New and original sayings

There’s rarely a true word spoken by pests
A rolling stone  will never be boss
A rolling bone is like dental floss
She left a calling stone/
Many drugs make sites worse
Many friends make   lights  seem to flirt
A bird in the hand is terrifying
The early word captures and forms
When in doubt,say nowt
Empty your worry bags for me
Down by the jolly hard’uns.
I met her in the garden where the  Cornish pasties grow
Alas,. my love, you sued me wrong
Underneath the marchers,I dream that I have flu.

Posted in Thinkings and poems | Leave a comment



You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Posted in Thinkings and poems | Leave a comment

Would you believe it?



Sarcasm is bad for your relationships!
And don’t use it  with your partner,children  or siblings  just because you think that at home you can be  free to say whatever you like


Photo Mike Flemming

Well, stone the crows.You don’t need a Ph.D in psychology to work out that cruel remarks  or humour will not make you popular.These days you can get a doctorate in all sorts of  odd subjects.How to lose friends and irritate people might be one!

Posted in Thinkings and poems | Leave a comment

Drawing faces and the golden mean (2)tI can’t yet draw a face

Posted in Thinkings and poems | Leave a comment

The power of language by Thomas Moore


The words a leader chooses are just as critical as their actions, writes Thomas Moore.

Peace and Love by Trevor Price. Image copyright: Trevor Price

Peace and Love by Trevor Price. Image copyright: Trevor Price

“As a writer and psychotherapist, I have been using words carefully most of my life. While counselling a husband and wife, I notice that a single word can stir their emotions and take their conversation to a dark place they both know is negative.

If, for example, I use a word like ‘neurotic’ or even ‘troubled’ in talking to a client about his situation, he may feel judged and become defensive. On the other hand, a few honest words of appreciation can put a marriage back on track.

Words don’t just convey meaning: they are a force.

We live at a time when people are generally pragmatic. We want to be effective and we don’t care much about the words we use. We see signs of this carelessness in advertising, where grammar and spelling are secondary to perkiness and brevity. People drink lite sodas and are purchasing new tech (technology) for their business offices, and apps (applications) for their telephones.

Of course language evolves, but you can usually sense the difference between evolution and neglect. Smoothing out a word like ‘light’ into ‘lite’, we lose its history and associations. The word ultimately goes back to leukos in Greek and is related to leukaemia, a problem of white blood cells. We don’t sound the ‘gh’, but its presence there keeps the memory of the Greek associations.

In my own writing I try to find a midpoint between pedanticism and love of language. I know what I’m talking about, because I was once fired from a teaching position at a university in part because I didn’t write in acceptable academic style. Apparently, my words didn’t have sufficient or appropriate gravitas.

A Rumi story tells of a dervish walking past a deep well. He hears a voice:

“Help. I’m a writer and I’m stuck down here.”

The dervish says, “I’ll go find out where a ladder’s at.”

“Your grammar’s atrocious,” the writer shouts up.

“Well, then, you’ll have to wait there until my grammar improves,” the dervish says, and walks on.

I feel like the writer in the well waiting for grammar to improve. And not just grammar. I understand the Sufi complaint about being too fussy about rules of speech. I’m waiting, too, for a love of language to return, an appreciation for the words we use and for style and grace in expression. Like the writer in the well, I could be in for a long wait.

World leaders often use diplomatic language that hides the real meaning of the words, creating euphemisms that are outright dangerous. Describing slaughtered and maimed civilians as “collateral damage” is the classic example for our times, and it’s cynical in the extreme. “Enhanced interrogation techniques” for ‘torture’ seems part of the cruelty.

The bland and bloated language of politics blocks the opportunity for leaders to truly inspire and educate. Imagine hearing instead a thoughtful, measured analysis of the world situation from a leader, accompanied by intelligent, subtle solutions to problems. Instead, we get the tired and unimaginative language of war and militancy. Wars begin with words, so we should be careful how we speak, especially to nations where there is tension. Our words can heal the situation before the military takes up its weapons.

We could all have a rule that we won’t use words that come to us unconsciously and out of habit or that are in the common parlance of public discourse. Fresh words could help us arrive at fresh ideas, for there is an intimate connection between thought and word. Careful use of words requires careful thinking.

