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Colin Johnson’s blog


Archive for June, 2016

Cringe (1)

Monday, June 13th, 2016

There is a minor genre of entertainment (see e.g. the Cringe nights and associated book, and the Radio 4 programme My Teenage Diary), which consist of people reading out excerpts from teenage diaries, poems, etc. Here is my contribution, albeit from a slightly earlier age. These are two poems that I found whilst looking through some old folders whilst clearing out my parents’s house. They were clearly considered good enough, back in 1981 or whenever, for me to have been asked to copy them out of my schoolbook in my “best writing” (still pretty crap, though interesting to see traces of the “Marion Richardson” style of penmanship such as the lower-case k with a loop in it), and been displayed on the classroom wall.

The first is a nice poem about Spring. It rhymes well, but the scansion could be improved:

Spring

In spring the plants come shooting up.
Easter eggs don’t go in egg cups.

In spring we get and extra hour of day.
So now we can all shout “Hooray”.

In spring the baby lambs are born,
And we can begin to plant the corn.

Very bucolic. The next is more exotic, to the point of borderline racism. I particularly like the illuminated capitals.

treasureIsland

On treasure island, with lots of palm trees.
There is a treasure chest that has no keys
The treasure was buried by pirates of old.
Pirates who were brave, strong and bold

On treasure island with tall mountains
There are lots of pleasant fountains
The island surrounded by water so cold.
The treasure is made up of diamonds and gold

On treasure island there are no animals;
But there are a lot of cannibals
The island defended by natives with spears
The treasure dates back by thousands of years

One treasure island in the sun
The treasure has not yet been one
There is a volcano with red hot lava
And a river we called the garva.

Good to see a decent attempt to use semicolons. I think “garva” in the last line is an attempt to write “Java”, though it might just about have been a sod-it attempt to find something to rhyme with “lava”. There is probably also some influence from the Griffin Pirate Stories (Roderick the Red, etc.), which I remember reading voraciously at around that time.

The Rule of Three (1)

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Okay, so we sell pizza, we sell pasta. That’s fine, but it doesn’t quite sound like enough. What other foodstuff beginning with “p” can we sell?

"Pizzas, Pastas and Pakoras"

“nothing more than…”

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Excellent Daily Mail comment!

"What science has Hawking ever done? He's nothing more than a very good mathematician."