OU blog

Personal Blogs

Celestial Response

Visible to anyone in the world
From: Celestial Bureaucracy (Mortals)

To: All Mortal Supplicants

Subject: Excessive workload

A recent flood of supplications is placing our staff under stress. I am sure you will understand if I ask you to send future complaints directly to my mailbox, monkey@rainbow.bridge

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Ruthless Rhyme

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 31 Mar 2016, 22:18
When Billy died in frightful pain,
We vowed to never visit there again.
As Father said, "Their hygiene's flawed."
"But all the same, he was insured."
Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Dinosaurance

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 31 Mar 2016, 02:13

Trust me. I sell asteroid insurance. It's good so far. Very few claims.

Permalink
Share post

Tom Aukley

Visible to anyone in the world

"Sorry to interrupt but if you crane your necks to the right you'll see some magnificent seabirds", said Tom awkwardly.


Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Two Liner

Visible to anyone in the world

I always thought a couplet was a small cup.

Apparently I messed up.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Spring Haiku

Visible to anyone in the world

Brolly inside-out. Shoes leaking.

Such wind and rain!

But it's Spring, I like it.


Permalink Add your comment
Share post

One Liner

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 27 Mar 2016, 20:20

I used to read a lot about geese. In the end it got me down.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Clerihew

Visible to anyone in the world
Charles Babbage
Detested cabbage.
He was very keen
On his Analytical Machine.
Permalink Add your comment
Share post

From the Joke Factory

Visible to anyone in the world

Our Stakhanovite Elves toil ceaselessly, stockpiling well in advance to meet this year's demand for Christmas cracker mottoes. Here is an example that rolled off the production line as I wrote this.

Q. Three Frogs were in a Pond. Which one was obedient?

A. The one that Toad the line.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

?

Visible to anyone in the world

What does it say in this post?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Holding Queue

Visible to anyone in the world

I'd really like to help but...

We are so busy at the minute.

Could you come back a lifetime on Thursday?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Tongue Twister

Visible to anyone in the world

Try saying

"Pump clip

aloud 10 times in a row.


Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Sharon Hartles, Monday, 21 Mar 2016, 23:01)
Share post

Question

Visible to anyone in the world

Is there a question which is its own answer?

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Martyn Thatcher, Thursday, 24 Mar 2016, 19:09)
Share post

One Liner

Visible to anyone in the world

I used to love sailing the seven seas. But the glamour's worn off... Now I'm just going through them oceans.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Ruthless Rhyme

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 21 Mar 2016, 00:41
Should Granny die, we think it best
That in the garden she is laid to rest.

According to Dead Gran Adviser,
"Think of gran as fertiliser."

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Richard Walker, Monday, 21 Mar 2016, 00:43)
Share post

Ruthless Rhymes

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 19 Mar 2016, 18:49

Thinking of the 'Alla Barnen' verses reminded me of Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes by Harry Graham.

I don't know if you are familiar with these: they exploit a strain of black humour. Here's an example

  Father heard his children scream
  So he threw them in the stream
  Saying, as he drowned the third,
  "Children should be seen, not heard!"



Here's my contribution to the genre, an updated version of the Ruthless Rhyme above. 

  When Father heard his children shriek,
  He flung them in an icy creek.
  Musing, as he watched them freeze,
  "That should save on Uni fees!"

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Graham_(poet)#/media/File:Ruthless_Rhymes_1898.jpg

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Layers Of Meaning

Visible to anyone in the world

Why did the Rhode Islanders cross the chicken?

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Monday, 21 Mar 2016, 00:09)
Share post

Hand-axe

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 18 Mar 2016, 11:54


 

A hand-axe but a headache too. 

What was it used for?

  • Cooking
  • Leatherworking
  • Carpentry
  • Some other craft
  • Gardening
  • Forestry
  • Hunting
  • Fighting

or some combination of these? Or some other purpose?

Was it fitted to a wooden handle ('hafted')?

If so was it?

  • Bound into a split in the handle
  • Fitted into a socket

Or perhaps it was just hand-held.

Where was it from?

Here we are on firmer ground. It was

  • Found in North Hertfordshire or South Bedfordshire 30+ years ago
  • Made about 4000 years ago in a stone axe factory in North Wales, at Penmaenmawr. BBC 'A History of the World' shows a very similar object. But the BBC site says that axe is made of a rock 'similar to slate'; I'm not sure that's right. I think it may be diorite; any geologists are watching please write in! My hand-axe also seems smaller, about 12 cm.

So it had travelled 200+ hundred miles.

How did the owner lose it (or didn't they?)

The cutting edge is sharp and the polished faces on either side unscratched. So perhaps

  • A stone-axe trader dropped it
  • The owner dropped it on the way home from the local axe-sharpener
  • The owner deliberately discarded it as a offering to supernatural beings. (But it was such a votive offering we would expect to find other objects nearby, and it was found in isolation.)
  • A hunter threw it at a prey animal, missed, then couldn't find the axe again.

We can never know exactly.

The history of objects

When anyone brings an object like this into my local The Moon Under Water, many people ask to see it. Their first question is always 'How old is it?' 

'About 4000 years.' 

'Can I touch it?

'Yes.'

And then, reverentially, 

'So apart from you I'm the first person to touch it for 4000 years.' 

'Yes'.

Everyone is very quiet and thoughtful at that point. I find the respect they display is very moving. It shows that the human race is noble, in spite of everything.



Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Saturday, 19 Mar 2016, 18:52)
Share post

Snowflake

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 17 Mar 2016, 01:38

ice crystal before you

go

isthere

there a place with no six

or symmetry

?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Cat Haiku

Visible to anyone in the world

Not afraid to die.

Or to live either.

The old cat wiping against my hand.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Epitaph for a Typographer

Visible to anyone in the world

X

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Haiku for Daffodils

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 16 Mar 2016, 00:08
Change. Change. Change.
Daffodils, please don't
Die on me too.
Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Clerihew

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 14 Mar 2016, 01:59

Sphinx,

I think your riddle stinx.

How can you claim

Ignorance of the Zimmer frame?

Permalink Add your comment
Share post

Today

Visible to anyone in the world

Hearing a bird, and lifting my eyes to the trees.

Seeing the fog, and peering along the lane.

What a Spring day!




Permalink Add your comment
Share post

The Interrogative Mood

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 10 Mar 2016, 23:28

(As grammar geeks do) I was reading a history of punctuation past and present, and it pointed me to Padgett Powell's remarkable novel The Interrogative Mood.

I took a quick Look Inside, and found an irresistible Buy with 1-Click.

Every sentence in the book is a question, but they are not random; each is a sort of surreal reflection that glues itself to your mind and makes you think what your answer is, or could be, or might be. 

The questions are grouped in sections, within those paragraphs, and there is a kind of elusive logic that binds each to its neighbours.

For example

"Do like it when your body is sore? Had you the opportunity, would you attend clown school? Will you linger to see a sunset more readily than you might get up to see a sun rise?"

(ME: Sorta. Yes. Yes.)

"Do you have a specific length shorts must be? Is Santa Claus in your view essentially a pedophile? How long would it take you to get over a house fire that destroyed everything you owned and thought dear to you?"

"Would you rather have a swimming pool or a small private gymnasium? Do you have any experience that that suggests there was a higher water table when you were a child than there is now?"

200 pages. 2000 questions. I don't know what to make of this book but I'm glad it exists. Are we in agreement on this point or would you rather read about ways of attracting woodland birds in larch forests, without employing any artificial aids?

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Friday, 11 Mar 2016, 07:15)
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 1368373