I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…PROCRASTINATION.
MUSING ON PROCRASTINATION
by John Yeo
I now appreciate absolutely, the meaning of the word, PROCRASTINATION
When we returned from the church service today I had every intention of beginning work on the next chapter of my book. First the iPad was the lure away from the work in hand, I found there were many light hearted, unnecessary things that needed my urgent attention, such as who has read and liked my latest posting on the social media. The Scrabble word game App takes another slice of my valuable time as I sit and think, and work out various combinations of letters to defend my honour. We enjoyed tea and biscuits, before the continuation of a drama series began on television and this took my attention away from the keyboard and the continuation of my story.
By this time I am renewing my resolve to begin work! But before I begin I have to just check on the outside world on the social media pages again, then Margaret and I do battle at Scrabble and complete our game.
I still haven’t written one word and it is time for dinner. Margaret has been preparing a wonderful meal in the kitchen and we sit and enjoy our Sunday dinner together in front of the television.
I then begin to focus in spite of the pull of the interesting selection of programmes that are being broadcast at this peak period on a Sunday evening.
I then give up writing and procrastinate by reading and posting an article on procrastination on my social media page before I retire to read poetry in bed.
Procrastination is the thief of time, if you delay doing something, it will take longer to do later on.
I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…SLAVERY.
Image courtesy of pixabay.com
by John Yeo
The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about slavery, is the horror of the period between 1600 when legal mass slavery was reputed to have begun in the UK and 1863 when slavery was officially abolished in the USA.
Although slavery in one form or another actually began much earlier, in the form of war captives, and the domination of one tribe by another.
However, slavery comes in many forms; human slavery is just the tip of a hidden iceberg. Almost every one of us is a slave to addiction in one form or another. Whether it be one of the obvious big four, Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco, or Gambling or another enslaving addiction such as the habitual rejection of food as in questionable diets and slimming fads that could lead to the horrors of Anorexia or Bulimia.
A miser’s enslaving addiction is the storing up of wealth and hatred of expenditure.
Addiction can take many forms, in fact, people can become addicted slaves to almost anything, from eating too much ice cream to viewing obscenity.
By far the newest trap, with the potential to become the biggest modern path into enslavement comes in the form of Internet addiction. Particularly the new, so-called, Social Media, it starts as a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends but it can slowly and insidiously become a time-consuming, enslaving addiction. ‘Just one little look!’ becomes hours and hours of pointless time-wasting.
The dangers of internet enslavement to the younger generation have been recognized and well-recorded. This has the potential of becoming the biggest threat to the unwary in recorded history. With the added side effects of leading the young astray along a maze of unforeseen addictive paths. Children, of all ages and many adults, are becoming bombarded with images and alluring, time-consuming pathways embedded in the World-Wide-Web.
This is not to downplay the obvious advantages of the web for education and instant communication.
One of the biggest challenges in the near future will certainly be a coming to terms with the effects of this widespread, self-inflicted, modern form of enslavement of the unwary; who become ensnared by this highly addictive web.
We enjoyed a wonderful show for our final night of this festive break at Gunton Hall in Suffolk. We soaked up the music and magic of Elvis Presley, performed by Mark Summers, backed by the Memphis Sons; an excellent tribute band, Mark Summers, the Elvis Presley, lookalike and sound-alike was magnificent, full of the energy and sophistication required to pull off brilliant renditions of legendary song after legendary song; bringing many pleasant dormant memories to life. The audience were mainly from the age that experienced these massive hits when they were performed by the great man himself. Mark Summers had his audience waving their arms in the air while singing along to the well-remembered words of these Elvis Presley classics. With the help of an attractive lady backing singer and the brilliant sounds of his backing group, the Memphis Sons. Margaret and I enjoyed this show enormously and we finished the evening dancing pleasurably to the music as this enigmatic singer performed the encores demanded by his smitten audience.
I thought I would like to share this beautiful picture of Gunton Lake again. Margaret captured this image from under some trees using her iPhone. I like the way the gold Autumn leaves on the trees are reflected in the blue surface of the lake. The deep blue colour of the water gets increasingly lighter as the water flows beneath the direct sunlight. With a scattering of wind-transported golden leaves floating on the surface of the water this picture is a magic carpet ride into meditation.
I wrote the following piece of flash fiction for our church magazine in response to the theme of Electricity. Sadly there is a lot of truth embedded in this little tale Somewhere there has to be a solution to our need to power new homes for our ever increasing population. At what cost?
ELECTRICITY AT WHAT COST
by John Yeo
The electricity of inter-species tolerance and communication in action.
The sun was shining and although it was quite cold, we decided to go for a stroll around the lake. Sweet chestnuts and empty husks lay in great profusion under the trees. Autumn leaves underfoot scrunched as we strolled along a well-worn path. There was a distinctly autumnal feel to our walk, as we strolled along treading the crunchy leaves underfoot. Many sweet chestnuts and husks were piled under the trees, left behind by the ever-busy grey squirrels as they secreted sweet chestnut kernels in hidden larders as a store of food for the long winter months ahead. Many of these playful squirrels were chasing each other up and down the trees as we strolled along. A good number of Moorhens and Mallard Ducks were swimming on the surface of the lake and in tiny inlets under the trees. The ever-present avaricious Gulls were swooping around over the lake and floating on the water squabbling with each other. We passed a pair of Egyptian Geese sleeping on the banks of the lake, who obligingly awoke and posed for a photograph as we walked by. Many Wood Pigeons were pecking around in the grass, it’s a wonder there is food enough here to support this large community of different species of birdlife, together with the Squirrels and the ever increasing number of Rabbits.
