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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year to One And All

The Christmas Cactus Plants Seem Well, Don't They?

Lets hope this is symbolic of the year to come for us all.
I re-potted two cactus plants about 6 weeks ago and today they are flourishing, as you can see.

I hope to be able to report better things for the human species of our household soon.
My wife is soldiering on valiantly and we hope she can continue holding her own against that dreaded disease afflicting our family. Her hormone therapy seems to be keeping things at bay.

Maggie May is doing well with her chemo as you can see from her posts, and her lump is much smaller already. Her husband, Harry, is battling away as well.

As for me, I have a date to see the surgeon regarding my ever more painful left hip. I shall see him on 15 January and I am told surgery should be shortly after that. I am looking forward to getting it all out of the way and being a lot more mobile. Currently I can just about walk with the aid of a stick and it is very painful sleeping at night. I cannot bear any weight at all on the bad leg unfortunately which makes me rather useless in the household at present, since I like to help with the vacuum cleaning and similar chores.

Further, the pain killers I was taking were affecting me badly about 2 months ago, causing me to sleep badly and to act a little out of character on occasions - apparently worse around early October. I know I was acting rather strangely in the real world about that time and I regret that very much. However, I cannot put the clock back unfortunately.

My son was 18 yesterday and had a great surprise when no less than 22 of his friends arrived at a restaurant in Bristol when he was expecting a quiet meal with his girlfriend. She had arranged everything. Never knew the lad was so popular. He must take after his dad of course. LOL

Anyway, enough of us.

I want to wish you all, in Blog Land and in the real world if you are reading, a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.

May 2010 be very kind to you all and may you flourish just like my Christmas Cactus plants, blooming healthy!!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Sunday Roast

Scriptor Senex Frequently Rambles From His Chair

This week's interview is with John of Scriptor Senex
who writes the blog
Rambles from my Chair .

This is John's main blog although he runs several, as he explains.

Thank you for the interview, John

and a very warm welcome to you and your followers.

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I ask myself that at least twice a day! But then I question why I do most things. At the age of about fifteen I started keeping a foolscap notebook of odd thoughts, poems, bits of artwork and extracts from books I had read.

This is me writing in it at the age of 18! By the time I was 21 I was on my fifth or sixth volume and they were laboriously typed onto A4 sheets and inserted into ring binders. They had reached 100 volumes by the time the computer came along and I was up to about 120 when doing a blog just seemed a natural replacement. That is why my main blog is such a mixture of my own thoughts and those of others. It also gave me an opportunity to insert photos and, since photography has always been my main hobby, it was a natural blend of the two.

I also have a passion for passing on things that I learn or find. Once one’s children grow up the desire to pass on all these little gems has to be satisfied some other way. Blogging is an ideal one.

I am one of those folk who likes things to be organised so it seemed natural after a while to start a second blog, A Book Every Six Days , then a third about words and phrases entitled, Words, Words, Words (and Phrases) and, like Topsy, the whole thing just grew and grew so that now I have a silly number of blogs.

My favourite secondary blog is Project 355 because it makes me work hard at trying to capture at least one decent photo every day. But Rambles from my Chair remains my main blog and the one I try to ensure has a posting every day.

What's the story behind your blog name?

Fifteen years ago I retired on ill health and my ability to roam has gradually diminished as my condition has worsened. Add to that the fact that about five years ago I had to stop driving as it was no longer safe for me to be on the roads – a combination of double vision and inability to feel my feet on the pedals. So I decided my rambling had to be largely done whilst sat in my chair. Rambles from my Chair therefore seemed a fairly logical name.

As to why I chose the blogging name Scriptor Senex, I was looking for something a bit different and I have always loved the Latin language so Old Writer in Latin seemed as though it would probably be unique.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I’m a great believer that the Internet has altered the whole idea of what forms a community. No longer is one’s local community defined by using the same shops or living in the same road. The Internet has given us all a whole new opportunity to interact with others outside our normal sphere and, in some cases, outside of our normal comfort zone. And it gives people a chance to be more honest about their situation than they might feel comfortable being with family or friends they meet physically on a regular basis.

But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of blogging is the fact that those who read and comment on one’s blog are almost without exception non-judgemental and supportive. Views may differ but rarely, if ever, are they expressed in a hostile or upsetting manner. I don’t think it is a case of folk just obeying the ‘rules’ of blogging I think it is a fact that the type of people who blog and who read blogs are genuinely good and caring people. I know that probably sounds soppy and naive but I can assure I am neither of those things – I’m really quite cynical and I’ve been around a long (long, long) time. I really am impressed with how nice a world we live in and it leaves me wondering how come we end up with wars when folk are so understanding of each other’s situation and seem to revel in the differences and at the same time share so many similarities.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Do your own thing. Write what you want to write and be yourself. And don’t feel guilty if you can’t blog on a regular basis or if you seem to be writing about mundane things. The blog is yours and is there primarily for your enjoyment. Don’t let it become a chore or a cross to bear. It is amazing how interesting even the most mundane things can be if you live ten thousand miles away and it also helps us to realise that wherever you are in the world someone has to do the daily chores and wash the clothes.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Gosh – that is a hard question. I think it would have to be one that was posted posthumously by a young blogger who knew he was dying of cancer and had left a post to be published after he had died. I cannot now recall what it said but the idea of a young person having the courage to write about their cancer in the way that he had done and then to leave a message for his followers was quite overwhelming.

That apart I find that a large number of posts act as triggers to one’s own thoughts and a blog post that may be fairly innocuous to most people may have special significance to you as an individual.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

According to the records I have written 1633 posts on my Rambles from my Chair blog and sadly I cannot think that a single one of them is of special significance! Nevertheless, I hope that some of my readers may have found in there something that helped them through a difficult time – even if it was only by having a momentary laugh on a Monday morning or being given food for thought by seeing our soldiers parade for their fallen comrades on their return from Afghanistan in my post The Troops return from Afghanistan. Whether one supports British troops being out there or not is a political thing but supporting the boys themselves - who have no say in the matter - is quite another.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

That’s another hard one. There are so many good blogs out there. I am going to resist the temptation to include one of my family despite the fact that they have a large number of blogs between them.

I think I shall pick two of those bloggers whose posts I wouldn’t miss if at all possible during my tours of fellow 'bloglings' each few days. The first is Simply Heathers Blog. She happens to be one of the first bloggers I came into contact with when I began blogging. In a way Heather is the ‘typical’ blogger. In other words she is an ‘ordinary’ person who lives in Vermont and drives a school bus. But, by communicating about her love for her family, photography, and the world in general, Heather is anything but ‘ordinary’. Her faith is strong but she manages to include it without being in any way offensive to those whose faith is either different or non-existent.

My second suggestion is Jen, formerly of Michigan but newly of Texas. Her photos really excel and I love the way she shows off her part of the world and her immediate environment through her blog. She did change her blog site to a private blog but fortunately she can still be found at her photography blog - Jennifer Photography ..

Jen contacted Eddie after this roast was published to say she has relaunched her other blog, Exquisite Juncture .

