Tuesday, 31 May 2016

It is precious.

Along the Way.

I was out walking this morning enjoying the beautiful views of the snow capped Pyrenees in the distance. It is marvellous to be out walking the routes I was running two years ago, how I wish I was still running them, but making the very best of enjoying the beauty around me.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to pass two walkers I had seen most mornings two years ago. Even more pleased when they immediately spoke to me showing that they remembered me from the past. They will not be aware just how much their morning greeting brought to my day. We never do know the effect we have on the people we meet in life, so it is always worth the time to pass on positive and good thoughts, even when we may ourselves be having a notes good day.

It is indeed the wise person who spreads most goodness.

A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. 

The next day she met another traveller who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.

The hungry traveller saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. 
The traveller left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.  
A few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Please share with me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone without hesitation."
The wise woman laughed. "Young man, there is nothing more for me to share with you. By returning the stone you have shown that you already have what is most precious, within yourself as well. 
Your heart is open, and  you give without thought."
Who might you meet today, and what might you give?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Hymns for everyday

Today  I begin by telling a very real tale. I once had a member of my church who was a very hard working member of the congregation. He was the church officer and all that that involved, including very ceremoniously carrying in the bible, which he did with great dignity.

He also helped me with the organising and running of a disco for young people on a Saturday evening. This was no easy task.

He also had a great sense of humour.One Saturday evening as we were cleaning up after the disco i thought i saw something funny happening with the coffee. So when we finished and gathered for a cup of coffee together I quietly swopped his coffee for mine. he did not notice. we had our coffee and began to pack away the disco equipment. He began to pass wind. He had doctored my coffee with joke powder to make this happen to me.

I smiled at him and everybody had a little laugh.

The next morning as he carried the bible into church i smiled again. As he took his place in the beadles seat I announced the first hymn. I feel the winds of god today. There were many smiling faces in the church that morning.

A similar and very true story happened to a minister.

He was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
With even greater emphasis, he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river."
And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he said, "And if I had all the whisky in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river!"
The sermon complete, he sat down.
While the preacher was giving vent the organist had change the list of hymns on the hymn board without him seeing.
After the sermon the minister looked at the board and announced , " We shall now sing hymn 365. Strangely this was not the hymn he thought he had picked. he quickly looked it up and said. "Shall We Gather At The River."

beware your words and actions they just might come back in ways you least expect.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

A Little side street.

A Little Side Street.

Isn't it amazing how easily it is to get led of the straight and narrow. Without knowing it you find yourself up some side alley and you do not have clue where you are. Now this can happen both morally and in reality and sometimes neither but just a little change of direction in life brought about by circumstances.

Here in France there are little side streets in every village and town. How I love exploring. It is often in those side streets that you find artists at work.

That being said I have a little tale for you today that shows how being sidetracked can have long and lasting effects.

A woman dies after a long illness, and finds herself just outside of heaven, at the pearly gates. 
As she peers inside, she sees people she knew from her life on earth enjoying themselves, laughing, and looking quite happy. 
Just then, St Peter comes along, and she asks him:"Is this heaven? How can I enter the gates?"
St Peter replies: "Yes, this is heaven. All you have to do is spell one word for me, and you'll be free to enter."
"What word?," she asks. "Please tell me!"
"Spell LOVE," and you can enter, replied St Peter.
Relieved, she spells the word correctly, and St Peter opens the gates for her.
After she had been in heaven for some time, the woman became quite comfortable and happy, but she still missed her beloved husband who she left on the earth. As an extra way of being of service, she asks to become a helper of St Peter, along with others who greet the newcomers to heaven and usher them through the pearly gates.
Imagine her surprise one day when her husband appeared at the gates. 
"Darling! I thought you'd never get here," she says in greeting. "I have missed you so much...tell me, what have you been doing all this time? Was life hard for you after I left?"
Her husband replied: "Well, it's good to see you, too! Yes, I have been quite busy. I was very sorry when you left, but I was quite attracted to that cute nurse who helped you through your last days, and we ended up getting married a few months after your passing. 
And then - she won the lottery! 
Can you imagine? I was able to buy a large mansion, a new car, retired from my job, and my new wife and I traveled the world and we have had a grand life. We were on a vacation in the Greek isles and while I was water-skiing, my ski fell off and hit me in the head...so, here I am! I was sorry to leave her and the earth, but it's really great to see you again. Gee, it looks so nice in there. Is this heaven?"
The woman looked at him, smiled sweetly, and says: "Well, imagine that! I have missed you so much, and hoped that you missed me, too...but, well, I guess life goes on - right?"
"Right!," he said. "So, tell me...how do you like heaven? I never dreamed I'd get here. Is it easy to get in?"
"Oh, yes," she replied. "All you have to do is spell one word"
"Okay!" he said excitedly. "What word?"

