Halloween is Coming!

Soon it will be November. Already there is a chill to the air, the days are becoming shorter and the clocks went back last night. I woke to all the time being wrong in the house and a leaky ceiling. Thankfully there is much to look forward to. The 31st October 2020 looms….yay.

Yes. Next weekend is Halloween or Samhain. It is when the change from Summer to Autumn and then to the end…to Winter is celebrated. The dead growth period before the Spring comes around again.

We celebrate as it is a busy time. Harvests are in. Food is being stored for the future hard times and celebrations, it is a time to prepare for the coming necessary rest and the big Yule time feast or Christmas celebrations and gift giving. It is now that we start buying or making gifts to give in December – traditionally things which were needed but luxuries too.

If you live somewhere cold you will know not much can happen easily in it. Damn, I need to get fully dressed up in scarf and hat just to put out the rubbish. The wind comes at you from all directions and infection is just about everywhere, running noses, rosy cheeks and coughs are the norm. It is regretful that these things are now associated with ‘disease’ rather than with the normality of life.

So, basically I’m saying in October we are getting ready for ‘batten down the hatches’ – Winter time.

However, before we do so we like to have a gathering for Halloween. There will be party games like What’s in the box? Where children are encouraged to put their hands in to see what they can feel. It is usually something strange like a peeled orange in baked beans… Or play another game, a take on ‘pin the tale on the donkey’ called ‘pin the teeth on the skeleton’.

There will be toffee apples, fruit dipped in candy and chocolate. Lots of different games with apples as this is the tradition. We are not doing apple bobbing this year because of covid19 but there will be apples a plenty. I’m planning to do ‘shrunken heads’ from half peeled apples slightly baked…

There is no traditional food but it is usually something warming and nutritious. This year my daughter is doing Chilli Con Carne…as beef is at a good price and quality. Knowing her, there will be two choices of chilli…one for the children and adults with taste buds, and the other for those of us who may want to treat ourselves to a little spice and heat (regardless of the consequences).

Last year I had more energy, to be honest, and made the toffee apples that are pictured on this article. This year I’m planning some marzipan animals with some red food colouring for effect. We’ll see how we go for time and energy before next weekend. Most of the work for these events is taken over by my daughters now. As I always hoped it would be.

I’m looking forward to seeing my grand children. I’m looking forward to seeing my loved ones…well some of them. This year there will not be so many people as we have a conditional law in place during the Covid19 pandemic. They are calling it the rule of six. NO more than six people are allowed to gather at any one time.

We can obviously get around this by staggering the gathering. I can only attend for a couple of hours max before I fall asleep so I generally trot home after some time with the children – Adults talk all the time so it’s the children I miss as they haven’t mastered the art of phone conversation just yet…all under five years old – it’s cute but its’ not a great way to converse with the young.

I want to play hide and seek with them…and “what’s the time Mister Wolf” and maybe have a pretend fight with a toy, foam swords. I’m looking forward to seeing their little faces when they put their hands in the box and attempt to guess at what’s inside. I’m looking forward to seeing them in their costumes and scaring to hear them squeal in pleasure!

Times are really hard for many people during this pandemic. Small parties and gatherings and any excuse for a celebration is how we move forward in this ‘new normal’ and keep our society going.

I’m pagan but I know that church groups and other faiths are doing the same as me. They are holding on to what is dear to them and celebrating the darkening and lightening of life. I try hard not to take the ‘end of the world’ stuff to heart, after all it’s been said by them for a couple of million years now and we’re still all here.

For those that read my blog regular, my house guest and I are getting along fabulously and he’s had fewer and fewer accidents. Family and friends are coming around to walk him and he spends his time eating and sleeping near the radiators or on the sofa next to me.

Bruiser won’t be attending the Halloween party with me.

The children have already tromped across fields to get their pumpkins for carving… this event was too muddy for me but it looked a lot of fun and the children enjoyed it.

The carved pumpkins will be on display, next weekend, at the party. I may take pics…I may not as could be enjoying myself too much to ruin it by bringing out my phone!

I’ll try and get some photos of the food spread…the treats table. mmm

Thank you for reading.

Be sure to get some candy in for those brave souls who go ‘trick or treating’ over Halloween!

They usually wear masks.

Stay safe.

