A Writer (and Diarist?)’s Challenge

A writer should never shirk from addressing challenges in message nor description, despite the social or self-imposed barriers they encounter. After all, the very essence of writing is to strive, to reach and then even break through those barriers, never worrying about the reaction. A writer, in this aspect must display boldness.Victorian writing

The task confronting me was another episode of tardy attention upon WP and lack of interaction with my good friends upon the community. There was good reason. However, to explain this required a deft, one might say diplomatic approach. If I simply cited illness or incapacity and left the business there, then all sorts of wrong intimations might arise, unwarranted concerns would be expressed, and a farcical air of melodrama would impinge upon my blog. This would not do.Social Graces

There again. And here is the overriding problem. An average British male, in their late 60s b85885aa0fd01f0cbebaa2798639b472

 

 

 

 

aware of the number of lady readers to his blog does simply not feel at ease in going into, in this case the relevant detailed description. Now, whereas we all have secret chuckles at ‘Carry On’ films, these are normally conducted in more domestic matters. To utilise this approach simply would seem, well crass.

Therefore, I explain the circumstances of the last several days in a slightly cryptic manner and trying to avoid the Too Much Information syndrome. These facts and opinions are for your considerations.

Yeast. Not to do with baking. Medical. Jokes about yeast making things rise no longer seem remotely funny.

Not all conditions respond to medicines. Some require surgical responses, lest conditions get worse. Gender reassignment is not a phrase I personally, in my lifestyle ever thought a possibility.

Not to worry, having imagined conversations with idiots on the Web-footed Rightalexjonesrandpaul-alexjonesimage  and Fashionable LeftPompus
over their laughably ignorant notions of biblical surnames and surgical procedures was quite amusing; almost tempting me to indulge their ignorance…..My imagination does get vivid at times.

The UK. Our NHS….yes it does surgical procedures on a Sunday. So the NHS works, despite the antics of governments, the slimy efforts of money-making corporations and hapless misconceptions of the 8d8f41c1217d3007621ceda397c48ef6Trumpster Propagandists in the USA.

Being under general anaesthetics gives you real clarity as regards Napoleon’s victory at the battle of Austerlitz in 1805.

Of course, being in Britain recovery in the recovery room is aided by a nice cup of TEA!cuppa_tea_1660618c

The removal of a surgical dressing by one’s spouse can be quite an intimate episode (I’m talking about shared trust and tenderness….what are some of you thinking about?).

Why does going to a hospital or attending Mass cause one to catch a cold?

Like, Slowness City man. Move legs won’t you? Brain stop drifting! Hey, that snooze just sneaked up on me! How come it’s hard to concentrate on Comic Books?

Whereas I do not take nor approve of recreational drugs the residual after effects of a general anaesthetics did help with a tricky few chapters of my current book and gave me whole new insights into the songs out of ‘Cats’ ‘Mr.Mistoffelees’ and ‘Bustopher Jones’ as they travelled through my head day after day, without the least bit of annoyance.

In conclusion, fellow male readers. Do not wince or shudder. In comparison with what our dear ladies have to go through in life….

Mate, like this is nothing!

‘Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones –

                                    In fact, he’s remarkably fat.

                                    He doesn’t haunt pubs- he has eight or nine clubs,’

bjones-karen

Love that song……

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Every Picture Tells A Story???

Sometimes a picture just…well y’know….it begs a comment:

Flirty Singles

(the following dialogue inspired by the great Bob Newhart)

‘Ah Good Morning Miss Singles. Welcome to the job interview. Can I get you a glass of water? Tea? Coffee? Sure coffee! And, black, yea. No sugar, sure….Just a spoonful of salt? (nervous laugh)..well that’s different…Eh keeps you focused does it? I’ll have to…err…look into that.

Now construction site work. What a lot of folk don’t realise that in addition to being quite labour intensive, a lot of skill is needed so I hope you don’t mind if some of my questions seems a measure intrusive…Err would you like a tissue Miss Singles..looks like you got something in your eye..Ah I see, that just a twitch..Yeh! Quite twitch. Guess it’s dust and pollen……. and maybe the gun powder? Make your own bullets do you? Well I make my own flies for fishing, so… …Anyway. Now I have to ask (laughs). Your first name there, it’s…… I see….uhh-huh…Yeh grandparents sometimes make some freaky requests of their children….Oh made their money in the 1960s on the West Coast, yeh…kinda makes sense now….Have you ever discussed this with them. Ah, both died in a house fire…I’ll just get your some paper towelling, you spilled some of your coffee when you were giggling. And your parents?….Those creeps are still alive y’say….Well I guess that ties up that line of enquiry.

