Archive for January, 2007

Good Morning!

Sorry not to have been around yesterday.  I had a multitude of tasks to do and one of those was the crafting of my story for my Beginner’s Writing Class at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Theatre today.

One of the tasks was to do a little writers exercise by asking ..Who Am I ? by using similes.

My little bit of a quiz input is below.   I’m sure you can do better…

What Am I?  (c) Jeanie Kirkby


My skin is as black as a starless night

And hard as iron.

I have two glowing eyes as red as molten lava.

I stand, legs splayed like pylons in a field.

My insides glow as radiant as a fiery summer sunset.

Sometimes, when the wind blows I exhale like a chain smoker.

And on the return breath I inhale, roaring and crackling like a forest fire.

I smell like an aroma therapist’s bag of oils full of Holly, Cherry, Oak and Pine essences.

Don’t touch me when I am awake or I will scorch you like a branding iron!



My classwork story is unfinished which even I find frustrating as each week we are given a new task just as we are getting our teeth into the story we began before.

I lost a day this week (Wednesday) as I bumped into an old friend in the Supermarket when I went out for a loaf of bread.  We met at ten thirty in the morning, had coffee together in the cafe, I drove her home and got invited indoors and we set off blethering again until three thirty.  We reluctantly said goodbye to each other as we both knew it would be some time before we got round to catching up again. She has four granchildren now to both her daughter’s.  One of her dauhter’s has adopted two children, half brother’s, within the past three years and needs Mum’s helping hands as her youngest is just walking round the furniture now.   Those were the days.

Anyway…I digress..that’s why my story is unfinished also, as I had set out in my mind how much time I had to push myself to get it done.  Now I have been playing catch up since.   Lol!

Our other task was to archive a speciality language use which we had no previous interest or knowledg of and write the words down seperately and then place them in a box?  I will let you know why, if there is a class today.  The reason why I say that is Britain hasbeen lashed with storms throughout the night and more expected today. Our tutor lives in the Eden valley which has been getting a lot of flooding just lately.  Couple that with high winds as well as a light dusting of snow which I am looking out the window onto this morning here in the Lakes, and classes may not happen today. We will see.  I live at the top of a very steep hill and my twelve mile route to Kendal is over hilly terrain.

I hope to come back later to add to my journal but meanwhile…a bit of my story  is below.   We were given the opening line of..  ‘When it emerged from the shadows he knew the angel……’



Shadow Land?  Jeanie Kirkby (c) copywright


When it emerged from the shadows he knew the Angel

had come for him but he wasn’t ready to go yet!

He wanted to stop time – to retrace his steps until he was able to make the decision that would change the outcome of this moment – his last moments on earth.

Like the Angel he realised he was a seperate entity from his now broken body lying there on the road to Basra. 

He watched as his buddies ran crouched along the ditch lined with the detritus of past refugees fleeing from the city.

He could hear his menyelling and shouting on each other, checking out if the other was o.k. Then a raised voice called his name loudly and louder still when he got no reply.  He wanted to answer but already the light was becoming brighter. He instinctively knew what that meant. 

It had nothing to do with the explosion close to the Warrior armour personnel carrier he had been walking alongside moments before.  Neither was he afraid to follow the Angel into the light as it beckoned him with an alluring smile of tender affection that reminded him of his deceased parents. 

But he wasn’t ready to go…not yet! 

There were unfinished words of comfort and hope he needed to share with his wife and children.   He had never taken the chance to write those personal  comforting words in that ‘bluey’ letter to his family.  He hadn’t wanted to face up to the possibility of leaving them alone without him. That had felt to him like tempting fate. Twenty eight was too young to die. He was invincible.  He and his wife and family had their whole lives ahead of them. 

Now he begged for one last chance to tell them more thoughtfully how much he loved and cared for them. How much he wanted to stay around for them and be a part of their lives.  What he wanted to say could not be covered in a few lines of ‘You must write a letter to your family in case the unspeakable happens’.

All who wrote that letter prayed that it would never be read, him included.

It always happened to someone else, didn’t it? 

Otherwise how could you face daily sorties amongst the civilian clothed Fedayeen paramilitary fighters, who were still loyal to Saddam Hussein and determined to fight you to the death.  Men fully prepared for a martyr’s death and a willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country, beliefs, and the promise of everlasting happiness in heaven with their seventy virgins and seventy wives?

