? Brilliant stuff - am off to read it to Mr. O now. He really WILL appreciate it. Thanks for an enjoyable and thought-provoking read.

Tina xxxx

Author's Reply:
Lady Tina Orange, I had a feeling you and his Lordship would maybe enjoy this. Glad it cough your eye. I will have to keep an eye on these guys to see what they get up to 😉

Gerry xxx.

potleek on 24-05-2007
Old People these days. (Solution Found?)
Gerry you got inside information or what?
Your jest seem more real than you think, come on there's something you're not telling, hell it's a bit late for me to start saving, may as well blow the lot...cheers...Tony

Oh by the way I did enjoy reading this

Author's Reply:
Tony, I had to put this under fiction--it would cause panic otherwise among our more mature authors 😉
Nothing would surprise me anymore--we are doomed lol.
Thanks for dropping in mate...

Gerry.

RDLarson on 26-05-2007
Old People these days. (Solution Found?)
My nurse/niece told me years ago that for people over 70 the medical people just muddle along thinking that it's nearly time for the person to go anyway. Awful. I think older people are the best thinkers, best mathematicians and best moralists. I think the aged would rise up and kick the crap out of anyone who tried this. But I fear you are right about the government, Gerry.

Author's Reply:
RD, I agree totally with your views 'We are the Tops'.
It is happening already though 😉 all they need is the death sentence!
Time for us to rise up lol.

Cheers--Gerry.

RoyBateman on 27-05-2007
Old People these days. (Solution Found?)
Yeah, way to go, Gerry baby! Whoo whoo! Yeah! Can you tell where I've just been, eh?? Yes, Cleethorpes...knew it was obvious. I'd vote for all this with just one proviso - they burn my birth certificate. Yes, if only - trouble with democracy is, it's supposed to apply to all of us, right? Shame. Even worse, these old buggers actually have votes, and many of 'em use the things! We'll never get rid of 'em. I don't know, but I'm sure you're on the right lines here. If you escape before the train comes, I look forward to more of the same - great read!

Author's Reply:
I have done it again---BANG!!!

Gerry on 28-05-2007
Old People these days. (Solution Found?)
Roy, nice to see you back in one piece. I was hoping you would be back in time to catch this before it disappears into oblivion 😉

Looking forward to reading about your adventures---
Shirley and I are leaving for Corfu shortly--we need some sun lol.

Regards--Gerry.

Author's Reply:


The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes. (posted on: 11-05-07)
Of Dead Donkeys, Ragmen, Cats, Dogs and Infinite Pathos.

Every Sunday morning two hundred silent voices sing a hymn of infinite pathos in St Bede's Church, Clapham Road London. It is called 'The Hymn of the deaf Mute' The men and women who sing it belong to London's army of silent people. Here are the first two verses: ''Father in Heaven, to thee we raise In silence this our hymn of praise; Unto our Father's house we come, Thy children we, though deaf and dumb. Although our ears no sound enjoy, Although our lips no speech employ; We kneel before Thy throne of grace And clasp thy feet in love's embrace.'' The Church has a great shell from the Philippines for a font, a gift to the four thousand deaf mutes of London. ----- A Rector of a Welsh Parish found a dead donkey on his land. He communicated the fact to the proper authorities and asked that the said donkey be removed. He received a reply saying that it was part of his office to bury the dead, and that they would look to him to do so. He sent the following reply: 'I will certainly do so, but I thought it my duty to inform the deceased's relatives first.' ----- In Newtown Linford Churchyard Leicestershire, there is a tombstone with nothing inscribed on it but the alphabet written in different styles. The stone mason submitted the lettering to a customer to select a style; the customer was so pleased with the appearance that he decided to have the original tombstone with nothing else added. ----- The vicar of the Parish of Orton-onthe-Hill, in Leicestershire. was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn as recently as 1715. His name was William Paul. He attended Rugby College and then went on St John's College Cambridge. He was presented with the Parish of Orton by the Bishop of Oxford. His mistake was in joining the Jacobites. He was apprehended soon after joining and was taken to London for trial. Being found guilty he got the going rate. He was hanged, then drawn on a sledge while still alive from Newgate to Tyburnwhere he was quartered. He is thought to be the last clergyman to take his departure under this particular form of triple torture. ----- Alone amid the ruins stands a little English Church which is the only building left standing in the old Leper Colony of 'Robben Island' seven miles to the south of Cape Town South Africa. The poor unfortunate creatures 'the lepers' were removed to an asylum at Pretoria on the mainland where their keep was so much cheaper. After the evacuation every building in the compound was blown up, except the little church, which was the only building not owned by the government. This church still survives. ----- A Tombstone erected to the memory of a ragman in the church-yard of Wymondham near Oakhampton reads: 'I in my time did gather rags And many a time I filled my bags, Although it was a ragged trade My rags are sold and debts are paid. Therefore go on don't waste your time On bad biography and bitter rhyme-- For what I am this cumbrous clay assures And what I was is no affair of yours' ----- Situated in Grasmere in the heart of the English lakes is the beautiful church of St Oswald. Eight of the yew trees in the churchyard were planted by Wordsworth himself, and under the shadow of one of them is his grave, with the simple inscription, 'William Wordsworth, 1850. Mary Wordsworth 1859.' The next grave is that of their daughter Dora. The next but one is that of the poet's sister Dorothy. There are three doors to the church, the Clergy door, the West door for the men, and the South door for the women, these doors are from the time when the men and women sat at different sides of the church. In the past it was the custom of the church to bury the dead in the church near their family pew. ----- The parish church of All Saints Cawthorpe, Yorkshire, contains a unique organ. One of the manuals of the organ has been fitted with black 'natural' keys and white 'sharp' keys' nobody seems to know why. The church itself is noteworthy because of the fragments of Anglo-Saxon crosses which have been built into its walls. ----- The parish of Colerne Wilts has a black church cat called 'Timothy the second'. On Thursdays he always attends for choir practise. Every Sunday five minutes before the eleven-o'clock service is due to commence, he goes to meet the Rector then jumps up and unlatches the vestry gate he then escorts the Rector into the church. When funerals are in progress he always watches, but from a respectable distance. This church apparently does not have the proverbial 'church mouse'. -------- The lesson to be read should always be conned over beforehand, (by the way it is interesting to note that the Oxford English Dictionary defines the word 'con' as indicating to the steersman the course he should steer. That is good. The reader should always have an idea of the aim, purpose, and object of the lesson he is to read). So I say to you my brethren, with respect to your friends and family, always con them as much as possible. ----- Canon Trystram related this delightful incident which occurred in a church on the borders of Northumberland. The congregation being composed of mainly Cheviot shepherds accompanied by their dogs. On this morning visitors from other churches had been invited to the service. When the sermon was finished some of the dogs got up and walked out of the church. When the blessing was finished more dogs got up and walked out. The remaining dogs walked out after the last hymn. Each dog having followed the usage of his own church. ----- These vignettes were culled with difficulty from a barely legible church magazine of early last century. This magazine along with other old papers was found in a corner of our loft in an old case. The above are therefore by necessity abridged, and I had to insert some of the text. I honestly believe that the facts are accurate as stated, and that the writing is now as near to the original as possible. I hope you enjoyed reading these little gems from the past. PS. I actually saw this one myself whilst driving around the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. Looking in a small graveyard I found a stone which just gave the name of the deceased, then underneath was inscribed ----'23rd Psalm' nothing else. What do they say about the Scots?
Archived comments for The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
walters on 11-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
lol glad my relatives aren't donkeys' asses! I did see a sample tombstone in a shop window, engraved YOUR NAME HERE

Author's Reply:
David , nice to see that you are still about. Hope life is treating you well.
Thanks for the comment. Nowt wrong with donkeys my good man...

Gerry.

delph_ambi on 11-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Fascinating fragments. The idea of a hymn for deaf mutes is unlikely, but perfectly possible. The words look authentic enough.

The one about the dead donkey is well known, and has been doing the rounds for (presumably) a century or so now.

I know that church in Grasmere well, and always pop along to visit Wordsworth's grave when I'm in the village. It's in a simple family plot, just as the passage says.

The organ with the mixed manuals probably has a very simple explanation. White keys and black keys used to be the other way round. The organ was probably built with both manuals with black naturals and white sharps, but at some point maybe one of the manuals got damaged and had to be replaced with the more modern version which we use now.

Thanks for posting - I enjoyed reading these.



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 11-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Catherine, I am sure the 'Hymn for the deaf mutes' is true.
It should be very easy to check out--'St Bede’s Church, Clapham Road London' I am sure one of our southern friends could do a bit of detective work for us.

The donkey one, well I had never heard it before. maybe this was the start of it 'start of last century?

Didn't know that about the organ keys, I have seen hundreds of church organs of all ages--I have never seen one like the one described here though. I will look closer know 😉

Thanks for reading and for your comments...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Catherine--sorry put my reply under comments (always doing that--it's an age thing. lol)

delph_ambi on 11-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Don't worry, Gerry - done it myself often enough. 🙂

Author's Reply:

soman on 12-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Gerry,

Quite an absorbing collection! Bottom line : Death has its funny side too. Haha!

Soman

Author's Reply:
Soman, yes indeed my friend death does indeed give us laughs. I rather suspect that it will not be much of a joke though; for many people that I can think of 😉

Thanks for dropping in...

best--Gerry.

Harry on 14-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Curiosity, dichotomy – call them what you will, they show mankind's infinite variety of expression.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I was spell - bound deciphering this old magazine. I am working on further portions. I just love old writing and prose--such a richness of word and expression that I think we have lost sadly--thanks for the comment...

best--Gerry

Bradene on 19-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Thoroughly enjoyed this historical excursion around the UK especially interested in the two from Leicestershire . An absorbing read Gerry. Val xx

Author's Reply:
Val. Yes indeed the magazine was fascinating. glad you enjoyed, and thanks for reading and commenting--sorry I am a bit tardy 😉

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 23-05-2007
The Hymn of the Deaf Mutes.
Thank you so much for doing this, Gerry and I'm glad it was nibbed. I am sorry it took me so long to get to it, but I sure am glad to have finally done so.

You managed to keep the reader interested from beginning to end. Which isn't always easy, as you know.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, this post was just a labour of love for me. I am delighted that some have found it interesting, and very surprised at the nib--never expected that 😉
Thank you...
Gerry xxx.


The Medal. (posted on: 04-05-07)
A mothers words on the loss of her son

The little brown box was delivered today We all kept hoping it would go astray The medal's quite nice but what can it do? None of the things that we did with you. The way that he teased his lovely young 'sis' Poor heartbroken girl---that's one thing she'll miss. A trip to the pub with his very proud dad So quiet and sad now, without his brave lad. The philosophy talks with his granddad too Sometimes heavy going, but our son knew Only wise words came from the old guy--- Completely destroyed now, and ready to die. Enchanting to talk with and so charming a grin No harsh words ever came from him. Made friends with anyone, girlfriends galore And the games when our Shep always came back for more. And for me; he was always so loving, no time for stress Hogging the bathroom---bedroom a mess Plenty of hugs---the odd pinch on the bottom Will these memories sustain us, or should they be forgotten? Yes the ribbon is pretty, all purple and blue But I don't want the medal my son I want you I was just going to post the last three lines. I still feel the rest (although it tells the story) may be unnecessary.
Archived comments for The Medal.
Bradene on 04-05-2007
The Medal.
See what you mean about the last three lines Gerry, The rest could be said to be superfluous I suppose, but a very touching and relevant read I thought Val xxx

Author's Reply:
Val, we are losing too many young lives now--it's time to bring the lads home.
Thanks for the comment...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 04-05-2007
The Medal.
The rest helps us understand, in a more personal way, the son's loss. The last three lines alone are a kind of universal grief born by parents everywhere.

Author's Reply:
Harry, yes it is universal, but some places value lives more others - as you know. British loss is now getting too high. American loss is appalling--lets get out...

Gerry.

chrissy on 05-05-2007
The Medal.
A very moving poem.
chrissy

Author's Reply:
chrissy, thank you. I know this will not win any prizes for poetic value 😉 but it was just something I had to get down. The situation is getting quite disturbing now...

Gerry xxx.

SugarMama34 on 10-05-2007
The Medal.
Hi Gerry,

A touching write that speaks in volumes. I can relate to this. I think the last three lines expresses a mother's loss only too well. A lovely poem, but very sad.
Lis'.xx

Author's Reply:
Lis, thank you for your kind and understanding comment...

Gerry xxx.


Slaughterhouse 4 'so it goes' (posted on: 16-04-07)
Corporal Arthur Haigh. Aged eighteen. Died of wounds received in action. Second battle of 'The Marne July 1918. This post contains images.

After my wife Shirley's father recently died, she decided to try to find out something about his family. She unfortunately never thought to do this when he was still able to remember things. Shirley's dad being the youngest of eleven could not himself remember much about his family, even before he got dementia; his brothers and sisters being spread over such a long period. We had been informed that Shirley's dad had lost brothers in WW1 and decided to start down this path. I first tried the 1901 census, but with only a last name to go by we didn't really gain anything there. Shirley then telephoned Wakefield library, we knew that the family came from Wakefield. The lady she spoke to was very charming but because we couldn't supply a first name, she thought our best route would be via the town hall. This proved a good steer, again a most helpful gentleman took what details Shirley could provide, and promised to ring us back if he found anything. Not very long after, the guy from the Town Hall called back. He had found one Corporal Arthur Haigh, who was in the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, he had died of wounds received in action in France in 1918. Shirley knew at once that this was her uncle, because he was listed as coming from Thornes Wakefield. Shirley's dad was born in Thornes Lane. In fact it was only the fact that he had 'Thornes' to go on that led the Town Hall guy to Arthur. The records he was referring to seldom had any address to go with names---we found that very sad. How many of the poor soldiers will never be traceable? Now we had a name, I again logged on to the 1901 census and soon found Arthur. He was born in 1900 in Thornes-Wakefield. I then contacted the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site And entered the details we had acquired, and the following information was displayed under his name:- In Memory of Corporal A HAIGH 32978, 2nd/4th Bn., King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who died on 27 July 1918 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Remembered with honour MARFAUX BRITISH CEMETERY Commemorated in perpetuity by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Burial: Marfaux British (CWGC) Cemetery Marfaux Marne, France Plot: III. H. 8. Record added: Dec 28 2005 We knew of course that Arthur was 18 years old and a corporal, so it seems that he must have joined the Army when only seventeen. He was killed in the second 'Battle of the Marne' which lasted from July to August 1918. Poor Arthur very nearly made it. During this battle which was so decisive in bringing this bloody war to a close the casualties were appalling. French 95,000Casualties. USA 12.000Casualties. British 13,000Casualties. Germans 168,000 Casualties. I then went to the Marfaux British Cemetry site, and with the information I now had, hoped that we could find Arthur's resting - place. You can imagine how we felt when we found it---. The picture displayed here is the actual picture taken from the site. I have enhanced the picture so that I could read the inscription 'I have not posted the enhanced picture here'. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketArchived comments for Slaughterhouse 4 'so it goes'
Harry on 16-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Sensitively told, Gerry. Even though it changes nothing it helps to be sure. Unfortunately as wars grow more deadly the records are less well kept and the anonymity of war's casualties makes identification all but impossible.

Author's Reply:
Harry, It never ceases to amaze me the amount of effort that has been put in by the 'War Graves Commission' especially for WW1. You will have noticed that Arthur's record was only added in 2005. So it goes on. It is heartbreaking reading some of the accounts...

Best--Gerry.

niece on 17-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Gerry

A very touching write! War is horrible!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Indeed it is niece. WW1 was indeed just a slaughterhouse of youth. Nobody seemed to learn from it though.
Many thanks for your welcome comment.

Regards -- Gerry xxx.

Romany on 17-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Simultaneously deeply saddening, and very interesting. I am glad that you were successful in your search. In a way, it is your own testimony to the young man, and to the many others just like him. My sincere respect,

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Romany, thank you for your kind comment. It is indeed a very sad period. One which we should never forget.

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 18-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
A worthwhile and moving piece, Gerry. Yes, the work goes on...every year, remains are discovered and often identified, long after their relatives have passed on themselves. It was only a couple of years ago that the remains of Lt Kipling IG were finally discovered...Rudyard himself spent the rest of his life searching in vain for his son.
The period has always fascinated me - after all, the war directly affected over half the families in the country. Had it not occurred then, what might have happened? No Hitler, possibly no Bolshevik Revolution, but maybe a revolution somewhere more advanced, as Marx expected - and certainly a gigantic European war when German expansion got too much for the other powers to bear. But, what if that power had then become too great to contain? The Kaiser came close to victory in Spring 1918. This site might be in German....
Sorry, I'm rambling - great piece, Gerry, and obviously a labour of love.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Roy, I nearly posted this in the forums, but thought it may do better here. You are correct on all points and certainly not rambling 😉 How different things could have been if history had been slightly altered. We will never know and perhaps that is how it should be. I do know though from my recent research, that the suffering in WW1 would be unimaginable to the young of today. A truly horrific time...

Best--
Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Roy--sorry done it again, posted reply under comments. (no hope for me) 😉

eddiesolo on 18-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
What can I say that others haven't...a wonderful, sensitive write to the horrors of the WWI.

My respects to you for the time dedicate to this.

The imagery highlights the tragic episode of so many young men dying to the foolishness of the old.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Simon, thanks mate for your comment, It is sad to note that France and Belgium are full of such grave stones,
each one somebodies son. We are so pleased that we found young Arthur, he will be remembered by name now...

Gerry.

orangedream on 19-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Gerry- my sincere apologies. Completely missed this one. As Si says and I would like to reitterate - thank you for taking all the time and trouble in putting this together so that you could share it with us. It must have been quite a moment when you actually traced Corporal Haigh, I couldn't read it without shivering, so can't imagine how you and your wife felt. The date of his death, ie. the month and date, is incidentally the day I was born, making it even more poignant to read.

I feel richer for reading and for looking at the images and reflecting. The words of 'When will they ever learn' - going through my mind.

Tina

Author's Reply:
Tina, no need for apologies-I have been adrift of late myself. The latest news:- we are pleased to say that Hubert also survived WW1. The bad news:- since Shirley's father died we have discovered that she had a brother who died in 1941, just a few months old. Her father at the time was away in the army. She knew nothing of this and there is no birth or death certificate. I have spent hours on the computer trying to find details and we have visited and trawled through hours of micro-films in Dewsbury (place of birth) without any success. Shirley will not give up on this, being an only child she is determined to find her brother's resting place. Thank you so much for your kind comment--hope to catch up sometime in the future...

Gerry xxx.

Bradene on 19-04-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
What a very moving story Gerry. It's funny how we never think to ask the telling questions when we are young and then when we do think to ask it is invariably too late. Good luck with your quest for Uncle Hubert. That war was supposed to have been the war to end all wars... what a farce. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, Thank you for your comment. Hubert did indeed survive we are pleased to tell. Maybe you will read my reply to Tina above for more info...

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 04-05-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Gerry, this moved me to tears, what indeed have they all died for? How sad that we cannot learn our lessons and continue sending young people to early graves. Thank you for sharing this and my sincere condolences to you and your lovely wife. Good luck on your quest to find out more.

I hope this finds you well,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen sorry! put reply under comments, whoops...

Gerry on 05-05-2007
Slaughterhouse 4 ‘so it goes’
Jolen, thanks for dropping by to read this, and for your kind wishes.

Gerry xxx.



Author's Reply:


The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled 'Whirligig' (posted on: 05-03-07)
This is a re-write and tightening up of a story originally posted on 'Writtenbyme' Anyone remember that site? Dare you read it to the end? Just beware of the Box...

Realising that it was a nightmare, it was comforting to know that waking up would be no problem, having woken myself from such dreams many times before. These creatures were after me with the box. Running away from them down a road it was getting increasingly difficult for me to progress, my feet were beginning to feel extremely heavy. Seeking escape from the creatures I ran into a house and knew immediately it was the wrong thing to do. There were six people in the room, all dressed in black, they each had very long white faces and stared at me but said nothing. Dragging myself to some stairs in the room corner, it was not difficult for me to detect a feeling of great evil, this feeling was so strong it caused a reluctance for me to proceed further, but the creatures with the box were gaining and the desire to get away from them was now absolutely overwhelming. Being petrified with fear, it had now become a major effort to move at all. Dragging myself agonisingly up the stairs, and breathing with great difficulty it seemed enough was enough, and it seemed about the right time to wake myself up. My situation now was truly terrifying; always able to wake myself from nightmares before---but what came fairly easy previously, was not working now. I was tossing, turning, groaning, and fighting for consciousness, it didn't come, this was indeed deep trouble for me. The creatures with the box were now starting to climb the stairs; no way could I bring myself to look behind me. The bridge was high; there was nowhere to walk--only iron girders. Being a sufferer from acrophobia this situation was agonising. Under the bridge was a torrent of water, which was turning into a giant whirlpool directly underneath me. Edging along the girders I knew the creatures were after me with the box, I just had to keep going. There was a gap in the bridge but it was too wide to get across. I have never known such fear, and tried again to wake myself, but without success. In desperation I attempted the leap across the gap, didn't make it and started to fall. Just before hitting the whirlpool I found myself on a high wall. This was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. The wall had only very small handholds, and as I got higher the handholds were getting smaller. Spiders totally screw me up, imagine my reaction then when I looked down to see swarms of spiders climbing up the wall after me. Hovering above me were the creatures with the box. Paralysed with indescribable horror, the spiders were now crawling over me. I was now physically sick, wet through, and sobbing. The large room at first glance didn't seem to offer anything to be afraid of. I tried to relax a little---but then the room door opened and this evil looking man walked in. To my shame I realised that I was completely naked, and on turning round found the room was full of people. Being unable to move, covering myself was not possible; then the people in the room started to prod and touch me, I was distraught, but worse was to come. The evil looking one started to read from this book. He was reading all the things I have done in my life, and after each passage he hit me with a large whip. I begged him not to read anymore but he just smirked at me and continued. The pain of what he was reading out, was far worse than the stinging pain of the whip; being whipped for an hour at least, both back and front, my body was cut to ribbons. About this time, I started wishing for death. Alas it wasn't going to be that easy. Who was this young boy walking by my side? I had never seen him before, but knew instinctively that his safety rested with me. To my dread I realised the creatures with the box were after me again. Not wanting to frighten the boy but realising we had to speed up, progress once more became difficult. Glancing round, it was plain to see the creatures were gaining on us. How much more could one be expected to take? I pushed the boy on ahead and turned to face my pursuers. Whilst I was turned round the boy was dragged away from me, and a fire had started between myself and the creatures with the box; turning to look for the boy, I was just in time to see him being pulled away before the fire encircled me. The scene as I peered through the smoke after the boy was one of torture both for the boy and myself, he had been stretched out on a tree and was being nailed to the tree through his hands. He was screaming for me, I was crawling through the fire to get to him, and was being burnt alive. My raw flesh from the whipping in the room was now burnt from me, pain could no longer reach me, torment must surely be behind me. Wrong! My feet tightly bound, hands tied painfully behind my back I was suspended over a hole in thick ice. Always having had a great fear of drowning, or being trapped under water, I suffered the agony of being lowered into the icy water. This was it--- breathing would let water into my lungs, I would end it. I couldn't suffer anymore, I was finished. As soon as the unbelievable cold hit my shredded body I tried to breathe. To my dread, this action was denied me, lower and lower into the icy depth with lungs bursting, unable to take in water, I remember this large slimy thing swimming towards me. The middle of the desert meant no relief from my nightmare, having nothing to drink, and no clothing to protect me from the blistering sun. My body was half burnt, and half frost bitten. The sun was thawing my frozen parts and once again I was experiencing pain beyond pain. I was crawling aimlessly in the sand, which was in my wounds; and in my nose, ears and mouth. Insects were beginning to crawl over my shredded body; snakes were side winding towards me. What was the point? Nothing could end this---I was destined for eternal torture. Finding myself on a country road seemed miraculous, normality seemed to have returned, my body was clothed, no pain or injury plagued me. Birds were singing; the sun was gently warming. I seemed to be through my nightmare and into a normal dream. Just down the road was a small stream with crystal clear water gurgling over smooth stones. I headed towards it in anticipation of drinking deeply; my whole body was demanding water. Just about twenty yards from the stream, I noticed this sign in the middle of the road. It said--'Road ahead Closed' Please return via your outward route. I could not proceed; some unseen barrier was stopping me. Fear started to swell up again, turning round although not able to see anything, I knew evil was most certainly there. It was almost a relief then when the creatures with the box appeared; if you can understand that. They were after me again. Setting off running this time, I ran past the boy nailed to the tree; he was screaming for me to help him, every part of my body was telling me to stop to help him, but the fear I had for the creatures with box kept me racing on. I found myself running down a street, my legs once more like lumps of lead the box carriers were catching me. I ran into this house, there were six people in the room all dressed in black and all with long white faces. I ran to a door, it opened onto a staircase. I knew there was evil up there, but the creatures with the box were gaining on me, I was terrified, I could hardly move, they were gaining, no---no---no---not again----please God---no. Gerald Finlay, 2003, All Rights Reserved.
Archived comments for The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled 'Whirligig'
Harry on 05-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Quite a night, Gerry – enough to make any man swear off for a while. I think I see the light at the end of your metaphors, even to the 'young boy' you used to be. Be all that as it may it's a great picture you paint reminiscent of Michelangelo's "Last Judgement."

Author's Reply:
Harry thanks mate. I didn't intend the said metaphor---but there may well be a subconscious connection.
Compared to 'Last Judgment' wow I will now die happy 😉

Gerry.

Bradene on 05-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Cricky Gerry I shall be scared to dop off this afternoon for my daily snooze Lol. Enjoyed being scared witless Well done Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, I think you may have read the original version of this some time ago. What is 'Dop Off' is it rude;-)

Glad you enjoyed being scared witless--I haven't recovered yet...

Gerry xxx.

Zoya on 05-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
This is a nightmare of nightmares!!!!!!!
I could empathize with your agony all along... I have also experienced the feeling of feet turning to lead in dreams...
There is a poem I have posted here 'Is it a nightmare; Or, is it True?' in which I have described the events of Gujarat carnage of minorities in year 2002, around the same time of the year... The fear of the victims being chased is real!!!!! Check it out if you like, I had posted it last year in April-May, I think...
(((Hugs)))
Love, Zoya


Author's Reply:
Dear Zoya, I checked your post--I had already read and commented on it at the time. I did read it again though. I admire your stance on these events--you write with such feeling.
Thank you for reading the above, and I pray that you never experience anything as bad as this nightmare...

Gerry xxx.

niece on 06-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Gerry,

Brrrrr!!! That was some nightmare---as it is, they are bad and then not being able to wake up from one---unimaginable! Good write, Gerry!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, truly horrific--I can think of a few people who would be well suited to an eternity of this nightmare though 😉

Thanks for the comment and sweet dreams lol.

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 06-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Well, that'll teach you to take more water with it - and lay off the late-night cheese! I should think you've caught just about everybody's nightmares here, Gerry - talking of girder-walking, that wasn't you in the opening shots of the latest James Bond, was it? Put the willies up me...I shall be sleeping with the lights on tonight, and I shall be sending you the electricity bill.

Author's Reply:
Roy, I never put water in anything (only tea and coffee) it would be a crime. I never eat cheese at night either, I ike a bit of 'Double Gloucester' occasionally though. I haven't seen a James Bond film since----

Dr No. 😉



I truly can wake myself up from bad dreams. I am happy to say though, that I seldom have them--if one thinks pleasant things prior to sleep then the dreams usually follow suit. (well they do for me)



I am sure you will have read this before in its original version, but thank you for reading again and please send me your electric bill--I never pay mine say it will fit easily on the pile lol.



Best--Gerry.










Gerry on 06-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Deborah, thank you for your comment. Yes indeed it would be very interesting to get Freud's take on this. I wonder if one would be able to escape from this nightmare----maybe some people may find themselves in such a dream! I shall be extra kind from now on 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Deborah, sorry put reply in comments (Groans)

TheGeeza on 08-03-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Couple of things:
"Spiders totally screw me up me" think you have an errant word in there!
"that his total responsibility was mine" - jarred me reading, seemed wordy.

The nightmare was good - pace and then around for repetition - like a nightmare! It reminded me of a regular nightmare I had when at school. I could fly, and was being chased, but I just couldn't take off, although it seemed I was always so near to flying away.
I like "the box". I like how that - and all of it really - is not explained and left for the reader to think. I took it the boy was his son and perhaps he had let him down in a big way.
Enjoyed it, Gerry.
Steve.


Author's Reply:
Steve, thank you for reading. The number of times I have read this and still missed that extra 'me'. You did well to spot it. I have also altered the bit that jarred you, maybe it is less harsh now. 😉
Glad you enjoyed it...

Gerry.

eddiesolo on 13-04-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
Bloody hell Gerry...glad it was you and not me.

I get more scared with a nightmare because I half wake up and am aware of my surroundings, yet still can't fully awake from the dream. Eventually I do wake and am all shaky and in a right state. My missus just tells me to shut up and go to sleep...:-(

Great write and enjoyed.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon, thank you for the comment.

I hope your eye problem is a little better, I know how distressing it can be.
I was prescribed 'Predsol' which I still use from time to time. It is a steroid solution and was the only thing that made a difference to my eye problem. I had to see a consultant to get it. I don't of course know what your prob is--but I just thought I would mention it 😉

Once more thank you...

Gerry

neotom on 14-04-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
As per usual, I enjoyed reading this tale. I took the boy to be Jesus. I took the creatures with the box to be the four riders of the Apocalypse. I took the six people in the room to be half of the apostles (then when the protagonist met the six people again, these were the other six apostles...only he didn't notice through his fear). What the hell am I talking about?



The story was entertaining in a Stephen King kinda way.



Look forward to more strange tales.



Tom

Author's Reply:

neotom on 14-04-2007
The Worst Nightmare Ever, Sub Titled ‘Whirligig’
As per usual, I enjoyed reading this tale. I took the boy to be Jesus. I took the creatures with the box to be the four riders of the Apocalypse. I took the six people in the room to be half of the apostles (then when the protagonist met the six people again, these were the other six apostles...only he didn't notice through his fear). What the hell am I talking about?



The story was entertaining in a Stephen King kinda way.



Look forward to more strange tales.



Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom. Thank you for your comment on this, and for your explanation. Your analogy is good--but I cannot say if it has any validity 😉

Best--Gerry.



A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Four. (posted on: 02-03-07)
Comments welcome, but no crit on this post please. A two way exchange now seems to be a possibility.This seems like an amazing situation. What questions would you ask?

I knew Conrad was not far away. If you remember he walked out of the hospital and down the road. There was no journey on a golden chariot to the stars or planets. Conrad was just on a different level, and I was trying to get my mind around the thought transference business. I must admit I had been thinking that I was trying to send thoughts over a long distance, and the human brain is just not powerful enough for that. It is only possible to send thought waves about six feet; the brain does not develop enough electrical power to transmit any further. Conrad clearly does not have this problem because he is no longer human. The practical problem is that any transmission must be at a resonant frequency. That means the frequency of the sender must resonate, or be the same as the person receiving. It is not possible to tune into thought transference like one would tune a radio, one either is resonant or not. This would explain why so called mediums can only receive their messages, and not transmit. Although I had been using my computer to receive Conrad's messages, I honestly believe that he could contact me quite easily by other methods. The problem is of course I have to prove it, and I can only prove it if I can contact him. I know I can resonate with Conrad, we have proved that, and he clearly has the power to contact me. I wondered if my idea would work. I mentioned earlier that I was able to hypnotise myself, and how I found it very useful on occasions, I have developed the ability to achieve a deep level of hypnosis that is just this side of sleep yet still maintain a degree of awareness. This was the way I had decided to try to contact Conrad. I was clearly in the correct place, Conrad's home, with his wife and daughter present, this fact had to add vibes and give additional strength to my attempt. I explained to Susan that I would not require the computer, and also told her that I had no idea if I would be successful. Both Susan and Samantha wanted me to try. I sat on a comfortable chair, facing my two friends who were sat together on a settee. I told them they must remain very quiet until I spoke to them. I didn't know how I appeared when hypnotised, so I also warned them not to be alarmed if I pulled any faces or said anything silly. I then put myself under hypnosis. I knew if I was correct it would be all about having enough power. I knew I resonated with Conrad; maybe the concentration I could now apply, in the presence of Conrad's daughter and wife would do the trick. I knew Conrad would not be far away. I was just concentrating on Conrad's name, asking him if he was receiving me. I was not aware of anything else. After a short time I got the response I had been praying for. ''Tamus yes, I am receiving you'' It was just as if he was stood talking to me. ''We can do without the computer then Conrad?'' ''Yes it seems so, but it could still be a useful tool if I need to send a long transmission.'' Conrad was obviously viewing this the same way as myself, just as if we had radio contact, in a way I suppose we had. I then explained the situation. Conrad was ahead of me, he knew full well that if I couldn't contact him I had problems. He knew also that to prove my story I would have to convey a message to Susan that only she would be able to understand. He then gave me that message. I was not aware of writing it down, but apparently I did, on the notepad I had at the side of me. Before I lost contact with Conrad, he gave me a name. I brought myself out of the trance and looked across at Susan and Samantha. It was obvious from their faces that they knew, we all hugged one-another. The message I had written down was in Latin. Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis. Non nova sed nove. Omne ignotum pro magnifico est. I prayed I had not been deceiving myself, when I looked at what I had written. It was a long time since I had done any Latin; I was rusty to say the least. I knew though that Conrad was fluent, and I had no doubt that Susan and Samantha would be fluent. All modern language students have an excellent grounding in Latin. I handed the paper to Susan. She looked at it and asked, --- ''Can you translate this Tamus?'' ''Well I think it means something like this---we should all share new things, and not bother about separation.'' ''That's pretty good Tamus, but this is the accurate translation---Not for you, not for me, but for us. Not new things but in a new way. Distance lends enchantment,'' Susan was now in tears and hugging Samantha. ''Is this message significant then?'' I asked gently. Susan was now over at their bookshelf and came back holding a red backed book. ''Conrad wrote this book on modern philosophy, about a year ago. He gave me the first book off the print run and wrote this inside''. She opened the book and pointed to the inscription. It read--- "Non nova sed nove--Not new things but in a new way.'' ''Does the name Umakant mean anything to you?'' Again Susan burst into tears. This was the name that I was sure Conrad had sent to me. ''Conrad and I went to India last year for a holiday. Umakant was the man in charge of the pool at the hotel. He was getting married the week after we left and wanted us to stay for the wedding. We could not stay but sent him a present and told him we would go back to see him. We were hoping to go later this year.'' What could I say? There was no way I could have known any of this. It seemed certain now that the impossible had happened. I had made contact with Conrad We were saying our goodbyes the next morning. Samantha had already left for the university. After a small breakfast it was my time to leave. I had my own life to lead, and although what had happened just recently was quite mind blowing, I could not at this time let it dominate my life. My wife had been very understanding, she knew the whole story, and had been in agreement with me making this journey. Susan had already contacted William Grant and had arranged to see him later to explain about the previous evening's events. I had no doubt that William would be soon in touch with me. Susan and I made sure we had a good communication system in place, and having assured her that I would be in touch just as soon as there was something to report, she gave me an extra hug as we parted. I had to be very careful now to work out the best way of communicating with Conrad and gain the most information. I didn't know at this stage just how much he knew, how much he could divulge, or even how long this situation might last. Still having a great deal to find out, I had decided to record any future exchanges contemporaneously. This would mean of course that nothing was missed, and my questions as well as Conrad's answers would all be written down. So it would be back to the computer keyboard again. After arriving home quite exhausted, and then having to explain everything that had occurred to my wife, I had no intention of trying to contact Conrad; other business had to be caught up with. What I had forgotten of course was that Conrad may have decided to contact me, and that is exactly what happened. While sitting at my computer catching up with my e/mails, Conrad joined me. He didn't take over the keyboard, but I could sense his message. ''Conrad calling Tamus, please reply''. I put myself under hypnosis; this is very easy to do by using a keyword, and then I responded. Would it work this time? there was no need for worry; Conrad received me loud and clear. I shouldn't have been surprised by his contact; Conrad was anxious to know what had happened after our last conversation. I explained that Susan knew exactly what his message was, and also the significance of the name. He was clearly relieved to hear this. This seemed a good opportunity to explain to Conrad that I thought all future contact should take place at my instigation, and it should be whilst I was at my computer. He understood about my desire to have every word that was exchanged put down and kept securely. My intention was to back up everything I received immediately and also print out as soon as possible. I asked him if he had any problems with our continuing communication. Apparently everything that passed between us was being carefully monitored, and so far there seemed to be no problems; in fact Conrad was under the impression that the whole thing was being observed with great interest. It seemed from what he told me that they would be happy to share the answers to any questions. I don't know at this stage who 'they' actually were though. Conrad explained that he personally did not have much to share yet. This next bit surprised me, but it also seems that this is the first two-way conversation. Although it is possible for people who have passed, to contact the physical side on occasions, and it is certainly possible to send messages the other way; two way contact had never been known. There was still concern that Conrad was given level three status, when it would appear that he had not let go. Investigation though had proved that he had indeed let go totally. He was not holding on to anything in fact, he just had this extraordinary ability; and I just happened to have the reciprocal ability. Conrad and I used to be interested in ghosts, we had read many books and visited many so-called haunted houses, I must add I personally never had any success with contacting ghosts at all. I asked him if he had found anything out about ghosts, I knew it would have been one of his first interests. He had indeed--- this is what he told me. ''Ghost do exist and have always done so. There are many ghosts, in fact all the people on level two have the ability to show themselves as ghosts at any time. A ghost will usually only be at one spot, hence the expression, haunted house, or haunted castle. One has to be receptive to ghosts to see one; not many people can or do. A ghost cannot do any harm to anyone. There is just a strong tie to the physical side for some reason that the ghost cannot sever. Most ghosts do eventually break free, and arrive at level three. However it sometimes takes centuries for this to happen. Exorcism can and does work; this has been successful in all religions, and not specific to one. However it is not always successful. Anyone who sees a ghost should try his or her best to communicate. This should be done in a soft soothing voice. One should do their utmost to get the restless spirit to cut the tie, explain that it should now move on, and that things will get much better.'' He told me he would explain more when he gained more knowledge. Conrad then told me he wouldn't be coming back, so not to bother looking for him. He then asked me to give Susan a message. He said it would be difficult to understand, but he felt no sadness or loss to find himself in his situation. He had not, and will not, miss the physical side in any way. He hoped that Susan could come to understand that, and realised it was far harder for her than for him. He tried to explain to me that he was in a place where sadness did not exist, and so he could not be sad. He understood though that although he had had a privileged life, the earthly journey could be full of sadness. I said goodbye to Conrad at this point and arranged a time for our next meeting, convenient for me; it didn't seem to matter to him. Before we signed off he told me he would try to get the answers to any questions. Without doubt there would be questions from Susan, Samantha, William and his colleague's, and maybe a few from other sources, quite a few people were now aware of our situation. Gerald Finlay, 2004, All Rights Reserved.
Archived comments for A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Four.
Bradene on 02-03-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Four.
Still has me fascinated Gerry await the next part with bated breath Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, thank you for sticking around. I am getting worried now 😉

Gerry. xxx.

Harry on 02-03-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Four.
You're maintaining a high level, Gerry, and the plot thickens. Of your many supernatural stories, I maintain this as your best. It would be far better in printed form than here on the internet,

Author's Reply:
Harry, just between you and me--I am compiling my S/S with a view to publication. Not sure which way I am going yet though lol.
Thank you for all your encouraging comments...

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 02-03-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Four.
I agree with Harry - there's so much to try to wrap your head round (I mean, even hypnotism is quite weird to a non-scientist like myself) that a quiet browse away from the computer would be useful. Good to be able to pick up the reins again on this one!

Author's Reply:
Roy, I never intended this to be mind blowing to read (only to write) take it easy we cannot afford to lose you 😉 I am know looking for divine intervention lol.
Thanks as always...

Gerry.

niece on 06-03-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Four.
Gerry,

I liked your explanations about "ghosts" . They seem quite logical!

I hope this is not the last chapter...!!! Good write, Gerry!

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:


A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three. (posted on: 09-02-07)
'Comments welcome, but no Crit on this post please.' ''If you can contact Conrad, and ask him to give you a piece of information that only Susan will understand, something that you will have no way of checking out, and it proves to be accurate---then Susan and I may be prepared to go along with you."

I presented Susan with copies of the communications I had received from Conrad. For the next ten minutes she didn't say a word, her head was buried in the paper on which I had copied the messages. She seemed to be reading over and over again. ''I cannot understand this, are you telling me that Conrad sent these messages to you?'' ''Those are the messages I have received Susan, it seems just as amazing to me as it obviously does to you. What do you make of it?'' ''When did you receive the first one?'' ''About two weeks ago'' I answered. ''Conrad died fourteen weeks ago, it seems then he waited twelve weeks to contact you.'' ''Well yes, it would seem so.'' ''Why would he wait all that time?'' ''I have no idea, maybe he was not able to contact me before for some reason, he never mentioned the time delay.'' ''Why did he pick on you? '' Maybe I was the only one he could contact.'' ''I need a drink Tamus, can I call you that?'' ''Sure you can it's all Conrad ever called me,'' I said with a smile. Just then the door chimes sounded and Susan went to answer the door. She came back with a gentleman, and introduced him to me. He was William Grant, the chaplain from the university where Conrad had worked. He had apparently taken Susan under his wing, and was keeping an eye on her. Susan asked me if she could show William the copies, and briefly explained to him why I was there. I had no reason object, so William started to read --- and Susan went to make coffee. ''Tamus, are you seriously trying to tell me that you have received this lot from Conrad?'' ''Well to the best of my knowledge I have.'' I replied. ''But that is clearly impossible'' responded William. ''Well you have read all I have written, including the part about our experiment, Conrad didn't think it was impossible.'' ''Yes I have read that, I know that sometimes things like that can happen between humans, but never when someone has passed.'' ''Well I am not in the habit of making things up, especially things like this, and let's be logical---where else could the messages have come from?'' Susan returned with the coffee, and a carafe of brandy, we all had a large brandy. ''Tamus, did you know the details of Conrad's accident before Susan told you?'' I had to admit that I didn't, and told William I didn't even know about his death until the first message. His look told me he didn't believe me. ''Don't you think it strange that he didn't tell you any details?'' I told William that I had never really thought about it, but I had no illusions at all as to where he was leading. ''He hasn't actually told you anything that we, or at least Susan could identify with; in short, you haven't told us anything to prove what you say.'' . ''William I have been nothing but honest. I only did what Conrad asked me to do, I know it is strange, but I know it to be true. Do you think I would have come here and told Susan my story if I hadn't been convinced of it's authenticity.'' ''How did you receive these messages?'' This was the part I was dreading, but I knew I would get this question. I paused then; I hadn't come here to be grilled by someone who was a total stranger to me, this is not how it should have been and I was getting a little annoyed. After a few seconds and a couple of deep breaths---and being aware of Susan's feelings, I decided to go along with William's questions. ''I do quite a bit of writing on my computer and I was actually in the process of writing a letter, when I received the first message. I had no control whatsoever---my hands just typed the message out, it was as if someone else was pushing my fingers. It was exactly the same for the second and third messages.'' ''How would Conrad have contacted you if you did not have a computer?'' ''I really have no idea, but knowing Conrad as well as I did, I am sure he would have found some way.'' ''Tamus I am not convinced at all about what you have told me, there is nothing concrete at all as far as I am concerned, frankly I do not believe in such stuff. I think you have been very upset after finding out about Conrad's death, maybe you couldn't accept it and rejected it. You would have perhaps had a guilt complex because you were so very close and then drifting apart. You have been dwelling on it, quite understandably, and subconsciously you have sent yourself these communications.'' ''Well okay William, I have to say now that I am getting a bit fed up of your questions. I did not come here to be interrogated by you---I know nothing about you; however for Susan's sake I will respond. In your position I would probably have come to the same conclusion. I can fully understand you wanting to protect Susan and I thank you for that.'' ''Susan, do you want me to forward you any more messages if I should receive any.'' Looking across at William and then back to me, Susan replied quietly. ''Yes please, I would like you to.'' ''Tamus, you say that Conrad has asked you to try to contact him'' William cut in again. ''I don't suppose you have had any success yet''. I detected sarcasm here, however I let it pass and responded. ''Yes he has, I have only tried a little, but I have no way of knowing if I am being successful. Conrad has not been specific.'' ''If you can contact Conrad, and ask him to give you a piece of information that only Susan will understand, something that you will have no way of checking out, and it proves to be accurate--- then Susan and I may be prepared to go along with you. Not only that, but I will bring this meeting to the attention of my colleagues at the university. May I take copies of these messages with me?'' I had no objections to that and told him it was fine. ''Have you shown these messages to anyone else?'' William then asked. ''Yes I have''. ''You haven't claimed them as factual have you?'' said William a little anxiously ''I must admit that I was tempted to, but because there is no way I can prove anything, I haven't stated anything is true.'' ''Thank goodness for that, just keep it as fiction, if there is any truth in this, which I very much doubt, it clearly is not stuff that should be broadcast yet.'' William bade me farewell and Susan walked him outside to his car. I could see that they were deep in conversation for a good ten minutes. Susan had kindly agreed to let me stay the night. I had arranged to take her out to dinner that evening. After a lovely meal, and some very pleasant chat and reminiscences about the past, Susan asked me if I would like to have a try on Conrad's computer when we got back to her house. I knew exactly what she was implying and had to think quickly. I just need to take you back a little way now. I had taken my running gear with me when I went to Susan's home, and about an hour after William had left, I asked Susan if she would mind if I went out for a run. She had some things to do, and so I changed and set off with a warning not to get lost. My mind, which is usually concentrated on running at such times, was now running, wild. Was I being silly, could I have known about Conrad's death before the first message was received, and not wanting to accept it, put it out of my mind? Could my subconscious have taken over, could I in fact have been typing messages to myself, convincing myself they were from Conrad? I remembered writing a story myself about when people die, I had also suggested that there might be levels of entry just has Conrad had explained. I had though, not presented anything to Susan that was in any way conclusive, no wonder William reacted as he did. The whole thing must have sounded very silly. I realised now that I had acted far too soon, and regretted having bothered Susan. All I really had was the apparent message from Conrad asking me to contact Susan, well perhaps again that was a trick of my mind, wanting to try bring some comfort and hope to her. When I returned from my run, I was feeling pretty low and silly. Before taking a shower I told Susan what I had been thinking whilst running, and explained to her that maybe I had acted too early. She was very understanding and told me she knew I had only done what I thought to be correct. She also told me that although William had appeared to find my story unbelievable, he had in fact been very impressed by my honesty, and found the whole story fascinating. We agreed not to discuss my mission during our meal, and just talk of happier times. We had an early dinner and left the restaurant about eight thirty, as we approached Susan's home I noticed a car parked in the drive. I was soon to find out that it belonged to Samantha. When I left university, you will remember that Conrad stayed on to do languages, It was on this course that he met Susan. After graduating Conrad stayed at the university as a lecturer; Susan left to start an interpreter business. They later married and Samantha arrived soon after. Susan then only did work from home, and this is still the situation. When Samantha has graduated she is going to join her mum in the business, apparently there is lots of potential. Samantha will then accept live work so they can expand a little. There was no mistaking whose daughter she was, Susan was a lovely looking woman and her daughter was no exception. The striking thing though was how much she resembled Conrad, I would find out later just how much like him she was. Samantha was studying at the same university that Conrad had worked at, and apparently she frequently visited her mum; however I was soon to find out that this particular visit was by design and not by chance. It was many years since I saw Samantha; I gave her a quick hug and told her how sorry I was to find out about her dad. Susan left us alone. I told Samantha about my memories of Conrad and our time at university, and how we had drifted apart. She surprised me by saying that her dad often referred to me in conversations, and felt she knew me quite well. Susan returned with coffee and some liqueurs, I chose a peach schnapps. When Susan had got herself comfortable, she turned to me and said--- ''Tamus I am sorry but we have been a little bit less than honest with you, I hope you will understand.'' This remark certainly got my attention, she continued--- ''We were sure that we knew the reason for your visit, you will understand how shortly. It was also no coincidence that William was here this afternoon, and it is no coincidence that Samantha is here now''. I was staggered to hear this. ''I hope you are going to explain things to me then,'' I responded trying to sound unperturbed. Samantha then interrupted, ''Let me explain mum, it will be easier. My dad has been trying to contact me. He hasn't been successful but I know without doubt that he is trying. I know dad had a great ability with this kind of thing because we used to do experiments together. We were able to send details of playing cards to each other and we were nearly always right. We could not however send anything other than numbers and symbols, no matter how hard we tried. Dad told me that you and he could send quotes to each other with remarkable accuracy. He made me laugh when I questioned him about this, and I suggested that you would probably both know the quotes anyway. He said you both put errors in the quotes, just to make sure.'' I knew this to be true and had to smile to myself. Samantha continued--- ''I knew if dad couldn't contact me, he would try with you, there is nobody else to try. We guessed what had happened when you got in touch with mum.'' Susan now cut in. '' I told William about Samantha first, and he thought she was just upset and emotional, he said it was quite a common experience after loosing a close relative. I then told him about you, and what we suspected. He became much more interested then. He suggested that he call in today as if it was just a normal visit, so he could talk to you. I didn't particularly like the idea, but I agreed.'' I was very interested in the fact that Samantha had had some success with the cards with her dad, obviously it was in the genes. Susan had also tried the experiment with her husband but without any success at all. It was perfectly clear now why Conrad was relying so heavily on me. I told Susan it was no problem, and that I quite liked William anyway, and confronted with the same situation I would probably have acted in a similar manner. Susan now asked me the question I had been expecting--- ''Will you try to contact Conrad now.'' I really had no idea how to respond to this request. I had in fact no idea how to contact him. It was quite obvious the computer would not help, I clearly couldn't send Conrad an E/Mail. I had tried thought transference, the way we did at college, with maybe a little success, but nothing concrete. Then an idea suddenly came to me---- Gerald Finlay, 2004, All Rights Reserved.
Archived comments for A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
Harry on 09-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
I very much like the period style of the writing, Gerry. Maybe it wasn't as pronounced in the first edition, but it is here. It improves the story very much.

Author's Reply:
Harry, sorry I am late getting here--been a bit tied up with things. I am also leaving shortly for Scotland , so will be out of touch for a while. This story seems to be dieing at the moment anyway, so maybe its just as well 😉 Thanks for your comment...

Best--Gerry.

RoyBateman on 10-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
Oh, what a cliffhanger! With one bound he was... No, seriously, I'm enjoying this just as much the second time around, as it's a subject that never loses its appeal. How WILL he make contact? Not via second-class mail, that's for sure...

Author's Reply:
Roy, I will be out of touch for a while in Scotland. It will give this a chance to pick up;-)
Thanks for struggling through this again. I am not convinced now it was a good idea--even with the promise of more. C'est la vie ...

catch you later--Gerry.

Bradene on 11-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
Oh Gawd! another week to wait, as Roy says what a cliffhanger. First rate. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, It may be a bit longer, see replies above 😉
Thanks for your support...

Gerry xxx.

niece on 12-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
Gerry,
Just as anxious as the others to read the next chapter...very intriguing and interesting...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, I hope you can be patient 😉 see above.
Thanks for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

neotom on 13-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
I'm enjoying this piece, and I want to know what happens next!

Enjoy your trip to Scotland!

Tom


Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 18-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
WHAT IDEA GERRY...!!!

Loving this mate.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Me again--see you are still here--thanks mate...

Gerry.

Jolen on 05-03-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part Three.
Hi Gerry:
Sorry to be late to the party, but have been moving. I am now in England and so happy to be finishing this incredible journey you have given to us. Great way to keep the reader engaged and I for one look forward to seeing how you've finished it. You have a keen eye for detailing, and the whole premise is brilliant.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, No problem I have been away anyway---just trying to catch up a bit myself.
Are you in England to live or just visiting? Thanks for sticking with this...

Gerry xxx.


A Brief Journey Into Death. Part two. (posted on: 05-02-07)
'Comments welcome but no crit on this post please.' Conrad had died in a road accident. He has contacted me once since passing! Will he be able to do it again?

I claim no expertise at writing, indeed my claim to fame such as it is, or maybe I should say such as it was, featured in a totally different direction. My intention here is to be as timely and accurate as possible in producing a draft of any communication from Conrad. Further if a miracle happens then the draft may contain a two-way exchange. I make no apologies then for the following well-worn clich; 'Sleep and I were strangers,' because on the night of my communication from Conrad that was exactly the situation. Some time ago I found out I could hypnotise myself very easily without any problem, this came in handy if I had any physical pain, which we all have from time to time. If I had any family worries, again which we all experience, or maybe just some personal niggle; whatever, I found it very useful and used this technique to gain sleep very frequently. However on the night of Conrad's communication it just would not work. My mind was in turmoil at the possibilities, and I just couldn't let go. I was thinking of all the questions I could put to Conrad if I was given the opportunity, I even found myself supplying the answers, how foolish was that? I am sure the questions I was thinking about would be the same or similar to yours. My first question would probably be 'how did everything start?' followed by 'is there a God' or maybe 'is there a heaven?' and 'where is it?' I would then dismiss these questions as being too silly and try other questions. This was how my sleepless night progressed. Another clich coming up now--- 'In the grey light of dawn' funny isn't it how the advance of early morning light seems to focus the mind? I soon began to realise how foolish I had been. I must tell you I have no doubt about being contacted by Conrad, and I will die happy for that no matter what happens, but I guess I now know why his communication faded out. Why didn't I twig it before? It was so clear. What was it that Bella told Conrad? 'The reason things seemed the same to me, was because of the slow change I would experience. Changes it seemed would take place very gradually, and it would take some time to adapt to my new situation.' In this quote Bella actually says the same thing three times; Conrad was slowly adapting to a new way of living and it seems quite clear that this is what happened, and why he was experiencing difficulty in maintaining communication. He must have lost the ability; pure and simple. Amazing! it has happened. I have had another communication from Conrad. He is aware somehow that he has made contact, but he has no idea at present who it is with. Below is the copy of what I received. ''Hello whoever you may be, I know I have contact, and hope I can maintain it. I desperately need to keep this communication open, and hopefully make it ongoing. Bella has been contacted by my assessors, who had become immediately aware of my possessing some special ability. She told me that they knew about my communication with the physical side, and had pulled the plug so to speak, this was the reason for me losing contact when I tried before. It seems though from what I have been told that they are prepared to let it continue. She also told me they knew all the content of my communication, there will be no secrets. Whether it will ever be possible to have a two-way exchange, I do not know at the moment, but I am certainly aware of the significance of this. What I have to tell you now is hard for me to understand. Bella told me to remember that I was now in a new form. Although I looked and felt just the same as before I passed, things were now totally different. All physical bodily function no longer applied. It was she told me, still possible to enjoy the experiences of the past if I chose to do so, but added that when I had fully adapted she would be surprised if I even considered it. Apparently the experiences that await people are far superior to anything experienced in the physical plane. I am afraid I cannot get my head around this at the moment. However I look forward to finding out. I have asked about entry levels, but this is what I found out. Level three, my level apparently, is regarded as good. Why I aspired to this level I have yet to find out. Apparently not many people enter at higher levels. I understand that there is possibility to migrate between levels. It is it seems, very difficult to progress though. It appears people are so content here at this level they don't bother. It is hard to imagine that things can get better, but Bella assures me that they can and do. Level two is for people who for some reason will not let go of the physical plane. There is nothing that can be done to assist here. It is up to the individual to make the break. Sometimes it can take years. People, who claim to see ghosts and contact spirits on Earth, are indeed contacting these level two spirits. I had experience of that myself, but more of that later. Bella wouldn't tell me about level one, She just said that level one is for those without any hope. I have been told to end this communication now. Hopefully next time I will have more details for you. I am beginning to get a feeling about who you may be." What a relief to have contact again. If a two-way communication can be set up it would be amazing. But how does Conrod know it is me who has picked up his communication? Conrad was what many would describe as an all rounder when at university, but with style. We spent time together in the campus singing group, and also in the athletic group. He and I ran many miles together over the surrounding countryside during training; in fact it was during these runs from our early days that our friendship developed. Apart from singing and athletics Conrad was ahead of me in all things. Academically he would leave me in his wake. His main forte though was debating. He was head of the debating society and there was always a full house guaranteed when he was one of the team. He had the ability to debate for or against any subject with consummate ease, and indeed did just that, and at the last minute on many occasions. It was during our second year, (I was studying social history, Conrad was studying philosophy) that our friendship grew stronger. One day we were out on one of our training runs when he asked me if I would be prepared to join him in an experiment. He then went on to tell me something that he had not spoken to anyone else about for many years. He had been taken by an aunt some years before, to a spiritualist meeting, and had been very impressed by what he had seen; he felt that he was actually being contacted. He told his Aunt about his feelings, her reaction was that he was being silly, that it was just his imagination. However although never going to another spiritualist meeting he had experienced many occasions when he had felt in touch with both the living and the dead. If this had come from anyone else but Conrad I would have dismissed it out of hand. He delivered the punch line when he told me that sometimes he thought he could tell what I was thinking. We were both free that evening and agreed to meet. Conrad started off by telling me a little of the workings of the brain, how it was a powerful device, and indeed how some people seemed to have the ability to utilise its powers more than others. He explained that when people had flashes of inspiration, these were sometimes referred to as brain waves. He thought this a good description and told me he was convinced that the brain did actually transmit, similarly to radio waves. He further told me that after physical death he was convinced that the spirit could indeed still have this potential. The experiment started, initially it was just trying to transmit playing card details to one another. Amazingly it appeared to back up what Conrad told me, it seemed I was an excellent transmitter. I had previously had no experience of this fact. The experiment proceeded and I found out that I was in fact an equally good receiver. We then tried to communicate quotations to each other, and were correct nine times out of ten. Our session ended and we went for a drink. Conrad was very pleased with how things had turned out, and wasn't particularly surprised by the outcome. I on the other hand was astounded. We had many more successful experiments, however as we both became more involved with our respective studying, these sessions became rarer. Conrad stayed on at university after I graduated. He was taking a post-graduate degree in advanced philosophy, and languages. Conrad has contacted me again; he knows it is definitely me. I know this for sure because he is calling me by the nickname he gave me after our experiment at university. He was the only person who ever used it, or maybe even knew it. He has not given any indication of receiving anything from me, although I have been trying to get a message through to him. ''Conrad calling Tamus.'' Tamus was the nickname I was given by Conrad, it is from a quotation by T S Elliot, and one of the pieces I was able to transmit to him during our experiment. "I haven't got long this time, but will try to get back to you later. Please get in touch with Susan and tell her how things are. You are the only person I can contact so please don't let me down. I keep getting a feeling you are trying to contact me, but I cannot get anything clear. Please keep trying, I know you can do it. I am gathering much knowledge about this place and have a lot to tell.'' Susan was Conrad's wife. I hadn't seen her for a long time, too long. I managed to trace her address after hearing about the accident, and was glad of an opportunity to visit her. Sufficient time had elapsed and I felt it should now be okay. It was about a two hundred miles drive, which gave me plenty of time to decide how I would broach things, but as quite often happens things turned out totally different. It was a large house in lovely grounds. Conrad had obviously done very well for himself. Although it had been a long time, Susan and I recognised each other instantly. I embraced her and waited for the tears to stop. Over coffee, Susan now fully composed told me about the accident. Her husband was apparently struck by the driver of a stolen car, and suffered multiple injuries. He was on life support, and it was only a matter of time. He had never regained consciousness. I apologised for not being at the funeral and explained I had found out too late. Susan told me not to worry, she remembered that we had had a good friendship and said that Conrad often spoke about me, and did intend to get back in touch. Conrad was head of modern languages and philosophy at the local university at the time of his death. I then got around to the main reason for my visit. I asked Susan if she could remember that Conrad and I had played mind games when at university together. She confirmed she could remember, but did not remember any details. I then told her we could actually pass information to each other by thought transference. She became very attentive at this comment. ''Susan I have to tell you, Conrad has been in touch with me----'' ''The hippopotamus's day is passed in sleep; at night he hunts.'' T S Elliot. The extract above is the first quotation Conrad and I exchanged without error. This is where his name for me came from. Gerald Finlay, 2004, All Rights Reserved.
Archived comments for A Brief Journey Into Death. Part two.
Bradene on 05-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. 31st May 2004. 2nd Contact
enjoying this all over again Gerry, Val

Author's Reply:
Val, thanks--maybe you cannot detect the changes but they are there 😉 Hope to be able to continue this story...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 05-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. 31st May 2004. 2nd Contact
It's all coming back to me, Gerry. actually I think it's reading easier than the former one did. Also, it seems more 'conversational'. There is a tendency in this genre for the writer to become a lecturer, even Poe couldn't escape that – this is definitely more human. Keep going!

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 2. 2nd Contact 31st May 2004.
Yes, I agree with the above - maybe it's a slight familiarity, maybe the rewriting, but this flows more easily - and the subject is, of course, perennially fascinating! Yes, even better the second time around - as they say.

Author's Reply:
Roy, Thanks for that--not sure where I am going yet though (he said worryingly) 😉

Gerry.

Gerry on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 2. 2nd Contact 31st May 2004.
Harry, yes it should be easier, I have altered it quite a lot.
I will try keep it going, I keep getting ideas then rapidly discarding them 😉 What am I doing here again? LOL.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Sorry Harry wrong place again--reaches for gun 😉

jody on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 2. 2nd Contact 31st May 2004.
Since I'd not read this before, I can not say if it is better this time 'round.
But it does read well.
I am looking forward to next installment and Susan's reponse.


Author's Reply:
Jody, thanks for sticking with this. I must get working on the next phase 😉

Gerry xxx.

neotom on 07-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 2. Second Contact.
I'm enjoying this tale immensely...

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, I am pleased about that, I hope you continue to enjoy it...



Regards--Gerry.

Jolen on 08-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 2. Second Contact.
Gerry:
Sorry to be so late.
I am really pleased to be reading this tale. I agree, it seems a bit smoother than before, but it is very interesting and keeps the reader engaged all the way through.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, thanks for the comment, the possibilities are endless 😉 I just hope I can keep it going to a logical conclusion this time...

Gerry xxx.

eddiesolo on 18-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part two.
Hi Gerry,

Very much enjoying it mate, it does seem more polished.

Loved the 'level' reference you put in, clever that. Makes you think that death is not as easy as it looks and that level one is...shudders.

Off to part three!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Just catching up Simon, thanks for staying with this...

Gerry.


A Brief Journey Into Death. Part One. (posted on: 02-02-07)
'Comments are welcomebut no crit on this post please. This post has been tightened up and re-edited since the first draft which some of you may have read. I will post all I have written to date. I was tempted to post the whole thing in one go but realise it would be too long for comfortable monitor reading---so I will post it in readable parts. It may now be possible for me to add to this story. "The nurse should not have left me alone, if she had been there she would have seen the flat-line appear"

Conrad and I were at university together. We were very close friends but not exclusively so. Conrad had many friends both male and female. He told me on many occasions that he knew what I was thinking---he was uncannily correct. He also told me that sometimes he saw ghosts and even spoke with them. After university our paths diverged and although we promised to stay in touch we found ourselves losing contact, the odd telephone call was made, but they became further apart. It was with great sadness then that I learned of the death of Conrad as the result of a road accident. I know this will sound strange but Conrad has contacted me. I cannot reveal the nature of the communication, the reason for this will become clear later. I can tell you also that I was not particularly targeted. This was an open communication certainly not specific to me, as you will see. Here then is the message that I picked up, it is verbatim, see what you make of it---- First contact. ''My name is Conrad and I have just passed. I may not be able to contact you again, so I will try to give as much detail now. I had been involved in a road accident and was in a deep coma. People were visiting me, and they were clearly upset and distressed at my appearance. I found this very difficult to understand, because I felt fine. Indeed I felt comfortable, warm, and totally unconcerned about my predicament; even though I was well aware that I would not survive. My visitors did not stay long; this was partly due to the medical team, who thought I would do better if left alone, and partly because they were constantly messing about with me. If I knew I would not survive why didn't they? A couple of days later I was on my own in the hospital intensive care room, the nurse had just popped out--as they do. I was strapped up to lots of equipment, but feeling totally happy and relaxed. Indeed I was fully immersed in watching the strange lines on the monitors. I think they were monitoring blood pressure, pulse-rate, temperature and brain scan. The nurse should not have left me alone. If she had been there, she would have seen the flat-line appear. As it turned out I was the only one to notice. It didn't cause me any concern, I felt calm and collective and in full control of everything. The nurse heard the alarm that began screeching as soon as the flat-line appeared on the monitor. She came running back into the room, first looking at the monitor, then at me; she felt my neck and looked into my eyes; my head was then covered with a sheet. A few moments later I climbed out of bed and walking down its side looked at the card clipped to the bottom--in large red letters was written DNR. I had no idea it was there, but I then realised that the staff obviously knew I had no chance of recovery. Others had now entered the room and a screen was placed around my bed, people were in there messing about with my body. I was not in the least concerned; I had finished with it. Let me tell you straight away, there was no floating and looking down on my body from the ceiling, there was no bright lights at end of tunnels. I was finished with that place now, and calmly turned round and walked out of the hospital. Outside everything was just the same as I remembered, people were going about their business, traffic was just as heavy. I was quite happy just strolling round feeling quite normal, when it occurred to me that something was seriously wrong. Why was I not bothered about the people who I had left behind? What was I going to do? More importantly, where was I going? Strangely, although I knew I had died in the hospital, I hadn't yet fully understood it. I didn't feel any different to how I felt before the accident. I knew I couldn't communicate with anyone around me, but here I was walking down Main Street as if I was perfectly normal. For the first time now I became more than a little worried. I had lost all concept of time since leaving the hospital, but I suddenly felt a sense of communication. I didn't know what it was or where it was coming from, but it was a strong feeling. I found myself turning my head and looking across the road. Quite a few people were about at that time, but I knew instinctively who it was trying to contact me; I made my way over the road towards a very attractive lady, she addressed me by my name and said she had been sent to welcome me. As you would imagine I had a host of questions to ask her, even at this early stage. I will now tell you what I can remember. The lady introduced herself to me as 'Bella', and explained that I had left my physical life and was now about to experience a different one. I did realise this fact and asked her why things still appeared the same. This delightful looking lady then told me that I had been granted a temporary entry level; this was apparently to give whoever processed new arrivals time to evaluate me fully. She went on to tell me that mistakes are seldom made and that I shouldn't worry, explaining that the reason things seemed the same to me, was because of the slow change I would experience. Changes it seemed would take place very gradually, and It would take some time to adapt to my new situation. I would however retain certain memories. I felt a little happier knowing that I would not be cut off from my past completely. I questioned my new-found friend about the possibility of communication with the life I had just left. It seemed that some levels of entry did have the possibility to communicate. These it seemed were people who were reluctant to let go of their physical life and move on, I knew this didn't apply to me; I was certainly ready to move on. I began to think though how wonderful it would be if I could be able to communicate my experiences. What an opportunity to find out what exactly happens when we pass, and then to send back the details. It seems though that I may not be able to contact you again. I do not know for sure if anyone will pick this message up, because of the way it has been sent. Things are getting very difficult for me now as I try to transmit this, I cannot explain but I will have to stop now. If I find a way to keep communication open I promise to be back in touch.'' The communication ended at that point. I will of course let you know if I receive further messages, and I am certainly hoping that this is a possibility. It occurs to me that just maybe there will be a chance of a two-way communication. I have no idea at present how this could work. I hope that Conrad somehow knows he has made contact, and that he will find a way to send another communication. Very strange this, isn't it? Gerald Finlay, 2004, All Rights Reserved.
Archived comments for A Brief Journey Into Death. Part One.
Bradene on 02-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
I remeber reading this the first time around Gerry but I can't remember how it ends so I look forward to the 2nd part. Val x

Author's Reply:
Sorry Val I left reply under comments--groan 😉

Gerry on 02-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
Hi Val, I am still trying to edit this---I am still finding mistakes 😉 This draft will be different to the first. I am making changes and hopefully will extend the story.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 02-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
I remember it well Gerry. I liked it very much then and I have no doubt your edited version will be superior. I admire the slow, unhurried pace if it – it makes the strangeness all that more strange. How is Conrad dressed when he leaves the hospital – I don't know why, but that seems important to me.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I really have no idea, Perhaps just his hospital gown. I don't think anybody could see him anyway from what I gather. Bella could of course. Maybe he was back in his pre-accident attire. A good and pertinent question 😉 if I can--I will ask him.
Thanks for your interest and comment...

