torsdag den 27. februar 2020

Broom Racing - The Aftermath 2 - WfW

  River has put up the Words for Wednesday on her blog. Hop over and look, there's some good, scary and funny takes on how to use those words.
  The Words are:
  1. Eyes on the road! eyes on the road!
  2. Uh-oh
  3. Tiffany lamp
  4. Me? why me?
  5. Boogie
  6. Teapots
  All good and inspiring words. They started me writing, and they kept me at it. The only problem is that none of the sentences containing the words survived the revision. 'Kill your darlings' goes the saying, I think.
  One more note. As I wrote in the comments to  The Aftermath 1, the last paragraph was riddled with errors and was removed from there. It is here in a revised form. Please forget what you read there.

It was a long afternoon, My, Marja, Josta and Kirstin began crying at some time, and Nata fell asleep and almost fell from the bench where she sat. Susan followed the sun cross the skies and reach the trees west of the farm before the three interrogators finally reappeared in the barn.
"We have had an instance of inappropriate use of magic and counter-magic on Unicorn farm," Thora said. "The guilty will be punished, and the wrong repaired. David, Josh, Lukas, Britta, Kalle, Anna, Helge, Harald, Bo, Bjørn, Susan, Fiona, Veronika, My, Marit, Astrid, Olav, Heidi, Tage, and Lis you stay here. The rest of you are free to go outside, or stay somewhere inside and read, play or whatever you like. But please do not try to leave the Farm until you're allowed to. The portals are deactivated, and I'm afraid teleporting won't be a possibility either."

When all the apprentices, Thora had not mentioned, had left the Barn she turned to face the guilty apprentices: "Now you listen, and listen carefully. You have all been using magic in ways not condoned by the professors of the Unicorn Farm. We could have you all expelled from here, or have you suffer solitary confinement on the top of Eyjafjallajökull until its next eruption. But I think a more harsh punishment is on its place today. Torben and Jon are taking David, Josh, Lukas, Britta, Kalle, and Bjørn on an expedition down to the bog where we found the Kelpie. You are going to see if it is possible to retrieve the bodies of the slain children. Magical body bags are in the pantry.
Torben led the 6 apprentices out through the small door leading to the kitchen, Jon trailing behind. As the door closed, Lis Susan, Anna and Heidi exploded.
"You can't do that. It's cruel, They're not more than children themselves," Lis said.
"What, You're sending them to a place you would not go yourself!" Susan erupted. "It's way too harsh. Worse than solitary incarceration in whats-its-name-jökull."
"Poor Britta," Heidi said, "She was so afraid when we went scouting that swamp. I feel sorry for all of them. Well maybe not so much for David."
"I should be out there with them," Anna said. "I did not succeed in stopping them. I only got myself expelled from the racing team," she continued furiously. "But going out there, for Heaven's sake they did not commit murder or anything. They were jealous of their elder siblings snatching all the fun. That's not ... well maybe it is. But still that bog is not a place for apprentices." Anna ended on a more subdued tone.
Thora eyed them all with suspicion. "Do the rest of you agree? Harald and Bo they're your brothers as well. What do you say?"
"It's too harsh," Bo said. "They do not deserve this." Harald nodded agreement.
David set us up to it," Anna said slowly. And she continued partly to the others, partly to Thora: "This is not tattling, I think. It is telling the truth when truth is the only way out. He was there all the time, behind us, next to us, fanning the embers of resentment, as my granny would say it. I don't know who did what inside the broomshed, but I'm sure David was the sole responsible for those hexes."
"Who sawed into the brooms?" Thora asked.
"Not Bjørn or Tage," Astrid said, "Bjørn was outside with Tage, and Anna had left. I think she stayed nearby. And David did the hexing. He said so."
"We know, who did it then," Thora said. "Josh and Lukas were doing the sawing. They are the ones left in the equation. Whether they really did it or David took over himself nobody can prove." Thora looked at each of the 14  apprentices and continued. "You are all loyal, fiercely so. And this is as it should be. We never planned sending them into the bog, or at least not to look for bodies in there. It was part of the punishment, the thinking they were going to experience gruesome things. In reality they flew low over the bog, through the woods and landed on the beach. Now I suppose they are all sitting on a boulder scrubbing away at all the brooms with toothbrushes and fresh sand and salt water. Afterwards ... well I wont tell." 
A collective sigh went through them all.
"Now come and sit down," Thora continued. "I do understand that you wanted to protect your friends and co-apprentices. But inappropriate use of magic is not something you are able to handle on your own for quite a few years yet. I suppose you have been thinking over what you did and what you did not do in the Barn during the interrogation." Everybody nodded. They sat around one of the smaller round tables, Thora called for Gilvi and Martine and strangely Rósa and Aamu, the quiet Finnish girl to join them.

"Now I am going to tell you what happened, you listen, you correct me when I'm wrong, you supply what I am missing, because I suspect I am missing something crucial here."
Thora begun the tale at the first days at Unicorn Farm. She recalled the first Easter fire, and a lot of other instances where smaller siblings had been slighted, made fun of, belittled or let out. "But," she said, "the culprit is not normal sibling rivalries, or suchlike. It is the resentment and jealousy. David fed those feelings, he made you all remember how it was to be left out, All of David's minions were younger sisters or brothers. Yes also Josh, his elder sisters and brothers are much older than him, they are already working, or at least in the final years of education, and none of them have any magic. But he still feels left out, you see." She retold Astrid's overhearing of David and his group, he even knew what Tage had told to get into David's group. "No no one told me in clear text, but I'm good at adding two and two," she said. She complimented them on the use of a walkie-talkie, and whipped them once again verbally for not having sought adult aid upon discovering David's plans. "And you smeared the anti-hex potions on all the brooms, and exchanged some of them?"
"No, not on all the brooms," My said. "We had not made enough for that. First we exchanged the sawn-into brooms for some of our own, we chanced that the brooms were either sawn through or hexed, not both. We put the potion on all the brooms belonging to members of the Yellow team and the Competition, and what was left, we used on random brooms where we were not sure of the owners."
"And at least one of them, Helge's was not hexed," Martine said. This explain the unstopability I experienced."
"Will it be removed by one hex?" My asked.
"It depends on the strength of the hex and the strength of the potion. You brewed well, very well indeed. Taavi said." The small Finnish professor had arrived some time during Thora's recapitulation.

"I still miss one detail." Martine said. "How did you get into the broomshed? I locked it, and I still had the key the next morning.
"David stole it," Anna said. He copied it somehow, and then stole it back again."
"And Olav made a key from a branch," Heidi said. "He transformed it! I have never seen that done before. And it worked," she added still with awe in her voice.
"I'll have to do something about that lock. And I think I have a job down at the beach soon." Martine said, standing up.
"If you see Tähti on your way, could you please ask her to join us?" Gilvi said.

