Tag Archives: heart

1889. Award 22: Mystery at Te Popo

How wonderful to be nominated for The Mystery Blogger Award by Dumbest Blog Ever. The Dumbest Blogger ain’t as dumb as he makes out so go have a peek. He’s also going through a bit of a no-job patch, so see if you can have a read. He’s a good friend too.

Te Popo (in the title of this posting) is the name of the area where I live. It means “The Black Night”.

The award was established by Okoto Engima. She (apparently) is your everyday writer who turned her boredom, love for fashion, and passion for writing into something productive. So, being a fashion icon in my own head, I’m delighted to provide a link.

I’m meant to answer the five questions asked, and then say THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF. Of course the very things that some would want to know about me shall remain a secret. Oh! What the heck! Why not expose all? Read on!

Then I’ve got to nominate other bloggers, ask them a similar number of original things in the manner in which I was asked, and finally skedaddle off to bed.

Here are the five questions:

1. Where do UFOs come from?

Three weeks before my fourth birthday (i.e. 21 days before) my parents put a dozen eggs underneath a broody hen. I didn’t know, but they were due to hatch on my birthday. Then on my birthday eve my mother told me the hen was going to hatch out baby chickens tomorrow for my birthday. I went to the chicken coop and watched. Being on a farm I knew that babies came out of the mother’s bottom – like calves and lambs and things. I also knew that chickens came out of eggs. But how did the mother hen get her babies into the eggs after they had come out of her bottom?

I was going to solve this mystery once and for all. I watched all day, and not a thing happened. The next morning the hen had twelve chickens. I do not know how the hen puts the chickens into the eggs, and nor do I know where UFOs come from.

As an addendum to this, all twelve chicks grew into handsome over-sexed roosters, which might lead to the first of the THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF towards the end of this post.

This is my faverolles rooster in my later years!

2. Do you like Mexican food?

We don’t have Taco Bell within a thousand miles of where I live, so all Mexican food has to be hand-crafted – a skill which I have developed to a high standard, especially when opening the can of kidney beans. So yes, I like Mexican food. Once, a couple of years back, the farming neighbours asked me to look after their farm for three weeks while they went away for a vacation. (They had never had such a capable neighbour before, and I said yes because they had lots of farm bikes and I was able to roar around all day on motor bikes here and there – it could have been interpreted as testosterone but it was simply post-adolescent inanity).

By way of thanks the neighbours invited me over for a meal, and we had Mexican. I was foolish enough to declare that one cannot claim to have eaten Mexican tacos properly unless one takes a freshly stuffed taco shell and eats it while jumping up and down in a white shirt on a trampoline. That’s what I had seen Mexican children do.

Some idiot actually photographed it

Who cares? The shirt was old anyway. Of course, those of you who want to see me with my shirt off will have to wait until the THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF later. I don’t like to reveal everything all at once.

3. Do you believe in life after love?

I’d like to say yes to this question, but basically I’m a bad loser. I don’t know how many times I’ve fallen in love, or even fallen in infatuation. But each time when the saga is over I turn into a complete wreck. I’m trying to select an example…

Once, when all possibility of romance dissipated, approximately around one in the morning, I screwed up an entire packet of cigarettes and threw them into the fire. The nearest in-the-middle-of-the-night cigarette selling place was about two hours walk away and I didn’t have a car. By the time I got home at five o’clock it was sunrise and I was in a ripe state.

No, there’s no life after love. Or, yes, perhaps there is, but it’s a different life – I have subsequently discovered.

I know it’s confusing but this is not me. These are actually models.

4. What’s your theme song?

I’m a bit “yesterday” when it comes to choosing a theme song. I guess it would have to be the song my father banned from us playing on the (back-then) gramophone. It was the flipside of Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren’s “Goodness Gracious Me”. The song was called “We’re removing Grandpa’s grave to build the sewer”. I absolutely loved it back then (and still do). I suppose part of the appeal was that Dad had banned it and it could only be played when he was out of the house. Apart from that as a ten year old I got given a collection of recordings of music by famous composers and I thrashed Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” to death. Mum would say, “Turn that horrible music down” but I didn’t.

