Home Blog Page 28

May Day and The Hokey-Cokey




Ah, the joys of May, when it's not raining, that is.

I’ve discovered a great antidote to this miserable weather. It’s singing a ludicrous song at the top of your voice. An example of how this works: I was driving back from a Customer Service class yesterday, scowling at the rain and muttering. I had to find a distraction to my imminent madness. I would have put the radio on but it’s given up the ghost so I decided to entertain myself . . . No Bieber-Fever for me, no jesting with Jessie J, instead I followed my sophisticated tastes right back to my childhood and came up with: ‘The Hokey-Cokey.’

The ultimate infant party song . . . if you’re not familiar with it you were never young and won’t remember how parents used to join in, enthusiastically demonstrating the actions between munches of cheese and pineapple.  For me the memories have obviously stuck and taken over the portion of my brain that acts to avoid extreme boredom and misery.  Whatever you say about the song’s dubious melodic qualities, it certainly helped get me from A to B without bashing my head off the steering wheel. Of course you could argue that in the act of singing it I was actually embracing my madness, not banishing it 😉

It’s not surprising I’m resorting to such desperate measures though.  I mean, it’s meant to be summer. Yesterday was May Day. Back in ye oldie times we would have been dancing around a May Pole to welcome the solstice. Now the solstice doesn’t even bother to show up! Apparently there were celebrations in both Wales and Ireland. I did a little bit of research and it turns out we Welsh were blood thirsty sorts, not content with throwing a few sticks or straw on the May Day bonfire, a sheep or calf was often added for good measure! Apparently the Welsh believed this prevented disease from spreading, never mind the spread of barbarism!

In contrast, the Irish traditions were far more gentle; collecting the morning dew, stringing egg shells together and decorating a thorn bush. May Poles were constructed and danced around in both countries. Such innocent times, nowadays dancing around a pole means something completely different . . .

The weather hasn’t stopped me from maintaining my new writing discipline though. Every day I write religiously for an hour. Doesn’t matter if it’s gobbledigook, I can always go back and edit it later. Once I have all my Childcare course work out of the way I’ll extend my writing time further into the day and plan to have a really productive summer.  And if the sun continues to hide my desk will be the perfect dry haven!

Picture sourced at: http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2006/04/sights_rites_an.html

April Shimmers

You can't beat a bit of bling on a rainy day.

A flash drive masquerading as a silver glittery locket – my find of the week.  It’s nerdy, yet pretty, back up and bling up.  And if you’re not into shiny tat but still want to preserve your files there’s a choice!  For the healthy eaters: a watermelon slice, for the animal lovers: a rabbit, for the avaricious: a gold bar, for the thirsty: a bottle opener.

No, I haven’t started a sideline in promotions . . . this quirky range just caught my eye the other day whilst I was engaging in some retail therapy.  It must have been a day for the unusual as driving home I witnessed a ‘dance off’ in the back of the car ahead.  I couldn’t help imagining the dialogue:

‘Look how high my elbow can go . . .’

‘Witness my stationary shimmy!’

‘But see how I throw my hands up in the air, ow!’ (hits car roof)

It was one of those classic moments when you are so glad you left the house to be entertained by the absurdities of life.  And talking of absurdity I bought a pair of waterproof trousers the other day.  I haven’t tried them on yet but I’m sure I’m not going to be winning any fashion awards as I trudge up the hill.  Hubs has informed me that instead of getting soaked by rain I will now get drowned in perspiration.  Obviously hasn’t heard the saying: ladies merely glow.  Still, I’m willing to give them a try.  They were a bargain and will mean I have no excuse to avoid walking.

To be honest, I don’t really want an excuse.  Since moving to the countryside I’ve become a bit of a walkaholic.  Our house is in a bit of a lonely spot so it’s great to get out and feel the fresh air on my face (in Winter my face is the only bit showing!) Another reason to go outside is the wildlife.  The swallows came back to us at the weekend and we saw a rabbit in the long grass.  Of course it’s the time of year for baby animals so I’m constantly pointing at lambs, calves and foals shouting ‘aaaaah!’  Never grown up really have I?  But if that means a continuing appreciation of nature then it can’t be bad.

