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)”

A Wednesday Word with Ruth

Ruth’s Wednesday Word this week is ’emancipated’… I’m glad I decided to just check as I mixed this up with the meaning for ’emaciated’! Now I know better…

Anticipate emancipation,

consolidate, with trepidation –

this rendition, not well-founded

could be freed in better rounded

phrases if I’d only thought

to loosen ties, first freedom sought.

I wonder if this word is going to niggle at me like ‘rascile’ has been – I still haven’t written for that earlier prompt, so still it plays on my mind. So, my response to ’emancipated’ seems to me a little weak, but it’s a five minute consideration in what should be a coffee break, so I’m away for that coffee, with biscuits to avoid emaciation, and hope to be free to catch up with you again another time…

Why not join in with a Wednesday Word with Ruth too? She’d love to see you there – and her poem is much better than mine, you really should read it!

A Take Your Pick Thankyou

Courtesy of our wonderfully warm, welcoming and generous Valentines blog-party hostess, Jacqueline, creator of
Courtesy of our wonderfully warm, welcoming and generous Valentines blog-party hostess, Jacqueline, creator of

A very special thank you to Jacqueline for making Valentine’s weekend a fun and interesting way to spend some blogging time. Who needs a Valentine with #InternetFriends! It was also very nice that it started on #InternetFriendsDay, extending into Valentine’s Day – and beyond for some, depending on timezones (and outlooks).

I forgot how exhausting blog-hopping efforts can be but had a lot of fun along the way and ‘met’ lots of new people.

Jacquie opened the party with an invitation to add to this verse:

Her eyes shone with tears

That clung to her lashes

She glanced at the ring

It’s twinkles brought back flashes

(author: Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha)

(so, what I saw is the telephone ringing with a light- flashing alert… not that I didn’t also see the obvious picture, but the poem wanted it to be the telephone to be able to proceed! Sorry Jacquie, I’m not sure this will fit with your group poem but you are welcome to as many of the lines you like, I wrote them for you…)

…so she answered the phone

glad of that ringing light,

cos the music’s quite loud

-wow, these guests party right!

There was dancing on tables

and salmon on heels,

face-painting and forfeits,

much laughter and squeals –

from bubbly to cognac

to coffee and teas,

whatever the tipple

to wash down savouries,

and the sweets were delightful

from cookies to cakes –

fab guests, so insightful,

and sharing chocolates.

Not many men there,

but nobody fought!

– and it wasn’t a Valentine

there that each sought.

No-one expected the presents –

but so nice a surprise,

and bless our dear Jacquie,

happy tears in her eyes.

So thank you again Jacqueline for a beautiful time with you and your friends at your blog party. This poem continuation is my small gift to you in return, to go with these flowers, for you:






Vulnerability – Sandbox Challenge #25


So, the latest prompt for the Sandbox Writing Challenge #25 asks us to declare our vulnerability. Is there a difference in the ways we might be vulnerable and the ways we feel vulnerable? I think there probably is…

I list 
my fears 
here, one by
 one, I may regret
ever having begun as
one after another, these
 tear drops fall, for so many 
reasons I might rather not tell 
of all those ways I'm vulnerable- 
so I'll focus instead on staying 
strong, besides my list is far 
too long, but I may well make 
it, another day soon, just
 for me, to heal the

I actually managed to make a (very simple) shape poem! I’ve wanted to make one for ages! I hope it keeps its’ formatting when I hit publish as it’s been playing up in the editor and taken some persistence to make it behave… please note, I wasn’t in tears while writing that, I fibbed – but I might have been had I started that list – there are a lot of keywords in that cloud in the graphic that could apply, and probably for many of us.

I guess lots of us would share the vulnerability of challenging financial circumstances and economic instability, with all the implications this might bring…


So, that’s all I have in response for now, but I might go back to it another day, in the privacy of paper for a change…

I can’t wait to see what the next Sandbox Writing Challenge has in store – why not jump in and play along – have a good week and keep safe and strong 🙂

(All images in this post were found at

Pain (poetry) and the global cancer campaign


Two Pained Limericks  (by myself, Colette B.)

It’s such a challenge to try and be strong
for the patient who may not live long
hope for some dignity
and a death that’s pain-free
and through loved ones their memory lives on.


When someone we love is enduring such pain
and there’s so little difference we can make
one’s left feeling so helpless
and shamefully selfish
for our very own grief and heartbreak.


Today is World Cancer Day and this year’s theme is ‘We can. I can.’ It’s all about raising awareness, encouraging prevention, detection and treatment. Cancer touches all our lives and statistically, is on the increase. Most people will know, or have known someone with cancer, and at least one in three people will have cancer at some time in their life. We can’t really ‘see’ someone’s illness with cancer (usually), until it reaches the later stages of illness or until they’re having treatment such as chemotherapy.

