Authors Who Made History: Goethe

A light-weight look at Johann Wolfgang von Goethe for my #authorstory post at the b101alumni today 🙂

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Yesterday was #readabookday on Twitter. As I’m still waiting for delivery of a recently purchased book – and with a love of Project Gutenberg (and other free online reading archives) I headed to their Facebook page to find I am belated in marking Goethe’s birthday anniversary (Goethe, born 28th August, 1749, died 22nd March, 1831, aged 82 years). The following autobiography by Goethe, was a fantastic find -originally translated from German and published in English in 1897 and only recently added to Project Gutenberg.

(For some reason, facebook posts, although showing in post-draft, not showing in published post, you can also find it at this link: )

I could probably spend hours over months reading about Goethe before being able to pay justice to his #authorstory. Although his is a name I’m familiar with, in the context of his work being of influence to other literary and artistic…

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Breaking for coffee (and a Word with Ruth)

I’m joining Ruth for her ‘Word for Wednesday’ again this week. Emaciated is this week’s word (after my comment about a previous word, emancipated, which I muddled the meaning for with emaciated – but luckily had checked before writing).

..Do you remember the news reports of the 1980s Ethiopian famine? Michael Berke’s 1984 report for the BBC news was recently highlighted by the BBCNewsbeat website in an article telling why nothing’s changed in 30 years as Ethiopia and other countries face imminent risk of famine conditions, due to either civil war in some cases (such as Syria, Sudan etc) or extreme weather, such as the droughts affecting Ethiopia – and not forgetting the affects on agriculture due to flooding in some other parts of the world.

Continue reading “Breaking for coffee (and a Word with Ruth)”

Sandbox Challenge 29 (part 1)

The potential for two Sandbox Writing Challenge prompts this week!

magic-40641_1280 What makes life magical?

Memories of childhood, then becoming a mum and cherishing those sparkling moments of their childhood’s and enjoying grandchildren and great nieces/nephews are all extra-special and magical moments in life. However rare those moments are now, for the distances between us, the magic is never any the less. Magical moments don’t fade with time (except with the misfortune of Alzheimer’s etc. for some).

And now, older and living alone? There’s still magic in everyday life, especially in nature. Every dawn chorus and every sunrise, every sunset and evensong (although I might sleep through many of both – dreams are magical too…); seeing and hearing the birds in the woodland beyond my backgarden any time of day; watching the bats circling and swooping at dusk through the summer; looking at the stars in any natural night sky – I’m incredibly fortunate to have such a splendid view from my back doorstep (I call it ‘my Lion King sky’ and it’s one of very few reasons I wouldn’t really wish to move home in spite of everything else!): the moonlight at twilight, past midnight and the luxury of a night sky set against trees and thicket that blocks the distant streetlight haze from the housing estates in the distance beyond at a lower land level.

Rainbows are glorious and seem magical too, although I know, of course, that it’s just optical illusion…; the varying colours and effects of almost any sky captivate me, but especially those that are deep jewel coloured or glisten with silvery mauves; having a garden, however ‘neglected’ and wilding, offers many magical moments of discovering insects and spiders and I even love the slugs and snails! I’m not a fan of moths, or daddy-long-legs (crane flies) but I love seeing butterflies in the garden – they just have to be how fairies were ever imagined. Flowers seem magical too – I must sow some for more butterflies!



The internet is a magical place too. Doors open into whole new worlds, pathways into the very real happenings of our magical planet and its’ people; being able to ‘get to know’ strangers from the other side of the world or glimpses of their thoughts and imaginings, sharing creativity, accessing art and music and knowledge… shopping without leaving home…Being housebound and often immobile, the feeling of having virtual legs and roaming the vast expanses of the world-wibe-web. It can feel liberating, like you have the whole world in the palm of your hands, at your finger tips…


One last thing I find magical, other than poetry and some types of writing, is art in various forms and guises…



What would a magical day be like?            godmother-23815_1280    … just one day…?

I think I’ll ponder that question and return with part 2 later in the week…

All images used in this post are from (attribution free). Post updated 2am, 3/3/16
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Leaping for freedom (part 1)


As soon as I saw this picture (via, I thought of blogging neighbour Sarah C at This’n’ThatWithMe – not only does she make great leaps, she loves planes…


This leaping pixabay image’s filename is …’freedom’…


I was looking round for a picture to go with my writing in response to discussion in Jacquie’s latest vlog – she shares a wonderful poetry reading too.


This was a lovely podcast for Sunday.

I really enjoy Jacquie’s conversational style – and the subtle ad lib variation to her poem text as she performs it, in spoken word style.

Anyway, the picture kind of fits the acookingpotandtwistedtales’ question(s) from Jacquie’s vlog too:

“Is it possible to be angry and dance?”
“…the meaning and essence of freedom?…”

Continue reading “Leaping for freedom (part 1)”

Matchmaker Q&A #7 of 14

I’m glad I tackled these challenge questions one per day… I can’t really imagine anyone being keen to read my answers, but never mind… [NB: all images are from]


‘Matchmaker Q&A’…

Today’s question, #6 of 14:

At what age did you become an adult?