Best-Gerry.

Jolen on 02-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
I remember this too, but I look forward to reading again. I'm with Val and Hazy, you can tell a story and yes it's interesting and strange and wonderful for it all.
blessiings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, I hope you find enough change to maintain your interest--plus of course the possibility of continuance 😉 I think you meant Harry not Hazy LOL.

Blessing to you too ...
Gerry xxx.

Rupe on 02-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
I agree with Harry - the slow, unhurried pace does make the strangeness seem even stranger.

In some ways the tone you've achieved here reminds me of some sort of official report or statement - the way in which drama is flattened by 'official' language:

It was with great sadness then that I learned of the death of Conrad

And the strange lady's talk about being 'granted a temporary entry level' (I almost expected the word 'visa' to appear after this) and being 'evaluated' added to this feeling. It's a bit Kafkaesque...

Rupe



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 02-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
Rupe, thank you for your comment, Kafka has had many meanings attached to him LOL, maybe I can accept:-

'the characters lack a clear course of action, meaning has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical'.

We shall have to see 😉

Best--Gerry.



Author's Reply:
Rupe--sorry. I have put reply in comments box. I am beyond hope I fear...

RoyBateman on 04-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
Just as fascinating the second time, Gerry - particularly as you're planning on revealing more! (You can't let us down now, can you?) A perennially interesting subject, and, like many others, I shall be waiting for the next part eagerly!

Author's Reply:
Roy, thank you. Some of the changes are quite subtle and may not be spotted easily. I have added to, and subtracted some text. Hopefully some more questions will be answered. I hope Conrad et - al don't let me down 😉

Best--Gerry

niece on 04-02-2007
A Brief Journey into Death…First contact 24th May. 2004.
A very interesting read, Gerry...my brother once told me how they contacted a dead friend !!! Ghosts, spirits...these are subjects that fascinates me a lot tho' it also scares me.

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. 1st Contact 24th May. 2004.
niece, it's a fascinating subject I agree. If there is enough interest I hope to continue this story. Thank you for your comment.

Gerry xxx.,

Author's Reply:

jody on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. 1st Contact 24th May. 2004.
My oldest friend's husband is dying and I have been trying to be her 'shoulder' and ever available ears ... I will send her a link to this. It is actually rather comforting if you've had someone very close die. What I find appealing about this short is that it makes dying no more traumatic than say, waiting for the bus or for the clothes tumbler to finish it's cycle. Nice approach.

Author's Reply:
I am sorry to hear that news Jody. Please remember this is a work of Fiction. But who knows? it might well be pretty accurate. If you want to read on, I have posted the second part to this.
Thank you for reading...

Gerry xxx.

neotom on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. 1st Contact 24th May. 2004.
I am interested to see more. A very interesting story.

Just a quick comment in case you miss it in the editing: I might be wrong but when you wrote: "Indeed I was fully *emerged* in watching the strange lines on the monitors."
I assume *emerged* was meant to be *immersed*?

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, A deliberately planted 'mondegreen' congrats on spotting it. The toffee apple is on its way to you lol. (If you believe that you will believe anything)

It just go to show that none of us are 'inflammable' 😉
Pleased you are finding it interesting...

Best--Gerry.

jody on 06-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. 1st Contact 24th May. 2004.
Oh yes, of course it is a work of fiction... however, it is in stories that our ancestors, and we, find courage and encouragement; and sometimes we find temporary peace.
I have read second part and commented. I enjoy your enthusiasm for fiction/fantasy. It is a tough genre to write in (convincingly).

Author's Reply:
Thanks Jody...

Gerry xxx.

Skytrucker on 07-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. First Contact.
Well done Gerry. A very interesting read.

Author's Reply:
Allen I am about to seriously shoot myself--I just cannot resist the comments box LOL.

Gerry on 07-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. First Contact.
Hi Allen, nice to see you about again. Thanks for the comment...

Regards -- Gerry.

PS Have you got your veterans badge?

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 07-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death 1. First Contact.
Allen, sorry mate--left my reply under comment--groan 😉

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 18-02-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part One.
Hello Gerry,

I write this at 07:40 on Sunday morning having just spent the night on the couch, my missus wasn't too happy with my coughing and tossing and turning. Got about 3 hours sleep again...really getting cheesed off. The cold has affected my eyes even worse they are full of more floaters...at least it gets me out of doing anything lol!

Right to your piece, sorry I'm late on reading mate.

It stroke a cord with me and was sure that I had read it before. I like this, the simple matter of fact style you bring to this story.

Off to read the next part.

Take care mate.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Hi Simon, hope you are feeling better now, winter colds are always nasty.
I am a bit tardy replying too, just back from Scotland. Thank you for reading--yes it has appeared before-but hopefully this will be a better version 😉

best--Gerry.

len on 08-03-2007
A Brief Journey Into Death. Part One.
I like the matter-of-fact acceptance of the story, Gerry. I won't go into detail, but there was one moment in my life where I was certain in the next second I would die. Without feeling the possibility of my own survival, there was no fear, just calm knowledge. I simply thought, "I'm dead" with all the passion of, "Good morning."....len

Author's Reply:


This religious thing. Does it bother you? (posted on: 15-01-07)
During the recent problems when UKA was off the air, apart from forums, someone suggested that we post some articles there. I typed the following out and did just that. I think it was popular because there wasn't much else to read at the time, and it was Christmas. It got well over 100 hits before disappearing into the unknown. 😉 I decided rightly or wrongly to post it here; not to provoke anyone -- but because I have nothing else to post at the moment. If you want to know what prompted me to write it you will have to read it to the end.

This religious thing. Does it bother you? First of all I will tell you a little about myself. I was brought up in a Christian family. Was that my fault? I could just have easily been born into a Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim or fifty other religion families. So I cannot be blamed for that. During my early years I was encouraged to go to Sunday school. I never minded this, I clearly remember having a great time, in fact I made my first stage appearance at Sunday school and sang for the first time in public. I graduated into cubs, again enjoying every minute, and then into scouts. This gave me my first taste of camping and relying on othersmany lessons learnt here. So far I had just gone along with going to church, without fully understanding it. Too young I suppose. However I never had any problems with it. I enjoyed Christmas like any child would. It wasn't the present's thing, during the war there were not many presents, but we had a tree and sang Carols and had a few days off from school. I remember these early Christmases as magical times. I was confirmed when I was eleven, I cannot honestly remember any religious dogma being forced on me; in fact all I can remember was being told to always respect other people, try to be kind and compassionate to everyone, and try to obey the commandments. Well looking back I cannot see much wrong with that. In fact it seems that--that is pretty good advice for anyone to be guided by. I will move forward now to my working life, I suppose it could be said I was in a quasi-scientific field. I worked with very small voltages that could only be picked up on an oscilloscope to very high voltages in the kilo - voltage range. I worked with Radiation and Quantum problems related to Image Intensifiers and X/Rays, and also Laser Guidance systems. During my National Service I worked with aircraft electronics on the early jet fighters. The reason I mention the above, is that science and belief in a creator never seem to go together. However I never had a problem with this. I have probably read as many books as anyone else has about the start of everything. I can honestly say even after reading the most eminent of science books, I have never been tempted to change my view that we live in a world that was created. I think that to have a watchone must have a watchmaker. Now why do I go to church? Firstly I am not a religious fanatic. It matters not a hoot to me whether you are an atheist, agnostic or anything else, or what colour you may be, nor will I try to influence you in any way. I like people because of what they are. Who they are does not enter my equation. I go to church because I like to. Many English churches are very old, and old buildings fascinate me. I love church organs they are amazing instruments. I love singing, although I am the first to admit I am not a good singer. I also love listening to church choirs. There is something very soothing about churches, you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the day and have some peace---not many places left these days where one can get total peace. You don't have to listen to obscenities, blasphemy or that ridiculous all invading piped music in churches either. What do I believe? Well like everyone else, I don't know what happened in the beginning, and I don't suppose we ever will know. Nor do I know what happens at the end. What I do know is that the grounding I had as a child has never ever seemed wrong or sent me far wrong. I could write a long paper on what I believe was the start of our universe and how and why it occurred, but that is not for here. I can tell you though that it would not have any place for 'nothing' exploding. I am not a goody goody, I consider myself to be just ordinary. I have seen my share of the seedier side of life, and the so-called better side of life, and have not known what to make of either. Now what prompted this post? Well I just came across the following on the web. 'Because people go to church they are more likely to cheat and steal' Why? Because they think they will be forgiven. Me. -: Really? 'People go to church because they are afraid of death.' ME -: Well not anymore than anyone else I should think 🙂 'People who go to church see themselves as better than anyone else'. ME-: Well not in my experience they don't 🙂 'People go to church to reinforce their moral superiority.' ME -: Really, that's a bit rich 😉 'People who go to church think they are right and everyone else is wrong' ME -: Well now I definitely have to disagree with that one. 😉 'People who go to church are self-righteous and hate filled' ME -: Well not the one's that I know, and I know quite a few. 🙂 'People who go church are involved in bizarre behaviour' Me -: Really, I wonder what that means? 😉 'People who go to church are 'in your face ass-holes' that think they are better than anyone else.' ME -: I think we have been there 😉 By the way if you enjoy good music you can thank the church for:- Elgar's - Gerontius. Mendelsson's Elijah Handel's - Messiah. Verdi's Requium Mozart's Te-Deum Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. And: - Gounod's fabulous Oratorio 'Mors et Vita' Many more Famous composers wrote fine religious works including Haydn, Rossini, Vivaldi, Brahms and Bruckner . And I wish you all well in 2007 --- Whatever your feelings are
Archived comments for This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Evitchka on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Dear Gerry, thanks for posting this. I enjoyed it. Though not a churhgoer, I love sitting in them. I agree with you that they are one of the last bastions of peace and quiet

Author's Reply:
Eva, I am so pleased that you enjoyed this read. I am also pleased that you enjoy sitting in churches and hope you continue to do so 😉

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Hi, Gerry - food for thought, obviously, and I hope it provokes some deeper responses than the norm! I agree with you fully on some points: yes, I love medieval architecture, and most of that remaining intact is ecclesiastical. Ditto choral music - most was inspired by religious thought...and medieval art, obviously. But, until recently, belief in religion was the norm even in this society and thus art in all its forms tended to be expressed that way. (As it remains in Muslim societies.) Fine!
I remain a staunch humanist, however - I have often come across, though mainly in the past rather than today, "religious" folk whose other beliefs would seem to clash with their alleged piety. Naturally, I wouldn't include you there, mate - I know your beliefs are sincere and good luck to you. I'm quite convinced that there IS a worldwide need for religion of some kind, if only to "explain" the great unknowables: where do we come from, and where do we go? Science, as yet, can't do that. But, I go further: sure, everything has been created or happened - I can't conceive how. It's no use me trying. But, here's the real question for me - if a God created the universe etc., then who created God? We're left with a conundrum, and the only religious explanation is that God must have created himself. Sorry, I don't get that any more than the universe appeared from nowhere. Neither way makes any sense, ergo the requirement for a creating God vanishes. So, we pay our money and make our choice. It's one of the few freedoms we have left in the UK, so we may as well make use of it. And have a good new year, by the way!

Author's Reply:
Roy, believe me I know the dilemmas 😉 It would take someone with far more brains than I have to explain where God originated from. Some claim God is outside of time and has always existed. I don't know. Any paper written on this subject will only be the result of how the writer perceives things.
It just annoys me sometimes when we all get roped in and classed as idiots. Some of the names I came across when looking up who believed in God really surprised me.
Thanks for your (always interesting) reply.

Gerry.

Bradene on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
I read this on the forum and thought what a splendid job you had done, We are of much the same generation You and I Gerry and I recognised all you had to say, although I have to admit I am not a regular churchgoer. I tend to think of the great outdoors as my church. Top write. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, to me the Church is wherever I am. God, like love is everywhere. There is just something so special to me about sitting in a church...

Gerry xxx.

Rupe on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
In the end, when pondering the God question, I always come to the conclusion - how can we possibly know? God may objectively exist, or he/she may be no more than a projection of the super-ego - we have no real way of establishing the truth either way. All we can do is live a good life, according to our lights, and hope for the best...

With that thought in mind, the only viable solution is tolerance on either side of the question. There ARE some sanctimonious Christians (a minority) who impress the rightness of their views hotly upon people. Equally, there are - as on the website mentioned in your piece - some sanctimonious atheists (again, a minority) who'd have us believe that they know for sure that God does not exist.

Dogmatic insistence on black and white certainties, I believe, the hallmark of an infantile mind and insecure personality. Evangelical Christians and dogmatic atheists probably have more in common than they'd care to admit. We have to learn to live with the uncertainty of life and to accomodate different and conflicting views.

I certainly agree that, whether one is religiously inclined or not, there's spiritual solace to be found in churches - and plenty of non-religious literary types have found the same (Larkin in 'Church Going', for instance).

Overall, an interesting and thought-provoking piece.

Author's Reply:
Rupe, I know you wrote a longish reply to my forum entry. I thank you for taking the trouble to do the same here. I do agree with what you say, very eloquently stated...

Gerry.

Harry on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Thanks for the season's greeting, Gerry. You have a very universal concept of faith, I wish it were shared by everyone. I think you're confidant in your appraisal of a common decency in humankind – that's another thing I wish other people shared.

Author's Reply:
Harry, yes indeed we are living in troubled times, and among very dangerous people. I fear too many are looking through 'glasses darkly'.

Best--Gerry.

orangedream on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
I am a believer, a bit like you Gerry. Went to Sunday school and all that and my interpretation of God is that he is the good that lives in all of us, the heady scent of Jasmine on a warm, summer's evening, the song of the skylark and the cry of a new-born child oh and I sometimes find him at the bottom of my glass of G &T at the end of a long, hard day!

Organised religion however, over the ages, has been the root of much bloodshed, The Crusades, The Spanish Invasion of Peru and Mexico, The Spanish Inquisition, the conflict in Northern Ireland, partition of India, (India & Pakistan), current problems in the Middle East, particularly Iraq, etc. etc.

Mr. Orange is what is termed as a 'non-believer' and so we brought up our children to have an open-mind and to decide for themselves which path they should take. Our eldest got heavily involved with the Salvation Army (Fire and Blood their motto) and when she was sixteen wished to join as a bona fide member. We left the choice up to her until we read the code that she had to undertake to live by. The restrictions which would have been placed on her life had to be seen to be believed. We simply told her, that even as her parents, we would never in a million years have imposed such rules upon her life and asked her if she was willing to have any organisation, albeit in this case the Salvation Army tell her how to live her life. She declined to let them. A few years later she was confirmed and now has similar beliefs to mine - of her own volition. The same thing happened to our younger daughter who came to the same decision and who is now, as her father is, a non-believer.

As far as the meaning of life, the universe and everything - I guess I'll go with '42'. In a way though ... I suppose, maybe we ought to think of the right question before we can hope to arrive at the right answer.

kind regards and thank you for an evocative read.
Tina xxxx

Author's Reply:
Tina, you may well be right--but I always tend to think that morons start the trouble in the name of religion.

Any true religion is totally against violence and killing. I have always stayed clear of organised religion, I have though always admired the work done by the Salvation Army---I don't know anything about their rules though.

It's all very confusing isn't it, I will just go finish my glass of wine now...



Gerry xxx.


neotom on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
I have totally opposing views in terms of belief but I would love it if everyone followed the basic humanity of the ten commandments. I too love the feeling of peace and order in a church. I think the idea of a watchmaker is nonsense though. However, I enjoyed the piece written and its sentiments. If, you, Gerry, ran the world, I feel a lot safer and happier.

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, If only i could get control for a short time lol.
Thanks for your comments.

Re -- watchmaker, there seems to be plenty of decent watches about these days, However as far as I know no human has come close to producing the most simplest of human cells. It is just far too complicated 😉

Gerry.

Kazzmoss on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Gerry, what a wonderful article, you sound like a thoroughly nice gentlemen. I can relate to a lot of what you said. I grew up in church, attended Sunday School and guides, because that's how my parents brought us up. I too, enjoyed it. I don't go any more and my husband and son are athiests, but I still feel a certain peace inside a church and I too, love old buildings. When I hear a sermon on the TV, there is something comforting about it. You've written what I've barely thought about, so thank you, I really enjoyed this thought provoking piece. - Kazz

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 15-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Kass, thank you for your kind comment, and I am pleased that you enjoyed the read. I feel the church in general has been its own worst enemy. Many have been put off going because of the strange decisions and in fighting that always seems to be going on.

I suppose the church has to change with the times though...
C'est la vie...

Gerry ...


Author's Reply:
Kass, sorry--put my reply under comments...

niece on 16-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Gerry,
A very interesting write and I loved this:-

"I think that to have a watch—one must have a watchmaker. "

And just like your love of the "church choirs", I too love to chant the Sanskrit verses from my Hindu prayer books, only because the rhythm is so soothing...even if I don't understand what I'm saying(tho' I do get myself books with interpretations in English)

I'm not a religious fanatic either, Gerry...God(if there is one) is the protector and not to be protected...it is sometimes sad to see people fighting in the name of God...do those people really think their God is so weak that He needs to be defended by mere mortals...?

And yes, God is definitely a power that has absolutely no form...some people experience it more than the others...

A very very thought-provoking piece, Gerry...

Regds,
niece


Author's Reply:
sorry niece, I put my reply in comments...

Gerry on 16-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
niece, thank you for your very understanding comments...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

RDLarson on 17-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
What a generous man you are. We all seem to be so connected even those who are "at war" and those who are "at peace." Every one of us has the basic human needs and we all want to have friends and families. A belief in a higher power is as old as humanity. I don't think science and religion are opposites. I do think people who deny their human frailties and survive on their egos will hurt themselves or be hurt. People do need to be kind and good to each other. The watchmaker watches.

Author's Reply:
RD, thank you for reading, and for your interesting comments...

Gerry.

juliet on 17-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
I've been grappling with the idea of faith and belief because recently i lost someone dear to me and my family. The catholic priest in his funeral sermon said without faith then there is no comfort in death, and i know that his children found great comfort in the belief that he had to go on a mission for God. I want to believe that he has not gone that he is somewhere around us, and i don't mean in our hearts and memories etc, but out there, yet my brain tells me this cannot be the case. i think fear of death is a major reason why people need religion and belief otherwise life can seem meaningless, hopeless even. Is this all there is?

thank you for sharing your thoughts and i agree with the above posts you come across a thorougly decent person.

Author's Reply:
Juliet, I agree it is difficult for our meager human brains to comprehend. More difficult perhaps is the possibility that 'nothing' exploded and produced our amazing universe--and then produced life on earth, my brain tells me that this cannot be so, it is all far too complex 😉 Guess we will have to wait to find out who is right lol.
I am sorry to hear of your loss.
Thank you for your comments...

Gerry xxx.


Jolen on 22-01-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Gerry, what a wonderful article and you brought it to life without preaching or pretense... I for one can appreciate that greatly... This was a very interesting and informative piece of work and that too is all good. I have been to 'church' that are buildings and I have worshiped in the woods and by the rivers and sea. To me the world is a church and we are always with our 'god,' whatever we perceive that to be.

Thank you for reposting this here.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, thank you for your understanding comments, I like your sentiments... 😉

Gerry xxx.

jody on 01-02-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
This piece was done with finesse, a thoughtful work. Although we may not be on the same page with some of our beliefs, you have stated some fundamental truths here: that true spirituality has little to nothing to do with dogma. Cathedrals and lovely churches are wonderful places to get away to.... the art work is inspiring, the music is wonderful, the calm is also welcome. You worked within the scientific sector ... then you must know that the cathedrals in Europe were essentially built with performing music in mind. As I understand it, the architectural rules for the buildings and the mathematical rules for the sacred music relied upon one another. In ages when most people did not own books, perhaps could not read, and certainly did not have access to music on demand, cathedrals served as places to learn, listen and see imagery that inspired them. But don't you think that the beauty in constructions and the appreciation for what goes on inside of them is something that appeals to a distinct sector of the population? Hmm, what do I mean by that? Well, churches are not needed to 'teach' us about religion through iconography - we aill can read about it. And if we wish to listen to Verdi, Mozart, et al, we can simply turn on our personal music devices (although nothing compares to hearing Bach's Fugue on a big pipe organ...).
Your essay put me in mind of Stephen Jay Gould, who is sadly, deceased. He did more to reconcile religion with science than anyone before him.
If you don't know of his work, I highly recommend it.
Thank you for posting this here. As I am new on this site, I haven't figured out how to work it all yet and I might not have found this essay.

peace-
jody


Author's Reply:
Jody. I am pleased that you found this post, and were kind enough to comment on it.
Welcome to UKA and I will certainly look up the said Stephen Jay Gould.

Gerry xxx.

Easyd on 21-02-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Good piece as always Gerry. I too started out with a conventional Christian upbringing – I recall thinking with fervour as a schoolboy, reading of priests tortured in Communist Eastern Europe, that I would resist under torture etc. But later with a scientific education despite myself doubts did blossom, certainly for the orthodox church religions. Your list of questions should include ‘Do you go to experience mystical union with an extra-mundane reality?’ But if it was from one of the standard rags of course you would only see the sort of cynical questions you list. Nowadays I hardly ever go to church but still consider myself religious in the personal sense. In the book I’m working on (see intro and contents this Friday here, I hope) I have a bit where I criticise the tendency of ‘quality’ journalists to wheel out the old cavil, every Easter, of a ‘ God centre in the brain’ as if this showed it all to be an illusion. As I point out in the book, this is rubbish as when an area of our brain is stimulated by the image of a vase or a cat, does this show the vase or cat to be an illusion? On the contrary, such a ‘God centre’ is indicate of an extra-mundane or subtle realm populated with mystic entities that have been so much a part of man’s perception down the ages that evolution has provided us with the means to perceive this subtle realm as much as to smell, hear or see danger, food or beauty in the ‘real’ world. Reading Deepak Chopra’s ‘Life after Death’ at he mo and he talks of the Vedas and the view of subtle layers of reality. This sort of talk is of course anathema to the numbskulls of the quality press.

Author's Reply:
Hugh, done it again--reply under comments. (groan)

Gerry on 01-03-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Hugh, sorry late replying, just returned from Scotland.

If everyone thought the same as me there would be no trouble in the world 😉

Thank you for your comments, always interesting to read them.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 02-03-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Thanks Gerry and congrats again on a wonderful piece. I wish I had more time to devote to writing - this free energy lark is sapping a lot of my attention: watch for Stoern on Spril 1st: , we shall see if this is the greatest joke since Bob Hope or a turn up for the books.

Author's Reply:

walters on 19-05-2007
This religious thing. Does it bother you?
Gerry, I really look forward to going to church with you as I'm sure the experience would be most entertaining! I myself like the pomp of the Catholic Church, and am glad to here that its reactionary pope is taking up Latin again. I recall a Latin American priest who said he was an atheist but remained a priest because he loved the Church so much - perhaps he will be canonized one day. As for those who do believe, they fall into different faiths by chance of birth if not by choice, and I do not blame people for keeping the faith of their credulous childhood. Mary Queen of Scots made a great deal of sense to me when an effort was made to convert her immediately before her decapitation, and she said she was born a Catholic and would forever remain one.

Author's Reply:
Hi David, thanks for reading and commenting on this article.
I am just a humble Anglican --very tolerant and understanding----normally 😉

Best--Gerry.


Two Bullets and a Saab. (posted on: 05-01-07)
I have had to place this under fiction, for what may seem like obvious reasons. You will have to decide what may be facts. there are some clues there to help you... Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Julian and I got the notification the same morning. We had been seconded to an East Coast early warning station, which was testing some new radar equipment. We had both been working on similar equipment on the new Venom fighter aircraft. It would be good to have a change for a while and we were both looking forward to a new challenge with a change of scenery. High security was in force at this time, the cold war was in full spate and the IRA were active, raiding military establishments--particularly armouries, but also after any information they could exchange for arms. We were briefed about the site before we left; it was heavily guarded and very top secret. The RAF regiment was responsible for the security and safety of the camp. We arrived and quickly settled in and got involved with the speciality we were able to offer in the operation and set up of the equipment. We were soon to find that the security arrangements were not as secure as we expected. The RAF regiment was very high profile during the day, with their gleaming heavily armed vehicles, but strangely their presence at night seemed to diminish somewhat, and technical staff were expected to do a share of security work. This is quite normal, or was, in most military establishments at that time. Julian and I had been given a shoreline patrol this particular evening; this area was a good hundred feet below the cliff top were the radar masts were, and probably half a mile from the main camp. We had bayonets attached to our webbing belts 'this was normal guard equipment' plus standard truncheons similar to civilian police. I had a Webley revolver in a canvas holster attached to my belt. We were assured that the Regiment would not be far away---they were armed to the teeth, and that our whistles would soon summons help if any was needed. We were also assured it was all a formality. We had been issued with the password of the day, and no one was to be allowed to pass without stating it correctly. The password was apparently changed everyday. Our instructions were clear, anyone attempting to gain access to any part of the radar site without giving the correct password should be detained, or if necessary shot. Julian and I were on the eight till midnight duty and it was about nine thirty when we both heard the sound of a small boat. It was a calm night with very little surf noise. The boat was being rowed. We took cover and clearly saw two men leave the boat and walk towards us up the beach. I drew my pistol and when they were about five yards away Julian and I stood up and challenged the two men. They were dressed in RAF uniforms, and one man who had the insignia of a Wing Commander on his uniform told me they were doing a security check of the beach. The other man had the insignia of a RAF warrant officer. I made the challenge and requested the password---there was no response. 'Gentlemen my colleague and I have recently been seconded to this camp for technical reasons. We are not yet familiar with recognition of staff from this camp; in any case you are certainly aware that I have to demand the current password. I am not willing under the present high security alert to allow any standards to be lowered. If you do not give the correct password you will be arrested, irrespective of your apparent rank.' The Wing Commander told me not to be a bloody stupid fool, and advanced towards me---I shot him. The warrant officer then lunged towards me; I shot him too. I shouted to Julian, who was stood to the side to disable the boat, he quickly holed it in a number of places with his bayonet. The two men were very much alive and were making plenty of noise. The shots must have been clearly heard, but our whistle blasts most certainly were, and in a short time a full-scale alert was in operation. Julian and I established the wounded men were disarmed, in fact only the one in the uniform of a Wing Commander had a side arm. We then oversaw their rescue to the top of the cliff, where they were loaded onto a waiting RAF ambulance. They were then taken to a nearby well-known General hospital under armed guard. By this time the RAF regiment personnel were checking the shoreline by patrol boats, and also on foot. The station Group Captain and an Air Commodore who had been summoned from somewhere else, debriefed Julian and I later the same night. We both knew we had nothing to fear; we had acted entirely within the rules of engagement and the orders given to us. It is important that I tell you now that Julian and I had not been told whether the two men were in fact officers from the camp or indeed RAF officers at all. Nor had we been given any other explanation. A few days later we were returned to our permanent camp, where we spent the remaining time of our RAF commitment working with Vampire and Venom jet fighters. We had been instructed not to discuss our incident on the beach with anyone of any rank---we didn't. We had to know the fate of the two guys I had shot. Pulling a few strings I managed to get through to the orderly officer at the radar station, as soon as I explained who I was he had me transferred to the Group Captain. I was most relieved to hear that the Wing Commander had got off very lightly. (Well at least from the bullet.) He was wearing battle dress; he had webbing on, and also his service side arm. The bullet had struck his heavy frontal buckle of his webbing which had absorbed much of the force of the round before entering his body; he in fact suffered a none too severe abdominal injury, I was just pleased he was not able to draw [his] pistol on the beach. The Warrant officer (the silly man) suffered a horrendous injury. The 303 bullet from my Webley pistol, which was standard issue at the time, completely shattered his right femur---he had major medical problems. I never asked why a password wasn't given when I requested it, which would have meant all the trouble would have been avoided---and I was never offered any explanation as to why it wasn't given. ------- Julian moved in high circles in his civilian life, his wife was the daughter of a high flyer (no pun intended) in the motor car industry. We stayed closely in touch after our RAF days and had some interesting experiences. One such was a gathering at a very large establishment in a certain area of Derbyshire where I met his wife's uncle A Lord no less. My wife and I also met some very famous people that particular night, including many of the drivers in the RAC Rally, which had just ended a stage near there. The RAC Rally came through this area of the country in the early seventies, and one of the stages started at York Racecourse. Julian with his connections had managed to acquire a special pass for me, and I was able to meet most of the top rally drivers of the day and inspect their cars close up. Julian's father in law was in charge of the servicing schedules and inspections prior to the rally stage commencing. Per Eklund a world champion driver at the time was in the rally driving a Saab, and his car had just been serviced. I never knew if Eklund was aware of this but Julian took me out in his [Eklund's] rally car. That was an experience I will never forget. Julian knew his cars, and was a superb driver, but he frightened me to death. That car was a very serious motor. Julian knew where to go off road, this being his area, and believe me if you have never been driven at over 130mph on a single track you will have no conception of fear. It is terrifying. I regret I cannot remember how Per Eklund did in that Rally, but he continued as a top driver for many years. Why am I telling you this? Well Julian is not very well now. He has had a bad stroke. After leaving the RAF he only lived for motor cars, and never did any sport or to my knowledge took any exercise. On a recent visit to see him I told him about how I had enjoyed the ride with him in Per Eklund's rally car. His eyes visibly lit up, and for a while he seemed to forget his health problems as his mind went back to that incident those many years ago. He remembered it in detail and even the route he took on that day we 'tested' the rally car. I asked him if he remembered our incident in the RAF nearly fifty years ago at the Secret radar installation on the Yorkshire coast---he thought for a moment and then said; 'you mean the night when the bullets were flying? I will never forget that.' I asked him if he had ever spoken about it to anyone, and he told me he never had; but then he added 'why on earth didn't those guys give us the password that night'? 'Julian' I said quietly, 'I honestly think they didn't know it'. That top-secret establishment has long since been reclaimed by nature, sheep and cows now graze to the cliff edge and there is nothing to identify that the place ever existed. The path down from the cliff to the beach is still there however, and yes, I did go back not long since. The location was just as I remembered, and I could close my eyes and visualise that scene of so many years ago quite clearly. I don't suppose it matters now if I talk about the radar equipment we were working with at that time. It was a 'Servo assisted-reciprocating scanner device. It was known at that time as 'Script'. I don't know if anything along these lines is used in modern radar techniques of today, I do know however that our system always spotted the big Russian bombers which were frequently testing our responses all those years ago---they were interesting times. PS. By the way the password for that day was 'Punk' so if any younger people happen to read this---believe me 'Punk' is a very old word
Archived comments for Two Bullets and a Saab.
discopants on 05-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
An interesting tale- the detail is such that one might almost imagine it to be true (!). You seem to have a store of interesting experiences that you can base a piece around. Keep 'em coming.

Author's Reply:
disco, thank you for reading and for your kind comment.

Gerry.

Harry on 05-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
I has to be true, Gerry. Maybe you weren't involved, but the situation as you describe it, has the ring of truth about it. When I was as enlisted man we used to set up traps like these just for the hell of it – and sure enough the patsy would panic and couldn't come up with the password. Nicely told!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 05-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Harry, even after all these years I am still careful about writing about these times--still not sure what is or isn't allowed--hence the fiction tag. I am sure there are many such things that never emerge to the surface....

best---Gerry.

Author's Reply:
I think this may be working now Harry, I have replied under comment in error...

Gerry.

soman on 06-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Gerry,

Very absorbing tale. Frankly, I must confess I am a bit hazy about the clues you mention : may be because I am not very familiar with the locale and background? I guess you cant afford to come out in the open!

Soman



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 06-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Soman, The mention of clues was a bit of a red herring--just a bit of cover 😉 Still it would be interesting to see if anyone comes up with anything lol. Thank you for reading, and for your comment.

Hope 2007 is kind to you...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Soman, I fear there is no hope for me. I have replied under comments---groans loudly 😉

neotom on 06-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Absorbing factual fiction (if that makes sense). There's almost a madness quality about this incident. Your punk-uation was excellent too!

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, there was a madness quality about a lot of things in the services at the time. It does leave some amazing memories though. I like the new word (punk-uation) good that 😉

Gerry.

PS, it didn't get through the spell check though lol.

RoyBateman on 07-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Well, "Six-gun," I shall have to look at you in a whole new light! Maybe I shouldn't have rewatched "Westworld" last night...hey, fancy changing your name to Yul? Seriously, if this place was guarded by the "rock apes" I'm surprised that it wasn't open house. (A guy who I taught with used to be in the RAF at that time and he wasn't exactly complimentary about the RAF Regiment.) As always with your reminiscences - or "faction" - a fascinating read.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 07-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Roy, I didn't carry 'heat' all the time 😉 I had to be a bit careful with this post--but as I get older I get less bothered. Strangely my memory seems to be getting better as I get older.
My Pappy used to say---
'Never tell it all, always keep a bot back' I think you will know what I mean---
Westworld I think I saw that once lol.

Best--Gerry.



Author's Reply:
Oh bloody hell I have done it again, see reply under comment.
That should have said 'keep a bit back' fraid I am getting old!!!!

Kazzmoss on 07-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Wow, what an intriguing and interesting bit of writing! I thought I was going to read some fiction and it clearly isn't. Great read, Gerry. - Kazz

Author's Reply:
Hi Kass, Fiction can be a handy place to post sometimes lol.
Glad you enjoyed the read.

Gerry xxx.

Dil on 08-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Gerry, always enjoy your work.
Dil

Author's Reply:
Dil, glad you enjoyed this little trip down my memory lane.
Thanks for the comment.

Gerry.

Jolen on 08-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Gerry. I enjoyed reading this a great deal. I love things like this and I agree that much of it will never come to light. You done the right thing and as you said 'silly man'...I am sorry your friend is not doing well and will pray for him. But at least he had the chance to relive some fun days with you. That's always a good thing. You big brute, you! lol just joshing. I hope this finds you and yours well. Happy New Year, dear.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 09-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Hi Jolen, thank you for your nice comment, and I am pleased you enjoyed the read. Apart from winter colds my wife and I are fine. I hope all is well your end, and hope 2007 is kind to you and your family, and all over the pond.


Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Whoops, posted reply under comments. woe is me...lol.

expat on 10-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
Now this is an interesting tale. The Venom puts this in the early fifties so I'm going to have a think about the possible scenarios. That Webley pistol must have had a kick like a kangaroo's left hook - the Lee Enfield .303 rifle was bad enough (as you well know). When I was in the RAF in the early seventies during the IRA threat, we were either given SLRs on airfield guard duty with empty magazines or pick-axe handles to deter terrorists! Difficult to feel brave with that firepower behind you...
:^-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 11-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
expat. Yes it was the fifties. The Webley cartridge although 303 caliber was much shorter than the rifle round, and the charge a lot less, having said that it was a powerful gun. Empty magazines? Great!! 😉

Gerry.



Author's Reply:
sorry placed reply in comments---I give up lol.

pencilcase on 11-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
An 'engaging' read, Gerry! Certainly maintained my interest. Amongst other things, makes me wonder what I would do under those circumstances, but given...

"The Wing Commander told me not to be a bloody stupid fool, and advanced towards me"...

then there seems to be no choice but to shoot. The decision is made easier by the "and advanced towards me" bit.

A lively read with several points of interest. Pleased I got around to reading it. Just one thing I ask...if I forget my password next time I'm logging in to uka: DON'T SHOOT!

Steve

Author's Reply:
Steve, thanks for popping in. Sometimes decisions in the forces have to be made very quickly. One just hopes the right ones are made. Sadly as we know it is not always the case...

Gerry.

PS. Yes that would be an appropriate password for UKA . I have been shot a few times on here LOL...

RDLarson on 12-01-2007
Two Bullets and a Saab.
I felt as if I were there. Wow, and it wasn't that long ago, you know?

During WWII my dad patrolled the beaches with his attack dogs (that he himself trained) and other men in his squad. He told me that one time they caught a spy in row boat from a Japanese Sub. I always wanted to know more but he always just said they turned him in and that was the end of it.

This makes me think that any time in which we live is dangerous in its on explicable way. Very compelling and thrilling. Look out John Le Carre, eh?

Author's Reply:
RD, thanks for reading--and for your interesting comments.

Best--Gerry.


Eine Gnadige Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled 'Name that Tune' (posted on: 29-12-06)
(I will try to add an audio narrative to this poem.) This post should be under 'None Fiction However I realise that many will not believe it. It is true though, and I leave it to you, as to whether you can believe it or not. It is about a German Lady who suffered from the most appalling wind. This lady was able to turn her affliction into the most amazing art form, which earned her my total and lasting respect.

The golden sand, the hot sunshine The sparkling sea, everything so fine. Clothes all off, towels laid--- Worth every penny of what we paid. A lovely beach with plenty there But lots of room for us to share--- Then a rather large lady came sat by me, And gazed out longingly to the sea. I heard a tune, I knew it well 'Twas that famous canon by Pachelbel. I looked around to find the source--- A radio it would be, of course? But I soon realised that I was wrong! When I heard the sound of another song. No radio the cause I fear--- 'Twas coming from the ladies rear. Then the lady placed her hands down And raised up from the sand. The noise that was produced then--- Would be well described as grand. The staccato that erupted Really made us smile--- It was like a bloody broadside From the Battle of the Nile. She then moved on to Beethoven And whilst we sipped some tea, She played 'Ode to Joy' from the 'Choral', And the start of his 'Fifth in C'. This lady was an artiste true A musician in every way, She had a full four-octave range And I'm sure could have played all day. Now the lady favoured Wagner And how could that be wrong? We had a blast from Tannhauser That came through loud and strong. She even knew her Lohengrin And coaxed it so discreet. Her version of the wedding march Came through so soft and sweet. The lady looked with gratitude, Her only aim, to please--- Then she raised her rear so slightly, And gave us 'Fur Elise'. We played a game of 'name that tune' And were nearly always right Her pitch and tone so accurate And her quality firm and bright. Reluctantly we had to leave This most unusual show, We had to bathe and change our clothes And so we had to go. When we got back into our room We lost control for sure, And for a good half hour We were rolling on the floor. At last composed bathed and changed We headed late for dinner, There was only just one table left So I knew we were on a winner. But I had been too confident Of our safety I was wrong--- Our German lady was on the next table, And the recital I knew would go on. I hoped she could control herself As we sat down and dined, But she had a captive audience now And was of a different mind. It was just has I had finished soup When I heard this splendid tune. With a sheepish grin upon her face She eased out 'Claire de Lune'. She entertained throughout the meal Her repertoire was vast, She even knew her Smetena--- And did 'Vlatava' from 'Ma Vlast'. We finished our carafe of wine To the sound of a Schubert 'Lieder' And made our exit from the room To the Grand March from 'Aida' We will never forget that lady And soon find ourselves in tears, Our memory of her will never fade And will stay for all our years. Le Petomane*, had nothing on her, The control of notes was so pure--- No matter where the sound came from, One had to yearn for more. I wonder what she will make of life? Surely fortune will be in her reach. Or will she be content with her life as it is? With her free daily shows on the beach. The lady has such talent; she really could go far, If she gets herself a manager she could surely be a star. Or if she gets some medical help and her problem goes away, Whatever--- My wife and I feel privileged That we were there to hear her play. *Le Petomane. One Joseph Pujol, a Frenchman who had a similar ability. He performed his act at the Moulin Rouge between 1887 to 1914, A film was made about him starring Leonard Rossiter, in 1979.
Archived comments for Eine Gnadige Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled 'Name that Tune'
RoyBateman on 29-12-2006
Eine Gnadiga Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
Or, surely, "Maim That Tune"! Hilarious, but I challenge you, here and now, to produce a fitting audio version. Go on, after all those Christmas sprouts! Very funny stuff, with some great rhymes (lieder/Aida was particularly impressive.) We need more hilarity like this to brighten up the long winter nights. Not first-hand, of course! You're back with a cracker, mate.
ps Hey - Christmas...cracker? geddit? Oh, yes, I remember the great Leonard Rossiter in that role of Le Petomane. I haven't stopped laughing since. It even outclassed the farting chairs in "Reggie Perrin."

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 29-12-2006
Eine Gnadiga Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
Roy, thank you for being brave enough to leave a comment . Believe me I have been trying all day to get an audio track with this post but without success. I have asked Andrea to help and she has pointed me to Richard, (don't think she wants to be involved lol.)
It really was the most amazing and funny experience. The German Frau in question was a most delightful and charming lady. Because we befriended her, I think we got the best recitals.
I hope you have a great 2007 Roy -- and your family of course...

Gerry.

PS posted this first under Auther reply, but that function doesn't seem to be working. I hope you look back here 😉

Author's Reply:

Andrea on 29-12-2006
Eine Gnadiga Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
Don't be silly Gerry, as if 🙂 I hadn't read it. It's just that audio is R's dept. He can always be reached on webmaster@ukauthors.com.

And 'author reply' has now been fixed - hoorah!

Farting chairs...Gawd!

🙂

Author's Reply:
Andrea, I honestly didn't know how to contact him, but Sunken steered me on the right tack. I do not know how to send him the file though--may be my lack of brain cells. I wait for his response. I am sure the above will benefit from a sound file--it's only the spoken word (nothing nasty). I have absolutely no doubt that you will read this reply then ? lol.
Hope you have a great 2007 and all your troubles are tiny ones 😉

Gerry xxx.

Gerry on 30-12-2006
Eine Gnadiga Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
I apologies for the lack of Audio narration with this poem. I tried everything to get it running. I have now passed the problem to Richard. It may be to do with the new server. I hope you can get to hear it sometime in the future.

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

orangedream on 30-12-2006
Eine Gnadige Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
Gerry, oh Gerry - what an absolute ripsnorter of a poem! I too saw the film - once seen, or should I say heard, never forgotten. Same goes with this little gem. Can't wait to hear
the audio version. Am just away to read it to his Lordship!

Ta for cheering me up.

Lady Orange xxxx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-12-2006
Eine Gnadige Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
Lady Orange, Thank you so much. We titled people are able to appreciate the artistic subtleties of life are we not. I think it does reflect somewhat on breeding, don't ya know.

It doesn't pay to shout about it on here too much though---one has to be aware of the TP (thought police) they percolate to every corner.

I know Lord orange will like this, I hear he is somewhat of an expert himself.

Bye for now

Gerry VB xxx.



Author's Reply:

neotom on 31-12-2006
Eine Gnadige Frau mit Vielem Wind. Sub Titled ‘Name that Tune’
Great story/poem! Very entertaining, interesting and educational. Good choices of tunes played. Co-incidently, just the day before this was posted I posted a story in which one of the characters (Ivor Stench) displayed this awesome ability...he used his for comic effect (see http://ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=18165). I based him on a boy in my school who could blow tunes from the bottom of his heart...or was it the other way around?

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, glad you found this entertaining, it just had to written;-) I will certainly take a peep at your post.
Catch you in 2007 lol.

best--Gerry.


Rescue in the Dolomites. (posted on: 27-11-06)
There are times in life when one has to take responsibility for a situation and make decisions accordingly---hoping they are the right ones. This was one such situation. All you will read is true, just has it happened. This story has been condensed for posting here.

My son Andrew had never skied before. He was to be married later in the year and I suggested we should have a last holiday together and go skiing. He thought this an excellent idea seeing that I would be paying. My wife thought it was a good idea, the problem would be his future wife. She was not keen on him being out of her sight but she eventually relented when I explained that the object of the exercise was a last holiday together for father and son, and an opportunity for Andrew to sample the delights of skiing. I booked a holiday at Campitello di Fassa in the Italian Dolomites. The hotel was quite comfortable, and after breakfast on the first day we went to be fitted out with our skiing gear. An hour or so later found us on the slopes and I was giving Andrew his first skiing lesson. I was what could be described as a medium ability, red slope skier. I taught Andrew the basics, and in a couple of hours he was skiing as well as I could ski. The week zoomed past and we sampled most of the runs in the area and had some great skiing. On the last day we ventured further afield to an area we hadn't skied before. The cable car followed a black run for about a mile before we alighted. We were able to observe this run all the way up, it looked mean. We had a good day sampling the upper slopes, and made our way back to catch the last cable car descent of the day. The start of the black run was adjacent to the cable car, and I couldn't believe my eyes when Andrew turned right and headed on to the run. I wasn't about to see him on the black run on his own---so reluctantly I also headed that way. He stopped and waited at the point of no return, and I asked him what the hell he was doing. He just wanted to prove to himself that he could do it. There was no point in falling out because we had at least a mile of difficult skiing ahead. I told him if we took it very steady we should make it okay. We had gone about four hundred yards and had stopped to view the next section, when we heard the screaming. Looking round we saw a skier bouncing down the centre of the piste. It was very steep and very icy. Each bounce was higher than the one before and he was heading for the right hand side of the run which had a sheer drop, protected by a safety net of about ten-foot. The way this guy was bouncing he would clear it with ease. We looked at one another and both said together 'he is a dead'. The last bounce was actually kind to him and he hit the net just short of the top then crumpled to the ground. We skied down as fast as we could and were relieved to find him relatively unscathed. We did know this guy by sight, he was actually staying in the same hotel as Andrew and I. He had been with a party of friends but they had got separated. Intending to catch the last cable car, he had spotted Andrew and I set off down the black run and foolishly decided to follow. Unfortunately he had come to grief on the first difficult part and completely lost control losing his skies in the process. A German skier had also seen the action and had collected the wayward skis and brought them to us. The young man groaning on the ground was called Dave, and he was just getting to his feet when the German arrived with his skis. On being asked, Dave said he was okay, we thanked the guy and he continued down. I told Dave the only course of action open to us was to carry on down the run to the bottom, I told him to put his skis back on and that we would make our way down slowly together. He then hit us with his reply; he was not putting his skis back on. He in fact had bottled out, and also gone into shock---he was shaking quite badly. While all this had been going on the last cable car down had gone passed and no more skiers were about. I realised we could be in some trouble, and taking responsibility for the situation decided the best option at this time was to stick together. It would have been impossible to walk down the piste it was too steep and too icy. The only option was the left side, where the trees were---maybe there would be more purchase there and we could slowing walk down between the trees. We very carefully traversed the piste and entered the wooded area now carrying our skis. This was a tragic mistake; the area beneath the trees was icier than the piste and after a few yards we realised we were in serious trouble, our ski boots gave no purchase on the icy ground whatsoever. Dave quickly lost his skis and poles (or discarded them) Andrew and I were very careful to hang on to ours. We were now in a position where any movement---up down or sideways, was impossible; we were stuck and in real trouble. It was now bitterly cold and I was extremely worried. Amazingly we were given a last chance of help; I heard a skier on the piste about twenty yards away and called out as loud as I could; what a relief it was when I heard him brake and stop. He was another German, who had missed the last cable car, and I think also the last guy on the piste; truly our last hope for help. He didn't speak English, so I had to explain in my poor German our predicament, He made the right responses and told me he would get help. We now had a waiting game, and it was rapidly getting dark. A competent skier would get down the slope from our position in five minutes, if the alarm had been raised we could hopefully be getting help within half an hour or so. The police rescue squad were the first on the scene, and their arrival brought tremendous relief. These guys had actually come down from the top. (We never found out how they got there). They were not too kind, and were a bit arrogant -- probably they thought with good reason. At this stage we wanted to be rescued not to have to explain the situation. The guy in charge got the message okay. He told us to walk out of the trees to the piste. I explained we couldn't move. After a discussion in Italian with his colleagues, he shouted that he would send two officers in to lead us out. 'Don't send anyone in without ropes' I shouted back. He just scoffed at this remark and the two officers approached us in the trees. They had gone about five yards when they both slipped on the ice and shot down between the trees on their backs. They were not injured, but they could not now move. There were now five men to rescue. The situation had turned very serious again. A short time later we then heard the sound of motors --- the Italian Mountain rescue team had arrived from below. I imagine the police squad were as pleased to hear that sound as we were. Fortunately the guy in charge of the police rescue squad and the guy in charge of the mountain rescue team both spoke good English. I called out to the new arrivals not to attempt a rescue without ropes. Fortunately they were well equipped. Using our skis and poles, we managed to help the mountain rescue team to our position in the trees, leaving ropes rigged behind them. Their first priority was to get the policemen out, as they were in the worst position. With ropes rigged up the rescue went fairly smoothly, and about half an hour later we now found ourselves on the black piste once more. I asked the rescuers to get us down, and told them that I would explain the situation at the bottom, they agreed without question. Dave was shaking very badly now and he was quickly wrapped up and placed in a rescue sled. Andrew and I still had our skiing gear and we were asked if we could ski down to the bottom, it was about three-quarters of a mile. Andrew agreed to ski with assistance, I declined and opted for a rescue sled. There was very little light now and I just didn't feel competent to ski down. We all set off together; the mountain rescue team now took charge of the situation, with two men to a sled and the others close by. The police squad took position around the outside of the party. We stayed together all the way down, and I can tell you it was a hair-raising experience---very steep, very icy, and very frightening. I cannot describe to you my feelings when we arrived at the bottom safely. The questioning then started, and I was at last able to explain to the rescuers that Andrew and I were only in that predicament because we had stopped to help Dave, who had taken a bad fall and had refused to put his skis back on. When they realised that Dave wasn't with Andrew and I, and that we had only stopped to try to help him, their attitude changed completely. Dave was in no condition to be remonstrated with and the rescuers suggested he should maybe go to hospital for a check up. He was having none of this; he was due to fly home to Manchester the next day. I gave a full account of the occurrence which was all taken down in writing, along with our home details and other stuff. We were pointed to a hotel a hundred or so yards away were we could ring for a taxi. The ski busses had long since stopped running. I thanked our rescuers sincerely, and they were all happy to shake hands with me. The guy in charge told me we would never have made it down the piste without skies on. He also told me we would not have survived the night in the open. We perhaps then owe our lives to an unknown German skier. A short time later we were in a warm taxi heading back to our hotel. We never saw Dave again; he left for an early plane at Verona airport, before we were up and about. After a late breakfast Andrew and I returned our skiing gear, and had a last look around the charming village before we too left for out flight home. Verona airport was fog bound---we had to be bussed to Venice. I can at least say I have been to Venice. Andrew got married, and I subsequently took my youngest daughter skiing to HochGurgl in Austria two years running, she was also a quick learner, and was soon skiing very well. A couple of years later the four of us went skiing to Kaprun in Austria. Shortly after we were there they had that awful tragedy in Kaprun, when the train caught fire in the tunnel going up the mountain with terrible loss of life. We had been using that same train for seven days. I actually did get to ski a black run in Hoch-Gurgl, but I made sure I was on my own. PS. Before we left the rescue team, I asked the leader what we could have done differently. He replied 'I don't know---you were lucky'.
Archived comments for Rescue in the Dolomites.
Harry on 27-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Sounds pretty hair-raising to me, Gerry. Is this a case where a cell phone would have been handy? I hope Andrew discovered it's best not to overestimate ones physical ability.


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 27-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Harry, I don't think cell phones were out at the time--if they were they would have been like bricks 😉 Andrew never got in trouble on the run, he actually skied the whole way down. But he was foolish going on the black. The folly of youth lol.
Thanks for the comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 28-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Flippin' 'eck, Gerry - now I'm more than ever convinced of the wisdom of staying off such dangerous things as skis, thin ice, mountains, unknown women, etc. Yeah, I'm a wimp! This Dave bloke was all charm, wasn't he? A fascinating tale with - thank goodness - a happy ending. Not everyone's so lucky, I'm sure...

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 28-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Roy, yep he was all charm--didn't even pay for the taxi.
A very frightening one this, but we were able to laugh about it afterwards. Thank goodness for the rescue guys.
Cheers mate...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Yutka on 29-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Great story, gerry. Great relief also to read that all ended well.Thank God for the Germans (I am proud of my nation....)
Yutka:)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 29-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Yutka, didn't know you were German. I learnt to Ski in Garmisch on the Zugspitze. I also know Bavaria quite well I worked for Siemens for many years.
Thanks for the comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

wfgray on 29-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
It must have been one hell of a day. Specially when other people were suggesting that you had committed a foolhardy act. Still its nice to know that other people appeared to assist. Will

Author's Reply:

wfgray on 29-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
It must have been one hell of a day. Specially when other people were suggesting that you had committed a foolhardy act. Still its nice to know that other people appeared to assist. Will

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Will. Well it was a good day apart from the last bit 😉
We indeed had some great help and were very grateful for it.
Thank goodness these guys are ready to help.
Thanks for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 30-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
I know how officious the Italian police can be, Gerry.
It could have been a greater nightmare than the one you experienced on the mountain.
Still, glad to hear everything ended well.

Luigi.

Author's Reply:
Luigi, the police team were a bit officious at first, but after they lost two guys--who had to be rescued themselves, they calmed down a bit 😉
My son tends to play it all down now, but I know how serious it was, and I will never forget it.
Thanks for dropping in...

Gerry.

Kat on 30-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Gerry, you tell a great suspenseful story - this was very well-paced, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I'm so glad of that lucky outcome. It's easy to get into trouble in these situations, but skiing (and the scenery) is a wonderful experience, eh?

Hubby taught me to ski in Scheffau (Austria), the family have a holiday home in Aschau near the Chiemsee in Bavaria. I was very trusting of him and had a great time (dot-to-dot bruises aside!). ;o) I'll never forget going down a long steep slop in the fog, just going with the (speedy) flow, and the next day being able to *see* the same slope, and that I had actually gone down it. I have also been known to do a black slope... breaking mostly the whole way (thankfully no bones!) ;o) when I wasn't sliding down on my bottom. :o)

What a lovely father you were to take your son on a holiday like that... and one you will both never forget.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat, my eldest daughter was a dancer---so could not take the risk of skiing. but who knows one day I may get back on the slopes. It is as you describe--a wonderful experience, if one can keep away from blokes like Dave 😉
You sound like a class act lol...

Gerry xxx.

Easyd on 30-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Gerry – well told. I admire your skill in skiing. My own career in that sport was short and sweet – learned to ski on an artificial slope near Dublin before going to an Astro conference in Saas Fee in Switzerland in 1983. I had a good time that week – lectures in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. Nothing exciting for a veteran maybe, but good fun. The last day, though, I went with a Belgian astrophysicist who was also new to the game, on a ‘mogul’ course. She also came a cropper as your Dave, but not as dramatic. I helped her back to base. The next day we all flew back to our respective institutes. I thought I’d ski again, but my wife doesn’t, no that was that.



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Hi Hugh, nice to see you about again. Yes things do get harder and more risky as we get older--but what the heck 😉
My kids are all wrapped up with there own lives now, but who knows? if the opportunity arises I am sure I will be back...

Best - Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 30-11-2006
Rescue in the Dolomites.
Hi Gerry - yes, I've been distracted by that Steorn free energy thing and the Heim business. Must get back to writing soon.
ciao,
Hugh

Author's Reply:


The Haunted Theatre. (posted on: 17-11-06)
'How could sounds come from an abandoned operating theatre?

''First I must tell you a little bit about 'Medical Engineers'. These engineers can be found in most areas of hospitals, and in all kinds of hospitals. An engineer depending on his speciality (which is sometimes multiple) will be an electrical, electronic, television, x/ray, and mechanical engineer. He will sometimes work with colleagues but very often work alone answering hospital emergencies. These emergency calls could be from, x/ray departments, operating theatres, intensive care departments, accident departments or cardiac laboratories. Apart from dealing with emergencies, a medical engineer will install new equipment, and maintain and service it over its life span. An engineer will use a computer to interrogate and diagnose fault conditions, will set x/ray doses, produce high quality imaging, and upgrade equipment by loading new software when required. Hospitals would cease to function without engineers, because all hospitals now rely on medical electronics for day to day running. You will not recognise them. They could be in white coats, lead aprons, theatre greens or just shirtsleeves. You will never be far from a medical engineer in any hospital and you will never know.'' The hospital was closing down; a much larger purpose built general hospital had been built to serve a wider area. Most of the equipment would be new, but there was to be some re-installation of the latest equipment from the old hospital. Myself and two colleagues were to remove an existing x/ray screening room and reinstall it at the new hospital. This is a long and complicated process. Because the equipment was to be re-installed, great care has to be exercised at all stages. The equipment included an X/ray generator and three tubes. One of which was hanging from an overhead gantry over an x/ray table, which could be driven into any required position. An image intensifier system which worked in conjunction with a television unit to produce images, and various other smaller but just as important bits and pieces. No one could survive in this job without a sense of humour, and Medical engineers are known to be not lacking in this department. The hospital where we were working was empty, all the departments and staff had vacated for the new hospital. It was mid winter. Now I can tell you that hospitals, especially at night and with reduced lighting can be scary places, more so when one is aware of what goes on behind some of the doors. However, an empty hospital can be a very frightening place. This hospital had only portable heating in the room we were working in; the electric had been turned off apart from the room we were working in. To get out of the hospital to our cars required a walk down echoing corridors in dim lighting---a bit spooky. We were waiting for another engineer to join us. The next part of the job was to remove the overhead x/ray tube and support gantry. This was very heavy and had to be lowered with extreme care--being very expensive and delicate gear. It had always been maintained that this hospital was haunted. It had been built about 1900 and had been used for casualties from both world wars and as a general hospital. The haunted part was supposed to be the general operating theatre. Over the years various members of the staff had reported lights and noises coming from this theatre at different times when it was not in use. No reason had ever been found to substantiate these reports, and the 'haunted theatre' was just accepted and seldom mentioned. Let me tell you now that I had been going to this hospital for maybe twenty-five years as an engineer and had never had any personal experience of any haunting. I had though only been there when others were about and when there was the usual hospital noises. In fact I had never thought much about the apparent haunting until I found myself walking past the now cold and empty general theatre, adjacent to the emergency department. I didn't loiter going past. The general theatre would deal with anything that required urgent attention; if required patients would then be moved to specialist theatres. It was always busy and this is the theatre were most deaths would occur, being the first port of call so to speak. I don't know who first mentioned it, but we decided to play a game with the engineer who was yet to arrive. We had a small portable radio/tape recorder with us, and decided to record some theatre noises on the tape deck. This was very easy to achieve with the various tools we had with us. We recorded shuffling feet and low murmuring voices with phrases like 'Scalpel' 'Swab' 'Thank you sister' then tapping a screwdriver on the sink, and then 'Oxygen okay' and similar phrases. When played back it sounded very realistic. We then went to the old theatre and placed the portable machine behind an old screen well out of sight. We had found the electric supply board that would enable us to switch the power and lights on to the theatre, at command; and we made the radio/tape deck to react accordingly. When our friend arrived we wasted no time in telling him off the haunted theatre and that we were all frightened of going past it down the dark and cold corridor. We were good actors, but he wouldn't believe we were serious. When the time came, as we knew it would, that he needed to go out his car, we went into action. The recording would be activated as he passed the theatre, and if he made to enter, it would be instantly paused. It worked a treat, and it was a very concerned engineer who entered our room to tell us what he had heard. We, with straight faces told him it was just a figment of his overactive imagination. We then all went to the theatre with him. Of course there was no noise, we entered and looked around knowing full well that there would be nothing to be seen. Our friend was adamant he had heard noises, which had stopped, as soon as he entered the theatre. The next time he had to go to his car, one of us went with him, of course there was no sound from the theatre; but we had planned that he would have to come back in alone. Once more the unit was activated, (he had guts this lad, because he again entered the theatre) as before there was total silence when he opened the door. Our synchronisation was spot on. We didn't play the trick on him again, but even when the radio/tape deck was brought back and we played music tapes --- he never twigged anything. He did however keep mentioning his experience, which we, with still serious faces, told him to forget. He wouldn't pass the theatre on his own after that. A couple of days later we were leaving the hospital for the last time, there was only two of us now finishing off; the other engineers had left the previous day for new pastures. The room had been stripped of all its equipment, which had been collected and taken to the new hospital. All the tools and equipment we had been using had been taken out to our cars. We had a final check before we turned everything off and locked the hospital for that last time. The hospital was to be demolished. There was just two of us there on that last day as we made our way down the now even darker and colder corridor. You are probably in front of me here, but as we were passing the dark theatre for what would be our last time, we both noticed it together. The theatre suddenly become illuminated from the inside; we could clearly see light shining through the opaque circular glass windows in the swing doors; we also heard without any doubt the muffled sound of voices, plus noises of an operation in process, we looked at each other and quickly exited and locked the hospital. Within a week the hospital existed no more--it was just a pile of rubble. I have heard of other hospital which claim to be haunted in one department or another, I have never come across it again myself, but I never dismiss it either. I remember what I saw and heard---it was very frightening. PS. We discussed the possibility of a hoax being played on us in revenge. We checked the hospital before leaving; ours was the only department with an electric supply and this was turned off at the distribution point, and the throw switch was padlocked. The hospital was locked from the inside whilst we were working there. We were definitely the only two people in the hospital on that last day. When we returned the keys to the local health authority offices we asked if any other keys had been issued that day, none had been signed for, nor had there been any other visitors to the hospital.
Archived comments for The Haunted Theatre.
RoyBateman on 17-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Fascinating stuff, Gerry...what is there to say, if the reader wasn't there? Naturally, an outsider would suspect, firstly, a hoax, but you've ruled that out. Then a collective trick of the mind? You would disagree, and there's no way that anyone not there could argue with you anyway - so it's an unsolved and unsolvable mystery. Quickly exited? I think I'd have broken all flippin' records - ah, now is THAT why you're so keen on running, eh?? Seriously, a real-life conundrum, and something that I've no personal experience of - but it's always interesting to hear about 'em!

Author's Reply:

Harry on 17-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Beats me, Gerry. You've told a good one – I'm all goose pimples. I like the factual telling of it and the engineering details, it has the lulling effect of normality – until the proper time.

Author's Reply:

Granddad on 17-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Gerry,

I love such stories, particularly this one.

Granddad

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Roy, If a colleague had not been with me there is no way I would have dared write this account. I wish I had the answer.
Posted this in comments because I understand notification is not functioning at this time.
Thanks for being first past the post...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Harry, I added the engineering details because I have been asked so many times---it seemed a good opportunity. Trouble is of course the people who asked probably won't read this lol.

I still go cold when I think about this occurrence...

Best--Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
GD. Yes indeed, I read such tales with a much more open mind these days. It's a strange world...

Best--Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 18-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Yikes, spooksville for sure, Gerry. A well told story and I can well believe that there may have been some ghostly goings on.

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Hi Kat, thought you might like this being a mystic one 😉 Yes very spooky goings on.
Thanks for the comment...

Gerry xxx.

shadow on 18-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Oo-er! Very creepy. Maybe the ghosts decided to get their own back on you ...

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Moya, thank you for dropping by.
I would never have posted this if I hadn't just been reading a large tome, about hauntings in the UK. Many eminent folks have put there names to sightings, so I don't feel too bad now 😉
I think you are right--revenge of the ghosts (a final appearance)

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

discopants on 20-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Sent a shiver down the spine. Ghosts & hauntings are something I can't quite believe in unless I've experienced it (which I haven't) yet there are too many 'sensible' people who say they have experienced it to make me think they don't occur. Interesting read.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 20-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
disco. Thank you for dropping in and for your comment.
It's a funny old world...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

niece on 21-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Gerry,

Yikes...that's scary!!! I have a friend whose mother is a nurse and both of them claim to have seen ghosts...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 21-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
niece, yes indeed--most hospitals seem to have some strange tale attached to them. That was my one and only experience thank goodness.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 21-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Lovely spooky piece Gerry.

Enjoyed this very much.

Si...I won't be turning the light off tonight! lol



Author's Reply:

Yutka on 21-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
came to read what you are up to and found....a gem.

Enjoyed this fabulous mix of technology and spook! Mesmerised me to the end....
Yutka:)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 22-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Simon, well it's not so spooky now, but it certainly was at the time.
Hope you are feeling better...

Regards--Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 22-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
Yutka, Thank you for your kind comment, if only I could offer an explanation.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 22-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
What an experience Gerry! I would have fainted with fright. Well told as usual. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, thanks. I have had a few unexplained scary things in my life--I can do without any more 😉

Gerry xxx.

RDLarson on 30-11-2006
The Haunted Theatre.
There are many things that we don't know or understand. I agree that hospitals are scary. One night the woman in the other bed died; her husband was totally overcome. The next night the floor nurse and I kept hearing the dead woman calling her husband, which she often did before she died. When he visited her, if she had any medical people come in he would go out in the hall. She always called, "Juan, Juan!" It was certainly spooky, and I was glad to leave in a day or so.

Author's Reply:
RD. I had left a reply to your comment--but it seems to have gone walk about.
Things seem to have settled a little now though. That is sure another spooky occurrence...

