fredag den 28. juni 2019

Words for Wednesday - Unicorn Farm, Easter Holidays

For the last time in June 2019 Elephant's Child is providing the prompts. 
I'm once again time travelling. We're back to the first Easter holiday at Unicorn farm, Studies in magic has been taking place all through Summer hoildays, Autumn week, Christmas holidays and Spring week. The Easter Holiday "term" brings with it exams and tests, even thought the apprentices do not know this for sure yet. I think I'll have to make a timeline some day soon.  

This week's prompts are twofold. Two  phrases and six words:

Bitten off more than he can chew (taken on a task which is too much for him)
Diamond in the rough (a person who is generally of good character, but lacks manners, education, or style)

 "Welcome back for the Easter Holiday term at Unicorn Farm!" It was the gentle Thora, who stood up and welcomed Susan. She then turned to Heidi and her siblings, while Susan wended her way to the wardrobes. She greeted Helge in passing. He had become even  taller, but he was not stooping, trying to look smaller, he looked more at ease, more sure of himself, than he had ever done. He smiled at Susan and told her a joke in Swedish. She laughed, and finally she reached the wardrobe. She hung her clothes on the pegs, pulled the green tunic over her head and buttoned the striped skirt. While she stood combing her unruly hair, she turned her back on Hilde, the squat, Norwegian girl, who always knew better. And then Knud arrived. He had grown too, The lanky boy from the first year had become almost handsome. He undressed, and Susan looked at his suntanned, handsome body. He looked healthy and happy. How had he turned that brown in the meager Danish spring sunshine?
"Hey Susan, stop looking at me like that. I feel like a calf in a show." Knud said.
"Oh, sorry," Susan replied quickly, "I was just woolgathering."
Kírstin and Rósa, the two Icelandic cousins suddenly appeared, they were small and slender still. Their light blonde hair was cut short, their pale skin were almost translucent, and Rósa's freckes stood out against her fair skin. They looked like the winter had been long and harsh for them.
"Hello, Rósa and Kirstin," Susan said. " How are you? You look worn thin"
"Now, we're fine," Rósa said, "but we were ill all winter. All our siblings and cousins, mums and dads and aunts and uncles were ill too. I got the impression, the doctor was expecting some of us to die, but we all survived, not least thanks to Thora, who almost moved in, cared and cooked for us, and nursed us all back to health - or at least life." 
"Whoever poisoned us bit off more than they could chew with that Thora," Rosa said. One look at Kirstin's face made her shut her mouth and look around. "Oh bother. Mum told me silence was essential. But Susan is not bad, is she."
"No, Rósa, she's not. And now not one word more. We're not alone here,"  Kirstin said in quick Icelandic.
"I'm so happy that you are all healed and able to come here," Knud said a bit too loud, Susan and Kirstin smiled at him and Rósa nodded eagerly. 
Veronika had arrived and was combing her long, brown hair as Susan turned around.  She still wore the long velvet maxiskirt and multicoloured top with embroidered mirrors, but as soon as she too dressed in the school clothes and hung her flower power uniform on the hooks by the leaf, she was much less intimidating to Susan."Hi, Veronika, how are you doing?" Susan said. "Just fine, Veronika said, but Fiona, my crazy sister, almost broke every bone in her body trying out some trick while flying her broomstick." 
"I still do not understand how you can be so alike, and yet so different, Knud said.
"That's because you do not have any sisters or brothers," Susan said. "My sister cannot even do magic. I would like her to be like Fiona, dreaming of broomsticks and monsters, instead of music bands and boys."
Veronika turned and looked at Rósa and Kirstin: "Wow, you look worn! Did you catch the Icelandic plague as well," she asked. As Rósa just nodded and Kirstin began repeating the story, Susan took care to put herself next to Knud and between Rósa, Kirstin, and  Veronika on one side and Hilde, Josta and  Marja on the other. Those two nosy Finnish sisters always picked on Rósa, and they needed only small things to trigger a new assault.
The towheaded Swedes, big brother Kalle, and sister Anna arrived, and also placed themselves between the two groups. Last to arrive was Terje from Norway. His face lit up in a smile as he saw Susan and Rósa,  the big, friendly boy was not exactly an idiot, but he was  slow. Only his being nice and always willing to lend a hand, and a strong one at that, made the rest of the green group tolerate him without teasing. Gilvi called him a Diamond in the rough, Susan thought to herself that he was not unintelligent, just not quite at the same place as the rest of the world. "I wonder what will happen when he wakes up," Susan thought to herself. 

