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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Bewilder-Wood

FLASH FICTION
Sunday Photo Prompt 18/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

A Santa Claus

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

Bewilder-Wood

by John Yeo

  The children were on holiday and their parents had decided to treat them to a visit to the magical Bewilder-Wood. These woods were on the edge of Fantasy Forest, it was rumoured there were imps and fairies hiding away here.
Pip, Paula, and little Chloe were playing, hide and seek among the trees. Chloe was hiding and the twins, Pip and Paula were hunting for her.
Soon, Paula became concerned.

   ‘Chloe! Where are you? We have to find Mummy and Daddy.’

Then they saw Chloe, chatting away to a stranger with long white hair and a long white beard

   ‘Hello! I’m Mr. Claus, most people call me Santa.’ exclaimed the man.

   ‘You’re not Santa Claus. You’re too scruffy.’ Pip said giggling. Paula then took up this infectious giggle and they were soon shaking with laughter.

  The stranger said, kindly, ‘I’m off duty. Ho! Ho! Ho!’

Just then a tiny green elf hopped on the man’s shoulders and whispered and they both disappeared instantly.
At that exact moment, the children’s parents arrived.

    ‘Daddy, Mummy, Santa Claus was here and he was speaking to us.’ Chloe said excitedly.
Both parents shook their heads and laughed loudly.

  The twins chorused. ‘He disappeared with an elf.’

 

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

GOODBYE CEMENT FACTORY

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Cement factory Pujiang No. 2h

This was my original draft before I had to trim the whole deal to just 150 words.

 

Goodbye Cement Factory

 

by John Yeo

 

  Chan had a bicycle, a valuable possession in his village. This enabled him to travel the five mile trip to the Cement works, where he worked hard for ten hours every day, loading the heavy cement bags onto a conveyor belt. He kept himself going to work until the factory came to a standstill one terrible day. Just like that without warning the factory suddenly closed. Chan needed to work to feed his aged parents. At the end of the first month of idleness, Chan hadn’t any money or food to eat. Then his Father sickened and weakened following the sudden death of his Mother from pneumonia.

  Desperately Chan approached Hung Li, the storekeeper, who had offered to buy his bicycle and reluctantly parted with his only form of transport. Too late, he returned home to find his Father had died and he was alone in the world. Chan made his way to the river where he had a friend with a boat. A fisherman who lived an idyllic life on the river, close to Nature. Chan handed over the cash he’d received for the cycle to his friend and became a partner in the fishing business. Chan adopted a large black Cormorant, who would feed on fish from his hand. Chan revisited the family grave to pay homage. The Cement works reopened and the harsh industrial life continued for some.

  Chan lived well from his fishing and bought a boat of his own. Later he got married to his old school friend Mary Lee and little Ching was born. The Cormorant flew away for a while and returned with two baby chicks who followed Chan’s boat everywhere. Feeding from the hands of Chan and Ching and Mary Lee.

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

(341 WORDS)

Goodbye Cement factory

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. 

Cement factory Pujiang No. 2

GOODBYE CEMENT FACTORY

by John Yeo

Chan had a bicycle, a valuable possession, this enabled him to travel the five mile trip to the Cement works, where he worked hard for ten hours every day. Without warning the factory suddenly closed. Chan needed to work, to feed his aged parents. Soon, Chan hadn’t any money or food to eat. Then his Father sickened, following the sudden death of his Mother from pneumonia.
Desperately Chan approached the local storekeeper, who bought his bicycle for cash. He returned home to find his Father had died and he was alone in the world. Chan made his way to the river where he had a friend with a boat, a fisherman. Chan handed over the cash he’d received for the cycle to his friend and became a partner.
Chan lived well from his fishing and got married to his  old school friend Mary Lee and little Ching was born. 

(150 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

THE MESSAGE

FLASH FICTION
Sunday Photo Prompt 04/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

Photo Credit Subramanya Bhat

THE MESSAGE

by John Yeo

  I took my usual seat on the bus and folded the seat in front of me back to allow me to stretch out my osteoarthritic-riddled legs in comfort.  It was then an interesting character arrived, in the shape of a lady in her mid-forties. This lady immediately pulled the seat in front of me back down, took a seat and leaned on the side of my seat. I was able to keep my legs stretched out as she adjusted her position around them. It was then I began to take some notice of her. She had long jet black hair that was obviously helped with black dye. Her nose was large, not unattractively large, set in a face with sharp brown eyes and little make-up applied. She was dramatically dressed, totally in black, except for her grey shoes. I noticed she had her fingernails painted a bright red, and she wore a thin gold bracelet. She wrote something on a piece of paper and promptly began to fold the paper into an origami shape. As she was leaving the bus she handed me the piece of paper and left. I opened the paper to reveal the scribbled words, DON’T STARE!

(200 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Susan Spaulding.