Be Careful What You Wish For. Bruiser.

Careful What You Wish For. Bruiser.

Why You Should ALWAYS Check What You Wish For

I spend a lot of time on my own. It wasn’t a choice. It’s something I am getting used to.

As I don’t go out much, I recently started pining for a dog. I can’t manage a dog, so I know its dream stuff, but I miss the dogs I had. I miss their personalities and I miss their company. If I’m honest I miss the security they gave me when I was outside too.

I suppose I was thinking about the need to feel safe when I leave my home.

I had a German shepherd called Bruno and my daughter’s dog Bruiser living with me for years and years. In 2016 I had to put Bruno down (he dislocated his hip) and then in 2018 I moved in here and Bruiser went to live with my daughter who’d, by then, sorted herself out somewhere more secure to live.

As you can imagine Bruiser is now getting on and coming up to his fourteenth birthday. His life with my daughter has been busy and he’s loved it. He has two human siblings now and I doubt he misses Bruno and me too much. He gets long walks in the woods, a lovely nature reserve, every day and lots of attention from the children.

However, he is exhibiting strange behaviour as my grandson is learning how to use the potty. Bruiser has decided to also start peeing around the house.

Bruiser is a mastiff rottie cross and not a small dog. My daughter called me earlier today, almost in tears, the school called so she had to pick up my granddaughter who is feeling rough after her flu vaccination last week. On arrival home she discovered the dog had urinated all over the laminate floor.

She slid in through the front door into the hall still holding the littlest one and managed to just stop the other child, already feeling ill, from slipping over in it too. I laughed as she explained that she looked around and couldn’t see one surface which was dry enough to place them.

Eventually she got in and cleaned up, but it was everywhere. Discovering it all over her sofa- bed was the last straw.

Now Bruiser had been out for his walk and usually has a good degree of control. He has never snapped at anyone or given us reason to be wary but this behaviour is bizarre and then he did something strange. He jumped up and knocked off a knife from the kitchen side. A meat knife.

It was done on the quiet too. If she hadn’t re-entered the kitchen and seen it on the floor, before the children, it could have been disastrous. It’s a no brainer. The dog is showing signs of challenging the grandson when it comes to food so there is a risk that his behaviour is becoming territorial generally. The dog gets put down or he comes to me.

I must admit, I was thinking about a dog. I wasn’t thinking about the realities of a dog just the lovely little things…the company, his soft fur and cuddles etc. I was not thinking about walking him, picking up his poo, the dog hairs everywhere or the smell. Don’t get me wrong, me and Bruiser go back a long way and I love him to bits, but I know I’m going to cleaning up after him. That’s the responsibility of the owner living in a built-up area.

Like many elderly mammals, Bruiser is no exception, he is getting grumpy. He has been a loyal and fantastic dog over the years but now his mind and body is going. He deserves the respect and room he needs; it would be cruel and perhaps dangerous to ignore it. Also, from my grandson’s aspect the freedom to pottie train without the dog in his bits every few minutes would also be nice.

Obviously, the main reason Bruiser is coming to me is that there’s no one else to take him and I know him, and we are not ready to put down a good dog (a usually good dog) just because he is old and being a pain in the arse.

I still remember the day my daughter brought him around to see me. He was so small that he fitted into a little black hat and you could hardly see him. Now he is still as black as the darkness night, but he is huge and is essentially having a pissing contest with his owner’s son lol.

Anyhow, I wished for a dog and hey presto, I’m getting one. I’m looking forward to the company and really hoping that his bladder hasn’t gone as bad as mine otherwise we will be a sorry pair. Hopefully, it is just behavioral and a good rest away from his home will do everyone good.

I know my daughter is certainly looking forward to getting him out of the house – she said it so he could hear “It’s Nanny’s or the local Chinese”.

Picture of a dog and a cat together.
Bruiser and old cat of ours, Misty. They were the best of friends.

Thanks for reading.

