January 25, 2014
Filed Under (Gone) by Keith on 25-01-2014

I have started a new Journal at:
http://earlshilton.org.uk/writing/
See you there.



September 11, 2013
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Keith on 11-09-2013

Before I post this item may I suggest that you visit and read this post to get an idea of what is going on.

Then there were three, but now there are only two of us left. My Best friend died earlier this year. The other friend decided that we should discontinue the Din-din Club because as there were only two of the original eight left it was pointless carrying on, and he wasn’t feeling to well himself.

I suggested that we have one last dinner together and to toast to “Absent Friends” and then call it a day. He said OK, providing I did a “Galette Complète” with a “Salad Niçoise” (his favourite meal).



After the meal there was none of the usual jollity, beer and playing cards, poor Robin is an invalid now, he has to use a walking frame. He just wanted a cup of tea and to reminisce of our times in the Army, i.e., being shot at in the Suez Canal war and other delights!

Afterwards I drove him back to his lonely little flat where he can no longer cook and clean for himself, and has to rely on carers and ‘Meals-on-Wheels’. As I drove back to my house I thought there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Now I need someone to make a nice comment to cheer me up now.



September 05, 2013
Filed Under (Education, Garden) by Keith on 05-09-2013

Last Saturday, a deeply religious friend who has been trying to get me to see the error of my ways as a Pagan, dragged me screaming and protesting to his local church’s “Men’s Breakfast”.

I don’t know if you are fully aware of what this ritual every month is really about. It is designed to help married men get out of the Saturday morning chores i.e., the shopping and mowing the lawn etc. It consists of a talk or demo about something boring and then tucking into a hearty breakfast of sausage, beans, bacon and egg. Oh, I almost forgot, it starts with a hymn and a prayer. Not really my thing, but then what is?

That said, we all settled down after the mini-service to listen to the speaker. This old gentleman had come a long way to talk to us about “The Life Cycle of the Common Garden Slug”. I kid you not!

He had brought along loads of leaflets to hand out, and his beloved magic lantern (which looked as if he had inherited it from William Friese-Greene), and some slides of the various breeds of slugs. Luckily he didn’t bring any specimens, alive or dead; the slides were more than enough to illustrate his talk. A bit too graphic for my sensitive taste.

Afterwards the ‘Ladies Circle’ of the Church brought in our breakfasts. I looked at mine, especially the mini-sausages, and I found that I had suddenly lost my appetite, so I just ate the egg and beans and tried to convince the others that I was a vegetarian.

Yes, it was quite an experience. I have never had so much fun since my leg went septic last year!

One last thing. If you have a slug as a pet, never give it salt because they don’t seem to like it.



August 23, 2013
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Keith on 23-08-2013

Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on.

Now ltes see if aynone can witre a stuialbe comenmt abuot tihs:



August 22, 2013
Filed Under (but not forgotten?, Puzzling, Unbelievable) by Keith on 22-08-2013


Recently I seemed to have rather a lot of people calling on me, not just friends, but casual acquaintances, drinking friends from the pub and numerous cold callers trying to sell me things I didn’t want. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Later Day Saints and the Salvation Army came for a rest and a cuppa!

I couldn’t understand why I had so many people calling on me. For a start I thought it was my wonderful charm and charisma, combined with a pleasant personality and generosity. So you can imagine that I was very flattered that people had time for me, in spite of the fact that they all consumed vast quantities of coffee, tea, whisky, cakes and biscuits whilst chatting to me.

Then one day as I was leaving the house I looked down at my new doormat with the words “Welcome to one and all” emblazoned across it and it suddenly dawned on me why I was so popular. It wasn’t me they came to see, it was the vitals I handed out so freely.

I picked up the doormat and threw it into the recycle bin and went and bought the mat you now see in the picture. This was several weeks ago.

Now I know what a prisoner in solitary confinement feels like.

“Hello? Is there anyone out there?”



August 22, 2013
Filed Under (Calligraphy & Lettering, Handwriting) by Keith on 22-08-2013

As I stated in a previous post my handwriting had deteriorated somewhat since leaving school in 1953 so I had decided to do something about it. I bought a textbook on good handwriting in 1957 and began practising.

