Faith Shall Yet Ascend


St Lawrence Steps by Crispina Kemp

St Lawrence’s stands silent –

No choir now there sings –

The people of Norwich –

Today seek out other things


Once a place of worship –

Its edifice grand –

Now only as a landmark –

Makes its stand


What things have transpired

To leave it so?

A place redundant –

Where few care to go


It is a mirror –

Of what’s happened to belief –

“Redundant” the view-

“That God is chief”


Just like Lawrence’s steps –

Faith seems to descend –

Yet, we who believe – pray

For belief to again ascend!




Crimson’s Creative Challenge #16



Entangled, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

© Patrick Jennings



The Bard has told us, a web we weave –

When telling lies, the truth to grieve –

Entangling us in strands complex –

Beyond retention – our memories vex.


For all our ability – to mislead –

We pale before water’s capacity to deceive –

Its calm shimmering surface, wet –

Oft below – hides a world of threat.


Roots, weeds, and old nets there hide –

Camouflaged by the ever changing tides –

To snare us with the grip of death –

Entangled  – we can despair of breathe.


And water’s lies they stop not there –

But of its depth we must beware –

So clear, its bottom so close may seem –

Disguising metres of space between.


Like Dibley’s vicar, in a puddle to step –

Full of hidden danger – and much regret.

Our deception is a web it’s said –

But water’s tangles – can leave us dead.




The Exchange: A Roseman Tale

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It was another one of those odd crimes.  The Diamond Exchange in High Guilds had been burgled, but there was no sign of entry.  The door bolt was found firmly in place, and the burglary was discovered by someone who was already locked inside.

At about eight in the morning, a constable from the Third was flagged down by a frantic diamond merchant.  Normally at this hour, the exchange would be preparing to open.  But not today.  The gem merchant was just standing in the doorway,  holding a piece of scarlet cloth in one hand, and an empty box in the other.  A bewildered expression was fixed upon his face.

“Officer! Officer! Please help!” he called, as the watchman approached.  “We have been robbed.”

“What’s the trouble?” The Roseman asked, taking out his notebook.

“The Star of Illun is missing.  I came out of my chamber above the courtyard and went into the workshop, and the vault was open.  I looked and the wrapping cloth was just dangling from the gem cabinet,” he said, holding up the red cloth.

“Had you heard anything in the night?” the Rosie asked.

“Nothing out of the usual,” the agitated merchant replied.

“Are you sure everything had been locked?”

At this the man’s expression turned to anger.  “I locked the jewel cabinet in the vault myself, and then Murray and I locked the vault together about seven yesterday evening.  So yes, it was locked.”

“Sorry sir, I just need to ask for the record,” the watchman said in a conciliatory tone.  “And where is Mr. Murray?”

“I escorted him and Tibbs to the main door at about seven fifteen as usual and locked the door after they left.  And as for procedure, they gave the door a good pull from their side to double check.”

“What did you do next?  If I might ask, sir?”  the constable continued.

“I went upstairs to my chamber, had some sardines and read till about ten.  Then I went to bed,” the diamond dealer explained.

“And when exactly did you find the safe open?”

“About ten to eight.  I came downstairs to unlock the door for Tibbs, and saw that the vault was open,”  he responded.

“And Mr. Tibbs?” the constable began.

“I don’t know?  He wasn’t there, this morning.”

“And you say the door was locked?”  the Rosie prompted.

“Yes, yes.  I had to pull the bolt in order get out to find you,” the merchant snapped.

“Thank you for your account, sir.  We will get on this right away.”

The similarity to the other recent stone heists soon led to the case being handed over to the Moorland Team.  By early afternoon members of the Discovery Branch were setting up their equipment in the exchange.

Two things stood out in this case, however.  The first was,  that unlike the other “Moorland” heists, only one item had been taken.   The second difference was that the item taken was of significant value.  This was a matter of perturbation for Lifson.   Something just wasn’t right about it.

“Why take treasure this time, when they have only taken cheap stones before?” he asked Magononni.

“No way to tell,”  the head of Discovery replied.  “We have some odd readings, too.”

“Odd?” Lifson inquired.

“Yes, there is nothing on the scanners,”  Magononni said, with a shake of his head.  “There’s never – ‘nothing.’  I have had Trixner check it twice with two different devices, but it’s still the same.”

“Do you think the Tibbs fellow has anything to do with it?” Cruikshank asked, as he joined them.

“I sent Binman over to his place, and he said he found him passed out drunk,” Lifson said.

“That might explain why he didn’t show up to work,” Magononni reflected.

“Seems, a little too convenient for my taste,” Lifson responded.

“What about Murray?” Cruikshank asked.