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THE CURE (2)

THIS IS A CONTINUATION BEYOND THE RESTRICTED 150 WORDS OF THE ORIGINAL PROMPT

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. The Baths, British Virgin Islands

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THE CURE

by John Yeo

  David White had been battling with a severe eczema skin condition for most of his life. Davids’ face had always been a swollen mass of skin that resembled the scales on the skin of a crocodile. Life had become so hard at school that his parents had withdrawn him and engaged a series of private tutors to complete his education. The family Doctors had given up trying to eradicate his condition as there is no known cure for atopic eczema.
David had tried everything, from expensive creams and lotions to exotic plant remedies and tablets. David began experimenting with alternate cures. This was when he came into contact with one
Doctor Arpachshad, a philosopher with a reputation for effecting miracle cures with some unfamiliar potions and remedies. Dr. Arpachshad was a tall well spoken American man who wore a monocle, and when he smiled he revealed a mouthful of gold teeth.
  One fateful day Dr. Arpachshad had excitedly called David to attend his clinic in Brighton.
   ‘I have good news, I have found a lotion that is guaranteed to clear up your condition. But it’s extremely expensive and involves a trip to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. I have an extraordinary lotion that’s made out of the skin of a Lioness in heat, trapped and skinned on the night of a full moon. The lotion needs to be applied after a soak in the baths located on the British Virgin Islands.’
  David’s first reaction was one of delighted astonishment. ‘How much will it cost?’
  The velvety voiced Doctor smiled as he quickly replied, ‘Just £20,000 pounds. If you can raise the sum in cash, or almost double that if you pay by another method. Cash is required to pay the hunters in advance.’
  David was shocked and sadly replied, ‘That sort of money is out of the question. I will try to borrow it from my parents but I don’t hold out much hope.’
  Obviously, David was unable to raise this money but there is a strange twist to this tale. The family visited the baths on the British Virgin Islands and Davids eczema was miraculously totally cured.

(362 WORDS)

 

 

 

 

FIDO

 

FLASH FICTION
Sunday Photo Prompt 04/02/2019

The challenge is to write a story using 200 words or less based, on the photo prompt.

Photo Credit: C.E. Ayr 

FIDO

by John Yeo

  The ice had been slowly melting for years. Many corpses of extinct creatures had been discovered, all frozen solid in death over the centuries.

  Contrary to the hopes of some of the Scientific Community; none of these creatures so far had come back to life.
Professor Chan headed a team exploring these Arctic Ice-fields and Glaciers with Mary Lee, his clever assistant.
Then the egg was discovered. A huge egg, muddy brown in colour, absolutely new to Science.
When Mary and the team saw the egg appear as the ice slowly melted, they were quick to retrieve it and deposit it in their icehouse for protection.
After a few days, Mary noticed a slight trembling inside the egg.

      ‘Professor! It’s coming to life, it must be the change of temperature.’
The normally reserved Professor became excited.

    ‘This is sensational Mary! We must keep this quiet and allow Nature to take its course.’

  ‘Certainly Professor!’
 Although high-security measures were in place, news leaked out. When the egg finally cracked a large crowd had gathered.
A gasp of shock and horror rippled around when this fearsome brute appeared.
Laughter ensued when the monster rolled over, smiled and wagged his tail.

(200 WORDS)
© John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

This story was written for Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Susan Spaulding.

ENSLAVEMENT BY ADDICTION

I wrote this post for ‘The Quintet’ our church magazine in response to the theme of…SLAVERY.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

MODERN SLAVERY

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.

©️John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2)

THIS IS A CONTINUATION BEYOND THE RESTRICTED 150 WORDS OF THE ORIGINAL PROMPT

Welcome to What Pegman Saw, a 150-word weekly writing prompt inspired by the photos found on Google Maps. Yep, that’s really a picture of Manhattan. Inwood Park, at the very tip of the island, is one of the few places on the island that looks as it did three hundred years ago.

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Version 2

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

by John Yeo

  Gerald stood at the top of the hill transfixed and just stood drinking in the absolute beauty that seemed to reach out and draw him on. Georgina breathlessly caught up, then gasped with surprised wonder.
  Suddenly there was a chuckle as a rough looking stranger emerged from the depths of a nearby copse. A middle-aged, rather overweight, bearded man stood before them, he had long greasy black hair, with grey streaks, held in position with a battered trilby hat. His bushy black eyebrows met in the middle, atop a large crooked nose. He suddenly opened his mouth to reveal a blackened set of uneven, crooked, gap-filled teeth.

   ‘I see both of you young people are overwhelmed with this place. I’m Captain Ted, a hungry man and I’ll thank you to turn out your pockets and give me everything you find in them. Oh! And I’ll take that smartphone you’re clutching young man.’

  Georgina loudly screamed! ‘Go away you horrible man, I’ll scream the place down and you will be locked up by the Police.’ Screaming loud enough to split her lungs apart.

The stranger suddenly raised his gnarled walking stick in a threatening manner. ‘Stop that ruddy noise of I’ll break your curly head open.’
Startled, Georgina stopped screaming and stood with tears streaming down her face.
Gerald stepped forward and emptied his pockets and handed everything he had over to the stranger.

