Thursday, 16 November 2017

Special offer

From tomorrow, 17th November until 23rd november, Viv's Family Recipes, will be sold for $0.99, £0.99.

The recipes in this book are from Viv's family and friends. It is not only a recipe book for today, but also gives insight into how people cooked and ate in years gone by. The recipes date from 1909 to the present day.
There are also little anecdotes telling of the people whom the book mentions.



Hurry and get yours. Don't miss this offer. You can get your copy by following this link.

 
http://mybook.to/FamilyRecipes
.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

2 more words that are misused (and are driving me insane)




Last month I talked about the words NUMBER and AMOUNT. Today I'm going to talk about some similar words that get confused. 

These words are FEWER and LESS.

I say they are similar to the previouys words because the same rules apply. So many people will say something like,

 'There were LESS people at the match this week than last week.'

This is WRONG. In this case, it should be FEWER.

Just as NUMBER refers to things we count, like people, goals, sheep in a flock, minutes in an hour, items in a shopping trolley etc., so FEWER also refers to those things.

FEWER is a digital word. It refers to things we COUNT.

LESS refers to things we MEASURE. Thus we would have something like,

There is LESS snow today than the same time last year.

or There is less flour in this cake than that one.

BUT There are fewer eggs in this cake than that one.

We MEASURE the flour, but we COUNT the eggs.

Please leave a comment on this post. I love hearing from you, and reblogging would help get the message across to more people and save me from continually shouting at the TV and radio.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Horselords 5

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They rode into the camp to be greeted by Chief Andrid, Davrael’s father.

‘You were gone a long time, son,’ he said.

Davrael slid from his horse and embraced his father.

‘We had some problems,’ he replied. ‘We found some of the Prowling Lynx on our territory. We followd them for a while, then approached. They attacked us, so we had to retaliate.’
‘Were any of our men hurt?’

Davrael shook his head.

‘Those Lynx are no match for the Swooping Hawks. We easily defeated them. But they had stolen some horses from the settlers at the far side of our territory. What’s more, when the settlers tried to regain their horses, the Lynx took a young woman captive. We rescued her.’

‘Well done, son,’ Andrid said. ‘That’s typical of the Lynx. What were they going to do with the girl? Ask for ransom?’

‘No. The chief was going to make her marry his son.’

Andrid’s face grew red and he clenched his fists at his side.

‘What!’ he exclaimed. ‘That is against all our laws and customs. The Tribes do not force marriage on anyone.’

Davrael then brought Kimi forward and introduced her to his father.

He smiled at her and said, ‘We will make sure you are returned to your family, but we need you as a witness to what these men have done. We will begin the trial tomorrow.’

Davrael gave Kimi into the hands of his mother. She smiled warmly at the girl and told her to call her Mimola. Kimi smiled back and soon found herself telling Mimola all about her ordeal with the Prowling Lynx. That night she slept in Mimola’s tent. the best night’s sleep she had since her capture.
The following morning, true to his word, Andrid sat on the only chair in the camp, on a raised dais made of wooden planks laid across tree trunks.

‘Bring the prisoners forward,’ he commanded, and half a dozen of the Swooping Hawks led the Prowling Lynx warriors to the space before the chief.

Around this space stood the rest of the Swooping Hawk tribe, all agog to see what was happening.

All kind of rumours had been circulating during the previous evening and night, and the people wanted to know what was going on.

Kimi stood to one side, with Davrael. His presence reassured her as she did not know what was going to happen.

As soon as the Prowing Lynx arrived, they stood, hands tied, before Andrid.

‘You have been accused of trespass and stealing horses,’ he said, ‘but what is worse, of kidnapping a young woman with the intention of making a forced marriage. This is against our laws, as you know, and so you must face this court.’
The chief of the Prowling Lynx stepped forward.

‘I do not recognise this court,’ he said, and stepped back.

Andrid laughed. ‘You may not recognise it, but it is perfectly legal. You are a chief and are being tried by a chief, as the law insists. Your men should be tried by your own chief, by rights, but as you are on trial, too, for the same crime, then that is not possible. I will try them also.

