Feelin’ Fine with the Hermits


This week’s Song Lyrics Sunday challenge is to write about a piece that includes the words touch or feel.  Feel and Feeling (Feelin’) are key words in the positive (“feel so proud”) and as a cover-up (“Feelin’ fine”) in the 1963/1965 classic “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.

The song was written in 1963 by Trevor Peacock and was first performed in a play that year.  It is most famous, however, in the Herman’s Hermit’s 1965 release which went to number 1 on the US and Canadian charts.  Nostalgically, this tale of break-up is one of my earliest experiences of pop music that I can remember.

Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter
Girls as sharp as her are somethin’ rare
But it’s sad, she doesn’t love me now
She’s made it clear enough it ain’t no good to pine
She wants to return those things I bought her
Tell her she can keep them just the same
Things have changed, she doesn’t love me now
She’s made it clear enough it ain’t no good to pine
Walkin’ about, even in a crowd, well
You’ll pick her out, makes a bloke feel so proud
If she finds that I’ve been round to see you (round to see you)
Tell her that I’m well and feelin’ fine (feelin’ fine)
Don’t let on, don’t say she broke my heart
I’d go down on my knees but it’s no good to pine
Walkin’ about, even in a crowd, well
You’ll pick her out, makes a bloke feel so proud
If she finds that I’ve been round to see you (round to see you)
Tell her that I’m well and feelin’ fine (feelin’ fine)
Don’t let on, don’t say she broke my heart
I’d go down on my knees but it’s no good to pine
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Trevor Peacock
Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Am I Wrong?

Submarine Sandwich, Sub, Subway


Am I wrong to be shocked?  Am I inappropriate in my discomfort?

I was treating myself to dinner at Subway, when a young man in his late teens or early twenties (replete with ball cap and hoodie) came in to share news with the “sandwich artist.”

It seems the man had just come from accompanying his girlfriend to the hospital to have a scan done of their baby.   Okay, this in itself is not the cause of my shock.  Unwed families have become normative in the 2020s in the UK (over 6 million couples according to  the Office for National Statistics).

No, it is the conversation that followed that was the source of my discomfort.  The couple did not want to know the biological sex of the baby.  On hearing this the Subway worker asked if they had picked a name yet.   The response was that if it is a girl they want to name her Billie.  “And if it’s a boy?” the sandwich maker asked.  The reply made without a hint of jest or intended humour was “Lucifer.”  This then led to the pair discussing the benefits of giving your child a “unique” name.

I return you to my opening questions.



Welcome to Town

Finland, Rauma, Wooden Houses


The altercation had been unexpected.  Don had only lived in the area for a few weeks, and he hadn’t realised that the clap-board house he had leased was on the “bad” side of town.  The attack had been sudden and unprovoked, and now he was hurrying home with an unsteady gait, half dragging his left leg as he shuffled along.

Who sics a Doberman on passing strangers? he questioned to himself as he reached the rickety gate of his rental property. Well, at least I’m home, he thought as he pulled the keys from his torn jeans pocket.

As slammed the front door shut, he turned the latch with urgency.  What did that guy call that monster of a dog?  he questioned.  Toto, yes that was definitely it.  I’m definitely not in Kansas anymore.




Saturday Mix – Double Take, 29 February 2020:

The homophone sets this week are: gait – manner of walking or running,
gate – fence door and leased – rented,  least – the minimum





Affronted by Fronteds

Writing, Write, Person, Paperwork, Paper


Frequently, I look on with dismay

Barely perceiving what they’re trying to say

Totally overwhelmed by adverbials fronted

Often, making me feel my grammar is stunted

Regularly, they precede an action to follow,

Their artificial use, I find hard to swallow

Frequency,  place, time, or manner

Rapidly throwing them in, can make you stammer

Whatever happened to simple nouns and verbs

In our grammar?





Handcuffed, Arrest, Oppression, Racism


I have studied at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Centre for Holocaust Education at UCL Institute of Education, and taken part in several courses and workshops from the Holocaust Education Trust, and Yahad-In Unum.  Through it all one mantra introduced to me by Professor Yehuda Bauer has stuck with me: “There is only one race – the human race”

One of the most challenging, yet rewarding aspects of my role as an educator is the teaching of ethics.  Here again, ideas of “the other” are a major concern.  It is one of the early exercises that I engage in with my students is an attempt, to isolate “who is the other?” within the class.  When gender, gender identity, height, weight, eye and hair colour, and a vast array of other distinctions are considered – the only possible answer is “everyone.”

I often shock some students when I comment that there are no such things as black people or white people.  All humans are actually on a spectrum of brown.  Yes, very light or very dark in some cases, but nevertheless – brown.  Objections are countered by a simple experiment of having students place their hands on a sheet of white paper.