Eddie - Ok John I have contacted Jen already and she will be on the show soon. I will try Heather shortly.


That concludes the traditional roast questions but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

My camera
My computer
My wife
(but not necessarily in that order, of course)

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

Movie – what’s a movie. I think the last film I saw was Bambi! So it would have to be a cartoon – how about Toy Story ? - with me as the cowboy (whose name I can’t recall and that’s appropriate since I’m reaching the age where I can’t remember my own name). My brother, who writes the blog A Hebridean In New Zealand, could be Buzz Lightyear and all my blogging friends could be the rest Andy’s toys. (Andy would be Google, of course.)

Eddie - You mean Woody, the sheriff - you would be great as him! Oh and don't forget Fat, Frumpy and Fifty as Bo-Peep with her wild waving arms. Oh and can I play Mr Potato Head? - and how about Jim Suldog as Sid Phillips, that nasty boy next door, who tortures the toys! All together, "Boooooo!"

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Chocolate mint chip – Audrey Hepburn!

Eddie - What a great choice of er both! Breakfast at Tiffany's eh . . . . slap! Oh dear Mrs Bluelights has just intervened and has made her presence felt - ouch!

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

I would take my camera along a country lane in the sunshine and photograph a butterfly I had never seen before.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

Can I cheat and offer two -Charles Dickens or Anthony Trollope? They both had such wonderful ability to notice and then write about the most minute details of life.

Eddie - OK two it is!

And finally if you answer all these questions I invite you to ask me one question - it's the least I can do. OK fire away! I wonder what it will be?

If you couldn’t live where you live now where in the world would you choose?

Eddie - What a great question and sorry folks it deserves a full answer! Make yourselves a cup of tea! LOL. Naturally I am heartbroken because I cannot remain in the UK! There are a number of compelling reasons for me to stay!! The worst flooding for 100 years; the worst chaos on roads caused by snow and ice for 20 years, leading to 1300 car breakdowns per day; arguably the worst economic recession since 1929; the worst banking crisis since 1929; greedy bankers paying themselves huge bonuses for almost wrecking the country whilst not lending any money without charging prohibitive interest rates; Gordon Brown and his cronies causing the worst National Debt problem in history, plunging every citizen £20,000 into debt!!! The worse unemployment prospects since records began; penalising the workers whilst rewarding the skivers!! Oh dear, I cannot stay so I had better go to a place where no-one wants to go, where they recognise right and wrong, fairness, equal opportunity. Yes, perhaps I shall try for a nice life in a warmer country where people do not have to queue in traffic jams for hours on end getting to work and then returning home all grumpy and miserable; where there are decent laws and enforced law and order, no muggings nor rampant political correctness. Regrettably I shall just have to pack my bags and move to the Seychelles, the Maldives or the Bahamas. Oh yes I did enjoy answering this one!! Aren't I cynical? Not really!

Thank you for appearing on the show, John.


Today's Sunday Roast with Scriptor Senex is the 96th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ___________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE


Next week's Roast is 'Oh My Goddess'

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Christmas Greetings, Roasts and Book Winner

Four things to discuss on this post:

First: I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I have learnt a lesson this year - the most important facet in our lives is our health so above everything I wish you all good health. Second is happiness and may you have that as well.

If good wealth and fortune come your way, well that is a bonus.

Second: I am pleased to announce the winner of Breeze's book of poems, officially entitled:

Wind Rhymes: Poetry from The Breeze
Carolyn R. Parsons

The winner is . . . . . . Janine of Sniffles and Smiles.

Many congratulations, Janine. Carolyn will be contacting you soon.

Third: It is very quiet in BlogLand around Christmas so if anyone has not seen Meredith's Roast they missed a real treat. To see it please press HERE.

For the same reason not many saw my sister, Maggie May's roast, posted last Christmas. To see this one please press HERE . I have arranged with David that it is still possible to add comments to all his roasts.

Fourth: Maggie has had her first Chemo treatment yesterday (Tuesday) and she has posted about it HERE . God Bless you Maggie and thank you all for your good wishes for her.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Sunday Roast

Meredith's Teagarden Party and The Things She Carried

I am highly honoured to invite to The Sunday Roast
a very popular and talented writer whom I am priviledged
to know as a good blogging friend.
Bloggers around the world love her and follow her work ardently.

This week's interview is with Meredith Teagarden
who writes the blog
The Things We Carried.

Thank you Meredith for appearing on the show.

A very warm welcome to you and to all your followers.

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I blog because I love to write and blogging allows me to be part of the global community. I enjoy traveling and hope to one day meet many of the folks I blog with.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I hoped to connect to men and women who were writers, artists, and photographers. I needed a name to reach a broad readership. The title The Things We Carried came to mind as I was thinking about life and all the joy and sorrow each person carries through life.

Much to my embarrassment I found out later there is a very famous book with a similar name to my blog. I seriously considered changing the name again, but decided to keep The Things We Carried because it is what my blog is about. Had I known about the book when I came up with my blog name I would have chosen something different!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Hands down the sense of community around the world, the amazing people I have "met" here, and the discipline of writing that blogging makes me keep.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Visit other blogs. Return visits to those who visit you! This becomes much more difficult to do when you have more comments, but make an effort to do it. Leave encouraging comments. This goes a long way for people. We all appreciate kindness! Never put words on your blog, or anyone else's, that you might later mind the whole world reading! Leaving comments at other blogs also allows other people commenting to find their way to your blog. many people have found my blog through my comments at another blog. Be yourself at your blog.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I have read more posts than I could ever count. I can't name the most significant post, but I am always sure to be inspired at Brian Miller's WaystationOne, made to laugh at Skunkfeathers or Suldog's, tempted to grab my camera and a plane (okay, he just makes me want to travel, though he is New York based) at Gary Heller's, craving even half of the talent with words at Half Moons and Maiden Names, or From the Desk of Bee Drunken .

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?


If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

From the Desk of Bee Drunken because she is quietly brilliant, and Gary Heller because he is an artistic genius. I want to know more about both of these under noted bloggers and I have no doubt others will appreciate discovering them!

(Thanks, Meredith, I will be contacting them shortly to invite them onto the show)

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down).

Loved Ones

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast from the blogging community in the leading roles?

Eddie, you simply must be there, Hilary from The Smitten Image, Frank from Baron It All, Debbie from Suburb Sanity, Rikki J from One Big Love, Shadow from 1 Door Away from Heaven, and of course The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, oh, and Erin from Woman in a Window! They all interest me with their stories, their talent, and I would love to have dinner with them. A reality show is what might work!

Gosh Meredith! I am extremely honoured to be included amongst these greats and it would indeed be marvellous to have dinner with you.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

If I were an ice cream cone, I would have to be chocolate of some sort. . . . . Eddie, you know I can't answer a question like this! But I am not surprised to see you have cleverly, casually slipped this in!

(LOL What a naughty boy I am! - I have rapped my own knuckles and fired the typist!!)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

I would wake up near the ocean (somewhere in the Mediterranean), the sky would be a cloudless blue, some of those I love would be there and we would laugh for hours as people who who love one another, and know each other well, sometimes do!

