It is a whirlwind in here


May 2016

Postcards From The Past Without Pictures



Dear Eustice:

My mind confronts so many intangible truths that you sometimes seem – or is it just hope on my part – to be my only peg of reality. Have you noticed that whenever we finally believe we know the reason for something which happens, it often occurs that the real reasons are exactly the opposite of what we supposed. Everything walks a line – as narrow as those upon this page – between profound revelation and mindless absurdity. As I look through my window, the shadows cast through the trees on the next building, take the shape of a French poodle carrying a parasol. Is even Nature absurd?




Dear Margot:

Nature is nothing but reality, only the intangible can be absurd. As I’ve said too many times (and why do I repeat myself yet again) you spend too much effort – and wasted effort, for how can it be other – on futile quest and query. The only truth to be found is in sour milk or pleasant fornication – these things are real, these things exist. Absurdity is kittens playing or the Prime Minister’s latest speech. These things we look at with amusement or contempt – we know not to expect much from either. Quit you silly endeavours and join the world which surrounds you, not the one which your head surrounds. All important answers can be found between someones legs.






Dear Eustice:

Ideas and questions are what make us more than the rutting animals you seem to exemplify. I do not claim that I shall ever reach Plato’s perfect bed, but neither would I wish to remain in your oft-used and no doubt soiled one. We are meant (I am quite certain of this) to strive to new understanding, new revelations about ourselves and our place in this world. The sole function of our body is to be a vehicle for transporting our mind, and keeping it alive. My `quest and query’ as you put it (and, by the way, did you steal that phrase – it sounds like the title of one of those pretentious little magazines you read) is both proper and noble. I really do wish you would utilize the gifts given you, and not waste so much time in idle and – it must be said – repetitious pursuits.






Dear Margot:

One of life’s meaner tricks is to allow us all a different set of beliefs. Cows, cats and dragonflies are content with their uniform outlook on life. Their needs are simple (if keeping alive can be called simple), and they eat, drink, keep warm, and yes, cheerfully reproduce with little thought of anything else. If you wish to assume there are greater endevours in this existence, then you should also assume that only saints and angels can fathom them, and not spend so much time on a chore for which you are not equipped. Grand thoughts may be fine for the likes of Plato, but my perfect bed will have three beautiful partners in it, who are completely willing to whatever I suggest. I think if you study our bodies more closely, you will see what it really is their function to produce. You could do with stimulation to more than just your mind.



P.S. Moira sends her love




The End Of The World – By The Numbers



Green flash – nine dash – dark green in dark room, four flash – minus dash – three flash – six dash – eight then tight then eight. The operator shoves his chair back in fear, things happen too quickly to be surprised. Red left light followed by yellow left light glow beside the numbers, reflect the band of a wristwatch. Eight flash two race one plus one point – decimal moving across the board, hunting.

Fingers, hand, wristwatch reach for the never used phone.

Second and third red left lights glow off the face of the Operator as his lips open before the mouthpiece.


“Get the General and the Director down here fast.”


“But they’re both asleep.” A thin voice in his ear.


“No time – no time. Hurry.”


His hand replaces the phone, but his eyes never leave the wild numbers, doubling and now tripling. Four two flash seven one three dash six six six pause blank plus plus racing decimal three three three three. He takes a fast look around the dim room to see yellow and red lights glimmering from every corner, and the flashing green of disappearing numbers.

His eyes return to his own board. There is a constant series of tiny clicks as the green numbers race from right to left, bottom to top. He moves a sweaty palm across his leg and gapes. Minus minus minus eight zero four three eight zero four three pause eight pause plus pause zero four three three click click click click.

Quadrupoling now, simultaneous right to left and bottom to top, green numbers racing click click click click.  The sound of the flicking numbers makes him think of chicken claws scratching in gravel. He notices his hands shaking.

He dimly remembers one lecture where the odds were given of such a thing happening, the smug humour of his instructor. Six six 44 flash two seven 55 click nine two 77 plus 333 point 2864 flash minus flash minus eight seven three three zero.


“My God, they’re in fives now.”


He swivels around with a start, and sees the Director peering over one shoulder, the General standing behind him.


“How long has this been happening?”


