You are never to old to dream:Writers Quote Wednesday

set a dream

You are never to old to set another goal or to dream
C.S. Lewis

I like this sentiment but find it increasingly difficult to abide by.

When I was younger than cutting edge I had dreams. Big dreams Larger than I was. I wanted to travel. Travel to India,I knew Mowgli didn’t actually live there but still. . . to the Balkans, that was due to Katie of the Balkans and other books. To the Far East and to Africa, I had read the books I needed to see them for myself.When I was ten an expedition to Antarctica being launched and we had to make a scrapbook of the event.

I added Antarctica to the list.

Then I grew more ambitious

I also wanted to fly a hot air balloon. Jules Verne, obviously, began that train of thought when I was young. Then Georgette Heyer reinforced it with Frederica. In a day when few civilians flew in aeroplanes I thought it would be a good dream . I was the first in the family to do so.

The cinema put the Americas on radar and they were duly added to the travel list.

As I progressed through my teens, I learnt how to ride horses and thought maybe trekking would be good ( a small ambition, first I managed to fulfil) I filled the boring hours at school with small dreams, stupid dreams such as going to University – I had been chucked out quite a few classes by then and had not a hope in hell of achieving it – still a dream is a dream.

Maybe I’d grow rich and have my own abode, a country cottage perhaps, with roses and a couple of cats, I’d be a scary old crone who terrified the local kids. Or I could be a half starved writer and hide in the gloom hunched over a typewriter. Maybe. . . .

All these dreams were ridiculous for the time. Girls didn’t often go to university back then, travel just after a world war wasn’t the norm especially for girls. Only scientists and explorers got Antarctica. Hot air balloons were for books.There was no way I’d be rich unless I married money and as I had decided very early in life that was not my path in life that was out as well. Ah well!:)

But they were my dreams and I was determined to make them come true.

I left school and began my travels. I went to the Balkans, to the Soviet Union, travelled over the Himalayas, didn’t see Mowgli in India but I never thought I would:) however it was a magical place. I visited the Far East and Africa – not all of it but quite a bit. Then one day when I was forty I went up in a hot air balloon. I spent a week learning how to fly it, to dismantle and put it up, the history of the sport and had an exciting hours flying or chasing it over muddy fields.

I thought I would try and write a book decided if I set it in USA I could travel over there (for research of course!:)

Empowered by travel and age I decided I must go to University – so I did. I was on a roll. I finished the book and tucked it away in a box in the attic – took my exams collected my degrees, half way through the courses my sister inherited some money and sent me off to Antarctica – Yay – the continent was open to visitors nothing, would have stopped me and I took in South America while I was about it.

I did think to be rich meant lots of money but I discovered over the years that there is far more to it than pounds, shillings and pence. I consider myself rich beyond any dream, just a little short on the cash!

Only the cottage, roses and cats left. It’s not a cottage but a bungalow, cats and roses of course. I had ticked everything off my list before I retired.

What to do?

New dreams were needed.

I wouldn’t just write a book I would publish one. By now it was possible to self publish. I had to learn a great deal about computers and the Internet. Okay, new dream ticked off, five times. Now what to do?

I need new dreams or is it time to smile sweetly and be content?

No wait!

I still need to be an old crone and terrify the neighbourhood children:)

This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts

I do like the letter O: alberta’s words

o is a versatile letter

The letter O is a wonderfully versatile letter. Apart from the look of it; so clean, so eternal it is from a child’s point of view so easy to pen:) To my mind, the friendliest looking of all the alphabet.

Think of all the sounds that originate with O
Pot and No
Do and Son

Four simple words and four different pronunciations. Short O in the first, a long O in the second.

A double OO in the third and even a short U in the fourth.

We can have the different O sounds in boat, toe, neon, riot and youth depending on which letters surround this neat looking letter.

How about meow and Mao or Noel.

Try doubling it – coot and foot, one becomes longer, the other shorter and more of a u sound, only one letter different in this case. How clever we are to even remember a half of the variations in English.

O stands in for ‘the descendant of’ in names such as O’Driscoll and for ‘of the clock’ in time keeping

That is not the end of O, it stands on it’s own to spell sounds.