torsdag den 27. juni 2019


     For længe, længe siden købte Uglemor en sampak med tre minikiwier. EN han og to hunner. De blev plantet og passet efter alle kunstens regler, men alligevel døde to af dem i løbet af det første års tid. Jeg kunne naturligvis ikke se, hvilken, der havde overlevet.
     Den overlevende stod i mange år og overlevede. Den groede en meter eller to hver sommer og frøs tilbage om vinteren.
     Så for tre år siden begyndte den at gro for alvor. Den fik lange, snoede skud med tætte, røde hår, som nåede helt op i toppen af vores efterhånden meget høje troldpil.
Vi beskar troldpilen, minikiwien groede stadig, og søreme endelig i år fik den blomsterknopper, og da de i forgårs langt om længe foldede sig ud, afslørede vores minikiwi sig som en han.
Nu må jeg så i byen og købe et par koner til ham.

mandag den 24. juni 2019

Poetry Monday :: Portals Updated!

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Portals (courtesy of Delores).

Portals had me baffled. The long walk did not help me any. But a soak in my tub after mowing the lawn set my mind right.
Of course for me there can be only one portal. 


The portal - my portal - led to Unicorn Isle
Oh I'd love to go through it and stay for a while.
To meet Heidi and Knud, even Percy again
To run through those fields in the bright morning sun.
To wield my old wand, and to do magical spells.
But I'm old now and grey, and so are they all,
The teachers are greyer, if they are not dead.
I just can't return now. So I hang my head.

The wands are all broken, the magic is lost.
In Midsummer's heat I feel touched by the frost.
My portal is shattered, and where once it lay
Stands a kindergarten where small children play.
The walnut is chopped down, the meadow is gone,
The people who live there have fenced in their lawn.
Though my mind tells me no, as long as I live
In my unruly heart shards of hope will thrive.

torsdag den 20. juni 2019

Words for Wednesday: Unicorn Farm - Lessons.

In June 2019 Elephant's Child is providing the prompts. This week's prompts are two lovely photos of Sunshine over water. Beautiful as they are, they did not put my brain in gear for anything more than relaxing in a hammock.   But the Wednesday before last, AKA June 5th, I missed the prompts. Maybe I could use those now?
The prompts from June 5 are:




Those prompts spoke to me, like EC's prompts normally do, and I wrote this small glimpse of everyday life at the Unicorn Farm.

Susan pulled the lever. Nothing happened. She had expected an immediate effect on the fire in the oven where the potions were brewing. "Knud," she called out, "Could you help me. This thing seems to be stuck." Knud came to her aid, and together they succeeded in opening the big oven. A fragrance like sunshine over golden feathers wafted from the phials in the oven.
"Wow, Susan, you seem to have done it. My potions smelled like something had gone bad."
"I'm still dubious," Susan said. "Between Kirsti and Rósa brewing poison and your rotten potion, I begin to doubt any of us will ever make this stuff come out right. I am tempted to go and get Helge or one of the other nice Swedes from the blue team come and help us. I don't understand why we all have to learn all branches of magic, not only the ones we're adept in."
"Yes it is hard, I admit," Knud said with a sigh, "but I'm sure we are all becoming better witches and wizards from not concentrating solely on transformation, potions, invocations or what else we're best at."

mandag den 17. juni 2019

Poetry Monday :: Mail

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Mail (courtesy of Jenny).