Watch “NHS Going Going Almost Gone: David Halpin at UKIP SW -High Res” on YouTube

Let’s Sing a Spell for Happiness – Song

Let’s sing a spell for happiness

Let’s sing a song of love

Let’s toll the bells for all that’s well

Let’s shout it from above

I realise not everything is how it ought to be

Let’s not forget we have a voice

And lots of us believe

 

Let’s sing a song for happiness

Let’s cast a spell for love

There is no other worthy cause

That we’ve been dreaming of

Let’s sing a spell for happiness

Let’s cast a song for free

Remembering the love we have

For all humanity

Let’s sing a spell for happiness

Then, you never know

Let’s sing a song of harmony and

Watch the comfort grow

 

Let’s heal the wounds of everyone

Make everyone complete

Let’s push away the darkness and

Give hungry ones relief

Let’s sing a spell for happiness

Let’s cast a spell for joy

Let’s send it in direction

Of every girl and every boy

 

Let’s sing a spell for happiness

Let’s sing a song of love

Let’s toll the bells for all that’s well

Let’s shout it from above

I realise not everything is how it ought to be

Let’s not forget we have a voice

And what we can achieve

 

Twice at least to gain real affect.

By Samantha “unextraordinarybint” Harris.

 

 

 

Thank you guys.

 

Ode to My Daughter

Ode to My Daughter – poem

 

My girl is a gem

There is not person

Who can measure up to her

Not another child I’d prefer

She’s seen and accepted

All of me

Even the ugliness that I see

A more grounded individual

Cannot be found

Better organisation skills

Than Capability Brown

Her logistical brain outstanding her peers

Accompanying, caring attitude with plenty of cheer

A prouder mum cannot be found

When my daughter is around

I feel so privileged to be in her life

I never assume that I have that right

She is my hero

My life and my light

As always, a button shining bright

That turns on the future

And allows me to see

How familiar love can be

Mother’s shouldn’t have a favourite

But they do…

So, credit where it is due

My beautiful daughter,

I love you.

 

Fin.

By Samantha “unextraordinarybint” Harris.

 

To my beautiful daughter, whom I’d be lost without.

The Fisherman and his Wife – A Folk Tale (A medium sized story)

The Fisherman and his Wife – A Folk Tale

There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a ditch, close by the sea-side. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing and one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the shining water and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away deep under the sea; and in drawing it up he pulled a great fish out of the water. The fish said to him, “Pray let me live: I am not a real fish; I am an enchanted prince, put me in the water again, and let me go.” “Oh!” said the man, “you need not make so many words about the matter; I wish to have nothing to do with a fish that can talk; so swim away as soon as you please.” Then he put him back into the water, and the fish darted straight down to the bottom and left a long streak of blood behind him.

When the fisherman went home to his wife in the ditch, he told her how he had caught a great fish, and how it told him that is was an enchanted prince, and that on hearing it speak he had let it go again. “Did you not ask it for anything?” said the wife. “No,” said the man; “what should I ask for?” “Ah! said the wife, “we live very wretchedly here in this nasty sticking ditch, do go back, and tell the fish we want a little cottage.” The fisherman did not much like the business, however, he went to the sea, and when he came there the water looked all yellow and green. And he stood at the water’s edge, and said:

“O man of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For Alice my wife,

The plague of my life,

Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

Then the fish came swimming to him, and said, “Well, what does she want?” “Ah!” answered the fisherman, “my wife says that when I had caught you, I ought to have asked you for something before I let you go again, she does not like living any longer in the ditch, and wants a little cottage.” “Go home then,” said the fish’ “she is in the cottage already.” So the man went home, and saw his wife standing at the door of a cottage. “Come in come in,” said she’ “is not this much better than the ditch?” And there was a parlour, and a bed-chamber, and a kitchen; and behind the cottage there was a little garden with all sorts of flowers and fruits, and a courtyard full of ducks and chickens. “Ah! said the fisherman, “how happily we shall live!” “We will try to do so at least,” said his wife.

