The Dylan Thomas International Prize

The Dylan Thomas International Prize, sponsored by Swansea University, was launched at an event hosted by the Secretary of State for Wales, the Rt. Hon. David Jones MP in 2014.

The International Dylan Thomas Prize, which is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers, is aimed at encouraging creative talent worldwide. The Prize was first opened for entries on St David’s Day, 1st March 2014. In recognition of Dylan Thomas’s 39 years of literary productivity and creativity, the Prize is open to young writers of 39 and under.

The prize is a mere £30,000, and fame and fortune for the winner, well, in Wales anyway.

Here is one of my favourites poems. It’s from “Under Milkwood” by Dylan Thomas.

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Eli-Jenkins-Prayer

Posted in Calligraphy & Lettering, From my Paper Journals, Poetry Bit | 1 Comment

Changes

I turned eighty on the 2nd May and I have realised that my life has changed. I can no longer do the things I have always loved to do in the past.

This morning I was sorting through some boxes containing copies of my calligraphy commissions from decades ago. I always made photocopies of everything I did. As I looked through the pages I kept thinking “Did I really do that?”. Some of the stuff I couldn’t actually remember doing, it looked so strange that I thought I was looking at someone else’s work. Well in a way I was, because the Keith of those past years is not the same Keith that you all love and admire now.

I realise that I would never be able to achieve that standard of lettering now, unless somebody comes up with a cure for arthritis. These days I can barely hold a knife and fork, let alone one of my treasured pens. My handwriting now looks like I could have written it with a knife and fork! This particular font was created from my handwriting in the old days! Good,innit?

I will leave you with one example from the past I picked out at random. I did show this particular example on a previous blog, now long gone.

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Posted in Depressing | 1 Comment

Visitors

I just hate it when the doorbell rings and I open the door and there stands Mr and Mrs Acquaintance, with the their little horrors they fondly call ‘the kids’.

family“Hello, we were just passing (not really) and thought we would call and see how you are (they couldn’t give give a rats arse about me) and have a cup of tea with you”.

So being a gentleman (or a complete idiot) I invited them in. I didn’t really have much choice, because the little brats had already shoved past me and were in the kitchen busy raiding the biscuit tin and fridge. I said, ”How nice to see you again (liar) after all this time. Let’s see now, how long has it been? Two years? Three?” as I put the kettle on, hoping I hadn’t left the drinks cabinet open.

Mr Acquaintance (I think his name is Harry, not sure) shouted down to the kitchen, “Did you know that Alice got married and had a baby?” (who the heck is Alice?) “No” I said, hoping I sounded sincere, “That’s nice. Who would have thought it?” (not me for sure!)

Mrs Acquaintance suddenly appeared in the kitchen as I was pouring the teas. I didn’t have to get the kids a drink, they had already found my stash of Tizer and were seeing how quickly they could empty the bottle. She proclaimed, “Harry (I was right!) has been promoted and transferred from the Council Slaughter House, and is now in charge of the Refuse Collection team (dustbin men)”. “That’s nice” I replied. (What do I care?)

“Did you get our Christmas Newsletter last year?” Harry asked I replied, “Oh, yes I did, (all five A4 pages of closely typed details of their adventures) absolutely riveting stuff, (bored me sh**less). In fact I read it twice.” (liar)

So we settled down to three hours of boring small talk, during which time I made several more cups of coffee and refilled the cake stand twice. Those ‘kids’ sure knew how to stuff them down their throats. Harry bragged about his new car, his holidays in Italy, their holiday home in Bogtown-on-Sea (pity it wasn’t in Afghanistan) and other uninteresting topics. To which I kept replying “That’s nice”.

They took the hint to go when I changed into my pyjamas and wound the the cat up and put the alarm clock out for the night. “We’re not keeping you up are we?” asked Mary (finally remembered her name) I gave a big yawn and said “Well, I do have to be up at the crack of dawn. Me and the boys from the pub are going badger-gassing early tomorrow morning”. Mary gave me a wry smile and said “That’s nice” (I think she had cottoned on to what that really meant. . . .) Have you, dear reader?

Some of this story is not strictly true, but most of it is (?). The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Blocking the footway

problem-parking

I recently bought a mobility scooter, a case of “needs must”, because my arthritis is getting worse. I can only walk for about 100 yards now with the aid of a stick.

The mobility scooter is a Class 2 model, which means that it can only be driven on the footway, or pavement as it used to be called. The only time I can legally go on the roadway is to cross over. Top speed is 4 mph (walking speed) which doesn’t give me much time to get out of the way of the speeding cars. It doesn’t have lights, just rear reflectors, so crossing the road at night can be a bit dodgy, especially when some of our street lamps go off at midnight.

pavement_parking_news In some of the other roads there are one or two people who park on the footway, or halfway on it, making life difficult for the visually handicapped and elderly. Its the young mothers with their pushchairs who most at risk. I believe there was an incident a while back in another town where a child was killed and the mother injured trying to maneuver around a parked car.

My issue now is with the idle people who leave their wheelie bins out on the footway 24/7 and don’t bother to put them back on their own property. I wont go and ask them to remove the bins, because it is obvious that they don’t know the law and are probably people who think they have a right to flaunt it if they do know.

