Losing Interest

Recently I’ve became slightly disinterested with my blog. Daily posts are becoming something of a chore, and I think my frequent blog activity has caused me to become a bit bored.

So, to counter this, I’m going to try blogging once every other day; hopefully I’ll regain my interest. I’ll post again on Sunday with updated schedules and a poem for you all to (hopefully) enjoy.

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Seasonal Haikus

Summer’s warming wind,
Blows gently through green leaf trees.
Rain is often thanked.

Crisp golden leaves fall.
Autumn comes as Summer fails,
And the air grows cool.

Snow covers the path,
Inches of cold frozen ice.
Will the Earth survive?

Flowers dig through frost,
Nature comes back from near death.
The birds fly back North.

Returning to the Joys of Reading

Recently, I have been put off reading for pleasure. It’s partially my own fault because I’ve been busy or just been doing something else, but mainly I think it’s the fault of my exam. I had to read so many books (and by read I mean search the internet for plot summaries due to sheer boredom) that I just didn’t enjoy; these were mostly classics which I find are alright until I have to read one after another after another after…you get the picture. To give you an example, I read the first part of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey in which the most exciting event turned out to be meeting a man at a ball, oh and the protagonist’s parent called her “almost pretty” which was just fabulous…

So, now that my exam it out of the way I plan to start enjoying reading again. First of all I’m going to finish A Song of Ice and Fire, then I’ll probably move on to some of Joe Abercrombie’s work (I’ve had The Blade Itself sad on my bookshelf for a good while now. After that I can see the completion of the collection of Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories I downloaded onto my kindle a while back, and maybe even a catch up on the latest Peter F. Hamilton sci-fi novel.

In short, I’m returning to the joys of reading. I would love for you to comment and let me know what I should read. I’m extremely willing to add to my already massive list. Thanks.

The Last of England


What seems like an age ago now, I lived in England with my parents. From what I remember, it was a hard life; one filled with hunger, thirst, abuse, and sorrow. My father’s main source of income was begging; he would return with scraps of cheese and bread occasionally, sometimes he would bring nothing at all. My parents gave most of what they had to me, and while they wasted away, I survived; I wouldn’t say I was comfortable, but I survived.

Around ten years into my miserable existence, my father somehow arranged for us to travel to America; he told us that he had agreed to work on a fishing vessel, in return for safe passage. The next week we set off to Dover – where we would meet our vessel – on a horse-drawn cart; it’s difficult to recall the journey now, but I remember the cold, the bitter, biting wind gnawing on my skin. Tears stung my cheeks the entire journey.

After days of travelling south from Morecombe we finally reached Dover; I remember feeling horrified by the sheer extravagance expressed by the rich people’s suits and frocks, and the utter desolation of the poor. Some looked worse off than we did; torn clothes, boils on their skin, the smell of death surrounded them.

The boat was already waiting for us when we arrived so we boarded quickly, avoiding the stinking buckets of chum piled near the port side. We were away almost as soon as I had sat on the rotting bench; the white cliffs of Dover faded into the distance as we followed the coast west. Soon we were clear of England and on our way to the new world.

It wasn’t long before I noticed the other sailors, great, beastly men with arms and thighs like small tree trunks; I avoided them as much as I could, as did my mother. However my father, who worked the ship with them, began to befriend them. I saw them play games of chance together; I saw my father lose, a lot. When the last of our money was gone he bet our clothes, my toys, and my mother’s broach. When everything was gone, even our rations for the night, he bet a pocket watch; a pocket watch he said was made of silver, one he said had been in his family for many years, one he didn’t have.

Once he had lost, and the men had found out he had lied, they were very, very angry. They began to shout, and my father begged for another chance. He told them they could have anything, they just had to name their price; one of them pointed at my mother. She was terrified, beginning to whimper, she told me to hide. I was paralyzed by fear and so when I didn’t move, she held me close; it seemed my father had refused and a fight broke out between him and the other men.

My mother took me into her arms and hid the violence from my eyes, I heard scuffles and shouts. Finally there was a noise like the slitting of a lambs throat, a guttural noise which entered my ears like the devil’s laugh; my father was dead. Then they turned on my mother.

Exam Pressure

This week I decided to take a break from my review schedule (not least because my exam tomorrow has prevented me from reading the third Song of Ice and Fire novel) and use my spare time to suggest books that I think are great, and that I believe should be on everyone’s reading list.