With or without the ‘h’ dogged my poetry lessons as a child – modern poets are not keen.

Many O’s as in Ooooo can be excitement or praise of looks,  add a letter or so and it can be ouch or ow both pain of some kind.

And of course do let us forget how satisfying a plain unadorned O can be to a child or a doodler, a face, body part of rabbits, dogs and cats. How satisfying it is to fill it in with pen or pencil when bored. To add ears and tails.

Doodlers love the double O, it can be decorated with lashes, a pupil and voila we have eyes.In ancient Egypt (ancient in like 4,000 years ago!) the O was a hieroglyph for ‘the eye’. Semites took it and then Phoenicians diminished it to a small outline of the eye and hey presto our O was formed still meaning eye. Then it changed and became a letter.  I still make eyes out of mine:)

I do like the letter O:)


with a great deal of help from David Crystal and Michael Rosen

Eat, Drink & Be Merry for tomorrow . . .


From the beginning the chance of quotations and expressions coming down to us, over 400 years from the Bible, relied not so much on the repetition of such,after all although the King James version was read out in church every week and everyone attended church back then it would still have taken many attendances for all these hundreds of words to become part of the language. Mostly those that caught on had a certain rhythm which suited the language, a snappiness which summed up people’s thoughts and life. Or the possibility of playfulness. Obviously there are the straight forward words and expressions which are used in the same religious context that they were intended and as such do not ‘influence ‘ the language.

It is not the quoting of the words per se, but the uses with which the words have been put to over the years. The fact of the everyday-ness of expressions.

Eat drink and be merry;for tomorrow we die – Isaiah 22:13

These words are reinforced in the New Testament, Luke 12:19 in the parable of the rich man and also in the parable of the prodigal son ‘let us eat and be merry’

All the versions of the Bible appear to have similar wording but

the Douay Rheims has ‘make good cheer’
Wycliffe ‘make feast’

That which has come through centuries is a mix of Isaiah and Luke.

The second part does not appear as part of the first in Ecclesiastes, and so appears to be condoning the hedonistic way of life, it isn’t, it is emphasising the brevity of this earthly life. On the other occasions when mentioned it is definitely condemning .

It is a phrase much liked by the advertising sector and headline creators by those who know their eating/drinking habits are doubtful in the health stakes but who want to shrug their shoulders and take a gamble.

Frequently one half is separated and used in food/drink related advertising – many people use this first part in laziness with the assumption of knowledge of the second. Put the expression into search engines and there are pages and pages relating not only to the origin of it but the uses of the words now

Another expression which is embedded into our national language is

‘Fly in the ointment’ supposed to originate in Ecclesiastes.

Nowhere though, are these exact words quoted, in any version of bible not even the King James.However, The King James version is the one which has the closest association of the word fly to the word ointment

‘Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour:….’

Douay Rheims has ‘Dying flies spoil the sweetness of the ointment.’
And the
Geneva version has ‘Dead flies cause to stink and putrefy the ointment of the apothecary.’

Ointment in olden times was closely connected with religious practice and ceremony it’s origins lie in the Latin term for ‘anoint’. Therefore there is a holiness about it; ointment is precious, it was also, back then, expensive

Flies on the other hand are associated with rotting and putrefaction so one didn’t want any link between corruption and holiness. Not only were flies linked to corruption but because of this it was assumed and believed that the devil used them to hide in. Flies were definitely not desired as the ointment would be spoiled and wasted, to no avail.One can imagine a preacher thundering out that message in church. Nowadays ointment is usually associated with medicine and beauty.

There is a common theme in English idioms, a rhythm, an ease in the speaking, if you like, using ‘in’-

Such as

bats in the belfry
A bee in the bonnet

They slip easily and unconsciously from our lips. The original wording of the King James version was close enough to this pattern to be absorbed and changed over the centuries into what we have today.The meaning that came up through the ages has been, over the centuries, diminished, eroded, from the awful import of the original to a mere –

major obstacle preventing something that could have been pleasant

or even a more benign,

‘glitch’ in one’s plans.

If one is interested in these things then Begat by David Crystal is a splendid book to read.
Also The Good Samaritan Bites the Dust by Ferdie Addis
And Scapegoats, Shambles & Shibboleths by Martin Manser