"And one last question," Thora said: "Anna why did you try to stop them in the broomshed, why not earlier or later?"
"I suddenly realized that somebody might get hurt, even badly, during the race. David said I was free to leave, but I did not feel free. I could not leave. I tried dissuading them all the way back. In the end David threatened me, after the others had left, that he would hex Kalle's broom tomorrow just before the race if I tattled. I dared not. And when I finally got myself pulled together, Lis and all those others here stopped me. Now I see why."
"Well, yes I see." Thora said. "It all makes sense now."
"No it does not!" Susan said. "Who was David trying to get on top of? He's as far as I know an only child. He has no siblings to be jealous of."
"People in general," Anna said. "and particularly Fiona He think he's better, or at least deserves better than most of us because he's older and because he can trace his family back in time to Merlin and some other famous witches and wizards."
"Bosh!" Tage and Lis said simultaneously. Lis continued "Our parents and their parents and their parents' parents and so on forever - or at least all the way back to the old Greeks and Celts were wizards and Witches. That does not make us one jot better at flying than Fiona or Sif and Elwin." 
"Exactly," Thora said. "And now to your punishment. Extra lessons. As the brooms are all out of commission, you can't race one another. I hope all the brooms will be mended cleaned and de-jinxed by Tuesday. So extra lessons for all of you. We begin now. Susan, My, Anna, Aamu and Rósa! You come with me and Tähti, The rest of you will go to the potion room with Taavi and Gilvi"

And thus the story of the broom racing ends. The lessons Susan and the four other girls are about to be taught, only plays a part - but an important part - in the epilogue.

tirsdag den 25. februar 2020

Broom Racing -- The Aftermath 1 - WfW

 I know the new Words for Wednesday are already up, but here it is still Tuesday, and I still miss two of last Wednesdays words: Funny  and feisty. I have used only funny. Feisty just does not want to play. 

Next morning they had only one short lesson, then the apprentices were let lose to try the racetrack if they wanted to. Most of them gathered in small groups waiting for their turn to race friends, group-mates and maybe even foes. Sif and Elwin opened the day by racing one another in a race as good as any could have wanted. Sif won, but only because a dove flew up just as Elwin, in the lead reached the farthest part of the course. David, still angry looking challenged Fiona to race him. She accepted, but asked for them to wait until everybody else had had a chance of trying. It was not fair for yesterday's flyers to hog the race, she said. David grudgingly accepted. 

Tage, Lis Anna, Bo, Helge, Veronika and Susan gathered at the starting line and stood at the ready as the flyers had done yesterday. Martine, who liked broom racing too much to stay away, counted to ten, and off they flew. Tage in the lead. But as he reached the first obstacle, and rose sharply his broomstick broke in two, the bristles falling to the ground and Tage and stick continuing head over heels into the obstacle. Susan put her hand to her mouth and looked at her co-conspirators with wide eyes. "We forgot ... " she said. "Tage's broom was one of the ruined ones." Lis called out: " Vero! Let's get David!" and she and Veronika turned sharply around, only to half collide with Susan, whose broom also broke at the impact. Luckily she was not high up, and landed on the grass. She had all the air beaten out of her lungs, but after a dizzying while, she got up and looked at the ensuing chaos. Anna was white as a sheet and only managed to land her broom using all her willpower. Veronika, Lis and Helge flew after David, who had jumped on his broom as he understood what had happened.
Martine was on her broom as well and after helping Tage out of the obstacle and sending him to the sick room to Thora, she inspecting his broom.
"This is not funny stuff, this is vandalism!" Martine said harshly. "Did you know that someone had sabotaged the brooms?"
"Yes, yes we did," Anna said. "But ... I think we forgot."
"You forgot!" Martine roared. "Who did this ... oh, I see." She said, turning around:  "Lis, Helge, Veronika and David, Come down here! Now!"
As none of them complied, she pulled out her wand: "Kústar hættið!" The brooms of Lis, Veronika and David stopped as if they had hit a wall, but Helge's broom just shook a little and continued. He only avoided flying into David by some very fine flying. But Martine was not admiring his skills. She was livid with rage: "Helge," she yelled. "Come down here immediately." 
Helge found that obeying was the better part of wisdom and landed in front of her. "And why could I not hex your broom?"
Torben, Jon, Birgitta and the Finnish twin professors came running. "What's this yelling all about?" Jon asked.
"Grab those three up there." Martine ordered, "and Tähti, please take care of these apprentices. Something is quite fishy here. Just how fishy we have to find out."
Martine took Helge's broom, and the four other also supplied themselves with brooms and got the three and their brooms down to the ground.

Tage was fetched from the sick room, together with Thora, who had bandaged his arms.
Martine faced the apprentices. "Can anyone tell me what has gotten into you? Someone has sawed at least two brooms partway through, just above the bristles, and then Helge's broom here seems immune to hexes. I need an explanation. And I need it now!"
"Stop!" Thora said. "I think we have to interrogate all the apprentices here. And maybe some of their friends too," she said, looking around in the meadow, where all the other apprentices and professors seemed to have gathered. "But we do not need them to listen to one another and have nice ideas about what to say. A short discussion among the professors ensued, and Thora spoke again: "You are all to keep quiet! Split up in language groups as if for lunch, and go sit at the tables in the barn in the same way. And I want the names of anyone not present." 
Susan, Anna, David, Heidi, Lis and Tage went over to Torben, where they met with Fiona, Sarah and Knud.
"We forgot!" Veronika said to Fiona.
"Shh, not a word, Torben said. "Or I'll have to hex you." 
They waited for a long time sitting quietly, and despondently at the tables in the stable. Torben sat at the head of the table, eyes resting on his small flock with unending vigilance. The nisser served tea, soft drinks and open sandwiches, but nobody was able to eat much. The silence and apprehension in the stable was almost palpable.
Susan turned her head away from Torben. She dared not look at Gilvi, who sat in his usual place, just a short way from Susan. Jon sat at the other end of the long table, grimly he watched all the Norwegian apprentices alone, as Martine was with Thora somewhere interrogating the apprentices one by one. She wondered if they were going to use some kind of potion on them, or magic, maybe.