I still get immensely excited by every note of it, and sometimes take the score to bed with me to read like a novel. But for the time being, if you’re hoping to get an insight into my excitement you may have to wait until you hear about the THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF towards the end of this reflection.

Getting ready to take Stravinsky’s Rite to bed.

5. Would you rather eat rice or potatoes?

I had two great-great-great grandmothers die in the Irish Potato Famine, so it would be treachery to claim a preference for rice. Besides, I associate rice with China, and they’re not my favourites at present.

There’s so much more one can do with a potato. Rice one can boil or throw over the bride and groom at a wedding. What a waste! Imagine throwing boiled potatoes at a bride and groom. It could be the harbinger of awkward things to come, especially if the groom got bits of mashed potato on his black tuxedo.

THREE THINGS ABOUT MYSELF

At last we have arrived at this most revealing section. Some of you have been faithful online friends for seven or eight years, and some just a few weeks. Some know things about me that others don’t. Anyway, here are bits of me in no particular order and for no particular reason:

1. I am gay. My partner is Eric. He is French. We get on well enough. He speaks nine languages and I speak English. He uses the eight other languages when he doesn’t want me to know what he’s saying. I never chose to be gay. My five siblings are now all GREAT grandparents. Such things would have its joys and non-joys (and expenses). I have a dog and a cat. I love them nonetheless. It’s not quite the same but it’ll have to do!

2. I was a catholic priest for nearly thirty years. Those years, plus the eight years of training, were an important part of who I am. Sometimes, when people hear of my past, they say “Good on you for leaving”. I always get a little hurt by that. It was almost forty years of my life! I don’t think there was much wrong with what I did!

3. I have had a chronic heart condition for 25 years or so. Apparently I need a heart transplant but I’m not going to be given one because there’s a paucity of hearts about and I haven’t made a big enough contribution to society to be very far up the list! I said to the heart specialist when he told me that, “as long as the heart I would’ve got goes to someone younger who has a life ahead then that is fine”, and he said that no one had said that before and he burst into tears. I thought that might’ve improved my chances but it made Sweet Fanny Adams of a difference!

Anyway, it’s just as well that this wonderful award asks for only three, otherwise I’d be talking about myself all day.

I now have to ask five questions and nominate others. Well, this is the sad bit. I should’ve said it at the beginning. I don’t nominate, but I mention the blog addresses of other bloggers I follow that I like and maybe you miss out on. If I don’t mention you, know that I don’t NOT mention you to make you feel bad.

a). Passing on the flame. This is an archive of poetry translations (Medieval/Baroque/Modern/etc) from the German, by Peter Lach-Newinsky. I like this site because it exposes something to me that I wouldn’t have a clue about otherwise.

b). Observation Blogger. Lifelong learner and blogging enthusiast. Matthew is an Australian who lives in Colombia with his family. I think he’s currently in permanent lockdown – the poor bugger. He posts interesting stuff about music and things. The bits I like most are his introductions to Latin American music, singers, and songs.

c). Lisa of arlingwords blogs about a number of things, but mainly about her communal garden in Washington DC where she creates produce for the poor and gets eaten out by wild and pernicious rabbits.

d). European Origins. As a (lily) white Caucasian I enjoy Marcel’s blog and dream about my European ancestral lineage! I hope I’m allowed to…

e). Sweet Life Kitchens. Noel presents country-style cooking and baking. I like it because it gives a few ideas and shows how to cook things without a million pop-ups and ads that have now taken over recipe sites. This is good stuff!

Now I have provided no questions because these are not nominations but recommendations. But if so desired then recommended bloggers can answer the same five questions no doubt more satisfyingly than my response!

Thanks again to The Dumbest Blogger for his kindness in nominating me.

