Older blog entries for marnanel (starting at number 1001)

South Country

Today I am thinking about Hilaire Belloc's love-song to Sussex.

When I am living in the Midlands
That are sodden and unkind,
I light my lamp in the evening:
My work is left behind;
And the great hills of the South Country
Come back into my mind.

The great hills of the South Country
They stand along the sea;
And it's there walking in the high woods
That I could wish to be,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Walking along with me.

The men that live in North England
I saw them for a day:
Their hearts are set upon the waste fells,
Their skies are fast and grey;
From their castle-walls a man may see
The mountains far away.

The men that live in West England
They see the Severn strong,
A-rolling on rough water brown
Light aspen leaves along.
They have the secret of the Rocks,
And the oldest kind of song.

But the men that live in the South Country
Are the kindest and most wise,
They get their laughter from the loud surf,
And the faith in their happy eyes
Comes surely from our Sister the Spring
When over the sea she flies;
The violets suddenly bloom at her feet,
She blesses us with surprise.

I never get between the pines
But I smell the Sussex air;
Nor I never come on a belt of sand
But my home is there.
And along the sky the line of the Downs
So noble and so bare.

A lost thing could I never find,
Nor a broken thing mend:
And I fear I shall be all alone
When I get towards the end.
Who will there be to comfort me
Or who will be my friend?

I will gather and carefully make my friends
Of the men of the Sussex Weald;
They watch the stars from silent folds,
They stiffly plough the field.
By them and the God of the South Country
My poor soul shall be healed.

If I ever become a rich man,
Or if ever I grow to be old,
I will build a house with deep thatch
To shelter me from the cold,
And there shall the Sussex songs be sung
And the story of Sussex told.

I will hold my house in the high wood
Within a walk of the sea,
And the men that were boys when I was a boy
Shall sit and drink with me.

This entry was originally posted at
http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/271796.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-03-06 14:17:51 from Monument


Kit and my dad and I were talking about a swan who was injured on the Cam.

My dad: So what happened to the swan?

Marn: I heard the RSPB took him to a rehabilitation place in Norfolk until he was better, but he's back in Cambridge now. They said they hoped he'd find his wife again and settle down-- you know they mate for life. I was just imagining the conversation, though. "Where have you BEEN all this time?" "Er, Norfolk." "A likely story!"

My dad: "I can smell birdseed on your breath!"

Kit: "And is that a feather on your shoulder?"

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/271436.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-03-06 13:37:23 (Updated 2013-03-06 13:48:20) from Monument

The Anglia Television Lottery

In my dream last night I went home to my parents' house and turned on the TV. Anglia Television was running their answer to the National Lottery. This being Anglia, it was a bit cut-price and the prizes weren't actually monetary. Most of them involved chocolate bars, but I remember there was also a year's free travel on the Milton Keynes tram system and a book of tickets allowing free entry to the women's toilets in Welwyn.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/271345.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-03-04 10:33:26 from Monument

EDM 1104

Much as I'm sure the NHS needs prayer at the moment, Miliband's EDM does not call upon MPs to pray for the NHS. But the EDM is worth supporting nevertheless; go and look at it and ask your MP to support it.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/270925.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-03-02 13:41:24 from Monument


Somehow this slipped through my spam filter. Possibly spamassassin decided it was stream-of-consciousness poetry?

Subject: Do you need a big ass Russian madam who are ready to talk on erotic themes?

You need Ukrainian with beautiful eyes that Madame is ready to talk about sex?They will tell you about their personal sexual experience, you might be interested!} They're so chic that you want to share your phone, and believe me, they will not mind =)

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/270758.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-03-02 13:21:52 from Monument

Florida Man

Florida Man, Florida Man,
running around without any plan,
scruffy old jeans and permanent tan,
Florida Man.
He can appear at the flick of a wrist,
when he gets pissed, someone gets missed,
you'll hear it all from a journalist,
average man,
Florida Man.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/270121.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-02-23 19:16:51 from Monument


Scene: A shop in Woking, today.

Assistant: That'll be £5, please.
Me: I was wondering. You know you have some rubber ducks for sale?
Assistant: Yes?
Me: Well, I was wondering... why are rubber ducks always yellow? I mean, have you ever seen a yellow duck? Ducks are brown, or there are the ones with green heads, but I've never met a yellow one.
Assistant: Hm. I've seen yellow ducks on the Thames.
Me: Really? Kit, could we go and look at the Thames this afternoon?
Kit: Maybe!
Assistant: Yes-- fluffy yellow ones. You know, the ducklings.
Me: Wait! You're right! Baby ducks are yellow! I was thinking of the adults. So rubber ducks are supposed to be ducklings, even the big ones?
Assistant: I think so, yes.
Me: Thank you! You've solved a mystery for me. What a helpful person!

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/268821.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-02-16 20:15:09 from Monument

Jesse Boot

You know, I was thinking about Nottingham. And who are the two most famous sons of Nottingham? Robin Hood, and... Jesse Boot.

Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Riding through the hills!
Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Mixing stomach pills!
Take one a day! Safe to dilute!
Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot!

Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! For your upset tum!
Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Here's magnesium!
Tastes like a chalk? Flavour with fruit!
Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot!

Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! In an hour or less!
Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Makes an awful mess!
Wears his white coat over his suit!
Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot! Jesse Boot!

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/268788.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-02-16 10:56:19 (Updated 2013-02-16 11:00:54) from Monument

letter to MP

Dear Philip Hammond,

I am writing to ask you to support the forthcoming bill for same-sex marriage, both as your constituent to ask for your vote in the Commons, and to show that not all Christians oppose equal marriage.

Some people have been encouraging me to write and ask you to vote against this bill. But I believe this is a matter of simple justice-- fair treatment for a large group of people who are spread throughout our society. Marriage is important, yes: it is so important that allowing it to some and not others is unfair.

I remain, etc.

Thomas Thurman

Edits: You can write to your MP here. You might also be interested in [personal profile] cjwatson's letter to his MP.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/266904.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-02-05 06:30:31 (Updated 2013-02-05 06:40:03) from Monument

Plover: When I was one and twenty

My Plover exercise for today was the first stanza of A E Houseman's poem "When I was one and twenty".

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

The non-obvious words are:
  • crowns KROUPBS (actually, this is fairly straightforward)
  • pounds POUPBDZ (why DZ? I suppose DS is harder to chord)
  • guineas - Plover doesn't know the word "guinea". I could have typed it out manually, but I approximated it using the name of the country Guinea and making it plural: TKPWEU/TPHAOE/-S. What I think is interesting about this is that TKPWEU alone is "I go".
  • pearls PERLS (not much surprise there)
  • rubies - this is a tricky one. RAOU/PWEU/-S. And RAOU alone is "rue" like the herb.
  • fancy TPAPB/SEU
and some where I got stuck on the vowels particularly:
  • away A/WAEU
  • keep KAOEP
  • free TPRAOE
  • use AOUS (or AOUZ)
  • talk TAUBG
I am beginning to feel I'm making progress at last! This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/266324.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2013-02-01 11:45:37 (Updated 2013-02-01 11:46:52) from Monument

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