Fiona returned to her place, and Martine called her name. Susan got up. She felt the eyes of all the apprentices follow her as she walked to the small door in the back. Martine led her to the Room where tables and chairs were stored. There Thora and Taavi sat behind a table. "Sit!" Thora said, pointing at a chair in front of the table. Martine stayed behind her. She locked the door. and went to stand behind Susan.
Thora spoke. "Do you know who sabotaged the brooms?"
Susan nodded, she was not sure of her voice.
"Was there more than one involved in the deed?"
Again Susan nodded.
But the next question was not so easily answered: "Why did you not tell me?"
Susan swallowed. "Because, A ... Because I did not want to squeal on somebody. I did not think they were ... evil is such a strong word. I thought we could handle it ourselves. But then we forgot .. I was so happy the race went well, I forgot all about the brooms being sawn into." Susan fell silent again
Martine asked  from behind her: "Do you also know why Helge's broom did not stop when I hexed it?"
Susan nodded again.
"WHY?" Martine said loudly.
"Because we made an anti-hex potion and put on the brooms. Helge's broom, I think it was really Anna's broom, we exchanged some of them for good measure as well. must not have been hexed by ..." Susan stopped, realizing she was about to tell anyway.
"You made an anti-hex potion?" Taavi asked.
Again Susan only nodded.
"And you did it together like with the Sunshine potion. I dare bet that you read once again."
Susan nodded again. She felt totally transparent.
"What did you say about Anna?" Thora asked.
"I did not," Susan answered. "But she's innocent."
"We decide who's innocent and who's not." Thora said sternly. Look at me.
Susan met Thora's eyes, she felt small and transparent and very guilty.
"Do you understand what you have done?" Thora asked in a kind voice.
"We stopped the race from being ruined," Susan said, "we did not ask for help or squealed on that other group. If it is so very wrong, I am awfully sorry. I did not want to get those other in bad standing or expelled or whatever the punishment would be."
"Who were you protecting?" Thora asked. "I  hope I know already, but I want you to tell."
"The Swedes," Susan said, desperately trying to avoid naming them.
"Yes, Susan? All the Swedes or only some of them?"
"No, only those in David's group ... Oh!" Susan gasped. "Now I did it. Anna of course, and Kalle, Lukas and Britta."
"Thank you." Thora said. "To ease your conscience, you have told me nothing new, but I like to be sure, totally sure."
"Martine, would you follow Susan back to the barn, and bring Lis and Tage here, please?"

Broom Racing 3 - 4th installment

I'm sorry if anybody have seen Broom Racing The Aftermath in their blog-feed. It wont go live until just before midnight my time. As I had forgotten a small but important scene. 
No Words, just words. 

In the late afternoon everybody gathered in the meadow. Professors, apprentices, parents and friends. The Nisser carried laden trays to the rickety tables that threatened to crumble under the weight.
Martine and Torben rose from their places at the professors' table and mounted a small platform. They faced the congregated wizards and Martine spoke: "Good evening wizards and witches, apprentices and adepts, guests and family. It is my pleasant job to announce the winner of this mornings broom race. First the individual prizes. Third place: Elvin Reynisson, please come up here and receive your prize."
Elvin rose from his place between Sif and a gigantic man looking just like him only twice as broad and half again as tall.
"That man, Sif and Elvin's father, he's just so big I would not believe it if I had not sen him." Heidi said 
"Yes he's truly gigantic," Susan said. He's even bigger than my father, and he's one of the biggest persons I ever met. By the way he's called Reynir."
"Do you know him?," Veronika asked, "I have never seen him before."
"No, I have never seen him before, but Sif is Reynisdottir and Elvin is Reynisson, so he must me Reynir." Susan said smiling. "Did you forget our lessons of names and  patronymics in Icelandic?"
"Oh man you're such a show off, Susan,"  Veronika laughed. "I am so hoping we'll all beat you at the race track tomorrow."

"And second place, Sif Reynisdottir!" Martine's magically augmented voice sounded over the small talk and sounds of eating in the meadow. Everybody applauded, some more than other. "Come up here and get your prize."
"What are in those prizes?" Veronika asked, and Susan listened in as well.
"I don't know," Tage said. Lis looked just as blank, and even Heidi, who normally was curious for four had not been able to find out.
"Well we're about to find out. I suppose," Veronika said, smiling fondly at her little sister sitting silently and pale next to her. Their parents had not come, same as Susan's and most other non-wizarding parents.
Sif joined her family, and Martine said: "Finally first place in the individual race: Fiona Andersen. Come here Fiona, you truly deserve your prize!" And followed by generous applause from almost everybody, Fiona walked up to the platform, shakily mounting the four low steps and walked over to Martine. She was given a burlap sack, just like Sif and Elvin had gotten.
She sat down, and looked into the sack. "Wow! Books, and money and ... oh lots of things. We can look later, lets follow the happenings now," she said, closed the sack and handed it to Veronika. "Here. You keep it safe for me, I suppose I have to go up there again."

"And the team winners." Martine announced as everyone had fallen quiet again. "Third place with 456 points. David's team." They came forward, David looking more angry than thankful, Josh downcast, and like Bjørn he held his eyes glued to the ground. The three young Swedes looked as if they wished to be anywhere but at the Unicorn Farm. Martine and Torben hung red and black bands with small bronze medals around their necks. They took their place on the right side of the platform.
"Second place goes to The Competition with 499 points. Please come up here too." Finnbogi led his team to where Martine stood, and they proudly accepted their silver medals in blue and white bands. They all stood in front of, and slightly to the left of David's team.
"And finally first with a blazing 604 points! The Yellow team!" Martine announced, and under thundering applause Elwin and Sif led the Yellow team to the platform, where they received small gold medals hung in yellow bands. They then placed themselves at the edge of the platform and received the applause with varying degrees of happiness, apprehension and bashfulness. The three teams walked to their places at the tables under renewed applause and shouts.
Torben then spoke: "And now it is a time for celebration, friendship and fun. Bon appetit."
This was the keywords for celebrations to begin, All the food and drinks were delicious as usual, and nobody dared spoil the evening, not least owing to the sheer number of grown up wizards and witches present.

Tusal February 2020

What is TUSAL? Go HERE and see.  Short explanation: Save all your ORTs when stitching, sewing, knitting, crocheting ect. Show them off once a month, on the day of the new moon. It was Sunday. I'm late. Sorry.

Here's my ORTs to date:

mandag den 24. februar 2020

Poetry Monday :: Puzzles

Diane of On the Border and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday. 
This weeks theme from Jenny is Puzzles, 
Honestly! the only rhyme I can find is muzzles, 

Normally Mimi is
also participating.

I once had a favourite puzzle, The Poor Poet.
We pulled it out a couple of times a year,
We made parts of it. But only parts. Blow it!
First the umbrella, then the books, then the rear
with window and towel and tophat
Then the stove with its dish to relieve all the black:
In front of the stove, is it boots or a cat?
We ended on boots with a bootjack.
But never the puzzle was finished,
It took us so long, weeks and days.
The value of finish diminished
and the table wanted for other plays.

Next week Diane's returning home
and gives us gnomes. Or combs. Or foam.

søndag den 23. februar 2020

Broom Racing 3 - 3rd installment

  Argh! Even though this chapter is quite long, I only managed to sneak in two of the WfW: Rapturous and synchronicity. 

suitable rapturous smeared snuffle bookmark scoop  and/or
snick funny twilight  espionage synchronicity feisty  

  More is to follow. Maybe not until Tuesday, as I have a dentists appointment Monday. Yes, I am into a stream of small misfortunes and mishaps. Now I bit into a date kernel and ruined a filling.