   ‘You coward!’ shouted Georgina sobbing loudly.

The stranger chuckled and held the club threateningly above her head.

  ‘That’s a good lad, now hand me that smartphone. I’ve always wanted one of those! Give it here! Quickly lad.’
As Gerald held out his smartphone to the stranger he demonstrably pressed a button twice and held the screen up towards the man.

  ‘You see these two nines on this screen!’ said Gerald.

 The man suspiciously nodded and gruffly said.
   ‘Just hand over the phone without any monkey-business or I’ll break her pretty little head open with my stick, then I’ll hurt you too.’

  Gerald took a deep breath and said, ‘Listen here you crook! If I press another nine on this smartphone, It will dial 999 and summon the Police. There will be a helicopter overhead instantly.’

     ‘Don’t lie to me you little monkey! How will they know where we are?’ said the stranger visibly unsure of this turn of events.

  ‘Why do you think they call them smartphones you ignoramus?’
Gerald then demonstrably pressed the nine button.
With a curse, the unkempt villain took to his heels and ran for his life.
Georgina looked at Gerald with new respect.

  ‘Sorry I called you a coward. How did you know he would believe your story?’

  Gerald laughed and said, ‘I guessed he hadn’t a clue about smartphones and I just took a chance.’

(463 WORDS)

© John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

 

IMAGINATION

FLASH FICTION (WRITING PROMPT)

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IMAGINATION

by John Yeo 

It was just a year ago I first came into contact with Jessie, a forty-five years old divorcee. Jessie had long, blonde hair that obviously came with the aid of a bottle. She had a pair of sultry bright green eyes with long black eyelashes. A cute, full pair of kissable lips, rested under a tiny turned up nose. She wore a pair of designer glasses when she was shopping or at home, however she preferred to use contact lenses socially, in the interest of her vanity. All-in-all, she was the complete woman of my dreams.
My name is Norman Jones. I’m an eighteen years old student at the local Polytechnic College. At six feet two, I was tall for my age and a good all-round athlete. My grades in college had been excellent and it looked as if I was on my way to a glittering career in Science.
My best friend Matt, a fellow student, was lucky enough to live at home while I resided in student digs. Matt was a kind, cheerful sort of a bloke, who was a bit on the short side, at roughly 5 foot 5 inches tall, he was extremely sensitive about his height. He had a shock of red hair that prompted our cruel fellow students to call him Ginger. Matt hated this nickname for various reasons not the least being the extension to Ginger Beer.
Nevertheless there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his friends.
Then one fateful day I met Matt in town.
‘Hi Norm! How’s it going?’
‘Fine thanks Matt, I’m just off back to the digs to open a can of beans and feast on these takeaway chips.’ I replied.
‘No mate, really! Why don’t you come back to mine? My Mum won’t mind and you’ll get some decent grub.’
I was taken aback by this generous offer.
‘Thanks Matt! You sure your Mum won’t mind? It’ll certainly beat beans and cold chips.’
’Sure thing mate: Come along with me now.’
We made our way to the bus station and caught a bus to the city suburbs back to Matt’s place.
Little did I realise this was going to be a life changing experience for me. My life was about to take a totally unforeseen and unexpected turn. Nothing could have prepared me for my meeting with Matt’s Mum.
As we entered the house he called out, ‘Hi Mum!’
There was a muffled response from upstairs as we entered the house together.
Then I stopped and couldn’t help myself from staring, as a mature, glamorous blonde lady appeared from the hallway.
‘Mum,’ said Matt, ‘Meet Norman, my best friend from college. Is it OK if he stays and has some dinner with us?’
‘Of course he can darling, come inside and make yourself at home Norman. My, what a tall handsome lad you are!’
I blushed and stuttered, ‘Thththank yyyou’
Matt laughed as she said to me, ‘Don’t be shy, I’m only joking.’
Matt then said, ‘Take your shoes off Norm, as Mum’s just had a new carpet laid.’
I kicked off my trainers and followed Matt into the lounge where he picked up a remote and switched on the TV; flicking through the channels until he found a football match in full swing.
Matt’s Mum, bustled in smiling as she asked, ‘You two guys want a drink? Juice or a cold beer?’
I nodded and replied, ‘Thanks Mrs Peterson, I’ll have a beer.’
‘Please call me Jessie, Norman.’ My insides were churning up with some strange sensations as she sweetly said this. I had heard of the effect some women have on a man but this was puzzling to me.
‘Do you like your steak well done or rare?’
‘Well done please Jessie’ I replied. as I savoured the sound of her name.
‘OK!’ She said as she headed towards the kitchen.
I badly needed to use the toilet as I said to Matt. ‘Which ways your bathroom mate?’
‘Just through the kitchen.’ he replied.
I entered the kitchen and noticed Jessie preparing the meal. I suddenly felt strangely light headed.  In that moment, I felt my knees give way from under me and I just fell to the ground.

©️John Yeo~ All rights reserved.

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