Tag Archives: talk

1639. On the propagation of cyclamen

It was certainly a thrill for Hazel when she was invited to speak to the Piddlingham Village Garden Society on the propagation of cyclamen. Hazel had been growing cyclamen (in pots) for seven years; ever since her husband had given her a plant for their 18th wedding anniversary. It was a beautiful white cyclamen with a purple throat. It was called Purple Song and had been developed by Hans Styvenberg of a village not far from Piddlingham.

Hazel herself had gone on to propagate several varieties of cyclamen. One of them – a deep pink called Piddlingham Bishop – had become available at a couple of plant shops.

With the greatest of care, Hazel prepared her talk. She even took along several examples of cyclamen to illustrate the various points she was making. Quite a large group (for Piddlingham) assembled in the school hall. Hazel’s talk was well received. Some people even took notes. Would you believe! They took notes! What an added thrill!

At the end of the talk Hazel was given hearty applause. She asked if there were any questions.

Hans Styvenberg put up his hand and said that he’d been growing cyclamen for over fifty years and most of what Hazel had said was crap.

The assembled group didn’t quite know where to go from there. Hans Styvenberg was recognized as some sort of expert – as had been Hazel. People squirmed uncomfortably in their wooden chairs. In the end, Colleen Downside won they day. She suggested they all retire to the back of the hall for a cup of tea.

And a big thankyou to Helen Brunswick for providing the peanut cookies.

1404. Sausages

It was nine year old Natalie’s turn to give a talk in class. She thought it would be fun to talk about sausages!

“There are all sorts of different sausages,” began Natalie. “First of all there are many different types of German sausage.”

“Excuse me,” said Heinrich in the class, “but I’m German and I don’t like being called a sausage. That’s racist.”

The teacher gently explained to Heinrich that the term “German” was in reference to food. There was nothing racist about it.

“Then,” continued Natalie, “there’s Polish sausage.”

“Excuse me,” said Karol in the class, “but I’m Polish and I don’t like being called a sausage. That’s racist.”

The teacher gently explained to Karol that the term “Polish” was in reference to food. There was nothing racist about it.

“Finally,” said Natalie, “there’s a sausage called black pudding made out of pig’s blood and fat.”

“You naughty, naughty racist child,” exclaimed the teacher. “I suppose you get that attitude from your parents. You will take time out. We are not going to have that attitude in my classroom.”

968. Guest violinist


Would he come and play his violin? They had heard he was a very good musician. They had put money aside, and once every two weeks someone was invited to talk or give a presentation of some sort.

Two weeks ago they had a visiting heart surgeon speak to them about the latest advances in cardio-vascular research. Of course, a heart surgeon costs the earth, but it was worth every cent, and he also gave a few tips as to how best to look after ones heart.

Before that the local representative of the “Save the Dolphin Society” spoke about the need to protect the rare Hector’s Dolphin against getting caught in fishing nets. He too got paid handsomely for his efforts.

And now, could you come and play your violin? He practised for it all week.

And indeed he did play wonderfully! The applause! And they gave him a lovely thank you card:

Thank you for sharing your gift of music with us all. You have indeed been blessed with a wonderful talent, and it is marvellous to see someone giving so freely of something they enjoy.

Listen to the story being read HERE!

691. Did I tell you about my grandkids?


Let’s face it, no one in my eighty-seven years has ever listened to me. And now I’m in an old people’s home and everyone talks and talks and talks like someone might be listening. Either that or they never talk at all; like they’ve been struck mute.

Maybe they don’t talk because they’ve got no grandkids or great-grandkids like most have. And those with grandkids talk and talk and talk about them like they’re the only ones that have them. Like their descendants are the most intelligent things born since some remote ancestor in Africa picked up a cracked stone to sharpen the point of a stick.

I don’t talk much about my eleven grandkids and their couple of kids because no one listens. I talk about them though if I’m sitting in the corner with Fred. Fred always listens. He appreciates it. I tell him everything about my grandkids and he never grows tired of it. He agrees with everything I say.

Poor Fred. He’s totally deaf and he’s got some muscular complaint that means he nods positively at everything I say.

Listen the story being read HERE!