  To the story:

  Tuesday morning nobody was late for school, even Helge was on time and dressed with the rest of them. As the bell sounded everybody left the buildings and gathered behind the stables. 
  The three racing teams stood in small groups, fidgety and jumpy, until the Yellow team was called forth by Martine. Their names were checked against the list and they were handed sashes in all yellow. They all looked to Sif and Elwin, the only ones ever to have flown a race before, to see how to put them on. Only Elwin's sash had tassels, On Susan's hurried whisper, Lis explained, that the tasseled sash was given to the leader of the team.
  As David's team was called forth, everybody, and most certainly the conspiring apprentices were all ears: "David Hansen!" David stepped forth and accepted the black and red striped sash which he slipped over the left shoulder and under his right arm, the tassels dangling just below the hem of his T-shirt. "Josh Traustason, Lukas Eklund, Britta Eklund, Kalle Berggren and Bjørn Anderson!" Martine called in rapid succession. They all stepped forwards and were handed their sashes.  
  "Fiona was right, they left out Anna. She'll be furious" Susan whispered to Veronika and Lis, who stood just behind her. "Or maybe not," Lis whispered back. "Why did she leave the broomshed yesterday. to only join the group as they left? For that matter where is she?"
  "She's over there, together with Helge and ," Olav said.

  Martine picked up the last batch of sashes, these were blue and white. "And 'The Competition'!" she called. "Finnbogi Yngvason, Grani Starrason, Harald Eklund, Ingrid Karlsson, Hilde Westvold and Josta Koivu."
  Each of them also walked up to Martine to receive the blue-white sashes.
  "And who is the leader of 'The Competition'?" Martine asked.
  "I am," Finnbogi, the tallest Icelandic boy answered. 
  "Here's your leader's sash, then," Martine said and handed him the tasseled sash. They all received the sashes, and draped them over their shoulders so as not to hamper their movements. "And now, Martine said, "you'll all hand in your wands. There'll be no hexing or jinxing one another in this race."

  "Let's go over and join the Swedes," Lis said. "If Anna is up to something, we've got to stop her. We do not want anybody to find out anything at least until the race has been run, and hopefully not ever."
  Thy slowly made their way to where Anna, Bo ad Helge stood.
  "Who are you cheering for?" Susan asked.
  "I'm somewhat in two minds," Helge answered. "I think the Yellow team have the best chances of winning."
  "Yes they do!" Bo said emphatically.
  "But then there's the Competition. Well I like their name, and that they want to fight the Yellow team even though they are clearly inferior," Helge interrupted.
  "But," Bo said, "it's not always the most skilled flyers that win. Luck and pure chance play a part as well. I think the Competition stands a fair chance of winning. At least I hope they do. Harald is good. I don't like that Lukas and Britta are flying. They are not as good as they think. I don't really like what David did. I know anyone is free to put together a team and race, but ... It was done all secret like. He persuaded them ... oh I don't know." Bo ended with a despondent movement of his shoulders.
  With a grim mien Anna said: "I'm cheering for the Yellow team, or for The Competition, David is a cheater and a traitor."
  "Shh!" Lis said, "Don't spoil the race. It has been taken care of."
  Anna looked at her with surprise etched on her face: "Really. But you don't know ..."
  "Yes we do and yes we did. And now please shut up. Everything  ... we'll explain everything later, after the race. But for pity's sake no scenes, and not a word more. We do not want to involve the professors if it can be helped." Lis whispered in a sizzling tone.
Anna nodded: "I'll hold you to it, but if something happens, I'll squeal. Deal?"
 "Deal." Lis said, and Heidi, Veronika, Tage and Susan nodded vigorously.

Meanwhile the racing team members, now adorned with sashes in team colours, went over to where Gilvi and Thora, stood on either side of a curtain like things with lots and lots of long, slim pockets on it. They stood quietly in line, and handed their wands to Thora. Gilvi then checked the wand with the book, and even had the green box with Lirfan at the ready to resolve any doubt. The flyer looked on as he slid their wand into one of the numbered pocket and was given a string with a pendant in the form of a slip of bark with their number in silvery letters. This they put around their neck, and tucked the pendant inside their shirt. The flyer then walked to the broomshed and took his or her broomstick from its assigned parking space.
  The flyers from the yellow team looked critically at their brooms. It was all the same school model, Quaker made, with a flat head held together with green and red stitches in nice patterns, but they had traces of wear and tear that made them slightly different. Fiona, Marit and Astrid, who knew that some of their broomsticks were indeed not the same, and that some of them were hexed, jinxed and contra-jinxed hurried the others along, and ascribed the different feel of the brooms to their excitement and the extra thorough general check up from the day before.
  David's team of course had no problems, they had not jinxed or ruined their own brooms, so none of them were touched.
The Competitors were  last, so even though Hilde, Ingrid and Grani eyed their broomsticks with suspicion, Finnbogi asked them not so kindly to move along, as they were holding up the race.

All 18 flyers stood on a line leaders to the left of their team. And all in the ready position, broomsticks held upright in their right hand, knees slightly bent and left hand hanging loosely at their side. All were tight as springs.
The race began. And at the word "Byrjið" 18  arms grasped at brooms, 18 legs swung up and over, 18 flyers kicked off with perfect synchronicity and soared up and away. David was leading down the first straight part stretch, racing towards the first obstacle, Susan saw his face go pale as he realized that none of the competitors were thrown off by their broomsticks antics. He kept looking behind him, shaking his head and urging his broom onward. He soared over and through the bewildering maze of coloured bars and strings making a perfect pass.
  Martine, Jon, Taavi, Tähti, Birgitta and Torben were at their brooms along the racing course. They all had notebooks, lists and sticks in team colours ready. Susan was not sure how the rules worked, but she saw  Britta failing an obstacle and Torben throwing a red and black striped stick to the ground, where it turned to dust.
  "I could have done better," Anna said tearfully. "Britta sits like a sack of potatoes on that broom."
  "I'm sure you could." Lis said comforting. "Do you want to race me after the race is done. The obstacles are staying up until Friday I think, We could all have a try."
  "Oh, yes. Let's!" Tage said. "You're coming as well Bo, Helge, Veronika and Susan?" Bo and Helge nodded, then looked at Veronika until she, too nodded.
  Susan answered with a teasing smile: "Oh you need someone to triumph over. Well I'm game. Even though I don't really care for flying, racing sounds fun."

