Is it time for the Master of Arts to hand over to the younger generation? Maybe, if the creaking is anything to go by. My poor back aches at the thought. Read more of this fun entry by Jemima.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was the best because he had a job, for which he might even get paid. Having a job was better than nothing. Nothing equalled painful, hungry, disgusting, and sometimes even dangerous.
It was the worst of times because he was lying on his back on flat wooden boards, twenty feet in the air, painting.
Do you think that was a good job? Lying on your back, hardly able to shift position, trying to do intricate details in the most marvellous impression of gaily dancing women surrounded by cavorting dogs … and the paint is dripping into your eyes, into your hair, up your nostrils and into worse parts.
“The world is not to be put in order. The world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”
― Henry Miller
Henry rested his head in his hands. His crops had produced poor yields again. He’d bought the best quality seeds, and high-quality fertilizer, and followed every instruction to the letter, yet the outcome wasn’t great. He looked over his fence at old John’s plot. Row after row of large healthy looking plants stared back at him.
He packed up his tools and started to head for home, John joined him on the path. After the dutiful discussion about the weather, Henry glanced back down towards the two allotments.
“John, what’s your secret?” he plucked up the courage to ask him.
“Cow Sh*t, my lad. Cow Sh*t and Chicken Sh*t.”
“What?” Henry couldn’t keep the shock from his voice.
“Nature, my lad, does a better job than any of us could ever do. She knows already provides all the best solutions we just have to understand them. Manure is better for the soil than anything you can find in your fancy packets. Those books of yours don’t take into account what the weather doing each year, some years like this, it’s worth holding back and putting your crops out a little later, give them a little longer to stand the weather. Whatever your issues, nature usually has the answer. That’s what I’ve found.”
“Thanks John,” Henry said.
The two men stood at the end of the lane ready to part ways.
“One last thing before I go, lad,” John said. “We all have bad years, don’t be too hard on yourself. You will do better, I’m certain.”
Every dog owner knows how wise they can be, but it’s captured magnificently in this tale of gods and dogs by Pankaj Kumar
As I lay on the bed staring at the ceiling, I couldn’t help but marvel at the intricate carvings that adorned the plaster. The soft white color of the ceiling gave the room a serene ambiance, and the artistic carvings at the center were a testament to the skill of the craftsman who created them.
But my eyes were drawn to the painting in the center of the ceiling. It featured some gods surrounded by intricate details, and there were two dogs flanking them. The colors were vivid, and it seemed like the gods and dogs were alive and in motion.
Who would’ve thought we’d be famous. I told you the Master would include us in one of his masterpieces one day, and here we are. Yes, here we are. You don’t sound very enthusiastic. Sorry. I can’t help it. Just look at all those people below looking up at us in awe. Isn’t it wonderful?
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For visually challenged writers, the image shows a white plaster ceiling with beautiful artistic carvings in the centre is a painting featuring angels and the odd animal.
If you’d like to join in with this prompt, please see the link below:
I love this picture. It was from a very rainy day in Scotland on a visit to Stirling Castle. In the background you can just make out the Wallace Monument which this cannon was aimed towards. It really is a fascinating place, with such a rich history and some marvellous tour guides. Highly recommended, even in the rain!
Apologies all, WordPress decided to play silly beggars this week so not all pingbacks have tracked. This is the list of links that I can see but of course if I have missed anyone please do let me know.
“If you want to govern the people, You must place yourself below them. If you want to lead people, You must learn how to follow them.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Eden stepped out from behind the wall. He glanced around him, ensuring the guards had not followed. He reached down and instead of brushing dust from his clothes, he patted it in. He hadn’t climbed walls since his childhood, today he’d climbed three. Instead of shaving and grooming, yesterday he’d told the servants he felt unwell and that they were to just leave him to rest, today the two-day-old stubble would hopefully be just enough to give him the disguise he needed.
The market stall holders were busily setting up their trade for the day, some still holding lanterns in the gloom of the early morning light. He walked on past them all, ducking his head whenever he felt someone was staring at him a little too long. He made his way to the docks and sat on the dockside watching the fisherman load their boats ready for the day. He’d always loved the water, but it was rare he was allowed to set foot near water these days. Too much of a risk. Maybe it would change when he married and had an heir, but what a heavy burden to put on a son, he should know.