Normally I make a post the moment the new theme is announced. That way I can let my subconscious worry the theme, and normally sometimes during the week an idea, or sometimes even a poem surfaces.
This time the writing has been hard work. The idea came to me almost immediately, from the small vignettes and smileys you can choose from to adorn your posts, but the writing ... it took me days. I am afraid I'm breaking a couple of grammar rules this time round.
I hope the poem does not reek too much of sweat and toil, but of happiness and joy.

     -- 📧 --

You've got mail, you've got mail
Oh, these words always hail
me, every time I turn on my PC.

But the mail that I got
Is not mail - no it's not!
It is messages only, you see!

There's one from a bank,
Is it true? Oh but, thanks
14 bitcoins are waiting for me.

And a place where I bought
once a book, think I ought
to invest all my money for free.

There's mail from a friend.
Should we meet once again.
But alas, I don't know you at all.

     -- 📬 --

Then one day the flag's hoist
Yes I swear eyes went moist
It's a letter and not just a call.

First I read avidly
Swallow words rapidly
Then I sit down and read them again.

Oh so slowly I fold
Letter, worth more than gold
I just love to have mail from a friend.

torsdag den 13. juni 2019

Min gule rose -- My Yellow Rose

Kan I gætte, hvad der er sket?  -- 🌹 --  Guess what! 

Ja, den blomstrer, og der er flere knopper. -- 🌹 -- Yes, it is flowering, and it even has more buds.


Unicorn Farm - Susan at Home part 2

In June 2019 Elephant's Child is providing the prompts. I'm sorry to have missed last week's prompts, as EC's prompts always speak to me. But such things happen.  

  This week's prompts are:



The story continues where I left off two weeks ago:

When she arrived at the old lumber yard, she placed her new, blue bike behind the old office building and carefully locked it.  As an extra precaution she cast a Do not disturb-spell on it. It did not make the bike invisible or unstealable, but it made people unwilling to look at it, or indeed notice it at all. She looked around, and as nobody was near, she waved her wand and greenish-white sparks flew. It was the signal she and Lis had agreed upon. After a few minutes, that felt like hours to Susan, Lis materialized below the giant walnut tree. They held hands, and again Susan felt the universe stretch around her. It felt like she was falling forever down an empty space, where every star had burned out. But after a short time, lasting an eternity, they landed softly in the green grass behind the Magician's House.
"Phew," Susan said. "Do you feel the same, empty feeling inside every time you teleport?"
"Yes, I do." Lis answered. "I feels like, oh I don't know ... like a big nothing, like I'm all alone in space or something. But it gets better, or rather shorter every time I teleport. In time, I might not even feel it any more." 

