(not) a singer in a rock-and-roll band

I’m really not one for enforced fun, but this past week I attended a couple of training days where there were ice-breaker activities before several of the sessions.

On the first day we had to arrange ourselves according to how many letters we had in our names – a fairly innocuous activity that was presumably meant to make everyone introduce themselves. In fact it resulted in pained expressions and much counting on fingers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the polysyllabic Italian lady ended up at the far end.
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milking it

I was brought up in a time before coffee shops.

Well, not entirely before coffee shops, but certainly before the global phenomenon of American chains with their skinny ventis, Americanos, and tall decaf drips.

There were tea shops in my childhood – both independents and the ubiquitous ABCs; and I have fond memories of Saturday afternoons spent in the Kardomah in Nottingham. But children were given nursery tea, while coffee was a drink for adults; even then, it was as likely to be Maxwell House as anything. (Our kitchen did have a bottle of Camp Coffee tucked away, but although I remember the intense smell of chicory of the inky brown liquid, I think it was only brought out to make coffee cakes, not to serve as a drink for guests.)
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horizontal thoughts

I mentioned yesterday that I recently spent an evening sitting on a fire escape and thinking as the sun went down.

It had been a long, ridiculously hot, day and it was a relief to know that I didn’t have to walk any farther or do anything else until the next morning. The top step was quite a good vantage point and I gazed out over the town.
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onwards and upwards – or downwards

Once again, I’ve been thinking of Dorothy Rose from the poem by Pauline Frances Camp.

For those who don’t know, Dorothy Rose was a little girl whose “turned-up nose” inspired her to adopt a positive attitude in life. (Read more about The Rhyme of Dorothy Rose, plus a lovely comment from one of PFC’s great grandchildren on the post Ever Upwards)

In general, I’m an optimist and agree that a positive attitude is a Good Thing. But, more and more, I realise that looking on the bright side isn’t really about looking upwards and overlooking the dirt and the nastiness of life. In fact, by ignoring the negative you can miss so many delightful things.
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too much information

I said yesterday, not for the first time, that I’m not writing as much as I used to. I still jot down notes on scraps of paper or in notebooks, but I don’t seem to sit over them and nag at them like I did.

I used to find train and bus journeys a perfect opportunity to stare out of the window for inspiration, to worry at words, sketching out alternatives, scratching out false starts, mentally running through phonemes trying to find a rhyme or a word or phrase with just the right shape and sound.
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sharper focus

It sometimes seems as if my life is getting blurred around the edges as I get older, rather like the gazania flowers in the photo.

I suppose I should be grateful that, unlike the gazanias, I have the option to put things back in focus. Even if I’m not sure I currently have the energy.

creature of habit

The tagline on this blog describes it as “(mostly) first person poetry, prose & opinion” but in reality the main topic seems to be a repeated complaint that I don’t know what to write about. I think the secondary topic is probably another complaint – that I’m too busy to write very much.

Then there are the fairly repetitive floral photographs and the re-posts of old poetry.
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