Love it or hate it

18 06 2020

I saw a typically clever Marmite ad online the other day. If you’re not familiar with Marmite, all I can suggest is you study particle physics instead. It’ll be easier to explain. The rest of us will just quietly continue…

It was making reference to the fact that the source material (spent brewer’s yeast) was currently in short supply and the larger size jars were temporarily unavailable.

Marmite Ad: Image Source… heaven

It reminded me that many things are quite polarising, especially in the arts. Indeed, as I type this I’m listening to “Too much  too young” by the Specials as Mrs E looks on with undisguised distate.

The works of Roger Waters fall into this category, I found. Ex of Pink Floyd, and no doubt drawing his old age pension, he’s still producing music and touring. I’d bought tickets for my son and I to see him in Vancouver this autumn. COVID put an end to that, so we’ll see how outrageous Ticketmaster behaves when it comes to rescheduling/refunds.

Many people find his music repetitive or dirge-like, but personally I love the imagery of his lyrics. Admittedly they can be a bit self-indulgent sometimes, but I still love the imagery.

Take the lines from “4.50 AM (Go Fishing)” on “Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking”:

You adopted a fox cub
Whose mother was somebody’s coat

There’s mention of Eeyore and Pooh in the song too! Classic word-weaving.

Anyway, Spotify served up one of his later pieces from “Amused to Death”. It’s not what you’d call a light spirited album but again, I find the word pictures very evocative. Given the times we live in, I thought the lyrics for “Too much rope” particularly relevant.

Muslim or Christian, Mullah or Pope
Preacher or poet who was it wrote
Give any one species too much rope
And they’ll fuck it up

Love it. Hate it. Just don’t waste it!





Bill’s Sonnet CXVI

14 01 2015

I’ve been watching an old TV series called “Dead Like Me” in which a recently dead girl “finds herself” while performing her new job as a reaper of souls. It’s vaguely entertaining, not least because it was filmed in and around Vancouver, so it’s always fun trying to figure out where the locations are. She supposedly met her demise when hit by falling space debris… outside the Mink chocolate cafe at Hornby and Hastings. Anyway, the episode I watched last night included quite a bit of Shakespeare, so I thought I’d share one of his sonnets. For no other reason than he was the world’s greatest writer, and you really should read some of his stuff!

When he couldn’t find a word to subtly describe a human emotion, deed or thought… he’d make up a new one. And I mean words that are now thoroughly mainstream like “green-eyed” and “mountaineer”. Now that, dear reader, is owning your language!

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.





Whole by Katrina Wendt — Hello Poetry

26 03 2013

StumbledUpon at Hello Poetry.

So as you might be able to tell if you’re reading these recent posts en masse… I’ve found some pretty random things recently. Random perhaps, but that have each spurred me to blog, instead of paying those bills online, or catching up on my Scouty emails.

This poem came to me because I have poetry as one of the criteria for StumbleUpon to offer me pages. Mostly they’re either famous well known pieces, or banal mediocrity. This one spoke to me though. Perhaps to you too.

It aches with the simplicity of the request – love me totally, or let me go.

Was it ever so simple?

Stop showing
You love me
A little at a time.

Stop saying
You care
Bit by bit.

Stop keeping
Me here
For tiny pieces of time.

Because I need
All of you
Not piece by piece.

I love
All of you
Not just some parts of you.

So love all of me
All the way
All the time.

Or let all of me go
All at once
For good.

2011





Arctic Deepness

18 02 2013

Just doing some housekeeping on my not insubstantial music collection, and listening to The Arctic Monkeys‘ “Suck it and See” album. Such a classic turn of British phrase, don’t you think?

Not actually sure how it translates into Canadiania. “Let the chips fall where they may” perhaps?

It’s not actually in the slightest bit rude, despite what you might think. It just means the outcome is unknown  and the only way to find out, is to give it a go. The analogy is a boiled sweet of unknown flavour. The only way to determine it, is to suck it and see for yourself.

Anyway, there was one line in the title track which I thought was quite evocative, and thought I’d share:

Your kiss it could put creases in the rain

Well – I liked it. You can please yourself… 🙂

Wikipedia: Suck it and See (Single)





Haggis it’s OK.

30 01 2013

Now, despite my proud ownership of a blue Canadian passport, it can’t be denied that I was born in England. Yorkshire to be exact (as Yorkshiremen often are in such emotive matters of origin). I went to university slightly further North, in Durham. Slightly further North still (at least in galactic terms) lies Scotland, or Écosse as the more trendy Jacobeans would have it. The recent Burns Night celebrations reminded me of my collage days back in the early ’80s. The local Woolworth’s in Durham used to sell fresh (I use the term loosely)  haggis.

Being at a collegiate university, there was no need to cook or otherwise fend for myself during my undergraduate years. This was a major godsend (or Darwinsend, I suppose) to the hapless teenager I was then. I later matured and developed into a full-grown hapless adult, but that’s another story. In any case I remember acquiring at least one haggis (hey – it was 30 years ago – memories fade! I couldn’t swear to the exact number)  and cooking it.

Wikipedia: Durham Cathedral and Mill-house

Now, if you’ve never “partaken” of haggis, you’re missing out on one of life’s great experiences. Great as in large. It’s a personal decision whether it’s also great as in good. Memorable either way. Suffice it to say at this juncture that boiling up a haggis is a somewhat, er, pungent affair. Popularity was never one of my goals at university, and haggis-cooking pretty well excluded popularity from the horizon for a while.