‘What do you have to say?’

The Prowling Lynx Chief said nothing.

‘Then I will ask a witness to come forward. Davrael, what have you to say?’

Davrael stepped forward and gave an account of how he and his men had been patrolling their territory when they came across the Prowling Lynx men. They challenged them, but were met with an attack. When they finally beat the Lynx, they found Kimi in one of the tents.’

The young man who Kimi understood to be the Prowling Lynx chief’s son shouted out.

‘We were not trespassing. We were just on our way back to our own lands. We had to cross yours. We had no intention of doing any harm, notr interfering in any way with your horses.’

His father gave him a stony stare, but he continued.

‘We only took horses from the settlers. Everyone knows they’re not proper Horselords. and ;the girl asked to be taken. She came after us and attacked. What were we supposed to do?’

Davrael stepped forward.

‘You should not have stolen their horses in the first place. Then she and her family would not have followed.’

‘They’re settlers for the gods’ sake. They aren’t proper horselords.’

Andrid scowled at the young man.

‘Settlers or not, true horselords or not, although on that point I agree, we do not steal.’

Andrid then turned to Kimi.

‘Kimi, come forward and tell me what happened.’

Then it was Kimi’s turn. She told how she had been captured and how the chief had told her she would be taken to their camp and married to his son. She told of the abuse she had received at the hands of that son, and how frightened she was. then, with a smile at Davrael, she told how he and his men had rescued her.’

The trial continued and lasted all day. Each of Davrael’s men gave evidence, as did the Prowling Lynx men, and eventually, their chief.

As the sun began to set over the plans, Andrid gave his verdict and sentence.

‘You are all guilty because not one of you stood up to say what happened is wrong. However, I accept it is difficult for warriors to go against their chief. Therefore, you warriors I am going to allow to return to your territory. However, if any of my men see you within five miles of our territory, then you will be recaptured.’

He turned to the chief and his son.

‘As chief and probable next chief, you have more responsibility for what happened. I cannot allow you both to go in the same way I did your men.’ He turned to the chief. ‘You hold great responsibility as chief of your people. You uphold the law and are responsible fora keeping it. Therefore it is doubly worse for you to have taken part in this theft and kidnapping. I sentence you to be beaten and kept in custody for two full years. Every day you will receive four lashes.’

There was an intake of breath from the crowd at the severity of this sentence. Andrid then turned to the chief’s son.

‘You were fully complicit in this. You could have had some influence over your father. but instead, you used the situation to frighten and abuse a young girl. You I sentence to be kept in custody for only one year, but because of the way you treated a young and frightened girl, each day you will receive six lashes.’

Andrid then dismissed the court and the Prowling Lynx warriors mounted their horses and rode off.
As he as taken away, the chief of the Lynx shouted, ‘What is going to happen to my tribe? They will be without a chief for two years.’

Andrid turned and said, ‘Your problem. With any luck, they’ll decide to reject you and choose a better leader.’

That evening, Kimi and Davrael talked long into the night. The next morning, his father had told him he was to accompany Kimi to her home. He chose a few warriors to accompany them in order to drive the horses, and his mother to act as chaperone.

How will Kimi’s family respond to her return?
Find out on the first Tuesday of December.
Please add a comment to this episode. I like hearing what you think.

You can find out more about Kimi and Davrael in their adventures with The Wolf Pack;

Follow this link to buy, or click on the book image at the side of the page.
http://myBook.to/thewolfpack
http://myBook.to/NeverDying.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Samhain, A Poem.

Samhain is the pagan pre-curser to what we now call Hallowe'en. It was thought that on the nights of the equinox the veil separating the world of the dead from our own world thinned, and the dead could come through.

Not all the dead were consindered scary, though. The people thought that their recent dead visited them, and they put out food, or set an extra place at the table to accommodate them. These dead came to see their loved ones were going on alright.