Thanks, and have a great 2007

Gerry.


Too Long A Road... (posted on: 03-11-06)
No gain without pain on the Isle of Arran. With audio narration.

I run passed Knockin-Kelly, with a pain in my belly Well that's not true, I had pain everywhere. Then on down the hill, I'd a promise to fill--- If I'd known then--I'd have spoken with care. Down passed the church and onward I lurch The pain more intense as I run, I am too old for this My life should be bliss--- What a fool, just what have I done? Then it's round Whiting Bay, now wet through with the spray My misery getting worse all the time, When I think back those years as I do through my tears I should be home with a nice glass of wine. It was Five years ago when I uttered those words The words that would cause me such dread, 'Will you come back when you're seventy And run a 10k'? 'Cause I will---that's no problem' I said. Little did I know what that time would bring With the toll of each passing year, I should have thought deeper before I opened my mouth I just spoke with bravado I fear. It was three weeks ago when my friend rang me up 'It's the race at the end of November' What's he talking about I thought to myself? Then I slowly began to remember. So I push on round the bay, legs feeling like lead, When the turning point comes into view. Just over three miles, and then I can stop I push on---what else can I do? Old Doctor McGrath looks over his gate Attired in sporran and kilt He looks on with dismay as I run on my way Cos my legs are beginning to wilt. Then the church looms again and I know I'm on track Not long to go now--what a thrill Then comes great despair as I look ahead--- All I see is that bloody great hill. Ten minutes later and over the brow. Kings Cross is just one mile away Staggering now round those last four bends; I just hope I can run on the day? It's not just the race that I promised to do, There's something else I re-call that I did; I made a large bet all those long years ago--- And I'll be damned if I'll lose that five quid. PS. I ran the Abbey Dash twenty years ago in a time of 37minutes. I ran it in 2003 in 51 minutes. I will be trying to beat the hour this time. This is definitely my last competitive run 😉
Archived comments for Too Long A Road...
Bradene on 04-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Bravo Gerry! what was the other promise though? (((-; You read it with such feeling. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 04-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Val, only one promise that I can remember, that I would do the race. The other thing was the fiver I foolishly bet that I would do it. I can't bear to lose that fiver lol.
I wrote this within minutes of that training run--so I was full of feeling at the time, mostly pain 😉
Thanks for reading and comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Val--still in pain put reply under comments--groan...

RoyBateman on 04-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Blimey, sooner you than me, mate! But I salute you for even trying...it's more than I could manage, I'm sure. It sounds like quite a challenge for a young bloke - not that you're old where it matters, of course. I hope it all looks more positive when the pain wears off!

Author's Reply:
Roy, doing more or less continous training now --so the pain seldom goes 😉 still I am used to it. It does become bearable after a time. One consolation is that everyone suffers. One advantage of training in Yorkshire I don't have to dodge the sea spray LOL...

Gerry.


orangedream on 04-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
What a great poem Gerry, all the more enhanced by your animated reading. Very, very much enjoyed and more power to you!

kind regards
Tina xxx

Author's Reply:
Tina, thanks, glad you enjoyed this little ode ;-(

Gerry xxx.

Kat on 04-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Full credit to you, Gerry. I really admire runners and have always wanted to attempt something like a half-marathon one day for charity... maybe when *I'm* fifty. :o) My dad ran in the last Glasgow marathon (? 1987) when he was 50 and had a respectable time. The amount of training/mileage that has to go in amazes me.

Good luck - enjoyed your poem!

MKat x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 05-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Mystic Kat, yes indeed, marathons training takes a great determination. I have run thirteen marathons.
Once you get started it becomes a part of your life 'Give it a go'
I am now getting ready to do a six mile training run, I am hoping to do 56 minutes--it is a bit windy though. Watch this space 😉
Glad you enjoyed the poem (All true)

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Kat, I am about to shoot myself again--reply in comment box 😉


PS. Did six mile training run in just over 54 minutes 'well chuffed with that'

G xxx.

niece on 05-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Gerry,
Great poem! And I admire your spirit...all the best for the next race...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, glad you enjoyed the poem and thank you for your comments. I have always been a sucker for a challenge. It seems age doesn't make one wiser. 😉 lol.

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 06-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
That one almost got by me, Gerry. I've been holed up with a new computer – never would have forgiven myself. A rare, priceless little poem – one of your best. Im proud you made it, A great triumph of will and I salute you.

Author's Reply:
Harry, new computers can be a pain. So much to load and set up--I have been there 😉
Anyway good to see you back on line. I am only training at the moment lol The race is Nov 24th.
I will report back on my effort on the day 😉
Did your new pooter give you the sound file?
Thanks for your encouraging comments...

Best Gerry.

PS If you get on Skype and get a web cam we could try for a link up.

Kazzmoss on 29-11-2006
Too Long A Road...
Just listened to it and it made me chuckle. I enjoyed it - Kazz

Author's Reply:

Supratik on 13-10-2015
Too Long A Road...
Here's wishing you all the very best. Enjoyed the read! Supratik

Author's Reply:


Perception. (use with care) (posted on: 09-10-06)
We have to be very careful with perception, sometimes we can be very wrong--- with disastrous consequences. Be fair-be safe-be sure (I will hopefully add an audio track to this post.)

Jealousy Envy and Perception met As they were wont to do. They talked about their successes, And who they had managed to screw. They were aware of their mighty power, And how people used their skill-- Being utilised more and more, They just loved being used for the kill. But this time they had an argument-- Jealousy claimed the top spot, The root of most of the evil around, But the other two said that was rot. Envy, let them both know were he stood, Surely he was the worst of the three; He had the power to destroy at a stroke, Yes he was top, it was so plain to see. --- Then it was Perception's turn--- He stood and looked round very dour; 'You two fade into insignificance, When compared to my mighty power. I am the cause of most problems, I destroy folks by the hour and day; People use me instead of stopping to think, It's so much easier that way. So convenient to get the wrong idea, And make one's self feel fine; It's such a doddle and doesn't take any effort, To fall back on ways like mine. People don't have to use their brains, I'm happy to do all the graft; It's all so easy when I'm about, And folk's just love using my craft. They don't need to employ any effort at all, Please remember I do everything free; So if you're in doubt, just alter your views, And be always right just like me. . You won't need facts or any proof, When it's me you set out to employ; I'm the bringer of grief, tears and sorrow, And the destroyer of any joy. People loose all reason when I am around, It's the option that's so easy to use; Folks seldom try with my nice side, It's the high ground that makes people bruise. So I claim the title of worst--- The worst word that's ever been' And jealousy and envy just stood open mouthed But their faces had turned a bright green'
Archived comments for Perception. (use with care)
niece on 09-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Well-written, Gerry...and loved the message too...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Niece, thanks for being first in, I thought this was dieing without trace 😉
I wrote this after having I observed a near disaster, caused by a perception which was totally wrong.
It is all so easy...

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 09-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Very witty and barbed, Gerry. You're turning in some very deep stuff lately, aren't you? Blimey, you put me to shame! Yes, a lot to muse on here, and I shall do just that over a nice cuppa. Good one!

Author's Reply:
Roy, sometimes I am very unsure when I press the button. But I seem to get away with it 😉

I think this is a message we could all do with thinking about a bit. Perception can be truly evil.

Did you get sound on this? I had a bit of trouble getting it to play on my PC.

Good to have you back again--

Gerry.

orangedream on 10-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
My goodness, this is deep, but certainly fodder for thought and no mistake.

I enjoyed it and its message came across loud and clear.

Thanks, Gerry

Tina x

Author's Reply:
Tina, thank you for your comment, and I am pleased you got the message...

Best--Gerry xxx.

MiddleEarthNet on 11-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Very clever and very true in many cases. The first 'qualities' are obviously bad ones but many people would believe that perception is good. It is not until things go wrong when they might doubt it.

And good audio to go along with it.

Author's Reply:
Middle, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Perception is super when used with none animate objects like colours and smells. But when used with people it can very dangerous and destructive. Sometimes we perceive things about people which are totally wrong.

I read your poems on 'Mystic Kat's' site, I was very impressed by them...

Gerry xxx.

wfgray on 12-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
I am sure you used a lot of your own perception when you wrote this. I found it deep with meanings that could be constructed to be dangerous. I must say, I had to read it two or thee times. A nice read. Will

Author's Reply:
Will, thank you for reading and commenting, glad you understood 😉

Best-Gerry.

Bradene on 13-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
A good read Gerry and very well thought out. Dare I say it...Very perceptive Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Yes, you dare Val--but no one else 😉
Thanks for dropping by...

Gerry xxx.

soman on 15-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Gerry,

Well written, indicating that you have a high level of 'perception' -- of the right kind!

Soman

Author's Reply:

soman on 15-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Gerry,

Well written, indicating that you have a high level of 'perception' -- of the right kind!

Soman

Author's Reply:

soman on 15-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Gerry,

Well written, indicating that you have a high level of 'perception' -- of the right kind!

Soman

Author's Reply:

soman on 15-10-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Gerry,

Well written, indicating that you have a high level of 'perception' -- of the right kind!

Soman

Author's Reply:
Soman, well I perceived that you must have had hiccups when posting your comment LOL.
Life has taught me to always exercise perception with extreme care, as I am sure you will also do---
Thanks for your four comments 😉

Best--Gerry.

Gerry on 02-11-2006
Perception. (use with care)
Glenn, thank you for your astute observations and comment.
Best--Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Glenn, thank you for your astute observation, and comment.

Best--Gerry.


Dante's Gate... (posted on: 02-10-06)
The following poem has purposely no specific form. It is not an easy or comfortable read. It is what it is.

[IMG]http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h264/geralda1/Dantesgate-1.jpg[/IMG] Son taken from father daughter taken from mother brother taken from sister family destroyed like many other. Not too far really but might as well be a million miles away. There is no way back for child, adult, doctor or lawyer. Provision brought over to sustain life and left at fortress door. No chains or bars, but no escape the only life -- is a new one. Marriage is allowed -- but any child is removed immediately, never to be seen again, agony on agony -- in this endless pain, both physical and mental. Dante's gate is the point of entry, with no return for these pitiful creatures, and is aptly named. As they are directed through the dark tunnel, all hope is truly abandoned. The invincible German army, hell bent on world domination, stopped three hundred yards short of hell. This was their bridge too far. No occupation here -- their courage at last failed them. What is the crime that warrants such inhuman treatment? No crime at all, just the misfortune to have the awful tag of Leper attached to you. This island place which housed those wretched souls, living in these isolated conditions until the late fifties, holds lepers no longer. But its name will live forever--- The island of Spinalonga.
Archived comments for Dante's Gate...
Bradene on 02-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
Hell indeed and for a minute you made it visable again Gerry with your story. Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val. I have been having trouble displaying the picture of 'Dante's Gate'
Did you view it okay?

Gerry xxx.

orangedream on 02-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
Gosh Gerry - this is amazing! Both the poem and the gradually appearing picture.

Brilliant and at the same time, extremely moving.

regards
Orange

Author's Reply:
Orange, glad you liked it. The gradual opening picture was not intended though, I have been having problems with that 😉 If you found this interesting may i suggest you read 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop. Make sure you have a full box of tissue handy though--it is heartbreaking...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 02-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
One of your best pieces, Gerry – very strong. Honest. My youngest daughter worked among lepers for her PhD in Ethiopia – she'll enjoy reading this piece.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I didn't find it easy to write this. Because of its nature I don't think people will find it easy to read.
Thank you for your kind response. Maybe you will point your daughter to the book I mentioned in my reply to Orange above.

Regards to you and your daughter.

Gerry.

Kat on 02-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
Gerry, I also concur with Harry - this is definitely one of your best. Very moving, very sad, and the control you took in telling it helped to underline the awful facts even more - very skilful.

I wrote a poem about an Indian girl with leprosy a couple of years ago after being moved by an excellent newspaper article, but it needs a bit of an edit as I don't think it's so good. This is a super piece of work of great historical significance. How often have I told you that you aren't just a pretty face! ;o)

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat I am sending you a big cyber kiss 😉
Thank you for your comment. To be honest I wasn't sure about this poem on UKA but the comments have made me feel better about posting it. I would like to read your poem.
Pretty face? moi? LOL.

Gerry xxx.

niece on 03-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
Gerry,
I didn't know a thing about Dante's gate until I read your poem...very scary and sad, and beautifully written...

Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, In 'Dante's Inferno' written over the gates of hell is the quote "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.” which means "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" This quote was used to describe the gate at the entrance to the island of Spinalonga. Quite appropriately as well I think.
There is quite a bit about the Island on the net. If you read the comment I left for Orange above you will see a book mentioned which you would find fascinating.
Thank you for your kind comment.

Gerry xxx.

soman on 08-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
Gerry,

An unpleasant topic, deftly handled with eloquence and sensitivity.

Congrats!

Soman

Author's Reply:
Soman, thank you for your kind comment and appreciation of this poem...

Gerry

RoyBateman on 09-10-2006
Dantes Gate...
What an extremely powerful piece, Gerry...it's not something that we ever get to know much about in this country, is it? Maybe we just assume that this "Biblical" affliction disappeared centuries back, and yet that's obviously not the case. I think we all learned something sobering from this.

Author's Reply:
Roy, yes it's a sad fact that this problem still exists, it was and is a terrifying affliction.
Hope you had a nice break from hostilities 😉

Best - Gerry.


And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?) (posted on: 29-09-06)
'I will start at the beginning, which was 2-30 am, and the alarm clock was sounding.'

Shirley and I were to be at the airport for 3-15. We both thought this a little silly and aimed for 3-45, as it turned out the high security alert had been eased a little and we had plenty of time. The aircraft took of on time at 6-15am. Our destination was Zante an island off the West Coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. (Also known as Zakynthos). The aircraft quickly gained speed down the runway and I became aware of a vibration that just did not seem right. Just after rotation the vibration stopped. I did not want to alarm my wife, so I remained quiet. After about fifteen minutes the pilot came on the intercom. The vibration was from the front landing gear. The pilot had been in touch with the relevant authorities and because there was no engineering staff available on Zante if was decided to return to the airport. We were assured everything would be okay and all the emergency services had been alerted? We were expected back in fifteen minutes. Until we were actually on the ground there were some very worried people on that plane. We were then informed that because the plane would have to be jacked up to be worked on, all passengers would have to leave, and all baggage had to be removed from the aircraft. We lost two hours, and some passengers were reluctant to re-board the plane. Eventually we took off again and all seemed okay. The rest of the flight was uneventful and we landed without any problems. Our hotel was not far from the airport and our waiting taxi soon had us there. We quickly changed and unpacked and shortly afterwards were walking on a delightful beach in wonderful warm sunshine. The beach we were on was Kalamaki, this is a designated protected site for the under threat Loggerhead turtles. The nests are clearly marked and the beach is closed each day from seven in the evening to seven in the morning for the young to make there way from egg to sea. Normal activity takes place on the beach through the day but many restrictions are in place. No motor boats, no fishing, no light of any kind after dark, no interfering with nests etc. It is all very interesting, but the young people who have volunteered to protect these delightful creatures are very short of funds. Our daughter who is a teacher has got her school children interested and they are doing a project and starting to raise funds to help the survival of the turtles, these creatures have many predators and need all the help they can get to make it to adults. After showering and changing we found a nice looking Taverna about fifteen minutes walk from out hotel. We were warmly greeted by the staff and ordered a carafe of wine whilst we perused the menu. The wine arrived, but before we could pour any out, the whole place started to shake, in the background was a very loud rumbling noise. We were in fact having an earthquake. It seemed to last for about a minute but in reality it was probably about fifteen or twenty seconds. But scary it certainly was. The staff tried to reassure their customers, but it was clear that they were a little worried too. We had an enjoyable meal and made it back to the hotel without any problems. The next day the hotel manager told us that the report he received stated the tremor was 5 on the Richter scale. That was a fair old rumble we had experienced, and it was the first topic of discussion whilst we were there. Now do you think you could get through a whole week with your watch one hour out? Well Shirley and I did just that. On arrival the time was given out by the crew as being one hour in front of ours, I argued that it should be two hours, but was shouted down by people who seemed to know, so our watches were put forward one hour. Through the week things happened that made us think something was wrong. When I went for early morning run lots of people were about, normally the beach is deserted at seven am. The morning mail plane which was scheduled for seven am each day, always flew over us at six and woke us up. When we went for our evening meal early, no later than seven, everyone else had also decided to go at seven. We truly never twigged what was wrong until the last day. I had an hour to spare, our taxi was due at 10 am, so I took myself off to the beach for a last look around and a few last minute photo shots. Strolling slowly back watching the lizards stretching in the morning sun, my wife suddenly appeared on the scene---the taxi had arrived. She had argued with reception that the taxi was in fact an hour too early. Our watches of course told us it was only nine. The truth slowly dawned on us; we had been running an hour slow for a week and didn't realise it--- what a pair of plonkers. We had to bribe the taxi driver to hang about while we finished packing; he was okay about it. Don't think it could never happen to you either (it just may do at sometime). As can be expected these days, the plane was held up by a so-called computer fault at its departure point and was an hour late arriving at Zante. That meant another hour wait at the airport; we were not amused. The aircraft eventually loaded and headed for the runway. Our attempted take off was soon aborted though. A forest fire had started some distance away and two water tanker aircraft has somehow been given priority clearance on our runway (you couldn't make this up), that meant another half-hour delay. Well we got off eventually and knew of course that nothing else could go wrong. Nothing did until we were nearly on the ground four hours later. The wheels were down the flaps were set and the ground looked only feet below us when---full power was applied and the plane literally stood on its tale and went vertical. The undercarriage was raised and off we went soaring into the heavens. I can assure you everyone on the plane was frightened. After about five minutes the captain voice came over the intercom. He had to abort the landing because there was a helicopter hovering very near to the runway---yes you read that correctly. We went round again and lost another half-hour at least. It was wonderful to feel solid ground under our feet once more. Our cases were of course the last on the carousel---as usual. My car had survived its stay at the airport car park without any problems, and we were soon on our way home down the motorway. Will we be going again? You can bet your life we will. By the way before any of you smart Alec's make the point, I am well aware that the earth will have moved for many people on many occasions through that week. 😉 We truly had a lovely holiday though; don't these little things just add a little ambiance to one's life?
Archived comments for And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
RoyBateman on 29-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Well, Gerry, I'm certainly glad that you both enjoyed your holiday despite the time cock-up...I'm sure that there's a story there somewhere, isn't there? As for the 'plane emergencies, strewth. What was that, flight 13 with Unlucky Airlines?? I'd have lost what little hair I've got left, I tell you. Welcome back in one piece!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, Things are hectic at the moment, we have just been presented with another granddaughter. I have just managed to sign in for a short time. lol.
It did seem like flight thirteen--give me earthquakes anytime .-)

Bradene on 29-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Happy you had a lovely holiday even if it was frought with potencially dangerous situations. it just goes to show that someone up there likes you ! Enjoyed the read Gerry. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, It was quite unbelievable just one thing after another--yes, I feel we were being watched over 😉 We had to make it back for the birth. 'Imogen' a gorgeous little charmer...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 29-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Good travelogue, Gerry – I half expected you wouldn't find your car in the lot at the airport! Sounds like a delightful island. My wife and I spent a week on Crete years ago. Utterly different than Zante.

Author's Reply:
Harry, funny you should say that--took some finding 😉 I am beginning to like the Greek islands, and love the food. In case you don't read the other comments our daughter had a little girl ( both doing well)

best Gerry.

niece on 29-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Gerry,
I've experienced an earth-quake...I was looking out of the window after a bad night(my first-born who was about 3 at the time was unwell)...I thought I felt that way because I was too tired till I turned around and noticed a basket that had been kept on a chair vibrating...
And I'll save my husband's almost similar flight experience for another time...may make a story out of it!!!
Good read, Gerry...you enjoyed yourself, you are safe and that is more important...
Regds,
niece


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 29-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Niece, thank you for reading, if you read the above comments you will realise things are a bit hectic at the moment. I will try to catch up with reads as soon as possible.
Please share your flight experiences, and watch out for earthquakes lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Niece you have permission to shoot me 😉 I have left reply under comments. I am beyond any hope lol.

G.

Kat on 29-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Gerry, I enjoy reading your travel tales too, and they always have an edge of something different as well! :o) Loved hearing about the conservation work and fundraising for the turtles - wonderful stuff. I've never been to Zante, but I've always wanted to - only been to Rhodes.

Finally, many congrats on the birth of your granddaughter, Imogen, (lovely name)... ! Enjoy this special time with your family.

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat, thank you so much for your kind reply.
Don't know if I can get a pic in here but I will try.

Gerry xxx.

No It didn't work 😉



niece on 30-09-2006
And The Earth Moved...(Has it moved for you Lately?)
Gerry,
I hadn't read the earlier replies...congrats to your whole family!!!Baby girl! How nice! Take care and enjoy the baby...
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Niece thank you for your kind wishes...

Gerry xxx.


Potency. (posted on: 04-09-06)
Can you grasp it?

I felt a potency out there It's true I swear it's true, I felt it all around me And was not sure what to do. This isn't just a recent thing I have known it for a while, It's very hard to nail it down But it certainly has style. My eyes were first to be aware But there was nothing I could see, And then my ears detected it But no sounds came to me. My nose was next to tell me I knew I was not wrong, But strangely though, there was no smell What on earth was going on? My tongue then sent a message But no taste at all came through, This was not imagination Everything - I knew was true. But then I stretched my arms out And grasped the air around, It was then I knew I had it The strength at last I'd found. So if you're feeling low and sad Your problems you must share--- Throw your arms out wide and grasp it There is potency out there!
Archived comments for Potency.
RoyBateman on 04-09-2006
Potency.
Oh, very deep stuff for a Monday morning - nicely optimistic, though! Is it just a Yorkshire thing, or is it everywhere? Okay, I know - I feel much the same walking on the Long Mynd. Carpe diem, eh?

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 04-09-2006
Potency.
Carpe diem--nice one Roy, very apt. But I was thinking a bit more metaphorical 😉 Yes it is all over, but not always easy to grasp! No one has the monopoly though. Don't ask me where it came from--my fingers just typed it 😉

Hope you are well,

Gerry.

Author's Reply:
Blow me I've done it again--no hope I fear!
See comment---
G.

Bradene on 04-09-2006
Potency.
Lovely rhythm to this Gerry and you've captured a certain magic in the feeling of just being alive Nice one. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, yes the world is truly a magical place. It is a pity we don't all see it (and feel it) that way 😉
Thanks, hope things are going okay...

Gerry xxx,

Easyd on 04-09-2006
Potency.
Good existential feel to this, Gerry. The mix of philosophical and emotional feelings is very effective. Good one.
Lol,
Easyd

Author's Reply:
Hugh, thank you for your encouragement--I wasn't sure about this one 😉
It always works for me lol...

best-Gerry.

Ionicus on 04-09-2006
Potency.
Nicely abstract, Gerry, with philosophical undertones. Good flowing rhymes.

Luigi

Author's Reply:
Luigi, thanks for your encouraging comment also--I will keep trying 🙂

Best -Gerry.


John Hoggs RIP. (posted on: 01-09-06)
I have asked for no crit on this please. It was knocked out very quickly and I will no doubt return to it. I just felt the need to post something. Any comments will of course be appreciated. 'After the farce of hanging the corpse, it would have been buried in the prison grounds'

I was feeling quite calm, I shouldn't have been really, it wasn't natural. However I was feeling calm. I knew that I was safe, it had all gone according to plan and there was no way I could be tied in. I know you will have heard this many times before, 'they all say that,' you will be thinking, however I was sure. I had no motive; I didn't live and was not known in the area. I had a cast iron alibi, but knew I wouldn't need it. I didn't leave any trail or clues; I was too smart for that. I wasn't known to any of the authorities so even if fingerprints were found, which they wouldn't be, they could not tie me in. No this had been perfect and that is why I felt calm. There was plenty of commotion going on with the media of course; the papers were full of it and the radio was broadcasting frequent up dates. This was very big news, and anyone would think they were on someone's trail the way they went on. I suppose a show had to be put on of making headway, this was one that needed to be solved, and quick. As expected, things started to quieten down eventually and the whole thing seemed to go away; however things were apparently still moving in the background but not the way I had expected at all. I was in fact in for one colossal surprise. 'Suspect Caught' was the headlines. This immediately worried me, not over much though, because I knew they had the wrong person, and it would soon become clear that this was the case. This didn't happen though; each days news seemed to imply even more that the correct person had been caught. I was dreading to hear that the authorities were going to charge someone. Just two weeks after the first report they did prefer charges. The guy was one John Hoggs, and it seemed he had very little defence. He was known to the police, had previous convictions, was in the area at the time, had no alibi, and the need to nail someone for this offence was of a high priority. Now I really was worried, I had no regret about what I had done, but I couldn't see an innocent man swing for a crime I had committed, even though it seemed he was an out an out rogue. This idea would change though. I had connections, and good ones, people who I could rely on totally. My connections also covered a very broad spectrum. I needed to know all about John Hoggs, and my connections were soon at work.. If some guy was about to swing for something I had done, then I needed to know lots of things about him. There was one thing for sure now though, even if he was found guilty I wasn't about to intervene, he could swing, I had had a complete change of mind on this point. My life was of much more value than his was, even if he was not guilty of this crime. What happened next was very strange, my connections who I cannot divulge, all drew a blank. These were people who had access to all records, births - deaths marriages - immigration, criminal records, and court appearances. Medical, taxation and housing records were also checked, as were military service records. There was nothing on this guy at all, it seemed in fact that he had never been born---never existed. John Hoggs was tried and found guilty, and as expected, he was duly sentenced to be hanged. The papers and radio reported that because of the official secrets act and post war security, all aspects of the trial would be in 'camera' and no details could be released to the public, nor were they. There was to be no appeal and Hoggs was reportedly hanged two weeks later. I stayed silent. John Hoggs as we know didn't hang, but only a very few people at the time were aware of that fact. Because this was a crime that had to be solved, the police needed to have a culprit. John Hoggs suited the situation all too well. It was all neatly packaged, the police were happy, the government were happy, and I was very happy. It had indeed been a perfect crime. One particular group were not too happy though; but then there wasn't a thing this group could do about it. Why am I telling you this now after all these years? Well I have in my hand a letter that was delivered to me a few weeks ago, and I have been thinking about it very carefully ever since. I have moved home a number of times since the events depicted here, and been out of the country quite a lot; however I honestly don't think that there is any problem with me sharing the content of the letter with you now. It simply says; 'I was surprised to find that you were still alive. It is all a long time since isn't it? There is no such thing as a perfect crime. John H. Now here is my take on this. I think that the guy who wrote this letter is the person who adopted the identity of John Hoggs for the trial. Yes there was a trial, even though it was in secret. It would probably have been a young policeman who had been trained how to act throughout the proceedings. He wasn't hung of course but there was a hanging, all the criteria had to be met. The hanged body would have originated in the city mortuary (some unknown; and certainly not the first time that this has happened) and then after the farce of hanging the corpse, it would have been buried in the prison grounds. The young actor would then have resumed his normal police duties. In the letter writers situation I would have wanted to know how anyone could let an innocent man die for a crime he didn't commit. I think he devoted a lot of his life trying to track down the person really responsible. Don't ask me how he did it. So my problem is now, do I answer the letter explaining to him that I knew no one had been executed for the crime; and seeking to know how he found me and what he has on me? He will obviously be a very similar age to me now. Or do I just let things ride? By the way; I know the case can never be re-opened. PS The last hanging in the UK was 1964. Jack Straw only formally abolished the Death penalty in 1999. The Channel Isles and Isle of Man still officially have the death penalty.
Archived comments for John Hoggs RIP.
Bradene on 01-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
A strange tale that left me wanting to know more nicely written though Gerry. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Yes Val I thought it might elicit that response--I hoped it wouldn't 😉
Thank for your comment...

Gerry xxx

Harry on 01-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
Very disturbing, Gerry. Did I read something based on fact or was it purely fiction? In either case I think you have a very promising piece under way. I'd like to know more about the victim and why he was murdered.

Author's Reply:
Harry, even in England there was acts of revenge after the war. Many an unknown corpse was buried in the prison ground after hanging, to ameliorate the unsolved offence. 😉
Just lets say that this story is based on an event that could have happened.

Gerry

RoyBateman on 01-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
You've opened up a very big and very entertaining (in a grim way, of course) can of worms with this...now, you've given me all sorts of tangents to go off at as to how this might have happened, how the real criminal was traced, etc. This should continue!
ps If I nick it, I will of course admit the fact!!

Author's Reply:
Roy, don't get involved it's far too dangerous 😉
I will have to think carefully about this before any continuance.
Never admit anything lol...

Gerry.

PS did you get my e/m?

Romany on 01-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
Okay, you've got me intrigued too! What do you men 'the last hanging in the UK was 1964?' I thought it was '63, Ruth Ellis? Or am I mistaken? And I never knew that the death penalty was only abolished in 1999 (that's scary.) Or that the Channel Islands and Isle of Man still have it - very interesting indeed. Why do I get the feeling you know something (probably loads of things!) that I don't know? The thought that people already dead were again 'hanged' to imply the satisfactory conclusion to high profile cases makes absolute sense, even if it is a little shocking. Would love to know more about this story; do you think you will elaborate on it at all, or extend it?

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Romany--sorry put my answer under comments 😉 (I keep doing that) groan---

Gerry on 01-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
Romany, sorry yes you are mistaken. Ruth Ellis was hanged at Holloway prison in 1955.
One P.A. Allen and G.O. Evans were hanged at Liverpool and Manchester respectively at 8 AM in August 1964.

Thanks for your comment. Maybe some time in the future I will add to this story.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

niece on 02-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
Gerry,
A very very unusual story...and quite unnerving too!!!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Oh my goodness--I have done it again, put my reply in comments lol. I fear there is no hope for me...
G.

Gerry on 02-09-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
niece, I fully agree with your comment on both counts.
It's no good to know too much 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

neotom on 29-12-2006
John Hoggs RIP.
I enjoyed reading this piece. I look forward to you possibly writing some more fiction?

Tom

Author's Reply:
Tom, glad you enjoyed this. There are quite a few Fiction posts among my pages should you ever be short of a read LOL.

A happy new year to you...

Gerry.


Death and Aunt Maude. (posted on: 14-08-06)
Comments are welcome on this post, but I am asking for no crit please. There is no poetic perfection here and this poem could be pulled to pieces by you pedants 😉 You may have to think about this post a little. ''At the door of the cottage a vision so fair, Stood a naked lady with long flowing hair.''

Contrary to what they say I haven't really passed away, My breathing stopped I know that's true, And they didn't know just what to do. The EEG thing showed no trace. There was a deathly look upon my face. Electric shocks? They gave me four, They made me jump but nothing more. And then at last they realised--- I was no more, I had demised. No bright lights or heavenly choir, No smell of brimstone or raging fire. But as I looked down I could clearly see, They had pulled a white sheet over me. I saw Aunt Maude and Uncle Fred Standing stiffly by my bed, There were some tears, Fred's eyes were wet, But none from Maude---at least not yet? And then I started to drift away, I knew for sure I couldn't stay, I was so glad now, that I had believed On that score I was sure relieved, I knew if there was anything there Surely I had earned a share. So I ventured forth with head held high, Not knowing when or where or why, I had tried my best along lifes grind, And just hoped that my judges were feeling kind. After a while as if out of a dream The most amazing sight that could ever have been, A lovely cottage and crystal pool I could see Suddenly appearing in front of me. At the door of the cottage a vision so fair, Stood a naked lady with long flowing hair, I had seen nothing to match her beauty before, As I cautiously made my way to the door. Her nakedness just didn't seem wrong, Such beauty you just shouldn't hide, Then she spoke to me in a silken voice, 'You should see my friends inside'! Through the perfumed garden and birdsong path I slowly made my way. I would find out now, if I was destined for hell For I would be surely turned away. I knew this was heaven as I went through the door Four more gorgeous ladies-as naked as before It was hard to believe, but I'd make a sure bet That these girls were better than the one I first met. No, that's not right, there just different you see, All perfect, all lovely, and all are for me. I knew I'd been good, But reward such as this? My goodness, my goodness, what joy O' what bliss! After hours and hours of endless delight, A tinkling bell brought me back from the night Then naked through the gardens - without any care And down to the pool, and bath-time to share. A breakfast of fruit then caressed in the sun, O' wonder of wonder this is paradise come. And then sometime later the first lady I saw, Waved me towards her as she stood by the door She looked rather sad, with something not right As I slowly approached her magnificent sight. 'There has been a mistake, I'm afraid you can't stay You have got here too early it seems, The boss has just told me you have to go back, Please remember us in your dreams'. 'I don't want to go back, I just love it here, This is where I must be,' 'Well I'm sorry my friend we love you too, But I'm afraid it's not up to me.' With much sadness and sorrow we said our goodbyes It was breaking my heart to leave, But reluctantly I reversed my steps I would have a long-time now to grieve. Maybe this is what hell is about, And I had possibly got it all wrong, I hadn't been good enough at all Had they had just been stringing me along? Then I heard a voice in the distance, 'Welcome back, welcome back' and a smile, 'My goodness you gave us a fright my friend We had lost you there for a while. I am tormented now with my journey Why didn't they just let me stay? But I know without doubt in the back of my mind I shall return to my cottage one day. And I know my ladies will be waiting for me With the same longing I'm having now, So dry your tears now dear Uncle Fred, And Aunt Maude 'sod off you old cow'
Archived comments for Death and Aunt Maude.
eddiesolo on 14-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
I enjoyed this Gerry, loved that last line.

'Through the perfumed garden and birdsong path' this line is great.

Liked it very much.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Simon, comments like this coming from a true poet lifts my spirits 😉
Thank you. I liked that line too LOL.

Best--Gerry.

Harry on 14-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Is that the aspiration of a Muslim suicide bomber or the fevered imagination of a Christian? Your fancies give us reason to think, Gerry. Shall each of us draw his own conclusion?

Author's Reply:
Harry, I can honestly say that I had no religious thought whatsoever when I wrote this. The inspiration was from a totally different source. I will admit however being a man of faith, that the said situation would suit me very nicely, as long as my Shirley could be there to cook my Yorkshire puds and see to other bits and bobs. It really was a quite stunning place--and the girls, I still have a picture of one of them---

Gerry 😉

scotch on 14-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
good...scotch

Author's Reply:
Scotch. A man '0r lady' of few words eh?
Nevertheless you obviously appreciate a good poem lol.

Thank you for dropping in...

Gerry.

Dargo77 on 14-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Gerry, please let me know when you are near to going again...I will come with you. There seems to be plenty for both of us. Admire the amount of work you put into this one. A fave for me.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, I was assured that this spot was mine alone--however an in depth talk with the exotic creature on the door revealed to me that other such places exist for those who truly deserve ( I must have been better than I thought) when I get back, and I know I shall, I will put in a word for you. Now I cannot be fairer than that LOL.
Thanks for the fav pick also.

Best--Gerry.

Ionicus on 14-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Dear Gerry, a lovely poem and as you don't wish to receive any criticism I'll refrain from doing so.
When I read the following:

'I knew this was heaven as I went through the door
Four more gorgeous ladies-as naked as before
It was hard to believe, but I’d make a sure bet
That these girls were better than the one I first met.
No, that’s not right, there just different you see,
All perfect, all lovely, and all are for me.
I knew I’d been good, But reward such as this?
My goodness, my goodness, what joy O’ what bliss!
After hours and hours of endless delight,
A tinkling bell brought me back from the night
Then naked through the gardens - without any care
And down to the pool, and bath-time to share.
A breakfast of fruit then caressed in the sun,
O’ wonder of wonder this is paradise come.'

I too thought at first that it may be a reference to suicide bombers but on reading further I realised that this wasn't so.
There are so many good lines an I particularly like:

'At the door of the cottage a vision so fair,
Stood a naked lady with long flowing hair,
I had seen nothing to match her beauty before,
As I cautiously made my way to the door.
Her nakedness just didn’t seem wrong,
Such beauty you just shouldn’t hide,'

Luigi.




Author's Reply:
Drat Luigi, I have done it again--placed my reply under comments. (senior moments) 😉

Gerry on 15-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Luigi, well poetically I know it jumps about a bit, and the scanning changes somewhat in places--but who is to say what is right ? in my view poetry shouldn't have to stick to rigid forms, surely it is what is written that is the main thing.
I am pleased that you appreciated this and I knew that you would get a few smiles along the way--shall I put a word or two in for you LOL.

Best--Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 15-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
I also wondered if you'd been shanghaied into a mosque for a moment - but don't they get even more virgins? Mm...amazing how many there must be, when there are hardly any here anymore. A lot to think about in this - maybe we'd all love to come back to our own funeral or deathbed, Reggie Perrin style? THEN we'd know what people really thought about us...hang on, maybe it's better not to know! Good one, Gerry - you got everyone thinking with this!

Author's Reply:

niece on 15-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Gerry,
😀
Good one...and written so well...never thought of Heaven that way before!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, well I am keeping my nose clean now 😉 Having had a glimpse LOL.
Glad you enjoyed this little ode...

Gerry xxx.

red-dragon on 15-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
A truly great read, Gerry! Your last line was inspired and gave it the punch line it deserved!! Ann

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 16-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Ann thank you so much for your nice comment. I am pleased that you picked up on the significance of Maude 😉 LOL...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:
Ann, sorry I have done it again (Groan) please see comments box.

Gerry.

chrissy on 16-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Gerry, a very entertaining read. Not sure I would want my life or after lived filled with naked chaps (if females get the opposite of what you blokes get) but all those extra bits and bobs aren't wildly attractive when displayed in the naked persuasion.
Very good read with a good pace and, despite your warning about it not being perfect, it had a good rhythm through out and I could see and admire the amount of work that went into it. Well done.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 16-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
chrissy, you are so correct--I can fully understand you not wanting to be with naked blokes 😉 nothing attractive about them at all. Well maybe one or two of us! lol.
Thank you for your very kind comment...

Gerry xxx.


Author's Reply:
chrissy--I am about to shoot myself, I have done it again (Groans louder) please see comments.

Gerry x.

Bradene on 17-08-2006
Death and Aunt Maude.
Lol Gerry you old reprobate I bet you had fun writing that. Wishful thinking me thinks! I love the last line though, love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, wishful thinking! Moi?
It's true I swear 😉 lol.
Nice to see you about again Val -- hope all is okay in your neck of the woods...

Gerry xxx.


1936 and all that (posted on: 11-08-06)
(MCMXXXVI) A very important year. Just a few things that made the headlines in 1936. Not in any particular order. How much can you remember?

1936 was a leap year, it was also the year of the Olympic Games in Germany. Italy claimed Ethiopia as their territory and invaded. With the economic situation worsening in Italy, Mussolini needed to take some action that would distract his people. The modern Italian army fought against Ethiopian tribesmen in Addis-Ababa. The League of Nations censured Italy---but that was the extent of world reaction to the invasion. Spain's civil war began in 1936 when nationalist troops under the command of General Franco rose up against the democratic republic. The Arab rebellion against the British Government in Palestine, and opposition to Jewish immigration started---it lasted until 1939. In violation of the treaty of Versailles, Nazi Germany reoccupied the Rhineland. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of kidnapping and killing Charles Lindbergh. He was executed in New Jersey the same year. The first flight by Aer Lingus took place, and The Queen Mary left Southampton on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. The Hoover dam was completed in 1936 on the Colorado River in America. Construction began in 1931, and it was completed two years ahead of schedule:- In 1931 The Bureau of Reclamation opened bids for the construction of Boulder (Hoover) Dam and Power Plant. The contract was awarded to Six Companies; a construction and engineering firm made up of some of the West's most successful builders and designers of dams, bridges, roads, and tunnels. The winning bid was $48,890,995. In November of 1931 The Colorado River was diverted around the dam site, and in 1933 the first concrete was poured in. In February 1935 water was released into the dam, and in May that year the last concrete was poured in. In March 1947 a resolution was passed to change the name from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam in tribute to President Hoover. President Truman signed the document and the name was changed to Hoover dam. This project is still considered to be one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. Al-Azhar 'Egyptian Muslim School', sent a large delegation to India to convert the untouchables there to Islam. Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia, making it the richest country on earth. The last Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) a female died alone in a cage in Hobart. Walter Freeman performs first frontal lobotomy in the United States Music of 1936:- A fine romance. I'm putting all my eggs in one basket. Is it true what they say about Dixie? It's a sin to tell a lie. The music goes round and round. Pennies from heaven. There's a small hotel. These foolish things. The way you look tonight. Great films of 1936:- 'Things to come' Raymond Massey 'Follow the Fleet' Fred Astaire. Ginger Rogers. Randolph Scott. 'The Great Ziegfield' William Powell. Myrna Loy. 'Modern Times' Charlie Chaplin. Paulette Goddard. (This is still considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, it was banned in Germany) 'Mr Deeds goes to Town'. Gary Cooper. Jean Arthur. 'Romeo and Juliet' Moira Shearer. Leslie Howard. 'Rose Marie'. Nelson Eddy. Jeanette Macdonald. 'Swing Time' again Astair and Rogers. 'San Francisco' Clarke Gable. (This film was the first big budget epic) Film academy awards:- Best Film: 'The Great Ziegfield' Best Actor: Paul Muni in 'The Story of Louis Pasteur' Best Actress: Luise Rainer in 'The Great Ziegfield' Nobel prizes for 1936:- The Prize for literature went by Eugene Gladstone O'Neill. Victor F Hess shared the physics prize for his discovery of cosmic radiation, with Carl D Anderson for his discovery of the positron. The prize for medicine went to Sir Henry H Dale and Otto Loewi for discoveries relating to transmission of nerve impulses. (England and Austria) Carlos Saavedra Lamas of Argentina won the Peace Prize. Merceded-Benz introduces the world's first production passenger car to operate on diesel fuel. Ferdinand Porche introduced the Volkswagen 'peoples-car' in Germany. Hienrich Foche also in Germany, developed the first practical helicopter the FA61. Foche invented variable pitch, so his helicopter could fly backwards. The last public execution took place in the USA in Kentucky. One Rainey Betha a black male of about twenty-six years was hanged. He admitted the rape and murder of a seventy years old white woman. Sport:- In boxing this was the year that Max Schmeling knocked out Joe Louis in the twelve round of their heavyweight match in New York. Louis later gained his revenge against Schmeling knocking him out in the first round of the re-match. The 1936 summer Olympic games were held in Berlin, the German bid was preferred over Barcelona by the IOC in April 1931. The games were awarded before the Nazi Party came to power in Germany. These were the first games were the Olympic torch was carried by relay from Olympia. While Germany dominated the games, the many triumphs by other nations were seen as a rebuke to Nazi philosophies. Anti fascists in Barcelona planned to have their own games as an alternative games to Berlin in protest, but these games had to be cancelled because of the outbreak of the Spanish civil war. (It is interesting to note that the 1992 games in Barcelona were held in this same stadium). Germany came out top and led the field with 89 medals in the summer Olympics, America was second with 56. The UK won 14 medals. These were the games where the great J.C. Owens (James Cleveland) Owens, better known--although wrongly, as Jessie Owens, had his major triumph. He won four gold medals and broke four world records. It is stated that Adolph Hitler would not acknowledge Owens, however Owens emphatically claimed that he [Owens] waved to Hitler and that he [Hitler] smiled at him and waved back, propaganda maybe? (A lot about at that time). Owens developed a strong friendship with his strongest opponent in the long jump. The German Carl Ludwig 'LUZ' Long. Owens owes his long jump success to Long who helped him with his take off, when he [Owens] had only one jump left to qualify. [Luz] place his towel at the correct take off point for Owens, giving his own chance of winning away. Owens went on to win gold and stayed a firm friend with Long after the games. Long was presented with a special medal for sportsmanship. He was sadly later killed whilst serving in the German army in WW2. The American press also reported wildly on this unusual friendship between an American Black and a German white athlete. These Games were the first to have television coverage; seventy hours of coverage were displayed on special screens throughout Berlin. It was not high - resolution television though, not being electronically scanned or transmitted. The winter Olympics were held in Garmich- Partenkirchen, Bavaria, and started on February the sixth. By coincidence that was where I first donned skis many years later. I have actually been on that same downhill Olympic course. England launched the first high definition television service in the world. America's experiments with 343-line television began from the Empire State Building. Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire, it was built in 1851 for the Great Exhibition. Elstree film studios were also gutted by fire. The Post office speaking clock (first in the world) was introduced in England. King Edward V11 signs an instrument of abdication at Fort Belvedere. Prince Albert 'Duke of York' becomes King. Gatwick airport was open. Jarrow march. 200 unemployed miners marched from Jarrow on Tyne to London to present a petition to Downing Street. 80% of people in the area were unemployed. They were sustained on the march by donations from the public. Gone With the Wind was published. John Masefield was Poet Laureate in 1936:- To many, John Masefield is simply known as the poet who wrote about the sea. It is interesting to note that although Masefield's poems of sea and ships are well known, the poet himself in fact spent only a very small part of his life aboard ship. Sea life did in fact not suit Masefield and on his second voyage, he deserted ship to find work on land in New York. John Masefield also wrote novels and short stories, but it seems these are difficult to locate now. Below are some of his poems which you will no doubt remember from your schooldays. Who could forget 'Sea Fever'and 'Cargoes'? A Ballad of John Silver. Cargoes. Christmas eve at Sea. A Consecration. Sea Fever. Trade Winds. To-Morrow. Spanish Waters. Roadways. The YMCA was founded in New York. Births in 1936 :- Glen Campbell. Roy Orbison. Engelbert Humperdink. (pop singer) Bobby Darin. Yves Saint Laurent. Robert Redford. Buddy Holly. Silvio Berlusconi. Deaths in 1936 :- Rudyard Kipling. King George the fifth. G.K. Chesterton. Maxim Gorky. Louis Bleriot. I hope you enjoyed this little tour of 1936, and apologies if I left anything out that you though should be mentioned---but 1936 was a very busy year. Oh yes I did forget one very important birth---I made my appearance on July the eighth of that year. What an amazing year to be born into
Archived comments for 1936 and all that
RoyBateman on 11-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Now, Gerry, I couldn't see that last point coming! Oh, I fib.... A fascinating read for someone like myself who's always immersed in 20th-Century history. I can't say that I remember much, though - 1936 was eleven years too early for me.
Good to see someone else putting my all-time favourite film at the top of the list. (That and the same director's "Thief of Bagdad" are the only films I keep on video.) Two points - this was the first UK film to cost a million quid - $4,000,000 at the time, and it was also the first to have Bliss's wonderful specially-written score released on record! Sadly, however, the original scores were lost - drat.
With the popular songs, incidentally, my two greatest favourites are at the bottom...I'm sure that was nothing to do with quality. Great article, mate - I shall probably look back to this for research.

Author's Reply:
Sorry Roy put reply under comments--always doing that...
Gerry.

Gerry on 11-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Roy, thank you so much, I had a feeling I would get at least one person who appreciated this post 😉
I wasn't too sure how it would go down--but it was very enjoyable looking up some details which I didn't know about. I did know of quite a few things though. 'Things to Come' was a quite amazing film I remember that well, and of course the wonderful score by Bliss.
I wonder if anyone else would have a go at this. We may all find this type of post gets our memory cells working as well as presenting unknown facts.

By the way those two songs are way up near the top of my list-- they don't write em like that anymore 😉

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 11-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Well! Happy 70th birthday, Gerry. That was the year I graduated high school. I seem to remember most of the occasions you mention–particularly Hoover/Boulder dam. It was one of the last trips my wife and I took shortly before her death. The concept of design is truly remarkable, and the view from top of the dam is nothing short of breath-taking.

Author's Reply:
Harry done it again 'I despair' left my reply under comment...

Gerry.

Gerry on 11-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Thanks Harry. I came across some super pictures of the dam.
It really is an incredible sight. I hope to see it in person one day. Thank you...

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 12-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Hi Gerry, I don't 'remember' 1936, but it makes fascinating reading. Well done on getting to your 8th decade! Hope you get to see that dam. Ann
PS - remember to comment from the 'reply' box!!

Author's Reply:
Ann, I think this is in the correct box 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes Indeed I hope to meet up with Harry when he has passed his driving test, I am sure he will drive me there lol...

Gerry xxx.

Kat on 12-08-2006
1936 and all that…
I enjoyed reading this, Gerry, and getting a bit of history along the way - I'm terrible at remembering facts. You write with a surety, which I like.

Cheers

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat, I am pleased you enjoyed this--It's not always easy to remember, sometimes it's good to be reminded of certain things. Not everyones cup of tea though lol. Thanks...
Gerry xxx.

soman on 13-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Gerry,

A highly absorbing chronicle.

I was in a corner of the stage at the time, but much too small to absorb anything.

The one outstanding recollection I have is of watching Chaplin's unforgettable masterpiece MODERN TIMES; also Gary Cooper in MR DEEDS GOES TO TOWN -- both 20 years later, in the Gulf.

May I add thatI am one of those who feel that the very last item you mention is an added asset, to the world of literature at least!

Soman

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 13-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Soman, I think it is so interesting to look back on the year of ones birth--I have been meaning to do a chronicle like this for some time. (to be honest I have a bit of writers block) this was an easy way out lol.
Re your last remark--I am gob smacked 😉 but honoured by your words...

Gerry.


Author's Reply:
Soman, I cannot believe this--I have posted in wrong place again.
Please refer to comments...

Gerry.

soman on 13-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Gerry, I find that I am in good company -- I tend to do the same thing, too often for my comfort!

Soman

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 14-08-2006
1936 and all that…
Gerry, hope to see you posting this one again in 2016. Thanks for all the information.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, Sorry I am late with this reply--only just noticed you had added a comment.
I will try to remember to re-post in 2016, but you had better remind me nearer the time lol.
Best--Gerry.


The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time. (posted on: 23-06-06)
Of monks, dogs, schoolgirls, massages, acrobats, an old man a cow---and more. Not to be missed! Will you believe it?

We opened our curtains that first morning to a delightful view, from our balcony it was about two hundred yards across a beautiful yellow sandy beach to the gently rolling breakers of the Arabian Sea. I took a pre-breakfast stroll across the sands to the sea, passing on route a notice board warning about swimming during the monsoon---this would be no problem to us, we were well clear of the season. My wife and I didn't realise during our first breakfast about the importance of getting extra food and taking it out of the hotel with us, but we were soon to discover. Prior to going on the beach that first morning we went for a stroll around the small local village. The first thing we encountered was a number of dogs. The dogs were friendly enough and enjoyed a pat but were obviously expecting a bit more. From that morning the village dogs enjoyed a decent breakfast--we served ourselves a little more in the restaurant, and ate a little less. The dogs greeted us with waggy tales every morning. I was out for a pre breakfast run one morning when I encountered an old Indian gentleman dressed in flowing robes and with a turban on his head, he was very grubby. Beside him on a short tether was an Indian buffalo. This animal was painted and adorned in a most artistic way. I stopped, and he greeted me in the Indian manner of hands together in front and bowing of head. He indicated to me that he was hungry by putting his hand up to his mouth. I indicated to him to stay where he was and ran back to the hotel. I picked up my camera and collected what food we had and returned. What surprised me was that when I gave him the food his first thought was for his animal---he fed the buffalo before eating anything himself. We looked after this guy whilst we were there, but more of that later. On the beach that first morning Shirley and I were approached by a well dressed Indian gentleman, he introduced himself, and told us he was a professional massager with a degree from Bomsimlamgallabadistan university and would give us the best massage we had ever had. We agreed a fair price and indeed this guy was good, we both enjoyed our hour-long full body massage. An Indian lady who had been watching the proceedings approached us after the man had left counting his rupees! and informed us that she was much better qualified that the man was and had a better degree. She was, she told us, a professor of massageology from the university of Bangaloreaggradehlistanibad, and could she massage us tomorrow, we had to give her a chance and indeed she was good. So we ended up with the man and the lady giving us massages on alternate days---everyone was happy. One day a group of monks walked solemnly down to the water in full saffron flowing robes. They took their sandals off and paddled in the warm water. Before long they were splashing one another and obviously enjoying themselves. They then left the water and stood around talking. A couple of minutes later two of them took their robes off and in their under pants went into the sea and whooped with delight. The other two stood on the sand sharing the delight of their friends. We were wondering why only the two had gone in the sea, was this some religious thing for them? --- but soon the reason became clear. The two monks emerged from the sea and donned their robes; they then took their underpants off and handed them to the other two, who then replaced them in the sea. The poor guys only had two pair of under garments between them. They had a wonderful time though, and after their fun, they dressed and walked solemnly back up the beach in total silence. We were also entertained by beach performers, these were obviously families, and usually consisted of mother and father son and daughter. The children were only young, probably about ten or eleven (not always easy to tell) but they did amazing things. They constructed a tightrope and performed unbelievable acts on it. The children then did acrobatics on the sand and then did a disappearing trick, which was truly amazing. (I have mentioned these beach performers in my story about The Indian Rope Trick) On another occasion a class of young ladies accompanied by very strict teachers came down to the beach. They had obviously been given instructions that they only paddle. Well they did start off paddling---but thirteen to fourteen year old young ladies do not always do what they are told, and before long they were splashing one another. Shouting from the teachers at the girls to keep themselves dry just produced laughter from the girls, and in no time they were fully submerged in the sea all fully clothed. It was a group of happy girls who later walked back up the beach saturated to the skin, with their stern faced sari clad teachers beside them. We had had an afternoon of excellent entertainment and laughter. Umakant was the guy who looked after the hotel pool and we got friendly with him. He makes an appearance in my (A Brief Journey Into Death) he was soon to be married and quite excited about it. Because we were kind to him he insisted on bringing us a meal that his mother would prepare for us. Nothing would stop him. The meal arrived one day wrapped in a Times of India newspaper. Umakant with some delight told us it was his mothers favourite dish a 'cold fish curry'. Now we didn't want to be unkind to Umakant and after thanking him profusely we told him we would have to eat the meal in our hotel room to enjoy it to the full. We retired to our room and inspected the curry. It did look nice and had been prepared with obvious care, but we just dare not attempt any of it. Our plumbing of course is not up to eating the indigenous Indian style of cooking. The water has to be avoided at all costs; one only has to eat a small amount of the wrong thing and Bingo. The next morning I took the meal to my rendezvous with the old Indian gentleman and his buffalo---they shared the abundant food between them and both had a look of delight on their faces after they had finished. The food thankfully had not been wasted. Later that morning Umakant was eager to know how the food had been, we were ably to tell him that his mothers cooking had been thoroughly enjoyed and every scrap eaten, he was delighted, and we didn't feel too bad about it. But I digress---what has this to do with 'The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Day-Time' I hear you ask. So I will now tell you about the said cow. If one requires to buy gold or silver or jade, indeed anything of value in India then a town will have to be visited, only low value trinkets and such can be bought locally or on the beach. This will then entail a journey of absolute terror. The only way to get to a town is by taxi or rickshaw. The taxi will be the less terrifying---but choose the rickshaw. The terror will last so much longer in the taxi and you will also be cooked alive, the air conditioning is an open window. You will also go deaf from the continuous sounding of the horn by the driver and also by every other driver. The rickshaw is motor driven and has only one speed 'flat out' these machines not only go round cars at either side, they can go under and over also, they never slow down--the driver is only thinking about one thing! his next fare. It is advisable before entering a rickshaw to make direct contact with your God, and to keep close contact with him or her throughout the journey. The only thing that will slow this infernal machine down is not the brakes, they don't have any! It is the cow. Just one other thing--only have about a hundred rupees in your bum bag. This is payment for the young dipper's professionalism. Believe me the money will have disappeared before you have gone a hundred yards and you will have no idea---no matter were your bum bag was! The only place to keep your money safe is in your hand or maybe down the front of your under garment. These young guys could teach Richard Widmark how to operate. 'Sorry I digressed again.' Now back to the cow. In India the cow roams free, you will see them in the markets on the pavements on the streets and on the beach. Vehicles only stop for cows--not anything else. Crowds will part for a cow, not for anything else. Although I have never seen anyone act unkindly to a cow in India, I have never seen anyone act particularly kindly to one either, I am prepared to believe that some do though. The Hindu gentle cow is considered sacred and thought to be a gift from the gods. To the Hindu the cow represents the divine mother that sustains all human beings. Early on in our holiday in India, I think probably the second day, I was talking to one of the young Indians who sell trinkets on the beach, when this cow appeared and walked down towards the sea. I asked the girl where the cow was going. She told me that the cow was going to the waste bin to see if there was anything to eat. It was lunchtime and many people have bananas for lunch and put the skins in the bins. The cow apparently eats the skins. Now I got to thinking that if this poor cow had to eat banana skins it must be pretty hungry. It looked very bony and thin (like all Indian cows seem to look). Shirley and I had just been to the local village and bought some bananas. We had a good breakfast each morning and only had a small snack at midday. I collected a handful of bananas and walked the couple of hundred yards to the cow. It looked at me with big doleful eyes and watched as I unzipped a banana, I then held it out and it gently took it from me and chewed it. I then gave it another, well it had the whole bunch and then ate the skins as well. It then gave me one last look before turning round and slowly walking off the beach. Bananas were quite cheap so we decided to buy a large bunch the next day and watch out to see if our new friend turned up again. Sure enough the cow was back the next day at the same time, this time I was waiting with the bananas. It was about three o'clock I had just had a swim and was laid on my sun bed, Shirley was reading in the shade of the beach parasol. I heard someone shout look-look, I turned around and stood behind my sun bed was the cow. Now how on earth had the cow found me? This was a very large beach with many people and many sunbeds. The cow lay down beside me and went to sleep with me scratching its tummy. I kid you not. When it was time for us to go for our shower and prepare for the evening, the cow got up and strolled from the beach. We didn't go to the same part of the beach every day, nor did we wear the same clothes. The cow always left the beach after I had fed it, and before I returned to my spot. Yet everyday that we were on the beach the cow found us and lay down beside us until we left. It was such a strange thing, the local folk couldn't understand it and told us they had never seen a cow get close to anyone, never mind finding someone on the large beach and then lying down with them, and letting itself be touched. The story soon got around and people were waiting for the cow to make its entry and find us. It became a celebrity cow---and many photos and films was taken of the cow heading towards Shirley and I and then laying down. When we returned home I contacted Umerkant to send him a wedding present and to ask him about the cow. He told me that other than going to the bin for banana skins, the cow never made any attempt to go anywhere else on the beach after we had left India. I found that strangely moving. I think that qualifies as a curious incident. 😉 I have pictures of the cow with Shirley and I on the beach, and also pictures of the beach performers, and the old Indian gentleman and his buffalo. Everyone should visit India if possible at least once in his or her lifetime. Thank you. I have now posted the pictures, they can be viewed at-- http://www.freewebs.com/indian-cow/
Archived comments for The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Romany on 23-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-time.
Very interesting and quite vivid content - it's amazing how poor these people are, and yet how generous, too. And I think the incident does indeed qualify as 'curious' although I think it entirely possible that the animal was intelligent enough to recognise you as a sure source of food, and to 'hunt you down' for that purpose!

I don't know if you are after crit, such as I am able to offer. There are a few grammatical errors and typos that would make the whole thing easier to read if they were tidied up, but perhaps that is by the by. I enjoyed this; thank you!

Romany.

Author's Reply:
Romany, many thanks for reading and commenting. Because of circumstances (my wife just out of hospital) this post was knocked out very speedily. There may well be a few typo's but one sees plenty of those on UKA, lol. With regards to grammar, I am too old to worry about that now 😉 this is as good as it gets I'm afraid--but I do appreciate your offer.

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 24-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Fascinating stuff, Gerry, as all your "traveller's tales" are. I knew you were an animal lover, but I never realised that you had such power over bovines! The monks also gave me a good laugh...possibly because the very idea of monks wearing pants is so amusing in itself. Great stuff, and well deserving of a lot more reads!

Author's Reply:
Roy, I can honestly say we have never had a dull moment in India. Yes its all true, every bit---I thought it would be a good thing to share ;-). Thanks for your comment (I need every one) LOL.

Gerry.

Kat on 25-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Gerry, I very much enjoyed your story and the tone with which it was told - I'd love to see those pictures!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Sorry put it in wrong place.

Kat, So pleased you enjoyed this, thank you for your kind comment. I will dig the photos out, they were taken on film, but I will convert them and make sure you get to see them...

Gerry xxx.




Gerry on 25-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Kat, So pleased you enjoyed this, thank you for your kind comment. I will dig the photos out, they were taken on film, but I will convert them and make sure you get to see them...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 27-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Great piece Gerry.

Bless that cow.

Sounds like you had a great time.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:
Simon, glad you enjoyed this. I think the cow was blessed 😉 when we were there anyway lol.

India is a great place to visit...

Gerry.

niece on 28-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Gerry,
A lovely write this...you've described some of the things so aptly...but which part of India did you visit? The more popular beach resorts in India are either Goa or Kovalam, Kerala...was it one of those?
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, thank you for responding to this. All our holidays have been in Goa (all in different resorts) we tried to go to Kerala but couldn't get flights from northern England. Maybe one day we will do the grand tour 😉

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 30-06-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Gerry;
I loved this piece and what a memory you have now!!! I bet it was wonderful and how endearing to know that the cow hasn't done the same thing since ... I love it!

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, yes we often talk about our Indian cow and dogs--well everything really. Some things just imprint on your mind, thank you and so glad you enjoyed it.
Gerry xxx.

Zoya on 02-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Dear Gerry, It is really hilarious! I enjoyed my self thoroughly, especially with the cow. I also, by the end of if your narration was waiting for the cow to appear. Holy Cow! THAT IS SOME BIG COW. Cows are also revered so much that they are not touched by the passing traffic. But one day I saw a big Buffalo injured and bleeding right in the middle of the road. But sitting right there in her famous passive manner, while the traffic skirted around it carefully. Someone had tied a sheet around its tummy from where it was bleeding profusely. Probably it was waiting for the Animal House people to come and pick it up? But its patience was phenomenal. I think I even noticed a tear in those big beautiful eyes of it!
**hugs for a good enjoyable read**
Love, xxx, Zoya

Author's Reply:
Zoya, Thank you for reading and pleased it raised a smile. I do hope the Buffalo was okay.

Gerry xxx.

soman on 03-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Hello Gerry,

Nice to meet you in my country, even if it is all in retrospect! And your observations do present a lucid, true picture. In fact even in big cities like Calcutta you find cows and bulls freely wandering around the main streets, and the traffic be blowed! Sometimes two bulls get into a royal argument -- about a pretty bovine maiden -- and traffic gets held up for quite a while as no one dares to interfere, the police least of all.. Everyone accepts it as a part of life, and no one complains.

However, India is not one country but a conglomeration of many nations in one; with more than 16 distinct languages and culture. You could visit us a hundred times and still go back as confused and bewildered as you were on your first visit! You are most welcome to come Kerala and see for yourself.

Soman


Author's Reply:
soman --sorry put my reply under comments (keep doing that) lol.

Gerry.

Gerry on 03-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Soman, thank you so much for reading and commenting.
I promise you and niece that on my next visit I will come to Kerala and meet with you both, and I have to meet with Zoya too lol --- oh well everything is possible 😉

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Ginger on 03-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Thanks for a great read, still smiling! 🙂 We rented a house up in Scotland for a week years ago, and the cottage had been sliced out of a field. There was a block wall separating us from the cows, which being curious creatures, would crowd around resting their heads on the wall, chewing their cud as they stared at the children. It was a bizarre sight! I can't imagine having one of those enormous creatures turning dog and following me around!
Lisa

Author's Reply:
Lisa, thank you for reading and for your nice comment...

Gerry xxx.

walters on 12-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Gerry, I much enjoyed your account, and felt I was there with you. By the way, I hear Bomsimlamgallabadistan University is best, but much depends on the student. As for the cow, don't you know WHO that is? David

Author's Reply:
David thanks for dropping by. Yes the University in question is supposed to be the best--but as you so rightly state much depends on the 'alumni'
I have to say I did not know who the cow was, do you mean it was a human in disguise? That is a frightening scanario if my thoughts are what you are thinking I should be thinking LOL.
No not possible this was a very pleasant cow that liked a belly tickle...

Best
Gerry

soman on 13-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Gerry, sorry I been forgetting my manners.

Looking forward to meeting you on (my ) home ground. Do let me know well in advance, also special interests if any, such as cultural programmes (e.g. Kathakali which is a world-famous art form superficially similar to the western ballet in technique) apart, of course, from sight-seeing and other routine stuff, like cows and bulls thrown in free!

Soman

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 25-07-2006
The Curious Incident of The Cow In The Indian Day-Time.
Wonderful Gerry. I copied this onto a file transfer directory and read it in a cool room as my office was too hot - though the heat suited the story. A great
tale indeed - yours and the cow's. One message must be to go to the countryside rather than the city: my one time in India was in New Delhi for an
astro-conference. But that too had it’s own wonderful aspects. Oh yeah and up to Srinigar in Kashmir afterwards for a few days' rest. I must pen those experiences - though there was nothing quite as deserving of the description 'curious incident' in my stay there. I too found my tiny experience varied – Kashmir was another world from Delhi.
Ciao,
Hugh.


Author's Reply:


Mr D Heliosphere. 'An Explanation' (posted on: 29-05-06)
Okay, I had a couple of e/m asking me not to divulge anything too soon. The e-mailers thought they could come up with the answer. They didnt. There was some good guesses and I honestly thought someone would get the correct answer. Maybe I was a bit unfair but it got your brains working 😉 I thought the following may be the best way to explain my poem.