Everything went right for a week or two, and then Dame Alice said, “Husband, there is not room enough in this cottage, the courtyard and the garden are a great deal too small; I should like to have a large stone castle to live in so go to the fish again and tell him to give us a castle.” “Wife, said the fisherman, “I don’t like to go to him again, for perhaps he will be angry; we ought to be content with the cottage.” “Nonsense!” said the wife; “he will do it very willingly; go along and try.” The fisherman went; but his heart was very heavy: and when he came to the sea it looked blue and gloomy, though it was quite calm, and he went close to it, and said:

“O man of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For Alice my wife,

The plague of my life,

Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

“Well, what does she want now? said the fish. “Ah!” said the man very sorrowfully, “my wife wants to live in a stone castle.” “Go home, then,” said the fish; “she is standing at the door of it already.” So away went the fisherman, and found his wife standing before a great castle. “See,” said she, “is not this grand?” With that they went into the castle together, and found a great many servants there, and the rooms all richly furnished and full of golden chairs and tables; and behind the castle was a garden, and a wood half a mile long, full of sheep, and goats , and hares, and deer; and in the courtyard were stables and cowhouses. “Well!” said the man, “now will we live contented and happy in the beautiful castle for the rest of our lives.” “Perhaps we may,” said the wife “but let us consider and sleep upon it before we make up our minds:” so they went to bed.

The next morning, when Dame Alice awoke, it was broad daylight, and she jogged the fisherman with her elbow, and said, “Get up, husband and bestir yourself, for we must be king of all the land.” “Wife, wife,” said the man, “why should we wish to be king? I will not be king.” “Then I will,” said Alice. “But, wife” answered the fisherman, “how can you be king? the fish cannot make you a king.” “Husband,” said she, “say no more about it, but go and try: I will be king!” So the man went away, quite sorrowful to think that his wife should want to be king. The sea looked a dark-grey colour, and was covered with foam as he cried out:

“O man of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For Alice my wife,

The plague of my life,

Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

“Well, what would she have now?” said the fish. “Alas!” said the man, “my wife wants to be king.” “Go home,” said the fish; “she is king already.” Then the fisherman went home; and as he came close to the palace, he saw a troop of soldiers, and heard the sound of drums and trumpets; and when he entered in, he saw his wife sitting on a high throne of gold and diamonds, with a golden crown upon her head: and on each side of her stood six beautiful maidens, each a head taller than the other. “Well, wife,” said the fisherman, “are you king?” “Yes,” said she, “I am king.”

And when he looked at her for a long time, he said, “Ah, wife! what a fine thing it is to be king! now we shall never have anything more to wish for.” “I don’t know how that may be,” said she; “never is a long time. I am king, ’tis true, but I begin to be tired of it, and I think I should like to be emperor.” “Alas, wife! why should you wish to be emperor?” “Husband, “said she, “go to the fish; I say I will be emperor.” “Ah, wife!” replied the fisherman, “the fish cannot make an emperor, and I should not like to ask for such a thing.” “I am king,” said Alice, “and you are my slave, so go directly!”

So the fisherman was obliged to go; and he muttered as he went along, “This will come to no good, it is too much to ask, the fish will be tired at last, and then we shall repent of what we have done.” He soon arrived at the sea, and the water was quite black and muddy, and a mighty whirlwind blew over it; but he went to the shore, and said:

“O man of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For Alice my wife,

The plague of my life,

Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

“What would she have now? said the fish. “Ah!” said the fisherman, “she wants to be emperor.” “Go home,” said the fish; “she is emperor already.” So he went home again; and as he came near he saw his wife sitting on a very lofty throne made of solid gold , with a great crown on her head full two yards high, and on each side of her stood her guards and attendants in a row, each one smaller than the other, from the tallest giant down to a little dwarf no bigger than my finger. And before her stood princes, and dukes, and earls: and the fisherman went up to her and said, “Wife are you emperor?” “Yes,” said she, “I am emperor.”

“Ah!” said the man as he gazed upon her, “what a fine thing it is to be emperor!” “Husband,” said she, “why should we stay at being emperor? I will be pope next.” “O wife, wife!” said he, “how can you be pope? there is but one pope at a time in Christendom.” “Husband,” said she, “I will be pope this very day.” “But,” replied the husband, “the fish cannot make you pope.” “What nonsense!” said she; “if he can make an emperor, he can make a pope, go try him.”