Heidi came running out of the house: "Oh you arrived, finally. I've been waiting since sunrise!"
"Dear Heidi," Susan smiled, "it is November after all. Sunrise was less then an hour ago. It's only half past 8."
"But I have so much to show and tell you." Heidi said, grasping Susan's hand and pulling her towards the trees hiding the Unicorn Farm.
"I've been practicing transformation every day since the Autumn holidays," Heidi said, breathlessly, when they reached the big bales of hay. She was fairly bursting with her accomplishments.
"Do show!" Susan said. Heidi needed no encouragement, she pulled out her wand and a pincushion. There were almost no needles and pins left in the cushion, and Susan wondered where they had gone. But when Heidi concentrated and swished her wand, she stopped wondering. The pincushion was no more. In it's place a perfect hedgehog lay, curled up and sleeping. "Hush, don't disturb it. It's hibernating," Heidi whispered. Susan felt bedazzled. Not only was the transformation complete, the hedgehog even followed the annual cycles. "Wow!" she whispered.
Heidi concentrated, her wand went swish, and the hedgehog was once more only a worn pincushion. "Now it's your turn, have you been practicing?"
"Yes, loads" Susan answered, "But I cannot get the hang of it." She opened her bag and pulled out her pincushion. It still had all of its pins and needles and looked brand new. She placed it on the ground, imagined a hedgehog in her mind, not sleeping, but standing on all four legs.Then she swished her wand saying the Icelandic words for hedgehog. Some of the needles twitched, a pin fell out and a snout momentarily showed on the pincushion. "See," Susan said. "That is what happens, every time I try."
"Let me think." Heidi said. "You're saying the right words at least, let me see you swish once again."
Susan picked up the wayward pin and put it back, then she grasped her wand.
"Stop," Heidi said. "You're squashing that poor wand, hold it loosely, with soft, easy movements. That's what you need."
Susan loosened her tight grip on the wand, started swishing again, and the wand flew from her fingers. "I think I need to hold it a bit tighter, though." Susan grinned, picking it up again.
"Imagine you're holding on to a live hedgie," Heidi said. "Tight enough that it won't wiggle and prick you, loose enough not to harm it." Susan tried to imagine that both her wand and the pincushion were hedgehogs, then she said the words and swished the wand. This time the pins on the pincushion turned more spinelike and four legs sprouted in the corners of the pincushion.
"See!" Heidi said, "You're getting the hang of it."
Susan kept on practicing, Heidi moved her fingers to the right places on the wand, corrected her swishing and generally cheered her on. When it was time to go home for lunch, Susan was able to make the pincushion look like a real hedgehog for more than seconds at a time.
"This sure is hard work," Susan said. "I am ravenous, I hope your parents will forgive my eating them out of house and home."
"You forget we're wizards all of us, they're used to it." Mum and Dad are the best cooks ever, I'm not sure, they do not use magic when cooking too."
Magical or not, the lunch was tasty and there were more than enough of everything.

When Susan helped Heidi clear the table, the twins protesting that it was unfair to have her helping, even though they had laid the table together, Cassandra suggested that Heidi and Susan did practice changing clothes pegs into swallows in the afternoon.
"I'm sure the hedgies are tired of being disturbed, and as the swallows have all migrated, you won't disturb them at all."

Heidi grasped a handful of clothes pegs from the bag and called at Lis and Tue. "Hey you two lazy bones. Don't you think you need to practice a bit transformation as well?"
Lis arose at once, "Actually yes," she said. "I think we're going to get tested when we return. There's no real exams, at least not yet, but we'll be tested in lots of subjects this winter. I'll come. Tue, you should as well. I know you're good, but practice never hurts."
"Oh, OK then." Tue said stretching and yawning. "Mum, are you going to bake one of your glorious cakes for afternoon tea?"
"If you can turn those clothes pegs into swallows by tea time, there'll be cake." Sandra said smiling.
The four children hurried down to the farm. Tue said: "Oh bugger, I don't remember the word for swallow in Icelandic.
Lis and Heidi hung their heads as they realized that they too did indeed miss this essential bit of knowledge.

"I think,"  Susan began.
"Don't think. Know!" Tue and Lis said as one, then they all began laughing. "That's what Birgitta  and Jon has been drumming into our heads ever since the very first lesson in transformation. But do tell what you think anyway, Susan," Heidi said still giggling.
"You know, I can't practice magic as much as I like to, but I can study Icelandic," Susan said, "and I think swallow is Svalur in Icelandic, I just don't remember the declension."
"Bother the declension," Tue said. "At least it sounds right. He grasped the biggest clothes peg, swung his wand in an elegant swish and said "Svalur!" The clothes peg twisted and turned on the bale of straw, growing wings, changing to a small man in red clothes, growing a cleft tail that shortened and turned red with golden buttons and finally it exploded.
"What .. who was that little man?" Lis asked.
"I don't think that was the right word, Susan." Tue said nursing his arm, where the broken spring from the exploding clothes peg had hit him.
"Now I know!" Susan exclaimed. "Svala! That's the right word. Svalur is Spirou, the bell-hop from the Marsupilami-comics. It was him, your clothes peg tried to turn into!"
"Yes," Heidi said, giggling. "I recognized him. Him and Fantasio are two undercover journalists in the Fart & Tempo* magazine Tue is always reading."
Lis stopped giggling and said with a very serious expression: "Don't you see. This is exactly why  Birgitta  and Jon have been warning us to KNOW the word, not guess. We were lucky it was nothing worse than a character from a comic strip and a clothes peg that turned awry. What if it had been a bale of straw and a dragon for instance?. We'd have been burnt to death most probably."
"I think we learned the lesson. Tue said. Let's just not tell mum."
"Now let's try to do it right." Lis said. She concentrated for a short while before she let action follow words. "Svala!" she said earnestly to the new clothes peg on the bale.  The clothes peg shivered, spouted wings, tails, and claws. Then it turned back to the clothes peg.
"Oh bother, Lis said. "I'm not that good at zoology. How does a swallow look?"
"I know," Heidi said. "And now we know that the word is the right one. Let me try."
Lis stepped aside, Heidi closed her eyes in concentration, then she swished her wand just so, and said "Svala!"
A sleek, black bird with a cleft tail, white breast and black pearly eyes sat where the peg had been. It tilted its head and looked at the children one  by one. Then it stretched its wings, preened its feathers, and sat still for a while. Heidi stood still, concentrating on the swallow, while Tue, Lis and Susan studied the bird to get an intimate knowledge of a swallow's anatomy.
When Heidi was tired, and her concentration failed, Tue and Lis were immediately able to reproduce her feat, and to her own surprise Susan did fairly well, making her peg look more like a swallow, and even stretch its wings on her first try.
"Let's get home and show Mum our proceedings. My heart will not be content, unless we provide Susan with tea and cake before she ventures forth on her voyage home."
"Stop it, Tue!" Lis said, "you're sounding like a pompous nincompoop talking like that."
Heidi ducked, gathered the pegs, and grabbed Susan¨'s hand: "Let's get away before these two explode."


* Fart og Tempo (Speed and Tempo) was a Danish magazine (1966-1976) containing installments of several comics in each issue. For instance Asterix, Flash Gordon, Lucky Luke, and Michel Vaillant.(I'm not sure Spirou and Fantasio was ever featured there). I read my cousin's issues avidly - only not Michel Vaillant ;) 

mandag den 10. juni 2019

Poetry Monday :: Mosquitoes

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Mosquitoes (courtesy of Delores).

 Today it's still holiday, it's Pentecost Monday. No school, no work, no obligations. We sleep in, we eat a slow breakfast, we dally around. I open my computer to check on the weather forecast. In my newsfeed I notice everybody's Poetry Monday writings. Oh of course. Holiday Mondays are still Mondays. I haven't given a thought to mosquitoes before now. At least not to poetry on mosquitoes. The real ones have been pestering us. I sit down and pull my hairs out. Here's what my poor stressed brain came up with.

Zzzzzz - a mosquito is buzzing
I'm turning and tossing
trying to cover my ears.

The mosquito is quiet
I'm ready to riot
to alleviate my fears.

Because quiet mosquitoes
means they use me and my toes
for breakfast and dinner and snack.
It's itching, I'm scratching
And soon I'll be matching
a well patched stretch of tarmac.

søndag den 9. juni 2019


... der var en opdatering, eller også var det Helligånden. I hvert fald virker det nu.
     Uglemor tager langsomt de spredte tråde op. Der kommer nok ikke kommentarer til hvad som helst, og det kommer nok til at tage lidt tid. Men nu kører vi igen.

-- 😀 --

There was an update. Now everything works. Or maybe the Holy Spirit intervened.
MotherOwl has been reading all your interesting blogs, Word for Wednesday-tales and so much more. She won't be flying around commenting on everything - or she'd have to use a day or two for this purpose alone, but we're back in business.

fredag den 7. juni 2019

Vild kørvel - et eksperiment

Cow Parsley --  An Experiment

     Så prøver jeg om det virker bedre med auto-udgivelse. Onsdags-skriverier blev der ikke noget af denne gang Jeg skrev det her for et stykke tid siden, det forsvandt, og dukkede så op igen.