In writing news I had a brainwave the other day and decided to convert one of my unpublished stories into a script.  I’ve never thought I would be any good as a script writer as my writing tends to be quite descriptive but hey, it’s Spring and I’m in the mood for something new 🙂

Picture sourced at http://www.hotcraze.co.uk/buy/dazzle-usb-silver-heart-memory-flash-drive-with-high-quality-crystals-4gb_5.htm

Memories of a Multicoloured Mullet

Don't believe I could rock this look? Luckily little photo evidence exists of my 21st. What a shame!

I was at a 21st birthday party on Saturday and it started me thinking about my own celebrations a few (aherm) years ago.  Instead of looking a vision in pink with glittering gold heels (as Saturday’s birthday girl did) I wore leather trousers, a zip top and a bright red and orange ‘Toyah’ style wig.  Yup,  my 21st was an 80s themed house party.  I always have to be different!

Some of the guests ignored the dress code, opting for glitzy makeup, a cowboy hat or none of the above.  Others made a real effort including my eldest sister who turned up as Michael Susanne Steele from The Bangles complete with guitar.  Her wig was exactly the same as mine only raven black, inviting such comments as ‘wow, you can really tell you’re sisters.’ and (bizarrely) ‘The wigs suit you!’  Really?  Since when did a multicoloured mullet suit anyone?  Don’t answer that question, everyone has their personal tastes . . .

As I was saying, some people really embraced the theme.  There were two Adam Ants, a Wonder Woman, a She-rah, a John McEnroe and a Kim Wilde.  The music was exclusively 80s.  I had so much fun putting those tapes together.  I remember going round to my sister’s house and trawling through her music collection for dance floor gems.  My two sisters and brother are a lot older than me which probably accounts for my love of 80s music.

And if you don’t believe in its power – get this, people danced at a house party where the only dance floor was my living room carpet.  Of course, the fact that I was happily guzzling away out of my personal stash of WKD Irn-bru could also have been a factor.  The alcoholic orange stuff had me buzzing and I achieved that rare thing referred to as ‘dancing like nobody’s watching’ and managed to persuade others to join me.

These days, the only orange stuff I drink is dissolvable Vitamin C, good for the immune system apparently, although it doesn’t seem to have any effect on mine.  Perhaps I should have stuck with the alcohol . . .

On a writing note, I’m still working on poetry at the moment and no, it’s not about my misspent youth.  It’s about angels on water and finding a musical note on the wind.  It’s great to be back writing verse again as for a long time I thought I’d lost the knack.  It seems I was just waiting to be inspired by the right things 🙂

Picture sourced from http://misterleroy.blogspot.com/2010/06/blog-post_27.html

Ferry Fiasco

Clearly the elephant would have coped much better, it's all in the balance . .

Twenty-five hours stuck on a ferry.  That was the agonising conclusion to my pre-Easter break.  No magazines or books to read (it was meant to be a short, overnight crossing), the film on our laptop refused to play.  My suitcase was in the hold so I couldn’t even fish out a glamorous dress and pretend I was on a cruise.

Driven out of my mind with boredom I left hubs dozing in our cabin and headed for the onboard shop.  No, I was not resorting to duty free, I was looking for a book.  The choice was limited, a few grey crime novels sharply contrasting with the cheerful pastels of their chick lit neighbours.  I fancied something different . . . suddenly my attention was seized by a familiar title: ‘Water for Elephants’.  I had avoided the film due to the presence of Robert Pattinson (Team Jacob, all the way), but the book could be interesting.

Circuses have always held a thrill for me since reading Enid Blyton as a child.  The gaudy prominence of ‘The Big Top’, the commanding presence of the Ring Master, the absurdity of the clown and the sheer bravado of the trapeze artists, not to mention the animals.  ‘Water for Elephants’ did not disappoint.  Written with rather more realism than the Enid Blyton tales of my youth the story did not shy away from sex and violence.  However, half way through the book the characters really began to shine and the warmth in the relationships made for truly compelling reading.