His Battle Group of armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and support units were each given a structured task specific to ousting the Fedayeen from their fragmented pockets of resistances; hiding in various safe areas throughout Basra.

His platoon, part of the Royal Irish Regiment commanded by a second Lieutenant of similar age, was securing the main link road from Basra to Baghdad. The second Lieutenant had placed him, as Corporal, in charge of a section of seven of his closest buddies, all of whom had managed to stay together through boot camp in Catterick, Yorkshire. 

They were tasked to reconnoitre a side road with houses and jetties leading upstream to Margil, the garden suburb fanning out from the forest of cranes at the wharves of the Old Basra port and the railway station; had they been able to go a little further they would be able to look across to the island that faces the Shatt El-Arab Hotel, where Basra’s airport was sited until the 1960s when it was moved to Shuaiba.

It was still hot and humid. Dusk was falling as their long day came to a close. Curfew had not yet begun as they searched and examined every nook and cranny of the twisting lanes and roads.  It wouldn’t be long before they were bivouacking and getting their tired heads down for a much needed sleep.

Their night vision glasses were futile as they tried to walk ahead unseen.. Shifting shapes loomed large then small on the mud brick walls of the houses on either side of them as the sun swung low on the horizon.

Stealth, they found, was futile as their shadows lead the way ahead and around unseen corners.  And so they rejoined their Warrior positioned on the main highway. 

The armour of the Warrior is designed to withstand an explosion from 155mm shell at 10 metres and direct fire from machine guns up to a calibre of 14.5 mm.

Not so a man.

It was difficult to recognise the enemy when they dressed the same as the citizens.  So they watched each others back by turning and watching with every counted step as though involved in a well choreographed dance.  Their senses heightened close to breaking point.  Everyone was a suspect.  Nothing could be discounted. Nothing!

Even the smiling following children could not be accepted as totally neutral. 

When it came there was no warning, despite their honed alacrity.

A group of women dressed in burka’s stood about twenty feet away, huddled up against a wall talking low.  Suddenly they revealed themselves to be Fedayeen with machine guns and hand held rocket launchers.

Tiredness, the closing of the day, stray thoughts of comfort and sleep soon to be had, had dropped his guard just this once….only once!  Fatally!


And soooo………End of part one…..more to follow…


I now have a couple of stories like that which I suppose I can follow up on one day.  Meanwhile this isn’t getting me organised to face the day.

Stay safe well and snug.  have a good day wherever you are.


God Bless

Inspirational link below…
Below is a poem I came across by the author Mike Subritzky (c) 2000
whilst I was archiving information for my little bit of a story.  Enjoy it….






I never did learn his name
but I know he was married, and had kids.
I know this because the Padre spoke of his family,
during the Memorial Service.

I know he was an Australian,
and by all accounts a good soldier,
and a damn fine photographer.
I know that because they published
some of his work in ‘Reveille’.
– after the Military Funeral.

We brought the guns into action that morning
just after first light,
and then slept beneath the dappled
shade of our camouflage nets.

We were hidden in rocks,
not far from the river,
which ran swiftly over the masses
of grey South Island boulders.
Relaxed and rested after a week
or more of intense Gunnery Training.

I’d been all over the world,
and the name of the place "Windwhistle"
was about as forgetable to me as a hundred
other places that I had sweated,
slept, and soldiered through.

Still, it’s funny how the hand of fate
can intervene, and burn an instant
of time and space into the very core
of your living memory.

I never did learn that Aussie Soldiers name,
but I watched him die;
crushed beneath the unforgiving tracks
of an armoured fighting vehicle…
just in front of my hidden howitzer.

In slow motion I, and my gun detachment,
watched in silent terror as he bent
to retrieve a lense-cap,
while that tank, angry and loud,
turned on itself and swept him beneath the tracks;
engulfing him in a sea of blood and agony,
beneath those unforgiving tracks of armour plate.

It seemed so very sad and futile
when the young Gunner yelled to me
"Sarge, shall I go and try and help him…
I’ve got a shell dressing taped to my rifle butt?"
"No son" I replied "Just remain at your post,
and pray for hiswidow".

It seemed such an odd name "Windwhistle",
but I never did forget it, or the events of that day.
It’s funny how fate can intervene; and brand your mind forever,
with an instant of pain…and an eternity of horror.

Mike Subritzky
161 Battery RNZA
"Golden Fleece"




The above photo was dragged from a new programme on Yahoo called Flickr thanks to a new found friend Guido.  It works!

Below is a letter which our district nurse dropped off for us for a laugh….it will be a year ago gone January 6 when Bryan my husband had his heart attack right in the middle of my chemotherapy.  Inconsiderate man!   Lol!

I joke!   And its all behind us now thank God!

As the nurse was visiting him at home after his hospital stay he teased her mercilessly about being a mere woman etc etc. Bryan is a bit of a wag and he teases women friends as well as this nurse  about knowing their place in the world. Men are the superior race and so on…..don’t worry!   He knows different really!   Lol!

There was a good bit of laughter and banter going backwards and forwards and then she left.  Later on in the day and envelope came through the door which read as follows..


For the attention of Mr Kirkby!


Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties to perform:

Terry had married a woman from Scotland, and bragged that he had told his new wife to do all the dishes and housecleaning in the house.  He said it took a couple of day but on the third day he came home to a clean house and all the dishes were cleaned and put away.

James had married a woman from Ireland and he bragged that he had given his new wife orders to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking.  He told them the first day he didn’t see any results, then the next day it was better and by the third day his house was clean, the dishes done and there was a huge meal on the table.

The third man said that he had married a Lancashire lass.  He boasted that the duties he had orered her to do were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table every day.   He said the first day he didn’t see anything, the second day he didn’t see anything, but the third day most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little bit out of his left eye; enough to fix himself a bite to eat, load the dishwasher and call the landscaper.

Woohoo!   One up on her!

Well…the weather sems to have settled a bit for now here in the Lakes…
I have copied my entry from my AOL journal from yesterday to saveme time re-writing it everything out again.  I’ve also changed the music to my favourite Dr Hook.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Good Morning!
 Below is a little bit of a poem which I wrote once over, I came across it again whilst delving through my pictures and files.  I thought I would just add it here today.  Anyway…we need a bit of summer sunshine in this sepia coloured land at the moment.
I hope you enjoy it.
Take it easy and have a lovely day.  Its Not raining here….isn’t that wonderful?


 Photo by magicgenii.


Bee Patrol   copywright by magicgenii
Inside the tangled twisted curlicues of parasol leafed flowers
A whitetailed buzzing bumblebee whiles away the hours –
Flitting to and fro’ between the vivid orange bugles –
As if in Nature’s wondrous way she’s forgotten to be frugal
A multitude of tumbling flowers cascade towards the ground
In rainbow coloured abeyance, curtseying to the sound –
And touch of the humble bumblebee on sweet nectar flower patrol
Unaware it’s being watched by an amazed and ponderous soul.
Inspirational Movie thread below….

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                                       A Happy New Year To All!
I hope you all made your resolutions and are still sticking to them?  Hmm?
I came across a couple of poems the other day and I found them so humerous.
I hope you do too.
Here they are below.

December 26

by Kenn Nesbitt

A BB gun.
A model plane.
A basketball.
A ’lectric train.
A bicycle.
A cowboy hat.
A comic book.
A baseball bat.
A deck of cards.
A science kit.
A racing car.
A catcher’s mitt.
So that’s my list
of everything
that Santa Claus
forgot to bring.

Deep in Our Refrigerator

by Jack Prelutsky

Deep in our refrigerator,
there’s a special place
for food that’s been around awhile . . .
we keep it, just in case.
“It’s probably too old to eat,”
my mother likes to say.
“But I don’t think it’s old enough
for me to throw away.”

It stays there for a month or more
to ripen in the cold,
and soon we notice fuzzy clumps
of multicolored mold.
The clumps are larger every day,
we notice this as well,
but mostly what we notice
is a certain special smell.

When finally it all becomes
a nasty mass of slime,
my mother takes it out, and says,
“Apparently, it’s time.”
She dumps it in the garbage can,
though not without regret,
then fills the space with other food
that’s not so ancient yet
We have constant rain here in the Lakes…its like living under a waterfall.
I hope the weather is better where you are.
I hope to come back soon and enter some more of my own poems.  its just taking a bit of time working out where everything goes on this MSN weblog.
Take care and enjoy the rest of today.

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