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Thursday 23 December 2010

The Red Baron, A Christmas Party and Merry Christmas To You All

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It's the day of the party at our 'Dial-a-Ride'
We're treating the old folk this Christmastide
Three minibuses, including this one
Ferried passengers to HQ to have fun.

The weather was bitter, the wind blew and blew
But we soldiered on as the numbers just grew
On roads we skidded and round corners we did slide
But we managed our pick ups where 'ere they reside.

Yer can see Eddie wrapped up in a Bobble Hatter
With scarf  and warm coat as his teeth started to chatter.
The Red Baron bus started with loud engine noise
To pick up the old ladies and a few elderly boys.

Along icy roads just covered with snow
We had to be careful and allow time to slow.
Each bus had been skidding and sliding all week
Not the place to be if you're kind of meek!

Down one of the roads Eddie's bus became stuck
"Hell's teeth!" muttered Eddie, "just my luck!
I've got nine old ladies - I must get to the top
If I cannot do this they will all have a strop!"

"We'll jump up and down", said one, "try again!"
"Nay, please stay seated and with such notions refrain!"
"I'm 94!" was a lady's reaction
"You must think of how you can get some more traction!"

Said another, "Come on lad! we'll get out and push!
There's no other way to the top in this slush!"
Said another, "This is all exciting to me!
I've not had such fun since I was three!"

Eddie reversed down the hill in his little red bus
And charged from a car park without further fuss.
"Come on!" they all all shouted as they neared the top,
"The wheels are spinning and we think bus will stop!"

But Eddie put his right foot hard on the floor
As the engine revved faster and the noise was a roar.
Inch by inch they progressed climbing higher and higher
Until they got grip on the road with each tyre.

"Well done, Eddie!" the old ladies screamed
With delight on their faces and a smile to him beamed.
"One more to collect . . . a fellow called Eddie!"
"Not another!" laughed a lady, "for two we're not ready!"

We reached the pick up and had a surprise
A lady was waiting . . . was she in disguise?
"I'm a little confused I was expecting a man
My run sheet says Eddie . . . maybe a fault with the plan!"

"I've been called Eddie since ONE NINE FORTY FOUR
It's entirely true you have the correct score!
Now tell me my good man, what is your name?"
Said Eddie laughing, "It is exactly the same!"

"My name too is Eddie and since I was born
In ONE NINE FOUR FOUR that name I have worn!"
The two of them laughed as her seat belt was secured
And so to the party the bus load endured.

A good time was had with lots of mince pies
Good conversation and presents surprise.
The time went by quickly and the party was ended
So time to board buses and home journeys wended.

But on the way home we saw some of the sights
Of local houses adorned with bright Christmas lights.
There seems many people who like decorations
With seasonal flavour with their creations!

This was my last day at the Dial-a-Ride and many of my passenger friends are a little upset because we have grown to know and like one another. It was a pleasure to drive them, assist them onto and off the bus, carry their shopping and make their lives a little happier. They enjoyed having a little laugh on ocassions and to have someone there to whom they could have a little rant now and then.  I remember having trouble sometimes trying to get their seat belts fastened - some ladies were a little large and fortunately I had an extension seatbelt for such ocassions which caused a few laughs.  I am continuing on a voluntary basis for a while for two days a week.

Well I promised a new ending to Macbeth - I'm still working on it - the projects I give myself! LOL

I am very conscious I have not visited many of my blogging friends for a long time - I am a very busy dude these days and I do apologise for my absence - not sure whether I really do have sufficient time for blogging - real life does get in the way unfortunately.

I'll get the Sunday Roasts going again in the new year.

During my bus travels I found this little pony in a farm along a Lane called World's End Lane. LOL. The farm was at the end of the road and I had difficulty turning the bus round LOL

All together, "Ahhhhhh! . . . .isn't she lovely!"

"Cheers folks . . . . . down the hatch"
Like the graphic? - A little birdie sent it to me LOL . . . . Thanks.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year

Finally, I'm feeling a little pleased today because one of my poems has been published in a magazine, New Forest NCT News for their Winter edition. The piece, a little naughty, is about the Cerne Abbas Giant
Some may remember it.

Friday 10 December 2010

The Worst Macbeth and an imminent New Ending - watch this space!!