“He showed up for work at ten, just as usual, and he did seem to be genuinely surprised by it all,” Lifson explained.

“So how do we proceed with this?” Lifter questioned.  “Is it part of our case, or not?”

“Damned if I know,” the superintendent replied.  “It might be a folly, but I guess we need to keep it for now.”

“Yes sir,” Lifson said, “It’s your call.”




Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle 122

1. Please

2. Cloth

3. Branch

4. Perturbation

5. Dangle

6. Folly

7. Attractancy (n)) the capacity of, especially of a pheromone, to attract)

8. Bolt

9. Treasure

10. Proceed

11. Courtyard

12. Place

Kingdoms Rise, Kingdoms Fall


View from Gatehouse

“In the beginning God . . . (Genesis 1:1).”  What a powerful introduction about introduction!  At the very point of the creation process was God, already existent.  He is in His own self-description to Moses, “I Am: I am the One who was, who is, and who will be (Exodus 3:14).”  This too is reinforced by Hebrews 3:8 which notes that God is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

This ever-present, unchanging God is eternal.  We may be “everlasting,” from our creation and then through this life and the life to come, but God is beyond time.  Psalm 90: 1-4 reads,

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

The passages and reflections above are the inspirations for the verses below.


Kingdoms Rise, Kingdoms Fall

Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall,

The things of man are ne’er the same,

But God, You are the Forever One,

It says so in Your very name.


Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall,

Our fortunes ebb and flow each day,

But God, You are our All-in-all,

A haven in which to stay.


Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall,

Our lives like drifting sand,

You’re the same now and evermore,

Our constant place to dwell and stand.


Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall,

But you O’ Eternal One,

Have promised us life through your only Son,

The everlasting victory has been won.








HMS Hinchinbrook (Revisited)


I write about the Hinchinbrook in a previous  post on Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. We have since revisited the restaurant on a couple of occasions, and it seemed that a Travel Tuesday would be a good place for a more thorough review.

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HMS Hinchinbrook

This is a clean, well laid-out establishment, with booth and table type seating in the main dining room, cafe style tables near the window, and “sidewalk” seating as well.  The bar is to the left as one enters, and the cooking area is just beyond.  The opposite wall features a room length depiction of the port of Great Yarmouth.   References to Nelson, and the Hinchinbrook are in various places as well.


HMS Hinchinbrook is an especially nice seafood and grill restaurant. The welcome has been warm on each of our visits.  Some of our favourite dishes are the goujon combo with salmon, sole, and plaice.  This was served with a variety of dips and sauces (the garlic sauce was especially lovely), and a huge portion of chips.  The battered cod and chips is particularly nice as well, and is really well fried, and had a firm tasty golden batter.



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There are also various grilled dishes available, and as my wife now needs to be super low-carb, the steaks have become a new favourite option for her.

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It is a great venue to just stop into if near the Wellington Pier or Sea Life Centre.  It has some nice tea and coffee as well.

All in all, this is really high quality seafood restaurant, and it offers great value for money as well.  The service is always excellent, and we really enjoy our experiences there.



Barns: A Roseman Tale


rosemen cover

Watchman Toby Barns was rookie.  His journey to becoming a watchman began in his hometown of Farmington.   He was like many of the lads in that town a farm labourer.  It was a noble and necessary occupation, but hardly one that made a young man stand out.

Toby was desperately in love with Breeze Fairweather, the niece and ward of Horace Foddervendor, a purveyor of all manner of feeds and seeds.  Horace was by far the richest man in Farmington, and the town’s mayor.

Breeze was of average looks and build, but her uncle’s wealth made her the object of many of the youths’ of Farmington attention.   To Toby, however she was “Prettier than a speckled pup,” and “sweeter than the day is long.”  He therefore, wanted to show himself  “worthy of her.”

This was actually unnecessary in Breeze’s mind.  She was astute enough to see the intentions of her suitors.  While some were indeed, better looking or more talented than Toby, there were none other than him that “loved her for her.”  Her uncle, however, would be another story.

He tried to prove himself through the usual Farmington means.  During the harvest, he worked diligently but his efforts were deemed to be good, but not amazing.  At the Farmington Fayre he entered the ploughing competition only to come in second.   He began to question, “What else can I do?”

Toby called in to Foddervendor’s ostensibly to place a seed order for his father, though his hope was to catch a moment with Breeze.  He was in luck, she was working alone at the counter.  She smiled and blushed as he approached her.

“Hello Sir,” she greeted.  “How may I help you,” she continued shooting a glance over her shoulder towards her uncle’s office.  She then turned back to him and quietly said, “Hi Toby.”

Toby took the lead and said, “My father would like to order a half ton of barley seed, please.”   Then more quietly, “How are you Breeze?”