I see you went through twenty schools. Did you parents move much? No. Hmm, some places can be picky can’t they? Did the kids call you silly-nick names….Yeh I guess it would have gone better for them if they had….. Sports? Gridiron, I didn’t know some schools had girls’ teams…..Not in a girls’ team… Offensive tackle? No kidding, they are usually kinda taller….You say it an’t needed when you jump at the face….Yeh that would be different…Hmm…Now my opinion is those guys were being a bit whinny, it is a contact sport after all, just as long as you didn’t try and wrench the helmet off….Only the once…He used your first name did he? How did I know?….oh….. just a lucky guess.

Ah I see here you signed up for the Marines…..And were dropped out of basic training because your drill sergeant and the rest of the squad were getting nightmares…. Special forces said they needed stealth not banshee screaming. Geez, I hate to come across as sounding stuffy and cranky but they don’t breed them as tough as they did in my day…Nah…cooks and that’s no walk in the park I can tell you! Now this rejection from the Chicago Police Department to my mind just isn’t helpful, I mean what does ‘Hah! Not until Hell Freezes Over’ offer to the applicant? It’s just not helpful.

OK, before we go out and try out on site there, if you don’t mind me asking, who took the photo? It’s only just first impressions y’understand but…..ahhh…doesn’t seem your style. Oh….right.…..So your mother…Sorry, as you wish…This three-dammed witch…. is good at photoshop and all that..stuff…Oh on FaceBook and Instagram……Gee that’s tough. But I guess that mothers for you trying to get you married….My, that is some twitch!

Well anyway, here we are. Office being on site. As you can see a lot of construction going on here….HEY guys! You might wanna tone down the remarks….YEH? Well Joe it’s my opinion you’re damn lucky you are up there and not down here! Don’t worry I’ll have a word with them at lunch break….Sure…ha-ha….for their own sakes.

OK, so this is Harry our site foreman. No Harry I wouldn’t make too much of that twitch if I were you. I’d be careful there Harry…Yeh I kinda guessed she’d have that sorta grip in her handshake, put it in cold water after, swelling’ll go down. So this is Miss Singles…No Harry, her first name isn’t important, truly Harry you want to trust me on that one. Remember how I was right about that gas leak?…Well it’s the same kind of situation Harry. Yeh, glad you see it my way.

Sorry Miss Singles, just a little bit of construction site chat there. Now I’d….You like to try out with the sledgehammer? Oh sure, if you feel that way. That piece of old granite foundation there …Yeh….I guess if……OK, then, there you go…..Yeh I know Harry, that’s one hellava swing there…..No I don’t know what she’s putting on the rock, some, I dunno, looks like a photo…..Yeeaaaaah I gotta feeling it might be an old family photo and…WOA!..No I don’t think was a lucky strike there Harry, and you should come out from behind that truck and see her swing again! No I think you’re exaggerating there, I reckon you did see worse shrapnel in Iraq! Geez-Louise willya look at that, split straight down the middle! I don’t see you need worry about the scream when she swings Harry, I mean you watch those tennis players on the tournaments, the racket they kick up…..Hey! The Racket! Didja get that one Harry?…Oh c’mon Harry you are the site foreman, just ducking when Miss Singles swings isn’t good for your image……JOE! Look I warned you about your comments, that’s just not appropriate……..Now y’see Joe you just provoked that! Thinking she couldn’t hit you with a chunk of granite you being two stories up. Well more fool you fellah!…..Wassat Charlie? Well if your daughter’s little league team needs a new pitching coach, I guess you’d better discuss that with Miss Singles after your shift there, not my business buddy.

Ok Miss Singles, that block of granite looks like it’s ready for the bagging and spreading on someone’s pathway now, you might want to stop…Yeh, if there’s still bit of the photo left, when you’re ready then. But I’m convinced we can use you around here….Pardon…..Oh sure you can take the sledgehammer home to prove to your parents you got the job. The way you’re stroking it, you obviously like the…..We call it a tool on site Miss Singles, not a weapon…….Excuse me a minute…..Joe! Now fellah it’s no use you  clinging to that girder and whimpering, you’re getting in the way of Bill’s riveting there….Boy some of these guys are such cry-babies!