David was leading all of the first lap, then he failed an obstacle, flying directly into one of the red- white- and blue-striped posts holding everything together. He and the obstacle tumbled to the ground, and Martine threw four red and black sticks to the ground. David extricated himself from the obstacle, which promptly lifted from the ground and placed itself in the correct place ready for the race to continue.
  While he has been busy doing this, several of the other flyers with Sif and Erwin in the lead had been waved on to the next obstacle by Martine. Now David had another chance and flew slowly and carefully through the obstacle. Fiona was waiting for him to finish, flying in small, tight circles while waiting. As soon as David cleared the last bar, she flew full speed at it, cleared it in record breaking speed and raced David to the next obstacle. She made it, and flew headfirst into the tunnel of red and black bars. Susan gasped, as she saw Fiona flying first head down and then spinning around on her broom.
  "Oh! An anti-gravity well," Anna said. They're taxing your sense of balance to the utmost." As Fiona came out from the other end of the bars still spinning, and nearly crashed into the water outside, Susan understood. Fiona pulled up, sat straight on her broom and continued only slightly zigzagging towards the next one. David flew once again slowly through the obstacle, He was not dizzy and disoriented as he came out, and lay flat over his broomstick to coax every ounce of speed from it. But even though he flew as fast as he could towards the looming grey-green construction ahead, he did not catch up with Fiona's swift form. He only reached it as Fiona was already half inside it. He leaned even more forwards, trying to grasp her broom by the bristles, but a sharp whistle from Jon, who threw yet another red black stick to the ground, made him sit up and give up on impeding Fiona's flight.
  They would have needed many eyes to follow all the flyers through all laps and obstacles. But as the flyers entered the last lap, Sif and Elwin from the Yellow team was in front, closely followed by Grani and Finnbogi from the Competition, and Josh and David. Some of the others were almost a lap behind. It was hard to see who was going to win. 

"Look!" Bo said, "Something's happening." And something surely was. Fiona came sailing through the last of the obstacles, overtaking David, Josh, Finnbogi and Grani.
  "Go go Fiona!" they yelled.
  Fiona took an extra good grip on the handle of the broom and twisted it so that the bristles were at an angle to the ground and almost laid down on the broom. She was whispering something to the broom it seemed, and slowly but surely she caught up with and overtook Elwin, Sif more felt than saw her coming and urged her broom to even higher speed, also laying down ant clutching at the handle. Fiona's unorthodox broom position seemed to do the trick, she inched upon Sif, they flew next to one another, Fiona was in front! crossing the finishing line with the end of her broom handle maybe 10 centimeters in front of Sif's.
  Fiona was rapturous as she stretched her hand into the air, righted her broom and landed with a sweeping motion in front of the Barn, sharply follower by Sif  and Elvin.
An almighty jubilant sound rose from the onlookers and continued while the flyers landed one after another first in rapid succession, then at greater intervals with Britta and Kalle limping over the line almost ten minutes later.

lørdag den 22. februar 2020

Broom Racing 3 - 2nd installment

 Oops the WfW went missing:

suitable rapturous smeared snuffle bookmark scoop 
snick funny twilight  espionage synchronicity feisty 

  In the end the apprentices came up with a suitable plan.
  My pulled a big book from her worn bag, It had several differently colored bookmarks sticking out of it. "This is not harder than the Sunshine potion, and we made that one together, we can do this too." She opened the book at the red bookmark and began reading: "1 vial clear spring water, 1 scoop dandelion fluff and a pinch of cobweb ... " They went into the potion room and began searching the cabinets and shelves as Susan took over the reading.
  After more than an hour of hard, concentrated work a red, foaming concoction sat in the small cauldron. The vapours stung their eyes and made them snuffle, but that was a small price to pay. My put a lid on the small cauldron, and returned the book to her bag, while Susan and Lis washed the utensils and Marit, Olav and Astrid put everything back the way it had been. Fiona and Veronika were still standing outside in the corridor, ready to intercept passers by, but no one passed. It was a lovely summers evening, and everybody was out somewhere enjoying it.
  Finally in the twilight they slipped out one by one, or in pairs and gathered in the small grove on the far side of the broomshed. From there they could watch the broomshed, but if they were just a bit careful no one would notice them. This was essential for their espionage to work. And yes, there they came. David in front, swaggering, leading his cronies, Josh the small Icelandic boy, Bjørn from Norway, Lukas, Britta, Kalle and Anna from Sweden and of course Tage.
  They tried turning on the walkie-talkie, but no sounds came from it. Either Tage was not sure that it was safe to use it, he had forgot, or maybe the battery in one or both of the receivers had run dry. But they could still look and listen from their hiding place, and they did.
  They saw them enter the broomshed, saw Anna come out again and go to the back of the shed, they could see Tage and Bjørn keeping watch. They heard the saw biting its way through the brooms, and even heard a word or two of David's hexes. Then David and his team left the shed, picking up Anna  on the way back. They waited, counting slowly to one hundred before they dared move. No one had returned, no one had left the farm buildings, everything was quiet.
  The moon rose, small and waning, it did not give off much ligth. They walked quietly up to the broomshed. The door was locked.
  "What now?" My whispered. "David must have pinched the key somehow."
  "Let me try, I have an idea," Olav said. He picked up a branch from the ground: "grein vertu lykill!" he whispered.
  "Oh," Heidi breathed, as the branch in Olav's hand shifted into a keyshape. "Can you really use that?"
  "We'll see," Olav answered in a whisper and stuck his wooden key into the keyhole.   "Luckily this is a very simple lock," he said smiling, as the key turned. With a loud snick the door opened and they were inside the broomshed.


First they looked for the brooms that had been sawed partway through. It was hard to see in the dwindling daylight, until Heidi suggested they began looking for sawdust on the ground. Susan called a small sphere of green handfire. The sickly glow helped a bit. Then they unshackled the brooms, and put one of the almost sawed through brooms in Tage's slot. They exchanged the other ruined brooms with their own broomsticks, only not Fiona, Marit and Astrid's as they were going to race tomorrow. Then they smeared the red potion on the tails of all the broomsticks. It stunk, but My assured them all that colour and stench would be gone by tomorrow.
  "This potion sucks up all hexes and jinks," she explained, "Doing so it disperses. We have to use enough so that all the jinxes and hexes are countered. I think this means that we do not need to put any on the brooms belonging to David's team. Or possibly not to the ones belonging to all those not participating in the race. Only the brooms of the Yellow team and the Competition," My said, as Heidi expressed doubt that the contents of the cauldron would be enough for all the apprentices' brooms. After some thinking and testing, they had most of them down, and with the remainder of the portion they smeared a couple of brooms they were unsure of for good measure.
  They left the broomshed, locked it and hurried home. My promised to wash the cauldron and put it back. "I'm staying in one of the small cubicles for boarders since yesterday. We're moving, and my parents thought it would be easier for me to stay at Unicorn Farm instead of going home to an almost deserted place to sleep. And I agree, only it's a bit lonely up there."
  "Oh, I wish I could stay here too," Susan said. "Maybe I could at some later time."
  "I did not know there were room for boarders," Lis said.
  "Yes," Astrid said, "They are above the teachers' rooms, just below the roof in the oldest house. When I was ill, I slept there together with Marit for some nights until Thora deemed me healthy enough for going through portals again."
  "Nice," Heidi said. "Now let's get on home before somebody returns from somewhere. Good night, My.
  "Good night," My answered ad slipped in through the door to the farmhouse.


fredag den 21. februar 2020

Broom Racing 3 - 1st installment

I can't still write much, but I also can not keep away from the keyboard with a story in my head. What to do? I decided on splitting this weeks Words for Wednesday-story up in parts. I suspect there'll be at least three. 