This post is inspired by an article I read in Stephen Pile's humorous book entitled "The Book Of Heroic Failures". This wonderful book, every toilet should have one, scorns success and promotes failures; the worst the better.  The book is compiled from a collection of glorious flops from a group of wonderful failures in "The Official Handbook Of The Not Terribly Good Club Of Great Britain".
In particular I was amused by the account of The Worst Macbeth ever when actor William McGonagall appeared for the first time on stage . . . . as Macbeth. He was an extremely popular choice and received tumultuous applause and a standing ovation from his many admiring friends in the audience upon uttering his first line, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen".  Whenever he spoke cheers and roars of approval abounded all through the play. The highlight came in the final scene, making the other actors playing main parts furious. Macduff is supposed to kill Macbeth in a sword fight and then hold his head aloft to celebrate his victory over the evil tyrant. Unwisely the actor playing Macduff, still seething, told McGonagall to 'cut it short'. Suspecting this actor was jealous of the acclaim he was receiving, McGonagall refused to die and fought on. A new ending to Macbeth seemed imminent.  The protracted fight had the audience spellbound and screaming encouragement and one old gentleman shouted out, "Well done McGonagall! Walk into him!  And so he did until Macduff, gasping for breath, cried out, "Fool! why don't you fall . . . . die, man, die?" Eventually McGonagall reluctantly succumbed to a roar of boos and the unanimous cry was, "McGonagall! McGonagall! Bring him out!" Before the play had ended McGonagall duly obliged and rose from the dead, walked out to the audience to screams of laughter and received yet another standing ovation with people yelling, "Encore! Encore!". He then asked if they wished to see him die again. The performance was hailed as a glorious failure, never again to be equalled.

Well you all know me by now - this is all like a red rag to a bull. This got me wondering what might have happened if Macbeth indeed refused to die and so I have penned a new ending to this famous tragedy, making it into a Shakespearean comedy LOL. I shall publish next week - and . . . . . . there is a surprise ghost appearing. Watch this space.


I am taking a short break from The Sunday Roast because there are so many in progress and I require some more completed ones.
Also it is Mrs Bluelights' 60th birthday and we are organising and celebrating - so I am eating a roast myself instead of posting one.

Sunday 5 December 2010

The Sunday Roast

Watch Out Folks!  There's An Unleashed Creative Beast About!

   Well here's a 'song and dance' gal wearing a cocktail hat she designed and made.  Beneath her blog name she adds, "a place where creativity is unleashed and celebrated."
This week I am introducing a young lady with a truly great sense of humour. I think you all know I love a gal who laughs at my jokes!! LOL. Now with a Blogname like The Creative Beast I was half expecting a logo something like this:
But forget my vivid imagination - time to stick to the facts, Eddie!
I am sure many will recognise this lady's commenting logo of a crafty girl:

 Yes, this week's interview is with Monica
who writes the blog, The Creative Beast
Thank you for the interview, Monica

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Says Monica, "I love creating! costumes, knitting, collage, sewing, jewelry, and dolls...not to mention dancing, writing and performance art...creating brings joy into my life and to others when they receive my hand-crafted goods or watch my performance art/storytelling."  In this photograph Monica is modelling some of her original knitted goods (pink scarf and mitts).
And so to the roast interview.

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

That is a really good question Eddie! I know when I began I was just eager to jump into the pool of all the amazing bloggers that abound in the Blogsphere and not just sit on the sidelines watching all the fun. I had been reading blogs for nearly two years before I jumped in! Now I see my blog as many things, so I have many reasons for blogging:

  • It's a way to connect with other creative beasts =-)
  • It's a way to lend support and encouragement to folks just starting their creative journey and I LOVE to encourage others!
  • Most especially, its a way to document the artistic aspect of my life...
I always wanted to be one of those people who write in journals but I just couldn't get into it! The idea of writing into a journal book didn't really work for me. I see now that it's best for me to be able to share my experience with others - maybe it's that performance part of me that plays to the audience! (I'm a dancer and performance artist when time allows) Also, I think blogs are better than journals since you can add images of all kinds, of work in progress or moments in life, in a way you can't always document in a book journal - it seems like a living, breathing thing, a 3-dimensional journal, in a way...

Also, my blog is a way for me to hone my storytelling skills and I've shared one of my favorite stories on my blog about my Wise Woman, the doll she inspired and the stranger who came looking for me when she received one of my handmade Wise Woman dolls. I hope to share more stories like that as they unfold...

(You can find the four "chapters" of the Wise Woman Doll story in the sidebar of my blog)

(A multitude of reasons for blogging if ever I saw them)
What's the story behind your blog name?

One day, many years ago, I was speaking with a co-worker and telling him about all my creative projects I was working on. I'm sure I was still studying fashion design and pattern drafting, in addition to making myself a costume for our local Renaissance Faire, making a gift for someone, sewing some new clothes, knitting a doll sweater or making some jewelry, rehearsing for a dance performance and he stopped me in my tracks when he said:

"You are just a Creative Beast, aren't you?!"

I knew in that moment that I really WAS a Creative Beast and I would use the name for a future business of my creations. Little did I know it would be the name of a blog first...You know, I'm actually surprised he wasn't exhausted after my list of creativity - I know I would be!! ;)

I think the name fits for me in many ways because some days being creative can be beastly when your materials are not cooperating with your ideas; also, being an artist in a society that does not really value artists is pretty beastly as well...but mostly, I think it fits because there is a LOT of unleashed creativity in my home and it looks it! LOL!