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

Oh dear, often writers have tragic lives! I think I would have to be me :) ! I have never been one to want someone else's life, or talent, as I believe most authors have things, hard things, that make them capable of truly good writing. They reach deep into another person's soul (their reader's) because they have been to the darkest places of their own.

And finally, since you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do, so fire away!

Eddie, what has come as the biggest surprise to you about blogging?

Great question Meredith, and a welcome one too. I mention this in my roast in more detail but my biggest surprise since I started blogging is meeting so many wonderful people who have all these great qualities, and many more besides:

Talent, openness, warmth, helpfulness, kindness, good senses of humour (thank God) and lots of other amazing attributes. I have made some very close personal friends, some better than in real life, and I would never have thought this possible before I started blogging.

Thank you for roasting me Eddie!

I am honored and delighted to be invited to your place.
It is a lovely thing to be noted by my fellow bloggers and I mean it sincerely!

We all look forward to reading a lot more or your inspired work in the future - I for one am delighted you are keeping this blog. Thank you again, Meredith


Today's Sunday Roast with Meredith is the 95th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world _______________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press

Next week's interview is with Scriptor Senex

Monday, 14 December 2009

Breeze's Poetry Book Prize Draw



Two Chances To Win A Copy Of

Breeze's New Book of Poetry

Wind Rhymes: Poetry from The Breeze


Carolyn R. Parsons

If you have not yet seen Breeze's Sunday Roast, as well as providing an interesting and humorous read, it might provide an opportunity to win her book, recently published!

Carolyn has kindly offered to make available a copy of her book as a prize for those who read her roast

All you have to do is register your blogname in the comments section.

Before you start thinking Eddie has gone completely bananas

please read on!

There are two chances to win the book.

1. Read the Roast and add your blog name. To do so Press HERE

2. To double your chances of winning add your blog name on Breeze's own Roast Post on her blog by pressing HERE

If you have commented already on either post then you are entered for the competition already.

and don't forget please tell your mates to have a go as well!

I'll leave this post on line until the end of the week and then Carolyn will enter all your names from both posts and she will make the official draw for the winner to coincide with The National Lottery.

Good Luck to you all - and NO CHEATING!

The Winner will be Announced by Carolyn on Saturday 20th December


Now, it's cold outside and I agree with a lot of the animals - I think I will hibernate for a while and have a little rest.

I'll be back on Saturday with a great new Sunday Roast.

Now have I forgotten anything, Carolyn?

Speak now or forever hold your peace!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Sunday Roast

You'll be thoroughly Dazed When this lady Breezes in

(Hmm! One of The Kids from Twilight, eh! and with Edward too!)

This week's interview is with Carolyn Parsons (aka Breeze)
who writes the blog Breeze Daze.

Carolyn recently published her first poetry book,
Wind Rhymes; Poetry from the Breeze.

This is her first publication though she is working
on a novel that will be published in 2010.

Thank Carolyn for appearing on the show and
I extend a warm welcome to you and to your followers.

Thank you Eddie for giving me the opportunity to be roasted by you!
I'm flattered you asked me and honoured to say yes! I wonder if
I'm the first veggie you've roasted?

(Yes, the first veggie I have roasted, but not sure about David)

Eddie, I'm having so much fun with this roast . . . .
I'm getting a little crispy but that happens to roasted peppers . . LOL


Now folks I am adding a new feature to the Sunday Roast - one I hope you'll like.
I'm conducting an extended interview with some brand new questions
tacked onto the end of the existing questions.

Roast victims can select all, some or even none of these extra questions but if they answer them all they get to ask me one just question on anything they like, to put me on the spot.
What am I letting myself in for I wonder?

Carolyn is particularly brave since she has elected to answer ALL my questions so I know I am in for a rough time, and boy what a question she asks me later on!!!

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I started blogging when I decided to try to rejuvenate, restart a writing career that stalled over 20 years ago when I decided to go into the business world instead of following the dream of my heart to become a writer. I set up my first blog to practice my writing, which was entirely rusty and as a place of positivity and hope and inspiration for others who feel the undeniable need to follow their dreams. I have since started 3 other blogs that have varying purposes. Weighless and Weightless, Other Than Mother and The Stratford Poetry Society are all different manifestations of my attempts to follow the callings and purposes of my heart. My main focus though is BreezeDaze. Lately I've been posting mostly poetry and excerpts from my novel which is in second draft right now and will hopefully be published in 2010. I have a poetry book called Wind Rhymes due to be published very shortly and all of the poetry is from the BreezeDaze blog! Since putting it on paper I have nearly enough new poetry for a second poetry book!

What's the story behind your blog name?

The name was kind of a lucky accident. One of those strange coincidences that sort of show up right when you need it to. My 15 year old daughter has always called me Ocean Breeze and I've called her sunshine. My then 5 year old daughter, Sophia decided we should all have "Nature names" So Alyssa became Storm, Christina remained Sunshine, Sophia is Lady Bug and Martina is Rose Petal. She decided Daddy should be Ocean and me just plain Breeze. When I was setting up the blog I was looking for a name for it that sort of gave an impression of nature and inspiration and the security words for the blog that came up were "Breeze Daze" and I popped it in impulsively without a second thought. I see it as a gift, it works perfectly and I was pleasantly surprised when people started addressing me as "Breeze" on the blog! How ideal!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

The friendships. It's amazing the wonderful people who fall into your little space on the blog. I read blogs daily and feel sort of a strange intimacy with the people that you don't get even in real life. I've got a strange mix of people that I read and I've learned so much about other people's challenges and triumphs! Also it's very giving. When I have a triumph everybody celebrates as though it were their own. It has spilled over into my own life because it's very important to walk the walk. I volunteered as a television news reporter for our local Cable news Stratford First Local (I've been recognised a few times even!), I have a poetry book due out soon, I've got a poem being published in a Michael Jackson Memorial Anthology that I submitted due to a blogger's suggestion, I've got other poetry coming out, two in anthologies and a third in a Canadian Poetry Journal! Exciting things have happened and it's all been directly related to blogging and my desire to make what I write true. How can I tell others to get out there and follow their dreams, make things happen if I'm not out there doing the same! My life has altered completely since the time I started this blog at the end of January, 2009! Now that I've just put it in writing I see the miracle in it all! I highly recommend everybody start blogging!

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

To write about what you love. To put your dreams and your reality into it. To use it and allow it to serve you. Don't be concerned about the writing and the readers, they'll love you and come back if you are honest and real. And let it evolve. Let it become what it was meant to be. Don't compare it to others, your blog can only be your blog, not anyone else's. Many people told me I needed to take photos, that a blog wouldn't work without photos but I'm not a photographer, I'm a writer. I have 4 children and don't get outside much to leisurely photograph things I write about. So I skipped it. I snaffoo some off the internet occasionally but usually my poems are my pictures with words. I am a descriptive writer and it works for me. Be yourself and it'll work!

