RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Reflections 2018 w30

My anxiety has been high this week, and because of it, one has ventured out less than normal.

It was to be expected once I found out I was going cold turkey from my near max dosage of medication. The extreme stoppage was at my psychologists discretion, one found out it was stopped when picking up the repeat last friday. Don’t get me wrong, it was talked about – the stopping it – I have questioned it’s effectiveness for well over 3 years, and have wanted to end it to see if the neuropathic pain is linked to a known side effect of the medication, so yes, ending it was talked about. How they have ended it seems more to prove a point than ‘care’.

I have grumble before about how I was told at the very beginning, treatment, effective treatment, was therapy, but all that seems to be given is pills. So yeh, mouse on the wheel of a cage time again.

But when I cannot go outside physically, my mind now picks a project to do, usually painting, but not this time.

This time it is new ground…

A way one thinks my poetry can be heard how I want it to be heard, but without my fat ugly mug on camera, or being in public.

Inspired by an exhibition of  students at Staffordshire University, the whole thing just clicked at a way to do it.

However, it required me to create a model “me” to do it. The concept of my “me” has already been done with the drawing/paining of the B-WELL tree. The little wooden character is my avatar if you will. But how to do the puppet.


Cloth puppet, wood puppet, clay puppet, foam puppet, silicone puppet, and paper mâché puppets are just the beginner materials. Hand puppet, body puppet, finger puppet, stick puppet, marionette, and the scariest one of all…

The traditional “little person” ventriloquist dummy. These always give me the heebie jeebies. Don’t know why, they just do!

Well a couple were pulled out because of the “wood” of the character, but wow, what a world of puppets out there. I now want to make several types.

But back to my original one…

I bought air dried clay, to create the ‘skull’, and plaster bandage for at least the first two coats of the face. The idea was to cut the plaster bandage, when dry, off the clay to get into the workings of the mouth. To make it simple. Then the paper mâché on top, then paint gesso, then acrylics before finishing with varnish. To reduce the amount of clay required I have done this with plastic bottles…


This made it clear to me what it was I wanted to do, and it also showed me the problem I was going to have with my mouth…What type did I want to do?

The decision for that will come later…

Reflections 2018 w29

Whilst waiting for my uncle to have some sort of eye drop test and a fitting for his reading glasses, I got bored. So when my mum came back from the little bit of shopping she had to do in town, we swapped places, and I went across the alley to the new Barnardo’s charity shop, on a previous visit one picked up a psychology book originally costing £18.99 for 99p so was interested to see if another bargain was to be had.

And another book was found, maybe a little gimmicky , but, foods that harm and foods that heal, is worth read to find out, and at 99p –  a bargain.

But the best bargain was sitting on a low shelf half way into the shop.

I saw the Lord of the Rings box first, with my interest piqued I then saw the sword in it. If nothing else it looked like a good sword for my seven year old son to play with, However the sword was is just the prop for the game inside. It was the controller, no buttons, just sword. The camera sits in a tower top thing which in turn sits atop of the tv. The graphics on the box looked ok and at the price of £2.50 it was worth it for the sword alone, working or not. So I grabbed it.

Not really expecting it to work I plugged it in, then fiddled with the fittings in the tv, tried it in other fittings, looked at the box, fiddled some more, looked at the box again, and was starting to get confused. The graphics where much more blocky than on the boxes picture.

I went onto youtube to see if there was any vids, and the graphics looked just the same. So the game worked as it should. I have now decided my screen is too high def for the graphics and too large, so is showing the flaws.

But still it worked so far.

Now to test if it worked with the sword. All I have to do is place the turret onto the top of the tv. Bugger, my tv is also a slim one. The game came out in 2004, and I am guessing the tv’s back then where still the chunkier technology.

Keep it simple – Bluetack – a whopping big chunk of it – on top of the tv sticking/propping it in place. It worked!

All set up for my sons visit tomorrow.