Beware of the side streets you just never know where you may end up. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Where you stand.

It is amazing the people you meet when on holiday. How in the mix of people there are always those who see life so differently from the majority, not that I am ever one of those. I suppose it depends on where and how you view life. Here in France people are very interested in how we will be voting in the European Referendum. They just do not understand why we seem to want to leave. I am not getting into my opinion on this because this is not the place but I do seem to be in a minority among those from the uk I am meeting here. But then they are here and not even going to vote, which seems odd.v

Anyway away from all of that we do all see life from our own stance. The aim is to make sure we are on solid ground for our stance.

A physiologist doctor was doing his rounds. He went into a room where a patient seemed to be sawing something.

He asked the patient,"What are you doing?"

The patient replied, "I am sawing a piece of wood in two."

Another patient seemed to be hanging from a rafter upside down. The doctor asked patient one , "What is your friend doing? 

"He thinks he is a lightbulb."

The doctor was concerned for patient two he was getting very red in the face.

 He asked patient one, "Do you not think you should get him down before he harms himself?

Patient one said,, "What? I would have too work in the dark."

As I say it all depends where your stand in life..

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Just another day in court.

For many years I acted as a magistrate, sitting in court sometimes three days a week. My son is a lawyer and he now spends a fair amount of time in court also. The one thing we both know about court is that you cannot prepare for what might happen on any given day. 

The bottom line is being quick of thought but also before asking any questions try your very best to  be aware of the possible answers that might come your way.  I have to say i have often left the court and on the way home chuckled to myself about some of the things that people have without thinking said. 

There is a story of an event that happened in a small court in the USA.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. 
He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defence attorney?'
She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'
The defence attorney nearly died.
The judge asked both counsellors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said,
"If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair."

Don't ask a question until you are sure you are ready for the answer.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Beware of what you wish for.

A Thing of Beauty.

 Having an extremely busy day before me I thought I would keep this short and to the point. The moral of my blog today is simple, beware of what you wish for. 

An old man had been married to his wife for 50 years and they had just finished celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. They had a lovely time with family and friends string memories and remembering happy times together. 

It was getting late and his wife , one year younger than him at 69 had decided the day had been tiring and she was off to bed. He was just sitting quietly bringing the day to a close. Just at that a genie appeared before him. The genie told him that he was there to grant him one wish and one wish only. 

The old man thought and remembered when he got married and his first night together with his beautiful young wife. He foolishly thought he would like to experience something like that again. So he said to the genie that he would like to waken up tomorrow beside a  female twenty years his junior. 

The wish being granted he went to bed. The next day he woke up to discover he was  now 89. 

A very Scottish story tells of the man fishing in Loch Ness. 

An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly; the Loch Ness Monster attacked his boat. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat at least a hundred feet into the air. It then opened its mouth waiting below to swallow them both. As the man sailed head over heels and started to fall towards the open jaws of the ferocious beast he cried out,"Oh, my God! Help me!"

Suddenly, the scene froze in place and as the atheist hung in midair a booming voice came out of the clouds and said, "I thought you didn't believe in me!"

"God, come on, give me a break!" the man pleaded,"Just seconds ago I didn't believe in the Loch Ness Monster either!"

"Well," said God, "now that you are a believer, you must understand that I won't work miracles to snatch you from certain death in the jaws of the monster, but I can change hearts. What would you have me do?"

The atheist thinks for a minute then says, "God, please have the Loch Ness Monster believe in you also."

