Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Inertia

I vaguely remember the concept of inertia from physics class in school, a long long time ago – where things that are in a state of motion stay in motion, and things that are at rest stay at rest until a force is applied… something to do with a body’s resistance to change, and friction and transference of energy and momentum. Oh, and I also remember that momentum equals mass times velocity – the heavier the object and the faster it is travelling, the greater the motion it has.

And I remember the fun we had as kids playing with a Newton’s cradle, a rigid frame with five metal balls hanging from it, suspended taut in a row like small swinging pendulums with only a left-to-right or right-to-left motion possible, where letting the first ball swing onto the next with a satisfying click would cause only the last ball to swing out at the opposite end while the three central balls stayed steady. Swinging two balls together would make the corresponding two at the other end of the row swing out with only the central ball staying still, and swinging three would make the central one move back and fore in almost in a state of  perpetual motion.

I say almost because there is always a tiny loss of energy in each transference of energy between the balls (isn’t that where the friction bit comes in?) that eventually causes the movement slowly to reduce and then finally stop. Hmmm… I’ve maybe not remembered any of my physics lessons correctly, but I think I might have to apply some serious force in order to achieve the momentum needed to get myself going again to find mysef a new Newton’s Cradle to play with… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Inertia

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Crocodile Dundee and Me

I’m sitting here alone on my sofa on a Sunday evening watching TV, and Crocodile Dundee is on. I remember watching it at the cinema when it first came out way back when, and I just loved it! The humour is great, even if the styles and the themes are more than a little corny and outdated, but yet still it makes me cry. And inevitably it’s making me think about difficult stuff from my past.

It’s also making me think of other old movies I love, and why I still love them so much. Pulp Fiction and True Lies, Working Girl and Mona Lisa Smile. Going back even further, there’s Grease, and Dirty Dancing, and Strictly Ballroom. And never forgetting Saturday Night Fever. They all touched something in me in their own way; a hurt to be salved, a need to be fulfilled, a desire for something more in life.

Perhaps I’m more of a romantic than I think, yearning to be loved and taken care of. And perhaps I’m more of an extrovert in my imaginitive spiritual soul than I am in my fearful introvert heart, dreaming deep down of daring to be brave, be wild, be so much more than I am or ever can be in real life. These movies were my fantasy, my alternative future, my escape from unhappiness.

Thankfully I no longer feel that same agonising need for change, but somehow watching these old movies today still touches that little kernel of magical memories that grew into a precious germ of hope all those years ago, and for that I shall always be eternally grateful… ❤

Arse Before Elbow

I was born a month premature, in early December 1963. My mum went into labour several weeks before I was due, suffering with the exeedingly dangerous extreme high blood pressure of pre-eclampsia.

To add insult to injury, I then presented as a transverse breech, literally trying to enter the world bottom first, and so in the end I was born unceremoniously by emergency Ceasarian Section in the middle of the night. I was immediately whisked off to whatever the 1960s version of the Special Care Baby Unit was called.

I remained in an incubator for however long it took to stabilise me, while mum remained dangerously ill in a different part of the hospital. Not the best bonding experience for either of us. Mum always said she didn’t feel like she’d had a baby – she felt more like she’d had her appendix out.

My dad always joked I tried to come into the world in too much of a hurry, arse before elbow, and have continued through life in the same vein. He’s probably quite right, even now I’m not one for biding my time and doing things in the ‘right’ order… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Premature

Partaking in a Little Nostalgia

My husband and I are spring-cleaning today, and found an old pile of music CDs we’d long forgotten about. So we decided to partake in a little nostalgic listening as we work – a 3CD compilation titled ‘School Reunion – the 80s’ is our current choice, and it’s just absolutely perfect to spring-clean to! A total of 60 banging tracks from a decade during which I listened to a lot of music, and I’m finding I can still sing along to most of it 🙂

Daily Prompt: Partake

Tent Pegs and Tension

As a Girl Guide in my early and mid-teens, I loved camping in the great outdoors. Our Guide Company had access to several of those ancient huge heavy green canvas tents, both traditional rectangular ridge tents and my favourite pointy-roofed circular bell tents (like baby circus Big Tops).

When arriving at our preferred spot, usually a vast grassy field, we’d find a flat enough surface to erect our tents, and would set to work unpacking the tent-poles and canvas, hauling on guy ropes and hammering in the well-worn wooden tent pegs with solid but scarred wooden mallets.