     Vi har diskuteret om vild kørvel gav forskellig farve, hvis man delte blade og blomster for sig. Nogen mente at stængler og blomster ikke kunne indeholde ret meget farve. Jeg mente, at der var stor forskel.
Det måtte et forsøg til.

- - 😩 - -

Trying if ante-dating of the blogposts works better. Here's hoping.WfW just did not happen. Maybe later. This post was written some time ago, Now I found it again.

We've been discussing whether the leaves gave off different colours from stems and flowers. I said yes, other protested.
An experiment was in order.

En hel plante -- A whole plant

blev delt op i bundter, 40 gram i hver --  was split in parts, each containing 40 grams.
Blomster - Blandet - Blade     --     Flowers - Everything - Leaves

Og så blev det tilsat 10 g alunbejdset uldgarn og vand.
All had 10 grams of alum mordanted yarn and water added to the glass.

Blomster - Blandet - Blade     --     Flowers - Everything - Leaves

De kom i den vidunderlige gryde i en time ved 85 grader.
The wonderful pot did its job. One hour at 85 degrees.

Blomster - Blandet - Blade     --     Flowers - Everything - Leaves

Og så kom garnet op og hænge til tørre. Jeg synes absolut, der er forskel.

The yarn was pulled up and dried. I see a difference.
Blomster - Blandet - Blade     --     Flowers - Everything - Leaves

     Det, der kun er farvet med blomster og stængler er klart citrongult, de andre to bundter er mere mudrede i farven. Jeg burde have haft et 4. bundt med blade fra en ikke-blomstrende plante, de plejer nemlig at give limegrøn. 

 The yarn dyed with flowers and stems, is a clear lemon yellow. The other two are a more muddy yellow. I should have extended this with a bundle and leaves from a plant not flowering, it normally gives me lime green.

mandag den 3. juni 2019

Poetry Monday :: Stitches

Delores of Mumblings and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday.
Today's theme is Stitches (courtesy of Jenny).

Trying to defy the cyber-worms. I still cannot comment anywhere. See you later I hope.

If you expect a rhyme about needles, pins, and thread, you've come to the wrong place. For me Stitches was a glorious monster, living in Duskwood.

Whenever I met Stitches,
he made me soil my britches,
and leap for the ditches.
But my Hunter-alt itches
for all his famed riches.
So also she switches
her weapon and pitches
in combat. Beware of the glitches!
A party forms, which is
the way to kill Stitches.
The Hunter enriches
herself as he pitches
forward and twitches
in death. She got his Femur
Don't call her a dreamer.

 Here's a screenshot of my heroic Hunter from way back when.

søndag den 2. juni 2019

Bøvl og ballade -- Toil and Trouble

     Ikke nok med at det er eksamenstid og Uglemor har så travlt, at der står fjer i alle retninger. Uglemor er oven i købet oppe og slås med sin computer, internettet, forbindelser osv. Kommentarer forsvinder, blogindlæg flyver væk. Så hvis der ikke kommer meget af nogen af delene, så er det cyber-ormen der er løs.
     Det er nok "bare" en eller ande setting der skal ændres, eller en update, der har ødelagt noget, men det skal fikses i ro og mag, ikke på 5 minuteter her og der, så ikke førend tidligst lørdag sker der noget.

 - - 😩 - -

MotherOwl is busy. Examination term is ongoing, a journal or two is under edition, and then ... once again MotherOwl is having trouble with her computer, the internet, connexion ... blah. blah, blah. Comments disappear, blogposts follow them into the Twisting Nether. If I'm not commenting, posting ect. you now know why. Blame the cyber-worms.
It is probably "just" a setting gone awry or an update creating havoc with my new browser. But I need more than 5 minutes here and there to fix it. This will happen Saturday or later. See you then.