Saturday 22 February 2020

Suffering for Fashion - a poem

I have childhood memories of 50s fashion
when skirts billowed above sugared net
when nylons clung to gravity-fighting suspenders
and boned corsets squeezed waists and ribs,
when hair was rollered, backcombed, sprayed solid
and tethered at night by hairnet and curlers.

I grew into 60s psychedelia,
tottering on metal stilettoes
that crushed my toes into improbable points
while my Carnaby Street miniskirt froze my legs
although it did turn heads, attracted attention,
but not always of the right kind.

These days I’m surrounded by loose swing dresses,
ripped jeans, leggings, free-flying hair,
plimsolls with skirts
and not a corset in sight.
Where’s the grit? Where’s the pain?
Where’s the suffering for fashion?

Saturday 15 February 2020

Five Fun Ferret Facts

Several years ago, in 2011 to be precise, I posted a blog called Three Free Frog Facts. I think it was the tongue-twisting element of the title that amused me the most but frogs did feature quite regularly in my life in those days. Charlie the cat was the frog catcher. Sadly she has died and her sister, Mabel, has no interest in chasing anything. Why would she when a bowl of perfectly acceptable food is provided for her whenever she deigns to wake up from her serial napping? And so these days I have become less involved with frogs and more involved with ferrets.  If you want to know why then continue reading.

Here are my Five Fun Ferret Facts:

Ferret Fact 1: Males are called hobs, females are jills, babies are kits and a group of ferrets are a business - and what's more they never mind their own business. In fact, they are so nosy that I have on occasions found them in my handbag, my boots and even my coat pocket. Here is Woody climbing innocently out of the sock drawer:


Ferret Fact 2:  Queen Elizabeth I is said to have had a white ferret as a pet. I wonder if it ever delved into her regal handbag. This is Lilah lounging in a handbag as if it had 'ferret bed' written on the front:


Ferret Fact 3: Ferrets make a chuckling sound when they play which is called dooking. It's a lovely noise guaranteed to make you want to dook along with them. Here are the two youngsters, Timmy and Jemima, playing and dooking together:

Timmy and Jemima

Ferret Fact 4:  They are very affectionate animals - most of them anyway - and they will happily sleep on laps or cradled in arms like a baby. They can fall into such a deep sleep, known as 'ferret dead sleep', that many a ferret Mum's heart will race until the crafty little thing opens one eye and wonders what the fuss is about. Here are Willow, Lilah and Dee Dee demonstrating just that:

Willow, Lilah and Dee Dee

Ferret Fact 5:  They are highly entertaining pets, especially when they leap in the air, chase each other through ferret tubes - often backwards - and bounce sideways like cartoon coyotes. Here is Charlie emerging from his ferret tube and Woody and Isaac investigating a mixing bowl:

Woody and Isaac
How do I know all this?

Well, thanks to Daughter, I am the proud grandma of 10 grandferrets!!

(Apologies and fur-baby sized kisses to Leo and Ozzy who have not been included in this little rogues gallery and to Isaac who has an adorable face but is only showing off his rear here!)

If you'd like to see what I had to say about frogs the blog link is:  Three Free Frog Facts

Sunday 2 February 2020

Link to my poem

A big thank you to the Ekphrastic Review for publishing my poem Tempus Fugit. Before I give you the link, here is the story behind it.

Templecombe Station is on the line from Exeter to Waterloo, the route I take when visiting my sister. The train was not scheduled to stop at Templecombe but stop it did. The rhythm of the Station's name reminded me of Adlestrop and I jotted down some ideas in my note book while we waited. As we slowly departed from the Station I noticed a statue. The train gathered speed. The statue disappeared from view but Google was at hand to tell me all about it when I got home.

Tempus Fugit is the title of the statue which was sculpted by Sioban Coppinger and Fiona Peever. It was fascinating talking with them and the Friends of Templecombe Station group (FoTS) when I sought their permission. A FoTS member gave me information about the statue and a photograph to send off with my submission.

It learnt that Tempus fugit (Time flies) was designed to be both a sculpture and sundial. The bronze statue is of a railwayman consulting the British Rail timetable, some of the pages of which have blown away and landed on the grass marking the hours of the sundial. The statue is the gnomon (the shadow cast on the sundial).

And here is the link to my poem: Tempus fugit