Here's the words once again:

suitable rapturous smeared snuffle bookmark scoopand/or
snick funny twilight espionage synchronicity feisty


They met the very next day. Tage had told Lis who was part of David's team. They had all heard some of the names through the walkie-talkie: Josh, Bjørn and Lukas, but to their surprise, Britta, Lukas' smaller sister, both of them cousins of Helge, had joined in. Even more surprising was the news that Kalle and Anna Berggren had joined in as well, Those two were Swedes and Susan were good friends of them both.
"We're so not going to tell on them," Susan said, as Lis revealed the participants in David's racing team. "I don't know how Kalle and Anna ended up as part of the team, and Britta and Lukas too. We're going to have to teach them a lesson, getting only David, and maybe Josh and Bjørn in trouble. I'm sure  that Anna and Kalle have no idea what David is doing, and why."
"Do you know?" Heidi asked. "I mean why David is doing what he does."
"No, do not know. Neither do I understand or condone it, but I think he's evil, and I do not want many people to suffer because of his scheming. I'm sure that he has somehow lured the youngest Swedes into joining him. Maybe promising them fame and glory and what not. I'm not sure they know about the cheating and hexing."
"Tage was not very explicit," Lis said. "He was afraid that David somehow suspected him of foul play, maybe even held an eye on him or something. He only told me who was in the team, as this is going to be common knowledge tomorrow morning, it cannot hurt."
"It's not like Tage to be so timid," Heidi said. "David must have scared him in some way."
"I know, I'm stupid or slow here," Susan said, "But this broom racing stuff eludes me, could someone please tell me how, who and why?"
Fiona stood up: "First of all, we have three racing teams. The Yellow team: Me, Marit and Astrid here, Nata from Finland and the two big Icelanders, Sif and Elwin. Then we have David's team:  David of course, Josh and Bjørn, then Lukas and Britta, Kalle and Anna. I suppose Tage is not racing for David," she said with a wry smile. "And one of the others got to abstain as well. A team is six flyers, seven is one too many. I'd guess Anna is left out, she's not good on a broom, and she is apt to overestimate her own skills." Fiona drew a deep breath. "Then there's 'The competition' This was their own name for the team when it was only them and us. It consists of the good flyers not on the yellow team: Hilde, who's good at flying, really good. Josta the eldest of the Birch-sisters also good, but a bit heavy. Finnbogi and Grani, two Icelanders more and as good as they all are. They have all sat on a broom form before they could walk." Fiona said with a big envious sigh. "Then there's Ingrid and Harald from Sweden, and yes he's Kalle and Anna's bigger brother."
"That might explain why Kalle and Anna is teaming with David, Those siblings are always trying to prove themselves better," Lis said.
"And what are the rules, once again?" Susan asked.
"All start at the same time," Fiona explained. "The course is laid out partway as an obstacle race and partway with straight laps where speed counts. You have to go through, over or under the obstacles, points subtracted if you fail an obstacle or go over where you're supposed to go under and so. Getting home first also counts, normally the one to cross the finishing line first is the winner, but if that person has failed many obstacles, it can happen that another one wins the race. There's a prize for the best team too. All points of the five best team members are added and a winner found that way. Then there's a banquet and general festivities. Parents are discouraged from participating."
"Discouraged?" Susan exclaimed,  But why! Don't they want to cheer on their children?"
"Yes, and that's the problem. Just imagine all our parents, and maybe half or more of them known wizards, casting minor hexes, jinxes and helping spells to aid their offspring win. Parents, that want to come, are confined to the Barn, under strict supervision."
"Oh, I see. Utter chaos!" Susan said. 
The big bell stroke one, and the conspiring apprentices  scattered. "Meet again after school's out." Lis said as they left the small room.


onsdag den 19. februar 2020

Words for Wednesday - From Words to Story

I do not know if this is interesting at all, but as I am not going to finish WfW today - I do not have the time, and worse, I pulled, sprained (or whatever it's called) a muscle in my neck, making writing painful - I thought to show how I am working instead.

Here's the words, fresh from River
1. suitable
2. rapturous
3. smeared
4. snuffle
5. bookmark
6. scoop

1. snick
2. funny
3. twilight
4. espionage
5. synchronicity
6. feisty

And here's my notes, I try to find a fitting sentence or idea for each of the prompts, sometmes two go together in one sentence. I think you all can see where the story is going:

1 - In the end the apprentices found a suitable plan.

2 - XX was rapturous as she crossed the line as the first, sharply followed by XX  and XX.

3 - Heidi pulled a big book from her worn bag, It had several bookmarks sticking out in various colour.

4 - A phial of clear spring water, a scoop of dandelion fluff. 

5 - Finally, with a loud snick the door opened and they were inside the broomshed.

6 - They smeared XX on their hands /the broomsticks

7 - It made them snuffle, but that was a small price to pay.

8 - This is not funny stuff, this is vandalism! Martine said harshly.

9 & 10 - In the twilight they gathered in the grove some way from the broomshed. They could see, but not be seen. This was essential for their espionage work. And yes, there they came. David in front, ... and of course Tage.

11 - The race began. At the word Byrjið the participants kicked off with perfect synchronicity and soared up and through the first obstacle,

12 -  Fiona is feisty.

Now let's see how the story will be when I'm trough writing it. 

mandag den 17. februar 2020

Poetry Monday :: Blue

  Diane of On the Border and Jenny of Procrastinating Donkey are taking turns hosting Poetry Monday. 

This weeks theme from Diane On the Border, is Blue!
Which as chance will have it is my favourite colour too. 

  Normally Mimi is
also participating. Today is my Poetry Monday post number 52. This means I have been writing a poem each Monday for a year. I deserve a cake! 

-- 🎂 --

What is the bluest thing you'd say? 
The sky a sunny Summer's day?
The deep calm sea down at the bay?

Cornflowers blooming in the hay?
A chicory along my way?

The eyes of newborn babes some say?
The look into my true loves eye?
Kingfishers in their airborne play?

Our Lady's mantle as we pray
on pilgrimage one day in May?

All these are blue as blue can be.
But listen, between you and me
The bluest thing I'll ever see
Is the blue flower of poetry.

Next Mondays theme will be up to Jenny, the Procrastinating Donkey. And it is: Puzzles!

lørdag den 15. februar 2020

Broom Racing 2 -- Words for Wednesday 12 February

 The prompts for February are provided by River at Drifting through Life.
1. Pizza
2. Vase 
3. Racing 
4. Chainsaw
5. Derelict 
6. Buttery


Hand over the ham!