“I … I don’t know.” He is frightened and confused. “Five or six minutes – no more than ten. I called you as soon as – ”


“It’s happening with all of them,” said the General. “It’s not a mistake.” As he speaks he looks at the screen, fumbles to straighten his tie. Nine one four two four flash nine one four two 5 pause nine one four two 6 minus flash click click click.


They move like green waves across a dark sea, sextupleting in a rush from the base of the screen. Seven two 2941 flash four one 3384 pause nine zero 7766 click click minus three four 0827.


“More warning lights are on now, Sir.”


“It’s the same with every terminal,” said the Director as he looks over to the General.


“I presume you activated the breaking system.”


“Yes, Sir.” The operator does not look behind him as he answers. “When the triples started. All it did was blow out the switch lights.” His face – like the others – is bathed in a confused glow of green, yellow and red.


“The last warning lights just came on.”


“We can see that!” snapped the Director.


The room has never had so much light in it, yet the green numbers do not seem subdued. Four two 8601, nine five 7350, one one 4499 plus flash four eight 1632 click click.

Green flash, red light and yellow, number after number, 472210 flash 992136 pause 886221 race pause flash green 220011 flash click click click.


“Sounds like hens scratching,” says the General.

The Director took in his breath with a groan. “They’re turning octal,” he said.


The green numbers moved constantly now, covering the whole face of the screen. Click click flash plus 12345678 flash 87654321 pause 20199465 click minus flash 22446688 race click 11335577 green 88990011 click.


“They’re grouping,” said the Operator. “They’re forming patterns.” His voice was no longer scared, but resigned.


The red and yellow warning lights began to shatter, small pops of sound followed by falling glass. Green flickers raced 11223344 slight pause 55667788 flash green wave 99001122 minus flash 33445566 click click


“It’s turning cyclical,” said the Director.


click flash green rush 77889900 pause plus click 00000000 minus flash flash click 00000000 click click 00000000


“What a way to end,” mumbled the General.



Amazing Self-Help Reading Material Not Easily Found




Poetry From The Light Fixture is an illuminating book of verse from an electrifying author. The poet in question is a questioning poet, quarrying for answers in the rich loam of Earth’s mysteries. The instinct of a pollen-laden honeybee, coupled with the dynamic curiosity of a fluffy kitten, allow this poet to plumb the depths of inarticulate sensitivity, and give to us, grateful readers everywhere, proof positive that, yes, indeed, here is a mind that actually thinks.


Security Through Fat
is yours for the asking. Never again allow people to to ridicule you because you’re a slob – you’re only a slob in their eyes. Security Through Fat will teach you that obesity is natural, layers of fat keep you happy and keep you pure. Fat means prosperity, means that you are successful in life. Eating keeps your mind off your problems. Fat people are jolly and fun to be with. Fat people are good for industry. Fat people keep our society going. Security Through Fat will open up a whole new world of pleasure and prestige for you.

And, while you’re at it, pick up Sex Really Is Dirty – free for a limited time.

There Is No Death, you do not have to worry any longer. All these years – yes, even centuries – men have been afraid to die, and it has just been wasted time, because no one ever dies. Yes, There Is No Death, it has all been a gigantic hoax formed by various religions to make money. Death be not proud because death does not exist. You, too, can now do whatever you want: play with fire, race your car, make love to a rattlesnake – there is nothing to stop you because There Is No Death. Take that money you were saving for a casket, and join our club today.

There Is No Death delivered monthly – forever.


Surprising Phone Call Is A Mystery To Be Solved

Telephone switchboard




I had been away for the weekend and returned late. There was a phone message. I would do nothing about it at that hour but . . . I listened to it anyway. It was a garble of words just out of reach, with sounds as if through water. The backdrop to a horror movie or an opaque dream. It kept on and on and I hung up before the end.


Next day I had many things to do, so I did not listen to the message until late afternoon. My interpretation was no different. It consisted of sounds heard behind a door in a dream. I probably would have just ignored and deleted, but it went on and on. The phone number of the caller meant nothing to me (other than it was localized to the two immediate provinces). So, from curiosity and a touch of concern, I phoned back.

A woman answered. She was as confused as I would be, if I was hearing the message I  now delivered. She even said that she did not understand. I repeated my predicament. Then she checked the phone number I was calling from.