So you start tomorrow then Miss Singles. Pardon…Oh no, you don’t have to be so formal and call me Mr. Nightly…..’Jay’ will do, just like the intial…Uh? Nah I never use the full name, that was my parents’ fascination with east European culture..Jerkov, yeh….yeh! No they aren’t around anymore, died in a tragic freak car accident. Apparently an electrical fault, caused  a petrol explosion….Yeh…Tough break.

Well, then see ya tomorrow! Y’know I got a feeling you and I are going to get along just fine!

Brexit- A Summary of the Current Position

You may or may not be aware that two minsters from  the British Government have resigned over the Brexit Crisis t08-is-this-whist-may-i-askThese are

David Davies (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)

Minister of the Crown

And Boris Johnson (Man What Occupied the Office of the Foreign Secretary, while they tried to find someone competent)

Boris Johnson

Nevertheless the Government has continued in its stalwart mission to find a constructive and intelligent solution

British Cabinet

Under the guidance Prime Minister Theresa May

Theresa May

The Brexiteers are of course upsetAngry Brexiteer(BEEEETRAYED!! ARRRGUH!!)

And us Remainers are somewhat insufferable

Smug Remainer

(Toldja)

For ordinary folk the situation is not helped by various commentators, pundits and supporters of all sides coming in with their own favoured explanations:

Confused person on Brexit (For a lucid and clear explanation as to how the British keep getting into these messes, suggested reading is History Vol II(a snip at 0.99p through Amazon Kindle)

The Official Opposition; The Labour Party continues to claim a co-ordinated and innovative approach:

Labour solution

frowning-puritan-CROPDespite a few disagreements.

Meanwhile the nation carries on……Social Graces

Towards a bright and glorious future

Britain after Brexit

Cheered by the thought it could be worseJerk

 

 

A FaceBook Thing (Not THE FaceBook thing)…Rant Warning Gale Force

Well we all know about the FaceBook controversy, I mean in this Age of Social Media it’s one of those subjects which isn’t going to be missed.

Many people are closing their accounts or limiting their activity and their reasonings are understandable. No one likes to be pried on and having someone trying to use the information for questionable purposes.

Those reasons didn’t trouble me to much, not because of apathy, ignorance or because I think my senses are heightened to such any extent that I can detect any manipulations. No, it’s just that being so cussedly contrary and being of such a low social media profile….it’s…. ‘So what they going to do with the bits they have on me? Good luck with that dust people! And at 66 I’m so set in my ways like I’m ready to listen to anything I’ve not known about already?’ (that kind of cussedness, takes practice y’know).

At this juncture, yes we all sound off and we all write out our annoyances. But there’s limitations to expressing in our opinions, and if the other person comes in, well listen you never know what you’ll learn about them. And don’t hate them. Let’s keep a sense of proportion in this…..

No, the reason why I am cutting back my ‘FB’ to family alone comes from a different quarter, one where there is a toxicity, an absence of discourse and exchange of views. Where the ignorant and the bigoted reside, feeding off of each other’s fears, prejudices and self-congratulatory delusions. I alluded to this in a previous post. Now Here is a Thought About Writer’s Block (aka Log-Jam)

Anyways my new laptop was really cool with FB, enjoyed putting words down. Must be innocent, and my old one must have known something because it was never happy there, always claiming the connection had gone, taking one minute to type one letter and never navigating well, But you know it goes, something new, something different.

So there I was sifting along and amongst the various threads, sort of drawn towards those on the UK Remain side of the Brexit argument, putting in my pro-Remain six pennies worth, trying to avoid the folk who suggested Brexit folk should be rounded up and incarnated. Then on Friday and Saturday I chanced upon a thread which was doing a common theme railing that the BBC was pro-Brexit and a tool of the Government.

Yeah, we all reckon we all get mis-represented by someone or another don’t we? Someone doesn’t understand our side of the story. Tell me about it. 45 years working in the UK Civil Service, man. But these folk were taking their venom to a whole new level. And what did I do, I went in and said I wasn’t buying their line. It’s my opinion, right? The BBC is not perfect, it’s dumbed down some of its outlets, but it’s still as trustworthy as any. WELL, I could just as soon have suggested we have a ‘Let’s Beat Puppies To Death With Kittens’ week. It didn’t take more than two exchanges before I was:

A fascist.