God replies, "So be it."

The scene starts in motion again with the atheist falling towards the ravenous jaws of the monster. The Loch Ness Monster folds his claws together and says, "Lord, bless this food you have so graciously provided..."
Sometimes what we have is much better than what we wish for. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

It is a worry.

Aberdour Golf Course 7th hole.

Today I have avery busy day in front of me so many things that I have to do today. For this who read this blog regularly I might not manage to post every day for a bit. A lot will depend on my ability to be online.

This morning my story is a bit longer than usual but it is worthy of reading t the end. The nub of the story is the ability of children to see life as an adventure and something not to be feared. 

The boss of a large company needed to talk urgently with one of his employees about a problem with one of the company computers. He dialled the home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper, "Hello."

Feeling a bit put out by having to talk to a child the boss asked, "Is your daddy home?"

"Yes," whispered the child.

"May I talk to him?" the boss asked.

To his surprise, the small voice whispered , "No."

Wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your mum at home?"

"Yes ," came the whispered reply.

"May I talk to her?"

Again the small voice whispered, "No."

Knowing it was unlikely that a young child would be left at home alone, the boss decided he would just leave a message with the person who should be there watching the child.

"Is there anybody else there besides you?"

"Yes." whispered the child, "a policeman."

Wondering why a policeman was at his employees home, the boss asked, "Can I speak to the policeman?"

"No , he is busy," whispered the voice.

"Busy doing what?" asked the boss.

"Talking to my daddy and mum and the fireman," came the reply.

Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the earpiece the boss asked, "What is that noise?"

"A hello- copper," answered the child.

"What is going on there?" asked the boss now getting alarmed. 

In an awed whispering voice the child answered, "The search team has just landed the hello- copper!"

Even more concerned the boss asked, "The search team! Why are they there?"

still whispering, the young voice along with a muffled giggle replied, "They are looking for me!"

 Have a wonderful day and remember the things that look so serious are often not as bad as things seem.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

My Smartwatch.

A Calm Day Towards Arran.

Being such a techno geek of course I have an smartwatch. Being the owner of such a watch is not an easy thing to live with. The regular comments if it bleeps or makes a noise have to be coped with. "Is that your watch telling you it is time to stand?" 

While out walking, "How far has your watch said we have walked now?" Or on the golf course, "How far does your watch say it is to the green?"

Of course my watch can tell me all of those things and a great deal more. While at the local store it is simple to just flash my watch at the card machine and payment is made. Technology is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it and embrace it with all its foibles.

But it is wise not to be completely sold on having or owning the next bit of wizardry.

David is struggling through the railway station with two huge and obviously very heavy suitcases when a stranger approaches and asks, "Do you have the time?"

David puts down the suitcases and looks at his watch. "It is five fifty," he says.

Hey , thats a pretty fancy watch!" exclaims the stranger.

David smiles a little, "Yes, it is not at all bad. Check this out," and he shows that the watch can tell you the time in all the capitals of the world.

He hits a few buttons and a very Scottish voice tells the time in Edinburgh. Another button and a Japanese voice tells him the time in Tokyo .

The display is amazing and the voices magical.

The stranger is struck dumb with admiration.

That is not all it can do explains David. A few more pushes of the buttons and a map of where they are standing is shown and a little flashing light to indicate where David is on the map.

"I want to but this watch," says the stranger.

"Oh , no, it is not ready to go on sale yet. I am still working out the bugs," says David the inventor. "But look at this'd he proceeds to show that it is also a little digital radio. It has a gadget that can measure distances by shining a little beam.  It also can store and read audio books. "It can store hundreds,"  says David, "but at present I only have twenty on it."

"I just have to own this watch!" says the stranger.

"No , you do not understand, it is not ready yet."

"I will give you £500 for it." 

" Oh, no I have already spent that on developing it."

"I will give you £1000 for it."

"But it is just not,"

I" will give you £3000 for it and I will pay you right this minute."

David stops to think. He has spent nothing like this on the development so far. The extra money will let him work on another prototype. So he hands it to the stranger who pays hime the money.

Ok says David and the transaction is completed.  They make the exchange and the stranger is ready to walk away.