So, armed with my book and slightly cheered by the promise of free food I waited out the tempestuous hours, smiling as hubs and I developed such strong sea legs we were able to swagger confidently about the ship.  Little did we know once back on land we would continue to walk with a wobbly gait and stumble into furniture.

You’ll be pleased to hear we have since regained full functionality and were able to chomp Easter eggs with the best of them over the weekend.  Whether we will ever be brave enough to set foot on a boat again remains to be seen . . .

Picture sourced at http://public-domain.zorger.com/more-nonsense/cartoon-elephant-in-row-boat-earring.php

Living by Impulse, Movies and Caterpillars

Who knew caterpillars had Specsavers?

A ‘Live for the Moment’ Philosophy only works if you can persuade your other half to believe in it too.  That’s what I found out this morning when (attempting to recapture some of my youthful impulsiveness) I said:  ‘The weather’s stunning, let’s go out for the day, there may be no tomorrow.’  Unfortunately hubs is stronger willed than I and entirely engrossed in a 3D Printer project at the moment.  The lure of his workshop was no match for even the most dazzling of sunshine (or his wife’s pleas).

So, facing another day with just my computer for company I decided to get back to my blog.  You’ll be pleased to hear that my First Aid saga ended on Saturday.  I can now proudly call myself an ‘Occupational First Aider’ and can resuscitate even the most stubborn of dummies.  Whether this will translate into real life skill in an emergency remains to be seen . . .There’s a big difference between plastic and a real human being, even I know that 😉

I’ve also concluded my work experience in a preschool and said a tearful goodbye to the children last Thursday.  It literally was tearful when they presented me with a Thank You card covered in their thumb prints.  The card is now in pride of place on my mantelpiece and reminds me that human nature really can be very pure, sweet and heartfelt. 🙂

So, I’ve a few weeks off before starting another Childcare module.  I’m working on assignments but also trying to relax a little following a very busy time.  I watched two films over the last couple of days, ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin.’  ‘The Hunger Games’ is very intense for a children’s film.  I felt really coiled up watching it and the blurry camera work made me feel a bit sick.  It was an intriguing premise though, the acting was strong and the film held my attention throughout (big achievement when it comes to a daydreamer like me).  Loved Lenny Kravitz in it, he’s just too cool to be true.  I wonder what age he is now?

I watched ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ as part of my Childcare course.  Apparently we needed to address the whole  Nature / Nurture debate.  I haven’t read the book but I did happen to be present when Lionel Shriver won the Orange Prize for Fiction at The Hay Festival.  She read from the book and I seem to remember the extract demonstrating a dark humour which was rarely present in the film.  This lack of humour and the sight of Tilda Swinton’s empty looking face did not make for great entertainment.  On the other hand the character of Kevin is fascinatingly complex and seemingly twisted from birth.  I may have to take a look at the book to truly make up my mind . . .

As for my own books, I’ve been writing some poetry recently.  I always find good weather and nature inspire me to write verse.  I like to zone in on some small detail like a leaf, petal or tiny creature.  Yesterday I found myself writing about a caterpillar.  Caterpillars are always compelling because of their capacity for change but there’s also something about the way they move, the way they are constructed and how they stand out, despite their small size.  Just thinking about it I may have to take my notepad into the garden again .  . .

P.S. If you’re wondering where the K S Moore shop is, we’re currently updating it so that customers can buy books using pounds sterling and dollars as well as euros.  Meanwhile, if you fancy a read of something spooky check out my ebook short story ‘Ghost Writer’ here: http://amzn.to/Hison9

Picture sourced from http://highdwallpapers.com/view-intelligent_caterpillar_-wide.html

St Pats and the Grandslam Prayer

It's green so it can't be Guinness . . . but since when was it safe to drink anything this colour? Looks like something out of a lab to me, best left to the Green Goblin!