Sometimes I wonder if the language of progressive movements gets in the way of the message. I, for one, always stumble at the word ‘sustainability’. When I think about it, I know what it means, but it doesn’t feel like a friendly word. I’d rather talk about not being wasteful, or about using resources carefully and wisely. ‘Environmentalism’ isn’t such a friendly word either. Maybe we need a new, simple word or phrase – ‘care for the world’.

World peace begins with peace in the family. As a therapist, I’ve heard many adults recite hurtful words they heard decades ago from a parent or sibling. Care in speaking to children requires a degree of self-possession, the ability to see past the blind emotion of the moment to the needs of the child. Good words come from that greater vision.

For example, words of extreme praise can do wonders for the injured ego of a child or spouse. Sometimes it’s helpful to give words to what is usually left unspoken. “I appreciate what you did for me. I’m happy that you’re with me.” Simple, direct and felt words of praise, appreciation and gratitude often go unsaid, when they could be a handy means of healing. Words hurt and words heal”

Posted in Thinkings and poems | Leave a comment

The word laundry

The “word laundry” is very busy now:
The “non involved,” the children “used as shields”
Creating euphemisms and bloody how!

Certain words we cannot yet allow
Tampax,blood and women who, paid,  yield
The word laundry is very busy now

With a tiger’s cruelty we’re endowed
You should have seen the  rows of” disappeared”
We’re using euphemisms,it’s bloody you.

Relationships are more than  winning rows
We saw the soldiers lying in the fields
The word laundry is sadly busy now

The sheep and goats will give you bible’s clues
The politicians lied, contempt revealed
We’re using euphemisms and Oh,God, how


In our minds we keep some facts concealed
Yet self  deception greys our days unreal
Your “word laundry” is hyper-busy now:
Creating euphemisms like ” blood is dew.”


Posted in reflections, sanity, Symbol, Thinkings and poems, truthfulness, value judgments, villanelle, word meanings | Leave a comment

Emile eats the cheese

2010 07 15  Yorkshire Dales  over Wensleydale to Addleborough and beyond

North Yorkshire



Mary was sitting at her table reading a piece in the Guardian Family section When she had finished the sad interview with a woman whose son had shot dead 5 children in a school,she tried to get up but the decorative buttons on her shoes had become entangled and her feet were tied together..
What shall I do ? she asked herself nervously.Very soon the answer came.. to slip her shoes off and then pick the linked pair up.How stupid it is,she told herself,to make crossing one’s ankles so dangerous.But with her brilliant yet anxious mind she had solved the problem and not died at her laptop.Perhaps in that case nobody would have realised  her shoes had caused her death implemented by her stupidity at not recalling she could take them off!
She went into the kitchen where Emile had knocked over the pedal bin to get a piece of chicken left over from dinner.He had also got a large ball of rough twine and knocked it round the room creating a big tangled mess.
Just wait till Stan comes back,she told the wicked cat.You know quite well the bin is out of bounds.Look at the floor!The doctor will  blame me for this mess.
How will the doctor know? asked Emile politely.
Well,it’s just he seems to be around quite a lot nowadays.I think he liked my Earl Grey Tea.Or else he is anxious about me.He thinks I am too thin…

Is he planning to hug you,asked the little black cat.
Oh,no.He can’t do that.I believe it is forbidden  by the Zippocratic Code even though my blood pressure falls if he holds my hand.
I’d have thought it might rise,mewed the naughty animal.
Now then ,Emile.I am beyond caring about men.Or women.I have no desire for desire if you understand me.
I don’t understand ,cried Emile, because cats  never lose their desire!
Well,one thing I know for sure,I am not a cat,Mary informed him .I am  human being.
Well,may I sit on your lap , asked  the cat.
Mary sat by the window watching the trees sway against the grey mauve sky.Emile rubbed against her bosom as if expecting milk to flow.
Stop that Emile. she shouted.I am getting aroused.And you are no use to me in that way.You are getting beyond the boundary of taste.
Maybe it’s good for your circulation,the cheeky animal whispered.Anyway I am stuck.Your necklace has hooked onto my collar.
Oh,my Lord  said Mary.
Don’t say you will be hanging round my neck forever.What shall we do now?There are a few possible answers,Emile said.
1.Take off your necklace

What and leave you dragging it round the garden.I’ll have you  know it cost 15 and six,Mary said mournfully

Was that before decimalisation or is it some other mathematical model? Emile said noisily.