"Hey, wait a minute," David points to the two huge suitcases he had been wrestling along the station platform, "Don't forget your batteries."

Not every thing that glitters is gold and not every amazing offer is worthy of our attention. 

Have a wonderful day.


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Listen to what You are told.


I always smile when I remember the old saying of my father, "You have two ears and one mouth you should use them in those preparations."

How often it is the case that we are so busy talking or even thinking about what we are going to say next that we fail to hear just what is being said to us. Before you know it you are in trouble because you did not listen. You have now forgotten completely and make some stupid remark. Even worse you say something that is just so not right after what has just been said. 

Sometimes it can work out ok and maybe even sometimes something good might come out of it. 

Let me give you an example.

A terrible overweight woman goes to her doctor about her weight and the effect it is having on her life. 

The doctor thinks and says to her, "I want you to eat vegetables and grains for 2 days, then skip for two days, and repeat the process for 2 weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least five pounds."

When she returns to see the doctor, she shocked him by losing nearly twenty pounds.

"Why that is amazing!" the doctor said, "did you follow my instructions?"

The woman nodded. "I'll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead that third day."

"From hunger you mean," asked the doctor.

"No, from all that skipping."

It pays to listen especially when being given instructions. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Painting and staying clean.


I managed to finish this painting of Ollie yesterday and after much patience got it into a frame without any spots of pastel showing on the mount (matt). The owner of the dog is now happy and the painting I am sure is hanging in pride of place. 

It is always a great pleasure to do a painting and see the look on the face of a person when they see it. That is if they like it. I have a number of friends who are my greatest critics. Full of clever remarks they make statements like, "When I was at school I painted something like that, and I got six of the belt for it.) Or the old wit ," Will you paint me in the nude? I will let you keep your socks on. " So it goes on. Certainly manage to keep my feet on the ground and often the comments do lend to further thought about a painting. 

I enjoy painting pastel because the only thing that gets dirty is my hands and they are easily cleaned. When painting with acrylic I find myself cleaning brushes on my shirt and trousers. This leads to trouble from my wife. She regularly comments to friends that i do not own any clothes that have not got paint on them.

While thinking about that and what my friends might have thought of the painting when I finished it yesterday I remembered  a nice little story.

Two nuns were ordered to paint a room in the convent, and the last instruction of the mother superior is that they must not get a drop of paint on their habits.

After looking at the room and the tins of paint for a while, the two nuns decide to lock the door of the room, strip off their habits, and paint in the nude.

Well, into the project, there comes a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" calls out sister Anne.

"Blind man," replies a male voice from the other side of the door.

Anne and Margaret look at each other, shrug, and deciding that no harm can come from letting a blind man into the room, they open the door.

The man walks into the room. "Mmmm wonderful figure sister," says the man, "where do you want these blinds put?"

So the next time you are doing something in secret remember to listen carefully. Sometimes even blind men can see. 

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Just a thought.

Rosyth Parish Church.

I left school at at the age of fifteen my mother having been told it would be a waste of time my staying on. It would just be a year when I would learn little and earn nothing. 

Thinking about it later in life I suspect that said more about the quality of teaching than it actually said about me.

I left school and started to work in a job that was neither testing search for meaning purpose and life continues. or rewarding in any real sense. So I began to find other things tomato life more than just the tedium of the daily grind. 

And so it went on for about four almost five years. Music began to play a more and more important part in my life but I felt there was so much more out there.

Then along came the new minister to the church above.  He had ideas about make the church and religion more interesting. He was visiting in my street one day when I and some friends were playing music in my bedroom with the window open. He knocked at the door and was swiftly told what we thought of his religion. 

He was a persistent man though and was back again a few days later. Eventually he he persuaded me to come down and see if I could help write some music to fit the hymns that some young people in the church were writing. And so my life changed.

He saw something in me that no teacher had noticed and helped me overcome the learning block. Long story but my journey into university and education had begun. 

Over the years the desire to learn and question has never died and my search for meaning and purpose still progresses.

It all began with a few questions. Can I share a few little questions today. Answers on a postcard please. 

