Thursday 26 December 2013

The Ships Of Yule, by Bliss Carman

When I was just a little boy,
Before I went to school,
I had a fleet of forty sail
I called the Ships of Yule;
Of every rig, from rakish brig
And gallant barkentine,
To little Fundy fishing boats
With gunwales painted green.
They used to go on trading trips
Around the world for me,
For though I had to stay on shore
My heart was on the sea.
They stopped at every port to call
From Babylon to Rome,
To load with all the lovely things
We never had at home;
With elephants and ivory
Bought from the King of Tyre,
And shells and silks and sandal-wood
That sailor men admire;
With figs and dates from Samarcand,
And squatty ginger-jars,
And scented silver amulets
From Indian bazaars;
With sugar-cane from Port of Spain,
And monkeys from Ceylon,
And paper lanterns from Pekin
With painted dragons on;
With cocoanuts from Zanzibar,
And pines from Singapore;
And when they had unloaded these
They could go back for more.
And even after I was big
And had to go to school,
My mind was often far away
Aboard the Ships of Yule.

Bliss Carman (1861 – 1929) was a Canadian poet-Laureate.

For The Pirate, and GZ.

Not quite..



And not fifty....

I'll leave her to explain in the comments........
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Wednesday 20 November 2013

Gaggling Geese


Einstein's Geese
Tony Gruenewald
Some Princetonians believe
that simply living within
the 08540 postal zone
adds at least
20 points to an IQ.
And they must be convinced
that even the resident geese
that loiter at the office parks
and on the outskirts of town
are literate.
How else can one explain
the sign?
The sign that had to cost enough
to feed and clothe
a family of four for months
in an underdeveloped country.
The sign that reads, "NO GEESE,"
and for added emphasis adds
a picture of a goose
inside the universal
red slashed circle.
And being Princeton geese,
they ignore the sign anyway,
having also inherited
that ivied sense
of entitlement.
While in my neighborhood,
the geese lean on
the black plywood hunting dog silhouettes
meant to discourage them,
smoking cigarettes and making
goose calls at passing women.
And even the park police are
intimidated. When you call to complain,
they confide in hushed tones,
"There’s nothing we can do...
It’s best to try to ignore them.

Thursday 14 November 2013


Just a few words to say I've not left the planet, I'll be posting soon, just been busy busy busy.
It's exactly one month since I flew out of England to start a new life with my soul-mate, and there's hardly been a moment to catch my breath.

Here's a wedding photo: 24th October 2013.

Today's my birthday, we're going out, on our travels again. I'm planning a blog and email session, maybe tomorrow. so much has happened, so much, so many places, experiences, people, pictures. Oh my.

Best wishes, friends.

Monday 14 October 2013

Souberkwit's Transport to America is Being Readied

It's early in the morning on the 14th October, 2013. A very big day for me, as I fidget and repack, waiting for it to be time to set off for the airport and the next step toward a new life with the soul-mate I met by commenting on her blog.

It's still hard to believe that at last it's really happening. I've been staying with my brother and his family over the last week, since the final pack-up and move-out of my home, ha, I'm homeless and unemployed at the moment... "Spare a few coins, please?".............
Luckily, I have a roof over my head, and a bed, but they're making me work for it... shifting furniture for the carpet-fitter, fitting radiators....

Yesterday, my brother and I went for a wander around the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, North-London. It's free entry, but beware of buying a sandwich. A 3-course meal at the Savoy is probably cheaper. My slice of walnut cake probably bought the nation a new helicopter.


 A Short Sunderland.
There were no Long Sunderlands, nor even Medium Sunderlands. One size fits all. Short was nominative, as in they were built by Shorts Brothers Aviation.
2nd World War and after. One major role was in anti-submarine warfare, and naval reconnaissance. They were tough.


Ah, those stylish germans! No  simple brown and green camo for them!
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Monday 7 October 2013

"Never Apologise for Not Posting"

Never apologise, they say, whoever they are, the self elected experts.

