What on earth do they mean?

They told me not to go to the hospital because the trains are operating today so when will you go?

When the trains are not running.

So how will you get to the hospital?

I will have to ask for transport.

what will that be?

I wish it were a donkey.

you’re not Jesus you know.

Riding on donkeys was not the only thing that Jesus did

But he did give the Sermon on the Mount.

You are so clever I’m surprised that you are not the Prime Minister.

did you say the Crime minister?

I didn’t know there was a crime minister.

there are plenty of lying ministers.

so true.

If someone ‘slips while crossing the road we might

have a dying minister.

Have you ever thought of writing a crime story?

no it will be a crime were I to do so.

How could it be a crime to write a detective mystery?

if you’re a terrible writer

Someone might kill you

I have got the plot but I’m no good at dialogue

Start with a monologue and then answer in another monologue

Will that be a dialogue?

No but it will look like one

Boris Johnson looked like a prime minister

Say no more

The paradox of humility

Photo by Katherine copyright


There are exceptions, of course. For the rare public figure or celebrity whose cultivated arrogance and lofty untouchability intersect in just the right ways, it’s still possible to be merely “honored” and “surprised,” in old-school acknowledgment of deserved recognition. (Think of Bob Dylan, who was unable to travel to Stockholm to pick up his Nobel Prize in person because of undisclosed pre-existing commitments.) But it’s tricky. We live in a rabidly anti-elitist society that is also in slack-jawed, slavish thrall to elites, and it’s no joke to try to maintain homeostasis between “Look at me!” and “Who, me?”

For most of us, the choice is simple: We can either let our triumphs and random strokes of luck go unremarked upon, or we can bow our heads and declare ourselves humbled by our great fortune.

It seems worth pointing out, though, that none of this is what “humbled” actually means. To be humbled is to be brought low or somehow diminished in standing or stature. Sometimes we’re humbled by humiliation or failure or some other calamity. And sometimes we’re humbled by encountering something so grand, meaningful or sublime that our own small selves are thrown into stark contrast — things like history, or the cosmos, or the divine.


Should we wish to be more self confident?


The “Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology” puts it another way: “If the person lacks confidence, again there will be no action. That’s why a lack of confidence is sometimes referred to as ‘crippling doubt.’ Doubt can impair effort before the action begins or while it is ongoing.”

If you believe you can get your dream job if you apply, there’s a chance, however small, you will.

Patience and how it helps


The good news is that same study found that patience as a personality trait is modifiable. Even if you’re not a particularly patient person today, there’s still hope you can be a more patient person tomorrow. So if you find yourself getting exasperated more than you’d like, here are ways to keep those testy impulses in check.

Sunday morning in Knittingham

Mary woke up at 7:00 to her surprise.q Her cat Emile was lying by her side with his head on the pillow

Gentle stroking his soft relaxed body

She said to him you are not a human being you know Emile. If your head is at the pillow your body is not underneath the duvet.

Oh that’s alright mother he replied; with my Fur on I don’t need to be underneath the duvet. To be honest I’m frightened about slipping down the bed and suffocating

That’s not like you Mary murmured. You are still quite young so you will be able to push yourself up with your legs.

I know such fears are totally irrational. But the fear seems to be real Perhaps I’m afraid of losing myself in you you he said thoughtfully

Oh that’s stuff about psychology it’s not the pathway I wish to follow today.

Why don’t we have some good hot tea. They went downstairs to the kitchen and Mary put the kettle on and put the teapot ready to use when suddenly there was a knock on the front door.

I’m not even dressed yet Mary cried. Although my night dress does look like a frock

Yes it does said Emile. In fact it was better than most of your frocks. Open the door quick quick.

When she opened the door she saw a well dressed artistic looking man.

Hello he said I’m your date for today.

My date for today what are you talking about?

Well I joined this dating agency for older people and they gave me your name and address saying you were looking for another husband.

Well that strange I said Mary because I’ve never joined any agency. I wonder if if you’re looking for Annie my next door neighbour??

No I’ve definitely got the name Mary on my phone they sent me the email last night.