His eyes lit up when I told him just what this short sword, well short for me, did. And he did what he has never done before. He turned with the look of wonderment, rushed me and gave me a big hug. He hugs me each time he has a gift, always as a thank you, but this was different, this was more than the gift itself, this was for being able to battle monsters; with a sword.

There is no difficulty setting on this game we found out after calibrating the sword to him, I taught him how to block so it got registered on the screen, multiple times, as well as keeping him in one area as he swung. Which by the way is full on swinging, no wii remote here. One swing went half an inch away from my throat and I swear that if it had made contact it would have sent me into, at the minimum, a choking fit.

For the next half hour he went over and over the first level, getting to grips with swinging like he is taking an axe to a tree to chop it down, jumping and hopping around to try and help, my nephew (nearly 3) is never being allowed to see my son play this, it would be too dangerous. Then there was the blocking, positioning, casting his first spell, he died on level two and placed the sword down, clammy and slightly out of breath.

I thought that might be it, it was too hard, even if he was a year older (recommended age is 8) it may appear too hard a learning curve. Was this the reason it was in the charity shop in the first place?

An hour later he was back on it, slightly better. Half an hour and he was off it again, greatly improved. He still has not got the timing for the block right, but he’s better.

We went to the park and fed the ducks and geese, came back and he had another half hour on it. There is one point he gets to set a high score on killing some birds (crebain), this I believe is enough for him to keep coming back to it and improving even more so as to get past level two.

When he went to bed I saw the turret had tilted backwards due to the heat of the room. I had to come up with a better platform for the tv. It just so happens I had an empty box.

This is the result…IMG_1920.JPG

It won’t win any awards but it works.

There are not many toys I would have liked as a child to have, proper toys that allow creative process of a child’s mind, we had a Binatone pong variant for computer games, but this crosses both realms. It is a computer game, but with it being physical it is still in the child’s imagination as to what kind of hero/warrior/ninja/whatever, they are. Yes I would have liked to have had this one as a child.

Tomorrow he is going to show his mum his new sword and tell tales of his swordsmanship.

I just hope everyone stays out of his way if he shows those skills off.

Reflections 2018 w28

This week I found out the story of the man of whom I did not know existed until six months ago.

That man is called Philip Astley – Creator of the Modern Circus, who lived a couple of streets down from me, and has just had his 250th anniversary, of his creation, of the modern circus.

The fact that he has had no fanfare or real recognition prior to this year by Newcastle under Lyme council, shows more about the shift towards art and culture being put forefront, amidst the usual “pfft. It’s all a waist of money” brigade, than to anything else.

The story was told by  The New Vic Theatre done in a most fantastical way.

Theatre, Art, Circus acts, both real and reinvented to suit the stage, Comedy and some Panto-esq performances, off stage as well as on, seemed to flow seamlessly one scene to another. I sat in the upper floor seats, which I prefer to be honest, and was torn as to watching the action on the stage or the tremendous amount of work that is done , unnoticed by nearly all, in the framework above it or in the mission control booth off to one side, I presume all the effects are controlled from there.

The pace was fast, only to slow down as much for the actors to catch breath one would think, as to tell the story, even this was done cleverly. At this point one does not know whether one will be writing a blog on the plays seen, but if this is the case, I will leave the publishing of those blogs until after the performances have stopped – I could say too much and put out al lot of spoilers – unlikely, it would be for someone to read it before going, but it would be sods law if I did.

I left the theatre feeling a sense of wonderment, a wonderment I have not felt at a circus nor play for decades. It has been their most ambitious play so far, to be honest I cannot see how it could be beaten and still be a play. They defiantly cannot have more circus style acts than what they had, there is not the room. No, one thinks it could only be matched. This play has set the bar, and it has set it high!

The last play that left me with a sense of wonderment?

It was at The (Old) Victoria Theatre, back when I was in middle school. The play was…Treasure Island.

One can still see the actors swinging in the rigging ropes suspended from the ships mast even now.

I Don’t Want To Go Outside …#Poetry#Prose#Poem

I Don’t Want, To Go Outside


I don’t want to go,

exposed outside.

But behind this door,

remain and hide.