I'm always ready to take advice. Not to follow it, though, so. I apologise for not posting anything for a while. I have a good excuse, I've been packing up my life here in England, both figuratively and literally.
Here it is. A twenty-foot container, being loaded at my erstwhile place of work. My employers set up a table-load of sandwiches in the boardroom, and invited all manner of folks, tenants, contractors, old employees, to come and reminisce and say goodbye, I also got a lot of cards and some presents....
Then back home to the packing, the giving away of things, and the endless bags of stuff consigned to trash.
Ever since I got my K1 Visa application approved at the U.S. Embassy, on the 13th of September, I've been busy. So much to do. I booked my flight for the 14th October, which gave me a solid deadline to work to. Thanks to the help of one or two much appreciated people, I've actually managed it in three, not four weeks.

There were interruptions, like wednesday, where we trucked some boxes over to the temporary store in the morning, then the company took me out to dinner in the afternoon. I was well fed, speeches and presentations were made, the company chairman spoke of a rather wonderful person he first met in 1985, and spoke in glowing terms about him, his character and intelligence, his honesty, his skills in things both practical and theoretical, his ability to relate to others and to help them in times of need.  
A veritable superman.
I was quite confused. 
Why was he talking of this other bloke at MY dinner? Well, it seems there was a confusion. The other guy shares my name, and it seems he worked for the company too, contiguously.  Strange that I never met him. At the end of the speech I clapped politely, and accepted another gift-wrapped parcel on his behalf.

Once the boxes were packed, they were taken in the van to load into the container on the yard.      
When the boxes were all stacked tightly, ceiling-high, the packing team built a bulkhead across the container, and assembled the ramps for loading the Land-Rover.

By two in the afternoon on Thursday, the container doors were locked and sealed, and the truck left, headed for an appointment with a ship bound for the Port of Houston, Texas.

Following that, an evening out with good friends and family, on friday and saturday my brother and I laboured to clear out my  home, and at three on Saturday, I set off south to the northern edge of London to stay with my other brother, and sister-in-law for my final week in England.  
Which is where I am now. I had to rewire the hallway power-socket, fit wooden trim up the stairs, and this afternoon I'm fitting a central-heating radiator. No rest for the wicked.
Oh, and I've redirected my post, spoken to the bank, cancelled phone/broadband/power/water/gas etc. the list is endless.

Now I have to sign off and speak to the Inland Revenue.
I just might manage to update before my flight, next monday, if not.....
Well, I'll be busy right from when I land, I think, there's a trip to the courthouse for a wedding licence on tuesday........

And the wedding's on the 24th October.

Wish us luck!
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Thursday 19 September 2013

Stopping for a Pint in Old Tom's Bar, Leadenhall Market, in the City of London



The City's symbol is a dragon, bearing the red cross of Saint George, patron saint of England.
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Friday 13 September 2013


Hot off the Press: My KI Visa application, to enter the United States as the Fiance of the Red Dirt Girl, with the requirement of then marrying within 90 days of entry to the U.S.A. has been granted as of about 12 mid-day today.

Provisional date of flight is 14th October 2013, provisional date of wedding 24th October 2013.

I am the happiest person you can imagine, today, after all this time, there's not just a glimmer at the end of the tunnel, I'm out in the sunlight.

She's also the happiest person you can imagine, I phoned her at about 6:15 her a.m. to tell her the momentous news.

There'll be another post later.

Cue the Happy Dance!


Thursday 12 September 2013

Walking in the Wild West End.

Stepping out to Angellucci's for my coffee beans
Checking out the movies and the magazines
Waitress she watches me crossing from the Barocco Bar
I get a pickup for my steel guitar
I saw you walking out Shaftesbury Avenue
Excuse me talking I wanna marry you
This is the seventh heaven street
Don't you seem so proud
You're just another angel in the crowd

And I'm
Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with your wild best friend

And now my conductress on the number nineteen, She was a honey
Pink toenails and hands all, dirty with the money
Greasy easy Greasy hair, easy smile
Made me feel nineteen for a while

And I went down to, Cha, Cha, uh, uh, Chinatown
In the backroom it's a man's world
All the money go down
Duck inside the doorway, duck to eat
Just ain't no way,
You and me, we can beat

Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with your wild best friend

Now ah, a gogo, dancing girl, yes I saw her
The deejay, he say, here's Mandy for ya
I feel alright, saying now, Do that stuff
She's dancing high I move on by
The close ups can get rough

When you're
Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with'cha wild best friend

Walking it, Walking it
I'm in London again, big day tomorrow. 
So, for some reason, all the budget hotels were full, including the one I'd checked out a month ago, so I'm staying at the Thistle, Marble Arch, on Oxford street. 6 minutes walk to the U.S. Embassy.
I'm up on the balcony floor, about three rooms this side of the centre.

This new beached whale thing, almost opposite.
In the distance, in the east, the Gherkin, and other high-rise buildings around the City of London. 

The greenery is Hyde Park. The Marble Arch is below the sight-line.
And I've been walking, walking, walking to New Orleans... No, I mean, Walking in the Wild West End, but I'll find Walking to New Orleans too....

So, I checked out the route to my interview, wandered back by way of Selfridges, where I saw some ridiculous things....

There's a bit at the west end called the Wonder Room, where a load of high-end bling sellers set up their stalls. Like gold bling cellphones at £6,600.
Rolex Breitling Tiffany Cartier Hermes..... How about an Ostrich-Leather travel-bag, with Swarovski Crystals? £10,500............................................

Where else could you buy a  toy sports car for your kids and drop 24 and a half thousand pounds on it?

Rock Star, baby!

The Malay Chicken Curry on the top floor was good though.
Back to the hotel for a shower and snooze, then out, just wandering vaguely south-east toward Piccadilly Circus.
Watching the world and starting to feel hungry, so to Chinatown but HORROR OF HORRORS!  Lee Ho Fooks is no longer there. I'd been eating there since even before Warren Zevon included it in 'Werewolves of London', and it's GONE!
So I had to pig out at Mr Wu's all you can eat buffet instead.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walkin' through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was lookin' for the place called Lee Ho Fooks
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Ya hear him howlin' around your kitchen door
Ya better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
He's the hairy, hairy gent, who ran amok in Kent
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair
You better stay away from him
He'll rip your lungs out Jim
Huh, I'd like to meet his tailor
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Well, I saw Lon Chaney walkin' with the queen
Doin' the werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walkin' with the queen
Doin' the werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinkin' a pina colada at Trader Vic's
And his hair was perfect
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Draw blood
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London

Then I went north-ish, across Shaftesbury Avenue, through Soho, across Oxford Street again, found a Sam Smith's pub, sat outside in the warm evening drinking a pint of Old Brewery Bitter. North a bit more then westish, Harley Street, Oh, Bentinck street, I walked past the place where I had my medical... westish, regent street, northish to Nash's splendid

Langham Place, the BBC and a light beaming into the clouds, westerly more, bit by bit to Portland Place, found some interesting little streets, restaurants and pubs, galleries to peer in windows.

New Alfa Romeo, first decent looking car they've built since the seventies,

And so, eventually, back to my hotel. I'm all ready. Papers in a folder. otherwise empty pockets, no belt, no phones, no coins tomorrow, I want no drama with the security screening.

So, I'll just insert some photos in this, and go to sleep until my 6:30 a.m. wake-up call.

Oh, and as we're in Memphis now: I can't resist adding Chuck Berry's rocking little tear-jerker of a song.


(C. Berry) Long distance information give me Memphis, Tennessee Help me find the party, tried to get in touch with me She would not leave a number but I know who placed the call 'cause my uncle took a message and he wrote it on the wall Help me information get in touch with my Marie She's the only one who'd call me here from Memphis, Tennessee Her home is on the south side, high up on the ridge Just a half-a-mile from the Mississippi bridge Last time I saw Marie she was wavin' me goodbye With "hurry home" drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye But we were pulled apart because her Mom did not agree And tore apart our happy home in Memphis, Tennessee Help me information, more than that I cannot add Only that I miss her and all the fun we had Marie is only six years old, information please Try to put me through to her in Memphis, Tennessee.
7th floor lobby

I'm down here, about halfway to the horizon, on the left.
G'night All.