Scotties Toy Box

May 20, 2017

Charming and elegant

Filed under: Art, People I like, Stories, Things I like — Scottie @ 13:58

Charming and elegant

Being a working poet can take you into strange places. I’ve given poetry readings in some of the roughest bars in Port Naain as their proprietors sought respectability, increased trade, or merely a drop in the number of apparently aimless, drink fuelled, killings.

Yet I’ve also performed in some of the finest houses in the city and so can count as friends both the most cultured ladies and the thugs with the most battered faces. As you can imagine, whilst I might have my own opinions, it is not my role to act as judge. I have found both kindness and treachery in both high and low places.

Hence over the years the people I tend to treasure are those who have proved themselves to be genuinely decent human beings. By this I don’t just mean that they are kind to their poet, (which is indeed a trait to be encouraged). It’s when you go into a big house and notice that the servants are happy, that the younger maids are not trying to be invisible, and elderly staff who have been with the family a long time are still living in.

Similarly you’ll meet the scarred ruffian who the street children adore, and who cannot walk down a street without the older inhabitants stopping him for a chat.

These are people to be cherished when you find them. They are less common that you’d hope but there are more of them out there than cynicism would suggest. I’d mention the case of Mistress Darnel to illustrate what I mean.

Mistress was an elegant lady, tall with that sort of figure that is so often described as ‘boyish’. I don’t remember when she arrived at Port Naain.

Apparently she was born here, moved out to her family estates to nurse an elderly relative, and after their death moved back to the city. Given the length of time she was away she had to re-establish her circle of acquaintance.

She wasn’t a formal patron of mine, although I was asked to perform at her residence. It was one of the happy households; you could tell that the staff had a genuine affection for their mistress.

After performing there a couple of times I realised that it wasn’t merely the staff who were fond of her. She had a small circle of close friends including a couple of gentlemen admirers whom remained on good terms with her even after they married somebody else. But what really struck me was that there were also a changing group of young men and women who were part of her circle for a while. Falas Buttot the painter was virtually one of her household and one evening over a glass or two, the topic of Mistress Darnel came up in conversation. According to Falas, for a lot of young people, she was the adult they went to for advice over problems they didn’t feel they could burden their parents with.

Indeed occasionally I was drawn into the nets she wove. On several occasions I was asked to privately critique poetry. More than one young poet owes their career to her support and my occasional appraisals. More importantly, thanks to the tact of Mistress Darnel and my heroic efforts, poetry has been spared the attentions of any number of cloth-eared individuals who had no grasp of rhyme, rhythm, or even what certain of the words they were using meant.

I well remember when Mistress Darnel had her accident. It was one of those stupid things, she was walking down Lame Pauper’s Ginnel and further up the Ginnel some fool knocked over a pile of barrels. One of them, bounding down the steep hill, struck Mistress Darnel with some force. Her companion, a Mistress Virisia was luckily unhurt. She saw her friend’s broken body sprawled across the cobbles and immediately got help. Mistress Darnel was carried home on a door and doctors were summoned. Obviously nothing could be done that might delay medical examination; her clothes were removed with a knife.

Now as fate would have it, whilst this was happening I was at the house of my grandest patron, Mistress Bellin Hanchkillian. A fine lady of the old school, a pillar of Port Naain, indeed her family owned a fair chunk of it.

I was half way through my delivery when a middle aged lady carrying more weight than she should burst in and nearly collapsed at my feet. This is unusual enough to put me off my delivery.

The woman looked up at my patron and announced, “Mistress Darnel has had an accident and is now a man.”

My first thought was that it was one hell of an accident! I think others had the same thought. Finally after she got her breath back our informant elucidated.

“Mistress Darnel was stuck by a barrel. When the doctors stripped her to see what her injuries were they discovered she was a man who had been passing herself off as a woman.”

Mistress Hanchkillian could see the heads put together as people started to talk about this. She slowly stood up and immediately everybody fell silent.