2.Undo my collar and take it off me then we can try to separate them.

3.We could lie on the bed and gaze into each others eyes all day,he finished.Unless you need the bathroom .I am happy

Well, charming thought that sounds I am  not willing,Mary shouted foolishly.She tore off the necklace and by some miracle it came away from the collar and freed Emile who was not totally happy at this quick release
So you are not in love with me,he yelped like a small  but jealous god.~
Well,I do love you,sweetheart,But I am not expecting marriage.In any case  you would have to be transgender first and I don’t recommend it
How about trans-species ? he murmured seductively.

Even the most demanding folk in Britain have not yet requested to be made into cats,she told him half consciously.
Emile began to cry softly

Whatever’s wrong,dearest,she asked him mindfully.
I was hoping you could become a cat like me,Emile said in his Cockney accent which had picked up from the TV.
That is very sweet,dear but how would we pay the Council Tax and get books from the Library?
We would go to the old greenwood and live the life of freedom,he said.
Well,you are used to it,said Mary,but I like to think about Wittgenstein.I wonder if he’d like to be a cat if he were not dead.Would Sylvia Plath have been happier as a cat? We shall never know.But it could have helped her a great deal if Ted were just a randy tom.
Thus Mary , lounging in her red chair fell  fast asleep  in her   warm blue woolly dress with Emile on the dining table beside her eating some Wensleydale cheese she had forgotten to put away.
Mm very nice Emile mewed.I hope  the people in Wensleydale have made some more.

And so say all of us.

For it’s a jolly good seller.

Posted in Thinkings and poems, fiction | Leave a comment

The psychology of the Israel/Palestine conflict

WP_20171005_09_12_45_Pro (2)t rrrrr.jpg



“According to Volkan (2001), some ethnic groups have a major traumatic experience
that has become part of their cultural identity. This experience may have been a
defeat in battle, or a genocide, or a major loss of prestige or status. The humiliation
of this event lives on in the collective memory, and it becomes the job of the next
generation to either resolve the loss or reverse the humiliation. No attempt to set
the historical record straight will have any effect, as it is not the facts of the event
that are relevant, but its mythologized nature as handed down the generations. For
example, in Blood Lines, Volkan (1998) describes how the Serb obsession with their
defeat by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 became conflated with
their war against the Bosnian Muslims. Mladic, Karadzic and Milosevic saw
themselves as bearing the responsibility of restoring Serb pride, lost centuries ago.
Mourning has been described as the psychological process through which an
individual learns to bear a traumatic loss through repeated and painful
remembering (Mitscherlich-Nielsen, 1989, p. 405). There are many ways in which
the mourning process can go awry and the final resolution phase remain
incomplete. Most common is chronic mourning (Herman, 1997, p. 86), where the
acute symptoms of separation anxiety persist interminably. There remains a
continual obsession with the loss, life gets stuck in a futile attempt to reunite with it,
and all other priorities become insignificant. There is also a sense that the loss is
very recent, though it may have occurred years ago”

Posted in aggression, confusion, criticism, ethics, evil, Thinkings and poems | Leave a comment

Hinting that she knew my secret thoughts

Curious about  my silent thoughts
Her tongue was wagging as her ears pricked up
She needled me with steel that she had brought

Her eyes glared like some fish that had been caught
Her face grew wrinkled , straining to pick up
Curious about  my secret thoughts

Her hair stood up on end at my strange plight
Yet  rudeness  made her tongue  and lips slip up
She fondled me with steel that she had brought

She looked as if she’d just encountered Light
She handed me some paper she’d ripped up
Hinting that she knew my secret thoughts

She baited me and  cursed, I did not  bite
I merely drank the tea  from my own cup
She  pitied me with   condescension’s blight

Why was she so keen  to  offer me her traps
In places that she knew were off the map?
Curious about  my silent thoughts
She  stitched me up with  needles  she had brought

Posted in Thinkings and poems, villanelle | Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this: