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.

 

 

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. 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)

 

 

 

 

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

 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

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.

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’

(150 WORDS)

© Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

A PICTORIAL PRESENTATION

Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

A PICTORIAL PRESENTATION

by John Yeo

Expectations were high throughout the school. The esteemed artist was arriving at precisely 14.00 hours to judge the pupils work. A prize was on offer.

The headmistress. Miss Elaine Smithers, and Luigi Pescasso had both attended art college in London. Elaine had encouraged her brightest, creative pupils to do their best to produce some pictures along the same lines as the great Luigi.

Tommy Dawkins was favourite to win and his painting of a donkey took pride of place among the exhibits. Entitled, ‘The Ass,’ it was hung on the wall alongside, Mary Green’s, ‘Dog with a Bone,’ And Elaine William’s, ‘Girl leading a Pig’. There was an interesting painting of a headless horse, painted by Mary Tomkins. The classroom wall was covered with a variety of paintings The moment arrived and there was a hush as the great man walked along the line of pictures. He took a deep breath then said.

‘I find there are four paintings equally good and I award four first prizes. ‘The Girl leading a Pig to the Dog with a Bone, leads to the Backside of a Horse that finally ends up as an Ass.’ Well done you four talented young people.’

© John Yeo ~ All rights reserved

(199 WORDS)

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