Below is a sample of my handwriting, taken from one of my journals at the time:


After one year I felt confident enough to re-write that particular travel journal in my “new handwriting”. Below is a sample of the same text so that you can compare.

I know it still looks as if there was room for improvement, and now my handwriting has changed again; for the better I hope. I would be interested to see your comments about whether changing your writing destroys any “character” in it, as some people claim. The usual response when you criticise someone’s handwriting claiming that it’s unreadable is “Yes, but you must admit it’s got character!”.


The whole idea of writing is to communicate information clearly and legibly, not to show the individuals “character”.



August 05, 2013
Filed Under (Posting) by Keith on 05-08-2013

When I first started blogging many moons ago a fellow blogger who had been “at it” for a while gave me a few words of advice. She said:

- Don’t write too much; leave readers something to discuss.
- Ask specific questions in the blog entry and invite responses.
- Respond to the points made in the comments section yourself.
- Let comments inspire new blog entries and thank the comment writer.
- Make sure that it is easy for people to use your comment box.
- Don’t blog too often. Once or twice a week will keep people interested.

I have tried, but failed miserably to get hundreds of bloggers beating a path to my blog, and commenting on my stupendous, witty, well informed and well written blog!

Ah well, you win some, and you lose a lot. Thanks to all my loyal fans who still hang around to comfort me.

Anybody out there got any good tips?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ASIDE: I just found out that “vegetarian” is an old Red Indian word meaning “him very bad hunter”!
Is that right Betsy?



July 28, 2013
Filed Under (Calligraphy & Lettering) by Keith on 28-07-2013

If you write a letter with MS Word, LibreOffice or similar, you have to use one of the fonts installed on your computer. This results in an impersonal look of the document.

MyScriptFont.com enables you to use your own handwriting like every other font installed on your computer. With MyScriptFont.com you can give your digital produced documents a personal touch again.
Simples!

How to embed a font into a word or a powerpoint document.

“When you install a font, that font will only work with the computer you have installed it on. If you share documents with other people or open it on a different computer, the new font you have installed on your computer will not be displayed the same way on the other computer.
To make sure that other people can see the fonts on different computers, you can embed the font to save the characters with your document. On the “Tools” menu, click “Options”, and then click the “Save” tab. Under “Save options”, select the “Embed TrueType fonts” check box. This works if you are using a TrueType font in Word or Microsoft PowerPoint”.
– from their site.

It really works, and their service is free. The don’t even want your email address, or you to register or sign in.



July 28, 2013
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Keith on 28-07-2013

I have just found out that the comment box in the last post isn’t working. It’s not accepting any comments, not even from me.

I don’t know what the problem is at the moment. I have tried everything I can think of, but it’s beaten me, so I’ll have the call in the Big Boys, with their expert know-it-all on techy problems.

In the meantime you can comment as normal on this post, and subsequent posts (I hope!)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

UPDATE: The problem has been resolved. Panic over. Carry on as normal. . . .



July 23, 2013
Filed Under (Calligraphy & Lettering, Facebook) by Keith on 23-07-2013

This post was originally on my Facebook page.

“Gaze upon this and feel ashamed of thine own handwriting”. This is a page from a 12 year old schoolboys handwriting exercise book dated 1874.

I bought the book at an antiques fair recently. Inside the front cover it’s signed by William Aylemore, age 12, Bosham, Sussex.

Of course this is not the written in the Italic hand, this style is referred to as Copperplate and is very difficult to execute unless you spend many hours practising it. It is virtually useless for fast letter writing.

This was the style of writing taught in the schools at that time. When I say schools I mean the ones for the moneyed class who could afford to pay for their children’s education, whilst the working class children only had the basics taught to them so they usually left school at 9 – 12yrs old and couldn’t even read or write.

The general opinion is that Copperplate was the standard form of handwriting in Victoran Britain, but just take a look at the the picture on the right. Queen Victoria’s handwriting.