Friday, 31 October 2008

Cake Pudding

Neil's cake-in-a-mug recipe came out reminiscent of a steamed pudding.

* Put 4 tablespoons of plain flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa in a mug and mix thoroughly.
* Add 1 egg, and mix well.
* Add 3 tablespoons of milk and 3 tablespoons of oil – mix again until well combined.
* If desired, add chocolate chips and a splash of vanilla.
* Microwave the mug for 3 minutes at 1000 watts or 4 minutes at 700 watts (the cake will rise above the top of the mug but don’t panic!)
* Allow to cool, turn out onto a plate if you like.
* Apparently margarine tastes better than oil – but you have to add this before the egg and milk instead of after.

There are still roses blooming in Chesterfield.

and Seven Trent Water have come to mend the stop tap. To do so, they've dug a 4'deep hole.

Bright and sunny cemetery

I told Kat* I'd use this name in a story - and I did, in tomorrow's Laverstone Tales

Lovely morning.
DON'T click to enlarge.

Happiness is Tumbledried towels

The Poplar trees, as usual.

*Not DK, the other Kat

haiga - WOTD - gloaming

gloaming \GLOH-ming\, noun:
Twilight; dusk.

When my lover comes
it is during the gloaming
with the scent of musk

Watercolour: Ragged Wings 6" x 4" £34

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Wet Walk. Pain.

The council rang the water board,
who came to draw a blue line around the offending stop cock. Hurrah!

I've posted this house before. It was repossessed in June and is now for sale HERE for £60K. That's half the price of the houses around here. Someone will make a killing, and only 2 minutes walk from us.

Broken Factory windows.

There's something sad about that.

I walked to Morisson's today. Despite falling over and getting covered in mud, and then being almost in tears because the dogs pulled so much it twisted my hip, And the lead broke, it was a pleasant walk despite the weather. A shame that i had to repeat it half an hour later (this time on the bicycle) to get some willow cuttings off freecycle.

There's a tiny wood opposite Morisson's where I found these mushrooms

One of the other disudes (and torn down) factories.

Poo Bear (who stole an 8 oz prime steak last night) hiding from Kat, and then Hugh, under the coffee table.

haiga - WOTD - hubris

hubris \HYOO-bruhs\, noun:
Overbearing pride or presumption.

A touch of hubris
in his calm assumption I
would do as he asked.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Book Review: VS. by David E. Oprava

I was asked to review this by the author after he’d seen my review of Nigel McLoughlin's ‘Dissonances’ I said I was happy to have a look at it and he sent over a .pdf. I’m rather glad he did.

VS (erbacce-press publications) is a brave and accomplished collection of poetry that I would have hesitated to write. From the long, multi-form ‘Segue’ (which looks forward to the death of the writer) to the eleven joined pieces that make up ‘Bobby Quatrain: Rock God Poet’ Oprave takes us twisting (and often screaming, for I must admit that I would hesitate to use such profanity in and of my own poetry) down the urban streets of modern after—school boredom. I see his subjects lying in pools of piss and blood and spattered Welsh phrases as the die, observed only by Oprava and his readers and ignored by the virtual populations of the body of poems.

It is Oprava’s short-form pieces that grab you by the metaphorical balls, though – In the literary ‘Spot: On the Slaughterhouse floor’ Lady Macbeth scrubs away blood while conversing with visions from Kafka and Chaucer.

This excerpt from Gerontophobia:

Worsted for wear
in sheep’s clothing,
poly-gripped fangs bared
when the mood holds him,
the other children say
of the man upstairs
but I don’t cry before wolves,
I wonder why

the old women said
he’d lined a heart
with bricks
from every woman
he’s met
in wars and pieces
found along
the uneven sway
in moth eaten socks,

fills me with the wish that I’d written it and the desire to add the character to my next novel. A nod to the wolf in us all.