Firstly though, what on earth is a 'Euphonic- Rayenella'? Nobody queried that. It was just a phrase I inserted as a clue, which I invented to fit in with my poetic format. So I now claim the poetic form 'Euphonic - Rayanella' as invented by me. It must follow exactly though, ABCDB-five stanzas of five lines--must tell a story. 😉 So Mr Domiciliary - Heliosphere is a portable/domestic diagnostic x/ray machine. He is not a camera. x/ray machines only emit rays--they do not capture anything. Mr D/H resides in a very secure location in a padded bed. He is only called to action if a situation arises where a patient requires a diagnostic x/ray and is unable for whatever reason to attend an x/ray department. Mr DH would be carefully transported, accompanied by a Radiographer or Radiologist depending on the nature of requirement, to the residence of the patient. His support gantry would then be constructed, and his spherical head (x/ray tube) carefully fitted into place. He can be adjusted vertically and laterally to the correct position for the required examination. His 'single and lone Cyclops eye' is of course the output aperture of the tube. The aperture has to be aimed accurately there is no guidance system on Mr D/H. He is only a low powered unit. The reference to his tungsten tooth, is the anode (the part which emits the radiation) The anodes on low powered x/ray units are stationary, unlike high-powered units in x/ray departments where the anode rotates at a very high speed. The reason for this rotation is to dissipate the heat and allow for higher exposures. (On a high exposure if the anode wasn't rotating the current in the tube would destroy the tungsten anode. There are fail safe devises in the machine to prevent this happening--but, it does still happen on occasions.) 'The unseen things race randomly towards their goal' this is referring to the x/rays released when the exposure is made. The pulses of energy are of a random nature, (If you could see the result of x/rays displayed on an Image intensifier screen, you would observe random quantum bursts--just like looking at a snow - storm). Their goal of course is the patient first, and then on to the x/ray cassette and the film inside. The matrix is a grid network inside the cassette, which constrain the rays and help to stop scatter of x/rays. The reference to silver is the high silver content in the x/ray film. Mr D/H is only very limited in his ability, being run from normal household mains supply. Modern x/ray machines in hospital departments however are run from three-phase supplies and are very high powered. They can work at voltages up to 150 kilovolts and tube currents of 800 M/A. they have a high anode rotation speed. These tubes have to be oil filled and have fan cooling. Even so after a high exposure they can be sometimes too hot to touch. You can now possibly realise the power generated and understand how this tube current can puncture a tungsten anode. As the K/V and M/A are increased or the exposure time is increased, the amount of radiation to the patient can be determined--this will control the quality and penetration of the film. X/Rays are of course 'ionising radiation' and much care must be exercised to the operator and patient alike. This is dangerous stuff. Modern hospital units have Image Intensifiers attached, and images can be viewed in real time with help of CCT cameras. The images can also be captured on cine cameras or other electronic means, for later viewing in enhanced detail by medical staff. It is interesting to note that x-ray films are now being used much less. Some hospitals now do not use films at all, and rely totally on modern electronic methods to store and review images. I hope I haven't gone on too much, and that maybe you found something of interest here. Thank you for joining in this bit of fun.
Archived comments for Mr D Heliosphere. 'An Explanation'
RoyBateman on 29-05-2006
Mr D Heliosphere. An Explanation
Well, you sure got me, Gerry mate. I've never even SEEN one of these things - and it was much more complex than I ever imagined. You see, I had this awful experience...Ant and Dec appeared on my telly before I could frantically switch channels. Naturally, that horrible image made "light bulb" spring into my mind - I thought you were deliberately over-complicating that! No, it was indeed ruddy complicated. Hey, next time make it simpler for us poor non-scientists. Like a bag of chips or a pencil. Looks like you caught everybody - some feat!

Author's Reply:
Hi Roy, Well in truth I don't suppose many will have seen one of these machines.
There were quite a few clues though. Rays-Shadows-Exposure-Salt screen-Silver-Tungsten-Penetration-high temperatures. I suppose its easy when you know;-)

Thanks for having a go Roy, I will make the next one easier lol...

Harry on 29-05-2006
Mr D Heliosphere. An Explanation
Thanks for the education in twentieth century medical diagnosis, Gerry – I'm sure we're all sleeping more soundly in our beds. In spite of the trees I could still see the forest. Good example of concealment.

Author's Reply:
Well it just seemed like a good idea at the time Harry. A modern X/Ray department is quite an amazing place--glad you could see the forest 😉 Thanks for you input...

Gerry.

niece on 01-06-2006
Mr D Heliosphere. An Explanation
Read the poem and then the explanation...interesting, Gerry!-the poem and all the info as well.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Niece, glad you found it interesting, it is a fascinating subject, but not one that you can go into to deeply on a writing site 🙂 Thanks for your comment--always apreciated...

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 05-06-2006
Mr D Heliosphere. An Explanation
Gerry, this just confirms your brilliance for me. Such a great poem and the explanation is equally fine. Thank you.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, never been called brilliant before 😉 but thank you so much. I wasn't sure if this would work on here--glad you appreciated it.

Blessing on you too...
Gerry xxx.


Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere (posted on: 22-05-06)
This poem may not be easy to understand---but the clues are there. Written in the form of a 'Euphonic-Rayenella Rhyming pattern abcdb. Five stanzas of five lines. No constraint on syllable or line length. But must describe an action.

Mr Heliosphere is awoken from his comfy bed There is more work for him to do Carefully carried to his transporter Destination has been carefully determined More than sure, he will encounter pastures new. Now erect and towering tall, surveying the scene With his single and lone Cyclops eye--- The reason for his arousal now before him. Will this be another successful campaign? Mr Heliosphere knows he will do or die! Energy begins to flow---his lone eye homing in His only tungsten tooth eager and waiting To deliver the surge of energy on demand. Never been known to fail as yet His unseen power never seen to be abating. No rotation of this stationary tooth As the first strike hits home, and hard--- Releasing a mighty power surge The unseen things race randomly towards their goal Attacking salt screen and exciting silver shard. Rays contained now by clever matrix, fade away, But success and result should be sure. Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere will rest his head again, Until the next time he is summoned to action--- This producer of shadows will rest, till called to rise once more.
Archived comments for Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Harry on 22-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Strange allegorical little poem, Gerry. I'd make a guess that you're talking about a television set, but I'm always a bad guesser. The verse form is quaint – I remember Joyce Cary such poetry in "The Horse's Mouth."

Author's Reply:
Harry, thank you for having a go. I can see where you are coming from with television set, but---
I am afraid that is not correct 🙂 I will wait a while before explanation time, I imagine someone will get it. Yes indeed Harry The Horse's Mouth, I remember it well Alec Guinness and the music of Prokofiev. A super story and picture...

Gerry.

eddiesolo on 22-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
I like this Gerry, a very clever piece.

As to what it's about?

Heliosphere a bubble of hot plasma around the sun or a star. Some thing to do with the solar wind...I think.

I thought it was a telescope? I could be wrong, usually am lol.

Si:-)




Author's Reply:
Simon like Harry, I can see your reasoning too but not correct 😉

Gerry

eddiesolo on 22-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Mmmmmmmm, not a medical camera is it?

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Your pretty bright Simon--but unlike the sun. Can't say any more ...

Gerry.


RoyBateman on 23-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
You got me, too - when I sw that comment about bubbles of hot plasma, I thought about that curry I had recently...no, let's not go there. Sorry. Fascinating - I suppose nuclear power is also far of the mark? Damn, you're being just too intellectual here - we're not up to it! Great read, though.
ps Reminded me of one of my favourite Far Side cartoons:"Inside the sun" with some fat idiot workman sitting, reading the paper. Beside him is a big switch marked "Rise" and "Set". Yes, I know it's bonkers - but it amused me!

Author's Reply:
Roy an extra verse. I am sure this will help 😉

The temperature begins again to rise
Now that I demanded more exposure
Penetration has been increased again
Satisfaction will be surely guaranteed
With much pleasure at the closure.

RoyBateman on 23-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Oh...I just got it! Tungsten...as in carbide...as in an invention crediton to Edison but actually invented, I think, earlier by Swan?? I shall say no more....
ps No, not Swan Vestas...something more powerful!

Author's Reply:
Roy-- no, not Nuclear Power or Matches--but I can see the reasoning. I will keep you hanging on a while 😉

Gerry

Dargo77 on 24-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Gerry, I am most probably way out on this one...is it something to do with dental surgery equipment? Whether I am right or wrong, you always come up with very interesting pieces.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D. No sorry---I can see the reasoning but you are being mis-lead by the tooth 😉

This little ode was something I knocked out in between fitting plaster-board (groan)

Best--
Gerry.

Jolen on 26-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Sounds like a dentists drill to me. LOL I have no clue but loved the poem anyway.

blessings,
Ms.S

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 26-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Oops Sorry Gerry! I left my signature for the other site on here. I'm not well. lol

Loved the poem!
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Hi Jolen. No it is not a dentist's drill 😉
Wondered about the new signature, thought you were just being formal LOL.

Glad you liked the puzzle--and thank you for reading...

Gerry xxx.

eddiesolo on 27-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Its not an electron microscope is it?

Or a drilling machine?!

I don't know!! Tell us Gerry please!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon sorry to keep you waiting--all will be revealed on Monday 🙂

Gerry,

walters on 28-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Gerry, I liked this but I'm afraid Mr. Heliosphere sailed over my head! Something to do with Senor Phoebus?

Author's Reply:
David Glad you liked this bit of fun--not Mr Sol though...

Gerry.

teifii on 28-05-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Fascinating. But I too am quite bewildered. Can't wait for Monday.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Daff, it seems to have bewildered everyone 😉 maybe I have expected too much from you all, lol.

Gerry xxx.

Lare on 11-07-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Hi Gerry...forgive me...please forgive me if I'm off base with this one...but...I took this as you were talking about an experience/event occuring about a penis having intercourse and ejaculating bizzilians of sperm transgressing through their processes to get to egg heaven...I know...I know...I am a sick person...but that is what I am guessing...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Lare, thanks for dropping by.
I nearly fell off my chair when I read your comment. 😉
Sorry to say you are wrong--but I can see where you are coming from (no pun intended) lol.

You will have to go to my following post if you require to read the explanation.

Gerry xxx.




Gerry on 11-07-2006
Mr Domiciliary Heliosphere
Lare, thanks for dropping by.
I nearly fell off my chair when I read your comment. 😉
Sorry to say you are wrong--but I can see where you are coming from (no pun intended) lol.

You will have to go to my following post if you require to read the explanation.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


How did we get here? (posted on: 12-05-06)
You may have read my recent post 'The start of everything' Here are a few more of my thoughts...

Whilst walking on a beach recently, and looking across the channel to Holy Island, I somehow got to thinking about the start of things. How did we get here? I know I am not alone in wondering this, and all of you have probably wondered the same thing many times. Maybe even in a similar way to me. This is what I was thinking then--whilst walking on this beautiful Scottish beach with my daughters dog by my side. Imagine a sphere if you will, it could be one inch in diameter or a million miles in diameter it really doesn't matter. Imagine that the sphere has nothing in it. Now this is important, I mean nothing. No particles, no air, nothing. Now you have to try to get something into the sphere but you cannot touch it. Clearly it is impossible. The only thing that you can use is what is inside the sphere, and inside the sphere is nothing. So how would you do it? Time will not help because if you have nothing inside now, in a hundred years you will still have nothing. Now why should something suddenly show up it that sphere? There would have to be a cause. But if there is nothing in the sphere how can there be a cause? There is nothing to cause a cause. So now let us remove the outside of the sphere and let it expand---how far? Well why not to infinity. So we have this vast area with nothing in it. No gas, no particles, no molecules of any kind, no light--no time. It is in fact absolutely nothing. So the big question is, if millions of years ago there was nothing, wouldn't there be nothing now? So it seems that absolutely nothing never in fact existed---because if absolutely nothing ever existed there would be absolutely nothing now. We know of course that things do exist, animals exist, trees exist, you and I exist. So if absolutely nothing didn't exist and clearly it didn't. Then there must have been something existing. I wonder what it was? Well that is as far as I got. There may be other ways that this can be looked at. I have read Stephen Hawking, he explains nothing--well not anything my simple mind can take in. I have read numerous other authors who write on this subject, they all seem to try to baffle the mind with science without giving an answer. Indeed they all seem to start with something. This seems to be cheating to me. If anyone has an answer then perhaps they will be happy to explain it to the simple people among us, in a simple way. By the way, In my working life I had some experience of 'quantum physics' and of 'laser guidance systems'-- but this doesn't help me one iota. I am still looking for an explanation that I can understand. But it has to make sense 😉
Archived comments for How did we get here?
RoyBateman on 12-05-2006
Existence or ‘Thoughts on a beach’…
Yeah, Gerry - I can explain it in one sentence...no I can't, I was fibbing. It is simply THE great question, isn't it? Physics, philosophy, religion - where's the answer?? I've never had any truck with religion as such, because it's an attempt to explain everything just because man needs to keep asking.
"In the beginning was the word, and the word was God." Why? Who said it, if there was nothing? And why wasn't the first word "Aardvark" because it is in most dictionaries! Okay, I'm being silly, but I agree entirely. We shall never know, and if Douglas Adams couldn't figure it out, nor can I.

Author's Reply:
Roy, sorry for delay--not my fault 😉
Yes it is a mystery, but the best answers I can find also give me the best reasons to think how I do.
(If you can understand that) I also think that we will know before too long.

Sad about Douglas Adams a rare talent that left us too young. Now there's a man who will know 😉

Gerry.

Harry on 12-05-2006
Existence or ‘Thoughts on a beach’…
Please don't look at me, Gerry – I know nothing. I guess I hold to the idea that there was never 'nothing' in that primordial glob that preceded the universe. Whatever it was, was capable of development in any environment. Is it capable of finding the answer to your question?

You've given us food for thought, let's hope it nourishes us.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I know you are quite the philosopher--you certainly know plenty. You're right there can never have been nothing, and yes the question will be answered. There will be a big rush to change sides--but I am not saying which way 😉

Gerry.

Bradene on 14-05-2006
Existence or ‘Thoughts on a beach’…
Wow you hurt my brain! that isn't hard to do these days ((-; perhaps God had a cold and sneezed! Love val (((-; x

Author's Reply:
Val, I don't think it was as easy as that 😉
Sorry to hear I hurt your brain--hope it is soon better lol.

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 14-05-2006
Existence or ‘Thoughts on a beach’…
Gerry, if I knew, I can assure you that I would e-mail you post haste. Well written.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D. Thank you--It was just one of those things I often think about;-)

I hope you are soon feeling a lot better.

Best wishes

Gerry.


Los Gigantes. (posted on: 05-05-06)
Shirley and I arrived in Los Gigantes on Good Friday. After dinner we took a short stroll around the small town. It turned out to be a quite moving experience.

Fish leaping in the harbour Boats bobbing to and fro Music from every corner People everywhere we go. A million stars shine brightly Sun's rays now on different land Cliffs close their eyes and slumber-- As the sea re-takes the sand. Good Friday service in full swing Church doors open wide-- Respectful silence around the church As the faithful pray inside. Then a miracle seems to happen The moon appears so bright And lights the mighty Teide-- So vast, so tall, so white. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Archived comments for Los Gigantes.
RoyBateman on 05-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
You've painted a bold picture of Latin exuberance here, Gerry - and in relatively few words. The place must've made some impression, because I feel like I've been there myself after reading this. A real travelogue in such a short poem!

Author's Reply:
Roy. This was a ten minute poem written on the back of our travel document envelope. It was something I had to put down so I could remember it. One of those things one really needs to see--and yet I may have conveyed the scene, which is a bonus for me 😉
Thanks mate...

Gerry.

Harry on 05-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Very evocative, Gerry – I'd love to see it.

Author's Reply:
Harry yes indeed, the 800 meter cliffs and the spectacular Teide are indeed something to see.
Many thanks...
Gerry.

Bradene on 05-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Smashing poem Gerry, was there in 1990 Teide is an impessive sight especially up close.Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, it sure is, I have seen it close up--the scenery is lunaresque and mind blowing.
I do feel Teide looks at its best from the air though--especially when snow covered.
Thanks for dropping in...

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 05-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Gerry, I also felt as if I was there with you. Well written.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, this was never going to be a masterpiece, but I am glad I captured the moment and I am pleased that some will see the message. Thank you, and it's nice to see you about again.
Did you get my PM about the VB?

Gerry.

niece on 05-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
I did see the picture, Gerry and it's amazing! Must have been a wonderful sight!
Good poem, btw...liked the rhythm!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Niece, thank you. We had a wonderful peaceful holiday in the sun.
The Canary Islands are volcanic and are not normally what one would describe as beautiful, however on certain occasions they can though up amazing scenes. Thank you...

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 07-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Gerry;
You have managed to capture a great deal of the ambiance with so few words. I loved this, and yes, I sure did feel like I went along.. Lovely work. going to see the picture now.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, thank you, I appreciate your kind words...

Gerry xxx.

soman on 07-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Gerry,

Lovely poem, vivid description of an exceptional experience.


Soman

Author's Reply:
Soman thank you, glad you enjoyed this little poem...

Regards
Gerry.

Leila on 07-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Nice one Gerry brought back some good memories...L

Author's Reply:
Leila, glad it stirred the memories--it's nice to do that.
Thank you for dropping by...

Gerry xxx.

eddiesolo on 18-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Hi Gerry,

I have been busy so not had chance to comment or write much.

This is great, I loved reading this. Flows well, with great vivid descriptions.

A million stars shine brightly
Sun’s rays now on different land
Cliffs close their eyes and slumber--
As the sea re-takes the sand.

I think this is a wonderful stanza especially the last two lines.

Top write Gerry!

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon, just noticed put my reply under comments--hope you saw it...
Gerry.

Gerry on 18-05-2006
Los Gigantes.
Thanks Simon. glad you high-lighted that stanza. I was rather proud of that 😉
I have just finished my new bathroom, and have now started kitchen extension--I really must be crazy. Oh well going to Corfu soon, as long as I can keep having breaks. lol.
Once more thank you...
Best
Gerry.

Author's Reply:


A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier) (posted on: 27-03-06)
This poem is about my wifes 93 year old father. He lost his wife six years ago. He has just been awarded a veterans Badge.

''Change his clothes and wash his head Remove bananas from his bed. Pick his teeth up from the floor Scrape his dinner from the drawer'' Image hosting by Photobucket Laid on bed with mournful stare Not knowing what, or why or where Just the same as yesterday I'm sure he'd like to fade away. Things were different in the war Fighting on an Eastern shore No memories of that time now No memories, of when or how. Wash his face and shave his chin Find his teeth and put them in Hold his hand and say I care All we get back is that stare. I talk to him about times of fun-- When we walked beneath an Indian sun Sometimes a nod as I hold his hand Does he really understand? No memory of family past Of eleven he was the last Royal telegram for sixty years-- But for his wife he sheds no tears I am his only child you see And my dad doesn't know it's me I talk to him but does he hear? Does he know his daughter's near? His veterans badge arrived today For the six years he was away I'll go to him---and pin it on Remembering times, when he was strong. The citation (With the Compliments of the Under Secretary of State for Defence And Minister for Veterans. This HM Armed Forces Veteran's Badge Is presented to you in recognition of your service to your country.) Ministry of Defence Whitehall.
Archived comments for A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
niece on 27-03-2006
A Badge too Far. (Veterans award)
Gerry,
This is a very touching poem about a very sad situation...I'm sure your father-in-law looked great with the badge on.
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
niece, we read the citation to him and tried to explain--we got a weak smile, but I don't think there was any understanding. As you said a very sad situation...

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 27-03-2006
A Badge too Far. (Veterans award)
What a terrible piece of irony that is - too late for him to really know what it was, and when it should be worn with undiluted pride too. What a dreadful situation...more for you than for your father these days. A very moving piece of real life, and something that was clearly written with real feeling.

Author's Reply:
Roy thank you. Shirley is the one who is suffering the most through all this. I wish I could give the old lad a pill. Thank you for your understanding comment. I felt this was a poem that had to be posted.

Gerry.

Harry on 27-03-2006
A Badge too Far. (Veterans award)
A very sad and realistic poem, Gerry. There aren't many left now and a lot of those who are can't remember a bit of it. We need our families to remind us - and to put our teeth in when it's suppertime.

Author's Reply:
Harry, well it's good to know that you are still one of the brightest people on this site--I am sure you will be turning out good stuff when you attain the century...

Gerry

MiddleEarthNet on 28-03-2006
A Badge too Far. (Veterans award)
This reminded me of the situation with my grandparents (see my poem Here To Die). My grandad fought in the second world war as well but as far as I know he's never recieved anything.

Author's Reply:
Middle, if your granddad is still alive he is entitled to his Veterans badge.
Contact the veterans agency. Just type 'veterans agency' into Google.
Gerry.

teifii on 30-03-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
So sad. And it is a story repeated and repeated isn't it and every time causing such anguish for those whi feel so helpless. Well done, Gerry.
Daff

Author's Reply:
Thanks for your comment Daff...

Gerry xxx.

wfgray on 02-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
A lovely poem about the Veteran's badge. It was a delight to read. I received my Veteran's Badge from the Mayor of a town we liberated in France. I wear it with pride and its still surprising how many know why it was presented. Like your Father I served six years. What does it count for now. Our government has forgot that we still exist.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 02-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
WF, thank you for your comment. Everyone over sixty five is forgotten by this government 😉 ...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 07-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
Oh Gerry,
What a sad and honest portrait you have shared. The metering is so well done, the rhyme just embeds the images in the readers mind a bit more and over all the situation is one that many of us can relate to, as well as most of us fear.
Bless your father in law for his service. And God bless you and your wife for the care, love and devotion to him.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen please look in comments for my reply--I keep putting things in the wrong place;-)

Ionicus on 08-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
How distressing to learn that your grandfather's recognition arrived too late for him to derive any satisfaction. One can only hope that even in his confused state he may understand the significance of the occasion despite our doubts.
I have witnessed the decline of relative with senile dementia, although not connected with the war, and can understand the anguish you are going through.
I was touched by this deep, moving poem.
Sursum corda, Gerry.

Luigi.

Author's Reply:
Luigi please look in comments for my reply, sorry senior moments 😉

Gerry on 08-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
Jolen. Thank you for reading and for your kind and understanding comments.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 08-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
Luigi, my wifes father was in India. I have a cousin who was at 'Monte Cassino' which was probably the worst battle of the last war. He has just received his veterans badge too.
Why don't we ever learn that there is nothing glamorous about war? Thanks for reading and for your comment.
(We lift them to the Lord) ;-)...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 10-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
Great poem Gerry, full of feeling well conveyed in a stream of pen-pictures. Very sad, the idea of one so active now without memories. Terrible irony that he gets the decoration when he can no longer relate to it. Reminded me of Sam Beckett, whose 100th anniversary has caused specials on his life: he too ended his days minus memories – in a state reminiscent of some of his characters. Another irony.

Hugh.


Author's Reply:
Hugh, thank you for your kind and understanding reply. sorry about delay in answering.

Regards
Gerry.

AnneB on 15-04-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
Very poignant work - it really moved me. I particularly liked the way the powerful rhyme/rhythm acts as a scaffold to the emotions inside. Also I might be tempted to end it with the last line "Remembering times, when he was strong." - as that's so powerful. Perhaps the actual citation can be a footnote?

Wonderful in any case.

Author's Reply:
Anne, thank you for your response. Sorry for delay, have been away...

Gerry xxx.

Kat on 05-10-2006
A Badge too Far. (The end of an old Soldier)
Gerry, what a pleasure to read this piece of work - I hadn't seen it before, and I'd love to put it on my website as you offered. And of course, I know you mentioned recently that the situation is quite poor now. Very good wishes to you all - this is a very empathic and moving write - thank you for giving me permission to post it, and I will do so in the next few days.

Kat x

(I'm posting the poem I wrote about the Indian girl with leprosy tomorrow).

Author's Reply:


On being a Genius. (Not always easy) (posted on: 10-03-06)
'Do not look down on, or patronise, those whom you consider may be mentally inferior to you---you might just be wrong.

I suppose I knew I was special when I started school at five--well maybe before that. My parents were not ones who bragged or told anyone, but I was reading well when I first started school. I did not then, nor have I ever tried to make myself feel or appear superior to anyone else, and indeed I despise anyone who does. I soon realised that I was far in advance of the other pupils and devised a way, so they would not know. This method has been useful to me all my life. Although I had no trouble reading quite advanced books I went through the process of making everyone including the teachers think I was just average. I got much enjoyment from this. I also devised a way of helping my classmates when they were stuck, without them ever realising it. I cruised through my schooldays and all subjects without any effort at all. University proved a little harder--not the work you understand, I found that easy, but keeping my ability under wraps; the people I was mixing with here where of course much brighter, and helping them which I frequently was asked to do, had to be done discreetly. I convinced my friends that I was just average but I had family members who were all very clever and what I passed on to them had really come from my family. I had no problems getting a first in four subjects: - Languages, Science, Philosophy and Advanced Mathematics. I then went on to pass my PhD. Again without ant problems. My working life was a doddle, I decided that I would cruise and that is exactly what I did. I had no aspirations to be a high flyer. Again I had to adapt a way of helping my work mates without it being obvious. Because most of work was very technical, some of my colleagues struggled, even though they all had good degrees. Again everything came easy to me. In fact I did it so well that most of my colleagues got promoted above me. I had no problem with this, they needed extra money for houses and cars etc---I had no money problems coming from a very wealthy family. I was viewed as just being average at work, which suited me fine. I have to laugh when I think back to some of the holidays my friends and I had together. I spoke five languages fluently---languages come so easily to me. My friends had phrase books and struggled with schoolboy German and Spanish and French. I had a photographic memory even with foreign languages, and I could speed read at a phenomenal rate---I rarely forgot anything. When with my friends on holidays, I used very basic words and phrases with plenty of mistakes---they actually thought I was worse than they were. This worked well until we went on holiday to Russia, no one spoke any Russian but me---I was fluent. I told them I had an Auntie who was Russian and that I had spent a lot of time with her in Moscow during my youth. I also told them that the locals were having much trouble understanding me, they were in fact having no such trouble. I didn't want to appear any better than them. They never realised just what problems they would have had in Russia without my input. I was now expert at covering my abilities. I played the game so well that some people wondered how I managed to progress in life with my limited ability. That was just how I liked it. You may be wondering at this stage why I didn't use my brain for higher things. Well I did; during my working life I actually worked for a number of government agencies over the years---this was all secret stuff and very few know about it, You may take it from me though, that more than likely you are benefiting in some way from my input. This top-secret work was bringing me in lots of money. It was now getting difficult for me to hide my wealth. I never minded roughing things a bit, in fact I quite enjoyed it when I was younger; but I was now getting to the stage when I wanted a bit more comfort. When I bought this large riverside residence with swimming pool and gym attached, people were beginning to ask questions. They assumed I had been left, or used family money. This was not true I had worked hard to earn my money. But I could understand them wondering how this ordinary guy had done so well. It just wouldn't have seemed quite right to them. I was prepared for this and when the subject arose I told them I had had tremendous luck on the stockmarket. I explained that I knew nothing about the market, and that I just worked on intuition. (In fact I was quite the expert in financial matters, and stock market activities.) I did help my friends out by telling them I had heard of good investments from third parties, they made lots of dosh---but never knew I was the brains behind it. I also worked out a mathematical formula for playing the lottery, and could guarantee at least three good wins a year. Money was flowing in so fast it was quite embarrassing. I had heard though the grapevine that more people were asking how an ordinary average bloke like me could do so well. That was music to my ears. I was pleased to be able to enter a number of quizzes, which paid high prize money. Being a genius I was very good at general knowledge. These quizzes were always televised, and with the help of a make up artist and dialect expert I was never tumbled. Again money flowed in---including one win of a million pounds. When I have time, and I seem to be having a bit more these days, I like to read. I have gained much of my vast knowledge from reading, and have read most of what I consider to be the best authors. of philosophy - mathematics- science and physics, and of course numerous of the best writers of other genres. I am also one of the few people from the UK who has had a space trip as a contributing crewmember. I would never brag about this though, not wanting to put myself on a pedestal---this trip was kept from the media at the time for security reasons and never made public I realise that this article will probably be nominated for a nib---obviously being a great read, it being high quality writing. I have therefor been very careful to place some glaring errors in the syntax of this post. I have no doubt that these errors will be spotted by the powers that be, and that this piece will go nibbless. I have been asked many times which authors I have enjoyed reading the most, which author has taught me the most, and who has had the greatest influence on me through my life. I have no hesitation in answering this question. The author who has taught me the most and influenced me above all others is 'James Thurber', and one book of his in particular... Thank you.
Archived comments for On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Easyd on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Nice one Gerry - is there a touch of Mitty there? Coincidence that both of us post under Philosophy after a break of a few weeks. Though is your piece a story or autobiographical? Wouldn't put it past you, For all I know I'm wearing a Gerry dirt-repelling nano-suit right now.

Take care,
Easyd

Author's Reply:
Hugh--Mitty? Moi. lol.

Gerry.

Romany on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Excellent!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Romany ;-).

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Oh, how I sympathise...being of that somewhat esoteric persuasion myself, of course. What a life it's been for you - poor chap! We must get together and form some sort of Mensa-Plus organisation, just so that we can tell the plebs what to do without any comeback. Better still, let's join the "Labour" (Ha bleeding ha) Party! They're the current experts at telling the plebs what to do. No...a step too far, methinks...
Great read, mate - thoroughly enjoyed it! Is that distended cheek back in shape yet??

Author's Reply:
Roy, bathroom now finished. I did such a marvelous job of it---I realised I was a genius. Mind you I have always suspected the fact. But one hasn't to let others know, as you know, and they know 😉
Thanks as always for your amusing comments which always make me smile.
No idea what your reference to distended cheek means. lol.

Regards
Gerry.

Dargo77 on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Jerry, вы один ухищренный человек. Я поэтому угожено вам смогите прочитать русского и то вы не будете иметь никакое вникание тревоги, котор я думаю прочитанное это должно быть большим.
Отношения,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Greetings to you too D. I am glad the fact that I can speak and understand Russian gives you pleasure.
I am not as good as you seem to imply in your text though. lol.
I have replied in English as a courtesy to my readers--but you will realise I could just as easily replied in faultless Russian. Thank you once more--praise from you is an honour.

Gerry.

Harry on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Now there's a piece to keep me awake all night. Comes very close to exposing my lifelong attempt to conceal myself. Thanks for blowing my cover, Gerry -- and thanks also for a real honest-to-goodness Rabelaisian piece of work!

Author's Reply:
Harry you must have just posted your reply as I was replying to Dargo.

Well sometimes these things have to come out. Don't hide anymore Harry --let the world know lol

Regards
Gerry--fed up - tired - need a holiday--just starting kitchen conversion...

Bradene on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Great read Gerry cheered me up no end. ((-; love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Val glad it cheered you up 😉 ...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
It cheered me up, too. I can't claim any genius genes!
Your 'glaring errors' didn't stop the nib, then!! Well done! Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, one cannot fool the 'nib givers' they are smart cookies.
I am pleased that this post is bringing cheer.
Thank you--I hope to catch up with my reading soon...

Gerry xxx.


Ionicus on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Dear Gerry, I must say that you acted very sensibly in the way you hid your abilities. I discovered the importance of not letting on at work, where acting out the part of an idle good-for nothing oaf, I soon advanced on the career ladder.
Others who flaunted their intelligence are, I hear, still stuck making the tea.
Cheers, Luigi.

PS I thought of writing this comment in Italian but realised you would have translated it instantenuously into Mandarin.

Author's Reply:
Luigi--L'italiano è uno delle lingue le più facili il mio amico,

Thanks for dropping by--I am still working on mandarin. lol

Gerry.


Gerry on 10-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Luigi--L'italiano è uno delle lingue le più facili il mio amico,

Thanks for dropping by--I am still working on mandarin. lol

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RDLarson on 11-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Αγαπώ αυτό είναι αρκετά διασκέδαση. Σκέφτομαι ότι πήρατε αυτό από τους 48 νόμους της δύναμης (http://www2.tech.purdue.edu/cgt/courses/cgt411/covey/48_laws_of_power.htm) πολύ έξυπνους, και ιδιόμορφους. Είμαι ευτυχής να ξέρω ότι ένας τέτοιος το σημαντικό πρόσωπο τόσο παρόμοιο με με.

For the non-Greek speaking:
I love this; it's quite fun. I think you took this from the 48 laws of power (http://www2.tech.purdue.edu/cgt/courses/cgt411/covey/48_laws_of_power.htm) very clever, and quirky. I am happy to be getting to know such an exhalted important person so similar to myself.

Author's Reply:
RD. I must admit I have not heard of the said law of power--but I will look it up.
Thank you for the translation, Greek is a language I have trouble with (It's the funny letters you know.)
Pleased to meet you LOL. 😉

Gerry.

niece on 11-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Gerry,
Loved this tongue-in-cheek account of the genius!!!
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:
Niece, 'tongue in cheek' what kind of talk is that? lol 😉

Thganks for reading...

Gerry xxx.

Jen_Christabel on 11-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
A damn fine read Gerry, I enjoyed this a great deal.
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen, Many thanks for dropping by, and for you nice comment.

Gerry xxx.

eddiesolo on 12-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
This is great Gerry!

Well done on the nib.

Enjoyed very much.

Si:-)





Author's Reply:
Simon, thanks for the comment--glad you enjoyed this little vignette...

Gerry.

shackleton on 12-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Good one, Gerry. I was so good at fooling the rest of the world, that I even fooled myself. Take care, young man.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 15-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Tai-li, Thanks, glad you appreciated this bit of Thurberesque
prose. One has to try to keep one's feet on the ground 😉

Gringrin to you too...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Abel on 15-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, Gerry. Very smooth, readable. You are a wonder AND a genius...

Best,
Ward

Author's Reply:
Ward. Thank you for appreciating this fine post 😉

Gerry.

Jolen on 18-03-2006
On being a Genius. (Not always easy)
Excellent in every way Gerry..

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen. I am glad you thought this excellent write was excellent 😉

Gerry xxx.


Haiku's from around the world. (posted on: 03-02-06)
This is my attempt at Haiku. These Haikus are based on strange but personal experiences.

17 Syllables 5-7-5 Subject. Story. Conclusion. 'Caribbean experience' Snorkel in warm pool Coral snake swims up to me With sly glance moves on 'African Experience' Croc, mouth wide open Gently lift front leg and touch Axilla like ice 'African Experience' Laze in the warm sun Monitor lizard strolls past Hold breath for a while 'Dorset Experience' Morning run on hills Adder rears in front of me Run turns to high jump 'Mexican moment' [IMG]http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h264/geralda1/stingray.jpg[/IMG] Lay on still water Sting ray wakes from sandy bed. Then gracefully flies. 'Dominican Republic Dilemma' Arm wrestling contest Deep trouble no avoiding Quick win fast exit 'Indian Warning' Beware of the snake Looking round most fearfully Cobra peeps from lid
Archived comments for Haiku's from around the world.
red-dragon on 03-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Delightful, Gerry, is the word that springs to mind. A veritable ramble round the world, which I enjoyed immensley. I hope the nibbie fairy graces it. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, I am so pleased that you liked my first attempt at haiku on UKA. Picking real life experiences seemed a good way to start. Thank you for your kind comment.

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 03-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Gerry, I found all of your haiku's very enjoyable, and if I had to pick a favourite... the Sting ray one came out on top for me. It seems the Haiku rules at the moment.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, thanks for your encouraging comment. That sting ray experience was quite amazing...

Gerry...

Kat on 03-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Gerry, what a great idea for a set of haikus - love your title and I enjoyed them all, but my very fav was, 'Dorset Experience' - you've had a lot of close encounters of the serpentine kind... glad there wasn't an anaconda one!

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat, yes the adder. I will not forget that encounter in a hurry 😉
I like to get a bit of real life in my work if possible lol. Thank you for your very kind comments...

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 03-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
A child's garden of Haiku. Great idea, Gerry. Get an illustrator and you'd have a sales winner on your hands.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I must admit that would be an excellent idea for a few pages to supplement my prose and poetry book. Thanks for the suggestion...

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 03-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Original ideas, Gerry - mind you, you've encountered some reptiles, haven't you? You're safer in Yorkshire - well, probably. Nicely linked, with some amusing moments too.
ps Well done on that WoM, by the way!

Author's Reply:
Roy, there are certainly plenty of sharks up here 😉
Isn't nature wonderful--I feel blessed to have had these encounters.
Thanks for kind remarks. Can I join Opus Dei now ? 😉

Gerry

niece on 04-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
"Indian Snakes", Gerry? The human kind or the reptilian variety? I'm sure you encountered both!!! Would you blame me for liking that one the best?
Regds,
niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 04-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
niece, I am pleased that you picked that one. The reference is to a real cobra! although I'm sure there will be a few of the other kind too lol...
Thanks
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 04-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Gerry, 1st and 3rd my favourites. Fine haikus.

Nico xxx.

Author's Reply:
Nico --sorry I am late answering your comment, very busy at the moment.
Hope to catch up soon. Glad you liked the Haikus. 😉

Gerry xxx.

Bradene on 05-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Smashing Haiku Gerry lovely atmospheric pieces. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, glad these passed the test 😉 thanks...

Gerry xxx.

narcissa on 10-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
These are beautiful haikus! My favourite is your Mexican moment. All have such a different tone, and they're all just right!
Really enjoyed reading these, Gerry 😀 thanks for sharing!
Laura x

Author's Reply:
Laura, Thank you for your kind comments. That moment with the sting ray was very special...

Gerry xxx.




Gerry on 10-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Laura, Thank you for your kind comments. That moment with the sting ray was very special...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 14-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Very enjoyable Gerry, well done.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Thanks Simon--I am struggling for time at the moment...

Gerry

HelenRussell on 16-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Missed these when first released.
Immensely enjoyable.
Regards
Sarah

Author's Reply:
Sarah, thanks for reading--glad you enjoyed.

Gerry xxx.

AnneB on 17-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Loved these - wonderfully descriptive and vibrant! Particularly enjoyed the Dorset one and the humour of it.

Anne B

Author's Reply:
Anne, Glad you picked up on the humour 😉 thank you...

Gerry xxx.

len on 22-02-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Haiku's, with an international flavor..Very inventive, Gerry...Here's my attempt

Your nuts in a vise
May cause your face to contort
As the pecan cracks...:O)..len

Author's Reply:
Len, Never put your nuts in a vice---lol.

Gerry.


Easyd on 09-03-2006
Haikus from around the world.
Wonderful vignettes with great unifying theme - something truly zen-like in the interaction of man and wonderful animals of every sort. Riveting stuff, Gerry: excuse tardy comment - the Heim stuff has been distracting me a bit, I must admit.

Take care,
Easyd

Author's Reply:
Hugh--Don't mention tardy 😉 I have been the expert lately.
Thanks mate.

Gerry.

Jen_Christabel on 19-03-2006
Haikus from around the world.
What a great selection of Haiku's. It is years since I have written Haiku, and I have totally forgotten how to do it, strange eh?!
Anyway, great stuff Gerry.
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen, thanks for dropping by and reading my haik's 😉

Gerry xxx.


Dear Basil Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.) (posted on: 30-01-06)
This post is to explain about Scamps medical problems. (Rather unusual) You may care to read the following letter first. (Some years ago a letter appeared in our church magazine, it was written by Basil a rather nondescript old black mongrel dog. Basil had been rescued and was loved, by the Roman Catholic priest in the village. The letter told how he [Basil] had been rescued by the priest, and a little about his history. Scamp must have read Basils letter---and decided to reply. This is what appeared in the magazine.)

Dear Basil, My name is Scamp. I always read the church magazine each month. I obviously pricked up my ears when I read your letters. They don't seem to have many doggy letters. You obviously read the magazine too, so you may remember a poem about a doggy called Sadie, well Sadie is my sister, and I thought you might like to know a little about me. Just before Christmas, I was taken into the doggy hotel at Adel. I had been badly treated. I don't remember a lot, only that I was very poorly and I hurt all over. The nice lady there took me straight to the doggy hospital and the doctor said he didn't think he could help me. Anyway he decided to try and I had a long operation. I then had to go back to the doggy hotel where they didn't expect me to live for long. When I got back there they didn't have any room for me because it was Christmas and all the rooms were full. They put some straw into a drawer and laid me on it. I was so poorly I just didn't care. I remember some people coming with gifts for the doggies for Christmas, and the lady asked them if they would take me home. She explained that I was very poorly and needed special care. I overheard her say that it would be my last Christmas. I was eleven. Well they took me home for Christmas and I met Sadie. They were all nice to me and looked after me. After a long time I started to get a bit better. The people who took me home adopted me and became my mum and dad. I wouldn't let anyone touch me at first because I hurt so much and I was frightened, but now I let them touch me and tickle my belly, and sometimes I jump on the bed for a cuddle. My mum and dad have a holiday home in your village and I love going there. I can't chase rabbits like you Basil because my legs are too small and I have arthritis. But I love walking by the river and in the fields. I hope the editor of the magazine will publish this letter so you can read it, and maybe if you write back he will print your reply. I want you to know that I am a lot better now, I still have problems that my mum and dad have to help me with. I also still have to take medicine for my tummy, but I am now a happy little doggy. I honestly believe I am in heaven! Well, when I am caught on the bed with my head on the pillows my mum, says, ''Our Scamp thinks he is in heaven'' With lots of licks and wagslove Scamp. PS. I am going to try my dad's printer now, so if you don't read this you will know I didn't get it going! ----------- Yes it was true, Scamp had either been abused or medically neglected, we never found out which, but he was a very sick little dog. The operation that had saved Scamps life had left him with serious problems and these were explained to us before we took him home. We really didn't know if he would survive or not. Scamps injuries had been to his (back end) he could wee okay but the operation to save him had meant he had lost the ability to use his rear department. It took a while to sort this problem out and I will not go into those details. Scamp did start to recover as you know, and we had devised our method of helping him. First I must tell you he would only let my wife and I, and our two daughters anywhere near him at this time. That meant that whatever the situation one of us had to be available. Journeys away had to be carefully planned to make sure one of us was always at hand for Scamp. Scamp was able to convey his feelings to us (He had a certain way of looking) and we instantly knew what he wanted. The poor little guy did have feelings and he was embarrassed and unhappy at his loss of dignity. His favourite walk was up in the woods and when he was ready, he gave us the look---ears down and an expression that clearly meant 'I am sorry but I can't do this on my own' he always went out of the way so no one would see him. The four of us knew exactly where to squeeze Scamp and how hard to do it. When it was over Scamps ears would go uphis tale would be wagging and he would shoot off for a run round the woods. This procedure was performed two or three times every day. My wife was a little bit embarrassed about his problem at first, but all the other dog walkers in the woods soon got to know about Scamp and his needs, and they were very discreet. In fact Scamp soon became a firm favourite in the village. He used to wear a little kerchief around his neck and he looked a very dapper little guy whilst walking out. Scamp was the most laid-back little terrier dog and would make friends with any dog and any person. 'Cassy' on the other hand, was the village bully; she was mean---with a capital M. No dog could approach her, and very few people. She was a very large German Shepherd guard dog -- and knew it. One-day scamp went a calling, somehow he got into Cassy compound and invited himself into the house. He was found by Cassy's owner curled up asleep along side Cassy. Her owner was none too pleased --- Cassy had a soft spot, and if this got out she would lose her street cred. All the time we knew Cassy, Scamp was the only dog she would tolerate. Shirley and I made friends with Cassy because of Scamp. We were part of a very select group. Cassy sadly had to be put to sleep after she badly mauled a very large Rotweiller. She was just too mean. Scamp was lovely in the house and would make friends with anybody, but he could only be patted around his front end. He had lots of little tricks and frequently had us in stitches. People have often told us that they wouldn't have taken Scamp on with his problems. Well it was never seen as a problem to us, we just saw it as something that had to be done (not very pleasant for Scamp or us, but necessary) The pleasure and love that Scamp gave us was more than payment for what help we gave him. Scamp lived to be nearly seventeen. Sadie died soon after. RIP Scampy Doodle and Sadie. And of course Cassy.
Archived comments for Dear Basil Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Harry on 30-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
You're a past master at the art of humanization of the animal world, Gerry. You could write a great "Animal Farm."

Author's Reply:
Sorry mate, I put reply in wrong box...

Well Harry, if the human strain hadn't evolved or been created (whatever your views are) the animal world wouldn't have reeked all the destruction and despair we have today. And that includes the nasty ones 😉

Animal Farm two perhaps--who knows?

Thanks for the comment Harry.
Gerry.




Gerry on 30-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Well Harry, if the human strain hadn't evolved or been created (whatever your views are) the animal world wouldn't have reeked all the destruction and despair we have today. And that includes the nasty ones 😉

Animal Farm two perhaps--who knows?

Thanks for the comment Harry.
Gerry.



Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 30-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Thanks for this - although, I admit, it had me reaching for the tissues. Thank goodness that this world contains those who are willing and even glad to take these problems on. It also contains the ****who do the damage, but I hope - and believe - that in some way, they'll get what's coming. Some time, some way. It's maybe a pity that the "Animal Rights" thugs almost always pick the wrong targets. A novel way of telling a very touching tale, Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Roy, I believe that people get there just deserts.
Scamp was a little treasure and we were heart broken when we lost him. We have always had rescue dogs and they have given us so much pleasure. I despair sometimes when I read what goes on in the world. Thank you for your kind comment, if it had you reaching for your tissues, then your heart is obviously in the correct place;-)

Gerry.


Author's Reply:
Sorry Roy, I have done it again. Posted reply in wrong place. (my brain hurts)

Roy, I believe that people get there just deserts.
Scamp was a little treasure and we were heart broken when we lost him. We have always had rescue dogs and they have given us so much pleasure. I despair sometimes when I read what goes on in the world. Thank you for your kind comment, if it had you reaching for your tissues, then your heart is obviously in the correct place;-)

Gerry.



Dargo77 on 30-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Gerry, found this very sad and touching. Well written as always.
Regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, thanks for your kind comment.
Regards
Gerry.

niece on 31-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Gerry,
I should say Scamp found such a wonderful family! This is very touching ... and I loved the way you've introduced Scamp---through a letter!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, thanks for your lovely comment.

Gerry xxx.

eddiesolo on 31-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Great write Gerry, well written.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon, thank you for popping in and reading about Scamp...

Regards
Gerry.

red-dragon on 31-01-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
I've spent a very enjoyable lunchtime reading this charming tail (!!) of your dogs. We have 2 rescue ones and I think they're so loyal. Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, glad this enjoyed Scamp's little bio. Give your dogs a pat from me, 😉
Thank you...

Gerry xxx.

RDLarson on 01-02-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
I love dogs and Scamp took my heart too. This is a nice tribute to him. Sometimes our dogs just know our hearts, in a way that people can't know one another. This says so much about the companionship between people and dogs. Well written, sensitive and not overly sentimental. Very special.

Author's Reply:
RD, Thank you for reading and for your kind comment.

Gerry.

Bradene on 05-02-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Aww Gerry what a nice man you are and your Shirley sounds like she is a lovely lady too I really enjoyed your experience with Scamp, what a lovely last seven years to his life he had. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val, Sorry I am late answering, been very busy with new bathroom.
Thank you for your kind comment.

Gerry xxx.

Jen_Christabel on 19-03-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
I could have bawled my eyes out with this, sob, sob. What a lovely, lovely piece.
Jennifer :o)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 20-03-2006
Dear Basil – Love Scamp. (Yes dogs can write.)
Jen, Thanks for your nice comment 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Corryvreckan (posted on: 20-01-06)
You will probably be able to pull this poems to shreds, so I am asking for no crit please. I have been very busy fitting a new bathroom, and honestly knocked this out in no more than thirty minutes. I am tired and am now going to bed. It has a very strong moral, namely--- 'If you are not a pure maiden, never claim to be, it may come back to haunt you'

[IMG]http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h264/geralda1/Corryvrecken4.jpg[/IMG] A Scandinavian Prince named Breakan, fell in love As princes are wont to do--- With a lovely lass from the island, And this bonny lass loved the prince too. Her father was none too happy though, 'This young suitor must prove his skill Three days he must stay in the whirlpool The maelstrom should test his will'. Young Breckan accepted the challenge His love had made him blind Surely somewhere in Norway The answers he could find. He must somehow get three cables That will hold his boat secure The first two were of hemp and wool But he had to find one more. The third would be of maiden's hair But the maidens must be pure. This rope would be the strongest And would hold his boat for sure. The maiden's of Norway lined up To give the Prince their hair Woven by the finest weavers He set sail without a care. Breackan anchored in the whirlpool And the cables were made secure Then the ropes were all unwound And taken back to shore. That first day the hemp rope parted This maelstrom had started to fight But the other two ropes still held And the prince survived the night On the second day the wool rope snapped It just couldn't take the strain. Again they hung on through the night Through all the stress and pain. All hope now was on the maiden's hair Surely this would hold them tight But the whirlpool was now furious Alas this rope soon parted-our prince had lost his fight. The boat was then sucked under With Breakan and his crew. No one could survive the maelstrom The lasses father knew. But the prince's dog had somehow survived And this hound he was so brave He dragged the prince back to the lass Who buried him in Kings Cave. And there was a girl consumed with guilt When she heard about the fateful day She wasn't as pure as she made out It was her hair that had given way. The sea off the coast of Argyle has a most complex tidal system. The tidal waters running passed Kintyre drag the waters out of the Clyde estuary. Because of the geography of the sound and the sea bottom, the tidal water is much higher at one side of Southern Jura than the other. As the tide gathers pace it is squeezed by the narrowing sound.This action increases the force of flow through the gulf of Corryvreckan. There is a hole of over two hundred metres, which it is, claimed causes the biggest maelstrom in the world. The sound of the whirlpool can be heard ten miles away.
Archived comments for Corryvreckan
Bradene on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
An interesting and cautionary tale told with in old fashioned way. I enjoyed it Gerry. Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Thanks Val, glad you enjoyed this little legend.

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
We have a maelstrom right here in New York City where the Harlem and East Rivers come together. A never-ending whirlpool results and very often tugs with barges in tow get fouled up in it and it takes forever to untangle them. Nice bit of word painting, Gerry ... best of luck with your bathroom.

Author's Reply:
Hi Harry, just packed in for the day. Had a few problems (nothing ever goes right does it)
Corryvrekan was named after Breakan of course. I am sure you realised that. Thanks...

Gerry.

uppercase on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
I think it's great maybe you should be rushed more often..lol. erma

Author's Reply:
Erma, I read the legend of how Corryvrekan was named and just coverted it into a poem. Don't know if has been done before 😉 Thanks for the comment...

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Liked your style, Gerry - a good rollicking adventure with a moral! Not common these days, unfortunately. You know, I never realised the effect of er...you know what on the strength of a woman's hair. Maybe that explains the increased use of strengthening shampoos over the past few years? If you knocked this out at such speed, I am in awe! Perhaps you should put more bathrooms in?

Author's Reply:
Roy, Never want to do another, the house is in turmoil 😉



The legend says that Breakan was the first to die in the whirlpool--well the first for love.

You may be interested to know that in 1947 a gentleman named Eric Blair took some young relatives out in his motor boat and got caught in the whirlpool.. He lost his motor--then broke his oars trying to row out. The family was rescued by a shrimp boat who saw their plight. The whirlpool was only calm at the time, he was fooled by its appearance. You may have twigged already but Eric Blair of course was George Orwell. We nearly didn't have a 1984 because of the Vreckan.

I don't think speed poems are my thing--I just wanted to post something and did this on a whim.

Thanks for your very amusing comments.



Gerry.


AnneB on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Love the energy and sense of movement in this - the rhythm carries you through!

Anne B
xxx

Author's Reply:
Anne, I appreciate your reading and comment. Thank you...

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Gerry, it worked for me. Hope the kitchen looks nice!
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, kitchen--blimey mate can I finish the bathroom first?
It's a major job, floors up walls down 'groan' what have I started?
By the way glad the poem worked--I think the basics are there 😉

Regards
Gerry.

red-dragon on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
It romped along (with a little hiccup or two) and sucked me in (!!) to its rollicking tale. Put more bathrooms in, Gerry, the water must be very in-spa-rational!! (Sorry, groan) Ann

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 20-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Ann, Yes indeed--I hope to spend some time on this when I have some. It was very much a first draft and there will be those who don't think it should have been posted C'est la vie.
Thank you for your humorous reply.
Are there any Scots on here? Not that there is owt wrong with Welsh you understand 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

niece on 24-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Gerry,
This was good fun to read...loved the rhyme and rhythm!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, thank you. Glad you enjoyed this poem.

Gerry xxx.

walters on 26-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Gerry, This poem of your pleases me to no end, as my clan hails from Argyle, and I once took a keen interest in the whirlpool lore - the Cosmic Mill I think was sometimes referred to as Amleth's (Hamlet's) Mill. At first, however, Anglo American that I am, familiar with the frequent complaint African American's make about the anatomy of our fair sex, I misread bonny lass as .... oh, never mind!

David

Author's Reply:
David, there is no excuse for professionals misreading lol.

Your people came from a nice part of Scotland.

Amleth's Mill is another story 😉

Gerry.




Gerry on 27-01-2006
Corryvreckan
David, there is no excuse for professionals misreading lol.

Your people came from a nice part of Scotland.

Amleth's Mill is another story 😉

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 31-01-2006
Corryvreckan
Hi Gerry,

Enjoyed this moral tale very much and it does work well.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon, sorry I am late answering your comment. I have been very busy with new bathroom--just sneaked off for a minute 😉 Thanks for your comment...
Regards

Gerry.

Lare on 16-03-2006
Corryvreckan
Hi Gerry...this is a magnificent write...I don't care what time of the day or night you wrote this...this is terrific...this really reads well...very well...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Lare, thank you so much for your nice comment. Don't tell anyone---but I quite like it too 😉

Gerry

Jen_Christabel on 19-03-2006
Corryvreckan
Blimey! If you can knock that out in 30 mins, what else can you do? Great!
Your bathroom will be finished by now, hope it looks good :o)
Nice read.
Jennifer x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 20-03-2006
Corryvreckan
Jen. Yes new bathroom up and running now--just about to start kitchen extension (groans loudly) 😉 I can't believe how well this was received, just goes to show lol.
Thank you ...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


I Sold The World. (posted on: 09-01-06)
If you read my trilogy 'The start of everything' you will remember I mentioned a poem. This poem was written for a charming lady I met in Crete in September of last year. The inspiration for the poem came after a discussion about the suffering and destruction that the Germans imposed on the island both to the locals and to the troops trying to defend it. It was only after I had written 'The start of everthing' that I thought this poem may round that trilogy off. If you want to know how much the Earth was sold for you will have to read the poem.

I sold the world some days ago It wasn't worth a lot. A bloke said how much is it? 'I said 'give me what you've got' At first I tried to auction it But it didn't reach reserve The bidding stopped at fifty And that's more than you deserve. I remember when I made it I was so pleased so proud The best thing that I ever did I shouted it out loud. Have you ever thought what was involved How much sweat and pain? To present you with my perfect place But alas it was in vain. I tried to think of everything To answer all your need But nothing was quite good enough You destroyed it all with greed. When I think of all the animals All the trees and flowers too It never did occur to me What destruction you would do. I'm not bothered about you humans now With your hate and need for power I'll be glad to see the back of you But please leave me just one flower. Yes it's too late now; I've done the deed The Earth's no longer mine And that's a mighty burden lifted Yes---I actually feel fine. Now I'm going off to pastures green I have a place to view But this time it will be okay Not like when I trusted you. Now about the Earth's new owner I'm sure you'd like to know. You lot will like him very much I'm sure on you he'll grow. But nothing's ever free you know You'll have a price to pay And this guy comes expensive Exorbitant I'd say. So when he comes for payment And you cannot pay his bill Don't bother trying to call on me And I know for sure you will. Well how much did I get for it? I can hear some of you say, In the end I couldn't take it--- I just gave the Earth away.
Archived comments for I Sold The World.
RoyBateman on 09-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Very philosophical, Gerry, especially for a Monday morning - but very telling, especially given its inspiration. It's a good job all we "civilised" Europeans are the same, isn't it? Compelling stuff.

Author's Reply:
Roy, the Cretans are a very religious people who really thought they had been deserted at the time.
I think they just about hung on to their faith.
Yes it's good to live in civilised times;-) Thanks for the comment...

Gerry.

niece on 09-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Gerry,
This is a good perspective...it's surprising that a lot of natural calamities are befalling human beings at the same time around the world...add to that man-made tension and all that. It just doesn't seem right. It feels almost as if God has left his place.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, and who could blame him--I would have cleared off long since.
Thanks for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

MiddleEarthNet on 09-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Well this certainly made me think. People don't have respect or understanding of Earth and rob it of everything it has got.
By the way, a couple of grammer mistakes:
In the 5th verse you've got 'To answer all your need'. Should be 'needs'?
Also in the 7th verse you've got 'But could you leave me just one flower.' To me that reads as a question but you've got a fullstop on the end.

Author's Reply:
Middle, thank you for reading and commenting. I didn't like the line about leaving a flower I have altered that. Thank you for the Pointer. We will have to disagree about need though 😉

Gerry x.

Kat on 10-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Hi Gerry

You display great metre here! ;o)

Stanza 6, line 1, there's a wee typo with a double 'the'...I love the message in this poem - enjoyed!

Kat x

Author's Reply:
Kat thanks for reading and picking up my error. (how did that get there) I have smacked my pooter;-)
Glad you enjoyed...

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 11-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Gerry, this poem rounds everything off nicely. Well done on all three parts and the concluding poem. A wonderful, inventive read from start to finish.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 11-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Brilliant Gerry the perfect ending I think to your story of how it all began trilogy. Enjoyed it all Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 12-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Gerry, I had similar sentiments a few days ago thinking of the silly futility of the violence in Iraq and Israel - I was watching a doc on Palestinians - one school unashamedly Fatah oriented - sad... and in an Israeli school class only 2 were for a separate Palestinian state - I was affected when I heard them mention Shalom - why couldn't more people conentrate on the Shalom aspect of things? But on the bright side, I like to take the big perspective, and I think that whoever made the world can be pretty pleased - the dinos had a good run for their money - now it's the turn of intelligent primates... therere will always be flowers, luckily... Funny: I think flowers were a late edition - at least flowering trees only popped up 100 million years ago or so...

Author's Reply:
Hugh, thank you for your comments, always interesting.
If you haven't already--please take a look at 'The start of everything'
Should be right up your street. lol.

Regards
Gerry.

Harry on 13-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Just got around to seeing this Gerry, It is, indeed, a fitting epilogue for your trilogy. Well thought out, controlled, and with a God-like back of the hand for the likes of us. I still think there's hope ...

Author's Reply:
Harry, I am sure you are correct, I think there may be still a little hope 😉

Thank you...
Gerry.

eddiesolo on 16-01-2006
I Sold The World.
Hi Gerry, finally got to reading it.

Good, controlled read, enjoyed it very much.

It does read very familiar, have you posted it elsewhere? I'm sure I have read it before...could just be me.

Take care.
Si:-)

Author's Reply:
Simon, Glad you enjoyed this little poem. No it has not appeared before unless it has been plagiarised along the way. There are a few printed copies about.
Thanks for dropping by.

Regards
Gerry.

Jolen on 07-03-2006
I Sold The World.
Gerry this is absolutely brilliant! A clever and true message to us all. I love the lyrical metering and great narrative form.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, not been around much of late, been very busy in house--still ongoing. I hope to post a small article on Friday and catch up with reading a bit soon.
Thanks for your kind comment.

Gerry xxx.


The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part. (posted on: 06-01-06)
You will have noticed that this post is under fiction heading. I didnt want to offend anyone, I will just leave it to you to decide what is fact and what if any, is fiction. (Human beings keep telling themselves how wonderful they are. But I wonder just how wonderful that first (thingy) all those years ago would think we have turned out if he could see the end product of what he started? I suspect he might have wished that he never experienced that first twitch.)

I would just like to take you back to that first cleave and the first thingy, if you can remember that far back (a very long way). It is important that you realise there was only one first cleave. Please try to grasp this fact---it is very important to the story. That first Thingy was our ancestor. Yes all of us, every living thing. We are all related by that first cleave. If that thingy hadn't had the notion and indeed the lightning strike at that very moment, none of us would be here. It could never have happened again. That one instance when everything was just right for the cleave was truly a miracle. It is not and never will be possible to create life from an inanimate object (although many have tried) I suppose some may disagree with this, but may I just say, when you kill a fly you are killing a relative. When you stand on an ant you are squashing a relative. I do not know you or anything about you, yet you are related to me. We are all relatedtruly all the same family. Mice and rats are used for experiments that will ultimately help we humans; this is because their DNA (building blocks of life) is nearly identical to ours. We are all every one of us a miracle. We just happened to take different paths. Now back to our story. Just prior to the meteor striking the Earth, the range and different sizes of creatures was quite amazing. The largest was probably the Diploducus, which it is thought weighed up to forty tons and was up to ninety feet long---truly a giant. The early mammals were very small and primitive, no bigger than rats. They tended to live in woodlands and it was these creatures that miraculously decided they would like to be warm blooded. Also being fed up of having their eggs eaten---they decided to give birth to live young, so they could look after their offspring a bit better. Another amazing development - warm blooded live bearers who suckled their young. These were truly our ancestors. It is thought that these early creatures may have been the ones who first stood on hind legs to reach up---possibly they were the line that started the grasping hand. I would like to go forward now to a strange time in our history called the Cambrian explosion. You will recall that after the meteor strike and total demise of the dinosaurs it was thought that only the under-ground dwellers could have survived. This would have been the end of us of course. Cleaving had been going on a bloody long time, and there was no way it could pick up from were it left off---or as we know start again. It seemed we were well and truly buggered. But we now know because of fossils that have been found that there was a parallel evolution-taking place. This line was of very small creatures - very small, so small in fact that they went unnoticed for a long time. How they survived is a total mystery, but it is to this line that we must give our thanks also. This Cambrian explosion was truly amazing, placental animals had really got going and we began to see the start of modern animals appearing---Elephants, Rhinoceros, Horse, Pigs and cattle. All the giant reptiles had gone but! Turtles and Tortoises abounded. This may surprise you but in the Cambrian explosion all the insect types which we have today were present. They may have changed slightly but no more groups have been formed. This is now perhaps the strangest thing of all. Fossils have been found that indicate at this time that primitive monkeys and gibbons were in Burma. Where the bloody hell did they come from? Oh' well it seems we are getting a little nearer to our true ancestors (or are we)? About eleven million years ago land masses and oceans began to take on new shapes. Continents were being formed, seas were being created, and animals were being marooned in far away places to their birth. Mount Everest was at one time beneath the waves (deep-sea fossils have been found near to the summit.) Just prior to the ice age (Pleistocene) man like apes were continuing to develop and thrive. These apes included not only the forest dwellers---but wait for it! Australppithicus - an ape like creature who walked upright and ventured into open country. Well think what you will now, but---what line did he come from? Anyway there he was; he found out that he could roam further and reach higher whilst on two legs. It is thought that grasping hands were developing nicely when he appeared, and he developed them a bit more. During the ice ages sea levels rose and fell and new land appeared. Glaciers were also further shaping the land. Mountains and lakes continue to form. Lions were roaming the dales of Yorkshire where I live, and horses now roamed the lands very similar to present day horses. At the end of the ice age ten thousand years ago, the melting ice caused the sea levels to rise dramatically. The rising waters separated Britain from Europe. Temperatures rose much higher. In North Africa and the Middle East deserts begin to form. With the decrease of the ice and warmer summers, forests begin to spread all over Europe. Modern types of trees then started to appear, Now we arrive at the Holocene period, early man had learnt to domesticate animals and cultivate the land. He had obviously by now developed the skill that would set him apart from all other animals, the ability to kill from a distance. Only man among all of the entire animals in the world can do this. He started with rocks, throwing them. Then he started to shape them for cutting. Then the natural progression to attaching them to sticks (he had invented the spear). Soon after he was not only killing animals (for food and skins) but he was killing his fellow men. And that was the start---or maybe we could say the start of the end. From that first cleave man had developed into the ultimate killing machine. A relatively recent United Nations report stated that it is known that man is responsible for the extinction of five hundred species of animals and maybe many more. Many glorious birds have disappeared never to return. The report also states that man has destroyed even more species of plants. Ours is most likely the only life anywhere, and it was a miracle that it ever started. The animals we have eliminated were our family. We have fished the seas till they are nearly empty, and now we bottom drag them for any other edible species that may have been missed. This action causes the death of thousands of tons of other sea creatures, which are just dumped back dead--as useless to man. We continue to shoot birds for sport. We continue to hunt Foxes, Hares, Badgers and now even Polar Bears among other animals for sport. (Some sport). We are very quickly using up our supplies of fossil fuels. We have decimated our forests; we are surely destroying our eco-system. What then have we achieved? Our greatest achievement beyond any doubt is our ability to kill from a distance! And haven't we exploited that? If we want an analogy for the time of life on Earth, we could use a day. We would actually have been around only for the last couple of seconds of those 24 hours. If we group together the sea monsters, the dinosaurs, meteor strikes, and the ice ages, we don't come even close to the destruction to life that humans have been responsible for in their short time on Earth. Human beings keep telling themselves how wonderful they are. But I wonder just how wonderful that first (thingy) all those years ago would think we have turned out if he could see the end product of what he started? I suspect he might have wished he never had that first twitch. By the way Fossils have been found to cover the continuance of all species on Earth including most of the Dinosaurs. The only transitional fossils that cannot be found are the ones linking the apes to Humans. Strange isn't it? END. I will be posting a poem on Monday that you may feel relates to this series.
Archived comments for The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
niece on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
Dear Gerry,
The last part was more serious than the rest but could not help noticing a tinge of humour here and there...the dinosaurs were mean and menacing in the prehistoric era. Now that they are not there, the human race has taken over!!! So only a slight difference...
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, yes know what you mean. Thanks for sticking with this...

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
Gerry, your conclusion to this very informative and interesting piece was a joy to read. I found this particular piece to be so very profound 'If we want an analogy for the time of life on Earth, we could use a day. We would actually have been around only for the last couple of seconds of those 24 hours. If we group together the sea monsters, the dinosaurs, meteor strikes, and the ice ages, we don’t come even close to the destruction to life that humans have been responsible for in their short time on Earth'. Thanks Gerry.

Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D. I am so pleased that you enjoyed reading this. This kind of comment is really appreciated. I won't give up just yet 😉

Best wishes
Gerry.

Harry on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
You bring up the old Velikovsky continuum, with crocodiles in the Thames and penguins off the coast of Spain. You've managed to cover a lot of ground in this little three part adventure, Gerry. It's an achievement you can be proud of even if it paints you, I, and everyone else in a bleak light.

Author's Reply:
Harry--sorry hit the wrong button again. Reply is under comment.

Gerry.

Gerry on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
Harry--Velikovsky I remember him, he used to cause a quite stir if I remember correctly lol.
Many thanks for your support and appreciation...
Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
Hi Gerry, you ask last time if I had read the first well, yes I had but decided to put my comment in the second part. I still think it is good for the Children's anthology, Shacks says it will cover all ages of childhood and I think this would not only amuse but get them thinking too. I think the last part was a Little more serious and a tiny bit more scientific than the rest but I still think it is a good amusing piece of writing. well done. Look forward to the poem. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

HelenRussell on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
All I can say is that I found this very thought provoking, and despite being a little tongue in cheek, it has a serious message.
Very cleverly done.
Sarah

Author's Reply:
Helen, Thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad you found it a little thought provoking...