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

That is a difficult one but my friend Debbie writes the most heartfelt, significant posts you can imagine. She wrote this one recently that was so honest and true and left me with such admiration for the way she's raising her family, on her own, managing to practice forgiveness for those who have hurt her in life and putting her children's happiness above her own at every turn. Any post like that leaves me in awe and wonder at the beauty of humanity! It reaffirms my own personal opinion that humanity is full of good though the news media would have us believe otherwise.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I think I got the most feedback from this post that I wrote early on. I had people say that it inspired them to change the way they approached their life and change their whole attitudes. It also helped me reaffirm my own beliefs and attitudes about life. That life isn't about what happens but what you do with what happens. Stuff happens, bad and good. If you deal well and optimistically with the bad and humbly and gratefully with the good then you've got it pretty much figured out.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Can I pick three? I would pick Debbie at Single Mom in a Complicated World because she's amazing and strong and wise, Lisa at Transcripts of a Significant Life for pretty much the same reason and Chuck at Half Moons and Maiden Names because everybody should read this blog from a very talented writer. He posts beautiful excerpts from his newest book on there, brilliant and poetic.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview, Carolyn, but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are turning slowly on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down while I roast you!)

1. My hubby, of course I mean in the purest, most spiritual and emotional sense, so haul your minds out of the gutter folks (and btw he always lets me have ice cubes if I want! - you meanie, Eddie!)

2. Writing . . . . it's my life and how I spend every free moment, and

3. Reading

What, only three? Where do I list red wine, chocolate, and cat herding?

Don't be greedy - I said three and you have given me six!

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I'd call it "Blog with the Wind" and it would star the dashing and ever so exciting George Clooney as Eddie Bluelights with Sandra Bullock as Sassy Scribbles, the demure but feisty heroine. I'd probably get Cathy Bates to play me, the quirky but lovable mother figure.

OK mummy! (LOL) I know this movie! It was directed is Cecil B de Thrill. Eddie and Sassy have just had a huge row because, as well as burying two husbands, Sassy spends most of the movie chasing that drip As
hley Wilkes, thus cruelly rejecting all Eddie's advances. Eddie is about to storm out of her life for ever when she goes Scarlet and realises it is Eddie she loves after all. She pleads with him, begging him to stay, crying, "Fiddle-dee-dee, Eddie, how can I live without you, Eddie?" As he walks out of their large mansion front door he snarls at her saying, "Frankly dear, I don't give a damn!" She stamps her feet in a tantrum and decides to go back to Blogger just as the music cuts in with "Blogger's Theme". She is determined to get Eddie back, and makes her epic soliloquy performance, "Blogger, blogger, yes, Fiddle-dee-dee, I must go back to blogger - I always get my strength from blogger - yes I will go now and I will make sure I will never ever be hungry again! . . . . because after all, . . . . . . tomorrow is another day!"

Oh shut up, Eddie . . . . . you do go on . . . . . let me continue!
There is a disaster. Blogger goes down and Sassy and Eddie search facebook frantically, trying to find each other - searching over and over. They look everywhere with the help of me and the other bloggers, who love a good romance. Of course there is a happy ending when blogger comes back up, Eddie clicks the next blog and he knows everything is now alright again. Romantic music commences as he sees a post with a hand written title, neatly scribbled, 'Oh! Fiddle-dee-dee, Eddie!', and he knows he has found his true love again because he sees a photo and . . . . . . . . . . . it's Sassy!

Now that sounds a great ending to a romance story and I like your choice of heroine - did Sassy put you up to this? - Next question!

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

I'd be caramel and chocolate with pralines . . . . and some nuts . . . who would lick me? That guy who plays the teacher on Glee! Or either of the hotties of the Twilight movies . . . I'm down with the vampires and the wolves though I think I have to wait until the wolf boy turns 18 before I give him any, um, icecream!

I can almost hear him howling! Or is that Laughing wolf waiting to be roasted? Yes, folks, his turn will come soon when he gets round to writing it - hurry up, man!! - Next question

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

My perfect day would be me with my healthy and happy family, outside, in the sunshine with me writing on a brand new laptop, hubby playing with the kids as I read blogs as I finish my first novel!

Ah! That's nice. I hope your perfect day comes soon.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I'd be Stephen King . . . because he's brilliant and I need cash! I would likely be afraid to sleep at night though, I'd scare the hell out of myself!

Then write it at night, woman, and get on with it! - and don't forget to cut me in on the royalties!

And finally I invite you to ask me one question - it's the least I can do after all this. OK fire away! I wonder what it will be - hope it's an easy one!

My question for you, Eddie, is: boxers, briefs or commando?

What kind of 'pants' question is that? The Y-ffrontery of it indeed! Oh! I suppose you want me to give you a short answer to this, don't you? You should have de-briefed me first about this before putting me on the spot and catching me with my trousers down!

OK - my answer is I wear what all ex ambulancemen wear! Oh dear we have run out of time! Hear come the commercials! Saved by the bell!

Thank you Carolyn - this has been great fun
and thanks for being such a good sport.

I was amazed how quickly Carolyn sent me her original roast draft.
I invited her by email on a Friday evening and by Saturday morning
I received the whole 'shebang' in my inbox - incredible service Carolyn,
no wonder you almost won my Grand National Horse Race LOL.

Today's Sunday Roast with Carolyn Parsons is the 94th in a weekly

series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ___________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE ___________________________________________________

Monday, 7 December 2009

How Does Santa Do It?

Santa's Incredible Annual Logistics With Limits Set By
Einstein's Special Theory Of Relativity (1906)

(Oh Bother! That's another 3 points on my licence)

Now pay attention to your new Science Professor.

(As my old Maths Teacher used to say, "Watch the board while I go through it!)

I am attempting to show just how hard Santa Claus (or as we say in UK, Father Christmas) has to work every Christmas Eve in order to deliver all those presents to all those dear little children all over the world. To do this I need to explain Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, no less!
I am not alone wondering how Santa does it because each and every year countless million people also marvel at just how Santa manages, without fail, to avoid disappointing even one little child!

Recently there has been a spate of scientific research on this subject, published in various ‘scientific’ journals. Their findings remain inconclusive.

With 300,000 animal species still to be classified some outlandish scientists have not entirely ruled out the possibility of flying reindeer.

However, their calculations about Santa’s big night were not so encouraging.
Excluding those countries that don’t go in for Christmas, they calculated that Santa has to deliver presents to 378 million children in 91.8 million homes. Travelling east to west, he would have only 31 hours to do his work.

Consequently, there would be no time allowance for certain activities frequently attributed to Santa, including getting stuck up chimneys, kissing mummies under the mistletoe, waving to the population while saying, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas”, to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

It is thought also that neither can Santa's reindeer find time to stop for carrots every five minutes.

For his annual journey Santa would have a mere 1/1000 of a second to arrive at and stop at each home, shin down the chimney, fill the stockings, eat a mince pie, drink a glass of sherry, shimmy back up the chimney and get the sleigh moving to the next home. He’d have to cover 75.5 million miles at an average speed of 650 miles a second – 3,000 times the speed of sound at almost the speed of light, which is 670 miles a second in case you did not know.

