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Outpourings / Three-dimensional Solids
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:39:40 AM »
If you create a vase that is 10cm tall, with its radius at any height from its base equal to four centimetres plus the square of that height, I could work out the volume of that vase with just a pencil and paper.

Sadly, I can't re-plaster my kitchen and need to get someone in to do that.

I wish it were the other way round.
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Outpourings / Re: Poetry
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:28:49 AM »
Stealing by Carol Ann Duffy

The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.
Midnight. He looked magnificent; a tall, white mute
beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate
with a mind as cold as the slice of ice
within my own brain. I started with the head.

Better off dead than giving in, not taking
what you want. He weighed a ton; his torso,
frozen stiff, hugged to my chest, a fierce chill
piercing my gut. Part of the thrill was knowing
that children would cry in the morning. Life's tough.

Sometimes I steal things I don't need. I joy-ride cars
to nowhere, break into houses just to have a look.
I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess, maybe pinch a camera.
I watch my gloved hand twisting the doorknob.
A stranger's bedroom. Mirrors. I sigh like this - Aah.

It took some time. Reassembled in the yard,
he didn't look the same. I took a run
and booted him. Again. Again. My breath ripped out
in rags. It seems daft now. Then I was standing
alone among lumps of snow, sick of the world.

Boredom. Mostly I'm so bored I could eat myself.
One time, I stole a guitar and thought I might
learn to play. I nicked a bust of Shakespeare once,
flogged it, but the snowman was the strangest.
You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?
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Outpourings / Re: I love poetry
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:26:49 AM »
Horses by Edwin Muir

Those lumbering horses in the steady plough,
On the bare field - I wonder, why, just now,
They seemed terrible, so wild and strange,
Like magic power on the stony grange.

Perhaps some childish hour has come again,
When I watched fearful, through the blackening rain,
Their hooves like pistons in an ancient mill
Move up and down, yet seem as standing still.

Their conquering hooves which trod the stubble down
Were ritual that turned the field to brown,
And their great hulks were seraphims of gold,
Or mute ecstatic monsters on the mould.

And oh the rapture, when, one furrow done,
They marched broad-breasted to the sinking sun!
The light flowed off their bossy sides in flakes;
The furrows rolled behind like struggling snakes.

But when at dusk with steaming nostrils home
They came, they seemed gigantic in the gloam,
And warm and glowing with mysterious fire
That lit their smouldering bodies in the mire.

Their eyes as brilliant and as wide as night
Gleamed with a cruel apocalyptic light,
Their manes the leaping ire of the wind
Lifted with rage invisible and blind.

Ah, now it fades! It fades! And I must pine
Again for the dread country crystalline,
Where the blank field and the still-standing tree
Were bright and fearful presences to me.
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Outpourings / Re: I love poetry
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:24:52 AM »
At Grass by Philip Larkin

The eye can hardly pick them out
From the cold shade they shelter in,
Till wind distresses tail and main;
Then one crops grass, and moves about
- The other seeming to look on -
And stands anonymous again

Yet fifteen years ago, perhaps
Two dozen distances surficed
To fable them: faint afternoons
Of Cups and Stakes and Handicaps,
Whereby their names were artificed
To inlay faded, classic Junes -

Silks at the start: against the sky
Numbers and parasols: outside,
Squadrons of empty cars, and heat,
And littered grass : then the long cry
Hanging unhushed till it subside
To stop-press columns on the street.

Do memories plague their ears like flies?
They shake their heads. Dusk brims the shadows.
Summer by summer all stole away,
The starting-gates, the crowd and cries -
All but the unmolesting meadows.
Almanacked, their names live; they

Have slipped their names, and stand at ease,
Or gallop for what must be joy,
And not a fieldglass sees them home,
Or curious stop-watch prophesies:
Only the grooms, and the grooms boy,
With bridles in the evening come.
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Outpourings / Re: I love poetry
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:24:21 AM »
Lore by R. S. Thomas

Job Davies, eighty-five
Winters old, and still alive
After the slow poison
And treachery of the seasons.

Miserable? Kick my arse!
It needs more than the rain’s hearse,
Wind-drawn to pull me off
The great perch of my laugh.

What’s living but courage?
Paunch full of hot porridge
Nerves strengthened with tea,
Peat-black, dawn found me

Mowing where the grass grew,
Bearded with golden dew.
Rhythm of the long scythe
Kept this tall frame lithe

What to do? Stay green.
Never mind the machine,
Whose fuel is human souls
Live large, man, and dream small.
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Outpourings / Poetry
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:23:55 AM »
I don't know whether I have talked about it before, but I enjoy reading poems.

If you find yourself too busy or insufficiently interested to read them, you'll know why I intend to track down each of my former students and personally apologise to them for wasting vast amounts of their childhood torturing them with this rubbish.

Anyway, here are some of my favourites:
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Outpourings / I want those hours back
« Last post by Mince on April 19, 2019, 11:07:35 AM »
I attended German and French lessons in school.

The only German I can remember is Wo ist dein hut?, and, quite frankly, if I ever met a German who owned a hat, I wouldn't care where it was.

On holiday, someone argued that although I might think that I learnt nothing, if I were forced to speak the language, I might find I knew more than I thought. So on a train in Portugal, we met a French family and I decided to put this to the test. The conversation went like this:

ME: Comment vous appelez vous?

WOMAN: Aww, écoute le crétin. Il essaie au moins.

ME: Er, yeah.

I did consider replying with Fiche-moi le camp!, but I considered firstly that using a phrase that I taught myself outside French classes would muddy the experiment, and secondly that Bugger off! was not an appropriate response at this juncture in the conversation.

Thus ended the experiment. I want those hours of my life back.
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Outpourings / Re: Silent Treatment
« Last post by Tarquin Thunderthighs lll on April 16, 2019, 11:11:06 AM »
Channelling Les Dawson...always good news - for Relate councillors.
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Outpourings / Re: Silent Treatment
« Last post by Mince on April 16, 2019, 10:22:21 AM »
Don't think I always blurt out stuff like that. I can show restraint.

For example:

WIFE: (talking about redesigning the kitchen) I like empty spaces.

ME: (not actually said) You must enjoy being inside your head then.
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Outpourings / Re: Don't get into a pillow fight with Death!
« Last post by Roger Kettle on April 15, 2019, 08:07:42 PM »
Over the last couple of years, there has been an upsurge in British TV drama and a lot of it has been excellent. I've never been a huge fan of the period stuff and, until recently, that seemed to be the only genre the TV companies were interested in. Really glad to see that they've started to produce some quality, contemporary work.
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