Let me begin with a few Whys.

Why does the sun lighten our hair, yet it darkens our skin?

Why is that women cannot put on make up without having their mouths open?

Why is it we never read in the papers the headline, "Psychic Wins Huge bet on the Grand National"?

Why do we need such a long word such as abbreviated.?

Why is it that what doctors do is practice?

Why is that to close a windows computer you hit the start button?

Why does lemon juice contain artificial flavours, and dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called the rush hour?

Why is there no such thing as mouse flavoured cat food?

When dog food is new and improved tasting, who tests it.?

Why do they not make all of the aeroplane with the same material as the indestructible black box?

If flying in so safe why do they call the point of departure the terminal?

Have a happy and thoughtful day. 


Sunday, 15 May 2016


There are times when you know that what you are considering is not always the best action in life. I am thinking back to a life changing moment in my life. I was at a boy scout camp, so I would be around about 14years of age.  At this age I tried hard to do all the usual boys things like football and gangs etc.  The trouble was that I preferred being on my own most of the time, I enjoyed solitude. 

So here I was at a scout camp participating in all of the activities and in fact being in charge of a group of lads living in one tent and cooking all our meals on an open fire. Organising the collection and choosing of wood, the cooking of meals, and all that goes with camping.

But I craved a bit of silence. So one evening when there was nothing much happening I  wandered off alone for a walk along the riverbank. About a mile from the camp I spotted one of the scout leaders sitting propped against a tree having a smoke at his pipe. This was a scene that stuck in my mind. I wanted some of that. 

So immediately I got home from the camp I went out and purchased a pipe and an ounce of tobacco. My first experience was terrible I ended up sick. Not to be deterred I persevered. Soon I was an expert at managing the art of pipe smoking, at the age of 15.

Big mistake. For the next 25 years I became an ardent pipe smoker. Not a single shirt did I own that was not burned, and my first thought every day was an ounce of tobacco and a box of matches. This continued until my 40th birthday the day I stopped smoking and took up running.  Even now all those years later the smell of a pipe reaches an inner recess that makes me long for just a puff or two. 

There are just some things you ought not start. 

While shopping in a food store, two nuns happened to pass by the beer counter. 
One nun said to the other, "Wouldn't a nice cool beer or two taste wonderful on a hot summer evening?"
The second nun answered "Indeed it would Sister, but I wouldn't feel comfortable buying beer as I am certain that it would cause a scene at the check-out counter."
"I can handle that without a problem" she replied as she picked up a six-pack and headed for the check-out.
The cashier had a surprised look on his face when the two nuns arrived with a six-pack of beer.
"We use beer for washing our hair" the nun said, "A shampoo, of sorts, if you will."
Without blinking an eye, the cashier reached under the counter, pulled out a package of pretzel sticks and placed them in the bag with the beer. He then looked the nun straight in the eye, smiled and said, "The curlers are on the house."
I wonder if they enjoyed that moment of indulgence and if they did did it lead to further moments of  little white lies or even worse.
How easy a stolen moment can become a stolen life. Turn on the tv and we are bombarded with the temptations, today the most prominent is to have a gamble and a few free plays. There is no such thing as a free meal.
Have a good day and oh remember the pretzels. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Cats and Dogs.

I do not know how it happened but I seem to be having a load of requests to paint dogs. Now let me say that I have nothing against either dogs or painting them. On the contrary I have a great love of dogs. Painting them is never easy because each dog has something that the owner wants to see in the finished painting. It is not enough just to paint the animal there has to be something of the personality of the dog captured also. 

Dogs are like people they are all very different. I am not at all familiar with the traits of cats but I suspect they are very similar. After all what are those two animals? They are the greatest exploiters of the man species. What other animals to the same extent manage to get a warm bed and daily feeding and walks for loyalty in return? Very clever animals no more having to go out and fight and hunt for food it come provided out of a can or bag as and when required. 

Let me share with you two true and yet amusing stories about dogs.

An older, tired-looking dog wandered into a neighbours garden.
The neighbour could tell from his collar and well-fed tummy that he had a home and was well taken care of.
He calmly made himself known to the stranger, who gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed her into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep. An hour later, he went to the door, and was let  out.
The next day he was back, greeted the neighbour in the garden, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour.
This continued off and on for several weeks.
Curious, the neighbour pinned a note to his collar,  "I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap."
The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep.
Can I come with him tomorrow?" 

Now here was a dog who had learned that you can exploit more than one human at a time. 
The second one happened in the USA.
A guy has a talking dog. He brings it to a talent scout.
"This dog can speak English," he claims to the unimpressed agent.
"Okay, Sport," the guys says to the dog, "what’s on the top of a house?" "Roof!" the dog replies.
"Oh, come on..." the talent agent responds. "All dogs go ‘roof’."
"No, wait," the guy says. He asks the dog "what does sandpaper feel like?"
"Rough!" the dog answers.
The talent agent gives a condescending blank stare. He is losing his patience.
"No, hang on," the guy says. "This one will amaze you. "
He turns and asks the dog: "Who, in your opinion, was the greatest baseball player of all time?"
"Ruth!" goes the dog. And the talent scout, having seen enough, boots them out of his office onto the street.
And the dog turns to the guy and says  

And the dog turns to the guy and says "Maybe I shoulda said DiMaggio?" 

The strange thing is that what happens between dogs, cats and humans can also work between humans. Show some love and loyalty and the world is your oyster. 

Have a good day. 

Friday, 13 May 2016

It is simple really.


 No matter how long I live I keep discovering that there is a huge difference between males and females that goes way beyond the physical differences. We both see life so differently and continually surprise each other in the unexpected.

I have heard many stories about King Arthur  and Lancelot, as probably have you, but this story is one that stuck with me from the day I heard it. Apologies to those this might be a repeat, but it is worthy of another read and another thought. 

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighbouring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur's youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death.

The question?....What do women really want? 

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by year's end.

He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no choice but to talk to the witch She agreed to answer the question, but he would have to agree to her price first. The old witch wanted to marry Sir Lancelot, the most noble of the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend! Young Arthur was horrified. 

She was hunchbacked and hideous, had only one tooth, smelled like sewage, made obscene noises, etc. He had never encountered such a repugnant creature in all his life.

He refused to force his friend to marry her and endure such a terrible burden; but Lancelot, learning of the proposal, spoke with Arthur. He said nothing was too big of a sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round Table.

Hence, a wedding was proclaimed and the witch answered Arthur's question thus: What a woman really wants, she answered....is to be in charge of her own life! 

Everyone in the kingdom instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that Arthur's life would be spared. And so it was, the neighbouring monarch granted Arthur his freedom and Lancelot and the witch had a wonderful wedding.

The honeymoon hour approached and Lancelot, steeling himself for a horrific experience, entered the bedroom. But, what a sight awaited him. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen lay before him on the bed. The astounded Lancelot asked what had happened?

The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her when she appeared as a witch, she would henceforth, be her horrible deformed self only half the time and the beautiful maiden the other half. 

Which would he prefer? Beautiful during the day...or night?

Lancelot pondered the predicament. During the day, a beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of his castle, an old witch? 

Or, would he prefer having a hideous witch during the day, but by night, a beautiful woman for him to enjoy wondrous intimate moments?

Noble Lancelot said that he would allow HER to make the choice herself. 

Upon hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time because he had respected her enough to let her be in charge of her own life.

Respect for others no matter who or what is the sure way to a good and happy life.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Apron


The other day there I saw something I had not seen in years. A simple little thing that seems to have gone the way of so many things. I saw an old lady wearing an apron. It was a apron with two pockets in the front of it. 

I immediately saw a picture of my old grandmother. She wore an apron every day that I ever stayed with her. My mother also wore one but it is my grandmothers I remember.

I don't think young people know what an apron is. The principle use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the larder in the back room, the apron was used for carrying eggs, vegetables and fruit, and all the ingredients to make those delicious scones.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy me, yes I was shy.
And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot coal stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
 When unexpected company was seen coming up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and  I knew it was time to come in from playing to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies and scones on the window sill to cool. Now so often it is the frozen meal that is put there to defrost.   
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love.