Taking the average present to be a 1 kilo Lego set, the sleigh’s payload would be 350,000 tons, four times the weight of the QE2. Travelling at 650 miles per second the air resistance would cause the lead reindeers to absorb 14.3 quintillion Joules of energy. They’d instantly burst into flames and cause horrendous sonic booms, which would wake up all the kids, screaming, "Mummy! Mummy!"

Santa, not the fittest of individuals, would be subjected to 17,500 times the force of gravity, pinning him to the seat with a force of 4.3 million pounds. Of course each time he stopped to deliver a present he would be subject to a reverse thrust of equal magnitude due to his instant decelerations. His entire journey of 75.5 million miles would be subject to these constant and oscillating forces of acceleration and deceleration, making him feel decidedly dizzy and causing him to 'throw up' all his mince pies which people keep insisting he stuffs his face with.
The sleigh designers did appreciate he would have to hold onto the reins very tightly and have to have powerful seat belts to avoid being catapulted out of his sleigh with these constant ferocious oscillations. There is great concern about whether Santa will be able to keep his head on his neck let alone survive a constant attack of whiplash for 31 hours.

When they were confronted with these gargantuan problems the world’s leading scientists instantly gave up searching for answers to cold fusion and their car keys and instead turned their minds to the Santa problem. Dr Arnold Pompos of high energy physics research facility Fermilab found an answer that seemed to solve the question of Rudolph’s red nose. Astronomers measure speed with the Doppler Shift. Colours change the faster a body moves as the light waves catch each other up. Rudolph’s red nose would change colour as he accelerated, first turning yellow, then green, then blue, then violet before shifting into infra red and ultra violet rendering him invisible. Additional acceleration to his cruising speed of 650 miles a second would cause Rudolph’s nose to emit powerful and harmful x-rays and gamma-rays. Dr Pompos estimated that Santa would be travelling at 99.99999 per cent of the speed of light, stopping and starting constantly.

There is considerable debate within scientific circles concerning Santa’s ability to consistently challenge the laws of physics during his Christmas assignment. Normally Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity (1906) states that when anything with mass, including Santa, his sleigh, his reindeers and all the presents, approaches the speed of light, it’s mass increases horrendously and the amount of energy required to propel the payload ever faster increases enormously – ultimately requiring all the energy in the universe to actually attain the speed of light itself. Scientists are totally baffled because Rudolph and his friends seem quite capable of the task, fuelled only by the odd carrot now and then.

One scientist sighed and concluded that Einstein’s theory seems totally wrong – as were his other observations, backed by his equations, that the length of the sleigh would decrease to zero at the speed of light itself and simultaneously time would decrease to zero. And, of course if it was possible to travel faster than light time would start to reverse. Under these extreme circumstances of such high speed scientists expect a phenomenon known as Time Dilation to kick in. Known science insists that this should be a problem to Santa, yet apparently this is not so because Santa is quite able to deliver his payload every year without fail. Most scientists would expect that because of Time Dilation, Santa would not age at all during his miraculous journey but the children would age considerably faster by comparison and be totally fed up with waiting for him to come year after year, and seemingly never arriving, causing them to bawl to their mummies that Santa had not come yet again! "Where are our presents?"

Scientific theory predicts that when Santa actually does deliver his presents the children may not be children anymore but old men and old women. One boffin suggested that not one of them would remember who Santa was and not even remember ever hearing the words, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Others think that because of Time Dilation Santa would get caught in a time tunnel and deliver many year’s presents in one go and the children would have all their Christmases at once!

Some sceptics do not agree and have come to the conclusion that no-one has ever seen the real Father Christmas because he travels too quickly so mums and dads have to deliver the presents themselves. Others rubbish this as totally ridiculous. "Impossible!" they say.

Dr Roger Highfield, science editor of the Daily Telegraph, thinks that Santa does deliver on time year after year and uses special heat shields to protect himself as well as powerful warp drives, similar to those used by Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. “Those recent scientific papers are outrageous!” he said, “We know Santa delivers those presents on Christmas Eve as reliably as we know Rudolph’ nose is red.”

(and then, presumably, yellow, green, blue, violet and invisible)

“This is all total rubbish!” was the opinion of another eminent professor, who is considering exactly what Einstein means by his theory that powers the universe, E = Mc (squared). He is of the opinion that Santa has total control over how to harness as much energy as he wants from the formula, energy equals mass times the speed of light squared.
He pondered, "But just how they all are able to withstand such sustained violent, gigantic and oscillating gravitational forces, who knows? And how does Santa manage to consume 378 million mince pies and glasses of sherry in just 31 hours without having the time even to visit the bathroom?”

The mind boggles!
Can anyone please come up with some sensible solutions to these problems?

Thank you for all your sensible suggestions attempting to unravel this mystery.
In truth it seems we must bow to magic where science has no influence.
Yet I do have a little addition to my post, following an email received from Santa's organisation deep in the heart of Lapland or is it the North Pole? Does anyone know where he really lives?
Anyway, wherever he lives, he says all this is a load of balderdash! In truth he travels at the speed of light, no faster and no slower! Without giving too much away he said when travelling at the speed of light time stops still (this agrees with Einstein!). This means he has loads of time to do all the fetching and carrying, climbing down chimneys whilst consuming mince pies and sherry, kissing mummies and everything else Santa does. To him time runs as normal because he is travelling on a beam of light. He continued his explanation, saying if he travelled faster than light time would start to go backwards (also true) in which case he would not know whether he was coming or going. The implications of all this would be instead people thinking he was saying, "Ho! Ho! Ho! he would actually be saying, "Ho" Ho! Ho! but people would in hear him saying, "Oh! Oh! Oh!" and concluding he was feeling a bit poorly. He proved this to me by saying the word, "Cigarettes" and I heard it backwards as "Asparagus". This is the only word which makes sense backwards and he proved it in reverse by saying, "Asparagus" and I heard, "Cigarettes".
I hope this makes it all a little clearer.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The Sunday Roast

Grumpy by Name but not by Nature

This week's interview is with Ken
who writes the blog Grumpy Old Ken .

Thank you Ken and a warm welcome to you and your followers.
(You were one of the first people I 'met' in blogland
and I just love your monthly 'alternative news' feature)

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

No single reason. I always wanted to be a journalist when I left school so I suppose blogging is the nearest I will ever go to that youthful ambition. Plus it’s a creative pastime that tests the old grey cells, always a good thing, especially for geriatrics! There is no pressure unless self inflicted. But the skies the limit, so to speak. How far you go is up to you. You can ‘dabble’, dawdle along at your own pace, or you can learn the technical intricacies and become an expert in the field. But no one will mind either way, it’s up to you. But one thing is certain. You will make new friends and have your horizons widened in a way you never thought possible. Other people’s blogs are often a joy to behold. Yours also will be one day if you persevere!

What’s the Story behind Your Blog Name?

An obvious play on the TV programme entitled ‘Grumpy Old Men’. And it works, everyone seems to remember the moniker Grumpy Old Ken. It is also an excuse to be grumpy on occasion, though I would argue I’m normally ‘of a sunny disposition’. Others close to me might disagree!

