Not so much looking down as across..

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

With affection Kate Harte, 1920-2013

Kate from Kells

 A will of steel and iron

 Of soft and generous heart

 Appropriate then perhaps

 To marry Desmond Harte


 Many decades to remember

 As we mourned her last December

 Kate the golfer, Kate the mother

 Sister, friend, and life lover.


 A gift for friendship

 Not spread wide

 But true and close

 Right by our side.


 Ever ready, ever true

 To lend a hand

 To me and you


 Knitting, sewing, cooking, cleaning

 Nothing ever too demeaning

 Coming, going and supporting

 Driving deftly as in a Porsche

Baby sitting, reading, teaching

 Around her kitchen table

 Tea in china cups

 To the chime of carriage clocks.


 In Marie's bungalow o'er the bay

 A modest drink at close  of day

 A  lively G and T at five

 Helps the sisters to revive.


 Ever ready, ever able

 Just ring the phone

 She'll never waver. .


 Simple homely pleasures

 Span the rolling years

 Time sits still for decades

 In sleepy Dalkey streets.


 At last the call of time

 Catches Kate in clutches

 And so the days now shorten

 As eventide drew nearer.


 Never dim, but always bright

 Her smile lights up our day

 We knock, she turns

 "Hello darling" I hear her say

 Just as she peers 'mid family faces

 Her voice will echo through the ages.

Don't the French speak French well?

I love language. I love language that is spoken or written well. But above all I love language that is spoken well.

I love the way the French speak French. They speak it well with pride and attention.

You would think the English would be the best at speaking English - but that is not always the case. I love regional accents - but only when the diction is clear. I find Coronation St and Eastenders depressing. I hate hearing the English being mangled and the grammar being strangled.

I am trying to become more mellow in my old age. When I first heard the Australian accent courtesy of 'Neighbours' many years ago I could not understand it. When I got to understand it, I decided I did not like it. Why would people murder an innocent language and strangle the blameless vowels?

I love the Welsh and Scots accents - I think they speak English much better than many English people. I love Dublin humour but find the Dublin accent lazy. Bob Geldof may have made the Dublin accent sexy, but clearly difinitions of 'sexy' differ.

I adore the Irish language, Gaelic. I had the happy experience of spending four summers in the ealry sxities living in Connemara with a family whose first language was Irish - indeed in the case of some members of the household, their only language. Irish spoken well is a thing of beauty. People who love Irish mistakenly think that people should be encouraged to speak bad Irish - 'better bad Irish than no Irish' seems to be motto. Insanity. It is like suggesting that Mozart and Beethoven played badly is better than silence.

In the same vein, I hate it when Irish politicians inisist on speaking a few words in terrible Irish - the 'cupla focail'. It is like leering at a girl and saying you are at least paying her the compiment of showing her attention. Better left alone to die a linguistic spinster than this suffer this cruel attack.

Languages are intersting for their different conepts. To take the simplest concept - 'I am hungry' is translated in French and Spanish - 'j'ai faim' and' tengo hambre' - I have hunger. In Irish it is 'ta ocras orm' - there is hunger on me. My point being if something as simple as hunger is expressed in such different ways - how many and varied are the more subtle ways of looking at issues pracitcal and philosophical? That is one of the fasinating things about learing languages - finding out about the different approaches to life and embracing as we learn to speak a new language.

There is an Irish 'me' and an French 'me' and a Spanish 'me. Speaking fluently in different languages allows different elements of ourselves to escape the prison of the language we were born into.

Traveling broadens the mind, they say, but nothing compared to speaking another language with confidence and without self consciousness.

Original Win - an apology from God.

 Original Win  - An apology from God

Dear people of God, I'm very sorry

 That a typo of mine has caused you to worry

 The s and the w are sadly stored

 Closely together on the querty keyboard.

 I'll blame it on Genesis,

 The book, not the band

 The next bible I write

 Will be slowly, by hand.


 I thought you were clever

 And you would soon spot my error.

 To me it's abundantly clear

 Unlike a Guinness but a Weiss beer


 What I created was good and was true

 That includes people and certainly you

 The glass is more than half full

 The world is normally good, not evil.


 Just ask yourself, silly head

 Your intentions as you get out of bed

 Is it to kill and maim?

 Or break your fast and take the train?


 The milkman had now left his load

 Of milk and cream on your road.

 The bus driver has washed and driven

 So you can travel to make a living.


 The young mother holds her baby

 To her breast. It seems to me

 The world I made is mostly good

 I presumed that would be understood.


 All this talk of sin and death

 Is simply bad logic and worse math

 Open your eyes and smell the tea

 What a typo, silly me.