Ignorant.

Not capable of having an intelligent debate.

A Putin Troll (can’t figure that one out……)

A click-baiter (what the frib’ is a click-baiter? More to the point do I care?)

That was not much really, I’d paid my dues on 9/11 sites being told I was a CIA shill and on religious ‘discussion’ (ha!) sites that I was an ignorant superstitious closed-minded fool for daring to believe in God. Yeh…yak-yak-yak.

No, the one which pulled me up short was the one who was complaining about the BBC not reporting a Remain March (gee that’s tough) but about news from America. So when I suggested the latest shootings were more important, they came back with the response that ‘The World (ie them) didn’t care about Americans killing Americans’. Imagine…. your march is more important than the death of a person, no words of regret or compassion. That is a very sour mind-set.

So I gave that person short-shrift over deaths in the USA and South Sudan (which the BBC reports from time to time), irritated another by telling them I had better things to do and some folks would love to hear the accusations then said ‘bye-bye’ (they hate that, they hate being treated frivolously, for they are so important and have such a BIG message).

I was FB done.

There’s other stuff I’ve come across, but you get the general gist.

The worse thing about it all is me being Far-Left you kind of get it into your head this sort of stuff comes from the Right-Wing. You grow up with the idea that The Left is Tolerant and Inclusive. Is educated and socially aware. Of course there are hot-heads, but everywhere you go you find those.  Sorry, all wrong. The Left can be just as bigoted and narrow-minded as any fringe Right-Group. And if there is one thing I am Intolerant over it is Intolerance.

And so thus, I no longer bother with FB, unless my wife who inhabits saner regions tells me about something she or my family have posted up.

And this is something I have dallied with over the past couple of years too, I am done with what used to be The Labour Party in the UK. If it cannot get its virulent parts under control or kicked out, then it’s not my scene anymore. What my grandson will make of that I do not know, he being a member, that’s going to be tricky next time we get talking politics.

I’ll just stick with being Catholic Christian(because that suits me), writing and breathing the fresh air of the Word Press. Because you folk have perspective, generosity and openness. You folk deal in realties and creativity. You folk, do things.

Ps….

As for the Brexit issue, right now ‘A Plague on Both Your Houses’.

Now, back to the book and posts about writing….

You folk. You rock!

Now Here is a Thought About Writer’s Block (aka Log-Jam)

Let’s be open about this. Being a writer is not easy.

There will now be a pause for readers’ varied reactions, the politest of which might be

YA DON’T SAY!!!

outrage1-620x350

 

Ok?

Right let’s carry on.

I hit this log-jam recently on Vol II of this fantasy project. Words just would not…. Not the usual problem of getting them from thoughts into intelligent or at least legible and semi-coherent statements on paper or screen. This was serious, a vague, fog across the fen lands of my mind, the characters and the motivations were out there but I could not get out to reach them and ask them what they had planned. This was a worry, after all when you go on record saying this work might be a trilogy or even a pentalogy, well you can’t just fade away after Vol I. It looks, sad. About to Rant

What was exacerbating the situation was I had these ‘bits’ of blog posts hanging about in one form or another which were nowhere nearing completion, and they and the book narrative were simply slopping about in allegorical stagnant water.

By happenstance the solution came along in the most curious of ways.

I’ll keep the actual details out, not wanting to turn this post into a platform for arguments over the subject matters, those are being rummaged over with glorious glee on FaceBook by those who like to rummage on FaceBook and compete in one of the many Who Is Most Outraged competitions which make it such a vibrant place (sarcasm).Daffy duck

Anyway suffice it to say two items on the news or social media. One new, another a very old saw which has been going on since frib’ knows how long….Now two of the arguments put forth really irritate me. You’ll just have to accept this statement and put yourself in a similar situation, in your own experience.

By another goodly happenstance I had come by a brand new efficient laptop, which enabled swift and efficient access to FaceBook. (Previous machine did not like typing directly onto social media, I’m sure I don’t know why !). So I weighed in putting in my objections in long balanced posts about reality and the quality of communication when stating one’s view OR using history as a foundation for why my view point made more sense. Then a few side-swipes at folk using obscenities. And telling those who hurled facile judgements like they were in food-fights that they’d lost the argument. These by the way were folk who in theory share the same political views as me….civil wars are always the bitterest.