(Unleashed creativity shortly to abound folks!  Loved the reasons Monica)

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Hands down, the community of art bloggers and the support that has come from that community. There is a LOT of amazing work being created in so many ways and I am REALLY glad to be a part of that...If I didn't have that, I don't know what I'd be doing now, probably losing my marbles and roaming around homeless in LA talking to myself, hee, hee!
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Seriously, don't worry about being perfect in the beginning because you and your blog will evolve as you learn and grow...besides, perfection is BORING!! ;)

(Yes, there are no hard and fast rules - just dive in LOL)
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

It took me awhile to think about this question because there are SO MANY meaningful blog posts I've read in the many years of reading blogs, but I have to say the one post that has had a huge impact on me is written by Patti Digh titled "Forever hold your penguin dear - In memory of Meta" and it was incredibly powerful the first time I read it and it still affects me when I read it again. She re-posts it every year on the anniversary of the death of a young woman named Meta...The post was amazing in the way the family took care of Meta to help her pass from this life into the next one and I remember thinking: "Yes, this is exactly how it should be, but often isn't, sadly"...

I know that many people don't like to think about Death, but I was born under the sign of Scorpio and it's something we tend to ponder OFTEN, along with what the afterlife looks like...Patti's post about the passing of Meta and the courage of her family facing every step of preparing her for the transition is moving and powerful beyond words.

may I say right now that I REALLY love Patti's writing and I'm SO lucky to have my artwork published in her TWO recent books of this year!!)

You know Eddie, I think many of us are curious about what happens to us after we pass away and lately I've been reading the blog of a friend who began to write about her experiences with messages she receives from her boyfriend who died in a car accident - it's very thoughtful and rather comforting to know that loved ones are nearby watching over us, though we may not always see them...

(BTW, if you want to see a profile of a Scorpio figure in action, I highly recommend watching "All That Jazz" by Bob Fosse, who was fascinated by the aspect of Death, and of Sex, two favorite Scorpion topics...and there's fabulous dancing!!)

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

I'm not sure I've written it yet, Eddie!!

I can think of one post that got people thinking:

"Some family history and a giveaway" - I wrote about a family ancestor that I take after and I had folks comment about their family members that they received a legacy from - it got many of them thinking and sharing some really wonderful stories of family histories of creativity!

I do have topics in mind to write about in the future and I hope that my readers will find them helpful - I'll let you know how they go when they've been written, Eddie!

Which two blogs would you recommend for roasting?

ONLY TWO??!?!?

(Oh sorry! I know you ladies have great difficulty counting to two LOL. Oh go on then as many as you like LOL)

But I read so many blogs I can't just narrow it down to TWO!!! But since you ask, here are a few of my favorite blogs:

Tinniegirl - I met her through the group site for the Artful Journey Retreat I attended last year and she hosts the awesome Blogtoberfest for the last three years; she's got great art and a great way with sharing the story of her journey as an artist
I Speak Melsh - I met her through Blogland during last years Blogtoberfest - she has a great eye for color and layout (in scrapbooking), great foodie photos and  a wonderful sense of humor!
Cul*ti*vate - an Artful Journey sister with fabulous photography and a sweet spirit
I Saw You Dancing - she is a great writer, as she begins to explore her artistry and the in's and out's of motherhood
Do What You Love - another Artful Journey sister who has had an abundance of travel in her life and amazing stories from all that traveling to foreign lands
Her Painted Word - yet another Artful Journey sister who has been writing an amazing book about her family and is working toward her first solo art exhibit coming next year...

This list could go on forever Eddie!!

(Thanks for those recommendations, Monica)
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.

1) My dear boyfriend - he gives great backrubs and has a wonderful sense of humor
2) My girlfriends - because sometimes my sweetie can drive me nuts!! And my girlfriends always remind me of who I am when I forget myself ;)
3) My art supplies!

If we were to make a movie about BlogLand, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?
YAY! After living in LA, so close to Hollywood and Movie-land I have the opportunity to write up a movie I'd LOVE to see that features amazing women...

It would definitely be about women artists, many of them finding their voices and a few matriarchs that have always been artists and they will all converge at a fabulous retreat to make art for a special fundraiser to help more women find their voices. It would star Nina Bagley and Patti Digh as two of the matriarchs, and the women I listed on my list of blogs to read as the younger artists.

I would include a fun scene to have a group of the women put on a 'show number' using the song "That's What Friends Are For" from The Jungle Book - it's definitely a movie about friendship and community!
(Oh! . . . . no starring role for me then!)

