October blogging landmarks

With cooler weather expected in the Northern Hemisphere this month there are too many blogging events to choose from.

WordPress offered a poetry course beginning on 1 October.  I had neither the time nor the energy for that.

Our own (UK) #NationalPoetryDay was on 8 October.  The theme was Light.  I wrote a light-hearted poem to fit this theme and also the National Trust’s #lovethecoast theme.

The see is not blue

The sea is not blue

The next big blogging event is Blog Action Day for which there are three hashtags #BAD15 #RaiseYourVoice and #Oct16.  I participated in 2013 and 2014.  So far this year I have no real inspiration for the theme.  My draft post looks rather feeble to me.  I’d rather not take part than publish something half-hearted.

It is not too soon to think about Blogging from A to Z in April as we were reminded recently.  I have made some good blogging friends through this particular challenge.  Sue’s words and pictures is lined up to take part in the next one.  Sue’s Trifles, which has been my A to Z blog for three years, is still undecided.  (As if a blog can think!)

Another blogger alerted me to Emily P. Freeman’s monthly link-up “What I learned in…”.  I have linked there a few times recently.

Other bloggers are taking part in 31 days of Writing challenges and I wish them every success.

Are you taking part in a blogging event or challenge this month?


What I have read in September

Our tiny local library is only open for two half days a week.  At one time I was a regular visitor and a member of the reading group, which meets there.  Even while I was attending the reading group (from which I learned much, both from the other members and from books, which I would otherwise not have discovered), I really hankered after a writing group.

I left the reading group a few years ago.  Subsequently my visits to the library dropped off and then ceased for over a year.  (I was buying books and reading them.)  However, I have made three visits to the library in August and September and borrowed four books altogether.

The Twitter Diaries by Georgie Thompson and Imogen Lloyd Webber attracted me because of the unusual format and the name Lloyd Webber. (Imogen’s father and uncle are famous musicians.)  I read it from cover to cover and found it interesting, but not particularly memorable.

The same day I found Bertie plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith.  This book struck me as one of the less interesting of the books by this author.  However on my following visit, the only book which appealed to me at all was Sunshine on Scotland Street, which turned out to be the next in the series.  Although it would stand alone, having read the previous book made some of the stories even more amusing.  This is Alexander McCall Smith at his best.

When I returned it nothing at all in the fiction section appealed to me.  We had been on a guided tour of Wordsworth House in Cockermouth (of which more on Sue’s words and pictures).  In half an hour there was only time for a brief summary of the lives of the Wordsworth family.  The guide recommended a book by Hunter Davies entitled William Wordsworth.  I found it in the local studies section and borrowed it.  Having reached the third chapter I succumbed to a feverish cough and cold, so needed something lighter to read.  (I am looking forward to reading the rest later.)

On hubbies “to read” pile I discovered A short book about drawing by Andrew Marr.  This is a beautifully produced hardback book illustrated by the author.  It is also about the history of drawing and of changing philosophies through the ages.  The author also draws on the experience of professional artists of his acquaintance.  I read it in a single sitting and was inspired to revive my hobby of drawing/painting, which I set aside around the time I began to concentrate on writing.

My first sketch for 4 years

My first sketch for 4 years

I sketched a house plant, which is flowering at present.  The perspective is not perfect, but it conveys the general impression of a cape primrose.  What I learned later was that in October there is a drive to encourage everyone to draw. #BigDraw

Linking up with what I learned in September.


Some things I found funny

I have heard a few funny things recently.  Do you remember the children’s game known as Chinese whispers?

A group of children stand in a line.  The first person whispers a message to the second one.  The second repeats it to the third and so on along the line.  Then the last person says what they have heard and it is compared with the original message.

Usually it has become so unintelligible it might just as well have been in Chinese.  (I wonder what Chinese children call their version of this game.)

For the Sunday service after Queen Elizabeth II reached the landmark date, when she became the longest reigning British monarch, the music, sermon and prayers marked this event.  After all, the Queen has an important position in the Church of England.  Messages were sent to the choir beforehand that the practice would begin a quarter of an hour earlier than usual, because we would be singing Zadok the Priest.  Most of us received the message by email, but one or two people,who do not use computers much, received a telephone call.  A message taken by a family member was relayed as, “The organist hopes you’ll be in church on Sunday, because you’re doing Zorba the Greek.”

An overheard remark at a section of Hadrian’s Wall was probably intended as a joke, although no-one laughed out loud.  Much of the stone from Hadrian’s Wall was removed centuries ago and reused for other building work in the area.  How much building is visible varies along the length of the wall.  In places the foundations are just visible above the ground.  At one such point someone said, “It wouldn’t have kept many people out.”

Another funny remark was made at the first meeting of the craft group following the summer.  Someone asked how we had got on at the flower show.  I remarked (perhaps not particularly accurately) that I won a prize with a cactus.  My friend’s reaction was, “You knitted a cactus?”

Going back to Zadok the Priest – we had sung it in our service to mark the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.  It was composed by Handel for a coronation service and has been sung at every subsequent coronation.  Most of the current members of the choir had learned it then (if they did not already know it).  This time we sang it after the sermon.  The service was being led by a couple; they are retired clergy and members of the choir.  They sang from the choir stalls before returning to their places at the front.  At the end the congregation burst into spontaneous enthusiastic applause.  After the service one of them led the choir in a short prayer, thanked us and then said, in typical British understatement, “I think they liked it.”  Her husband said, in a very flat tone, “They clapped.”