So the fisherman went. But when he came to the shore the wind was raging, and the sea was tossed up and down like boiling water, and the ships were in the greatest distress and danced upon the waves most fearfully; in the middle of the sky there was a little blue, but towards the south it was all red, as if a dreadful storm was rising. At this the fisherman was terribly frightened, and trembled, so that his knees knocked together; but he went to the shore and said:

“O man of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For Alice my wife,

The plague of my life,

Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

“What does she want now?” said the fish. “Ah!” said the fisherman. “my wife wants to be pope.” “Go home,” said the fish, “she is pope already.” Then the fisherman went home, and found his wife sitting on a throne that was two miles high, and she had three great crowns on her head, and around her stood all the pomp and power of the church; and on each side were two rows of burning lights, of all sizes, the greatest as large as the highest and biggest tower in the world, and the least no larger than a small rushlight. “Wife,” said the fisherman, as he looked at all this grandeur, “are you pope?” “Yes,” said she, “I am pope.”

“Well wife,” replied he, “it is a grand thing to be pope; and now you must be content, for you can be nothing greater!” “I will consider of that,” said the wife. Then they went to bed: but Dame Alice could not sleep all night for thinking what she should be next. At last morning came, and the sun rose. “Ah!” thought she as she looked at it through the window, “cannot I prevent the sun rising?” At this she was very angry, and wakened her husband, and said, “Husband, go to the fish and tell him I want to be lord of the sun and moon.” The fisherman was half asleep, but the thought frightened him so much, that he started and fell out of bed. “Alas wife!” said he, “cannot you be content to be pope?” “No,” said she, “I am very uneasy, and cannot bear to see the sun and moon rise without my leave. Go to the fish directly.”

Then the man went trembling for fear; and as he was going down to the shore a dreadful storm arose, so that the trees and the rocks shook; and the heavens became black, and the lightning played, and the thunder rolled; and you might have seen in the sea great black waves like mountains with a white crown of foam upon them; and the fisherman said:

“O man of the sea!

Come listen to me,

For Alice my wife,

The plague of my life,

Hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

“What does she want now?” said the fish. “Ah!” said he, “she wants to be lord of the sun and moon.” “Go home,” said the fish, “to your ditch again!” And there they live to this very day.

 

The End.

__________________________________________________

 

What a great yarn. Funny. This is a Grimms folk tale so it’s public access and not my own story.

It’s public access because it’s a traditional folk tale.

 

Wiki says,

‘Collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812 The brothers were German academics who collected and published European, mainly German folklore. The tale is of Aarne-Thompson type 555, about dissatisfaction and greed.’

You may want to stop here, as these are purely my thoughts about this story of ‘dissactisfaction and greed’.

The Aarne-Thompson is an index of folklore. There is now a TV program based, loosely, upon the stories. I hope that they keep the extremely dry humour. This woman wasn’t just a plague she would have happily ruined the world for her wish to control it!

Stories are important learning tools for all of us. We can learn from the subtle, maybe not so subtle, lessons within them. This one containing a repeating rhyme is especially interesting to children as it’s simple and easy for them to grasp. There are also many topics for non-forced learning within the story and mentions of interesting points for discussion including giants, dwarfs, gold and diamonds.

It’s funny as no one can imagine many things about this story. The magical talking fish, the ungratefulness of the wife and the undying patience and loyalty of the husband. One may be tempted to think of this story of only one meaning, the “The Spoilt Wife” story, but it’s more.

That is the top story. The first layer of the yarn as it weaves across the tapestry. The deeper meaning of the story is “Earth’s Ownership”.  The gradually more troubled waters each time the fisherman came to ask another favour and each time what he wanted was given, without question, but the seas got darker and the transport of ships harder.

It tells us that anything can be bought. That is, apart from the sun and moon, as this would mess with, and possibly make our planet untraversable. The fish symbolism is fairly interesting to argue but essentially, in English society, we do still say ‘He’s a big fish in a little pond’ so perhaps it’s someone important the fisherman came across but there is also the obvious Christian connection to take into account with the fish being it’s well known symbol since 300 AD and of course the pisces symbolism too with fish swimming in both directions.

This story tells us it was a big fish…perhaps it was a whale? They are seen as a symbol of earths great wonders and have many stories written about them including of course Moby Dick but he was standing upon the shore fishing and it is unlikely to have been a whale, unless it was a stranded whale then it would have needed help back into the water. Perhaps it is a carp, again, a significant fish. Other versions of the story may give us more but there may not be more to it.

It is odd that the story doesn’t choose to call her a Queen rather than a king. Europe did have several Queens by the time this story was circulating, according to history. Is there anything to be made of that? Perhaps a little sexist propaganda? The twelve maidens stood near her could offer a clue. And candles as tall as a tower besides the pope imagery and a two yard high crown on the king is thought provoking too…so much detail. Could these things mean anything other than embellishment?

I love folk tales and as I read them with older eyes, they mean more than they initially did. The art of a great story is to stand the test of time and this one does. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did bringing it to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dandelion Wishes – Poem

Dandelion Wishes by Samantha Harris

 

In you drifted

Eyed upon the kitchen top

Decided a wish I’d drop

I held you gently

Wished out loud

Outside I put you

Swiftly back in you flew

A second chance

For less selfish a wish

I hold you gently

Relocate thee

Place you out

My wish I did shout

Instantly I wished you returned

For pride in me still burned

I could have wished for more

You float away…

I’d wished for me

I wish for family

Dandelion if you could repeat

There is one wish left to complete

Please keep safe all that be

As well as my family and me.

 

The end.

 

Written 9th August 2020

Watford, Hertfordshire.

England, United Kingdom of the British Isles

The Matter of Babies’ Hearts – Poem

Based on a real life scandal at a NHS Hospital in Bristol 1990s and Bias BBC coverage.

 

The Matter of Babies’ Hearts.

There is a story to tell

A parent’s living hell

Created for them, here on Earth

Janardan Dhasmana is his name

Babies hearts are his to gain

The NHS his surgery, his choppity chop,

As if a grocery shop

Learning on the hop

In Bristol, England baby’s hearts

Were put upon the block

From one of their bodies he did part

Little Joshua Loveday’s heart

Those that came forward to say

Fired from their jobs, sent away

Three good men lost careers

But Dhasmana carries on today with impunity

They gave the parents the babies hearts in a box for free

The BBC claimed, “The doctor had lost the most.”

Hurtful to the parents of the Bristol Babies’ ghosts.

 

The End.

by Samantha unextraordinarybint Harris

 

Little Bubbles of Happiness – Poem

Little bubbles sitting on the ground

Little blankets with children running around

Taking kids out in the sun

Watch them run, enjoy the fun

Adults crawl upon the ground

Little girls jump up and down

Mum’s sunning themselves, straps down

Trying to make themselves brown

Seagulls flying above them free

Nightingales sing in the trees

Bikes lie sidewards on the grass

Dad’s pulling up jeans to cover their arse

Children, laughter, screaming, the squealing

Playing in the park

An owl sounds out in the distance

The hoot so familiar

I know that you are near here

Happiness and harmony resides

Little bubbles sitting on the ground

In little bubbles, happiness is found.

The end.

 

 

When Boris Says it’s Okay – Poem

It’s going to be the 4th of July 2020 for the lifting of the British lockdown from covid19. I think that will coincide with July 4th celebrations in America. How nice is that? We’ll all be celebrating together although apart. It will be good to lose the yoke of covid19.

I wrote this poem a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that it is so simple it could be added onto by others and carried on…?

Oh what a day

We’ll drink in pubs

Naked bodies will rub

When Boris says it’s okay

 

When Boris says it’s okay

I’ll hug my Grandchildren

Until they pull away

Planting kisses on their faces

We’ll go to visit places

When Boris says it’s okay

 

When Boris says it’s okay

We’ll eat together, in restaurants and cafes

And have picnics in the shade

The sun will blaze over a party haze

When Boris says it’s okay.

 

 

Will Nits Survive Social Distancing?

In the UK school system head lice have been an epidemic since the nit nurse was removed from schools during the 1980s and 1990s.

Parents of school age children now regularly nit comb through their children’s hair.

Will covid19 make lice obsolete? How far can they jump? Social distancing is currently two metres although in school the children will be placed in ‘ bubbles’ of two or three children. Will it be easier to keep lice under control?

*scratches head

The strategy being used to slow transmission of a deadly corona virus may be lacking but the threat to head lice is surely real?

NHS our national health care system advice has some advice about hair lice.

I’ve given myself the eeebbeegeebees writing this .

 

When A Dragon Comes To Town – Illustrated Poem

When a dragon comes to town

It can turn life upside down

One can see the dragon’s toes

On both sides of the road

Eyes pop out of passers by

They can’t believe their eyes

whenADragonComestotown

Who can take the dragon down?

He’s bigger than a house.

Who comes forward with a plan?

A tiny, brave mouse.

The question was still asked

How can a mouse take a dragon down?

The mouse shouts out to the dragon,

“Hey, watch where you put your feet.

I’ll take you to the sweetest meats.”

whenADragonComestotown

Mouse took dragon from store to store

For the dragon it was a treat

whenADragonComestotown

Mouse gave him beer, wine and sausages

More than dragon could eat

Until the dragon could eat no more

He lay his head down upon the floor

whenADragonComestotown

Mouse worked quickly

Running all around

He tied that dragon down

With hammers and tacks

He tied him firm to the ground

And to this day that is where

Dragon can be found

whenADragonComestotown

The End.

 

How to trap an annoying dragon

by Samantha Harris copyright 2020

For Isabella and Devon

May you always be happy, healthy and prepared.

 

 

 

Sofa, So Good, So Long (Short Story)

A seagull pecked at the open stitch on my arm, remnants of a meal left by baby. The bird gobbled down the last piece of the frayed fabric and flew into the horizon. The dump was busy. The large machines working to break down the rubbish. They worked methodically. The skips came in at one end of the yard. They were turned out into a huge pile and then the machines would gather around the edges and eat.


The scene is very different to how I’ve spent most of my life. I’ve never been so wet. The glue between my joints so soft. My struts and bindings loose. I remember when I was as hard as rock. My springs taught and strong. The fabric, stretched across me, was deep grey; Teflon coated with fire resistance. Back then, my stylish beading hid every stitch I had.


I remember the smell on the shop floor. It was a clean but somehow dusty smell. The gleaming windows smelled strong, like vinegar. Also, I remember the odours of the different families trailing past, children crying, children laughing. Their parents clutching their tiny hands. My springs enjoying the feeling of the little feet jumping on me. The parents scolding them.


Mr and Mrs Gold came in one spring day. They had money from their wedding day and were expecting their first child. When they saw me, they looked at each other. They came over and sat on me. As they touched hands the joy which swept through me was intense. I understood my purpose was to serve these human beings. Then, just like all the other couples, they got up and walked away.


I sensed them talking with the man who walked around with the clip board. He and I had a strange relationship. He didn’t sit on me. He would come up to me and push on my pillows. Then he would write something on his clip board. It was a while before Mr and Mrs Gold left the store. They all shook hands, then he put a large white board on me. No one else sat on me for the rest of the day.


The following morning, three women turned up with a large trolley and bundles of cardboard. They were laughing and joking between them until the man with the clip board shouted. They picked up a large plastic roll and wrapped me from my wooden, cubed feet up and over my back and around my cushions. They then pulled me up onto trolley and wheeled me off the shop floor.


A massive truck backed up to the warehouse loading bay and I was slid, ungraciously onto it. The man with clip board gave the truck driver a nod and took the trolley away. He looked at me when he pulled down the door until I was out of sight. I heard him lock the door and I grew a little anxious in the dark. I’d been in his sunny showroom for all my life and, to me, he was the most consistent human being I had known.


My fear at being bundled off the dirty truck and manhandled through a doorway, which was seemingly too small, was soon forgotten. It was the home of Mr and Mrs Gold. This was my family. They had chosen me. At full price too. Their home smelled like vanilla and roses.


Not like the smell of the decreasing pile of garbage I was currently part of. The seagull was back at me. Tugging at something buried deep in my back. Squawking loudly, it attracted four others. They hungrily tore me open. I felt the half-eaten biscuit, still partly in foil, jerked out from between my springs.

Remembering the intense feeling of devotion I felt as baby was sitting on me watching Peppa Pig. She’d felt so safe, so secure that she dropped her biscuit. So sure, that I would I look after it for her.


The gulls fought over their prize. Squabbling in the sky. Teasing me with their cries. As if I wasn’t aware of where I was. The machines are getting closer. Beneath my left leg is nothing but air. I am hanging on. I can see men with white hats pointing at me.

This was the last place I can stand. Soon I would tumble down the pile and be pulled apart by the metal mouthed monsters. I defy gravity and hang there, just for a moment longer. A shopping trolley is stuck into my bowels. It matters not to me. It allows me to view the world in one glorious flash as I fall.


By Samantha Harris