It’s a sound that stays with me, echoing through the years – a multitude of keen girl guides working together with varying degrees of competence and success, striving to hold up unwieldy canvas tents under tension accompanied by the staccato dull thwack of wood on wood as tent pegs suddenly take the strain, fun and laughter and hope resonating and rippling through the fresh Scottish air.

Daily Prompt: Mallet

 

Share Your World: 16 April 2018

List things or events that changed your life?

Um… off the top of my head I’d have to include becoming a mum at 18, becoming a grandmother at 38, and getting a degree at 40 (just to prove to myself that I could!)

Complete this sentence: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s...

One of my favourite childhood memories of my paternal grandmother – a hard-working, no-nonsense farmer’s wife – is of her usual after-dinner ritual rest.

Dinner on the farm was the main meal eaten in the middle of the day, and so late mornings were always a busy time, taken up with cooking and laying the large table with as many places as were needed. After everyone had eaten and the myriad dishes were all washed and put away, my grandmother would sit herself down at her kitchen fireside armchair, put her feet up on her footstool, put the day’s newspaper over her face, and have a quiet little nap for half an hour or so. Her nap time was sacrosanct, a time that was not to be interrupted for anything less important than a life or death situation, and we all respected that.

On one particular day I remember my dad and my grandad (like two peas in a pod, but a generation apart) being a bit tardy in leaving the kitchen after eating, and were both standing looking out the window with one pair of binoculars between them, arguing good naturedly (in their typical father/son way) over whether or not the winged black speck they were looking at soaring high in the sky was a seagull or an airoplane. My dad was sure it was a plane, my grandad was convinced it was a seagull, and neither would give up their favoured view. As my grandmother settled herself in her armchair and raised her newspaper to her face, an indication that silence should commence, she commented abruptly ‘Humph… If that’s a bloody seagull it’s got a jet engine up its arse!’

Ha ha ha, the memory of the absolute shock on my young face that my grandmother said ‘bloody’ and ‘arse’ still makes me smile today  🙂

What genre of music do you like?

Classical, jazz, soul, R&B, soft rock, reggae, pop, hip-hop, garage, indie… pretty much everything, I just like music ❤

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

With nice weather at last, I’ve really appreciated the abundance of beautiful spring blooms all around us

Share Your World: 16 April 2018

Swamp People

We’ve been watching old re-runs of Swamp People, following the exploits of mainly Louisiana alligator fishermen during the the annual month long alligator hunting season. In particular we like to see Troy Landry and his sons Jacob and Chase from Pierre Part, where my husband was born and raised and where my in-laws still live. It’s a long way from the humidity of the Louisiana swamps to the hustle and bustle of London life, but for my husband it’s a reminder of where he came from, and we love seeing the beautiful bayou vistas and hearing the typical clipped Cajun accents.

I remember on my first ever visit to Pierre Part, being out on the bayou in a flat-bottomed aluminium boat and seeing a long pole sticking out of the water at an angle, with a string tied to it and a chicken leg hanging just above the water line. It’s for catching alligators, they told me, and I though they were making fun of me. But no, apparently that’s exactly how it’s done. It was uncomfortably strange to think of alligators swimming all around us, under us, so I focused on the views above the swamp rather than imagining what lay beneath, lurking in the murky depths – or the shallows, for that matter.

It never ceases to amaze me that anyone can even stand upright balancing in such a relatively small boat only inches above the water, not only to wrangle an angry alligator up close and personal until it tires itself out enough for you to put a shot in the tiny kill spot between its eyes, but also to haul its heavy ass into the slick-surfaced boat afterwards, time after time, day after day. It certainly took me some time to feel comfortably secure sitting cross-legged right up front on the boat, close enough to the swamp to drag my fingers through it – not that I ever did, I kept all body parts firmly in plain view at all times.

me-on-bayou

The views and the wildlife make the Louisiana swamp such a wonderful place to visit, as out on the bayou it’s a truly immersive experience – well, certainly from on top of the water rather than physically in it. I’ve seen a couple of small alligators and plenty of tell-tale bubbles, one or two cotton-mouth snakes a bit too close for comfort, and more than a few turtles sunning themselves. And out on the wide expanse of Lake Verret we even saw a bald eagle soaring above us, what an amazing wing-span.

lake-verret

So we sit here on our sofa and watch Swamp People, and we each smile at the memories it invokes, and look forward to catching up on the next series when it comes our way… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Haul