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

Hmmm, could I go back in time and be somebody else??!? There are so many amazing women in history I would love to live as - Nellie Bly for instance. She is the grandmother of investigative journalism - she posed as an insane patient to get into an asylum and managed to get more funding on their behalf when she reported the appalling conditions they were living in...she really put her own life in danger to get a story and she used the story to help others.

(Aww . . . . I think you are very nice as you are)

You have been given a wonderful talent from above.  This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I'd be just what I am now - A Creative Beast encouraging others in their own creativity by producing brilliant art!!

Though it might be cool to be a gifted musician - music is amazing and powerful and I love listening and dancing to so many types of it =-)
If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

LOL!! You are a naughty boy Eddie!! I HAVE to let the Scorpio in me answer this one!!

If I was an ice cream it would be coffee flavor with chocolate syrup and toffee chunks (I think there is already an ice cream like this!) and I would be happy with ANY of these fellows licking an ice cream of course! ;)

Gael Garcia Bernal (actor)
Hugh Dancy (actor)
Colin Firth (actor)

I don't know if my dear boyfriend is reading this but since I know who his celebrity hottie is, it's fair for me to admit to some of mine!! hee, hee!

(Oh in that case you'd better add to your list . . . . Eddie Bluelights (ex ambulance man/blogger/roast host) LOL)

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.
I'm not sure I can do this in ONE sentence, but I'll try!

(None of you gals can LOL)

A perfect day would include making art, spending time with friends either making more art or shopping for great ideas; it would include some form of movement such as a long walk among trees, a bicycle ride or a dance class and end with one of my favorite meals either made by my dear boyfriend (who likes to cook!) or at one of our favorite restaurants. That would be a perfect day indeed!

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

I love Patti Digh but she already exists and there can't be TWO Patti's in the world...Or can there?!? ;)
I think I'd like to be Louisa May Alcott - I wonder what it was like to live as a female in a household with progressive parents during a time when women's roles in society were constricted. I know it must have shaped who she became immensely...not to mention the fact that she was writing juvenile literature while also writing what she called her "blood and thunder" stories, now known as Gothic romances - talk about living (writing?!) a double life!
What was your most embarrassing moment?

Back in high school, our dance teacher had us choreograph a dance to a song of our choice and while I was performing for my classmates, I got so excited with the music, I overshot a move, slipped and landed right on my arse!! I did jump right back up and keep going, but for a dancer falling flat on the floor is really embarrassing! I've since learned that "the floor is your friend" and I often incorporate dance moves that consist of me 'falling' to the floor =-)

(Was it a hard or soft landing, I wonder?)

. . . . and if you are really brave . . . . 

If you awoke to find you had changed gender what would be the first and second things you would do?
Hmmm, I know my first reaction would be to scream but then again, it might be refreshing to have really short hair for awhile or maybe even a buzz cut!! And to wear nice shirts without having to worry about buttons pulling and popping off due to large breasts...having a body-type like Brad Pitt would be great - he has a figure that can wear just about anything! I don't need his face, just his body type ;)

Not shaving the legs could be a time-saver, though I'd probably have to shave the face...WOW! I'd be able to make more money compared to women! That would be AWESOME!!!

I guess I'd cry though because I do love being a woman, even if I only make .75 to every dollar earned by a man =-\

(Can't have you crying, can we? . . . . so I'm afraid it's back to 0.75 to every dollar, er . . . large assets and no Brad Pitt body!)

This was a fun interview Eddie!! Thank you so much for inviting me to be 'roasted' - I feel quite toasty and warm now! ;)

Your turn to ask me a question if you wish.

Well Eddie, as you may or may not know, I do believe that EVERYONE is creative though it may not always take the form of art. So my question for you is "How do YOU express your creative life?" Aside from blogging that is!

The short answer is, Monica, I don't  . . . . . for have not yet found an avenue.  Within the blogging world I do a lot of creative writing, as many will know, and this allows me to let loose my weird imagination. There are various examples like a Blogger's Horse Race, A skit on Pride and Prejudice, Mickey the Budgie stories etc.  So this has led me to embark on a Comprehensive Writing Course which I had hoped to start when I retired from ambulance duties.  Ultimately I would like to write short stories for magazines, radio and television.  Perhaps some day I might turn into a creative beast! I have lots of ideas but time to do it remains a problem, what with endless do lists from Mrs Bluelights and driving the minibus for a while and doing other things.  Why are there just 24 hours in a day?

Well. we have reached the end of a very enjoyable roast. Thank you for your interview, Monica, and keep creating!! Mrs Bluelights for one does LOL


Today's Sunday Roast with The Creative Beast is the 144th
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

Please keep your recommendations for The Sunday Roast coming.
For those who would like to know a little more about it, how it started, the nuts and bolts of it etc, press HERE