In many parts of the world even clean water, adequate food and sanitation are yet to be secured for all and even basic healthcare and medicine are lacking. 

In our so-called ‘developed societies’, as much as we’re told to be alert for symptoms ourselves, so much depends on the vigilance of our doctors – their ability to listen and actually hear and discern from what their patient is telling them and the signs and symptoms they’re presenting. Even in countries such as the UK, diagnosis and treatment is so often delayed by the failure of doctors to recognise the signs of cancer early enough to make a difference. Of course, many patients might postpone going to the doctor and put up with their symptoms, maybe because they’re in denial or ignorant of warning signs or maybe because their doctor doesn’t listen and does nothing. Many cancers develop over many years, decades even and so are said to be ‘silent killers’. Cancer in old age is often considered a natural occurence of aging.

NHS cost-cutting and even welfare reform strategies put doctors under pressure to follow policies that divert their attention away from individual patient care and away from basic health care principles. We hear so much ‘spin’ about preventative healthcare and  preventative medicine but I’m left to wonder if it means preventing health, rather than preventing ill health, especially under the current hard-line government. So for many of us, especially lower classes / underclass, we can go without until we’re dying. Some of us simply haven’t contributed enough to tax and National Insurance to receive healthcare entitlement above accident, emergency and maternity. Healthcare for all is an expensive myth. Cancer outcomes are much improved dependant on social class. Prompt diagnosis and treatments are much more likely the more able to afford legal action the patient and their family are.

For months my best friend was told there was nothing at all wrong with her because she asked her doctor if she might have an illness like M.E. because her symptoms and exhaustion were so like my illness. My friend was only diagnosed with a brain tumour when another friend insisted on taking her to A&E. Cancer spread to her lungs and in spite of treatment she died less than six months later, aged 35 years.

Shortly after a diagnosis of skin cancer in 2014, my mother became very ill and early in 2015 was found to have ovarian cancer. Following surgery and chemotherapy, and a very brief spell of remission, my mother’s cancer has spread to her liver and bowel and is ‘aggressive’. Her current treatment may buy her a little more extra time although of course we hope for a better outcome. She’s 68, which could be considered a long enough lifetime and already longer than many. I wish I could do anything at all for her, be there to help care for her, but I can barely care for myself (ill with M.E.) and we live so far apart.

My Dad died of bowel and liver cancer aged 60; his brother died of skin cancer aged 53; my father-in-law (an ex-miner) died of lung cancer aged 83; my best-friend died of lung cancer and a brain tumour aged 35; the child of a family friend died of leukaemia aged 7. 

I also know of two people in the long-term who are so far surviving their cancer after treatment following early diagnosis.

I hope my post doesn’t cause any offence, especially if you are ill yourself or recently bereaved. I am also aware that many healthcare professionals are committed and dedicated to their vocation of caring and supporting the sick and needy and do their absolute best for their patients.

I welcome feedback, discussion and comments – Do you know of anything of better help/worth a mostly bed-bound and ill person can do for this? #WeCanICan



Over at Ruth’s blog, every Wednesday she’s choosing a word to inspire her post for that day. She’s issued an open invitation for others to join in with her Wednesday Word, either in the comments or with a pingback to your own post.

[I had something in mind but it’s fallen away while I took a look at the word, it’s meaning, snonyms and antonyms and then somehow otherwise distracted… I finally removed the dolphin background that was supposed to psychologically invoke healing(!) but may have caused avoidance. I still like the Sorbet theme, but I might go for a change, at some point…]

…back to the Wednesday Word prompt:

MOMENTOUS – in Chinese, according to the google translation, is shown as:  重大

In a while, to-do lists will have no place;

alarm bells will not ring; monuments will crumble and fall.

The earth will not choke within the smog of man’s industry.

Humankind leaving little trace, all words expressed in vain.

 Momentous, Nature, portentous, returns.


Apparently in Welsh, momentous translates as pwysig; in Indonesian it’s sungguh-sungguh; and in Swahili, it’s nzito … but, of course, regarding translation, I’m just taking google’s word for it …


I also tried a few haiku, but most have incorporated directly or by theme into the poem above. That leaves this one – but you have to not be lazy with ‘ev-er-y’ , as usually, when spoken, at least colloquially by common English people like myself, it sounds 2 syllables and this one has to sound 3 to count:

Momentous mundane
as every day passes
by night into morn.

If you haven’t already, stop by and check out Ruth’s poem for her Wednesday Word – and her previous posts too – and hopefully I’ll be dropping by to read your own momentous posts sometime soon 🙂