Tag Archives: Black Beauty

Narrow Escapes

22 Aug

When we were kids, my brother owned a copy of The Book of Narrow Escapes. Aimed at children, it was full of stories about people who survived experiences like falling out of planes (as you do), or getting lost in the Amazon: always follow a river downstream to civilization was the advice, though how a child – or this adult – knows the difference between upstream and downstream escapes me, and not narrowly, either.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure that book, full of horror stories along the lines of Alive! was suitable reading for kids.  Unless I’m thinking like a be-fair-everyone-has-to-come-first-and-be-safe millennial.  Or a mum.

This morning, I was humming the tune to the seventies’ show Black Beauty because of a Facebook meme I’d seen, and that got me thinking that I read Black Beauty as a child and found it tedious, but loved The Book of Narrow Escapes – me, who never took a risk in her life unless it involved eating my weight in chocolate and thus the possibility of an obese, diabetic future.

As I was on the loo while all of this thinking was happening, that naturally reminded me of my own narrow escape, about twenty years ago: I went to the loo one day, finished, stood, turned around, and there were two wasps, flying around the neck of the bowl!  Talk about a squeaky bum moment.  To this day, I can’t sit on the loo without first inspecting it.  Thoroughly.  So if I visit your house and you catch me at it 1) I’m looking for stinging insects, not dirt and 2) why are you in the bathroom with me?

Do you have your own squeaky bum moment to share?

The Horse Babbler

5 Feb

A message for new readers: every couple of days, I take a random selection of Daily Post prompts and attempt to answer them in a serious manner.


horse (Photo credit: possan)

Link to an item in the news you’ve been thinking about lately, and write the op-ed you’d like to see published on the topic.

Horsemeat Found In Frozen Burgers

Op Ed:

Stop complaining!  The French are laughing at us.

Besides, you never really believed there was any actual meat in processed burgers, did you?  This is a step up.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given someone that you failed to take yourself?

NEVER make fun of the WordPress prompters; they know your host.


Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

The third full sentence in the book nearest to me is taken from Grace Nichols’ Everybody Got A Gift:

poop po-doop
poop-poop po-doop
poop po-doop
poop-poop po-doop

She has such a way with words.


Winner of the Silly Face Contest

Winner of the Silly Face Contest (Photo credit: Linda Hartman.)

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

A WordPress prompter got into the lift with me one day.  Given my relentless tormenting of the evil creature, I was terrified. Fortunately, however, I was thinking about Grace Nichol’s sublime poetry at the time, so I had an idea how to distract him…


Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?

As far as a horse could take me.


What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.

I remember carefree days on an English farm with my mother.  It sticks in my memory because I was suddenly, cruelly separated from her and put to work driving cabs in London, even though I was still young.  I did eventually retire happily to the country but along the way, I met with many hardships, much cruelty and some kindness.

Oh, wait…that was Black Beauty.

My first memory was of reading a rather sad book.  I forget what it was called.

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