Then, nailed to a tree was a notice. We had heard rumours on the communal grapevine about the fate of this beautiful spot, and here it was plain for all to see. The owners of this lovely beauty spot had sold out to big business. This beautiful area was to be destroyed and replaced with two giant wind turbines and a mast for telephone and broadband reception. The bases of these three monstrosities would be concreted over for stability and ease of maintenance. These two turbines would generate enough electricity to power up to 6000 homes.
Sadly, we continued along our way, thoughts were racing through my mind. Ripples in the lake betrayed the presence of many large fish, the lake is situated within a few hundred yards of the coast. Freshwater fish obviously thrive here, kept under control by the attention of the local family of Herons. Another pair of Mallard Ducks swam lazily on the surface of the water and a Moorhen raced for cover as we walked noisily by on the multi-coloured leaves. Suddenly there was a movement at a small pool on the banks of the lake as a large Toad with a distinctive yellow stripe along his back came into view. He didn’t hop along he almost walked out of the reeds alongside the pool.
‘My God!’ I thought, ‘I don’t believe it; that is certainly a Natterjack Toad. A member of a protected species. This development will never go ahead’
Our mood suddenly became euphoric as the implications of this discovery became clear.
I quickly pulled out my iPhone and began taking many photographs of this saviour of the natural environment.
The rest is history, the turbines were relocated, providing the much-needed electricity for the planned new homes and in the following Spring many baby Mallard ducks and Egyptian Geese will be born here and there should be strings of Natterjack Toads eggs in the pools surrounding our beautiful protected lake.
I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to this months theme of WATER..
The Relentless Sea
by John Yeo
Driftwood, bobbing and bouncing on the top of the waves, was the first clue that Old Tom had claimed another unwary, unsuspecting victim. Our hearts sank whenever large spars of wood came drifting in on the foamy, relentless, rough waves in exceptionally stormy weather. Old Tom was the name given by the locals over many centuries to a line of cliffs that were hidden at the entrance to the harbour. Obscured from the sight of incoming vessels by the high waters. There was a large rock, shaped like a giant, hence the name and the well deserved ugly reputation.
Several battered suitcases and wooden barrels arrived bobbing into the waiting arms of the people lining the shore. These wrecks always drew a crowd of locals searching for the remains. This wreckage seemed to be different than the usual detritus that floated into shore.
“I wonder if there were many lives lost out there this time. Last time Old Tom claimed twenty-nine. I hear we must be thankful for small mercies, the rocky arms of Old Tom have embraced many of our enemies in the past and saved us from invaders.” Billy Martindale said to his wife Josie.
Josie looked pale and drawn, dragged from her customary hard routine of caring for their home, she had always accompanied her husband to lend assistance if there was a shipwreck.
“I sincerely hope not!” she replied.
Billy and Josie had lived on the cliffs of this perilous coastline for thirty-five years, a harsh way of life, that both of them had learned to accept the hard way, as they knew no other. They had two sons Bert and Jack, who had long since left the safety of their home and gone to sea. The first of the dead floated in.
Josie gasped, “It’s a baby! Oh no! Look, Billy.” Then another group of bodies was washed up on the shore. These were families, and the horror set in as the extent of this tragedy began to slowly unfold. The Coastguards and the Lifeboats returned to shore after a fruitless search for survivors. The newspapers reported another boatload of refugee asylum seekers had been drowned that day off the rugged, rocky coast. At the final tally, Old Ben had claimed another forty-nine lives. Sadly the horrors that drove these people to seek sanctuary, seem so ongoing and insoluble that we can only pray for future peace and goodwill in this world.
I wrote the following piece of Flash Fiction for our Church magazine in response to this months theme of SPORT…
by John Yeo
Freedom to do as one likes is a hard-won state of mind. Freedom to enjoy life with the diversification that is Sport.
Support the team, follow the trials of athletics. Sportsmen and Sportswomen displaying incredible feats of sporting prowess.
Many levels of entertainment come under the title of a sport.
To see and experience the horror of a beautiful creature torn to pieces by a pack of snarling angry dogs.
Such is the fate of some beautiful Stags.
‘All in the name of Sport, you know.’
Then there are Pheasants, the male bird has a colourful plumage, that can only be described as magnificent. Sadly they are shot in their millions. ‘All in the name of Sport, you know. No harm done, they are bred to be shot.’
Wild Ducks are killed by the sporting hunters. These are killed for food and the pleasure of the exhilarating thrill of the hunt. ‘All in the name of Sport you know, culling is essential sometimes.’
The Fox can be a nuisance, randomly killing for the sake of it. Leaving dead carcasses all over the place.
Traditionally the Hunters wear a smart red outfit, mount splendid Horses and follow the Hounds, revelling in bloodshed as a Fox is torn to pieces. ‘All in the name of Sport, you know. No harm done, their death is all part of the fun. The hunt is an established tradition.’
Our hard-won freedom of choice can lead to some strange Sporting scenarios.
Because I am a traveller I can look down on the birds and up at the fishes. I collect moments and can venture back in time to lost worlds. I seize life and simultaneously escape it at will. Because I am a traveller I envy no man at home.