Evil spirits, though, could come through, too, and so bonfires were lit to keep them at bay. The home fires were put out, too, to be relit the following day from the bonfires.

Pope Gregory decided that some of the pagan dates should be incorporated into the Christian calendar as psople were used to celebrating on those days. Samhain was one of these. The Pope designated it to be All Saint's Day, hence the night before became All Hallow's Eve. (Hallows being another word for 'holy' or 'saint'.)

Pope Gregory also fixed the date of Christmas to co-incide with the pagan festival of Yule, and turned some of the pagan gods into saints. He also used pagan worshiping sites to build Christian churches, on the same principal. People were used to going there to worship.

Here is a poem I wrote for Samhain. I hope you like it.

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SAMHAIN

Don't go near the graveyard, darling,
Samain is tonight.
Don't go near the graveyard, darling,
The dead will walk this night.

Keep your candle burning, darling,
Keep it glowing bright.
Keep your candle burning, darling,
Be sure it gives you light.

The bonfires have been lit, darling,
To fill the dark with light.
The bonfires have been lit, darling,
Their flames reach such a height.

Put your home fires out, darling.
Be sure to do it right.
Put your home fires out, darling.
From bonfires we'll relight.

Put food by the door, darling.
Leave it in plain sight.
Put food by the door, darling.
For our own to have a bite.

Do not be afraid, darling,
They see that we're alright.
Do not be afraid, darling,
No harm from them tonight.

But evil spirits come, darling.
We must put them to flight.
But evil spirits come, darling;
Them we must try to fight.

Go and watch the bonfires, darling.
Stand in their bright light.
Go and watch the bonfires, darling,
They keep us safe this night.

When I realised just how many words rhyme with 'night', I just had to write the poem using as many as I could. Unfortunately, I could not use as many as I would have liked, but it made the only rhumes in the poem to be ones that rhymed with  'night' or 'fright'.

I hope you enjoyed my poem. Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

2 words misused all the time.

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There are two words that most people get wrong, these days. Strangely, they do not have similar spelling, nor similar sounds. When they are used wrongly, it grates on me.
Many well-educated people do not seem to be able to get it right, either.

What are these words?

They are Number and Amount.

The word 'Number' is rarely misused but 'Amount' is. All the time.

Let me try to explain the difference.

NUMBER This refers to, not surprisingly, the number of things.
It is used when we count things. 1,2,3,4,5 etc.
We can also say, for those techies amongst us, it is a digital word.
It tells us how many of something there is.

AMOUNT This refers to a measurement.
It is used when we don't actually count individual things.
It is an analogue word.
It tells us how much of something there is.

Thus, to say 'The amount of people at the party was 30' is wrong. We are counting those people, not measuring them.

However, it is correct to say 'The amount of rain that fell in October was less than normal.' We are measuring the rainfall.

I don't thing I've ever heard number used for a measurement, unless it is something like 'The number of inches of fabric you need is...', but then it's counting, not measuring.

I would like this to get to as many people as possible, as I am getting increasingly stressed by this incorrect usage. Please re-blog it for my sanity's sake.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Storm. A Poem

A lovely day, the sun was warm
It had shone on us since dawn.
The heat oppressed us all the day,
Even as in bed we lay.
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We went to Leipzig in the heat.
In Thomaskirke we took our seat
To hear St John by J.S.Bach.
It did not end till after dark.

When we emerged it was in rain.
We rushed to find our car again.
The thunder rolled across the sky,
The lightning flashed, but now we're dry.

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We drove towards Chemnitz and saw
O'er Dresden, flashes like the War'
Was it '45 again
With bombs falling like the rain?

The lightning flashed, the thunder boomed.
We thought that wewere surely doomed'
It must at least be Armageddon,
Such brightness in a sky so leaden.
lightning
The storm went of for several hours
Showing nature's awesome powers
And even though it scared us some
We were impressed. It struck us dumb.

If you liked my poem, which was written after an actual storm in Germany, please add a comment and I'll get back to you. If you woul like to re-blog it I would be very grateful.