Here’s a picture of my washing to let you know that despite all I’ve said, it’s a cow of a life.

1423. A mark on the chest

When Zane awoke he noticed what looked like a graze or a cut on his chest. He didn’t know what it was, but it hurt quite a bit, especially if he touched it. Throughout the day he kept having a peek at it to see if it was getting better or worse. It was getting quite blistery. Then he wondered if it wasn’t some sort of bed sore. He made an appointment to see a doctor.

“No,” said the doctor, “it’s not a bed sore but I don’t have a clue what it could be. It could be a spider bite. It looks a little like a burn mark or if some sort of chemical has been spilt. You don’t recall anything like that?”

The doctor prescribed an ointment and said if it gets worse then come back. “Anyway,” asked the doctor, “how’s the rest of your health been?”

Zane had a fairly serious heart condition.

“Actually,” said Zane, “I feel better than I have in years.”

Silly man! He had no idea that aliens had visited him while he slept and fixed up his heart.

Poem 75: Concerto for heart and orchestra

(This poem continues my decision this month to post poems I wrote fifty plus years ago – this week’s poem was written around about when I was 19.)

If your heart is clawed,
Fuoco, Giocoso.

If you are free,
Calando, Dimuendo.

Speed up for the last movement.

1213. Merran’s little Shih Tzu

Merran loved her little Shih Tzu. Throughout her life she had always had a little dog, but Lan Dong was her favourite canine of all time. Merran always stood in her kitchen to have her breakfast. It was usually just a slice of toast with butter and honey, always made meticulously after she had taken her heart pills and downed a large glass of water. If she dropped some toast crumbs on the kitchen floor, Lan Dong would instantly snaffle them up.

“You’re a regular little vacuum cleaner,” Merran would say. “Who needs a broom when Lan Dong is about?”

Anyway, on this particular day, as she was taking her medication, Merran accidently dropped her open bottle of heart pills.

Poem 30: Restlessness takes hold

(The poetic form selected for this month is the ghazal.)

Restlessness takes hold because I know not the heart.
I steal a look, a glance, a sigh. No! Not the heart!

Birds take flight from swampy fens up to angry clouds.
They circle in a gyre and cry: Know not the heart!

Mrs Housewife takes off the outer cabbage leaves
And puts aside the rest for pie. No! Not the heart!

The cornfield shakes light of gold in the setting sun.
Hills shudder silver rays and die. Know not the heart!

Trees deeper in the forest grow strong together.
Spindly plants on outer edge vie. No! Not the heart!

The secrets of all life stun us into wonder;
But Bruce, who ever asks the why, knows not his heart.

742. How time passes

742record

Russell was bewildered. He went to see the heart specialist. The heart specialist said, “Don’t go buying any long-playing records.”

Russell was born in the twenty-first century. He didn’t have a clue what the doctor meant. He went home and asked his mother. She was born in the early eighties. She said she thought a long-playing record was some sort of contraption for playing music on.

Russell’s last words were, “What the hell would I want a long-playing record for?”

82. Quadruple by-pass

82heart

Terence was to have a quadruple heart bi-pass. He pretended he wasn’t worried. Bi-passes these days are fairly run-of-the-mill. A few days in hospital followed by a few weeks recovery. And then… a new man!

Still, there was a nagging doubt. What if… There was his wife and kids to think about. He was still a young man.

The specialist had said “You’ll be good for another fifteen years after the operation, and then we’ll review the matter”. Fifteen years! He’ll be only sixty-seven!

The day arrived. He felt a small sniffle in his nose. Was he getting a cold? Would they postpone the operation? A false alarm! The doctor had a nose for sniffing out sniffles, and this wasn’t one.

“You’ll be fine,” the anaesthetist had said. Terence chatted to the anaesthetist as the mask was placed over his mouth and nose. “This,” joked Terence pseudo-dramatically gesturing to the physiognomy of the anaesthetist, “was the last face he ever saw.”

Indeed, it was.