I continue the Broom Racing story where I left off last Wednesday.

  Some days later Astrid was out of the hospital room and the usual suspects met in the tiny room on the second floor. They were bursting with curiosity. Tage had been as good as invisible those last days, but today he too entered the small room.
  "I can't stay for long, he told them. Listen to me. I had to bribe David and his cronies with pizza and tell a high tale to get anywhere, but Astrid's suspicion is sound. They're up to nothing good. Listen well. I've got to leave. We're meeting down by the old, derelict shed in the meadow in five minutes. See you." And Tage left in a hurry.
  "Now why did he tell us where and when they were going to meet," Lis asked. "It's not as if we could go down there and listen in. That would sure be nice, though."
  "Yes ... going there .. Heidi said. Being invisible maybe, or just having very long ears.  I've got it!" Heidi jumped up. "I'm sure he has the old walkie-talkie still in his pocket. Do you also  still have the other one, Lis?"
  "Yes," Lis said smiling, "I do. And I bet you're right. You can sure use that brain of yours, Heidi. Here it is. Don't touch. You know you've got to press that button for speaking, so if we do not touch it, we can listen without danger of detection. Lis placed the walkie-talkie on the table among half eaten buttery cookies an old vase and notebooks. The other apprentices hurriedly cleaned all the stuff out of the way. Lis switched on the walkie-talkie and they waited. After only a short wait they heard Tage's voice: "Hi all, Here's the pizzas I promised you."
  "Wonderful," David answered. "Hand over the ham, and sit down over there."
  A lot of noise from pizzas being unpacked, cut up and distributed streamed out of the small loudspeaker.
  Then David spoke again:  "We can't let the yellow team win the race. I want to win. I deserve to win, I'm older than the lot of them, and more than half of them had never sat on a broomstick until last month."
  "What about Sif and Elvin, the two older Icelandic ones?" a small voice said. The apprentices in the room looked questioning at one another.
  "Well," David said. "Those two are old, true, but they are very supercilious. They think that they fly better, not because they are older, but because they somehow deserve it for coming from long line of wizards. I'm sure Thora somehow protects them from Martine's wrath when they do something wrong. Everybody does something wrong now and again, Have a slice of pizza, little boy. Did you not complain that they always come first and then smirk at you for not being in their class?"
  "Yes, I did," the small boys voice said, "but"
  "No more but, David said sternly. "Are you in or not?"
  "Of course I'm in!" was the answer.
  "Well, then. Let's plan." David said. "Tage, you and Bjørn keep a look out while we other do the broomsticks in."
  "Yes, David," came Tage's voice, loud and clear through the mic. Bjørn's was only a murmur in the background. 
  "Josh, you and Lukas use the chainsaw to cut into some of the brooms just above the twigs. Then they'll break some time when people is turning sharply."
  "Won't it be too noisy?"  a third boy's voice asked.
  "Nope," David answered. "It's not as if we're going to stay down there for ever. And small bursts of a chainsaw will not be noticed. While you do that, I'll hex the lot of them with a Vinstri-hex. That'll make the brooms switch right for left and opposite too. I could also do a Rugla-hex. That should make them absolutely unsteerable. But I'll make it so that the hexes are activated by the word 'byrjið' only. That way they'll seem fine in the beginning, only to act up once the racing opens. Well. That's a deal then, we meet down here Monday after  the flying lessons are over. OK?"
  "Yes, David," a chorus of voices said.

  Veronika looked incredulously at the walkie-talkie. Then she spoke: "Can he really do this?"
  "If he really can pull this off," Astrid said, "then he's a very good wizard indeed. Rugla - chaos that is - is a second level hex, and my parents always warned be against those time or word gated hexes, they're prone to backfiring, and are quite easy to detect for anyone looking for them."
  "Yes, but will anyone be looking?" Fiona asked. The brooms are checked after each lesson, never before. This means that all the brooms will be thoroughly checked Monday after our lessons. not Tuesday before the race." 
  "There must be a way ... we have some days yet. Let's meet again tomorrow. And meanwhile let's think!"

tirsdag den 11. februar 2020

Entrelac - Neverkont

Efter et foto, jeg havde gemt på nettet for en tre-fire år siden og forskellige og stumper og stykker herfra og derfra forsøgte jeg at strikke neverkont fra midten og ud.
Her er billedet fra nettet - det ser jo pænt ud. Billedet er siden forsvundet, så ingen hjælp at hente der.

○ ○ ⭐ ○ ○

Some years ago I found this photo in the Internet. It has since disappeared. I thought it could be fun to knit something like it - Entrelac from the centre and out. This is pretty.

og her er mit første forsøg Rædsomt - grimt og fuldt af fejl!
My first try. Fugly and error-filled! 

Det næste forsøg var lidt bedre, tykkere garn vil nok gøre underværker.
My second try was better. Thicker, fluffier yarn would be nice.

Så lånte jeg denne her bog. Det ligner alligevel bare ikke det, jeg i sin tid fandt på nettet.

○ ○ ⭐ ○ ○

I visited the library, and brought this book home. The beginning is fine, but from there on something strange happens. It does not look like my first love.

Morale: På'en igen, Uglemor!

○ ○ ⭐ ○ ○

The moral: Try again, MotherOwl.

mandag den 10. februar 2020

Poetry Monday :: Relatives

  Jenny - The Procrastinating Donkey - has spoken, and the theme for today is: Relatives.
  Also normally participating are: Diane, Mimi, and Merry Mae ... but what has happened to MerryMae? her blog has just disappeared. 

I don't know what happened to my poems mojo, It up and left me at some point. Writing poems is not fun, nor does it come easy to me as it used to. But I do not think NOT writing poems is the answer, so here I labour along, hoping for the fun and lightnes to return eventually.   

Relatives is a fine word for family
And family  ... well they can be:
Father, mother
Sister, brother
Aunt and uncle, granddad, granny,
Cousin, sibling, even nanny.
Daughter, son and in-laws too
You and me and me and you.
All of us and next of kin,
I'm ready for the fam'ly bin
I hope I am not missing any
Cause relatives are fairly many.

Next weeks theme is up to Diane on the Border, she chose: Blue
Which as chance will have it is my favourite colour too.

lørdag den 8. februar 2020

Harikuyo - Broken Needles - Nålefest

Hari means needle. Kuyo means memorial service.
  Every year on 8th February artisans who use needles as a part of their trade like seamstresses, embroiderers, tailors, weavers, or just ordinary people engaged in these activities celebrate this  needle memorial services.
  They express their thanks to the needles for their long and hard work, and they also pray for the improvement of their own skills with needles.