“That number is from Chelsea, a friend of my daughter,” said she.

Although this added to the confusion, it also started to make some connections. I had been getting phone calls for “Chelsea”, on and off, for months.

“But Chelsea has moved.”  The woman also started to make a connection. “But I still have her on my speed dial. You must now have her number. I must have hit it somehow when it was in my pocket or my purse. I’ll erase it.”

Two mysteries solved.

I listened to the message a bit longer before I deleted it. There was a portion where I could make out the CBC National News on television. Probably from a pocket but, it still sounded as if it was more from a fish tank.




Red Onion Jam // Onions Onions Onions

Make this red onion jam recipe using red onions, sugar, bay leaves, and cinnamon. Find the condiment recipe at PBS Food.

Source: Red Onion Jam

A FishTale From The Atlantic Ocean

Horse mackerel Mackerel


There is a  very long pier at one of the container terminals in Halifax. It seems to go out a quarter of the way into the harbour. It offers the best view of the mouth of the harbour and some (now) unique views back into the harbour itself.

As I was standing at the end, jutting into the harbour and watching the passing traffic (hello, cruise ship), I noticed a man with a fishing pole, casting away. He did not seem too successful, but did toss the occasional fish (mackerel) into a large pail. So I watched my ships and he cast away. Sometimes his fish leaped from the pail and flopped about on the pier. He did not seem concerned, though I rather hoped one of them would slide under the fence and return to the water far below.

I stayed about an hour and was preparing to leave. So was the fisherman. He called to me if I wanted any fish. I did have some interest, but, in addition to transporting fish on a bus, and also having to gut and clean them, I declined. It was then he offered the grandest of shows.

He reached into his pail and started tossing the fish over the high, barbwire-topped fence which enclosed the container terminal. On the other side was a vast platform, upon which waited a flock of seagulls. As each mackerel sailed over the fence and slid across the cement, the gulls descended. I anticipated many bird fights. I was surprised to see that each gull which reached a fish first, just swallowed the mackerel whole. Gulp. Slide into gullet. Fly away gull. The other gulls just turned their attention to the next flying fish.

It was quite the entertainment.


Screaming Seagull
Screaming Seagull by  Vera Kratochvil


In Pictures -Some Canadian inspiration from famous Canadians (11 Photos) — theCHIVE

Listen up, eh.

via Some Canadian inspiration from famous Canadians (11 Photos) — theCHIVE

Pictures of Delicious onion ring recipes just in time for summer (15 Photos) — theCHIVE

via Delicious onion ring recipes just in time for summer (15 Photos) — theCHIVE

As I edit my second novel dealing with onions, I won’t even attempt to contain my enthusiasm over these. There is not enough time to eat enough onions. Or write about them.

Caught Dead In A Place Like This

If I were going to visit my mother on Mother’s Day, I would have to visit a cemetery. Same for my father, as they are side by side. I have done so before – the last time to make sure their tumbled gravestone had been righted. It had.

I have a friend – still happily above ground – who had once been admonished “… not to walk on graves.” She wondered why, as she said it would give her pleasure if she knew people were even dancing upon hers, and enjoying themselves.

And what’s a graveyard if you can’t enjoy yourself?

I have sometimes pondered whether it would be pleasant to live beside a graveyard. It makes great sense to me. That would almost be a guarantee of peace and quiet.

For myself, I had plans for a grand mausoleum. There was to be a reflecting pool and mourning benches, with ornate gargoyles around the sarcophagus. And a whole lot of other things. Wind chimes, for instance – there should be wind chimes. And treed arbours where people can gently weep.

However, my friend (not the one who wishes cotillions stepped-out upon her mortal bones), who was helping me plan this grand memorial garden, has – alas – herself died. And since it was she who was the mastermind behind my final resting place, I am somewhat at a loss.

As it is, I will be going to see her planted, with no mausoleum in sight. I suppose the irony is lost upon her. But maybe not.

So the reverential repose I wish is now up to me. I hope time doesn’t run out before I do.


Exterior of Milton Mausoleum, Markham Clinton, Nottinghamshire. Photo by James Darwin. Not to be reproduced without permission.

{Yeh – something like this.}


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