Well why don’t you come into the kitchen and I will make you some tea because you look tired and hot

We all went into the kitchen and found the kettle was boiling. Then Mary said to the man what you would like to drink?

I would like to NESCAFÉ blend 37 he said nervously.

That’s good because I have just bought some she told him although I don’t drink coffee myself but the cat likes it. My cat is called Emile :come and say hello.

Hello sir you devil. What is your name may I know?

Well I’m not certain he cried. Just call me Simon.

How old are you Simon. You are grown up you should know your own name by now.

Well do you see, I used to belong to a religious order and when I was older I was given the name Simon but it’s not the name that’s my parents gave me when I was born. That name is John but not many people know that now.

Did you join a dating site because you don’t know how to get a new woman in your life?

Yes you have guessed correctly I have no idea how I can meet interesting women.

Do you mean you know how to beat boring women?

Be precise I have no idea how to meet any women at all having spent 20 years in the monastery. Of course I used to have some nuns in the parish who we used to meet but it’s not quite the same is it?

Well said Mary how fascinating. Do you think God is guided you to my door because I am a widow! I have been wondering whether to look for another ma non but since I am very clever some men are afraid of me.

They went into the living room and sat down on the sofa while they drank the coffee!

Simon very coolly looked at Mary’s pictures on the wall. I do like your Picasso prints he said

Would you like to come with me for a walk in the woods he continued.

That sounds delightful said Mary.

But I haven’t got dressed yet and do you remember that I have never seen you before so I would like you to bring two references from someone and notable in the area and I will then decide whether I want to go anywhere with you or not.

That’s not very friendly said Simon in a sulky manner

Well you have a strange story. I did not join a dating agency so I don’t know where you got my address from and if I was your sister you will not want me to go out with a man I’ve never met before I would you?

Well I suppose you are right. I am going to church anyway this morning so I will speak to the parish priest and ask him he will give me a reference

Yes I believe I have met that priest at a bring and by sale in the church hall. Yes you speak to him and then if he is willing to give you a reference we can have a date

Would you not prefer prunes the little cat cried.

No thank you said Simon. Thank you for offering that was very generous of you!

You are welcome cried Emile have you run up the stairs I’m going back to bed he shouted to Mary?

But Mary did not hear him because she was wrapped in thoughts in the kitchen wondering how this man has got her name and address. I think it must be Annie she though to herself because she is very clever at picking up men. And she thinks that it would be good for me to get married again or even just go to bed with somebody. Emile is not really enough company for me although he is very charming. If I get another husband then Emile may find a wife and start a family it will be lovely to have some kittens in the house again.

And she went upstairs and had a cold shower

And so will all of us

The steepness,wildness,blackness darkly sing

KatherineThinkings and poemsvillanelle  January 26, 2018

Like the water  in a mountain stream
In flood it drowns  the weak and  very young
In drought we can explore its bed  and dream

The limestone all round Alston’s very clean
And in the little river stones are flung
It’s  water  in a new born mountain stream

Dried river beds in Teesdale are  pristine
The dark hills threaten  as they overhang
In drought, we can explore, find stones  and dream

But much of  Pennine land remains unseen
The  steepness,wildness ,blackness darkly sing
Like the  currents  in a flung down stream

In rare heat, bare feet are river clean
The hot stones make a flat seat on the bank
In drought, we can explore or  view the scene

In  love the mind will savour and then thank
The world of nature into which it sank
Unlike the water  in a mountain stream
If our mind runs slower  it better dreams

To the deeper water

In  peaty water,pebbled white as chalk
My feet feel ample pleasure as I walk
The stepping stone of Rothay I have shunned
For to the deeper  water I am won

The silence but for birdsong faraway
Soothes each cell as they vibrate and play
The body like the coat of   cat well stroked
Lies in pleasure, almost seems to float

The limestone pavement   on high Hutton Roof
Grows little flowers of pure and subtle truth
Across we see the  sands of Morecambe Bay
The dragging, shifting sands that suck and sway

The feet in sand and water feel well homed
Yet on the higher crags I long to roam