A bell began to toll loudly, breaking his chain of thoughts. The people began to move and after a moment or two he followed, trying to blend in. The bodies heaved together in the narrow streets, eventually arriving at the temple. He found himself standing at the back with the other men, pretending to be one of them. There were not enough seats for everyone. He’d never noticed this before. His family had a special place they were led to each time they entered. The men around him lowered their heads and mumbled along with the prayers. When the time came for each of them to say their own prayers, they whispered of hopes for their families; food, shelter, medicine and health. Lastly, they whispered for the Monarch, thanking God for his presence in their lives and praying for his continued good health. As he heard the words of the whispers drift towards him, his eyes filled with tears.
As he made his way back to the gates, he felt a wave of understanding fill his heart, and his sense of purpose renewed. His role was to be a servant to his people and he would never forget it.
The camel train continued to walk. Everyone had gotten used to the heat and the smell and were now happy to plod along awaiting the tour guide’s next instruction. Up ahead they could make out the Bedouin temple. As they trotted along, the sand-filled wind began to whip at their faces. Harder and harder it whipped and swirled around them, occasionally someone would cry out. As the wind continued to churn up the sand, it became harder and harder to see the person in front or behind. The camels, unphased by the commotion continued their steady plod.
When the wind settled, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Some gave a nervous giggle to one another, the crisis was averted. The Desert had revealed its hidden temple. Rushing to and from outside the temple was robed figures. They startled at the approaching camel train. The tour guide scratched his head confused, this was not the way he remembered it.
One by one, the sightseers hopped off their camels and made their way under the archway and into the courtyard. Stretched out before them was a medina with traders yelling to and fro. Yet as the tourists approached the stallholders and market traders quietened. They stared at the incomers. They spoke in a hushed whisper to their neighbouring stall holders occasionally they pointed at the incomer’s sunglasses or trainers.
The tour guide angrily tapped his phone but had no reception.
A commotion started further down the enclosed space. A group of men emerged, weapons swords and shields adorning their bodies. They marched menacingly towards the tourists, who began to back up and huddle together.
At once, the group halted, although the leader continued marching. The tour group edged further and further backwards until only the tour guide remained up front. The leader continued walking towards him, as they reached one another, it was clear to all the weapon-clad leader was much bigger than the tour guide. He lowered his head so that their faces were only inches apart.
The tour guide nodded and turned. The tour group had already begun backing up to the archway.
As they hastily climbed onto their camels and followed the tour guide, no one spoke, only the sound of the camels could be heard.
Not much love for our little camel train this week but thank you to all the wonderful participants.
“Missy that’s just decorative, no-one lives there.”
“How do you know?” Missy turned to face her mother and folded her arms. When her mother didn’t answer, she asked, “Well if no one lives there why is there a door and what’s behind it?”
“It’s just a garden, Missy.” Her mother was sounding a little frustrated with her now. As her mother busied herself packing up her picnic, Missy squated down and patted the smaller door. Maybe someone would answer that one instead.
“Missy, time to go.” Her mother hefted the picnic things onto her shoulder.
“But Mum, I think I can hear something inside.”
“Enough of this now, Missy, it’s time to go.” Missy glanced back at the little door, sure she could hear something inside but her mother’s tone told her there was to be no more debating the issue. Missy ran down the hill to her mother then taking her hand they headed home.
Just as Missy and her mother left the area, the small door opened. Two sleepy eyes peered out but on finding no-one there promptly closed the door and returned to sleep.
Sorry all, I know the round-up is a little late this week, I’ve managed to get a tummy bug. I can’t imagine it’s something I’ve eaten so I can only assume it’s something the toddler has brought home from nursery. The joys of parenthood – haha! Anyway, here is this week’s fabulous collection. Thank you to all the wonderful participants.
This week’s image needs little in the way of an introduction. The photo was taken in London, on a rather cloudy day a number of years ago. I’m always drawn to photographing the clock. Actually, I quite like clock towers in most towns. I’ve lived in a few market towns now which have lovely clock towers.
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower.
Big Ben is the largest four-faced chiming clock and the third-tallest free-standing clock tower in the world.
Big Ben was designed by the architect Augustus Pugin and was built between 1843 and 1859.
The clock tower stands at 316 feet (96.3 meters) tall and has a diameter of 39 feet (12 meters).
The Great Bell weighs 13.5 tons (13.2 metric tons) and strikes the hour.
The clock face is 23 feet (7 meters) in diameter and the minute hands are 14 feet (4.2 meters) long.