UPDATE (2 Dec 2016): The issue has now been resolved. The local Council came and had a look, and warned the householders that further action would be taken if they continued to obstruct the footway on non-bin days.

obstruction02

The local by-law states: “Wheeled bins should be stored on private land at all times and only presented for emptying on the day of collection. Bins should be moved back onto private land as soon as possible after emptying. Wheeled bins should not be stored on the highway (road, footpath or verge) as they can cause a nuisance, danger or obstruction to people including wheelchair/mobility scooter users, those with impaired vision and people pushing prams. Wheeled bins stored on the highway can also lead to vandalism, litter, fly tipping and arson. If you continue to leave bins out on the highway you will be prosecuted”.

 

Driving on the pavement with intent to park.
Although parking is generally permitted at the side of the road, except where there are restrictions or a specific offence has been committed, driving actually onto the pavement or footway (to park or otherwise) is an offence.

Under the Highways Act 1835, s.72, it is an offence to ride or drive wilfully on the footway, even though the driving may last for only for a few seconds ( McArthur v Jack 1950 S.C.(J.) 29). The offence will also apply to pedal and motor cyclists. Driving across the footway to get to a private park is held to be an offence in the absence of proof of long use or of its being a way of necessity.

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Posted in 'Elf and Safety | 4 Comments

A night out at the Bluebell Inn, Desford.

I published this video two years ago on my other weblog (now gone). The musicians are all local and are amateurs, I mean that in the nicest possible way!

I thought this video would be a break from my usual rants. . .

Posted in From my Journal archives, Pubs | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving?

turkey01I had an online “flyer” from Ocado supermarket showing all the goodies we can buy for a Super Thanksgiving Day!

I know that many years ago we adopted the Colonial version of Hallowe’en and it’s took off in a big way, but Thanksgiving?

We don’t have anything to be thankful for! Do people here really know what Thanksgiving day is all about? I doubt it. If they do, why should we celebrate an American holiday? The next thing is that the gift card shops will be full of greetings cards proclaiming “Happy Thanksgiving”.

Come back Guy Fawkes, all is forgiven. Have some “Bonfire Toffee” and a “Toffee Apple”.
Christmas? Bah! Humbug!
Thanksgiving, ditto!

End of rant.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Just saying . . . .

grumpy_old_manCOWS
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

They even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 250,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country.

Perhaps we should give each of them a cow when we do find them?

THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION
They keep talking about drafting a new Constitution for Iraq, Afghanistan and the other countries we interfere with … Why don’t we just give them ours?

It was drawn up by a lot of really clever men, and it has worked for centuries and we’re not using it anymore.

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse or Parliament, is this –

You cannot post ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’, ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery’ and ‘Thou Shall Not Lie’ in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians ….. It creates a hostile work environment!

FOX HUNTING
fox-huntingI was under the impression the the Government had banned fox hunting years ago. It is still going on despite the ban, in fact it seems to be on the rise in this area. It must stop! It is not fair on the people who live in the countryside having to put up with this sort of thing, hearing the sound of gunshots all day and night, and finding corpses in their fields and gardens.

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I have been invited to go to the annual Christmas Day Party this year at the ‘Earl Shilton Dementia Society‘ hall, but I can’t remember where it is or what day they said.

Posted in Politically incorrect, The truth, Unbelievable | 2 Comments

Samhain

samhain-all-hallows-eve

Life is a Circle with many cycles. . . . I pay attention to the Seasons within myself – of beginings, growth, fruition, harvest, endings, rest, and begining again. . . .

cat-pumpkin

I wish all my Friends in Bloggyland, no matter what religion or faith you follow, A Happy Hallowe’en.

May your God be with you always. Blessed be.

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Posted in Halloween, Religion | 2 Comments

Jehovah’s Parasites [3]

watchtowerI had another visitation from the Jehovahs Witnesses today. The second time in a fortnight.

I really thought I had managed to neutralize any further attacks by them, but I was wrong. The last time they came I had a visitor in the house, a close friend who is also a Priestess of the local Wiccan coven and we were enjoying a nice cup of tea when the door bell rang. After I had told them to go away, they still persisted in telling me that God would forgive me and welcome me back into the fold.

At this point my friend came up behind me and said could she have a word with them, so I walked back into the kitchen and left her talking quietly to them, and after a minute or two they went. Jane, my friend, said “I don’t think they will bother you again, so relax”.

unbelievers1She wouldn’t tell me what she said to them, but I can imagine!

They did come back, today! If Jane had turned them into frogs, obviously they had recovered. Ha!

Should they come back yet again, does anybody out there in Bloggyland know of a surefire way to get rid of them once and for all? Short of murder, that is!

If there are any Jehovah’s Witness out there and you feel offended by my attitude, please don’t take it personally, because I just don’t like the whole bloody lot of you! You try to tell me all you do in heaven is pretty much just sit around all the time and praise the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I think that after the first 50,000,000 years of that I’d start to get a little bored.

Posted in Brainless idiots, Religion, Unbelievable | 4 Comments

Silly headline

I saw this today in one of those adverts that try to capture your interest (and your money?) by making exaggerated claims, and entice you to at least have a look.

“People are left stunned by this New Laser Eye Surgery!”

laserHopefully the laser wasn’t in the ‘kill’ mode!
For the sake of a comma the meaning was changed.

The advert then went on to claim “Pioneering Laser Eye Surgery Storming the UK”. Well, that’s a change from “sweeping the UK”!

I don’t claim to be a member of the Word Police, or a nerd about the correct use of English, but I do try to keep to the well trodden path of understandable English. Know wot i mean innit?

“Grammar is the agreed upon rules of a language, spoken or otherwise. Without it, we would all sound like neanderthals. Apologies to all you neanderthals out there but there is a reason why grammar came into existence” – Zachary Brenner

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments