On National Women Day, Pakistan


The Human Lens

Almost three decades ago, on February 12, in Pakistan a large group of about 200 women activists and male allies took public stand against against the patriarchal mindset in our country by going on the roads with a demonstration in the city of Lahore. 

This was under the dark era of military dictator General Zia ul Haq and the demonstration was beaten up and met with shelling and stone- pelting by the state police forces. Additionally,  around 50 activists and gender advocates were arrested in the aftermath and ended up becoming heroes for women’s rights cause in the staunchly patriarchal society. 

Afterwards, the civil society’s contributions and push lead towards February 12 becoming National Women’s Day in Pakistan and each year it is celebrated with a fervor and zeal as the road to gender equality and equity is a long way to go.

Among the women activists, was also the female lawyer…

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Writing Just Because…

I was getting fed-up. With politics, particularly the hypocrisy and incompetence of Opposition Parties ( hush now…not the time nor place) letting undeserving scallywags get away with things (I told ‘me’ to hush now...). Also with books whose blurbs tell me that yet another law officer with soul crushing personal problems is trying to catch another yet serial killer (what is it with the fascination with these monsters who do not deserve the glorification they get). And with cheap juvenile stuff (Colouring book for adults with swear words or men’s organs as the subjects….seriously????). Ah me, unless an effort is made this will turn into a rant. Be soft now and let your Muse turn you from the introduction into the true body of the post.

10th January this year. Something on the subject of writing was in my mind as I stared at the blank posting page, I forget the details now, daresay they will return another day. Anyway My Muse in a supreme bid to break free of all the simmerings spoiling her day, danced through those cloying thoughts in a joyous, determined, urge to be frivolous, took my imagination by the hand and led me away.

It is a work in progress Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Starting out as a simple piece of humorous whimsey using the fairy tale style and mixing in satire, farce with anything else which would fit into the pot. Originally it seemed to have a life of maybe three posts of about 1,600 words a piece. Of course I had forgotten about the will of the characters; once they had settled down and become familiar with my head, they would not leave and insisted on the whole story being told. So here I am with Part X completed, 18,000 + words accounted for and whereas there is an end in sight…. it is a long way off.

I don’t think the finished project will ever see the light of day as a book or novella. So what purpose does it have? There is an easy question to answer….. To write for its own sake. To write this piece because I can and I want to. There are opportunities to air some beliefs, to indulge in screwball humour, some British bawdiness, and as mentioned before some satire. In this tale folk who mean well or have a balanced sense of proportions thrive. Folk who deserve retribution for their careless or unpleasant behaviour and will not learn get justice heaped on them, sometimes in a callous way. Others who had blundered through Life become wiser. A world in whose ethical nature I would like to dwell.

A secondary purpose is the challenge to ensure the plot does not follow the same paths as my current Precipice Dominions project.

The Precipice Dominions

The Precipice Dominions

Therefore this current exercise is a refreshing drink and keeps matters ever active. This said, the two narratives might well take place in the same world, although not in the same locations and certainly not the same times.

Of course writing is an effort, and it is only a writer’s nature that they wish to record this effort, somewhere. So I place this on WP, to remain in its archives, to be chanced upon, for folk to read and above all to state ‘I was here and I wrote this. My Muse (an industrious quirky little pixie of whom I am very fond) I thank you,

And it is also on a Word doc. And hopefully on a cloud. The book may yet evolve.

So, fellow writers. You should not fret when the urge takes you to write another piece of work, removed from your current project. Sometimes you need the allegorical walk away from the habitation of your current book into a fresh air. Other times when you are feeling low because the plot will not flow or you seem to be writing for no one but yourself, another piece of work can revitalise, remind you of your nature; To Write because you can. And because you will. Write for the joy of letting the words flow out from thought and take form. You need no other’s approval, they are not above you. You are A Writer. It is enough.   

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt X

Pt X… A lot of jolly fun if you don’t mind the risqué, the rough sort of poetic justice, and a touch of jolly plagiarism. 

Whereas Prince Frendlehanz in his youthfulness had had some boisterous interludes with his friends which involved drinking much ale, hurling desserts in a careless manner and throwing each other in ponds, this experience was devoid of the attendant jolliness.

The ride, he having been equated to a sack of vegetables, had been exceptionally uncomfortable, the dismounting a very unsympathetic exercise and hurling down into the straw of a highly unsanitary barn somewhat painful, for the straw had been very dry and had delighted in pricking him in delicate places. Being face down and still tied only served to contribute to the unhappiness of his situation.

As to the capturing, he being a prince and these being barbarians there was a sense to it. However for the accusations, he wondered if something was lost in translation. While applying this reflection as a means to take his mind off the straw making misery with his nose and ears, he was aware of the barn door being flung open and someone striding in; a pair of gauntlets struck the back of his head with distressing accuracy. There was a distinctly feminine snort as he was grabbed and turned over with a roughness which brought back the sack of vegetables analogy.

‘Now trollop!’ it was indeed that ill-tempered somewhat overly dramatic woman again ‘Thy time has come to pay for thy scheming albeit unfathomable. See what Hulstorm thinks of thee after thee hast been lustfully,’ the last word did attract his attention, particularly as she was undressing herself in a most swift and determined manner ‘and vigorously used, therefore shown to be the base wanton thou art!’

