just for fun

It doesn’t matter how good your writing is if no one reads it, so one of the skills of journalism must be composing attention-catching headlines. Whoever realised they were in a position to use the phrase Most dangerous alien species in a story title today must have been sure they were on to a winner.

The words certainly caught my attention and I clicked through to an article in the Independent about Quagga mussels.

Not only did I read the story, but I clicked on the gallery of Alien attacks: The invasive species damaging the UK, past the grey squirrels, through the Japanese knotweed and the Giant hogweed, all the way to the end, where I found this innocuous-looking creature:

killer shrimp
image from http://www.independent.co.uk gallery link above
Of course appearances are deceptive and the accompanying text tells us it is a killer shrimp:
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permission granted

pink poppy
I had an email early this week asking for permission to include three of my limericks in an English school workbook, which is to be published in September ready for the new academic year. This wasn’t really a surprise as I’d agreed with the author back in February that she could use them. Even so, I had half forgotten our conversation and wasn’t sure when the book was due out or when I might hear.
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timber!

I went for a walk the other evening and found my path blocked by a tree.

fallen tree
There are, of course, a host of literary connections I could make: Birnam Wood; the Ents of Middle-Earth; the “very, very country dance” of the Narnian trees that Lucy dances her way through to reach Aslan in Prince Caspian; the trees that “walk[…] down the side of the cutting” in the landslide scene of The Railway Children
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make it fresh: pizzas and poetry

Pub sign "Pizza's made fresh"
The publican’s apostrophe in the picture caught my attention.

Closer inspection suggested that it wasn’t the only problem: my friend wondered what would happen if he turned up with a pizza that had seen better days and ordered them to “make it fresh.”

I was reminded of telling another friend about a poetry competition on the theme “Fresh voices” and her suggestion made that “fresh” ought to be reserved to describe bread, milk, eggs, etc. That discussion might have been pedantic, but it inspired me to write a winning poem.

Hunting around for it in the archives, I am amazed to discover that it was written in the year 2000. It also surprises me that I have never posted it on the blog. Here it is:
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taking stock

LIght verse: ‘stock count’

Jar of marmite & assorted stock cubes on kitchen shelf
Tidying up the kitchen shelves reminded me of this verse I wrote for a friend who works in retail:
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