I probably thought I was all grown up way before I really became an adult, around the age of bleaching my own hair … (I was blonde until I was 8, then mousey-brown, then anywhere between bottle blonde and bright orange or back to mousey-brown between 11 and 17 years old, occasionally reddish tones or mostly natural-mousey since…

I guess I didn’t really become an adult until my first child was born. The arrival of a new life and accompanying responsibilities changes everything. I was nineteen.

Even then, plenty might say I’ve never quite made my way on the grown-up ladder. Plenty might be quite right in telling me:



Any chance I’ve had I’ve still enjoyed playing like a child – I’ve even played on the swing park as a lone grown-up – only when there’s been neither adults nor children to see! (Honest I have, I even made video clips while soaring on swings, so one day I’ll prove it …)


Life as an adult is such a beach, you gotta just get on, play, kick off and kick back whenever you’re able…


Don’t forget your inner child … What’s the time Mr Wolf?


What do you think? Do we ever really become ‘an adult’ – whatever does it mean ?… are we really much different as ‘grown-ups’ to the ‘little person’ we always were?

Don’t worry, my house is built of bricks, the chimney is blocked, the doors and windows are locked and Little Red Riding Hood isn’t my grand-daughter so won’t be visiting… and I’m not quite daft enough to let in the wolf!

What about this question: If your life was a fairytale, which one would it be?

Matchmaker Q&A #6 of 14

Not forgetting so far to answer these these challenge questions one per day…


‘Matchmaker Q&A’…

Today’s question, #6 of 14:

Have you ever done an extreme sport eg.bungee jumped?


OMG! No! The sensation of falling in dreams is more than enough heart-stopping excitement for me these days!

I abseiled once when I was ten on a school activity holiday, but from a scaffold tower, not a mountain…


I was actually very brave as no-one in my class dared go first. I was so afraid of heights, but plenty were far more scared than me – I decided to volunteer to go first and get it over than have the fear building up while waiting. As soon as I was having my turn, several of my friends decided if I could do it, they could. I took some extra turns too because I quite enjoyed it – I don’t think I would have if it had been from the side of a mountain.


The nearest I got to extreme sports, apart from a roller-skating phase, was as a spectator.I loved watching my brother doing his BMX – he quickly moved from racing into riding ramps and performing hair raising jumps and stunts – and he still does flatland BMX shows and workshops even in his mid-forties and can still ride ramps too! Amazing… , His son, my nephew, also rides BMX and skateboards,s o there’s still plenty of family spectatorship opportunities if I can make the visit.

I’d say that a roller coaster ride or other breath-taking amusement ride is an extreme sport! I avoid those too, mostly. I went on one on my 25th birthday at the American Adventure amusement park near Nottingham (closed down since, and was more than twenty years ago). I went on another extreme ride with my daughter at DisneylandParis in 2007 that I thought was a kiddie’s family type ride because of the Finding Nemo decor. We’d queued for about an hour and a half before I saw the sign right near the front of the queue that said something along the lines of “do not ride if you have a heart condition or other medical ailment…” – there was no way the only other adult, my aging mother-in-law, could ride with my daughter so i couldn’t turn back. I must have screamed all the way and my daughter thought it was hilarious but I was really so ill afterwards, not sicky ill, just very weak and shook up!

I’ve been on a couple of milder extreme enough rides at fairgrounds since, but nothing as wild… I should dig out my photos…

Final note: I may not do extreme sport, but I’m being an extreme sport in answering your questions dear friend, if ever you read this…

[all images in this post were found at]

Matchmaker Q&A #5 of 14

I’ve decided I am definitely NOT accepting a forfeit for tackling these challenge questions one per day… hopefully we won’t fall out about it!


‘Matchmaker Q&A’…

Today’s question, #5 of 14:

You can have your own TV channel – what would it be about?

I’d hope that’s an investment offer! Not that I have a burning desire to run a TV channel 🙂 It would have to be dedicated the area that I’d maybe watch television for, if only there was coverage. My specialist area of choice is, of course – contemporary arts.


I’d love a TV channel that broadcast arts programmes from contemporary venues all around the UK especially, but even as far as Europe and the rest of the world! It would cover visual arts, public exhibitions, contemporary performance-art type theatre productions (not dramatic arts), small independent venues and behind-the-scenes from studios, workshops, public locations… I’d watch telly all my waking hours with a non-bright screen and decent, interesting arts coverage.

I’d at least have TV on and use it like a radio, which is how I don’t entirely watch telly – doing something else at the same time and looking at it when something grabs my attention enough. My dad used to despair of me ‘not even watching the television if you’re drawing / writing at the same time – but I can’t do nothing and just watch, most of the time. I could usually still tell my Dad what had just been happening so be allowed to continue not exactly watching…


I don’t really bother with TV since 2009 when I had a big relapse and increased neurological symptoms and optic nerve pain. (I dip into on-demand telly occasionally via my very dark tablet screen). Nowadays I just burn my eyeballs out keeping myself awake through the day with this laptop screen, trying not to look too much at what I’m typing while I make blog posts as largely pointless as this one 😉

I’m actually quite enjoying answering daft questions, so can you think of (a better) one you’d like me to answer? (I’d have to queue it, until this series is complete…please let me know by any available method…)

[images in this post were found at, public domain, attribution free]