Once quite unclothed and contiuning to heap all manner of insults and accusations upon him, she proceeded to tug off all of his clothing, getting around the matter of the ropes by slicing off bits of his shirt and trousers. Occasionally she  sat on his stomach and squeezed his face all the better for him to hear a particularly colourful and ominous invective. Now Frendlehanz knew full well there were men of his father’s age and company who paid good coin for such treatment, however they employed women who were versed in the business and its limitations, this girl was displaying a rather personal air and the day might end ill for him.

‘Ha! Wretched, decadent, trollop. Thy prove thy status! Even now when thy life is in peril thou art alert, ready to receive my vengeance. Let me assure thee, thou wilt be wearied, sore and humiliated er the day goes long! Ha-ha! Then see how Hulstorm views you…Ha-ha!!’

What Hulstorm might have said, if by some highly unlikely chance, he had arrived can only be a matter of speculation, for he was employed elsewhere.


Hulstorm’ s progress through the west (and northish land) had been quite successful as far as he and the ordinary folk were concerned. It was hard going on those who had been in Bishop Twoodoodle’s employe and favour. There were some who thought their bombast would see them through, these to their horror were offered trial by combat with him, but the proceedings were predictably swift and brought an end to their protests; the majority were either slew(ed) or beaten with sticks, of which there were no short supply. All the while the bulk of the folk cheered him, wept at their release and begged he stay.

‘This land has been treated very badly for no good reason I can tell,’ he said to a fellow of Dingledong who had been loyal to him since he had likened King Genially to a not particularly gifted turnip ‘Where is their noble, be they Duke or whatever? Why did not the king see fit to deal with Twoodoodle earlier?’

‘With the rise of Twoodoodle,’ said the man grimly of course ‘The noble family, who were not that noble took heels and fled to Taxhaven. The king preferred to ignore the business since most of the folk in these lands by traditions are serious and hard-working and not prone to pleas to be jolly. He for many years had been affronted at their failure to send him lavish gifts on his birthday, only but crates of basic vegetables,’

Hulstorm ‘humph’d at the explanation and continued on his reaving of the previous regime.

One day he came upon a very tall tower, in the middle of a sparsely populated area. On examination at the very top of which he espied the face of a young woman, she seemed very forlorn. He gathered local folk for an explanation.

‘Oh dread, fair, generous and wonderous lord,’ they said, as was their wont by then; secretly he wished they wouldn’t, they might decide to add more titles and he would never find out what they intended to say. ‘There resides Fayre Rahsemynd, the daughter and only worthy member of the family of Lord Grymple who with his two useless sons, haughty wife and a few others fled leaving Fayre Rahsemynd about her vocation of caring for the poor. As the only member of the family Twoodoodle could lay his hands on he placed her in this tower. The doors were bolted, barred and structural arrangements made that should they be forced open the tower would fall down. Sparse foods were sent up to her by basket to maintain her, for Twoodoodle had set a cruel ordinance that any man who could climb the tower and bring her down could have her for his wife,’

‘Base villain,’ he said ‘How long has the poor maid been there? And have any fellows tried?’

‘Oh dread, fair, generous and wonderous lord,’ said some old peasant who seemed to be in charge now ”Twas three years last Grimday’s Eve. And aye, fortified by ales and spirits eight and ten have tried, seven getting halfway up and  not surviving the consequences, five now limp and curse a lot, the other six have interesting marks on their faces,’

Having given orders to seek out these eleven fellows, who he guessed were not hard to find with a view to explaining themselves Hulstrum considered the tower. Now Chilbin aside from being a harsh and cold land, home to snows, ices and fierce winds was also possessed of many a challenge mountain. Hulstrum for several years, in order to get away from his father had set out on quests to climb these by the most difficult paths and proclaim when he got to the top. Of the proclaiming he was never much enthusiastic or of spare breath, but one had to do these things. Studying the tower he believed with care, fortitude, respect for its stones and careful of slippery cunning mosses it was climbable. Thus with a strong and very long rope about his shoulder and chest, for the descent, two good stout axes to aid in the hauling up and the making of footholds he set about the task.

As he progressed to within a distance where polite conversation could be conducted with a view to being heard by the other he introduced himself, gave a brief account of why he was here and his opinions on the previous regime, all in three succinct sentences. He then enquired after the maid’s general state of health and gave her assurances of her rescue. She in turn confirmed who she was, informed him, her health in body, mind and spirit were as well as could be expected. Most of her conversation, though, was directed to expressing concern for his general safety and to take care.

She was light of voice, yet with sincerity, her look of concern all for him and not herself. He felt her worth all the effort. More dignified and stable of her gender than the moon-dancing Aureyborealice who most likely would have manufactured her own rope from bedding and clothes and at night clambered down in an immodest fashion to thence scamper off  in the woods from where the little goonlet (a term of those days calling into question a person’s state of mind)  would have been an insufferable pest and monumental bother to the locality.

As these thoughts annoyed and distracted him, he slipped, which might have been to his doom, had not a small, hand snatched out and grasped at his. Held there in the brave determined grip of stalwart Fayre Rahsemynd they both gasped, eyes did lock and fired on thus did Hulstorm (not quite as grumpy as he had been thus far) clamber into the chamber. For there being a fellow of business and not wishing to compromise the girl’s reputation by staying too long did he bid her hold onto him tightly. Thus with rope much secured did he make the descent, admiring her calm repose even at this comparatively  tall and windy place

‘I thank you sir for my rescue. ‘Tis a wonderous matter. For one event kept me of good spirits. Every month a hawk would fly here, bearing a message which would say ‘Be of  faith maiden. Rescue will come,’ Then of late the messages changed to  ‘ Make ready maiden. An end to your trials is at hand’ . Did you send those messages good sir?’

‘No,’ he said, most puzzled and concentrated on the descent.

Upon reaching the ground the couple were greeted with much joy and celebration, this being added to by the arrival of a fast travelling heavily armed group of riders led by a fellow although not of military garb was a serious clothing and business air.

‘Prince Hulstorm and Lady Rahsemynd. I am The Chancellor of the Exchequer unto King Genially, and bring sufficient gold to pay this small but efficient army of yours prince and also to give some aid to the local economy. More will follow,’

‘The King cares for us then?’ asked the elderly peasantish person, in a manner less than respectful. The Chancellor’s response was one couched in certain tones.

‘His majesty’s attentions are elsewhere. I act on his behalf. He places trust in my judgements,’

‘Hmm,’ Hulstorm said ‘Are you aware he marches to war against my father?’

‘I am sure good princes it is but a slight misunderstanding which can soon be sorted out. You will of course be making secure this previous unhappy portion of the kingdom,’

The locals made loud and sincere their pleas for Hulstorm to do so.

There was also the matter of the deeply sincere expression and wide brown eyes of the autumnal haired Fayre Rahsemynd, accompanied by her softly spoken request.

‘Please stay and help my poor people Prince Hulstorm,’

He told himself it would have been quite boorish to do otherwise, particularly as since he had been here no one had made any mention about that ridiculous circumstance with Frendlehanz. In point of fact looking at Fayre Rahsemynd he could quite forget the whole business.


To return to an unsanitary barn with a carpet of dry straw.

‘Ow! Will you desist from punching me young lady!’

‘Thou wretch! Thou trollop! Thou jade! Thou are not supposed to be enjoying this!’

‘That is hardly my fault is it?’

‘What is that supposed to mean?’

‘Oh really! For all your administrations here, you truly have little idea about men do you? Now can you please untie me so we can discuss matters in a civilised manner?’

After some huffing the flame haired, fiery and to Frendlehanz’s frame of mind wonderfully dishevelled Magnificalorin, did so.

‘Owww! Why did you punch me then!’

‘Just to remind thee who is in charge…Oww! Thou didst pull my nose most severely!’

‘Well, whereas one should never punch a lady, some response was necessary. I confess, it is true I do not mind the being used vigorously, but the punching was getting wearisome. It would be for the best if we were to restrain ourselves and give me the chance to explain things. Also, so this can be done without distraction let us get dressed,’

The flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin once more did huffed but agreed. He offered her his gilded comb which she accepted with a surly sort of thanks and while she was engaged in untangling her flame haired locks and freeing them of straw he launched into his explanation.

About the planned wedding and also how there was to be an effort to keep Hulstorm away from Frendlehanz’s sister, before he could mention her name Magnificalorin interrupted tersely to say she had heard of the blonde haired dancing simpleton adding Hulstorm did not care for the annoying little twit but was only doing as he father ordered. Frendlehanz kept his own recently revised opinions of his sister to himself so as to allow him to explain the mischief and trickery visited upon the ceremony and how the Old Fool of an Arch-High-Wotsit had insisted everything had to stay as it was. This caused Magnificalorin to drop the comb and begin to sniffle, tears falling.

‘Oh hystkuk (a quite rude word, even by barbarian standards)!’ she said ‘I have made a fool of myself by falling into this silly circumstance! What will Hulstorm think of me. Ravaging out of pure revenge is quite acceptable, but now he will think of me as naught by a naughty-legged trollop. Oh boofflee! (a not so rude barbarian word…quite genteel in fact,). And everyone will laugh at me behind my back! Oh boofflee yet again!!’

Frendlehanz ,as a few young ladies(of an acquisitive nature for valuables) were aware, could not resist their tears and so produced a handkerchief from another pocket ( ‘A fellow could never have too many pockets’, he was wont of saying). Without the aid of his fellow princes he was none to keen on meeting the Army of Chilbin  and was fayre certain his father and retinue felt the same way, when it came to the sharp end of metal. Thus did a plan begin to form.

‘I see a way out of this for both of us,’ he told Magnificalorin who was surprising him by using his handkerchief in quite a civilised manner. ‘You can claim me as hostage and take me northwards. It will raise your reputation as a bold and fearless reaver. Send a messenger to my army of the news. Then we shall ride swiftly. Of course for purposes of image and presentation you have shall have to use me vigorously, frequently. It will be expected,’

A faint smile creased her face and she punched him, lightly on the arm.

‘Thou shouldst try not to sound so hopeful’  she said.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

International Day – Zero Tolerance For Female Genital Mutilation

Needs no addition from me

The Human Lens

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day that takes place on February 6 as part of the UN’s efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation that was first introduced in 2003.

The cultural practice is most closely linked to thirty predominantly African countries, but UNICEF reports provide evidence of its prevalence in about fifty countries including in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Though the practice of FGM will take centuries to eradicate despite world leaders promising to end the practice by 2030. The procedure involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, and sometimes sewing up the female intimate parts.

Here are some noteworthy anti FGM activists leading the fight against the practice and towards its eradication.


Hibo Wardere was born in Somalia and a FGM survivor herself. She is also the…

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Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Pt IX… An episode with lots of eventfully jolly and unjolly stuff. So read jolly carefully

Thus spake(eth)  Lady Frastreiayal  (sister, aunt, proficient in both magiks and magics; presently domiciled on the side of a chilly mountain).

‘It was, even by Mount Urnnnng’s harsh standards a dark cold night of howling winds and ice-storms. I was passing a pleasant hour reviewing and arranging the tributes gifted to me by barbarians passing by, on their way to invade Grunzelpratz. They believe me to be the goddess Frizgrunstar Wylde Wyfe, Spouse of  Thugnnorran The God of a Thousand Peaks,’

‘You encouraged them so dear Aunt,’ Aureyborealice pointed on.

‘No more than you did dear niece with your messenger hawks despatching inflammatory messages to the rather majestically hot tempered Vilfahengo (The Iron)  and that ridiculous bishop last seen bobbing about the Wavassup Confluence where the rivers Islewhenddle and Bonghump meet. But we meander. Anyway dear sister. Here appears my bright and talented niece Aureyborealice asking for audience with a view to a peaceful frank chat and a nice big mug of hot herbal brew, please. We had much to discuss. And, resultant it was thought best I come to you dear sister and explain things,’

‘Oh sister,’ lamented Domesticia, ‘Though joyous we can meet again, I am saddened. Did you use  those powers, because you were not invited to the wedding (curse the day we thought of it)?’

‘Oh dearest sister no!’ said Lady Frastreiayal throwing back her head a giving out a brief brittle laugh ‘I would not have cared for an official invite. Having to meet with stultifying bores, men who stared down my dress and women whose frosty snootiness would compare to the chills of Mount Urnnnng. The very idea! No dear sister. I wished to save you, my niece Aureyborealice (although this proved hardly necessary) and that dear sweet creature (‘not a creature’, pointed out Aureyborealice, ‘she’s a lovely girl’. ‘Whatever’ replied her Aunt) Whinsome from pains and humiliations,’

‘How so?’ asked Queen Domesticia, although having a certain feeling about matters; in her current state of distress preferred to have someone explain it to her.

‘By now you are aware of the feckless behaviour of your husband. You should know your son Frendlehanz, despite his friendly demeanour or maybe because of it has a reputation, (Frendle ‘No complaints there,’ hanz,’ interjected his sister, in rare bout of sourness), and since he has not only the blood of your husband but that of our wretched father Snork running through his loins, there would be, eventually scandal and humiliations. Also by careful observation of Dear and, you should know very cleaver and talented, Aureyborealice I have discerned there were no less than six and ten possible suitors being considered by her father, each one as unworthy as the next, having naught but passing interests for her body and venal aspirations upon those lands she owns and will inherit. Thus did I plan to sew (an old classic way of saying ‘sow’) all this confusion and embarrassing circumstance to give great discomfort to the false Genially and show what a silly humffle-dump (a term of great mockery) he is. Thus would you leave him to sort out his own trials and take residence with our dearest Mother,’

‘Dearest Mother lives?’ gasped Domesticia, who was in quite the mood to  Go Home To Mother. 

‘Yes, a place far to the east, a warm and pleasant land where folk mind their own businesses, and where many a previously forlorn and cheated wife journeys to there to seek each other’s company and solace,’

‘These happy digressions aside dearest sister. But these bizarre arrangements between Frendlehanz and the abrupt Hulstorm and dearest Aureyborealice and the rather pleasant Whinsome. They cannot be so?’

‘Oh they would have be annulled in a couple of years. I planned to arrange for Doctrindoss ( The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One) to suffer a mild but nevertheless incapacitating affliction thus allowing a council of time-serving bishops who knew what was what in the world to declare the marriage void, then I would have left them to squabble over who would become the next Arch-High-yadda-yadda-blah-blah. By then the four young folk would have met with others who would have accepted them no matter what strange past and enter into true worthy marriages based on if not love at least a mature relationship. It was all quite sophisticated. The trouble was I underestimated the crass stupidity of folk in general and their propensity to create ill-informed loud-mouthed groups, in this case at last count four and fifty. Also,’ she looked to her nice Aureyborealice, who at the time was seated, idly swaying her legs back and forth and considering her toes ‘The astute, clever perceptions and ambitions of your very talented daughter who was very quick on the uptake and management of the situation. Although,’ her voice took on a heavier tone ‘It would have been advantageous had we both been aware of the others activities and interests in Chilbin,

‘Better late than never,’ suggested Aureyborealice, which settled the business, and the three women got to work on organising Domesticia’s secret flight from Dingledong, which in view of the chaotic situation brewing across the six kingdoms was not difficult. For now that stratagems by both aunt and niece were in place, events would play out. Neither were sure of the exact details but thought the results would be…. interesting.


At the camp of the now Two Princes, heading to link up with King Genially’s not quite as good army, messengers were oft to arrive, all exhausted from galloping (in one extreme and enthusiastic case without horse) and with news for all places within five of the six kingdoms. The latest one came with news for Prince Hanselfrendlesten (heir to the throne of Trundlealong, likes wars, now friends with Hulstorm) , it was transpiring that not only had barbarians swarmed over the borders of Grunzelpratz but being barbarians and not too focused were also causing troubles in Trundlealong’s northern parts.

‘I must away good friend Frendlehanz ( heir to Dingledong’s throne, handsome, interested in gardens and girls, while still being spousified to Hulstorm ) for my father has as little idea of warfare and seems only concerned in protecting the lands earmarked for Lychee farming. Folk are beset by barbraians and capering shamen who rattle bones and gibber all hours of the day and night, I must save the poor honest folk and a few dishonest ones who are not so bad. A flanking attack westwards should force the westerly host over the border into Grunzelpratz, where I might link up with whatever forces King Jerbloom  and his three singularly useless sons have gathered, rally them to slaughter barbarians and their capering shamen. I can then threaten the flanks of Chilbin and cause Vilfahengo (The Iron) to withdraw,’

Young Hanselfrendlesten was indeed good at that war thing (he didn’t mention to Frendlehanz that while thereabouts he might well seize the throne of Grunzelpratz as the king and heirs might meet with unfortunate fates on the battlefield- he felt it might spoil the friendship). Anyway thus with much manly leaving taking and wishing of the best to both did the Trundlealong host (smallish) with a  clutch of mercenaries who were up for bonus pay make all due speed to the northern climes of  wherever Hanselfrendlesten reckoned he could start slaughtering.


Frendlehanz did feel a measure unsettled now that his two comrades, more versed in war than he had journey west (and northish) or east (and even more northish) he would have to face the rather impressive army (versed in fighting- barbarians) of Chilbin. Bullying, loud-mouth, half-witted, knuckle-dragging rebellious peasants were one thing, hardened professionals quite another.  True he was due to link up with an army his father was bringing, however somehow the notion of his father at the head of an army used to simply parading in a jolly fashion did not fill him with anything like confidence. He had toyed with the idea of sending an urgent despatch to The High Diplomat asking if there was anything he could do about the situation, but there again since Frendlehanz  was Heir to the Throne he would have to be seen being loyal (well for the time being anyway). Thus it was something of  a heavy heart, but confident face (for the troops) he did ride to his tryst with destiny.


Prince Hulstorm had gathered about him the more stern and business-like soldiers. His chilnbian retinue, had sternly taken an oath to be loyal to him, as by some curious means of travelling gossip they had learned just what King Vilfahengo had accused them of (quite unfairly actually, they had a point). The rest were loyal troops who had taken offence to a bunch of peasants being rebellious, and even if they had massacred the offenders they reckoned there were others lurking which meant to have it out with them. Anyway they were jolly fed up of being under orders to be jolly all the time and liked the way Hulstorm carried out stuff.

When they crossed into the once domain of Bishop Twoodoodle they found many unhappy folk who once they leaned who was here and why, cheered up a little. This was an unusual experience for Hulstorm, he could never recall causing happiness to appear at his arrival, but once it was explained to him how horrid the bishop had been to the locals his sense of justice and ire were fired up. Officials in the pay of the removed bishop were pointed out, along with those who enforced his writ. These folk depending on the amount of unjust behaviour, bullying and venal activity they had indulged in were either massacred or beaten with sticks, in the latter case they were then left to the locals to decide if further punishment was necessary, and that was only on the first day. Hulstorm decided this unhappy realm, which currently had no name needed to be cleansed of the influence of bishops, their clerics and time-serving retinues, then the place put into order. It would be good, honest work and kept him from the awkwardness of bumping into his father and folk he had known since childhood.



It was a bright and sunny morn when Prince Frendlehanz sought out some time for reflection of the solitary sort as he reckoned he would soon being in the thick manure of it and might not get a chance for a long while, hopefully again.

In his wandering he came upon a gently sloping ground afore him and thought how he could make quite an interesting garden out of it. The wood to his left would have to be managed a bit, however there was potential though to make it quite an artistic arrangement.

He was pondering on this, when out from the aforementioned wood, burst a group of riders, of speed, ability and savage clothing. Their leader, a flame haired and particularly  fiery  looking ruffian was upon him just as he drew his sword. With a club they knocked his sword from his hand, then punched him in the face, causing him to lose his equineal poise somewhat. They grabbed him roughly by the collars of his coat and snarled into his face. Although the accent was very thick and barbaric he thought, in the detached way one does in a crisis, they must have some education for he could make out the words.

