Sunday, 28 October 2018


                                                              Samuel Pepys 1633-1703

Dear reader,

Apparently people who lived in Restoration England (1660-1700) had a very strange sense of humour.  Practical jokes and any sort of jape that exploited someone's foolishness or ignorance were considered most amusing.  Reading about Samuel Pepys it seems he didn't do humour or his jokes are either very poor or in very poor taste.  For instance an uproarious joke for Pepys was that a man might helpfully offer to gut another man's oysters to stop them stinking. 

One Nick Ward was in a London coffee house listening to someone playing the violin badly when two sailors, spying a stout hook driven into wall above the fireplace, seized the fiddler and hooked him up by the back of his breeches.  Eventually he got free and fell to the ground, hurting himself, and everyone laughed and laughed.  The same ill-shaped humour was found in almost every inn, tavern, alehouse and drinking establishment in the country.

A society lady, Catherine Sedley, is most surprised that James, Duke of York, the future James II - takes her as his mistress.  She wonders what he sees in her,  saying "It cannot be my beauty for he must see I have none. And it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any."



The woman thought when she left
the office building would explode,
blood from her willing heart
would drip from the ceiling,
pieces of her goodwill,
her ready smile
possibly her arms and legs,
would drop into waste bins,
flow out of filing cabinets,
strew the carpet with bits of herself.
The atmosphere would be dank
with tears for the loss of her.
She knew her worth.

In the spring, Sandra met her.
Karen, from Accounts,
now has her job, she said.
She is brilliant, everyone loves her.

The woman walked away,
mantled in her goodness,
surprised at what poor judgements
people make.


With best wishes, Patricia

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Pleasures great and small

Dear Reader,

Here I am back again after a two month absence due to illness.  I hope you will now be with me from time to time when I write my weekly blog.  I will try to catch up with any seagull news of interest, and find other things to amuse or captivate us during the week or, perhaps, even something that happened thousands of years ago. 

Just a thought.  Whilst in hospital I found what was needed was patience and courage.  I hope I found both of these attributes in myself whilst I was there, but I am not sure, I just hope so.  My partner, Francis, came every day,  and generally helped me to get through the ordeal.  Thank you, Francis, your warmth and kindness overwhelm me.

From Francis Kilvert's diary, 1874

When the Squire came to see John Hatherell last Sunday he reminded the old man of the nights they patrolled the roads together 45 years ago during the machine-breaking riots.  Robert Ashe led a patrol of six men one half the night, and Edward Ashe headed another patrol of equal strength the other half.  One night when Robert Ashe was patrolling the village with his men and keeping watch and guard against the machine-breakers and rioters, who were expected from Christian Malford and other villagers, he seized by mistake old Mr. Eddels, taking him in the dark for a machine-breaker or incendiary.  The old man had come out at night in the innocence of his heart to get some straw from his rickyard.


Pleasures great and small

What pleasure it is to skip,
to jump, run across a field,
climb a tree, to dance,
pour a cup of tea.

But we don't think
about these pleasures,
they are part of us
taken for granted,
not thought of,
used as a right.

When constrained in a hospital bed
I felt great pleasure
when I could move my
head from side to side
from left to right

at all.


With very best wishes,