“I’m doing good.  How are you?” she replied.  “I think you did a great job at the fayre,” she added.

“I’m okay, but I don’t know what I can do to impress your uncle.”

“Why would you want to do that?” she said, suddenly blushing again.

“You know,” he said blushing as well, “I hope you know.”

“Yes, I do,” she whispered,  surreptitiously sliding her hand across the counter to take his.

“I think I need to go to the capital to prove myself,” he said.

She squeezed his hand more firmly and said, “Do you have to?”

“I don’t see what I can do here?   I can’t just go to you uncle, he would laugh at me is I said I love you.”

“You love me?” she said, reddening again.

“Yes Breeze, I love you.” Toby said a little too loudly.

“I,  I love you too,” she admitted.

Toby felt the flutter of a million butterflies in his stomach, and a joy beyond any he had ever experienced before swept over him.

“I am going to the city, and I am going to join the Watch.  I am going to show your uncle I am more than a farm hand,” Toby declared.

At this she showed a thoughtful sadness.  “I understand, but I don’t want you to go,” she said.

“I will be back, and I will show everyone that I am worthy of you.”

“You always have been,” she said.  “Surely Uncle Horace will see it too.”

It was with this in mind that he made his way to the capital and applied to become a Roseman.  While he was seen by the recruiter as a bit of a bumpkin, he actually did well on the exam.  He was, therefore, appointed to join Cruikshank’s Ninth Precinct.


Not All Darkness Is Night


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Buda Castle At Night

Not All Darkness Is Night

Night for many is full of terrors,

Things that go bump – you can’t see,

At night we escape under our blankets,

Awaiting a new morn to see.


Some darkness, however, exists in daylight,

Terrors threatening before your very face,

The darkness of hearts – the “night” of hate,

Sheds a gloom – that even the sun cannot erase.



'Shoes on the Danube Bank' (5)

Shoes Memorial © Padre’s Ramblings

The poem above is inspired by two photos I took on a visit to Budapest.  The moon over the Buda Castle was beautiful, and night for all of its risks and childhood terrors, can nonetheless be beautiful.  The second image is of the memorial to the Jews of Budapest killed on the banks of the Danube.  It remembers the  800 Jews, who were shot, and their bodies dumped into the Danube by the Arrow Cross Militia.  It is one of the sad reminders of the collaboration of non-Germans in the horror of the Holocaust.

OFMARIAANTONIA Prompt: Nighttime



Broccoli, Spinach, and Goats Cheese Soup

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Here is another of my simple soup recipes. This is one of the soups we have turned to for lower carb, and decent fat content.  It has only five ingredients and cooks in less than an hour.  It has a nice sharp cheese flavour and the veggie goodness of the broccoli and spinach.


  • Broccoli 1/3 medium crown
  • Leaf Spinach 200 g
  • Mature Goats Cheese 200 to 240 g (hard cheese)
  • Water 1.5 litres
  • Gluten-free Vegetable Stock Cube (1-2 according to taste)



Cut broccoli into florets.   Rinse the spinach and pat dry.  Place the veg into a large pan or soup-maker. Add the water and bring to a boil for about 30 minutes (or one cycle on soup maker). Add the stock cube and return to low boil (or second time through soup maker cycle). Blitz the cooked broccoli until smooth.  Cube or shred the cheese and stir until dissolved (or blitz into mixture is using soup-maker).


The Tour


Photo Courtesy of Susan Spaulding

The tour bus took the party to an idyllic Austrian village, in the mountains near Salzburg.

After some photo opportunities, which allowed them time to capture images of the Alps, and several picturesque “chocolate box” cottages, they were led to the village’s tiny museum.

“And here we have our prize exhibit,” the guide said proudly.  “A pair of Herr Mozart’s” shoes.  As you know he was an important composer.”

One of the party raised a hand and asked, “There were three generations of Mozarts that composed, are these Wolfgang’s, Leopold’s, or Franz Xaver’s?”

“Well,” the guide said, a little taken aback.  “There is a manuscript score next to them, so I guess we will have to check the notes.”

(119 words)



Sunday Photo Fiction – February 24, 2019



A Theory on Theories

Image result for the thinker

image: The Times

A Theory on Theories


I have a theory

It’s all my own

Built in a day

Unlike Rome


I have a theory

It’s so clear to me

Why you don’t get it

Is a mystery


I have a theory

It goes like this

“What’s true to me

You can’t dismiss”


I have a theory

In its reverse

I have to accept

That yours is no worse


We both have theories

That’s plain to see

But with a little respect

We need not agree


A theory’s a theory

It still lacks proof

To claim otherwise

Is a classic goof




Fandango’s Word Prompt  Theory