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 07-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
I'm not too sure about the "missing link", Gerry - I've found him. I was chatting to him at the Nottingham Beer Festival last year, and I'm sure his pickled DNA will eventually prove useful. No names....
Very well said, mate - perhaps the only thing that could check man's rampage is controlled, painless shrinkage of the Earth's population. But, mainly due to religious and cultural difference, that doen't look like happening. Will future (smaller) generations look back on AIDS and pandemics to come as simply some form of none-too-gentle re-adjustment, back towards a sustainable population? Possible...but frightening! Not an easy read, but a very good one!

Author's Reply:
Roy, yes I hear that guy keeps popping up in different places, lol someone should grab him.
It wasn't my intention to frighten, but I realise that it is frightening scenario. I have my own ideas how to stop the slide and go for recovery---however I would be attacked by the PC and TP if I dared to utter such obvious suggestions. So, it looks like the slide will continue. And do you know what Roy--I am not going to worry about it anymore.

Thanks for your interesting reply.

Gerry.

wirlong on 12-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) Final part.
A lot of facts covering a huge timespan in a relatively short number of words. I'm not sure I'd agree with where it's coming from nor where it's going. But I enjoyed reading it. Three cheers for Gerry. I shall look forward to reading more articles from this author.

JK

Author's Reply:
Jackie. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am not sure were it came from or where it is going either;-) But I enjoyed writing it. lol.

Gerry. x.


The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two. (posted on: 02-01-06)
A simple guide about living things. The Jurassic era arrives and goes--- You may wish to read part one first.

Meanwhile back in the water things were moving on a pace. The thingies there had really been at it with vigour---thingies were now everywhere in all the waters, and there was plenty of waters. They had also changed a bit over the years. You will be aware that they too learned to see---this was absolutely necessary for them, to know what was going on, and there was plenty going on apart from the cleaving. Some of the thingies---the ones who were lazy, just wanted to stay local, so they grew flat; this was quite bright thinking from them, because they could sink into the sand beneath the waters and hide from the nasty thingies. They just emerged for a quick snack then disappeared in the sand again. Others were only very small so they travelled about in schools, thousands of them, they knew there was safety in numbers (they learnt that at school.) so they were able to travel far and wide in relative safety. Most of the thingies had just grown big and ugly, they had learned to move very fast and were not just after sustenance and cleaving, they wanted to kill everything---just because everything was there. This action by the large ugly thingies stirred the smaller thingies into action. They started to explore the possibilities of leaving the water and going on to land. They had seen the lovely beaches and tall things and fancied to give it a try; 'It has to be much safer,' they thought. They were not aware than many years ago (very many years) that thingies had already taken to the land. This however was different. This was an exodus on a massive scale. So it came to pass that thingies left the waters all around the Earth at the same time. The areas that they left the waters determined how they would grow. They had of course to adapt to their own locations. Some found themselves in warm places, some very hot and some very cold. They quickly (well not too quickly) changed from water creatures into land creatures. They grew coats of hair in chilly climes and fir coats in colder climes. Their body shapes changed also according to their location and requirements. Some liked the leaves, berries and fruit that were by now in abundance, so much that they stopped eating their friends. At this time the land masses were all joined together and some of the more adventurous thingies ( now called 'creatures') decided to explore, and Lo they roamed and adapted over all the lands. We now have to return to see how our flying lizard is progressing. Well, he was enjoying life. He could keep out of the way. And he needed to! The thingy that decided to stay on the ground had changed into a monster. In fact a variety of monsters, They had gone in different directions according to their needs.The tall things, which our early land dwellers had encountered, had turned into magnificent trees. Because they were very tall trees some of the creatures grew long necks so they could get to the leaves and fruit, Others had grown large bodies with large heads full of vicious teeth. and they attacked and ate anything. We are now in the time of the Dinosaurs. From that first thingy and that first cleave we now find we have a populated earth and sea, and attempts at conquering the skies. The creatures that stayed in the waters became fishes (mostly) of various kinds. The ones who left the waters went in different directions. Some of the early crawling thingies eventually became crocodiles. Some turned into turtles and tortoises, some into toothed flying reptiles, and some into dinosaurs both large and small. Trees had been developing as some pace, these started of as Algae in the sea and were quite well established when the first thingy went ashore. At the start of the Jurassic era insects were well established and developing nicely. The amount of insects about also encouraged the start of the insectivore line. Wasn't it all-magical? . We now had insects, some flying creatures, turtles and dinosaurs of various shapes and sizes. The climate had been good, and early flowers are starting to appear. Because of the warm climatic conditions warm blooded creatures (the first mammals) are starting to develop, but all creatures are still egg layers.There had also been much raising and lowering of sea levels causing early land shaping. One day one of the Dinosaurs happened to be stretching up to a tree to eat a particularly nice looking fruit --- when he exclaimed. 'Bloody hell what is that thing.' He didn't know of course because he only had a small brain (he didn't need a big one) that what was heading straight for him was a giant meteor. It hit the poor creature right on his head; indeed, and alas everything in the impact area was immediately eliminated. Because of the size of the impact, large parts of the ground were turned into dust and ash. This debris soon circled the Earth and blocked the sunlight. All life was soon extinguished on Earth (What a bloody shame after all that time?) Well I will just clarify that last statement; all life could not possibly have been extinguished! Or clearly I wouldn't be here writing this rubbish. It is thought that maybe seeds from early flowers and trees survived in the ground, Quite amazing that! It a was a long time (a very long time). It seems also that the first thingy, that decided to go down into the ground all those years ago was not so daft. (He must have thought, 'if a giant meteor ever hits the earth, I will be buggered if I am not under the ground') Anyway it came to pass that the thingy with many legs, under the ground did apparently survive. He wasn't too bothered about what he ate and the Dinosaurs had been well cooked---so he partook of them and they were good, and lo he sat the cold spell out underground. He was well fed reasonable cosy and quite content. Continued.
Archived comments for The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
RoyBateman on 02-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part the two.
Hilarious again - have you been watching too many Guinness adverts lately, by the way?

Author's Reply:
Roy, I can state in all honesty that I haven't seen one Guiness advert. Do I take it that they have been plagiarising my work? I will sue the buggers if they have 😉
Thanks for coming back It just proves that your reading expectations are not set very high LOL.

Gerry.----PM.

Harry on 02-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part the two.
You've set the stage, Gerry. Pretty soon now we can expect live birth and mother's milk and the next thing you know ... Ta-da!

Can't wait for you to get to the birth of Tony Blair.

Author's Reply:
Harry you are nearer than you realise 😉
The next part is a bit more serious. I know you will understand it.
Thanks for comment.

Gerry.

niece on 03-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
Dear Gerry,
Really enjoyed this---especially the first part which was very funny---you may have written about prehistoric creatures but the traits sound very much like those of the present-day human-being.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece I am going crazy, I keep hitting the wrong thing. I do hope you get this message---
I am trying --honest 😉


Gerry on 03-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
niece, glad you enjoyed this part. The next bit gets quite serious. Hope you stick with it 😉
Thank you...

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 03-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
niece--sorry put my comment in wrong box (I keep doing that)

C'est la vie.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 04-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
I love this thingy lark Gerry. I bet Shacks would like it for his kids anthology too. Can't wait for the next installment. Love Val xx oh by the way, Happy new year.XX

Author's Reply:
Val, and a happy new year to you too.

I think it might be a bit strong for children Val--All that cleaving 😉

Hope you enjoy the last bit. Did you catch the first bit?

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 04-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
Gerry, enjoying this and looking forward to further pieces.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
Thanks D last part should be up on Friday.
Glad you are still enjoying 😉

Gerry.

Jolen on 09-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
Hi Gerry,
I'm glad to see you continue this story. I think it's humoress but more so well done all the way around. I feel this is suited for us all, and quite the intelligent look at our world and how it came to be. Yeah, I still like the thingy's the best too. lol
blessings,
Jolen.

Author's Reply:

RDLarson on 12-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)Part two.
Making me laugh again. And oh think too. Good on you and good for me.

Author's Reply:
RD. well it's goood to laugh and think 😉
Thanks so much for reading and commenting...

Gerry.


The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.) (posted on: 30-12-05)
Well here it is. How it all started---no scientific stuff. Easy to understand---just as it all happened. All your questions answered.

Once upon a time there was this little thingy in the water. It didn't really know why it was there, even where it was, or what it was. In fact it didn't know anything because it was inanimate. One night there was a big thunderstorm and a lot of lightning. After a particularly large flash of lightning the thingy twitched. 'Blimey I twitched then' thought the thingy. For a long time the thingy sat there thinking about the lightning and the day that it twitched. The thingy thought that if it tried very hard in might be able to split in two. It had no idea why it should try to do this, it was a pretty thick thingy (it didn't have any brain) anyway it decided to do it anyway. So our thingy cleaved---and behold we then had two thingies. After a long time the first thingy had an idea. It only knew one word 'cleave' because it had already done that. So it thought maybe it could cleave again, but this time it decided to do it a little differently, It was you see a bit cleverer now. So it cleaved again, but this time it used the other thingy to cleave with. And lo and behold after some time a little thingy appeared on the scene. I have to take you forward quite a long time now. A lot of cleaving had been going on, I think the thingies were actually starting to enjoy it, because there were now quite a lot of them. The first thingy had started to get hungry, (I think it was because of all the cleaving) so it started looking for sustenance, it didn't want to die because it wanted to stay around for a while to do a bit more cleaving. The only things it could find were lots of little thingies. The little thingies were starting to grow quite miraculously into bigger thingies, that is the ones that hadn't been, er - not eaten, they didn't have mouths or indeed anything come to that; now there's a point how did they do the cleaving? Umm, oh well the little ones were disappearing and it was thought the big thingies were responsible seeing that there was no one else around. Not surprisingly the little thingies thought they had better try to save themselves, they were disappearing too fast and they were thinking about survival of the species (clever little thingies weren't they?) One particular bright little thingy decided that if some sort of propulsion was possible maybe they could get away from the big thingies that were causing their problems. I have to move forward quite a few years now. Wow what have we here?---it's a little thingy with a bit sticking out of it. When the bit sticking out waggles the thingy moves forward, we have motion. The little thingy is now of course a big thingy and getting a bit cocky. It was fed up with all the water and wanted to try something else, so having gained some mobility, it headed for the beach. Now that was quite a smart move, but -- when it got there it had a few problems. Wiggling on to the sand it found itself in trouble. It didn't know about oxygen (not having much knowledge other than cleaving and growing a tail) and the poor little thingy couldn't breath. 'Bloody hell I am in trouble now' thought the little thingy, 'and after all them years growing my tail.' But just then a wave came and pulled the thingy back in the water. A big shiny globe had appeared in the sky and it seemed to be making the water move. (Good job for the thingy). So it was back to the drawing board, our thingy was not about to give up; because it quite liked the look of the beach. And so it came to pass that after many attempts and a very long time, thingies (there were more of them by now) found that they could survive on the beach, and they quite liked it. They were laying about in the sun with nobody to bother them, yes indeed, life was good. Now we came to the first change of direction. Some of the thingies decided they wanted to explore but found it was a bit difficult, they had to wriggle to move and kept banging into things. It took a long time (a very long time) but our thingies grew legs, they knew that legs would make them mobile (their brains had been developing you see), but they knew they would still be banging into things. So the logical thing they thought was-- 'Let us grow some eyes--we will grow two, just in case we get something in one of them,' Good thinking that wasn't it? The other thingies had decided not to bother with legs, and they burrowed into the sand, (they obviously didn't want to get sun burnt). After a long time (a very long time) the thingies that had gone into the ground kept popping up and catching the thingies with legs, and eating them. They had grown mouths by now and liked to use them. We will now call the thingies with eyes and legs Lizards, because they still enjoyed a swim in the water occasionally. The lizards didn't always see the ground dwellers--they were very cunning blighters and laid traps for them. The lizards also caught the ground dwellers on occasions too, and ate them. The ground dwellers didn't like this and decided to grow legs also, but thought--- 'We will grow legs also but---we will have lots of legs, four aren't a lot of good' and behold they grew lots of legs. Some of the lizards decided the safest place would be in the very tall things that were springing up. They would be safe up there. One day one of the lizards decided he was fed up of climbing up and down the tall things to catch the thingies with hundreds of legs, he wanted to turn vegetarian. He had spied a bush lower down near the water with lots of bright red things on it---but how to get there. He decided he would glide down (quite logical thinking) But how would he glide. And behold time passed (a long time) and our lizard found himself with membranes between his legs. (He didn't know they were membranes of course he wasn't that bright). However the bush with the bright red things was still there so he launched himself into the air and glided. down to the bush, were he partook of the fruit, and Lo it was good. 'What a bloody plonker' exclaimed his mate who was still sitting on th tall thing. 'He is buggered now---he can never return. I will do better than that'. And so it came to pass, some time later (a very long time later) the first lizard had return to the ground, he decided there was no future in gliding (it only being one way)--but his mate had grown membranes that moved, he could get down to the red things, and then by flapping his front legs get back to his tall thing again. His mate was now a reptile, the thingies with lots of legs were insects, but---he, he was nearly a bird---WOW. He was actually a bit premature thinking he was nearly a bird, but he was a flying lizard of the early Jurrasic era and that surely wasn't bad. After all it had only taken about 150 million years since that first cleave, and four to five billion years since the earth was formed. Maybe continued.
Archived comments for The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Harry on 30-12-2005
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
I could have used this lovely little story to woo my little grandson off to sleep last week, Gerry. I'm not sure of my British accent, however. ‘Blimey I twitched then’! I wasn't aware those 'thingies' of yours were British. Very cute, please go on - it's gets more interesting you know.

Author's Reply:
Harry, I know it gets interesting, however I am not sure if our members are ready for this kind of work 😉 I will see how it goes before deciding whether to expand on here.
Thank you for your response--I understand that the first cleave took place somewhere near Filey so definitely English lol.

Best wishes to all across the pond.

Gerry.

niece on 31-12-2005
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Gerry,
This is very cute...kids would love this stuff, but so would grown-ups...
Next chapter, please...
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
Niece. Thank you for your appreciation.
I hope 2006 is kind to you and your family.

Gerry xxx.

Micky on 31-12-2005
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Thanks for posting this,Gerry
I knew there had to be a scientific explanation for all these thingies on the planet .lol
Have a great new year !!!

Micky :>D


Author's Reply:
Micky, Sorry left my reply in comment box--will I ever learn ;-).

Gerry on 31-12-2005
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Micky, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

I hope you have a successful 2006 too.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

wfgray on 01-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Thingies, the first cleave having started in Filey. Now i understand the expression. I just hope they can be seen in Flamborough.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 01-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
wf--thank for the comment, I am sure if you get out on the brig you may spot one or two. 😉

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 01-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
FRUMP AND NIBBLE LTD.

Publishers of renown, and books.

Dear Mr Darwin,

Thank you for your submission, but at the present time we feel that your style is far too scientific for our readership and thus many might find it rather confusing. Should you feel capable of lowering your intellectual sights somewhat, please do not hesitate to stuff your manuscript up your (Illegible)

Yours sincerely etc.

*****

Oh, good one, mate - and do keep it coming! I'm learning lots....

Author's Reply:
Roy, I needed that laugh today. I have one of those horrible post 'warm climes' aicraft colds.
A real stinker. I am trying to write the next bit of this saga with streaming eyes and nose.

I will be sending it off to Messrs Frump and Nibble Ltd in the near future--I have lowered my sights.

Gerry.

red-dragon on 01-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
THINGY AND CLEAVE LTD

TAXIDERMISTS

Dear Mr Gerry,

Do send us one of your examples and we'll mount it for you for posterity.

Yours sincerly.... blah blah

I look forward to the post Jurassic cleaving. Ann

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 01-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Dear Thingy and Cleave--there is enough stuffing going on here without your professional assistance, although the offer is appreciated.

I refuse to drawn into anything to do with mounting.

The post Jurassic era will have to be approached with some caution.;-) lol.

Many thanks Ann--it is rewarding to know that humour still exists on UKA.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 02-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Gerry

Too cute, and yes, so informative. lol.... I do think you should keep it up, er so to speak. lol.... A pleasure to read your fine work again. Happy New year, and careful of those thingy's..

lol
blessings,
Jolen *giggling still*

Author's Reply:
Jolen, from what you lot have said this little saga could well end up with an X certificate 😉 lol. Glad you had a giggle, be sure to catch the next episode.

Many thanks and may 2006 bring you blessings too...

Gerry xxx.

RDLarson on 03-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
I got such a kick out of it. We've just had "intelligent design" decision in the US about where "thingys" come from and Darwin more or less won in the court of law. I think the cleaver thingys are very fun and resourceful. I am still grinning. Of course my imagination pictures fat jolly inch long worms. Maybe. Will tune in for next scandalous episode. LOLL.

Author's Reply:
RD. Glad you enjoyed this little offering. It does get a bit more serious. I have just finished the third and last part. you are right we do need to have lots of imagination 😉
Thank you for dropping by and commenting...

Gerry xxx.

Dargo77 on 04-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
Gerry, thanks for a very entertaining story. You are indeed unique in your invention and never afraid to dip your toes into unknown waters. I am just about to read your continuation.
Well done.

Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D. Thank you, I hope you enjoy the next two bits---I wonder if I will get away with it 😉 lol.

Gerry.

Jen_Christabel on 06-01-2006
The start of everything. (A Beginners guide.)
I wondered where it all started, and now I know!
Thanks for the info!
LOL
Good read
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen --sorry I missed this comment.
Thank you for reading. We learn a little every day;-)

Gerry xxx.


A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference) (posted on: 02-12-05)
I would like to know if my intended meaning in this short tale is coming through clearly. A couple of previews I gave did not seem to indicate that it was interpreted as I intended. Comments and opinions on meaning please. An explanation of what I tried to imply will be supplied if necessary.

'Shouldn't be too long now Tom, It's been a bit of a drag hasn't it?' 'Sure has James, it's been a long journey, longest journey ever I should think.' 'Just think Tom if we hadn't had that visit, this trip wouldn't have been possible' 'True, we were so near; but we would never have got here without help. Who would have expected God to put in an appearance.' 'Well Tom he did tell us before! but nobody took any notice.' 'You're right James, even I knew that, and I was never involved.' ' I wonder what it will be like? I mean it is a step in the dark even for us. I wonder if they will be anything like us?' 'Even with all my knowledge and power I can't answer that one James, but you will find out soon enough.' 'Yes Tom now we have solved this hyper speed problem the universe is our oyster.' 'I am just thinking about what it used to be like before God came Tom. Nobody believed in him, well hardly anyone. Even when he arrived there was still doubters. They soon changed their minds though didn't they? Especially when he started to demonstrate his powers.' 'They did indeed James, no option really, had they? 'I can't help thinking about the mess we were in, All that self-inflicted disease which was out of control. The total break down of society, The loss of morality and family life. All the wars; my goodness we were in a mess Tom. I reckon God knew we were near the end and that if he didn't step in we would doomed.' Funny wasn't it that the scientists and engineers, who always denied God, suddenly changed their minds when he started giving them the answers to their unsolved problems. They were so near to solving many problems, but would never have done it without help. The strangest thing was that when God explained who he was and were he came from, they had no problem understanding and accepting him. The answers to our questions had been there---but we were all too clever to see the answers before our eyes.' 'Yes James it really shook a lot of folks, still he has been very fair. The ones, who caused all the problems couldn't expect to get away with it, could they? I think he has a superb method of justice and punishment.' 'Well you would Tom, you are totally in the clear. I wonder if they will be like us, I mean will they have two arms two legs, will they have fingers, toes, two ears, eyes nose and mouth just the same as we have? Well not like you Tom, but you know what I mean.' 'Yes I know what you mean James, we will be finding out what they are like soon enough now.' ' Okay Tom, I am switching you off now, I want you to concentrate on bringing the diplomats out of hibernation ready for when we land. You can also double check the navigational calculations, and do a quick run over your other function, I will switch your verbal communication system back on in good time.' 'Right James, speak to you later.' **** 'Tom get a look at this, we are bang on course, you have done a great job,' 'Well James I only do what you tell me to' 'Yes Tom but you do it so well. It looks beautiful doesn't it? They were right about the colour too, it's just like our own planet a lovely blue.' 'Yes James it is truly beautiful, it gets nicer as it gets bigger.' 'I am finding this very emotional Tom, that is something you will never be able to understand' 'I am starting to understand James, I really am; It is a little difficult for me to speak at the moment' 'Tom we will not try any communicating with the natives until we have safely landed, they will not have any idea of our arrival. I wonder if they have animals similar to ours? It's all very exiting now isn't it? 'It sure is James, I am getting excited too.' 'Tom I wonder if God ever visited here? I wonder why they decided to call this place 'The Earth'? Tom didn't answer either question
Archived comments for A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
sirat on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Meaning? Well, this seemed like a straightforward tale. On a distant planet, God has put in a personal appearance to stop everything going down the pan. He has also told the scientists all the answers, so that they have been able to achieve faster-than-light travel and become lords of creation themselves. We step in as a couple of missionaries are about to visit a planet that turns out to be the earth, keen to spread the good news. I wondered if you wanted to imply that it was the arrival of Jesus or an early Christian prophet, but the clues were unclear. I was intrigued as to whether Tom might be a non-human, such as the ship's computer. Judging by your opening remarks I have probably missed something!

Author's Reply:
David, Thank you for your comments. You are pretty much accurate with your interpretation.
I don't know why my early preview readers didn't latch on to what was intended, maybe they were looking too deeply. I will add more further down.

Gerry.

Easyd on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Yes, Sirat's comment is right as far as it goes, but I also think that the fact that the planet they left is so like Earth in its problems implies to me one or two scenarios: (a) Their Faster than light sends them back in time a la some vesions of relativity. They then arrive back at early Earth, and become the very 'God' that saved it from destruction. Thus a good old paradox, like ' by his bootstraps' by Heinlein. (b) Somehow the ones to be punished are those on board - their penalty: try again on anohter blue paradise planet. It could also be that those to be punished were left behind, but htat wouldn't fit in with the lateral thinking the pece seems to imply. Before I read too far I thought they were dead... maybe they are and this world is a sort of purgatory.... that was c and d.
lol, Hugh.

Author's Reply:
Hugh, I agree that this could be opened up to interpretation. It was not however intended to be too deep. Your views could be certainly plausible, but not implied here 😉
See below.

Gerry.

niece on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Dear Gerry,
Very interesting read!...I am also looking forward to reading your replies to the previous two comments.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, thanks for dropping by, I am glad you found it interesting and I will endeavor to explain below.

Gerry xxx.

Harry on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)


Author's Reply:

Harry on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
I read it as the descent of the angels upon earth and making another start of it. I wondered about the names, James and Thomas ...

Author's Reply:
Harry. James and Tom were just random names. However I can see the way your mind was working. A very astute observation. See Below...

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Phew - I'm back at last. Good one to begin with, too - I reckoned that there were several possible meanings, all of which were valid. A bit like that last shot of "Planet of the Apes", maybe? It all goes round in circles and ends up back here?? Surely Harry spotted the clue that I missed? I await the writer's interpretation(s)!!

Author's Reply:
Roy you are always disappearing 😉 I seemed to have caused a little confusion with this, that was not intended. I will explain in a separate comments box.

Gerry.

Gerry on 02-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Okay folks, thanks for comments on this post. It was never intended to be too deep in meaning. I think my two pre-post readers were looking for hidden meaning.

My thoughts were that this obvious 'space vehicle' would be seen by readers as travelling from Earth to another planet that had been studied and selected. In fact as we know the space ship was travelling to the Earth. I saw the planet of Origin as probably five hundred to one thousand years ahead of Earth. They had had their Godly visit and assistance--but had no idea about Earth. They would have had no Language problems, and scientific thoughts now seen to imply that any form of life (if any) in the universe will probably have evolved exactly as life on Earth. So they would have been like us.
Tom of course was the computer who was running the show, plenty of clues there 😉 nobody picked up why he didn't reply to the two final questions though. I had given a clue. He was in fact fast developing emotions and was too overcome to answer.

How they would have handled the situation on landing I have no idea. The diplomats have not made an appearance yet. I am sure they would have plenty of proof with them though and only wanted to help. I am toying with the idea of a continuance of this tale, What do you think? Would it work?

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 05-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
I have avoided reading all of the above so as not to influence my thinking. I am probably way off beam but I hought that, they had been sent back into the mists of time, yet thinking they had been sent to another planet. Unknowingly they would be helping our distant ancestors on to a different course thereby correcting all our mistakes. Sounds a bit complicated, there is probably a simpler answer. Val x

Author's Reply:
Val. Yes there is a much simpler answer---
You may go and read the above comments now 😉
Thanks for your ideas, it could well have been thus...

Gerry xxx.

Jolen on 27-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Hi Gerry,
I enjoyed this concept a great deal and I see that you made everyone think, a great thing in itself. Good for you and I found myself nodding along with some of this going "I bet it would be that way".......... It's almost like Tom were an angel.

Anyway. I'm thrilled to have read this and that it does make one think. Well done.. I hope you had wonderful holidays.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 27-12-2005
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Jolen, nice to hear from you. Yes my wife and I had a lovely relaxing break in the sun. Now we are back to the snow 😉
Thank you for your comment and I am so pleased that you enjoyed the read.

Gerry xxx.


Author's Reply:

wirlong on 05-02-2006
A Seasonal Tale. (with a difference)
Gerry,

I thought the choice of 'Tom' as a name for the computer was a clue to a set of twists. The true doubting Thomas. The computer, not being easy to brainwash, realises that James' notion of God is ridiculous. God is an alien using lesser beings to seek out planets for further brain-washing. Because these diplomats don't even know that they're brain-washed helps them to brain-wash the inhabitants of Earth.

Anyway, perhaps the twist might be that God really is the Universe's creator. Or perhaps it's the Devil (this would require the Devil to be integrated into the plot; perhaps feeding facts to Tom).

JK

Author's Reply:


Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute) (posted on: 11-11-05)
Comments welcome, but no crit on this post please. Tommy, (not his real name), is still very much alive. I went to see him a few days ago and was inspired by his words. He had never spoken to me about the war before. He doesnt know about this post. I have posted it under Faction to add a little substance to the story. All the military references are totally factual.

Tommy, set out from his home for his Saturday morning shopping trip. This was a weekly event and there was little deviation. He was eighty-four years old, slightly stooped now with the ravages of advancing years; he was grey and thinning but never wore a hat. He was always clean, but still did look a little tatty, The fawn coloured raincoat which he obviously favoured was worse for wear, his shoes had long since lost their shine--he walked with a pronounced limp and a stick. Why the local kids 'if they were about' wanted to jeer and taunt him he never knew, but they did. His thoughts were 'Well they are only kids, what do they know?' He caught the ten forty five bus, and the twenty minute ride took him nearly to the local supermarket. This particular morning just before entering the shop a very smart immaculately dressed gentleman approached him. They exchanged a few words and Tommy then carried on into the shop. The whole trip took just over ninety minutes and found Tommy walking back up his street with a number of supermarket bags under his arms. If the children were about he would have to endure the jibes again; he never was offered a hand to carry his bags. After Tommy had entered his kitchen and put his purchases away he put the kettle on and made himself a pot of tea. He took the tea into the living room and placed it on his table, he then placed his coat over a chair and sat down. While sipping his tea his eyes were drawn to an old tin which had pride of place on his old sideboard. He never took his eyes from the tin until he had emptied his cup, then he went over and picked it up. He seemed to be having an internal battle whether to open it or not. After a few minutes he levered the lid from the old tin. One at a time he removed five medals. The medals were dull and tarnished. The ribbons were tatty and faded. Tommy didn't seem to notice this. He took the medals to the coat he had just removed and pinned them one by one in no particular order or neatness to the left-hand side. Tommy found himself in France the day after the invasion. His job as a driver was to shuttle between the front line and the field hospitals with the wounded soldiers. It was on one such trip whilst loading his truck which had been hastily converted to carry the injured, that he became the target for a German machine-gunner. The German soldier was only about twenty yards away. A Bren-gun carrier quickly took out the enemy machine gunner. Tommy drove his truck back and delivered his wounded charges to the field hospital before he collapsed unconscious. He had received Eight hits. Three had passed through but five bullets were still in him. Tommy woke up in an English Military hospital. He gradually recovered and papers were prepared for his discharge. He objected to this and pleaded to see the war out. His plea was accepted and he was promised light duties. He spent a short time in Northern Ireland driving military personnel in light vehicles, but not long after he was posted back to France. He found himself once more driving heavy trucks including tank transporters to the front line for the American troops. He survived the war without any more injuries. The next morning, Sunday, a smart car arrived outside Tommy's house. The driver in military uniform escorted Tommy to the car. Tommy had the same clothes on that he wore for the supermarket visit; this time however he also had his five medals hanging from his coat. The car stopped at the war memorial just beside the church. Tommy was helped out of the car and gently guided to his spot. During the previous few weeks the Royal British Legion had been looking for a local man to lay the first tribute at the remembrance service. Someone had stumbled across Tommy's war record and he was contacted. At first he declined, but after some gentle persuasion he accepted. He was presented with a Royal Corps of Transport Beret and badge for the occasion--his old regiment. After the two-minute silence Tommy put his beret on. An army captain walked up to Tommy and saluted him--Tommy saluted back. Tommy took the offered floral tribute. He placed his stick on the ground and walked the nine or ten yards to the memorial. He carefully lay the tribute on the base, stood up as straight as he could and then saluted the memorial. Tears were clearly seen running down his cheeks and he took a grubby hanky from his pocked and dabbed at his face. He stood stationary in the total silence for about a minute. Looking around it was easy to see other cheeks being dabbed and I think some of the cheeks were of children. Tommy eventually stepped back a yard and saluted again. He them turned and walked back to his position. The Salvation Army band then played a medley of marches as the remaining dignitaries, and others lay their tributes. After the ceremony was over Tommy was quite the celebrity. Many of the contingents from the three services were anxious to talk to him, and he seemed to be quite happy chatting to them all. Tommy was driven back home and escorted back to his door. After taking off his raincoat he carefully removed the medals from his coat. He then placed them in the tin and secured the lid. The tin was then placed back on his sideboard. The beret was placed at the side of the tin with gleaming badge pointing outwards. Tommy had had his moment of glory; he knew that he wouldn't be wearing the beret again, or levering that lid from the battered Andrews Liver Salts tin again either.
Archived comments for Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Easyd on 11-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Hi Gerry,
Well - you've done it again - with an economy of description evoked the scene movingly. A poignant vignette, impeccably narrated. All the best to the aged hero. Lol,
Hugh

Author's Reply:
Hugh, I tried to tell it very much as it was. I am sure there are many other heroes that people do not know about. I was glad that 'Tommy' was able to relate his story to me and inspire this tribute to him and indeed to all who fought for our freedom.
Thank you...

Gerry.

RoyBateman on 11-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Very touching indeed - the old chap had his day, and that was enough. It seems that he was treated with due reverence by everyone else too, and quite rightly. Very well told, and very much a tale worth telling too, Gerry - well done.

Author's Reply:
Roy, I think I have my reply in the correct place this time, so you should read this. 😉



Yes Roy--these tales must be told where possible and never forgotten. It is difficult to imagine what these guys went through. I have a cousin who fought through all the African campaign and then at Monte Casino. He never ever mention it until I pushed him. He had experienced things I couldn't comprehend.

They were all heroes in my eyes.



Thanks...

Gerry.

Harry on 11-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
The ranks are dwindling and before long there will be no one left to remember. But, new wars come along every day and we learn from history that we learn nothing from history. Thanks, Gerry - it's veteran's day here in America today and this couldn't have come at a better time.

Author's Reply:
Harry you are right, At our memorial day Parade on Sunday in London will be the oldest survivor of the first world war he is 108. Not many left now.
Hold your head high today Harry...
Respect...
Gerry.

Dargo77 on 11-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Gerry, so pleased to read your very touching story. Thanks for holding up your end and writing about a subject matter that should never be forgotten. Well written.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D. Thanks to these guys, you and I missed it by a few years. I think that may be why we remember so strongly. What would have happened if they had failed? Just doesn't do to think about it---
As always thanks for your comment...

Gerry.

Gerry on 11-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Tai-Li, what I meant was that Dargo and I who both lived through the war, did military service but a few years after it had ended. I didn't make that too clear.
I am never sick of hearing about the war--it is very real to me.
If you point me to your war experiences I will be interested to read about them. Thank you for reading and for your kind and understanding comments.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kazzmoss on 12-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Yes, I agree with what has been said. I really enjoyed reading this and your telling of it was perfect. - Kazz

Author's Reply:

Kazzmoss on 12-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Yes, I agree with what has been said. I really enjoyed reading this and your telling of it was perfect. - Kazz

Author's Reply:
Kass, thanks for reading and your kind comment.

Gerry xxx.

Kat on 14-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Well done with this, Gerry - I like the fitting sombre tone and I could just see Tommy so well in your descriptions - you set up the story nicely.

Cheers

Kat :o)

Author's Reply:
Kat, thanks for dropping by and reading this. At this time of year I always stop and think how bloody near we came to defeat.

Gerry xxx.

Jen_Christabel on 14-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
There's very few of them left and so this made the piece even more poignant.
Moving piece. Thanks for a good read.
Jen :o)

Author's Reply:
Jen, that is so true. I hope our future generations are never allowed to forget.
Thanks for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

niece on 15-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Dear Gerry,
What a lovely tribute!
It is so easy to forget what these people have done for the country. It is only right that they get their dues and know that they are loved and admired for what they have done...anywhere in this world.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, indeed my friend. I suppose it all boils down to which country one happens to be born in.
All casualties are some mothers sons. Thank you...

Gerry xxx.

karenuk on 15-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Very moving. Beautifully written.
Karen xx

Author's Reply:
Karen, thank you for reading this post, and your nice comment...

Gerry xxx.

shackleton on 23-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Excellent story, Gerry. You've captured the dignity and pride of the old fella perfectly. Very few left from the first world war now - but plenty more wars to come before we finally realise. We mustn't forget people like Tommy. Enjoyed the read.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 24-11-2005
Tommy and the tin. (A Tribute)
Shack, thanks for dropping by. I sometimes wonder if there will ever be an end to violence...
Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:


The Enigma. (posted on: 28-10-05)
Okay--It was me. I posted this on UKanonymous, It got one hundred and odd hits and two comments. Nobody had a guess at the author. Maybe it isn't so easy. You can blast away now---;-)

A feeling of peace within? Remember they have troubles too. Cuddling close for protection and warmth, Do you still hold the same view? You seem agitated and I wonder at what, Like the black notes on a score. Making sense to some, but not to others, There is no need for you to be at war. Was mother queen so surely crowned, Self contained like some tight ball. Still hovering like a raindrop overhead, No hiding place in thoughts at all. Alone amid the misty gleam of dawn The sated birds have had their fill, No purer scene the whole world round Each breath a brush mark, still. The melting stream begins again to flow, And youthful maidens haste to sing and dance. All peaceful and sprightly they, on show, And still you seem to say, perchance. But now the feet of busy people walking to and fro, With always a problem, or something to say! A time to pause, to think, to dream! And hope tomorrow brings another day.
Archived comments for The Enigma.
karenuk on 28-10-2005
The Enigma Of Stress.
The fourth stanza was especially beautiful. I missed the audio though but anyway, I found it appeared in my head in your voice, so that was almost as good 🙂
Karen xx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 28-10-2005
The Enigma.
Karen, there was never audio with this 😉
I may add one though.
Thanks for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 28-10-2005
The Enigma.
An upbeat poem, Gerry. Gives me a good feeling somehow even though the dirty gray fingers of fall are pulling the leaves from the trees.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 28-10-2005
The Enigma.
Harry. Glad this poem gave you a good feeling. It has in turn been praised very highly, and also badly slated. It was written about twelve years ago as an exercise.
Those dirty grey fingers are also at work over here 😉
I hope you are keeping well--and thanks for the comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

niece on 29-10-2005
The Enigma.
Dear Gerry,
Great poem...loved the deep thoughts and enjoyed the gentle rhythm of the words!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, thank you for your kind comment, I am pleased you appreciated this poem.

Gerry xxx.

red-dragon on 29-10-2005
The Enigma.
Gerry, can't understand why this has been badly slated - to me, it has some great lines, it doesn't feel 'forced' in its rhyming and its message is woven throughout. The first line of the last stanza could be shortened, as it's a bit long (IMO) but doesn't detract from the poem.
Ann

Author's Reply:
Ann, I am pleased you enjoyed this poem and understood its message.
I will have a look at said line:-)

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 29-10-2005
The Enigma.
More Spring than Autumn, Gerry - and have you been watching "Gone With the Wind" again? (Last line - only joking! Frankly, mate, I don't give a damn.) Good one - new to me, I don't usually bother with anonymous stuff, but there was no need to hide your light under anything - good one, and, as has been said, nicely optimistic!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 29-10-2005
The Enigma.
Roy, I have to confess I have never seen 'Gone with the wind'
I was never a Gable fan.:-) I tried to make this a bit enigmatic hence the name--but yet still try to keep it reasonably understandable. The UKanon thingy seemed to have been a flop. Oh well I gave it a try. lol.
Thanks for comment Roy, I will be away in Arran for a while, going to see our Grandchildren. Catch you later...

Best-
Gerry

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 30-10-2005
The Enigma.
Gerry, you should be proud to have put your name to this poem.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D. Be careful using that word around here--the Thought Police you know 🙂
Thank you. I will catch up on my return from the Haggis land. lol.

Best
Gerry.

Easyd on 30-10-2005
The Enigma.
Basic sensations well conveyed, Gerry. This positive dawn greeting the right way to end a sleep. Don't need audio.
lol,
Hugh.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 30-10-2005
The Enigma.
Hugh. I think you are pretty near to what was intended here.
However I can fully understand other interpretations. It is in a way an open poem. I don't think this would benefit from audio either. Thank you. Just off to dust my kilt down LOL.

Best--
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 02-11-2005
The Enigma.
Nice work Gerry I'm glad you put your name to this, I tended to skip the anonymous stuff when it was in full swing, preferring to know who the author is . Couldn't agree more with Harry's comment. love Val x

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 20-11-2005
The Enigma.
Hi Gerry,

Lovely to come back and see your writing again. I don't care where this is posted, it is a nice piece... I enjoyed it and yes this does leave one with a nice feeling.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:
Jolen, I am pleased you enjoyed this--it's funny how peoples views vary so much. 😉
Glad it left you with a nice feeling, that was the intention building to the final stanza and you spotted it.
Gerry xxx.


Lare on 03-01-2006
The Enigma.
Hi Gerry...I love the way you weave such vivid transitions here. It is like you are gently pulling the reader through a time tunnel with your words/thoughts. I really like the way this reads. "Each breath a brush mark"...this is very nice...perfect...

Lare

Author's Reply:
Lare, many thanks for your kind comment. I am pleased that you enjoyed this poem.

Gerry.

Jay on 10-04-2006
The Enigma.
I liked the honesty within this.
Nice write Gerry.

Jenn. x

Author's Reply:


Ockerlolly. (posted on: 21-10-05)
Dont ask me what it means, because I dont know. I do know though that if you heard the call and didnt act quickly, you could be in deep and serious trouble.

Improvisation was the name of the game. First you had to find the remains of a pram. This was a device for pushing babies around in. By the time the pram was abandoned, it would have been through four or five generations, and about the only part that could be recognised was the undercarriage, that is--wheels and axles. These parts where more times than not buckled, but that was of no import to eager hands and minds. Please bear in mind no tools were available for this operation--we didn't have any. The wheels and axles were removed from the old pram, and any repairs carried out. Then the search started for a suitable piece of wood, this had to be strong enough to support at least two boys--sometimes more. These pieces of wood were not easy to come by--but perseverance usually paid off. Engineering skills were then required to fasten the plank to the wheels and axles. The front axle had to be turnable of course to facilitate maneuverability. The hole through the plank was made by the ingenious method of borrowing a coal poker from the house, lighting a fire, (very easy for young engineers even without matches) heating the poker to a very high degree, and forcing it through the plank at the appropriate point. We always achieved a super symmetrical hole. With the undercarriage in place, the only remaining part was the rope, or strong twine to enable the driver to steer. (The steering circle was only very small because the wheels would come in contact with the plank). This was usually obtained from the green grocers. Although the shops were always devoid of anything to do with green groceries, they could always find a length of suitable material for a small boy. With the project complete, there was no shortage of volunteers to be the test pilot. A suitable street was chosen, usually the longest and steepest. The (Bogey) was then launched. It was amazing how quickly warp speed was reached, and not long before the magic word (Ockerlolly) was shouted out by the pilot. Everyone knew the word, milkman, paper man, dustman, doctor and all knew how to react. The only thing the Bogey didn't have was a brake! Bogies of course were all year round machines, but they always gave way to the seasonal games, which were eagerly awaited. Winter games usually involved some physical activity to try to keep warm. We seemed to have long hard winters in my young days. This meant that the park lakes were usually frozen. We had incredible slides, and we were experts; a good slide could take you a hundred yards--our sense of balance was incredible. Sledging was great fun (there always seemed to be snow) and a good run of maybe four hundred yards would ensure you were well heated up by the time you had pulled your sledge back to the top. By the way, the sledges were all home made and all different colours, which depending on what piece of old wood had been acquired for the project. I swear they were faster than any of the professional jobs that are on sale now. Winter gave way to spring and this brought the much-waited 'Whip and Top' season. All children loved whip and top. I can remember clearly the different kinds of tops.The very fat ones that were not very mobile, but allowed you to make lovely patterns on the large area with chalk (we used to pinch this from school). Then there was the ordinary top; this was smaller and good for maneuverability and patterns. Then there was the piece DE resistance (The window smasher) yes that's what it was called. The 'window smasher' had a very small stem and a flat top to it. This device was every child's dream. The window smasher apart from smashing windows---could spin in any situation, it could even climb up a wall spin horizontally then climb down the wall and still be spinning furiously. The sticks we used to drive these tops were about twelve inches long and had strips of leather thong about twelve to fifteen inches long attached, it was this thong striking the top which produced the spin. These whips could not be allowed today of course far too dangerous. I can never remember any accidents. You only had to hit yourself once---you never did it again. Spring gave way to summer, which brought tennis and cricket. Tennis, was another game which tested our manufacturing skills. Again a bit of wood was required and somehow this was whittled with an old pair of household scissors to roughly resemble the shape of a racket (mostly nothing like). The court was a gable end of a house, always a reliable opponent; I often wonder how we would have got on if we had had the correct gear and tennis courts. Cricket was very similar; a bat roughly shaped and wickets again very rough, the wickets were wedged into another block of wood to keep them erect. Jack Hobbs and Larwood would have been proud of us. These games gave us hours of fun also. Autumn brought Conkers; this was a serious business. Conkers were in turn roasted, boiled in vinegar and I have no doubt had many other applications applied to harden them for the matches. Some turned out like rock, and were literally unbreakable--well we thought they were -- but someone always had one just a little harder. It was always sad when the last conker and winner was declared; we knew then we had a whole year to wait for the next season. Years in those days were a very long time. I think I was the first person in the world to have in-line skates. If we had had a successful morning collecting jamjars (These would make a halfpenny for a pound jar, and a full penny for a two-pound jar) we could go to the rollerdrome for an hour.This was great fun, and we always returned bruised and battered. I had this idea to make my own skates and save myself some dosh. I found some old casters (can't remember where) and obtained two pieces of wood roughly the size of my feet. I then somehow fastened the casters in line two to each piece of wood. Unfortunately without any tools and the proper means of support they were not too successful. However if I had only known about patenting ideas? (All the kids have these now and not much different to my original ones) Mine were sixty years ago. We played skipping, lots of different games---the girls were by far the best at this though. But it kept us incredibly fit and slim, and we were with the girls. We played Taws. I loved taws (Marbles) there were quite a few different games; I liked one-called Jinx the best. Anyone remember Jinx? English taws were quite good especially after the war ended, but American taws were such lovely colours, they were in great demand but too expensive for most boys. We seldom had any cash. We Played Piggy--again pieces of wood were required. The piggy, about six inches long, was shaped at each end so it was off the ground. You then hit the end of the piggyit flew in the air if you got it right, then whilst in the air you walloped it with your stick. The farthest hit was the winner. Not to be played were there was windows. We played 'Hot rice' We made a circle with legs apart and a ball was dropped in the centre. If the ball went through your legs, you were 'It' The others ran away for a few seconds then 'It' had to throw the ball at the other players trying to hit their legs. It may sound silly but it was great fun. My first bike was a collection of bits and pieces from old abandoned wrecks, how on earth I ever made it go I will never know. I can remember clearly our evening rides in the summer out into the surrounded fields and countryside. My first girl friend, kissing those velvet lips in the cornfield. Wonderful days. We used to play dare, I remember dangling from branches of trees hundreds of feet in the air (well that's what it seemed like) and being dared to drop. There was the inevitable broken leg or arm--bit not one of mine, I escaped somehow. Hopscotch was another seasonal game which gave lots of fun. With war very much in mind we decided to make guns. We never really realised just how successful we were. Again we had no tools only rusted scissors and the odd blunt knife, and only wood. When the stock of the pistol had been fashioned, we worked on the handle. The handle was carefully crafted to fit snugly to the stock. Strong elastic bands, which we somehow acquired, were then used to bind the handle to the stock. It took all a young boys strength to squeeze the handle a smidgen from the stock with one hand. Another very powerful band was attached to the front of the stock. The bullet (In our case a screw or nail was inserted between the stock and the handle. The band from the front of the stock was then pulled back hard and slipped over the nail or screw. Because of the tension of the Stock/handle binding the missile stayed put, although very much primed. I must tell you that although we were young we knew this weapon was potentially lethal and even at our tender years we had rules. No boy was ever allowed in front of a primed gun. This was good reasoning, because when pressure was applied to the handle the screw or nail took off with deadly accuracy and could penetrate a can or stick into a door at ten yards. We had hours of fun with these deadly weapons without any injuries. It seemed to me that I was still a child when the buff envelope dropped through our letterbox. This letter was telling me to report for military service. In a very short time I graduated from home made elastic powered nail gun, to rifles and machine guns. My childhood definitely ended at this point.
Archived comments for Ockerlolly.
karenuk on 21-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
It's amazing how resourceful we were as kids, wasn't it? 🙂
Karen xx

Author's Reply:

Harry on 21-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
How sweet it was Gerry. Children's games vary from city to city all over the world but they seem to have one thing in common - the exercise of children's imagination in combination with empty pockets. We lose this as we grow older and now it costs a fortune to follow a little white ball around a landscaped fairyland for 18 holes.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 21-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Karen, I thought you were only young 🙂 My eldest grandson knows nothing of these skills to which I refer. He has everything handed on a plate. I am not convinced that is the best way. Thanks for bobbing in...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 21-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Harry. Well I have never followed that said little ball 😉 but I know what you mean. I really don't know what prompted this article--but I do know that my memory kicks in very violently from time to time. It's good to remember, and I know you will probably have very similar memories. As always, thank you for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 21-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
I enjoyed this, Gerry - amazing title! I remember drilling holes through pieces of wood with a red hot poker - what other way was there to drill a hole? These days, I can easily drill a 3 inch hole through a 9 inch deep outer wall to plumb in a washing machine.

My mate was a hopeless steerer - he was more of a 'jerker'. I've still got the scars today, from when we came down a steep hill together on our bogey and us both skimming along the rough concrete when he 'jerked' the steering too hard to turn the corner at the bottom of the hill.

You've sent my mind ticking over and I feel a poem coming on.

Enjoyed your submission! Takle care now.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 21-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Shack. Nice to meet another 'Bogeyman' even though mine would have been an earlier model 😉 I am pleased you enjoyed this little trip into my childhood, I am sure I have scars too somewhere.lol.
I will look out for your poem--Thanks...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 22-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Hi Gerry, I was thoroughly engrossed in this while I ate my butties yesterday, so I've returned today to thank you for a most enjoyable lunch hour! It's ending reminded me of the poem posted by Micky,(not far below this one) which, if you haven't already read, I think you'd enjoy!! Anyway, enough rambling from me - great read. Ann

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 22-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Ann. Many thanks for reading and commenting. I write pieces like this from time to time;-) and it is rewarding to know that they are appreciated by some readers. Some things we forget -- but some things we can never forget.

Cheers
Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

niece on 23-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Dear Gerry,
Must be such lovely memories for you...and a very interesting read for the rest of us! Kids these days have it so easy...everything made to order, but there is that special feeling when you play with something you've made yourself, right? Thanks for the beautiful story.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 23-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
niece. Yes indeed my friend--if we hadn't created our own fun, there wouldn't have been a lot about. I think hard times create lasting memories--mostly nice ones 😉
Thank you...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 23-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Gerry, I share your wonderful memories and it brought back a few things I had forgotten. I often wonder what the children of today will write in the far off tomorrows. Well written.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 24-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
D. I sometimes wonder if there will be a far off tomorrow?
I thought this might stir a few things 🙂
Thanks...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Micky on 25-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Gerry , what an amazing piece! Stirring the ambers of my memories, where they'll linger in my thoughts for days.
Thank you !

Micky :>D

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 25-10-2005
Ockerlolly.
Micky. I am glad I stirred the ambers of your memories--we should have them agitated from time to time 😉
Thank you for the hot author and favourite picks--you honour me...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


'Waiting for Godot'. Act Three. Sub Titled 'The arrival of Godot' (posted on: 17-10-05)
'Waiting for Godot' has probably been studied by more students than any other book. There is a good chance that if you didn't have to study it, you will have read it or seen the play performed. You may have loved it or hated it. It has been interpreted in so many ways by so many academics. In turn its meaning has been viewed as Political, Religious, Philosophical. Mathematical and Metaphorical and perhaps many others--Most seem to think that Godot was actually meant to infer God, and that is why he never appeared. I leave you to decide on that. I always thought the denouement was wrong. This is my take on what the third act might have been like. "Godot" actually makes an appearance. You will need at least a passing acquaintance with the two act Tragicomedy by Samuel Beckett to understand this. You may ask after reading-- were the first two acts necessary? Any resemblance to the works of the said Mr Beckett is purely coincidental.

The scene opens with two tramps waking up and stretching beneath a leafless tree. Estra. 'Good morningVlad' Vlad. 'Morning Estra' Estra. 'Sleep well' Vlad. 'Not bad, about two hours.' Estra. 'Well that's a good percentage.' Vlad. 'Percentage of what?' Estra. 'Percentage of more hours.' Vlad. (Looking extremely puzzled) 'Oh, I see what you mean.' (Then looking around) 'Have you eaten?' Estra. (Also looking around.) 'Eaten what?' Vlad. 'Eaten breakfast.' Estra. (Now with an understanding look) 'Oh that, no.' Vlad. 'Why?' Estra. (Raising arms) 'Nothing to eat.' Vlad. (Putting hand in pocket) 'I still have this black radish.' Estra. 'I only like pink radishes.' Vlad. 'Yes you are right, who wants a black radish? Estra. (Looking down the road) 'Well he never came.' Vlad. 'No he didn't' Estra. 'Who didn't' Vlad. 'Godot' Estra. 'Who is Godot?' Vlad. 'The guy we are waiting for.' Estra. 'Oh Him. Why didn't he come?' Vlad. (Looking pensively around.) 'Maybe he was busy. Or maybe we missed him. Estra. 'I haven't missed him--I never even knew him.' Vlad. (Looking down the road) 'Let's go.' Estra. 'Go where---where can we go?' Vlad. (Now looking down at the ground.) 'We can't can we?' Estra. 'Why.' Vlad. (In a quiet voice.) 'Because we are waiting for Godot .' Estra. 'But he isn't coming.' Vlad. 'Why?' Estra. 'Well he hasn't come yet.' Vlad. 'He may have been delayed.' Estra. 'But he let us down twice.' Vlad. 'Well what's twice?' Estra. 'It's a fair percentage.' Vlad. (Looking strangely at Estra, then looking down the road again). 'I can get some breakfast for a shilling.' Estra. 'You said it was more.' Vlad. 'We can save a penny today.' Estra. 'But at what cost?' Vlad. (Pausing to think about the answer before speaking) 'Anyway we can't go.' Estra. 'Why?' Vlad. 'Somebody has to wait for Godot.'. Estra. (With hand up to eye) 'Can you see someone up the road?' Vlad. 'It might be the two who were here yesterday.' Estra. (Looking puzzled.) 'I thought they were just a dream.' Vlad 'Well yes they might have been.' Estra. (Now clearly agitated.) 'He's getting nearer.' Vlad. 'Do you think it is Godot?' Estra. 'If it was we wouldn't be waiting anymore.' Vlad. 'What would we do then?' Estra. 'We could wait for someone else.' Vlad. 'But it wouldn't be the same.' Estra. (Looking puzzled again.) 'Same as what?' Vlad. 'Same as waiting for Godot.' Estra.. 'Yes, you are right.' Vlad. 'Can you see if it is Godot?' Estra. 'I have never seen Godot. What does he look like?' Vlad. 'You have a good point.' Estar 'Can you see what he looks like?' Vlad. (Looking anxiously)'Yes, he looks like Godot. Tidy up your hat and let us sit under the tree. Don't say anything about hanging.' Estar. 'Or Boots---' Vlad. 'Or trousers---' Estar. (Obviously thinking hard.) ' But Godot will know about those things anyway. He knows everything' Vlad. 'I know that, but don't tell him just in case.' Estar. (Standing up slowly) 'Good morning to you sir.' Godot 'Good morning.' Vlad. (Standing more slowly) 'Good morning to you sir.' Godot. 'Good morning. Been here long?' Vlad. 'No, just two days. Estar. 'Well now you're here can we go?' Godot 'Go where?' Estar. 'Well anywhere-- we are fed up with this tree.' Godot. (Staring hard at tree) 'But it is a good place to wait.' Vlad. 'Wait for what?' Godot. (Smiling) 'Wait for anything.' Estar. 'What have you to wait for?' Godot (Now looking around searchingly) 'There are two.' Vlad. (With a very strange look on his face) 'Two what?' Godot. (Looking from Vlad to Estar and back to Vlad) 'Well I think there should be two? Maybe there is just one. Someone I am to meet here today.' Vlad. (The situation slowly dawning and looking enquiringly at Estar) 'Did we get it wrong? Did we get here two days early?' Estar. (With total confusion on his face) 'Well it's a fair percentage. (And then quietly) What's to be done?' Vlad Estar. (Both now looking at each other, then slowly turning to look at Godot say together) 'Lets Go.' (Nobody moves) Curtain slowly falls.
Archived comments for 'Waiting for Godot'. Act Three. Sub Titled 'The arrival of Godot'
Harry on 17-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
You're a brave man, Gerry. Beckett's not an easy act to follow. I always thought Estragon and Vladimir were content with the waiting game - after all it's what makes their living worthwhile. But you've added a quality to them...tenacity, I guess it is...that brings them a little closer to us.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 17-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Harry, you are a brave man too 😉 being first to comment.
and maybe last--lol. Could it be just us oldies who remember.
I have often thought there should be a third act. Godot must be the most famous person who never made an appearance--well until now that is.

Thanks Harry...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 17-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Gerry, 'the Russian Formalist critics believed that what made literature 'literary' was its ability to 'defamiliarise' the world -- to present it in radically new ways and thereby to disrupt habitual reactions'. I see Becketts work in this light....simply playing with the mind of the reader.
Your introducing Godot as a charcter with dialogue is at the very least (a good percentage of invention). I commend you for your alternative thinking on this one.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 17-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
D, your comment has really lifted me. I was beginning to think maybe this wasn't the right place for the THIRD ACT.
Thank you so much ...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 18-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
I haven't read or seen 'Waiting for Godot,' but have always meant to one day, Now Gerry I read this in spite of your saying people who are not familiar with the work would not understand it, yet in a peculiar sort of way I could see the thought behind it. Now I simply have to go to the library ((-; My god when will I ever have time I am so far behind with my reading as it is! Love Val x

Author's Reply:
Val. thanks for commenting on this. If you do manage to obtain a copy please leave time to read slowly it is not to be hurried 😉

niece on 18-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Dear Gerry,
I've read the original several years ago(it was a part of my college syllabus) and have also seen the play after coming to Mumbai. Frankly dont remember much, but this is quite good!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, how could you forget lol. Thanks for reading and your comment.

Gerry xxx.

CleanMan on 18-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Since Beckett is one of my favourite writers, certainly my favourite 20th century writer, I approached this with a certain amount of trepidation, ready not to enjoy it very much and to find fault with it in so many ways. But I didn't. I think you did well to keep the feel of the great original. You captured his convoluted wordplay well, although I felt Beckett might have been a little more sparing with it. The story seems to run at about the same pace as the original. I wondered about the line in which Estragon says of Godot, "...He knows everything". I don't think Beckett would have written this line. Omniscience is a Godlike quality, and therefore saying that Godot is omniscient says, or at least suggests that he is (a) God. I don't think Beckett would have given such an obvious clue as to the identity of Godot. But that is a minor point. All in all this is a good piece of writing, a worth homage to the master.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 18-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
CleanMan, first of all many thanks for taking the time to read and offer your views. I did try to obtain the convolution and wordplay of the original, but I was not trying to emulate The 'Master' that would not be possible. I am glad you picked up on the phrase "...he knows everything". That was my own way of drawing attention to this possibility. I am aware of course that Beckett denied that Godot had anything to do with God. But then he denied all explanation. Was he just playing with us? My explanation that 'V&E' were in fact two days early for their appointment with Godot was the only way he [Beckett] could have ever written the play LoL.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 19-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Have read 'Waiting for Godot,' and enjoyed it very much.

I must admit that I really enjoyed your version.

Good stuff Gerry.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 19-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Simon, please remember is was only my take on the 'Third Act' which Beckett never wrote. No one would dare to go anywhere near the first two acts---LOL.
Thank you for dropping by with a comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 20-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Tai-Li, I suppose it was a leap in the dark 🙂 I seem to have got away with it--and I am pleased about that. lol.
Thank you so much for your kind comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 22-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
I googled and read some, and I agree with Cleanman that this "story seems to run at about the same pace as the original" and when I finish reading a few books I have bought I will definitely read the original too. I think you managed to keep your own voice although you tried to write it in a very specific way, I also think that "Nobody moves" is a great way to end it. Very carefully written and with respect to the writer. Good work.
Nico.xxx.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 22-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Right, I'm back - and could I congratulate you, Gerry - you caught the spirit of the original, but said everything the original does in a much shorter space...I haven't got to go and bang my head on a concrete wall, and that's a first for anything to do with W for G. The world has waited long enough for a shorter version that made more sense - make this compulsory reading!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 22-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Nico. I am so pleased that you intend to read the play. As I said in my intro you will either love it or hate it.. The two main characters have been compared to 'Laurel and Hardy' this may be difficult to understand--but a very close look may reveal a possible analogy. Also it would be quite normal for L&H to arrive two days early for a meeting. This would explain of course why Godot never appears--he is not really due to appear. Could Mr Becket have been playing mind games with us all? Thank you for reading this Nico and for your comment. By the way I love your voice and readings...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 22-10-2005
‘Waiting for Godot’. Act Three. Sub Titled ‘The arrival of Godot’
Roy, you have this way of saying the nicest things;-)

I understand exactly what you mean though--this play must have had more meanings attached to it than any other. I know exactly what you mean also about banging your head.
That is why I decided to have a go at explaining it. Not easy to start with to get the flow correct, but I think I got it reasonable in the end. The third act does leave you a bit more satisfied doesn't it? At least we have an explanation LOL.

Don't know where you have been--but welcome back, and be sure to catch 'Ockerlolly' 😉

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound (posted on: 14-10-05)
This is a poem I posted in UKAnonimous. It seemed no one guessed who the writer was. Two people liked it, 95 didn't say. There was no critique? It is a little different for me.

Snow, wind, hail, sunshine, rain, Acid rain. Wide sea, deep sea, stormy sea, Dead sea. Straight rivers, winding rivers, Wide rivers, narrow rivers, Deep rivers, shallow rivers, Poisoned and dying rivers. Birds, fish, insects, animals. Sweet smelling ladies With ivory jewellery, And beautiful fur coats. Plants, weeds, flowers, trees, Our children won't need any of these. Laser bombs Suicide bombs Soldiers--Terrorists. Small men, large men. Dull men, bright men. Silly men, clever men. Scientists, politicians, Salesmen, Super-salesmen. Giant clear out, Everything to go--
Archived comments for Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
eddiesolo on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Hi Gerry,

To be honest I can't offer any crit to this piece.

It is not your usual style but I think you have pulled it off. I really like the flow of the stanza's, punchy:

Straight rivers, winding rivers,
Wide rivers, narrow rivers,
Deep rivers, shallow rivers,
Poisoned and dying rivers.

And then the knock out at the end.

Good piece, well I liked it anyway.

Si:-)




Author's Reply:

Gerry on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Simon. Thanks for being brave 😉
It was sort of an experiment. I think it gets the message over.
Wasn't sure about the music though--that proved a bit tricky.
Still not sure if it works.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
A bleak and mordant piece, Gerry - but it does make the point effectively! I wouldn't have guessed it was you, either. I suppose you could have made the sale list even longer, but then it might just have gone on to infinity! Good one, and I for one always appreciate a bit of Cat Stevens.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Haven't listened to this Gerry (don't have broadband and the audios here seem to take for ever to download!), but I like your written version very much. I wonder if the structure might be tightened up? It makes a very important point well. Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Roy. Bleak and mordant it certainly is. I am sure you realise it was a vision of what could be if we don't get our fingers out.
Cat gave us plenty of warnings didn't he. I picked this music to give a glimpse of Innocent childhood and what we can grow up into. As always thank you for taking the time to comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Elf. Thank you for your comment. glad you liked it. Pity you cannot get audio you are missing a rare treat ;-).
You may well be correct about the structure, I have no experience of writing this kind of none rhyming stuff.
Its been around too long to alter now though lol.

Best
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Gerry, a different piece of work from you....but it certainly made a point. The ending I thought to be hard hitting and overall an enjoyable read.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, Thanks for the comment- I am glad it made the point.
I wonder if Blair would read it? LOL

Gerry.

red-dragon on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
At first I stumbled on the repetition, then I realised how utterly effectively you've used it - and the last lines are stunning. I've not listened to it, being rather deaf I don't always get the most out of the spoken word, especially if, as you say above, you've used music too. Ann

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Gerry,
An absolutely brilliant and strong piece of writing. Sad as hell what we do for vanity. You have lent great voice to that. Well done my dear. A pleasure for me to read this.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Ann, I am sorry to hear that you have a hearing problem, but I am pleased you found this effective. Thank you for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 14-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Jolen, I shudder when I see how man's greed is destroying our life support systems.

Thank you for your kind and appreciative comments.

Gerry.xxx.

Author's Reply:

niece on 15-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Dear Gerry,
This is definitely not your style, but it is different and nice! It does appear that the Closing down sale has already begun and no doubt, the self-destructive nature of man is responsible for it.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
niece, indeed man is mostly responsible. Let us hope that sense can prevail before it is too late.
Thank you...

Gerry xxx.

Easyd on 15-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Gerry,
Completely agre with the environmental tone here. It is shocking and negative, but then the reality is to a large extent. But there is the positive side to the story too - I like to think that intelligence has caused species to die out, but fewer than the dinosaur's asteroid or comet or other nature extictions. And intelligence is unique, where comets are ten a penny. And intelligence will hopefully be self correcting - even the Americans are realising how they're poisoning this garden planet (the tradition of the Audobon society etc.), though having a moron like Bush as pesident doesn't help.
Lol,
Hugh

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 15-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Hugh, I know that there are many highly intelligent people on this Earth. It is time someone started listening to them.
We still have time but not too much I fear.

Thanks for you comments...
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 17-10-2005
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Very clever. A poem which sounds deceptively simple, but has such a darker side to it and deeper meanings. A bit of Cat Stevens too, eh? 🙂
Karen xx

Author's Reply:

Lare on 01-01-2006
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
I agree, Gerry...very cleaverly done. Your groupings are complete and come full circle. And your last line

"Giant clear out,
Everything to go--"

This gives me the thought of nuclear wipe out of earth. Perhaps I may be wrong on this...but...very very effective. Very well done...the entire piece...very well done...

Lare


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 01-01-2006
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Lare, thank you for reading and commenting on this poem.
It is gratifying to get a response like yours.

I wish you a very happy 2006.
Regards...
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

admin on 01-01-2006
Closing down sale. (No refunds given) + sound
Gerry, I very much like the sentiments...

Author's Reply:


ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture) (posted on: 10-10-05)
This article is based very strongly on fact.