But in society today we still have to deal with racism, sexism, classism, ageism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia and so many more.  Isn’t it time we begin to show our dislike of something sensible like the “isms” themselves?





Another Auction Annual: Alliteration Experiment


Another auction annual –

Bargains, bringing buyers back –

Carrying cold cash,

Dream deals desiring.

Each expert examined everything

For fabulous finds.

Gazing glorious goods

Hands hasty hiked

In indicating interested intent.

Joining jealous jostling –

Keeping calm key.

Last lot –

Masterful move made

Nonchalantly nodding

Others outbid!

Perfect purchase, proficiently planned.

Quest – quickly, quietly

Realised, resolved, reached!

Slight smile signifying satisfaction.

Today’s triumph total!

Undeterred, unrelenting,

We will watch, we will wait.

NeXt – Year – uZ!


Apologies at the closing fudge.  This was a form experiment.















A Faith To Live And Die For

Stoning of Steven – Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

A few weeks ago I spoke on the topic of faith.  In that message I noted the centrality of faith in the Christian life.  The Apostle Paule wrote,

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13).”  Faith can be defined as a belief in which one has total confidence.  But scripture calls us to an even higher level of expectation.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).”

I have on several occasions had students who remarked that the Hebrews passage is “stupid.”  I usually respond with asking why they see it that way.  I usually receive a reply along the lines that, “if you haven’t seen it yourself, how do you know that it wasn’t just made up?”

To this I reply, “No one knowingly dies for a lie.”

Jesus said,  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”   He stated that He was the path to salvation.  He also knew that that path would require Him to die as a sacrifice.

If we look at Jesus’ temptations in the desert, we see in the third test, that Satan gave Him “an out.”  He said if Jesus would worship him, he would give the peoples of the world to Jesus.  Jesus’ death wouldn’t be necessary.  Jesus however refuses the temptation, He was prepared to die to fulfill His mission (something that if He had made it up He would not have done), and He also refused to buy into a huge lie that Satan was worthy of worship.

Remember, you don’t die for a lie!

Peter in Acts 2:22 and following capsulises the Gospel by saying that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried.  But then he adds that Jesus is risen, and that he (Peter) is a witness.  His testimony is firm.  But “what if he made it up?”

In Acts 4 Peter is arrested, and ordered by the authorities (the same that had killed Jesus) to not speak the Gospel again.  His response is to question,  “Who should we obey?”  Should he obey God, and tell the truth, or cave in to the treat of those in power?  His action is one of confident faith.  Something many would not do, especially for a lie.

In Chapter 5, Peter is arrested again and beaten for the message.   Would you be beaten for a lie?  Maybe/maybe not, but Peter holds firm.

In Acts 7 Stephen filled with the Holy Spirit speaks of the same Gospel.  He then to express its fulfillment when he said he could see Jesus at the Father’s side welcoming him, even as he is being stoned to death.  He died, and for the truth.  He not once hesitated in his testimony, even in the faith of death.  You don’t die for a lie!

Chapter 9 shows us Saul, an enemy of the Gospel converted by an encounter with the resurrected Lord.  He surrendered a promising position in the Jewish hierarchy, to speak boldly the experience of his encounter.  Would he give up reputation, and position for a lie?  But that is not all.

2 Corinthians 11: 16f summarises Saul, now known as Paul’s payment for teaching the Gospel:

“Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

To top it all off tradition tells us Paul was beheaded in Rome. Just as James had been beheaded by Herod for the Gospel.  Tradition says Peter crucified upside down, and his brother Andrew sideways, while Bartholomew was skinned alive and Thomas impaled.  The other Apostle James was stoned John boiled in oil but survived.  Each died, or was prepared to die for the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Not one recanted. 

Decide for yourself, does the gospel sound like something Steven, Paul, and the Twelve “made up?”

With that knowledge before you.  In what do you put your faith today?  Is it something worthy to live and die for?





Rice, Sushi, Japan, Seaweed, Japanese, Fish, Raw


A sushi buffet, I heard them say

Brightly presented upon the tray

Prawn, and salmon, and so much more

Tasty eating seemed in store

But then it became clear, it had been there all day

So I got me some melon, but from the fish – stayed away





The Fair

Elkhart, Indiana, In, County, Fair, 4-H



I travelled down to the County Fair.

Amid livestock and produce –

To check out the fare.

Some lovely aromas met me –

Of roasting fowl,

But to my disappointment it tasted foul.



Saturday Mix – Double Take, 1 February 2020


“The ‘Double Take’ challenge focuses on the use of homophones* to build your writing piece. You have two sets of homophones and you are challenged to use all of them in your response – which can be poetry or prose.”

Our homophone sets this week are: fair, fare and foul, fowl