George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Endgame

Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

Paul Hoffman’s The Left Hand of God Trilogy

Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle

Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair

Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

I’ll leave it at ten due to the fact it’s a good, round number and I’m short on time. I’ll be back tomorrow with a much better post.

 

The Cloudy Shallot

A cloud wanders slowly through the sky,

Sometimes it’s lonely,

But sometimes its friends float by.

 

Years and years ago,

It saw a beautiful land of leaf and sea,

But now all it sees is you and me.

 

Grinding, digging, and choking the land,

A cloud in agony,

To see the dirt turn to sand.

 

Warmer and warmer,

The Earth grows hot,

The cloud may as well reside on a cooking Shallot.

The Once Black and Fluffy Sheep

So here I am again, re-telling the story I’ve told a thousand times, to a thousand people, just like you. It may come as a surprise to you, but contrary to popular belief, sheep aren’t performing monkeys! Although, some perform I think, but that’s not the point. Now go away and leave me alone!

I said leave me alone! Stop reading!

You really are insistent aren’t you. Fine, I’ll tell you my story. However, you are a lot older than my usual reader. Tell you what, this time I’ll tell the truth!

It all started when I woke up feeling a little chillier than usual. I didn’t think much of it at the time; it was only just coming into Spring after all. Anyway, I went about my usual business, you know, sheep stuff. That was when I began to grow suspicious, the pigs where laughing at me.

One of them said “Oi you” he laughed so hard he snorted like..well like a pig I suppose.. “get back inside or I’ll book you for indecent exposure”.

My ass was hanging out! Ha, get it? Farm humour…no?

Moving swiftly on, it later turned out that my idiot farmer had sheared me in my sleep! The bastard sold my wool to ‘The Master’. What kind of a name is that? I mean, it’s a bit presumptuous isn’t it? Sheep don’t just bow down to others you know, we don’t just follow the crowd, that’s for you lot to do. Who cares if one of the cows had a boob job, doesn’t mean I’ll get one. So, as I was saying, I wasn’t too mad, a farmer who feeds and shelters his sheep is welcome to a bit of wool from him. I just wish he hadn’t taken it all from one place…

That night, I went to sleep covering my backside with a bale of hay I had shuffled into. I seem to remember it being quite comfy, a little itchy though. But I digress, I woke in the morning feeling even colder than last night. I bleated in disbelief and in sorrow; you’d be surprised how many emotions you can fit into one ‘bhaa’. My whole back had been shaved in the night! At the time I wished I wasn’t such a heavy sleeper but now, with all manner of children and a few slightly odd adults reading me constantly, I’m not so sure I would do well as a light sleeper.

Obviously now I know who bought my second lot of stolen wool; as do all those damn ‘re-readers’ when I tell them incidentally. I hate re-readers, why do they have to waste my time, why should I have to repeat myself? That’s what’s wrong with today’s world, nobody cares about other people, just themsel…oh sorry, I do that sometimes. You’ll have to excuse me I am a couple hundred years old you know. Either way, it was that bitch, ‘The Dame’! It never ceases to amaze me that these stupid criminal masterminds use titles instead of names, imbeciles. I don’t call myself ‘The Sheep’ do I? No. Yes, yes I know it should have been rhetorical but this is my story so I can use or not use any literary devices I want.

As you can probably tell, I was pretty mad. I was on the verge of a breakdown at the time; I wouldn’t leave the stable for anything. Then I thought to myself, the farmer does have a family to feed, I guess he just needed some extra money this season. I let him off! That, was the worst mistake I have made in my entire life; I’ll get to why later. So I slept again, honestly believing that the worst was over.

I woke in the middle of the night, yawning intensely. That’s when I heard him, ‘ The Little Boy Who Lives Down The Lane’. He had stolen the last of my wool! You see, he’d heard of my lovely wool from his pal, ‘The Dame’ and, like any respectable evil genius would, he decided to get some for himself. This time however, the farmer wasn’t involved, ‘The Boy’ had decided he wasn’t going to pay, and had taken my wool himself.

I crept out of the stable and saw him creeping through the bushes towards the lane, that sly fox thought he could get away with it that easily! I prepared myself to charge; trying to imagine that the farmer’s dog was behind me, and there was a nice patch of green grass where ‘The Boy’ was, I began to run.

I screamed the most evil, vicious war cry I could imagine “Bha!”