Now once I had got those opinions off of the chest, and the lyrical flows were set free, well everything became easier! Firstly the blog posts popped up in swift succession and seeing them there made me feel a whole lot better. Nextly the fog lifted, the characters said ‘That where you’ve been is it! Get over here, have we got things to tell you!!’ and the book starts to rattle along.

Of course, in retrospect, all made sense. I had been annoyed with these FB warrior folk and their opinions for ages and I had not cleared my head of the simmering thoughts. There was no intention of winning an argument. No one wins anything on Social Media,Andronicus1_2572537b I just wanted to bust into these little self-congratulatory groups and scare the horses a bit. Done. And I am feeling better….muttley_laughing_by_sektor8bit-d7fv6shThey had it coming.

The morale dear reader? If the words are not reaching daylight, maybe there is something outside of your book/story/poem which is getting in the way. I would not go so far as to suggest you fire off polemics at the nearest target or throw well passed use-by-date sticky buns at people or buildings which cause offense. Nor would I advise taking a picture or model of whatever distresses you and jumping up and down on it, neighbours notice things like that. Anyway whatever ‘it’ is, such treatments may not be applicable. Suffice to say ponder on the possible exterior reasons for the log-jam, then mull over any ways you might rectify the business, even this exercise may kick-start the writing.

Just a thought.

PS…..

This is the First Vol of the fantasy project; it’s on Kindle.

Patchwork

Of Patchwork Warriors….. By R J Llewellyn

This is me marketing.

Social Graces

Sad isn’t it?

My giggling as I write this part is not appropriate, I really must get Mature Me Marketing, some day.

Interludes with Cortana

An Interlude on Stage

Sleeping Beauty. One Foot Soldier’s Account (A Tale in II Parts)

Sleeping Beauty. The Foot-Soldiers’ Side (All Tale in II Parts) (Part II)

 

 

Sleeping Beauty. The Foot-Soldiers’ Side (All Tale in II Parts) (Part II)

Hey, not a bad watering hole this. Nice to have ale which tastes like before it’s been drunk and not afterwards…..

Now, back to the story.

Maleficent doesn’t see why she should go tracing around for the kid, I mean a curse is a curse right? She goes over a border, her sights on another of those widowed kings, I mean what do they do to their poor wives? Maleficent gets her hooks in and in a year he’s dead! Yep! NO doubt abut it, screwed him to death! Wadda way to go uh? But he’s got this teenage daughter, and like all of ‘em at that age she’s get spikey. Next thing you know she’s slipped the castle and shacked up with seven guys running an illegal mining operation. No wonder Maleficent tried to have the little monster put down! The story gets messy after that, some young noble getting involved, the kid nearly chokes on something…what I don’t care to know. But that was they’re problem.

Now there’s us. Fifteen years of putting down spinning wheel riots, hunting out Conspiracy Kooks who claim the kid is actually a boy half-elf and the king an’t his dad, and border patrol for smugglers AND the next door kingdom.

Next door? Yeh, well y’know how it goes, any instability and your neighbours are leaning over the fence. Kingdom to the east, that guy, he’s sharp. He’s heard things an’t so good back in Our royal boudoir, that the king is elsewhere looking for his royal happy-times. He knows he can’t take us on in a full-out invasion, so he nudges a bit. We’re on to him. He’s send these regular large patrols out, we ‘bump’ into them. And it always goes;

‘Hey you guys’ we say, ‘How ya doin?’

‘Ahhnn, not so bad. How’s yerselves?’

‘OK. Say, do ya know you’re on our side of the border?’

And they go, like

‘No shit?

And the corporal…it was always the corporal, he says

‘See sarge. I toldya that map wuz out of date,’

And their sarge says to our sarge.

‘Gee sorry ‘bout that guys. Ah, we’ll be on our way. Some weather uh?’

Then we report back and they report back and the officers report up the line that they doin’ all that is necessary and everyone is happy. As the years rolled on and I stuck with it I moved up corporal to sergeant and we’d play the game back to them. When we sneak over to see what they were up to and encounters happened I’d open my arms an’ go.