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

There are so many reasons. The challenge of something new; something 21st century; the friendships made; the knowledge learnt. All excellent reasons to get out of bed in the morning! A habit never to be underrated as the years roll by!

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Blogging is an exciting world, full of surprises. It can be very frustrating at times but capable of giving much pleasure. However difficult you find it at times, persevere, enjoy it, be confident that you will improve and you most surely will. Read other people’s blogs and learn from them. Comment regularly on other blogs but always positively.
Resist the temptation to show others how clever you are. (Unless giving help or advice.) Nobody likes a ‘clever dick.’ And never write comments ‘under the influence’. It might seem a good idea at the time but believe me, comments are there ’for life’ so to speak. Who was it who said, ‘I will speak ill of no man and all the good I know of everyone’. Sound advice!
Be sincere and be truthful in both your comments and your blog content.
Probably the most difficult decision for newcomers to blogging is trying to judge how much to blog, what on and how often. A common error initially is to blog on every conceivable subject during every waking hour. Basically we write best on what we know best. Obvious when you think about it. (That is not to say we cannot write about the big wide world but do so with care.) We all find our level and what suits us. I personally blog roughly every five days. I love blogging but it is only part of my life. Don’t let blogging take over, so to speak. The world is full of bloggers, now ex-bloggers who ran out of ‘puff.’ You must enjoy your blogging. It has to be a pleasure; NOT a chore. In time you will learn what suits YOU, both content wise and frequency of blogging. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ is a clichĂ© but also a truism. Don’t worry too much as to your own personal blogging style. It will come, believe me. You do not need to imitate any of the brilliant bloggers there are out there and there are many. (That is not to say we cannot learn from others.) Be confident in your ability without being arrogant. Be proud of your efforts but never, ever get carried away by your own importance. Don’t be jealous or envious of others. Take pleasure from other people’s blogs. You will find that the majority of bloggers appreciate the efforts of others, particularly probationers who find the whole thing far from easy. Incidentally, if, like me you find the technical side particularly difficult, ASK. (What is obvious to the experienced blogger is not necessarily so to the rather green newcomer.) The majority out there love to share their expertise. For even the greatest were once beginners.
I have been blogging around eighteen months so I am a mere novice, something I never forget. (I have all the books, including Blogging for Dummies and I can understand virtually nothing of what they are trying to teach me!) And if, after a while you become, in your eyes at least the best blogger in the universe, remember the days when you were a keen but ignorant apprentice on the blogging scene. For when YOU are giving advice to newcomers, young and old and getting pleasure from sharing your newfound expertise you will have truly arrived!

What is the most significant blog post you’ve ever read?

There are several bloggers whose sheer professionalism and expertise encouraged me to persevere. For instance,
A Woman of No Importance,
Fat, Frumpy and Fifty
and VioletSky ,to name but three.

But I have probably been most influenced by Akelamalu, author of the blog Everything and Nothing. This lady put together the story of her paternal grandmother, entitled Kit’s Story. I have been involved with an autobiographical work seemingly forever. In times of doubt Kit’s story has encouraged me to persevere, one day I promise it will be finished!
(How interesting that all four bloggers are ladies. The emancipation of the female sex has definitely arrived!)

What is the most significant blog post you have ever written?

None of my blog posts could be considered of world shattering importance.
I was pleased with a very early blog entitled 'An OAP let loose in the 21st century' (27th April 2008.) Remember, 'Pride comes before a fall.' It elicited no comments whatsoever!

'Health and Safety Rules OK'
(18th Dec 2008) amused me if no-one else.

Similarly, 'Silly Old Granddad’s Night in the local' (26th July 2009) stretched my brain, providing me with a chance to air the oldest jokes in the kingdom!

Three not very serious blog posts probably soon forgotten.

But two blog posts that might possibly stay in the memory longer, a more serious side to Grumpy Old Ken.

'A City Shamed' (4th Oct 2008) in my first choice. The story is of a young boy’s suicide, which incidentally again drew no comments, plus, my second choice, 'Ted Arthur Roberts' (16th April 2009). These represent opposite ends of the spectrum; life ends and life begins.

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick and why?

Any of the three blogs of the ladies referred to above would make excellent choices.

blog, Everything and Nothing, was the subject of the Sunday Roast number 10 dated April 6th 2008.)

Thanks, Eddie for the chance to ‘pontificate’, my apologies for stretching the rules. A geriatric privilege perhaps!

Note from Eddie: Some great advice here Ken and as you say, Akelamalu has been roasted. To see her roast press HERE - she is well worth another read.

Also, Saz of Fat, Frumpy and Fifty was roasted on 12 April 2009 and this too is well worth reading again - to see her roast press HERE


Today's Sunday Roast with Ken is the 93rd in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE


And finally, as from next week I am introducing five new questions to the column, requiring short answers. These will feature at the end of the formal section of the interview. These questions are light hearted and designed to introduce additional humour to the occasion.
I hope you like them.

And . . . . if all five questions are answered you get to ask me a question and put me on the spot.
Aren't I brave?

The first new style roast is ready and is a hoot, I promise!
And I have just recieved the additional answers for the week after that - very funny too!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

767 Weddings, 2 Irate Vicars And Almost A Funeral - END

(Continued from Episode 4)
James Pendletons of all shapes and sizes, fat ones, thin ones, small or large, handsome or ugly or just plain, all entered the church to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, played yet again by the talented organist. There were so many Pendletons he followed this masterpiece of music and recital by all his other party pieces -again to tremendous applause and he finished with a bow to the audience who brought the house down with their clapping and shouts of "Encore".

Both vicars, shaking their heads in protest, were rather peeved at this latest delay. However, there were sounds of approval and satisfaction between all the Elizabeths and James as each one inspected their range of suitors and with remarkable speed they selected a James or Elizabeth to their liking. Before long they had rearranged themselves, each James with an Elizabeth sitting on his lap since there were no more seats available. The fluttering of eyelashes sounded as though the whole congregation was situated inside the centre of a large bee colony.

1534 people all smiled profusely at their new partners, making eyes at each other. Yet there remained still two bridesmaids who burst into tears. The vicar ambled over to them to enquire how he could comfort them.

“We are both 25 and have no partner still – we too do not want to be left on the shelf”, explained one pretty young lady.

“I cannot imagine that you ever could be, either of you. What are your names?” enquired the vicar.

Together they replied, “Elizabeth Pendleton."

"What! - more Elizabeths and both Pendletons!" exclaimed the entire company.

"We are first cousins once removed from each other. We are related to James Pendleton from Liverpool as his second cousins once removed. Elizabeth is a very popular name, as is Pendleton, but the family tree researchers have not found us yet so alas we belong to nobody and cannot find our rightful place in the family tree which is becoming terribly complicated, demanding acres and acres of paper to get all the details down. We are not there - anywhere! It is most upsetting! Oh why can't they find us, and find a partner for us?”

“Well, I may be able to assist you my dear", said the vicar addressing the first young lady, who was the most attractive, of course. “I am unattached and available – will I do as suitor?”