This was the chance I had been waiting for, to join this exclusive club. Many had tried but few had succeeded. It had come as quite a surprise when the hand delivered envelope had been brought to my door by a private messenger. I had to present myself at the venue at a certain time with my prepared lecture. I would be given a short introductory period, and then it would be straight into the lecture with no interruptions guaranteed. They held over the right to question me at the end if they felt it justified. I had been given a small list of subjects which I could lecture on, I would have preferred to have chosen my own subject but this wasn't to be. When I arrived I was taken straight to the podium given a few moments to prepare myself, and then asked to give my introduction. Before starting I looked out and down at the eminent group sat before me, there were perhaps fifty members in the hall I deliberately made contact with a few eyes, and then gave my brief introduction. Two minutes later and without any ado I started my lecture which I hoped fitted in okay with the strict time allowance I had been given. 'Gentlemen I ask you to consider thisAlbert Einstein was quoted as saying ''The man who thinks his life is meaningless is not only unhappy but hardly fit for life at all'' he also stated that the more life progresses the less room there seems to be for a God. It was of cause Sigmund Freud who taught that God was an illusion. People who deny God though, can offer no explanation for the complex biological design. Darwin tells how he thinks life developed but could not offer any idea how it started. Many people reject God because of the awful suffering they see around them, ''How could God allow this to happen?'' Many would never believe in God if they met him---they want to live their lives their way without any interference. Still we have to accept that many people keep looking for a purpose and a meaning. We live in an expanding universe of that there is no doubt. We know then that there had to be a beginning. A beginning of what? would be a good question. Well consider that our Earth would fit into our sun over a million times. That our sun is only one of millions in our galaxy, that it would take light 100,000 years to cross it, that our galaxy is just a minute part of the universe, and each of the other galaxies have billions of stars which are all in order, all in motion. Could this possibly be the result of some huge indiscriminate explosion? We are led to believe by scientists that everything started with a small dot--a singularity. Well okay but where did this awesome singularity which caused this vast universe come from? I think it was Bernard Lovell who said, ''We have to face the problem of a beginning'' He went on to state that if the universe had expanded one million millionth part faster our universe would have dispersed by now. He also held that if it had expanded more slowly, then gravitational forces would have caused the universe to collapse early on in its life. What about this order? I hear you ask, well let us look at the electromagnetic force to start with. If this force was significantly weaker electrons would not be held by the atom with a result that atoms could not then form molecules. On the other hand if this force was just a little stronger electrons would be trapped at the nucleus of the atom. This would mean no chemical reaction, in both cases this means no life. If the electromagnetic force was slightly lower, gravity would be lower, this would result in smaller stars, their internal temperatures would not then be high enough to cause nuclear fusionthe sun would not, and could not shine. If gravity was slightly higher stars including our sun would find their life expectancy greatly reduced. The question then has to be, is this good fortune by design or chance?' I had to wait quite a long time after my application to the society before I received the invitation to present a talk. I knew the reason for this was to for them to do a detailed background check. I had no problems with that; the problem I had was when I saw the three subjects, which had been selected. The subjects are changed for each new applicant apparently so there is no possibility of lecture by memory. I had three days to prepare. The first Subject was ''On the evolution of the human eye'' It did not take me long to dismiss this one. I know that arguments have raged over this subject. I have of course had an interest; it is a fascinating subject. It is also a subject were one could come to disaster very quickly when talking to people who couldn't be fooled. One would only have to go on the wrong tangent and although the lecture may have been commendable it could fail you miserably. No-- that one was out. The second subject was '' On the frontal Lobe'' Now this was better, there being plenty of scope here. However after a little thought I realised I would just be quoting facts that had been investigated by others over many years; there would be nothing I could add personally, and no matter how good I presented the talk I knew it would not be good enough. I realised that this was (The Stooge) subject and I was grateful that I had spotted it. The last subject ''On Accident or Design'' was the one I would go for. This was a subject that had fascinated me for years, and one that I knew I could talk about without any trouble. My memory is poor these days but I knew that plenty of facts were available and the subject offered such scope. The problem was the time limit given for the lecture. It would have to be condensed and the most important bits included. I would not try to influence one way or the other so could not fail on that score. 'Excuse me for a moment gentlemen' I had stopped to have a drink of water and to relax for a few seconds. This was perfectly normal and acceptable during a lecture, and I used the short break to gain eye contact with a few more members of the group before continuing At this point I went quite deeply into a few physics effects. It is not my intention to bore you with theory; however I will give a very simple explanation as it is very important part of the lecture. I went on to discuss (The strong nuclear force.) Very briefly this force glues protons and neutrons together in the nucleus of the atom. This bonding is responsible for all our elements. It seems that if this force was only two per-cent weaker only hydrogen would exist. If the binding force was slightly stronger no hydrogen would be found. No hydrogen means no water or food, and the sun would not function. I then discussed (The weak nuclear force) this force is critical because it allows our sun to burn at just the correct rate. This controlled burn gives us life; without the force we would incinerate. I then asked my audience (not expecting a reply at this time) if this fine tuning was by accident or design. Noticing that my amber light was blinking told me that I had just thirty seconds to wind down. I finished bang on the dot. There was no obvious reaction from the group before me---after a few seconds a gentleman stood up and asked me to relax for a few minutes. This gentleman then went round his colleagues and who were now in small clusters and exchanged words. He then approached me and told me I could have two minutes to describe how I thought my lecture would be received, and then I would be asked some questions. I again took my place on the podium. 'Gentlemen, I would like to think that my lecture could have been presented anywhere and understood. I deliberately tried to keep it interesting and understandable. I know that you gentlemen are aware that a lecture on this subject could take a whole day and still not cover all the points. It was my intention to raise just a few of the many points well enough to possibly start a good discussion.' The guy who seemed to be in charge of proceedings then told me they had just two questions. I was relieved to hear there were to be just two. 'Here is our first question. What is the significance in the Earth's distance from the sun?' After about ten seconds I answered. 'Gentlemen our earth is just the right size for our existence. If the earth was only slightly larger, gravity would be stronger and hydrogen would collect--being unable to escape the increase in gravity, this factor would render the earth unsuitable for life. If the earth were slightly smaller our life sustaining oxygen would escape and surface water would evaporate. In either scenario life would not be possible. The earth's distance from the sun is the most amazing thing. Studies of the ratio of the earth's radius and distance from the sun concluded that human life would not be possible if the earth had been just five per-cent nearer the sun, because of overheating of the earth. If we had been placed just one per-cent further away from the sun, runaway ice covering would have occurred thousands of years ago. The earth also rotates at just the right speed to maintain comfortable temperatures. Were this speed faster or slower the extremes in temperature would mean life was impossible. These factors would appear to have been calculated very carefully.' 'Thank you and here is our final question. How does the second law of thermo-dynamics fit in here?' Again I needed a few seconds to reply, they were clearly testing my immediate knowledge. I answered. 'If you bought a new building and a new car and left both alone. The building would become a ruin and the car a wreck. This law applies to the universe also, but there we see order constantly maintained. The study of entropy or orderliness of our observable universe shows it to be unchanged. Who is maintaining it?' 'We take that to mean that you are for design then' I wasn't expecting this question, and they knew it--all eyes were on me. I didn't know what their thoughts were and I certainly wasn't going to compromise myself anyway, so I answered. 'Gentlemen I would most definitely have to come down on the side of design. It is my opinion that we are not here through accident.' 'We wish to thank you for your lecture, please be seated for a while.' The jury now departed into an adjoining room, and very soon afterwards a charming young lady entered from another door and offered me tea or coffee. Whist drinking my coffee the young lady told me that the decision on my application for membership would take a while, and would be delivered to me privately. She wished me good luck as I left the building a few minutes later. That lecture took place three weeks ago, and this morning a courier arrived with an envelope, which I had to sign for. It had a very distinguished emblem on the front. There was no mistake where it was from. I haven't had the courage to open it yet---
Archived comments for ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
RoyBateman on 10-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Now there was I thinking you were joining the funny-handshake gang...but this lot sound even more weird! Good start for a film script here, methinks? It's all a bit deep for a Monday morning, and I'm on the side of accident myself - but your arguments are, as ever, cogent and well-presented. It's a good job we don't all think alike, eh? Much to think about here - and a cliff-hanger too! Excellent.
ps There you are - you made the top slot AT LAST!! Break out a bottle of Vimto!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 10-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Roy, I will have to see that to believe it LOL. I am only on a very brief visit to the site to do a quick edit and I spotted a comment. Couldn't resist peeping--wasn't sure how this would go down. 😉 I am just going to the tip to dump some garage debris, then for a run, then maybe I can have a few minutes here. lol. As always thank you for your entertaining comments...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 10-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Gerry, a very instructive and enjoyable read. Now you have me wondering what is in the letter. Let me know....please!!!!
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, Thanks for your comment--with regards to the letter, I haven't opened it yet. lol.

Gerry.

sirat on 10-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
I have a love of the philosophy of science which goes way back, and would have been pleased to be given your subject to talk on. All the ground you covered and a great deal more can be found in Martin Rees' book "Just Six Numbers". You didn't include his conclusion though, which was that this apparent fine tuning of the universe for life could be accounted for in a number of ways: e.g. by the possible existences of many "universes" differing slightly in their physical constants, only a few of which were suitable for life and harboured life. But since we are here that tells us that our particular "universe" is one of the lucky ones. I'm afraid there are two scientific errors that I noticed in what you have said: the first one concerns thermodynamics. The universe as a whole obeys the second law of thermodynamics perfectly as far as we know. It is only in local pockets where energy is available to overcome entropy that order increases or fails to decrease. The steam engine which gets its energy from burning coal is an example of this. The planet earth which gets its energy from fusion reacions in the sun is another. Systems to which energy is added from outside are not subject to the law. It applies only to closed systems. In the universe as a whole entropy (disorder) is indeed increasing steadily and will eventually lead to what cosmologists call "the heat death of the universe" when it becomes copmpletely structureless, all matter being disdtributed with perfect regularity throughout all space. Your second error I admit is implied rather than stated, but you seem to confuse the size of the earth with its distance from the sun. A bigger (heavier?) earth would not necessarily orbit further from the sun, nor would a lighter one orbit closer, unless of course you assumed that each body started out with exactly the same energy of motion. But in general there is no relationship between a planet's size and where it orbits. At least one of the the outermost planets (Pluto) is extremely small and light. You are right that size matters with planets, and also rate of rotation and the other things you mention, but I don't see why hydrogen in the atmosphere should be a problem, unless you mean it would capture too much oxygen (as water). Even then water is breathable (to aquatic creatures) so I think this argument is weak. The truth is that we don't know how finely tuned conditions would need to be for the evolution of life of some kind. We have only one example to go on. If we find living things elsewhere, as I'm sure we will eventually, we'll be able to place a lot more confidence in statements about minimum requirements.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 10-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
David. First thank you for your comment.
You will realise that I barely covered the numerous points which could have been included in this lecture. All the points I mentioned 'however briefly' were substantiated by my reference books. It may be because of the brevity of the talk and even more the brevity of this article that my meaning may not have been abundantly clear on some points.

The talk did actually cover more of the working of the universe in some detail. A longish section on RNA and DNA, and how life could have started, and a some other pertinent points. It was not my intention to present a scientific paper here, but just to provide an interesting and easy read.

This article would not have been any good on here had it been longer. IE. I could not have possibly reproduced the whole lecture. As to whether it is accurate or acceptable I leave for others to decide. The lecture was given without much time for preperation

Once again thank you for your response.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

niece on 11-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Gerry, I hope you’ve opened the envelope by now…I found the lecture very interesting and easy-to-follow(for my small brains). I agree with you, we are not here by accident, it’s too obvious. There is definitely something or someone out there who does these amazing things for you!Regds,niece

Author's Reply:
Niece, thank you for reply. It is never easy writing something like this. It has to be kept readable and interesting or it will die. 'I think this is dying' 😉
I am pleased you agree everything is not just result of accident. I have only brushed the surface of the possibilities in the above post. With respect to small brains--don't worry there are lots of those about including my own lol.

Gerry xxx.

Apolloneia on 11-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
This subject On Accident or Design fascinates me immensely. Electromagnetic theories too. The Pythagorean theory of elements and worlds spiraling upwards and the Laws of Physics... A very good strory/article Gerry, the flow and ending just perfect.
Nicoxxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 11-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Nico, yes indeed all the points I touched on are fascinating.
All will be revealed one day 🙂
Thank you for the comment and the pick.

Gerry xxx.

PS and the ten. x.

Author's Reply:

Mala on 13-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Gerry,
I envy you for having the chance to give a lecture on such an interesting topic. I was going to do my thesis on a very similar topic but was advised against it. Think you have balanced every thing just right. It is very interesting and I would advice you to open the letter and accept your associate membership.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 13-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Mala, thank you for reading this and for your encouraging words.
Regards

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 13-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
I thought you did this extremely well, Gerry. Your subject matter is close to my own heart (as I think you will know.) Here's hoping for the outcome to be satisfying and fruitful for you.
Griffonner

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 13-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Griff, Thank you for your understanding--I know you realise it was not an easy subject, as did Mala.
I can assure you that the result was satisfying ;-).

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 15-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Hi Gerry.

Great piece. You probably guessed I'd like it. Funnily I was just talking to a friend recently about the Anthropic Principle - I reviewed Paul Davies book ' The Accidental Universe' in the
1980's. And the points you raise are those quoted as basis for the strong or the weak A.P. – as you doubtless are aware. But again you’ve shown how well you can popularise these concepts. Though having said that, the term Anthropic Principle is in a sense an attempt to sweep the design implications under the carpet. The favoured version of the principle says that we observe a universe with all these incredible coincidences because we are by definition the winners of a cosmic lottery – the quantum dice had to be thrown umpteen times to get new variations on the laws of nature in different universes (e.g. from quantum many worlds or bubble-sprouting multiverse) until the combination was finally lucky enough – strong, electro-weak and gravitational forces in exactly the right ratio to allow stable galaxies and stars to form, some of which would have planets in the biosphere stable enough over long periods to allow evolution to proceed to intelligent creatures. But reading your piece the thought struck me that never had before: if it’s not God throwing the dice here then who or what? It#s part of the same question raised by Hawking – the equations of relativity and quantum mechanics are well and good, but who said they had to be incorporated in reality or who breathed fire into the equations? Who fleshed out the possibilities? Your’re right as well to have your lecturer avoid the usual evolution of eye example, as e.g. I think it was Humphreys in his book ( ref later) who showed how an eye could in principle evolve from a light sensitive spot on a membrane. Though I haven’t yet seen the proof that natural selection alone would allow that to happen in hundreds of millions of years. So those cosmic coincidences are stronger evidence of at least a divine dice thrower. And I suspect any standard science board would have rejected your lecturer, since this design issue has become so politicised. Maybe the term Anthropic Principle is an attempt to paper over this crack in the anti-design argument.
Regards,
Hugh.


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 15-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Hugh, Yes I thought this must draw you in.:-)
I had indeed heard of the Cosmic lottery and dice theories.
My ref books told me that the chances of everything being chance were too incredible to even contemplate. Could you ever put all the words of WS into a drum and take them out one by one to make even one sonnet. I think not. But then what do I know 😉 The purpose of the lecture was not necessarily to be overly pedantic. It was to present an intelligent understandable and interesting paper. I realise it could be pulled to pieces and probably would be. I think I got off quite lightly. lol. Thank you for your interesting response.
It is a subject I shall follow with interest.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 16-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Hi again Gery,
Let me just come back on this for a Sunday morning cogitation. Funny how things turn out - years ago I wouldn't have thought it, but by chance i got to know one of the few physicists working on the theory of Burkhard Heim (www.heim-theory.com or pages in Wikipedia that I started on Heim and have been edited ad nauseum), which is a form of quatum gravity and for my money the best bet for a Theory of Everything (TOE). Points for: Heim was an eccentric genius and his theory predicts the masses of all sub-atomic particles to great accuracy. Points against: he didn't leave enough notes to fill in gaps in the calcualtions. Anyway, if he's right, then all particle masses are fixed and the forces too. The only free parameters in his theory are h (Planck's constant), G (Grav constant) and c (velocity of light). So the only way to get other universes with different (not so ' lucky' ) states of galaxies, planets etc. is to twiddle h, G or c. But who is leaning back with the instruction booklet tuning the knob on these parameters? Maybe when quantum gravity is further refined it will also fix G and c and maybe even h. Then there would be no multi-worlds but just this, the best of all possible. Makes ya think, eh?
Ciao,
Hugh.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 16-10-2005
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Hugh Thank you for coming back--It is always nice to read what you have to say. I was listening to a live interview with Stephen Hawkin the other day. He doesn't seem to have added anything new re- TOE. but he sure is an interesting guy. It is easy to be classified as a crank if you don't adopt the party line. But who's to say what is right. 😉

Gerry.



Author's Reply:

walters on 24-02-2006
ON ACCIDENT OR DESIGN. (The Lecture)
Good Going, Gerry! I regret however that you did not mention the Krotrons who are maintaining the Works.

Author's Reply:
David, LOL--the Krotons may be maintaining your works,,,,
But I can see the guy who is maintaining mine 😉

(A rolling stone is worth two in the bush)

Thanks for reading and for commenting David. I hope all goes well with you over the pond.

Regards
Gerry.


On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia) (posted on: 07-10-05)
I found this poem in the depths of my computer,
whilst giving it a yearly clean up.
I would never have remembered it. It had somehow got
itself hidden and latched on to a sleeping file.
There was a heading on the poem stating it was
inspired by an article of Nicoletta's. I am afraid I just
cannot remember what that article was about.
I suspect it was on another site, many moons ago.
Anyway this is the poem I dug out, just as I found it,
warts and all. Maybe Nico will remember what inspired it--


The darkness was hurting my eyes The sunlight was making me cold Courage was making me frightened Fear was making me bold Promises made me suspicious Lies were making me glad Friends were making me worried The truth was making me sad So I turned to music--- Music dispels all my problems Sends all my troubles away Lifts my heart to the heavens Brings me joy everyday Music evokes many pleasures You will find them all if you try Music will make you happy Music will make you cry. So always turn to music You won't go wrong if you do No matter what hardship life dishes out- Music will pull you through.
Archived comments for On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
niece on 2005-10-07 09:30:16
Re: On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Dear Gerry,
There is nothing in the world which heals broken souls like music. Nice poem!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-10-07 11:13:26
Re: On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Hi Gerry, I listened to your fine audio file and read it again. Music has helped me a lot back then and music helps me now. Judging from the first stanza I think that it's probably when I posted "Last breath" that you were inspired to write it or perhaps when I posted song lyrics which I wrote for my brother's music. Must find those lyrics, they're probably in the depths of my computer too.
Fear made me bold in fact too bold, and yes I was very suspicious of promises and yes lies many sweet little lies. In any case, it IS music and it will always be music what pulls me through no matter what hardship life dishes out. I'm glad you found your very nice poem and that you published here on UKA. Cheers my friend! and a big Thank you 😀
Nicoxxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-07 12:05:47
Re: On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
niece, yes you are right my friend, music has a superb healing property. it has the power to affect me much more than any other emotion.
Glad you liked this little poem.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-07 12:11:18
Re: On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Nico, well I know it is not a masterpiece--but it must have been written from the heart at the time, and whatever it was that inspired it must have been quite strong. I am glad I found it, and it is my pleasure to dedicate to you.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 10-07-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
I'm sure we all understand and agree with you on the importance of music. Enjoyed the audio, great piece of music. Enjoyed all the poem, especially the first two verses.
Karen x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 07-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Karen, glad this worked for you--I feel happier because you mentioned the music.
I wasn't sure if it worked 😉

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 07-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Gerry, agree with everything you wrote. Loved the music and the reading of your fine poem.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:
D, thank you, I am pleased it worked for you.
I may have another look in the depths of my pooter 😉

Gerry.

Jolen on 07-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Gerry,
I am glad you found this, I too am a lover of music and yes, it does all of this for me as well. I like the rhyme here and the contradictions are wonderful.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 07-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Jolen,
I am so pleased you liked this, thank you...

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:

allieuk on 08-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
I think I should listen to "I will Survive" on repeat 😉 lol

A x

Author's Reply:
Allie, I am sure you could be more adventurous 😉

Gerry xxx.

RoyBateman on 08-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Couldn't agree more, Gerry - where would we be without music? The world would be a much sadder place...deprived of possibly its most powerful emotion-wringer. Well put indeed!

Author's Reply:
Thanks Roy, I agree fully Roy--it certainly wrings me especially Wagner. 🙂

Gerry.

Kat on 08-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Hi Gerry

I think this is a super dedication to Apolloneia and I really enjoyed your poem and the wonderful music!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:
Thanks Kat, for your kind remarks.

Gerry xxx.

allieuk on 08-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Quote: Reply from Gerry
Allie, I am sure you could be more adventurous 😉


OK Gerry, how about Sexual Healing 😉 rofl

A x


Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 10-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Great piece Gerry enjoyed reading and listening.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 11-10-2005
On The Power of Music. + Sound. (Dedicated to Apolloneia)
Thanks Simon, glad you enjoyed this one...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Perception. + sound. (posted on: 03-10-05)

A short poem about colours. Do you take them for granted?

Have you ever considered the spectrum The pleasure that colour can bring? The power of perception-- Is a truly remarkable thing. Have you ever looked close at a flower Seen a rose through a drop of dew? Have you ever crept up on a butterfly And pondered the symmetry of hue? Take time to enjoy every colour Their wonders for all eyes to see From the fresh sparkling green of the spring To the shades when the leaves part the tree. If you add all the colours together You will always end up with white. And remember if we didn't have colour You would be in perpetual night. Colours console, relax and bring calm, Utilize all the pleasures they bring. The power of perception-- Is a truly remarkable thing.
Archived comments for Perception. + sound.
karenuk on 2005-10-03 12:03:47
Re: Perception. + sound.
Beautiful, as ever, loved this bit specially - 'pondered the symmetry of hue'. Great audio too. I don't know if you're interested, but reading submission details for Countryside Tales this morning, I think this would be exactly what they're looking for.
Karen xx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-03 15:47:01
Re: Perception. + sound.
Karen, Thank your for your nice comment on this poem.
I will certainly take a look at 'countryside tales'

Gerry xxx.


Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-10-03 18:20:34
Re: Perception. + sound.
I enjoyed this very much, Gerry, especially,

'Seen a rose through a drop of dew?'

Lovely work.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-03 20:27:27
Re: Perception. + sound.
Kat, Glad you enjoyed this Kat. I actually had a slightly different version of this poem published.
You obviously have an eye for colour 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-10-04 01:38:40
Re: Perception. + sound.
You're very right Gerry, this is a very good poem of yours, the power of perception is a truly magical thing. Cheers.
Nico xxx.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-10-04 01:40:09
Re: Perception. + sound.
forgot to mention that the second stanza is my favourite... 🙂

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-10-04 08:25:12
Re: Perception. + sound.
I think that is one thing I am not guilty of doing…ignoring colours. I love colours. Very nice poem, Gerry!
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-04 11:09:07
Re: Perception. + sound.
Thanks Nico, it's easy to take all these things for granted. We should give them a bit more thought from time to time...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-04 11:11:51
Re: Perception. + sound.
Thanks Nico...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-04 11:18:22
Re: Perception. + sound.
Niece, I remember being on the beach, not far from where you live, and watching a group of young ladies who had just been in the sea with their Sari's on. They all stood in a line at the waters edge and held their sari's out at arms length--the colours were magnificent. Neither my wife or I will ever forget that picture.
Glad you love colours too. Thanks.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-10-05 23:14:23
Re: Perception. + sound.
Yes I found very interesting what you asked "Do you take them for granted?" since I'm writing a poem on the matter of what we take for granted and it's about vision. How arrogant is human nature... how sickly arrogant.
Nicoxxx.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-10-06 13:00:58
Re: Perception. + sound.
Gerry, I enjoyed your poem, and found it to be packed with some wonderful lines. The flow of this one was spot on.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-10-06 17:20:58
Re: Perception. + sound.
I like this. No. I never never take colour for granted. It is an endless wonder.
Daff

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-06 18:03:35
Re: Perception. + sound.
D, Thanks and glad you enjoyed this little ode to colour. Wouldn't it be awful if we lived in a monochrome world.

Gerry

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-06 18:06:05
Re: Perception. + sound.
Daff, Yes indeed, colour is an endless wonder.
Thank you for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Of Physical Stress and Colour. (posted on: 03-10-05)
The effects of physical stress can be quite dramatic.

Strange things can happen when one is under great physical stress. When I was training for distance running, I used to put myself under tremendous physical stress. This is not anything personal, many people have experienced weird things while in this state.

What happens apparently is that under prolonged physical stress, the brain is prompted to go into overproduction of endorphins. Endorphins are a natural group of peptide neurotransmitters occurring in the brain. These under normal conditions can produce pain relief and soporific effects. However under prolonged physical stress some funny things can happen.

During my training I ran many miles on my own, but on some occasions I also ran with colleagues. From conversations I had, I began to realize that I was not alone in experiencing strange effects, although I soon found out that my forte was somewhat different to my companions.

One of my running friends was a medical doctor, and he was the first person that I spoke to about my experience. First let me tell you of the experience of two of my friends.
One of them used to experience a floating action, this happened on a hard run probably seven-minute miles, at maybe ten miles. He described it as running on air. It didn't happen every time, but was frequent. Another friend found his memory increased dramatically during this period.
There are other effects that people have experienced.

What happened to me was totally different and I have never heard of anyone else having this same phenomenon. My colour perception increased, it was the weirdest thing, and I was glad to be able to relate it to my doctor friend. He had not heard of this particular one before, was very interested in it, but not overly concerned as the brain can do very funny things when under stress. The strange thing was that it stayed increased sometimes for hours.

When I returned from training runs instead of going straight for a shower I used to go and look at flowers! I saw the most intense colours and shades; it would not be possible for me to describe them.

When my Marathon running came to an end, so did my hard training sessions, but although I do not experience the same intensity of colour I am convinced I still have a high colour perception, and indeed still spend long periods just looking at coloured objects. They fascinate me.

I have studied colour theory in depth during my professional life, but cannot find any reason why my colour acuity was enhanced, and apparently has stayed that way, other than by physical stress.

The answer seems to be the morphiate type substance produced under physical stress, which gives a high, and produces strange effects. I have never taken any drugs other than the odd pain relief tablet, but I understand that these results are not entirely dissimilar to effects described from people who do take drugs.

Maybe the answer to drug takers is take up running instead, you may still get the high and you will be a darn sight fitter.

By the way my favourite colour is purple, there seems to be more variations of this colour than any other. Purple flowers fascinate me.

I have posted a short poem related to this article called Perception.
I think you will appreciate how I felt when I wrote the poem.



Archived comments for Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Easyd on 2005-10-03 11:26:07
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Fascinating, Gerry:

Yes, that's a fascinating effect on 'qualia' caused by the drug-like exhilaration of exercise. In my own case I usually experience a sense of calm and well being after a lengthy cycle or swim. Perception enhancement if any seems to occur when I'm relaxed and it's sunny - shapes and colours are then enhanced tremendously, impelling me to paint or draw. I dig purple too - though each colour to its own, as they exist often more in their relation to each other as in Goethe's clever though clueless colour theory. What fascinates me most these days is the philosophical aspect of the subjective perception - amazing in itself, even without being enhanced.
Lol,
Hugh

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-03 12:02:19
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Thanks Hugh, I wasn't sure if this was a correct subject for this 'more romantic' site lol.
Anyway--if you found it fascinating then all is okay;-)

Best
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-10-03 12:45:55
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Very interesting, Gerry - as you say, like the effects of mind-expanding drugs. (Or so I imagine!!) Weird, what the brain can do, in all sorts of circumstances, and this colour thing sounds quite offbeat. I've never heard of it before - you must be a medical marvel! Then again, it's something extra, and all obtained naturally. Can't fault that. Fascinating write.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-10-03 13:38:33
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Purple's my favourite colour too.

Interesting article there. I agree, running must be a healthier way of getting a high than artificial substances. Unfortunately, I have no energy for running, so will have to stick to my one addiction - tea!

Karen xx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-03 15:34:26
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Thanks Roy. Mental stress seems to affect people differently, so I suppose it can be expected that physical stress can do the same. It is fascinating subject. I have had many discussions about it.

Gerry.

PS, (glad you only imagineed it) lol.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-03 15:37:44
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Karen, there is something about purple--many people place it highly on their list. Thanks for your comment--and don't overdose on that tea. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-10-03 18:51:57
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
If that don't beat all! Has your running-doctor friend got an explanation? Funny you should have a sweet spot for purple, your brain must have been jiggled toward the ultra-violet. Do you suppose the constant pounding would have something to do with it? You've set me off wondering again, Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-03 20:24:07
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Harry. My preference for purple is just a personal choice, my colour perception is equal right across the spectrum. Doctors cannot explain this stress reaction--they just refer you to the wonderful workings of the brain 🙂
Thanks for the comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-10-04 22:41:52
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Interesting piece, Gerry. Green is my favourite - so many variations. Take care now.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-10-05 06:34:09
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Gerry, this is a fascinating article. And I am sure for many who read this, the information is going to be completely new.
I think the colours on the rainbow are the most amazing and since that is such a rare sight, probably the next on the list would be the rainbow colours as seen through a bubble...
Regds,niece


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-05 14:39:19
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.

Michael, Yes green is a lovely colour. Thanks for the comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-05 14:45:19
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
niece, You are correct--bubbles act like lenses and can give amazing visual effects. Thank's for your
comment. 'Rainbows are common in the UK' 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-10-06 10:54:24
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Hi Gerry, as I suffer from all sorts of stress as a woman and mother and you know...all the other hats we wear, I found your article very interesting. Sounds like you are tripping MAN!lol. I am sure the effects you describe are indeed similar to the ones induced by taking various drugs.

That natural high, is what most adrenalin junkies and sports people strive for in normal life. I have found it when dancing. I can dance for hours and hours, with no challenging drugs at all!lol

I often wonder why younger people feel they have to pop a pill or two or three, to dance all night? when I just seem to be able to just dance!

That feeling of floating however, can be caused by pure stress and not only physical imo. I get that floating feeling quite a lot myself!rofl the thing to do with stress is not hold onto it. If something pisses you off, get rid of the stress in a constructive way! Don't ignore it. I heard that stress can also build up toxic chemicals in your system and cause all sorts of nasty health problems either at the time or as time passes.

Stress is altogether, a very nasty hazzard of the times we live and die in.

9 from me.

Floating off....heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp

Tai

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-06 11:20:56
Re: Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Tai, thanks for the comment. I am sure you are right. I was only referring to physical stress here of course. In fact it is claimed that physical stress is the best way to get rid of mental stress. Apparently it is very hard to suffer both at the same time. Fortunately I have never had any mental stress. But I do understand how nasty it is...

Gerry. xxx

PS don't float too high. lol.

Author's Reply:

Flapdoodle on 26-02-2006
Of Physical Stress and Colour.
Hi Gerry
Relatively new to UKA - hence my finding our interesting article very late.

I'm short-sighted and normally wear specs/contacts during "everyday" life - but when I took up running I started going out without either.

I found that when I got back from my run (of just 3 miles), my unaided vision was very sharp for a while after. It was fantastic !
I was too gobsmacked to check the impact on colours. I shall try the flower-test when I'm back from my next run (although I'll make sure that my wife's not looking - she thinks I'm daft enough as it is).

Regards
John

Author's Reply:
John sorry I am late replying to you--I never got the notification.
Let me know how the flower test went 😉

Best---
Gerry.


Opportunities. + sound. (posted on: 26-09-05)
Opportunities:-
Don't let them slip away.

How dumb the tongue that will not speak When words just need to be said How deaf the ears that will not hear When words of forgiveness are aired. How tense the hand that will not touch When that's all it takes to go on How closed the nose that will not smell When aromas around are so strong. How tight the mouth that will not taste The flavours that lay on the tongue How weak the legs that will not move When the race is there to be won. How blind the eye that will not see The child or the dog at play How foolish the man who dares to think That he is here to stay.
Archived comments for Opportunities. + sound.
chrissy on 2005-09-26 10:08:48
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Very true and something -- at least some of it -- we're all guilty of.
Well done.
chrissy

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-26 10:40:03
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Thanks chrissy, it is not meant to be too obvious--I have tried to put create some deeper meaning.
I had some music on but I lost it somewhere 😉

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-09-26 12:53:43
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Hi Gerry, I like your accent. And I like your poetic views too.

9 from me.

Smiling, trying to think who you remind me of!

That's it...John Prescott! Sorry in advance.

Tai

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-26 13:52:38
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Tai---Prescott? Well I am not big in the brain department, but Prescott hasn't got one at all. lol.

Anyway I am tall dark and handsome 😉

Thanks for dropping in.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-09-26 16:14:48
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
We are certainly less human when our senses are dulled by selfishness. A great lesson in humility, Gerry. We can all learn.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-26 18:11:53
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Harry you are so right--one of the scourges of our so called society...

Thank you.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-09-27 04:07:24
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
A good read, Gerry!

'How weak the legs that will not move
When the race is there to be won.'

Enjoyed lots.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-09-27 09:48:13
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Gerry,
this one is just beautiful! Enjoyed every thought and every word…
Regds,niece


Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-09-27 10:32:22
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Outstanding write Gerry.

A very meaningful piece.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-27 12:16:25
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Kat. Thanks. A few things prompted this poem, i think people will understand what I am getting at...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-27 12:18:11
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
niece--so glad you liked this little poem. Thank you for your kind comment.

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-27 12:20:50
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Simon,thanks. I wasn't sure about this poem. Didn't know if UKA was ready for it LOL.

Glad you understood...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-09-27 13:25:56
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Ooh, very deep at the end there...you've put the wind up me now! I reckon you're saying something that we all feel but don't actually want to admit, right? Except for me, but that's only because I'm perfect. Okay, nearly....
Good one, Gerry - a universal truth, perhaps?

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-27 16:59:57
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Roy..lol. Yes I'm sure you are nearly perfect. Not many about. Many fall well short of the mark though--never reach there potential! but still think they are perfect. C'est la vie...

Thanks, and I hope your little probs are sorted 🙂

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-09-27 22:31:06
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Gerry,

All I can say is 'AMEN'!!!! Too true, and so very well done. A fave for me. Thank you.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-28 17:38:28
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Jolen, Subjects like this don't always go down well.
But it makes a change from the normal rubbish don't you know-- lol.
Many thanks...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2005-09-29 23:25:04
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
We miss so much when we close ourselves and our minds, don't we?
Very true words. I like this very much.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-30 11:02:14
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Gee, glad you liked this little poem.
Thank you for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

len on 2005-09-30 22:59:18
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
"And the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls-And echo the sounds of silence" Paul Simon. Great think piece, Gerry...len

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-10-06 18:12:06
Re: Opportunities. + sound.
Len, thank you for your meaningful comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

MLAllen on 17-01-2006
Opportunities. + sound.
Good for you, Gerry. You speak the truth. Well done. ML

Author's Reply:


The Scum have a Party. + Sound. (posted on: 23-09-05)

The poem is the result of a very surreal dream that I had.
I suppose it was nightmarish--It was certainly disturbing.
It may surprise you.


I decided I'd have a big party And I thought I'd invite all the scum. I didn't even know what scum looked like And didn't know if they would come. I sent all the invites and prepared for the day I bought lots of good food and drink I cleaned all the house and made everything nice But I don't really know how scum think. Then at last the fatal day had arrived And I saw the scum start to appear They all seemed to look fairly reasonable Perhaps there was nothing to fear. But soon things began to get noisy They said they were just having fun But when they starting to wreck my place I thought what on earth have I done? There was scum in the lounge and the kitchen There was scum in the bedrooms too There was scum in the hall and the bathroom What on earth was I going to do? There was a horrible smell all over the house Their actions were disgusting to see.. The language they used was appalling. And the scum wouldn't listen to me. The male scum were really disgraceful I just couldn't believe what I saw But the lady scum, oh my goodness You should see what they did on the floor. Above all the stench and the awful smoke Their sickening behaviour and din. The filth and damage and loss of control There were more scum trying to get in. I realised I had made a dreadful mistake You just cannot be nice to scum I just wanted it all to come to an end Just why had I acted so dumb? Then the strangest thing started to happen. The scum were beginning to fall There were piles of scum all over my house I just had to step over it all. It took a long time to clear all the filth. Yes-- my house will once more be okay. But if I should live for a hundred years. I will never forget this scum day. So if you're thinking of having a party And you have any scum down your way Just be careful when you write your invites And make sure the damned scum stay away.
Archived comments for The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
karenuk on 2005-09-23 10:36:52
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
A clever idea and the rhyme and rhythm worked very well. As always, I enjoyed the audio especially, but felt the music wasn't right or was at least too loud.
Karen xxx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-23 10:48:08
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Karen, thank you for being brave enough to comment on this post 🙂
The music as you probably know was 'Danse Macabre' It was difficult to find a piece to fit. this seemed quite appropriate. I did realise that it may be a little loud after mixing. I will watch that in future. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-09-23 13:01:17
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Dear Gerry,
I dream a lot too, some are so real and scary, I cannot remember them without feeling a sense of awe. Yet once again, your poem can be interpreted in several ways …
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-09-23 14:56:07
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Who were they, Gerry? Over here I guess you'd call them Democrats. You maintained the dream-like character very well and although I haven't listened to the recording - I get the impression of Fellini's "Satyricon."

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-23 15:02:51
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
niece, thank you for your comment--this was a real weirdo. I normally just have very pleasant dreams.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-23 15:06:35
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Harry, Democrats? no they were a lot worse than that lol. It's very difficult to describe a dream like this. I suppose it is a little analogous, but it is as near as I could get. It was horryfying...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-09-23 15:19:58
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Tongue firmly in cheek of course Gerry! I liked the recording it sound good, nice rhythm too Love Val x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-09-23 16:42:51
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Well, it serves you right for asking a load of uka members round. It wasn't me who was sick in the lampshade...not the first time, anyway. Honest.
Blimey, mate, I bet you were glad to wake up from this one! I blame that caledonian firewater....

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-23 17:19:36
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Val. I always try to keep my tongue there---it does get out though from time to time. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-23 17:24:47
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Do you think I should cancel the party we discussed Roy? Could this have been a premonition?
NO it's not possible 😉
I never touch that Scottish stuff--hic--it gives me nightmares...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Griffonner on 2005-09-23 21:26:40
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Dreams can be very weird, and you have managed to turn that surrealism into a very effective - and I found, quite humourous - piece of poetry. Very clever.
Griffonner

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-23 22:08:44
Re: The Scum's Party. + Sound.
Grif, thank you for that encouraging remark...

Regards

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-09-24 20:25:08
Re: The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
I think this is excellent, it certainly made me laugh! It was a pleasure to read. And the audio is damn fine too. ;^)

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-09-24 23:53:53
Re: The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
Strange one, Gerry. Still dwelling on it. Good rhythm 'n' rhyme. Good to encounter an intriging piece. Catch you later.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-25 11:44:03
Re: The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
Claire, thank you for your comment and the pick. I was hoping someone would detect a glimmer of humour here--and you did 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-25 11:46:08
Re: The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
Michael, I tried many ways to get this down on paper--this was the nearest I could get. Thanks for the comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-09-27 22:28:58
Re: The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
Hi Gerry,
Loved the rhyme and ryhthm, but dammit, I had a good time there and can't for the life of me see why you won't have me back. lol

This was too much fun, sorta like that bash at your place. ;o)

Blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-28 17:44:04
Re: The Scum have a Party. + Sound.
Jolen, Yes your behavior wasn't all that bad.
That trick though--How did you do that???
I will take a chance and have you to my next one.
The others have no chance... 😉

Gerry

Author's Reply:


The Man In Front. + sound. (posted on: 19-09-05)
This is a reworking of a poem I posted about a year ago.
I think the changes will make the intended meaning clearer.


This man in front is following me It's weird I know but true I've tried so hard to shake him off, But he sticks to me like glue. How can he follow from the front? There's no sense in that I know But this man is trailing from the front On whatever route I go. This man in front is following, and I'm trying to break free It's impossible to shear the link; Why has he picked on me? Whenever I look forward I can always see this glow-- This man in front is always there, I can feel his dread, his woe. Sometimes he even turns around And mouths out words to me, I always try to hear his words; But there is no sound--you see. This man in front is following me I think I'll lose my mind You probably think the same as me! Why isn't he behind?
Archived comments for The Man In Front. + sound.
RoyBateman on 2005-09-19 08:29:37
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Yes, I remember...at first reading this seems jolly and whimsical, but is it? Is it more of a living nightmare? Depends on the reader's mood, I suppose... A fine example of something that could be taken several ways - it'll be interesting to see what others think!

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-19 10:12:28
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Well, I thought it was his shadow first of all, but I'm not sure!

Excellent audio as always, love hearing your voice bring life to your poems 🙂

Karen x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-19 11:51:02
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Karen, no not shadow. That was suggested before.
Thank you for your kind comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-19 11:53:27
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Roy, glad you could make it to these depths. Warm down here isn't it? lol. I think you beat the sound file;-)

PM.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-09-19 14:04:09
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
I like that Gerry. I see a religious message in it and when I read it that way the is great significance. Well done.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-19 14:26:20
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Harry, a religious message was not intended. However I can see a clear analogy, and fully understand you thinking that.
Thank you...

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-09-20 10:06:56
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Sure I read this before, to me I get a split personality.

I like it as the readers imagination can conjure various scenarios with this.

Audio is great by the way.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-20 11:28:47
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Simon, Yes I understand that is probably has many possible interpretations. I thought the clue would be in the small music clip. 🙂
Thanks for your comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Elfstone on 2005-09-20 21:24:16
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Fascinating poem Gerry; very enigmatic. I tried to listen to the audio, but it was going to be a 1.7megabyte download, which would have taken ages. I hope to get back to it when I have more time. Regards, Elfstone.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-20 23:18:38
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Thanks for the comment Elf. you need broadband it only takes seconds 🙂

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-09-21 06:07:28
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
Dear Gerry,
A beautiful piece of work! Two very different thoughts came to my mind while reading this poem...1) this could be a person's conscience trying to reach out to him 2) very simple- a ghost. I guess, the possibilities are endless.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-21 09:50:55
Re: The Man In Front. + sound.
niece, thank you for your views, you have got pretty close. 😉

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Supratik on 18-08-2014
The Man In Front. + sound.
The poem with layers of meanings is a marvellous read.

Author's Reply:


In An English Country Garden. + Sound. (posted on: 16-09-05)
Untill recently my wife and I had a holiday home in a small town in Nidderdale.
I wrote this poem there and it was published in the church magazine.
It is of course tongue in cheek 🙂

Why don't you feed your own things? you folk of Pateley Bridge. You seem to leave it all to us, from animal to midge. There is every kind of living thing, on the ground and in the air No matter how we feed them, they all return and stare. There are jackdaws, crows, and magpies, with small birds by the score. Ducks and geese and pigeons, they must think we own a store. These birds are all unfillable; we feel that we get stung! 'Cos' when they've eaten all our food, they come back with their young. The squirrels are insatiable and soon get in a rage, They not only eat the seed and nuts; they eat the bloody cage. There're rabbits bobbing all around. And hedgehogs call by too. We've even got some foxes, I swear to you-it's true. We feel we're feeding everything, even the ones just passing by, And early every morning there is such a hue and cry. So come on you folk of Pateley, we're really not that posh! Please start to feed your own things, Then we can save some DOSH.
Archived comments for In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Harry on 2005-09-16 14:02:26
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Thanks for the universal picture of the suburbanite bird feeder, Gerry. I often wonder what these critters might do if we weren't around to feed them - something monstrous no doubt.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-16 15:37:01
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
One small correction - 'even the one's just passing by' should be 'ones'.

Otherwise a lovely, gentle and picturesque view. Very English 🙂

Karen.

Author's Reply:

Abel on 2005-09-16 15:47:32
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Gerry, I enjoyed this one so much, your reading enhancing the whimsical feel here. And the music...perfect choice. Thanks so much for it.

Ward

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-09-16 16:02:32
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
I couldn't agree more - we buy bloody great 25 kg sacks of sunflower hearts, at an ever-accelerating rate too. Flippin' 'eck, where do they put it all? (Answers on a postcard, please to....)
Witty one, Gerry - and this is the first one I've listened to, so you're obviously a trendsetter. I'm just off to record my lengthier take on "War and Peace". That'll take a fortnight loading!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 16:18:27
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
On a serious note though Harry it is lovely to see them around. Did you get the sound track? I ask you because I had trouble earlier, and you were the first to read. Anyway it seems okay now.

Best wishes.
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 16:21:16
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Karen, I shall smack my 'puter'--it keeps making silly mistakes 😉
Thank you for the comment on my 'Very English poem'.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 16:26:11
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Ward, I am delighted that you enjoyed this poem.
The music is certainly one of my favourite light classical pieces. What else could I have chosen? 😉

Thank you.
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 16:34:55
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Roy, you always raise a smile from me 🙂
I think the 'war and peace' file may just be a tad too big.

We buy from the internet now--far too heavy to carry from the shops. We only have the smaller birds now at home--no geese or ducks. We still have squirrels, hedgehogs and foxes though, and yes frogs. They are apparently in decline so I am breeding them. They sometimes hop in to see us lol.

Gerry.
PS. we have Herons too.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2005-09-16 17:45:30
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
WONDERFUL reading, Gerry! - a real CLASSIC!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 18:38:45
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.

Michel, when I get comments like this--it makes my efforts seem worthwhile.
Thank you.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-09-16 20:25:59
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Nice rythmic, summery flow to this Gerry. Can't beat an English country garden (mine desperately needs my attention this weekend). Enjoyed this! Bye now.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-09-16 20:42:11
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Hey hun, great poem with a canny reading. ;^)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 20:59:59
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Michael, what do they say 'you are nearer to heaven in a garden,' thanks for the comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 21:02:52
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Claire. glad you liked the poem and reading--I just wish the quality was a bit better. I am going to try a different microphone.
Thanks for the comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gee on 2005-09-17 11:30:23
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Very well written, Gerry. I seem to collect all forms of wildlife in my garden. I think they assume it's some kind of restaurant.

Author's Reply:

teifii on 2005-09-17 13:22:16
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
I can really identify with this. I seem to feed all sorts of things. The latest is a hedgehog [or several for all I know]. One of the dogs is obsessed with them and goes out at night to bark at them, presumably because they don't lend themselves to being played with. The hedgehogs are quite unfazed and just sit there wiggling their noses, so now when the dogs are shut in for the night, I have to issue four plates of cat food -- three cats and a hedgehog plate.
Nive poem. And congratulations on mastering the technologiy for the sound; it's beyond me I fear.
Daff

Author's Reply:

walters on 2005-09-17 16:05:24
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
You're a jolly good bloke, Gerry, and you're flying high here! Say, are ppl animals?

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-17 16:23:32
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Gee, yes I know exactly what you mean 🙂
I suppose it is really...
Thanks for dropping by.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-17 16:29:07
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Daff, Thanks for the interesting comment.
If you have windows sound recorder it is fairly easy to do (you need a microphone too) let me know if you want some info ...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-17 16:35:28
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
David, you didn't comment on my accent. (Maybe you couldn't get the audio.)

Are people animals? Certainly they are ;-).
They are not vegetable or mineral LOL, it only leaves animal. What is your view?
Thanks for your comment--you make me smile...

Regards
Gerry

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-09-17 18:32:47
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Gerry,

This is delightful in every way. The reading is choice and the poem is too well done. I too feed all sorts of 'wild life' and you have given them such wonderful voice here. I like when you do 'tongue in cheek'.......lol

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-17 20:29:47
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Jolen, I had to be careful - churchgoers in the dales can soon take umbrage 😉

Thank you for your kind comment...
Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-09-20 10:10:04
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Great read Gerry really enjoyed this one.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-20 11:17:47
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Thanks Simon, glad you enjoyed...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-20 16:42:28
Re: In An English Country Garden. + Sound.
Tai-Li, No chance of saving 🙂 they are even more hungry at our permanent residence.
I think most people will recognise the song--even though it was written by an Australian. lol.
Thank you for your nice comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


phthalo blue. + sound. (posted on: 12-09-05)
One of my very early poems. Re-submitted with audio. I think...

We shared our hopes and thoughts it's true There were so many things that we would do. But destiny had its part to play, The forever blue was turning grey. Years have flown, toll has been paid, Routes planned out, and pathways laid; The forever blue that some now see, Still seems quite dark and grey to me. Life's journey is only leased that's true-- Please take the grey and return the blue. Our search for pleasure is never done, Just who is the selfish one? So unlock the doorthrow away the key And then perchance some blue we'll see. And in the seasons of my mind-- I pray for all, the blue we find. All the hopes and thoughts, I shared with you I return with love--wrapped in phthalo blue.
Archived comments for phthalo blue. + sound.
karenuk on 2005-09-12 09:36:44
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
That's a lovely poem, very soft and gentle. Unfortunately I couldn't get the sound to work.
Karen.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-12 10:44:21
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Karen, sorry you missed it, I had a little prob.
It should be OK now though. Thank you for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-09-12 20:18:04
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Gerry,

A tender and moving piece. Well done dear. I enjoyed this.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-12 21:21:48
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Jolen, thank you. Glad you enjoyed...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-09-13 05:46:28
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Very nice poem I couldn't get the sound to play right I enjoyed reading it though..love Erma

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-09-13 09:53:01
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Wonderful poem Gerry and the audio was great! The background music was a nice touch.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-13 11:31:17
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Simon, thanks for that. I don't think I had the audio quite right. It made me sound a bit sibilant. I think the sound thing will be interesting.

Cheers
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-13 11:33:53
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Erma, thanks for reading. Can you tell me what problem you had with the sound please.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-09-13 14:51:43
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Hi Gerry, I haven't forgotten Phthalo Blue, one of your most successful poems on thoughtcafe and I'm sure our dear old thoughtcafe friends *sigh* will still remember it as one of your best poems. Glad that you decided to submit it here and I even downloaded and listened to you reading it. The audio was very good and the background music an excellent choice! Cheers. Nic x.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-13 15:45:11
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Nic, It just seemed a good choice to add a reading to. I think it did benefit from a little Elgar. LOL.
Thank you for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-14 11:03:33
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
I got the audio to work this time & it was great, the music worked really well with the poem & I love your accent. I'm from Lincs myself, are you from Yorkshire??
Karen.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2005-09-14 18:32:53
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Warm, deep and atmospheric.
Perfectly modulated and paced. Strikingly effective read, Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-14 19:37:32
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Michel, thank you for your kind comment. Reading out loud is not as easy as writing 🙂

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-14 19:41:17
Re: phthalo blue. + sound.
Karen, Thank you for reading and commenting.
How could I disguise my accent? ;-).
I used to work a lot in Lincolnshire hospitals.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more) (posted on: 09-09-05)
A wedding in Crete. A super holiday.
A bit of history...

The invitation. The lovely card arrived in January and invited my wife and I to a wedding in Crete. It said 'Please share in celebrating our love and happiness in Kalives, followed by much feasting and dancing by the beach'. With the invitation came a list of possible places to stay, and a list of possible flights and times. The couple had met in Kalives in northern Crete, and decided it would be nice to return there for their wedding. A holiday in Crete seemed a great idea, and a wedding thrown in! Well it sounded too good to miss. We accepted the invitation and I e/mailed the contact we had been given in Kalives and booked a nice sounding place. We had no problem booking a flight on the Internet, and so in January we were all set for our holiday in Crete, which was to be on Friday 2nd Sept 2005 at 7.30pm. We had a long time to wait. The Journey. We had booked extra legroom on the Airbus 300 out of Manchester and had a most comfortable flight. A lovely meal of spicy chicken was enjoyed, and a nice bottle of wine supplemented the chicken. For entertainment Shirley was listening to a talking book, and I did a couple of crosswords and some Sudoku's. The four-hour flight seemed to pass very quickly, and we soon found ourselves descending into Chania Airport. Clearing the formalities and headed outside in to the glorious sunshine, we found our pre booked taxi waiting for us. Neither my wife or I had been to Crete before and we were soon enjoying the half-hour ride to our villa. The route took us on a coast road in an easterly direction and it wasn't long after we left the airport before we started to see some magnificent scenery. We kept getting a glimpse of a glorious mountain range in land, which we now know were the 'White Mountains' on our left was the vast expance of Souda Bay. We had to drive all the way round the bay and the views were, superb. We did not at this time realise the significance of this amazing bay, nor did we know the significance of the large cemetery full of white crosses, which we kept glimpsing on the shoreline. To say the taxi driver was completely mad would have been an understatement--he just did not like anyone in front of him. Double white lines and bad bends held no fear whatsoever for this guy. I was relieved to know we were in a Toyota at least they have decent brakes. Some thirty minutes later we arrived at the outskirts of Kalives. The driver took three left turns towards properties and then reversed out again before he finally announced we were there. This should have been 'Villa Petros' there were no signs telling us that it was---we had our doubts! We paid the twenty five Euro's and gave him a 10% tip--only because we were relieved to get there in one piece. Walking into the enclosed garden was like entering paradise; it was covered with the most delightful flowers and shrubs. We looked for someone to greet us; alas no one was about. I tried the door to the villa--it was open. It seemed like the one that we had booked so we entered and took our cases in. The place was spotless and the air conditioning was buzzing away, obviously awaiting guests--so we assumed we were those guests. Looking in the fridge we found bottled water and various other drinks, so being extremely thirsty we helped ourselves. On opening the patio doors a most amazing scene confronted us. The front of the villa looked directly onto Souda bay, and the Mediterranean was lapping our patio wall. I could have jumped from the patio into the warm waters of the Cretan Sea. This place was indeed a paradise. We unpacked and showered, found a Taverna about two hundred yards away and had a lovely meal of pepper steaks and delicious ice cream. Oh yes, and a litre of very acceptable wine. The next morning we still didn't know if we were in the correct place, not having had any contact of any kind. After breakfast we walked the five or six hundred meters to the charming Cretan town of Kalives. Finding the small hotel where we knew some of the other wedding guests were staying, I did some more investigating and found the guy who I had made the booking with. It was a relief to know we were indeed in the correct place. Iannis as he was called, had been tied up with other guests and assumed we would be okay. So far so good Two interesting people. We returned to our villa to lay out in the sun amongst the beautiful flowers of the gardens and listen to the waves rolling in. Whilst lying there still unable to believe our good fortune at being here, an elderly gentleman appeared. He introduced himself as Pappa Petros Iannis. He was in fact the guy who had built this villa, and was of course the father of Iannis. After telling him what a super place it was and asking him a few questions about Crete I asked him if he remembered the German occupation. He did, and in fact he had been a member of the Partisans resistance movement. He remembered the German paratroopers landing on Crete. He remembered the under equipped, battle fatigued and under-trained allied troops who fought gallantly to hold Crete, but who had to be evacuated -- Dunkirk style to Egypt. The elite German troops managed to capture an airfield and then were able to land heavy equipment. They had vastly superior fire-power and also many aircraft (mostly bombers) overhead. The British navy took a terrible pounding in Souda bay but apparently did a superb job getting many troops away. Retribution by the Germans was swift on those Cretans who helped the troops evacuate. Many massacres, it seems, took place all over Crete. He told me that there is still one village with just old ladies living there. All their males were shot by the Germans. The partisans did an incredible job harassing the enemy with hit and run tactics, with the help of small bands of allied specialist troops who were dropped in, and the Germans took many casualties. The cemetery we noticed on our way here was the one for the allied troops who were killed in the evacuation. It seems that Allied casualties in the campaign were about 17,500 killed, wounded, and prisoners; German losses, just over 6,000. In addition, 9 British warships were sunk, and 17 were damaged. After our talk Pappa Petros Iannis got on with his job of watering the gardens. From our Patio I could see most of Souda bay, and it was not difficult for me to envisage the scenes just described to me by Pappa. Maybe this was because there is a large NATO base in the bay and war ships of various nations could be clearly seen sailing in and out of the bay, including nuclear submarines. I got some good footage of this on video. The next day Shirley and I were looking around the old village of Kalives and we got into conversation with an elderly Cretan gentleman. He spoke excellent English. He had just sold his house in Florida, and now shared his time between his London home and an apartment in Crete. I found out that he was a good friend of Pappa Iannis. He then told me that he was the commanding officer of the naval NATO base in Souda bay until he retired. He was the most unassuming gentleman. I told him I had been in the Royal Airforce, and although he outranked me by a mile we had a very interesting conversation. He was a genuinely nice guy. The wedding. [IMG]http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h264/geralda1/Apteracastlefromroad.jpg[/IMG] Well the day had finally arrived. Shirley and I were to be picked up outside our villa at five thirty. We had decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get ready. We had spent the day sunbathing and swimming in the warm sea. Then the bomb dropped! Shirley's watch was her late mother's gold analogue watch and she [Shirley] had omitted to wind it up. We had both fallen asleep, Shirley woke up and looked at the watch, it said three. The watch had stopped. It was in fact just turned five. Panic panic, although I tried to keep things calm it didn't work. What with hair and make up and dresses and feminine things--would we be ready? We just made it in time, in fact we were okay, the coach which was conveying the guests was a little late. But we were sweating a bit. It was only when on the coach that we found out the venue for the wedding. It was a place called Aptera. The wedding would actually take place in an old fort. Aptera dates back to the 6th century BC. The fort stands on a hilltop 230m high and has panoramic views over the plain of Chania and the Bay of Souda. It was easy to realise the significance of the fort with its dominating position. The fort could be Turkish or Roman origin but it certainly was very old. The views from the top were wonderful, we could now see the 'White Mountains' in all their glory, and the view of Souda bay from here was amazing. A room in the old fort had been prepared for the wedding. There was no facilities (water electric) the sound system was battery operated. A wedding co-ordinator had been hired and this lady would act as translator. The ancient stone room had been decorated with white lace droops, and candles were burning in every possible place. It really did look lovely. The mayor of Kalives was performing the civil ceremony, and then various friends contributed other readings. A hymn was sung and there was a short religious ceremony--exchanging rings etc. After the ceremony crates of refrigerated Champagne were opened--and enjoyed. We must have been at Aptera for two hours but it seemed to go very fast. I got some decent still and video shots. A photographer had been flown out from England to do the professional stuff. We were then coached back down to Kalives to the reception. We started off here with more Champagne, and then the feasting. I suppose we had a typical Grecian wedding feast. There were about six courses; the main meat seemed to be lamb. I remember having a spinach thingy, (I don't like spinach) but this was delicious. There was anything one wanted to drink also. The usual speeches and toasts followed, (I had a short poem read out) and then a professional Greek dancing troop arrived to entertain us. After their display, which was excellent, they instructed the guests in the steps to 'Zorba the Greek' and in a very short time the guests were snaking out over the sand all linked together, this was quite an amazing sight. More dancing, drinking and laughter later, the sky erupted with a magnificent firework display. At about two of the clock on Saturday morning Shirley and I left the proceedings. We walked back to our villas through the now deserted streets. Sitting on our patio a little later drinking a nice cup of coffee, we turned the sea light on, and this illuminated the breakers which where gently rolling in--a real fairy land scene. We didn't say much. I am sure my wife was still thinking about the wedding, but I was looking across the bay to the twinkling lights on the distant peninsular and thinking about the carnage that had occurred in this bay not so many years ago We had truly been to 'A Very Greek Wedding'.
Archived comments for A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Harry on 2005-09-09 14:39:06
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
 Congratulations to the bride and groom! The piece brought back memories of 1984 to me. My wife and I went to Crete in particular to see the Palace of Minos in Knossos. We flew on a short hop from Athens where we had stayed with my daughter. I remember the heat most of all - it was August. Thanks for bringing it all back to me, Gerry. (Spinach, yes it's everywhere in Greece.)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-09 14:59:45
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Harry, glad it brought back memories. Crete is a place I shall be returning to--I need to see much more and learn more. This place is steeped in history and of course mythology.
Thank you...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-09-10 13:36:36
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
May I add my congratulations to the bride and groom too. Gerry you brought your holiday and the history alive for me and by the time I had finished reading it I was surprised to find I was crying!! soppy fool that I am, but you must take some of the blame, for it was your very competent and evocative writing that made me weep. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-10 15:20:59
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Val, thank you for your kind words. I must tell you there was a few times when I had a tear in my eye-other than at the wedding.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-09-11 11:16:24
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Great stuff, Gerry - both entertaining and informative. You're turning into a real little Bill Bryson, aren't you? "Notes From a Sunny Island" perhaps? It must have been awful during those landings - Student's 7th Para Division just overcame Freyburg's New Zealanders, but his losses made Hitler swear never to allow a full-scale parachute attack again. He never did, either, preferring to waste his elite in Russia. Yes, the RN's losses off Crete were awful, too...a very poor time for Britain and her allies all round. Still...in the past, eh? A great read, and I see that the powers-that-be agree!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-11 13:18:49
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Thanks Roy. I didn't want to spoil this with too much harrowing history. Just aimed for a balance.
I am glad it worked for you. It is one holiday I will never forget.

regards-
Gerry

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 2005-09-12 13:22:24
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Very good Gerry: the writing is fine and gives the sense of the magic of that island. I wonder was it really a feminist paradise as described in Eisler's 'The Chalice and the Blade', which I read recently. She'd say it was ironic that male violence sullied the shore of a former paradise of the mother goddess. Anyway, great travelogue!
Hugh.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-12 14:43:29
Re: A Very Greek Wedding. (and a bit more)
Hugh, it seems that Crete has been subject to violence for centuries--from one quarter and another. Probably the position has something to do with it. Mythology probably tells another tale, I have some reading to do. LOL.
Thanks for the comment.

Gerry

Author's Reply:


The Knight's Desire--- (posted on: 19-08-05)
Different for me. This is a poem about love.
Written as a Triplet.

Methought the damsel fair of face
Hair in ribbons, dressed in lace
Shaped in a way my hand could trace.

Perchance that she would'st look my way
Her wondrous beauty, my eyes do pray
Twer possible she'd note my sway.

Methinks her loveliness so strong
How can'st my feelings then be wrong?
Her heavenly grace dost urge me on.

Could'st she, my dream, belong to me?
My vice gripped heart would'st then be free;
To give my love, my soul, for thee.

Archived comments for The Knight's Desire---
RoyBateman on 2005-08-19 13:33:21
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Very courtly and chivalrous - quite a change of style, but a refreshing change from most things I've read lately. Reminds me of all those wonderful pre-Raphaelite Burne-Jones paintings, full of unfulfilled yearning. Good one, Gerry - could there be a follow-up? Will she drop her handkerchief?

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-08-19 14:32:12
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Those were the days, Gerry. Just one sideways look, is all it took, my goose was cooked. There you've got me doing it. Thanks for the breath of romance.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-19 20:04:19
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Yes, indeed Harry--the innocent days of yore...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-19 20:06:17
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Roy, I will have to be careful and make sure the handkerchief is all she drops. lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kazzmoss on 2005-08-19 20:06:50
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Very romantic in an era when there was much romance (and well as the other stuff). Nice little ditty, Gerry - Kaz

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-08-19 20:07:06
Re: The Knight's Desire---
I thought this was a great piece Gerry.

A more relaxed write for a more gentle time, me thinks.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-19 20:59:58
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Kas, thank you. There is still a bit of romance left in the old bones. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-19 21:02:22
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Simon, yes indeed. I think love has completely lost its meaning. Glad I am still old fashioned--I can remember the real thing. lol.

Regards-

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 2005-08-20 20:41:00
Re: The Knight's Desire---
A sweet and winsome poem, Gerry. It brings to mind the athmosphere of the Elizabethan court with knights and ladies-in-waiting exchanging sly looks at each other.
Sadly this style of writing is much maligned in 'modern' writing circles - I was once criticised for using 'twas.
But what do they know?
All the best, Luigi.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-20 21:03:39
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Luigi, you're right--I don't give a fig about 'modern writing circles' I have seen some of their work.
Are you sure it was 'twas' you wrote? LOL.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-08-21 10:24:59
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Hi Gerry,

I liked this - it had such a gentle feel to it - softly questioning.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-21 20:46:19
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Emma, glad you liked it--
Thanks for reading and your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-09-07 01:07:48
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Gerry,
this was a lovely poem, I like the monorhyme and 'old english' flavoed language.. Not to mention the soft sense of yearning here.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-08 16:21:19
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Thanks Jolen, I am pleased that you liked this little olde worlde ode.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-16 15:39:08
Re: The Knight's Desire---
I especially loved this bit 'Shaped in a way my hand could trace- - beautiful imagery 🙂

Karen.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 16:48:24
Re: The Knight's Desire---
Karen, yes I liked that line too:-)
Thanks for the comment--and for the hot author pick.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


The Rentman. (posted on: 12-08-05)
This poem has been interpreted in many ways. (Have you paid your rent?)

Be it known that I'm the rent man I've been asked to call on you, You've been far too slow to pay me Now the Governor wants his due. You've had the best of everything A world beyond compare, A promise of eternity-- But no payment will you share. You're always keen to take your fill To share the joys I bring, But you're never here to thank me, Or to pay for anything-- Be it known that I'm the rent man And I'm about to call on you, So please don't say, you didn't know. Because now, your rent is due--
Archived comments for The Rentman.
Harry on 2005-08-12 13:38:22
Re: The Rentman.
Relentlessly truthful, Gerry - right on target. Maybe there are multiple ways of looking at it, but it fits all of them to a "tee."

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-08-12 16:41:18
Re: The Rentman.
Hi Gerry,

Sounds to me like the Grim Reaper is ready to make his rounds - quite a spooky poem - reminding us of our dues.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-12 20:22:21
Re: The Rentman.
Emma, Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Yes it could well be...

Gerry. xxx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-12 20:24:43
Re: The Rentman.
Harry, On TC I had a number of different views on this one. I know what was intended though. lol.
Thanks for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-08-14 11:22:29
Re: The Rentman.
Okay, I'll pay! I'LL PAY! Will you take a cheque? It's enough to put the willies up everyone, Gerry - I'm sure there are other ways of interpreting this, but it sure sounds like the old scythe king's come a-knockin' to me. I'm not in....
A timely warning, but are the right people listening?

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-14 21:06:27
Re: The Rentman.
Roy, I don't suppose the right people do listen--but they will get that call, sooner or later...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-08-14 21:09:37
Re: The Rentman.
Hi Gerry, What a great poem........ Sure sounds like death is on the way to me. Either way, I enjoyed this. How was your holiday? I hope you had a great time and got to see some fireflies.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

UKAnonymous on 2005-08-14 21:23:39
Re: The Rentman.
Hi J, Glad you liked the poem--just a reminder to my friends LOL.
Had a lovely holiday in Scotland (Ilse of Arron)
no fireflies there i'm afraid--plenty of midges though. thanks for your comments.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-08-17 11:51:13
Re: The Rentman.
Hi Gerry,

Nice poem that fits many levels.

I enjoyed it very much.

Si:-)



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-17 20:03:51
Re: The Rentman.
Simon, Thank you. I am pleased you enjoyed this little poem.

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 23-10-2005
The Rentman.
Yes, I like the different ways of interpreting that. I'll leave my £2.50 in the bin near the swings 🙂

Karen xx

Author's Reply:


Twenty Two. (posted on: 29-07-05)
I have just uncovered this poem, I wrote it in 1989
for a young ladies twenty second birthday whilst in Tenerife.
It was a peep into the future---are we any nearer?

The gold no longer shines so bright,
Owls no longer fly at night.
Most animals have ceased to be
There are no fish now in the sea.

The snow and ice fight hard to stay,
But the rays of the sun are stronger today.
Waterfalls all dried up now,
Milk no more comes from the cow.

The snake no longer tries to hiss,
Our children aren't allowed to kiss.
Criminals are walking free,
The prisoners now, are you and me.

Aeroplanes no longer fly,
The elderly refuse to die.

These prophesies are coming true
The warning's clear to all of you.
There may still be time to put things right,
But the gold no longer shines so bright.

Gerald Finlay, 1989. All Rights Reserved.



Archived comments for Twenty Two.
RoyBateman on 2005-07-29 11:48:00
Re: Twenty Two.
No, Gerry, we're not - in fact, in the light of recent events, I reckon we're going backwards. Depressing thought...things haven't changed much in six years, have they? Succinct, and hardly optimistic - but this has a very truthful ring to it. Very good write.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-29 13:15:18
Re: Twenty Two.
Roy, was maths your bad subject?
It was sixteen years since I wrote this. LOL.
You're right Roy we are going backwards---but we were starting to go backwards in 1989.
We can only hope, Thanks...