‘Aww heck boys! I’m sorry. It’s our l’tenant. He’s the biggest asshole ever! I told him this way was the border, but he says in his squeaky voice ‘No sur-jent! I have the latest map! Now obey your orders.’ Do you see him here? I mean Honest-To-Stars! He could no more find his way around a map that he could a brothel!’

Yeh, you had to get some fun somewhere.

An’ let me tell you if we’d been patrolling that forest where the old biddies had kept the princess none of what I’m about to tell you would have happened. But that’s what you get when a king kits out a bunch of youngest sons of second-class nobles and call ‘em the LifeGuard. It was only a money-scheme anyway!  Them having to pay for their outfits and ‘special’ training. Then wander about in groups of five making enough noise than even a deaf man could hear them! No surprise then, when next door nation gets into that forest. Led by none other than the heir to their throne himself. What was he doing there? Who knows? Maybe the kid was bored sitting at home, maybe he was running his own side-line in the smuggling racket? Maybe he’d got intel on who was in the forest. Anyways he finds her, she apparently being a girl who likes to sing, loudly.

And that’s just what we reckoned happened! Him being royal and young, just like a buck rabbit on aphrodisiacs! And she not knowing much about men. Dunno what it’s like up here, but down there, they got laws about girls under sixteen! Uh-uh. Must have been something to it because next thing we know she’s being scooted back to the palace, and an entire regiment put on guard around it. LifeGuard? Huh! They got theirs! Sent on patrol duty in one of the stinkest swamps you smelt, sewer outlet for a nearby town.

Now there’s a lot of toing and froing between kingdoms and a wedding is being put together pretty dam’ quickly, if you ask me. Some meeting between Aurora and her parents that must have been! Of course, we were up north at the time, chasing…yep you guessed it right…spinning wheel smugglers! Then check the irony, while we’re up there, the kid is nosing about the castle ‘cas it’s her first time, and wouldja believe it? She finds one dam wheel! Can you believe that after fifteen years of us poor dogs smashing and burning ‘em , some winner in the village-idiot contest five years running has left one in the castle. And, yeh the kid stuck her finger on the needle, ya saw that comin’ didn’t ya?

Well the curse kicks in and it is a doozey!

Not only does she fall asleep but so do the whole dam’ castle staff and her folks. Not just that but a big mess of thorns grow up around the place, scattering that regiment all over the place, them that were awake that is!

King Next Door makes his move! Says everyone needs to be rescued and over the border he comes with troops to help us, naturally his son is there, all noble and upright to save his bride! For solidarity show we get called back and we all trudge off the scene of the crime.

Man! And those were no regular thorn bushes like the ones veterans throw bare-naked recruits into to harden them up. These were like branch thick and castle high with thorns that would double as swords. The lad must have really had the hots for the girl, for he’s off his horse and calling for us all to join him in hacking his way through. And us and his troops are looking at each other and sharing ‘What’s with this lad! Do we look like we’re combat engineers? Do you see any siege weaponry here?’. No use trying to complain to royalty though… Yeh you got that right!…And we had to hack and dig. Chop and cut. Seven days and half the army down with sprains, cuts and hay fever and only five feet in. Someone has a bright idea and has sent for some of those new-fangled cannons to blast our way through.

With the curse going off, it’s bound to attract Maleficent. Must have got fed up of that step-daughter and the eight-in-a-bed scandal. She flies in smooth as a hawk and stand all haughty and grand demanding everyone to back off, because a curse is a curse! Us lot, it’s not the kind of thing we’re paid for right? Even the officers are a bit leery. Sonny, though he notices his father looking Maleficent up and down. The lad must have brains, no doubt reckons with her as step-mother his chances of getting hitched to Aurora and his own throne are slim no thing! The boy ups at her with his fancy sword and get this! She turns into a dragon! Wings, fire! The whole deal!

The king. He’s backing off, hiding up and half his army ready to protect him. You got it! There’s always some ready to get back to the rear area out of the front line. MY squad and me, we get stuck at the front, and we’re ducking, dodging and diving, flames, flying thorns, you name it! The lad and some of his buddies go for the dragon, y’ know what nobles are like. No surprise, a few get barbecued. The lad is carrying some good hardware though, his shield is beating off the flames. Right then up rolls one of those cannons, while the witch an’t looking, the crew get a shot off and..pow! Right where we’d be looking if she were a woman and down she goes. Of course, the lad gets his sword in her neck so as he can claim credit and since he’s about that business a lot of us pile in with our own steel and hack off a few souvenirs to impress the yokels.