“Oh yes your reverence! Anyone would do really! Em, sorry! But you will do nicely - yet, sigh, I had hoped for a James”.

“Well, actually I am a James, my full name is Reverend James Evans. I would be honoured if you agreed to be my wife, if I may be so bold and if you forgive the speed of my affection.”

“Oh, yes, I’m so happy”, said Elizabeth, "I have a James at last!"

“Then that is settled”, said the vicar, “We shall make the arrangements for our wedding. Perhaps Reverend Harding would kindly do the honour this day!”

“Excuse me!” said the organist, addressing the second ‘available’ Elizabeth Pendleton, “my name too is James Evans and I would be honoured if you would be my wife - you look decidedly musical if I may say so - I can tell by your hands - I would think they span an octave and three, at least! And your Adam's apple looks as though you have a wonderful singing voice.”

She replied 'A Capella' in a beautiful soprano voice which rattled the chandeliers, “I am very musical and you are so observant. I can sing well and I play well. Does that mean I can get to play on your organ?” She finished her sentence in a loud crescendo, which made everyone gasp.

“My word, what a voice! Certainly, come up and join me in a duet - I will share my keyboard with you and we can share our lives together! I cannot imagine how musical our children will be!"

“Then that is all settled, everyone is happy”, said Vicar Evans, “may I proceed now you have all settled down with your chosen ones? I am getting extremely nervous because I am due to officiate here for a funeral service, scheduled after this wedding, in 5 minutes and we've barely started with this wedding - all these extra bodies have multiplied the time factor by a thousand, and . . . . . . !”

Walter interrupted . . . . "Excuse me Vicar, a horse driven hearse has arrived outside with a coffin, some guests and funeral Paul Bearers. Also quite independently three others have arrived - a gentleman describing himself as the Bishop with two nuns attending."

"Oh! jeepers! Just what I wanted, I must say! How embarrassing! Show them in - I guess I'll have to modify the service yet again! What a mess I am in now!"

At that precise moment Marguerite's MP3 player turned itself on with the volume set very loudly. Everyone was spellbound because this miraculous little machine emitted some strange music - it was playing a long Cajun Waltz and although all the folk there did not know this modern music they all knew a waltz when they heard one. Soon their feet started tapping in beat to the music and beating time, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3 - especially the ladies.

With the music in full flow the Bishop and two nuns strode into the church. The Bishop looked rather amused and addressing the vicar said, "We've heard you are having one of your a 'doos' here, Rev Evans, and thought we'd pop over - your 'parties' are far more interesting and amusing to us than playing croquet, aren't they my sisters? Quite a 'hoot' usually! judging by all these ladies sitting on these gentle men's laps. Can anyone join in, or is this some kind of game you are introducing into the church?

"Tell me, what do you want me to say to the funeral entourage - they've been waiting for an hour and the deceased is getting decidedly impatient, although he's not doing much to complain at the moment! Better get it sorted soon before he wakes up and asks, why the delay!"

"Wheel them all in, please!", said the flustered vicar.

"Don't let me stop your enjoyment", said the Bishop, "please play that music again, we rather like it don't we sister Mary and sister Joan? Rather fitting for a hearse and a body entering the church to a waltz, methinks, if that won't wake him up then nothing will! Quite unusual, Vicar! but innovative, I would say. It might well catch on!"

The sisters nodded in approval.

The music started again and Marguerite made a beeline for Eddie, "Come on cher, at long last we can have a little cuddle to my music - dancez avec moi - we can do a little Cajun Waltz because you have been a very good boy lately - don't be shy you gorgeous British gentleman, I will not bite you and I've had my breakfast already, shrimps and crayfish, so you are quite safe!"

Eddie, not the best dancer in the world, nodded, saying, "Enchante!" and counted "1,2,3 and 1,2,3" to get the feel of the dance and then he took the plunge. How could he refuse? Both the lovely Marguerite and the music beckoned him and shortly both organists joined in as well, revelling in a new musical slant which bound them as something they enjoyed in common.

Marguerite remarked that the Cajun Two-Step may be a little difficult to learn at short notice so she had programmed in the Cajun Waltz instead. Eddie took her in his arms and they waltzed expertly down the aisle as if they were magically charmed by Marguerite's leopard skin shoes - once they started to dance it seemed they could not stop.

"Ooh you are so strong, Eddie, quelle muscle avec votre jambes. Now you have caught me, Mr Bluelights, what next are you going to do?"

"Oh! Err! Oh" Er, I'll think of something!"

"I thought you wanted to whisper sweet nothings in my ear as you commented so politely on my blog! What a lot of sweet compliments you make! What did you want to say to me, cher?"

"Er, nothing as yet! Er! I cannot multi-task right now I'm concentrating on the dance!"

"Oh! you are just like all Cajun men! They cannot do anything romantic without a drink of beer and a few shrimps!"

As they danced they were followed closely by the Bishop with the two nuns - everyone was spellbound as to how he managed to dance with two ladies at once yet he did so with great aplomb. Then one by one each Elizabeth grabbed her James and they followed. Janine managed to find a stray usher, as did both Cherry and Jackie, whilst Meredith, finding David, followed, but she was rather annoyed because instead of concentrating on his dance partner he seemed more interested in taking photos.

Round and round the church they went until the music stopped and miraculously the leopard skin dancing shoes stopped dancing and they stood there motionless with Eddie gazing into those big green eyes.

They all took their seats as the beaming Bishop resumed the conversation, taking command of the situation.

"Well, we did enjoy that didn't we sisters? Now Vicar Evans, what is the full scope of the problem? Perhaps I can assist to muster a solution to this chaos that lies before me!" said the Bishop, obviously loving every moment.

"It's a very long story - perhaps you'd better start reading from Episode 1"

Five minutes later the Bishop had a full grasp of the situation.

"The solution is very simple, we have 2 Vicars and a Bishop and between us we can undertake all the weddings here except one plus the funeral - we can do it in one sitting, a sort of combined wedding/funeral service.

"The wedding of James from Liverpool to Elizabeth Evans must take place in St Benedicts church, Liverpool under the remit of Rev Harding - that will be later. All the rest can be done here, including yours Vicar!

"Now bring in the coffin please - who is the deceased?"

"James Pendelton, your grace!"

"What! Another James Pendelton - a deceased one at that!", exclaimed the vicar, "Oh No! I cannot believe this! Am I mad or is this a total nightmare? I have total information overload! I cannot cope, please give me a glass of water." The exasperated vicar was almost spent with exhaustion.

Said the Bishop, "Come on old chap it's only a name, dear boy, very common round these parts. Let us proceed. This combined wedding and funeral ceremony must be a first in my considerable experience in ecclesiastic matters! The hymn choices are going to be a bit tricky, how about these for a short list to cater for weddings and funerals simultaneously?

