BEANS

wp-1590075316468.jpgTHURSDAY 21st MAY 2020

BEANS

by John Yeo

  Today I intend to write about Beans. Yes, common Runner Beans. Part of most people’s childhood in the west is an introduction to the English fairy tale, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk.’

Where the indomitable Jack sold the family cow for a handful of beans that later grew into a giant beanstalk. Later after a few, ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,’ yells, the giant dies and Jack and his Mum live happily ever after feasting off the proceeds of the hen that lays golden eggs.

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   We planted our Runner beans on the allotment yesterday. 

   I constructed the above wigwam from a bundle of 10 new 

6 foot bamboo canes for the beans to climb. Margaret has volunteered to climb this particular beanstalk to harvest the freshest tastiest beans at the top on the frame. If she does encounter a giant, I will be at the bottom with a pair of pruning shears.

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   It won’t be long before we are enjoying fresh new potatoes with mint and gently steamed fresh beans. Runner beans are a great source of fibre, which not only plays the lead role in making sure our digestive system is running at its best, but has also been shown to help prevent weight gain, some cancers, heart disease and diabetes.

  We also have some french bush bean seeds in rows alongside the mighty runners. These will certainly not be high enough to harbour any giants or hens laying golden eggs.

I looked up the phrase ‘Full of Beans’ and this is what I came up with.
  Originally, this phrase was known as “Full of Prunes” and then “prunes” was replaced with “beans”. The phrase originated in Europe in the 14th century when horses were fed with beans grown solely for fodder. After feeding the horse, the owners often noticed that the horses became quite energetic and lively. Hence the phrase originated to refer to this state of liveliness.’
Source: theidioms.com

  The beans in Jack and the Beanstalk are believed to be fava beans and they have a magical history all their own. With evidence of their incorporation into diets dating back to at least 6000 BC, fava beans are one of the oldest cultivated plants. Their hardiness and ability to endure cold climates contributed to their endurance as a crop. It also earned the beans magical status in Sicily, where they were considered more than merely food.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/fava-the-magic-bean/

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   One of the things I notice occurring frequently on the social media areas of public entertainment is the propensity of people who tend to jump on the bandwagon. Since I’ve begun to cultivate my blog and publish on a more frequent basis, I’ve had several emails offering me work. I have to say I usually explore these offers but I have never been guilty of taking the bait, particularly when the person refers to the mysterious ‘us,’ i.e. ‘Would you like to write for us?’ When tackled about who these unidentified ‘us’ are, the reply is usually a woolly, ‘some very big people.’ … 

 I offer this advice to all prospective grow your own bean experts.

‘Beans and some other legumes, such as peas and lentils, have a reputation for causing gas. Beans contain high amounts of a complex sugar called raffinose, which the body has trouble breaking down. Beans are also rich in fiber, and a high intake of fiber can increase gassiness.’

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

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AUTHENTIC ARGUMENT

Photo by John and Margaret

WEDNESDAY 20 MAY 2020

 

  I thought I would indulge in some flash fiction today.

The photograph is a picture I snapped in a theatre Margaret and I visited in Stratford-upon-Avon, five years ago. The bust that is central to this display is of course the immortal bard surrounded by colourful costumes. There is a small fountain tinkling away in the foreground giving some wonderful atmospheric sound effects.

Supposing, just supposing, the great playwright came back to life and applied to act the leading role in a production of one of his plays.

 

AUTHENTIC ARGUMENT

by John Yeo

A letter received by a would-be Hamlet.

THE AUTHENTIC SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Dear Sir.

 We are pleased to inform you that your application to play Hamlet in our current production has been successful. In view of your extensive past experience of playing this role, and the excellent performance you treated us to at the interview. Please report to the director at the theatre next Wednesday morning, where you will meet the rest of the cast.

Yours faithfully,

Jonathon Milton

~~~~~~

Wednesday at the Authentic theatre

  ‘Hello Luvvies, wonderful to meet you all, I am here to replace your leading man, I hear he is not very well, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m William! I understand if we have a successful informal rehearsal first, then we can have a full dress rehearsal this afternoon.’

    ‘That’s right William, Grab a stool and start following the lines when we begin. You were very impressive during the interview, everyone was amazed at the way you read your lines from memory. Although there were a few anomalies and variations from the script. Nothing we can’t iron out though. After all, we don’t want to change the words of the immortal bard.’

    Later in the pub, the talk is all about the wonderful, trouble free rehearsal of the morning and the full dress rehearsal to follow, this afternoon.

    ‘William please  have another good home brewed stout! Sorry they don’t serve sack here, perhaps if we ask them to order some especially for you, then you can enjoy it while you are working here!’

     ‘Fine thanks! I won’t have another drink now. If I drink too much then I will be heady this afternoon.’ Replied William.

    Back at the theatre, William is shown to the star’s dressing room. ‘Here are your costumes made to an authentic Elizabethan design. Good job you are the same build as our previous leading man. The makeup artist will be along shortly.’

     ‘WHAT! I was under the impression this was an authentic production. You have even altered the original words out of all recognition. I know the author, William Shakespeare would never have applied modern day makeup. I am not a circus clown man!  I would like to see the Director.’  Shouted William irritability. ‘Get him at once!’

    ‘Yes Sir!’ said the stage hand.

   The Director arrived and was stunned to hear about this turn of events.

   William shouted at him, before he could open his mouth.  “If I’m expected to  mouth incomplete sentences and words that have been subtly altered, then to have this muck applied to my face, then I refuse to play the part. It’s bad enough that the original play has been altered forever over the centuries.’

  The Director scratched his head and firmly replied, ‘Are you mad? This play is a word-for-word adaptation from the Folger library, based on the First Folios. Now I suggest you get your coat and clear off back to where you came from!’

  William was taken aback by this attitude and as he was putting his coat on he shouted,  ‘I will refer this non-authenticity to the trades description department of the Lord Chancellor’s Office.’

Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reserved.

 

 

photo of black ceramic male profile statue under grey sky during daytime

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Copyright © Written by John Yeo All rights reserved.

 

 

CORONA CRUISE

TUESDAY 19th MAY 2020

 

wp-1589899809202.jpgCORONA CRUISE


  I was trawling through my library of photographs to find something to ignite the fires of inspiration when I came across this photograph of the bow of a cruise ship we were traveling on three years ago. The bow pointing towards an empty sea, with the sea touching the blue sky on the horizon looks perfect. There is no clue to the destination the vessel is headed for or the port from which it has just sailed from. I got to thinking the first impression that springs to mind is of a luxury cruise in the sunshine to a tropical destination. Always something of a dream for the landlocked worker until this covid-19 pandemic arrived. We are all struggling to overcome this coronavirus monstrosity at the moment. In effect this picture just about sums up the whole pandemic in a nutshell. It is unknown where the virus originated and there’s certainly no sure outcome on the horizon. The recent stories of people trapped in the confines of luxury cruise ships that are floating virus factories have been horrific. This photograph could be viewed in the context of a floating, viral, germ carrier that is desperately trying to get a foothold and touch the first available port. For the passengers the prospect of utter luxury becomes a floating nightmare as the virus spreads throughout the ship and they are confined to their cabins in isolation. The very nature of a cruise ship, with its reliance on air conditioning and the close association of the passengers in the lounges and dining areas, make it extremely easy for a virus to spread. This brings to mind the recent norovirus outbreaks the cruise industry have been struggling with for the last few years. 

Fortunately Margaret and I have never had the unpleasant experience of being involved in these sort of shocking circumstances during our cruising lives. We will certainly be thinking long and hard about any future sea cruises in the future.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

AFTERNOON TEA

AFTERNOON TEA

by John Yeo

MONDAY 18th MAY 2020

AFTERNOON TEA

I thought I would display a photograph of a varied bone china tea set that we were served with, in a delightful little tea shop In

town. We love the authenticity of drinking tea from bone china.

The presence of a tea strainer suggests there are authentic tea leaves in the pot. This is another aspect of the ritual having tea that has sadly gone to the dogs with the universal introduction of tea bags.

Looking closely at the tea set, it becomes clear that not one of the pieces actually match. They are obviously a mismatch of various tea sets that have been put together randomly. I love the teapotwith the birds and butterflies, this was probably from an expensive tea set that suffered breakages of individual pieces over the years and it now lives with the remains of several other tea sets. I wonder if the proprietors of this tea shop rescued these individual pieces from charity shops and jumble sales.

I hesitate to think how many people have enjoyed afternoon tea from these separate pieces over the years and under what circumstances. There must be a thousand gallons of water and washing up liquid and gallons of tea that have passed through and gently caressed the delicate surfaces. Every cup tells a story.

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

by John Yeo

A tiny spark of dormancy waits for revival,

Encased in a fuzzy cloud of mundanity.

When time and the mixture of conditions allow

Growth begins from within the uncertainty.

A creation of beauty is coming slowly together.

~

The beauty and the perils that await the entity,

As a fragile life becomes stronger with time.

The magical moment when a muddle of words

Takes a solid shape in a rough draft outline.

A creation shaped slowly with poetical guidance.

~

Words encased with fine vibrancy, line by line.

Ringing through the portals of the poets mind.

The entity that grew from a shapeless design.

A thing of beauty with strength and fluidity

Produced and nurtured from a tiny seedling.

A vision; then the growth of beauty in words.

 

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

THE MIRACLE OF LIFE

by John Yeo

A tiny spark of dormancy waits for revival,

Encased in a fuzzy cloud of mundanity.

When time and the mixture of conditions allow

Growth begins from within the uncertainty.

A creation of beauty is coming slowly together.

~

The beauty and the perils that await the entity,

As a fragile life becomes stronger with time.

The magical moment when a muddle of words

Takes a solid shape in a rough draft outline.

A creation shaped slowly with poetical guidance.

~

Words encased with fine vibrancy, line by line.

Ringing through the portals of the poets mind.

The entity that grew from a shapeless design.

A thing of beauty with strength and fluidity

Produced and nurtured from a tiny seedling.

A vision; then the growth of beauty in words.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

OUTFOXED

by John Yeo

A prompt response to the weekly Friday prompt from ‘What the Pegman Saw.’ A weekly writing prompt to write a story in 150 words based on a different photograph from Google maps.

Joey was acting as a gambler, a man who would bet on anything that moved or resulted in a half predictable result. Joey had met a man in a bar in downtown Providence. Clarke Ball was an avid entrepreneur who was heavily involved in the cruel sport of cockfighting. A deal was in the offing. Clarke was pushing Joey to buy a Rhode Island Red cockerel.

‘You can’t go wrong with this local bird, you put the money up and we split the winnings. Of course you, as the owner will take most, I’ll handle the arrangements for a small percentage.’

Later the two men met on the outskirts of town, Clarke pulled a box off his van. Joey took one look, then turned to his new friend and pulled out his police ID.

‘I’m arresting you for promoting illegal cockfighting.’

Joey had outfoxed another foxy villain

(148 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

NO EXCUSE

NO EXCUSE

by John Yeo

People are passing away here
The graphs tell a frightening story
The media screams in mortal dread
When a lockdown becomes mandatory.
This new deadly virus spreads rapidly
Infecting the populace everywhere
The daily toll mounts, life is cheap now
Our prospects are extremely unclear.

My determination for living today,
Rests firmly in the here and now,
Margaret, will always be my best friend
With me sharing every step of the way.
We face the rigours of age and decay
With no other weapons but our faith.
Faith that my wife and I will survive
And overcome anything in our way.

Our families touch our lives always
Entwined and part of us both.
As we face this pandemic together
With love and acceptance to all.
My soulmate and I came together,
We built our lives with tender care.
I look for her and knowingly smile
Whenever I turn round she’s there.

This new deadly virus spreads rapidly
Infecting the populace everywhere
The daily toll mounts, life is cheap now
Our prospects are extremely unclear.
We tackle this new plague together
Without regret, fear or despair.
We need no excuse for each other
Acceptance will always be here.

Copyright ©  Written by John Yeo, All rights reserved

CLOTHES MAKETH NOT THE MAN

WEDNESDAY 13th MAY 2020

CLOTHES MAKETH NOT THE MAN 

by John Yeo

  This photograph was taken by Margaret on the allotment today. 

It was quite a windy day and I had dressed for the weather by donning layers. Beneath my padded red check shirt is a warm fleece that covers yet another cotton shirt.

I’m also wearing my favourite gardening hat. I’ve had this old hat for many years now and it’s become something of my allotment trade mark. It serves as protection from the sun and is certainly a good form of shelter from rainfall. A stranger looking at this photograph may see a scruffy working man or perhaps a traveller in search of somewhere to park the van.

 Looking at this picture through my eyes set me thinking of the way others see us. We all have ways of dressing that portray different images for different occasions.

For example when we are following a dress code, a formal outfit would look really out of place on the allotment asparagus beds. The old adage; ‘Never judge a book by its cover,’ makes a lot of sense when the story has many levels and many different situations that could serve as a picture to adorn the cover.

   Looking at the photograph again, it’s the surroundings that give the biggest clue. Supposing the surroundings were suddenly changed and the gardening clothes were seen out of context. Perhaps if I desperately needed something from town and I walked along the High Street, dressed as above. Shuffling along in my heavy gardening boots with my trusty hat, firmly jammed on my head, I could be summed up as an eccentric local yokel just off a farm, on an errand for the boss. 

  Of course the other side of the argument would be the logic behind wearing uniforms. In a hospital for example uniforms instantly identify the area where one works, or the level of the hierarchy where that job is located.

 Needless to say the well known uniforms of the forces, the police and some of the other emergency services provide instant recognition.

  The well known logic behind wearing school uniforms as a way of equalising the economic backgrounds of the pupils is another case in point.

   Going back to the allotment uniform, I remember a well-to-do lady who wore a tatty, branded Barbour coat, day-in-day-out on her allotment until it nearly fell off her shoulders. Eventually when the smiles got obvious and the grins got broader, our lady went out and bought herself a new coat. Sadly not a Barbour, and with this new look she almost became a different person in the eyes of her fellow allotmenteers.

Love ♥️ and Peace ☮️ to all from John and Margaret

© Written by John Yeo all rights reserved.

RHUBARB, RHUBARB, RHUBARB

TUESDAY 12th MAY 2020

RHUBARB, RHUBARB, RHUBARB

by John Yeo

   I was musing to myself whilst I was hard at work on the allotment today. How can an institution own a plant that was purchased by someone who had rented an allotment. I have grown and nurtured many plants on my allotment over the years, including perennial plants such as Rhubarb, Raspberry bushes, Gooseberry bushes and even my healthy Asparagus plants. These will grow on for many years to come, for example Asparagus is expected to last for 20 years.

   One of my Rhubarb plants had sadly passed away. I can’t think of a reason why this should suddenly happen, the plant just suddenly shrivelled and died. I did grow some large Globe Artichokes quite close to this plant and I have a sneaking suspicion these may have been responsible for my wonderfully healthy Rhubarb plants early demise. Globe Artichokes are greedy feeders and they may have starved the Rhubarb of essential nourishment and moisture.

 My wife is quite clever at making different types of Rhubarb crumble and several other tart, tasty Rhubarb dishes. I bought a couple of replacement plants from a local garden centre, but to my surprise, neither of them took to this position in the garden at all.

 I think it must be some anomaly within the soil. I persevered and dug in copious amounts of fertiliser without any success. One of the two plants seemed to just give up the ghost and the other just about feebly stayed alive, but no edible stalks appeared. I put this down to the fact it was probably because it was the first year of growth and perhaps I was being a bit too impatient.

  I remember ten years ago, a good friend of mine had some surplus Rhubarb plants and offered one to me, if I dug it up. I of course said, ‘Yes’. Then followed a strenuous couple of hours work as I began to tackle the job of digging up a well established Rhubarb plant. I never envisaged just how large and thick this Rhubarbs root system would be. It was like removing an Oak tree, by digging it up by the roots. Anyway perseverance made the day and I was left with this huge root. I then began the process of division, using a sharp spade to chop the root into sections. I was pleased to finish the job with six separate pieces of root that all grew into healthy plants quite quickly. Looking back, I think over the years, one of these sections had grown into the plant that had recently sadly died.

 I noticed some extremely healthy Rhubarb plants growing on a nearby allotment, where the tenants had given up and moved on.

When I enquired whether it would be possible to retrieve one of these plants as nobody was obviously working on the allotment this year. I was informed that they had become the property of the landlord. However another friend donated a rooted Rhubarb plant that hopefully will go some way to rewarding us with a crop next year.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

A WRITER’S HAWK

MONDAY 11th MAY 2020


A WRITER’S HAWK

by John Yeo


Soaring freely with the winds of time

Writing requires much persistence

Expressing feelings so hard to define.

~

Eyes searching the terrain sublime

Looking for inspirational subsistence

Soaring freely with the winds of time.

~

Swooping low before you can climb

Searching for continued existence

Expressing feelings so hard to define.

~

To stretch imagination is never a crime

In spite of harsh critical resistance

Soaring freely with the winds of time.

~

Fulfilling a hunger hard to prlme

Pushing hard with a sharp insistence

Expressing feelings so hard to define.

~

Hunting for perfection in any instance

Fighting against a passive resistance

Soaring freely with the winds of time

Expressing feelings so hard to define.


© Written by John Yeo all rights reserved

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