Nobody wanted to miss her words of judgement.

“Pah, there are too many in this city attempting to pass themselves off as decent human beings.” Then she turned to me. “Master Steelyard, pray have my Sedan chair brought to the front door. I wish to call upon Mistress Darnel.”

I left at speed and by the time Mistress had arrived at her door, the Sedan chair and bearers were waiting. Two other ladies of some note were intent on accompanying her so there was a further wait as their chairs were called.

Finally with the three chairs ready Mistress Bellin leaned out of her window. “Pray accompany us Master Steelyard; one never knows when one might need a poet.”

It took perhaps half an hour for us to cover the distance to Mistress Darnel’s house. When we arrived, it was the housekeeper herself who admitted us. She looked suspiciously red-eyed and through a half closed door I caught a glimpse of a maid who was still weeping. We were shown into a bedroom where the victim lay propped up on pillows. She had recovered consciousness but looked distinctly pale and I suspected that she was in a lot of pain.

Mistress Virisia was still with her. She stood at the head of the bed next to her friend, as tense as if she were preparing to defend her.

Mistress Bellin never hesitated. She walked over to the bed, leaned down and kissed Mistress Darnel on the cheek.

“My dear girl, you really ought to take better care of yourself. How are you?”

The other two ladies also stepped forward and added their own gentle queries.

I saw Virisia relax, and she and I got chairs to allow the other three guests to sit around the bed. After half an hour they left, fearing to overtax the patient. As she stood up Mistress Bellin promised to visit again and insisted that when she was strong enough Mistress Darnel would dine with her. As I handed her into her Sedan chair, Mistress Bellin give me a brief smile.

“Thank you Tallis. I have no doubt that you have other things to do.”

Indeed I did, sometimes a poet is merely a witness, but a witness must testify.

 

 

It may be that you might not realise that Tallis Steelyard has just produced his second book of stories and anecdotes. This is book, ‘Tallis Steelyard, a harsh winter, and other stories,’ is available from the first of June.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LH1THB

 

 

Were Tallis less busy he’d doubtless remember to thank me, Jim Webster, for the efforts I make on his behalf. But you know what it is with someone like Tallis who is constantly in demand. So I just get on with writing his stuff down for him and from time to time making collections of his wit, wisdom and jumbled musings available for a grateful public.

 

Tallis does have a blog, it is apparently de rigueur now for all writers. It is available at

 

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/

 

Riding in on his coattails I’ll merely mention that my own books can be seen at Jim Webster’s Amazon page https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Webster/e/B009UT450I/

May 18, 2017

A Wonderful dazzling shining young lady. Chelsea Manning is a hero.

Filed under: History, Love, News, People I like, Political, Questions, Reason, Things I like — Scottie @ 18:24

I have never made a secret that I admire Chelsea Manning.   What she did took a heck of a lot of courage I doubt many would have had.   She showed the country what illegal acts our country  was doing.  We wouldn’t have known about the shooting of journalist and first medical responders.  She paid a huge horrible price for outing the crimes of the USA government.   Think of it, the ones who committed murder in Iraq never suffered a single thing.  Other illegal acts she exposed and again no one but her paid for it.   The torture she suffered at the hands of her own government is unthinkable.   Yes it was torture.  Legally we can’t do to prisoners what was done to her.  She twice tried to take her life, and I don’t blame her.  I am glad she is safe now, but facing what she faced, I can understand.   Think of the sexual abuse trauma she lives with.   I can’t recount all the things here such as her forced nudity because thinking of it is triggering me.   I think Chelsea should have been pardoned.   I hope in the future someone will do it.  I hope the country will hold her gratefully in their hearts.   For her courage and dedication I thank her, and wish I had a chance to know her.   Best wishes for you Chelsea.   May the rest of your days be filled with joy and happiness.   Hugs 