'Nearer my God to Thee',
'Abide with me',
'Rock of Ages',
'Give me strength',
'Help, Lord, the souls that though hadst made, and perhaps,
'Deliver us Lord'

"There, continued the Bishop, "the balance should be about right from that little lot! Of course banns of marriage should be called first for every Elizabeth and every James, but as Bishop of this Parish and with all my considerable authority I am in agreement to waive this particular requirement - we all want to get home for our teas as quickly as possible after all this excitement. I see the registrar is here. Little fellow, can you manage to write all the details of the deceased documentation plus the, let me see 767 plus 2 = 769 marriages? No! Well there are 694 (sorry 695 at the last count) followers of an Australian photographer outside doing nothing! Go and elicit their assistance and bring them in to witness the weddings and help with the writing! There that's settled! Of course there will be a huge shortage of rings so today we shall be using imaginary ones unless someone can miraculously drum up 769 of them. Now let me begin."

"But you grace! If we have any more people in this church it will sink! It will be too heavy", protested the vicar.

"Rubbish, my man, oh ye of little faith - this church is built on rock and not on sand! Just do it, and get them all in, there's a good chap!"

"First! I want the two feuding James Pendletons and their Elizabeth partners to come to the front, shake hands and make up. There is no reason how you can expect eternal forgiveness if you cannot forgive each other right here on Earth - and you've got to mean it as well - not to just pretend! Come come and shake hands. There that's better! I don't expect you to have Sunday lunch together but be civil and nice to one another!"

It was then Mickey flew towards Eddie full of the joys of spring. For he had been asking all the Elizabeths if they knew of any little budgie hens available. His luck was in for a little green budgie hen winked at him as she peeped out from a handbag - she had been watching him for half an hour and thought to herself, 'This is the chap for me'.

Mickey flew over to her and said, "Hi babe, what's your name then, my your are lassie with a classy chassis? Don't tell me, I bet your name is Elizabeth or is it Lizzie?"

She nodded, "Lizzie".

"Thought so, suits you. What lovely eyes you have! Do you realise I have travelled through time itself just to meet you? Come light of my life, come fly with me!"

He took off and she followed him. They flew round and round, up and down, weaving between the pews and furnishings. It was love at first flight. The congregation loved it - they all clapped in admiration of their acrobatics. After a while they both landed on the Bishop's mitre. Mickey said, "Your grace, we are in love. Will you marry us?"
"Well why not?" said the Bishop, "The more the merrier. Are there any field mice out there that want to splice to knot, or perhaps a couple af rabbits? Speak up - it's your last chance!"

Mickey and Lizzie's little service was done first and was very short. Mickey kissed Elizabeth affectionately on the beak but she blushed profusely. "Not in front of all these people, dear!" she said.

The Bishop commanded, "Now to the service, there are 767 couples divided by three which equals 256.333 each." No that won't do! We can't start cutting people into three! Oh! I'll do it all and you two can join in - so here we go!"

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to say farewell to this deceased gentleman, John Pendleton, and to witness the marriages between John Pendleton and Elizabeth Evans, John Pendleton and Elizabeth Pendleton . . . . . . . . . etc . . . . . . . . etc . . . . . "

He read all 767 what stamina!

"Has anyone got any cause of impediment why these couples may be married?"

SILENCE (wonderful!)

"Do all the James Pendletons take your chosen Elizabeth Evans or Pendleton to be your lawful wedded wife?"


"Do all Elizabeth . . . . . . . . . . "

The service was highly unorthodox and lasted 6 hours but eventually it was completed with the funeral section finally over as well. There was no sign of a protest from within the coffin which was a relief for all, although people nearby rather thought they could hear an additional voice joining in the hymn choruses.

The Bishop concluded, "You are all married, you may kiss the bride but make sure she is the correct one. You are free now to go forth and multiply and fill the Earth. I expect Rev. Evans will be inundated with Christenings within the year."

"There remains one thing to do to unravel this fiasco! That is to get the other wedding party to the correct church and I ask Eddie Bluelights to use his motorised contraption to get them there as soon as possible. The service is over go in peace, . . . . wait for it, after the blessing!"

The organist, James Thomas, and his new bride, Elizabeth Pendleton, seized their chance for glory and played with wild abandon as a duet this time all the difficult organ pieces in their repertoire as 767 happy couples left the church. At the end they did a little Cajun Waltz which prompted some couples to dance down the aisle out of the church. Vicar Evans was exhausted and relieved it was all over. Rev Harding wondered still whether he was asleep and dreaming. He looked shell shocked.

The Bishop took it all in his stride and commented that he had not enjoyed an afternoon as much for as long as he could remember and asked Rev Evans what entertainment he had planned for next week.

James and Elizabeth boarded the ambulance together with all their principal players, Walter, Sarah, Cyril and other close family. Rev Harding would travel on the stretcher for a well deserved rest.

Eddie kissed goodbye to all his blogging friends and said he hoped to meet them all again in Oz when he finally gets round to writing more of the story instead of labouring around the spit roasting people.

It was then that Mickey spoke to Eddie. "I am not going back with you, Eddie! I want to stay here with Lizzie in this time zone. It is much nicer! The people are much nicer! The air is much nicer! I don't want to go back to that horrible world in which we live where there is back biting and nastiness and political correctness - the few have ruined it for the many - it is simply not nice living in 2009!"

"I understand, Mickey, just what I was thinking - it is much nicer here but I have to go back because my family is there. But you cannot stay here, Mickey! You might alter the whole course of history! You could seriously violate the laws of cause and effect! Just think if you and Lizzie have some chicks and one of them becomes your ancestor you could run the risk of a fatal error in the time-space continuum! It might cause the whole universe to quietly disappear! Interfering with the laws of time is highly dangerous!"

Mickey argued, "Well that's what you have been trying to do today isn't it, with you trying to alter James's mind concerning 1905 and hoping when you return to our time you will find James living to a ripe old age? What happens if he does? Then you will have altered the course of human history and that could cause a space time violation too, couldn't it? They might have more children and that might alter the course of history as well!

"That's different, I think, because James and Elizabeth are both here already and I am trying only to change an action and not introduce a being from the future into the equation belonging to a different time. That must cause a violation."

Lizzie interjected, "I don't think it will be a problem because I cannot have children - the vet says I am infertile so Mickey being here cannot in any way alter the laws of cause and effect."

"That should be alright I guess, but I will miss you, Mickey! and you were a fantastic substitute for a Sat Nav."

They said goodbye with tears in their eyes and Eddie drove away with the sirens and blue lights flashing. For a little way the two budgies flew beside them making ambulance noises but finally could not keep up and returned to their new life together.

"Boy have I got some questions for you, great grandfather, and grandad and grandma!" said Eddie as they sped to St Benedicts church.

Meanwhile Congleton church was completely empty when old Joseph Pendleton, who had been dozing for several hours, woke and enquired, "What did that lady want to know about George Pendleton, the miller?” Where is she? I have a lot of information for her!"

"Oh shut up!", said Vicar James Evans, "I've had more than enough today!"

The End
(Curtains! yes it probably is!)

(If you have missed earlier installments it might be worth starting at Episode 1)
Also you may be wondering about my little budgie, Mickie. I have written two popular stories about him.
Mickey the Celebate Budgie HERE
Mickey the Love-Sick Budgie HERE