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-07-29 14:02:50
Re: Twenty Two.
You nailed it back then, Gerry, it's all come true, hasn't it -- except maybe for the snake. The young lady is 38 now and I'll bet she remembers her birthday well.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-29 14:57:35
Re: Twenty Two.
Harry, I was thinking about a different kind of snake. I may go into fortune telling. lol.
Yes Harry young Karen will be 38 now, she went to Australia many years ago. It would be nice to think she still has the poem and remembers our holiday in Tenerife. I no longer have contact.

Gerry.








Author's Reply:

Nimbus on 2005-07-29 18:14:10
Re: Twenty Two.
Nice thoughts, Gerry...a good birthday poem.

Nimbus

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-07-29 19:15:51
Re: Twenty Two.
Hi Gerry, it is scary to see the results of what is happening in our world - and that despite promises years ago, we are still heading for catastrophe - the only question is how soon?

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-29 20:11:10
Re: Twenty Two.
Nimbus, thanks for dropping by--and for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-29 20:14:42
Re: Twenty Two.
Emma you are so right, Our leaders do nothing until it is too late.
Thanks for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Warhorse on 2005-07-29 21:32:34
Re: Twenty Two.
Hi Gerry,

This is so eerie. yuo have managed to lookinto the future, that is now. A very scary if hard hitting piece of wizardry, well done sir.

Regards

Mike.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-29 23:21:11
Re: Twenty Two.
Mike, thank you for your kind comment.

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-07-30 11:18:14
Re: Twenty Two.
I agree Gerry, the worlds a shit hole and heading into the pits of hell itself...a tad dramatic perhaps, but things need to sorted out before we end up in a real mess.

Nice write.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-30 13:38:04
Re: Twenty Two.
Simon, I cannot remember with any accuracy what prompted this poem sixteen years ago--maybe I could see some writing on the wall. It makes me an old poet anyway LOL.

Thanks for your comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-07-30 16:06:09
Re: Twenty Two.
Dear Gerry,
Sadly, we are getting there, slowly but surely. Thanks to all the damage we’ve done to the environment.
Regds,niece


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-30 17:50:57
Re: Twenty Two.
Niece, yes indeed, lets hope there is still time to put things right. Thank you for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-07-31 17:45:56
Re: Twenty Two.
Perhaps you should take up fortune telling Gerry 'cos you got this pretty spot on and yes I look around me and wonder what's going on...L

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-07-31 20:09:49
Re: Twenty Two.
Hi Gerry, I really enjoyed your little poem. And Yes! your predictions do appear to be here. 9 from me.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-31 20:53:19
Re: Twenty Two.
Leila, I'm going to Arran tomorrow to get away from it all--hopefully. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-31 20:55:28
Re: Twenty Two.
Hi smiling Tai, I shall have to stop writing poems like that. lol. Thanks for dropping by...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-08-09 22:05:05
Re: Twenty Two.
I missed this Gerry.. remiss of me Slap wrist!! Good poem a bit pessimistic but you were surprisingly near the mark Well done Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-08-10 19:53:13
Re: Twenty Two.
Val thank you, It must have been how I was feeling at the time. lol. cannot remember much about it...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


The Man---Onward Journey, (posted on: 18-07-05)
You may have read 'The Man'--it ended where he took his own life.
This short addendum is his onward journey.
Any analogy with recent events is purely coincidental.

'David Kaprun, Doctor David Kaprun. The man looked up recognising that it was his name being called, and stepped slowly forward---


'Don't look so worried, place your right thumb on this pad,' instructed the interviewer behind the desk. The screens burst into life, but the images went far too fast for David to follow. The interviewer seemed to have no problem though, when the screens faded he said; 'Well now, not bad at all, lets see then--- Ten to twenty, very talented pupil, worked hard at school, a good tenor, in the local choir; doing really well at music particularly violin. Twenty, went to medical college, passed final examinations with honours. Played and sang in local orchestra and choral society when work permitted. Thirty, now a consultant Cardiologist at the District general hospital. Well so far quite brilliant' The interviewer then looked up at the man, and continued--- 'Thirty-one, Married Lorna, the young lady you met at college. You bought a cottage in the country at Wetherton, and you were married there. Shortly after you were married, Lorna was knocked down by a drunken driver, He was speeding through the village in a stolen car after committing a robbery. Lorna died the next day. I see she was returning from the village hall where she had been instructing the girl guides in first aid.' The interviewer expressed no emotion whatsoever as he relayed these details. 'The driver is sent to prison. Let's see now, you leave the hospital and set up in general practise in the village. You are still living in the same cottage. Now you find out the driver of the car has been released from prison early. You do some investigating and find out where he is living. You take a knife and kill him---then return home, and take your own life, hoping to be reunited with Lorna. Anything important I have missed?' said the interviewer. 'No that seems about right' said David, clearly upset at having to listen to these details. 'What happens now?' 'Well, I cannot discuss details with you, I just award the entry level. You then go to that desk over there for further discussion before entry. I am awarding you seven plus.' David Kaprun looked puzzled. 'Don't look worried, that's quite good, you are the same level as Lorna,' for the first time the interviewer allowed himself a brief smile. David was directed to another gentleman, who was sat behind yet another desk. He was invited to sit down, and then asked if he had any questions. 'Well I cannot deny I am very worried about these three things. Hating the man who killed my Lorna. Killing him. Then taking my own life. Things I had been taught were wrong and unacceptable.' 'Well I think you did rather well, and I fully agree with the award of seven plus. That may amaze you. I considered you were human and acted in a human way---you were not a saint. You just cannot act like saints when you are not saints. You are told to love everyone, how can you be expected to love everybody? It is clearly silly. You should be kind and charitable, and fair to all, and you were. Yes, and more so than most. You acted out of love, that deserves praise not condemnation. Not many people fully understand what love means. The word is thrown about by people these days who have the meaning totally wrong. Your love for Lorna, was pure love, we are aware of pure love. You killed the man who took her life, out of love for her. In doing that act which took courage, you undoubtedly spared other innocents from being killed by him. Have no doubt about it, and we know, he would have killed again. If you had delayed in taking your own life for ten minutes, you would have been arrested, and tried for murder. You would have received a longer sentence than the evil one who took your wife's life. Don't worry, we know what is going oneven if we can't interfere.' 'But I took another man's life.' 'Well yes okay, and normally that is pretty serious stuff, but, Lorna's life was worth a thousand of that evil man. He had been involved in a lifetime of theft and violence. You did your country a favour. Lorna and you were a perfect couple, giving generously to the community; you did nothing to invite this situation. Why in heavens name should you be punished for it? We like to let common sense prevail.'. 'Do you just deal with people who come from England here?' 'Yes that's right, and that's quite enough; we have many colleagues who deal with entries from other countries. They all come through here though; this is the only point of entry'. 'Do you know everything about people who come through here?' 'We are never fooled David, we know everything, and we are not allowed to make mistakes. The boss keeps a close eye on us, and sometimes we can be very harsh. Many get level four and below--that is very sad. By the way you have only just missed the moron who killed your Lorna, the smirking fool--he still doesn't show any sign of remorse. He was a career criminal; theft, drugs, cars, assault; he would never have changed. Still we will have the last laugh. He was awarded a one minus that's the lowest you can get; he won't be smirking when he finds out what one minus means----' 'Okay then my friend off to the transporter room* with you, about ten yards on the right--your Lorna is waiting at the other end. She is expecting you. Seven plus is pretty good-- I will see you around.' A short time later David stepped out of the transporter and into the arms of Lorna. Their life together was about to re-start. *See 'Not worth the risk'
Archived comments for The Man---Onward Journey,
RoyBateman on 2005-07-18 13:32:22
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Very optimistic, Gerry - now if only I believed that entry to an afterlife was so fairly judged, I'd be all for it! I agree with you all the way...but I think entry to any sort of heaven might well be in the control of those of a more politically correct attitude than mine (and yours) - mind you, we can hope.
I suppose the ultimate bad news would be being posted to the muslim bit...there'd be no virgins left, for a start! Whoops, that's me booked on the lift going down...
Great read, mate, got me thinking!

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 2005-07-18 13:46:11
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Nice one again Gerry, oh fellow philosopher: once again we both put in postings under that rubric. Your bit of eschatological fantasy also has a slight parallel to that papist yarn I spun of late. Except you're up at St. Peter direct. My own contrib is again on the hobby horse of .. you guessed it.

Regards,
Hugh.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-18 14:52:04
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Roy, I tried to kill too birds with one bush here.
To finish my tale in a cosy way. lol.
And to inform a certain part of our community who have been doing nasty things to beware...they will all be heading to one minus--no jollies there I'm afraid.
Yes indeed Roy we can only hope...

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-07-18 14:55:12
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Hi Gerry,

I enjoyed this and what a lovely thought.....If it were so, surely I agree with you in all of this..I have to go read your suggestion but let me just say that this was very well done and makes me think, and to me that is all good.

Blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-07-18 15:10:11
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
So that's the way it's done ...

Nice bit of imagery, Gerry. I've seen things like this done in films and they're always a little pat, not to say a little arch as well. Your treatment in literary terms is far superior.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-18 15:10:47
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Hugh, I hope my eschatological view wasn't total fantasy. I really hoped to see quite a few people experiencing minus one. Whoops that's me done for lol.
Thank you for making me smile...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-18 15:16:48
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Jolen, I think that our friend David and his wife deserved to have this kind of continuance. It made me feel better. lol.
I was never happy with how the first part ended.

Thank you for your kind words.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-18 15:21:36
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Thanks Harry, I tried to keep from being too mulchy. Did you noted the analogy?

Hope you are keeping well Harry--I seem to be going on the right way...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-07-18 15:33:01
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Great piece of optimistic fiction Gerry I really enjoyed the read. Wouldn't it be fantastic if it were true. Beautifully written as usual. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-18 18:36:32
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Val, Yes it would be fantastic--if only to know that certain people were getting their just deserts.
I know a man who knows a man, who swears that this is what happens. lol.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

reckless on 2005-07-19 04:24:06
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
I love the optimism and the sense of justice in this. There are times when I do so hope things could really be something like this. I liked it, thanks.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-19 10:13:12
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Reckless, thanks for your comment. I want to be at least five! so I am trying to act accordingly. lol.
I don't fancy any lower level...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-07-20 13:51:47
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
A really nice story, Gerry, with such a sweet ending.
Regds,niece


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-21 15:56:58
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
niece, thanks for the comment. This would be really divine justice. lol.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-07-24 13:20:06
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Hi Gerry,

Firstly: I really enjoyed this piece, lovely ending.

Secondly: Hope your doing okay mate?

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-24 13:48:03
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Simon, thank you. It just tidied the original story up a little.

Not doing bad at all--still taking things a bit steady.
Going to visit our daughter and grand kids on Arran next week (hopefully) lol.

Hope you are keeping well.

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

walters on 2005-07-27 01:53:39
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
I've always found your stories quite fascinating! Thank you.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-27 15:03:04
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
David, thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Hope all is okay at your end...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-17 21:13:26
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
'Why in heavens name should you be punished for it.' needs a '?' at the end.

Overall, an interesting and thought-provoking piece of writing. I think I lost something by not reading the preceding part first though.

Karen xx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-18 20:27:07
Re: The Man---Onward Journey,
Karen, well spotted 😉 I have smacked my puter again. Yes I think maybe you should have read the first part first. I wrote this to smooth it off. I left it a little in the air.
Thanks for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Fireflies. (posted on: 17-06-05)
On my recent holiday in Corfu, I saw fireflies for the first time in my life.
We were returning to our villa through an olive grove, after our evening meal.
It was about 10-30. To say I was amazed would be an understatement.


Isn't nature amazing? If you consider the firefly, it gives off 100% light without any losses. This is cold light. Compare this to a light bulb, which is only 10% efficient; 90% of light bulb energy is dissipated in heat. If only we could emulate the chemical functions of this amazing creature.

Fireflies somehow control their oxygen supply to the photic organ in their abdomen, and this causes the chemical reaction, which produces light. It is not known how they trigger the action.

Fireflies use their luminescent ability primarily as a warning to any predators---that they taste awful. This is because of the defensive chemical compounds in their bodies. They can increase the intensity and frequency of glow when disturbed, to warn any predators off.

Fireflies also use specific patterns of flashes to attract a member of the opposite sex. These can be continuous glows, single dot flashes or multiple pulse flashes. Only fireflies of the same species will understand the code.

Female Fireflies are known to respond to certain characteristics of the male's photic signals. They are apparently able to create a personal signature, this is known as the sexy signal component!


What an amazing thing is nature
That gives the firefly its glow
That lets it create patterns
And put on such a show.

The first time that I saw them
I couldn't believe my eyes
Pulses and flashes everywhere
From these most amazing flies.

They can change the length of flashing
They can change the strength of glow
They can even flash in morse code
With their pulses fast or slow.

The main reason for their flashing
Is a warning bright and clear
'You had better not eat me my friend ---
I will make you feel quite queer.'

The male flies are so clever
Not handsome big or strong
They don't brag or lie or bully
Or woo the girls with song.

The males who get the top girls
Have got to flash the best
Their display of pyrotechnics
Goes on without a rest.

Eventually the girl decides
Her answer bold and bright
However does she find him though?
Amongst this pulsing sight.

And so we drag ourselves away
From this theatrical free show
It's such a miracle of nature
How these little creatures glow.



Archived comments for Fireflies.
Easyd on 2005-06-17 09:02:27
Re: Fireflies.
Amen! Yes, it is amazing - and all that complexity on the strength of a few neurons. Marvelous to think that in other spots of Earth like Corfu other aspects of nature unfold in this uncanny way - as if the cats weren't enough.

Hugh.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-06-17 12:28:48
Re: Fireflies.
Great one Gerry, I loved this.

Yep nature is far better than man I think.

Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-17 12:37:47
Re: Fireflies.
Hugh, As I get older I get more mind blown by nature. What I used to take for granted I now spend a lot of time thinking about. This mortal coil is a truly fascinating place...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-17 12:41:16
Re: Fireflies.
Simon, I had to laugh at your comment--and you are correct. A lot of things in nature have turned out far better than man...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-06-17 15:42:54
Re: Fireflies.
In the USA Northeast they appear in August. By then the nights are warm and they are everywhere. The children run around with glass jars and trap them. They keep the jars on their bedside tables all night, and all night long the fireflies flash vainly hoping to attract a mate. We let them go in the morning and I often wonder what becomes of them - do they get a second chance?

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-06-17 16:48:31
Re: Fireflies.
So now we know, eh? It's the best and most persistent flasher that gets the thrills. There are quite a few people who believe this...no, sorry, Gerry - you're right, they're amazing. They're actually beetles, aren't they? Nothing to do with flies at all. I've only seen them once, near Hastings, and I was quite astonished. One of the many, many feats of nature that leaves me wondering....how on earth did they evolve? Thought-provoking stuff!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-17 19:05:18
Re: Fireflies.
Harry, you are fortunate to have them in the USA.
I understand there are a few about here somewhere but I have never seem them. I can understand the children being fascinated.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-17 19:10:35
Re: Fireflies.
Roy, I got my info from Google under Fireflies--but I think maybe you are correct. They are certainly super creatures whatever. I shall be looking for them now...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-06-18 04:32:56
Re: Fireflies.
I loved reading about the fireflies Gerry and enjoyed your poem.

Cheers

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-18 11:03:49
Re: Fireflies.
Kat, thank you, Glad you enjoyed the read. I think it's a subject people wouldn't normally bother with...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-06-18 11:08:56
Re: Fireflies.
Gerry, after your illness and not knowing whether or not you would make the holiday, your experience of fireflies must have been all the more wonderful. Your wonderment comes out in your poetry on this one.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Corin on 2005-06-18 11:28:08
Re: Fireflies.
Great Gerrry - but are you sure about thye warning aspect - why would they indicate their prescence to a predator when they control the light. If they did not glow they would be hid in night!

Dave

Author's Reply:

niece on 2005-06-18 12:11:17
Re: Fireflies.
Dear Gerry,
What a lovely poem ! Especially since I know what you are talking about. The fireflies are indeed amazing! Did you know ? The Japanese women(or is it Chinese?) used to use to poor fellows to adorn their hair.
Regds,niece

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-18 12:56:58
Re: Fireflies.
D, Thanks for your comment. PM.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-18 13:01:55
Re: Fireflies.
Dave, yes I understand your reasoning. Apparently many fireflies though start flashing at dusk just when many birds-frogs etc are feeding. All the sites relating to f/f seem to give this as the primary reason for flashing. It's only what I have read. lol.

Thanks for dropping by and reading.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-18 13:04:17
Re: Fireflies.
Niece, no I didn't know that---I hope they don't still do it. I am glad you have experienced these delightful creatures. Thank you.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-07-04 22:17:51
Re: Fireflies.
Beautiful, I am fortunate in that here in the midwest of the U.S. they are a common nightly occurance and a source of fun for kids of all ages. Myself included. Their show truly is wondrous as your depiction is here.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-04 22:31:38
Re: Fireflies.
Jolen, I hope to come to the USA one day.
Hope you are having a great 4th July.
Thanks for the PM also...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

karenuk on 2005-09-16 18:16:34
Re: Fireflies.
You definitely have a talent for observing nature and describing it in poetry.
Karen x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-16 23:17:07
Re: Fireflies.
Karen. I found these creatures so fascinating, they were crying out for a little poem. 😉

Gerry.xxx.


Author's Reply:


The Common Sense Party Report. 2020. (posted on: 13-05-05)
(A PEEP INTO 2020)
This article has been released for publication in this Newspaper
and we are happy to publish it in full.
We hope to be able to publish the follow-on article next week.
Editor: - 'The Peoples Daily.


Now that we have reached the year 2020 we will have a look back and compare the changes to our country and society. You will remember of course the situation in 2010: - Hospital no longer functioning. Complete break down of law and order. Transport system collapse. Education system completely useless. Pension system none existent. No incentive to work. Streets ruled by Yobs. After the peoples revolt of 2010 when we finally said enough is enough, and were granted our demand for 'Proportional Representation', (they had no option really) things started to change at once. It was perfectly clear things could not go on as they had been. The few were paying all their earnings for the many who were dependent on the state for support. Armed people were roaming the streets terrorising the population. Fires were left burning because the fire service refused to attend for fear of being injured and assaulted by yobs. Staff would not go to work in hospitals because of fear of contacting diseases that could not be cured. Children were completely out of control because of lack of discipline and lack of parenting. Well I need not go on, you can fill in the rest of the reasons for the appalling state we found ourselves in--- Okay then, let us have a look at the changes that were implemented and the results of the changes. Compulsory voting every six months lets the party know without doubt that they are supported. With the advent of fingerprint, eye recognition, and the e/key-pad, voting is now foolproof and instantaneous, and as the other four parties get no more than 10% of the votes between them, it is clear 'The Common Sense Party' have obviously got things right. You will remember in 2011, the appalling situation of firemen being stoned and shot at whilst attending fires, and the pathetic lack of action by the government to do anything, this was a number one priority. Arming the fire crews was the first step, along with one month warning to the brain dead who were attacking them. After the month was up---175 people were shot and 54 were killed. The number of offences decreased rapidly. Firemen no longer get attacked. You will notice that the reference here is to 'Firemen,' since 2015 women are no longer allowed in the service. They could not pass the physical requirements. We do not have any of that equal opportunity rubbish now. If you can't do the job---you don't get it. Go get one you can do. The stupid situation of pretend Bobbies on the streets was quickly addressed in 2012. We had been telling the then government that this idea would be a total failure--- but did they listen? Only fully trained police officers are now allowed on the streets. The police do not waste time in the nick filling forms---they are out after the criminals, and when caught, and they now mostly are, they are not treated with kid gloves. If you don't offend you have nothing to fear. Any attack on the police is met with violent reaction as per your full agreement. Isn't it nice to be able to walk about without the fear we used to have? Our decision to allow people to defend their own homes in any way they deemed fit was introduce by your demand in 2014, it seemed to have worked. People are not allowed to carry guns or knives out side the home (except in certain circumstances) as you are aware; but adults are allowed to have handguns in their homes. Anyone attempting to enter your property or found on it can be shot--- back or front. They now know to keep away. It was amazing how quickly the burglary rate fell, and burglars seem to be a thing of the past now. You will remember the fuel crisis of 2015 when the Middle East oil producers priced themselves out of the market. Fortunately for us, our new fuel source had just had its final tests and we went into rapid production. The solid state variable frequency generator* has revolutionised transport. Nobody would want one of those smelly polluting noisy motor cars now. The shuttle network, which we now have, is truly amazing. Fast quiet and efficient. The bonus of course it is cost freewhoever thought we would be able to produce virtually cost free electricity so easily 10 years ago? Once again we must thank our engineers and scientists. The oil producers were warned of the consequences of their actions but thought they would hold us to ransom. Well they can sort their own problems out now---and we understand they have plenty. Our 'Moto Perpetuo' units are now being released to our favoured nations. Another great source of revenue for our country. Synthetic fuels are still being produced in sufficient quantities to fuel our aircraft But with the advent of the Surge engines** in 2016 very little fuel is now needed and pollution is virtually eliminated. Haven't we done well? Hospitals are now functioning normally again. The top-heavy stupidity of bureaucratic nonsense is now a thing of the past. Doctors and nurses now run the hospitals, and are proud to do so. Hospitals are spotlessly cleaned and this cleaning is considered to be a professional job. Can you remember when we had low paid cleaners who didn't know how to clean? Not entirely their faults, it was the private sector trying to make money, by doing things on the cheap. How much suffering and distress did we have to endure? Why did we have to have a near revolution to get things right? Now all hospitals departments are running well, waiting times are minimal, and all fears about infections are gone. We realise the decision which we decided to take on the aids problem was quite dramatic; but it had to be done--you will remember in 2012 that we stopped all aids treatment, except for children and certain exceptional cases. We could not sustain the ever-increasing costs. As a result aids is now nearly a thing of the past. The threat to extend this to all other sexually transmitted diseases shortly afterwards soon brought a dramatic drop in reported cases of them also. Our policy remains that these are preventable diseases, and the money saved is now benefiting people who have more right to medical care. It makes sense doesn't it? Cast your minds back to the situation in our schools in 2010. Children causing mayhem in the classrooms. Teachers leaving the profession in droves. The remaining ones being accused by children for so called offences on them, and being backed up by stupid out reach idiots and parents. It just had to be stopped didn't it? Well common sense rules now. Teachers are in control again. Discipline and respect are now back in schools. This was not achieved without your consent, and caused not a little distress along the way, but---bullying is now a thing of the past, any trouble makers are punished instantly and it sorts them out. Parents are not now too quick to run up to school with little Charlie, swearing and creating scenes---and yes we sometimes had violence, see (The violence room) a little later on. Pupils are now brighter and happier and results are much better. Most of you will remember the corrupt justice system of ten years ago. You will be aware also of our struggle and urgency to get it corrected. Idiotic old men, who passed as judges and had no idea about how 99% of us lived our lives, are now thankfully a thing of the past. Greedy solicitors find it difficult to get work in that profession now. This is all thanks to our engineers who developed the foolproof Brain/Scan reader.*** No need for courts now---it is no longer possible to lie or deceive. Punishment is decided by the elected ones, and the system seems to work fine. The decent folks are the ones who benefit, that's surely how it should be. 'The Violence Room'**** has undoubtedly been a great invention, it allows punishment to be handed out to offenders without human intervention. You will know that the room has been in use for about three years and violent crime has practically stopped. It was initially developed to stop domestic violence, but has proved so successful it has been rolled out for any violence against the person in any situation. The accused is set before the elected ones---usually about ten, and scanned. When the resultant scan is played back to the accused any protestation ends. The elected ones then decide on the amount of time to be spent in the room. Extreme violence can result in up to twenty minutes, however five to ten minutes is found to be generally enough. The violence room is also used for youths and children when deemed necessary. It works well. We are saving lots of money by not using Psychiatrists and Psychologists whose treatment we now know was just a joke. Rewarding people of any age for bad behaviour was stupid, and we all knew it. Young people who have spent time in the room are carefully examined, and it is found that apart from losing their violent tendencies and bad behaviour, they do not seem to be affected in any other way. No child has yet been back for a second dose. Sexual offences, which used to be rampant and put all females in fear up to a few years ago, are now practically none existent. Both you and the party decided that radical punishment was required. Offenders who by tradition pleaded not guilty and caused much heartache and financial cost---usually paid by the taxpayer, are now scanned and are found to be guilty or not guilty in minutes at no cost. The penalties were announced some time before the scan/reader was put into service, so no one could say they didn't know what the consequences of their actions would be if caught. Medical surgery permanently stops any re-offending, and in the most serious cases total castration is carried out. This is sometimes followed by a trip to the room and/or a prison sentence. Ladies isn't it nice to able to walk the streets safely and not to be afraid for your children. You know it make sense. Compensation culture was rampant in 2010 and just could not be sustained. The ones working were worse off than the ones scrounging from the generous state system, which appeared to encourage some people's feckless irresponsibility. Once more it was thanks to the amazing scanner that the problem started to be sorted. When the results started to appear it was amazing how many people were suddenly available for work. It was then rolled out to incapacity claimants; their recoveries were nothing short of miraculous. None of these folks escaped judgement. All claimants were found and tested. Every penny claimed fraudulently had to be re-paid, and punishment also followed. Genuine claimants had nothing to fear and still do not. The ridiculous situation of everyone suing everyone for anything---was totally out of control up to about five years ago. Solicitors encouraged this. Well, as we know now they destroyed their own profession. Five minutes on the Scan/Readers soon reveals the truth. All false claimants were and are severely punished. Isn't it funny how nearly all accident and personal injury claims have now stopped? People don't like to be found out do they? The introduction of portable scanners to doctor's surgeries has made the doctors job so much easier. There has been an overall 30% reduction in attendances at the doctors. People falsely claiming sick notes which the overburdened doctors didn't have time to challenge, are now a thing of the past. All patients requesting sick notes are scanned before seeing the doctor. All false requests for notes has ceased, (stress and backache problems have miraculously decreased greatly) everyone is benefiting by longer consultations and less waiting times. The doctors and genuine patients are much happier. Pensioners now, as you know, have a much better deal, income tax on pensions has been stopped, and no longer do pensioners have to sell their houses to pay for any care they may require. This is more than compensated for by the revenue raised by the clamp down on the work shy, and benefits fiddlers. The ones who worked and saved for their retirement are not now penalised, and why should they ever have been. It is not now only the rich who can leave money and property to their children. Everyone who has been prudent can now do so. Why on earth did we have to have a revolt to achieve this? Why has it taken so long for common sense to be used in our country? The Common Sense Party will be back next week with a further report and comparisons on changes over the last ten years. We will be looking at: - Drugs Teenage pregnancies Football Pensions Immigration Prisons Censorship Don't forget The Common Sense Party is your party---we only do what you want us to do. So far you have done pretty damned good. It is interesting to note before we sign off for this week, that breaking all involvement with the European super state in 2009 was the turning point in our road to recovery. Britain is a world leader again. We make our own laws, and keep our own money. We have our fishing industry back, and stocks are now starting to recover. We have not encountered any insurmountable problems with sealing the channel tunnel, which we considered absolutely necessary. We will not be involved with the terrible violence and troubles that have resulted from allowing Turkey into the European federation. Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the USA are eager to trade with us again and goods are now cheaper. Most countries have shown an interest in our 'Brain/scan readers', and 'Violence room' concepts. These are already boosting are exports to a very comfortable level. Our technical expertise is expected to increase this trade with other developments which are currently in the pipeline. See you next week.  * SSVFG Moto Perpetuo Generators. The motor starts under normal battery power, and with clever circuitry (Top Secret) and super conductors, it is possible for the battery to recharge itself with virtually no losses. For more technical stuff try  www.motoperpetuo.brit.2017 ** Surge engines. New type jet engines which utilise exhaust thrust and are nearly 100% efficient. For Technical details try--- www.surgeengines.brit.2015 *** Brain/Scan reader. This amazing break through in medical/electronics is not only a fool proof lie detector it can also pull visual images from the brain and display them instantly. For detailed information about use try--- www.brainscanreader,brit.2018 ****The Violence Room. An amazing invention which can be programmed to inflict physical punishment with no human intervention. For more info try--- www.theviolenceroom.brit.2019
Archived comments for The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Geometrix on 2005-05-13 10:15:20
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
This is an interesting post, an eyeopener for some and (surely can be eyesore for some others *tongue in cheek*). I am in mood of making kneejerking comments *exercising first fundamental right*

D

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-13 11:31:58
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Deb, thank you for your observations.
It sems we may not have long to go before the worm starts to turn...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-05-13 13:07:57
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Now, mate, can you patent some of these wondrous inventions? There's so much need for them (especially the scanner), and you'd be able to buy Bill Gates out with your royalties. Great read - as always, a wry mixture with more reality than at first meets the eye! I'd vote for most of this stuff - but, very soon, Brussels will make sure that I can't...that's priority number one, eh? Freedom now!

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-05-13 15:01:35
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Gerry Finlay for MP!!

Sign me up for the Common Sense Party! Do they have an international branch?

Are you sure you haven't forgotten anything, Gerry?

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-13 17:07:25
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Roy-- Time for the revolution--and a total ban on hoods. With regards to the inventions I am hard at work. lol.
Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-13 17:12:24
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Harry, we will be pleased to have you as a honorary
member of the Common Sense Party.

We will have to see what they report on next week... lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-05-13 21:15:36
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Gerry, as usual a very good imaginative write. I just hope I make 2020.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-14 10:13:16
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
D, good to see you around again. I had a vision about 2020--hope we both make it. lol.

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-05-23 20:33:11
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Great imagination Gerry great writing too, can't see your predictions coming true though.. ((-; Love Val x
though we could do with a common sense party!

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 2005-06-09 09:47:57
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Great piece Gerry...I agree we do need a a common sense party with all the bullshit and crap its a wonder the whole country doesn't stink...oh it does...I'll vote for ya!!!

Si:-) lol

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-06-12 17:57:00
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Simon, Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jack_Cade on 2005-09-15 19:04:49
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Satire, right? Right? Vonnegutian satire? Is '2020' your '1984'?

Of the solutions proposed here, I think the solid state variable frequency generator is by far the most convincing.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-09-15 19:56:14
Re: The Common Sense Party Report. 2020.
Kurt Vonnegut was a 'Humanist/Socialist' if I remember rightly. I am neither of those--however the post was certainly satire. It was just written as fun but I can't deny I would love to see some of the above come true 🙂

Thanks for your comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Memories of wartime England. (posted on: 06-05-05)
Because of the significance of this weekend 7th and 8th of May---60 years since the end of the war with Germany, I have decided to re-post this article. Some of you will remember those difficult times. Others will have seen films, read about, or been told tales about them. Up to my teens I cannot remember anything else but things relating to the war. Below are some of my memories.

If you have read this article before, I have added a little, about my memories relating the end of the conflict.

Introduction. I remember when the streets were cobbled, so that the horses could get purchase to pull the coal carts, and the dustbin carts. I remember having to walk 50yards up the street to get to the lavatory. We had no bathroom. Clothes had to be boiled in a coal-fired tub to get clean. We didn't have a fridge or vacuum cleaner and only hot water if the coal fire was lit. The only way we could cook was with a fire-side oven, or one gas ring. if it was a hot summer day, tough. There were houses in my street that didn't have electric, only gas. If they were lucky enough to have a radio it was powered by an accumulator, which was recharged each week. All streetlights were gas lit. My mother ironed the clothes with a flat iron this had to be placed in the fire to heat it. Once again, if you didn't have a fire going, tough. In winter we used to take plates out of the oven wrapped in cloths and put them in the beds to keep warm. Only the one room with the fire was heated. Coal was difficult to get, so if you had no coal because you had run out, or had no money, tough. That meant no hot water, no cooking, no heating, no ironing and no bath. All food was rationed only a small amount of lard, margarine, meat, bacon, and cheese--and only if they were available. Fruit was only for those who grew their own, i.e. apples, pears, plums. That meant that most people who lived in the cities never saw any fruit. Milk was not officially rationed but the deliveryman always made sure that most of his allowance went to new mothers and very young children. For the rest it was dried milk out of a can---a revolting concoction. Later in the war a small bottle of milk was given to schoolchildren. Sweets were available but were also rationed, our sweet coupons were always exchanged for things like tea and sugar. So although there were sweets in the shops they were for the lucky few as you will see later. Although England had television transmissions before the war, this was stopped when war broke out. People had to rely on wireless sets and cinema. The cinema was the entertainment for most people, but you had to be ready to evacuate if the air raid alarm went off. My memories--- We would try to jump across the ditches, but mostly we fell in. They were about 6 feet across, about 10 feet long, and about 4 feet deep. Most with muddy water in the bottom. Anywhere that was long enough for enemy planes or gliders to land was criss-crossed with these ditches. That included of course all playing fields. There were no signposts, no city or town signs, and of course no lighting of any kind after dark. All houses had to have black out blinds and woe betides if any glimmer of light escaped. If there was no moon then it was totally black outside. Small torches and subdued lights for vehicles were allowed if there was no air raid alerts on. Many roads I remember had large concrete blocks across them, or blocks ready to drag across in case of invasion. At night when the sirens sounded we were sometimes allowed a quick peep through the edge of the blinds, the flares that 'Luftwaffe' dropped were really bright and seem to hang in the sky for ages. Then it was into the cellers or shelters. We didn't like moonlit nights, although it was much better for seeing when outside, the Germans pilots used the moon to follow rivers to their destinations. We could hear the guns fireing in the small park about four hundred yards away. Mrs. Johnson lived near the bottom of our street, and on Saturday mornings I would do some errands for her. She used to give me a white sealed envelope and direct me to the shop over the tramlines at the bottom of the street. This shop was across three main roads; but there was never any traffic on them. I never dared look in the envelope. When I got to the shop I was instructed to make sure there was no one in before entering. 'Mrs. Johnson sent this', I said every week. The grumpy old shopkeeper took the envelope looked inside, grunted, then took something from under the shop counter, placed it in a bag, and told me never to let anyone see inside. I looked of course, and it was always a large bar of chocolate. The number of times I planned to run away to just get that bar of chocolate; but I never did. I always prayed though that Mrs. Johnson would give me a piece, she never did! When I delivered the bag intact to her house, she would then give me another bag which had cloths inside; and yes--another sealed envelope. This time I had to go to Mrs. Godlove (I can see her now) a kindly fat Jewish lady, who had a greengrocers shop on the top crossing. I handed the envelope over again, after making sure of course that there was nobody in the shop. (Why there should be anybody in the shops I could not imagine, because there was never any goods on display in them!) Mrs. Godlove opened the envelope as if it was a letter and always looked surprised. She then did the under the counter trick, and I was sent on my way, with the instructions to guard the contents of the bag with my life. I knew what was in the bag of course and always stopped round the corner to look in awe at the contents---6 eggs. I had no idea how much was paid for this treasure, and it has always puzzled me why I was trusted with them, because I used to spend more time on the floor than on my feet! However I always got them back in one piece. I had never tasted an egg, or certainly couldn't remember, they looked wonderful. Mrs. Johnson took the bag from me as if it was the crown jewels, told me never to tell anybody, and gave me fourpence. We had eggs of course, well sometimes, but they came out of a tin. The texture was something like sawdust, my mother used to mix this concoction with water, then fry it and tell it us it was fried egg. It didn't matter though because the bread that we had to eat with it was definitely made from sawdust, and it took a saw to cut it. The highlight of my week was Saturday afternoons at the 'Bughutch' (our local cinema) courtesy of Mrs. Johnson's fourpence. This was when we all let off steam. I hope my memory doesn't desert me now, but I seem to remember seeing--- Flash Gordon, The Three Stooges, The Bowery Boys, The Dead-end Kids, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, was it Hop along Cassidy, and Gabby? Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were very young , as were James Cagny and Edward G Robinson. If we had seen a cowboy film we used to fashion guns out of bits of old wood, if it had been a pirate film we would make swords, it's amazing what we could make out of bits of wood. Then we would knock hell out of one another; (we were tough kids). We laughed later at the antics of the likes of Jerry Lewis and Danny Kaye but never seemed to laugh with the same urgency that we did during the war. School was about two miles away, we walked four times a day. Mostly there was no fuel for the boilers, so we sat three to a two person desk, and rotated every 15 minutes to keep warm. They were hard times We had ration books for everything, including clothing. It seemed that when we had coupons we had no money, and when we had money we had no coupons. If the boats made it across, we sometimes had Canadian jam. This was in big tins and tasted awful, but we were grateful. I seem to remember living on jam and bread for years. We had some nice hot summers during the war, and sometimes the teachers would risk taking the children to the woods for a picnic. We would get a bottle of water and put a spoonful of Canadian jam in the bottle, then shake it vigorously and pretend it was lemonade! We would then eat our jam sandwiches and drink our coloured water under the trees--- I remember when there were bombs falling, and anti-aircraft guns banging away, gathering shrapnel in the streets and swapping it at school. Shrapnel was both our toys and currency. After a heavy raid, (we could hear the shrapnel landing on the roofs) we knew we would be in for a treat the next morning. We would be out early and gather the jagged remains of shells and bombs, carefully grading and storing. Later towards the end of the war we would swap army badges, bullets, bayonets, or anything to do with the war. I had a German army helmet with a swastika and eagle on it. Sometimes school lessons were in air raid shelters. I remember being dragged to our re-enforced cellar, when the air raid sirens started at night. It was not possible to sleep. The cellar was cold, damp, dark, and had no beds. We could be there for hours. We would walk round the bombed areas in the daylight. One night it was our hospital, town hall, electricity station, and local pub that was bombed. I walked down to the city centre in the morning; incendiary bombs had been dropped during the raid and the town was still on fire. Part of the hospital had disappeared. The area where I lived had a tank factory, a munitions factory, an aircraft factory and heavy engineering works, plus a major railway junction, obviously a good target area----but I have to say we escaped quite lightly compared to some areas. All the kids could tell the enemy planes from our own, by the different sounds of the engines, we could also identify aircraft by their silhouette. (We were smart kids) I can remember listening to the speeches of Adolph Hitler, Mussolini, and Lord Haw-Haw. (William Joyce) Haw-Haw as he was known, was an Englishman who transmitted propaganda radio messages to England from Germany, telling us we were doomed and that we must surrender. He was caught and hanged after the war for being a traitor. The battle of Britain ended then in October 1940, (although we still suffered from less heavy air raids) we had fought alone and defeated the Luftwaffe---but only just, we were on our knees. The Spitfires and Hurricanes had performed superbly in the hands of our gallant pilots, and decimated the German bombers. If Hitler had known our true state he would have increased his effort, and the outcome could have been very different. The indiscriminate terror of the V1 and V2 rockets however were still some time away, and these awful weapons were yet to rain down on England. So the Battle of Britain ended and we were now to start the Battle of the Atlantic. Hitler's navy would starve us to death if he couldn't do it with bombs. His U-boats nearly succeeded here as well; we relied on imports and were not getting any! Our Merchant navy losses were more than we could sustain. 2,800 merchant ships were sunk. It was thanks to the increase in our naval power and the eventual destruction of the U-boat bases by land forces, that the Battle of the Atlantic was brought to an end. Once more we had survived---just The cars, which used gas in England during the war, probably used coal tar gas, or maybe methane. This gas couldn't be compressed presumably at that time, hence the large bags on top of the cars. Petrol was only available to military vehicles, and emergency vehicles. These included police, ambulance, and fire engines. Our doctor even used a bicycle. If you had a car, and were desperate to drive, then you had to be rich enough to have a conversion to gas. Some cars had wood burning steam engines. There were not many cars about. Gas masks were horrendous things; they obviously had to fit very tight, they had a small slit to see through, which always steamed up. They were extremely claustrophobic, and breathing was difficult because of all the filters in them. The worst part was having to go through the travelling gas chamber to test them. These large vehicles came round periodically, and every body hated them. We had to put our masks on and walk through a gas filled chamber, nobody knew what would happen if they leaked, and nobody bothered to tell us. Fortunately gas was never dropped, but we wore our gas masks quite a lot, and had to carry them everywhere until the end of the war. Some people refused to carry them, but risked being fined if caught without them. Small boys love fishing and we were not going to be deprived of it by a war. Large water tanks that resembled swimming pools were everywhere. During air raids water mains were often fractured and these water tanks were the emergency supplies. They were netted over to stop small boys diving in. Being bright boys we fashioned pieces of wood, string, and bent pins and went fishing. We spent hours sat on the sides of these tanks with our strings in the water, waiting for that big catch, which we had been told had been spotted many times. We spoke about Spitfires, Mosquitoes' and Hurricanes, but we didn't know we needed worms on our bent pins--- Coded messages on the radio were a real challenge, these went out on normal programmes. We boys were brilliant at decoding these messages. 'The cows will be sleeping gently tonight' 'Tomorrow the moon will be silver' 'Uncle Tom has broken his leg, but will still play' These are not verbatim, but that's what they were like. We listened and quickly worked out the codes. I don't know how we did it because the Germans never broke the codes, only the one's they were meant to. We were part of the war all right. Spies of course were everywhere, and we boys were experts at spotting them. Anybody who was not instantly recognised was of course a spy. We trailed them for miles. We spotted swastikas on cigarette packets, and Lugers hidden in pockets. We didn't miss much. We didn't see any Americans until a long time after the Pearl Harbour attack by the Japanese in December 1941. We had strict instructions to keep away from them, our parents said we looked like urchins. Well we may have done; but we didn't know what urchins looked like, so we took no notice, and after school if there were no raids on, we would high tail it to Chapletown. This area was about two miles away, but we soon covered the ground. With our arms out to the sides, and making the appropriate noises we became Spitfires and Hurricanes, complete with machine gun and cannon noises. Many a dogfight took place between our house and Chapletown. Chapletown, I must tell you, was the posh area; we could never understand why the 'Yanks' got the posh area to live in. When we arrived at Chapletown we would work out our strategy, and select our methods of operation. These were only single missions, and had to be executed with great skill. When a Yank was spotted (always recognised by his smart uniform) the elected urchin would saunter casually up, and in his best American would utter the magic words 'Got any gum chum?' I have to say we were fairly successful and very rarely returned from mission empty mouthed. It's a good job because this was the nearest we would get to sweets for a long time. My wife used to go with her Mother to work in the fields near a German prison camp, and although she was told not to go anywhere near the prisoners (being a normal little girl) she would take no notice and would often go to talk to them. She told me that they were always kind and made a fuss of her. Some could speak a little English. I suppose most of those Germans eventually returned safely to their own country and families. But I often wonder how many of the 'Yanks' who were destined to cross the channel on D-Day; and who used to give us urchins' chewing gum in Chapletown, never made it back home? It may all sound pretty horrendous, but remember I never knew anything different. It was after the war ended before I first went in a motor car. I cannot remember ever going out of our city. I can only remember going in tramcars. For most people it was a long time after the war ended before things got any easier, and it was a very slow process. When I see what children have today; where they travel to, and how they dress, and they still never seem to be satisfied----I must admit my mind sometimes goes back to those days. ------- Post Script. 6th May 2005. On the 7th May 1945, although the announcement hadn't officially been made we knew the war in Europe was over. All the children went to school in their best clothes. I remember mine had patches on them---so had many other children's clothes. My shoes were badly split at the back, as my feet were growing they pushed the heels out. I don't know if it was lack of money or lack of clothing coupons but it was a long time before I had shoes that fit me properly. My socks were always darned too. Many children didn't have any shoes at all, I can remember seeing them walking about in bare feet. A special fund was set up to supply 'Boots for the Bairns'. I suppose then that I was one of the lucky ones. We were sent home from school and so had two days off---May 8th was declared an official national holiday. We were on double summer time during the war and it didn't get dark until about ten in the evening. After all the street parties were over, it seemed that every house had their black out curtains removed and all had their lights on---this was quite an amazing sight for me and many others who could not remember ever seeing the streets lit up at night. That day seemed to last forever. On that day I also heard church bells ring for the first time. Victory in Europe was ours then---but victory in the Pacific was still to be won. I still had relatives out there in the forces and so had many other families. I didn't know at the time of course but my future wife did not see her father for six years, from being two years old to being eight. She also had an uncle who was a POW in Burma. Many families found it very difficult to celebrate until they knew their loved ones were safe, and many of course could never celebrate. It was wonderful to go to bed that night and know that there would be no more guns banging---no more bombs dropping, and to know I could look forward to seeing my first banana. Little did I know just how long that would take---or how long it would be before I could even go and buy sweets again. The war had taken a terrible toll on our country. War is indeed a nasty business.
Archived comments for Memories of wartime England.
Geometrix on 2005-05-06 13:30:28
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Well written, good descriptions and nice flow...

D

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-05-06 14:41:54
Re: Memories of wartime England.
A very poignant story, Gerry. I'm sure I've read it before but it's the kind of thing that should be read again and again. Thanks for reminding us. I can verify something for you ... Canadian jam is still made and it's still just as bad now as it was then. Hop-a-long Cassidy's sidekick was indeed 'Gabby' (Gabby Hayes)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-06 16:28:29
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Deb, thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-06 16:34:59
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Harry, yes I know you have read it before---thank you for re-reading. Does Canadian jam still come in steel ribbed rusty tins?
O' yes! good old Gabby-- I can see still him with his frying pan. Those were the days Harry. A little different now...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-05-06 17:37:47
Re: Memories of wartime England.
A second read is nothing but a pleasure when it's as informative and fascinating as this...I grew up after the war, and share some of the same memories - but not, of course, the most horrific ones. Should be compulsory reading for the younger generation, even if they find it difficult to believe!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-06 17:55:56
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Roy, thank you. Like Harry I knew you had read this before. This is funny Roy--but I find myself re-reading this post from time to time. Sometimes I find it hard to believe too. I hope these times are never forgotten...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-05-06 18:16:16
Re: Memories of wartime England.
I must admit to being affected by this Gerry, I was one who never knew a fathers love he was killed in 1944. I remember very little of the actual war my memories are from directly after, they are not so different from yours as you say it took a long time for things to improve. I remember having my first fresh tomato, I actually hated it! I remember being asked by a school teacher once to describe a grapefruit and saying it was a drink! Living in the countryside though had it's compensations as there were no shortage of orchards and allotments.. we were little thieves really nothing was ever safe! but I can't remember being hungry. Great piece Gerry. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-06 19:44:25
Re: Memories of wartime England.
So sorry to hear about your dad Val.

Yes I suppose things were better if one lived in the countryside. Less chance of being bombed--more food etc. I don't think anyone escaped though---all families had someone away fighting...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-05-07 16:12:39
Re: Memories of wartime England.
This is very moving and so well told Gerry. You include small details that are so interesting and intriguing, that I had no idea of - very informative.

'We laughed at the antics...of Jerry Lewis and Danny Kaye but never with the same urgency that we did during the war.'

This says so much about the appreciation of life and danger and the small things we often take for granted. How ironic it is that 'hard times' can bring people together in a real sense of community as opposed to much of the anomie that people experience today, despite our relative wealth.

It's very interesting for me living in Germany to see 'the other side'.

We stay near the Rhine, an area that was heavily bombed. There have been exhibitions this year commemorating a particularly heavy bombing in February, here in Wiesbaden.

The film with Robert Carlyle as Hitler (he's excellent in the role) is showing over 2 nights at the moment.

My German father-in-law comments about the devastation and personal losses of family members etc, but as my husband's gran says,

'We started it.'

And of course 'Slaughterhouse-Five' by Kurt Vonnegut is an excellent evocation of the brutality of the (tptally unnecessary) bombing in Dresden.

My dad told me he had a Mickey Mouse gas mask and he always cried without end when he had to put it on (he was about 4 or 5 years old) and in Plymouth which was very heavily bombed.

Great work Gerry!

Kat 🙂



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-07 17:16:45
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Kat, thanks for dropping by and commenting.
I was too old for a Micky mouse gas mask but I remember them--and also the ones that babies were placed in (totally enclosed).

I worked for Siemens for thirty years and went to Bavaria on many occasions. I met people my own age and had interesting discussions--I met older Germans who still a bit suspicious LOL.

I found Nuremberg and Munich particularly interesting. See (I stood where Hitler stood).

Once more thank you for your comments.

Gerry xxx




Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-07 19:30:47
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Kat--see further down.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Apolloneia on 2005-05-07 20:37:19
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Of course I remember this article, as always a well-written piece with a message, this one with doleful memories realistically written as well. Yes war is a nasty business, and it IS a horrible way of doing Business.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-08 09:06:45
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Nico, Thank you for dropping in and commenting on this slightly modified version--which I know you read before. Today is the day the war officially ended 60 years ago. I find that hard to believe...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 2005-05-22 17:52:11
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Hi Gerry,

Wonderful memoir there. I only had a pale taste of what it meant to be deprived of mod cons when I spent a year in Poland in 1986 - Martial law was still effectively in place: meat and sweets rationed, but only children got the sweets. Bread queues and empty shelves etc. At first hard coming from the west, but I surprised myself by adaptin fairly quick. Also I had effetively no TV as it took me 10 months to come up to speed in pigeon-Polish, so only entertainment was music on radio and going to a great jazz club in Warsaw every now and then. Not as bad as your war experience by a long shot, though, but enough to make me realise my luck in the west. Curiusly it was mroe of a culture shock returning to the decadent west: what shocked most of all was colour everywhere - in bill-boards, shop fronts etc. - Warsaw was pretty damed grey then.

Another point on Kat's thing on Germany - Darmstadt, the main town near where I live, was amini-Dresden: very sad to see how it was utterly flattened: okay, it had Merck that was supposed to be involved in weapons production, though I think I read that even that wasn#t accurate, so again it was mroe a terror bombing: many thousands met death in the firestorm. But agin most people here accept that theor country gave wrose than it got. Anyway, it was all very sad and war is hell on Earth.

Hugh

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-23 21:00:42
Re: Memories of wartime England.
Hugh, Thanks for dropping by and for your interesting comments.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Of God and the Universe. (posted on: 02-05-05)
Don't shoot the messenger.

Einstein's famous formula E=MC2 basically means that you cannot get something from nothing. Everybody will probably agree with that. It is thought that our universe started with a big bang, and that big bang came from a singularity (a point of infinite density). Well okay this singularity must have been some kind of energy. This energy became unstable and exploded. It then expanded like a balloon being blown upthe energy converting to matter on its way. It went on of course to create our universe, and is in fact still expanding at a not inconsiderate rate. When asked where the centre of the universe is, scientists tell us that there isn't one. Well okay, but isn't the point or singularity of the big bang the centre? Seeing that everything started there. If as we are told the universe will eventually reach its limit of expansion and then start to deflate---or fall back on itself, will it not reach the same point as it started from? If we are likened to a giant balloon. Why do we not have a centre? A balloon has a centre and simple maths will soon locate it. Doesn't it seem possible that this may be the answer to our question also? How did it all start? Surely to have a big bang in the first place we had to have the energy---Einstein proved this. The energy then had to come from a collapsing universe. So maybe our universe is cyclicalBang, expand, collapse, compress and bang again. It seems to make more sense than the magical (nothing exploded) and created the universe. If as the scientist tell us the universe is like a balloon with no centre IE all matter on the outer side, Why when we look out from any point on earth do we see millions of stars? Surely if our balloon was empty (only matter on the periphery) there would be one direction were we didn't see much at all. So we have our giant balloon---now if you can imagine looking at it from afar and gradually pulling back we presumably would see this globe hanging in space, our universe. It cannot possibly occupy all of space---only the part it has had time to expand into. So if we continue to pull back is it not possible we would see other globes? Other universes? If there is infinite space why shouldn't there be infinite universes to fill it? We know because the laws of physics tells us, that there will always be big bangs, creation and destruction in our universe; the pictures from the hubble telescope confirm this without any doubt. Maybe then this also applies to universes. If we could watch from far enough away, would we see universes being born and dying just like we observe stars and galaxies now? The big question then how did it all start. Have you ever thought it strange that we happen to have everything to hand on our planet that we require? As humans have progressed through life from the earliest days, everything they needed has been there for them. Each new requirement has been obligingly provided; even now new elements and minerals are being discovered to supply our needs. Have you ever though how amazing it is that we are just the right distance from the sun? A little nearer and we would burn upa little further away and we would freeze. Have you ever thought how strange it is that when the moon is between the earth and the sun, it covers the sun perfectly to a millimetre. Don't you ever think that there may be a just a little bit more to this than the brains of men and our knowledge of physics and science will ever fathom? Well I do--- Before anyone asks me why I wrote this. It was Sunday evening, I was sat at my computer and I didn't know what to write. This came out. It is not intended to be definitive in any way; it is just the result of 25 minutes of fingers on 'QWERTY'. Maybe it will give you something to think about.
Archived comments for Of God and the Universe.
Harry on 2005-05-02 15:07:39
Re: Of God and the Universe.
It all depends on how you ask the questions, Gerry. How does it happen? What would happen if it didn't happen? Does it have to happen? Every question begs another, and you put the question very well.

Author's Reply:

Easyd on 2005-05-02 15:14:45
Re: Of God and the Universe.
Right - well, nicely written, but let me correct your view of the big bang and all that. The point of the balloon analogy is that we are on the surface of a 4-dimensional balloon. That surface is 3-dimensional, just as the surface of a 3-dimensional balloon is 2-dimensional or flat. A bit hard to picture for a non-physicist (I am a physicist) but in the analogy the galaxies are spirals painted on the surface of the balloon, except that in reality they stay the same size as the balloon expands, while gradually getting further and further from one another. Thus it might be better to picture the galaxies as badges somehow pinned onto the surface of the balloon (without bursting it!): as rigid badges they stay the same size but the inter-galaxy distance gets bigger and bigger. The analogy is good in that you show galaxies dotted all over the spherical balloon in a uniform distribution. As the expansion (big bang) goes on, the badges get further from each h other, but their distribution is much the same as before -i.e. uniform in all directions. The analogy carries over to us on our 4-d balloon, where when we look around us in 3-d at all the galaxies and see there are the same number in each direction, we are just looking along the 3-d surface of the 4-d balloon. Thus there is no centre in our 3-d space - but might be in 4-d 'hyperspace', only we would find it hard to go there. Maybe we could snip off a warp a la Star Trek and float to centre of balloon. We'd need 4-d beings to guide us, though.

Now to another point: if you'd followed the science news in the last 3 or so years you'd realise that because distance supernovae were seen to be accelerating away from us quicker that expected, it seems there is a mysterious force, dubbed 'dark energy' or 'quintessence' that causes the big bang, not to slow down, but speed up the further the galaxies are from each other. This is a headache for the cosmologists, and it seems there is so much energy in the dark energy that it is 75% of all mass/energy, with Dark Matter (holds galaxies together) coming in second at about 20%, with normal matter coming last at a mere 5%.

Now your question as to where all the energy came from. No one has a clue. The best they can do is defer the decision by saying we are just one in a long series of sprouting sub-universes or even parallel dimension universes a la quantum many worlds or similar. But in the end they are stuck at the question: where did this 'multiverse' come from? There is still plenty of scope for a God in there. Also, Newton was convinced that divine will was needed to keep the universe in existence. This 'continual miracle' is also still a valid theory, as physics just gives the equations, and never say how to breathe fire into the equations, as Hawking says.

Finally, the coincidence that our planet is ideally suited to life - in the 'biosphere' of the sun, here water neither boils nor freezes, with goalkeepers Moon and Jupiter to keep away too many nasty asteroids etc. (though recent theory says we need an optimum number of collisions to drive variety in evolution - after each major extinction there followed an explosion of diversification). Other 'coincidences' are that the earth has enough gravity to hold in oxygen but not too much so we'd be crushed. Then there's a reaction in stars, in the 'CNO cycle' that needs a coincidence to make heavier elements like oxygen and iron. All these coincidences (there are more (e.g. large numbers - universe 10**40 planck times, which is ration of electro to gravity force)) lead to the 'anthropic principle' (strong or weak version). Strong anthropic principle: implying that observers are needed so every universe must be such as to bring them forth. The weak anthropic principle says that only universes in the mutiverse (see above) with the right conditions (all the coincidences) will produce observers in the first place.

Reading consciousness book by Coin McGinn now - his idea: the universe varies between pure mind and mixed mind/matter: before big bang
pure mind etc. Oh and jury still out on BigBang? See Halton Arp and his theory of non-cosmological red-shift. Also Burkhard Heim where the universe is immensely older that 15 billion years.



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-02 16:50:07
Re: Of God and the Universe.
Harry, You are right, this subject blows my mind. I just haven't got enough cells left. lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-02 17:08:01
Re: Of God and the Universe.
Easyd, Thank you for going into detail to explain some of my points. I never expected a response like the one you supplied. My article was really written quite light heartedly and quite by chance--however it is a subject I am interested in, and I have devoured Hawking's books even though I have to admit I didn't always understand them fully. I did have an idea about the 4 dimension and centre thingy.lol--- but I didn't think anyone on here would know too much about it. I was bluffing a bit. lol.

I reckon some of my points were fair enough , and it was nice to see that you didn't shoot me down in flames. I do intend now to look into this subject a bit more closely--it really is fascinating. I still believe we had a little help along the way. lol.

Thank you ones more...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-02 19:28:05
Re: Of God and the Universe.
'Once'--sorry. Have smacked my pooter...

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-05-03 14:56:38
Re: Of God and the Universe.
I'm sorry - after this and that most detailed reply I've ever seen (literally) the Big Bang has just happened inside my head. This science...never my strong suit, though I agree that it's fascinating on many different levels, including philosophy. It's so easy to discover what we DON'T know...but the answers? Maybe it's 42, but I don't think it's that simple. It all boils down to this - I have no idea how the matter of this or any other universe was created. If matter or energy can only change form, how did it occur? Where did it come from? Now, a religious person might come up with the explanation - God created it. Sorry, that begs the obvious retort - who created God, and why - and what if anything did God create him/her/itself from? In the beginning was the word - who spoke or wrote it? Because if no-one did, it wasn't a word - but there was nothing there before the word, so round and round we go.
We're still left with the idea of something from nothing, and nothing I've ever seen can solve that conundrum.
Very thought-provoking, Gerry - my brain hurts!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-03 17:00:42
Re: Of God and the Universe.
Roy, My brain has been hurting for a long time. Each time I think about this subject in fact--and that is quite often. Religious belief is only about faith Roy, nobody has any proof of anything. The so called big bang if that is what it was, stops
everyone dead in their tracks. Your posed question is of course valid--I have asked it many times myself--I am afraid for the foreseeable future our brains will have to continue to hurt...LOL.

Gerry. 'PM'

Author's Reply:


Are we similar to Saudi? (posted on: 29-04-05)
I have placed this under none fiction
It could equally have gone under Satire,
Comedy, Experimental, Philosophy, or
Just plain daft. The last one may have
been most appropriate.

You may have heard last week of the family out shopping. The young boy was apparently giving the parents a hard time. He had been warned by the father, but rammed a trolley into his sister. His father slapped his legs. They then went into the supermarket and spent some time shopping---
They then went out to the car park and loaded up before driving home.

Some time later the father received a visit from the police---well two actually, and they were not particularly pleasant apparently. This it seems was a normal family with normal happy children. The father was not too happy as you could imagine, and sent the policemen packing before ringing the station. He spoke to a sergeant and insisted on a visit to his home. The sergeant apparently had more sense and spoke to the boy, telling him to behave and do what his father told him. All ended well---

The worrying part is that of the secret police. The incident was obviously observed by them. The observer spent some time tracking the family around the supermarket, before following them out to the car park. The father's car number was then taken and then the incident was reported.

Any similarity with Saudi?

Did you enjoy St George's day? Did you celebrate it?
It seems it cannot be celebrated, flags flown, or pubs open longer because it isn't deemed important by our government. They are quite happy though to have all the razzle of St Patrick's day, St David's day and Burn's night. We haven't to do anything it seems that may offend anyone who isn't indigenous English. Each year Christmas is being attacked, what's the betting that will be slid out of the equation soon. In Saudi no Churches are allowed, Christmas cannot be celebrated. You can say anything about Christianity in this country, run it down, blaspheme, make obscene films. (I cannot understand why people want to do this though) but say anything about Islam and you will have the thought police round quicker that you can say 'Legal aid is only for the rich and immigrants'.

Any similarity?

It seems that somewhere in England only married couples can adopt a dog. (Now I am all in favour of that) A dog should only be put in a home where there is commitment and at least a chance and a loving and lasting relationship. A dog deserves to happy and well cared for. It's a pity our government don't apply the same criteria to children. In Saudi only a married couple or family members can become legal guardians of a child. The child must be given every chance to grow up normally.

Any similarity.

Saudi is very careful who it lets into the country. Those let in are expected to work. Anyone not supposed to be there will 'if found' not be treated kindly.
We have lots of illegal migrants. We have Yardies, Triads, Mafia and yes now Russian Mafia and Panther gangs. You could probably add to this list of gangs. None of these gangs it seems exist in Saudi. I don't think Saudi jails are too nicecould that have something to do with it?

Any similarity?

In Saudi criminals are punished quite harshly---the crime rate it seems is pretty low. Whether you agree or not, a thief will think twice about his third theft, if he knows he will lose his hand if caught. Likewise the threat of being flogged acts as an amazing deterrent to would be idiots.
In UK the criminal has nothing to fearit's the victims who have to look over their shoulders, they are the one's likely to end up in the nick.

Any similarity?

The Saudi Thought Police arrest, detain and torture Europeans when their cities are bombed. They cannot admit it is their own kind perpetrating these crimes, although they know. They obtain false confession from whites to assuage their consciences. In England although we know who are causing our problems and who are a threat to our security and stability, our leaders prefer to ignore them (apart from giving them lots of money and houses and things) we cannot be seen to upset anyone who is not white.

A lady suffering from Fibromyyalgia applied for discounted hydrotherapy treatment, which greatly eases her constant suffering---the treatment is funded by a lottery grant. When she applied she was asked 'Are you Asian?' When she said she was white---the lady was told she was not eligible. A council spokesperson commented--- ''The service is oversubscribed and therefore is being kept specifically for the Asian community''.

Any similarity?

The Saudi Government is totally corrupt, immoral and dishonest. Our is -----------------------------

Any similarity?

The answer of course to the question Any Similarity? could be yes or no.

Stands back and adopts Kibadachi position whilst waiting for attack.

Archived comments for Are we similar to Saudi?
RoyBateman on 2005-04-29 11:59:16
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
Not from me, mate - I think you know that we often agree, if not on everything! There's a happy mean, surely, which we used to understand instinctively...where's that gone? The desire for simple "fairness" used to be virtually universal in Britain. Is it now? There's a question. I'd hate to live in a state like Saudi Arabia, personally, as it's as corrupt as - well, we're going down that path ourselves. Not quite there yet, I hope! You've raised many, many pertinent points above, and I'm sure there'll be a wide variety of comments. Like you, probably, I'm seething every time I open my paper, but as for practical solutions - I only have one vote!

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-04-29 13:41:44
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
I guess there is the question of saloons, or pubs if you prefer. Pretty rare I hear in Saudi Arabia. Other than that, Gerry, I think you've nailed it pretty well.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-29 14:05:27
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
Roy, Thanks for your comments--always appreciated. I find our present path very worrying.
They only gave me one vote also. LOL.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-29 14:09:18
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
Harry, saloons should have gone out with Roy Rodgers and trigger---the only people to benefit are the beer manufacturers. (Ducks down quick)
I think if one drinks in Saudi, much care is needed.
But it is if you even breath there. lol.
Thanks for comment.

Author's Reply:

Geometrix on 2005-04-30 17:43:01
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
This is very interesting and well presented...food for thought!

D

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-30 19:32:44
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
D, Thanks for your comment. I like your Hubble picture (hour glass nebular--I think).

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-05-01 16:01:11
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
I went out for a beer with a pal last week for St George's day - and it was empty - and there was a football match on too! Strictly as part of "research", I tried another pub or two, and whereas one had made an effort with some flags, none of the customers seemed to care.
I think there is nothing wrong with some pride in your country, but people are afraid - not for fear of being racist - but of the criticism of others who wrongly believe it to be racist - it's easier to call someone a racist, than to defend oneself against the charge.
Look a New York - very multi-cultural - and there are US flags everywhere. I asked my 13 year old niece what the English flag was, and she described the Union Jack.
If you excuse my language, this country has lost its balls. I can't see any politician who is promising to give them back either.
I certainly agree with being ultra tough on crime. You are right that the victim has more to fear. If you set foot on someone's property, you should be prepared to be attacked. If France landed in Sussex and started carting our stuff back across the channel (if they could find anything of value!) , I'm sure we might do something.
Until we stop being seen as a soft touch, it will only get worse.
Infuriating, but what can you do?


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-01 16:38:40
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
TheGeeza, I know that extensions to hours were applied for in our area and turned down. Not that I would have been there--- but we were not allowed to fly St George's flag either. Big to-do in the papers about that.
Yes there are a lot of infuriating things---
Thanks for dropping in and commenting...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

bobblehat2000 on 2005-05-01 19:56:42
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
The short answer to the original question is "no".



Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-01 21:35:20
Re: Are we similar to Saudi?
Thanks Bobble--that's that sorted then lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Abject Terror. (posted on: 25-04-05)
In my nearly seventy years of life I have encountered many frightening experiences. Nothing however can compare to the experience narrated below.
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I had been posted to RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire. Yatesbury was one of the main radio training schools. 'Radio' embraced wireless, radar, instrument landing systems and other aircraft electronics. I had just finished basic training and had been sent here to learn---before being let loose on aircraft on an operational unit. Most arrivals were like me, Aircraftsmen 2nd class (the lowest one can be). The camp had to be guarded, and after 5 PM the airmen who's job it was to guard the camp, all knocked off for the day. (These guys would have been RAF police or maybe RAF regiment). It was then up to the guys on the various courses to cover the guard duties. Fortunately Yatesbury being a large camp, meant guard duty didn't come round too often---which was good because everyone hated it. My first duty eventually arrived. Uniforms had to be spot on, everything had to gleam, boots were like mirrors---even then we knew something would be picked up at the inspection which preceded every guard duty. I found myself on the ten till one shift, not too bad, if all went well I could get some sleep---the guard was stood down at seven in the morning. There was this building; we marched past it frequently on the way to our lectures, and also to the camp cinema. The building was wooden structured like all the restbut it was always empty. Rumour had it that it was haunted. Each guard was issued with a torch and a truncheon, and was given an area to patrol. Guard patrols could be, and were checked by the NCO in charge and also the orderly officer, there was no skiving. I commenced my duty at 10pm, winter was approaching and it was cold and miserable. Initially there were other airmen around, leaving the NAAFI, cinema, and other places of recreation, but soon it was very quiet. Walking round a military establishment at night with lots of buildings and dim lights and shadows, is not in itself very pleasant. When one knows however that on your patrol, is a place that is claimed to be haunted, all sorts of silly things go on in your mind. What had happened in this place? Why was it always deserted? Why didn't anyone tell us about it? The building was now in my sight I gripped my baton tightly and walked on. I deliberately didn't look at the building but increased my pace to get passed as quickly as possible. I knew at once---there was no mistake, the temperature had dropped significantly. I glanced at the building---nothing obvious, and as soon as I was passed the temperature returned to normal. I had to pass this place three times on my duty (not from choice) and each time I had the same experience. After my duty ended the sergeant asked me if all was in order, I told him about the building---he just replied that all was in order then. I didn't get any sleep that night, and it was a very tired airman that attended his lectures the next morning. My next guard duty about four weeks later was at the aircraft pound about three miles from the main camp. This pound had an assortment of aircraft from the war, they were mostly bombers. I can remember the Lancaster, Halifax, Blenheim, Wellington and Mosquito and there was probably others. Some aircraft still had functioning equipment and these were used for training purposes. We were encouraged to look in all the aircraft to get an idea what conditions would have been like for the crews. Many questions and answers were given; it was a very rewarding experience. Walking round the aircraft during the day with others, and walking round in the dark on ones own is a very different matter. This was a large area, and large aircraft at night look rather frightening especially when silhouetted. Noises seem to come from everywhere---lights seem to shine from everywhere, especially when the torch was switched on. I didn't like it. I had no idea really why this area was being guarded. There was a large perimeter fence and I couldn't really see why anyone would want to break in to a pound with old disabled WW2 aircraft. Something made me stop in front of a large bomber. I slowly scanned the plane from back to front with my torch, when my torch beam illuminated the cockpit the adrenaline rush nearly took my head off---looking down at me was a grotesque image of a face. I wanted to turn and run but I was riveted to the spot, my heart was pounding---I was suffering total and absolute terror. Then a hand slowly rose into view the fingers spread as if clawing at the window of the cockpit. After what seemed like an eternity but what was in reality would have been only a short time I managed to tear myself away from this horror. The night was cold and frosty, I had a greatcoat on and although I tried to run, I found it impossible. Trying to run round large bombers in the dark in a heavy coat is not to be recommended. Eventually I arrived at the guard post. Now please ask yourselves how would you have handled this. Remember in those days there was no mobile methods of communication. The Sergeant of guards took one look at me and at once knew all was not right. Over a pot of tea I told him as clearly as possible what I had just seen. He told me it must have been a trick of the light. The other two guards who were present were noticeably disturbed by my story. I didn't want to go back, but couldn't believe what I was hearing when I insisted that the sergeant come back with me. One guard was left in the post and the three of us set off. In my terror I wasn't at all sure were I was heading. There must have been forty aircraft in the pound. I remembered I had dropped my baton and asked the other two to look for itwe now had three torches. After about ten minutes the other guard spotted the baton and called out; so now there was three of us under the front of the bomber. The sergeant asked me to show him exactly what I did, and where I shone the torch. I started at the back and slowly shone the beam up the fuselage and on to the cockpit. There was nothing there---and then very slowly the face appeared. If anything it was more grotesque, the mouth open and twisted---the arm and hand once again slowly appeared and seemed to claw at the window. The sergeant was unable to move, my fellow guardsman was being sick. I cannot put here what was saidI leave you to imagine. When the sergeant had composed himself as much as was possible, he sent the other guard back to the post to ring for the orderly officer. I was much braver now with someone else there and feeling somewhat vindicated, I suggested we investigate further. The sergeant wasn't over keen, but reluctantly agreed. We ran a boarding ladder into position and the sergeant climbed up, I was shining both torches. What happened next I will not forget until my dying day. The sergeant opened the cockpit door, and I shone the two torches inside from my position on the ground. A figure suddenly appeared in the doorway---the face now caught in my upward shining torch beams more grotesque than ever, the hand and arm raised with claw like fingers extended. The sergeant passed out and fell from the ladder. I held my torch on the spectre, which took a step as if to descend the ladderand then the spectre collapsed on to ground beside the sergeant. My brain was now starting to function and I realised this was no spectreit was a fellow airman and a quick check told me he was in a desperate condition. He was in a state of hypothermia and deadly cold. The temperature inside the aircraft must have been akin to a fridge. The sergeant was starting to come round, and I quickly got his and my greatcoats off and over the airman. Shortly afterwards the orderly officer arrived, the other guard had had the sense to ask for an ambulance, and not knowing clearly what was wrong a medical officer had also attended the scene. It must have looked like a battleground when they arrived. The Airman from the plane was rushed away in the ambulance, the sergeant was helped back to the guardroom. When we were all reasonably composed the orderly officer debriefed us. I have never known this happen before, but the guard was stood down, and the reserve guard was called in. By way of explanation. That afternoon a group of airmen had been brought down to the aircraft pound to do the rounds of the planes. Somehow and this was never established--an airman was left in a plane and unable to get out. The lorry had loaded up the airmen and returned to camp without missing anyone. When the lorry had got back to camp it was teatime, no check on personnel, after tea--leisure time, and then bedtime. It was quite common to go to bed and to sleep with a few beds vacant---nobody asked questions and they were always occupied in the morning. It would then have been the next morning at first lecture before the airman was found to be missing. The guy had only got a thin denim overall on over his battledress, totally inadequate for a frosty winter evening. I had warm underclothes, shirt, long sleeved jersey, battle dress and large military overcoat---I was still cold. His grotesque appearance was because of the intense cold he was suffering from. His right arm was raised and fingers extended because he was trying to hold himself upright by an overhead strap so he could be seen. (a very wise decision as it turned out). The guy made a complete recovery. He had though damaged his vocal chords with shouted, and was unable to speak correctly for a number of days. The poor airman didn't know that there was no one to hear his cries. The sergeant made a complete recovery. I however did not. It is easy to understand when one has the explanation---but I sometimes still see that face in the cockpit window, and go cold to this day. I eventually graduated from RAF Yatesbury and was posted to a Navigator training school. I there worked on the systems I had trained on at Yatesbury, in Vampire and Venom jet fighters. RAF Yatesbury no longer exists. It seems it would be very difficult to recognise anything of the camp now, and nature has reclaimed it. Apparently a plaque has been placed outside what was the camp. It has the badge of Number two-radio school, and pays tribute to all the personnel who worked and trained there before, during and after the war. I recently came across a fellow writer on another site who had written an article about his RAF service, I pricked my ears up when he mentioned RAF Yatesbury. I contacted him and we exchanged a few memories. In one of his messages he said ''Did you ever go past the haunted building while doing guard duty?'' END.
Archived comments for Abject Terror.
RoyBateman on 2005-04-25 11:23:05
Re: Abject Terror.
What a thoroughly gripping tale - I suppose that most readers are going to think it's actually fiction until the ending is revealed. A terrific read, and in this case it's clear how many "ghost" stories have perfectly logical explanations - though you weren't to know that at the time! (I bet that driver got a bollocking for not checking his numbers, though.)

Author's Reply:

Geometrix on 2005-04-25 13:51:55
Re: Abject Terror.
This is an excellent tale, quite gripping I should say!


Geometrix

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-04-25 14:09:15
Re: Abject Terror.
Fantastic story, Gerry. I got so involved with the hypothermia case in the airplane I completely forgot the haunted building. You've got to finish that one.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-25 14:20:37
Re: Abject Terror.
Roy thank you. This occurrence was fifty years ago.
Although my memory was poor when it was brilliant.lol--there are some things that will never go away...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-25 14:22:57
Re: Abject Terror.
Geo, glad you enjoyed the read---thank you for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-25 14:25:46
Re: Abject Terror.
Harry, I think the haunted building died with the camp. I never did find out about it. It seemed everyone knew about it though--very strange.
Thanks...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

discopants on 2005-04-25 15:00:24
Re: Abject Terror.
It sent a couple of shivers down my spine just reading it. Lucky for the guy in the aeroplane that he was found at all. A well-told tale.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-25 17:24:11
Re: Abject Terror.
Discopants, yes indeed he had bad luck, and good luck on that day. Thanks for dropping in...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

LenchenElf on 2005-04-26 23:59:05
Re: Abject Terror.
A thumping good tale, really enjoyed this, thanks for sharing
all the best
L

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-27 14:36:14
Re: Abject Terror.
L, thanks for dropping by--glad you enjoyed the read.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

shadow on 2005-04-28 23:15:44
Re: Abject Terror.
That is a truly scary story! I am so glad the poor bloke recovered. (Did you ever find out why the other building was supposed to be haunted?)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-29 10:15:07
Re: Abject Terror.
shadow--No I never did; but I know people were experiencing it long after I left there. I think the mystery died with the camp.
Thanks for your comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-04-30 17:18:13
Re: Abject Terror.
Aptly named and let me tell you that I had more than a few chills during the reading. I am pleased that you found this man and helped to save him. You must feel good about that. I found this an excellent read all the way through and all to human, as we are all subject to illogical fears. However you overcame yours in a wonderfull way, and in so doing brought someone who surely would have died back from the brink. I cannot think of a "duty" more worthy.

blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-30 19:38:37
Re: Abject Terror.
Jolen, Thank you for reading--and for your kind comment.

Blessings to you too...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-05-01 12:00:07
Re: Abject Terror.
Hi Gerry, a chilly tale indeed, wonderfully told too.

Glad there was a happy ending for the poor lad.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-01 12:55:32
Re: Abject Terror.
Tai thanks for reading and commenting--- I am sure many things that happened in the forces didn't have such a happy ending, glad this one did...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-05-01 15:30:05
Re: Abject Terror.
Interesting stuff. The mention of the haunted building made a link (although unrelated) and heightened the tension of the story. I like the way the story ends and you continue for a little bit, as a wind-down, which gives the piece a gentle feel even though it was obviously quite a frightening time.
You have "passed" instead of "past" near the beginning.
Enjoyed that.
Steve.


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-05-01 16:50:08
Re: Abject Terror.
Steve, thank you for reading and for your comment.

The number of times I make that mistake--and people don't pick it up. Well spotted.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


Early morning-- (posted on: 22-04-05)
No description necessary.

Early morning Walk in wood Mist just clearing Sun just rising Birds all singing Dog is running All is well; Not surprising!
Archived comments for Early morning--
Apolloneia on 2005-04-22 07:17:09
Re: Early morning--
Yes, I think I'm having such an Early morning today. All is well, but in my case "How surprising!" :0))

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-04-22 11:46:06
Re: Early morning--
Well, you caught the crisp early-morning mood so well...maybe anything extra would have been superfluous. Some achievement!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-22 12:52:08
Re: Early morning--
Nico, I hope in future all your mornings are as nice as my early morning walk...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-22 12:53:43
Re: Early morning--
Roy, I am pleased you caught the simplicity of this poem. As usual many thanks for your comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-04-22 18:39:50
Re: Early morning--
I enjoyed this upbeat poem - nothing like a good run with the dog in the morning.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-22 19:28:12
Re: Early morning--
Emma, thanks. It's an every morning thing with me.
Of course some mornings are better than others--the above was a perfect one...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Ionicus on 2005-04-22 20:39:12
Re: Early morning--
Simple but effective, Gerry. Very often the simple things in life make us feel at peace with ourselves.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-22 21:59:24
Re: Early morning--
Thanks mate, you are dead right--give me the simple things...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-23 01:52:15
Re: Early morning--
What a lovely poem Gerry!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-04-23 18:39:20
Re: Early morning--
Gerry, enjoyed your very short, but meaningful description of one of those special mornings.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-23 20:07:30
Re: Early morning--
D, this indeed was one of those special mornings.
Thanks and regards...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-23 20:08:36
Re: Early morning--
Kat, thanks--simple is sometimes the best lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Leila on 2005-04-23 20:17:55
Re: Early morning--
Appreciated this one, uplifting...L

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-24 19:57:37
Re: Early morning--
Leila, thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Jolen on 2005-04-24 22:26:01
Re: Early morning--
That's the way to start each day.....

I enjoyed this.
blessings,
Jolen

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-25 20:23:13
Re: Early morning--
Jolen, it is indeed--
glad you enjoyed...


Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Evolved by chance? (posted on: 18-04-05)
Perhaps we should try a little harder...

I travelled the world, evolved by chance?
Once great--but now so small.
I looked back hard at yesterday
And I saw no sense at all.

Of course we go much faster now,
But I fear the direction is wrong.
Squirrels still hide their nuts in grass;
But humans still sing the wrong song.

The smallest cell will change its way
If it finds itself under attack
I think it was called evolution
But one doesn't evolve going back.

Destroy all the trees, build on the fields
Stuff all the people too
Doesn't matter if they don't get on---
We are all enclosed in the zoo.

You have your idea and I have mine
Some of us even pray---
But if I happen to be different to you
That's no reason to blow me away.

The wind should be the one who blows
The sun the one who warms
And common sense is the greatest power
If we hope to survive life's storms.

There is only one God for all to share
The pretenders all wither and rot
We've been given our chance, let's grasp it
Or we might all end up back in the dot---


Archived comments for Evolved by chance?
RoyBateman on 2005-04-18 10:38:23
Re: Evolved by chance?
If we all possessed common sense, the world would be a better place! But we don't, individually or collectively - and yet everyone's views are given equal status. Hmmmm...something wrong somewhere!
Good poem to get everyone thinking - even if I do think it evolved by chance and that there was no "higher" force involved, and that "God" is within ourselves if anywhere. As you rightly say, we're all different!

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-04-18 11:00:55
Re: Evolved by chance?
Hi Gerry poet. I thoroughly enjoyed your enlightening poem. Makes a lot of sense.

9 from me.

Smiling

Tai

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-18 11:55:43
Re: Evolved by chance?
It is of course necessary that we are all different.
Wouldn't it be great though if we could all display a modicum of common sense?

"Question--- “How do you know you’re God?”
Answer--- “Simple. When I pray to Him, I find I am talking to myself.”

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-18 11:57:53
Re: Evolved by chance?
Roy, my reply became chopped--I started off by thanking you for your shrewed observations.
Don't know where it went. lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-18 11:59:07
Re: Evolved by chance?
Tai, thank you for your kind comment and vote...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Geometrix on 2005-04-18 13:49:22
Re: Evolved by chance?
Very interesting poem, strong and insightful.

Geometrix

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-04-21 03:48:59
Re: Evolved by chance?
I think some may live to regret the destruction we bring about today, common sense is a little thin on the ground methinks - perhaps the squirrels are hiding it in the grass. I liked this, very thought provoking as is a lot of your work.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-21 10:05:27
Re: Evolved by chance?
Geo, thanks for reading and commenting...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-21 10:08:22
Re: Evolved by chance?
shangri, thank you for your kind comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-21 20:43:44
Re: Evolved by chance?
Lovely! Enjoyed this a lot hun.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-07-27 15:00:28
Re: Evolved by chance?
Claire, thanks--glad you enjoyed it.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Stress and Beauty. (posted on: 08-04-05)
This is an accurate account of fifty difficult minutes on the beautiful
Yorkshire moors.

I ran the moors this week, the weather warm and still.
Down the track, then through the gate, and on to the first hill.
Tiny rabbit now in front, does it want a race?
Then like a little miracle it disappears in space.

The sheep are looking worried; their lambs all bleating now.
The little calves are gorgeous but protected by mum cow.
The meadow is all natural, wild flowers of all hue,
A journey back to childhood--buttercups--bells of blue.

Through the gate and up the lane, start to feel it now
Legs start to object a bit -- but push on to the brow.
Fifteen minutes not too bad -- nearly at the top.
Legs are calling louder now, but no way will I stop.

First brow now behind me, a gentle slope down hill,
Take the cattle grid in full flow; start to feel the thrill.
The hawk is hovering overhead, eying me below--
It turns and dives -- pure magic, what a super show.

The pheasant are all out in force as I battle on.
Curlews, Larks and Thrushes joining in the song.
Running by the stream now, see the bridge ahead.
Down the bank, over stump, then long jump over bed.

Heart sinks now, I spy the hill -- looming to the sky
Loose shale now no grip at all -- still I have to try.
Fox glares at me as if I'm mad, nothing else to say,
Then as I draw up level, it turns and skulks away.

O'pure joy -- now at the top, what a super view,
It really is God's country; I'd love to share with you.
Now down the lead mine spoil, what stories it could tell.
Over the forde, last short rise, yes still doing well.

Check my watch -- time okay, not too bad at all
This downhill part is stony, be careful not to fall.
Sweating now and breathing deep, breeze caressing face,
Hope I will be fit enough -- when I do the race.

Moorland is so beautiful, heather peeping through
In another fortnight, this area will be new.
Through the gates, losing time, but keep the cattle in
They'd really like to run with me, making an awful din.

End in sight now, stretching hard, half a mile to go
Starting to hurt all over -- come on now do not slow.
Holding on, glance down at watch, last bit through the wood.
Home at last -- fifty minutes. Wow that's pretty good.

PS. This was one of the areas I used whilst training for the 'Abbey Dash'
10k road race. Our team ran to raise money for Jane Tomlinson's Cancer Charity.
There are some pictures on my new web site.



Archived comments for Stress and Beauty.
red-dragon on 2005-04-08 20:16:21
Re: Stress and Beauty.
I ran every step of the way with you, picturing every image - excellent. Ann. Phew, that's my exercise done for the weekend, then!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-08 21:26:58
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Red, Thanks for reading and your comment.
Keep exercising lol ...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-09 03:45:08
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Enjoyed this 'limbering' read Gerry. 😉 Well done on the run and the poem!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-04-09 10:05:22
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Hi Gerry, I've never been to the Yorkshire Moors, they sound wonderful. Really enjoyed this.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-04-09 10:31:03
Re: Stress and Beauty.
You're a brave man, Gerry - I'd have walked! You paint a superb, realistic picture here, taking the reader along with you. Oh, and (obviously) a wonderful cause too - well done all round!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-09 10:49:01
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Kat, Thanks for reading and comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-09 10:50:49
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Emma, yes the moors and dales are wonderful peaceful places, with lots of wild life. Great for walking and 'Running'...
Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-09 10:54:28
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Roy, you may have seen this before. It was written by request for Eileen Waldren on TC, in 2003.

I came out of retirement to does that race---it was hard work.lol.

Thanks for your comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-04-10 10:36:24
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Gerry, something different from you, that I found so enjoyable. A very worthy nib.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-10 14:21:01
Re: Stress and Beauty.
D. Yes different, this was written by request of a young lady a couple of years ago. I thought I would put it on here. Never expected a nib though. lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-10 20:07:24
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Trevor, thanks for your nice comment. It does get harder as one gets older lol. It's important to keep trying though...
Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-04-10 23:18:02
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Gerry lovely poem first of all.The cause you ran for and the lady that inspired it was and is magnificent. She is such an inspiration, I marvel at her every time I see and hear her speak. Well done. Read about it and saw your pictures on your new site. Great stuff. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-11 10:14:08
Re: Stress and Beauty.
Val, Jane is a lovely lady. I was proud to run with her and to raise money for her charity.
She is one amazing athlete.
Thank you...
Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

eddiesolo on 12-10-2005
Stress and Beauty.
Hi *pant* Gerry *gasp*

I missed this one and I would have been kicking myself if I hadn't decided to have a rummage in your oldies.

This is a great piece Gerry and it really does deserve the nib.

I do hope that you are feeling much better now and that maybe one day you may be able to do a bit more running.

Take care.
Si:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 12-10-2005
Stress and Beauty.
Simon, Thank you for your kind comment. I am pleased to tell you that I am doing a bit of jogging now. I am pretty slow but nevertheless enjoying it and very grateful that I am now able to get out again. As you get older it is difficult to get fitness back. It's a great world and I intend to hang around for a good while yet 🙂 LOL.

Regards

Gerry.

Author's Reply:


The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion. (posted on: 04-04-05)
There was a good ten feet to the ceiling of the temple, and nothing between the top of the rope and the ceiling but space. David said, 'How on earth did he do that I didnt answer and started down the ladder.

''This then is what the Brahman told me.''

'First you have to understand that people who go to see a performance of this kind, go with the intention of believing what they see. Many people are on record as being willing to give a year of their lives to see the rope trick, and indeed one has to regard oneself as extremely lucky to see a performance, it is not done frequently. Genuine fakirs, would not normally perform for money; therefore one must be aware, that if money has been paid, the performance you may have seen, however good, could well have been The Indian rope trick and not The rope.

The trick can be done in a number of ways; in the west you are well aware of mass hypnotism, and this is one of the ways. At one performance a photograph was taken of the rope with child ascending, but when developed there was no rope or child only the (fakir) gesticulating.

Another way is to have a rope made of hundreds of small pieces of jointed bamboo, painted to look like a rope. When the rope is thrown in the air a chord is pulled that runs through it, and the rope then locks enough for a small child to climb up. Usually this trick will be performed under a tree, the boy can then disappear in the foliage and an assistant in the tree then pulls the rope up. Truly a case of what you want to believe.

Now I will tell you what it is like to observe The rope. The Fakir will produce the rope and ask for it to be inspected, he then throws the rope in the air, it straightens and hovers about four feet from the ground. The rope can be twenty to thirty feet long. A young boy or girl then shins up the rope, when at the top the rope is sometimes pulled up after the climber. The fakir then makes the appropriate signs and the climber and rope disappear. This type of performance is never done under a tree, or any other structure. The climber then appears some distance away and walks back to the fakir. This type of performance is only seen once in a lifetime.'

''What can one say to that? The Brahman was obviously being sincere, but how can anybody believe that story? He instinctively knew that I couldn't believe what he had just related, and what he said next was astounding. Before he became a Brahman, my friend told me that he had been a fakir. The best way he could describe modern day fakirs, was to relate them to our monks, i.e. not often seen, but nevertheless still about. He had apparently spent many years in total poverty, studying and praying in private. During this time of deprivation he had also studied mysticism as all fakirs do. This is the reason why they are seldom seen in public, and why anyone who sees one perform is indeed lucky.

What the priest said next was amazing; because of my interest in him and his religion, and because I had showed him true friendship, he was prepared to demonstrate 'The Rope' to me. He had already anticipated the question that I was about to ask, and said that of course if my two friends were able to attend they would be most welcome.

I duly contacted David and Lorna, and they were staggered at what I told them. Of course they wanted to come. We had a little trouble finding a suitable time that was convenient for the four of us, but eventually homed onto a couple of days that were suitable, and the date was set.

There was to be no intrigue about where we would see the performance, it was to be in the Temple, the only sad thing about that, was the fact that it had once been a church. The advantage was that it was high. David and Lorna had arrived late the previous night, tired and hungry. We didn't stay up talking for long, and we all had a good night sleep. In the morning, we arrived at the Temple at the appointed time to find the priest already there. There was a basket in the middle of the temple, and nothing else. I introduced my two companions to the Brahman, they were noticeably excited, and he was noticeably calm!

He explained the procedure. Once he had started we must not make any sound, we could pick anywhere to observe from, and would have chance for more closure observation later on. He then asked if we had any questions before he started. I think that we probably would all have liked to ask some introductory questions, but I was glad my two colleagues thought it prudent to stay quiet as I did.

I took up position just behind and slightly to the right of the Priest; Lorna was facing us, about two yards behind the basket. David was some distance to my right. The Priest then took the cover from the basket, bent over and lifted a heavy gauge rope from the basket. The rope was neatly coiled, and both ends were bound to prevent fraying. Without any ado he then tossed the rope into the air, the end snaked upwards until it was vertical, it stopped just touching the ground, then very slowly started to rise again until it was about three feet from the floor. I snatched a quick glance at Lorna and David at this point; I just couldn't begin to describe the looks on their faces.

We hadn't heard any sounds at all, but two children now stood behind us, a boy and girl of about nine or ten, both of eastern origin, and dressed as such. Without any prompting the boy walked up to the rope and started to climb up with effortless ease. When the boy reached the top he paused, looked down briefly, and then disappeared.

Up to this point I would have had a good idea how things had been done, now I was completely bewildered. The girl stayed where she was, and the priest then called us together. He told us that behind the drapes at the sides of the temple, we would find two A-frame stepladders, which were used, for decorating high points, cleaning, and changing lights etc. If we wanted to inspect the top of the rope we were invited to get the steps and do so; however we were under no circumstances to touch the rope. David placed one ladder at one side of the rope about one yard away, and I did the same at the other side, we then slowly climbed up.

The top of the rope was about twenty feet high, and as the steps were perfectly stable we were able to reach level with the top of the rope. We both stretched out our arms and could touch hands directly over the rope. There was a good ten feet to the ceiling of the temple, and nothing between the top of the rope and the ceiling but space. David said, 'how on earth did he do that' I didn't answer and started down the ladder. Just as we reached the floor we noticed that the boy was now stood at the side of the girl again. This time the girl stepped forward and started to climb the rope, as she reached the top the rope fell to the floor and the girl had disappeared. The Brahman then coiled up the rope and put it carefully in the basket. He led the way out of the temple followed by Lorna, David and myself, following behind was the boy, and yes the girl.

Outside the temple the priest bade us farewell, he knew we would be eager to discuss what we had just observed, and he looked forward to seeing me soon, and hoped he would meet David and Lorna again sometime. We all shook hands with him, and then we gave him and the children the traditional Indian greeting. (Bowing with hands prayer like in front) The children beamed at us, then turned and walked away.

David was the first to speak, he was sure the children in the temple were the same two who had done the 'wheel' when we were in India. This was clearly ridiculous and wasn't mentioned again, after all most Indian children look alike, don't they?

The next morning I was showing Lorna and David around my church. I was delighted to hear that they both still attended their respective churches regularly, and the genuine interest that they showed. David jokingly asked me if I was still rich. I told him that a vicar should not be seen to be rich, indeed he should not be rich. Although I had been very privileged in my early days, things were now very different. I explained that I had put enough away to buy a house when I retired, I had enough to provide a small car, although I used a cycle when possible. I told them that I had used a great deal of my own money to do repairs to the church, which was in an awful state of repair when I arrived.

David is a decent organist, and with my blessing was soon giving Lorna and myself a recital. When he had finished playing he told us that the organ had some problems. I explained that indeed the organ was the next item on our agenda. We were currently trying to raise about five thousand pounds, which had been quoted for the repair. He promised to leave me a few pounds and wished us well in our efforts.

The last meal we had together before my friends left was fairly subdued, partly because we would soon be parting again, and partly because none of us could come up with any plausible explanation to what we had witnessed. We had in fact not spoken about it much at all, and had been quite happy talking about old times.The time came for our good-byes; we promised to keep in touch, and to arrange to meet again within a year.

When I went back into the vicarage I found an envelope on the table. In it was a note and a cheque. The note said, 'We knew all along who paid for us to go to India, hope this small cheque helps to get the organ put right. Love--Lorna and David.'
The cheque was for five thousand pounds.''

------

Well that was Humphry's story as he told it to Ken and I, he told us to discuss it together and see if we could come up with some explanation. Apart from expressing a desire to see 'The Rope' for ourselves we of course could not add anything. He told us that maybe some day it could be possible, he would keep it in mind. He did promise us however that the next time Lorna and David were in the vicinity we could all meet up. That was excellent news for me, I had not of course met Lorna before, and I was sure if we managed to get the five of us together, we would be in for an interesting and very late night---''























Archived comments for The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Harry on 2005-04-04 14:11:42
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
In spite of the fact the tale is open-ended, I can't help admiring your 'voice' in this story, Gerry. It is truly and uniquely your own - full of color and detail to help the reader visualize the action. Well done!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-04 15:58:40
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Harry, thank you for your kind words. You encourage me to keep trying...

Regards Gerry.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-04-04 16:31:57
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Who's a clever fakir, then? Sorry - couldn't resist! Fascinating stuff, and I agree with Harry, your "voice" kept the attention throughout. Mind you, it was quite a story anyway! I'd read recently that the IRT was actually an early 20th-century invention, but of course you do make a clear differentiation between that and the "genuine" article. It raises all sorts of questions about "seeing is believing", doesn't it? Excellent write.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-04 16:41:58
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Roy, Yes it is a strange one. I actually witnessed the 'wheel' a couple of times on the beach in India--an amazing experience...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-04-04 17:56:20
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
A truly excellently told story, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was such a fascinating read I couldn't resist coming to read this part straight after the other.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-04 18:30:05
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Shangri, I am so pleased you enjoyed this--thank once again for the fav pic...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-04-05 11:23:10
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Gerry, taking into account your writing skills and the content....I can do no other than make this a personal favourite. The time that I spent reading both pieces, was very rewarding.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-05 16:16:14
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
D. That kind of comment, makes me feel that I do not write in vain. I am pleased that you enjoyed it.
Thanks for making it a favourite read.

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-04-05 17:00:29
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Hi Gerry, an interesting and fascinating read - enjoyed very much.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-05 22:10:49
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Emma, So glad you enjoyed this--thank you for your comment.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-05 23:36:58
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
I also liked the open-endedness of this fine story, Gerry. Food for spiritual thought and right up my street! Great story.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-06 09:47:29
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Kat. Glad you enjoyed this story, and it was a bonus to know it gave you something to think about.
I notice you have a web page--I will be taking a look. Can I add you to my links?

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-06 13:26:47
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Hi Gerry

That's good of you to ask about adding me to your links, and I'd be delighted once I have a proper website set up. The link is just for a poetry collection that I Iself-published last year.

Many thanks though. Keep up the good writing!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-06 14:54:47
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Kat. I have put a link to your poetry collection, I hope it is doing well.
For a free web page try
http://members14.freewebs.com/

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-07 00:25:33
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Bless your cotton socks Gerry! 😉 Thank you, and for the freewebs info - I'll get onto that as soon as.

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-04-07 15:42:16
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Well Gerry Most of what should be said has been, by the others, I can only concur with them. I really enjoyed the story. Fascinating stuff well told. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-07 15:44:55
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Thanks Val, glad you enjoyed the read.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-07 20:49:14
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Argh!!! I hate open ended stories, actually I don't, but they are very frustrating. I need to go and ponder over this one. I've enjoyed reading these tonight. I do love your writing style. An excellent read. ;^)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-07 21:04:38
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Claire, I fear this particular story will always be open ended whoever tells it. It is fascinating though isn't it?
I have been searching for links for my site all day-- I have as many as I can take now, I think I have the best ones LOL.
Thanks for dropping in and commenting...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

TheGeeza on 2005-04-07 22:24:08
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
My cynical side says there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. In fact, no it doesn't, it says it is some kind of con.
Trying desperately to put those thoughts to one side (and it's a battle I'd like to win), some of the world's mysteries such as these add to its spiritual charm.
Well written. I enjoyed both halves.
Steve.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-07 23:15:00
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Steve, Thank you for your input. It is good that some things remain a mystery--there is too much knowledge these days LOL.
Just noticed this has picked up a nib--a bit late but what the hell, I am grateful...

Regards

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-09 22:50:26
Re: The Indian Rope Trick. conclusion.
Val, thank you for your kind comment. Hope you are keeping well.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


The Indian Rope Trick. (posted on: 01-04-05)
Most people if they are honest, will have had some personal experience, or at least will have heard of some story or occurrence that seems to defy logic. At best it may be difficult to believe, or it may well be impossible to believe. The problem arises of course when the occurrence that is being related to you, comes from a person of high intellect and standing, and who happens to be a personal friend.


If you by any chance read my story 'The Room' you will need no introduction to at least two of the characters that are featured in the following story. If you are not acquainted with them let me tell you that Humphry is the vicar of our rural church, and Ken is an active member of the church council. We are all good friends and try to meet at least every two weeks if possible, for a meal and a couple of drinks. We have got into the habit of late to take it in turns to relate any occurrences that we have experienced in our lives that would be interesting to the others.

I had been told some quite extraordinary stories by my two friends, which had always been interesting and entertaining. And I would like to think that when it has been my own turn they would have found my stories similarly entertaining and perhaps a little thought provoking. However nothing could have prepared us for the tale we were about to hear. Humphry's related experience stopped us in our tracks, in fact we have spoken of little else since hearing his tale.

We both wanted to know why he had left it so long to tell us about this event in his life, which would obviously create much interest. His answer was very predictable. He was not the kind of guy who would knowingly try to go one better, or upstage anyone, and although he was obviously greatly impressed by the events he described to us, he was also quite disturbed. He was a man who liked to be able to explain things, as indeed are most of us, however in this case he was totally puzzled.

You will now be beginning to realise why he shared this story, he wanted Ken and I to try to evaluate it with him and maybe come up with some plausible explanation. He agreed that I could write this account of his experience, and I will write it as if Humphry is telling the story himself. He will of course read it before you do, so you can be sure it is entirely accurate. I would ask you to try to refrain from judgment until you have read the whole story.

This then is the story that Humphry told to Ken and I.

"Many years ago when I was at college studying for my Theology degree, we arrived at the point when all students in my year were required to venture out into the outside world, to do some external work towards their final thesis. The choice was really left up to the individual but there was support and guidance available to those who were unsure about what to do. This could of course have been through financial restraint or purely just not knowing what to look for. Many went to schools to practice teaching, others who were probably hoping to go into the ministry chose to be attached to a church. I fully intended to go into church ministry, but wanted to study other religions at first hand. Fortunately in my case, coming from a family that didn't have any problems financially, and having already decided where I wanted to go, I had no such concerns, I would go to India.

The sub continent of India had always fascinated me, I like many others I suppose, had read much about the country, but to my regret, I had not had the opportunity to go until now. My main desire to go there was to study the many diverse and different religions, and although I knew that time would be short, It would be a great chance for me to extend my knowledge of eastern religions.

It was then, to my great delight that over dinner that evening, the two people I had developed a close friendship with, expressed a desire to go to India. David Mason was a quite brilliant student who went on to obtain a double doctorate. Lorna Crest a similarly brilliant young lady went on to become a research biologist. These two young people had a deep interest in theology hence there studying for a degree in the subject, however neither of them had any intention of persuing it as a profession. I have to say that they seemed to be thinking that a trip to India would be something of a holiday for them.

The next obstacle was to convince the Dean that our trip was feasible and that it would be productive. The Dean was no stranger to my family, we had been friends for many years. I knew that he would have no objections to my going, he well knew of my desire to study other religions, and knew also that I had no financial worries. I was concerned however for David and Lorna, they were not in the same fiscal situation as myself, and the Dean was well aware of this fact.

I decided a prudent word with my father before their meeting would be in order. My father decided that if I was to be let loose on the Indian subcontinent I would need at least two mature and stable companions to accompany me, and he was willing to sponsor the whole cost if they indeed were suitable. The Dean was already in possession of this knowledge before my two friends had their interviews. The Dean had no objections. At this stage of the proceedings neither of my friends knew my father was sponsoring them, they thought that they were getting a grant through the university for further study abroad.

The timing was just about perfect; we were to go in early January, a very nice time to go to India, well clear of the monsoon and still relatively cool, at least by their standards. At the time we went, we were not of course able to take advantage of frequent schedule not stop flights, or even charter flights, I will not bore you with travel details only to say it took longer than it would today. We thoroughly enjoyed the journey though and arrived safely.''

Humphry paused at this point and wanted to tell us a little about the Indian religions. He emphasised that what he would tell us was not definitive, but he told us it would be interesting. He included details of the Buddhist, and Sikh religions, but as they are not really pertinent to this story I have left that part out and just left in the part about the Hindu religion.

He contiued
''I had done an in depth study of Islam at college and it was now my intention to divert my attention to the Hindu, religion. Unfortunately we had arrived too late for me to study Diwali, the festival of light that follows the end of the monsoon period, however I was welcomed into the Mandir (Temple) by the priests. I have no intention of boring you with religious theories, that is not the point of this story. However I need to tell you a little. The ancestors of the Hindus, settled the Hindu valley as early as 2000 BC, they were a white Aryan race and it is thought they came from Siberia. It was these people who it is thought created the names for the life forces which they worshiped, and indeed many of these Gods are still worshiped by the modern Hindus.

This of course explains why some Indians have very pale skins, the indigenous people obviously bred with the incoming Aryans. Hindus believe that through praise, dedication and sacrifice; which can be plant or animal, raw or cooked; ceremoniously poured, or just thrown onto a fire; the participant is making a deal, or exchange with his particular god. The bigger the sacrifice the better the deal. I didn't have time to study Jainism in any depth, but I understand it to be an extreme form of Hinduism, where all attempts have to be made to avoid harming any animal life; to the point of wearing masks. This is to avoid harming any life by breathing on, or ingesting, because it could of course, be some reincarnated ancestor or relative. There are many other offshoots of Hinduism.

The above words are only very brief descriptions of a very complex religion, and are written, as I understood them at the time. I leave it to you to decide if any of the above is relevant to the story.

It would not be fair to my two friends to say that they had not expressed, or even attempted to gain any more knowledge of the Indian religions, other that what they knew before our trip. However it would be true to say their interest had been minimal. I personally was not concerned about their activities; I was too involved and fascinated to be bothered. Each evening over dinner we exchanged details of our daily activities, which were very seldom spent together. I have to say that they seemed to be having a great time and thoroughly enjoying their holiday.

To be perfectly honest by the end of the day I was happy to forget Indian religion, and listen to the accounts of my friend's days out as we enjoyed our evening meal.
Both David and Lorna had a great fascination for things mystical, and these were indeed the things they were eager to tell me about each evening. India as you will know is steeped in mysticism, some things can be easily explained as trickery, but some things seem to defy any explanation. It was the latter that my friends were interested in---

On the beach one morning they had witnessed something that they were unable to understand. An Indian family had appeared near the beach to entertain, as they apparently frequently do, and a crowd had soon gathered, (as they frequently do). Most of the spectators were of course indigenous people there for a free show, which they have probably seen hundreds of times. However there is always a smattering of foreigners happy to be deprived of their rupees.

The performance had consisted of acrobatics, tightrope walking, and juggling, quite a normal repertoire for these sort of shows it seems. What created the excitement however was the final act. Two young children of about nine or ten, a boy and a girl, had apparently formed themselves into the shape of a wheel. They then rolled down a slope onto the sand, by this time they were travelling quite fast, after a few yards the wheel stopped, and only one of the children was still there. David and Lorna of course soon worked out that the missing child was in a secret location in the sand, over which they had rolled. This however was not the case, the sand was dug over and examined, the performance was again repeated, and this time the other child disappeared. My friends were completely baffled. I of course could not help; it sounded like an excellent trick to me nothing more.

The next day I was talking to the Hindu priest who I had made friends with, and I mentioned the trick, which had baffled my friends. He would have been a 'Fakir' was his reply. He went on to explain fakirs were Hindu ascetics or holy men, originally a mendicant dervish, he told me there were similar Muslim Fakirs, and the word was of Arabic origin meaning, poor man. He clearly did not want to discuss the subject anymore, but told me to tread with care, he said 'Fakirs' had amazing abilities, and should be shown enormous respect.

That evening my friends were again very excited they had apparently witnessed -- The Indian rope trick, and we spent an entire evening trying to work out how it was done. At bedtime we had run out of ideas, it had been an interesting evening.

Our time in India had alas run out. We had all thoroughly enjoyed it, although in different ways, but I was sure my friends would have no problem convincing anyone of the value it had been to them.

If I had been asked to predict the results of our final examinations I would have put both David and Lorna down for straight firsts. I am not wishing to brag but of course I was spot on, no surprise there; the surprise was that I obtained a 2-1, I was delighted as examinations were never my strong point, I think shear determination got me through. It speaks volumes for my friends when I tell you that a lot of the examination was devoted to Indian religion. Wherever did they pull the information from?

It was now time to part company. We were all heading in different directions and pursuing different professions, we made the usual promises that we would keep in touch, and I am pleased to tell you that we did. I won't bore you with the intervening period prior to me obtaining my first Parish as a fully ordained priest. I of course had to pursue the relevent training, take a number of assistant jobs, and do a spell as a hospital chaplain. The parish I was offered was in the centre of a large city and it only had a small congregation, it was a large church and my attitude was that things could only get better.

During my settling in period at the church, I made it my business to get to know the leaders at the various religious buildings in the area. One of the people I met was the priest at the local Hindu Temple. He was a very quiet and unassuming gentleman, and also very friendly, he had achieved the highest position in his religion of Brahman. He was obviously delighted that I had taken the trouble to look him up, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had some knowledge of his religion and that I showed an interest in it. We met quite a few times over the following months, and it was on one of these occasions that I got round to telling him of my trip to India. I also told him quite light heartedly of my two companions and where most of their interest had been.

He immediately became very interested and asked me if I could remember what had particularly impressed them. The only two things that came to mind were the rolling children on the beach and the rope trick, I had to tell him of course that I had not seen these performances myself, but was able to tell him that my friends were indeed impressed. I also told him of the priest in India who had told us that what my friends had seen would have been performed by a Fakir.

The priest then told me that this was not necessarily so. He went on to tell me that in the early days of Colonialism, and the East India Company, what is now referred to as The Indian rope trick, was only referred to as The rope, by Indians. He said further that because the soldiers of this period were not able to accept that what they were seeing couldn't be anything other than a trick, they were the ones who coined the phrase 'The Indian rope trick'. Of course the indigenous people of the period were very keen to relieve the soldiers of their rupees, and many clever charlatans appeared on the scene willing to demonstrate The Indian rope trick, to the gullible troops; who were well known for drinking too much. My Hindu friend then told me he would tell me how they performed The Indian rope trick.

This then is what the Brahman told me.''

Continued---

Archived comments for The Indian Rope Trick.
TheGeeza on 2005-04-01 12:29:42
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
This is fascinating ... where's the rest?!

Author's Reply:

gouri on 2005-04-01 13:36:16
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Gerry,really interesting. Interesting to read people's thoughts. I know being into something and working and learning about something is different. Its always nice to read the thoughts of others. This gives the mind a chance to analyse.

Waiting for the next part to come. Let's see what's in store.

Gouri.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-01 14:42:34
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Hi Gouri. I Hope you enjoy and are not upset by any of the content. (this story has caused me a little trouble)---

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-01 14:46:37
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Mr Geeza. Reading more than about 2,000 words of prose, seems to cause quite a problem for many.
I decided to chop it in half rightly or wrongly!
The final part should be posted on Monday.
Thank you for dropping in and reading.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-04-01 15:33:43
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
You're leaving me breathless, Gerry. I haven't figured out "The Wheel" trick, and now you're threatening me with the "Rope."

You've written this in a very effective Victorian style, my friend - which suits the story very well

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-01 15:48:03
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Harry, didn't mean to cause you any health problems lol.
Thank you for your encouraging remarks. The next part may surprise you...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Michel on 2005-04-01 16:36:47
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
This is so exciting. I loved the relaxed, 'Maugham' style of authentic setting for telling the story - superbly done - and I got all locked-in, utterly hooked and believing every word, and dying to know what happens next and then it's continued...
Arrrrrgggghhhh!

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-04-01 16:42:21
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
So the story went on, up the rope...where's it gone?? Like the "trick", it vanished! Fascinating, but you're wise to leave it there - too long, and few will read it. Also, we're hooked on what's coming next! Great stuff.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-01 16:49:11
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Michel, Thank you for your kind comments--- I hope you don't mind the wait too much...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-01 16:53:06
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Roy, you are correct--it's a fine line getting the length right, readers are a finicky lot--lol.

I think you will appreciate the final part...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

gouri on 2005-04-02 08:23:25
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Gerry, I'm not upset. I think it is wise to read others - analysis differs from person to person. I welcome different views, it makes a huge difference - gives a chance to know and learn - instead of being conservative in my thoughts why not try to understand what others think, something interesting may be lying hidden somewhere. Why not open the doors and read what others have to say - can pick up a point somewhere.
Waiting for the next part.
Gouri :-)))

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-02 11:01:08
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Gouri, Thank you.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-04-02 13:45:59
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Gerry, this is a bit like Chris Tarrant saying he will let you know if you have won a million, after the next commercial break. Don't forget to post for Monday! Really enjoying this one.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-02 15:28:29
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
D. Thought you may like this---If I can find my magic wand! the next part should be here soon lol.

Gerry

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-04-03 20:16:04
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
I'm sitting on the edge of my seat, Gerry. Absorbing stuff.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-04-04 17:38:04
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Absolutely fascinating, you've told this in a very engaging way, I'm looking forward to reading the next part. So far I think this is one of your best, a fave for me.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-04 18:26:14
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Michael, Glad you enjoyed this--thanks for comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-04 18:27:36
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Shangri, Thank you for your kind comments and for the fav pic.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-04-05 23:16:13
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
A very engrossing read Gerry - I like your style!

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-06 09:41:59
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Kat thank you for reading and commenting.

Gerry.


Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-04-07 14:03:16
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
A great story gerry, I was dissappointed to realise I have to wait for the conclusion though!lol How long is a piece of rope.lol that is the question.

Smiling at the end of your trick. 9 from me.

Tai

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-07 14:53:53
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Tai, you don't have to wait--it is posted.
Thanks for reading.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Bradene on 2005-04-07 15:27:08
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Hi Gerry sorry I'm late commenting enjoyed the first part just off to read the second. (-; love Val x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-07 15:43:27
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Thanks Val see you there.lol.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-04-07 20:32:28
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Well I did have a decent comment to congratulate on this piece but I don't have time to say so as I must run to the next installment. Love these cliffhangers, glad I read it today and not last week or I'll be doing my napper in waiting for the next one. Okay, I've babbled enough, I'm off...

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-04-07 20:59:42
Re: The Indian Rope Trick.
Hi Claire--see you over the page...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


Tracy's Letter. (posted on: 25-03-05)
Some of you will know that I have been away. Because of circumstances I have not been able to keep up communication. I am back home now and very sun tanned. I will try to catch up with reads that I have missed but this may take a while. In the mean time I have picked a little piece for you to read. Before you ask---Yes it is true. Honest



Somebody told me that the Vicar had asked in the church magazine for fresh contributors. It seems the same people write all the articles every month. I can well understand his request; that must be one boring magazine. Anyway in response to that request I thought I would tell you a little about my friend Sandra. Some time ago Sandra presented herself to the local 'general hospital' casualty department. She had a very bad chest, well okay admittedly she smokes 40 fags a day, but her GP was not too nice to her on her frequent visits to see him; all he did was tell her to stop smoking. Sandra just wanted her cough making better not to stop bloody smoking. She thought they may be more helpful at the hospital hence her visit. Whilst she was waiting, and this was a long time, because she was not considered an urgent case, a woman rushed in with a boy who was bleeding badly. Well, Sandra is a sensitive girl, and cannot stand the sight of blood; in fact it screwed her right up---and she had to leave the hospital very quickly without receiving any treatment. Sandra had a girl friend, who knew a girl, who is a solicitor; it was quickly established that because of the trauma she had suffered, she should sue the hospital for being irresponsible. It was considered she should not have been subjected to the distressing sight of blood in the hospital. Sandra didn't work, so legal aid was obtained. To cut a long story short, the Judge on summing up the case, said that the hospital was totally irresponsible. People should be able to visit hospitals without being subject to the sight of blood; even in casualty departments. She stated that people with injuries that are bleeding, should consider other people before rushing into hospitals. The judge said that Sandra being a sensitive soul must have suffered enormously from her ordeal. How could she ever rise to be a leader in commerce, become a Captain of a Battleship, a Jet fighter pilot, or even become a high court judge like herself. She agreed Sandra's working life had been ruined (that bit was strange because she has never worked) and awarded her two million pounds. The hospital had to paythey dare not risk anymore expense. Well, it wasn't going to be that simple for Sandra. She took lots of holidays all over the world; she had new cars every month, and changed houses frequently. Her latest house has a tennis court and swimming pool, but as you can imagine --- she is still suffering. Because of irresponsible men, Sandra found herself with three children by three different fathers at a very young age, and because of her trauma at the hospital, she cannot bring herself to visit them now (not that she ever went much before). I know what she is feeling like though--- irresponsible men left me with three kids. They are also in care, but I do try to visit them once or twice a year. The worst thing is, and this is nasty; when on holiday in Africa, Sandra got friendly with some guys, (she was always a friendly girl) and now finds she has a nasty disease. The doctor told her it was her own fault, and that her problem was self-induced; but Sandra couldn't agree---she insisted it was the bloody Africans who induced it. Men are so irresponsible if you ask me, I totally agree with Sandra here, men should be abolished, they are just so selfish and useless. I was laying in bed with Sandra the other morning having a fag and a gin, watching the tele, when this idiot came on asking for more money to go to things like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Arthritis research---what a bloody fool, we'd never heard of them! well hardly ever. We know where the money should go to, and it's not to bloody silly things like that. What a waste of our money we both thought. After this medical idiot, a bloody religious idiot came on, okay admittedly we'd had a few more gins, but this guy was a complete nutter. He was trying to raise money for Christian Aid, well okay if that is where you want your money to go, but Sandra and me have never had any bloody Christian Aid so why should we give any of ours? You religious types are okay, well some of you, but just leave us alone. Money doesn't grow on bloody trees Sandra said; and I have to agree with her there. Anyway we flicked through the channels and found a 'triangle film' that's much more in our line. It's nice watching a good X-rating in bed with a few ciggies and a drinky or two. Since Sandra's trauma she has had to buy illegal drugs to preserve her sanity, her doctor will not prescribe them. I had to join her of course; I couldn't let her take them on her own---so we are both completely screwed up now This whole business today is about responsibility, and not many people have any. When Sandra was awarded her money, I decided to befriend her in her time of need. Now that was a responsible act. We have both really tried to act reasonably, but unfortunately we found ourselves surrounded by spongers and hangers on who just wanted something for bloody nothing. Me and Sandra can't stand people like that; some bloody people don't half have a cheek. Thank goodness there are still people like Sandra's Solicitor and the Judge about, who are sensible and caring. By the way if you hadn't guessed the solicitor and Judge in Sandra's case were both feminists, the same as Sandra and me. Well, I will leave you now. I suppose this article will be very different to the usual rubbish that you read in the church magazine, but remember you asked for it! I will let you know how Sandra is getting on sometime, if you like. PS. Sandra has just told me she thinks she is preggers again; what a bloody card that one is. She is not bothered though, cos she likes kids. Tracy. X.
Archived comments for Tracy's Letter.
RoyBateman on 2005-03-25 10:52:23
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Yes, Gerry my old mate, I realised from the crushing slinece that you'd been away - welcome back to the madhouse. I loved this - sarcasm dripping from every line. Just up my street! Sad thing is...you can read even crazier tales every day in even the broadsheets. Any idea where we can sign on for some of this compo?

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-03-25 15:45:02
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Yes, Gerry - this world would be a much different place without winners like Sandra. Don't forget to let us know when the blessed event materializes - I'd like to send a gift. Glad you're back, by the way

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-25 16:07:24
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Roy--this really was in the church magazine. The editor at the time, Alec, RIP -- was a great guy with a wicked sense of humour. he would publish anything to liven things up. It caused a bit of a stir
and spawned a few heated exchanges in subsequent mags. Thought it might be up your street.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-25 16:10:49
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Harry, Sandra and Tracy would like that--they like receiving things!!
I have a lot of reading to do now. lol.

Regards
Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Jen_Christabel on 2005-03-25 20:20:27
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Even more enjoyable with it being true!
JayCee

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-25 20:40:09
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Jen--well it's true it was in the church mag. I cannot vouch for the content though LOL.
Glad you enjoyed the read.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-03-27 12:36:24
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Hi Gerry, really enjoyed this piece - good to see you back and on such good form.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-28 10:44:53
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Emma, thank you for your comment. We have to see the stupidity around us and keep smiling--or we would perhaps join the other 90% and go mad. LOL.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-03-30 16:26:33
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Glad to see you back, seems like ages since I read something of yours. I like this, very enjoyable and amusing.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-31 12:37:45
Re: Tracy's Letter.
Thanks Shangri.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:


This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest. (posted on: 04-03-05)
Because of the ongoing controversy about 'Gay Bishops' in the world wide Anglican community, I thought I would let you read this:-
Someone wrote an article which was published in the church magazine, about how normal it was to be Gay. The following month this article appeared.


'This is not easy for me, but after a lot of soul searching and self-analysis I have finally plucked up the courage to face it. I have decided to come out, I know it will shock many people but I quite honestly just don't care any more. I have suffered with my conscience for so long, I cannot keep up the deception.
I am straight! There I have said it, I do believe I feel better already, I'm straight, I'm straight.

My problem first started at infants school, I knew instinctively that there was something wrong when I wanted to sit with the girls, but I just couldn't help it. I advanced to junior school and things alas didn't change, in fact if anything I liked girls even more. Whatever was wrong with me? It was when I actually got to Secondary school, (as they were then) that I really got worried, I wanted to kiss them! Who had done this to me?
Schooling and college over I was called into The Armed Forces, perhaps now I could sort myself out, all those lovely young virile men, quite often all naked surely this would put me right.

But no--I was still thinking and dreaming about girls, and sometimes my dreams were a bit naughty. I left the forces with the same feelings I'm afraid. I then had to spend some years with the Police, and thought this could be the turning point, but no, again I found I had a yearning to be with the lady officers. I was now getting desperate. Why was I so afflicted?

I began to realise there was nothing I could do, I just had to accept it, I was straight.

Once I accepted it things became a little easier. I married, and we had children. Now it was my turn to bring my children up correctly. I wouldn't make any mistakes.
I had been brought up to be responsible for my actions, although I was no angel. I was taught to be honest, and truthful, and never to wash my dirty linen in public. I always tried very hard not to offend or upset anybody.

How I wish my parents hadn't steered me this way, Why hadn't I had been allowed to do my own thing?

Oh' how it tortures me. Just think where I could have been today, Instead of having to make this terrible admission to you.

I have to admit--I have failed. My children have all grown up to be straight and I hope one day they will feel they to can come to terms with it. Where on earth did I go wrong?

It hasn't been easy for me to write this and to take this step to come out, but I do hope I haven't done it in vain. Please believe me that once you make your mind up and do it, you do start to feel less guilt. So please if you were born with this affliction, and are also straight, take the step and join me---- don't be ashamed anymore.

By the way I can take a little comfort from the Bible, although I am clearly wrong, I cannot find the part that tells me so; It just seems to say the opposite! But then what do I know?

I just want to make this plea. Please be patient with us straight people, it's not our faults we are like this. Please be tolerant; we try to be quiet all the time, we don't shout about our rights all the time, and we don't have straight marches. Why are we made to feel such outcasts?

If we are prepared to accept you, cannot you try and accept us? I am fed of reading, and being told how offside I am, just because I was born straight. Believe me, we straight people intend to stay around for a while yet, and let's face it---Where would you be without us?'



Gerald Finlay, 2005, All Rights Reserved.



Archived comments for This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Jen_Christabel on 2005-03-04 09:53:48
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Just great!
JayCee

Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-03-04 10:54:54
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Hi Gerry, Oh what an affliction - brilliant read, had me giggling all through this.

Emma:-)

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 11:04:35
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Jaycee, thanks for reading--glad you enjoyed...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 11:06:23
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Emma, glad it gave you a giggle--thanks...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-03-04 11:50:45
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Well, if I knew who the writer was (cough, cough) I'd congratulate them. See, I've suffered from much the same sort of affliction all my life too - and now I can admit it! Whoopee!

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 12:33:24
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Roy, I am glad that you can at last face it---I now you will soon feel much better, Well done...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Harry on 2005-03-04 13:55:15
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Very brave of you to admit it Gerry. I share your affliction, and though we are in a dwindling minority we must stick together.

Author's Reply:

maryxmas on 2005-03-04 14:48:15
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Hi Gerry,
Brilliant piece, very witty, loved it!
Lets hope the 'Gay Police' don't catch sight of it as their sense of humour seems to be sadly lacking where their sexuality is concerned.
Look forward to reading more of your work....
best wishes,
Linda XX

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 16:51:07
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Roy--now should read know--I have smacked my pooter...

G.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 16:52:42
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Harry--not too close though. LOL.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 16:56:22
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Linda, It's not the gay police I worry about it's the thought police. LOL. Thanks for your comment...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

red-dragon on 2005-03-04 17:06:53
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Had me chuckling all the way through. 'Straight marches', now there's a thing. Whoever wrote this (erm...Gerry?) should be congratulated! Red

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-04 18:28:14
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Red, what are you suggesting already? lol.
Glad you had a chuckle...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

thehaven on 2005-03-04 19:47:55
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
The reason for this political correctness is we,the great British public,have let "them" tell us how to run our lives with no opposition.

Time to fight back.

Mike

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-03-05 13:17:43
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Gerry..I just read this aloud to my hubby and you have had us in stitches!!! lol. Wonderful piece of introspective thought and imagination.

Somehow, like Ann...I feel 'the writer' simply has to be congratulated for stepping 'out of the closet' with such innovative humour, A 'fav' for me, Zydha

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-05 14:36:36
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Mike, there are many things---I fear the worm might turn...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-05 14:38:57
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Zyd, I knew you would like this. Glad it gave you both a laugh. Thanks for the fav pick...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Dargo77 on 2005-03-07 12:41:07
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Gerry, brilliant piece. Enjoyed this one to the full.
Best regards,
Dargo

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-03-07 20:02:10
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
D, Thanks for reading--glad you enjoyed it.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-03-11 13:09:34
Re: This gay thing. 'Culled from the church mag'--Honest.
Came in to see what you had done for Red Nose Day, Gerry, loving your quirky humour, but sadly, no post!

So... just to say, I have once again enjoyed this 'joyous' tale, lol, thanks, Zydha

Author's Reply:


Remembering Sadie (A True Story) (posted on: 21-02-05)
In the slow growing light our very proud mum Looked down in amazement at what she had done.

The old shed came as a welcome sight, It meant shelter from the cold in the coming night. Just a small hole that she could squeeze through, Then a long sigh as she thought 'This will do'. She was weary and tired and lay down her head, She needed to rest before making her bed. In a few minutes she had sniffed all around, But a few oily rags were all that she found. This night would be the hardest, she knew that was true, With no one to help, or show what to do. Then with a shudder and a look so forlorn She waited alone for her pups to be born. In the slow growing light our very proud mum Looked down in amazement at what she had done. Seven lovely pups with eyes closed so tight, And she'd managed alone in the dark of the night. With seven weeks of scrounging and begging for food She somehow kept healthy along with her brood, The pups were now bigger and making more sound And so as expected, at last they were found. With the best of intentions they were taken to town, Where the man in the cap said 'seven days then put down'. But someone had heard of the poor family's plight, 'They will not be put down, that cannot be right-- They deserve much more, after what they've been through' So straight down to town, to see what to do. Now things turned out well for our caring mum, She is warm and contented with food in her tum. But there are seven little pups that need love and care, Have you a nice house, and a heart you can share? **** When the story made the paper and the pups' photos too, The phone started ringing, and rang all day through. With the applicants vetted, and selection all done The pups said a final goodbye to their mum. With bellies all bulging, coats shining like new She knew she had done the best she could do, So tired and thin, battle scars on her face, She had raised them all well, without any disgrace. She watched them all go with a whimper and groan, And looking around found herself all alone. With big brown eyes wide, she looked with a plea. 'They all wanted my pups, but no one wants me'. Now 'Shep' was eleven, and had just lost an eye, But with all the pleading they'd give it a try. He had always been spoiled, and would be number one. With that understanding they said she could come. The seven-mile journey took her to that place Where in the large kitchen they met face to face. They got on so well when they met the first day, And if she behaved, they agreed she could stay. With lots of good food, grooming and care, Large gardens to play in and Shep's company to share. She is thickening out, with coat gleaming bright, We think that she knows everything is alright. A trip to the vet, for a cut on the tum, No more did they want their new friend to be mum. And being experienced in matters of health She even removed all the stitches herself. Well this little verse brings you right up to date, Oh! She's just started training---gosh what a state. And if ever you meet our very proud 'Lady' Stop and give her a pat, we've christened her 'Sadie' RIP Sadie.

Archived comments for Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Bradene on 2005-02-21 21:18:54
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Epic tale Gerry but worth the effort, had to wipe a tear from my eye. Love Val x

Author's Reply:

RoyBateman on 2005-02-21 21:50:41
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Couldn't help it, this brought a tear to my eye too. So obviously heartfelt and true, and I know just how you feel. A worthy and moving epitaph.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-21 21:51:07
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Thanks Val. This was written in 1991 when we got Sadie. She died in 2001 aged twelve. She was the most gentle dog. Hope to catch up with my notes soon. (Been busy with my book)

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-21 22:00:52
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Roy, We know we gave her a wonderful life--but it was still heartbreaking to lose her. We shed many tears over our departed canine friends.
Thanks for your understanding comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Zydha on 2005-02-21 22:36:39
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Delightful Gerry, showing how much Sadie was a part of your lives.

I also felt the sadness in her tale, soothed by the realization that she had been loved so much, a super tribute, Zydha x

Author's Reply:

KevTheRev on 2005-02-22 01:05:12
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Like the perspective. I have two dog’s myself, one a cardboard box refugee from Kosovo. Albanians hate dogs, well as pets, I find this odd in any society.

Still hold the best childhood memory’s with my dog in S.W. Africa. Got the old creased photo out after reading.


Author's Reply:

Emerald on 2005-02-22 01:30:28
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Hi Gerry,

What a heartwarming poem! I have an Irish Setter who is my wonderful companion. This did bring a tear to my eye.

Emma

Author's Reply:

Claire on 2005-02-22 02:43:26
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Oh Gerry, this is a little treasure. I've wiped a few tears from my eyes. This is truly an astounding piece of work.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 06:40:58
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Zyd, Thanks for your kind comment. It can be very hard being a dog lover...

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 06:43:08
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Claire, When things are true I think it is easier to write about them. Thank you for your kind comments...
Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 06:46:35
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Kev, Nice to meet a fellow dog lover. Not possible to forget are they? Thanks for comment...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 06:50:13
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Emma, It seems this has poem has produced a few tears. I now know that you lot really do have hearts. LOL. Give the Irish a pat from me...

Gerry.xxx.

Author's Reply:

uppercase on 2005-02-22 07:27:02
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
You've made my eyes water and my nose run. It's just a beautiful read and I enjoyed every word...Erma

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 07:59:11
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Erma, Thank you so much...

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Mehitable on 2005-02-22 09:59:58
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Gerry, I have to say that I started crying half way through this poem and did not stop at the end. Oh what joy and innocence animals have and share with us. We lost our 13 year old Staffi last year and we still haven't really come to terms with the loss - but that's not the point - you wrote this with such kindness and humanity (not to mention doginess) and sometimes I have thought, reading your poems, that you can be a little harsh. So I've been a bit cautious. But Sadie has sold me. I think you're a good and kind man and I'll take a less biased view when you are harsh about subjects in the future.
x Mehitable
p.s of course the issue of me being a cat and you writing about dogs still remains!!


Author's Reply:

Kat on 2005-02-22 14:43:58
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
The title and the name Sadie really drew me into this poem Gerry. It was my mum's name and she also died in 2001. I really enjoyed this lovely tribute about the unconditional love and pleasure that pets can give, likewise some humans now and again! 😉

Kat 🙂

Author's Reply:

tai on 2005-02-22 20:34:33
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
A lovely story Gerry, told in poetic form. She certainly struck lucky. The RIP at the end was very sad. It is horrible to lose a much love friend.

Smiling sadly

Tai x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 21:04:12
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Erma, thank you for your kind words.

Gerry xxx

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 21:21:01
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Mable--Moi - harsh ? how can someone who thinks they are the reincarnation of Cleopatra, and has a cockroach friend who writes poetry, regard me as harsh? LOL.
It is nice to meet other dog lovers even if they are pussycats. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Gerry xxx.


Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 21:24:55
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Kat, you are so right, there is something very special about a dogs love. Humans still have a lot to learn! Glad this caught your eye.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-22 21:29:09
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
tai, yes indeed this is the sad part of loving dogs, losing them. But then I think there is a doggy heaven and we all meet again. lol.
Thanks for commenting.

Gerry xxx.

Author's Reply:

deepoceanfish2 on 2005-02-23 01:29:05
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Oh My! Gerry ...you started a fountain here! This one got the tears flowing. In my house it was Pete....he was with us for fifteen years...he passed in 2000 and is resting beneath my Japanese cherry tree in the Hudson Valley, NY. I don't care what anyone says....they're family. This was a truly beautiful tribute to your Sadie....and a fav for me.

Best regards,
Adele 😉

Author's Reply:

Hazy on 2005-02-23 04:15:37
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Gerry

I'm not a huge fan of this 'style' and it's a bit singsongy for me. BUT I did love it nonetheless and of course I wiped away a tear, being the oversentimentalist (hmm, that a word? lol) that I am!

I grew up with dogs - Pepe, a labrador and then Ben, a doberman. Personally I've always been more of a cat person though and have said goodbye to Kitty, Arnie, Dorian Grey and Kola. It's so bloody hard, emotional and heartwrenching. I hate the thought of having to go through it eventually with Jerry Cat!

Very touching tribute. Lovely.

Hazy x

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-23 04:39:26
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Trevor, Thanks for reading amd commenting...
Regards, Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-23 04:43:44
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Adele, I really didn't set out to produce tears with this---but it's good for the soul to shed a tear now and then, especially for a canine friend.
Thank you so much...

Gerry. xxx.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-23 04:46:28
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Hazy, I didn't have any style in mind when I wrote this, it just came out this way. LOL
Yes indeed--those who keep pets know all about heartache...

Gerry. xxx.

Author's Reply:

shackleton on 2005-02-23 08:10:58
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Good one Gerry. A nice tribute in a genuine, uncomplicated poetry style. Good to see such diversity.

Author's Reply:

shangri-la on 2005-02-23 20:06:14
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Awww this is a beautiful, heartfelt piece 'They all wanted my pups but no one wants me'. brought tears to my eyes - so often the way, the cute little puppies are snapped up whilst the older dogs are left behind. I'm so glad Sadie's story was a happy one and she found a warm,loving home.
A wonderful, engaging tribute, told with great style.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-23 20:45:23
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Michael. Must admit I like the simple styles, how else could one write something like this?
Thanks for your nice comment.

Gerry.

Author's Reply:

Gerry on 2005-02-23 20:48:35
Re: Remembering Sadie (A True Story)
Hi Shangri, nice to see you about again.
Yes Sadie had a good life. We always adopt older dogs--never had a bad one yet, they seem to know.
Thanks for you nice comment.