  I hope something including needles, prayers and cakes is going to happen in the Owlery today. 

fredag den 7. februar 2020

Laura Ingalls Wilder 153 år

Man taler normalt ikke om en danes alder, men når damen er Laura, er det uden betydning, for hun er tidløs.
Tillykke med fødselsdagen og tak for bøgerne.
You never ask a lady's age, but a lady like Laura is surely ageless. 
Happy birthday and thanks for the books.

torsdag den 6. februar 2020

Broomstick Racing - WfW 5 February

 The prompts for February are provided by River at Drifting through Life.
1. blankets
2. striding  
3. hocus-pocus 
4. sluggishly
5. comparative  
6. notebook


they're ruining everything!

  Now I'm back to the story of Susan again I wrote a small chapter from my magical autobiography; and once again I took up the additional challenge of using the prompts in the order they were given (except for one little slip).
   We go back in time to the first summer at Unicorn Farm. The apprentices did not all arrive the first day, Some arrived later, some almost at the end of the holidays. I think this is about a month in, maybe a week or so after the lessons in Potion-brewing

"They're ruining everything!" Astrid shouted, as she came striding into the room, blankets trailing to the floor. "Sit down, and draw a deep breath!" Lis said, placing the book she was studying and her wand on a table. "Who is ruining what, and how do you know?"
Astrid pulled out a chair and sat down; she drew the blankets around her shivering form: "I was in the sick room, due to this fever, and I lay sleeping. The windows were not closed all the way and then I heard them talking about the competition. They are going to cheat, or jinx the broomsticks or something like that. I only awoke sluggishly so I did not hear the beginning. And I thought I was just hearing things, you know fever and all that. But then I realized they were talking about the broom race next Tuesday."
"Now who was talking?" Lis wanted to know.
"Some of the boys." Astrid answered. At least I could recognize that new fellow. He's a braggart and a pompous ass, I think."
"Whoa there," Tage said. "He's a comparative newcomer. He's only been here for two days, I think, and you know all this already?"
Susan put her notebook down as well, homework could wait. "I do not care much for him either," She added."He's on the blue team same as My here, and he is a ... well I think pompous ass covers it. He always have done and tried everything, And not in a nice way. He's condescending. He always sounds as if he pities anybody who's not him."
My nodded vigorously. "He's a bully!" she said, tears forming in her eyes.
"Well being a bully is a minor crime compared to ruining the broom race! Tell us all you heard!" Tage said to Astrid.
Astrid pulled herself together and continued: "David told that he was going to triumph in the race. He'd need their help - the other ones there with him that is. They were to stand guard while he, David, crept into the broom shed and did 'some hocus-pocus' - his words, not mine - to the brooms in there."
"Some hocus-pocus!" Fiona shouted, "If he harms my broomstick I'll ..."
"Quiet, Fiona," her sister Veronika said and pulled her down in the sofa again, "We're going to stop them, not tell on them, or what do you say?" she said, looking around on the assembled apprentices.
"Yes of course," Marit, Astrid's sister said. "They are not going to ruin the race. But who were the rest of them, and how many?"
"I don't know," Astrid said yawning, "More than one other boy, but I think they were mostly listening and nodding. I could not hear much."
"This is a job for you, Tage," Lis said. You are a boy. You've got to try and get inside that group. Luckily you're not in the yellow group, and expected to take part in the racing."
"Well ..." Tage said, slowly rising. "Yes I suppose, I could do it. But now, it's five to one. We better scatter before anybody comes here for lessons. Astrid, back to the sick room you go."
The 10 apprentices went out of the room in small groups, just in time to hear the bell strike one as they all had left the room. Not that they were forbidden to use the room, everybody was allowed to go everywhere in the stable, the barn and the two adjacent living houses, only the teachers' quarters in the upper stories of the main building, and the sick bay ad guest rooms - when occupied - were out of bounds. But the small group always felt they had no business doing their homework in the old maids' chamber.

mandag den 3. februar 2020

Poetry Monday :: Water

   The theme for this first Monday in February was given by Diane On the Border. This time an inexhaustible theme: Water.
  Normally also participating are: Jenny, Mimi, and Merry Mae
  Nothing fancy this time around. A haiku from a visit to a wintry beach. Not this year though, it's what we call a green winter. 

Along the shoreline.
Frozen water, snow on sand.
Glimpse of green - sea glass.

Next Mondays theme will be: Relatives.

lørdag den 1. februar 2020

Reading Challenges - February List

  This year I have decided to join two reading challenges:

  As always my trusty D12 with one face for each month of the year, will play a prominent role.
  I'll let it roll it on the first (or close to) of every month, letting it decide which book to bring with me on train rides and elsewhere in the month to come.
  January's roll gave me a 7: Classic with a Person's Name in the Title. For the Back to the Classics Challenge.
  I chose The Dragon and the George from my Christmas gift of old, second hand Science Fiction and Fantasy books.
  This book also counts for the United Kingdoms category of European Reading Challenge.

February 1st ... and I got a 12. Time to dust off Dr. Zhivago, book and movie. Also counting for Russia in the European Reading Challenge. I just have to find an edition without those posh transcriptions of Russian names. When for instance the name Afanasyev is written Afanas'ev and Olga written Ol'ga, I stumble over those small thingies - every time. I might have to find an English translation.

 The categories and my ideas 
          - to be extended, supplemented, updated and re-posted from time to time:
  1. 19th Century Classic.  Through the Looking Glass A long time want to read
  2. 20th Century Classic. Glasperlenspiel (Glass Bead Game).
  3. Classic by a Woman Author. Pilgrimage: The Book of The People
  4. Classic in Translation. Almost any books I read in Danish or German ;)
  5. Classic by a Person of Color. Katitzi og Swing (Name in English?) by Katitzi Taikon - I hope a Roma count as non-white (they are, according to me) and I have long had this childrens' auto-fiction on my to read-list..
  6. A Genre Classic. Time to peruse my Christmas gift.
  7. Classic with a Person's Name in the Title: The Dragon and the George. ✔️
  8. Classic with a Place in the Title. The Clocks of Iraz
  9. Classic with Nature in the Title. The Wind in the Willows, also a long time want to read.
  10. Classic About a Family. Brideshead Revisited? Nope it sure belongs to 12. Off to the library and second hand stores, when I get a 10.
  11. Abandoned Classic. Dr. Zivago, or maybe Marts 1970 - I tried both too many times. 
  12. Classic Adaptation. Brideshead Revisited fits here for sure, but on a second thought so does Dr. Zivago. I loved the film, when I saw it. I dreamed of living in Russia, even going to the extreme of teaching myself Cyrillic letters and handwriting - I can't read my diary from way back then any more ;)  
-- 🗺 --

  For the European Reaiding Challenge, I aim high. I signed up for the FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.
  But I fully intend to at least try to win the JET SETTER PRIZE for the participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books (more than five).

Countries to 'visit'
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
 So many books ... so little time