Fast forward to a few days ago, and a cheeky exchange I had at work with a Scottish colleague. He proudly flies a St. Andrew’s cross on his desk, and I engaged in light-hearted nationalistic jest. I asked if he’d received a discount for said flag, as most of the white, and all of the red was missing. We both shared a laugh, but had to explain to the blank-faced “proper” Canadians about the various component flags making up the Union Jack. Anyway, conversation came around to wee Rabbie, and the Scots capability of making up a drinking excuse out of pretty much anything. From there, I lamented my failure to find haggis in the 12 years I’ve lived in Canada. I did however have to qualify that by admitting that I hadn’t actually, in all honesty, looked!

Wikipedia: Flag of St. andrew

Wikipedia: Union Jack

So tonight (there is a point to all this – stick with me…) Mrs E told me she’d bought me a present. Now this in itself is a massive event, so I rushed home with my mind’s eye full of Lamborghinis and holiday cottages. On arrival, I was told it was in the fridge. Strange place to keep a sports car, but hey ho. I gave up looking in the end, having incorrectly guessed that several bags of frozen blueberries and a loaf of unsliced bread were the goal.

No – there, hiding timorously  in the bottom tray, unassuming and shy was… a haggis! Frozen obviously, but a haggis nonetheless. The brand is Goodricks from New Westminster, BC. Purveyors, the label assures me, of quality meat products since 1987.

38846_143416432354535_3753815_n(Not sure how good their meat was before 1987, but that’s not the point here really, is it?) The ingredients list on my new haggis is short and to the point. In this day and age that in itself is a rare thing not to be undervalued.

The haggis itself does seem to be in a traditional sheep’s stomach, though it’s hard to tell through the frost-coated plastic. Nice to know there’s still a role for traditional sheep. Modern sheep with their piercings and tattoos remind me of a great New Zealand comedy-horror. But enough frivolity. The ingredients, I am assured in writing, consist only of the following:

  • Lamb Pluck
  • Oats
  • Spices
  • Onions
  • Stock

“Spices” of course can hide a multitude of sins, but otherwise pretty innocuous. Hang on though… “lamb pluck”? What in the name of Jamie Oliver is lamb pluck when it’s at home? It sounds like belly button fluff.

Enter my good friend Google…

Lamb Pluck, it would seem, is esophagus, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys… all still connected.

Lamb Pluck

egullet: Lamb Pluck

Well I guess that’s OK then. I thought it might have been something unsavory for a moment. What can I say? Well – “waste not, want not” springs to mind. I guess it depends on your upbringing. I frequently ate and loved the taste of lambs kidneys and liver too as a kid. I think I’d have drawn the line at lungs or heart – even in onion gravy – though on my trip to Brazil, I enjoyed many chicken hearts from the grill. (They’re like almonds – you can’t just have one. You need at least a handful.) I have also eaten “duck entrails soup” in a newspaper press-hall in China which I guess has pretty much the same ingredients… just with a dash of soya sauce.

Anyway, the haggis is defrosting in the fridge, and no doubt there will be complaints from the neighbours once I start to cook it. That’s OK – I’ll offer them a slice. Then tell them what’s in it.

I can be like that sometimes…





I like my body

30 01 2013

e.e. cummings was such an odd chap. The shift key on his typewriter was presumably broken as he wrote much in lower-case only. A lovely piece though – thanks for sharing on Redamancy Lit

Redamancy Lit

I like my body when it is with your body.

– E.E. Cummings

View original post





After by Alex Pipes — Hello Poetry

22 01 2013

Stumbled upon a poetry site called Hello Poetry. Loved this entry.

After by Alex Pipes — Hello Poetry.

I stand above my bed
And examine the damage.
Blankets this way and that
Pillows all over
Sheets tangled up around themselves.
Proof of something that 
Only hours ago
Left this place empty.
I take in the rubble
And breathe deeply.
I lower myself down to those 
Tangled sheets
And backwards bedspreads
And fill my lungs with you.
I pull them up around me
And close my eyes
And wish for this place to be 
The same kind of battleground
Again tomorrow.





I Loved You, by Alexander Pushkin

17 01 2013

I loved you; and perhaps I love you still,

The flame, perhaps, is not extinguished; yet

It burns so quietly within my soul,

No longer should you feel distressed by it.

Silently and hopelessly I loved you,

At times too jealous and at times too shy.

God grant you find another who will love you

As tenderly and truthfully as I.

 

via I Loved You, by Alexander Pushkin « Great Poems » Greatest Books of All Time.





The Look

13 11 2012

I just came across this interesting little piece.

Sometimes what we refrain from doing leaves a deeper impression.

 

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
The Look

STREPHON kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Strephon’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.





Saturday’s child is full of shit

1 10 2012

I was born on a Saturday. According to an old Victorian nursery rhyme, the day of the week you were born dictates your personality, and by this highly scientific yard-stick it seems I work hard for a living. Not entirely convinced by that I discovered that dear Kate “nobody is watching” Middleton was also born on a Saturday. So then I got to googling…

Monday’s child is fair of face – Winston Churchill
Tuesday’s child is full of grace, – Joseph (John) Merrick (Elephant Man)
Wednesday’s child is full of woe, – Bud Abbott (of Abbott & Costello fame)
Thursday’s child has far to go, – Marcel Marceau (stuck in his invisible box)
Friday’s child is loving and giving, – Donald Trump, Sid Vicious
Saturday’s child works hard for a living, – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
But the child who is born on the Sabbath
Day is bonny and blithe and good and gay
– Marcel Petiot, French mass murderer

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

No – me neither…