December 3, 2016

Not Perfect by Tim Minchin – YouTube

Filed under: Music and Videos, Music Video, News, People I like, Political, Reason, Song — Scottie @ 20:09

November 12, 2016

Oh what a great talk

Filed under: Family, Health, History, Ideas, Love, People I like, Reason, Things I like — Scottie @ 21:08

OK I was upset and getting ready to try to clean the kitchen dishes and do the laundry James had asked me to do, when the most wonderful thing happened.   The reason I had said I would do James Laundry is he wanted to bring people home with him, and I was not up for that.  I don’t mind James having his friends here, however he understands I have issues.  I have issues with people in my home I don’t know due to my child hood abuse, ( I am OK once I know them, I am really OK if Ron is there with me. )  I have issues with with my home not being well kept and people seeing it.  So when James said he would be home very soon with two friends and while Ron was taking his shower and getting ready for work, I got upset.  So I told James I would do his laundry, if when he came home to  please keep his friends in his room ( he has a separate access to the house which we wanted.)  So James brought all his laundry out and he and his friends left.    Ron got ready for work and he left.  I started to get ready, as hard as it was for me to stand, to do James laundry and to clean up the kitchen and do all the dishes.   So I got my IPad out, set up the show I wanted to watch while I did dishes, and got our bluetooth speaker out.   Then as I got set up to do the dishes I got the grandest gift.

A great friend from Ireland, known as Here There Be Spiders, ( which as anyone who knows me knows I am terrified of spiders ) Called me on facetime.   This is a lady I love and admire.  I respect her and her family , her husband , her cats, I can not say enough how much I love her talks with me.  IF she called when I was in the shower or the middle of my night I would take her call.  If I needed someone to be a superhero to kick the tush of any villain in my life I would ask for her.

So as I was getting ready to do dishes she rang in  ( to all others who are nice and kind and grand like her, feel free to facetime me ) I had a grand time talking to her.  I never realized how much time had passed until the end. I loved our talk.  We talked about how she had helped me today, how depressed I was, and how things were going in her life.  I never realised how grand facetime could be.  I loved our talk!  I would love to talk with her more and also others who would like to talk.

Earlier today I was about to go into the worst depression I can.  I was struggling to even get out of bed.  Yet today online she not only gave me insight but also kicked my butt out of feeling bad for myself.   So I first read my friend’s great posts and comments, then I heard her talk to me on her comments. It was more than therapeutic, it was uplifting and really day starting.  I got up from being sad and upset to being determined to do new things.  She was so great for me to talk to I can not even describe how much she helped me.  She is a grand lady!   Be well, be Happy, may you all have a friend like this lady.   Hugs

 

 

 

November 11, 2016

A guest comment and post from inspiredbythedivine1

Filed under: Ideas, People I like, Political, Questions, Reason — Scottie @ 15:12

