Blue

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I just watched a programme on TV about colours, one of which was blue. They showed the rock, Lapis Lazuli, which can only be found in a small number of places in the world including Afghanistan and California.

Lapis Lazuli was used as a paint pigment in paintings by artists like Titian. The rock is ground down to fine powder and then mixed with oil and wax to make oil paint. The resulting colour is called ultramarine and is a superb blue used in things like the blue paint in the robes of the virgin Mary in Titian’s paintings.

So how did Lapis Lazuli become blue? Sulphur rich rock, which was a pale grey brown was heated up 30 or 40 kilometres below the Earth’s surface. The intense heat and pressure apparently compresses the mineral and makes three atoms of Sulphur line up in each molecule. It is this geometry in the molecules that causes it to reflect pure blue light. (Sulphur is usually found in nature in a yellow, red, orange, brown or black form – the Volcanic moon of Jupiter, Io, is coloured by Sulphur).

Blue sky

Blue Sea.

Blue life.

Blue me

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Thirst

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I need a drink

Cola

No

Cocoa

No

Coffee

No

Gin

No

Beer

No

Cider

No

Milk

No

Whiskey

No

Tea

No

Orange Juice

No

Water

Yes

Cold

Yes

With ice

Yes

Sparkling

Yes

Tap water

YES.

why spend money on water if you can get it out of the tap?  We are very lucky in my country to be able to have freshly piped water. In a lot of the World this does not happen.

But we still buy water in bottles! And when we have bought our bottles water the plastic bottle it usually comes in gets thrown away and Sent to landfill or ends up floating in the ocean and destroying the sea life. Meanwhile many people in the world have to drink filthy water and maybe carry it for miles before they can drink or use it. Maybe we should care more about people who are really thirsty. My choice of drinks is almost unlimited. The world must try and be fairer.

Save the world, drink tap water if you can!

Threshold, whiskey galore?

#writephoto looking-out-1

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday #writephoto prompt.

‘Well it was like this officer’ she said, ‘we were down on the beach and saw the cave’. She sneezed, the cold was getting into her bones ‘ it reminded me of the film “whiskey galore” based on the book by Compton MacKensie, so we decided to explore it. We scrambled down the rocks and walked past the waterfall. We went straight in because it had started to lash down with rain, so it was a chance to get under shelter too’

‘About what time was that?’ the policeman had a little hand held computer which he typed into. Not as interesting as a notebook she thought.

‘Around 10am yesterday.’ she pulled the silver space blanket tighter around her shoulders. ‘We are on holiday, we don’t know about the tides’ She looked down at her husband lying on a stretcher  The ambulance people had put an oxygen mask on him and dressed the cut on his head. He gave her a little wave.

‘Yes, the tide came in while we were exploring, the cave goes back so far and the water just came up before we knew it. We were in waist deep water, but the waves were pushing us deeper in when we tried to swim out. In the end we found a ledge to sit on…. .’ the policeman was still typing ‘so what happened then?’ ‘we tried using our phones but they wouldn’t work, they had got a soaking, we tried wading out, but by then we were too cold. So we just sat as close together as we could.’

She sighed ‘ we must both have fallen asleep because when we woke up again the tide had come back in. We were exhausted and decided to wait till morning. My husband stood up to stretch and that’s when he cracked his head on the rock’. ‘So that’s when we found you’ said the policeman. ‘It was the landlady at your B&B that alerted us’

‘one thing’ he said ‘what’s that wrapped in your coat?’

‘This? It’s an old bottle of 25 year old single malt’ she smiled.

Titchy play: Monster

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I wrote three little plays for the Titchy Theatre yesterday.  They were read out at the show. I will post them here one a day.

Monster (tourist to reporter – look south or some such channel)

Reporter : so where did you see it?

Tourist : down by the quay, you know, the harbour?

R: and was it big?

T: well… It was as big as a boat, no… A ship

R: what did it look like?

T: er…. It had glowing all over it

R: what sort of lights?

T: Well… Yellow-ish. Like Glowing yellow eyes, and I think it had huge teeth too!

R: why?

T: it seemed to have a grill or something over its mouth, but you could see light shining through… You know… Glowing like an alien?

R: did it make a noise?

T: yes, a very low humming, and a metallic, clanking noise.

R: so…. how do you feel?

T: very scared. I’ve never seen anything like it before

R: can I ask you where you’re from?

T: oh yes. Stoke-on-Trent

R: so … Have you ever been to the seaside before?

T: oh yeah. You know, magaluf, Malaga, Ibetha.

R: and there was nothing like this there?

T: No… Just always sunny, and at night we went off and partied… The other thing I remember is this long wailing noise! I mean, it was foggy, so I could only sense the looming figure  the Monster…. .!!

R: OK. Well…. We checked with the Coast Guard… .

T: Yeah??

R: the wailing noise was from the lighthouse foghorn.

T: Oh

R: And the big, dark, lit-up ship thing.

T: Yes?

R: Was a car ferry…….

Christine Mallaband-Brown

 

Tidal waves of books

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Tidal waves of books,

Sloshing round my room,

Pouring down from bookcases

Dripping from tables,

Making a beach of pamphlets

Puddles of novels

A tide of documents.

I sit in a paper sailing boat

Atop an ocean of biography.

Littered with paperbacks

Swimming with pratchett turtles

and the old man of the sea.

I’m drowning in books,

Flooded by books

Waves crashing over my head.

Whirlpools of literature ……..

Memory of the sea

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Sunny day, top of the steps, Rhyl.

Over beyond this wall is my sea, the one I remember as a child, the one we visited on steam trains when I was very young.

Out beyond this wall the beach is flat and spreads far out. The sand is yellow and ochre. There are ridged ripples in the sand caused by the waves. Lines of groynes (posts with flat planks in between) hold back the waves and stop the long shore drift washing the sand away. New sea defences have been built to try and prevent flooding during storms. In summer planes fly over for Rhyl air show. Thousands of people arrive in mid summer like a migrating flock of starlings to see the show. Then disappear as quickly. Sometimes the days are wet and windy, other times the sun beats down and uv rays and ozone help burn your skin.

This old lamp post was once lit with gas. Now it’s rusting in the salt air. It looks like it was highly decorated in years gone by. Rhyl itself sometimes feels like time is leaving it behind. There are attempts to restore its faded glory though. If you want to see the sea its worth a visit. Just follow the A55 road North West of Chester and on into Wales.

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