About my Paint Chip Poetry Page

I began taking part in a weekly poetry challenge from Linda Kruschke during lockdown. I have collected my poems together on a page.

I have been updating the page each time I complete the challenge, but in case you have missed it I am adding this extra post with an example from the page. I have added a photo to a few of my poems.

Paint chip 38 The Grand Plan

‘For this week’s challenge we are writing about a Grand Plan. It could be something you have planned for the future. It could be an account of some villain’s nefarious grand plan. Or you could write about a grand plan that didn’t quite turn out. The sky’s the limit with this one.

Although, I suppose, you are limited by these odd paint chip words and phrases: fresh-squeezedtongue-tiedgreen flashrainstormblank canvastumbleweed, and under the sea. Because they are a weird conglomeration of words, I’m only going to ask you to use three. But bonus points if your plan is to use them all and you succeed.’

The Grand Plan

The Grand Plan was a week’s holiday –
A blank canvas of time to fill.
Breakfast with fresh-squeezed orange juice
And favourite cereal was a thrill.

The rainstorm blew up from a blue sky
There was a green flash; tumbleweed
Was blowing everywhere and then
A boat capsized. Folk had to be freed.

Under the sea was not the place to be!
A person, who was not tongue-tied,
Dialled Coastguard (999).
Had he been mute someone might have died.

The verses above are all fiction
Using the challenger’s choices.
It can be fun to write words
With ideas as from other voices!



What is kindness?

Killing them with kindness is this week’s Writing Prompt from the Daily Post.

But what is kindness?

Having been a Girl Guide I grew up in a culture of helping people and being courteous.  Courtesy is not mentioned much nowadays.  It is old-fashioned good manners.  However I was grown-up, married and with children of my own before I really began to think about kindness.

I had a friend, who often used the word, “kind”.

It made me think.  I decided I was not a particularly kind person.  About a quarter of a century later, I wonder how to describe kindness.

It seems to be somewhere between consideration for others and love.  I try to make a habit of being kind to other people.

Now my hair is turning grey, I find more strangers are kind to me.  Sometimes I am offered a seat on the London underground.  This is well-known as a place where people do not speak to each other and do not make eye-contact.  Once on the underground someone pointed out to me that my backpack was unfastened and offered to fasten it for me.  (I was holding the handle of my trolley case in one hand and the handrail with the other!)

On another trip across London on a very crowded tube train a young man offered me a seat, which I accepted. However, I could see another passenger, considerably older than I was, standing too far away to reach my seat.  When the passenger sitting next to me left the train, I signalled to the older person and moved up one seat so that he could have mine.  Unusually we got talking.  (It is possible that he had noticed my luggage included a carrier bag from a local shop.)

It turned out that we had travelled to London on the same two trains and knew some of the same people and places.  It is a small world.

I think this is an example of spreading a little kindness.  Someone was kind to me; then I passed kindness on to someone else.  I am aware that people are not always ready to accept help and it is possible to be well-meaning, but irritating.

How would you define kindness?



My annual garden survey

Every year of 31st March I walk around our garden and make a list of all the plants in flower or with flower buds.

This year I have made a table of the surveys for the last five years. It is interesting to note the variations from year to year. Spring 2010 followed a long, cold winter, with snow falling on 31 March.

March 2013 was very cold, delaying the flowering season.

The most recent winter was very wet, but rather mild. As a result new species appear on my list.

Y indicates that Yes, a species is in flower.  Bud and over need no explanation.

Plant 31 March 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Snowed on day Cold March Wet winter
anemone Bud
bluebell Bud
comfrey Y Y Y
crocus Y Over Over Y Over
daffodil Y Y
elephant’s ear Y Y Y
flowering currant Y Y Y
giant grape hyacinth Y Y Y Y
grape hyacinth Y Y Y Y
heather Y
honesty Y
hyacinth Y Y Y Y
miniature narcissus Y Y Y Y Y
narcissus Y Y Y
pansy Y Bud
periwinkle Y Y Y Y
pink saxifrage Y
polyanthus Y Y
primrose Y Y Y Y
primula denticulata Y Y Y Y Y
purple hebe Y
rosemary Y
saxifrage (red) Y Y
scilla Y Y Y
skimmia Y
snowdrop Over Over Over Y Over
tulip Y Y Bud
tulipa tarda Y Bud
wallflower Y Bud Y Y Y
winter jasmine Y Over Over Over Over

Elephant’s ears are Bergenia – their leaves are very large, hence the common name.

Giant grape hyacinths are Puschkinia scilloides or a similar plant.  (Not grape hyacinths at all and more like Scilla.  This is how wrong information is passed on!)

A few years ago a neighbour offered us some red lilies, which had been thriving in his garden.  We like lilies and were happy to accept the offered plants.  The bulbs and leaves looked rather suspicious to me.  We planted them and now have a good few clumps of crocosmia “Lucifer”.  It seems to be a case of “the devil being in the detail” – intentional pun!

I am linking to this week’s Writing challenge about time travel.  I have been able to use my records to remind myself of years gone by.  (My records go back for longer than 5 years, but for the purposes of this post 5 years gave a range if weather conditions and enough data to be going on with.)