Although Oprava drops prose-poems like rabbit pellets through the text (chew twice – you’ll be grateful), he concludes the book with four in a row: ‘Twelve,’ ‘War Widow,’ ‘Cindy’ and ‘Love: is a partially loaded gun.’ These appear as snap-shots of his life; interspersed with memories and anecdotes. Does anyone really fuck to Rossini any more? I remember doing it, and the image of Bo Derek in my head would inevitably turn into Dudley Moore and put me off. Thank all the Gods for batteries, I say.

If you like avant-garde poetry, you’ll love this. Since he sent me a pdf copy for review, I’m even going to have to get a copy for myself – it’s earned a place on my overburdened bookshelves.

Buy it HERE

Not available on Amazon, alas

Frosted Pain

This water stop tap caused me great pain this morning when I caught my toe on it and went arse-over-tit onto the road.

Grazed hands and knees and a bump on the back of the head. Nothing too serious. I'm glad a car didn't come along though, else I'd have been squished. The dogs ran off but came back when they realised I was no longer following.

Ground frost this morning and long shadows.

Frosty field.

Laburnum seeds against a bright blue sky

But for the colour of the trees, this could be a summer photograph.

Frosted leaves

Twin poplars
leave a column of frost
on the grass.

Frost drawings on the surface of the pond.

The field
Frosty ground.

Cemetery with
summer sky

This 'I love you' cushion was abandoned and filthy on the roadside.

Dirty love?

haiga - WOTD - aspersions

asperse (a-SPURS) verb tr.:
1. To spread false and malicious charges against someone.
2. To sprinkle with holy water.

In the school playground
Lucy dealt with aspersions
of her missing mother

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Frabjous Sky

Dramatic sky today

though few decent photographs to be had.

I like the line of poplars here. I know very few cemeteries where poplars are so popular.

View from under the spreading chestnut trees.

Trickster found a small-boy sized hole under the thorny sloe thicket. It was strewn with beer cans.

A field I rarely venture to -- too full of kids and other dogs to let mine have a run.

Soggy football pitch, fabulous sky.

haiga - WOTD - execrable

execrable \EK-sih-kruh-buhl\, adjective:
1. Deserving to be execrated; detestable; abominable.
2. Extremely bad; of very poor quality; very inferior.

Bottom list poet
illustrates haiku with
execrable art.

"Spleen and Ideal" Watercolour 6" x 4" £30
(post free, unframed - add £8 for framed)

Monday, 27 October 2008

Learning to Endure

After Compline
you made me laugh:
gambolling up the aisle,
your bloomers
a flash of colour
upon the rood screen.

The scent
of sandlewood incense
on my fingertips
and your caress–
the taste of life
on a hallowed evening.

From the read, write, word #2 prompt at Read Write Poem

Autumn Apple Cake

An almost-avenue of trees as Iwalk toward the wetland field. You can just see my shadow there.

Not exactly a lake but any more rain and it'll look like one!
Bear investigates the water.

A beautiful day (for wet feet)

A piece of partially rusted metal - I picked it up and carried it home. It may well become a piece of artwork.

The wood always looks nice in sunshine. Ignore the fly-tipping, please.

and Temple bells.

Made-of-fail cake.

When I baked this yesterday, both Luisa and K thought it disgusting.
I turned it upside down and baked it again today and it has improved.

haiga - WOTD - corroborate

corroborate \kuh-ROB-uh-rayt\, transitive verb:
To strengthen or make more certain with other evidence.

To corroborate
his wild claims the devil
gave me an ice-cream.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Soggy Garden

Flower bed I cut into the lawn 18 months ago doing well - The geranium is still in flower, the wind chimes are chiming and the sundial is - well, just sitting there.

The northern edge of the circle and the altar, with the bottom pond and the lantern tree behind. All looking a bit sad today.

This was a surprise.
The birds use the feeder so rarely that the seeds in the top section are sprouting, as are the ones in the fat ball.

Weeds, all, I expect.

The fish pond looking a bit sad and wet

but Buddha seems philosophical about it.

Poo Bear, Master of all he surveys
(when the other dogs are in the house.)