21 Days in 17 Syllables

They are long and short

How time stretches and creases

Distorts memory

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n.b. When life gets complicated how do we keep a grip on what is important?

How do we keep strong? I have a pebble I found over 2 years ago. I keep it with me in my pocket. My touchstone. It works for me. What works for you?

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CLP 12/12/2019

Rap Unzel

We’ve got a problem

It’s getting wet down here

Waters are rising

People filled with fear

We all have to move up to higher ground

If we don’t do that

We will all get drowned

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Hey young man

On the ground floor

I’ve my own issues

In fact plenty more

And while that may seem

A little unfair

I’m nice and cosy

And I have got to wash my hair

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n.b. Not a proper rap just a bit of rhyming stuff.

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CLP 03/11/2019

Cards or Dice (Lyon IV)

Cut, shuffle

Rattle, roll

Which is better?

I don’t know.

When asking for a sign

Throw the jacks

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n.b. Fate does not lay out our fortune, but the interpreter of fortunes does. We hear what we want to hear, believe what we choose and act out our lives accordingly.

King James VI of Scotland, James I of England, assessed the character of men by the way they played cards. This is quite an interesting way to assess someone’s character. Since I read this in Antonia Fraser’s book about the Gun Powder Plot, I have considered how I play cards and how that is reflected in the life I have lived. Is this what I have lived, or a romanticised perspective brought on by the idea of character played out at the table?

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I would describe my card playing as optimistic to the point of reckless. However, I would say that one can tell a person’s character better by the way they play cricket, or football as these involve not only intellectual and emotional character, but physicality too – the whole person.

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Are cards but a parlour game? The above picture is from Lyon’s exhibition of Resistance and Deportation. Even in the death camps of the Nazis the deportees found ways to pass the time before their execution in play. What would King James (a man who wrote about hunting and prosecuting witches) have said about the resourcefulness and resilience of the incarcerated in these appalling circumstances

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Would different characteristics between players emerged? Probably. Yet to even subscribe to play at such a place shows the enormous depth of human spirit.

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The Romans who built Lugdunum, (now Lyon), thought that how the jacks fell most accurately foretold the path of future events – not that they could do much about the projected outcomes.

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CLP 24/11/2019

On Money

What is it you need?

A ajunge acasa

Here is your ticket

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n.b. Romanian for “To get home”

Yesterday a friend sought help from family and acquaintances to find out what ailed a young, homeless man.

He had travelled in hope of work to Switzerland, having paid an agent to get him there. He was stranded, hungry, cold and wet.

One of her friends spoke Romanian better than he spoke English. They spoke on the telephone.

When his needs were understood, my friend took him to a café for a meal, bought him a ticket home online and funded him to buy his own food for the journey (including some Swiss chocolate to take back to his wife).

Simply giving cash would have been quicker and easier, but does handing out coins and notes alone change anything?

Can we lift ourselves above personal day-to-day concerns and see, hear and help those with more urgent needs?

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CLP 22/10/2019