What is it, out there,

I fear, to face?

Nought but the monster

in my own head space.

The door is where

the line is drawn.

Even though my mind’s,

where the monster’s born.

The fears in the fog,

where the shadows will hide.

Upon gusts of the wind,

will the monster ride.

The rain its tears,

as it passes overhead.

In the suns long shadows,

it will hide instead.

The ice its skin,

as it slithers under foot.

Its cold, cold hand,

on exposed skin put.

Hear the dogs a barking,

to scare it away.

Movement in the trees

and the branches will sway.

The birds are disturbed,

take flight with a shrill.

as the frost of its breath,

in my lungs will chill.

No there’s nothing out there,

but what’s in my mind.

And my mind’s made up;

We’re not going out.


A § M 


Once Upon a Time…#Poetry#Prose#Poem

Once Upon a Time


There once was a time that you did tear,

When ride me you told was your last year.

On a pier I’m quite quaint,

But I’m loosing my paint,

n you’ve still not returned me my left ear.


A § M 


Reflections 2018 w27

Spot is not having a good week.

Her back legs/hips are stiff, and it could be for a number of reasons.

  1. On Monday she tried to wrap my legs and stick with her lead, this lead to a near trip, which resulted in her letting out a high pitched squeal, what it was I did to her I do not know, but it could be the cause.
  2. She has been suffering in this heat, even with all the tricks I’ve been using. One will be buying a cooling mat next week to add to the temperature defences.
  3. She is stubbornly not drinking enough in the day, instead leaving it till late afternoon/early evening to get her fill. Even when dehydrated. Water melon has been a godsend in combatting this, but it is not enough. She is not impressed with iced water either.
  4. She also started the week off being slightly blocked up, again connected with the dehydration, and licking my sisters dog – a walking furball dispenser.
  5. She misjudged a jump over a board in the garden – this resulted in a thud to the inner thighs of the back legs, she will allow massage nearly all day.

But it has changed how I am looking at days out with her, as at 9.5yrs she is not getting any younger and arthritis in Jack Russel dogs is common, but I do not want to leave her behind one what is ‘our’ days out, even in the future.

So one has to look at alternative ways to cope – just in case she cannot walk any further – half way round.

A couple of ideas look promising,  but the one I like the most, and the one that will allow greater distance walks (potentially) with her, is also the most expensive.

One now has to work out what to sell in order to buy it; but I may try one of the cheaper alternatives for the shorter walks.

Reflections 2018 w26

The problem with an allotment, especially where the soil is of the clay variety, is holidays.

And this holiday turned out to be perfectly timed with a heat wave.

One had the next plot over to water for me whilst we were away,  but my dads method of gardening is 1970’s style, a style I for one will not be doing when I get my own plot. The method is to dig in compost to “improve the soil”, this particular plot has had this done for 25 years+ by dad, and it is no better now than it was 15 years ago, and is a battle to stop it from baking hard and cracking. There are other ways, and it will be several on trial on mine to work out which works in the area one lives.

This baking of soil was what the neighbour had to deal with while I was away.

Because of the heat and dryness I was expecting a lot of items to have bolted, but only a few things have. The sweetcorn has decided, at 2ft tall to call it a day on ground clearance and grow tassels. The baby corn looks stronger thought much taller. My purple peas are ready to pick, they are that tasty even I can eat them raw, the plant however looks in poor health.

Strawberry plants are sending out runners, raspberry’s have ripened, gone past it, dried  up and yellowing. The rhubarb has stalled, so none to go down the food-bank in the morning. One did however pick my first yellow baby courgettes for lunch tomorrow.

Everything else seems ok, the greenhouses are in so much shade from the trees next door that they have been protected, luckily. But the weeds have gone berserk, there is more growth on them than anything else.

So this week will be spent trying to tidy up the plot whilst avoiding one individual and the sun/heat.

I will also be looking over a short story written for a Stoke on Trent last year, but was finished too late, adjusting it if need be, there is a 100 more words that could be used this time round, and sending it off.

If it reads the same as last year it’s a competition winner.