‘So thou art the trollop who stole (ed) away Hulstorm, mine by right of trysting beneath the star-blessed sky and full moon at wintertide! I shall teach ye a lesson fey trollop, thee!’

It was at this stage, even though his senses were somewhat fuddled though punching, it dawned on Frendlehanz that the flame haired and fiery ruffian was a girl. He had no time to endeavour to discuss the business in a more civil manner, for she punched him again. Then before he fell off his mount her fellow barbarians caught him, hauled him off his horse, to dump him on and tie him to the front of the saddle of her fearsome mount. Once this act was completed with all speed and efficiency she gave out with a sharp barbaric cry that he could not make head nor tail of and away the group galloped, at the expected fearsome pace.

Whereas the word ‘Abducted’ did swim up to what was left of his consciousness, somewhere in the very unsettled recesses of his mind, he could not help but feel this was not quite the traditional way these tales were woven.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

A Cathartic Interlude.

Let us all be honest for a variety of reasons being they political, social, work-based, domestic or literary we are prone to a build of pressures which can be volcanic in their potentials and should be released in a controlled way

This is not the first time I have voiced this opinion…..

Thus, let us never underestimate the value of a good, old fashioned.


Big Raspberry

In the direction of the aspect which is annoying you at present.

And remember the louder, the longer, the better you will feel afterwards.

Thank you for you time and attention……

(This has been a Public Service Announcement) 


Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Pt VIII… A Jolly (if you like that sort of thing, and are on the winning side ) Battle and a possibly not so Jolly Family Circumstance (unless you like chuckling at other folks’ problems)

Historians of later ages were to have tremendous fun arguing over whether ‘The Wars of The Six Nations’, ‘The Summer Wars’ ‘The War of the Twin Weddings’ or ‘The Wars of the Schismatic Succession’ was the correctly apt title. A minority inclined to the more basic and acerbic  approach wanting it to be known as ‘The Thirtieth Avoidable Dust-Up’ were ignored as taking all the fun out of the argument.


Firstly Bishop Twoodoodle and his self styled Righteous Host marched west, which since the princesses were in the south was an indication firstly this force had lost its way, and secondly a general illustration of the average intelligence therein. This being no surprise to the now very stern alliance of The Three Princes, for alphabetical purposes being Frendlehanz (gardens on hold and not as friendly to the peasants as he used to be), Hanselfrendlesten (it was a war, what more did he need to be told?) and Hulstrum (don’t mention the wedding unless you were tired of living)  who set their small but no-nonsense professional army in very swift pursuit and met the foe along the River Islewhenddle. The night before the battle Bishop Twoodoodle and what he deluded himself and them into being his captains were discussing a map, which since it was of a location two hundred miles east was of little use, but of this they were not aware. There was a ruckus in the camp, reports of some fair headed lad sitting in trees and warning the troops (or so titled) they would be massacred. The men had hurled coarse insults called him as weak as a snowflake, which was damn silly since it was spring and as anyone knows lots of snowflakes cause trouble. They tried to catch him but he skipped away.

Later that night The Three Princes were given the latest dispositions and numbers of the foe. No one was sure which bold scout it was, only by his voice he was reckoned to be a young ‘un and had fair hair.

That morning Twoodoodle’s Righteous Host gathered on the same side of the river as The Three Princes‘ forces ‘cas it wuz muddy on the other side’ and ‘wanted those snowflake princes to hear the insults’. The principal of the obvious tactical advanatge of being on the opposite side if the river not ocurring to them. Thus The Righteous Host was promptly massacred by sword, spear, lance, arrow, mace and being shoved in the river. Twooodoodle was found hiding in a cornfield dressed as a milkmaid in the what may have been the worst disguise in many a long year. Despite his pleas, both craven and loud he had large pieces of wood tied to his arms and legs and was launched down the muddy bank and into the River Islewhenddle, from whence peasants could hurl insults and objects him. Hulstrum had thought it a bit short for a battle, and had to make do with prisoners who had been identified as ones using the stupid ‘snowflake’ insult.  He, coming from a place of severe winter storms did lecture them, during their last day on Earth ,with the aid of a small sharp knife on the folly of using such a word as an insult, in particular to a prince versed in blades.

It was after the last screams had died down and the pleas from Twooodoodle grew fainter that a messenger, quite weary and hot from galloping (with the aid of a horse) brought news of the invasion from Chilbin. Everyone within hearing range looked to Hulstorm.

Who struck a very serious and straight backed pose:

‘Vilfahengo (The Iron), my father. He comes to humiliate, harangue and conquer. From whence I was a child, and in painful passage from thence unto callow youth and on into bleak manhood did I serve under the lash of his tongue and sneer of his lips. There was no pleasing him. In my short sojourn here have I experienced a land more flexible, albeit it in a whimsical way. Yea, there be trials, tribulations,  two very stubborn young women and a fellow who should not be in charge of religion. Yet here, this is now my home. And I wilt fight against the chill of my father. For I am for these warm, green places!’

The cheering started from his own retinue several of whom had recently formed attachments (quite frequently) to some of the bridesmaids, and liked the beer, which was not brewed with thistles. Both Frendlehanz and Hanselfrendlesten shook Hulstorm‘s hand (the former not for too long, or warmly…lest folk read too much into it; the latter with an ironic smile and a jovial ironic insult, which of course could only be seen as a statement of praise,).

‘Then together then!’ called out Frendlehanz, who was not much on battlefield eloquence but did sound quite strong of voice and could raise a very noteworthy mailed fist.

It was briefly decided for purposes of geo-political strategy, at which Hanselfrendlesten was quite good, Hulstorm should ride west with a view to completely supressing the rebellion in the west, as they had it coming, while Frendlehanz and Hanselfrendlesten would march northish and thus Hulstorm avoiding fighting his own folk (even if he did say he wouldn’t mind attacking his father, personally). The strategy explained by Hanselfrendlesten (experienced in international war)  being that Vilfahengo (Chilbin-king of and ill-tempered Iron) would be so furious that he couldn’t find his son straight away he would lose his concentration and go galloping all over the place.

Overall the three lads what with marching, massacring and being very far away from those two annoying girls were having quite a splendid time.

Meanwhile King Genially, hot of temper and beset with much flusterings and ill-humours said he would obviously have to sort things out himself! Firstly he locked bishops Humfelsteffstong and Hylorididoda in a tower for being fools and would not listen to pleas as to why hadn’t he done the same to the other bishops? Thus obviously not even close to be jolly he stormed over to his daughter’s manse. There was much alarm for he was very brusque to the servants, told the dear old gardener he could not care less about the roses, threatened to push  The Clerk of the Princesses’ Household’s head into the ornamental goldfish pond and demanded, loudly to speak with his daughter.

Whinsome appeared, dressed modestly and holding a very holy book to her breast.

‘My Lord Father by Law and the Supreme Being,’ she began, he spluttered, she therefore continued, quickly and coherently of course ‘Aureyborealice my spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor is not here. My Lord Father by Law and the Supreme Being. She would not say where she has gone, but it was of great importance to the realm,’ Whinsome smiled fondly ‘I am sure this is so, for one whose beauty is beyond compare; possessed of long flowing blonde hair, yet is not vain and is kind to everyone, sings with birds, talks to small furry creatures, dances barefoot in gardens, has such a gentle yet incisive wit, knows much about finance, taxation and economics as well as the underlying themes of the geo-political and-‘

‘Now look here young lady!’ Genially interrupted, he did not care for this fulsome praise of his daughter from another young woman certainly not one to whom she was arguably spoused(ed) and, therefore did not most definately, certainly not want Whinsome to go on beyond the word ‘and’  lest he hear ‘things’  parents didn ‘t even like to hear of passing between child and spouse of the traditional sorts. He continued ‘This has gone beyond even a Bother. There is a rebellion in the west, the Tax Union and Trade Agreements are under threat from dispute and an unforeseen trade in Lychees  ‘

‘Leaches!’ cried a servant

‘No,’ sighed Whinsome ‘Lychees which flourish in the unusually subtropical climate and mild winters in the region where lieth the castle and estates of my parents. There I agree with you, My Lord Father by Law and the Supreme Being….The Lychees question…’tis a bothersome thing,’

‘Yes!’ grumbled Genially, confused at agreeing with Whinsome ‘And now we are invaded from the north by Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin!’

‘Don’t forget that an army out of Grunzelpratz led by an association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and one of King Jerbloom’s three singularly useless sons, in this case Kurntool  marches upon Turgidan to unseat  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One. Although this host now has to turn around and march back because Grunzelpratz is being invaded at the behest of Vilfahengo (The Iron)  by a host of barbarians from the far north,’ said Whinsome, trying to be helpful

‘How do you know that? Seated here in this small isolated manse!’ he demanded.

‘Ah My Lord King,’ came a quavering voice as out doddered Bishop Quirrblelong ‘These two young women, blessed by the Wisdom of the Supreme Being know(eth) much in length on breadth of perceptions. Would you like a current cake?’

‘I careth not for currants!’ blustered Genially who was losing the thread of the conversation.

‘No, no my good king,’ persisted Bishop Quirrblelong ‘These are Current Cakes. Current  as in the state of existence and thus alluding to their persistence in freshness so avoiding the hardness and staleness one does so encounter these days. I fear it is because we do not have the art of cupboard making and small wooden chest making that was praised by many in days of yore. Now my great uncle-‘

‘Oh spiffle on your great uncle!’ roared Genially and stormed off, pausing to grab the hapless The Clerk of the Princesses’ Household and immerse him in the aforementioned ornamental goldfish pond.

Once the king’s retinue had rescued the poor clerk from possible drowning or choking on a goldfish they led the king back to his palace wherein he had a furious row with his Queen Domestica, who was only just recovering from a number of shocks. He blamed her for both children being wayward….Who needed all those gardens anyway? Also she should have sent Aureyborealice off to a remote religious retreat run by remote religious women, long ago. And it was she who was to blame for encouraging that Old Fool Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One by being so kind and amenable to him. He was way past his senses and it was about time they elected a fellow for a set term and not let any old goat ramble on. He( Genially that is) blamed the women of the kingdoms for being far too kind to the old idiot, just because he reminded them of some favourite great-uncle who used to tell them funny stories and pretend to be farm animals, and what was the good of that anyway? Who needed farm animal impression when a nation was being invaded and Tax Unions with Trade Agreements were falling apart. And why did folk think Lychees were so important ?When this was over he would have every Lychee tree, or bush, or whatever they were burnt down. See what Doodle would think then? He ( Genially that is) knew his  (Doodle- that is) game! Ha! He thought he could be emperor of all the nations by growing Lychees. Who ever heard of an empire built on growing vegetables or fruits or such stuff?. It was the sword and Tax Unions and Trade Agreements that counted. And why had she (Domesticia) suggested Whinsome in the first place? Ohhh that girl pretending to be religious was artful! She’d ensnared Bishop Quirrblelong into cooking currant cakes! Whereas everyone knew he (Genially that is) hated currants. Currants caused more indigestion, consequential dyspepsia and thus rebellions and schisms more than anything else. And she (Domesticia) should have seen to that, since women listened to her. Why hadn’t she stopped the currant trade in the first place?

Domesticia had listened with forbearance, while waiting for one of her serving maids to bring her the large jug filled with iced water which of late she had used to dab on her forehead to stem the headaches. Once the jug was handed to her, she walked up to her husband, tugged forth the top of his trousers and emptied the entire contents ice and all down said garment, then thwacked him on the head with the jar. While he crouched in a most undignified manner, his eyes rolling and odd gurgles coming from his mouth, she stood over him.

‘Aside from your unjust tirade husband, for the past thirty and two days whence folk have tired of your petulance, ill-governance and poor humour to dear Aureyborealice I have been met by two and ten women who will keep still their tongues no longer announcing you are the father three and ten children of ‘natural’ status. May those chunks of ice serve to spare any further women from your smooth and jolly blandishments!’

And thus did she repair to her own apartments to understandably weep.

But soon there came a soft knock at her door and a lady-in-waiting appeared with a solicitous announcement.

‘My Queen. The Princess Aureyborealice hath arrived by surprise and brings another,’

Domesticia bade them enter.

In walked dear Aureyborealice, holding firmly by the hand, her aunt.

Lady Frastreiayal, of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng (practitioner of magiks,  nurser of grudges, and currently of a curiously humorous yet penitent air). Sister of Domesticia ( once gracefully aging, now distraught queen of Dingledong and of many years marriage to King Genially…the status currently questionable).

‘My dear daughter. And my dear sister. How glad I am to see you both! This is a trying time!’

Although Aureyborealice did smile most generously, there was a certain knowing turn to the curve in her lips, along with a faintly sardonic glint to her eyes. Her mother (as mothers do) noticing these things, looked to her daughter, puzzled.

‘Mother,’ said Aureyborealice ‘Aunt Frastreiayal has something of a confession to give unto you,’

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII


Written Versus Not Written Stuff:Islamic Positions on Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Show this to the ignorant who had never even heard of Islam until the 1990s

The Human Lens

Part I : Written by Saadia Haq of The Human Lens 

The concept of conserving art and cultural heritage in the Islamicate world is a concept as old as the religion itself but there is a discord between the past and present practices in different Muslim communities. As opposed to what many people in the west might believe, Islamic societies are not monolithic but depict many forms of diversities and identities.

Such find their origins way back from Islam as a faith arrived to regions like in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world. More over we see overlapping practices on promoting arts and cultural patronage and this is because of the existing diversity of interpretations and practices of Islam in different parts of the world.

One of the biggest historical achievements of Islam is the towards poetry and arts particularly calligraphy that is based on elegant form of…

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On a scale from 1 to 10…!!

Jerry’s blog is place to go for wry and downright hilarious observations on life. Here is a classic example

Jerry Mabbott's Blog

I think it would be cool if refrigerators had a scale attached and they would only open if you have lost some weight. For thinner people, it would scan you and open only if your BMI was within acceptable range.

I would love it! Chubby guys like me wouldn’t be able to eat the left over pizza in the fridge. I know what you’re thinking. The system can be beaten by simply driving through a fast food joint or buying ready to eat food at the grocery store. You would be right of course, or you could raid the pantry and have peanut butter sandwiches and chips.

Or you could just put one of your kids on the scale and the fridge would pop open. since it’s possible to beat nearly every system, if you get caught, a picture of you with the refrigerator open would automatically post to your…

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Advice, Advertising, and Anxiety

Audrey’s blog is a fund of good advice and viewpoints on writing. Here is one, everyone should read.

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Blogs are full of advice for writers and self-publishers. How to start a novel. How to finish your novel. How to make your novel great. How to publish, promote, and market your novel. Etc.

No, this isn’t another rule-quibbling post. (Well, actually it is.) This one is about the advice contained in these posts. Or not contained, when the post is written by a service provider of some sort. After outlining a topic crucial to the success of writing and publishing efforts, the post proceeds to describe how that topic is addressed in a course or book. The real objective, of course, is to sell said course or book.

We writers and indie authors are a huge market for services. Editors, book doctors, writing coaches, and publicists are eager to tap into this market. That’s totally legitimate, but let’s not forget that we aren’t just a bunch of dewy-eyed airheads…

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