I actually really like Bernie and would like to see the country go in the direction he wants it to, but, he himself supported Clinton when she won the primary. Why? Because he’s a smart guy and knew things can only change for the worse with a President Trump. What absolutely infuriates me are these supposed “progressives” and “Bernie or Bust” types who “supposedly” care about people and making people’s lives better but refused to vote or voted third party simply because they were having a fucking hissy fit over Bernie’s loss. If it were only they who will now lose their health care, their right to marry whom they wish, their Social Security, their Medicare and Medicaid, and NOT people like me and you, then I’d say bully for them. But these “progressives” and inactive “liberals” have just fucked me and you up the ass and not in a fun, lubricated kinda way. We’re affected RIGHT FUCKING NOW because they helped Trump win. Fuck them. At least those who supported Trump outright were proud of it. I think they’re assholes, but they’re honest about it at least. This whining, phony “progressive” nonsense about “really” caring for what’s going on and pushing for positive change while not voting or wasting a vote merely helped Trump fuck us all the harder. Useless, meaningless, spineless whining did NOT help me in any way at all. You helped fuck me. So DO NOT tell me about how you care about people and their well-being. Bull-fuckin’-shit you do. It would be far easier for Bernie and Warren to keep pushing Clinton to the left than it will now be to stop Trump and the Republicans from returning us to 1662. This is not the way to change the future for the better. Neither is having a “it doesn’t matter cause we’re all doomed anyway” attitude. That attitude fucked me. Me. Personally. Next time they want to whine, bitch, moan, and sulk, I just hope they make sure the only people affected by it are themselves. I certainly hope every “progressive” who refused to vote or wasted their vote now face losing their health care and their home as I do. They helped move me one step closer to living in an alley. I do not for a second believe they give a fuck about me or Americans. Arrogant, self-righteous wind-bags. I didn’t love everything about Hillary, but this situation would not be facing me today, right fucking now, had “progressives” actually been progressive enough to give a shit about me. Snobbish, arrogant, whining, lazy fucks. Thanks guys. Thanks a lot. Now go stick your god damn progressive bullshit up your ass. You’ve lost me. Permanently. Bernie hasn’t, but you have. And if your point was to fuck me. You did it. Be proud. If your point was to show the world you’re pissy and angry. You did that by helping Trump win. But never again tell me about how you care about people, how you want to improve the country. If you truly did care for these things, you’d have cared about me and people like me. But you don’t, do ya’? Not really. Now fuck off. $Amen$

September 23, 2016

Dancing

Filed under: Family, History, Ideas, Love, My Life and Rants, People I like, Thanks — Scottie @ 19:35

My wonderful and most grand husband never asks for anything for himself.  He always gives to others.  He about 6 months ago insisted I have wireless headphones so I did not hurt my self.  Yet he worked nights and used the Ipad to play the music he needed to sleep, and he fought the wired headphones.  Every attempt I made to get him wireless ones were met with the same thing.   “we can’t afford it, I am OK, I am doing fine, don’t need it” .

So tonight he has had only three hours sleep, because he came home from his night shift, went back out and grocery shopped for us.    After making lunch he finally laid down.   So a few minutes ago he asked me how to get music on his Ipad, an old one I want him to replace, and I did.  Then when I got his music for him he got out these old wired ear buds.  I told him he would kill himself trying to get around the kitchen with them.   Well he did not want to bother anyone with his music.  I gave him the wireless headphones he got for me.  I set it up and I am happy as all get out.  He is dancing around the kitchen, he is happy as a young person, just enthralled with the sound and having fun.   The things he gives to me he denies for himself.  This may impress on him he needs to do for himself a bit.  If not I will give him mine until he admits he loves them.   The grand thing is watching this 61 year old man dance around the kitchen, putting things away, and just enjoying life.  That is wonderful and grand!   Hugs

 

September 5, 2016

Liberal Redneck – Make America White Again? – YouTube

Filed under: Bigotry, Funny Stuff, History, People I like, Reason — Scottie @ 12:28

I love this guy. If I wasn’t married I might have to just go find him. 🙂 Hugs

Liberal Redneck – Black Lives Matter – YouTube

Filed under: Bigotry, Funny videos, History, Ideas, People I like, Political, Questions, Reason — Scottie @ 12:23

Wow this is said better than I could ever have done. This guy is really smart and uses humor to get the point across. Hugs

August 24, 2016

The Paradox of Prayer | Why Praying Is Pointless – YouTube

Filed under: Atheism, Ideas, People I like, Reason, Religion — Scottie @ 18:56

I seen this young man on the Friendly Atheist blog. I was greatly impressed with his clear manner of speaking. I also was impressed by his knowledge of the subject. I find him easy to listen to and he seems thoughtful. I have watched almost all of his videos that are listed on his YouTube channel. In this video he expresses the same thoughts on prayer I have had. I admit he says them much better than I did. I would love to know how you guys see his presentations and his grasp of the material. Hugs

July 30, 2016

Trump is a BUFFOON

Filed under: News, opinion, People I like, Political — Scottie @ 18:17

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