First Aid is not in my good books right now. Firstly, Saturday’s class caused me to miss Wales v Italy and a gorgeous sunny day (which could have been spent on a nature walk). Secondly, it’s too hard! I know I need to get my head down and revise but I am really quaking at the thought of performing cack-handed CPR in front of the whole class (and being assessed at the same time). I am also dreading the return of ‘the sling’. A mind like mine was not made for slings, quite what it was made for I’m still trying to discover . . . quite possibly daydreaming and doodling which is of no use to anyone (and certainly not in an emergency).

Never mind, at least I have this weekend off as it’s St Patricks Day on Saturday.  The hubs and I are contemplating going to a pub, something we haven’t done in a long time, basicallly because we live two miles from the nearest one and the taxi service is of the ‘I may turn up if I feel like it’ variety.  Let me explain, we live in the depths of the Irish countryside.  Picturesque it may be but kind to party animals it is not.  There’s also the fact that to buy a drink in an Irish pub is horrendously expensive.  You find yourself justifying that bottle of wine and packet of crips in front of the TV very quickly.

But  this weekend we may just venture out into the wild word of St Paddy, don a green and gold crown, wave something swirly and drink a pint of Guinness.  Except that I’m off Guinness, for life.  And no, that’s not something I wish to go into today!  Suffice to say the black stuff has a history of not being so good for me.  All I’m really hoping to soak up this Saturday is some great music and a hearty atmosphere. I’m anticipating singsongs and ‘woo-hoos’ particularly as the 6 Nations reaches it’s conclusion with a Wales / France clash (and Grandslam decider) and an Ireland / England encounter.

I’m already digging out the Welsh Jersey, crossing my fingers, and muttering a prayer. The plan for Saturday is to belt out ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ wherever I am, whoever I’m with.  So watch out St Paddy revellers, there may be a Welsh woman among you this weekend and she may be a cheering, jumping, red jersey wearing fanatic.  Hmm, if I’m contemplating that much craziness perhaps I’ll need that drink after all . . .

Picture sourced from http://cookwithabandon.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/everybodys-irish-on-st-patricks-day/

Comedy in Tragedy

Now, I'm no expert but surely there are too many bandages on that arm? It's called tying a sling, not mummification!

I began a First Aid course last Saturday and was introduced to ABCs.  ‘A little late in life,’ I hear you cry but in the First Aid world ABC refers to Airway, Breathing and Circulation.  See, I listened, I may yet be able to save somebody’s life if the panic doesn’t engulf me and send me into my own private heart attack , that is.

I must admit, when asked to imagine that a dummy was a casualty in front of the whole class I stared at it with pressure induced blankness.  I mean, the situation wasn’t even real and I froze.  I wasn’t completely alone in my shame, two other girls were also called up  to demonstrate their new skills.  Desperately, I tried to hide behind one of them.  This was only ever going to work if she was a giant as I am 5t 8 and was wearing heels.  She was not a giant.  So, I looked like a great big cowardly custard and began to tremble like one too.  After a few seconds (which felt like eternity) I gathered the power of speech.

“The airway,” I croaked in a voice that didn’t sound like mine, (well, I did have a cough that day).  “We need to open the airway, tilt the chin using two fingers.”  Next, I attempted a rather clumsy ‘top to toe’ examination which apparently wasn’t ‘thorough’ enough.  So no credit for remembering I had to do the thing at all?  The First Aid world is tough, my friends.  Well, I suppose it is life or death.

Later, I struggled with the sling tying section.  I’m guessing the kind of woman who can deftly tie a sling was a proud girl guide and has matured with smooth efficiency.  She isn’t afraid to iron, has ‘packing light’ down to an art form and abides by lemon fresh.  I will never be that woman so please, don’t break your arm around me, unless you really have to.

I left the class with my ears full of stories from the ambulance.

“Remember the guy who belly-flopped onto barbed wire?”

“Yeah, and the guy whose lung was punctured by a church steeple.”

They even tried to mercilessly weed out the squeamish among us by showing us close ups of mangled limbs.  I must be tough because my stomach only gave the slightest flicker of protest, (just glad I ate a plain lunch.)  I can’t wait until next week when I get to spend all day with my friend ‘the dummy’.  At least there is no cloth or tying involved in CPR.  I should be able to manage it if I can only control my stage fright 😉

The positive side of all this is that I’m going to be left with some really valuable knowledge which could make a difference in an emergency.  Meanwhile, the acute embarassment will provide me with great ideas for writing romantic comedy!  And no, the dummy will not be the hero . .

