Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Trick and/or treat

I came across this in the Guardian:

I think that says it all about the brexit farce.

Halloween and the witches and brexiters are abroad... No they aren't! Abroad is foreign and foreign is one of the coups brexit is about. Out with all or most EU foreigners, in with the treats (gained by trickery, bluff and the Westminster goon show?).

Maybot/Mayhem and her acolytes have not yet realized that the EU politicians are onto the deceit and lies the tories have been spreading around in the name of sovreignty, freedom from foreign justice and  too much more to mention.

Leaving the EU means that the UK can again ignore health warnings on food, fish the North Sea empty and ..... I give up. At least I am not answerable for it all since I am an expat of nearly 52 years and therefore have no rights beyond that of being allowed to take up residence there. But I can't because I could never afford the cost.

So I'll stay here in Germany, if they'll let me, and hope I live to see the day when the UK gets its just (brexit) deserves. I know that's schadenfreude, but it sort of balances out the shame I feel for the decadent brexshit mentality that allows the country to go to the dogs.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


I never liked the nasty little Belgian hero of Agatha Christie's books, but I'm watching the TV movies on YouTube in preference to the summer quiz shows on German TV.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Linden Tree

There's one in nearly every German village. The "Winterreise" poems by Wilhelm Müller and immortalized by Franz Schubert, is one of the foremost collections of German Lieder - a translation of the texts can be found HERE  - and song No.5  Der Lindenbaum is probably the most famous song in the cycle - it has been taken into German folksong literature and there are chorus arrangements (as if it were a traditional folksong!), one of which I actually wrote for my chorus (I left them at the end of 2016) and which they loved to sing. I tried to reproduce the middle part that was ignored by other arrangers because there it ceases to be a folksong and becomes an art song. For me it was always an art song. For many Germans who do not know the classical song literature, it remains a nice folksong.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Sleepless nights

If you want a cure for insomnia, write a book and spend the first part of your sleep time trying to evolve a plot. When things are going well, that puts me to sleep. I've had several poor nights recently because my newest plot was in a rut! But now I'm moving on and hopeful that "The Choral Killings" will take shape and find a satisfactory end!

Sunday, 2 July 2017


This lovely word was in my post this morning from one of thse sites that spits out a word a day.I can't possibly quote every dictionary on it so if you want to know more, please google it!

If I had to choose one definition it would be this one:

choral song in honour of the wine god Dionysus. The form was known as early as the 7th century bc in Greece, where an improvised lyric was sung ................to be found HERE

I searched for examples and some very nice ones came up HERE, especially in the choruses. One could be tempted to call them jingles, I suppose....

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Soup kitchen

I managed to publish a chapter of my book here, so I'll leave the title! 
I make no apology for publishing this Masefield poem:

Sea Fever - John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

When I was at grammar school, we had a reciting grioupo - yes, not choir. We were organized into 3 voice types and I was in the lowest, having a low speaking voice. The idea was to alternate accordig to vice pitch while reciting parts in unison. I have few memories of the actual reciting or even if we went public, but I remember the poems well, and this is one of them.

I live at least 3 hours drive from the sea and I miss it more than I can say. I always wanted to go back to living where I could hear the waves, but it never came to that as I have no home to go to in the UK and I'm not even sure I'd want to live there permanently when the UK decides to leave the EU, which for me was absolutely visionary. After nearly 52 years in Germany, I am a convinced European and ready to give up UK citizenship in order to preserve that status.

So-called Brexit is a witchhunt, the product of ignorance and lies, and the people now in charge of it are not fit for their self-styled mission of returning the UK to its presumed independence and assumed greatness.

And no, I won't talk politics any more. Reading poems or even writing them is more my thing. I've taken time off from writing poems while I work on novels. I read that if you persevere, one will get published one day!

One of my earlier poems follows. The "Fragrance of Yellow Flowers" is dedicated to my mother, though her name was not Maud! I try to stay within rhythmic boundaries, but blank verse appeals to me more because expressing my ideas in a succinct form that is not ruled by rhymes but by rhythm (that's where my musicianship comes in) comes more easily. If I write with rhymes I spend hours HERE and often come away empty-handed because the rhymes don't fit the rhythmic scheme.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Squeaky clean?

I should laugh more!

That was my first thought as I laughed at myself recently. I don't talk much these days, either, and I don't sing at all - I'm trying hard to move on from the great love of my life that was singing, but unfortunately fell victim to a heart problem, I'm fortunatley past the age when I'd even want to practice again and I have absolutely no desire to teach anything to anyone.

OK. This was to be about laughter. Anyone I've told this story has found it funny, and I do too, though the laugh is definitely on me.

I was on vacation and running out of shampoo, so a little shopping expedition was needed to update my supply. It was to be a decent one that did not leave my hair dry and unmanageable (a tall order anyway).

I went to a big outlet store. They always have decent hair things - not cheap, but decent and in large bottles, so economical in the long run. But shampoo did not seem to be in abundence at a price I was prepared to pay (luxury items stay scentedly luxurious even at outlets!). Then I espied a large bottle on which the word 'shampoo' was the main feature apart from pretty yellow flowers, and readable without glasses - another good feature. It was also a conditioner and had UV protection - ideal for my strawy mop and not expensive. So I bought it.

Perfect. The results were bliss. All the other products used to get my hair under control were rendered superfluous in one go and I emerged silky smooth and refreshed after one round of shampoo and a lot of hot water.

I was so enamoured of the shampoo that I decided I would try to buy it again. Since the internet usually knows where things come from, I surfed until I found the manufacturer. I thought the list of pages was a bit curious, but read on until I came across the title 'products'. To my absolute astonishment the photo of a curly poodle appeared!!! Yes, a dog! Blue and black curls and quite obviously washed and combed!

I swear, it was not until that moment that I associated the word "grooming" that had been on the bottle not with nasty persons who groom innocents for various unspeakable deeds, but with household pets. In my total innocence I had bought a dog shampoo.

In my defense, the shampoo was lined up with others designed for human hair!!!! Who could have imagined that a dog shampoo could get in line with all the heavily scented and often extremely pompous human shampoos that only too often cost an arm and a leg?

There doesn't seem to be anything on the bottle forbidding humans to use the product, so I've used it again - this morning, actually and do you know, I think I'll buy it again. It's far superior to any of the shampoos I've used recently and does not pong like strawberries or violets.

But the laugh is on me, of course........