Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Jade Mountain

My favourite museum exhibit anywhere I have ever been reside at the Oriental Museum in Durham. It is an intricately carved jade mountain. I keep having to back there to see it again. If I could own one piece from any museum on earth it would be this.

Monday, 1 June 2020

May and June: The Bridge Between

It's June already and in many ways it feels like we should get a refund on the first half of this year.  We've been short-changed. Living has been interrupted. But I am reminded this year in particular of May and June -- not the months, but two sisters I never knew. They were born either side of midnight on May 31st and June 1st 1940 and so would have been 80 today but they died in infancy as, two years later, did another sister Eleanor. They never had a life but of course they were never forgotten and so on behalf of my other sisters, Annabelle, Margaret, Esme and Christine and the broader family, I remember them today by reading this poem for you The Bridge Between, on Facebook and posting it here too.  

The Bridge Between

On days of foxgloves we were taken a walk
to the wee stone bridge that united
the twin town-lands of Dunclug and Kirkinriola.

One foot in each parish
astride its gentle hump
within sight of the churchyard

their names would fall
like droplets in the family floe.
May and June

the twins who'd bridged those months
and spanned the 15 years between
pre and post war siblings,

shadow-sisters sleeping
in eternal double summertime
whose only bridge to us was DNA

never forgot by those who remembered
their brief days
before our lives began.

I wondered often but durstn't ask
were we replacement
or continuation?

That little bridge
is in a the folk museum now.
Dismantled, rebuilt stone by stone

it lost its place in time and space
and stands unnamed
in all but memory.

(published in Gyroscope Review 2017)

I have had 66 years on this good Earth. We have life every day. Let's treasure it.

                                                        My parents 1950-something

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

May's political shenanigans

Web of Deceit

Won't you come into my garden said the Cummings, on the sly
It’s quite the largest garden that you will ever spy.
You only have to get your head around my lying core
to see the biggest pile of shit you ever saw before.

I have no friends but Boris said the Cummings -- that’s okay.
He’ll never let me down you know, in case I go away.
He can’t survive without me. I can bring him to his knees.
He may be the Prime Minister but I am the big cheese!

Won’t you come into our garden and listen to our lies.
We have you in our sights you know with apps and media spies.
No gatherings, no protests now, no visits to your Mum
Do as we say not as we do. You low class slick of scum!

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Staying Power

Staying power

Trying to stay in
for the good of my health
yet take a daily walk
for the good of my health  

I feel a bit like Schrodinger's cat!
When they open the box
will I be alive? or dead? 
I can only hope

that after this crisis
the 'little' people holding
everything together
are valued a lot more for their work.

Those at the top are really thick as shit, aren't they?
They'd be ‘dead in a ditch’ if not for the workers.
Writing's on the wall.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Stages of Soda Bread

Soda bread is quick and easy and ready within an hour. It's like a scone mixture (and can be cut as scones which take 10 mins to cook!) so it needs a light touch. A little oil makes it keep better and makes it a bit softer but you don't have to add oil or you can rub in some butter before the salt and soda. Like any other bread, you know it's cooked when it 'sounds hollow'.

Bakes in 35 mins at 220 and it great with anything from jam to cheese. 
It's worth frying it when it goes a bit stale (day 3)

preheat oven

9oz of self raising white and 9 oz wholemeal bread flour 1 level tsp Bicarbonate of Soda and 1 level tsp salt
300mls buttermilk (or plain yogurt and a squeeze of lemon juice)

add a tbs olive or other oil

Add to the flour

mix with wooden spoon (right to the bottom)

bring together by hand

a light knead to shape it into a ball

use a palette knife to make a deep cross and place in hot oven 35 mins

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Cherry Blossom Time at Alnwick: 27th April 2018

I don't know how often it occurs that the cherry blossom in the largest Sakura grove outside of Japan coincides with a late flowering of daffodils. I do know, when it happens the sight is spectacular -- and I can show you. 
And of course the fountains at Alnwick are always spectacular.