Picture sourced from http://redcrosspdx.blogspot.com/2010_06_01_archive.html

Rugby, Frogspawn and a Little Gold Dress

and if you look closely you can almost see the fire . . .

I’ve had an adrenalin fuelled weekend in which all of the above have combined to inspire today’s blogpost.  The adrenalin mainly flowed whilst I was perched on the edge of my sofa watching Wales in a physical, heart-stopping game against England.  You’d think I’d played the match myself!  Well, they do say watching sport can be just as tiring as taking part.  Great, that’s my new fitness regime sorted, watch more sport 🙂

Anyway, as I was saying, to play England at Twickenham and win means a lot to the Welsh, whether they are actively involved or just cheering.  Here, I could trot out phrases like ‘getting fired up’ and ‘the old enemy’ but none of them seem to sum up the exact formula for beating England.  Any encounter between the two sides is a mighty battle of wills.  For the Welsh, it’s vital to be able to channel that inner dragon then release the fire in a way that combines control and passion.  The formula was obviously brewed to perfection at the weekend and I’m delighted with the Triple Crown win and the fact that we have a real shot at the Grandslam!

In other news, I finally made my annual pilgrimage to the woods where an impressive array of frogspawn is guaranteed at this time of year.  Now, I don’t know about you but I’m fascinated by the stuff and have been since childhood.  The thought of that crystal coloured, jelly like substance housing the beginnings of curious lifeforms is strangely compelling.  This particular frogspawn did not disappoint although I think I caught it just in time.  Some fine looking tadpoles had already begun to wriggle with gusto.

“They’ll eat all the little ones,” my husband informed me cheerfully.  Well, that shattered all my cosy ‘brotherhood of the tadpole’ illusions.  Moving swiftly on to the stream we discussed plans for our future whilst wet pebbles glistened underfoot and it was a lovely Spring day feeling.  Yes, I think we can definitely confirm the start of the new season.

And with Spring comes party time! Forget the BAFTAS and the Oscars, in the world of K. S. Moore family comes first and there are a whole host of events coming up including my parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary, a 21st Birthday, a Christening and a Wedding.  Luckily I embarked on a shopping marathon with Mum-in-law at the start of the week and picked up the most gorgeous little gold dress!

Now, Kylie’s hotpants it is not, being neither scanty or bum hugging but it has that same level of razzle-dazzle and I can’t wait to wear it.  Of course I’ve a few other outfits lined up but they will have to wait for another blogpost.  Writing wise, I’m still busy promoting my ebook ‘Ghost Writer’ available at http://amzn.to/zLCokG .  Planning to post an extract here very soon, will let everyone know via Facebook and Twitter.  I’ve also been dusting down a novel I wrote some years ago to see if it might be worth revisiting.  These are exciting Spring days .  . .

Picture sourced from http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog+england-rugby-union-team

Between a Rock and an eBook


I’m very proud of myself this week, having simultaneously published an ebook and walked across rocks.  Now, ‘walking across’ may not sound as impressive as climbing but believe me there was some risk involved and it was to my life!  Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration but these were hardcore rocks and slippery to boot.  It took a steady mind, a sure foot and a husband’s helping hand to get me to a viewing point where I could haughtily survey the sea (and convince my lungs their air supply was not running out).

Of course, once stationed I began to worry that the tide was coming in and we would get cut off.  After a few more minutes observing the flow of water we established the tide was not coming in although the waves were pretty high.  Undoubtedly, the best thing about rocks is the chance to have a good gawp at the rockpools.  Some amazing creatures live in them.  I’ve seen some truly stunning sights over the years, myriad colours and mythical looking creatures.  But not in February.  It seems despite the unseasonably mild temperatures it’s still not warm enough for such small miracles.  We’ll just have to wait until the summer.  Meanwhile, take a look at this poem I wrote back in 2006, should get you in the mood for a beach walk!