Since she’s dead the curse goes and all the thorns fall away. Off goes the prince, up the castle steps, finds Aurora gives her a magic kiss or something and she wakes up, then so does everyone else. If you ask me the lad knew too much about the business!

With all the fuss dying down and everyone active again and the girl past her sixteenth there’s a wedding. In just about nine months, there’s a little Aurora! Yeh! We reckoned we wuz right all along. The kicker is though, her old man. He dies in a riding accident, or so it’s said. And his widow swift to be consoled by her daughter’s father-in-law and they are wed and the two kingdoms joined! An’t that neat?

The three old biddies? There was scandal about security and upbringing, the Church got involved and they had to flee the kingdom. Spinning wheels were allowed again, and suddenly there’s no need for so many soldiers they say, peace and happiness ever after, they say. And no severance pay, only some crappy bits of land and a few skinny hogs! I ask ya!

So here I am? Whadda ya reckon sarge? Sign on sure! What’s the deal around here? Uh-uh. Security sweep, hunt and search. Yeh-yeh. Your prince is looking for one girl. Don’t they all. He met her at a ball…..Oh that kinda ball! She was wearing glass shoes, then lost one? And last seen riding off on a…pumpkin? You did do a narcotics sweep of the guests did you??….Just the usual sunk-drunk…Hmm…..

I tell ya what there sarge. You tell your officers we gotta look out for three old biddies…they’ll have the dope of this for sure!

Sleeping Beauty. One Foot Soldier’s Account (A Tale in II Parts)

Interludes with Cortana

So, new Dell laptop. Fearlessly and without the aid of any children or grandchildren I switched it on, and at once was assailed by this maiden of loud cheery voice who informed me her name was Cortana and could she assist me. She was astute enough to suggest I might want not to have her talking to me, and that was ok by her, which was fine by me, cheery voices are not required when setting up a new computer, not in this house anyhows.

Now all was well, save for trying convince McAfee I have a two year subscription in force and not their tweedly 28 day free one…I sense phone calls are in order, never much fun when contacting computer helplines, no matter how much info you have prepared for the call someone always manage to find some obscure question to ask you.

Well, truth be known that WAS my only problem. I have a new one; this lady Cortana. She has taken to asking me odd questions. I was about to check something  and Type Search when the following announcement appeared:

Remind me at Saturday 6pm

Convert 172 inches into centimetres.

This troubled me greatly. In the first instance I could not recall having put aside any time at 6pm on the coming Saturday for anything whatsoever, it was a possible blank piece of the day for me to do so as I wished. Then there was this question of converting 172 inches into centimetres. Why should anyone should think I wish to know how many centimetres are equivalent to 14 feet 4 inches was beyond me, there seemed no possible use to the business to my mind. Admittedly if you are one of those people who concern themselves over quantities of the consumption a particular species of edible fish and wished to demonstrate this in terms of length there might be some use. But for myself it was a random subject of no interest.

By good fortune though other domestic matters took my attention, such as trying get my other computer out of its state of complete cantankerous faux-collapse. As the fiendish device had been foiling my attempts at productive work for weeks and I now had a more sober and responsible machine, this task I set about with a cavalier attitude and the craven thing sank into meek submission.

Feeling quite superior, I went to checking with my new model and found Cortana was now advising me

My groceries are arriving

Flight BA 196

At this stage it was obvious the young lady was getting quite giddy in her attempts to be helpful. If she had troubled to consult a Google map or whatever else, she would have noticed the nearest supermarket of note is but three miles from our house and does not have a runway. This however did not occur to her for in her excitement she had now imagined a stalwart pilot had manoeuvred their craft into a 90 degree climb to be over our home, at which point bold members of the crew would be deploying parachuted goods to land all over our street. As I had not been consulted over the order, goodness what Cortana assumed would arrive. Happily the air space above our home was only intruded into by one light aircraft about its own business.

It now remains to be seen just what the lady will have believed to be of import to me, there are obviously a myriad of possibilities, and to suggest one might seem rude and spoil her fun.

Once the initial shock is over, the best strategy is to accept these little eccentricities for what they are.